CITES BY TOPIC:  U.S. citizen

MP4 U.S. citizens and the New World Order (OFFSITE LINK) -Musicians for Freedom


PDF 8 U.S.C.A. 1401:  Citizens and Nationals of the United States at Birth


SEDM Exhibit Page, Section 1.1: Citizenship, Domicile, and Residency (OFFSITE LINK)


You're not a "citizen" as defined in the Internal Revenue Code


Selective Service Syste, Form 1M (OFFSITE LINK)-Look at who the Selective Service System thinks is a "U.S. citizen" in the notes at the bottom of p. 3.  It ain't what you think it is and it doesn't include anyone in a state of the Union.


U.S. Government Sources for Citizenship Information:

Office of Overseas Citizen Services, Tom Glover, Phone 202-647-5226

Office of Policy Review and Interagency Liaison, Phone 202-312-9750


IRS Website: Pay for Independent Personal Services (Income Code 16)

U.S. National

A U.S. national is an individual who owes his sole allegiance to the United States, but who is not a U.S. citizen (a citizen of American Samoa, or the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands).

[PDF Click here for PDF version]


8 U.S.C. 1401 Nationals and citizens of the United States:

The following shall be nationals and citizens of the United States at birth:
(a) a person born in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof;
(b) a person born in the United States to a member of an Indian, Eskimo, Aleutian, or other aboriginal tribe: Provided, That the granting of citizenship under this subsection shall not in any manner impair or otherwise affect the right of such person to tribal or other property;
(c) a person born outside of the United States and its outlying possessions of parents both of whom are citizens of the United States and one of whom has had a residence in the United States or one of its outlying possessions, prior to the birth of such person;
(d) a person born outside of the United States and its outlying possessions of parents one of whom is a citizen of the United States who has been physically present in the United States or one of its outlying possessions for a continuous period of one year prior to the birth of such person, and the other of whom is a national, but not a citizen of the United States;
(e) a person born in an outlying possession of the United States of parents one of whom is a citizen of the United States who has been physically present in the United States or one of its outlying possessions for a continuous period of one year at any time prior to the birth of such person;
(f) a person of unknown parentage found in the United States while under the age of five years, until shown, prior to his attaining the age of twenty-one years, not to have been born in the United States;
(g) a person born outside the geographical limits of the United States and its outlying possessions of parents one of whom is an alien, and the other a citizen of the United States who, prior to the birth of such person, was physically present in the United States or its outlying possessions for a period or periods totaling not less than five years, at least two of which were after attaining the age of fourteen years: Provided, That any periods of honorable service in the Armed Forces of the United States, or periods of employment with the United States Government or with an international organization as that term is defined in section 288 of title 22 by such citizen parent, or any periods during which such citizen parent is physically present abroad as the dependent unmarried son or daughter and a member of the household of a person

(A) honorably serving with the Armed Forces of the United States, or
(B) employed by the United States Government or an international organization as defined in section 288 of title 22, may be included in order to satisfy the physical-presence requirement of this paragraph. This proviso shall be applicable to persons born on or after December 24, 1952, to the same extent as if it had become effective in its present form on that date; and 

(h) a person born before noon (Eastern Standard Time) May 24, 1934, outside the limits and jurisdiction of the United States of an alien father and a mother who is a citizen of the United States who, prior to the birth of such person, had resided in the United States


PDF  Why you are a "national", "state national", and Constitutional but not Statutory Citizen.  Article on our website based on sections 4.12.6 and 4.12.6.1 of the Great IRS Hoax book.


Social Security Program Operations Manual (POM), Section RS00204.015: Developing Evidence of U.S. citizenship


Social Security Program Operations Manual (POM), Section RS000204.010: U.S. Citizenship/Lawful Presence Payment Requirement Effective for Claims Filed Sep 1, 1997 or later

C. DEFINITIONS

1. "Alien Lawfully Present in the United States"

For title II purposes, this means the categories of aliens the Attorney General determined meet the exception to nonpayment of monthly title II benefits under section 401(B) of the Personal Responsibility Act. (See RS 00204.025 for the categories of aliens who are lawfully present in the U.S.)

2. United States Citizen

This means a person who is:

  • Born in the U.S. and at the time of birth is subject to U.S. jurisdiction (which does not include children born in the U.S. to foreign diplomats); or
  • Born outside the U.S. to a U.S. citizen parent or parents and who derives his/her U.S. citizenship from the U.S. citizen parent(s); or
  • Naturalized after birth. (See GN 00303.100B.1. and GN 00303.100B.2. for the definition of categories of naturalized citizens.)

    NOTE: See GN 00303.120 for a complete description of who is a U.S. citizen.

3. United States National

This means a person who was born in American Samoa or Swain's Island. For SSA purposes, a U.S. national is functionally equivalent to a U.S. citizen.


Social Security Handbook: Section 1725: Evidence of U.S. Citizenship-details on what the Social Security Administration "thinks" is a citizen


Social Security Program Operations Manual (POM), Section GN00303.100: U.S. citizenship

5. SUBJECT TO THE JURISDICTION OF THE U.S.

Individuals under the purview of the Fourteenth Amendment (which states that all individuals born in the U.S. and to whom U.S. laws apply are U.S. citizens). Acquisition of citizenship is not affected by the fact that the alien parents are only temporarily in the U.S. at the time of the child's birth. Under international law, children born in the U.S. to foreign sovereigns or foreign diplomatic officers listed on the State Department Diplomatic List are not subject to the jurisdiction of the U.S.

6. UNITED STATES

When used in a geographical sense, means the [federal areas within the] 50 states, D.C., Puerto Rico, Guam, Virgin Islands of the U.S., American Samoa, Swain's Island and the Northern Mariana Islands.

NOTE: The Harcon Tract (a small tract of land that was north of the Rio Grande but is now south of the channel since it was diverted) is considered U.S. territory.


U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Website, Frequently Asked Questions About Form I-9

Frequently Asked Questions About Employment Eligibility

Do citizens and nationals of the U. S. need to prove, to their employers, they are eligible to work?
Yes. While citizens and nationals of the U.S. are automatically eligible for employment, they too must present proof of employment eligibility and identity and complete an Employment Eligibility Verification form (Form I-9). Citizens of the U.S. include persons born in Puerto Rico, Guam, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and the Northern Mariana Islands. Nationals of the U.S. include persons born in American Samoa, including Swains Island.


26 U.S.C. 2209:  Certain residents of possessions considered "nonresidents not citizens of the United States"

TITLE 26 > Subtitle B > CHAPTER 11 > Subchapter C > 2209

2209. Certain residents of possessions considered nonresidents not citizens of the United States

A decedent who was a citizen of the United States and a resident of a possession thereof at the time of his death shall, for purposes of the tax imposed by this chapter, be considered a ''nonresident not a citizen of the United States'' within the meaning of that term wherever used in this title, but only if such person acquired his United States citizenship solely by reason of
(1) his being a citizen of such possession of the United States, or
(2) his birth or residence within such possession of the United States.

[NOTE:  Note that people born in possessions are described as "U.S. nationals".  They refer to them above as "nonresident not a citizen of the United States".]


PDF  3C AmJur 2d, Aliens and Citizens, 2682 Sources of citizenship.  American Jurisprudence legal encyclopedia section defining how "U.S. citizen" status is acquired


PDF  3C AmJur 2d, Aliens and Citizens, 2704 Procedure for acquiring citizenship "at birth".  American Jurisprudence legal encyclopedia section defining how "U.S. citizen" status is acquired.  Applying for a U.S. passport is all that is required.


PDF U.S. Department of State 7 FAM (Foreign Affairs Manual) Sections 1100, 1110, and 1111 on "U.S. citizenship" vs. "U.S. nationality".  If you want to see the original document on the government website, click here.


PDF 3C American Jurisprudence (AmJur) 2d, Aliens and Citizens, 2689

3C Am Jur 2d 2689, Who is born in United States and subject to United States jurisdiction

"A person is born subject to the jurisdiction of the United States, for purposes of acquiring citizenship at birth, if his or her birth occurs in territory over which the United States is sovereign, even though another country provides all governmental services within the territory, and the territory is subsequently ceded to the other country."


14th Amendment:

Section 1. All persons born or naturalized in the [federal] United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside. No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.


United States v. Anthony, 24  Fed. Cas. 829, (Case No. 14,459)(1873)

“...there was no such thing as citizen of the United States, except as that condition arose from citizenship of some state
[United States v. Anthony, 24  Fed. Cas. 829, (Case No. 14,459)(1873)]


Wadleigh v. Newhall 136 F. 941 (1905)

“The rights and privileges, and immunities which the fourteenth constitutional amendment and Rev. St. section 1979 [U.S. Comp. St. 1901, p. 1262], for its enforcement, were designated to protect, are such as belonging to citizens of the United States as such, and not as citizens of a state”.
[Wadleigh v. Newhall 136 F. 941 (1905)]


26 C.F.R §31.3121(e)-1 State, United States, and citizen.

(b)…The term 'citizen of the United States' includes a citizen of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico or the Virgin Islands, and, effective January 1, 1961, a citizen of Guam or American Samoa.


