|Perez v. Brownell|
|Argued May 1, 1957|
Reargued October 28, 1957
Decided March 31, 1958
|Full case name||Clemente Martinez Perez v. Herbert Brownell Jr., Attorney General|
|Citations||356 U.S. 44 ( more )|
|Prior||Certiorari to the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit|
|Congress has the power to revoke a person's United States citizenship as a result of the voluntary performance of specified actions (such as voting in a foreign election), even in the absence of any intent or desire to lose citizenship.|
|Majority||Frankfurter, joined by Burton, Clark, Harlan, Brennan|
|Dissent||Warren, joined by Black, Douglas|
|Dissent||Douglas, joined by Black|
|Nationality Act of 1940; U.S. Const. amend. XIV|
|Afroyim v. Rusk , 387 U.S. 253 (1967)|
|Part of a series on|
|Chicanos and Mexican Americans|
|Wikisource has original text related to this article:|
Perez v. Brownell, 356 U.S. 44 (1958), was a United States Supreme Court case in which the Court affirmed Congress's right to revoke United States citizenship as a result of a citizen's voluntary performance of specified actions, even in the absence of any intent or desire on the person's part to lose citizenship. Specifically, the Supreme Court upheld an act of Congress which provided for revocation of citizenship as a consequence of voting in a foreign election.
The precedent was repudiated nine years later in Afroyim v. Rusk,in which the Supreme Court held that the Fourteenth Amendment's Citizenship Clause guaranteed citizens' right to keep their citizenship and overturned the same law that it had upheld in Perez.
Clemente Martinez Perez was born in El Paso, Texas, on March 17, 1909. He resided in the United States until 1919 or 1920, when his parents took him to Mexico. In 1928, he was informed that he had been born in the state of Texas.
During World War II, he applied for admission and was admitted into the United States as a Mexican alien railroad worker. His application for such entry contained his recitation that he was a native-born citizen of Mexico. By 1947, however, Perez had returned to Mexico, and in that year, he applied for admission to the United States as a citizen of the United States. Upon his arrival, he was charged with failing to register under the Selective Service Laws of the United States during the war.
Under oath, Perez admitted that between 1944 and 1947, he had remained outside the United States to avoid military service and had voted in an election in Mexico in 1946.
On May 15, 1953, he surrendered to immigration authorities in San Francisco as an alien unlawfully in the United States but claimed that he was a citizen of the United States by birth and thereby entitled to remain. The US District Court, however, found that Perez had lost his American citizenship, a decision that was affirmed by the court of appeals.
The courts held that Congress can attach loss of citizenship only as a consequence of conduct engaged in voluntarily even if there was no intent or desire to lose citizenship. The law was enacted as the Nationality Act of 1940 (54 Stat 1137, as amended).
In 1958, a divided Supreme Court upheld the decisions because Perez "became involved in foreign political affairs and evidenced an allegiance to another country inconsistent with American citizenship, thereby abandoning his citizenship."
Two central holdings were these:
The provision of the Fourteenth Amendment that "All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States," sets forth the two principal modes (but not the only ones) for acquiring citizenship, but nothing in the terms, the context, the history, or the manifest purpose of the Fourteenth Amendment warrants the inference of a restriction upon the power otherwise possessed by Congress to withdraw citizenship.
Congress, acting under the Necessary and Proper Clause of Art I, 8, cl 18, of the Federal Constitution, may attach loss of nationality to voting in a foreign political election, since the means, withdrawal of citizenship, is reasonably calculated to effect the end that is within the power of Congress to achieve, the avoidance of embarrassment in the conduct of foreign relations attributable to voting by American citizens in such elections, and the importance and extreme delicacy of the matters sought to be regulated demand that Congress be permitted ample scope in selecting appropriate modes for accomplishing its purpose.
The court reversed itself in 1967 with its decision in Afroyim v. Rusk . It called section 401 of the Nationality Act of 1940 unconstitutional and stated that the Fourteenth Amendment prevents Congress from taking away citizenship without the citizen's assent.
The Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution was adopted on July 9, 1868, as one of the Reconstruction Amendments. Arguably one of the most consequential amendments, it addresses citizenship rights and equal protection under the law and was proposed in response to issues related to former slaves following the American Civil War. The amendment was bitterly contested, particularly by the states of the defeated Confederacy, which were forced to ratify it in order to regain representation in Congress. The amendment, particularly its first section, is one of the most litigated parts of the Constitution, forming the basis for landmark Supreme Court decisions such as Brown v. Board of Education (1954) regarding racial segregation, Roe v. Wade (1973) regarding abortion, Bush v. Gore (2000) regarding the 2000 presidential election, and Obergefell v. Hodges (2015) regarding same-sex marriage. The amendment limits the actions of all state and local officials, and also those acting on behalf of such officials.
The Titles of Nobility Amendment is a proposed amendment to the United States Constitution. The 11th Congress passed it on May 1, 1810, and submitted to the state legislatures for ratification. It would strip United States citizenship from any citizen who accepted a title of nobility from an "emperor, king, prince or foreign power." On two occasions between 1812 and 1816, it was within two states of the number needed to become part of the Constitution. Congress did not set a time limit for its ratification, so the amendment is still pending before the states. Ratification by an additional 26 states is now needed for its adoption.
The Civil Rights Act of 1866 was the first United States federal law to define citizenship and affirm that all citizens are equally protected by the law. It was mainly intended, in the wake of the American Civil War, to protect the civil rights of persons of African descent born in or brought to the United States.
