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Was George Washington a Natural Born Citizen?

Portrait of George WashingtonHappy Birthday to our first President, George Washington. There are quite a few articles on this web site tagged George Washington.  I wrote an article, tongue in cheek, titled “George Washington, first in war, first in peace, and first presidential usurper” in my first month here. The article was bit of silliness, but there is a real question apart from whether or not Washington was eligible and that was whether or not he was a natural born citizen.

I wrote a more serious article about this question in April of 2010, titled George Washington – Natural Born Citizen. The reason I bring up the question again is that Birthers consistently decline to answer it.

John Jay wrote Washington suggesting that none but a natural born citizen be Commander in Chief. There is no qualification offered1.

James Madison, speaking before Congress in defense of the eligibility of Representative William Smith, said:

I conceive that every person who owed this primary allegiance to the particular community in which he was born, retained his right of birth, as a member of a new community; that he was absolved from a secondary allegiance that he had owed to a British sovereign.

By this principle George Washington, born in Virginia, was a natural born citizen of the United States provided parentage has no effect. Washington’s father, on the other hand, died a British Subject before the American Revolution. So if parental citizenship matters, then George Washington was not a natural born citizen, and as such, he would have been excluded by Jay from the office of Commander in Chief of the United States. Can anyone think of a more absurd exclusion?2


1One birther actually did attempt to take on the argument, but he asserted that John Jay must have implicitly known that the Constitutional Convention would create an exception for those who were citizens at the time of adoption. This view is essentially impossible due to the pledge of secrecy taken by the members of the Convention and it ignores what Jay actually wrote. In typical birther fashion, this commenter made up history to support his position.

2The argument form in this paragraph is essentially modus tolendo tolens (by denying deny) or as mathematicians would label it, reductio ad absurdum (reduced to an absurdity).

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120 Responses to Was George Washington a Natural Born Citizen?

  1. avatar
    Scientist February 22, 2012 at 10:35 am #

    A somewhat related question: Would someone born in a Confederate state between 1861 and 1865 have been to be US President in 1900, at which point they would have been 35 and those states long since re-admitted to the Union. My answer would be yes, since all rights were restored to the residents of those states when they were re-admitted.

  2. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy February 22, 2012 at 10:47 am #

    Based on what Madison said, I would agree. The particular situation does not appear to have come up in history.

    Scientist:
    A somewhat related question: Would someone born in a Confederate state between 1861 and 1865 have been to be US President in 1900, at which point they would have been 35 and thosestates long since re-admitted to the Union.My answer would be yes, since all rights were restored to the residents of those states when they were re-admitted.

  3. avatar
    Scientist February 22, 2012 at 10:57 am #

    Dr. Conspiracy: Based on what Madison said, I would agree. The particular situation does not appear to have come up in history

    An analogous question would be whether someone born a slave in 1830 would have been eligible in the 1868 presidential election. I would say yes, that the intent of the 13th and 14th amendments was to remove ALL disabilities of slavery (even if subsequent conduct fell short). Freed slaves were made natural born citizens despite not having been citizens at all when born.

  4. avatar
    Robert February 22, 2012 at 10:59 am #

    Yes. Texas v. White held quite clearly that the south did not in fact leave the union, thus anybody born on “CSA Soil” would still have jus soli in the USA. This includes any child born whose parents were actively fighting against the USA – as the parents are still technically citizens (I do not believe Congress acted to remove this distinction. Had they, it would have been an interesting question under Calvin’s case).
    imho

    Scientist:
    A somewhat related question: Would someone born in a Confederate state between 1861 and 1865 have been to be US President in 1900, at which point they would have been 35 and thosestates long since re-admitted to the Union.My answer would be yes, since all rights were restored to the residents of those states when they were re-admitted.

  5. avatar
    Robert February 22, 2012 at 11:00 am #

    This one, however, would be a no. The slaves would be citizens from the moment of the passage on OR retroactively. Neither, however, would allow for natural-born, which would be determined as your allegiance at the moment of birth (thus nothing new can change it)

    Scientist: An analogous question would be whether someone born a slave in 1830 would have been eligible in the 1868 presidential election.I would say yes, that the intent of the13th and 14th amendments was to remove ALL disabilities of slavery (even if subsequent conduct fell short).Freed slaves were made natural born citizens despite not having been citizens at all when born.

  6. avatar
    Scientist February 22, 2012 at 11:03 am #

    Robert: This one, however, would be a no. The slaves would be citizens from the moment of the passage on OR retroactively. Neither, however, would allow for natural-born, which would be determined as your allegiance at the moment of birth (thus nothing new can change it)

    Do you have any support for your position?

  7. avatar
    Robert February 22, 2012 at 11:15 am #

    For simply being the child of a southerner, yeah (see above)

    For a former slave, no.
    The problem is we have nothing which is defining at all on the term natural-born citizen; all of us (birthers and sane people alike) are assuming that it simple means citizen at birth, as otherwise neither WKA nor Happersett would even matter.
    If I were answering this on an exam, I’d argue that the court would hinge on the term “born” in the 14th, thus and implicit reference to not being the same as ‘natural-born?’

    i.e. I’m taking the exact same shot in the dark anybody would have to take, but I assume the word born in both are essential and the court would find as such

    Scientist: Do you have any support for your position?

  8. avatar
    GratKim February 22, 2012 at 11:20 am #

    in international law and in many treaties, for example the Vienna convention, there is a well affirmed principle of successor states. A newly Independent Nation, a breakoff Nation by acquiring international recognition succeeds to the former power. The citizenry succeeds as well. The succession whitewashes previous allegiances and affirms collective independence. Independence is in fact the loss of dependency from the previous allegiance. For example in the case of Obama’s father (not meaning that it is particularly relevant) the British allegiance is more that lost at In-dependence from britain, It is effectively cancelled.

  9. avatar
    JPotter February 22, 2012 at 11:34 am #

    Natural born citizen / subject of Virginia, and by incorporation of the United States on ratification of Constitution. Father of the freaking country, the First Citizen, the First American. He was a Great Man that inspired the Founders themselves. And a great example of the perils of engaging in the kind of legalistic sharpshooting birtherism is based on.

    I point again to the example of the discussion of McCain’s Presidential eligibility. So simple, two Senators saying, “Do you think he is eligible?” “Yes, I think he is.” No need for legal inquiry, lengthy reports, document sifting, blah, blah, blah.

    Many a gaming session has been wrecked by rules lawyers. I think all those guys grew up to birth.

  10. avatar
    Joe Acerbic February 22, 2012 at 12:21 pm #

    Scientist:
    A somewhat related question: Would someone born in a Confederate state between 1861 and 1865 have been to be US President in 1900, at which point they would have been 35 and thosestates long since re-admitted to the Union.My answer would be yes, since all rights were restored to the residents of those states when they were re-admitted.

    Simple: birfoons would consider the Confederacy the only real United States and Confederate citizens the only ones eligible.

  11. avatar
    Jammer February 22, 2012 at 12:27 pm #

    Taken from the same debate of which Dr. Conspiracy selected the quote of James Madison:

    Mr. THATCHER [Mr. Smith] cannot be a citizen by birth or inheritance, for he was born in 1758, in South Carolina, while a British colony; and his parents were both dead many years before the declaration of independence; his birthright and inheritance can, therefore, be no other than that of a British subject; for no man can be born a citizen of a Government which did not exist at the time of his being born; nor can parents leave to their children any other political character than that which they themselves possessed.”

    The principle applied by Mr. Thatcher would also apply to George Washington: “no man can be born a citizen of a Government which did not exist at the time of his being born”

    Mr. BOUDINOT expressed an apprehension that the principles supported by the gentleman from Virginia [(Mr. Madison)] would tend to injure the State of New Jersey very considerably. He was afraid it would be construed to embrace all the natives of America who had deserted their country’s cause [notice that he did not say deserted the country, but the country’s cause] during the late war; and, on this account, he was against deciding. in favor of the proposed resolution, though he believed Mr. Smith to be fairly and constitutionally entitled to a seat in that House.

    Mr. JACKSON. I differ widely from the gentleman from Remarks of Virginia (Mr. MADISON ) on the subject of allegiance and the social compact, and hold the principles advanced by him exceedingly dangerous to many of the States, and, in particular, to the one I have the honor to represent. The situation of America, at the time of the revolution, was not properly to be compared to a people altering their mode or form of Government. Nor were there two allegiances due, one to the community here, another to that of Great Britain. We were all on a footing; and I contend the principle is right, in some degree, of a total reversion to a state of nature amongst individuals, and to a mere parental or patriarchal authority, where the heads had families dependent on them; the former, or individual, pursued that line which appeared right in his own eyes, and the cause which he thought just; and, in the latter case, the children followed the will of the father, who chose for them, as the person who brought them into life, and whose fortunes they were to inherit…

    There you have your answer, Dr. Conspiracy. Knowing that the United States did not exist at the time of Washington’s birth, it would be patently absurd to consider him to be a natural-born citizen of the United States.

    It is nice of you to provide such a great opportunity for the thoughts of other early Members of Congress to supply their rejection of pure jus soli citizenship.

    Did you know that in 1929 Harvard School of Law performed a study on citizenship? Did you know that they concluded that NO COUNTRY relied solely on jus soli?

  12. avatar
    carlos February 22, 2012 at 12:29 pm #

    None of the people of the founding generation were natural born citizens of the US, hence the constitutional provision allowing them nonetheless eligibility to be President.

  13. avatar
    gorefan February 22, 2012 at 12:36 pm #

    Jammer: There you have your answer,

    But you skipped James Madison’s statement,

    “I conceive the colonies remained as a political society, detached from their former connexion with another society, without dissolving into a state of nature, but capable of substituting a new form of Government in the place of the old one, which they had, for special considerations, abolished.”

    So he and Jackson disagreed as to the effect of the Declaration of Independence.

  14. avatar
    JPotter February 22, 2012 at 1:07 pm #

    Jammer: Did you know that in 1929 Harvard School of Law performed a study on citizenship? Did you know that they concluded that NO COUNTRY relied solely on jus soli?

