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suspect class n: a class of individuals marked by immutable characteristics (as of race or national origin) and entitled to equal protection of the law by means of judicial scrutiny of a classification that discriminates against or otherwise burdens or affects them [a classification that does not impact a suspect class or impinge upon a fundamental constitutional right will be upheld if it is rationally related to a legitimate government interest "Doe v. Poritz, 622 A.2d 367 (1995)"] called also protected class see also suspect classification NOTE: Suspect class and suspect classification are often used synonymously in regard to a group of persons, but suspect class does not refer to the process of classifying itself.
Source: Merriam-Webster's Dictionary of Law ©1996. Merriam-Webster, Incorporated. Published under license with Merriam-Webster, Incorporated.