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Understanding “natural born citizen”

Dr. Conspiracy

It’s one thing to dump a list of citations to try to prove a point with proof texts. I’d done some of that on this blog, but in my mind I have sincerely tried to understand what the founders of our country really thought. I read Kettner’s book, which was very helpful as well as everything I could find on the Internet. Let me share a few of my conclusions:

There has never been any distinction made between the phrase “natural born citizen” and “born a citizen” in American law or politics.

I come to this conclusion first from simply not finding any such distinction and affirmatively from language in several court cases where citizens are divided into two exclusive classes: natural born and naturalized.

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

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

“Foreigner” doesn’t apply to someone born in the United States.

There was a good deal of “sorting out” of citizenship during and after the Revolutionary War. The Treaty of Paris (1783) used the phrase “real British subjects” to designate those residents of British North America who remained loyal to the crown. Allegiance was understood to come from multiple sources, primarily to the community in which one was born. This community is defined independently from government.

William Smith in defense of his eligibility to be a member of Congress declared that he was a Carolinian from his birth and so a citizen of the United States from his birth because the community into which he was born declared itself independent from Great Britain and a part of the United States.

But most often Americans after the Revolution focused on the decisions of individuals. Someone may have been born in what became the United States, but which side did they support during the war? A minor child may inherit the citizenship of his father, or his place of birth, but the real citizen affirms that citizenship through his deeds and the choice of society to which he adheres when he comes of age.

George Washington was born in Virginia, but his father died a British subject. Did anyone consider Washington not to be a “natural born citizen”? It appears not.

The Law of Nations

Much is made of a small citation from The Law of Nations by Emerich de Vattel, taken from an English translation done a decade after the US Constitution. While we may discard the phrase “natural born citizen” as being an anachronism, the principle behind that citation remains. In context, de Vattel considers that citizen and allegiance flows through ones father. Those one one side raise the importance of The Law of Nations to the authoritative reference for the Constitution. Others say that it had no importance when it comes to citizenship. Neither side is right. The US Supreme Court says that definitions in the Constitution come from the British common law (Smith v. Alabama). However, we know from a broadside published by William Smith in South Carolina in 1788 that he was using de Vattel’s principle of allegiance from one’s father. However, it is instructive to look at what Smith wrote:

The Doctor [Ramsay] says the circumstance of birth does not make a citizen–This I also deny. Vattel says, “The country of the father is that of the children, and these become citizens merely by their tacit consent.” I was born a Carolinian, and I defy the Doctor with all his ingenuity, arithmetical or political, to say at what moment I was disenfranchised–at what moment I lost my citizenship.

Only Smith’s father died a British Subject. I do not see that Smith (nor many Americans at the time) made a distinction between someone born in the United States to an alien father and one born to a citizen father, for the simple reason that colonial laws encouraged persons to be come citizens and made it quick and easy. There were few alien fathers, and no one kept track of such things. I think this is important to keep in mind when confronting legalistic interpretations of statements from this period.

Returning to topic, The Law of Nations was an important book and apparently a widely read book. It was influential in some areas in not in others. It certainly was never the law of the United States. It represented a point of view on Citizenship that was inconsistent with the British Common law that underpinned legal process before and after the Revolution.

Immigration

It is a mistake to read early American history on citizenship and immigration through a modern lens. Early America stayed alive through immigration. It was the country’s life blood (as so much of its native blood was sacrificed to disease). Today there is widespread anti-immigrant sentiment, fear and anxiety over job loss and terrorism. It was not like that in 1783! The new states were willing and ready to make citizens quickly and with little hassle beyond a character reference and an oath of allegiance. They were not the “blood purists” that we have bred today.

Conclusion

If you had asked the “man on the street” in 1783 what a “natural born citizen” was, you would likely have gotten a wide range of answers. You would have found sentiment that citizenship comes from ones parents, and sentiment that it comes from ones place of birth and sentiment for both. Most important, it would come from membership in the community, however defined.

If presented with the problem of Barack Obama, born in the United States, British father, American mother, the 1783 American might have given various answers. However, their variation would not be based on a definition of “natural born citizen” but whether a person was born a citizen. If it were added to the equation that our hypothetical Obama spent most of his life in the United States, was educated here, and when he came of age dedicated himself to American public service, I do not think you would have found anyone who thought he was ineligible to be president (so long as you didn’t tell them he was black).

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88 Responses to Understanding “natural born citizen”

  1. avatar
    DraggingCanoe April 24, 2010 at 10:07 pm #

    There is a document dated November 1785 referencing Vattel in the English; is quoted by John Jay.

    “The first question is settled by Vattel in the following Paragraph viz–
    ‘Among the modern….

    The letter is signed by Jay as Presid of Congress.

    It is my understanding you stated why would the Founders use a Swiss Book?

  2. avatar
    DraggingCanoe April 24, 2010 at 10:31 pm #

    waiting for an answer to my question..you said the Founders would not use Vattel. I have a copy of the document. Do not know how to post it from photobucket.

  3. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy April 24, 2010 at 10:48 pm #

    DraggingCanoe: There is a document dated November 1785 referencing Vattel in the English; is quoted by John Jay.

    There is no question that English editions of de Vattel existed as early as 1760. And there is no question that Americans were reading them, especially the American Edition of 1787. It’s just that none of these translations before 1797 used the phrase “natural born citizen.”

    When I referred to a “Swiss book” I meant a book written by a Swiss jurist. I remark was about viewpoint, not language.

    I said that they would not use the works of a Swiss philosopher when they had a firm common law principle or colonial law to guide them. When there was no precedent, they did refer to various authorities, among them Emerich de Vattel.

  4. avatar
    DraggingCanoe April 24, 2010 at 11:11 pm #

    They used Vattel based on his views and you know it..stop lying. I have the letter by Jay where they used Vattel’s recommendation in November 1785.

  5. avatar
    DraggingCanoe April 24, 2010 at 11:23 pm #

    http://i870.photobucket.com/albums/ab264/Dragging_Canoe/johnjay2.gif

    Document by Jay using Vattels “views”

    This proves you wrong and makes everything you say in the defense of Obama suspect..

  6. avatar
    Bovril April 24, 2010 at 11:37 pm #

    Dear Dragging Ass

    You really really outa read stuff before postimng irrelevant cack.

    The refutation of Vattel has been (since this is “Obama Conspiracy”)solely rrgarding the outright lies made up Birfers, regarding citizenship.

    Your lovely little post has bugger all to do with the matter at hand.

    Please try and stay on point.

  7. avatar
    DraggingCanoe April 25, 2010 at 12:04 am #

    Dr. Conspire is a hack for Obama spreading BS..I will post it again..

    Dr. Conspire..”the Founders would not use a Swiss jurist views…”

    http://i870.photobucket.com/albums/ab264/Dragging_Canoe/johnjay2.gif

    They did.

