Tuesday, January 25, 2022

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Article Index

Cases (Federal/State)

Alexander v. Sandoval, 121 S. Ct. 1511 (2001). Total pages read: 3 (entire case)

This case presents the question of whether private individuals may sue to enforce the disparate-impact regulations outlined under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. A violation of section 601 under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act is the basis for this suit. The respondent, Sandoval, brought a class action to enjoin the Department’s decision to administer state driver’s license examination only in English, arguing that it violated the DOJ regulation because it had the effect of subjecting non-English speakers to discrimination on the basis of their national origin. The United States Supreme dismissed the class action and held that there is no private right of action to enforce disparate-treatment regulations promulgated under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.  The Supreme Court opinion in this case demonstrates how welfare recipients are subject to an inferior status and as a result they do not receive adequate constitutional protections. The Courts not only use status as a means of discrimination but also the protective grounds. The flexibility the government has with welfare reform policies allow for more error for discrimination against certain minority groups.

Daugherty v. Wallace, 87 Ohio App.3d 228 ( 1993). Total pages read: 15

            In this case, recipients of general assistance (GA) benefits challenged a statute that placed time limits on the receipt of benefits was unconstitutional and sought a preliminary injunction to prevent the enforcement of the statute. The Ohio Legislature revised the current GA program in which the state provides destitute people monthly cash assistance of $100 and medical coverage for no more than six months. At the end of the six-month period, GA Cash assistance and medical coverage stopped regardless of the person’s need, status or ability to find employment. Even if a person could demonstrate both total destitution and a good faith effort to find a job, he or she would not be entitled to more than six months’ general assistance per year.  Even though the court recognized that many of the recipients will be destined to a life of homelessness, lose health benefits, and other resources once they were cut off from general assistance benefits, the Court of Appeals ruled that the statute was constitutional. The Court of Appeals reasoned that the State Constitution created no affirmative duty for the state to provide assistance and the time limit did not violate the welfare recipient’s equal protection rights.  This case is relevant to the topic at hand because it illustrates how welfare reform policies create a culture of poverty by limiting the amount of resources available to welfare recipients. Furthermore, this case demonstrates how time restraints on the receipt of welfare benefits forces people into substandard living conditions regardless of whether they are self-sufficient.   By limiting the welfare benefits, implementing stricter eligibility requirements, the state legislature, knowingly create a population that would be permanently dependent on the government for every means of survival.

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