It looks like a trend may be starting, removing cases from state courts to federal. It only makes sense for a lawsuit where federal constitutional issues are raised. The latest removal is the Liberty Legal Foundation lawsuit against the Democrats in Tennessee.
LLF attorney Van R. Irion moved to prevent removal, but was denied in a decision by Judge S. Thomas Anderson. Now Irion is trying to spin the loss to his advantage. He starts by saying:
…it is certainly dangerous to read too much into such an opinion
and then goes on to read quite a but into the opinion, including a belief that court is unwilling to dismiss the case on some grounds. Irion quotes, for example,
It is also clear that there will be a legal dispute over the Constitution’s definition of natural born citizen” and the Supreme Court’s decision in Minor.
I make these observations:
- I don’t see that the court is indicating that it won’t dismiss the case.
- Federal judge Gibney dismissed the Tisdale case in Virginia while commenting on the definition of natural born citizen.
- There is a distinct similarity between Jerry Collette’s assertions and those in this case. Could Collette be removed to federal court too?
This is simple, really. If you don’t want your case to be removed to federal court, don’t plead a claim arising under the law of the United States. Any lawyer who doesn’t know this doesn’t know what he’s doing.
“It is also clear that there will be a legal dispute over the Constitution’s definition of natural born citizen” and the Supreme Court’s decision in Minor.”
Now that’s a bit sloppy.
Ah, I got it now. All these cases involve some federal issue and therefore do not belong in state court.
But the problems with them still remain, no matter whether heard at state level or federal level.
Standing, lack of evidence, precedence all those things would still be valid no matter at what level the case is heard, right?
Has there ever been a court recognised defenition of natural born citizen?
Doesn’t diversity of (state) citizenship between plaintiff and defendant automatically entitle a defendant to remove a case to federal court, with no one having the discretionary authority to reject such a request?.
not quite. first off, the amount of money in controversy has to exceed $50,000(?), secondly, the motion to remove must be made within 30 days of the defendants knowledge of the complaint. (not within 30 days of service, but of “knowledge”), and none of the [plaintiffs] can share state citizenship with any of the defendants. (in the instant case, Orly is claiming that at least one of the added plaintiffs is a MS citizen)
No court has intentionally defined “natural born citizen” nor to my knowledge identified an existing definition. Several courts have described particular individuals as natural born citizens. The Supreme Court in Minor v. Happersett said that persons born in the United States to US citizen parents qualify as natural born citizens. Five courts addressing Obama’s eligibility have said that persons born in the United States like Barack Obama are natural born citizens. Two of those cases were Ankeny v. Governor of Indiana (state appeals court) and Tisdale v. Obama (US District Court). The situation that hasn’t been decided anywhere is that of a person born a US citizen abroad.
Abdul Hassan is a naturalized citizen running for President who argues that the Equal Protection Clause of 5th Amendment removes requirements related to national origin for the office of President. He has a lawsuit pending.
Hope that helps.
Perhaps it lies in the realm of “I know it when I see it”. Recall the wording used in the brief discussion of McCain’s citizenship in the Senate … are kids born on military bases NBCs? “That’s my understanding.”
Again, It’s fun to make charts and lists, but, due to the impossibility of anticipating all possible circumstances, I say a definitive definition is neither possible nor desirable.
I think you make a good point, and John McCain is a great example of a really odd case, someone born on a US military base that was not US Soil to US Parents at a time when that didn’t make one a citizen, but was a citizen at birth according to a law that acted retroactively.
The purpose of the natural born citizenship clause, according to framer Charles Pinckney, was to insure (or “ensure” for those that don’t think “insure” is eligible) “attachment to the country” and clearly John McCain had that by anybody’s definition. Had McCain been elected, and no one in Congress had objected, then the flexibility in the current system would, I think, have worked. by allowing McCain to assume office.
It’s the birfoon SOP: first claim far, wide and loud that the judge is “sympathetic” and when the case is dismissed, scream bloody murder and conspiracy and “THEY GOT TO THE JUDGE!!!!!!!!!!”
