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Law School Case Brief

United States ex rel. Knauff v. Shaughnessy - 338 U.S. 537, 70 S. Ct. 309 (1950)

Rule:

Whatever the procedure authorized by Congress is, it is due process as far as an alien denied entry is concerned.

Facts:

Knauff was a war bride who was born in Germany and secured civilian employment with the U.S. War Department in Germany. Her work was rated "very good" and "excellent." With permission of the commanding general, petitioner married a naturalized U.S. citizen who was employed as a civilian in the U.S. Army. Knauff sought naturalization as a U.S. citizen. Knauff was temporarily excluded from the U.S. by the Attorney General without a hearing on grounds that her admission would be prejudicial to the interests of the U.S. The lower courts upheld the ruling. 

Issue:

Was the exclusion of Knauff from entry to the United States constitutional?

Answer:

Yes.

Conclusion:

The Court affirmed the ruling, holding that the War Brides Act did not relieve petitioner of her alien status. The right to exclude was inherent in the executive power to control the foreign affairs of the nation. The procedure authorized by Congress constituted due process as far as an alien denied entry was concerned.

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