Tag Archives: Justiagate

The 800 Pound Gorilla In The Room

Sadly, The Helmet Was A Helluva Good Disguise To Many People

This Internet Article is about 800 pound Gorillas in the room, on several different levels.  The first level deals with the two citizen-parent Birthers and the 1875 voting rights case, Minor v. Happersett (MvH).  Just like with Breckinridge Long, (see Note 1 below) another MvH-snubbing legal scholar has come to my attention. This one is named George Collins, and in 1884, he wrote Are persons born within the United States Ipso Facto Citizens thereof ?

This was just  9 years after the putative natural born citizen precedent setting MvH case. Like Breckinridge Long, George Collins also failed to mention Minor v. Happersett, even though the whole point of his piece was that a child’s citizenship should be determined by the father’s citizenship.  Here is a link to Collins’ article:

http://www.scribd.com/doc/19071886/Are-Persons-Born-Within-the-United-States-Ipso-Facto-Citizens-Thereof-George-D-Collins

I will go deeper into this article at a later date.

The point for now is, that if Minor v. Happersett was sooo definitive in defining citizenship, why was it that nobody knew it at the time???  This particular article was written just 9 years after the case.  This is a simple question that has been asked many times at The Birther Think Tank.  Just add one more unanswered major anomaly to the two citizen-parent Alternate Reality Universe.

But, I mentioned this Internet Article was about different levels of overlooking the obvious. I first discovered the above piece by Collins by reading Dianna Cotter’s “America’s two unconstitutional Presidents” published December 14, 2009. Miss Cotter is a reporter with the Portland Examiner.

http://www.examiner.com/civil-rights-in-portland/america-s-two-unconstitutional-presidents

Cotter is interesting because she is also one of the people helping to disseminate the Justiagate nonsense. For the unfamiliar, Justia, an online legal research website supposedly scrubbed links to Minor v. Happersett prior to the 2008 Presidential elections. Justia claims the mistake was a simple programming error which also affected other cases, but Dianna Cotter and Leo Donofrio are convinced this was part of a sinister plot. See for example:

http://www.examiner.com/civil-rights-in-portland/justiagate-the-cover-up-continues-1

and:

http://www.examiner.com/civil-rights-in-portland/justiagate

But if MvH isn’t precedent, to anyone outside of Vattel Birther circles,  what’s the point??? Why go to all the effort to scrub a case that is irrelevant??? Even more importantly, how do you write an article in December 2009 where the subject author, George Collins, is a person who completely ignored the MvH case decided just 9 years before he wrote his article back in 1884- – -and then come back, as Cotter did in October 2011 and jump on the Minor v. Happersett band wagon. A reporter is supposed to have a nose for the news, and become suspicious when things don’t add up, like they do with Minor v. Happersett.

I do not know Dianna Cotter, so I don’t know why she didn’t catch this.  Maybe she just forgot the article she wrote 2 years earlier.  Maybe the question of why Collins failed to pick up on this supposedly wonderfully precedental MvH case just never occurred to her.  Perhaps all the other cases which failed to recognize MvH or all the multiple anomalies have managed to slip beneath her radar. Or maybe she just has no interest in trying to confirm her own theories.

But, reporters ask questions. It is what we do.  That 800 pound gorilla is sitting in the middle of her room and demanding a king’s ransom in bananas. Luckily for her, the two citizen-parent Birthers have plenty.

Squeeky Fromm
Girl Reporter

Note 1: This is the Internet Article about Breckinridge Long:

https://birtherthinktank.wordpress.com/2011/11/14/the-most-unkindest-cut-of-all-et-tu-breckinridge/

Note 2:  A quick list of anomalies can be found here:

https://birtherthinktank.wordpress.com/2011/11/12/the-alternate-reality-universe-of-leo-donofrio-a-white-paper/

Note 3: Ro-Man, and the Image above:

The image above is from Robot-Monster, one of the worst films of all time. Wiki says:

Robot Monster is a 1953 American science fiction film made in 3-d by Phil Tucker. It is frequently considered one of the worst films ever made.  The evil alien Ro-Man Extension XJ-9 (who is simply called “Ro-Man” by the humans) has destroyed all but eight humans on Earth with his “calcinator death ray.” The budget did not allow for a robot costume as intended so director Phil Tucker used his friend George Barrows who had his own gorilla suit to play Ro-Man. Phil Tucker added the helmet.

There is a little pun built into the Easter Egg. (Hover your mouse over the image.)Roman law is said to have been based on descent, not place of birth.  From Edward Gibbon’s book,  The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, some Roman Law:

The above account of slavery and its modifications will be found in strictest conformity with the Institutes of Justinian. Thus, in book 1st, title 3d, it is said: “The first general division of persons in respect to their rights is into freemen and slaves.” The same title, sec. 4th: “Slaves are born such, or become so. They are born such of bondwomen; they become so either by the law of nations, as by capture, or by the civil law.”


The Most Unkindest Cut Of All – Et tu Breckinridge???

The Minor v. Happersett Fight Drew Little Attention Outside The Monkey Troop

Well, in what has to be the most unkindest cut of allLeo Donofrio’s theory that the 1875 voting rights case of Minor. v. Happersett was precedent for defining natural born citizenship hits another major stumbling block of Reality.  And, this one really stings. In 1916, a person by the name of Breckinridge Long wrote a  12 page pamphlet called,  Is Mr. Charles Evans Hughes  A “Natural Born Citizen ” Within The Meaning Of The Constitution?

Mr. Hughes was the 1916 Republican Presidential candidate who narrowly lost to Woodrow Wilson. The pamphlet may be found here:

http://www.scribd.com/doc/29744612/Breckinridge-Long-A-Natural-Born-Citizen-Within

Mr. Long noted that although Mr. Hughes was born in the United States, his father was an un-naturalized  immigrant, a British citizen, at the time of his son’s birth. Long’s argument in a nutshell was:

It must be admitted that a man born on this soil, of alien parents, enjoys a dual nationality and owes a double allegiance. A child born under these conditions has a right to elect what nationality he will enjoy and to which of the two conflicting claims of governmental allegiance he will pay obedience. Now if, by any possible construction, a person at the instant of birth, and for any period of time thereafter, owes, or may owe, allegiance to any sovereign but the United States, he is not a “natural born” citizen of the United States. If his sole duty is not to the United States Government, to the exclusion of all other governments, then, he is not a “natural born” citizen of the United States.

Now here is where the hurting starts. Minor v. Happersett was a SCOTUS case decided in 1875 and Donofrio claims this was the case which once and for all proves it takes two citizen-parents to make a bouncing little natural born citizen. In fact, this case is sooo darn important that when Justia, an online legal research site accidentally  messed up some of the links, Donofrio claims that it was purposely done to hide this case from the public prior to the 2008 election. (Justiagate). To Donofrio, this was an intentional scrubbing of the case.  You can read the histrionics here:

http://naturalborncitizen.wordpress.com/2011/10/20/justia-com-surgically-removed-minor-v-happersett-from-25-supreme-court-opinions-in-run-up-to-08-election/

Yet, Breckinridge Long makes absolutely no mention whatsoever of the allegedly wonderful precedent setting Supreme Court case.  Think about this.  On one hand, here is an educated attorney, a graduate of Princeton, and the Washington University Law School, writing on the alleged constitutional ineligibility of a person who has a non-citizen father, and dual citizenship mother at best.   On the other hand, you have the Minor v. Happersett case which supposedly requires two citizen-parents.  – – -And these two pieces of matter and anti-matter  never come together to make a big KERBOOM???. This huge gift-wrapped Supreme Court case supposedly just sat there,  long after Christmas,  for 41 years, and no one noticed it???  Justia did not exist in 1916, so I am ruling out a scrub.

