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Constitutional amendment to remove Obama

I wrote in a previous article about Constitutional Fundamentalism, featuring a mock up of the Constitution packaged to look like the Holy Bible, totally unaware that I could have saved the effort and used the real thing:

Pocket Constitution

That edition probably doesn’t have the original Thirteenth Amendment, not ratified by the requisite number of states, at least according to everyone except a group of conspiracy theorists called “Thirteenthers” who believe it was. This group succeeded into inserting a plank into the Iowa Republican Platform calling for the “reintroduction and ratification of the original 13th amendment” of the Constitution, according to an article in the Huffington Post yesterday (July 29, 2010).

How does this affect President Obama? The amendment, according to some views, would make Obama not only ineligible to be president but also no longer a citizen because he accepted a Nobel Prize, contrary to the words of the amendment:

If any citizen of the United States shall accept, claim, receive or retain any title of nobility or honour, or shall, without the consent of Congress accept and retain any present, pension, office or emolument of any kind whatever, from any emperor, king, prince or foreign power, such person shall cease to be a citizen of the United States and shall be incapable of holding any office of trust or profit under them, or either of them.

21 Responses to Constitutional amendment to remove Obama

  1. avatar
    Ellid July 30, 2010 at 7:53 am #

    It also strips the citizenship from every single American President before Obama who accepted a gift from a foreign head of state. God only knows what it would have done in the case of George W. Bush, who held hands with and actually kissed the King of Saudi Arabia.

  2. avatar
    bob July 30, 2010 at 10:24 am #

    The DoJ ruled the Nobel Peace Prize wasn’t an “emolument” under the Emolument Clause (and thus Obama did not need Congress’ approval to receive it).

    The 13thers also believe a lawyer’s use of “esquire” is a title of nobility, and thus all lawyers would lose citizenship.

  3. avatar
    HORUS July 30, 2010 at 10:30 am #

    The Nobel Award was just presented to Obama by the King of Sweden.
    Other than being presented by the King the Award is in noway associated with the Nobility.

    The Nobel Foundation is a Private Organization.
    The other awards given in Alfred’s name are not coming from the Nobel Endowment, the are given by the Bank of Sweden.
    Only the Peace Prize comes from the Nobel Endowment.

  4. avatar
    Lupin July 30, 2010 at 10:30 am #

    I think you mean “affect” not “effect”, unless I’m mistaken.

  5. avatar
    Slartibartfast July 30, 2010 at 1:20 pm #

    bob: The 13thers also believe a lawyer’s use of “esquire” is a title of nobility, and thus all lawyers would lose citizenship.

    Sounds reasonable to me. Has anyone told Orly that they’re trying to strip her of her citizenship?

  6. avatar
    Sean July 30, 2010 at 1:32 pm #

    Maybe the hope is that this only applies to Obama.

  7. avatar
    Majority Will July 30, 2010 at 1:37 pm #

    Sean: Maybe the hope is that this only applies to Obama.

    Of course it only applies to the President. In Birferstan, wishing makes it true.

  8. avatar
    Expelliarmus July 30, 2010 at 3:51 pm #

    Even if it were enacted, it couldn’t be applied retroactively. (There’s that whole ex post facto thing in the Constitution).

  9. avatar
    Majority Will July 30, 2010 at 4:00 pm #

    Expelliarmus: Even if it were enacted, it couldn’t be applied retroactively.(There’s that whole ex post facto thing in the Constitution).

    When has reason, logic or law ever stopped a birther?

    I’ve read many birther fantasies that amount to turning back the clock and nullifying his Presidency.

  10. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy July 30, 2010 at 5:04 pm #

    Expelliarmus: There’s that whole ex post facto thing in the Constitution

    They’ll just amend that too, when they add the “Christians only” clause.

  11. avatar
    Majority Will July 30, 2010 at 6:27 pm #

    Slartibartfast:
    Sounds reasonable to me.Has anyone told Orly that they’re trying to strip her of her citizenship?

    G.W. Bush was awarded an honorary doctor of laws degree from Yale in May 2001. Does that count?

  12. avatar
    Slartibartfast July 30, 2010 at 7:42 pm #

    Majority Will:
    G.W. Bush was awarded an honorary doctor of laws degree from Yale in May 2001. Does that count?

    Only if we can retroactively nullify his entire presidency – like the birthers think will magically happen if they usurp President Obama…

  13. avatar
    AnotherBird July 30, 2010 at 9:40 pm #

    Sean: Maybe the hope is that this only applies to Obama.

    That is the essence of all the birthers arguments. Every last one. They seem to live in a magic fantasy land.

  14. avatar
    Gordon July 31, 2010 at 1:24 am #

    The Huffington Post is reporting this as one of the planks of the Iowa GOP

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/07/29/iowa-gop-embraces-plan-to_n_663621.html?ir=Politics#comments

  15. avatar
    Keith July 31, 2010 at 3:39 am #

    What about the winners at Wimbledon?

