Equal Protection: A Closer Look at Closer Scrutiny

This Note proposes to restore means-end analysis to legal respectability through a comprehensive integrated approach to purpose, misfit, and balancing. The search for a rational basis is meaningless if there are no constraints on the kind of purpose which may justify a classification. Therefore, this Note initially explores ways in which a court can more rigorously scrutinize statutory purpose. The next significant question is how a court should evaluate the degree of coincidence between the class picked out by the law and the class which would be picked out if the law were to achieve its goals. Such “misfit” analysis is underdeveloped, largely because the liberality of the “purpose” requirement often renders it unnecessary. A major part of this Note analyzes misfit (or as it is commonly described, overinclusion and underinclusion).