Monday, August 24, 2015
In the National Review, noted conservative law professor John Yoo, a high level official in the the Bush administration, defends birthright citizenship in the face of challenges by Donald Trump and others. Professor Yoo argues that constitutional law, tradition, and fairness all argue in favor of birthright citizenship.
Professor Yoo begins
"Donald Trump stoked the immigration fires that are burning up the Republican party by proposing an end to birthright citizenship. This week he claimed that children of aliens who are born on U.S. territory `do not have American citizenship” and that their right is “not going to hold up in court.' Trump’s argument runs headlong into the Constitution. His proposal shows, once again, that while he may be running as a Republican, he is not running as a conservative. Conservatives believe in following the Constitution’s text, as understood by those who wrote and ratified it and with due regard for the course of American history and traditions. They reject the notion of a living Constitution whose meaning can change to fit the popular demands of the moment. Trump’s proposal to end birthright citizenship can survive only with a plastic, malleable Constitution."