Supreme Court Holds Gender-Based Distinction for Acquisition of Citizenship Is Unconstitutional

The Supreme Court found unconstitutional the gender-based distinction in the immigration act, requiring a shorter period of parental physical presence in the U.S. for acquisition of citizenship through an unwed citizen mother versus an unwed citizen father. Rather than extending the shorter period of required physical presence to children of unwed citizen fathers, or the longer period to unwed citizen mothers, the Justices said that it was up to Congress, rather than the Court, to act on the issue.

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