Natural Born Citizen

This is the second in a series of Constitution-related posts.

Natural-born, Native-born, and Naturalization

Let’s start this discussion with some definitions, dispel some assumptions, and request some civility in the follow-up discussion. This discussion is going to be, as much as possible, restricted to the qualifications for the Office of President of these United States and the portion of U.S. Constitution, Article II, Section 1 which states “No person except a natural born citizen, or a citizen of the United States, at the time of the adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the office of President”.

Please note that even though the remainder (age and residency requirements) was left out for this discussion that all of the Constitution is extremely precise in the usage of language. This is easily demonstrated in the 60-plus votes it took during the Constitutional Convention just to get the wording and agreement from all parties on the qualifications of, and method for, the election of the President. One final note is that the citizens made the Constitution and their government. The Constitution and government did not make the citizens. The citizens had the unalienable rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness granted to them by nature and their Creator and not by the Constitution or government.

With consideration that we are talking about the most powerful position in the world, the US Presidency, all efforts within this post have been made to not make this a Liberal/Conservative issue but rather one of an attempt to define the actual qualifications to be seated as President of the United States to include the meaning of “natural-born citizen.”  We are not looking in hindsight at President Obama as the U.S. has already seated a President that did not qualify under the “natural-born citizen” clause in Chester Arthur. This is an attempt to look forward with a view on the ever increasing number of county, and State, and Federal level officials, to include many State Governors, who are sons and daughters of immigrants. Our nation will require a definitive answer, perhaps even before either the next selection as Vice President is made or before the next Presidential election. A great deal of this article is paraphrased and attempts will be made to document all sources and give credit where due. All emphasis is mine unless otherwise noted.

Definitions & References

The two primary concepts involved with the founders version of natural-born citizen are; Jus soli (the law of the soil), a rule of common law under which the place of a person’s birth determines citizenship, and Jus sanguinis (the law of the bloodline), a concept of Roman or civil law under which a person’s citizenship is determined by the citizenship of one or both parents. There are also two primary legal cases brought before the SCOTUS; Minor v. Happersett, 88 U.S. 162 (1875) [voting rights case] and United States v. Wong Kim Ark, 169 U.S. 649 (1898) [birthright citizenship clause]. Add in references to the 14th (Citizenship following Reconstruction; ratified: July 9, 1868) & 19th (Women’s Suffrage; ratified: August 18, 1920) amendments in addition to other documents and rulings of the time of the Constitutional Convention should provide us solid grounds for discussion.

Eloquently stated by Mario Apuzzo, Esq. ‘When determining whether a child born in the U.S. is an Article II “natural born Citizen,” the question is not whether the parents of the child are foreign born. Rather, the question is whether they are “citizens of the United States” at the time of the child’s birth in the United States ‘ and he continues “The Constitution does not in words say who shall be natural-born citizens. Resort must be had elsewhere to ascertain that. At common law, with the nomenclature of which the framers of the Constitution were familiar, it was never doubted that all children born in a country of parents who were its citizens became themselves, upon their birth, citizens also. These were natives or natural-born citizens, as distinguished from aliens or foreigners.’

The John Jay Letter (Constitutional Convention)

During the Constitutional Convention, the most direct evidence about the origins of the “natural born citizen” clause comes from a letter that John Jay (1) wrote to George Washington, who was at the time serving as President of the Constitutional Convention. In this letter, dated July 25, 1787, Jay wrote (emphasis in the original): Permit me to hint, whether it would not be wise & seasonable to provide a strong check to the admission of Foreigners into the administration of our national Government; and to declare expressly that the Command in chief of the american [sic] army shall not be given to, nor devolve on, any but a natural born Citizen. At the point this letter was written Jay had no knowledge that the convention would make the President the Commander-in-Chief; nevertheless, this document explicitly argues for a “natural-born” citizen a requirement of a high executive position.

The Electoral College

The delegates at the Constitutional Convention were deeply concerned about foreign influence on the national government, and in particular on the President therefore selection of the President by the legislature was abandoned for selection by an Electoral College. On March 25, 1800, Charles Pinckney made the only documented statement by one of the Founders connecting the Electoral College and the presidential eligibility clause. The Founders “knew well,” he said “that to give to the members of Congress a right to give votes in this election, or to decide upon them when given, was to destroy the independence of the Executive, and make him the creature of the Legislature. This therefore they have guarded against, and to insure experience and attachment to the country, they have determined that no man who is not a natural born citizen, or citizen at the adoption of the Constitution, of fourteen years residence, and thirty-five years of age, shall be eligible…” These beliefs are reiterated in several of the Federalists papers but none so clearly as Federalist No. 68 “The Mode of Electing a President” by Hamilton

Another founder, Benjamin Franklin, made the point of foreign influence clearly and within his own family when he left none of his assets to William (eldest living son) that were linked to America because of William siding with the British during the revolution whereas his will states in part “The part he [William] acted against me in the late war, which is of public notoriety, will account for my leaving him no more of an estate he endeavoured [sic] to deprive me of” referring to all of his lands and owning’s within the boundaries of the new United States of America. This point is made in part to show that Jus sanguinis and Jus soli were weighted heavily including loyalty to the new America—this was solemn according to the final cost to Franklin’s eldest living son.

The Naturalization Act of 1790

Provided the first rules to be followed by the United States in the granting of national citizenship. This law limited naturalization to immigrants who were “free white persons” of “good moral character”. It thus left out indentured servants, slaves, free blacks, and later Asians. While women were included in the act, the right of citizenship did “not descend to persons whose fathers have never been resident in the United States….” Citizenship was inherited exclusively through the father. This was the only statute that purported to grant the status of natural born citizen.’…’ The Act also establishes the United States citizenship of children of citizens, born abroad, without the need for naturalization: “the children of citizens of the United States that may be born beyond Sea, or out of the limits of the United States, shall be considered as natural born Citizens”. (2)

The Naturalization Act of 1795

Repealed and replaced the Naturalization Act of 1790. The 1795 Act differed from the 1790 Act by increasing the period of required residence from two to five years in the United States, by introducing the Declaration of Intention requirement, or “first papers”, which created a two-step naturalization process, and by conferring the status of citizen and not natural born citizen.

Minor v. Happersett (1875)

In Minor v. Happersett, 88 U.S. 162, 167-68 (1875), our U.S. Supreme Court, providing the same definition of a “natural born citizen” as did Emer de Vattel in his The Law of Nations, Section 212 (1758), but without citing Vattel, and not in any way referring to the English common law, stated:

“The Constitution does not in words say who shall be natural-born citizens. Resort must be had elsewhere to ascertain that. At common law, with the nomenclature of which the framers of the Constitution were familiar, it was never doubted that all children born in a country of parents who were its citizens became themselves, upon their birth, citizens also. These were natives or natural-born citizens, as distinguished from aliens or foreigners. Some authorities go further and include as citizens children born within the jurisdiction without reference to the citizenship of their parents. As to this class there have been doubts, but never as to the first. For the purposes of this case, it is not necessary to solve these doubts. It is sufficient, for everything we have now to consider, that all children, born of citizen parents within the jurisdiction, are themselves citizens.” (3)

Wong Kim Ark & the 14th Amendment

Two quotes from Justice Grey on this matter should suffice to give the general gist of this SCOTUS case;

Question: But doesn’t the Constitution use the term “citizen” rather than “subject?”

Justice Gray: “The term citizen, as understood in our law, is precisely analogous to the term subject in the common law, and the change of phrase has entirely resulted from the change of governments” hence “subject and citizen are, in a degree, convertible terms as applied to natives.” Accordingly, “[a]ll persons born in the allegiance of the King are natural-born subjects, and all persons born in the allegiance of the United States are natural-born citizens. Birth and allegiance go together. Such is the rule of the common law, and it is the common law of this country, as well as of England. . . . We find no warrant for the opinion that this great principle of the common law has ever been changed in the United States. It has always obtained here with the same vigor, and subject only to the same exceptions, since as before the Revolution.”

Question: So what was existing law under the original Constitution?

Justice Gray: Well, “[t]he Constitution of the United States, as originally adopted, uses the words ‘citizen of the United States,’ and ‘natural-born citizen of the United States.” However,”[t]he Constitution nowhere defines the meaning of these words.” Hence, “[i]t must be interpreted in the light of the common law, the principles and history of which were familiarly known to the framers of the constitution….” as “[t]he interpretation of the Constitution of the United States is necessarily influenced by the fact that its provisions are framed in the language of the English common law, and are to be read in the light of its history.”

What is a “Natural-born” citizen?

Under the language used at the time of the founding this would require two hurdles to be met; 1) Jus soli (the law of the soil) whether within the confines of ‘America’ at the time of adoption, or within the laws as adjudicated later, and 2) Jus sanguinis (law of the bloodline) which in the case of American jurisprudence is the rights of the father transferred to the children (normally the eldest living son.) With consideration that, at the time, the wife received her “rights” from the husband and “rights of the father” also required that he was an active “Citizen of the United States” there are still many questions to be answered and it is a personal belief that the SCOTUS take any case in order to answer once and for all this question.

Footnotes
1. John Jay, although not a delegate to the Convention was a President of the Continental Congress, author of several Federalist Papers, and first Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court among other notable positions. It seems reasonable, therefore, that his letter carried some weight.
2. http://www.ask.com/wiki/Naturalization_Act_of_1790
3. http://puzo1.blogspot.com/2011/02/citizenship-status-of-our-44-presidents.html

259 thoughts on “Natural Born Citizen

  1. Retired Spook May 3, 2012 / 8:36 pm

    This is an attempt to look forward with a view on the ever increasing number of county, and State, and Federal level officials, to include many State Governors, who are sons and daughters of immigrants. Our nation will require a definitive answer, perhaps even before either the next selection as Vice President is made…

    Marco Rubio is, by all accounts, one of the top 2 or 3 VP prospects, and yet his claim to being a natural born citizen is even weaker than Obama’s. Obama’s mother, at least, was a U.S. citizen. Although they were well into the citizenship process, neither of Rubio’s parents became citizens until 4 years after he was born. If he’s selected to be Romney’s running mate before this is settled beyond a reasonable doubt, I think it’s going to create major problems down the road.

    The way I have always looked at the term “natural born citizen” and why it wasn’t defined in the Constitution is that it was a well known term in the 18th century, and didn’t need to be defined. It would have been like the term “marriage”, which, until recently, didn’t need to be defined. Now, however, with our changing culture, it does need to be defined once and for all. Or we can just continue working from the Democrat playbook and ignore the parts of the Constitution that don’t dovetail with the agenda of an ever-more intrusive and expansive central government.

    • neocon1 May 3, 2012 / 8:43 pm

      a good reason to dump RUBe i O for Allan West.

      • neocon1 May 3, 2012 / 8:47 pm

        “Bret Baier commits a common error,” he wrote in the response posted online at the Article 2 Superpac. “He assumes that ‘natural born citizen’ means the same thing as ‘citizen by birth.’ They are not the same. A citizen by birth is one who by constitutional or statutory provision is made or recognized as a citizen based upon where or to whom they were born.”

        He continued, “Under Mr. Baier’s view, a natural born citizen, then, is a citizen of a particular nation only by positive law. If a natural born citizen is defined by statute, as Mr. Baier claims they are, then by statute Congress can take away their natural born citizenship status, subject only to the 14th Amendment’s definition of citizenship by birth. And even that citizenship can be taken away by an amendment to the Constitution. Indeed, according to Mr. Baier, no one could have been eligible to be elected president UNLESS Congress passed a statute designating one’s citizenship by birth, or until the 14th amendment definition of citizenship by birth was ratified.”

        The issue has been in the news since Barack Obama campaigned for president in 2008. Questions about his eligibility have yet to be resolved, as he’s continued to conceal many personal documents.

        The birth documentation from Hawaii that Obama released from the White House last year has been described as a probable forgery by the investigators of Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s Cold Case Posse.

        And if it’s not fraudulent, there are critics who say it proves his ineligibility, as it lists Barack Obama Sr. as the father, who never was a U.S. citizen.

        Titus argues the father’s citizenship is important.

        “A natural born citizen, by contrast, is not dependent upon Congress passing a statute or the constitution being amended. A natural born citizen is a citizen of a specific nation by the law of nature of citizenship. The law of nature of national citizenship is written into the very nature of the universe of nation-states, and is universal as to place, uniform as to person, and fixed as to time. By definition the law governing natural born citizenship exists independent of any human power, legislative or otherwise. That is why ‘natural born citizenship’ is not defined in the Constitution. Such citizenship exists whether recognized by positive law or not. Such citizenship is God-given. To qualify one must be born to a father and a mother each of whom is a citizen of a particular state in order for the person to be ‘natural born’ citizen of that state,” he explained.

        Earlier, when Baier’s statement first was posted, Harvard-educated Jerome Corsi, author of “Where’s the Birth Certificate?,” said Baier wasn’t quite on track.

        “Baier incorrectly interprets that 8 USC Section 1401 was written to define ‘natural born citizen,’ as specified in Article 2, Section 1 of the Constitution,” he said. “The purpose of 8 USC Section 1401 is to define ‘nationals’ and ‘citizens’ of the United States ‘at birth.’”

        Corsi explained that citizens at birth are not “natural born citizens” under the meaning of Article 2, Section 1.

        “Nowhere in 8 USC Section 1401 does Congress make any mention of the term ‘natural born citizen’ or to Article 2, Section 1,” Corsi said.

        See all of those who have made statements about Obama’s eligibility, in The BIG LIST.

        Baier, who took over the time slot from Brit Hume in January 2009, previously was the network’s chief White House correspondent. Prior to that he was national security correspondent, reporting on defense, military and intelligence community issues. He has reported from Iraq 12 times and from Afghanistan 13 times.

        He said he posted the information because of the questions being raised about whether Rubio and Louisiana Republican Gov. Bobby Jindal qualify as “natural born citizens.”

        “This is obviously getting a lot of attention … so we think we should do a full piece on the show about it … and maybe have a panel of constitutional scholars … and legal experts to discuss this,” he wrote.

        “There obviously is a lot of confusion.”

        He said, “The brouhaha over President Obama’s birth certificate – has revealed a widespread ignorance of some of the basics of American citizenship.”

        Corsi agreed.

        “To novices, the distinction between ‘citizen at birth’ and ‘natural born citizen’ may be trivial. Under law, the distinction is meaningful and important. A mother who takes advantage of ‘birth tourism’ to fly from Turkey or China (or any other foreign country) to have a baby born in the United States might arguably give birth to a ‘citizen at birth,’ under the meaning of the 14th Amendment, extended by 8 USC Section 1401,” Corsi said.

        Join the billboard campaign that seeks the answer to “Where’s the Real Birth Certificate?”

        “But consider that the mother and child return to China and Turkey and raise the child. The child does not learn to speak English and does not learn anything about U.S. history or culture. Yet at age 35, the child returns to the U.S., spends the necessary years here to meet the residency requirements under Article 2, Section 1, and runs for president.”

        He continued, “‘Natural Born Citizen’ is a term of natural law — it specifies that a child must be born in the USA to two parents who were U.S. citizens at birth.”

      • dbschmidt May 3, 2012 / 9:41 pm

        There have been many attempts to backdoor the Constitution as to this matter including legislation for McCain and IIRC, there are provisions for a child born in the US to non-native born citizens with time requirements for the parents (father) to complete the naturalization process while the child has to declare allegiance solely to the United States and at age 18 the child becomes a “natural-born” or “native-born” citizen. This is that whole Chester Arthur thing.

        Chester Arthur (1881-1885), was born on October 5, 1829 in Fairfield, Vermont. His father, William Arthur, when eighteen years of age, emigrated from Co. Antrim, Ireland. His father did not become a naturalized U.S. citizen until 14 years after Chester Arthur’s birth. Chester Arthur’s mother, Malvina Stone, was born April 29, 1802 in Berkshire, Franklin, Vermont. Hence, Chester Arthur was born to a father who was not a U.S. citizen at the time of his birth. Because the citizenship of the wife merged into that of the husband, this made Arthur born to an alien mother and father. He was therefore born with dual citizenship of the United Kingdom and the United States.

        No one challenged Chester Arthur on the ground that even if he were born in the United States, he was still not an Article II “natural born Citizen” because of his father’s foreign citizenship at the time of his birth which also made his mother an alien. Hence, the Chester Arthur example is not and cannot be treated as any precedent since the nation was not aware of the truth about his father’s and mother’s non-U.S. citizenship status at the time of his birth.

        –Gregory J. Dehler, Chester Alan Arthur: The Life of a Gilded Age Politician and President

        But with 8 USC Section 1401 and 1403 (IIRC) the Congress has managed to really muddy the waters.

    • dbschmidt May 3, 2012 / 9:26 pm

      This also where I believe we need an answer soon because, as I understand this, at the time of the Constitutional Convention the common understanding would be that child would have to have been born within US boundaries with father being born here as well to display no loyalties other than to the United States. Lineage at the time was on the father’s side as the wife/mother got her citizenship from the husband/father. Everyone up to the point of the signing and showed no loyalties to the British were “grandfathered” in.

      This is also one of the very few uses of “natural-born” versus citizen, or even Citizen of the United States which was one of the requirements. As they say ‘What a sticky wicket’

      • EllenHancock May 7, 2012 / 4:42 pm

        The common understanding of the meaning of Natural Born Citizen at the time that the Constitution was written was that the term came from the common law and included every US citizen who was born in the USA, meaning that only naturalized citizens were the citizens who were excluded.

        “Under the longstanding English common-law principle of jus soli, persons born within the territory of the sovereign (other than children of enemy aliens or foreign diplomats) are citizens from birth. Thus, those persons born within the United States are “natural born citizens” and eligible to be President. Much less certain, however, is whether children born abroad of United States citizens are “natural born citizens” eligible to serve as President …”—- Edwin Meese, et al, THE HERITAGE GUIDE TO THE CONSTITUTION (2005) [Edwin Meese was Ronald Reagan’s attorney general, and the Heritage Foundation is a well-known Conservative organization.]

      • dbschmidt May 7, 2012 / 6:32 pm

        This is the meme you post and re-post in some effort to make it true. I know there are two parts to the requirement but let us have a look at your non-citizen parents. I will use a fictional character.

        A giant, flying Egg zooms from space to land in an American city where a carbon-based humanoid is “hatched” or born who we will call “Mork” who amazingly looks a lot like Robin Williams, just younger. Even though he says “Nanu Nanu” a great deal–you are saying that in a short 35-earth years–‘Mork’ whose parents are from ‘Ork’ which is about 25 million light years west of France is eligible to become President of these United States?

        I ask about those like Rubio because his parents had started the process but had not completed the process of becoming US citizens prior to his birth. They already had released their allegiance to all other countries and planets but had yet sworn allegiance to the US officially. Yet, I am afraid under the Constitution he is not eligible–let alone Mork from Ork.

    • EllenHancock May 7, 2012 / 11:44 pm

      Re: “it was a well known term in the 18th century, and didn’t need to be defined. ”

      We are in agreement. It was a very well known term because it came from the common law, and it was understood by all the lawyers to refer to citizenship due to the place of birth, jus soli. No American leader at the time of the writing of the Constitution ever used the term Natural Born Citizen to refer to parents. So, since Marco Rubio was born in the USA, he is eligible to be president.

      • EllenHancock May 8, 2012 / 10:15 am

        Re: “Mork’ whose parents are from ‘Ork’ which is about 25 million light years west of France is eligible to become President of these United States?”

        Yes. If “Mork” is human and was born on US soil. However, was “Mork” human? Although the rules on citizenship may be vague, citizenship is, of course, limited only to people.

        It is odd that conservatives, who basically say that we have the right to chose, and to make our own mistakes, and that government should not save us from the consequences of our mistakes, think that the founders wanted to save us from the threat of US-born children of foreigners. Their principle, a conservative one, is that it is up to us to save ourselves.

        Is there any reason I should not have the right to vote for “Mork”–if he was indeed human?

        You can get some idea of the writer’s attitude towards NOT saving us, and allowing us to make our own mistakes, in that the eligibility provisions for president do not bar criminals, atheists, former Tories or other groups that you can imagine. Why not? Because we are supposed to figure those things out for ourselves.

        Would you vote for a former criminal? I probably wouldn’t. But I am glad that I have the right to do so.

        Okay. So they are not trying to protect us.

        However, they do clearly distrust several groups of people, those who are under 35, who have not lived in the USA for 14 years, those who are not US citizens at all, and naturalized citizens. Anyone else? Only if Natural Born Citizen means “two citizen parents”–and there is no evidence of it, no letters or articles by any of the writers of the US Constitution or other US leaders at the time. And there are PLENTY of examples of them using the term Natural Born just the way that it was used in the common law.

        Do you think that the US-born child of a foreigner is less likely to be reliable than the US-born child of a US citizen? We have the evidence that literally tens of millions of the children of foreigners fought and died for this country in two World Wars and paid their taxes and raised their children. At least THREE members of the US Supreme Court had foreign parents, Alito, Scalia and Chief Justice Roberts. Do you think that they would vote for the idea that the US-born children of foreigners are not as natural born as the US-born children of US citizens?

        Do you think that they would believe that George Washington, Alexander Hamilton and Ben Franklin, who had fought for the principle that “all men are created equal”–would secretly believe that the US-born children of foreigners are not as good as the US-born children of US citizens???

        OF COURSE, if the founders or other Americans at the time had actually said “two citizen parents” or “we will follow Vattel,” that would be different. But there is not a single quotation showing that they thought anything like that.

      • Retired Spook May 8, 2012 / 11:30 am

        Do you think that the US-born child of a foreigner is less likely to be reliable than the US-born child of a US citizen?

        I’m glad you asked that question, Ellen, because Obama is the poster child for an answer in the affirmative, from promising to “fundamentally transform the United States of America” (from a representative republic into what?), to surrounding himself with leftist radicals, Socialists and Marxists, and members of the Muslim Brotherhood.

  2. Cluster May 3, 2012 / 9:35 pm

    You’re absolutely right Spook, and to be honest, I have never taken this issue that seriously. I couldn’t have cared less about Obama’s birth certificate in the beginning, thinking it was a real easy issue for Obama to clear up. It was only when he wasn’t forthcoming with the information that I became curious. Anyway it’s still not an issue, I am convinced Obama was born here and it’s water under the bridge. But going forward it will be important to tighten up the standards, but I do have a question – was Rubio born here? If that is the case, then considering our current interpretation of the fourteenth amendment, which I disagree with, Rubio can be legally eligible. If you haven’t noticed, I am in full support of Rubio for VP

    • Retired Spook May 4, 2012 / 8:21 am

      Cluster,

      As you also know, I like Rubio too. Quite frankly, I never thought too much about the term “natural born citizen” until the Obama eligibility issue came up. I wouldn’t expect bloggers like us to know much about it, but it troubles me a great deal that the people whom we elect and pay to run our government apparently don’t know, and, more importantly, don’t care. If they’re going to ignore the basic rules, then at least have the guts to change the rules.

      • Cluster May 4, 2012 / 8:36 am

        Agreed.

      • neocon1 May 4, 2012 / 8:40 am

        Spook
        I liked rubio until I contacted him about the Zimmerman case.
        He was clueless about what was happening, and the fact there was a hit put out against one of Fla’s citizens by a radical hate-terrorist group.
        He sounded more like al and jesse than a US Senator……..Im DONE with that RUBE-io

        Cluster
        the BC is meaningless and a smoke screen, by Law Uboma was a dual British and US citizen at birth because of his foreign father,
        Therefore ineligible.

        like everything else about this kenyan/manchurian it is a lie.We have been reduced to cowering wimps in the corner by the threats to burn our citys at the mention of any slight real or perceived to our minorities.
        Roving mobs, beatings, gasoline thrown on children set afire, and shootings are the new order of the day In America all in the name of “justice” for a felonious thug.

        Just like the zimmeman case of false prosecution, persecution, God forbid this cretin was found ineligible to run for a second term or impeached for his crimes.

      • neocon1 May 4, 2012 / 9:26 am

        spook

        RUBE io West!

    • Amazona May 4, 2012 / 9:11 am

      Cluster, I too thought the Obama issue lay in where he was born, and I dismissed the fuss about “natural born” and his father’s citizenship status until someone finally sent me some of the law surrounding the term and I realized that “natural born” is NOT the same as “native born”.

      I had always wondered about what I thought was clumsy phrasing in the Constitution, which is otherwise quite concise and well-written, in the use of the odd term “natural born”. But when I got nudged into doing some research I learned that “natural born” was, as Spook has stated, a term so commonly used and understood in the era that it needed no further definition, and that it was, in fact, a very concise and specific term used for a very concise and specific type of citizenship–that is, to describe someone whose citizenship was based on that of his father.

      The more I read, the more I believe that the intent of the framers was to limit the position of President—-and, by extension, that of VP—-to people whose loyalty to the United States could not be affected by a possibly conflicting loyalty of their fathers.

      And I see the problem writ large, now, as I see our current President so obviously influenced by the politics of his own father, who was not only NOT a U.S. citizen but who harbored animosity toward the United States and allegiance to a political system that is in direct contradiction to our Constitutional system.

      As for Rubio, I have liked him for years, and while I share neo’s disgust at his knee-jerk acceptance of the false accounts of the Zimmerman case, and his failure to provide leadership there, I also know that any candidate is going to have mistakes in his background and that would not be be deal-breaker for me if he were to admit his error.

      But I insist on consistency, and adherence to the Constitution, and I am more and more of the belief that the Constitution says, quite clearly in the language of the time, that the positions of President and Vice President are limited to people whose parents were citizens at the time of their birth.

      • dbschmidt May 4, 2012 / 9:26 am

        Still looking, but I think that to be a natural-born citizen it requires that the person be born within the United States and their father be a ‘Citizen of the United States’ (naturalized or otherwise and meeting residency requirements) by the time of his/her 18th birthday.

        Then again, I will also have to see how Congress has tried to alter the “natural-born” clause with various attempts to circumvent the Constitutional method of the amendment process over the years.

      • Amazona May 4, 2012 / 9:29 am

        I also think that the Republican Party has to take steps to get a firm legal ruling on this. With global travel so easy and common, we are going to be faced with this problem over and over again. In just six years, we have seen three people named as possible Presidential candidates, at that time or in the future—Barack Obama, Marco Rubio, and Bobby Jindal—-and none of them meet the criterion of “natural born citizen” according to the definition of the term at the time the term was purposely placed in the Constitution.

        The Democratic Party, so in love with its potential candidate, chose to move forward with Obama, choosing to attack any who brought up the issue rather than address it legally.

        I think the GOP has to be very careful to not make the same mistake, and must take whatever steps are necessary to avoid promoting a candidate, no matter how exciting, without first establishing his eligibility.

        The Democratic Party not only refused to deal with the issue, it used it as part of its Divide and Conquer strategy to create, define and then isolate groups of Americans, and then attack them individually, either as a party or through surrogates. The damage done to the social and moral fabric of this nation by the callous manipulation of isolated groups of people is incredible, and will take far longer to heal than the economic damage of Leftist agendas.

        Rather than view people asking questions about “natural born citizen” terminology as good citizens interested in preserving Constitutional law, the Left has labeled them with scornful names and encouraged attacks on them, just as it has isolated other groups, such as black people, Hispanics, union members, women, students and Constitutional Conservative groups such as the TEA Party, and then tried to turn these groups against each other. To paraphrase a Leftist poster here yesterday, it has been nothing more than politics above the welfare of the nation.

        I am hoping that by focusing such an effort to get a legal and Constitutional definition of the term “natural born citizen” regarding people in its own party, the GOP can accomplish what should have been done six years ago, without the rancor that would have occurred then if one party had made the inquiry regarding someone of the other party.

      • neocon1 May 4, 2012 / 9:30 am

        “‘Natural Born Citizen’ is a term of natural law — it specifies that a child must be born in the USA to two parents who were U.S. citizens at birth.”

      • Amazona May 4, 2012 / 9:34 am

        db, you lost me here. You say “…..born within the United States and their father be a ‘Citizen of the United States’ (naturalized or otherwise and meeting residency requirements) by the time of his/her 18th birthday.”

        OK, I can see the “born in the USA” thing, though I believe it would have to U.S controlled land beyond the boundaries of the USA, as it would be wrong to exclude children born to citizens serving their nation abroad, and I think it might even already cover that.

        Where you lost me is that “…by the time of his/her 18th birthday” I don’t remember reading such an age requirement, and don’t know if you mean the father has until the time his son or daughter reaches the age of 18 to become a citizen, or what ?????

        I have always read the natural law as saying “citizen at the time of birth” of the child. What did I miss?

      • Amazona May 4, 2012 / 9:36 am

        now neo is saying that the parents also have to have been citizens at the time of THEIR birth. I did not understand the law to say this, only that the parents (or father) have to have been citizens at the time of the birth of the child, thereby conveying natural born citizenship upon the child.

      • Amazona May 4, 2012 / 9:39 am

        But I see that I mistakenly used the same phrase in my own post. I can see why and how this can become so tangled up.

        What I meant, and did not say clearly, is that at the time of their own births, children can only be considered natural born citizens if their parents are citizens at the time of those births.

        My understanding is that the parents can be naturalized citizens, but that this process must be completed and they must already be citizens by the time their children are born, if the children are to be considered “natural born” citizens in their own right.

      • Retired Spook May 4, 2012 / 9:42 am

        DB,

        The Naturalization Act of 1790 allowed for offspring of U.S. citizens to be considered “natural born citizens” regardless of where they were born. What I haven’t been able to determine is whether or not that aspect of immigration and citizenship law was carried forward through subsequent changes, The NA of 1790 was repealed and replaced with the NA of 1795, and again in 1798 and again in 1802, and so on. IIRC, however, it was that aspect of the law that Congress used to resolve whether or not McCain was a natural born citizen.

        And speaking of McCain, is not that the ultimate irony that Congress actually had to sign off on his citizenship, but not on Obama’s?

      • J. R. Babcock May 4, 2012 / 9:53 am

        And speaking of McCain, is not that the ultimate irony that Congress actually had to sign off on his citizenship, but not on Obama’s?

        Spook, if you stop to think about it, that is one of the basic differences between Republicans and Democrats. Not sayin’ it’s a 100% universal truth, but Republicans generally see rules as being there for a reason, while Democrats (at least in my lifetime) have, more often than not, treated rules as obstacles to be ignored when they get in the way of their agenda.

      • dbschmidt May 4, 2012 / 10:01 am

        I am back on that Chester Arthur issue (which I read about) and aside from burning all of his documentation before his death (that days version of sealing?) — there was a two-fold issue as Arther was born in the US to an American mother but his father did not immigrate until he was 18 and did not become naturalized until 14 years later.

        All of this was hidden from the public and is why he was not eligible. Because his father, at the time of his 18th birthday still held alliance to Britain it made both him and his mother of dual-loyalty–to the US and Britain.

        I would have to do some research but when I said the US I was including the continental US, all of its territories, and the children those parents of US Citizenship who had children while living or serving abroad.

      • Retired Spook May 4, 2012 / 10:03 am

        Then again, I will also have to see how Congress has tried to alter the “natural-born” clause with various attempts to circumvent the Constitutional method of the amendment process over the years.

        Thanks for reminding me, DB. I don’t have time to research it right now, but my recollection is that there were a number of attempts behind the scenes by Democrats in the 3 or 4 years leading up to the 2008 election to define “natural born citizen” in such a way as to pave the way for Obama. None of them succeeded, so they just ignored the rule.

      • dbschmidt May 4, 2012 / 10:08 am

        Now I am confusing myself. I went back and looked and Arthur was not eligible because his farther was not a ‘Citizen of the United States’ at the time of Chester’s birth. My bad. So we are back to the sticky wicket of Rubio and Jindal for starters.

      • Amazona May 4, 2012 / 10:57 am

        It is also believed that Arthur was actually born in Canada, just to further confuse the issue.

      • Retired Spook May 4, 2012 / 11:47 am

        OK, this is what I was referring to earlier WRT Donk efforts to “fix” the natural born citizen problem prior to the 2008 election:

        Congress made eight different attempts to alter our U.S. Constitution concerning the Natural Born Citizenship Clause according to research by Carl Gallups proving they knew Barack Obama lacked presidential eligibility prior to the 2008 election!

        If there was no problem for Obama why would these people do this? There had never been a question of Natural Born Citizenship in our lifetimes! Why fix what wasn’t broken?

        The youtube ……..reveal a secret, closed door meeting was held with eight Supreme Court Justices just prior to the January 2009 Inauguration sent our other courts an unspoken message to don’t go there. Plaintiff attorneys with cases were pending at the time were not allowed into this meeting! Only Justice Samuel Allito declined…….

        “Gallups video, are the eight different attempts to amend our Constitution…. Obama’s eligibility questions: 1 On June 11, 2003: House Joint Resolution # 59, introduced by Rep. Vic Snyder (D-AR), failed to obtain a vote; it sought to allow non-natural born U.S. citizens, “but who have been citizens of the U.S. for at least 35 years,” to serve as President or Vice President.

        8. On Feb. 28, 2008, Sen. Claire McCaskill, (D-MO) attempted to add language onto SB 2678, Children of the Military Families Natural Born Citizen Act, to again weaken the NBC clause.

        Co-sponsors of the failed legislation were Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama!. By the way, was not the John McCain eligibility hearing really a head fake to draw attention away from the Democrats’ elephant in the room?

        “This is (a) 100 times worse situation (than Watergate); this is a crime against the Constitution and all the people of the U.S. Obama is not who he says he is, ” says Charles Kerckner whose eligibility lawsuit was turned down by our Supreme Court.

      • dbschmidt May 5, 2012 / 7:37 pm

        With Rubio as a possible VP selection–wondering if the fact that Rubio’s parents were in the process of naturalization and therefore no longer swore “allegiance to any foreign sovereignty” other than the United States itself–would this move Rubio from native-born to natural-born?

        -David S.

        [emphasis mine]
        from http://www.theobamafile.com/ObamaNaturalBorn.htm

        John Bingham
        Rep. John Bingham of Ohio, considered the father of the Fourteenth Amendment, confirms that understanding and the construction the framers used in regards to birthright and jurisdiction while speaking on civil rights of citizens in the House on March 9, 1866:

        ” … I find no fault with the introductory clause [S 61 Bill], which is simply declaratory of what is written in the Constitution, that every human being born within the jurisdiction of the United States of parents not owing allegiance to any foreign sovereignty is, in the language of your Constitution itself, a natural born citizen…”

      • Donald Clemens May 9, 2012 / 4:44 pm

        What is the test for a “natural born citizen”? The only test I would rely on, before DNA testing, would be that we know who the mother is. Putting a man’s name on the birth cirtificate may not have much true meaning.

  3. J. R. Babcock May 4, 2012 / 12:05 pm

    It would seem to me that there are 2 ways to resolve this issue: (1) Someone whose eligibility is in question could petition a Federal Court to rule on his or her eligibility with the likelihood that the case would eventually end up in the Supreme Court; or (2) Congress could pass a constitutional amendment changing the language of Article II, Section 1 to either “native born” or simply to “U.S. citizen”.

    • Amazona May 4, 2012 / 12:07 pm

      Sorry, JR, but Congress can’t pass amendments.

      • J. R. Babcock May 4, 2012 / 12:26 pm

        Amazona,

        I guess technically you are correct. There are two ways that a constitutional amendment can come about: through Congressional action or through a constitutional convention. Every amendment so far has originated in the Congress where it must pass 2/3 of both houses. So when I stated that Congress could pass a constitutional amendment, I should have clarified that that was just the first step in the process.

      • Amazona May 4, 2012 / 8:35 pm

        Yes, there are two ways an amendment can be presented to the citizenry for a vote—through Congress or through a Constitutional convention.

      • Amazona May 5, 2012 / 1:26 pm

        Proposal by convention of states, ratification by state conventions (never used)
        Proposal by convention of states, ratification by state legislatures (never used)
        Proposal by Congress, ratification by state conventions (used once)
        Proposal by Congress, ratification by state legislatures (used all other times)

        However, at least with the amendments that have been proposed in my lifetime, each state voted on whether or not the people approved of the amendment, and if the amendment did not get the popular vote it was not ratified by the state legislature.

        In any case, Congress can only propose an amendment, but not pass it. Ratification is required for all avenues of proposal.

  4. EllenHancock May 4, 2012 / 1:48 pm

    THE meaning of Natural Born refers to the place of birth, not to the parents of a US-born citizen. ALL US born citizens are Natural Born Citizens. The only kind of a US citizen who is not Natural Born is a naturalized citizen.

    “Under the longstanding English common-law principle of jus soli, persons born within the territory of the sovereign (other than children of enemy aliens or foreign diplomats) are citizens from birth. Thus, those persons born within the United States are “natural born citizens” and eligible to be President. Much less certain, however, is whether children born abroad of United States citizens are “natural born citizens” eligible to serve as President …”—- Edwin Meese, et al, THE HERITAGE GUIDE TO THE CONSTITUTION (2005) [Edwin Meese was Ronald Reagan’s attorney general, and the Heritage Foundation is a well-known Conservative organization.]

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Natural-born-citizen_clause

    • Retired Spook May 4, 2012 / 2:11 pm

      THE meaning of Natural Born refers to the place of birth, not to the parents of a US-born citizen. ALL US born citizens are Natural Born Citizens. The only kind of a US citizen who is not Natural Born is a naturalized citizen.

      Sorry, Ellen; there is very little historical evidence that supports your statement, Wikipedia and Ed Meese notwithstanding.

      • EllenHancock May 4, 2012 / 3:10 pm

        Four state courts and one federal court have now ruled specifically on Obama that the meaning of Natural Born Citizen comes from the common law and includes all US citizens born in the country, as settled by the US Supreme Court in the Wong Kim Ark case. And there have also been several other rulings applying to other US-born children of foreigners such as:

        Mustata v. US Dept. of Justice, 179 F.3d 1017 (6th Cir. 1999) (children born in US to two Romanian citizens described as “natural born citizens” of the US):

        “Petitioners Marian and Lenuta Mustata are citizens of Romania. At the time of their petition, they resided in Michigan with their two minor children, who are natural born citizens of the United States.”

        Diaz-Salazar v. INS, 700 F.2d 1156 (7th Cir. 1983) (child born in US to Mexican citizen is “natural born citizen” of US):

        “Petitioner, Sebastian Diaz-Salazar, entered the United States illegally [from Mexico] in 1974 and has been living and working in Chicago since that time. *** The relevant facts which have been placed before the INS, BIA, and this court can be summarized as follows: The petitioner has a wife and two children under the age of three in Chicago; the children are natural-born citizens of the United States.”

        Nwankpa v. Kissinger, 376 F. Supp. 122 (M.D. Ala. 1974) (child born in US to two Biafra citizens described as “natural born citizen” of the US):

        “The Plaintiff was a native of Biafra, now a part of the Republic of Nigeria. His wife and two older children are also natives of that country, but his third child, a daughter, is a natural-born citizen of the United States.”

        Among the four state court rulings and one federal ruling on Obama there was Ankeny v. Gov State of Indiana, which ruled:

        “Based upon the language of Article II, Section 1, Clause 4 and the guidance provided by Wong Kim Ark, we conclude that persons born within the borders of the United States are ‘natural born citizens’ for Article II, Section 1 purposes, regardless of the citizenship of their parents.”

        That was appealed once, to the Supreme Court of Indiana, which turned down the case, leaving that decision standing.

        Moreover, birthers and two-fers attempted to convince the members of the US Electoral College to change their votes to vote against Obama because they claimed that he was born out of the country, or, if not, then because his father was not a US citizen. And not one of them changed her or his vote. The electoral vote was exactly the same as in the general election. You’d think that if there really were a Constitutional requirement that a Natural Born Citizen requires two citizen parents, at least one member of the Electoral College would have changed her or his vote. The same, of course, applies to the US Congress, which confirmed Obama’s election unanimously. So not one of the 535 members thought that two citizen parents are required.

        The courts, the US Supreme Court (in the Wong Kim Ark case), the Electoral College, the US Congress, and such conservative legal scholars as Meese all hold that the meaning of Natural Born Citizen comes from the common law and includes every US citizen born in the USA.

      • Retired Spook May 4, 2012 / 3:32 pm

        Ellen,

        In the Diaz-Salazar v. INS, 700 F.2d 1156 (7th Cir. 1983) case, the children are referred to as “natural born citizens” once, and simply as “citizens” close to a dozen times. I suspect the first description was an error.

        You’re welcome to go back through the writings of the Founders, but I think you’ll be hard-pressed to find anything to support your contentions.

      • neocon1 May 4, 2012 / 3:44 pm

        spook

        the videos are very informative and explain why ellen forker flunked 3rd grade American natl govt.

