The Rules of the Supreme Court of New Hampshire (defendant) limit bar admission to state residents. Kathryn Piper (plaintiff) took and passed the February 1980 New Hampshire bar exam. She passed all requirements to be admitted to the New Hampshire bar and filed an application for admission along with a form illustrating her intent to become a New Hampshire resident. She was denied admission to the bar on the grounds that she would have to establish a home address in New Hampshire prior to being sworn in. Piper filed suit in federal district court seeking to enjoin enforcement of the restrictions on her bar admission, and the district court agreed and granted the injunction. The court of appeals affirmed. The Supreme Court of New Hampshire appealed to the United States Supreme Court.