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The Great Mother of All Natural Born Citizen Quotation Pages

Partial lists don’t carry the full impact of citations scattered here and there. This project is to collect everything accessible and to the point into one place If it takes much context or argument, a brief reference and a link is included. I promise you that the quotations will mean the same thing when you read them here than they mean if you read the larger context, and the larger context will be linked to the text. No tricks, no deception.

For additional citations, see The “Natural Born Citizenship” Clause (Updated) to whom this article is indebted for some of these citations. And for EVEN MORE citations see SCOTUS & “Natural Born Citizen” – A Compendium, Books on Google that define “Natural Born Citizen” and History of US citizenship laws.

If readers know of some other items I should add, please let me know via the site’s Contact link.

Constitution

No Person except a natural born Citizen . . . shall be eligible to the Office of President . . . .

Article II, section 1 of the Constitution

The 14th Amendment (1868) begins:

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.

Legislation

Immigration Act of 1790

The Immigration Act of 1790 extended natural born citizenship to children of American parents born outside the United States. This is the first and only time the phrase “natural born citizen” appears in US immigration law.

…And the children of citizens of the United States, that may be born beyond sea, or out of the limits of the United States, shall be considered as natural born citizens: Provided, that the right of citizenship shall not descend to persons whose fathers have never been resident in the United States…

The Immigration Act of 1790

Executive Branch statements

AG Opinions are precedents and can be relied upon, although not binding on the courts.

Attorney General Edward Bates, Opinion on Citizenship (1862)

The Constitution itself does not make the citizens, (it is. in fact,made by them.) It only intends and recognizes such of them as are natural–”home-born–”and provides for the naturalization of such of them as were alien–”foreign-born–”making the latter, as far as nature will allow, like the former. …

And our Constitution, in speaking of natural born citizens, uses no affirmative language to make them such, but only recognizes and reaffirms the universal principle, common to all nations, and as old as political society, that the people born in a country do constitute the nation, and, as individuals, are natural members of the body politic.

If this be a true principle, and I do not doubt it, it follows that every person born in the country is, at the moment of birth, prima facie a citizen; and he who would deny it must take upon himself the burden of proving some great disfranchisement strong enough to override the “natural born” right as recognized by the Constitution in terms the most simple and comprehensive …

And so strongly was Congress impressed with the great legal fact that the child takes its political status in the nation where it is born, that it was found necessary to pass a law to prevent the alienage of children of our known fellow-citizens who happen to be born in foreign countries. The act of February 10, 1855, 10 Statutes, 604, provides that “persons,” (not white persons,) ” persons heretofore born, or hereafter to be born, out of the limits and jurisdiction of the United States, shall be deemed and considered and are hereby declared to be citizens of the United States: Provided, however, That the rights of citizenship shall not descend to persons whose fathers never resided in the United States.”

Attorney General Edward Bates, Opinion of Attorney General Bates on Citizenship (1862).

Attorney General Edward Bates, Opinion on Citizenship of Children Born in the United States of Alien Parents (1862)

I am quite clear in the opinion that children born in the United States of alien parents, who have never been naturalized, are native-born citizens of the United States

Citizenship of Children Born in the United States of Alien Parents, 10 U.S. Op. Atty. Gen. 328, 1862 WL 1393 (U.S.A.G.), available on Westlaw (paid subscription).

Walter Dellinger (Assistant Attorney General) before House subcommittee December 13, 1995

Throughout this country’s history, the fundamental legal principle governing citizenship has been that birth within the territorial limits of the United States confers United States citizenship. The Constitution itself rests on this principle of the common law. As Justice Noah Swayne wrote in one of the first judicial decisions interpreting the Civil Rights Act of 1866, the word “Citizens ‘under our constitution and laws means free inhabitants born within the United States or naturalized under the laws of Congress.’ We find no warrant for the opinion that this great principle of the common law has ever been changed in the United States.”

and

While the Constitution recognized citizenship of the United States in prescribing the qualifications for President, Senators, and Representatives, it contained no definition of citizenship until the adoption of the Fourteenth Amendment in 1868. Prior to that time, citizenship by birth was regulated by common law. And the common law conferred citizenship upon all persons born within the territory of the United States, whether children of citizens or aliens. The only common law exceptions to this generally applicable rule of jus soli were children born under three circumstances –” to foreign diplomats, on foreign ships, and to hostile occupying forces –” which, under principles of international law, were deemed not to be within the sovereignty of the territory.

http://www.usdoj.gov/olc/deny.tes.31.htm

State Department guidance to Ambassadors and Consulate officials (1995)

7 FAM 1111.2 Citizenship
(TL:CON-64; 11-30-95)

a. U.S. citizenship may be acquired either at birth or through naturalization.

b. U.S. laws governing the acquisition of citizenship at birth embody two legal principles:

(1) Jus soli (the law of the soil), a rule of common law under which the place of a person’s birth determines citizenship. In addition to common law, this principle is embodied in the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and the various U.S. citizenship and nationality statutes.

(2) Jus sanguinis (the law of the bloodline ), a concept of Roman or civil law under which a person’s citizenship is determined by the citizenship of one or both parents. This rule, frequently called “citizenship by descent” or “derivative citizenship”, is not embodied in the U.S. Constitution, but such citizenship is granted through statute. As laws have changed, the requirements for conferring and retaining derivative citizenship have also changed.

c. Naturalization is “the conferring of nationality of a state upon a person after birth, by any means whatsoever” (Section 101(a)(23) INA) or conferring of citizenship upon a person (Sections 310 and 311 INA). Naturalization can be granted automatically or
pursuant to an application. Under U.S. law, foreign naturalization acquired automatically is not an expatriating act [see chapter 7 FAM 1200 ].

http://www.state.gov/documents/organization/86755.pdf

Supreme Court

Perkins v. Elg, 307 U.S. 325 (1939)

The following shows that acquiring dual citizenship does not abrogate the natural born status of a US Citizen.

And the mere fact that the plaintiff [Elg] may have acquired Swedish citizenship by virtue of the operation of Swedish law on the resumption of that citizenship by her parents does not compel the conclusion that she has lost her own citizenship acquired under our law….

The court below, properly recognizing the existence of an actual controversy with the defendants [page 350] ….. declared Miss Elg “to be a natural born citizen of the United States,”

Perkins v. Elg, 307 U.S. 325 (1939)

United States v. Wong Kim Ark (1898)

This post 14th Amendment case is important both because it provides a broad survey of citizenship law and the legal framework through which the Constitution views citizenship, and because this decision is cited by numerous other cases.

[An alien parent's] allegiance to the United States is direct and immediate, and, although but local and temporary, continuing only so long as he remains within our territory, is yet, in the words of Lord Coke in Calvin’s Case, 7 Coke, 6a, ’strong enough to make a natural subject, for, if he hath issue here, that issue is a natural-born subject’

The Wong court also said:

“Subject’ and ‘citizen’ are, in a degree, convertible terms as applied to natives; and though the term ‘citizen’ seems to be appropriate to republican freemen, yet we are, equally with the inhabitants of all other countries, ’subjects,’ for we are equally bound by allegiance and subjection to the government and law of the land.’

and

…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.

United States v. Wong Kim Ark (1898)

See additional citations from Wong relative to jurisdiction in my article Natural Born Citizen.

Kwock Jan Fat v. White, 253 U.S. 454 (1920)

It is not disputed that if petitioner is the son of Kwock Tuck Lee and his wife, Tom Ying Shee, he was born to them when they were permanently domiciled in the United States, is a citizen thereof, and is entitled to admission to the country. United States v. Wong Kim Ark, 169 U. S. 649. But, while it is conceded that he is certainly the same person who, upon full investigation, was found, in March, 1915, by the then Commissioner of Immigration, to be a natural born American citizen…

Kwock Jan Fat v. White

Schneider v. Rusk (1964)

We start from the premise that the rights of citizenship of the native born and of the naturalized person are of the same dignity and are coextensive. The only difference drawn by the Constitution is that only the ‘ natural born’ citizen is eligible to be President. Art. II, s 1.

Note the equivalent use of native born and natural born.

Baumgartner v United States (1944)

The naturalized citizen has as much right as the natural born citizen to exercise the cherished freedoms of speech, press and religion…

Here only two types of citizen are recognized.

Elk v Wilkins, 112 U. S. 94 (1884)

The distinction between citizenship by birth and citizenship by naturalization is clearly marked in the provisions of the constitution, by which ‘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;’ and ‘the congress shall have power to establish an uniform rule of naturalization.’Const. art. 2, § 1; art. 1, § 8.

Note here that “citizens by birth” are contrasted to naturalized citizens, with the former eligible to be president.

This section contemplates two sources of citizenship, and two sources only: birth and naturalization. The persons declared to be citizens are “all persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof.”

Minor v. Happersett (1874)

Additions might always be made to the citizenship of the United States in two ways: first, by birth, and second, by naturalization. This is apparent from the Constitution itself, for it provides that ‘no person except a natural-born citizen, or a citizen of the United States at the time of the adoption of the Constitution, shall be eligible to the office of President,’ and that Congress shall have power ‘to establish a uniform rule of naturalization.’Thus new citizens may be born or they may be created by naturalization.

Here the court affirms two kinds of citizenship: natural born and naturalized.

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.

Here the court (without explanation) suggests that prior to the 14th Amendment there was some controversy whether the children of aliens born in the United States were citizens. The rule of common law as determining original intent is affirmed.

Luria v. United States, 231 U. S. 9 (1913)

In this brief citation, the court implies the equivalence of “native born” with “natural born” when it used the former as the qualification for president:

Citizenship is membership in a political society, and implies a duty of allegiance on the part of the member and a duty of protection on the part of the society. These are reciprocal obligations, one being a compensation for the other. Under our Constitution, a naturalized citizen stands on an equal footing with the native citizen in all respects save that of eligibility to the Presidency. 88 U. S. 165; Elk v. Wilkins, 112 U. S. 94, 112 U. S. 101; 22 U. S. 827

Sugarman v. Dougall, 413 U. S. 634 (1973)

I do not believe that it is irrational for New York to require this class of civil servants to be citizens, either natural born or naturalized.

Here the understanding of only two classes of citizen appears.



Lower Courts

Lynch v. Clarke, New York in 1844

This case is important because it was among those cited by the United States Supreme Court in United States v. Wong Kim Ark as well as other lower court decisions such as Munro vs. Merchant (N.Y. 1858).

By the common law, all persons born within the ligeance of the crown of England, were natural born subjects, without reference to the status or condition of their parents…

The term citizen, was used in the constitution as a word, the meaning of which was already established and well understood. And the constitution itself contains a direct recognition of the subsisting common law principle, in the section which defines the qualification 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,” … The only standard which then existed, of a natural born citizen, was the rule of the common law, and no different standard has been adopted since. Suppose a person should be elected President who was native born, but of alien parents, could there be any reasonable doubt that he was eligible under the constitution? I think not.

The New York Legal Observer

Munro vs. Merchant (N.Y. 1858)

Chancellor Kent, in his commentaries, defines a native born citizen to be a person born within, and an alien one born out of, the jurisdiction of the United States. (2 Kent’s Com. 37-50.)

Munro vs. Merchant (N.Y. 1858), as reported in Oliver Lorenzo Barbour, REPORTS OF CASES IN LAW AND EQUITY IN THE SUPREME COURT OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, Vol. 26 (1858), at 383

Town of New Hartford v. Town of Canaan (CT 1886)

Moreover, if as is suggested, he [LaFayette ] was born to the advantages of a double allegiance, upon attaining his majority he exercised the right which was his of electing the government to which he would give allegiance, and that election related back to the time of his birth. Upon these authorities LaFayette had by birth what his father did not then have, citizenship of the United States and of the State of Massachusetts. This privilege neither needed nor had any strengthening by reflection from the subsequent naturalization of his father; he held it to the fullest extent in his own, and that the highest right.

Albany law journal

Musata v. U.S. Department of Justice, United States Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit (1999)

Petitioners Marian and Lenuta Mustata are citizens of Romania. At the time of their petition, they resided in Michigan with their two minor children, who are natural born citizens of the United States.

The courts in this case assumed that two children of aliens are “natural born citizens of the United States.”

Diaz-Salazar v. Immigration and Naturalization Service, United States Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit.

In this case, the children of an illegal immigrant father and a US citizen mother are described as natural born citizens.

The relevant facts which have been placed before the INS, BIA, and this court can be summarized as follows: The petitioner has a wife and two children under the age of three in Chicago; the children are natural-born citizens of the United States. He also has relatives in Mexico.

Tanaka v. Immigration and Naturalization Service (1965)

Jalbuena was a natural-born citizen of the United States who moved to the Philippines and, by operation of law, became a Philippine citizen. His action in applying for and receiving a Philippine passport after subscribing to an oath to support the Philippine Constitution, it was held, did not constitute renunciation of his American citizenship;

United States v. Low Hong, Circuit Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit.Circuit Court of Appeals (1919)

Low Hong was born in the United States in 1894 presumably to non-citizen parents (Chinese immigrants could not become citizens under the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 and because of the court’s citation of US v. Wong Kim Ark).

The averments of the amended petition show that the appellee is a natural-born citizen of the United States. United States v. Wong Kim Ark, 169 U.S. 649, 18 Sup.Ct. 456, 42 L.Ed. 890.

Reference: here.

U.S. v. Rhodes, 27 F.Cas. 785, C.C. Ky. 1866 (Swayne)

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…since as before the Revolution.

Ankeny v. Daniels, Indiana Court of Appeals (2009)

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.

Tisdale v. Obama, Virginia federal court (2012)

It is well settled that those born in the United States are considered natural born citizens.

Purpura v. Obama, New Jersey (2012)

No court, federal, state or administrative, has accepted the challengers’ position that Mr. Obama is not a “natural born Citizen” due to the acknowledged fact that his father was born in Kenya and was a British citizen by virtue of the then applicable British Nationality Act. Nor has the fact that Obama had, or may have had, dual citizenship at the time of his birth and thereafter been held to deny him the status of natural born. It is unnecessary to reinvent the wheel here. … The petitioners’ legal position on this issue, however well intentioned, has no merit in law. Thus, accepting for the point of this issue that Mr. Obama was born in Hawaii, he is a ‘natural born Citizen’ regardless of the status of his father.

Allen v. Obama, Arizona (2012)

Most importantly, Arizona courts are bound by United States Supreme Court precedent in construing the United States Constitution, Arizona v. Jay J. Garfield Bldg. Co. , 39 Ariz. 45, 54, 3 P.2d 983, 986(1931), and this precedent fully supports that President Obama is a natural born citizen under the Constitution and thus qualified to hold the office of President. … Contrary to Plaintiff’s assertion, Minor v. Happersett, 88 U.S. 162 (1874), does not hold otherwise.

State Laws

The Constitution of Virginia

Cited in The Republic of Republics, 1881:

Vermont, in her constitution, calls her native citizens “natural born subjects of this state”.

Amendment to the Constitution of Virginia (1828)

ADOPTED JUNE 26 1828 ARTICLE No person who is not already a freeman of this state hall be entitled to exercise the privilege of a freeman unless he be a natural born citizen of this or some one of the United States or until he shall have been naturalized agreeably to the acts of congress. The American’s Guide Comprising the Declaration of Independence, the Articles of Confederation, the Constitution of the United States, and the Constitutions of the Several States Composing the Union By United States

Charter of 1732 – Georgia

Also we do for ourselves and successors declare by these presents that all and every the persons which shall happen to be born within the said province and every of their children and posterity shall have and enjoy all liberties franchises and immunities of free denizens and natural born subjects The Federal and State Constitutions, Colonial Charters, and Other Organic Laws of the United States … By Benjamin Perley Poore, United States

Laws of the State of Connecticut (1795)

“The people are considered as aliens, born in some foreign country, as inhabitants of some neighbouring state in the union, or natural born subjects, born within the state. It is an established maxim, received by all political writers, that every person owes a natural allegiance to the government of that country in which he is born. Allegiance is defined to be a tie, that binds the subject to the state, and in consequence of his obedience, he is entitled to protection… The children of aliens, born in this state, are considered as natural born subjects, and have the same rights with the rest of the citizens.” Zephaniah Swift, A system of the laws of the state of Connecticut: in six books, Volumes 1-2 of A System of the Laws of the State of Connecticut: In Six Book, pg. 163,167 (1795)

Law Professors

Gabriel J. Chin, Chester H. Smith Professor of Law, Professor of Public Administration and Policy, University of Arizona

The Supreme Court has held that there are only two ways to become a citizen: 1) birth in the United States, thus becoming a citizen under the citizenship clause of the Fourteenth Amendment or 2) satisfaction of every requirement of a statute enacted by Congress granting citizenship to a class of people. The second category includes naturalization of individual adults or children already born; collective naturalization of groups, such as natives of territory acquired by the United States; and naturalization at birth of certain classes of children born abroad to citizens. Those born in the United States are uncontroversially natural born citizens. There is also a strong argument that those obtaining citizenship at birth by statute are natural born citizens, well articulated by Charles Gordon in Who Can be President of the United States: The Unresolved Enigma. However, natural born citizenship can be acquired only at the moment of birth. As stated by the leading Supreme Court case, United States v. Wong Kim Ark, ” ‘British subject’ means any person who owes permanent allegiance to the crown. . . . ‘Natural-born British subject’ means a British subject who has become a British subject at the moment of his birth.”Gabriel J. Chin, Commentary, Why Senator John McCain Cannot be President: Eleven Months and a Hundred Yards Short of Citizenship, 107 Mich. L. Rev. First Impressions 1 (2008)

Daniel P. Tokaji Associate Professor of Law, The Ohio State University, Moritz College of Law; Associate Director, Election Law @ Moritz

This is a valuable article to read, although there are no short quotes to show here.

