313 F.Supp. 34 (D.Ariz. 1970), Civ 69-158, Richardson v. Graham

Docket Nº:CIV 69-158 TUC.
Citation:313 F.Supp. 34
Party Name:Carmen RICHARDSON, for herself and for all others similarly situated, Plaintiff, v. John O. GRAHAM, Commissioner, Department of Public Welfare, State of Arizona, Defendant.
Case Date:May 27, 1970
Court:United States District Courts, 9th Circuit, District of Arizona
 
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313 F.Supp. 34 (D.Ariz. 1970)

Carmen RICHARDSON, for herself and for all others similarly situated, Plaintiff,

v.

John O. GRAHAM, Commissioner, Department of Public Welfare, State of Arizona, Defendant.

No. CIV 69-158 TUC.

United States District Court, D. Arizona.

May 27, 1970

Page 35

Anthony B. Ching, Tucson, Ariz., for plaintiff.

Gary K. Nelson, Atty. Gen. for Arizona, Phoenix, Ariz., for defendant.

Robert P. Borosody, New York City, Center on Social Welfare Policy & Law, amicus curiae.

Before JERTBERG, Circuit Judge, and WALSH and MUECKE, District Judges.

OPINION AND ORDER

MUECKE, District Judge.

The undisputed facts are:

The named plaintiff, Carmen Richardson, is an alien lawfully admitted to the United States under the laws of this country. She has been continuously a resident of the State of Arizona for thirteen years. Mrs. Richardson was sixty-four years and nine months of age at the time of the filing of the complaint. She fulfilled the age requirement for Old Age Assistance (OAA) in October of 1969. Presently, she is permanently and totally disabled and would be eligible for assistance under the Aid to the Permanently and Totally Disabled (APTD) program but for the fifteen-year residency requirement of Arizona law. By reason of this law, she is ineligible to receive APTD assistance and suffers irreparable injury, as presently she has no income whatsoever and exists on charity on the part of neighbors and friends.

Plaintiff, in this class action, attacks the constitutionality of three provisions of Arizona welfare law: (1) General assistance; 1 (2) Assistance for the blind; 2 and (3) Old age assistance. 3

The Court has jurisdiction of this action by virtue of 42 U.S.C. § 1983 (Civil Rights Act of 1871), 28 U.S.C. 1343 (Civil Rights), 28 U.S.C. § 2201 and 2202 (Declaratory Judgments Act), and 28 U.S.C. § 2281 and 2284 (Three Judge Courts).

The claimed infirmity in all the Arizona statutes is that a fifteen-year residency requirement for resident aliens violates the constitutional right to travel, Shapiro v. Thompson, 394 U.S. 618, 89 S.Ct. 1322, 22 L.Ed.2d 600 (1969); the Social Security Act; and, even though Congress may have empowered the states to act in this area, the equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.

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It is also argued that the field of regulating aliens has been preempted by the federal government.

42 U.S.C. § 1352(b)(2) provides that 'the Secretary (of Health, Education and Welfare) shall approve any (welfare) 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 the permanently and totally disabled under the plan * * * any citizenship requirement which excludes any citizen of the United States.'

There are similar provisions for Old Age Assistance, 42 U.S.C. 302(b)(3); Aid to the Blind, 42 U.S.C. 1202(b)(2); Aid to the Aged, Blind or...

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