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Donofrio’s early views on “natural born citizen”

I’m not breaking any new ground here because I am sure others have noticed this before me; however, I think it should be mentioned because those people who believe that only persons born in the United States to two US citizen parents claim that this view is not novel.

A commenter at Birther Report named “BornTexas” said recently that objections to Obama’s eligibility based on his non-citizen father were made before Barack Obama was nominated as the Democratic Party’s candidate in 2008.

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I challenged that assertion, and now 4 weeks later there has still been no response.1 It certainly seems that if there were any widespread belief in the two-citizen-parent theory, that someone would have raised the objection the moment Obama announced as a candidate.

In my reply to BornTexas, I noted that Leo C. Donofrio had written on his blog, NaturalBornCitizen, about the two-citizen-parent theory in December of 2008, the month the blog started.

When Donofrio wrote of it on December 19, 2008, he talked about Minor v. Happersett, and said that the Court “punted the issue.” Donofrio wrote:

For the purposes of Minor and Wong Kim Ark, the Supreme Court didn’t need to reach the “natural born citizen” issue as neither person was running for President, so they rightfully punted by limiting their holdings to the issue of  whether each person was a “citizen”….

Those “doubts” mentioned in Minor needed to be discussed and adjudicated by the current supreme court.

Shortly after, as we know, Donofrio was to assert that the Minor decision definitively defined natural born citizen, and even developed a conspiracy theory surrounding the first US President with a non-citizen father, Chester A. Arthur.

By the time that Donofrio v. Wells reached the Supreme Court, Donofrio included in his brief:

That being said, petitioner regretfully submits that since candidate Obama was born to a Kenyan father, he also is not eligible to the office of President since he is not a “natural born citizen” by the Constitution.

By March of 2009, Donofrio had incorporated his argument from Vattel’s work, titled in English, The Law of Nations. Donofrio wrote:

Yesterday, I had a revelation as to what Vattel meant and what the framers intended “natural born citizen” to mean in the Constitution.  It’s obvious that the framers drew a distinction between the meaning of “citizen” and the meaning of “natural born citizen”.  A “citizen” can be Senator or Representative, but in order to be President one must be a natural born citizen. …

When Vattel wrote this in 1758, he wasn’t arguing for its inclusion in a future US Constitution as a qualification for being President.  But the framers did read his work.  And when it came to choosing the President, they wanted a “natural-born citizen”, not just a citizen.  That is clear in the Constitution.  Vattel doesn’t say that “natives or natural-born citizens” have any special legal rights over “citizens”.  He simply described a phenomenon of nature, that the citizenship of those who are born on the soil to citizen parents (plural) is a “natural-born citizen”.

Donofrio’s argument had further evolved by January 2012 to include a religious twist that rejects an English Common Law source for the term “natural born citizen.” In an amicus brief in the Farrar et al. cases in Georgia, he wrote:

Additionally, the English common law term, “natural-born subject”, being a uniquely spiritual designation, was only granted to members of the Christian faith, and cannot govern the definition of “natural born Citizen”, because such a construction would be repugnant to the 1st Amendment of the United States Constitution.

So we can see an evolution in Donofrio’s view2, but what were his views prior to December 2008?

I had forgotten that Donofrio’s “Natural Born Citizen” WordPress blog, was not his first. Previously he had a blog at blogtext.org under the same title. It is comprised of 15 entries starting on November 10, 2008 through December 1, around the day that the WordPress blog was installed.. It picks up after the denial of his case by the New Jersey Supreme Court and the distribution of his application for a stay of the national election at the US Supreme Court.

Interestingly, we can see the “two citizen parent” phrase in his November 3 Supreme Court brief, which he quotes from on November 29, 2008. He wrote:

Appellant respectfully submits to this Honorable Court, once again,  that had the legislature intended to grant "natural born citizen"  status to all who were born on US soil, then the 14th Amendment  would contain the words "natural born citizen", but it doesn’t.

And so this proposition leads to the logical conclusion that a natural born citizen is a citizen born in the United States to parents,  neither of which is an alien.  Having an alien parent would tie such  person at birth to the possibility of other loyalties and laws.  And such  a person, even if he be as loyal and devoted to this country as Senators  Obama and McCain have proven to be, is not eligible to hold the  office of President of the United States.

On November 12, Donofrio was responding to an article by Jeff Schreiber of the America’s Right blog disagreeing with Donofrio’s November 3 Supreme Court brief. That discussion focuses on the term “jurisdiction” in the 14th Amendment as in:

… The "anchor babies" issue deals with whether those children are "citizens", not whether they are"natural born citizens" eligible to hold the office of President of the United States.  They are not eligible since, at birth, they are also subject to the jurisdiction of the countries their parents were citizens of.

We can glimpse even earlier views from court documents he filed in the New Jersey state briefs for Donofrio v. Wells. The documents in that case became unavailable when Donofrio took down his site and I don’t think they came back when he restored the site. I was unable to find them at one time and thought they might be lost. Fortunately for us, Loren Collins saved one of the documents and published it at Scribd. The document is an emergency application for relief to the New Jersey Supreme Court dated October 27, 2008, just over a month before he started his blog. Donofrio was trying to force New Jersey Secretary of State Nina Wells to make a determination of Obama’s eligibility, and also that of John McCain.

There is a section where Donofrio states his objections to the two candidates. First McCain (underlines replace italics in the original):

Republican candidate John McCain was born in Panama and is therefore not a natural born citizen. There is a long body of statutory and case law which establishes his ineligibility, but for the purposes of this fact sheet I would ask his Honor to review the Naturalization Act of 1790 which was the only Congressional act to confer the status of natural born citizen on anyone born abroad. … However, the Naturalization Act of 1795 specifically repealed the act of 1790 and replaced it with virtually the same act as that of 1790, except the words natural born citizen were deleted and have never been replaced by Congress. …

After making that ineligibility argument, Donofrio moves to Barack Obama, saying:

As to Democrat candidate Barack Obama, a whole other set of factual issues have been raised regarding whether he is a natural born citizen. I believe there are at least 8 cases pending in State and Federal Courts on just this issue requesting that Candidate Obama produce a valid birth certificate and/or other evidence to establish whether he is a natural born citizen.

Citizens of New Jersey have been asked to provide their birth certificates for many different Government agencies, so I do not believe it’s too much to ask for SOS Wells to request Obama to provide his original birth certificate and whatever other evidence might be necessary to establish with certainty his eligibility to hold the highest office in the land. Such a request would not be a burden on either SOS Wells or Candidate Obama.

There’s not a word about Obama’s father. Donofrio apparently hadn’t invented his two-citizen-parent theory yet.


1It would be very difficult for BornTexas to come up with a link to commentary at Birther Report about Obama’s ineligibility prior to his nomination, since Birther Report / Obama Release Your Records content only goes back to 2011, and the domains weren’t even registered until 2010.

2But not in his placement of punctuation marks outside quotation marks.

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79 Responses to Donofrio’s early views on “natural born citizen”

  1. avatar
    Bernard Sussman January 17, 2015 at 1:49 am #

    The requirement of both parents being US citizens never existed. Chester A. Arthur, the 21st President (a Republican), was born to a British father.

    In fact, the requirement of EITHER parent being a US citizen never existed. In 1916, the Republicans nominated for president Charles Evans Hughes, both of whose parents were British. Nobody in the Republican Party saw that as an impediment, certainly not the Chief Justice of the US (the same Charles Evans Hughes).

    Alright, so, looking at pictures of Arthur and Hughes, what, besides being Republican, make them any different from Barack Obama? Take your time.

  2. avatar
    Joey January 17, 2015 at 2:36 am #

    Thomas Jefferson’s mother was English.
    Both of Andrew Jackson’s parents were Irish.
    James Buchanan’s parents were Ulster-Scots (Scotch-Irish from Northern Ireland.
    Chester A. Arthur’s father was Irish.
    Woodrow Wilson’s mother was English.
    Herbert Hoover’s mother was Canadian.

  3. avatar
    Dave B. January 17, 2015 at 2:38 am #

    It really cracks me up when I see the Parakeet referred to as “brilliant.”

  4. avatar
    interestedbystander January 17, 2015 at 3:09 am #

    When will the mental midgets at GR realise it’s an epic fail to challenge Doc on “facts”?

  5. avatar
    Lupin January 17, 2015 at 4:00 am #

    I gather that the first mention of Vattel by Donofrio in connection with the birther cause came in March 2009. I found this link:

    https://citizenwells.wordpress.com/2009/03/19/natural-born-citizen-leo-donofrio-vattel-obama-not-natural-born-citizen-ron-paul-citizen-wells-us-constitution-founding-fathers-marbury-vs-madison-citizens-natives-natural-born-citizen-vide/

    This of course the first (AFAIK) purposeful mistranslation/misrepresentation of what Vattel wrote.

