The Levels of Scrutiny
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The Levels of Scrutiny

in this video we’re going to talk about the levels of scrutiny analysis used by courts for judicial review and the review is of government action or laws passed by the government the question to be answered it is whether the law or action pass by the government is constitutional or not it’s a complex question and the United States Supreme Court overtime has developed an analysis that’s loosely called the scrutiny analysis but the levels of scrutiny are applied to help courts evaluate whether or answer that question of whether the law or action is constitutional or not by examining individual aspects of the law or action itself the categories are rational basis strict scrutiny so rational basis scrutiny strict scrutiny and intermediate scrutiny we’re going to focus in this video on strict and rational and and talk very little about the intermediate level in the middle so lawyers and judges alike will argue about what level of scrutiny applies and it is a dynamic question to any applies to any law or government action that is a point that will be arguing there’s a lot of case law determining that as well for our purposes we’re going to examine and generally look at when the levels of scrutiny apply more so so that we can understand generally speaking what the result of the consequence of that application is let’s first look at an example to illustrate the the analysis let’s say that the New York City Transit Authority has a policy of not hiring any employees or workers who use or have used or are using at the time methadone methadone is the synthetic narcotic that blocks the effects of heroin so it’s used widely by those who are recovered ring from a heroin addiction those who are not current ad expect who are in a process of recovery now in the united states constitution there are several fundamental rights that are set out you have the right to vote for example you have the right and the amendments the Bill of Rights includes several of your rights to name one you have the right to free assembly in the right to free speech that’s too also in the 14th amendment in the United States Constitution is the equal protection clause that Clause prohibits states from treating citizens differently and what we’ve what has evolved from that the language of that clause is that what states are prohibited from doing is treating citizens differently based on their membership in a protected class now the Constitution does not mention drug use or drug recovery in anyway it’s not mentioned at all in the Constitution we have no reason then to believe that there is any organized bias against that group of people now that may exist but it’s not recognized within this analysis structure at law what that means is that drug addicts or drug recovery addicts in recovery either of those categories they do not qualify as a suspect class a suspect class is defined or what qualifies as a suspect class is race religion and national origin so if the different treatment is based on race religion or national origin then that is that triggers a strict scrutiny because a suspect class is involved here in our first example there is no strict scrutiny were left with rational basis scrutiny because there is no suspect class at issue now what that means when rational basis scrutiny applies and that’s a question honestly that will usually be answered by lawyers the lawyers will argue about what level of scrutiny again our purpose today is to get to this column what is the consequence of that designation when rational basis applies the government knew only show a legitimate interest jiten correctly legitimate here means nothing more than on fake it’s a very low bar for the government to overcome the government is always in the position of defending its law or action in this analysis let’s change up that New York City Transit Authority example to illustrate strict scrutiny let’s say instead that they have a policy and the policy says that they don’t hire anyone who’s of the seventh-day adventist faith or the Jewish faith because those religious groups practice and meet on Saturdays and the New York City Transit Authority wants all of their employees to be equally available on saturdays that’s different from our first example just taking methadone religion and religious groups that is mentioned in the Constitution it’s fits squarely within a suspect class and so strict scrutiny would apply here again not a designation that you would have to be able to make for purposes of our class but it it helps I think to understand the background of why the designation is what it is when strict scrutiny applies the government has to show a lot more than legitimate reason they have to show a compelling reason to support their law or action and here the New York City Transit Authority would have to have a really really good reason for their policy treating members of one religion different from members of the of another religion for the intermediate level the government interest is simply important which is just in between the two and again we won’t spend time talking about that now we finally get to our question is it constitutional or not when rational basis is the level of scrutiny that applies again the government reason for the law or action the only be a legitimate one which is not fake a very low bar thus the answer to the question is it constitutional when rational basis supplies is going to be probably is going to be yes now in contrast when strict scrutiny applies and the government’s burden is much higher and they have to show a compelling interest to support different treatment of in our example member of one religion treated differently than a member of another religion the government has to have a really really really good reason to support that law or action so the answer to our question is that likely going to be constitutional is usually no hope you hope you learned something


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