Gov to Deny Food Stamps to College Students? Would this run afoul of Dept. of Agriculture v. Moreno?

February 6th, 2014

Will Baude links to a WaPo story highlighting how under new regulations, the USDA will have to screen certain groups from receiving food stamps.

Addressing years of documented evidence of misuse and abuse of the program, USDA will need to ensure that illegal immigrants, lottery winners, college students and the dead cannot receive food stamps and that people cannot collect benefits in multiple states.

This reminds me a lot of Department of Agriculture v. Moreno. This case, an oddity of the 1970s, held that Congress could not deny food stamps to hippies. In an oft-cited opinion by Justice Brennan, the Court found that singling out hippies for denial of food stamps violated the rational basis test (this nascent rational-basis-plus was referenced in Cleburne and other cases).

I could make a joke about college students being hippies, but I won’t. Though, I wonder if any college students can claim some sort of Moreno-style discrimination from this denial?