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Goldberg v. Kelly

The Principles Involved, What Happened, Procedural Due Process


John Kelly, et al.


Jack R. Goldberg, Commissioner of Social Services of the city of New York

Appellants' Claim

State and city welfare officials were terminating financial aid without prior notice and hearing, violating due process.

Chief Lawyer for Appellants

Lee A. Albert

Chief Lawyer for Appellee

John J. Loflin, Jr.

Justices for the Court

William J. Brennan, Jr. (writing for the Court), John Marshall Harlan II, William O. Douglas, Thurgood Marshall, Harry A. Blackmun, Byron R. White

Justices Dissenting

Hugo Lafayette Black, Warren E. Burger, Potter Stewart


Washington, D.C.

Date of Decision

23 March 1970


Since New York's public assistance termination procedure did not allow the payment recipients to be heard before the cancellation, it violated the procedural due process.


Goldberg v. Kelly changed the constitutional opinion regarding traditional distinction between rights and privileges in relation to the Fourteenth Amendment's Due Process Clause.

Related Cases

  • Goss v. Lopez, 419 U.S. 565 (1975).
  • Mathews v. Eldredge, 424 U.S. 319 (1976).
  • Lockett v. Ohio, 438 U.S. 586 (1978).
  • Honday v. Oberg, 114 S. Ct. 2331 (1994).

Further Readings

  • Seidman, Louis M., Gerald R. Stone, Cass R. Sunstein, and Mark V. Tushnet. Constitutional Law. Little, Brown and Company, 1986.

Additional topics

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