What is Equal Protection?


Equal protection simply requires that all persons or things similarly situated should be treated alike, both as to rights conferred and responsibilities imposed. Similar subjects, in other words, should not be treated differently, so as to give undue favor to some and unjustly discriminate against others.

Substantive equality is NOT enough, it is also required that the law be enforced and applied equally. Even if the law be fair and impartial on its face, it will still violate equal protection if it is administered “with an evil eye and uneven hand” so as to unjustly benefit some and prejudice others.

The right to equal protection, basic as it is, sheltered by the Constitution is a restraint on all the three grand departments of the government and on the subordinate instrumentalities and subdivisions thereof, and on many constitutional powers, like the police power, taxation and eminent domain.

The equal protection clause exists to prevent undue favor or privilege. It is intended to eliminate discrimination and oppression based on inequality. Recognizing the existence of real differences among men, the equal protection clause does not demand absolute equality. It merely requires that all persons shall be treated alike, under like circumstances and conditions both as to the privileges conferred and liabilities enforced.  Thus, the equal protection clause does not absolutely forbid classifications.

**Taken from Arsenio Lumiqued vs Apolonio Exevea et al