SCHNEIDER V. RUSK, 377 U. S. 163 (1964)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Schneider v. Rusk, 377 U.S. 163 (1964)

Schneider v. Rusk

No. 368

Argued April 2, 1964

Decided May 18, 1964

377 U.S. 163


Appellant, who was born in Germany, came to this country with her parents as a child and acquired derivative American citizenship. She lived abroad since graduation from college, became married to a German national, and, except for two visits back to this country, has lived in Germany for the past eight years. The State Department denied her a passport, certifying that she had lost her American citizenship under § 352(a)(1) of the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952, which provides that a naturalized citizen, with exceptions not material here, loses citizenship by continuous residence for three years in the country of origin. She thereupon sued in the District Court for a declaratory judgment that she is still an American citizen and has appealed from that court's adverse decision.

Held by a majority of this Court, that § 352(a)(1) is discriminatory, and therefore violative of due process under the Fifth Amendment of the Constitution, since no restriction against the length of foreign residence applies to native-born citizens, though some members of that majority believe that Congress lacks constitutional power to effect involuntary divestiture of citizenship. Pp. 377 U. S. 164-169.

218 F.Supp. 302, reversed.

Page 377 U. S. 164

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