POC Newsletter #19, The 14th Amendment
The Judiciary’s weapon of choice!
"What spectacle can be more edifying or more seasonable, than that of Liberty and Learning, each leaning on the other for their mutual & surest support?"
KISS – Keep It Short & Simple - that is what we will do in this case.
14th Amendment, Section 1, first sentence, says:
“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.”
Let’s begin by determining what this first sentence means under the original intent and with the words as defined in that era.
Remember the intent revealed in POC NL #18:
The intent of the 14th Amendment was: “…to provide citizenship for former slaves and give them full civil rights.”
Webster’s 1828 definitions:
"The act of investing an alien with the rights and privileges of a native subject or citizen ….” (emphasis added)
“… The natives of the United States, and naturalized foreigners, are subjects of the federal government. Men in free governments, are subjects as well as citizens; as citizens, they enjoy rights and franchises; as subjects, they are bound to obey the laws.”
“…Jurisdiction, in its most general sense, is the power to make, declare or apply the law; when confined to the judiciary department, it is what we denominate the judicial power, the right of administering justice through the laws, by the means which the laws have provided for that purpose. Jurisdiction, is limited to place or territory, to persons, or to particular subjects.” (emphasis added)
What the 14th Amendment did considering the stated intent and definitions of that era:
“All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States …”
The first sentence of the 14th Amendment simply conferred citizenship to the children born of prior slaves in the United States along with parents who had become naturalized as they were all now considered persons and subjects.
1. - Founders' Quote Daily, 11-30-04