Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Krauthammer: Dead Wrong on the 14th
Special to FreeRepublic ^ | 5 August 2010 | John Armor (Congressman Billybob)

Posted on 08/06/2010 5:32:26 PM PDT by Congressman Billybob

There are parts of Fox News I cannot watch. There is that self-important blowhard. There is that worldwide ambulance chaser. But as often as I can, I watch their news program at 6 p.m. My favorite part of that program is the lightning round, and especially the contributions of Charles Krauthammer.

Charles normally dissects an issue with precision and accuracy. But not today, the 5th of August. He posed the issue whether a Congressman was right to say we need to amend the 14th Amendment to deal with the problem of anchor babies. Krauthammer made the mistake of not reading the Amendment before discussing it. So did all the other participants in the discussion.

Krauthammer correctly stated that “we should not amend the Constitution to deal with such a small problem.” He missed the opportunity to point out that the Congressman, like much of the American press and punditry, are asking the wrong question and therefore getting the wrong answer.

Let’s read the document, and see where that leads. The first sentence of the 14th Amendment says, “All persons born or naturalized in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States….” Who gets to say who are “subject to the jurisdiction”?

Skip to the last sentence of the Amendment. It is a clause that appears in many of the Amendments. “The Congress shall have power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article.”

There you have it, in the plain language of the Constitution itself. Congress can define by statute who is “subject to the jurisdiction” of the United States. It has long since done so with regard to children born to diplomatic personnel. A child born of Japanese diplomatic personal who is born in a D.C. hospital is Japanese at birth, not American. Why is that so? Because Congress wrote a law that says so.

Congress can solve the anchor baby problem immediately by a statute. It simply has to say that a child born of a Mexican citizen who has paid a coyote to get smuggled into the US, and risked death in the deserts of the Southwest to get to an Arizona hospital is not “subject to the jurisdiction” of the US. It can further resolve the problem by ending all preferences for all known relatives of a prior anchor baby to come into the US.

Families don’t need to be “united” in the US. They will be just as united back in Mexico, or any other nation from which pregnant women engage in “citizenship tourism.”

Those who favor open borders, where anyone who can sneak into the US is entitled to all privileges of Americans, favor the anchor baby route to make this so. After all, it’s for the children. And they add, we shouldn’t mess with the Constitution.

But the Constitution is in no danger, and both mothers and babies will be in less danger, if Congress simply writes a law to deal with the problem. And the 14th Amendment gives Congress that very power.

Why would able reporters and even college professors write and say in the press that “the Constitution is in danger,” when it isn’t? These false sources are pretending that the Constitution is in danger to keep the people from realizing that statement is false, and the solution depends only on competent Members of Congress reading and following the Constitution.

Having watched and read Charles Krauthammer’s work for decades, I know he is not corrupt, distorting the Constitution to achieve a predetermined result. Instead, Charles just failed to do his homework. But still, he was dead wrong, and contributed to the public misunderstanding of this issue.

The truth is, as that obnoxious commercial says, “It’s so easy, even a caveman could do it.” Well, if a caveman can do it, so can a Congressman (or most of them can). Rewrite the law. Solve this problem, without spending a single dime on it. Now.

- 30 -

About the Author: John Armor practiced before the Supreme Court for 33 years. John_Armor@aya,yale.edu His latest book, to appear in September, is on Thomas Paine. www.TheseAreTheTimes.us

- 30 -


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Culture/Society; Foreign Affairs; Government
KEYWORDS: 14thamendment; aliens; anchorbabies; foxnews; illegals; krauthammer
Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first previous 1-5051-72 last
To: Congressman Billybob

Those two were the first that came to my mind :-)


51 posted on 08/07/2010 11:43:10 AM PDT by COBOL2Java (Obama is the least qualified guy in whatever room he walks into.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 48 | View Replies]

To: TigersEye
"Foreign citizens are ultimately subject to the jurisdiction of their native country."

No, foreign citizens in our country are subject to US jurisdicition, just like any citizen. They are required to obey our laws and can be punished for any violatoins just like us. Even if they are here illegally.

52 posted on 08/07/2010 11:48:14 AM PDT by mlo
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: Congressman Billybob
I like the 14th Amendment and think it is written quite well.

Let’s read the document, and see where that leads. The first sentence of the 14th Amendment says, “All persons born or naturalized in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States….” Who gets to say who are “subject to the jurisdiction”?

Skip to the last sentence of the Amendment. It is a clause that appears in many of the Amendments. “The Congress shall have power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article.”

There you have it, in the plain language of the Constitution itself. Congress can define by statute who is “subject to the jurisdiction” of the United States.

“All persons born or naturalized in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States….” Who gets to say who are “subject to the jurisdiction”?

I think that "subject to the jurisdiction thereof" speaks for it's self.

If someone has a baby who is not a citizen, they are subject to the jurisdiction of their country of citizenship, not the USA.

