President Trump says "jump," and CNSNews.com asks, "How high?" That's pretty much CNS' editorial agenda these days -- support pretty much anything Trump proposes.
When the Trump administration floated the idea of trying to end birthright citizenship -- in which any person born on American soil is officially a U.S. citizen, CNS knew it had to bolster the legal case for it. And bolster it did with a barrage of opinion pieces.
An Oct. 30 column by the Heritage Foundation's Hans von Spakovsky insisted that the long-established legal case for birthright citizenship is based on a "misunderstdanding" of the 14th Amendment.
The same day, CNS published a column by conservative law professor Lino Graglia, who asserted that "A policy of granting birthright citizenship to children born here of illegal aliens is not merely unreasonable and harmful, but irrational and self-contradictory, a matter of both punishing and rewarding the same conduct."The next day, Craig Bannister published a "flashback" from a 1993 speech by Democratic then-Sen. Harry Reid cvlaiming that "no sane country" would permit birthright citizenship. It's not until the final paragraph that Bannister gets around to noting that Reid has repudiated his remarks a few years, citing a Fox News article to blame that repudiation on "union pressure."
Bannister also wrote another blog post citing the author of the 14th Amendment, Sen. Jacob Howard, stating that the amendment "“settles the great question” and “removes all doubt” about citizenship.
CNS then called on its favorite right-wing radio ranter, Mark Levin, promoting the alleged constitutional expert's claim that "Nobody really knows how birthright citizenship was instituted." Levin was able to double-dip with an item complaining that House Speaker Paul Ryan is "utterly wrong" and "has no idea what he's talking about" in criticizing Trump's call to end birthright citizenship.
On Nov. 1, von Spakovsky popped up again to declare that "the president is correct when he says that the 14th Amendment to the Constitution does not require universal birthright citizenship" and that "Contrary to popular belief, the 14th Amendment doesn’t say that all people born in the U.S. are citizens." Levin popped up again as well to rant that he was challenging "practicing lawyers or former federal this or former that ... to show me the evidence in the 1860s that supports your position that birthright citizenship was enshrined in the 14th Amendment."
A Nov. 2 syndicated column by anti-immigrant writer Pat Buchanan asserted that "in challenging birthright citizenship, Trump has some constitutional history on his side."
Von Spakovsky showed up once more with a Nov. 5 column pushing the case that Trump can end birthright citizenship with an executive order.
The "news" side of CNS (which is that pretty much in name only) wasn't much more balanced. Bannister wrote a blog post cheering Sen. Lindsey Graham for saying that he was glad Trump was addressing the "absurd policy of birthright citizenship."
And an Oct. 31 item credited only to "CNSNews.com Staff" spent more space attacking Nancy Pelosi forsaying that Trump does not have the power to alter the Constitution over birthright citizenship then it did quoting her saying that.
CNS clearly knows how to jump very high at Trump's request.