Sunday, December 8, 2013

Rogers v. Bellei case brief

Rogers v. Bellei case brief summary
401 U.S. 815 (1971)

The Secretary of State appealed a ruling of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia, which held § 301(b) of the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952, 8 U.S.C.S. § 1401(b), was unconstitutional, in a suit for injunctive and declaratory relief brought by plaintiff, who lost United States citizenship for failure to comply with the statute's residential requirement.

Plaintiff was born in Italy to an alien father and a United States citizen mother. Plaintiff was bestowed American citizenship at birth, but lost his citizenship for failure to comply with a post-age-14 and pre-age-28 residential requirement imposed by § 301(b) of the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952, 8 U.S.C.S. § 1401(b). He filed suit to enjoin the Secretary of State from carrying out and enforcing § 301(b), and requested a judgment for declaring § 301(b) unconstitutional as violative of due process under U.S. Constitutional Amendment V. The district court ruled that § 301(b) was unconstitutional and granted summary judgment for plaintiff.

  • On defendant's direct appeal, the Court reversed, holding that § 301(b) had no constitutional infirmity in its application to plaintiff. 
  • The Court found that the citizenship clause of U.S. Constitutional Amendment XIV did not apply to citizenship by birth abroad to an American parent, and that plaintiff's claim to citizenship was thus subject to proper congressional action. 
  • The Court concluded that Congress' imposition under § 301(b) of a condition subsequent to citizenship was not unreasonable, arbitrary, or unlawful.

The court reversed the judgment of the district court.

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