Amanda Frost, a professor at the University of Virginia School of Law and author of "You Are Not American: Citizenship Stripping from Dred Scott to the Dreamers" joins Democracy Nerd to discuss with Jefferson the history of citizenship stripping in the United States. The discussion delves into the intricate history of citizenship stripping, unraveling key legislative acts and Supreme Court cases that have shaped this complex narrative.
Along with the landmark Dred Scott decision by the Supreme Court--which stripped citizenship of all Black people in the United States--and the Expatriation Act of 1907, Amanda provides insight on the various legal precedents that have influenced the concept of citizenship, including Wong Kim Ark's pivotal Supreme Court case that solidified the notion of "birthright citizenship" in the United States, a foundational principle that has played a crucial role in shaping the nation's identity.
Amanda also discusses the story of Ethel Coope Mackenzie, a California suffragist who saw her citizenship stripped after marrying a native-born Scotsman, ultimately failing in an appeal to the Supreme Court which unanimously decided to not restore her American citizenship.
Throughout the conversation, Amanda highlights the interconnected relationship between the promise of citizenship and waves of immigration, underscoring how this promise has historically fueled the influx of diverse populations, contributing to the transformation of the United States into an economic powerhouse. The episode weaves together legal history, individual stories, and broader socio-economic trends to offer a comprehensive understanding of the intricate tapestry of citizenship in the United States.