Washington Law Review


Hans A. Linde


Although the needs of the national economy and national security have vastly expanded the public sector, it is the direct underwriting of individual living standards and social services that characterizes the welfare state. Inevitably, conflicts between the views and objectives of the welfare state's political management and the views of some claimants to welfare state benefits have put in issue the constitutional limitations on the power to deny, withdraw, or condition such benefits. And inevitably, the cry of "constitutional rights" in public programs has been countered with the cry of "privilege." The arguments were already familiar when Mr. Justice Douglas joined the Court. But the growth of the welfare state since 1939 and the political pressures to exclude the unworthy from its earthly paradise have given the issue greater modern importance.

First Page