Legal expert Jonathan Turley said Tuesday on The Story that President Trump’s plan to curb birthright citizenship will force the courts to take a closer look at the 14th Amendment.
Trump said in an interview with Axios that he intends to restrict birthright citizenship despite those who argue the 14th Amendment guarantees citizenship to all babies born in the United States.
Turley told Martha MacCallum that the debate over the amendment falls on six particular words within it: “and subject to the jurisdiction thereof.”
“We’re about 150 years late in finding out what this amendment means,” he said.
The entire 14th Amendment, which was ratified in 1868, states: “All persons born or naturalized in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside.”
He said the ambiguous wording shows that the amendment’s drafters believed non-citizens wouldn’t have immediate U.S. citizenship for their children.
“So, there’s a good debate here,” he said. “I can’t imagine how people can say with such certainty that this language means that anyone in the United States for any reason can have a citizen when they give birth on our soil.”
Turley also said the Supreme Court has never clearly stated what the amendment means.
It’s doubtful, he added, that President Trump could end birthright citizenship through an executive order and said the best way to go is through legislation.
“An executive order is not the ideal way to go here. He’s adding baggage to an already difficult challenge.”
Supporters note that Trump’s order will force the Supreme Court to finally acknowledge that the 14th Amendment was written specifically for slaves and the children of slaves at the time the amendment was written. Such a declaration by the Supreme Court would enable ICE to deport millions of illegal aliens living in the United States courtesy of a wrong interpretation of the amendment.
Watch the interview below.
Pregnant illegal alien girls caught at the border can leave the U.S. rather than force the government to help them facilitate an abortion, the Trump administration argued to a federal appeals court.
But the ACLU, and at least one of the three judges on the panel hearing the cases, seemed skeptical, saying illegal aliens appear to have a right to abortion, and it’s unfair to give them a choice of either continuing their pregnancy against their wishes or accepting deportation.
The case is testing the limits of abortion and immigration law — and even invokes Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh, who ruled in an earlier iteration of the case in a decision that was later overturned by his colleagues on the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia.
At issue are perhaps dozens of illegal alien teens who attempted to sneak into the U.S. unaccompanied by their parents, and who are now in custody of the Health Department’s Office of Refugee Resettlement.
The government says it’s searching for sponsors to take the illegal aliens, but in the meantime, it is acting instead of their parents, has an interest in helping the teens make the best choices possible regarding abortion, and has a general policy against facilitating the procedure.
A lower court ruled against the Trump administration, certifying a class action for all pregnant illegal alien juveniles in government custody and ordering they be granted unfettered rights to abortion.
“This is an unprecedented expansion of abortion jurisprudence,” August Flentje, arguing the case for the Justice Department, told the three-judge panel.
The administration is asking the appeals court to cancel the judge’s class certification and to curtail her broad order applying to every illegal alien teen in ORR custody — including the vast majority the government said aren’t seeking abortions.
Some conservatives have warned that Judge Tanya Chutkan’s ruling turns the U.S. into an abortion “sanctuary,” giving illegal alien girls from places where abortion is illegal an incentive to attempt to illegally enter the U.S., knowing that the government will have to facilitate their decision.
The panel of judges pressed the government on the burden it is imposing on the illegal alien children by denying them speedy abortions.
Mr. Flentje countered that the children always have control over the situation.
“The government is not imposing a burden. The child can leave custody by going back,” he said.
He said that takes the government out of the equation.
Judge Sri Srinivasan, though, said abortion is a right the illegal alien girl has against the government, and going back to her home country strips her of that right she gained once she entered the U.S.
“If you leave the country, the right is gone,” he said.
For its part, the American Civil Liberties Union argued Judge Chutkan got it right in issuing a broad ban on the government interfering in any way with pregnant illegal immigrant teens.
“The defendants in this case basically stopped at nothing to prevent unaccompanied minors accessing abortion,” said Brigitte Amiri, the ACLU’s lawyer.
An earlier iteration of the case came before the circuit court late last year when it involved a specific illegal immigrant who the government was refusing to help transport to get an abortion, even though she had arranged private funds.
The government at that point argued federal law prohibited it from spending any money to facilitate the procedure, and that included transportation and staffing costs.
Judge Kavanaugh was part of a three-judge panel that ruled for the government, arguing ORR should be given more time to find a sponsor to take custody of the child.
He said Judge Chutkan’s ruling amounted to “immediate abortion on demand” — which he said went beyond the rights the Supreme Court established in the Roe v. Wade and Casey v. Planned Parenthood decisions.
James E Windsor, Overpasses News Desk
October 30th, 2018