Brigham Young University Prelaw Review


bias, animus, same-sex marriage, civil rights, Constitutional Law


This paper delves into the background of two fundamental Supreme Court cases in order to clarify and explain the basics of the animus doctrine. It proposes dividing the animus test into two parts, a triggering test to determine when a review for animus is appropriate and the actual test for animus. This split clarifies when challenges of animus can be brought and when they are clearly not present. The split also serves as a check on animus to prevent its over application. Finally, this paper proposes that the animus doctrine can solve many of issues that courts continue to identify and irradiate from within our laws.

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