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Essay on Citizenship

Essay on Citizenship

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Published by: kflip75 on Apr 05, 2009
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12/10/2012

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This essay, like life itself, is a work in progress. Our perceptions andobservations of the world around us evolve just like everything else innature. The observations, opinions, and conclusions of this writer are,therefore, subject to change without notice. If you wish to comment orcritique this work your correspondence is most welcome. You may findit incorporated in a later revision of this document. This document hasno copyright since the writer is at a loss as to how one can copyright thetruth as he sees it. It is a gift to all seeking to learn.Godspeed you on your journeys and may the wind be at your back.
Essay on Citizenship
 
Part One
 There is considerable attention drawn, amongst those outspoken writers in the patriotcommunity, on the subject of the 14
th
Amendment to the Constitution of the United States. It hasbeen called the “Red Amendment” by some, or the communist amendment, the amendment thatchanged our citizenship and placed us in servitude, and even alleged to have been
unlawfullyratified 
by the Supreme Court of Utah [
see Dyett v. Turner, 439 P.2d 266 (1968)
].
 
This additionto the post civil war Constitution must be carefully read in its entirety and context with its sisteramendments and the rest of the Constitution as a whole. Below are the opening lines of SectionOne of this amendment;
 
“All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof,are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make orenforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the UnitedStates…”
 The amendment has a total of five sections. Sections two and three discuss the apportionmentand eligibility of representatives and senators. Section Four addresses the public debt anddeclares “the validity of the public debt, of the United States, authorized by law…shall not bequestioned.” The reader should bookmark this section for it will be discussed in intricate detail inpart three of this essay. Finally, section five states that Congress shall have the power to enforce,by legislation, the provisions of this article. Again, bear this one in mind for future reference aswell.The implications of the fourteenth amendment are more fully revealed after one reads it incontext with the thirteenth and fifteenth amendments and then contrasts the word “citizen” asdefined in the fourteenth amendment with the word “Citizen” as referenced elsewherethroughout the articles of the original Constitution. If one pours through the articles line by line itwill not take long for the reader to notice a slight grammatical difference between the originalarticles of the Constitution and the subsequent amendments. Nowhere in the seven articles of the
 
Constitution will one find the word “Citizen” where the letter “C” is not capitalized as if it werea proper noun. Nowhere in the Bill of Rights is the term ever found at all. It first appears as acommon noun in the eleventh amendment which states;
“The Judicial power of the United States shall not be construed to extend to any suit in law orequity, commenced or prosecuted against one of the United States by citizens of anotherstate, or by citizens or subjects of any foreign state.”
In the original articles many key terms are capitalized. This is consistent with old style English.The Constitution was a formal (some may even say sacred) contract of a newly declared freepeople. Throughout the articles the terms “Citizen,” “People,” “Person,” “Persons,” and“Inhabitant” are all spelled with the first letter capitalized. In English grammar a proper noun isalways capitalized. It is a sign of importance or deference to the character of the thing beingdescribed. One may draw the conclusion that the writers of the Constitution sought to highlight,to give deference to, the authority from which this document was born.Anyone who has read the writings of Thomas Paine, Thomas Jefferson, or the Federalist Paperswould know that the founding fathers were highly educated and sophisticated men. But when theframers of the Constitution met to write this document, they boarded up the windows of Independence Hall so that no one might pass by and hear someone in heated debate speaking aposition in argument that may be taken out of context. Recall these people had just come out of arather bloody war for an idea whose time had come, that being the notion that all men werecreated equal and each was a sovereign with all rights and privileges of the King of Englandhimself.The framers debated fiercely over significant concepts of government and delegation of power,whether or not to have a President, currency and banking, and whether to have a Bill of Rights.But these wordsmiths also debated over minutia like whether a phrase need be followed by acomma, a semi-colon, or a colon. The point is this: If the framers made the point of a wordbeginning with a capital letter, there was indeed a point to that capitalization.To this day, even in the United States Government Style Manual, there is only one way to write aproper noun. The first letter must be capitalized followed by lower case. So it stands to reasonthat the words “Citizen,” “People,” “Person,” and “Inhabitant” were meant to be read with asense of deference and respect. So one might also argue with respect to terms like “Powers,”“Representatives,” “Electors,” “Duty,” and “Revenue.”What is immediately apparent, as one moves forward into the amendments to the Constitution, isthe decreasing use of this unique grammatical style. With very few exceptions, the only wordsthat get a capital letter in mid-sentence are words relating to government, military, and the legalsystem. The terms “person,” “people,” and “citizen” are relegated to the level of common nouns.As stated above, the only use of the term citizen between the original articles and the fourteenthamendment is in the eleventh amendment. The amendment makes a clear distinction between theterm “citizens” and “subjects.” This same distinction is clearly evident in Article III, Section 2,which reads in the last line of the first paragraph “Citizens or Subjects.”
 
