ABA Lessons 7-9: What Does It Mean to Have Equal Protection of the Laws?: 14th Amendment/Situations Handout

For Schools

Grades 7-9
What Does It Mean to Have Equal Protection of the Laws?

14th Amendment/Situations Handout

 "No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws." -- 14th Amendment


  1. After analyzing statistics on driving under the influence of alcohol and accident rates for drivers from ages 18-21, a state allows females to drink alcohol at 18 but makes males wait till 21.

  2. The National Honor Society at a public high school tells an unmarried teenage girl that she was not selected because she is pregnant.

  3. A state university has more sports programs for males than they do for females.

  4. A state law requires that 20% of the contracts to build highways be awarded to minority-owned firms since that reflects the demographics of the state population.

  5. A wealthy suburban community spends twice per student to educate their children than does a poor one.

  6. A state’s ethnic intimidation law provides special punishment for hate crimes that are based on gender, race, ethnic origin, and disability. No protection is provided because of sexual orientation.

  7. State troopers are required to retire at age 50.

  8. An immigrant family cannot apply for welfare benefits until they have lived in a state for two years.

  9. A public school creates separate classes for girls and boys because they believe that the girls will do better in science and math if boys are not present.

(download this handout as a Word document)