CourtSpeak: U.S. v. Wong Kim Ark Reentry Case (1898)

Racial Discrimination Read more from
Chapter The Fuller Court (1888–1910)

Justice Horace Gray (majority): “The fact, therefore, that acts of congress or treaties have not permitted Chinese persons born out of this country to become citizens by naturalization, cannot exclude Chinese persons born in this country from the operation of the broad and clear words of the constitution: ‘All persons born in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States.’”

Chief Justice Melville Fuller (dissenting): “The fourteenth amendment does not exclude from citizenship by birth children born in the United States of parents permanently located therein, and who might themselves become citizens; nor, on the other hand, does it arbitrarily make citizens of children born in the United States of parents who, according to the will of their native government and of this government, are and must remain aliens.”


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