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A shout out to Wong Kim Ark

imageToday is the 114th anniversary of the United States Supreme Court decision in United States v. Wong Kim Ark, the definitive case on citizenship for persons born in the United States to alien parents. The 100th anniversary was celebrated as Wong Kim Ark Day in San Francisco. Wong is considered an American hero because he stood up for his rights as an American citizen.

Wong holds a special place with the birther-debunking community because this case is cited by the courts that decide that Barack Obama is eligible to be President of the United States, no matter what the status of his parents.

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42 Responses to A shout out to Wong Kim Ark

  1. avatar
    chancery March 28, 2012 at 7:03 pm #

    Have you seen the Wong Kim Arc site at the UC Hastings Law School?

    http://library.uchastings.edu/library/topical-and-course-research-guides/wkadisplay/case.htm

    It’s nicely done, and has links to the Supreme Court briefs.

  2. avatar
    US Citizen March 28, 2012 at 8:50 pm #

    While studying the newspaper birth announcements, I thought to myself who could have planted them.
    Only a newspaper publisher, I thought, would have enough power to print whatever they choose.
    This then led to my discovery of yet another citizenship class.
    Not only is their native born and naturalized citizens, but there is a 3rd class of citizen also.
    This would be the Citizen Kanes.
    Such “published citizen” scams need to be nipped in the bud.

  3. avatar
    JPotter March 28, 2012 at 9:11 pm #

    Seen the latest Orlygram? It too includes a shout-out to Wong!

    http://www.scribd.com/doc/87095021/MS-2012-03-14-TAITZ-Opp-to-Motion-to-Dismiss-amp-Motion-for-Sanctions

    Along with other crazy stuff.

    She flails the Wong-isn’t-binding-becasue-it-wasn’t-unanimous meme. I know I’ve heard that one before ….. Donofrio? Putzo? Can’t keep track. There’s stupid, and then there’s “How do you manage to breathe?”

    Thanks to NBC for continuing coverage.

  4. avatar
    Tomtech March 28, 2012 at 10:04 pm #

    Isn’t the name Kim Ark Wong? The last name is prominent in case filings IIRC.

  5. avatar
    Tomtech March 28, 2012 at 10:12 pm #

    There is a third class of citizen. Natural born citizens, like myself, who can be denied due process since we are not covered by the 14th amendment.

    I personally disagree with the SCOTUS opinion which created that status because the due process protections come after a period which should separate the two parts.

    A citizen should be a citizen under the second sentence, even though their citizenship was not affirmed by the first sentence.

  6. avatar
    G March 28, 2012 at 10:29 pm #

    I seriously have no idea what you are talking about…

    Tomtech: There is a third class of citizen. Natural born citizens, like myself, who can be denied due process since we are not covered by the 14th amendment.I personally disagree with the SCOTUS opinion which created that status because the due process protections come after a period which should separate the two parts.A citizen should be a citizen under the second sentence, even though their citizenship was not affirmed by the first sentence.

  7. avatar
    Majority Will March 28, 2012 at 10:40 pm #

    Tomtech:
    Isn’t the name Kim Ark Wong? The last name is prominent in case filings IIRC.

    The family name is Wong. The name Wong Kim Ark is actually 黃金德.
    His father is Wong Si Ping. Wong Kim Ark’s four sons were Wong Yoke Fun (黃毓…), Wong Yook Sue (黃郁賜), Wong Yook Thue (黃沃修) and Wong Yook Jim (黃沃沾).

    (wiki)

    Some cultures list the family name first.

  8. avatar
    Jim March 28, 2012 at 10:42 pm #

    JPotter:
    Seen the latest Orlygram? It too includes a shout-out to Wong!

    http://www.scribd.com/doc/87095021/MS-2012-03-14-TAITZ-Opp-to-Motion-to-Dismiss-amp-Motion-for-Sanctions

    Along with other crazy stuff.