Mr. Long published this work in the Chicago Legal News, where it would have been read by numerous attorneys, and not one of them, even the Democrats among them, ever thought to write a letter to the editor and inform them of the Minor v. Happersett decision which would have nailed it for Breckinridge Long.  Now this was not the first time this situation occurred with a Presidential candidate.  In 1880, just 5 years after the Minor v. Happersett decision, Chester Arthur ran for Vice-President, and another eligibility hit man attorney, Arthur Hinman, tried to claim Arthur was not eligible because he was born in either Ireand or Canada.  Nary a word there either about Arthur’s  non-citizen father or the Minor v. Happersett case.

When confronted with this anomaly, the two citizen-parent Birthers claim that no one knew that Arthur’s father was a citizen of Ireland at the time of his son’s birth.  I disagree. But here, there is absolutely no question but that Breckinridge Long knew these facts about Charles Evans Hughes.  He came right out and said:

At the time he was born his father and mother were subjects of England.  His father had not then been naturalized. [and] There is no dispute on the facts that the father in 1862 [year of CEH’s birth] was an English subject.

And still the Minor v. Happersett case sat there in a corner, quietly.  Seen, but not heard.  Either it had a real bad case of the cooties which Breckinridge was afraid of catching, or it just never was the precedent for natural born citizenship that Donofrio and his disciples claim. Since the judges openly stated they were not resolving the issue, I am betting on the latter.

Et tu, Breckinridge?

Squeeky Fromm
Girl Reporter

Note 1. Pleonasms. The most unkindest cut of all is a pleonasm from the play Julius Caesar by William Shakespeare. It was said about the stab from Brutus, Caesar’s supposed friend and ally. Wiki says about pleonasms:

Pleonasm (from Greek, pleon: more, too much) is the use of more words or word-parts than is necessary for clear expression: examples are black darkness, or burning fire. Such redundancy is, by traditional rhetorical criteria, a manifestation of tautology.

Note 2. Et tu, Breckinridge??? This is a play on words of “Et tu, Brute?”  Wiki says:

Et tu, Brute?” (pronounced “ay too brew tay) is a Latin phrase often used poetically to represent the last words of Roman dictator Julius Caesar to his friend Marcus Brutus at the moment of his murder by stabbing. It can be variously translated as “Even you, Brutus?”,”And you, Brutus?”, “You too, Brutus?”, “Thou too, Brutus?” or “And thou, Brutus?”. Immortalized by Shakespeare’s play Julius Caesar (1599), the quotation is widely used in Western culture to signify the utmost betrayal.

While the words are usually understood as an expression of shock towards Brutus’ betrayal, it has recently been argued that, if they were uttered by Caesar, the phrase was instead intended as a curse and threat.One theory states Caesar adapted the words of a Greek sentence which to the Romans had long since become proverbial. The complete phrase is said to have been “You too, my son, will have a taste of power,” of which Caesar only needed to invoke the opening words to foreshadow Brutus’ own violent death, in response to his assassination. In a similar vein, Caesar’s words have been interpreted to mean “Your turn next.” and “To hell with you too, lad!”

Note 3: Troop. From the image above, a troop is a group of monkeys. The only people making a big fuss about Minor v. Happersett are the two citizen-parent birthers, and the people who study them. Sometimes I am not sure if I am Jane Goodall, the anthropologist who studies primates, or Dorothy of Kansas, who can not seem to escape the troop of Flying Monkeys.

Note 4. Minor v. Happersett 1875. Included here for completeness. Here are the seven simple sentences from the Minor v. Happersett voting rights case which cause so much confusion to the two citizen-parent Birthers. They claim this language defines natural born citizenship, while rational people note the last three sentences clearly indicate the Court is not going to resolve the doubts as regards children born here of foreigners. :

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.


The Alternate Reality Universe of Leo Donofrio (A White Paper)

Try As They Might With The WABAC Machine, Every Time The Vattel Birthers Managed To Change Natural Born Citizenship In All The Textbooks, Prohibition Remained In Effect

One of the two-citizen parent Birthers, Leo Donofrio, is really doubling down on the Minor v. Happersett case as being precedent for determining natural born citizenship, and is acting like some minor boo-boos (pun intended) linking the case on a internet law research website, Justia, is the crime of the century.  According to this alternate reality theory, this 1875 women’s voting rights case, defined natural born citizenship, even though the judges in that case clearly said they did not need to resolve that issue.  Here is Donofrio’s latest off-planet trip:

http://naturalborncitizen.wordpress.com/2011/11/11/justiagate-say-it-aint-so-carl-malamud/

About alternate realities, Wiki says:

A parallel universe or alternative reality is a hypothetical self-contained separate reality coexisting with one’s own.  While the terms “parallel universe” and “alternative reality” are generally synonymous and can be used interchangeably in most cases, there is sometimes an additional connotation implied with the term “alternative reality” that implies that the reality is a variant of our own.

Typically, parallel universes fall into two classifications. The first may be more accurately called a “diverging universe” whereby two versions of Earth share a common history up to a point of divergence. At this point, the outcome of some even happens differently on the two Earths and the histories continue to become more different as time elapses since that point.

It is like the stories where everything on Earth is the same, up until the Nazi Germans get the atomic bomb first, and win World War II. That is the same type of thing that Leo Donofrio and the other Vattle Birthers (my humorous term for the Vattel disciples) are trying to put over on people. That in 1875, the Minor v. Happersett case provided the definition of natural born citizenship. Fortunately, we can determine if this theory is fact or fiction by reviewing the history since 1875 to see if reality really did diverge down the two-citizen parent path as it would have if Donofrio was right.

Following are 21 instances ranging from mundane entries in encyclopedias to law review articles and even a SCOTUS case, where the reality of this universe diverges from the alternate reality universe of Leo Donfrio.  Timewise, these examples begin shortly after the Minor v. Happersett decision and cover the time period until the 2009 “One To Grow On.”  This list could easily have been 5 times as long. In none of these instances is there even a whiff of the two-citizen parent foolishness. Most flatly state the exact opposite, that natural born simply means born in the United States.

1. 1876 the American Law Review mentioned Minor v. Happersett as a voting rights case, and says nothing about the case defining natural born citizenship.

https://birtherthinktank.wordpress.com/2011/10/21/a-minor-inconvenience-for-the-knot-heads/

2.1876 Tuttle’s New History of America by Charles Tuttle:

13. — The Executive. This power is vested in the President, who is chosen by electors from the several states, and his term of office is four years. Every state is entitled to as many electors as it has senators and representatives in Congress. The Vice President who is ex-officio President of the senate, and who in certain events may become President of the United States, is chosen in a similar manner at the same time with the President. The Chief Executive and the Vice President must be native born citizens of the United States, residing within the states fourteen years, and the Constitution further demands that they shall have attained the age of thirty-five years.

http://books.google.com/books?pg=PA63&dq=%22chief+executive%22+%22native+born%22&ei=bl-3TNXTKIH98Abm2KTpCQ&ct=book-preview-link&id=jEDzAAAAMAAJ#v=onepage&q=%22chief%20executive%22%20%22native%20born%22&f=false

3. 1878 Elements of International Law by Henry Wheaton:

There is no uniform rule among nations by which the nationality of a person may be determined from the place of his birth. England, America and the majority of South American states claim all who are born within their dominions, as natural born birth in subjects or citizens, whatever may have been the parents’ nationality;

http://books.google.com/books?id=z6ysAAAAMAAJ&q=There+is+no+uniform+rule+among+nations+by#v=snippet&q=There%20is%20no%20uniform%20rule%20among%20nations%20by&f=false

4. 1879 Outline for Civil Governement Designed For Common Schools by W.. Thatcher:

Art. II., Sec. i, Clause 5.—Qualifications of the President.

