Sugarman v. Dougall 413 U.S. 634 (1973) Griffiths, in Re 413 U.S. 717 (1973)

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SUGARMAN v. DOUGALL 413 U.S. 634 (1973) GRIFFITHS, IN RE 413 U.S. 717 (1973)

In Sugarman, the Supreme Court held, 8–1, that New York's law making aliens ineligible for civil service employment was unconstitutional. In Griffiths, the Court held, 7–2, that Connecticut could not constitutionally bar resident aliens from the practice of law. Both decisions rested on equal protection grounds. Justice lewis f. powell, writing for the Court in Griffiths, concluded that the state had not shown that excluding aliens from law practice was necessary to serve an interest sufficiently substantial to justify the rule. In Sugarman, Justice harry a. blackmun wrote for the Court, repeating what he had said in graham v. richardson (1971), that discrimination against aliens must survive strict scrutiny by the courts. Here the bar to aliens was not necessary to achieve any substantial interest. Justice Blackmun added that some discrimination against aliens would be justified in the name of "political community": the right to vote or to hold high public office, for example, might be limited to citizens. These obiter dicta assumed importance in the later cases of foley v. connelie (1978) and ambach v. norwick (1979).

Kenneth L. Karst