With all due respect to Mr Pinckney, I beg to differ. I actually believe that one’s attachement might be greater to a country one CHOOSES as an adult than one that one is simply born into.
As for the flexibility, that same argument would apply to a fictional Obama-like individual born abroad to an 18 year old citizen mother and a non-citizen father (whether or not the marriage was legitimate) and brought (fictionally) into the country as a days-old infant. Such a fictional person would also have become a citizen at birth by a law modified after his birth and still in force today. And, really, what impact would place of birth have on such a child’s feelings towards his country? A newborn may indeed bond with his parents, but no one has shown that a newborn has the slightest bond with the soil of their birth, especially if they spend only a few days there (we are not salmon). Such attachments are formed when one is raised and educated to adulthood, not based on where one spent the first few days of life (or else most of us would consider our true home to be a hospital neonatal ward).
So, sorry birthers, even if you could prove that Obama was born in Kenya, the McCain arguments would apply. There is literally no way Obama could be ineligible unless you could prove his mother wasn’t his mother. And good luck with that. You have wasted the last 4 years of your life on an enterprise that was doomed from birth (pun intended). Tough luck, eh?
Sorry, but I believe that statement is incorrect. According to the law in effect at the time of Obama’s birth, if he were born abroad to Stanley Ann, she was at the time too young to have conferred citizenship to Obama. She had not lived in the U.S. the requisite 5 years after age 14.
As to the definition of a natural born citizen, I have no idea how much more one needs than the Constitution, and then there is in addition several cases but most especially the guidance from SCOTUS of United States v. Wong Kim Ark 169 U.S. 649.
But just like with McCain, the law subsequently changed. A fictional Obama would be just as entitled as McCain to “flexibility”. And there is of course the issue of whether the marriage was valid.
My point is that when looking at invalidating the votes of the majority of citizens, Congress should not do so on legal technicalities or grey areas, but should only even consider doing so when the case is absolutely iron-clad (say a naturalized citizen). Even then, my personal predeliction would be to respect the results of elections. This is different from some law that infringes minority rights, this is about an ELECTION. And the purpose of elections, the sole purpose, is to determine the will of the majority.
Retired Lawyer at 10:48. U.S. Supreme Court changed that rule and it’s now computed from date of service. Case is called something like Michetti Brothers–I may be spelling it wrong but it really is now tied to service. FWIW.
A point I’ve made with every post.
That’s not only your view, but I think it’s the settled view of the legal systems in most western countries: in general, the separation of the legal and political realms is guarded jealously by both sides, so judges are very reluctant to interfere in the electoral/political matters and politicians are usually reluctant to criticise court decisions.
That’s one of the many, many things that the birthers don’t “get”. Even IF there were a problem with Obama’s status (and there aren’t any), courts would not want to interfere when the electorate and Congress have mechanisms (elections and votes) to sort these problems out in the first instance.
The birthers don’t understand that judges are only too happy to say “hey! it’s not my problem!” rather than get into the unholy mess of a battle between politics and law, which could end very badly for the judge.
The birthers are so legally inept that most of their actions fail because they scream “STUPID!” on every page and get put in the “DOOMED!” pile on arrival. In the past, I had thought “hmm, wouldn’t it be good if the birthers could put together a half competent case, properly submitted, proper legal authorities, etc., so a judge could actually rule “no, you fools, the law says this, this is what a natural born citizen is, there is no doubt about Obama’s history, this ruling is definitive, go away, and similar action will be considered vexatious”.
But I think that scenario wouldn’t work because (as I understand it) judges below SCOTUS level are very much against making general rulings in principle. Rather the judge will rule exclusively on the specific case in hand, including whatever specific oddities it has. So the judge will stick at “well, you’re an idiot with no standing, case dismissed, shut the door on your way out” rather than say “you have no standing, but even if you did, I am telling you that your action would fail because of X, Y and Z”.
Usual caveats apply: IANAL, I don’t really know much about this issues, I might be talking horsepoo. But not as much horsepoo as a birther.
