The Law: Approving Dual Citizenship

Under a law passed in 1940, Polish-born Painter Beys Afroyim forfeited his U.S. citizenship by voting in a 1951 Israeli election. Not so, argued Afroyim all the way up to the Supreme Court. Last week the court upheld him—and thereby made it possible, in effect, for Americans to hold dual citizenship.

Until recently, Americans could lose citizenship for anything from treason to revolution to serving in a foreign army or government. In 1963, on procedural grounds, the Supreme Court threw out a provision withdrawing citizenship from those who flee the country in wartime to escape the draft. In 1964 it exempted naturalized...

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