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The Jay letter

John Jay

One of the earliest historical documents to surface in the modern discussion of the meaning of the constitutional phrase “natural born citizen” was a letter from John Jay, who would become chief justice of the US Supreme Court, to George Washington, delegate to the Constitutional Convention, who would become the first president of the United States. The letter said:

Permit me to hint, whether it would be wise and seasonable to provide a strong check to the admission of Foreigners into the administration of our national Government; and to declare expressly that the commander in chief of the American army shall not be given to, nor devolve on any but a natural born citizen.

Now the question is: did Jay intend to exclude George Washington himself? It hardly seems credible that Jay intended to include the very man who was the commander of the American Continental Army. Therefore, it must be the case that John Jay included George Washington among the natural born citizens.

George Washington was born in Virginia, a colony that became part of the United States. The Treaty of Paris 1783 (signed by the way by John Jay), used the concept “real British subjects” to distinguish the Loyalists from those who would become American citizens. Clearly George Washington made his choice to cast his lot with the Americans through his deeds during the war. Washington was born into Virginia society and remained with it when Virginia declared its independence and joined the United States.

What about George Washington’s father? Augustine Washington, like his son, was also a Virginia planter. When Virginia signed the Declaration of Independence, Augustine Washington signed no oath of loyalty to the new government, he did not support the war, and he did not cast his lot with the Americans. No, he had died decades before in 1743. Augustine Washington lived and died a British Subject.

So in summary: John Jay, first chief justice of the US Supreme Court, most likely considered George Washington, son of a British Subject, to be a natural born citizen of the United States.

Update: Since the original publication of this article, some readers have found it difficult to understand how George Washington could be a natural born citizen of the United States, when he was born before there was a United States. The first citizens of the United States considered their primary allegiance to the community into which they were born. They were born Virginians, South Carolinians, New Yorkers. When those colonies became states of the United States, those primary allegiances did not change. Any allegiance they owed the Crown of Britain dissolved but they remained native and natural born Virginians, South Carolinians and New Yorkers, and as such native and natural born citizens of the United States.

By way of example I offer the case of Jared Shattuck. Shattuck was born in Connecticut before the American Revolution. The US Supreme Court in the case of Murray v. The Charming Betsey (1804) described Mr. Shattuck as a native of the United States and of Connecticut.

167 Responses to The Jay letter

  1. avatar
    Vince Treacy April 24, 2010 at 2:45 pm #

    You have it right, Doc.

    The stated danger in the letter itself was “Foreigners.” It was not aimed at persons born in the new country, but at adult foreigners who might seek to take over by popular acclaim.

    The fear at the time was that some grown-up foreign leader would be touted to head the new republic. Many in Europe, including George III, thought that America could not exist for long without a king. Some of George’s younger sons could have been volunteered for the job.

    Without Jay’s clause, they could have been naturalized by a panicked Congress, and then could have run for President.

    Both the Electoral College and the Natural Born clause had this danger in mind.

    The natural born clause prevented any tin-pot Napoleon or inbred junior royalty from trying to sell himself to the new country.

    There was no discernible concern about infants actually born on the soil of the new land.

  2. avatar
    Scott Brown April 24, 2010 at 2:58 pm #

    Too bad Obama can’t be more like Washington and at least exhibit some allegiance to the US, so that if we were uncertain about his NBC status, as least we would have his pro-American deeds to guide us.

    His lips tell us he was born with an allegiance to Britain and his actions tell us he has no American allegiance either. Just who and what is Obama?

  3. avatar
    Dave April 24, 2010 at 3:25 pm #

    What do you think of the allegiance of the 200 or so GOP members of Congress, not one of whom has called for an investigation into the President’s eligibility?

  4. avatar
    nbC April 24, 2010 at 3:31 pm #

    Funny, so far I have seen little that doubts Obama’s allegiance to his Country.

    I guess we must be talking about different people?

    Health Insurance Reform.
    Largest Tax cut in history for 98% of its citizens.
    Nuclear Arms Reduction
    Opening up limited areas for oil drilling

    and so on.

    I guess, some may consider that anti-American…

  5. avatar
    G April 24, 2010 at 3:49 pm #

    Scott Brown, you are a completely discredited lying coward. Your words mean nothing as you were caught with your pants down making up stories about your own past over a week ago, and when caught, tried to change the story and duck even the simplest question as to what state you were born.

    Until you fess up or answer which state you were born in, your words are utterly worthless here as we know that all you do is make up lies and then dodge the issue when caught.

  6. avatar
    WTF? April 24, 2010 at 4:29 pm #

    Dr. Conspiracy said;

    “So in summary: John Jay, first chief justice of the US Supreme Court, most likely considered George Washington, son of a British Subject, to be a natural born citizen of the United States.”

    Jon Jay would most likely have considered Dr. Conspiracy to be a fool for arriving at such an unsupported conclusion.

  7. avatar
    Scientist April 24, 2010 at 4:50 pm #

    Vince, you are quite correct in your analysus. I propose that “natural born citizen” be interpreted as originally intended, to exclude foreign royalty or hangers on of royal families from the Presidency. Therefore, Govs. Schwarzenegger and Granholm are eligible as well as Bob Hope (unfortunately he presently fails the mirror test), while Princes William and Harry are not. This would of course end the ridiculous discussions over Obama (and McCain for that matter), since he is not a member of any royal family and is thus 100% eligible.

  8. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy April 24, 2010 at 4:50 pm #

    WTF?: Jon Jay would most likely have considered Dr. Conspiracy to be a fool for arriving at such an unsupported conclusion.

    Are you seriously asking us to believe that John Jay wrote a letter to George Washington urging Washington to insert a qualification into the US Constitution that would exclude himself? Somebody help me here. That seems absurd.

  9. avatar
    BatGuano April 24, 2010 at 5:52 pm #

    what state is your allegiance to scott ?

  10. avatar
    WTF? April 24, 2010 at 6:10 pm #

    Dr. Conspiracy,

    If you truly believe that a provision using the words “natural born” has nothing to do with birth, you must be considered a fool.

    To answer your question; Yes, John Jay’s provision would have excluded himself. The exemption which grandfathered those who were citizens when the Declaration of Independence received all the required signatures provided the means whereby those like Washington, Jay, and Hamilton would have been eligible.

    Why do you find it so hard to believe that security measures, of which no one at the time of inception could meet the requirements, could not be implemented with temporary exceptions? We provide grandfather clauses to many laws in order for them to be implemented. Don’t we?

  11. avatar
    Mary Brown April 24, 2010 at 6:43 pm #

    Scott, my brother-in-law born in England would also fit you definition even though his father was in the Air Force. I guess you have a country full of people like me who according to you have no allegiance to this country because of opinions and deeds you do not like. I am honored to be in the same camp as President Obama. So now what will you do? Think of what you are saying and the consequences of it. You people are sounding more and more like mini-facists to me. Shame on you.

  12. avatar
    Scientist April 24, 2010 at 7:28 pm #

    Security measures? What evidence do you have that the loyalty of naturalized citizens is less than that of natural born citizens? I have seen studies where natural born citizens were given the exam one takes to be naturalized. The failure rates were quite astounding.

  13. avatar
    Rickey April 24, 2010 at 7:39 pm #

    Scott Brown says:

    Too bad Obama can’t be more like Washington and at least exhibit some allegiance to the US

    Too bad “Scott Brown” won’t tell us what state she was born in, thereby preventing us from checking out the veracity of her claim that her state-issued COLB wasn’t sufficient for her to obtain a U.S. passport.

  14. avatar
    northland10 April 24, 2010 at 9:04 pm #

    Who is he? According to Chief Justice John Roberts, he is the President of the United States.

    How does he show is allegiance? His lips said this… twice:

    I, Barack Hussein Obama, do solemnly swear that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States. So help me God

    As for pro-American? As NBC shows, he cares for the American people.

  15. avatar
    Black Lion April 24, 2010 at 11:11 pm #

    Someone who tells the truth…Unlike you Scott Brown…It is hilarious how you can attempt to make that statement when you here on this site a week ago lied to try and disparage Obama’s COLB…At least we know he was born in HI…We don’t have a clue where you were born…For all we know you could have been born in Kenya….

  16. avatar
    Mary Brown April 24, 2010 at 11:25 pm #

    Thank you.

  17. avatar
    BatGuano April 25, 2010 at 7:49 am #

    Too bad Obama can’t be more like Washington….

    like telling the truth after he chopped down a cherry tree ?

  18. avatar
    Vince Treacy April 25, 2010 at 9:05 am #

    WTF wrote”

    “The exemption which grandfathered those who were citizens WHEN THE DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE RECEIVED ALL THE REQUIRED SIGNATURES provided the means whereby those like Washington, Jay, and Hamilton would have been eligible.” [EMPHASIS added]

    WTF, get a literate person to read the Constitution to you.

    The grandfather clause applied to “a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution.”

    I will type this in BIG LETTERS. IT WAS THE TIME OF THE ADOPTION OF THE CONSSTITUTION, NOT THE SIGNING OF THE DECLARATION.

    I hope that this clarifies matters just a little.

  19. avatar
    Greg April 25, 2010 at 9:56 am #

    This is the heart and soul of the birther movement. They have zero concern for the Constitution. Their complaint about Obama is that he’s a, gasp, Democrat!

    If you had a beef with Obama because not simply because he was a Democrat, you could point to a single place where his policy is different than Hillary’s (or John Edwared’s) would have been because of his lack of allegiance.

  20. avatar
    DiogenesLamp April 26, 2010 at 11:49 am #

    According to this article:

    “Now the question is: did Jay intend to exclude George Washington himself? It hardly seems credible that Jay intended to include the very man who was the commander of the American Continental Army. Therefore, it must be the case that John Jay included George Washington among the natural born citizens.”

    What an incredibly dishonest (or incredibly stupid) thing to say. George Washington (and all other founders) is/are covered under this section of Article II.

    “… or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution,…”

    This is a specific acknowledgment that the Delegates understood clearly that none of them were “Natural Born Citizens” under the Article II meaning.

    I would be ashamed to have written anything as obviously silly (or intentionally misleading) as this article.

  21. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy April 26, 2010 at 3:29 pm #

    DiogenesLamp: What an incredibly dishonest (or incredibly stupid) thing to say. George Washington (and all other founders) is/are covered under this section of Article II.

    What an incredibly dishonest (or incredibly stupid) thing to say. Jay’s letter to Washington was written before there ever was any Article II of the Constitution. Actually I think you were just careless and failed to pay attention to what I wrote.

  22. avatar
    Greg April 26, 2010 at 3:41 pm #

    Or, it was a specific acknowledgement that those born in colonies (like Washington) were natural born citizens of the US while those born outside the colonies (like Hamilton) were not, and needed a specific clause to make them eligible.

    In fact, there is no evidence that the Founders ever acknowledged that no one was a natural born citizen of the United States. The early court cases state quite clearly that those born natural born subjects of Britain in the colonies became natural born citizens of the US upon the declaration of independence.

  23. avatar
    DiogenesLamp April 26, 2010 at 4:12 pm #

    I am aware that Jay’s letter was written before the constitution. That is inherent in it’s purpose. To modify the constitution, i.e. add a requirement.

    What makes your comment so especially unconvincing is the way you ended your article.

    “So in summary: John Jay, first chief justice of the US Supreme Court, most likely considered George Washington, son of a British Subject, to be a natural born citizen of the United States.”

    These conclusions are completely ridiculous! John Jay did NOT consider George Washington to be a “Natural Born Citizen.” The founders were NOT simpleminded.

    Were you’re interpretation correct, there would have been no need to add “… or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution,…”. The fact that they did add it means they understood full well that they didn’t qualify under the “Natural Born Citizen” clause.

    I cannot comprehend how anyone who understands this bit of history could even write such an article. As I said, I would be ashamed.

  24. avatar
    Greg April 26, 2010 at 4:50 pm #

    Were you’re interpretation correct, there would have been no need to add “… or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution,…”

    If the Founders believed that those born in the colonies were natural born US citizens, but wanted to allow naturalized citizens, like Hamilton to become President, they would have needed to add a phrase like “… or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution,…”

    Are you being deliberately dense? Not a good act for someone styling themselves after Diogenes!

  25. avatar
    Greg April 26, 2010 at 5:05 pm #

    Here’s how Justice Joseph Story explained the grandfather clause:

    “It is not too much to say, that no one, but a native citizen, ought ordinarily to be entrusted with an office so vital to the safety and liberties of the people. But an exception was, from a deep sense of gratitude, made in favor of those distinguished men, who, though not natives, had, with such exalted patriotism, and such personal sacrifices, united their lives and fortunes with ours during the Revolution….” Joseph Story, A Familiar Exposition of the Constitution of the United States, pg. 167 (1842 ed.)

    Here’s John Yinger’s 2004 Testimony to Congress:

    The Grandfather Clause

    The first source of evidence about the Founders’ views concerning the treatment of naturalized citizens comes from the presidential eligibility clause itself, which reveals that the Founders did really not want to prevent all naturalized citizens from running for President. To be specific, this clause grants presidential eligibility to any “Citizen of the United States at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution.”

    This “grandfather” clause gave presidential eligibility to tens of thousands of naturalized citizens, included seven of the people who signed the Constitution. If the Founders thought that, among people meeting the fourteen-year residency requirement, naturalized citizens were inherently unqualified to be President or that naturalized citizens were inherently more likely than natural-born citizens to be subject to foreign influence, then they would not have included this provision.

    According to this clause, presidential eligibility was granted to all naturalized citizens at the time the Constitution was adopted in 1789. Based on information available from the U.S. Census, I estimate that roughly 60,000 foreign-born American citizens were eligible to run for President in the elections of 1796 and 1800. Moreover, about 1,500 of these people were born in France and about 10,000 were born in Great Britain, countries that were at odds with the United States in those years.
    Thus, the grandfather clause granted presidential eligibility to about 60,000 foreign-born citizens, including citizens from countries in conflict with the United States. The Founders’ ambivalence about limiting presidential eligibility to natural-born citizens is evident in the presidential eligibility clause itself for anyone to see.

    Here’s James Madison explaining what happened to citizenship:

    What was the situation of the people of America, when the dissolution of their allegiance took place by the declaration of independence? I conceive that every person who owed this primary allegiance to the particular community in which he was born, retained his right of birth, as a member of the new community; that he was consequently absolved from the secondary allegiance he had owed to the British sovereign.

    You can track dozens, if not hundreds, of citations to Lord Coke and his opinion in Calvin’s Case by the Founders. It formed a backbone of the legal argument for Revolution. It was right and legal to revolt because they were being denied rights that should have been granted to them by the reasoning of Calvin’s Case. That case looked at the same problem – what happens to the citizenry when the government changes. Madison is repeating the reasoning of Calvin’s Case above. Since the founders used Calvin’s Case to support their revolution, it makes sense that they’d adopt the same reasoning about citizenship – natural born subjects of Britain became natural born citizens of the United States upon the Declaration of Independence.

    Nine of the people who signed the Constitution were born abroad. There is the reason for the Grandfather clause, not a general belief that there were zero natural born citizens until after 1776!

  26. avatar
    DiogenesLamp April 26, 2010 at 5:35 pm #

    At the time of the Declaration of independence, everyone in the colonies were BRITISH subjects, and owed allegiance to King George. As the constitution wasn’t ratified till 1788, the oldest Natural born Citizen would be about 12 years old.

    To meet the 35 year age criteria for President, They would have had to wait till 1811, regardless if they used the Jus Soli or Jus Sanguinis theory.

    In other words, NO ONE old enough to be President (in 1789) could be a “Natural Born Citizen” because the country DIDN’T EXIST when they were born.

  27. avatar
    Greg April 26, 2010 at 5:58 pm #

    The day before the Declaration of Independence, they were all British Subjects. The day after the Declaration, they were US Citizens.

