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Abstract

This Note analyzes the Fifth Circuit's recent decision in David v. Weir, in which a tenant whose water supply was terminated without notice by the City of Atlanta Department of Public Works because of his landlord's failure to pay an outstanding bill, alleged that the Department's termination policy, authorized by city ordinances, and its refusal to contract with the plaintiff until the landlord's debts were paid, violated the equal protection and due process clauses of the United States Constitution. The Fifth Circuit found that the Department's action violated equal protection because it divided applicants for service into two classes: those whose service address is burdened with a preexisting debt for which the applicant is not liable and those whose residence is free from such debt. The court found that the Department's differential treatment of the first group failed to pass equal protection standards under the rational basis test and was thus unconstitutional. The Note argues that Davis was correctly decided and is representative of a current trend in which courts use equal protection and due process analysis as a means of allocating roles among the various elements of government and society in accord with the constitution.

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