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EQUAL PROTECTION OF LAW

TITLE: Philippine Judges Association vs Prado


CRUZ, J .:
FACTS:
The main target of this petition is **Section 35 of R.A. No. 7354. These measures withdraw the franking privilege from the
SC, CA, RTC, MTC and the Land Registration Commission and its Registers of Deeds, along with certain other
government offices. The petitioners are members of the lower courts who feel that their official functions as judges will be
prejudiced by the above-named measures. The petition assails the constitutionality of R.A. No. 7354 (see ISSUE for the
grounds stated by the petitioners).
ISSUE:
WON RA No.7354 is unconstitutional based on the following grounds:
1) its *title embraces more than one subject and does not express its purposes;
(2) it did not pass the required readings in both Houses of Congress and printed copies of the bill in its final form were not
distributed among the members before its passage; and (3) it is discriminatory and encroaches on the independence of
the Judiciary.
HELD:
1. The petitioners' contention is untenable. The title of the bill is not required to be an index to the body of the act, or to be
as comprehensive as to cover every single detail of the measure. It has been held that if the title fairly indicates the
general subject, and reasonably covers all the provisions of the act, and is not calculated to mislead the legislature or the
people, there is sufficient compliance with the constitutional requirement. In the case at bar, the repealing clause which
includes the withdrawal of franking privileges is merely the effect and not the subject of the statute; and it is the subject,
not the effect of a law, which is required to be briefly expressed in its title.
2. This argument is unacceptable. While a conference committee is the mechanism for compromising differences between
the Senate and the House, it is not limited in its jurisdiction to this question. It may propose an entirely new provision. The
court also added that said the bill in question was duly approved by the Senate and the House of Representatives. It was
enrolled with its certification by Senate President and Speaker of the House of Representatives. It was then presented to
and approved by President the President. Under the doctrine of separation powers, the Court may not inquire beyond the
certification of the approval of a bill from the presiding officers of Congress. An enrolled bill is conclusive upon the
Judiciary. The court therefore declined to look into the petitioners' charges. Both the enrolled bill and the legislative
journals certify that the measure was duly enacted. The court is bound by such official assurances from a coordinate
department of the government.
3. Yes, the clause denies the Judiciary the equal protection of the laws guaranteed for all persons or things similarly
situated. The distinction made by the law is superficial. It is not based on substantial distinctions that make real
differences between the Judiciary and the grantees of the franking privilege (Pres, VP, Senators etc.). If the problem of the
respondents is the loss of revenues from the franking privilege, the remedy, it seems to us, is to withdraw it altogether
from all agencies of government. The problem is not solved by retaining it for some and withdrawing it from others,
especially where there is no substantial distinction between those favored, which may or may not need it at all, and the
Judiciary, which definitely needs it.
Therefore, Sec 35 of RA 7345 is UNCONSTITUTIONAL.
----------------------* "An Act Creating the Philippine Postal Corporation, Defining its Powers, Functions and Responsibilities, Providing for
Regulation of the Industry and for Other Purposes Connected Therewith."
** Sec. 35. Repealing Clause. All acts, decrees, orders, executive orders, instructions, rules and regulations or parts
thereof inconsistent with the provisions of this Act are repealed or modified accordingly.
All franking privileges authorized by law are hereby repealed, except those provided for under Commonwealth Act No.
265, Republic Acts Numbered 69, 180, 1414, 2087 and 5059. The Corporation may continue the franking privilege under
Circular No. 35 dated October 24, 1977 and that of the Vice President, under such arrangements and conditions as may
obviate abuse or unauthorized use thereof.