Daniel P. Tokaji, Commentary, The Justiciability of Eligibility: May Courts Decide Who Can Be President?, 107 Mich. L. Rev. First Impressions 31 (2008)

William Blackstone, Commentaries 1:354, 357–58, 361–62 (1765)

The first and most obvious division of the people is into aliens and natural-born subjects. Natural-born subjects are such as are born within the dominions of the crown of England, that is, within the ligeance, or as it is generally called, the allegiance of the king; and aliens, such as are born out of it. Allegiance is the tie, or ligamen, which binds the subject to the king, in return for that protection which the king affords the subject.The thing itself, or substantial part of it, is founded in reason and the nature of government; the name and the form are derived to us from our Gothic ancestors….

Allegiance, both express and implied, is however distinguished by the law into two sorts or species, the one natural, the other local; the former being also perpetual, the latter temporary. Natural allegiance is such as is due from all men born within the king’s dominions immediately upon their birth. For, immediately upon their birth, they are under the king’s protection; at a time too, when (during their infancy) they are incapable of protecting themselves.

http://press-pubs.uchicago.edu/founders/documents/a1_8_4_citizenships1.html

Theodore Olson and Laurence Tribe

“The Constitution does not define the meaning of “natural born Citizen.” The U.S. Supreme Court gives meaning to terms that are not expressly defined in the Constitution by looking to the context in which those terms are used; to statutes enacted by the First Congress…. and to the common law at the time of the Founding….These sources all confirm that the phrase “natural born” includes both birth abroad to parents who were citizens, and birth within a nation’s territory and allegiance….”

” If the Panama Canal Zone was sovereign U.S. territory at the time of Senator McCain’s birth, then that fact alone would make him a “natural born” citizen under the well-established principle that “natural born” citizenship includes birth within the territory and allegiance of the United States…Premising “natural born” citizenship on the character of the territory in which one is born is rooted in the common-law understanding that persons born within the British kingdom and under loyalty to the British Crown–including most of the Framers themselves, who were born in the American colonies–were deemed natural born subjects.”

“Historical practice confirms that birth on soil that is under the sovereignty of the United States, but not within a State, satisfies the Natural Born Citizen Clause….And Senator Barack Obama was born in Hawaii on August 4, 1961–not long after its admission to the Union on August 21, 1959. We find it inconceivable that Senator Obama would have been ineligible for the Presidency had he been born two years earlier. ”

Letter by Theodore Olson and Laurence Tribe, reported in 154 Cong. Rec. S3645-46 (Apr. 30, 2008).

Law Review Articles

Jill A. Pryor

It is well settled that “native-born” citizens, those born in the United States, qualify as natural born.” It is also clear that persons born abroad of alien parents, who later become citizens by naturalization,” do not.

The Natural-Born Citizen Clause and Presidential Eligibility: An Approach for Resolving Two Hundred Years of Uncertainty – Yale Law Journal 1988

Duggins and Collins

This is a valuable article to read, although there are no short quotes to show here.

‘Natural Born’ in the USA: The striking unfairness and dangerous ambiguity of the Constitution’s presidential qualifications clause and why we need need to fix it – Boston University Law Review 2005

Amar, Akhil Reed

Senator Obama’s very candidacy is a powerful embodiment of a Reconstruction vision in which blacks, under the Fifteenth Amendment, would be full political equals with a right to vote and to be voted for on the same terms as whites. Indeed, Barack Obama’s very existence as a natural-born child of a white American-citizen mother and a black African-immigrant father is a testament to Reconstruction; Founding-era legislation opened the naturalization process only to foreign-born whites, leaving it to the Fourteenth Amendment and its companion statutes to open the way for a more racially inclusive naturalization system.

Amar, Akhil Reed. “Heller, HLR, and holistic legal reasoning.” Harvard Law Review 122.1 (Nov 2008)

US Senators and Representatives

Representative John Bingham (1862)

Debate in the House of Representatives

The Constitution leaves no room for doubt upon this subject. The words “natural-born citizen of the United States” occur in it, and the other provision also occurs in it that “Congress shall have power to pass a uniform system of naturalization.” To naturalize a person is to admit him to citizenship. Who are natural-born citizens but those born within the Republic? Those born within the Republic, whether black or white, are citizens by birth — natural-born citizens. There is no such word as white in your Constitution. Citizenship, therefore, does not depend on complexion any more than it depends on the rights of election or of office. All from other lands, who by the terms of your laws and compliance of their provisions become naturalized, are adopted citizens of the United States; all other persons born within the Republic, of parents owing allegiance to no other sovereignty, are natural-born citizens. Gentlemen can find no exception to this statement touching natural-born citizens except what is said in the Constitution in relation to Indians. The reason why that exception was made in the Constitution is apparent to everybody. The several Indian tribes were recognized at the organization of this Government as independent sovereignties. They were treated with as such; and they have been dealt with by the Government ever since as separate sovereignties. Therefore, they were excluded from the general rule.

Congressional Globe 37th Congress 2nd session 1862 (page 1639).

Representative James F. Wilson (1866)

This provision is simply declaratory of what the law now is… The English Law made no distinction on account of race or color in declaring that all persons born within its jurisdiction are natural-born subjects. This law bound the colonies before the revolution, and was not changed afterward. The Constitution of the United States recognizes the division of the people into the two classes named by Blackstone – natural born and naturalized citizens.”

Cong. Globe, 39th Cong., 1st Sess. 1115-(1866).

Senator Lyman Trumbull

By the terms of the Constitution he must have been a citizen of the United States for nine years before he could take a seat here, and seven years before he could take a seat in the other House ; and, in order to be President of the United States, a person must be a native-born citizen. It is the common law of this country, and of all countries, and it was unnecessary to incorporate it in the Constitution, that a person is a citizen of the country in which he is born…. I read from Paschal’s Annotated Constitution, note 274: “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. There are two exceptions, and only two, to the universality of its application. The children of ambassadors are, in theory, born in the allegiance of the powers the ambassadors represent, and slaves, in legal contemplation, are property, and not persons.” Sen. Trumbull, Cong. Globe. 1st Session, 42nd Congress, pt. 1, pg. 575 (1872)

Senator Thomas F. Bayard (1881)

DEAR SIR :-In response to your letter of the 7th instant- the term ”natural-born citizen,” as used in the Constitution and Statutes of the U. S., is held to be a native of the U. S.

Letter to A. P. Hinman, 1881.

Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) (2008)

Every child born in the United States is a natural-born United States citizen except for the children of diplomats.

December 11, 2008 letter to constituent

Senator Orrin G. Hatch (R-UT)

What is a natural born citizen? Clearly, someone born within the United States or one of its territories is a natural born citizen.

Senate Judiciary Committee hearing hearing on OCTOBER 5, 2004

Rep. Dana Rohrbacher (CA)

…let me just note that the reasons our Founding Fathers added a natural born citizen requirement to the Constitution’s qualification for being President, those reasons may have seemed like they were real back then, but they are archaic, and technologically they have been dealt with in the meantime. The main rationale seems to be that our Founding Fathers had was to protect future generations from undue foreign influence which would happen through the election of a foreign-born leader to the Executive office.

Senate Judiciary Committee hearing hearing on OCTOBER 5, 2004

Other authorities

Sandra Day O’Connor, Justice of the US Supreme Court (ret.)

All of our Presidents have, to date, been born in the 50 states. Notably, President Obama was born in the state of Hawaii, and so is clearly a natural born citizen.

CNN

CNN Senior Legal Analyst, Jeff Toobin, stated during a broadcast of CNN’s Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer:

BLITZER: What do the founding fathers mean when they inserted “naturally born” as a qualification to be president?

TOOBIN: Well, what they –” what they wanted was not someone who had been born in England. They wanted someone born within, at that point, the 13 colonies. And usually it’s a pretty straightforward issue of whether someone was born in this country or not.

Addressing this in more detail on the Campbell Brown: No Bias, No Bull program:

BROWN:Now let’s go back to the story that had a loft us in the newsroom scratching our heads today, the accusation that Barack Obama is not a natural-born citizen and therefore cannot be president of the United States. Well, frankly, it sounds like another of the crackpot rumors that dogged Obama throughout the campaign, the kind of thing you would hear from people wearing tinfoil hats, frankly. But this one won’t go away. It won’t die. Lawsuits have been filed in several states now. And the –” or at the Supreme Court, the justices met today. They could decide at any moment whether they will actually hear arguments on the case.

And Jeffrey Toobin is here to put the whole thing to our NO BULL test.

Hi, Jeff.

JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN SENIOR ANALYST: Hello, Campbell.

BROWN: So, before we get into the I guess how on earth this ended up potentially going before the Supreme Court, just explain the merits of the case, if there are any in your view. Is there any evidence at all to support this?

TOOBIN: Well, you know, I’m a lawyer. So, I have got to be a little cautious in responding to this. So, this much I will say. This is a joke. This is ridiculous.

(LAUGHTER)

BROWN: OK.

TOOBIN: This is absurd.

BROWN: Don’t hold back.

TOOBIN: This is a whack-job project. And the reason there are lots of lawsuits is, they all keep losing appropriately and they are now winding up before the Supreme Court.

Look, there are two –” let’s look at two documents. One is his birth certificate, which shows that he was born in Hawaii, in the United States.

BROWN: OK. Right. Which we have all known, right.

TOOBIN: And end of story. That’s it. He is eligible to be president.

And if you are not convinced by that, there is a newspaper announcement of his birth in –” there it is –” in Hawaii on –” in August 1961. There is no merit to this lawsuit at all.

BROWN: So, if it’s total bull, which is what you are saying…

TOOBIN: Total bull.

BROWN: … why is it even being discussed as a possible case before the Supreme Court? TOOBIN: Well, because the losers in this lawsuit, the people who keep filing this nonsense, keep appealing. And now they have made it all the way to the Supreme Court.

TOOBIN: Lawyers with too much time on their hands.

BROWN: OK, apparently, Jeffrey Toobin for us tonight.

And again on the American Morning program:

THOMAS GOLDSTEIN, SUPREME COURT LEGAL ANALYST: The law was always been understood to be that if you are born here you are a natural born citizen and that is particularly the case when you have a U.S. citizen parent like Barack Obama’s mother.

ARENA: The Obama campaign says the proof of his U.S. citizenship is right on his birth certificate. Case closed. What’s more his Kenyan citizenship automatically expired when he turned 21. Legal experts do not expect the Supreme Court to take the case, even though it has never really defined what it means to be a natural born citizen

US Constitution Online:

Who is a natural-born citizen? Who, in other words, is a citizen at birth, such that that person can be a President someday?

Constitution Topic: Citizenship

Rawle’s View of the Constitution of the United States (1825)

The following paragraph was cited by Congressman Wilson of Iowa in debate on the 14th Amendment.

Therefore every person born within the United States, its territories or districts, whether the parents are citizens or aliens, is a natural-born citizen within the sense of the Constitution, and entitled to all the rights and privileges appertaining to that capacity….

Under the Constitution the question is settled by its express language, and when we are informed that, excepting those who were citizens, (however that capacity was acquired,) at the time the Constitution was adopted, no person is eligible to the office of the president unless he is a natural born citizen, the principle that the place of birth creates the relative quality is established as to us.

Rawle’s View of the Constitution

There is much relevant discussion in Rawle’s worth reading.

George Bancroft: History of the United States, from the Discovery of the American Continent (1876)

The king of England claimed as his subjects all persons born within his dominions: in like manner every one who first saw the light on the American soil was a natural born American citizen; but the power of naturalization, which, under the king, each colony had claimed to regulate by its own laws, remained under the confederacy with the separate states.

The king had extended protection to every one of his lieges in every one of the thirteen colonies; now that congress was the successor of the king in America, the right to equal protection was continued to every free inhabitant in whatever state he might sojourn or dwell.

Volume 5

Letter from Mr. McLane (US) to Mr. Flourens (France) re: US citizens, in PAPERS RELATING TO THE FOREIGN RELATIONS OF THE UNITED STATES, Part 1 (1888) at 503

…and that alone among all natural-born Americans those who happen to have a French father do not find under the jurisdiction of the French Republic the protection extended everywhere to every American citizen.

Letter from Mr.McLane (US) to Mr. Flourens (France) re: US citizens, in PAPERS RELATING TO THE FOREIGN RELATIONS OF THE UNITED STATES, Part 1

Mr. Barbour, director of the Office of Eastern European Affairs at the State Department

Senator Jackson. No one has ever defined that term, “natural-born citizen.” That is the constitutional provision.

Mr. Barbour. I believe citizenship uses that term in both ways, whether born in the United States, or obtained citizenship by birth any place through American citizens.

McCarthy Senate Hearings 1953-54

DAWN E. JOHNSEN, ACTING ASSISTANT ATTORNEY GENERAL, OFFICE OF LEGAL COUNSEL, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE

Aliens, in contrast, whether temporary or permanent, legal or illegal, do not enjoy any comparable claim of not being subject to the full jurisdiction of the United States. To the contrary, as the Supreme Court said in Wong Kim Ark, and I quote: ”It can hardly be denied that an alien is completely subject to the political jurisdiction of the country in which he resides … [and] owes obedience to the laws of that government and may be punished for treason, or other crimes, as a native-born subject might be, unless his case is varied by some treaty stipulations.” As Wong Kim Ark further explains, the alien’s, ”allegiance to the United States is direct and immediate and, although … continuing only so long as he remains with in our territory, is yet … strong enough to make a natural subject, for if he has issue here, that issue is a natural-born subject.”

House Judiciary Committee Testimony June 25, 1997

Outlines of the Constitutional Jurisprudence of the United States: Designed as a Text Book for Lectures, as a Class Book for Academies and Common Schools and as a Manual for Popular Use (1833)

642 All persons born within the Colonies whilst subject to the British Crown were natural born British subjects and it necessarily follows that this character was changed by the separation of the Colonies from the parent State and the subsequent acknowledgment of their independence Outlines of the Constitutional Jurisprudence of the United States Designed as a Text Book for Lectures, as a Class Book for Academies and Common Schools, and as a Manual for Popular Use By William Alexander Duer

656 The rights of Aliens to the privilege of Naturalization are by these Laws submitted to the decision of Courts of Record and a person duly naturalized becomes entitled to all the privileges and immunities of a natural born Citizen except that a residence of seven years is requisite to enable him to hold a seat in Congress and that he is not eligible to the office of President of the United States or of Governor in several of the States

Outlines of the Constitutional Jurisprudence of the United States Designed as a Text Book for Lectures, as a Class Book for Academies and Common Schools, and as a Manual for Popular Use By William Alexander Duer

This last shows that there are only two classes of citizen: native born and naturalized.

A Brief Exposition of the Constitution of the United States (1845)

It is not necessary that a man should be born in this country to be a natural born citizen It is only requisite he should be a citizen by birth and that is the case with all the children of citizens who have ever resided in this country though born in a foreign country A Brief Exposition of the Constitution of the United States With an Appendix, Containing the Declaration of Independence, and the Articles of Confederation, and a Copious Index By James Bayard

The Short Constitution (1920)

A person may attain to citizenship in the United States in any of seven different ways 1 By birth ie natural born 2 By naturalization which usually requires continuous residence for five years 3 By treaty regulation 4 By statute of Congress 5 By annexation of territory 6 By marriage if a foreign woman marries an American citizen 7 By honorable discharge from the army or navy upon which the court admits to citizenship regardless of the time of residence in the United States

The short Constitution … Being a Consideration of the Constitution of the United States, with Particular Reference to the Guarantees of Life, Liberty, and Property Contained Therein, Sometimes Designated the Bill of Rights By Martin Joseph Wade, William Fletcher Russell, Charles Henry Meyerholz

Frederick Van Dyne, Citizenship of the United States (1904)

Van Dyne was the Assistant Solicitor for the US Department of State.

After an exhaustive examination of the law, the court [in Lynch v. Clarke] said that it entertained no doubt that every person born within the dominions and allegiance of the United States, whatever the situation of his parents, was a natural-born citizen; and added that this was the general understanding of the legal profession and the universal impression of the public mind.

It is beyond doubt that, before the enactment of the civil rights act of 1866 . . . or the adoption of the constitutional amendment, all white persons, at least, born within the sovereignty of the United States, whether children of citizens or foreigners, excepting only children of ambassadors or public ministers of a foreign government, were native-born citizens of the United States.

Cited by House Judiciary Committee Testimony June 25, 1997

Citizenship in the United States, Frederick Van Dyne

FindLaw for Legal Professionals

Clause 5. Qualifications

All Presidents since and including Martin Van Buren were born in the United States subsequent to the Declaration of Independence. The only issue with regard to the qualifications set out in this clause, which appears to be susceptible of argument, is whether a child born abroad of American parents is ”a natural born citizen” in the sense of the clause. Such a child is a citizen as a consequence of statute. 94 Whatever the term ”natural born” means, it no doubt does not include a person who is ”naturalized.” Thus, the answer to the question might be seen to turn on the interpretation of the first sentence of the first section of the Fourteenth Amendment, providing that ”[a]ll persons born or naturalized in the United States” are citizens. 95 Significantly, however, Congress, in which a number of Framers sat, provided in the Naturalization act of 1790 that ”the children of citizens of the United States, that may be born beyond the sea, . . . shall be considered as natural born citizens. . . .” 96 This phrasing followed the literal terms of British statutes, beginning in 1350, under which persons born abroad, whose parents were both British subjects, would enjoy the same rights of inheritance as those born in England; beginning with laws in 1709 and 1731, these statutes expressly provided that such persons were natural-born subjects of the crown. 97 There is reason to believe, therefore, that the phrase includes persons who become citizens at birth by statute because of their status in being born abroad of American citizens. 98 Whether the Supreme Court would decide the issue should it ever arise in a ”case or controversy” as well as how it might decide it can only be speculated about.

The Wall Street Journal

A child is not a natural-born citizen unless both parents are U.S. citizens. That this is false should be obvious. It is uncontested that Obama’s father was an alien. Thus if both parents had to be citizens in order for a child to be a natural-born citizen, the question of Obama’s eligibility never would have come up. He would have been ineligible right off the bat and would not have run for president. The birth certificate and place of birth would be irrelevant.

