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Plyler v. Doe

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Bloomberg Law

Citation. 22 Ill. 458 U.S. 1131, 103 S. Ct. 14, 73 L. Ed. 2d 1401 (1982)

Brief Fact Summary. In 1975 the Texas legislature passed a law withholding funds for the education of children of illegal aliens. This law also authorized local school districts to deny entry in the public schools of the state to these children.

Synopsis of Rule of Law. In order for a state to constitutionally deny a discrete group of individuals the rights it offers to others, this denial must be justified by showing a legitimate state interest.


Facts. In May 1975, the Texas legislature revised its education laws to withhold from local school districts any state funds for the education of children who were not legally admitted into the United States. The 1975 revision also authorized local school districts to deny enrollment in their public schools to children not legally admitted to the country.

Issue. Whether, consistent with the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, Texas may deny to undocumented school-age children the free public education that it provides to children who are citizens of the United States or legally admitted aliens?

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