The Constitution of the United States offers equal protection to all the citizens which mean the absence of illegal discrimination. The equal protection involving protected groups prescribe certain classifications on the basis of race, national origin, non-American citizenship, and citizens of other states. The equal treatment is further guaranteed by section 1 of the 14th Amendment by providing “All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside.
No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws”. However there are certain preferences and privileges granted to women which make those preferences unconstitutional. For instance the medical insurance rates are higher for women and auto insurance rates are lower for women despite the fact that they cause more crashes per mile than men.
The widows are exempt from property taxes but this exemption is not available to the widowers. The women are exempt from paying alimony and also from military conscription. The women are given more social security payments and the women are allowed to drink alcohol at a younger age than men. The female professors are paid more than males. The above and some other benefits and privileges are granted to women rather than black despite the fact that the women population is 50 percent and the black represents only 12 percent of the total population.
The women registered voters are 54 percent and the black are only 11 percent. The women control more than50 percent of the assets while the black controls only 12 percent . Laws that are racially neutral on their face may nevertheless constitute de jure discrimination in violation of the equal protection clause of the Constitution if their enactment or enforcement is motivated by racial discrimination. The leading case for discriminatorily motivated enactment is Gamillion v.
Lightfoot. In this case the boundaries of the city were changed with the effect that all the black voters were removed from the city. Although the challengers found no ‘smoking gun’ the city was unable to offer any constitutional explanation for its suspicious action and the recommendation-districting was declared unconstitutional. If this action is compared with that of the privileges granted to women even the term ‘unconstitutional’ is not enough to describe the discrimination.
The laws and practices that are racially neutral on their face, in their motivation and in their administration are still disproportionately racial in their impacts. One other example is the maximum height criteria that eliminate most of the blacks from entering the American Military which is distinctly a disfavor a disproportionately large percentage of American black.
This when compared with the exemption granted to women from payment of alimony and other benefits granted to women it can be said that the legal classifications that benefit women are not given the same scrutiny under American Constitutional law as those that benefit blacks. I do not agree with this point in view of the points discussed above which clearly indicates that the women are given extra benefits and privileges which can be termed as utterly unconstitutional and not anywhere near the benefits being accorded to the Blacks.