Main Menu

Obots in HISTORY! Charles Gordon

Charles Gordon was General Counsel of the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service, and adjunct Professor of Law, Georgetown University Law Center in 1968, when he wrote a very influential paper titled: Who Can Be President Of The United States: The Unresolved Enigma,  28 MD L. Rev. 1,1 (1968). I say influential because one journal repository noted its citing 23 times in other law journals, including the recent article by Gabriel Chin in the Michigan Law Review.

The paper is available on the Internet, but first, let me give the brief citation that qualifies Professor Gordon as an Obot:

Under the presidential qualification clause of the Constitution, only “natural-born” citizens are qualified for this highest office. It is clear enough that native-born citizens are eligible and that naturalized citizens are not.

Gordon does not waste his  32-pages on what is “clear enough” but rather discusses the question of whether those born citizens outside the United States are natural born citizens in the wake of George Romney’s (born in Mexico) candidacy for president. This is a well-researched article (244 footnotes!) and well worth reading. I’m not going to attempt to summarize it except to mention a few things that struck me among much material that is familiar.

Gordon introduces the idea that it may be that natural born citizen and naturalized citizen are not mutually exclusive classes. A person who is a citizen at birth through a law enacted by Congress, even if that process is called “naturalization” could also be a “natural born citizen.”

He further suggests that the reason that the Constitution lacks a formal definition of any kind of citizenship is to avoid the question of whether the African slaves were citizens.

After arguing the affirmative position that foreign born citizens at birth are natural born citizens, Gordon conceded that there are “elements of doubt.” And in a fascinating section, talks about how the issue might be resolved in the courts. He anticipates the issue of standing in a federal lawsuit, and the political question barrier. He mentions a quo warranto case brought against a president and even that a law enacted over the President’s signature might be challenged (I think Donofrio was considering this in his Chrysler suit). Gordon calls such approaches “far fetched” and unlikely to succeed. Gordon says that the judicial approach most promising is a challenge during the primary race in a state court, which because it involved a constitutional question would be removed to federal court or heard on appeal from state court to the Supreme Court.

, ,

22 Responses to Obots in HISTORY! Charles Gordon

  1. avatar
    AnotherBird July 17, 2010 at 8:04 pm #

    It would make sense that a foreign born citizen at birth “can be” natural born citizen. I have always believed that with foreign born citizens it is up to the government to decided who is natural born or not. However, most example that I have seen that suggest that this is possible is based on that citizens ancestry. Without direct ancestry it will be “unlikely to succeed.”

  2. avatar
    Slartibartfast July 17, 2010 at 9:06 pm #

    I wonder if the birthers understand how big a blow to their credibility it is that there are no scholarly articles (written before 2008) that support their positions.

  3. avatar
    Lupin July 18, 2010 at 1:38 am #

    Slartibartfast: I wonder if the birthers understand how big a blow to their credibility it is that there are no scholarly articles (written before 2008) that support their positions.

    I wonder what’s the difference between this president and all the others before him. Hmmm…. No, can’t think of one.

    I’m sure yguy will enlighten us soon.

  4. avatar
    brygenon July 18, 2010 at 4:21 am #

    Slartibartfast: I wonder if the birthers understand how big a blow to their credibility it is that there are no scholarly articles (written before 2008) that support their positions.

    Worse, the eligibility deniers themselves were not arguing the two-citizen-parents theory before 2008. They would not have needed standing to write articles and blog posts disputing the prevailing view of the legal community. How come no one ever heard them stand up for their theory until they needed reasons why Barack Hussein Obama name isn’t allowed to be President of the United States?

  5. avatar
    Gorefan July 18, 2010 at 11:04 am #

    Sometime ago, I was able to download a copy from here:

    http://www.law.umaryland.edu/academics/journals/mdlr/print/#archive

  6. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy July 18, 2010 at 3:02 pm #

    Gorefan: Sometime ago, I was able to download a copy from here:

    http://www.law.umaryland.edu/academics/journals/mdlr/print/#archive

    Thanks! I’ve updated the article.

