If you have clicked on this page, then you probably have some questions about what exactly is a natural born citizen. Maybe you have seen discussions about this in relation to President Obama, and whether he is eligible for the presidency because of his Kenyan father. Or maybe in relation to Senator Mark Rubio or Governor Bobby Jindal, both of whom were born in America, to non-citizen parents.
This page will just be about short answers to those questions. There are multiple Internet Articles here with the legal quotes, and two pages with the actual court cases. These two pages can be found at the top of the home page. Also check out the Anti-Birther Articles category for more exciting Internet Articles on this subject. Sooo, let’s get started. If you have any other questions not answered here, please leave a comment, and I will try to get you the REALLY Right Answer!!!
1. Are you a lawyer, and if not, why should I believe you??? No. I am not a lawyer, and I don’t ask you to believe ME. That is why I always try to quote legal cases, sooo you can read the answers for yourself. There are only a few cases, and they are pretty understandable. If I explain something, you can judge the truth of it by what the case says.
2. What is a natural born citizen??? For people born inside America, it is just being born here, and not being the child of a diplomat or invading soldier, regardless of the citizenship of your parents. This is by what is called common law, which originally came from England before the American Revolution, and then was common law in America until 1868, when it was added to the U.S. Constitution as the 14th Amendment.
3. Which court case said that??? Well, the biggest and most important one was called Wong Kim Ark, and it was decided in 1898 by the United States Supreme Court. It is on a separate page here if you want to read it. Here is what it said, with some notes:
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. 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, since as before the Revolution.
Sooo, First Note: ALL PERSONS born in the allegiance of the United States are natural born citizens.
NOW, what did the SUPREME COURT say born in the allegiance meant???
It thus clearly appears that by the law of England for the last three centuries, beginning before the settlement of this country, and continuing to the present day, aliens, while residing in the dominions possessed by the crown of England, were within the allegiance, the obedience, the faith or loyalty, the protection, the power, and the jurisdiction of the English sovereign; and therefore 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.
III. 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.13
Sooo, Second Note: EVERYBODY born in America, (who isn’t the kid of a diplomat or an invading soldier) is born in the allegiance.
Now when you add the Second Note to the First Note, you get:
ALL PERSONS born in America, (who are not kids of a diplomat or invading soldier) ARE BORN in the allegiance [and] are natural born citizens.
4. That seems pretty simple, so why do all the Vattel Birthers say that case only applied to 14th Amendment citizens of the United States, and did not cover natural born citizens as mentioned in the U.S. Constitution??? Uh, because Vattel Birthers are notorious for mis-reading legal cases and getting stuff backwards.
5. Wait a minute. . .you said you are NOT a lawyer, sooo how are you coming to this conclusion??? Because again, a court said it, Ankeny v. Governor 2009. It is on a separate page here if you want to read it, and it is a lot shorter and easier to read than Wong Kim Ark. In that case, the Vattel Birthers tried to make that argument, the “They are not the same thing” argument, and the Vattel Birthers lost. Read it for yourself:
The Plaintiffs in the instant case make a different legal argument based strictly on constitutional interpretation. Specifically, the crux of the Plaintiffs’ argument is that
“[c]ontrary to the thinking of most People on the subject, there’s a very clear distinction between a “citizen of the United States” and a “natural born Citizen,” and the difference involves having [two] parents of U.S. citizenship, owing no foreign allegiance.” Appellants’ Brief at 23. With regard to President Barack Obama, the Plaintiffs posit that because his father was a citizen of the United Kingdom, President Obama is constitutionally ineligible to assume the Office of the President.
The bases of the Plaintiffs’ arguments come from such sources as FactCheck.org, The Rocky Mountain News, an eighteenth century treatise by Emmerich de Vattel titled “The Law of Nations,” and various citations to nineteenth century congressional debate.11 For the reasons stated below, we hold that the Plaintiffs‟ arguments fail to state a claim upon which relief can be granted, and that therefore the trial court did not err in dismissing the Plaintiffs‟ complaint.
Part of what the Ankeny Judges said below was that they read the natural born citizen thing in the Constitution as the same as the all persons born citizens in the 14th Amendment. The judges said:
Section 1 of the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution governs who is a citizen of the United States. It provides that “[a]ll persons born or naturalized in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States . . . .” U.S. CONST. amend XIV, § 1. Article II has a special requirement to assume the Presidency: that the person be a “natural born Citizen.” U.S. CONST. art. II, § 1, cl. 4. The United States Supreme Court has read these two provisions in tandem and held that “[t]hus new citizens may be born or they may be created by naturalization.” Minor v. Happersett, 88 (21 Wall.) U.S. 162, 167 (1874)
6. But wait, the Vattel Birthers say the Ankeny court case was just an Indiana state case , and not applicable to Federal courts??? True, but the Ankeny Court did not do anything except quote U.S. Supreme Court cases, sooo even if it is a state case, it shows how a Court already did, and will continue, to interpret Wong Kim Ark. Plus, it shows how most normal people interpret Wong Kim Ark. BUT, if you want really want some FEDERAL cases that say the same thing, that the ancient common law and the Constitution came together in the 14th Amendment, then here is one from before Wong Kim Ark, and then what Wong Kim Ark itself said:
FIRST, in Federal law BEFORE Wong Kim Ark, in Ex Parte Chin King in 1888:
By the common law, a child born within the allegiance—the jurisdiction—of the United States, is born a subject or citizen thereof, without reference to the political status or condition of its parents. McKay v. Campbell, 2 Sawy., 118 ; In re Look Tin Sing, 10 Sawy., 353 ; 21 Fed. Rep., 905; Lynch v. Clarke, 1 Sandf. Ch., 583. In the latter case it was held that Julia Lynch, who was born in New York in 1849, of alien parents during a temporary sojourn by them in that city; and returned with them the same year to their native country, where she resided until her death, was an American citizen.
