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Argued January 8, 2008

Before: RANDOLPH and ROGERS, Circuit Judges, and EDWARDS, Senior Circuit Judge.

James Kaufman seeks to renounce his United States citizenship pursuant to section 349 of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 66 Stat. 163 (1952) (“the Act”), codified at 8 U.S.C. § 1481. The Act provides that a citizen shall lose his nationality upon making a formal renunciation request of the Attorney General “whenever the United States shall be in a state of war and the Attorney General shall approve such renunciation as not contrary to the interests of national defense.” 8 U.S.C. § 1481(a)(6). When Kaufman failed to receive the response he sought to his renunciation request, he filed suit alleging the violation of his statutory and constitutional rights. Kaufman now seeks reversal of the district court’s dismissal of his complaint, contending that he is entitled to a court order compelling the Attorney General to carry out his duty under section 1481(a)(6). The government’s brief responds that mandamus will not lie in view of the discretionary nature of the Attorney General’s duty under the statute. At oral argument, however, the government contended that the Attorney General’s authority under the Act was transferred to a bureau within the Department of Homeland Security and that Kaufman did receive a response to his renunciation request from that bureau indicating that he is ineligible for relief under section 1481(a)(6).

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