Strict Scrutiny Definition

Strict Scrutiny

A legal standard to determine the constitutionality of a statute, used when the statute implicates a fundamental right or relates to a suspect classification under the equal protection clause (such as race). To determine if a statute passes the test, a court considers whether the government has a compelling interest in creating the law, whether the statute is "narrowly tailored" to meet the government's objectives, and whether there are less restrictive means of accomplishing the same thing. (See also: rational basis)