435 U.S. 291 (1978)
- The Supreme Court affirmed a judgment holding that N.Y. Exec. Law § 215(3) (1972), which provided that no person could be appointed to the state police force unless he was a citizen of the United States, was constitutional.
- Appellant had sought a declaratory judgment that the state's exclusion of aliens from its police force violated the Equal Protection Clause of U.S. Constitutional Amendment XIV.
- The Court concluded that the state's obligation to preserve the political community included reserving the right to govern to citizens.
- Each challenged position was required to be examined to determine whether it involved discretionary decisionmaking, or execution of policy, which substantially affected members of the political community.
- The broad powers vested in police officers affected members of the public significantly, and often in the most sensitive areas of life.
- Police officers very clearly participated directly in the execution of broad public policy.
- The police function was one where citizenship bore a rational relationship to the special demands of the particular position.
- Therefore, a state could restrict the performance of this important public responsibility to citizens.
The Supreme Court affirmed a judgment holding that the challenged law, which excluded aliens from the state police force, was constitutional. As police officers participated directly in the execution of broad public policy, citizenship bore a rational relationship to the special demands of police officer positions.