No person, except a natural born citizen, or a citizen of the United States, at the time of the adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the office of President; neither shall any person be eligible to that office who shall not have attained to the age of thirtyfive years, and been fourteen years a resident within the United States.

(a.) Natural born.—Born in the United States. Our state constitution does not thus limit the office of its executive.

(6.) Fourteen years resident.—That he may be thoroughly conversant with its affairs. He may be absent from the United States as an ambassador, or in official duty as a United States officer. Buchanan was minister at the Court of St. James (Great Britain), when nominated for President.

http://books.google.com/books?pg=PA38&dq=%22+natural+born%22+inauthor:thatcher&ei=V7S0TI_pAcL78Ab0qOX8CQ&ct=book-preview-link&id=sL0_AAAAYAAJ#v=onepage&q=%22%20natural%20born%22%20inauthor%3Athatcher&f=false

5. 1880 Chester Arthur runs for Vice-President.  His father was Irish, and not a citizen when Arthur was born, but the only objections to his eligibility were that Arthur was born in either Ireland, or in Canada. The Vattle Birthers try to explain this away claiming that nobody knew Arthur’s father was Irish, but that claim falls flat in light of the fact his political opponents accused Chester Arthur of being born in Ireland.

6. 1881, Judge Waite swears in Chester Arthur. Waite, who wrote the Minor v. Happersett decision, actually swears in Chester Arthur as President, even though he supposedly ruled 6 years earlier that it took two citizen parents to be a natural born citizen.

https://birtherthinktank.wordpress.com/2011/10/23/breaking-news-1880-republicans-scrubbed-libraries-of-minor-v-happersett/

7. 1883, An exposition of the constitution of the United States By Albert Orville Wright.

All persons born in the United States, except wild Indians, are natural-born citizens, and any foreigner
may become an adopted citizen by being naturalized.  (See page 88.)

http://books.google.com/books?id=P1wUAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA286&dq=%22natural+born%22+%22born+in+the+united+states%22+-35&hl=en&ei=xZ60TKD7DcKC8gbEpJ3bCg&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=book-preview-link&resnum=29&ved=0CLUBELsFMBw4lgE#v=onepage&q=%22natural%20born%22%20%22born%20in%20the%20united%20states%22%20-35&f=false

8. 1886, Outlines of international law: with an account of its origin and sources and … By George Breckenridge Davis

(d.) The municipal laws of every state enumerate and define the rights and privileges which may be acquired by its naturalized citizens. In no case do such persons acquire all the privileges of native-born citizens. The most usual restrictions apply to the holding of political and military office, the highest grades of which, in every state, can only be filled by native-born citizens. In the United States, whose policy of naturalization is extremely liberal, the offices of President and Vice-President can only be held by native-born citizens.

http://books.google.com/books?pg=PA102&dq=president+%22native+born%22+-35&ei=HYy0TPbZNcG88ga13a2BDA&ct=book-preview-link&id=1skLAAAAYAAJ#v=onepage&q=president%20%22native%20born%22%20-35&f=false

9. 1888 The student’s law lexicon: a dictionary of legal words and phrases : with … By William Cox Cochran

Natural, according to nature; not artificial, exceptional, or violent. Natural allegiance, that perpetual obedience which is due from all natural-born subjects to their sovereign, as distinguished from local allegiance, which is only temporary. Natural-born citizens, those that are born within the jurisdiction of a national government; i.e., in its territorial limits, or those born of citizens, temporarily residing abroad.

http://books.google.com/books?pg=PA185&dq=%22those+that+are+born+within+the+jurisdiction+of+a+national
+%22&ei=xcq1TJicOMP-8AaQr5jyCQ&ct=book-preview-link&id=MzAWAAAAYAAJ#v=onepage&q=%22those%20that%20are%20born%20within%20the%20jurisdiction
%20of%20a%20national%20%22&f=false

10. 1889 Encyclopedia Brittanica.

That Congress shall be in session on the second Wednesday of February succeeding every meeting of the electors, and the certificates trom them shall then be opened, the votes counted and the persons to fill the offices of President and Vice-President ascertained and declared agreeably to the Constitution. It provides also that no one shall be eligible to these offices unless he be 35 years old and be born in the United States.

http://books.google.com/books?id=fd7cRS7tbTYC&pg=PA216&dq=%22born+in+the+United+States%22+35+President&hl=en&ei=enK0TIWsDoOB8gamstHLCg&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=book-preview-link&resnum=23&ved=0CJ4BELsFMBY#v=onepage&q=%22born%20in%20the%20United%20States%22%2035%20President&f=false

11. 1898, The American passport: its history and a digest of laws, rulings and … By United States. Dept. of State, Gaillard Hunt

CITIZENSHIP BY NATIVITY.

All persons born in the United States, except such as are born in foreign embassies or legations and Indians untaxed, are natural-born citizens of the United States; and a person born abroad whose father was at the time of his birth a citizen. . .

http://books.google.com/books?id=ywg1AAAAIAAJ&pg=PA99&dq=%22natural+born%22+%22born+in+the+united+states%22+-35&hl=en&ei=D6K0TISvOcT58AaFx_WhDA&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=book-preview-link&resnum=14&ved=0CHEQuwUwDTi0AQ#v=onepage&q=%22natural%20born%22%20%22born%20in%20the%20united%20states%22%20-35&f=false

12. 1898, David Shephard Garland et al, THE AMERICAN AND ENGLISH ENCYCLOPEDIA OF LAW, 2d Ed. Vol. 6 (1898):

[Citizenship Chapter – How Citizenship Acquired]
[17]
2. By Birth in Jurisdiction. — Natural citizenship is created by birth within the jurisdiction of the United States.1 To be a citizen of the United States [18] by reason of birth, a person must not only be born within its territorial limits, but must also be born subject to its jurisdiction; that is, in its power and obedience.

13. 1898 Wong Kim Ark. SCOTUS case which does NOT cite Minor v. Happersett to define natural born citizenship, and instead cites the case for holding that the term must be defined by resort to English common law, and for the statement that there are only two sources of citizenship those being birth and naturalization.

More importantly, and what must really sting the Vattle Birthers, is that Minor v. Happersett is NOT even cited by the dissent in Wong Kim Ark for the purposes of defining citizenship.

14. 1910 Raleigh C. Minor, Address on the Citizenship of Individuals …, PROCEEDINGS OF THE AMERICAN SOCIETY FOR INTERNATIONAL LAW (1910)

Note: Mr. Minor was Professor at the University of Virginia (per above link).

[65]
“I. Citizenship of the United States.
This subject must be discussed with reference to two distinct periods in our history, the first, from the inception of the Constitution to the passage of the Fourteenth Amendment in 1868; the second, from the passage of the Amendment to the present.

The original Constitution had conferred upon Congress the express power to “establish an uniform rule of naturalization,” and had declared that “no person except a natural-born citizen * * * shall be eligible to the office of President.” It had also, in defining the eligibility of Senators and Representatives in Congress, declared that they shall have been “citizens of the United States” for a prescribed period. Thus, the Constitution itself recognized that there was a classification of citizens into natural-born and naturalized, but it nowhere defined who should be deemed citizens.

Where then was the government to look for a definition? The natural answer, in view of our system of municipal law, was to con-[66]sult the common law of England, to which we had been subject as Colonies, and to modify that by such legislative acts of Congress as might be needful to adapt it to our conditions. At least this was what was actually done, and the right of Congress, under the original Constitution, thus to modify the common-law doctrine as it might see fit, has never been seriously questioned.

The rule of the common law is that citizenship turns upon the place of birth, and that one born within the jurisdiction, even though of alien parents, is a citizen by birth, or, as the Constitution expresses it, a natural-born citizen; and this rule has been very generally recognized and enforced by all the departments of the government. United States v. Wong Kim Ark, 169 U. S. 655 et seq.; Lynch v. Clarke, 1 Sandf. Ch. (N. Y.) 583; 9 Ops. Atty.-Gcn. 373; 10 Id. 382, 394.”

