Two non-citizens applied for and took examinations to become probation officers in LA. They both passed and did will on all portions of the application process. CA law prohibits non-citizens from becoming parole officers and therefore the applicants were denied. Upon denial they sued for a violation of the equal protection clause. The applicants were in the US legally as resident-aliens.
Whether disallowing non-citizens from becoming probation officers violates the equal protection clause.
No, the statutory requirement is valid, reversed and remanded. The court wrote that the analysis of the statute does not require strict scrutiny because the position is of a political/governmental function. The court asked whether a legitimate government purpose was served in proffering the regulation and whether the law was sufficiently tailored to not overly discriminate against the non-citizen class of people. The position of probation officer “sufficiently partake of the sovereign’s power to exercise coercive force over the individual that they may be required to be citizens.” The probation officer has a great deal of authority and power with respect to actual citizens. A citizenship requirement, therefore, is necessary in terms of allegiance and symbolically to the community for the probation officer position.