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Beyond Race, Sex, and Sexual Orientation
Legal Equality without Identity

  • Author: Sonu Bedi, Dartmouth College, New Hampshire
  • Date Published: December 2014
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781107515406

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  • The conventional interpretation of equality under the law singles out certain groups or classes for constitutional protection: women, racial minorities, and gays and lesbians. The United States Supreme Court calls these groups 'suspect classes'. Laws that discriminate against them are generally unconstitutional. While this is a familiar account of equal protection jurisprudence, this book argues that this approach suffers from hitherto unnoticed normative and political problems. The book elucidates a competing, extant interpretation of equal protection jurisprudence that avoids these problems. The interpretation is not concerned with suspect classes but rather with the kinds of reasons that are already inadmissible as a matter of constitutional law. This alternative approach treats the equal protection clause like any other limit on governmental power, thus allowing the Court to invalidate equality-infringing laws and policies by focusing on their justification rather than the identity group they discriminate against.

    • Draws from constitutional legal doctrine and contemporary political theory
    • Provides a novel criticism of the United States Supreme Court's current interpretation of equality under the law
    • Elaborates upon an alternative interpretation of equality under the law that avoids this criticism
    • Draws from the distinction between constitutional powers and rights
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'This work will appeal to both scholars of public law and political theory. Highly recommended.' M. W. Bowers, Choice

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    Product details

    • Date Published: December 2014
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781107515406
    • length: 292 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 16 mm
    • weight: 0.39kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Part I. Identity versus Powers:
    1. Suspect class and the dilemma of identity
    2. A powers review
    Part II. Race:
    3. How constitutional law rationalizes racism
    4. Why racial profiling is based on animus
    Part III. Sex and Sexuality:
    5. The puzzle of intermediate scrutiny
    6. Same-sex marriage and the disestablishment of marriage.

  • Author

    Sonu Bedi, Dartmouth College, New Hampshire
    Sonu Bedi is Associate Professor of Government at Dartmouth College. Bedi works in the intersection of law and political theory. His publications include Rejecting Rights (Cambridge, 2009), Political Contingency: Studying the Unexpected, the Accidental, and the Unforeseen (co-editor, 2007) and various articles on constitutional law and political philosophy.

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