    A person who had lived in Virginia for 34 years before the Declaration, was a US citizen of 34 years the day after.

    The nation didn’t exist, but the nation as embodied by the people, did. The people were sovereign, so it didn’t matter that the nation didn’t exist.

    Read Calvin’s Case, then read Madison when he says:

    What was the situation of the people of America, when the dissolution of their allegiance took place by the declaration of independence? I conceive that every person who owed this primary allegiance to the particular community in which he was born, retained his right of birth, as a member of the new community; that he was consequently absolved from the secondary allegiance he had owed to the British sovereign.

    Or, how about this, the grandfather clause comes before the residency and age requirements:

    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.

    There’s no grandfather clause for those two requirements. You couldn’t be 34 years old and be eligible and you couldn’t have been 14 years resident in another country.

    The Constitution was signed in 1787, that was 11 years after the Declaration of Independence – apparently no one was eligible to be President for three years after the Constitution was signed because the US didn’t exist until, at the earliest, 1776.

    As you can see from my quotes below, many folks disagreed with your interpretation.

    I think I’ll take James Madison and Justice Story, over some anonymous internet birther. Can you find me anyone who thinks the grandfather clause applied to everyone who isn’t a birther writing 221 years after the Constitution was ratified?

  28. avatar
    DraggingCanoe April 26, 2010 at 5:58 pm #

    http://i870.photobucket.com/albums/ab264/Dragging_Canoe/Encyclopedia_Cont_everything_neces_.jpg

    Jefferson used the words natural born citizen in 1777 at the Cont. Congress.

  29. avatar
    DiogenesLamp April 26, 2010 at 6:08 pm #

    The early court cases state quite clearly that those born natural born subjects of Britain in the colonies became natural born citizens of the US upon the declaration of independence.

    Name one.

    If, as you say, the Founders WANTED naturalized citizens (an incredibly silly theory) to be able to run for President, then why did they limit it only to those people who were “a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution,”. Obviously if they didn’t have a problem with Naturalized Citizens being President in their life time, why would they have a problem with it in the future? (Or do you think they just threw that in for the sake of Hamilton? πŸ™‚ )

    You see, THAT grandfather clause expires when the last person “a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution,” Dies.

    It is exceedingly silly to believe they were okay with the idea when they were alive, (right after they threw off the yoke of foreign rule) but objected to it after they were all dead. This is an affront to common sense.

  30. avatar
    DiogenesLamp April 26, 2010 at 6:15 pm #

    “A person who had lived in Virginia for 34 years before the Declaration, was a US citizen of 34 years the day after. “

    Aye, they were US Citizens, but they were not “Natural Born Citizens” of the US. It is obvious that they were “Natural Born Citizens” of Britain.

    (Or are you going to argue about that?)

    As you can only be “born” once, they cannot be both.

  31. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy April 26, 2010 at 6:23 pm #

    DiogenesLamp: Aye, they were US Citizens, but they were not “Natural Born Citizens” of the US

    Asserting the same thing twice is not the same thing as providing an argument or evidence. I suggest you read the Congressional debate on the seating of William Smith of South Carolina before you assert it a third time.

  32. avatar
    DiogenesLamp April 26, 2010 at 6:24 pm #

    I have to go. Later dudes.

  33. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy April 26, 2010 at 6:35 pm #

    DiogenesLamp: I am aware that Jay’s letter was written before the constitution. That is inherent in it’s purpose. To modify the constitution, i.e. add a requirement.

    I’m at a loss to follow the logic of how a requirement could “modify” a constitution that hadn’t been written. You persist in muddying the water by throwing in a provision in the Constitution that could not have had any relevance for understanding the Jay letter.

    You are aware that the framers were under an oath of secrecy? John Jay COULD NOT HAVE KNOW what was in any draft of the Constitution. He could not have known what requirements were being drafted for the president. He could not have known about any “grandfather clause.” Jay did not even know that the office of the president would be combined with the office of commander in chief. Jay suggested a single requirement for the commander in chief, i.e. “natural born citizen”.

    This means:

    a) Jay intended that George Washington be ineligible to be commander in chief
    or
    b) Jay intended that George Washington was a natural born citizen of the United States

    There is no alternative.

  34. avatar
    Scientist April 26, 2010 at 7:32 pm #

    Can someone explain why it’s so all fired important what the Founders wanted? I wouldn’t presume to attempt to foist my personal opinions on people who will be living 225 years from now. Let the Founders rest in peace and let the living order their world as makes sense for today’s realities….

  35. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy April 26, 2010 at 8:42 pm #

    What the founders wanted is not as important as the principle of the rule of law.

  36. avatar
    Greg April 26, 2010 at 8:46 pm #

    Name one.

    Ainslee v. Martin, 9 Mass. 454, 1813, quoted in The Founder’s Constitution:

    It was therefore then considered as the law of the land, that all persons born within the territories of the government and people, although before the declaration of independence, were born within the allegiance of the same government and people, as the successor of the former sovereign, who had abdicated his throne. And as his successor, the same government and people have succeeded to all the crown lands within the territory, as lawfully appertaining to them. And as the inhabitants of England, born in the reign of the second James, were considered as born within the allegiance of his successor, William the third; because born in the territory, of which he was the sovereign, he having succeeded by parliamentary designation: so all persons, born within the territories of the province of Massachusetts Bay during the reign of the late king, are considered as born within the allegiance of the commonwealth of Massachusetts, as his lawful successor.

    Have you read anything that wasn’t written by a birther? Anything on the subject that wasn’t written in 2008 or later?

    There are entire books on the development of American citizenship. What happened to the citizenship of Americans after the war was kind of an important question – if you didn’t become a citizen until the new nation was formed by Constitution in 1787, or by the Articles of Confederation in 1781, for example, then there could be no such thing as
    treason before then. Treason, as a crime, was defined as betraying the country to which you owed citizenship.

    If, as you say, the Founders WANTED naturalized citizens (an incredibly silly theory) to be able to run for President, then why did they limit it only to those people who were “a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution,”.

    Because they fought in the Revolution.

    How is this difficult?

    Or do you think they just threw that in for the sake of Hamilton?

    You’re starting to get it! Hamilton and the other 8 signatories to the Constitution who were foreign born.

    But, why is this so hard for you to understand. You clearly haven’t read the quotes I’ve given, since Justice Story said:

    But an exception was, from a deep sense of gratitude, made in favor of those distinguished men, who, though not natives, had, with such exalted patriotism, and such personal sacrifices, united their lives and fortunes with ours during the Revolution…

    It’s not silly to realize that the people who were alive then had fought for the United States in a Revolution and there would never be another Revolution again!

    I’ll ask again. I’ve given you specific quotes from Justice Story and James Madison…are you being deliberately dense?

  37. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy April 26, 2010 at 8:51 pm #

    DiogenesLamp: I have to go. Later dudes.

    Methinks somebody’s lamp has run out of fuel.

  38. avatar
    Greg April 26, 2010 at 8:53 pm #

    Go read Calvin’s Case, or read Kettner’s history of American Citizenship, DiogenesCanoe.

    Or, look up the term, “legal fiction.” They were natural born subjects of Britain and natural born citizens of the colonies they were born in. Because the government they were subject to ceased to govern them at the Declaration of Independence, but the colonies did not cease to exist (or are you going to argue that Massachusetts stopped existing as a unique entity) the people became citizens, by birth, of the new United States.

    You are clearly confused into thinking that the law gives a flip about the rules of nature, like you can only be born once. The law thinks that corporations are people. You can lawfully steal someone’s land if you build on it and your building stays there for a certain period of time. The law operates by its own rules, and one of those rules is that the citizens of Britain became citizens, back to their birth, of the United States upon the Declaration of Independence.

    Here’s James Madison (again – why don’t you read what I post?):

    What was the situation of the people of America, when the dissolution of their allegiance took place by the declaration of independence? I conceive that every person who owed this primary allegiance to the particular community in which he was born, retained his right of birth, as a member of the new community; that he was consequently absolved from the secondary allegiance he had owed to the British sovereign.

  39. avatar
    Scientist April 26, 2010 at 8:56 pm #

    And law should not be based on some letter John Jay wrote, but on what serves the needs of real, live humans and currenly existing societies. This discussion is as dusty as an Egyptian ruin

  40. avatar
    Greg April 26, 2010 at 8:59 pm #

    The original Diogenes would stroll around with a lamp in the daytime, and when asked what he was doing, would reply that he was just “looking for an honest man.”

    This Diogenes clearly couldn’t find an honest man in the mirror, lamp or no.

  41. avatar
    Arthur April 27, 2010 at 12:07 am #

    Dragging Canoe:

    Thank you for sharing, but haven’t you already presented this information? It’s nice and all, but it doesn’t seem to call for iteration. What’s the point you’re trying to make?

  42. avatar
    Arthur April 27, 2010 at 12:18 am #

    Check ya later bro! Hey, when you come back, it’d be awesome if, like, you could score some ‘za and, maybe a 12’er of Natty Lite. Yo, and Digger wants a pack of Marlboro Lights, and how about bringing me, like, a couple of blunts. Sweet!

  43. avatar
    Keith April 27, 2010 at 5:20 am #

    So lets follow this to its conclusion:
    Jay writes the letter to Washington with the intention of excluding GW, the clause is inserted, and Washington becomes President.

    Which part of the good Dr.’s conclusion do you find unsupported?

    If Jay meant to exclude GW, why, when his recommendation was followed, was it not effective?

  44. avatar
    DiogenesLamp April 27, 2010 at 8:40 am #

    There is a distinction between “citizen” and “natural born citizen”. Else they would have simply said “Citizen” and NOT “Natural Born citizen.

    Let me reemphasize this. This is English, not history. The words “Natural Born” are modifiers of the the Noun “Citizen.”

    Likewise, in Logic, “Natural Born” is a subset of the general set “Citizen”,as “Blue Truck” is a subset of the group “Trucks”.

    You can argue till you turn into a “blue truck” but the two terms are not mutually interchangeable. If you have an intellectual honesty cap, put it on and ask yourself how these terms can possibly mean the same thing, when one of them contains modifiers.

  45. avatar
    DiogenesLamp April 27, 2010 at 8:42 am #

    Somebody has children to feed, but thanks for the snark.

  46. avatar
    Greg April 27, 2010 at 8:45 am #

    Why do you find it so hard to believe that security measures, of which no one at the time of inception could meet the requirements, could not be implemented with temporary exceptions?

    But, Jay didn’t mention these temporary exceptions, did he?

    You are basically saying he said that no one except the natural born should be President – and no one qualified.

    To be clear, he wrote this:

    Permit me to hint, whether it would be wise and seasonable to provide a strong check to the admission of Foreigners into the administration of our national Government; and to declare expressly that the Command in Chief of the American army shall not be given to nor devolve on, any but a natural born Citizen.

    With the certain knowledge that NO ONE could currently qualify and therefore a grandfather clause was implied which would make EVERYONE currently a citizen eligible.

    So, his concern is only about FUTURE foreigners, not Baron Von Steuben, whose loyalty it is documented that he distrusted.

    And this makes sense to you?

    Does it hurt being a birther? I would get headaches trying to maintain all the contradictions and inconsistencies in my mind at the same time.

  47. avatar
    DiogenesLamp April 27, 2010 at 8:47 am #

    This Diogenes clearly couldn’t find an honest man in the mirror, lamp or no.

    Whether that be or not, it remains to be seen if I can find an honest one here. So far, the prospects look dim.

    Here’s a test.

    Was George Washington a “Natural Born Citizen” of Britain?

  48. avatar
    Greg April 27, 2010 at 9:02 am #

    There is a distinction between “citizen” and “natural born citizen”.

    DUH!

    Citizen = NBC and naturalized!

    Do we have that straight? Then let me quote the qualifications clause for you:

    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

    They mean two separate things. From the founding on anyone born in the United States is eligible. Anyone who was, at the time of the Founding, a citizen, is also eligible. That means that naturalized citizens who naturalized before the Revolution are eligible. Do you see anything there that excludes people who naturalized before the Revolution? Of course not!

    It seems pretty darn easy to me. The Founders carved out an exception for the heroes of the Revolution. And, you know what? I’m not the only one who thought so. Everyone who has looked at this in the past 221 years thought so!

    It wasn’t until 2008 that you birthers came along and decided you knew better than every single thinker and scholar for the past 221 years!

    Let me reemphasize this. This is English, not history.

    No, it’s neither it’s LAW.

    In the law, you can’t use words and then pretend years later that they meant something that only a tiny number of birthers thought. If you write in a contract, “I want 1,000 chickens,” you can’t later say that Vattel defined chickens as grapes and so the delivery of chickens was a breach of contract.

    Similarly, you have to understand how the term natural born was used. And, it was used, in British law since 1350. In Colonial charters. In the Constitutions of the various states which predated the US Constitution. In the statutes of the various states which were not changed.

    Natural born meant born here, regardless of parental citizenship.

    Why don’t you put on your intellectual honesty cap for an instant and tell us why the Founders would have been so mind-blowingly stupid as to use a 400+ year old phrase (natural born) to mean the complete opposite of what it had meant for the previous 400 years?

    Or, how about this for intellectual honesty – why can’t you find a single source prior to 2008 saying that the grandfather clause was to make everyone, including those traced their ancestry in the New World back to the Mayflower?

  49. avatar
    DiogenesLamp April 27, 2010 at 9:07 am #

    You are the sort of fellow, that upon being asked for the time, proceeds to give instructions on how to build a clock.

    Justice Story is expressing his opinion, in 1842. He was firstly, not a contemporary, and Secondly, does not contradict the Jus Sangunis requirement of citizenship. As “EVERYONE” in the colonies became an American Citizen after 1776, the “naturalization” point is moot. There WERE no American Citizens prior to that time.

    As for your Ainslee v. Martin, 9 Mass, it too deals with the fact that the Nation changed, but the land did not. In other words, citizenship followed from one ruler to the next one. As all the parents citizenship were transformed, so must all children born to them. It also appears to be specific to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. When rulings on state law trump the constitution, you let me know.

    In any case, it would be helpful to all concerned if the topics could be limited to one subject, or one piece of evidence at a time. The shotgun approach just adds confusion and makes a mess of the thread.

  50. avatar
    Greg April 27, 2010 at 9:10 am #

    George Washington was a natural born subject of Britain.

    When the Declaration of Independence was signed, he became a natural born citizen of the United States.

    His natural born citizenship of the United States was backdated to his birth.

    That is the legal doctrine that existed at the time. It came directly from Calvin’s Case. It is what Madison was talking about.

  51. avatar
    DiogenesLamp April 27, 2010 at 9:13 am #

    Can someone explain why it’s so all fired important what the Founders wanted?

    Because there is apparently ambiguity about the laws they wrote. Determining intent clarifies the current law.

    I wouldn’t presume to attempt to foist my personal opinions on people who will be living 225 years from now.

    If you regard establishing laws as equivalent to “foist(ing) my persona opinions on people who will be living 225 years from now”, then you do not have the tools to participate in this discussion.

    Let the Founders rest in peace and let the living order their world as makes sense for today’s realities…

    Old law is current until changed. If today’s society doesn’t like the old law, they have the prerogative of changing it by amendment.
    Till they do so, it stands in accordance with the purpose for which it was intended when it was made law.

  52. avatar
    Greg April 27, 2010 at 9:35 am #

    When you ask me to “name one” early court case that supports the notion that citizenship was converted from one sovereign to another, don’t complain when I do.

    You’re right that Story was not a contemporary of the framers. Can you find a Founder saying anything like what you allege – that everyone needed the grandfather clause?

    As for the shotgun approach, it is hard not to get afield when you say things like this:

    He was firstly, not a contemporary, and Secondly, does not contradict the Jus Sangunis requirement of citizenship.

