Schneider v. Rusk

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Schneider v. Rusk
Seal of the United States Supreme Court.svg
Argued April 2, 1964
Decided May 18, 1964
Full case name Schneider v. Rusk
Citations 377 U.S. 163 (more)
84 S. Ct. 1187; 12 L. Ed. 2d 218; 1964 U.S. LEXIS 1275
Prior history Appeal from the United States District Court for the District of Columbia
Subsequent history None
Naturalized U.S. citizens have the right to return to and reside in their native countries, and retain their U.S. citizenship, even if they never return to the United States.
Court membership
Chief Justice
Earl Warren
Associate Justices
Hugo Black · William O. Douglas
Tom C. Clark · John M. Harlan II
William J. Brennan, Jr. · Potter Stewart
Byron White · Arthur Goldberg
Case opinions
Majority Douglas
Dissent Clark, joined by Harlan, White
Brennan took no part in the consideration or decision of the case.
Laws applied
U.S. Const. amend. V

Schneider v. Rusk, 377 U.S. 163 (1964), was a United States Supreme Court case which invalidated a law that treated naturalized and native-born citizens differentially under the due process clause of the Fifth Amendment.


Angelika Schneider was born in Germany. She came to the US with her parents and became a United States citizen upon their naturalization at age 16. When she graduated from college, she moved back to Germany.

The State Department claimed Schneider had lost her US citizenship in accordance with a section of the Immigration and Nationality Act which revoked the citizenship of any naturalized citizen who returned to his or her country of birth and remained there for at least three years.


The Supreme Court held that since no provision of the law stripped natural-born Americans of their citizenship as a result of extended or permanent residence abroad, it was unconstitutionally discriminatory to apply such a rule only to naturalized citizens.


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