Suspect Classification Definition

In constitutional law, any classification based on race, ethnicity, or national origin, as well as state law classifications based on citizenship. Suspect classifications are reviewed using a demanding standard called "strict scrutiny." Courts closely examine suspect classifications because they are "so seldom relevant to the achievement of any legitimate state interest that laws grounded in such considerations are deemed to reflect prejudice and antipathy—a view that those in the burdened class are not as worthy or deserving as others." Cleburne v. Cleburne Living Center, Inc., 473 U.S. 432, 440 (1985).