Will Americans Be Stripped of Citizenship Based on Accusation?

By:  Joe Wolverton, II, J.D.
11/12/2012
       
Will Americans Be Stripped of Citizenship Based on Accusation?

The Terrorist Expatriation Act, which was proposed in 2010 by Senator Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.), would have stripped of his citizenship any American accused of terrorism. This would have placed the suspect outside the jurisdiction of Article III courts and assigned the trial on his alleged crimes to a military tribunal.

In a recent op-ed published in Jurist, St. John's University School of Law student Christopher Elsee described a scenario he believes threatens the civil rights of his fellow citizens.

Writes Elsee:

Imagine you have just written a check to an organization that sends mechanical engineering textbooks to students in Afghanistan or Iraq. Now further imagine that you have been engaged in this practice for well over a decade because you are interested in helping individuals in developing countries to improve their technical knowledge, with the hopes of enabling them to better themselves. Are you supporting terrorists? According to a proposed piece of legislation, you may very well be.

The legislation Elsee mentions is the Terrorist Expatriation Act. This bill, proposed in 2010 by Senator Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.), would strip any American accused of terrorism of his citizenship. This would place the suspect outside of the jurisdiction of the U.S. Constitution's Article III courts and assign the trial on his alleged crimes to a military tribunal.

As Elsee explains:

The act adds offenses such as providing material support to foreign terrorist organizations, engaging in or purposefully and materially supporting hostilities against the US or any country engaged in hostilities alongside the US or providing direct operational support to the US. Another section of the act explains that "material support or resources" means, among other things as the list goes on, property, services, training, expert advice or assistance, communications equipment and facilities.

This illustrates why the person in Elsee’s hypothetical would face expatriation.

Click here to read the entire article.

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