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Barack Obama was never a British citizen

I think a pretty fair argument in support of this claim  has been posted here on this blog by commenter nemocapn.

Attorneys Leo C. Donofrio and Mario Apuzzo have made a big deal out of President Obama’s supposed British citizenship. FactCheck.org got involved with the article Does Barack Obama have Kenyan Citizenship? FactCheck concluded that Barack Obama did have British and then Kenyan citizenship for a time. The Obama campaign website, FightTheSmears.com even quotes FactCheck.

Birthers argue (falsely) that anyone born with dual citizenship cannot be President (several former presidents have had dual citizen at birth or later). But perhaps President Obama was not born with dual citizenship after all!

The argument against Obama’s British citizenship may be summarized briefly as follows:

  1. Barack Obama Sr. was already married in Kenya before coming to the United States.
  2. The United States doesn’t recognize bigamous marriages, therefore the Obama/Dunham marriage was null and void.
  3. The British Nationality Act of 1948 only confers British nationality to the legitimate children of British fathers.
  4. Therefore Barack Obama was never a British Citizen.

If President Obama were not a citizen of the UK and Colonies when Kenya became independent then, according to section 87 of the Kenyan Constitution, he would not have become a Kenyan citizen either.

The illegitimacy argument also has another implication. While it is a documented fact that President Obama was born in Hawaii, if it were the case that his mother was not legally married when he was born, the law in force at the time would have made him born a US Citizen, no matter where in world he was born.

145 Responses to Barack Obama was never a British citizen

  1. avatar
    Lupin May 8, 2010 at 2:14 am #

    And if one follows Vattel (no matter how absurd it is), then an Obama born out of wedlock to an American mother would be unambiguously a native-born citizen.

  2. avatar
    Don Draper May 8, 2010 at 2:15 am #

    If they weren’t married, isn’t BO Sr. still the paternal parent? Legitimate or not, BHO II is the son of Brit visiting the US on a student visa with plans to return to his home country.

  3. avatar
    G May 8, 2010 at 3:49 am #

    Which still has no impact on the fact that he was born in Honolulu, HI, which makes him NBC, or the fact that his mother who gave birth to him is also a US NBC.

  4. avatar
    charo May 8, 2010 at 7:39 am #

    Not to be hyper-critical, but aren’t you missing the word “not” in your second statement?

  5. avatar
    Scientist May 8, 2010 at 7:53 am #

    A visit? If your mother-in-law comes for the weekend, that’s a visit. If she’s still there after 4 years, she’s moved in.

  6. avatar
    Scientist May 8, 2010 at 8:15 am #

    Obama Sr.’s prior marriage in Kenya means the birther “arguments” are not just dead (which they are regardless) but the corpse has been dug up, killed again and reburied. The dual citizen nonsense is out the window, since Obama Sr. could transmit neither British Colonial nor Kenyan citizenship to an illegitimate child. The Vattel idiocy is shattered, as noted by Lupin. Even the born in Kenya foolishness is irrelevant, since the child of an unmarried US citizen mother is a born US citizen regardless of place of birth. By the way, the fact that Obama Sr. had another wife in Kenya that Ann Dunham didn’t know about would certainly mean that he would nix any supposed trip by her to Kenya. A guy with 2 wives who don’t know about each other is quite happy that they are 10,000 miles apart.

    So, all you are left with is that the President may well have been born out of wedlock. Given that half the births in the US today are out of wedlock, good luck making hay with that.

  7. avatar
    charo May 8, 2010 at 8:34 am #

    Guess who first raised the issue? I don’t know what the follow up of CFP was.

    http://www.canadafreepress.com/index.php/article/4418

  8. avatar
    charo May 8, 2010 at 8:41 am #

    The MSM could have investigated this ages ago, another words, do their jobs as Doc. is doing. I know that whatever the result, he’ll stick with it.

    IMO, it wasn’t done because ANY angle that could possibly sidetrack the campaign was not going to be investigated, even though it should have been.

    To clarify, CFP recognized a letter to the editor and publicized it.

  9. avatar
    charo May 8, 2010 at 8:42 am #

    another words

    IN OTHER WORDS

    I am just terrible today with my presentation of thoughts as evidenced by this and the other thread.

    Time to go.

  10. avatar
    Scientist May 8, 2010 at 8:55 am #

    The press is already too focused on trivialities and you want them to waste MORE time on them? I want to know what the candidates will do for the country. Leave the “Who’s your daddy?” stuff to the National Enquirer.

  11. avatar
    Scott Brown May 8, 2010 at 10:42 am #

    Exactly Don – I believe the law states that a child born to a single mother where the father is unknown, then becomes a NBC.

    Obama ‘says’ that Obama Sr. was his father.

    It would appear that some here think and are calling the President a liar. How disrespectful. I for one, believe him, until proven otherwise.

  12. avatar
    Mike May 8, 2010 at 10:46 am #

    Makes no difference, as he was born in the US.

    And, for the sake of clarity, BHO Sr was never a “Brit”. He was a citizen of an overseas colony, which is not the same; regardless, your anti-British sentiment is verging on becoming as unpleasant as your other prejudices.

  13. avatar
    Scott Brown May 8, 2010 at 10:52 am #

    Why, Dr. C are you calling the President a liar in your desperate attempt to deny him the British Citizenship that he so proudly claims?

    It is NOT the duelers or the birthers that say he was born with dual citizenship or that he was born under British Rule. It is Obama himself (or rather his campaign staff/Fight The Smears) that is making that assertion.

    If you want to make this lack of dual citizenship an argument for eligibility, then you will need to confront the President on his lie to the American people.

    I’m surprised that you would disrespect President Obama by suggesting that he is lying…..wow, I’m shocked, just shocked that you would also suggest that he is illegitimate – that he is a bastard child?

    Also – out of curiosity – what Presidents, other than Arthur, was born with dual citizenship?

  14. avatar
    Scientist May 8, 2010 at 11:05 am #

    Fake Scott Brown calling someone a liar is like John Wayne Gacy calling someone a cold-blooded killer.

    It is possible for something on a web site to be incorrect without anyone being a liar. I know some will find that shocking, but it has been known to happen. Even Doc has been wrong on occasion.

  15. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy May 8, 2010 at 11:12 am #

    Scott Brown: what Presidents, other than Arthur, was born with dual citizenship?

    Several countries grant citizenship to descendants of their citizens over multiple generations. President Eisenhower is mentioned in this regard and those with an Irish grandparent (like Chester Arthur). Of course many of the founders were born British citizens, although that is not the point I was making.

    This comment is second hand information and should be verified before repeating.

  16. avatar
    Ellie May 8, 2010 at 11:12 am #

    Scientist,

    You seem to be doing a lot of speculating.

    Do you call Obama, “Obama the bastard” or “that bastard Obama”? Doesn’t it make more sense to consider the marriage to be valid, and the child to be legitimate, until a court rules it to be invalid, and the child to be illegitimate? It just doesn’t seem right to be calling Obama a bastard without at least citing some law to support it. What if Hawaii had no law against plural marriages? What if Obama Sr’s first marriage is not recognized by U.S. Courts?

    Do you know what the laws were when Obama was born? Do you know that his 18 year old mother could not legally pass citizenship if Obama was born in Kenya? Conceding that he may have been born in Kenya is to concede that he was not a U.S. citizen at birth. That presents a real problem. I don’t think we want to go there.

  17. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy May 8, 2010 at 11:31 am #

    Scott Brown: Why, Dr. C are you calling the President a liar in your desperate attempt to deny him the British Citizenship that he so proudly claims?

    Remarkable little bit of rhetoric there. First you say ” calling the President a liar” which is an exaggeration. I did not say the President didn’t have British citizenship as a youth, I just said that there was a good argument to this end. Further to be a “liar” the President would have to know and agree with the argument I cited — something I do not know. So I in no way called the President a liar.

    Next bit is “your desperate attempt.” This blog is all about exploring ideas and evaluating claims. I reported this one, as I report hundreds of others, and comment on it. There is nothing remotely “desperate” about this article.

    Finally, “British Citizenship that he so proudly claims.” Besides reprinting an article from FactCheck.org, I don’t know of anything from the President on this issue. There’s no statement of “pride” and the only context in which it appears is in refuting a smear. “Proudly proclaim” is an unreasonable characterization.

    So, Scott Brown, you have learned the smear skills well, but they only work on stupid people.

    When I see comments like this, I lose all respect for those who make them.

  18. avatar
    nemocapn May 8, 2010 at 11:54 am #

    I would change the statement to say this:

    “2.While the United States does recognize some customary marriages, it does not recognize bigamous marriages, therefore the Obama/Dunham marriage was null and void.”

    An article on a Ugandan web site by Jenn Jagire who claims to personally know Keziah Obama says, “However, let’s get back to Keziah Aoko Obama. Keziah married Obama Sr (the president elect’s father) under the Luo customary laws that involved paying bride price.”

    I haven’t confirmed it, but the birthers say Obama refers to the marriage as a “village marriage.” The first marriage appears to be a customary marriage.

  19. avatar
    Scientist May 8, 2010 at 11:55 am #

    Ellie: I reread my post just to be sure. I certainly did not use the word “bastard”. That is your choice. As for Hawaiian law, no US state recognizes plural marriage; the Mormons had to give that up in order for Utah to join the Union.

    The question of whether a US court would recognize Obama Sr’s first marriage is a valid one. Doc’s opinion and a Supreme Court case involving such a marriage from Africa suggest they likely would. And you are incorrect regarding an unmarried mother passing citizenship. The mother’s age is only relevant if she is married. An unmarried mother of 12 passes citizenship.

    If the President were born out of wedlock, it certainly wouldn’t change my opinion of him (very favorable) in the slightest. After all, it’s hardly his doing is it?

  20. avatar
    WTF? May 8, 2010 at 12:07 pm #

    Scott Brown,

    You must know that the only reason Dr. Conspiracy is now (contrary to the claims of sources he has used for support)(including his own previous analysis http://www.obamaconspiracy.org/2009/04/is-president-obama-a-british-citizen/ )
    claiming that Obama was never a British subject/citizen, is that he suspects that having dual citizenship at birth is a problem.

    Why does he suspect it to be a problem? Those with dual citizenship, while under the local jurisdiction of the country of one of their citizenships, have a duty to defend the country exercising local jurisdiction against all other countries, except a country in which they have citizenship.

    Did Obama ever choose a country? Could he have complied with the Kenya Law in order to maintain his right to inherit the land of his father? Did he ever inherit some of his father’s land?

  21. avatar
    nemocapn May 8, 2010 at 12:08 pm #

    I tried searching Vattel for his opinion on how illegitimacy affects citizenship, and I couldn’t find anything. Has anyone else?

    Under English common law, an illegitimate son could be referred to as “filius nullius” (son of nobody) or as “filius populi” (son of the people). Obama, son of the people, has a nice ring to it.

    I’ve started to think about other ways you could interpret “natural born citizen.” Back when the constitution was written “natural born” could mean an illegitimate child. I don’t think that’s what they meant by it, but the phrase could be interpreted as an “illegitimate born citizen.” That interpretation makes more sense than being the child of two citizens or two American born parents.

  22. avatar
    nemocapn May 8, 2010 at 12:23 pm #

    As I understand it, Obama’s father was a CUKC (Citizen of the United Kingdom and Colonies) until he became a Kenyan citizen when Kenya declared independence in 1963. Today the British would consider him an alien. Whether the Obama-Dunham marriage is considered legal or not, Obama is definitely not a British citizen today.

    British citizenship is more complicated than US citizenship. Since 1983, there are five or six different categories of British nationality, of which only one is British citizen. Many Kenyans who didn’t take British citizenship or Kenyan citizenship are British Overseas Citizens (BOCs). Unlike British citizens, they have no right to live in Britain.

  23. avatar
    nemocapn May 8, 2010 at 1:30 pm #

    Great rebuttal, scientist. Polygamy in Hawaii became illegal long before it was a state. Bigamy has been illegal in federal US law since the 19th century.

    Yes, Ellie, it makes sense to consider the marriage valid until the court rules it invalid, just as it makes sense to consider the birth certificate proof Obama was born in Hawaii until the court rules otherwise. US laws on legitimacy and illegitimacy are very complicated. In some states, the child of a bigamous marriage can be legitimate for some purposes, like inheritance, but illegitimate for other purposes. I simply bring it up to show that if Obama’s lawyers ever have to argue the case in court, the bigamy argument could be their trump card. Even the columnist from the Canada Free Press says, “If his parents were not married at the time of his birth, then Barak [sic] is qualified under then-current law to hold the office of President.”

    Appuzo’s only chance of prevailing at that point would depend on the legitimacy laws of Hawaii. British law, I think, may consider someone legitimate based on the laws of the place where he was born. If those laws make Obama legitimate, Apuzzo could counter that Obama is a British Citizen by descent even if Britain considers the marriage bigamous, because he’s still legitimate.

    Thank you, Charo, for providing the link to the CFP article. It contains the INA law I was going to cite as proof that if Obama were born in Kenya out of wedlock, he would be a natural born citizen:

    7 FAM 1133.4-3 Birth Out of Wedlock to American Mother (TL:CON-68; 04-01-1998) a. Section 309 (c) INA: A child born abroad out of wedlock after December 24, 1952, to a U.S. citizen mother acquires U.S. citizenship if the mother was physically present continuously for 1 year in the United States or its outlying possessions at any time prior to the child’s birth.

    As for Obama’s first marriage being recognized in the US, it seems likely that it would. If a customary marriage isn’t legal where it took place, the US won’t recognize it, but if it is legal where it took place, the US will recognize it. It appears that customary marriages are legal in Kenya.

    Great Britain also recognizes customary marriages according to the Home Office web site:
    http://www.bia.homeoffice.gov.uk/sitecontent/documents/policyandlaw/nationalityinstructions/nisec2gensec/marriage?view=Binary

    15.8 Kenya
    15.8.1 There are 5 recognised forms of marriage in Kenya:
    Christian marriages under the Marriage Act or the African Christian Marriage and Divorce Act
    Civil marriages under the Marriage Act
    Hindu marriages under the Hindu Marriage and Divorce Act
    Islamic marriages recognised under the Mohammedan Marriage and Divorce Registration Ordinance, which are potentially polygamous except among the Shia Amami Ismailis (NB. This Ordinance does not apply to certain Shia Moslems)
    African customary marriages, which are polygamous

    The case of Johanna Senator v. USA is just one example of a customary marriage ruled to be legal in the United States.

  24. avatar
    nBC May 8, 2010 at 1:34 pm #

    s that he suspects that having dual citizenship at birth is a problem.

    Not a real problem. SCOTUS has laid that to rest. WTF wants us to believe that other countries somehow can take away fundamental US citizenship rights. Ridiculous.

    Did Obama ever choose a country?

    Yes, he returned to the US, continued to live there, and continued to contribute to the body politic.

  25. avatar
    misha May 8, 2010 at 1:37 pm #

    “happy that they are 10,000 miles apart”

    Isn’t it 11,000 miles?
    .

  26. avatar
    WTF? May 8, 2010 at 1:45 pm #

    “The child born of alien parents in the United States is held to be a citizen thereof and to be subject to duties with regard to this country which do not attach to the father.

    The same principle of which such children are held by us to be citizens of the United States, and to be subject to duties to this country, applies to the children of American fathers born without the jurisdiction of the United States, and entitles the country within whose jurisdiction they are born to claim them as citizens and to subject them to duties to it.

    Such children are born to a double character: the citizenship of the father is that of the child so far as the laws of the country of which the father is a citizen are concerned and within the jurisdiction of that country; but the child, from the circumstances of his birth, may acquire rights and owes another fealty besides that which attaches to the father.”

    Per the Department of State of the United States, Secretary of State Hamilton Fish (1873)

  27. avatar
    misha May 8, 2010 at 1:46 pm #

    “Leave the “Who’s your daddy?” stuff to the National Enquirer.”

    Saddam: “Batboy is my secret lovechild.”

    WMDs found in Batboy’s basement!!!

    Saddam’s Mistress: “Saddam kept a WMD, that’s for sure.”

    EXCLUSVE in the Enquirer: An interview with Keziah Aoko Obama, Obama Sr’s village wife!!

  28. avatar
    G May 8, 2010 at 1:50 pm #

    Wow, the hypocrisy here is amazing! What state were you born in again, Scott Brown?

    Oh that’s right, you are a cowardly liar with no credibility who can’t answer simple questions or own up to the truth when you are caught. Go crawl back under your rock, troll!

  29. avatar
    G May 8, 2010 at 1:52 pm #

    WTF,

    Let me ask you why you hold such an anti-American position to assume that any other nation’s citizenship laws would be superior to those of our own citizens and borders? Why do you hate America?

  30. avatar
    nemocapn May 8, 2010 at 1:57 pm #

    That’s ok, charo. I’ve had some typos here, too. I typed “waived” when I meant “waved.” As long as your intent is clear, I won’t be my usual Grammar Nazi self.

    Because I have an interest in the history of marriage in the US, I started to ponder back in November 2008 how Obama Sr.’s first marriage could affect Obama’s citizenship. Back then, most of the birthers argued that Dunham had to have 5 or 10 years of residency for Obama to even be a citizen. I realized that if the Obama-Dunham marriage were ruled a bigamous marriage, it would blow that argument out of the water. I wasn’t aware of that Canada Free Press article. It looks like they beat me by three months.

    IMO, the reason the MSM didn’t cover the NBC issue is that most people believe Obama was born in Hawaii and that the definition of a “natural born citizen” includes someone born in the US under US jurisdiction. It’s as simple as that. Sure this topic is interesting to legal scholars, political geeks, and birthers, but it’s considered a complete waste of time by the general public.

  31. avatar
    Ellie May 8, 2010 at 2:21 pm #

    nemocapn,

    Why did you cite a law that wasn’t created until 1998?

    The law in force at the time of Obama’s birth would have required the citizen parent (regardless of marriage) to have been resident in the U.S. for 5 years after the age of 14. That would mean that his mother would have needed to be at least 19 to pass citizenship.

  32. avatar
    WTF? May 8, 2010 at 2:25 pm #

    G,

    Maybe the question should be; How can you expect the foreign-born children of U.S. citizens to be considered U.S. citizens, if you will not give the same recipritory respect to the laws of other countries?

  33. avatar
    G May 8, 2010 at 2:39 pm #

    Nice dodge attempt. Until you can answer why you don’t respect US laws, then you don’t get to try to change the subject.

  34. avatar
    nbC May 8, 2010 at 2:49 pm #

    That’s a foolish question. That the United States accepts foreign born children to US citizen(s) to be citizens of the US, does not preclude them from holding dual or multiple citizenships.
    It’s a question of the choice of the child, once grown up which decides the issue.
    Obama by any reasonable and legal standard made clear his ‘choice’.

    You do understand US law now do you? WTF…

  35. avatar
    WTF? May 8, 2010 at 2:52 pm #

    G,

    The website of Barack Obama (fightthesmears.com) acknowleges that he was born with British citizenship. That website, which is currently maintained by the Democratic National Committee, still maintains that position. They relied on Factcheck for support of that position.

    If your position is that I am anti-American because I recognize Obama’s dual character at birth, you must also acknowledge that the DNC and Factcheck are anti-American for soing the same thing.

  36. avatar
    nbC May 8, 2010 at 2:53 pm #

    Yes, dual citizenship was well understood. Of course, there was no doubt that dual citizen children had the right to election. In earlier days, the election had to be made formally, but since it was ruled that one cannot take away a dual citizen’s birthright citizenship, the rules have relaxed significantly.

    So far the relevant rules are

    1. Parents cannot abandon a child’s birthright citizenship

    2. A child, born under multiple citizenship laws, may elect when reaching the age of majority which birthright citizenship he intends to pursue

    As such we have the following:

    Obama, born with multiple citizenships, abandoned his Kenyan citizenship when he reached the age of 23 and maintained his US birth right citizenship. Furthermore, under US law, by returning to the US as a child and continuing to live here and becoming part of the body politic, Obama has effectively made a ‘choice’ to continue his birthright citizenship which makes him a natural born US citizen.

    It’s so simple…

  37. avatar
    nbC May 8, 2010 at 2:55 pm #

    It’s no problem that a child is born with multiple citizenships. In case of Obama, his primary citizen by Common Law was a US natural born citizenship, his secondary one by statute was a UK citizen. This citizenship became a secondary Kenyan citizenship by treaty and Obama abandoned his citizenship when reaching the age of 23.

    Simple…

  38. avatar
    nbC May 8, 2010 at 2:56 pm #

    Only if Obama were born in a foreign country.

    You do understand that if Obama were born on US soil, the age, nationality etc of his parents has no relevance? The only real disability would if his parents were diplomats

  39. avatar
    WTF? May 8, 2010 at 3:01 pm #

    nbC said “It’s no problem that a child is born with multiple citizenships. In case of Obama, his primary citizen by Common Law was a US natural born citizenship, his secondary one by statute was a UK citizen. This citizenship became a secondary Kenyan citizenship by treaty and Obama abandoned his citizenship when reaching the age of 23.”

    What common law are you referring to? What source can you cite for the determination of primary and secondary citizenship?

  40. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy May 8, 2010 at 3:01 pm #

    Hi Ellie,

    Your comment: “The law in force at the time of Obama’s birth would have required the citizen parent (regardless of marriage) to have been resident in the U.S. for 5 years after the age of 14” is not correct. In the paper U. S. Citizenship by birth abroad, immigration attorney Henry J. Chang writes:

    The 1952 Statute [Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952] provided that an illegitimate child acquired U.S. citizenship from a U.S. citizen mother if the mother was a U.S. citizen at the time of the child’s birth and had been physically present in the United States or one of its outlying possessions for a continuous period of one year. This provision did not adversely affect the status of anyone who had previously acquired U.S. citizenship. This provision is still in effect.

    Title 8 of the US Code, Chapter 12, Section III confirms this:

    (c) Notwithstanding the provision of subsection (a) of this section, a person born, after December 23, 1952, outside the United States and out of wedlock shall be held to have acquired at birth the nationality status of his mother, if the mother had the nationality of the United States at the time of such person’s birth, and if the mother had previously been physically present in the United States or one of its outlying possessions for a continuous period of one year.

    I would greatly appreciate anyone making a claim about a law in comments provide a link to the law. It gives you the opportunity to correct your mistakes before you post them, and frees me from the task of trying to keep everybody straight.

  41. avatar
    WTF? May 8, 2010 at 3:05 pm #

    Thanks nbC! I was just waiting for you to concede that Obama was born with dual citizenship.

  42. avatar
    nbC May 8, 2010 at 3:09 pm #

    What common law are you referring to? What source can you cite for the determination of primary and secondary citizenship?

    Primary is the citizenship of the country where the child and his father reside.

    Common Law principle is that a child born on US soil, regardless of the status of the parents, is considered a natural born citizen.

    Barack Obama’s secondary citizenship, through his father, was regulated through a statute, not common law practices.

    While the US would recognize that President Obama, when in the UK, would be considered a UK citizen, the US also recognizes that President Obama was a natural born citizen through birthright common law citizenship in the United States.

  43. avatar
    nbC May 8, 2010 at 3:15 pm #

    I have no problem accepting this. Your problem is that you believe that such a birth denies Obama his natural born citizenship status.
    There is no legal or historical precedent for such other than through a flawed understanding of the concept of ‘allegiance’, while ignoring the right of election of the child.
    Even Vattel accepts this, thus under Vattel, the father residing in the United States for indeterminate period of time, and the child born on US soil, would allow the child to continue his US birthright citizenship when reaching the age of majority.

    Relying on Vattel is not going to help you much.

  44. avatar
    Black Lion May 8, 2010 at 3:15 pm #

    But the issue is essentially irrelevant due to the fact that he was born in Hawaii and thus a natural born citizen. Again Scott would know a lot about lying. Since she told a whopper here on this site and 3 weeks later still refuses to acknowledge it…But since she is a birther her lying and not acknowledging it is just par for the course…

  45. avatar
    nbC May 8, 2010 at 3:17 pm #

    For instance

    The place of birth of a person is his domicile if at the time of his birth it is the domicile of his parents

    The domicile of birth of minors continues until they have obtained a new domicile

    If a person has actually removed to another place with an intention of remaining there for an indefinite time and as a place of present fixed residence it is to be deemed his place of domicile notwithstanding he may entertain a floating intention to return at some future period

    Source: Notes of a course of lectures on Vattel’s Law of nations By James Houston Gilmore,

  46. avatar
    WTF? May 8, 2010 at 3:18 pm #

    nbC, Thanks for giving us your opinion. Too bad you couldn’t cite any sources to support your opinion.

    I find it funny that people infer that Obama is a citizen by virtue of common law, but they don’t even know what common law is. But that’s not the end of it. They then try to claim that their is something “natural” about Obama’s citizenship, while relying on positive law (not natural) to support their claim.