  8. avatar
    Northland10 April 25, 2010 at 12:12 am #

    It has been stating often here that Vattel’s views were likely used in respect to international relations and not citizenship. Your proof says nothing of citizenship but focuses only on international commerce.

    Thus, the point still stands, they were not following him on citizenship issues (i.e Jus Soli or Jus Sanguinis).

  9. avatar
    Northland10 April 25, 2010 at 12:18 am #

    Try reading what Doc wrote:

    The Law of Nations was an important book and apparently a widely read book. It was influential in some areas in not in others. It certainly was never the law of the United States. It represented a point of view on Citizenship that was inconsistent with the British Common law that underpinned legal process before and after the Revolution.

    Sounds like he is saying it was a well known book and used in many places, except U.S. Citizenship.

  10. avatar
    DraggingCanoe April 25, 2010 at 12:31 am #

    DocConspire: “Many of the Framers were lawyers, and some of those educated in England itself.

    It makes no sense that they would abandon both English common law and the existing colonial laws in favor of some Swiss philosopher.”

    http://i870.photobucket.com/albums/ab264/Dragging_Canoe/johnjay2.gif

    Busted. He is an Obama hack.

  11. avatar
    G April 25, 2010 at 12:54 am #

    DraggingCanoe –

    Do you have a reading comprehension problem? Did you even read what Bovril stated, or what Dr. C has ever said on the matter?

    No evidence exists that Vattel had anything to do with citizenship issues. It has repeatedly been noted that Vattel was referenced in terms of international commerce by the Founders.

    All your image shows is evidence of what we’ve all been saying: Vattel was referenced in regards to international commerce.

    Surely you are not too stupid to not know the difference between international commerce and citizenship?

  12. avatar
    G April 25, 2010 at 12:56 am #

    Busted? I think not.

    If anything, you are the one looking like a fool.

    Surely you are not too stupid to not know the difference between international commerce and citizenship?

    Your own image “proof” is about international commerce, dummy!

  13. avatar
    DraggingCanoe April 25, 2010 at 12:57 am #

    Dr. conspireforobama is not smart enough to judge the Founders and he has no idea what they thought because NONE of us are at their level of genius.

    If John Paul Jones were alive today..the fleet would be on the Potomac putting an end to the madness in Washington and the White house.

    Jones gave a dire warning..one day we may have a president who will “cut the throats” of some citizens and be a tyrant of the rest.

    This is why it is important a president has no foreign ties. We know he bowed to the Saudi King..we know he was registered a Muslim at his school in Indonesia.

    All we ask is have an open mind about Obama not a closed one in your zeal to protect him because you have the same political beliefs. Stop spinning for him. Let us all get the truth before it is to late.

  14. avatar
    G April 25, 2010 at 1:08 am #

    Wow! Hey, we’re all appreciative of the what the founding fathers did and yes, they had many intellectual leaders of the time as part of their movement.

    However, you seem to be wacking yourself raw elevating them to some sort of mythical god-like beings.

    If you actually studied history, you would realize that the founders were a very diverse group and just as human as the folks alive today. They often disagreed with each other, sometimes to quite a heated exchange – not that unlike how congress operates today.

    Not all of the founders present for either the Declaration of Independence nor the Constitution agreed on those documents at the time of their writing – in fact, some of them were so much against it that they refused to sign off or even left the conference debates altogether in protest.

    Therefore, the only one I see displaying unreasonable zeal and spin here is you.

  15. avatar
    Lupin April 25, 2010 at 2:32 am #

    I fail to see your point.

    As has been explained here many times, on the issue of natural-born citizen, Vattel explicitly and unarguably states that one parent, the father (in the original edition), is sufficient.

    This was later footnoted to say that, for children born out of wedlock, the mother’s citizenship is enough.

    So even if the founders had Vattel’s writing in mind when they used the term, that doesn’t help your cause at all.

  16. avatar
    Scientist April 25, 2010 at 7:45 am #

    DraggingCanoe-It seems that it’s your behind, rather than your canoe that’s dragging…

    First, “the Founders” were not some monolithic entity. I doubt you could have gotten them all to agree on what to have for lunch.

    Second, even if they all did agree, meanings of words evolve as the world changes. Let me give you an example-what did the Founders mean by “freedom of the press”? They meant THE PRESS-newspapers and pamphlets. They most certainly did not mean radio, TV and the internet, since they couldn’t even imagine those things. Does that mean the government can censor those? Of course not, because our understandung of freedom of the press has evolved to include all media that exist today and those that might be invented in the future.

    The same is true of natural born citizen. While we can consider what John Jay meant by that, he does not get the final word. The final word rests with the voters of today and their elected representatives. And they have spoken.

  17. avatar
    Greg April 25, 2010 at 10:52 am #

    Dr. Conspiracy has a pretty good idea of what the Founders thought, because he’s read what they wrote. You, on the other hand, seem to want the Founders to be stupid idiots who couldn’t be bothered to use a new term than “natural born,” which had always meant born here without regard to the parents’ citizenship.

    You don’t like Obama because he’s a Democrat. Did you question Bush’s citizenship when he held hands with and kissed the Saudi King? And, last I checked, it says in the Constitution that there would be no Religious test to hold office. So, even if the religion of a six-year old Obama were Muslim, that wouldn’t disqualify him from the Presidency!

  18. avatar
    Greg April 25, 2010 at 10:56 am #

    Isaac Newton is a famous physicist, have you heard of him?

    Isaac Newton believed in alchemy – the quest to turn lead into gold.

    Isaac Newton’s being a good physicist doesn’t mean alchemy is right.

    Vattel is a political philosopher who was influential on the subject of international relations.

    Vattel was NOT influential on the subject of citizenship!

    Telling us over and over again how influential Newton was on gravity will not make us believe he was right about alchemy!

    Stop lying!

  19. avatar
    Greg April 25, 2010 at 10:59 am #

    I’m just wondering, DC, did you read the article you’re replying to?

    Where, then, does it say that “the Founders would not use Vattel?”

    Give me a quote from the article.

  20. avatar
    Scott Brown April 25, 2010 at 1:45 pm #

    First, must we really resort to name calling? Can we not have a civilized debate on the issue. Yes, both sides are passionate about it, but name calling does little to advance your views.

    Secondly, after trying to read your post, your numerous typos and word usage, leave me wondering what interest you have in the issue.

    Not belittling your typing skills, we all make typos, your post is either hastily written or English is not your first language (which is NOT, I repeat NOT a racially intended statement).

  21. avatar
    Scott Brown April 25, 2010 at 1:47 pm #

    Geeze, again with the name calling.

    How immature and kindergartenish.

    I think you have good points in your debate with Dragging; however, your whole credence with me goes out the window when I see you resort to name calling.

