The due process in Goldberg

The due process in Goldberg

The due process at issue in Goldberg was the fair hearing. The United States Constitution’s Fourteenth Amendment demands a fair hearing before the termination of the statutorily defined welfare benefits.  

 Government interests

 The reasoning was that from its founding, the national basic commitment was to foster the dignity and well-being of all persons within its borders. Thus the welfare that was being provided to meet the need of the poor, their basic demands of subsistence helped them to have within their reach the same opportunities that are available to others to participate meaningfully in the community’s life. Through this, the government’s interest in fostering dignity and well being of persons was being promoted. The government’s interest to cancel the welfare without the pre-termination evidentiary hearing would then be against their own interest of fostering dignity and well being of persons within its borders.

Hearing that would pass the constitutional test

 A pre-termination informal hearing in a welfare case would satisfy the requirements of the fourteenth amendment. It was determined in this case that a pre-termination hearing needed not to take the form of judicial or quasi judicial trial. The pre-termination hearing has one function which was to produce an initial determination of validity of the grounds for discontinuance of payments.

Due process in Matthews  

The due process procedure that was the issue in Matthews was the fair as required by the Fourteenth Amendment of the constitution of the United States.

The factors the court looked into

What factors did the court look at to determine if the disability process was adequate? The First factor was the individual’s interests in retaining their property and the injury that the official action would occasion. Second factor was Risk of an error through the procedures that were used and probable value in addition to procedural safeguards. Last factor was the costs and administrative burdened that comes with the additional process and the governments interest in efficient adjudication.


What differences did the court find between a welfare termination process and disability determination process? The court held that the termination of a person’s social security disability benefits didn’t require a hearing before termination and a hearing could be held after the deprivation of the interest unlike in the case of welfare termination whereby a pre-termination hearing was necessary so as to find a due process of the law in the termination procedure.

Why the court found due process in Matthews

Why did the court determine that the process in place in Matthews passed the constitutional due process test? When the hearing occurs varies depending on the particular interests involved. A post-termination hearing in the case of termination of a person’s social security disability benefits didn’t require a hearing before termination.

Question two

The position of the firefighters

They alleged that the city had discriminated against them regarding the promotions. The firefighters were had all passed the test for the  who comprised of two Hispanic and seventeen white claimed that they all passed the test for the promotions  yet the city of new haven by invalidating the results because there were no black fire fighters. For this the firefighters claimed that they were denied their promotions based on their race which was a form of racial discrimination. This was against the equal protection clause of the United States Constitution’s fourteenth amendment.

The position of the city

The city and its officials defend their action by claiming that if they certified the results they could face liability for a adopting a practice had disparate impact on the minority firefighters under title VII.

Reasoning of the majority

The majority concluded that the city’s action in discarding the test was a violation of the title VII and reasoned that in these circumstances of the case, the standards permissible for race based action under title VII is that the employer must be able to demonstrate a strong basis in evidence that it had not taken in the action and that it would have been liable under disparate –impact statue, a threshold standard which the respondent couldn’t meet.

Reasoning of dissenters

The dissenter argued that the firefighters had no vested right to promotion and nor did other persons receive promotions receive promotions in preference to them. According to dissenters the new haven refused to certify  the tests results because it believed , for a good cause that it would be vulnerable to title VII disparate impact suit if it relied on these results. In holding that the city had no strong basis in evidence, the court pretended that the city rejected the test because many whites scored high point. There other multiple flaws in the test that new haven used. 

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