Once again, we read a long discussion, with a rational-sounding style, laying out the facts, so it appears, about citizenship in the United States. Is it reasonable and is it true?
Our guest commentator has doubts, and responds to When will the Birthers be happy?
ARTICLE SAYS: World Net Daily, has actively covered many of these issues relating to Obama’s eligibil[i]ty over the last 8 months and have a collection of all eligib[i]lity related articles. See http://bit.ly/147bkD
RESPONSE: Interesting to note that, before the issue seemed such a potential publicity boon, WND reported that its own experts determined the COLB to be authentic:
“OBAMA’S CERTIFICATION OF LIVE BIRTH UTILIZING FORGERY EXPERTS ALSO FOUND THE DOCUMENT TO BE AUTHENTIC. The investigation also revealed methods used by some of the bloggers to determine the document was fake involved forgeries, in that a few bloggers added text and images to the certificate scan that weren’t originally there.”
WND also reported that the claims that Obama lost any hypothetical American citizenship he had as a child is not supported by US citizenship law:
“In short, the suit claims Obama was not born an American citizen; lost any hypothetical American citizenship he had as a child [ITALICS IN ORIGINAL(Editor's note: This point is not supported by U.S. citizenship law)END ITALICS]; may not now be an American citizen and even if he is, may hold dual citizenships with other countries. ….
ARTICLE SAYS: Other Senators, like Mel Martinez, believed that Presidential candidates are vetted by the “voters.” Needless to say that these members of Congress made it into the “hall of shame” for the simple reason that they turned a blind eye to legitimate concerns of American Citizens. See http://bit.ly/147bkD
RESPONSE: Mel Martinez was RIGHT in contending that, at least at the first instance, Presidential candidates are – and should be – vetted by the voters.
As eloquently stated in Sen. McCain’s Motion to Dismiss Hamblin v. Obama (D. Az.):
“The Constitution indicates that issues relating to a candidate’s eligibility for the Office of President rest, in the first instance, with the VOTERS and then with the ELECTORAL COLLEGE, the constitutionally created body responsible for selecting the President of the United States. See U.S. Const. art. II, § 1, cl. 2 “Each State shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct,” electors for the President and Vice President; id. amend. XXIII, § 1. The Constitution’s commitment to the Electoral College of the responsibility to select the President subsumes the authority to decide whether a presidential candidate is qualified for office because the examination of a candidate’s qualifications is an integral component of the electors’ decision-making process. If a court were to sit in judgment of a candidate’s qualifications, its judgment could “inappropriately interfer[e]” with the Electoral College’s constitutional authority to elect the President and to evaluate the qualifications of the candidates seeking that office. …
“The Constitution also provides that, after the Electoral College has voted, further review of a presidential candidate’s eligibility for office, to the extent such review is required, rests with CONGRESS. Where no candidate receives a majority of the electoral votes, the Constitution commits to the House of Representatives the authority to select the President and, in so doing, to evaluate the candidates’ qualifications. See 8 U.S. Const.. amend. XII. Similarly, the Twentieth Amendment explicitly grants Congress the responsibility for selecting a President when a candidate elected by the Electoral College does not satisfy the Constitution’s eligibility requirements. See id. 11 amend. XX, § 3 …
“Both the House and Senate have standing committees with jurisdiction to decide questions relating to presidential elections. …
“The Constitution therefore provides that, in the first instance, the selection of the President – and the evaluation of a candidate’s qualifications – should be made by the VOTERS and politically accountable bodies without judicial participation. VOTERS and electors can choose not to vote for a candidate they believe to be ineligible, and members of Congress can object to electoral votes as they are counted. 3 U.S.C. § 15. IF A COURT WERE TO PASS UPON THE ELIGIBILITY OF A CANDIDATE TO HOLD THE OFFICE OF PRESIDENT – A DETERMINATION RESERVED FOR THE ELECTORAL COLLEGE AND CONGRESS – IT MAY INVOLVE ITSELF IN POLITICAL MATTERS FOR WHICH IT IS INSTITUTIONALLY ILL-SUITED, AND INTERFERE WITH THE CONSTITUTIONAL AUTHORITY OF THE ELECTORAL COLLEGE AND CONGRESS TO EVALUATE THE QUALIFICATIONS OF PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATES.
