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Large Numbers of Law, Week of 4/25/11

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For this week's Large Numbers of Law we honor Donald Trump by taking a stroll down citizenship lane.


1830 - In Inglis v. Trustees of Sailor's Snug Harbor, the Supreme Court finds that anyone born in New York from July 4th, 1776 to September 15, 1777 is a natural born citizen. Though not stated explicitly, the case implies that persons born in New York from September 16, 1777 until the end of the American Revolution were not natural born citizens, as New York was under British control.

1836 - Martin van Buren is the first President elected who was born under the Articles of Confederation; born in 1782, Kinderhood, NY.

1840 - William Henry Harrison is the last President elected who was born prior to the American Revolution; born in 1773, Charles City County, VA.

1841 - John Tyler succeeds Harrison, and becomes the first President born under the Constitution; born in 1790, born in Charles City County, VA.

1848 - Zachary Taylor is the last President elected who was born under the Articles of Confederation; born in 1784, Orange County, VA.

1860 - Abraham Lincoln is the first President elected who was born outside of the Thirteen Colonies; born 1809, Hardin County, KY.

1868 - The Fourteenth Amendment is adopted. "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."

1872 - In Elk v. Wilkins the Supreme Court denies John Elk the right to vote/ Elk was born on an Indian reservation, as the Court found that his immediate allegiance to his tribe made him not subject to the jurisdiction of the United States and thus not a citizen.

1881 - Chester A. Arthur succeeds James Garfield. In the 1880 election, rumors surfaced that Arthur was born in Dunham, Lower Canada. Born 1829 (though Arthur would later claim 1830 to seem younger), Fairfield, VT.

1924 - The Indian Citizenship Act grants citizenship to all Native Americans.

1964 - Barry Goldwater unsuccessfully runs for President. Goldwater was born 1909 in Phoenix, Arizona Territory, the first major Presidential candidate not born in a state.

2008 - John McCain unsuccessfully runs for President. McCain was born 1936 in the US Military-controlled Panama Canal Zone. The Panama Canal Zone was not considered US territory, but in 1937 Congress gave retroactive citizenship to persons born there.

2011 - Superman, a native of Krypton, renounces his American citizenship:

I'm tired of having my actions construed as instruments of U.S. policy. "Truth, Justice, and the American way"-- It's not enough anymore.

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