Thursday, October 13, 2016

Memes vs. Facts

A democratic Party meme saying that Donald Trump humiliated himself by misunderstanding the purpose of the 14th amendment when he said that it does not apply to what he referred to as "anchor babies" is not entirely accurate. I reposted and said:

In fairness to Trump, because I think it's good to be fair even to unfair people, the Supreme Court has never ruled on the exact meaning of the 14th amendment.  It does echo the principle of English law which itself was originally controversial but was eventually settled to mean those born in England are English citizens.  Also most of those who supported the amendment agreed that this was its purpose applied in America.

However, some who voted for it did not agree with that, meaning their support was aimed at naturalizing slaves born in America.

In other words, it is generally accepted by legal scholars and courts that Donald Trump is wrong on this issue. There is however a minority group of legal scholars who think he has a point.  But he is certainly wrong in that this is not settled law and his position is contrary to the great majority of accepted opinion, and that means that this meme is also wrong in suggesting he humiliated himself for taking a position not yet settled in constitutional law and which has some supporters in the legal community.

My conclusion is that Donald Trump made a fool of himself for loudly insisting that his minority position is absolutely correct, but he did not humiliate himself completely because the issue is still open to debate.

Interesting note: I also believed that this was absolutely settled law until I researched it. It's always wise to check your facts. Even some of your most cherished opinions may turn out to be wrong and not fact-based. Personally I think the concept of "anchor babies" is repugnant and believe that anyone born in America is an American citizen, but it is not yet settled constitutional law.

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