26 C.F.R §1.1-1(c):

(c) Who is a citizen.
Every person born or naturalized in the United States and subject to its [that is, federal and not state] jurisdiction is a citizen. For other rules governing the acquisition of citizenship, see Chapters 1 and 2 of Title III of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1401-1459). For rules governing loss of citizenship, see sections 349 to 357, inclusive, of such Act (8 U.S.C. 1481-1489), Schneider v. Rusk, (1964) 377 U.S. 163, and Rev. Rul. 70-506, C.B. 1970-2, 1. For rules pertaining to persons who are nationals but not citizens at birth, e.g., a person born in American Samoa, see section 308 of such Act (8 U.S.C. 1408). For special rules applicable to certain expatriates who have lost citizenship with a principal purpose of avoiding certain taxes, see section 877. A foreigner who has filed his declaration of intention of becoming a citizen but who has not yet been admitted to citizenship by a final order of a naturalization court is an alien.


Requirements for being a commissioned officer in the U.S. military, 10 U.S.C. 532:

Sec. 532. - Qualifications for original appointment as a commissioned officer 

(a)  Under regulations prescribed by the Secretary of Defense, an original appointment as a commissioned officer (other than as a commissioned warrant officer) in the Regular Army, Regular Navy, Regular Air Force, or Regular Marine Corps may be given only to a person who - 

(1)  is a citizen of the United States;  

(2)  is able to complete 20 years of active commissioned service before his fifty-fifth birthday; 

(3) is of good moral character; 

(4) is physically qualified for active service; and 

(5) has such other special qualifications as the Secretary of the military department concerned may prescribe by regulation. 


Citizenship Status under 8 U.S.C. v. Tax Status under 26 U.S.C


IRS Publication 3184: Documents Required for Proof of U.S. Citizenship


Colgate v. Harvey, 296 U.S. 404 (1935):
[overruled by Madden v. Commonwealth of Kentucky, 309 U.S. 83 (1940]

Thus, the dual character of our citizenship is made plainly apparent. That is to say, a citizen of the United States is ipso facto and at the same time a citizen of the state in which he resides. And while the Fourteenth Amendment does not create a national citizenship, it has the effect of making that citizenship 'paramount and dominant' instead of 'derivative and dependent' upon state citizenship. 3 'In reviewing the subject,' Chief Justice White said, in the Selective Draft Law Cases, 245 U.S. 366, 377 , 388 S., 389, 38 S.Ct. 159, 165, L.R.A. 1918C, 361, Ann.Cas. 1918B, 856: 'We have hitherto considered it as it has been argued from the point of view of the Constitution as it stood prior to the adoption of the Fourteenth Amendment. But to avoid all misapprehension we briefly direct attention to that (the fourteenth) amendment for the purpose of pointing out, as has been frequently done in the past, how completely it broadened the national scope of the government under the Constitution by causing citizenship of the United States to be paramount and dominant instead of being subordinate [296 U.S. 404, 428]   and derivative, and therefore operating as it does upon all the powers conferred by the Constitution leaves no possible support for the contentions made if their want of merit was otherwise not to clearly made manifest.'

The result is that whatever latitude may be thought to exist in respect of state power under the Fourth Article, a state cannot, under the Fourteenth Amendment, abridge the privileges of a citizen of the United States, albeit he is at the same time a resident of the state which undertakes to do so. This is pointed out by Mr. Justice Bradley in the Slaughter House Case, Fed.Cas. No. 8,408, 1 Woods, 21, 28:

    'The 'privileges and immunities' secured by the original constitution, were only such as each state gave to its own citizens. Each was prohibited from discriminating in favor of its own citizens, and against the citizens of other states.
    'But the fourteenth amendment prohibits any state from abridging the privileges or immunities of the citizens of the United States, whether its own citizens or any others. It not merely requires equality of privileges; but it demands that the privileges and immunities of all citizens shall be absolutely unabridged, unimpaired.'

The same distinction is made by this court in Bradwell v. State of Illinois, 16 Wall. 130, 138, where, speaking of the privileges and immunities provision of the Fourth Article, it was said: 'The protection designed by that clause, as has been repeatedly held, has no application to a citizen of the State whose laws are complained of. If the plaintiff was a citizen of the State of Illinois, that provision of the Constitution gave her no protection against its courts or its legislation.' 4   [296 U.S. 404, 429]   But the court added that with respect to the Fourteenth Amendment 'there are certain privileges and immunities which belong to a citizen of the United States as such; otherwise it would be nonsense for the fourteenth amendment to prohibit a State from abridging them. ... We agree ... that there are privileges and immunities belonging to citizens of the United States, in that relation and character, and that it is these and these alone which a State is forbidden to abridge.' The governments of the United States and of each of the several states are distinct from one another. The rights of a citizen under one may be quite different from those which he has under the other. To each he owes an allegiance; and, in turn, he is entitled to the protection of each in respect of such rights as fall within its jurisdiction. United States v. Cruikshank, 92 U.S. 542 , 549.

Under the Fourteenth Amendment, therefore, the simple inquiry is whether the privilege claimed is one which arises in virtue of national citizenship. If the privilege be of that character, no state can abridge it. No attempt has been made by the courts comprehensively to define or enumerate the privileges and immunities which the Fourteenth Amendment thus protects. 5 Among those privileges, however, undoubtedly is the right to pass freely from one state to another. Crandall v. State of Nevada, supra; Williams v. Fears, 179 U.S. 270, 274 , 21 S.Ct. 128. And that privilege, obviously, is as immune from abridgment by the state from which the citizen departs as it is from abridgment by the state which he seeks to enter. This results from the essential character of national citizenship. Cf. In re Kemmler, 136 U.S. 436, 448 , 10 S.Ct. 930; Duncan v. Missouri, 152 U.S. 377, 382 , 14 S.Ct. 570; In re Quarles and Butler, [296 U.S. 404, 430]   158 U.S. 532, 536 , 15 S.Ct. 959; United States v. Cruikshank, supra, 92 U.S. 542 , at page 552.

[Colgate v. Harvey, 296 U.S. 404 (1935)]


Dred Scott v. Sanford, 19 How. (U.S.) 393, 15 L.ed 691

The first section of the second article of the Constitution uses the language, ‘a natural-born citizen.‘ It thus assumes that citizenship may be acquired by birth. Undoubtedly, this language of the Constitution was used in reference to that principle of public law, well understood in this country at the time of the adoption of the Constitution, which referred citizenship to the place of birth. At the Declaration of Independence, and ever since, the received general doctrine has been, in conformity with the common law, that free persons born within either of the colonies were subjects of the King; that by the Declaration of Independence, and the consequent acquisition of sovereignty by the several States, all such persons ceased to be subjects, and became citizens of the several States, except so far as some of them were disfranchised by the legislative power of the States, or availed themselves, seasonably, of the right to adhere to the British Crown in the civil contest, *577 and thus to continue British subjects. (McIlvain v. Coxe's Lessee, 4 Cranch, 209; Inglis v. Sailors' Snug Harbor, 3 Peters, p. 99; Shanks v. Dupont, Ibid, p. 242.)

The Constitution having recognized the rule that persons born within the several States are citizens of the United States, one of four things must be true:

First. That the Constitution itself has described what native-born persons shall or shall not be citizens of the United States; or,

Second. That it has empowered Congress to do so; or,

Third. That all free persons, born within the several States, are citizens of the United States; or,

Fourth. That it is left to each State to determine what free persons, born within its limits, shall be citizens of such State, and thereby be citizens of the United States.

If there be such a thing as citizenship of the United States acquired by birth within the States, which the Constitution expressly recognizes, and no one denies, then these four alternatives embrace the entire subject, and it only remains to select that one which is true.

That the Constitution itself has defined citizenship of the United States by declaring what persons, born within the several States, shall or shall not be citizens of the United States, will not be pretended. It contains no such declaration. We may dismiss the first alternative, as without doubt unfounded.

Has it empowered Congress to enact what free persons, born within the several States, shall or shall not be citizens of the United States?

