Statute That Violates the Equal Protection Clause
The test to be applied to determine whether a statute violates the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution:
"The United States Supreme Court has established two tests to determine whether a statute draws a classification which violates the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment or whether that statute denies a person substantive due process of law. the Court applies the 'strict scrutiny test' where the classification is based on 'suspect criteria' or affects some fundamental right.
The traditional indicia of a suspect class are: (1) a class determined by characteristics which are solely an accident of birth, Frontiero v. Richardson, 411 U.S. 677, 686, 93 S. Ct. 1764, 1770, 36 L. Ed. 2d 583 (1972); and (2) a class 'saddled with such disabilities, or subjected to such a history of purposeful unequal treatment, or relegated to such a position of political powerlessness as to command extraordinary protection from the majoritarian political process,' San Antonio School District v. Rodriguez, 411 U.S. 1, 28, 93 S. Ct. 1278, 1294, 36 L. Ed. 2d 16 (1972).
The classifications which the United States Supreme Court has held are suspect have been drawn along racial lines, McLaughlin v. Florida, 379 U.S. 184, 85 S. Ct. 283, 13 L. Ed. 2d 222 (1964), or were based on an individual's alienage, Graham v. Richardson, 403 U.S. 365, 91 S. Ct. 1848, 29 L. Ed. 2d 534 (1971).
The Court has recognized as fundamental, the right to vote and to associate freely, Williams v. Rhodes, 393 U.S. 23, 89 S. Ct. 5, 21 L. Ed. 2d 24 (1968); the right to travel interstate, Shapiro v. Thompson, 394 U.S. 618, 89 S. Ct. 1322, 22 L. Ed. 2d 600 (1969); Dunn v. Blumstein, 405 U.S. 330, 92 S. Ct. 995, 31 L. Ed. 2d 274 (1972); and those familial rights --matters relating to marriage, procreation, contraception, family relationships, and child rearing and education-- which fall within a recognized 'zone of privacy.'
For a case which involves neither a 'suspect class' nor a 'fundamental right,' the rational basis test is the proper test to apply to either a substantive due process challenge or an equal protection challenge.
Under the rational basis test the Court asks: (a) Whether the classification furthers a proper governmental purpose, and (b) whether the classification is rationally related to that purpose."