The vice-chancellor, after an exhaustive examination of the law, declared that every citizen born within the dominion and allegiance of the United States was a citizen thereof, without reference to the situation of his parents.
This, of course, does not include the children born in the United States of parents engaged in the diplomatic service of foreign governments, whose residence, in contemplation of public law, is a part of their own country.
THE RULE OF COMMON LAW ON THIS SUBJECT HAS BEEN INCORPORATED INTO THE FUNDAMENTAL LAW OF THE LAND.
The fourteenth amendment declares : persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States, and of the state wherein they reside.’
SECOND, in Wong Kim Ark in 1898:
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 the exceptions or qualifications (as old as the rule itself) of children of foreign sovereigns or their ministers, or born on foreign public ships, or of enemies within and during a hostile occupation of part of our territory, and with the single additional exception of children of members of the Indian tribes owing direct allegiance to their several tribes. The 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 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.”
7. But what about Vattel, Emerich de Vattel, didn’t he define what natural born citizenship was for us??? No. Vattel was a Swiss guy who wrote a book in French called The Law of Nations, a book about international law. Supposedly, he said it took two citizen parents to be a natural born citizen, but there is a lot of dispute on whether or not it was translated properly. But, who cares because Vattel was not ever, not even one single time, quoted in American or English courts in a majority decision for the purpose of determining who was or was not a natural born citizen. These common law citizen cases went back three centuries to around 1608 (Calvin’s Case). Vattel wasn’t even born until over a hundred years later in 1714.
Vattel’s stuff on citizenship was quoted once, that I know of, for the purposes of determining temporary allegiance, in a War of 1812 case about a ship captured by the Americans whose owners were living in Britain during the war. Vattel was NOT quoted for his definition of natural born citizenship, because that was not the point of the case.
8. Then why do the Vattel Birthers quote him all the time, and say George Washington checked out his library book and stuff??? I have to guess on this one, but probably because the Vattel Birthers do not like Obama (and I don’t either) and were trying to find some way to make him ineligible to be President. To stay in business and have something to keep them busy, the Vattel Birthers are now applying this stuff to Mark Rubio and Bobby Jindal. From what I have read, Vattel was highly respected and his book was very popular on the subject of international law. But it had nothing to do with English or American law on natural born citizenship.
Some countries do follow Vattel’s line of thinking, but what the Vattel Birthers will seldom tell you, is that even Vattel, himself, recognized some countries do things differently. Like that Big Island sitting across the English Channel from France:
Finally, there are states, as, for instance, England, where the single circumstance of being born in the country naturalizes the children of a foreigner.
9. Well, all this stuff you said seems to make sense, but I am lazy, and I do not want to read all those legal cases. Is there any other way for me to have some assurance that what you said is right??? Of course, common sense. For the Vattel Birthers to be right, there has to be some sort of massive conspiracy which not only includes all the Obama supporters, but even the people who are vehemently opposed to Obama. Everybody knew when Obama was running for office, that his father was a Kenyan, and not an American citizen. For the Vattel Birthers to be right, all the reporters in the country, even the ones on FOX News and The National Enquirer, have to be in on it. Rush Limbaugh, Ann Coulter, and Mark Levin, to name just a few, would be in on it, because none of them have any use for the Vattel Birthers, and Mark Levin and Ann Coulter are both lawyers. Nearly every conservative Republican lawyer in the country would have to willing to be silent. And every conservative Republican judge from the Supreme Court down to the City Judge level. John McCain would have been in on keeping the secret. And, Hillary Clinton, too. People who were running against Obama for President. All of them would have to be in on keeping this horrible secret from the American Public.
Sooo, you can believe that if you wish, and you can believe in a humongous conspiracy theory. You can believe that there is a dedicated group of mostly pretend Internet lawyers, who have somehow discovered the Sekrit Truth. If you believe that, you may want to check out your local Moon Landing Deniers Group for additional kicks. I hear they have great Kool Aid!!!
UPDATE!!! There is something else that I wanted to add to this Internet Article that I discovered just today, October 10, 2011. One of the Obots told me that Jerome Corsi, PhD. from Harvard, and a reporter at World Net Daily is now really big into the two citizen parent stuff. Mr. Corsi wrote a very good book called The Obama Nation, which I bought back in 2008. My copy says it is even a First Edition!!! I like the book, but what the Obot said kind of shocked me. He said that Mr. Corsi did not say anything about the two citizen parent stuff in his book. Well, right off to the bookcase went ME, and guess what??? The Obot is right. All that stuff Mr. Corsi said about Obama, and why we should not vote for him, and guess what. Not a single word about Obama’s citizenship.
Sooo, add this little tidbit to the reasons why we can be pretty sure that there is nothing to all this Vattle Birther two citizen parent stuff. Because Mr. Corsi is very smart, and he went to a very good college, and was even asked to run as the 2008 candidate for the Constitution Party. Which kind of makes you think he would know what was in the Constitution even back in 2008. But, after 304 pages of just giving Obama HELL, there is not a word about Obama being ineligible because he did not have two citizen parents. Which, if are trying to talk people out of voting for Obama, don’t you think a person would bring up the fact that Obama was breaking the law by running??? If the two citizen parent stuff was really the law??? What, this law just got discovered after Obama became president??? Oh, sure!!! But, you draw your own conclusions.