What is historically evident by the time of the fourteenth amendment is that the very definition of “citizenship” was about to undergo it’s first metamorphosis in the annals of constitutional law.Until this time, the concept of a “citizen” of the United States wasn’t considered to be adesignation that carried any legal weight at all. People were citizens of their state, and by virtueof this citizenship they enjoyed all privileges and immunities throughout the Union of thecompact states. The very concept of state sovereignty, however, met the ultimate test in 1861when the north quashed the secession of the southern states from the Union. The result of thiswar was the thirteenth, fourteenth, and fifteenth amendments. It was the language of thefourteenth amendment that became the topic of controversy in the case of United States v.Anthony.In 1873, in New York, a woman was indicted for having voted for a representative in congresswhen the United States alleged she possessed no such right. This was a suffrage case, ironically,that most succinctly provides definition of a
citizen of the United States.
The court stated aposition that had, prior to the fourteenth amendment, been
stare decisis.
 
 
“It had long been contended, and had been held by many learned authorities, and had neverbeen judicially decided to the contrary, that there was no such thing as a citizen of the UnitedStates, except as that condition arose from citizenship of some state. No mode existed, it wassaid, of obtaining a citizenship of the United States, except by first becoming a citizen of some state.” United States v. Anthony, 24 Fed.Cas. 829 (1873)
The court in this case held that the “…thirteenth, fourteenth and fifteenth amendments weredesigned mainly for the protection of newly emancipated negroes…” and further held that the“…fourteenth amendment creates and defines citizenship of the United States.” For the court, onthe one hand, to state that it long held that there was no such thing as a citizen of the UnitedStates and then to say that now such a citizen has been created and defined and therefore “[t]hisquestion is now at rest” is no small declaration to be making from the bench. This is a highlysignificant statement.If it was basically
stare decisis
that there was really no such thing as a “citizen of the UnitedStates,” then why does the Constitution, in several different sections, constantly refer to a“Citizen” or “Citizens” of the United States? For example, in Art. 1 Sec. 1 it is required that aperson seeking a seat in the House of Representatives be at least twenty five years old and forseven years a “Citizen of the United States.” A person aspiring to the Senate needs to be thirtyyears old and for nine years a “Citizen of the United States.” It is mandated, under Art. 2, Sec. 1,that no person except a “natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of theAdoption of the Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of the President….” Then there is thereference in Art. 4, Sec. 2, stating “[t]he Citizens of each State shall be entitled to all Privilegesand Immunities of Citizens in the several states.”Refer again to U.S. v. Anthony and examine the operative paragraph from Justice Hunt in itsentirety and context:
 
“The fourteenth amendment creates and defines citizenship of the United States. It has longbeen contended, and had been held by many learned authorities, and had never been judicially decided to the contrary, that there was no such thing as a citizen of the UnitedStates, except as that condition arose from citizenship of some state. No mode existed, it was

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