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preserved for its own citizens. In other words, the ruling was given point by the special power of the State over the subject-matter, a power which exists in the case at bar, as we have seen.
From these premises we conclude that the Labor Law of New York and its threatened enforcement do not violate the Fourteenth Amendment or the rights of plaintiffs in error thereunder nor under the provisions of the treaty with Italy.
MACKENZIE V. HARE ET AL., BOARD OF ELECTION OF SAN FRANCISCO
Supreme Court of the United States
Decided December 6, 1915
This is an appeal from the decision of the Supreme Court of California, rendered August 5, 1913, and printed in the July, 1914, number of the Journal (Vol. 8, p. 665). The petitioner, a native-born citizen of the United States and a resident of the State of California, married a British subject. After her marriage she continued to reside with her husband in California and, upon application to be registered as a voter, her request was denied on the ground that, by her marriage to a British subject, she took the nationality of her husband and ceased to be a citizen of the United States. The petitioner claims the right to vote under the Constitution of the State of California, which gives the suffrage "to every native citizen of the United States," and under the Constitution of the United States, which provides that every person born in the United States is a citizen thereof. Prior to the marriage of the plaintiff, Congress enacted the Citizenship Act of March 2, 1907, section 3 of which provides:
That any American woman who marries a foreigner shall take the nationality of her husband. At the termination of the marital relation she may resume her American citizenship, if abroad, by registration as an American citizen within one year with a consul of the United States, or by returning to reside in the United States, or, if residing in the United States at the termination of the marital relation, by continuing to reside therein.
The plaintiff contended, first, that this legislation applied only to citizens residing abroad and not to citizens who reside in the United States, but the court declined to limit the application of the act in this way and construed it to include all American citizens wherever residing. The petitioner then contended that, if the act applied to her, it was unconstitutional, the argument being that "the citizenship of plaintiff was an incident to her birth in the United States and, under the Constitution and laws of the United States, it became a right, privilege and immunity which could not be taken away from her except as a punishment for crime or by her voluntary expatriation.”
After summarizing the arguments, the court, speaking through Mr. Justice McKenna, decided as follows:
It would make this opinion very voluminous to consider in detail the argument and the cases urged in support of or in attack upon the opposing conditions. Their foundation principles, we may assume, are known. The identity of husband and wife is an ancient principle of our jurisprudence. It was neither accidental nor arbitrary and worked in many instances for her protection. There has been, it is true, much relaxation of it but in its retention as in its origin it is determined by their intimate relation and unity of interests, and this relation and unity may make it of public concern in many instances to merge their identity, and give dominance to the husband. It has purpose, if not necessity, in purely domestic policy; it has greater purpose and, it may be, necessity, in international policy. And this was the dictate of the act in controversy. Having this purpose, has it not the sanction of power?
Plaintiff contends, as we have seen, that it has not, and bases her contention upon the absence of an express gift of power. But there may be powers implied, necessary or incidental to the expressed powers. As a government, the United States is invested with all the attributes of sovereignty. As it has the character of nationality it has the powers of nationality, especially those which concern its relations and intercourse with other countries. We should hesitate long before limiting or embarrassing such powers. But monition is not necessary in the present case. There need be no dissent from the cases cited by plaintiff; there need be no assertion of very extensive power over the right of citizenship or of the imperative imposition of conditions upon it. It may be conceded that a change of citizenship cannot be arbitrarily imposed, that is, imposed without the concurrence of the citizen. The law in controversy does not have that feature. It deals with a condition voluntarily entered into, with notice of the consequences. We concur with counsel that citizenship is of tangible worth, and we sympathize with plaintiff in her desire to retain it and in her earnest assertion of it. But there is involved more than personal considerations. As we have seen, the legislation was urged by conditions of national moment. And this is an answer to the apprehension of counsel that our construction of the legislation will make every act, though lawful, as marriage, of course, is, a renunciation of citizenship. The marriage of an American woman with a foreigner has consequences of like kind, may involve national complications of like kind, as her physical expatriation may involve. Therefore, as long as the relation lasts it is made tantamount to expatriation. This is no arbitrary exercise of government. It is one which, regarding the international aspects, judicial opinion has taken for granted would not only be valid but demanded. It is the conception of the legislation under review that such an act may bring the Government into embarrassments and, it may be, into controversies. It is as voluntary and distinctive as expatriation and its consequence must be considered as elected.
Ex PARTE WEBER
British Court of Appeal
Decided July 26, 1915
(The Times Law Reports, Volume 31, page 602)
This was an application by way of appeal from the refusal of the Divisional Court to grant a writ of habeas corpus in the case of Antonius Charles Frederick Weber, who was interned in the Isle of Man as an
The facts and arguments fully appear from the judgment.
