GROWING UP TO BE PRESIDENT IN AMERICA

There has been considerable debate in conservative circles as to whether Barak Hussein Obama is eligible to be the President of the U.S. This hinges on the question of whether he was born in the U.S. or elsewhere, whether dual citizenship would disqualify him, or whether he was a citizen of Kenya or Indonesia.

Consider this article to be sort of a Can I Grow up to be President? for Dummies.

To start, one must go back to Article Two, Section 1 of the United States Constitution, which states exactly what sort of person would be eligible to be the President of the U.S.:

No person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President; neither shall any Person be eligible to that Office who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty-five Years, and been fourteen Years a Resident within the United States.

We will deal with the easiest of these requirements first.

1.) The President has to be at least 35 years of age.

I was born and raised in a Commonwealth where our courts utilize a Conservative Construction of the Law. In the simplest terms, what that means is that if something is not expressly forbidden by a law, it is legal. I will use a Conservative rather than a Liberal Construction throughout my analysis.

The 35 years of age eligibility requirement was designed to ensure that any Presidential Candidate had the maturity, wisdom, and restraint that the requirements of the position demanded. The Framers would undoubtedly have made the minimum age even higher, had not life expectancy been so much lower at that time. They wanted to draw candidates for the position from the largest possible pool of those within the citizenry who would be fit for the position.

Eligible, using a conservative construction, would mean that the President would have to be at least 35 years of age the moment that the prior President’s term expired. Obama was born on 8-4-61 at 7:24 P.M.

The 20th Amendment to the United States Constitution was ratified on 1-23-33, and went into effect on 10-15-33. Section 1 of the 20th Amendment says,

The terms of the President and Vice President shall end at noon on the 20th day of January, and the terms of Senators and Representatives at noon on the 3rd day of January, of the years in which such terms would have ended if this article had not been ratified; and the terms of their successors shall then begin.

Obama’s first inauguration as President was on 1-20-09. The Presidential term is for four years, and ends at noon on the 20th of January, every fourth year. The time of Obama’s birth would only have relevance if he had been born on the 20th of January. At noon on 1-20-09, Obama was 47, so he passes the minimum 35 years of age test.

2.) The president has to have lived in the U.S. for at least fourteen years.

This was to prevent foreign influence in our government. The Framers considered the European model where the head of state need not be born in that country to be dangerous for the citizens of that state (Think: Wo sind meine Brille? and King George III). It was felt that if you lived here for at least fourteen years, you would have identified with and grown to love this country so much, you would do anything for it. Fourteen years before the signing of the Constitution on September 17, 1787 takes you back to 1773. December 16, 1773 was the Boston Tea Party.

From the conservative construction standpoint, this residency requirement is a total of at least fourteen years. They need not be contiguous. They need not be the fourteen years immediately preceding the inauguration, although I am sure that would have become a campaign point pushed by opposing candidates. Only the final total of fourteen years counts.

Obama lived in Hawaii until 1967. He attended kindergarten there from 1966 to 1967. After kindergarten until he was ten years old, he lived in Indonesia. When he was ten, he was sent back to Hawaii to live with his grandparents and to attend school there. He attended Columbia University and Harvard Law School. At Harvard, he was president of the Harvard Law Review. After graduation, Obama worked as a civil rights attorney in Chicago. He taught constitutional law at the University of Chicago Law School from 1992 to 2004. He served three terms in the Illinois Senate, from 1-8-97 to 11-16-08. He was a U.S. Senator from 1-4-05 to 11-16-08. There are plenty of newspaper articles, income tax records, and school records that have undoubtedly been looked at which would indicate that he has spent most of his 47 years prior to the inauguration on U.S. soil. There is no aggregate total 33 year span wherein he did not live in the U.S. So, he passes the minimum fourteen year residency requirement.

3.) The president has to have been a citizen of this country at the time of the adoption of the Constitution.

You can argue whether this means September 17, 1787, when 39 of the 55 delegates to the Constitutional Convention signed the Constitution, or June 21, 1788, when New Hampshire became the ninth of the thirteen original colonies to ratify it by a vote of 57 for, to 47 against. Since no one still living in this country was born yet on either date, this is a question reserved strictly for Constitutional scholars. It is irrelevant to the concerns at hand. The point the Framers were making is that the leader of this country had to be a U.S. citizen. Our government, and especially our Armed Services, could not be headed by any citizen of a foreign power. No king would wear a second, American crown in addition to the one he already had.

So, the question becomes, a citizen of which country? It is postulated that the Framers considered the Boston Tea Party to be the pivotal moment when we gained a national consciousness, the moment wherein we as a group envisioned the U.S. as being a sovereign nation independent of the Crown. I hypothesize that December 16, 1773 is the date upon which the Founding Fathers considered the U.S. to be born.No matter how you look at it, this particular naturalization requirement does not apply to anyone living in the U.S. today.

As a nation of immigrants, it was important for the Framers of the Constitution to include as many of the people who had immigrated here as possible within the category of U.S. citizen. Never mind the actual formalities, if you were in this country at the close of 1773, and identified with our values, you were thought to be at heart a citizen of the U.S., and no longer a citizen of the nation you came from. That is the conservative construction of it. No one living today can actually meet this test, due to the passage of time. This test also does not exclude any of us from becoming the President for the same reason. There is a second test of citizenship that is more relevant to our time. From the Framers’ point of view, it is an either/or consideration concerning the two tests.

4.) The alternative to becoming a naturalized citizen would be if you were actually born in this country.

The terminology used here is a natural born Citizen. Under a conservative construction, it does not matter if you were born here before, during, or after the Constitution was signed or was ratified, you still pass this part of the eligibility test for being the President. All of us who are still alive and who were born here after the ratification of the Constitution meet this test. Due to the passage of time, the other parts of the test, specifically of one’s birth before the signing or ratification, is for practical purposes a moot point, except for Constitutional scholars. It is important to remember that the Framers were guaranteeing that no citizen who had been, or who would be, born in this country could be excluded from the pool of possible candidates who could become the President. Again, this draws candidates for the position from the largest possible pool of qualified individuals. It was though that this would ensure that the position was filled by the most qualified candidates.

The Constitution does not define natural born. The subject has never come up before the Supreme Court of the U.S. as concerns any President or Vice President. We will deal with natural born one concept at a time.

The Naturalization Act of 1790 gives some insight into the mind-set of the times. If you were the child of a citizen of the U.S., and were born here, you automatically were a citizen of the U.S. yourself. An immigrant could become a citizen, but there was one insurmountable exclusion to that possibility. The Act denied the possibility of naturalization to persons whose fathers have never been resident in the United States. There are other stipulations concerning the location of your residence, which are family based. This also leans toward the family unit as being defined as all of those resident in a house that is in the vast majority of cases headed by the father or a father figure. So, if your father had never been a resident of the U.S., you could never become a citizen. Citizenship thus descended through the line of the father.

This was designed to prevent the influence of, as an example, a foreigner who may be a younger, disenfranchised prince in another country from immigrating here, becoming a citizen, and then running the country to the benefit of his royal family back home, or to the benefit of his home country.

Note that resident is not the same as citizen. While I have not looked into this all that closely, others can. Obama’s Kenyan father, as a college student, spent several years here. Under a conservative construction, you can conclude that Obama’s father, while not a citizen of the U.S., most certainly met the criteria of U.S. resident, albeit as an alien resident. So, even if Obama was born overseas, he could become a naturalized citizen through his resident father, provided that his father was a U.S. resident at the time of this birth. But this foreign birth would prevent him from being eligible to be President of the U.S. According to the Act of 1790, there was a requirement that the father be a citizen of the U.S. before any of his children who were born overseas could be considered to be natural born citizens.

A Congressional Research Service Report of 2011 tried to clarify what a natural born citizen was. The report stated that:

The weight of legal and historical authority indicates that the term “natural born” citizen would mean a person who is entitled to U.S. citizenship “by birth” or “at birth”, either by being born “in” the United States and under its jurisdiction, even those born to alien parents; by being born abroad to U.S. citizen-parents; or by being born in other situations meeting legal requirements for U.S. citizenship “at birth”. Such term, however, would not include a person who was not a U.S. citizen by birth or at birth, and who was thus born an “alien” required to go through the legal process of “naturalization” to become a U.S. citizen.

