This is a short, 8 page article from the 1898 American Law Review about another Big SHIP event in 1898, CitizenSHIP. On February 15, 1898, an American battleship called The Maine, exploded in a harbor in Cuba. This is what started the conflict known as the Spanish American War. Six weeks later on March 28, 1898, the United States Supreme Court decided the case of Wong Kim Ark, which ended all doubts about the citizenship of children born to foreigners in the United States. This case ended the conflict over who were natural born citizens, aka citizens by birth, under the 14th Amendment.
The Vattel Birthers (whom I usually call Vattle Birthers, to tease them) don’t like this case at all, because it is the basis of Barack Obama, Mark Rubio, and Bobby Jindal being eligible to run for President or Vice-President. The Vattle Birthers have several reasons for avoiding this case because it is clear that the Supreme Court chose the common law interpretation of the term natural born citizen, over the international law version. For Americans, a natural born citizen is simply someone born in the United States and within its jurisdiction.
The Vattle Birthers are trying to re-write history and claim that an 1874 SCOTUS decision, Minor vs. Happersett established a different standard, one requiring two citizen parents to be a natural born citizen. This is nonsense. The Minor decision made no attempt to define citizenship, and openly stated so in its decision. There are several Internet Articles here which discuss the Minor case, and as you can see from the first two sentences of the first page below, Wong Kim Ark , not Minor Happersett, is THE FIRST TIME the Supreme Court decided this issue:
The Wong Kim Ark case, decided by the United States Supreme Court on March 28, 1898, decides, for the first time in that tribunal, the question whether a person born in the United States of foreign parents is a citizen of the United States under the citizenship clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. The decision holds, substantially, that the language used in the Fourteenth Amendment to the constitution is declaratory of the common-law doctrine, and not of the international law doctrine, and that, therefore, a person born in the United States is a citizen thereof, irrespective of the nationality or political status of his parents.
This is a very scholarly Birther Think Tank Internet Article about this subject, and is using a source from the exact same year as the case. Here is a link to the google book:
What all this means is that the Vattle Birthers are just plain wrong. Wong Kim Ark was the first Supreme Court case to deal with this issue, and not Minor v. Happsett. If you are interested in reading about the Vattle Birther’s Minor v. Happesett wild goose chase, see here:
This means that Mario Apuzzo, Esq. is WRONG. This means that Leo Donofrio, Esq, is WRONG. Mr. Donofrio is particularly WRONG since he is the chief person pushing the Minor v. Happersett nonsense, and he should be ashamed of himself for accusing anybody else of trying to scrub or revise history. This 1898 American Law Review article is PROOF of how the law was viewed back when it was fresh on everybody’s mind, and it sure wasn’t Minor v. Happersett to which they were turning.
March 12th, 2012 at 4:13 am
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