Sunday, September 16, 2012
City of Cleburne v. Cleburne Living Center case brief
E. Case: City of Cleburne v. Cleburne Living Center (US 1985)
1. Facts: A retarded group home challenges a city zoning ordinance which requires a special use permit for retarded group homes, but not for other group living arrangements (e.g. fraternity houses, nursing homes)
a. The ct. refuses to classify the retarded as a suspect class
b. Nevertheless, the ct. applying the rational basis test, strikes down the law, as applied to P's home.
a. Slippery slope: if you declare the retarded a protected class; other groups will want similar status.
b. You can't help the retarded by making them a suspect class.
F. Prof. Law's Response to Cleburne
1. Laws that help a suspect class should be loosely scrutinized, while laws that hurt a suspect class should be strictly scrutinized.
2. Problem: Does leg. meant to help a suspect class actually help?
a. ex. Protective Labor Legislation: Women couldn't work more than 8 hrs./day. This hurt women.
G. Best way to establish a suspect class (Prof. Law):
1. Show a history of oppression against the class
2. Show a history of political powerlessness.
3. Show the class is a discrete, insular minority & is vulnerable.
4. Show IMMUTABILITY: The class members have no control of their characteristics. (ex. race, gender, retardation)
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