This interpretation, coupled with the various Acts following the 1790 Act, is significant in that it uses the plural term parents twice in this excerpt. Under a conservative construction of this and all of the later incarnations of the Naturalization Acts considered collectively, if you are born overseas, you have to have two parents who are U.S. citizens before you can be considered to be a U.S. citizen yourself. A slightly looser construction would say that “parents” means “parent(s)”. This Act has since been revamped. I am only concerning myself with the historical context of colonial times and shortly after in this article.

If you were born here, it is inconsequential whether your parents were aliens or not, you are a U.S. citizen. Under a conservative construction, a child of illegal aliens who was born here and lived at least fourteen years here and was at least 35 at the time of his or her inauguration could be the President of the U.S. A child who is born overseas whose father was not a U.S. citizen also is not a U.S. citizen who, under a conservative construction of the Constitution, is eligible to be the President.

This is only significant if Obama was not born in Hawaii. The preponderance of evidence suggests that he was. His mother was at the time undeniably a U.S. citizen. The Naturalization Act of 1790 required State and Federal officials to consider American children who were born overseas to be American citizens. Later interpretations of the Act indicate citizenship can also descend through the mother’s line. So by current standards, it would not matter where Obama was born, he is a U.S. citizen via his mother’s U.S. citizenship. The question is strictly one of eligibility to be the U.S. President under the qualifications listed in the Constitution.

The distinction that needs to be drawn is between what is a natural born citizen by current definition versus which groups of natural born citizens are eligible to be President according to the standards of Article 2 Section 1 of the United States Constitution. That is an area of interpretation that is still left open to the Courts.

As it appears that Obama was born in Honolulu, the question as to whether he is natural born becomes moot. There are enough surviving newspapers of the times in enough attics and ephemera shops and elsewhere that his birth announcement should be easy to establish as valid.

The other considerations therefore only come up in the event that he was born in Kenya, as some claim. In that event, he would not be considered to be a U.S. citizen eligible to be the President via a conservative construction of Article 2 Section 1, either from the standpoint that his father is not a U.S. citizen, or that both of his parents are not U.S. citizens. The context of the time when the Constitution was written and the intent of the Framers would have to be taken into consideration by the Court prior to it rendering any decision on this matter. If born overseas to only one parent who is a U.S. citizen, Obama would be a natural born citizen according to the current definition of it. But that still does not settle the question of whether he would be excluded from the office of President due to the usage of the plural parents. Again, this question would be subject to a Supreme Court review and decision.

Note that Obama did have dual citizenship when he was born, as his father as a Kenyan was a citizen of the British Commonwealth and its Colonies. Under a conservative construction, this would not preclude him from being president as long as he had lived in the U.S. for fourteen years, and was at least 35 years of age at noon on inaugural day. He still is a citizen of the U.S. So, Obama passes that test.

There was no Republic of Kenya when Obama was born. On Dec. 12, 1963, Kenya became an independent country. In 1964 the country became a Republic. Obama thus became a Kenyan citizen upon Kenyan independence. Obama could remain a dual citizen until he was 23. Under the laws of the time, Obama would have to renounce his U.S. citizenship and swear an oath of allegiance to Kenyan upon reaching 23 years of age, or he could no longer be a Kenyan citizen.

This in no way affected his U.S. citizenship under U.S. law, unless Kenyan law was enforceable in this circumstance. As he was in the U.S. at that time, it is unlikely he did apply for Kenyan citizenship, but it is not impossible. Interestingly, under current Kenyan law, Obama could reapply for dual citizenship. This in no way would affect his U.S. citizenship. It remains to be seen if this would affect his eligibility under the U.S. Constitution to be President, as this has never been reviewed by the Supreme Court either. Under a conservative construction of the law, this dual citizenship would prohibit him from being the President, as he is also subject to the laws of Kenya, and he would have renounced his U.S. citizenship under those Kenyan laws. The question that arises is the Framers’ concern with preventing those under foreign influences from ruling the country. Under a conservative construction of the law, the fact of a President’s dual citizenship would be contra-intervenient as concerns the actual intent of the Constitution. This would again be up to the Supreme Court to settle.

Now for the final consideration:

Obama’s American mother, Stanley Ann Dunham, married Lolo Soetoro and apparently moved to Indonesia during Obama’s 1966 to 1967 school year or immediately after. Obama would have been five or six years of age. There is limited circumstantial evidence that Lolo may have adopted Obama. He lived there as Barry Soetoro until he was ten. There are, of course, his school records.

If you want to adopt a child out of Indonesia, you have to be of the same religion as the child. Indonesia is predominantly Muslim. Few children are adopted out of the country. This does not necessarily mean that Obama was adopted. And it does not mean that he wasn’t.

Obama attended the Indonesian-language St. Francis of Assisi Catholic School from the first grade to part of the third grade. This was a mostly Catholic school. Obama attended the Indonesian-language government-run Besuki School for the rest of the 3rd grade and for the 4th grade, from 1969 to 1971. The school is of mixed religions. Obama himself said that he first attended a school that was primarily Catholic, and then one that was primarily Muslim.

In mid-1971, Obama moved back to Hawaii to live with his grandparents, where he went to the Punahou School for the 5th grade.

Oboma’s mother was spiritual, but studied all religions. Obama’s biological father can best be described as an increasingly non-practicing Muslim. Obama described Lolo as following a brand of Islam that could make room for the remnants of more ancient animist and Hindu faiths.

Obama claims that he has always been a Christian. There is no stipulation in the Constitution requiring that the President be of any one religion. There is no requirement that the President have any religion at all. Obama’s school papers list him as a Muslim.

If Lolo adopted Obama, and Obama was under five years old at the time, he would have automatically become an Indonesian citizen. But the evidence seems to suggest that Obama went to Indonesia when he was six years old. It is currently unestablished whether Lolo Soetoro ever adopted Obama. It is acknowledged that, while living in Indonesia, Obama used the name Barry Soetoro. His paperwork of the time lists him under that name. Whether the family was perpetrating a lie or was just trying to fit in with the conventions of the time and the country to make it easier on Barry is not for me to answer. It is apparent that Obama could have just as easily have been listed as a Catholic, as he was at first attending a Catholic school. The actual reason for the choice of Muslim as his religion on his school paperwork is unclear. It could just as easily have been written in there by a nun who did no consultation with the family.

U.S. law would not have required Obama to relinquish his American citizenry if he became an Indonesian citizen. It is only Indonesia that does not recognize this dual citizenship.

Under the Indonesian Nationality Law of 2006 (I do not know if the following was a part of the 1958 law), a child under the age of 18 actually can have dual citizenship. But neither of Obama’s birth parents are Indonesian. The categories of people who are Indonesian citizens always carry the stipulation of a child of a marriage, where at least one parent is an Indonesian citizen. A child born out-of-wedlock is more or less inconceivable in the cultural context of Indonesia at that time (they do have a category called illegal marriage). As Barry is not Lolo’s biological child, he cannot be an Indonesian citizen by birth. He would have to wait until he was eighteen before he could apply for this citizenship. I did not find anywhere if a child of six can be granted Indonesian citizenship. In the absence of any other information, a conservative construction of the law would result in the answer, “Yes, this can be done.” Others can answer this question for me.

There is a possibility that the family maintained the ruse that Barry was Lolo’s biological child. This would probably violate Indonesian laws in some way. Obama’s school papers list him as a Soetoro. I not know if there is an actual requirement under Indonesian law for Obama as his mother’s son to take the surname of his mother’s husband. This is a possibility. It would certainly make it easier for the child while living within Indonesian culture to be considered as Lolo’s son.

The U.S. recognizes dual U.S./Indonesian citizenship. According to the Bureau of Consular Affairs, Department of State;

U.S. law does not mention dual nationality or require a person to choose one citizenship or another. Also, a person who is automatically granted another citizenship does not risk losing U.S. citizenship. However, a person who acquires a foreign citizenship by applying for it may lose U.S. citizenship.

The U.S. Government recognizes that dual nationality exists but does not encourage it as a matter of policy because of the problems it may cause. Claims of other countries on dual national U.S. citizens may conflict with U.S. law, and dual nationality may limit U.S. Government efforts to assist citizens abroad. The country where a dual national is located generally has a stronger claim to that person’s allegiance.

However, dual nationals owe allegiance to both the United States and the foreign country. They are required to obey the laws of both countries. Either country has the right to enforce its laws, particularly if the person later travels there.

I have seen no evidence that Obama applied for Indonesian citizenship when he became 18. It would be inconsequential as far as his U.S. citizenship is concerned.

