New Orleans v. Dukes 427 U.S. 297 (1976)

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NEW ORLEANS v. DUKES 427 U.S. 297 (1976)

Only once since 1937 has the Supreme Court struck down a state economic regulation as a denial of the equal protection of the laws. That case was Morey v. Doud (1957). In Dukes, the Court unanimously overruled Morey; a per curiam opinion reaffirmed the appropriateness of the rational basis standard of review in testing economic regulations against the demands of both equal protection and substantive due process.

Dukes involved a New Orleans ordinance prohibiting the sale of food from pushcarts in the French Quarter, but exempting vendors who had been selling from pushcarts for eight years. This grandfather clause, said the Court, was rationally related to the city's legitimate interest in preserving the area's distinctive character while accommodating substantial reliance interests of long-term businesses.

Kenneth L. Karst

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New Orleans v. Dukes 427 U.S. 297 (1976)

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