ICHONG VS. HERNANDEZ


101 PHIL 155
Facts: The Congress of the Philippines enacted the act which nationalizes the retail trade business, Republic Act No.
1180 entitled An Act to Regulate the Retail Business, prohibiting aliens in general to engage in retail trade in our country.
Petitioner, for and in his own behalf and on behalf of other alien residents, corporations and partnerships adversely
affected by the provisions of RA No. 1180, brought this action to obtain a judicial declaration that said Act is
unconstitutional.
Issue: Whether Congress in enacting R.A. No. 1180 violated the UN Charter, the UN Declaration of Human Rights and
the Philippine-Chinese Treaty of Amity.
Held: The UN Charter imposes no strict or legal obligations regarding the rights and freedom of their subjects, and the
Declaration of Human Rights contains nothing more than a mere recommendation, or a common standard of achievement
for all peoples and all nations.
The Treaty of Amity between the Republic of the Philippines and the Republic of China guarantees equality of treatment to
the Chinese nationals upon the same terms as the nationals of any other country. But the nationals of China are not
discriminated against because nationals of all other countries, except those of the United States, who are granted special
rights by the Constitution, are all prohibited from engaging in the retail trade.
But even supposing that the law infringes upon the said treaty, the treaty is always subject to qualification or amendment
by a subsequent law, and the same may never curtail or restrict the scope of the police power of the State.

De Guzman vs. COMELEC


GR No. 129118
Topic: Appointment of Personnel of ConComs
FACTS: RA 8189 was enacted on June 10, 1996 and approved by President Fidel V. Ramos on June 11, 1996.
Section 44 thereof provides:
"SEC. 44. Reassignment of Election Officers. - No Election Officer shall hold office in a particular city or
municipality for more than four (4) years. Any election officer who, either at the time of the approval of this
Act or subsequent thereto, has served for at least four (4) years in a particular city or municipality shall
automatically be reassigned by the Commission to a new station outside the original congressional
district."
Petitioners, who are election officers, assail RA 8189 and its implementing resolutions insofar as they are
encumbered by the automatic reassignment to different stations.
ISSUE: 1) WON the provision violates equal protection; 2) WON it violates security of tenure; 3) WON it
undermines COMELECs own authority to appoint
HELD: 1) The "equal protection clause" of the 1987 Constitution permits a valid classification under the
following conditions:1. The classification must rest on substantial distinctions;2. The classification must be
germane to the purpose of the law;3. The classification must not be limited to existing conditions only;
and4. The classification must apply equally to all members of the same class. The provision satisfies these;
furthermore, it has for its purpose promoting impartiality.
2) The rule that outlaws unconsented transfers as anathema to security of tenure applies only to an officer
who is appointed - not merely assigned - to a particular station. Such a rule does not proscribe a transfer
carried out under a specific statute that empowers the head of an agency to periodically reassign the
employees and officers in order to improve the service of the agency (Sta. Maria vs. Lopez). Violation of
security of tenure can only be invoked when an employee is unduly dismissed from service.
3) Section 44 establishes a guideline for the COMELEC to follow. Said section provides the criterion or basis
for the reassignment or transfer of an election officer and does not deprive the COMELEC of its power to
appoint, and maintain its authority over its officials and employees. As a matter of fact, the questioned
COMELEC resolutions and directives illustrate that it is still the COMELEC which has the power to reassign
and transfer its officials and employees. But as a government agency tasked with the implementation and
enforcement of election laws, the COMELEC is duty bound to comply with the laws passed by Congress.

