City of New York v. Richardson, No. 300

CourtU.S. Court of Appeals — Second Circuit
Writing for the CourtLUMBARD, KAUFMAN and MANSFIELD, Circuit
Citation473 F.2d 923
PartiesThe CITY OF NEW YORK et al., Plaintiffs-Appellants, v. Elliott L. RICHARDSON, as Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare of the United States, et al., Defendants-Appellees, Ralph G. Caso, individually and as County Executive of Nassau County, et al., Plaintiffs-Intervenors-Appellants, H. Lee Dennison, individually and as County Executive of Suffolk County, et al., Plaintiffs-Intervenors-Appellants, Edwin G. Michaelian, individually and as County Executive of Westchester County, et al., Plaintiffs-Intervenors-Appellants.
Decision Date26 January 1973
Docket Number72-2266,72-2265,72-2267.,486,488,487,Dockets 72-1854,No. 300

473 F.2d 923 (1973)

The CITY OF NEW YORK et al., Plaintiffs-Appellants,
v.
Elliott L. RICHARDSON, as Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare of the United States, et al., Defendants-Appellees,
Ralph G. Caso, individually and as County Executive of Nassau County, et al., Plaintiffs-Intervenors-Appellants,
H. Lee Dennison, individually and as County Executive of Suffolk County, et al., Plaintiffs-Intervenors-Appellants,
Edwin G. Michaelian, individually and as County Executive of Westchester County, et al., Plaintiffs-Intervenors-Appellants.

Nos. 300, 486, 487, 488, Dockets 72-1854, 72-2265, 72-2266, 72-2267.

United States Court of Appeals, Second Circuit.

Argued January 9, 1973.

Decided January 26, 1973.


473 F.2d 924
COPYRIGHT MATERIAL OMITTED
473 F.2d 925
Norman Redlich, Corp. Counsel for City of New York (Edmund B. Hennefeld, Mary P. Bass, New York City, of counsel), for New York City appellants

Whitney North Seymour, U. S. Atty., S. D. New York (Joel B. Harris, Taggart D. Adams, Asst. U. S. Attys., of counsel), for Federal appellees.

Joel Lewittes, Asst. Atty. Gen. of N. Y. (Louis J. Lefkowitz, Atty. Gen. of N. Y., Samuel A. Hirshowitz, First Asst. Atty. Gen. of N. Y., of counsel), for appellee State Commissioner.

Melvin Tannenbaum, Deputy County Atty. of Suffolk County, Riverhead, N.Y. (Joseph Jaspan, County Atty., Nassau County, George W. Percy, Jr., County Atty., Suffolk County, John J. S. Mead, County Atty., Westchester County), for intervenors-appellants.

Before LUMBARD, KAUFMAN and MANSFIELD, Circuit Judges.

IRVING R. KAUFMAN, Circuit Judge:

This sprawling, multi-party, multi-claim appeal, presents a broadside constitutional attack upon certain provisions of the Social Security Act of 1935, 42 U.S.C. § 301 et seq., and New York State's Social Services Law, See New York Social Welfare Law (McKinney 1966 and Supp.1972) particularly those provisions concerned with the financing and reimbursement policies established by the Acts. Plaintiffs are the City of New York, and three individuals — John V. Lindsay, The Mayor of the City of New York, Jule Sugarman, the Commissioner of Social Services of the City of New York, and Ola Bryant, a taxpaying citizen and resident of New York City. The federal defendants are the Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare of the United States, the Secretary of the Treasury of the United States, and two regional officers of HEW. The state defendant is the Commissioner of Social Services of the State of New York. The district court granted motions to intervene as parties plaintiff in behalf of Westchester, Nassau and Suffolk counties, their County Executives, and other county officials,1 in their individual and official capacities.

Invoking the protection of the Fifth, Ninth, Tenth and Fourteenth Amendments, as well as the General Welfare Clause of Article I, Section 8, Clause 1 of the Constitution, and various unenumerated safeguards — such as the right to travel — thought to inhere in that document, plaintiffs sought declaratory, injunctive and other appropriate relief,

473 F.2d 926
and the convocation of a three-judge court. Judge McLean, after motion by the federal and state defendants to dismiss for failure to state a claim for relief, and for lack of subject matter jurisdiction, dismissed the complaint. This appeal followed

I.

Public assistance laws, as incorporated in the Social Security Act, in rules and regulations of the Department of Health, Education and Welfare, and in various state social service programs, present as complex a legislative mosaic as could possibly be conceived by man. The provisions complained of here, which appear to contain, as far as we have been able to determine, no traps for the unwary, present the following pattern.