Before examining the various provisions of the Constitution which may relate to this question, it is important to consider for a moment the substantial nature of this inquiry. It is, in effect, whether the Constitution has empowered Congress to create privileged classes within the States, who alone can be entitled to the franchises and powers of citizenship of the United States. If it be admitted that the Constitution has enabled Congress to declare what free persons, born within the several States, shall be citizens of the United States, it must at the same time be admitted that it is an unlimited power. If this subject is within the control of Congress, it must depend wholly on its discretion. For, certainly, no limits of that discretion can be found in the Constitution, which is wholly silent concerning it; and the necessary consequence is, that the Federal Government may select classes of persons within the several States who alone can be entitled to the political privileges of citizenship of the United States. If this power exists, what persons born within the States may be President or Vice President *578 of the United States, or members of either House of Congress, or hold any office or enjoy any privilege whereof citizenship of the United States is a necessary qualification, must depend solely on the will of Congress. By virtue of it, though Congress can grant no title of nobility, they may create an oligarchy, in whose hands would be concentrated the entire power of the Federal Government.

**137 It is a substantive power, distinct in its nature from all others; capable of affecting not only the relations of the States to the General Government, but of controlling the political condition of the people of the United States. Certainly we ought to find this power granted by the Constitution, at least by some necessary inference, before we can say it does not remain to the States or the people. I proceed therefore to examine all the provisions of the Constitution which may have some bearing on this subject.

Among the powers expressly granted to Congress is ‘the power to establish a uniform rule of naturalization.‘ It is not doubted that this is a power to prescribe a rule for the removal of the disabilities consequent on foreign birth. To hold that it extends further than this, would do violence to the meaning of the term naturalization, fixed in the common law, (Co. Lit., 8 a, 129 a; 2 Ves., sen., 286; 2 Bl. Com., 293,) and in the minds of those who concurred in framing and adopting the Constitution. It was in this sense of conferring on an alien and his issue the rights and powers of a native-born citizen, that it was employed in the Declaration of Independence. It was in this sense it was expounded in the Federalist, (No. 42,) has been understood by Congress, by the Judiciary, (2 Wheat., 259, 269; 3 Wash. R., 313, 322; 12 Wheat., 277,) and by commentators on the Constitution. (3 Story's Com. on Con., 1-3; 1 Rawle on Con., 84-88; 1 Tucker's Bl. Com. App., 255-259.)

It appears, then, that the only power expressly granted to Congress to legislate concerning citizenship, is confined to the removal of the disabilities of foreign birth.

Whether there be anything in the Constitution from which a broader power may be implied, will best be seen when we come to examine the two other alternatives, which are, whether all free persons, born on the soil of the several States, or only such of them as may be citizens of each State, respectively, are thereby citizens of the United States. The last of these alternatives, in my judgment, contains the truth.

Undoubtedly, as has already been said, it is a principle of public law, recognized by the Constitution itself, that birth on the soil of a country both creates the duties and confers the rights of citizenship. But it must be remembered, that though *579 the Constitution was to form a Government, and under it the United States of America were to be one united sovereign nation, to which loyalty and obedience on the one side, and from which protection and privileges on the other, would be due, yet the several sovereign States, whose people were then citizens, were not only to continue in existence, but with powers unimpaired, except so far as they were granted by the people to the National Government.

Among the powers unquestionably possessed by the several States, was that of determining what persons should and what persons should not be citizens. It was practicable to confer on the Government of the Union this entire power. It embraced what may, well enough for the purpose now in view, be divided into three parts. First: The power to remove the disabilities of alienage, either by special acts in reference to each individual case, or by establishing a rule of naturalization to be administered and applied by the courts. Second: Determining what persons should enjoy the privileges of citizenship, in respect to the internal affairs of the several States. Third: What native-born persons should be citizens of the United States.

**138 The first-named power, that of establishing a uniform rule of naturalization, was granted; and here the grant, according to its terms, stopped. Construing a Constitution containing only limited and defined powers of government, the argument derived from this definite and restricted power to establish a rule of naturalization, must be admitted to be exceedingly strong. I do not say it is necessarily decisive. It might be controlled by other parts of the Constitution. But when this particular subject of citizenship was under consideration, and, in the clause specially intended to define the extent of power concerning it, we find a particular part of this entire power separated from the residue, and conferred on the General Government, there arises a strong presumption that this is all which is granted, and that the residue is left to the States and to the people. And this presumption is, in my opinion, converted into a certainty, by an examination of all such other clauses of the Constitution as touch this subject.

I will examine each which can have any possible bearing on this question.

The first clause of the second section of the third article of the Constitution is, ‘The judicial power shall extend to controversies between a State and citizens of another State; between citizens of different States; between citizens of the same State, claiming lands under grants of different States; and between States, or the citizens thereof, and foreign States, *580 citizens, or subjects.‘ I do not think this clause has any considerable bearing upon the particular inquiry now under consideration. Its purpose was, to extend the judicial power to those controversies into which local feelings or interests might so enter as to disturb the course of justice, or give rise to suspicions that they had done so, and thus possibly give occasion to jealousy or ill will between different States, or a particular State and a foreign nation. At the same time, I would remark, in passing, that it has never been held, I do not know that it has ever been supposed, that any citizen of a State could bring himself under this clause and the eleventh and twelfth sections of the judiciary act of 1789, passed in pursuance of it, who was not a citizen of the United States. But I have referred to the clause, only because it is one of the places where citizenship is mentioned by the Constitution. Whether it is entitled to any weight in this inquiry or not, it refers only to citizenship of the several States; it recognizes that; but it does not recognize citizenship of the United States as something distinct therefrom.

As has been said, the purpose of this clause did not necessarily connect it with citizenship of the United States, even if that were something distinct from citizenship of the several States, in the contemplation of the Constitution. This cannot be said of other clauses of the Constitution, which I now proceed to refer to.

**139 ‘The citizens of each State shall be entitled to all the privileges and immunities of citizens of the several States.‘ Nowhere else in the Constitution is there anything concerning a general citizenship; but here, privileges and immunities to be enjoyed throughout the United States, under and by force of the national compact, are granted and secured. In selecting those who are to enjoy these national rights of citizenship, how are they described? As citizens of each State. It is to them these national rights are secured. The qualification for them is not to be looked for in any provision of the Constitution or laws of the United States. They are to be citizens of the several States, and, as such, the privileges and immunities of general citizenship, derived from and guarantied by the Constitution, are to be enjoyed by them. It would seem that if it had been intended to constitute a class of native-born persons within the States, who should derive their citizenship of the United States from the action of the Federal Government, this was an occasion for referring to them. It cannot be supposed that it was the purpose of this article to confer the privileges and immunities of citizens in all the States upon persons not citizens of the United States.

*581 And if it was intended to secure these rights only to citizens of the United States, how has the Constitution here described such persons? Simply as citizens of each State.

But, further: though, as I shall presently more fully state, I do not think the enjoyment of the elective franchise essential to citizenship, there can be no doubt it is one of the chiefest attributes of citizenship under the American Constitutions; and the just and constitutional possession of this right is decisive evidence of citizenship. The provisions made by a Constitution on this subject must therefore be looked to as bearing directly on the question what persons are citizens under that Constitution; and as being decisive, to this extent, that all such persons as are allowed by the Constitution to exercise the elective franchise, and thus to participate in the Government of the United States, must be deemed citizens of the United States.

Here, again, the consideration presses itself upon us, that if there was designed to be a particular class of native-born persons within the States, deriving their citizenship from the Constitution and laws of the United States, they should at least have been referred to as those by whom the President and House of Representatives were to be elected, and to whom they should be responsible.

Instead of that, we again find this subject referred to the laws of the several States. The electors of President are to be appointed in such manner as the Legislature of each State may direct, and the qualifications of electors of members of the House of Representatives shall be the same as for electors of the most numerous branch of the State Legislature.

**140 Laying aside, then, the case of aliens, concerning which the Constitution of the United States has provided, and confining our view to free persons born within the several States, we find that the Constitution has recognized the general principle of public law, that allegiance and citizenship depend on the place of birth; that it has not attempted practically to apply this principle by designating the particular classes of persons who should or should not come under it; that when we turn to the Constitution for an answer to the question, what free persons, born within the several States, are citizens of the United States, the only answer we can receive from any of its express provisions is, the citizens of the several States are to enjoy the privileges and immunities of citizens in every State, and their franchise as electors under the Constitution depends on their citizenship in the several States. Add to this, that the Constitution was ordained by the citizens of the several States; that they were ‘the people of the United States,‘ for whom *582 and whose posterity the Government was declared in the preamble of the Constitution to be made; that each of them was ‘a citizen of the United States at the time of the adoption of the Constitution,‘ within the meaning of those words in that instrument; that by them the Government was to be and was in fact organized; and that no power is conferred on the Government of the Union to discriminate between them, or to disfranchise any of them-the necessary conclusion is, that those persons born within the several States, who, by force of their respective Constitutions and laws, are citizens of the State, are thereby citizens of the United States.