    She flails the Wong-isn’t-binding-becasue-it-wasn’t-unanimous meme. I know I’ve heard that one before ….. Donofrio? Putzo? Can’t keep track. There’s stupid, and then there’s “How do you manage to breathe?”

    Thanks to NBC for continuing coverage.

    Looks like she may add another pub to her growing group

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/28/orly-taitz-sharron-angle_n_1385544.html

    I wonder if they can get enough birthers to get the Obama eligibility question onto the party platform? That might make the pub convention much more interesting!

  9. avatar
    Tomtech March 28, 2012 at 11:03 pm #

    “DrConspiracy wrote way back when: “Actually, the Supreme Court said that there are citizens outside the Fourteenth amendment. In Rogers v. Bellei, 401 U.S. 815 (1971), the court said that those who became citizens at birth through legislation but were not naturalized, nor born in the United States were not entitled to the protections of the Fourteenth amendment. This would include the children born of US citizens overseas.

    What the Court would say about the eligibility of these to be president, I can only guess.”

  10. avatar
    G March 28, 2012 at 11:50 pm #

    Tomtech: “DrConspiracy wrote way back when: “Actually, the Supreme Court said that there are citizens outside the Fourteenth amendment. In Rogers v. Bellei, 401 U.S. 815 (1971), the court said that those who became citizens at birth through legislation but were not naturalized, nor born in the United States were not entitled to the protections of the Fourteenth amendment. This would include the children born of US citizens overseas.

    What the Court would say about the eligibility of these to be president, I can only guess.”

    Sounds like you are describing John McCain’s birth situation. Although there has been some legitmate legal questioning on that scenario, it still seems fairly clear that the majority opinion on that issue is that McCain is NBC and there is no problems with anyone like him running for President.

    Some of the frivolous kook lawsuits in the last cycle tried to also challenge McCain’s eligibility. The courts tossed all of them. Had McCain won the election, he would have been inaugurated as President just fine. In other words, his situation would be viewed as NBC.

  11. avatar
    Tomtech March 29, 2012 at 12:12 am #

    G: Sounds like you are describing John McCain’s birth situation.

    The linked decision doesn’t relate to Presidential eligibility. The consensus is that John and I are eligible.

    The linked decision creates a class of natural born citizens who are excluded from the 14th amendment protections because we are citizens who were neither born nor naturalized.

    I cited it as a response to an earlier comment on citizen classes.

  12. avatar
    Jamese777 March 29, 2012 at 1:33 am #

    I could be wrong but I think TomTech is talking about children born abroad to US citizen parents (such as on military bases) where the land on which the military base sits is leased from a foreign nation (ie. US bases in Germany or Turkey). Such a child is not born “subject to the jurisdiction thereof…”
    I don’t believe that they are later naturalized because they have two US citizen parents.
    I’m just guessing here.

  13. avatar
    Keith March 29, 2012 at 1:38 am #

    JPotter: She flails the Wong-isn’t-binding-becasue-it-wasn’t-unanimous meme.

    Does that mean that the President can ignore a Supreme Court ruling against the mandate if it isn’t unanimous?

  14. avatar
    Keith March 29, 2012 at 1:44 am #

    Tomtech:
    “DrConspiracy wrote way back when: “Actually, the Supreme Court said that there are citizens outside the Fourteenth amendment. In Rogers v. Bellei, 401 U.S. 815 (1971), the court said that those who became citizens at birth through legislation but were not naturalized, nor born in the United States were not entitled to the protections of the Fourteenth amendment. This would include the children born of US citizens overseas.

    What the Court would say about the eligibility of these to be president, I can only guess.”

    The 14th amendment doesn’t deny due process to anyone, let alone a particular class of citizen, real or imagined.

    It specifically says: nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

    “Any person” includes every citizen and every foreigner (within jurisdiction).

  15. avatar
    Tomtech March 29, 2012 at 2:52 am #

    There seems to be some confusion. My remark was to highlight the fact that there is a third citizenship class as described by Dr. C in the next post.