    Amusingly it’s somewhat hesitant, as in trying to convince the writer as well as the reader, as evidenced by the : “some might try to claim this means that, but that is false” and “the more I read this… the more I become convinced that…” approach. Even Donofrio realizes he is overreaching.

    In effect, the Vattel misinterpretation has not yet coalesced into the doctrinaire fact that we see later in the writings of Apuzzo and others. It’s actually fascinating to see Donofrio grope with constructing a falsehood.

    (I don’t think I need to deconstruct his lies here for the umpteenth time?)

    To the extent that this was still being hailed as “gospel” by the woefully ignorant Sharon Rondeau as recently as a few days ago on GERBIL REPORT tm — even though no one anywhere has ever come up with such a balderdash interpretation — is one more nugget of proof that birthers are totally impervious to facts.

  6. avatar
    john January 17, 2015 at 7:28 am #

    I think I can easily answer this question Doc. Donofrio submitted his brief on October 27, 2008. I seriously doubt that his brief was completed on October 27, 2008 only that it was submitted on this date. It means that Donofrio was researching and obviously could not produce his legal application instantly. This was about 1 month after Obama publically confessed on Fight The Smears website the following:
    “When Barack Obama Jr. was born on Aug. 4,1961, in Honolulu, Kenya was a British colony, still part of the United Kingdom’s dwindling empire. As a Kenyan native, Barack Obama Sr. was a British subject whose citizenship status was governed by The British Nationality Act of 1948. That same act governed the status of Obama Sr.‘s children.

    I assume that it took a while for Donofrio to do all his legal research regarding this before publically and legally advocating it as a good lawyer should do.

    Early on the lack of a valid birth certificate took precedence before the legal analysis of the NBC definition was done by birthers such as Donofrio.

  7. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy January 17, 2015 at 8:31 am #

    This is an important discovery that I have now included in the article.

    Lupin: I gather that the first mention of Vattel by Donofrio in connection with the birther cause came in March 2009. I found this link:

  8. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy January 17, 2015 at 8:35 am #

    Barack Obama’s parentage was discussed in his widely-read book, Dreams from My Father. That book was out for over a decade. If as the birthers claim, the two-citizen-parent requirement was widely known, then certainly a lawyer like Donofrio would have known it, and it would have been included in his argument–after all, a similar argument was made about McCain.

    Donofrio didn’t cite the case law he said existed in that document, so the lack of time for research would seem no excuse for not raising the issue.

    john: This was about 1 month after Obama publically confessed on Fight The Smears website the following:
    “When Barack Obama Jr. was born on Aug. 4,1961, in Honolulu, Kenya was a British colony, still part of the United Kingdom’s dwindling empire.

  9. avatar
    john January 17, 2015 at 8:38 am #

    Apparently, Donofrio has been doing a lot of legal research into the NBC definition as indicated on his Blog. He was one of the pioneers. Before the 2009, the lack of birth certificate and the evidence of a Kenyan birth (as emphasized heavely in Phil Berg’s lawsuit) essentially became presense as it was not necessary to weigh to the NBC definition because Obama wasn’t even born in this country and his mother was too young and his father was a Kenyan Citizen. After Phil Berg’s suit was dismissed and after Obama made his legal confession on Fight the Smears, the NBC definition was really looked at. Hense, pioneers like Leo Donofrio were born.

  10. avatar
    john January 17, 2015 at 8:44 am #

    Dr. Conspiracy:
    Barack Obama’s parentage was discussed in his widely-read book, Dreams from My Father. That book was out for over a decade. If as the birthers claim, the two-citizen-parent requirement was widely known, then certainly a lawyer like Donofrio would have known it, and it would have been included in his argument–after all, a similar argument was made about McCain.

    Donofrio didn’t cite the case law he said existed in that document, so the lack of time for research would seem no excuse for not raising the issue.

    People knew Obama’s Father was from Kenya but did not necessirly know that he was NOT a US citizen and never became one. The Fight the Smear website confession seemed to have corrected this oversight. Bear in mind, it has taken some time to research other candidate’s parents for US citizenship like Rubio or Jindal before pubically announcing they are ineligible as well because the parents were not US citizens at the time of the birth.

  11. avatar
    Paper January 17, 2015 at 9:01 am #

    So…I’m not sure about *before* Donofrio’s 2008 case, but it seems pretty clear to me that in that case his argument is about President Obama’s father. I have found a few references to that point, which I’ll document in a moment. But jumping right to a clear and definitive reference, here is a comment by Jonathan Turley (December 4, 2008), to a letter from Donofrio about the case, about how his (Donofrio’s) case is not being reported on correctly:

    http://jonathanturley.org/2008/12/04/eligibility-questions-can-clinton-serve-obama-and-can-obama-serve-the-country/#comment-30141

    First line from Donofrio’s letter to Turley:

    “My law suit challenges his status as a ‘natural born citizen’ based upon the fact that his Father was a British citizen/subject.”

  12. avatar
    Paper January 17, 2015 at 9:08 am #

    The full passage from Donofrio in Turley’s blog reads:

    — My law suit challenges his status as a “natural born citizen” based upon the fact that his Father was a British citizen/subject. Mr. Obama admits, at his own web site, that he was a British citizen/subject at birth. He was also a US citizen “at birth”. He does not have dual nationality now, but the Constitution is concerned with the candidate’s status “at birth”, hence the word “born” in the requirement. . . . I have repeatedly said, over and again, that I believe Obama was born in Hawaii. I have criticized everyone who has said Mr. Obama is not a citizen. I believe he is a “native born citizen”, but not a “natural born citizen”. The law suit is based upon what distinction the framers drew between the requirement for a Senator and Representative, which only requires “Citizen” status as opposed to the requirements for President, which requires “natural born Citizen” status. —

  13. avatar
    Paper January 17, 2015 at 9:17 am #

    From the archives, here is Donofrio talking about how in his view the Supreme Court got it wrong/punted.

    In this post from December 19, 2008, Donofrio mentions the Law of Nations, providing a link to the Chitty edition of Vattel.

    http://web.archive.org/web/20081220125514/http://naturalborncitizen.wordpress.com/

  14. avatar
    Paper January 17, 2015 at 9:21 am #

    from that archived post (had trouble editing my post to paste this in):

    Donofrio:

    Look at that, you have Justice Gray citing the court in Minor who are themselves citing the “Laws of Nations” definition (they didn’t directly cite that treatise but the definition used is taken therefrom) of natural born citizen = person born in US to “citizen parents” = nbc .

  15. avatar
    Reality Check January 17, 2015 at 9:33 am #

    The fact has been pointed out before that Mario Apuzzo didn’t even to cite Minor in his 84 page second amended complaint in Kerchner v Obamaeven though he cited 20 other cases. Of course he failed to cite Wong Kim Ark too. He barely mentioned the two parent citizen theory. The first time he even mentioned Minor was in his reply to the opposition brief in the district court when the case was before Judge Simandle. When I called Apuzzo on this he claimed that complaints are not where attorneys cite cases. Of course that statement is belied by his own complaint in Kerchner.

    I believe the two parent citizen theory was cooked up by Donofrio and others when it became clear that it was an indisputable fact that Barack Obama was born in Hawaii.

  16. avatar
    Paper January 17, 2015 at 9:37 am #

    Scrolling further down that page, to another post by Donofrio titled “NATURAL BORN CITIZEN”: DEFINED BY 14TH AMENDMENT FRAMERS AND IN TREATISE RELIED ON BY SCALIA, we find Donofrio quoting his filings to the Supreme Court.

    Donofrio:

    And in my stay application [the link Donofrio provides here leads to a download site with apparently no document to download any longer] I never accused either man of disloyalty. Quite the opposite. Had any of these morose media maniacs actually read the papers I filed with the United States Supreme Court (before election day), this is what they would have found as to Barack Obama:

    As regarding the issues surrounding Senator Obama’s birth certificate, and if it may please this Honorable Court, I would point out that Senator Obama has not been presented with a genuine legal request from a party with proper standing to command him in any way, and therefore he has no legal responsibility to submit or to bend his integrity. And for that, he certainly deserves respect.

    Appellant believes that if Senator Obama is presented with a legal request from a government authority sanctioned to make such request, that Senator Obama will respond accordingly and put this issue behind him forever.

    That being said, petitioner regretfully submits that since candidate Obama was born to a Kenyan father, he also is not eligible to the office of President since he is not a “natural born citizen” by the Constitution.

    boldface my emphasis

  17. avatar
    Dave B. January 17, 2015 at 10:04 am #

    And he didn’t even MENTION it? You nuts have been claiming “everybody knew” this was what a natural born citizen was, and it’s what you’d learned at your mama’s knee. What does being a “good lawyer” have to do with Leo Donofrio?

    john:
    I think I can easily answer this question Doc.Donofriosubmitted his brief on October 27, 2008.I seriously doubt that his brief was completed on October 27, 2008 only that it was submitted on this date.It means that Donofrio was researching and obviously could not produce his legal application instantly.This was about 1 month after Obama publically confessed on Fight The Smears website the following:“When Barack Obama Jr. was born on Aug. 4,1961, in Honolulu, Kenya was a British colony, still part of the United Kingdom’s dwindling empire. As a Kenyan native, Barack Obama Sr. was a British subject whose citizenship status was governed by The British Nationality Act of 1948. That same act governed the status of Obama Sr.‘s children.