Sometimes you will here some invoke Bush v. Gore, but forget that case was based upon very specific dispute, the status and whether to continue the recount in Florida. The decision may have had large implications (who would be the next President) and there is an obvious disagreement on whether the court made the correct decision. However, the case still revolved around a specific dispute to a specific process in which a court could, if it chose, provide a legal remedy without forcing a specific “political” remedy.
The court could have also decided it was still to political and punted, forcing the electoral college and Congress to decide the issue (there have previously been disputes to state’s electoral votes resolved by the Congress).
There is one part of this that gets overlooked. According to a report I read by someone that researched this, Panama DID NOT have Jus Soli for citizenship till many years after McCain was born. Hence, no claim to his citizenship. It would make perfect sense that Panama wouldn’t have had it with all the foreigners there that had been working on the canal and also foreign militaries protecting the canal.
A claim to anonymous authority doesn’t even warrant a response.
” According to a report I read by someone that researched this . . . ”
BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA ! ! ! ! ! ! !
“It would make perfect sense . . .”
Senseless irony meter destruction.
I decided to look this up. Your comment is totally bogus. I don’t know whether you made up the story of the researcher, or whether the researcher actually exists and was lying, or an idiot.
Panama has had three constitutions,in 1904, 1941 and 1972 (with amendments). John McCain was born in 1936 which would have been under the 1904 constitution. Article 6 (in English translation) says:
Birther research, bah.
The fact of the matter is that Panama has always had jus soli citizenship.
Someone claiming the ability to predict a coin toss is right half the time. While birther research is wrong far more than half the time, it is still possible that they could get something right. Not this time, however.
In researching my reply (preceding) I found that Leo Donofrio fell for the fake John McCain birth certificate, and I found a very sensible article on John McCain’s eligibility for President at Snopes.com:
Would this be an example of the Dunning-Kruger effect, or the Dumbell-Birther effect? ; )
Birther research, bah.The fact of the matter is that Panama has always had jus soli citizenship.
This replaces the original article I read over 2 years ago regarding this:
April 8th, 2012
Texoma: In 1936 (the year of McCain’s birth), Panama law stated that children born in its sovereign territory to foreign citizen parents were not Panamanian citizens at birth. Now, their law did provide that these children could, at the age of majority, automatically become Panamanian citizens if they made that election. However, this provision does not constitute an allegiance at birth, and so McCain was not born with a foreign allegiance.
Puzo1: Additionally, when McCain was born in Panama in 1936, that nation did not grant jus soli citizenship (granting citizenship to someone by merely being born on the soil of a nation). That means that even though McCain was born on its territory, because he was born to U.S. citizen parents, Panama did not expect him to have any allegiance to that nation. Hence, Panama did not grant him its citizenship.
Notice about a 3rd of the way down in the article: Act of October 29th, 1928 replaces Article 6 of the Panama Constitution.
One interesting curiosity of citizenship law around the world … in the Americas (the “[Mostly] New[er] World”), jus soli is the rule, with a few exceptions.
On all those other continents, citizenship is, as a rule, messier.
There’s a site for immigration obsessives out there that uses this situation to argue that the US is nuts (for following the example of all of ‘those’ countries to the south of us? (What about Canada?)) … http://www.cis.org/birthright-citizenship
Silly me, I think it illustrates the progressive nature of younger countries, and the flow of world history.
So I would conclude that Panama does have “jus soli” citizenship, although it has limitations, specifically to preclude dual citizenship in adults (much like the Constitution of Kenya does).
Some readers here will recall that I went to Panama last year to research John McCain issues, and wrote about that in my article “John McCain the ‘Panamanian Candidate’” in which I said:
I notice a number of errors in the Birthers.org article you cited, including reliance on the fake McCain birth certificate from Donald Lamb.
But a claim to anonymous authority is going to make me laugh heartily every time.
My barber’s dog groomer’s cousin knows a guy who swears all birthers are perfect idiots.
He swears it.
I believe it. Then again, I might be have some confirmation bias. 3 years of watching all birthers being perfect idiots might be influencing my opinion. My Bad.
