Case: Foley v. Connelie

1:75-cv-04548 | U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York

Filed Date: Sept. 17, 1975

Closed Date: 1978

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

In 1975, an Irish alien and lawful permanent resident ("LPR") in the U.S. brought a class action lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York to challenge a New York state law, Section 215(3) of the Executive Law of the State of New York, that prohibited aliens from employment as New York state troopers. The statute provided: "No person shall be appointed to the New York state police force unless he shall be a citizen of the United States." Plaintiff alleged that …

In 1975, an Irish alien and lawful permanent resident ("LPR") in the U.S. brought a class action lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York to challenge a New York state law, Section 215(3) of the Executive Law of the State of New York, that prohibited aliens from employment as New York state troopers. The statute provided: "No person shall be appointed to the New York state police force unless he shall be a citizen of the United States." Plaintiff alleged that the law violated the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. He sought declaratory and injunctive relief, as well as class certification.

The parties stipulated that the case would proceed as a class action and that a three-judgment panel be convened to rule on the constitutional of the state law in question. They further agreed that the named plaintiff, Edmund Foley would be allowed to take the competitive police examination on September 20, 1975, with the stipulation that the results would not be used unless the court ordered it.

On July 8, 1976, the three-judge court (Judge Werker) upheld the state law as constitutional, finding that "the exclusion of noncitizens from service as state policemen is necessary to protect some substantial state interest." Foley v. Connelie, 419 F.Supp. 889, 899 (S.D.N.Y. 1976). Plaintiff appealed and the U.S. Supreme Court noted probably jurisdiction over the matter.

On March 22, 1978, the Supreme Court (Justice Burger) affirmed, holding that the challenged New York statute did not violate the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. Foley v. Connelie, 98 S.Ct. 1067 (1978).

Summary Authors

Erica Woodruff (8/8/2007)

People


Judge(s)

Blackmun, Harry Andrew (District of Columbia)

Brennan, William Joseph Jr. (District of Columbia)

Burger, Warren Earl (District of Columbia)

Mansfield, Walter Roe (New York)

Marshall, Thurgood (District of Columbia)

Powell, Lewis Franklin Jr. (District of Columbia)

Rehnquist, William Hubbs (District of Columbia)

Stevens, John Paul (District of Columbia)

Stewart, Potter (District of Columbia)

Werker, Henry Frederick (New York)

Judge(s)

Blackmun, Harry Andrew (District of Columbia)

Brennan, William Joseph Jr. (District of Columbia)

Burger, Warren Earl (District of Columbia)

Mansfield, Walter Roe (New York)

Marshall, Thurgood (District of Columbia)

Powell, Lewis Franklin Jr. (District of Columbia)

Rehnquist, William Hubbs (District of Columbia)

Stevens, John Paul (District of Columbia)

Stewart, Potter (District of Columbia)

Werker, Henry Frederick (New York)

White, Byron Raymond (District of Columbia)

Other Attorney(s)

Gordon, Judith A. (New York)

Weiss, Jonathan A. (New York)

Expert/Monitor/Master

Pollack, Gayle (New York)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

Opinion

419 F.Supp. 889

July 8, 1976 Order/Opinion

Order

Supreme Court of the United States

430 U.S. 944

March 28, 1977 Order/Opinion

Opinion

Supreme Court of the United States

435 U.S. 291, 98 S.Ct. 1067, 55 L.Ed.2d 287

March 22, 1978 Order/Opinion

Resources

Title Description External URL

The Oyez Project, Foley v. Connelie, 435 U.S. 291 (1978).

Oyez Project

Information about the Supreme Court litigation in this case, including audio recordings of the oral argument and opinion announcement, and the written opinion. March 22, 1978 http://www.oyez.org/cases/1970-1979/1977/1977_76_839/

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: Sept. 17, 1975

Closing Date: 1978

Case Ongoing: No

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

Irish citizen and Lawful Permanent Resident who, on behalf of others with similar status, challenged state law prohibiting noncitizens from being employed by the New York state police.

Plaintiff Type(s):

Private Plaintiff

Public Interest Lawyer: No

Filed Pro Se: No

Class Action Sought: Yes

Class Action Outcome: Granted

Defendants

Superintendent and Director of Personnel of the New York State Police (New York City), State

Case Details

Causes of Action:

42 U.S.C. § 1983

Constitutional Clause(s):

Equal Protection

Availably Documents:

Any published opinion

U.S. Supreme Court merits opinion

Outcome

Prevailing Party: Defendant

Nature of Relief:

None

Source of Relief:

None

Issues

General:

Public benefits (includes, e.g., in-state tuition, govt. jobs)

Immigration/Border:

Constitutional rights

Employment

Status/Classification