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New scholarly paper on “natural born citizen”

If 2015 was the “year of Arpaio” in the sense that his legal troubles kept this blog afloat with topical material, 2016 promises to be the year of Donald Trump and Ted Cruz with natural born citizen’s definition being all the rage.

In addition to a flurry of news articles, the first week of 2016 sees a new scholarly paper on “The Original Meaning of ‘Natural Born’” by University of Sam Diego School of Law professor Michael D. Ramsey. [Spoiler alert] Ramsey takes the affirmative position on Cruz eligibility.

Like most articles I have seen on this topic, the author makes the case for a controversy that justifies the article. Indeed Professor Ramsey leads the reader on to the point where all seems to be lost for the main thesis, and then he reverses.

Ramsey gives a little attention to how much influence Emer de Vattel had on the Framers, and whether it is appropriate as a referent for the definition of natural born citizen. He cites Vattel, but fails to mention that he is not citing Vattel, but rather a translation of Vattel, and a translation not available to the Framers to boot.

Rather than critique the article here, I’ll put my remarks in comments along with everyone else.

H/t to gorefan.

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40 Responses to New scholarly paper on “natural born citizen”

  1. avatar
    Reality Check January 11, 2016 at 7:26 pm #

    Professor Ramsey misspelled “Maskell”. Other than that it is a very good paper. Speaking of typos “Sam Diego”……

  2. avatar
    donna January 11, 2016 at 8:44 pm #

    Laurence Tribe: Constitutional Cruz control

    “….. the kind of judge Cruz says he admires and would appoint to the Supreme Court is an “originalist,” one who claims to be bound by the narrowly historical meaning of the Constitution’s terms at the time of their adoption. To his kind of judge, Cruz ironically wouldn’t be eligible, because the legal principles that prevailed in the 1780s and ’90s required that someone actually be born on US soil to be a “natural born” citizen. Even having two US parents wouldn’t suffice. And having just an American mother, as Cruz did, would have been insufficient at a time that made patrilineal descent decisive.”

    “Now, he seems to be a fair weather originalist, abandoning that method’s narrow constraints when it suits his ambition.”

    https://www.bostonglobe.com/opinion/2016/01/11/through-ted-cruz-constitutional-looking-glass/zvKE6qpF31q2RsvPO9nGoK/story.html

  3. avatar
    Smirk4Food January 11, 2016 at 8:48 pm #

    Reality Check:
    Professor Ramsey misspelled “Maskell”. Other than that it is a very good paper. Speaking of typos “Sam Diego”……

    Great. Now I’m humming is, “Where in the World is U of Sam Diego?”

  4. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy January 11, 2016 at 9:07 pm #

    I have some reservations. The main one is that he says that because “natural” is a word in the Constitution, then it must have an effect, and that implies that the word can stand alone and be defined alone, ignoring it being part of a term of art, or alternately part of an idiom. He is also claiming that idiomatic expressions are not allowed in the Constitution, since every word must have a separate meaning.

    He presents the argument that “born citizen” and “natural born citizen” must have different meanings because otherwise “natural” is superfluous, which isn’t allowed. He then picks natural to mean from nature or natural law, rather than a designator pointing to the English Common Law. I thought most of what he said in that section to be superficial hand waving, rather than argument.

    Reality Check: Other than that it is a very good paper.

  5. avatar
    Rickey January 12, 2016 at 1:31 am #

    Fascinating and thought-provoking comments by Constitutional expert Laurence Tribe on Lawrence O’Donnell’s show Monday evening:

    “But at the time of the framing, they [the Framers] weren’t so interested in who your parents were. They were interested in whether you had a connection to the land. The focus was really on whether you were born on American soil. And the fact that they had all these laws passed over the years to say that some people, by grace of Congress, don’t have to get naturalized, has nothing to do with the meaning of natural-born citizen. The idea that the Constitution waxes and wanes, and that the meaning of this clause depends on what the latest Congress has said about immigration and naturalization, is completely at odds with the firm position that the Framers took about this.”

  6. avatar
    The Magic M (not logged in) January 12, 2016 at 4:58 am #

    donna: “Now, he seems to be a fair weather originalist, abandoning that method’s narrow constraints when it suits his ambition.”