G.R. No. L-23794

February 17, 1968

ORMOC SUGAR COMPANY, INC., Plaintiff-Appellant, vs. THE TREASURER OF ORMOC CITY, THE MUNICIPAL
BOARD OF ORMOC CITY, HON. ESTEBAN C. CONEJOS as Mayor of Ormoc City and ORMOC CITY, DefendantsAppellees.
Facts:
The Municipal Board of Ormoc City passed a municipal tax ordinance imposing on any and all productions of centrifugal
sugar milled at the Ormoc Sugar Company Inc. one percent per export sale to the US and other foreign countries. Said
company filed before the CFI of Leyte a complaint against the City of Ormoc, its Treasurer, Municipal Board and Mayor,
alleging sasid ordinance is violative of the equal protection clause and the rule of uniformity of taxation, among other
things. Ormoc Sugar Company Inc. was the only sugar central in Ormoc City at the time.
Issue:
WON the constitutional limits on the power of taxation, specifically the EPC and uniformity of taxation, were infringed.
Held:
Yes. Though Ormoc Sugar Company Inc. is the only sugar central in the city of Ormoc at the time, the classification, to be
reasonable, should be in terms applicable to future conditions as well. Said ordinance shoouldnt be singular and
exclusive as to exclude any subsequently established sugar central, of the same class as plaintiff, for coverage of the tax.
EPC applies only to persons or things identically situated and doesnt bar a reasonable classificationof the subject of
legislation. A classification is reasonable where: 1) it is based on substantial distinctions which make real differences; (2)
these are germane to the purpose of the law; (3) the classification applies not only to present conditions but also to future
conditions which are substantially identical to those of the present; (4) the classification applies only to those who belong
to the same class.

PEOPLE vs. CAYAT


FACTS: Cayat was arrested of the crime under Act no. 1639( An act prohibiting any members of a non- Christian tribe to
buy, receive or possess a any intoxicating liquor and sentence to pay fifty (50) pesos or suffer subsidiary imprisonment in
case of solvency. He was caught in possession of one bottle of A-1-1 gin.
He contends that it is a violative of the due process of law.
HELD: The SC ruled that the said Act is constitutional, because it meets the requirement of the requisite of classification
Requisite of classification:
1. Must rest an substantial distinction;
2. Must be germane to the purpose of the law;
3. Must not be limited to existing conditions;
4. It must be apply equally to all members of the same class,
PEOPLE VS JALOSJOS
Facts: The accused-appellant, Romeo Jalosjos, is a full-fledged member of Congress who is confined at the national
penitentiary while his conviction for statutory rape and acts of lasciviousness is pending appeal. The accused-appellant
filed a motion asking that he be allowed to fully discharge the duties of a Congressman, including attendance at legislative
sessions and committee meetings despite his having been convicted in the first instance of a non-bailable offense on the
basis
of
popular
sovereignty
and
the
need
for
his
constituents
to
be
represented.
Issue: Whether or not accused-appellant should be allowed to discharge mandate as member of House of
Representatives
Held: Election is the expression of the sovereign power of the people. However, inspite of its importance, the privileges
and
rights
arising
from
having
been
elected
may
be
enlarged
or
restricted
by
law.
The immunity from arrest or detention of Senators and members of the House of Representatives arises from a provision
of the Constitution. The privilege has always been granted in a restrictive sense. The provision granting an exemption as a
special privilege cannot be extended beyond the ordinary meaning of its terms. It may not be extended by intendment,
implication
or
equitable
considerations.
The accused-appellant has not given any reason why he should be exempted from the operation of Sec. 11, Art. VI of the
Constitution. The members of Congress cannot compel absent members to attend sessions if the reason for the absence
is a legitimate one. The confinement of a Congressman charged with a crime punishable by imprisonment of more than
six years is not merely authorized by law, it has constitutional foundations. To allow accused-appellant to attend
congressional sessions and committee meetings for 5 days or more in a week will virtually make him a free man with all
the privileges appurtenant to his position. Such an aberrant situation not only elevates accused-appellants status to that
of a special class, it also would be a mockery of the purposes of the correction system.

People v. Mijano
GR No. 129112
23 July 1999
Per Curiam

Accused Jimmy Mijano was


convicted by the lower court of
the crime of rape of five-year-old
Hazel Ramirez, for which the
penalty of death was given.
Mijano assails the death penalty
for being violative of the equal
protection clause, stating that it
only punishes people like him
who are uneducated and jobless.

W/N the death penalty violates


the equal protection clause.

NO. The death penalty makes no


distinction. It applies to all
persons and to all classes of
personsrich or poor, educated
or uneducated, religious or nonreligious. No particular person or
classes of persons are identified
by the law against whom the
death penalty shall be exclusively
imposed.

