Wyman v. James 400 U.S. 309 (1971)

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WYMAN v. JAMES 400 U.S. 309 (1971)

In Wyman the Supreme Court held that a recipient of Aid to Families with Dependent Children must permit a home visit by a caseworker, when the law requires it, or forfeit her right to public assistance. The Supreme Court did not consider it to be a search in fourth amendment terms. Even if the visit were a search, the Court said it was reasonable: it was made for the benefit of the child; it was "a gentle means" of assuring that tax funds are properly spent; the caseworker was not a "uniformed authority"; and the recipient had the choice of invoking her right to refuse or forfeiting the benefits. Three dissenting Justices (william o. douglas, william j. brennan, thurgood marshall), protested that the Court had granted more protection to a commercial warehouse than to a "poor woman's home."

Jacob W. Landynski

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Wyman v. James 400 U.S. 309 (1971)

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