equal protection
equal pro·tec·tion n: a guarantee under the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution that a state must treat an individual or class of individuals the same as it treats other individuals or classes in like circumstances – called also equal protection of the law; see also rational basis test, strict scrutiny, suspect classification; amendment xiv to the constitution in the back matter
◇ The equal protection requirement of the Constitution protects against legislation that affects individuals differently without a rational basis for doing so. In reviewing claims of denial of equal protection, a court will uphold legislation that has a rational basis unless the legislation affects a fundamental right or involves a suspect classification, such as race. In such a case, the court will use a strict scrutiny standard of review and will strike down legislation that does not show a compelling need for discriminating.

Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary of Law. . 1996.

equal protection
See bill of rights (USA)

Collins dictionary of law. . 2001.


equal protection
The right, guaranteed by the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, to be treated the same, legally, as others in the same situation. If a law discriminates between one group of people and another, the government must have a rational basis for doing so. A law that discriminates on the basis of a supect classification — that is, it makes a distinction based on race, gender, or another trait that has historically resulted in discriminatory treatment — is constitutional only if there is a very compelling reason for the distinction.
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Nolo’s Plain-English Law Dictionary. . 2009.


equal protection
n. The constitutional guarantee that all persons shall receive the same protection of the laws as are afforded all other persons under the same circumstances.

Webster's New World Law Dictionary. . 2000.


equal protection
The constitutional guarantee that no person or class of persons shall be denied the same protection of the laws that is enjoyed by other persons or other classes in like circumstances in their lives, liberty, property, and pursuit of happiness. The Declaration of Independence states: We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

Dictionary from West's Encyclopedia of American Law. 2005.


equal protection
The constitutional guarantee that no person or class of persons shall be denied the same protection of the laws that is enjoyed by other persons or other classes in like circumstances in their lives, liberty, property, and pursuit of happiness. The Declaration of Independence states: We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

Short Dictionary of (mostly American) Legal Terms and Abbreviations.

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  • equal protection — noun Date: 1953 a guarantee under the 14th Amendment to the United States Constitution that a state must treat an individual or class of individuals the same as it treats other individuals or classes in like circumstances …   New Collegiate Dictionary

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