It may be proper here to notice some supposed objections to this view of the subject.

It has been often asserted that the Constitution was made exclusively by and for the white race. It has already been shown that in five of the thirteen original States, colored persons then possessed the elective franchise, and were among those by whom the Constitution was ordained and established. If so, it is not true, in point of fact, that the Constitution was made exclusively by the white race. And that it was made exclusively for the white race is, in my opinion, not only an assumption not warranted by anything in the Constitution, but contradicted by its opening declaration, that it was ordained and established by the people of the United States, for themselves and their posterity. And as free colored persons were then citizens of at least five States, and so in every sense part of the people of the United States, they were among those for whom and whose posterity the Constitution was ordained and established.

Again, it has been objected, that if the Constitution has left to the several States the rightful power to determine who of their inhabitants shall be citizens of the United States, the States may make aliens citizens.

**141 The answer is obvious. The Constitution has left to the States the determination what persons, born within their respective limits, shall acquire by birth citizenship of the United States; it has not left to them any power to prescribe any rule for the removal of the disabilities of alienage. This power is exclusively in Congress.

It has been further objected, that if free colored persons, born within a particular State, and made citizens of that State by its Constitution and laws, are thereby made citizens of the United States, then, under the second section of the fourth article of the Constitution, such persons would be entitled to all the privileges and immunities of citizens in the several States; and if so, then colored persons could vote, and be *583 eligible to not only Federal offices, but offices even in those States whose Constitution and laws disqualify colored persons from voting or being elected to office.

But this position rests upon an assumption which I deem untenable. Its basis is, that no one can be deemed a citizen of the United States who is not entitled to enjoy all the privileges and franchises which are conferred on any citizen. (See 1 Lit. Kentucky R., 326.) That this is not true, under the Constitution of the United States, seems to me clear.

A naturalized citizen cannot be President of the United States, nor a Senator till after the lapse of nine years, nor a Representative till after the lapse of seven years, from his naturalization. Yet, as soon as naturalized, he is certainly a citizen of the United States. Nor is any inhabitant of the District of Columbia, or of either of the Territories, eligible to the office of Senator or Representative in Congress, though they may be citizens of the United States. So, in all the States, numerous persons, though citizens, cannot vote, or cannot hold office, either on account of their age, or sex, or the want of the necessary legal qualifications. The truth is, that citizenship, under the Constitution of the United States, is not dependent on the possession of any particular political or even of all civil rights; and any attempt so to define it must lead to error. To what citizens the elective franchise shall be confided, is a question to be determined by each State, in accordance with its own views of the necessities or expediencies of its condition. What civil rights shall be enjoyed by its citizens, and whether all shall enjoy the same, or how they may be gained or lost, are to be determined in the same way.

One may confine the right of suffrage to white male citizens; another may extend it to colored persons and females; one may allow all persons above a prescribed age to convey property and transact business; another may exclude married women. But whether native-born women, or persons under age, or under guardianship because insane or spendthrifts, be excluded from voting or holding office, or allowed to do so, I apprehend no one will deny that they are citizens of the United States. Besides, this clause of the Constitution does not confer on the citizens of one State, in all other States, specific and enumerated privileges and immunities. They are entitled to such as belong to citizenship, but not to such as belong to particular citizens attended by other qualifications. Privileges and immunities which belong to certain citizens of a State, by reason of the operation of causes other than mere citizenship, are not conferred. Thus, if the laws of a State require, in addition to *584 citizenship of the State, some qualification for office, or the exercise of the elective franchise, citizens of all other States, coming thither to reside, and not possessing those qualifications, cannot enjoy those privileges, not because they are not to be deemed entitled to the privileges of citizens of the State in which they reside, but because they, in common with the native-born citizens of that State, must have the qualifications prescribed by law for the enjoyment of such privileges, under its Constitution and laws. It rests with the States themselves so to frame their Constitutions and laws as not to attach a particular privilege or immunity to mere naked citizenship. If one of the States will not deny to any of its own citizens a particular privilege or immunity, if it confer it on all of them by reason of mere naked citizenship, then it may be claimed by every citizen of each State by force of the Constitution; and it must be borne in mind, that the difficulties which attend the allowance of the claims of colored persons to be citizens of the United States are not avoided by saying that, though each State may make them its citizens, they are not thereby made citizens of the United States, because the privileges of general citizenship are secured to the citizens of each State. The language of the Constitution is, ‘The citizens of each State shall be entitled to all privileges and immunities of citizens in the several States. ‘ If each State may make such persons its citizens, they became, as such, entitled to the benefits of this article, if there be a native-born citizenship of the United States distinct from a native-born citizenship of the several States.

**142 There is one view of this article entitled to consideration in this connection. It is manifestly copied from the fourth of the Articles of Confederation, with only slight changes of phraseology, which render its meaning more precise, and dropping the clause which excluded paupers, vagabonds, and fugitives from justice, probably because these cases, could be dealt with under the police powers of the States, and a special provision therefor was not necessary. It has been suggested, that in adopting it into the Constitution, the words ‘free inhabitants‘ were changed for the word ‘citizens.‘ An examination of the forms of expression commonly used in the State papers of that day, and an attention to the substance of this article of the Confederation, will show that the words ‘free inhabitants,‘ as then used, were synonymous with citizens. When the Articles of Confederation were adopted, we were in the midst of the war of the Revolution, and there were very few persons then embraced in the words ‘free inhabitants,‘ who were not born on our soil. It was not a time when many, save the *585 children of the soil, were willing to embark their fortunes in our cause; and though there might be an inaccuracy in the uses of words to call free inhabitants citizens, it was then a technical rather than a substantial difference. If we look into the Constitutions and State papers of that period, we find the inhabitants or people of these colonies, or the inhabitants of this State, or Commonwealth, employed to designate those whom we should now denominate citizens. The substance and purpose of the article prove it was in this sense it used these words: it secures to the free inhabitants of each State the privileges and immunities of free citizens in every State. It is not conceivable that the States should have agreed to extend the privileges of citizenship to persons not entitled to enjoy the privileges of citizens in the States where they dwelt; that under this article there was a class of persons in some of the States, not citizens, to whom were secured all the privileges and immunities of citizens when they went into other States; and the just conclusion is, that though the Constitution cured an inaccuracy of language, it left the substance of this article in the National Constitution the same as it was in the Articles of Confederation.

The history of this fourth article, respecting the attempt to exclude free persons of color from its operation, has been already stated. It is reasonable to conclude that this history was known to those who framed and adopted the Constitution. That under this fourth article of the Confederation, free persons of color might be entitled to the privileges of general citizenship, if otherwise entitled thereto, is clear. When this article was, in substance, placed in and made part of the Constitution of the United States, with no change in its language calculated to exclude free colored persons from the benefit of its provisions, the presumption is, to say the least, strong, that the practical effect which it was designed to have, and did have, under the former Government, it was designed to have, and should have, under the new Government.

**143 It may be further objected, that if free colored persons may be citizens of the United States, it depends only on the will of a master whether he will emancipate his slave, and thereby make him a citizen. Not so. The master is subject to the will of the State. Whether he shall be allowed to emancipate his slave at all; if so, on what conditions; and what is to be the political status of the freed man, depend, not on the will of the master, but on the will of the State, upon which the political status of all its native-born inhabitants depends. Under the Constitution of the United States, each State has retained this power of determining the political status of its native-born *586 inhabitants, and no exception thereto can be found in the Constitution. And if a master in a slaveholding State should carry his slave into a free State, and there emancipate him, he would not thereby make him a native-born citizen of that State, and consequently no privileges could be claimed by such emancipated slave as a citizen of the United States. For, whatever powers the States may exercise to confer privileges of citizenship on persons not born on their soil, the Constitution of the United States does not recognize such citizens. As has already been said, it recognizes the great principle of public law, that allegiance and citizenship spring from the place of birth. It leaves to the States the application of that principle to individual cases. It secured to the citizens of each State the privileges and immunities of citizens in every other State. But it does not allow to the States the power to make aliens citizens, or permit one State to take persons born on the soil of another State, and, contrary to the laws and policy of the State where they were born, make them its citizens, and so citizens of the United States. No such deviation from the great rule of public law was contemplated by the Constitution; and when any such attempt shall be actually made, it is to be met by applying to it those rules of law and those principles of good faith which will be sufficient to decide it, and not, in my judgment, by denying that all the free native-born inhabitants of a State, who are its citizens under its Constitution and laws, are also citizens of the United States.