  7. avatar
    Slartibartfast July 18, 2010 at 4:04 pm #

    Speaking of Obots, I was perusing that bastion of truth and journalistic integrity that is the Canada Free Press and I found an article titled ‘Ten Mental Mistakes of Obamatons’ – a list of logical fallacies supposedly committed by President Obama, his supporter and lefties in general. What takes it from silly to deeply ironic and hypocritical is the fact that it is an amazing example of a fallacy not on the list: the straw man. I have never met a single liberal who was pathetic enough to give the arguments that the article cites as examples – but they make fine straw men for the author to knock down.

    http://canadafreepress.com/index.php/article/23238

  8. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy July 18, 2010 at 5:24 pm #

    Slartibartfast: Speaking of Obots, I was perusing that bastion of truth and journalistic integrity that is the Canada Free Press and I found an article titled Ten Mental Mistakes of Obamatons’ – a list of logical fallacies supposedly committed by President Obama, his supporter and lefties in general.

    From the Canada Free Press article:

    Example: After broadcaster Rush Limbaugh launches a blistering attack upon Obama, claiming his actions were “socialist,” Obama asks a friend to respond. US Senator Al Franken officially replies, pointing out that claim is wrong because… “Rush Limbaugh is a Big, Fat Idiot.”

    “Rush Limbaugh is a Big, Fat Idiot” is the title of Franken’s 1999 book. Franken admits in the book that Limbaugh is not actually an idiot (but he is big and fat).

  9. avatar
    Dr. Kenneth Noisewater (Bob Ross) July 18, 2010 at 5:40 pm #

    Slartibartfast: Speaking of Obots, I was perusing that bastion of truth and journalistic integrity that is the Canada Free Press and I found an article titled Ten Mental Mistakes of Obamatons’ – a list of logical fallacies supposedly committed by President Obama, his supporter and lefties in general.What takes it from silly to deeply ironic and hypocritical is the fact that it is an amazing example of a fallacy not on the list: thestraw man.I have never met a single liberal who was pathetic enough to give the arguments that the article cites as examples – but they make fine straw men for the author to knock down.http://canadafreepress.com/index.php/article/23238

    Someone posted this article at The Citizen in response to me the other day. I just love how they don’t even understand their own arguments. Its funny how some of these people bring up Alinsky but when asked what Alinsky said and how it was applicable they have no answer

  10. avatar
    Slartibartfast July 18, 2010 at 5:42 pm #

    Dr. Conspiracy: From the Canada Free Press article:

    Example: After broadcaster Rush Limbaugh launches a blistering attack upon Obama, claiming his actions were “socialist,” Obama asks a friend to respond. US Senator Al Franken officially replies, pointing out that claim is wrong because… “Rush Limbaugh is a Big, Fat Idiot.”

    “Rush Limbaugh is a Big, Fat Idiot” is the title of Franken’s 1999 book. Franken admits in the book that Limbaugh is not actually an idiot (but he is big and fat).

    Gee, and I thought that the only problem that President Obama and the rest of the left had with Mr Limbaugh was the ignorant, racist, sexist, hateful drivel that spews from his mouth five times a week…

    The whole article is like that – a first year logic student could debunk all ten points in a couple of minutes. I wonder if the author thinks that they are being clever or if they are just trying to misinform credulous people.

  11. avatar
    Slartibartfast July 18, 2010 at 5:54 pm #

    Dr. Kenneth Noisewater (Bob Ross): Someone posted this article at The Citizen in response to me the other day. I just love how they don’t even understand their own arguments. Its funny how some of these people bring up Alinsky but when asked what Alinsky said and how it was applicable they have no answer

    Yeah, it’s interesting how Alinsky has become the bogeyman of birthers and other wingnuts. I would guess that the lack of understanding of one’s own arguments is a typical feature of birtherism – those that are capable of understanding the arguments (logically and legally) are mostly going to understand just how baseless and false they all are…

  12. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy July 18, 2010 at 8:22 pm #

    Slartibartfast: I wonder if the author thinks that they are being clever or if they are just trying to misinform credulous people.

    Both, I think.

  13. avatar
    Lupin July 19, 2010 at 2:03 am #

    Rush Limbaugh — America’s own Hindenburg.

  14. avatar
    misha July 19, 2010 at 2:39 am #

    Dr. Kenneth Noisewater (Bob Ross): Its funny how some of these people bring up Alinsky but when asked what Alinsky said and how it was applicable they have no answer

    Alinsky was a Jew – that’s what is eating at them. A Jew and a committed socialist. The Denialists are going clinically mad.

    Lupin: Rush Limbaugh — America’s own Hindenburg.