    I assume that it took a while for Donofrio to do all his legal research regarding this before publically and legally advocating it as a good lawyer should do.

    Early on the lack of a valid birth certificate took precedence before the legal analysis of the NBC definition was done by birthers such as Donofrio.

  18. avatar
    Paper January 17, 2015 at 10:08 am #

    Here is a link to the archived original version of the Donofrio post that Lupin references by way of Citizen Wells. It is the original source without all the Citizen Wells verbiage.

    The Archive says it was saved 22 times between March 22, 2009 and January 26, 2013. This is the link for the March 22 version. The January 26 version is the “not found” notice currently listed for that page outside the archives.

    http://web.archive.org/web/20090322205505/http://naturalborncitizen.wordpress.com/2009/03/18/two-minute-warning-vattel-decoded/

  19. avatar
    Andrew Vrba, PmG January 17, 2015 at 10:12 am #

    john: Hense, pioneers like Leo Donofrio were born.

    Says the prat who doesn’t get simple math.

  20. avatar
    Paper January 17, 2015 at 10:18 am #

    In the link that Lupin provided to the Citizen Wells page re Donofrio, there is a subsequent link labeled “Natural born citizenship explained” which leads to a December 28, 2008 post by Citizen Wells that involves a discussion of Vattel.

    https://citizenwells.wordpress.com/2008/12/28/natural-born-citizen-obama-is-not-eligible-obama-birth-certificate-us-constitution-founding-fathers-intent-lawsuits-obama-kenyan-vattel’s-the-law-of-nations-john-jay-berg-donofrio-k/

    Scrolling down that Citizen Wells page, we arrive at–

    Leo Donofrio explains the basis for his lawsuit:

    “The Framers distinguished between “natural born Citizens” and all other
    “Citizens”. And that’s why it’s important to note the 14th Amendment
    only confers the title of “Citizen”, not “natural born Citizen”. The
    Framers were Citizens, but they weren’t natural born Citizens. They
    put the stigma of not being natural born Citizens on themselves in the
    Constitution and they are the ones who wrote the Document.”

    “The chosen wording of the Framers here makes it clear that they had drawn
    a distinction between themselves – persons born subject to British
    jurisdiction – and “natural born citizens” who would not be born subject
    to British jurisdiction or any other jurisdiction other than the United
    States. And so the Framers grandfathered themselves into the Constitution
    as being eligible to be President. But the grandfather clause only
    pertains to any person who was a Citizen… at the time of the Adoption of
    this Constitution.”

    “It should be obvious that the Framers intended to deny the Presidency to
    anybody who was a British subject “at birth”. If this had not been their
    intention, then they would not have needed to include a grandfather clause
    which allowed the Framers themselves to be President.”

  21. avatar
    Smirk 4 Food January 17, 2015 at 11:23 am #

    Joey:
    Thomas Jefferson’s mother was English.
    Both of Andrew Jackson’s parents were Irish.
    James Buchanan’s parents were Ulster-Scots (Scotch-Irish from Northern Ireland.
    Chester A. Arthur’s father was Irish.
    Woodrow Wilson’s mother was English.
    Herbert Hoover’s mother was Canadian.

    Jefferson and Jackson are irrelevant to this, as they were born prior to the adoption of the Constitution in 1787.

    In fact, Martin Van Buren was the first President born in the U.S (but still prior to adoption to the Constitution). All prior presidents (and Van Buren’s successor, William Henry Harrison) were born British subjects.

    The first President born to citizens born in the U.S. (That is, after 1776) was Lincoln.

  22. avatar
    John January 17, 2015 at 12:34 pm #

    donofrio was the pioneer to the legal meaning of Nbc. Before that although Birthers knew was nbc meant they didn’t necessarily understand the legal meaning behind it.

  23. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy January 17, 2015 at 12:56 pm #

    Can you provide any citations prior to Donofrio where someone said Obama was ineligible because of his father’s nationality?

  24. avatar
    John January 17, 2015 at 1:02 pm #

    Not that I recall. That’s why I consider Leo to be a pioneer into the legal meaning and understanding of nbc

  25. avatar
    Rickey January 17, 2015 at 1:05 pm #

    Let’s not forget the birthers who claimed that they were taught the “two-citizen parent requirement” in school, but when asked to provide evidence of this – a textbook or even a curriculum – they utterly failed.

    As I have mentioned before, I have a copy of a right-wing home schooling textbook called “The Making of America: The Substance and Meaning of the Constitution” by W. Cleon Skousen. Skousen was the founder of the conservative think tank National Center for Constitutional Studies.

    In his textbook Skousen writes that “native born citizen” and “natural born citizen” are one and the same. All American children were taught in school that with few exceptions anyone born in the United States can grow up to be president.

    Incidentally, when I posted the information about Skousen’s textbook at Gerbil Report I was immediately banned.

    Let’s also recall that Jerome Corsi, with a PhD in political science from Harvard, wrote and published “The Obama Nation” in 2008 and nowhere in the book does he allege that Obama was ineligible, even though Corsi knew that Obama’s father was a citizen of Kenya.

  26. avatar
    Dr. Kenneth Noisewater January 17, 2015 at 1:12 pm #

    john: I assume that it took a while for Donofrio to do all his legal research regarding this before publically and legally advocating it as a good lawyer should do.

    Early on the lack of a valid birth certificate took precedence before the legal analysis of the NBC definition was done by birthers such as Donofrio.

    Lack of a valid birth certificate? He had already shown his official birth certificate by then. Donofrio came up with the 2 citizen parent theory since they couldn’t beat the birth certificate.

  27. avatar
    Dr. Kenneth Noisewater January 17, 2015 at 1:13 pm #

    john: Before the 2009, the lack of birth certificate and the evidence of a Kenyan birth (as emphasized heavely in Phil Berg’s lawsuit) essentially became presense as it was not necessary to weigh to the NBC definition because Obama wasn’t even born in this country and his mother was too young and his father was a Kenyan Citizen. After Phil Berg’s suit was dismissed and after Obama made his legal confession on Fight the Smears, the NBC definition was really looked at. Hense, pioneers like Leo Donofrio were born.

    You’re lying again by this time the valid short form birth certificate that Hawaii uses was already public. There was no evidence of a kenyan birth in berg’s lawsuit.

  28. avatar
    Rickey January 17, 2015 at 1:14 pm #

    John:
    donofrio was the pioneer to the legal meaning of Nbc.Before that although Birthers knew was nbc meant they didn’t necessarily understand the legal meaning behind it.

    Jerome Corsi has a PhD in political science from Harvard. Corsi knew that Obama’s father was a citizen of Kenya when he wrote “The Obama Nation.” How did Corsi miss the “fact” that the father’s citizenship made Obama ineligible to be President?

    Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia: I’m just referring to the meaning of natural born within the Constitution. I don’t think you’re disagreeing. It requires jus soli, doesn’t it?

    Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor: All of our Presidents have, to date, been born in the 50 states. Notably, President Obama was born in the state of Hawaii, and so is clearly a natural born citizen.

  29. avatar
    Dr. Kenneth Noisewater January 17, 2015 at 1:16 pm #

    John:
    Not that I recall.That’s why I consider Leo to be a pioneer into the legal meaning and understanding of nbc

    Correction: Pioneer in the false meaning of Natural born citizen.

  30. avatar
    Joey January 17, 2015 at 1:34 pm #

    John:
    Not that I recall.That’s why I consider Leo to be a pioneer into the legal meaning and understanding of nbc

    That pioneering understanding of a legal theory has been consistently rejected by the Courts. For example: Purpura & Moran v Obama: New Jersey Administrative Law Judge Jeff S. Masin: “No court, federal, state or administrative, has accepted the challengers’ position that Mr. Obama is not a “natural born Citizen” due to the acknowledged fact that his father was born in Kenya and was a British citizen by virtue of the then applicable British Nationality Act. Nor has the fact that Obama had, or may have had, dual citizenship at the time of his birth and thereafter been held to deny him the status of natural born. It is unnecessary to reinvent the wheel here. … The petitioners’ legal position on this issue, however well intentioned, has no merit in law. Thus, accepting for the point of this issue that Mr. Obama was born in Hawaii, he is a ‘natural born Citizen’ regardless of the status of his father.” April 10, 2012
    http://www.scribd.com/doc/88936737/2012-04-10-NJ-Purpura-Moran-v-Obama-Initial-Decision-of-ALJ-Masin-Apuzzo

  31. avatar
    Dave B. January 17, 2015 at 1:36 pm #

    Yeah, they “knew” it meant “not the black guy.”

