Birthright Citizenship, Border Woes, & Senate Details

The USA News Roundup 04/11/2018

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As the midterms approached, Trump challenged birthright citizenship, troops moved towards the border in anticipation of the migrant caravan, and a little-known Kavanaugh accuser recanted. Here’s the last week in review.

Birthright Citizenship

Trump asserted this last week that he could eliminate birthright citizenship, and it wouldn’t take a Constitutional amendment. Is he right? Sort of. Obviously, the president can’t just change the Constitution, but what he can do is make his law, and let the Supreme Court rule on it, which they actually have never done. The question is around Section 1 of the Fourteenth Amendment, which begins “All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States…” At the time of the amendment, there was no such thing as illegal immigration, as there were few laws regarding immigration at all, so the amendment isn’t abundantly clear about “subject to the jurisdiction thereof.” We know the amendment excludes diplomats but includes legal immigrants who are moving through the set legal process (as established by U.S. v. Wong Kim Ark), but the Supreme Court has never ruled on the issue of illegal immigrants and so-called “anchor babies.” Forcing this to the Supreme Court is simple for Trump, so expect him to follow through here.

Accuser Recants

A Kavanaugh accuser recanted on her letter sent to the Senate Judiciary Committee. The accuser, Judy Munro-Leighton, is evidently a left-wing activist and a decade older than Kavanaugh. In fact, the two have never met. Munro-Leighton has been referred to the Department of Justice by Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, his fourth referral from the hearings. It casts doubt onto the others and proved the danger of a ‘Believe all accusers’ approach.

Troops Deployed To Border For Migrant Caravan

President Trump started moving troops to the Southern border this week, in preparation for the migrant caravan moving through Mexico. As many as 15,000 troops may be deployed, despite the caravan shrinking in size to less than 6,000. The troops, mostly National Guard, can’t detain border crossers but are instead filling behind-the-scene roles for the Border Patrol, including surveillance and labor. According to the US Department of Homeland Security, half the migrants are single men, and some 5% have criminal histories. I wouldn’t hold your breath for a showdown on the border, though, as it’s unlike that the caravan makes it here in one piece, and it won’t be here for a few more weeks, anyway. This is likely a political show before the midterm, and an opportunity to beef up border security in the meantime.

Senate Update

Third-party candidates made waves in key Senate races, even drawing the attention of the president. Angela Green, the appropriately-named Green Party candidate in the tight Arizona Senate race, dropped out and endorsed Democrat Kyrsten Sinema. In North Dakota, the Libertarian candidate dropped out and endorsed Republican Kevin Cramer, in response to an illegal mailing sent out touting him as the fiscal conservative in the race. The mailing was likely sent by the North Dakota Democratic-NPL, who also put up an ad urging hunters not to vote. The Indiana Democratic Party made a similar move, comparing the policies of Libertarian Lucy Brenton to that of Republican Mike Braun. Brenton is polling between 3 and 7 points, and will almost certainly cover the difference between Braun and the incumbent Donnelly.

You can read more from Ian Scar on Think Liberty here.

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