I’ve been rather busy of late, but primarily doing things unrelated to the blog. I’m close to finishing my 4th audiobook for LibriVox.org as well as writing some cool software to help with that activity.
One article of interest appeared at the Western Free Press (not to be confused with the birther rag, The Western Center for Journalism). The article was titled: “’Birtherism’ and the Tyranny of Ignorance.” It is another in a long line of “Ted Cruz is eligible to run for President” stories. The author, Greg Conterio, says something I strongly support:
One final observation: when you try to read-up on topics like this, sources do matter. Some guy with a blog, or some attorney with some bizarre sounding legal theory are NOT authoritative sources.
The problem is that Mr. Conterio so far as I can tell, is not an authority, nor does he cite authority in his article. For all intents and purposes he is “some guy with a blog.” The end of that cited paragraph says: “When it comes to law, the ONLY valid source is the published local, state or federal code on the topic.” Of course we all know that no statute uses the term “natural born citizen.” So what he does is jump to a conclusion that allows him to substitute “citizen at birth” for “natural born citizen,” saying:
A few points about section 1401 – The term citizen at birth is a synonym for natural born citizen. They are not two different terms, with different meanings.
The two terms are trivially not the same since a citizen at birth is not necessarily even a citizen today, and I do not think anyone would argue that someone born a US citizen, having renounced his citizenship, is eligible to run for President.
However, I do agree that being a citizen at birth, or as I would prefer to say “a citizen from birth,” is the key to being a natural born citizen. I have written some articles arguing that this is the case. However, I am painfully aware that hardly any authority shares my views on the question of how the term “natural born citizen” gets its definition, most authorities deriving it as a term of art based on English Common Law. Conterio rejects the English Common Law as authority. So while I agree with the conclusion that Ted Cruz is eligible, I consider Conterio’s argument fringe at this point.
I guess that when it comes to guys with blogs, one needs to look at whether one cites sources or just simply asserts condescendingly.
I left some comments on the article.