It has sometimes been urged that colored persons are shown not to be citizens of the United States by the fact that the naturalization laws apply only to white persons. But whether a person born in the United States be or be not a citizen, cannot depend on laws which refer only to aliens, and do not affect the status of persons born in the United States. The utmost effect which can be attributed to them is, to show that Congress has not deemed it expedient generally to apply the rule to colored aliens. That they might do so, if though fit, is clear. The Constitution has not excluded them. And since that has conferred the power on Congress to naturalize colored aliens, it certainly shows color is not a necessary qualification for citizenship under the Constitution of the United States. It may be added, that the power to make colored persons citizens of the United States, under the Constitution, has been actually exercised in repeated and important instances. (See the Treaties with the Choctaws, of September 27, 1830, art. 14; with the Cherokees, of May 23, 1836, art. 12 Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, February 2, 1848, art. 8.)

**144 I do not deem it necessary to review at length the legislation *587 of Congress having more or less bearing on the citizenship of colored persons. It does not seem to me to have any considerable tendency to prove that it has been considered by the legislative department of the Government, that no such persons are citizens of the United States. Undoubtedly they have been debarred from the exercise of particular rights or privileges extended to white persons, but, I believe, always in terms which, by implication, admit they may be citizens. Thus the act of May 17, 1792, for the organization of the militia, directs the enrolment of ‘every free, able-bodied, white male citizen.‘ An assumption that none but white persons are citzens, would be as inconsistent with the just import of this language, as that all citizens are able-bodied, or males.

So the act of February 28, 1803, (2 Stat. at Large, 205,) to prevent the importation of certain persons into States, when by the laws thereof their admission is prohibited, in its first section forbids all masters of vessels to import or bring ‘any negro, mulatto, or other person of color, not being a native, a citizen, or registered seaman of the United States,‘ &c.

The acts of March 3, 1813, section 1, (2 Stat. at Large, 809,) and March 1, 1817, section 3, (3 Stat. at Large, 351,) concerning seamen, certainly imply there may be persons of color, natives of the United States, who are not citizens of the United States. This implication is undoubtedly in accordance with the fact. For not only slaves, but free persons of color, born in some of the States, are not citizens. But there is nothing in these laws inconsistent with the citizenship of persons of color in others of the States, nor with their being citizens of the United States.

Whether much or little weight should be attached to the particular phraseology of these and other laws, which were not passed with any direct reference to this subject, I consider their tendency to be, as already indicated, to show that, in the apprehension of their framers, color was not a necessary qualification of citizenship. It would be strange, if laws were found on our statute book to that effect, when, by solemn treaties, large bodies of Mexican and North American Indians as well as free colored inhabitants of Louisiana have been admitted to citizenship of the United States.

In the legislative debates which preceded the admission of the State of Missouri into the Union, this question was agitated. Its result is found in the resolution of Congress, of March 5, 1821, for the admission of that State into the Union. The Constitution of Missouri, under which that State applied for admission into the Union, provided, that it should be the duty *588 of the Legislature ‘to pass laws to prevent free negroes and mulattoes from coming to and settling in the State, under any pretext whatever.‘ One ground of objection to the admission of the State under this Constitution was, that it would require the Legislature to exclude free persons of color, who would be entitled, under the second section of the fourth article of the Constitution, not only to come within the State, but to enjoy there the privileges and immunities of citizens. The resolution of Congress admitting the State was upon the fundamental condition, ‘that the Constitution of Missouri shall never be construed to authorize the passage of any law, and that no law shall be passed in conformity thereto, by which any citizen of either of the States of this Union shall be excluded from the enjoyment of any of the privileges and immunities to which such citizen is entitled under the Constitution of the United States.‘ It is true, that neither this legislative declaration, nor anything in the Constitution or laws of Missouri, could confer or take away any privilege or immunity granted by the Constitution. But it is also true, that it expresses the then conviction of the legislative power of the United States, that free negroes, as citizens of some of the States, might be entitled to the privileges and immunities of citizens in all the States.

**145 The conclusions at which I have arrived on this part of the case are:

First. That the free native-born citizens of each State are citizens of the United States.

Second. That as free colored persons born within some of the States are citizens of those States, such persons are also citizens of the United States.

Third. That every such citizen, residing in any State, has the right to sue and is liable to be sued in the Federal courts, as a citizen of that State in which he resides.

Fourth. That as the plea to the jurisdiction in this case shows no facts, except that the plaintiff was of African descent, and his ancestors were sold as slaves, and as these facts are not inconsistent with his citizenship of the United States, and his residence in the State of Missouri, the plea to the jurisdiction was bad, and the judgment of the Circuit Court overruling it was correct.

[Dred Scott v. Sanford, 19 How. (U.S.) 393, 15 L.ed 691]


Elk v. Wilkins, 112 U.S. 94 (1884):

The distinction between citizenship by birth and citizenship by naturalization is clearly marked in the provisions of the constitution, by which 'no person, except a natural-born citizen, or a citizen of the United States at the time of the adoption of this constitution, shall be eligible to the office of president;' and 'the congress shall have power to establish an uniform rule of naturalization.' Const. art. 2, 1; art. 1, 8. By the thirteenth amendment of the constitution slavery was prohibited. The main object of the opening sentence of the fourteenth amendment was to settle the question, upon which there had been a difference of opinion throughout the country and in this court, as to the citizenship of free negroes, (Scott v. Sandford, 19 How. 393;) and to put it beyond doubt that all persons, white or black, and whether formerly slaves or not, born or naturalized in the United States, and owing no allegiance to any alien power [including a state], should be citizens of the United States and of the state in which they reside. Slaughter-House Cases, 16 Wall. 36, 73; Strauder v. West Virginia, 100 U.S. 303 , 306.

This section contemplates two sources of citizenship, and two sources only: birth and naturalization. The persons declared [112 U.S. 94, 102]   to be citizens are 'all persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof.' The evident meaning of these last words is, not merely subject in some respect or degree to the jurisdiction of the United States, but completely subject to their political jurisdiction, and owing them direct and immediate allegiance. And the words relate to the time of birth in the one case, as they do to the time of naturalization in the other. Persons not thus subject to the jurisdiction of the United States at the time of birth cannot become so afterwards, except by being naturalized, either individually, as by proceedings under the naturalization acts; or collectively, as by the force of a treaty by which foreign territory is acquired. Indians born within the territorial limits of the United States, members of, and owing immediate allegiance to, one of the Indiana tribes, (an alien though dependent power,) although in a geographical sense born in the United States, are no more 'born in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof,' within the meaning of the first section of the fourteenth amendment, than the children of subjects of any foreign government born within the domain of that government, or the children born within the United States, of ambassadors or other public ministers of foreign nations. This view is confirmed by the second section of the fourteenth amendment, which provides that 'representatives shall be apportioned among the several states according to their respective numbers, counting the whole number of persons in each state, excluding Indians not taxed.' Slavery having been abolished, and the persons formerly held as slaves made citizens, this clauses fixing the apportionment of representatives has abrogated so much of the corresponding clause of the original constitution as counted only three-fifths of such persons. But Indians not taxed are still excluded from the count, for the reason that they are not citizens. Their absolute exclusion from the basis of representation, in which all other persons are now included, is wholly inconsistent with their being considered citizens. So the further provision of the second section for a propor- [112 U.S. 94, 103]   tionate reduction of the basis of the representation of any state in which the right to vote for presidential electors, representatives in congress, or executive or judicial officers or members of the legislature of a state, is denied, except for participation in rebellion or other crime, to 'any of the male inhabitants of such state, being twenty-one years of age and citizens of the United States,' cannot apply to a denial of the elective franchise to Indians not taxed, who form no part of the people entitled to representation.

It is also worthy of remark that the language used, about the same time, by the very congress which framed the fourteenth amendment, in the first section of the civil rights act of April 9, 1866, declaring who shall be citizens of the United States, is 'all persons born in the United States, and not subject to any foreign power, excluding Indians not taxed.' 14 St. 27; Rev. St. 1992. Such Indians, then, not being citizens by birth, can only become citizens in the second way mentioned in the fourteenth amendment, by being 'naturalized in the United States,' by or under some treaty or statute. The action of the political departments of the government, not only after the proposal of the amendment by congress to the states in June, 1866, but since the proclamation in July, 1868, of its ratification by the requisite number of states, accords with this construction. While the amendment was pending before the legislatures of the several states, treaties containing provisions for the naturalization of members of Indian tribes as citizens of the United States were made on July 4, 1866, with the Delawares, in 1867 with various tribes in Kansas, and with the Pottawatomies, and in April, 1868, with the Sioux. 14 St. 794, 796; 15 St. 513, 532, 533, 637.

