I finally have a partial answer to something that has really bothered me a lot about the Vattel Birthers aka the Two-Citizen Parent Birthers, that is their psychology. (Note: Usually I call them the Vattle Birthers to tease them.) When you debate them, you just can’t help but wonder, “What makes these people tick???” They engage in strange, twisted, and absurd methods of arriving at their legal conclusions, and then stick to those conclusions in the face of all logic, reason, law, and just plain basic common sense. This goes way beyond just sticking to your guns. It is like arguing with someone who says that the Supreme Court never said abortions were legal in the U.S. One may not like abortion or the ruling (like me), but still have enough mental functioning to realize that the act is constitutionally permitted.
For a few brief examples, first the Vattle Birthers maintain that there is a difference between citizens born in the United States as described in the 14th Amendment and the natural born citizens language where the Constitution is talking about the president. Actually, the courts have said just the opposite. The Vattle Birthers even tried this argument in 2009 in court, and lost. Some Vattle Birthers say that the 14th Amendment does not apply to most Americans, those born in the United States to parents who are citizens. This is just plain WACKY. You can’t find that language in any court case, and the concept doesn’t even make legal sense. The Vattle Birthers quote Emerich de Vattel a lot, but Vattel’s definition of natural born citizens is not used in one single court case for that purpose , in either England or the United States EVER. And this is like going back over 40o years!!!
Sooo, you start asking yourself where is this stupid stuff coming from and why are they sooo attached to this lunacy??? Well, come to find out, the Vattle Birthers are not the first people who play lawyer and go kind of crazy in the process. I found the term crank legal theory at Obotski Central, (Yes, even the stupid Obots are right sometimes.) and when I googled it, LO AND BEHOLD!!! look at what I found:
Pseudolaw encompasses any legal theory developed or action taken that relies heavily on frivolous arguments trumped up in legal language. Pseudolaw shares many homologous and analogous traits with pseudoscience such as the use of argument from authority, equivocation,and quote mining. Like pseudoscience most of the proponents of pseudolaw are laymen with little to no legal experience (outside their own trials and incarcerations). While an overwhelming majority of those in the legal profession reject the arguments, there are a few cranks with law degrees and licenses that push pseudolaw as well.
Sooo, Vattle Birthers are not the only people engaged in this kind of stupid stuff. The Internet Article tries to distinguish pseudolaw from where people just disagree with current law and list some of the ways to tell when a group has crossed The Rubicon River of Rationality, so to speak. In the list, I have BOLDED the ones I have seen the Vattle Birthers do, and even added some notes in italics, inside the little bracket thingies [ ]:
[T]here are many red flags that can identify pseudolaw even without a court ruling. These include, but are not limited to:
Over reliance on technicalities such as spelling or grammar. For example, some people argue that the traditional use of all capital letters for names in court briefings is a different entity than the actual person in the case. [OMG!!!, this is sooo the Vattle Birthers!!! One time it will be that the Court did not say something, like using the term citizen instead of natural born citizen, then the next time they will overlook that if it supports them.]
Quoting Supreme Court cases out of context, usually one or two sentences, or sometimes even a phrase. Tax protesters are fond of quoting Supreme Court opinions that say that the Sixteenth Amendment “conferred no new power of taxation.” Stanton v. Baltic Mining Co., 240 U.S. 103 (1916); see also Brushaber v. Union Pacific Railroad Co., 240 U.S. 1 (1916) to argue that the income tax is illegal. However, the ruling is not saying that the 16th amendment did not provide power to tax income, but rather that Congress already had that power. This is classic quote mining. [Yep!!! This just NAILS them. For one example, see the Internet Article here, Pooperscooping the Vattel Birthers No. 1 – The Floating “But”]
Reference to other arguments that have been rejected as frivolous by courts. Pseudolaw concepts flock together and cross-pollinate. [True!!! The Vattle Birthers made their argument in Indiana, and lost. It got thrown out of court for not even stating decent law or anything. See the Internet Article here, The Case The Two Citizen Parent Birthers Just HATE!!!]
Arguments that refer to the United States of America Incorporated or to the Federal government somehow seeming to be a private enterprise or company.
Jurisdictional challenges that focus on claiming the federal government has no right to try cases in states. A favorite is to claim that any court with gold fringe on the flag is a “maritime” court not a real court. [Kind of, but instead the Vattle Birthers claim the Indiana State court had no business deciding the case in Indiana, even though that is where the Vattle Birthers filed it.]
Arguments that try and say that the court, police, public officials, etc. have no authority over an individual unless that individual has consented to that authority. This is often phrased as along the lines of “once you accept an attorney, you’re bound by contract to the court, but if you refuse an attorney they have no authority.”[ Again kind of, but some of the Vattle Birthers instead say that they have the right to set up their own Grand Juries and stuff and arrest Obama, or just go do it in person themselves.]
