Sorry, Bill O’Reilly. You are WRONG about so-called birthright citizenship. PERIOD.
As you know, on Wednesday night, 8/19/15, on his Fox News program, former Inside Edition star/self appointed Constitutional scholar Bill O’Reilly lectured us about the 14th Amendment, explaining that, despite the obvious and unambiguous language of the provision, it really means something other than what is says. Watch here.
The following night, Thursday night, 8/20/15, no doubt in response to commentary by knowledgeable commentators, that he dismissed as “talk radio,” he decided to bring on two hired guns, respected attorneys John Yoo, now a professor at the University of California, and David B. Rifkin, both noted for their able and much appreciated assistance to the Bush administration during the post-9/11 response to the Islamic head chopping maniacs’ vicious attack on our country. They were there to convince O’Reilly’s “folks” (try to be more patronizing, Bill) that he was absolutely right, and that his critics don’t know what they are talking about.
Here’s some things to notice about this bizarre spectacle:
O’Reilly has cited two Supreme Court decisions to claim that it is indisputable that the 14th Amendment grants the children of illegals automatic citizenship, Wong Kim Ark (1898) and INS v. Rios-Pineda, a 1985 case involving the Attorney General’s discretion under Section 244(a)(1) of the Immigration and Nationality Act.
Wong Kim Ark was a 5-4 decision based on reasoning that the authors of the 14th Amendment would have found absurd. (Yes, the Supreme Court makes mistakes. Remember? That’s why the 14th Amendment exists in the first place, to correct the disastrous Dred Scott decision). As Prof. Edward Erler notes:
The framers of the Constitution were, of course, well-versed in the British common law, having learned its essential principles from William Blackstone’s Commentaries on the Laws of England. As such, they knew that the very concept of citizenship was unknown in British common law. Blackstone speaks only of “birthright subjectship” or “birthright allegiance,” never using the terms “citizen” or “citizenship.” The idea of birthright subjectship, as Blackstone admitted, was derived from feudal law. It is the relation of master and servant: All who are born within the protection of the king owed perpetual allegiance as a “debt of gratitude.” According to Blackstone, this debt is “intrinsic” and “cannot be forfeited, cancelled, or altered.” Birthright subjectship under common law is the doctrine of perpetual allegiance. America’s Founders rejected this doctrine. The Declaration of Independence, after all, solemnly proclaims that “the good People of these Colonies . . . are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved.” So, the common law — the feudal doctrine of perpetual allegiance — could not possibly serve as the ground of American citizenship. Indeed, the idea is too preposterous to entertain.
In addition, regardless, Wong Kim Ark involved the child of LEGAL immigrants. Let me speak slowly so even Bill O’Reilly can understand. The Supreme Court has never ruled that the Constitution mandates that illegals should be allowed to sneak across the border, drop a baby and start collecting federal benefits for their family, courtesy of this new “citizen.”
As for the Rios-Pineda decision, while it did mention, (key word “mention) the children of illegals and their citizenship, that mention is what attorneys call “dicta,” as in it has absolutely no legal authority whatsoever because it is not directly related to the decision before the Court.
I think you can agree that these facts are very relevant to the topic at hand. In fact, they demolish O’Reilly’s assertions, which are ridiculous and wrong. Yet, neither of them was raised by Mr. Yoo or Mr. Rifkin, who seemed more than willing to enable O’Reilly’s misinformation fest.
It was very disturbing to see John Yoo and David Rifkin helping Blowhard Bill mislead his audience about a very important and serious issue. Why would they do that? I can suggest a couple of explanations. John Yoo was vilified by the Left as the guy who provided the legal justification for enhanced interrogations (aka in Left speak ‘torture’), and Rifkin was one of the lawyers who fought Obamacare, and also supported the Iraq War. So, they have a lot to make up with the liberal elitists who control who gets invited to all the right parties and soirées. East Coast Brain Rot afflicted elites of both parties support amnesty and they break out in a cold sweat at even the thought of being considered to have anything in common with those mouth-breathing, unsophisticated rubes in Flyover Country, you know, the ones who think Donald Trump is a plain-spoken font of common sense on the issue of illegal immigration. Mr. Yoo was practically spitting when he spoke about Donald Trump, and disparaged him as not be a “Republican,” like that’s the worst insult a person can hurl at someone. (Next he’ll be saying that he doesn’t have a nice, crisp crease in his pants.)
Or maybe they just didn’t want Bill to have another one of his infamous meltdowns. Like this:
If, like me, you ever get depressed thinking about how poorly informed so many of our fellow citizens are, and wonder why, this should be a teachable moment. Many Fox News viewers think that they are well-informed, when in fact is it impossible to know what’s going on by watching television, a short-attention span spectacle that’s more suitable to Idioocracy than to a knowledgeable electorate.
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