This scheme constitutes an invidious discrimination denying
equal protection of the laws.
The interests which appellants assert are promoted by the
classification either may not constitutionally be promoted by
government or are not compelling governmental interests.
Appellate Arg - Waiting period is a protective device against an
influx of indigent newcomers
Primarily, appellants justify the waiting-period requirement as
a protective device to preserve the fiscal integrity of state
public assistance programs.
It is asserted that people who require welfare assistance during
their first year of residence in a State are likely to become
continuing burdens on state welfare programs.
Therefore, the argument runs, if such people can be deterred
from entering the jurisdiction by denying them welfare benefits
during the first year, state programs to assist long-time
residents will not be impaired by a substantial influx of
- Constitutionally Impermissible
The purpose of inhibiting migration by needy persons into the
State is constitutionally impermissible.
The need of the first year may be the most acute.
- The right to travel
The nature of our Federal Union and our constitutional concepts
of personal liberty unite to require that
all citizens be free to travel
throughout the length and breadth of our land uninhibited by
statutes, rules, or regulations which unreasonably burden or
restrict this movement.
- If purpose is to chill, then the law is unconstitutional.
law has "no other purpose . . . than to chill the assertion of
constitutional rights by penalizing those who choose to exercise
them, then it [is] patently unconstitutional."
- Severe impact
Furthermore, what was being denied to newly-arrived residents
was something of extreme importance - welfare aid "upon which
may depend the ability of the families to obtain the very means
to subsist - food, shelter, and other necessities of life."
Appellants Arg - Discourage those that are entering solely to
obtain larger benefits
Appellants argue that even if it is impermissible for a State to
attempt to deter the entry of all indigents, the challenged
classification may be justified as a permissible state attempt
to discourage those indigents who would enter the State solely
to obtain larger benefits.
- A State cannot fence out indigents
State may no more try to fence out those indigents who seek
higher welfare benefits than it may try to fence out indigents
But we do not perceive why a mother who is seeking to make a new
life for herself and her children should be regarded as less
deserving because she considers, among others factors, the level
of a State's public assistance
Appellants argue - Distinguishes between new and old residents
The challenged classification may be sustained as an attempt to
distinguish between new and old residents on the basis of the
contribution they have made to the community through the payment
- Bar new residents from schools, parks, libraries, police
Appellants' reasoning would logically permit the State to bar
new residents from schools, parks, and libraries or deprive them
of police and fire protection. Indeed it would permit the State
to apportion all benefits and services according to the past tax
contributions of its citizens.
The Equal Protection Clause prohibits such an apportionment of
- invidious classification between classes of citizens
A State may not accomplish such a purpose by invidious
distinctions between classes of its citizens.
holds any classification which serves to penalize the exercise
of that constitutional right, unless shown to be necessary to
promote a compelling governmental interest, is unconstitutional.
Appellant argue that the requirement
facilitates the planning of the welfare budget;
There is no evidence that the State of DOC uses the on-year
requirement as a means to predict the number of people who will
require assistance in the budget year.
provides an objective test of residency;
Will not withstand scrutiny.
Less drastic means are available to learn the
facts upon which to determine whether the applicant is a
minimizes the opportunity for recipients fraudulently to receive
payments from more than one jurisdiction; and
encourages early entry of new residents into the labor force
- Classification here touches on the fundamental right of
Its constitutionality must be judged by the stricter standard of
whether it promotes a compelling state interest.
Under this standard, the waiting-period requirement clearly
violates the Equal Protection Clause.
Dissent - Chief Justice Warren
Congress created the requirement, not the States
Whether Congress may create minimal residence requirement, not
whether States, acting alone may do so?
Congress has burdened the right to travel with safety
In this case - Travel is not prohibited
Any burden inheres solely in the fact that a potential welfare
recipient might take into consideration the loss of welfare
benefits for a limited period of time if he changes his