Barr: ‘I Haven’t Looked At’ Whether 14th Amendment Ensures Birthright Citizenship

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images North America

Attorney general nominee William Barr on Tuesday startled Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-HI) by saying he hadn’t “looked at” whether the 14th Amendment guarantees birthright citizenship.

The amendment does, in fact, say that “All persons born or naturalized in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States…”

“It says right there in the 14th Amendment,” Hirono protested, asking if Barr would like to do away with the legal right ensured by the amendment.

“I haven’t looked at that issue legally, that’s the kind of issue I would ask [the Office of Legal Counsel] to advise me on, as to whether it’s something that’s appropriate for legislation, I don’t even know the answer to that,” Barr replied.

In October, President Donald Trump told Axios that birthright citizenship “has to end.” Constitutional scholars say another constitutional amendment — not an act of Congress or an executive order, as Trump suggested — would be needed to eliminate birthright citizenship.

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