October 11th, 2011 at 4:19 am
Ummm, when did you get out of jail Squeeky Fromm?
You still thinking about assassinating presidents?
October 11th, 2011 at 11:37 am
Ummm, I am NOT that one. I am a Girl Reporter on the Internet. You might want to check your SPELLING because both our first name and last name are spelled differently.
October 11th, 2011 at 11:38 am
Squeeky, Mario Apuzzo has outed you as an “Obama Enabler”.
October 11th, 2011 at 12:50 pm
Oh plus, I was teasing you and the other Obots just the other day here. I do not know if you ever read the stuff here, or not:
Tee Hee! Tee Hee!
October 11th, 2011 at 12:36 pm
[…] called, “A Place to Get the REALLY Right Answers About Natural Born Citizenship,” accessed at https://birtherthinktank.wordpress.com/a-place-to-get-the-really-right-answers-about-natural-born-cit…. Clearly, the title of this web site refers this web site, “Natural Born Citizen – A Place […]
October 11th, 2011 at 12:44 pm
Me, a Obama enabler??? OH Tee Hee! Tee Hee! I have been calling Obama either Kenyan, Ignorant,Snobby, or Slimy [The KISS Matrix] and other stuff for almost two years. OMG, does he ever have that backwards!!!
Maybe you should tell him how I have been beating you Obots like carpets over a clothesline forever. OH, I wonder if he reads the stuff here, like this:
This is hilarious, me a Obama “enabler”!!! OH, I have been doing my best to “dis-able” Obama.
What this is, is just Vattle Birthers getting mad at me because I am clobbering them WITH LOGIC, and I have them on the run.
Thank you for telling me this!!!
October 13th, 2011 at 6:40 pm
[…] HomeA Place To Get The REALLY Right Answers About Natural Born CitizenshipBirth Certificate Fraud – Government ReportMark Twain On “Laughter”Mission Statement 2.0Obama Coughed It Up!!!Scientific Birtherism – The KISS MatrixThe Best Internet Article Ever On The SubjectThe Case the “Two Citizen Parent” Birthers Just HATE!!!Wong Kim Ark – Easy Read Version […]
October 22nd, 2011 at 11:34 am
There is an old aphorism that goes going like this: Action speaks louder than words,” that forms the very basis of our judicial system. This aphorism is very clear when one looks at the “action” the Wong took in establishing Mr. Wong’s citizenship. It construed the 14 Amendment to establish his citizenship, and used dicta to call him an A2S1C5 “natural born citizen”.
The question is: If Wong was a “natural born citizen, how did they arrive at the 14th Amendment to establish Wong’s citizenship?
The answer is: They didn’t. The Wong Court could not use A2S1C5 because his parents were not US Citizens. The Wong Court HAD to use the 14th Amendment to establish his “14th Amendment-first-sentence-citizenship. The Court in Wong found Wong Kim Art a citizen, but it could not by a process of law find him an A1S2C5 nbC.
October 22nd, 2011 at 11:47 am
Since the Wong Court didn’t simply declare Wong a natural born Citizen and be done with the matter, it was forced to take up the 14th Amendment to establish citizenship. Here we have a US Supreme Court basing its decision on the binding legal precedent set in Minor, that n A2S1C5 nbC was a person born of two citizens, born within the jurisdiction.
October 22nd, 2011 at 1:10 pm
First, the Wong judges DID tell us what a natural born citizen is. This is in the words of the Judges:
It thus clearly appears that, by the law of England for the last three centuries, beginning before the settlement of this country and continuing to the present day, aliens, while residing in the dominions possessed by the Crown of England, were within the allegiance, the obedience, the faith or loyalty, the protection, the power, the jurisdiction of the English Sovereign, and therefore 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.
III. 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.
NBC=birth within the country while under the allegiance or jurisdiction of the country.
There is nothing there about the parentage, except to say that it say that it doesn’t matter. What does the 14thA say???:
“All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside.”
So a 14th Amendment citizen by birth =birth within the country while under the jurisdiction of the country.
Notice how an NBC and 14th Amendment citizen by birth are the same thing. BIRTH WITHIN THE COUNTRY WHILE UNDER THE ALLEGIANCE OR JURISDICTION OF THE COUNTRY.
This is not hard, If you quit trying to read what is NOT in the decisions in the quest of mystical enlightenment or something, and just read what is there in plain sight, then you won’t end up with all kind of strange conclusions, that don’t jibe with history or logic or other court decisions.
October 22nd, 2011 at 8:32 pm
Action speaks louder than words. A court that says something, but doesn’t do it, or even does the opposite than what it says, is dicta.
If the court follows what it says with its own action;that is precedent.
In the Wong court, it simply didn’t follow its own words. Again, if the plaintiff was a nbC, they could not have arrived at the 14th (to establish citizenship)– what they said was dicta. What the Wong court actually did was recognize the plaintiff wasn’t an nbC, so it had to go to the 14th Amendment.
October 23rd, 2011 at 6:33 pm
The stuff you say is just circular reasoning stuff. Here is what I told another Vattle Birther about his “logic”:
How Vattle Birther reads WKA:
1.There is a difference between a NBC and a 14th Amendment born citizen because some pretend lawyer on the Internet said that Vattel says so
2.Look, the WKA judges call Wong a Citizen, not a NBC.
3.Yippee!!! This proves I am right about No.1 above!!!