    Okay, Story was quoted only to give his impression of the grandfather clause – not for his views of jus soli or jus sanguinis.

    If I had wanted to quote Justice Story on jus soli versus jus sanguinis I would have gone to his treatise on the conflict of laws:

    Certain principles (relative to national domicil) have been generally recognized by tribunals administering public law or the law of nations, as of unquestionable authority. First. Persons who are born in a country, are generally deemed to be citizens and subjects of that country. A reasonable qualification of the rule would seem to be, that it should not apply to the children of parents who were in itinere in the country, or who were abiding there for temporary purposes, as for health, or curiosity, or occasional business. It would be difficult, however, to assert, that in the present state of public law, such a qualification is universally established.

    Now, on to this claim:

    There WERE no American Citizens prior to that time.

    That is the claim that was being addressed in Ainslee v. Martin. They were claiming that anyone born before the Independence was an alien to the nation that existed after the Independence.

    That is what you are claiming, right? If someone was born in a colony before the Independence, but died or left the country before Independence, was an alien to those who remained.

    The court rejected that argument. Those who were born in one of the colonies were retroactively made into citizens of the new state. This came from an old British case, written by an influential British Judge, Lord Coke. The case was Calvin’s Case and it was quoted extensively by the Revolutionaries who used it, among other things, to support their argument against “Taxation without representation.” Have you heard of that? Well, Ainslee v. Martin explains simply what happened in Calvin’s Case, and applies it to the US situation:

    And as the inhabitants of England, born in the reign of the second James, were considered as born within the allegiance of his successor, William the third; because born in the territory, of which he was the sovereign, he having succeeded by parliamentary designation: so all persons, born within the territories of the province of Massachusetts Bay during the reign of the late king, are considered as born within the allegiance of the commonwealth of Massachusetts, as his lawful successor.

    A change in sovereign changes the citizenship. A natural born citizen of Massachusetts becomes a natural born citizen of the United States upon Independence. It’s “backdated” to the time of the person’s birth, whether the U.S. existed as an entity or not!

    I’ve quoted Madison several times, D, he was a contemporary to the formation of the Constitution. He said the same thing. A natural born Citizen of Virginia becomes a natural born citizen of the United States when the nation is formed:

    What was the situation of the people of America, when the dissolution of their allegiance took place by the declaration of independence? I conceive that every person who owed this primary allegiance to the particular community in which he was born, retained his right of birth, as a member of the new community; that he was consequently absolved from the secondary allegiance he had owed to the British sovereign.

    This “backdating” comes from the way that the British conceived of their government. Each time a new king was enthroned, it was as if an entirely new government was created. Britain of James became Britain of William III. Two separate countries. But, it wouldn’t make sense to say that suddenly everyone who had been born under James ceased to have the protections afforded to natural born subjects.

    Madison points to a similar continuity in our government. The states didn’t cease to exist. The people in those states, who were, in fact, the sovereign, didn’t cease to exist, so our citizenship is transfered to the new nation and its citizens, even those born BEFORE the Revolution, are natural born citizens of the United States.

  53. avatar
    Greg April 27, 2010 at 9:47 am #

    I think Scalia was correct when he complained about it being called original “intent.” One’s subjective “intent” is never looked at in determining the meaning of contract terms. If I write in a contract that I want chickens, but write in my diary that I want grapes but am writing the contract that way as a joke, I’m going to get chickens, and I’m going to like it.

    Scalia would have it called “original meaning.” What did the words of the Constitution mean to the readers and writers of the Constitution. When they wrote that “[a] well regulated Militia being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed,” did the words they used mean that guns should be limited to uses that assist a well regulated Militia, or that everyone should have arms?

    So, when the Founders picked a 431 year-old phrase, “natural born,” to modify citizen, did they intend it to mean and would it be read as meaning the same as that 431 year-old meaning, or did they intend it to mean and would it be read to mean something different.

    There is no disagreement that the clause excludes naturalized citizens. There is so little disagreement as to approach none that the clause makes those born here, regardless of parental citizenship, eligible for the Presidency. There is some real, tangible disagreement about whether it would exclude John McCain – a person born abroad to two U.S. citizens.

    Another key concept of contractual law, D, is that you cannot create artificial ambiguity where there is none. If I write “chickens” in my contract, you can’t bring Vattel’s definition of chickens as grapes into the debate. If the reasonable reader looking at the contract would read it to mean chickens, I’m getting chickens, not grapes.

  54. avatar
    DiogenesLamp April 27, 2010 at 9:58 am #

    I’m at a loss to follow the logic of how a requirement could “modify” a constitution that hadn’t been written.

    Modify it from OUR perspective, add provisions to it before the fact from theirs. Apart from that, one can modify a draft, even a mental one.

    Why on earth would you quibble over such a trivial? Are we going to start dinging each other for punctuation and grammar now?

    You persist in muddying the water by throwing in a provision in the Constitution that could not have had any relevance for understanding the Jay letter.

    As has been previously pointed out, The letter came first, the Constitution came later. The letter affected the constitution (since you don’t like the word “modify) not the other way around.

    This means:

    a) Jay intended that George Washington be ineligible to be commander in chief
    or
    b) Jay intended that George Washington was a natural born citizen of the United States

    There is no alternative.

    This is a fallacy of false options.
    By listing a set of options, and insisting they are the only ones, you are attempting to force a false choice.

    There is another.

    C) Jay knew that the document would be for posterity, and wanted to insure Loyalty to the United States. Jay likewise knew that none of the founders were “Natural Born Citizens” of the United States, because this was impossible, but that the the loyalty of the Founders creating the Government was a given. The idea that the founders would ban themselves, was so stupid that it never even occurred to Jay.

    So now, time for some intellectual honesty from you.

    Was George Washington a “Natural Born Citizen” of Britain?

  55. avatar
    DiogenesLamp April 27, 2010 at 10:16 am #

    DiogenesLamp Writes: “There WERE no American Citizens prior to that time.”

    Greg replies:
    That is the claim that was being addressed in Ainslee v. Martin. They were claiming that anyone born before the Independence was an alien to the nation that existed after the Independence.

    That is what you are claiming, right?

    No, it is not. After independence, everyone was an American Citizen, just not a “natural born citizen.” You guys’ confusion comes about as a result of your constantly trying to interchange the terms. They are different.

    And again, this is appears to be a State court deciding State law, not a Federal Court deciding constitutional law.

    I would like to address your Madison, point, but I am going to resist perpetuating these long posts which address more than one issue at a time.

    I very much dislike the format of this forum. It is messy and difficult to read. I have to constantly go up and down the page looking for new responses. Everything is too vertical. Surely there is a better forum to discuss this stuff.

  56. avatar
    Greg April 27, 2010 at 10:20 am #

    It’s not like this question hasn’t been addressed by historians and legal scholars in the past. Let’s just let Diogenes speculate. That’s got to be better than him actually producing evidence.

    Futilely I ask, do you have any evidence that Jay thought every American needed the grandfather clause? Is there any evidence that the grandfather clause wasn’t only for the heroes of the Revolution like every historian and legal scholar I can find says?

  57. avatar
    Greg April 27, 2010 at 10:32 am #

    DiogenesLamp Wrote: “There WERE no American Citizens prior to that time.”

    I replied:
    That is the claim that was being addressed in Ainslee v. Martin. They were claiming that anyone born before the Independence was an alien to the nation that existed after the Independence.

    That is what you are claiming, right?

    Diogenes Replied: No, it is not. After independence, everyone was an American Citizen, just not a “natural born citizen.” You guys’ confusion comes about as a result of your constantly trying to interchange the terms. They are different.

    I’m not talking temporally Diogenes.

    I get that you think everyone became a citizen of the US on the day of the Declaration of Independence.

    I am asking about July 3, 1776 versus July 4, 1776. Everyone on July 3, 1776 belonged to a different country from those on July 4, 1776, right? That’s what you are claiming.

    On July 3, there were no U.S. citizens, right?

    On July 4, there were U.S. citizens, right?

    If we’re looking back across that temporal barrier, those on July 3 were aliens to the nation on July 4, right?

    So, if someone dies on July 2 in Massachusetts, they never become a U.S. citizen. They died an alien. They died British.

    So, the laws that say that aliens cannot give real property in their wills? What happens to them?

    Those probate laws are state laws, so we don’t see much in the way of Federal commentary on the subject of what happens to the citizenship of the Ante-Nati and Post-Nati.

    We do have the case of an individual who was born in Virginia before the war, moved to France then moved back to Virginia after the war. He wanted to become a U.S. Representative. Was he a U.S. citizen from his birth or from the time he returned to the United States.

    That’s where Madison argues that he was a citizen from his birth, regardless of the fact that his birth was in Virginia before there was a United States.

  58. avatar
    DiogenesLamp April 27, 2010 at 10:33 am #

    Gregg replies”
    George Washington was a natural born subject of Britain.

    Oh My God! An honest answer!

    Followed by something from the Twilight zone. πŸ™‚

    When the Declaration of Independence was signed, he became a natural born citizen of the United States.

    You are surely joking about this? You cannot be “born” again, except in the metaphysical sense.

    His natural born citizenship of the United States was backdated to his birth.

    What, did they give him a new Birth Certificate and everything? πŸ™‚

    That is the legal doctrine that existed at the time. It came directly from Calvin’s Case. It is what Madison was talking about.

    This is just evidence of why people hate lawyers; This Pseudo logic that people who manipulate the legal system engage in.

    At the moment, I have only your statement that that is the case. Considering how you and Dr. Conspiracy consistently interchange the terms “Citizen” and “Natural Born Citizen”, I will have to ask you to quote the relevant passages so I can read for myself what it says, then determine for myself if it ought to apply. As I pointed out previously, (Ainslee v. Martin) state law does not decide Constitutional law.

  59. avatar
    Greg April 27, 2010 at 10:40 am #

    You can try the forums at politijab.com. You could join the thread “Why birthers think Obama is ineligible.” On that forum, I am “gentrfam.”

  60. avatar
    DiogenesLamp April 27, 2010 at 10:42 am #

    Gregg says:
    So, if someone dies on July 2 in Massachusetts, they never become a U.S. citizen. They died an alien. They died British.
    So, the laws that say that aliens cannot give real property in their wills? What happens to them?

    If he died British, the property immediately became that of his heirs who were also British at the time. When the people and the property became American at the same time, it was already their property.

    Does any of this have anything to do with having a President with Foreign Allegiance after the last person who was exempted by Article II has died? (which is of course, the salient point of the whole discussion.)

    It is nothing but quibbling about the difficulties of transitioning from one Ruler to another, and indeed, nothing unexpected. I have little doubt that in many cases the subsequent American law respected established aspects of British law.

  61. avatar
    DiogenesLamp April 27, 2010 at 10:59 am #

    Gregg writes:
    Citizen = NBC and naturalized!

    “Citizen” = NBC OR naturalized.”

    NBC is a subset of Citizen, as is Naturalized Citizen. Do you know what a Venn diagram is?

    That means that naturalized citizens who naturalized before the Revolution are eligible.

    Who did they naturalize to? The British?

    Everyone who has looked at this in the past 221 years thought so!

    It wasn’t until 2008 that you birthers came along and decided you knew better than every single thinker and scholar for the past 221 years!

    Statements like this blows a person’s credibility all to hell. It only requires one exception to prove the statement false. I’ll give you two.

    Vatell, and the Naturalization act of 1790.

    Your body of Unanimous thought, is obviously not unanimous.

    No, it’s neither it’s LAW.

    The law is dependent upon the language, not the other way around. As the language is older than 1787, it has precedent. The rules of English and the Rules of Logic require that something which is modified be different from something which is not modified.

    Natural born meant born here, regardless of parental citizenship.

    Following this logic, if one is born in a Stable, one must be a horse! πŸ™‚

    I have to go do other things for a bit. I’ll return to this when I can.

    πŸ™‚

  62. avatar
    Greg April 27, 2010 at 11:12 am #

    This is just evidence of why people hate lawyers

    The Constitution was written by lawyers. It is packed with legal terms. Letters of Marque? Oh, and “natural born,” a legal term with 431 years of history behind it.

    I’m sorry the concept of transferred sovereignty doesn’t make sense to you. Corporations aren’t really people, but the law considers them so. If someone erects a house on your land and it sits there for 30 years without you noticing, it becomes their land. Does that make sense?

    As I pointed out previously, (Ainslee v. Martin) state law does not decide Constitutional law.

    This is why lawyers hate non-lawyers. They pick up a little factoid and beat it until it is entirely unrecognizable. No, a state court doesn’t decide Constitutional law, but a state court opining on the received common law is persuasive when we’re talking about how the term “natural born” should be interpreted.

    Considering how you and Dr. Conspiracy consistently interchange the terms “Citizen” and “Natural Born Citizen”,

    You keep saying this. Show me exactly where I have confused citizen and natural born citizen. I think you have reading comprehension issues.

    I will have to ask you to quote the relevant passages so I can read for myself what it says, then determine for myself if it ought to apply.

    How about this. Here’s Calvin’s Case. Here’s a quick biography of Lord Coke, see especially his influence on the American Revolution. Here’s a longer article about Coke and the American Revolution (I am going to take this document down after today, as you can see, it is from JSTOR and I do not have republication rights, I am sharing it for the purposes of this discussion alone).

    Bacon, Coke and Selden, Harrington, Locke, and Sidney, are great names in the history of law and politics; their reputations need not suffer from an admission that they were not wholly disinterested spectators. It was these men and others who dicta, scattered through controversial writings or embedded in weighty decisions, clutter up the pages of American pamphlets. Their value was greater because the authors were English: to the colonial pamphleteer there was absolution in quoting the political saints of England. Of the English authors, none occupied a higher place than Sir Edward Coke.

    That snippet was just to give a taste of the influence of Coke.

    Finally, here is the complete debate about the seating of Mr. Smith (pages 412-425) from which my quote of Madison comes from. While we’re at it, here’s a letter to the editor of a Virginia newspaper opining that it is obvious that “A natural born citizen here clearly means a person born in the American colonies, while they were under the British government.”

    This is the problem with birthers. They want everything in snippet form. Give me a snippet encapsulating how the Founders thought about citizenship. Give me a snippet summarizing 431 years of developed history of the term “natural born.”

    Read the whole things, D, then we’ll talk.

  63. avatar
    Greg April 27, 2010 at 11:21 am #

    Does any of this have anything to do with having a President with Foreign Allegiance after the last person who was exempted by Article II has died?

    It has to do with whether the founders thought of themselves as natural born or not. Whether the phrase “natural born” which had 431 years of history in British law was also respected when the Founders wrote the Constitution.

    I submit that if the founders thought of themselves as natural born citizens of the United States, they did so because of the theories and doctrines in Calvin’s Case. And if the definition of natural born comes from Calvin’s Case, then Obama is a citizen, as is any child born within the U.S. except the children of ambassadors and invading armies.

  64. avatar
    ballantine April 27, 2010 at 11:33 am #

    DiogenesLamp says: “These conclusions are completely ridiculous! John Jay did NOT consider George Washington to be a “Natural Born Citizen.” The founders were NOT simpleminded.”

    I suggest you do more research before throwing around the insults. The fact is that the term “natural born citizen” was used prior to, and in the years following, the adoption of the constitution in naturalization statutes, in treaty negotiations and in congress. Obviously, they were not talking solely about persons born after 1776. While there was disagreement in the early 19th century court cases as to the allgiance of the native born prior to the revolution, there is a multitude of early authority suggesting that it was commonly believed that persons born in the colonies were native or natural born citizens. As Greg points out, Madison clearly took this view.

