Lynch v. Morales-Santana

Posted: November 1, 2016 by beguide in Equal Protection, Fantasy Supreme Court League, Uncategorized

For every case in the podcast and the Fantasy League, we will provide a summary with important issues and what to worry about.

WHAT HAPPENED:  Following convictions for felony charges, defendant is subject to deportation proceedings. Defendant contests those proceedings on the grounds that the test for determining his citizenship is a violation of the Equal Protection Clause because the test makes it easier for children whose mothers were U.S. citizens to qualify than it does for children whose fathers were U.S. citizens.

WHY IS THIS BEFORE THE SUPREME COURT: Long before she was a Supreme Court justice, Ruth Bader Ginsburg helped shaped the Court’s Equal Protection test on gender discrimination by overturning laws and policies that favored women over men. These cases, which overturned mostly government benefits that favored women, set the ground work for US v Virginia, which held that a military academy could not have a policy that excluded women. My personal comparison to this is growing up thinking muffins were good way to eat a healthier breakfast (they have fruit!) only to find out years later they have like 600 calories each.

WHAT ARE THE RAMIFICATIONS: Aside from this defendant trying not to get deported, this case is a nostalgic callback to one of Ginsburg’s greatest hits. On one hand, this case fits squarely within those old cases and if history serves, this should be decided in conformity with those decisions. That being said, people are nuts about immigration right now, and while Ginsburg was successful in the past, there was a consideration by the Court of the balancing interests supporting the classification.  It would not be surprising to see a dissent that considers the policy that underlies this rule be valid, but it should be noted that the test for gender discrimination puts the government at a disadvantage.

ROOT FOR MORALES-SANTANA if you liked Star Wars: The Force Awakens and consider it a top 3 Star Wars movie.

ROOT FOR LYNCH if you liked Star Wars: The Force Awakens, but felt the need to be a stinker and complain about how it was an inferior remake of Star Wars: A New Hope.

PREDICTION: 5-3 in favor of Morales.

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