Do You Know Others? Checking the Current Condition of Equality and Its Association With Association. Open Access

Ball, Molly (Spring 2021)

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When I first started brainstorming on this paper, the first wave of Coronavirus-19 hit. Other than packing students and workers home to begin remote work, the world was relatively calm. Then, a couple months into the pandemic, the whole world seemed to erupt in chaos. The killings of people such as George Floyd and Breonna Taylor sparked a worldwide debate as to how black people still face unfair treatment in all aspects of society. The killings of Asian women in Atlanta, Georgia started a conversation as to how Asian women were facing a threat unlike any other group of minorities. All these events seemed more timely than ever to reexamine what equality means in this society and who currently benefits from it.


The current understanding of equality under the Fourteenth Amendment is one that is dictated under the anticlassification principle. Under this principle, judges rule as if they cannot see or know those who face discrimination or injustices in law. They understand equality as an idea that is to treat everyone the exact same, no matter their race or sex. This at first seemed to help the civil rights movement and second wave feminism. Furthermore, there was good intention in using the anticlassification principle, a fact that is sometimes lost within the discourse. However, this principle not only has also ignored the real circumstances the disadvantaged groups face, but it ignores that the structure it stands on is not sustainable for an actual equal world. Most importantly, the principle does not function as a true neutral version of equality. Rather, it uses association to assert a pure form of neutrality, a tactic that has and will, in the long run, hurt disadvantaged groups, particularly intersectional groups. 


It is from this that one inquires as to what the United States should do to remedy this problem. In this thesis, I propose that we uncover an artifact from the past, the Equal Rights Amendment, to aid in the quest for equality. With an Equal Rights Amendment, there can be a shift in legal principles, leading to a better view of equality.

Table of Contents


Chapter 1: An Exposition of the Anticlassification Principle...7

Chapter 2: Developing the Discourse....41

Chapter 3: In Recapitulation, We Got It From Here… Thank You For Your Service...74


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