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Shifts in Equality Jurisprudence

Shifts in Equality Jurisprudence

Chapter:
(p.13) 1 Shifts in Equality Jurisprudence
Source:
Adolescence, Discrimination, and the Law
Author(s):
Roger J. R. Levesque
Publisher:
NYU Press
DOI:10.18574/nyu/9781479815586.003.0002

This chapter examines the foundations of contemporary equality jurisprudence by unraveling the fundamental tension that it addresses: the need to treat everyone alike as well as the need to treat some differently so that they can be in positions to be treated equally to others. It highlights current directions in equality jurisprudence by describing the central holdings and rationales of key cases addressing difference. It argues that current jurisprudential trends move toward formally treating everyone the same way. The chapter then examines the inherent limitations of that approach, as well as the limitations of its alternative, which permits differentiated treatment in order to address the needs of groups historically excluded from appropriate legal recognition. It concludes that equality jurisprudence must take another approach if it wishes to take a more assertive role in addressing inequality and its harms.

Keywords:   equality jurisprudence, differentiated treatment, inequality

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