This Internet Article is about CDR. Charles Kerchner, an ex-Naval officer, and leading two citizen-parent Birther. He was also the plaintiff in the suit brought by Mario Apuzzo, Esq. challenging Obama’s eligibility in 2009. Following Friday’s refusal of the New Hampshire Board of Elections to bounce Obama off the slate due to various unsupported claims, the Good Commander decided to exercise his God-given right to make an ass of himself in public. He penned the following broadside at The Post and Email:
CDR Kerchner Pounds New Hampshire Legislator About Obama’s Eligibility
Here is the link:
And here is a brief excerpt:
To be a natural born Citizen of the United States the person must be born in the USA to two (2) U.S. Citizen parents. That is the law of nature and said laws were referred to in our founding documents. That definition comes from natural law, the legal treatise The Law of Nations or Principles of Natural Law, Vol. 1, Chapter 19, Section 212, U.S. law via the Supreme Court decision of Minor v Happersett (1875) which was never overturned and other SCOTUS decisions as recent as 1939, and international law. Wong Kim Ark (1898) only decided who is a born “Citizen of the U.S.” under the 14th Amendment, not who is a “natural born Citizen of the U.S.” under Article II. The words “natural born” do not appear in the 14th Amendment and only appear in the Constitution in Article II as to who can be the President, and then later per the last sentence of the 12th amendment who can be the Vice President.
In other words, the same bucket of swill being slopped out by the two citizen-parent birthers for going on three years now. (Which come to think of it, is about the same amount of time the castaways wandered around lost on Gilligan’s Island.) Kerchner’s lack of knowledge is no worse than the other Vattel Birthers, but for goodness sakes, the man is a retired naval officer. He is supposed to be smarter than the average Vattel Birther. Anyway, let’s go over his boo-boos.
First, did he swear allegiance to the law of nature or to the U.S. Constitution??? I suspect the latter. Next, his adoration of Emerich de Vattel is misplaced. While Vattel wrote a fine book on International Law, and on laws in France, this was was not of any great import to American law, which was based on English common law. And even if it had been, Vattel recognized that England created citizens in a different fashion than France, stating:
Section 214: Finally, there are states, as, for instance, England, where the single circumstance of being born in the country naturalizes the children of a foreigner.
Next, the 1875 voting rights case of Minor v. Happersett clearly DOES NOT mandate two citizen-parents are necessary for one to be a natural born citizen. There are numerous posts here about that case. In short, that Court recognized that some authorities included the children of foreigners born here as natural born citizens, and some didn’t. But, that was NOT an issue they needed to decide. Here are the five sentences which clearly state the issue was left open:
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.
Nope, no precedent there. The issue was left open.
Kerchner then proceeds to mangle Wong Kim Ark, the 1898 SCOTUS case which solved the question left open in Minor v. Happersett, and determined that natural born citizens were simply people born here under the jurisdiction of the United States, said jurisdiction simply consisting of NOT being the child of a diplomat or invading soldier. Which is the same thing a 14th Amendment citizen who is born here. Because the 14th Amendment did nothing but affirm the birthright concept of natural born citizenship:
The foregoing considerations and authorities irresistibly lead us to these conclusions: the Fourteenth Amendment affirms the ancient and fundamental rule of citizenship by birth within the territory, in the allegiance and under the protection of the country, including all children here born of resident aliens, with [exceptions]. Every citizen or subject of another country, while domiciled here, is within the allegiance and the protection, and consequently subject to the jurisdiction, of the United States. His allegiance to the United States is direct and immediate, and, although but local and temporary, continuing only so long as he remains within our territory, is yet, in the words of Lord Coke in Calvin’s Case, 7 Rep. 6a, “strong enough to make a natural subject, for if he hath issue here, that issue is a natural-born subject;” and his child, as said by Mr. Binney in his essay before quoted, “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.”
To recap, Commander Kerchner, has a lousy command of the facts. One could almost say Kerchner’s Grasp of Reality is sooo weak that he is unfit for command of the Vattel Birthers. One could, except for the fact that people who have a good grasp on Reality do not become two citizen-parent Birthers in the first place.
