Toll v. Moreno

LOCATION: Residence of Fitzgerald

DOCKET NO.: 80-2178
DECIDED BY: Burger Court (1981-1986)
LOWER COURT: United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit

CITATION: 458 US 1 (1982)
ARGUED: Mar 02, 1982
DECIDED: Jun 28, 1982

James R. Bieke - on behalf of the Respondents
Robert A. Zarnoch - on behalf of the Petitioners

Facts of the case


Media for Toll v. Moreno

Audio Transcription for Oral Argument - March 02, 1982 in Toll v. Moreno

Warren E. Burger:

We will hear arguments next in Toll against Moreno.

Mr. Zarnoch, I think you may proceed when you are ready.

Robert A. Zarnoch:

Mr. Chief Justice, and may it please the Court, this is the second time this case has been here, the second time this Court has been called upon to examine the constitutionality of the University of Maryland's policy of denying in-state benefits to non-immigrant aliens.

The last time this case was here, it was complicated by an unresolved issue of state law and of concerns over the University's basis for treating non-immigrant aliens differently, issues that have caused this case to be certified, the question to be certified to the court of appeals of Maryland, and ultimately the case to be remanded back down to the district court.

These questions are now behind us.

This time around, however, the case raises additional and perhaps more significant constitutional questions evidenced, I think, by the fact that for the first time in this Court's history, all 50 states are participating here as amici and unified behind a single position, namely, urging the reversal of the Fourth Circuit's decision and overruling of Vlandis versus Kline.

Of the four constitutional questions raised in this case, the foremost issue, we think, is the question of whether the University's policy denies equal protection to non-immigrant aliens.

We think that if we prevail on this ground, many of the other issues in the case could quickly fall by the wayside.

Now, the equal protection issue here, we think, calls into play the very rationale for labeling certain alien classifications suspect and for according them strict scrutiny, a rationale we say that focuses in on the burdens permanent resident aliens share with citizens, and which non-immigrant aliens as a class conspicuously lack.

Although resident aliens may be saddled with disabilities, we suggest that non-immigrant aliens, on the other hand, are blessed with privilege.

At the outset, it is important to understand what is at stake here, how many persons are affected by the University's policy, and the nature of the disadvantaged class.

First, all we are talking about here is the tuition differential.

At one time, the University did have a disparate charge with respect to certain fees, for example, dorm fees.

That is no longer the policy of the University.

Only in tuition is there a difference with respect to in-state and out-of-state students.

Secondly, we are not talking about scholarships, state scholarships, that is.

The state of Maryland does not deny state scholarships to non-immigrant aliens as a class, assuming they can show financial need.

It is also important to note how many people are affected by the University's policy.

According to the record in this case, during the years 1978 and 1979, there were anywhere from 1,000 to 1,200 permanent resident aliens attending the University of Maryland.


Robert A. Zarnoch:


And during that period, approximately 95 percent of those permanent resident aliens qualified for the in-state... were classified in-state and received the benefit.

On the other hand, there are half as many non-immigrant aliens, as few as 497, I believe, in 1978.

In what category?

Robert A. Zarnoch:

These are non-immigrant aliens who are classified as out-of-state.

In terms of potential student population, the figures... the ratio is even greater.

There are seven times as many permanent resident aliens in Maryland as there are non-immigrants.

Well, the 497 non-resident aliens, fill that in a little bit.

Who are the--

Robert A. Zarnoch: