The Terrorist Expatriation Act
This is ultimately a non-starter (I think), but still worthy of comment:
The Terrorist Expatriation Act, co-sponsored by Senators Joseph I. Lieberman, independent of Connecticut, and Scott Brown, Republican of Massachusetts, would allow the State Department to revoke the citizenship of people who provide support to terrorist groups like Al Qaeda or who attack the United States or its allies.
Ultimately, I am not sure what the point would be. If someone is arrested on US soil, whether citizen or foreigner, they still get basic constitutional protections. Further, if someone was found guilty of al Qaeda ties, it isn’t like we are simply going to deport them (see, e.g., Guantánamo). Further, if a US citizen is found guilty of terrorism, it isn’t as if the suspect’s citizenship status will forestall life in prison or execution, depending on the crime.
What’s especially troubling, in my mind at least, about the proposed law is that the process to revoke citizenship is an administration one, as opposed to a judicial one. From Lieberman’s remarks introducing the bill:
The State Department will make an administrative determination that a U.S. Citizen has indicated an intent to renounce their citizenship by supporting an FTO.
First, I am not sure what problem this actually solves.
Second, making this is into a bureaucratic decision hardly seems appropriate, especially given the nebulous nature of the discussion. Not exactly a “limited government” move, shall we say,