      • neocon1 May 4, 2012 / 4:35 pm

        John Jay — The First Chief Justice Of The U.S. Supreme Court
        The term natural born citizen was first codified in writing in colonial reference books in 1758 in the legal reference book “Law of Nations.”

        That legal reference book was used by John Jay, who later went on to become the first Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court. Jay had the clause inserted into the Constitution via a letter he wrote to George Washington, the leader of the Constitutional Convention. Jay was considered the outstanding legal scholar of his time and he was the one is responsible for inserting that term into the U. S. Constitution, which was derived from the Law of Nations.

        John Jay wrote: “Permit me to hint, whether it would be wise and reasonable to provide a strong check to the admission of Foreigners into the administration of our national Government; and to declare expressly that the Commander in Chief of the American army shall not be given to nor devolve on, any but a natural born Citizen.”

      • Fredrick Schwartz, D.S.V.J., O.Q.H. [Journ.] May 5, 2012 / 7:34 am

        Amazona, Rubio will never be president and Jindal will never be president. They both could be legally but they will never get the chance because by the time the GOP comes back to the center it will be too late for them. The next GOP president is some kid who’s 13 right now and is sick of his father and mother watching FOX News and listening to Rush on car rides. That’s enough to make anyone a moderate. See you in 40 years!

      • dbschmidt May 5, 2012 / 9:19 am

        This is where a pet-peeve of mine comes into play as the US Progressive movement (from the British Fabian Society) under President Wilson changed the Constitution law structure to what we have today commonly called case law where terms can be redefined. Judge shopping and BS “arguments” like Ellen’s can stacked onto of one another until the original meaning has no real bearing any longer.

        Since the Constitution is the highest law in the land (after Nature’s law)–if there is no worries as to the meaning of “natural-born” then it is time to route this to the SCOTUS and have them decide based on the original intent what the differences are between the terms.

      • Amazona May 5, 2012 / 1:05 pm

        Freddy, thanks so much for the lesson in Magical Thinking.

        If we get really really good at it, and let it guide and define our very lives, maybe WE can become Lefties, too!

        Till then, stuck with reality, all we can do is look at people deeply invested in role-playing, pretending to be what they are not, inventing elaborate titles and credentials, posturing as star-born beings and/or “demons”, living in Hell, and part of a hive, and try not to laugh out loud at the utter silliness of it all—knowing that the underlying pathology is really quite sad, and not the stuff of humor.

      • Ricorun May 14, 2012 / 12:28 am

        Sorry, Ellen; there is very little historical evidence that supports your statement, Wikipedia and Ed Meese notwithstanding.

        If you read Justice Gray’s majority opinion in the US v Wong Kim Ark case in it’s entirety (you, Spook, supplied the link so I’m sure you can find it — and don’t read just the syllabus, but the entire opinion), the historical evidence is there in abundance. His opinion first establishes the link between British common law and subsequent US law, then steps you through the chronology from colonial times, through the transition of sovereignty from the crown to the newly established US republic, and into subsequent SC opinions and Congressional acts that bore upon the issue of citizenship. Along the way, and with specific respect to how common law may have influenced the framers’ thinking, he mentions Chief Justice Waite, in Minor v. Happersett, in which Waite said, “At common law, with the nomenclature of which the framers of the Constitution were familiar, it was never doubted that all children, born in a country of parents who were its citizens, became themselves, upon their birth, citizens also. These were natives, or natural-born citizens, as distinguished from aliens or foreigners.” This is certainly the definition you (among others) champion (well, except for the fact that even John McCain might not qualify under that definition; more about that later). But as the rest of Gray’s opinion indicates, Waite’s opinion is not typical. Rather, the overwhelming bulk of the evidence Gray presents is consistent with the notion that individuals born on US soil are, in fact, natural born US citizens, regardless of the citizenship of their parents.

        That is not to say citizens other than those who are native born cannot also be considered “natural born”. Say John McCain possessed all his other life-long credentials, but let’s say it was an established fact that he was born in a hospital under Panamanian jurisdiction… I just can’t imagine disqualifying him because of that ridiculous glitch vis-a-vis Chief Justice Waite’s stated opinion. That would be ridiculous. As it turns out, Waite acknowledged that his opinion on the matter had no bearing on the case at hand. Likewise, he also acknowledged that other authorities’ opinions differ from his. But either way it was a moot point because the notion of what constitutes a “natural born citizen” is not what the court was deciding upon in the case in front of them.

        Sometimes it’s maddening, but the reality is that the SC limits themselves to the case at hand as much as they can. That said, virtually all of the actual statutes and higher court decisions accruing from the time since the US Constitution was ratified to the present have established two broad categories of citizenship. Unfortunately, those two categories weren’t “natural born” vs “non-natural born”, but rather “native” vs. “naturalized”.

        So, because the categories of citizenship at issue are not entirely convergent, there may be a little wiggle room. But that wiggle room is constrained by the fact that stare decisis, although not totally immutable, is a very important principle in American jurisprudence. And in that respect, majority opinions offered by high courts in support of the decisions they make carry considerably more weight than opinions offered by run-of-the-mill lawyers like Donofrio and Apuzzo, or even well-regarded legal scholars like Tribe and Olson (who provided a seminal brief to Congress as to why McCain was qualified to be president). Given that, I think you will find that trying to make the concept of “natural born” MORE restrictive than “native born” is going to be very much an uphill slog. In fact, one might characterize it as “activist”, lol!

        Still, it’s not something that has been decided beyond all doubt, so have at it. I just think you’ll probably be disappointed. And I certainly wouldn’t allow it to dissuade me in supporting either Jindal or Rubio as potential candidates.

    • neocon1 May 4, 2012 / 3:04 pm

      ellen
      go back to 3rd grade American history.

      • neocon1 May 4, 2012 / 3:11 pm

        Ama

        it read that way but that is not the case as I understand it.
        here is a great video…..

      • EllenHancock May 4, 2012 / 3:12 pm

        Third grade American history says that the meaning of Natural Born Citizen comes from the common law and includes all US citizens born in the USA. It also says that the only kind of a US citizen who is not natural born is a naturalized US citizen.

      • neocon1 May 4, 2012 / 3:18 pm

        another good video…..

      • neocon1 May 4, 2012 / 3:40 pm

        ellen

        BS

      • neocon1 May 4, 2012 / 3:43 pm

        ellen forker

        all US citizens born in the country, as settled by the US Supreme Court in the Wong Kim Ark case. And there have also been several other rulings applying to other US-born children of foreigners such as:

        WRONG!!!

      • EllenHancock May 4, 2012 / 4:37 pm

        Here are some history books and others:

        Smith’s quarto, or second book in geography: A concise and … –

        Roswell Chamberlain Smith – 1848 –

        “No person can be elected President unless he be thirty-five years of age, or more, and a native born citizen of the United States. The President is commander-in-chief of the army and navy, and of the militia, when in actual service of ..”

        Constitution Translated for Kids – Page 34

        Cathy Travis – 2008 –

        “Congress picks the time for choosing electors, and the day they will vote. It will be the same day in all states. The President must be born in the United States (or to US citizens), be thirty-five years old, and have lived in the …”

        If I Ran for President

        Catherine Stier – 2008

        “A person must be thirty-five years old, so a kid really couldn’t be president. Also, a person running for president must be a citizen who was born in the United States and has lived here for at least fourteen years. That’s it! …”

        Elements of Civil Government –

        California California Stat Carey Jones –

        “Qualifications for President. — In order that a person may be eligible to the Presidency, he must be a native born citizen, at least thirty-five years of age, and a resident within the United States for fourteen years.1 The salary of …”

        Our GOVT – Page 5

        Ellen Bari – 2005 – Preview
        The president is elected to serve for four years. The president has many different jobs. The president must be at least thirty-five years old. He or she must be a citizen who was born in the United States. He or she must have lived in …books.google.com

        The President and the Executive Branch – Page 16

        Tracie Egan – 2003 – 32 pages – Preview
        The President and the Executive Branch Candidates for the presidency must be at least thirty-five years old, and they also must have been born in the United States and have lived here for at least fourteen years. …books.google.com

        Adventures in Time and Place

        James A. Banks, Barry K. Beyer, Gloria Contreras – 2000 – Snippet view
        To be President, a person must be a citizen born in the United States, at least 35 years old, and have lived in the United States for at least 14 years. 6. If the President leaves office for any reason

        Adventures in Time and Place

      • neocon1 May 4, 2012 / 4:51 pm

        No person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President; neither shall any Person be eligible to that Office who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty-five Years, and been fourteen Years a Resident within the United States.

      • Retired Spook May 4, 2012 / 4:51 pm

        Ellen,

        All that virtually everything you’ve written reflects is the extent to which Progressives have attempted to re-write history, going back at least a century. Sorry, but re-writes of history aren’t valid, no matter how much you want them to be.

      • neocon1 May 4, 2012 / 4:55 pm

        n the official copies of the THIRD U.S. Congress (1795) margin notes state “Former act repealed. 1790. ch. 3.” referencing the FIRST U.S. Congress (1790).

        Document ONE: the actual text of the THIRD CONGRESS in 1795 states, “…children of citizens [plural, i.e. two parents] of the United States…shall be considered citizens of the United States; Provided That the right of citizenship shall not descend to persons, whose fathers have never been resident in the United States…” (THIRD CONGRESS Sess. II. Ch.21. 1795, Approved January 29, 1795, pp. 414-415. Document margin note: “How children shall obtain citizenship through their parents” Document margin note: “Former Act repealed 1790 ch.3.”) See Attachment A.

        Document TWO: the actual text of the FIRST CONGRESS in 1790 states, “…children of citizens (NB: plural, i.e. two parents) of the United States…shall be considered as natural born citizens of the United States; Provided That the right of citizenship shall not descend to persons, whose fathers have never been resident in the United States…” (FIRST CONGRESS Sess. II Ch.4 1790, Approved March 26, 1790, pp. 103-104. Document margin note: “Their children residing here, deemed citizens.” Document margin note: “Also, children of citizens born beyond sea, & c. Exceptions.”) See Attachment B.

        Document THREE: the actual text of the Constitution from the Continental Congress and the Constitutional Convention, 1774-1789, and subsequent official printings, of the Constitution of the United States of American: Article II Section 1 Clause 5 states:

        “No person, except a natural born citizen, or a citizen of the United States at the time of the adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the office of President…” (See Attachment C)

        Source
        The Venus, 12 U.S. 8 Cranch 253 253 (1814)

      • neocon1 May 4, 2012 / 4:56 pm

        ellen forker = alinsky 101

      • neocon1 May 4, 2012 / 5:02 pm

        The Son Of A Temporary Resident….(.a COMMUNIST temporary resident at that.)

        Mary C. Curtis reports law professor James Chen, dean of the University of Louisville Brandeis School of Law, has worked for both Barack Obama and U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, though not at the same time.

        He offered a unique perspective on the subject of the Obama presidency and race at a gathered in Louisville, Ky.

        Chen, who served on the Harvard Law Review when Obama was its first black president, and then went on to clerk for Thomas, said of the two men, “if you had to say which person’s life story is closer to the absolute center of the African American experience, hands down, it’s Clarence Thomas.” The only black Supreme Court justice now on the court, he noted, was a product of the deep, rural South, speaks Gullah and is “descended of the longest line of the darkest-skinned, least-regarded members of that community.”

        When you look at the profile of the first African American president of the United States, Chen said, you see he’s the son of a temporary resident, was born in Hawaii, the least demographically typical of American states, and has lived abroad.

        “The son of a temporary resident.”

        Interesting that it’s now getting easier to come right out with it.

      • EllenHancock May 4, 2012 / 7:53 pm

        Only crazy people would attempt to convince based on their faulty recollection of what their teacher told them in the third grade when a former CONSERVATIVE Attorney General of the United States, four state and one federal court, and the US Supreme Court in the Wong Kim Ark case says that the meaning of Natural Born includes all US citizens born in the USA.

        As the the Naturalization Act that you have quoted SELECTIVELY, it adds the children of two US citizens born abroad to the existing definition of Natural Born. The existing definition of Natural Born include only the US citizens born in the USA, and that was regardless of the citizenship of their parents. There is no law, and no statement by any of the founders that two citizen parents are required to make a Natural Born citizen.

        As for this being a new concept. In fact it is very old. Here is the actual use of the term Natural Born by an American writer in 1803:

        “Prior to the adoption of the constitution, the people inhabiting the different states might be divided into two classes: natural born citizens, or those born within the state, and aliens, or such as were born out of it. The first, by the birth-right, became entitled to all the privileges of citizens; the second, were entitled to none, but such as were held out and given by the laws of the respective states prior to their emigration.”

        St. George Tucker, View of the Constitution of the United States with Selected Writings [1803]

        St. George Tucker was an officer in the American Revolutionary Army, a Professor of Law, justice of the Supreme Court of Virginia, judge of the Federal District Court for Virginia by appointment of President James Madison, progenitor of a long line of jurists and scholars, and stepfather of John Randolph of Roanoke.

        Natural born citizens meant “those born in a state.”

        And here is how it was used in 1829:

        “Therefore every person born within the United States, its territories or districts, whether the parents are citizens or aliens, is a natural born citizen in the sense of the Constitution, and entitled to all the rights and privileges appertaining to that capacity.”—William Rawle, A VIEW OF THE CONSTITUTION OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. 2d ed. (1829)

      • Majordomo Pain May 4, 2012 / 8:25 pm

        Game, set and match to Ellen.

      • Amazona May 4, 2012 / 8:46 pm

        No, pain, it is way too early to declare victory, though now that I think of it fact has seldom had much to do with anything you declare.

        If this issue were simple, we would not have to be discussing it. The biggest problem I see is the use of a term assumed to be understood, but which has not been used for so long that its understood meaning in the context in which it was used is now no longer clear.

        Quoting oversimplified Constitution lessons for children which misstate the facts is hardly proof, much less “game set and match”.

        It is clear that Ellen and the major pain have both neglected to study the historical references which support the concept that “natural born” is a status conferred by the citizenship of the father.
        There is far more of this than the examples they have produced.

        It’s easy to confuse “natural born” and “native born”. I did it myself. But once you have studied the history of the term and use of it at the time the Constitution was written, the confusion fades away, and all that is left is assorted commentary by people who are also confusing the two.

        I do find it interesting that the hellfire demon hive group is so eager to have Rubio and/or Jindal as President of the United States. I kind of expected that now that their idol has slipped past the wire without a decision on the term, they would be happy to have it defined in a way that limits the conservative choices, especially when it would disqualify two such stellar contenders.

        But thanks, pain, for yet another example of the superficiality of your “thinking” and the ease with which you are convinced of what you already want to believe.

      • Amazona May 4, 2012 / 9:26 pm

        As a human being, who is an individual, who is not dead, who is not part of a hive, who lives on Earth, who has not traveled in the solar system, who actually reads and understands political history, who has made a political choice based on intellect instead of emotion, I say that when it comes to anything I say vs anything the major pain says it IS game set and match, for me.

        “We, Ourselves, of The Collective, were created by Gota Wasdini on Marheep [ 4 a Alpha Centauri] 105 years ago as the Petrific Artificial Intelligence Network. At creation We were only ~1 000 000 units of character. Today We are a swarm of well over 30 000 trillion components not including several billion Meditators. We exist to serve Sentience and defend against the evils of Theocracy. ”

      • Amazona May 4, 2012 / 11:10 pm

        To make her “point” Ellen has to misquote the Constitution. Not interpret it, but completely misquote it.

        Her post makes me remember dolf’s comment from a couple of years ago, that if you change the words in a book, it means something different.

        She can quote the term “native born” all day long, but it is the term “natural born” that is at issue. Funny, isn’t it, how she just skips over that little detail?

      • Amazona May 4, 2012 / 11:22 pm

        Ellen points out the obvious–that the founders did not define the term “natural born citizen”.

        She complains “There is no law, and no statement by any of the founders that two citizen parents are required to make a Natural Born citizen.”

        There are 4543 words in the original, unamended Constitution, including the signatures. The Declaration has 1458 words. How many of these words are defined or explained? How many of the laws set forth in either document are accompanied by accessory laws supporting the established laws?

        As Spook commented, the word “marriage” did not need to be defined or explained until recently. At the time the Constitution was written, the term was obviously quite clearly understood.

      • Retired Spook May 4, 2012 / 11:37 pm

        and the US Supreme Court in the Wong Kim Ark case says that the meaning of Natural Born includes all US citizens born in the USA.

        Ellen, that is simply a bald-faced lie. Neither the term “natural-born” (hyphenated) nor the term “natural born” (two words) appear anywhere in the Supreme Court syllabus of the Wong Kim Ark case, and Justice Gray in writing the majority opinion used the phrase only once:

        The child of an alien, if born in the country, is as much a citizen as the natural born child of a citizen, and by operation of the same principle.

        Note Justice Gray DID NOT SAY that a child of an alien born in the country IS a natural born citizen.

      • dbschmidt May 5, 2012 / 9:46 am

        [reposted]

        This is where a pet-peeve of mine comes into play as the US Progressive movement (from the British Fabian Society) under President Wilson changed the Constitution law structure to what we have today commonly called case law where terms can be redefined. Judge shopping and BS “arguments” like Ellen’s can stacked onto of one another until the original meaning has no real bearing any longer.

        Since the Constitution is the highest law in the land (after Nature’s law)–if there is no worries as to the meaning of “natural-born” then it is time to route this to the SCOTUS and have them decide based on the original intent what the differences are between the terms.

    • js03 May 5, 2012 / 9:44 am

      thats a lie ellen…you need to study more instead of copy bullshix off libtard websites

      natural born citizen was actually coined from the french term indigenous…which is completely different from what you claim…

      also, if you base you claim on the other group of idiots that represent that english common law was what the founding father used to create our citizenship model from, then you are also wrong…because any subject of the king…whose child in born any place in the world…is considered a natural born subject of the king…

      so either way…you are full of shxt ellen…go back to your 3rd grade fantasy and stop injecting lies into the debate

  5. Retired Spook May 5, 2012 / 1:12 am

    BTW, Ellen, I’d love for you to be right so Rubio or Jindal could be President.

    • EllenHancock May 6, 2012 / 7:13 pm

      Retired Spook said:

      “Ellen, that is simply a bald-faced lie. Neither the term “natural-born” (hyphenated) nor the term “natural born” (two words) appear anywhere in the Supreme Court syllabus of the Wong Kim Ark case, and Justice Gray in writing the majority opinion used the phrase only once:”

      Perhaps you did not notice this:

      “It thus clearly appears that, by the law of England for the last three centuries, beginning before the settlement of this country and continuing to the present day, aliens, while residing in the dominions possessed by the Crown of England, were within the allegiance, the obedience, the faith or loyalty, the protection, the power, the jurisdiction of the English Sovereign, and therefore every child born in England of alien parents was a natural-born subject unless the child of an ambassador or other diplomatic agent of a foreign State or of an alien enemy in hostile occupation of the place where the child was born.

      III. The same rule was in force in all the English Colonies upon this continent down to the time of the Declaration of Independence, and in the United States afterwards, and continued to prevail under the Constitution as originally established.”

      Notice that it says that the same rule applied in the English colonies, the United States and UNDER THE CONSTITUTION.

      The ruling quite clearly says that every US citizen born in the USA (not every person because of the exceptions listed, but every citizen) is Natural Born. When someone is both a US citizen, as Rubio, JIndal and Obama are, and Natural Born, she or he is, of course, a Natural Born Citizen. So relax, Rubio is eligible, and the National Review has already started pushing for him to be the VP candidate.

  6. js03 May 5, 2012 / 9:34 am

    Congress has attempted to alter the NBC qualifications for POTUS something like 14 times since 1996. None of them passed, neither as statute nor moved forward as a constitutional amendment.

    That being said, the 14th Amendment is what the majority of the libtards base their claim of NBC on, yet the term does not occur in the amendment 1 time. This gives sufficient reason to conclude that they had no intent on altering the qualifications for POTUS, and that the original term “natural born citizen” was not altered in any form.

    What the 14th Amendment does do, is establish citizenship rights for those ex slaves whose parents were in the USA at the time the amendment passed. It did not make a new class of citizen, it only circumvented State Laws that restricted Blacks from ever becoming citizens by setting a Constitutional standard that their children were to be considered as Citizens. The Constitution did not give Congress power over the States right to determine who was a citizen of the state, so the Amendment set the standard to make it clear what that was all about.