    Dr C.: “Persons born citizens outside of the United States (not born in the United States and not naturalized in the United States) are not entitled to the protections of the 14th Amendment, see: Rogers v. Bellei – 401 U.S. 815 (1971). Congress may make and has made laws placing additional requirements on their retention of citizenship.”

    Early discussions of this issue led me to believe that that the phrase “not entitled to the protections of the 14th Amendment” included the protections from the 14th Amendment’s second sentence. Personally, I believe that citizens who are jus sanguin enjoy the protections afforded by the second sentence of the 14th Amendment.

    In the Dissent of Rogers v. Bellei from Justice Black and joined by Douglas and Marshall is states:

    Afroyim, the argument runs, was naturalized in this country, so he was protected by the Citizenship Clause, but Bellei, since he acquired his American citizenship at birth in Italy as a foreign-born child of an American citizen, was neither born nor naturalized in the United States, and, hence, falls outside the scope of the Fourteenth Amendment guarantees declared in Afroyim. One could hardly call this a generous reading of the great purposes the Fourteenth Amendment was adopted to bring about.

    While conceding that Bellei is an American citizen, the majority states: “He simply is not a Fourteenth Amendment first sentence’ citizen.” Therefore, the majority reasons, the congressional revocation of his citizenship is not barred by the Constitution. I cannot accept the Court’s conclusion that the Fourteenth Amendment protects the citizenship of some Americans, and not others.

    My point is that there is a third class of citizen. Those whose citizenship can be revoked by an act of Congress.

    My readings lead me to believe those who fit within that class have the protections of the second sentence of the 14th Amendment. I’m not sure if Dr. C believes that to be true.

  16. avatar
    Keith March 29, 2012 at 3:59 am #

    Tomtech: There seems to be some confusion. My remark was to highlight the fact that there is a third citizenship class as described by Dr. C in the next post.

    Dr C.: “Persons born citizens outside of the United States (not born in the United States and not naturalized in the United States) are not entitled to the protections of the 14th Amendment, see: Rogers v. Bellei – 401 U.S. 815 (1971). Congress may make and has made laws placing additional requirements on their retention of citizenship.”

    I don’t know what Dr. C. is referring to. I’m reading the 14th amendment and Rogers v. Bellei.

    IANAL, so I could be missing something subtle here, but I notice that Rogers v. Bellei is a case that was before the Supreme Court of the United States.

    It occurs to me that a person who gets to argue his case before the SCOTUS is in no way being denied any rights or due process. He is, in fact, participating in the ultimate due process of the law that is available to anyone in the United States, whether citizen or not.

    In this case, it turns out he was not even a citizen, and yet he was able to exercise the right to due process afforded him by the 14th amendment.

  17. avatar
    Keith March 29, 2012 at 4:20 am #

    Tomtech: My point is that there is a third class of citizen. Those whose citizenship can be revoked by an act of Congress.

    No. There are two types of citizen: natural-born and natural-ized.

    Congress has authority to legislate about naturalization, i.e. whether or not persons that are not born in the United States can be admitted as citizens. It seems that one of those laws grants people born outside the United States under certain circumstances the status of Citizen at Birth if and only if they satisfy certain other criteria within some period of years after reaching the age of consent.

    That has always been in the power of the Congress, it has nothing to do with the 14th amendment.

    Whether or not that child is a natural born citizen when he is, say, 5 years old, is immaterial because there is nothing that a 5 year old natural born citizen can do that a 5 year old naturalized citizen can do.

    Now, technically, (and in my opinion) even when the child grows up and choses to sign on to the American dream, he is naturalized because he obtained his citizenship via an act of Congress. This is, by the way, McCain’s eligibility stumbling block.

    My opinion doesn’t count however. Majority opinion holds that “Citizen at Birth” whether in the US or Overseas, counts as Natural Born. McCain was a citizen at birth because of his parents, so he is in.

    There is no third class of citizen that Congress can take away citizenship from. There is a set of potential citizens at birth who must choose to realize that potential or not when they are of an age to do so. While they are under age, the US treats them as if they are citizens to ensure their protection.

