A Constitutional Oddity of Almost Byzantine Complexity: Analyzing the Efficiency of the Political Function Doctrine

33 Pages Posted: 6 Mar 2014 Last revised: 7 Mar 2014

See all articles by Gregory Scopino

Gregory Scopino

Georgetown University Law Center

Date Written: July 5, 2005

Abstract

The political function doctrine enables states to classify persons based on alienage subject to only rational basis review if the classification concerns an occupation that is deemed to be a "political function." In practice, this allows states to impose citizenship requirements for certain occupations that constitute "political functions." This Note addresses the rights of one class of immigrant noncitizens, frequently called legal permanent residents (LPRs). This Note evaluates alienage classifications that limit the ability of LPRs to pursue careers in the United States, specifically focusing on the efficiency of citizenship requirements for employment in various jobs and occupations that the states designate as "political functions." The primary question this Note seeks to answer is whether markets function efficiently when states require some employers to deny individuals employment solely based on citizenship. As a result of the overlap between citizenship status and race, and the influence of race on immigration laws and citizenship requirements in the United States, an economic analysis of state citizenship requirements must also consider the effects of racism on markets.

Keywords: Constitutional Law, Immigration Law, Law and Economics

Suggested Citation

Scopino, Gregory, A Constitutional Oddity of Almost Byzantine Complexity: Analyzing the Efficiency of the Political Function Doctrine (July 5, 2005). Cornell Law Review, Vol. 90, No. 5, 2005. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2404901

Gregory Scopino (Contact Author)

Georgetown University Law Center ( email )

500 New Jersey Ave NW
Washington, DC 20001
United States
6075927556 (Phone)

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