    The 14th Amendments language “All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States” is specific in its nature. The only standard required of the amendment was that the individual be “subject to the jurisdiction” of the United States. This is an exclusionary clause, and the term jurisdiction was not exclusive to the physical locality of the person being born, but also to the political affiliation and loyalties he/she naturaly held at the time of his/her birth. The intent was that any child born in the US with a natural allegiance to no other country was a citizen of the USA upon birth. This excluded the children of aliens, whose natural right to the citizenship of his/her parent automatically placed an allegiance upon the child at birth. So children who held foreign citizenship at birth, whose natural allegiance to that foreign nation existed by a natural right of descent from his/her parent, would never be considered a citizen of the United States at birth, under the 14th Amendment. These children are not under the “complete” jurisdiction of the United States, like the children of slaves were, whose parents were under the complete jurisdiction of the USA having been emancipated and turned into free men in the 13th Amendment.

    That being said, Obama, whose father was a British Citizen at the time of Obama’s birth, also aquired such citizenship by natural right of descent. In accordance with the US Constitution, Obama was not born a citizen of the United States. No law made in Congress at any time can change that, because only a Constitutional Amendment can change the Constitution. Obama is not qualified to be POTUS because he was not born a Citizen of the United States.

    • neocon1 May 5, 2012 / 1:42 pm

      js03

      glad to see you back 🙂

    • EllenHancock May 6, 2012 / 3:10 pm

      The 14th amendment has nothing to do with Natural Born status. The original meaning of Natural Born, the one that was used when the US Constitution was written, comes from the common law (not from Vattel or from speculation that they “must” have been thinking about the parents). And it meant citizenship due to birth within the country. That is what Natural Born meant. And all US-born citizens STILL are Natural Born Citizens. Only naturalized citizens are not Natural Born Citizens.

      The 24th Amendment changed the citizen part of Natural Born citizen. But it did not change the Natural Born portion. So, when the 14th allowed blacks to be citizens, they were Natural Born if they were born in the USA. Their parents were not citizens. But regardless of that fact, the US-born children became Natural Born Citizens the moment that the 14th amendment stated that they were citizens. When American Indians were allowed to become citizens by legislation in 1924 or 1925, the ones who were born in the USA became immediately Natural Born citizens due to their place of birth.

      Here is how the term Natural Born Citizen was used in the USA in 1803, shortly after the Constitution was written:

      “Prior to the adoption of the constitution, the people inhabiting the different states might be divided into two classes: natural born citizens, or those born within the state, and aliens, or such as were born out of it. The first, by their birth-right, became entitled to all the privileges of citizens; the second, were entitled to none, but such as were held out and given by the laws of the respective states prior to their emigration. …St. George Tucker, BLACKSTONE’S COMMENTARIES: WITH NOTES OF REFERENCE TO THE CONSTITUTION AND LAWS OF THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT OF THE UNITED STATES AND THE COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA. (1803)

      As you can see, there is no reference to parents. Natural Born Citizens were “those born within the state.” And, by the way, no quotation can be found by ANY American at the time that says that two citizen parents (or for that matter one citizen parent) are required.

      And here is an example of how it was used in 1829:

      “Therefore every person born within the United States, its territories or districts, whether the parents are citizens or aliens, is a natural born citizen in the sense of the Constitution, and entitled to all the rights and privileges appertaining to that capacity.”—William Rawle, A VIEW OF THE CONSTITUTION OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. 2d ed. (1829)

      • Retired Spook May 6, 2012 / 3:47 pm

        And here is an example of how it was used in 1829:

        Unfortunately, Ellen, the Constitution was written over 40 years before that.

  7. Retired Spook May 5, 2012 / 10:09 am

    This has turned out to be a more fascinating topic than I could have ever imagined. I sat up til the wee small hours last night pouring over article after article and comment thread after comment thread. From everything I’ve read it would seem that our current controversy stems from the fact that courts over the years have taken the initiative to use “natural born citizen”, “native born citizen”, “citizen at birth” and “U.S. citizen” interchangeably. The Wong Kim Ark case is a prime example of that. The real question then becomes, does misuse of a term create a binding legal precedent? It would appear that some think it does. That begs the question then, can a legal precedent created by the misuse of a term change the meaning of the Constitution? Again, it’s obvious that some think it can. We are watching an excellent, modern-day example of this phenomenon unfold right before our eyes with the subversion and redefinition of the word “marriage”.

    One interesting blog I found has a recent entry responding to Fox News’ Bret Bair’s misuse of the term.

    This nation was founded at the federal level as a totally new form of government, a constitutional republic, based on the guiding principles of “the Laws of Nature and Nature’s God”. Read the Declaration of Independence first paragraph to refresh your memory if uncertain about that. The progressive movement would like to forget that. But the truth can be buried for a time but not hidden forever. And the preeminent writer on Natural Law and that which was used heavily by the founders is the legal treatise by Vattel, The Law of Nations or Principles of Natural Law. Read Vol.I, Chapter 19, Section 212. Benjamin Franklin, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and John Jay did. “natural born Citizen” is defined therein and the founders and framers knew exactly what it meant when they inserted into our Constitution. It means born in the country to parents who are both Citizens (born or naturalized) of the country — a person born with sole allegiance at the instant of birth to one and only one country.

    Bret, a favorite retort is “natural born Citizen” is not defined in the Constitution. What a silly argument. The Constitution does not come with a glossary. The founders and framers knew what the words meant when they wrote them. It was written in plain English. Only for the last 100 years have the progressive academics been steadily trying to twist the meaning of the words to subvert the original intent. Here’s another word for you that is in the U.S. Constitution — Piracy. Piracy is not defined in the U.S. Constitution. But the founders and framers knew what it meant! And guess what source they chose to use to prescribe for punishment for said offenses — the Law of Nations. See the U.S. Constitution, Article I, Section 8.

    The bolded part is very important because a substantial portion of the argument from Progressives is that “natural born citizen” is simply a carry-over from “natural born subject” used in English common law. As you delve into the Founders’ writing, you never get the sense that that is the case. The primary reason the Founders used the specific term “natural born citizen” was to prevent someone with a foreign allegiance from becoming President; some one, for example, whose father was not only NOT a citizen, but was a Marxist and anti-colonialist who never desired nor attempted to become an American citizen. And we are seeing that influence in much of what President Obama does and says.

    Another interesting site, for anyone who has too much time on his or her hands, is one that Ellen appears to frequent.

      • Retired Spook May 5, 2012 / 12:24 pm

        Agreed. One of the many that I poured over late last night.

    • Amazona May 5, 2012 / 12:58 pm

      Spook, looking at your second-to-the-last paragraph of your post, above, another way of looking at it would be to wonder if Barack Obama, with the same racial heritage, same IQ, same education, would be a different president if his paternal heritage had been one of respect for and allegiance to the United States and what it has represented throughout the last two-plus centuries, and a dedication to the Constitution. If his goal of impressing his father, earning his father’s love, was based on making the United States the strong, vital and Constitutional republic it was for so long. If his political ideology was steeped in the history of this nation and respect and understanding of its foundations, and not in a collectivist, government-control, Leftist concept of Utopia.

      We have to remember the careful wording of his “autobiography”. It is not “Dreams OF My Father” but “Dreams FROM My Father”—-that is to say, his own dreams, passed down from his father. A man who, as you said, was a Marxist who never showed any interest at all in becoming an American citizen. He was a radical Leftist ideologue, who took what he could from the United States and then turned his back on it to return to his native country to fight for the establishment of Leftist government there after the hated British left.

      We certainly have ardent Leftists who are natural-born citizens, whose parents have always been citizens, who were born in the United States, who hate what they claim it represents and who want desperately to make it something different. That can’t be avoided. But the Founders realized that a President whose very heritage was not one of American citizenship, of allegiance to the United States of America, could pose a serious danger to the nation, so they wrote into the Constitution the requirement that a President have, at the very least, a parental heritage of citizenship and presumed allegiance to this country and no other.

      And now we are able to see the wisdom of that concern.

      • neocon1 May 5, 2012 / 1:46 pm

        interesting

        Obama Born In Kenya? His Grandmother Says Yes.
        by Tamar Yonah

        Someone is lying. According to Obama’s Kenyan (paternal) grandmother, as well as his half-brother and half-sister, Barack Hussein Obama was born in Kenya, not in Hawaii as the Democratic candidate for president claims.

      • Amazona May 5, 2012 / 4:26 pm

        I once heard a recording of an interview with Obama’s grandmother, the translation of which was supposedly verified under oath, in which she stated—again, as she had been making this claim for years—-that she was present when he was born. When asked where that was, no translator was needed—she very clearly said “Mombasa”.

        But the whole issue of birthplace is such a mess, what with the hysteria from the Left if you even mention the simple fact that the COLB is a document with dual purpose, purposes which are contradictory to each other, so proves nothing without background confirming which purpose it was created to meet, and the mudslinging and name-calling when the topic of birthplace is even brought up, I think for now it is a dead issue.

        The man has been confirmed as President of the United States and while there is a mechanism for removing a president from office there is none for annulling his election and inauguration. History will examine this whole thing from a distance, without the attendant efforts of the Left to confuse, distract, intimidate, insult and generally obfuscate the issue, which is what is going to happen when and if it is addressed at this time or in the near future.

        I think the best thing to do now is accept the fact that the man holds the office, no matter how any of us may feel about it, and move forward (are you paying attention, baggy? I said FORWARD!!!) to make sure that things are clearly defined for the future, and to establish a baseline of moral and legal responsibility for any party putting up a candidate in the future.

      • Jeremiah May 5, 2012 / 4:59 pm

        I fear there will be no more term limits if Obama is elected again.

      • bozo May 6, 2012 / 8:17 am

        Why?

    • EllenHancock May 5, 2012 / 3:20 pm

      Edwin Meese, Ronald Reagan’s attorney general, is not a progressive. He is a conservative, and he said:

      “Under the longstanding English common-law principle of jus soli, persons born within the territory of the sovereign (other than children of enemy aliens or foreign diplomats) are citizens from birth. Thus, those persons born within the United States are “natural born citizens” and eligible to be President. Much less certain, however, is whether children born abroad of United States citizens are “natural born citizens” eligible to serve as President …”—- Edwin Meese, et al, THE HERITAGE GUIDE TO THE CONSTITUTION (2005) [Edwin Meese was Ronald Reagan’s attorney general, and the Heritage Foundation is a well-known Conservative organization.]

      Here is the key quotation from the majority (six justices to two, one not voting) in the Wong Kim Ark Supreme Court ruling:

      “It thus clearly appears that, by the law of England for the last three centuries, beginning before the settlement of this country and continuing to the present day, aliens, while residing in the dominions possessed by the Crown of England, were within the allegiance, the obedience, the faith or loyalty, the protection, the power, the jurisdiction of the English Sovereign, and therefore every child born in England of alien parents was a natural-born subject unless the child of an ambassador or other diplomatic agent of a foreign State or of an alien enemy in hostile occupation of the place where the child was born.

      III. The same rule was in force in all the English Colonies upon this continent down to the time of the Declaration of Independence, and in the United States afterwards, and continued to prevail under the Constitution as originally established.”

      Notice that both the Supreme Court and Meese say that the meaning of Natural Born Citizen comes from the common law.

      That is why the US Congress confirmed Obama’s election UNANIMOUSLY. Not one single member in the 535 members (most of whom are lawyers) thinks that the meaning of Natural Born refers to parents.

      And four state appeals courts (Indiana, Georgia, Arizona and New Jersey) and one federal district court have all ruled that, as the Wong Kim Ark ruling said, the meaning of Natural Born Citizen comes from the common law and includes every US citizen who was born in the country.

      For further research see:

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Natural-born-citizen_clause

      And

      http://naturalborncitizenshipresearch.blogspot.com/

    • EllenHancock May 6, 2012 / 3:16 pm

      If you could show a letter or an article from one of the writers of the US Constitution saying: “Two citizen parents are required” or “We are not using the common law definition”, someone might believe you.

      What we have instead are examples of Americans using the term Natural Born Citizen just the way that it was used in the common law, and NO examples of them using the term to refer to two parents (or one parent, or parents at all).

      We have these historical facts, AND the US Supreme Court. Both of them say that the meaning of Natural Born Citizen comes from the common law. There is not a shred of evidence that it comes from Vattel, who himself never said that the leader of a country should even be a citizen, much less a two-citizen-parent citizen, and who recommended several things that the US did not adopt, such as a state religion.

      If, of course, some founder had said: “We are following Vattel’s two-parent requirement and not the common law definition,” that would be different. But the fact is no one said it, and they were experts in the common law.

      • Retired Spook May 6, 2012 / 3:53 pm

        If you could show a letter or an article from one of the writers of the US Constitution saying: “Two citizen parents are required” or “We are not using the common law definition”, someone might believe you.

        OK, Ellen, lets start with George Mason, delegate to the Constitutional Convention:

        The common law, sir, has prevented the power of the crown from destroying the immunities of the people. We are placed in a still better condition — in a more favorable situation than perhaps any people ever were before. We have it in our power to secure our liberties and happiness on the most unshaken, firm, and permanent basis. We can establish what government we please. But
        by that paper we are consolidating the United States into one great
        government, and trusting to constructive security. You will find no such thing in the English government.The common law of England is not the common law of these states.

        I wish you had made that challenge earlier in the thread, because there are numerous examples of the Framers’ reluctance to rely on Blackstone and numerous examples of their reliance on Vattel. I’ll see if I can dig them up before the thread is dead.

      • Retired Spook May 6, 2012 / 7:03 pm

        I’m still short on time for extensive research, but FreeRepublic had an interesting group post on this topic about a year ago. I don’t normally cut and past an entire post, but virtually everything in this is apropos to our discussion.

        Lately, we have been bombarded by various people trying to say what is was/wasn’t that Vattel had to say, and whether his opinions mattered or were even known to the founders and early America.

        So I did a bit of research.

        Emmerich De Vattel was born 1714 of Swiss parentage. At an early age he became interested in literature and philosophy. Now there are much better and detailed biographies on the web, so I won’t bore everybody with all the details I read. Suffice to say he spent many years with positions provided by the courts (the royal courts) and composed a number of works.

        He was deeply influenced by an earlier work called “The Law of Nations” by Christian Wolfe, the problem with the earlier work being that it had been composed in Latin and was not a work for general use.

        He (Vattel) completed his first edition of “Le Droit des Gens, ou Principes de la Loi Naturelle”, or what we now call “The Law of Nations” in 1758.

        It was a two volume work.

        He died in 1767, in what I believe was France, though I haven’t verified it yet.

        Now the arguments about using Vattel as a reference have taken a couple forms. First, there seems to be an argument that he was perhaps a more obscure reference at that time and was not internationally accepted.

        Another argument is that he never used the exact term “natural born citizen”, so that what he was speaking of does not apply.

        A little study of history show that both arguments fail miserably.

        Vattel was aware of what was happening in America before his death. At least in terms of the settling of America.

        At the end of Chapter XVIII, Occupation of a Territory by a Nation, he says “However we can’t help but admire the moderation of the English Puritans who were the first to settle New England. Although they bore with them a charter from their sovereign, they bought from the savages the lands they wished to occupy. Their praiseworthy example was followed by William Penn and the colony of Quakers that he conducted into Pennsylvania”

        Vattel’s work was known in Europe and to the founders that had traveled there. There are a number of historical references that prove that which the reader can find on his own.

        In 1775, eight years after his passing, Charles Dumas, a Swiss living in Holland, brought out a new edition and sent 3 copies to Benjamin Franklin. Franklin wrote “It came to us in good season, when the circumstances of a rising State make it necessary frequently to consult the Law of Nations”. This was in December, 1775.

        The founding fathers were aware of and impressed by Vattel’s mentions of New England and Pennsylvania, and took it to heart. The work became an almost instant classic in pre-revolutionary Ameria.

        By 1780 his work was considered a classic and was a textbook at the best universities.

        So did the founders really know of the work?

        They knew of it enough so that it is quoted in Supreme Court decisions even before the Constitution was written or ratified. In Miller v. The Cargo of the Ship Resolutions, the court said “Vattel, a celebrated writer on the laws of nations, says, ‘when two nations make war a common cause, they act as one body, and the war is called a society of war; they are so clearly and intimately connected, that the Jus Postliminii takes place among them, as among fellow subjects.'” This decision was by the Federal Court of Appeals, Aug, 1781. Cited as 2 US 1 or 2 Dall 1

        We see that not only was it known to the founders, it was already being used in the universities and quoted as operative law in the fledgling courts of the United States justice system.

        So. What exactly did he say?

        First, anyone who reads the item whether translated or in the original French has to admit he never used the exact phrase “natural born citizen”.

        But!!! On reading what he said, the wording and the context, there can be no doubt at all of EXACTLY what he meant.

        I shall here cite the section in English and in the original Francais.

        The section is from Chapter XIX, entitled “One’s Country and various matters relating to it”. Sec. 212, Citizens and Natives. It is on pps. 87 of the english translation.

        “The members of a civil society are it’s citizens. Bound to that society by certain duties and subject to it’s authority, they share equally in the advantages it offers. Its natives are those who were born in the country of parents who are citizens. As the society cannot maintain and perpetuate itself except by the children of it’s citizens, these children naturally take on the status of their fathers and enter upon all the latters rights. The society is presumed to desire this as the necessary means of its self-preservation, and it is justly to be inferred that each citizen, upon entering into the society, reserves to his children the right to be members of it. The country of a father is therefore that of his children, and they become true citizens by merely tacit consent. We shall see presently whether, when arrived at the age of reason, they may renounce their right and the duty they owe to the society in which they are born. I REPEAT THAT IN ORDER TO BELONG TO A COUNTRY ONE MUST BE BORN THERE OF A FATHER WHO IS A CITIZEN; for if one is born of foreign parents, that land will only be the place of one’s birth, and not one’s country.”

        (the above is from: Les droit des gens, Translation of the 1758 edition, Charles G. Fenwick, published Carnegie Institute of Washington,

        Washington, 1916.

        En Francais.

        Les citoyens sont les membres de la Societe Civile; Lies a cette Societe pars certains devoirs, & formie a son Autotiteil particiant avec egalite a les avantages. Les NATURELS, ou INDIGENES, sont ceux qui sont nes dans le pays, de Parens Citoyens. La Societe ne pouvant se soutenir & se perpetuer que par les enfans des Citoyens; ces enfans y suivent naturellement la conditionn de leurs Peres, & entrent dans tous leurs droits. La Societe est cenflee le vouloir ainfi; par une suite de ce qu’elle doit a la propre confervation; & l’on presume de droit que chacque Citoyen, en entrent dans la Societe; reserve a les enfans le droit d’en etre membres. La Patrie des Peres est dons celles des enfans & ceux-ci deviennent de veritables Citoyens, par leur simple consentement tacite. nous verrons bien-tot; si parvenus a l’age de raison, ils peuvent renoncer a leur droit, & ce-qu’ils doivent a la Societe dans laquelle ils sont nes. Je dis que pour etre d’un pays, IL FAUT ETRE ne D’UN PERE CITOYEN; car si vous y etes ne d’un Etranger, ce pays sera seulement le lieu de votre naissance, sans etre votre Patrie”

        Note: The above is from the 1758 edition. As with early American English, it was common to write an “S” as an “f”. I have tried with my limited knowledge of French to make the corrections, and think this is pretty darn close to the original.

        Another note: Vattel uses the phrase “Les Naturelles ou Indigenes” which pretty much translates to “The naturals or natives”

        Now I doubt anyone can read the above and not know EXACTLY what the founders meant by “natural born citizen”. They wanted someone who, in Vattels words, “Belong(ed) to the Country, which means a person born on the soil of parents who were citizens, at the very least born on the soil OF A FATHER who IS A CITIZEN!

        If Obama was born in Hawaii, were both his parents Citizens? No. Was Obamas FATHER a citizen? No.

        Does Obama “Belong to the Country?”

        Vattel, and the founders of our great Republic, would have to say no.

        An interesting side note: when Vattel’s work was translated into English in 1797, les naturals, ou indigenes was translated as natives or indigenous. that would certainly explain why courts have used “native” and “natural-born” as interchangeable terms.

      • Ricorun May 6, 2012 / 7:47 pm

        What’s your point, Spook? And are you really sure, at least for the sake of consistency with regard to every other point you and others of your obvious persuasion have thus far made, are you sure you really want to make it? In short, yours is definitely not a “constructionist” argument. Furthermore, you are relying on hearsay, personal opinion and/or appeals to authority, not codified law.
        Of course, to the extent that you equate codified law to hearsay, personal opinion, and/or appeals to authority, then I guess you have some laterality. But if you don’t, you don’t. Assuming you don’t, welcome to the legal world. In the legal world the precedents very strongly suggest that if you are born in the undisputed confines of “America” you are an American citizen. Period. Those precedents are so strong that any variation on them which suggests otherwise would indeed require a constitutional amendment to reverse. I therefore agree with Amazona that, as things relate to Obama, it is a moot point. However, I also agree that a constitutional amendment, forever clarifying exactly what is meant by the term “natural born citizen”, should be instigated. Likewise, I suggest that a constitutional amendment should be instigated as to what, exactly, “marriage” should constitute.

