Rational Basis Example

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In Romer v. Evans (1996), the Court invalidated Amendment 2, a provision of the Colorado state Constitution which proscribed the granting of “protected” status based on homosexual, lesbian, or bisexual orientation, on grounds that it violated the Equal Protection guarantee of the Fourteenth Amendment.  The Court applied traditional rational basis scrutiny and found that, “if a law neither burdens a fundamental right nor targets a suspect class, we will uphold the legislative classification so long as it bears a rational relation to some legitimate end.  Amendment 2 fails, indeed defies, even this conventional inquiry.”