The equality
guarantees is l
it is usually p
all persons be
this guarantee
dealt with as
the law, which
person differen
what he is or w

Obiter: Compassion for the poor


is an imperative of every human
but only when the recipient is not
a rascal claiming an undeserved
privilege.

Plessy v. Ferguson, 163 U.S. 537, 16 S. Ct. 1138, 41 L. Ed. 256 (1896).
Facts
Plessy (P) attempted to sit in an all-white railroad car. After refusing to sit in the black railway carriage car, Plessy was
arrested for violating an 1890 Louisiana statute that provided for segregated separate but equal railroad
accommodations. Those using facilities not designated for their race were criminally liable under the statute.
At trial with Justice John H. Ferguson (D) presiding, Plessy was found guilty on the grounds that the law was a reasonable
exercise of the states police powers based upon custom, usage, and tradition in the state. Plessy filed a petition for writs
of prohibition and certiorari in the Supreme Court of Louisiana against Ferguson, asserting that segregation stigmatized
blacks and stamped them with a badge of inferiority in violation of the Thirteenth and Fourteenth amendments. The court
found for Ferguson and the Supreme Court granted cert.
Issue

Can the states constitutionally enact legislation requiring persons of different races to use separate but equal
segregated facilities?

Holding and Rule (Brown)

Yes. The states can constitutionally enact legislation requiring persons of different races to use separate but
equal segregated facilities.

Thirteenth Amendment issue


The statute does not conflict with the Thirteenth Amendment. The Thirteenth Amendment abolished slavery and
involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime. Slavery implies involuntary servitude and a state of bondage. The
Thirteenth Amendment however was regarded as insufficient to protect former slaves from certain laws which had been
enacted in the south which imposed upon them onerous disabilities and burdens and curtailed their rights in the pursuit of
life, liberty and property to such an extent that their freedom was of little value; and that the Fourteenth Amendment was
devised to meet this exigency.
Fourteenth Amendment Issue
All persons born or naturalized in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof are made citizens of the United
States and of the State wherein they reside, and the States are forbidden from making or enforcing any law which shall
abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States, or shall deprive any person of life, liberty, or property
without due process of law, or deny to any person within their jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.
The proper construction of this amendment involves a question of exclusive privileges rather than race. Its main purpose
was to establish the citizenship of former slaves, to give definitions of citizenship of the United States and of the States,
and to protect the privileges and immunities of citizens of the United States from hostile legislation of the states.
It was intended to enforce the absolute equality of the two races before the law, but it was intended to abolish distinctions
based upon color, or to enforce social equality, or a commingling of the two races upon terms unsatisfactory to either.
Laws permitting and even requiring their separation in places where they are liable to be brought into contact do not
necessarily imply the inferiority of either race. Such laws have generally been recognized as within the scope of the states
police powers. The most common instance involves the establishment of separate schools, which has been held to be a
valid exercise of the legislative power even by courts of States where the political rights of blacks have been longest and
most earnestly enforced.
Disposition
Judgment for Ferguson (Plessy loses).
Regents of the University of California v. Bakke (1978)