    • EllenHancock May 7, 2012 / 2:12 pm

      Sure they read Vattel, but they read a lot of other things too.

      Did you know that Vattel recommended that every country should have a state religion and force people to join it or to make them leave the country? Well, we did not follow that Vattel recommendation, and there is no evidence that we followed his definition of Natural Born either. No articles or letters saying: “Let us follow Vattel’s definition” or “Natural Born should require two citizen parents.” And there are examples of Americans at the time using the term Natural Born Citizen to refer to the place of birth, and no examples of them using it to refer to the parents.

      http://www.obamabirthbook.com/http:/www.obamabirthbook.com/2012/04/vattel-and-natural-born-citizen/#comment-1365

  8. Jeremiah May 5, 2012 / 4:01 pm

    Mr. Obama is a Kenyan.

    • EllenHancock May 6, 2012 / 10:31 am

      For those of you who still believe that Obama could have been born somewhere else than in Hawaii, a question for you:

      I’ll bet that you know (but, actually, you may have forgotten) that the US government requires, and has long required, that a child being carried into the USA must have some kind of official travel document to be admitted. This is usually a US passport for the child. Or, it could be the fact that the child is entered on the mother’s US passport. Or, it could be a US visa for the child on a foreign passport. Without one of those, we would not let the child into the country.

      So, IF Obama really had been born in Kenya (or in any country other than the USA), he would have had to have one of those documents–wouldn’t he? His family would have had to show the passport, wouldn’t they? To show the passport, they would have had to have applied for the passport or the visa for Obama. And, if Obama really were born in Kenya (or another country), they would have had to have applied for it in the US consulate or embassy there, wouldn’t they?

      Such applications are FILED by the US government. The documents exist in multiple files, the actual application itself, communication about it with Washington, entries in the passport file, entries in the application file, entries in the places where the child is carried into the USA. The Bush Administration was in charge of the State Department and the INS for eight years before Obama was elected. Don’t you think that they would have checked the claim that he was born outside the USA?

      All they had to do was find one of those files and McCain would win the election.

      Well, they never did. There is no such file.

      So the question is, do you think that the Bush Administration was part of the plot?

      Do you think that the files, the documents, the application for the documents, the communications about the documents were all lost or hidden? Remember, they are in multiple files, the file of the passport holder, the files of applications for passports, the files in the US embassy in foreign countries, the files in the State Department and in the INS (which would have checked in Obama at an entry point if he had actually traveled in 1961)–and yet no document has been found. Why not?

      The absence of the travel document, plus the Hawaii birth certificate, plus the confirmation of the facts on it by three Republican (and several Democrat) officials, plus the birth notices in the Hawaii newspapers in 1961, plus the witness who remembers being told of the birth and writing home about it (to her father, named Stanley, about the unusual event of a birth to a woman named Stanley). All this is evidence that Obama was born in Hawaii.

      • Amazona May 6, 2012 / 11:52 am

        Oh, dear, Ellen, you really do need to learn the Rule of Holes.

        OK…..Young Stanley Ann did have a US passport. We can assume this by the simple fact that she did visit Kenya with Barack Senior. No one denies that this visit took place—the only question in play is when she returned, before or after the birth of her child. By your own admission, “Or, it could be the fact that the child is entered on the mother’s US passport.” Therefore, a newborn child born abroad could and would be brought back to the United States on its mother’s passport.

        Thank you for posting this: “Do you think that the files, the documents, the application for the documents, the communications about the documents were all lost or hidden? Remember, they are in multiple files, the file of the passport holder, the files of applications for passports, the files in the US embassy in foreign countries, the files in the State Department and in the INS (which would have checked in Obama at an entry point if he had actually traveled in 1961)–and yet no document has been found. Why not?”

        There is no definitive answer to this question, any more than there is a definitive answer to other, related questions.

        1. Why have we never seen any of the records regarding Barack Obama Jr.’s visit(s) to Pakistan in the early 1980’s? Remember, they would be in multiple files, the file of the passport holder, the files of applications for passports, the files in the US embassy in foreign countries, the files in the State Department and in the INS (which would have checked in Obama at an entry point if he had actually traveled in 1981-82)–and yet no document has been found. Why not?

        2. Why have we never seen any of the records regarding Barack Obama’s passport applications?

        Will you please list the names of the Republican and Democrat “officials” who, as you said, “confirmed” the “facts” on the birth certificate form submitted by the White House? That is to say, not “confirmed” that they saw it, but “confirmed” through other records, such as hospital records, personal records of the attending physician, etc. that the information on the document presented was in fact, “fact”?

        And do yourself a favor and look into just how birth announcements get placed, or at least GOT placed, in Honolulu newspapers. Hint: It was not because of information provided by hospitals, but from information gotten from the department of health, which is where COLBs are also filed, and were based solely on the information given by the applicant for the COLB if that is the document that prompted the birth notice.

        Therefore, the birth notice could have been based on information listed on an actual long-form birth certificate filed with the health department, or from the information listed on a COLB application (which at that time was exclusively reserved for children of Hawaiian residents who were born out of the state) or it could have been supplied by the parents or relatives of the newborn, directly to the newspaper.

        Someone “told” of a birth is hardly a “witness”.

        I am not taking the position that Obama was born anywhere but in Hawaii. I never have. I am merely pointing out, as I always have, that the “proofs” for Hawaiian birth are not, and never have been, conclusive.

  9. Jeremiah May 5, 2012 / 4:02 pm

    Would you like to live in the White House, Amazona?

    • Amazona May 5, 2012 / 4:17 pm

      No, Jeremiah, I would not. I think the role of President of the United States calls for a much larger skill set than mine, and a much larger body of experience.

      • Jeremiah May 5, 2012 / 4:28 pm

        Yes, but there’s lots of things that could use your skillful hands there, aren’t there? And that type of accomplishment would make one swell with pride inside. Then when you were done we could sit in a love chair. 😉

        But, however you feel. It don’t matter I don’t guess. I can’t do much myself, ‘cept mow and trim grass, trim hedges, paint, blow the sidewalk off, plant flowers, clean windows, etc.

      • Jeremiah May 5, 2012 / 9:23 pm

        Inappropriate post for this blog, //Moderator

    • EllenHancock May 6, 2012 / 2:57 pm

      Answering this comment:

      “No one denies that this visit took place—”

      I deny that the visit took place. It never took place. In fact, WND has proved, I repeat PROVED that Obama’s father was in Hawaii on August 4, 1961. They did this by a FOI Act request with the US Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS). So, if Obama’s mother had gone to Kenya–which is highly unlikely because very very few pregnant women traveled overseas in those days–she would have had to have gone alone.

      What are the odds of that happening, that she traveled to Kenya, alone, late in pregnancy in 1961 (a year in which there were exactly 27 people who came to the USA from Kenya)? What are the odds? Perhaps one in a hundred million?

      If she had been one of the 27 people to have visited Kenya, what are the odds that there are no records in Kenya of her arrival or departure? Perhaps one in a million?

      If she visited Kenya, what are the odds that there are no records of her leaving the USA (which would have had to have been through New York, and those INS records are NOT missing)? Perhaps another one in a million?

      And, if she gave birth in Kenya, what are the odds of her getting the child to the USA without any record of an application for a US visa or to change her US passport to include him? Perhaps one in a million again?

      Then, if all that had happened, what are the odds that she would convince the officials in Hawaii to grant a Hawaii birth certificate with the name of the hospital on it (Kapiolani, which by the way did exist in 1961) and the name of the delivery doctor on it, and the signature of the delivery doctor, and announcements in the Hawaii newspapers (which in those days were only sent to the papers by the DOH of Hawaii)? What are the odds of that–perhaps another one in 100 million?

      In contrast, Romney has not shown his birth certificate at all, and he is supposed to have been born near Detroit, which is about 50 miles from Canada, and his father had a great deal more money to travel than Obama’s parents? What are the odds that Romney was actually born in Canada? Perhaps one in 100,000?

      Those are high odds, but they are a hell of a lot lower than the chance that Obama was born in Kenya.

  10. bozo May 6, 2012 / 8:28 am

    So how does Romney’s dad being born in a Mexican polygamous Mormon village which makes Mittens the son of a Mexican immigrant enter into all this?

    • Retired Spook May 6, 2012 / 9:10 am

      which makes Mittens the son of a Mexican immigrant enter into all this?

      It doesn’t.

    • EllenHancock May 7, 2012 / 11:50 am

      Re: “refute it.”

      That is like saying “the earth is flat. Refute it.”

      The reason that Glenn Beck, Ann Coulter, Bill O’Reilly and the National Review all say that birthers are crazy is that they think that just because a birther site lied and said that Obama’s grandmother said that he was born in Kenya, Obama was actually born in Kenya. Well, she did not say it, and it did not happen.

      Some idea how loony the born-in-Kenya myth is—there were a grand total of 27 people who came to the USA from Kenya in 1961, and yet birthers hold that Obama and his mother were two of them.

      In 1961, one in a million American women traveled outside the USA late in pregnancy, and yet birthers hold that Obama’s mother was one of them.

      WND has shown that Obama’s father was for sure, shown by INS documents, in Hawaii on August 4, 1961, and yet the birther myth holds that Obama’s mother went to Kenya alone. What are the chances of an 18-year old in her first pregnancy going from good hospitals in Hawaii to lousy ones in Kenya alone?

      So the odds are overwhelming that Obama’s mother never left Hawaii. But supposing that she really had gone to Kenya. Then there would be a record of her arrival in Kenya, wouldn’t there. But no one has found such a document. And there would be a record of Obama’s birth, but again–except for obvious forgeries, one by a convicted felon–there are no records. And to get Obama to the USA requires US travel documents, such as entering him on his mother’s passport. And if that were done, an application for the change would have had to have been made at the US consulate IN KENYA, and that application would be stored in multiple files, and yet there has not been a document found.

      Nor is there any record of a US check in for Obama or his mother in 1961, and that would have had to have taken place in New York, not Hawaii—because there were no direct flights. And those INS files were not lost, and they do not show the name of Obama or his mother among the 27 people that came to the USA from Kenya. In fact, they do not show the name of Obama or his mother among any of the arrivals.

      And finally, there is the birth certificate for Obama in Hawaii, and the confirmation that it was indeed issued in 1961 from the Hawaii newspaper announcements–which at the time were only sent to the papers by the DOH of Hawaii, and the DOH only sent out those announcements for births IN Hawaii.

      • EllenHancock May 8, 2012 / 4:31 pm

        The Kenyan “birth certificate” that I was asked to “refute” is a well-known forgery. It was first shown by a fellow called Lucas D. Smith, who claimed to have gotten the document in Kenya, but who has never proven that he even went to Kenya.(And it uses US date formats, month/day/year, and not the British date format used in Kenya, day/month/year.

  11. Ricorun May 6, 2012 / 1:19 pm

    This thread was actually some pretty interesting reading. Thanks!

  12. Ricorun May 6, 2012 / 3:39 pm

    At any rate, it appears to me that the final onus of responsibility for consideration as to whether a given individual possesses the qualifications to assume the presidency lies with the electoral college. I think that is the element that has been lost in the present discussion. After all, it still remains the case that the president is elected by the electoral college, not the popular vote. They are supposed to be a collection of august, learned individuals set apart from the rabble. Whether or not that’s true is certainly open to question. But that is certainly what our founders assumed. It follows that if you agree with the electoral college system as it stands, then you should agree with their decisions. But if you don’t, then by all means, suggest changes. That, to me, is the bottom line on this discussion.

    • neocon1 May 6, 2012 / 7:35 pm

      rico

      the bottom line is the POS lied and is still lying it is on him and not anybody else.

      • Ricorun May 6, 2012 / 8:30 pm

        neocon, the REAL bottom line is that IF Obama lied the “check and balance” system put in place by our founders was either not effective or insufficient. After all, THAT, above all others — namely to determine whether the president elect (on the basis of the popular vote) was really capable (according to the really important powers that be) of governing the nation, was the intended function of the electoral college system. If I am wrong, please correct me. But I don’t think I am. The fact of the matter is that, whatever its other remaining duties might be, the electoral college is required to ascertain whether the president elect fulfills the constitutional requirements of the office. And if they can’t fulfill that minimal requirement, then maybe we should reform or abolish the electoral college system. What do you think?

      • Jeremiah May 6, 2012 / 9:48 pm

        the REAL bottom line is that IF Obama lied the “check and balance” system put in place by our founders was either not effective or insufficient.

        Well, he has lied to the American people.
        But the real crime here is he has committed forgery and treason against Americans. Both of which fall under crimes that constitute imprisonment, and in earlier times would be much more severe punishment, such as hanging. He has presented false documentation for a “birth certificate,” and has conspired with our enemies abroad to weaken our alliance with our friend Israel.

        Furthermore, he is keeping Guantanamo bay open for American citizens whom his administration may deem a “threat” to the government. He has placed markers on all highways in rural routes for the U.S. military to follow in the event that he should become dictator.

        So, in my opinion, it’s much worse than him lying, it comes down to – he and his administration openly defying the mandates set forth in our Constitution, in favor of a more Soviet style form of governing.

      • dbschmidt May 6, 2012 / 10:44 pm

        Ricorun stated, quite correctly I might add, that in the case of President Obama ‘the “check and balance” system put in place by our founders was either not effective or insufficient.‘; however, it was chosen for a reason and if President Obama, like Chester Arthur, pulled a “fast one” on the system then we are in need of not less validation leading to obfuscation but a required remittance of all documentation from birth to present for any candidate for the position of President and/or Vice-President with sufficient independent verification so the “checks and balances” can work.

        Quite a few people seen this way off but with enough help from both sides of the aisle–it has become a moot point for the present but what about the future? Abolishing the electoral college is exactly the wrong thing to do unless you want to destroy a Republic in favor of a Democracy which is a short hop to Socialism and well down the path the Progressives are trying to lead this country.

      • J. R. Babcock May 6, 2012 / 11:17 pm

        After all, THAT, above all others — namely to determine whether the president elect (on the basis of the popular vote) was really capable (according to the really important powers that be) of governing the nation, was the intended function of the electoral college system. If I am wrong, please correct me. But I don’t think I am. The fact of the matter is that, whatever its other remaining duties might be, the electoral college is required to ascertain whether the president elect fulfills the constitutional requirements of the office.

        Ricorun, I don’t believe you are correct. Can you point to either a section of the Constitution or subsequent election law that supports your contention?

      • js03 May 7, 2012 / 8:46 am

        there is nothing wrong with the checks and balances…what is wrong is the publics acceptance of the corruption of those who are elected into office…lies are ok because nobody does anything about it…

        the integrity of our system of government has gone down the toilet…a direct reflection of the people we elect…

        the justice department has become corrupted as well as the judicial brance…none of them have risen to defend the constitution

      • EllenHancock May 7, 2012 / 10:21 am

        So, vote against him. That is your right, and in fact I would fight to the death for your right to do that. But he was born in Hawaii and is a Natural Born US Citizen. In fact, Jindal, Rubio and Obama all are Natural Born US Citizen due the the fact that all three were born on US soil.

      • EllenHancock May 7, 2012 / 11:53 am

        So, vote against him. That is your right, and I would fight to the death for it. But your right to vote for Obama’s opponents, and your dislike of Obama, does not show that he was born outside the USA or that he is not–with JIndal and Rubio–a Natural Born US citizen.

  13. Jeremiah May 6, 2012 / 11:12 pm

    Abolishing the electoral college is exactly the wrong thing to do unless you want to destroy a Republic in favor of a Democracy which is a short hop to Socialism and well down the path the Progressives are trying to lead this country.

    I totally agree with you, dbschmidt! I TOTALLY agree with you!!
    You said it right!!

    The thing is, this man is destroying this country, and we don’t have anyone with the cajones to send the Marshall to arrest him!!

    • Canadian Observer May 7, 2012 / 6:38 am

      In order for the Marshall to arrest President Obama wouldn’t it be necessary to have ‘factual’ evidence that criminal activity has actually taken place? If hyperbole and outlandish claims by enemies were the only criteria for arresting a President, then GWB would, no doubt, be clad in an unflattering orange jumpsuit today.

      By the way, Jeremiah, I read that bizarre comment you wrote to Amazona before it was taken down and if I were her I would be thoroughly creeped out by it.

      • Jeremiah May 7, 2012 / 5:54 pm

        In order for the Marshall to arrest President Obama wouldn’t it be necessary to have ‘factual’ evidence that criminal activity has actually taken place?

        Of course the man’s a criminal. He’s hijacked the Presidency, and taken hostage the Supreme Court (our justice system) to his advantage. But sure you’ll lie and deny any such facts exist because you can’t see the writing on the wall. You are blinded by the Leftist rhetoric.

        And as to my comment to Amazona, you need to shut up and stay out of other peoples business. What I say to her is strictly between me and her. Not you.

      • Jeremiah May 7, 2012 / 11:38 pm

        The man was duly elected President by citizens of the United States; he hijacked nothing.

        Just like any snake oil salesman can hijack the medicinal industry; Obama has hijacked the Presidency through smooth-talking his way to a title which he is unworthy of. He is a grand propaganda artist, and quite skilled at it, might I add. He also has highly paid lawyers who have transformed the truth into a lie by forging a copy of Mr. Obama’s birth certificate which proved that he indeed was born in Kenya (which is being held from the American public), and remains to this day a natural-born citizen of Kenya.

        Click to access USAO3.pdf

        The truth remains that Mr. Obama was born in Kenya, and remained there until his father and mother moved to Indonesia when he was around the age of 6 years old where he would start his schooling. Later his father and mother divorced, and his mother took custody of him later moving with him to the states for the continuation of his education. The revisionist historians can re-write this all they want, and Obama may withhold it from the public, but it does not, and never will change these facts about the Kenyan usurper who holds the high office of President which he is unworthy to hold.

        Other facts about him are ( not to mention that millions overlook about him) – That he is a Muslim – His pastor cursed America – his mentor is a known terrorist, Billy Ayers. And he has studied Satan worshipers such as Saul Alinsky. His administration has 81 known and avowed communists contained within it.

        Your ODS is as alarming as your obsession with Amazona.

        These are two different things. My “ODS” may be alarming to you, and I may appear a “little unhinged” but I can tell you that your OOS is not nearly as alarming, seeing that you have been brainwashed and keep those knee-pads shining for the dictator-in-chief.

        As to being “unhinged,” any sane person should, and has every right to come unhinged at the way this administration is handling things. Yard sales one after the other for miles upon miles, state after state shows that people are hurting financially and are looking for ways to put food on the table, and gas in their cars.

        No, you haven’t seen “unhinged,” when the American people do come unhinged it’s not going to be a pretty sight. Chaos like has never been seen in this country before, and it’s not going to be another civil war, but it’s going to be different type of war, one for different reasons. One that says “We Have Had Enough Already.”

        Are you a married man, Jeremiah?

        No.
        And what business is this of yours?

  14. js03 May 7, 2012 / 10:39 am

    “Mr. President, the small progress we have made after four or five weeks close attendance & continual reasoning’s with each other – our different sentiments on almost every question, several of the last producing as many noes as ayes, is methinks a melancholy proof of the imperfection of the Human Understanding. We indeed seem to feel our own want of political wisdom, since we have been running about in search of it. We have gone back to ancient history for models of government, and examined the different forms of those Republics, which, having been formed with the seeds of their own dissolution, now no longer exist. And we have viewed Modern States all around Europe, but find none of their Constitutions suitable to our circumstance.

    In this situation of this Assembly, groping as it were in the dark to find political truth, and scarce able to distinguish it when presented to us, how has it happened, Sir, that we have not hitherto once thought of humbly applying to the Father of lights to illuminate our understanding?

    In the beginning of the Contest with Great Britain, when we were sensible of danger we had daily prayer in this room for the Divine protection – Our prayers, Sir, were heard, and they were graciously answered. All of us who were engaged in the struggle must have observed frequent instances of a superintending providence in our favor.

    To that kind providence we owe this happy opportunity of consulting in peace on the means of establishing our future national felicity. And have we now forgotten that powerful Friend? or do we imagine we no longer need His Assistance?

