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Equality and Liberty in the Golden Age of State Constitutional Law$
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Jeffrey M. Shaman

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780195334340

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195334340.001.0001

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Rights and Privileges

Rights and Privileges

(p.79) 3 Rights and Privileges
Equality and Liberty in the Golden Age of State Constitutional Law

Jeffrey M. Shaman

Oxford University Press

Discriminatory laws that infringe rights or privileges may be subject to constitutional review under equality provisions. Where such laws affect fundamental rights or rights otherwise entitled to some degree of constitutional status, heightened judicial scrutiny will be evoked. In some states, the right to an education is regarded as fundamental and therefore deserving of strong constitutional protection. A number of state courts have found that public school financing systems that result in disparate levels of funding from one school to another are unconstitutional. Laws regulating economic rights are usually reviewed with minimal judicial scrutiny, as are criminal laws that are challenged as violating equality provisions. There are some exceptions, however, and occasionally state courts strike down economic regulations or criminal laws on the ground that they are not rationally related to a legitimate purpose.

Keywords:   fundamental rights, educational financing, economic regulation, criminal law

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