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Original Citizenship


Josh Blackman


South Texas College of Law

December 6, 2010

University of Pennsylvania Law Review PENNumbra, Vol. 159, p. 95, 2010

Abstract:     
In his Essay Original Citizenship, Josh Blackman asks what the Constitution means when it refers to “citizen[s] of the United States.” Acknowledging the lack of guidance on the topic, Blackman looks to contemporary notions of citizenship, including the theories of birthright citizenship and “citizenship by election,” for help. In concluding that one could only become a citizen of the United States as of the Declaration of Independence, Blackman tracks early case law at critical points in the nation’s early history. He looks to treason cases, contested elections, and interpretations of Jay’s Treaty to determine that the only logical starting point for “original” citizenship must be the Declaration. Blackman’s piece is a much-needed contribution to a sparse area of scholarship and helps to lay the groundwork for future work on the implications of his findings.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 32

Keywords: Citizenship, Declaration of Independence, 14th Amendment, Constitution

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Date posted: December 7, 2010  

Suggested Citation

Blackman, Josh, Original Citizenship (December 6, 2010). University of Pennsylvania Law Review PENNumbra, Vol. 159, p. 95, 2010. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1654577 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1654577

Contact Information

Josh Blackman (Contact Author)
South Texas College of Law ( email )
1303 San Jacinto Street
Houston, TX 77002
United States
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