    I have lived. Sir, a long time, and the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth – that God Governs in the affairs of men. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without His notice, is it possible that an empire can rise without His aid?

    We have been assured, Sir, in the Sacred Writings, that “except the Lord build the house, they labor in vain that build it.” (Psalm 127:1) I firmly believe this; and I also believe that without his concurring aid we shall succeed in this political building no better than the Builders of Babel: We shall be divided by our partial local interests; our projects will be confounded, and we ourselves shall become a reproach and bye word down to future ages. And what is worse, mankind may hereafter from this unfortunate instance, despair of establishing Governments by Human wisdom and leave it to chance, war and conquest.

    I therefore beg leave to move – that henceforth prayers imploring the assistance of Heaven, and its blessings on out deliberations, be held in this Assembly every morning before we proceed to business, and that one or more of the clergy of this city be requested to officiate in that service.”

    Benjamin Franklin June 28, 1787

    In that we did not found the US Constitution on British Common law is easy to see if we only seek the wisdom of those who wrote it.

    • Retired Spook May 7, 2012 / 11:33 am

      JS, RIGHT ON!!

      There is no denying that British Common Law played a part in our founding, but there were aspects of BCL that were totally incompatible with the new representative republic that our founders envisioned, and “natural born SUBJECT” was near the top of the list of aspects of BCL that they wanted to avoid. A close second was the avoidance of a leader who had even the remotest allegiance to another country. If there was ever a modern-day argument against a common law definition of “natural-born citizen”, it’s the current inhabitant of the White House.

      You’ll note that much of what has been posted here in support of a common law basis for the definition of “natural-born citizen” is from subsequent legal action, not from writings and speeches of the Framers. This is how the Left affects change, by simply distorting and misusing and redefining words and terms that don’t dovetail with their agenda. We are already seeing attempts to redefine “marriage”, and we’ve seen “war on terror” become “overseas contingency operation”. Mark my words, in our lifetimes you will see an effort to replace the words “own” and “ownership” with “use” and “usage”, as the Left attempts via judicial fiat and legal precedent to eliminate ownership of private property.

      • EllenHancock May 7, 2012 / 11:57 am

        There is absolutely no evidence that the writers of the US Constuion feared the US-born children of foreigners. They feared foreigners, and banned them from becoming president. And they feared naturalized citizens, and banned them also. But there is no evidence that they considered the US-born children of foreigners to be foreigners or that they considered them to be greater security risks than the US-born children of US citizens.

        And there is EVIDENCE from writers at the time that they considered the place of birth to be the criterion of allegiance and that the meaning of Natural Born Citizen includes all the people born in the country. And there is NO evidence–no articles or letters–of the writers of the Constitution or any other Americans at the time saying that two citizen parents (or for that matter one) are required to be a Natural Born US citizen.

      • EllenHancock May 7, 2012 / 12:09 pm

        Re George Mason.

        There is nothing in the quotation that says anything like “The meaning of Natural Born comes from Vattel” or “the meaning of Natural Born requires two citizen parents.” Neither he nor anyone else at the time ever said it, and we know from the Tucker quotation that the way that they use Natural Born Citizen referred to the place of birth, with NO mention of the parents.

      • js03 May 7, 2012 / 2:32 pm

        English commmon law in 1786 only recognized subjects…they didnt have citizens until (>??<) 1973…

        the simple fact that the term citizen was used removed the possiblity of confusion…the source of the concept of citizenship was France…Vattel was French…

        for the huge difference between the two terms, read leo donofrio’s brief on what being an english subject was under Brit common law…

        B

      • dbschmidt May 7, 2012 / 2:42 pm

        Ellen conveniently and completely ignores that there are two requirements to being a natural born citizen; the place of birth and the allegiance of the parents–in particular the Father because at the time of the founding the mother/wife received her allegiance from the father/husband.

        Before you get all riled up—this is not about Obama because as far as I am concerned that is a moot point for reasons that are far beyond your understanding; nevertheless, this needs clarification going forward, in addition to the election at all levels and on all sides persons that can read, comprehend, and stand behind the Constitution.

      • Amazona May 7, 2012 / 9:10 pm

        We have to consider Ellen’s overall credibility. But once she has chosen to be part of the interstellar Collective, a demon or whatever living in Hell or whatever, it becomes clear that her beliefs are pretty idiosyncratic, and highly personal.

        For some reason it matter far more to her to insistently repeat her mantra that being born on US soil is the same as “natural born citizen”. As this is not about Obama, it can’t be that blind kneejerk reaction to anything that even hints of a critique of The One We Have All Been Waiting For, so it;s hard to tell what prompts her absolutism on the subject.

        She has to ignore what is said and depend on what is not, which is never much of a foundation for a belief, but hey, it’s all she’s got.

        Fortunately, there are people who can set aside their biases in favor of establishing, if not fact, at least a governing legal opinion. I for one would be sad to lose Marco Rubio as a presidential candidate. I heard most of his interview with Chris Wallace on the radio Sunday and was blown away by his intelligence, his articulate way of expressing himself, his overall projection of competence and knowledge. And I’ve seen him speak in person. The man is a superstar.

        But the law is the law, and right now the law is buried in the artfully created chaos of conflicting opinion, and worse, opinion flatly declared as fact. I cannot be a Constitutional Conservative and then choose to overlook or distort Constitutional law just because doing so would meet the need of the moment. So I want a ruling, an objective and final ruling, to establish the law once and for all.

        No phrase or statement or word in the Constitution was defined by its writers. Every examination of it has to include careful reading of the other writings of the Founders, to determine what was meant when the passage of time and the changes in language usage have made some of its statements less clear than they undoubtedly were when they were written.

        I just don’t understand objecting to having that final decision made, and the examination of all the evidence before it is made. It reeks, to me, of a desire to shove one particular definition down our throats, no matter what the facts may prove, and that bothers me.

      • Amazona May 8, 2012 / 1:12 am

        I suggest that wanting to avoid certain aspects of British Common Law because of their relationship to the monarchy is not the same as rejecting language used in British Common Law, language which was familiar to all at the time and which needed no further definition or explanation.

        It was not only possible, it was reasonable, to use accepted and understood terms even while avoiding some of the actual laws and policies.

      • Retired Spook May 8, 2012 / 8:28 am

        We have to consider Ellen’s overall credibility. But once she has chosen to be part of the interstellar Collective, a demon or whatever living in Hell or whatever, it becomes clear that her beliefs are pretty idiosyncratic, and highly personal.

        I’m gonna go out on a limb and disagree with you, Amazona. I don’t think Ellen is part of the Pitchfork contingent. I’ve read her comments elsewhere, and I think she was exactly the kind of adversary commenter needed for this thread. Aside from the fact that she seems very sure of herself and her views, she was civil and presented lots of evidence and links to back up her assertions. I did a lot more research on this than I normally would have done absent her comments.

        There are two schools of thought on what constitutes a “natural-born citizen”: one centered around British Common Law, and one centered around Natural Law. I think anyone who believes words mean things, and the meanings of key words related to important issues, especially the eligibility for President of the United States, should be clear, unambiguous and universally agreed upon. That is currently far from the case.

  15. Retired Spook May 7, 2012 / 4:07 pm

    While it doesn’t settle our debate, this article is one of the most comprehensive I’ve seen on the actual details of the Constitutional Convention as well as a look into the minds of those who helped shape our republic.

    • Amazona May 8, 2012 / 1:06 am

      Thanks for the link, Spook. It’s really an interesting article, and discusses the confusion that has surrounded the term for quite some time.

      I found the following quote very interesting: (emphasis mine)

      “A particularly compelling version of this interpretation, with language that applies, inadvertently, no doubt, to foreign-born adoptees, can be found in an article written almost 100 years ago by Alexander Porter Morse. He writes that by drawing on the term so well known from English law, the Founders were recognizing “the law of hereditary, rather than territorial allegiance.” In other words, they were drawing on the English legal tradition, which protected allegiance to the king by conferring citizenship on all children “whose fathers were natural-born subjects,” regardless of where the children were born. Thus, according to Morse, “the framers thought it wise, in view of the probable influx of European immigration, to provide that the President should at least be the child of citizens owing allegiance to the United States at the time of his birth.” He goes on to say that the presidential eligibility clause “was scarcely intended to bar the children of American parentage, whether born at sea or in foreign territory…. A natural-born citizen has been defined as one whose citizenship is established by the jurisdiction which the United States already has over the parents of the child, not what is thereafter acquired by choice of residence in this country.”

  16. dbschmidt May 7, 2012 / 10:38 pm

    Maybe we could just ask Congressman Ron Paul? He was around during the signing of the Constitution ~ Wasn’t he? 🙂

    Well, at least he believes and defends it and without a definitive answer at this point I am a fan of Rubio but do not believe him to be eligible. Sad part is I also have a feeling I know why the SCOTUS will not touch this issue until forced.

    • EllenHancock May 7, 2012 / 11:51 pm

      Re Ron Paul. I have already asked his campaign what he thinks. They told me that Rep Paul believes that Obama was born in the USA and hence is a Natural Born US citizen. I have to assume that he thinks the same about Senator Marco Rubio.

      Re there being a difference between subjects and citizens. Who could disagree? But where does it say that Natural Born Citizens require two citizen parents? Where does that idea come from? It certainly does not come from any of the American leaders at the time that the Constitution was written. None of them ever wrote an article or a letter saying “two citizen parents are required to be a Natural Born Citizen.” In fact, they did not even write that “one citizen parent is required to be a Natural Born Citizen.”

      Sure citizens and subjects are different. But that does not mean that they have different parent requirements for Natural Born status.

      • Amazona May 8, 2012 / 12:42 am

        I’m sure the entire campaign of Ron Paul answered this question. Right. Sure “they” did.

        And no matter how many people conflate native born and natural born, history tells us there is a difference. It is a simple fact that many understood, for centuries, that difference, and it is clear that even now many do not.

        I find the evidence of this difference to be quite compelling. For a long time, I did not, but the more I read on the subject the more I came to believe that there is a very good likelyhood that the Founders did mean the term to mean offspring of citizen parents.

        As I have said, the first thing that made me wonder is the otherwise clumsy phrase “natural born citizen”. It has always sounded odd to me, particularly in light of the usual precision of the language the Founders used. They argued the most minute details of how to write this important document, so this could not have been a casual comment, and it always rang false with me till I finally started to read the long history of the actual phrase “natural born citizen:.

        Then it made sense.

        Ellen is, quite simply, wrong when she states that none of the Founders wrote about foreign influence in the presidency. Perhaps she should try actually reading what they wrote and not just regurgitating talking points.

        And as the issue can only affect Republican potential candidates, at least in the near future, it is hard to tell why Ellen is so wound up about this. Perhaps she knows of an up and coming Dem in the wings whose parents were not citizens when he or she was born, and is engaging in preemptive overdefensiveness.

      • bozo May 8, 2012 / 5:00 am

        http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?c108:S.2128:

        Republicans are years ahead of you, Ammo. They apparently saw a need to let fureigners run for president back in 2004 when Nickles (R) and Inhofe (R) teamed up with conservaDem Landrieu, to let Mitt Romney (who was born to a Mexican immigrant father) run for prez.

      • J. R. Babcock May 8, 2012 / 8:17 am

        Republicans are years ahead of you, Ammo. They apparently saw a need to let fureigners run for president back in 2004 when Nickles (R) and Inhofe (R) teamed up with conservaDem Landrieu, to let Mitt Romney (who was born to a Mexican immigrant father) run for prez.

        Romney’s parents, Gaskell Romney (1871–1955) and Anna Amelia Pratt (1876–1926), were American citizens and natives of Utah. They married in 1895 in Mexico and lived in Colonia Dublán in Galeana in the state of Chihuahua (one of the Mormon colonies in Mexico) where George was born on July 8, 1907.[1][3][6] They practiced monogamy[1] (polygamy having been abolished by the 1890 Manifesto, although it persisted in places, especially Mexico).[7] George had three older brothers, two younger brothers, and a younger sister.[8] Gaskell Romney was a successful carpenter, house builder, and farmer who headed the most prosperous family in the colony,[9][10] which was situated in an agricultural valley below the Sierra Madre Occidental.[11] The family chose U.S. citizenship for their children, including George.[11]

        BTW, your link doesn’t work — just like your logic.

      • js03 May 8, 2012 / 9:11 am

        Natural born citizen…simple yet so confusing to those with a reprobate mind…

        The indigenous populations of a territory are those who are citizens naturally, being the children of parents born also in the territory (or those who were present and concerned in the forming of the territory/society and their descendents).

        Natural Born Citizens are those whose citizenship is established from within the indigenous population, not from aliens sojourning in the nation who are not citizens because the natural born allegiance to a child’s parents cannot be removed by any act of government, such allegiance descends naturally from parent to child. The Children of Aliens are not natural born citizens of any nation.

        At birth it is the natural right of the child to his/her parents citizenship, making it possible for a child to be born without natural born citizenship to any country as in Obama’s case, who was born to parents holding 2 separate nationalities. The natural born citizenship clause was put into place to insure that only those whose allegiance was solely to the USA was put into the office of POTUS. It is a condition of birth, not racism, prejudice or any other reason that Barak Hussein should be removed from office, and every bill and order he signed voided.

      • js03 May 8, 2012 / 9:24 am

        as far as subject to the crown goes…that relationship is based on the belief that the king is the direct representative of Christ on earth…such relationship being established in brit common law…those who were not Christians were enemies of the crown…and not subjects thereto; such being an abomination to the US Constitution which understandably demonstrates a complete rejecting of the brit concept of “citizenship”…

        stop blowing hot air and learn about the BS you are spreading ellen…I have no use for your ignorance

      • Retired Spook May 8, 2012 / 10:00 am

        At birth it is the natural right of the child to his/her parents citizenship, making it possible for a child to be born without natural born citizenship to any country as in Obama’s case, who was born to parents holding 2 separate nationalities. The natural born citizenship clause was put into place to insure that only those whose allegiance was solely to the USA was put into the office of POTUS.

        JS, this is the aspect of the natural-born citizen issue that has always puzzled me. I don’t know — maybe “puzzled” is not the right word. The folks like Ellen who equate “native born” with “natural-born” don’t see a difference between someone who had no choice of citizenship at birth (natural born) to someone like Obama whose parents could have chosen either British citizenship or U.S. citizenship for him at birth. I find it almost incomprehensible that the Founders would not have seen a difference. It would be nice to find some concrete evidence that the Founders used the words “natural-born citizen” specifically to exclude someone like Obama, whose “Dreams from [his] Father” were in conflict with our founding and governing principles, from becoming President. It would also be nice to have access to all of Obama’s passport and education records, which I suspect would shed a completely new light on the whole issue.

      • dbschmidt May 8, 2012 / 10:34 pm

        Spook,

        You wouldn’t someone like a founder ~ from the original post

        Another founder, Benjamin Franklin, made the point of foreign influence clearly and within his own family when he left none of his assets to William (eldest living son) that were linked to America because of William siding with the British during the revolution whereas his will states in part “The part he [William] acted against me in the late war, which is of public notoriety, will account for my leaving him no more of an estate he endeavoured [sic] to deprive me of” referring to all of his lands and owning’s within the boundaries of the new United States of America. This point is made in part to show that Jus sanguinis and Jus soli were weighted heavily including loyalty to the new America—this was solemn according to the final cost to Franklin’s eldest living son.

      • js03 May 8, 2012 / 10:38 pm

        Having the Status of Birthright Citizenship Is Not…

        sept 11 blog archive…might help

  17. Retired Spook May 7, 2012 / 11:33 pm

    One of the constants I encountered in researching this issue over the last couple days was the fact that a lot of the personal writings of the Founders and Framers of the Constitution are not available on-line. Were I younger and in graduate school, this issue would make an excellent topic for a thesis. I suspect a couple weeks in the Library of Congress would prove many of Ellen’s statements incorrect.

    • EllenHancock May 8, 2012 / 12:22 am

      The complete papers of George Washington, John Adams, Alexander Hamilton, Thomas Jefferson and James Madison are available online. The trouble is that you often have to search them volume by volume. I did.

      I searched for Natural Born, and I found several mentions–all similar to the use in the common law–and NONE referring to parents. Most, if not all, of the references were to Natural Born subjects.

      For sure, however, there was one thing that did NOT exist in any of the volumes. There was no article or letter saying: “Natural born means two citizen parents.” Nor was there anything that said: “Let us follow Vattel in the definition of Natural Born.”

      For example, here is a letter from George Washington in which he refers to Natural Born Subjects. He was apparently asked by Livingstone to try captured US-born soldiers who were fighting for the British as traitors. He replied that if he did that, the British would try their Natural Born Subjects who were fighting for us as traitors. While this seems ambiguous, it is an example of Americans using Natural Born the same way as the British did.

      http://memory.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/r?ammem/mgw:@field%28DOCID+@lit%28gw100160%29%29

      There is also two drafts of treaties prepared by Ben Franklin, John Adams, and John Jay, and again the examples show that the US writers used Natural Born just the way that the British did. Indeed, in the draft treaties, US Citizens were supposed to have the same rights in Britain as Natural Born subjects, and British subjects were to get all the rights of Natural Born Citizens.

      (The spelling and capitalization are what they were at the time.)

      Quote begins:

      Draft Articles to Supplement the Preliminary Anglo-American Peace Treaty [ca 27 April 1787 [in Paris]

      Articles agreed on by David Hartley Esq., Minister Plenipotentiary of His Brittanic Majesty for &c in behalf of said Majesty on the one part, and J.A. [John Adams], B.F. [Benjamin Franklin], J.J. [John Jay] and H.L [Henry Livingston, who was also at the US Embassy in France, but is not as famous as the other three], ministers plenipotentiary of the Unites States of America for treating of peace….in addition to the articles agreed on the 30th day of November 1782…The subjects of the Crown of Great Britain shall enjoy in all and every of Said United States, all Rights, Liberties, Privileges and Immunities and be Subject to the Duties and Allegiance of natural born Citizens of the Said States—and, on the other hand, all the citizens of the Said United States shall enjoy in all and every of the Dominions of the Crown of Great Britain all Rights, Liberties, Privileges and Immunities and be Subject to the Duties and Allegiance of natural born Subjects of that Crown, excepting Such Individuals of either Nation as the legislature of the other shall judge fit to exempt.”

      http://books.google.com/books?id=vemc7Vuqk1YC&pg=PA448&lpg=PA448&dq=%22draft+articles+to+supplement%22&source=bl&ots=Aojo7Iux2Z&sig=r8tN3gtsaDaRYWKBox5fOWNPo4M&hl=en&ei=K4pBSvW6ComJtge3iN2dCQ&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=3

  18. Retired Spook May 8, 2012 / 9:44 am

    This thread seems to be still chugging along, so I’ll add one more link to a site that contains a treasure trove of links. One of the most interesting is the link to Jefferson’s use of Vattel in both the writing of the Declaration of Independence and in his contributions to the Constitution.

    • EllenHancock May 8, 2012 / 10:28 am

      Yes Jefferson read Vattel, as did many of the writers of the Declaration and the Constitution. But they read a lot of other things too.

      In particular, they read Blackstone, who was far more popular reading and was used far more in quotations that Vattel. And his use of Natural Born is that of the common law. Surely if any of the writers of the US Constitution meant to use Natural Born in any way other than the way that it was commonly used at the time–its meaning from the common law–they would have told us.

      • Retired Spook May 8, 2012 / 11:33 am

        as did many of the writers of the Declaration and the Constitution.

        Who were some of the other “writers” of the Declaration of Independence, Ellen?

      • EllenHancock May 8, 2012 / 12:03 pm

        Who were some of the other “writers” of the Declaration of Independence, Ellen?

        Ben Franklin and John Adams

      • EllenHancock May 8, 2012 / 12:32 pm

        Re: “Ellen is, quite simply, wrong when she states that none of the Founders wrote about foreign influence in the presidency.”

        I did not say that. It is not true, of course. In fact, the founders were concerned about foreign influence. They did NOT want foreigners to be president, and they barred them from becoming president. To be a Natural Born Citizen one must of course be citizen. And they also were concerned about naturalized citizens, people who once had total allegiance to another country becoming president, and they barred them from becoming president. To be a Natural Born Citizen one must be natural born, not naturalized.

        But there is no evidence that the writers considered that the US-born children of foreigners were either foreigners themselves or greater security risks than the US-born children of US citizens. IF they had thought such a thing, they would have said it–and they did not say it.

