What’s wrong with stripping terrorists of citizenship?

It’s one thing to lose your justice minister over a big, career-defining piece of legislation. It’s another to lose her, as François Hollande did this week, over a weedy, technical law almost everyone agrees is purely symbolic.

Christiane Taubira—a strong, passionate leftist voice in French society (think a French Elizabeth Warren, if Warren were in the cabinet rather than the Senate)—along with much of Hollande’s left flank have grown dissatisfied with the president’s rightward drift since ISIS’s attacks in Paris in November. But Taubira’s resignation, just as a parliamentary commission was taking up discussion of the bill, came as a surprise. “Sometimes resisting means staying, sometimes resisting means leaving,” Taubira tweeted shortly after Hollande announced her departure, adding that the move was about staying true to herself and others—and defending ethics and the law.

The bill that prompted this moral outrage is maddeningly difficult to summarize. Essentially, Hollande wants the power to strip dual citizens of their French citizenship should they engage in acts of terrorism. Right now, it’s possible to revoke someone’s French citizenship if they are convicted of terrorism charges and acquired citizenship within the past 15 years. But supporters of this proposed law are interested in removing French citizenship from someone who was born with it.