Politics you should care about

Jackson Rudoff, Opinion Editor

Election Day is Nov. 6

Next Tuesday, people around the country will head to polling places to vote in their respective midterm elections. As opposed to presidential elections, midterm general elections often struggle to generate the same level of turnout. Correcting this pattern has been the goal of a number of organizations, with celebrities and social media organizations flooding people’s feeds and timelines with reminders to both register and vote.

While the social media spam may, understandably, annoy many of you, the importance of voting in midterm elections cannot be understated. In Ohio, both the Governor and a Senate office are up for election, as well as numerous seats on the state Supreme Court. It’s quite easy for one to assume that non-presidential positions are irrelevant, but state politics are much more important than people give them credit. Congressional lines are determined by each state’s Houses of Representatives, so it is essential to elect representatives who both represent personal interests and display a necessary level of competency. That latter criterion has been historically overlooked in Ohio, so hopefully, 2018 will present as a change in both turnout and quality of candidate selection.

Trump floats overturning of birthright citizenship

This past Tuesday, President Donald Trump announced plans for an executive order that could overturn the long-held constitutional principle of birthright citizenship. It was just one in a series of extreme actions responding to a Honduran migrant caravan which planned to enter the U.S. through Mexico. He plans to additionally send 5,200 troops to guard the border in anticipation of their arrival.

The decision to suspend birthright citizenship will undoubtedly launch a long and arduous court battle, most likely with those on his side of the aisle. Trump backed up his action with a number of tropes often used in the debate regarding illegal immigrants, including claims of preventing “anchor babies.” However, he will need to overcome a principle of “jus soli,” or right of the land, which has conferred automatic citizenship to anyone born on United States soil since the ratification of the Fourteenth Amendment. The battle to defend this executive order will be uphill, as much of Trump’s justification is sourced from long-since disproven points made by America’s more anti-immigrant political leaders. Not to mention, a controversial precedent is set if the Commander-in-Chief were allowed to override a component of the Constitution through an executive order.

Regardless of what occurs in the next few months, be sure to check how the order affects you. It would be a very drastic and sudden shift in U.S. law, and will create citizenship uncertainty for a sizable group of Americans.