  16. avatar
    gwen July 31, 2010 at 3:58 am #

    Do they realize that we would also lose our greatest scientists? Didn’t Kissinger win a prize too? I’m sure we could dig up foreign prizes given to Bush, Shrub and Reagan which would invalidate their citizenships if it passes. There would be a LOT of people ‘without a country’!

  17. avatar
    Majority Will July 31, 2010 at 9:14 am #

    gwen: Do they realize that we would also lose our greatest scientists? Didn’t Kissinger win a prize too? I’m sure we could dig up foreign prizes given to Bush, Shrub and Reagan which would invalidate their citizenships if it passes. There would be a LOT of people without a country’!

    This is a bunch who share diminishing brain cells. Logic is not an issue.

  18. avatar
    mimi July 31, 2010 at 4:31 pm #

    verbalobe provided a link to this ugly website that indicates many others who would lose their citizenship.

    “Knights In The News:

    It is commonly believed that United States citizens cannot receive from a foreign government noble honors such as a Knighthood. To show that this belief has no basis in law or practice, this is a listing of United States citizens (whether famous or not) who have appeared in the news because they have received Knighthoods. Our sources are newspapers, magazines, and journals.”

    Included are: Ronald Reagan, Bob Hope, Norman Schwarzkopf, Colin Powell, Caspar Weinberger, Charleton Heston, Alan Greenspan,Rudy Giuliani,Billy Graham and many others.

    http://www.apfn.org/apfn/KNIGHTHOOD.HTM

  19. avatar
    AnotherBird July 31, 2010 at 9:21 pm #

    gwen: Do they realize that we would also lose our greatest scientists? Didn’t Kissinger win a prize too? I’m sure we could dig up foreign prizes given to Bush, Shrub and Reagan which would invalidate their citizenships if it passes. There would be a LOT of people without a country’!

    Actually, the implications goes further that they would attempt to accept.

    From the same Huffington article: “A reader points out that among the acts of the Federal government that would be delegitimized by a restoration/ratification of the unratified original 13th Amendment would be the act that gave statehood to Iowa, which happened in 1846.”

    So we will lose Iowa …

  20. avatar
    Ellid July 31, 2010 at 11:38 pm #

    mimi: verbalobe provided a link to this ugly website that indicates many others who would lose their citizenship.“Knights In The News:It is commonly believed that United States citizens cannot receive from a foreign government noble honors such as a Knighthood. To show that this belief has no basis in law or practice, this is a listing of United States citizens (whether famous or not) who have appeared in the news because they have received Knighthoods. Our sources are newspapers, magazines, and journals.”Included are: Ronald Reagan, Bob Hope, Norman Schwarzkopf, Colin Powell, Caspar Weinberger, Charleton Heston, Alan Greenspan,Rudy Giuliani,Billy Graham and many others.http://www.apfn.org/apfn/KNIGHTHOOD.HTM

    I believe that this would also knock out every member of the Knights of Malta (who function as a sovereign entity) or the Knights of Columbus (since the Catholic Church is based in the Vatican, a foreign country).

    What’s particularly amusing is that the never-ratified amendment was specifically intended to prevent Napoleon I’s nephew from ever accepting a foreign title and then being proclaimed King of America…yet the kid’s sons both had distinguished careers in government and foreign service. Go figure!

  21. avatar
    Keith August 1, 2010 at 1:59 am #

    I am actually not against the ‘no titles amendment’.

    But the claim that it was ratified and then somehow magically made to disappear is so ludicrous that it even beats Obama born in Kenya.

    If it were dredged up (I don’t think it has a sunset clause built into it, has it ever been withdrawn? Can it be withdrawn) and ratified there would be a lot of questions about that process like how many States are required to effect ratification? 66% of 50 or 66% of the States in the Union when the amendment was proposed?

    What there could not be a question about is whether or not any actions taken prior to ratification are legitimate or not.

    Nor could anyone question whether or not an American Citizen can accept honors from foreign royalty because the amendment allows Congress to approve them. Does anyone really believe that Congress is going to refuse an American the honor of receiving an international honor or prize because it makes him loyal to that ‘foreign power’ at the expense of his American loyalty?

    The trigger for the latest interest in this failed amendment is of course Obama’s Nobel Peace prize. Regardless of your opinion on whether or not he deserved it (mine is that he did not, but who cares? The NPP has been cheapened by previous winners already) how is the fact that the dignitary that presides over the presentation ceremony is the King of Sweden make it an honor received from a “from any emperor, king, prince, or foreign power”? The Nobel Committee is none of those things, and the King of Sweden is merely a dignitary invited to present the committee’s award. Even if this award were somehow be ruled to fall under the purview of this amendment, who would really believe that Congress would deny an American the honor of receiving the Nobel Peace Prize (or any other international prize for that matter).

    If Fergie were on the dais to hand a Lifetime Achievement Oscar to Charleton Heston would he lose his citizenship under this amendment?