    In the constitutional convention, the only restricts suggested for office holders were requiring the foreign born to be citizens for a number of years or requiring office holders to be natives. It was pointed out several times that such a native birth requirement would prohibit office holding by several members of the convention that were foreign born. There was never a suggestion to limit the rights of persons born in the colonies. At some point, it was proposed to exempt current citizens from the native birth requirement since so many foreigners had helped in the revolution. Of course, the terms “native” and “natural born” were interchangable for Blackstone and other common law lawyers including the most famous scholars in the early republic such as Tucker, Kent and Story. In fact, in the North Carolina ratification convention in 1789, a future supreme court justice said that the President must be a native.

    Accordingly, most early scholarship described the grandfather provision as being for the foreign born, not for persons born in the colonies. You can disagree with these authorities if you like, but I’ll believe Justice Story and the other early scholars rather than you:

    “It was doubtless introduced (for it has now become by lapse of time merely nominal, and will soon become wholly extinct) out of respect to those distinguished revolutionary patriots, who were born in a foreign land, and yet had entitled themselves to high honours in their adopted country….” Joseph Story, Commentaries on the Constitution 3:§§ 1472–73 (1833)

    ” It is not too much to say, that no one, but a native citizen, ought ordinarily to be intrusted with an office so vital to the safety and liberties of the people. But an exception was, from a deep sense of gratitude, made in favor of those distinguished men, who, though not natives, had, with such exalted patriotism, and such personal sacrifices, united their lives and fortunes with ours during the Revolution….Joseph Story, A Familiar Exposition of the Constitution of the United States, pg. 273 (1865)

    “The idea then arose that no number of years could properly prepare a foreigner for the office of president ; but as men of other lands had spilled their blood in the cause of the United States, and had assisted at every stage of the formation of their institutions, the committee of states who were charged with all unfinished business proposed, on the fourth of September, that ” no person except a natural-born citizen, or a citizen of the United States at the tune of the adoption of this constitution, should be eligible to the office of president.” George Bancroft, History of the formation of the Constitution of the United States of America pg 346 (1866)

    “The necessity of citizenship by birth, precludes this, by rendering it impossible for any foreigner ever to be a candidate. The exception as to those who were citizens at the time of the adoption of the Constitution, was justly due to those men who had united themselves with the fate of the new nation, and rendered eminent services in achieving its independence ; and is, necessarily, of limited continuance.” James Bayard, A brief exposition of the Constitution of the United States, pg. 96 (1833)

    “Why was this exception then made ? From gratitude to those distinguished foreigners who had taken part with us during the Revolution.” John Seely Hart, A Brief Exposition of the Constitution of the United States, pg. 71 (1860)

    “The exception in favor of such persons of foreign birth as were citizens of the United States at the time of the adoption of the Constitution, is now practically extinct. The distinguished patriots who had so faithfully served their adopted country during the revolutionary struggle, and out of respect and gratitude to whom this exception was introduced into the Constitution, have all passed away. No one, therefore, but a natural born citizen can now be elected to the office of President.” Henry Flanders, An Exposition of the Constitution of the United States pg. 170, 1885

    “The exception to the “natural born” qualification was the Convention’s way of paying an extraordinary compliment to Alexander Hamilton and James Wilson, two distinguished members of the Convention who were foreign born. Of course, any other foreign- born citizen having the other qualifications would have been eligible, but the clause was drawn in favor of the two statesmen here mentioned.” Edward Waterman Townsend, Our Constitution: Why and how it was Made – who Made It, and what it is pg 186 (1869)

  65. avatar
    Greg April 27, 2010 at 11:37 am #

    “Citizen” = NBC OR naturalized.”

    NBC is a subset of Citizen, as is Naturalized Citizen. Do you know what a Venn diagram is?

    Don’t lecture me about logic. The set of “citizen” contains the set of “NBC” and the set of “naturalized.”

    Who did they naturalize to? The British?

    I meant the ratification of the Constitution. Those who, like Hamilton, who were born abroad, but became citizens of the U.S. before the ratification of the Constitution.

    Typo.

    I wrote: Everyone who has looked at this in the past 221 years thought so!

    It wasn’t until 2008 that you birthers came along and decided you knew better than every single thinker and scholar for the past 221 years!

    Diogenes replied: Statements like this blows a person’s credibility all to hell. It only requires one exception to prove the statement false. I’ll give you two.

    Vatell, and the Naturalization act of 1790.

    This is why you shouldn’t lecture me on logic.

    In order to negative my statement, you have to understand my statement.

    Let me repeat what I said, and include the entire statement:

    It seems pretty darn easy to me. The Founders carved out an exception for the heroes of the Revolution. And, you know what? I’m not the only one who thought so. Everyone who has looked at this in the past 221 years thought so!

    It wasn’t until 2008 that you birthers came along and decided you knew better than every single thinker and scholar for the past 221 years!

    I put in bold what my claim was, that the Grandfather clause was put there to make eligible the heroes of the Revolution.

    You attempt to negate this statement with a citation to Vattel? And the 1790 naturalization act?

    WTF?

    Logic requires first understanding.

    I’ll be charitable and attribute this to a failure to carefully read what I wrote. I’d hate to think you were deliberately misstating my position.

    You were clearly attempting to negate you believe my later conclusion to be – that natural born meant born here without regard to parental citizenship. I never claimed that no other definition could be found.

    I was asking you a question, I realize Vattel gives a different definition, but given the extensive use of the term “natural born” in English and Colonial law, why would the founders choose to use Vattel’s definition, which, according to you, means the exact opposite?

    Did they not know about the extensive use of the term in Colonial charters? Did they not realize that it might cause confusion?

    The rules of English and the Rules of Logic require that something which is modified be different from something which is not modified.

    I still don’t get where you think I’m disagreeing. NBC is different from citizen because the latter is a set containing the former.

    Following this logic, if one is born in a Stable, one must be a horse!

    Apparently, you and logic aren’t on speaking terms.

    Here’s the logic I was applying:

    1. Natural born was a term with an established meaning when the Constitution was written.

    2. That meaning is that those born here, regardless of parental citizenship, are, themselves, natural born.

    If the stable was in the United States, you would be a natural born citizen (unless you fell within one of the very narrow exceptions).

    I don’t see how my logic makes you a horse.

  66. avatar
    Greg April 27, 2010 at 11:40 am #

    Darn, I forgot a close “blockquote” in the above. Dr., if you can edit this, could you close my blockquote after this line in the above:

    Vatell, and the Naturalization act of 1790.

    I think that will fix the formatting. It looks like I put an open blockquote where I should have closed.

  67. avatar
    thisoldhippie April 27, 2010 at 11:48 am #

    I do believe it was Thomas Jefferson who advocated re-visiting the Constitution by future generations in order to allow an enlightened people to make the necessary changes according to new information.

  68. avatar
    DiogenesLamp April 27, 2010 at 6:21 pm #

    I am bleary eyed from reading your references. (as well as this D@mn webpage.) I am only going to respond to a few points.

    Gregg writes:
    It wasn’t until 2008 that you birthers came along and decided you knew better than every single thinker and scholar for the past 221 years!

    In order to negative my statement, you have to understand my statement.

    This is dated September 29, 2005.
    http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=905570

    Here is a quote purported to be from
    Speaker of the House of Representatives, Langdon Cheves, in February of 1814:

    “The children have a natural attachment to the society in which they are born: being obliged to acknowledge the protection it has granted to their fathers, they are obliged to it in a great measure for their birth and education. … We have just observed that they have a right to enter into the society of which their fathers were members. But every man born free, the son of a citizen, arrived at years of discretion, may examine whether it be convenient for him to join in the society for which he was destined by his birth.”

    and:

    Rep. A. Smyth (VA), House of Representatives, December 1820:

    ” When we apply the term “citizens” to the inhabitants of States, it means those who are members of the political community. The civil law determined the condition of the son by that of the father. A man whose father was not a citizen was allowed to be a perpetual inhabitant, but not a citizen, unless citizenship was conferred on him. ”

    And I have more. (many of which I will have to transplant from one of my dead computers.) The point being, it only takes one example to disprove an over-reaching phrase such as:

    It wasn’t until 2008 that you birthers came along and decided you knew better than every single thinker and scholar for the past 221 years!

    Obviously there are people OTHER than us “birthers” (an ad hominem in and of itself. A malignant insinuation/comparison to “911 truthers”) who thought so.

    George Will himself recently wrote an article that says the same thing. Read it
    here.

    http://www.jewishworldreview.com/cols/will032810.php3.

    On the Smith discussion:

    “Mr. Madison. -I think the merit of the question is now to be decided, whether the gentleman is eligible to a seat in this House or not; but it will depend on the decision of a previous question, whether he has been seven years a citizen of the United States or not.”

    Apparently they aren’t deciding the meaning of the US Constitution in this context, just whether or not Mr. Smith gets a seat in the South Carolina House.

    Madison states:

    “Birth, however, derives its force sometimes from place, and sometimes from parentage; but,in general, place is the most certain criterion; it is what applies in the United States;it will therefore, be unnecessary to investigate any other. ”

    On this score, It appears that James Madison acknowledges that both parentage and birth place are crucial in determining allegiance, he just opines that birth place is the more certain criterion. (an opinion which might have been more accurate in his time, but which is obviously wrong in our own time. He never heard of “Anchor” babies.)

    Doubtlessly the example of English Peerage never occurred to him.Regardless, I have to give you a point on that one.

    This is all I have time for. I will add this. I respect the way you are willing to cite references, and I must say it is a refreshing change from most of the people I debates with. Except for all the reading this necessitates, I find it invigorating.

    I likewise have references, but many of them I researched months ago on a different (and no longer functioning) machine, and at the moment it is difficult for me to place my hands upon them. Some of them I will have to simply research over again, because I trusted to memory what I should have trusted to bookmarks.

    In any case, I would very much prefer to move this discussion to a website that is easier to read, and where the messages are posted in sequence, not all over the place as in this website. I will offer YOU first choice of a more suitable website.

    (Or perhaps Dr. Conspiracy can do something to make THIS place more readable?)

  69. avatar
    nbc April 27, 2010 at 6:28 pm #

    “The children have a natural attachment to the society in which they are born: being obliged to acknowledge the protection it has granted to their fathers, they are obliged to it in a great measure for their birth and education. … We have just observed that they have a right to enter into the society of which their fathers were members. But every man born free, the son of a citizen, arrived at years of discretion, may examine whether it be convenient for him to join in the society for which he was destined by his birth.”

    so there are two relevant societies in which the child may enter: the one of his father or the one of his birth and the choice is granted when the child reaches adulthood.

    So in other words, the excerpt describes dual citizenship and allows the child to continue his birth right citizenship or choose his father’s citizenship.

    Forward in time 125 years or so: Barack Obama returns from Indonesia at the age of 10 or so as a US citizen and resides until present day in the United States.

    Quite a clear choice I would say.

  70. avatar
    nbc April 27, 2010 at 6:30 pm #

    Oh and on my blog a poster left the same quotes and was shown how out of context the quotes really were

    Good Lord, way to take a quote out of context. The Historical register of the United States

    Mr. Cheeves was discussing naturalization and perpetual allegiance, and Britain’s threatened retaliatory measures against captured prisoners in the context of the War of 1812. He starts by lecturing the House on the subject: “Perpetual allegiance, said he, is alleged to be founded on natural law, the positive law of nations, or the municipal law of each state. We will examine each; and first, the law of nature.” In your quote, he is defining Vattel’s view of the law of nature. He’s not agreeing with it — he’s basically teaching a class. Cheeves goes on to cover positive law of nations (treaties and usages by other nations). Then municipal law. But he NEVER goes back to the father must be a citizen, or ANY discussion of natural born citizen, because that was just one aspect of the topic. One view of international law, in the context of prisoners and Britain’s actions.

    This quote is so out of context it’s pathetic.

  71. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy April 27, 2010 at 7:12 pm #

    DiogenesLamp: Or perhaps Dr. Conspiracy can do something to make THIS place more readable?

    Well I am concerned about the readability of the blog and I have made several changes over the last year and a half to improve readability. There are some limitations of the WordPress software when used as a forum. I suggest that if you want to move the discussion to a forum-oriented site, then you go to a site that doesn’t censor comments, and the most open and free one I know of that deals with Obama conspiracies is Politijab.com.

    The SSRN article, with which I am familiar and therefore don’t have to waste time reading it again, does not argue that the children of aliens born in the US are not natural born citizens, but that they should not be citizens at all. He is suggesting that US v Wong was decided wrong, or some of his ilk would say that US v Wong does not apply to illegal aliens or transient aliens. Anti-immigrant sentiment goes back to very early in our country’s history (racism and bigotry are nothing new). However, what is brand new since 2008 is trying to refactor these arguments into an argument on Presidential eligibility where a novel theory asserts that there is a US citizen born in the United States who not natural born.

    At this point, I must cite you for falsifying evidence. You quote Madison:

    “Birth, however, derives its force sometimes from place, and sometimes from parentage; but,in general, place is the most certain criterion; it is what applies in the United States;it will therefore, be unnecessary to investigate any other. ”

    Then you proceed to say “On this score, It appears that James Madison acknowledges that both parentage and birth place are crucial in determining allegiance.” That is total fabrication. “Sometimes one and sometimes the other” is not “both are crucial.” Then you say “he just opines that birth place is the more certain criterion” and you ignore the fact that he then says “it is what applies in the United States.” Birth, not parentage is what applies in the United States. And Madison further says that if you know birth, you don’t even need to look at parentage. If you can’t read and understand English I pity you. If you are blinded by hate so badly that you cannot understand English, then I pity you too. If you lie for fun, then I condemn you.

    DL: I likewise have references, but many of them I researched months ago on a different (and no longer functioning) machine

    Oh, did the dog eat your homework? So sorry, but no credit.

  72. avatar
    DraggingCanoe April 27, 2010 at 8:01 pm #

    You are spinning and talking nonsense again. .

    Why would Washington write back to Jay thanking him for his letter if Jays letter would exclude Washington from being President.

    You must have downed a gallon of Kool Aide to come up with this idea.

  73. avatar
    nbc April 27, 2010 at 8:11 pm #

    People used to be so much politer in those days. Did Washington know he was going to become a president? Did Washington believe that he would have been ineligible?

    Logic my dear friend.

  74. avatar
    Arthur April 27, 2010 at 8:25 pm #

    Dr. C:

    Concerning readability, I don’t know what D.L. or D.C are bothered by. I’m farsighted, but I have no trouble reading posts without glasses.

  75. avatar
    Greg April 27, 2010 at 8:57 pm #

    WTF? Are you doing this just to annoy me, or to prove you are as dumb as you sound?

    I tell you you’re negating a premise I did not assert and your response is to continue negating the same premise! I never said there was no one that made a different claim about the definition of NBC but that there has been no one, that I can find, that challenges the reason for the grandfather clause!

    Anyway, Smyth is another example of birthers quote-mining. If you read the Congressional Record, you see he’s limiting his discussion to Free Blacks, and, in fact, he does a pretty good job of contradicting himself in the process:

    Who, then, are citizens of the United States ? I would answer, 1st, those subjects of Great Britain who, being entitled to all the rights and privileges of British subjects, became American citizens by the Revolution; 2d, those who were declared citizens, or naturalized by the States, previous to the adoption of the Constitution of the United States; 3d, European foreigners naturalized in conformity to the law of Congress ; and I would add, 4th, the children born in the country of aliens, who were of a description that might have been naturalized.

    Abridgement of Congressional Debate – the section I’m quoting is in the right-hand column, the last full paragraph.

    And, as far as the Cheves “quote,” a look at the source of that “quote” (p. 174) shows that it was a footnote to Cheves’ speech. Looking at page 175, it becomes obvious that the footnotes are not comments by the speaker, but editorial comments. As in, by the editor.

    If you want to really understand citizenship, D, go the library and get a copy of Kettner’s Development of American Citizenship.