How a rational person reads WKA
1.Crap, this is a long case. Hmmmm,people born in England are NBJs no matter who their parents were. Hmmm. Hmmm. Same in America for the NBCs. Hmmm. Hmmm. 14th Amendment affirms this ancient rule. Birth here and allegiance is same as birth here and jurisdiction.Hmmm.
2. Look, the WKA judges call Wong a Citizen, not a NBC.
3. Wow, they are the same thing and I read the case right, and so did the Indiana judges and most every other SENSIBLE person.
See. The difference is, that the words you quibble about are only meaningful to people who start off with a preconceived idea and want to play sophistry games. Which is why the Indiana judges told those Vattle Birthers:
 We note the fact that the Court in Wong Kim Ark did not actually pronounce the plaintiff a “natural born Citizen” using the Constitution‟s Article II language is immaterial.
Sooo, all this stuff you worry about is just because you focus on the words, and ignore the meanings and how they are being used. If you don’t believe me, then YOU go to WKA and see what a natural born citizen for somebody born in America is defined as for yourself. It’s:
1) Born in this country.
2)Under its jurisdiction or allegiance—which means not the kid of a diplomat or invading soldier.
Look at what Wong Kim Ark was under the 14th Amendment:
1)Born in this country.
2) Under its jurisdiction or allegiance–which means not the kid of a diplomat or invading soldier.
Darn, but they sure look the same to me. You are just making this stuff hard on yourself for no reason.
Sooo, quit being a Vattle Birther. OK???
October 24th, 2011 at 6:08 am
Naturalization at birth by positive law, act of congress or constitutional amendment is not the same as inheriting one’s citizenship naturally from one’s parent. The reason Barack Obama was born a British subject as well as a US citizen at birth is because his father was one. He inherited the condition from has father “naturally”. If you have a child born abroad,
it will inherit US citizenship from you “naturally”, despite the foreign jurisdiction you may happen to find yourself in.
Just as a child is born into a family vs a person who marries in legally. Obama, Jindal and Rubio, however wonderful they may be were legally born citizens, but they were not A2S1C5 “natural” born citizens. This is the perspective the founding authors had when they changed Hamilton’s first draft “born citizen” model to Jay’s “natural born” Citizen, without debate and by a unanimous vote.
Again, if the Wong Court had seen Mr. Wong as a natural born Citizen, they never would have reached the 14th Amendment to establish his American citizenship, just as the Minor Court did. The indisputable fact is, irrespective of there dicta to the contrary, the Wong court used the 14th Amendment to establish his citizenship because they considered themselves legally bound by the precedent set in the Minor case that an A2S1C5 natural born Citizen is a person born within the jurisdiction of two citizen parents.
Here is an exercise for you: go back before 2008 and see if you can find any reference to the findings in the Minor case as being called dicta.
Now look at the record of US presidents and vice-presidents and see how many of them, starting with George Washington and John Adams, all the up to Joe Biden had an alien parent at their birth and still took the oath of office.
February 11th, 2012 at 3:32 pm
Your argument is wrong on two points.
First the Minor case did not define what a natural born citizen was and actually commented that it did not have too.It did discuss that people had different opinions about what a natural born citizen was but “For the purposes of this case, it is not necessary to solve these doubts.”
Second the reason the Wong case used the 14th amendment was it had to establish if Wong was a citizen by virtue of birth. You cannot state someone is a natural born citizen without a reason, the 14th amendment gave the reason. And of course no court has ever accepted your convoluted logic.
Common law clearly defines what a natural born citizen is and there is no requirement that either parents have to be citizens,
March 29th, 2012 at 4:28 pm
Fourteenth Amendment was written to assure freed slaves that they had native citizenship – that is what is says and that is all it says, initiallly. You can’t make believe it says more. It does not redefine “natural-born”. Both are subsets of the term “native” but, as subsets, they are not equal. See white paper above.
Many confuse the subsets by assuming they are equal. They are ONLY equal in that they are NOT naturalization which is regulated by Congress
October 24th, 2011 at 9:22 am
You said: Here is an exercise for you: go back before 2008 and see if you can find any reference to the findings in the Minor case as being called dicta.
Wait a minute. It is YOUR theory that Minor Happersett defines NBC. Sooo, YOU go find the proof. I could care less about Minor Happersett. YOU go find where the case was used to define citizenship for somebody.
YOU are the one with a NEW Theory about citizenship, sooo YOU have the burden to explain it, to explain inconsistencies, to explain a lack of history, etc. YOU explain why 5 years after YOUR wonderful citizenship case, Minor Happersett, a man was swore in as vice president, then president who had a non-citizen father. YOU explain why, if Minor Happersett defines a NBC as having 2 citizen parents exclusively, the judge in Minor Happersett swore in Chester Arthur as President.
The Majority view does not have these problems, because the Majority view is that Minor Happersett does not define NBC, as is stated by the Minor Happersett court when it said:
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.
YOU Vattle Birthers are very lazy. YOU create a theory, then do not bother to show that it has ever been applied, ever been written about in law articles, ever been used, and YOU do not account for all the contrary evidence.
Vattle Birthers like to crab about stuff, but never seem energetic enough to PROVE their own theory. This is why when two Vattle Birthers walked into the Ankeny v. Governor courtroom, they were shown the door. They had some CONCLUSIONS, but they didn’t have any law to back them up. Just their take on stuff.