15.  1914 Andrew C. McLaughlin & Albert Bushnell Hart ( Ed.), CYCLOPEDIA OF AMERICAN GOVERNMENT Vol. 2 (1914).:

[496]
“NATURAL BORN CITIZENS. A natural-born citizen of the United States is one who is a citizen by reason of his place of birth or the citizenship of his father. The two classes of naturalized and natural born citizens are thus mutually exclusive, and together constitute the entire citizen body of the United States. The Fourteenth Amendment (see) as construed in the case of United States vs. Wong Kim Ark (169 D. 8. 649) provides that every person born within the territorial limits of the United States, even though his parents be aliens, and of a race the members of which are by law excluded from naturalization, are natural-born citizens. Under certain circumstances persons born outside the territorial limits of the United States are deemed natural-born citizens, as for example, children of American citizens visiting or traveling abroad. The father must, however, at some time have resided in the United States. Only natural-born citizens are eligible to the offices of President and Vice-President. See Citizenship In The United States; Naturalization, Law of. References: G. W. Garner, Intro, to. Pol. Sci. (1910), ch. xi; F. Van Dyne, Citizenship of U. S. (1904).”

16.  1967 McElwee, unpublished article reprinted in 113 Cong. Rec. 15,875 at 15,876 (1967)
As quoted by Pryor (881, n.2):

“It is clear that under the English common law this term ‘natural born’ meant ‘native born.’… It was this genuine ‘native-born’ citizen … to which the framers of the Constitution referred when they used the term ‘natural-born citizens’ as one of the qualifications for the President”

17. 1968 Gordon, Who Can Be President of the United States: The Unresolved Enigma, 28 Md. L. Rev. 1, at 7-8 (1968)
As quoted by Pryor (881, n.2) – In arguing that both those born in the U.S. and those born outside the U.S. to US citizen parents are eligible to be President:

“[T]he leading British authorities agree that under the early common law, status as a natural-born subject probably was acquired only by those born within the realm, but that the statutes .. enabled natural-born subjects to transmit equivalent status at birth to the children born to them outside of the kingdom . . . . There was no warrant for supposing that the Framers wished to deal less generously with their own children.”

18.  1988 Jill A.Pryor, The Natural-Born Citizen Clause and Presidential Eligibility: An Approach for Resolving Two Hundred Years of Uncertainty, 97 Yale L.J. 881, at 881 and n. 2 (1988)

It is well settled that “native-born” citizens, those born in the United States, qualify as natural born.” “Native-born citizens are natural born by virtue of the nearly universal principle of jus soli, or citizenship of place of birth.” [881 and n.2].

“…. It has never been suggested that Congress has the power to deny natural born status to native borns. Here it might be helpful to distinguish between the power to define the clause (e.g., to say that “natural born” means “born in California”) and the power to naturalize from birth (to include additional classes of people within the scope of the clause). Congress has only the latter power under the Constitution. Thus Congress can expand the category of natural-born citizens to encompass more than simply native borns, but it may not contract the category below the native born minimum set by the Fourteenth Amendment.” [892, n. 65].

19. 1995 Walter Dellinger (AAG), Statement before the Subcommittees on Immigration and Claims and on the Constitution of the House Committee on the Judiciary (Dec. 13, 1995)

Note: Per Wikipedia (and sources cited therein), Dellinger served as the acting United States Solicitor General for the 1996-1997 Term of the Supreme Court under President Bill Clinton. Prior to his appointment – when he submitted this statement to Congress – Dellinger was an Assistant Attorney General and head of the Office of Legal Counsel.

The Court, [Wong Kim Ark] in a detailed review of the Anglo-American common law of citizenship and the legislative history of the Fourteenth Amendment, established several propositions. First, because the Constitution does not define United States citizenship, it must be interpreted in light of the common law. Under the common law of England, which was adopted by the United States, every child born within the territory of alien parents was a natural-born subject, with the exception of children born of foreign ambassadors, of alien enemies during hostile occupation, and of aliens on a foreign vessel.

20. 2005 Edwin Meese, et al, THE HERITAGE GUIDE TO THE CONSTITUTION (2005):

[189-91]
“Under the longstanding English common-law principle of jus soli, persons born within the territory of the sovereign (other than children of enemy aliens or foreign diplomats) are citizens from birth. Thus, those persons born within the United States are “natural born citizens” and eligible to be President. Much less certain, however, is whether children born abroad of United States citizens are “natural born citizens” eligible to serve as President …”

“In United States v. Wong Kim Ark (1898), the Supreme Court relied on English common law regarding jus soli to inform the meaning of “citizen” in the Fourteenth Amendment as well as the natural-born-citizenship requirement of Article II, and noted that any right to citizenship through jus sanguinis was available only by statute, and not through the Constitution. Notwithstanding the Supreme Court’s discussion in Wong Kim Ark, a majority of commentors today argue that the Presidential Eligibility Clause incorproates both th3 common-law and English statutory principles, and that therefore, Michigan Governor George Romney, who was born to American parents outside of the United States, was eligible to seek the Presidency in 1968.”

21. 2005 Sarah Helene Duggin & Mary Beth Collins, ‘Natural Born’ in the USA: The Striking Unfairness and Dangerous Ambiguity of the Constitution’s Presidential Qualifications Clause and Why We Need to Fix It, 85 B.U. L. Rev. 53, 90-91 (2005)

United States citizens born to parents subject to United States jurisdiction in one of the fifty states are unquestionably natural born citizens. Even the narrowest reading of the Fourteenth Amendment dictates that all current states are in the United States. This is true regardless of parental citizenship, unless a child’s parents are protected by the full immunity extended to foreign diplomats and their families, or they are enemy combatants.”

Above are 21 instances where the reality of this universe and this planet, do not seem to agree with Mr. Donofrio’s alternate reality. Let give him one more to grow on, from Ankeny v. Governor in 2009, which may help explain to Mr. Donofrio and his disciples why this Reality did not go down his divergent two citizen-parent path:

Id. at 167-168. Thus, the [Minor] 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

and:

Based upon the language of Article II, Section 1, Clause 4 and the guidance provided by Wong Kim Ark, we conclude that persons born within the borders of the United States are “natural born Citizens” for Article II, Section 1 purposes, regardless of the citizenship of their parents.

Pretty simple.  The case did not define natural born citizenship and, two citizen parents are not a requirement.  Duh!!!

For what it is worth, the 21 instances above could just as easily been 100 or more instances.  Donofrio’s alternate reality universe, where Minor v. Happersett supposedly defined natural born citizenship in 1875 as requiring two citizen parents,  badly needs a Vinny Gambini (from My Cousin Vinny) to ask the equivalent of, “Well, I guess the laws of physics cease to exist on top of your stove. Were these magic grits? Did you buy them from the same guy who sold Jack his beanstalk beans? Sooo:

Well, Mr. Donofrio, I guess the laws of physics and common sense cease to exist on top of your computer desk. Was this a magic case? Did you learn about it from the same guy who sold Jack his beanstalk beans???

Squeeky Fromm
Girl Reporter

Note 1: The WABAC Machine. Wiki says:

Sherman and Mr. Peabody enter the WABAC machine ca. 1960 to witness another time and place in history.

The WABAC Machine (pronounced, and often synonymous with, Way-back) refers to a fictional machine from the cartoon segment Peabody’s Improbable History, an ongoing feature of the 1960’s cartoon series The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show. The WABAC Machine is a plot device used to transport the characters Mr. Peabody and Sherman back in time. The meaning of the acronym is unknown, but mid-century, big-science project names, such as ENIAC, UNIVAC,  and JOHNNIAC, often ended in “AC”.

