Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Is Air-Born Baby a US Citizen?

Last week, a woman gave birth on board a plane bound from Bali to Los Angeles. The plane had to make an emergency landing in Alaska where the new mom and babe were taken to a hospital.

What an excellent in-class hypothetical. Is a child born in US airspace a US citizen?

Consider this. Service of process on a plane is sufficient to confer personal jurisdiction over an individual flying above a state. See Grace v. MacArthur, 170 F Supp 442 (E.D. Ark. 1959). That would seem to support the idea that birth in US airspace would be enough for the 14th Amendment.

All-in-all, great fodder for in-class debate.



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