    And that’s correct, jus sanguinis applies to US citizens in lieu of jus soli, if born overseas to citizen parents. In other words, your cherrypicked quote does not mean what you want it to mean.

  15. avatar
    Ballantine February 22, 2012 at 1:16 pm #

    Jammer: It is nice of you to provide such a great opportunity for the thoughts of other early Members of Congress to supply their rejection of pure jus soli citizenship.Did you know that in 1929 Harvard School of Law performed a study on citizenship? Did you know that they concluded that NO COUNTRY relied solely on jus soli?

    They voted with Madison and said Smith was a citizen. The other piece of evidence you are missing is that in the Consitutional convention itself, the framers born in the colonies called themselves “natives” and no one questioned whether they would be eligible to hold office. The controversy was whether the foregin born would be excluded and a grandfather clause was suggested when one such foreign born delegate was offended that he might be left out of the government he helped create. In English law, the term “native” was conflated with “natural born” so it is reasonable to assume that if they considered themselves “native” they would consider themselves “natural born.” For example, the the North Carolina ratification convention, James Iredell said the President must be a “native.”

  16. avatar
    Squeeky Fromm February 22, 2012 at 1:34 pm #

    jammer:

    You said: Did you know that in 1929 Harvard School of Law performed a study on citizenship? Did you know that they concluded that NO COUNTRY relied solely on jus soli?

    DUH!!! You could have read Wong Kim Ark and discovered that. Or that 1790 Naturalization Act. This is just more proof how two citizen-parents Birthers miss the whole point on this issue.

    NBC is jus soli for people born INSIDE the United States.
    NBC is jus sanguinis for people born OUTSIDE the country as set forth by Congress.

    Do you know why you have to pass laws for NBC for births OUTSIDE the country??? Because they ain’t births INSIDE the country. DUH. If they were born INSIDE the country, they would already be NBCs, first by common law, and then by the 14th Amendment.

    This is NOT a hard concept. Congress, just like with older English laws, needed a mechanism to NBC the kids of citizens who were out of the country at the time of the kid’s birth. Either that, or pregnant women would have had to hurry home and have little Oswald or Hortense.

    Gee.

    Squeeky Fromm
    Girl Reporter

  17. avatar
    Scientist February 22, 2012 at 1:52 pm #

    Jammer: Did you know that in 1929 Harvard School of Law performed a study on citizenship? Did you know that they concluded that NO COUNTRY relied solely on jus soli?

    Do you have a link? I know that at various times Brazil only granted citizenship to those born outside Brazil if their parents were on government business. They have now changed this. All of the major New World countries rely primarily on jus soli. The Old World countries less so. JPotter and I posted on this recently.

    Last I checked, the US was in the New World, but perhaps I’m mistaken. Anyway, your debate simply shows that there were different opinions. It certainly doesn’t show that Doc is wrong.

  18. avatar
    Jammer February 22, 2012 at 1:54 pm #

    Squeeks (and other obnoxious noises),

    Would you care to cite the authority for your proposition that “NBC is jus sanguinis for people born OUTSIDE the country as set forth by Congress”?

    If you don’t mind, cite both the act and the constitutional authority for the act that made them natural-born citizens. I’ve been under the impression that Congress was only granted naturalization authority.

    While you’re looking things up, you can include the definition of “naturalization” that you’re relying on.

  19. avatar
    Scientist February 22, 2012 at 1:59 pm #

    Jammer: Would you care to cite the authority for your proposition that “NBC is jus sanguinis for people born OUTSIDE the country as set forth by Congress”?

    The US Senate said that John McCain was a natural born citizen born outside the US. While this was not tested in court, I would happily have wagered that had he won the election, he would be sitting in the White House today (doing what, I don’t know, but he would be there). Now, you can dismiss the US Senate as an authority, but in my opinion they beat a guy on a blog named “Jammer”.

  20. avatar
    Thomas Brown February 22, 2012 at 2:00 pm #

    [Thomas Brown asked that this reply be added. Doc]

    You lawyer folk tell me if this argument would float: Could it be held that those born here into slavery actually WERE NBCs from birth, but had been deprived of their rights as such by the vile institution’s failure to recognize them thusly until the Emancipation, at which time their status as citizens was restored, rather than altered?

    Robert: For simply being the child of a southerner, yeah (see above)

    For a former slave, no.
    The problem is we have nothing which is defining at all on the term natural-born citizen; all of us (birthers and sane people alike) are assuming that it simple means citizen at birth, as otherwise neither WKA nor Happersett would even matter.
    If I were answering this on an exam, I’d argue that the court would hinge on the term “born” in the 14th, thus and implicit reference to not being the same as natural-born?’

  21. avatar
    Arthur February 22, 2012 at 2:03 pm #

    Jammer: Would you care to cite the authority for your proposition that “NBC is jus sanguinis for people born OUTSIDE the country as set forth by Congress”?
    If you don’t mind, cite both the act and the constitutional authority for the act that made them natural-born citizens. I’ve been under the impression that Congress was only granted naturalization authority.

    You make this too easy. From the House of Representative United State Code:

    8 USC 1401 – Nationals and citizens of United States at birth
    .US CodeNotesCurrencyAuthorities (CFR)prev | next
    The following shall be nationals and citizens of the United States at birth:
    (a) a person born in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof;
    (b) a person born in the United States to a member of an Indian, Eskimo, Aleutian, or other aboriginal tribe: Provided, That the granting of citizenship under this subsection shall not in any manner impair or otherwise affect the right of such person to tribal or other property;
    (c) a person born outside of the United States and its outlying possessions of parents both of whom are citizens of the United States and one of whom has had a residence in the United States or one of its outlying possessions, prior to the birth of such person;
    (d) a person born outside of the United States and its outlying possessions of parents one of whom is a citizen of the United States who has been physically present in the United States or one of its outlying possessions for a continuous period of one year prior to the birth of such person, and the other of whom is a national, but not a citizen of the United States;
    (e) a person born in an outlying possession of the United States of parents one of whom is a citizen of the United States who has been physically present in the United States or one of its outlying possessions for a continuous period of one year at any time prior to the birth of such person;
    (f) a person of unknown parentage found in the United States while under the age of five years, until shown, prior to his attaining the age of twenty-one years, not to have been born in the United States;
    (g) a person born outside the geographical limits of the United States and its outlying possessions of parents one of whom is an alien, and the other a citizen of the United States who, prior to the birth of such person, was physically present in the United States or its outlying possessions for a period or periods totaling not less than five years, at least two of which were after attaining the age of fourteen years: Provided, That any periods of honorable service in the Armed Forces of the United States, or periods of employment with the United States Government or with an international organization as that term is defined in section 288 of title 22 by such citizen parent, or any periods during which such citizen parent is physically present abroad as the dependent unmarried son or daughter and a member of the household of a person
    (A) honorably serving with the Armed Forces of the United States, or
    (B) employed by the United States Government or an international organization as defined in section 288 of title 22, may be included in order to satisfy the physical-presence requirement of this paragraph. This proviso shall be applicable to persons born on or after December 24, 1952, to the same extent as if it had become effective in its present form on that date;

    Want more? http://uscode.house.gov/download/title_08.shtml

  22. avatar
    Scientist February 22, 2012 at 2:05 pm #

    Thomas Brown: You lawyer folk tell me if this argument would float: Could it be held that those born here into slavery actually WERE NBCs from birth, but had been deprived of their rights as such by the vile institution’s failure to recognize them thusly until the Emancipation, at which time their status as citizens was restored, rather than altered?

    That was my thinking. Thanks for expressing it better than I did.

  23. avatar
    Squeeky Fromm February 22, 2012 at 2:07 pm #

    Jammer:

    You can read the rest of Section IV of Wong Kim Ark. This will start you off, as pablum, on the underlying concept:

    Both in England and in the United States, indeed, statutes have been passed at various times enacting that certain issue born abroad of English subjects or of American citizens, respectively, should inherit, to some extent at least, the rights of their parents. But those statutes applied only to cases coming within their purport, and they have never been considered in either country as affecting the citizenship of persons born within its dominion.

    Squeeky Fromm
    Girl Reporter

  24. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy February 22, 2012 at 2:07 pm #

    I make two observations. Mr Madison is the principal author of the US Constitution and Mr. Thatcher is not. Further, on the question of Representative Smith’s eligibility, Mr. Madison’s position carried [36]-1.

    Jammer: Taken from the same debate of which Dr. Conspiracy selected the quote of James Madison:

    Mr. THATCHER

  25. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy February 22, 2012 at 2:14 pm #

    I have my answer if you are also saying that John Jay considered George Washington unfit for the Office of Commander in Chief of the United States.

    Are you?

    Birthers are ever-ready to paint big black “not natural born” X’s on anybody, even the Father of our Country. That’s easy. What they won’t address is the logical inconsistency of such a position, in this case with the Jay letter.

    Jammer: There you have your answer, Dr. Conspiracy. Knowing that the United States did not exist at the time of Washington’s birth, it would be patently absurd to consider him to be a natural-born citizen of the United States.

  26. avatar
    Squeeky Fromm February 22, 2012 at 2:16 pm #

    Dr. Conspiracy:
    I make two observations. Mr Madison is the principal author of the US Constitution and Mr. Thatcher is not. Further, on the question of Representative Smith’s eligibility, Mr. Madison’s position carried 36-1.

    Oh, you just had to go and give the score, didn’t you??? Now Poor Jammer will be forever convinced that the “1” had it right and that the other “36” were involved in a conspiracy.

    Squeeky Fromm
    Girl Reporter

  27. avatar
    Ballantine February 22, 2012 at 2:26 pm #

    Thomas Brown: [Thomas Brown asked that this reply be added. Doc]You lawyer folk tell me if this argument would float: Could it be held that those born here into slavery actually WERE NBCs from birth, but had been deprived of their rights as such by the vile institution’s failure to recognize them thusly until the Emancipation, at which time their status as citizens was restored, rather than altered?

