Born in the U.S.A.

The 14th Amendment to the Constitution holds that whoever is born in the United States is a citizen. Trump’s claim that he can annul birthright citizenship by executive order if the parents of a native-born child are here illegally has been widely ridiculed.

The courts have long held that the provision means what it says.

And there’s the rub.

The legislative history and plain intent of the 14th Amendment are crystal clear. But in the end, it means what the Supreme Court says it means.

Trump’s claim is preposterous—but no more preposterous than his claim that he can discriminate by religion in deciding whom to bar from entering the U.S. That assertion was widely ridiculed, too, but it was upheld by the Roberts Court, 5-4.

This Supreme Court is already infamous for creative reinterpretation of what the Constitution means. The high court will only become more outlandish if Trump gets another appointee or two.

It kind of makes you think that next week’s midterm and the 2020 presidential election will determine whether we keep our republic.

By |2018-11-02T21:31:26+00:00November 2nd, 2018|Kuttner on TAP|0 Comments

About the Author:

Robert Kuttner is co-founder and co-editor of The American Prospect as well as a Demos Distinguished Senior Fellow. He was a longtime columnist for Business Week, and continues to write columns in the Boston Globe. He co-founded the Economic Policy Institute in Washington and serves on its executive committee.

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