San Diego Law Review


Alan G. James

Library of Congress Authority File


Document Type



This Article analyzes the renunciation of United States citizenship by the Hebrew Israelite Community, a small obscure religious cult. It examines the legal justification for the Department of State restoring citizenship to those who expatriated themselves. The Department of State recognized that pressure by the Hebrew Israelite Community leadership for its members to renounce their citizenship, whether intense or nominal, whether there were alternatives or not, was ipso facto coercion. The author finds that the Department of State's special policy and procedures to facilitate the restoration of citizenship to the former cult members is a welcome development. The Article examines the legal precedent behind this decision, and finds support for the decision in case law and legal doctrine.