In Eunique v. Powell, 9th Circuit concluded that passport denial, and therefore, freedom of international travel that comes with it, does not violate Fifth Amendment Due Process and Equal Protection rights for folks who don’t pay child support. 2d Circuit said the same in Weinstein v. Albright. What about other reasons, including those where local government makes criminal accusations against you, and you decide to skip the court. Well, usually skipping the court appearance would result in a warrant. Warrant, in turn, can result in difficulties of one’s travel internationally using U.S. passport. U.S. State Department has a regulation for that occasion under 22 C.F.R. § 51.60 which says:
The Department may not issue a passport, * * *, in any case in which the Department determines or is informed by competent authority that:
* * *
The applicant is the subject of an outstanding state or local warrant of arrest for a felony; * * *
So 22 C.F.R. § 51.60 applies to folks that are applying or reapplying for U.S. passport. For those U.S. citizens that already have U.S. passport, State Department has the following protocol handy:
The Department may revoke or limit a passport when: * * * [t]he bearer of the passport may be denied a passport under 22 C.F.R. § 51.60.
Apparently, State Department uses these regulation in the regular course of business to deny and revoke U.S. passports to U.S. citizens using the following words:
This office has been informed that on DATE, the COUNTY/DISTRICT/MUNICIPAL COURT in YOUR STATE entered a felony warrant for your arrest. The warrant charges you with the following felony: NAME OF THE ALLEGED CRIME. Accordingly, your passport application is denied and U.S. passport number 123456789 is revoked pursuant to Sections 51.60(b)(9) and 51.62(a)(1) of Title 22 of the Code of Federal Regulations, a copy of which is enclosed, because you are the subject of on outstanding state or local warrant of arrest for a felony.
* * *
In accordance with Section 51.70 of Title 22 of the U.S. Code of Federal Regulations, a U.S. Passport remains the property of the U.S. Government, and must be surrendered on demand. Passport number [your current passport] in the possession of the Department will be cancelled.
* * *
By federal regulation, the passport and execution fees paid are not refundable.
Thus, the bottom line is that in today’s interconnected world, it may not worth to spend time and money on U.S. passport application if you have not cleared an outstanding warrant.