  18. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy March 29, 2012 at 8:56 am #

    Keith, you are mistaken.

    Those born citizens outside the United States (neither born in the United States nor Naturalized in the United States) are not citizens under the 14th Amendment and the Congress can do pretty much what it wants with them.

    See Rogers v. Bellei – 401 U.S. 815 (1971)

    Keith: There is no third class of citizen that Congress can take away citizenship from. There is a set of potential citizens at birth who must choose to realize that potential or not when they are of an age to do so. While they are under age, the US treats them as if they are citizens to ensure their protection.

  19. avatar
    The Magic M March 29, 2012 at 8:59 am #

    Keith: because there is nothing that a 5 year old natural born citizen can do that a 5 year old naturalized citizen can’t do

    FIFY

  20. avatar
    The Magic M March 29, 2012 at 9:21 am #

    Majority Will: Some cultures list the family name first.

    That reminds me of a funny situation I had when I was a tutor in university. One of my groups had several people who had entered their names “last name first” on the signup sheet. About most of them, I was sure which was which.

    There was however an Albanian student whose name was listed as “Hababi Bubib” (I’ve altered the name here for privacy reasons). I asked him which was his last name, he looked at me with big eyes and said “well, Hababi, of course!” as if anything else would be a totally outlandish idea. (He went on to explain to me that Albanian first names never end in “i”.)

    That’s enough off-topic for today, sorry for that.

  21. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy March 29, 2012 at 9:26 am #

    And this fact causes no end of problems in data systems, including vital records.

    Majority Will: Some cultures list the family name first.

  22. avatar
    Thomas Brown March 29, 2012 at 9:26 am #

    Dr. Conspiracy:
    Keith, you are mistaken.

    Those born citizens outside the United States (neither born in the United States nor Naturalized in the United States) are not citizens under the 14th Amendment and the Congress can do pretty much what it wants with them.

    See Rogers v. Bellei – 401 U.S. 815 (1971)

    Hey Doc…. Correct me if I’m wrong, but aren’t such people born in a state of flux (speaking historically), as opposed to being an actual third class of Citizen? In other words, those born abroad are subject to Congress’ decisions as to whether they are Natural-Born or need to be Naturalized, but once that decision is made, they have all the rights and protections of either class? For instance, although McCain wasn’t born a Citizen under the 14th Amendment, since Congress considers him to have been a citizen at birth by dint of his parents’ citizenship, that makes him a Natural Born Citizen and thus eligible for the Presidency? But if Congress had previously decided such people needed to be Naturalized, he wouldn’t have been?

  23. avatar
    Sef March 29, 2012 at 11:06 am #

    Thomas Brown: Hey Doc…. Correct me if I’m wrong, but aren’t such people born in a state of flux (speaking historically), as opposed to being an actual third class of Citizen?In other words, those born abroad are subject to Congress’ decisions as to whether they are Natural-Born or need to be Naturalized, but once that decision is made, they have all the rights and protections of either class?For instance, although McCain wasn’t born a Citizen under the 14th Amendment, since Congress considers him to have been a citizen at birth by dint of his parents’ citizenship, that makes him a Natural Born Citizen and thus eligible for the Presidency?But if Congress had previously decided such people needed to be Naturalized, he wouldn’t have been?

    But the point is that Congress could decide tomorrow to remove McCain’s citizenship, something they could never do with President Obama.

  24. avatar
    Thomas Brown March 29, 2012 at 11:13 am #

    Sef: But the point is that Congress could decide tomorrow to remove McCain’s citizenship, something they could never do with President Obama.

    Are you sure? I could see where they could change the rules on whether people born in McCain’s SITUATION would henceforth be not considered Citizens at birth, but rather in need of Naturalization. But retroactively altering his status? If he or someone like him were elected, couldn’t an opposition-party-majority Congress decide to strip the President of Citizenship to get rid of him?