    Sure, such was the position of James Kent which was probably the majority position prior to Dred Scott. From Kent’s Commentaries:

    “And if, at common law, all human beings born within the ligeance of the king, and under the king’s obedience, were natural born subjects, and not aliens, I do not perceive why this doctrine does not apply to these United States, in all cases in which ‘there is no express constitutional or statute declaration to the contrary. Blacks, whether born free or in bondage, if born under the jurisdiction and allegiance of the United States, are natives, and not aliens. They are what the common law terms natural born subjects. Subject and citizen are, in a degree, convertible terms as applied to natives; and though the term citizen seems to be appropriate to republican freemen, yet we are, equally with the inhabitants of all other countries, subjects, for we are equally bound by allegiance and subjection to the government and law of the land. The privilege of voting, and the legal capacity for office, are not essential to the character of a citizen, for women are citizens without either; and free people of colour may enjoy the one, and may acquire, and hold, and devise and transmit, by hereditary descent, real and personal estates. The better opinion. I should think, was, that negroes or other slaves, born within and under the allegiance of the United States, are natural born subjects, but not citizens. Citizens, under our constitutions and laws, mean free inhabitants, born within the United States, or naturalized, under the laws of Congress. If a slave born in the United States be manumitted, or otherwise lawfully discharged from bondage, or if a black man be born within the United Slates, and born free, he becomes thenceforward a citizen, but under such disabilities as the laws of the states respectively may deem it expedient to prescribe to free persons of colour.”

  28. avatar
    Jammer February 22, 2012 at 2:29 pm #

    Dr. Conspiracy: Mr. Madison’s position carried 31-1.

    Too bad Mr. Madison’s position wasn’t the question on which the vote was taken. Mr. Smith was, as indicated by the vote, considered to be a citizen. However, the means of acquisition of that citizenship was not settled by the vote.

  29. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy February 22, 2012 at 2:37 pm #

    Not so fast, bucko.

    The question was not whether Smith was a citizen, but how long he had been a citizen. The Constitution requires that Representatives must have been citizens for 7 years. It is impossible to determine how long he was a citizen without determining when he became a citizen, and when he became a citizen relies on the defining event (i.e. HOW).

    Mr. Smith only returned to the United States 5 years before being elected to Congress. So either he was a citizen BEFORE he set foot in the United States, or he was not eligible to serve as a Representative. The House decided he was eligible.

    That is, either Mr. Smith was a natural born citizen (a citizen from birth) through the accession of South Carolina into the United States, or he was a naturalized citizen who couldn’t have been eligible yet for a seat in the House.

    Jammer: Too bad Mr. Madison’s position wasn’t the question on which the vote was taken. Mr. Smith was, as indicated by the vote, considered to be a citizen. However, the means of acquisition of that citizenship was not settled by the vote.

  30. avatar
    gorefan February 22, 2012 at 2:38 pm #

    Jammer: Mr. Smith was, as indicated by the vote, considered to be a citizen

    No sir, he was considered to a citizen who met the Constitutional requirements of being a citizen for seven years. He returned to the US in 1783 and ran for Congress in 1788. That was Dr. Ramsay’s position, he could not have been a citizen for 7 years because he was outside the country from 1770 to 1783. And both of his parents died before July 4th, 1776 so they died British subjects. Ramsay’s petition to Congress makes that point clear, Smith could not be a citizen from birth. Madison and the Congress rejected that argument.

  31. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy February 22, 2012 at 2:43 pm #

    For more on the Smith/Ramsay controversy see:

    http://www.obamaconspiracy.org/2010/04/the-eligibility-debate-in-congress/

  32. avatar
    Jammer February 22, 2012 at 2:48 pm #

    Dr. Conspiracy: I have my answer if you are also saying that John Jay considered George Washington unfit for the Office of Commander in Chief of the United States.

    If, by “unfit”, you mean that he was not a “natural-born citizen of the United States”, I would agree.

    Surely, even you would agree that having a commander in chief who owed allegiance to a potential enemy would be less than optimal.

    By which definition of “natural-born citizen” would you consider George Washington to have met the criteria? Do you think it possible to be born a citizen of a nation that did not exist when you were born?

    Do you not think that Jay’s restriction to that position would have had a prospective intent?

  33. avatar
    Daniel February 22, 2012 at 2:54 pm #

    Jammer: Surely, even you would agree that having a commander in chief who owed allegiance to a potential enemy would be less than optimal.

    Which has, of course, nothing to do with where a person was born or who his parents were.

    Timothy MCVeigh has two citizen parents

  34. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy February 22, 2012 at 2:59 pm #

    No. That would be reading something into the text that is simply not there. Jay says “none but a natural born citizen” and makes no reference to the first president or the second president or some president in the distant future. He said “none”. Jay was a lawyer, and we should expect that he expresses himself precisely.

    But I concede to you a wooden-headed consistency in your approach.

    So from now on, I must say that “only one birther has ventured to answer the question, and he asserted that John Jay recommended to Washington that Washington should be excluded from the office of Commander in Chief.”

    That position is problematic, though, because according to you where were NO adult natural born citizens in the United States that could fill the Commander in Chief position at the time of the writing of the Constitution. It continues to amaze me how much a birther will swallow to maintain his crank theories.

    Jammer: Do you not think that Jay’s restriction to that position would have had a prospective intent?

  35. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy February 22, 2012 at 3:01 pm #

    Only a birther would call into question George Washington’s allegiance to the United States.

    [Doc shakes his head.]

    Jammer: Surely, even you would agree that having a commander in chief who owed allegiance to a potential enemy would be less than optimal.

  36. avatar
    gorefan February 22, 2012 at 3:02 pm #

    Jammer: Do you not think that Jay’s restriction to that position would have had a prospective intent?

    Jay could not have known anbout the grandfather clause that waseventually added to the Constitution and he doesn’t mention one in his letter.

    Are you saying that Jay intended for the country to wait until someone born after July 4th, 1776 grew up and became old enough to be CiC?

    BTW, Madsion totally rejected Dr. Ramsay’s argument, even after Dr. Ramsay wrote him a personal letter asking for his support and outlining those arguments.

    Charleston April 4th, 1789
    Dear Sir,

    Presuming on our ancient acquaintance I take the liberty of soliciting your attention to an affair of mine that is now before your Honorable House. One of the elected federal representatives of this State is, in my opinion, ineligible. This case is in short thus: this gentleman alluded to left Carolina in the year 1770 his parents died about the same time and he was absent from America during the whole of the war and till November, 1783. As in the time of his absence the Revolution took place I contend that in order to his becoming a Citizen of the United States something must have been done previously on his part to show his acquiescence in the new government established without his consent. The lowest test of acquiescence is in my opinion residence in the country. Till he resided under the government of the United States I cannot therefore see how he acquired citizenship. We were all born subjects but you and I were cleared from our allegiance by the restraining act of Parliament passed in December 1775. You and I became citizens by being parties to the Declaration of Independence. By that act a new compact for a new government was form between the then residing and consenting inhabitants of the States. But an absent native neither lost his allegiance by the one nor acquired citizenship by the other. Such continued, subjects while in Europe and under British protection and could become Citizens on their returning and by residence by an oath or by some other move manifesting their acquiescence in the revolution. It is impossible to do justice to the argument in a ____ nor is it necessary to one of your enlightenment and understanding. But as the subject is new I beg your attention to it and if your opinions ____ with mine I shall thank you for supporting my Petition on the subject when the merits of it are discussed before your Honorable House.

    I am Sir with great respect and esteem your most obedient and Humble Servant.
    David Ramsay”

    Letter to James Madison from Dr. David Ramsay, April, 4th, 1789 in the papers of James Madison.

  37. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy February 22, 2012 at 3:07 pm #

    Do you think that it even entered Jammer’s mind, after having misunderstood and misrepresented the Congressional debate, that he is fundamentally wrong about his general understanding of citizenship? Is he checking sources to see if he’s made that mistake before?

    Somehow I doubt it.

    The fact is that historians have said that the Framers considered themselves natural born citizens and that the exception in the Constitution for citizens at the time of adoption was to accommodate a handful of foreign-born patriots, most notably Alexander Hamilton.

    gorefan: No sir, he was considered to a citizen who met the Constitutional requirements of being a citizen for seven years.He returned to the US in 1783 and ran for Congress in 1788.That was Dr. Ramsay’s position, he could not have been a citizen for 7 years because he was outside the country from 1770 to 1783.And both of his parents died before July 4th, 1776 so they died British subjects.Ramsay’s petition to Congress makes that point clear, Smith could not be a citizen from birth. Madison and the Congress rejected that argument.

  38. avatar
    Jammer February 22, 2012 at 3:11 pm #

    Dr. Conspiracy: That is, either Mr. Smith was a natural born citizen (a citizen from birth) through the accession of South Carolina into the United States, or he was a naturalized citizen who couldn’t have been eligible yet for a seat in the House.

    That’s absurd! He could not have been “a citizen from birth” because the nation did not exist when he was born. He could have been a member of the colony of South Carolina from birth, and recognized to have become a citizen in the same way the others in South Carolina did.

  39. avatar
    Jammer February 22, 2012 at 3:17 pm #

    gorefan: Jay could not have known anbout the grandfather clause that waseventually added to the Constitution and he doesn’t mention one in his letter.

    Jay presented a suggestion. How to implement that suggestion so as to permit others to be eligible while waiting for someone to meet that qualification was left to the Framers (should they adopt the suggestion).

  40. avatar
    Squeeky Fromm February 22, 2012 at 3:18 pm #

    Wouldn’t It Be A Wonderful Thing???
    An Original Poem
    By Squeeky Fromm, Girl Reporter

    Wouldn’t it be a wonderful thing
    When discussing the Founders’ Intent,
    Not to exhume the Antenati
    To discover what it was they meant???

    Wouldn’t it be a wonderful thing,
    If somebody had done this for us?
    Maybe a scholarly judge or two
    Could have saved us from all of this fuss.

    Wouldn’t it be a wonderful thing,
    When to natural born we do hark,
    If a court had already decided
    This thing, OH WAIT!!! They did!!! Wong Kim Ark!!!

    DUH!!!