  76. avatar
    Arthur April 27, 2010 at 8:57 pm #

    Thank you, Greg, for providing a coherent summary of the pertinent points that were raised in your exchanges with DiogenesLamp. I found your review of the history of the terms “natural born citizen” and “citizen,” and your explanation of why these terms were chosen, clear and straightforward.

    DiogonesLamp . . . I appreciate your passion, but, your posts . . . well, the phrase, “wild and whirling words” comes to mind. In order for me to understand you (and I not a student of the law) could you briefly and clearly review your argument and main points?

    Thanks.

  77. avatar
    northland10 April 27, 2010 at 8:59 pm #

    Off-topic but following up on Arthur:

    I do enjoy it when your site uses the mobile version when I am using my android device. It is rather inconsistent but I know some programs are just that way.

    Though I mostly use a reader with my phone/toy, I do sometimes go to the original to confirm what the comment was referring to.

  78. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy April 27, 2010 at 9:18 pm #

    Arthur, I think the readability issue is that it is difficult to tie a comment to the comment it applies to when there are many comments at the same level. This is one reason I installed the Quote plugin to allow commenters to copy in parts of what they are commenting on. Also when the nesting gets deep, the comments get very tall and skinny.

    I could turn off comment nesting and then every comment would be at the same level. In that situation one would be forced to quote what is being replied to or have no chance of linking it together.

    The bottom line is that WordPress is blogging software, not forum software. It doesn’t work as well for a forum as software designed for forums, like phpBB.

  79. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy April 27, 2010 at 9:21 pm #

    DraggingCanoe: Why would Washington write back to Jay thanking him for his letter if Jays letter would exclude Washington from being President.

    Well of course he wouldn’t. Therefore John Jay’s requirement of natural born citizen for commander in chief did not include George Washington, and Jay considered George Washington met his requirement and was a natural born citizen.

    QED

    Now I will fully admit that I, as one with little experience in the writing of the time, did once think that George Washington was obviously not a natural born citizen. However now that I have studied the subject at length and gotten into the thought of those of the period, I see why they did consider Washington, and everyone born (free) with in the colonies that became the United States, natural born citizens. You have seen the citations in comments here already that say exactly that, but this is apparent even without the direct citations from the attitudes expressed in their other writing.

  80. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy April 27, 2010 at 10:30 pm #

    Greg: If you want to really understand citizenship, D, go the library and get a copy of Kettner’s Development of American Citizenship

    and read it several times.

  81. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy April 27, 2010 at 10:47 pm #

    DiogenesLamp: The point being, it only takes one example to disprove an over-reaching phrase such as: It wasn’t until 2008 that you birthers came along and decided you knew better than every single thinker and scholar for the past 221 years!

    I fail to see how a writer from 1814 has any relevance to the year that birthers came along. That’s stupid.

    Now you might get red faced and sputter that I took this all out of context, which I did–but no more badly so than you took it out of context yourself. Your citations have nothing to do with the comment you applied them to. In your haste, and arrogance, you might not have bother to read what was on the page before you, but that is your problem.

  82. avatar
    nbC April 27, 2010 at 11:55 pm #

    Read?…

  83. avatar
    Whatever4 April 28, 2010 at 12:43 am #

    The readability is, as Doc C posits, that after some number of posts in a thread, new posts become disembodied and show up at the bottom with no reference to the original. If people don’t quote the original, it’s hard to link them back to the original thread. (I think that replaces the skinny one-word posts, I don’t remember seeing them for a while.)

    That said, it’s a WONDERFUL place for intelligent discourse, and we put up with a few inconveniences. I keep track of new posts through GoogleReader.

  84. avatar
    Arthur April 28, 2010 at 12:44 am #

    Dr C:

    Thanks for explaining the issue for me. I can see how formatting issues could make it difficult for someone to connect responses to original posts. I’m always grateful when a poster identifies explicitly to whom and in what regard a response is aimed.

    Maybe you (or someone else in the know) can answer another question for me: why has the blogger who runs “Oh, For Goodness Sake” disabled comments?

  85. avatar
    SFJeff April 28, 2010 at 3:06 am #

    Do you even realize that your George Will quote has nothing to do with either Natural Born Citizen or even whether a citizen needs to be born to two citizen parents but only- and I repeat only- whether the child of illegal aliens is a citizen.

    He is not saying that a natural born citizen needs two citizen parents.

  86. avatar
    Greg April 28, 2010 at 9:16 am #

    With a pad to take notes on, and it wouldn’t hurt to have a library with access to JStor and HeinOnline.

  87. avatar
    DiogenesLamp April 28, 2010 at 10:42 am #

    Dr. Conspiracy writes:
    At this point, I must cite you for falsifying evidence. You quote Madison:
    ….
    Then you proceed to say “On this score, It appears that James Madison acknowledges that both parentage and birth place are crucial in determining allegiance.” That is total fabrication.

    You claim I am fabricating evidence. Allow me to direct your attention to this webpage
    (Which I got from Gregg)

    http://memory.loc.gov/cgi-bin/ampage?collId=llac&fileName=001/llac001.db&recNum=211

    Look at page 420, Madison’s fourth paragraph which begins ” It is an established maxim, that birth is a criterion for allegiance…”

    I am most obviously not fabricating anything. What’s even more amazing, is I gave your side that point, (did you overlook this sentence? “Doubtlessly the example of English Peerage never occurred to him. Regardless, I have to give you a point on that one.” ) and yet for some bizarre reason you felt the need to accuse me of fabricating evidence?

    Oh, did the dog eat your homework? So sorry, but no credit.

    No, malware. But you needn’t concern yourself with it any further. I think that if you will not accept as accurate, quotes from a reference cited by your ally, why would you accept quotes from a non ally?

    I grant you and your allies the verity of the quotes and references you post. If one might be incorrect, I will first attribute it to error, and only with an indication of willful malignancy would I alleged that someone had intentionally fabricated it.

  88. avatar
    DiogenesLamp April 28, 2010 at 10:53 am #

    All of the above (I hope this shows up below πŸ™‚ ) and the contrast between a light brown background and black letters. Also, the previews of comments seem to try to bend around a virtual corner at the end of each sentence. The comment box is far easier to read than the comments, for it is black and white.

    Finding a message that you are trying to reply to, and looking for previous quotes, and trying to figure out which message came first and which came second, all of these things become increasingly difficult the larger this thread grows.

    Comment sections appear to be a poor substitute for a forum, especially when lots of verbose quotes are being posted.Likewise, there is no provision at all for posting picture documents.

    It took me quite a lot of effort to find the “Smith” quotes Gregg was referring me to.

  89. avatar
    DiogenesLamp April 28, 2010 at 11:03 am #

    Gregg says:

    “WTF? Are you doing this just to annoy me, or to prove you are as dumb as you sound? “

    Yes. πŸ™‚

    Anyway, Smyth is another example of birthers quote-mining.

    And you are not quote-mining?

    If you read the Congressional Record, you see he’s limiting his discussion to Free Blacks, and, in fact, he does a pretty good job of contradicting himself in the process:

    Brings up a good point. Blacks, Indians, and the example of the peerage in England.

    Obviously there must be something more to being “born” in a place, because we have these examples.

    Please explain why slaves and indians were not “Natural Born Citizens” and why English common law assigns allegiance by birthplace, but peerage by parents?

  90. avatar
    DiogenesLamp April 28, 2010 at 11:10 am #

    Dr. Conspiracy writes:

    I fail to see how a writer from 1814 has any relevance to the year that birthers came along. That’s stupid.

    Again with the screwy message system.

    Here is the pertinent part of Gregg’s quote:

    It wasn’t until 2008 that you birthers came along and decided you knew better than every single thinker and scholar for the past 221 years!

    Did you get that? Here, let’s look at it again. every single thinker and scholar for the past 221 years!

    Now do you understand how a quote from “a writer from 1814” is relevant to rebutting the statement from Gregg? He fits within that “past 221 years!” Yeah, *i’m* stupid.

    Now you might get red faced and sputter that I took this all out of context, which I did–but no more badly so than you took it out of context yourself. Your citations have nothing to do with the comment you applied them to. In your haste, and arrogance, you might not have bother to read what was on the page before you, but that is your problem.

    Right back at ya dude. πŸ™‚

  91. avatar
    Greg April 28, 2010 at 11:14 am #

    I’ve read all of what Smyth said in what I linked to. I think my quote more correctly indicates what he’s getting at. Free blacks are not citizens unless they are granted that right by the society in which they are born. Indians are also aliens. Who are citizens, then?

    He lists four classes of people who are citizens, the last of which are the children of aliens who are eligible for naturalization.

    Do you think Obama is a slave, or an Indian?

    English common law assigns allegiance by birthplace and parental citizenship – natural born subjects are those born within the king’s dominion plus those born abroad to citizens.

  92. avatar
    DiogenesLamp April 28, 2010 at 11:16 am #

    Did you miss the part “and not subject to any foreign power”?

    If that is the standard for “Citizen”, then why would it not be the least standard for “Natural Born Citizen”?

  93. avatar
    Greg April 28, 2010 at 11:20 am #

    The man says, sometimes this and sometimes that but in the US it’s only that and you conclude he’s saying that this and that are crucial!

    In your world, what does “crucial,” mean?

    In my world, it means that both are required. So, when Madison says, “in general, place is the most certain criterion; it is what applies in the United States” he is NOT saying that parents and place are “crucial.”

    Again, it’s a failure to read carefully, both the Madison piece, and what Dr. Conspiracy said. Dr. C. didn’t accuse you of fabricating the quote but the interpretation!

  94. avatar
    Greg April 28, 2010 at 11:30 am #

    Here is the pertinent part of Gregg’s quote:

    Aargh! Am I writing in French? This guy lectures me on logic, then cannot realize when he’s disproving a concept I never advanced!

    every single thinker and scholar for the past 221 years!

    Don’t you think it might be pertinent what I’m claiming every single thinker and scholar SAID?

    “every single thinker and scholar for the past 221 years said the sun rises in the East

    That would be true, right?

    “every single thinker and scholar for the past 221 years was mortal

    Also correct, right?

    “every single thinker and scholar for the past 221 years thought the U.S. fought its war for independence against the British

    Who knows, this one might be debatable.

    But, you know what is NOT debatable? Arguing that the scholars thought something, anything, about the definition of natural born citizenship won’t disprove any of those statements, will it?

    It doesn’t say scholars thought the sun rose in the West. It doesn’t say that one scholar was immortal. It doesn’t say that some scholars thought that we fought against the French.

    Let me remind you what I SAID:

    It seems pretty darn easy to me. The Founders carved out an exception for the heroes of the Revolution. And, you know what? I’m not the only one who thought so. Everyone who has looked at this in the past 221 years thought so!

    It wasn’t until 2008 that you birthers came along and decided you knew better than every single thinker and scholar for the past 221 years!

    Grandfather clause, D.

    Did every scholar in the past 221 years think the GRANDFATHER CLAUSE was created to allow those who had nobly served our nation?

    I say yes, and your response is…

    At least some scholars think natural born citizenship is based on parentage.

    How, exactly, do you think that argues against what I said?

  95. avatar
    Greg April 28, 2010 at 11:34 am #

    Your options, according to Will are: Citizen and Not Citizen.

    Which is Obama?

    There’s nothing in the Will article to suggest that someone could become a citizen by birth here yet still be ineligible for the Presidency.

  96. avatar
    DiogenesLamp April 28, 2010 at 11:36 am #

    Arthur writes:
    DiogonesLamp . . . I appreciate your passion, but, your posts . . . well, the phrase, “wild and whirling words” comes to mind. In order for me to understand you (and I not a student of the law) could you briefly and clearly review your argument and main points?

    I will restrict my response to a single point.

    The article which prompted this discussion Asserts that George Washington was a “Natural Born Citizen” of the United States, and that He was so regarded by John Jay.

    I contend this is completely wrong.

    I contend that George Washington was a “Natural Born Citizen” of Great Britain.
    (Gregg Acknowledged this.)

    I further contend that you cannot be a “Natural Born Citizen” twice, to two different countries. (Gregg Disagrees.)

    I further contend that Both Washington and Jay, knew that there was no such thing as a “Natural Born Citizen” to a country that didn’t exist when they were born, and for that reason they added the clause to allow non “Natural Born Citizens” (Such as ALL the founders) to serve in the interim.

    So let’s cut to the salient point. Do you think a man can be a “Natural Born Citizen” twice, or not?

  97. avatar
    ballantine April 28, 2010 at 11:42 am #

    Will the birthers ever stop tryibng to twist cases and quotations to suite them? Smyth was talking about the civil law, the law adopted in many of the continental european countries, in that quote. Everyone knew England and America didn’t follow the civil law and he never says such a rule applied in America. As Greg points out, he then goes on to discuss whether all persons born free in a state were citizens and specifically says children of aliens were citizens.

    Cheves was describing what the various bodies of law said on the notion of perpetual allegiance and cited Vattel on that point, not native citizenship. Anyway, he did not endorse the Vattel’s view even on perpetual allegiance.

  98. avatar
    ballantine April 28, 2010 at 11:49 am #

    Since when is George Will an authority on the consitution or any legal matter? Will ignorantly cites an article with the well worn, cherry-picked quotes from the 39th congress that someone who hasn’t read the debates might believe that something other than the common law rule was intended by such amendment. Reading the actual debates leave no doubt that the amendment was declaratory of the common law as the supreme court decided 110 years ago.

  99. avatar
    Greg April 28, 2010 at 11:56 am #

    I further contend that Both Washington and Jay, knew that there was no such thing as a “Natural Born Citizen” to a country that didn’t exist when they were born, and for that reason they added the clause to allow non “Natural Born Citizens” (Such as ALL the founders) to serve in the interim.

    Let’s cut to the chase.

    Do you have any evidence of this?

    A comment by the Founders saying, for example, the grandfather clause was so that someone could serve since, obviously, no one could be a natural born citizen of the United States, since it didn’t exist until we signed this Constitution?

    Anything?

    If I’m toting up the sides, it looks like I’ve got the various scholars saying that the grandfather clause was created for the heroes of the revolution, I’ve got Madison saying that citizenship transfers with all the rights of birth, I’ve got Madison repeating the rationale of Calvin’s Case, which accords with birth relating back as if the country existed then.

    You’ve got your gut feeling that it just doesn’t make sense that someone could be born twice. That you just don’t get it. It doesn’t feel right. It doesn’t make sense.

    On this single issue, the grandfather clause, do I have the score right?

  100. avatar
    nbC April 28, 2010 at 12:12 pm #

    So let’s cut to the salient point. Do you think a man can be a “Natural Born Citizen” twice, or not?

    Yes, most scholars would agree as well. Or the Courts… Or …

    Well you get the idea…

  101. avatar
    ballantine April 28, 2010 at 12:13 pm #

    The New York ratification convention in 1788, which Jay was at, proposed an amendment to the natural born citizen clause which I believe was written by Jay. It read:

    “That no Persons except natural born Citizens, or such as were Citizens on or before the fourth day of July one thousand seven hundred and seventy six, or such as held Commissions under the United States during the War, and have at any time since the fourth day of July one thousand seven hundred and seventy six become Citizens of one or other of the United States, and who shall be Freeholders, shall be eligible to the Places of President, Vice President, or Members of either House of the Congress of the United States.”

    What is interesting is that the grandfather clause here is for persons who were citizens “on or before” July 4, 1776. Further evidence that although the United States didn’t exist prior to such date, the states did and being a citizen of the state before independance seemed sufficient.

    Another proposal from such convention was as follows:

    “That the counsellors should have a reasonable allowance for their services, sixed by standing law ; and that no man should be elected a counsellor, who mall not have attained to the age of thirty-sive years, and who is not either a natural born citizen, or has not become a citizen, before the 4th day of July, 1776.—”

    Here it is even clearer that being a citizen of the state before independance was sufficient.