  22. avatar
    Scott Brown April 25, 2010 at 1:54 pm #

    Dragging, this is the first I have agreed with you. Asking those that protect and spin for Obama to have an open-mind as to the possibilities of what Hope and Change really mean is my goal as well.

    I really have no clue about Obama anymore. He does one thing, but says another. He behaves in degrading ways towards the American people, then he will turn around and do something or say something VERY American. I just cannot figure him out and the scary thing is, I don’t think he wants us to figure him out.

    I used to really believe he was born in Hawaii, but since his wife, nor the Kenyan government believes it – I have to question it, while common sense does still dictate the fact that he was probably born in Hawaii – I am at least keeping an open mind to this issue because 1) I was not present for his birth, 2) all politicians lie, 3) there is a purported COLB which says he was born in Hawaii.

    But you are correct, the good Dr. and most of his buddies here seem to take everything Obama says at face value and will defend and protect him like there is no tomorrow.

    All I’m saying is – I just simply don’t know anymore when it comes to what Obama does, says, or who he is.

  23. avatar
    G April 25, 2010 at 1:59 pm #

    Scott Brown –

    You are the one with no credence and who are not acting mature.

    Why have you dodged everyone’s question about what state you were born in for well over a week now?

    Until you either answer that question or come clean and admit that you made up a story, you have no credibility here and deserve no respect.

    You have demonstrated by your actions to be both a coward and a liar and therefore, not trustworthy to maintain an actual conversation. You have only earned yourself contempt by your deceitful and dishonorable actions.

  24. avatar
    aarrgghh April 25, 2010 at 2:22 pm #

    scott brown, whose irony meter is hitting “empty”:

    “I just cannot figure him out and the scary thing is, I don’t think he wants us to figure him out”

    FREE THE BIRTH STATE!!!

    an honest man would be **HONORED** to prove what state they were born in!

    You MUST be hiding something when you can’t respond to a simple question like tell us your birth state!

    maybe it’s not the birth state, but it has to be something deeply embarrassing!

    oh, waitaminnit — you were talking about obama, weren’t you?

  25. avatar
    Scott Brown April 25, 2010 at 2:29 pm #

    First, personal attacks give you no credence.

    Second, I would agree that we have to use common sense to intepret the FF’s as they would have had no idea of the evolution of what Freedom of the Press would evenutally cover.

    However, the same must be used in interpreting their preconceived idea of who would be running for POTUS. I can see that never in their wildest dreams would they have considered that society would have evolved to the point it has (which is not a bad thing), but to have to see into a distant future where they would need to allow for guarding against ANY foreign involvement in the running of the nation. I think they thought they had done so, and I think they would not approve of the present POTUS given his divided loyalities at birth.

    We also must understand that paternal and maternal tied are not nearly as strong as they were in the day of the FF’s. I understand that and can understand when that arguement is made in favor of Obama. Obama wasn’t raised by his paternal father and apparently had relatively few ties to his British Citizenship. However, I think we must also look at and evalute actions by those that we elect to our highest offices.

    I think if more people had been made aware of Obama’s actions as a Senator (traveling to Kenya to campaign for Odinga) and other such telling actions, that more would have questioned his divided loyalty to the US. When I speak to friends who voted for him, they HAD no clue about his questionable activities prior to casting their vote. The important thing though – they know NOW.

  26. avatar
    G April 25, 2010 at 2:37 pm #

    Oh spare us your fake concern trolling, “Scott Brown”.

    The simple fact is that for whatever reason, you’ve never liked Obama and you look for any possible rumor or complaint to justify to yourself your own biases. The difficulty is that all the birther crap and half of the attacks on Obama are not based on worthy policy-based dialog, but on utter BS from a bunch of angry losers, so it is hard to justify your false and warped perversion of reality long term.

    You never took Obama at face value. You can’t understand him because he refuses to conform to the biased filter of expectations you’ve unfairly put upon him. You are confused because you constantly seek to interpret others through the filter of your own pre-judged worldview.

    If anything, Obama has probably been the most consistent and steady politician I can remember. People on the far right & far left are upset because he won’t conform to their expectations of him. If people would actually take what he says at “face value” they would realize that the actions he’s taken have remained fairly consistent to the positions he’s held and espoused all along.

    In the areas where his rhetoric has not matched reality so far, it pretty much comes down to stuff where he set dates saying that X would happen and has so far failed to meet those dates. Those are fair and true areas for criticism. He’s only 1.5 years into his 4 year term, so we’ll be able to better judge if he’s just behind schedule on some of these promises or if he fails to accomplish them when the 2012 election cycle comes around.

    It is also fair for people to have different opinions of how to address a problem, but to claim shock that Obama’s agenda moves in the direction he always campaigned upon is ridiculous.

    However, your criticism’s seem to always be on petty stuff, such as this birther nonsense and other tripe and not rational or reasonable simple differences of opinion. Your need to somehow demonize him and others is nothing but petty and disingenuous.

    Your claim that Obama’s wife doesn’t believe he is born in America would be laughable if it wasn’t so insulting.

    What you really need to do is look in the mirror at your own problems and ask yourself why YOU do the shameful things you do:

    -You make up stories and then dodge simple questions when caught (again: what state were you born in) – those are the actions of a deceiver, a liar and a coward!

    So, what is your purpose here? It seems like your whole goal is intentional spreading of lies and misinformation and that you don’t have any integrity at all.

    Why should we listen to a thing you say “Scott Brown” and why should we treat you with anything but contempt and ridicule for your dishonest and malicious actions?

  27. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy April 25, 2010 at 2:42 pm #

    Dave: I’m just wondering, DC, did you read the article you’re replying to?

    The point of my remark is I never claimed that The Law of Nations was unavailable in English. It is not in response to any particular article.

    In March of 2009, I wrote: “What did Jay mean by that phrase? Did he adopt the words from the Swiss philosopher Emmerich de Vattel (with whom he was familiar) or did he perhaps adapt them from the laws of his own state of New York?”

    Here I clearly point out that John Jay was familiar with the works of de Vattel. I’m not trying to cover up anything. However, John Jay was also familiar with the laws of the New York colony which used the phrase “natural born subject.”

    Now which of these is closer to “natural born citizen”?

    a) Natural Born Subject
    b) Indegenes (1787 translation of Vattel with which John Jay was familiar)

  28. avatar
    G April 25, 2010 at 2:48 pm #

    Well, all we have here is pretty much a word for word cut & paste from DraggingCanoe above.

    So, Karen are you just a lazy plagiarist or are you yet another typical birther sockpuppeting as “DraggingCanoe”?

    You are nothing but a pathetic, hack coward who cannot think for yourself. The same BS whining tripe was already posted here word for word and responded to. Yet you are too cowardly to respond back to any of the criticism that has already been made on this very statement and instead, think you can just sneak the same BS down here later in the posting unchallenged.

    You are the one who lives in a fantasy world and has a closed mind. The only zeal here is by you haters and sore losers out there who just like to make meaningless slander and twisted rumors to justify your own petty hate.

    Then you have to slink off and run away and return under sock puppets on another part of the thread because you can’t handle being confronted on your BS and you don’t have a leg to stand on to back up your pathetic diatribe.

  29. avatar
    G April 25, 2010 at 2:55 pm #

    Once again, you just spew misinformation and lies Scott Brown.

    The whole campaign for Odinga is another FALSE LIE and long since debunked:

    http://www.snopes.com/politics/obama/kenya.asp

    The real reason the people you speak to have no clue about Obama’s “questionable activities” is because they ARE NOT TRUE and you are the one SPREADING LIES!

    You’ve been caught lying about your made up little passport story (which state were you born in again?) and now you’ve demonstrated that you intentionally go around spreading other long since debunked lies.

    There are only two possibilities that remain, “Scott Brown” -either you are an extremely gullible fear/hate driven idiot OR you are an extremely bad and immoral person who intentionally goes around making things up and spreading falsehoods.

    Which is it and what is your agenda?

  30. avatar
    G April 25, 2010 at 2:57 pm #

    We can have a civilized debate on the issue once you stop dodging the question and tell us what state you are from and why you felt it necessary to lie and make up that whole passport story…

    Still waiting, you disingenuous, lying coward.

  31. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy April 25, 2010 at 2:59 pm #

    DraggingCanoe: This is why it is important a president has no foreign ties. We know he bowed to the Saudi King..we know he was registered a Muslim at his school in Indonesia.

    George Bush kissed a Saudi prince and is an adherent of a foreign religion, Christianity. Hypocrite.

  32. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy April 25, 2010 at 3:03 pm #

    DraggingCanoe: Busted. [Dr .Conspiracy] is an Obama hack.

    Before you can claim “busted” you must first show that the text you provided demonstrates that John Jay “abandoned both English common law and the existing colonial laws”. You are only half there.

    The truth is that if Jay had a precedent to work with, he would not have had to resort to de Vattel.

  33. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy April 25, 2010 at 3:06 pm #

    You are misrepresenting what I said by quoting only half the sentence, making it appear that I meant something that would be obviously not the case when viewing the whole sentence.

    Whether you lack the subtlety to understand entire sentences with their qualifications or whether you intentionally distorted my comment, your objection is bogus.

  34. avatar
    Rickey April 25, 2010 at 4:17 pm #

    DraggingCanoe says:

    If John Paul Jones were alive today..the fleet would be on the Potomac putting an end to the madness in Washington and the White house.

    Jones gave a dire warning..one day we may have a president who will “cut the throats” of some citizens and be a tyrant of the rest.

    I see that you have been posting this all over the Internet, and of course you have stripped the Jones quotation of context. He was referring to his concerns that a president could use his authority over the military to become a tyrant. Of course, Obama has done nothing in his role as Commander-in-Chief that could be considered tyrannical. Indeed, for the most part he has continued the military policies of the Bush Administration.

    Incidentally, when John Paul Jones wrote that letter he was a Rear Admiral in the Imperial Russian Navy. Talk about divided loyalties!

    This is why it is important a president has no foreign ties. We know he bowed to the Saudi King..

    He also bowed to a Girl Scout. How sinister!

    http://gscnc.files.wordpress.com/2009/11/4075414008_d679f27eee_b1.jpg

  35. avatar
    nbC April 25, 2010 at 5:09 pm #

    And once again Scott Brown, enslaved by myths, allows himself to be used to spread more foolish myths rather than present facts.

  36. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy April 25, 2010 at 5:57 pm #

    Scott Brown: Can we not have a civilized debate on the issue.

    “Coward” and “immature” are both examples of name calling. For that matter, accusing someone of “name calling” is in a sense “name calling.”

    For a civilized debate, the participants should be willing to present, explain and support their positions. I think you have been a little weak in this department and have not been willing to support some of the things you have said when questioned. On the other hand, I don’t think it’s fair to abuse someone who won’t answer questions on demand.

  37. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy April 25, 2010 at 6:35 pm #

    Scott Brown: I think if more people had been made aware of Obama’s actions as a Senator (traveling to Kenya to campaign for Odinga) and other such telling actions, that more would have questioned his divided loyalty to the US.

    Since the Odinga story is false, I think that it is a good thing that it was not spread more widely. I also think that if more people questioned their assumptions and checked out the stories they believe, this whole “divided loyalty” idea would vanish in a puff of smoke.

  38. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy April 25, 2010 at 6:50 pm #

    They used Vattel based on his views and you know it..stop lying. I have the letter by Jay where they used Vattel’s recommendation in November 1785.

    I have never said (except when quoted out of context) that Vattel was never used; he was. What you have not shown is any evidence that the natural born citizen clause in the Constitution derives from de Vattel, since the phrase did not exist in his English translations until a decade after the Constitution was written.

  39. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy April 25, 2010 at 6:54 pm #

    DraggingCanoe: Dr. conspireforobama is not smart enough to judge the Founders and he has no idea what they thought because NONE of us are at their level of genius.

    If John Paul Jones were alive today…

    So if NONE of us is smart enough to judge the Founders or know what they thought, then how come you claim to know what John Paul Jones would do if he were alive today?

  40. avatar
    Scientist April 25, 2010 at 7:06 pm #

    So, if Obama is loyal to Britain or Kenya and has been in office well over a year now, surely you can point to some concrete changes in US policy towards those countries, compared to what it has been under previous administrations. If his supposed loyalties haven’t produced any real changes in policy, then perhaps they only exist in your overworked imagination….

  41. avatar
    BatGuano April 25, 2010 at 7:52 pm #

    So, if Obama is loyal to Britain…..

    no other administration has given the queen an ipod. FACT! it is obvious his loyalty is to the crown.

  42. avatar
    richcares April 25, 2010 at 8:31 pm #

    liar liar pants on fire!

  43. avatar
    G April 25, 2010 at 9:49 pm #

    We’ve given “Scott Brown” well over a week to answer. If you look back, the initial requests were polite and that sort of degraded over time as “Scott Brown” continued to post while completely ducking the issue entirely.

    I’m not going to apologize for becoming harsher when someone continuously ducks the issue while trying to move on to spreading more tripe at the same time.

    Such disingenuous actions and intentional ducking of a simple question is cowardly in my opinion and if my language has become less and less respectful towards “Scott Brown”, then it is because she has lost more and more rights to respect over time.

    When people are acting above board and sincere in their actions, I treat them with respect. When they act poorly or foolish, I’m not going to shy away from calling them on it.

