Department of Agriculture v. Murry 413 U.S. 508 (1973) Department of Agriculture v. Moreno 413 U.S. 528 (1973)
DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE v. MURRY 413 U.S. 508 (1973) DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE v. MORENO 413 U.S. 528 (1973)
Piqued by the activities of protesting students and members of "hippie communes" during the vietnam years of agony, Congress in 1971 amended the Food Stamp Act to deny eligibility for food subsidies to two classes of applicants: "unrelated" persons living together and persons claimed by others in the previous year as tax dependents. On the same day the Supreme Court struck down both these amendments. Moreno, 7–2, invalidated the "unrelated" limitation on "Fifth Amendment equal protection " grounds; the amendment was irrelevant to the act's goals of nourishing the needy and aiding agriculture, and harming "hippies" for their unpopularity was not a legitimate legislative purpose. The law thus lacked a rational basis. Murry, 5–4, held the "tax dependency" limitation an unconstitutional irrebuttable presumption. A claimant might be needy during the current year although dependent on another during a previous year; yet the law denied any opportunity to qualify for aid by demonstrating need.
Kenneth L. Karst