As in the original cartoon, the Wayback Machine is often invoked to suggest the audience follow the narrator back to the past. Frequently such visits to the past are trips of nostalgia, remembering times, places, or things of the not-so-distant past. One example of popular usage occurred in “Goofy Ball”, a 1995 episode of the TV show NewsRadio, when station owner Jimmy James (Stephen Root) says: “Dave, don’t mess with a man with a Wayback Machine. I can make it so you were never born.

The Wayback Machine of the Internet Archive was named after the WABAC.

Note 2. Source:  Items at Numbers 12,14,15,16,17,18,19,20, and 21 above may be found at:

http://tesibria.typepad.com/whats_your_evidence/the-natural-born-citizenship-clause-updated.html#NBC_TA_McClane

Note 3. Source of google books cites above: All of the cites above which contain a google book cite came from this website, where you can easily read a 100 instances which contradict the Donofrio nonsense interpretation of Minor v. Happersett:

http://naturalborncitizenshipresearch.blogspot.com/2010/10/view-of-constitution-of-united-states.html

Note 4: Here are the seven simple sentences from Minor v. Happersett which cause so much confusion to the two citizen-parent Birthers:

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.


Justiagate: The Mother of All Wild Goose Chases

The Girl Reporter Caught The Wild Goose and Took It For A Spin

Well Leo Donofrio, aka the Parakeet, I mean the Paraclete as he calls himself,  is flogging the Justiagate non-issue for all it is worth. Or actually, for all it isn’t worth.  According  to the Paraclete, (Which is not a pair of athletic shoes as I first thought.) Justia, the online legal research website, scrubbed and scrambled the links to the 1875 Minor v. Happersett case in an attempt to keep voters from finding out that a natural born citizen required two citizen parents.  This is nothing but a wild goose chase of the highest order.

While Donofrio and crew are whooping it up about the scrubbing, and displaying the nail wounds in their hands and feet to all who will listen, the simple truth  is that the Minor v. Happersett case NEVER defined natural born citizenship. In fact, the judges in that case openly stated there was no need to resolve that issue. Sooo, there would be no need to scrub this case,  and Justiagate is just “much ado about nothing.”  But, that is why the two citizen parent Birthers are  throwing fits about some minor programming glitches . . . to draw attention away  from the fact that their case is toothless. They send people on a  wild goose chase,  so that nobody will notice their case is a legal turkey and can’t get far off the ground.

http://naturalborncitizen.wordpress.com/2011/10/31/justiagate-ceo-tim-stanley-admits-publishing-mangled-supreme-court-opinions-the-oyez-connection-scotus-response/

Sooo, as an alternative method to address this Mother of All Wild Goose Chases, I have written a Mother Goose poem!

The Wild Mother Goose Chase
by Squeeky Fromm, Girl Reporter
aka Little Miss Scuffit

Hey Diddle, Diddle
Did Justia fiddle
The Minor v. Happersett links?

Wild goose in the corn-
Did they rule “natural born?”
(Or just leave it open, methinks?)

Sooo, Little Miss Scuffet
Sat on her tuffet
Perusing the web for the case.

Aha!, hear her shouts,
They clearly said “doubts.
The Birthers have egg on their face!

Rub a dub dub
Alleging a scrub
The Paraclete’s charges fall flat.

For, “Aye, there’s the rub!”
The case was a flub,
The judges, they never ruled that.

Rub a drub drub
She sank that old tub,
The Birthers should not have set sail.

Adrift on the sea
As wet as can be,
Their journey was an Epic Fail!

Tee Hee! Tee Hee!

Squeeky Fromm
Girl Reporter
aka Little Miss Scuffit

Note 1:  Here are the seven simple sentences from Minor v. Happersett which cause so much confusion to the two citizen parent Birthers:

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.

Note 2:  Credits for the Artwork:

The Fiddling Cat Image can be found here, by Marty at Deviant Art:

http://marty-iceangel.deviantart.com/art/Hey-Diddle-Diddle-124879661

The Little Miss Muffet Image can be found here, by Al Rio at comic vine:

http://www.comicvine.com/al-rio/26-13289/all-images/108-71740/grimm_fairy_tales_16_little_miss_muffet/105-451511/

Note 3:  The Little Rascals movie poster is very appropriate for the two-citizen parent Birthers. Wiki says that by 1840, the rhyme had become:

Rub a dub dub,
Three men in a tub,
And who do you think they be?
The butcher, the baker,
The candlestick maker.
Turn them out, knaves all three.

Note 4: The Mother of All. . .The free dictionary says the idiom, “the mother of all something”  means  “an extreme example of something.”

Note 5: Little Miss Scuffett. An alternative meaning of “scuff” is to brush off; wipe off; or kick.


A Cite For Sore Eyes (The Dred Scott Case in 1898)

The 1898 Rambler Slave-Catcher Coupe Could Follow The Drinking Gourd With The Best Of Them

The two-citizen parent Vattle Birthers are trying to convince the world that the 1875 case of Minor v. Happersett, a voting rights case, defined natural born citizenship. This is absurd, and I have already de-bunked that nonsense multiple  times in other Internet Articles.  Sooo, this piece is about some of the lies and distractions being used to fool people about the case. (Note: Vattle Birthers my sarcastic name for the two citizen parent Birthers since they are members of the Emerich de Vattel Fan Club.)

They distraction process begins by stating that Minor v. Happersett has been cited 25 or more times by courts, and that fact alone means that it is good precedent and therefore the whole case stands for whatever silly nonsense they are pushing at the moment.  If you point out to them that the case does not resolve any citizenship questions, they respond with, “But it’s been cited over 25 times!!!”

In addition, they are busy whooping it up that links to Minor v. Happersett , which appeared on just one of many separate sources of SCOTUS case law, Justia, were scrubbed and altered to keep people from finding out about this wonderful case while Obama was running for office.  If you point out to them again that the case does not resolve any citizenship questions, so why would anybody want to look it up in the first place, then they respond, “Then why did they scrub the case???”

Both of these claims are nothing but flim flam designed to get people talking about the case being cited 25 times and allegedly being scrubbed to keep people from noticing that the case openly states that it doesn’t do squat about resolving whether children of foreigners born in the United States were natural born citizens. (See Note 3 below.)

When a court cites, or quotes from a case, it is not citing every single word in the case,  or approving the whole case in a general way. They are only citing the particular words on the particular issue on the particular point they wish to make. So for Minor v. Happersett,  several courts have cited it for the purpose of saying that the 14th Amendment does not create voting rights.  NO COURT has ever cited Minor v. Happersett for the purpose of defining natural born citizenship.  None. Not a single one. Why should any court do this when the Minor v. Happersett judges themselves came right out and said they were not resolving the doubts about the issue.  Those doubts were resolved in the  1898 SCOTUS case of Wong Kim Ark, which case the Vattle Birthers avoid like the plague.

But how do you prove all this easily or show how this stuff works without going through some big long analysis about the do’s and don’ts of legal case citing.  Fortunately, there is an easy way to show how these people are trying to put something over on you. One of the big promoters of the Minor v. Happersett nonsense and the related distraction process is named Leo Donofrio.  Wouldn’t it be fun to use HIS example to show how the distractions are meaningless! Here is something he says in one of his Internet Articles:

Stanley is peddling a response to JustiaGate which requires one to accept that all 25 cases were accidentally altered to remove the words “Minor v. Happersett” and the official citations to Minor, while various portions of relevant text pertaining to the eligibility issue were also removed from other cases along with the Slaughter-House Cases name and it’s official citation… along with further references to citizenship precedents such as Osborn v. Bank of United States and Scott v. Sandford (removed from US v. Wong Kim Ark) which features the following definition of natural-born citizen:

“The natives, or natural-born citizens, are those born in the country, of parents who are citizens.”

