Minor v Happersett on Minor's Citizenship

Nathanael
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Minor v Happersett on Minor's Citizenship

#1

Post by Nathanael » Mon Jun 27, 2011 9:49 pm

Greetings, all. I'm a bit new here -- sent over by Dr. Conspiracy. This is my first post.





I am not a lawyer, nor do I play one on TV. I do some reading, but anyone who mistook me for a legal authority would be loonier than Leo Donofrio.





Speaking of which, as I'm sure y'all know, in an attempting to establish certain statements in Minor as binding instead of dicta, Donofrio's been circulating the claim that the Waite court actually determined Minor's citizenship. The claim has, unsurprisingly been being cut-n-pasted over at FreeRepublic since about seven milliseconds after Donofrio posted it on his blog. I've been looking at the claim and recently posted the following over at FR. Given that Fogbow represents the greatest meeting of legal minds in the history of this or any other universe, I was wondering if I could get an assessment of my arguments. Have I created any egregious mistakes? Any loopholes big enough to drive a birther argument through? Anything I missed? (and apologies for practicing law without a license :) )





Thanks.





Oh, and for your amusement, this recent assertion by a Freeper: "IT'S BINDING PRECEDENCE! IT'S IN THE SYLLABUS!" I think she was actually paraphrasing Donofrio on that one.





------------------------------------------------------------





CLAIM: Before the Court could get to voting rights, they had to establish that she was a US citizen.





MY RESPONSE: There is just no other way to say it than that Donofrio is flat-out wrong, and thus is every birther that has cut-n-pasted him on this point.





1) In the opening paragraph of the MvH opinion Waite is crystal clear that the only question before the Court was whether the privileges and immunities of citizenship included suffrage. It was the only question decided by the Missouri State Supreme Court, and it was the only question the USSC had any intention of determining.





2) Here is the holding of the Court in MvH in its entirety. There is nothing regarding Minor's citizenship in it:





Being unanimously of the opinion that the Constitution of the United States does not confer the right of suffrage upon any one, and that the constitutions and laws of the several States which commit that important trust to men alone are not necessarily void, we AFFIRM THE JUDGMENT.





3) Minor's citizenship was conceded by the defense all the way back in the original pleadings filed in the St. Louis County courthouse. From the original statement and brief:





It is admitted, by the pleadings, that the plaintiff is a nativeborn, free white citizen of the United States, and of the State of Missouri





Minor's citizenship was never challenged, never debated, never denied, never questioned, never argued. And courts are not generally in the habit of answering questions they are not asked (well, OK, activist courts are often accused of doing so, but by all account's Waite's was no activist court).





4) Only a US citizen would have standing to bring a case on citizen rights. Had Minor's citizenship at any point been in doubt she would have been denied standing, told to first go prove her citizenship, then come back and refile MvH. The very fact that the case made it all the way to the SCOTUS is compelling evidence that Minor's citizenship was never an issue.





There is just no evidence anywhere to suggest that Minor had to assert her citizenship in Minor, nor did she.





------------------------------------------------------------------------





--Nathanael



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June bug
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Minor v Happersett on Minor's Citizenship

#2

Post by June bug » Mon Jun 27, 2011 10:06 pm

IANALNDIPOOTV either, so I can't answer your legal questions, Nathaniel. I find your argument to be clear and concise, but will defer to the opinions of our legal eagles.In the meantime:Welcome to TFB!! Glad to have you here. You're among friends, so pull up a chair and stay awhile. ;)



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Minor v Happersett on Minor's Citizenship

#3

Post by A Legal Lohengrin » Mon Jun 27, 2011 10:20 pm

I am not a lawyer, nor do I play one on TV. I do some reading, but anyone who mistook me for a legal authority would be loonier than Leo Donofrio.Speaking of which, as I'm sure y'all know, in an attempting to establish certain statements in Minor as binding instead of dicta, Donofrio's been circulating the claim that the Waite court actually determined Minor's citizenship.Hi. Welcome. The fact that you apparently understand the difference between holding and obiter dicta (or orbital dictum as some birfers here have called it) makes you more of a legal authority than any birfer on Earf. Your only problem in that regard is that both D'OnOAFrio and Obly actually have licenses to practice law, inexplicably.



