Tuesday, August 17, 2010
Monday, August 16, 2010
Tuesday, August 10, 2010
Recently, there has been some discussion about whether children of non-citizen parents should get citizenship at birth in the U.S. This debate has been renewed with the recent court ruling in Arizona banning significant portions of the Arizona immigration law. While it may seem like an unusual step to take to deny children born on U.S. soil the right to be citizens, this is actually not an unusual trend around the world. Take a look at some of the other modern countries around the world that have recently changed their laws to end birthright citizenship:
*Canada repealed in 2009.
*New Zealand repealed in 2006.
*Ireland repealed in 2005
*France repealed in 1993
*India repealed in 1987
*United Kingdom repealed in 1983
*Portugal repealed in 1981
Monday, August 9, 2010
Sunday, August 8, 2010
Here's an interesting story. It's traditionally been the right for anyone born in the United States to get citizenship automatically. However, a number of lawmakers are suggesting a constitutional amendment to change this right:
Wednesday, August 4, 2010
US District Chief Judge Walker presided over the trial about the constitutionality of the gay marriage ban in California. This afternoon, Judge Walker will issue a ruling on whether the law violates equal protection and due process under the US Constitution.
You may recall Joe Arpaio in recent news. He has virtually served as a spokesperson for local law enforcement in support of the Immigration Law. Of course, he was also the sheriff who urged demonstrators to follow the law during the protests, and then promptly began leading immigration sweeps in Immigrant neighborhoods immediately after a Judge banned key provisions of the Immigration Law. One of the main provisions dealt with the controversial portion requiring law enforcement to check immigrants for their papers. How does one sweep immigrant neighborhoods, while following the Judge's ruling?
Apaio states that the current investigation is primarily focused on alleged wrongdoings in his immigration efforts. Arpaio, along with his attorneys, have already indicated that they have no intention of cooperating with the inquiry. The Justice Department has now given a deadline of August 17, 2010 to turn over documents that were first requested last year.
Sunday, August 1, 2010
Currently, this is a debate that is ongoing in several states. Opponents of gay marriage argue that there is a strong government interest in preserving the traditional family. The extension of this argument is that gay marriage would degrade family values and break down the importance of the traditional family.
Supporters of gay marriage argue that this is a myth.
In fact, the traditional family has evolved over the years. It's hard to define the traditional family in modern times. Are we talking about mom and dad and the kids, or is it mom, dad, step-mom, step-dad, and the half brothers and sisters. It's arguable that if allowed to marry, gay couples may cherish their hard won rights, resulting in a lower divorce rate amongst gay couples.
Opponents of gay marriage also point out that gay couples can avail themselves to a civil union which carries all the same rights as marriage. This is an interesting argument that certainly cuts both ways. If marriage and civil union are the same thing, then the same argument can be used to argue on behalf of legalizing marriage for gay couples. What's the difference, if it truly is the same thing. Consider the flip side for heterosexual couples. Calling my wife a civil partner just doesn't have the same ring.
Philosophy aside, what is a state's interest in marriage? Traditional marriage was invented in religion, however the government also has a legitimate interest in recognizing marriage in the law. The government interest in marriage is fundamentally in recognizing the property interest between a married couple. Without the legal recognition of marriage, the succession of property becomes problematic when someone passes away. Consider a non-married couple with a child born out of wedlock. If the father of the child passes away, the mother of the child would not be entitled to any property from the father. The minor child would likely inherit. However, if the couple were married, then the wife would have a property interest.
The government should have a strong interest in legitimizing these property rights amongst all couples who wish to tie the proverbial knot.
Lastly, consider the equal protection arguments. If there's no argument against allowing a legal civil union, which supposedly carries all the same rights as marriage, then why single out a single group of people to say that they can't use the word marriage to describe their union?