    When they try to come up with elaborate personal stories that we question and then they come up with elaborate “woe is me” defenses at first and then completely duck and run for cover when we catch them in a lie…and yet come back here repeatedly to try to pull new slanders without ever coming clean about their previous blatant lies…well, then they’ve earned every harsh slam coming to them for being such a snake in the grass.

  44. avatar
    Black Lion April 25, 2010 at 10:42 pm #

    G, I totally agree…We have been respectful with “Scott Brown” regarding this issue. Overall we are respectful on this site…Even to Sven, who we all know is intentionally trolling to just get a rise out of people. But “Scott” made a claim that was proven to be false. And instead of owning up to it, she ignores the fact that she made something up and continues to repeat the same debunked birther talking points. She has lost whatever credibility that she may have had and whatever she says is immediately suspect.

  45. avatar
    Lupin April 26, 2010 at 1:51 am #

    The easiest explanation for what you feel is that you’re such a liar you can’t recognize the truth anymore.

  46. avatar
    Lupin April 26, 2010 at 1:56 am #

    When it comes to facts, a demonstrably proven liar such as yourself is like a compass that would point to the South.

    We only need to take the exact opposite of what you say to know where the truth lies.

  47. avatar
    Lupin April 26, 2010 at 1:58 am #

    Calling you a liar isn’t “name-calling” at this point, no more than calling me a Frenchman. It’s an accurate description of what you are.

  48. avatar
    Arthur April 26, 2010 at 4:37 am #

    Scott Brown:

    You wrote, “the good Dr. and most of his buddies here seem to take everything Obama says at face value and will defend and protect him like there is no tomorrow.”

    I can’t speak for other posters, but I’m not motivated by a desire to defend or protect Obama. Rather, I’m interested in defending and protecting rational principles of evidence and argument. I’m concerned about these principles because, among other things, they are central to effective decision making.

    That’s why it troubles me when, in the face of reliable evidence from the state of Hawaii, over a hundred years of explicit legal argument, and the universal dismissal of birther legal cases, some Americans remain enthralled to the untenable proposition that Obama has usurped the office of president. It also troubles me that in order to maintain their followers enthrallment, leaders in the birther movement rely on fraudulent documents, nonsensical arguments, and appeals to violence.

    Ultimately, I want our civic discourse to be guided by high ethical standards, and for that reason I’m compelled to criticize the birther movement.

  49. avatar
    DraggingCanoe April 26, 2010 at 5:34 am #

    Is it true this website is the place where the free republic obama bots come to cry??

    I have a question for the conspire bots..

    On 4 Sept 1787 natural born citizen or citizen was a requirement for President.

    On 7 Sept 1787 “citizen” was removed in
    committee, natural born citizen remained.

    Why remove one word and leave three? If citizen and natural born citizen are the same thing, why not remove nbc?

    You guys say..they are the same..

    Just wanted to let you guys and gals know..Obama was not born in a manger.

  50. avatar
    DraggingCanoe April 26, 2010 at 5:43 am #

    Posted on a few websites was the term ‘natural born free citizen’ How does this compare to natural born citizen?

  51. avatar
    Arthur April 26, 2010 at 6:03 am #

    Dragging Canoe:

    You wrote, “Just wanted to let you guys and gals know..Obama was not born in a manger.”

    You’re absolutely right! He was born in Hawaii.

    Glad we agree on something.

  52. avatar
    DraggingCanoe April 26, 2010 at 6:09 am #

    http://i870.photobucket.com/albums/ab264/Dragging_Canoe/vattelcitizens.gif

    founder reading Vattel..subject citizens

  53. avatar
    DraggingCanoe April 26, 2010 at 6:15 am #

    In order to prove that individuals in a state of nature are equally free and independent he read passeses from Vattel and others’

    http://i870.photobucket.com/albums/ab264/Dragging_Canoe/vattelcitizens.gif

    Busted Big Time.

  54. avatar
    Northland10 April 26, 2010 at 7:47 am #

    Your “proof” is from a debate about equal representation by the states in Congress/Senate. It had nothing to do with qualifications or citizenship.

    Anyway, all we know is he read from Vattel. We do not know what he read or whether he was agreeing. All we know is he read something. As we stated before, the founders knew of Vattel and may even have agreed in terms of international relations.

    Sorry, try again.

  55. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy April 26, 2010 at 8:10 am #

    @DraggingCanoe

    The passage you cite has no force in this argument. What I have said from the start is that Jay did not use Vattel when he had an existing precedent from the Common Law or colonial laws. In this case, it appears that he is consulting several philosophers, Locke, Vattel, Lord Sommers, and Priestly on a point of philosophy.

  56. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy April 26, 2010 at 8:14 am #

    DraggingCanoe: founder reading Vattel..subject citizens

    “Citizens”, not “citizenship”, and specifically not who are and who are not citizens.

  57. avatar
    DraggingCanoe April 26, 2010 at 8:20 am #

    reading from the kool aid drinkers and Obama worshipers..the US is sinking into the toilet..i am afraid nothing can stop it..God help us…this is one of the most brain washed band of leftists radicals ever encountered..you spin and spin..Obama is a illegal president….and supporting him is treason..oh..Jefferson said natural born citizen in 1777..I guess he had a time machine like jay to go into the future to read vattel

  58. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy April 26, 2010 at 8:22 am #

    DraggingCanoe: [If born citizen and natural born citizen are the same thing, why was it changed during the writing of the Constitution?]

    If it meant something different, why is there no record of any debate on the change? The Committee on Style made quite a few changes to tighten up the text. “Natural born” was a term of art appearing in numerous colony charters and legislation and was the more proper legal term under the common law.

    Given no mention of the phrase in Vattel (something that makes most everything you have said irrelevant), where do YOU think it came from?

    Unless you are ready to concede defeat here and how, produce for us any English translation of de Vattel that existed before the Constitution was written that used the phrase “natural born citizen.” If not, then move on to your next attempt at rewriting history to match your personal views.

  59. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy April 26, 2010 at 8:39 am #

    DraggingCanoe: Is it true this website is the place where the free republic obama bots come to cry??

    No. I was banned at Free Republic over a year ago for pointing out fallacies in their anti-Obama belief system. I think others here have had similar experiences. The “Free Republic” is anything but “Free.”

  60. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy April 26, 2010 at 8:42 am #

    Arthur: Ultimately, I want our civic discourse to be guided by high ethical standards

    My fear is of someday being ruled by an ignorant mob.

  61. avatar
    Black Lion April 26, 2010 at 9:53 am #

    Speaking of Free republic, most of the posters there would not be considered to be obots…That place is birther central….And of course look who shows up to see if his ridiculous theory about a 7 year old renouncing his NBC status, our buddy Sven. a FR troll….

