Thursday, June 22, 2017

Supreme Court Decides Criminal Naturalization Case in Favor of Naturalized U.S. Citizen


The Supreme Court today decided Maslenjak v. United States .  Justice Kagan wrote for the Court.  The Chief Justice and Justices Kennedy, Breyer, Ginsburg, and Sotomayor joined. The Court held that only material misstatements can result in a  criminal conviction (and stripped of citizenship) under a federal statute prohibiting knowingly committing an illegal act to secure naturalization

Justice Gorsuch concurred in part and concurred in the judgment.  Justice Thomas joined his opinion.  Justice Alito concurred in the judgment.

Divna Maslenjak, a Bosnian Serb ,had been granted refugee status and later naturalized to become a U.S. citizen.  She made a misstatement in her naturalization petition about her husband's service in the Bosnian Serb Army.  The issue before the Supreme Court was whether the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit erred by holding, in direct conflict with the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the 1st, 4th, 7th and 9th Circuits, that a naturalized U.S. citizen can be stripped of her citizenship in a criminal proceeding based on an immaterial false statement.

There were no other immigration decisions today.  Perhaps tomorrow?

Here is the Supreme Court's opinion.

UPDATE (June 23):  Amy Howe's recap of the Maslenjak decision for SCOTUSBlog is here. This post on the Faegre Benson Daniels website summarizes the case, the various opinions, and the holding.  For additional analysis of the opinions, see Edith Roberts' "Friday Round Up" on SCOTUSBlog. 


Current Affairs | Permalink


Post a comment