Nathanael
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Minor v Happersett on Minor's Citizenship

#4

Post by Nathanael » Mon Jun 27, 2011 10:34 pm

Your only problem in that regard is that both D'OnOAFrio and Obly actually have licenses to practice law, inexplicably.Back in my last year as an undergrad, as I was wrapping up my degree in history, I asked my advising professor what one actually does with a history degree. He said I had two options: law school, or grad school. ("But what does one do with a Master's in history?" Same reply.)





Figuring I didn't have enough brain cells to even consider law school, I went on to grad school instead. Watching the Donofrio, Taitz and Apuzzo firm in action, I now realize -- alas! far too late -- my original assessment may have been in error.





Youth really is wasted on the young.





--Nathanael



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mimi
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Minor v Happersett on Minor's Citizenship

#5

Post by mimi » Mon Jun 27, 2011 10:48 pm

You think Leo is a little loony? [link]Go figure,http://www.thefogbow.com/birther-claims ... -donofrio/[/link].



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Minor v Happersett on Minor's Citizenship

#6

Post by gentrfam » Mon Jun 27, 2011 11:05 pm

I think that the women's argument in this case was that they were 14th Amendment citizens and, therefore, had the right of suffrage:





It is contended that the provisions of the constitution and laws of the State of Missouri which confine the right of suffrage and registration therefor to men, are in violation of the Constitution of the United States, and therefore void. The argument is, that as a woman, born or naturalized in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, is a citizen of the United States [NB] and of the State in which she resides, she has the right of suffrage as one of the privileges and immunities of her citizenship, which the State cannot by its laws or constitution abridge.So, one side WAS arguing that citizenship was important. The thing is that the other side, and the Supreme Court, conceded that women were citizens, but concluded that suffrage wasn't one of the privileges and immunities of citizenship. It's a neat bit of legal judo, concede all of your opponents arguments, but then argue that, even if true, they are irrelevant.





That's why the court goes on, at length, proving that women have always been citizens.





So, I think you're close in your legal analysis, but not quite right.



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Minor v Happersett on Minor's Citizenship

#7

Post by Nathanael » Mon Jun 27, 2011 11:30 pm

You think Leo is a little loony?You misrepresent me. I never said "little". -->





I will now be forced to admit I am a newcomer to the birther debate. I was aware of it before, of course, but got drawn into over at YouTube shortly after the release of the COLB.





Being therefore almost completely ignorant of the main players in birtherism, all I can say about Donofrio's background is WOW! And anyone who thinks even that's easy to say while tripping over your own jaw hasn't tried it.





A couple of weeks ago, having read Donofrio for the first time, I was relatively impressed. Not to the extent, I hasten to add, that I found him persuasive, and in my defense I will stipulate that to that point I hadn't read anything other than standard-grade Freeper arguments, so perhaps I can throw myself on the mercy of the court :) Nevertheless, I hang my head in chagrin reflecting on the fact that I ever allowed the word "reasonable" to enter my thoughts as I was reading Donofrio's claims, :oops: and I have now determined to dedicate the remainder of my days in redeeming myself from my failures of judgement.





OK, kidding aside, I was impressed to the point where I didn't think I could survive a debate with Donofrio. Having spent the last couple of weeks educating myself, however, I feel much better now.





My, I do talk a lot, don't I?





-Nathanael





BTW, is all that stuff documented? By "documented" I mean over at FR any link to FB would be considered ipso facto a pack of lies.



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Minor v Happersett on Minor's Citizenship

#8

Post by Nathanael » Tue Jun 28, 2011 1:39 am

I think that the women's argument in this case was that they were 14th Amendment citizens and, therefore, had the right of suffrage:Perhaps one might argue that if it weren't for the fact that the question of Minor's citizenship goes straight to standing. Courts don't tend to rule on standing and merits in tandem, and one certainly doesn't walk a case of dubious standing into SCOTUS asking for ruling on the merits. I can't see that SCOTUS would have accepted such a case in the first place.





