Reading Television

August 6, 2010

Amid the debate surrounding illegal immigration and the recent Arizona immigration law comes news that “birthright citizenship” may be under attack.  Birthright citizenship is the granting of United States citizenship to children born on U.S. soil, regardless of the citizenship of their parents.  The right comes from the Fourteenth Amendment:

Section 1. 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.

 The story linked above includes quotes from Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina stemming from an appearance on Fox News.  Suppose you wanted to go further and get a transcript of the entire interview.  You can, using the news databases on Westlaw.  Westlaw not only has coverage of a large number of print news sources, but also provides transcripts from television news.  Because we know Senator Graham’s comments were made on Fox, we can search the FOX database (had we been unaware of the network involved, we could have cast a wider net with the ALLNEWS database).  A search in FOX for “LINDSEY GRAHAM” & da(7/2010) returns 13 documents, one of which is the appearance that produced the quotes mentioned above.

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