Constitutional Law – Citizenship – Power of Congress to Effect Involuntary Expatriation

In four recent cases the United States Supreme Court has dealt with the power of Congress to effect the denationalization of native-born citizens without their consent. Three cases, Perez v. Brownell, Trop v. Dulles, and Mendoza-Martinez v. Mackey dealt with the constitutionality of sections 401(e), 401(g) and 401(j), respectively, of the Nationality Act of 1940. The fourth case, Nishikawa v. Dulles dealt only with the burden of proof when duress is alleged under section 401(c), but contained one opinion of constitutional significance. The purpose of this comment is to analyze and evaluate these decisions.