I picture Kerchner sitting in a chair, Queeg-like, sweating and rolling some ball-bearings around in his hand, claiming he didn’t cut his own tow line, that there was a duplicate key to the ward room icebox, and that it takes two citizen-parents to be a natural born citizen.
Note 1: USS Constitution captures HMS Guerriere, 19 August 1812. The Image above is of an actual sea battle, even though I altered the real name of the enemy ship to one more appropriate for CDR Kerchner, who uses a old time sailing ship as his avatar around the Internet:
A quarter-hour of intense gunnery by Constitution, delivered with much superior accuracy, battered Guerriere in the hull and masts. The British frigate’s mizzenmast fell over the side, crippling her ability to maneuver. Constitution then moved ahead to rake Guerriere, whose bowsprit caught in the American’s mizzen rigging. Firing continued while the two ships were thus tangled, and both sides prepared boarding parties. Marksmen in the mast tops blazed away at exposed personnel, with deadly effect. Many officers and men were thus killed, including Constitution‘s Marine lieutenant. Others, Captain Dacres among them, were wounded. As the ships separated, Guerriere‘s foremast collapsed, pulling down the mainmast with it. She was now a “defenseless hulk”, and surrendered at 7 PM, when Constitution approached to renew the action after making brief repairs to her modest damages. British casualties were more than five times those of the Americans, and Guerriere was beyond saving. Her surviving crewmen were taken off the next day, she was set afire and soon blew up. Constitution then returned to Boston with her prisoners, arriving on 30 August.
This battle, the first of several U.S. Navy victories in ship-to-ship contests, encouraged Americans and chagrined the British. Despite the rational excuse that Royal Navy frigates were not as large and powerful as their American counterparts, the real causes of these outcomes were inspired seamanship and vastly better gunnery. For the rest of the 19th Century, long after the War of 1812 was over, America’s Navy was credited with an effectiveness that went well beyond its usually modest size.
Derriere, is of course, the French word for le rear end. Maybe this is where the rank, Rear Admirals, come from???
Note 2: Swill and Maroons. The Urban Dictionary defines “maroon“, which I use in the verb form:
A term of derision often uttered by Bugs Bunny when referring to an interaction with a dopey adversary. It is a mispronunciation of the word “Moron”a pushover, or one easily fooled. A dope, fool, idiot, or nincompoop. Unbelievably stupid person. Might have been derived from moron: adding an extra letter “o” to moron meaning double-moron, thus a maroon.
1. A mixture of liquid and solid food, such as table scraps, fed to animals, especially pigs; slop.2. Kitchen waste; garbage.3. Nonsense; rubbish.
Note 3: Queeg. This was the eccentric captain in a really great movie called The Caine Mutiny.
It quickly becomes apparent that Queeg is prone to eccentric behavior. Queeg displays an oppressive command style and is prone to unprovoked angry outbursts. From the first, he begins to make mistakes that endanger his ship. After refusing the assistance of his predecessor in command, he grounds the Caine on a muddy shoal his first time underway. He panics in a fog and nearly collides with a battleship, and passes the blame to his helmsman, starting a series of incidents that eventually results in a scripted court-martial and mental breakdown of the helmsman.
Queeg neglects to order the ship to stop turning while distracted in reprimanding a crew member for having his shirttail out, and so the Caine steams over its own towline, severing it. When called on the carpet by a superior after this incident, he refuses to acknowledge that it even happened, much less admit blame in any way (although he harbors a secret grudge against his helmsman for not warning him). His superiors are not satisfied, but allow him to retain command.
Another episode which highlights Queeg’s behaviors occurs when a quart of strawberries vanishes from the wardroom icebox. Remembering how he helped solve a mystery involving a similar theft when he was an ensign earlier in his career, Queeg attempts to recreate his former accomplishment by insisting the strawberries were pilfered by a crewmember with a duplicate key. Queeg orders every key on the ship collected, and a thorough search made. During the search, the captain is confronted with evidence that the messboys ate the strawberries. Queeg loses all enthusiasm for the search, though he orders it to continue, and it is continued in a desultory way amid public mocking of the captain.