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Obama attorney answers birther suit at SCOTUS

I believe the anonymous writer at Gerbil Report™ is correct in saying that this is the first time President Obama has responded to a birther petition at the Supreme Court. For whatever reason, attorney Mark Herron, who represented the President in the Florida case of Voeltz v. Obama, has filed a brief in opposition to the petition for a writ of mandamus by Voeltz. Florida Secretary of State Kenneth W. Detzner filed a waiver of his right to respond.

This case, sometimes called Voeltz III (as it is the third one by Voeltz in Florida), was famously dismissed for lack of jurisdiction by judge Kevin J. Carroll, writing:

This Court notes that President Obama lives in the White House. He flies on Air Force One. He has appeared before Congress, delivered State of the Union addresses, and meets with Congressional leaders on a regular basis. He has appointed countless ambassadors to represent the interests of the United States throughout the world. President Obama’s recent appointment of The Honorable Mark Walker, formerly a member of this Court, has been confirmed by the United States Senate. Judge Walker has been sworn in as a United States District Court Judge and currently works at the Federal Courthouse down the Street. The Electoral College has recently done its work and elected Mr. Obama to be President once again. As this matter has come before the Court at this time of the year it seems only appropriate to paraphrase the ruling rendered by the fictional Judge Henry X. Harper from New York in open court in the classic holiday film Miracle on 34th St. “Since the United States Government declares this man to be President, this Court will not dispute it. Case dismissed.”

The Florida Supreme Court refused to hear an appeal in this case, citing lack of jurisdiction. (Here, Florida law prevents their Supreme Court from hearing an appeal of a per curiam [in the name of the court] affirming appellate decision without opinion.)

The specific relief being requested by Voeltz is:

Petitioner respectfully requests that this Court issue a writ of mandamus compelling the Circuit Court of the Second Judicial Circuit in and for Leon County, Florida to hear to the case on the merits and issue a declaratory judgment as to the eligibility of Barack Obama to serve as President of the United States.

Attorney Mark Herron responds in his brief in opposition to the petition by arguing that state courts do not have jurisdiction to adjudicate presidential eligibility, that this responsibility is “…committed under the Constitution to the electors and to Congress…” and further that an extraordinary measure such as a writ of mandamus is not justified. A writ of mandamus is an order directing someone to so something that they have an obligation to do, and is issued when no other remedy is available. Herron argues that there is no obligation whatever for the Florida court to vacate its order and try the case on the merits rather than dismissing it.

Voeltz is being represented by birther attorney Larry Klayman. Mark Herron had previously moved for sanctions against Klayman in this case.

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69 Responses to Obama attorney answers birther suit at SCOTUS

  1. avatar
    Lupin September 15, 2014 at 9:10 am #

    I noticed that on Page 10 of the Plaintiff’s request is the same old canard that Vattel defined a natural born citizen as one born on two citizen parents.

    By now all of us here know that this is simply not true, a transparent made-up lie that is easily debunked by anyone with some knowledge of French.

    (The original text is actually pretty clear and the group plural used by Vattel and misinterpreted by the birthers is easily clarified by the subsequent sentence in which he trumpets that its the father — not both parents! — that transmits citizenship.)

    Your Congressional Research Service was not fooled by this purposeful misinterpretation and I would assume neither would your Supreme Court — assuming they wish to hear this which they probably won’t.

    I suppose the logical step would be to asked some learned expert to review the paragraph in question, which has withstood 200 years of scholarship without once being interpreted the birthers’ way.

    I am constantly stunned that they keep harping on this point, so easily proven wrong, and without a smidgen of scholarship backing their view.

    Sanctions should indeed be sought for, and applied. I can but hope.

  2. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy September 15, 2014 at 9:22 am #

    President Obama’s response has been added to the article.

  3. avatar
    Curious George September 15, 2014 at 11:57 am #

    I notice that there is a brief mention by Klayman of the all volunteer Cold Case Posse’s evidence about President Obama’s birth certificate. Not a mention by Klayman of the Hawaii Verification of Birth that shows the information on the birth certificate is valid. And certainly not a mention by Klayman about the bogus, July 17, 2012 Cold Case Posse press conference and the phony vital statistics codes used by Zullo that “proved” the PDF copy of the birth certificate a forgery. It will be fun to watch how this all shakes out.

  4. avatar
    Thinker (mobile) September 15, 2014 at 1:09 pm #

    I believe birthers have mistakenly interpreted this response to mean that Klayman’s case has merit. It looks to me like the point of Obama’s brief is mainly to point out that Voeltz/Klayman brought and lost this case three times, a fact Klayman’s brief barely mentions.

  5. avatar
    gorefan September 15, 2014 at 2:07 pm #

    Thinker (mobile): It looks to me like the point of Obama’s brief is mainly to point out that Voeltz/Klayman brought and lost this case three times, a fact Klayman’s brief barely mentions.

    I think you are right. He especially wants to show that they didn’t appeal the earlier rulings.

  6. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy September 15, 2014 at 2:11 pm #

    They didn’t appeal in the 2nd case, but did appeal the first.

    gorefan: I think you are right. He especially wants to show that they didn’t appeal the earlier rulings.

  7. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy September 15, 2014 at 2:18 pm #

    Herron really didn’t go into the merits of the Voeltz case, but rather attacked it on jurisdictional grounds, the grounds under which it was dismissed in the first place. After all, the two-citizen parent theory under which Voeltz argues is well-established as wrong. No court is going to fail to recognize that.

    To my knowledge the Supreme Court has never ruled on the question, raised in this case, of whether a state can determine whether someone is or is not eligible to run for President. Various judges, in dicta, suggest that they cannot, but states have a lot of power when it comes to the conduct of elections. I really don’t know how that might come down if it were ever heard by SCOTUS.

    Thinker (mobile): I believe birthers have mistakenly interpreted this response to mean that Klayman’s case has merit.

  8. avatar
    Rickey September 15, 2014 at 4:37 pm #

    Dr. Conspiracy:

    To my knowledge the Supreme Court has never ruled on the question, raised in this case, of whether a state can determine whether someone is or is not eligible to run for President. Various judges, in dicta, suggest that they cannot, but states have a lot of power when it comes to the conduct of elections. I really don’t know how that might come down if it were ever heard by SCOTUS.

    I don’t believe that any state court has the authority to interpret the U.S. Constitution. However, I do believe that states can bar a Presidential candidate from the ballot when the candidate clearly is ineligible – e.g., the Eldridge Cleaver candidacy in California. It required no Constitutional interpretation to conclude that Cleaver wasn’t eligible, since he indisputably was born in 1935 and would not have been eligible to be President until 1970.

    That said, it will be interesting to see what happens if Ted Cruz ever runs for President.

  9. avatar
    Georgetown JD September 15, 2014 at 7:38 pm #

    The Question Presented practically answers itself:

    Whether 28 U.S.C. § 1651 empowers this Court to issue a writ of mandamus to compel a state court to further hear and decide Petitioner’s case, where the state court dismissed the action, inter alia, on the basis that the courts of Florida lack jurisdiction to determine the qualifications of a candidate for the office of President of the United States, and where the dismissal was affirmed on appeal.

  10. avatar
    Atticus Finch September 15, 2014 at 7:41 pm #

    Klayman completely misconstrued the canon of statutory construction by alleging that the founding fathers were confronted with “two different and distinct terms have been used each is to be given its own meaning.” (Petition page 18).

    The problem with Vattelians in their argument that the term Natural Born Citizen is founded on Roman or Civil Law instead of English Common Law is that their argument demonstrate their ignorance that the Constitution provisions were framed in the language of the English Common Law and their argument ignore the historical development of Anglo-American jurisprudence that is rooted in the English Common Law.

