Fox v. Clinton: Court grants motion to dismiss citizenship renunciation case but remains mystified

This case relates to a renunciation of US citizenship.  US District Court Judge Rosemary Collyer in her decision writes:

Kenneth R. Fox wants the Department of State to recognize what he claims to be acts of expatriation under 8 U.S.C. § 1481, the statute governing the procedure for relinquishing one’s citizenship, dated as of 2002, the year in which he became a citizen of Israel. Mr. Fox insists that he has relinquished his citizenship by two expatriating acts under § 1481: (1) obtaining naturalization in a foreign state by application, see 8 U.S.C. § 1481(a)(1); and (2) taking an oath or formal declaration of allegiance to a foreign state, see 8 U.S.C. § 1481(a)(2). The Department of State finds the proffered evidence of such acts lacking, but suggests an alternative course under § 1481 that would suffice: make a formal renunciation of nationality before a diplomatic or consular officer of the United States at the U.S. embassy in Tel Aviv, see 8 U.S.C. § 1481(a)(5). For some reason, Mr. Fox is unwilling to take this route to expatriation and, instead, has retained counsel and sued Hilary R. Clinton, Secretary of State, and Edward Betancourt, Director of the Office of Policy Review and Interagency Liaison, demanding that they recognize the validity of his stated acts of expatriation. Defendants have filed a motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim. Mr. Fox most gracefully opposes, but does not explain why he doesn’t just go to Tel Aviv and make a formal renunciation of nationality. The motion to dismiss will be granted and the Court will remain mystified

Read the court case here.

By the way, in July this year, the US Government started charging a fee of $450.00 for renunciation of citizenship.  

Documentation for Renunciation of Citizenship

The CoSS demonstrated that documenting a U.S. citizen’s renunciation of citizenship is extremely costly, requiring American  consular officers overseas to spend substantial amounts of time to accept, process, and adjudicate cases. A new fee of $450 will be established to help defray a portion of the total cost to the U.S.
Government of documenting the renunciation of citizenship. While the Department decided to set the fee at $450, this fee represents less than 25 percent of the cost to the U.S. Government. The Department has determined that it must recoup at least a portion of its costs of providing this very costly service but set the fee lower than the cost of service in order to lessen the impact on those who need this service and not discourage the utilization of the service, a development the Department feels would be detrimental to national interests. See 31 U.S.C. 9701(b)(2).

For more on Renunciation of U.S. Citizenship, click here.


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No exemptions from TSA full body scanners or enhanced pat-downs, not for religious reasons — but yes, exemptions yes, for special politicos

John-BoehnerImage via WikipediaOn November 17, 2010, we wrote about the TSA administrator’s insistence at a committee hearing up the Hill that there will be no exemptions, not even for religious reasons from the enhanced security screenings (see  The TSA, the terrorists who succeed even when they fail, and who the heck is going to do my cavity check?):

TSA administrator John Pistole told the Senate Homeland Security Committee yesterday that there will be no exemption from the full-body scanners or the enhanced pat downs.  Not for religious reasons. And obviously no exemption either for 96 year old grandma, or the two-month old sweet Samantha or that would give ideas to the bad guys..

Oh … and since presumptive House speaker John Boehner says he will fly commercial between his Ohio district and Washington instead of using military aircraft, can we expect that he, too will not/not be exempted from the backscatter or the enhanced pat down?

Um, sorry, to disappoint — it seems we expected too much too soon.

NYT’s The Caucus reported November 19 the No Security Pat-Downs for Boehner:

Representative John A. Boehner, soon to be the Speaker of the House, has pledged to fly commercial airlines back to his home district in Ohio. But that does not mean that he will be subjected to the hassles of ordinary passengers, including the controversial security pat-downs.

As he left Washington on Friday, Mr. Boehner headed across the Potomac River to Reagan National Airport, which was bustling with afternoon travelers. But there was no waiting in line for Mr. Boehner, who was escorted around the metal detectors and body scanners, and taken directly to the gate.

Mr. Boehner, who was wearing a casual yellow sweater and tan slacks, carried his own bags and smiled pleasantly at passengers who were leaving the security checkpoint inside the airport terminal.

We were disappointed to be so quickly disabused of our expectation.

But — had the TSA touched the junk of the incoming Speaker of the House (and our second in line to the Presidency) — we probbaly would see more hearings and expert witnesses about these TSA procedures and technologies pronto. If you are the SOTH (horrible acronym, yes?) and you go through this every time you travel, I imagine you, too would want to know the things these scanners can do to your junk, your skin, or even if it really “unzips double-stranded DNA.”

In any case, we think that Mr. Boehner could have done a great public service — by helping diffuse the furor over the screenings with “I was groped; it was no biggy.” After all, he is the incoming Speaker of the House, and the media, of course, would want to tell us what he says!

So, a teachable moment was forever lost, unfortunately.

At our house, this TSA issue is a pretty contentious subject for a variety of reasons (security theater? does it work? health effects? follow the money, yada, yada mo).  Just last night the head of my household said that “Of course, Mr. Boehner should get an exemption.”

Head: “Can you imagine the Speaker of the House in pat-downs like a common criminal on suspicion of a blurred groin syndrome?” That’s the Speaker of the House!

Me: But … but … how do we know it is really him unless he is subjected to aggressive screenings? And he’s not officially the Speaker of the House, yet.

Head: Everybody knows what he looks like.

Me. I bet you can’t even pick him from a line-up!

Head: How hard could it be, he’s all over the news.

Me. Exactly! Did you see that 20 year old Chinese male who boarded the Air Canada flight in Hong Kong last October wearing a silicone mask ala Mission Impossible to make him look like an elderly white man? See these photos (show prop)?  What if a terrorist wears a mask that makes him look like ….

Photo from CBS Alert

Head: Honeeeeey — I really don’t want to talk about John Boehner, or the TSA, anymore.  May I go to sleep now, please.

Me: BUT! (uppercase voice) HONEY (uppercase voice and stomp foot here)! What if that man on the Ohio flight was wearing a John Boehner mask? How would TSA know?

Head: Zzzzzzzzzz 

So that was that; we were talking national security and head of household went to sleep! 

Oh, right — so, how would TSA know? Um, I don’t know…. But I’m not traveling to Ohio unless everybody in my plane gets screened for bombs or masks.