Case Summary
Allan Bakke filed suit after learning that minority candidates with lower qualifications had been admitted to medical school
under a program that reserved spaces for disadvantaged applicants. The California Supreme Court ordered the school,
the State-run University of California, to admit Bakke. The university then appealed to the United States Supreme Court.
The Court's Decision
A splintered Supreme Court affirmed the judgment ordering Bakke's admission to the medical school of the University of
California at Davis and invalidating the school's special admissions program. However, the Court did not prohibit the
school from considering race as a factor in future admissions decisions. Justice Lewis Powell, Jr., announced the Court's
judgment. Four justices agreed with his conclusions as to Bakke individually, and four other justices agreed with the ruling
as to use of race information in the future.
Justice Powell wrote that the guarantee of Equal Protection cannot mean one thing when applied to one individual and
something else when applied to a person of another color. He did not, however, prohibit schools from considering race as
one factor in the admissions process.
Justice Thurgood Marshall argued that race could properly be considered in an affirmative action program, a policy of
taking positive steps to remedy the effects of past discrimination. In light of the sorry history of discrimination and its
devastating impact on the lives of Negroes, bringing the Negro into the mainstream of American life should be a state
interest of the highest order. To fail to do so is to ensure that America will forever remain a divided society. I do not believe
that the Fourteenth Amendment requires us to accept that fate.
More on the Case
The legal impact of Bakke was reduced by the disagreement among the justices. Because the Court had no single
majority position, the case could not give clear guidance on the extent to which colleges could consider race as part of an
affirmative action program.
In Texas v. Hopwood, 1996, a federal appeals court found that a University of Texas affirmative action program violated
the rights of white applicants. The law school was trying to boost enrollment of African Americans and Mexican Americans.
The court assumed that the Bakke decision was no longer legally sound, and explicitly ruled that the law school may not
use race as a factor in law school admissions. The court continued: A university may properly favor one applicant over
another because ofwhether an applicant's parents attended college or the applicant's economic and social background.
But the key is that race itself cannot be taken into account. The Supreme Court refused to review the appeals court
decision.
Affirmative action remains a controversial issue in California. In 1996, voters passed the California Civil Rights Initiative,
generally known as Proposition 209, which prohibited all government agencies and institutions from giving preferential
treatment to individuals based on their race or gender. The Supreme Court also refused to hear an appeal from a decision
upholding the constitutionality of the law.
Civil Rights Cases
109 U.S. 3 (1883)
Case
U.S. Supreme Court
Civil Rights Cases, 109 U.S. 3 (1883)
Civil Rights Cases
Submitted October Term, 1882
Decided October 16th, 1888
109 U.S. 3
Syllabus
1. The 1st and 2d sections of the Civil Rights Act passed March 1st, 1876, are unconstitutional enactments as applied to
the several States, not being authorized either by the XIIIth or XIVth Amendments of the Constitution.
2. The XIVth Amendment is prohibitory upon the States only, and the legislation authorized to be adopted by Congress for
enforcing it is not direct legislation on the matters respecting which the States are prohibited from making or enforcing
certain laws, or doing certain acts, but is corrective legislation such as may be necessary or proper for counteracting and
redressing the effect of such laws or acts.
Page 109 U. S. 4
The XIIIth Amendment relates only to slavery and involuntary servitude (which it abolishes), and, although, by its reflex
action, it establishes universal freedom in the United States, and Congress may probably pass laws directly enforcing its
provisions, yet such legislative power extends only to the subject of slavery and its incidents, and the denial of equal
accommodations in inns, public conveyances, and places of public amusement (which is forbidden by the sections in
question), imposes no badge of slavery or involuntary servitude upon the party but at most, infringes rights which are
protected from State aggression by the XIVth Amendment.
4. Whether the accommodations and privileges sought to be protected by the 1st and 2d sections of the Civil Rights Act
are or are not rights constitutionally demandable, and if they are, in what form they are to be protected, is not now
decided.
5. Nor is it decided whether the law, as it stands, is operative in the Territories and District of Columbia, the decision only
relating to its validity as applied to the States.
6. Nor is it decided whether Congress, under the commercial power, may or may not pass a law securing to all persons
equal accommodations on lines of public conveyance between two or more States.

