30 October 2018

Josh Marshall: No, Trump cannot end birthright citizenship by decree

 For the most part, the fact that it has been virtually impossible to amend the Constitution since the failure of the EPA in the 1980s has worked against the more progressive interests in American politics and in favor of the Right Wing, which tends to benefit from the status quo and the outsize power of the low population states. (Which also tend to be Right Wing states). But this preposterous notion on the right that the Congress, or even worse, the president by mere edict, can eliminate birthright citizenship is an illustration of how the present Constitution does at least protect some of the basic norms and formal law that makes our country a republic (of sorts).

Birthright citizenship is based on the crystal clear wording of the 14th Amendment: "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 fact that Trump and his administration are floating the idea that the would be dictator for life can change this by executive order (also known as "totalitarian decree") should be of deep concern to anyone, right or left, who basically believes in the continuity of small-r republican government in America.

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