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date: 25 November 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter examines constitutional equality through frameworks that have been developed to address equal protection, paying particular attention to how the Supreme Court both generated and dismantled jurisprudential paths. It first looks at equality in early American history and the emergence of class legislation as a framework, followed by a discussion on the postbellum upheaval and settlement of equality. It then considers women’s equality and the transformation of the American state in the early twentieth century, along with retrenchment and transformation around race in the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries. It also traces the flowering of equal protection regarding gender and the rise of equality jurisprudence with respect to sexual orientation before concluding with an assessment of how the Supreme Court has built and dismantled frameworks of classification, the ideological debates surrounding the frameworks, and the jurisprudence of fundamental rights within the context of equal access.

Keywords: constitutional equality, equal protection, Supreme Court, class legislation, women’s equality, race, gender, jurisprudence, sexual orientation, fundamental rights

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