The Law School Authority

Romers v. Evans Case Brief

Summary of Romers v. Evans (1996)

“Colorado for Family Values” wants a constitutional amendment that overturns local ordinances protecting against discrimination against homosexuals.  [city jobs prohibit employment discrimination + zoning prohibits discrimination against families, race, gender, homosexuality]  Proposed amendment was to respect other citizens’ freedom of association, and the liberties of landlords/Ers who have objections to homosexuals.

(a)     Held: Amendment violates the EPC

(b)    [EPC] forbids govt law/policy by which homosexual/lesbian/bisexual orientation, conduct, practices, relationships are the basis by which persons may have or claim minority or protected status, quota preferences, or discrimination.

(c)     RATIONAL BASIS.  No legitimate interests

i)                     Indicates that S.Ct is starting to think of homosexuals differently than other groups (e.g. people who read comic books)

ii)                   But like Clegburne, apply rational basis and the govt loses

iii)                  Scalia’s dissent: Moral judgments are made all the time (e.g. in criminalizing murder, prostitution), and are based in religion.  Should only talk about rational basis when the right at issue is NOT fundamental.

a)       Bowers indicates that homosexuality ≠ fundamental right



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