United States v. Mendoza
United States Supreme Court
464 U.S. 154 (1984)
Mendoza (plaintiff) was a Filipino national who petitioned the United States for naturalization in 1978 based on a World War II statute giving foreigners who served for the U.S. during the War the right to receive citizenship. The statute was repealed after the War and only those who applied prior to the end of 1946 were entitled to naturalization under the statute. Between October 1945 and August 1946, however, the U.S. immigration office in the Philippines was closed, making it difficult for Filipinos to take advantage. In a 1975 lawsuit, 68 Filipino veterans were granted naturalization despite not applying until after 1946. Mendoza brought suit to be granted naturalization under the same reasoning and the court of appeals found in his favor, holding that the U.S. government was estopped from relitigating the issue in part because it failed to appeal the prior decision. The United States Supreme Court granted certiorari.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Rehnquist, J.)