Judge Learned Hand
The petitioner has appealed from an order denying his petition for naturalization on the ground that he had failed to establish that he was a person of "good moral character" for the five years preceding the filing of the petition on July 5, 1944. He was a native of Germany, at that time thirty-nine years old, who had been admitted to the United States for permanent residence on January 17, 1939. He was a teacher of French and German in the College of the City of New York and was in every way qualified as a citizen, except that, in a moment of what may have been unnecessary frankness, he verified an affidavit before the examiner, which contained the following passage. "Now and then I engaged in an act in sexual intercourse with women. These women have been single and unmarried women. As to the frequency of these acts I can only state that they occurred now and then. My last such act took place about half a year ago with an unmarried woman." The only question in the case is whether by this admission the alien showed that he was not a person of "good moral character."
In United States ex rel. Iorio v. Day, a deportation case where the Commisioner of Immigration had held that a violation of the Prohibition Law was "a crime involving moral turpitude," we said that it was "impossible to decide at all without some estimate, necessarily based on conjecture, as to what people generally feel." The phrase, "good moral character," in the Naturalization Law, is of the same kind, and makes the same demand. It is true that in Estrin v. United States we held that a
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Publication information: Book title: The World of Law:A Treasury of Great Writing about and in the Law, Short Stories, Plays, Essays, Accounts, Letters, Opinions, Pleas, Transcripts of Testimony; from Biblical Times to the Present. Volume: 2. Contributors: Ephraim London - Editor. Publisher: Simon & Schuster. Place of publication: New York. Publication year: 1960. Page number: 702.
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