Kungys v. United States

485 U.S. 759 (1988)

From our private database of 46,000+ case briefs, written and edited by humans—never with AI.

Kungys v. United States

Supreme Court of the United States
485 U.S. 759 (1988)

Facts

Kungys (plaintiff) came to the United States from Germany in 1947. He gained citizenship in 1954. In 1982, the United States sought to denaturalize Kungys pursuant to § 340(a) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (the Act) because Kungys’ citizenship had been illegally procured. The U.S. government (defendant) alleged three grounds. First, the government alleged that Kungys had participated in executing thousands of Lithuanian citizens in 1941. The government offered videotaped depositions from the Soviet Union in support of this claim, but the district court found them unreliable and insufficient to sustain the charge that Kungys had participated in the atrocities. Second, the government argued that Kungys had made false statements in his naturalization petition with respect to his date and place of birth, wartime occupations, and wartime residence. The district court found that these false statements had been made, but that they were not material within the meaning of § 340(a), as interpreted by Chaunt v. United States, 364 U.S. 350 (1960). Third, the government argued that Kungys’ citizenship had been illegally procured because at the time of naturalization he lacked good moral character required by § 316(a) and § 101(f)(6) of the Act. The district court ruled that the statements were not covered by § 101(f)(6) because they were not material. Having rejected these three points, the district court ruled in favor of Kungys. The government appealed. The Third Circuit declined to pass on the first asserted ground (participation in the atrocities), reversed on the second ground, concluding that Kungys’ willful misrepresentation was material, and agreed on the third ground that the false testimony must have been material to show lack of good moral character. Kungys appealed. The issues on appeal were whether the misrepresentations were material, and whether the misrepresentations rendered his citizenship “illegally procured” because they established he lacked good moral character.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Scalia, J.)

Concurrence (Stevens, J.)

Concurrence (Brennan, J.)

Concurrence/Dissent (O’Connor, J.)

Dissent (White, J.)

What to do next…

  1. Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.

    You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 742,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Berkeley, and Northwestern—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students.

    Unlock this case briefRead our student testimonials
  2. Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.

    Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students.

    Learn about our approachRead more about Quimbee

Here's why 742,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:

  • Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 46,000 briefs, keyed to 986 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
  • The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
  • Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
  • Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.

Access this case brief for FREE

With a 7-day free trial membership
Here's why 742,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:
  • Reliable - written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students
  • The right length and amount of information - includes the facts, issue, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents
  • Access in your class - works on your mobile and tablet
  • 46,000 briefs - keyed to 986 casebooks
  • Uniform format for every case brief
  • Written in plain English - not in legalese and not just repeating the court's language
  • Massive library of related video lessons - and practice questions
  • Top-notch customer support

Access this case brief for FREE

With a 7-day free trial membership