Strict Scrutiny

Strict scrutiny standard of judicial review is the highest level of judicial review of an act of government. Strict scrutiny requires the government to demonstrate that its actions—whether restricting speech, free exercise of religion, permitting discrimination, etc.—are necessary to further a compelling government interest or purpose, and that it is using the least restrictive means to achieve an interest that is compelling.

Few government actions have been held to survive judicial strict scrutiny.

Examples of compelling governmental interests are regulations vital to the protection of public health and safety, including the regulation of violent crime, the requirements of national security and military necessity, and respect for fundamental rights.