Matthew Ing


This Article contends that the orthodox interpretation accurately reflects the original public meaning of ‘jurisdiction,’ and that, consequently, the consensualist interpretation is incorrect on originalist grounds. By way of supporting this contention, this Article also seeks to advance the debate regarding the Citizenship Clause in several ways. Although this Article, like others, relies upon the Clause’s legislative history for evidence of original meaning, when analyzing that history this Article also considers 1) the framing-era context of federal Indian law; and 2) the distinction between “original meaning” and “original expected application.” Moreover, in seeking relevant originalist evidence, this Article looks to the heretofore-neglected Fourteenth Amendment ratification debates, and the periods preceding and following the Clause’s enactment...Part II describes the antebellum linguistic context that preceded the Citizenship Clause. Part III presents evidence showing that “subject to the jurisdiction” originally meant “subject to sovereign authority.” Part IV critiques various consensualist arguments. Part V, the Conclusion, summarizes this Article’s findings.