OK, maybe accidents happen. But don’t you think YOU Vattle Birthers should do YOUR homework this time??? YOU show where YOUR theory about Minor Happersett has ever been recognized anywhere. YOU show how “NOT solving doubts” means “solving doubts.” You explain Chester Arthur in 1880, and how nobody objected to his non-citizen father fits in with Minor Happersett just 5 years earlier.
YOU explain where I am wrong above where I list out what it takes to be a NBC and what it takes to be a 14th Amendment citizen by birth in America are different. YOU explain why you don’t find Vattel mentioned in any court cases to define natural born citizenship in America. YOU show where the Wong Kim Ark court ever said it took 2 citizen parents to be a NBC.
I am NOT being mean to you when I say this stuff. It is just YOUR responsibility to prove your case. AND, don’t just say that the Ankeny court in Indiana is wrong because they don’t agree with you. Go through the case and show where they misquoted law. YOU explain all those contrary statements in WKA about NBC.
Then, when you can’t, do the smart thing and quit being a Vattle Birther.
Read this, and start doing some reasoning for a change and quit just repeating conclusions YOU and the other Vattle Birthers have come to.
March 29th, 2012 at 4:36 pm
Personal attack always reveals the weakness of the argument. That is, assuming your blog is not part of a disinformation campaign, in which case enjoy the thirty pieces of silver.
Chester A. Arthur hid his father’s citizenship and ordered his personal records burned as he lied dying. Think about why.
March 29th, 2012 at 10:19 pm
Utter fiction. Total nonsense. Back it up; tell us how you know he ordered his records burned.
Never hapened. There is no two-citizen-parents requirement. Never was, never will be.
January 10th, 2012 at 10:13 am
First, good job on your article. You know Jeromi Corsi wrote a book in 2008, “The Obama Nation” in which he tried every rhetorical trick imaginable to derail Obama’s election. Amazing that he doesn’t mention a two-citizen parent requirement for US Presidents. Fancy that, a PhD in political science letting something like that slip.
The other thing I think everyone should be aware of is that the Congressional Research Service, a part of Congress, has prepared a detailed analysis of this question for members of Congress. I think that it is a MUST READ for anyone interested in the issue:
January 10th, 2012 at 11:21 am
Re: “Now look at the record of US presidents and vice-presidents and see how many of them, starting with George Washington and John Adams, all the up to Joe Biden had an alien parent at their birth and still took the oath of office.”
Thomas Jefferson‘s mother was born in England
Andrew Jackson‘s parents were both born in Ireland
James Buchanan had an Irish father
Chester A. Arthur had an Irish father
Woodrow Wilson‘s mother was English
Herbert Hoover had a Canadian-born mother
Of these seven, two are under the grandfather clause: Jefferson and Jackson. The grandfather clause means that they do not count whether jus soli alone or jus sanguinus plus jus soli applies because they were eligible whatever rule applied. BUT, the grandfather clause is actually not an argument for the Vattel birthers. Why not? Because the writers of the US constitution were willing to take a risk on a child who was neither born in the USA nor had US parents for a short period of time to achieve other goals. And the result was that we got both Jefferson and Jackson, and neither of them were disloyal.
But say that Jefferson and Jackson do not count. Buchanan certainly does count. Some birthers have said that his father was naturalized before Buchanan was born. But, guess what, there is absolutely no proof of it. No evidence that Buchanan’s father was naturalized whatsoever.
Then there is Arthur. Birthers claim that he was only appointed vice president (he was never elected president) because he hid the fact that his father had not been naturalized. But, again, there is no proof. No proof whatsoever that Arthur hid the fact that his father was born in Ireland and had not been naturalized.
Birthers point to laws that made Wilson’s and Hoover’s mothers US citizens automatically on marrying their US husbands. Yes, there was such a law. However, it is really not the same thing as naturalizing a person. The women did not have to swear oaths to the USA or renounce their citizenship in the other countries—which meant that they were dual nationals.
Because Woodrow Wilson’s mother was a dual national at birth, Wilson was at birth a dual national too. In addition to these there have been some vice presidents with foreign parent. One that comes to mind is Spiro Agnew.
January 10th, 2012 at 12:00 pm
The problem with Vattelites in their argument that the term Natural Born Citizen is founded on Roman or Civil Law instead of English Common Law is that their argument demonstrates their disregard that the Constitution provisions are framed in the language of the English Common Law and their argument ignores the historical development of Anglo-American jurisprudence that is rooted in the English Common Law.
Courts have recognized that the drafters of the constitution of whom most were lawyers were influenced by the principles and history of the common law that we inherited from the English. “The principles and history of the common law were well known to the framers of the Constitution and the members of the First Congress; it was from that system that their terminology was derived; and the provisions of the Constitution and contemporaneous legislation must be interpreted accordingly.” Southern Pacific Co. v. Jensen, 244 US 205, 230 (1917)
Moreover, Chief Justice Taft stated in Ex Parte Grossman, 267 U.S. 76, 108-09 (1925):“The language of the Constitution cannot be interpreted safely except by reference to the common law and British institutions as they were when the instrument was framed and adopted.”
Since the drafters of the Constitution wrote it in the language of the English common law then according to statutory construction that unless otherwise defined in the Constitution, words are to be taken at their ordinary and contemporary meaning.“ A fundamental canon of statutory construction is that, unless otherwise defined, words will be interpreted as taking their ordinary, contemporary, common meaning.” Perrin v. United States, 444 US 37,42 (1979).
Moreover, if the use of words in the Constitution have a common law meaning
then the courts must infer the incorporation of this common law meaning unless the language of the Constitution compels a different meaning.
