LOCATION:Richmond Post Office
DOCKET NO.: 72-847
DECIDED BY: Burger Court (1972-1975)
LOWER COURT: Arizona Supreme Court
CITATION: 415 US 250 (1974)
ARGUED: Nov 06, 1973
DECIDED: Feb 26, 1974
Mary M. Schroeder – for appellants
William J. Carter, III – for appellees
Media for Memorial Hospital v. Maricopa County
Audio Transcription for Opinion Announcement – February 26, 1974 in Memorial Hospital v. Maricopa County
Warren E. Burger:
Mr. Justice Marshall will announce the disposition of 72-847, Memorial Hospital against Maricopa County.
This is an appeal from a judgment of the Arizona Supreme Court upholding the constitutionality of an Arizona statute which required a year’s residence in a county as a condition to an indigent is receiving nonemergency hospitalization or medical care at county expense.
In an opinion filed today, we reverse that judgment holding that the challenge durational residence requirement violates Equal Protection Clause.
The residence requirement creates an invidious classification and that penalizes the right of interstate migration, and denying medical care, a basic necessity of life to indigent newcomers.
A classification which does impinges on a constitutional protected interest can only be sustained on the showing of a compelling state interest, a burden here, the State has filed to meet.
Its asserted purpose of deterring the immigration of indigents is a constitutionally impermissible one.
The other purposes stated by the State for the residence requirement do not satisfy its having the burden of justification.
Accordingly, the judgment of the Arizona Supreme Court is reversed.
The Chief Justice and Mr. Justice Blackmun concur in the result Mr. Justice Douglas has filed a concurring opinion; Mr. Justice Rehnquist has filed a dissenting opinion.