Hampton v. Mow Sun Wong


Petitioner and four others were Chinese immigrants who were denied a job in the federal government because of their alien status.  All were qualified for the job and sued on that basis of the denial.  The trial and appellate court ruled in favor of petitioner.


Whether a federal government hiring practice for civil engineers which maintains a citizenship requirement violates the due process clause of the United States constitution.


Yes, the policy violates the due process and is unconstitutional, held.  The court writes that in some positions there may be an overriding governmental interest in having a citizenship requirement as a condition of employment.  However, the federal government may not subject all employees to such a requirement because it is simply unnecessary.

The federal government may exclude noncitizens from employment and have a legitimate reason in furthering national interest, if the justification is to aid treaty negotiation, encourage noncitizens to become citizens, or for the sake of administrative easement.  The court writes that none of these interests are achieved by a ban on hiring practices in the instant case.  The only questionable interest would be administrative ease; but the court finds no ease found in disallowing noncitizens from employment.  Aliens properly admitted into the US have statutory rights and liberties; and depriving them of such liberties must be justified by the a concern of the agency that sufficiently outweighs the importance of their granted liberties.

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