“[G]uided by the principle that where words are employed in a statute which had at the time a well-known meaning at common law or in the law of this country they are presumed to have been used in that sense unless the context compels to the contrary.” Standard Oil Co. of NJ v. United Sates, 221 US 1, 59 (1911);
Furthermore, if words were created not by positive law but rather by judicially created concept then any interpretation of those words other than their common law meaning must be specific and clear. “The normal rule of statutory construction is that if Congress intends for legislation to change the interpretation of a judicially created concept, it makes that intent specific.” Stillians v. Iowa, 843 F.2d 276, 280 (8th Cir.1988)(internel citations omitted)
In other words, If drafters of the Constitution used words in the Constitution that have a common law meaning then it is PRESUMED that drafters intended common law application of the words UNLESS there is language in the Constitution that intended a contrary interpretation of the words.
As such, the term natural born citizen is a derivation of the term natural born subject that was a judicially created concept as articulated by Blackstone in his Commentaries of the Laws of England (1765) then UNLESS the founding fathers intended a different meaning other than the common law rule meaning of natural born citizen it was the responsibility of drafters to incorporate this different meaning.
The failure of the drafters to indicate a different meaning other than the common law meaning of natural born citizen in the Constitution demonstrated that the drafters intended to incorporate the established common law meaning of natural born citizen.
January 10th, 2012 at 12:03 pm
Although Vattel was regarded by the founding fathers as legal authority on INTERNATIONAL LAW; however, with regards to citizenship, courts have recognized that citizenship is governed by municipal law of the nation.
Perkins v. Elg, 307 US 325, 329 (1938).
The court’s reasoning in Tomasicchio v. Acheson, 98 F. Supp. 166 (D.C. 1951), is instructive regarding the Doctrine of Jus Sanguinis and Jus Soli as applied to United States citizens:
“that in some countries nationality is governed by jus soli, i. e., it originates by birth within the country; in others, it is based on jus sanguinis, i. e., the child inherits the nationality of his parents irrespective of his place of birth; and in still others, like the United States, it may be predicated on either jus soli or jus sanguinis. Thus, a person born in the United States is a citizen thereof irrespective of the nationality of his parents. Conversely, a person whose parents are citizens of the United States inherits their citizenship irrespective of the place of his birth. Id at 168
In fact, even Vattel acknowledged the difference between CIVIL LAW and English COMMON LAW regarding citizenship when he wrote in Law of Nations: “Finally, there are countries, such as England, in which the mere fact of birth within the country naturalizes the children of an alien.”
The drafters of the United States Constitution of whom some were lawyers
were, by their required reading of Blackstone’s Commentaries, familiar with Lord Chief Justice Coke’s opinion in the Calvin’s Case (1608) on the concept that a child born of alien parents was a natural born subject of the British monarchy.
That Lord Coke, widely recognized by the American colonists “as the greatest authority of his time on the laws of England, Payton v. New York, 445 US 573, 593-594 (1980)
In United States v. Wong Kim Ark, 169 U.S. 649 (1898) the court noted the jus soli English common law rule of Calvin’s Case, and observed:
“It thus clearly appears that by the law of England for the last three centuries, beginning before the settlement of this country, and continuing to the present day, aliens, while residing in the dominions possessed by the crown of England, were within the allegiance, the obedience, the faith or loyalty, the protection, the power, and the jurisdiction of the English sovereign; and therefore 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.” Id. at 658
Chief Justice Taft in Ex Parte Grossman, 267 U.S. 76, 108-09 (1925) stated:
“The language of the Constitution cannot be interpreted safely except by reference to the common law and to British institutions as they were when the instrument was framed and adopted. The statesmen and lawyers of the Convention who submitted it to the ratification of the Convention of the Thirteen States, were born and brought up in the atmosphere of the common law, and thought and spoke in its vocabulary. They were familiar with other forms of government, recent and ancient, and indicated in their discussions earnest study and consideration of many of them, but when they came to put their conclusions into the form of fundamental law in a compact draft, they expressed them in terms of the common law, confident that they could be shortly and easily understood.”
As such, the framers of the Constitution did not insert the phrase “natural born citizen” in the Constitution in a vacuum without reference to English common law; but rather the framers were cognizant of the historical development of citizenship in English common law.
January 11th, 2012 at 3:30 am
When I ran into Vattel I had the same feelings of “you have got to be kidding”?
They were not!
Someone elses opinion of what a document said was not my cup of tea. I wanted to see/interpret for myself.
I see you are the same kind of person because it takes some time to scour these documents, understand them then place them on a blog. I appreciate and applaud you for your effort.
I am not a lawyer either and frankly I found all of the legal jargon a bore.
I waded through all of the SCOTUS cases (4 of them to date on this subject). Mind numbingly boring IMO.
I had already waded through a myriad of modern day interpretation and discarded that because anything past United States v. Wong Kim Ark, 169 U.S. 649 (1898) is simply worthless opinion. Unless SCOTUS decides to take this matter up again. More than likely that will be when Hell begins to freeze.
Finally I started to wade through the Congressional Records of the time. The first pertinent document defining the term “natural born citizen” I found below:
39th Congress Senate and House Debates (December 4, 1865 to July 28, 1866) PP Page 961 of 1920 Page 1291
Here you will find the section you are looking for. Simply type in page 1291 :
You can see that document with the pertinent definition highlighted below:
It is a bit grainy but readable. It says:
“[I] find no fault with the introductory clause [S 61 Bill], which is simply declaratory of what is written in the Constitution, that every human being born within the jurisdiction of the United States of parents not owing allegiance to any foreign sovereignty is, in the language of your Constitution itself, a natural born citizen…. . . ”
Once I found this document which was before Minor v. Happersett , 88 U.S. 162 (1875) or United States v. Wong Kim Ark, 169 U.S. 649 (1898) it made the ruling in both of those SCOTUS cases perfectly clear.
