Orig. photo by Tim Evanson, Flickr (cc)
Grumpy Opinions by Publius Huldah
The federal government is usurping the powers of the States, expressly retained by Art. I, §2, cl. 1, U.S. Constitution, to determine qualifications for voting. And by perverting Art. I, §4, cl. 1, it is also usurping the States’ reserved powerto determine procedures for registration of voters.
Consistent with Principles of Republican Government, every State in this Union has restricted voting to Citizens.1 But on October 26, 2010 in Gonzales v. Arizona, a three judge panel on the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals (9th Cir.) construed the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 (NVRA) and asserted that Arizona has no right to require applicants for voter registration to provide proof of citizenship. I wrote about it at the time HERE. On rehearing, the en banc Court of Appeals agreed with the panel; and on June 17, 2013, in Arizona v. The Inter Tribal Council of Arizona, Inc., the Supreme Court affirmed.
A few months thereafter, California passed a law which permits illegal aliens to get drivers’ licenses; and during 2015, consistent with the unconstitutional NVRA, passed “Motor Voter” providing that when one gets a drivers’ license, one is automatically registered to vote.2
The federal government is unlawfully mandating that illegal aliens be allowed to vote in our elections.
2. The Concept of “Citizenship”
Emer de Vattel’s The Law of Nations was a Godsend to our Framing Generation because it provided the new concepts our Framers needed to transform us from subjects of a Monarchy to Citizens of a Republic.3 Book I, Ch. XIX, defines “citizens,” “inhabitants” and “naturalization”:
- “Citizens” are the members of the civil society who are bound to it by certain duties, subject to its authority, participate in its advantages and in the rights of citizens [§212].
- “Inhabitants” are foreigners who are permitted to settle in the country and are subject to its laws, but do not participate in all the rights of citizens [§213].
- “Naturalization” is the process whereby the country grants to a foreigner the quality of citizen, by admitting him into the body of the political society [§214].
So “citizens” have civic advantages and political rights which are not extended to “inhabitants” – and certainly not to aliens who have unlawfully entered a country.4
Accordingly, our Constitution permits only Citizens to serve in Congress (Art. I, §2, cl. 2 & §3, cl. 3); the President must be a “natural born Citizen” (Art. II, §1, cl. 5); Article IV, §2, cl. 1 & §1 of the 14th Amendment refer to the “privileges and immunities of citizens”; and the 15th, 19th, 24th, and 26th Amendments5 refer to voting by “Citizens.”
3. The Federalist Papers show that voting is a privilege of Citizens alone
The slaves in America were “inhabitants,” not “citizens.” They weren’t allowed to vote. Federalist No. 54 (5th para from bottom) tells us:
“…The qualifications on which the right of suffrage depend are not…the same… [in the several States]. In some of the States the difference is very material. In every State, a certain proportion of inhabitants are deprived of this right by the constitution of the State, who will be included in the census by which the federal Constitution apportions the representatives… the Southern States might… [insist]…that the slaves, as inhabitants, should have been admitted into the census according to their full number, in like manner with other inhabitants, who, by the policy of other States, are not admitted to all the rights of citizens…” [boldface added]6
In Federalist No. 60 (1st, 2nd and last paras), Hamilton speaks of the “fundamental privilege” of citizens to vote, and that citizens who are conscious and tenacious of their rights would flock to the places of election to overthrow tyrants.In Federalist No. 61 (2nd para), Hamilton speaks of “the suffrages of the citizens,” and of voting as an “invaluable privilege.”
Over and over, The Federalist Papers show that voting is restricted to citizens:
“In republics, persons elevated from the mass of the community, by the suffragees of their fellow-citizens, to stations of great pre-eminence and power…” (No. 22, 6th para from bottom) [boldface added]
“If we consider the situation of the men on whom the free suffrages of their fellow-citizens may confer the representative trust, we shall find it involving every security which can be devised or desired for their fidelity to their constituents (No. 57, 7th para) *** “… that each representative of the United States will be elected by five or six thousand citizens…” (No. 57, 7th para from bottom) [boldface added]
“There is a peculiarity in the federal Constitution which insures a watchful attention in a majority both of the people and of their representatives to a constitutional augmentation of the latter. The peculiarity lies in this, that one branch of the legislature is a representation of citizens, the other of the States…” (No. 58 at 3.) [boldface added]
“…A small number of persons, selected by their fellow-citizens from the general mass, will be most likely to possess the information and discernment requisite to such complicated investigations …” No. 68 (3rd para) [boldface added]