    I’m waiting for Limbaugh and Beck to crash and burn. Remember Father Coughlin.

    http://newyorkleftist.blogspot.com/2009/10/limbaugh-gets-ba-degree.html

  15. avatar
    brygenon July 19, 2010 at 6:41 am #

    Dr. Conspiracy: “Rush Limbaugh is a Big, Fat Idiot” is the title of Franken’s 1999 book. Franken admits in the book that Limbaugh is not actually an idiot (but he is big and fat).

    Furthermore the fallacy here is not so much “straw man” as not getting the joke. The cover photo of Franken’s book shows him holding a pen, looking serious and concerned, sitting in a library of weighty tomes. After deep scholarly study, he has developed the thesis that “RUSH LIMBAUGH IS A BIG FAT IDIOT”.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Frankenidiot.jpg

  16. avatar
    Dr. Kenneth Noisewater (Bob Ross) July 19, 2010 at 9:44 am #

    brygenon: Furthermore the fallacy here is not so much “straw man” as not getting the joke. The cover photo of Franken’s book shows him holding a pen, looking serious and concerned, sitting in a library of weighty tomes. After deep scholarly study, he has developed the thesis that “RUSH LIMBAUGH IS A BIG FAT IDIOT”.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Frankenidiot.jpg

    Brygenon. I don’t think that’s a pen he’s holding but a tobacco pipe.

  17. avatar
    brygenon July 19, 2010 at 10:58 am #

    Dr. Kenneth Noisewater (Bob Ross): Brygenon. I don’t think that’s a pen he’s holding but a tobacco pipe.

    Ah, I see you are correct. Works at least as well for the joke.

  18. avatar
    Black Lion July 19, 2010 at 11:10 am #

    Even more interesting are the infamous tea partiers…They claim that their issues have nothing to do with Obama being Black, although you did not hear a peep out of them when Bush was President and running up the deficit…However it is interesting when the the Tea party leaders are outed regarding their racism….

    Take the infamous Mark Williams….

    A California radio host and leader of the Tea Party Express, Williams had labeled the Manhattan boro president a “Jewish Uncle Tom” and President Obama an “Indonesian Muslim turned welfare thug.”
    But when he posted a satirical letter supposedly from “the Colored People” to President Lincoln praising slavery, that apparently crossed the line.
    The federation, an umbrella organization that claims to represent 85 Tea Party groups, kicked out Williams’ group when it wouldn’t fire him.
    “We have expelled Tea Party Express and Mark Williams from the National Tea Party Federation because of the letter that he wrote,” federation spokesman David Webb said on CBS’s “Face the Nation.”
    He called the letter – written after the NAACP called on Tea Party leaders to oust racists from their ranks – “clearly offensive.”
    In the voice of slaves, Williams wrote: “Mr. Lincoln, you were the greatest racist ever. We had a great gig. Three squares, room and board, all our decisions made by the massa in the house.
    “We Coloreds have taken a vote and decided that we don’t cotton to that whole emancipation thing. Freedom means having to work for real, think for ourselves, and take consequences along with the rewards. That is just far too much to ask of us Colored People and we demand that it stop!”
    He went on to say blacks don’t want taxes cut because “how will we Colored People ever get a wide screen TV in every room if non-coloreds get to keep what they earn?”
    In a press release, the National Tea Party Federation says it ordered the Tea Party Express to kick Williams out and say so “prominently” on their Website. They did not.

    http://www.nydailynews.com/news/politics/2010/07/18/2010-07-18_tea_party_express_leader_mark_williams_expelled_over_colored_people_letter.html

    And the link to the original article regarding Williams’ ridiculous so called letter to the NAACP…

    http://newsone.com/nation/casey-gane-mccalla/tea-psrty-spokesman-mocks-naacp-as-coloreds-who-want-slavery-back/?omcamp=EMC-CVNL

    Dear Mr. Lincoln

    We Colored People have taken a vote and decided that we don’t cotton to that whole emancipation thing. Freedom means having to work for real, think for ourselves, and take consequences along with the rewards. That is just far too much to ask of us Colored People and we demand that it stop!

    In fact we held a big meeting and took a vote in Kansas City this week. We voted to condemn a political revival of that old abolitionist spirit called the tea party movement’.

    Perhaps the most racist point of all in the tea parties is their demand that government “stop raising our taxes.” That is outrageous! How will we Colored People ever get a wide screen TV in every room if non-coloreds get to keep what they earn? Totally racist! The tea party expects coloreds to be productive members of society?

