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ROE ET AL. v. NORTON

SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES


June 24, 1975

ROE ET AL
v.
NORTON, COMMISSIONER OF WELFARE

APPEAL FROM THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE DISTRICT OF CONNECTICUT

[ 422 U.S. Page 392]

PER CURIAM.

 Appellants, mothers of illegitimate children receiving Aid to Families With Dependent Children (AFDC) assistance, and the children, commenced this action challenging § 52-440b, Conn. Gen. Stat. Rev. (1973),*fn* which requires the mother of an illegitimate child to divulge to designated officials the name of the putative father of the child. Noncompliance with the statute is a contempt punishable by imprisonment up to one year and a fine of up to $200. A three-judge District Court upheld the constitutionality of § 52-440b against appellants' claims of denial of due process and equal protection and invasion of appellants' right to privacy, and also concluded that the statute did not conflict with the purpose and objectives of the Social Security Act. We noted probable jurisdiction, 415 U.S. 912 (1974). However, since that time Pub. L. 93-647, 88 Stat. 2337, was enacted.

[ 422 U.S. Page 393]

     Public L. 93-647 amends § 402(a) of the Social Security Act to require parents, as a condition of eligibility for AFDC assistance, to cooperate with state efforts to locate and obtain support from absent parents but provides no punitive sanctions comparable to those provided by Conn. Gen. Stat. Rev. § 52-440b (1973). Section 402 (a), as amended, 88 Stat. 2359, 42 U.S.C. § 602(a) (1970 ed., Supp. IV), provides in pertinent part: S

"A State plan for aid and services to needy families with children must

"(26) provide that, as a condition of eligibility for aid, each applicant or recipient will be required -

"(B) to cooperate with the State (i) in establishing the paternity of a child born out of wedlock with respect to whom aid is claimed, and (ii) in obtaining support payments for such applicant and for a child with respect to whom such aid is claimed, or in obtaining any other payments or property due such applicant or such child and that, if the relative with whom the child is living is found to be ineligible because of failure to comply with the requirements of subparagraphs (A) and (B) of this paragraph, any aid for which such child is eligible will be provided in the form of protective payments as described in section [606(b)(2) of this title] (without regard to subparagraphs (A) through (E) of such section)...."I

We vacate the judgment of the District Court and remand the case for further consideration in light of Pub. L. 93-647, and, if a relevant state criminal proceeding

[ 422 U.S. Page 394]

     is pending, also for further consideration in light of Younger v. Harris, 401 U.S. 37 (1971), and Huffman v. Pursue, Ltd., 420 U.S. 592 (1975).

It is so ordered.

Mr. JUSTICE DOUGLAS concurs except with respect to Younger v. Harris, 401 U.S. 37 (1971), and Huffman v. Pursue, Ltd., 420 U.S. 592 (1975).

Counsel FOOTNOTES

* Marian Wright Edelman, Norman Dorsen, and Leo Pfeffer filed a brief for the American Academy of Child Psychiatry et al. as amici curiae.


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