[Elk v. Wilkins, 112 U.S. 94 (1884)]


Boyd v. State of Nebraska, 143 U.S 135 (1892):

"Mr. Justice Story, in his Commentaries on the Constitution, says: 'Every citizen of a state is ipso facto a citizen of the [143 U.S. 135, 159]   United States.' Section 1693. And this is the view expressed by Mr. Rawle in his work on the Constitution. Chapter 9, pp. 85, 86. Mr. Justice CURTIS, in Dred Scott v. Sandford, 19 How. 393, 576, expressed the opinion that under the constitution of the United States 'every free person, born on the soil of a state, who is a citizen of that state by force of its constitution or laws, is also a citizen of the United States.' And Mr. Justice SWAYNE, in The Slaughter-House Cases, 16 Wall. 36, 126, declared that 'a citizen of a state is ipso facto a citizen of the United States.' But in Dred Scott v. Sandford, 19 How. 393, 404, Mr. Chief Justice TENEY, delivering the opinion of the court, said: 'The words 'people of the United States' and 'citizens,' are synonymous terms, and mean the same thing. They both describe the political body who, according to our republican institutions, form the sovereignty, and who hold the power and conduct the government through their representatives. They are what we familiarly call the 'sovereign people,' and every citizen is one of this people, and a constituent member of this sovereignty. ... In discussing this question, we must not confound the rights of citizenship which a state may confer within its own limits and the rights of citizenship as a member of the Union. It does not by any means follow, because he has all the rights and privileges of a citizen of a state, that he must be a citizen of the United States. He may have all of the rights and privileges of the citizen of a state, and yet not be entitled to the rights and privileges of a citizen in any other state; for, previous to the adoption of the constitution of the United States, every state had the undoubted right to confer on whomsoever it pleased the character of citizen, and to endow him with all its rights. But this character, of course, was confined to the boundaries of the state, and gave him no rights or privileges in other states beyond those secured to him by the laws of nations and the comity of states. Nor have the several states surrendered the power of conferring these rights and privileges by adopting the constitution of the United States. Each state may still confer them upon an alien, or any one it thinks proper, or upon any class or description of persons; yet he would not be a citizen in the sense in [143 U.S. 135, 160]   which that word is used in the constitution of the United States, nor entitled to sue as such in one of its courts, nor to the privileges and immunities of a citizen in the other states. The rights which he would acquire would be restricted to the state which gave them. The constitution has conferred on congress the right to establish a uniform rule of naturalization, and this right is evidently exclusive, and has always been held by this court to be so. Consequently no state, since the adoption of the constitution, can, by naturalizing an alien, invest him with the rights and privileges secured to a citizen of a state under the federal government, although, so far as the state alone was concerned, he would undoubtedly be entitled to the rights of a citizen, and clothed with all the rights and immunities which the constitution and laws of the state attached to that character.'

"The fourteenth amendment reads: 'All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside. No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.'

In The Slaughter-House Cases, 16 Wall. 36, it was held by this court that the first clause of the fourteenth article was primarily intended to confer citizenship on the negro race, and, secondly, to give definitions of citizenship of the United States and citizenship of the states; and it recognized the distinction between citizenship of a state and citizenship of the United States by those definitions; that the privileges and immunities of citizens of the states embrace generally those fundamental civil rights for the security and establishment of which organized society was instituted, and which remain, with certain exceptions, mentioned in the federal constitution, under the care of the state governments, while the privileges and immunities of citizens of the United States are those which arise out of the nature and essential character of the national [143 U.S. 135, 161]   government, the provisions of its constitution, or its laws and treaties made in pursuance thereof; and that it is the latter which are placed under the protection of congress by the second clause of the fourteenth amendment.

"In Gassies v. Ballon, 6 Pet. 761, 762, Mr. Chief Justice MARSHALL declared that 'a citizen of the United States, residing in any state of the Union, is a citizen of that state;' and the fourteenth amendment embodies that view."

[Boyd v. State of Nebraska, 143 U.S 135 (1892)]


United States v. Wong Kim Ark, 169 U.S. 649, 18 S.Ct. 456, 42 L.Ed. 890 (1898):

"The words 'in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof,' in the first sentence of the fourteenth amendment of the constitution, must be presumed to have been understood and intended by the congress which proposed the amendment, and by the legislatures which adopted it, in the same sense in which the like words had been used by Chief Justice Marshall in the wellknown case of The Exchange, and as the equivalent of the words 'within the limits and under the jurisdiction of the United States,' and the converse of the words 'out of the limits and jurisdiction of the United States,' as habitually used in the naturalization acts. This presumption is confirmed by the use of the word 'jurisdiction,' in the last clause of the same section of the fourteenth amendment, which forbids any state to 'deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.' It is impossible to construe the words 'subject to the jurisdiction thereof,' in the opening sentence, as less comprehensive than the words 'within its jurisdiction,' in the concluding sentence of the same section; or to hold that persons 'within the jurisdiction' of one of the states of the Union are not 'subject to the jurisdiction of the United States.'"

[...omitted section...]

"The fourteenth amendment came before the court in the Slaughter-House Cases, 16 Wall. 36, 73, at December term, 1872, -- the cases having been brought up by writ of error in May, 1870 (10 Wall. 273); and it was held that the first clause was intended to define citizenship of the United States and citizenship of a state, which definitions recognized the distinction between the one and the other; that the privileges and immunities of citizens of the states embrace generally those fundamental civil rights for the security of which organized society was instituted, and which remain, with certain exceptions mentioned in the federal constitution, under the care of the state governments; while the privileges and immunities of citizens of the United States are those which arise out of the nature and essential character of the national government, the provisions of its constitution, or its laws and treaties made in pursuance thereof; and that it is the latter which are placed under the protection of congress by the second clause.  "

"And Mr. Justice Miller, delivering the opinion of the court, in analyzing the first clause, observed that "the phrase 'subject to the jurisdiction thereof' was intended to exclude from its operation children of ministers, consuls, and citizens or subjects of foreign states, born within the United States."

"The eminent judge did not have in mind the distinction between persons charged with diplomatic functions and those who were not"

[...omitted section...]

"This section [in Elk v. Wilkins] contemplates two sources of citizenship, and two sources only, --birth and naturalization.  The persons declared to be citizens are all persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof.'  The evident meaning of these last words is, not merely subject to some respect or degree to the jurisdiction of the United States, but completely subject to their political jurisdiction, and owing them direct and immediate allegiance.  And the words relate to the time of birth in the one case, as they do to the time of naturalization in the other.  Persons not thus subject to the jurisdiction of the United States at the time of birth cannot become so afterwards, except by being naturalized, either individually, as by proceedings under the naturalization acts, or collectively, as by the force of a treaty by which foreign territory is acquired."

"To be 'completely subject' to the political jurisdiction of the United States is to be in no respect or degree subject to the political jurisdiction of another government. [including state governments]."

[...omitted section...]

""Born in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof," and "naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof," mean born or naturalized under such circumstances as to be completely subject to the jurisdiction,--that is, as completely as citizens of the United States, who are, of course, not subject to any foreign poser, and can of right claim the exercise of the power of the United States on their behalf wherever they may be." 

[. . .]

“The power of naturalization, vested in congress by the constitution, is a power to confer citizenship, not a power to take it away. 'A naturalized citizen,' said Chief Justice Marshall, 'becomes a member of the society, possessing all the rights of a native citizen, and standing, in the view of the constitution, on the footing of a native. The constitution does not authorize congress to enlarge or abridge those rights. The simple power of the national legislature is to prescribe a uniform rule of naturalization, and the exercise of this power exhausts it, so far as respects the individual.” 

[United States v. Wong Kim Ark, 169 U.S. 649; 18 S.Ct. 456; 42 L.Ed. 890 (1898)]


Osborn v. Bank of U.S., 22 U.S. 738 (1824)

“A naturalized citizen is indeed made a citizen under an act of Congress, but the act does not proceed to give, to regulate, or to prescribe his capacities. He becomes a member of the society, possessing all the rights of a native citizen, and standing, in the view of the constitution, on the footing of a native. The constitution does not authorize Congress to enlarge or abridge those rights. The simple power of the national Legislature, is to prescribe a uniform rule of naturalization, and the exercise of this power exhausts it, so far as respects the individual. The constitution then takes him up, and, among other rights, extends to him the capacity of suing in the Courts of the United States, precisely under the same circumstances under which a native might sue. He is *828 distinguishable in nothing from a native citizen, except so far as the constitution makes the distinction. The law makes none.”

