"The government of the United States is a foreign corporation with respect to a state."
In re Merriam, 36 N. E. 505, 141 N. Y. 479, affirmed 16 S. Ct. 1073, 163 U. S. 625, 41 L.Ed. 287.
People who are members of this corporate entity are named: "U.S. citizen", distinguished from those who are not members of this corporationand are resident aliens within a state.
It will be admitted on all hands that with the exception of the powers
granted to the states and the federal government, through the Constitutions,
people of the several states are unconditionally sovereign within their
Ohio L. Ins. & T. Co. v. Debolt, 16 How. 416, 14 L.Ed. 997. [emphasis added]
“We have in our political system a Government of the United States and
a government of each of the several states. Each is distinct from
the other and each has citizens of its own...”
U.S. v. Cruikshank, 92 U.S. 542, 23 L.Ed. 588
"For this you have every inducement of sympathy and interest. Citizens
by birth or choice, of a common country, that country has a right to concentrate
your affections. The name of AMERICAN, which belongs to you in your national
capacity, must always exalt the just pride of patriotism, more than any
appellation derived from local discriminations. With slight shades of difference
you have the same religion, manners, habits, and political principle.
You have, in a common cause, fought, and triumphed together; the independence
and liberty you possess, are the work of joint councils, and joint efforts
-- of common dangers, sufferings and success."
George Washington, "Farewell Address", delivered September 17, 1796. (Emphasis added.)
"The American colonies brought with them the common, and not the civil
law; and each state, at the revolution, adopted either more or less of
it, and not one of them exploded the principle that the place of birth
Amy v. Smith, 1 Litt. Ky. R,pp. 337, 338.
Attorney-General of the United States, one William Wurtz, in an opinion
dated November 7, 1821:
I presume that the description, "citizen of the United
States", used in the Constitution, has the same meaning that
it has in the several acts of Congress passed under the
authority of the Constitution; otherwise there will arise a
vagueness and uncertainty in our laws which will make their
execution, if not impracticable, at least extremely difficult
Looking to the Constitution as the standard of meaning, it"A constitution is designated as a supreme enactment, a fundamental act of legislation by the people of the state. A constitution is legislation direct from the people acting in their sovereign capacity, while a statute is legislation from
seems very manifest that no person is included in the
description of "citizen of the United States" who has not the
full rights of a citizen in the state of his residence. Among
other proofs of this, it will be sufficient to advert to the
constitutional provision that "the citizens of each state
shall be entitled to all the privileges and immunities of
citizen in the several states".
Now, if a person born and residing in Virginia but possessing
none of the high characteristic privileges of a citizen of the
state is nevertheless a citizen of Virginia in the sense of
the Constitution, then, on his removal into another state, he
acquires all the immunities and privileges of a citizen of
that other state, although he possessed none of them in the
state of his nativity; a consequence which certainly could not
have been in the contemplation of the Convention.
"The term 'Citizen of the United States' must be understood to mean
those who were citizens of the State as such after the Union had commenced
and the several States had assumed their sovereignty. Before that
period there were no citizens of the United States."
Inhabitants of Manchester v. Inhabitants of Boston, 16 Mass. 230, 235.
"The United States and the State of California are two separate sovereignties,
each dominant in its own sphere."
Redding v. Los Angeles (1947), 81 C.A.2d 888, 185 P.2d 430.
"The government of the United States is a foreign corporation with respect
to a state."
In re Merriam, 36 N. E. 505, 141 N. Y. 479, affirmed 16 S. Ct. 1073, 163 U. S. 625, 41 L.Ed. 287.
"The privileges and immunities of citizens of the United States, which are protected by the 14th Amendment, against abridgment by the states, are those which arise out of the essential nature and characteristics of the national government, the federal Constitution, treaties, or acts of Congress, as distinguished from those belonging to the Citizens of a state;. . . . " Gardner v. Ray, 157 S. W. 1147, 1150; Hammer v. State, 89 N. E. 850, 851, 173 Ind. 199, 24 L. R. A., N. S., 795, 140 Am. St. Rep. 248, 21 Ann. Cas. 1034.
"On the other hand, there is a significant historical fact in all of
this. Clearly, one of the purposes of the 13th and 14th Amendments and
of the 1866 act and of section 1982 was to give the Negro citizenship.
Jones v. Alfred H. Mayer Co. (1967), 379 F.2d 33, 43.
"It is true that the chief interest of the people in giving permanence
and security to citizenship in the 14th Amendment was the desire to protect
Afroyim v. Rusk (1967), 18 L.Ed. 2d 758, 764.