    Squeeky Fromm
    Girl Reporter

  41. avatar
    gorefan February 22, 2012 at 3:19 pm #

    Dr. Conspiracy: Do you think that it even entered Jammer’s mind,

    I don’t think he has ever read any of the original material and just cites stuff from Leo or Mario’s website. The other day he was wrong about Hamilton’s draft plan at the Constitutional Convention. And that is a mistake that one can find at virtually every birther site.

  42. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy February 22, 2012 at 3:19 pm #

    I find it ironic now the argument is fashioned. Birthers take sources external to the Constitution (notably Vattel) to define “natural born citizen.” In the founding period “natural born citizen” was taken as term generally understood and its presence in the Constitution was used as a starting point in arguments against other positions on citizenship. No better example is found than this from William Rawle (in A View of the Constitution):

    Under our Constitution the question is settled by its express language, and when we are informed that, excepting those who were citizens, (however the capacity was acquired,) at the time the Constitution was adopted, no person is eligible to the office of president unless he is a natural born citizen, the principle that the place of birth creates the relative quality is established as to us.

    That is saying that the Constitution in Article 2 itself asserts jus soli as the basis of citizenship in the United States.

  43. avatar
    Jammer February 22, 2012 at 3:36 pm #

    Dr. Conspiracy: Birthers take sources external to the Constitution

    The law of nations IS NOT a source external to the Constitution. If you want to look for a source of law that is external to the Constitution, you can start with the common law of England.

    Is the common law of England acknowledged to be the law of the United States by the Constitution? NO
    Is the law of nations recognized to be the law of the United States by the Constitution? YES

    “[T] he Court is bound by the law of nations which is a part of the law of the land” -CJ Marshall, The Nereide (1815)

  44. avatar
    Dr. Kenneth Noisewater (Bob Ross) February 22, 2012 at 3:40 pm #

    Jammer: The law of nations IS NOT a source external to the Constitution. If you want to look for a source of law that is external to the Constitution, you can start with the common law of England.Is the common law of England acknowledged to be the law of the United States by the Constitution? NOIs the law of nations recognized to be the law of the United States by the Constitution? YES“[T] he Court is bound by the law of nations which is a part of the law of the land” -CJ Marshall, The Nereide (1815)

    Vattel’s law of nations is external to the constitution

  45. avatar
    Squeeky Fromm February 22, 2012 at 3:41 pm #

    Jammer:

    Gee, what was the case of the Nereide about??? Do you have a cite to the case??? Can you do more than just quote mine???? Give us some context.

    Squeeky Fromm
    Girl Reporter

  46. avatar
    Dr. Kenneth Noisewater (Bob Ross) February 22, 2012 at 3:42 pm #

    Jammer: That’s absurd! He could not have been “a citizen from birth” because the nation did not exist when he was born. He could have been a member of the colony of South Carolina from birth, and recognized to have become a citizen in the same way the others in South Carolina did.

    Not absurd at all. Those who were natural born citizens of a state became natural born citizens of the nation when it was established.

  47. avatar
    Arthur February 22, 2012 at 3:42 pm #

    Jammer: The law of nations IS NOT a source external to the Constitution. If you want to look for a source of law that is external to the Constitution, you can start with the common law of England.
    Is the common law of England acknowledged to be the law of the United States by the Constitution? NO
    Is the law of nations recognized to be the law of the United States by the Constitution? YES
    “[T] he Court is bound by the law of nations which is a part of the law of the land” -CJ Marshall, The Nereide (1815)

    You are a complete idiot. My God, son, just close up shop for a while and take some classes, anything to help you get over your doofus complex.

  48. avatar
    Scientist February 22, 2012 at 3:42 pm #

    Jammer: Surely, even you would agree that having a commander in chief who owed allegiance to a potential enemy would be less than optimal.

    A potential enemy could buy allegiance. Money is far more powerful than Daddy’s passport. Plus the Civil War showed that Lee and others decided their allegiance was to their state not their nation. Any commander in chief, even if every ancestor back to the Revolution were a citizen, could decide to put allegiance to their state, corporate interests, party, religion or anything else above the country.

    I’m sorry, but trying to justify the NBC clause on logic will get you rapidly into a swamp.

  49. avatar
    JPotter February 22, 2012 at 3:46 pm #

    Jammer: The law of nations IS NOT a source external to the Constitution.

    LOL! you’re conflating the general term—”law of nations”—with a specific work, title of which is typically translated The Law of Nations or the Principles of Natural Law.

  50. avatar
    Jammer February 22, 2012 at 3:47 pm #

    Dr. Conspiracy: No better example is found than this from William Rawle

    Too bad Rawle’s common law ideas were rebuffed.

    Three Philadelphia lawyers argued the case before the Supreme Court. Charles Ingersoll and William Tilghman claimed Coxe was no citizen and could not inherit. William Rawle, on the other hand, argued in favor of Coxe’s citizenship on common law grounds. Rawle studied law at one of London’s legal Inns. He was apparently dazzled by the work of Sir Edward Coke. In his 30-page brief, Rawle invoked Coke eight times, three times calling
    him “my lord Coke.”

    Rawle referenced Calvin’s case seven times and tried assiduously to inject the spirit of the common law Calvin’s case into the argument for Coxe’s citizen status.

    “The rule of the common law,” he said, “is that all persons may hold lands, except aliens.” And “That the place of birth, should determine the condition of the subject, is both reasonable and natural.” Since Coxe was once charged with treason, Rawle thought New Jersey’s use of common law language to describe it might move the justices to his side.

    Said Rawle: [T]he common law doctrine of allegiance has been expressly enacted into our code by the legislature of New Jersey. The treason act adopts the common law definition and division of allegiance in its very language and terms.

    However, when the court finally ruled three years later that Coxe was a citizen and could inherit by descent, it said:

    The court entertains no doubt that after October 4, 1776, he [Coxe] became a member of
    the new society, entitled to the protection of its government and bound to that government by the ties of allegiance. This opinion is predicated upon a principle
    which is believed to be undeniable — that the several states which composed this union, so far at least as regarded their municipal regulations, became entitled, from the time when they declared themselves independent, to all the rights and powers of sovereign states….

    Rawle won — Coxe was a citizen. But Rawle’s common law grounds were rebuffed.
    -“Wong Kim Ark’s Ship Comes to Port” by William Buchanan

  51. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy February 22, 2012 at 3:49 pm #

    Your quote mining is ridiculous.

    Jammer: Is the common law of England acknowledged to be the law of the United States by the Constitution? NO
    Is the law of nations recognized to be the law of the United States by the Constitution? YES

    “[T] he Court is bound by the law of nations which is a part of the law of the land” -CJ Marshall, The Nereide (1815)

  52. avatar
    Jammer February 22, 2012 at 3:49 pm #

    JPotter: LOL! you’re conflating the general term—”law of nations”—with a specific work, title of which is typically translated The Law of Nations or the Principles of Natural Law.

    ROTFLMAO PAY: The Case cited specifically identifies Vattel. Silly!

  53. avatar
    Ballantine February 22, 2012 at 3:55 pm #

    Jammer: The law of nations IS NOT a source external to the Constitution. If you want to look for a source of law that is external to the Constitution, you can start with the common law of England.Is the common law of England acknowledged to be the law of the United States by the Constitution? NOIs the law of nations recognized to be the law of the United States by the Constitution? YES“[T] he Court is bound by the law of nations which is a part of the law of the land” -CJ Marshall, The Nereide (1815)

    What nonsense. Half the Constitution is based upon the English law. There is no evidence a single provision was based upon the Law of Nations. Please tell us where terms like habeus corpus, bill of attender, ex post facto, due process, grand jury, presentment, indictment, impeachment, high crimes and misdemeanors, privileges and immunites, excessive bail, right to bear arms, cruel and unusual punishment and on and on and on come from. Do you really not know they all come from English law? Can you cite one undefined legal term in the Constitution that is based upon the Law or Nations rather than English law? Nope. You can keep talking about the Law of Nations all you want, but such provisions are not in our Constitution. The Law of nations was part of the law of England as Blackstone said, yet only with respect to the very limited area of issues of international law. Our case law makes such clear as well as Vattel was not cited outside issues of international law.

    Please show me one person in the half century after our declaration who defined “natural born” in accordance with your definition. You can’t. No framer. No early scholar. No court. Such is game, set and match in any actual court. Of course, birthers don’t deal in actual courts. It does seem clear that this is over you head as you don’t seem to have an understanding of law. Perhaps you can ask a real lawyer to explain it to you.

  54. avatar
    Jammer February 22, 2012 at 3:57 pm #

    Dr. Conspiracy: Your quote mining is ridiculous.

    If you had a more full understanding of the law you wouldn’t be so prone to ridiculous comments.

    How did the common law of England become part of the law in the various states? Look into “reception”. Find out how it was received and the cutoff date. Find out why Calvin’s case was one of the primary reasons that it was rejected.

  55. avatar
    Scientist February 22, 2012 at 3:57 pm #

    Jammer: ROTFLMAO PAY: The Case cited specifically identifies Vattel. Silly!

    Free people in 2012 are not obligated by the opinions of a foreign person who died 250 years ago. And that’s all Vattel epressed, his OPINIONS. It’s like reading George Will or Paul Krugman or Tom Friedman,-you can agree or disagree, but are not obligated to do what they advise. Besides, even Vattel said that any country could do what they like,

  56. avatar
    Ballantine February 22, 2012 at 4:00 pm #

    Jammer: If you had a more full understanding of the law you wouldn’t be so prone to ridiculous comments.How did the common law of England become part of the law in the various states? Look into “reception”. Find out how it was received and the cutoff date. Find out why Calvin’s case was one of the primary reasons that it was rejected.

    Again, nonsense. The common law was expressly adopted by most states until superseded by statute. No state other Virginia changed the citizenship law and virginia after 1783 had a statute making all people born on the soil citizens. I think you need to do more research.

  57. avatar
    Squeeky Fromm February 22, 2012 at 4:00 pm #

    Jammer:

    How long have you been a Birther??? Where did you “learn” all the stuff you think proves something??? Why do you trust those sources more than 99.9999% of the conservative lawyers and judges who do not have any questions about Obama’s eligibility???

