Levin and Horowitz on Birthright Citizenship

From Chris Pandolfo, 10-31-18, at Conservative Review:

Tuesday on his radio program, LevinTV host Mark Levin spoke with Conservative Review senior editor Daniel Horowitz about birthright citizenship — and that President Donald Trump is entirely within his rights to interpret and enforce the 14th Amendment to the Constitution.

Horowitz told Levin that President Trump has the authority to issue an executive order clarifying how the executive branch will interpret the 14th Amendment concerning the citizenship status of children born in the United States to illegal aliens. He said that those who say otherwise, including House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wisc., are “constitutionally illiterate.”

“Let’s put this in plain English here,” Horowitz said. “Basically they’re saying, Mark, I could break into your home, kick down the door, drop a kid there, and he has the right to live there for the remainder of his life and there’s not a darn thing you can do about it.”

“The reality is that even if we agree to the notion of birthright citizenship … there is no way you could extrapolate that to people who came here without consent. The key words are ‘consent’ and ‘sovereignty.’ Nothing ever supersedes that. Nobody could unilaterally assert jurisdiction and make it that there’s nothing we can do to stop this,” he continued.

At Levin’s request, Horowitz explained how an executive order issued by Trump ending birthright citizenship for children of illegal immigrants would not be lawless because the order would be pursuant to law. It is not like Obama’s illegal DACA amnesty, which was an order contrary to law.

“For 130 years there’s an uninterrupted stream of case law, including cases written by the Wong Kim Ark justice, Horace Gray, saying that if you come here without consent and you do not have legal status, it is, in the most literal and physical sense, as if you are standing outside of our boundaries in terms of access to the courts, in terms of rights, in terms of everything,” Horowitz said. This means that the 14th Amendment does not grant citizenship to the children of illegal aliens.

Horowitz made the point that our modern concept of birthright citizenship came about not as the result of a court decision, not by an act of Congress, but by the executive branch’s lax enforcement of immigration law. Levin pointed out that if birthright citizenship is a bureaucratic creation, as the chief of the bureaucracy, President Trump has the right to correct years of extra-constitutional behavior by the executive branch.

“He’s not changing the Constitution by executive order. He’s not reinterpreting the Constitution by executive order. He’s getting the executive branch under control and saying, ‘This is what the 14th Amendment means,’” Levin said.


  • “It was always told to me that you needed a constitutional amendment. Guess what? You don’t,” Trump said, declaring he can do it by executive order.
  • When told that’s very much in dispute, Trump replied: “You can definitely do it with an Act of Congress. But now they’re saying I can do it just with an executive order.”

Ever since Trump mentioned changing the 14th amendment, the media has been in a frenzy over it. I’ve read dozens of interpretations on what Trump can and cannot do, as you probably have too.  I’m still not 100% sure I understand all the particulars of it, but this explanation/discussion makes the most sense of anything I’ve seen.

Trump is within his authority to tighten up enforcement of laws without actually changing the 14th amendment unconstitutionally. His legal advisers have been hard at work looking for various ways he can address this without having a lefty judge slap it down. If they missed a loophole, as we’ve seen happen before, then worst case scenario, this ends up in the hands of the Supreme Court and they’ll have the responsibility to clarify it.

Lindsey Graham has stated that after the election he will introduce legislation along the same lines, but it would take months to get a bill passed regarding this, if at all. Meanwhile, Trump is trying to legally address it now, before thousands more illegal immigrants hit our border.


Categories: Political

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13 replies

  1. This 14th Amendment has been used illegally for a very long time.
    The president is responsible for imigration so his clarification on this should be sufficient. But …#FederalJudges.

    Judge Napolitano on Fox and Friends this morning said Trump could not do this as he is changing the 14th. What happened to ole Judge Nap???

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes’m, I expect those lefty judges to throw roadblocks up as fast as they can – there’s probably lawyers who are already planning their strategy and drawing up their documents.

      I don’t know what’s wrong with Judge Nap, but he and I haven’t agreed on just about any topic in over a year now. Sad, because he used to be one of the best go-to sources there was. In this instance, he spoke too soon basing his response on the same assumption everyone else made – that Trump was trying to change the Constitution with an EO, when it’s nothing of the kind. Was he a never-Trumper?

      Liked by 1 person

      • I don’t recall if he was a never trumpet? That’s an interesting question. There are still a lot of them though less I think.