[Osborn v. Bank of U.S., 22 U.S. 738 (1824)]


14th Amendment Background, from The Great IRS Hoax, Section 3.10.10 (ver. 3.33):

Below is the text of the Fourteenth Amendment:

Section 1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside. No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

Section 2. Representatives shall be apportioned among the several states according to their respective numbers, counting the whole number of persons in each state, excluding Indians not taxed. But when the right to vote at any election for the choice of electors for President and Vice President of the United States, Representatives in Congress, the executive and judicial officers of a state, or the members of the legislature thereof, is denied to any of the male inhabitants of such state, being twenty-one years of age, and citizens of the United States, or in any way abridged, except for participation in rebellion, or other crime, the basis of representation therein shall be reduced in the proportion which the number of such male citizens shall bear to the whole number of male citizens twenty-one years of age in such state.

Section 3. No person shall be a Senator or Representative in Congress, or elector of President and Vice President, or hold any office, civil or military, under the United States, or under any state, who, having previously taken an oath, as a member of Congress, or as an officer of the United States, or as a member of any state legislature, or as an executive or judicial officer of any state, to support the Constitution of the United States, shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof. But Congress may by a vote of two-thirds of each House, remove such disability.

Section 4. The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, including debts incurred for payment of pensions and bounties for services in suppressing insurrection or rebellion, shall not be questioned. But neither the United States nor any state shall assume or pay any debt or obligation incurred in aid of insurrection or rebellion against the United States, or any claim for the loss or emancipation of any slave; but all such debts, obligations and claims shall be held illegal and void.

Section 5. The Congress shall have power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article.

Article IV of the Articles of Confederation extended privileges of citizenship to mere inhabitants, with this phrase:

"... the free inhabitants of each of these states, paupers, vagabonds and fugitives from Justice excepted, shall be entitled to all privileges and immunities of free citizens in the several states"

The  Articles of Confederation uses phrases in which nouns are not capitalized proper nouns, and never use the preposition "of", examples:

  • "states in this union"
  • "free inhabitants"
  • "free citizens"

The US Constitution omits references to free, and uses phrases with proper capitalized nouns, and often use the preposition "of":

  • "Citizen of the United States"
  • "Inhabitant of that State"
  • "Resident within the United States"
  • "People of the several States"
  •  “residents of the same state”

The 14th amendment did not create a new type of "citizenship" or in any way adversely affect our civil rights but it simply extended citizenship to people of all races and creeds rather than just to whites.  Some people mistakenly believe that the Fourteenth Amendment Section 1 created a new inferior type of citizenship analogous to ownership.  In fact, this is not the case, as we will explain exhaustively later in section 4.11 and following.

Equal protection under the law?  Lawyers will tell you that the 14th amendment was the great equalizer.  They will tell you that your rights to equal protection under the law come from the 14th amendment.  They will then ask you why you would question such strong protections?

Compare the following two quotes that acknowledge equal protection under the law:

  • The 14th Amendment section 1, "... nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law... "
  • The 5th Amendment "... nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law..."

The US Supreme Court in 1878 case of Davidson v. New Orleans stated that your Constitution is not redundant.  They mean different things.

Here is how the California Supreme Court describes the purpose of the Fourteenth Amendment in Van Valkenburg v. Brown, 43 Cal. 43 (1872):

“The history and aim of the Fourteenth Amendment is well known, and the purpose had in view in its adoption well understood.  That purpose was to confer the status of citizenship upon a numerous class of persons domiciled within the limits of the United States [the federal United States], who could not be brought within the operation of the naturalization laws because native born, and whose birth, though native, had at the same time left them without the status of citizenship.  These persons were not white persons, but were, in the main, persons of African descent, who had been held in slavery in this country, or, if having themselves never been held in slavery, were the native-born descendents of slaves.  Prior to the adoption of the Fourteenth Amendment it was settled that neither slaves, nor those who had been such, nor the descendants of these, though native and free born, were capable of becoming citizens of the United States.  (Dread Scott v. Sanford, 19 How. 393).  The Thirteenth Amendment, though conferring the boon of freedom upon native-born persons of African blood, had yet left them under an insuperable bar as to citizenship; and it was mainly to remedy this condition that the Fourteenth Amendment was adopted.”  [emphasis added]

Here is what some state courts have said about this amendment:

"I cannot believe that any court in full possession of all its faculties, would ever rule that the (14th) Amendment was properly approved and adopted." State v. Phillips, 540 P.2d. 936; Dyett v. Turner, 439 P.2d. 266. [The court in this case was the Utah Supreme Court.]

Further, in 1967, Congress tried to repeal the 14th Amendment on the ground that it is invalid, void, and unconstitutional. CONGRESSIONAL RECORD -- HOUSE, June 13, 1967, pg. 15641.

The portion of the 14th Amendment that draws the most attention within the freedom community reads in pertinent part:

"All persons, born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside....The validity of the public debt of the United States...shall not be questioned."

The words “and subject to the jurisdiction thereof” were further clarified in U.S. v. Wong Kim Ark, 169 U.S. 649 (1898) as follows, and note that “subject to the jurisdiction thereof” includes people born in a state of the Union:

It is impossible to construe the words 'subject to the jurisdiction thereof,' in the opening sentence [of the Fourteenth Amendment], as less comprehensive than the words 'within its jurisdiction,' in the concluding sentence of the same section; or to hold that persons 'within the jurisdiction' of one of the states of the Union are not 'subject to the jurisdiction of the United States.’”  [U.S. v. Wong Kim Ark, 169 U.S. 649 (1898)]

In Powe v. U.S., 109 F2d 147, 149 (1940) the court determined what the term `citizen' means in federal statutes.  Notice that the term `citizen', when used in federal laws, excludes State citizens:

"... a construction is to be avoided, if possible, that would render the law unconstitutional, or raise grave doubts thereabout.  In view of these rules it is held that `citizen' means `citizen of the United States,' and not a person generally, nor citizen of a State ..."

Why did the framers of the Fourteenth Amendment word it the way they did?  Following the end of the Civil War in 1865, several rebellious southern states refused to pass laws allowing blacks to have citizenship in the state, and if they couldn’t be state citizens, then they also couldn’t be U.S. nationals, vote, or serve on juries.  This meant that even though blacks technically were free, they had no rights.  The Fourteenth Amendment was an attempt to remedy mainly this situation by conveying the privileges of nationality and “citizen” status to blacks.  If you go back and look at the Fourteenth Amendment, section 1, you will see how this was accomplished.

“All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside.”

Congress’ plan was to naturalize all the blacks into being citizens of the federal United States** and then force the states to treat them like citizens of the state they resided in by virtue of them being “U.S. citizens”.  The other part of Section 1 of the Fourteenth Amendment confirms this:

No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

Since Congress was empowered by Article 1, Section 8, Clause 4 of the Constitution

“To establish an uniform Rule of Naturalization, and uniform Laws on the subject of Bankruptcies throughout the United States;”

then they had the Constitutional authority to naturalize the blacks to be federal/U.S.** citizens, even though they weren’t state citizens.  The Civil Rights Act of 1866 on April 9, 1866, 14 Stat. 27 collectively naturalized blacks so they could be protected from state government abuses of their natural rights.

“By the act of April 9, 1866, entitled 'An act to protect all persons in the United States in their civil rights, and furnish means for their vindication,' (14 St. 27,) it is provided that 'all persons born in the United States, and not subject to any foreign power, excluding Indians not taxed, are hereby declared to be citizens of the United States.' This, so far as we are aware, is the first general enactment making persons of the Indian race citizens of the United States. Numerous statutes and treaties previously provided for all the individual members of particular Indian tribes becoming, in certain contingencies, citizens of the United States. But the act of 1866 reached Indians not in tribal relations. Beyond question, by that act, national citizenship was conferred directly upon all persons in this country, of whatever race, ( excluding only 'Indians not taxed,') who were born within the territorial limits of the United States, and were not subject to any foreign power.”  [Elk v. Wilkins, 112 U.S. 94 (1884)]

The most frequent confusion we see within the freedom community over the issue of Fourteenth Amendment citizenship is misunderstanding of the differences between “United States” in the Constitution and “United States” in federal statutes.  In the Constitution, the term means the states of the Union, while in federal statutes, it refers to what we call the “federal zone” or federal United States.  This is a direct result of the fact that the federal government has no police powers within states of the Union, as we will point out later in section 4.9.  The government contributes to this confusion by using terms on their forms and in their court rulings that they refuse to define or which they define ambiguously.  To prevent this problem, you can simply define the terms you are using on any form by attaching a definition of all terms to every federal form you submit.  Otherwise, we can guarantee that what you put on the form will be misconstrued by the public servant reading it, usually to the injury of your rights.

