The U.S Supreme Court Eliminates Gender Equality in the Citizenship Laws

The U.S Supreme Court recently abolished the gender discrimination that is in the U.S immigration law that tends to offer different treatment to parents when determining the citizenship of a child. The court referred to the law as “stunningly anachronistic.” The high court that was led by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg gave an 8-0 ruling in the case that the equal protection guarantee of the U.S Constitutions was violated the by the law that determines how individuals who are born overseas can be eligible for U.S Citizenship. The New York resident who filed the case, Luis Morales-Santana, may fail to benefit from the ruling. The individual was arrested for several offenses and was trying to avoid being deported to the Dominican Republic.


According to the law, an unmarried father who holds American citizenship was required to live in the U.S for at least five years before he can secure citizenship for his child who was born abroad to a mother who is a non-U.S Citizen. An amendment was made in 2012 and increase the period to 10 years. Unmarried mothers who are in the same situation need to live in the country for one year. The Supreme Court stated that the Congress should change the law and both men and women should meet the five years requirement.


Ginsburg, who is respected for her involvement in gender equality issues before being appointed as a jurist, stated that the duration of residence for the mothers and fathers who are not married and have accepted parental roles is incredibly anachronistic. She further argued that the U.S Constitution demands that the government should ensure that its male and female citizens are offered equal dignity. Morales-Santana was born abroad to a non-citizen mother while his father was a U.S citizen, but he did not meet the required years by 20 days. The years that had been set for the fathers were burdening, and various U.S courts stood with Morales-Santana on the issue.