    John:
    donofrio was the pioneer to the legal meaning of Nbc.Before that although Birthers knew was nbc meant they didn’t necessarily understand the legal meaning behind it.

  32. avatar
    John January 17, 2015 at 1:43 pm #

    I don’t want to plow that field that Colb didn’t show hospital or the doc. Bergs lawsuit did contain the granny and also the loss of citizenship due to Indonesian adoption.

  33. avatar
    gorefan January 17, 2015 at 2:01 pm #

    John:
    I don’t want to plow that field that Colb didn’t show hospital or the doc.Bergs lawsuit did contain the granny and also the loss of citizenship due to Indonesian adoption.

    Romney’s didn’t list a hospital neither does Cruz’s.

    Berg also included the non-existent travel ban to Pakistan, the incorrect claim that only Indonesian citizens can go public schools.

  34. avatar
    Rickey January 17, 2015 at 2:42 pm #

    John:
    I don’t want to plow that field that Colb didn’t show hospital or the doc.Bergs lawsuit did contain the granny and also the loss of citizenship due to Indonesian adoption.

    My New York State birth certificate doesn’t show a hospital or the name of a doctor. Yet it was good enough to get me my Social Security Number, a driver’s license, enlist in the U.S. Navy (where I received a Top Secret security clearance), register to vote, and get a U.S Passport.

    And U.S. law is quite clear that Obama could not possibly have lost his citizenship even if he had been adopted in Indonesia (or anywhere else, for that matter).

  35. avatar
    Andrew Vrba, PmG January 17, 2015 at 3:07 pm #

    John is damned determined to be on the wrong side of history. I say we just let him.

  36. avatar
    Paper January 17, 2015 at 5:24 pm #

    I just finished plowing through all of Citizen Wells’s posts for 2008 on his blog. It makes for an interesting timeline of sorts. June 10, 2008 is the big inflection point on his blog. At that point, the question is about Obama being born in Kenya. Commenting on his June 10 post, Citizen Wells adds on June 12: “I have seen no proof that Obama was born in Hawaii and some sources indicate he was born in Kenya.”

    But then it looks to me that Wells was influenced by Donofrio, given the development of his posts, picking up major steam on this issue viz. Berg during the following months, but then developing/adding in the parent citizenship theme as Donofrio came on the scene. Notably, Citizen Wells does not make such statements (at least that I have seen thus far) prior to Donofrio’s case.

    So, by December in the midst of many posts updating and discussing Donofrio’s arguments:

    On December 5, 2008, Citizen Wells discussed the example of James Buchanan, arguing that the important point was that Buchanan’s parents were citizens *before* his birth. Thus: “When their son James was born in Pennsylvania he was therefore a natural born citizen, born on United States soil to two US citizen parents.”

    On December 29, 2008, Wells comments on his own post for that day, stating: “Having parents that are US citizens is required no matter where the presidential candidate is born.”

    On December 31, 2008: “Being born in Hawaii is not sufficient to make Obama a natural born citizen. If it did, then British citizens vacationing in Hawaii and delivering a child would enable that British child to be president.”

  37. avatar
    Rickey January 17, 2015 at 5:28 pm #

    John:
    Bergs lawsuit did contain the granny and also the loss of citizenship due to Indonesian adoption.

    Berg’s claims about Indonesia were based in large part upon his misreading of the Nationality Act of 1940. His arguments were thoroughly eviscerated by the What’s Your Evidence? site in 2008.

    http://tesibria.typepad.com/whats_your_evidence/2008/10/did-obama-becom.html

  38. avatar
    Charles January 17, 2015 at 6:53 pm #

    “We The People ” have a fraud and usurper sitting in the White House going by the name of barack hussein obama using a stolen social security number , forged birth certificate and forged selective service registration card to prove he is a legal sitting US President .

    “We The People” demand that the US Congress honor their oath to the US Constitution and remove this fraud and usurper barack hussein obama from office under Article ll Section 1 Clause 5 of the US Constitution .

    This fraud and usurper barack hussein obama cannot be impeached because he is not a legal sitting US President . The removal of this fraud and usurper barack hussein obama from office must come under US Constitutional law Article ll Section 1 Clause 5 of the US Constitution .

    US Constitutional law must be enforced if “We The People ” are to remain a free and Constitutional Republic .

  39. avatar
    Dave B. January 17, 2015 at 7:00 pm #

    Those wacky birthers crack me up. I was born in the United States. So were both my parents. Mama was DAR. I can guaran-damn-tee you that doesn’t enable me to be president.

    Paper: On December 31, 2008: “Being born in Hawaii is not sufficient to make Obama a natural born citizen. If it did, then British citizens vacationing in Hawaii and delivering a child would enable that British child to be president.”

  40. avatar
    realist January 17, 2015 at 7:02 pm #

    “On December 31, 2008:“Being born in Hawaii is not sufficient to make Obama a natural born citizen. If it did, then British citizens vacationing in Hawaii and delivering a child would enable that British child to be president.”

    Yes. Yes that child could be president as he/she would be a natural born citizen. Glad they finally got it right. 🙂

  41. avatar
    Dr. Kenneth Noisewater January 17, 2015 at 8:28 pm #

    John:
    I don’t want to plow that field that Colb didn’t show hospital or the doc.Bergs lawsuit did contain the granny and also the loss of citizenship due to Indonesian adoption.

    There was no requirement for the COLB to show the hospital or doctor. It was still a valid birth certificate. There was no loss of citizenship since Obama wasn’t adopted. Also the “Granny” said he was born in Hawaii. So no there was no evidence of kenyan citizenship.

  42. avatar
    Arthur B. January 17, 2015 at 8:32 pm #

    Dr. Kenneth Noisewater: It was still a valid birth certificate.

    In fact, it doesn’t even have to be a birth certificate. As long as it appears to be a state document, with so much as a “purported” stamp and seal, it is admissible under the Federal Rules of Evidence.

    It would need to contain only enough information as is necessary to demonstrate age and place of birth; whether it contained other items normally found in a birth certificate would not be relevant.

  43. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy January 17, 2015 at 8:38 pm #

    So who did he steal it from?

    Charles: “We The People ” have a fraud and usurper sitting in the White House going by the name of barack hussein obama using a stolen social security number

  44. avatar
    Paper January 17, 2015 at 8:57 pm #

    There is Greschak, who you briefly mention once upon a time on your blog, but only in brief reference to his Vattel images, not in reference to his conclusions. In his 2010 WND.com article, Donofrio refers to that same article by Greschak originally published on the Internet December 2, 2008.

    Greschak is at least contemporary or parallel to Donofrio. (There is another reference on Donofrio’s blog on December 11, 2008 to a commenter on his blog, called John Boy, who points Donofrio to Vattel in reference to the Scalia reference to Vattel. At first glance, Donofrio’s thanks to John Boy reference do not seem to be for an introduction to Vattel but for the Scalia reference to Vattel. But I’m trying to tease that out more from that blog.)

    The link to the December 14, 2008 capture on the web archive:

    http://web.archive.org/web/20081214213543/http://www.greschak.com/essays/natborn/index.htm

    And the current site (last updated January 12, 2010):

    http://www.greschak.com/essays/natborn/index.htm

    The conclusions and discussion is similar, just more developed. The conclusion he reaches is similar in both, but I’ll quote from the one currently up:

    “In summary, I believe the definitions of the phrases natural born Citizen of the United States and naturalized Citizen of the United States are as follows:

    “Definition. A Citizen of the United States is a person domiciled in the United States, for whom rights, privileges and immunities are set forth in the United States Constitution. A native born Citizen of the United States is a person who was born in the United States, and has been, since birth, a Citizen of the United States. A natural born Citizen of the United States is a native born Citizen of the United States, born exclusively of Citizens of the United States. A naturalized Citizen of the United States is a Citizen of the United Stateswho is not a natural born Citizen of the United States.”

    Dr. Conspiracy:
    Can you [John] provide any citations prior to Donofrio where someone said Obama was ineligible because of his father’s nationality?

  45. avatar
    Dr. Kenneth Noisewater January 17, 2015 at 9:02 pm #

    Charles: We The People ” have a fraud and usurper sitting in the White House going by the name of barack hussein obama using a stolen social security number , forged birth certificate and forged selective service registration card to prove he is a legal sitting US President .

    Nice satire of a crazy person. The social was assigned to Obama in 1977. The birth certificate was verified and attested to by the issuing authority the Hawaii Department of Health. His selective service card was verified by the selective service system and he was registered in 1980

  46. avatar
    Paper January 17, 2015 at 9:08 pm #

    This person has been posting this statement, verbatim, or with slight variation, all over the net for at least two years.