Sound familiar? It’s the same definition of natural-born citizen as in Minor v. Happersett.

The  Scott v. Sandford case Leo Donofrio  is talking about is also known as the Dred Scott Case. It was a 1857 SCOTUS case, and is famous for holding that slaves were property and if a slave escaped to a Free State,  then he should be treated like property and returned to his owner. Kind of like a lost dog.  But the mere fact that case was cited in the  1898 SCOTUS case of Wong Kim Ark does not re-activate slavery and return black people to slave status. If it did, the picture of the 1898 slave tracking car above would be reality. Just being cited does not make the Dred Scott Case good law on any point except the one it was being cited for.  Merely stating that Wong Kim Ark cites the Dred Scott case does not tell you anything why the case is being cited, or anything else about the case.  (There, that was a simple example!)

The same thing holds true about Minor v. Happersett.  Merely saying that it has been cited 25 times doesn’t tell you anything about why the case was cited, does not prove anything about the case, and does not reveal any significance the case may have.  Similarly, there is no way to judge the impact of any alleged programming boo-boos by Justia.

So why bring up these issues just to leave them unresolved?  A person could spend days trying to figure out and untangle all the nonsense Donofrio has splatted out at his website about the citings and Justia, and still not know what is going on. Or, a person could spend a few minutes on the 7 sentences below at Note 3, and realize the case left open and unresolved the issue of natural born citizenship. I believe the Vattle Birthers are doing the same thing a magician does. He distracts you with a beautiful lady in a revealing outfit,  or flourishes with his left hand, while he makes a rabbit disappear with his right hand.

Squeeky Fromm
Girl Reporter

Note 1:  from the Image caption- Follow the Drinking Gourd

The American folksong Follow the Drinking Gourd was first published in 1928. The Drinking Gourd song was supposedly used by an Underground Railroad operative to encode escape instructions and a map. These directions then enabled fleeing slaves to make their way north from Mobile, Alabama to the Ohio River and freedom. Taken at face value, the “drinking gourd” refers to the hollowed out gourd used by slaves (and other rural Americans) as a water dipper. But here it is used as a code name for the Big Dipper star formation, which points to Polaris, the Pole Star, and North.

http://www.followthedrinkinggourd.org/

Tom Loker, from the Image title, was the slave catcher in the Uncle Tom’s Cabin  book.

Note 2:  Donofrio is also slippery another way in the excerpt above.  He slips in this  language from Emerich de Vattel, ““The natives, or natural-born citizens, are those born in the country, of parents who are citizens,” without telling anybody  that it was cited in the dissent in Wong Kim Ark, and thus has no legal significance in American law.

Note 3: Minor v. Happersett.  A brief recap of the flap about this case is provided for completeness. The Vattle Birthers cite this language with their left hand,

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.

while, with their right hand, they  palm the next three sentences and make them disappear:

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.

Yes. You are reading it correctly. The judges openly admit they are not solving the doubts,  while the Vattle Birthers try to convince you they did.  This is why they need all the distractions they can get.


The Missing Link

Anthropologists Theorized The Homo Para-Cletus Evolutionary Branch Was Missing A Few Twigs

There is a Two -Citizen Parent Birther by the name of Leo Donofrio (aka The Paraclete) who is pushing a theory that Justia, an online publishing company, has twiddled with the links and citations to the case of Minor v. Happersett, an 1875 voting SCOTUS voting rights case which held the 14th Amendment did not grant women the right to vote.  Lacking any semblance of a legal case to support their idiotic theory that it takes two citizen parents for a person to be a natural born citizen, these individuals have latched onto Minor v. Happersett with both hands trying to mis-represent it as such a case.

This has been discussed at length at The Birther Think Tank, but in brief, the Vattle Birthers (my sarcastic name for the two-citizen parent Birthers because of their reliance on French law, and Emerich de Vattel) have tried to twist this paragraph from Minor v. Happersett into having resolved doubts about children of foreign parents, even though the court says clearly it is NOT resolving those doubts.

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.

To elevate the importance of this case, the Vattle Birthers are now trying to pretend this case was purposely hidden from the world to keep people from knowing about it during Obama’s election. This is absurd, because the case does not make any attempt to define a natural born citizen, and even if it did what the Vattle Birthers claimed, it would have been overturned by Wong Kim Ark case 23 years later. All this, and other problems with the Vattle Birther’s Theory are discussed in multiple articles here. The purpose of this Internet Article is to simply to review some of Mr. Donofrio’s Missing Links and see what they reveal.

First, here is the link to Donofrio’s (aka The Paraclete)latest Internet Article on this nonsense:

http://naturalborncitizen.wordpress.com/2011/10/26/justiagate-ceo-tim-stanley-claims-innocense-after-blocking-access-to-wayback-machine-snapshots-of-all-supreme-court-cases-published-by-justia/

Now, let’s look at some of those wonderful cites!

Boyd. v. Nebraska, 143 U.S. 135 (1892). [Dealt with evidence of naturalization process]

As remarked by Mr. Chief Justice Waite in Minor v. Happersett, 21 Wall. 162, 88 U. S. 167:

“Whoever, then, was one of the people of either of these states when the Constitution of the United States was adopted became ipso facto a citizen — a member of the nation created by its adoption. He was one of the persons associating together to form the nation, and was consequently one of its original citizens. As to this there has never been a doubt. Disputes have arisen as to whether or not certain persons or certain classes of persons were part of the people at the time, but never as to their citizenship if they were.”

Rogers v. Bellei, 401 U.S. 815 (1971). [Dealt with naturalization process outside of the country.]

169 U.S. at 169 U. S. 702-703. The Court in Wong Kim Ark thus stated a broad and comprehensive definition of naturalization. As shown in Wong Kim Ark, naturalization, when used in its constitutional sense, is a generic term describing and including within its meaning all those modes of acquiring American citizenship other than birth in this country. All means of obtaining American citizenship which are dependent upon a congressional enactment are forms of naturalization. This inclusive definition has been adopted in several opinions of this Court besides United States v. Wong Kim Ark, supra. Thus, in Minor v. Happersett, 21 Wall. 162, 88 U. S. 167 (1875), the Court said:

“Additions might always be made to the citizenship of the United States in two ways: first, by birth, and second, by naturalization. . . . [N]ew citizens may be born, or they may be created by naturalization.”

City of Mobile v. Bolden, 446 U.S 55 (1980) [A voting rights case.]

More than 100 years ago, the Court unanimously held that “the Constitution of the United States does not confer the right of suffrage upon anyone. . . .” Minor v. Happersett, 21 Wall. 162, 88 U. S. 178.

Snowden v. Hughes, 321 U.S. 1 (1944) [A voting rights case.]

Minor v. Happersett, 21 Wall. 162, 88 U. S. 170-178; Pope v. Williams, 193 U. S. 621, 193 U. S. 632; Breedlove v. Suttles, 302 U. S. 277, 302 U. S. 283, is a right or privilege of state citizenship, not of national citizenship, which alone is protected by the privileges and immunities clause.

So, after reviewing these four cites, none of the cases dealt with natural born citizenship. One cite specifically notes the Minor Court had doubts. The remaining two were voting rights cases. Not a single case about natural born citizenship, and not one single case having any relation whatsoever to Obama’s situation. Then, the keen-eyed Girl Reporter discovered an actual case of cite scrubbing!!!  Here it is, in all its glory:

The Donofrio Shuffle (2011)

Mr. Donofrio pulls a cute trick. He accuses Justia of scrubbing the Wong Kim Ark case of this link. Just click on the image to make it larger and easier to read:

How To Do The Donofrio Shuffle: You Put The Wrong Quote In, You Take The Right Quote Out; You Put The Wrong Quote In, And You Twist It All About. . .

