Government interest

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This article is focused on United States Jurisprudence.

Government interest, or significant government interest, or compelling government interest, is a concept in law used to determine if the government may regulate a given matter. For example: having a military is a compelling government interest because the people have given the government the authority to declare war.[1] It can also be applied to allow the Government to have an important say in seemingly mundane however important matters such as residential privacy. The United States Supreme Court stated that in a case involving an ordinance that it "serves the significant government interest of protecting residential privacy. See, e.g., FCC v. Pacifica Foundation, 438 U.S. 726, 98 S.Ct. 3026, 57 L.Ed.2d 1073.[2] When used with the concept of strict scrutiny, it can allow the Government to justify doing something which it would otherwise be barred from doing, on grounds of constitutionality. For instance, The United States Supreme Court "applied strict scrutiny, ruling that residency requirements are “unconstitutional unless the State can demonstrate that such laws are ‘necessary to promote a compelling governmental interest.’ ” 405 U.S., at 342, 92 S.Ct., at 1003".[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ U.S. Const. art. I, § 8, cl. 11
  2. ^ Frisby v. Schultz, 487 U.S. 474, 475 (1988)
  3. ^ Burson v. Freeman, 504 U.S. 191, 221 (1992)