Shapiro v. Thompson/Opinion of the Court

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United States Supreme Court

394 U.S. 618

Shapiro  v.  Thompson

 Argued: Oct. 23 and 24, 1968. --- Decided: April 21, 1969

These three appeals were restored to the calendar for reargument. 392 U.S. 920, 88 S.Ct. 2272, 20 L.Ed.2d 1381 (1968). Each is an appeal from a decision of a three-judge District Court holding unconstitutional a State or District of Columbia statutory provision 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. [1] We affirm the judgments of the District Courts in the three cases.

In No. 9, the Connecticut Welfare Department invoked § 17-2d of the Connecticut General Statutes [2] to deny the application of appellee Vivian Marie Thompson for assistance under the program for Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC). She was a 19-year-old unwed mother of one child and pregnant with her second child when she changed her residence in June 1966 from Dorchester, Massachusetts, to Hartford, Connecticut, to live with her mother, a Hartford resident. She moved to her own apartment in Hartford in August 1966, when her mother was no longer able to support her and her infant son. Because of her pregnancy, she was unable to work or enter a work training program. Her application for AFDC assistance, filed in August, was denied in November solely on the ground that, as required by § 17-2d, she had not lived in the State for a year before her application was filed. She brought this action in the District Court for the District of Connecticut where a three-judge court, one judge dissenting, declared § 17-2d unconstitutional. 270 F.Supp. 331 (1967). The majority held that the waiting-period requirement is unconstitutional because it 'has a chilling effect on the right to travel.' Id., at 336. The majority also held that the provision was a violation of the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment because the denial of relief to those resident in the State for less than a year is not based on any permissible purpose but is solely designed as 'Connecticut states quite frankly,' 'to protect its fisc by discouraging entry of those who come needing relief.' Id., at 336-337. We noted probable jurisdiction. 389 U.S. 1032, 88 S.Ct. 784, 19 L.Ed.2d 820 (1968).

In No. 33, there are four appellees. Three of them-appellees Harrell, Brown, and Legrant-applied for and were denied AFDC aid. The fourth, appellee Barley, applied for and was denied benefits under the program for Aid to the Permanently and Totally Disabled. The denial in each case was on the ground that the applicant had not resided in the District of Columbia for one year immediately preceding the filing of her application, as required by § 3-203 of the District of Columbia Code. [3]

Appellee Minnie Harrell, now deceased, had moved with her three children from New York to Washington in September 1966. She suffered from cancer and moved to be near members of her family who lived in Washington.

Appellee Barley, a former resident of the District of Columbia, returned to the District in March 1941 and was committed a month later to St. Elizabeths Hospital as mentally ill. She has remained in that hospital ever since. She was deemed eligible for release in 1965, and a plan was made to transfer her from the hospital to a foster home. The plan depended, however, upon Mrs. Barley's obtaining welfare assistance for her support. Her application for assistance under the program for Aid to the Permanently and Totally Disabled was denied because her time spent in the hospital did not count in determining compliance with the one-year requirement.

Appellee Brown lived with her mother and two of her three children in Fort Smith, Arkansas. Her third child was living with appellee Brown's father in the District of Columbia. When her mother moved from Fort Smith of Oklahoma, appellee Brown, in February 1966, returned to the District of Columbia where she lived as a child. Her application for AFDC assistance was approved insofar as it sought assistance for the child who had lived in the District with her father but was denied to the extent it sought assistance for the two other children.

Appellee Legrant moved with her two children from South Carolina to the District of Columbia in March 1967 after the death of her mother. She planned to live with a sister and brother in Washington. She was pregnant and in ill health when she applied for and was denied AFDC assistance in July 1967.

The several cases were consolidated for trial, and a three-judge District Court was convened. [4] The court, one judge dissenting, held § 3-203 unconstitutional. 279 F.Supp. 22 (1967). The majority rested its decision on the ground that the one-year requirement was unconstitutional as a denial of the right to equal protection secured by the Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment. We noted probable jurisdiction. Washington v. Harrell, 390 U.S. 940, 88 S.Ct. 1053, 19 L.Ed.2d 1129 (1968).

