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Striking Down Law, Supreme Court Finds Moms, Dads Equally Confer Citizenship on Kids

The law affects children born to unwed parents outside the U.S.

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    Striking Down Law, Supreme Court Finds Moms, Dads Equally Confer Citizenship on Kids
    Mark Wilson/Getty Images
    The early morning sun begins to rise behind the U.S. Supreme Court building, on June 6, 2017, in Washington, D.C.

    The Supreme Court has struck down an unusual law that treats fathers and mothers differently when it comes to conferring citizenship on children born outside the U.S.

    The ruling on Monday affects a law that applies to children born abroad to one parent who is an American and one who isn't. The law makes it tougher for children of unwed American fathers to gain citizenship themselves.

    The case involves Luis Ramon Morales-Santana, a New York resident born in the Dominican Republic to an unwed U.S. citizen father and a Dominican mother. He challenged the law and asserted he is a U.S. citizen after authorities sought to deport him following convictions for robbery and attempted murder.

    A federal appeals court struck down the law and the Obama administration appealed.