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Case Name Foley v. Connelie IM-NY-0016
Docket / Court No. 75-Civ. 4548 (MP) ( S.D.N.Y. )
State/Territory New York
Case Type(s) Immigration
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 ... read more >
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).

Erica Woodruff - 08/08/2007


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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
Employment
Status/Classification
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. ยง 1983
Defendant(s) Superintendent and Director of Personnel of the New York State Police
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.
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 not on record
Case Closing Year 1978
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, Foley v. Connelie, 435 U.S. 291 (1978).
www.oyez.org
Posted: Mar. 22, 1978
By: Oyez Project (IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

Docket(s)
No docket sheet currently in the collection
General Documents
Opinion 07/08/1976 (419 F.Supp. 889) (S.D.N.Y.)
IM-NY-0016-0001.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Order 03/28/1977 (430 U.S. 944)
IM-NY-0016-0003.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Westlaw
Opinion 03/22/1978 (435 U.S. 291)
IM-NY-0016-0002.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Westlaw
Judges Blackmun, Harry Andrew (Eighth Circuit, SCOTUS)
IM-NY-0016-0002
Brennan, William Joseph Jr. (SCOTUS)
IM-NY-0016-0002
Burger, Warren Earl (D.C. Circuit, SCOTUS)
IM-NY-0016-0002
Mansfield, Walter Roe (Second Circuit, S.D.N.Y.)
IM-NY-0016-0001
Marshall, Thurgood (Second Circuit, SCOTUS)
IM-NY-0016-0002
Pollack, Milton (S.D.N.Y.)
IM-NY-0016-0001
Powell, Lewis Franklin Jr. (SCOTUS)
IM-NY-0016-0002
Rehnquist, William Hubbs (SCOTUS)
IM-NY-0016-0002
Stevens, John Paul (Seventh Circuit, SCOTUS)
IM-NY-0016-0002
Stewart, Potter (Sixth Circuit, SCOTUS)
IM-NY-0016-0002
Werker, Henry Frederick (S.D.N.Y.)
IM-NY-0016-0001
White, Byron Raymond (SCOTUS)
IM-NY-0016-0002
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Weiss, Jonathan A. (New York)
IM-NY-0016-0001 | IM-NY-0016-0002
Defendant's Lawyers Gordon, Judith A. (New York)
IM-NY-0016-0001 | IM-NY-0016-0002
Other Lawyers None on record

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