    Squeeky Fromm
    Girl Reporter

  58. avatar
    Jammer February 22, 2012 at 4:03 pm #

    ballentine,

    To the man who only has a hammer, everything looks like a nail. The same should be said of the common law of England.

    Do you know that impeachment has its roots in Roman law? So does the right of a freeman to challenge being held!

    Do you know what “nomenclature” means? I think you have demonstrated that you do not. Just because something has an English word associated with it, that doesn’t mean that the roots associated with the provision are located in England.

    Which Bar(s) are you a member of? I am interested because I would like to know what the reception of the common law of England is in that state.

  59. avatar
    Jammer February 22, 2012 at 4:09 pm #

    Ballantine: Again, nonsense. The common law was expressly adopted by most states until superseded by statute. No state other Virginia changed the citizenship law and virginia after 1783 had a statute making all people born on the soil citizens. I think you need to do more research.

    You’re full of it! A good number of states did not receive the common law of England after 1607. I’ll include Illinois, Indiana, Missouri and Colorado just off the top of my head.

    By what provision of our Republican form of government do you impose the common law of England (Calvin’s case 1608) upon them?

    Your lack of knowledge regarding the reception of the common law of England is indicative of how little you understand our history, and an even better indication of the type of government you prefer.

  60. avatar
    Ballantine February 22, 2012 at 4:09 pm #

    Ballantine: Again, nonsense. The common law was expressly adopted by most states until superseded by statute. No state other Virginia changed the citizenship law and virginia after 1783 had a statute making all people born on the soil citizens. I think you need to do more research.

    “The common law of England, so far as it was applicable to our circumstances, was brought over by our ancestors, upon their emigration to this country. The Revolution did not involve in it any abolition of the common law. It has been adopted or declared in force by the constitutions of some of the states, and by statute in others; and where not explicitly adopted, it is yet considered as the law of the land, subject to modifications and express legislative repeal. The common law of England, applicable to our situation and government, is the law of this country, except where altered or rejected by statute, or varied by local usages, under the sanction of judicial decisions.” Commentaries on American Law, pr. 212, By James Kent, William Hardcastle Browne, 1894

    “And this convention doth further, in the name and by the authority of the good people of this State, ordain, determine, and declare that such parts of the common law of England, and of the statute law of England and Great Britain, and of the acts of the legislature of the colony of New York, as together did form the law of the said colony on the 19th day of April, in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and seventy-five, shall be and continue the law of this State, subject to such alterations and provisions as the legislature of this State shall, from time to time, make concerning the same. New York Constitution, April 22, 1777

    “That the common law of England, as well as so much of the statute law, as have been heretofore practised in this Colony, shall still remain in force, until they shall be altered by a future law of the Legislature; such parts only excepted, as are repugnant to the rights and privileges contained in this Charter; and that the inestimable right of trial by jury shall remain confirmed as a part of the law of this Colony, without repeal, forever.” New Jersey constitution, 1776

    Every person of good character, who comes to settle in this State, having first taken an oath or affirmation of allegiance to the same, may purchase, or. by other just means, acquire, hold and transfer land, or other real estate; and, after one year’s residence, shall be deemed a free denizen thereof, and entitled to all the rights of a natural born subject of this State.. Constitution of Vermont , July 4, 1786

    “The common law of England, as-well as so much of the statute law as has been heretofore adopted in practice in this State, shall remain in force, unless they shall be altered by a future law of the legislature; such parts only excepted as are repugnant to the rights and privileges contained in this constitution, and the declaration of rights, &c., agreed to by this convention. Delaware Constitution, 1776

    “That the inhabitants of Maryland are entitled to the common law of England…” Maryland Constitution, November 11, 1776

    “When our government was first instituted in Virginia, we declared the common law of England to be in force.” Mr. Henry in virginia debates on ratification of constitution, reported in The Debates in the Several State Conventions on the Adoption of the Federal Constitution. pg. 446 By Jonathan Elliot, James Madison, United States Constitutional Convention, Published by J.B. Lippincott & Co., 1861

    “All the laws which tave heretofore been adopted, used, and approved in the province, colony, or State, of Massachusetts Bay, and usually practiced on in the courts of law, shall still remain and be in full force until altered or repealed by the Legislature, only excepting those parts repugnant to the rights and liberties contained in this Constitution.” Massechussets Consitution, 1780

    “All the laws which have heretofore been adopted, used, and approved, in the province, colony, or state of New Hampshire, and usually practiced on in the courts of law, shall remain and be in full force, until altered and repealed by the legislature; such parts thereof only excepted, as are repugnant to the rights and liberties contained in this constitution: Provided that nothing herein contained, when compared with the twenty-third article in the bill of rights, shall be construed to affect the laws already made respecting the persons, or estates of absentees.” New Hampshire Consitutiton, 1784

    That the common law of England, and all statutes, or acts of parliament made in aid of the common law, prior to the fourth year, of James the first, which are of a general nature not local to that kingdom, together with the several acts of the colony then in force, so far as the same may consist with the several ordinances, declarations, and resolutions of the general convention, shall be considered as in full force, until the same shall be altered by the legislative power of the commonwealth.” Ordinances of Convention May, 1776, c. 5. Chancellor’s Revisal, p. 37.

    “So the common law of England and the statute law of England, prior to 1760, were adopted by statute in Vermont, so far as they were not repugnant to the constitution or statute law of the state.” Commentaries on American Law, By James Kent, John Melville Gould, Oliver Wendell Holmes, pg. 643-44 fn. (a). Published by Little, Brown, 1901

  61. avatar
    Ballantine February 22, 2012 at 4:12 pm #

    Jammer: You’re full of it! A good number of states did not receive the common law of England after 1607. I’ll include Illinois, Indiana, Missouri and Colorado just off the top of my head.By what provision of our Republican form of government do you impose the common law of England (Calvin’s case 1608) upon them?Your lack of knowledge regarding the reception of the common law of England is indicative of how little you understand our history, and an even better indication of the type of government you prefer.

    Show one state which didn’t follow the English rule of allegiance or alienage. All state case law followed the common law other than case for people born before or during the revolution which were all over the place. No early court in any state cited a rule other than the common law for persons born after the revolution. Deems you have a lot of work to do.

  62. avatar
    Jammer February 22, 2012 at 4:20 pm #

    Here’s the common law of England as it was received into the Louisiana Territory;

    The common law of England, which is of a general nature and all statutes made by the British parliament in aid of or to supply the defects of the said common law, made prior to the fourth year of the reign of James the first, and of a general nature, and not local to that
    kingdom, which said common law and statutes are not contrary to the laws of the territory, and are not repugnant to, nor inconsistent with the constitution and laws of the United States shall be the rule of decision in this territory.”

    What was significant about “the fourth year of the reign of James the first”? It was the year of the first settlement in Jamestown, VA.

    To me previous list, let me add Wyoming, Tennessee, and Arkansas. The common law of England after 1607 is not the law in those states.

  63. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy February 22, 2012 at 4:22 pm #

    To say that Rawle’s common law grounds “were rebuffed” is a total misreading of the case. Rawle said, in your own citation, “[T]he common law doctrine of allegiance has been expressly enacted into our code by the legislature of New Jersey.” In fact, the State of New Jersey had invoked the common law principle of the mutual obligations of protection and allegiance in its October 4, 1776 act declaring all persons abiding in its territory and deriving protection from its laws were members owing allegiance.

    In all cases, actual laws override the common law, and so in making the decision, the Laws of New Jersey were invoked (even though they were not in conflict with the Common Law). The fact that Coxe continued to reside in New Jersey after 1776 confirmed his recognition of the laws of New Jersey, and so he was a citizen.

    That said, McIlvaine v. Coxe was a case about expatriation, not the acquisition of citizenship. Expatriation is not a concept in the common law because under the common law allegiance is perpetual. In this instance the very fact of the American Revolution constitutes a rejection of that particular common law principle.

    There were a number of cases involving expatriation as claims of treason and property following the Revolution that were sorted out by the courts. It is naive to site any single one of them upon which to make a general argument. In this specific case, your claims that Rawle was rebuffed in this case, seem to be based on thin air. He won, after all.

    The Supreme Court (still sorting out issues of inheritance and citizenship) wrote, for example, that a dissolution of the royal government did not automatically effect “a dissolution of civil rights, or an abolition of the common law under which the inheritances of every man in the state were held.” Terrett v. Taylor, 9 Cranch 43 (U. S. 1815).

    Your Mr. Buchannan is an anti-immigrant activist, and director of the American Council for Immugration Reform, who links to a racist web site (VDare.com) under the “Favorites” in his “Buck’s Blog.” Articles by Buchannan include: “That Old Anchor Baby Drag” and “Give me your Murderers, Your Huddled Cons”. I reject him as an authority and as an unbiased commentator. Naturally he would attack Rawle: Rawle was an abolitionist.

    For a normal person’s understanding of the Coxe case, see The Development of American Citizenship, 1608-1870 by James H. Kettner pp 199-203.

    Jammer: ”Wong Kim Ark’s Ship Comes to Port” by William Buchanan

  64. avatar
    JPotter February 22, 2012 at 4:24 pm #

    Why would states just pick a date for the termination of English Common Law? And why is it always 1607? Colonies just up and decided to ignore the legal develpoments of their mother country? Colonies which were founded at various dates, and developed independently of each other?

    It’s either that birthers wish to avoid a case from 1608, or they believe all the colonies sprang from Jamestown, and that Jamestown was from the get-go an independent legal entity. An impressive amount of willful ignorance.

  65. avatar
    Rowena February 22, 2012 at 4:24 pm #

    The author this thread violates the maxim: It is not allowable to interpret what needs no interpretation.

    Continually searching for conjectures will not change the truth natural born citizens are born from citizen parents.

    A bit of trivia: Harvard College presented George Washington a Degree in the “Doctor of Laws, The Laws of Nature and Nations, and The Civil Law.

    Does it say the “Laws of Nature and Nations” is this Vattel’s Laws of Nature and Nations.

    What did Alexander Porter Morse say in 1904 regarding a natural born citizen and who was eligible for President?

