A Taste of Justice: “What you talking about Govt?” Scrutinizing state action, CON LAW

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This presentation discusses how closely the Court reviews, or scrutinizes, the work of government. Ordinarily federal and state governmental actors seemingly are left to do their jobs. If a lawsuit is brought challenging "state action," generally the Court will defer to their actions and will presume the governmental actions are constitutional, even if the actions are silly or unwise. Ordinarily, governmental actions are scrutinized at the low level of rational basis level of review. But sometimes, the Court will say, similar to what Arnold said in the television series Different Strokes: “What you talking about government” or “What you doing government”? In a case with the most celebrated footnote in constitutional history, the Court said we may need more exacting judicial scrutiny of governmental action where individual rights are at issue or where government actions are “directed at particular religious, national or racial minorities.” See Carolene Products fn. 4 (1938). The most exacting level of scrutiny is called: Strict Scrutiny. This presentation discusses these levels of review, and also quizzes the viewer.

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