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Sunday, June 19, 2016

U.S. Supreme Court Rejects Birthright Citizenship Challenge

By Douglas V. Gibbs
AuthorSpeakerInstructorRadio Host

First, before I give you the details of this case, I must let you know that the entire premise is wrong. . . and the argument being made literally does not matter.

Here's what Fox News is telling us:

The Supreme Court has rejected an appeal from a group of American Samoans who say the United States should grant full citizenship to people born in the U.S. territory.

The justices on Monday let stand a lower court ruling that said the constitutional guarantee of birthright citizenship does not extend to the islands that have been a part of the country since 1900.

Current law considers American Samoans to be "nationals," not full citizens like those born in Puerto Rico, Guam and other U.S. territories. Nationals are allowed to work and live anywhere in the United States, but unlike citizens, they can't vote or hold elective office.

The challengers said that the law violates the 14th Amendment, which grants citizenship to anyone born in the United States. But the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ruled last year that birthright citizenship does not automatically apply to the nation's unincorporated political territories.


The definition of Birthright Citizenship is the anchor of this case, and the definition is wrong.

Birthright Citizenship is the case law supported legal concept that if someone is born on American soil, they are automatically a United States Citizen. The concept is attributed to the Citizenship Clause which is the first clause of the 14th Amendment. A study of the Citizenship Clause, and an examination of the debates from the Congressional Globe during the time period the clause was being debated, and the testimonies provided by the writers of the clause, informs us that both supporters, and critics, of the clause are in error regarding their position because they are basing their argument upon the idea that simply being born on American Soil makes one a citizen.

The Citizenship Clause of the 14th Amendment reads: "All persons born or naturalized in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside."

Constitutional definitions are not supposed to be subject to the whims of a politically influenced changing lexicon. The key words in the Citizenship Clause are "and subject to the jurisdiction, thereof." The Congressional Record for the time period after the American Civil War during which this clause was debated is called the Congressional Globe. In those debates, and in articles of that time period written to explain the intent of the language of the amendment, one finds that "and subject to the jurisdiction, thereof" was meant to mean "full allegiance to America." As with the Founding Fathers, the political minds of that time were concerned about foreign influence, and allowing the immigration of persons with divided loyalties, while also seeking to protect the former slaves, and their rights, by ensuring that they were indeed considered to be citizens of the United States.

The Civil Rights Act of 1866 was created in the hopes of correcting the problem. Some of the language in the Civil Rights Act of 1866 states, "All persons born in the United States, and not subject to any foreign power, excluding Indians not taxed, are hereby declared to be citizens of the United States. ... All persons within the jurisdiction of the United States shall have the same right in every State and Territory to make and enforce contracts, to sue, be parties, give evidence, and to the full and equal benefit of all laws and proceedings for the security of persons and property as is enjoyed by white citizens, and shall be subject to like punishment, pains, penalties, taxes, licenses, and exactions of every kind, and to no other."

The definition of "persons within the jurisdiction of the United States" in that act was all persons at the time of its passage, born in the United States, including all slaves and their offspring, but not having any allegiances to any foreign government.

Michigan Senator Jacob Howard, one of the authors of Section 1 of the 14th Amendment (the Citizenship Clause), noted that its provision, "subject to the jurisdiction thereof," excluded American Indians who had tribal nationalities, and "persons born in the United States who are foreigners, aliens, who belong to the families of ambassadors or foreign ministers." The second author of the Citizenship Clause, Illinois Senator Lyman Trumbull, added that "subject to the jurisdiction of the United States" meant "not owing allegiance to anybody else."

The framers of the Fourteenth Amendment had no intention of freely giving away American citizenship to just anyone simply because they may have been born on American soil.

So, anchor babies are not American Citizens, and persons born in U.S. Territories should be if they exhibit full allegiance to the United States.

The judges, however, reject original intent, and lean, instead, upon the politically influenced rulings of men in black robes.

-- Political Pistachio Conservative News and Commentary

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