IN RE GRIFFITHS, 413 U. S. 717 (1973)

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U.S. Supreme Court

In re Griffiths, 413 U.S. 717 (1973)

In re Griffiths

No. 71-1336

Argued January 9, 1973

Decided June 25, 1973

413 U.S. 717


Appellant, a resident alien, was denied permission to take the Connecticut bar examination solely because of a citizenship requirement imposed by a state court rule, which the state courts upheld against applicant's constitutional challenge.

Held: Connecticut's exclusion of aliens from the practice of law violates the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. Classifications based on alienage, being inherently suspect, are subject to close judicial scrutiny, and here the State through appellee bar committee has not met its burden of showing the classification to have been necessary to vindicate the State's undoubted interest in maintaining high professional standards. Pp. 413 U. S. 722-729.

162 Conn. 249, 294 A.2d 281, reversed and remanded.

POWELL, J., delivered the opinion of the Court, in which DOUGLAS, BRENNAN, STEWART, WHITE, MARSHALL, and BLACKMUN, JJ., joined. BURGER, C.J.,filed a dissenting opinion, in which REHNQUIST, J., joined, post, p. 413 U. S. 730. REHNQUIST, J., filed a dissenting opinion, ante p. 413 U. S. 649.

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