Thus Rodriguez held, and the Court now reaffirms, that “a State need not justify by compelling necessity every variation in the manner in which education is provided to its population. Several formulations might explain our treatment of certain classifications as “suspect. The classification at issue deprives a group of children of the opportunity for education afforded all other children simply because they have been assigned a legal status due to a violation of law by their parents. Drawing upon this power, upon its plenary authority with respect to foreign relations and international commerce, and upon the inherent power of a sovereign to close its borders, Congress has developed a complex scheme governing admission to our Nation and status within our borders. He further noted that it was “impossible to construe the words ‘subject to the jurisdiction thereof,’ in the opening sentence [of the Fourteenth Amendment], as less comprehensive than the words ‘within its jurisdiction,’ in the concluding sentence of the same section; or to hold that persons ‘within the jurisdiction’ of one of the States of the Union are not ‘subject to the jurisdiction of the United States.

Plyler v Doe also states that schools may not require children to prove, by document or green card, their legal citizenship but just that they live within the attendance zone of the school district. While appeal of the District Court’s decision was pending, the Court of Appeals rendered its decision in No. The original policy stated that the school district could withhold funds for educating children who were not legally documented within the United States. In addition, education provides the basic tools by which individuals might lead economically productive lives to the benefit of us all. If the State is to deny a discrete group of innocent children the free public education that it offers to other children residing within its borders, that denial must be justified by a showing that it furthers some substantial state interest.

I continue to believe that an individual’s interest in education is fundamental, and olyler this view is amply supported “by the unique status accorded public education by our society, and by the close relationship between education and some of our most basic constitutional values. A class action challenged the constitutionality of Texas Education Code Section I fully agree that it would be folly — and wrong — to tolerate creation of a segment of society made up of illiterate persons, many having a limited or no command of our language.


See De Canas v. Indeed, even children of illegal alien parents born in the United States can be said to be “penalized” when their parents are deported.

It is required in the performance of our most basic public responsibilities, even service in the armed forces. I agree with the Court that their children should not be left on the streets uneducated. In December,the court conducted an extensive hearing on plaintiffs’ motion for permanent injunctive relief.

The Equal Protection Clause was intended as a restriction on state legislative action inconsistent with elemental constitutional premises. But we have also recognized the fundamentality of participation in state “elections on an equal basis with other citizens in the jurisdiction,” Dunn v.

plyler v doe essay

But that is not the issue; the fact that there are sound policy arguments against the Texas Legislature’s choice does not render that choice an unconstitutional one National Civics Standard The plaintiffs in the lawsuit argued that plyle law violated the Equal Protection Clause with regard to the children of undocumented aliens, and the lower courts g. Yet “the right to vote, per se, is not a constitutionally protected right,” id.

Seton Hall Law Review 35 4. In May,the Texas Legislature revised its education laws to withhold from local school districts any state funds for the education of children who were not “legally admitted” into the United States. This attitude is likely due to a combination of factors. The fact that the distinction is drawn in legislation affecting access to public education — as opposed to legislation allocating other important governmental benefits, such as public assistance, health care, or housing — cannot make a difference in the level of scrutiny applied.

Of course such fiscal concerns alone could not justify discrimination against a suspect class or an arbitrary and irrational denial of benefits to a particular group of persons.

History Lesson Plyler v. Doe: Can States Deny Public Benefits to Illegal Immigrants?

None of the named plaintiffs is under an order of deportation. Their “parents have the ability to conform their conduct to societal norms,” and presumably the ability to remove themselves from the State’s jurisdiction; but the children who are plaintiffs in these cases “can affect neither their parents’ conduct nor their own status. Doe2. Once it is conceded — as the Court does — that illegal aliens are not a suspect class, and that education is not a fundamental right, our inquiry should focus on and be limited to whether the legislative classification rssay issue bears a rational relationship to a legitimate state purpose.


This exacting standard of review has been reserved for instances in which a “fundamental” constitutional right plyldr a “suspect” classification is present.

Others have noted that strict scrutiny under the Equal Protection Clause is unnecessary when classifications infringing enumerated constitutional rights are involved, for.

Our conclusion that the illegal aliens who are plaintiffs in these cases may claim the benefit of the Fourteenth Amendment’s guarantee of equal protection only begins the inquiry. First, appellants appear to suggest that the State may seek to protect itself from an influx of illegal immigrants.

Plyler v Doe Essay Example for Free – Sample words

Whatever his status under the immigration laws, an alien is surely a “person” in any ordinary sense of that term. In addition, although the proposed DREAM Act, which would give legal status to unauthorized young adults who complete two years of college or military service, is stalled at the federal level, there is some traction evident in the comprehensive immigration reform debate about the fate of these students.

Justice Gray, writing for the Court in United States v. Yet we have held repeatedly that the importance of a governmental service does not elevate it to the status of a “fundamental right” for purposes of equal protection analysis.

Educating About Immigration

I Since the late 19th century, the United States has restricted immigration into this country. The Court of Appeals noted that De Canas v.

plyler v doe essay

While we strive to provide the most comprehensive notes for as many high school textbooks as possible, there are certainly going to be some that we miss. In addition to the pivotal role of education in sustaining our political and b heritage, denial of education to some isolated group of children poses an affront to one of the goals Page U.

plyler v doe essay

However, it is not the function of the Judiciary to provide “effective leadership” simply because the political branches of government fail to do so.