This chapter focuses on various legislative classifications that may contravene the principle of equality. Racial classifications are the quintessential suspect classification and have been recognized as such by state courts. In a few instances, state courts have interpreted their constitutions to go further than federal constitutional law in banning de facto segregation. The states also have been active in reviewing classifications based on gender. Twenty state constitutions contain provisions that specifically prohibit discrimination based on sex. In these states, as well as others, the courts usually take a strong stance against gender discrimination. Classifications based on sexual orientation have been treated as suspect by a few states, although most refuse to do so. Classifications based on age are ordinarily upheld by the state courts, but on a few occasions have been struck down as irrational.
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