PostHeaderIcon Does SCOTUS Matter?

There has been much discussion hereabouts of late, regarding the need for the SCOTUS to legally define the term ‘natural-born citizen’ (NBC), as used in the Constitution. Currently, there is a cloud of legal uncertainty surrounding the candidacies of both Ted Cruz and Marco Robio, because many believe they are Constitutionally ineligible for the office of POTUS. Ultimately, this could only be settled by a SCOTUS ruling, which heretofore they have deliberately avoided making. Multiple lawsuits have already been filed in multiple jurisdictions, and more are planned, challenging their eligibility, in hopes of forcing the SCOTUS to provide a definitive answer to the question.

After over 5 years of research and pontificating on the subject, I am among those convinced beyond a shadow of doubt that neither Cruz nor Rubio qualify as NBC. I have repeatedly stated that I could never vote for either, for that reason. Then, only yesterday, I averred that it was past time for the SCOTUS to do their job and make a definitive ruling on the issue, to lift the cloud of doubt dogging these and future candidates, one way or the other.

That seemed entirely reasonable to me, until Chris asked a very good and pointed question:

BTW I do need to ask. If the SCOTUS finds in favor of Cruz being a natural born citizen would someone that would disagree with the decision accept it and evaluate him on merit equally to others? If not what difference does it make?

Zing! Oh boy… hmmm… now where did I put my navel? 🙂

After a fair amount of cogitation, my answer is complicated and necessarily nuanced. Let me try to elucidate it.

First, as stated elsewhere, I now consider the Constitution a dead letter, which has no real value to the people as a compact anymore. Instead of a restraint on political power, it is now routinely misinterpreted to mean whatever the lawyers and politicians ideologically want it to mean, and the SCOTUS justices are merely well-connected lawyers.

Thus, my answer will be hypothetical and meaningless, because the dead Constitution has become little more than a quaint relic of an attempt at self-government, which ultimately failed miserably. Yet, such deliberate political misinterpretations of our once venerable Constitution, inevitably color what my reaction to yet another such erroneous ruling on the NBC issue would be.

Next, as stated elsewhere, I am increasingly embracing anarchy as a more perfect societal model. Then, to do my part in invalidating the stranglehold the Incumbrepublocrat Duopoly has on politics in America, I have no intention of voting at all this year for any Federal office. I truly no longer care who the next POTUS is; my once beloved America no longer exists. To repeat: Please don’t vote; it just encourages the bastards!

Thus, reevaluating Cruz’ qualifications and positions, because the SCOTUS decided he was eligible for POTUS, would be rather pointless for me, even if I thought their ruling settled the matter. And, that is the rub that caused Chris’ question to throw me for a loop. Would it settle the matter, once and for all, as I suggested yesterday was needed?

Alas, I am afraid the answer to that is no, it wouldn’t. Because there have been so many erroneous, politically motivated, SCOTUS rulings over the years, they no longer command any reverence or even respect, by anyone without a law degree. Those who liked Roe v Wade, cheered; those who didn’t refuse to accept it as settled law, and are still actively working to get it overturned.

Those who liked DC v Heller cheered; those who didn’t will never accept it as settled law, and are still actively passing gun control legislation that violates it. The Obamacare rulings still have partisans in an irreconcilable snit over them, and nobody thinks the issues are settled. The simple truth is that the SCOTUS is no longer, if it ever was, nine wise and impartial jurists, empowered with the solemn duty to fairly interpret the Constitution.

They are now partisan hacks, who got their jobs on the basis of ideological purity, and are not intended to be impartial. The screams and rants over Justice Robert’s first ruling on Obamacare, make that abundantly clear. Whatever his motivation and reasoning, one would have thought he had broken a solemn oath of allegiance to the Republican Party. Thus, we have come to think of their rulings as only temporary partisan opinions, which can be changed by voting in a President of the opposite ideological persuasion, who will promise to appoint SCOTUS members most likely to repair them.

Consequently, for all the reasons above, my honest answer to Chris is… no. It would not change my personal well-founded opinion of their ineligibility, or my willingness to vote for either of them, and so you are right – it would make no difference whatever. Because, what these grandee black-robed lawyers think, just does not really matter anymore. At least not to me. 😉 â—„Daveâ–º

16 Responses to “Does SCOTUS Matter?”

  • Chris says:

    Exactly the answer I would expect Dave. You never disappoint. 🙂

    In my view IF the SCOTUS were to take on the question they only need answer one simple question. A very simple one that wouldn’t even include Senator Cruz. It need not consider any subsequent case law or any foreign law. We don’t have to get it all muddied up with common law of man or any other common arguments of “birthers”. The only question is quite simple. What did the US congress mean and does a slight two word change in language mean a huge change of intent?

    At the risk of being redundant bear with me while I explain.