In No. 34, there are two appellees, Smith and Foster, who were denied AFDC aid on the sole ground that they had not been residents of Pennsylvania for a year prior to their applications as required by § 432(6) of the Pennsylvania Welfare Code. [5]Appellee Smith and her five minor children moved in December 1966 from Delaware to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where her father lived. Her father supported her and her children for several months until he lost his job. Appellee then applied for AFDC assistance and had received two checks when the aid was terminated. Appellee Foster, after living in Pennsylvania from 1953 to 1965, had moved with her four children to South Carolina to care for h r grandfather and invalid grandmother and had returned to Pennsylvania in 1967. A three-judge District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, one judge dissenting, declared § 432(6) unconstitutional. 277 F.Supp. 65 (1967). The majority held that the classification established by the waiting-period requirement is 'without rational basis and without legitimate purpose or function' and therefore a violation of the Equal Protection Clause. Id., at 67. The majority noted further that if the purpose of the statute was 'to erect a barrier against the movement of indigent persons into the State or to effect their prompt departure after they have gotten there,' it would be 'patently improper and its implementation plainly impermissible.' Id., at 67-68. We noted probable jurisdiction. 390 U.S. 940, 88 S.Ct. 1054, 19 L.Ed.2d 1129 (1968).

There is no dispute that the effect of the waiting-period requirement in each case is to create two classes of needy resident families indistinguishable from each other except that one is composed of residents who have resided a year or more, and the second of residents who have resided less than a year, in the jurisdiction. On the basis of this sole difference the first class is granted and the second class is denied 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. In each case, the District Court found that appellees met the test for residence in their jurisdictions, as well as all other eligibility requirements except the requirement of residence for a full year prior to their applications. On reargument, appellees' central contention is that the statutory prohibition of benefits to residents of less than a year creates a classification which constitutes an invidious discrimination denying them equal protection of the laws. [6] We agree. The interests which appellants assert are promoted by the classification either may not constitutionally be promoted by government or are not compelling governmental interests.

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 ubstantial influx of indigent newcomers. [7]

There is weighty evidence that exclusion from the jurisdiction of the poor who need or may need relief was the specific objective of these provisions. In the Congress, sponsors of federal legislation to eliminate all residence requirements have been consistently opposed by representatives of state and local welfare agencies who have stressed the fears of the States that elimination of the requirements would result in a heavy influx of individuals into States providing the most generous benefits. See, e.g., Hearings on H.R. 10032 before the House Committee on Ways and Means, 87th Cong., 2d Sess., 309-310, 644 (1962); Hearings on H.R. 6000 before the Senate Committee on Finance, 81st Cong., 2d Sess., 324-327 (1950). The sponsor of the Connecticut requirement said in its support: 'I doubt that Connecticut can and should continue to allow unlimited migration into the state on the basis of offering instant money and permanent income to all who can make their way to the state regardless of their ability to contribute to the economy.' H.B. 82, Connecticut General Assembly House Proceedings, February Special Session, 1965, Vol. II, pt. 7, p. 3504. In Pennsylvania, shortly after the enactment of the one-year requirement, the Attorney General issued an opinion construing the one-year requirement strictly because '(a)ny other conclusion would tend to attract the dependents of other states to our Commonwealth.' 1937-1938 Official Opinions of the Attorney General, No. 240, p. 110. In the District of Columbia case, the constitutionality of § 3-203 was frankly defended in the District Court and in this Court on the ground that it is designed to protect the jurisdiction from an influx of persons seeking more generous public assistance than might be available elsewhere.

We do not doubt that the one-year waiting period device is well suited to discourage the influx of poor families in need of assistance. An indigent who desires to migrate, resettle, find a new job, and start a new life will doubtless hesitate if he knows that he must risk making the move without the possibility of falling back on state welfare assistance during his first year of residence, when his need may be most acute. But the purpose of inhibiting migration by needy persons into the State is constitutionally impermissible.

This Court long ago recognized that 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. That proposition was early stated by Chief Justice Taney in the Passenger Cases, 7 How. 283, 492, 12 L.Ed. 702 (1849):

'For all the great purposes for w ich the Federal government was formed, we are one people, with one common country. We are all citizens of the United States; and, as members of the same community, must have the right to pass and repass through every part of it without interruption, as freely as in our own States.'

We have no occasion to ascribe the source of this right to travel interstate to a particular constitutional provision. [8] It suffices that, as Mr. Justice Stewart said for the Court in United States v. Guest, 383 U.S. 745, 757-758, 86 S.Ct. 1170, 1178, 16 L.Ed.2d 239 (1966):

'The constitutional right to travel from one State to another * * * occupies a position fundamental to the concept of our Federal Union. It is a right that has been firmly established and repeatedly recognized.

