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Political Malpractice

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Rand Paul answers a question in Cleveland, Ohio, August 6, 2015. REUTERS/Brian Snyder

The GOP is currently divided—with a narrow faction arguing that we should abolish birthright citizenship, even though real-world chances of achieving this proposed change register at close to zero.

Some legal scholars may challenge the common understanding that the 14th Amendment grants citizenship to anyone born in the U.S., but the Supreme Court has affirmed that principle in a string of cases going back 117 years. Considering the court’s makeup now or in the foreseeable future, no majority of justices will magically materialize to overturn this long-standing policy.

This means a Constitutional amendment would be required, winning approval of both legislative houses in three-quarters of the states. Disapproval by just 13 states would block any amendment, but Democrats control at least one house of the legislature in 18 states. With no Democratic support at all for changing birthright citizenship, an amendment is impossible. Agitating public sentiment over a proposal that can’t win enactment is a demagogic, irresponsible example of political malpractice.

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  1. Nani  •  Aug 25, 2015 at 5:46 pm

    I’ve frequently wondered how Obama could have been elected not once, but twice. Now I get it. Tell people what they want to hear and it doesn’t matter if it’s not true or that it will make Republicans unelectable for generations.

    Many of the Conservative media have sold their souls for ratings. They KNOW but Trump makes them feel important–and sells. So they are jumping on his wagon and telling their readers, viewers, listeners that Trump has got it right.

  2. ulyssesmsu  •  Aug 28, 2015 at 4:19 pm

    I don’t agree. “From small acorns, big oaks grow.” Every idea has to start somewhere. Nothing will work if everyone continues to say, “There’s no reason to try–it’s impossible.” We have to start, and then continue, and then get momentum, and then eventually we will see victory. Ask yourself this question–Do you think the writers of the 14th Amendment *intended* for it to support the illegal use that we see today? Do you think it was intended to support the citizenship of illegal immigrants? Of course not. It is therefore wrong to assume that no Supreme Court would ever change the present interpretation. Let’s give them a chance and see what happens!

  3. Suretylink  •  Aug 28, 2015 at 7:28 pm

    One point that Michael deosn’t emphasize is that many quite conservative people don’t support the abolition of birthright citzenship on any level, not just an absence of pragmatism.

    First, any act of Congress to abolish it is unconstitutional, not based upon what justices are there: but because it violates any halfway reasonable interpretation of the constitution. Second, it would make rotten public policy on a number of levels and a majority of conservatives, including myself, would vehemently oppose it anyway.

  4. Nani  •  Aug 28, 2015 at 8:58 pm

    I heard something that made me smile…and before anyone says anything, I am a strong supporter of the 2nd amendment. Geraldo on the Five said he wanted to amend the 2nd amendment; and that if conservatives can amend the 14th based on what the authors MIGHT have intended, well then maybe the writers of the 2nd didn’t mean what we think it did.

    There is a reason why people have always held the constitution as sacred; mess with the 14th and you may have people on the Left wanting to mess with the rest of it.

    Does anyone REALLY want to go there?

  5. Nani  •  Aug 31, 2015 at 2:25 pm

    ulyssesmsu, do you have any idea when the 14th amendment was adopted? In 1868.

    So let me ask you a question: was there such a thing as “illegal immigrant”?

    Of course not, so you couldn’t possibly KNOW that this those born in the USA wasn’t intended for children of illegal immigrants.

    As for giving it a chance, the only thing you’re giving a chance is another 4 years of liberal failed policies because we are a nation of immigrants and the thought of taking away citizenship from the children of immigrants scares everyone.

  6. Yochannan  •  Sep 22, 2015 at 1:40 pm

    For 7 years now, Obama has set the standard making the Constitution irrelevant. It doen’t matter what the Law is or says, it doesn’t matter what the Constitution says, it doesn’t matter what Congress passes…unless it falls against the wishes of the President (new Emperor). That being true, a new President can simply make a new directive to the apropriate agencies and presto, there will be no more anchor babies……simple eh, no one will or can do a thing about it, except maybe armed conflict. And, that is not likely to happen, since the Emperor is the head of the Military.

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