Especially since ‘all of those’ countries to the south of us’, are following OUR example, not the other way around.
The USA was the first to throw off the chains of colonialism, and thus breaking free, to fly, fly, fly..
I beg to differ. A perfect idiot would be a quiet idiot.
Just when I was thinking that this was a relative judgment, it occurred to me that, no matter who is deciding who’s an idiot, it’s a given that everyone would prefer that idiots be quiet. I think TB nailed this one!
So, you are saying that birthers can’t even get being an idiot right?
That is exactly what I’m saying. They can dare to dream of someday merely being morons.
“The Constitution does not in words say who shall be natural-born citizens. Resort must be had elsewhere to ascertain that. At common law, with the nomenclature of which the framers of the Constitution were familiar, it was never doubted that all children born in a country of parents who were its citizens became themselves, upon their birth, citizens also. These were natives or natural-born citizens, as distinguished from aliens or foreigners. Some authorities go further and include as citizens children born within the jurisdiction without reference to the citizenship of their parents. As to this class there have been doubts, but never as to the first”
This is directly from “Happersett v. Minor”. It clearly states PARENTS! And clearly states there is NO DOUBT about who IS “NATURAL BORN CITIZENS” and who are questionable.
Obama’s father was NOT a citizen, therefore he is not a NATURAL BORN CITIZEN! It’s that simple!
“One of your attorneys has spilled the beans about your fake birth certificate, and has entered that information into the court records in New Jersey. Google “obamas-lawyer-alexandra-hill-admits-image-of-obamas-birth-certificate-was-a-forgery”
Wow! If this is true, maybe the “birthers” aren’t the idiots!
It’s not true.
What the Minor decision said is that some people dispute that the children of aliens born in the United States are born citizens (i.e. “natural born citizens”). If Obama were running for President immediately following that decision, then a challenge to his eligibility might have been considered legitimate. However, the Supreme Court in US v. Wong answered the question of the citizenship of the children of aliens born in the US, and so questions about Barack Obama are no longer legitimate.
No, it’s not! Six US Presidents had non-citizen parents BEFORE Obama. There is NO textual evidence that two citizen parents were EVER required. The only way you can support the idea is by mis-reading texts like Minor, which Mario Apuzzo has developed into a mini-career.
If you think two citizen parents are or ever have been required for Presidential eligibility, you are dumber than navel lint.
Dare to dream.
Perhaps a timeline would help you picture where you are going wrong:
1875 NBC of alien parents child in doubt 1898 NBC alien parents child not in doubt PRESENT
1875: Minor v Happersett says there is no doubt about the natural born citizenship of children born of 2 citizen parents but does not answer the question of children born of alien parents, specifically leaving that question in doubt.
1898: USA v Wong Kim Ark confirms that a child born in the United States of alien parents is a Natural Born Citizen. This decision removes the doubt left open in Minor v Happersett.
No matter what you think Minor said (even though you are wrong about what you think it said), Wong Kim Ark is a newer and therefore the controlling decision. You do your argument no justice to ignore this simple fact of history.
WKA definitively found that the children of aliens (who are not accredited foreign diplomats nor members of an invading army) are Natural Born Citizens.
“Wow! If this is true, maybe the “birthers” aren’t the idiots!”
Still wrong. Still idiots.
And the remaining doubt was laid to rest in US v Wong Kim Ark which explained that the meaning of natural born citizen referred to anyone born on soil.
Why is it that birthers have so much trouble parsing simple English? I can understand why Orly is totally confused but come on…
It’s a lie. Ms Hill never made any such assertions. The birthers and those supporting them and believing these rumors remain the true idiots.
Have you ever gotten in an argument or angry at somebody enough that you could barely speak. Maybe it is like that. Anger and hating have a habit of putting a big wall in the middle of your brain. It tends to block thinking from reading and speaking.
Then again, maybe they are just to lazy and would rather just repeat what was written elsewhere than to actually study it themselves. Hating is often a lazy response to something or someone you do not understand.
Nail is hitten on head.