Vanderbilt Law Review


Thomas R. McCoy

First Page



The thesis of this article is two-fold. First, the Court's acceptance and application of the Shapiro-Dunn reasoning in Maricopa unintentionally demonstrated the intellectual inadequacy of that much-discussed line of reasoning. Read together, the Court's opinions in Shapiro, Dunn, and Maricopa establish a set of theoretical principles whose derivation is logically defective, whose consistent application would require unacceptable results in many other cases,and whose existence now forces the Court to distinguish arbitrarily other cases that, in terms of those theoretical principles, simply are not distinguishable from Shapiro, Dunn, and Maricopa. Secondly, despite the logical inadequacy and practical disutility of the theoretical reasoning of Shapiro, Dunn, and Maricopa, the actual result in each of those cases is defensible on the basis of classic fourteenth amendment principles that lead to neither the undesirable results nor the arbitrary distinctions required by application of the Shapiro-Dunn-Maricopa reasoning to other cases. To develop this thesis, the doctrines underlying substantive due process and equal protection will be examined, and the "right to travel" cases will be analyzed in light of applicable fourteenth amendment principles.