Our pumpkin-colored President declared earlier this week that he had the ability to get rid of birthright citizenship–the long held policy that anyone born in the U.S. is automatically a citizen. Unfortunately for Sunset Hitler, many legal scholars and other experts pointed out that birthright citizenship was a right guaranteed by the Fourteenth Amendment and Trump couldn’t just do away with it with an executive order.
And one of these experts who think Trump’s proposal is “unconstitutional”? Why George T. Conway, a (half) Filipino American lawyer who also happens to be the husband of Kellyanne Conway aka the Trump White House Special Advisor.
To be fair this isn’t the first time George Conway has criticized his wife’s boss, but in an editorial he published in the Washington Post with fellow attorney Neal Katyal, Conway might have made his strongest statement so far against the Orange Hobgoblin’s delusions of racist grandeur:
Sometimes the Constitution’s text is plain as day and bars what politicians seek to do. That’s the case with President Trump’s proposal to end “birthright citizenship” through an executive order. Such a move would be unconstitutional and would certainly be challenged. And the challengers would undoubtedly win.
Trump has long argued that birthright citizenship for the children of parents not legally in the United States should be abolished. “It’s ridiculous. And it has to end,” he told Axios in an interview released Tuesday, in which he disclosed his plan for the unilateral action.
But at its core, birthright citizenship is what our 14th Amendment is all about, bridging the Declaration of Independence’s promise that “all men are created equal” with a constitutional commitment that all those born in the United States share in that equality.
Birthright citizenship sprang from the ashes of the worst Supreme Court decision in U.S. history, Dred Scott v. Sandford,the 1857 decision that said that slaves, and the children of slaves, could not be citizens of the United States. The blood of hundreds of thousands of Americans was shed to repudiate that idea.
Afterward, the drafters of the 14th Amendment declared in their very first sentence, “All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States.” The drafters were motivated by their utter revulsion toward slavery and a system that relegated people to subordinate political status because of their birth. They weren’t thinking of, or concerned with, any exceptions to birthright citizenship other than the absolutely essential.