William & Mary Bill of Rights Journal


K.G. Jan Pillai


The landmark case of Washington v. Davis made invidious intent the touchstone of violation of the Equal Protection Clause. In this Article, Professor K G. Jan Pillai discusses the current state of the doctrine of invidious intent and its evolving role in Supreme Court jurisprudence. In the area of criminal law enforcement, strict application of the doctrine often produces harsh results. Among the existing three-tiered scrutiny standards, the doctrine appears out of place. In recent racial gerrymandering cases, the Supreme Court substantively modified the meaning of the doctrine. Despite the apparent instability of the doctrine, Professor Pillai concludes the solution lies in making the intent doctrine compatible with the neutrality doctrine.