Nonetheless, the birthers have blown a lot of smoke around the meaning of the phrase “natural-born citizen,” and we are here to clear it up.

Article II, Section 1 of the Constitution stipulates that the president must be a “natural born citizen” (or, in an obsolete provision, a citizen in 1788), but it does not define the term. The original interpretation relied on British common law, under which, as Justice Horace Gray noted in U.S. v. Wong Kim Ark (1898), “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 14th Amendment, ratified in 1868, established this principle as a constitutional right: “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.” Aside from the children of foreign diplomats and (theoretically) military occupiers, the only U.S. natives not to be natural-born citizens were Indians born on reservations–and this exception was abolished by the Indian Citizenship Act of 1924.

The Wall Street Journal, July 31, 2009

FindLaw: U.S. Constitution: Article II

Mississippi Medicaid Procedures Manual (2007)

Most United States citizens are natural-born citizens, meaning they were born in the United States or were born to United States citizens overseas.

Charles Fisk Beach (author of many legal treatises), Commentaries on the Law of Public Corporations, Vol. 1 (1893)

There are in the United States two classes of citizens– natural and naturalized citizens. Citizenship of the former class is created by the birth of the citizen within the jurisdiction of the United States. Citizenship of the latter class is created by the performance of certain requirements defined by statute. The naturalized citizen is from the time of naturalization a full-fledged citizen, entitled to all the rights, privileges and immunities of a natural citizen, saving certain disabilities which relate back to the period during which he was an alien. It is conceded learning that birth within the jurisdiction of the United States creates natural citizenship whether the parents of the citizen are aliens or citizens.

Losers

Here are citations from the losing side or minority opinion in a court case or legislative debate.

Vattel cited in dissenting Supreme Court opinion in United States v. Wong Kim Ark

Before the Revolution, the views of the publicists had been thus put by Vattel: ‘The natives, or natural-born citizens, are those born in the country, of parents who are citizens. As the society cannot exist and perpetuate itself otherwise than by the children of the citizens, those children naturally follow the condition of their fathers, and succeed to all their rights. The society is supposed to desire this, in consequence of what it owes to its own preservation; and it is presumed, as matter of course, that each citizen, on entering into society, reserves to his children the right of becoming members of it. The country of the fathers is herefore that of the children; and these become true citizens merely by their tacit consent. We shall soon see whether, on their coming to the years of discretion, they may renounce their right, and what they owe to the society in which they were born. I say that, in order to be of the country, it is necessary that a person be born of a father who is a citizen; for, if he is born there of a foreigner, it will be only the place of his birth, and not his country.’ Vatt. Law Nat. bk. 1, c. 19, § 212. ‘The true bond which connects the child with the body politic is not the matter of an inanimate piece of land, but the moral relations of his parentage. * * * The place of birth produces no change in the rule that children follow the condition of their fathers, for it is not naturally the place of birth that gives rights, but extraction.’

United States v. Wong Kim Ark paragraph 134

For more information on Vattel and his relationship to the Constitution, one might find useful information in the notes and commentary accompanying the translation at Constitution.org.

Conclusion

If you’ve read the quotations preceding, and taken the links to the larger sources, you will know that throughout our nation’s history there has been a widespread belief that (except for Indians, Ambassadors and invading armies) that everyone born in the United States is a natural born citizen. In all of my extensive study in preparation for this page, I found the most important items from a legal perspective are the New York decision in Lynch v. Clarke which is cited over and over again by later courts including the US Supreme Court, and the United States Supreme Court decision in United States v. Wong Kim Ark, which again is cited over and over by later courts. These two cases make up the legal precedent by which any court would conclude that Barack Obama is eligible to be President of the United States under Article 2 of the Constitution.

I will not mislead you by saying that there are no quotations (such as Vattel above) that argue that citizen parents are required before someone is a citizen (Vattel) or a “natural born citizen”. Nevertheless, these are few and far between and they are never in legislation and they are never in court decisions (except in dissenting opinions — and in Dred Scott, but that’s another story).

What I hope the reader learns from this exercise is that anyone who claims that it is self-evident, and widely known and generally accepted, that a natural born citizen must have citizen parents, is either ignorant of the body of evidence to the contrary, or deliberately perpetrating fraud.

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97 Responses to The Great Mother of All Natural Born Citizen Quotation Pages

  1. avatar
    MNBV January 18, 2009 at 9:12 am #

    As someone said here, these people wont believe anyone. Answer a question and then there are more questions. Mr. Obama has my respect for answering perpetual questions about his eligibility. He’s a lawyer and we let court sort them out.

  2. avatar
    laughinghysterically January 18, 2009 at 10:51 am #

    Toobin rocks! Had to toss that out there!

  3. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy January 18, 2009 at 9:02 pm #

    I was pleased to learn that Perkin v. Elg affirms that a citizen who acquires dual citizenship through an act of his parents (Obama’s alleged Indonesian Citizenship) does not negate “natural born” citizenship.

  4. avatar
    bogus info January 19, 2009 at 7:31 am #

    This comment from “Linda Starr” pretty much sums up where they are:

    “Hawaii had only been a state about or under 2 years. They allowed for foreign birth registries. It is possible some older clerk who had not paid attention allowed hismother to register the birth. It is possible the clerk didn’t relaly understand the laws, or for some reason chose to ignore them. The fact it that it was like fruit off the poisoned tree. it wasn’t ever a legal registration, so he was never a US citizen. He was a Kenyan and then made a citizen of Indoensia when his mother’s Indoensian husband adopted or acknowledged him as his son. That is how he has Indoensian citizenship. You notice his sister was known to be born in Indoensian yet she was registered as if she were a foreign birth to an American. In actuality, his mother lost her citizenship when she expatriated. Her daughter should now have been registered either. And before you try to argue, you might be very interested to know that several Constitutional and Immigration legal specialists have said Phil’s suits are exactly right.”

  5. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy January 19, 2009 at 8:48 am #

    Why would Hawaii register foreign births before it became a state? And why would the Location of Birth say “Honolulu” if it was a foreign registration? Obama’s sister, Maya Soetoro-Ng, would not be registered in Hawaii, but by the US Consular service in Indonesia because by the time of her birth, Ann Obama had had enough years resident in the United States to pass on her citizenship to her daughter.

  6. avatar
    bogus info January 19, 2009 at 9:38 am #

    Dr. C.,

    My point regarding “Linda Starr” is that all her statements above have already been proved to be false/misleading and no evidence whatsoever to back up the allegations. There is “nothing new” in Berg’s case other than rehashing old stuff. And I wish someone on that blog would ask her for the names of the “Constitutional and Immigration legal specialists” who said “Berg was exactly right.” Bet ole Linda would “backpedal.”LOL Of course, rarely do you see anyone on this blogask for “the source of the information” and when someone does dare to, they are immediately called a Obot.

  7. avatar
    Don Bickowski January 21, 2009 at 12:10 am #

    Here is the counter point to this view:

    http://www.theobamafile.com/NaturalBornCitizenLaw.htm

    The Framers clearly set a Higher standard for a Natural Bord Citizen than a Native Born Citizen that is the requirement for Presedent and Vice President of the United States

  8. avatar
    Patrick McKinnion January 21, 2009 at 12:50 am #

    Ah, the three-tier chart again. The one that has NO basis in US Law, or even Supreme Court rulings.

    Basically, this chart argues a three-tier system of citizenship where one is either:


    1) ANatural Born Citizensborn of two US citizen parents. TheUS Constitution, Article II, Section 1, Clause 5is referenced along with two cases in law. The Constitution says:

    “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 thirty-five Years, and been fourteen Years a Resident within the United States.”


    The first law case wasWong Kim Ark:

    “It was held that a person born within the jurisdiction of the U.S. to non-citizens who “are not employed in any diplomatic or official capacity” is automatically a citizen, per the Fourteenth Amendment. “


    The second wasPerkins v. ELG, where:

    “The U.S. Supreme Court concluded that Marie Elizabeth Elg who was born in the United States of Swedish parents then naturalized in the United States, had not lost her birthright U.S. citizenship because of her removal during minority to Sweden and was entitled to all the rights and privileges of that U.S. citizenship. In this case, the U.S. Supreme Court affirmed the decree that declared Miss Elg “to be a natural born citizen of the United States.”


    The last is particularly telling, because neither of Marie Elizabeth Elg’s parents were US citizens, but the court still declared her a “natural born citizen of the United States.” From their decision, as a example:

    “On her birth in New York, the plaintiff became a citizen of the United States. Civil Rights Act of 1866, [307 U.S. 325, 329] 14 Stat. 27; Fourteenth Amendment, Section 1, U.S.C.A.Const.; United States v. Wong Kim Ark, 169 U.S. 649 , 18 S.Ct. 456. In a comprehensive review of the principles and authorities governing the decision in that case-that a child born here of alien parentage becomes a citizen of the United States-the Court adverted to the ‘inherent right of every independent nation to determine for itself, and according to its own constitution and laws, what classes of persons shall be entitled to its citizenship.’ United States v. Wong Kim Ark, supra, 169 U.S. page 668, 18 S.Ct. page 164. As municipal law determines how citizenship may be acquired, it follows that persons may have a dual nationality. 1 And the mere fact that the plaintiff may have acquired Swedish citizenship by virtue of the operation of Swedish law, on the resumption of that citizenship by her parents, does not compel the conclusion that she has lost her own citizenship acquired under our law. As at birth she became a citizen of the United States, at citizenship must be deemed to continue unless she has been deprived of it through the operation of a treaty or congressional enactment or by her voluntary action in conformity with applicable legal principles.”


    The decision also references a earlier case of a Prussian subject who came to the US, had a son, and returned back to Prussia. Quote:

    “‘Young Steinkauler is a native-born American citizen. There is no law of the United States under which his father or any other person can deprive him of his birthright. He can return to America at the age of twenty-one, and in due time, if the people elect, he can become President of the United States”


    So, by that section of the chart, Barack Obama is a “Natural Born Citizen” of the United States.
    2) A “Citizen of the US”, born to at least one US citizen, born in the US mainland, or Naturalized. They site the two above law cases, plus the14th Amendment to the US Constitution, Section 1.But all that says is:

    “Section 1. 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. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.


    Says nothing about the citizenship of the child.
    3) “Native Born” citizen, born on the US mainland.
    The problem here is US law only recognizes two statuses of citizenship. If one is born in the US, (or overseas by US parents), one is considered a US citizen. If neither apply and the person becomes a citizen later, they are naturalized citizens and are not allowed to be president.
    To cite US code,Title 8, Chapter 12, Subchapter III, Part 1, § 1401:

    The following shall be nationals and citizens of the United States at birth:

    (a) a person born in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof;
    (b) a person born in the United States to a member of an Indian, Eskimo, Aleutian, or other aboriginal tribe: Provided, That the granting of citizenship under this subsection shall not in any manner impair or otherwise affect the right of such person to tribal or other property;
    (c) a person born outside of the United States and its outlying possessions of parents both of whom are citizens of the United States and one of whom has had a residence in the United States or one of its outlying possessions, prior to the birth of such person;
    (d) a person born outside of the United States and its outlying possessions of parents one of whom is a citizen of the United States who has been physically present in the United States or one of its outlying possessions for a continuous period of one year prior to the birth of such person, and the other of whom is a national, but not a citizen of the United States;
    (e) a person born in an outlying possession of the United States of parents one of whom is a citizen of the United States who has been physically present in the United States or one of its outlying possessions for a continuous period of one year at any time prior to the birth of such person;
    (f) a person of unknown parentage found in the United States while under the age of five years, until shown, prior to his attaining the age of twenty-one years, not to have been born in the United States;
    (g) a person born outside the geographical limits of the United States and its outlying possessions of parents one of whom is an alien, and the other a citizen of the United States who, prior to the birth of such person, was physically present in the United States or its outlying possessions for a period or periods totaling not less than five years, at least two of which were after attaining the age of fourteen years: Provided, That any periods of honorable service in the Armed Forces of the United States, or periods of employment with the United States Government or with an international organization as that term is defined in section 288 of title 22 by such citizen parent, or any periods during which such citizen parent is physically present abroad as the dependent unmarried son or daughter and a member of the household of a person
    (A) honorably serving with the Armed Forces of the United States, or
    (B) employed by the United States Government or an international organization as defined in section 288 of title 22, may be included in order to satisfy the physical-presence requirement of this paragraph. This proviso shall be applicable to persons born on or after December 24, 1952, to the same extent as if it had become effective in its present form on that date; and
    (h) a person born before noon (Eastern Standard Time) May 24, 1934, outside the limits and jurisdiction of the United States of an alien father and a mother who is a citizen of the United States who, prior to the birth of such person, had resided in the United States.


    As you can see, there is NOTHING in US law that comes near this “three tier citizenship” the Birthers are so insistant on. In fact, the very cases they claim argue against their position. Much the same way that the Naturalization Act of 1940 argues against Berg’s claims but he quotes it anyway.

  9. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy January 21, 2009 at 12:54 am #

    Don, I’m familiar with that TheObamaFile page. Let me tell you what’s wrong with it:

    1. The chart starts off with an obvious lie when it says “US Constitution Art. II, Sec. 1, Cl. 5″, and “Both are US Citizens”. The only mention of “natural born citizen” in the US Constitution in in the qualifications for President and there is no mention of parents. If it’s going to tell a bald-faced lie, an easily exposed lie, then you know they have no respect for the intelligence of their readers.
    2. Most certainly United States v. Wong Kim Ark does not say citizen parents are required to be a natural born citizen. Quotes from Wong on my Great Mother page prove this.
    3. Perkins v. Elg does not require two US parents to be a natural born citizen. Elg was declared a natural born citizen and she did have two naturalized US citizen parents, but the Supreme Court decision never said it was a requirement. The fact that Elg’s parents were citizens is stated along with the narrative facts of the case. The part about “natural born” is far separated and logically unattached.

    So all three pieces of evidence for natural born citizen in the chart are demonstrably false.

    The John Jay quote is almost accurate. Instead of “natural born citizen” the actual Jay letter says “natural born citizen” with the emphasis on “born”, not “natural”. This typography leads me to think that John Jay meant the phrase to mean a citizen from birth (always a citizen). In any case it doesn’t actually define natural born citizen except to say someone who was not a “foreigner”. That “hint” probably influenced the addition of some criteria for a non-foreign President to the Constitution. But there’s nothing in the Jay letter, or the Constitution about parentage. After all, the US at that time was basically all immigrants or children of immigrants. The Jay letter was probably in response to rumors circulating at the time that the Convention was going to invite foreign royalty (from a list circulating) at the time. Jay wanted someone born here.

    United States v Wong Kim Ark is misrepresented. The Supreme Court did not “explain” natural born citizen in terms of British Common Law, it said that British Common Law was what defined the term (since the Constitution did not define it) and TheObamaFile fails to disclose that Wong also said that Natural Born Subject is anyone born in the territory, regardless of parentage. This is important because TheObamaFile repeatedly states falsely the principle of British Common Law. Scroll up and read the quote from Wong in the main article to see that parentage is not required under common law.

    Minor v. Happersett itself states the equivalent of native and natural born citizen in the TheObamaFile citation. Still this case is only listed in a survey of cases mentioning natural born citizen, and is not the decision of the court. The Supreme Court also cited Lynch v. Clarke which specifically says that the president need not have citizen parents (quote in article above).

    Perkins v. Elg is already discussed above, but I add that this case proves that Barack Obama would not lose his natural born citizenship should he have gained dual citizenship in Indonesia (which never happened anyway).

    de Vattel was cited by the LOSING SIDE in United States v. Wong Kim Ark, and even he in extended quotes admits that British Common Law is at odds with his view of how things ought to be (and how things were in most of Europe except England).

    But watch how TheObamaFile tries to trick you. This is the quotation from TheObamaFile :

    …influential in the United States because his principles of liberty and equality coincided with the ideals expressed in the U. S. Declaration of Independence. In particular, his definitions in terms of Law governing nations regarding citizenship, defense of neutrality, and his rules for commerce between neutral and belligerent states were considered authoritative in the United States.

    Now compare what TheObamaFile wrote with the following quote from the 2005 Encyclopedia Britannica:

    influential in the United States because his principles of liberty and equality coincided with the ideals expressed in the Declaration of Independence. In particular, his defense of neutrality and his rules for commerce between neutral and belligerent states were considered authoritative in the U.S.

    You see, they took the exact quotation from the Britannica, and faked it by adding “his definitions in terms of Law governing nations regarding citizenship” to it.

    Now that you have seen how sources are altered to fit TheObamaFiles purposes, the misrepresentations which follow become less of a surprise, including the blatantly false statement

    [begin false statement]“The Law of Nations, or the Principles of Natural Law, published in 1758, is the first, and ONLY, definitive work the Framers of the U. S. Constitution used for the inclusion of the “Natural Born Citizen” phrase. It nails what is meant by the “natural born citizen” phrase of Section 1, Article 2, of the U. S. Constitution.[end false statement]”

    There is no evidence whatever to support the preceding and indeed if we accept, as the courts do, that Natural Born Citizen is defined by common law then Vittal actually supports birthplace natural born citizenship by citing English common law as an example of a country whose practice differs from that of the other nations he describes.

    So I guess we may dismiss TheObamaFile page of natural born citizen “misrepresentations, lies and losers”.

    I don’t generally accept “go look on somebody’s web site” posts, but in this case I thought I ought to do one, since nobody has attempted anything original.

  10. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy January 21, 2009 at 1:06 am #

    Patrick, Elg’s parents were naturalized US citizens when she was born, although they returned to Sweden and gave up their US citizenship, and thereby created dual citizenship for Elg. “Then naturalized” means they were naturalized when Elg was born. It’s easy to miss.

  11. avatar
    Native Texan January 21, 2009 at 5:30 am #

    Note that “Young Steinkauler” was born to two naturalized US citizens (father was naturalized before his birth, his mother was naturalized by marriage to a citizen) on US soil, thus he was a “natural born citizen” and could be President of the United States.

