Brief Fact Summary. Appellee challenged the constitutionality of an Act which allowed a court to order separated, divorced, or unmarried parents to provide equitably for educational costs of a child, even after the child has reached 18.
Synopsis of Rule of Law. The Act violates the equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment because it is not rationally related to a legitimate state interest.
Issue. Does Act 62 violate the equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution?
Held. The Act violates the Constitution because there is no rational basis for applying the authority of the state selectively to empower only those from non-intact families to compel support for post-secondary educational support.
The Act neither implicates a suspect class nor infringes upon a fundamental right, therefore it must be upheld if there exists any rational basis for the prescribed classification. The Act classifies young adults according to the marital status of their parents.
Under the Act a parent with a child born to a second marriage would be required to provide such support for the first child but not the second. This demonstrates the arbitrariness of the Act. Other States have found the underlying premise is to address the unique problems of divorced families. However, this Court rejects such analysis because the Act is focused not on the parents but the children.
In other words, a classification must rest upon some ground of difference which justifies the classification and has a fair and substantial relationship to the object of the legislation.View Full Point of Law