Look at the way birthers, when confronted with their abysmal court record, like to hide behind the fact that all their cases were tossed on standing, such that the merits of their arguments remain unassailed. The question of standing is determined first, before -- generally speaking -- courts will even consent to considering merits.





If Minor's standing (that is to say, her bona fide citizenship) had ever been at issue, here's how I think the scenario would have played:





Minor files in St. Louis Co. court, which rules (standing or merits, doesn't matter). Minor appeals to the Missouri SC which either upholds the lower court's ruling on standing, or tosses the case on standing if the lower court had failed to do so. (But keep in mind Waite makes clear the Mo SC ruled on merits, so we know already this didn't happen.)





At this point Minor's only recourse is to appeal the ruling on standing to SCOTUS. Any chance of arguing the question of 14th amendment privileges and women's suffrage is out the window. The most Minor can hope for is for SCOTUS to overturn the lower court on standing and remand the case back for consideration on the merits. The only way SCOTUS gets to touch the merits at all is if the case comes back again.





But Donofrio is in essence claiming SCOTUS was considering standing and merit simultaneously. But that, AFAIK, just never happens.





Now none of that is to say SCOTUS can't discuss citizenship status. This is a citizen's rights case, after all. But Donofrio goes beyond this and tries to make the case that the things Waite said on that subject were by way of making a legal determination on Minor's citizenship because he wants those things to be legally binding rather than mere dicta.





As I read the case, however, given the point at which Waite's discussion appears, not to mention the surrounding discussions, it appears to me that Waite is merely laying down the background; he hasn't gotten around to making any legal determinations yet.





And, of course, there are those pesky opening and closing paragraphs to deal with. In the former, Waite states clearly that only one question lays before the court -- and Minor's citizenship weren't it. And in the holding, Waite keeps his promise, ruling on suffrage and suffrage alone.





Now Waite's comments viz. Minor's (or women's) citizenship might still get to be case law if one could demonstrate that the holding falls down without them, but I just don't see any way to get there from here. "Do women get to vote?" "Well, of course they do. After all Virginia Minor is a citizen." WTF?





--Nathanael





"We Justices must confront what is indeed an awesome responsibility. It has been rendered the solemn duty of the Supreme Court of the United States ... to decide What Is Golf. I am sure that the Framers of the Constitution ... fully expected that sooner or later the paths of golf and government, the law and the links, would once again cross, and that the judges of this august Court would some day have to wrestle with that age-old jurisprudential question, for which their years of study in the law have so well prepared them: Is someone riding around a golf course from shot to shot really a golfer? Either out of humility or out of self-respect (one or the other) the Court should decline to answer this incredibly difficult and incredibly silly question." Antonin Scalia, PGA Tour v Martin



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Minor v Happersett on Minor's Citizenship

#9

Post by verbalobe » Tue Jun 28, 2011 7:59 am

I am a newcomer to the birther debateThis one's making my spidey senses tingle. Destined for the cage?Mmm... not me.





Nathanael-- you're a longtime FR denizen, yes?





I don't think it's a warning sign per se to be very familiar with nutjobbery, and yet relatively a newcomer to birthism.



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Minor v Happersett on Minor's Citizenship

#10

Post by realist » Tue Jun 28, 2011 8:01 am

I am a newcomer to the birther debateThis one's making my spidey senses tingle. Destined for the cage?Certainly not based on anything posted. Most people have no clue birfistan even exists.


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Minor v Happersett on Minor's Citizenship

#11

Post by mimi » Tue Jun 28, 2011 8:30 am

BTW, is all that stuff documented? By "documented" I mean over at FR any link to FB would be considered ipso facto a pack of lies.

The links to sources are in blue. There's more.... but the links to the stuff included in that post by Foggy are in blue.



