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Generalizing Disability

Published in 1949, Joseph Tussman and Jacobus tenBroek’s article The Equal Protection of the Laws has exerted longstanding influence on subsequent Fourteenth Amendment scholarship. Insightfully, Tussman and tenBroek identified a paradox: although the very notion of equality jurisprudence is a “pledge of the protection of equal laws,” laws themselves frequently classify individuals, and “the very idea of classification is that of inequality.” Notably, classification raises two sometimes concurrent varieties of inequality: over-inclusiveness and under-inclusiveness. Of these, over-inclusiveness is a more egregious equal protection violation due to its ability to “reach out to the innocent bystander, the hapless victim of circumstance or association.”...

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