It is not breaking news to anyone that Donald Trump wants to end birthright citizenship. However, he is getting serious in his talk about it, and his proposed mechanism could not possibly be more worrisome. To wit: He believes he can change the constitution through executive order. I have no idea where to even begin. How about with the actual constitution, and specifically the 14th Amendment, which, for people with lives, I will assure you is either the most important amendment, or a close second to the 1st Amendment. The clause: “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.” Having studied the 14th Amendment extensively, please believe me when I tell you that the above clause makes the rest of the amendment look like a MENSA test. How could this possibly be more clear? I will take out the extraneous words and leave only the words necessary for this particular problem. “All persons born … in the United States … are citizens.” It is clear enough that we’re going to hear from some judges and scholars who think we are on to something about this clear amendment thing: From Federal Judge Judge James C. Ho “Opponents of illegal immigration cannot claim to champion the rule of law and then, in the same breath, propose policies that violate our Constitution,” Yeah, we all were thinking along the same lines. “I think it’s kind of a lunatic fringe argument,” said Margaret Stock, an attorney at the Cascadia Cross-Border Law Group in Anchorage, Alaska, and a former law professor at the United States Military Academy at West Point, N.Y. “ Meg there appears to be as certain as we are with respect to both the law and the lunatic. Now, no doubt that we hear outrageous arguments from Donald Trump all the time. But, please be wary, this particular outrage is far more serious than most. What he proposes to do is literally ignore the clear constitutional language above: “It was always told to me that you needed a constitutional amendment. Guess what? You don’t.” He goes on to say that he thought it would take an act of Congress, which Trump says “definitely can be done,” but, “now people are saying I can do it just with an executive order.” Clearly, if “they” said anything he would name them. Thus he is leaving “they” unnamed to protect the many voices in his head. Have no doubt that Trump believes that he can personally ignore the Constitution, and thus he can ignore the rest of the 14th Amendment, which only guarantees you and me Due Process and Equal Protection. You know, things that really matter. As if birthright citizenship doesn’t? It will never actually happen, obviously. Ten minutes after he signs his petty little order, it will be enjoined by a federal judge sitting – literally – three blocks down the street. But it is an open window into his empty skull and his advisors, otherwise known as “they.” Want to see me end the debate and end his base’s desire to issue such an order? Nancy Pelosi, on the steps of the capitol: “Seeing as how we see one clause of the constitution trashed by […]
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