Intense hatred of lawyers and the bar, reference to the bar as being run by the Illuminati or Masons, and encouraging people with little to no legal training to refuse appointed attorneys and proceed pro se. [Oh yes. They hate the judges that do not agree with them. They think all the lawyers are in on this, and know that Obama is illegal, and won’t do anything about it.]
References to the Titles of Nobility Amendment, (the so-called “missing 13th Amendment” to the United States Constitution. Similarly, some pseudolawyers even argue that persons who use the title of “Esquire” (generally practicing attorneys) are not citizens and cannot hold public office.
References to the Uniform Commercial Code in cases which do not involve private commercial transactions (such as criminal, traffic, and tax cases)
References to “admiralty law” or “maritime law” in cases which clearly do not involve any matters which occurred at sea or in navigable waters.
References to “military” or “martial law” in matters that do not involve the military or members thereof. Pseudolawyers are fond of making up jargon from Latin, that they claim derive from common law and give people special rights that others do not such as juris spurious when used in filing claims.[The Vattle Birthers don’t use Latin terms much. . .instead they use French, the language de Vattel wrote in. I have seen some of them use Latin in “de facto deportation” to cover American citizen kids who get left with alien parents when the alien parent is deported. They try to use that as “proof” there is a difference between those kids and the kids of two citizen parents. Even though the court cases they quote use the term “natural born citizens” to describe the America-born kids of aliens. ]
On a similar note, pseudolawyers often misuse legal terminology, often because they do not have a full understanding of the concepts they are attempting to discuss.[ Dead on about theVattel Birthers. They don’t know what common law is, and think Vattel is part of it. They quote the dissents (the losers) in cases. I saw one quoting the lawyer for the Plaintiff as the holding of the judges. Some think legal dictionaries trump law cases, or George Wahington’s library card. They quote earlier cases to overturn later ones. It’s just embarrassing watching how dumb they are.]
Extraordinary claims such as being able to get anyone out of jail, no matter what they were convicted of, in a matter of weeks.
Finally, the Internet Article above notes:
Pseudolaw often goes hand and hand with other conspiracy theories. Most pseudolaw practitioners believe there is a vast conspiracy to cover up a group of elitists that control all the judges, courts, juries and the government as a whole. This is why their ideas never work in court–not because they are wrong. . .
Well, this nails them, too. Almost every judge and lawyer in the country is in on this, and covering up the ineligibility. Even the lawyers for people running against Obama. But, like I said in the beginning, this only addresses part of the psychology. My BFF Fabia Sheen, Esq., a lawyer, says that pretend lawyers have megalomania, about which wiki says, “Megalomania is characterized by an inflated sense of self-esteem and overestimation by persons of their powers and beliefs’. Historically it was used as an old name for narcissistic personality disorder.”
KEWL!!! That’s another Internet Article for another day!!! I hope you enjoyed all this and I hope it helps people understand that the Vattle Birthers are not a brand new thing, but just another fringe group doing the same things other fringe groups have done before them. Maybe this will make it easier for everybody to debunk them.
Plus, here is a link to another Internet Article by the ADL which has a real good list of some more of these Pseudo-Lawyers and their particular Idiot Legal Arguments, in detail:
IMPORTANT NOTE: After I wrote and published this Internet Article, I went back and proofread it again and double checked the linky thingys to make sure they worked. They did, and when I went to the first one, the Pseudolaw Internet Article, I noticed a box thing on the right side of the page which had a list of links, one of which was for “Obama Citizenship Denial.” I went there and it is pretty good, but way too short, on the Natural Born Citizen stuff. I have the same stuff here and in better form and better written to be understandable.
However, for some reason they also included a lot of Common Sense Suspicious Birther items in it, which I DO NOT think should be there, because it takes it from being about pseudolaw, which has a common set of distinguishing characteristics, and combines stuff which is sometimes just a matter of opinion and has little or nothing to do with mangling law the way the Vattle Birthers do. While some people are flippy-floppy and believe BOTH sides of the Birther Issue, philosophically and theoretically they are two separate things.
My guess is that some Obot managed to combine the two to try to use the obviously crazy Vattle Birthers to smear the rest of the movement. This is why you should always be careful what you read on the Internet, because this really ROYAL screw-up is not something a smart, careful, and honest person would have done. Sooo, read the Internet Article for what it is worth, the pseudolaw stuff, which is pretty good, but just beware that the person who did it has a political agenda behind it, too, if you click on the Obama linky thingy.