    To: Rational Thought
    This weekend:
    Health Care Reform Act Fails, Obama Resigns

    Barry Soetoro lived in Jakarta, Indonesia from 1967-71, right after the bloodiest civil war in Indonesian history, which took place from 1965-67. The Indonesian Communist Party, the PKI, had millions killed during that civil war.

    General Sukarno’s party had sent Lolo to Hawai`i to get a graduate degree, where he met Ann Dunham. Dunham knew that she and Lolo were protected by powerful political forces until something happened when Barry was about 10 years old. Something that would make NGOs working in the area that Barry would have to be removed immediately because his life was in jeopardy.

    Lolo Soetoro, a Colonel in the Indonesia Army under General Sukarno, adopted Barack Hussein Obama II.

    Barry Soetoro, with his new dad and mom, moved to Indonesia to be a part of a Indonesian family living, working and receiving an education with the all rights and privileges a military officer and his family expected under the dictatorship of General Sukarno.

    Since Barry was living in Indonesia and planned to live there permanently, he applied to the US Embassy for a Certificate of Loss of Nationality (CLN). Contrary to popular belief, if any American moves out of the country and sets up a household with a military officer of a foreign dictatorship, the US SoS doesn’t make it difficult to renounce your US Citizenship. Proof of Barry’s Indonesian citizenship is in his 2nd grade school record.

    Barry was identified as an orphaned or abandoned refugee and provided expedited travel papers and transportation back to his American grandparents in 1971-72. Barry’s refugee status explains his Connecticut SSN. An American Refugee Organization (ARO) from Connecticut working with the US DoS arranged for Barry to receive his SSN card through their mailing address as an legal alien.

    Barack Obama, SR. came back to Hawai’i and appeared in Hawai`i District Court to complain Barry was adopted without his consent. After the Court voided the Soetoro adoption, the Court ordered a new vital record to be created and “filed” by the Hawai`i DoH stating the facts we know as the online FTS COLB. The Court did not see fit to name a doctor, hospital or administrator. All other information was Court Ordered, i.e. father’s race as African was from a culturally sensitive Judge and not a CDC recommended classification of race.

    Barry Soetoro became persona non grata. Legally speaking, BHO II is technically correct when he says he has never been Barry Soetoro. But his Nationality, regardless of the name change, is Indonesian.

    His CLN is on file with the DoS, DHS, IRS and FBI.

    51 posted on Thursday, March 18, 2010 1:26:33 PM by SvenMagnussen (Quo Warranto better than Apocolypto)

    http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/2473905/posts?page=51#51

    What is even more hilarious is that even the birthers at FR had a hard time believing in that nonsense….

    To: little jeremiah
    I responded to your statement ”He may be a citizen, he may not be a citizen..” If you meant to say “natural born citizen” that changes the meaning and is a different issue. I’ve been following this for a long time, trying to find what is true and what is not. Many of my posts are trying to keep the facts straight; I don’t think repeating inaccuracies helps anything.

    The US State Department states that adoption or using a foreign passport has no effect on US citizenship. If that is incorrect, please cite sources and I’ll gladly acknowledge my error.

    Sven Magnussen has advanced an interesting theory, but provides no proof. He wrote
    “Since Barry was living in Indonesia and planned to live there permanently, he applied to the US Embassy for a Certificate of Loss of Nationality (CLN). Contrary to popular belief, if any American moves out of the country and sets up a household with a military officer of a foreign dictatorship, the US SoS doesn’t make it difficult to renounce your US Citizenship. Proof of Barry’s Indonesian citizenship is in his 2nd grade school record.

    This does not accord with what the US State Department has posted.

    Parents cannot renounce U.S. citizenship on behalf of their minor children. Before an oath of renunciation will be administered under Section 349(a)(5) of the INA, a person under the age of eighteen must convince a U.S. diplomatic or consular officer that he/she fully understands the nature and consequences of the oath of renunciation, is not subject to duress or undue influence, and is voluntarily seeking to renounce his/her U.S. citizenship.

    If I’m reading Sven’s post correctly, he thinks that 0bama renounced citizenship before starting 2nd grade. Hard to believe a consular officer would be convinced that a 7 year old would “fully understand the nature and consequences” of renunciation. I think Sven is misreading the US policy and conflating stepparent with child.
    Immigration and Nationality Act which provides for loss of U.S. nationality if an American voluntarily and with the intention of relinquishing U.S. citizenship enters or serves in foreign armed forces engaged in hostilities against the United States or serves in the armed forces of any foreign country as a commissioned or non-commissioned officer.

    If Lolo Soetero were an American citizen, he would have lost citizenship. The State Department is very clear that children don’t lose citizenship based on the actions of their parents. The proof Sven Magnussen supplies is the Indonesian school application, which isn’t very persuasive. Lying on a school application is a lot easier than a formal renunciation at the age of 7.

    Since this is against US State Department policy, I’d need a lot stronger proof. If you want to make assumptions based on a reasonable desire for evidence, so be it. I always thought conservatives were about refusing to believe in an illusion just because it would make someone feel good. There’s enough bad to say about 0bama that’s fully supported by the facts. Why give the other side ammunition by misstating clear U.S. State Department rules?

    134 posted on Thursday, April 22, 2010 11:34:50 AM by sometime lurker

    http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2497906/posts?q=1&;page=101#131

  62. avatar
    Mike April 26, 2010 at 10:38 am #

    Someday? Doc, there are a good many honorable, intelligent people in positions of elected authority in the US, but when people like Inhofe et al are Republican Senators, the mob has already arrived.

  63. avatar
    Black Lion April 26, 2010 at 11:30 am #

    The Doc is right. The more interesting question for our friend Scott Brown, DraggingIdiot, and the other so called De Vattel theory supporters, who believe that you must have 2 citizen parents in order to be considered a NBC, is what actual SCOTUS proof do you have which supports your view?

    We know that the Constitution only spells out 2 ways someone can be a citizen of the US, naturalized and by birth. But the SCOTUS has gone further. In the US Supreme Court’s ruling in Luria v. U.S., 231 U.S. 9 (U.S. 1913), the court stated that “Under our Constitution, a naturalized citizen stands on an equal footing with the native citizen in all respects, save that of eligibility to the Presidency.” The case then cites Elk v Wilkins and Minor v Happersett as precedent. And we know in Minor the SCOTUS ruled that are exactly two kinds of citizens: native or natural born citizens and naturalized citizens. So logically this leaves us with a couple of facts. We know that the SCOTUS has ruled that there are only 2 types of citizens and that these 2 citizens are equal in all ways except that the native born (or natural born) is eligible to become President. We also know that the SCOTUS in Wong Kim Ark determined that a child born in the US, regardless of the citizenship status of the parents, is considered a citizen of the US. Actually as we know Justice Gray cites Blackstone and English Common Law to determine that “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.”

