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Shapiro v. Thompson

Significance, The Right To Interstate Travel, Legitimate Government Objectives?, Impact, Temporary Assistance For Needy Families


Vivian Marie Thompson


Shapiro, Commissioner of Welfare of Connecticut

Appellant's Claim

That the denial of state and the District of Columbia welfare benefits to residents of less than one year is discriminatory and violates the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.

Chief Lawyer for Appellee

Archibald Cox

Chief Lawyer for Appellant

Francis J. MacGregor

Justices for the Court

William J. Brennan, Jr. (writing for the Court), William O. Douglas, Abe Fortas, Thurgood Marshall, Potter Stewart, Byron R. White

Justices Dissenting

Hugo Lafayette Black, John Marshall Harlan II, Earl Warren


Washington, D.C.

Date of Decision

21 April 1969


Affirmed the decisions of three district courts which found various state and District of Columbia welfare residency requirements unconstitutional.

Related Cases

  • The Passenger Cases, 7 How. 283, 492 (1849).
  • Dunn v. Blumstein, 405 U.S. 330 (1972).
  • Memorial Hospital v. Maricopa County, 415 U.S. 250 (1974).
  • Sosna v. Iowa, 419 U.S. 393 (1975).
  • Zobel v. Williams, 457 U.S. 55 (1982).
  • Attorney General v. Soto-Lopez, 476 U.S. 898 (1986).


Grigsby III, J. Eugene. "Welfare Reform Means Business as Usual." Journal of the American Planning Association, winter 1998.

Additional topics

Law Library - American Law and Legal InformationNotable Trials and Court Cases - 1963 to 1972