    Courts have recognized that the drafters of the constitution of who most were lawyers were influenced by the principles and history of the common law that we inherited from the English. “The principles and history of the common law were well known to the framers of the Constitution and the members of the First Congress; it was from that system that their terminology was derived; and the provisions of the Constitution and contemporaneous legislation must be interpreted accordingly.” Southern Pacific Co. v. Jensen, 244 US 205, 230 (1917) (Pitney, J. dissenting); See also Smith v. Alabama, 124 U. S. 465, 478 (1888) (“The interpretation of the Constitution of the United States is necessarily influenced by the fact that its provisions are framed in the language of the English common law, and are to be read in the light of its history.”)

    Likewise, Chief Justice, Holmes in Gompers v. United States, 233 US 604 (1914) noted that courts must considered to common law origin of the provisions of the Constitution when he observed: “[T]the provisions of the Constitution are not mathematical formulas having their essence in their form; they are organic living institutions transplanted from English soil. Their significance is vital not formal; it is to be gathered not simply by taking the words and a dictionary, but by considering their origin and the line of their growth.” Id at 610

    Moreover, Chief Justice Taft stated in Ex Parte Grossman, 267 U.S. 76, 108-09 (1925): “The language of the Constitution cannot be interpreted safely except by reference to the common law and British institutions as they were when the instrument was framed and adopted.”

    Since the drafters of the Constitution wrote it in the language of the English common law then according to statutory construction that unless otherwise defined in the Constitution, words are to be taken at their ordinary and contemporary meaning. “A fundamental canon of statutory construction is that, unless otherwise defined, words will be interpreted as taking their ordinary, contemporary, common meaning.” Perrin v. United States, 444 US 37, 42 (1979).

    Moreover, if the use of words in the Constitution have a common law meaning
    then the courts must infer the incorporation of this common law meaning unless the language of the Constitution compels a different meaning.” [G]uided by the principle that where words are employed in a statute which had at the time a well-known meaning at common law or in the law of this country they are presumed to have been used in that sense unless the context compels to the contrary.” Standard Oil Co. of NJ v. United Sates, 221 US 1, 59 (1911); Neder v. United States, 527 US 1, 21 (1999) (It is a well-established rule of construction that “` [w]here Congress uses terms that have accumulated settled meaning under . . . the common law, a court must infer, unless the statute otherwise dictates, that Congress means to incorporate the established meaning of these terms.’) (internal citations omitted)

    Furthermore, if words were created not by positive law but rather by judicially created concept then any interpretation of those words other than their common law meaning must be specific and clear. “The normal rule of statutory construction is that if Congress intends for legislation to change the interpretation of a judicially created concept, it makes that intent specific.” Stillians v. Iowa, 843 F.2d 276, 280 (8th Cir.1988) (quoting Midlantic Nat’l Bank v. New Jersey Dep’t of Envtl. Protection, 474 U.S. 494, 106 S.Ct. 755, 88 L.Ed.2d 859 (1986)). Thus, it is proper to consider that Congress acts with knowledge of existing law, and that “absent a clear manifestation of contrary intent, a newly-enacted or revised statute is presumed to be harmonious with existing law and its judicial construction.” Johnson v. First Nat’l Bank of Montevideo, 719 F.2d 270, 277 (8th Cir.1983), cert. denied, 465 U.S. 1012, 104 S.Ct. 1015, 79 L.Ed.2d 245 (1984). Estate of Wood v. CIR, 909 F. 2d 1155,1160 (8th Cir. 1990)

    In other words, If drafters of the Constitution used words in the Constitution that have a common law meaning then it is PRESUMED that drafters intended common law application of the words UNLESS there is language in the Constitution that intended a contrary interpretation of the words.

    As such, the term natural born citizen is a derivation of the term natural born subject that was a judicially created concept as articulated by Blackstone in his Commentaries of the Laws of England (1765) then UNLESS the founding fathers intended a different meaning other than the common law rule meaning of natural born citizen it was the responsibility of drafters to incorporate this different meaning.

    The failure of the drafters to indicate a different meaning other than the common law meaning of natural born citizen in the Constitution demonstrated that the drafters intended to incorporate the established common law meaning of natural born citizen.

  11. avatar
    Rickey September 15, 2014 at 8:47 pm #

    Lupin:
    I noticed that on Page 10 of the Plaintiff’s request is the same old canard that Vattel defined a natural born citizen as one born on two citizen parents.

    By now all of us here know that this is simply not true, a transparent made-up lie that is easily debunked by anyone with some knowledge of French.

    And it is worth repeating that the “two-citizen parents requirement” has never been taught in the United States – not in elementary school, not in high school, not in college, not in law school.

  12. avatar
    Dave September 15, 2014 at 9:11 pm #

    This caused me to go reread the Constitution on how electors are chosen, and I really don’t see much in the way of restrictions on how states choose the electors. I am surprised to be saying this, but if a state imposed restrictions on who could run, what would happen? Depending on the restriction, there could be a specific challenge (e.g. if a state barred black candidates), but I don’t see where there’s a basis for a general challenge.

    Dr. Conspiracy:
    To my knowledge the Supreme Court has never ruled on the question, raised in this case, of whether a state can determine whether someone is or is not eligible to run for President. Various judges, in dicta, suggest that they cannot, but states have a lot of power when it comes to the conduct of elections. I really don’t know how that might come down if it were ever heard by SCOTUS.

  13. avatar
    Joey September 15, 2014 at 9:31 pm #

    In recent history, Roger Calero has been the Socialist Workers Party candidate for President. Calero was born in Nicaragua.

    “In 2004, Róger Calero was the SWP candidate for President of the United States and received 3,689 votes,] with Arrin Hawkins running for Vice President. Because he is not a natural born citizen of the United States, Calero is ineligible to become U.S. president under the United States Constitution, meaning that even had he won the election, he would not have been permitted to serve, and so James Harris, the Socialist Workers’ Party presidential candidate from 2000, stood in on the ticket in nine states where Calero COULD NOT BE LISTED, receiving 7,102 additional votes.

    Calero ran representing the SWP in the 2008 presidential election, together with Alyson Kennedy for vice-president. Again, James Harris stood in for Calero in several states.In the 2008 presidential election, Calero was on the ballot in five states, where he received 7,209 votes. Coupled with the 2,424 votes received in the five states where Harris was on the ballot.”–Wikipedia

  14. avatar
    Dave September 15, 2014 at 9:46 pm #

    I’d like to point out that a state saying a candidate cannot be on the ballot is one thing, but a state saying that votes for a candidate don’t count is another.

    It is certainly the case that states can make rules about who can be on the ballot. Not completely arbitrary rules, but they unquestionably can make such rules, and they do.

    I don’t know of any case of a state making rules under which votes for certain candidates just plain won’t be counted. But the point of the comment I made a little up the thread is, that I believe states could make such rules.

  15. avatar
    Joey September 15, 2014 at 9:59 pm #

    In a state that does not permit persons who aren’t natural born citizens to appear on the ballot AND also don’t allow write in candidates, there would be no ballots to count.

    The states that do not allow Presidential Write In Ballots: Arkansas, Hawaii, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nevada, Oklahoma, South Dakota.

  16. avatar
    Lupin September 16, 2014 at 4:01 am #

    Atticus Finch: The problem with Vattelians in their argument that the term Natural Born Citizen is founded on Roman or Civil Law instead of English Common Law is that their argument demonstrate their ignorance that the Constitution provisions were framed in the language of the English Common Law and their argument ignore the historical development of Anglo-American jurisprudence that is rooted in the English Common Law.

    The source problem with Vattelians is that Vattel quite explicitly wrote the opposite of what they’re arguing.

    If they could present, say, cases from, say, France, Switzerland of Germany, supporting their thesis, then your cogent argument would come into play and undoubtedly prevail.

