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Equal Education Opportunity for Women: How Should It Be Defined?

Handout: Terms

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gender discrimination -- Unfair and unequal treatment that is based solely on whether a person is male or female.

intermediate level of scrutiny -- A level of scrutiny applied by courts that is easier for the government to meet than the strict scrutiny test, but more difficult than the "rational relationship" test. The rational relationship test merely requires the government to show that there is a logical (rational) relationship between the government’s action (e.g., law) and the law’s purpose. With intermediate level of scrutiny, usually applied by courts in cases alleging discrimination by gender, courts require the government to show that it has an important reason to justify classifying people by gender. There must be a close relationship between the government’s act and its purpose.

separate but equal -- The idea that each race should have its own housing, schools, churches, jobs, public transportation, and so on; racially segregated.

strict level of scrutiny -- A very close examination by courts of a law challenged because it allegedly discriminates on the basis of race, national origin, alien status, or a fundamental right such as freedom of speech or religion. Under strict scrutiny, the government’s actions (e.g., the law in question) are very closely examined, with the government required to show that that it has a compelling interest -- in other words an extremely important reason -- for treating people differently on one of these bases. It must also show that this governmental action is the least restrictive means to achieving its purpose and is narrowly tailored to advance this compelling interest. This is a very hard test for the government to meet, so when it’s applied the outcome is often weighted in favor of the challenger.

>>Equal Education Opportunity for Women: How Should It Be Defined
>>Handout: Terms
>>Handout: A Case of Alleged Sex Discrimination
>>Handout: Background
>>Handout: The Fourteenth Amendment
>>Handout: Legal Factors Related to Equal Protection Cases
>>Handout: The Decision

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