Surprisingly, this joke provides a good introduction to the US Court of Appeals case of Roger Lin et. al. v. United States of America,
which is commencing in Nov. 2008. As most people know, native Taiwanese people currently carry Republic of China
passports and other identification documents. However, the basic rationale for this lawsuit is that (1) no international legal documents have ever
recognized the transfer of Taiwan's sovereignty to the Republic of China, (2) neither the United States nor any other leading world nation recognizes the Republic
of China as a sovereign state, hence (3) native Taiwanese people cannot be correctly classified as having "Republic of China nationality."
Dr. Roger Lin and the other Plaintiffs/Appellants assert that under the US Immigration and Nationality Act, the Sentate-ratified San Francisco Peace
Treaty of 1952, and related US Supreme Court precedent, native Taiwanese persons must be correctly classified as "US national non-citizens."
Based on this interpretation, beginning in October 2005, Dr. Roger Lin initiated written communications with the Taipei Office of the American
Institute in Taiwan (AIT). Receiving no response, he then lead a large group of native Taiwanese persons to AIT on March 29, 2006, with US passport
applications in hand, and expressed the desire to apply for US national non-citizen passports. However, AIT denied all of the applicants physical
entry to its premises.
With the help of a prominent Washington D.C. law firm, a number of these applicants filed suit in the United States District Court, Washington
D.C., on Oct. 24, 2006. In a decision dated March 18, 2008, the District Court recognized that native Taiwanese people, including the Plaintiffs/Appellants,
have been essentially stateless for nearly sixty years. However, the Court felt that the lawsuit presented political questions which were outside of
In early November 2008, the Appellants presented their first Brief to the US Court of Appeals, Washington D.C. Using extensive legal analysis,
comparative historical & economic overviews, in accompaniment with many case references, the Brief stresses that this lawsuit does not present a
"nonjusticiable political question." Rather, the needed adjudication is a straightforward matter of ascertaining the Appellants' civil rights
under US laws, Senate-ratified treaties, the US Constitution, and the existing framework for relations with the people of Taiwan as established by the
US Executive Branch.
All people concerned about the future democratic development of Taiwan are invited to read the entire Brief for complete details.
November 3, 2008
Appellants' Brief (.pdf) 53 pages
Cover Page (stamped) (.pdf) 1 page
Joint Appendix (.pdf) 381 pages
December 3, 2008
US Government's Brief
(Not yet available on the Federal Judiciary's PACER Service Center)
December 17, 2008
Appellants' Reply Brief (.pdf) 34 pages
Feb. 5, 2009
US Court of Appeals