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.Details
Earlier today, Judge Andrew Napolitano said that Donald Trump’s immigrant deportation plan, which includes deportation for people born here because their mothers are “here illegally,” is “prohibited by the Constitution.”Details
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.Details
One of the most common complaints of constitutionalists against the conduct of our federal government is that the judiciary at all levels routinely oversteps its boundaries, intruding into those areas that are beyond its constitutional reach.Details
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,…Details
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…Details
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.Details
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.Details
When we talk about the “supremacy clause” in the Constitution, we generally think of it in terms of establishing the supremacy of the federal government.
It does that.
But have you ever stopped to consider that the “supremacy clause” also declares the supremacy of the states and the people?Details
For over a year, we’ve repeatedly heard from supporters of an organization called Convention of States Project that nullification can’t or shouldn’t be done because – “Nullification….is not in the Constitution.”
We’re not sure why this particular message comes from this direction, but it’s consistent, and common.
More important, though, this is a great example of the complete and utter lack of constitutional education in this country.Details