State Citizenship Is Alive And Well


“The importance of the case can hardly be overestimated. By distinguishing between state citizenship and national citizenship and by emphasizing that the rights and privileges of federal citizenship do not include the protection of ordinary civil liberties such as freedom of speech and press, religion, etc., but only the privileges which one enjoys by virtue of his federal citizenship, the Court averted, for the time being at least, the revolution in our constitutional system apparently intended by the framers of the amendment and reserved to the states the responsibility for protecting civil rights generally.”

“Citizenship is elaborated in two privileges and immunities clauses of the United States Constitution. . . . The Slaughter-House Cases [1873] 83 U.S. 36, 21 L.Ed. 394, emphasized the distinct character of federal and state citizenship. Slaughter-House held that privileges and immunities conferred by state citizenship were outside federal reach through the Fourteenth Amendment. . . . Federal citizenship was seen as including only such things as interstate travel and voting. While subsequent decisions have extended the meaning of citizenship in the Fourteenth Amendment citizenship amendment bill 2019 ,

In addition, the Supreme Court in The Slaughter-House Cases concluded that there are two citizens under the Constitution of the United States:

We think this distinction and its explicit recognition in this Amendment of great weight in this argument, because the next paragraph of this same section, which is the one mainly relied on by the plaintiffs in error, speaks only of privileges and immunities of citizens of the United States, and does not speak of those of citizens of the several States. The argument, however, in favor of the plaintiffs rests wholly on the assumption that the citizenship is the same, and the privileges and immunities guaranteed by the clause are the same.

The language is, ‘No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States.’ It is a little remarkable, if this clause was intended as a protection to the citizen of a State against the legislative power of his own State, that the word citizen of the State should be left out when it is so carefully used, and used in contradistinction to citizens of the United States, in the very sentence which precedes it. It is too clear for argument that the change in phraseology was adopted understandingly and with a purpose.

“The expression, Citizen of a State, is carefully omitted here. In Article IV, Section 2, Clause 1, of the Constitution of the United States, it had been already provided that ‘the Citizens of each State shall be entitled to all Privileges and Immunities of Citizens in the several States.’ The rights of Citizens of the States [under Article IV, Section 2, Clause 1] and of citizens of the United States [under The Fourteenth Amendment] are each guarded by these different provisions. That these rights are separate and distinct, was held in the Slaughterhouse Cases, recently decided by the Supreme court. The rights of Citizens of the State, as such, are not under consideration in the Fourteenth Amendment. They stand as they did before the adoption of the Fourteenth Amendment, and are fully guaranteed by other provisions.” United States v. Anthony: 24 Fed. Cas. 829, 830 (Case No. 14,459) [1873]. 2

“In regard to that amendment [The Fourteenth Amendment] counsel for the plaintiff in this court truly says that there are certain privileges and immunities which belong to a citizen of the United States as such; otherwise it would be nonsense for the Fourteenth Amendment to prohibit a State from abridging them, and he proceeds to argue that admission to the bar of a State of a person who possesses the requisite learning and character is one of those which a State may not deny. In this latter proposition we are not able to concur with counsel. We agree with him that there are privileges and immunities belonging to citizens of the United States, in that relation and character, and that it is these and these alone which a State is forbidden to abridge. But the right to admission to practice in the courts of a State is not one of them. This right in no sense depends on citizenship of the United States. It has not, as far as we know, ever been made in any State, or in any case, to depend on citizenship at all. Certainly many prominent and distinguished lawyers have been admitted to practice, both in the State and Federal courts, who were not citizens of the United States or of any State. But, on whatever basis this right may be placed, so far as it can have any relation to citizenship at all, it would seem that, as to the courts of a State, it would relate to citizenship of the State, and as to Federal courts,
it would relate to citizenship of the United States

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