So, as long as Obama was born in Hawaii, it is inconsequential whether he was an Indonesian citizen via adoption or not, as far as his U.S. citizenship is concerned. He would meet the test of a natural-born citizen as required by the Constitution of the U.S. His Hawaiian birth certificate lists where he was born. In my looking at the purported Kenyan birth certificate it appears to be a fake, on more than one ground. So Obama appears to be a legitimate citizen of the U.S.

The question that still remains is if he would be a legitimate President of the U.S. The Department of State itself recognizes that dual citizenship is a problem due to the citizen’s allegiances to both countries. This of itself seems to have been a direct concern of the Framers of the Constitution, which they addressed in their minimum qualifications for the office as they are written down in the Constitution.

Here is one final consideration. If Obama and his parents lied to the Government of Indonesia by claiming that he was actually Barry Soetoro, Muslim, adopted son of Lolo and Stanley Ann Soetoro, what sort of life lesson was that? Living your life from the first through the fourth grades entirely as a lie, under an assumed identity? This, during some of your most impressionable years? What does one really learn from something like that? That it is okay and actually advantageous to live two lives, one of which is a complete lie? I will not address the dual Social Security numbers claims at this time.

Lolo arrived in Hawaii in September of 1962. Obama’s Hawaiian birth certificate says he was born on 8-4-61. He attended first grade in Hawaii from 1967 to 1968. He was six years old then. Lolo was the father figure in Obama’s life. Although I do not know Obama’s mother and father’s political beliefs, it would appear that their religious beliefs were pretty open-ended. Neither one of them had an overall rigid and particular to one religious conviction belief construct.

Also, Obama was a citizen of Kenya and the U.S. when he lived in Indonesia. If he was also an Indonesian citizen at the time, it would mean that Obama was a citizen of three different countries from the time he was about six years old until he was eighteen years old. He also was listed as a Muslim then, but today attends a Christian church. It can be postulated that Obama considers himself to be a citizen of the world first and a citizen of the U.S. secondarily. It could also be argued that Obama does not have any real or particular religion, that he attends any church. Some would think that the church membership that makes him most electable would be his top choice. Some may imagine that Obama considers himself to be one of the chosen elect who are the first true citizens of the world. It is not unimaginable that such people might do anything in their power to bring to fruition the One World Government, no matter the strength of the birthing pangs.

If Obama did not apply for Kenyan citizenship at 23 and Indonesian citizenship at 18, he is now only a natural born citizen of the U.S., and is eligible to be the President of this country. If he holds dual citizenship in the U.S. and either Kenya or Indonesia, this is the pesky loyalty concern that has the State Department so worked up in their information sheet. If he is to this day the citizen of three different countries…well, we will hear something after 2-15-2013, won’t we? And then, we can put this one to bed, no matter which way the U.S. Supreme Court swings. I fully expect that they will reach my final conclusion. Which is, that he is the legitimate President. Unless of course he is a dual citizen, in which case his true loyalties will be under the microscope. And then, a decision would have to be made as to whether he can actually be the President.

For those wondering where Obama’s school records are, note this. I went to my School District’s Administration Office in 1993 to get my records, to prove what my final GPA was. The University I was applying to wanted them. The records were kept in the basement. The woman came back upstairs, and said that the only thing that was in my folder was a color picture of me in the first grade (I still remember that photo being taken), and a copy of my 11th grade report card (my best year ever for High School grades). Nothing else. They threw all the old records out, and only kept what they thought was interesting. My school career was an almost total blank. Good thing, actually, as I graduated with a 2.41. From college, I graduated Summa, Summa, and Magna. I would want some of my old records sealed, too. The rest are gone forever, in some great cosmic conspiracy.

I pursued this article expecting to be able to find something I could hang my hat on. I admittedly have not seen any original documents. But from what I have seen, there is nothing to definitely prove that Obama was not born in the U.S., and is not a citizen of the U.S. The Kenyan claims I have not investigated thoroughly, because there seems to be a more or less unbroken timeline here. While evidence can be planted, after all these years, it is highly unlikely that sort of thing was done. A lot of the newspaper documentation can probably be picked up in people’s attics, newspapers are everywhere. Also, the purported Kenyan birth certificate looks like it is totally fake to me. As a collector of art, I am pretty attuned to fakes on paper.

If I was on the Supreme Court, in the absence of any further evidence to the contrary, I would opine that Barak Hussein Obama is a natural born citizen of the U.S. by all measures, who meets all the requirements needed to be the President of the United States, provided he does not currently have dual citizenship. If he was a dual citizen at one time, I would apply the 14 years prior to the inauguration as an adult citizen of the U.S only as the measure of fitness. Hey, they can legislate from the bench ever since the first Marshall Court’s landmark ruling. But that is a paper for another day.

The information for this article came from many sources. Wikipedia has been the most helpful. If you can spare a few dollars, send them some. They are pretty factual. If you notify them that they are wrong, and provide them with the source, they correct the information. Wikipedia provides you with knowledge. And knowledge is power.

If you want to dig further into all this, here are the links I used for this article:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Natural-born-citizen_clause

http://encyclopedia.densho.org/Naturalization%20Act%20of%201790/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barack_Obama_2009_presidential_inauguration

http://international.adoptionblogs.com/weblogs/hail-to-the-chief

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Illinois_Senate_career_of_Barack_Obama

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indonesian_nationality_law

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lolo_Soetoro

http://www.guncite.com/gc2ndmea.html

http://www.snopes.com/politics/obama/muslim.asp

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Twentieth_Amendment_to_the_United_States_Constitution

http://www.wnd.com/2008/08/72656/

http://wiki.answers.com/Q/What_is_the_role_and_function_of_the_US_Supreme_Court_according_to_the_Constitution

http://constitutionality.us/TheConstitution.html

http://www.usconstitution.net/ratifications.html

http://constitutionality.us/Const-Talk.html

http://encyclopedia2.thefreedictionary.com/Republic+of+Kenya

http://factcheck.org/2008/08/obamas-kenyan-citizenship/

http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/cis/cis_1753.html

http://beforeitsnews.com/strange/2013/01/obamasoetoro-time-travel-the-us-supreme-court-2446644.html

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89 Responses to GROWING UP TO BE PRESIDENT IN AMERICA

  1. 7delta says:

    Ah, I see that you now agree that Hamilton was a naturalized citizen of New York. What you are now saying is that a Naturalized citizen of New York could not become a US citizen, only the ones naturalized under US law and US citizens at birth. However, there is nothing in the US constitution that creates citizens of the USA at birth. It never says that a citizen of New York is even a citizen of the USA.

    Ah…no. LOL. Read what I said again.

    • 7delta says:

      Wikipedia says: “. In 1810 Pryor hired Charles Fremon, a French immigrant who had fought with the Royalists during the French Revolution, to tutor his wife.”

      Wikipedia isn’t exactly the best source, but that information is repeated in other biographies. However, that same information is omitted or contradicted in others. If he were French Canadian, he could still be a native French speaker and could be a tutor. The information conflicts, is about the best that can be determined.

      I am unable, sorry, to provide a confirmation to my statement that Fremont proclaimed that his father was French. On the other hand, there is absolutely no evidence that he hid the fact.

      I don’t think that him never saying his father was French, in the context of what you said earlier, equates with hiding his father’s origins. What we don’t know is whether his father was a U.S. citizen.

      Nevertheless we do know that Fremont was a dual citizen, US and French because that was the law in France at the time,

      No, we don’t know that. To make that assumption contradicts your earlier statements that foreign countries do not control who is a citizen here. If his father naturalized, or had U.S. citizenship for some other reason (he could have been born here, then raised in Quebec or France for a time–we don’t know) then because of U.S. adherence to right of expatriation, the elder Fremont would not have been a French or Canadian citizen from our perspective.

      We have no reason to believe Buchanan’s father was not naturalized either. He arrived in 1783, before the Definitive Treaty of Peace with Great Britain. He could have naturalized, at the that time, in two years, before James, Jr. was born in 1791. I’ll give you exact quotes from Buchanan later. I have more resources to look through. Gotta run now.

  2. 7delta says:

    Hamilton’s citizenship to NY predated the Constitution and was the same as any person’s, whether born in another colony/state or on foreign soil, when they cast their lot with a colony/state different than their birth. He was not a naturalized U.S. citizen, because the U.S. did not exist at the time. He came in the same door as everyone, including people born in the colony in which they were lifelong residents when statehood was achieved. No one was a U.S. citizen until the U.S. existed. When there was an independent nation capable of admitting citizens, he was on the same footing as everyone else who was deemed a citizen after the Revolution. The Constitution set the law for naturalization thereafter, as well as for the individual states. From then on, the laws and rules of citizenship became conditioned by the Constitution. It was not retroactive upon the first citizens. They existed prior to the Constitution. They were part of the political body that created the Constitution.

