Friday, August 22, 2003

Ciaran Cuffe

Mr. Cuffe of the Green Party has been having some tough times lately. He lost his spokesman role after it turned out he was holding shares in some unethical (if you're a Green that is) companies.

Yesterday, Dick at Backseat Drivers picked up on Cuffe's call for legislation that already exists.

Well, I wouldn't want to further add to his troubles, but I remember back before I started this blog reading an interview with Cuffe in the Sunday Business Post. At the time I read this I remember being surprised that Cuffe was dual citizen between the US and Ireland. {His mother was an American.}

I am also a dual citizen (although I was born in the US and Cuffe was, I believe, born here) and at the time I became an Irish citizen, I had understood that I was essentially banned from holding government office at a national level in Ireland (or anywhere else other than the US).

UPDATE: Aug 24 -- Frank, who knew Ciaran in college, says Cuffe was born in the US, not Ireland. I don't think it matters, really.

Today, I decided to do a little research to see what I could find on the matter. This page from the US State Department is written in that nearly impenetrable government lingo, but it does seem to me that the Department of State should have already adjudicated on Cuffe's citizenship.

Here's what I think is the key paragraph on that page:

Because the Department's administrative practice presumes that U.S. citizens employed in non-policy level positions in a foreign government do not have the requisite intent to relinquish U.S. citizenship, there are no efforts to seek out or adjudicate the citizenship of citizens who fall into this category of employment. On the other hand, because there is no administrative presumption that U.S. citizens who hold policy-level positions in foreign governments necessarily intend to retain their U.S. citizenship, efforts are made to fully adjudicate such cases to determine the individual's intent. (Service in a country's legislative body is considered by the Department to be a policy level position.)