    What this determines is that the SCOTUS didn’t believe in the ridiculous De Vattel 2 parent argument. The SCOTUS, like most Americans believe that if someone was born in the US, they are eligible to be President of the US. And since Obama was born in HI, then he is eligible. Period.

    “Citizenship is membership in a political society, and implies a duty of allegiance on the part of the member and a duty of protection on the part of the society. These are reciprocal obligations, one being a compensation for the other. Under our Constitution, a naturalized citizen stands on an equal footing with the native citizen in all respects, save that of eligibility to the Presidency. Minor v. Happersett, 21 Wall. 162, 165, 22 L. ed. 627; Elk v. Wilkins, 112 U.S. 94, 101 , 28 S. L. ed. 643, 645, 5 Sup. Ct. Rep. 41; Osborn v. Bank of United States, 9 Wheat. 738, 827, 6 L. ed. 204, 225.”

    http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/cgi-bin/getcase.pl?friend=nytimes&court=us&vol=231&invol=9

  64. avatar
    G April 26, 2010 at 12:23 pm #

    Your reading comprehension really sucks, doesn’t it?

    The passage you provide seems to be describing states rights issues, not NBC citizenship.

    Again, you have no idea what you are talking about and you FAIL once more.

  65. avatar
    nBC April 26, 2010 at 12:26 pm #

    If citizen and natural born citizen are the same thing,

    Citizen = Natural Born and Naturalized Citizen

    Simple…

    Any more questions?

  66. avatar
    G April 26, 2010 at 12:36 pm #

    Wow. Again, just mindless cut & paste of what DraggingCanoe already posted above.

    Again, this tactic shows that the birthers are nothing but a bunch of fakes & copy-cats.

    They either re-post under multiple sock-puppets, because they have to lie and appear to be a larger movement than they are (and besides, the only people they can get to agree with their nonsense is themselves) or they just regurgitate the same tired crap over and over again, because they don’t have a leg to stand on nor the ability to think for themselves.

    Sorry, Obama was lawfully elected by a large MAJORITY of the voters & more importantly, and overwhelming majority of the electoral college.

    The only traitors are the fools attacking our president and our system of government and advocating for violence against its people.

    Why do you birthers hate democracy? Why do you hate America? If any of you scum dare try to carry out your threats, you will just end up in jail, like the criminals you aspire to be.

    Fortunately, you hatriots are and will remain on the losing side of history.

  67. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy April 26, 2010 at 2:34 pm #

    DraggingCanoe: Jefferson said natural born citizen in 1777…

    Why so he did! You blew it big time giving me that hint. Woo Hoo! I can hardly to wait to write up what I found!

  68. avatar
    Greg April 26, 2010 at 3:02 pm #

    ..I guess he had a time machine like jay to go into the future to read vattel

    Or, and I’ll try to do this slowly, so you can follow along:

    Natural Born Citizen came from something else other than Vattel.

    Maybe, just maybe, it came from the 400 year old phrase Natural Born Subject.

    See, replace subject with citizen and you have “natural born citizen.”

  69. avatar
    Greg April 26, 2010 at 3:10 pm #

    He behaves in degrading ways towards the American people, then he will turn around and do something or say something VERY American.

    He’s raised the world’s image of America. More people around the world see America as the “shining city upon the hill,” than when Bush Jr. was President.

    But, you know what, whether he raises taxes or socializes medicine or whatever, doesn’t make him a non-citizen! It doesn’t make him ineligible to be President! You are seriously deluded if you think so. So, keeping an open mind about whether he’s a citizen won’t make us like or dislike his policies any more!

    If you don’t like his policies – go to a political site and argue that his policies are incorrect.

    If you think he’s degrading the nation’s position in the world, go somewhere and argue that he’s degrading the nation.

    None of these have anything to do with whether he is a citizen. Hillary’s health-care plan was more liberal than Obama’s. John Edward’s economic plan was more liberal than Obama’s. There is no question that they were natural born citizens.

  70. avatar
    DraggingCanoe April 26, 2010 at 7:48 pm #

    “who believe that you must have 2 citizen parents in order to be considered a NBC, is what actual SCOTUS proof do you have which supports your view?”

    Dred Scott

  71. avatar
    Greg April 26, 2010 at 8:30 pm #

    Oh, you mean that bit of dicta from a concurring opinion in what is universally acknowledged as the most wrongheaded decision in the history of the nation?

    You keep on quoting Dred Scott.

    It pretty clearly tells us why your sheets have holes in them, conveniently spaced for your eyes.

  72. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy April 26, 2010 at 8:41 pm #

    DraggingCanoe: Dred Scott

    Really scraping the scum off the bottom of the barrel for that one. However, your reference was not in a majority opinion, so it doesn’t count. Not to mention that Dred Scott is on the top 10 list of the Supreme Court’s greatest blunders.

  73. avatar
    SFJeff April 26, 2010 at 9:11 pm #

    Yep, screaming “Dred Scott was right” is going to be a wonderful rallying cry.

    Please use it often and loudly.

  74. avatar
    DraggingCanoe April 27, 2010 at 12:46 am #

    Again you sink lower and lower into the pit of vipers in your rabid, misguided defense of Obama.when u stated .”talk about divided loyalties”.

    JPJ said “I can never renounce the glorious title of a citizen of the United States.”

    He wrote “America is in perfect peace and has no public employment for my military talents.”

  75. avatar
    DraggingCanoe April 27, 2010 at 4:45 am #

    Dr. Conspire has reads what the Obama supporters feed him, nothing more..

  76. avatar
    DraggingCanoe April 27, 2010 at 5:16 am #

    If naturalized citizen is the reason… why the Founders removed the word citizen..it does not explain why they placed the word citizen in the beginning and retained it until 7 Sept 1787.

    This answer is not logical.

  77. avatar
    DraggingCanoe April 27, 2010 at 5:22 am #

    slandering JPJ to support obama..

  78. avatar
    DraggingCanoe April 27, 2010 at 5:36 am #

    We do not mind giving you information regarding the Founders statements on natural born citizen or natural born subjects….we are seeking the truth..this web site is not.

    We know why the Founders inserted natural born citizen. It is only a matter of time we link it directly.

    The first time read your name..you were being critical of the Founders saying how could they understand French, then u said..the Founders would not use Vattel because he is a Swiss jurist.

    Each time you change your story..saying “that is not what I meant”

    Then you switched to International Law..when it was documented the Founders used Vattel for Inter. Law..you said..the Founders did not use Vattel Domestic law..it was documented they did..then you…said..well they did not use it for..citizens..it goes on and on with your nonsense.

  79. avatar
    Lupin April 27, 2010 at 7:24 am #

    Whether or not what you say is true, can’t you get it through your thick skull that there is nothing in Vattel that would make Obama anything but a natural-born citizen?

    There is no room for argument here. In effect, and paraphrasing, Vattel wrote that a nbc was born from citizen parents, i.e. the father, or if unwed, the mother.