    None of the first citizens were naturalized in the sense you’re using it, regardless of where they were born. They became citizens by virtue of a singular and unique act that would not be repeated again. They were the first, made up of people from different colonies and different birth countries who became bound as a political body through the establishment of a new sovereign nation.

    • 7delta says:

      I’ve read many of these rulings. They’re around half a century post-Convention and ratification, then onward.

      Here’s a quote from Madison that illustrates why I think to define natural born, we have to discern what it meant to the men who placed it in the Constitution.

      James Madison to Henry Lee:

      Montpellier, June 25, 1824.

      “What a metamorphosis would be produced in the code of law if all its ancient phraseology were to be taken in its modern sense! And that the language of our Constitution is already undergoing interpretations unknown to its founders will, I believe appear to all unbiased inquirers into the history of its origins and adoption. Not to look farther for an example, take the word “consolidate”, in the address of the convention prefixed to the Constitution. It there and then meant to give strength and solidity to the union of the States. In its current controversial application, it means destruction of the States by transfusing their power into the government of the union.”

      So if Madison was lamenting the modernization of terms used in the Constitution to change its meaning barely over a quarter of a century after its ratification, then I see no way to discern what those phrases meant other than to turn to the founders to tell me the definition within the context in which they used them. While they didn’t define the phrase natural born specifically, I think we can look at what laws they did implement and what motivation produced them to eliminate certain scenarios until we are left with a possible interpretation.

      It’s possible that as the terms began to morph, as language does, jurist turned to other sources to try to understand them, which brought Blackstone, Vattel, Locke, etc. into the picture. Blackstone is a logical choice, but not necessarily definitive, since we know the founders said English Common Law is not the inspiration for the Constitution, but Natural Law, which often conflicts greatly with English Statutory and Common Law. However, I think it’s reasonable to view certain terms in light of their knowledge of English Law, if that interpretation corresponds with the spirit and intent of Natural Law and their intent to devise a new system independent of the system they had just thrown off and that they viewed as flawed for the purposes of an independent people. And, man being as he is, at times went back to the ‘ancient’ meanings of words and the founders intent and at others, divined a new definition from his favored source, not necessarily one that reflected the intended usage. Then precedent built, possibly taking the definition of words even further from its original meaning.

      If the question is: Were there dual citizenships from the founders perspective, that would be recognized by the U.S., considering the policy of expatriation and allegiance when naturalizing, and without regard to the hereditary character of parental citizenship? Then who and under what circumstances would that be?

      Some of things they told us over the first few Congresses and in their debates, spanning the time from independence through those early Congresses, and that are not contingent upon or created by treaties with Great Britain after the war:

      At the end of the war, they rejected England’s treaty provision to allow both U.S. and British citizenship to co-exist.

      They sought to check foreign influence in the government.They told us that since they were aware of the intrigues of foreign governments throughout history, and knew to expect no better from human nature, they were concerned a foreign government (England and France were the biggest threats at the time) would attempt to infiltrate the highest offices of the land to undermine the U.S.. government and to yield favorably to those governments to the detriment of the U.S. They spoke of the possibility of a foreign prince coming here with, either by naturalization or by prodigy, the express purpose of gaining access to the highest offices. Because the Convention did not want to exclude loyal naturalized citizens of good character from taking part in the central government, they constructed requirements that would allow such, with some restrictions to thwart foreign chicanery, by placing citizenship and residency requirements on Congress and by an addition restriction on the chief magistrate, the Commander in Chief of the military, to that of a natural born citizen.

      They rejected allowing foreigners to own property for concern foreign governments, especially France and England, would send agents to buy large swaths of land to encroach into U.S. territory and to interfere in governance. This was, of course, pre-Louisiana Purchase when the U.S. did not cover the land shore to shore, but the risk of foreign influence through land ownership, regardless, was the motivating factor.

      They constructed an oath for all naturalized citizens to pledge their loyalty solely to the U.S. and to denounce all earlier allegiances to foreign countries, regardless of whether the home country recognized the person’s expatriation or not.

      They recognized a person’s free will to expatriate, not only from former allegiances, but from the U.S. as well.

      They put into law limitations on the amount of time a U.S. citizen could remain domiciled in a foreign country, except by special circumstances, before that citizen would be expatriated. They passed a law that children born to U.S citizens abroad, provided the father was a U.S. citizen, and met residency requirement here, would be a U.S. citizen, provided that child returned to live in the U.S.. If not, U.S. citizenship expired and did not extend another generation.

      They told us in the first debates that while they wished to attract new citizens of talents and means, they did not want to exclude people who wished to enjoy the fruits of liberty and to be successful far beyond what they could be in their home countries, but it was not their goal to simply populate the available land by accepting anyone and everyone, regardless of their character, by selling American citizenship too cheaply. A dear price had been paid for it to exist.

      We know they recognized that when a woman married, she took her husband’s citizenship and expatriated from her former allegiance. That was true for American women, even if living on the soil. Laws were enacted to make provisions for a woman, at the end of a marriage, to repatriate, whether at home or abroad. Those procedures changed through the years, but the option to repatriate was consistently available until which time naturalization by marriage no longer existed.

      We know they recognized that a child always followed the citizenship of the father, just as the wife/mother’s did. In the Naturalization Act of 1790, an immigrant could present to any magistrate in the country, and if having met the requirements, he could be naturalized, as well as his children under the age of 21. The wife wasn’t mentioned, since she would follow his citizenship, and no distinction was made between children born abroad or on U.S. soil, since the child would follow the father’s.

      We know that illegitimate children followed the father’s citizenship, as well, unless he was unknown, which then shifted to follow the mother’s. We know they accepted that immigrant children under the age of 21 could follow the mother’s naturalized citizenship, if no father was present, even if he had stayed behind in their home country, with no apparent plan to join them.

      So looking at just these few actual laws that were codified over the first few Congresses and what they told us in their own words, who, from the U.S.’s perspective–not the foreign country’s, if they did not recognize expatriation–would have dual citizenship and who would be a natural born citizen?

      • smrstrauss says:

        Re: “we know the founders said English Common Law is not the inspiration for the Constitution, but Natural Law,…”

        WRONG. The term “Natural Law” does not appear even once in the Federalist Papers, while the common law appears about twenty times.

        More importantly, the concept of Natural Law does not support your case. Here is the basic principle of American Natural Law. “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal…”

        That means, unless they tell us to the contrary, that the writers of the US Constitution considered the US-born children of foreigners to be the equals of the US-born children of US citizens. And they never told us to the contrary. So, under Natural Law, the term Natural Born Citizen INCLUDES the US-born children of foreigners.

        The writers of the Constitution did not switch the common meaning of Natural Born at the time to exclude the children of foreigners. They chose a phrase that they were familiar with as lawyers (and by far most of them were lawyers and justices), the term Natural Born from the common law. And if they had intended to change the meaning from the common law, the meaning that everyone at the time was familiar with, to Vattel or some other “Natural Law” referring to parents and not to the familiar legal concept of jus soli, THEY WOULD HAVE TOLD US.

    • smrstrauss says:

      Ah, I see that you now agree that Hamilton was a naturalized citizen of New York. What you are now saying is that a Naturalized citizen of New York could not become a US citizen, only the ones naturalized under US law and US citizens at birth. However, there is nothing in the US constitution that creates citizens of the USA at birth. It never says that a citizen of New York is even a citizen of the USA.

      The first mention of the word “citizen” is the requirement that members of Congress must have been citizens of the USA for seven years. Since there is no definition of a citizen of the United States and since one must be a citizen of the USA for seven years to be a member of Congress, what else other than citizenship in a state would make a US citizen (until the 14th amendment).

      We know for sure from the quotations at the time that they considered the children born in the USA to be not only citizens at birth but Natural Born US citizens. Perhaps you think that being born in a colony would not be the same as being born in the USA. But in that case George Washington was one year short of his USA residence requirements of 14 years, since he had only resided in the USA for 13 years at his election, and resided the rest of his life in a colony.

      This matter certainly does not relate to Obama, who was born in a state, Hawaii, and to Rubio and Jindal, who also were born in the USA.

  3. 7delta says:

    One additional comment, then I’m done to await your citations to facts.