  47. avatar
    WTF? May 8, 2010 at 3:21 pm #

    Since you decided to rely on Vattel for support, you must also rely on him for definition. To deny that is obfuscation.

    What does Vattel say about “domicile”?

  48. avatar
    nbC May 8, 2010 at 3:25 pm #

    You need citations?

    Let me provide you with a few:

    Lynch v. Clarke, 3 N.Y.Leg.Obs. 236, 1 Sand. Ch. 583 (1844).

    Cited by Wong Kim Ark. Cited in many other court cases. The ruling includes “Upon principle, therefore, I can entertain no doubt, but that by the law of the United States, every person born within the dominions and allegiance of the United States, whatever were the situation of his parents, is a natural born citizen.

    United States v. Wong Kim Ark, 169 U.S. 649

    Establishes that the term citizen born in the United States aka natural born citizen, is undefined by the Constitution and its meaning needs to be found in Common Law practices of those days. As the Court explains before and after the revolution, the citizenship practices in the States/Colonies were guided by the principles of English Common Law which makes any child born on its soil a natural-born citizen.

    More at Tesibria’s excellent blog

    Similarly there is a long list of scholarly support. Do you need a few references as well?

  49. avatar
    BatGuano May 8, 2010 at 3:29 pm #

    do we also rely on de vattel’s ownership of guns ???

  50. avatar
    nbC May 8, 2010 at 3:30 pm #

    Indeed, Vattel is clear that while his personal opinion is that the child should follow the citizenship of the father, he also admits the fact that the actual laws of a country can be different and should be followed.

    Vattel never really used the term ‘natural born’ and as the Courts have pointed out in US common law, the meaning was well established as meaning “born us US soil, regardless of the status of the parents”.

    So combine the simple fact that Vattel points out that a child born in the country of his parents’ domicile becomes a (born) citizen of said country, with the fact that Obama was born on US soil while his parents were domiciled on US soil. When the parents finally divorced and Obama stayed with his mother, Obama continued his US birthright citizenship, even after his father returned to Kenya years later.
    Even a temporary change in domicile did not cause Obama to lose his natural and primary domicile which he continued when reaching the age of majority.

    Simple: Under both Vattel and US Common Law and legal precedent these are the simple facts.

    Your delusion that Vattel somehow would have considered Obama less than a natural born citizen is preposterous.

  51. avatar
    Scientist May 8, 2010 at 3:31 pm #

    I was just waiting for you to concede that Obama was born with dual citizenship.

    NBC can concede that if he wants to. I consider it to be unclear, despite what some web site says. If Britain recognized Obama Sr’s “customary marriage” then his marriage in Hawaii was probably invalid and his ability to pass citizenship to his son was questionable.

    The only way to know would be if the President had ever tried to claim British or Kenyan citizenship (say apply for a passport). Since he did not, the question is open.

    Anyway, there is no legal bar to a President having multiple citizenships. You can’t show me any such law. He could buy Dominican citizenship for $100,000 (they don’t require you to renounce other citizenships you hold) and still be President legally. Certainly you could refuse to vote for anyone that did that, but no law would prevent him from doing so.

  52. avatar
    nemocapn May 8, 2010 at 3:33 pm #

    Ellie, the law to which you’re referring applies only to children born in wedlock. The law for children born out of wedlock is only one year. That law was in effect when Obama was born.

    See the Citizen Flowchart by James McWhirter:
    http://books.google.com/books?id=pH9EdFwbl7cC&lpg=PA19&ots=0HrkhYK-KR&dq=citizenship%20flowchart%20%22out%20of%20wedlock%22&pg=PA19#v=onepage&q=citizenship%20flowchart%20%22out%20of%20wedlock%22&f=false

    As for the in wedlock requirement of 5 years, some people think it’s unlikely that a judge would rule that Obama is not a US citizen based on that law when it’s obvious she would’ve passed on citizenship to her son had she been 19 instead of 18. I’m not aware of a case that has been decided either way. I’d appreciate it if you can cite a court case that has ruled that a child born overseas to an American mother who was 14 to 18 years old is not a citizen because the mother didn’t have the 5 year residency requirement. If you can cite such a case, I will concede the point that if Obama was born in wedlock in a foreign country that he’s not a natural born citizen.

  53. avatar
    Scientist May 8, 2010 at 3:34 pm #

    To be clear it is the island of Dominica, not the Dominican Republic that sells citizenship for $100,000. The Dominican Republic sells baseball players and they cost much more than that if they’re any good.

  54. avatar
    nbC May 8, 2010 at 3:35 pm #

    NBC can concede that if he wants to. I consider it to be unclear, despite what some web site says. If Britain recognized Obama Sr’s “customary marriage” then his marriage in Hawaii was probably invalid and his ability to pass citizenship to his son was questionable.

    In my analysis I have not yet considered the recent argument around the validity of Obama Sr’s marriage.
    Interesting point indeed but as you point out, irrelevant one way or the other to the eligibility of President Obama.

  55. avatar
    northland10 May 8, 2010 at 3:41 pm #

    It is like some endless loop from claim to claim. Now matter what claim is debunked, eventually, it will go full circle and be back where it started.

    I’m getting a little dizzy.

  56. avatar
    Con Rep May 8, 2010 at 3:42 pm #

    Scott, it’s not the paternity that counts, it’s the “out of wedlock.”

    Here’s the U.S. Code (8 USC 1409) for those born in a foreign country, out of wedlock, to a mother who is a U.S. citizen.

    ———————
    TITLE 8 – ALIENS AND NATIONALITY
    CHAPTER 12 – IMMIGRATION AND NATIONALITY
    SUBCHAPTER III – NATIONALITY AND NATURALIZATION
    Part I – Nationality at Birth and Collective Naturalization
    § 1409. Children born out of wedlock

    (c) Notwithstanding the provision of subsection (a) of this section, a person born, after December 23, 1952, outside the United States and out of wedlock shall be held to have acquired at birth the nationality status of his mother, if the mother had the nationality of the United States at the time of such person’s birth, and if the mother had previously been physically present in the United States or one of its outlying possessions for a continuous period of one year.
    ————————-

    If such a child, born out of wedlock, is a citizen at birth when born overseas, s/he is surely a citizen at birth if born in the USA.

  57. avatar
    WTF? May 8, 2010 at 3:45 pm #

    Why did I know ahead of time that you would refuse to rely on Vattel for the definition of domicile?

    Domicile is a place of fized inhabitation. There is no way you could ever convice a court that a foreigner attending classes on a sutudent visa demonstrated an intent to remain in Hawaii or the United States. Obama Sr. was there for a specific purpose. His plan was to return to Kenya after completing his studies.

  58. avatar
    WTF? May 8, 2010 at 3:50 pm #

    “If Britain recognized Obama Sr’s “customary marriage” then his marriage in Hawaii was probably invalid and his ability to pass citizenship to his son was questionable.”

    The controlling law at the time says nothing about marriage. It only refers to the father. (See Section 5.1(a) of the 1948 Act)

  59. avatar
    WTF? May 8, 2010 at 3:52 pm #

    nbC is worried about the version of Vattel’s work not containing the words “natural born citizen”.

    Do we have a problem with the word “natural”? Do you know the difference between natural law and positive law?

  60. avatar
    nbC May 8, 2010 at 3:52 pm #

    Again you seem to be confused about domicile and the meaning of fixed. The concept of ‘fixed domicile’ refers to a domicile without a clear ending, although the person may still hold some vague idea about returning to his home country, his stay in his new country does not have a fixed ending.

    Note that when Obama Sr came over to the United States, the duration of his stay was indeterminate as it depended on him finishing college, furthermore, since he married Dunham, his status became even more indeterminate as he could pursue to become US citizen, and/or choose to pursue higher education and even permanent residence.
    As such the standard of domicile, which is rather low, does not depend on Obama Sr eventually returning to Kenya but rather on his presumed intentions when President Obama was born. It is for sure that there were no specific plans at that time for Obama Sr to return to Kenya, as he was applying or was planning on applying for graduate school and his recent marriage to Dunham would have provided him with additional opportunities.
    And so the domicile will be presumed to be indefinite unless you can show some contrary evidence.

  61. avatar
    nbC May 8, 2010 at 3:57 pm #

    You are forgetting that the term is “natural born” which had a very specific meaning in law in the United States, with which the Founders must have been quite familiar.
    To suggest that they meant to refer to Vattel defies logic as they would have known that the definition was well-established in Common Law. Without any references to Vattel, there is an inescapable conclusion that it was the common law practices in the early states which defined the term, and this is what courts have consistently observed. In addition, the courts have consistently ruled that natural born refers to the concept of being born on US soil, regardless of the status of the parents.

  62. avatar
    WTF? May 8, 2010 at 3:58 pm #

    Would nbC be satisfied if it was written like this?

    According to the dictates of natural reason, the natives or indigenes of every country, born of parents who were citizens of that country at the time of their birth, are to be considered as citizens. Society can only be perpetuated by the children of its members, who naturally follow the condition of their parents and succeed to their rights. The interests of society, therefore, demand the establishment of this principle as a concessum; and it may fairly be so considered, unless the contrary be expressly declared by the municipal law. In like manner, the interest of the offspring of a citizen justifies the inference of his tacit consent to become a citizen until he renounces that character.

    But though a child be born in the country, yet if both his parents were strangers not designing a permanent change of country, it would be sufficiently obvious, that as he must follow the condition and succeed to the rights of his parents, he would on the principles of natural reason be considered as much a stranger to the country as his father. In such case it would be the place of his birth, indeed, not his country.

    Moreover, as the nature of our species, and the received principles of civil society, allow, in matters of this description, the mastery to the male, we may go a step further, and advance, that if the father and mother are of different countries, the child born of them in a country to which they are both strangers will, upon principles of natural reason, belong to the country of the father rather than to that of the mother.

    But though a child born of foreign parents is not, on principles of natural reason, necessarily to be considered as a citizen of the country where he is born, it does not follow that he is in no respect to be considered as a member of its society while he remains in it. Bound by their own and their parents’ residence, the children of foreigners are subject to the laws while that residence continues, and are obliged to defend it (except against their own country) in return for the protection it has afforded.

  63. avatar
    Scientist May 8, 2010 at 4:02 pm #

    WTF? Here’s why you are an A-Hole (pardon my French). Not because you don’t think someone with a foreign parent should be President and wouldn’t vote for one. You are absolutely entitled to that viewpoint. No, you are an A-Hole because you wish to impose your point of view on those who think differently and deny your fellow citizens their right to draw a different conclusion from you.

    That makes you an A-Hole.

  64. avatar
    nbC May 8, 2010 at 4:04 pm #

    Quoting from Vattel without addressing all that he said in context does not help further WTF’s case.
    That he considered people born on soil to citizens to be citizens as well, has no relevance to the fact that he also accepts that children born to an alien father on US soil, would be, under US law and common law, a birthright natural born citizen of the United States. Especially if the father is domiciled here.

    Remember that Vattel admits that it is the laws of the Country which guide the status of a child born on its soil, not his preferred situation.

    Which of course makes sense, any self respecting nation would never abandon this to some vague concept of international law, especially when there was no real international rule on citizenship as both jus soli and jus sanguini and various mixtures were the norm.

    So WTF may point to Vattel all he wants, he has to ignore the fact that

    1. Vattel does not define who is a natural born
    2. Vattel accepts that nations can define who are natural born citizens
    3. Vattel accepts that children born on soil are born citizens of that country then the parents are domiciled there.
    4. Vattel accepts that such children may elect to continue their birthright citizenship or pursue the citizenship of their father or decide to elect their own citizenship.

  65. avatar
    nemocapn May 8, 2010 at 4:04 pm #

    Dr. Conspiracy says:

    I would greatly appreciate anyone making a claim about a law in comments provide a link to the law. It gives you the opportunity to correct your mistakes before you post them, and frees me from the task of trying to keep everybody straight.

    Thanks for having my back, Doctor. I had it covered.

    If anyone wants to know why Obama isn’t opening the birth certificate can of worms, they need look no farther than this web site. To argue this issue to the satisfaction of the birthers, lawyers have to get into their proverbial time machine to find out what the citizenship, immigration, marriage, and illegitimacy laws were in 1961. They’d need to know the laws in place in the US, UK, and Kenya.

    Right now it’s very simple. Obama has prima facie evidence that he was born in Hawaii, hence he’s a natural born citizen. Even Lakin’s attorney says if Obama presents the COLB at the court martial, Lakin will lose.

