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.
ISLAMABAD -- Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) senior leader and MNA Sheikh Rohail Asghar has said the action would be taken against all those whoever opposed the national interest.
Contract award: consulting service for updating the cultural care of national interest in the county.
The lack of clarity regarding the tax exemptions that may apply to certain construction projects of national interest such as this is causing problems, similar to those faced by Meco SA with the Municipality of Anton during construction of the tunnel in Rio Hato airfield.
New Delhi, May 14 ( ANI ): Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) spokesperson Prakash Javadekar on Wednesday said his party would welcome the support of anyone in the national interest, even as most exit polls give a majority to the NDA led by it.
The Russian threat to Ukraine surely is a challenge to this Canadian national interest," the expert noticed.
The United States should not commit forces to combat overseas unless the particular engagement or occasion is deemed vital to our national interest or that of our allies.
Addressing an economic gathering, the President stated that since the national dialogue has become an essential prerequisite, all parties ought to carry out the cabinet statement with the same spirit that led to the formation of the government of the national interest.
KUWAIT, Dec 11 (KUNA) -- The Supreme Council condemned the terrorist bombing in Lebanon which resulted in killing many innocent people, calling on all parties involved to put the country's national interest first.

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