The video is nicely produced and it does a good job of summarizing the misinformation being spread about natural born citizen.
[Video no longer available]
Despite what the video says, there is widespread consensus among constitutional scholars, courts and government officials that being born in the United States is sufficient to be a “natural born citizen” and this is the message many people are getting from their congressmen when they write to them about this natural born citizen redefinition craziness. McCain supporter, Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, wrote: “Every child born in the United States is a natural-born United States citizen except for the children of diplomats.”
Representative Bingham’s comments (and I don’t think they are fairly quoted in context) are still just an isolated remark made by one congressman during one debate over the Civil Rights Act of 1866, which itself was made obsolete by the 14th amendment two years later (replacing the language “born not subject to any foreign power” with “under the jurisdiction of the United States”). The film distorts this fact.
The comment that case law supports the “Meat and Two” citizenship model is blatantly false. The most important case on citizenship is United States v. Wong Kim Ark, in which the 6-2 majority stated plainly that the children of foreign nationals born here are fully and completely under the jurisdiction of the United States (except for ambassadors who by law enjoy exception from our jurisdiction, and invading armies). In fact the Wong case goes so far as to cite British common law (upon which much of American law is based) in saying that anyone born in England is a natural born subject, and then goes on to say that it is appropriate to substitute “citizen” for “subject” when referring to our country.
The comment about Senate Resolution 511 is an example of the formal fallacy of denying the antecedent. It goes:
Anyone born of American citizens is a natural born citizen Barack Obama does not have two American Parents Therefore Barack Obama is not a natural born citizen
That is equivalent to
Anyone with a broken leg will have trouble climbing these steep stairs Joe has no legs at all (broken or otherwise) Joe will not have trouble climbing these steep stairs
Then the sound track says ”McCain…born on a military base in the Panama Canal Zone” over an image of a fake birth certificate that says McCain was not born on the military base but in the city of Colon, outside the Canal Zone. Hit PAUSE and read it! I got a big laugh out of that one.
It is true that Barack Obama was born with dual American/British citizenship (as was President Chester A. Arthur), but this is no disqualification. British law has no power to nullify our Constitution. Presidents and Vice Presidents have the same qualifications for office (12th Amendment) and Vice President Curtis was born in the Kansas Territory (which was not in the United States at the time) of a mother who was an American Indian (and not a citizen).
The video goes on again to emphasize “not subject to any foreign power” from the 1866 act, ignoring the fact that this was replaced by the 14th amendment’s language “subject to the jurisdiction”. And even if that language had lasted more than 2 years, still the argument in the Wong case would have said that a child born in the US is not subject to a foreign power even if that power were to claim him. The Emperor of China could not tell Wong to do this or do that if he were in the US.
I would not call emergency motions for relief to the Supreme Court denied as soon as they are filed “active lawsuits”. The Supreme Court only hears a small fraction of the cases that come before it. If the supreme court had any intention of hearing a presidential qualifications case, they would have done so at the earliest possible time so as to allow arguments and make some kind of a determination before the inauguration. But they did not which tells me that these cases are totally dead.
There is no evidence that I know of that Obama has spent any money to prevent the birth certificate from being revealed. He has defended lawsuits that make broad claims that include the birth certificate, but I know of no case where he has made any legal defense in a case that only demands the birth certificate.
I think the video’s own words: “trickery and deception” best apply to the video itself.
For further reading:
- What “Subject to the Jurisdiction Thereof” Really Means – The Federalist Blog
- Is Barack Obama Natural Born? – Op Ed News
- State Department regulations on citizenship
- The Natural-Born Citizen Clause and Presidential Eligibility: An Approach for Resolving Two Hundred Years of Uncertainty – Yale Law Journal 1988
- ‘Natural Born’ in the USA: The striking unfairness and dangerous ambiguity of the Constitution’s presidential qualifications clause and why we need need to fix it – Boston University Law Review 2005
- The Origins and Interpretation of the Presidential Eligibility Clause in the
U.S. Constitution: Why Did the Founding Fathers Want the President
To Be a “Natural Born Citizen” and What Does this Clause
Mean for Foreign-Born Adoptees?
- Defining “American” Birthright Citizenship and the Original Understanding of the 14th Amendment
- The strange case of Chester Alan Arthur – Venia Legendi blog
- Acquisition and Retention of U.S. Citizenship and Nationality – US Department of State
- US v Wong Kim Ark
- What’s Your Evidence?