But is the California Supreme Court Constitutional?
That’s what was reported by Gerbil Report™ from a press release of the “American Resistance Party.”1 The article, “Are Part Alien Judges Constitutional?” focuses on one newly-appointed associate justice of the California Supreme Court who was born in Mexico. Mariano-Florentino Cuéllar was recently nominated by Governor Jerry Brown to the Court, and confirmed unanimously by the California Commission on Judicial Appointments. Cuéllar has some impressive credentials that can be read in his Wikipedia article, or at the LA Times.
Because they were unable to find anything showing that Cuéllar was a US Citizen, the ARP assumed that he wasn’t. Curiously, the California Judicial Branch Fact Sheet that describes qualifications for judges does not mention any citizenship requirement, nor is it a requirement for admission to the California Bar. Nevertheless, Cuéllar is, according to his Constitution Project biography, a US Citizen. But even if Cuéllar is a naturalized citizen he is not, argues the ARP, constitutionally qualified to be a judge on the California Supreme Court because of some tortured reading of the US Constitution, specifically the 11th Amendment that precludes foreign persons from suing a state.
Mr. Cuéllar has failed to prove in any written statement or eligibility statement in the past to prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that he has refuted (sic) his Mexican citizenship. It is his responsibility to do so, if and when, he attains an office that is under the purview of the U.S. Constitution and California Constitution.
The ARP probably is unaware of the oath that naturalized citizens take:
I hereby declare, on oath, that I absolutely and entirely renounce and abjure all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state, or sovereignty, of whom or which I have heretofore been a subject or citizen; …
So while not applicable in this particular instance, the ARP do argue that dual citizens (not 100% citizens) cannot serve in any capacity under the California or US Constructions. Their argument seems nonsense. Where were they when Michele Bachmann (Swiss) and Ted Cruz (Canadian) served in the House and Senate (respectively)?
The case in question is Noonan v. Bowen, a long dismissed ballot challenge, being appealed from the Third Appellate District. Edward Noonan and co-appellant Pamela Barnett are being represented by Nathaniel J. Oleson of the US Justice Foundation. The case number is S221700.
- California Citizen Grand Jury Indictment of the California Supreme Court (and lots of others) – Published by Noonan at Scribd
- “Felons Judging fellow-Felon-High-Court Judges” – Edward Noonan
The case was denied review.