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The Great Mother of all Native Born Citizenship Pages

There seems to be strong historical evidence that the founders of the country considered native born citizen and natural born citizen the same thing. Consider the following from commenter Ballantine and see of you don’t agree:

No court has ruled on NBC. The court has not defined many terms, but that does not mean a definition is in doubt. Even if it was in doubt, the court will look to all early legal authorities to define such term…

With respect to native birth, Wong stated that since the common law was adopted, all children born in the US are generally native born citizens. You are simply trying to read an implication into a choice of terminology. The court made clear the English common law rules controlled and under the common law all the native born (subject to common law exceptions) were by definition “natural born.” I think you need to refresh your Blackstone as you would see there are only 2 classes of people at birth under the common law, the natural born and the alien born. The natural born were also referred to as natives. There is no authority anywhere that says there is a difference between native and natural born under the common law.

Finally, here is a list of early authorities saying that the president needs to be native born citizen or a native. Take notice it includes the most influential scholars of the early republic that court consistently relies upon. If you or Leo [Donofrio] disagree with this multitude you need to find authority to the contrary. Clearly, there you have no such authority.

“No man but a native, or who has resided fourteen years in America, can be chosen President.” Elliot’s Debates –DEBATES IN THE CONVENTION OF THE STATE OF NORTH CAROLINA, ON THE ADOPTION OF THE FEDERAL CONSTITUTION, pg 195-196 (statements of future Supreme Court Justice James Iredell, July 30, 1788).

“That provision in the constitution which requires that the president shall be a native-born citizen (unless he were a citizen of the United States when the constitution was adopted) is a happy means of security against foreign influence,…” St. George Tucker, BLACKSTONE’S COMMENTARIES (1803) Continue Reading →

Searching for “natural born citizen”

US Constitution

US Constitution

Not many folks have spent more time than I searching the Internet and WestLaw for keywords including “natural born citizen”. You can see the results of such activity on pages like my The Great Mother of All Natural Born Citizen Quotation Pages and Tes’s SCOTUS & “Natural Born Citizen” – A Compendium. While that’s useful, finding short paragraphs with keywords is not the way to understand the subject in depth. Even those who disagree with me fall into the same pattern, for example, citing E. de Vattel without reading the chapters that follow.

To really understand what’s going on one must read those works where the subject is developed: this happens in some scholarly works, and in some imp0rtant court decisions. Here are some useful texts, by far not all.

Commenters here may suggest additions to the list.

The Great Mother of All Natural Born Citizen Quotation Pages

Partial lists don’t carry the full impact of citations scattered here and there. This project is to collect everything accessible and to the point into one place If it takes much context or argument, a brief reference and a link is included. I promise you that the quotations will mean the same thing when you read them here than they mean if you read the larger context, and the larger context will be linked to the text. No tricks, no deception.

For additional citations, see The “Natural Born Citizenship” Clause (Updated) to whom this article is indebted for some of these citations. And for EVEN MORE citations see SCOTUS & “Natural Born Citizen” – A Compendium, Books on Google that define “Natural Born Citizen” and History of US citizenship laws.

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