Abbott Laboratories licensed SmithKline Beecham Corp. to market an Abbott human immunodeficiency...


Abbott Laboratories licensed SmithKline Beecham Corp. to market an Abbott human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) drug in conjunction with one of SmithKline's drugs. Abbott then increased the price of its drug fourfold, forcing SmithKline to increase its prices and thereby driving business to Abbott's own combination drug. SmithKline filed a suit in a federal district court against Abbott. During jury selection, Abbott struck the only self-identified gay person among the potential jurors. (The pricing of HIV drugs is of considerable concern in the LGBT? community.)

Could the equal protection clause be applied to prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation in jury selection? Discuss

The Strength of the Equal Protection Clause:

The Equal Protection Clause falls underneath the fourteenth amendment which was ratified in 1868 guaranteeing a person's equal protection under the law. This clause prevents states and local municipalities from passing laws that would be discriminatory in order to advance one particular group and suppress another. Nevertheless, the main crux of this clause applied to state governments but, the court ruling of Bolling v Sharpe 1954 made it applicable to the federal government under the Fifth Amendment.

Up to and during this period except for cases that sanctioned racial discrimination like Plessy v. Ferguson 1896 and state laws which made enforcing civil rights difficult the Equal Protection Clause was consistently bypassed and ineffective. And it wasn't until landmark reforms by Chief Justice Earl Warren in the 1960s that changes were made to include welfare, services by municipalities, and school financing, sex discrimination, and voting among others. Furthermore, it added robust leverage to constitutional litigation. Probably the most arguable and noteworthy case of the Equal Protection Clause of the 21st century was Bush v. Gore 2000 which saw Bush win the electoral vote of Florida and seal his bid for the presidency.

Answer and Explanation:

The Equal Protection Clause can be applied because it addresses sexual orientation but, under the classification of the Rational Basis Review. What...

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Learn more about this topic:

Equal Protection Under The Fourteenth Amendment: Definition & Summary

from Political Science 102: American Government

Chapter 9 / Lesson 6

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