Private Attorney General COMMENTS Re: Minor v. Happersett, 88 U.S. 162 (1874): "all children born of citizen parents within the jurisdiction are themselves citizens"
- Subject: Private Attorney General COMMENTS Re: Minor v. Happersett, 88 U.S. 162 (1874):
"all children born of citizen parents within the jurisdiction are themselves citizens"http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/scripts/getcase.pl?court=US&vol=88&invol=162
Private Attorney General's preliminary comments:
(1) please note carefully that the U.S. Supreme Court
failed to spell "Citizen" correctly with an upper-case "C";
the Constitution as published in the Statutes at Large
spells it correctly:
(2) the decision below does not elaborate the "jurisdiction"
of which all such "native" or "natural-born" children become citizens;
as we have confirmed below, in America that "jurisdiction" is ONE OF
the (now 50) States of the Union:
(3) there is the phrase "children born in a country"
implying that the Qualifications Clauses refer to
Citizenship in America the "country"; but, in America
there has never been any citizenship in the Nation:
(2 classes: State Citizenship and federal citizenship)
(4) the latter implication is directly contradicted by cases
which have held that citizenship is a term of municipal law:
see "The Federal Zone" and Roe v. Collector of Customs:
Citizenship, says Moore on International Law, strictly speaking, is a term of municipal law and denotes the possession within the particular state of full civil and political rights subject to special disqualifications, such as minority, sex, etc. The conditions on which citizenship are [sic] acquired are regulated by municipal law. There is no such thing as international citizenship nor international law (aside from that which might be contained in treaties) by which citizenship is acquired.[Roa v. Collector of Customs, 23 Philippine 315, 332 (1912)][emphasis added]
(5) moreover, directly on point is the holding in
Pannill v. Roanoke, which held that federal citizenship
was not even contemplated when the organic Constitution
was first being drafted:
... citizens of the District of Columbia were not granted the
privilege of litigating in the federal courts on the ground of
diversity of citizenship. Possibly no better reason for this
fact exists than such citizens were not thought of when the
judiciary article [III] of the federal Constitution was drafted.
... citizens of the United States** ... were also not thought of;
but in any event a citizen of the United States**, who is not a
citizen of any state, is not within the language of the [federal]
[Pannill v. Roanoke, 252 F. 910, 914]
[emphasis added](6) Judge Pablo De La Guerra provides the conclusive clarification here:
The United States in these provisions, means the States united.
(7) We elaborate the full historical setting in these documents:
The key excerpt from Minor v. Happersett, 88 U.S. 162 (1874) now follows:
The Constitution does not, in words, say who shall be natural-born citizens. Resort must be had elsewhere to ascertain that. At common-law, with the nomenclature of which the framers of the Constitution were familiar, it was never doubted that all children born in a country of parents who were its citizens became themselves, upon their birth, citizens also. These were natives, or natural-born citizens, as distinguished from aliens or foreigners. Some authorities go further and include as citizens children born within the jurisdiction without reference to the citizenship of their [88 U.S. 162, 168] parents. As to this class there have been doubts, but never as to the first. For the purposes of this case it is not necessary to solve these doubts. It is sufficient for everything we have now to consider that all children born of citizen parents within the jurisdiction are themselves citizens. The words 'all children' are certainly as comprehensive, when used in this connection, as 'all persons,' and if females are included in the last they must be in the first. That they are included in the last is not denied. In fact the whole argument of the plaintiffs proceeds upon that idea.
/s/ Paul Andrew Mitchell, B.A., M.S.
Private Attorney General, 18 U.S.C. 1964
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