Luria v. United States
231 U.S. 9 (1913)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Luria v. United States, 231 U.S. 9 (1913)

Luria v. United States

No. 27

Argued April 23, 1913

Decided October 20, 1913

231 U.S. 9

Syllabus

Where a point involving sufficiency of the complaint is not raised and defendant does not challenge the statement of the court that it supposes the point will not be raised, it is too late to raise it in this Court.

This Court concurs in the conclusion reached by the district court that the residence in a foreign country of one whose certificate of naturalization was attacked as fraudulent was intended to be and was of a permanent nature and justified the proceeding on the part of the United States to cancel the certificate under § 15 of the Act of June 29, 1906.

Unverified certificates of unofficial parties as to residence of a naturalized person in a foreign country held sufficient to overcome the presumption of permanent residence created under § 15 of the Act of June 29, 1906.

The provisions of the second paragraph of § 15 of the Act of June 29, 1906, dealing with the evidential effect of taking up a permanent residence in a foreign country within five years after securing a certificate of naturalization applies not only to certificates issued under that law, but also to those issued under prior laws.

The words "provisions of this section" used in a statute naturally mean every part of the section, one paragraph as much as another.

A paragraph in a statute which is plain and unambiguous must be accepted as it reads even though inserted as an amendment by one branch of the legislature.

The statutes, as they existed prior to June 29, 1906, conferred the right to naturalization upon such aliens only as contemplated the continuance of a residence already established in the United States.

Citizenship is membership in a political society, and implies the reciprocal obligations as compensation for each other of a duty of allegiance on the part of the member and a duty of protection on the part of the society.

Under the Constitution of the United States, a naturalized citizen stands on an equal footing with the native citizen in all respects save that of eligibility to the Presidency.

That which is contrary to the plain implication of a statute is unlawful,

Page 231 U. S. 10

for what is clearly implied is as much a part of a law as that which is expressed.

The spirit of the naturalization laws of the United States has always been that an applicant, if admitted to citizenship, should be a citizen in fact as well as name and bear the obligations and duties of that status as well as enjoy its rights and privileges.

The provisions of § 15 of the Act of June 29, 1906, are not unconstitutional as making any act fraudulent or illegal that was honest and legal when done or as imposing penalties, or doing more than providing for annulling letters of citizenship to which the possessors were never entitled. Johannessen v. United States,225 U. S. 227.

The establishment of a presumption from certain facts prescribes a rule of evidence, and not one of substantive right, and if the inference is reasonable and opportunity is given to controvert the presumption, it is not a denial of due process of law, Mobile &c. R. Co. v. Turnipseed,219 U. S. 35, even if made applicable to existing causes of action.

The right to have one's controversy determined by existing rules of evidence is not a vested right, and a reasonable change of such rules does not deny due process of law.

The taking up of a permanent residence in a foreign country shortly after naturalization has a bearing upon the purpose for which naturalization is sought, and it is reasonable to make it a presumption that such action indicates an absence of intention to reside permanently in the United States, and the provision of § 15 of the Act of June 29, 1906, making such action a presumption, rebuttable by proof to the contrary, of intention not to reside permanently in the United States is not unconstitutional as a denial of due process of law.

A proceeding under § 15 of the Act of June 29, 1906, to cancel a certificate of naturalization on the ground that it was fraudulently issued is not a suit at common law, but a suit in equity similar to a suit to cancel a patent for land or letters patent for an invention, and the defendant is not entitled to a trial by jury under the Seventh Amendment. United States v. Bell Telephone Co.,128 U. S. 315.

184 F. 643 affirmed.

The facts, which involve the construction of § 15 of the Act of June 29, 1906, 34 Stat. 596, 601, c. 3592, relating to citizenship and naturalization and the validity of a decree setting aside a certificate of naturalization on the ground that it was fraudulently issued, are stated in the opinion.

Page 231 U. S. 17

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