National GOP calls for equal U.S. citizenship

National GOP calls for equal U.S. citizenship

AUGUST 25, 2017 — In major news, national GOP leaders repudiated the

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unequal citizenship of Americans living in the country’s territories
during a meeting of the Republican National Committee on Friday in

The Republican National Committee did so with the passage of a
resolution entitled “Affirming the Equal Citizenship for All
Americans.” The resolution’s sponsor was the Virgin Islands’ national
committeeman, Jevon Williams.

“The Republican National Committee calls upon Congress to ensure that
American citizens residing in the territories of Guam, the Northern
Mariana Islands and the Virgin Islands have unfettered enjoyment of
their American citizenship, including the Second Amendment of the
United States Constitution,” the stated resolution.

“All Americans must be able to enjoy the full benefits of their
citizenship,” said Williams, who serves in the Army National Guard.
“For too long, Washington has ignored Americans in the territories, a
disproportionate number of whom wear the uniform defending the
freedoms and liberties that define us as Americans, including basic
constitutional rights that are wrongly denied to them.”

The resolution will now be sent to President Donald J. Trump, Interior
Secretary Ryan Zinke, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, and Senate
Majority Mitch McConnell.

Americans in the territories are U.S. citizens, but they do not
receive full enjoyment of their citizenship.* In addition to being
denied both a vote for president and full congressional
representation, not all provisions of the Constitution have been
extended to the territories.

The legal basis for two classes of U.S. citizenship derives the
Insular Cases, a series of Supreme Court rulings dating to the late
1890s when some of the territories were first acquired. The principal
author of the Insular Cases legal doctrine was Justice Henry Brown,
who also authored the high court’s notorious racist and
pro-segregationist ruling in Plessy v. Ferguson.

All 56 states and territories are represented on the 168-member
Republican National Committee by the party chairman, committeewoman
and committeeman.


* Editor’s note: American Samoa is the fifth territory, but American
Samoans are U.S. nationals, not citizens.

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