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Statutes of Repose and the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution

November 2006

Citation: 36 ELR 10888

Issue: 11

Author: Garris Ference

Editor's Summary: The Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution serves to protect citizens'rights of access to the judicial system. Statutes of repose and statutes of limitations act to curb this right of access. Garris Ference argues in this Article that state statutes of repose have eroded the federal standard of equal protection and that these statutes may be unconstitutional due to their discriminatory effects. Furthermore, he proposes that certain environmental claims, such as toxic torts, should be construed as exceptions to statutes of repose because, like other typical exceptions such as asbestos, many toxic torts have a long latency period.

Garris Ference is in his final year of law school at the University of Baltimore. He currently works as the senior law clerk at the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Maryland. Originally from Atlanta, Mr. Ference dedicated a year following graduation from Emory University to environmental service and education with EcoWatch AmeriCorps. He also has a graduate degree in English from Georgetown University. He is looking for a judicial clerkship and one day hopes to find a career path which combines both environmental protection and law enforcement.

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