    Same as Scalia who applies “intent” only when it suits him (and completely ignores lawmakers’ intent in cases like King v Burwell).

    I’ve never understood originalism anyway, given it’s plain dumb to limit a law to what people 250 years ago thought.
    By that logic, “interstate commerce” cannot include the internet because the Founders never envisioned it.
    And women still wouldn’t be eligible for the Presidency because the Founders didn’t even give them voting rights, so how could they have intended them to be Prez?

    I understand that some people have second thoughts about the “living Constitution” concept because there is always the danger of perverting the principles on which it was founded. But if that doesn’t happen, law should always be interpreted as to encompass changes. If a law regulates “communication”, we don’t have to amend it every time something like “email” or “WhatsApp” or “Facebook” is added to our understanding of what communication actually *is*.

  7. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy January 12, 2016 at 6:16 am #

    I don’t agree with that. Madison in his speech before the House acknowledge both citizenship by birth and by place, emphasizing place. The 1790 Act, mirroring English legislation, called foreign-born citizens natural born.

    I can find no justification for the idea that “natural born” was defined by place, either in the United States or in England. Yes, place was one qualifying condition, but there were others.

    One may raise the objection that Dicey is a late 19th-century source, but I his definition is historically correct.

    We would never say that a “natural born baseball player” was related to place of birth or parentage, but only to a natural ability from birth.

    Rickey: [Quoting Tribe] But at the time of the framing, they [the Framers] weren’t so interested in who your parents were. They were interested in whether you had a connection to the land.

  8. avatar
    Lupin January 12, 2016 at 6:26 am #

    It would be foolish of me to comment on American or English Law, but personally, the problem I have is with the (IMHO) rather unnecessary word ” born”.

    Had they written in French, I suspect your founders would have simply said “natural citizen” (as opposed to “naturalized citizen”), as indeed Rousseau and Vattel do when they talk about the “Naturals”.

    The word ” born” is somewhat unnecessary because you’re either born a citizen (and are therefore a Natural) or you’re made one through the agencies of men (hence you’re ” naturalized”).

  9. avatar
    SFJEFF January 12, 2016 at 12:23 pm #

    I only read the abstract(yes I am lazy) but his conclusion that Congress can create categories of ‘natural born citizens’ is problematic to me.

    Because if Congress can create ‘categories’ of natural born citizens- that also implies that Congress has the power to legislate more restrictive definitions of natural born citizens- i.e. Congress could legislate the Birther’s definition of NBC- at least that is how I interpret his conclusions.

  10. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy January 12, 2016 at 12:33 pm #

    And indeed I think they can legislate a more restrictive definition. For example, Congress could repeal all naturalization laws under which the foreign-born become citizens. That would remove all future foreign-born persons from eligibility. They can’t legislate “two citizen parents born in the country” because of the 14th Amendment.

    SFJEFF: Because if Congress can create ‘categories’ of natural born citizens- that also implies that Congress has the power to legislate more restrictive definitions of natural born citizens- i.e. Congress could legislate the Birther’s definition of NBC- at least that is how I interpret his conclusions.

  11. avatar
    bob January 12, 2016 at 7:10 pm #

    Professor McManamon, who previously wrote an academic article that concluded birth in the United States is necessary for natural-born citizenship, wrote a WaPo editorial restating her position.

  12. avatar
    gorefan January 12, 2016 at 7:51 pm #

    bob:
    Professor McManamon, who previously wrote an academic article that concluded birth in the United States is necessary for natural-born citizenship

    Rob Natelson posted a guest commentary on Michael Ramsey’s blog:

    http://originalismblog.typepad.com/the-originalism-blog/2016/01/claims-that-sen-cruz-is-not-natural-born-need-to-be-taken-seriouslyrob-natelson.html

    We are going to need a score card of scholars who are for Cruz’s eligibility and who are not.

  13. avatar
    donna January 12, 2016 at 9:12 pm #

    gorefan: We are going to need a score card of scholars who are for Cruz’s eligibility and who are not.

    In a 2005 BU Law Review Article, Sarah Duggin & Mary Collins (on103 pages and 516 footnotes) concluded “[t]here is no way to know” who is a natural born citizen “[a]bsent a definitive Supreme Court ruing”

    http://scholarship.law.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1129&context=scholar

  14. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy January 12, 2016 at 9:16 pm #

    I think that opinion piece is awful. Maybe it had to be in order to fit the space allotted, but I find it fundamentally misleading.

    bob: Professor McManamon, who previously wrote an academic article that concluded birth in the United States is necessary for natural-born citizenship, wrote a WaPo editorial restating her position.

  15. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy January 12, 2016 at 9:24 pm #

    I am in email communication with Prof. Ramsey, and it sounds like he will be making one or more changes based on my comments. At the very least, he’s going to fix the misspelling of Mr. Maskell’s name. 🙂

    gorefan: Rob Natelson posted a guest commentary on Michael Ramsey’s blog:

  16. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy January 12, 2016 at 9:28 pm #

    Even though I have an opinion, I agree that the question is legitimate. But how is it going to get resolved? We have Gordon’s paper suggesting ways it might happen, but that didn’t work out so well in the 2008 and 2012 elections–and not just because the question posed then wasn’t legitimate.

    donna: In a 2005 BU Law Review Article, Sarah Duggin & Mary Collins (on103 pages and 516 footnotes) concluded “[t]here is no way to know” who is a natural born citizen “[a]bsent a definitive Supreme Court ruing”

  17. avatar
    gorefan January 12, 2016 at 9:31 pm #

    Dr. Conspiracy:
    I am in email communication with Prof. Ramsey, and it sounds like he will be making one or more changes based on my comments. At the very least, he’s going to fix the misspelling of Mr. Maskell’s name.

    He does call his paper a draft.

  18. avatar
    Sterngard Friegen January 12, 2016 at 11:11 pm #

    I think Professor Ramsey’s “scholarly paper” is awful. If he’s an originalist, where’s his discussion about what the word “natural” meant in 1789? And what “natural born” meant? “Natural” was “native” and “natural born” meant “native born.”

    Despite all the circumlocutions of the “scholarly paper,” it’s pretty clear that the constitution only established jus soli. Jus sanguinis was solely the creature of statute. And only from 1790 to 1795 did Congress provide that jus sanguinis citizens could be “natural born.” The professor finds the omission in 1795 and thereafter as inadvertent and unimportant.

    And then there is the whole question of his and his assistants’ failure to cite Rogers v. Bellei and deal with it. I think it pretty much establishes that one cannot be a naturalized citizen and also natural born.

    Color me unimpressed. Very sloppy scholarship. I wouldn’t rely upon it for anything.

  19. avatar
    gorefan January 13, 2016 at 1:00 am #

    Sterngard Friegen: And then there is the whole question of his and his assistants’ failure to cite Rogers v. Bellei and deal with it.

    How does Rogers v. Bellei apply?

    Sterngard Friegen: I think it pretty much establishes that one cannot be a naturalized citizen and also natural born.

    Not according to Cyril Means, Jr.

    http://natural-borncitizens.com/nbcfiles/Is_Presidency_Barred_Americans_Born_Abroad.pdf

  20. avatar
    gorefan January 13, 2016 at 1:23 am #

    Dr. Conspiracy: Even though I have an opinion, I agree that the question is legitimate.

    On sites that claim Rubio and Cruz are ineligible, it is always easier to argue for Rubio’s eligibility and ignore the Cruz question entirely. His case is just so much weaker.

    But if I had to bet, based on Ginsburg’s statements in Nguyen v INS and Thomas’ writing in Zitovick v. Kerry, Cruz is eligible.

  21. avatar
    RanTalbott January 13, 2016 at 1:36 am #

    Lupin: the problem I have is with the (IMHO) rather unnecessary word ” born”

    Well, I think it’s likely that biologists will someday discover that using unnecessary word is a genetic trait of lawyers 😉

    I’ve no doubt that you’re right about what they would’ve written in French, but “natural born subject” was a long-established and well-understood term of legal art in the English system, so it seems reasonable that they would adapt it as part of their new, monarchy-free system.

  22. avatar
    Sam the Centipede January 13, 2016 at 2:58 am #

    I haven’t read the full paper but the author’s own abstract gives me no reason to. It is clownish nonsense. It is a ridiculous argument on its face and certainly unworthy of anybody holding a professorial position.

    He needs to learn some English language. The reason that “natural born” is not glossed further is surely because its meaning then and now is clear and unambiguous. The “natural” has nothing to do with natural law (whatever that might be imagined to be) or common law; that is an absurd conjecture. If the authors of the Constitution had wished to express either of those meanings, they had the vocabulary to do so explicitly.

    Cannot those over-educated buffoons like Prof. Ramsey even catch on to the idea that the “naure” stem in “natural born” and the “nature” stem in “naturalization” might, y’know, relate to the same thing? A person’s “nature”, more specifically their citizenship.

    This is just another academic saying “my understanding of simple English is poor, so I am going to concoct some nonsense and wrap it up in pompous prose.” Shame on them.

  23. avatar
    Reality Check January 13, 2016 at 6:46 am #

    Yes, not addressing Rogers v Bellei was a serious omission. I am becoming more hopeful that one of the other Republican candidates might bring a case that would get to the heart of the question of the eligibility of statutory citizens at birth. Of course there is not and never has been any doubt that US born citizens like President Obama are natural born citizens.

    Let the then begin.

    BTW, I will stand by my prediction that if this ever is decided in courts Cruz will be ruled to be eligible.

    Sterngard Friegen: And then there is the whole question of his and his assistants’ failure to cite Rogers v. Bellei and deal with it. I think it pretty much establishes that one cannot be a naturalized citizen and also natural born.

    Color me unimpressed. Very sloppy scholarship. I wouldn’t rely upon it for anything

  24. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy January 13, 2016 at 7:12 am #

    I was privy to some of a conversation with an immigration attorney on this topic, and the attorney made two points. First, Bellei was a case about expatriation, not the acquisition of citizenship. My take on that remark is that it would be an error to take it as authoritative on the latter topic. The second point is that it is recognized that a number of old immigration decisions are “bad law” even if they have not (yet) been overturned.

    That echoes something that I have thought for a long time reading these cases, specifically that the courts were not looking carefully at distinctions that WE are trying to find in them on the natural born citizen question.

    Reality Check: Yes, not addressing Rogers v Bellei was a serious omission.

  25. avatar
    Reality Check January 13, 2016 at 7:25 am #

    Excellent point Doc. It reminds me of another case that had to do with women’s suffrage and even less to do with citizenship.

    Since there is so little actual case law on the subject it reminds me of reading tea leaves trying to figure out what the term means for every case.

    Dr. Conspiracy: hat echoes something that I have thought for a long time reading these cases, specifically that the courts were not looking carefully at distinctions that WE are trying to find in them on the natural born citizen question.

  26. avatar
    Dave B. January 13, 2016 at 12:51 pm #

    There’s a lot to not love about that paper.

    gorefan: Not according to Cyril Means, Jr.

    http://natural-borncitizens.com/nbcfiles/Is_Presidency_Barred_Americans_Born_Abroad.pdf

  27. avatar
    gorefan January 13, 2016 at 1:24 pm #

    Dave B.:
    There’s a lot to not love about that paper.

    He was thinking outside the box.

    http://mediacdn.snorgcontent.com/media/catalog/product/o/u/outsidethebox_fullpic_artwork.jpg

  28. avatar
    Dave B. January 13, 2016 at 2:35 pm #

    Ooh, I’ll have to try that one when my great-nieces have children! The main thing I don’t love about it is the way he provides references. I haven’t even got into his argument yet.

    gorefan: He was thinking outside the box.

    http://mediacdn.snorgcontent.com/media/catalog/product/o/u/outsidethebox_fullpic_artwork.jpg

  29. avatar
    Sterngard Friegen January 13, 2016 at 3:52 pm #

    gorefan: How does Rogers v. Bellei apply?

    Not the way you think.

    Under Rogers v. Bellei the United States can condition jus sanguinis citizenship. In 1790 Congress decided that it would extend jus sanguinis citizenship and include “natural born” status. That continued until 1795. It hasn’t been included in any naturalization act since 1795. My conclusion is that Congress has not extended “natural born citizen[ship]” status to jus sanguinis citizens. I’d like to hear your (or even the good professor’s) response.

  30. avatar
    gorefan January 13, 2016 at 4:12 pm #

    Sterngard Friegen: Not the way you think.

    Under Rogers v. Bellei the United States can condition jus sanguinis citizenship. In 1790 Congress decided that it would extend jus sanguinis citizenship and include “natural born” status. That continued until 1795. It hasn’t been included in any naturalization act since 1795. My conclusion is that Congress has not extended “natural born citizen[ship]” status to jus sanguinis citizens. I’d like to hear your (or even the good professor’s) response.

    So are you saying that there are at least three types of citizens?

    born citizens
    natural born citizens
    naturalized citizens

  31. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy January 13, 2016 at 4:24 pm #

    Other good professors have suggested that the new language in 1795 was not intended to change the sense of the 1790 Act, but was just an editorial change. And in fact the words “natural born citizen” never appeared in any legislation on any subject ever again. One possibility for that fact is that the term went out of fashion.

    Much of the discussion about natural born citizen seems to me to be begging the question. That is, one assumes that “natural born citizen” and “born with the nature of the citizen” or “born a citizen” are different concepts and then draws conclusions from that. Lord Dicey in his Laws of England said rather succinctly that there is no difference under English law when applied to Subjects.

    Sterngard Friegen: I’d like to hear your (or even the good professor’s) response.

  32. avatar
    gorefan January 13, 2016 at 4:56 pm #

    Sterngard Friegen: My conclusion is that Congress has not extended “natural born citizen[ship]” status to jus sanguinis citizens.

    I don’t disagree with you on that. In fact that is the strongest argument against those who use the 1790 act to support Cruz’s eligibility. Congress can make natural born citizens which they did in 1790 and the can stop making them which they did in 1795. Which of course means they can start making them again.

    I don’t think that Cruz is a naturalized citizen though.

    Title III Chapter 2 – Nationality by Naturalization conforms to the 1952 Acts definition of “naturalization” – “the conferring of nationality by a state upon a person after birth, by any means whatsoever.”

    Cruz’s case does not fit into Title III, Chapter 2 requirements . He does meet Title III, Chapter 1 Nationality at Birth, and by Collective Naturalization, Nationals and Citizens of the United States at Birth, Section 301 (a) (7).

  33. avatar
    RanTalbott January 13, 2016 at 5:30 pm #

    Dr. Conspiracy: First, Bellei was a case about expatriation, not the acquisition of citizenship.

    But it said that citizenship granted that way could be taken away, while natural born citizenship can only be given up voluntarily by the citizen. That says “naturalized”, and one of the dissenters even used the term “naturalized at birth” in his opinion.

    gorefan: So are you saying that there are at least three types of citizens?

    No, but there are two kinds of naturalization (as you noted in your later comment): individual and collective.

    gorefan: Congress can make natural born citizens which they did in 1790 and the can stop making them which they did in 1795.

    The dicta in Wong Kim Ark says no: that’s a form of collective naturalization. Was there ever a challenge to that provision of the 1790 Act? I doubt it: it would only have come up if someone born abroad tried to run for president. For all the likely cases, “naturalized at birth” would be sufficient.

  34. avatar
    gorefan January 13, 2016 at 6:42 pm #

    RanTalbott: No, but there are two kinds of naturalization (as you noted in your later comment): individual and collective.

    IMO collective naturalization is referring to cases like Puerto Rico or the Panama Canal Zone where whole groups of people were naturalized at one time. So for example in the 1952 Act Section 302 for Puerto Rico says anyone born in PR on or after April 11, 1899 and prior to January 13th, 1941 are citizens.

  35. avatar
    Rickey January 13, 2016 at 11:42 pm #

    gorefan:Congress can make natural born citizens which they did in 1790 and the can stop making them which they did in 1795.Which of course means they can start making them again.

    Constitutional Law professor Mary Brigid McManamon disagrees. She argues that Congress had no Constitutional authority to make natural born citizens, because Article 1 Section 8 give Congress only the authority to “establish a uniform Rule of Naturalization.”

    She would argue that the portion of the Naturalization Act of 1790 which referred to persons born abroad being natural born citizens was unconstitutional, although of course its constitutionality was never challenged.

  36. avatar
    Dave B. January 14, 2016 at 12:14 am #

    I like that paper a lot better now after reading the whole thing. Apparently it was an opinion piece written in 1955 for US News & World Report, so it wouldn’t be expected to be properly referenced. Charles Gordon referred to it extensively in his 1968 Maryland Law Review article on natural born citizenship, calling it an “illuminating, but regrettably unannotated, discussion of the proceedings of the Constitutional Convention.”

    gorefan: He was thinking outside the box.

  37. avatar
    gorefan January 14, 2016 at 11:56 am #

    RanTalbott: No, but there are two kinds of naturalization (as you noted in your later comment): individual and collective.

    The 1952 Act Section 301 covers the case of “Nationals and Citizens of the United States at Birth”

    Sec. 301 (a) The following shall be nationals and citizens of the United States at birth:

    (1) a person born in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof;

    (2) a person born in the United States to a member of an Indian, Eskimo, Aleutian, or other aboriginal tribe: …property;

    (3) a person born outside the United States and its outlying possessions of parents both of whom are citizens of the United States …person;

    (4) a person born outside the United States and its outlying possessions of parents one of whom is a citizen of the United States …and the other of whom is a national, but not a citizen of the United States;

    (5) a person born in an outlying possession of the United States of parents one of whom is a citizen of the United States …person;

    (6) a person of unknown parentage found in the United States …United States;

    (7) a person born outside the geographical limits of the United States and its outlying possessions of parents one of whom is an alien, and the other a citizen of the United States who, prior to the birth of such a person, was physically present in the United States or its outlying possessions for a period or periods totaling not less than ten years, at least five of which were after attaining the age of fourteen years; Provided, that any periods of honorable service in the Armed Forces of the United States by such a citizen parent may be included in computing the physical presence requirements in this paragraph.

    (b) Any person who is a national or citizen the United States at birth under paragraph (7) of subsection (a), shall lose his nationality and citizenship unless he shall come to the United States prior to attaining the age of twenty-three years and shall immediately following such coming be continuously physically present in the United States for at least five years: Provided, that such physical presence follows the attainment of the age of fourteen years and precedes the age of twenty-eight years.

    (c) Subsection (b) shall apply to a person born abroad subsequent to May 24, 1934: …as amended.

    Cruz is a citizen at birth under Section 301 (a) (7). So IMO he is not a naturalized citizen under the naturalization provisions of the 1952 Act.

    In the State Department’s Foreign Affairs Manual (their opinion, not necessarily the law), someone like Cruz is not considered naturalized.

    7 FAM 1131.6-3 Not Citizens by “Naturalization”

    (CT:CON-474; 08-19-2013)

    Section 101(a)(23) INA (8 U.S.C. 1101(a)(23)) provides that the term
    “naturalization” means “the conferring of nationality of a state upon a person after
    birth, by any means whatsoever.” Persons who acquire U.S. citizenship at birth by
    birth abroad to a U.S. citizen parent or parents who meet the applicable statutory
    transmission requirements are not considered citizens by naturalization.

  38. avatar
    Dave B. January 14, 2016 at 2:20 pm #

    Collective naturalization generally happened when the United States acquired foreign territory and made the inhabitants citizens, as in when the United States acquired Louisiana, Florida, Texas, Oregon and the conquered lands of the southwest. Some Native Americans were also made citizens by collective naturalization.
    Chief Justice Fuller runs through the history of collective naturalization in America, before we started to acquire overseas possessions, in Boyd v. Thayer, 143 US at 162-170:

    https://scholar.google.com/scholar_case?case=18118755496880257167&hl=en&as_sdt=6&as_vis=1&oi=scholarr#p162

    In current US Code, it’s most clearly reflected in 8 US Code Sec. 1405:

    “A person born in Hawaii on or after August 12, 1898, and before April 30, 1900, is declared to be a citizen of the United States as of April 30, 1900. A person born in Hawaii on or after April 30, 1900, is a citizen of the United States at birth. A person who was a citizen of the Republic of Hawaii on August 12, 1898, is declared to be a citizen of the United States as of April 30, 1900.”

    and Sec. 1406(a):

    “(a) The following persons and their children born subsequent to January 17, 1917, and prior to February 25,1927, are declared to be citizens of the United States as of February 25, 1927:
    (1) All former Danish citizens who, on January 17, 1917, resided in the Virgin Islands of the United States, and were residing in those islands or in the United States or Puerto Rico on February 25, 1927, and who did not make the declaration required to preserve their Danish citizenship by article 6 of the treaty entered into on August 4, 1916, between the United States and Denmark, or who, having made such a declaration have heretofore renounced or may hereafter renounce it by a declaration before a court of record;
    (2) All natives of the Virgin Islands of the United States who, on January 17, 1917, resided in those islands, and were residing in those islands or in the United States or Puerto Rico on February 25, 1927, and who were not on February 25, 1927, citizens or subjects of any foreign country;
    (3) All natives of the Virgin Islands of the United States who, on January 17, 1917, resided in the United States, and were residing in those islands on February 25, 1927, and who were not on February 25, 1927, citizens or subjects of any foreign country; and
    (4) All natives of the Virgin Islands of the United States who, on June 28, 1932, were residing in continental United States, the Virgin Islands of the United States, Puerto Rico, the Canal Zone, or any other insular possession or territory of the United States, and who, on June 28, 1932, were not citizens or subjects of any foreign country, regardless of their place of residence on January 17, 1917.”

    And Sec. 1407(a):

    “(a) The following persons, and their children born after April 11, 1899, are declared to be citizens of the United States as of August 1, 1950, if they were residing on August 1, 1950, on the island of Guam or other territory over which the United States exercises rights of sovereignty:
    (1) All inhabitants of the island of Guam on April 11, 1899, including those temporarily absent from the island on that date, who were Spanish subjects, who after that date continued to reside in Guam or other territory over which the United States exercises sovereignty, and who have taken no affirmative steps to preserve or acquire foreign nationality; and
    (2) All persons born in the island of Guam who resided in Guam on April 11, 1899, including those temporarily absent from the island on that date, who after that date continued to reside in Guam or other territory over which the United States exercises sovereignty, and who have taken no affirmative steps to preserve or acquire foreign nationality.”

    Although Sec.’s 1402 through 1404 include collective naturalization provisions as well. The acts of Congress actually resulting in these collective naturalizations were more of a drawn-out process than the Code would indicate.

    RanTalbott: No, but there are two kinds of naturalization (as you noted in your later comment): individual and collective.

  39. avatar
    donna January 14, 2016 at 8:33 pm #

    Tom DeLay: Cruz Has Problem on Citizenship Issue

    “I’ve had this problem ever since Cruz announced,” DeLay, the five-term Texas Republican who served from 2003 to 2005, told “The Steve Malzberg Show” in an interview. “There is a difference between the definition of natural born and naturalization — and it has not been settled by any branch of government.

    “Cruz needs to address this in some way because it is a cloud right now in Iowa,” DeLay said.

    DeLay, however, told Malzberg that the “most expedient” way for Cruz to settle any questions is to work through the courts.

    “You can’t do anything through Congress,” he said. “Congress isn’t going to pass any bill to protect him — and I’m sure [President Barack] Obama wouldn’t sign anything.

    “He’s going to the courts if he’s the nominee. The Democrats will use every avenue available to them.

    “He’ll end up in the courts one way or another.”

    http://www.newsmax.com/Newsmax-Tv/tom-delay-ted-cruz-citizenship-issue/2016/01/13/id/709365/

  40. avatar
    gorefan January 15, 2016 at 11:48 am #

    Michael Ramsey has posted a response from Thomas Lee on the his blog:

    http://originalismblog.typepad.com/the-originalism-blog/2016/01/a-response-to-michael-ramsey-on-originalism-and-natural-born-citizensthomas-lee.html

    Here is Lee’s original LA Times opinion piece for those who haven’t seen it:

    http://www.latimes.com/opinion/op-ed/la-oe-lee-is-ted-cruz-eligible-to-be-president-20160110-story.html

    Lee is a Fordham University Constitutional Law Professor.