    But they can’t. There’s no evidence whatsoever backing their interpretation.

  17. avatar
    Keith September 16, 2014 at 4:14 am #

    Dave:
    This caused me to go reread the Constitution on how electors are chosen, and I really don’t see much in the way of restrictions on how states choose the electors. I am surprised to be saying this, but if a state imposed restrictions on who could run, what would happen? Depending on the restriction, there could be a specific challenge (e.g. if a state barred black candidates), but I don’t see where there’s a basis for a general challenge.

    The state cannot put restrictions on Presidential candidates that are not in the Constitution.

    Electors are not Presidential candidates. Any restriction put on elector choice does not apply to the Presidential candidate.

  18. avatar
    The Magic M (not logged in) September 16, 2014 at 4:44 am #

    Atticus Finch: The problem with Vattelians in their argument that the term Natural Born Citizen is founded on Roman or Civil Law instead of English Common Law

    They have no problem claiming the US did explicitly *not* want to inherit anything from the ebil British while simultaneously promoting British loudmouths claiming the US don’t have a legitimate government (Monckton, Shrimpton).

    How ironic that the birthers support the very people they claim the Founders were trying to keep from sabotaging the US. Pretty much like the climate change deniers who advocate the “let’s poison the world for our children and grandchildren” company party line. Like sheep cheering for the butcher’s cause.

  19. avatar
    Atticus Finch September 16, 2014 at 6:14 am #

    It was Blackstone’s influence and not Vattel’s influence that was the source of the natural born citizen term in the Constitution.

    Blackstone wrote in his Commentaries the following:

    The first and most obvious division of the people is into aliens and natural-born subjects. Natural-born subjects are such as are born within the dominions of the crown of England, that is, within the ligeance, or as it is generally called, the allegiance of the king; and aliens, such as are born out of it. (Commentaries of the Laws of England (1765)

    Blackstone further noted the difference between Civil Law and Common Law regarding children born of aliens in England:

    The children of aliens, born here in England, are, generally speaking, natural-born subjects, and entitled to all the privileges of such. In which the constitution of France differs from ours; for there, by their jus albinatus, if a child be born of foreign parents, it is an alien. Id.

    As such, Blackstone recognized and affirmed Chief Justice Lord Coke’s opinion in Calvin’s Case in 1608 that children born of aliens within the dominions of England were natural born subjects.

    The natural born citizen language in the Constitution is derived from its English Common Law counterpart natural born subject. This idea is based on courts understanding that the term citizen is analogous with term subject. “The term `citizen,’ as understood in our law, is precisely analogous to the term `subject’ in the common law, and the change of phrase has entirely resulted from the change of government.”). Rather, the terms are meant to encompass persons living under distinct forms of government: “A monarchy has subjects; a republic has citizens.” Matimak Trading Co. v. Khalily, 118 F. 3d 76 , 85 (2nd Cir. 1997)

    The court in Smith v. Alabama, 124 U. S. 465, 478 (1888) stated in clear and concise language the common law’s influence in the Constitution:
    “The interpretation of the Constitution of the United States is necessarily influenced by the fact that its provisions are framed in the language of the English common law, and are to be read in the light of its history.”

    Vattel’s “Law of Nations” in which Vattel described the Civil Law’s concept of citizenship that only natural born citizens are born to citizens of a country; nevertheless, Vattel himself acknowledged the difference between CIVIL LAW and English COMMON LAW regarding natural born citizenship when he wrote in Law of Nations: “Finally, there are countries, such as England, in which the mere fact of birth within the country naturalizes the children of an alien.”

    The Constitution does not defined Natural Born Citizen. As such, when language in a statute does not define a common law term, courts are “guided by the principle that where words are employed in a statute which had at the time a well-known meaning at common law or in the law of this country they are presumed to have been used in that sense unless the context compels to the contrary.” Standard Oil Co. of NJ v. United Sates, 221 US 1, 59 (1911)

    That at the time of the drafting of the Constitution Blackstone’s Commentaries including his definition of natural born subjects was available to the founding fathers. Justice Stone observed: “It is noteworthy that Blackstone’s Commentaries, more read in America before the Revolution than any other law book.” CJ Hendry Co. v. Moore, 318 US 133 , 151-152 (1943) . Similarly, the court in United States v. Green, 140 F. Supp. 117, 120 (SD NY 1956) noted: “ Blackstone, whose Commentaries probably did much to influence the thinking of American lawyers at and before the time of the framing of the Federal Constitution.”

    In addition the court in Reid v. Covert 354 U.S. 1 (1957) stated “that two of the greatest English jurists, Lord Chief Justice Hale and Sir William Blackstone—men who exerted considerable influence on the Founders” id at 26.

    Moreover, “As with many other elements of the common law, it was carried into the jurisprudence of this Country through the medium of Blackstone, who codified the doctrine in his Commentaries. Benton v. Maryland, 395 US 784 795 (1969)

    In United States v. Wong Kim Ark, 169 US 649, (1898), the United States Supreme Court noted the jus soli English common law rule of Calvin’s Case, and observed:

    “It thus clearly appears that by the law of England for the last three centuries, beginning before the settlement of this country, and continuing to the present day, aliens, while residing in the dominions possessed by the crown of England, were within the allegiance, the obedience, the faith or loyalty, the protection, the power, and the jurisdiction of the English sovereign; and therefore EVERY CHILD BORN IN ENGLAND OF ALIEN PARENTS WAS A NATURAL BORN SUBJECT, unless the child of an ambassador or other diplomatic agent of a foreign state, or of an alien enemy in hostile occupation of the place where the child was born.

    The SAME RULE WAS IN FORCE in all the English colonies upon this continent down to the time of the Declaration of Independence, and IN THE UNITED STATES AFTERWARDS, and continued to prevail under the constitution as originally established.” Id. at 654-55 (emphasis added)

    Moreover, Chief Justice Fuller who wrote the dissent in Wong Kim Ark acknowledged that under the majority’s holding that Wong Kim Ark as a NATURAL BORN CITIZEN could run for the office of the President when he observed:
    Considering the circumstances surrounding the framing of the Constitution, I submit that it is unreasonable to conclude that “natural-born citizen” applied to everybody born within the geographical tract known as the United States, irrespective of circumstances; and that the children of foreigners, happening to be born to them while passing through the country, whether of royal parentage or not, or whether of the Mongolian, Malay or other race, WERE ELIGIBLE TO THE PRESIDENCY, while children of our citizens, born abroad, were not.” United States v. Wong Kim Ark,169, U.S. 649, 715 (1898) (C.J. Fuller, dissenting)(emphasis added)

    As such, even the DISSENT in Wong Kim Ark acknowledged that the majority’s holding would allow Wong Kim Ark to be eligible to the presidency.

    Finally, the court in Briehl v. Dulles, 248 F.2d 561 (DC Cir. 1957) noted that: “Professor Crosskey refers to the [Blackstone’s] Commentaries as “that great `best-seller’ of the eighteenth century” and points out that some of the members of the Constitutional Convention were on the subscription list of the original American edition in 1772. Politics and the Constitution, Vol. 1, p. 411, and Vol. 2, p. 1326, n. 3 (1953). Id. at fn 88

    As such, it is inconceivable for the framers of the Constitution to “import” a foreign idea of citizenship based on the bloodline of fathers and not based on the Jus Soli doctrine as enunciated by Lord Coke in Calvin’s Case and reaffirmed by Blackstone in his Commentaries whose books were required readings by lawyers in colonial America

  20. avatar
    Keith September 16, 2014 at 6:56 am #

    Atticus Finch: It was Blackstone’s influence and not Vattel’s influence that was the source of the natural born citizen term in the Constitution.

    Blackstone wrote…

    You know, I think I’m overdue rereading Tequila Mockingbird.

  21. avatar
    Lupin September 16, 2014 at 8:25 am #

    Atticus Finch: As such, it is inconceivable for the framers of the Constitution to “import” a foreign idea of citizenship based on the bloodline of fathers and not based on the Jus Soli doctrine as enunciated by Lord Coke in Calvin’s Case

    One of the problems with the faux-Vattelist birthers is that they’re not even arguing that very point, which at least would be historically accurate — even though it was later changed in every country to put the mothers on equal footing with the fathers.

    No, they’re arguing the “two citizen parents” which Vattel never claimed.

    Theirs is a nonsensical argument that could only be construed by non-French speakers.

  22. avatar
    Lupin September 16, 2014 at 8:27 am #

    The Magic M (not logged in): They have no problem claiming the US did explicitly *not* want to inherit anything from the ebil British while simultaneously promoting British loudmouths claiming the US don’t have a legitimate government (Monckton, Shrimpton).

    As often mentioned in the past, their brains are in a state of perpetual cognitive dissonance, the most obvious example being Obama himself, both a Machiavellian mastermind and a complete nincompoop.

  23. avatar
    Lupin September 16, 2014 at 8:30 am #

    Atticus Finch: Vattel’s “Law of Nations” in which Vattel described the Civil Law’s concept of citizenship that only natural born citizens are born to citizens of a country; nevertheless, Vattel himself acknowledged the difference between CIVIL LAW and English COMMON LAW regarding natural born citizenship when he wrote in Law of Nations: “Finally, there are countries, such as England, in which the mere fact of birth within the country naturalizes the children of an alien.”

    As an aside, I have challenged “Meretricious” Mario (Apuzzo) several times here in the past to find ONE quote, ONE case, ONE piece of evidence from a proper Vattelian source, be it French or German (and as you can surmise there are tons of books on the topic) that supports his odd (mis)interpretation.

    He could never find any — because there are none.

  24. avatar
    Atticus Finch September 16, 2014 at 10:57 am #

    Apuzzo has a novel legal theory in which he believes that there exists a third type of citizenship he referred to as “naturalized at birth citizen”. This type of citizenship is different from those who are natural born citizens and those who are naturalized citizens. These “naturalized at birth” citizens are those who are born in the United States but whose parents are not United States Citizens. It is his theory that these “naturalized at birth” citizens were created by the 14th Amendment and as such can never be considered natural born citizens even though they are born in the United States. Apuzzo contends that prior to the ratification of the 14th Amendment that children born in the United States of non-citizen parents were they themselves aliens.

    The problem with Apuzzo’s “naturalized at birth citizen” is that the courts have never recognized this third type of citizenship. On the contrary, the courts have always recognized two types of citizenships, native/natural born citizens and naturalized citizens. “There are only two types of citizens: those who are native born and those who are naturalized.” Schaufus v. Attorney General of United States 45 F.Supp. 61,66 (D. MD 1942); “There are only two classes of citizens of the United States, native-born citizens and naturalized citizens; and a citizen who did not acquire that status by birth in the United States is a naturalized citizen.” Zimmer v. Acheson, 191 F. 2d 209, 211 (10th Cir. 1951)

    Moreover, courts prior to the ratification of the 14th Amendment in 1868 had recognized that there is no legal distinction between those persons born in the United States to those born to citizen parents and non-citizen parents.

    In 1844, a judge in New York noted that a child born in New York of aliens parents during their temporary sojourn in that city, returned with them the same year to their native country, and always resided there afterwards. He held that she was a citizen of the United States by noting:

    “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. The position would be decisive in his favor, that by the rule of the common law, in force when the Constitution was adopted, he is a citizen. Court of Chancery, State of New York, Lynch v. Clarke, 1 Sand. Ch. 583, 656 (1844) (emphasis added)

    Justice Curtis in his dissent in the Dred Scott decision observed: “The first section of the second article of the Constitution uses the language, “a natural-born citizen.” It thus assumes that citizenship may be acquired by birth. Undoubtedly, this language of the Constitution was used in reference to that principle of public law, well understood in this country at the time of the adoption of the Constitution, which referred citizenship to the place of birth.” Dred Scott v. Sandford, 60 US 393 576 (1857) (Curtis, J., dissenting)

    In 1858, a court in New York reaffirmed the citizenship status of those born of non-citizen parents “It is further contended, on the part of the defendant, that the plaintiff himself is an alien. He was born in Ballston Spa, in this state, while his father was a resident of Canada, and returned to his father’s domicil, with his mother, within a year after his birth. . . . In Lynch v. Clarke, (1 Sand. Ch. R. 583,) the question was precisely as here, whether a child born in the city of New York of alien parents, during their temporary sojourn there, was a native born citizen or an alien; and the conclusion was, that being born within the dominion and allegiance of the United States, he was a NATIVE BORN CITIZEN, whatever was the situation of the parents at the time of the birth. That case, if law, would seem to be decisive of the present question.” Munro v. Merchant, 26 Barb. (N.Y.) 383. 400-401, (1858)
    In the debates to pass the Civil Rights Act of 1866, Senators noted that children born in the United States to non-naturalized parents (i.e. foreign nationals) were citizens of the United States.

    During the congressional debates of the drafting of the Civil Rights Act of 1866 the following language was discussed:

    “That all persons born in the United States and not subject to any foreign power, excluding Indians not taxed, are hereby declared to be citizens of the United States;”

    In these debates various Senators and Congressmen observed that United States citizenship was based on being born in the United States and not on the status of the father’s citizenship.

    Below is an exchange between Senator Cowan and Senator Trumbull on January 30, 1866:

    Senator Cowan: I will ask whether it [Civil Rights Act of 1866] will not have the effect of naturalizing children of Chinese and Gypsies born in this Country?
    Senator Trumbull: Undoubtedly

    Senator Trumbull later stated: “I understand that under naturalization laws children who are born here of parents who have not been naturalized are citizens. That is the law, as I understand it at the present time.” Cong. Globe, 39th Cong., 1st Sess. 498 (January 30, 1866)

    On February 1, 1866, Senator Morrill made the following comment:

    “As a matter of law, does anyone deny here or anywhere that a native born is a citizen, and a citizen by virtue of his birth alone?” Later the same day he remarked “There has been no time since the foundation of the government when an American Congress could by possibly have enacted such a law, or with propriety have made such a declaration. What is this declaration? All persons born in this country are citizens.” Cong. Globe, 39th Cong., 1st Sess. 570 (February 1, 1866)

    The executive departments of our government have repeatedly affirmed that children born of foreign parents are citizens.

    Mr. Marcy, Secretary of State, in 1854, in an instruction to Mr. Mason, United States Minister to France, said: “In reply to the inquiry which is made by you, . . . whether ‘the children of foreign parents born in the United States, but brought to the country to which the father is a subject, and continuing to reside within the jurisdiction of their fathers country, are entitled to protection as citizens of the United States,’ I have to observe that it is presumed that, according to the common law, any person born in the United States, unless he be born in one of the foreign legations therein, may be considered a citizen thereof until he formally renounces his citizenship.” Mr. Marcy to Mr. Mason, June 6, 1854, MSS. Inst. France.

    Attorney General Black, in 1859, held that “a free white person born in this country of foreign parents is a citizen of the United States.” 9 Ops. Atty. Gen. 373.

    Attorney General Bates, in 1862, held that a child born in the United States of alien parents who have never been naturalized is, by the fact of birth, a native-born citizen of the United States, entitled to all the rights and privileges of citizenship. 10 Ops. Atty. Gen. 382.

    Noted legal scholar, William Rawle, wrote in 1829:

    “The citizens of each state constituted the citizens of the United States when the Constitution was adopted. The rights which appertained to them as citizens of those respective commonwealths, accompanied them in the formation of the great, compound commonwealth which ensued. They became citizens of the latter, without ceasing to be citizens of the former, and he who was subsequently born a citizen of a state, became at the moment of his birth a citizen of the United States. Therefore every person born within the United States, its territories or districts, whether the parents are citizens or aliens, is a natural born citizen in the sense of the Constitution, and entitled to all the rights and privileges appertaining to that capacity. William Rawle, A view of the Constitution of the United States (2nd ed. 1829) page 86

    As such, Apuzzo’s theory that children born in the United States prior to 14th Amendment to alien parents were considered aliens was not supported by case law, executive orders and legal scholars

  25. avatar
    Atticus Finch September 16, 2014 at 11:08 am #

    Apuzzo believed that our citizenship laws are based on law of nations when he wrote: “There is little doubt that citizenship properly falls under the law of nations and not under the rules of municipal law. Citizenship has always been recognized as a topic that affects United States relations with other nations.”

    The problem with Apuzzo’s theory is that he is wrong. Courts have long recognized that the laws of citizenship in the United States has always been considered within the providence of municipal law and not international law.

    “[E]ach government had a right to decide for itself who should be admitted or deemed citizens.” Inglis v. Trustees of Sailor’s Snug Harbour in City of New York, 28 US 99, 162 (1830)

    “Citizenship depends, however, entirely on municipal law and is not regulated by international law. Tomasicchio v. Acheson, 98 F. Supp. 166 , 169 (DC 1951)

    Our concept of citizenship was inherited from England and, accordingly, was based on the principle that rights conferred by naturalization were subject to the conditions reserved in the grant. See Calvin’s Case, 7 Co. Rep. 1 a, 77 Eng. Rep. 377 (1608). Schneider v. Rusk, 377 US 163, 170 (1964)

    “Nor can it be doubted that it is the inherent right of every independent nation to determine for itself, and according to its own constitution and laws, what classes of persons shall be entitled to its citizenship.” Ruggiero v. Compania Peruana De Vapores “Inca Capac Yupanqui”, 639 F.2d 872, 875 (2d Cir.1981)

    “Citizenship is established by the laws of each individual country. Those laws are generally classified into two types: jus soli, in which citizenship is based on the place of birth, and jus sanguinis, in which citizenship is based on the citizenship of one (or both) parents.” Wauchope v. US Dept. of State, 756 F. Supp. 1277, 1283 (N.D. Cal 1991), affirmed , Wauchope v. US Dept. of State, 985 F. 2d 1407 (9th Cir. 1993)

    “It is an inherent right in each independent nation to determine for itself, and in accordance with its own laws, what persons may become its citizens and upon what terms. Naturalization is effected therefore, only in accordance with the municipal law of the country to which the foreign born person goes; that is, it is not dependent, in any way, upon the laws of the applicant’s former country.” “Aliens under Federal Laws of the United States, 3 Illinois Law Review 494 (1908)

    As such, Apuzzo’s argument that our citizenship laws are governed by law of nations has no support in our case law.

  26. avatar
    Atticus Finch September 16, 2014 at 11:24 am #

    Klayman in his Petition baldly asserted: The Court has not addressed the issue of “natural born citizen” since Minor v. Happersett, 88 U.S. 162, 167 (1875),
    where this Court defined “natural born citizen” as one born in the United States with U.S. citizen parents.

    Why are the birthers so enamoured with Minor v. Happersett case when the issue in the case was whether a woman who was a citizen of the United States had a right to vote under the privilege clause of the 14th Amendment?

    The Minor v. Happersett, 88 U.S. 162(1875) case that the birthers
    believed to be the “be all and end all” of case law in defining who is a natural born citizen misconstrued Chief Justice Waite’s language reference to natural born citizens. The birthers assumed that Chief Justice Waite’s opinion about natural born citizens was germane or crucial to the case. However, this assumption is misplaced since the status of Ms. Minor’s citizenship had nothing to do with her seeking the right to vote under the 14th Amendment.

    In fact, Chief Justice Waite noted that Ms. Minor “ has always been a citizen from her birth, and entitled to all the privileges and immunities of citizenship.” Id at 170. Moreover, Chief Justice Waite made no reference as to the citizenship status of Minor’s parents.

    Therefore, Chief Justice Waite’s gratuitous comment about “natural born citizenship” had absolutely nothing to do with the decision of the court. In fact, he himself remarked “[f]or the purposes of this case it is not necessary to solve these doubts [children born without reference to citizenship of their parents].” Id at 168.

    In other words, even Chief Justice Waite himself admitted that for the purposes of deciding whether or not Ms. Minor had the right to vote as a citizen under the 14th Amendment that he didn’t need to solve these doubts as to the status of children born to parents other than citizen parents.

    Twenty-three years later, in the Wong Kim Ark case, Justice Gray made a passing reference to the Minor case when he observed:

    Minor v. Happersett (1874), 21 Wall. 162, 166-168. The decision in that case was that a woman born of citizen parents within the United States was a citizen of the United States, although not entitled to vote, the right to the elective franchise not being essential to citizenship.” United States v. Wong Kim Ark, 169 U.S. 64, 680 (1898)

    It is noted that Justice Gray mentioned that Minor being “born of citizen parents within the United States was a CITIZEN” not a NATURAL BORN CITZEN.

    That is why Chief Justice Waite’ language regarding natural born citizen is dicta because it was not necessary in determining that citizen women did not have the right to vote under the 14th Amendment.

  27. avatar
    Jim September 16, 2014 at 11:35 am #

    Atticus Finch:
    Why are the birthers so enamoured with Minor v. Happersett case when the issue in the case was whether a woman who was a citizen of the United States had a right to vote under the privilege clause of the 14th Amendment?

    And, of course, they want to ignore part of Minor that explicitly states…

    “Additions might always be made to the citizenship of the United States in two ways: first, by birth, and second, by naturalization. This is apparent from the Constitution itself, for it provides6 that ‘no person except a natural-born citizen, or a citizen of the United States at the time of the adoption of the Constitution, shall be eligible to the office of President,’7 and that Congress shall have power ‘to establish a uniform rule of naturalization.’ Thus new citizens may be born or they may be created by naturalization.”

    Spells it right out for them. 😀

  28. avatar
    Lupin September 16, 2014 at 11:48 am #

    By his own admission, Apuzzo bases his “novel legal theory” on Vattel’s writings. The #1 problem with it is that he purposefully misuses said writings.

  29. avatar
    Rickey September 16, 2014 at 2:02 pm #

    Keith: The state cannot put restrictions on Presidential candidates that are not in the Constitution.

    Agreed. From the SCOTUS decision in U.S. Term Limits Inc. v. Thornton:

    …the Constitution prohibits States from imposing congressional qualifications additional to those specifically enumerated in its text. Petitioners’ argument that States possess control over qualifications as part of the original powers reserved to them by the Tenth Amendment is rejected for two reasons. First, the power to add qualifications is not within the States’ pre-Tenth-Amendment “original powers,” but is a new right arising from the Constitution itself, and thus is not reserved. Second, even if the States possessed some original power in this area, it must be concluded that the Framers intended the Constitution to be the exclusive source of qualifications for Members of Congress, and that the Framers thereby “divested” States of any power to add qualifications.

    The same reasoning would apply to the President.

  30. avatar
    Northland10 September 16, 2014 at 9:02 pm #

    Lupin: The source problem with Vattelians is that Vattel quite explicitly wrote the opposite of what they’re arguing.

    If they could present, say, cases from, say, France, Switzerland of Germany, supporting their thesis, then your cogent argument would come into play and undoubtedly prevail.

    But they can’t. There’s no evidence whatsoever backing their interpretation.

    But, they’ve been claiming that is what they were taught in school and it’s in all the old textbooks. They will show them, any day now.

  31. avatar
    Andrew Vrba, PmG September 17, 2014 at 1:05 am #

    Lupin: Vattelians

    Sounds like a show that Gerry Anderson would have made.
    Vattelians! In Supermarionation!

  32. avatar
    Lupin September 17, 2014 at 2:58 am #

    Andrew Vrba, PmG: Sounds like a show that Gerry Anderson would have made.
    Vattelians! In Supermarionation!

    They walk among us — sadly, all too easily detected.

  33. avatar
    John Reilly September 17, 2014 at 3:12 am #

    Lupin:
    By his own admission, Apuzzo bases his “novel legal theory” on Vattel’s writings. The #1 problem with it is that he purposefully misuses said writings.

    I prefer to correctly quote Vattel where he says that in England, they do things differently than Mr. Vattel might otherwise like. Like if you are born in England, you are English. And while my people threw off the yoke of the English kings nearly 100 years ago, we follow English legal customs, not Swiss, in Ireland. And Indiana, the home of the Ankeny case. Don’t get me wrong. I like the Swiss. I just don’t have to follow all of their customs. And Mr. Apuzzo and his like no more quote Vattel about what the English do than they include the entire passage from the Minor case.

    I’ve noted here previously that the English do not have any rules about who your parents are, to be prime minister. After all, Churchill’s Mother was American. And English kings need not be born in England. Think of George 1. He did not speak English. English kings and queens simply need to be the next in line as a Protestant (yes, none of my people) descendant of Sophia, the electress of Hanover. There is a list of about 5750 eligible people (no, John Goodman is not on the list) and a fair number of them are decidedly not English.

    In fact, Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, is about no. 685 on the list, was born in Greece, was a Prince of Denmark and Greece, and is a naturalized English citizen. He is a convert to the Anglican Church from his Greek Orthodox heritage.

    That is where we, as Americans, derive our legal system and customs, and Vattel correctly reported that the English did it that way. Why Mr. Apuzzo can’t get that right is a mystery.

  34. avatar
    The Magic M (not logged in) September 17, 2014 at 4:35 am #

    John Reilly: In fact, Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, is about no. 685 on the list, was born in Greece, was a Prince of Denmark and Greece, and is a naturalized English citizen.

    The King of Sweden is #283 on the list (as of 2011 according to Wikipedia). Could you imagine the outrage if the Canadian Prime Minister was #283 on the US Presidential succession list?

  35. avatar
    Lupin September 17, 2014 at 5:48 am #

    From Gerbil Report, posted by one “ramboike”:

    · 5 minutes ago
    ALERT !!!! ALERT !!!

    A major campaign of disinformation is presently in progress at Dr Con’s propaganda blog.

    The French socialist Lupin along with fellow traveling comrades are peddling mass distortions on Emer de Vattle [sic], his book The Law of Nations, Natural Born Citizen, English Common Law, and American Colonial Law.

    http://www.birtherreport.com/2014/09/reality-check-dem-senator-removed-for.html#IDComment877543056

    On the plus side, our modest efforts are being labelled “a major campaign”.

  36. avatar
    Notorial Dissent September 17, 2014 at 9:06 am #

    John Reilly: That is where we, as Americans, derive our legal system and customs, and Vattel correctly reported that the English did it that way. Why Mr. Apuzzo can’t get that right is a mystery.

    It isn’t that he CAN”T get it right, it is that he doesn’t want to get it right since then it blows his cockamamie theory all to pieces. His ego and illusory fame are tied up with his “novel” theory, for which he has NO real basis.

  37. avatar
    John Reilly September 17, 2014 at 9:18 am #

    Wait a minute. Just wait a minute.

    Lupin is a socialist? Worse than that, a French socialist?

    Well, that resolves the debate. Perhaps they can get M. Le Pen to tell us what Vattel really meant.

  38. avatar
    Lupin September 17, 2014 at 10:19 am #

    John Reilly:
    Wait a minute.Just wait a minute.

    Lupin is a socialist?Worse than that, a French socialist?

    Well, that resolves the debate.Perhaps they can get M. Le Pen to tell us what Vattel really meant.

    My family is/was quite a political cauldron.

    On my father’s side, a long military tradition, hawkish to the right of General de Gaulle who didn’t endear himself to the French Military by jettisoning French Algeria.

    On my mother’s side, Corsican workers who moved to the “Continent” (as they call it) to work at the Toulon Arsenal (a small step up from Jean Valjean’s) and like all the workers were massively co opted by the French Communist Party in the late 30s and remained devout communists until the early 70s when cracks began to appear.

    That made for some fun family dinners.

    Frequenting US blogs, I found much to my surprise that being a Keynesian today is — in the ignorant right-wing circles — being considered a socialist; but then they still consider FDR a socialist.

    In Europe, of course, “socialism” is really social-democracy which has at various times been in power not just in France, bur also in Germany, Sweden, England, Italy, Spain and virtually all other countries. The label is therefore somewhat diluted.

  39. avatar
    Dave B. September 17, 2014 at 10:42 am #

    Calero’s not a citizen at all, is he?

    Joey:
    In recent history, Roger Calero has been the Socialist Workers Party candidate for President. Calero was born in Nicaragua.

    “In 2004, Róger Calero was the SWP candidate for President of the United States and received 3,689 votes,] with Arrin Hawkins running for Vice President. Because he is not a natural born citizen of the United States, Calero is ineligible to become U.S. president under the United States Constitution, meaning that even had he won the election, he would not have been permitted to serve, and so James Harris, the Socialist Workers’ Party presidential candidate from 2000, stood in on the ticket in nine states where Calero COULD NOT BE LISTED, receiving 7,102 additional votes.

    Calero ran representing the SWP in the 2008 presidential election, together with Alyson Kennedy for vice-president. Again, James Harris stood in for Calero in several states.In the 2008 presidential election, Calero was on the ballot in five states, where he received 7,209 votes. Coupled with the 2,424 votes received in the five states where Harris was on the ballot.”–Wikipedia

  40. avatar
    Dave B. September 17, 2014 at 10:53 am #

    In all fairness, Jill Pryor has her own “naturalized born approach,” recognizing “those made citizens at birth by naturalization statutes, or treaties”– like George Romney, John McCain and Ted Cruz– as natural born citizens. She’s so nice to those Republicans, and see what it got her?

    Atticus Finch: Apuzzo has a novel legal theory in which he believes that there exists a third type of citizenship he referred to as “naturalized at birth citizen”. This type of citizenship is different from those who are natural born citizens and those who are naturalized citizens. These “naturalized at birth” citizens are those who are born in the United States but whose parents are not United States Citizens. It is his theory that these “naturalized at birth” citizens were created by the 14th Amendment and as such can never be considered natural born citizens even though they are born in the United States. Apuzzo contends that prior to the ratification of the 14th Amendment that children born in the United States of non-citizen parents were they themselves aliens.

  41. avatar
    The Magic M (not logged in) September 17, 2014 at 10:53 am #

    Lupin (quoting birfer “ramboike”): ALERT !!!! ALERT !!!

    A major campaign of disinformation is presently in progress

    And the internet started yesterday and ramboike once fell asleep and 5 minutes later blacks suddenly had civil rights. ZOMG!

    Quoting German group Rosenstolz (a big icon in the LGBT community):

    Bin doch gestern erst gebor’n
    Und seit kurzem kann ich gehen
    Hab mein Gleichgewicht verlor’n
    Doch kann trotzdem grade stehen

    (“I was born yesterday // And just learned how to walk // Lost my balance // But am still able to stand up straight”)

  42. avatar
    Dave B. September 17, 2014 at 11:00 am #

    Okay, it’s time to clear up one thing that has plagued me from the very beginning, and I figure M. Lupin is eminently qualified to pass definitive judgment here. Is it “Vattel” like cattle, or “Vattel” like Mattel?

    John Reilly: Lupin is a socialist? Worse than that, a French socialist?

  43. avatar
    The Magic M (not logged in) September 17, 2014 at 11:37 am #

    My guess is “fut’tell” (stress on second syllable). Though the name sounds like it may have originated from a non-French ancestry (German pronunciation would be “futtl”).

  44. avatar
    Lupin September 17, 2014 at 11:55 am #

    Dave B.:
    Okay, it’s time to clear up one thing that has plagued me from the very beginning, and I figure M. Lupin is eminently qualified to pass definitive judgment here. Is it “Vattel” like cattle, or “Vattel” like Mattel?

    Like Mattel or Vittel, the mineral water.

  45. avatar
    Dave B. September 17, 2014 at 11:58 am #

    You’re a champ, and I knew you’d come through. I hadn’t wanted to presume about it. See, that’s just how we are.

    Lupin: Like Mattel or Vittel, the mineral water.

  46. avatar
    Notorial Dissent September 17, 2014 at 11:59 pm #

    With deepest apologies to M. Lupin, it is appalling true that most Americans have exactly no idea of what goes on in Europe except for the stereotypic pictures in their head, if those. Thus the French are all rude drunk socialist communists depending on which version you were brought up with. Since I am quite convinced that the educational level shared at Gerbil Report™ is even lower their opinions will of necessity be even less connected to reality, as they prove time after time after time. It also doesn’t help that the typical American idea of what socialism and a social democratic gov’t is, is shall we say more fantasy than reality. The “S” word was used as such a scare tactic for, I don’t know what 20 years, that a whole generation has completely stopped thinking about what it means and simply react, which is also something certain aspects of the political parties count on. As a historical/hysterical point, FDR was considered by the then GOP, and still by a large segment of society as a socialist, in their opinion it was bad enough he was a popular Democrat, but he just had to be a socialist as well since he wasn’t lining their pockets.

  47. avatar
    Andrew Vrba, PmG September 18, 2014 at 1:19 am #

    Notorial Dissent: With deepest apologies to M. Lupin, it is appalling true that most Americans have exactly no idea of what goes on in Europe except for the stereotypic pictures in their head, if those.

    Not true. I saw a true-to-life documentary called Little Britain, narrated by Tom Baker. 😉

  48. avatar
    Lupin September 18, 2014 at 2:44 am #

    Andrew Vrba, PmG: Not true. I saw a true-to-life documentary called Little Britain, narrated by Tom Baker.

    There are a lot of French movies available on NETFLIX or HULU that present (within reason) a reasonable view of what France was/is like.

    But since watching them would involve reading subtitles, my guess is that they are hopelessly beyond the intellectual abilities of the Gerbil Report tm members.

  49. avatar
    Lupin September 18, 2014 at 2:45 am #

    PS: If you can get a copy of the BBC TV series adaption of Peter Mayle’s A YEAR IN PROVENCE with John Thaw, I recommend it mightily. It is also very close to my daily life.

  50. avatar
    Notorial Dissent September 18, 2014 at 4:01 am #

    Lupin: There are a lot of French movies available on NETFLIX or HULU that present (within reason) a reasonable view of what France was/is like.

    But since watching them would involve reading subtitles, my guess is that they are hopelessly beyond the intellectual abilities of the Gerbil Report tm members.

    Not to mention it’s furrin, which automatically means it’s bad. So I wouldn’t expect any of those to be on the list watch list of the gerbilites.

    Note to Lupin, I watched and thoroughly enjoyed A YEAR IN PROVENCE, I thought it was delightful. I thought it was one of the best portrayals of both sides of the equation I have ever seen.

  51. avatar
    Lupin September 18, 2014 at 4:47 am #

    Notorial Dissent: Note to Lupin, I watched and thoroughly enjoyed A YEAR IN PROVENCE, I thought it was delightful. I thought it was one of the best portrayals of both sides of the equation I have ever seen.

    I could not agree more. I loved the book, but I think I prefer the TV version even more. It is one of my all-time favorite shows, which I have rewatched many times.

    I may be somewhat prejudiced because in many respects, our life is comparable to that of the Mayles: colorful villagers, unreliable artisans, the two dogs, the old house, the walks in the countryside, etc. And where Mayle ended up being asked to be the village Santa, this year they asked me to be on the Town Council.

  52. avatar
    The European September 18, 2014 at 7:17 am #

    The Magic M (not logged in): The King of Sweden is #283 on the list (as of 2011 according to Wikipedia). Could you imagine the outrage if the Canadian Prime Minister was #283 on the US Presidential succession list?

    The Kings of Sweden from the House of Bernadotte have as their forefather Jean-Baptiste Bernadotte – a man from a “middle class” family, who made his career in the French Army starting at age 17 as a soldier in the Royal Army and who was General in the Revolutionary army at age 34.

    A funny fact: he had a tattoo an his arm saying : “Mort Aux Tyrannes”.

  53. avatar
    The Magic M (not logged in) September 18, 2014 at 7:24 am #

    Notorial Dissent: Not to mention it’s furrin, which automatically means it’s bad.

    Is that why birtherism is built upon a theory from a book by a Swiss, proffered by a former Moldovan and another lawyer of Italian descent, supported by two Brits (including a Lord), spread in an online rag by a publisher of Syrian descent with reference to anecdotical statements by sources from Kenya, bolstered by an “investigation” led by a car salesman of Italian descent under a sheriff of Italian descent supported by a journalist of Italian descent, supported by another online rag by a publisher of Canadian or French descent?

  54. avatar
    The European September 18, 2014 at 7:27 am #

    Lupin: I could not agree more. I loved the book, but I think I prefer the TV version even more. It is one of my all-time favorite shows, which I have rewatched many times.

    I may be somewhat prejudiced because in many respects, our life is comparable to that of the Mayles: colorful villagers, unreliable artisans, the two dogs, the old house, the walks in the countryside, etc. And where Mayle ended up being asked to be the village Santa, this year they asked me to be on the Town Council.

    For me the funniest thing in the books (do not know the videos – yet) is the culture shock that Mayle suffers. Masons and plumbers, who go home or to a restaurant at 12:00 and return at 14:00 – every day.

    Sadly things have changed a lot during the last 20 years and are still changing not to the good side. Even wealthy people used to drive small cars. Now even the not so wealthy drive BMWs – with borrowed money. And eat at McDo’s.

  55. avatar
    The Magic M (not logged in) September 18, 2014 at 7:29 am #

    Notorial Dissent: it is appalling true that most Americans have exactly no idea of what goes on in Europe except for the stereotypic pictures in their head, if those. Thus the French are all rude drunk socialist communists depending on which version you were brought up with.

    I don’t own a single piece of Lederhosen, rarely drink beer (and when I do, not at the Oktoberfest) and despise both Communism and Nazism (with my country having suffered under both).
    Yet birthers like to believe I’m a socialist simply because we’ve had several social-democratic governments (the last one under Schröder having been probably the best ever when it comes to planning for the future instead of just doing what pleases everyone today).

  56. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy September 18, 2014 at 9:19 am #

    Heh. I turn on subtitles watching Dr. Who.

    Lupin: But since watching them would involve reading subtitles, my guess is that they are hopelessly beyond the intellectual abilities of the Gerbil Report tm members.

  57. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy September 18, 2014 at 9:23 am #

    I know how tightly they pack folks into public transportation in Germany and Russia (if that counts). Time to plug Rick Steve’s book, “Travel as a Political Act.”

    Notorial Dissent: With deepest apologies to M. Lupin, it is appalling true that most Americans have exactly no idea of what goes on in Europe except for the stereotypic pictures in their head, if those.

  58. avatar
    Lupin September 18, 2014 at 11:33 am #

    Dr. Conspiracy:
    Heh. I turn on subtitles watching Dr. Who.

    Yes but you CAN read them. Can they?

  59. avatar
    Lupin September 18, 2014 at 11:35 am #

    The Magic M (not logged in): Is that why birtherism is built upon a theory from a book by a Swiss, proffered by a former Moldovan and another lawyer of Italian descent, supported by two Brits (including a Lord), spread in an online rag by a publisher of Syrian descent with reference to anecdotical statements by sources from Kenya, bolstered by an “investigation” led by a car salesman of Italian descent under a sheriff of Italian descent supported by a journalist of Italian descent, supported by another online rag by a publisher of Canadian or French descent?

    When you put it that way, it’s downright scary.

  60. avatar
    Andrew Vrba, PmG September 18, 2014 at 12:06 pm #

    Dr. Conspiracy:
    Heh. I turn on subtitles watching Dr. Who.

    Me too. Someone once asked me if I’m hard of hearing, and I answered “No, I have small children.” But don’t let the other Whovians see that you abbreviated the word Doctor. They’ll have some words with you about that. 😉

  61. avatar
    Crustacean September 18, 2014 at 2:04 pm #

    What, the Reinheitsgebot’s not good enough for you, M? 🙂

    As a fan of the zymurgical arts, there’s a part of me that would love to experience Oktoberfest. But the part of me that doesn’t like being in large crowds of drunken people can relate to your sentiment.

    Your “rarely drink beer” comment made me think of those Dos Equis (“stay thirsty”) advertisements:

    The layers of his PDFs have layers.
    English is his fourth language, but he speaks it more eloquently than any birther.
    The Scorpions hold up lighters when he sings in the shower.
    He is… the most interesting M in the world…

    The Magic M (not logged in): I don’t own a single piece of Lederhosen, rarely drink beer (and when I do, not at the Oktoberfest)

  62. avatar
    Notorial Dissent September 18, 2014 at 4:50 pm #

    The Magic M (not logged in): Is that why birtherism is built upon a theory from a book by a Swiss, proffered by a former Moldovan and another lawyer of Italian descent, supported by two Brits (including a Lord), spread in an online rag by a publisher of Syrian descent with reference to anecdotical statements by sources from Kenya, bolstered by an “investigation” led by a car salesman of Italian descent under a sheriff of Italian descent supported by a journalist of Italian descent, supported by another online rag by a publisher of Canadian or French descent?

    It’s called hypocrisy, something birferdom is/was built on. Besides they’re our furriners and not furrin furriners. They give Vattel a pass since they think he agrees with them and bolsters their position, at least the ones who’ve ever actually heard of him, they’ll turn on him in a second when they figure out he doesn’t support their nonsense. I also understand about the German stereotype as I was jsut watching a local commercial that had all the high points.

  63. avatar
    The European September 19, 2014 at 1:25 am #

    Crustacean:
    What, the Reinheitsgebot’s not good enough for you, M?

    As a fan of the zymurgical arts, there’s a part of me that would love to experience Oktoberfest.But the part of me that doesn’t like being in large crowds of drunken people can relate to your sentiment.

    Your “rarely drink beer” comment made me think of those Dos Equis (“stay thirsty”) advertisements:

    The layers of his PDFs have layers.
    English is his fourth language, but he speaks it more eloquently than any birther.
    The Scorpions hold up lighters when he sings in the shower.
    He is… the most interesting M in the world…

    I have to confess: I will visit this year – first time – the Oktoberfest. I will report.

  64. avatar
    The Magic M (not logged in) September 19, 2014 at 5:11 am #

    Dr. Conspiracy: I know how tightly they pack folks into public transportation in Germany

    Not nearly as extreme as in Japan. In fact I can’t remember when I last rode a public train that was anywhere near “packed”.

    Crustacean: What, the Reinheitsgebot’s not good enough for you, M?

    There’s only two kinds of beer I like – Heineken and wheat beer. While the latter is served at the Oktoberfest, I prefer to stay away from large packs of overly drunk people when I can.

    Crustacean: English is his fourth language, but he speaks it more eloquently than any birther.
    The Scorpions hold up lighters when he sings in the shower.

    Good one, except English is my second language. 😉 My third is French but I wouldn’t hold up in a conversation with Lupin since I lack the practice. I also understand Dutch and Italian and a bit of Spanish but can’t speak either fluently.

    Notorial Dissent: I also understand about the German stereotype as I was jsut watching a local commercial that had all the high points.

    I still remember my encounter with a pretty Venezuelan girl in Rome back in ’89 who was surprised Germans have strange hard-to-pronounce names like “Jürgen” or “Joachim”. To her we were all “Fritzy-Franz and Klausi-Hans”. 😉

  65. avatar
    Keith September 19, 2014 at 6:28 am #

    The Magic M (not logged in): Dr. Conspiracy: I know how tightly they pack folks into public transportation in Germany

    Not nearly as extreme as in Japan. In fact I can’t remember when I last rode a public train that was anywhere near “packed”.

    Melbourne is not far behind. The council is pissed off that we’re not number 1 in everything.

  66. avatar
    Keith September 19, 2014 at 6:32 am #

    The Magic M (not logged in): There’s only two kinds of beer I like – Heineken and wheat beer. While the latter is served at the Oktoberfest, I prefer to stay away from large packs of overly drunk people when I can.

    Speaking of Dos Equis and Wheat Beer – Dos Equis Obscura (Dark, that is) is my favorite beer in the world. Pity you can’t get it in Australia (they only import Amber) and I haven’t tasted it for 30 years.

    The Magic M (not logged in): I still remember my encounter with a pretty Venezuelan girl in Rome back in ’89 who was surprised Germans have strange hard-to-pronounce names like “Jürgen” or “Joachim”. To her we were all “Fritzy-Franz and Klausi-Hans”.

    My best friend in Tucson was named Jürgen. He claimed to be one of the last folk out of East Berlin before they shut the gate.

  67. avatar
    Crustacean September 19, 2014 at 1:29 pm #

    The Magic M (not logged in): There’s only two kinds of beer I like – Heineken and wheat beer

    “Heineken?? F— that s—!! Pabst Blue Ribbon!!” ~Frank Booth

    Since the Reinheitsgebot only allows for three ingredients in beer – water, barley, and hops – wheat beer was verboten. Yeast isn’t even mentioned because that purity law is from the 15th century, long before Louis Pasteur came along.

    Nowadays, the beer law in Germany says you can use not only wheat, but also (gasp!) cane sugar. Though not a fan of wheat beer, I’m willing to look the other way. But cane sugar? Might as well throw in some corn syrup while you’re at it. That’s what they use to make PBR, the perfect beer for a degenerate like Frank Booth.

  68. avatar
    Rickey September 28, 2014 at 12:18 am #

    The Voeltz SCOTUS petition has been distributed for conference on October 10.

    No. 14-145
    Title:
    In Re Michael Voeltz, Petitioner
    v.
    Docketed: August 11, 2014

    ~~~Date~~~ ~~~~~~~Proceedings and Orders~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Aug 7 2014 Petition for a writ of mandamus filed. (Response due September 10, 2014)
    Sep 9 2014 Waiver of right of respondent Kenneth W. Detzner to respond filed.
    Sep 10 2014 Brief of respondent Barack Obama in opposition filed.
    Sep 12 2014 Waiver of right of respondent Florida Election Canvassing Comission to respond filed.
    Sep 24 2014 DISTRIBUTED for Conference of October 10, 2014.

  69. avatar
    The Magic M (not logged in) September 29, 2014 at 5:56 am #

    Crustacean: That’s what they use to make PBR, the perfect beer for a degenerate like Frank Booth.

    I like to call it the Portable Brain Remover. 😉