    Mr. Lincoln, you were the greatest racist ever. We had a great gig. Three squares, room and board, all our decisions made by the massa in the house. Please repeal the 13th and 14th Amendments and let us get back to where we belong.

    Sincerely

    Precious Ben Jealous, Tom’s Nephew National Association for the Advancement of Colored People Head Colored Person

  19. avatar
    Dr. Kenneth Noisewater (Bob Ross) July 19, 2010 at 12:15 pm #

    Black Lion I find it funny that some of these tea party organizations are now trying to distance themselves from Williams act like he never was a member of their movement or a major player. Its funny because Tea Party Express is the organization fox trumpeted during their promotions of the tea parties.

  20. avatar
    Black Lion July 19, 2010 at 12:24 pm #

    Dr. Kenneth Noisewater (Bob Ross): Black Lion I find it funny that some of these tea party organizations are now trying to distance themselves from Williams act like he never was a member of their movement or a major player. Its funny because Tea Party Express is the organization fox trumpeted during their promotions of the tea parties.

    Bob, agreed….Remember FOX and the so called Tea Party leaders claimed that their followers were not racist and there was no proof that they were. They were against Obama because of his “policies” and not his color. But between the signs at the so called rallies and the comments made by leaders such as Williams we see that a large segment does have racist beliefs….And FOX, WND, and the other anti Obama sites do their best to whitewash this fact….

  21. avatar
    Black Lion July 19, 2010 at 1:02 pm #

    Good article from MM….

    “Wesley Pruden seems unable to write about President Obama without being condescending about Obama’s origins and imparting more than a little dog-whistle racial politics designed to push the notion that Obama is a scary foreigner.

    In June 2009, the Washington Times editor emeritus asserted that Obama is “our first president without an instinctive appreciation of the culture, history, tradition, common law and literature whence America sprang.” In November, Pruden stated that Obama “was sired by a Kenyan father, born to a mother attracted to men of the Third World and reared by grandparents in Hawaii, a paradise far from the American mainstream.”

    Pruden keeps up the condescension in his July 15 Washington Times column. He begins by weirdly asserting that even “the Muslims, who had expected Mr. Obama to lead wholesale conversions to Islam, with conversion of St. Patrick’s and National cathedrals to mosques soon to follow,” have cooled on Obama. Pruden then moved on to a comparison between Obama and Ronald Reagan, which quickly devolved into Pruden’s patented scary-foreigner fearmongering:

    Mr. Reagan, a son of the heartland, celebrating America as a nation forged in the melting pot, understood America in a way that Barack Obama, who boasts that he is descended from “generations of Muslims” and seems puzzled that this evokes no applause at home, never could. Mr. Obama has never been more eloquent, or sounded more like his heart was in his message, than in Cairo where he apologized for America’s “sins” against the Muslims. Ronald Reagan never sounded more like his heart was in the message than in Europe singing a familiar hymn to America’s virtues and its sacrifices on behalf of others. Mr. Obama was raised in the third world and through no particular fault of his own never absorbed the words and music of “morning in America.”

    Actually, by the time Reagan was using the “morning in America” imagery for his 1984 re-election campaign, Obama had been living in the United States for several years and had graduated from Columbia University. And of course, not only did Obama not “apologize for America’s sins’ against the Muslims” in his Cairo speech — Pruden invented the quote, as the word “sins” appears nowhere in the speech.

    And it also wouldn’t be Pruden if he didn’t invoke a little Old South nostalgia, noting that “[b]old consistency has not been a Republican trait since Abraham Lincoln visited war on the land, reluctantly freeing the slaves as a convenient afterthought.”

    http://mediamatters.org/blog/201007190017

  22. avatar
    Dr. Kenneth Noisewater (Bob Ross) July 19, 2010 at 1:54 pm #

    Black Lion: Bob, agreed….Remember FOX and the so called Tea Party leaders claimed that their followers were not racist and there was no proof that they were. They were against Obama because of his “policies” and not his color. But between the signs at the so called rallies and the comments made by leaders such as Williams we see that a large segment does have racist beliefs….And FOX, WND, and the other anti Obama sites do their best to whitewash this fact….

    That’s the thing I remember when Fox was originally trying to make Obama seem not black enough during the election. When that failed they tried to make him seem too black saying his church was a radical church, etc. Its always been about race.