Therefore, the baby would not have the anchor of citizenship just because he/she is born in the United States if the parents are not citizens.

“The Congress shall have power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article.”

There you have it, in the plain language of the Constitution itself. Congress can define by statute who is “subject to the jurisdiction” of the United States.

Perhaps you are right that Congress can define by statute who is “subject to the jurisdiction” of the United States

But the wording says that Congress shall have power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article.

There is no reason to define what the amendment already defines IMO.

It seems that only the Supreme Court can decide on the defining issue. We know what they would do, but the wording is clear enough as written.

We know what Justice Brennan stated (unconstitutionally I might add):

"no plausible distinction with respect to Fourteenth Amendment 'jurisdiction' can be drawn between resident aliens whose entry into the United States was lawful, and resident aliens whose entry was unlawful."
That statement is contrary to what the 14th actually says. The Supreme Court should NOT use their opinions to interpret the Constitution, but the should be constitutionally aware enough to see what the wording means. He didn't obviously.
53 posted on 08/07/2010 12:30:23 PM PDT by Syncro (November is hunting season. No bag limit-Ted Nugent)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Congressman Billybob
Congress can solve the anchor baby problem immediately by a statute

So, uh, why didn't the Republican Congress and the Alleged Republican GW Boosh pass it?

Had they done so, we wouldn't be having this little discussion

54 posted on 08/07/2010 12:42:40 PM PDT by Regulator (Watch Out!! The Americans are On the March!! America Forever, Mexico Never!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Congressman Billybob
I don't know if it's that easy.

What is being arrested, detained, and deported by a superior power if not "being subject to its jurisdiction"?

If illegals were NOT subject to our jurisdiction, then they would not be properly before our courts for removal hearings or hardship waivers.

Of course, our jurisdiction, at least in its common English meaning, extends to these illegals. Here we are exercising our jurisdiction:


55 posted on 08/07/2010 12:43:26 PM PDT by Jim Noble (If the answer is "Republican", it must be a stupid question.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: mlo
You are talking about physical jurisdiction. The Amendment is talking about political jurisdiction, which includes the concepts of allegiance and commitment. For instance, an American in Mexico City is still subject politically to the jurisdiction of the United States. A Mexican in New York City is subject to the physical jurisdiction of the United States.

John / Billybob

56 posted on 08/07/2010 12:43:57 PM PDT by Congressman Billybob (www.TheseAretheTimes.us)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 52 | View Replies]

To: Syncro
No, when the power to define is given to Congress, it is not the business of the Supreme Court to take that power into it's hands. Justice Brennan has already tried that gambit. Congress can, should, must, take that power back.

John / Billybob

57 posted on 08/07/2010 12:46:48 PM PDT by Congressman Billybob (www.TheseAretheTimes.us)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 53 | View Replies]

To: CodeToad
You be right

Dude's a lib fraud

58 posted on 08/07/2010 12:53:11 PM PDT by Regulator (Watch Out!! The Americans are On the March!! America Forever, Mexico Never!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 47 | View Replies]

To: Congressman Billybob
And here's another one

Leading yet again to the question....why haven't the "Republicans" bothered to put any political muscle behind either Mr. Stump's bill or Mr. Deal's bill?

As you pointed out, all it takes is a statute.

Which Mr. Krauthammer knows, but deceitfully refuses to say so.

More truth on the 14th

59 posted on 08/07/2010 12:57:49 PM PDT by Regulator (Watch Out!! The Americans are On the March!! America Forever, Mexico Never!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Syncro
If someone has a baby who is not a citizen, they are subject to the jurisdiction of their country of citizenship, not the USA.

I knew vaguely that dual citizenship for a US citizen is allowed now, but was told in childhood (1950s) that it was not allowed. I googled to see if I could find anything about the change; this site gave the most succinct answer I found:

But I thought US law didn't permit one to be a dual citizen -- that if you were (by birth or otherwise), you either had to give up the other citizenship when you came of age, or else you'd lose your US status. And that if you became a citizen of another country, you'd automatically lose your US citizenship. So what's all this talk about dual citizenship?

It indeed used to be the case in the US that you couldn't hold dual citizenship (except in certain cases if you had dual citizenship from birth or childhood, in which case some Supreme Court rulings -- Perkins v. Elg (1939), Mandoli v. Acheson (1952), and Kawakita v. U.S. (1952) -- permitted you to keep both). However, most of the laws forbidding dual citizenship were struck down by the US Supreme Court in two cases: a 1967 decision, Afroyim v. Rusk, as well as a second ruling in 1980, Vance v. Terrazas.

Rules against dual citizenship still apply to some extent -- at least in theory -- to people who wish to become US citizens via naturalization. The Supreme Court chose to leave in place the requirement that new citizens must renounce their old citizenship during US naturalization. However, in practice, the State Department is no longer doing anything in the vast majority of situations where a new citizen's "old country" refuses to recognize the US renunciation and continues to consider the person's original citizenship to be in effect.

