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Constitution-Revering Republicans Propose Unconstitutional Law


As if to provide a perfect example for Dahlia Lithwick’s demonstration of the superficial and selective nature of Tea Party reverence for the Constitution, Steve King has decided to open the new Congress by introducing a flagrantly unconstitutional law. And by “unconstitutional,” I don’t mean “contradicts one possible reading of an open-ended constitutional provision.” I mean “is inconsistent with the unambiguous, specific language of the Constitution”:

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.

Most constitutional disputes involve a clause that is subject to multiple plausible interpretations. The “debate” over birthright citizenship is an exception — it’s like running a 21 year-old for president. But King has a very convincing argument in response:

Though others have called for changing the 14th Amendment, King said that ending birthright citizenship through statute makes sense because it’s easier to do.

Similarly, it would be “easier” for the president to abolish the Senate through executive order than to call a new constitutional convention — let’s do that! I guess that reading of the Constitution will have to skip some parts…

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