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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 →

Thomas Jefferson on “Natural Born”

Jefferson

Jefferson

Thomas Jefferson in December, 1783, wrote these notes to Congress [emphasis in the original]:

Qu. 1. Can an American citizen, adult, now inherit lands in England?
Natural subjects can inherit–Aliens cannot.
There is no middle character–every man must be the one or the other of these.
A Natural subject is one born within the king’s allegiance & still owing allegiance. No instance can be produced in the English law, nor can it admit the idea of a person’s being a natural subject and yet not owing allegiance.
An alien is the subject or citizen of a foreign power.
The treaty of peace acknowleges we are no longer to owe allegiance to the king of G.B. It acknowleges us no longer as Natural subjects then.
It makes us citizens of independent states; it makes us aliens then.
A treaty with a foreign nation where the king’s powers are competent to it as in this which is a case of peace & war, supersedes all law.
If the king’s powers were not competent before, the act of parliament of 1782 has made them so. An American citizen adult cannot inherit then.

Qu.2. The father a British subject; the son in America, adult, and within the description of an American citizen, according to their laws. Can the son inherit?
He owes no allegiance to Great B. The treaty acknowleges he does not. But allegiance is the test of a natural subject. Were he to do an act here which would be treason in a British subject he could not be punished should he happen to go there. Continue Reading →

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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