'* * * (The) right finds no explicit mention in the Constitution. The reason, it has been suggested, is that a right so elementary was conceived from the beginning to be a necessary concomitant of the stronger Union the Constitution created. In any event, freedom to travel throughout the United States has long been recognized as a basic right under the Constitution.'

Thus, the purpose of deterring the in-migration of indigents cannot serve as justification for the classification created by the one-year waiting period, since that purpose is constitutionally impermissible. If a 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.' United States v. Jackson, 390 U.S. 570, 581, 88 S.Ct. 1209, 1216, 20 L.Ed.2d 138 (1968).

Alternatively, 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. We observe first that none of the statutes before us is tailored to serve that objective. Rather, the class of barred newcomers is all-inclusive, lumping the great majority who come to the State for other purposes with those who come for the sole purpose of collecting higher benefits. In actual operation, therefore, the three statutes enact what in effect are non-rebuttable presumptions that every applicant for assistance in his first year of residence came to the jurisdiction solely to obtain higher benefits. Nothing whatever in any of these records supplies any basis in fact for such a presumption.

More fundamentally, a State may no more try to fence out those indigents who seek higher welfare benefits than it may try to fence out indigents generally. Implicit in any such distinctio is the notion that indigents who enter a State with the hope of securing higher welfare benefits are somehow less deserving than indigents who do not take this consideration into account. 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. Surely such a mother is no less deserving than a mother who moves into a particular State in order to take advantage of its better educational facilities.

Appellants argue further that 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 of taxes. We have difficulty seeing how long-term residents who qualify for welfare are making a greater present contribution to the State in taxes than indigent residents who have recently arrived. If the argument is based on contributions made in the past by the long-term residents, there is some question, as a factual matter, whether this argument is applicable in Pennsylvania where the record suggests that some 40% of those denied public assistance because of the waiting period had lengthy prior residence in the State. [9] But we need not rest on the particular facts of these cases. 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 state services. [10]

We recognize that a State has a valid interest in preserving the fiscal integrity of its programs. It may legitimately attempt to limit its expenditures, whether for public assistance, public education, or any other program. But a State may not accomplish such a purpose by invidious distinctions between classes of its citizens. It could not, for example, reduce expenditures for education by barring indigent children from its schools. Similarly, in the cases before us, appellants must do more than show that denying welfare benefits to new residents saves money. The saving of welfare costs cannot justify an otherwise invidious classification. [11]

In sum, neither deterrence of indigents from migrating to the State nor limitation of welfare benefits to those regarded as contributing to the State is a constitutionally permissible state objective.

Appellants next advance as justification certain administrative and related governmental objectives allegedly served by the waiting-period requirement. [12] They argue that the requirement (1) facilitates the planning of the welfare budget; (2) provides an objective test of residency; (3) minimizes the opportunity for recipients fraudulently to receive payments from more than one jurisdiction; and (4) encourages early entry of new residents into the labor force.

At the outset, we reject appellants' argument that a mere showing of a rational relationship between the waiting period and these four admittedly permissible state objectives will suffice to justify the classification. See Lindsley v. Natural Carbonic Gas Co., 220 U.S. 61, 78, 31 S.Ct. 337, 340, 55 L.Ed. 369 (1911); Flemming v. Nestor, 363 U.S. 603, 611, 80 S.Ct. 1367, 1372, 4 L.Ed.2d 1435 (1960); McGowan v. Maryland, 366 U.S. 420, 426, 81 S.Ct. 1101, 1105, 6 L.Ed.2d 393 (1961). The waiting-period provision denies welfare benefits to otherwise eligible applicants solely because they have recently moved into the jurisdiction. But in moving from State to State or to the District of Columbia appellees were exercising a constitutional right, and any classification which serves to penalize the exercise of that right, unless shown to be necessary to promote a compelling governmental interest, is unconstitutional. Cf. Skinner v. Oklahoma, 316 U.S. 535, 541, 62 S.Ct. 1110, 1113, 86 L.Ed. 1655 (1942); Korematsu v. United States, 323 U.S. 214, 216, 65 S.Ct. 193, 194, 89 L.Ed. 194 (1944); Bates v. Little Rock, 361 U.S. 516, 524, 80 S.Ct. 412, 417, 4 L.Ed.2d 480 (1960); Sherbert v. Verner, 374 U.S. 398, 406, 83 S.Ct. 1790, 1795, 10 L.Ed.2d 965 (1963).

