Drudge is having fun again with the ongoing quest in Hawaii to find the President's birth certificate.
The irony is that the only reason there are "birthers" is that our Courts created the idea of "birthright citizenship." But soil ought not to determine citizenship, and the Constitution, as amended, ought not to be read to require it--as the dissenters in Won Kim Ark noted. English law made soil fundamental, they noted: "The tie which bound the child to the Crown was indissoluble. The nationality of his parents had no bearing on his nationality. Though born during a temporary stay of a few days, the child was irretrievably a British subject."
In the American revolution, they add, "Manifestly, when the sovereignty of the Crown was thrown off and an independent government established, every rule of the common law and every statute of England obtaining in the Colonies in derogation of the principles on which the new government was founded was abrogated."
According to Justices Fuller and Harlan (Harlan signed onto Fuller's dissent. Not coincidentally, it was two years after Plessy. The decision turns on the same principles. The same idea of equality that made segregation problematic, also made compact the basic of American government and, the foundation for our ideas of citizenship.") As they noted, those elements of the common law that could not be reconciled with the "principles on which the new government was founded" were abroated.
According to the principles of the compact, once someone becomes a citizen, any child born to him is also a citizen. The dissenters noted, "it seems to me that the rule partus sequitur patrem has always applied to children of our citizens born abroad." That maxim could be reas narrowly, suggesting the citizenship follows the father. But since we no longer discriminate on the basis of sex, t is reasonable to say that the child of any American parent is a citizen. In short, it is only the deeply problematic argument that soil is the foundation of citizenship that lets Druge and others amuse themselves with the question of Obama's birth certificate.