"The object of the 14th Amendment, as is well known, was to confer upon
the colored race the right of citizenship."
United States v. Wong Kim Ark, 169 U. S. 649, 692.
"It would be a remarkable anomaly if the national government, without
the amendment, could confer citizenship on aliens of every race or color,
and citizenship, with civil and political rights, on the "inhabitants"
of Louisiana and Florida, without reference to race or color, and cannot,
with the help of the amendment, confer on those of the African race, who
have been born and always
lived within the United States, all that this law seeks to give them."
United States v. Rhodes (1866), 27 Fed. Cas. 785, 794.
"The amendment referred to slavery. Consequently, the only persons embraced
by its provisions, and for which Congress was authorized to legislate in
the manner were those then in slavery."
Bowlin v. Commonwealth (1867), 65 Kent. Rep. 5, 29.
"After the adoption of the 13th Amendment, a bill which became the first
Civil Rights Act was introduced in the 39th Congress, the major purpose
of which was to secure to the recently freed Negroes all the civil rights
secured to white men. . . .(N)one other than citizens of the United States
were within the provisions of the
Hague v. C. I. O., 307 U. S. 496, 509.
"No white person. . . owes the status of citizenship to the recent amendments
to the Federal Constitution."
Van Valkenbrg v. Brown (1872), 43 Cal. Sup. Ct. 43, 47.
"The rights of the state, as such, are not under consideration in the
14th Amendment, and are fully guaranteed by other provisions."
United States v. Anthony (1873), 24 Fed. Cas. 829 (No. 14,459), 830.
“There are, then, under our republican form of government, two classes
of citizens, one of the United States and one of the state”.
Gardina v. Board of Registrars of Jefferson County, 160 Ala. 155; 48 So. 788 (1909)
“The governments of the United States and of each state of the several
states are distinct from one another. The rights of a citizen under one
may be quite different from those which he has under the other”.
Colgate v. Harvey, 296 U.S. 404; 56 S.Ct. 252 (1935)
“...rights of national citizenship as distinct from the fundamental
or natural rights inherent in state citizenship”.
Madden v. Kentucky, 309 U.S. 83: 84 L.Ed. 590 (1940)
“The rights and privileges, and immunities which the fourteenth constitutional
amendment and Rev. St. section 1979 [U.S. Comp. St. 1901, p. 1262], for
its enforcement, were designated to protect, are such as belonging to citizens
of the United States as such, and not as citizens of a state”.
Wadleigh v. Newhall 136 F. 941 (1905)
“There is a difference between privileges and immunities belonging to
the citizens of the United States as such, and those belonging to the citizens
of each state as such”.
Ruhstrat v. People, 57 N.E. 41 (1900)
“We have in our political system a government of the United States and
a government of each of the several States. Each one of these governments
is distinct from the others, and each has citizens of it’s own...”
United States v. Cruikshank, 92 U.S. 542 (1875)
“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
Slaughter-House Cases, 83 U.S. (16 Wall.) 36; 21 L.Ed. 394 (1873)
“...there was no such thing as citizen of the United States, except
as that condition arose from citizenship of some state
United States v. Anthony, 24 Fed. Cas. 829, (Case No. 14,459)(1873)
“...he was not a citizen of the United States, he was a citizen and
voter of the State,...” “One may be a citizen of a State an yet not
a citizen of the United States”.
McDonel v. The State, 90 Ind. 320 (1883)
““Citizenship” and “residence”, as has often been declared by the courts, are not convertible terms. ...
“”The better opinion seems to be that a citizen of the United States
is, under the amendment [14th], prima facie a citizen of the state wherein
he resides , cannot arbitrarily be excluded therefrom by such state, but
that he does not become a citizen of the state against his will, and contrary
to his purpose and intention to retain an already acquired citizenship
elsewhere. The amendment [14th] is a restraint on the power of the
state, but not on the right of the person to choose and maintain his citizenship
Sharon v. Hill, 26 F. 337 (1885) [inserts added]
“That there is a citizenship of the United States and citizenship of
Tashiro v. Jordan, 201 Cal. 236 (1927)
"Except as modified by statute, the place of birth governs citizenship
Rogers v. Bellei, 401 U. S. 815; 28 L.Ed.2d 499; 91 S.Ct. 1060 (1971).
An excellent collection of citations:
Congressional Record Testimony that the Alleged 14th Amendment WAS NOT Lawfully Ratified
Additonal Citations on Jurisdiction & Dual Citizenship