    We can read it here:

    http://www.scribd.com/doc/29342223/Morse-Natural-Born-Citizen-1904

  66. avatar
    Scientist February 22, 2012 at 4:25 pm #

    Jammer: which said common law and statutes are not contrary to the laws of the territory, and are not repugnant to, nor inconsistent with the constitution and laws of the United States shall be the rule of decision in this territory

    Boy, reading comprehension….

    That says common law “shall be the rule of decision” unless it is over-ruled by statute or the Constitution. Nothing in the statutes or the Constitution over-rules jus soli for those born in the US.

  67. avatar
    JPotter February 22, 2012 at 4:25 pm #

    Jammer: ROTFLMAO PAY: The Case cited specifically identifies Vattel. Silly!

    And they just forgot to capitalize the book title? Keep on tapdancing there, bub! Faster and faster!

  68. avatar
    Jammer February 22, 2012 at 4:30 pm #

    Dr. Conspiracy: To say that Rawle’s common law grounds “were rebuffed” is a total misreading of the case.

    Present your objections to William Buchanan (a real attorney, with a real name). He is the one who stated that Rawle’s common law grounds were rebuffed.

  69. avatar
    Jammer February 22, 2012 at 4:32 pm #

    And William Rawle was an abolitionist (just like Mr. Binney) who were attempting to change the law. Had their interpretation of the law been correct, we would have never had slavery to begin with.

  70. avatar
    Ballantine February 22, 2012 at 4:32 pm #

    Here is the Virginia statute from 1776. Notice “the fourth year of the reign of James the first” modifies statutes adopted by Parliament, not the common law. Sorry.

    “The common law of England, (a) all statutes or acts of parliament made in aid of the common law prior to the fourth year of the reign of king James the first, and which are of a general nature, not local to that kingdom,(b) together with the several acts of the general assembly of this colony now in force, so far as the same may consist with the several ordinances, declarations, and resolutions of the general convention, shall be the rule of decision, and shall be considered as in full force, until the same shall be altered by the legislative power of this colony.”

    http://books.google.com/books?id=Vrw4AAAAIAAJ&pg=PA153&dq=1776+virginia+common+law+of+england&hl=en&sa=X&ei=6l1FT_CNOabX0QGNzcnqAw&ved=0CFkQ6AEwBQ#v=onepage&q=1776%20virginia%20common%20law%20of%20england&f=false

  71. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy February 22, 2012 at 4:35 pm #

    Quote mining is the sewer of this business.

    Squeeky Fromm: Jammer:

    Gee, what was the case of the Nereide about??? Do you have a cite to the case??? Can you do more than just quote mine????

  72. avatar
    Jammer February 22, 2012 at 4:37 pm #

    JPotter: Why would states just pick a date for the termination of English Common Law? And why is it always 1607?

    It’s always 1607 because that is when the first settlement charter was granted by James I.

    I thought all of you were experts in the common law of England and its reception among the states. I now discover that you are nothing more than parrots.

    Go do some homework, for Pete’s sake.

  73. avatar
    Ballantine February 22, 2012 at 4:37 pm #

    Jammer: Present your objections to William Buchanan (a real attorney, with a real name). He is the one who stated that Rawle’s common law grounds were rebuffed.

    More nonsense. The Coxe case had nothing to do with people born after the revolution. It was solely about someone born a natural born subject had changed their allegiance during the revolution and it left such issue to New Jersey. It says nothing about the application of the common law outside such situation. Like aI said before, the case law was all over the map on people born before the revolution. Such deosn’t mean Calvin’s Case was not the general rule. Whether someone was born a natural born citizen is a very different issue of whether someone born a natural born subject changed his or her allegiance.

  74. avatar
    Squeeky Fromm February 22, 2012 at 4:37 pm #

    IF, and I stress IF, the year of the Jamestown settlement was used, the more sensible explanation would be that from that point forward, there was a colonial court system upon which to rely, and precedents from this side of the Atlantic. It is probably recorded somewhere, but leave it to Birthers to turn it into a two-citizen parent conspiracy. 107 years before the birth of Vattel,no less.

    Somebody here needs some fresh aluminum foil, if you know what I mean.

    Squeeky Fromm
    Girl Reporter

  75. avatar
    Ballantine February 22, 2012 at 4:39 pm #

    Jammer: It’s always 1607 because that is when the first settlement charter was granted by James I.I thought all of you were experts in the common law of England and its reception among the states. I now discover that you are nothing more than parrots.Go do some homework, for Pete’s sake.

    Read the Virginia statute moron. The James I limitation doesn’t apply to the common law. Do you have reading problems?

  76. avatar
    Scientist February 22, 2012 at 4:45 pm #

    Jammer: It’s always 1607 because that is when the first settlement charter was granted by James I

    Neither the colonies nor the subsequent states threw common law in the garbage. They simply allowed portions of it to be over-ruled by statutes. That is the case in England as well. The UK no longer grants citizenship to everyone born in the UK, because parliament wrote laws over-ruling the common law in certain cases. In the US, that section of common law has never been over-ruled and was in fact codified in the 14th Amendment.

  77. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy February 22, 2012 at 4:51 pm #

    I never fell for the “snipe hunt” trick when I was a child, and I’m not going to looking for something that doesn’t exist today. If what you said were true, then the Supreme Court in US v. Wong wouldn’t have cited it. But they did.

    I know how the English Common Law was adopted in my state of South Carolina in 1776. Do you?

    Jammer: Find out why Calvin’s case was one of the primary reasons that it was rejected.

  78. avatar
    Jammer February 22, 2012 at 4:51 pm #

    Ballantine: Here is the Virginia statute from 1776. Notice “the fourth year of the reign of James the first” modifies statutes adopted by Parliament, not the common law. Sorry.

    Why not quote the actual reception statute?

    “And be it further ordained, That the common law of England, all statutes or acts of Parliament made in aid of the common law prior to the fourth year of the reign of King James the first, and which are of a general nature, not local to that kingdom, together with the several acts of the General Assembly of this colony now in force, so far as the same may consist with several ordinances, declarations, and resolutions of the General Convention, shall be the rule of decision, and shall be considered as in full force, until the same shall be altered by the legislative power of this colony.”

    Your interpretation, with regard to a reception statute, would be ridiculous. You’re trying to say that the common law (up to God know when) is received, but the statutes made in aid of them were not? Sorry. That dog won’t hunt.

  79. avatar
    Scientist February 22, 2012 at 4:56 pm #

    Jammer: That the common law of England, shall be the rule of decision, and shall be considered as in full force, until the same shall be altered by the legislative power of this colony.”

    Sounds like Virginia follows common law, unless the legislature overrules it.

  80. avatar
    bovril February 22, 2012 at 4:58 pm #

    Poor “Jammer” can’t seem to grasp the difference between a “charter” and a body of law.

    Now the “charter’ was simply a sign off from the Crown saying, “Yep, create a financial company, off you go and seize some land within the following areas from the nasty brutish locals, make some ackers and here’s the commercial restraints and expectations my subjects”

    Guess what they were and remained subjects of the Crown and had to follow all the laws of England INCLUDING the common law EXCEPT where, over time and through case law and legislation some elements of the body of law were ADDED to or amended to fit local requirements.

    The common law in use was still the common law of England with certain localizations, thats it, understand ..?

  81. avatar
    Ballantine February 22, 2012 at 5:02 pm #

    Jammer: Why not quote the actual reception statute?“And be it further ordained, That the common law of England, all statutes or acts of Parliament made in aid of the common law prior to the fourth year of the reign of King James the first, and which are of a general nature, not local to that kingdom, together with the several acts of the General Assembly of this colony now in force, so far as the same may consist with several ordinances, declarations, and resolutions of the General Convention, shall be the rule of decision, and shall be considered as in full force, until the same shall be altered by the legislative power of this colony.”Your interpretation, with regard to a reception statute, would be ridiculous. You’re trying to say that the common law (up to God know when) is received, but the statutes made in aid of them were not? Sorry. That dog won’t hunt.

    It is the 1776 statute that is relevant. The statute says what it says. It is not ambiguous. Do you have reading problems. Now go look at Virginia case law. Is there any deviation from the common law on allegiance and alienage other than for persons born before the revolution? I have not seen any. For example, take a look at Jackson v. Sanders where children of aliens are called natural born citizens.

  82. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy February 22, 2012 at 5:04 pm #

    This isn’t rocket surgery.

    That Virginia law is basically the same as South Carolina. The common law prevails until some legialation changes it. However, those changes are on a provision-by-provision case, not en masse.

    What the various commentators on the law have said is that in respect to the acquisition of citizenship, those born in the Country are our natural born citizens; it started out that way, and it was never changed.

    Could it change? Mr. Charles argues that it could in his paper that I commented on a couple days ago. New York did pass a law excluding from citizenship the children of temporary visiting aliens; however, that was like 50 years after the Constitution went into effect.

    Scientist: Sounds like Virginia follows common law, unless the legislature overrules it.

  83. avatar
    Ballantine February 22, 2012 at 5:05 pm #

    Jammer: Why not quote the actual reception statute?“And be it further ordained, That the common law of England, all statutes or acts of Parliament made in aid of the common law prior to the fourth year of the reign of King James the first, and which are of a general nature, not local to that kingdom, together with the several acts of the General Assembly of this colony now in force, so far as the same may consist with several ordinances, declarations, and resolutions of the General Convention, shall be the rule of decision, and shall be considered as in full force, until the same shall be altered by the legislative power of this colony.”Your interpretation, with regard to a reception statute, would be ridiculous. You’re trying to say that the common law (up to God know when) is received, but the statutes made in aid of them were not? Sorry. That dog won’t hunt.

    Is that the reception statute you are citing? Can’t you see that the James I limitiation only applies to statutes there as well? Do you have problems understanding commas?

  84. avatar
    Jammer February 22, 2012 at 5:06 pm #

    Dr. Conspiracy: I know how the English Common Law was adopted in my state of South Carolina in 1776.

    Wrong again! South Carolina received the common law of England way back in 1712.

    If what you said were true, then the Supreme Court in US v. Wong wouldn’t have cited it.

    That’s based on your faith, but does not comport with the historical record.
    I suggest you take the time to thoroughly understand Calvin’s case and then look into Colonel Fitzhugh.