    Birthers haven’t got a chance unless they can prove to a court of law that Obama wasn’t born in Hawaii. If they could meet that burden of proof, I’d sympathize with their cause. And, birthers, before you start, I’m aware of all 29 of Apuzzo’s arguments. None of them meet the burden of proof.

    If a birther obtained a certified copy of a “Report of Birth Abroad of a Citizen of the United States” or a “Certificate of Naturalization” for Obama, that would be enough, in my opinion, to call for a Congressional hearing. They could subpoena Hawaii’s Dept. of Health and the government official who certified the document provided by the birthers. There are ways you can convince me, but I suspect that there’s no way Obama can convince you, even with a vault copy of his birth certificate.

  66. avatar
    nbC May 8, 2010 at 4:07 pm #

    (2) Subject to the provisions of section twenty-three of this Act, any reference in this Act to a child shall be construed as a reference to a legitimate child; and the expressions “father”, “ancestor” and “descended” shall be construed accordingly.

    Reading comprehension…

    What now WTF

  67. avatar
    Scientist May 8, 2010 at 4:10 pm #

    NBC-I have to correct you. US law does NOT require a person with 2 birthright citizenships to make a choice at any time. Some foreign countries do, and some don’t. Canada, for one, does not. I know people who were born in the US to Canadian parents. As adults they carry both passports and have the right to live in either country as citizens. They could live in Canada for many years and still return to the US. Could they run for President? Yes, though their opponents could raise the fact that they claimed Canadian citizenship as an adult as a valid campaign issue.

  68. avatar
    nemocapn May 8, 2010 at 4:16 pm #

    northland 10 says:
    It is like some endless loop from claim to claim. Now matter what claim is debunked, eventually, it will go full circle and be back where it started.
    I’m getting a little dizzy.

    I’d fan you for that if I could:

    Endless Loop : See Loop, Endless
    Loop, Endless : See Endless Loop

  69. avatar
    nemocapn May 8, 2010 at 4:17 pm #

    I’ll bite. What did Vattel say about guns?

  70. avatar
    WTF? May 8, 2010 at 4:27 pm #

    I must have really ogtten to nbC!

    Now nbC want rely on municipal law ofr the definition of “natural born citizen”. His biggest problem there, is that no municipal law defines “natural born citizen”.

    nbC talks about someone being a “birthright natural born citizen”, but clearly can’t provide any municipal law or Court decision in support. It reminds of the people who say “there should be a law”. If there only was a law, nbC would have citied it.

    Then nbC has the audacity to say “Especially if his father was domiciled here”. For the definition of “domicile” nbC can provide no citation for support either.

    Perhaps the greatest mistake made by nbC was assuming that I was quoting Vattel. I did not quote Vattel. I quoted a Congressman, a law professor, and a judge. I quoted a very well respected jurist. I quoted what he taught his law students in the 1830s thru the 1850s. I quoted Henry St. George Tucker.

    If nbC has a problem with that, he should take it up with the emminent jurist that I quoted. (Sometimes it makes the surprise so much better when you refrain from acknowledging the author until after the rebuttal.)

  71. avatar
    nemocapn May 8, 2010 at 4:43 pm #

    I know someone who has dual British-Israeli citizenship who’s married to someone with dual American-Israeli citizenship. He has a green card and expects to become an American-British-Israeli citizen. His kids carry three passports. He says Mossad likes to recruit people with multiple or dual citizenship; you know, people like Orly Taitz.

  72. avatar
    WTF? May 8, 2010 at 4:44 pm #

    Scientist, You have a right to your opinion. 🙂

    “you are an A-Hole because you wish to impose your point of view on those who think differently and deny your fellow citizens their right to draw a different conclusion from you.”

    But imposing your point of view on me, and denying my fellow citizens the right to draw their own conclusions is somehow acceptable to you?

    I’ve got one of the most respected jurist ever to come out of Virginia on my side. Not only does Henry St. George Tucker, like me, disagree with you, he does a pretty good job of destroying your reliance on the common law of England for support.

    So blow that out your A-hole!

  73. avatar
    WTF? May 8, 2010 at 4:57 pm #

    Maybe “Scientist” as well as “G” are more British than they are American. They seem to rely more on British Law, than they do natural reason. They want to adopt, and make part of American Law (for the entire nation) that which we fought to avoid.

    Sure, most of the states adopted the common law of England as their base laws, but only for the fact that they had no laws of their own to start with. To the best of my knowledge, as soon as the state created a law, it superceeded the English Law. Lousiana adopted the civil law of France. Where they not a state on equal footing? Do you really expect me to believe that Lousiana was force to be subject to the common law of England, though their state Constitution did not recognize that law?

    There is only one citizen that all states would accept. That citizen was born of citizen parents, on the soil of a state in this Union. That alone is a natural born citizen. No state could dispute it.

    The representatives of the states only had to be citizens. Whatever the state considered to be a citizen was good enough to make them their representative.

  74. avatar
    nemocapn May 8, 2010 at 5:12 pm #

    Can’t argue that you’re entitled to your opinion, too. You certainly are.

    Only time will tell which one of our opinions is sustained by a court of law; that is, if this debate ever clears the necessary legal hurdles, which I highly doubt. There’s a slim chance in 2012 that a fellow candidate could gain a court hearing on Obama’s eligibility. If not, I’ll meet you online in 2036 when we can get a look at the paper copy of Obama’s birth certificate.

    I believe that birthers are simply poor at predicting the outcome of the great birth certificate debate. Many said that Obama wouldn’t be sworn in as president. I predicted he would. They predicted with every case that the birther lawyers would prevail. I said they wouldn’t. So far who has a track record of being right?

    I predict that Lakin will be convicted in his court martial. Jensen will try for discovery of Obama’s birth certificate, but it will be denied as irrelevant to the defense. The court won’t let Jensen try a political question issue. If push comes to shove, the prosecution will resort to the de facto officer doctrine, but they probably won’t need to do that to convict Lakin.

    What’s your prediction?

  75. avatar
    Scientist May 8, 2010 at 5:18 pm #

    As I said you are entitled to your opinion.

    I stand not at all on the common law of England, but rather on the right of American voters to choose their President. Something you are trying (in vain, fortunately) to deny them. They, not English law chose Obama. Your attempt to deny them that right is what makes you an A-Hole, A -Hle

  76. avatar
    Scientist May 8, 2010 at 5:21 pm #

    The people in 2008 chose someone born of only 1 citizen parent (perhaps unmarried). They can choose him again in 2012 or not. It will be his performance in office not who his parents were that will determine that.

    I don’t care what Louisiana does. They have bigger problems right now than English vs French civil law.

  77. avatar
    WTF? May 8, 2010 at 5:24 pm #

    A little more Henry St. George Tucker for Scientist, G, and nbC:

    “Such being the principles of the English law, as laid down by Mr. Blackstone, I do not think it will be difficult to show that it is in some things inconsistent with itself, and at variance with the dictates of natural justice and reason. For we have just seen that the children of aliens born in England are considered as natural-born subjects. Yet the children of Englishmen .born in France or in America are not considered by England as French or American born subjects, but as English: and even the grandchildren of natural-born Englishmen are considered by the same law as Englishmen to all intents and purposes. If the character of the parent gives the character to the child in the case of Englishmen, it must, pari ratione, give it in the case of the Frenchman or American :—and accordingly, by the act of congress passed in 1802, § 4, it is provided that the children of citizens shall, though such children be born out of the United States, be considered as citizens: provided that the right of citizenship shall not descend to persons whose fathers have never resided within the United States. On the other hand, if the place of birth, in the case of one born in England, operates a naturalization though the parents were American, it must have the like effect in naturalizing as Americans the children of an Englishman born in America. Yet these by the English law are British subjects. In short, the laws of Great Britain have assumed for her, rights which they do not concede to others; and the people of the United States having adopted the same selfish principles of the English law, an irreconcilable conflict has been produced between them. Thus, if a child of American parents were born in London, he would by the English law be an Englishman, entitled to all the privileges and bound to all the duties of a British subject; and if he returned to America, and in the event of war took arms for the country of his parents and the land of his connexions[sic] and his hopes, he would be hanged as a traitor by the British law. On the other hand, if he enlisted under the flag of England, he would be hanged as a traitor to America, because, as the child of American parents, he is by our law to be considered as a citizen, though born in another land. These are the consequences of an attempt to push too far the right of the State over its supposed members, instead of pursuing the obvious principles of natural justice and sound reason. I am not aware of any attempt to settle or reconcile these conflicting regulations.”

    One sentence deserves repeating; “In short, the laws of Great Britain have assumed for her, rights which they do not concede to others; and the people of the United States having adopted the same selfish principles of the English law, an irreconcilable conflict has been produced between them.”

    I think it was G who considered me to be anti-American because I found the reciprocation of laws to be repugnant. Maybe it is G being British that makes him feel so American.

    As we can all see; there is nothing American about adopting British Law over natural law, and their is nothing natural-born about one who requires positive law to support his citizenship.

  78. avatar
    nemocapn May 8, 2010 at 5:25 pm #

    And maybe you’re more British than American because you put periods outside the quotation marks. Why do you hate Strunk & White so much? 🙁

    I bet you spell “judgment” as “judgement,” you socialist Brit. (I mean that in the nicest way. I like socialist Brits.)

  79. avatar
    Scientist May 8, 2010 at 5:30 pm #

    So, don’t vote for Obama in 2012. Until then, tough luck for you, son…

    By the way, it’s been 200 years since the US and Britain fought a war and they have fought on the same side more times than I can count since then. So, I wouldn’t lose sleep over Britain and the US going to war between now and 2012.

  80. avatar
    WTF? May 8, 2010 at 5:34 pm #

    The people could have chose someone who was not even a citizen of the United States. (They may have, if it turns out that Obama was born in Kenya.) Nothing prevents them from doing so.

    The Twentieth Amendment acknowledges that someone who does not meet the qualifications can be elected.

    Your argument is fallacious in that you are under the impression that the people, by simple majority can overide the Constitution, without even knowing they are doing so. I’ll bet you that you can’t find fifty voters in a hundred that can tell you what a “natural born citizen” is.

    Let’s go to the mall and run that poll. If the majority cannot define natural born citizen, you lose.

  81. avatar
    WTF? May 8, 2010 at 5:46 pm #

    We need to see all the evidence first. Then I can come to a reasonable conclusion.

    As far as Lakin goes, If he had refused to follow orders on the battlefield, I think he would be in big trouble. Fortunately for him, he didn’t wait until the battlefield. He spent about a year trying to get an answer, before he received orders. That will play well in his favor.

    The fact that no court has ever clearly defined natural born citizen will also be seen in his favor. The fact that Obama is the first President made the fact that his father was not a citizen, or permanently domiciled here when he was born, is also something that will help Lakin.

    We can debate the issue until the cows come home. You can say he definately is. I can say he definately is not. What we need is for a Court, or some recognized historic record to definately decide one way or the other. The best we have is that someone close to being in the same position as Obama was deemed to be as much a citizen as a natural born citizen. That doesn’t help much when we know that all citizens, born or naturalized are just as much a citizen as a natural born citizen.

  82. avatar
    Scientist May 8, 2010 at 5:46 pm #

    From what I’ve read of your postings, I don’t think you can define natural born citizen either. So, you lose.

    There are checks on the people, of course. We have an adversarial political and legal system. If a non-citizen ran, his/her opponents could mount a ballot challenge in state courts. They could also point out that their opponent was ineligible in speeches and debates. None of Obama’s opponents in the primary or the general election did that.

    Then under the 20th amendment it only takes 1 Senator and 1 Representative to object in writing. None did.

    You and your birther cohort were neither elected nor appointed as the Guardian Council. If the voters and all those running for President and all the members of Congress are in your view idiots, compared to the all-knowing guru of the internet, WTF?, well that’s too bad. Go to a smarter country or buy an island, declare your independence and run things the way you want. Or else, shut up.

  83. avatar
    Jules May 8, 2010 at 5:55 pm #

    “Obama did gain Kenyan citizenship (I think) when Kenya became independent…”

    Actually, Obama was probably never Kenyan if he was never British.

    Only those who were citizens of the United Kingdom and Colonies on Kenyan independence were capable of becoming Kenyan citizens by virtue of section 87 of the Kenyan Constitution.

    Even though Obama had a father who was a Kenyan citizen, section 90 could not give him Kenyan citizenship because it only deals with those born after Kenyan independence.

