The Outer Limits Of Birtherism (And An Answer To Mario Apuzzo, Esq.)

Not Being Properly Grounded Has Resulted In Many Fantastical Creations

I try to keep up with several Birther Blogs to see if there is anything new under the sun, and I came upon these two comments at Mario “The Mangler” Apuzzo, Esq.’s blog:

(Click on the Image To Make It Larger.)

Here is the link:

First, let me address Texoma’s comment. I  do not ever remember  intentionally not answering this question.  But, if I didn’t, then I apologize.  Here is the answer.  The relevant part of the 14th Amendment has two elements. First, birth within the United States, and second, being born under the jurisdiction thereof. These are the same two elements required for natural born citizenship for those born inside the United States. This makes sense since the 14th Amendment was simply declarative of birthright citizenship. Wong Kim Ark was born after the passage of the 14th Amendment, thus making it applicable to his situation.  The whole reason for discussing natural born citizenship in the case was to lay the foundation for the existing law of which the 14th Amendment was declarative.

Now, to Mario Apuzzo’s comment that I run an Artsy-Fartsy Blog as opposed to a Hard-Hitting Legal Analysis Blog .  This is half true, and I do it intentionally.  Here is why. There is an Outer Limit to two citizen-parent Birtherism. That limit is that Barack Obama must never be considered eligible for the presidency. To accomplish that, the Birthers must argue NOT that jus soli law is no longer reasonable in light of easy global travel, for example. The Birthers must argue NOT that using parentage to determine citizenship is a  better and smarter option than simply relying on place of birth which may be accidental, for example a premature birth while the parents are on vacation.

Any argument that suggests that the current law needs to be changed, also implies that until it is changed, Obama is eligible for the presidency. And, since the definitions are wrapped up in the U.S. Constitution and Amendments, then it will take an amendment to change the law.  That isn’t going to happen before the November 2012 presidential election. This leaves the Birther in a very tight spot.

The Birther must argue that the current state of the law is such that jus soli, place of birth-type natural born citizenship is not really the law, in spite of the language of the 14th Amendment, the holding in Wong Kim Ark (1898), the holding in Ankeny v., Governor (2009), and any other applicable case.  This is why they so desperately mangle the language in Minor v. Happersett (1875.) This is why Mario Apuzzo, and the late Leo Donofrio scrounge back through the history books looking for justification and sound bites. In other words, the Outer Limits of Birtherism confine their options to misrepresentation of the law.

But, that same situation leaves the Anti-Birther and Obot is a very happy spot legally speaking.  We never have to discuss the relative merits of jus soli citizenship vis a vis jus sanguinis  citizenshipAll we ever have to do to defeat a Birther legal argument is throw out a few paragraphs of Wong Kim Ark at them, or maybe Ankeny v. Governor, and we win. The correctness of our position is being confirmed now by numerous courts on a regular basis. To see the fuller extent of these confirmations, see Birther String Cites by tesabria, found here:

Birther String Cites

And, as Anti-Birthers and Obots, we also have the luxury of being short-winded. Mario Apuzzo, Esq. may need to write 50 pages to try to convince someone that Minor v. Happersett defined natural born citizenship. Speaking of that case, the Ankeny Court only needed one sentence to pop that bubble:

Thus, the Court left open the issue of whether a person who is born within the United States of alien parents is considered a natural born citizen.12

To address Apuzzo’s Minor v. Happersett argument, we need only provide the relevant 7 sentences from the case, and that one sentence statement from the Ankeny Court, and it is game, set, and match for our side. No amount of Indian History, or Lion Pride Behavioral Analysis by Apuzzo will defeat it.

And, The Birther Think Tank does its fair share of this type of argument. For example,  in the header area above with the blog title, is one page, “A Place To Get The REALLY Right Answers About Natural Born Citizenship” which sets out the proper legal standard. There are numerous articles here dealing with Wong Kim Ark, and Minor v. Happersett and other cases.  But remember The Outer Limits of Birtherism– – -the Birthers can not go beyond misrepresentation of the current state of the law lest they admit that Obama is currently eligible for office.

That little nugget of limitations is easily defeated by simply providing the actual law. But what addresses the fact that the misrepresentations are being made in the first place??? Does Mr. Apuzzo imagine that in a courtroom setting, opposing counsel would limit herself or himself to the very proper:

Your Honor, regarding Minor V. Happersett, the Ankeny Court said: “Thus, the Court left open the issue of whether a person who is born within the United States of alien parents is considered a natural born citizen.”  Thus, the case is clearly not precedent for determining natural born citizenship.

