The story is about Michele Bachmann, former presidential candidate, who along with her family recently registered with the Swiss government as a Swiss citizen (a citizenship to which she was entitled under Swiss law since she married a Swiss husband in 1978).
According to the Supreme Court in the case of Perkins v. Elg, a person born a natural born citizen remains so even if they acquire foreign citizenship, so long as they do not perform an act as an adult to expatriate themself from the United States. Bachmann faced no questions about her potential dual nationality that I am aware of from the Birther side when she ran for President, even though they could have easily found out about it if they had looked. It appears that John McCain was also eligible at one time to apply for Panamanian citizenship due to his birth in that country.
The story was variously reported in the press, and we’ve made a little fun of it in comments on this blog. Bachmann is running for re-election to the House and her opponent, Democrat Jim Graves, has raised the issue. It appears that the sensitivity of some folks has been offended to the point of making Bachmann reconsider. According to a story in The Los Angeles Times, Bachmann has renounced her Swiss citizenship so that there would be no doubts as to where her loyalties lie, saying:
I took this action because I want to make it perfectly clear: I was born in America and I am a proud American citizen.
While not a constitutional barrier to serving in Congress, I still think that seeking dual citizenship is unseemly, and the question of divided loyalties is a legitimate one for the voters. If Barack Obama hadn’t lost his dual citizenship with Kenya at age 23, I’d raise the same issue with him.