Dear Auntie Pinko,
Since Jefferson and the lads, when they wrote the "Sacred
Scripture" of the Constitution, regarded what they wrote as
universal, does this mean non-United States citizens have
a "right" to exercise the rights associated with
Such as voting for the removal of the Presidential incumbent?
Well may you ask, for thereby hangs an interesting issue
in these complicated times. However, to go straight to the
gravamen of your inquiry, no. Non-citizens are not entitled
to vote in U.S. elections.
The Constitution of the United States is a fascinating document,
and it's not really very long (there are only seven Articles
and 27 Amendments.) I heartily recommend it as reading material,
and here is a link:
As you'll see if you follow the link and read the document,
the Constitution's purpose is twofold: To establish the structure
by which the country will be governed, and to secure the rights
of citizens within that structure. The first thing you'll
probably notice is that all voting rights are vested solely
However, once you read past the technicalities of how the
government may not favor one state over another in establishing
ports, laying taxes, passing laws, etc. (this was a huge
concern at the time the document was written and presented
for ratification,) you'll get to the Amendments, and here
is where things get interesting.
The first ten Amendments, also known as the Bill of Rights,
contain absolutely no provisions within them limiting them
to citizens. Thus, the right to be protected against search
and seizure, the right to due process of law, the right to
a speedy and public trial, to trial by jury, the rights to
bail and to protection from cruel and unusual punishment,
may all be presumed to apply equally to anyone within the
jurisdiction of United States authority, citizen or not.
Isn't that just fascinating, Startled? One reason
why Auntie Pinko put the link to the Constitution right up
there is because it seems to me that for whatever reason,
many Americans (and some of them in positions of considerable
power and authority) might just have, well... I'll be kind
here, "forgotten" to read the Constitution lately.
Certainly, there exists a huge body of law interpreting
the Constitution and defining its applications, based upon
the work of the Supreme Court. Scholars and jurists spend
whole careers studying and analyzing all the legal actions
of the Court and how they affect the application of
the Constitution. But no Court has the jurisdiction to change
the Constitution or deny its provisions.
And the "what if it were me" test is still the most powerful
and accurate way to judge how well the Constitution is being
applied by the courts: "What if it were me, standing in the
place of that defendant, accused of that crime?" The Founders
knew full well that innocent people could be suspected, accused,
arrested, and tried for crimes. They had ample experience
with the abuses of judicial power by corrupt officials appointed
by autocratic monarchs, and laws passed by greedy and self-interested
While your reference to the Constitution as "Sacred Scripture"
may be facetious or even ironic, Startled, there is no irony
in its very real role as the last and most potent defense
of people struggling with the abuses of power by misguided,
corrupt, or selfish governments. It is in very truth, the
secular "Scripture" of political self-determination. As such,
it deserves the careful study of every citizen, and the respect
of all - citizen or not - within American jurisdiction.
Enjoy the reading, Startled Foreigner, and thanks for asking
Do you have a question for Auntie Pinko?
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