Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Changing This Civil War Relic In The Fourteenth Amendment Would Mean An End To ‘Anchor Babies’

The American people, memorialized forever by our Constitution as the greatest “We” ever to speak univocally to posterity, are the benefactors of the greatest constitutional republic ever to exist. I believe that. I believe in American exceptionalism. It is in my blood. In truth, however, although it is seldom understood and even more seldom discussed, we have had three Republics, each corresponding to our three Constitutions. In my view, it is time for a Fourth.
The first Constitution and Republic were the products of the first constitutional convention, or as some historians call it, the Philadelphia Convention. Representing North Carolina during that long, hot Philadelphia summer of 1787 was an ancestral cousin of mine — a relation by a series of crooked turns in a dead-end branch of the family tree, the sort of which only Southern grandmothers can keep track. Alexander Martin was a federalist, favoring a strong federal government, in a state that was overwhelmingly anti-federalist. This may explain why, as family lore has it, he was the only Founding Father not elected to his own state’s convention. He was, however, twice governor, so I don’t suppose things turned out so badly for him.
A primary dispute of the Philadelphia Convention was the issue of slavery. How would the Southern states, their populations swollen with enslaved people who would never vote, count those owned bodies for purposes of representation in a way that did not unfairly politically disadvantage a non-slaveholding North. The result was the three-fifths clause — a compromise engineered to ensure that non-citizens would not unfairly bloat representation. Curiously, the issue is still alive, and yet the tables are turned. Now, so-called progressives, namely Democrats, oppose the addition of a “citizenship question” in the national census. Presumably, they understand that their “sanctuary” states will benefit from an unfairly swollen population count by counting non-citizens who can’t vote.
Read the rest Shannon Gilreath HERE.

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