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Sutich v. Callahan - Hearts Against Heads, The Impact Of Welfare Reform, The Results Of Counterproductive Laws, Impact

plaintiffs security resident income


Ivo Sutich, Saman Muy (by her guardian ad litem Eam Tak), Roshanak Partovi, Maria Klein, Wing Yim Chan, on behalf of themselves and all other persons similarly situated


John J. Callahan, Acting Commissioner of the Social Security Administration

Plaintiffs' Claim

That Section 402 of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996, which rendered legal resident aliens ineligible for Supplemental Security Income, violates the Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment to the Constitution.


Claudia Wilken


San Francisco, California

Date of Decision

13 January 1998


Due to congressional restoration of Supplemental Security Income benefits for legal resident aliens as part of the Balanced Budget Act, the plaintiffs' case was dismissed without prejudice.


At least peripherally, Sutich seems to countenance philosophical questions of compassion versus self-reliance, of the benevolent state versus the well-managed one. As the attorneys for the plaintiff made clear in their presentation of the case, the legislation challenged in Sutich did not merely fail to achieve any of its purported goals such as fostering self-reliance; it would have achieved very nearly the opposite result, and at a great human cost.

Related Cases

  • Abreu v. Callahan, No. 97 Civ. 2126 (S.D. N.Y. 1997).
  • Rodriguez v. United States of America, No. 97 Civ. 1182 (S.D. Fla. 1997).
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