Friday, February 22, 2008

One for Lawyers, One for Diplomats

1. Why, if the 14th amendment to the US Constitution grants citizenship to all those "born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof," do you need a separate amendment (the 15th) to establish voting rights for all men? What exactly does "citizenship" mean, legally, if not the right to vote? Was the idea to grant citizenship to women but not grant them the vote? What rights, then, did citizenship grant women?

2. Do you support the current American policy of recognizing the independent nation of Kosovo?

1 Comments:

Blogger Scantron said...

For your first question, there is a simple distinction between citizenships rights (civil rights) and political rights. For most of what we can roughly call "modern history" citizenship has not entailed voting rights, even among men. Compare England at the time of the reforms of 1867: maybe 8 percent of the adult population was able to vote, even though they were certainly British citizens.

It's interesting that in the second clause of the 14th amendment potential disenfranchisers are threatened with having their representation curtailed; still, this doesn't legally prohibit discriminatory voting laws. Thus the 15th amendment I guess. But you still have to wait about 100 years to get the Civil Rights Act. There is probably a lot I don't know that the young lawyers amongst us can tell you.

As for the second question, if they're going to recognize Kosovo, when will they recognize the Texas Republic? Sheriff, how is the struggle going from your perspective?

6:53 PM  

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