458 U.S. 1 (1982), 80-2178, Toll v. Moreno

Docket Nº:No. 80-2178
Citation:458 U.S. 1, 102 S.Ct. 2977, 73 L.Ed.2d 563
Party Name:Toll v. Moreno
Case Date:June 28, 1982
Court:United States Supreme Court

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458 U.S. 1 (1982)

102 S.Ct. 2977, 73 L.Ed.2d 563




No. 80-2178

United States Supreme Court

June 28, 1982

Argued March 2, 1982




Held: The University of Maryland's policy of categorically denying domiciled nonimmigrant aliens who hold G-4 visas (visas issued to nonimmigrant aliens who are officers or employees of certain international organizations and to members of their immediate families) in-state status under which preferential treatment is given to domiciled citizen and immigrant alien students for purposes of tuition and fees is invalid under the Supremacy Clause. Pp. 10-19.

(a) "[S]tate regulation not congressionally sanctioned that discriminates against aliens lawfully admitted to the country is impermissible if it imposes additional burdens not contemplated by Congress." De Canas v. Bica, 424 U.S. 351, 358, n. 6. Here, in light of Congress' explicit decision in the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952 not to bar G-4 aliens from acquiring domicile in the United States, the State's decision to deny "in-state" status to G-4 aliens, solely on account of such aliens' immigration status, amounts to an ancillary "burden not contemplated by Congress" in admitting these aliens to the United States. Moreover, by imposing on domiciled G-4 aliens higher tuition and fees than are imposed on other domiciliaries of the State, the University's policy frustrates the federal policies embodied in the special tax exemptions afforded G-4 aliens by various treaties, international agreements, and federal statutes. Pp. 10-17.

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(b) The Eleventh Amendment did not preclude the District Court from ordering the University to pay refunds to various G-4 alien class members who would have obtained in-state status but for the stay, pending appeal, of that court's original order granting partial summary judgment in favor of the named plaintiffs, where the University, in seeking the stay, represented that, if the order was affirmed on appeal, it would make appropriate refunds. Contrary to petitioners' contention, the order was not vacated when this Court vacated the Court of Appeals' judgment affirming the District Court and remanded the case to the District Court for reconsideration. Pp. 17-19.

645 F.2d 217, affirmed.

BRENNAN, J., delivered the opinion of the Court, in which WHITE, MARSHALL, BLACKMUN, POWELL, and STEVENS, JJ., joined. BLACKMUN, J., filed a concurring opinion, post, p. 19. O'CONNOR, J., filed an opinion concurring in part and dissenting in part, post, p. 24. REHNQUIST, J., filed a dissenting opinion, in which BURGER, C.J., joined, post, p. 25.

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BRENNAN, J., lead opinion

JUSTICE BRENNAN delivered the opinion of the Court.

The state-operated University of Maryland grants preferential treatment for purposes of tuition and fees to students with "in-state" status. Although citizens and immigrant aliens may obtain in-state status upon a showing of domicile within the State, nonimmigrant aliens, even if domiciled, are not eligible for such status. The question in this case is whether the University's in-state policy is invalid under the Supremacy Clause of the Constitution, insofar as the policy categorically denies in-state status to domiciled nonimmigrant aliens who hold G-4 visas.


The factual and procedural background of this case, which has prompted two prior decisions of this Court, requires some elaboration. The focus of the controversy has been a policy adopted by the University in 1973 governing the eligibility of students for in-state status with respect to admission and fees. The policy provides in relevant part:

1. It is the policy of the University of Maryland to grant in-state status for admission, tuition and charge-differential purposes to United States citizens, and to immigrant aliens lawfully admitted for permanent residence in accordance with the laws of the United States, in the following cases:

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a. Where a student is financially dependent upon a parent, parents, or spouse domiciled in Maryland for at least six consecutive months prior to the last day available for registration for the forthcoming semester.

b. Where a student is financially independent for at least the preceding twelve months, and provided the student has maintained his domicile in Maryland for at least six consecutive months immediately prior to the last day available for registration for the forthcoming semester.

App. to Pet. for Cert. 167a-168a.