These cases were all founded on the first and second sections of the Act of Congress known as the Civil Rights Act,
passed March 1st, 1875, entitled "An Act to protect all citizens in their civil and legal rights." 18 Stat. 335. Two of the
cases, those against Stanley and Nichols, were indictments for denying to persons of color the accommodations and
privileges of an inn or hotel; two of them, those against Ryan and Singleton, were, one on information, the other an
indictment, for denying to individuals the privileges and accommodations of a theatre, the information against Ryan being
for refusing a colored person a seat in the dress circle of Maguire's theatre in San Francisco, and the indictment against
Singleton was for denying to another person, whose color was not stated, the full enjoyment of the accommodations of the
theatre known as the Grand Opera House in New York,
"said denial not being made for any reasons by law applicable to citizens of every race and color, and regardless of any
previous condition of servitude."
The case of Robinson and wife against the Memphis & Charleston R.R. Company was an action brought in the Circuit
Court of the United States for the Western District of Tennessee to recover the penalty of five hundred dollars
Page 109 U. S. 5
given by the second section of the act, and the gravamen was the refusal by the conductor of the railroad company to
allow the wife to ride in the ladies' car, for the reason, as stated in one of the counts, that she was a person of African
descent. The jury rendered a verdict for the defendants in this case upon the merits, under a charge of the court to which
a bill of exceptions was taken by the plaintiffs. The case was tried on the assumption by both parties of the validity of the
act of Congress, and the principal point made by the exceptions was that the judge allowed evidence to go to the jury
tending to show that the conductor had reason to suspect that the plaintiff, the wife, was an improper person because she
was in company with a young man whom he supposed to be a white man, and, on that account, inferred that there was
some improper connection between them, and the judge charged the jury, in substance, that, if this was the
conductor's bona fide reason for excluding the woman from the car, they might take it into consideration on the question of
the liability of the company. The case was brought here by writ of error at the suit of the plaintiffs. The cases of Stanley,
Nichols, and Singleton came up on certificates of division of opinion between the judges below as to the constitutionality
of the first and second sections of the act referred to, and the case of Ryan on a writ of error to the judgment of the Circuit
Court for the District of California sustaining a demurrer to the information.
The Stanley, Ryan, Nichols, and Singleton cases were submitted together by the solicitor general at the last term of court,
on the 7th day of November, 1882. There were no appearances, and no briefs filed for the defendants.
The Robinson case was submitted on the briefs at the last term, on the 9th day of arch, 1883.
Page 109 U. S. 8
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Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka
Citation. 349 U.S. 294 (1955).
Brief Fact Summary. After its decision in Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, the Supreme Court of the United States
(Supreme Court) determines that the lower courts in which the cases originated were the proper venue for determining
how to best implement racial desegregation.
Synopsis of Rule of Law. The lower courts in which the cases of Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka first originated are
the proper venue for determining how to best implement racial desegregation in light of varied school problems and
different local conditions.
Facts. The Supreme Court, after ruling that racial segregation in public schools violates the Equal Protection Clause of the
Fourteenth Amendment, determined that the lower courts in which the cases of Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka
first originated would be the proper venue in determining how to implement racial desegregation. The Supreme Court
acknowledged that these lower courts should structure this desegregation because of varied local school problems and
local conditions. The Supreme Court stated the lower courts would be guided by equitable principles, recognizing the
need for elimination of obstacles in making the transition to desegregation.
Issue. How to implement the racial desegregation in public education in light of the decision in Brown v. Board of
Education of Topeka.
Held. Remanded. The lower courts, which originally heard these cases, will determine how to implement racial
desegregation in public schools with all deliberate speed.
Discussion. In light of the ruling of Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, declaring segregation in public schools
unconstitutional, the Supreme Court remanded the cases back to the lower courts to implement racial desegregation with
all deliberate speed.

