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U.S. Supreme Court

Split Supreme Court Has Effect of Upholding Gender Difference in Immigration Law

Posted Jun 13, 2011 9:44 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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A recusal by Justice Elena Kagan has resulted in a 4-4 decision by the U.S. Supreme Court on the issue of whether a gender difference in the immigration law is unconstitutional.

The split decision (PDF) leaves intact a decision by the San Francisco-based 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals finding no equal protection violation.

Drug dealer Ruben Flores-Villar, who was born in Mexico, had claimed he was ordered deported under an unconstitutional double standard. The law in effect at the time made it easier for unmarried citizen mothers than fathers to pass on citizenship to a child born outside the country, based on the length of time the parent lived in the United States before the child was born.

The Associated Press has coverage of the case, Flores-Villar v. United States.

Prior coverage:

ABAJournal.com: "Supreme Court Enters ‘Curious Corner of Immigration Law’

ABAJournal.com: "Supreme Court Appears Unlikely to Strike Down Gender Difference in Citizenship Law"

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