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Ambach v. Norwick

Significance, Only Citizens Can Perform The Basic Tasks Of Government, They Want To Teach, But They Don't Want To Be Americans


Gordon M. Ambach, New York Commissioner of Education, and other state officials


Susan Norwick, Tarja Dachinger

Appellants' Claim

Norwick and Dachinger should not receive permanent certification as public school teachers because they are not citizens and do not wish to become citizens.

Chief Lawyer for Appellants

Judith A. Gordon, Assistant Attorney General of New York

Chief Lawyer for Appellees

Bruce Ennis, Jr.

Justices for the Court

Warren E. Burger, Lewis F. Powell, Jr. (writing for the Court), William H. Rehnquist, Potter Stewart, Byron R. White

Justices Dissenting

Harry A. Blackmun, William J. Brennan, Jr., Thurgood Marshall, John Paul Stevens


Washington, D.C.

Date of Decision

17 April 1979


New York may deny public school teaching positions to those aliens that refuse to apply for citizenship.

Related Cases

  • Yick Wo v. Hopkins, 118 U.S. 356 (1886).
  • Truax v. Raich, 239 U.S. 33 (1915).
  • Foley v. Connelie, 435 U.S. 291 (1978).

Further Readings

  • Ancheta, Angelo N. "Protecting Immigrants Against Discrimination." Trial, February 1996, p. 46.
  • Goldfarb, Carl E. "Allocating the Local Apportionment Pie: What Portion for Resident Aliens?" Yale Law Journal, April 1995, p. 1441.
  • The Rights of Aliens and Refugees: The Basic ACLU Guide to Alien and Refugee Rights, 2nd ed. Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press, 1990.

Additional topics

Law Library - American Law and Legal InformationNotable Trials and Court Cases - 1973 to 1980