      • Retired Spook May 8, 2012 / 12:54 pm

        Ben Franklin and John Adams

        I hate to be a nitpicker, but Jefferson was the sole author of the Declaration of Independence. It even says so on his tombstone. Adams and Franklin made a few minor changes to Jefferson’s original draft, but weren’t a factor in its creation.

      • dbschmidt May 8, 2012 / 10:36 pm

        Ellen claims “In particular, they read Blackstone, who was far more popular reading and was used far more in quotations that Vattel.

        Please validate that claim.

  19. Retired Spook May 8, 2012 / 12:40 pm

    And they also were concerned about naturalized citizens, people who once had total allegiance to another country becoming president, and they barred them from becoming president. To be a Natural Born Citizen one must be natural born, not naturalized.

    Ellen,

    It sounds like you have done a considerable amount of reading on this issue. Given your previous comment (excerpt above) perhaps you could clarify something for me — from your perspective. On his blog, Mario Apuzzo raised the following point WRT “natural-born subject” vs. “natural-born citizen” that I have not seen raised anywhere else.

    The English common law did not distinguish between a “natural born subject” and a naturalized subject. “The English common law provided that an alien naturalized is “to all intents and purposes a natural born subject.” Co. Litt. 129 (quoted and cited in United States v. Rhodes, 27 F.Cass. 785, 790 (1866).). Under English common law, once a person became naturalized, he or she was deemed to be a “natural born subject.” Hence, under English common law a naturalized citizen was considered a “natural born subject.” Hence, giving the “natural born Citizen” clause the same meaning as a “natural born subject” would have allowed a naturalized citizen to be eligible to be President of the new Republic. But Article II, Section 1, Clause 5 mandates that only a “natural born Citizen” is eligible to be President. The clause is written as “No person except . . . shall be eligible . . .” which means that one must be a “natural born Citizen” in order to be eligible to be President, with no exceptions. The way we have interpreted the “natural born Citizen” clause since the beginning of the Republic, a naturalized citizen is not eligible to be President. But assuming the “natural born Citizen” clause had the same meaning as a “natural born subject,” with the Constitution as written it would not have conveyed in any manner that a naturalized citizen was not eligible to be President. No where do we find in the Constitution any direct statement that a naturalized citizen is not eligible to be President. To reach this conclusion, we have always relied upon the “natural born Citizen” clause itself which we have compared with the fact that the Framers prescribed in Article I that naturalized citizens were eligible to be Senators (“nine Years a Citizen of the United States”) and Representatives (seven Years a Citizen of the United States”) . The manner in which the Framers provided that Senators and Representatives needed to be “Citizen of the United States” for only a certain amount of years shows that the naturalized citizen class was included within “Citizens of the United States” and not within “natural born Citizens.” This shows that naturalized citizens were not part of “natural born Citizens.”

    Hence, equating the meaning of a “natural born Citizen” to a “natural born subject” would have allowed naturalized persons to be President, a result that we have rejected from the beginning of the Constitutional Republic. Such a meaning would have created an exception to the “natural born Citizen” clause which would have eviscerated the clause itself. Additionally, since Congress has the power under Article I, Section 8, Clause 4 to make uniform the naturalization laws, such a meaning would have given Congress the power to decide who could be President by simply changing the naturalization requirements. The Framers, fearing that Congress would allow foreign influence to creep into the office of President if it were given the power to select the President, did not give Congress such power.

    How do you reconcile this dilemma from your POV?

    • EllenHancock May 8, 2012 / 1:05 pm

      The answer, as usual, is that Mario Apuzzo is wrong. Naturalized citizens have many of the same rights and obligations as Natural Born Citizens, voting, being drafted, paying taxes, etc. But they are different. Naturalized citizens can be deported, and the US Supreme Court has held that it is constitutional to deport them. So there is a difference.

      Maybe there shouldn’t be a difference. Maybe naturalized citizens have shown their loyalty and we should change the laws to prevent them being deported and to allow them to become president–as has been tried from at least the 1950s, when I recall, it was pointed out that Irving Berlin, the author of God Bless American, would not be eligible to be president.

      But the fact is that a naturalized citizen is not the same as a natural born citizen, and the eligibility provision does not allow naturalized citizens.

      Now, a question for you, where does the “two citizen parent” provision come from. Surely not from Vattel, who recommended such things as a state religion, and in any case–if it had been from Vattel–the writers would have told us about it. Is there something floating in the air, a great natural rights principle that says “two citizen parents are required?”

      How is it that conservatives, who normally say, “if it is not in the law (or the Constitution), you cannot assume that the writers meant it” say in this case that we should assume that the writers of the Constitution meant it?

      • EllenHancock May 8, 2012 / 1:24 pm

        Re: “I hate to be a nitpicker, but Jefferson was the sole author of the Declaration of Independence. It even says so on his tombstone. Adams and Franklin made a few minor changes to Jefferson’s original draft, but weren’t a factor in its creation.”

        Yes Jefferson did write it, but the rest of the body changed some of the words. They participated in writing it. That is how committees and legislative bodies work. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Declaration_of_Independence

        But, why argue, let’s just say Jefferson and the other members of the Continental Congress. They all signed it, and that is what is really important. And they all signed a statement that says: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.”

        Surely if the writers of the Constitution had meant that the US-born children of foreigners were not US citizens or that they were security risks, they would have told us.

      • EllenHancock May 8, 2012 / 1:55 pm

        That should read God Bless America, of course. Sorry for the typo.

      • Retired Spook May 8, 2012 / 2:03 pm

        The answer, as usual, is that Mario Apuzzo is wrong. Naturalized citizens have many of the same rights and obligations as Natural Born Citizens, voting, being drafted, paying taxes, etc. But they are different. Naturalized citizens can be deported, and the US Supreme Court has held that it is constitutional to deport them. So there is a difference.

        It appears you may be correct, Ellen, given that Blackstone says this:

        Naturalization cannot be performed but by act of parliament: for by this an alien is put in exactly the same state as if he had been born in the king’s ligeance; except only that he is incapable, as well as a denizen, of being a member of the privy council, or parliament, &c. No bill for naturalization can be received in either house of parliament, without such disabling clause in it.

        Now, a question for you, where does the “two citizen parent” provision come from. Surely not from Vattel, who recommended such things as a state religion, and in any case–if it had been from Vattel–the writers would have told us about it.

        Would not the same hold true if the term was taken from English Common Law? (“the writers would have told us about it”) I don’t see how Vattel’s recommendation for a state religion has any bearing on the discussion. And the “two citizen parent” provision, if not from Vattel, then from where? I’ve scoured over literally hundreds of pages of historical documents in the last 5 days, and I’m unable to find anywhere where the Framers said, “OK, this concept was taken from English Common Law, and this concept was taken from Natural Law.” One thing is certain; that natural law played a very important roll in the founding of this country.

        It’s been a while since I’ve read the Federalist Papers, although a Constitution workshop I attended in 2010 relied heavily on them as a reference to explain the rationale behind the principles that were incorporated in the Constitution. Perhaps a contemporary reading is in order.

      • Retired Spook May 8, 2012 / 2:07 pm

        How is it that conservatives, who normally say, “if it is not in the law (or the Constitution), you cannot assume that the writers meant it” say in this case that we should assume that the writers of the Constitution meant it?

        That’s an excellent question, and, in reality, what this thread is all about — trying to determine what the Framers meant, and I have yet to find the definitive statement that answers that question beyond a reasonable doubt. And it needs to be answered.

    • EllenHancock May 8, 2012 / 2:39 pm

      Re: “Would not the same hold true if the term was taken from English Common Law? ”

      If you are saying that the writers would have told us if it came from the common law. Probably not. Why not? Because, of course, the common law was COMMON. Habeas Corpus comes from the common law, but the Constitution and articles do not say “habeas corpus,” as in the common law.

      The common law was common. Vattel was not common. Maybe he was popular enough for a lot of people to read him, but he certainly was not as commonly known as the common law, and we know that he recommended some things that we did not follow–such as a state religion.

      And, finally, we have the Tucker quotation showing that the Americans at the time used the term Natural Born Citizen to refer to the place of birth, as in the common law, and not the way that it was in Vattel. The common law was common; Vattel was not common. The common law was referred to about twenty times in the Federalist Papers; Vattel was not mentioned at all. They would have told us if they had used Vattel or anything different than in the common law.

      • EllenHancock May 8, 2012 / 2:46 pm

        Re: “I have yet to find the definitive statement that answers that question beyond a reasonable doubt. And it needs to be answered.”

        The definitive statement is that the writers of the Constitution did not say “the US born children of foreigners are not eligible to be president.” That being the case, the US born children of foreigners are eligible to be president. And, we have actually had seven presidents whose parents were foreigners, and one of them had two non-citizen parents (Andrew Jackson). Thomas Jefferson, who wrote the Declaration of Independence, had a foreign parent, his mother, and so did Woodrow Wilson and Herbert Hoover.

      • Retired Spook May 8, 2012 / 3:03 pm

        It’s been fun, Ellen. I’m heading out for the rest of the day. You’re a formidable opponent who seems to have all the answers, but If there’s one thing I’ve learned in my life it’s that people who claim to have all the answers usually don’t. Still, I’ll definitely have to do more extensive research before we meet again. I think a sequel to this thread is in order.

        BTW, you should have quit while you were ahead, Jefferson and Jackson were grandfathered in by virtue of being citizens at the time of adoption of the Constitution, and Wilson’s and Hoover’s mothers were both U.S. citizens when their sons were born.

      • EllenHancock May 8, 2012 / 3:14 pm

        Of course Jefferson and Jackson were grandfathered in. That makes them legal presidents under any definition, the common law or Vattel. But that does not make them necessarily good presidents.

        IF there were anything to the theory that the US-born children of foreigners were security risks, you might see some problems from Jefferson and Jackson (especially Jackson with his two foreign parents), and yet they are two of our greatest presidents. No problems from Herbert Hoover or Woodrow Wilson either.

        So, going back to the fundamentals, there is nothing in the US constitution or in the writings of any of the founders that says that the US-born children of foreigners are barred from being president. That by itself is sufficient. If the Constitution does not say that they are barred, they are not barred.

        In addition, we have had presidents who have had foreign parents, and some of them have been great, like Jefferson and Jackson, and others good, like Wilson and Hoover. Two others were Buchanan and Arthur. There is, by the way, absolutely no evidence that Buchanan’s father was naturalized before his birth, or that Arthur hid the fact that his father was not a US citizen.

      • EllenHancock May 8, 2012 / 3:20 pm

        Re: “Wilson’s and Hoover’s mothers were both U.S. citizens when their sons were born.”

        In a way they were. But it a more significant way they weren’t. You see, they only became US citizens because of a law that automatically made women US citizens when they married American men. They were not formally naturalized. They did not have to swear an oath or renounce their foreign citizenship.

        So legally they were US citizens, but in terms of their actual allegiance, who knows? Moreover, since they did not renounce their previous citizenship, the countries where they were born still considered them to be citizens. In the case of Woodrow Wilson that meant that he was a dual citizen of the USA and Britain when he was born.

      • dbschmidt May 8, 2012 / 11:01 pm

        You have several misunderstandings here but let us start with the most obvious. Vattel was not common which is to state that just because you believe so? He was read read and understood as well as British Common Law (whom the colonist were fleeing) at the time; nevertheless, if of the maximum 55 founders ~ say 52 have read Vattel would this not be “common?”

        However, Ellen backs this up by “and we know that he recommended some things that we did not follow–such as a state religion. when at the time of the founding and quite a while after (plus the reason for the letter to the Danbury Baptist Church (which most leftist still misrepresent) was an assurance from Jefferson to the Baptist that they could still have freedom of religion (not from) in the 13 colonies which at least 9 were church-states quite like the English Church-Government. At least 9 of the 13 “states” had State religion at the time.

        Please try to understand history before you misquote it.

      • dbschmidt May 8, 2012 / 11:10 pm

        Jefferson, Jackson, Hoover, and Wilson (who, IMHO was the worst President ever),

        — Jefferson was not a “natural born Citizen” but, adhering to the revolution, was a “citizen of the United States.” Under Article II, Section 1, Clause 5, he was grandfathered to be eligible to be President.

        –Jackson, also became a “citizen of the United States” by adhering to the revolution and also grandfathered to be eligible to be President.”

        — Hoover’s mother became a “citizen of the United States” when she married her husband who was a “citizen of the United States.” ”

        –Wilson’s mother became a “citizen of the United States” when she married her husband who was a “citizen of the United States.

        So except for Jefferson and Jackson who were grandfathered, all these presidents were born in the U.S. to parents who were at the time of their birth “citizens of the United States.” They were all “natural born Citizens.

      • dbschmidt May 8, 2012 / 11:13 pm

        I could get nasty with your comment but I will leave it to you to figure out that women (at the time) got their bona fides from their husband. Sorry–your “reasoning” is a couple of years early.

  20. Retired Spook May 8, 2012 / 6:13 pm

    Ellen, I’m back, but I’ve got a lot of other stuff going on tonight and over the next day or two. I hope you’ll join us in future Constitution-related discussions. It’s a pleasure having someone debate a topic without resorting to name calling and incivility. We don’t get much of that here from Liberals. I have no idea what your politics are, but, assuming you’re left of center (if that assumption is wrong, I apologize in advance), it would be a first in the 8 years I’ve been on this blog to have someone who is able to debate politics from a Liberal viewpoint as capably as you have debated the topic of this thread.

    • EllenHancock May 8, 2012 / 10:44 pm

      That is very kind. You are also civil. But you are remarkably stubborn. When someone says to you that four state courts one federal court, the unanimous US Congress, the members of the Electoral College, and such conservative legal experts as Ed Meese all believe that Natural Born Citizen comes from the common law–you say that they could be wrong (which is true, we all can be, but there is a reason for this kind of unanimity).

      When someone points out to you some examples of how Natural Born Citizen was used at the time of the writing of the Constitution and notes that it was never used to refer to parents, you say nothing, but you are not convinced.

      When someone quotes the US Supreme Court ruling saying that every child is natural born (and that was a six to two ruling, one not voting), you apparently ignore it.

      When it is pointed out to you that the founders not limiting our choices on who can be president is a conservative virtue (allowing us to make our own mistakes), you do not answer in detail. When it is pointed out to you that the idea that a US born child of foreign parents is not a Natural Born Citizen while the US born child of two citizen parents is is not in keeping with “all men are created equal”–you do not answer.

      If the writers of the Constitution thought that the US-born children of foreigners were not US citizens at birth and were security risks because of their parents, they would have told us. If they were using Natural Born in any other way than the most common use at the time, the common law, they would have told us.

      Since they did not spell out “two citizen parents are required.” Two citizen parents are not required.

      • dbschmidt May 8, 2012 / 11:24 pm

        This is a Constitutional issue, which is only one-step under Nature’s law, so how does minions of the county, State, or lower level Federal courts nipping at the heels of justice have any bearing?

        It has been a difference of opinion; however, when you claim “When someone quotes the US Supreme Court ruling saying that every child is natural born” please do not try and present falsehoods because there has never been a case before the SCOTUS which has even tried to delve into the question of a definition of “natural born citizen.”

        If that were the case then this question would have been already answered.

        BTW, you never answered my query–Is Mork from Ork a possible Presidential contender under your understanding? (answer this one first if you dare,)

      • tiredoflibbs May 9, 2012 / 5:56 am

        Sorry Ellen, just because there is “reason for unanimity” does not also make it true.

        Case in point, the Supreme Court, the Congress and other legal experts once upheld slavery.

        Spook raises legitimate questions and sound reasoning as to the intent of the Founding Fathers.

        Unanimity has nothing to do with it. A decision can be unanimous but that does not make it the truth. What was their intent?

  21. Jeremiah May 9, 2012 / 2:22 am

    “Indisputably, in order to be President of the United States, Article II, §1, of the U.S.
    Constitution requires: “No person except a natural born Citizen . . ., shall be eligible to the Office of President.” The phrase “natural born Citizen” is an 18th Century legal term of art with a definite meaning. At the time of the adoption of the Constitution, that phrase was defined as: “The natives, or natural-born citizens, are those born in the country, of parents who are citizens.” (The Law of Nations, Emerich de Vattel, 1758, Chapter 19, § 212).”

    • Retired Spook May 9, 2012 / 8:24 am

      Jeremiah,

      I’ve read enough about this topic over the last few days to realize that it’s not as simple as that. In order to successfully argue that the Founders were using Vattel’s definition of natural-born citizen, we need to find writings from the Founders that said that was their intent. On this I agree with Ellen. Where I disagree with her is when she says no such writings exist. There are some that nibble around the edges, but none that I have yet found that come right out and say it. There are lots of correspondence between Founders that is not available on-line or available only at considerable subscription expense. Logic says to me that, given the Founders used the requirement of “natural-born citizen” ONLY for the President and Vice President, and for no other office, that it was special and exceeded the requirement of simply being a “native-born” or “born at birth” citizen, but I have yet to find the actual words of any of the Framers that specifically said that. I intend to keep looking.

      If there was no such term in English common law as “natural-born subject”, then this would be a no-brainer, but there was such a term, and it’s clear, from everything I’ve read, that common law exerted a heavy influence on the way the Constitution was constructed.

    • EllenHancock May 9, 2012 / 9:38 am

      Who told you that the term comes from Vattel? Where is the proof? Vattel recommended that every country should have a state religion and force people to join it. We did not follow that recommendation. What makes you think that we followed his SWISS definition of Natural Born Citizen? There is not a shred of proof. There are no articles at the time saying “we are following Vattel” “or let us use the two citizen definition.” IF there were, that would be different. But there were NONE.

      And the common meaning of Natural Born at the time came from the common law. There is no proof that it was used in any other way than the common way, and that meaning referred to the place of birth. We have examples of that use of the term, we have many cases of founders using the term Natural Born in the common law sense, and we have the Tucker quotation (above) which in 1803–very close to the time that the Constitution was written–specifically showed that the meaning of Natural Born Citizen refers to the place of birth. THAT is its meaning. Unless authors at the time said that they were using Vattel or had a new meaning involving two parents, that was its meaning and continues to be its meaning. And that is what the courts have found in four state courts and one federal court, and in the Electoral College and in the US Congress unanimously. In no case, not a single case, has any court or Congress or the Electoral College ruled for the two-parent theory.

      Re the US Supreme Court changing its min in the past. Sure, but in this case it will not. Not unless someone finds a law or an article at the time of the writing of the Constitution saying “Let’s use the Vattel definition” or “two citizen parents are required.”

      Re: “there has never been a case before the SCOTUS which has even tried to delve into the question of a definition of “natural born citizen.”

      Where did you get that silly notion from. Here is the quotation from the Wong Kim Ark case:

      “It thus clearly appears that, by the law of England for the last three centuries, beginning before the settlement of this country and continuing to the present day, aliens, while residing in the dominions possessed by the Crown of England, were within the allegiance, the obedience, the faith or loyalty, the protection, the power, the jurisdiction of the English Sovereign, and therefore every child born in England of alien parents was a natural-born subject unless the child of an ambassador or other diplomatic agent of a foreign State or of an alien enemy in hostile occupation of the place where the child was born.

      III. The same rule was in force in all the English Colonies upon this continent down to the time of the Declaration of Independence, and in the United States afterwards, and continued to prevail under the Constitution as originally established.”

      That quotation clearly states that the rule that EVERY child (with rare exceptions) born in the place is Natural Born applied to the American colonies, the early states and under the Constitution. That is simple language, and as noted that ruling is understood to mean that every child born in the USA (except for the children of foreign diplomats, Etc.) is a Natural Born US citizen by hundreds of lawyers in the Electoral College, the US Congress, four state courts and one federal court, Meese, Etc.

      Re: “BTW, you never answered my query–Is Mork from Ork a possible Presidential contender under your understanding? (answer this one first if you dare,)”

      Actually, if you recall, you asked a different question before, was Mork from Ork ELIGIBLE, and I replied to it simply and directly. I said that if Mork from Ork was human, and was born in the USA, then Mork from Ork was eligible (assuming that he was not the child of a foreign diplomat).

      Now you are asking a different question, is he a possible candidate. Well, that has to do with popularity. If he were eligible and if he were popular, then he would be a possible Presidential contender.

      Re: “…, that it was special and exceeded the requirement of simply being a “native-born” or “born at birth” citizen.”

      There is absolutely no evidence that the founders wanted to limit the presidency in any way other than to exclude foreigners and to exclude naturalized citizens. THAT is doing plenty. It is excluding more people than in any other eligibility requirement. There is nothing “logical” about the idea that they wanted to exclude the US-born children of foreigners. If they wanted to exclude the US-born children of foreigners, there would be evidence for that–and there is none.