    I’m not sure where you have gleaned the information that Hamilton was a naturalized citizen. He was born in the West Indies on the British controlled island of Nevis. He was the illegitimate son of a Scottish merchant named James Hamilton and a divorced woman, Racheal Fawcette, of French Huguenot descent. By age 15, he was running the clerk’s office of a sugar plantation, but with few educational opportunities, benefactors sent him to New Jersey to further his education. In 1774, he graduated, then entered King’s College (now Columbia University) in New York City, where he obtained a BA degree in one year. His first political paper was in support of independence. In the lead up to the war, he was an active voice in the cause. When the war broke out, he joined the NY militia, where he rose quickly through the ranks to Captain. Nathaniel Green introduced him to General Washington, who made his aide-de-camp and personal secretary, along with advancing his rank to Lt. Colonel. He left the General’s service and fought in subsequent battles.

    After the war, Hamilton married, began the practice of law in NYC and was elected to the Continental Congress. He was also a delegate to the Constitutional Convention. Washington named him the first Secretary of the Treasury.

    Where did he naturalize and to what? There was no United States until after the war and no uniform naturalization until after the Constitution was ratified. He was born a British subject. The only angle I can figure out is that he took an oath to New York when he joined the militia, which would have been the same, if he had been born in Virginia or any other colony/state at that time, then moved his allegiance to NY. There were a lot of foreign-born people who became citizens at the end of the war because of their service and support to independence, many of whom were not originally British subjects. He was in the same boat as everyone else.

    Please provide an official source that explains why he would have been singled out and treated differently than everyone else.

    • smrstrauss says:

      I agree with you that IF Alexander Hamilton had not been naturalized, he would not be a US citizen and would not have been eligible. It is generally considered that Hamilton had become a naturalized citizen of New York State back before the Constitution, when states could naturalize. This article indicates that the author also believed that Hamilton was naturalized http://www.nytimes.com/roomfordebate/2012/07/08/another-stab-at-the-us-constitution/revisiting-the-constitution-allow-naturalized-citizens-to-be-president, and since Hamilton was a delegate to the CC of New York State it is probable. In any case, the grandfather clause applied only to naturalized citizens, not to foreigners, so for Hamilton to become president (and many wanted him to be that, including Washington), he had to be naturalized. Hamilton apparently considered himself a citizen as his words about “none but a citizen” could become president in has draft of the Constitution indicates.

      Re: “There were a lot of foreign-born people who became citizens at the end of the war because of their service and support to independence, many of whom were not originally British subjects. He was in the same boat as everyone else.”

      I agree. He could have done that. In any case, he was naturalized and hence a citizen and hence eligible under the grandfather clause, which allowed some 60,000 men who were not born in the USA to be eligible—and that is not an indication of fear of foreigners.

      re citations of facts. I have cited them above.

      Here are the links again:

      http://query.nytimes.com/mem/archive-free/pdf?res=F40C13FD3E59157493C2AB1788D85F408584F9

      http://tesibria.typepad.com/whats_your_evidence/the-natural-born-citizenship-clause-updated.html#NBC_PS1B_Lynch

      And those two citations plus Tucker and Rawle, of course, and plus the fact that no writer of the Constitution EVER used the term Natural Born to refer to parents or said that dual citizens should be excluded.

    • smrstrauss says:

      I agree with you that IF Alexander Hamilton had not been naturalized, he would not be a US citizen and hence would not have been eligible.

      It is generally considered that Hamilton had become a naturalized citizen of New York State back before the Constitution, when states could naturalize. This article indicates that the author also believed that Hamilton was naturalized http://www.nytimes.com/roomfordebate/2012/07/08/another-stab-at-the-us-constitution/revisiting-the-constitution-allow-naturalized-citizens-to-be-president, and since Hamilton was a delegate to the CC of New York State it is probable. In any case, the grandfather clause applied only to naturalized citizens, not to foreigners, so for Hamilton to become president (and many wanted him to be that, including Washington), he had to be naturalized. Hamilton apparently considered himself a citizen as his words about “none but a citizen” could become president in has draft of the Constitution indicates.

      Re: “There were a lot of foreign-born people who became citizens at the end of the war because of their service and support to independence, many of whom were not originally British subjects. He was in the same boat as everyone else.”

      I agree. He could have done that. In any case, he was naturalized and hence a citizen and hence eligible under the grandfather clause, which allowed some 60,000 men who were not born in the USA to be eligible—and that is not an indication of fear of foreigners.

      re citations of facts. I have cited them above. They, plus the quotations from Tucker and Rawle, and the Marcy letter and the Lynch V. Clark case, and the fact that the writers of the US Constitution never used the term Natural Born to refer to parents in their writings but did use it the way that it was used in the common law, all shows that they took the term Natural Born from the common law and used it to refer to the place of birth—-not to the parents of a US-born citizen.

      • 7delta says:

        I agree with you that IF Alexander Hamilton had not been naturalized, he would not be a US citizen and hence would not have been eligible.

        That’s not what I said. And be sure to separate the political governance of the three separate political phases from colony to independent state member of a Confederation to a union under the Constitution.

      • 7delta says:

        It is generally considered that Hamilton had become a naturalized citizen of New York State back before the Constitution, when states could naturalize. This article indicates that the author also believed that Hamilton was naturalized http://www.nytimes.com/roomfordebate/2012/07/08/another-stab-at-the-us-constitution/revisiting-the-constitution-allow-naturalized-citizens-to-be-president,

        Oh, for Pete’s sake. This guy provided no basis for his claim other than Hamilton was born in the West Indies and may have naturalized, even though NY had no real ability to naturalize anybody at that point as a colony in flux to a state involved in a war. So if anything Hamilton was under the same British governance as NY and was involved in a revolution against it and cast his lot with them. If any such oath was taken by Hamilton, it was to NY, just the same as anyone else, regardless of where they were born, would have taken when they joined with one state or another in the war. It’s all irrelevant, since there was no U.S. to naturalize to or be a citizen of until the Constitution. And Hamilton predates that time from colony to Confederation. He became a citizen of NY at the time he ceased to be a subject of Britain, just like everyone else did of their state of residence, then became a U.S. citizen when the Constitutional compact created the union. Good grief.

        This guy is not only creatively splitting hairs, he’s misrepresenting the political realities of the time to lobby for his ideological stance of doing away with the Constitutional eligibility requirements for president.

        And, primogeniture ended with British rule.

        • smrstrauss says:

          Let me see what you are saying. Are you saying that Alexander Hamilton was not even a citizen? If so, George Washington was backing the presidential aspirations of a man who was not even a citizen. THAT is certainly not proof that the members of the Constitutional Convention were afraid of foreigners. If Washington would have allowed Hamilton to become president without Hamilton even being a citizen, then why would he require a child who was born on US soil and was a citizen to have two citizen parents?

          Think about it again. Either Hamilton had become a citizen through naturalization or New York State sent to the Constitutional Convention a man who was not a citizen. And if he was not a citizen, then the grandfather clause had nothing to do with him, but only with foreigners who had become citizens, of which—you say—Hamilton was not one. And yet, Washington wanted Hamilton to be president.

          Re: “And, primogeniture ended with British rule.”

          I totally agree. We are based on this principle: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.”

          That means, as far as I am concerned, that unless the writers of the Constitution specifically said so, that they considered the US-born children of foreigners to be EQUAL to the US-born children of US citizens. And they never said anything to counter that. They simply used the term Natural Born Citizen, which was well known at the time to come from the common law, and which was well known at the time to refer to the place of birth—only the place of birth, with no exceptions for dual citizens.

          • smrstrauss says:

            Re: “If any such oath was taken by Hamilton, it was to NY, just the same as anyone else, regardless of where they were born, would have taken when they joined with one state or…”

            Sure, but New York State (and the other 12 too) had the right to naturalize under the Articles of Confederation (which said: “Each state retains its sovereignty, freedom, and independence, and every power, jurisdiction, and right, which is not by this Confederation expressly delegated to the United States, in Congress assembled.”), and a citizen of New York State was automatically a citizen of the United States under the US Constitution.

          • 7delta says:

            There was no Confederation for Hamilton to naturalize under at the time he cast his lot with NY. He predated it.

          • smrstrauss says:

            Are you saying that Hamilton was naturalized in New York State (which became a state in in July 1776) before the articles of Confederation, which were written in November 1777? Did he leave the Army, go back to New York State, and naturalize? And, if he were naturalized before November 1777, are you saying that the Confederation did not recognize the the naturalization by New York State? And are you saying that Hamilton’s naturalization by New York State did not make him a citizen of the USA under the Constitution?