The official US State Department policy on dual citizenship today is that the United States does not favor it as a matter of policy because of various problems they feel it may cause, but the existence of dual citizenship is recognized (i.e., accepted) as a fact of life. That is, if you ask them if you ought to become a dual citizen, they will recommend against doing it; but if you tell them you are a dual citizen, they'll almost always say it's OK.

I can't help wondering if the change in the law on dual citizenship played some part in the current mess.

60 posted on 08/07/2010 1:00:22 PM PDT by maryz
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 53 | View Replies]

To: mlo
No, foreign citizens in our country are subject to US jurisdicition, just like any citizen. They are required to obey our laws and can be punished for any violatoins just like us. Even if they are here illegally.

Correct. The only foreign citizens not subject to US jurisdiction are diplomats, for whom this distinction is intended.

61 posted on 08/07/2010 1:06:32 PM PDT by Doe Eyes
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 52 | View Replies]

To: Congressman Billybob
Well, it looks like the 14th doesn't give the congress the power to define, but to enforce.

The Supreme Court apparently has the power to interpret the U.S. Constitution and to determine the constitutionality of laws passed by congress and the state legislatures. (ruled so in 1803)

62 posted on 08/07/2010 1:30:59 PM PDT by Syncro (November is hunting season. No bag limit-Ted Nugent)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 57 | View Replies]

To: mlo

So you think a citizen of France, while in the U.S., is no longer under the authority of France? Wrong. We’re not talking about criminal codes here. We’re talking about sovereignty issues.


63 posted on 08/07/2010 1:50:57 PM PDT by TigersEye (Greenhouse Theory is false. Totally debunked. "GH gases" is a non-sequitur.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 52 | View Replies]

To: Congressman Billybob

Thank you. You put that much better than I did.


64 posted on 08/07/2010 1:52:14 PM PDT by TigersEye (Greenhouse Theory is false. Totally debunked. "GH gases" is a non-sequitur.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 56 | View Replies]

To: Congressman Billybob

Thank you. Mr. Krauthammer is usually right, but not always. I was quite alarmed when no one on that panel appeared to understand why this is important.


65 posted on 08/07/2010 6:06:47 PM PDT by brytlea (Jesus loves me, this I know.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Congressman Billybob
Krauthammer: Dead Wrong on the 14th

He's also dead wrong on the 2nd. What's he right about.

66 posted on 08/07/2010 6:14:01 PM PDT by Stentor
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Doe Eyes; Congressman Billybob

Bingo! It does appear that the ‘and subject to the jurisdiction thereof’ was meant to distinguish the diplomatic corps case as the exception thus defining the general rule of thumb for all others.


67 posted on 08/07/2010 6:30:34 PM PDT by MHGinTN (Dem voters, believing they cannot be deceived, it is impossible to convince them when deceived.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 61 | View Replies]

To: MHGinTN
No, the specific statute to allow Japanese dependents born in the US to be considered Japanese citizens, was passed long after the 14th Amendment was adopted.

John / Billybob

68 posted on 08/08/2010 11:18:44 AM PDT by Congressman Billybob (www.TheseAretheTimes.us)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 67 | View Replies]

To: TigersEye
"We’re not talking about criminal codes here. We’re talking about sovereignty issues."

No we aren't. We're talking about "jurisdiction". Not sure what you even mean about "sovereignty" because France has none of that either within our borders.

jurisdiction: "the limits or territory within which authority may be exercised"

A citizen of France visiting this country is subject to our laws and is within our jurisdiction. A diplomat from France is not.

69 posted on 08/08/2010 1:02:38 PM PDT by mlo
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 63 | View Replies]

To: mlo

I’m sorry you don’t get it. It isn’t about the jurisdiction of criminal law it’s about the jurisdiction of citizenship.


70 posted on 08/08/2010 2:19:53 PM PDT by TigersEye (Greenhouse Theory is false. Totally debunked. "GH gases" is a non-sequitur.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 69 | View Replies]

To: nvskibum
I have not read the cases such as Wong Kim Ark, etc., so I don't know the answer.

Wouldn't do any good.

Over time, different Supreme Courts have reached (and justified) opposite decisions for identical cases brought before it. This has happened enough times that it is puzzling why it has not been more thoroughly debated and clarified.

These are huge flaws in our system, akin to the maddening reality that the only way to impeach ( and remove) a corrupt congressperson is by having other congresspersons do it.

What if the "unthinkable" happened and the majority of congresspersons are corrupt and compromised?

Welcome to our current "State of the Union."

71 posted on 08/20/2010 10:42:10 PM PDT by Publius6961 ("In 1964 the War on Poverty Began --- Poverty won.")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 19 | View Replies]

To: Congressman Billybob; Liberty Valance

BTTT!


72 posted on 09/01/2010 11:10:06 AM PDT by onyx (If you support Sarah and want on her Ping List, let me know!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 68 | View Replies]


Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first previous 1-5051-72 last

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson