Washington Law Review


In most contexts, the Equal Protection Clause serves as a limitation on government classifications, but it has also been used as a protector of individual rights. These competing versions of equal protection are contradictory, but courts have for the most part ignored this problem. In Village of Willowbrook v. Olech, the United States Supreme Court determined that an individual homeowner had stated a valid equal protection claim when she alleged that she alone, without regard to her membership in any class, had been treated differently from other similarly situated homeowners. The Court's decision in Olech has created a powerful precedent for other individual persons complaining of wrongful treatment by government officials. It also suggests a method of resolving the conflict between the two competing views of equal protection.

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