  12. avatar
    Native Texan January 21, 2009 at 6:01 am #

    The “Immigration Act” of 1790 was repealed by the Naturalization Act of 1795.
    It is significant because of one particular change – the wording “And the children of citizens of the United States, that may be born beyond sea, or out of the limits of the United States, shall be considered as natural born citizens” was changed to “and the children of citizens of the United States born out of the limits and jurisdiction of the United States, shall be considered as citizens of the United States.”
    The phrase “natural born citizens” was removed and “citizens” took its place.
    From the Library of Congress:
    http://memory.loc.gov/cgi-bin/ampage?collId=llsl&fileName=001/llsl001.db&recNum=538
    In addition, the clause ” Provided, that the right of citizenship shall not descend to persons whose fathers have never been resident in the United States…” would exclude Obama from citizenship because his father was in the US on a student visa and was not considered a legal resident of the US.

    Perkins v. Elg, 307 U.S. 325 (1939) also showed that since Ms. Elg was born of two naturalized citizen parents on US soil, she was a “Natural born citizen.”

    Kwock Jan Fat v. White, 253 U.S. 454 (1920) Please note that the father of Kwock Jan Fat was a native-born US citizen, born on US soil of Chinese nationals. The mother of Kwock Jan Fat was also a naturalized US citizen by virtue of her marriage to a US citizen. http://edocket.access.gpo.gov/cfr_2002/aprqtr/pdf/22cfr51.44.pdf
    Kwock Jan Fat was Born of two US citizens on US soil and thus a “natural born citizen.”

    The Law review article written by Jill A. Pryor has no standing in law. She wrote this paper as a law student before she had passed her bar exams. She is now a Business Lawyer.

    Letter from Mr.McLane (US) to Mr. Flourens (France) re: US citizens, in PAPERS RELATING TO THE FOREIGN RELATIONS OF THE UNITED STATES, Part 1 (1888) at 503:
    They originally thought that Flourens was born of naturalized parents on US soil. See page 514, where they found out Mr. Flourens was a naturalized citizen born in France, not natural-born or even native-born.

    Oh and by the way, the court ruled that Wong Kim Ark was a “citizen”, not a “natural born citizen”.

  13. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy January 21, 2009 at 8:10 am #

    There is nothing in Attorney General Edwards Pierrepont to the Secretary of State Hamilton Fish advisory re Young Steinkauler saying that citizen parents was a requirement to be natural born, but this is yet another example of a person “with dual citizenship” who was declared a “natural born citizen”.

  14. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy January 21, 2009 at 8:20 am #

    Hi Native Texan,

    There are examples of court cases where the children of citizens, born in the United States, have their citizenship questioned, and the court declares them “natural born citizens”. But none of the cases you cited state or even imply that citizen parents is a requirement. You said:

    In addition, the clause ” Provided, that the right of citizenship shall not descend to persons whose fathers have never been resident in the United States…” would exclude Obama from citizenship because his father was in the US on a student visa and was not considered a legal resident of the US.

    But you quote that from a context of children born overseas, which Obama was not. So that doesn’t apply (even if it was current law, which it isn’t).

    While the Pryor article has no standing, it is often quoted in articles on citizenship, and commands considerable respect by scholars. The attorney general findings I cited DO have precedential value, however. The purpose of quoting Pryor is to put to lie the claim by Donofrio et al. that their novel ideas of natural born citizenship have ever been “the norm”.

    Oh and by the way, while the Court didn’t say Wonk Kim Ark was a “natural born citizen”, it is the inescapable conclusion of their decision.

  15. avatar
    bogus info January 21, 2009 at 8:55 am #

    Dr. C.,

    Regarding Wong Kim Arc–you are correct. Not to mention that a law student (Jeff I believe his name is) pointed this out to Donofrio early on. Thus the Wrotnowinski lawsuitincluded the “new historical evidence” and Wong Kim Arc trying to discredit/question that Supreme court decision/precedent. Both Donofrio/Wrotnowinski were denied.

  16. avatar
    Native Texan January 21, 2009 at 2:45 pm #

    Dual citizenship does not impact natural born citizenship as long as the secondary foreign citizenship occurs after birth. It is the circumstances at birth which determine natural born citizenship.

  17. avatar
    Native Texan January 21, 2009 at 3:07 pm #

    Hi Dr. Conspiracy,

    When the Supreme Court declares someone a “natural born citizen” it is simple to look at the person’s circumstances at birth and know what the requirements are.

    The clause “fathers have never been resident” was offered in the context of those foreign born. Where Obama was born seems to still be a bone of contention for some.

    The Supreme Court is very careful in the wording of their decisions. If they wanted to say that Wong Kim Ark was a natural born citizen, they would have stated so. They did not. To say that it is an inescapable conclusion is to put words in the mouths of the Court, a definite no-no.

  18. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy January 21, 2009 at 3:17 pm #

    This is clearly correct, although some persons such as Philip Berg in his lawsuit seems to think Indonesian citizenship after birth has some bearing on the matter.

    While in most cases circumstances at birth would seem to determine natural born citizenship, we have to be careful how we say that. An example is Vice President Charles Curtis who was not born in the United States, but rather in a US Territory which later became a state. There is also legislation which makes certain persons in US Territories “citizens at birth” and no court decided a case based on whether one of them could become a US President.

  19. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy January 21, 2009 at 4:41 pm #

    First I disagree that any of the court decisions have been careful in their use of the term “natural born citizen” as least insofar as to distinguish this term from “citizen since birth”. None of these cases involve someone wanting to become president, and the term “natural born citizen” only has legal significance in relation to the qualifications for president. There is no other right or benefit in law attached to the words “natural born citizen”, so that the court used it at all is curious if the meaning was special and reserved for the presidency. It is also curious that the term “natural born citizen” appears in no legislation save the short-lived Immigration Act of 1790. If it had special meaning, why is it NOT addressed in any immigration law since 1790? The only reason I can fathom is that the language is archaic, and replaced by “citizen at birth” a phrase that is common in immigration legislation since 1790.

    Second I believe that Wong’s natural born citizenship is a foregone conclusion based on the Wong decision. This is because the Court stated that the definitions of citizenship (without restriction as to to kind) was to be determined by British Common Law, and further stated that this Common Law made children of aliens born in the territory natural born subjects. This seems to me a straightforward application of logic to make Wong a natural born citizen. And this also agrees with the precedent set by the US Attorney General cited above.

    Just at the common sense level, if British Common Law said everyone born in the realm was a natural born subject, why would the framers of the Constitution (former British subjects and some British-trained lawyers) not have though about natural born citizen in the same way? I mean, really?

  20. avatar
    Native Texan January 21, 2009 at 6:34 pm #

    From British Common Law …
    E. de Vattel, The Law of Nations, or, Principles of the Law of Nature (1792):

    § 212. Citizens and natives.
    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 natural-born citizens, are those born in the country, of parents who are citizens.

  21. avatar
    Tes January 21, 2009 at 6:48 pm #

    Incorrect – that is NOT from British Common law – that is from SWISS writer/translater Vattel – describing his view, influenced by the laws applicable in most of continental Europe at the time … but NOT applicable in Great Britian.

  22. avatar
    Tes January 21, 2009 at 6:57 pm #

    Re: “The Supreme Court is very careful in the wording of their decisions.”

    Consider the following carefully chosen words in which the Supreme Court makes clear – expressly so – that “native born citizen” is the same as “natural born citizen” and that the term “natural born citizen” is not some special class of citizenship unique to Article II:

    Schneider v. Rusk, 377 U.S. 163 (1964):
    “We start from the premise that the rights of citizenship of the native born and of the naturalized person are of the same dignity and are coextensive. The only difference drawn by the Constitution is that only the natural born citizen is eligible to be President. Art. II, s 1.”


    Baumgartner v. U.S., 322 U.S. 665 (1944):
    “The naturalized citizen has as much right as the natural born citizen to exercise the cherished freedoms of speech, press and religion…”


    Luria v. U.S., 231 U.S. 9 (U.S. 1913):
    “Under our Constitution, a naturalized citizen stands on an equal footing with the native citizenin all respects, save that of eligibility to the Presidency.”

  23. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy January 21, 2009 at 7:14 pm #

    You don’t really think that de Vattel is British Common Law do you? De Vattel was a Swiss Philosopher WRITING IN FRENCH who translated and commented on a book called The Law of Nations by a German named Wolff. That’s a pretty fundamental mistake. If you want British Common Law, look at somebody, you know, BRITISH, like Blackstone or Cooke.

    Know your sources before you use them, or else they will come back to bite you.

    § 214 de Vattel specifically notes that England is an exception to what he wrote in § 212.

    Just a hint, but you’re much more likely to get straight facts here than on the opposition blogs.

  24. avatar
    Native Texan January 21, 2009 at 8:57 pm #

    Sorry, my mistake.
    Are there any instances in Supreme Court rulings where a person born to one or two non-citizens was called a natural born citizen?

  25. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy January 21, 2009 at 10:01 pm #

    I am not aware of a US Supreme Court case where a person born in the United States to one or two non-citizen parents is declared specifically a “natural born citizen” nor of a case of a similarly situated person being declared specifically not a natural born citizen. Most people who come to the United States and start families naturalize.

    There ARE New York Supreme Court cases (not reversed) and cited by the US Supreme Court where a person born in the United States to one or two non-citizen parents is declared specifically a “natural born citizen”. (Lunch v. Clarke and Munro v. Merchant). This from Munro:

    In Lynch v. Clarke the question was presented precisely as here, whether a child born in the city of New York of alien parents, during their temporary sojourn there, was a native born citizen or an alien; and the conclusion was, that being born within the dominion and allegiance of the Unted States, he was a native born citizen, whatever was the situation of the parents at the time of the birth. Italics in original.

  26. avatar
    Hitandrun January 23, 2009 at 4:43 pm #

    Doc,
    You write that about the time the Constitution was framed, “the US was basically all immigrants or children of immigrants.” What’s the best estimate of percentage slave, free, and Amerindian within the thirteen states as a wholeat the time?

    Curious,
    Hitandrun

  27. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy January 23, 2009 at 4:56 pm #

    Sorry, I don’t have those figures. In my comment, I was only considering free whites (in the context of citizenship or voting).

  28. avatar
    Email Contact January 25, 2009 at 12:16 am #

    Interesting reading, although there has been no definative ruling on the natural born citizen issue. So, you’re proffering opinions and presenting them as fact. It’s wonderful you want to quote all these legal scholars and past attorneys general and make your case, but it is just that, a case, and not fact, so please stop presenting it as such, it is disingenuous.

    Until Obama releases his birth certificate (which he refuses to do)to prove
    eligibility, your arguments are moot.

  29. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy January 25, 2009 at 12:19 am #

    Actually I think US v. Wong Kim Ark is a definitive ruling. But anywhere you think something is wrong on the web site, feel free to comment and share with everybody. Comments are not censored, and are anonymous.

  30. avatar
    Email Contact January 25, 2009 at 12:20 am #

    Wong Kim Ark is worthless to use as case history. I refer this article:
    The foundation of “Natural Born Citizen” is rooted all the way back to English Common law and the premise of “divided loyalties.” Hence, Obama, at birth being both a British Citizen and a US Citizen, has “divided loyalties”.
    Furthermore, under your premise, if he was born here, he’s “natural born.” The framers of the constitution were also born in the colonies, freed by declaration in 1776. Why then would they specifically grandfather themselves with the phrase you so conveniently leave out of your introduction, …..”or a citizen at the time of the adoption of this document……” If they were born in the colonies, and they were citizens, what need to grandfather themselves? The issue is quite simple, they knew that they were British citizens at birth, just as Obama was a British Citizen at birth. And Obama is not 222 years old, so he doesn’t qualify.

  31. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy January 25, 2009 at 12:28 am #

    The Supreme Court in Wong decided the question based on jurisdiction, which is the language of the 14th Amendment. The rest of the “loyalty” argument is an appeal to anti-immigrant prejudice with no basis in law. You’re entitled to your opinion that the Supreme Court was all wet then they decided Wong, but it’s there, and it has been relied upon for over 100 years, repeatedly cited as precedent by later courts. You can’t disregard Supreme Court decisions just because you don’t like them.

    The the grandfather clause argument is silly. The framers were born 100% British Citizens in British North America. There is no way they could be considered “Natural Born Citizens” of the United States.

  32. avatar
    Hitandrun January 30, 2009 at 3:34 pm #

    “No way”, Doc?
    It depends on whether you believe the ‘United States” existed before the Consitution. A natural born citizen of any State would then be a natural born citizen of the United States.

    Hitandrun

  33. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy January 30, 2009 at 9:36 pm #

    It is my view that the United States existed before the ratification of the Constitution (otherwise George Washington would not have been eligible to be president). But I would not say that the United States existed before 1776 or perhaps before the Articles of Confederation.

    So are you saying that someone can be born a British Citizen and still be a natural born citizen of the United States? How about someone born a “dual British/US” citizen? That must certainly qualify then.

  34. avatar
    Leonard Daneman February 27, 2009 at 10:13 am #

    Your citations of law are pretty, but probative of nothing. For instance, you cite the 1790 Act (repealed 1795), but ignore that at its end it denies U.S. citizen to children of non-resident fathers. “Provided, however, That the rights of citizenship shall not descend to persons whose fathers never resided in the United States.”

    Barack Obama, Sr., a student on visa, was not a legal resident as defined by 8 U.S.C. 1101.

  35. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy February 27, 2009 at 11:14 am #

    Some of you folks might want to add your comments to the article above:

    http://paralegalnm.wordpress.com/2009/02/27/barack-hussein-obama-a-natural-born-subject-of-great-britain/#comment-3

  36. avatar
    Leonard Daneman February 27, 2009 at 8:02 pm #

    Read the law for ten years and took formal classes in an A.B.A. certified program for two years. Was intending to enter law school but stopped by Guillain-Barre’ Syndrome.

    I’ve litigated from Metro to Federal Court. I do have a photography studio where I work on fine art, but have done contract research for a few attorneys.

    My legal research on Obama’s NBC has been attacked from every angle . . . none of you made a dent. Give me a cogent and educated argument, and you will get a good response from me.

    As for manners, if you are an idiot you will be dismissed rapidly and rudely.

    Just part of my charm.

  37. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy February 27, 2009 at 8:41 pm #

    So you came, you strutted and you left, without saying anything of substance about the article you commented at.

    I made an argument on your blog already and got little for my trouble except to be called an OBAMABOT, and a few other choice things. When I replied, you edited my comment so as to conceal the argument and the hyperlink to a real lawyer’s web site. In place of the hyperlink you put: “YOUR ARE AN IDIOT”. I am more ethical than to do something like that.

    When you say “none of you have made a dent” I am reminded of a scene from Monty Python and the Holy Grail, where the arrogant knight has both arms and legs cut off and says “it’s just a scratch”.

    There are around 200 articles here, many on natural born citizenship. Unless you refute them, I will assume that you have no response. I’m certainly not going to debate you over at your blog: you cheat. If you come here, you will not be called an idiot, since I have no need to invoke ad hominem to confuse the issue.

    From the founding of this nation, there have only been two kinds of citizens: natural born and naturalized. [In the 1971 the Supreme Court created a 3rd type, a non-Constitutional citizen not protected by the 14th Amendment. Rogers v. Bellei, 401 U.S. 815 (1971)]

  38. avatar
    bogus info February 27, 2009 at 9:12 pm #

    “Guillain-Barre’ Syndrome.”

    I’ve had two patients with this disease during my entire career. Both were in ICU on respirators. Both recovered fully but required long term physical therapy.

  39. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy February 27, 2009 at 9:22 pm #

    I had a really snide remark, but thought better of it.

  40. avatar
    Expelliarmus February 27, 2009 at 9:28 pm #

    Read the law for ten years and took formal classes in an A.B.A. certified program for two years

    Those of us with J.D. degrees who passed our respective state bar exams are not impressed.

    I note that he didn’t say he actually went to LAW SCHOOL, either. The ABA certified program could be a paralegal training program.

  41. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy February 27, 2009 at 10:14 pm #

    His blog is “paralegalnm”.

  42. avatar
    Zuzu April 2, 2009 at 4:50 pm #

    Does anyone know the source and context for this Rufus King quote?

    ~~Founder Rufus King said allegiance to the United States depended on whether a person is a “member of the body politic.” King says no nation should adopt or naturalize a person of another society without the “consent” of that person. The reason? Because “he ought not silently to be embarrassed with a double allegiance.”~~

    (source: cut and pasted at various birther cites)

    Not to mention the full quote itself?

    Thanks.

  43. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy April 2, 2009 at 4:58 pm #

    It comes from The Life and Correspondence of Rufus King by Rufus King, Page 536.

    Here is a larger context:

    The social Contract converts the several associates into one moral Person — or Body Politic. This personage is composed of the contracting parties; it continues by a succession by Birth and by additions by adoption or naturalization; to whom allegiance is due I don t enquire; I ask is A. B. a member of the Body Politic? In reason every such addition supposes a renewal of the contract between the Body Politic and the adopted member — the consent of both parties is requisite. All persons are in legal contemplation members of some one nation; this relation continues until they are adopted or naturalized by some other nation: no nation except in peculiar instances adopts or naturalizes without the request, much less agt. the will, of the member of another society; some formality which is individual and express accompanies naturalization. A citizen is bound by Duties to which an alien is a stranger; he may not have them required of him without having consented to become a citizen, he ought not silently to be embarrassed with a double allegiance; in short no doctrine is less supported than that which teaches that a nation may at their Pleasure adopt the citizens of another nation without their Consent or application — it certainly goes too far.

    Besides this doctrine is not only novel and unreasonable but against contemporary exposition and indeed is repugnant to laws wh may fairly be deemed declaratory of the meaning of the article.

