A former Guam resident advocating for citizenship rights of American Samoans on Monday asked the full D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals to review an earlier decision that said birthright citizenship isn’t a right guaranteed under the U.S. Constitution. In June, a panel of judges decided that citizenship isn’t a “fundamental right” for territorial residents. The case challenges the status of those born in the U.S. territory of American Samoa. Residents there are considered “non-citizen nationals,” which doesn’t carry all the rights and responsibilities of U.S. citizens.
The plaintiffs are represented by attorney Neil Weare, who also is the president and founder of the We the People Project, which advocates for territorial rights.
In its ruling issued June 5, the three-judge panel in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit ruled the Constitution does not extend birthright citizenship to the territories. The ruling stated that residents of American Samoa aren’t U.S. citizens, but instead “non-citizen nationals,” according to a press release issued by Weare.
In their decision, the judges referenced the controversial Insular Cases, which established U.S. territories’ relationship to the federal government, the press release states. Instead, they wrote, citizenship is extended to territories through legislation passed by Congress.
Full Article: Attorney asks that citizenship lawsuit be reheard.