Constitutional Citizenship Under Attack

25 Pages Posted: 25 Oct 2017

Date Written: September 2015


TEA Party activists hold three propositions regarding US citizenship: 1. That persons born in the US to parents not legally resident therein are not citizens of the US; 2. That persons who support international terrorism thereby forfeit their citizenship; and 3. That "natural born citizen" as a requirement for election as President includes anyone one or both of whose parents were US citizens when the person was born regardless of where the birth occurred. Each of these propositions is wrong, flying in the face of the language and original meaning of the relevant constitutional text and defying 150 years of Supreme Court precedent. The TEA Party activists’ errors in this regard sheds light on broader errors of their version of "popular constitutionalism," suggesting that a high degree of caution is necessary in approaching any unorthodox TEA Party claim about the US Constitution.

Keywords: TEA Party, US Citizenship, US Constitution, Constitutional Citizenship

Suggested Citation

Dellapenna, Joseph W., Constitutional Citizenship Under Attack (September 2015). Villanova Law Review, Vol. 61, No. 3, 2016, Available at SSRN:

Joseph W. Dellapenna (Contact Author)

Independent ( email )

212 St. George's Road
Ardmore, PA 19003
United States
6102209685 (Phone)

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