The argument that the waiting-period requirement facilitates budget predictability is wholly unfounded. The records in all three cases are utterly devoid of evidence that either State or the District of Columbia in fact uses the one-year requirement as a means to predict the number of people who will require assistance in the budget year. None of the appellants takes a census of new residents or collects any other data that would reveal the number of newcomers in the State less than a year. Nor are new residents required to give advance notice of their need for welfare assistance. [13] Thus, the welfare authorities cannot know how many new residents come into the jurisdiction in any year, much less how many of them will require public assistance. In these circumstances, there is simply no basis for the claim that the one-year waiting requirement serves the purpose of making the welfare budget more predictable. In Connecticut and Pennsylvania the irrelevance of the one-year requirement to budgetary planning is further underscored by the fact that temporary, partial assistance is given to some new residents [14] and full assistance is given to other new residents under reciprocal agreements. [15] Finally, the claim that a one-year waiting requirement is used for planning purposes is plainly belied by the fact that the requirement is not also imposed on applicants who are long-term residents, the group that receives the bulk of welfare payments. In short, the States rely on methods other than the one-year requirement to make budget estimates. In No. 34, the Director of the Pennsylvania Bureau of Assistance Policies and Standards testified that, based on experience in Pennsylvania and elsewhere, her office had already estimated how much the elimination of the one-year requirement would cost and that the estimates of costs of other changes in regulations 'have proven exceptionally accurate.' The argument that the waiting period serves as an administratively efficient rule of thumb for determining residency similarly will not withstand scrutiny. The residence requirement and the one-year waiting-period requirement are distinct and independent prerequisites for assistance under these three statutes, and the facts relevant to the determination of each are directly examined by the welfare authorities. [16] Before granting an application, the welfare authorities investigate the applicant's employment, housing, and family situation and in the course of the inquiry necessarily lern the facts upon which to determine whether the applicant is a resident. [17]

Similarly, there is no need for a State to use the one-year waiting period as a safeguard against fraudulent receipt of benefits; [18] for less drastic means are available, and are employed, to minimize that hazard. Of course, a State has a valid interest in preventing fraud by any applicant, whether a newcomer or a long-time resident. It is not denied, however, that the investigations now conducted entail inquiries into facts relevant to that subject. In addition, cooperation among state welfare departments is common. The District of Columbia, for example, provides interim assistance to its former residents who have moved to a State which has a waiting period. As a matter of course, District officials send a letter to the welfare authorities in the recipient's new community 'to request the information needed to continue assistance.' [19] A like procedure would be an effective safeguard against the hazard of double payments. Since double payments can be prevented by a letter or a telephone call, it is unreasonable to accomplish this objective by the blunderbuss method of denying assistance to all indigent newcomers for an entire year.

Pennsylvania suggests that the one-year waiting period is justified as a means of encouraging new residents to join the labor force promptly. But this logic would also require a similar waiting period for long-term residents of the State. A state purpose to encourage employment provides no rational basis for imposing a one-year waiting-period restriction on new residents only.

We conclude therefore that appellants in these cases do not use and have no need to use the one-year requirement for the governmental purposes suggested. Thus, even under traditional equal protection tests a classification of welfare applicants according to whether they have lived in the State for one year would seem irrational and unconstitutional. [20] But, of course, the traditional criteria do not apply in these cases. Since the classification here touches on the fundamental right of interstate movement, 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. [21]

Connecticut and Pennsylvania argue, however, that the constitutional challenge to the waiting-period requirements must fail because Congress expressly approved the imposition of the requirement by the States as part of the jointly funded AFDC program.

Section 402(b) of the Social Security Act of 1935, as amended, 42 U.S.C. § 602(b), provides that:

'The Secretary shall approve any (state assistance) plan which fulfills the conditions specified in subsection (a) of this section, except that he shall not approve any plan which imposes as a condition of eligibility for aid to families with dependent children, a residence requirement which denies aid with respect to any child residing in the State (1) who has resided in the State for one year immediately preceding the application for such aid, or (2) who was born within one year immediately preceding the application, if the parent or other relative with whom the child is living has resided in the State for one year immediately preceding the birth.'

