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.
5. The Congress shall have power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article.
The announcement that President Trump plans by Executive order to change the rules allowing birthright citizenship has caused some uproar.
The only reason of course that we are having this debate is because folks are choosing to abuse birthright citizenship for personal or political advantage causing it to become an issue and it’s in the longterm interest of the country for the abuse stop than rather than to have the rule changed, particularly by executive order. Alas that’s not very likely as votes depend on it.
I think the language of the amendment is pretty plain and I think the constitution should mean what it says rather than what we think it should mean, after all when the problem with the wording of the presidential election caused trouble in 1800 we didn’t ignore the constitution, we amended it before the next election.
Furthermore I don’t like the idea of the Constitution re-interpreted every election by executive order. A good rule of thumb is: Never give government a power that you would not trust your political foes to abuse, because when they get a chance they will. After all if a GOP election can change the meaning of the 14th amendment by fiat than a Democrat can do the same to the 1st or 2nd.
What’s been really interesting about this debate is how the left is reacting to it. All over the net and the media you suddenly find the left arguing that the constitution means what it says, no more no less.
This is quite a change, after all when the courts were controlled by the left they had no problem “discovering” constitutional rights unmentioned in the document such as a constitutional right to abortion, to sodomy and to gay “marriage”, rights so broad that they were able to strike down laws in dozens of states forbidding them even though the 10th amendment clearly states.
The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.
Thus it’s very possible that a court might decide to uphold such an executive order on the grounds of “discovering” a right of a President to narrow the interpretation of the 14th amendment under his powers as commander in chief.
It’s also possible that the doctrine of “original intent” might come into play here as well since the intent of the amendment was clearly to give citizenship to ex-slaves now freed.
But either way expect our friends on the left and in the media to suddenly develop a love for the Constitution as written, a love that will die the very moment a Democrat once again enters the oval office.