Memorial Hospital v. Maricopa County

PETITIONER:Memorial Hospital
RESPONDENT:Maricopa County
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

Facts of the case


Media for Memorial Hospital v. Maricopa County

Audio Transcription for Oral Argument – November 06, 1973 in 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.

Thurgood Marshall:

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.