On its face, the statute does not approve, much less prescribe, a one-year requirement. It merely directs the Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare not to disapprove plans submitted by the States because they include such a requirement. [22] The suggestion that Congress enacted that directive to encourage state participation in the AFDC program is completely refuted by the legislative history of the section. That history discloses that Congress enacted the directive to curb hardships resulting from lengthy residence requirements. Rather than constituting an approval or a prescription of the requirement in state plans, the direc ive was the means chosen by Congress to deny federal funding to any State which persisted in stipulating excessive residence requirements as a condition of the payment of benefits.

One year before the Social Security Act was passed, 20 of the 45 States which had aid to dependent children programs required residence in the State for two or more years. Nine other States required two or more years of residence in a particular town or county. And 33 jurisdictions required at least one year of residence in a particular town or county. [23] Congress determined to combat this restrictionist policy. Both the House and Senate Committee Reports expressly stated that the objective of § 402(b) was to compel '(l)iberality of residence requirement.' [24] Not a single instance can be found in the debates or committee reports supporting the contention that § 402(b) was enacted to encourage participation by the States in the AFDC program. To the contrary, those few who addressed themselves to waiting-period requirements emphasized that participation would depend on a State's repeal or drastic revision of existing requirements. A congressional demand on 41 States to repeal or drastically revise offending statutes is hardly a way to enlist their cooperation. [25]

But even if we were to assume, arguendo, that Congress did approve the imposition of a one-year waiting period, it is the responsive state legislation which infringes constitutional rights. By itself § 402(b) has absolutely no restrictive effect. It is therefore not that statute but only the state requirements which pose the constitutional question.

Finally, even if it could be argued that the constitutionality of § 402(b) is somehow at issue here, it follows from what we have said that the provision, insofar as it permits the one-year waiting-period requirement, would be unconstitutional. Congress may not authorize the States to violate the Equal Protection Clause. Perhaps Congress could induce wider state participation in school construction if it authorized the use of joint funds for the building of segregated schools. But could it seriously be contended that Congress would be constitutionally justified in such authorization by the need to secure state cooperation? Congress is without power to enlist state cooperation in a joint federal-state program by legislation which authorizes the States to violate the Equal Protection Clause. Katzenbach v. Morgan, 384 U.S. 641, 651, 86 S.Ct. 1717, 1723, 16 L.Ed.2d 828, n. 10 (1966).

The waiting-period requirement in the District of Columbia Code involved in No. 33 is also unconstitutional even though it was adopted by Congress as an exercise of federal power. In terms of federal power, the discrimination created by the one-year requirement violates the Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment. '(W)hile the Fifth Amendment contains no equal protection clause, it does forbid discrimination that is 'so unjustifiable as to be violative of due process." Schneider v. Rusk, 377 U.S. 163, 168, 84 S.Ct. 1187, 1190, 12 L.Ed.2d 218 (1964); Bolling v. Sharpe, 347 U.S. 497, 74 S.Ct. 693, 98 L.Ed. 884 (1954). For the reasons we have stated in invalidating the Pennsylvania and Connecticut provisions, the District of Columbia provision is also invalid-the Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment prohibits Congress from denying public assistance to poor persons otherwise eligible solely on the ground that they have not been residents of the District of Columbia for one year at the time their applications are filed.

Accordingly, the judgments in Nos. 9, 33, and 34 are



1  Accord: Robertson v. Ott, 284 F.Supp. 735 (D.C.Mass.1968); Johnson v. Robinson (D.C.N.D.Ill.1968); Ramos v. Health and Social Services Bd., 276 F.Supp. 474 (D.C.E.D.Wis.1967); Green v. Dept. of Pub. Welfare, 270 F.Supp. 173 (D.C.Del.1967). Contra: Waggoner v. Rosenn, 286 F.Supp. 275 (D.C.M.D.Pa.1968); see also People ex rel. Heydenreich v. Lyons, 374 Ill. 557, 30 N.E.2d 46, 132 A.L.R. 511 (1940).

All but one of the appellees herein applied for assistance under the Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) program which was established by the Social Security Act of 1935. 49 Stat. 627, as amended, 4 U.S.C. §§ 601-609. The program provides partial federal funding of state assistance plans which meet certain specifications. One appellee applied for Aid to the Permanently and Totally Disabled which is also jointly funded by the States and the Federal Government. 42 U.S.C. §§ 1351-1355.