Bolling v. Sharpe
Brief Fact Summary. The Petitioners, Negro minors (Petitioners), allege the segregation in the public schools of the
District of Columbia deprives them of Due Process of law under the Fifth Amendment of the United States Constitution
(Constitution).
Synopsis of Rule of Law. Racial segregation in public schools is a denial of the due process of law guaranteed by the Fifth
Amendment of the Constitution.
Facts. The Petitioners, were denied admission to a public school in the District of Columbia based solely on their race.
The Petitioners filed suit in the District Court seeking aid in admission. The District court dismissed the complaint. The
Supreme Court of the United States (Supreme Court) granted certiorari before the judgment of the Court of Appeals
because of the importance of the constitutional question presented. The District of Columbia is governed by federal law,
not state law therefore the 14amendment of the Constitution does not govern the District of Columbia. Instead the
Petitioners argue that segregation of public school children violates the Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment.
Issue. Whether the Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment of the Constitution is violated by the segregation of public
school children in the District of Columbia?
Held. Yes, the racial segregation in the public schools of the District of Columbia is a denial of the Due Process Clause of
the Fifth Amendment.
Discussion. The District of Columbia is governed by federal law rather than state law. Thus, the Equal Protection Clause
of the Fourteenth amendment is not applicable. The Supreme Court found in this case that segregation of public school
children is also unconstitutional based on federal laws because personal liberties protected by the Due Process Clause of
the Fifth Amendment were violated.
Loving v. Virginia
Facts of the case
In 1958, two residents of Virginia, Mildred Jeter, a black woman, and Richard Loving, a white man, were married in the
District of Columbia. The Lovings returned to Virginia shortly thereafter. The couple was then charged with violating the
state's antimiscegenation statute, which banned inter-racial marriages. The Lovings were found guilty and sentenced to a
year in jail (the trial judge agreed to suspend the sentence if the Lovings would leave Virginia and not return for 25 years).
Question
Did Virginia's antimiscegenation law violate the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment?
Yes. In a unanimous decision, the Court held that distinctions drawn according to race were generally "odious to a free
people" and were subject to "the most rigid scrutiny" under the Equal Protection Clause. The Virginia law, the Court found,
had no legitimate purpose "independent of invidious racial discrimination." The Court rejected the state's argument that
the statute was legitimate because it applied equally to both blacks and whites and found that racial classifications were
not subject to a "rational purpose" test under the Fourteenth Amendment. The Court also held that the Virginia law
violated the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. "Under our Constitution," wrote Chief Justice Earl
Warren, "the freedom to marry, or not marry, a person of another race resides with the individual, and cannot be infringed
by the State."
Shapiro v. Thompson
Brief Fact Summary. Welfare applicants were denied assistance because they resided in the District of Columbia for less
than one year prior to filing their application for assistance.
Synopsis of Rule of Law. Denying welfare assistance to needy families who do not meet a residency requirement, but
would otherwise qualify is unconstitutional unless the denial is supported by a compelling interest.
Facts. Appeals from a decision of a three-judge District Court held unconstitutional State or District of Columbia statutory
provisions, which denies welfare assistance to residents of the State or District who have not resided within their
jurisdictions for at least one year immediately preceding their applications for such assistance.
Issue. Whether the imposition of a one-year residency requirement on welfare assistant applicants is unconstitutional.
Held. Justice William Brennan (J. Brennan). Yes. The one-year residency requirement is unconstitutional because it
discriminates against need . . . families who have not met the residency requirement even though the status of these
families is no different than families meeting the residency requirement. The one-year residency requirement is not
supported by a compelling state interest. The statutory provisions violate the constitutional right to travel because it has
the effect of inhibiting migration by needy persons into the State. The residency requirement also violates the Due
Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment because the requirement denies public assistance to poor persons otherwise
eligible solely on the ground that they have not been residents of the [state] for one year at the time their applications are
filed. The judgment is affirmed.
Dissent. The dissenting opinions are as follows:
Chief Justice Earl Warren (J. Warren). Congress does not have the power to act under one of its enumerated powers to
impose minimal nationwide residency requirements or authorize the States to do so.
Justice John Harlan (J. Harlan). The strict scrutiny standard of review should not apply to this type of case. The standard
should be reserved for those cases dealing with racial classifications or to other classifications traditionally recognized by

the Supreme Court of the United States (Supreme Court). The Court could have upheld the residency requirement if it
applied its traditional and proper approach to equal protection whereby this case would only need be examined under
the rational basis test.
Concurrence. Justice Potter Steward (J. Stewart). The Court simply recognizes, as it must, an established constitutional
right, [the right to travel,] and gives to that right no less protection than the Constitution itself demands . . . .
Discussion. Although this case extended the strict scrutiny standard of review to classifications directly impacting the right
to travel, it did not provide clear guidance as to when in these cases strict scrutiny should be applied or to what extent it
should apply when the right to travel is affected.