Striking down a state law prohibiting aliens from working as notary publics, the Bernal decision asserted that laws discriminating against resident aliens must be assessed according to the demanding standard of strict scrutiny, thereby requiring a compelling governmental interest in order to be upheld as constitutional.
In a few earlier cases, including
In the case of Bernal v. Fainter (1984), the Court voted 8-1 that a Texas statute requiring notary publics to be U.S. citizens violated the equal protection clause of the
Bosniak, Linda. The Citizen and the Alien: Dilemmas of Contemporary Membership. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 2006. Hull, Elizabeth. Without Justice for All: The Constitutional Rights of Aliens. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 1985.
Supreme Court, U.S.