Does Apuzzo not think that the phrase, not necessary to solve these doubts from Minor would be shoved up his rear end sideways by opposing counsel??? Can he not hear:

Your Honor, what part of not necessary to solve these doubts does Mr. Apuzzo not get??? What part of doubts don’t he understand???

These are some of the things I point out in an Artsy-Fartsy fashion. For example, I did a parody song called “What Part of Doubts Don’t you Understand??? Here are 2 verses”:

What part of “Doubts,” don’t you understand?
This Minor v. Happersett stuff’s, getting out of hand.
They left the issue open, let’s put out these flames you’ve fanned.
What part of “Doubts” don’t you understand?

I appreciate your audience, wants a miracle.
But your logic is so screwy. . . (Is it satirical???)
You need a good scrubbing because you got unclean hands.
What part of “Doubts” don’t you understand?

I could have simply repeated the words of the Ankeny Court above, but that gets boring after a while. And, it doesn’t really address the manipulative and intentionally ignorant mindset behind that particular Birther argument. Plus, it gives the non-legally astute reader something that is easier to grasp.

Sooo, yes Mario Apuzzo,  my blog is artsy-fartsy. But I think that only makes it more dangerous to the Birthers. Because I don’t just come at you with the dry legal stuff.  I come at you with an understanding of where you are going, what you are trying to do, and why you are trying to do it.  Art is really good at expressing stuff like that.

I just hope that I am doing justice to the Arts.

Squeeky Fromm
Girl Reporter

Note 1. The Image. This is from The Outer Limits episode, Behold, Eck! from 1964. Wiki has a very good Internet Article about it:,_Eck!

Note 2: Minor v. Happersett.  The Birthers claim that the indented sentences from the case define natural born citizenship. People who can read English notice the part from the Ankeny Case that I have bolded:

In Minor, written only six years after the Fourteenth Amendment was ratified, the Court observed that:

The Constitution does not, in words, say who shall be natural-born citizens. Resort must be had elsewhere to ascertain that. 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.

Id. at 167-168. Thus, the Court left open the issue of whether a person who is born within the United States of alien parents is considered a natural born citizen.12

About Squeeky Fromm, Girl Reporter

I am a Girl Reporter on the Internet. I am 36 Plus I am a INTP. I have a Major in Human Kinetics, and a Minor in English. Squeeky Fromm, Girl Reporter View all posts by Squeeky Fromm, Girl Reporter

13 responses to “The Outer Limits Of Birtherism (And An Answer To Mario Apuzzo, Esq.)

  • David Farrar

    Hi Squeeky,

    All these two statements are saying is children born within the jurisdiction of aliens parents are citizens, not A2S1C5 natural born Citizens. And of those who are born of two US citizen parents within the jurisdiction, there is less doubt as to their citizenship status than those who were not.

    Now as to why us “birthers” think the Minor Court’s decision of a two citizenship parent requirement specifically applied to a A2S1C5 natural born Citizen is because the Minor Court recognized that this type of citizen did not need the 14th Amendment to bestow citizenship. They were recognized as citizens both before and after the 14th Amendment was established. This can only be A2S1C5 natural born Citizens.

    Lastly, I still believe our late, dearly departed brother: Leo Donofrio, observed the best reasoning as to why the Wong Court decision did not bestow the moniker of “natural born Citizen ” on Mr Wong: If they had considered Wong a “natural born Citizen, they would not have been able to arrived at the 14th Amendment to declare him a US citizen, unless, as you say; they just did it for demonstration purposes.

    ex animo

    • Thomas Brown

      Great Googly-Moogly, David… the text of the WKA decision called him, and I quote, “natural born,” and a “citizen.” And yet somehow you dispute it. It’s like a sleazy lawyer claiming that even though a witness saw a “black” animal, and later described it as a “dog,” he never said it was a “black dog.”


      The dissenting opinion even complained that the majority ruling would empower WKA to run for President. How in the Sam Q. Hill do you think they didn’t consider him a “A2S1C5 natural born Citizen”?

      Is it possible you guys are that thick? Is it racism, dishonesty, ignorance, or mental illness? Or all four? That’s all I can think of, in terms of your refusal to acknowledge the reality everybody else can plainly see.

      • David Farrar

        Please cite the text. I can find no reference in Wong Kim Ark that actually calls Wong Kim Ark a natural born citizen. But even if it does, it would be dicta.

