Vance V. Terrazas Summary

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Vance V. Terrazas, 444 U.S. 252 (1980). Case Name: Vance V. Terrazas Facts: Laurence J. Terrazas, was born a citizen of the United States to a father who was a Mexican national. This led to his acquisition dual-citizenship, since Mexico followed the basis of jus Sanguinis, and the United States followed the basis of jus soli. At the age of 22, while studying in Mexico, he applied for a certificate of Mexican citizenship and was made to swear, “obedience and submission to the laws and authorities of the Mexican Republic”, and in the process, effectively renounced his United States citizenship. Later, when being interviewed by a United States consular officer, inconsistent accounts were given by Terrazas about whether or not he voluntarily surrendered his United States citizenship. The State Department then made a…show more content…
First, it was acknowledged that every individual is protected against losing their citizenship according to the Fourteenth Amendment, in Afroyim v. Rusk. That the Constitution requires, “clear and convincing evidence” that citizenship was voluntary denounced, which Congress does not have the power to constitute the standard of. Secondly, the court recognized that even though in the case of Nishikawa v. Dulles it was ruled that Congress does have the right to supply the standard of evidential proof; the case was not a fair decision based on the Constitution. Proof was left to Terrazas to show that he did not mean to denounce his citizenship. While congress does have the authority to set a standard on the federal level, it does not during civil cases. This resulted in the decision that Terrazas citizenship was protected through the Fourteenth Amendment and a congressional act could not strip him of his right to
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