Quimbee logo
DMCA.com Protection Status
From our private database of 18,800+ case briefs...

Bernal v. Fainter

United States Supreme Court
467 U.S. 216 (1984)



Bernal (plaintiff) was a native of Mexico and a resident alien who had lived in the United States for 17 years. Bernal worked for a legal-aid organization and applied to the Texas Secretary of State (defendant) to become a notary public. Bernal’s application was denied pursuant to a Texas statute that required a notary public to be a United States citizen. Bernal appealed the decision through an administrative appeal process. After his administrative appeal was denied, Bernal filed an action in federal district court to challenge the constitutionality of the statutory citizenship requirement. The district court analyzed the statute under the strict-scrutiny standard and found that the citizenship requirement violated the Equal Protection Clause. The court of appeals reversed, holding that the appropriate standard of review was the rational-relationship test and finding that the statute bore a rational relationship to the state's interest in the orderly handling of legal documents that were important to the state. The United States Supreme Court granted certiorari.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Marshall, J.)

Dissent (Rehnquist, J.)

What to do next…

  1. Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.

    You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 499,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Vanderbilt, Berkeley, and the University of Illinois—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students. Read our student testimonials.

  2. Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.

    Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students. Read more about Quimbee.

Here's why 499,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:

  • Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 18,800 briefs, keyed to 985 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
  • The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
  • Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
  • Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.

Questions & Answers

Have a question about this case?

Sign up for a free 7-day trial and ask it

Sign up for a FREE 7-day trial