Morris v. Weinberger

RESPONDENT: Weinberger
LOCATION: Location of car search

DOCKET NO.: 71-6698
DECIDED BY: Burger Court (1972-1975)
LOWER COURT: United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit

CITATION: 410 US 422 (1973)
ARGUED: Jan 17, 1973
DECIDED: Feb 22, 1973

E. R. McClelland - for petitioner
Walter H. Fleischer - for respondent

Facts of the case


Media for Morris v. Weinberger

Audio Transcription for Oral Argument - January 17, 1973 in Morris v. Weinberger

Warren E. Burger:

We will hear arguments next Number 71-6698 Morris against Weinberger.

Mr. McClelland you may proceed whenever you are ready.

E. R. McClelland:

Mr. Chief Justice and may it please the Court.

I am going to be remised if I did not first convey my appreciation to the great honorable clerk and his staff for their assistance to us in this matter, they are very nice.

The facts in this case as I understand are not in dispute by any of the parties here.

So I’ll be very brief and cite only those things that are considered pertinent to the case.

One that in the year 1957, Mr. Morris qualified for and started receiving social security benefits, but in the year 1965 Linda Gayle Kinder was born and a few months after that was sent to the home of the grandparents.

In this case Mr. Morris and resided with them continuously thereafter until the present time as a matter of fact.

That in October of 1966 Mr. Morris and his wife adopted Linda Gayle.

But in 1968 there was a reapplication for social security benefits by Mr. Morris on behalf of Linda Gayle which were -- and what is an issue here.

The pertinent parts of the Social Security Act that we talk about today, one has to do with Section 202 (d) (1) and (3).

These are the ones that setup eligibility for children.

The one here states that a child shall be entitled to benefits, if this child is living in the home of the petitioner and that he is contributing more than at least 51% of the support and so forth to the child.

Section 3 has to do with eligibility and again Linda Gayle is qualified under that Section.

All provisions in that Section starts out saying that “Shall be deemed to be dependent” this has to do with the Dependency Clause.

Another one in issue here is 202 (d) (8).

1960, when the Social Security Act was relative to dependency a lot and this was first passed.

Congress saw fit to give benefits to children born of qualified social security recipients.

Subsequent to that and shortly after they put in the section pertaining to adopted children, if the child lived in the home of the petitioner of the recipient at least one year prior to the time that he shall have reached his old age or, disability or what have you.

In 1967, subsequent to the date of the adoption of Linda Gayle, Congress amended this particular Section and put in this 202 (d) (8).

And they started talking about children adopted by an eligible beneficiary recipient.

And here the key one in which we are interested today upon which this Court accepted this case has to do with child placement.

Congress said that “If a child can on the adoption, at the adoption proceeding was supervised or was handled through a public or private child placement agency then this adopted child could qualify for benefits.”

I might also add here that on October the 30th of 1972, that Congress again amended this Section 202 (d) (8) and we’re now back to where we were in 1960 which means that unless a child shall have lived in the home of the petitioner for not less than one year prior to the time that he reaches eligibility for old age assistance or the date that he would become eligible for request for disability benefits that the child cannot qualify.

Potter Stewart:

Mr. McClelland as you know because of that 1972 Amendment it’s the government’s position in this case and that amendment incidentally came along after we granted certiorari in this case.

E. R. McClelland:

As a practice sir, I’m on --

Potter Stewart:

It’s the government’s position in this case that the writ should be dismissed, I trust you’ll address yourself to that argument.

E. R. McClelland:

-- excited sir.

Potter Stewart:

Right very good, in your own time I just --

E. R. McClelland:

Pertaining to this and the fact that that respondent has raised this issue of whether or not this writ was probably granted, I would like to say this that I’m happy that the question was raised because it does bring this -- at least I would hope that it would bring this new amendment before this Court for consideration today.