    Lets start all the way back in 1790. I’m going to try and highlight some relevant things but not knowing your system if it blows up don’t blame me. 🙂

    United States Congress, “An act to establish an uniform Rule of Naturalization” (March 26, 1790).

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America, in Congress assembled, That any Alien being a free white person, who shall have resided within the limits and under the jurisdiction of the United States for the term of two years, may be admitted to become a citizen thereof on application to any common law Court of record in any one of the States wherein he shall have resided for the term of one year at least, and making proof to the satisfaction of such Court that he is a person of good character, and taking the oath or affirmation prescribed by law to support the Constitution of the United States, which Oath or Affirmation such Court shall administer, and the Clerk of such Court shall record such Application, and the proceedings thereon; and thereupon such person shall be considered as a Citizen of the United States. And the children of such person so naturalized, dwelling within the United States, being under the age of twenty one years at the time of such naturalization, shall also be considered as citizens of the United States. And the children of citizens of the United States that may be born beyond Sea, or out of the limits of the United States, shall be considered as natural born Citizens: Provided, that the right of citizenship shall not descend to persons whose fathers have never been resident in the United States: Provided also, that no person heretofore proscribed by any States, shall be admitted a citizen as aforesaid, except by an Act of the Legislature of the State in which such person was proscribed.

    If I’m in error please let me know but this act of congress clearly provides that Ted Cruz is a natural born citizen. A congress that I’m pretty sure knew the intent of the constitution and the term “natural born citizen”. But of course that’s not all. This complete act was repealed only five years later.

    I will only post the relevant section of this law.

    United States Congress, “An act to establish an uniform rule of Naturalization; and to repeal the act heretofore passed on that subject” (January 29, 1795).

    SEC. 3. And be it further enacted, that the children of persons duly naturalized, dwelling within the United States, and being under the age of twenty-one years, at the time of such naturalization, and the children of citizens of the United States, born out of the limits and jurisdiction of the United States, shall be considered as citizens of the United States: Provided, That the right of citizenship shall not descend to persons, whose fathers have never been resident of the United States: Provided also, That no person heretofore proscribed by any state, or who has been legally convicted of having joined the army of Great Britain during the late war, shall be admitted a citizen as foresaid, without the consent of the legislature of the state, in which such person was proscribed.

    You can’t help but notice the very much similar relevant language in the two laws. You also can’t help but notice one difference. That difference to me is the only “birther” argument. What SCOTUS needs to decide is whether this slight change in language that has a huge effect in practical law was deliberate or just a short cut in language in a much larger bill. Did congress in both 1790 and 1795 recognize the difference between “citizen at birth” and “natural born citizen”?

    Since then congress has enacted more laws pertaining to citizenship requirements but none i believe tackle the issue at hand directly. I suggest that this one simple decision would also address the “anchor baby” situation that Rubio finds himself in. Of note if the finding is that they intended to make the distinction we have had several presidential candidates that were actually unable to serve had they won their election.

    To me any other consideration of the issue is useless. Of course if my opinion mattered I would be wearing one of those black robes you so rightly despise.

  • Chris says:

    The good news is your site allowed my quotes. The bad news is it didn’t allow any heading tags to highlight my points. I’m sure you will find them. 🙂

    • Actually, the only HTML tags I found in your comment were the b-quotes. Go to the comments section in the back end of your own site, and pretend to reply to a comment. You will see in the upper line of the editor, just which tags would be parsed. You will notice that heading tags aren’t among them. A clever trick, if you want to use them, is to compose your comment over there, and then just copy and paste it in the comment block here. 🙂 â—„Daveâ–º

  • Chris says:

    Sorry for going on here but I think the easiest, most logical, and probably originalist meaning of NBC would be a second generation citizen at birth. Simple as that.

  • Troy Robinson says:

    My view is that neither the Supreme Court not the Congress matters any more due to their own actions (or lack of same). Only the executive matters today (Heil Obama!).


    • I have a lot of catching up to do on several posts, so please be patient, guys. 🙂

      Yes, this discussion was quite interesting. He seemed pretty reasonable for a lawyer / law professor. I agreed with much of what he said across the board about the basic nature of our Republic; but I disagree strongly with the one hook on which he is hanging his declaration of Cruz being a NBC. Where in the Constitution does he find the Founders having given the power to redefine NBC at will to Congress?

      I see where they were given the power to establish the rules and procedures for naturalization; but to assert that the British Parliament had acquired the power to redefine a long established term of art, therefore Congress inherited it, is a non sequitur to me.

      Of course, I also disagree that an anchor baby like Cruz is also an NBC, only by “right of soil,” instead of “right of blood” like Cruz. Other than those glaring misconceptions, I enjoyed the program. Thanks for sharing. 🙂 â—„Daveâ–º

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