Citizenship

What Is One Responsibility That Only Applies To United States Citizens?: A Guide  

one responsibility

So, you have finally become a naturalized US citizen. Now, you shall enjoy various rights and duties exclusively vested for US citizens. In this article, we shall discuss one responsibility that only applies to United States citizens and other rights and obligations that US citizens enjoy.  

What Is One Responsibility That Only Applies To United States Citizens?

United States citizens are responsible for voting in federal elections and serving on juries. It is the responsibility of US citizens to vote in federal elections. This is because voting is important. However, no law governs the right of citizens to vote during elections. If asked, it is also the citizen’s responsibility to serve on a jury.  

Moreover, if a citizen gets a court letter for serving on a jury, the individual is mandated to attend the same. A jury is a group of citizens in a courtroom listening to a trial. Similarly, after listening to the trial, the jury is allowed to decide on the outcome of the trial. So, US citizens are responsible for serving on juries and voting in federal elections.  

Mandatory vs Voluntary Responsibilities for Citizens of the United States

Mandatory responsibilities are required to be followed by all US citizens, potentially through law. Here is when you must accept to perform a responsibility the law has asked for. For instance, jury duty is one of the mandatory responsibilities of a US citizen.  

On the other hand, there are voluntary responsibilities for US citizens that are expected to be performed. But no authority makes it mandatory to do so. This is especially true in circumstances like voting in federal elections. Every US citizen is expected to do so, but nobody is mandated to do the same.  

Examples of Mandatory Responsibilities of US Citizens

Here are some examples of mandatory responsibilities that must be performed after you have become a US citizen.  

Jury Duty  

Jury duty is one of the most exciting kinds of mandatory responsibilities. All US citizens have the right to a fair trial by the jury under the US Constitution. This, in turn, leads to citizens’ commitment to form impartial juries and assist with judicial procedures.  

Jury duty is one responsibility that can be excused and provided with an exemption. However, failing to appear twice will be classed as contempt of court, which can lead to legal penalties.  

Similarly, the mandatory responsibility is also tied to being summoned or subpoenaed during a trial. It is the responsibility of that potentially vital witness to provide evidence and to do so truthfully for a just outcome.  

Obeying the Law  

The responsibility of obeying the law is also seen when you promise to become an American citizen. So, if you want to be treated equally like the citizens born here, you have to obey the same laws and rules as they do.  

This means you must obey state and federal laws and be prepared for the same penalties or punishments if you break them.  

Signing up for Selective Service  

Selective service is another mandatory responsibility you must obey while taking the oath of becoming a US citizen. During the Oath of Allegiance, there is a pledge to be available to serve the nation where necessary within the military. This means that should there ever be a requirement for a draft, the federal government can call on ready, willing, and able citizens.  

Another aspect of this system is that men who are either citizens or non-citizens register for a theoretical draft at 18. This means that if the worst is yet to happen and a war is declared, there shall be a pool of suitable candidates to bolster numbers in the US military.  

So, if you’re a newly naturalized citizen falling within the said age bracket, you would be responsible for signing up for selective services. However, for now, it only applies to men and not women.  

Paying Taxes  

There’s a very popular saying that there are two unavoidable things in life: death and taxes. Tax exists in many forms, with citizens and non-citizens paying in ways they do not even realize.  

Sales tax tends to increase costs. However, there are also other forms of taxes to pay, such as Social Security, property, and income taxes. Moreover, paying all these taxes shall lead to appropriate assistance to fund valuable services for education, healthcare, and infrastructure.  

Examples of Voluntary Responsibilities of US Citizens

Examples of Voluntary Responsibilities of US Citizens

Some responsibilities of US citizens are expected of them, but no law or regulation mandates them.  

Voting in Federal Election  

No law in the US makes it mandatory for US citizens to vote in federal elections. This is why the voter turnover stats are published after every vote. Many believe it must be required to create a fairer representation of the nation’s views and restrict the suppression of voters.  

Others argue that doing so would decline one’s freedom of speech to decline to vote for either candidate. This might lead to a spoiled and invalid ballot, an alternative option in such circumstances.  

Voting might not be mandatory, but citizens are expected to perform this as their duty towards the nation and community by engaging in politics.  

Community and Volunteer Work  

There is an expectation that individuals will take some time to spare and use it for a good cause for the community. This could be as simple as making something for a bake sale at a school, raising money for people in need, or conducting an adoption drive for an animal shelter. Similarly, it is all about giving back to the community through either knowledge or financial assistance.  

Protecting the Rights of Others  

This responsibility is not mandatory as it is not a criminal offense for not being actively diligent in protecting the rights of others. But there should be a sense of responsibility for watching out for those who are subjected to hate crimes or persecution.  

Moreover, this is especially applicable if you’re seeing persecution of a particular ethnic minority, gender, sexual orientation, religion, etc. Freedoms are expressed in the Bill of Rights, and citizens pledge to protect and uphold them.  

Final Thoughts  

Now you have the answer to the question- what is one responsibility that only applies to United States citizens? One of the mandatory responsibilities that every US citizen must follow is serving the jury when summoned to do so. On the other hand, another responsibility that is not mandatory but is expected from US citizens is voting in federal elections. So, you are someone who has recently become a naturalized citizen of the US. In that case, you must obey the above-mentioned responsibilities to avoid penalties or punishments like any other citizen.

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Nilanjana Basu
Nilanjana is a lawyer with a flair for writing. She has a certification in American Laws from Penn Law (Pennsylvania University). Along with this, she has been known to write legal articles that allow the audience to know about American laws and regulations at ease.

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