Does the Constitution Allow a Female President? Originalism Says Yes. Some Types of Nonoriginalism May Say No.

This might seem like an odd question, but a journalist recently asked me my opinion about the matter.  It turns out that Article II of the Constitution refers to the President as a him.  For example: “He shall hold his Office during the Term of four Years.”  If this “he” meant only a male person, there would be a strong argument that the President had to be a male.

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Does the 14th Amendment Grant Citizenship to Children of Foreigners?

Today, most people believe that children of illegal aliens who are born in the United States are automatically conferred citizenship by virtue of the 14th Amendment. American politicians regularly pontificate on this topic, basing their positions on constitutional and humanitarian grounds. The issue is considered settled by the federal courts, which have announced continually that this passage was meant to grant citizenship to the children of all foreigners and aliens.

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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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But Doesn’t Federal Law Supersede State Law?

Whenever we publish something about an anti-commandeering-style nullification bill, somebody inevitably responds with something along these lines. “I’m not a lawyer, but doesn’t federal law supersede state law?”

In short, the answer to that question is no.

In fact, the Supremacy Clause doesn’t even apply when it comes to anti-commandeering.

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Can the Federal Government Ban Anything?

Even though it is true that the government currently bans all kinds of things, I am asking a serious question. Let me expand and clarify it. Is the federal government authorized by the Constitution to make illegal the possession of any substance that it deems it to be harmful, hazardous, immoral, addictive, threatening, damaging, injurious,…

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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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The Declaration of Independence and Constitutional Interpretation

By James P. Allen

What role does the Declaration have in constitutional interpretation, if any?

When it comes to understanding the meaning of the Constitution, many Americans don’t give the Declaration of Independence the first thought. But some argue that as the founding American document, everything hangs on it, and we must interpret the Constitution exclusively through the Declaration. They view the Constitution and the government it created as a mechanism through which we realize principles laid out in the Declaration of Independence. 

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