CHAPPELLE v. GREATER BATON ROUGE AIRPORT DISTRICT ET AL.
ON APPEAL FROM THE COURT OF APPEAL OF LOUISIANA FOR THE FIRST CIRCUIT
Argued April 25, 1977
Decided May 16, 1977
329 So.2d 810, reversed.
Herschel C. Adcock argued the cause and filed a brief for appellant.
Joseph F. Keogh argued the cause and filed a brief for appellees.
The judgment is reversed. Turner v. Fouche, 396 U.S. 346, 361 -364 (1970).
MR. JUSTICE REHNQUIST, dissenting.
Appellant, E. C. Chappelle, Jr., wished to serve, upon appointment, as a commissioner on the Greater Baton Rouge Airport Commission. He, however, was deemed not qualified since, at the time of his appointment, he owned no "property assessed in East Baton Rouge Parish," as required by Louisiana Act 151 of 1969. The sole requirement is that he own property, whether real or personal, that is assessed in that parish. We sit to judge the constitutionality, not the wisdom, of this restriction. I am unable to agree that the Constitution, or prior cases from this Court, require today's declaration of unconstitutionality.
This Court has regularly sustained the imposition of city or county residency requirements on municipal employees. McCarthy v. Philadelphia Civil Serv. Comm'n, 424 U.S. 645 (1976); Detroit Police Officers Assn. v. Detroit, 405 U.S. 950 (1972); see also Bute v. Quinn, 535 F.2d 1285 (CA7), cert. [431 U.S. 159, 160] denied, 429 U.S. 1027 (1976). It is dubious at best whether the requirement that a public officeholder own any assessable property within a parish is any more burdensome, or any less rational, than a requirement that he and his family live in that parish.
This Court has also sustained durational residency requirements of five and seven years for candidates for the office of state governor and senator, Kanapaux v. Ellisor, 419 U.S. 891 (1974); Sununu v. Stark, 420 U.S. 958 (1975). If a State can impose a five-year residency requirement on its candidates for its highest political office, it should be able to impose a minimal locational property requirement on persons seeking office in this airport district.
The Louisiana Court of Appeal concluded: