“TRUMP OPENS THE DOOR TO NATURAL LAW JURISPRUDENCE: A BRIEF ANALYSIS OF THE BIRTHRIGHT MANOEUVRE
By Zachary Miller, Esq.
The drafter of the 14th Amendmentâs Citizenship Clause was Jacob Howard, a Senator from Michigan. On the floor of the U.S. Senate in 1866, Sen. Howard said this of his intent regarding that amendment’s Citizenship Clause:
“THE AMENDMENT Which I have offered is simply declaratory of what I regard as the law of the land already, that every person born within the limits of the United States, and subject to their jurisdiction, is by virtue of natural law and national law a citizen of the United States. This will not, of course, include persons born in the United States who are foreigners, aliens, who belong to the families of ambassadors or foreign ministers accredited to the Government of the United States, but will include every other class of persons. It settles the great question of citizenship and removes all doubt as to what persons are or are not citizens of the United States. This has long been a great desideratum in the jurisprudence and legislation of this country.”
Of course, the currently dominant Scalian originalist legal philosophy does not extend to the contemplation of the intent of the drafter of an amendment; it stops short at the plain language of the document. Trump’s maneuver here is to ask the Supreme Court to go beyond originalism and inquire into Senator Howard’s intent when he drafted the amendment. And if successful, the result will be nothing less than the explicit enshrinement by the United States Supreme Court of the great and ancient natural law into American Constitutional Jurisprudence.” – Zachary Miller
(via Brandon Hayes )