    Dr. Conspiracy:
    So who did he steal it from?

  47. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy January 17, 2015 at 9:23 pm #

    Right. I did read his argument at the time, but I never wrote about it. I probably should have.

    Paper: There is Greschak, who you briefly mention once upon a time on your blog, but only in brief reference to his Vattel images,

  48. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy January 17, 2015 at 9:54 pm #

    There has been a significant addition of new material to this article starting with the words: “I had forgotten that.”

  49. avatar
    Dave B. January 17, 2015 at 10:15 pm #

    Well, it’s not exactly Donofrio, but I have been stewing over one little question that’s sort of relevant, in a two-citizen parent, no conflict of allegiance kind of way– what would birthers make of Ted Cruz….’s daughters?

  50. avatar
    Paper January 17, 2015 at 10:15 pm #

    Found a copy on The Wayback Machine of Donofrio’s filing, from his original blog site, before he moved it to WordPress.

    US Supreme Court case > APPLICATION FOR EMERGENCY STAY OF 2008 NATIONAL ELECTION FILLED IN UNITES STATES SUPREME COURT

    Posted November 12, 2008

    http://web.archive.org/web/20081205075840/http://www.blogtext.org/naturalborncitizen/index1/index.html

    Scroll down (on page 2 if the link somehow doesn’t take you to page 2; it should) for his Application for Emergency Stay.

    From that application:

    “That being said, petitioner regretfully submits that since candidate Obama was born to a Kenyan father, he also is not eligible to the office of President since is not a ‘natural born citizen’ by the Constitution….

    “Appellant respectfully submits to this Honorable Court, once again, that had the legislature intended to grant ‘natural born citizen’ status to all who were born in US soil, then the 14th Amendment would contain the words ‘natural born citizen’, but it doesn’t.

    “And so this proposition leads to the logical conclusion that a natural born citizen is a citizen born in the United States to parents, neither of which is an alien. Having an alien parent would tie such person at birth to the possibility of other loyalties and laws. And such a person, even if he be as loyal and devoted to this country as Senators Obama and McCain have proven to be, is not eligible to hold the office of President of the United States.”

  51. avatar
    Paper January 17, 2015 at 10:20 pm #

    Oh! You got it already. Just saw your updates. Ha!

  52. avatar
    Paper January 17, 2015 at 10:26 pm #

    Just one note, that in his filing Donofrio does mention President Obama’s father.

  53. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy January 17, 2015 at 10:52 pm #

    I’m having problems accessing the linked court document images. Wayback says: “The machine that serves this file is down. We’re working on it.”

  54. avatar
    dunstvangeet January 18, 2015 at 5:35 am #

    I still like baiting birthers with these two scenarios…

    1. a child is born in the U.S. to a U.S. Citizen mother and a Foreign Father. The foreigner naturalizes 1 day after the child is born. Since then, the child is raised in the United States, and lives there for the next 35 years.

    2. A child is born in the U.S. to 2 U.S. Citizen parents. 1 day after the child is born, they immigrate to Sweden, where they join the Socialist party. They renouce their citizenship, and from that point on teach that the Socialism in Sweden is much superior to Capitalism in America. The child then immigrates on his 21st birthday to America with a plan to run for President and kill Capitalism in the United States. 14 years later he reaches his 35th birthday.

    Which one is eligible for the Presidency? The child born to the immigrant who’s been taught to love America all his life? Or the child born to the socialists who leave America, renounce their citizenship, and teach the child to hate America? Which one has more foreign influence?

  55. avatar
    Lupin January 18, 2015 at 5:36 am #

    Personally, I find it interesting that the “Vattel misinterpretation” did not spring full blown like Athena out of the mind of Zeus.

    The way I read it, Donofrio was groping to find some kind of rationale for his “twofer” theory (which came first) and somehow seized upon Vattel, possibly by chance.

    His first reading of Vattel appears hesitant based on the phrasing I highlighted in my earlier post, especially when contrasted with the later doctrinaire statements by Apuzzo. In effect Donofrio already identified what was wrong with his argument, in order to then say “but it ain’t so.” This is more than Mario ever did.

    I think Donofrio was aware that, pre-Vattel or without Vattel, he had no legal or historical leg to stand on and his theory was DOA. That’s why he seized upon Vattel to buttress his argument, even though I feel that he himself was hardly convinced by it. I think it was more like clutching at straws (or in this case razor blades).

  56. avatar
    Lupin January 18, 2015 at 5:40 am #

    dunstvangeet: Which one is eligible for the Presidency? The child born to the immigrant who’s been taught to love America all his life? Or the child born to the socialists who leave America, renounce their citizenship, and teach the child to hate America? Which one has more foreign influence?

    How about a secretary of state who accepts a foreign citizenship bestowed upon him, then becomes president, while all the time making major decisions involving both the US and his adopted country?

    That’s James Madison for you.

  57. avatar
    Paper January 18, 2015 at 1:44 pm #

    I do, too. And I’ve actually got it now, found his exact steps. As I mentioned above, March 2009 was not his first reading of Vattel. He references Vattel as early as December 2008, in a couple instances. But he does make a progression, and I have found the exact moment of his epiphany that he mentions in the post you found. I’ve now traced that progression, and am typing it out.

    He most definitely did not think his original argument was DOA, though. He seems aware of it being a hard road, but he firmly believes in the power, importance and legitimacy of his argument from day one. He clearly thought (and probably still thinks) his argument was completely sound and legitimate, and that arguments to the contrary were/are fallacious. In reading his posts, he always is quite clear about his legal argument (incorrect though it may be). Indeed, he makes a huge point to his readers of his argument being moot once Obama actually became President, based on the separation of powers between the branches of government.

    The one thing I find refreshing is Donofrio’s forthrightness, separate from what I see as his utter error. Try plowing through Citizen Wells, for example, and then plow through Donofrio. There is a palpable difference.

    Lupin:
    Personally, I find it interesting that the “Vattel misinterpretation” did not spring full blown like Athena out of the mind of Zeus.

    The way I read it, Donofrio was groping to find some kind of rationale for his “twofer” theory (which came first) and somehow seized upon Vattel, possibly by chance.

    His first reading of Vattel appears hesitant based on the phrasing I highlighted in my earlier post, especially when contrasted with the later doctrinaire statements by Apuzzo. In effect Donofrio already identified what was wrong with his argument, in order to then say “but it ain’t so.” This is more than Mario ever did.

    I think Donofrio was aware that, pre-Vattel or without Vattel, he had no legal or historical leg to stand on and his theory was DOA. That’s why he seized upon Vattel to buttress his argument, even though I feel that he himself was hardly convinced by it. I think it was more like clutching at straws (or in this case razor blades).

  58. avatar
    Rickey January 18, 2015 at 2:48 pm #

    Dave B.:
    Well, it’s not exactly Donofrio, but I have been stewing over one little question that’s sort of relevant, in a two-citizen parent, no conflict of allegiance kind of way– what would birthers make of Ted Cruz….’s daughters?

    Here’s another one. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand of New York is, by anyone’s definition, a natural born citizen. However, her husband is a British citizen. Gillibrand clearly is eligible to become president, but the Vattelists would have you believe that her children, both of whom were born in the United States, could never be president.

  59. avatar
    Paper January 18, 2015 at 4:50 pm #

    This is going to take me a bit to document the step by step process by which Donofrio came by his use of Vattel. Suffice it to say, he got it from others, as more than one person put him on to the supposed relevance of Vattel to his argument.

    I’m going through step by step because there are specific steps to this development, and it would be better to see them all in a line, I think, leading to the climax in March 2009.

    But I have frittered away two days on this matter already, and the rest of my life is screaming for attention. I’ll keep on it, though, and get it posted soon.

  60. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy January 18, 2015 at 8:41 pm #

    And Michele Bachmann, whose husband is Swiss. In fact, she was Swiss for a while.

    Rickey: Here’s another one. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand of New York is, by anyone’s definition, a natural born citizen.

  61. avatar
    Lupin January 19, 2015 at 2:36 am #

    Paper: He most definitely did not think his original argument was DOA, though. He seems aware of it being a hard road, but he firmly believes in the power, importance and legitimacy of his argument from day one. He clearly thought (and probably still thinks) his argument was completely sound and legitimate, and that arguments to the contrary were/are fallacious. In reading his posts, he always is quite clear about his legal argument (incorrect though it may be). Indeed, he makes a huge point to his readers of his argument being moot once Obama actually became President, based on the separation of powers between the branches of government.

    I’ll be very interested to read your analysis when it’s complete, but if Donofrio believed his pre-Vattel legal argument as sound and sufficient, why on Earth did he then bring Vattel in? It was obscure and hardly convincing (to say the least!), lacking any scholarly sources. As I often out a correct reading of Vattel actually undermines the argument (ie: father, not twofer) which Donofrio saw right away, then twisted ligic like a bretzel to say it ain’t so.