2  Conn.Gen.Stat.Rev. § 17-2d (1965 Supp.), now § 17-2c, provides:

'When any person comes into this state without visible means of support for the immediate future and applies for aid to dependent children under chapter 301 or general assistance under part I of chapter 308 within one year from his arrival, such person shall be eligible only for temporary aid or care until arrangements are made for his return, provided ineligibility for aid to dependent children shall not continue beyond the maximum federal residence requirement.'

An exception is made for those persons who come to Connecticut with a bona fide job offer or are self-supporting upon arrival in the State and for three months thereafter. 1 Conn.Welfare Manual, c. II, §§ 219.1-219.2 (1966).

3  D.C.Code Ann. § 3-203 (1967) provides:

'Public assistance shall be awarded to or on behalf of any needy individual who either (a) has resided in the District for one year immediately preceding the date of filing his application for such assistance; or (b) who was born within one year immediately preceding the application for such aid, if the parent or other relative with whom the child is living has resided in the District for one year immediately preceding the birth; or (c) is otherwise within one of the categories of public assistance established by this chapter.' See D. C. Handbook of Pub. Assistance Policies and Procedures, HPA-2, EL 9.1, I, III (1966) (hereinafter c ted as D. C. Handbook).

4  In Ex parte Cogdell, 342 U.S. 163, 72 S.Ct. 196, 96 L.Ed. 181 (1951), this Court remanded to the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit to determine whether 28 U.S.C. § 2282, requiring a three-judge court when the constitutionality of an Act of Congress is challenged, applied to Acts of Congress pertaining solely to the District of Columbia. The case was mooted below, and the question has never been expressly resolved. However, in Berman v. Parker, 348 U.S. 26, 75 S.Ct. 98, 99 L.Ed. 27 (1954), this Court heard an appeal from a three-judge court in a case involving the constitutionality of a District of Columbia statute. Moreover, three-judge district courts in the District of Columbia have continued to hear cases involving such statutes. See, e.g., Hobson v. Hansen, 265 F.Supp. 902 (1967). Section 2282 requires a three-judge court to hear a challenge to the constitutionality of 'any Act of Congress.' (Emphasis supplied.) We see no reason to make an exception for Acts of Congress pertaining to the District of Columbia.

5  Pa.Stat., Tit. 62, § 432(6) (1968). See also Pa.Pub. Assistance Manual §§ 3150-3151 (1962). Section 432(6) provides:

'Assistance may be granted only to or in behalf of a person residing in Pennsylvania who (i) has resided therein for at least one year immediately preceding the date of application; (ii) last resided in a state which, by law, regulation or reciprocal agreement with Pennsylvania, grants public assistance to or in behalf of a person who has resided in such state for less than one year; (iii) is a married woman residing with a husband who meets the requirement prescribed in subclause (i) or (ii) of this clause; or (iv) is a child less than one year of age whose parent, or relative with whom he is residing, meets the requirement prescribed in subclause (i), (ii) or (iii) of this clause or resided in Pennsylvania for at least one year immediately preceding the child's birth. Needy persons who do not meet any of the requirements stated in this clause and who are transients or without residence in any state, may be granted assistance in accordance with rules, regulations, and standards established by the department.'

6  This constitutional challenge cannot be answered by the argument that public assistance benefits are a 'privilege' and not a 'right.' See Sherbert v. Verner, 374 U.S. 398, 404, 83 S.Ct. 1790, 1794, 10 L.Ed.2d 965 (1963).

7  The waiting-period requirement has its antecedents in laws prevalent in England and the American Colonies centuries ago which permitted the ejection of individuals and families if local authorities thought they might become public charges. For example, the preamble of the English Law of Settlement and Removal of 1662 expressly recited the concern, also said to justify the three statutes before us, that large numbers of the poor were moving to parishes where more liberal relief policies were in effect. See generally Coll, Perspectives in Public Welfare: The English Heritage, 4 Welfare in Review No. 3, p. 1 (1966). The 1662 law and the earlier Elizabethan Poor Law of 1601 were the models adopted by the American Colonies. Newcomers to a city, town, or county who might become public charges were 'warned out' or 'passed on' to the next locality. Initially, the funds for welfare payments were raised by local taxes, and the controversy as to responsibility for particular indigents was between localities in the same State. As States-first alone and then with federal grants-assumed the major responsibility, the contest of nonresponsibility became interstate.