I am certain in your quest for the truth about the term “natural born citizen” you will find this document both interesting and important. There are other such documents from that time period in the congressional archives also.
For me it boiled down to who do you believe?
The founders of our country who clearly defined the term or someone today who wishes the founders defined it some other way?
It was an easy call because I always go for the original source.
March 29th, 2012 at 4:22 pm
You cannot use the English law and custom regarding “natural born.” Basically, the king wanted subjects and took as many as he could. We are citizens looking to prevent duplicitous Presidents. This distinction is well known.
In any event, the analysis should be tempered: http://wp.me/p2i3SD-6
March 29th, 2012 at 5:00 pm
I have discussed Breckinridge Long before in connection to Minor V. Happersett, and how if MvH meant what most Birthers wanted it to mean, Long would have jumped on it like a redneck on a 30 pack of Pabst Blue Ribbon Beer. It was entitled “The Most Unkindest Cut Of All –
Et Tu Breckinridge???”
Now, as far as NOT being able to use English law and custom, that is completely the opposite of what the Courts say. Minor v. Happersett says:
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. . .
The Wong Kim Ark court said the same thing, and discussed at least three times in the case that natural born subjects and natural born citizens expressed the same concept, and that allegiance came from being born in the physical realm of the Kingdom or Nation. Here is one such time:
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.”
April 28th, 2012 at 7:03 pm
[…] called, “A Place to Get the REALLY Right Answers About Natural Born Citizenship,” accessed at https://birtherthinktank.wordpress.com/a-place-to-get-the-really-right-answers-about-natural-born-cit…. Clearly, the title of this web site refers this web site, “Natural Born Citizen – A Place […]
July 3rd, 2012 at 9:59 pm
You made a claim that simply isn’t true. In item 7 you state: “But, who cares because Vattel was not ever, not even one single time, quoted in American or English courts in a majority decision for the purpose of determining who was or was not a natural born citizen. ”
This is incorrect:
“Vattel, who, though not very full to this point, is more explicit and more satisfactory on it than any other whose work has fallen into my hands, says
“The citizens are the members of the civil society; bound to this society by certain duties, and subject to its authority, they equally participate in its advantages. The natives or indigenes are those born in the country of parents who are citizens. Society not being able to subsist and to perpetuate itself but by the children of the citizens, those children naturally follow the condition of their fathers, and succeed to all their rights.”- The Venus, 12 U.S. 8 Cranch 253 253 (1814)
July 29th, 2012 at 10:50 pm
Can we start a contest as to how many Birthers will quote from Marshall’s dissent in the Venus case? I will take the over at 169.
July 29th, 2012 at 8:46 pm
Minor does quote from de Vattel natural law:
July 29th, 2012 at 8:57 pm
Sorry, but there is NO evidence the Minor Court ever quoted from Vattel on this point. In fact, the words, “At common-law, with the nomenclature of which the framers of the Constitution were familiar, it was never doubted. . .” specifically tells you this is coming from COMMON LAW.
Plus, COMMON LAW is NOT the same as natural law. Some common law might be based on some natural law, but that is as far as it goes. If you doubt me, read Wong Kim Ark, and lookit at all the common law cases that the SCOTUS listed as the “common law” basis for its decision.
You are stuck in neutral on this point, and you need to shift gears to get anyplace.
July 29th, 2012 at 9:19 pm
Try reading the paragraph again as a whole:
What Waite is saying is that since the Constitution is based on common law or natural law, as opposed to positive law, the Court MUST rely upon natural law when in doubt…as the rest of the sentence confirms — and the point AKpilot makes in his July 3rd post above…“all children born in a country of parents who were its citizens became themselves, upon their birth, citizens also” — which is pure de Vattel.
July 29th, 2012 at 9:25 pm
Natural law and common law are different things. Common law is judge made law, from court decisions. That is why the States had “reception statutes” to bring those decisions into the State’s recognizable laws.
Natural law is NOT specifically codified anywhere, or received into a State’s laws because it is seldom written down as such. Plus, there is little agreement about Natural Law even is. Some people used to think slavery was a “natural” part of nature, while others thought freedom was “natural.”
Please look up some definitions.
July 29th, 2012 at 10:21 pm
Yes, Squeeky Fromm,
Yes, you are right to a degree. But in this context “common law,” as opposed to positive law, as I stated, refers undeniable to de Vattel’s Law of Nations § 212-215.
As you know, while generally when one refers to ‘common law,’ they are referring to English common law, we have many different county’s who have developed their own common law through positive law, even American common law.
In fact, in regard to Art. II, §1, cl. 5, English common law, as it relates to a hereditary monarchy, is based on paternal jus sanguinis, draws directly from de Vattel’s natural right of inheritance.
July 29th, 2012 at 10:54 pm
I seem to have misplaced my Vattel. Do you happen to have paragraph 214 handy???
