Friday, November 1, 2013

Johnson v. Robison case brief

Johnson v. Robison case brief summary
415 U.S. 361 (1974)

Appellants sought review of a judgment from the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts that held unconstitutional, on equal protection grounds, the denial of benefits under the Veterans' Readjustment Benefits Act of 1966, 38 U.S.C.S. §§ 1651-1697, to a conscientious objector who had performed alternative service.

A decision holding unconstitutional the denial of veterans' educational benefits to a conscientious objector was reversed because different treatment of veterans and alternative service workers was justified by substantial differences between the groups. Appellee, a conscientious objector who had performed alternative service, sought educational benefits under the Veterans' Readjustment Benefits Act of 1966, 38 U.S.C.S. §§ 1651-1697.

  • The district court ruled that appellee was entitled to the benefits on the ground that the statute's denial of such benefits was an unconstitutional denial of equal protection. 
  • The Supreme Court reversed, finding that although 38 U.S.C.S. § 211(a) did not bar judicial consideration of constitutional claims related to veterans' benefits, no denial of equal protection could be found because military veterans and conscientious objectors were not similarly situated. 
  • The challenged classifications were reasonable considering the greater hardships endured by veterans. 
  • The free exercise of appellee's religion was not affected by denial of veterans' benefits.


The court reversed the lower court's decision because significant differences between military service veterans and alternative service performers made different treatment of the two groups reasonable, and the denial of educational benefits did not impede appellee's observance of his religion.

Recommended Supplements for Administrative Law Examples & Explanations: Administrative Law, Fourth Edition
Administrative Law and Process: In a Nutshell (Nutshell Series)

No comments:

Post a Comment

The Evolution of Legal Marketing: From Billboards to Digital Leads Over the last couple of decades, the face of legal marketing has changed a l...