    The Life and Correspondence of Rufus King Comprising His Letters, Private and Official, His Public Documents, and His Speeches By Rufus King

    I understand this to mean that it would be wrong for Barack Obama to have dual citizenship imposed on him either by Great Britain or Indonesia without his express consent. I see this as an important find in favor of Barack Obama’s natural born citizen status.

  44. avatar
    Zuzu April 2, 2009 at 5:04 pm #

    Wow, that was fast!

    Thanks!

  45. avatar
    Dan Goodman July 29, 2009 at 1:39 am #

    [The comment posted here under the name Dan Goodman has been removed by the blog owner because it contains a copyright notice. The fine print under this blog's Editorial Policy states "All comments become the property of ObamaConspiracy.org". Posting an comment with a copyright notice does not comply with this requirement.

    Don is welcome to post the article without the copyright notice, and anyone who wants to read it -- and I think it is worth a look, may do so at the American Chronicle web site.

    Doc. C.]

  46. avatar
    Bob July 29, 2009 at 2:12 am #

    In the case of Barack Obama, however, being born in Hawaii could make him a citizen of the United States in the territory of Hawaii rather than the State of Hawaii.

    I was going to ask how it was possible for Obama to have been born in the Territory of Hawaii when he was born after Hawaii’s admission into the union. Then I realized the answer would make as much sense as this article, i.e., none.

  47. avatar
    Dan Goodman July 31, 2009 at 10:57 pm #

    I would like to thank Doc. C. for stating his reason for removing my original comment, because it contains a copyright notice. I was not aware of this requirement, and therefore apologize for the original post.

    However, before I post my thoughts on this topic I would like to answer Bob’s question about how it was possible for Obama to have been born in the Territory of Hawaii when according to his Certification of Live Birth he was born after Hawaii’s admission into the Union.

    There two answers. One is very unlikely. That Hawaii was not properly admitted into the Union. Hawaii is and has been a State of this Union. Our government has declared it so. Therefore, unless there has been some unusual circumstance or set of circumstances (such as voter fraud, forged signatures, falsifying documents) as stated, this answer is very unlikely. However, the actual birth date of Barack Hussein Obama may not be August 4, 1961, but some earlier date.

    As it stands now, August 4, 1961 is the asserted date of birth, according to the Certification of Live Birth issued by the Department of Health for the State of Hawaii. There is additional support for this date from the divorce proceedings of Barack H. Obama, (I) and Stanley Ann D. Obama. The papers (on Plains Radio Network, http://www.plainsradio.com ) state: “That one child has been born to said Libellant (Ann Obama) and Libellee (Barack Obama) as issue of said marriage, to wit: Barack Hussein Obama, II, a son, born August 4, 1961. Note the date of the papers is January 20, 1964. However, on the Certification of Live Birth, it states that this copy serves as prima facie evidence of the fact of birth in any court proceeding.” So, it appears the court relied upon the Certification of Live Birth for the date of birth. And this was done in 1964!

    The Certification of Live Birth is nothing more than a notarized document attesting that the information shown came from, in this case, a Certificate of Live Birth, in this case Certificate No: 151 1961 – 010641 of the State of Hawaii.

    The Certification of Live Birth is referred to as a short form, meaning that the information on it is adequate, in this case, for all court proceedings. It does not say that it is valid for all intents and purposes, which is what the Certificate of Live Birth is for.

    The date of birth on The Certification of Live Birth is August 4, 1961. However, that may not be the actual date of birth. That would be on the Certificate of Live Birth (maybe). An example of a different date of birth would be for a person born in a foreign country who is adopted in the State of Hawaii. “For a person born in a foreign country who has been legally adopted in the State of Hawaii an amended birth certificate will be prepared upon receipt of a certified copy of the adoption decree or the certificate of adoption, and payment of fees. (State of Hawaii, Department of Health, “Who is Eligible to Apply for an Amended Certificate of Birth?” http://hawaii.gov/health/vital-records/vital-records/newbirthcert.html ) There are theories that Barack Obama was born in Keyna; that Barack Hussein Obama, I, was not the father. Of course, the legal documents, in this case, of adoption and a birth certificate from Keyna would give these two theories some plausibility.

    Another example is the concept of dual registration. “Any person to whom a Certificate of Hawaiian Birth has been issued may submit a request to amend an entry, including a legal change of name, on an existing Certificate. A request to amend a Certificate of Hawaiian Birth will, however, be considered to be and treated as an application with the Department of Health for registration of a late certificate of birth in current use, UNLESS A STANDARD BIRTH CERTIFICATE FOR THAT PERSON ALREADY EXIST IN THE VITAL RECORDS OF THE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH. Should there be a situation of DUAL REGISTRATION, the requested amendment will be made to the standard birth certificate on file if the required documentary evidence in support of the amendment has been submitted and evaluated to be adequate. If there is not standard birth certificate on file, an applicant is required to submit documentary evidence of the birth facts necessary to support of the registration of the late certificate of birth. If approved, the late birth certificate will be registered in place of the Certificate of Hawaiian Birth, which must then be surrendered to the Department of Health. (State of Hawaii, Department of Health, “Who is Eligible to Apply for the Issuance of a Late Birth Certificate in Lieu of a Certificate of Hawaiian Birth?” http://hawaii.gov/health/vital-records/vital-records/hawnbirth.html ). So in this example, it is possible for someone to have dual registration with the State of Hawaii concerning one’s birth; a Certificate of Hawaiian Birth and a Certificate of Live Birth (standard). Note the Certificate of Hawaiian Birth program began in 1911 and ended in 1972.

    My emphasis of the date of birth is that if Barack Obama was born before August 21, 1959, then he would have been born in the Territory of Hawaii, and not the State of Hawaii. It is possible, not necessarily so, however, the Certificate of Live Birth would more than likely resolve this point.

    Now to my original post, redone:

    Article II, Section 5, Clause 1 states:

        “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.”

    A natural born Citizen was a native born citizen, born in the United Colonies under the Articles of Confederation or the United States under the Constitution of the United States.

    A native born citizen then was one who was born with the territory of a government (country) and subject to its jurisdiction. In this case, the United Colonies or the United States.

    This was essentially the situation before the Fourteenth Amendment. Did the Fourteenth Amendment change this?

    In the Slaughterhouse Cases, (83 U.S. 36) the Supreme court held that because of the Fourteenth Amendment there were now two citizens under the Constitution of the United States (and not the Fourteenth Amendment), a citizen of the United States, under the Fourteenth Amendment and a citizen of the several States, under Article IV, Section 2, Clause 1. The last was later reaffirmed in Cole v. Cunningham:

        “The intention of section 2, Article IV (of the Constitution), was to confer on the citizens of the several States a general citizenship.” Cole v. Cunningham: 133 U.S. 107, 113 thru 114 (1890).

    The proper question to asked is if a citizen of the United States can be considered a native born citizen (natural born citizen) eligible to be President of the United States? A citizen of the United States is no longer a citizen of the Union but now is a citizen of the United States (Fourteenth Amendment), that is a citizen of the territories and possessions of the United States, whereas a citizen of the several States is a citizen of the Union:

        “The President shall be Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the Militia of the several States.” Article II, Section 2, Clause 1 Constitution of the United States.

    (refer to my article “Natural (Native) Born Citizen Defined” at the American Chronicle for quotations and citations of Supreme Court of United States cases showing this, http://www.americanchronicle.com/articles/view/111883 )

    Before the Fourteenth Amendment, Presidents of the United States were born in an individual state of the Union, that is the several States. After the Fourteenth Amendment, Presidents of the United States were and are born in an individual state of the Union, but claim to be a citizen of the United States. In the case of Barack Obama, however, being born in Hawaii could make him a citizen of the United States in the territory of Hawaii rather than the State of Hawaii.

  48. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy July 31, 2009 at 11:08 pm #

    The fact that two Honolulu newspapers carried birth announcements to the Obama’s on the 11th and 12th of August, 1961 pretty much rules out a date of birth with any significant difference from August 4. Would you care to revise your comments in light of this fact? Several of your other comments are really not right, and contrary to a full reading of the statutes you mention.

    Why don’t you go read the laws in full, then read maybe one or two articles on this web site, and then come back with something more plausible. Here are some to choose from:

    http://www.obamaconspiracy.org/category/birth-certificate/

  49. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy July 31, 2009 at 11:38 pm #

    A couple of things:

    There is a fringe theory that Hawaii is not a state. This was mentioned on this blog back on January 3. See:

    http://whatreallyhappened.com/WRHARTICLES/HAWAII/hawaii.html

    While the 1961 birth announcement in the Hawaii newspapers rather rules out your born early theory, the letter to the Senate from two respected legal scholars, Theodore Olson and Laurence Tribe, writing in support of the Senate resolution 511 that declared John McCain eligible to be president, rather anticipated you when they said:

    “Historical practice confirms that birth on soil that is under the sovereignty of the United States, but not within a State, satisfies the Natural Born Citizen Clause….And Senator Barack Obama was born in Hawaii on August 4, 1961–not long after its admission to the Union on August 21, 1959. We find it inconceivable that Senator Obama would have been ineligible for the Presidency had he been born two years earlier. ”

    http://www.obamaconspiracy.org/2009/01/the-great-mother-of-all-natural-born-citizen-quotation-pages/

    I note that Vice President Charles Curtis was born in Kansas Territory before it became a state too.

  50. avatar
    dunstvangeet July 31, 2009 at 11:58 pm #

    There are other things.

    There have been two Vice Presidents that have been born outside of a State of the United States. Charles Curtis (VP under Hoover) was born in the Territory of Kansas, about a year before it was admitted into being a state. Al Gore was born in the District of Columbia (which has never been one of the Several States). Both of these people were considered “Natural-Born Citizens” though you would argue that they were not born “Citizens of the Several States”. Or however you post it. Your questions.

    Oh, and read the rest of the 14th Amendment. “…are citizens of the United States, and the state in which they reside.”

    That also tells me that 14th Amendment citizens are also citizens of the State. Yes, I’m a 14th Amendment Citizen. I’m also a Citizen of Oregon. If I moved to Oklahoma, I’d become a Citizen of Oklahoma. If I moved to Hawaii, I’d become a Citizen of Hawaii.

    So, Barack Obama was actually born a Citizen of the State of Hawaii, even if he was born under the 14th Amendment, because he resided there. He later became a citizen of California, a citizen of Massachusetts, and a Citizen of Illinois, which he currently is (his legal residence is in the State of Illinois). He may have also been a citizen of the State of Washington as well.

    There is no difference between a citizen of the United States, and a citizen of the Several States. The 14th Amendment makes it quite clear that all persons born or naturalized, in the United States, and subject to it’s jurisdiction, are citizens not only of the United States, but also the state in which they are residents.

  51. avatar
    JohnC August 1, 2009 at 1:33 am #

    Here are some other great sources from the early part of American history:

    Amy v. Smith, 11 Ky. 326, 340 (Ky. 1822)

    The 5th section of the 2d article provides, “that no person except a natural born citizen,” shall become president. A plain acknowledgment, that a man may become a citizen by birth, and that he may be born such.

    A View of the Constitution of the United States of America (1829), by William Rawle, p. 86

    The citizens of each state constituted the citizens of the United States when the Constitution was adopted. The rights which appertained to them as citizens of those respective commonwealths, accompanied them in the formation of the great, compound commonwealths which ensued. They became citizens of the latter, without ceasing to be citizens of the former, and he who was subsequently born a citizen of a state, became at the moment of his birth a citizen of the United States. Therefore every person born within the United States, its territories or districts, whether the parents are citizens or aliens, is a natural born citizen in the sense of the Constitution, and entitled to all the rights and privileges appertaining to that capacity.

    Leake v. Gilchrist, 13 N.C. 73 (N.C. 1829)

    The country where one is born, how accidental soever his birth in that place may have been, and although his parents belong to another country, is that to which he owes allegiance. Hence the expression natural born subject or citizen, & all the relations thereout growing. To this there are but few exceptions, and they are mostly introduced by statutes and treaty regulations, such as the children of seamen and ambassadors born abroad, and the like.

    The Western Miscellany, Volume 1, July 1848 to July 1849 (1849), by Benjamin Franklin Ells, pp. 115-16.

    Law of Aliens and Natives

    What is the general division of the inhabitants of every country? Into aliens and natives.

    Who are termed natives by the laws of this country? All persons born within the jurisdiction of the United States, together with those who were resident citizens at the time of the Declaration of Independent, though born elsewhere, and who deliberately yielded to it an express or implied sanction, is termed a Native.

    How are the rights of citizenship to be acquired? An alien may become a citizen after he has resided five years in the country, by complying with the provisions of the naturalization laws; and the minor children of a person thus naturalized, if dwelling in the United States, shall be deemed citizens. A person availing himself of these laws, becomes entitled to all the privileges and immunities of natural born citizens, except that a residence of seven years is requisite to enable him to hold a seat in Congress, and that no person except a natural born citizen, is eligible to the office of President of the United States.

  52. avatar
    Dan Goodman August 3, 2009 at 10:51 pm #

    John C, thank you for providing these great sources from the early part of American history.

    I would like to make the following comments:

    From the Law of Aliens and Natives, by Benjamin Franklin Elis, pp. 115-116, it states:

        “How are the rights of citizenship to be acquired? An alien may become a citizen after he has resided five years in the country, by complying with the provisions of the naturalization laws; and the minor children of a person thus naturalized, if dwelling in the United States, shall be deemed citizens. A person availing himself of these laws, becomes entitled to all the privileges and immunities of natural born citizens, except that a residence of seven years is requisite to enable him to hold a seat in Congress, and that no person except a natural born citizen, is eligible to the office of President of the United States.”

    Looking at the last sentence, in particular:

    “A person availing himself of these laws, becomes entitled to all the privileges and immunities of natural born citizens, except that a residence of seven years is requisite to enable him to hold a seat in Congress, and that no person except a natural born citizen, is eligible to the office of President of the United States.”

    The author, Benjamin Franklin Elis, makes a distinction between one who becomes entitled to the privileges and immunities of natural born citizens and being born a natural born citizen. The significant part of the sentence is “EXCEPT that a residence of seven years is requisite to enable him to hold a seat in Congress, and that no person EXCEPT a natural born citizen, is eligible to the office of President of the United States.” One can see how the terms “naturalized citizen” and “natural (native) born citizen” can be easily substituted into this work of Elis.

    And to A View of the Constitution of the United States of America (1829), by William Rawle, p. 86:

        “The citizens of each state constituted the citizens of the United States when the Constitution was adopted. The rights which appertained to them as citizens of those respective commonwealths, accompanied them in the formation of the great, compound commonwealths which ensued. They became citizens of the latter, without ceasing to be citizens of the former, and he who was subsequently born a citizen of a state, became at the moment of his birth a citizen of the United States. Therefore every person born within the United States, its territories or districts, whether the parents are citizens or aliens, is a natural born citizen in the sense of the Constitution, and entitled to all the rights and privileges appertaining to that capacity.”

    I would like to quote and cite the following case (after the adoption of the 14th Amendment) from the Supreme Court of the United States:

        “To determine, then, who were citizens of the United States before the adoption of the [14th] amendment it is necessary to ascertain what persons originally associated themselves together to form the nation, and what were afterwards admitted to membership. Looking at the Constitution itself we find that it was ordained and established by ‘The People of the United States,’ and then going further back, we find that these were the people of the several States that had before dissolved the political bands which connected them with Great Britain, and assumed a separate and equal station among the powers of the earth, and that had by Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union, in which they took the name of ‘the United States of America,’ entered in to a firm league of friendship with each other for their common defence, the security of their liberties and their mutual and general welfare, binding themselves to assist each other against all force offered to or attack made upon them, or any of them, on account of religion, sovereignty, trade, or any other pretence whatever.

        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 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.” Minor v. Happersett: 88 U.S. 162, 167 (1874).

    And, I would like to add that

        “The United States shall guarantee to every STATE in this Union a Republican Form of Government.” Article IV, Section 4 Constitution of the United States.

    Territories and possessions of the United States are not STATES of the Union. They are covered in another clauses of the Constitution of the United States; to wit:

        “The Congress shall have power to exercise exclusive Legislation in all Cases whatsoever, over such District (not exceeding ten Miles square) as may, by Cession of particular STATES, and the acceptance of Congress, become the Seat of the Government of the United States, and to exercise like Authority over all Places purchased by the Consent of the Legislature of the State in which the Same shall be, for the Erection of Forts, Magazines, Arsenals, dock-Yards, and other needful Building.” Article 1, Section 8, Clause 17 Constitution of the United States

        “The Congress shall have Power to dispose of and make all needful Rules and Regulations respecting the Territory or other Property belonging to the United States.” Article 4, Section 3, Clause 2 Constitution of the United States

    Therefore, one who was born in the territories or possessions of the United States (as well as federal enclaves) or in the District of Columbia was not under the Constitution of the United States a Citizen of a State, and as such could not be a Citizen of the United States (before the 14th Amendment). This is because one who was born in a State was under the jurisdiction of the State, whereas one who was born in the territories or possessions of the United States (as well as federal enclaves) or in the District of Columbia was under the jurisdiction of the United States.

  53. avatar
    Dan Goodman August 4, 2009 at 12:05 am #

    You state that a citizen of the several states is the same as a citizen of the United States. I am concluding that you read my article on the American Chronicle of which a link to was provided. If not, I would recommend that be done now.

    If so, then I will provide another link to another article of my on the American Chronicle. Entitled “Diversity of Citizenship: Who is a Citizen of a State?” here is the link http://www.americanchronicle.com/articles/view/87013 . The following is a case from the Supreme Court of the United States, decided after the Fourteenth Amendment and the Slaughterhouse Cases:

        “2. As applied to a citizen of another State, or to a citizen of the United States residing in another State, a state law forbidding sale of convict-made goods does not violate the privileges and immunities clauses of Art. IV, § 2, and the Fourteenth Amendment of the Federal Constitution if it applies also and equally to the citizens of the State that enacted it.” Syllabus, Whitfield v. State of Ohio: 297 U.S. 431 (1936).