“Accordingly, the political question doctrine instructs [the] Court[s] to refrain from superseding the judgments of voters and those governmental bodies the Constitution designates as the proper forums for determining McCain’s eligibility to hold office. If the Court were to make this determination – as it must to resolve Hamblin’s claims – it risks disrupting the Constitution’s carefully calibrated separation of powers – “the absolutely central guarantee of a just Government.” ….
See http://tiny.cc/MonNBC @ 8-10 (some internal citations omitted for readability).
ARTICLE SAYS: Obama’s 1st day in office, he signed an executive order to limit the access to Presidential Records. See http://bit.ly/147bkD
RESPONSE: The article has the facts completely backwards. Once again, reading the source rather than someone’s characterization of the source is useful.
The fact is that Obama Executive Order 13479 **expanded** access to Presidential Records by
(a) revoking Bush’s Executive Order 13222 that limited access to Presidential Records, and
(b) restoring Reagan’s Executive Order 12667.
Obama Executive Order 13489 @ http://tiny.cc/EO13489
—>Note Sec. 6: “Executive Order 13233 of November 1, 2001, is revoked.”
Bush Executive Order 13233 @ http://tiny.cc/EO13223
—>Note Sec. 6: Executive Order 12667 of January 18, 1989, is revoked.
Reagan Executive Order 12667 @ http://tiny.cc/EO12667
ARTICLE SAYS: “It appears that shortly after Obama Sr. and Obama’s mother, Ann Dunham split up, Ann got married to Lolo Soetoro, an Indonesian Citizen who adopted Obama when Ann and Obama Jr. returned to Indonesia with him to live.”
A. There is, to date, no facts or evidence to prove that Obama was adopted by Soetoro. (Notably, the article fails to cite any such evidence.) Moreover, even if he was adopted under Indonesian law, that law simply could NOT strip his US citizenship. See http://tiny.cc/WYE_Indonesia for more on that issue.
B. The US State Department has, officially – “in court” (i.e., while subject to under Rule 11 penalties), declared that Obama was never adopted by Lolo Soetoro and never became an Indonesian citizen. See, e.g., ¶37-38, 48, 50 @ http://tiny.cc/StrunkGovAns
ARTICLE SAYS: “Indonesian law at the time did NOT allow for dual citizenship.”
A. There is, to date, no facts or evidence that Indonesian law at the time did not allow for dual citizenship. (Again, the articles cites to no such evidence.) This “theory” was originally offered by Phil Berg, with multiple “citations” to Indonesian law. However, if one actually READS the laws he cites (the ones that exist), those laws simply do not say what he says they say. See http://tiny.cc/OC_Indonesia for more info.
B. Moreover, whatever Indonesian law at the time (or today), the fact is that US law determines US citizenship and under US law, a minor cannot lose his citizenship merely by virtue of his relocation, the adoption by a non-US citizen, or even his parent’s attempt to “renounce” his citizenship. See http://tiny.cc/WYE_Indonesia for more info.
C. The US State Department has, officially – “in court” (i.e., while subject to under Rule 11 penalties), declared that Obama was never adopted by Lolo Soetoro and never became an Indonesian citizen. See, e.g., ¶37-38, 48, 50 @ http://tiny.cc/StrunkGovAns
ARTICLE SAYS: “If Obama WAS an Indonesian citizen he would have had to renounce his Indonesian Citizenship as an adult to reassume US Citizenship. There is no record, however, of Obama doing this. Therefore, again, more questions than answers.”
This is a “red herring,” given that (a) Indonesian law does not provide what the article contents it provides and (b) regardless of what Indonesian law provides, that country cannot “trump” US law on the issue of who, under US law, is a US citizen.
ARTICLE SAYS: “Yes, Obama’s mother, Ann Dunham and Obama Sr. visited Kenya while Dunham was pregnant with Obama. There is credible evidence that indicates that because Dunham was so far along in her pregnancy, she might not have been able to board a plane to fly back to the states.
RESPONSE: Notably, there is no citation to any alleged “credible evidence” of an Ann Durham trip to Kenya while pregnant with Obama? If you have some, I’d love to see it.
ARTICLE SAYS: “Obama’s Kenyan grandmother has also made the statement that she (granny) was present at Obama’s birth and there is much hoop-la in Kenya that Obama is a “son of Kenya” and that he was “born” in Africa.”