  102. avatar
    DiogenesLamp April 28, 2010 at 12:16 pm #

    Gregg writes:
    Aargh! Am I writing in French?

    It wouldn’t help. I’m sure your logic would be just as bad in french. πŸ™‚

    This guy lectures me on logic, then cannot realize when he’s disproving a concept I never advanced!

    every single thinker and scholar for the past 221 years!

    Don’t you think it might be pertinent what I’m claiming every single thinker and scholar SAID?

    It is actually NOT really pertinent. You are asserting that All scholars and thinkers are of a like mind. History is replete with contradicting evidence that “thinkers and scholars” are seldom (if ever) all of like mind.(regardless of the subject.) Your own “Smith” reference refutes this notion. You have crossed into the twilight zone with that statement.

    “every single thinker and scholar for the past 221 years said the sun rises in the East”

    That would be true, right?

    It is completely false. German and French scholars would have used completely different words, presuming they actually attempted to convey the concept. While we’re at it, presuming there were Deaf and Dumb thinkers, many of them obviously couldn’t have “said” it either.

    But even trying to be fair to your meaning, it is conceivable that some thinker or scholar, never thought it was important enough to remark upon.

    It is a statement that has a high probability of being true, but no possible way of being verifiable as true.
    The only correct answer is indeterminate.


    “every single thinker and scholar for the past 221 years was mortal”

    Also correct, right?

    Very likely, true, but again, virtually unprovable. Back in Comp1, the professor admonished us to not use words like “All, but instead use words like Most, or Many, for exactly the reason you are now tripped up. You have asserted a statement which cannot be proven true, and can easily be proven false. If a million scholars say “Yes”, it only takes one to say “No”, and you are undone.

    That IS what happened.

    “every single thinker and scholar for the past 221 years thought the U.S. fought its war for independence against the British”

    Who knows, this one might be debatable.

    Why don’t you try it in french? πŸ™‚

  103. avatar
    DiogenesLamp April 28, 2010 at 12:17 pm #

    Did you miss the part “and not subject to any foreign power”?

    If that is the standard for “Citizen”, then why would it not be the least standard for “Natural Born Citizen”?

  104. avatar
    DiogenesLamp April 28, 2010 at 12:21 pm #

    I do not want to get into a discussion about George Will’s qualifications. He speaks for himself, and his argument is persuasive to me, and I daresay to others. If it is not persuasive to you, then that is your prerogative. He could not be using “well worn, cherry-picked quotes from the 39th congress” were they not there.

    My point in context, is that other people who are scholars and thinkers ponder this issue. My citing of George Will is an example of this.

  105. avatar
    Greg April 28, 2010 at 12:27 pm #

    I didn’t miss that part. Will is saying that if one is “subject to a foreign power,” one is not a citizen.

    Show me where in that article it says one can become a citizen by birth but not be eligible for the Presidency?

    Citizen – Not Citizen

    Those are the choices Will gives you.

  106. avatar
    DiogenesLamp April 28, 2010 at 12:35 pm #

    Gregg writes:

    “I further contend that Both Washington and Jay, knew that there was no such thing as a “Natural Born Citizen” to a country that didn’t exist when they were born”

    Let’s cut to the chase.

    Do you have any evidence of this?

    No. I have no evidence that a person can be born twice in two different countries.

    I would think that evidence would be unnecessary because upon a moments worth of thinking, one would quickly conclude that once delivered, a child would quickly die from suffocation if shoved back into the woman who bore him. (a necessary condition of enabling a second birth)

  107. avatar
    Greg April 28, 2010 at 12:35 pm #

    You are asserting that All scholars and thinkers are of a like mind.

    You think I was asserting that ALL scholars and thinkers were of a like mind…on EVERYTHING regardless of what I said they were of a like mind on?

    Science, religion, metaphysics, anthropology, politics, sex, ants, cheese, potatoes, xenobiology, etc.

    Everything?

    Wow. Okay. You are dumb.

    I apologize, I thought I was dealing with someone who was NOT a moron!

    If I were trying to assert that all scholars agreed about everything why did I qualify it with my discussion of the grandfather clause?

    How about this:

    “No scholars who have written and thought about the grandfather clause have said that it was required for ANYONE to be eligible for the Presidency.”

    My question to you is not whether that is a difficult statement to prove and an easy one to disprove, but…

    Can you disprove THAT statement?

    I’m going to conclude, based on your deliberate and bad faith misinterpretation of my statement, that you cannot. You cannot disprove my statement, you know that it would be futile to try, so you are deliberately trying to steer the discussion to something you can prove.

  108. avatar
    Greg April 28, 2010 at 12:41 pm #

    No. I have no evidence that a person can be born twice in two different countries.

    I’m going to conclude from your deliberate misinterpretation of my statement that you are incapable of supporting any of your claims with evidence and that you are unwilling to engage in an honest discussion of the issues.

    You earlier stated your standard:

    If one might be incorrect, I will first attribute it to error, and only with an indication of willful malignancy would I alleged that someone had intentionally fabricated it.

    I cannot attribute your willful ignorance to error.

  109. avatar
    DiogenesLamp April 28, 2010 at 12:43 pm #

    Here it is even clearer that being a citizen of the state before independance was sufficient.

    How does this refute my contention that a person can only be a “Natural Born Citizen” once? It is my understanding that of course the United States accepted all the citizens of all the states as US Citizens. They also assumed the debts of those states.

    Suppose the United States agrees to acquire Haiti as a new state. Would we suddenly declare that all Haitians have been “Natural Born American” citizens all along?

  110. avatar
    Greg April 28, 2010 at 12:46 pm #

    My point in context

    Putting aside the question of whether you are right or not, why should we give you the benefit of putting your point into context? Your deliberate misreading of my posts clearly indicate that you are not willing to do so for any of us!

    For example, this quote by Will is against a claim that I never made. In context I never claimed that all scholars think alike on all things, nor did I claim that all scholars think that children born to illegal aliens are citizens, I did not even claim that all scholars thought that the children born to legal aliens were citizens.

    It takes some balls to complain that you’re being taken out of context when your whole point was in support of a deliberate and bad faith attempt to take my statement out of context!

  111. avatar
    DiogenesLamp April 28, 2010 at 12:46 pm #

    Gregg writes:

    You earlier stated your standard:

    If one might be incorrect, I will first attribute it to error, and only with an indication of willful malignancy would I alleged that someone had intentionally fabricated it.

    I cannot attribute your willful ignorance to error.

    Pray tell, what evidence did I fabricate? I pointedly told you I HAD no evidence that a man could be born twice.

  112. avatar
    DiogenesLamp April 28, 2010 at 12:48 pm #

    You guys continue to play in your sandbox without me for awhile. I’ll poke in next chance I get. πŸ™‚

  113. avatar
    Greg April 28, 2010 at 12:50 pm #

    Would we suddenly declare that all Haitians have been “Natural Born American” citizens all along?

    What prevents us from doing so? The fact that Haitians cannot be born twice?

    Are you saying that no one born in Haiti could be eligible for the Presidency until 2045?

    Do you think that’s what happened with Hawaii and Alaska?

  114. avatar
    Greg April 28, 2010 at 12:55 pm #

    Greg wrote: I cannot attribute your willful ignorance to error.

    Diogenes replied: Pray tell, what evidence did I fabricate?

    Did I say you had fabricated evidence? I said I could not attribute your willful ignorance to error.

    You even copied and pasted what I said.

  115. avatar
    Greg April 28, 2010 at 12:56 pm #

    You guys continue to play in your sandbox without me for awhile.

    Don’t let the door hitcha where the good lord splitcha.

    If you come back, bring an adult.

  116. avatar
    nbC April 28, 2010 at 1:12 pm #

    Did you miss reading the part

    I’m going to conclude from your deliberate misinterpretation of my statement that you are incapable of supporting any of your claims with evidence and that you are unwilling to engage in an honest discussion of the issues.

    Time to run and hide again….

  117. avatar
    nbC April 28, 2010 at 1:28 pm #

    Ignorance all the way down

  118. avatar
    ballantine April 28, 2010 at 1:52 pm #

    “Did you miss the part “and not subject to any foreign power”?”

    If Will was a legal scholar he would know the person who wrote the language “and not subject to any foreign power,” Senator Trumbull, stated repeatedly the children of aliens were citizens and that the 14th Amendment was declaratory of the English common law. If these people are scholars, they are not honest ones to pick a quote of Trumbull they think benefits them and ignore where he specifically refutes them. Rather, the people who write this stuff are willing to distort history for a political agenda.

    Here, try learning something:

    “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)

    “even the infant child of a foreigner born in this land is a citizen of the United States long before his father.” Senator Trumbull (cited in William Horatio Barnes, History of the Thirty-ninth Congress of the United States, pg. 255 (1868)).

    “birth entitles a person to citizenship, that every free-born person in this land, is, by virtue of being born here, a citizen of the United States.” Senator Trumbull, Cong. Globe, 39th Cong. 1st session. 600 (1866)

    “It is competent for Congress to declare, under the Constitution of the United States, who are citizens. If there were any question about it, it would be settled by the passage of a law declaring all persons born in the United States to be citizens thereof. That this bill proposes to do.” Senator Trumbull, Civil Rights Acts Debates, Cong. Globe, 1st Sess. 39th Congress, pt. 1, p. 475.

    “I understand that under the naturalization laws the children who are born here of parents who have not been naturalized are citizens. Is not the child born in this country of German parents a citizen?” Senator Trumbull, CONG. GLOBE, 39th Cong., 1st Sess. 497 (1866).

  119. avatar
    nbC April 28, 2010 at 2:02 pm #

    If Will was a legal scholar he would know the person who wrote the language “and not sucject to any foreign power,” Senator Trumbull, stated repeatedly the children of aliens were citizens and that the 14th Amendment was declaratory of the English common law. If these people are scholars, they are not honest ones to pick a quote of Trumbull they think benefits them and ignore where he specifically refutes them. Rather, the people who write this stuff are willing to distort history for a political agenda.

    Hear hear…

    It’s this continued dishonesty, even though exposed many times now, that causes me to conclude that people still making them are either uninformed allowing others to enslave them with lies and myths, or that there is a more sinister motivation.

    Either way, the discussion has gone way beyond facts, arguments, logic and reason… That’s unfortunate but still offers us an opportunity to educate the confused.

  120. avatar
    Benji Franklin April 28, 2010 at 4:28 pm #

    Dear Disengenuous Lump,

    You wrote: “a child would quickly die from suffocation if shoved back into the woman who bore him”

    You seem to have survived the practice; it must be disconcerting having her be the only woman who can bear you more than once.

    Benji Franklin

  121. avatar
    G April 28, 2010 at 9:56 pm #

    DiogonesLamp asks:

    Do you think a man can be a “Natural Born Citizen” twice, or not?

    I would think that evidence would be unnecessary because upon a moments worth of thinking, one would quickly conclude that once delivered, a child would quickly die from suffocation if shoved back into the woman who bore him. (a necessary condition of enabling a second birth)

    I think you are trying to be rather silly here.

    OF COURSE no one is physically “born twice” in the literal sense you describe. That is such a ludicrous assumption that it is nothing but a sideshow distraction from the real meaning here of those that were born in the colonies that then became American NBC after the declaration.

    Let me put it to you simply – The physical location they were born in did not change. HOWEVER, the “ownership” of that land did. Therefore, they always were NBC of their place of birth – only the nationality of that land experienced a transference and per how the law was written, their citizenship transferred along with it.

  122. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy April 28, 2010 at 10:29 pm #

    DiogenesLamp: Did you miss the part “and not subject to any foreign power”? If that is the standard for “Citizen”, then why would it not be the least standard for “Natural Born Citizen”?

    “Not subject to any foreign power” is not the standard for citizenship, at least not since the ratification of the 14th amendment. “Under the jurisdiction” is the standard. But yes, if someone is a citizen by virtue of being born in the United States, then we could conclude that they were under its jurisdiction.

  123. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy April 28, 2010 at 10:31 pm #

    You don’t seem to give a rats ass for accurately representing the statements of others on this forum. I think your nickname should be confiscated.

  124. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy April 28, 2010 at 10:39 pm #

    DiogenesLamp: The article which prompted this discussion Asserts that George Washington was a “Natural Born Citizen” of the United States, and that He was so regarded by John Jay. I contend this is completely wrong.

    And so you have been blustering about for days, while continuing to evade the argument that the article makes. The logic of the article’s argument is sound. The only way you could assail its conclusion is to deny one of the premises. Do you?

  125. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy April 28, 2010 at 10:42 pm #

    It’s obvious that you are confused by what you are reading. Your comment has nothing to do with what I said.

  126. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy April 28, 2010 at 10:45 pm #

    DiogenesLamp: [the forum system here is hard to read and use]

    Go over to Politijab.com. They have Obama forums, and have lawyers just as sharp as the ones here who will ridicule your nonsense as effectively as the ones here.

  127. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy April 28, 2010 at 11:42 pm #

    G: OF COURSE no one is physically “born twice” in the literal sense you describe. That is such a ludicrous assumption that it is nothing but a sideshow distraction from the real meaning here of those that were born in the colonies that then became American NBC after the declaration.

    This exchange with DiogenesLamp reminds me of the character of Nicodemus in the Bible who tries the same gambit:

    [John 3:3-10 KJV] Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born? Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again. The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit. Nicodemus answered and said unto him, How can these things be? Jesus answered and said unto him, Art thou a master of Israel, and knowest not these things?

  128. avatar
    nbC April 28, 2010 at 11:48 pm #

    DL would not stand a chance at Politijab.

  129. avatar
    nBC April 29, 2010 at 12:10 am #

    DL: The real Diogenes wants his lamp back… He’s not too pleased.

  130. avatar
    Arthur April 29, 2010 at 12:11 am #

    DiogonesLamp:

    Thanks for taking the time to review and sum up your central point.

    As I re-read everyone’s posts, I saw two related arguments emerge: 1) Is Jay suggesting that circumstances surrounding the Revolutionary War allow for exceptions to the way in which one would normally understand what it means to be a “natural born citizen”? and 2) Is it plausible to entertain the notion that a person could be a “natural born citizen” of two different countries?

    So, having read and reread the initial article and many posts, here’s where I stand:

    Of 1) I believe that Jay writes to Washington with the idea that the American Revolution altered, at least temporarily, the way in which colonialists defined natural born citizenship.

    Of 2) Literally, no, it is biologically impossible to be a natural born citizen of more than one country. However, “natural born citizen” doesn’t just describe a biological reality, it describes a political concept, too, and when the political landscape changes, then the meaning of natural born citizen can change with it. So, yes, it is possible to say, as a matter of political identify, that one is a natural born citizen of two countries. This is analogous to a Christian speaking of being “born again” and so refer to a biological birth followed by a spiritual birth.

  131. avatar
    Benji Franklin April 29, 2010 at 12:46 am #

    Dear NBC,

    You and Ballantine and Greg and Black Lion and Doc possess intellectual integrity, which D.L. sees as a weakness. He knows his arguments are specious. The only reason this D.L. is looking for an honest man, is for the express purpose of being disingenuous with him!

    Benji Franklin

  132. avatar
    nBC April 29, 2010 at 2:28 am #

    Oh come on, I am not even in the same league as Greg and Dr C Ballantine and many others.
    Intellectual Integrity, I can only hope for… Who knows…

  133. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy April 29, 2010 at 7:23 am #

    I know that.

  134. avatar
    Scientist April 29, 2010 at 7:31 am #

    Literally, no, it is biologically impossible to be a natural born citizen of more than one country.

    Supposing a pregnant woman lay down with the US-Canada border running right under her spinal column. The baby would hit ground half in Canada and half in the US.

    Of course, Canada, being more sensible than the US, doesn’t make any distinction regarding how one acquires citizenship. ANY citizen, natural born or naturalized, can become Prime Minister with the choice being left up to the voters. When will the US trust the people and remove archaic nonsense like natural born citizen??

  135. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy April 29, 2010 at 7:34 am #

    Arthur: I believe that Jay writes to Washington with the idea that the American Revolution altered, at least temporarily, the way in which colonialists defined natural born citizenship.

    I do not agree. As I read the naturalization acts and colonial legislation, I find that the colonists (who became the first US citizens) believe that the natural born citizens were those who were “born here”, and by “here” they referred to their community, not their government. It is very important not to use one’s common understanding of the meaning of these terms, but to understand how the people who wrote them understood.

    I come back to the Senator Lyndsey Graham letter that says Barack Obama is eligible because he was born in Hawaii and Hawaii became a state in 1959. I don’t think that last bit maters. I believe that if Obama were born in Hawaii at any time since 1898 would be a natural born citizen too.

  136. avatar
    DiogenesLamp April 29, 2010 at 9:14 am #

    Dr. Conspiracy says:
    Go over to Politijab.com. They have Obama forums, and have lawyers just as sharp as the ones here who will ridicule your nonsense as effectively as the ones here.

    You mean they are dull witted and completely ineffective? πŸ™‚ I can’t wait!

  137. avatar
    DiogenesLamp April 29, 2010 at 9:18 am #

    nbC says:

    Yes, most scholars would agree as well. Or the Courts… Or …

    Well you get the idea…

    Sometimes a majority simply means all the morons are on the same side. πŸ™‚

    Apart from that, you are committing the fallacy of “Appeal to Authority”.

    I thought you guys were supposed to be clever or something? Argue your own points, don’t rely on “ex cathedra” proclamations from others.

  138. avatar
    DiogenesLamp April 29, 2010 at 9:24 am #

    G says:
    OF COURSE no one is physically “born twice” in the literal sense you describe. That is such a ludicrous assumption that it is nothing but a sideshow distraction from the real meaning here of those that were born in the colonies that then became American NBC after the declaration.

    Let me put it to you simply – The physical location they were born in did not change. HOWEVER, the “ownership” of that land did. Therefore, they always were NBC of their place of birth – only the nationality of that land experienced a transference and per how the law was written, their citizenship transferred along with it.

    Obviously this magical connection to the land didn’t apply to Indians and Blacks, and Neither did it apply to the peerage.

    Apart from that, the English Common law regarding “SUBJECTS” was overthrown by the revolution.

  139. avatar
    DiogenesLamp April 29, 2010 at 9:31 am #

    Dr. Conspiracy says:

    And so you have been blustering about for days, while continuing to evade the argument that the article makes. The logic of the article’s argument is sound. The only way you could assail its conclusion is to deny one of the premises. Do you?

    There you go again with that fallacy of false choices. It is not the only way I can assail it’s premises. The method I am using works just fine. You accuse me of “blustering” and “evading” and demanding I disprove a premise which is ridiculous at face value, and only by strange contortions outside of normal or rational thought, can you even justify it in your own mind.

    Your theory requires a magical transformation from Natural born Subject of England, to Natural born citizen of the United States, overlooking the obvious fact that you can only be “natural born” once.

    Your premise is self refuting, and it needs no assistance from me.

  140. avatar
    Black Lion April 29, 2010 at 10:22 am #

    Benji, thanks….But with the Dr., Greg, Ballantine, and the humble NBC, I am just lucky to learn something everyday from those guys….However you are correct about DL. I do think that he is trolling a bit and knows that by putting forth his arguments, he is looking for them to be eviserated…As they have been so far…

  141. avatar
    Arthur April 29, 2010 at 10:43 am #

    Dr. C:

    Oh, snap! I’ll reread our article and see if I can more clearly get the point you were making. I think what you’re telling me is that Jay defines a natural born citizen simply as one who was born in the colonies prior to or after the revolution.

    Is that correct?

  142. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy April 29, 2010 at 12:21 pm #

    I have added this update to the main article:

    Since the original publication of this article, some readers have found it difficult to understand how George Washington could be a natural born citizen of the United States, when he was born before there was a United States. The first citizens of the United States considered their primary allegiance to the community into which they were born. They were born Virginians, South Carolinians, New Yorkers. When those colonies became states of the United States, those primary allegiances did not change. Any allegiance they owed the Crown of Britain dissolved but they remained native and natural born Virginians, South Carolinians and New Yorkers, and as such native and natural born citizens of the United States.

    By way of example I offer the case of Jared Shattuck. Shattuck was born in Connecticut before the American Revolution. The US Supreme Court in the case of Murray v. The Charming Betsey (1804) described Mr. Shattuck as a native of the United States and of Connecticut.

  143. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy April 29, 2010 at 12:44 pm #

    Arthur: I’ll reread our article and see if I can more clearly get the point you were making. I think what you’re telling me is that Jay defines a natural born citizen simply as one who was born in the colonies prior to or after the revolution.

    I’ve updated the article with further explanation. But yes, Jay and his fellow Americans believed that someone born citizens of any of the colonies that became the United States are natives and natural born citizens of the United States.

    Vice President Curtis was born in Kansas territory before it was a state, but he qualified as a natural born citizen of the United States (since the qualifications for President and Vice President are the same).

  144. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy April 29, 2010 at 1:26 pm #

    DiogenesLamp: There you go again with that fallacy of false choices.

    So you are saying that I can have a logically valid argument and you still be right? If my argument is valid, then any counterexample you come up with must logically be bogus (and it is).

    One of the following choices must be true (Law of Excluded Middle):

    a) John Jay considered that George Washington, son of a British Subject, was natural born citizen of the United States.
    b) John Jay considered that George Washington, son of a British Subject, was not natural born citizen of the United States.

    With me so far?

    Fact: John Jay wrote to George Washington suggesting that only a natural born citizen of the United States should be commander and chief of the army.

    Therefore, Jay either believed that George Washington should not be eligible to be commander in chief because he was not a natural born citizen or believed that George Washington should be be eligible to be commander in chief because he was a natural born citizen.

    DL: Your theory requires a magical transformation from Natural born Subject of England, to Natural born citizen of the United States, overlooking the obvious fact that you can only be “natural born” once.

    Actually it doesn’t require any transformation or rebirth at all. It only takes the realization that citizenship is relative to community and not government. George Washington was a native and natural born citizen of Virginia before and after the Revolution and when Virginia became a part of the United States, he along with all Virginia’s native and natural born citizens became native and natural born citizens of the United States.

    Your literalism is blocking your understanding.

  145. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy April 29, 2010 at 1:31 pm #

    DiogenesLamp: Apart from that, the English Common law regarding “SUBJECTS” was overthrown by the revolution.

    I guess you didn’t know that South Carolina, for example, wrote the English common law into its 1776 constitution, or that the US Supreme Court has said that the English common law is the standard by which terms in the US Constitution are defined (Smith v. Alabama).

    Diogenes, you have been caught making stuff up and trying to pass it off as fact. You’re out of your depth here. Go to some birther blog where they don’t know any better.

  146. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy April 29, 2010 at 1:35 pm #

    DiogenesLamp: [nbc is] committing the fallacy of “Appeal to Authority”.

    Better than you just making stuff up out of thin air. But I see now that if you reject the authority of the courts, and the historians and the legal scholars, then you must be [looking for words, hmmm] delusional.

  147. avatar
    Greg April 29, 2010 at 1:59 pm #

    Apart from that, you are committing the fallacy of “Appeal to Authority”.

    When we’re arguing about the meaning of a term in the Constitution, a technical term, you don’t think it might be important to see how practitioners use the term?

    Actually, I don’t really care what nonsense you spew in response.

    When looking at the meaning of a word, you cannot define it without looking at how people use it.

    In other words, if I write “chickens” in a contract, no amount of telling the judge the other side is using “appeal to authority” arguments will get me “grapes.”

  148. avatar
    Greg April 29, 2010 at 2:05 pm #

    Your theory requires a magical transformation from Natural born Subject of England, to Natural born citizen of the United States, overlooking the obvious fact that you can only be “natural born” once.

    It’s not magical. It’s legal.

    You’ve never heard of a legal fiction?

    What woman gave birth to IBM? Not the founder of IBM, but the actual company. Despite the fact that women cannot give birth to companies, they are considered people by the law.

    In adoption, when a child is adopted, his/her biological parents become strangers to them, legally. The child doesn’t inherit from its biological parent anymore, and he/she does inherit from his/her adoptive parents.

    If two people die simultaneously, the law considers the older to have died first.

    If I build a house on your property and you don’t notice it for a period of years, the law considers that I now own the property, as if I bought it from you.

    Our theory, actually, the theory that has operated in this nation for 234 years, and in the colonies and in Britain since 1350, only requires that you come to grips with the concept of legal fictions.

    If you cannot do that, D, go pound sand. It’s tangible, there are never any sand fictions, and it won’t hurt your brain so much. You’ll also look slightly less stupid pounding sand than you do here attempting to argue points of law with facts of biology.

  149. avatar
    Arthur April 29, 2010 at 2:26 pm #

    Dr. C:

    Thanks for the update and clarification, and the information about Vice President Curtis. I was wondering about just such a situation, and of course, what other possibility could there be? When a territory became a state, all residents of the new state would have to be considered natural born citizens, if not, you’ve got an enormous mess on your hands, wherein only those born after statehood would be able to run for president.

    O.k., so now I understand why people got so annoyed with DiogonesLamp–this really is a no-brainer.

  150. avatar
    Greg April 29, 2010 at 2:28 pm #

    Obviously this magical connection to the land didn’t apply to Indians and Blacks, and Neither did it apply to the peerage.

    Apart from that, the English Common law regarding “SUBJECTS” was overthrown by the revolution.

    How do you know?

    You refuse to believe that the English Common law is even possible. You reject it as a biological impossibility.

    Obviously, then, if the English Common Law as understood by the lawyers of the day didn’t exist, then nothing ever overthrew it. It was a biological impossibility.

    The subjects of James VI in Scotland never did become British subjects of James I. Calvin’s Case did not exist, because it describes a biological impossibility.

    (By the way, I linked to Calvin’s Case, I’m guessing you haven’t read it. Why don’t you go read it and tell us what your biological paradigm would make of the post-nati?)

    Here’s the problem, DL:

    I’m speaking Law. A legal fiction allows one to become a natural born citizen of a newly founded country.

    You’re speaking biology. A biological fact prevents one from being born twice.

    Therefore, I’m going to need you to define every legal term you use in explicit detail.

    (Insanity is a legal term that does not exist in the medical community, does that mean that no one can ever be found not guilty by reason of insanity?)

    What biological facts do you use to derive your definition of “natural born citizen.”

    Is a person born of cesarean section “natural born?” Test tube babies? If nationality comes from parents, which gene codes for it. Is it a sex-linked trait, like male-pattern baldness? (I have heard some say that it follows the father.)

    If citizenship is genetic, is there a test yet to determine if someone is a natural born citizen or simply a citizen? This could be important if a foundling ever runs for President.

    Is citizenship nature or nuture? If we have two twins born in the U.S. to citizens, but one is raised for his entire life in North Korea, do they both have the same allegiance to the United States? What if the one raised in NK returns to the U.S. and lives here for 14 years? Now do they both have the same allegiance to the nation?

    What biological factors distinguish between the child born here to citizen parents and the child born here to non-citizen parents? Does the DHS have some rDNA procedure, some gene-therapy they use on new immigrants?

    If biological facts forbid the legal fiction of transferred natural birth, how do those biological facts interplay with the rest of citizenship? I’m truly curious to see how thought out this theory of yours is.

  151. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy April 29, 2010 at 2:41 pm #

    Greg: What biological factors distinguish…

    It’s the soul they are trying to quantify.

  152. avatar
    G April 29, 2010 at 4:04 pm #

    DiogenesLamp says:

    Obviously this magical connection to the land didn’t apply to Indians and Blacks, and Neither did it apply to the peerage.

    Apart from that, the English Common law regarding “SUBJECTS” was overthrown by the revolution.

    “Magic” has nothing to do with it. We’re talking a pure physical connection to place of birth. You are born in one place and your NBC citizenship stems from there. Simple concept, really.

    It is true that there were exceptions at the time the US formed and during early parts of our nation’s history – slaves & native americans were usually excluded.

    The reasons for that are fairly simple too – at the time, slaves were considered “property” and not treated as people with inalienable rights. The natives were often considered “hostiles”, so their rights weren’t respected as part of the US body politic, sadly.

    In terms of Free Blacks – as others have clearly shown, the record is mixed – in quite a few of the northern colonies / states, they had full NBC rights if they were born here as free persons and in some cases if they were born here and later obtained their freedom.

    However, all of these points are moot today and have been for quite some time.

    The Civil War ended slavery and the subsequent amendments addressed those problems in terms of granting citizenship.

    The Native American issue too was also addressed and rectified by 1923, as I’ve discussed on this site before.

    In today’s US, regardless of race, creed, sex, etc., if you are born on US soil, you are NBC, as simple as that. The only exceptions are the one’s clearly cut out to exempt the children of ambassadors & foreign dignitaries.

  153. avatar
    G April 29, 2010 at 4:19 pm #

    DiogenesLamp says:

    Your theory requires a magical transformation from Natural born Subject of England, to Natural born citizen of the United States, overlooking the obvious fact that you can only be “natural born” once.

    Your premise is self refuting, and it needs no assistance from me.

    No, it is your premise, DiogenesLamp, that is ludicrous at face value.

    The physical place of birth for someone does not change. However, the ownership of that physical territory can. Why is that so hard for you to understand? There is no “magic” in one country asserting ownership over the same piece of land that someone else once held “title”.

    It happens all the time throughout history and even today. Look at the current borders of Germany or Poland or any other country in the world for that matter. Their “national” borders today are often very different from what their borders were even a century ago…even those such nations have existed in some form for a lot longer than that.

    The people within those borders were always and always will remain “natural born” at the location of their birth. If the territory changes hands and a different country now claims the land they were born in and reside in, they are now part of that nation’s people.

    People are not born “twice” in any physical sense. The very notion that you keep trying to ponder that is absolutely absurd and shows you are not being serious or not thinking rationally. Even your use of “magic” to describe the process demonstrates either your disingenuosity or an inability to understand how the world works.

    There is nothing “self-refuting” about saying you were born at X location and I have a hard time taking you seriously when you can’t seem to even grasp that.

  154. avatar
    Paul Pieniezny April 29, 2010 at 5:47 pm #

    Nicole Kidman is a natural born citizen of the United States. Born in Honolulu of two Australian parents, she is also a “born Australian” citizen.

  155. avatar
    nbc April 29, 2010 at 5:57 pm #

    The physical place of birth for someone does not change. However, the ownership of that physical territory can. Why is that so hard for you to understand? There is no “magic” in one country asserting ownership over the same piece of land that someone else once held “title”.

    Diogenes’s lamp me be burning a little dim

  156. avatar
    DiogenesLamp April 29, 2010 at 7:04 pm #

    Greg says:
    I’ve read all of what Smyth said in what I linked to. I think my quote more correctly indicates what he’s getting at. Free blacks are not citizens unless they are granted that right by the society in which they are born. Indians are also aliens. Who are citizens, then?

    Those who owe allegiance to the US Government. Who are denizens? πŸ™‚

    He lists four classes of people who are citizens, the last of which are the children of aliens who are eligible for naturalization.

    Do you think Obama is a slave, or an Indian?

    Well, he might be an Indianesion. πŸ™‚ My point was not to assert that Obama was anything, but to demonstrate inconsistency in the theory that one’s citizenship status is tied to the land. It is obvious that the status of Slaves, Indians, and Nobles has absolutely nothing to do with the land.

