Posted: November 8th, 2022
1. Why does this statute raise equal protection issues instead of substantive due process concerns?
2. What are the three levels of scrutiny that the courts use in determining whether a law violates the equal protection clause?
3. Which standard, or test, of scrutiny would apply to this situation? Why?
4. Applying this standard, or test, is the helmet statute constitutional? Why or why not?
5. Legislation aimed at “protecting people from themselves” concerns the individual as well
as the public in general. Protective helmet laws are just one example of such
legislation. Should individuals be allowed to engage in unsafe activities if they choose to do so?
A state legislature enacted a statute that required any motorcycle operator or passenger on the state’s highways to wear a protective helmet. Jim Alderman, a licensed motorcycle operator, sued the state to block enforcement of the law. Alderman asserted that the statute violated the equal protection clause because it placed requirements on motorcyclists that were not imposed on other motorists.
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