Well, your intrepid Girl Reporter has been battling Vattle Birthers over at World Net Daily for several days, and one of them made this very curious comment:
Like you, I wanted to make sure that I wasn’t just letting my ego do the interpreting for me, so I consulted sources like John Jay, the first Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, or the likes of Alexander Hamilton’s notes from the Constitutional convention to substantiate that de Vattel was in fact one of the sources that they were familiar with when they were writing the document that contained Article II. . . . I even took the route of reading and translating the pertinent passage from Vattel in the original French and then verifying my interpretation with someone I knew for whom French was their native language, rather than relying on computerized translators.
In that response, several of the Vattle Birther’s CONCEPTUAL problems become evident. First, while John Jay and Alexander Hamilton were wonderful Americans, Hamilton died in 1804 and John Jay in 1829. Poor Old Emerich D. Vattel died in 1767, 8 1/2 years before the Declaration of Independence. While what any of these people said might be important to a court in determining intent, to focus on them while ignoring or misinterpreting the subsequent legal history is DISINGENUOUS and MISLEADING. Because things were happening well after all these people died. There was a Supreme Court case in 1898, Wong Kim Ark, in which the judges said 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, and 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.13
All 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.
These three paragraphs, and many more from the above SCOTUS case, were included in a 2009 Indiana state court opinion in which the Vattle Birthers tried to make all their usual arguments. They lost. Here is what that court said:
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. Just as a person “born within the British dominions [was] a natural-born British subject” at the time of the framing of the U.S. Constitution, so too were those “born in the allegiance of the United States  natural-born citizens.”15
Funny, but I don’t see Vattel anywhere in there at all. It’s in English and simple to read. I guess we really don’t need no stinkin’ translators!!!
Tee Hee! Tee Hee!
NOTES and BONUS:
The picture above is from a old-timey Humphrey Bogart movie, the Treasure of the Sierra Madre. Wiki says:
In one scene, a Mexican bandit leader named “Gold Hat”(portrayed by Alfonso Bedoya) tries to convince Fred C. Dobbs (played by Humphrey Bogart) that he and his company are Federales :
- Dobbs: “If you’re the police where are your badges?”
- Gold Hat: “Badges? We ain’t got no badges. We don’t need no badges! I don’t have to show you any stinkin’ badges!”
As a BONUS here is a youtube video of the scene: