Regulation says “subject to its jurisdiction”, and clarifies the 14th Amendment

A tweet clarifies the awkward wording of 14th amendment by citing a clearer regulation:

It says a “citizen” is a person “born or naturalized in the United States” AND “subject to ITS jurisdiction”.
So citizen = subject
“U.S.” here refers to the federal government.
That’s why they say “ITS jurisdiction” and not “their jurisdiction”
Being a subject is voluntary.


He also added:

See 26 CFR 1.1-1(c) Who is a citizen
Isn’t it interesting that they felt the need to explain who is a citizen in the Regulations? That’s called a “clue”.


Those tweets confirmed the 14th Amendment only refers to citizens of the federal government, not any of the states.

The first sentence of the 14th Amendment has the odd phrase, “and subject to the jurisdiction thereof”. Here’s the complete first sentence

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.

14th Amendment 

But the CFR regulation uses the phrase “its jurisdiction” which is much clearer. 

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


Had the 14th amendment pertained to people of the states (plural), then it would have said “and subject to the jurisdictions [plural] thereof”.

Roger Sayles quoted a judge from a case, though I am not sure how to explain it. 

“a citizen of a state is a citizen of the United States.”  

Chief Justice Story


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