September 13, 2005

E-mail to Instapundit

Over this piece in the NYT.

I have to strenuously disagree with your interpretation of the Fourteenth Amendment in your third question to Judge Roberts in your NYT piece. The "born or naturalized" line is without a doubt NOT a definition of personhood, but rather a way of specifying which persons "are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside." "Born or naturalized" is a modifier of "all persons," the same as the qualification that they be "subject to the jurisdiction thereof" in order to be citizens.

If the first sentence of Section 1 were a definition of persons then it would be open hunting season on immigrants (the non-naturalized) and foreign diplomats (those not 'subject to the jurisdiction thereof'), who would be reduced to no more rights than an embryo or fetus, rules of comity aside. Such is thankfully not the case.

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