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Talk about the Constitutional question of the day!
It has been a legal question, a quagmire, from the moment that his name was added to the CIA list….. the first time an American was a target for death by his own country. OK, albeit a country that he HATED, that he was intenet to commit jihad, that he successfully rallied support from within the US to commit acts of terrorism within the borders of the US.
Yet, Anwar Al-Awlaki was an American citizen. Born in New Mexico to Yemini parents, he was educated here as well. The 5th Amendment guarantees us due process under the law. Placing national security above all else, the acts that Al-Awlaki is suspected to be a part of were treasonous, but he did not receive a trial in our courts; he was not found guilty by a jury of his peers; he wasn’t even tried in abstentia!
So I ask, as we strive to retain every shred of the preciousness of the liberties afforded us by the US Constitution, do the ends justify the means in the Al-Awlaki matter by not providing him his constitutional due process rights?
“America continues to be a melting pot of immigrants. In this day and age, there are tens of millions of first generation Americans wrongfully barred by the Constitution from running for president.”
“There is no legitimate reason why this class of Americans should be excluded by this rule from a biased era. It’s time for the passage of a constitutional amendment to allow anyone who has lived in the United States, either as a “natural” or “naturalized” citizen, for 14 years or more to hold office as president.”
Democrats act as if the right to run across the border when you’re 8 1/2 months pregnant, give birth in a U.S. hospital and then immediately start collecting welfare was exactly what our forebears had in mind, a sacred constitutional right, as old as the 14th Amendment itself.
The louder liberals talk about some ancient constitutional right, the surer you should be that it was invented in the last few decades.
In fact, this alleged right derives only from a footnote slyly slipped into a Supreme Court opinion by Justice Brennan in 1982. You might say it snuck in when no one was looking, and now we have to let it stay.
The 14th Amendment was added after the Civil War in order to overrule the Supreme Court’s Dred Scott decision, which had held that black slaves were not citizens of the United States. The precise purpose of the amendment was to stop sleazy Southern states from denying citizenship rights to newly freed slaves — many of whom had roots in this country longer than a lot of white people.
The amendment guaranteed that freed slaves would have all the privileges of citizenship by providing: “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.”
The drafters of the 14th amendment had no intention of conferring citizenship on the children of aliens who happened to be born in the U.S. (For my younger readers, back in those days, people cleaned their own houses and raised their own kids.)
Inasmuch as America was not the massive welfare state operating as a magnet for malingerers, frauds and cheats that it is today, it’s amazing the drafters even considered the amendment’s effect on the children of aliens.
But they did.
The very author of the citizenship clause, Sen. Jacob Howard of Michigan, expressly said: “This will not, of course, include persons born in the United States who are foreigners, aliens, who belong to the families of ambassadors or foreign ministers.”
In the 1884 case Elk v. Wilkins, the Supreme Court ruled that the 14th Amendment did not even confer citizenship on Indians — because they were subject to tribal jurisdiction, not U.S. jurisdiction.
For a hundred years, that was how it stood, with only one case adding the caveat that children born to legal permanent residents of the U.S., gainfully employed, and who were not employed by a foreign government would also be deemed citizens under the 14th Amendment. (United States v. Wong Kim Ark, 1898.)
And then, out of the blue in 1982, Justice Brennan slipped a footnote into his 5-4 opinion in Plyler v. Doe, asserting that “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.” (Other than the part about one being lawful and the other not.)
for the rest of Ann Coulter’s column: http://www.anncoulter.com/