United States v. Wong Kim Ark, 169 U.S. 649 (1898), was a landmark decision of the US Supreme Court ruling that "a child born in the United States, of parents of Chinese descent, who, at the time of his birth, are subjects of the Emperor of China, but have a permanent domicil and residence in the United States, and are there carrying on business, and are not employed in any diplomatic or official capacity under the Emperor of China", automatically became a U.S. citizen at birth. This decision established an important precedent in its interpretation of the Citizenship Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution.
Minor v. Happersett, 88 U.S. 162 (1875), is a United States Supreme Court case in which the Court held that the Constitution did not grant anyone, and in this case specifically a female citizen of the state of Missouri, a right to vote even when a state law granted rights to vote to a certain class of citizens. The Supreme Court upheld state court decisions in Missouri, which had refused to register a woman as a lawful voter because that state's laws allowed only men to vote.
The United States nationality law is set out in the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952 (INA) which contains a uniform rule of naturalization of the United States. The 1952 Act sets out the legal requirements for the acquisition and divestiture of U.S. nationality.
The Bancroft treaties, also called the Bancroft conventions, were a series of agreements made in the late 19th and early 20th centuries between the United States and other countries. They recognized the right of each party's nationals to become naturalized citizens of the other; and defined circumstances in which naturalized persons were legally presumed to have abandoned their new citizenship and resumed their old one.
Trop v. Dulles, 356 U.S. 86 (1958), was a United States Supreme Court case in which the Court ruled that it was unconstitutional to revoke citizenship as a punishment for a crime. The ruling's reference to "evolving standards of decency" is frequently cited in Eighth Amendment jurisprudence.
Afroyim v. Rusk, 387 U.S. 253 (1967), was a landmark decision of the US Supreme Court ruling that citizens of the United States may not be deprived of their citizenship involuntarily. The U.S. government had attempted to revoke the citizenship of Beys Afroyim, a man born in Poland, because he had cast a vote in an Israeli election after becoming a naturalized U.S. citizen. The Supreme Court decided that Afroyim's right to retain his citizenship was guaranteed by the Citizenship Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution. In so doing, the Court struck down a federal law mandating loss of U.S. citizenship for voting in a foreign election—thereby overruling one of its own precedents, Perez v. Brownell (1958), in which it had upheld loss of citizenship under similar circumstances less than a decade earlier.
Sáenz v. Roe, 526 U.S. 489 (1999), was a landmark case in which the Supreme Court of the United States discussed whether there is a constitutional right to travel from one state to another. The case was a reaffirmation of the principle that citizens select states and not the other way round.
Birthright citizenship in the United States is United States citizenship acquired by a person automatically, by operation of law. This takes place in two situations: by virtue of the person's birth within United States territory or because one or both of their parents is a US citizen. Birthright citizenship contrasts with citizenship acquired in other ways, for example by naturalization.
The Citizenship Clause is the first sentence of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, which was adopted on July 9, 1868, which states:
Vance v. Terrazas, 444 U.S. 252 (1980), was a United States Supreme Court decision that established that a United States citizen cannot have his or her citizenship taken away unless he or she has acted with an intent to give up that citizenship. The Supreme Court overturned portions of an act of Congress which had listed various actions and had said that the performance of any of these actions could be taken as conclusive, irrebuttable proof of intent to give up U.S. citizenship. However, the Court ruled that a person's intent to give up citizenship could be established through a standard of preponderance of evidence — rejecting an argument that intent to relinquish citizenship could only be found on the basis of clear, convincing and unequivocal evidence.
Nishikawa v. Dulles, 356 U.S. 129 (1958), is a United States Supreme Court case in which the Court ruled that a dual US/Japanese citizen who had served in the Japanese military during World War II could not be held to have lost his US citizenship unless the United States could prove that he had acted voluntarily.
Citizenship of the United States is a status that entails specific rights, duties and benefits in the United States. It serves as a foundation of fundamental rights derived from and protected by the Constitution and laws of the United States, such as freedom of expression, due process, the rights to vote, to live and work in the United States, and to receive federal assistance. The implementation of citizenship requires attitudes including allegiance to the republic, participation, and an impulse to promote communities. Certain rights are so fundamental that they are guaranteed to all persons, not just citizens. Not all citizens have the right to vote in all federal elections, for example, those living in Puerto Rico.
Rogers v. Bellei, 401 U.S. 815 (1971), was a decision by the United States Supreme Court, which held that an individual who received an automatic congressional grant of citizenship at birth, but who was born outside the United States, may lose his citizenship for failure to fulfill any reasonable residence requirements which the United States Congress may impose as a condition subsequent to that citizenship.
The Expatriation Act of 1868 was an act of the 40th United States Congress that declared, as part of the United States nationality law, that the right of expatriation is "a natural and inherent right of all people" and "that any declaration, instruction, opinion, order, or decision of any officers of this government which restricts, impairs, or questions the right of expatriation, is hereby declared inconsistent with the fundamental principles of this government".
Kennedy v. Mendoza-Martinez, 372 U.S. 144 (1963), was a Supreme Court of the United States case in which the Court amended United States nationality law with respect to draft evasion.
The Nationality Act of 1940 revised numerous provisions of law relating to American citizenship and naturalization. It was enacted by the 76th Congress of the United States and signed into law on October 14, 1940, a year after World War II had begun in Europe, but before the U.S. entered the war.