8  In Corfield v. Coryell, 6 Fed.Cas. pp. 546, 552 (No. 3230) (C.C.E.D.Pa.1825), Paul v. Virginia, 8 Wall. (75 U.S.) 168, 180, 19 L.Ed. 357 (1869), and Ward v. Maryland, 12 Wall. (79 U.S.) 418, 430 20 L.Ed. 449 (1871), the right to travel interstate was grounded upon the Privileges and Immunities Clause of Art. IV, § 2. See also Slaughter-House Cases, 16 Wall. 36, 79, 21 L.Ed. 394 (1873); Twining v. New Jersey, 211 U.S. 78, 97, 29 S.Ct. 14, 18, 53 L.Ed. 97 (1908). In Edwards v. California, 314 U.S. 160, 181, 183-185, 62 S.Ct. 164, 170, 171-172, 86 L.Ed. 119 (1941) (Douglas and Jackson, JJ., concurring), and Twining v. New Jersey, supra, reliance was placed on the Privileges and Immunities Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. See also Crandall v. Nevada, 6 Wall. (73 U.S.) 35, 18 L.Ed. 744 (1868). In Edwards v. California, supra, and the Passenger Cases, 7 How. 283 (1849), a Commerce Clause approach was employed.

See also Kent v. Dulles, 357 U.S. 116, 125, 78 S.Ct. 1113, 1118, 2 L.Ed.2d 1204 (1958); Aptheker v. Secretary of State, 378 U.S. 500, 505-506, 84 S.Ct. 1659, 1663, 12 L.Ed.2d 992 (1964); Zemel v. Rusk, 381 U.S. 1, 14, 85 S.Ct. 1271, 1279, 14 L.Ed.2d 179 (1965), where the freedom of Americans to travel outside the country was grounded upon the Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment.

9  Furthermore, the contribution rationale can hardly explain why the District of Columbia and Pennsylvania bar payments to children who have not lived in the jurisdiction for a year regardless of whether the parents have lived in the jurisdiction for that period. See D.C. Code § 3-203; D.C. Handbook, EL 9.1, I(C) (1966); Pa.Stat., Tit. 62, § 432(6) (1968). Clearly, the children who were barred would not have made a contribution during that year.

10  We are not dealing here with state insurance programs which may legitimately tie the amount of benefits to the individual's contributions.

11  In Rinaldi v. Yeager, 384 U.S. 305, 86 S.Ct. 1497, 16 L.Ed.2d 577 (1966), New Jersey attempted to reduce expenditures by requiring prisoners who took an unsuccessful appeal to reimburse the State out of their institutional earnings for the cost of furnishing a trial transcript. This Court held the New Jersey statute unconstitutional because it did not require similar repayments from unsuccessful appellants given a suspended sentence, placed on probation, or sentenced only to a fine. There was no rational basis for the distinction between unsuccessful appellants who were in prison and those who were not.

12  Appellant in No. 9, the Connecticut Welfare Commissioner, disclaims any reliance on this contention. In No. 34, the District Court found as a fact that the Pennsylvania requirement served none of the claimed functions. 277 F.Supp. 65, 68 (1967).

13  Of course, such advance notice would inevitably be unreliable since some who registered would not need welfare a year later while others who did not register would need welfare.

14  See Conn.Gen.Stat.Rev. § 17-2d, now § 17-2c, and Pa.Pub.Assistance Manual § 3154 (1968).

15  Both Connecticut and Pennsylvania have entered into open-ended interstate compacts in which they have agreed to eliminate the durational requirement for anyone who comes from another State which has also entered into the compact. Conn.Gen.Stat.Rev. § 17-21a (1968); Pa.Pub.Assistance Manual § 3150, App. I (1966). See 44 Stat. 758, § 1.

16  In Pennsylvania, the one-year waiting-period requirement, but not the residency requirement, is waived under reciprocal agreements. Pa.Stat., Tit. 62, § 432(6) (1968); Pa.Pub.Assistance Manual § 3151.21 (1962).

1 Conn.Welfare Manual, c. II, § 220 (1966), provides that '(r)esidence within the state shall mean that the applicant is living in an established place of abode and the plan is to remain.' A person who meets this requirement does not have to wait a year for assistance if he entered the State with a bona fide job offer or with sufficient funds to support himself without welfare for three months. Id., at § 219.2.

