Document Type

Article

Publication Date

1999

Center/Program

Center for Law and Philosophy

Abstract

This Essay argues that the principle of equality under law is best grounded in a holistic view of human dignity. Rejecting modem attempts to justify equality by reducing humanity to a particular actual characteristic, it articulates a religious imperative to treat people equally by drawing on biblical as well as modern philosophical sources. The principle "all men are created equal," as celebrated in the Declaration of Independence and Gettysburg Address, draws on this holistic understanding of humanity. This admittedly romantic approach to equality generates a critique of contemporary Supreme Court doctrine, including the prevailing approaches to strict scrutiny, affirmative action, and wealth discrimination.

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