    Sections 92 and 93 do not appear to allow Obama to be registered or naturalised as a Kenyan citizen because he has never been ordinarily resident there. (Additionally, section 92 does not apply because Obama would not have been a Commonwealth citizen if he had not been British.) More to the point, neither Obama nor his parents ever made an application for registration or naturalisation and so he would not have received Kenyan citizenship under these sections.

  84. avatar
    WTF? May 8, 2010 at 5:59 pm #

    Listen, butthead. I’ve had enough of your false claims of “rights”. You and the liberal minority live by your feel-good ways regardless of consequence. You and your ilk are too childlike to recognize the dangers of doing whatever feels good to you. For you there is no consequence, because you have no responsibility.

    The voters have no right to elect whoever they want to. They never did. Your suggestion is subversive. To you the Constitution is merely a piece of paper that gets in your way. If you want whoever wins the popularity contest to be President, regardless of qualification, propose an Amendment.

    What are you, a global warming scientist? You should don’t adhere to any laws. Do you?

  85. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy May 8, 2010 at 6:06 pm #

    Thanks, I stand corrected.

  86. avatar
    nemocapn May 8, 2010 at 6:14 pm #

    I understand your point of view; you’d like to view the evidence and you’d like a court to make a decision. Your viewpoint sounds reasonable until one looks at the reality of the law. There are matters like standing, the political question doctrine, the de facto officer doctrine, etc. to be considered.

    IMHO, where Lakin was when he refused the orders will be immaterial. If he refused them while he was on the head, that won’t sit well with the military court. The NBC debate won’t enter into his court martial.

    I believe that Lakin is sincere. I believe his conscience and his love for the Constitution as he interprets it are what motivates him to take his course of action. As a fellow windmill tilter, I can understand standing up on principle. However, you must pick your battles wisely. He’ll gain nothing and lose everything with this court martial. He won’t get to see Obama’s birth certificate. He could lose his pension and/or his freedom. The best he’ll achieve is more publicity, but that publicity won’t pay his bills or take care of his family.

  87. avatar
    WTF? May 8, 2010 at 6:17 pm #

    I should point out that most of the Obama supporters have been very happy to see all the court cases thus far dismissed.

    Now the question is being presented to a military tribunal. That tribunal has the authority to answer the question, and there is no problem with standing.

    Do you really think a military tribunal is going to examine the question from the same point of view that you are? Will anyone argue that most of the members of our military lean towards the conservative side? Do you really think the military is going to completely disregard the national security issue? -If they do, it’s not the same military that I served in.

    You had your chance in the civil courts.

  88. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy May 8, 2010 at 6:18 pm #

    WTF?: The fact that no court has ever clearly defined natural born citizen will also be seen in his favor.

    No, it won’t have any effect because whether Barack Obama is constitutionally eligible to be president has no bearing on Lakin’s guilt. After hearing Lakin’s attorney Jensen last night on CNN I am hesitant to repeat what I one said: “I’m sure Lakin’s attorney has explained to him that he has no chance of addressing Obama’s eligibility at his court martial.”

  89. avatar
    WTF? May 8, 2010 at 6:21 pm #

    Anybody who tried to point out that Obama was not qualified would have been called a racist. You know it, and I know it.

    McCain’s qualifications were, and still are questionable. He wasn’t about to bring it up.

    No court was going to answer the question until the real controversy existed.

    Nothing in the Constitution prevents someone who does not meet the qualifications from running for that office. If it did, the Twentieth Amendment would not have been necessary.

  90. avatar
    Don Draper May 8, 2010 at 6:32 pm #

    Obama admitted to being governed by the British Nationality Act of 1948 at birth and having Kenyan citizenship which he claimed expired on Aug. 4, 1982.

    Also, Obama said he was a native born US citizen and that he has not renounced his US citizenship.

    So, at a minimum, he was a British, Kenyan, American at birth and school record has surfaced indicating he was Barry Soetoro, Indonesian National.

  91. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy May 8, 2010 at 6:34 pm #

    Thank you for this valuable citation that shows that America adopted the British common law view of citizenship.

  92. avatar
    nemocapn May 8, 2010 at 6:44 pm #

    You neglect to mention the school record says he was born in Honolulu. There’s no proof that he was adopted by Lolo Soetoro, and even if he was, it’s established US law that a child can’t lose his US citizenship even if his parents renounce it on his behalf.

  93. avatar
    charo May 8, 2010 at 6:47 pm #

    Doc,

    You need to read this (it is from the link in another thread when you first asked for information).

    http://infotrackea.co.ke/Resources/semapa/marriage/customary_marriage/index.html

    This is the key part:

    In Kenya, the vast number of marriages are custom based and performed in accordance with customs and traditions. The Kikuyu, the Kamba, the Luo, the Luhya etc have essential steps, elements and norms that constitute a marriage. These customs vary and have not been coded. The worst injustice to these customs is that they have not been given any recognition and/or force of law and are left to vary with each party involved.

    I also gave you the author on that thread

    The writer is an advocate of the High Court of Kenya, juliemmuindi@yahoo.com

    I am not trying to be contrary, but it seems an expert is needed to answer the question about the validity of the marriage.

    Some would call the issue Enquirer material but given that you introduced this thread, I would guess that you think it a worthy topic.

  94. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy May 8, 2010 at 6:49 pm #

    WTF?: We need to see all the evidence first…

    That’s a worthy principle, but it can also be abused. At some point the reasonable person agrees that the evidence is sufficient. In our law, we can put someone to death based on proof beyond a “reasonable doubt.” We are far beyond “reasonable doubt” in concluding that Obama was born in Hawaii and is a natural born citizen. However, some demand every imaginable form of evidence (and in some cases evidence that never existed) be examined, and continue to demand in order to keep the smear alive, or to continue their state of denial.

  95. avatar
    Scientist May 8, 2010 at 6:56 pm #

    Your contempt for anyone who disagrees with you is obvious. And I am a biochemist, not a climatologist.

    But I must say, you show a complete lack of consistency (other than that all your opinions are foolish). You don’t trust the majority of voters. Yet, you don’t trust the “liberal minority”-which minority you do trust remains obscure. You don’t trust Congress nor anyone who ran for President. You claim to trust courts, but that only applies to some fictional courts that you believe are about to rule in your favor. Real courts, which all rule against you, you don’t trust. Sucks to be you.

    I’ll be happy to bet $100 that no court will rule obama ineligible, not during his current term, nor when he runs for re-election. I’ve offered this many times and no birther has ever taken me up on it. money talks and b.s walks.

  96. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy May 8, 2010 at 8:02 pm #

    charo comments on the status of customary marriage in Kenya.

    Thanks for the comment and the avenue of discussion.

    The web site you cited has another document saying:

    In Kenya, the following types of marriages are given due recognition by law:

    1. Statutory Marriages – marriage provided for under statute such as under the Marriage Act etc
    2. Customary Marriages
    3. Presumed Marriages – marriage provided for under common law

    I did some poking around and found that in Kenya only a minority of the population perform statutory marriages.

    According to the UNHCR:

    every Kenyan can choose to marry under any of the recognised systems of marriage under Family Law, namely – customary law; statutory or civil marriage; Islamic marriage; [and] Hindu marriage.

    According to the paper Family Law in Kenya from the Kenya Christian Lawyers fellowship:

    Customary marriages are legally valid in Kenya, and each community or tribe has its own laws and requirements, e.g. Ngurario for Kikuyus or Mbui Sya Ntheo among Kambas along other practices, which accompany these. Polygamy (having more than one wife) is allowed, but the husband should seek the consent of the first wife. He must be able to maintain and support each wife and their children.

    I agree with you that some expert opinion is needed before we get from speculation to a solid conclusion. Further, I don’t have any precise documentation on Barack Obama Sr’s original marriage and whether it was statutory or not. Again, a loose end.

    This web site has never avoided “Enquirer” material.

  97. avatar
    G May 8, 2010 at 8:05 pm #

    WTF asks:

    If your position is that I am anti-American because I recognize Obama’s dual character at birth, you must also acknowledge that the DNC and Factcheck are anti-American for soing the same thing.

    No, my position is you are anti-American because you want the foreign (British) dual citizenship to supercede the native (American) citizenship of an American BORN ON AMERICAN SOIL (hello, where exactly do you think Honolulu, HI is located after all) and who lives in the USA.

    Therefore, you are asking for foreign powers laws to trump our own laws within our own land. That is an extremely un-American position to take, which is why I called you such. Maybe that would also explain why you don’t seem to understand what country HI is in.

  98. avatar
    dunstvangeet May 8, 2010 at 8:08 pm #

    Easy…

    Ulysseus S. Grant (French)
    Chester A. Arthur (British)
    Theodore Roosevelt (French)
    William Howard Taft (French)
    Franklin Delano Roosevelt (French)
    Harry S. Truman (French)
    Dwight D. Eisenhour (German)
    Lyndon Baynes Johnson (French)
    Gerald R. Ford (French)

    You also had V.P.s as well.

    Charles Curtis was born in the Territory of Kansas to an Native American Mother (who was 1/4th of 3 different tribes, and 1/4th French) and an American who was of Welsh, English and Scottish ancestry.

  99. avatar
    G May 8, 2010 at 8:24 pm #

    LMAO! That is why I can’t take you seriously WTF. The very notion that you think Lakin’s case is a “good one” for him & the mystical “birther discovery” is laughable!

    Only completely deluded people who are so blinded by their own obtuse hatred can take such a ill-informed position.

    The dumb birther arguments about Obama’s citizenship will end up being cut off before they can get going, because they are completely irrelevant to the charges against Lakin. He’ll be court-martialed for disobeying orders and that will be the end of it.

    Like nemocapn pointed out, so far those of us who’ve been mocking the birthers have been batting 1000 on the predictions. You delusional folks just keep getting your hopes up for nothing and disappointing yourselves.

    Keep failing! That is why you are such a joke!

  100. avatar
    G May 8, 2010 at 8:26 pm #

    LOL! Keep dreaming.

    The birther BS will be deemed irrelevant to his charges.

    You like to pretend that you are smug and smart but every time you open your mouth, you prove you are nothing but a deluded fool who can’t be taken seriously.

  101. avatar
    misha May 8, 2010 at 8:34 pm #

    dunstvangeet: don’t forget James Buchanan, whose father was an Irish citizen at the time of his birth.

  102. avatar
    G May 8, 2010 at 8:47 pm #

    Well, considering that in 2008, for President, the voters overwhelmingly elected a qualified candidate Obama by a over 9.5 Million more votes than his nearest competitor…

    …I’d say that you don’t understand the difference between what majority and minority means, do you? But then, WTF, understanding reality seems to be par for the course for you.

    Or since we are here to follow the law, lets not look at the popular vote, but how it translates into the electoral college vote, shall we? Hmmm… 365 to 173!

    Oh snap! That is a margin of 192 more electoral college votes than McCain got. Can you say total blowout?

    The qualifications for presidential eligibility are pretty simple, so let’s look at them for Obama:

    1. NBC of US: CHECK – born in Honolulu, HI, simple as that.

    2. Attained age 35 or more – CHECK – age 47 at time of election.

    3. And been fourteen years a resident within the United States – CHECK – 37 years, as in 1971, Obama returned to Honolulu to live with his maternal grandparents.

    So, sounds like the citizens and the candidate followed the lawful, Constitutional process to elect their president in 2008 and Obama won by a commanding and decisively conclusive victory margin. Without objection, he was certified and sworn in, as per our laws.

    Therefore, the only one who seems to not understand things is a deluded sore loser, like you.

    You can keep lying to yourself as that seems to be the only way you can handle reality, but back in the real world, we follow the law and the Constitution and as a result the majority spoke and Obama is our president as a result.

  103. avatar
    G May 8, 2010 at 9:02 pm #

    LMAO! Wow, project much, WTF?

    You really are delusional aren’t you? Or maybe its just that your reading comprehension ability is so stunted, that you can’t help not understand the world around you?

    The only one who has been advocating for British law here is YOU, so I guess you are arguing against yourself. Maybe that means there are mulitple personalities running around in your head too…LOL!

    You are such a simpleton that you get caught up in your lies all too easily. You cannot find a SINGLE quote where I am advocating for British Law, because I NEVER did, ha!

    I seem to remember that I was the one who called you out on advocating for foreign governments over our US laws, so again, YOU are busted and by your own words above must be admitting that you are “more British than they are American”.

    So, I’ll keep advocating as I always have for the US and for respecting and following American laws on our soil and you can continue to demonstrate that you know very little about how the US operates.