    Vattel is a dead end for the birthers’ arguments, a deliberate misinterpretation propagated by lying attorneys to enrich themselves by bilking fools such as you.

  80. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy April 27, 2010 at 7:49 am #

    DraggingCanoe: we are seeking the truth..this web site is not.

    It seems that you are more interested in discrediting me and this web site than any affirmative argument. I thought it was rather revealing when you said: “We know why the Founders inserted natural born citizen. It is only a matter of time we link it directly.” You have decided the outcome before you have evidence to show it. This is a characteristic of conspiracy theories in general and “birthers” in particular and it exposes the lie of your claim: “we are seeking the truth.”

    You accuse me of changing my story, but that is only because you take bits of my story out of context. While this might be good for playing a “gotcha” game before an audience (such as on the free republic) where folks decide issues based on their predispositions rather than evidence or common sense, it doesn’t play here where a number of the commenters are attorneys.

    Your misinformation game strategy is to take various comments by me and claim that I’ve changed my story. However, you are just looking at different parts of the discussion. There are approaching 700 articles and 37,000 comments on this web site. What you call “changes” are here already.

    You on the other hand have been fully discredited with your John Jay letter, even though you tried to throw sand in our eyes a couple of times as a diversion. The little fraud about de Vattel use of “natural born citizen” was exposed on this web site in May of 2009. Your tribe is still spreading this fraud to this day. This doesn’t even consider the fact that de Vattel didn’t say “two citizen parents” at all; in French, the plural in “parents” follows the plural of “children” and the context that follows makes it clear that he is only talking about one parent, the father.

    I presume that your saying “It is only a matter of time we link it directly” is [finally!] an admission that you have no evidence that the phrase “natural born citizen” derives from de Vattel. But it is not a matter of time before you find it, because it has already been linked to the English common law, and various people on your side rather than saying “The Law of Nations” are now saying “The Law of Nations and English Common Law” so that when someone sees conclusive proof that English Common Law is the source of the phrase, they won’t realize that there is a problem. I daresay in the coming months the nObama tribe will be attempting to falsify the English Common Law too. Birthers use lies like fish use schools. By putting out so many of them at one time on so many forums, it is hard for an opponent to focus on all of them, and some escape unchallenged on some forums.

    I will give you the benefit of my hundreds of hours reading colonial laws and old court cases. “Natural born citizen” and “born a citizen in the country” are the same thing. The court in Minor v Happersett was right, there never was any doubt about the citizenship of the children of citizens born in the country (again the plural follows the plural children). There was doubt about some people born in the country to non-citizen parents, such as the children of slaves, American Indians, ambassadors, and transient aliens.

    US. v Wong Kim Ark cleared up all the cases except one, transient aliens. As far as I can tell the only legal door that is not shut and locked tight is the case of a person born in the United States to one transient alien and one citizen parent. However, even if you could persuade a court of such a position (and I consider that nigh to impossible), it would not effect Barack Obama, since his qualifications have already been judged met by Congress. Just keep in mind that the only way you can make Barack Obama not a natural born citizen is to make him not born a citizen.

  81. avatar
    Scientist April 27, 2010 at 7:57 am #

    Really folks, this discussion has devolved into something along the lines of “How many angels can dance on the head of a pin?” What the Founders or Blackstone or de Vattel thought “natural born citizen” meant in the 18th century is not what matters. Rather, it’s what it means TODAY. The meaning of terms evolves. Freedom of the press in the 18th century meant printed matter; today it unquestionably includes electrons in cyberspace. The right to bear arms in the 18th century meant muskets; today, I doubt even the NRA believes that the 2nd amendment allows private citizens to own nuclear weapons (at least I hope not).

    So what does “natural born citizen” mean TODAY (as opposed to the 18th century)? Simply this-anyone who was a US citizen at birth. That includes:

    -Those born in the US regardless of parentage, with the exception of the children of diplmnats and invading armies
    -Those born abroad to US citizen parents as provided by the law.

    The courts MIGHT intervene in the case of a naturalized citizen being elected President-I wouldn’t bet my life savings either way-but I would happily bet a large sum of $$$ that they would NOT intervene in the case of anyone who fits either of the 2 definitions above. They have certainly not and will not in the case of Obama, nor would they have in the case of McCain, whether he was born in Panama or the Canal Zone.

    And whatever the wags here think should happen, reality is what matters. And one thing I know for sure is that reality trumps opinion every time.

  82. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy April 27, 2010 at 7:58 am #

    DraggingCanoe: Dr. Conspire has reads what the Obama supporters feed him, nothing more..

    What a petty insult.

  83. avatar
    Greg April 27, 2010 at 8:18 am #

    Why did they remove the word citizen?

    To make naturalized citizens ineligible for the Presidency.

    Citizen = Natural born citizens and naturalized citizens.

    Natural born citizen = natural born citizen and NOT naturalized citizen

    Naturalized citizen = naturalized citizen and NOT natural born citizen.

    See, the original clause read:

    “shall be of the age of thirty-five years, and a citizen of the United States, and shall have been an inhabitant thereof for twenty-one years.”

    That would include ALL citizens of the United States.

    Who does that phrase exclude?

    Non-citizens!

    Wow, reading is actually kind of easy when you try it.

    You should try it, Canoe.

  84. avatar
    Greg April 27, 2010 at 8:20 am #

    Does that change what I said about you?

    Did you question Bush’s citizenship when he held hands with and KISSED the Saudi King?

  85. avatar
    Greg April 27, 2010 at 8:24 am #

    Truth is an absolute defense against slander, Canoe.

    Did he serve in the Imperial Russian Navy? Yes? Then it’s not slander to say that he did.

  86. avatar
    Greg April 27, 2010 at 8:34 am #

    Transient alien, however, is a legal term that did not describe Obama Sr. when Jr. was born. It has always meant someone who was “passing through.” If you didn’t have a fixed exit date, if you were, say, pursuing an undergraduate degree with vague notions of getting a graduate degree and returning, eventually, to your native Kenya, that is not a transient alien. That is a resident alien.

    The birthers are always shocked to discover that words have meaning!

  87. avatar
    Rickey April 27, 2010 at 12:27 pm #

    DraggingCanoe says:

    slandering JPJ to support obama.

    Are you really that dense? I wasn’t slandering John Paul Jones. I was simply pointing out (and doing it far too subtly for you, apparently) how ridiculous the “divided loyalties” argument is.

    By the way, during the Vietnam War I proudly served aboard the aircraft carrier U.S.S. Bon Homme Richard, named in honor of John Paul Jones’ flagship, so I suspect that my connection to him and respect for him is much greater than yours.

    What have you done for your country?

  88. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy April 27, 2010 at 6:38 pm #

    Literalists have no sense of irony.