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The Constitution Goes to CollegeFive Constitutional Ideas That Have Shaped the American University$
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Rodney A. Smolla

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780814741030

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9780814741030.001.0001

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(p.160) 6 Competing Conceptions of Equality

(p.160) 6 Competing Conceptions of Equality

(p.160) 6 Competing Conceptions of Equality
The Constitution Goes to College

Rodney A. Smolla

NYU Press

This chapter examines competing conceptions of equality in American constitutional law. It begins with an overview of the case of four white members of Duke University's lacrosse team who were accused of raping an African American stripper, as well as its significance to the constitutional meaning of “equal protection of the laws.” It then considers two competing notions of the meaning of “equality,” “process equality” and “outcome equality,” before turning to a discussion of affirmative action in colleges and universities. It also explores the constitutional test for gender discrimination by citing Supreme Court rulings in cases such as Mississippi University for Women v. Hogan (1982) and United States v. Virginia (1996).

Keywords:   American constitutional law, Duke University, equal protection, process equality, outcome equality, affirmative action, gender discrimination, Supreme Court

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