    Seems unlikely. But of course IANAL.

  25. avatar
    Sef March 29, 2012 at 11:15 am #

    Thomas Brown: McCain’s SITUATION would henceforth be not considered Citizens at birth,

    That’s what I meant. Glad you were able to deduce that.

  26. avatar
    MDW March 29, 2012 at 1:13 pm #

    JPotter:

    She flails the Wong-isn’t-binding-becasue-it-wasn’t-unanimous meme.

    Keith: Does that mean that the President can ignore a Supreme Court ruling against the mandate if it isn’t unanimous?

    The logical conclusion to that idea is that W. Bush was an usurper for his entire first teem, and under birther logic we can ignore every legislative and executive act of that term, right?

  27. avatar
    JPotter March 29, 2012 at 1:21 pm #

    MDW: JPotter: She flails the Wong-isn’t-binding-becasue-it-wasn’t-unanimous meme.The logical conclusion to that idea is that W. Bush was an usurper for his entire first teem, and under birther logic we can ignore every legislative and executive act of that term, right?

    Yeah, good luck w/that! Pleasant thought tho.

    It is one of the dumbest memes ever. Do they mean to say decisions that aren’t unanimous are of no effect at all? Obviously not true. Do they mean they are only applicable to the case they were associated with? Then the court would have to re-try every issue until a unanimous decision locked the issue down for all time. Who would want to serve on such a court!

    It’s such a concise stupidity, but amazingly powerful. One that, if true, would cripple an entire government. Imagine if we had tried to operate in such a way for 200 yers and it never occurred to anyone to fix it.

    Oh, the things you can say when you don’t bother to think first! ;)

  28. avatar
    Scientist March 29, 2012 at 1:38 pm #

    JPotter: She flails the Wong-isn’t-binding-becasue-it-wasn’t-unanimous meme.

    Actually, there are NO binding precedents on the Supreme Court. This is a birther meme regarding Minor v. Happersett that is false, even if the case said what they wanted it to say. Supreme Court precedents are binding on lower courts (in that they risk beiig overturned if they don’t follow them), but a later Supreme Court is perfectly free to over-rule an earlier case. So even if a Supreme Court in 1870 had ruled that a natural born citizen required 2 citizen parents, 4 citiizen grandparents, birth in a state, no epidural and a partridge in a pear tree, the current Supreme Court is free to say differently.

  29. avatar
    Rickey March 29, 2012 at 2:01 pm #

    Tomtech:

    My readings lead me to believe those who fit within that class have the protections of the second sentence of the 14th Amendment. I’m not sure if Dr. C believes that to be true.

    The plain language of the 14th Amendment makes it clear to me that the first clause in the second sentence applies to all citizens, whether born in the United States or abroad, and whether natural-born or naturalized. The second clause in the second sentence applies to all persons within the jurisdiction of the United States, whether citizens or not.

  30. avatar
    JPotter March 29, 2012 at 2:01 pm #

    Scientist: Actually, there are NO binding precedents on the Supreme Court.

    No, Scientist, the meme Orly flailed and I ranted on goes that the decision is not binding on lower courts, because the SCOTUS decision wasn’t unanimous. Of course SCOTUS doesn’t bind itself, that would be (almost) as bad as “must-be-unanimous’ meme!

  31. avatar
    jayHG March 29, 2012 at 2:09 pm #

    G: I seriously have no idea what you are talking about…

    “Tomtech: There is a third class of citizen. Natural born citizens, like myself, who can be denied due process since we are not covered by the 14th amendment.I personally disagree with the SCOTUS opinion which created that status because the due process protections come after a period which should separate the two parts.A citizen should be a citizen under the second sentence, even though their citizenship was not affirmed by the first sentence.”

    My response, also, was “huh????????”

  32. avatar
    jayHG March 29, 2012 at 2:12 pm #

    “Had McCain won the election, he would have been inaugurated as President just fine. In other words, his situation would be viewed as NBC.”

