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United States Supreme Court

401 U.S. 815

Rogers  v.  Bellei

 Argued: Jan. 15, 1970. --- Decided: Nov 12, 1970


Appellee challenges the constitutionality of § 301(b) of the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952, which provides that one who acquires United States citizenship by virtue of having been born abroad to parents, one of whom is an American citizen, who has met certain residence requirements, shall lose his citizenship unless he resides in this country continuously for five years between the ages of 14 and 28. The three-judge District Court held the section unconstitutional, citing Afroyim v. Rusk, 387 U.S. 253, 87 S.Ct. 1660, 18 L.Ed.2d 757, and Schneider v. Rusk, 377 U.S. 163, 84 S.Ct. 1187, 12 L.Ed.2d 218. Held: Congress has the power to impose the condition subsequent of residence in this country on appellee, who does not come within the Fourteenth Amendment's definition of citizens as those 'born or naturalized in the United States,' and its imposition is not unreasonable, arbitrary, or unlawful. Afroyim v. Rusk, supra, and Schneider v. Rusk, supra, distinguished. Pp. 820-836.

296 F.Supp. 1247, reversed.

Sol. Gen. Erwin N. Griswold, for appellant.

O. John Rogge, Washington, D.C., for appellee.

Richard N. Gardner, for the Assn. of American Wives of Europeans and the American Bar Assn., as amici curiae.

Mr. Justice BLACKMUN delivered the opinion of the Court.


This work is in the public domain in the United States because it is a work of the United States federal government (see 17 U.S.C. 105).