Case: Dougall v. Sugarman

1:71-cv-00992 | U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York

Filed Date: March 5, 1971

Closed Date: 1973

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

In 1971, four permanent resident aliens who had been fired from their New York State civil service jobs because they were not U.S. citizens filed suit in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, challenging Section 53 of the New York Civil Service Law. Section 53 provided that only U.S. citizens could hold competitive class state civil service positions. Plaintiffs alleged that Section 53 violated the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, the Supremacy Cla…

In 1971, four permanent resident aliens who had been fired from their New York State civil service jobs because they were not U.S. citizens filed suit in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, challenging Section 53 of the New York Civil Service Law. Section 53 provided that only U.S. citizens could hold competitive class state civil service positions. Plaintiffs alleged that Section 53 violated the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, the Supremacy Clause, and their right to interstate travel. Plaintiffs sought declaratory and injunctive relief, class certification and submission of the case to a three-judge court to determine the constitutionality of the Section 53.

The District Court (Judge Tenney) denied Defendants' motion to dismiss the case and recommended that a three judge court be convened. Dougall v. Sugarman, 330 F.Supp. 265 (S.D.N.Y. 1971). Chief Circuit Judge Henry J. Friendly of the Second Circuit Court of Appeals agreed and ordered that Plaintiffs' motions for declaratory judgment, injunctive relief and class certification be submitted to a three-judge court for consideration.

The three-judge court (Circuit Judge Joseph Edward Lumbard and District Judges Edward Cochrane McLean and Charles Henry Tenney) certified the case as a class action, with the class defined as "all permanent resident aliens residing in New York State who, but for the enforcement of Section 53, would otherwise be eligible to compete for employment in the competitive class of Civil Service." The three-judge court also granted declaratory and permanent injunctive relief, finding that Section 53 violated the Equal Protection Clause and the Supremacy Clause. Dougall v. Sugarman, 339 F.Supp. 906 (S.D.N.Y. 1971). Defendants appealed and the U.S. Supreme Court noted probable jurisdiction. Sugarman v. Dougall, 407 U.S. 908 (1972).

The Supreme Court (Justice Harry Blackmun) affirmed the ruling of the three-judge court, holding that Section 53's blanket ban on the employment of aliens in civil service positions had little or no relation to any legitimate state interest and therefore violated the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. Sugarman v. Dougall, 413 U.S. 634 (1973). See also Sugarman v. Dougall, 413 U.S. 634 (1973) (J. Rehnquist Dissenting).

As there is no PACER docket available, we do not know whether there was any subsequent case activity in the District Court following the Supreme Court opinion.

Summary Authors

Stephen Imm (8/29/2007)

People


Judge(s)

Blackmun, Harry Andrew (District of Columbia)

Lumbard, Joseph Edward (New York)

McLean, Edward Cochrane (New York)

Rehnquist, William Hubbs (District of Columbia)

Tenney, Charles Henry (New York)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Broiles, David (Texas)

Evens, Lester (New York)

Gora, Joel M. (New York)

Hirshowitz, Samuel A. (New York)

Lewittes, Joel (New York)

Judge(s)

Blackmun, Harry Andrew (District of Columbia)

Lumbard, Joseph Edward (New York)

McLean, Edward Cochrane (New York)

Rehnquist, William Hubbs (District of Columbia)

Tenney, Charles Henry (New York)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Broiles, David (Texas)

Evens, Lester (New York)

Gora, Joel M. (New York)

Hirshowitz, Samuel A. (New York)

Lewittes, Joel (New York)

Stark, Jeffrey G (New York)

Wulf, Melvin L. (New York)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Gordon, Judith A. (New York)

Lefkowitz, Louis J. (New York)

Rankin, J. Lee (New York)

Tiernan, George R (Connecticut)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

Opinion

330 F.Supp. 265

May 24, 1971 Order/Opinion

Opinion

339 F.Supp. 906

Nov. 9, 1971 Order/Opinion

Opinion

Sugarman v. Dougall

Supreme Court of the United States

407 U.S. 908

May 12, 1972 Order/Opinion

Appellant Brief

Sugarman v. Dougall

New York state supreme court

1972 WL 135794

Aug. 4, 1972 Pleading / Motion / Brief

Appellee's Brief

Sugarman v. Dougall

Supreme Court of the United States

Sept. 16, 1972 Pleading / Motion / Brief

Opinion

Sugarman v. Dougall

Supreme Court of the United States

413 U.S. 634, 93 S.Ct. 2861

June 25, 1973 Order/Opinion

Resources

Title Description External URL

The Oyez Project, Sugarman v. Dougall, 413 U.S. 634 (1973).

Oyez Project

Information about the Supreme Court litigation in this case, including the written opinion and an audio recording of the oral argument. June 25, 1973 http://www.oyez.org/cases/1970-1979/1972/1972_71_1222/

Docket

Last updated May 12, 2022, 8 p.m.

Docket sheet not available via the Clearinghouse.

State / Territory: New York

Case Type(s):

Immigration and/or the Border

Key Dates

Filing Date: March 5, 1971

Closing Date: 1973

Case Ongoing: No

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

All permanent resident aliens residing in New York State who, but for the enforcement of Section 53, would otherwise be eligible to compete for employment in the competitive class of Civil Service.

Plaintiff Type(s):

Private Plaintiff

Public Interest Lawyer: Unknown

Filed Pro Se: Unknown

Class Action Sought: Yes

Class Action Outcome: Granted

Defendants

Adminstrator of New York City Human Resources Administration (New York), City

New York City Civil Service Commission (New York), City

Case Details

Causes of Action:

42 U.S.C. § 1983

Constitutional Clause(s):

Equal Protection

Availably Documents:

Injunctive (or Injunctive-like) Relief

Any published opinion

U.S. Supreme Court merits opinion

Outcome

Prevailing Party: Plaintiff

Nature of Relief:

Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement

Source of Relief:

Litigation

Order Duration: 1971 - None

Issues

Immigration/Border:

Constitutional rights

Employment