Is there a gendered difference in how long it takes someone to become a “real” citizen?

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That’s not exactly the question in Flores-Villar v. United States, a case in which the Court granted cert. today.   But the case does involve a statute which provided a gender differential for unmarried mothers and unmarried fathers regarding the citizenship rights of their children: citizen fathers had to reside in the United States four years longer than citizen mothers.   Additionally, the citizen father had to reside in the United States for at least five years after his fourteenth birthday – – – a”impossibility”in Flores-Villar because the citizen father was sixteen years old at the time of the birth of the child.

The Ninth Circuit upheld the statutory scheme against a challenge of gender discrimination, relying on Nguyen v. INS, 533 U.S. 53 (2001).

Maybe women are just “quicker” than men in making a new home?

For more analysis, see Constitutional Law Professors blog here.

- Ruthann Robson

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