The Return of the Constitution

One thing that I have to give President Trump credit for is a renewed interest in the Constitution.  Since his election we have had more spirited discussions about the document that lies at the heart of our system of government.  I’m surprise the Federalist Papers isn’t at the top of the New York Times Bestsellers List every month.


By my count, we have had controversies and serious conversations about Article I (separation of powers in Federal Government), pretty much all of Article II (the Electoral College, impeachment and the Emoluments Clause), Article III (filling vacancies on the Supreme Court and the definition of treason), Article VII (Constitutional Conventions), the First Amendment (freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom of religion), the Second Amendment (gun control), the Fourth Amendment (confiscation of guns), the Ninth Amendment (unenumerated rights of citizens), the Tenth Amendment (rights granted to the States), the 12th Amendment (the Electoral College again), the 13th Amendment (Kanye West’s calling for the abolition of slavery to be repealed in a White House meeting), and the 25th Amendment (removal of the President by Cabinet vote due to incapacity).


And now, President Trump is trying to repeal the 14th Amendment via Executive Order.  For those not familiar with the Constitution, the 14th Amendment was a clever ploy used by Republicans in Union states to prevent Democrats in former Confederate states from using legal loopholes to deny citizenship to freed slaves after the Civil War.  The 14th clearly states that if you are born on US soil, territories or areas of control then you are a US citizen–even if both of your parents are not.  The Supreme Court has upheld the 14th numerous times dating back to 1898–when a child born to Chinese non-citizen parents in California was found to be a citizen by Constitutional definition.  Senator Harry Reid tried to push through a law changing that definition in the 1990’s–but that effort ended up going nowhere, thanks to Republicans defending the Constitution.


I’m sure that there is someone in the Trump Administration that has told him that he can unilaterally redefine citizenship without legal challenge.  Or maybe it was someone on Fox and Friends–the main source of information for the Oval Office.  But based on the legal track record of the Administration so far, those “experts” are 100-percent wrong again.


If there is a silver lining to the Trump Administration it is that more Americans may become familiar with the rights with which they are endowed–and be less willing to give them up in the false hope of “security” in the future.