          • 7delta says:

            Let me see what you are saying. Are you saying that Alexander Hamilton was not even a citizen? If so, George Washington was backing the presidential aspirations of a man who was not even a citizen. THAT is certainly not proof that the members of the Constitutional Convention were afraid of foreigners. If Washington would have allowed Hamilton to become president without Hamilton even being a citizen, then why would he require a child who was born on US soil and was a citizen to have two citizen parents?

            No, I am not. I am saying that you are confusing political states and evaluating them from modern perspective. Read again what I said.

          • smrstrauss says:

            I’M not evaluating them from a modern perspective. Here are the quotations from the time:

            “Prior to the adoption of the constitution, the people inhabiting the different states might be divided into two classes: natural born citizens, or those born within the state, and aliens, or such as were born out of it. The first, by their birth-right, became entitled to all the privileges of citizens; the second, were entitled to none, but such as were held out and given by the laws of the respective states prior to their emigration. …St. George Tucker, BLACKSTONE’S COMMENTARIES: WITH NOTES OF REFERENCE TO THE CONSTITUTION AND LAWS OF THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT OF THE UNITED STATES AND THE COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA. (1803)

            “Therefore every person born within the United States, its territories or districts, whether the parents are citizens or aliens, is a natural born citizen in the sense of the Constitution, and entitled to all the rights and privileges appertaining to that capacity.”—William Rawle, A VIEW OF THE CONSTITUTION OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. 2d ed. (1829)

            That historical research shows that the people in the USA at the time considered that the meaning of Natural Born Citizen refers to the PLACE of birth, not to the parents. Alexander Hamilton was not a Natural Born Citizen because he was not born in the 13 original colonies. But he was eligible to become president under the Grandfather Clause. The Grandfather clause applied to citizens, not to foreigners. Hence Hamilton must have become a citizen.

      • 7delta says:

        In any case, the grandfather clause applied only to naturalized citizens, not to foreigners, so for Hamilton to become president (and many wanted him to be that, including Washington), he had to be naturalized

        Read the clause again. It does not include naturalized citizens, not then nor now. None of the founding generation was a natural born citizen of the U.S. They had all been born British subjects. None of them was naturalized, because there was no U.S. into which to naturalize, until it was created. They were the first, the original citizens of the U.S. To have a generation eligible, they had to allow themselves eligibility or no one would have been eligible until the first generation of natural born U.S. citizens grew up and met the requirements and there would not been any until the Constitution was ratified. The political structure was not there.

        “No person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President; neither shall any person be eligible to the Office who not have attained to the Age of thirty-five Years, and been fourteen Years a Resident within the United States.”

        Why resident and Citizen of the United States? Because it had been that long since the first citizens were formed before the Constitution was ratified. 1790 – 1776 = 14. You couldn’t have obtained citizenship in that interim and been eligible, until you had resided in the U.S. as a citizen for fourteen years, IF you were a citizen and resident at time of ratification. If you were not a citizen at the time of ratification, you were out of luck under that provision. After that, only natural born citizens were eligible.

        • smrstrauss says:

          Since all naturalized citizens of the individual states were citizens of those states and hence citizens of the United States when the constitution was adopted, those citizens were eligible. The grandfather clause did not make persons who were NOT citizens eligible. the 14 year requirement applies to the presidency, but it does not determine citizen status under the grandfather clause. Since the United States began in 1776, not when the Constitution was passed in 1789, there were already 13 years gone on the 14-year requirement. According to your thinking George Washington would not have been eligible, because he had only resided in the USA for 13 years when he was elected (and the grandfather clause has nothing to do with the 14-year requirement). But if indeed the Founders considered that America existed before July 14, and that Washington’s residence in America counted—then he was eligible.

          Re: “F you were a citizen and resident at time of ratification. If you were not a citizen at the time of ratification, you were out of luck under that provision. After that, only natural born citizens were eligible.”

          I completely agree. And Alexander Hamilton was a citizen due to his naturalization. The grandfather clause was written to make an exception to the Natural Born Citizen rule. But the exception was not to allow foreigners to become president, but only to allow naturalized citizens to become president. If states could not naturalize persons to become citizens, there would be no point in having the grandfather clause.

  4. 7delta says:

    I post for the same reason that you post. The difference between us is that I have the facts.

    I’m a little skeptical that we post on this thread for the same reasons, but we can leave it up to any interested reader to confirm through documents and records what they may think.

    It would be great if you would provide documentation that is in context to confirm that you’re only relating facts. The Madison quote, however, is not in context. It is relevant to a distinct time in history when the states transitioned between different political states, from British rule of individual colonies with their own governance in accordance with their interpretation of English Common Law and statutory law, to an independent state of their own laws and interpretation of common laws held over from British rule, through two treaties with the English after the war that included securing certain property rights for both U.S. citizens and British subjects and state citizenship, which in a few cases, remained intact because the state had not dissolved their alliances by law during the time after independence but before the Constitution, to a compact that created the federal government and granted to it limited duties to perform on behalf of the citizens and the states. Among those duties were naturalization laws, necessary because each state had its own interpretation of English Common Law and their own statutes regarding naturalization.

    So, what is common law? It’s nothing but unwritten laws. Once a common law is codified, it is no longer a common law, even though it may say exactly the same as before, or it may not. At ratification of the Constitution, it was then, necessary to make the naturalization law uniform throughout all the states to bring them under one interpretation and one set of rules to avoid conflicting practices. Which common law did they apply? South Carolina’s? Georgia’s? New York’s? New Jersey’s? They all held they used British Common Law for unwritten law, and they all had their own statutes as to who was a citizen, so which one did the Convention adopt?

    The SC common laws, based (influenced) in British common law, as well as other laws dealing with citizenship in the state, as well as who was a citizen post war that are referenced in the Smith case, had to be unraveled according to birthplace, parent allegiance, personal allegiance, residency at the time of the war, age of the person in question, timeline of what laws applied and what treaties may have been relevant. Madison was not wrong in what he said, nor was he making any pronouncement that applied specifically to U.S. law or policy under the Constitution, other than to say, birthplace was the most important factor out of all factors, because it gave SC jurisdiction over whether Smith was a member of their political body, just as it did the U.S. after it established the Constitutional compact. Smith’s U.S. citizenship hinged on his membership in SC’s political’s body. Madison did not, however, claim birthplace was the only factor. He did weigh it heavily in favor of Smith’s citizenship, because his birth under SC law and of parents who were residents/citizens of SC at the time of Smith’s birth, gave Smith a place in that political body, and this alliance remained, at the time he left for England, under the auspices of his father’s place in that society. Despite all the changes of government that took place, SC, as a political body, did not revert to a natural state. Its government remained intact and its members remained in its jurisdiction.

    Following the war, birth on the soil did not automatically grant citizenship. People born on the soil, but living abroad were not granted citizenship, which was the crux of the complaint against Smith. People who had been born abroad were recognized as members of the political body of the first citizens, because they loyally supported, fought and aided the Revolution. People born on the soil, but did not support Independence were not granted citizenship. They remained British subjects. Smith was an exception, because of family history of loyalty in SC and his birth into the political community of SC, even though he had been absent during the war and because of his circumstances of being a minor sent to England to study. His circumstances required looking at more than just where he was at the time of the war. Madison was establishing the defining characteristics of political membership applicable to Smith’s unique circumstances, which pivoted largely on SC’s laws or lack thereof.

    That is the context of Madison’s statement about Smith, who was not born a U.S. citizen because the United States did not exist. He was born a British subject, became a citizen of South Carolina, then subsequently, when the United States became an independent political state, his citizenship by birth in SC, to Madison’s way of thinking, absolved him, as a minor when he departed, for his absence during the war.

    • smrstrauss says:

      In Lexington, MA, there is a grave of a soldier who died fighting on our side in the French and Indian Wars, some 15 years before the American Revolution. Every year they put a US flag on his grave. He was not a US citizen, he could not even have imagined it, but he WAS an American. Smith was an American at birth and he was a Natural Born American because Natural Born referred to the place of birth. He became at the moment we declared independence, a Natural Born US citizen, as was also the definition of the term in all the other British colonies when they became independent. The people who were NOT natural born citizens, who were only naturalized US citizens, were those who were born on foreign soil, such as Alexander Hamilton (born on the island of Nevis) and James Wilson (born in Scotland).