  104. avatar
    Greg May 8, 2010 at 9:09 pm #

    Apparently, Vattel uses “settlement” for the concept we recognize as domicile:

    Settlement is a fixed residence in any place, with an intention of always staying there. A man does not, then, establish his settlement in any place, unless he makes sufficiently known his intention of fixing there, either tacitly or by an express declaration. However, this declaration is no reason why, if he afterwards changes his mind, he may not transfer his settlement elsewhere. In this sense, a person who stops at a place upon business, even though he stay a long time, has only a simple habitation there, but has no settlement. Thus, the envoy of a foreign prince has not his settlement at the court where he resides.

    Evidence of an intention to remain in the United States at the instant of Obama Jr.’s birth:

    1. He was married in Hawaii.
    2. He had a son in Hawaii.
    3. He stayed in Hawaii
    4. He had plans to go to graduate school

    Could we convince a court that a student on a visa had changed his domicile to the United States?

    Why don’t you read Elkins v. Moreno, 435 US 647 (1978)?

    But Congress did not restrict every nonimmigrant class. In particular, no restrictions on a nonimmigrant’s intent were placed on aliens admitted under § 101 (a) (15) (G) (iv).[21] Since the 1952 Act was intended to be a comprehensive and complete code, the conclusion is therefore inescapable that, where as with the G-4 class Congress did not impose restrictions on intent, this was deliberate. Congress’ silence is therefore pregnant, and we read it to mean that Congress, while anticipating that permanent immigration would normally occur through immigrant channels, was willing to allow nonrestricted nonimmigrant aliens to adopt the United States as their domicile. Congress’ intent is confirmed by the regulations of the Immigration and Naturalization Service, which provide that G-4 aliens are admitted for an indefinite period— so long as they are recognized by the Secretary of State to be employees or officers (or immediate family members of such employees or officers) of an international treaty organization. See 8 CFR § 214.2 (g) (1977); 1 C. Gordon & H. Rosenfield, Immigration Law and Procedure § 2.13b, p. 2-101 (rev. ed. 1977). Whether such an adoption would confer domicile in a State would, of course, be a question to be decided by the State.

  105. avatar
    G May 8, 2010 at 9:15 pm #

    Well WTF, since we don’t have any of your fictional scenarios where the president doesn’t qualify or that the majority are somehow “overriding” the Constitution, then your silly fantasies just remain meaningless fictional speculation in your head, and not worthy of entertaining further.

    So, you can keep pretending that maybe Obama was somehow born in Kenya, but since there is no evidence to back up such a silly claim and all REAL evidence points to HONOLULU, HI…

    …You FAIL again.

    Also, as with everything, I don’t think you understand how the 20th amendment functions. I assume you are referring to Section 3 (and possibly Section 4)and tend to overlook or not understand what the clause “until a President shall have qualified” means.

    Bottom line, even if congress got involved in choosing some sort of replacement in some fictional future scenario, that replacement too is going to have to meet the qualifying requirements in US Constitution, Article II, Section 1.

    But of course, I’m wasting my time trying to explain to someone who continually fails to demonstrate a basic grasp of how any of our laws work.

  106. avatar
    G May 8, 2010 at 9:24 pm #

    Well, I’m not British at all and you are still stupid.

    For the third time, and I’ll try to type slowly so you can follow the bouncing ball in your head, since you seem to have some sort of brain damage where you can’t even handle basic reading comprehension:

    I could care less about any other country’s citizenship laws or dual citizenship in terms of how they apply to a US citizen BORN AND RESIDING IN THE US. Their laws do NOT trump ours! How hard is that for your simple little mind to understand?

    I have NEVER said anything about British Law, you dummy! You have. You continue to do so. Maybe you need to have an argument with the multiple personalities in your crazy head and sort out what position you want to take and stick with it.

    Me, I don’t consider it relevant to the topic at all, because we are dealing with someone born in HI (therefore NBC of USA) who resides and lives here who was elected POTUS.

    Laws of Britian or any other nation have no meaning or applicability in this situation.

    The true reason you keep trying to dodge this issue and distract to some silly and meaningless other topic is because you can’t deal with the fact that he was born in HI and you can’t get around it, because there is no evidence to back up your silly “Kenyan birth” fantasies.

    Therefore, all you have is your pathetic and failed attempts at deception and misdirection.

    And yes, I still consider you to be very Anti-American.

    Your own arguments that you want to overturn a lawful election of this country and hold a US NBC accountable to other nations laws over our own betray you for the traitor that you are.

  107. avatar
    nbC May 8, 2010 at 9:34 pm #

    Sure, most of the states adopted the common law of England as their base laws, but only for the fact that they had no laws of their own to start with. To the best of my knowledge, as soon as the state created a law, it superceeded the English Law. Lousiana adopted the civil law of France.

    And these early laws reflected English Common Law. And remember that the issue is not what the states eventually did but rather how to interpret the meaning of the term natural born citizen as left undefined in the Constitution. At the time of the Constitution, the case was clear.
    As to Louisiana, its purchase came a little bit later.
    Do you really have problems understanding the simple argument here?

    So let’s talk slowly here.

    1. Framers defined citizenship in the US as either naturalized or natural born
    2. Natural born was left undefined in the Constitution
    3. To understand the meaning of the term the court thus looked at the meaning of the term as used before and after the Constitution was signed. It found that the term reflected English Common law, whose principles had been adopted by the colonies and after the revolution, the states.
    4. It found that it meant: Born on US soil, regardless of the status of the parents. Aka jus soli.

    It ain’t rocket science.

    So WTF is so hard to understand about these simple facts?
    Why do you insist on taken something so straightforward and look for ways that would allow you to reject a duly elected President?

    Be honest: what is your problem with President Obama?

  108. avatar
    G May 8, 2010 at 9:37 pm #

    WTF says:

    Anybody who tried to point out that Obama was not qualified would have been called a racist. You know it, and I know it.

    NO. If actual evidence existed that Obama wasn’t qualified, then those would be examined to determine if he truly wasn’t qualified, as simple as that. That has nothing to do with race and everything to do with the law.

    However, when you have a bunch of morons questioning the nationality and legitimacy of someone, without a single shred of evidence to back that up, and when they’ve never asked for the same info from any other white person in the past….

    Well then, that IS “possible” racism. Or there could be other motives.

    I will say that when you hear people like you complaining of charges of racism when none have been made… it makes your motives look suspicious.

    After all, why would your mind leap to automatically worrying all the time about being labeled a racist, unless it is because you happen to be one?

    From what I’ve seen it seems that the thing most actual racists hate more than anything these days is being called out on who they are.

    The rest of us, we don’t fixate on such things, because we don’t think that way.

  109. avatar
    nbC May 8, 2010 at 9:41 pm #

    One sentence deserves repeating; “In short, the laws of Great Britain have assumed for her, rights which they do not concede to others; and the people of the United States having adopted the same selfish principles of the English law, an irreconcilable conflict has been produced between them.”

    Yes, although hardly irreconcilable. I am glad however that you accept the premise that it was English Common Law which guided the meaning of the term natural born citizen.

    As we can all see; there is nothing American about adopting British Law over natural law, and their is nothing natural-born about one who requires positive law to support his citizenship.

    Good thing you were not a Founder or early colonist as they all understood the value of British Law. The concept of natural law is so meaningless, so vague, so speculative that we need not ponder too long as to why these countries failed to accept such a concept.
    In fact, in neither England nor the US, did citizenship on its soil require ‘positive law’ as it was captured in centuries of common law practices.
    Sure, the citizenship of children born abroad to citizens required positive law, just like the 1790 and 1795 naturalization acts which assigned citizenship to such children. We can all agree that such statutes cannot really grant natural born citizen status. And that is so unnatural about considering children born on one’s soil to be natural born?

    Jeez… WTF, you’re digging yourself in deeper. Convinced of your conclusion you have to continue to abandon reason, logic and fact.
    Have you no self respect?

  110. avatar
    nbC May 8, 2010 at 9:45 pm #

    Maybe “Scientist” as well as “G” are more British than they are American. They seem to rely more on British Law, than they do natural reason. They want to adopt, and make part of American Law (for the entire nation) that which we fought to avoid.

    A common confusion. The Founders and the early americans did not fight to get rid of English law or common law but rather of a far more restrictive reason. The Founders and the early states understood the importance of a solid common law foundation and were quick and eager to accept it as a foundation for their states and for the United States.

    Call them fools or unamerican but that would seem rather ironic.

    No WTF your inability to understand the fallacy behind your reasoning is hilarious. You believe that the Founders fought against British Common Law or British Law practices, which is of course a bit ridiculous.
    Did you not study history when you went to school?

  111. avatar
    nbC May 8, 2010 at 9:48 pm #

    WTF is clearly unable to reject my arguments and thus has no choice but to create his own strawman

    nbC talks about someone being a “birthright natural born citizen”, but clearly can’t provide any municipal law or Court decision in support. It reminds of the people who say “there should be a law”. If there only was a law, nbC would have citied it.

    You do understand that we have rights which are not spelled out either in the Constitution or in the Laws of our nation? You do understand that the concept of Common Law grants birthright citizenship to all children born on its soil?
    It’s the absence of municipal law which makes this principle so relevant. And as to courts having ruled accordingly. I provided many references, culminating in Lynch v Clarke and US v Wong Kim Ark.

  112. avatar
    nbC May 8, 2010 at 9:55 pm #

    NBC-I have to correct you. US law does NOT require a person with 2 birthright citizenships to make a choice at any time. Some foreign countries do, and some don’t. Canada, for one, does not. I know people who were born in the US to Canadian parents

    Everyone makes a choice, but I understand your minor point that there are cases where US turns its back when people continue their secondary citizenship, most of these come from naturalization. Then there are instances where one has no choice. If you were to check legal rulings then you will see the concept of ‘election’ is a strong concept and while you may argue that such an election may at a later time be undone, this does not undermine the argument. Under US practices, the right to expatriate is well established.
    How familiar are you with the rulings in this area? There are quite a few rulings, legal as well as by US Attorney Generals attempting to resolve the issues around multiple citizenships. In the early US, dual allegiance was considered a logical impossibility and that still seems a reasonable conclusion as one can have only one allegiance at any given time since location/protection and allegiance go hand in hand.

    Over time the extent of what was considered election shifted from losing one’s citizenship to the more recent position that losing one’s US citizenship is only possible through a clear and direct rejection of said citizenship.
    I need to check but I believe that in Obama’s days, the law and precedent was hardly as well established.
    In the end we all ‘elect’ our citizenship to pursue by virtue of making the place our domicile.

  113. avatar
    nbC May 8, 2010 at 9:57 pm #

    They could live in Canada for many years and still return to the US. Could they run for President? Yes, though their opponents could raise the fact that they claimed Canadian citizenship as an adult as a valid campaign issue.

    Which is why the residency requirement is so relevant as well. Especially given the uncertainty around cumulative versus consecutive 14 years of residency requirements 🙂

  114. avatar
    nbC May 8, 2010 at 10:00 pm #

    The people could have chose someone who was not even a citizen of the United States. (They may have, if it turns out that Obama was born in Kenya.) Nothing prevents them from doing so.

    And if such an ineligibility were found out after the President was sworn in then he will continue to serve.
    However, under several amendments, Congress has to qualify the candidate. Of course, even Congress could ignore the facts and Constitution but these situations become more and more hypothetical.
    At the moment the facts are straightforward: By any reasonable fact and evidence President Obama was born on US soil. Hence a natural born citizen.

    The end…

  115. avatar
    G May 8, 2010 at 10:26 pm #

    It is quite obvious by now that WTF has no self-respect.

  116. avatar
    WTF? May 8, 2010 at 10:38 pm #

    You’re welcome, Doc.

    I guess you didn’t notice that Tucker is referring to the naturalization law created by Congress, and not the Constitution. When Tucker said “These are the consequences of an attempt to push too far the right of the State over its supposed members, instead of pursuing the obvious principles of natural justice and sound reason” he was referring to law created after the Constitution was ratified.

  117. avatar
    Slartibartfast May 8, 2010 at 10:57 pm #

    Scientist said:

    Your contempt for anyone who disagrees with you is obvious. And I am a biochemist, not a climatologist.

    As a mathematical biologist (I do cell cycle modeling) I’m curious what sort of biochemistry you do.

    Scientist said:

    I’ll be happy to bet $100 that no court will rule obama ineligible, not during his current term, nor when he runs for re-election. I’ve offered this many times and no birther has ever taken me up on it. money talks and b.s walks.