Lord Justice SWINFEN Eady, in giving judgment, said that assuming, without deciding, that in such a case as the present an appeal lay to that court, he was of opinion that the application failed on the merits. The appellant Weber was 32 years of age. He was born on January 30, 1883, at Neuwied, in Germany. He left Germany when he was a little over 15 years of age and he went to South America and after living there for two or three years he came to England, where he stated that he had lived since about January, 1901. In January, 1903, he married Johanna Maria, widow of John Van Rhyn, a Dutchman. The lady was herself originally of Dutch nationality. She was a widow with three children, and there had been two children born of that marriage. The appellant stated that he lived with his wife in Hackney and that his occupation was that of confidential clerk and cashier to M. Simon Milandre, a Frenchman who lived and carried on business near Paris as a dealer in poultry. He had been interned and the ground of his present application was that he disputed that he was an alien enemy and he contended that he was of no nationality whatever. Born in Germany and having lived in Germany until he was nearly fifteen years of age, he said that he had lost German nationality by virtue of the law passed on June 1, 1870, before the Franco-German War, which provided that Germans who left the territory of the Confederation and resided for 10 years uninterruptedly abroad ipso facto lost their nationality.
He stated that the term of ten years was calculated from the moment of leaving German territory, or, in case they were in possession of a passport or of a Heimatschein (and there was some conflict as to what the document exactly was), from the moment when the document ceased to have currency—that was to say, one year after the date of its issue. In one of the documents this Heimatschein was translated as being a certificate of nativity. Dr. Schirrmeister-Marshal, an English barrister and a former German who had been naturalized, stated that the true and proper translation of Heimatschein was not a certificate; he stated that it was mistranslated in the official English translation, and that it was a document prepared by the authorities of one Federal State certifying that the person named in it was a subject of that State, and that such a certificate was in use chiefly when the subject of one Federal State intended to visit another, in which case a passport was unsuitable, and that such certificates had now become obsolete.
In support of the application, Dr. Schirrmeister-Marshal stated, as a matter of legal opinion, that
the statute of 1870 there was no exception of persons under 21, and that it had been judicially determined in Germany that the mere expiration of the statutory period of ten years or eleven years as the case might be was sufficient in all cases to deprive the party of his German nationality.
A new statute had been passed in Germany dated July 22, 1913. It was said that the statute was not retrospective. He was not satisfied of that. He had to consider the effects of these two statutes. It was said that under the new statute if the applicant had not lost his nationality previously he certainly lost it on attaining the age of 31 years. In his Lordship's opinion the applicant had failed to establish that he had entirely lost for all purposes his German nationality. It was said
that the law of 1870 was passed to free the German Government from the burden of protecting abroad persons who had been absent for that period; but it was quite manifest when the provisions of the laws of 1870 and 1913 were compared that the applicant had not entirely lost his German nationality for all purposes whatever. If he were to return to Germany, and if in the language of section 26 of the Act of 1913 he were to prove "that no blame attached to him, the Federal State to which he formerly belonged may not refuse to naturalize him."
Moreover, in certain cases even without returning to Germany, a person who had lost nationality in the circumstances which he had mentioned, even if in the meantime he had acquired a foreign domicile, might still, according to the language of the statute, recover his nationality. In other words, although his position might be affected by his absence from Germany he had not entirely lost his nationality of origin. In those circumstances the applicant had failed to establish by the evidence which he had adduced that he was not an alien enemy. It would be sufficient to say that he had failed to satisfy the court that he had ceased to be of German nationality. He was not, therefore, entitled to have recourse to the court for a writ of habeas corpus.
Lord Justice Phillimore and Lord Justice Bankes agreed.
THE ANTARES (AND FOUR OTHER VESSELS)
British Prize Court
Decided March 8, 1915
(The Times Law Reports, Volume 31, page 290)
By Order I, Rule 2, of the Prize Court Rules, 1914, "Unless the contrary intention appears, the provisions of these rules relative to ships shall extend and apply, mutatis mutandis, to goods.” By Order XXIX, Rule I, where the Lords of the Admiralty desire to requisition a ship and there is no reason to believe that the ship is entitled to be released, the judge shall order the ship to be appraised and to be delivered to them, “Provided that no order shall be made by the judge under this rule in respect of a ship which he considers there is good reason to believe to be neutral property." By Rule 3, where a ship is required forthwith for the service of the Crown, a judge can order it to be forthwith released to the Lords of the Admiralty without appraisement.