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Minor v Happersett on Minor's Citizenship

#12

Post by everalm » Tue Jun 28, 2011 8:49 am

Kimba,Nathanael has been over at Dr C's for some time now and is, as far as one can ascertain from posting, the genuine article, my opinion and worth what ya'all paid for it.... :- Nathanael,There has been a recent spate of poorly masqueraded Birfoons over at TFB recently so newcomers are watched a little closer than may necessarily be polite.



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Minor v Happersett on Minor's Citizenship

#13

Post by Plutodog » Tue Jun 28, 2011 9:17 am

By their fruits, yo. So far, all we got is blooms. ;)


The only good Bundy is an Al Bundy.

Nathanael
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Minor v Happersett on Minor's Citizenship

#14

Post by Nathanael » Tue Jun 28, 2011 10:59 am

Perhaps I should have introduced myself in the newbie forum first, but I' was just wrapping up that post for FR and wanted to put it up for comment here, too.





Kimba -- sorry I made your spidey senses tingle. Unintentional, really. I promise I'm no OINO. When I say I'm "new to the birther debate", I mean only that I hadn't participated until recently. Of course I've known the general tenets, but I don't generally engage conspiracy theories and I got drawn into this one quite by accident shortly after the LFBC was released, so I'm still learning the players and details.





I don't believe I said I was a regular at FR, just that I'd recently posted there. In fact, I just registered there a week ago; my FR screen name is Nathanael1 if that's of any interest. And the fact that one of the FR regulars has been calling me "FogBlower" pretty much since my first post was my clue that any direct links to FB would not likely boost my credibility over there. :)





You can also check out Dr. C's blog (screen name Nathanael), where I've been posting less than two months. So yes, I really am new to the birther debate.





mimi - I've looked at the links and while I believe what's there is Donofrio's words, I'm wondering if there's been any independent verification? My first thought, for example, was that, being as he's writing as a fringe rock musician and the author of a literary work, what's to say he's not simply writing out of some persona he's adopted for the purpose? [EDIT: I've just been made aware of [/break1]wordpress.com/2011/05/24/im-not-who-you-think-i-am/]this recent post at Donofrio's blog, where he does, in fact, claim it was all just a piece of performance art.]





everalm - thanks for the character reference :) I don't mind having to prove myself here.





Did I miss anyone?





--Nathanael



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Minor v Happersett on Minor's Citizenship

#15

Post by everalm » Tue Jun 28, 2011 11:03 am

Kimba,I wasn't apologizing, about, for and concerning you.My comment was with regard to the whole conversation thread held a very short time ago on the whole topic of whether newbies or very occasional posters who may or may not be masked Birfoons, should be treated differently or in some manner encumbered. This kicked off after "Fake Not a Real MSgt" turned up.



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Minor v Happersett on Minor's Citizenship

#16

Post by nolu chan » Tue Jun 28, 2011 11:43 am

Minor claimed the State restriction of suffrage to males violated the Federal Constitution. State restriction of suffrage was not restricted to citizens but specifically provided the right of suffrage to male aliens, with specified conditions. The Missouri Constitution did not provide suffrage for females, whether citizens or aliens.





Citizenship sort of makes a difference when invoking jurisdiction to bring a suit in federal court. For the right to vote back in the day, not so much.





The Missouri Constitution of 1865, Section 18:





Sec. 18. Every white male citizen of the United States, and every white male per­son of foreign birth who may have declared his intention to become a citizen of the United States, according to law, not less than one year nor more than five years before he offers to vote, who is over the age of twenty-one years, who is not disqualified by or under any of the provisions of this constitution, and who shall have complied with its requirements, and have resided in this State one year next preceding any election, or next preceding his registration as a voter, and during the last sixty days of that period shall have resided in the county, city, or town where he offers to vote, or seeks registration as a voter, shall be entitled to vote at such election for all officers, State, county, or municipal, made elective by the people; but he shall not vote elsewhere than in the election district of which he is at the time a resident, or, after a system of registration of votes shall have been established in the election district where his name is registered, except as provided in the twenty-first section of this article.AMENDMENT TO THE [MISSOURI] CONSTITUTION OF 1865.





