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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.

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

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TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Culture/Society; Foreign Affairs; Government
KEYWORDS: 14thamendment; aliens; anchorbabies; foxnews; illegals; krauthammer
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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
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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)
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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.)
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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.)
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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.)
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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
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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.)
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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 (
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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
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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.)
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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.")
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To: Congressman Billybob; Liberty Valance


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!)
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