Well, one the scientific names for flies is Liohippelates Pusio, and much like that annoying pest, Mario “The Mangler” Apuzzo, Esq. got a double swat down in New Jersey. First, ALJ Jeff S. Masin decked him in testicles with a powerful Ankeny overhand smash, paragraphed a little by me for easier reading:
The second objection involves the meaning of the Constitutional phrase, “natural born Citizen.” Discussion and consideration of this issue is of course relevant only on the understanding that Mr. Obama was born in Hawaii. This issue has been the subject of litigation concerning Mr. Obama’s candidacy in several jurisdictions. No court, federal, state or administrative, has accepted the challengers’ position that Mr. Obama is not a “natural born Citizen” due to the acknowledged fact that his father was born in Kenya and was a British citizen by virtue of the then applicable British Nationality Act.
Nor has the fact that Obama had, or may have had, dual citizenship at the time of his birth and thereafter been held to deny him the status of natural born. It is unnecessary to reinvent the wheel here; the subject has been thoroughly reviewed and no new legal argument on this issue has been offered here. While there are several decisions that could be cited, the decision issued by the Court of Appeals of Indiana in 2009 in Ankeny v. Governor, 916 N.E.2d 678 (Ind. Ct. App. 2009), is representative of the position taken by courts and other agencies who have considered the merits of the issue. As the court therein noted, and as the petitioners here have contended, the thrust of the argument against Obama’s status as natural born is that there is a “clear distinction between being a ‘citizen of the United states’ and a ‘natural born Citizen.’” Id. at 685.
The decision notes that the petitioner therein, as here, cites to an eighteenth century treatise by Emmerich de Vattel, “The Law of Nations” and to various early sources for support for their argument that one who is the child of a non-citizen cannot be natural born even if born in the United States. But the Ankeny court, relying upon the decision of the United States Supreme Court in U.S. v. Wong Kim Ark, 169 U.S. 649, 18 S. Ct. 456, 42 L. Ed. 890 (1898), rejected that position.2 In Wong Kim Ark, Justice Gray wrote at great length about the understanding of the term “natural born” and its common law meaning, probing English authorities and concluding that the “law of England for the last three centuries, beginning before the settlement of this country, and continuing to the present day, . . . 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. 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.”
This position as to the common law meaning is in accord with Justice Joseph Story’s statement, concurring in Inglis v. Trustees of Sailors’ Snug Harbor, 28 U.S. (3 Pet.) 99, 7 L. Ed. 617 (1830), “Nothing is better settled at the common law than the doctrine that the children, even of aliens, born in a country, while the parents reside there under the protection of the government, and owing a temporary allegiance thereto, are subjects by birth.” See Wong Kim Ark, 160 U.S. at 660, 18 S. Ct. at 461. In Wong Kim Ark, the Court also cited Justice Swayne’s comment in United States v. Rhodes, 1 Abbott 26, 40, 41 (1860).
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.
(Note) The Wong Kim Ark decision was preceded by Minor v. Happersett, 88 (21 Wall.) U.S. 162, 167, 22 L.Ed. 627 (1874), where the Supreme Court stated that while the Constitution did not say “in words” “who shall be natural-born citizens” there were “some authorities” who held that “children born within the jurisdiction without reference to the citizenship of their parents” were citizens. The Court concludes that it was not necessary to decide that issue in Minor. Wong Kim Ark more directly addresses the issue of who is “natural-born” although it is acknowledged that neither of these cases involved the use of the term in connection with a presidential candidate and the unique Constitutional requirements for holding that office. Nevertheless, the Wong Kim Ark ruling certainly goes very far in defining the term and its meaning in this country. And the decision does not suggest that the common law rule identified therein only applied at the state level and not on a national basis, as counsel here claims.
The Wong Kim Ark Court then stated
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 [children of ambassadors, etc.], since as before the Revolution.
[Wong Kim Ark, supra, at 169 U.S. 662-663, 18 S. Ct. at
The Georgia Secretary of State recently denied a similar challenge to Mr. Obama’s status as a natural born citizen in Farrar, et al. v. Obama, OSAH-SECSTATE-CE1215136-60-MAHIHI, where Georgia State Administrative Law Judge Mahili relied upon Ankeny and Wong Kim Ark for his ruling that the President was indeed a natural born Citizen.
Time does not allow for the fullest discussion of the case law addressing these issues, but suffice it to say that the status of “natural born Citizen” for Mr. Obama has not been denied by any court or administrative agency that has addressed the merits of the issue. This is not the place to write a law review article on the full analysis of the subject, but there is no legal authority that has been cited or otherwise provided that supports a contrary position. The petitioners’ legal position on this issue, however well intentioned, has no merit in law. Thus, accepting for the point of this issue that Mr. Obama was born in Hawaii, he is a “natural born Citizen” regardless of the status of his father.
Here is a pdf of the full decision:
Then, two days later, NJ Secretary of State Kimberly M. Guadagno accepted Masin’s findings and delivered a short and sweet little coup de grace swat to the poor, writhing little bug on the floor, in a 2 page decision which may be found here:
But, summertime is coming up on us. Like all flies, I am sure that Apuzzo laid some eggs in a big pile of manure somewhere and soon the little maggots will spread their wings and take the sky and file some more appeals.
Note 1. The Image. This is a still from the film, Just Imagine (1930), and may be found here:
Note 2. Liohippelates Pusio. If you are interested in flies and pests, here is some info: