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Dandridge v. Williams

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Bloomberg Law

Citation. 22 Ill.398 U.S. 914, 90 S. Ct. 1684, 26 L. Ed. 2d 80 (1970)

Brief Fact Summary. Large families, in Maryland, challenge a federal aid program, which resulted in a disparity in aid between large families and small families.

Synopsis of Rule of Law. Disparities in welfare benefits offered to qualifying beneficiaries need only be supported by a rational basis.


Facts. The federal Aid to Families with Dependent Children program (AFDC) provided grants of a certain amount to children in the state of Maryland. The aid provided an upper limit of $250 per month that any family could receive. The AFDC was challenge by large families receiving the upper limit or maximum because they received less aid per child than smaller families. The families argued that the AFDC discriminated against them because of the size of their families and therefore, violated the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.

Issue. Whether a federal aid program is unconstitutional because it results in a disparity in aid between large and small families.

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