In a unanimous decision, the SJC ruled that a 2009 state law excluding certain legal immigrants from eligibility for Commonwealth Care was unconstitutional. In an earlier ruling (459 Mass. 655 (2011)), the court found that the state law was subject to strict scrutiny under the equal protection provisions of the Massachusetts constitution. It now finds that the state's purpose in excluding legal immigrants for whom the state could not receive federal matching funds was to save money and that saving money did not justify discrimination against a protected class. As a result of this decision over 30,000 legal immigrants will once more be eligible for Commonwealth Care. Congratulations to the plaintiffs' lawyers, Wendy Parmet and Lorianne Sainsbury-Wong of Health Law Advocates. Amici curiae briefs supporting the plaintiffs were also filed by GBLS, MLRI, ACLU-Mass., and APALC.
|FINCH 1-5-12 opinion.pdf||109.72 KB|