State Interest

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State Interest

A broad term for any matter of public concern that is addressed by a government in law or policy.

State legislatures pass laws to address matters of public interest and concern. A law that sets speed limits on public highways expresses an interest in protecting public safety. A statute that requires high school students to pass competency examinations before being allowed to graduate advances the state's interest in having an educated citizenry.

Although the state may have a legitimate interest in public safety, public health, or an array of other issues, a law that advances a state interest may also intrude on important constitutional rights. The U.S. Supreme Court has devised standards of review that govern how a state interest will be constitutionally evaluated.

When a law affects a constitutionally protected interest, the law must meet the Rational Basis Test. This test requires that the law be rationally related to a legitimate state interest. For example, a state law that prohibits a person from selling insurance without a license deprives people of their right to make contracts freely. Yet the law will be upheld because it is a rational means of advancing the state interest in protecting persons from fraudulent or unscrupulous insurance agents. Most laws that are challenged on this basis are upheld, as there is usually some type of reasonable relation between the state interest and the way the law seeks to advance that interest.

When a law or policy affects a fundamental constitutional right, such as the right to vote or the right to privacy, the Strict Scrutiny test will be applied. This test requires the state to advance a compelling state interest to justify the law or policy. Strict scrutiny places a heavy burden on the state. For example, in roe v. wade, 410 U.S. 113, 93 S. Ct. 705, 35 L. Ed. 2d 147 (1973), the state interest in protecting unborn children was not compelling enough to overcome a woman's right to privacy. When the state interest is not sufficiently compelling, the law is struck down as unconstitutional.

References in classic literature ?
In all, the Bell Company fought out thirteen lawsuits that were of national interest, and five that were carried to the Supreme Court in Washington.
It is a question too serious to national pride, if not to national interests, to be slurred over; and every year is adding to the difficulties which environ it.
If civilization is to spread itself, and production is to be increased, the people must be made to understand the way in which the interests of the individual harmonize with national interests which resolve themselves into facts, interests, and principles.
Its national governments, its national interests, would not hear of anything so obvious; they were too suspicious of each other, too wanting in generous imaginations.
He stated that PML-N government had always developed consensus on important matters of national interest.
He went on to say that he has seen people who think of their institutional or personal interests as national interest.
It is in the Philippines' national interest to encourage MSR in its maritime domain, balanced by the requirements of sustainable development and national security,' he also said.
Pakistan has a national interest in the stability in Saudi Arabia as the Kingdom is the workstation of more than a million Pakistanis who send billions of dollars to the home country in the form of remittances.
Prioritising of the country requires everyone to take the national interest as [their] main [interest], and .
The Peshawar bureau chief of DawnNews confirmed that he had overheard a caller telling Mr Tariq that his report regarding arrest of three suspects over the terrorist attack on Peshawar's Agriculture Training Institute was against national interest.
Says Afghanistan's war will not be fought again on Pakistani soilAny role which gives India permission to work against Pakistan's national interest will not be acceptable'Need nothing from the US, but acknowledgement for our contributions, sacrifices, efforts for peace in region'Director General Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) Major General Asif Ghafoor on Tuesday said Pakistan did not fight the war on terror for money, adding the country only needed acknowledgement of its sacrifices and contributions.
As usual, they are acting under the guise of national interest.

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