    Were the native Indians Christians? (You’ll understand how Coke’s dichotomy in Calvin’s case is relevant once you read what Coke had to say.)

  85. avatar
    Ballantine February 22, 2012 at 5:07 pm #

    Scientist: Sounds like Virginia follows common law, unless the legislature overrules it.

    And Virginia did change it a bit in that they provided that children of citizens, as well as those born in Virginia, would be birn citizens. Other than that, their case law followed the common law.

  86. avatar
    Scientist February 22, 2012 at 5:09 pm #

    Dr. Conspiracy: This isn’t rocket surgery.

    i never heard of doing surgery on a rocket….

    Dr. Conspiracy: Could it change? Mr. Charles argues that it could in his paper that I commented on a couple days ago.

    I noted that in the UK Parliament over-ruled the common law and now children must have at least 1 parent who is a legal resident to become citizens. Australia did the same. Canada has not, but Canadian legal scholars don’t doubt that the Parliament in Ottawa could. The US has the 14th Amendment, which those countries do not, which makes such a task more problematic here.

  87. avatar
    Rickey February 22, 2012 at 5:09 pm #

    Dr. Conspiracy:

    The fact is that historians have said that the Framers considered themselves natural born citizens and that the exception in the Constitution for citizens at the time of adoption was to accommodate a handful of foreign-born patriots, most notably Alexander Hamilton.

    Even right-wing Constitutional scholars agree with you.

    Regarding Article II, Section 1:

    A temporary exception was made for a number of the most valiant patriots. It will be appreciated that there were many persons of foreign birth who helped to create the United States, and these would have been rendered ineligible for the office of President had this provision not been inserted into the Constitution. Seven of the signers of the Constitution were foreign-born; James Wilson, Robert Morris and Thomas Fitzsimmons of Pennsylvania; Alexander Hamilton of New York; William Paterson of New Jersey; James McHenry of Maryland; and Pierce Butler of South Carolina. – The Making of America: The Substance and Meaning of the Constitution by W. Cleon Skousen (founder of the conservative National Center for Constitutional Studies), p. 528

    It also should be pointed out that if Jammer’s theory is correct, it means that nobody was eligible to be President in 1789, because no one had been a citizen of the United States for 14 years. Even if you date the founding of the country at the signing of the Declaration of Independence, the United States had existed for less than 13 years when Washington took office. So it is obvious that the founders did not agree with Jammer.

  88. avatar
    Ballantine February 22, 2012 at 5:13 pm #

    Jammer: Wrong again! South Carolina received the common law of England way back in 1712.That’s based on your faith, but does not comport with the historical record.I suggest you take the time to thoroughly understand Calvin’s case and then look into Colonel Fitzhugh.Were the native Indians Christians? (You’ll understand how Coke’s dichotomy in Calvin’s case is relevant once you read what Coke had to say.)

    Any notion that natural born subjects needed to be Christians was soundly rejected by later English courts in the harshest of terms. Later courts could reject such dicta without adbandoning the basic holding a rationale of Calvin’s case. Littleton said it was a “common error founded on a groundless opinion” of Justice Brooke. Lord Mansfield called such notion “absurd” and when such point was raised by counsel he said not to quote such passage “for the honour of Lord Coke.” Such doctrine was trashed in in cases like Wells v. Williams and Omnichnd v. Barker. One court said it was painful to comment on this doctrine of Lord Coke and that such doctrine was disgraceful “to the memory of a great man.” Calvin’s Case remained the law of the land but the dicta on infidels was entirely discredited by the founding era. If one looks at a report of Calvin’s Case in the 19th century, it usually contains a footnote for this passage stating that it such was a “common error founded on a groundless opinion

  89. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy February 22, 2012 at 5:14 pm #

    I agree that it’s more problematic here. Charles bases his exception on the “under the jurisdiction” of phrase. He argues that the Framers of the 14th Amendment meant a jurisdiction greater than what is simply implied by place of birth (and if not, why add the qualification?) However, the issue most contentions was the status of the Indians, and the qualification might be construed just to exclude them (and ambassadors and passengers of foreign-flagged ships in US territorial waters, and invading armies — the usual suspects.)

    The more I think about it, the less I like Charles’ argument.

    Scientist: The US has the 14th Amendment, which those countries do not, which makes such a task more problematic here.

  90. avatar
    Squeeky Fromm February 22, 2012 at 5:15 pm #

    Jammies:

    Most people here are reluctant to go chasing off down Birther legal rabbit-holes because we invariably find that the Birther has really screwed up the whole thing and we waste a lot of time on noinsense.

    Sooo, my advice is, if you think you have a cogent legal point to make, make it, give a cite and a link, and most importanty EXPLAIN IN ENGLISH what you are talking about. I am betting no one here wants to solve your Colonel Fitzhugh mystery. Therefore, YOU provide the information and proof. Pretend you are in court, and don’t just state your CONCLUSIONS as if it is a fact. That leads to 12(b)6.

    if you think 1607 was a cutoff because of Calvin’s case, then say so, explain your reasoning, and give cites. Then, discuss the subsequent history after that date and show how the various legal holdings back up your interpretation.

    By doing it that way, you become better informed, and if you can’t prove it, then you can start asking yourself why you can’t and perhaps become a better thinker in the process.

    Squeeky Fromm
    Girl Reporter

  91. avatar
    Jammer February 22, 2012 at 5:16 pm #

    Ballantine: Is that the reception statute you are citing? Can’t you see that the James I limitiation only applies to statutes there as well? Do you have problems understanding commas?

    Yes. It’s the reception statute. As I stated before, your interpretation would not make sense.

    My interpretation stands in good company. Here is Tucker’s Blackstone:
    http://www.constitution.org/tb/t1e.htm

  92. avatar
    gorefan February 22, 2012 at 5:17 pm #

    Scientist: Sounds like Virginia follows common law, unless the legislature overrules it.

    So did the Constitution of New Jersey,

    “XXII. That the common law of England, as well as so much of the statute law, as have been heretofore practiced in this Colony, shall still remain in force, until they shall be altered by a future law of the Legislature; such parts only excepted, as are repugnant to the rights and privileges contained in this Charter; and that the inestimable right of trial by jury shall remain confirmed as a part of the law of this Colony, without repeal, forever. ”

    New Jersey Constitution, July 2nd, 1776

  93. avatar
    JPotter February 22, 2012 at 5:17 pm #

    Jammer: It’s always 1607 because that is when the first settlement charter was granted by James I.

    It is a fixation on Jamestown?!? LOL! Why cherry pick that particular charter? You’ve been hoodwinked. Do your own research from original sources, don’t accept someone else’s at face value. Especially if it sounds good, and is conveniently harmonious with your preferred conclusion.

  94. avatar
    Ballantine February 22, 2012 at 5:19 pm #

    Jammer: Yes. It’s the reception statute. As I stated before, your interpretation would not make sense.My interpretation stands in good company. Here is Tucker’s Blackstone:http://www.constitution.org/tb/t1e.htm

    Sorry, if you can’t see the James I language only modifies act of Paliament, you cannot read. All the spin in the world will not help you. Just admit you are wrong and move on to the next birther talking poin.t

  95. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy February 22, 2012 at 5:20 pm #

    Not so fast, bucko.

    The 1776 Constitution of South Carolina recognized as valid the prior acts of the colonial legislature which would include the Act of 1712 (if that’s the right year).

    XXIX. That the resolutions of this or any former congress of this colony, and all laws now of force here, (and not hereby altered,) shall so continue until altered or repealed by the legislature of this colony, unless where they are temporary, in which case they shall expire at the times respectively limited for their duration.

    Constitution of South Carolina (1776)

    So you’re wrong yet again.

    Jammer: Dr. Conspiracy: I know how the English Common Law was adopted in my state of South Carolina in 1776.

    Wrong again! South Carolina received the common law of England way back in 1712.

  96. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy February 22, 2012 at 5:25 pm #

    You put that well.

    Beyond that, what Jammer (and other birthers) probably doesn’t appreciate is that if we went to his source and read it, we still wouldn’t understand what he was talking about because he would have gotten the sense of it wrong and there’s no way we can figure out (well, we might figure it out) what particular misunderstanding leads to the vague assertion we’d be looking for.

    Squeeky Fromm: Most people here are reluctant to go chasing off down Birther legal rabbit-holes because we invariably find that the Birther has really screwed up the whole thing and we waste a lot of time on nonsense.

    Sooo, my advice is, if you think you have a cogent legal point to make, make it, give a cite and a link, and most important EXPLAIN IN ENGLISH what you are talking about. I am betting no one here wants to solve your Colonel Fitzhugh mystery. Therefore, YOU provide the information and proof. Pretend you are in court, and don’t just state your CONCLUSIONS as if it is a fact. That leads to 12(b)6.

  97. avatar
    Squeeky Fromm February 22, 2012 at 5:29 pm #

    Anybody interested in a starting point. I suggest just read it for your own fun, not to refute Jammies, which will be like rain sticking on a fishes back.

    http://scholarship.law.wm.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=2851&context=wmlr

    Apparently, there was much slippage in the dates and treatment, which should come as no surprise.

    Squeeky Fromm
    Girl Reporter

  98. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy February 22, 2012 at 5:29 pm #

    Yes, it’s pretty much a consensus view in the real world.

    Rickey: Even right-wing Constitutional scholars agree with you.

  99. avatar
    JPotter February 22, 2012 at 5:43 pm #

    Ballantine: Sorry, if you can’t see the James I language only modifies act of Paliament, you cannot read. All the spin in the world will not help you. Just admit you are wrong and move on to the next birther talking poin.t

    Not the first time a birther or other troll species has been found unknowledgeable of their own cited sources. They see a word or phrase that lights up the confirmation bias, and they’re off to the races, declaring victory on every board on the interwebs!

    How did Jammed arrive at his conclusion based on his chosen source? I cannot say, and neither can his source.

