Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Let's have that argument

Laurie Roberts of the Arizona Republic (with whom we often, but not always, respectfully disagree) has a blog post discussing upcoming state legislation designed to deny U.S. citizenship to the children of illegal immigrants.  She references a number of quotes from the politicians who helped craft the 14th Amendment which illustrate their obvious intention for it to apply to immigrants (with no mention of illegal ones, of course).

Our response to her, via Facebook: 

"Good. Methinks the Congress that passed the 14th Amendment (and the states that ratified it) never intended our borders to be some sort of finish line that as soon as someone drags themselves over one illegally and gives birth, the child is automatically granted full citizenship (as well as a free "anchor baby" argument for letting the parents stay). 

Gee, we're constantly being told by liberals that the Constitution is a "living, breathing document" subject to change over time, so why can't the 14th Amendment be re-interpreted to mean as such today? Or is that kind of treatment only reserved for odious amendments (such as the Second) that offend the sensibilities of the learned elite?" 

Roberts also cites Supreme Court cases which include one which deals with resident aliens (and so has no bearing on this argument) and another in INS v. Rios-Pineda, in which the Supreme Court "unanimously agreed that a baby born to an illegal immigrant was a citizen."

Fair enough.  Does Ms. Roberts also believe, then, that the likes of the Dred Scott decision and Plessy v. Ferguson were perfectly OK as well?  After all, the learned and wise Court ruled that those racist and dehumanizing policies were just dandy and quite legal to boot.

Roberts obviously doesn't.  Therefore, she has to admit that the Supreme Court does indeed get it wrong on occasion and periodically needs a new case to come before it in order to repair a prior error.

Arizona's proposed citizenship ban provides a perfect opportunity for that process to happen.  We can't wait for the intellectual battle to begin.

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