    You could always make your bet on Intrade, although I suspect that no one would take the other side of the bet.

    WTF? said:

    I should point out that most of the Obama supporters have been very happy to see all the court cases thus far dismissed.

    If you’re looking for a supporter of President Obama that wants to see this issue resolved in court, here I am. I would like to see all of the birther propaganda debunked in as high a profile way as possible (I doubt that this could ever make it to the SCOTUS, but a federal appeals court would be fine by me). I highly doubt that any supporter of the President that visits this site is at all concerned about the prospect of a birther case being heard by a federal or state court.

    WTF? said:

    Listen, butthead. I’ve had enough of your false claims of “rights”. You and the liberal minority live by your feel-good ways regardless of consequence. You and your ilk are too childlike to recognize the dangers of doing whatever feels good to you. For you there is no consequence, because you have no responsibility.

    As a liberal, I’m also very concerned about responsibility – like the responsibility of corporations like BP and Massey Energy for putting profit over safety or the responsibility of Wall Street firms like Goldman-Sachs for taking risks that put the whole financial system in jeopardy in pursuit of their enormous profits.

    Finally, I’d like to say that people like you who loudly proclaim that your only interest is in what the Constitution says whilst ignoring the well-documented and clear interpretation of those words and the applicable laws of the United States when they don’t agree with your prejudices are about as un-American as they come.

  118. avatar
    nbC May 8, 2010 at 11:35 pm #

    More on domicile

    “‘Domicile’ is . . . a concept widely used [and uncontroverted] in both federal and state courts for jurisdiction and conflict-of-laws purposes. . . . For adults, domicile is established by physical presence in a place in connection with a certain state of mind concerning one’s intent to remain there.” Miss. Band of Choctaw Indians v. Holyfield, 490 U.S. 30, 48 (1989) (quoting Texas v. Florida, 306 U.S. 398, 424 (1939)).

    The United States Supreme Court addressed the issue of establishing domicile in Mitchell v. United States, 88 U.S. 350 (1874), stating:

    “Domicile has been thus defined: A residence at a particular place accompanied with positive or presumptive proof of an intention to remain there for an unlimited time.’”

    Mitchell v. United States, 88 U.S. at 352 (citations omitted). The Supreme Court further clarified the establishment of legal domicile, stating:

    A domicile once acquired is presumed to continue until it is shown to have been changed. Where a change of domicile is alleged the burden of proving it rests upon the person making the allegation. To constitute the new domicile two things are indispensable: First, residence in the new locality; and, second, the intention to remain there . . . . Either without the other is insufficient. Mere absence from a fixed home, however long continued, cannot work the change. There must be the animus to change the prior domicile for another. Until the new one is acquired, the old one remains.
    Mitchell v. United States, 88 U.S. at 353 (citation omitted, emphasis in original).

    In Vlandis v. Kline, the Supreme Court cited an opinion of the Attorney General of Connecticut for a reasonable standard for determining domicile:

    In general, the domicile of an individual is his true, fixed and permanent home and place of habitation. It is the place to which, whenever he is absent, he has the intention of returning. This general statement, however, is difficult of application. Each individual case must be decided on its own particular facts. In reviewing a claim, relevant criteria include year-round residence, voter registration, place of filing tax returns, property ownership, driver’s license, car registration, marital status, vacation employment, etc.

    also

    The IRS has previously determined that an illegal alien can establish domicile in the United States, allowing the agency to tax all assets in the alien’s estate, both inside and outside the United States, upon the alien’s death. Rev. Rul. 80-209, 1980-2 C.B. 248 (1980).

    Things are hardly that self evident.

  119. avatar
    Greg May 9, 2010 at 12:03 am #

    “In short, the laws of Great Britain have assumed for her, rights which they do not concede to others; and the people of the United States having adopted the same selfish principles of the English law, an irreconcilable conflict has been produced between them.

    You can say that there’s nothing “American” about adopting British Law, but Tucker is saying that we adopted British Law.

    Your nickname is apropos, WTF, because that’s what I think whenever I read these comments of yours, which are completely off the mark and completely undercut by the folks you quote!

    Here’s some more Tucker for you:

    A very respectable political writer makes the following pertinent remarks upon this subject. “Prior to the adoption of the constitution, the people inhabiting the different states might be divided into two classes: natural born citizens, or those born within the state, and aliens, or such as were born out of it. The first, by their birth-right, became entitled to all the privileges of citizens; the second, were entitled to none, but such as were held out and given by the laws of the respective states prior to their emigration….

    It seems like the best you can do is to want the US to have adopted natural law over the British Common Law.

    The Tinkerbell theory of law.

    Wish really hard, and maybe it’ll come true, WTF!

  120. avatar
    G May 9, 2010 at 1:24 am #

    This web site has never avoided “Enquirer” material.

    I would argue that the whole range of the birther’s mythology of claims and arguments equate to nothing more than “Equirer” level material, at best.

    Somewhere beneath the quality of stories of Elvis living on the moon.

  121. avatar
    Lupin May 9, 2010 at 2:49 am #

    I’m not going to do the research again, but in the second edition [should be 1863 French edition. Doc.] of Vattel’s the passage where he says citizenship is transmitted from the father, there is an editorial footnote that says that in the event the child is born out of wedlock then he inherits his citizenship from the mother.

  122. avatar
    Lupin May 9, 2010 at 3:04 am #

    “The voters have no right to elect whoever they want to. They never did. Your suggestion is subversive.”

    Ah ah! I knew it! The black shirt is showing. Death to Allende! Enter the American fascist!

    “To you the Constitution is merely a piece of paper that gets in your way.”

    Your pathetic and delusional statement would be more believable if you could point out to any action whatsoever you took during the last 8 years to protest the bush/Cheney’s administration repeated trampling of the Constitution.

    But no, to people like yourself, the constitution is just a convenient excuse to impose the regime you want.

  123. avatar
    Lupin May 9, 2010 at 3:08 am #

    “There is only one citizen that all states would accept. That citizen was born of citizen parents, on the soil of a state in this Union. That alone is a natural born citizen. No state could dispute it.”

    And Obama fully meets that criterion. Therefore, end of story.

    (Let me reemphasize again that in the sentence “Only children whose parents are club members may use the pool” means that one parent at least must be a member, not two; otherwise the formulation would be different.)

  124. avatar
    Lupin May 9, 2010 at 3:14 am #

    “Somewhere beneath the quality of stories of Elvis living on the moon.”

    You do realize that now you spilled the beans, we have to kill you? 🙂

  125. avatar
    Scientist May 10, 2010 at 8:04 am #

    Slartibartfast-I just saw this post-as I said on another thread, finding a particular post in amongst some of the abusive nonsense here is difficult.

    It’s a small world. I worked for many years on the enzymology of DNA replication, pretty closely related to your cell cycle work.

    I didn’t think Intrade would take bets outside of the posted ones, but I will look into it. You are right that finding a serious bettor (as opposed to birther morons) to actually put cash on the other side will be difficult. I would probably have to pay $0.99 to win $1.00. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve read idiots predicting “Barry’s going down” or “He’ll be out in 30 days”. You’d think if they were that sure, they be happy to take money from an O-bot, but they’re just full of b.s.

    As far as courts ruling on this matter, I think it’s fair to say that at least in a de facto sense they have. First, you have the Ankeny decision. The Indiana Court of Appeals is a real court and not a particularly liberal one. Reading their decision, it doesn’t appear they saw it as a close call. And the Indiana Supreme Court didn’t even bother to hear arguments. Now, I know Mario feels it’s not a fair case, because it was pro se plaontiffs. But if you read their brief, outside of the nonsense about sitting Senators being ineligible, it was basically cribbed from him and Donofrio. And, frankly, the pro se plaintiffs were no more incoherent than the birther legal eagles. The ball is now in the birthers court (excuse the pun). Nothing prevents them from appealing to the US Supremes. Ineteresting that they haven’t. I think they know that the Court will decline to hear arguments (confidence >98%) and if they did would rule against them (confidence >99.9%).

    Second, you have the Inauguration. Now I know that in a strict sense, the role of the Justices is only ceremonial. The Constitution doesn’t require them to attend nor does the President have to be sworn in by the Chief Justice. He only has to say the oath in front of witnesses. So what does it mean that they attend. It means they give the blessing of the Judicial Branch to the President, just as having it at the Capitol gives the blessing of the Legislative Branch. Unless you think the Justices are fools and hypocrites, it’s simply not credible to pretend they would bless the Inauguration of someone they considered ineligible. And if they are fools and hypocrites, then who cares how they would rule?

    As for the argument that they were unaware of Obama’s parentage, horse pucky! They don’t live in a cave. They follow the elections like anyone in high positions and knew very well his father was a student from Kenya. Moreover they had received for review one of Donofrio’s cases and weren’t even interested in hearing arguments.

    So, I can add 2 + 2 and get 4. I am confident at >99.9% that the Supreme Court as a body has no doubt that Obama is eligible. As you know, in science that’s about as good as it gets.

  126. avatar
    Benji Franklin May 10, 2010 at 10:30 am #

    Dear Scientist,

    The conversational tone of your brief summary is refreshing. We here so often get wafted up into the strident zaniness of the eligibility denialists, that in trying to balanced the comments of their unbalanced minds, we are forced to give an undeserved existential voice to their crazy premises and patriotically costumed racism.

    Birthers are capable of initially claiming that a person is Constitutionally ineligible to the Presidency IF the specific gravity of water is no where near 1, AND then claiming Obama is therefore ineligible because HE is the ONE the specific gravity of water is no where near!

    Soon, we’d be repeating their drivel to refute it. They are verbal anarchists throwing illogical crap bombs, and we are over-validating them with any civil reply.

    Philosophers have long known the impish menace of existential import; the default reality undeservedly acquired by any un-evidenced idea conceptualized in a naming word or invented jargon, and then ceded a place at the table of discussion, unencumbered by any testable reality.

    The birthers further pollute the discussion with a reserved reverence for taking their suspicions as universal truths that are BETTER than mere evidence-supported truth, because suspicions can be asserted as indisputable, even in theory!

    But the real power of Birther arguments – the delusional nature of each one, which we keep mistakenly imagining will finally become apparent to them as we see it proffered, is instead the engine which, fueled by hatred, creates the alternative universe where their idiotic arguments can prevail.

    At least one consoling piquant irony at play here is worth mentioning; because they are delusional, they don’t know we are NOT being pejorative when we state that they are delusional.

    Benji Franklin

  127. avatar
    Paul Pieniezny May 10, 2010 at 10:47 am #

    Obama admitted to being governed by the British Nationality Act of 1948 at birth and having Kenyan citizenship which he claimed expired on Aug. 4, 1982.

    This is an incorrect (and maligning) rewording of what was written on Obama’s website (and which, as we see now, may actually legally not be correct). Obama himself was not governed by Britain or any British law at birth. His British nationality was – of course, provided he had one. Unless you are the child of a foreign diplomat at birth you are under the immediate jurisdiction of the state you are born in. Since Obama was born in the US of a US mother, there was nothing for Britain to govern while he was living in the US except his right or no right to receive a British passport at the Britich consulate – until he visited British territory.

  128. avatar
    Slartibartfast May 10, 2010 at 4:16 pm #

    Scientist,

    In response to your comments on another thread, I hadn’t realized the problem with the sheer magnitude of meaningless posts and I certainly understand your complaints about a low signal to noise ratio. You can use the new subscription feature to help you out here – if you subscribe to posts you get an email with each new response (you don’t lose any if there’s a lot of noise) and you can simply delete the email if the commenter (or the comment) is one that you wish to ignore. I suspect that my own personal method will be to periodically check the site for new posts that I wish to subscribe to after which I will have emails of the comments in chronological order without having to open the site again unless I want to post a comment myself. Personally, I find this far more efficient.

    In order to help people recall the context of your responses (since they may not be seeing them in the nesting structure), I suggest something like the following:

    Scientist posted:

    Slartibartfast-I just saw this post-as I said on another thread, finding a particular post in amongst some of the abusive nonsense here is difficult.

    I agree – see my suggestion above as to how the new subscription button can be used to assist in sorting the wheat from the chaff, so to speak.

    It’s a small world. I worked for many years on the enzymology of DNA replication, pretty closely related to your cell cycle work.

    I guess you could say I’m picking up where you left off – I’m working on a paper (to be submitted in the next month) about my model of the G2 to M transition and the DNA damage G2 checkpoint. My model is an order of magnitude more complex than any currently in the literature.

