Some serious heavyweights in citizenship law have been debating birthright citizenship over at the PrawsBlawg. While the main question is citizenship of the children of illegal aliens, there is much relevant discussion to what we talk about here, and in particular US v Wong, jus soli, Calvin’s case and the 14th Amendment. It looks like there are two articles with comments so far:
I haven’t see much new language that could be applied to the eligibility of Barack Obama, the son of a US citizen and a foreign student. For the folks writing these articles, that is a settled question.
I also commend the cited article from the Georgetown Immigration Law Journal, “THE GESTATION OF BIRTHRIGHT CITIZENSHIP, 1868~1898: STATES’ RIGHTS, THE LAW OF NATIONS, AND MUTUAL CONSENT” from 2001.
It is important to remember that there was a debate in the late 19th century about just what the 14th Amendment meant for the children of foreigners. Writers from that time, like Alexander Porter Morse and George D. Collins, should be read in that context. At the close of the century came the landmark Supreme Court decision in United States v Wong Kim Ark that pretty well settled things. There are some today that want the Court to revisit that decision as to how it applies to the children of illegal immigrants.