Justice O ' Connor Delivered The Opinion Of The Court Essays

Justice O ' Connor Delivered The Opinion Of The Court Essays

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Justice O’Connor delivered the Opinion of the Court. Adarand is arguing using the Fifth Amendment that states, No person shall…be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law” (O’Brien 1562). The Court has typically interpreted that the Clause safeguards against random treatment by the Federal Government. However, the clause is not as clear as the Fourteenth Amendment Equal Protection Clause. The issues should be revisited (O’Brien 1562).
A
Into the 1940S, the Court typically believed that the Fifth Amendment, unlike the Fourteenth did not provide equal protection unlike the Fourteenth. In Bolling v. Sharpe (1954), the Court questioned why state and federal government held different standards to prevent racial classifications. Bolling did state that the equal protection of laws is stronger protection than the due process of law. Bolling finished by saying if the schools are not segregated than the Constitution must hold the government to the same standards. The factors in deciding Bolling are still relevant. The Court wrote that classifying citizens because of their ancestry is ridiculous. In Bolling it was written that, “all legal restrictions which curtail the civil rights of a single racial group are immediately suspect,” (O’Brien 1562). This sentence applies both to states and the Federal Government. Early cases involving discrimination dealt with the Federal Government and later cases did not differentiate between actions States and the Federal Government took to avoid racial classification (O’Brien 1563).
B.
In 1978, the Court dealt had to determine if government action meant to advantage one minority should be more strictly scrutinized. Regents of Univ. of California v. Bakke (1978), was a ca...


... middle of paper ...


...are only acceptable if they are, “narrowly tailored measures,” that promote gripping government interests. Metro Broadcasting is overturned (O’Brien 1564-1565).
D.
This decision reiterates Justice Powell’s ideas from Fullilove. Federal racial classifications must have a compelling government concern, and have a limited scope in doing so. If Fullilove was justification to scrutinize federal classifications less strict than that cannot be done today. Government cannot ignore the effects of centuries of racial prejudice and discrimination. In 1987 the Court unanimously decided that the Alabama Department of Public Safety’s prejudice in hiring was justifications for narrow racial clarifications. If the interest is narrow and a serious government concern than the racial classification is constitutional. The Court of Appeals decision is overturned. (O’Brien 1565-1566)

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