Sunday, March 25, 2012

Watkins v. U.S. Army case brief

Watkins v. U.S. Army (1989)
Unlike most other SC cases which have ruled that cases re: sexual orientation deserve only rational basis review, the Watkins court held that strict scrutiny should be used for discrimination based on sexual orientation. Court said Army’s policy of excluding gays, lesbians, bisexuals violated the EP strict scrutiny.

Rationale:
Strict scrutiny generally triggered if: 1) group has a history of purposeful discrimination; 2) the discrimination embodies a gross unfairness inconsistent with the ideals of EP, enough to call it invidious; 3) the penalized group lacks effective political representation needed to protect itself form social and state prejudice.

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