Vanderbilt Law Review

First Page



There is no provision in the United States Constitution which expressly gives or denies Congress a right to deprive a person of, or prescribe a method whereby a person may lose, his citizenship. Yet in the Nationality Act of 1940 Congress provided for the involuntary expatriation of an American citizen upon the intentional commission of one or more of several specified acts. In 1957 three cases involving this statute reached the Supreme Court of the United States. The constitutionality of the section providing for loss of citizenship by voting in a foreign election was upheld; the one providing for loss of citizenship upon conviction of desertion from the military forces in time of war was declared unconstitutional; and there was no decision on the constitutionality of the provision relating to loss of citizenship by reason of serving in a foreign military force, the case being remanded for additional action.