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Is there any reason that case of characters in Proj4 strings would affect their interpretation? Before parsing a Proj4 string, can I lower case all the characters first?
Yes, it's case sensitive. Each +parameter=value pair are normally case sensitive.
For example with the parameter, there are two separate ellipsoid radius parameters R_A and R_a, which have different meanings.
And an example where the value is case sensitive is on case-sensitive systems (e.g. Linux), where the lowercased +nadgrids=beta2007.gsb fails to find BETA2007.gsb in PROJ_LIB. This value is normally +nadgrids=BETA2007.gsb for consistent operation across different operating systems.