        “The court below proceeded upon the assumption that petitioner was a citizen of the United States, and his status in that regard is not questioned. The effect of the privileges and immunities clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, as applied to the facts of the present case, is to deny the power of Ohio to impose restraints upon citizens of the United States resident in Alabama in respect of the disposition of goods within Ohio if like restraints are not imposed upon citizens resident in Ohio. The effect of the similar clause found in the Fourth Article of the Constitution, as applied to these facts, would be the same, since that clause is directed against discrimination by a state in favor of its own citizens and against the citizens of other states. Slaughter House Case, 1 Woods 21, 28; 83 U.S. 36, 138.” Opinion, Whitfield v. State of Ohio: 297 U.S. 431, at 437 (1936).

    As you will find out, in court proceedings, a citizen of the United States is to identify himself (herself) as a citizen of the United States and a citizen of the state he or she is residing in. A citizen of the several States only has to identify himself (herself) as a citizen of a State of the Union.

    And, you will find out that there are two state citizens, a citizen of the United States and a citizen of the several States.

    So the date of birth of Barack Hussein Obama, II, is important. If he was born before August 21, 1959, then he was born into the territory of Hawaii, not the State of Hawaii. Which means he was a citizen of the United States, not a citizen of the several States.

    Even if the citizenship was not the issue, the status of Hawaii, would be. A territory (or possession, or federal enclave, or the District of Columbia) of the United States is not a STATE under the Constitution. As such, one born in the territory would not be a Citizen of a State. And, as such he could not be eligible for President since he was not born in the United States of America.

    See also my reply to John C, August 3, 2009 at 10:51 pm.

  54. avatar
    dunstvangeet August 4, 2009 at 1:26 am #

    Even if the citizenship was not the issue, the status of Hawaii, would be. A territory (or possession, or federal enclave, or the District of Columbia) of the United States is not a STATE under the Constitution. As such, one born in the territory would not be a Citizen of a State. And, as such he could not be eligible for President since he was not born in the United States of America.

    I suggest you read the constitution, especially the 12th Amendment, Dan Goodman, which states that the Vice President has to meet all the same requirements as the President has to meet.

    Now, take a look at the birth place of Vice President Al Gore, who was Vice President under Bill Clinton. He was considered a Natural-Born Citizen, are you arguing that he illegally held the office of the Vice Presidency? Under your own definition, he would not be eligible for the Vice Presidency, and yet, he held it. It’s nice that you think that Al Gore was an illegitimate Vice President. Al Gore was born within the District of Columbia.

    Also, research someone by the name of Charles Curtis, who was Vice President under Herbert Hoover. You’re also arguing that he was an illegitimate Vice President, since he was born in Kansas, about a year before Kansas was admitted to the Union.

    Neither of those hid their birthplace. Neither of those had their Natural-Born Citizenship questioned. But under your very definition of Natural-Born Citizenship, neither of them would be Natural-Born Citizens, and therefore were ineligible to hold the Vice Presidency of the United States.

    Checkmate, bud.

    And a citizen of a state is very defined within the constitution. It’s a citizen of the United States, who’s a resident of the state.

    “All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States, and the state in which they reside.

    That means that as long as I’m a U.S. Citizen, I’m also a citizen of the state in which I reside. I currently reside in Oregon. That means I’m a citizen of Oregon. If I moved to Kentucky, guess what, I’d be a citizen of Kentucky. If I moved to Idaho, I’d be a citizen of Idaho.

    There are 2 requirements for citizenship within the state. 1: Citizen of the United States. 2: Resident of the State.

  55. avatar
    Expelliarmus August 4, 2009 at 1:55 am #

    So the date of birth of Barack Hussein Obama, II, is important. If he was born before August 21, 1959, then he was born into the territory of Hawaii, not the State of Hawai

    So what? We know he was born August 4, 1961 — as shown on his COLB and reflected in the announcement of his birth printed in 2 newspapers.

  56. avatar
    Dan Goodman August 4, 2009 at 1:57 am #

    On the surface, two announcements in the Hawaii newspapers would seem to resolve the matter, however, that is not the case. Did the newspapers confirm this birth. Probably not. All they did was take the money and publish the notice. (In reality, this is what they are suppose to do.) This is not the same as a witness to the birth, preparing a notarized statement, about the birth. In legal terms, a notarized statement, from a witness to the birth of Barack Obama, would be more credible than a notice in a newspaper. The notice does have some value. When combined with the divorce proceedings of Barack Obama parents, it does collaberate the date. Not conclusive, though.

  57. avatar
    Bob August 4, 2009 at 2:05 am #

    The COLB, though, is conclusive. The birth announcements are additional circumstantial evidence that corroborate the COLB.

  58. avatar
    dunstvangeet August 4, 2009 at 2:50 am #

    It doesn’t matter anyways. Charles Curtis established precedent that people born in U.S. Territories that later became states are Natural-Born Citizens.

    Al Gore established precedent that U.S. Citizens born in the District of Columbia are natural-born citizens.

    It doesn’t matter. Even if it was before August 21, 1959, he’d still be eligible.

  59. avatar
    Dan Goodman August 4, 2009 at 2:51 am #

    I read the full quote you made to Theodore Olson and Laurence Tribe Letter to Congress, 154 Cong. Rec. S3645-46 (Apr. 30, 2008)

    I wish to discuss briefly the following from it:

        ”If the Panama Canal Zone was sovereign U.S. territory at the time of Senator McCain’s birth, then that fact alone would make him a “natural born” citizen under the well-established principle that “natural born” citizenship includes birth within the territory and allegiance of the United States…Premising “natural born” citizenship on the character of the territory in which one is born is rooted in the common-law understanding that persons born within the British kingdom and under loyalty to the British Crown–including most of the Framers themselves, who were born in the American colonies–were deemed natural born subjects.”

    The following is from the Slaughterhouse Cases at (83 U.S. 36) pages 72 thru 73:

        “The first section of the fourteenth article to which our attention is more specially invited opens with a definition of citizenship — not only citizenship of the United States, but citizenship of the States. No such definition was previously found in the Constitution, nor had any attempt been made to define it by act of Congress. It had been the occasion of much discussion in the courts, by the executive departments, and in the public journals. It had been said by eminent judges that no man was a citizen of the United States except as he was a citizen of one of the States composing the Union. Those, therefore, who had been born and resided always in the District of Columbia or in the Territories, though within the United States, were not citizens. Whether this proposition was sound or not had never been judicially decided.”

    What may have been the way things were done in England does not necessarily mean that it is to be done the same way in the United States (of America). It must be remembered that we revolted against the Crown, and fortunately for us, we won. We became our own sovereign. Our legal system is not the same as Great Britain. In this country sovereignty resides with the people, in the United Kingdom sovereignty resides in a king or queen.

    So before the Slaughterhouse Cases one born (and resided always) in the District of Columbia or the territories of the United States were not judicially determined to be a citizen of the United States.

    What about after the Slaughterhouse Cases. In Minor v. Happersett there is the following:

        “To determine, then, who were citizens of the United States before the adoption of the [14th] amendment it is necessary to ascertain what persons originally associated themselves together to form the nation, and what were afterwards admitted to membership. Looking at the Constitution itself we find that it was ordained and established by ‘The People of the United States,’ and then going further back, we find that these were the people of the several States that had before dissolved the political bands which connected them with Great Britain, and assumed a separate and equal station among the powers of the earth, and that had by Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union, in which they took the name of ‘the United States of America,’ entered in to a firm league of friendship with each other for their common defence, the security of their liberties and their mutual and general welfare, binding themselves to assist each other against all force offered to or attack made upon them, or any of them, on account of religion, sovereignty, trade, or any other pretence whatever.

        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 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.” Minor v. Happersett: 88 U.S. 162, 167 (1874).

    So a citizen of the United States is a citizen of the territories and possessions of the United States, the District of Columbia and federal enclaves within the several States. This makes sense since the United States has jurisdiction over these areas. A citizen of the several States would be a citizen of a state in which he or she is domiciled since the individual State would have jurisdiction. This jurisdiction is recognized in the Fourteenth Amendment; to wit:

        “No State shall deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.” Section 1, Clause 4 Fourteenth Amendment Constitution of the United States

    The quote you referred to states “historical practice.” Where’s the legal authority? I mean the Supreme Court case or cases to substantiate the claim? Don’t see it.

  60. avatar
    dunstvangeet August 4, 2009 at 2:53 am #

    Tell Al Gore about not being a Natural-Born Citizen.

    Tell the late Charles Curtis.

    Are you willing to publicly declare that Al Gore and Charles Curtis were illegitimate Vice Presidents?

    Oh, and by the way, Charles Curtis was born in 1860. He was considered a U.S. Citizen from birth, even though he was born in a territory (not a state), before the 14th Amendment.

  61. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy August 4, 2009 at 8:12 am #

    No, Dan. Birth announcements came from a news service that got them from the State Department of health. They are not ads placed by parents. The birth announcements precisely prove that Obama’s birth was registered by the state in August, 2009. However, we already knew that because of the official statement to that fact made by the State Health Department director, and posted to this day on their web site.

    Obama was born in a hospital, and his birth certificate form would have been signed by someone there. It would not have been notarized.

  62. avatar
    Dan Goodman August 5, 2009 at 12:33 am #

    You state that Charles Curtis was born in 1860, and that he was considered a U.S. citizen (though I conclude you meant a natural born citizen) even though he was born in a territory and not a state, before the 14th Amendment.

    The following is from the Slaughterhouse Cases at (83 U.S. 36, (1872)) pages 72 thru 73:

        “The first section of the fourteenth article to which our attention is more specially invited opens with a definition of citizenship — not only citizenship of the United States, but citizenship of the States. No such definition was previously found in the Constitution, nor had any attempt been made to define it by act of Congress. It had been the occasion of much discussion in the courts, by the executive departments, and in the public journals. It had been said by eminent judges that no man was a citizen of the United States except as he was a citizen of one of the States composing the Union. Those, therefore, who had been born and resided always in the District of Columbia or in the Territories, though within the United States, were not citizens. Whether this proposition was sound or not had never been judicially decided.”

    So before the Fourteenth Amendment, Charles Curtis, according to the Supreme Court of the United States, in the Slaughterhouse Cases was not judicially determined to be a citizen of the United States. The reason being that one could only be a citizen of the United States by being a citizen of a State, first. (The only exception being a person naturalized under the laws of the United States. One who was naturalized was a citizen of the United States, first, and then a citizen of the state he or she was domiciled in. Gassies v Baloon: 31 U.S. (6 Peters) 761 (1832).

    Therefore, a natural (native) born citizen was a Citizen of a State, first, and then a Citizen of the United States, entitled under Article IV, Section 2, Clause 1 of the Constitution to “privileges and immunities of citizens in the several States.” A naturalized citizen was a citizen of the United States, first, and then a Citizen of a State, entitled under Article IV, Section 2, Clause 1 of the Constitution to “privileges and immunities of citizens in the several States.” The only difference between them, before the 14th Amendment, was that a natural (native) born citizen could be President of the United States whereas a naturalized citizen could not be President of the United States.

    So, in 1872, Charles Curtis, would have NOT been considered a citizen of the United States, and therefore, ineligible to be President of the United States. And since the Fourteenth Amendment does not apply to those who were born before it was adopted, that is before July 28, 1868 (note that the relevant section states: “All persons born in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside” and does not state: “All persons born in the United States AFTER THE ADOPTION OF THIS CONSTITUTION, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside”; compare this to Article II Section 5 Clause 1) Charles Curtis would not be eligible to be President of the United States under the 14th Amendment.

    Al Gore was born on March 31, 1948, in the District of Columbia (Washington D.C.). As such, under the Fourteenth Amendment, he would be considered a citizen of the United States.

        “2. As applied to a citizen of another State, or to a citizen of the United States residing in another State, a state law forbidding sale of convict-made goods does not violate the privileges and immunities clauses of Art. IV, § 2, and the Fourteenth Amendment of the Federal Constitution if it applies also and equally to the citizens of the State that enacted it.” Syllabus, Whitfield v. State of Ohio: 297 U.S. 431 (1936).

        “The court below proceeded upon the assumption that petitioner was a citizen of the United States, and his status in that regard is not questioned. The effect of the privileges and immunities clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, as applied to the facts of the present case, is to deny the power of Ohio to impose restraints upon citizens of the United States resident in Alabama in respect of the disposition of goods within Ohio if like restraints are not imposed upon citizens resident in Ohio. The effect of the similar clause found in the Fourth Article of the Constitution, as applied to these facts, would be the same, since that clause is directed against discrimination by a state in favor of its own citizens and against the citizens of other states. Slaughter House Case, 1 Woods 21, 28; 83 U.S. 36, 138.” Opinion, Whitfield v. State of Ohio: 297 U.S. 431, at 437 (1936).

    However, he would not be a citizen of the United States, before the 14th Amendment:

        “To determine, then, who were citizens of the United States before the adoption of the [14th] amendment it is necessary to ascertain what persons originally associated themselves together to form the nation, and what were afterwards admitted to membership. Looking at the Constitution itself we find that it was ordained and established by ‘THE PEOPLE OF THE UNITED STATES,’ and then going further back, we find that these were the people of the several States that had before dissolved the political bands which connected them with Great Britain, and assumed a separate and equal station among the powers of the earth, and that had by Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union, in which they took the name of ‘the United States of America,’ entered in to a firm league of friendship with each other for their common defence, the security of their liberties and their mutual and general welfare, binding themselves to assist each other against all force offered to or attack made upon them, or any of them, on account of religion, sovereignty, trade, or any other pretence whatever.

        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 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.” Minor v. Happersett: 88 U.S. 162, 167 (1874).

    This is because the Supreme Court of the United States, in the Slaughterhouse Cases held that citizenship of a state was to be separate and distinct from citizenship of the United States. This was done because of Dred Scott, where the Supreme Court held that being a citizen of a State was one as the same as being a citizen of the United States, under the Constitution of the United States.

    In addition, one who was a citizen of the United States, before the 14th Amendment, is now a citizen of the several States, after the 14th Amendment:

        “Beyond question, a state may, through judicial proceedings take possession of the assets of an insolvent foreign corporation within its limits, and distribute such assets or their proceeds among creditors according to their respective rights. But may it exclude citizens of other states from such distribution until the claims of its own citizens shall have been first satisfied? In the administration of the property of an insolvent foreign corporation by the courts of the state in which it is doing business, will the Constitution of the United States permit discrimination against individual creditors of such corporations because of their being citizens of other states, and not citizens of the state in which such administration occurs?   . . . .

        We hold such discrimination against citizens of other states to be repugnant to the second section of the fourth article of the Constitution of the United States, although, generally speaking, the state has the power to prescribe the conditions upon which foreign corporations may enter its territory for purposes of business. Such a power cannot be exerted with the effect of defeating or impairing rights secured to citizens of the several states by the supreme law of the land. Indeed, all the powers possessed by a state must be exercised consistently with the privileges and immunities granted or protected by the Constitution of the United States.   . . . .

        We must not be understood as saying that a citizen of one state is entitled to enjoy in another state every privilege that may be given in the latter to its own citizens. There are privileges that may be accorded by a state to its own people in which citizens of other states may not participate except in conformity to such reasonable regulations as may be established by the state. For instance, a state cannot forbid citizens of other states from suing in its courts, that right being enjoyed by its own people; but it may require a nonresident, although a citizen of another state, to give bond for costs, although such bond be not required of a resident. Such a regulation of the internal affairs of a state cannot reasonably be characterized as hostile to the fundamental rights of citizens of other states. So, a state may, by rule uniform in its operation as to citizens of the several states, require residence within its limits for a given time before a citizen of another state who becomes a resident thereof shall exercise the right of suffrage or become eligible to office. It has never been supposed that regulations of that character materially interfered with the enjoyment by citizens of each state of the privileges and immunities secured by the Constitution to citizens of the several states. The Constitution forbids only such legislation affecting citizens of the respective states as will substantially or practically put a citizen of one state in a condition of alienage when he is within or when he removes to another state, or when asserting in another state the rights that commonly appertain to those who are part of the political community known as THE PEOPLE OF THE UNITED STATES, by and for whom the government of the Union was ordained and established. Blake v. McClung: 172 US. 239, 247-248, 254-255, 256-257 (1898).

    So one who is born in a State, is a citizen of that State, and is now a citizen of the several States, and not a citizen of the United States. (A citizen of the United States residing in a state becomes by force of the Fourteenth Amendment, a citizen of that State. Therefore, there are now in an individual state two state citizens; a citizen of the United States and a citizen of the several States.)

    Before the 14th Amendment, one could only be a citizen of the United States by being a citizen of a State, first. Therefore, one could only be President of the United States by being born in a State of the Union.

    This set of legal maxims were not addressed by the Supreme Court of the United States in the Slaughterhouse Cases in their treatment of the Fourteenth Amendment. One can therefore, conclude that these legal maxims remained unchanged.

    The only difference is that a citizen of the United States, before the 14th Amendment, is now a citizen of the several States, under Article IV, Section 2, Clause 1 of the Constitution of the United States:

        “The intention of section 2, Article IV (of the Constitution), was to confer on the citizens of the several States a general citizenship.” Cole v. Cunningham: 133 U.S. 107, 113 thru 114 (1890).

    And,

        “In the Slaughter House Cases, 16 Wall. 36, 76 in defining the privileges and immunities of citizens of the several states, this is quoted from the opinion of Mr. Justice Washington in Corfield v. Coryell, 4 Wash. Cir. Ct. 371, 380.

           ‘ “The inquiry,” he says,”is what are the privileges and immunities of citizens of the several States? We feel no hesitation in confining these expressions to those privileges and immunities which are fundamental; which belong of right to the citizens of all free governments, and which have at all times been enjoyed by citizens of the several States which compose this Union, from the time of their becoming free, independent, and sovereign. What these fundamental principles are it would be more tedious than difficult to enumerate. They may all, however, be comprehended under the following general heads: protection by the government, with the right to acquire and possess property of every kind, and to pursue and obtain happiness and safety, subject, nevertheless, to such restraints as the government may prescribe for the general good of the whole.” ‘ ” Hodges v. United States: 203 U.S. 1, at 15 (1906).

