University of Michigan Law School
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Case Name Diaz v. Weinberger IM-FL-0005
Docket / Court Civ. No. 72-1312 ( S.D. Fla. )
State/Territory Florida
Case Type(s) Immigration
Case Summary
In 1972, a group of Cuban refugees filed a class action lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida, challenging the constitutionality of the eligibility requirement for aliens who wished to enroll in the Medicare Part B supplemental medical insurance program. The ... read more >
In 1972, a group of Cuban refugees filed a class action lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida, challenging the constitutionality of the eligibility requirement for aliens who wished to enroll in the Medicare Part B supplemental medical insurance program. The challenged provision, Section 1836(2)(A)(ii) of the Social Security Act of 1935, as amended, 42 U.S.C. § 1395o(2)(A)(ii) (1970), disqualified all aliens from Medicare Part B benefits except those who were lawfully admitted for permanent residence and who had lived in the U.S. continuously for five years prior to applying for benefits. Plaintiffs, who were all over the age of 65 but had lawfully lived in the U.S. for less than five years, alleged that the law violated the constitutional guarantees of equal protection and due process. They sought declaratory and injunctive relief.

As Plaintiffs challenged the constitutionality of a law, a Three-Judge District Court was convened to consider their claim pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §§ 2282, 2284 (1970). The parties filed cross-motions for summary judgment.

The Three-Judge District Court (Judge James Lawrence King) held that the five-year residence requirement violated the Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment and that the alien-eligibility provisions of 42 U.S.C.S. § 1395o(2)(B) were therefore entirely unenforceable. Diaz v. Weinberger, 361 F.Supp. 1 (S.D. Fla., 1973). The government appealed directly to the U.S. Supreme Court.

On appeal, the Supreme Court (Justice Stevens) reversed, finding that the five-year continuous residency requirement and the permanent residency requirement of the Medicare Part B program were constitutional. Mathews v. Diaz, 426 U.S. 67, 96 S.Ct. 1883 (1976).

Stephen Imm - 08/21/2007


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
General
Public benefits (includes, e.g., in-state tuition, govt. jobs)
Immigration
Constitutional rights
Refugees
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Causes of Action Bivens
Administrative Procedure Act, 5 U.S.C. §§ 551 et seq.
Defendant(s) Department of Health, Education and Welfare of the United States
Plaintiff Description All persons in the United States who have been or will be denied enrollment under the Medicare Program, 42 U.S.C. § 1395 et seq. because of their failure to meet the citizenship or residency requirements of 42 U.S.C. § 1395 o(2)(A)(i) and (ii).
Indexed Lawyer Organizations None on record
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted Yes
Prevailing Party Defendant
Public Int. Lawyer No
Nature of Relief None
Source of Relief None
Form of Settlement None on record
Order Duration 1976 - n/a
Case Closing Year 1976
Case Ongoing No
Additional Resources
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Case Studies Threats to the Future of the Immigration Class Action
Washington University Journal of Law and Policy
By: Jill E. Family (Widener University School of Law)
Citation: 27 Wash. U. J.L. & Pol'y 71 (2008)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

Links The Oyez Project, Mathews v. Diaz, 426 U.S. 67 (1976).
www.oyez.org
Posted: Jun. 01, 1976
By: Oyez Project (IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

Docket(s)
No docket sheet currently in the collection
General Documents
Opinion 06/11/1973 (361 F.Supp. 1) (S.D. Fla.)
IM-FL-0005-0006.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
[Probable Jurisdiction Noted] 05/13/1974 (416 U.S. 980)
IM-FL-0005-0007.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Westlaw
Appellate Brief (Amicus Curiae Association Immigration and Nationality Lawyers) 08/20/1974 (1974 WL 185970)
IM-FL-0005-0005.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Appellate Brief (Amicus Curiae Legal Services for the Elderly Poor) 10/03/1974 (1974 WL 185973)
IM-FL-0005-0004.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Appellate Brief (Amicus Curiae American Civil Liberties Union) 10/12/1974 (1974 WL 185971)
IM-FL-0005-0003.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Appellate Brief for Amici Curiae 11/06/1974 (1974 WL 185972)
IM-FL-0005-0002.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
[Restored to calendar for reargument] 03/03/1975 (420 U.S. 959)
IM-FL-0005-0009.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Westlaw
Opinion 06/01/1976 (426 U.S. 67)
IM-FL-0005-0008.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Westlaw
Judges Dyer, David William (Fifth Circuit, S.D. Fla., Eleventh Circuit)
IM-FL-0005-0006
Eaton, Joseph Oscar (S.D. Fla.)
IM-FL-0005-0006
King, James Lawrence (S.D. Fla.)
IM-FL-0005-0006
Stevens, John Paul (SCOTUS, Seventh Circuit)
IM-FL-0005-0008
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Feinberg, Alfred (Florida)
IM-FL-0005-0006
Shapiro, Harriet S. (District of Columbia)
IM-FL-0005-0008
Defendant's Lawyers Gaines, Randolph W. (Maryland)
IM-FL-0005-0006
Ray, Raymond B (Florida)
IM-FL-0005-0006
Rogow, Bruce S. (Florida)
IM-FL-0005-0008
Other Lawyers Kaufman, Esther (District of Columbia)
IM-FL-0005-0005
Sedler, Robert A. (Michigan)
IM-FL-0005-0003
Wasserman, Jack (District of Columbia)
IM-FL-0005-0005
Wulf, Melvin L. (New York)
IM-FL-0005-0003

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