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Justices strike down gender differences in citizenship law

Justices strike down gender differences in citizenship law”

But while the court struck down the gender differences in the law, Ginsburg said the longer five-year period should continue apply to both mothers and fathers until Congress decides on a different length of time.

As lower appellate courts blocking Trump's order have cited, the president's broad immigration powers are not unchecked by the Constitution's ban on discrimination. In 2001, the justices upheld the differential treatment by a 5-to-4 vote, and twice the court failed to reach a majority ruling.

The decision struck down a law imposing drastically different residency requirements for foreign-born single mothers who had become US citizens and sought to pass citizenship on to their children than for single fathers or married citizens seeking to do the same. But because his parents were not married and his father was the USA citizen, Morales-Santana was entitled to US citizenship only if his father had lived in the United States for at least 10 years before his birth, with five of those years coming after the age of 14. In a 6-to-2 vote, the Supreme Court ruled that the time it takes a child to get automatic US citizenship would no longer vary depending on the sex of their unwed American parent. That distinction, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg wrote for the court, is "stunningly anachronistic".

A federal appeals court struck down the law and said the one-year period must apply to both unwed fathers and mothers.

That gives Republicans who have been critical of birthright citizenship two advantages. The assumption behind the difference between unwed mothers and fathers, the court said, was that unwed fathers would be out of the picture, giving unwed American mothers the same influence over and responsibilities for their children as a married couple of two US citizens would have.

Morales-Santana came to the USA with his parents as a permanent resident.

Though it declared the rule unconstitutional, the Supreme Court left it up to Congress to determine the equal treatment of children born to a USA citizen and their unwed partner. Nonetheless, the court couldn't grant Luis Ramon Morales-Santana - the plaintiff in the case - relief.

"Accepting, arguendo, that Congress intended the diverse physical-presence prescriptions to serve an interest in ensuring a connection between the foreign-born nonmarital child and the United States, the gender-based means scarcely serve the posited end", Ginsburg wrote.

Ginsburg's opinion for the Court surveys a series of cases in which she was involved as an attorney for the ACLU Women's Rights Project, which she founded in the 1970s.

When Chief Justice John Roberts announced this morning that Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was the author of the opinion, it was a good sign for Morales-Santana.

Justice Neil Gorsuch was not even nominated when the court heard oral arguments in November, but Monday's decision is otherwise unanimous.

By 1996, now as a member of the Supreme Court, Ginsburg was able to apply these cases from her new vantage, writing a powerful opinion striking down sex-based admissions policies of the Virginia Military Institute.

Justice Ginsburg wrote the current law is based on what she called stunning stereotypes, among them that most men care little about their children born out of wedlock.

The ruling, however, may not help the man who brought the case, NY resident Luis Morales-Santana, who was seeking to avoid deportation to the Dominican Republic after being convicted of several offenses. S. citizen continuously present in the United States for one year at any point in her life prior to the child's birth.

Such special treatment, however, is not allowed when it involves gender discrimination. A five-year US presence is required for USA citizen parents if the parent is married or the father is unwed.



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