    Therefore, since Al Gore is a citizen of the United States and not a citizen of the several States, he would also not be eligible to be President of the United States.

    One has to be born in a State of the Union to be President of the United States, and now because of the Fourteenth Amendment, rather then being a citizen of the United States, one has to be a citizen of the several States.

  63. avatar
    Dan Goodman August 5, 2009 at 1:33 am #

    I read the 12th Amendment to the Constitution and found nothing in in stating that one who wants to be the Vice President of the United States had to meet the same requirements as one who wanted to be President of the United States.

    In addition, at Article II, Section 1, Clause 1 it states:

        “The executive Power shall be vested in a President of the United States of America. He shall hold his Office during the Term of four Years, and, together with the Vice President chosen for the same Term, be elected, as follows:”

    At Article II, Section 1, Clause 5 it reads:

        “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.”

    (Note that it does NOT state:

        “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 or Office of Vice President.”)

    And at Article II, Section 4 it provides:

        “The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.”

    There is nothing in this Article about the requirements one has to meet to be Vice President of the United States.

    This is, I must admit, interesting, as it leaves the possibility of one succeeding, by death of the President, to the office of Presidency, who may not be a natural (native) born citizen.

    Yes, a citizen of a state is to be found in the Constitution of the United States. In two places; Section 1 of the Fourteenth Amendment and Article IV, Section 2, Clause 1.

    If you are a citizen of the United States and are RESIDING in a State of the Union, then yes you are also a citizen of that State of the Union. However, if you are BORN in an individual State, then you are also a citizen of that State. And, as such, you are also a citizen of the several States, under Article IV, Section 2, Clause 1 of the Constitution of the United States.

    Notice that Section 1, Clause 1 of the Fourteenth Amendment states: “All persons born in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside” and does not state: “All persons born in a State, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside.”

    This lead to my last comment on your last sentence:

        “There are 2 requirements for citizenship within the state. 1: citizen of the United States. 2: Resident of the State.”

    There is a third general requirement for citizenship within a State of the Union. That is being born in its territory and under its jurisdiction.

  64. avatar
    dunstvangeet August 5, 2009 at 3:16 am #

    I read the 12th Amendment to the Constitution and found nothing in in stating that one who wants to be the Vice President of the United States had to meet the same requirements as one who wanted to be President of the United States.

    Read it again. I quote from Paragraph 4, final clause “But no person constitutionally ineligible to the office of President shall be eligible to that of Vice-President of the United States.”

    Your theory has so many holes in it, that it’s not even funny. I point you to the exact amendment, and you can’t even read it properly to see something that you don’t want to see is there.

    So, that leaves me with the conclusion, based upon that paragraph.

    If your theory is true, then both Al Gore, and Charles Curtis were ineligible to be President. Therefore, under the 12th Amendment of the Constitution (final clause), they’re ineligible to be Vice President.

    Therefore, are you willing to call them illegitimate Vice Presidents, even though their natural-born citizenship has never been questioned until now?

  65. avatar
    dunstvangeet August 5, 2009 at 3:25 am #

    No, one doesn’t. Both Charles Curtis, and Al Gore prove that.

    Read the 12th Amendment. Read it all the way to the end. It says that the Vice President must meet all the constitutional requirements of the President. It means that Vice Presidents must be over 35, be a resident of the United States for 14 years, and be a Natural-Born Citizen.

    That leads me to conclude the following:

    1. Al Gore, who was Vice President under Bill Clinton, was born in the District of Columbia. Therefore, people born in the District of Columbia are eligible to be President.

    2. Charles Curtis, who was born in Kansas, a year before it was admitted to the Union, was Vice President under Herbert Hoover. Therefore, one of two things. 1. People born in all current U.S. States are eligible to be President. Or people born in territories of the United States are eligible to be President.

    Constitutionally, you cannot have a Vice President who is ineligible to be President. That is specifically forbidden under the 12th Amendment to the United States Constitution. What is so hard about that for you to understand?

  66. avatar
    Dan Goodman August 7, 2009 at 2:56 am #

    To: dunstvangeet (August 5, 2009 at 3:25 am)

    (There was no Reply to this Comment after your comment from you so I started at this point)

    I went back and again read the 12th Amendment to the Constitution. I reread the last sentence. It states:

        “But no person constitutionally ineligible to the office of President shall be eligible to that of Vice President of the United States.”

    Article II, Section 1, Clause 1 of the Constitution of the United States reads:

        “The executive Power shall be vested in a President of the United States OF AMERICA.”

    The Preamble to the Constitution of the United States proclaims:

        “We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promoted the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States OF AMERICA.”

    The last clause in Amendment 12 provides

        “But no person constitutionally ineligible to the office of President shall be eligible to that of Vice President of the United States.”

    It does not state:

        “But no person constitutionally ineligible to the office of President shall be eligible to that of Vice President of the United States OF AMERICA.”

    Since the Constitution of the United States was established for the United States OF AMERICA, then the Vice President must be the Vice President of the United States OF AMERICA.

    You will find in the Constitution of the United States at Article I, Section 3, Clause 4 the following:

        “The Vice President of the United States shall be President of the Senate, but shall have no Vote, unless they be equally divided.”

    This usage is correct as the Vice President, being from the United States, in this case the District of Columbia, is seated with the Senators, being from the several States of the Union.

    Here’s another example at Article 2, Section 2, Clause 4:

        “The Vice President of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.

        “The House of Representative shall have the sole Power of Impeachment.” Article I, Section 2, Clause 5.

        “The Senate shall have the sole Power to try all Impeachments.” Article I, Section 3, Clause 6.

    Again, the Vice President, being from the United States, in this case the District of Columbia, is impeached by Representatives, being from the several States of the Union, and if so impeached, is then tried by Senators, being from the several States of the Union.

    Here is the general principle:

        “The United States (not the United States OF AMERICA) shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government.” Article IV, Section 4 Constitution of the United States

    The Vice President of the United States, in Amendment 12, is in this case, not the same as the Vice President of the United States OF AMERICA to be so designated under the Organic Constitution. A mistake of two words, however, two very important words.

    Regarding the birth places of Charles Curtis and Al Gore, I decided to do some research to see if anyone challenged their status. I did not find anything. However, I did find the following. It is from the case of Moore v. People (of Illinois) (55 U.S. 13, at 20 (note, this case was decided before the 14th Amendment). In this case, the Supreme Court of the United States held that:

        “. . .    Every citizen of the United States is also a citizen of a State or territory. He may be said to owe allegiance to two sovereigns, and may be liable to punishment for an infraction of the laws of either. The same act may be an offence or transgression of the laws of both. Thus, an assault upon the marshal of the United States, and hindering him in the execution of legal process, is a high offense against the United States, for which the perpetrator is liable to punishment, and the same act may be also a gross breach of the peace of the State, a riot, assault, or a murder, and subject the same person to a punishment under the State laws for a misdemeanor or felony. That either or both may (if they see fit) punish such an offender cannot be doubted. Yet it cannot be truly averred that the offender has been twice punished for the same offence, but only that by one act he has committed two offenses, for each of which he is justly punishable. He could not plead the punishment by one in bar to a conviction by the other.”

    So a citizen of the United States, before the 14th Amendment, was a citizen of a State and a citizen of the territories of the United States.

    Therefore, my earlier reference to the Slaughterhouse Cases at (83 U.S. 36, (1872) pages 72 thru 73; to wit:

        “The first section of the fourteenth article to which our attention is more specially invited opens with a definition of citizenship — not only citizenship of the United States, but citizenship of the States. No such definition was previously found in the Constitution, nor had any attempt been made to define it by act of Congress. It had been the occasion of much discussion in the courts, by the executive departments, and in the public journals. It had been said by eminent judges that no man was a citizen of the United States except as he was a citizen of one of the States composing the Union. Those, therefore, who had been born and resided always in the District of Columbia or in the Territories, though within the United States, were not citizens. Whether this proposition was sound or not had never been judicially decided.”

    was wrong. It appears the Slaughterhouse court missed this one.

    Based on this error on the part of the Supreme Court of the United States, I will now agree with you that Charles Curtis was a natural (native) born citizen under the Constitution of the United States.

    As for Al Gore:

        “. . .   Nothing said or determined in either of those cases conflicts with the decision in this case. In the above cases, especially in Moore’s case, the question was mooted whether the same acts could be treated as crimes both against the United States and a State. It was there suggested that a person could not be punished by two governments on account of or for the same act constituting crime without violating the Fifth Amendment. But this Court, speaking by Mr. Justice Grier, said:

           ‘An offense, in its legal signification, means the transgression of a law. A man may be compelled to make reparation in damages to the injured party, and be liable also to punishment for a breach of the public peace in consequence of the same act; and may be said, in common parlance, to be twice punished for the same offense. Every citizen of the United States is also a citizen of a State or Territory. He may be said to owe allegiance to two sovereigns, and may be liable to punishment for an infraction of the laws of either. The same act may be an offense or transgression of the laws of both. Thus, an assault upon the marshal of the United States, and hindering him in the execution of legal process, is a high offense against the United States for which the perpetrator is liable to punishment; and the same act may be also a gross breach of the peace of the State, a riot, assault, or a murder, and subject the same person to a punishment, under the state laws, for a misdemeanor or felony. That either or both may (if they see fit) punish such an offender cannot be doubted. Yet it cannot be truly averred that the offender has been twice punished for the same offense, but only that by one act, he has committed two offenses, for each of which he is justly punishable. He could not plead the punishment by one in bar to a conviction by the other; consequently, this court has decided, in the case of Fox v. The State of Ohio, 5 How. 432, that a State may punish the offense of uttering or passing false coin, as a cheat or fraud practiced on its citizens, and in the case of the United States v. Marigold, 9 How. 560, that Congress, in the proper exercise of its authority, may punish the same act as an offense against the United States.’

        It is clear that the cases above cited are not in point here. The government of the United States and the governments of the several States, in the exercise of their respective powers, move on different lines. The Government of the United States has no power, except as expressly or by necessary implication has been granted to it, while the several States may exert such powers as are not inconsistent with the Constitution of the United States nor with a republican form of government and which have not been surrendered by them to the General Government. An offense against the United States can only be punished under its authority and in the tribunals created by its laws; whereas an offense against a State can be punished only by its authority and in its tribunals. The same act, as held in Moore’s case, may constitute two offenses, one against the United States and the other against a State. But these things cannot be predicated of the relations between the United States and the Philippines. The Government of a State does not derive its powers from the United States, while the Government of the Philippines owes its existence wholly to the United States, and its judicial tribunals exert all their powers by authority of the United States. The jurisdiction and authority of the United States over that territory and its inhabitants, for all legitimate purposes of government, is paramount. So that the cases holding that the same acts committed in a State of the Union may constitute an offense against the United States and also a distinct offense against the State, do not apply here, where the two tribunals that tried the accused exert all their powers under and by authority of the same government — that of the United States.”

    Grafton v. United States: 206 U.S. 333, at 353 thru 355 (1907) (After the 14th Amendment)

    So, in Al Gore’s case, since he was born in the District of Columbia, he then would be also a natural (native) born citizen.

  67. avatar
    Jim Buzzell February 27, 2010 at 11:11 pm #

    For the most part this issue boils down to being a strict constitutionalist or progressive constitutionalist; yes there are two different points of view both from the legal scholars, the justices, and congress. What we need to remember is the founding fathers left the decisions on how United States Citizenship could be established to congress, and so stated that in our constitution. What they did not leave to the three branches of to decide is how a Natural Born Citizen is established. They knew full well if this decision was left to any branch of government to establish it could then be change at will to suit those in power at any one time. This they did not want to happen because it would and could undermine our Constitutional Republic they were setting in place for all to enjoy; if they could keep it.

    All the legal opinion, the decisions and opinions of congress and the executive branch of government cannot change what the founding father set in place,

    What has been written above in this blog is all compelling; but in the end the only way a different meaning can become constitutional law is through the amendment process of which the 14th Amendment is a part thereof; and all that amendment did was determine US Citizenship, not Natural Born Citizen.

    The Progressives have been trying for years to change our constitution, without ever going through the amendment process, to make any one born in our country, and is some cases even naturalized citizens, eligible to become President of the United States. We all know the legislation to support this effort has never seen the light of day as it has died for the lack of support to even make it out committee.

    To repeat:

    The founding fathers made it very clear in the framing of our constitution, and in their Federalist Papers, how “Natural Born Citizen” status was to occurred; they purposely did not leave this decision to congress, or the judiciary, to determine what the qualification would be.

    The Founding Fathers left “citizenship” to the congress to decide since they did not set those standards in the constitutional document. They knew that citizenship would be required to build a new nation, and that would come from foreigners immigrating to our new country. How aliens or children of aliens could be, or apply to become United States citizens; therefore congress is empowered to make those decisions through amendment process to our constitution and ratification by the various states.

    But, again, congress cannot our constitutional law determine how one becomes a “Natural/Native Born Citizen”, unless they do it through the amendment process. This has never been done to my knowledge. There have been attempts, but all have failed to even make it out of congress and died for lack of support, and we all know why; it would never make it through the ratification process.

    The Supreme Court of the United States can make a ruling decision on Natural Born Citizen, but cannot write the law, and to date SCOTUS has not taken this issue on directly without any other case law being involved. The quote below is worth reading.

    Chief Justice John Marshall made it clear when wrote this as par(t) to(of) his decision:

    “It is most true that this Court will not take jurisdiction if it should not: but it is equally true, that it must take jurisdiction if it should. The judiciary cannot, as the legislature may, avoid a measure because it approaches the confines of the constitution.

    We cannot pass it by because it is doubtful. With whatever doubts, with whatever
    difficulties, a case may be attended, we must decide it, if it be brought before us.

    We have no more right to decline the exercise of jurisdiction which is given, than
    to usurp that which is not given. The one or the other would be treason to the
    constitution.

    Questions may occur which we would gladly avoid; but we cannot avoid
    them. All we can do is, to exercise our best judgment, and conscientiously to perform our duty. In doing this, on the present occasion, we find this tribunal invested with appellate jurisdiction in all cases arising under the constitution and laws of the United States. We find no exception to this grant, and we cannot insert one.”

    I am still of the opinion that; 1 Obama is not eligible, and 2 he is an illegal alien. For what other reason would he continue to keep his none presidential records sealed?

  68. avatar
    chufho February 28, 2010 at 12:46 am #

    very well stated. By the way the Dr. of this blog and all his little people work for obama this is an obama sponsered blog

  69. avatar
    SFJeff February 28, 2010 at 1:17 am #

    “to being a strict constitutionalist or progressive constitutionalist;”

    Jim, you wrote a long, coherent piece- thank you for the coherent part. But as far as I am concerned I disagree with your main thesis and you fail to support your position.

    As far as I am concerned I am a supporter of the Constitution- not strict, not progressive- the Constitution. And yes, it is true that the Constitution does not define what a Natural Born Citizen is. And I agree that Congress cannot define this outside of an amendment.

    But the Court in Wong Ark very clearly establishes what a Natural Born citizen is- which is what I was taught growing up in the 60′s by my very conservative Republican civics teacher- a NBC is anyone born in the United States(there are a few very specific exceptions and additions). Until Obama was elected President, I had never heard of anything about two parents nonsense.

    The courts do not support your conclusion, and neither do the voters. The voters who elected President Obama knew that his father was not a U.S. Citizen. So did the Electoral College which voted for him. And Congress which confirmed him. And the Chief Justice when he swore him in. Don’t you think that if your theory was accepted by anyone that someone would have said “hey y’all didn’t anyone notice that his is not a natural born citizen?”

    If you are a strict Constitutionalist- then who is responsible- per the Constitution- of determining whether the President is eligible- why the Electoral College and the Congress. Who is responsible for determining if a President is unfit to be President? Again the Congress.

    See I am a Constitutionalist. I believe that my vote- and the vote of 66 million Americans should matter- as per the Constitution. I believe that the procedures established in the Constitution matter. It irritates me that someone would after the election suddenly decide that our votes shouldn’t count. This is the type of thing that happens in third rate banana republics, not the United States

    “I am still of the opinion that; 1 Obama is not eligible, and 2 he is an illegal alien. For what other reason would he continue to keep his none presidential records sealed?”

    I really don’t know what you meant to say in your last sentence, but I will say once again- Obama has released more about his background than any previous President. I have no clue why you think he is an illegal alien, but can only guess that you buy into one of the more whacky theories out there that he had somehow secretly given up his citizenship when he was 6 years old. Which is really just silly.

  70. avatar
    SFJeff February 28, 2010 at 1:20 am #

    Chuffho,
    I only wish that I was getting paid by the President for this. But no, I respond because I get tired of folks like you lieing about the President. I don’t know whether you are a racist or whether you are a fool, but whatever the reason, I am tired of the lies and malicious slander about the President. Oppose his policies as much as you want. Lieing about his citizenship, lieing about his family is just ugly.

  71. avatar
    G February 28, 2010 at 2:03 am #

    None of us get paid or work for Obama, you small-minded fool.

    Like others, I am an individual who can’t stand BS and liars and therefore as a personal hobby come on places like here to refute unsubstantiated rumors and stupidity.

    While I would totally love to be able to make money for doing so (who wouldn’t want to get paid for speaking their mind), sadly, there is no such thing available. What you are dealing with is individuals exercising their 1st Amendment rights to call you out on your bias and your BS.

  72. avatar
    Northland10 February 28, 2010 at 7:41 am #

    Jim Buzzell: The founding fathers made it very clear in the framing of our constitution, and in their Federalist Papers, how “Natural Born Citizen” status was to occurred;

    Could you point me to where in the Federalist Papers they make it clear how NBC was to occur? I have not been able to find any mention this yet.