    …and there would be no such animal as a birther……

  33. avatar
    G March 29, 2012 at 2:35 pm #

    That is how I’ve always read it as well.

    Rickey: The plain language of the 14th Amendment makes it clear to me that the first clause in the second sentence applies to all citizens, whether born in the United States or abroad, and whether natural-born or naturalized. The second clause in the second sentence applies to all persons within the jurisdiction of the United States, whether citizens or not.

  34. avatar
    G March 29, 2012 at 2:36 pm #

    Agreed!

    jayHG: “Had McCain won the election, he would have been inaugurated as President just fine. In other words, his situation would be viewed as NBC.”…and there would be no such animal as a birther……

  35. avatar
    JPotter March 29, 2012 at 7:34 pm #

    jayHG: …and there would be no such animal as a birther……

    Amen. Conservatives are obsessed with excluding every Other they can find, and this is but one exceptionally virulent expression of that need. Conservatism doesn’t have to be introverted and divisive, someday conservatives will let go of fear and pessimism … maybe?

  36. avatar
    Ageix March 29, 2012 at 9:03 pm #

    Just OT, Has anyone figure out where the WKA’s grave site is at?

  37. avatar
    dunstvangeet March 29, 2012 at 9:09 pm #

    Ageix:
    Just OT, Has anyone figure out where the WKA’s grave site is at?

    If no actual place claims his grave site, does that mean that he never actually died?

  38. avatar
    JPotter March 29, 2012 at 9:21 pm #

    I dunno, I would guess it’s in the San Francisco area. He had descendants in the area. See these stories:

    http://www.sfweekly.com/1998-11-04/news/the-progeny-of-citizen-wong/

    http://multiamerican.scpr.org/2011/01/who-was-wong-kim-ark/

    Hopefully, wherever buried, he’s protected by some anti-birther fencing. 1 freestanding toddler gate should do the trick.

  39. avatar
    JPotter March 29, 2012 at 10:10 pm #

    JPotter: I dunno, I would guess it’s in the San Francisco area.

    The author of the SF Weekly article, writing in 1998, had a very Obot-like take on WKA, 10 years before birtherism. Hmmmmm. Birthers in recent history?

    Breezing through results for “Wong Kim Ark” on Amazon, I see very persistent interpretation of WKA across decades and disciplines, all of it predating birtherism.

    Looks like the Ministry of Truth* has been working double shifts!

    _____________________

    * Or do we call it the Ministry of Information? I get my dystopias confused.

  40. avatar
    Keith March 30, 2012 at 10:08 am #

    Dr. Conspiracy: Keith, you are mistaken.

    I am not convinced. Though I admit I only skimmed Rogers v Bellei, it is pretty clear to me that the dispute is whether or not Congress has the right to make rules about naturalization, and in the situation that Mr. Bellei found himself in, was he or was he not a citizen.

    I don’t see anything in that case that discusses the rights to due process granted to “all persons”; where “all persons” include citizens or not. It is completely obvious to me that Mr. Bellei was absolutely afforded the 14th Amendment protection of due process.

    Congress cannot “do anything it likes” about people born overseas, whether citizen or not citizen. True, it can make any law it likes about naturalization of people born overseas, and Rogers v Bellei affirms that, but it cannot deny them due process.

    Congress cannot, for example, deny people the right to challenge administrative decisions, and take that challenge right to the Supreme Court – just as Aldo Bellei did.

  41. avatar
    Keith March 30, 2012 at 10:09 am #

    The Magic M: FIFY

    Thank you. That is what I meant to say.

  42. avatar
    Keith March 30, 2012 at 10:14 am #

    JPotter: It is one of the dumbest memes ever. Do they mean to say decisions that aren’t unanimous are of no effect at all? Obviously not true. Do they mean they are only applicable to the case they were associated with? Then the court would have to re-try every issue until a unanimous decision locked the issue down for all time. Who would want to serve on such a court!

    And then they’d have to do it all over again everytime someone retires and is replaced.

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