Transcript of Episode 310 – Citizenship and the Military and…


Citizenship and the Military and…

[Show Introduction]

Thomas:           Hello and welcome to Opening Arguments this is episode 310, I’m your host Thomas Smith, that over there is Andrew Torrez.  How you doin’ Andrew?

Andrew:          I am fantastic Thomas, how are you?

Thomas:           I am doing great!  We got so much to talk about, oof!

Andrew:          [Laughs]

Thomas:           Big news week!  There is so much to cover we are surely not going to be able to accomplish it, but some announcements first, probably mostly related to what we can’t do, [Chuckles] or don’t have time to do.  So I have a note here that we’re doing opioids on Tuesday?  So I guess the news cycle’s gotten that we’re just out with it?

Andrew:          [Laughs] Yeah!  That’s right!

Thomas:           Alright!

Andrew:          You and I are gonna sit in a room and take as much Oxy and – no.  We’re going to discuss the landmark opioid trial-

Continue reading “Transcript of Episode 310 – Citizenship and the Military and…”

OA310: Citizenship and the Military and…

Today’s Rapid Response Friday takes a look at the recent Trump Administration memorandum “clarifying” the rules on military citizenship for children born to U.S. employees — largely, those in the armed forces — serving overseas. Is it as bad as you’ve heard? (Yes.) Is it actually worse than that? (Yes.)

First, though, we continue to revisit the apportionment question discussed in Episode 307. Have we finally crowdsourced a solution? The answer may surprise you!

After that, it’s time for a deep dive into the latest policy manual update from the department of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services “clarifying” that servicemembers living overseas don’t actually count as “living in the United States.” Will this cause Trump-supporting military members to vote for Elizabeth Warren in 2020? (No.) Should it? (Yes.) Is it way, way worse than you could possibly imagine? Oh yes.

After that, it’s time for a very brief Andrew Was Wrong (the best kind!).

Then, it’s time for an all-new Thomas Takes the Bar Exam, in which we have… something approaching “Don’t Take Legal Advice From A Podcast” Law? You won’t want to miss this question involving a disgruntled landlord and a put-upon law student. Can Thomas break his losing streak? Listen and find out!


None! If you’d like to have either of us as a guest on your show, drop us an email at

Show Notes & Links

  1. We first covered the potential apportionment crisis in Episode 307.
  2. You can read the latest policy manual update from the department of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services for yourself.
  3. The relevant legal provisions of the Immigration and Naturalization Act are 8 U.S.C. § 1401, 8 U.S.C § 1431, and 8 U.S.C. § 1433.
  4. This is the August 15th, 2019 story about how the Trump administration continues to use the “out-of-wedlock” rule against LGBTQ couples.
  5. Finally, this is the garbage, racist National Review article on birthright citizenship, and this is U.S. v. Wong Kim Ark, 169 U.S> 649 (1898).

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