Defendants do not oppose the bringing of the action as a class action.
Jurisdiction is properly invoked under the Civil Rights Act, 28 U.S.C. § 1343(3) and (4), and 42 U.S.C. § 1983, and a three-judge district court has been convened as required by 28 U.S.C. § 2281. King v. Smith, 392 U.S. 309, 88 S. Ct. 2128, 20 L. Ed. 2d 1118 (1968).
Plaintiffs have sued for themselves and on behalf of the class which they represent. They pray that we declare invalid, and permanently enjoin the enforcement of, Washington Revised Statute, Section 74.08.040, and regulations issued pursuant thereto, on the ground that the statute and the regulations deny to the plaintiffs, and the class they represent, the equal protection of the laws guaranteed to them by the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States.
The statute and the regulations deal with grants of public funds to various categories of residents of the State of Washington which need financial assistance for the reasons set forth in the statute.
Primarily at issue is the validity of the State of Washington's "maximum grant" regulations which provide, in substance, that no family entitled to benefits under the State's Aid to Families with Dependent Children Program (AFDC) will receive a grant from the State in excess of $325.00 per month.
The parties have stipulated that the plaintiffs are seventy-two persons who live together in seven large family units. Eight of the plaintiffs are adults, and sixty-four are children. All are poor and are currently recipients of public assistance grants from the defendant, Department of Public Assistance, in the category of aid to families with dependent children.
The family units constituted by plaintiffs are:
Plaintiff Lillie Lindsey, mother, and thirteen minor dependent children;
Plaintiff Hazel Dillard, mother, and nine minor dependent children and one minor dependent grandchild;
Plaintiff Ernestine Latham, mother, and eight minor dependent children;
Plaintiff Alice I. Sutton, mother, and eight minor dependent children;
Plaintiff Annie Mae Washington, mother, and seven minor dependent children;
Plaintiff Allen L. Rush, Jr., widower, and twelve minor ...