Press Release

Claremont Institute’s Center for Constitutional Jurisprudence Files Amicus Brief in ISIS Bride Citizenship Case


Claremont, CA—The Claremont Institute's Center for Constitutional Jurisprudence filed an amicus brief in Muthana vs. Pompeo, a case that tests the citizenship claims of the U.S.-born daughter of a foreign diplomat who fled the United States to join the Islamic State and now seeks to return. The case has the potential to prompt both judicial and public reexamination of controversial “birthright citizenship.”

Opposing the plaintiff’s claim to citizenship, Dr. John Eastman, founder of the Center for Constitutional Jurisprudence, writes, "Hoda Muthana is not eligible for U.S. citizenship now or even at the time of her birth because she does not fulfill the Constitutional requirement that calls for both birth in United States territory and jurisdictional allegiance to the United States in order for one to have a Constitutional right to citizenship."

Eastman points out that, despite the fact that Muthana was born on U.S. soil, her parents were, at most, temporary sojourners at the time of her birth and as such not subject to the full and complete jurisdiction of the United States required by the Fourteenth Amendment for the grant of automatic citizenship at birth. Eastman argues that Muthana’s reliance on the Supreme Court’s 1898 decision in Wong Kim Ark is misplaced. The holding of that case is inapplicable, Eastman explains, because it dealt with a child born to parents who were lawfully and permanently “domiciled” in the United States, not those who were merely temporary visitors. Furthermore, the overly-broad reading of Wong Kim Ark is incompatible not only with the text of the Citizenship Clause but with the political theory of the American founding as well.

On these grounds, Eastman urges the Court to deny Ms. Muthana’s claim of U.S. citizenship.

The Center for Constitutional Jurisprudence is the public interest law arm of the Claremont Institute, whose stated mission is to restore the principles of the American founding to their rightful and preeminent authority in our national life.