zens and aliens generally, but it did not declare the doctrine invalid. Id. at 643– 45. The ‘‘political function’’ exception is inapplicable to notaries public, who do not perform functions going to the heart of representative government. Bernal v. Faint- er, 467 U.S. 216 (1984). 13 In re Griffiths, 413 U.S. 717 (1973). Chief Justice Burger and Justice Rehnquist dissented. Id. at 730, and 649 ( Sugarman dissent also applicable to Grif- fiths ). 14 Examining Board v. Flores de Otero, 426 U.S. 572 (1976). Since the jurisdic- tion was Puerto Rico, the Court was not sure whether the requirement should be governed by the Fifth or Fourteenth Amendment but deemed the question immate- rial since the same result would be achieved. The quoted expression is from Truax v. Raich, 239 U.S. 33, 41 (1915). 15 432 U.S. 1 (1977). 16 Id. at 9. Chief Justice Burger and Justices Powell, Rehnquist, and Stewart dissented. Id. at 12, 15, 17. Justice Rehnquist’s dissent argued that the nature of the disqualification precluded it from being considered suspect. tion the State must employ means that are precisely drawn in light of the valid purpose. 12 State bars against the admission of aliens to the practice of law were also struck down, the Court holding that the State had not met the ‘‘heavy burden’’ of showing that its denial of admission to aliens was necessary to accomplish a constitutionally permissible and substantial interest. The State’s admitted interest in assuring the requisite qualifications of persons licensed to practice law could be adequately served by judging applicants on a case-by-case basis and in no sense could the fact that a lawyer is considered to be an officer of the court serve as a valid justification for a flat prohibi- tion. 13 Nor could Puerto Rico offer a justification for excluding aliens from one of the ‘‘common occupations of the community,’’ hence its bar on licensing aliens as civil engineers was voided. 14 In Nyquist v. Mauclet , 15 the Court seemed to expand the doc- trine. Challenged was a statute that restricted the receipt of schol- arships and similar financial support to citizens or to aliens who were applying for citizenship or who filed a statement affirming their intent to apply as soon as they became eligible. Therefore, since any alien could escape the limitation by a voluntary act, the disqualification was not aimed at aliens as a class, nor was it based on an immutable characteristic possessed by a ‘‘discrete and insu- lar minority’’—the classification that had been the basis for declar- ing alienage a suspect category in the first place. But the Court voided the statute. ‘‘The important points are that § 661(3) is di- rected at aliens and that only aliens are harmed by it. The fact that the statute is not an absolute bar does not mean that it does not discriminate against the class.’’ 16 Two proffered justifications
1872 AMENDMENT 14—RIGHTS GUARANTEED 17 Foley v. Connelie, 435 U.S. 291, 295 (1978). The opinion was by Chief Justice Burger and the quoted phrase was from his dissent in Nyquist v. Mauclet, 432 U.S.
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- Summer '17
- timothy carlin
- Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution