I have a policy of trying not to get into long arguments in emails. There are around 24,000 visitors a month here, and it wouldn’t be practical to correspond with a significant number of them. That’s what the web site is for.
I violated my policy today when I got this email:
Contact: The only way any part of our Constitution may be changed is by the well established amendment process. Article II, Title I containing the major requirement to be a candidate for president or vice president “shall be a Natural Born Citizen”. Article II has never been amended. Congress cannot circumvent any part of our Constitution by legislation; it can only be done by amendment. A search of Supreme Court Cases, the Federalist Papers, and historical papers of our founding fathers also validate their collective intent with respect to “Natural Born Citizen” will give one the meaning of Natural Born Citizen. In simple terms a candidate for president or vice president must have been born to a mother and a father who are themselves US citizens. Exceptions to this requirement were made to some previous presidents by “grandfathering”. Since our founding, all other presidents except Chester Arthur and Barack H. Obama, Jr. have met the requirements of Article II, Title I. Arthur’s fraud was not exposed till some time after his death. Turns out that his mother was a US Citizen but his father was a Canadian citizen at Chester Arthur’s birth. Barack H. Obama, Jr. has Chester Arthur’s problem, his father Barack H. Obama, Sr. a visiting college student for education purposes, and held citizenship his entire life as a citizen of Kenya.
A snake is a snake, a tiger is a tiger, a wolf is a wolf, a US citizen by ones mother and a foreign citizen father cannot ever be a Natural Born Citizen.
What struck me about this is that it has no authority besides “the Constitution” and “The Federalist Papers.” So I replied, and I thought I would put the email exchange up here as an article, serving you leftovers.
Reply: Have you even read the Federalist Papers? I didn’t think so.
And this came back:
Contact: Yes, I have read the federalist papers. Have you read the Constitution? If you have, you need to read it again. There is nothing you can come up with that can trump the facts of Barack H. Obama, Jr.’s identity as he himself has proclaimed publicly that he is the son of Barack H. Obama, Sr., a life long citizen of Kenya. Thus one of reasonable intelligence is left with the reality that Article II, Title I is the final judge as to his son inability to hold himself out to citizens of these United States as being qualified as a “Natural Born Citizen”. I strongly suggest that you read Minor v. Happersett.
“The Constitution does not, in words, say who shall be a natural-born citizen. Resort must be had elsewhere to ascertain that. At Common-law, with the nomenclature of which the framers of the Constitution were familiar, it was never doubted that all children born in a country of parents(plural not singular)were its citizen became themselves, upon their birth, citizens also. These were natives, or natural born citizens, as distinguished from aliens or foreigners”. Minor v. Happersett, 88 U<S> 162, 168.
I repeat, Constitutional amendment process is the only way for congress to change any part of Article I, Title II. It has never been amended. Therefore, it stands as the law of the land for those who place themselves before the voters as a candidate for president or vice president.
Politically Correctness unfortunately is a sure road to eventual destruction of any society that foolishly embrace the hope of utopia which as most will agree exist only in fairy tails.
And here I made a mistake, providing a substantive answer:
Reply: So if you have read the Federalist Papers and the Constitution, why are you unable to show where either of them supports your claims? The simple answer is that you can’t because they don’t. Who wrote the Federalist Papers? One of the authors was James Madison (who also wrote a lot of the Constitution) who said:
“It is an established maxim, that birth is a criterion of allegiance. Birth, however, derives its force sometimes from place, and sometimes from parentage; but, in general place is the most certain criterion; it is what applies in the United States.”
One of the earliest books on the Constitution by historian and jurist William Rawle was used as a Textbook at the US Military Academy at West Point. Rawle was appointed District Attorney for Pennsylvania by George Washington himself. Rawle wrote in 1825:
“Therefore every person born within the United States, its territories or districts, whether the parents are citizens or aliens, is a natural-born citizen within the sense of the Constitution, and entitled to all the rights and privileges appertaining to that capacity….
“Under the Constitution the question is settled by its express language, and when we are informed that, excepting those who were citizens, (however that capacity was acquired,) at the time the Constitution was adopted, no person is eligible to the office of the president unless he is a natural born citizen, the principle that the place of birth creates the relative quality is established as to us.”
Rawle’s View of the Constitution
Historian and former Secretary of the Navy George Bancroft wrote:
“Every one who first saw the light on American soil was a natural-born American citizen.”
History of the United States of America, from the Discovery of the American Continent
Madison, Rawle and Bancroft wrote before the 14th Amendment.
You cite Minor, but you don’t understand it. Don’t listen to me; listen to the judge. Arizona Superior Court Judge Richard E. Gordon wrote in the dismissal of Allen v. Arizona Democratic Party on March 7:
“Most importantly, Arizona courts are bound by United States Supreme Court precedent, and this precedent fully supports that President Obama is a natural born citizen under the Constitution and thus qualified to hold the office of President. See United States v. Wong Kim Ark (addressing U. S. Const. amend. XIV) ; Ankeny v. Governor of the State of Indiana (addressing the precise issue). Contrary to Plaintiff’s assertion, Minor v. Happersett does not hold otherwise.”
In fact no less than 11 judges have said the same thing:
- Jeff S. Masin – Administrative Law Judge, New Jersey
- Clarkson S. Fisher – Superior Court Judge, Appeals Division, New Jersey
- Linda G. Baxter – Superior Court Judge, Appeals Division, New Jersey
- Philip S. Carchman – Superior Court Judge, Appeals Division, New Jersey
- John A. Gibney, Jr. – US Federal District Judge, Virginia
- Elaine B. Brown – Indiana Court of Appeals
- Terry A. Crone – Indiana Court of Appeals
- Judge May – Indiana Court of Appeals
- Michael Malihi – Administrative Law Judge, Georgia
- Arthur Schack – Superior Court Judge, New York
- Richard E. Gordon – Superior Court Judge, Arizona
Of course you are smarter than all the judges, but you can’t expect that to impress me. You’re a crank, pure and simple.
If you want to carry the discussion further, post a message on the blog. I have 20,000 readers and I don’t have time for individual arguments.
I made it a point to use historical sources before the 14th Amendment, since the Contact seemed to think it didn’t count. I gave a specific authority on reading Minor. Well, if there ever was denial from a birther, see how Contact claims victory:
Contact: From the tone of your reply, obviously I made my point. As usual, Obama cool aid drinkers will try to change the subject rather than face the truth. Constitution, Article II, Title I, Clause V; “No person except a natural born citizen, or a citizen of the United States, at the time of the adoption of this Constitution, SHALL be be eligible to that office of President; neither SHALL any person be eligible that office who SHALL not have attained to the age of thirty five years, and been fourteen Years a resident within the United States”.
The action word as you obviously know is SHALL. Once again, I remind you that congress can pass laws and or regulations till hell freezes over but such actions shall not be able to change a single word or sentence of the Constitution. The only way for congress and or the judicial system to erase, change, modify or whatever the founding fathers iron clad protection of our nations presidency from the influence of any foreign entity, is to amend Article II, Title I through the amendment process. You can cite all the miss direction ploys being promoted by bias judges, Obama pun-dents you like. Facts are facts. A US citizen mother and a US citizen father can produce a Natural Born Citizen. A US citizen mother and a foreign citizen father cannot ever produce A Natural Born Citizen. By your analysis even a misnomer anchor baby would be a natural born citizen. Your cite of Wong in support of the XIV amendment is in error. The express purpose of the XIV amendment was to recognize that freed slaves were US citizens. Suggestion to deaf ears; forget the rabid support of a Political Correct candidate. If our nations accepts this very flawed presidency and his obvious ineligibility to hold the office of president then we can kiss our Constitution good by as well as the Rule of Law. One last thought, every single elected government official and every single appointed government official including Supreme Court Justice and all federal judges who took their respective “oath of office” during Barack H. Obama, Jr.s time have unilaterally knowingly violated their sacred oath of office and stand condemned before the bar of justice and their fellow citizens for their collective failure to “protect and defend the constitution from all enemies both domestic and foreign”. I guess the Political Correct attitude on the oath of office is simply ceremonial and a photo op in preparation for the next election cycle.
Realizing my error, I replied:
Reply: From the tone of your reply, I obviously wasted my time trying to tell you anything. Like I said, if you have a comment, post it on the blog.
And I got this back:
Contact: Like I said before; you have trouble facing the facts, so you try to change the subject. Obviously Barack H. Obama, Jr. was born some 50 years ago. Also, it is obvious that he has much to hide about his true identity. Some years from now, when his true identity becomes public, the general reaction will be, my o my, how did he do that. What you should be spending your time doing is digging for his real identity. If he is pure as the driven snow, why has he spent millions keeping his records sealed from public view? The Lame Stream Media turned George W. Bush’s life inside out. Dan Rather destroyed his career trying to destroy Bush. It only took the LSM two weeks to know just about everything one could know about Sarah Palin; much of it was distortions. Now with the advent of the “chosen one”, the true believers accept his every word as gospel without question. His actions speak louder than his words. He is a troubling contradiction in action. Our nation cannot long endure the path that this know ineligible “president” is attempting to lead us down; national and personal destruction awaits the unwary traveler. The End;
Well, I wasn’t going to let the birther get the last word. I think invoking Bush in an Obama eligibility debate is rather like calling someone a “Nazi” in other contexts, which is usually considered in debate culture a win for the other side.
Reply: I’m going to say this once so that eternally you can’t deny that someone told you the truth. You have no excuse to continue to repeat foolishness.
The plain dictionary meaning of “natural born” is “having a quality at birth.” That means a natural born citizen is one who was at birth a citizen. Plugging in the definition in the Minor decision one can readily understand Minor v Happersett. Note that it’s only changed twice, and obvious that the other references to citizen fit:
“Constitution does not, in words, say who shall be [at birth] citizens. Resort must be had elsewhere to ascertain that. At common-law, with the nomenclature of which the framers of the Constitution were familiar, it was never doubted that all children born in a country of parents who were its citizens became themselves, upon their birth, citizens also. These were natives, or [at birth] citizens, as distinguished from aliens or foreigners. Some authorities go further and include as citizens children born within the jurisdiction without reference to the citizenship of their parents. As to this class there have been doubts, but never as to the first. For the purposes of this case it is not necessary to solve these doubts.”
The Supreme Court in US v. Wong settled the doubts when it ruled that the children of aliens born in the United States are also citizens at birth. While US v Wong is a post 14th Amendment case, the Court said that such persons were citizens at birth before that. Indeed, a similar decision in New York state, Lynch v. Clarke in 1844 came to the same conclusion:
“The term citizen, was used in the constitution as a word, the meaning of which was already established and well understood. And the constitution itself contains a direct recognition of the subsisting common law principle, in the section which defines the qualification of the President. “No person except a natural born citizen, or a citizen of the United States at the time of the adoption of this constitution, shall be eligible to the office of President,” … The only standard which then existed, of a natural born citizen, was the rule of the common law, and no different standard has been adopted since. Suppose a person should be elected President who was native born, but of alien parents, could there be any reasonable doubt that he was eligible under the constitution? I think not.”
I haven’t changed the subject. You claimed Barack Obama was not a natural born citizen because of the Constitution and the Federalist Papers. You were unable to provide a single legal authority to back up your ideas of what a natural born citizen is. I showed you multiple authorities and legal decisions to prove that your understanding is wrong, including a Superior Court judge directly stating that you misread Minor v. Happersett. Rather than engage in the argument, you throw up the diversion of George Bush.
I’m publishing this whole sorry exchange on the blog, so my time wasn’t wasted.