      To be sure, the meaning of the common law may have varied in America from England and from state to state. So, if the writers of the US Constitution had meant to use any other meaning of Natural Born then what they were familiar with, the one from the English common law, the one that said that Natural Born refers to the place of birth, THEY WOULD HAVE TOLD US. But they used the term Natural Born in all of their writings (want to see the one from Franklin, Adams AND Jay?) just the way that it was used in the common law.

      The Madison quote uses allegiance just the way that Blackstone did. The Hamilton quote uses Natural Born just the way that the common law did, the Franklin/Adams/Jay draft treaty says that US Natural Born Citizens are to be treated just like Natural Born Subjects in England and vice versa. Tucker used it that way, Rawle used it that way, the 1844 case Lynch v. Clarke http://tesibria.typepad.com/whats_your_evidence/the-natural-born-citizenship-clause-updated.html#NBC_PS1B_Lynch used it that way, secretary of state william l. marcy in 1851 used it that way http://query.nytimes.com/mem/archive-free/pdf?res=F40C13FD3E59157493C2AB1788D85F408584F9

      So the US Supreme Court in the Wong Kim Ark case was NOT wrong. It said that the term came from the common law, and it did. But, if it had been wrong, then too bad, because our law is based on the rulings of the US Supreme Court, and it ruled that the term came from the common law and referred to the PLACE of birth, and it was right. The first presidential candidate of the Republican Party, John C. Freemont, who openly proclaimed that his father was French and said that his father never naturalized and whose father in fact went back to France, and Fremont was proud of that fact, and who was a dual citizen of the USA and France—-was a Natural Born US Citizen and eligible to be president.

    • smrstrauss says:

      In Lexington, MA, there is a grave of a soldier who died fighting on our side in the French and Indian Wars, some 15 years before the American Revolution. Every year they put a US flag on his grave. He was not a US citizen, he could not even have imagined it, but he WAS an American. Smith was an American at birth and he was a Natural Born American because Natural Born referred to the place of birth. He became at the moment we declared independence, a Natural Born US citizen, as was also the definition of the term in all the other British colonies when they became independent. The people who were NOT natural born citizens, who were only naturalized US citizens, were those who were born on foreign soil, such as Alexander Hamilton (born on the island of Nevis) and James Wilson (born in Scotland).

      To be sure, the meaning of the common law may have varied in America from England and from state to state. So, if the writers of the US Constitution had meant to use any other meaning of Natural Born then what they were familiar with, the one from the English common law, the one that said that Natural Born refers to the place of birth, THEY WOULD HAVE TOLD US. But they used the term Natural Born in all of their writings (want to see the one from Franklin, Adams AND Jay?) just the way that it was used in the common law. The Franklin/Adams/Jay quotations show that they considered US Natural Born Citizens to be the same as British Natural Born Subjects.

      The Madison quote uses allegiance just the way that Blackstone did. The Hamilton quote uses Natural Born just the way that the common law did, the Franklin/Adams/Jay draft treaty says that US Natural Born Citizens are to be treated just like Natural Born Subjects in England and vice versa. Tucker used it that way, Rawle used it that way, so does the 1844 case Lynch v. Clarke case.

      So the US Supreme Court in the Wong Kim Ark case was NOT wrong. It was right. That is indeed the way that the writers of the Constitution used the term, to refer to the common law meaning. That is what the Wong Kim Ark case said too. It said that the term came from the common law, and it did. But, if it had been wrong, then too bad, because our law is based on the rulings of the US Supreme Court, and it ruled that the term came from the common law and referred to the PLACE of birth, and it was right. But, if it was wrong, it is still the ruling of the US Supreme Court, and hence it is the law.

      The first presidential candidate of the Republican Party, John C. Freemont, who openly proclaimed that his father was French and said that his father never naturalized and whose father in fact went back to France, and Fremont was proud of that fact, and who was a dual citizen of the USA and France—-was a Natural Born US Citizen and eligible to be president.

      • 7delta says:

        In Lexington, MA, there is a grave of a soldier who died fighting on our side in the French and Indian Wars, some 15 years before the American Revolution. Every year they put a US flag on his grave. He was not a US citizen, he could not even have imagined it, but he WAS an American. Smith was an American at birth and he was a Natural Born American because Natural Born referred to the place of birth. He became at the moment we declared independence, a Natural Born US citizen, as was also the definition of the term in all the other British colonies when they became independent.

        That’s a nice gesture, but not an indication of policy or law. British subjects who were born and died on the soil pre-Revolution did not automatically become American citizens post-Revolution. They were not a member of that political body and cannot be expatriated from their allegiance posthumously because the government of the soil changes, then naturalized or consumed by a political body that did not exist during his lifetime. Plus, it would completely contradict the belief held by the founders that a person had the right to choose where they would pledge their allegiance and to expatriate from allegiances. And to what purpose would anybody want to rearrange the deck chairs of the dead? This is a rather bizarre idea, not to mention totally irrelevant.

        The first presidential candidate of the Republican Party, John C. Freemont, who openly proclaimed that his father was French and said that his father never naturalized and whose father in fact went back to France, and Fremont was proud of that fact, and who was a dual citizen of the USA and France—-was a Natural Born US Citizen and eligible to be president.

        Fremont, it appears, was the illegitimate child of a married Virginia woman and a man who had been hired as a French tutor by her older Revolutionary War veteran husband. Whether the elder Fremont was from France or from Quebec is not clear, though more sources seemed to lean toward Quebec. Some say he fought with the Loyalist in the French Revolution. Others don’t mention it. I found nothing about his U.S. citizenship status, but one point all sources agreed upon was that Fremont was born in Savannah, Ga. and moved to Charleston, SC, after the death of his father when young John was age six. Whether the elder Fremont ever naturalized does not appear to be known, but we do know he did not return to France or Canada. I didn’t find anything about Fremont making any proclamations about his father’s status or claiming he returned to France…especially, since it looks like the elder Fremont was likely not from France.

        • smrstrauss says:

          Re: “British subjects who were born and died on the soil pre-Revolution did not automatically become American citizens post-Revolution. ”

          Answer. Yes they did. There is no historical evidence—and there would be tons of it, if it had happened—that any white person (Blacks and Indians were excluded from being citizens) born in one of the 13 original colonies had to be naturalized to become a citizen in the state that followed that colony, and all citizens of states were automatically US citizens.

          Wikipedia says: “. In 1810 Pryor hired Charles Fremon, a French immigrant who had fought with the Royalists during the French Revolution, to tutor his wife.”

          This book says the father was French (http://books.google.com/books?id=iYeheCXoZToC&printsec=frontcover&dq=john+c.+freemont&hl=en&sa=X&ei=wn8vUaS_DIrZ0wGsi4EY&ved=0CFkQ6AEwBw#v=onepage&q&f=false) (page 19)

          I am unable, sorry, to provide a confirmation to my statement that Fremont proclaimed that his father was French. On the other hand, there is absolutely no evidence that he hid the fact. There is a book of his collected writings, but you have to buy it, it is not online. Nevertheless we do know that Fremont was a dual citizen, US and French because that was the law in France at the time, and we have no evidence whatever that Fremont hid the fact that his father was French and that he had never been naturalized. In the election of 1856, Fremont lost, but Lincoln and other leaders of the Republican Party campaigned for him, and there was apparently no claims that the citizenship of Fremont’s father or Fremont’s dual citizenship made Fremont ineligible.

          In addition to Fremont, Buchanan was also a dual citizen, since his father, who was from Ireland, was never naturalized. Chester A. Arthur too, and there is no evidence that he hid the fact that his father had never been naturalized. Woodrow Wilson was too, at birth, because although his mother became a US citizen, she never gave up her British citizenship, and hence would have been considered British by Britain. And there are some reports that Dwight D. Eisenhower was a dual citizen at birth due to old German laws that made the grandchildren of its citizens German citizens.

          Among the presidents covered by the grandfather clause, there was Andrew Jackson, neither of whose parents had been naturalized. And, although he was covered under the grandfather clause, meaning that he was eligible either way, the fact of the matter is that one of our greatest presidents did not have any US citizen parents at all, and was highly loyal. That is not good empirical evidence that the children of foreigners will be disloyal. And, if we do not think so, what is the evidence that the writers of the Constitution did either—especially when they did not say it.

          If they had said in the Constitution or in of their writings: “Nobody with foreign parents” or “no dual citizens’—that would be the law, but they never said any such thing. Instead, they used the old common law term Natural Born, which simply referred to the place of birth, not the parents, and which included dual citizens.

