14th Amendment

19 Stories

Biloxi Running 'Debtors Prison From the Dark Ages': ACLU

Class-action lawsuit says Miss. city is shaking down poverty-stricken residents

(Newser) - Debtors prisons are supposedly a thing of the distant past —except in Biloxi, Miss. That's according to a class-action lawsuit filed against the city, its police department, the courts, and a private probation company, alleging these agencies have conspired to threaten poor residents into paying up to avoid... More »

Children of Illegal Immigrants Hurt by Texas Ruling

Judge says Texas can keep denying birth certificates to US-born kids

(Newser) - The 14th Amendment of the Constitution grants citizenship to any person born in the US regardless of the immigration status of their parents. That didn't stop a federal judge from ruling Friday that Texas officials can continue denying birth certificates to the children of illegal immigrants, the Los Angeles ... More »

Lawsuit: New Orleans Runs Modern 'Debtors' Prison'

System targeting poor is 'illegal, unconstitutional, and unjust': complaint

(Newser) - Six plaintiffs filed a federal class-action lawsuit yesterday against Louisiana's Orleans Parish for instituting what amounts to an "illegal, unconstitutional, and unjust modern debtors' prison" for people who fail to pay court fines over what are often minor offenses, the New Orleans Advocate reports. The complaint alleges individuals... More »

Why Trump's Birthright Citizenship Plan Matters

It's starting one of the most substantive political debates yet

(Newser) - One of the most talked about election topics at the moment is Donald Trump's proposal to end birthright citizenship for immigrants—the notion that anyone born in the US automatically becomes a citizen. "I don't think they have American citizenship," he told Bill O'Reilly on... More »

Judge Strikes Down Virginia's Gay Marriage Ban

Ban violates 14th Amendment, she rules

(Newser) - America has "arrived upon another moment in history when We the People becomes more inclusive, and our freedom more perfect," said a federal judge yesterday as she struck down Virginia's ban on gay marriage. The judge, who decided the ban violated the 14th Amendment's equal protection... More »

Obama: Gay Marriage Bans 'Probably' Unconstitutional

President says debt sustainable for next 10 years

(Newser) - It looks like President Obama's views on gay marriage are continuing to " evolve ." When he first expressed his support for gay marriage last May, Obama also said he thought it was a state issue (a position he's since reaffirmed ). Now, however, the president is saying... More »

Behold US' Most Ridiculous Anti-Immigration Policy

Florida's tuition rule is immoral, unconstitutional: Linda Greenhouse

(Newser) - Move over Arizona and Alabama, because Florida, the home of nearly a million Cuban refugees and their descendants, “has come up with perhaps the most bizarre and pointless anti-immigration policy of all,” writes Linda Greenhouse in the New York Times . The state’s Board of Education has quietly... More »

Democrats to Obama: Use the 14th Amendment

Leaders in the House say he shouldn't rule it out

(Newser) - Desperate times: Some high-ranking Democrats say President Obama should invoke the 14th Amendment and raise the debt ceiling on his own. James Clyburn, the third-ranking House Democrat, made the pitch to the Democratic Caucus this morning, reports the Hill . By doing so, Obama would bring "needed stability to our... More »

Dems' Possible Strategy: Declare Debt Ceiling Unconstitutional

Proponents say it violates the 14th Amendment

(Newser) - In their fight to raise the debt ceiling, a move largely opposed by Tea Party Republicans, Democrats are considering a surprise weapon—the Constitution. With negotiations at an impasse and default looming , Democrats are thinking of declaring the debt ceiling itself unconstitutional, as the 14th Amendment reads: "The validity... More »

In California Homes, Tourists Birthed American Babies

LA county center shut as firms offer US trips to give birth

(Newser) - A "birth tourism" center uncovered by officials in Los Angeles County has given fresh ammunition to people calling for a change to the 14th Amendment, which grants automatic citizenship to every baby born in the US. Officials say they discovered that three connected townhouses were being used as a... More »

Ariz. Bills Would Bar Illegals From Driving, Marriage

Committee also peels back 'birthright' citizenship

(Newser) - An Arizona Senate committee passed a new immigration bill yesterday that would prevent illegal immigrants from driving or buying a car, getting married, or sending their children to school. They also passed a bill ending “birthright citizenship,” in defiance of the 14th Amendment. Under that bill, Arizona will... More »

Arizona Bills Target Birthright Citizenship

GOP lawmakers aim to trigger review of 14th Amendment

(Newser) - Arizona Republicans introduced four bills yesterday aimed at denying US citizenship to the children of illegal immigrants. The lawmakers hope to provoke a Supreme Court review of the 14th Amendment, which guarantees citizenship to "all persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof... More »

Fight Brewing Over 'Anchor Baby' Citizenship

States plan to introduce different birth certificates for children of illegals

(Newser) - The biggest immigration battle of 2011 is likely to focus on how exactly an American is defined. A coalition of lawmakers from Arizona and about a dozen other states is fighting to deny citizenship to children born to illegal immigrants . They want to take the "anchor babies" issue all... More »

Scalia: Constitution Doesn't Prohibit Sex Discrimination

Supreme Court justice raises ire with 14th Amendment interpretation

(Newser) - The 14th Amendment's equal protection clause doesn't prohibit discrimination against women and gays, according to Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia. "Nobody ever thought that's what it meant. Nobody ever voted for that" when the amendment was proposed in 1868, the Reagan appointee tells California Lawyer. "If the current... More »

States Take Up Fight Against 'Anchor Babies'

At least five will try to deny citizenship to children of illegal immigrants

(Newser) - Starting this week, at least five states including Arizona, Oklahoma, Missouri, and Pennsylvania will begin to fight against granting automatic US citizenship to children born, in America, to illegal immigrants. As frustration with the federal government’s inaction rises, the immigration battle is coming to the states, the New York ... More »

Reid Once Tried to Roll Back Citizenship, Too

Dem wanted to change 14th amendment rules in 1993

(Newser) - When Republicans started pushing to repeal or change the 14th amendment so that the children of illegal immigrants would not be citizens, Harry Reid said they’d “either taken leave of their senses or their principles.” Which is pretty awkward, because in 1993, Reid introduced an immigration reform... More »

Hey, GOP: You Wrote the 14th Amendment

What would Lincoln-era Republicans think?

(Newser) - In the post-slavery days, it was Democrats who were the "racial demagogues," writes EJ Dionne. They railed against the so-called Reconstruction amendments with racist rhetoric, but Republicans won the day. Too bad their political descendants are happy to destroy that legacy by forcing a debate about the the... More »

Lou Dobbs: Keep the 14th Amendment

He's fine with anchor babies

(Newser) - Even immigration uber-hawk Lou Dobbs thinks Republicans are going too far when they suggest repealing the 14th Amendment to prevent the children of illegal immigrants from gaining automatic citizenship. “The idea that anchor babies somehow require changing the 14th Amendment, I part ways with the senators on that, because... More »

Mitch McConnell Wants to 'Review' 14th Amendment

That pesky part about birthright citizenship

(Newser) - Mitch McConnell thinks Congress “ought to take a look” at changing the 14th Amendment so that it does not grant citizenship to the children of illegal immigrants. That puts McConnell right in line with a growing Republican push on the issue, alongside Jon Kyl and Lindsey Graham, the Hill... More »

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