Rational basis review

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Rational basis review is the standard of constitutional review that the judiciary uses to evaluate a legislative classification which does not involve any suspect classifications. Currently, the only "suspect classifications" are race,[1] religion,[2] national origin,[3] gender,[4] and (possibly) sexual orientation.[5]

The doctrine of "rational basis review" suggests that where a government classification, which adversely affects one group, involves no suspect classification against a "discrete & insular minority"[6], supports a legitimate state interest, and is reasonably related to that legitimate interest, the classification passes constitutional muster.[7]

Rational basis classifications are largely economic, implicating only the government's police powers. The distinction between "filled" milk and real milk[8], is an example of a rational basis classification.

References

  1. Brown v. Board of Education
  2. Yick Wo v. Hopkins (118 U.S. 356)
  3. Korematsu v. U.S. (323 U.S. 214)
  4. U.S. v. Virginia, applying intermediate scrutiny
  5. Romer v. Evans, see also Lawrence v. Texas
  6. U.S. v. Carolene Products, 304 U.S. 144, footnote 4
  7. U.S. v. Carolene Products, 304 U.S. 144
  8. See Carolene Products, supra