Ratified November 8, 1870.





Art. II. New sections added: Section I. Every male citizen of the United States, and every person of foreign birth who may have declared his intention to become a citizen of the United States, according to law, not less than one year nor more than five years before he offers to vote, who is over the age of twenty-one years, who has resided in this State one year next preceding his registration as a voter, and during the last sixty days of that period shall have resided in the county, city, or town where he seeks registration as a voter, who is not convicted of bribery, perjury, or other infamous crime, nor directly or indirectly interested in any bet or wager depending upon the result of the election for which said registration is made, nor serving, at the time of such registration, in the Regular Army or Navy of the United States, shall be entitled to vote at such election for all officers, State, county, or municipal, made elective by the people, or any other election, held in pursuance of the laws of this State; but he shall not vote elsewhere than in the election district where his name is registered, except as provided in the twenty-first section of the second article of the constitution. Any person who shall, after the adoption of this amendment, engage in any rebellion against this State or the United States, shall forever be disqualified from voting at any election.MISSOURI CONSTITUTION OF 1875





Ratified October 30, 1875





ARTICLE VIII.





SUFFRAGE AND ELECTIONS.





Section 1. The general election shall be held biennially on the Tuesday next fol­lowing the first Monday in November. The first general election under this consti­tution shall be held on that day, in the year one thousand eight hundred and seventy-six; but the general assembly may, by law, fix a different day—two-thirds of all the members of each house consenting thereto.





Sec. 2. Every male citizen of the United States, and every male person of foreign birth, who may have declared his intention to become a citizen of the United States according to law, not less than one year nor more than five years before lie offers to vote, who is over the age of twenty-one years, possessing the following qualifications, shall be entitled to vote at all elections by the people:





First. He shall have resided in the State one year immediately preceding the elec­tion at which he offers to vote.





Second. He shall have resided in the county, city, or town where he shall offer to vote at least sixty days immediately preceding the election.



Nathanael
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Minor v Happersett on Minor's Citizenship

#17

Post by Nathanael » Tue Jun 28, 2011 3:37 pm

Citizenship sort of makes a difference when invoking jurisdiction to bring a suit in federal court. For the right to vote back in the day, not so much.Hmm, I'd missed that. Males in the naturalization pipeline also had the right to vote. Interesting.Sorry, I'm not sure I'm catching your point. Since Minor's argument was directed at suffrage as a privilege of citizenship ("Citizens get suffrage, I'm a citizen, I get suffrage"), to pass standing she needed to demonstrate that she was a citizen. Whether MO also extended voting rights to other classes doesn't, to my mind, seem to touch Minor's argument. Does it?Thanks again.--Nathanael



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Minor v Happersett on Minor's Citizenship

#18

Post by krackenthorpe » Mon Feb 06, 2012 12:52 pm

I've seen this cited a quite a bit by the birthers, and from what I have read about it, it doesn't seem to apply to their arguments. So, what's the lowdown on it and why are they fond of citing it?Best regards,Eric



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Minor v Happersett on Minor's Citizenship

#19

Post by raicha » Mon Feb 06, 2012 1:09 pm

Greetings, can you tell us why you included this photo?



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Minor v Happersett on Minor's Citizenship

#20

Post by Foggy » Mon Feb 06, 2012 1:11 pm

 ! Message from: Foggy
Merged with the most relevant thread I could find.


I put the 'fun' in dysfunctional.

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Minor v Happersett on Minor's Citizenship

#21

Post by bob » Mon Feb 06, 2012 1:14 pm

So, what's the lowdown on itVirginia Minor wanted to vote; the State of Missouri said no. Minor sued; she lost. The U.S. Supreme Court said the U.S. Constitution doesn't grant the right to vote, and nothing in the 14th Amendment changed that.The end.Postscript: The 19th Amendment!


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Minor v Happersett on Minor's Citizenship

#22

Post by Sterngard Friegen » Mon Feb 06, 2012 1:20 pm

What do you think of it, krackenthorpe?



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