Constitutional courts, new claims of equality and the evolution of traditional standards of review

Constitutional courts are asked to address new claims of equality. In the U.S., apprehension about diversity is transforming the Supreme Court’s civil rights jurisprudence and forging the traditional model of equal protection away from traditional group-based identity politics.
I argue that this transformation is affecting equality arguments in other jurisdictions. Focusing mostly on recent LGBT cases, I identify a relationship between “pluralism-anxiety” and increasing reliance on new standards of adjudication. In particular, constitutional courts often dismissed traditional equality standard of review, focusing instead on equality-based and liberty-based dignity arguments. This development is also testified by the increasing success of dignity discourse. Dignity makes it possible for constitutional courts to accommodate different conceptions of human rights and new claims of equality without adopting rigid solutions such as those resulting from pure formal equality arguments.