In 1975, when this action was filed, respondents Juan Carlos Moreno, Juan Pablo Otero, and Clare B. Hogg were students at the University of Maryland. Each resided with, and was financially dependent on, a parent who was a nonimmigrant alien holding a "G-4" visa. Such visas are issued to nonimmigrant aliens who are officers or employees of certain international organizations, and to members of their immediate families. 66 Stat. 168, 8 U.S.C. § 1101(a)(15)(G)(iv).1 Despite respondents' residence in the State, the University denied them in-state status pursuant to its policy of excluding all nonimmigrant aliens. Seeking declaratory and injunctive relief, the three respondents filed a class action against the University of Maryland and its President.2 They contended that the University's policy violated various federal laws, the Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment, and the Supremacy Clause.

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The District Court granted partial summary judgment in favor of the three named plaintiffs and the class of G-4 visaholders represented by them.3 In the view of the District Court, the University's denial of in-state status to these plaintiffs rested upon an irrebuttable presumption that a G-4 alien cannot establish Maryland domicile. Concluding that the presumption was "not universally true" as a matter of either federal or Maryland law, the District Court held that, under Vlandis v. Kline, 412 U.S. 441 (1973), the in-state policy violated the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. Moreno v. University of Maryland, 420 F.Supp. 541, 559 (Md.1976). Accordingly, in an order dated July 13, 1976, the District [102 S.Ct. 2980] Court enjoined the President of the University4 from denying respondents the opportunity to establish in-state status solely on the basis of an "irrebuttable presumption of non-domicile." Id. at 565.5 The court stayed its order pending appeal in reliance on the University's representation that it would make appropriate refunds "in the event the Court's Order of July 13, 1976, were finally affirmed on appeal." App. to Pet. for Cert. 100a. The Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit affirmed, adopting

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the reasoning of the District Court. Id. at 102a.6 Affirmance order reported at 556 F.2d 573 (1977).

We reviewed the case on writ of certiorari. Elkins v. Moreno, 435 U.S. 647 (1978). We held that,

[b]ecause petitioner makes domicile the "paramount" policy consideration, and because respondents' contention is that they can be domiciled in Maryland but are conclusively presumed to be unable to do so, this case is squarely within Vlandis as limited by [ Weinberger v.] Salfi, [422 U.S. 749 (1975)].

Id. at 660.7 It was therefore necessary to decide whether the presumption was universally true. With respect to federal law, we concluded that G-4 visaholders could "adopt the United States as their domicile." Id. at 666.8 We were thus left with the "potentially dispositive" question whether G-4 aliens are, as a matter of state law, incapable of becoming domiciliaries of Maryland. We certified this question to the Maryland Court of Appeals.9 The state court answered the

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certified question in the negative, advising us that "nothing in the general Maryland law of domicile renders G-4 visa holders, or their dependents, incapable of becoming domiciled in this State." Toll v. Moreno, 284 Md. 425, 444, 397 A.2d 1009, 1019 (1979).

After our certification, but before the state court's response, the University adopted a "clarifying resolution" concerning its in-state policy.10 By its terms, the resolution did not offer a new definition of "in-state" students; rather, it purported to [102 S.Ct. 2981] "reaffirm" the existing policy.11 The resolution indicated, however, that the University's policy,

insofar as it denies in-state status to nonimmigrant aliens, serves a number of substantial purposes and interests, whether or not it conforms to the generally or otherwise applicable definition of domicile under the Maryland common law.

App. to Pet. for Cert. 173a. The interests assertedly served by the policy were described in the following terms:

(a) limiting the University's expenditures by granting a higher subsidy toward the expenses of providing educational services to that class of persons who, as a class, are more likely to have a close affinity to the State and to contribute more to its economic wellbeing;

(b) achieving equalization between the affected classes of the expenses of providing educational services;

(c) efficiently administering the University's in-state determination and appeals process; and

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(d) preventing disparate treatment among categories of nonimmigrants with respect to admissions, tuition, and charge-differentials.

Id. at 173a-174a.

Following the Maryland Court of Appeals' decision, the case returned to this Court. But we declined to restore the case to the active docket for full briefing and argument, concluding that the University's clarifying resolution had "fundamentally altered the posture of the case." Toll v. Moreno, 441 U.S. 458, 461 (1979) (per curiam). We noted that "if domicile [was] not the `paramount' policy consideration of the University, this case [was] no longer `squarely within Vlandis as limited by Salfi,'" and thus raised "new issues of constitutional law which should be addressed in...

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