Unfortunately, there was an unwanted side effect to the Fourteenth Amendment much later on because long after black slavery was eliminated in the southern states following the Civil War, our greedy elected officials used confusion over citizenship terms used in the 14th Amendment to obtain federal jurisdiction over everyone in the country, and that is where they got the nexus to tax us all and circumvent the Constitutional limitations on direct taxation found in 1:9:4 and 1:2:3 of the Constitution!  They did this by deceiving lawyers and people to believe that a “citizen of the United States” under the Fourteenth Amendment is the same as a “U.S. citizen” or “citizen of the United States” under federal statutes and “acts of Congress”.  The greedy politicians just couldn’t keep their hands out of your pocket, could they?  In order to spread this kind of financial slavery, they relied on the ignorance of an ill-informed populace to spread the myth that everyone was a “U.S. citizen”, instead of a “national”, and that is where our troubles began, because this created a new pecking order that took away our Constitutional rights in the context of federal income taxes.  This made us all second class federal “U.S. citizens” subject to “acts of Congress” instead of “Natural Born Sovereign Citizens”.

Because of the differences in meaning of the term “United States” in the Constitution and “United States” in federal statutes, you must be careful how you describe your citizenship.  We’ll get into that in much more detail later in section 4.11 and following.  For now, however, we must understand what a “citizen of the United States” is under federal statutes, and particularly under 8 U.S.C. 1401, keeping in mind that “United States” in that context and as defined in 8 U.S.C. 1101(a)(38)  and 8 C.F.R 215.1(f) means only the federal United States.  A “citizen of the United States” under federal statutes can be any one of the following types of people:

  1. Persons who are actually "nationals" but who volunteer or elect to be treated as U.S. citizens, which fits the vast majority of persons in this country at this time.  These people live in the 50 states and outside of federal enclaves in those states, but are treated by the federal government as federal territory or property (slaves).
  2. Persons who were born on federal property subject to the jurisdiction of the United States and who are living on federal property.  The only time these people can have an occasion to invoke the protection of the 14th Amendment is when the federal property they are living in is part of a federal enclave within a state that comes under both federal and state law under either the Buck Act (4 U.S.C. 105 through 4 U.S.C. 113).
  3. People who are federal property/territory (slaves).  These people can properly be described as “federal property” or “territory over which the United States is sovereign” coming under article 4, Section 3, Clause 2 of the Constitution.  You thought the Thirteenth Amendment outlawed slavery, didn’t you?  Well it didn’t outlaw voluntary slavery, and that is what you become if you elect to be a “U.S. citizen”.

If you closely examine the citizenship application forms used by the Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services (BCIS):

then you will find that the sneaky federal government doesn’t even mention a word about “U.S. nationals” on their form N-400, which is entitled “Application for Naturalization”.  If you call them up like we did and ask them how to become a “U.S. national” instead of the taxable “U.S. citizen” they desperately want you to be and what you should put on the form in order to guarantee that, they will refuse to directly answer your question and run you in circles hoping you’ll just give up!

If you research the terms "resident" and "legal residence", you find that it is the nexus that binds us all to the state and federal enforcement of commercial law statutes today. "Resident" is the short form of "Resident Alien" and is used in State statutes to mean someone who exhibits actual presence in an area belonging to one nation while retaining a domicile/citizenship status within another foreign nation [The United States/District of Columbia].  The federal income tax under Title 26, in fact, defines the term “individual” as either an alien or a nonresident alien and does not even refer to citizens![1]  The term "legal residence" further indicates that these two terms may be applied either to a geographical jurisdiction, or, a political jurisdiction. An individual may reside in one or the other, or in both at the same time. In California, Government Code, section 126, sets forth the essential elements of a compact between this State and the federal government allowing reciprocal taxation of certain entities, and provide for concurrent jurisdiction within geographical boundaries.

If you would like to learn more about how the Fourteenth Amendment was changed from a mechanism to eliminate slavery to a mechanism to introduce federal slavery, we recommend the following two fascinating books:
  • Government by Judiciary: The Transformation of the Fourteenth Amendment, Raoul Berger, Second Edition, 1997, Liberty Fund, Inc.; 8335 Allison Pointe Trail, Suite 300; Indianapolis, Indiana 46250-1684; ISBN 0-86597-143-9 (hardcover).
  • The Red Amendment, 2001 Edition, by L.B. Bork, People’s Awareness Coalition, POB 313; Kieler, Wisconsin [ 53812 ]; http://www.pacinlaw.org/inside/red.htm.

[1] See 26 C.F.R 1.1-1(a)(2)(ii) and 26 C.F.R 1.1441-1(c)(3) for confirmation of this fact.


PDFPannill v. Roanoke, 252 F. 910, 914 (1918)

... citizens  of the  District of  Columbia [see 8 U.S.C.  1401] were  not granted the privilege of  litigating in  the federal  courts on the ground of diversity of  citizenship.   Possibly no  better reason  for this fact exists  than  such citizens were  not  thought of  when  the judiciary article  [III] of the federal Constitution was drafted. ... citizens of the United States** ... were also not thought of; but in  any event  a citizen of the United States** , who is not a citizen of any state, is not within the language of the [federal] Constitution.  

[Pannill v. Roanoke, 252 F. 910, 914 (1918)]


State v. Fowler, 41 La. Ann. 380; 6 S. 602 (1889), emphasis added]

"A person who is a citizen of the United States** is necessarily a citizen of  the particular  state in  which he  resides.   But  a person may  be a  citizen of a particular state and not a citizen of the  United States**.   To  hold otherwise would be to deny to the state  the highest  exercise of its sovereignty, -- the right to declare who are its citizens. "    

[State v. Fowler, 41 La. Ann. 380; 6 S. 602 (1889), emphasis added]


Pope v. Williams, 98 Md. 59, 56 A. 543, 66 L.R.A. 398, 103 Am.St.Rep. 379, affirmed in 193 U.S. 621, 48 L.ed. 817, 24 S.Ct. 573

A person residing within the District of Columbia or in one of the territories may be a citizen of the United States, but not one of any of the states.

[Pope v. Williams, 98 Md. 59, 56 A. 543, 66 L.R.A. 398, 103 Am.St.Rep. 379, affirmed in 193 U.S. 621, 48 L.ed. 817, 24 S.Ct. 573. ]


Maxwell v. Dow, 176 U.S. 581 (1900)

In this case the privilege or immunity claimed does not rest upon the individual by virtue of his national citizenship, and hence is not protected by a clause which simply prohibits the abridgment of the privileges or immunites of citizens of the United States. Those are not distinctly privileges or immunities of such citizenship, where everyone has the same as against the Federal government, whether citizen or not.

The Fourteenth Amendment, it must be remembered, did not add to those privileges or immunities. The Sauvinet Case is an authority in favor of the contention that the amendment [176 U.S. 581, 597]   does not preclude the states by their constitutions and laws from altering the rule as to indictment by a grand jury, or as to the number of jurors necessary to compose a petit jury in a criminal case not capital.

The same reasoning is applicable to the case of Kennard v. Louisiana ex rel. Morgan, 92 U.S. 480 , L. ed. 478, although that case was decided with special reference to the 'due process of law' clause.

In Re Kemmler, 136 U.S. 436, 448 , 34 S. L. ed. 519, 524, 10 Sup. Ct. Rep. 930, it was stated that it was not contended and could not be that the Eighth Amendment to the Federal Constitution was intended to apply to the states. This was said long after the adoption of the Fourteenth Amendment, and also subsequent to the making of the claim that by its adoption the limitations of the preceding amendments had been altered and enlarged so as in effect to make them applicable to proceedings in the state courts.

In Presser v. Illinois, 116 U.S. 252 , 29 L. ed. 615, 6 Sup. Ct. Rep. 580, it was held that the Second Amendment to the Constitution, in regard to the right of the people to bear arms, is a limitation only on the power of Congress and the national government, and not of the states. It was therein said, however, that as all citizens capable of bearing arms constitute the reserved military force of the national government the states could not prohibit the people from keeping and bearing arms, so as to deprive the United States of their rightful resource for maintaining the public security, and disable the people from performing their duty to the general government.

In O'Neil v. Vermont, 144 U.S. 323, 332 , 36 S. L. ed. 450, 456, 12 Sup. Ct. Rep. 693, it was stated that as a general question it has always been ruled that the Eighth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States does not apply to the states.

In Thorington v. Montgomery, 147 U.S. 490 , 37 L. ed. 252, 13 Sup. Ct. Rep. 394, it was said that the Fifth Amendment to the Constitution operates exclusively in restraint of Federal power, and has no application to the states.

We have cited these cases for the purpose of showing that the privileges and immunities of citizens of the United States do not necessarily include all the rights protected by the first eight amendments to the Federal Constitution against the [176 U.S. 581, 598]   powers of the Federal government. They were decided subsequently to the adoption of the Fourteenth Amendment, and if the particular clause of that amendment, now under consideration, had the effect claimed for it in this case, it is not too much to say that it would have been asserted and the principles applied in some of them.

[Maxwell v. Dow, 176 U.S. 581 (1900)]