    So far, I have found:

    1. Arguments for a congress establishing a uniform rule on naturalization (instead of the states).

    2. A brief explanation of why the 9 year citizenship rule for Senate qualification. In describing the “adopted citizens,” they only mention foreign birth and education. There is no mention of parents.

    Most of you comment, though I may disagree, did have a higher degree of style until you fell back into “he is an illegal alien” statement. Obviously, NBC matters little to you.

  73. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy February 28, 2010 at 8:32 am #

    SFJeff: I only wish that I was getting paid by the President for this.

    I’m glad that I am not. I can claim an independence that some others on the other side cannot.

  74. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy February 28, 2010 at 8:36 am #

    chufho: By the way the Dr. of this blog and all his little people work for obama [sic] this is an obama [sic] sponsered [sic] blog

    That’s very silly (and very not true). But please, explain the tortured logic you went through to arrive at the idea.

  75. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy February 28, 2010 at 8:49 am #

    Jim Buzell: The founding fathers made it very clear in the framing of our constitution, and in their Federalist Papers, how “Natural Born Citizen” status was to occurred; they purposely did not leave this decision to congress, or the judiciary, to determine what the qualification would be.

    Without any citation or authority, your comment above doesn’t carry much weight. I have read the Federalist Papers (have a copy on the bookshelf here) and it most certainly does not address the topic at all.

    While the Supreme Court isn’t there to “make law,” it there to resolve certain disputes about what the law means. The Court has various cases ruled on how the language of the Constitution is to be defined when no internal definition exists (the Constitution doesn’t define “felonies” and a host of other terms either). The bottom line is that there is a host of authority and rulings that make it fully clear that President Obama (and Chester A. Arthur who was another president born to a non-citizen father) are legitimately eligible for office. The definition we operate under has been close to universally accepted since the founding of the country. There is no real dispute here, and if the Supreme Court ever ruled on Obama’s eligibility specifically, you could rely on it being 9-0 in his favor.

  76. avatar
    Ballantine February 28, 2010 at 9:17 am #

    Jim,

    Actually, I think there is a pretty good argument that the framers would have thought that Congress could add to natural born status just like Parliament had done.

    But even if your points are true, you have to provide evidence as to what the framers intended and there is simply no evidence at all that they intended to adopt a definition other than the common law. If you present evidence we will consider it. However, the framers in the convention only debated native birth, the criteria of allegiance under the common law. At the time of the founding, there was no other use of the term “natural born” other than under the common law and it is an historical fact that the terms “subject” and “citizen” were used interchangeably during such period. We keep waiting for birthers to provide us some authority to support their position, but the fact seems to be that during the founding generation and for decades afterwards, there does not appear to be any legal authorities using the term “natural born citizen” other than in accordance with the common law meaning. For Scalia and pretty much all modern originalists, that would be dispositive of the original meaning of the term.

  77. avatar
    Jim Buzzell March 13, 2010 at 11:13 am #

    I submit that the electroal college, the president of the senate and the congressional representation all abdicated their constitutional duites by ignoring Obama’s ciitzenship, dual citizenship and not asking for objection fromtthe full body before confirming the vote. We all know one of those representatives was trying to get the attention of the Speaker and VP but failed before the vote was taken. Why the conspiracy, only “god” knows.

    Your second point, until Obama produces his sealed personal records as far as I am concerned he is not a citizen of this nation; much less a Natural Born Citizen.

    If you can “Prove” wrong I am silling to listen. I am not closed minded.

  78. avatar
    Jim Buzzell March 13, 2010 at 11:18 am #

    Please explain’ What does the term “of parents who are citizens” mean?

  79. avatar
    The Sheriff's A Ni- March 13, 2010 at 11:36 am #

    I submit that like all your birther pals, you are indeed a closed-minded racist.

    I also submit that our legally elected and duly sworn President has better things to do with his time than explain why he is Presidenting while black.

    I then submit that therefore you should go pound sand.

  80. avatar
    dunstvangeet March 13, 2010 at 11:51 am #

    Just wondering. The local country club has a sign that says, “Only children of members may use the pool.”

    Now, I’m divorced with 2 kids from my previous marriage. If I join this country club, can my children use the pool? Or does my ex-wife have to join as well?

  81. avatar
    Lupin March 13, 2010 at 12:00 pm #

    Not only does it mean either parent (in French or in English) but in the VERY NEXT SENTENCE Vattel precises that it is the FATHER’s nationality that determines that of the child, meaning that the spouse’s is irrelevant. In the second edition, this was further footnoted to add that it would be the mother’s if the child was born out of wedlock.

    This clearly and incontrovertibly demonstrates that the two-parents-citizens “myth” does not originate with Vattel.

    This has been explained a zillion times here.

  82. avatar
    Greg March 13, 2010 at 2:05 pm #

    You shouldn’t be here, you should go on TV and make millions with your mind-reading skills. I have to assume you’re relying on those skills when you say the founders were clear in saying that NBC couldn’t happen in the children of aliens. The founders certainly didn’t SAY that. They didn’t write it down, not even once! In fact, they were so secretive about their plan to deny natural born citizenship to the children of aliens that it was universally believed that they did become citizens and were eligible for the Presidency until 1844 or there abouts when someone thought they could cheat Ms. Lynch out of her inheritance.

    The founders were so opaque in the distinction between citizens and natural born citizens that birthers see (someone could be born here but still not be eligible for the Presidency) that no one argued it until 2008!

    Seriously, dude, in Wong Kim Ark, both sides made arguments about whether Wong would be eligible for the Presidency if he were made a citizen because he was born here. If the Founders were so clear that the children of aliens could not be eligible, don’t you think someone would have mentioned it?

    The dissent pointed out how odd it was that Wong was eligible for the Presidency, but the child born abroad to US citizens was not.

    What you think was so clear and obvious escaped the notice of lawyers and Supreme court justices even when they were talking explicitly about the eligibility for the Presidency of the children of unnaturalized aliens.

    So, you must be GREAT at mind reading!

  83. avatar
    Whatever4 March 13, 2010 at 3:35 pm #

    Jim Buzzell says: We all know one of those representatives was trying to get the attention of the Speaker and VP but failed before the vote was taken.

    Really? Who? Where is his interview on Fox claiming so? Have you watched the video? The boring long one where each state is called, the vote counts taken, everyone is quiet and orderly? This one? No one objects to any of the individual state votes. For 25 minutes, your objector keeps quiet, with plenty of opportunity to make a scene (as the Democrats did when Al Gore was presiding over the Bush/Gore electoral count) yet no one did. Finally, at 27:33, after VP announces the final count and says it will be written in the Journals of the Senate, Everyone stands, hoots and hollars, and someone waves. THAT’S the objection? What a wimpy gesture. Congresspeople are not that shy.

    Some people think that the guy is U.S. Rep. Steven C. LaTourette (R-Ohio), sitting next to U.S. Rep Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio). According to WhoRunsGov:

    “He has grown increasingly independent of his party, garnering low grades from conservative watchdog groups like the American Conservative Union for his tendency to break away from the party line.”

    THAT guy was objecting? Really? Here’s my evidence that he wasn’t objecting. Where’s yours?

  84. avatar
    Scientist March 13, 2010 at 4:03 pm #

    By law, an objection must be made in writing and signed by at least 1 Representative and 1 Senator. A valid objection was made regarding the Ohio votes in the 2004 election and was considered and rejected.

    http://www.cnn.com/2005/ALLPOLITICS/01/06/electoral.vote/index.html

    Are you saying that Republicans are too stupid to follow the proper procedure as the Democrats did in the preceding election?

  85. avatar
    G March 13, 2010 at 4:24 pm #

    Jim Buzzell says:

    I submit that the electoral college, the president of the senate and the congressional representation all abdicated their constitutional duties by ignoring Obama’s citizenship, dual citizenship and not asking for objection from the full body before confirming the vote.We all know one of those representatives was trying to get the attention of the Speaker and VP but failed before the vote was taken.Why the conspiracy, only “god” knows.Your second point, until Obama produces his sealed personal records as far as I am concerned he is not a citizen of this nation; much less a Natural Born Citizen.If you can “Prove” wrong I am willing to listen.I am not closed minded.

    So, on one hand, we have Jim Buzzell, who gives us his personal speculation and opinion (and that is all it is), with no evidence or support to back up anything he postulates.

    For Jim’s scenario to be even remotely possible, somehow every single member of the electoral college and congress has to be either completely incompetent or all in on some “vast conspiracy” together and that absolutely no one else who has involvement and responsibility to deal with such matters notices at any time along the way, even the candidates opponents, who spent the past 2 years doing every thing they could to bring him down and win against him.

    For Jim’s highly laughable and implausible scenario, you have to believe that he somehow mysteriously knows better than *everyone else*.

    A simpler explanation is that there were no problems with Obama’s eligibility and everyone involved along the way simply did their jobs and certified an election to the candidate who handily and clearly one and hence, Obama has been POTUS for well over a year now.

    Gee, last time I looked, Obama is President. Who cares what you personally think, Jim? You just sound like some crazy crank spouting off nutty stuff or still pouting because you’re not happy with who got elected. So what? Why does your opinion matter? Because it sure doesn’t to me.

    Whine and cry all you want and nothing changes the fact that Obama is President until the next election. Then you can have your chance to vote again for someone else. Of course, if Obama is reelected, I guess you’ll just have to return to pouting and spouting nonsense sore-loser excuses for another 4 years.

    No one has to “prove” anything to you. Why should we care what you think at all? What makes you so special? (Hint: you’re not).

    Turn on the TV or read the papers and when they reference the President speaking or doing something, they will show Obama. There’s your proof.

  86. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy March 13, 2010 at 11:28 pm #

    Jim Buzzell: Please explain’ What does the term “of parents who are citizens” mean?

    Perhaps the following will help you understand:

    The Department of Veterans Affairs will send a burial flag to the children of parents who are deceased members of the armed forces.

    Question: how many deceased military parents are required to get a burial flag?

  87. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy March 13, 2010 at 11:30 pm #

    Jim Buzzell: I am not closed minded.

    Now you are being downright silly.

  88. avatar
    Jim Buzzell May 1, 2010 at 4:58 pm #

    Vattel and I were there!

    And reflect on this:

    “When interpreting the Constitution, we must decide whether we will look to the document as an original and static one whose meaning has already been established at a given time by the People and its Framers or one that is living and which can be changed over any given time by a court of law.” Justice Antonin Scalia to the 2008 Annual National Lawyers Convention on November 22, 2008, at the Mayflower Hotel, in Washington, D.C.

  89. avatar
    Ballantine May 1, 2010 at 5:12 pm #

    We have no idea what your point is. If you want to assert that the framers defined “natural born” by Vattel or by referance to parentage, you need to cite authority that says so. Of course, there is no such authority from that era as the term “natural born” in that era was without exception tied to the english common law and the debates from the Constitutional convention were focused soley on place of birth. I would bet you have never read such debates or the legal authority from such era. If you come up with some early authority to the contrary we can talk.

  90. avatar
    Mike May 1, 2010 at 5:28 pm #

    Well, yeah. Obviously the guys who wrote the Constitution wanted it to be a static, unchanging document interpreted only one way. That’s why they didn’t include methods for amending it or judicial review.

  91. avatar
    nemocapn May 1, 2010 at 6:12 pm #

    The code on certifying electoral votes says, “Upon such reading of any such certificate or paper, the President of the Senate shall call for objections, if any. Every objection shall be made in writing, and shall state clearly and concisely, and without argument, the ground thereof, and shall be signed by at least one Senator and one Member of the House of Representatives before the same shall be received.”

    Notice it says “objections, if any.” The President of the Senate doesn’t call for objections if there aren’t any objections. Also notice it says “every objection shall be made in writing….” It’s not like the movie portrayal of a wedding or courtroom trial where you can just jump up and shout “objection.” In order to object, it has to be done in writing with only one senator and one congressman needed to sign off on the objection. Representative Paul Broun and Senator James Inhofe could’ve filed an objection in writing if they truly believe Obama is not a natural born citizen. Then, the Senate and the House would’ve been legally required to make a decision on the objection. There were 41 Republican senators and 178 Republican congressmen. Surely there were two Republicans that could voice objections and yet they didn’t. Why is that?

    http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/3/15.shtml

  92. avatar
    nbc May 1, 2010 at 6:26 pm #

    We all know one of those representatives was trying to get the attention of the Speaker and VP but failed before the vote was taken.

    Nice myth.

    Furthermore, there are abridged procedures which are followed when no objections have been filed (they need to be filed in writing). That’s why Cheney asked to dismiss with the procedures through unanimous consent.

    Sorry dude, you’re rewriting history here.

  93. avatar
    Texas Tom May 23, 2010 at 9:11 pm #

    Well over 90% of this website’s quotes and ensuing comments argue IRRELEVANT ISSUES of parentage, 14th Amendment, etc. Granting that these issues are not obstacles to Obama’s qualification, the SIMPLE ISSUE is WAS HE BORN ON HAWAIIAN SOIL? That’s it. Unfortunately, most of the comments ASSUME this issue is settled. It is not. No amount of pooh-poohing, belittling, mocking or other false forms of logic answer the fact that Hawaii’s COLB (Certificate of Live Birth) is not in any way legal proof of birth in Hawaii, but only legal proof of birth [somewhere] and REGISTERED in Hawaii. The same with the newspaper announcement. This combination has FOR DECADES been used by parents to lay a foundation for their foreign born children to carry on as if they were U.S. born. It is COMMON. Many thousands of times over. And I make no judgment against them. But this does NOT rise to the level of LEGAL proof as does the LFBC (Long Form Birth Certificate) which has a doctor’s signature and hospital. We’re talkin’ POTUS, people! His refusal to release it is TELLING. And his protection by our nation’s legal charges because of their political allegiances rather than faithful allegiance to the U. S. Constitution is anthema to the Rule of Law as well as to God who condescended to make us sovereigns when He gave us our inalienable rights. Shame on those who do not require the law to be followed.

  94. avatar
    dunstvangeet May 23, 2010 at 10:07 pm #

    Texas Tom, you might want to actually research your opinion, versus just regurgitating what someone else has written. For instance, contact the State Department of Health, and ask whether or not someone can get a birth certificate that says “City of Birth: Honolulu” if they were born in Kenya. I’ll give you a hint, no.

    Direct quote from the Hawaii Department of Health: “If you were born in Bali, for example, you could get a certificate from the state of Hawaii saying you were born in Bali. You could not get a certificate saying you were born in Honolulu. The state has to verify a fact like that for it to appear on the certificate.”

    So, we have a certificate that says that Obama was born in Honolulu, Hawaii. That means Obama was born in Honolulu, Hawaii, not anywhere else.

  95. avatar
    Benji Franklin May 24, 2010 at 2:08 am #

    Dear Texas Tom,

    I f you check your certified copy of the elusive Pakistan Travel Ban, you will notice that it includes a waiver allowing travel by United States Citizens only in cases where they are Long Form Birth Certificate-proven Natural Born Citizens of the U.S. Therefore, common sense tells us that Obama must have been a U.S. Natural Born Citizen because he had to show a long form birth certificate to the Pakistan officials before he was allowed to sojourn in Pakistan.

    A Presidency in the hand, is worth 200 Presidential Ineligibility theories, in the bush.

    Benji Franklin

  96. avatar
    Bovril May 24, 2010 at 6:07 am #

    Ding, Ding, Ding

    Danger Family Robinson…..

    Folks it will be pointless attempting to inform Texas Tom, read his screed we have a classic Red Queen.

    He firmly believes

    Hawai’i hands out US BC’s on no proof to anyone
    Full Faith and Credit is a lie
    The Republican administration of Hawai’i is “In on it”
    A birth certificate isn’t a birth certificate and the mythical Long Form exists
    Seperation of religion is a “bad thing” and unconstitutional
    He’s a “sovereign’er” and I would bet believes taxes are non constitutional as well

  97. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy May 24, 2010 at 8:06 am #

    Texas Tom: Well over 90% of this website’s quotes and ensuing comments argue IRRELEVANT ISSUES of parentage, 14th Amendment, etc. Granting that these issues are not obstacles to Obama’s qualification, the SIMPLE ISSUE is WAS HE BORN ON HAWAIIAN SOIL? That’s it. Unfortunately, most of the comments ASSUME this issue is settled. It is not. No amount of pooh-poohing, belittling, mocking or other false forms of logic answer the fact that Hawaii’s COLB (Certificate of Live Birth) is not in any way legal proof of birth in Hawaii, but only legal proof of birth [somewhere] and REGISTERED in Hawaii. The same with the newspaper announcement. This combination has FOR DECADES been used by parents to lay a foundation for their foreign born children to carry on as if they were U.S. born.

    Texas Tom,

    If you had been around in the early days of this blog, you would have seen a much larger percentage of birth certificate related articles. I think pretty much everything that could be said on that topic has been said. However, if you are interested, just click on the link “Birth Certificate” on the right sidebar for articles aplenty on this subject.

    You make a number of unsupported assertions. The most obviously false is when you say “Hawaii’s COLB (Certificate of Live Birth) is not in any way legal proof of birth in Hawaii”. That is rather ridiculous on its face. Why would any state do something as silly as this? While Hawaii does issue birth certificates to its residents who give birth outside the state, those certificates state the true place of birth. They would HAVE TO.

    Then you said: “This combination [of planted newspaper announcements and short form birth certificates] has FOR DECADES been used by parents to lay a foundation for their foreign born children to carry on as if they were U.S. born.” I hope I correctly identified what you meant by “combination.” Can you give me one example, just one, where the combination of a short form birth certificate and a newspaper announcement was used to establish or attempt to establish fraudulent citizenship? And please, don’t give Barack Obama as an example–the State of Hawaii has a signed statement on the Department of Health web site saying that he was born in Hawaii.

    In fact, there are no facts in your comment. They are uninformed rumors.