Mathews v. Diaz

LOCATION:Republic of Cuba

DOCKET NO.: 73-1046
DECIDED BY: Burger Court (1975-1981)

CITATION: 426 US 67 (1976)
REARGUED: Jan 12, 1976
DECIDED: Jun 01, 1976
ARGUED: Jan 13, 1975

Alfred Feinberg
Bruce S. Rogow – for appellees
Harriet S. Shapiro – for appellant

Facts of the case


Media for Mathews v. Diaz

Audio Transcription for Oral Reargument – January 12, 1976 in Mathews v. Diaz
Audio Transcription for Oral Argument – January 13, 1975 in Mathews v. Diaz

Audio Transcription for Opinion Announcement – June 01, 1976 in Mathews v. Diaz

Warren E. Burger:

The judgments and opinions of the Court in two cases, 73-1046, Matthews against Diaz and 73-1596, Hampton against Mow Sun Wong will each be announced by Mr. Justice Stevens.

John Paul Stevens:

In 73-1046, the case involves a challenge to the constitutionality of a portion of the Social Security Act, which makes resident aliens who are over 65, ineligible for participation in a medical insurance program unless they have been admitted for permanent residence and also have resided in the United States for at least five years.

A Three-Judge District Court sitting in the Southern District of Florida, held the statue unconstitutional.

The case is here on direct appeal.

As we point out in an opinion filed with the clerk, Congress, which has broad power over immigration and naturalization, has no constitutional duty to provide all aliens with the welfare benefits provided to citizens.

The real question in this case is not whether discrimination between aliens and citizens is permissible, but whether the statutory discrimination within the class of aliens is permissible.

We hold that the statutory requirements chosen by Congress which render eligible those aliens who may reasonably be assumed to have a greater affinity to the United Sates than those who are ineligible, is constitutional.

Accordingly, we reverse the judgment of the District Court.