HEW Handbook of Pub. Assistance Administration, pt. IV, § 3650 (1946), clearly distinguishes between residence and duration of residence. It defines residence, as is conventional, in terms of intent to remain in the jurisdiction, and it instructs interviewers that residence and length of residence 'are two distinct aspects * * *.'

17  See, e.g., D. C. Handbook, chapters on Eligibility Payments, Requirements, Resources and Reinvestigation for an indication of how thorough these investigations are. See also 1 Conn.Welfare Manual, c. I (1967); Pa.Pub.Assistance Manual §§ 3170 3330 (1962).

The Department of Health, Education, and Welfare has proposed the elimination of individual investigations, except for spot checks, and the substitution of a declaration system, under which the 'agency accepts the statements of the applicant for or recipient of assistance, about facts that are within his knowledge and competence * * * as a basis for decisions regarding his eligibility and extent of entitlement.' HEW, Determination of Eligibility for Public Assistance Programs, 33 Fed.Reg. 17189 (1968). See also Hoshino, Simplification of the Means Test and its Consequences, 41 Soc.Serv.Rev. 237, 241-249 (1967); Burns, What's Wrong With Public Welfare?, 36 Soc.Serv.Rev. 111, 114-115 (1962). Presumably the statement of an applicant that he intends to remain in the jurisdiction would be accepted under a declaration system.

18  The unconcern of Connecticut and Pennsylvania with the one-year requirement as a means of preventing fraud is made apparent by the waiver of the requirement in reciprocal agreements with other States. See n. 15, supra.

19  D.C. Handbook, RV 2.1, I, II (B) (1967). See also Pa.Pub.Assistance Manual § 3153 (1962).

20  Under the traditional standard, equal protection is denied only if the classification is 'without any reasonable basis,' Lindsley v. Natural Carbonic Gas Co., 220 U.S. 61, 78, 31 S.Ct. 337, 340, 55 L.Ed. 369 (1911); see also Flemming v. Nestor, 363 U.S. 603, 80 S.Ct. 1367 (1960).

21  We imply no view of the validity of waiting-period or residence requirements determining eligibility to vote, eligibility for tuition-free education, to obtain a license to practice a profession, to hunt or fish, and so forth. Such requirements may promote compelling state interests on the one hand, or, on the other, may not be penalties upon the exercise of the constitutional right of interstate travel.

22  As of 1964, 11 jurisdictions imposed no residence requirement whatever for AFDC assistance. They were Alaska, Georgia, Hawaii, Kentucky, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont, Guam, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands. See HEW, Characteristics of State Public Assistance Plans under the Social Security Act (Pub.Assistance Rep.No. 50, 1964 ed.).

23  Social Security Board, Social Security in America 235-236 (1937).

24  H.R.Rep.No. 615, 74th Cong., 1st Sess., 24; S.Rep.No. 628, 74th Cong., 1st Sess., 35. Furthermore, the House Report cited President Roosevelt's statement in his Social Security Message that 'People want decent homes to live in; they want to locate them where they can engage in productive work * * *.' H.R.Rep. supra, at 2. Clearly this was a call for greater freedom of movement.

In addition to the statement in the above Committee report, see the remarks of Rep. Doughton (floor manager of the Social Security bill in the House) and Rep. Vinson. 79 Cong.Rec. 5474, 5602-5603 (1935). These remarks were made in relation to the waiting-period requirements for old-age assistance, but they apply equally to the AFDC program.

25  Section 402(b) required the repeal of 30 state statutes which imposed too long a waiting period in the State or particular town or county and 11 state statutes (as well as the Hawaii statute) which required residence in a particular town or county. See Social Security Board, Social Security in America 235-236 (1937).

It is apparent that Congress was not intimating any view of the constitutionality of a one-year limitation. The constitutionality of any scheme of federal social security legislation was a matter of doubt at that time in light of the decision in Schechter Poultry Corp. v. United States, 295 U.S. 495, 55 S.Ct. 837, 79 L.Ed. 1570 (1935). Throughout the House debates congressmen discussed the constitutionality of the fundamental taxing provisions of the Social Security Act, see, e.g., 79 Cong.Rec. 5783 (1935) (remarks of Rep. Cooper), but not once did they discuss the constitutionality of § 402(b).

This work is in the public domain in the United States because it is a work of the United States federal government (see 17 U.S.C. 105).