      • Interesting: I looked up the judge’s profile on wiki. It seems he was told by Trump he was considered to be a Supreme Court Judge but Kavanaugh got it. He believes that since the Supeme Court in VA decided mixed racial marriages were to be allowed, this made homosexual marriages a required right. And in the personal section he grieved terribly for a long time friend but there is no listing of wife, children. He believes in the conspiracy theory that the twin towers fell due to more than the jets that flew into them. He says Lincoln could have saved the nation from a bloody battle by making peace while freeing the slaves; that the civil war was caused by tariffs. He’s a libertarian. There’s more but the guy isn’t whom I thought he was!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Thanks for doing the detective work on him tannngl. It seems there’s much going on behind the scenes that we didn’t know. I have to admit though, that I never really went and looked for more info on him because he always seemed like such a stand-up guy and a conservative, but now? Not so much. That kind of explains his contradictory stances of late.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I was very surprised when Trump came out and postulated that he could change birthright citizenship for the children of illegals by E.O. Like you I’ve read opinions from all angles but the more I munge on it the more the E.O. seems appropriate. It has always made zero sense that congress would have knowingly created this mess by intending for birthright citizenship to apply to the children of people who trespassed here illegally. ZERO SENSE. The only problem is that the next Dem POTUS will surely undo what Trump has done.

    Ideally congress should follow up the E.O. with a law that clearly states that ONLY the children of legal citizens are automatically citizens, but that’s never going to happen and it especially won’t happen with Republicans losing seats this term. I’m guessing Trump’s E.O. would be challenged at the Supreme Court, and then I think it will face an uphill battle. Kavanaugh and Roberts are both on record as being big believers in “precedence” (I’m rolling my eyes), so it would not surprise me at all if they side with Dems, even though the precedence that’s been followed was clearly never the intent of the law. In any case, I’m glad we’re FINALLY having this fight. I give Trump his due for that.

    Liked by 1 person

    • This was another one of those times where it would have been better if he’d kept his mouth shut and just gone about his business, then make a statement on it. But no – he had to use it to trigger the Dems and give fodder to every analyst there ever was.

      I can’t recall a single time that Congress has followed an EO with supporting legislation, so this EO like all the others and the ones O issued will be reversed. After all, we must hang on to that state of perpetual misinterpretation, right? We’ve had 150 years to clarify the 14th amendment, and even longer on the first and second amendments, which have always been points of contention, and no one ever followed through on it.

      There’s a good chance Trump’s goal all along was to get it in front of SCOTUS. He could be thinking they’ll swing it his way, since we have more conservatives there now. That’s a big gamble. You make a good point about precedent because it’s not good to follow something that’s been wrong for 150 years.

      Instead, they should be guided by intent, and for the life of me, I don’t understand why they didn’t include the clause as stated by Sen. Jacob Howard in 1866 which makes it clear the 14th doesn’t apply to foreigners and aliens.

      “This will not, of course, include persons born in the United States who are foreigners, aliens, who belong to the families of ambassadors or foreign ministers accredited to the government of the United States, but will include every other class of persons.”


      Liked by 1 person

      • Trump keep his mouth shut? Couldn’t you ask for something easy, like world peace?

        I’m sure that when the “precedent” was established of giving citizenship to the children of illegals that it INITIALLY occurred without congressional consideration. It was probably an infrequent event and simply never came up for debate. Now we are under assault by people deliberately taking advantage of our sloppiness and we want it stopped. The fact that it should even be debated shows how dangerous the Left in this country have become. Siding with the illegals is traitorous.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I’m sure you’re right – after all, they were imperfect humans, and like the politicians today, they only think in the present and not the future. (otherwise EOs would become laws)

        With some of the amendments being quite lengthy and detailed, we sure could have used the rest of that sentence in the 14th.


  3. Kathy, despite the fact that IF Trump writes a LEGAL executive order, how much do you want to bet MSM acts like it’s the worst crime of the century?


    • Oh yes, it’s already being talked about as the worst crime ever, running roughshod over the Constitution, etc. Even Judge Napolitano jumped on the bandwagon saying he can’t do that. They saw his tweets and hit the panic button, but they all need to slow down and read what he’s actually doing.

      Liked by 1 person

      • They also need to put the Amendment into a chronological gird, so they’d understand that it was supposed to settle the racial divide after freeing the slaves during the Civil War. IMHO, it is obviously a clarification of the 13th Amendment, however, in the past years, more and more act as if they pretend that it’s for anyone and everyone, then they can use it for their own ends.

        Liberals panic every time others are bold enough to thwart their schemes. The more they howl, the more I know a sore spot has been hit.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Exactly, foguth, and you just made me think of another good point in regard to this, although it has nothing to do with the illegal invasion.

        All those blacks who whine about being treated unfairly need to be reminded that they have two amendments written specifically for them, introduced and supported by Republicans, and voted on by a two-thirds majority in both the Senate and the House. Republicans battled for weeks over this one and over-rode a presidential veto to get fair treatment for blacks.

        It’s been the Rs all along who looked out for them while the Ds twisted it and took credit for it.



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