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Afroyim v. Rusk - Significance

citizenship court petitioner lawyer




Dean Rusk, U.S. Secretary of State

Petitioner's Claim

Section 401(e) of the Nationality Act of 1940, 8 U.S.C. sec. 801 (1946), which provided that American citizens automatically lost their citizenship if they voted in a foreign election, was unconstitutional under the Fourteenth Amendment.

Chief Lawyer for Petitioner

Edward J. Ennis

Chief Lawyer for Respondent

Charles Gordon

Justices for the Court

Hugo Lafayette Black (writing for the Court), William J. Brennan, Jr., William O. Douglas, Abe Fortas, Earl Warren

Justices Dissenting

Tom C. Clark, John Marshall Harlan II, Potter Stewart, Byron R. White


Washington, D.C.

Date of Decision

29 May 1967


Held that the Fourteenth Amendment prevents Congress from adopting any laws divesting American citizens of their citizenship.

Related Cases

  • Perez v. Brownell, 356 U.S. 44 (1958).
  • Bellei v. Rusk, 296 F.Supp 1247 (DCDC 1969).
  • Vance v. Terrazas, 444 U.S. 252 (1980).

Further Readings

  • Biskupic, Joan, and Elder Witt, eds. Congressional Quarterly's Guide to the U.S. Supreme Court, 3rd ed. Washington, DC: Congressional Quarterly, Inc., 1996.
  • Miller, John J. "Loyalty Duel: Will the Rise of Dual Citizenship Create a World Without Patriotism?" National Review, May 18, 1998, p. 32.
Albert Henry DeSalvo Trial: 1967 - Sanity Hearing, Final Arguments [next] [back] Adderley v. Florida - Significance, Impact, Further Readings

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