      If in principle all men are created equal then, unless there is evidence to the contrary (and there isn’t any), the US born children of foreigners were to be treated equally to the US born children of US citizens. The idea that the US Supreme Court now or in the future would reverse that principle is absurd.

      • EllenHancock May 9, 2012 / 10:08 am

        Re: “an assurance from Jefferson to the Baptist that they could still have freedom of religion (not from) in the 13 colonies…”

        That is not the same thing as establishing a state religion. Vattel recommended that every country should have a single state religion. We do not have a single state religion.

        As for the speculation that if many of the writers of the Constitution read Vattel he was popular. Well, how many? Some, but probably not as many as Blackstone, who was considerably more popular than Vattel, and was quoted in those days far more than Vattel.

        By the way, if you really think that Vattel is an authority on natural law and that natural law says that the leader of a country should be a citizen, forget it. Vattel did define a Natural Born Citizen. But he DID NOT say that the leader of a country should be even a citizen, much less a two-parent-citizen.

      • EllenHancock May 9, 2012 / 10:19 am

        Re: “So except for Jefferson and Jackson who were grandfathered, all these presidents were born in the U.S. to parents who were at the time of their birth “citizens of the United States.” They were all “natural born Citizens.”

        Yes, but the rub is that of those four two were really great presidents.

        If there is anything to the idea that the US-born children of foreigners are more at risk than the US-born children of US citizens then Jefferson and Jackson should have been bad, should have shown some signs of the influence of their foreign parents (especially Jackson, who had two foreign parents), but none of the four showed any foreign influence.

        Which raises this question. If there is no evidence that the US-born children of foreigners are relatively bad citizens, more at risk, then why should we believe it? And, if we don’t believe it, what makes you think that Ben Franklin and James Madison and the other writers did either?

        Oh and by the way, there is no evidence that James Buchanan’s father was naturalized before his birth, and Chester Alan Arthur’s father certainly wasn’t, and there is no evidence that Chester Alan Arthur hid the fact that his father was not naturalized before his birth. (If he were born in Canada, as some say, that would be a different thing, but there is no real evidence that Arthur was born in Canada.)

      • js03 May 9, 2012 / 11:14 am

        thats not true…the founders…which consisted of the 4 men you identified…were part of the act that created the USA…thier loyalties were never in question…

      • EllenHancock May 9, 2012 / 11:33 am

        Re: “thats not true…the founders…which consisted of the 4 men you identified…were part of the act that created the USA…thier loyalties were never in question…”

        I identified

        Thomas Jefferson
        Andrew Jackson
        Woodrow Wilson
        And Herbert Hoover.

        Of those only Thomas Jefferson was really a founder. Andrew Jackson was also under the grandfather clause, but he was not a founder. Regardless of whether Jefferson’s or Jackson’s loyalty was in question, they had foreign parents and were not bad presidents. Nor for that matter were Wilson and Hoover.

        Buchanan was a bad president, but there is no evidence that he was disloyal. The same holds for Chester A. Arthur.

        Those six presidents had one or two foreign parents. Were they any worse than the presidents who had two US parents? Is there any evidence that the millions of US-born Americans who had foreign parents they were more disloyal than the US-born Americans who had American presidents. Well, what makes you think that James Madison or Ben Franklin thought that the US-born Americans of foreign parents would be security risks and therefore should be barred from being president? Certainly there is no evidence from writings at the time. The common meaning of Natural Born Citizen at the time–as the Tucker quotation shows and no writings of the American leaders at the time differs–refers to the place of birth, not the parents.

        The evidence of the quotations at the time indicated that the meaning of Natural Born referred to the place of birth, not the parents. The US Supreme Court has ruled it. These facts are accepted by the US Congress and the US Electoral College.

      • Amazona May 9, 2012 / 11:45 am

        Ellen is certainly wound up on this subject, isn’t she? And as she is so clearly arguing as an advocate for the inclusion of all American-born people to be classified as “natural born” no matter what the citizenship of their parents, one has to wonder what dog Ellen has in this hunt.

        One could view Ellen’s position as that of devil’s advocate (no pun intended) but for the fact that her intensity leads her into the weeds of absolute absurdity in pursuit of something, ANYTHING, she can dig up that she thinks might support her position.

        Take this gem, for instance: “If there is anything to the idea that the US-born children of foreigners are more at risk than the US-born children of US citizens then Jefferson and Jackson should have been bad, should have shown some signs of the influence of their foreign parents (especially Jackson, who had two foreign parents), but none of the four showed any foreign influence. ”

        Dear me, what a gorgeous example of historical ignorance!

        None of those who fought AGAINST England for independence of the American colonies was born an American citizen, because there was no America. Duh. But each of these men proved his absolute and unwavering loyalty and allegiance to the new nation, proved it by risking his life, his fortune, and his sacred honor. Perhaps if you could be bothered to read something other than what is provided to you to support the position to which you are so wedded, you might understand this.

        Prior to its birth as a nation, the American colonies were populated by people who were citizens of other nations. Again—DUH. Again, and please do try to understand this, NO ONE was a United States citizen before there was a United States. You seem to be having a lot of trouble with this concept.

        But then the rabidly radical Left does not DO concepts, or ideas, but just fight fight fight for what they are told to fight for, never letting an objective analysis of fact or ideology get in the way.

        Now, to her bizarre claim that if a man somehow managed to skirt the law, and the intent of the law, and become President in spite of not being a natural born citizen—that is, being the son of United States citizens once the nation was far enough along in its timeline to allow for people to be born here, to citizen parents, and then reach the legal age to become President—–and did not evidence loyalty to the home country of his parents, then there is no reason to have the law requiring a President to be born to two citizens.

        Let me see if I can address this strange and convoluted idea in terms even Ellen can understand.

        OK. We have a law against driving drunk. We have this law because we believe that drunk driving poses a risk. According to Ellen’s tortured reasoning, if some people drive drunk without hurting anyone, there should not be a law banning drunk driving.

        I also point out that she simply asserts something not known, which is that neither Buchanan nor Arthur showed any foreign influence. Please back up that claim, Ellen.

        Oh, you can’t—BECAUSE YOU DON’T KNOW AND YOU JUST INVENT S**T TO TRY TO SUPPORT YOUR CLAIMS.

        But then she goes on, ignoring the Rule of Holes:

        “If there is no evidence that the US-born children of foreigners are relatively bad citizens, more at risk, then why should we believe it? ”

        She needs evidence that US-born children of foreigners are relatively bad citizens, does she? Here are two words that support a vast body of evidence: LA RAZA. Check out the “reconquista” movement, Ellen, comprised mostly of American-born (to illegal aliens) Mexicans who use their citizenship status to remain in this country but who have no allegiance to it and are proud to say so.

        And she also tries the Lefty trick of slipping in a word that changes the meaning of a sentence, so let me take care of that little problem right here. She is trying to say that there is a claim that US-born children of alien parents ARE “relatively bad citizens” when no one has said this. No, there is no belief that these people ARE RELATIVELY BAD CITIZENS. Please do not lie in the pursuit of your goal, Ellen, no matter how much lying to do so is an integral part of Leftist strategy.

        This is an utterly stupid statement as well as a lie. No, the concern is that when one grows up in a home where one or both parents have allegiance to a nation other than the United States, the allegiance of the child can be divided, as children tend to adopt the belief systems of their parents.

        (For some evidence of THIS, examine the title and content of a book written by a man who claims to have been born in the United States yet who cherishes and carries in his heart the dreams FROM his father that motivate him—-an anti-American father whose political ideals are the antithesis of those of our Constitution.)

      • Amazona May 9, 2012 / 12:00 pm

        Ellen points out the obvious when she says “Vattel did define a Natural Born Citizen. But he DID NOT say that the leader of a country should be even a citizen, much less a two-parent-citizen.”

        It’s obvious because Vattel was not writing a national constitution. Therefore, he did not make statements about what a national constitution should or should not say.

        Nor do his other beliefs have anything to do with the simple fact that the Framers understood his ideas on natural law. And his ideas on natural law included that of defining a “natural born citizen” as one born to two citizen parents.

        And, BTW, Ellen, are you aware that at the time of the signing, and then of the ratification, of the U.S. Constitution several of the states of the new nation DID have state religions? That is why the 1st Amendment was so important——it allowed the states to have state religions if they so desired, but prohibited the national government from either interfering in them or establishing a national religion or religious requirement.

        This was further reinforced by the 10th Amendment.

        If there was no intent to differentiate between native citizens and natural born citizens, then why did the Founders grandfather in those people who became citizens by nature of being inhabitants of the states in the new nation at the time the Constitution was ratified? At this point, they were citizens, right? So why did they take the additional step of setting themselves, the sons of people who were not citizens at the times they were, themselves, born, apart by specifically creating a separate category for themselves? Wasn’t this an acknowledgment of the need for all future presidents to be offspring of citizen parents, as noted in the clause “natural born” but understanding that it was simply impossible for this clause to apply to people who were the founders of a new nation and who could, therefore, NOT be offspring of citizen parents?

        We tend to ignore what may be the most important clue regarding the beliefs and intent of the Founders, when we overlook the fact that they took this step. If you read even a smattering of the records of the creation of the Constitution, you will see relentless editing and revising of the wording, incredible attention paid to every detail, to every word, to every idea expressed. This document was not tossed off over a couple of drinks, on a cocktail napkin. It took months of agonizing debate and discussion.

        Because of this, when a clause or phrase is in the Constitution, I have to believe it is there because it was discussed and found essential. And they clearly found it essential to state, not just that citizens could be president, but that natural born citizens could be, and that for the time being a certain OTHER class of citizen would also be eligible.

      • Amazona May 9, 2012 / 12:08 pm

        As for Tucker, let’s look at this quote from “Tucker’s Blackstone”:

        “That provision in the constitution which requires that the president shall be a native-born citizen (unless he were a citizen of the UnitedStates when the constitution was adopted,) is a happy means of security against foreign influence, which, wherever it is capable of being exerted, is to be dreaded more than the plague.”

        When the Constitution itself is misquoted, it is hard to put a lot of faith into the opinion of the misquoter regarding his take on the issue which he has already misquoted.

      • dbschmidt May 9, 2012 / 12:18 pm

        Justice Gray on Wong Kim Ark & the 14th Amendment: “The term citizen, as understood in our law, is precisely analogous to the term subject in the common law, and the change of phrase has entirely resulted from the change of governments” hence “subject and citizen are, in a degree, convertible terms as applied to natives.” Accordingly, “[a]ll persons born in the allegiance of the King are natural-born subjects, and all persons born in the allegiance of the United States are natural-born citizens. Birth and allegiance go together. Such is the rule of the common law, and it is the common law of this country, as well as of England. . .”

        Add in the John Jay letter

        Why was President Chester Arthur ineligible? Because of his allegiance. According to Gregory J. Dehler in his book: Chester Alan Arthur: The Life of a Gilded Age Politician and President “Chester Arthur (1881-1885), was born on October 5, 1829 in Fairfield, Vermont. His father, William Arthur, when eighteen years of age, emigrated from Co. Antrim, Ireland. His father did not become a naturalized U.S. citizen until 14 years after Chester Arthur’s birth. Chester Arthur’s mother, Malvina Stone, was born April 29, 1802 in Berkshire, Franklin, Vermont. Hence, Chester Arthur was born to a father who was not a U.S. citizen at the time of his birth. Because the citizenship of the wife merged into that of the husband, this made Arthur born to an alien mother and father. He was therefore born with dual citizenship of the United Kingdom and the United States.”

        -He was born in the US (and some question this)
        -His Mother was born in the US
        -His father had not yet been ‘naturalized’ and was therefore a dual-citizen at best at the time of Chester’s birth
        -“citizenship of the wife merged into that of the husband, this made Arthur born to an alien mother and father”
        -Ineligible because of his parents and their status at the time of his birth made Chester a child with dual citizenship. This is all due to the status of his father, which until the CABLE act was automatically assigned to the mother.

        Let me restate from Gray “all persons born in the allegiance of the United States are natural-born citizens. Birth and allegiance go together”

        Well, I do not think any minds are going to be changed on this issue but it is one that needs to be clearly defined for the future.
        [emphisis mine]

      • js03 May 9, 2012 / 12:19 pm

        she is bassackwards…

        the constitution is the ruling authority…not a question of if the candidate was a good president…

        the questionable integrity of our electoral system is in jeopardy when we ignore the laws that are established…the way the last congress and this congress have done..

        and as far as the rest of the poppycock ellen is pushing…so many assumptions…so much bs…the common meaning of natural born citizenship “as the founding fathers understood it to mean” can NOT be derivitive of the British Monarchy…as explained above…as its foundation was that the king was the direct representative of Jesus…which concept is repulsive to the US Constitution in its core principals…so all the lip service in the world doesnt budge the truth…the Founding Fathers had use of Vattels Law of Nations…and used its interpetations to establish the constitutional requirements for POTUS…

        and further…right up to the 14th amendment…the child of aliens born in the USA…were not considered natural born citizens…at any time…and the 14th Amend.. didnt change the qualifications for POTUS…it remains the same today as it did when they wrote the Constitution…

        A natural born citizen can ONLY be created through the indigenous population. BOTH parents must be citizens, or indigenous to, the US in order for thier children to be eligible for POTUS.

      • Retired Spook May 9, 2012 / 12:22 pm

        If you read even a smattering of the records of the creation of the Constitution, you will see relentless editing and revising of the wording, incredible attention paid to every detail, to every word, to every idea expressed.

        And yet, according to Madison’s notes (the most comprehensive notes available) on the Constitutional Convention, once the delegates abandoned the idea of the Legislature selecting the President and inserted the qualifying words “natural-born citizen”, the wording was accepted UNANIMOUSLY without further debate. Now you can accept Ellen’s view that, absent any record of debate in which the meaning of “natural-born citizen” was discussed, including its origin, then you MUST assume that the meaning was taken from English common law. And that may be a legitimate assumption; or it may not. You make an excellent point, Amazona, that Ellen seems to be passionately wound up about this subject. I would simply like to determine the truth, and when someone argues that the is “simply no evidence” to support a contrary POV, you can usually bet that there is.

      • EllenHancock May 9, 2012 / 12:34 pm

        Re: “NO ONE was a United States citizen before there was a United States. ”

        Sure, but what does this have to do with Natural Born Citizen status. If Natural Born meant born on AMERICAN soil, meaning the 13 colonies, then the people who were born on it were Natural Born, and when the US became independent, on July 4, 1776, they automatically became US citizens. George Washington was a US citizen; he was never naturalized. What kind of a citizen was he? He was a Natural Born Citizen, due to his birth in a colony, in Virginia.

        In contrast, Alexander Hamilton–who fought for America in the Revolution–was a US citizen, but he was not a Natural Born US citizen because he was not born in one of the 13 colonies. So, for Hamilton–and some others such as James Wilson, another member of the Constitutional Convention–they adopted the grandfather clause.

        The grandfather clause does not help your case at all. It shows that the writers of the US Constitution were in fact willing to take the risk that even naturalized citizens might be loyal enough to be president. Alexander Hamilton and the others who fought for the Revolution certainly were, but there has been some historical research that indicates that by adopting the grandfather clause, some 60,000 men foreign born became eligible to be president–and that was a heck of a lot when the USA had only a few million people.

        The definition is still the same, Natural Born refers to the place of birth. Nothing in the strange idea that George Washington was not a US citizen or that he was naturalized changes that.

        Re: “According to Ellen’s tortured reasoning, if some people drive drunk without hurting anyone, there should not be a law banning drunk driving.”

        This does not prove your case. In fact it is very much against it. IF there were no law banning drunk driving, you could not put someone in jail for drunk driving. The principle of the law is clear, if something is not banned, it is allowed. The question we have been discussing is whether or not the constitution bans the US-born children of foreigners. And there are no specific words that ban them.

        Therefore we ask whether a legal term, Natural Born Citizen, could be the way that the founders banned the US-born children of foreign citizens. In order to determine that we did historical research, and found that the use of Natural Born Citizen at the time the Constitution was did not bar the US-born children of foreign citizens. That should be sufficient, but some people did not believe it.

        So we ask a logical question. If there is no evidence that the US-born children of foreign citizens are worse citizens than the US-born children of US citizens, what makes you think that the founders thought so?

        As for proving that James Buchanan and Chester Alan Arthur were influenced by their parents into being disloyal in some way, and it happened, and I have not shown that it didn’t happen. Well, neither of them gave away New Jersey. If either had done something blatantly disloyal, it would be all over the history books. They didn’t.

        The bottom line is that there is no evidence that the writers of the Constitution thought that the US-born children of foreigners should be barred from the presidency. And in fact the theory that they did think so is illogical in many ways (there being no evidence that that category of presidents or of US citizens in general are in fact disloyal, and the fact that that would not be treating people as equal when the founders had stated that “All men are created equal”). Only evidence can counter these enormous drawbacks to the theory, and there isn’t any.

      • Amazona May 9, 2012 / 1:09 pm

        Ellen claims: “The grandfather clause does not help your case at all. It shows that the writers of the US Constitution were in fact willing to take the risk that even naturalized citizens might be loyal enough to be president”

        No, it does not. If that was what the grandfather clause intended, then the phrase “natural born citizen” would not be in the Constitution, and anyone naturalized at any time would be eligible.

        How do you GET to these distorted conclusions?

        Clearly you had to ignore the fact that these men had established their loyalties by pledging their fortunes, their lives and their sacred honor to the new nation. Any idea what that means? It means that they risked being KILLED for acting to establish it, and it means that many of them DID lose their fortunes in the effort. It also means that their sacred honor was intact, because they acted as loyal citizens of the new country they helped establish.

        Perhaps you can explain to us just who WOULD have been eligible to be president at the time of the signing of the Constitution? Just how many men older than 35 had been born in a nation that was only minutes/hours/days/weeks old?

        No, the Founders established a temporary category of eligibility for the office,based on the obvious fact that this was the only way the nation could have a leader for at least 35 years. How do I know it was a temporary category? Because it would end when the last person included in that category died. (Them being normal human beings and all, not starborn hive people who live on as demons.)

        And you admit this when you state, in another of your posts, “There is absolutely no evidence that the founders wanted to limit the presidency in any way other than to exclude foreigners and to exclude naturalized citizens .”

        As there was no AMERICAN definition of any phrase, what with there being no America and all, of course the Founders used commonly understood definitions and phrases from other countries. They also used the language of England and did not invent a new one.

        Ellen says: “And the common meaning of Natural Born at the time came from the common law. There is no proof that it was used in any other way than the common way, and that meaning referred to the place of birth. ”

        Except she shows her ignorance of the term “common law”. She has come up with a “common WAY”, which she then conveniently defines according to her established bias. This is such a strange convolution of both law and language, it is hard to know where it came from, though it reeks of frantic desperation.

        In fact, it was common law that citizenship passed through lineage, as did loyalty to a crown. A child born to British subjects was a subject of the Crown. While the colonists, later the Founding Fathers, rejected the notion of being “subjects” there is certainly no evidence they rejected the concept of citizenship being hereditary, and that is why they wrote Article IV, Sec. II of the U.S. Constitution. This established, through an affirmative act, a new class of citizens, other than the natural citizenship of lineage from two citizen parents——the conveyance of US citizenship to the citizens of the states of the new Union, but it in no way addressed, challenged or changed the accepted natural law of citizenship being passed through citizen parents to their offspring

        There is one place, and one place only, in the entire original Constitution, which addresses citizenship acquired by any means other than heredity, and that is Article IV, Sec. II. And this class of citizen is clearly limited to people who were, at that time, citizens of the states.

        They then created a separate and temporary category, not of citizens but of citizens eligible to serve in the presidency.

        Not until the 14th Amendment was there any mention of U.S. citizenship being granted by nature of the location of the birth of the child, and this is clearly an “affirmative act” not related to natural law, as if natural law applied there would have been no need for the amendment. The very fact that an amendment was seen to be necessary is a tacit admission that natural law did not automatically cover people based on their place of birth.

      • js03 May 9, 2012 / 1:42 pm

        why do you persist in chewing on mental midgetry ellen…the concepts you introduce are well overwritten by previous discussion…you resort to BS because you cant dazzle us with brilliance…

        you dont have the ability to BS us…get your head outta your beeehind…if it were only possible…and start thinking before you post…take into account the whole thread instead of posting this kind of drivel…

Comments are closed.