Joe Lieberman names citizenship-stripping bill "the TEA Act"

America's Most Annoying Senator is hopping on the tea bandwagon

By Alex Pareene
May 6, 2010 7:45PM (UTC)
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Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee Chairman Sen. Joseph Lieberman, I-Conn., speaks on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, May 5, 2010, during a hearing on closing a loophole that allows people on the FBI's terrorist watch list to legally buy guns and explosives. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite) (Associated Press)

Faced with the successful arrest and interrogation of an American citizen who failed to commit a terrorist attack, Joe Lieberman introduced a bill aimed at stripping Americans of their citizenship if they're terrorists. (But only if they are connected to foreign terrorist organizations. Feel free to join the KKK and stay an American.)

Lieberman originally said American citizens should be "deprived automatically of their citizenship ... when they are apprehended and charged with a terrorist act," which, even for Lieberman, is pretty insane. He's moderated that a bit, though it's unclear how his new citizenship-stripping bill would actually work. You're a non-citizen if the State Department is really sure you're aiding a foreign terrorist organization? If you're actually convicted of aiding foreign terrorists? (The aim of the bill seems to be to send these sudden non-citizens to tribunals instead of civilian courts, though it looks like accused terrorists would be able to fight the attempt to revoke their citizenship.)


But Joe, having quickly lost support from Chuck Schumer, has literally named this affront to the Constitution the "Terrorist Expatriation Act" -- or, "the TEA Act." Hey, I wonder which reactionary white populists he's looking to appeal to with a name like that?

Alex Pareene

Alex Pareene writes about politics for Salon and is the author of "The Rude Guide to Mitt." Email him at and follow him on Twitter @pareene

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