Question: The Minnesota legislature passed a statute banning the sale of
The Minnesota legislature passed a statute banning the sale of milk in plastic nonrefillable, nonreusable containers. However, it allowed sales of milk in other nonrefillable, nonreusable containers such as paperboard cartons. One of the justifications for this ban on plastic jugs was that it would ease the state's solid waste disposal problems because plastic jugs occupy more space in landfills than other nonreturnable milk containers. A group of dairy businesses challenged the statute, arguing that its distinction between plastic containers and other containers was unconstitutional under the Equal Protection Clause. What means-ends test or level of scrutiny applies in this case? Under that test, is easing the state's solid waste disposal problems a sufficiently important end? Under that test, is there a sufficiently close "fit" between the classification and that end to make the statutory means constitutional? In answering the last question, assume for the sake of argument that there probably were more effective ways of alleviating the solid waste disposal problem than banning plastic jugs while allowing paperboard cartons.
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