    I didn’t think Intrade would take bets outside of the posted ones, but I will look into it. You are right that finding a serious bettor (as opposed to birther morons) to actually put cash on the other side will be difficult. I would probably have to pay $0.99 to win $1.00. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve read idiots predicting “Barry’s going down” or “He’ll be out in 30 days”. You’d think if they were that sure, they be happy to take money from an O-bot, but they’re just full of b.s.

    I’m pretty sure you can bet on anything you want to on Intrade, but I don’t know what they do if no one takes the other side of the bet (probably the odds stay at 100% and you get your money back when the bet pays off). I’ve certainly lost count of the number of predictions by the birthers as to when their going to have the lawfully elected president ousted as a usurper that I’ve seen…

    As far as courts ruling on this matter, I think it’s fair to say that at least in a de facto sense they have. First, you have the Ankeny decision. The Indiana Court of Appeals is a real court and not a particularly liberal one. Reading their decision, it doesn’t appear they saw it as a close call. And the Indiana Supreme Court didn’t even bother to hear arguments. Now, I know Mario feels it’s not a fair case, because it was pro se plaontiffs. But if you read their brief, outside of the nonsense about sitting Senators being ineligible, it was basically cribbed from him and Donofrio. And, frankly, the pro se plaintiffs were no more incoherent than the birther legal eagles. The ball is now in the birthers court (excuse the pun). Nothing prevents them from appealing to the US Supremes. Ineteresting that they haven’t. I think they know that the Court will decline to hear arguments (confidence >98%) and if they did would rule against them (confidence >99.9%).

    I’m looking for a case that clears the standing hurdle so that there is actual argument before the court which is then appealed up the line until it is denied cert by the SCOTUS. Some of the birther lawyers (say the ones that are not also dentists) are good enough to clear this hurdle in the run-up to the 2012 election before going down in flames when they actually try to make their case in court. I agree with your estimates of the odds.

    Second, you have the Inauguration. Now I know that in a strict sense, the role of the Justices is only ceremonial. The Constitution doesn’t require them to attend nor does the President have to be sworn in by the Chief Justice. He only has to say the oath in front of witnesses. So what does it mean that they attend. It means they give the blessing of the Judicial Branch to the President, just as having it at the Capitol gives the blessing of the Legislative Branch. Unless you think the Justices are fools and hypocrites, it’s simply not credible to pretend they would bless the Inauguration of someone they considered ineligible. And if they are fools and hypocrites, then who cares how they would rule?

    The use of logic and reason in arguing against the birthers isn’t very sporting…

    As for the argument that they were unaware of Obama’s parentage, horse pucky! They don’t live in a cave. They follow the elections like anyone in high positions and knew very well his father was a student from Kenya. Moreover they had received for review one of Donofrio’s cases and weren’t even interested in hearing arguments.

    See above.

    So, I can add 2 + 2 and get 4. I am confident at >99.9% that the Supreme Court as a body has no doubt that Obama is eligible. As you know, in science that’s about as good as it gets.

    As a mathematician by training, I can easily add 2 and 2 and get 1 (mod 3) or 11 (base 3) or prove that it equals anything you’d like (pay no attention to the division by a quantity that is technically equal to zero… Move along. Nothing to see here. ;-)) but I agree with you about the SCOTUS. (Assuming that someone explained it to Justice Thomas.)

  129. avatar
    Scientist May 10, 2010 at 6:50 pm #

    Slartibartfast-Much as I love Doc and this site, I’m not sure I really want to get an EMail every time somebody posts. If one of the birther morons is posting more nonsense, I’m happier not knowing about it. Some sites allow you to set a list of posters to ignore. Unfortunately, if a poster you are not ignoring responds, you will see that.

    Your work sounds very interesting. I wish there was a private message function here, so we could chat without boring everyone else to tears.

    Ankeny cleared the standing hurdle, since state courts have much more leeway on standing than federal ones. The judges specifically ruled that Obama is a natural born citizen and that parental citizenhip is irrelevant. Now that the Indiana Supremes have denied the appeal, the door is open to appeal to the SCOTUS. Why haven’t one of those brilliant birther lawyers done so? Because they know it is a sure loser and will slam the PayPal door, since it will overturn their argument that courts will rule for them if onmy they can get by standing.

    Yes they can try in 2012 and yes they will be slapped down. They could save themselves and everyone else a lot of trouble by appealing Ankeny now and getting their answer before 2010 is out. After all they assure us that every day with Obama in the White House we are in dire peril. Yet, when it comes to court cases, they drag their feet. You’re right that looking for logic there is like looking for a diamond in a manure pile.

  130. avatar
    Slartibartfast May 10, 2010 at 7:01 pm #

    Scientist,

    This is not an anonymous identity – my name is Kevin Kesseler and you can reach me at

    (first name)@(last name).net

    (notice the spelling on the last name)

    Drop me a line – I’m always happy to talk shop.

  131. avatar
    WTF? May 10, 2010 at 7:55 pm #

    If Slartibartfast would enclose what someone else said in quotation marks, it would be much easier for everyone who reads the comment to know what words are his own, and what words are those of others.

    scientist said; Unless you think the Justices are fools and hypocrites, it’s simply not credible to pretend they would bless the Inauguration of someone they considered ineligible.”

    It’s kind of sad that two people who profess their intelligence can’t undertand that a judge doesn’t have the luxury of making a judicial decision without the case being properly before the court. To infer that they gave Obama’s inauguration a “blessing” is laughable. It makes we want to ask; “How badly do you need the blessing of the Justices of our Supreme Court, that you would imply that a judicial ruling was concluded by their attendance alone?” Only someone who is looking for any possible support he can get his hands on would arrive at that conclusion.

  132. avatar
    Scientist May 10, 2010 at 8:18 pm #

    If it pleases you to think that the Justices would show up at the Inauguration of someone they believed was constitutionally ineligible and that the Chief Justice would administer the oath of office, go ahead. Wake me up when an actual court rules in your favor on anything. A judge agreeing with your side on when to break for lunch would be a major victory, given your record so far.

    And before you whine about standing, how come you guys haven’t appealed Ankeny to the US Supremes? Some folks must be scared of getting an answer…

  133. avatar
    SFJeff May 10, 2010 at 8:47 pm #

    WTF, you can believe in whatever fairy tails you want to- while I may disagree with Chief Justice Roberts on many things, I do believe the man is ethical.

    To think that he would swear in the President- something he is not required to do- if he felt that the President was not eligible is again the type of desperate stretch that birthers make- you know the ones- the entire Congress was too scared of being called racist to object, the voters just didn’t know Obama’s father was Kenyan- and Chief Justice Roberts would knowingly swear in as President someone he felt was not eligible.

  134. avatar
    fgb May 11, 2010 at 12:47 am #

    Why don’t those pursuing this issue just come out and say it. That the real reason for that officer to refuse to serve under Obama and the real reason birthers are crazy with this issue is: We elected the American people first black president and they can’t accept that. I’m sorry but you white people with a chip on your shoulders need to remember one thing, and that is; we are a nation of immigrants and the only pure Americans are the native Indians of these United States. We Americans and i mean all of us, British, French, German, Japanese, hell the whole world should be proud to be a nation of immigrants. That is what makes us the greatest nation in the world. I personally consider myself a mutt, Being of English on one side and Mexican on the other. So what are you really. My family has been in America over 150 years and proud of it. I am proud that we finally grew up and found the guts to elect a black President. You people should be ashamed of your selfs.

  135. avatar
    nemocapn May 11, 2010 at 3:28 am #

    Just found this document about current UK legitimacy laws by country:

    http://www.ips.gov.uk/cps/files/ips/live/assets/documents/Legitimation_and_Domicile_TO_PUBLISH.pdf

    On page 9 for Kenya there is a distinction made between the child of a married vs unmarried couple. On page 23 for the USA, it says “Child is legitimate whether the parents are married or not.”

    Page two says:
    “In UK law, when considering questions of legitimacy, we look at the law of the place where the father was domiciled at the time of the child’s birth. If that law treats a child as legitimate, then UK law will likewise recognise that status [Hashmi v Hashmi (1972)].

    “Therefore, if there is no concept of illegitimacy according to the law of the place of the father’s domicile at the time of the child’s birth, the child born outside a marriage will be considered legitimate in UK law irrespective of whether the child’s parents subsequently marry. Such a child will have a claim to British Citizenship.”

  136. avatar
    nemocapn May 11, 2010 at 3:59 am #

    I found a document on kutokanet.com that says, “The colonial Legitimacy Ordinance, of 1930 was based on the English Legitimacy Act of 1926.”

    It looks like Great Britain passed another Legitimacy law in 1959. An article on Jstor says:
    http://www.jstor.org/pss/756076
    “But the lawyer’s interest, if not suspicion, will be centred in the radical provisions of section 2 of the Act. By this section, ‘the child of a void marriage . . . shall be treated as the legitimate child of his parents if at the time of the act of intercourse resulting in the birth (or at the time of the celebration of the marriage if later) both or either of the parties reasonably believed that the marriage was valid.”

    Does that mean we have an answer to the British citizenship question? Barack was legitimate under British law because his mother believed the marriage was valid. Sound right?

    If the customary marriage affects American citizenship laws remains to be answered.

  137. avatar
    Paul Pieniezny May 11, 2010 at 8:23 am #

    One little point, however. That text says “English law” and English does not British make. If I remember correctly, Scotch law was notorious for its legal acceptance of so-called common-law marriage, a situation in which both partners at the time of union considered themselves married.

    So, while the 1959 law looks like accepting the Scottish standard and thus making the laws in Great Britain more convergent – it is quite possible that your text is about an English law that had no influence on British colonial law. It may be that the Colonial Ordinance was not changed, because the civil servants did not consider it worth the trouble as the Empire was nearing its end anyway. It may be interesting to know what the situation vis a vis legitimacy in Northern Ireland was.

  138. avatar
    IceTrey May 12, 2010 at 5:26 am #

    Where in the BNA1948 does it say anything about legitimacy?

    “5.—(1) Subject to the provisions of this section, a person born after the commencement of this Act shall be a citizen of the United Kingdom and Colonies by descent if his father is a citizen of the United Kingdom and Colonies at the time of the birth:”

  139. avatar
    Greg May 12, 2010 at 7:06 am #

    Where in the BNA1948 does it say anything about legitimacy?

    You know what is a good way to answer questions like this? Read the law in question:

    Section 23: —(1) A person born out of wedlock and legitimated by the subsequent marriage of his parents shall, as from the date of the marriage or of the commencement of this Act, whichever is later, be treated, for the purpose of determining whether he is a citizen of the United Kingdom and Colonies, or was a British subject immediately before the commencement of this Act, as if he had been born legitimate.

    (2) A person shall be deemed for the purposes of this section to have been legitimated by the subsequent marriage of his parents if by the law of the place in which his father was domiciled at the time of the marriage the marriage operated immediately or subsequently to legitimate him, and not otherwise.

    Section 32:

    (2) Subject to the provisions of section twenty-three of this Act, any reference in this Act to a child shall be construed as a reference to a legitimate child; and the expressions “father”, “ancestor” and “descended” shall be construed accordingly.

    So, seems to me that section 5 only refers to legitimate children, since by definition, every reference to child refers to legitimate children, and every reference to father has to be “construed accordingly”.

  140. avatar
    chirley May 19, 2010 at 11:59 am #

    I have you racists for quoting this noble newspaper article out of context. I really hate white supremacists.

  141. avatar
    chirley May 19, 2010 at 12:04 pm #

    Why quote British colonial law? These guys brutalized the whole world. Stop imposing your system on everybody else!

  142. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy May 19, 2010 at 9:11 pm #

    chirley: Why quote British colonial law? These guys brutalized the whole world. Stop imposing your system on everybody else!

    I quote British colonial law because much of it was immediately adopted by the colonies when they became independent. South Carolina, in its 1776 constitution actually declared the British Common Law to be in effect except where new laws overrode it. The framers of the US Constitution, many of them, were trained in the British common law, and its language defines the terms in the Constitution.

    I’m not imposing any system on anyone. Our history is our history.

  143. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy May 19, 2010 at 9:12 pm #

    chirley: I have you racists for quoting this noble newspaper article out of context.I really hate white supremacists.

    What are you referring to?

  144. avatar
    nbC May 20, 2010 at 12:12 am #

    Dr. Conspiracy:
    What are you referring to?

    My question as well…

  145. avatar
    Bovril May 20, 2010 at 5:53 am #

    I might add that it was Common Law not Colonial Law