    If he was so convinced his intra-US law argument was sound, why didn’t he stick with it and it alone?

  62. avatar
    The Magic M January 19, 2015 at 10:30 am #

    dunstvangeet: Which one has more foreign influence?

    I used to give this example to birthers for years and never got a mature answer.
    Those who tried usually centered around “the one with two citizen parents has a higher chance of being a real Murican, though it’s not guaranteed”.

    Ultimately, all twofers want an Iranian style council to “vet” and “allow” candidates on the ballot depending on whether they’re “Murican enough”.

  63. avatar
    Paper January 19, 2015 at 5:04 pm #

    It’s so tedious, but at the same time weirdly fascinating, to step through each little twist, but I think I can preview the key moment, or just jump to the chase, and then sketch out the timeline. The critical moment occurs with a comment posted by “John Boy” on December 11, 2008, 4:07 a.m., followed by the first public blog post that day at 12: 11 p.m. by Donofrio discussing Vattel.

    In the comments on Donofrio’s blog, you can see how it erupts forth. You will see the seeds of what we have endlessly discussed here over the years, particularly in reference to Lupin’s critiques, including the use/misuse of the plural.

    In short, however, you can probably blame Justice Scalia, if you want, for Donofrio’s subsequent use of Vattel.

    Prior to December 11, the first mention I see of Vattel comes from a commenter named Plain Radios Listener on December 7, 2008, 3:43 pm. P.R.L. states that natural born citizen is defined by Vattel’s Law of Nations, providing a link to the relevant page in the book. This occurs on Donfrio’s December 6, 2008 post titled “Historical Breakthrough—Proof: Chester Arthur Concealed He Was a British Subject at Birth.” This comment goes unremarked upon by Donofrio.

    See: http://web.archive.org/web/20081220001237/http://naturalborncitizen.wordpress.com/2008/12/06/urgent-historical-breakthrough-proof-chester-arthur-concealed-he-was-a-british-subject-at-birth/

    On December 9, 2008, commenting upon that same Chester Arthur post, commenter Publius mentions that the dissent in Wong Kim Ark cited Vattel, and Publius provides that quote. Publius also refers to the question of Justice Gray having been appointed by President Arthur. Donofrio responds to the part of this comment referring to Fuller’s appointment, noting that that was the subject of the supplemental brief filed that day in the Cort Wrotnowski case. Donofrio alludes to his being exhausted, thus not much commenting, as he has been dealing with that brief. He makes no comment about Vattel.

    [Brief aside outside of this chronological timeline for an honorable mention of one Dr. Conspiracy: Later in the comments of this same blog post, on May 4, 2009 — at a time when Donofrio had already written extensively on Vattel — Dr. Conspiracy asks Donofrio to reconsider his statements regarding Chester Arthur. Donofrio intersperses his editorial responses throughout Dr. Conspiracy’s comment. Donofrio refers to Vattel in response to Dr. Conspiracy’s quote of Senator Bayard’s letter about natural born citizenship. Donofrio states that “Bayard is using the word ‘Native’ just as Vattel used it” to describe the ‘’’natives or natural born citizens’”…”who are born here to parents who are citizens.”]

    Donofrio’s next blog post on December 10, 2008, however, provides the space for Vattel to erupt in the comments and the specific angle that marks Donofrio’s first public use of Vattel in his arguments. That post is titled “A Little More on Chester Arthur from the Library of Congress.”

    See: http://web.archive.org/web/20081220125455/http://naturalborncitizen.wordpress.com/2008/12/10/a-little-more-on-chester-arthur-from-the-library-of-congress/

    December 11, 2008, 4:07 a.m.

    Commenter John Boy takes that moment to comment on this blog post discussing “A Little More on Chester Arthur,” suggesting Donofrio take a look at a reference to Vattel that Scalia made in the Supreme Court opinion of the handgun case, District of Columbia v. Heller on June 26, 2008.

    Scalia refers to Vattel’s “Law of Nations” in a footnote listing a number of sources for his statement that: “Other legal sources frequently used ‘bear arms’ in nonmilitary contexts.” The footnote for Vattel reads, “Since custom has allowed persons of rank and gentlemen of the army to bear arms in time of peace, strict care should be taken that none but these should be allowed to wear swords.” (http://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/07-290.ZO.html#10)

    John Boy makes a point that Scalia called this a legal source. Then J.B. adds: “As you well know in this same book it defines ‘Natural Born Citizen.’ With that being said and ruled on, does that mean ‘Natural Born Citizen’ is now defined by the Supreme Court?”

    Donofrio adds an editorial note responding to John Boy: “I am looking into this. D@mn. [original in Donofrio spells out the word, edited in case blog filter doesn’t like the “D” word] The readers of this blog are freakin good researchers. I don’t know what it means that Scalia used this treatise, but you got my attention with this comment reader. Thank you. It’s moved to the front of my list of research. If I think it’s relevant, I may do a blog post on your comment today.” [He, in fact, does.]

    An important point here is that Scalia’s opinion involves the notion that the Constitution was written for regular people to understand and not meant to be technical jargon. That principle becomes important viz. the rationale of using Vattel in the very next comment on Donofrio’s blog.

    December 11, 2008, 6:49 a.m., Anonymous

    “Anonymous” posts a quote from John Boy, with a link to the Times Examiner where apparently John Boy originally posted it as a comment (link seems defunct) , a link to Obamacrimes.com where he seemingly posted it as well (that site currently has no postings going back to 2008). There also is a defunct link to a publication purported to represent Scalia’s views on how to interpret the Constitution.

    The post reads:

    “Mr. Obama is not eligible to be President
written by John Boy, December 11, 2008

    “Many people have questioned why the Founding Fathers did not define the phrase ‘natural born citizen’ in the Constitution. The answer is simply that the meaning was commonly understood and there was no reason to define the term.

    “’The Law of Nations,’ in Book I, Chapter XIX, part 212, it says: ‘The natives, or natural-born citizens, are those born in the country, of parents who are citizens.’ Here is the definition the Founding Fathers did not deem necessary to supply since it was already understood.”

    Next up, American Patriot responds at 7:10 a.m.

    “The truth of the matter is, that SCOTUS does not need to define or clarify the concept of Natural Born Citizen, as it is already well defined in such works as de Vattel’s Law of Nations. SCOTUS rather needs to uphold the definition and apply it…”

    A.P. then discusses the elector system and how it could be applied in states where electors are bound to the popular vote. Donofrio responds without mentioning Vattel, only to disagree, that the lawsuit is not a constitutional matter, referring A.P. to Wrotnowski’s brief.

    [skip three comments at 7:18 a.m., 8:49 a.m., 9:30 a.m.]

    December 11, 2008 10:17 a.m., Commenter Steve writes:

    “This paper written by Michael D. Ramsey provides background showing that the framers of the constitution were well steeped in the Law of Nations. I highlighted in blue some relevant portions (nothing else was changed from the original word document). Not sure how much it helps.” [provides two currently defunct links]

    Donofrio responds: “Thanks, Steve. This goes to the top of my reading list.”

    [skip two comments at 11:56 a.m. & 12:01 p.m.]

    12:02 p.m., SteveS notes:

    “If the SCOTUS can use Emer de Vattel’s ‘The Law of Nations’ to help define ‘Arms’ in the 2nd Amendment…shouldn’t the SCOTUS use Vattel’s ‘The Law of Nations’ as a ‘Pre-Constitutional reference’ for ‘Natural Born Citizen?’”

    SteveS quotes from Vattel, highlighting the plurals, “parentS who are citizenS” and asks:

    “– SO, what does it mean when the father is a foreign citizen, and the mother is too young to transfer US Citizenship … what does that mean in the context of the Constitutional meaning of ‘Natural Born Citizen’?”

    12:14 p.m., FightforAmerica exclaims:

    “John Boy, way to go. This is what we have been looking for…Leo, You probably found this already.” [quote from Vattel]

    12:20 pm, Donofrio adds a link to his first public blog post referencing Vattel.

    Donofrio, in this thread, posts a link to his new post titled, “’Natural Born Citizen’: Defined by 14th Amendment Framers and in Treatise Relied on by Scalia”, highlighting his gratitude to “John Boy” for pointing to Justice Scalia’s opinion in District of Columbia Et Al. v. Heller.

    That post is the moment when Donfrio takes up and begins to use Vattel as part of his argument. The treatise relied upon by Scalia is Vattel’s “Law of Nations.”

    Before jumping over to that new post by Donofrio, here is one quick note about the remaining Vattel-themed comments on this Chester Arthur post. The main reference to Vattel arises from a commenter arguing that Vattel means McCain is eligible, but Donforio disagrees, saying that: “The DOS Foreign Aaffairs Manual states unequivocally that foreign military installations are NOT US soil for purposes of citizenship. McCain is not eligible. No liewise contradictory authority exists as to nbc and Obama.” [typo in original]

    December 11, 2008 12:11 p.m., Donofrio’s first official public blog post referencing Vattel.

