A Republic, If You Can Keep It:

Slaughterhouse Cases let the cat out of the bag,

but not without difficulties

(with careful scrutiny + 20/20 hindsight)




Paul Andrew Mitchell, B.A., M.S. (Retired)


All Rights Reserved





We again jump into a controversy that was never fully settled

by any standing decisions of the U.S. Supreme Court.


The vagueness problems that can be confirmed in the failed

"Fourteenth amendment proposal" can be almost entirely

eliminated by clarifying "its jurisdiction" to mean the

MUNICIPAL jurisdiction of the Federal government.


In what follows, we submit to readers our surviving hypothesis

that lawyers and judges were either very confused themselves;

or, they tried to conceal their unlawful attempt to morph

America into an absolute legislative democracy -- chiefly

by attempting to create something resembling a "citizen of the Nation".


As explained below, that unlawful attempt must be judged a failure,

after being subjected to careful historical, constitutional and

syntactic analyses:


FIRST, temporarily set aside the verifiable historical facts

recited by the Utah Supreme Court in Dyett v. Turner.


SECOND, note well how the U.S. Supreme Court

MORPHS "jurisdiction thereof" into "its jurisdiction"

in the Slaughterhouse Cases, to wit:




"All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside."


The first observation we have to make on this clause is that it puts at rest both the questions which we stated to have been the subject of differences of opinion.  It declares that persons may be citizens of the United States without regard to their citizenship of a particular State, and it overturns the Dred Scott decision by making all persons born within the United States and subject to its jurisdiction citizens of the United States.  That its main purpose was to establish the citizenship of the negro can admit of no doubt.  The phrase, "subject to its jurisdiction" was intended to exclude from its operation children of ministers, consuls, and citizens or subjects of foreign States born within the United States.





We have found one other place where this same

substitution occurred:  26 CFR 1.1-1(c):




(c) Who is a citizen.
Every person born or naturalized in the United States
and subject to its jurisdiction is a citizen.



To honor the need for clarity and to prevent being

void for vagueness, the latter heading should read:


(c)  Who is a federal citizen.



Applying recognized rules of formal English grammar,

the pronoun "its" necessarily implies a SINGULAR entity;  and,

that SINGULAR entity is the "United States" meaning the

Federal government.


And, the Supreme Court uses the phrase "its jurisdiction" TWICE,

adding to the significance of that alteration.


If "United States" there had instead meant the States of the Union,

then the pronoun "their" would have been required, i.e. because

"States" are plural and "their" is a plural pronoun,

not a singular pronoun.


Compare the Thirteenth Amendment ratified in December 1865:




"any place subject to their jurisdiction"



Moreover, further along, that failed "amendment"

also clearly mentions the jurisdiction of each State:


No State shall ...  deny to any person within
its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.



Accordingly, there is the MUNICIPAL jurisdiction of each State,

now 50 in number, and there is the MUNICIPAL jurisdiction

of the federal government a/k/a the "federal zone".


And, because citizenship is a term of MUNICIPAL law,

there is not and never has been any such thing as a

"citizen of the Nation" in America.  The decision in

the Slaughterhouse Cases recites the historical support

for this all-important understanding:


... the opinion prevailed that there was no such citizenship independent of the citizenship of the State. Such was the opinion of Mr. Calhoun and the class represented by him. In his celebrated speech in the Senate upon the Force Bill in 1833, referring to the reliance expressed by a senator upon the fact that we are citizens of the United States, he said:

"If by citizen of the United States he means a citizen at large, one whose citizenship extends to the entire geographical limits of the country without having a local citizenship in some State or Territory, a sort of citizen of the world, all I have to say is that such a citizen would be a perfect nondescript; that not a single individual of this description can be found in the entire mass of our population. Notwithstanding all the pomp and display of eloquence on the occasion, every citizen is a citizen of some State or Territory, and, as such, under an express provision of the Constitution, is entitled to all privileges and immunities of citizens in the several States; and it is in this and no other sense that we are citizens of the United States.



Fortunately, the Supreme Court's decision in the

Slaughterhouse Cases does clarify its holding, finally,

with this succinct paragraph:


"It is quite clear, then, that there is a citizenship of the United States, and a citizenship of a State, which are distinct from each other, and which depend upon different characteristics or circumstances in the individual."



That same clarification can also be confirmed in Headnote 3,

to wit:


"The first clause of the fourteenth article was primarily intended to confer citizenship on the negro race, and secondly to give definitions of citizenship of the United States and citizenship of the States, and it recognizes the distinction between citizenship of a State and citizenship of the United States by those definitions."



This discussion in the Slaughterhouse Cases was still deficient

chiefly by failing to maintain the all important distinction between

Federal MUNICIPAL laws and Federal NATIONAL laws.


The phrase "its jurisdiction" can only refer to Federal MUNICIPAL

jurisdiction.  The alternative raises far too many legal and historical

problems, which have been fully elucidated in the following

popular essay entitled "Citizenship for Dummies":




And, there is support in relevant case law for holding that,

strictly speaking, citizenship is a term of MUNICIPAL law

e.g. see Chapter 4 in "The Federal Zone":




The Supreme Court of the Philippine Islands has also found that "citizenship", strictly speaking, is a term of municipal law.  According to that Court, it is municipal law which regulates the conditions on which citizenship is acquired:


Citizenship, says Moore on International Law, strictly speaking, is a term of municipal law and denotes the possession within the particular state of full civil and political rights subject to special disqualifications, such as minority, sex, etc.  The conditions on which citizenship are [sic] acquired are regulated by municipal law.  There is no such thing as international citizenship nor international law (aside from that which might be contained in treaties) by which citizenship is acquired.

[Roa v. Collector of Customs, 23 Philippine 315, 332 (1912)]

[emphasis added]



Sincerely yours,
/s/ Paul Andrew Mitchell, B.A., M.S.
Private Attorney General, Civil RICO: 18 U.S.C. 1964;
Agent of the United States as Qui Tam Relator (4X),
Federal Civil False Claims Act: 31 U.S.C. 3729 et seq.

All Rights Reserved

( cf. UCC 1-308 https://www.law.cornell.edu/ucc/1/1-308 )