        Where does the US Constitution empower the executive branch of government to bestow “allegiance” on anyone?

        ex animo

        • Thomas Brown

          From the WKA ruling:

          “The [14th] amendment, in clear words and in manifest intent, includes the children born within the territory of the United States of all other persons, of whatever race or color, domiciled within the United States. 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 Coke, 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.’”

          The “if he hath issue here, that issue is a natural-born subject” is the part that dishonest Birthers always snip out, concentrating on the passage “If born in the country, is as much a citizen as the natural-born child of a citizen,” claiming that the “citizen” in that statement stands in contrast to the “natural-born child of a citizen” because that seems to clinch their case.

          Justice Fuller, from the Dissent:

          “Considering the circumstances surrounding the framing of the Constitution, I submit that it is unreasonable to conclude that “natural-born citizen” applied to everybody born within the geographical tract known as the United States, irrespective of circumstances, and that the children of foreigners, happening to be born to them while passing through the country, whether of royal parentage or not, or whether of the Mongolian, Malay or other race, were eligible to the Presidency, while children of our citizens, born abroad, were not.”

          He plainly states that the majority decision means even people like WKA, with zero citizen parents, could run for the Presidency. BHO has one citizen parent. Every jus sanguinis country on the face of the planet requires ONE, not TWO, citizen parents. So in a jus soli country like ours, OR in every jus sanguinis country, BHO would STILL be a natural-born citizen.

          Without question, WKA would have more “foreign allegiance” (your bugaboo du jour) than BHO ever had. But still, he could have run for President.

          Sanity will come and collect you eventually, David. It may take a while.

    • Squeeky Fromm, Girl Reporter


      Prior to the Second Amendment, we had a common law right to keep and bear arms. To protect that right, the founders wisely placed it in the U.S. Constitution as an Amendment.

      Now, when people discuss these rights, which law do they refer to??? The common law or the 2nd Amendment??? Did we need the 2nd Amendment to GIVE us those rights??? No. We already had them.

      But once it did get added to the Constitution, that is the law to which we refer. Because the Constitution is the supreme law of the land. It trumps everything else.

      Why should birthright citizenship which pre-existed the 14th Amendment be thought of differently??? Substitute what you said above with the 2nd Amendment:

      . . .the Gunrights Court recognized that citizens did not need the 2nd Amendment to bestow the right to keep and bear arms. They were afforded these rights both before and after the 2nd Amendment was established. . .

      See, there is nothing magic in those words. It is simply a statement of reality.

      Squeeky Fromm
      Girl Reporter

    • jbjd

      David, I don’t know whether you have read the extensive de-bunking of the traditionally flawed ‘birther’ interpretation of the 14th Amendment on my blog; but I know you read SF, because you are here. She said, the 14th Amendment is “declarative”; and she is right. That is, it creates no new status of citizenship. It merely reminds everyone, what already is. In other words, it not only did not “bestow” – your word – citizenship on anyone other than a NBC; it did not bestow citizenship on anyone. The 14th Amendment was primarily an equal rights / rights and privileges / due process deal. Only, in order to qualify who was afforded these rights, the legislature(s) first spelled out, who are (already) citizens now entitled to these new rights.

      • Reality Check

        That is why Birther’s and the sovereign citizen types had to invent the fictitious term “14th amendment citizen” because if there are indeed only natural born and naturalized citizens Wong Kim Ark and Barack Obama could only be the former. Apuzzo and others have cleverly used terms like “born citizen” in the alternative to “14th amendment citizen”, which carries a racist connotation, as if there were an entire class of citizens that no one had ever heard about until they were discovered by these self-appointed Constitutional scholars.

  • bob

    Lastly, I still believe our late, dearly departed brother: Leo Donofrio

    Donofrio is dead?

    (I know, I know….)

  • Monkey Boy

    So, David F, who fled after being busted propagating two blatant lies, is now back with another. Floyd Brown must be paying you well, David. “What does it profit a man to gain the whole world and lose his soul?”

    Think hard on accepting your “thirty pieces of silver,” David–remember, in the end, Judas Iscariot couldn’t live with himself.

    Where has Kapiolani claimed to have the records of fifty years ago? Speak up, or be exposed as a shameless liar!

  • jtmunkus

    Hey, Ex Animo:

    When will your eligibility crusade against Mitt Romney begin?

    Ex(treme) Animo(sity)

  • jtmunkus

    I can’t hear you!

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