    See: http://web.archive.org/web/20081217063323/http://naturalborncitizen.wordpress.com/2008/12/11/natural-born-citizen-defined-by-14th-amendment-framers-and-in-treatise-relied-on-by-scalia/

    Once we jump over to Donofrio’s new post, we find him discussing his basic argument, and then as we scroll through the post, we get to his discussion of “Natural Born Citizen Defined Through History.”

    Donofrio revisits and amplifies his argument about the 14th Amendment, using quotes from P.A. Madison’s site, from the framers of the 14th Amendment. Donofrio ends that discussion of the intentions of the framers of the 14th Amendment by highlighting Rep. John Bingham of Ohio, quoting him as saying just months before the 14th Amendment was proposed: “[I] find no fault with the introductory clause [S 61 Bill], which is simply declaratory of what is written in the Constitution, that every human being born within the jurisdiction of the United States of parents not owing allegiance to any foreign sovereignty is, in the language of your Constitution itself, a natural born citizen…”

    This quote provides Donofrio his segue to Vattel, in which he thanks “John Boy” for pointing him to Scalia’s opinion in Heller. Donofrio notes Scalia’s reference to Vattel regarding the “bearing of arms” and segues to his concluding remarks:

    “Since Justice Scalia cited to this legal textbook in March of 2008, it’s not outrageous to think he might also refer to “the Law of Nations” on the natural born Citizen issue?

    “I’ll leave you now with the relevant textbook definition of natural born citizen. The following was published in 1758. This definition, added to all of the above, certainly establishes a rational legal basis to hold that Barack Obama is not a natural born Citizen. And more than that, it puts the burden on those who deny it to don the tin foil hat of despair and bring forthwith to the table of honest debate their own bed of authority to lie in:”

    [Donofrio ends by providing the now oft-referred to quote from Vattel, 212. Citizens and natives. He includes embedded links to the Chitty edition of Vattel: http://web.archive.org/web/20081217062547/http://home.earthlink.net/~dybel/Documents/LawOfNations,Vattel.htm]

    At this point, I mostly will leave as an exercise for readers the in-depth perusal of the comments appearing on Donofrio’s blog. There are some historical tidbits and arguments/defenses to be found there. Donofrio makes the case that if Barack Obama is actually sworn in as president that will be precedent for dual citizens at birth being able to be president, which is what all along he has been fighting. He distinguishes in all his arguments, here and from the beginning, between citizen and natural born citizen, and has consistently had no doubts that Obama is a citizen.

    Donofrio also makes clear in those comments that in seguing to Vattel from his discussion of the 14th Amendment’s framers his point is about the intentions of the framers of the original Constitution. Namely, in response to Yoshi99’s 12/11/2008 4:12 p.m. comment, Donofrio expounds that:

    “Furthermore, if you go back before the Constitution and read ‘The Law of Nations’ you will witness the definition which is aligned with the Framers of the 14th Amendment. Furthermore, three terms were debated as requirement for POTUS by the Framers back when they were writing the original Constitution.

    “- Citizen was discussed and thrown out

    “- Native born citizen was discussed and thrown out

    “- Natural born citizen was chosen…”

    He also notes in response to RoPINI’s 12/12/2008 1:09 a.m. comment, that:

    “The Treatise was written in 1758 and was the way of the world. The Constitution was ratified in 1788 and the original intent of the phrase is explained in The Laws of Nations. The treatise as cited would appeal to an originalist like Justice Scalia, who referred Cort’s case to the full Court. Scalia just recently used The Laws of Nations in the Heller case where he wrote the opinion of the Court. Obviously, somebody like Justice Ginsberg probably wouldn’t be influenced by the Laws of Nations as to this issue.”

    To also reference Lupin’s questions about Donofrio’s use and understanding of Vattel, we can finally (so to speak) end this sampled timeline of Donofrio’s earliest public thoughts about Vattel with Donofrio parsing some distinctions, as he makes evident that Vattel is a source that he has highlighted because in his view it supports the argument he has already been making about what the definition of natural born citizen should be. He explains outright, in response to a 12/12/2008 3:47 a.m. question from RiskyWaters, that:

    “…the definition of ‘natural born citizen’ in Laws of Nations was as I’ve argued it should be

    “2 us citizen parents + born in US – the treatise also said that such a person was a ‘native’.

    “The distinction is fine, but clear… in the treatise there is no doubt that a nbc has two parent citizens and is born in the land of his parents, it’s just that such a person is also called a ‘native’.

    “On the other hand, a ‘native born citizen’ is a term erroneously thrown about as being equal to ‘natural born citizen’ but it isn’t… the concept of ‘native born citizen’ as applied to Wong Kim Ark does not include citizen parents as a pre-requisite.”

    To finish:

    In the end, I come away with the view that Donofrio comes by his arguments honestly, if erroneously, if pretzel-shaped. From his point of view, those of us believing in a different definition have the pretzel-shaped views. But he lost. He clearly rued that loss, and took it as such, as evidenced in his various comments. Taking him at face value, I appreciate his explicit rejections of hate. I simply think his arguments deserved to be left by the wayside, and, in explicit contrast to his ardently held position about the future of the country, I believe that the failure of his arguments to make a difference in who became, and will become, president represents a success for the country.

    Lupin: I’ll be very interested to read your analysis when it’s complete, but if Donofrio believed his pre-Vattel legal argument as sound and sufficient, why on Earth did he then bring Vattel in? It was obscure and hardly convincing (to say the least!), lacking any scholarly sources. As I often out a correct reading of Vattel actually undermines the argument (ie: father, not twofer) which Donofrio saw right away, then twisted ligic like a bretzel to say it ain’t so.

    If he was so convinced his intra-US law argument was sound, why didn’t he stick with it and it alone?

  64. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy January 19, 2015 at 5:31 pm #

    Any chance I could get a guest article? And you can say “damn”.

    Paper: It’s so tedious, but at the same time weirdly fascinating, to step through each little twist,

  65. avatar
    Reality Check January 19, 2015 at 5:40 pm #

    I wonder if PRN Listener was the guy we called “Walmart” Ken Dunbar? Dunbar was a Walmart employee and frequent caller (later host) on Ed Hale’s Plains Radio program who pushed the Vattel nonsense more than anyone else.

  66. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy January 19, 2015 at 6:25 pm #

    I debated Dunbar on his show. The half hour debate I think ran for an hour and a half as he kept asking to keep going. It was a good discussion. The audio file was not archived.

    Reality Check: I wonder if PRN Listener was the guy we called “Walmart” Ken Dunbar? Dunbar was a Walmart employee and frequent caller (later host) on Ed Hale’s Plains Radio program who pushed the Vattel nonsense more than anyone else.

  67. avatar
    Lupin January 20, 2015 at 4:49 am #

    Paper: It’s so tedious, but at the same time weirdly fascinating, to step through each little twist, but I think I can preview the key moment, or just jump to the chase, and then sketch out the timeline. The critical moment occurs with a comment posted by “John Boy” on December 11, 2008, 4:07 a.m., followed by the first public blog post that day at 12: 11 p.m. by Donofrio discussing Vattel.

    This is a truly outstanding bit of research that ought to be archived/preserved somewhere.

    I too had the sense that Donofrio as far more intellectually honest in his approach than Mario has ever been. His groping throughout in search of what he thinks is the “correct” interpretation is telling.

    To some extent, I still think that he started with his conclusion and went in search of arguments that could bolster it, and chanced upon Vattel. (D@mn you, Scalia!) I honestly wonder what might have happened if he had not chanced upon it. His belief may have been shaken; we’ll never know, but I’d love to ask Donofrio if, without Vattel, he still thinks he has a case (so to speak). I can’t imagine how he would.

  68. avatar
    Lupin January 20, 2015 at 4:54 am #

    Just as a brief Vattelian cliff’s note, Donofrio’s mistakes are three:

    1) parens mean relatives, not just father/mother, and this line is merely a restatement of jus sanguinis;
    2) group plural means either, not both.
    3) following on 1 above, it is the father who transmits citizenship
    4) he has a fanatical devotion to the pope.

    None of this is very hard to figure out.

    On top of this, one can entertain a discussion as to whether “naturels” = “natural-born citizen”; I don’t think so myself but it’s arguable.

  69. avatar
    Paper January 20, 2015 at 9:46 am #

    Correction re: the two sentences below. The first sentence is correct, the appointment in question is Justice Gray by President Arthur. In the second sentence, I accidentally referred to Fuller; that should also read as “Gray.”

    So corrected, the two sentences should read:

    Publius also refers to the question of Justice Gray having been appointed by President Arthur. Donofrio responds to the part of this comment referring to Gray’s appointment, noting that that was the subject of the supplemental brief filed that day in the Cort Wrotnowski case.

    Paper:
    Publius also refers to the question of Justice Gray having been appointed by President Arthur. Donofrio responds to the part of this comment referring to Fuller’s appointment, noting that that was the subject of the supplemental brief filed that day in the Cort Wrotnowski case.

  70. avatar
    Paper January 20, 2015 at 9:49 am #

    Would you need more than what is here, other than some editorial tidying?

    Dr. Conspiracy:
    Any chance I could get a guest article? And you can say “damn”.

  71. avatar
    Paper January 20, 2015 at 9:50 am #

    Oh, I certainly had your explications in particular in mind!

    Lupin:
    Just as a brief Vattelian cliff’s note, Donofrio’s mistakes are three:

    1) parens mean relatives, not just father/mother, and this line is merely a restatement of jus sanguinis;
    2) group plural means either, not both.
    3) following on 1 above, it is the father who transmits citizenship
    4) he has a fanatical devotion to the pope.

    None of this is very hard to figure out.

    On top of this, one can entertain a discussion as to whether “naturels” = “natural-born citizen”; I don’t think so myself but it’s arguable.

  72. avatar
    Paper January 20, 2015 at 10:23 am #

    That is my sense, as well, that Donofrio started with his conclusion, or his “logical conclusion,” as he puts it himself in his filing. It seems clear that from the beginning he is focused on his distinction between citizen and natural born citizen, that if the framers of the Fourteenth Amendment had *intended* for all born on US soil to be natural born citizens, as distinct from just citizens, they would have said so. He thinks that distinction is important in relation to the original intent of warding off foreign loyalties.

    So, I don’t think his belief would have been shaken if hadn’t come across Vattel. At the time in the comments on his blog, though, he expressed the belief that once Obama became President that that would make actual precedent, pushing aside his view’s prospects of shaping the future. He didn’t count Chester Arthur, because he felt Arthur had deceived everyone, and so there could be no precedent.

    I think it is important that Donofrio’s focus at that time was on his case, and if an actual sitting justice had made reference to Vattel, and if Vattel fit Donofrio’s own logic, then even if it was already late in the day to make Vattel part of his filing, he could take heart that Scalia at least might be receptive to the underlying logic.

    Just to reprise from Donofrio’s filing:

    “That being said, petitioner regretfully submits that since candidate Obama was born to a Kenyan father, he also is not eligible to the office of President since is not a ‘natural born citizen’ by the Constitution….
“

    Appellant respectfully submits to this Honorable Court, once again, that had the legislature intended to grant ‘natural born citizen’ status to all who were born in US soil, then the 14th Amendment would contain the words ‘natural born citizen’, but it doesn’t.


    “And so this proposition leads to the logical conclusion that a natural born citizen is a citizen born in the United States to parents, neither of which is an alien. Having an alien parent would tie such person at birth to the possibility of other loyalties and laws. And such a person, even if he be as loyal and devoted to this country as Senators Obama and McCain have proven to be, is not eligible to hold the office of President of the United States.”





    Lupin:

    To some extent, I still think that he started with his conclusion and went in search ofarguments that could bolster it, and chanced upon Vattel. (D@mn you, Scalia!) I honestly wonder what might have happened if he had not chanced upon it. His belief may have been shaken; we’ll never know, but I’d love to ask Donofrio if, without Vattel, he still thinks he has a case (so to speak). I can’t imagine how he would.

  73. avatar
    Paper January 20, 2015 at 10:29 am #

    I think there is something to be considered regarding Plains Radio viz. Vattel at that moment. It is unclear who “John Boy” was, but Reality Check’s comment above puts some things into perspective, particularly regarding Publius and those initial posts pointing to Vattel. There is an interesting small aside there. That is especially interesting because right in the middle of all this is when Donofrio first appeared on Plains Radio, but then refused to come back on the air once he discovered some untoward remarks about Obama’s health being made by Plains Radio. He says he won’t appear there again. He is quite adamant in his disapproval.

    But it is the Scalia reference that sets Donoforio off and running.

  74. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy January 20, 2015 at 11:45 am #

    I would only need your permission, and whatever if anything else you wanted to do.

    Paper: Would you need more than what is here, other than some editorial tidying?

  75. avatar
    Paper January 21, 2015 at 8:46 am #

    Let me flesh out the “prequel.”

    There are a couple moments that flesh out the picture more completely leading up to jump start of the Scalia reference, and which explicate some of Donofrio’s starting presumptions.

    Plus, Reality Check’s comment made me think to look more closely at the Plains Radio connection. There was a reference in the comments to an “Ed” that I couldn’t place, but now that is clear. I had had an idea about what was going on, about the Vattelian chatter seeming to come from Plains Radio, but just put a pin in it for later review of the specifics. At any rate, I think there may be a small but key irony in the eruption of Vattel upon the scene, namely that the Vattelian chatter rises apparently as a result of his appearance on Plains Radio, but that he is rejecting Plains Radio (refusing to show for a second planned interview) just as, in the middle of two cases being denied, he clicks with the Scalia connection and jumps with both feet into Vattel.

    (One of the earliest players on this scene may be connected to a current figure in your recent blog posts. I’m not exactly sure. I just saw something in passing as I was digging. I need to do due diligence on connecting the dots. It may just be a side note.)

    What’s intriguing is it all happens that week, as his case, and then Wrotnowski’s case is denied. Donofrio is talking about moving on, as the cases were denied (he was very focused on results, not general ongoing or personal attack), planning his return to poker, and at the same time discovering Chester Arthur and Vattel. In fact, Wrotnowski’s supplemental brief ends up with its reference to Chester Arthur tacked on (and Donofrio is self-effacing, self-aware of the rushed nature of that addition), because one of Donofrio’s readers cajoles him into not playing poker that night but instead doing his duty and adding the freshly discovered Chester Arthur reference!

    Dr. Conspiracy:
    I would only need your permission, and whatever if anything else you wanted to do.

  76. avatar
    Paper January 21, 2015 at 8:56 am #

    I think “assumptions” is the word I meant.

  77. avatar
    brygenon January 23, 2015 at 4:49 am #

    Paper, I add my thanks. For years I’ve been telling birthers that in our time the citizen-parents theory had no advocates until Leo Donofrio came up with it in October or November of 2008. The more precisely I can pin that down the better.

    Paper: US Supreme Court case > APPLICATION FOR EMERGENCY STAY OF 2008 NATIONAL ELECTION FILLED IN UNITES STATES SUPREME COURT

    Posted November 12, 2008

    http://web.archive.org/web/20081205075840/http://www.blogtext.org/naturalborncitizen/index1/index.html

    In that Application for Stay, showing a date of 03 November 2008, Donofrio writes:

    “Appellant, in both his original Complaint and Motion For Summary Judgment, contends that candidate Obama is not eligible to the Presidency as he would not be a ‘natural born citizen’ of the United States even if it were proved he was born in Hawaii, since, as was argued in Appellant’s original complaint brief, as well as Appellant’s brief in support of Motion For Summary Judgment, Senator Obama’s father was born in Kenya and therefore, having been born with split and competing loyalties, candidate Obama is not a ‘natural born citizen’ as is required by Article 2, Section 1, of the United States Constitution.”

    I don’t myself recall — or maybe I never knew — whether Donofrio’s filings in the New Jersey state courts included the citizen-parents argument, but Donofrio’s Application to SCOTUS says they did. That would date the twofer theory back to October 2008, though without citation of Vattel’s Law of Nations or Minor v. Happersett, upon which twofers would later rely.

    Though Minor v. Happersett appeared in twofer theory in 2009, Donofrio claimed to first discover Minor to be precedent on the meaning of “natural-born citizen” much later, in June of 2011:

    “After having completed a more thorough review of the relevant US Supreme Court cases discussing the Constitution’s natural-born citizen clause, I have discovered precedent which states that a natural-born citizen is a person born in the jurisdiction of the US to parents who are citizens.

    Up until the publication of this report today, all discussion of the natural-born citizen issue (from both sides of the argument) agreed there had never been a precedent established by the US Supreme Court, and that the various cases which mentioned the clause did so in ‘dicta’.”

    https://naturalborncitizen.wordpress.com/2011/06/21/us-supreme-court-precedent-states-that-obama-is-not-eligible-to-be-president/

  78. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy January 23, 2015 at 9:14 am #

    There was a third Donofrio blog, covering November 22 – December 1 2008.

    http://web.archive.org/web/20110513000508/http://thenaturalborncitizen.blogspot.com/

  79. avatar
    Dr. Kenneth Noisewater January 23, 2015 at 12:45 pm #

    Dr. Conspiracy:
    There was a third Donofrio blog, covering November 22 – December 1 2008.

    http://web.archive.org/web/20110513000508/http://thenaturalborncitizen.blogspot.com/

    Wasn’t donofrio famous for deleting his blog when he created a new theory? Kind of similar to what Coach did.