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Plaintiffs are required to prove that the State intended to create and use a racial classification. If plaintiffs fail to prove intent (or defendants adequately rebut that proof), then we must evaluate this classification under the rational relationship standard required by the Fourteenth Amendment as to all such classifications. Washington v. Davis, 426 U.S. 229, 12 FEP Cases 1415, 48 L. Ed. 2d 597, 96 S. Ct. 2040 (1976)
Plaintiffs brought a class suit against the defendants for violations of the Fourteenth Amendment and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 through the use of minimum score requirements on the National Teacher Examinations (NTE) to certify and determine the pay levels of teachers within the State. The plaintiffs contended that more blacks than whites historically have failed to achieve the required minimum score, and that this result creates a racial classification in violation of the constitutional and statutory provisions cited in their complaints.
Did the use of NTE violate the equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment?
The claims under the Fourteenth Amendment were barred because a state is not divested of its immunity on the mere ground that the case was one arising under the Constitution or laws of the United States. The state agencies, by the nature of their responsibilities, function as an arm or "alter ego" of the State and are, therefore, protected by the State's immunity.