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Dewey test

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The Dewey test is a judicial guideline established by the United States Supreme Court in In re: FDA Blood Donation Guidance and Related Regulations for determining whether the government may constitutionally discriminate based on a given characteristic. It is named after the attorney who brought the case in which it was established, Dewey Cheatem.

Substance of the Test

A classification is presumed suspect if that classification is based on an immutable characteristic. If so, that presumption may be rebutted by clear and convincing evidence that classification has not historically formed the basis of discrimination against a politically powerless group.

Application of the Test

The Supreme Court of Sierra applied the Dewey test in In re John Smith, No. 20-06 (Sierra Nov. 28, 2020) to hold that HIV status is a protected characteristic under the Fourteenth Amendment.