You are a federal appeals court judge tasked with rendering a decision in the following hypothetical cases. Even if you find that the parties lack standing, or if the law would fail a facial challenge, you should still rule on the subsequent issues. Make sure you correctly apply the Supreme Court’s Equal Protection tests to the facts of each case to arrive at a decision. Refer to files for examples of how to answer hypos.
1. Just as the United States was beginning to recover from the coronavirus pandemic, another deadly variant emerged, known as Covid-120B. Medical experts from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) quickly determined that males were more susceptible to Covid-120B than females or nonbinary individuals. This was especially evident in mortality rates. The CDC found that 18% of males with Covid-120B died from the disease, compared to 6% of females and 9% of nonbinary individuals. To safeguard the male population, California passed a law barring any male from leaving his house and from working in an occupation that couldnt be done remotely.
Because of the law, Joe Testosterone lost his job. Despite being a longtime construction worker and avowed tough guy, Joe decided not to fight his dismissal. Instead, a mens rights group called Y is OK (referring to Y chromosomes) heard what happened and sued on his behalf. They alleged that Californias law violates the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment. Their case was dismissed in the lower court and they are now appealing.
2. During a severe economic downturn when the unemployment rate was high, the state of Indiana decided to institute a mandatory retirement age of 55 for all state workers. The goal was to force older state workers to retire in an effort to open up more jobs for younger Hoosiers who were out-of-work. The state also contended that older workers were more feeble, and therefore more prone to on-the-job accidents that cost the state money for workers compensation payments.
Prudence Goodwyfe, 82, chief librarian of the state library in Indianapolis, sued the state after she was forced into mandatory retirement. She said she was fit as a fiddle, had years of expertise in how to do her job, and that her forced retirement violated the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment. Her case was dismissed in the lower court and she is now appealing.
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