Thus a formula for dispensing aid to dependent chil

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Thus, a formula for dispensing aid to dependent chil- dren that imposed an upper limit on the amount one family could receive, regardless of the number of children in the family, so that the more children in a family the less money per child was re- ceived, was found to be rationally related to the legitimate state interest in encouraging employment and in maintaining an equi- table balance between welfare families and the families of the work- ing poor. 1641 Similarly, a state welfare assistance formula that, af- ter calculation of individual need, provided less of the determined amount to families with dependent children than to those persons in the aged and infirm categories did not violate equal protection because a state could reasonably believe that the aged and infirm are the least able to bear the hardships of an inadequate standard of living, and that the apportionment of limited funds was there- fore rational. 1642 Although reiterating that this standard of review is “not a toothless one,” the Court has nonetheless sustained a va- riety of distinctions on the basis that Congress could rationally have believed them justified, 1643 acting to invalidate a provision only once, 1640 Dandridge v. Williams, 397 U.S. 471, 485 (1970). Decisions respecting the rights of the indigent in the criminal process and dicta in Shapiro v. Thompson, 394 U.S. 618, 627 (1969), had raised the prospect that because of the importance of “food, shelter, and other necessities of life,” classifications with an adverse or perhaps se- vere impact on the poor and needy would be subjected to a higher scrutiny. Dandridge was a rejection of this approach, which was more fully elaborated in another con- text in San Antonio School Dist. v. Rodriguez, 411 U.S. 1, 18–29 (1973). 1641 Dandridge v. Williams, 397 U.S. 471, 483–87 (1970). 1642 Jefferson v. Hackney, 406 U.S. 535 (1972). See also Richardson v. Belcher, 404 U.S. 78 (1971) (sustaining Social Security provision reducing disability benefits by amount received from worker’s compensation but not that received from private insurance). 1643 E.g. , Mathews v. De Castro, 429 U.S. 181 (1976) (provision giving benefits to married woman under 62 with dependent children in her care whose husband retires or becomes disabled but denying benefits to divorced woman under 62 with dependents represents rational judgment with respect to likely dependency of mar- ried but not divorced women); Califano v. Boles, 443 U.S. 282 (1979) (limitation of benefits to widows and divorced wives of wage earners does not deny equal protec- tion to mother of illegitimate child of wage earner who was never married to wage earner). 2131 AMENDMENT 14—RIGHTS GUARANTEED
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and then on the premise that Congress was actuated by an im- proper purpose. 1644 Similarly, the Court has rejected the contention that access to housing, despite its great importance, is of any fundamental inter- est that would place a bar upon the legislature’s giving landlords a much more favorable and summary process of judicially controlled eviction actions than was available in other kinds of litigation.
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