A. Obama’s Kenyan STEP-grandmother was misquoted (and a recording clipped to say) that Obama was born in Africa when, in fact, she repeatedly and emphatically stated (on the same FULL recording) that Obama was born in Hawaii. See http://tiny.cc/SOSpeaks
B. The US State Department has, officially – “in court” (i.e., while subject to under Rule 11 penalties), declared that Obama was born within the state of Hawaii and NOT in Kenya. See ¶36 at http://tiny.cc/StrunkGovAns
ARTICLE SAYS: “Read what Alexander Hamilton in Federalist No.68, writes: “Indeed, the ”chief magistrate” who is also Commander-in-Chief has to grow from the soil.”
This is a perfect example of the type of inaccuracies contained throughout this and other articles challenging Obama’s eligibility based on flawed facts and flawed reasoning.
A. Federalist No 68 does NOT include your purported Hamilton quote. READ IT!!! http://tiny.cc/Fed68 That quote is simply *not* there.
The article attributes to Alexander Hamilton a statement made by Balint Vazonyi, Director of Center for the American Founding, in connection with a 2000 push to amend the Constitution to allow foreign-born citizens (i.e., naturalized) to become President. (See http://tiny.cc/NotFed68 at page 22.)
B. In any event, “Grow from the soil” is a reference to jus solis, the principle that citizenship is based on LOCATION of birth – as opposed to jus sanguinis, the principle that citizenship is based on PARENTAGE.
C. The fact is that throughout the history of US jurisprudence, with the exception of cases now overturned, harshly criticized, and/or abrograted by statute (e.g., Dred Scott), legal scholarship has consistently, overwhelmingly held that a “natural born” or “native born” citizen (used interchangably) means born in the USA – regardless of parentage.
IF … “natural born citizen” really means “born of two US citizen parents,” and if Wong Kim Ark (http://tiny.cc/WKA) does not stand for the proposition that a person born in the US is a natural (or native) born citizen regardless of his parents …
THEN, … why did so many conservative groups file briefs in Hamdi v. Rumsfeld, 542 U.S. 507 (2004) strongly urging the Supreme Court to “reverse” 100 years of jurisprudence to find that birthright citizenship means born of two US parents? I mean, if the issue is settled, as this and other similar articles seem to contend, why would the groups be asking the Supreme Court to “reverse” current law? And if “born US citizen” means something different than “natural born” citizen, why did these briefs advocate for reversal of Wong, and adoption of the dicta in Happersett?
ARTICLE SAYS: “However, originalists look at the founders intent, therefore, they conclude that a class of citizens should be considered “natural born” today only if they would have been considered natural-born citizens under the law in effect at the time of the framing of the Constitution.”
A. I agree that “originalists” look to founders’ intent. (This does not, however, mean that only original intent is applicable, but that’s another issue.)
B. An “originalist” starts with applicable laws – common law and statutory law – in effect at time of the particular law at issue. Yet the article totally ignores that, as discussed rather extensively in Lynch v. Clarke, the law of ALL THIRTEEN colonies, and ALL THIRTEEN states at the time of the Revolution and drafting of the Constitution provided that a person born OF THE SOIL (of colony or state) was a natural born citizen regardless of that person’s parentage:
“It may then be safely assumed, that at the Declaration of Independence, by the law of each and all the thirteen states, a child born within their territory and liegeance respectively, became thereby a citizen of the state of which he was a native.
This continued unchanged to the time when our National Constitution went into full operation. There is no evidence of any alteration of the rule in any of the states during the period that intervened; and the references which will be made under another head, show conclusively that there had been no intermediate change to their policy.”
http://tiny.cc/NBC_OI. at pp. 243-44.
The court continued:
“It is a necessary consequence, from what I have stated, that the law which had prevailed on this subject, in all the states, became the governing principle or common law of the United States …. If there had been any diversity on the subject in the state laws … it is reasonable to believe that the framers of the constitution would have borne in mind, and enacted a uniform rule, or authorized Congress to establish one. THE ENTIRE SILENCE OF THE CONSTITUTION IN REGARD TO IT FURNISHES A STRONG CONFIRMATION, NOT ONLY THAT THE EXISTING LAW OF THE STATES WAS ENTIRELY UNIFORM, BUT THAT THERE WAS NO INTENTION TO ABROGATE OR CHANGE IT. The term citizen, was used in the constitution as a word, the meaning of which was already established and well understood. ….”
http://tiny.cc/NBC_OI at pp. 246 (emphasis supplied).