Can the United States be justified in imposing, without informed consent, U.S. citizenship on a group of persons, especially “never-meaningfuls”, who do not want U.S. citizenship?
Here below are a few quotes from a June 5, 2015 United States D.C Court of Appeal ruling, on the question of citizenship status of residents of American Samoa, that bear somewhat on this question.
[Back in August 2014, Eric discussed this lawsuit, recently ruled on in D.C. Court of Appeals. As Eric comments below, there is a focus in the ruling on “collective” consent which sidesteps the issue — but this does raise the question whether it could ever be feasible for U.S. people overseas (perhaps beginning with those in Canada for example) to express, and insist on, their self-determination and rights through their own collective association — that need not be part of any U.S. political process. Probably not practical, but are we not a “people”?]
A FEW QUOTES FROM THE RULING:
“BROWN (Senior Circuit Judge): In our constitutional republic, Justice Brandeis observed, the title of citizen is superior to the title of President. Thus, the questions “[w]ho is the citizen[?]” and “what is the meaning of the term?” Aristotle, Politics bk. 3, reprinted in part in READINGS IN POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY 55, 61 (Francis W. Coker ed., 1938), are no less than the questions of “who constitutes the sovereign state?” and “what is the meaning of statehood as an association?”
“We can envision little that is more anomalous, under modern standards, than the forcible imposition of citizenship against the majoritarian will.”
“We hold it anomalous to impose citizenship over the objections of the American Samoan people themselves, as expressed through their democratically elected representatives.”
“A republic of people “is not every group of men, associated in any manner,[it] is the coming together of . . . men who are united by common agreement . . .” [MARCUS TULLIUS CICERO]”
“See, e.g., U.N. Charter arts. 1,73 (recognizing self-determination of people as a guiding principle and obliging members to “take due account of the political aspirations of the peoples” inhabiting non-self-governing territories under a member’s responsibility); Atlantic Charter, U.S.-U.K., Aug. 14, 1941 (endorsing“respect [for] the right of all peoples to choose the form of government under which they will live”); Woodrow Wilson,President, United States, Fourteen Points, Address to JointSession of Congress (Jan. 8, 1918) (“[I]n determining all questions of sovereignty the interests of the populations concerned must have equal weight with the equitable claims of the government whose title is to be determined.”)”
“In this manner, we distinguish a republican association from the autocratic subjugation of free people. And from this, it is consequently understood that democratic “governments . . . deriv[e] their  powers from the consent of the governed,”
“Citizenship is the effect of [a] compact[;] . . . [it] is a political tie.”
[Talbot v. Jansen]”
“The fabric of American empire ought to rest on the solid basis of the consent of the People.”
— Also, some thoughts on citizenship from an anonymous commenter on Townsend’s Federal Tax Crimes blog: “…If you’re a Canadian citizen under Canadian laws what difference does it make that some foreign laws classify you as a citizen of that foreign country? The boundary of the U.S.A. is the boundary of the U.S.A. Just say NO and stay in Canada. Why should you visit a foreign country’s diplomatic mission and pay a fee to renounce a citizenship that foreign country unilaterally inflicted upon you? Just say NO.”