The Social Security Act provides, inter alia, for public assistance to the aged, Title I, 42 U.S.C. § 301 et seq., to families with dependent children, Title IV, 42 U.S.C. § 601 et seq., to the blind, Title X, 42 U.S.C. § 1201 et seq., and to the permanently and totally disabled, Title XIV, 42 U.S.C. § 1351 et seq. Funds provided in accordance with the Social Security Act are not distributed directly to individuals eligible for assistance; instead, as part of what has been called a "scheme of cooperative federalism," King v. Smith, 392 U.S. 309, 316, 88 S. Ct. 2128, 20 L.Ed.2d 1118 (1968), federal funds are made available on a matching-fund basis, for administration by the states. No state is required to participate in any program offered under the Social Security Act, but those states that wish to receive federal financial aid for local public assistance must submit to the Secretary of HEW, and have approved by him, a state plan for such assistance. Each plan, to obtain approval, must comply with certain provisions of the Social Security Act and with rules and regulations issued by HEW. Thus, subject to certain limited exceptions, a state plan will not be approved unless it provides "for the establishment or designation of a single state agency with authority to administer or supervise the administration of the plan." 45 C.F.R. § 205.100(a)(1). The plan must be in effect "on a statewide basis in accordance with equitable standards for assistance and administration that are mandatory throughout the State." 45 C.F.R. § 205.130(a). State funds must be used for both assistance and administration and on no account may State participation total less than 40% of the non-federal share of the total expenditure, 45 C.F.R. 205.130(a)(1), (c). There is no requirement that local governments contribute to the cost of a state's welfare expenditure, but "if there is local financial participation there must be a method of apportioning State and Federal funds among the political subdivisions of the State on an equalization or other basis that will assure that lack of funds from local sources does not result in lowering the amount, duration, scope, or quality of care and services or level of administration under the plan in any part of the State." 45 C.F.R. § 205.130(c)(2).

States submitting an approved plan to the Secretary of HEW may choose between two reimbursement formulae. The first of these, see 42 U.S.C. §§ 303, 603, 1203, 1353, 1383, is based upon a sliding percentage calculation of certain fixed dollar allotments for each of the four public assistance programs covered by the Social Security Act. The second, the "Medicaid" formula, see 42 U.S.C. § 1318, takes into account not fixed but actual payments made by a state for public assistance and is based upon a sliding percentage scale, with a minimum reimbursement level to the states of 50%. The Medicaid formula contains a factor based upon the ratio of the square of the state's per capita income to the square of the per capita income of the nation as a whole. Under this formula relatively "poorer" states are reimbursed at a higher percentage than relatively "richer" states. New York State, whose plan was approved by the secretary of HEW, opted for the Medicaid formula under which the federal

473 F.2d 927
government reimburses New York for 50% of its total welfare costs.2

New York State's approved plan divides the state into geographic social services districts. New York City is one such social service district, see Social Services Law, McKinney's Consol.Laws, c. 55, § 61(1), and is consequently "responsible for the assistance and care of any person who resides or is found in its territory and who is in need of public assistance and care which he is unable to provide for himself." Social Services Law § 62(1). The state plan sets standards for eligibility, payments schedules and the conditions of administration, and requires each local social service district to finance its own public assistance needs,3 subject to the following reimbursement provision in New York Social Services Law, § 153:

Reimbursement and advances by the state.
1. . . . .
There shall be paid to each such public welfare district, city or town
a. the amount of federal funds, if any, properly received or to be received on account of such expenditures;
b. . . . .
c. fifty percentum of the amount expended for public assistance and care for local charges, after first deducting therefrom any federal funds properly received or to be received on account thereof.

The net effect of the combined federal-state programs is that payments for assistance in federally-aided categories are provided as follows:

 Federal revenue: 50%
                 State revenue: 25%
                 Local revenue: 25%
                

Appellants challenge this financing formula on a number of constitutional grounds and we turn now to a discussion of that challenge.

II.

The five-count complaint filed below presents claims in behalf of both governmental and individual plaintiffs, against both federal and state defendants. We consider, first, all plaintiffs' claims against the federal defendants, then we shall discuss the governmental plaintiffs' claims against the state defendants, and, finally, we shall concern ourselves with the individual plaintiffs' claims against the state defendants.

We are told that the constitutional evil that inheres in the Social Security Act is that it "mandates" State and, under New York's approved plan, local governments to share in the fiscal responsibility for public assistance, a problem which, the appellants emphasize, is now strictly "national" in dimension. It is argued, accordingly, that since it is Congress alone that has the power to provide for the general welfare under the Constitution, see Article 1, Section 8, a requirement that local governmental units bear the cost of providing for the general welfare, thereby depriving the States and their political subdivisions of

473 F.2d 928
funds necessary to defray the cost of purely local concerns — such as police and educational services, functions reserved to the states by the Tenth Amendment — is unconstitutional

We are fully aware that metropolitan communities, faced with rising...

