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The Case Against Birthright Citizenship

The Constitution refers in several provisions to “citizen[s] of the United States,” but no express definition of that term appears in its text. Addressing this omission, the Fourteenth Amendment guarantees U.S. citizenship to “[a]ll persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof.” Scholars, such as Claremont Senior Fellow Ed Erler writing for the Heritage Guide to the Constitution, have argued that the original understanding of the term “jurisdiction” refers to an individual’s voluntary political allegiance to the United States. This link forms the social compact that lies at the heart of American constitutionalism. The recurring debate over birthright citizenship tends to overlook the critical requirement of social compact, focusing instead on birth alone. Our distinguished panel will elucidate this lost understanding of the Citizenship Clause and explore the historical and legal context behind the proper conception of republican citizenship.

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7/31/2020

Re-Designing the Marine Corps for Future War: Necessity or Madness?

General David H. Berger, Marine Corps Commandant, is aggressively pushing a dramatic redesign of the Corps for future war incorporating new missiles, advanced sensors, unmanned platforms, and hypervelocity weapons. HisForce Design 2030effort has drawn enthusiastic support from those who agree that the Corps must change to remain relevant on a more lethal battlefield. But it has generated an equally fervent amount of criticism from others who think the effort is overly focused on China—rendering the Corps irrelevant across a range of other potentially more likely scenarios. To achieve its vision, the Corps is doing away with tanks, reducing conventional artillery, shrinking units, and placing new demands on the Navy, already struggling to modernize its fleet. But it is adding anti-ship missiles, doubling-down on unmanned systems, and reenergizing a profound discussion about the importance of naval power.Will a redesigned Corps make it irrelevant for land operations against conventional militaries of larger state powers or irregular forces like terrorist groups? Or are General Berger’s designs essential to America’s future ability to conduct nearly any military operation in any theater against a host of potential enemies?Join us for an in-depth conversation about all of this with nationally recognized experts who hold informed opinions on both sides of this issue: Dr. Frank G. Hoffman, Lt. Col. USMCR (Ret.), Distinguished Research Fellow at the National Defense University, and Mark F. Cancian, Colonel, USMCR (Ret.), Senior Advisor, International Security Program, Center for Strategic and International Studies.