Original Citizenship

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

32 Pages Posted: 7 Dec 2010

See all articles by Josh Blackman

Josh Blackman

South Texas College of Law Houston

Date Written: December 6, 2010


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.

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

Suggested Citation

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

Josh Blackman (Contact Author)

South Texas College of Law Houston ( email )

1303 San Jacinto Street
Houston, TX 77002
United States

Do you have negative results from your research you’d like to share?

Paper statistics

Abstract Views
PlumX Metrics