BUT, Donofrio does a little scrubbing and history re-writing of his own. He provides an incorrect quote from Scott v. Sandford, which is more famously known as the  Dred Scott case The case is cited in Wong Kim Ark, but here is the actual quote, not what Donofrio said it was:

In Dred Scott v. Sandford, (1857) 19 How. 393, Mr. Justice Curtis said:

The first section of the second article of the Constitution uses the language, “a natural-born citizen.” It thus assumes that citizenship may be acquired by birth. Undoubtedly, this language of the Constitution was used in reference to that principle of public law, well understood in this country at the time of the adoption of the Constitution, which referred citizenship to the place of birth.

19 How. 576. And, to this extent, no different opinion was expressed or intimated by any of the other judges.

Busted Donofrio. Cold Busted. Slipping in the words you like, and leaving out what the majority decision actually said. And where exactly does one  find the words quoted by Mr. Donofrio? They are NOT in Minor v. Happersett. They are NOT in Wong Kim Ark in the majority decision. They are in the Wong Kim Ark DISSENT, the losing side. Where, oh where might those words have come from??? Let’s see, what did Donofrio say, again, from the image above:

and Scott v. Sandford (removed from US v. Wong Kim Ark) which features the following definition of natural-born citizen:

The natives, or natural-born citizens, are those born in the country, of parents who are citizens.

Sound familiar? It’s the same definition of natural-born citizen as in Minor v. Happersett

Well, come to find out those words are NOT the same definition as because Minor v. Happersett  is kind of doubt-y when it comes to the whole issue. Those words come from Emerich de Vattel’s Law of Nations.  They are cited on page 476 of the Dred Scott by Justice Daniel as part of a general citizenship discussion to the effect that slaves were not citizens, and that Dred Scott lacked the standing to sue. It started with Justice Daniel stating:

Hence it follows necessarily that a slave, the peculium or property of a master, and possessing within himself no civil nor political rights or capacities, cannot be a CITIZEN. For who, it may be asked, is a citizen?

To decide who are citizens (not natural born citizens) Justice Daniel quotes from Vattel’s Law of Nations, and also quotes from Roman law. Some of this he got from Edward Gibbon’s book,  The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, and some just from Roman Law. Here is a small excerpt:

The above account of slavery and its modifications will be found in strictest conformity with the Institutes of Justinian. Thus, in book 1st, title 3d, it is said: “The first general division of persons in respect to their rights is into freemen and slaves.” The same title, sec. 4th: “Slaves are born such, or become so. They are born such of bondwomen; they become so either by the law of nations, as by capture, or by the civil law.”

I guess Leo Donofrio would feel equally comfortable with feeding Christians to lions which was legal under Roman law.  The point is, that the place where Donofrio found the words in the case, what they were being quoted for had nothing to do with determining what a natural born citizen was in a legal sense. The Law of Nations book had no greater legal impact than The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire book.  Which is some more of the slipperiness that you saw above with the other cases.

But you know, when you are busy re-writing legal history yourself,  what is a little French or Swiss law slipped in every once in while. Plus, phrasing it that way makes the whole thing sound sooo much more definite. Not all doubt-y and wishy-washy like what you really find in Minor v. Happersett.

Mr. Donofrio, have you no shame???

Squeeky Fromm
Girl Reporter

Note 1: What is a Missing Link???  The term “missing link” refers to a species between ape and man which would prove the evolution of humans from apes.  While some people think this makes men out of monkeys, the opposite is also true and some people have made monkeys out of men. For example, take the Piltdown Man. Wiki says:

The Piltdown Man was a hoax in which bone fragments were presented as the fossilised remains of a previously unknown early human. These fragments consisted of parts of a skull and jawbone, said to have been collected in 1912 from a gravel pit at Piltdown, East Sussex, England. The Latin name Eoanthropus dawsoni (“Dawson’s dawn-man”, after the collector Charles Dawson) was given to the specimen. The significance of the specimen remained the subject of controversy until it was exposed in 1953 as a forgery, consisting of the lower jawbone of an orangutan that had been deliberately combined with the skull of a fully developed modern human.

The Piltdown hoax is perhaps the most famous paleontological hoax ever. It has been prominent for two reasons: the attention paid to the issue of human evolution, and the length of time (more than 40 years) that elapsed from its discovery to its full exposure as a forgery. The identity of the Piltdown forger remains unknown, but suspects have included Arthur Conan Doyle, the creator of Sherlock Holmes.

Note 2: Homo Para Cletus: The Birther Think Tank suspects Homo Para-Cletus may be such a missing link, bridging the gap between a group of apelike hominids known as Australopithicus, which first emerged in Africa around 3.9 million years ago, and Homo Habilis, the first species to be described as distinctly human, which began to appear around 2.5 million years ago.

Note 3:  While reviewing this Internet Article, I re-read what Mr. Donofrio wrote, and it is possible he was referring to Wong Kim Ark and the quote from Minor v. Happersett being similar to the Emerich de Vattel quote,  “The natives, or natural-born citizens, are those born in the country, of parents who are citizens.”  It is difficult to tell. If so, then Mr. Donofrio is ever further FRIED, as I will show below.

First, you will find the proper quote from Dred Scott, as provided above,  in Section III of the  Wong Kim Ark decision.  Immediately following the Dred Scott quote in Section III of the case, you will find this quote from U.S. v. Rhodes. (Remember this section number, because it becomes important later on):

19 How. 576. And, to this extent, no different opinion was expressed or intimated by any of the other judges.

In United States v. Rhodes (1866), Mr. Justice Swayne, sitting in the Circuit Court, said:

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 [p663] 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.

1 Abbott (U.S.) 28, 40, 41.

How SELECTIVE Mr. Donofrio is in what he presents to the readers of his blog, and the public.  First, he swaps Dred Scott quotes, and then ignores the quote from U.S. vs. Rhodes right after the one he just scrubbed out,  which completely contradicts Mr. Donofrio’s whole two citizen parents theory. Donofrio had to be there reading the Wong Kim Ark case to do the scrubbing.  Did he miss it on purpose or on accident?  That is for you to decide. Whichever, you get a little taste of why Mr. Donofrio and his Vattle Birther buds try to steer clear of Wong Kim Ark.  Hitching a ride on the WayBack Machine to 23 years before Wong Kim Ark and landing on Minor v. Happersett in 1875 is a great alternative to having to explain all that troubling language one finds in 1898.

But, on the other hand,  even if Donofrio  was trying to say that those words either came from Wong Kim Ark,  or are similar to the Minor v. Happersett language, then he is still playing games.  Those similar words from Minor v. Happersett are NOT being quoted by Wong Kim Ark for the purposes of defining natural born citizenship. Which means Mr. Donofrio either never read Wong Kim Ark and that is why he didn’t know why Minor v. Happersett was being quoted, which is pretty bad if you are a lawyer and don’t understand the most important citizenship case of all. Or, it means that he is trying to mis-lead people about the Minor Happersett case, and does not want people to know that the case wasn’t quoted to define natural born citizenship. Remember, Wong Kim Ark was the very first SCOTUS case which defined natural born citizenship.

The Wong Kim Ark case is provided here at the top of this page, in the header, so you can verify what I am about to tell you for yourself.  The particular Minor v. Happersett quote is found in Section V of the decision, which discussed the 14th Amendment.   Here is how those words from Minor v. Happersett came to be in Wong Kim Ark.

In a previous case, the Slaughterhouse Cases, which were decided in 1873, 2 years before Minor v. Happersett in 1875, one of the judges, Justice Miller, made a comment which the losing side in Wong Kim Ark tried to use to say that the 14th Amendment did not apply to foreigners. From the Wong Kim Ark case, with my italics and bolding:

Mr. Justice Miller, indeed, while discussing the causes which led to the adoption of the Fourteenth Amendment, made this remark:

The phrase, “subject to its jurisdiction” was intended to exclude from its operation children of ministers, consuls, and citizens or subjects of foreign States born within the United States.

