The Constitution and Birthright Citizenship

The short version is this: The first sentence of the Fourteenth Amendment conveys U.S. citizenship on all persons “born … in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof.” Obviously we are talking here about persons “born … in the United States.” Thus the children of illegal aliens are not U.S. citizens only if they are not “subject to the jurisdiction” of the United States.

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Julian Ku on the Constitution and the Iran Deal

At Opinio Juris, Julian Ku defends the constitutionality of the Iran deal (expanding on his discussion in this podcast from the National Constitution Center [also featuring David Rivkin]). He makes two arguments: First, the terms of the agreement, which describe its obligations as “voluntary”, indicate that it is a nonbinding “political commitment”.  Even the UN Security…

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Two Reasons the Iran Deal Is Unconstitutional

In sum, the Iran deal is unconstitutional (a) because the President has not taken sufficient action to assure that it is nonbinding under international law, and (b) even if it is nonbinding under international law, it should be only a commitment of the current President and should not purport to be an undertaking of future Presidents for whom the current President cannot speak.

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Does Congress Have Power to Regulate Late-Term Abortion?

Glenn Reynolds and Jonathan Adler say no.  Here’s Professor Adler: The U.S. of House of Representatives is preparing to consider a bill — the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act (PUCPA) — that would prohibit most abortions performed after 20 weeks from conception.  … … [E]ven if one assumes that a prohibition on post-20-week abortions would be constitutional if enacted by a…

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Did the Senators’ Letter to Iran Concede Too Much?

At Opinio Juris, Julian Ku thinks maybe it did.  I agree. As background, 47 U.S. Senators took the unusual step of sending a letter to Iran explaining how the U.S. Constitution works with regard to international agreements.  Again via Professor Ku, here is the core of the letter: [U]nder our Constitution, while the president negotiates…

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Boehner’s Plan for Netanyahu to Address Congress is Unconstitutional

As has been widely reported, House Speaker John Boehner has invited Israel’s Prime Minister Netanyahu to address the U.S. Congress.  If Congress does host the speech, would it be unconstitutional?  Peter Spiro at Opinio Juris suggests that it would.  I agree.

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