During an interview on Fox & Friends, White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders on Wednesday claimed that “a number of legal scholars” have told President Donald Trump that he has the authority through an executive order to end birthright citizenship even though it’s a right guaranteed by the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
Co-host Brian Kilmeade noted that many critics of the president see his controversial proposal as a “xenophobic, racist quest to change America.”
“I’m not at all surprised that the media and Democrats, which sometimes can be one in the same, would overplay their hand in the way that they’re doing,” Sanders replied. “The reason we’re in this predicament is because Democrats in Congress have failed to do their job. And the president is going to look at any way possible that he can find legally and constitutionally to make sure that we’re doing everything we can.”
“Can he used an executive order or does he have to go through Congress?” co-host Ainsley Earhardt asked.
“There are a number of legal scholars who certainly think he can,” Sanders claimed. “Again, the president is going to take whatever powers he has to protect our borders and to protect our country.”
.@PressSec: “The president’s going to look at any way possible that he can find legally and constitutionally to make sure that we’re doing everything we can.” https://t.co/AfArXkgt72 @foxandfriends pic.twitter.com/i20O2XfBuq
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Presidential adviser Kellyanne Conway on Tuesday defended the White House proposal, telling Fox New’s Bret Baier Tuesday night: “Many other constitutional scholars have said that the 14th Amendment has been misinterpreted or misused.”
George Conway, a prominent attorney and the husband of Kellyanne Conway, broke publicly with his wife’s defense of Trump’s announced plan.
“Sometimes the Constitution’s text is plain as day and bars what politicians seek to do,” George Conway and former acting solicitor general Neal Katyal wrote in an op-ed for The Washington Post. “That’s the case with President Trump’s proposal to end ‘birthright citizenship’ through an executive order. Such a move would be unconstitutional and would certainly be challenged. And the challengers would undoubtedly win.”
“At its core, birthright citizenship is what our 14th Amendment is all about, bridging the Declaration of Independence’s promise that ‘all men are created equal’ with a constitutional commitment that all those born in the United States share in that equality,” they wrote.
“The fact that the two of us, one a conservative and the other a liberal, agree on this much despite our sharp policy differences underscores something it is critically important to remember during a time marked by so much rancor and uncivil discourse: Our Constitution is a bipartisan document, designed to endure for ages. Its words have meaning that cannot be wished away.”