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A statutory classification based on race, national origin, or alienage making it subject to strict scrutiny examination under Equal Protection.

Several formulations might explain the Supreme Court’s treatment of certain classifications as 'suspect.' Some classifications are more likely than others to reflect deep-seated prejudice, rather than legislative rationality in pursuit of some legitimate objective. Legislation predicated on such prejudice is easily recognized as incompatible with the constitutional understanding that each person is to be judged individually and is entitled to equal justice under the law. Classifications treated as suspect tend to be irrelevant to any proper legislative goal. See McLaughlin v. Florida, 379 U. S. 184, 379 U. S. 192 (1964); Hirabayashi v. United States, 320 U. S. 81, 320 U. S. 100 (1943). Finally, certain groups, indeed largely the same groups, have historically been 'relegated to such a position of political powerlessness as to command extraordinary protection from the majoritarian political process.' San Antonio Independent School Dist. v. Rodriguez, 411 U. S. 1, 411 U. S. 28 (1973); Graham v. Richardson, 403 U. S. 365, 403 U. S. 372 (1971); see United States v. Carolene Products Co., 304 U. S. 144, 304 U. S. 152-153, ...

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