July 29th, 2012 at 11:26 pm
§ 214. Naturalization.(58)
A nation, or the sovereign who represents it, may grant to a foreigner the quality of citizen, by admitting him into the body of the political society. This is called naturalization. There are some states in which the sovereign cannot grant to a foreigner all the rights of citizens, — for example, that of holding public offices — and where, consequently, he has the power of granting only an imperfect naturalization. It is here a regulation of the fundamental law, which limits the power of the prince. In other states, as in England and Poland, the prince cannot naturalize a single person, without the concurrence of the nation, represented by its deputies. Finally, there are states, as, for instance, England, where the single circumstance of being born in the country naturalizes the children of a foreigner.
The Constitution gives the plenary authority of government the power to create any type of citizen it feels its needs to create by positive law. But positive law is not and cannot create natural law.
A person who receives their US citizenship at birth by positive law (subject to the jurisdiction) is not an Art. II, §1, cl. 5 natural born Citizen, whose US citizenship at birth occurs naturally (and not subject to the jurisdiction) under the cloak of allegiance of the father. One is created by positive law and one is by natural law.
If Art. II, §1, cl. 5 is not governed by natural law, than it must be governed by positive law, which would be unconstitutional. The plenary authority of government cannot create the ruling class (Art. II, §1, cl. 5). Only the consent of the governed can create its own ruling class, and it has done so through the natural political right of inheritance we all, as Americans, share.
July 30th, 2012 at 1:01 pm
How did that argument work out in court?
The Supreme Court in Wong Kim Ark specifically and thoroughly rejected the argument you are making.
July 30th, 2012 at 4:54 pm
The Wong Court decision is unconstitutional, see:
A Citizenship of Consent, not Feudal Allegiance
In other words: Once the government can decide who can be a member of the ruling class (Art. II, §1, cl. 5), we will no longer be free Citizens voluntarily governed by a Constitutional Republic, but mere subjects to the ruling class.
And once the power to create the ruling class has been taken out of hands of the ‘consent to be governed,’ it WILL be used by Congress for its own advantage:
See EVIDENCE BROADENS OBAMA NATURAL BORN CONSPIRACY
Be careful what you ask for: if “Birthers” are unsuccessful in their constitutional argument, you may only succeed in taking the power to create the ruling class out of the hands of the ‘consent of the governed’ and place it into the hands of the plenary authority of government
July 30th, 2012 at 10:30 pm
I think you should talk Orly into filing a Motion for Reconsideration to SCOTUS on Wong Kim Ark! How brilliant is that? You can thank me later. Orly loves to file Motions for Reconsideration and she has a perfect record on them so far. I would love to read it. Go for it!
July 31st, 2012 at 10:17 am
There is a flip side to the Wong Kim Ark decision that I personally think is more supportable. It goes like this:
Wong Kim Ark’s parents were actually in this country both legally and permanently, yet were barred from even pursuing citizenship (and renouncing their former allegiance) by a treaty that closed that door to all Chinese immigrants. They were therefore as fully subject to the jurisdiction of the United States as they were legally permitted to be, and under those circumstances, it is not a surprise that the Court would extend the Constitution’s grant of birthright citizenship to their children. But the effort to read Wong Kim Ark more broadly than that, as interpreting the Citizenship Clause to confer birthright citizenship on the children of those not subject to the full and sovereign (as opposed to territorial) jurisdiction of the United States, not only ignores the text, history, and theory of the Citizenship Clause, but also permits the Court to intrude upon a plenary power assigned to Congress itself
July 31st, 2012 at 4:23 pm
But I think the best indication that Wong Kim Ark was fundamentally flawed came to me when I read Judge Malihi’s decision in my own Georgia case. It forced me to focus in on the true difference between a natural born subject and a natural born Citizen.
Under the “alien in amity” theory, aliens can only issue natural born subjects. But under a hierarchical monarchy, natural born subjects do not all have access to the “ruling class.”
Upon our Declaration of Independence and adoption of a constitution, all natural born Citizens are born equal, with all having access to the ruling class.
This is why young Wong Kim Ark was simply a US citizen at birth and not an Art. II, §1, cl. 5 natural born Citizen.
July 31st, 2012 at 6:07 pm
Assuming that WKA was “fundamentally flawed” means that you recognize the legal reality, which is, that people born in the U.S., whose parents are not diplomats or invading soldiers, are natural born citizens. Hence, by current law, Obama is eligible.
Sadly, most Birthers still don’t recognize that reality and keep trying to tell people that the law doesn’t say what it does.
July 31st, 2012 at 7:07 pm
Perhaps I should have said, “Fatally flawed,” then? As I just pointed out above, which, perhaps, you haven’t read yet: under English common law, Wong would have been a natural born subject, born unequally as to his access to the ruling class.
Since Art. II, §1, cl. 5 creates the ruling class; all natural born Citizens are born equally, having equal access to the ruling class i.e. the presidency and vice-presidency of the United States
July 31st, 2012 at 6:45 pm
A FEDERAL JUDGE RULED IT SO YOU OBUMMER TRAITOR LOVERS !!!!!!!!!!!
A federal court in Washington, DC, held last week that political appointees appointed by President Obama did interfere with the Department of Justice’s prosecution of the New Black Panther Party
July 31st, 2012 at 6:53 pm
I have noticed that some of your comments are just repeats of the same comments you made on other threads here. I don’t care if you make comments, but I wish you wouldn’t duplicate them all over the place.
For one thing, it just makes it harder for people to respond to you if you say the same stuff on multiple threads.
Thanking you in advance,
August 14th, 2013 at 2:06 pm
I find the whole birth question annoying… as if birthright makes one loyal to a country. I know plenty of natural-born and naturalized Socialists and Communists who are more than happy to throw out the Constitution and start over. We should be worried about these folks.