Sunday, March 25, 2012

Romer v. Evans case brief

Romer v. Evans (1996)

First time court invalidated discrimination based on sexual orientation.

Issue:
Challenge to Amendment 2 of CO constitution which says that CO laws should not adopt legislation entitling homosexuals to be entitled to claim minority status, quota preferences, protected status or claim of discrimination.

Holding:
SC held that Amendment 2 of the CO constitution discriminated based on sexual orientation, said failed rational basis b/c there was no legitimate basis for denying homosexuals the same political process available to others. Ct says that “Amendment 2 fails, indeed defies, [rational basis] inquiry.”

Scalia, Thomas, Rehnquist (dissenting):
Says goal of the amendment is to preserve sexual mores, not to harm homosexuals. Argues that the majority is saying that there is not equal protection w/o preferential treatment. Adds that majority does not confront the issue as to whether homosexuals should be afforded special protection.

Notes:
In entire majority opinion, the court never mentions Bowers, even though they say they’re overturning it.

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