Constitution of United States of America 1789 (rev. 1992)
All persons born or naturalized in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.
Court Decision of Importance:
Chisholm v. Georgia 2 Dall (U.S.) 419, 456-480 (1793) (p.470) All the country now possessed by the United States was then a part of the dominions appertaining to the crown of Great Britain. Every acre of land in this country was then held mediately or immediately from that crown. All the people of this country were then, subjects of the King of Great Britain, and owed allegiance to him; . . . From the crown of Great Britain, the sovereignty of their country passed to the people of it; . . . Here we see the people acting as sovereigns of the whole country; . . .
(p.471) At the Revolution, the sovereignty devolved on the people; and they are truly the sovereigns of the country, but they are sovereigns without subjects and have none to govern but themselves; the citizens of America are equal as fellow citizens, and as joint tenants in the sovereignty.
(p.458) But in the case of the King, the sovereignty had a double operation. While it vested him with jurisdiction over others, it excluded all others from jurisdiction over him. The law, says Sir William Blackstone, ascribes to the King the attribute of sovereignty: he is sovereign and independent within his own dominions; and owes no kind of subjection to any other potentate upon earth. Hence it is, that no suit or action can be brought against the King, even in civil matters; because no court can have jurisdiction over him: for all jurisdiction implies superiority of power. The principle is, that all human law must be prescribed by a superior.
(p.455) As the State has claimed precedence of the people; so in the same inverted course of things, the Government has often claimed precedence of the State; and to this perversion in the second degree, many of the volumes of confusion concerning sovereignty owe their existence. By a State I mean, a complete body of free persons united together for their common benefit, to enjoy peaceably what is their own, and to do justice to others. It is an artificial person. It has its affairs and its interests: It has its rules: It has its rights: And it has its obligations. It may acquire property distinct from that of its members: It may incur debts to be discharged out of the public stock, not out the private fortunes of individuals.
(p. 456) The only reason, I believe, why a free man is bound by human laws, it that he binds himself. Upon the same principles, upon which he becomes bound by the laws, he becomes amenable to the Courts of Justice, which are formed and authorized by those laws. If one free man, an original sovereign, may do all this, why may not an aggregate of free men, a collection of original sovereigns, do likewise? . . . In one sense, the term sovereignty has for its correlative, subject. In this sense, the term can receive no application; for it has no object in the Constitution of the United States,. Under that Constitution there are citizens, but no subjects.