Mario “The Mangler” Apuzzo, Esq. just filed a 199 page single-spaced brief in the Pennsylvania eligibility suit, Kerchner/Laudenslager v. Obama. Well, for your entertainment, amusement, and overall mental health, I prepared this Speeder’s Digest Condensed Version. I call it that because you can speed right on through this and not spend all those mind-numbing hours. Plus, I call it Speeder’s Digest because Reader’s Digest would have probably pulled some SOPA Stuff on me if I had borrowed their name.
Anyway, there is a whole lot of water in this Brief and the biggest criticism I offer is the excessive length. I do some legal typing for my BFF Fabia Sheen, Esq., a lawyer, and this brief could benefit from some heavy duty editing and re-organization for easier reading and comprehension. As far as the content, those of us who follow this issue have seen all of these arguments, or some incarnation thereof, numerous times. However, Apuzzo has managed to gather them all into one big document. I suspect this Brief will be re-titled The Birther Manifesto at some point in the future. Here are the main arguments and points:
1. The Founders were really, really scairt of FOREIGN INFLUENCE.
2. Natural born citizens are NOT the same as citizens at birth or citizens by operation of the 14th Amendment.
3. Sooo, therefore a natural born citizen is what the Founders thought it was.
4. Which to them, would have meant somebody born of two citizen parents.
5. They would have gotten this concept from Natural Law, Vattel, The Bible, lions, Indian tribes, Whigs, Ancient Greeks and Romans, and some guy named Quintilianus;
6. And also by translating terms and phrases back and forth between French, Latin and Greek a few times for good measure.
7. Plus, the Minor v. Happersett Court said there were doubts whether kids born here of foreigners were citizens, so there should certainly be doubts about them being natural born citizens.
8. The Founders did not look to English Common Law to define natural born citizenship.
9. And anyway, natural born citizens are not the same as natural born subjects.
10. Plus, there was the James McClure Case, and since he was born around the time of The American Revolution, this shows how the Founders viewed this issue.
Aside: Apuzzo Shouts out to Freeper Rxsid and Leo Donofrio!!!
11. Just ignore the Wong Kim Ark stuff because that court had it all wrong.
12. Vattel’s The Law of Nations was a very important book, and it was used as a reference a lot back in those days.
Aside: YEAH!!! On page 68, Apuzzo uses my “Swiss guy” language!!! Plus, I see Apuzzo shadowboxing some other arguments from my Internet Article here, “A Place To Get The REALLY Right Answers About Natural Born Citizenship.”
13. Indigenes means “natural born” in French.
14. Vattel and his book were very popular with the Founders.
15. Some Saint, named George Tucker, thought you should be able to quit being a citizen if you wanted to.
16. The Ankeny Court was wrong in 2009 , and so was the Lynch v. Clarke Court back in 1844.
17. There are some cases which back up the Natural Law Definition, including Venus Case (1814) , The Inglis v. Sailor’s Snug Harbor Case (1830), the Shanks Dupont Case (1830) and Dred Scott (1847) (which earns an extra Rictal Scale point!)
18. Some speeches by Congressmen, legal articles, legal dictionaries, and Jefferson’s Citizenship Statutes back up the two citizen parent theory.
19. Naturalization Statutes and The James McClure case (again) back up the two citizen parent/natural law theory.
20. The 14th Amendment didn’t do nothing, vis a vis natural born citizenship, and several SCOTUS cases proved it.
21. Minor v. Happersett. Minor v. Happersett. Minor v. Happersett. Minor v. Happersett. Minor v. Happersett.
Aside: An extraneous discourse on lactation and coconuts??? With something cut and pasted from the comments section of his blog??? (Who is the “Your” he is referring to???) (Page 138-139)
22. Contrary to popular belief, the Wong Kim Ark case affirmed Minor’s two citizen parent theory, and distinguished between a 14th Amendment born citizen and an Article II natural born citizen.
23. Being European, Emer Vattel realized it took both a man and a woman to make a baby.
24. There are a couple of cases that the Obama Enablers cite to show Obama is a natural born citizen, including Calvin’s Case, Lynch v. Clarke (1844), Kwock v. White (1920), and Ankeny v. Governor (2009).
25. Obama still has to prove he was born in the United States, but even if he does, he can’t prove he was born to two citizen parents, plus he is British, to boot.
Well, that is pretty much a run down of The Apuzzo Brief. Even in this condensed version the repetition is obvious. All in all, the Brief is well written as far as grammar and syntax. It far surpasses wussy Leo Donofrio’s recent 209 page Brief, of which 3/4 are photocopied attachments. Apuzzo did not stoop to photocopy filler. Or even double-spacing. Say what you will, Apuzzo manned up.
Parts of the Brief are actually interesting. As far as legal ooomph, there isn’t much. Apuzzo just can’t twist Minor v. Happersett into positively saying what he wants it to say, although he does make a Herculean effort. Conclusions and rationalizations about what the Founders meant by natural born citizen do not negate the precedental value of Wong Kim Ark. But, unlike the Ankeny Birthers, Apuzzo does meet the issue head on and he doesn’t try to ignore the case altogether.
I do not believe the Apuzzo Brief was written for lawyers, judges and courts. It is far too long, and there is way too much irrelevancy and conclusory reasoning. For example, Apuzzo knows that Quintilianus doesn’t trump Coke or English Common Law. All that stuff, and all the multi-lingual translational quips are meant for the Birther Hordes, who hunger for copy and paste material with which to clobber the smart-alecky Obots and Anti-Birthers out there on the Intertubz. Apuzzo has given them their money’s worth, with 199 pages of single-spaced legal jargon cum Birther sound bites.
For Apuzzo, this may very well prove to be a wise move and if he can continue to push the Constitutional Article II Expert appellation, I predict this will serve to repair some of his damaged legal credibility. This is not because of any brilliant legal insight, but because of his move from practical reality-based law toward the realm of ersatz academic law. Think about it. A law professor who writes a paper on why we should not enslave killer whales is considered trendy, if eccentric. He will be invited to give speeches. The working lawyer who actually sues Sea World on behalf of Shamu just gets 12(b)6′ed while his friends snicker and make the crazy horizontal rotating finger sign behind his back.
Like I said above, prepare to see this Brief come out in book form with the title, The Birther Manifesto.
Note 1. The Image. This is from Disney’s Fantasia, The Sorcerer’s Apprentice vignette. Disney’s tale is based on Goethe’s Zauberlehrling, about which Wiki says:
The poem begins as an old sorcerer departs his workshop, leaving his apprentice with chores to perform. Tired of fetching water by pail, the apprentice enchants a broom to do the work for him — using magic in which he is not yet fully trained. The floor is soon awash with water, and the apprentice realizes that he cannot stop the broom because he does not know how.
Not knowing how to control the enchanted broom, the apprentice splits it in two with an axe, but each of the pieces becomes a new broom and takes up a pail and continues fetching water, now at twice the speed. When all seems lost, the old sorcerer returns, quickly breaks the spell and saves the day. The poem finishes with the old sorcerer’s statement that powerful spirits should only be called by the master himself.
It is generally presumed that the story embodies some maxim or moral, and that it is something along the lines of “don’t meddle with things you don’t understand.“
If you are interested in the original poem, see here:
Note 2. Not Hold Water. The idiom means not standing up to critical examination, or not being sound and valid, as in “This argument just won’t hold water“, or “Her reasons for quitting don’t hold water.” This negative form of the metaphoric expression alludes to a container that can not hold water without leaking. [c. 1600]