    English common law assigns allegiance by birthplace and parental citizenship – natural born subjects are those born within the king’s dominion plus those born abroad to citizens.

    I have been looking deeper into Lord Coke, Calvin’s case, and English Law. I may have some annoying things to point out about it. πŸ™‚

    Firstly, English Law deals with “Subjects” who owe perpetual allegiance to the King. American Law deals with Citizens, who have the right to freely abrogate their citizenship.

    English Law is NOT American law. Some of it was incorporate into the laws of various states, and from there into the General body of American Law, but American law is distinctly different in assumptions, purpose and application.

    Since we like Madison so much, here’s a few thoughts from him (and George Mason) on the subject.

    James Madison to George Washington:

    “What could the Convention have done? If they had in general terms declared the Common law to be in force, they would have broken in upon the legal Code of every State in the most material points: they wd. have done more, they would have brought over from G.B. a thousand heterogeneous & anti-republican doctrines, and even the ecclesiastical Hierarchy itself, for that is a part of the Common law.”

    http://press-pubs.uchicago.edu/founders/documents/a3_2_1s10.html

    James Madison to Peter S. DuPonceau

    That the Constitution is predicated on the existence of the Common Law cannot be questioned; because it borrows therefrom terms which must be explained by Com: Law Authorities; but this no more implies a general adoption or recognition of it, than the use of terms embracing articles of the Civil Law would carry such an implication.

    As men, our birth right was from a much higher source, than the Common or any other human law and of much greater extent than is imparted or admitted by the Common law. And as far as it might belong to us as British subjects it must, with its correlative obligations, have expired when we ceased to be such.

    http://www.rotunda.upress.virginia.edu/founders/default.xqy?keys=FOEA-print-02-02-02-0266

    George Mason in Debate in Virginia Ratifying Convention
    We have it in our power to secure our liberties and happiness on the most unshaken, firm, and permanent basis. We can establish what government we please. But by that paper we are consolidating the United States into one great government, and trusting to constructive security. You will find no such thing in the English government.The common law of England is not the common law of these states. I conceive, therefore, that there is nothing in that Constitution to hinder a dismemberment of the empire.

    http://press-pubs.uchicago.edu/founders/documents/a2_2_2-3s10.html

    Read the whole thing(s). Very interesting. πŸ™‚

    All I have time for today.

  157. avatar
    Greg April 29, 2010 at 10:40 pm #

    They didn’t need to incorporate the common law for the meaning of “natural born” to have derived its meaning from that common law.

    If I write a contract calling for “chickens,” I’m going to get chickens. To get grapes while writing chickens, I’m going to need to define, in the contract, that chickens means grapes.

    If every instance of “natural born” in the history of the colonies and the history of England and the history of the states since the Independence meant one thing, you’ll need to find something indicating that the founders wanted to change that meaning!

    Letters of Marque, for example, is a phrase that had no meaning outside the British Common law, yet it’s used in the Constitution without a definition. Treason is a phrase that was commonly used in British Common Law, but the founders changed the definition in the Constitution.

    The founders knew common law. They knew how to change the definition of common law terms. You bolded the wrong part of Madison’s quote:

    That the Constitution is predicated on the existence of the Common Law cannot be questioned; because it borrows therefrom terms which must be explained by Com: Law Authorities…

    You have no evidence at all that the founders wanted to change the established meaning of natural born. Since it was less than 20 years later that legal scholars were writing without objection that the meaning had not changed is pretty strong evidence that there simply is no evidence that they wanted to change the definition.

    You’ve got Jack. And, you’ve got Shite. Oh, and nonsense arguments about biology. And misapplied concepts from your CompSci logic class.

  158. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy April 29, 2010 at 11:32 pm #

    DiogenesLamp: Firstly, English Law deals with “Subjects” who owe perpetual allegiance to the King. American Law deals with Citizens, who have the right to freely abrogate their citizenship. English Law is NOT American law.

    You say: “American Law deals with Citizens, who have the right to freely abrogate their citizenship.” But it was not that way at the beginning.

    …on the whole, the state’s claim to obedience took precedence over the individuals’ right to determine his own loyalty. Massachusetts might consent to honor the individual’s choice [to expatriate], but within the framework of the contract theory it had no obligation to do so.

    The Development of American Citizenship, 1608-1870, James Kettner, University of North Carolina Press, 1978.

    In the United States v. Gillies, (1 Peters’ C. C. R. 159,) the same subject came before Judge Washington, in the U. S. Circuit Court, in 1815, and he expressed his opinion strongly against the right to expatriate. He said, a citizen of the United States may obtain a foreign domicile which will impress upon him a national character for commercial purposes, etc., “but he does not on this account lose his original character, or cease to be a subject or citizen of the country where he was born, and to which his perpetual allegiance is due.” [emphasis added]

    In fact Calvin’s Case was used by the states to legitimize their authority over Loyalists living in them. Eventually the right to expatriate was recognized and enshrined in law, but not without argument in the courts. See, for example, McIlvaine v. Coxe, 2 Cranch 280-283 (U. S., 1805).

    DiogenesLamp: English Law is NOT American law. Some of it was incorporate into the laws of various states, and from there into the General body of American Law, but American law is distinctly different in assumptions, purpose and application.

    It is and it isn’t. When American legislation was silent on an issue the British common law prevailed, and when the British common law was silent or unsatisfactory for American purposes, they resorted to other authorities such as Locke and de Vattel. The first of that is demonstrated by the Constitution of South Carolina. In the 1759 Public Law, South Carolina said: “Every part of the Common Law of England, where the same is not inconsistent with the particular constitutions, laws and customs of this states shall be of full force therein.” Then in its 1776 Constitution, South Carolina declared that all of its colonial acts (e.g. the 1759 Public Law) shall continue until altered or repealed. We know that in 1789 South Carolina had not defined citizenship in its law (hence the William Smith controversy) and so the Common Law of England defined citizenship in South Carolina, who thereby defined citizenship of its citizens of the United States.

    Ainslie v. Martin (99 Mass. R. 456, 457) : “Our statues recognize alienage and the effects of it, but have not defined it. We must therefore look to common law for its definition.”

    You cite George Mason: “The common law of England is not the common law of these states.” Mason is right, and in fact we know from the Supreme Court’s decision in Wheaton v. Peters, 33 U. S. 591 (1834) that there is no common law of the United States, English or otherwise.

    But if you argue that there is no common law in the United States, then you are left with the individual states defining citizenship. If you look to the states, you will find that the states followed the English common law in large part and defined citizenship in terms of place of birth and sometimes they allowed in addition those born out of a state to their citizens.

    Look at Connecticut in the Town of New Hartford v. Town of Canaan, 5 A. 360 (Conn. 1886). The Connecticut Supreme Court said:

    This was the principle of the English common law in respect to all persons born within the king’s allegiance, and was the law of the colonies, and became the law of each and all of the States when the Declaration of Independence was made, and continued so until the establishment of the Constitution of the United States, when the whole exclusive jurisdiction of this subject of citizenship passed to the United States, and the same principle has there remained.

    And

    In Rawle’s A View of the Constitution of the United States, p. 86, it is said: “Every person born within the United Slates, 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.” …

    A very important second point is that the terms in the Constitution were defined by the English common law, and of this we can be assured by the US Supreme Court in Smith v Alabama, that said:

    There is, however, one clear exception to the statement that there is no national common law. The interpretation of the Constitution of the United States is necessarily influenced by the fact that its provisions are framed in the language of the English common law, and are to be read in the light of its history.

    And I marvel that your own citation from Madison, which says that the existence of the common law is proved by the fact that is must be relied upon to define terms! You highlighted the wrong part.

    “Natural born subject,” a term still used by states after the revolution, is defined by English common law. Seeing that states flipped back at will between “natural born subject” and “natural born citizen” in their naturalization acts, we are forced to conclude that they are both derived from the same English common law source and had equivalent meaning in those acts. In large part the laws governing who becomes a citizen of the United States even today still follows the English common law.

  159. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy April 30, 2010 at 12:29 am #

    I don’t think it would be prudent to write a contract with a birther to get chickens or anything else.

  160. avatar
    Paul Pieniezny April 30, 2010 at 5:46 am #

    “Nicole Kidman” – that was of course a refrence to the claim that no one can be a natural born citizen of two countries.

    If the argument is that it is biologically impossible, then perhaps we should envisage “natural born citizen” should be interpreted biologically. That is why they want to see the birthing file. Just imagine Obama was indeed born by Cesarian. That would be another possible fall back for the birthers. If not, well, they will still have Indonesia. Or IVF, perhaps.

  161. avatar
    DiogenesLamp April 30, 2010 at 5:52 pm #

    Gregg Says: Nooo Diogenes…
    Dr Conspiracy says: Nooo Diogenes…
    nbc says: Nooo Diogenes…
    G says: Nooo Diogenes…
    Black Lion says: Nooo Diogenes…
    Benji Franklin says: Nooo Diogenes…
    ballantine says: Nooo Diogenes…

    I have my very own Greek Chorus! It’s hard to tell if it is a Comedy or Tragedy. A farce then.

    It is with great mirth that I contemplate your advocacy of the precedent of English
    law which would make of Barack an English subject. πŸ™‚

    “…all children, born out of the king’s ligeance, whose fathers were natural-born subjects, are now natural-born subjects themselves, to all intents and purposes, without any exception; unless their said fathers were attainted, or banished beyond sea, for high treason; or were then in the service of a prince at enmity with Great Britain.”

    http://www.lonang.com/exlibris/blackstone/bla-110.htm

    Nooo Nooo Nooo Nooo Nooo Diogenes… “We only want that non-statute part of
    the English law which deals with birth on the soil, we REJECT the part concerning
    Foreign Birth to an English Father.

    Well I should like that too were I trying to justify picking and choosing which English laws
    suited my purpose and rejecting the ones I don’t like.

    Like this one for example.

    To place the Children, born within this Realm, of foreign Parents, in Degree for the first Birth or Descent only, as Aliens made Denizens, and not otherwise.

    http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=8318#sec1363

    While we’re on the subject, Lord Coke had a few things to say on the subject of subjects. πŸ™‚

    ” There be regulary (unlesse it be in special cases) three incidents to a subject born. 1. That the parents be under the actual obedience of the king. 2. That the place of his birth be within the king’s dominion. And 3. the time of his birth is chiefly to be considered; for he cannot be a subject born of one kingdom, that was born under the ligeance of a king of another kingdom….”

    “The place is observable, but so as many times ligeance or obedience without any place within the king’s dominions may make a subject born, but any place within the king’s dominions may make a subject born, but any place within the king’s dominions without obedience can never produce a natural subject.

    Selected Writings of Sir Edward Coke, vol. I > Calvin’s Case, or the Case of the Postnati. 1 > paragraph 700

    No No No No No Diogenese! We beseach you, take it away!

    Fine. How about Vatell? What makes anyone think he (and natural law) had any influence on the founders?
    Dunno, how about this ?

    I am much obliged by the kind present you have made us of your edition of Vattel. It came to us in good season, when the circumstances of a rising state make it necessary frequently to consult the law of nations. Accordingly that copy, which I kept, (after depositing one in our own public library here, and sending the other to the College of Massachusetts Bay, as you directed,) has been continually in the hands of the members of our Congress, now sitting, who are much pleased with your notes and preface, and have entertained a high and just esteem for their author. Your manuscript “Idee sur le Gouvernement et la Royaute” is also well relished, and may, in time, have its effect. I thank you, likewise, for the other smaller pieces, which accompanied Vattel.
    -Ben Franklin (December 9, 1775),
    Letter 459: Benjamin Franklin to Charles William Frederic Dumas.

    http://etext.lib.virginia.edu/etcbin/toccer-new2?id=DelVol02.xml&images=images/modeng&data=/texts/english/modeng/parsed&tag=public&part=459&division=div1

    Benjamin Franklin? Wasn’t he kinda important in the constitutional convention? 1775 huh? Guess he, and the other
    members of congress had time to peruse it a bit? πŸ™‚

    Am I an @sshole or what? πŸ™‚

    Yes Diogenes… Yes Diogenes… Yes Diogenes…

    πŸ™‚

  162. avatar
    DiogenesLamp April 30, 2010 at 6:09 pm #

    Arthur writes:
    When a territory became a state, all residents of the new state would have to be considered natural born citizens, if not, you’ve got an enormous mess on your hands, wherein only those born after statehood would be able to run for president.

    O.k., so now I understand why people got so annoyed with DiogonesLamp–this really is a no-brainer.

    Well, they challenged Barry Goldwater because he was born in Arizona Territory. By 14th Amendment standards, he qualifies as a “Citizen”, and by jus sanguinis interpretation of Article II, he Qualifies. It is only by a rigid interpretation under Jus Soli theory that he would not qualify, but even that can be overlooked if the territory is a possession of the United States.

    My previous example of Haiti is a different animal. Should Haiti (or Cuba, or Iceland) Suddenly become a state, who could possibly argue that any of it’s existing inhabitants would be “natural born citizens” of the United States? (other than the guys at this website.) πŸ™‚

    Puerto Rico is at least a territory, so it’s citizens qualify.

    Pointing out irritating things does make one annoying. πŸ™‚

  163. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy April 30, 2010 at 10:19 pm #

    DiogenesLamp: Should Haiti (or Cuba, or Iceland) Suddenly become a state, who could possibly argue that any of it’s existing inhabitants would be “natural born citizens” of the United States? (other than the guys at this website.)

    I’m not a lawyer, and you obviously aren’t. I can only express an informed, but inexpert opinion. My answer is: 9 justices of the US Supreme Court. Besides an appeal to untutored common sense, what evidence could you provide otherwise? I have certainly shown without a doubt that persons born in the British Colony of Massachusetts were natural born citizens of the Unites States when it joined the Union.

  164. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy April 30, 2010 at 10:48 pm #

    Your argument is against a straw man. No one here has denied that Barack Obama was born a citizen of the UK and Colonies. No one here has denied that de Vattel (AMONG OTHERS) was influential at the founding of the United States. It’s just that the preponderance of evidence from the early works of political science, history and law, along with the cases decided by federal and state courts, plus the Congress of the United States all agree in concert that you are an asshole.

  165. avatar
    G May 1, 2010 at 1:07 am #

    Tilting at windmills you are.

    You go through such stretches and hoops to try to grasp at straws and shadows of the ancient past that… I’m not even sure what your point is anymore exactly or what function they have in today’s world.

  166. avatar
    G May 1, 2010 at 1:18 am #

    DL,

    Re: your Barry Goldwater & Puerto Rico points:

    Well, I’m sure there will always be opponents or folks that want to challenge something. So what? Anybody can challenge something; that doesn’t mean that their challenge is valid or right.

    So who cares who is whining and pitching a fit, really. Reality is what matters and in this reality, Obama was elected & is serving as president, end of story.

    If Barry Goldwater had won his election, I’m fairly confident he would have been sworn in and served as POTUS just as everyone else has; regardless of whatever sore losers tried challenging that he was born in AZ as a territory. It is highly unlikely that the courts would rule to create such a narrow interpretation of NBC to void his presidency and his birth on land that is now part of the US would be considered sufficient to qualify.

    Now since you brought up Puerto Rico – that’s a pretty fascinating topic. Under their current status, they can’t vote in the Presidential election(unless they reside in the actual states), but they do participate in the Democratic Primary. Furthermore, current laws regard someone born there as US NBC, so you could have a situation where a person born in Puerto Rico could run for President yet not be able to vote for themselves. Pretty funky, when you think about it.

    Finally, PR was in the news just this week as congress considers the matter to have PR citizens finally review the issue of their status going forward and decide if they want to become the 51st state or not.

  167. avatar
    nbC May 1, 2010 at 1:26 am #

    Common Sense and Common Law.