Birthright Citizenship, the Constitution, and the Subterfuge of the Left, by Boyd D. Cathey

Are people who are in this country illegally “subject to the jurisdiction” of the United States’ government if, by definition, the only interaction they should have with the government would be deportation proceedings? From Boyd D. Cathey at

The Leftist hyenas howled…the wimpish, scaredy-cat Republicans wailed…the television pundits, both on the Mainstream channels and on Fox (and, yes, even locally) seemed ready to shed tears of anguish punctuating their uncontrolled outrage: what had Donald Trump done this time to cause such extreme perturbation? What had he done this time to increase their unleashed hysteria and self-consuming madness?

Watching any of the so-called newscasters on CNN, MSNBC or on the other major networks frothing-at-the-mouth, you would have thought that their pious and frenetic condemnations could not get more severe. But Joe Scarborough over on MSNBC would up the ante and expectorate multiple, blustering word clusters, all of which contained loaded phrases about Donald Trump, like “full blown racism,” “appeals to white supremacy,” “undermines and attacks our democracy,” each more emotional as he went along. Finally, that Trump was not really “our” president, but in fact an interloper—and if that be the case, then almost any type of resistance is permissible.

You get the drift.

These are the very same folks who have been telling us since the pipe bomber and the anti-semitic attack in Pittsburgh last week that the president is completely responsible for the “climate of hatred and fear,” but who do all they can to stoke that out-of-control raging bonfire.

And locally in Raleigh, NC, a pompous social justice warrior disguised as a television announcer, David Crabtree of WRAL-TV, who wears his nugatory Episcopalianism on his sleeve, could hardly restrain himself. His eyes betrayed both his anger and his abject fear….

But what was it that Donald Trump had done this time? What had inspired such “fear and loathing” in all those denizens of the lunatic Left…and, yes, in the Establishment GOP (including a fatuous and obviously self-serving, utterly stupid statement by outgoing House of Representatives Speaker Paul Ryan)?

Very simply, the president had said he was seriously considering issuing an Executive Order to both clarify the application of the 14th Amendment and, essentially, end birthright citizenship for children of illegal aliens who have come across the US border, many specifically to have children who then, as if by magic, become American citizens. That is, he was going to do exactly what President Obama had once boasted he would do with a “pen and telephone,” and for which he was praised by the Mainstream media and academia for his statesmanship and his understanding of the real meaning of Constitution.

Recall that the 14th Amendment was enacted after the War Between the States to guarantee the rights of citizenship to manumitted slaves and their offspring. And, indeed, there is a serious legal question about whether the amendment itself was ever legally and legitimately ratified. But be that as it may, it has applied ever since 1868.

Here is how Section 1 of the 14th Amendment reads:

Section 1. 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. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

As I watched David Crabtree in his most officiously sanctimonious manner lecture his local television audience about the president’s desire to clarify the amendment’s actual legal application, like other members of mainstream commentariat he quoted the first section thusly: “All persons born or naturalized in the United States are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside.” Notice the difference; notice the essential phrase he left out, either by mistake or by design: “and subject to the jurisdiction thereof.”

It’s a key phrase, critical to understanding what the authors of the amendment intended and what for nearly 100 years was accepted law up until the 1960s when leftist lawmakers got into the act simply by de facto practical applications. In other words, between the very clear and forthright intention of its authors that the 14thAmendment only applied to slaves and their offspring born in the United State who are necessarily “subject to the jurisdiction thereof,” and the slyly imposed practice we now have which enables a foreign woman to illegally slip across the Rio Grande and have a child who then, mutatis mutandis, becomes a citizen and an “anchor baby,” permitting usually its illegal relations to all come across—between these two interpretations and applications there is an absolute irreconcilable difference.

The key figures in drafting the amendment at the time were clear: As Professor John Eastman has pointed out both recently and back in 2006 in his research essay, “From Feudalism to Consent: Rethinking Birthright Citizenship,” Heritage Foundation, Senator Lyman Trumbull, who was pivotal in the drafting the 14th Amendment, declared that the words “subject to the jurisdiction” meant subject to the “complete” jurisdiction of the United States, and “[n]ot owing allegiance to anybody else.” And Senator Jacob Howard of Michigan, responsible for the specific language of the jurisdiction clause, stated that it meant “a full and complete jurisdiction,” that is, “the same jurisdiction in extent and quality as applies to every citizen of the United States now.” In other words, the new born child of a foreign diplomat in the United States did not receive automatic citizenship; neither did at the time, for that matter, citizens of Indian “nations” (that would occur later in our history). And, most importantly, clearly an illegal alien—a non-citizen—simply by giving birth on this side geographically of the Rio Grande did not produce a new citizen of the United States.

Ann Coulter, in a column from August 19, 2015, sums up the subsequent history and the regnant confusion, both invincible and vincible, on the question—a piece that should be read by some of those Fox pundits.

You can see why the advocates of open borders who wish to obliterate national boundaries, the social justice warriors and Democratic activists trolling for potential future dependent voters, and the brain-damaged modernist Christians would so ferociously oppose a strict constitutional interpretation.

Despite the shrieks of the no boundaries crowd and the frenzied left, and despite the groans of the Chamber of Commerce-bound establishment Republicans (and various Fox pundits and scribblers for National Review and other neoconservative and globalist publications), President Trump has expressed an idea whose time has come, in fact, is far overdue. At the very least, an Executive Order would force the courts, including the Supreme Court, to take a serious look at an historic abuse of our immigration system and the definition of American citizenship. Of course, Senator Lindsey Graham plans to introduce legislation, so he says, to do the same thing that the president promises—but Graham has a history of favoring amnesty, which makes his motives at least suspect. And, more, does anyone in his right mind, any rational person, actually believe that Congress, part of which is controlled by the hard Left, and much of the rest by GOP big donor cheap labor advocates, will actually get off its duff and enact such legislation? Not likely.

So, here’s hoping that President Trump will follow through and issue his Executive Order, and then let the ACLU and far Left howl and the wimpy Republicans wail.

We’ll see you—hopefully—in court, gentlemen.



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