State citizenship

State citizenship

State citizenship usually refers to citizenship of one of the states of the United States of America. Citizenship was initially defined by Article 4 of the United States Constitution, and later clarified by the 14th Amendment, which states: "All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside."


In matters of international law, a citizen of one of the several States is frequently considered a United States citizen. Passports issued by the U.S. State Department refer to the "citizen/national," since the document is used by both classes. While being a citizen of the United States arises out of birth or naturalization, state Citizenship is based on birth and domicile. In an American court, however, State Citizenship is separate and distinct from U.S. citizenship. ["United States citizenship does not entitle citizen to privileges and immunities of citizen of state, since privileges and immunities of one are not the same as the other." K. Tashiro v. Jordan (1927), 201 Cal 239, 256 p 245, 53 ALR 1279, affirmed 49 S.Ct 47, 278 US 123, 73 L.Ed 214, 14 CJS 2 p113 n75] [ "Privileges and immunities clause of Fourteenth Amendment protects only those rights peculiar to being citizen of the federal government; it does not protect those rights which relate to state citizenship." Jones v. Temmer (1994), 829 F. Supp. 1226, U.S.C.A. Const.Amend. 14 section 1] ["Both before and after the Fourteenth Amendment to the federal Constitution, it has not been necessary for a person to be a citizen of the United States in order to be a citizen of his state." Crosse v. Board of Supervisors of Elections (1966) 221 A.2d 431 p.433, citing U.S. v. Cruikshank (1875), 92 U.S. 542, 549, 23 L.Ed. 588 (1875), Slaughter-House Cases (1872), 83 U.S. 36; 1872 U.S. LEXIS 1139; 21 L. Ed. 394; 16 Wall. 36] ["Rights under 42 USCS sect.1983 are for citizens of United States and not of state." Wadleigh v. Newhall (1905 CC Cal) 136 F 941] ["... it is definitely settled that citizenship of the United States is paramount and dominant and not subordinate and derivative from state citizenship." Arver v. U.S., Minn. & N.Y., 38 S.Ct. 159, 245 U.S. 366, 62 L.Ed. 349, L.R.A.1918C 361, Ann. Cas.1918B 856] State laws (more frequently of states admitted to the Union before 1866 than after) also make this distinction. [ California Government Code Section 242: Noncitizens. Persons in the State not its citizens are either: (a) Citizens of other States; or (b) Aliens (Stats 1943, c.134, p.109, sect.242. Derivation: Pol.C. Sect.57"]

A person is subject to the jurisdiction of a state simply by being physically present in that state. Any person, whether citizen, foreign national, corporation or other legal entity, is subject to the jurisdiction of both the laws of the state in which that person resides and the federal laws that apply to all the states. There are exceptions, such as for diplomats with immunity. Such persons also enjoy certain legal rights under both systems. For example, an Englishman accused of a crime in New Jersey can be found guilty and punished, but only after a trial conducted according to the standards of the United States and New Jersey legal systems.

As a practical matter, states may restrict certain privileges of citizenship to those who are long-term or permanent residents. Some states distinguish different pains and penalties for the same offense depending on whether the accused is a state Citizen or resident person. [California Penal Code, Title 8, Section 227 ("Every person who fights a punishable by imprisonment in the state prison, or in the county jail, not exceeding one year.")CPC, Title 8, Section 228 ("Any citizen of this state who shall fight a duel...shall not be allowed to hold any office of profit, or to enjoy the right of suffrage, and shall be declared so disqualified in the judgment, upon conviction.")]

Another more common example of this is in the public university system, where state residents pay substantially reduced tuition compared to persons who live outside the state. The definition of this "in-state" status varies from state to state. Citizens might be required to live in the state for a minimum of 1 year, or they might be required to pay state income or property taxes at least once.


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