  100. avatar
    Ballantine February 22, 2012 at 5:45 pm #

    Dr. Conspiracy: I agree that it’s more problematic here. Charles bases his exception on the “under the jurisdiction” of phrase. He argues that the Framers of the 14th Amendment meant a jurisdiction greater than what is simply implied by place of birth (and if not, why add the qualification?) However, the issue most contentions was the status of the Indians, and the qualification might be construed just to exclude them (and ambassadors and passengers of foreign-flagged ships in US territorial waters, and invading armies — the usual suspects.)The more I think about it, the less I like Charles’ argument.

    Always seems a dumb argument to me. The English rule always had two steps. One must be both born within the dominions and under the ligeance of the crown. As stated by Binney, the english rule require one must be born “within the limits and under the jurisdiction” of the government. The natualization law in 1866 said an alien with a foreign allegiance must be “within the limits and under the jurisdiction” of the United States. Clearly, everyone in england and the US understood that not all persons within the limits of the US were under its jurisdiction as children of ambassadors and invading enemies were not.

    The language they cherry pick from the indian debates is very misleading. In both the Civil Rigths Act debates and the 14th Amendment debates it was said that indian nations were treated as foreign nations and persons born therein owed a foreign allegiance. In both debates it was made clear that all the indians had to do was leave the indian nation and come live amongst us in order for their children to be citizens. No one said the parents had to be naturalized. No one said the laws of the indian nation were relevant. In the words of Trumbull, all they needed to do was come within our jurisdiciton and make themselves subject to our laws.

  101. avatar
    Rickey February 22, 2012 at 5:46 pm #

    Dr. Conspiracy:
    Yes, it’s pretty much a consensus view in the real world.

    Absolutely. Jammer’s argument is that no one who was old enough to be President in 1789 was a natural-born citizen because anyone who was at least 35 years old then was born before the United States existed. He concludes that Washington, Adams, Jefferson and so on were eligible only because of the “citizen of the United States at the time of the adoption of this Constitution” clause.

    But Jammer forgets about the residency clause. There was no grandfathering of the residency requirement. A President had to have been a resident of the United States for at least 14 years, no exceptions. George Washington was inaugurated on April 30, 1789. The Declaration of Independence was signed on July 4, 1776. That’s a few days less than 12 years, 9 months between the signing of the Declaration and Washington’s inauguration.

    Perhaps Jammer would like to explain to us how Washington met the residency requirement.

  102. avatar
    JPotter February 22, 2012 at 5:48 pm #

    So many initiatives and products intended to assist in reading, by learning how to tie sounds to glyphs. That’s the vital first step on the path to literacy. But where does one go to learn the next step, comprehension? Sound without meaning is merely sound. Reading without understanding is empty repetition.

    And then there’s step three, intellectual honesty …

  103. avatar
    Squeeky Fromm February 22, 2012 at 5:56 pm #

    My BFF Fabia Sheen, Esq., a lawyer, says that she had to do something called IRAC in law school. Which Wiki has a sample of here:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IRAC

    What Birthers tend to do, is skip straight to the “C” Conclusion and priss around like they just proved something. Then, they expect everybody else to figure out the I and R and A part of it for them. It is just incompetence on their part along with laziness.

    Sometimes, they will build in some extra “C”s and pretend that it is really I and R and A. Like for the Rule being the two citizen parent stuff, then arriving at a conclusion based on an erroneous rule.

    Freeper edge919 (aka ksdb?) was really bad about this. Jammies approach and ‘tude reminds me of him.

    Squeeky Fromm
    Girl Reporter

  104. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy February 22, 2012 at 5:59 pm #

    Of course not. Vattel didn’t write a book with that title. And besides, Washington’s actual degree was stated in Latin.

    Rowena: Does it say the “Laws of Nature and Nations” is this Vattel’s Laws of Nature and Nations.

  105. avatar
    Ballantine February 22, 2012 at 6:25 pm #

    Dr. Conspiracy: Of course not. Vattel didn’t write a book with that title. And besides, Washington’s actual degree was stated in Latin.

    LOL. Does she really think he got a degree in Vattel’s book, the one he had to borrow from the library after the Constitution was written, the one he obviously didn’t have his own copy of at the time of the Convention? It is hard to imagine the level of stupidity involved here. It is hard to understand that birthers don’t understand that in order to prove any provision in the Constitution was based upon Vattel, they need to show more than such person read or liked Vattel. No matter how much one thinks they like Vattel, the Constitution rejected numerous position held by Vattel as Doc has written on and based much of the Constitution on the common law. Such is fact.

  106. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy February 22, 2012 at 6:31 pm #

    Anyhow Washington’s degree was honorary.

  107. avatar
    Keith February 22, 2012 at 7:45 pm #

    Jammer: There you have your answer, Dr. Conspiracy. Knowing that the United States did not exist at the time of Washington’s birth, it would be patently absurd to consider him to be a natural-born citizen of the United States.

    The missing point here is that although the United States did not exist at the time of Washington’s birth, the State of Virginia did and Washington was a natural born citizen of Virginia. Virginia did not cease to exist at any time. Its form of fovernment changed from colony, to independent nation, to confederated state, to federated state, but it never ceased to exist, it never ‘returned to nature’.

    At each change of government, the citizens under the old became instead citizens under the new. This is so under both common and international law.

    Washington was a natural born citizen of the United States because he was a natural born citizen of Virginia when Virginia adopted the Constitution. The grandfather clause did not apply to him.

    The grandfather clause applied to naturalized citizens, such as Alexander Hamilton (born in Bermuda and naturalized in New York), who served in the war that enforced the right of the country to its independence. Knowing that their were many in that position, who could be trusted with the football 8-), the framers made an explicit exception for them.

  108. avatar
    Keith February 22, 2012 at 7:52 pm #

    Thomas Brown: You lawyer folk tell me if this argument would float: Could it be held that those born here into slavery actually WERE NBCs from birth, but had been deprived of their rights as such by the vile institution’s failure to recognize them thusly until the Emancipation, at which time their status as citizens was restored, rather than altered?

    IANAL, but, that is how I consider it.

    Unfortunately, the Judges hearing the Dred Scott case didn’t listen to me however.

  109. avatar
    Keith February 22, 2012 at 8:08 pm #

    Dr. Kenneth Noisewater (Bob Ross): Vattel’s book is external to the constitution

    FIFY

  110. avatar
    Keith February 22, 2012 at 8:37 pm #

    Ballantine: Is that the reception statute you are citing? Can’t you see that the James I limitiation only applies to statutes there as well? Do you have problems understanding commas?

    He clearly has difficulty understanding English as well, because the page you link goes into extreme detail explaining exactly what they mean by common law, and statutes, and localization, etc, etc, etc. in notes (a) and (b) which oddly enough, are printed in the text adjacent to those pesky commas.

  111. avatar
    Keith February 22, 2012 at 8:39 pm #

    Ballantine: Is that the reception statute you are citing? Can’t you see that the James I limitiation only applies to statutes there as well? Do you have problems understanding commas?

    He clearly has difficulty understanding English as well, because the page you link goes into extreme detail explaining exactly what they mean by common law, and statutes, and localization, etc, etc, etc. in notes (a) and (b) which oddly enough, are printed in the text adjacent to those pesky commas.

    Scientist: i never heard of doing surgery on a rocket….

    True. Post mortems, but not surgery.

  112. avatar
    Keith February 22, 2012 at 8:40 pm #

    Scientist: i never heard of doing surgery on a rocket….

    True. Post mortems, but not surgery.

  113. avatar
    Keith February 22, 2012 at 8:52 pm #

    sorry about the double post. Tricked by the back button I guess.

  114. avatar
    gorefan February 22, 2012 at 10:26 pm #

    Jammer: But Rawle’s common law grounds were rebuffed.

    No, not really.

    “The Court deems it unnecessary to declare an opinion upon a point which was much debated in this cause — whether a real British subject born before 4 July, 1776, who never from the time of his birth resided within any of the American colonies or states, can, upon the principles of the common law, take lands by descent in the United States, because Daniel Coxe, under whom the lessor of the plaintiff claims, was born in the province of New Jersey long before the declaration of independence and resided there until sometime in the year 1777, when he joined the British forces.”

    and

    “Without expressing an opinion upon the right of expatriation as founded on the common law or upon the application of that principle to a person born in the State of New Jersey before its separation from the mother country, we think it conclusive upon the point that the legislature of that state, by the most unequivocal declarations, asserted its right to the allegiance of such of its citizens as had left the state and had attempted to return to their former allegiance.” McIlvaine v. Coxe’s Lessee, 8 U.S. 4 Cranch 209 209 (1808)

    The legislature can pass laws that modify the English Common Law that was adopted by the New Jersey Constitution. And it was on those statutory laws that the Court based it’s decision.

  115. avatar
    Northland10 February 22, 2012 at 10:29 pm #

    Squeeky Fromm: Most people here are reluctant to go chasing off down Birther legal rabbit-holes because we invariably find that the Birther has really screwed up the whole thing and we waste a lot of time on noinsense.

    Nicely said.

  116. avatar
    Whatever4 February 23, 2012 at 5:13 am #

    Jammer sounds like Leo. Just sayin’.

  117. avatar
    Lupin February 23, 2012 at 5:49 am #

    Jammer: ROTFLMAO PAY: The Case cited specifically identifies Vattel. Silly!

    Even if that were true (which it isn’t really), as demonstrated numerous times here, a proper reading of Vattel in the original leads unambiguously to the conclusion that Obama (were he born in similar circumstances at the time of Vattel in Switzwerland) would be a natural-born citizen (assuming you equate that term with Vattel’s own.

    Any legal argument relying on Vattel’s words to disqualify Obama only shows the legal ignorance of the writer.

  118. avatar
    Lupin February 23, 2012 at 5:50 am #

    Whatever4: Jammer sounds like Leo. Just sayin’.

    If so I am appalled at his hubris and ignorance.

  119. avatar
    Whatever4 February 23, 2012 at 11:14 am #

    Lupin: If so I am appalled at his hubris and ignorance.

    And that’s different in what way? :-)

  120. avatar
    chancery February 23, 2012 at 1:28 pm #

    Dr. Conspiracy: This isn’t rocket surgery.

    I like that, and will use it. Did you coin it?