To continue reading

Request your trial
79 practice notes
  • Robinson v. Cahill
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court (New Jersey)
    • 3 d2 Abril d2 1973
    ...made under a formula based upon per capita income of the States rather than the number of persons in need. City of New York v. Richardson, 473 F.2d 923 (2 Cir. 1973). Those propositions were rejected but that litigation suggests the distance the judiciary would travel if it found the Consti......
  • Doe v. Norton, Civ. No. 15579
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 2nd Circuit. United States District Court (Connecticut)
    • 5 d3 Setembro d3 1973
    ...re-examined, particularly in this circuit, for symptoms of what Chief Judge Kaufman described in City of New York v. Richardson, 473 F.2d 923, 931 (2d Cir.), cert. denied sub nom. Lavine v. Lindsay, 412 U.S. 950, 93 S.Ct. 3012, 37 L.Ed.2d 1002 (1973), as the giving way of the two-tiered equ......
  • Water Works & Sewer Bd. v. U.S. Dept. of Army, No. CV 95-PT-2956-S.
    • United States
    • U.S. District Court — Northern District of Alabama
    • 22 d3 Outubro d3 1997
    ...234[] (1929); Risty v. Chicago, R.I. & P.R.R., 270 U.S. 378, 390, 46 S.Ct. 236, 241, 70 L.Ed. 641 (1926); City of New York v. Richardson, 473 F.2d 923, 929 (2nd Cir.1973) cert. denied sub nom. Lavine v. Lindsay, 412 U.S. 950, 93 S.Ct. 3012, 37 L.Ed.2d 1002 (1973). Thus, in Trenton v. New Je......
  • Henderson v. Fort Worth Independent School Dist., No. 75--2361
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (5th Circuit)
    • 22 d4 Janeiro d4 1976
    ...L.Ed.2d 583 (plurality opinion); Aguayo v. Richardson, 2 Cir. 1973, 473 F.2d 1090, 1108--10; City of New York v. Richardson, 2 Cir. 1973, 473 F.2d 923, 930--31; but compare Village of Belle Terre v. Borass, 1974, 416 U.S. 1, 94 S.Ct. 1536, 39 L.Ed.2d 797. We are of the view that the distric......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
79 cases
  • Robinson v. Cahill
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court (New Jersey)
    • 3 d2 Abril d2 1973
    ...made under a formula based upon per capita income of the States rather than the number of persons in need. City of New York v. Richardson, 473 F.2d 923 (2 Cir. 1973). Those propositions were rejected but that litigation suggests the distance the judiciary would travel if it found the Consti......
  • Doe v. Norton, Civ. No. 15579
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 2nd Circuit. United States District Court (Connecticut)
    • 5 d3 Setembro d3 1973
    ...re-examined, particularly in this circuit, for symptoms of what Chief Judge Kaufman described in City of New York v. Richardson, 473 F.2d 923, 931 (2d Cir.), cert. denied sub nom. Lavine v. Lindsay, 412 U.S. 950, 93 S.Ct. 3012, 37 L.Ed.2d 1002 (1973), as the giving way of the two-tiered equ......
  • Water Works & Sewer Bd. v. U.S. Dept. of Army, No. CV 95-PT-2956-S.
    • United States
    • U.S. District Court — Northern District of Alabama
    • 22 d3 Outubro d3 1997
    ...234[] (1929); Risty v. Chicago, R.I. & P.R.R., 270 U.S. 378, 390, 46 S.Ct. 236, 241, 70 L.Ed. 641 (1926); City of New York v. Richardson, 473 F.2d 923, 929 (2nd Cir.1973) cert. denied sub nom. Lavine v. Lindsay, 412 U.S. 950, 93 S.Ct. 3012, 37 L.Ed.2d 1002 (1973). Thus, in Trenton v. New Je......
  • Henderson v. Fort Worth Independent School Dist., No. 75--2361
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (5th Circuit)
    • 22 d4 Janeiro d4 1976
    ...L.Ed.2d 583 (plurality opinion); Aguayo v. Richardson, 2 Cir. 1973, 473 F.2d 1090, 1108--10; City of New York v. Richardson, 2 Cir. 1973, 473 F.2d 923, 930--31; but compare Village of Belle Terre v. Borass, 1974, 416 U.S. 1, 94 S.Ct. 1536, 39 L.Ed.2d 797. We are of the view that the distric......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT