Quimbee logo
DMCA.com Protection Status
From our private database of 18,400+ case briefs...

Graham v. Richardson

United States Supreme Court
403 U.S. 365 (1971)



Arizona participated in an assistance program funded in part by federal grants and administered by Arizona under federal guidelines. In addition to the federal requirements, Arizona required that program beneficiaries be United States citizens or have resided in the United States for at least fifteen years. Similarly, Pennsylvania funded its own welfare program, but only United States citizens were permitted to receive benefits. Carmen Richardson (plaintiff) was a lawfully admitted resident alien in Arizona who was denied program benefits solely because she did not meet Arizona’s residency requirement. Elsie Leger (plaintiff) was a lawfully admitted resident alien in Pennsylvania who was denied assistance due to her lack of citizenship. Richardson and Leger brought separate class action suits against Graham (defendant), the Commissioner of the Arizona Department of Public Welfare, the Executive Director of the Philadelphia County Board of Assistance, and the Secretary of the Commonwealth’s Department of Public Welfare (defendants), respectively. The plaintiffs argued that the residency and citizenship requirements violated the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. The Arizona district court granted Richardson summary judgment on equal protection grounds, and Graham appealed. Leger was granted a temporary restraining order and began receiving assistance, and the defendants appealed. The cases were consolidated before the United States Supreme Court.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Blackmun, 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 497,000 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 497,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:

  • Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 18,400 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