Skip to comments.Krauthammer: Dead Wrong on the 14th
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.
Lets 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 dont 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, its for the children. And they add, we shouldnt 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 isnt? 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 Krauthammers 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, Its 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,yale.edu His latest book, to appear in September, is on Thomas Paine. www.TheseAreTheTimes.us
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Correct. The only foreign citizens not subject to US jurisdiction are diplomats, for whom this distinction is intended.
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)
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.
Thank you. You put that much better than I did.
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.
He's also dead wrong on the 2nd. What's he right about.
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.
John / Billybob
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.
I’m sorry you don’t get it. It isn’t about the jurisdiction of criminal law it’s about the jurisdiction of citizenship.
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."
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