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CALIFANO V. AZNAVORIAN, 439 U. S. 170 (1978)

U.S. Supreme Court

Califano v. Aznavorian, 439 U.S. 170 (1978)

Califano v. Aznavorian

No. 77-991

Argued November 6, 1978

Decided December 11, 1978*

439 U.S. 170


Section 1611(f) of the Social Security Act, which provides that no benefits under the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program for the needy aged, blind, and disabled are to be paid for any month that the recipient spends entirely outside of the United States, held to be constitutional as having a rational basis and not to impose an impermissible burden on the freedom of international travel in violation of the Fifth Amendment. That section, which merely has an incidental effect on international travel (Kent v. Dulles, 357 U. S. 116; Aptheker v. Secretary of State, 378 U. S. 500; and Zemel v. Rusk, 381 U. S. 1, distinguished), clearly effectuates the basic congressional decision to limit SSI payments to residents of the United States. Moreover, § 1611(f) may represent Congress' decision simply to limit payments to those who need them in the United States. While these justifications for the legislation may not be compelling, its constitutionality, in contrast to the standard applied to laws that penalize the right of interstate travel, does not depend on compelling justifications. Pp. 439 U. S. 174-178.

440 F.Supp. 788, reversed.

STEWART, J., delivered the opinion of the Court, in which BURGER, C.J., and WHITE, BLACKMUN, POWELL, REHNQUIST, and STEVENS, JJ., joined. MARSHALL and BRENNAN, JJ., filed an opinion concurring in the result, post, p. 439 U. S. 178.

Page 439 U. S. 171

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