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A standard of constitutional interpretation applied to suspect classifications under equal protection and to fundamental rights in due process. Under the strict scrutiny standard, unlike the rational basis standard, in order to demonstrate the constitutional validity of a challenged statutory classification the state must establish (1) that the state interest intended to be served by the differential treatment not only is a constitutionally legitimate interest, but is a compelling state interest, and (2) that the differential treatment not only is reasonably related to but is necessary to serve that compelling state interest.


To survive strict scrutiny, a statute must be narrowly tailored to serve a compelling interest. A statute is narrowly tailored if it uses 'the least restrictive means consistent with the attainment of its goal.' In re R.C., 195 Ill. 2d at 303, citing Tully v. Edgar, 171 Ill. 2d 297, 304-05, 215 Ill. Dec. 646, 664 N.E.2d 43 (1996). 


Strict scrutiny is not “strict in theory, but fatal in fact.” Adarand Constructors, Inc. v. Pena, 515 U.S. 200, 237 (1995). 


Though the tiers of scrutiny have become a ubiquitous feature of constitutional law, they are of recent vintage. Only in ...

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