16 Wall. 73. This was wholly aside from the question in judgment and from the course of reasoning bearing upon that question. It was unsupported by any argument, or by any reference to authorities. . .

To show that remark was not the intent of either Justice Miller, or the other Slaughterhouse Cases judges, the Wong Kim Ark judges said that could not have been what those judges meant, because just 2 years later in Minor v. Happersett, those same judges said that “allegiance and protection” in connection to citizenship, were “reciprocal obligations.” Here is the exact wording from Wong Kim Ark:

That neither Mr. Justice Miller nor any of the justices who took part in the decision of The Slaughterhouse Cases understood the court to be committed to the view that all children born in the United States of citizens or subjects of foreign States were excluded from the operation of the first sentence of the Fourteenth Amendment is manifest from a unanimous judgment of the Court, delivered but two years later, while all those judges but Chief Justice Chase were still on the bench, in which Chief Justice Waite said: “Allegiance and protection are, in this connection” (that is, in relation to citizenship),

reciprocal obligations. The one is a compensation for the other: allegiance for protection, and protection for allegiance. . . . 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 [p680] 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. It is sufficient for everything we have now to consider that all children born of citizen parents within the jurisdiction are themselves citizens.

Minor v. Happersett (1874), 21 Wall. 162, 166-168. The decision in that case was that a woman born of citizen parents within the United States was a citizen of the United States, although not entitled to vote, the right to the elective franchise not being essential to citizenship.

Note, that the Minor v. Happersett quote is NOT being accepted by the judges to define natural born citizenship. The Wong Kim Ark judges consider it a voting rights case.  The case is simply being quoted here for the purpose of refuting an alternative interpretation of another case having nothing to do with natural born citizenship. Mr. Donofrio, however, claims either those words, or similar language is being quoted to define natural born citizenship, which had already been defined by the Wong Kim Ark judges in Sections II and III of the case.   Oh well. I guess when it comes to scrubbing and re-writing legal history, what is true of certain smelly forms of hot air,  holds true here, and the faker is the maker.

Note 4: Cold Busted means:

To get caught doing something you shouldn’t and are  convicted guilty of said act to 100% certainty.  Usually by your trifling girlfriend.

“Yo. My girl walked in on me in bed with her sister. Tried to tell her it wasn’t me.”
“Dawg, you got Cold Busted!”

Note 5:  I had to edit this Internet Article some, once I found out where it was in the Dred Scott decision that Donofrio was pulling the Vattel language.  He was not nice enough to tell people what purpose the language was being quoted for, or that it was located in a concurring opinion.  Sooo I had to read the whole case to bust him out.  But, the WayBack Machine can probably document the changes if that kind of stuff interests you.

Bonus: Alternative Image for this Internet Article:

The Plane Facts Knocked Homo-Para Cletus Off His Perch


Breaking News!!! 1880 Republicans “Scrubbed” Libraries of Minor v. Happersett!!!

Republican Scrub Team At The Astor Library - 1880

Oh, this is BREAKING NEWS!!! According to a very well-known Vattle Birther lawyer (my humorous term for the two citizen parent Vattel Birthers) , who wishes to remain anonymous, and will just be called Deep Threap, Republicans scrubbed libraries of the 1875 Minor Happersett decision by the United States Supreme Court prior to the presidential election of 1880!!!  Several Vattle Birther attorneys have lodged similar complaints about 2008 and the alleged scrubbing of this case which they say defines natural born citizenship by operatives of President Obama.  In the words of one Vattle Birther attorney, Leo Donofrio, Esq.:

The Court’s unanimous opinion in Minor defines those born in the US to citizen parents as natural-born citizens:

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.

Here is a link to this excerpt:

http://naturalborncitizen.wordpress.com/2011/10/20/justia-com-surgically-removed-minor-v-happersett-from-25-supreme-court-opinions-in-run-up-to-08-election/

In 1880, Chester Arthur ran for the vice-presidency as a Republican. It was well-known that his father was born in Ireland and was NOT a citizen of the United States at the time of Arthur’s birth.  As wiki says:

William Arthur’s [Chester Arthur’s father] frequent moves would later form the basis for accusations that Chester Arthur was not a native-born citizen of the United States. After Arthur was nominated for Vice President in 1880, his political opponents suggested that he might be constitutionally ineligible to hold that office. A New York attorney, Arthur P. Hinman, apparently hired by his opponents, explored rumors of Arthur’s foreign birth. Hinman initially alleged that Arthur was born in Ireland and did not come to the United States until he was fourteen years old, which would make him ineligible for the Vice Presidency under the United States Constitution’s natural-born citizen clause. When that story did not take root, Hinman spread a new rumor that Arthur was born in Canada, but this claim also failed to gain credence.

Deep Threap, the anonymous Vattle Birther attorney, says that had people only known of the Minor v. Happersett decision 4 years earlier, the place of Arthur’s birth would not have mattered. Arthur would have been ineligible because of his father. As Deep Threap explains, the fact that nobody objected to Arthur because of his father not being a citizen is CONCLUSIVE PROOF, that America’s libraries had been scrubbed of the case.

As Deep Threap explained:

I don’t know how they did it.  How they managed to scrub all the libraries in America, all the law libraries, and all the newspaper files.  I don’t know how they managed to keep all the judges and lawyers, even the opposition lawyers and judges, quiet about Minor v. Happersett, but they did.  They must have found a way, or the American public never would have voted for Chester Arthur, and somebody would have complained that Arthur was not a natural born citizen under the decision in Minor v. Happersett.  The only other alternative is that us Vattle Birthers could be wrong about Minor v. Happersett, and that the case did not define natural born citizenship.  And that certainly couldn’t be the case. I mean, there’s no way we could ever be wrong.  No, they had to scrub all the libraries in 1880. That is the only answer that makes any sense.

As someone who has read the case, it is very easy for me to accept the possibility that the Vattle Birthers could be wrong.  All one has to do is read the COMPLETE paragraph quote from Minor v. Happersett, not the scrubbed version on Mr. Donofrio’s website:

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. It is sufficient for everything we have now to consider that all children born of citizen parents within the jurisdiction are themselves citizens. The words “all children” are certainly as comprehensive, when used in this connection, as “all persons,” and if females are included in the last they must be in the first. That they are included in the last is not denied. In fact the whole argument of the plaintiffs proceeds upon that idea.

Somehow, the Vattle Birthers keep forgetting to put in the bolded part which proves the Minor court did NOT attempt to define natural born citizenship. But, as a Girl Reporter, I must report the news as I get it.  But WAITE!!!  Here is another important part of this tale of alleged scrubbing and political favors. Guess who swore in Chester Arthur when he became President??? None other than Chief Justice Morrison R. Waite, who wrote the opinion in Minor v. Happersett!!!

Yes, in this case which supposedly defined natural born citizenship, the Judge who wrote it, swore in a guy as President who had a non-citizen father, which fact was very well known.  Oh, the silly Vattle Birther world!!!  Ivory Soap ain’t the only thing floating there.

Squeeky Fromm
Girl Reporter

Notes 1: What did a REAL Court say about Minor v. Happersett???

The Indiana Court of Appeals 2009, Ankeny v. Governor:

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

This case is provided above, in the header, as The Case The “Two-Citizen Parent” Birthers Just HATE!!!

Threap means:

Verb: To maintain obstinately against denial or contradiction; also to contend or argue against (another) with obstinacy; To contend obstinately; to be pertinacious (stubborn and obstinate.)

Noun: An obstinate decision. A pertinacious affirmation.

Bonus: Image of Ivory Soap Ad from 1898, the year of Wong Kim Ark: