The successes and failures of any rights movements can be defined by the victories and losses in the courtroom. The welfare rights movement had forward leaps and backward stumbles in its duration from 1960 to 1973 and Supreme Court cases to coincide. The movement's successes can be seen in King v. Smith, 392 U.S. 309 (1968), Goldberg v. Kelly, 397 U.S. 254 (1970), and Shapiro v. Thompson, 394 U.S. 618 (1969) and its failures in Dandridge v. Williams, 397 U.S. 471 (1970) and San Antonio Independent School District v. Rodriguez, 411 U.S. 1 (1973). These court cases influenced the strength and direction of the welfare rights movements and continue to have further implications for overall contemporary issues of inequality.
Perhaps the first pertinent victory occurred with King v. Smith. The appellee was a single mother of four who received no support from her children's biological father and therefore qualified to receive benefits from the Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC). However, the appellee had a boyfriend that came and stayed at her home a couple days of the week. When her caseworker found out that she had a boyfriend, her aid was taken away because of an Alabama substitute father regulation. 392 U.S., at 312. The court case was filed as a class action suit to counter the validity of the regulation.
[...] Shapiro was a great victory for the welfare rights movement because it served to establish welfare discrimination as an issue that is subject to the same strict scrutiny as race issues. With this case, the security that the Equal Protection Clause offers is extended beyond race into any fundamental right. Martha F. Davis, Brutal Need 80. By that logic, welfare was also identified as a fundamental right to be protected under the Equal Protection Clause. This opened up the door for citizens to begin defending their rights to welfare and to not be discriminated against because of it. [...]
[...] This Act was a positive move toward equality: minorities could move to wherever they want to. Developments like these have been the first step in striving for equality. Measures like affirmative action, once an exclusively white form of aid, have been influenced by welfare and civil rights movements to encompass all races and to attempt to eliminate discrimination. Despite the successes and failures of the welfare rights movement, economic inequality still resonates in today's world. Predatory lending and policy changes are undoing the protection that people of low economic status have. [...]
[...] The greater implication of this case is that children cannot be deprived of aid because of the actions of their parents, which is a great protection and leap forward for the welfare rights movement. Goldberg v. Kelly is also seen as a major success during the welfare rights movement. The case regards New York State terminating the welfare support that a New York City resident was getting without prior notice or a hearing. The recipient filed suit claiming that her rights to procedural due process had been violated because the termination of benefits occurred without any prior notice or pre-termination hearing U.S The district court ruled that a pre-termination hearing of some sorts is, in fact, necessary and upon appeal, the United States Supreme Court affirmed the ruling. [...]
[...] The overhaul in bankruptcy law will make it harder for people to get out of debt and easier for collectors to recover debt. While we have come a long way from the days of poverty lawyers trying to rehabilitate individuals, the fight for economic equality is still raging. The welfare that the government is doling out to people remains protected by law that was established during the welfare rights movement through cases like King, Shapiro and Goldberg. The good that has come out of the welfare rights has also influenced public policy in other arenas like [...]
[...] This was as detrimental to the welfare rights movement as Dandridge because the ruling allows for children to be deprived of a need based upon the economic status of their family. Dandridge and San Antonio, in the end, deprive children of sustenance and education based upon factors that are outside of their control. This is in direct opposition to the goal of welfare and the AFDC: to aid dependent children. The successes of the welfare rights movement are important to the mission of the civil rights movement to remove racial inequality in economics. [...]
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