During the legislative update at the Greater Houston Council of Federated Republican Women Tuesday, several Senate and House Joint Resolutions were mentioned as pending legislation to keep an eye on.
SJR1 - A joint resolution proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the United States relative to limiting the number of terms that a Member of Congress may serve. (6 terms for House of Representatives and 2 terms as a Senator)
SJR4 - A joint resolution proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the United States to abolish the electoral college and to provide the direct popular election of the President and Vice President of the United States.
SJR6- A joint resolution proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the Untied States relating to United States citizenship.
A person born in the United States shall not be a citizen of the United States unless:
1) one parent of the person is a citizen of the United States;
2) one parent of the person is an alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence in the United States who resides in the United States;
3) one parent of the person is an alien performing active service in the Armed Forces of the United States; or
4) the person is naturalized in accordance with the laws of the United States.
HJR5 - A joint resolution proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the United States to repeal the 22nd article of amendment thereby removing the limitation on the number of terms an individual may serve as President.
As Texas residents and as residents of a state greatly affected by illegal immigration, many members present at the district meeting were curious about the joint resolution on an amendment to the Constitution about U.S. citizenship. This was introduced back in January by Senator Vitter (R-LA). We all know that currently any baby born in our country is automatically a U.S. citizen, regardless of the legal status of the mother.
I asked Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) about the status of this resolution in the Senate yesterday during a bloggers tele-conference. Senator Cornyn pointed to the fact that a Constitutional amendment would be the proper action for such legislation, due to the 14th Amendment. Though originally put in place to deal with public education, the 14th Amendment states:
"All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and the State wherein they reside."
As the Supreme Court confirmed in 1873, in Slaughter-House cases and in 1884 in Elk v Wilkins, the phrase "subject to its jurisdiction" was interpreted to exclude "children of ministers, consuls, and citizens of foreign states born within the United States. At the time, there was no issue of illegal immigration into our country. Times have changed and this is a major problem to states which must provide services for its citizens.
And, on HRJ5, the joint resolution to remove limitations on the number of terms an individual may serve as President: this is troubling, particularly in light of the current President and his push to put government in charge of all aspects of our lives.