          • 7delta says:

            Yes they did. There is no historical evidence—and there would be tons of it, if it had happened—that any white person (Blacks and Indians were excluded from being citizens) born in one of the 13 original colonies had to be naturalized to become a citizen in the state that followed that colony, and all citizens of states were automatically US citizens

            How in the world can you rationalize that a dead person can be co-opted into a political body that did not exist during his lifetime? Leaving out dual citizenships issue, since it’s the prerogative of individual nation states and irrelevant to the point, if you, as an American citizen were born to U.S. citizens in Belgium, lived there for while, died and was buried there, then their government changed, you would not become a citizen of that new political body posthumously. You were never a member of it, not give your consent. But the most important point is that your status is irrelevant to future laws and policy. You are dead. And if some nice old ladies came along 200 years later and placed their national flag on your grave as a gesture associated with a celebration or remembrance, a flag on your grave would not and could not make you a citizen of the new government, nor would it indicate official law or policy.

            Your paragraph makes no sense. If what had happened? You seem to be arguing against your own position. If you’re talking about naturalization, that’s an act of will. Someone has to actually execute the action, on both sides of the structure, and it’s my understanding that most dead people have already changed their residency and allegiance, permanently.

            As for the States, yes, everyone took an oath to their state. EVERYONE. Toward the end of the war, the oath business fell off, but after the war, everyone, new or old resident, since it was a new government, independent of the previous political structure, pledged their allegiance to their state. If you want to look at it as a naturalization act, fine, but they didn’t. Everyone came into ‘state’ citizenship at the same time whether born on the soil or born abroad, but loyal to the cause of independence and present at the signing of the Declaration of Independence. Everyone in the old colony structure entered the new state structure at the same time. If you want to call it naturalization, then every single new citizen was naturalized. Every single one. Washington, Jefferson, both Adams, Rush, Franklin, Garry, etc. You cannot be a member of something that does not exist. Once the new political structure existed, membership could be confirmed and recognized. The first citizens were all on the same footing in a one time, unique act to create the first citizens. They did not consider it naturalization, because they were the founding political membership of the new structure and until they founded it, there was nothing to which they could naturalize.

            There are two different political bodies going on here. First, the pre-existing colonial body under British rule and to whom allegiance was due. In subsets, each colony was unique in their individual quality, with a subordinate allegiance owed to the political structure of the individual colony. Independence removed the overall allegiance to Great Britain, which in turn, left each subset, or colony, in a new political state. The political bindings, as a distinct group between the people of the colonies, were not disrupted in the sense that they ceased to exist as a body or reverted to a natural state, but with the political allegiance to the British structure removed, they were in a new, though already constructed, political body. They were bound only by their own membership in that body, as they saw fit. The allegiances that existed before, even among the established membership of the body, changed as well. They no longer owed allegiance to England or to a colony of Great Britain. While they did not lose their membership in their new state, if pre-existing, and were free to embrace new members meeting their qualifications for membership, the new political structure had to be established, even if many of the existing laws of the new state did not immediately change. Independent statehood was a new political structure that replaced the old one, even if it looked pretty much the same at that point. They were all the first members of the structure created by independence from the old structure. They were the foundation on which the new political structure and body was built. The foundation cannot be incorporated into a structure post-construction. Without the foundation, the structure would not exist. They could not be naturalized into a structure they built.

          • smrstrauss says:

            Re: “As for the States, yes, everyone took an oath to their state. EVERYONE. ”

            Please provide evidence of the claim that people who were born in a state had to take an oath of allegiance to it.

          • smrstrauss says:

            Re: “As for the States, yes, everyone took an oath to their state. EVERYONE. ”

            Eight days have passed, and no evidence of this has been shown.

            Re: “How in the world can you rationalize that a dead person can be co-opted into a political body that did not exist during his lifetime? ”

            Answer: That is what laws do. Let us suppose that an early state wanted to pass an inheritance tax on people that had died before the Revolution. Do you think that they would be barred because they thought that those people were British and not Americans? More importantly, that exact policy–co-opting the citizenship of British subjects who had been born there into the citizenship of the new country immediately at the instant of independence, was the practice in ALL the other former British colonies too. When Ireland became independent, the Irish-born residents who were once British became immediately Irish, and when India became independent, the Indian-born residents who were once British became immediately Indian.

  5. 7delta says:

    Perhaps you did not know that birther sites have repeatedly violated the lying part of those moral principles.

    I’ve seen a lot of this, but it’s not relevant to the subject this discussion supposedly was examining. What is a natural born citizen by the original definition as understood when it was placed in the Constitution? We both agree that’s the question. The court cases you’ve noted are all relatively modern and not particularly good guides to determining the original definition. I’m not particularly interested in them, since most of them are built on precedents that may or may not reflect original intent. It’s like cutting a board. The original measure is used to cut the first board, then that board is used as a guide to cut all subsequent boards. With each new board, any flaws present are magnified. I want to know how the men who debated and wrote the Constitution and how the people of that generation defined it. I have found that there was some discussion in the beginning and later, some jurist turned to Blackstone as a source, though the early courts were clear that British Law was not transferable to federal law. In the very early days, Vattel was the most often cited. However, that’s neither nor there for the purposes of determining what nbc meant to the founders.

    So, I look at the cases, I look at the words of the founders, I look at the laws generated as Congress tried to get a handle on what the Constitution meant in practice and I look at an overall picture.

    We know this:

    There were no dual citizens, except in the rare instances where post-war, pre-Constitution state laws impacted and were impacted by the two treaties signed after the war with England, leaving state citizenship intact. I have found nothing so far to address the federal view of those state citizens, but overall, it appears irrelevant to the laws and policies generated by the Constitution, but were special circumstances confined to the treaties.

    There were no marriages of differing citizenships. This was codified in the early 1800’s and held true until the 1922 Cable Act. So, there were no recognized dual citizenships by heredity. We also know that the citizenship of the child followed the father. To be a U.S. citizen, the father of the child would always be a U.S. citizen.

    I find nothing to support that birth on the soil without citizen parents secured citizenship prior to Wong Kim Ark, even though, after the 14th Amendment, some jurists and lawyers stated they believed that it did, but it was not practiced, nor was it policy. In fact, if jus soli alone had been the case, then there would have been no question about WKA’s citizenship and no case to go to SCOTUS, even with taking the treaty with China into consideration. The 14th Amendment would have still come to be, because the federal government had no remedy, Constitutionally, for the freemen, if states refused to recognize them as citizens. We also know from Congressional Records and committee meeting minutes, in regards to the 14th Amendment, that the intent was to remedy citizenship for people born on the soil within ‘sole’ U.S. jurisdiction and that the amendment did not alter any existing laws or policies. We also know that skeptics of the amendment warned that it would lead to anybody born here being granted citizenship. Therefore, we know that the amendment’s original intent was not to return to or establish the feudal practice of citizenship by birth on the soil, regardless of parental citizenship, which also tells us that birth on the soil as a sole qualification for citizenship did not exist until later or no one would have felt compelled to warn anyone about that possibility. At least, we know these things if we have read the records.

    We know that today, the State Department states it is policy to discourage dual citizenships, but if they exist, the dual citizen is as responsible to the required duties of a citizen of that foreign state when on its soil, as he is to the U.S. when on its soil. A person with dual citizenship is not under the sole jurisdiction of the U.S. And we know that if a citizen renounces his citizenship, or as in the past, when a woman naturalized by marriage, they are, then and now, held by the U.S. to be under sole U.S. jurisdiction, with the right to expatriate by their free will from former countries, and owe no allegiance to that former country, whether that country recognizes expatriation or not.

    If you can provide documented sources that any of what I have found is in error, please direct me to the official records.

    • smrstrauss says:

      Re: old rulings and old cases and “I find nothing to support that birth on the soil without citizen parents secured citizenship prior to Wong Kim Ark..”

      The following letter to the editor in the New York Times of March 16, 1854 is from the secretary of state of the United States, William L. Marcy (who was secretary of state to President Franklin Pearce), and it is in reply to a letter asking whether children of foreigners who were born in the USA could get US passports. Marcy replies, but of course they can, and he says, not only are they US citizens at birth, but that they are Natural Born US Citizens and that they would be eligible to be president, and that that is “in conformity with the English common law.”

      http://query.nytimes.com/mem/archive-free/pdf?res=F40C13FD3E59157493C2AB1788D85F408584F9

      That was in 1854—which is considerably before the Wong Kim Ark case.

      “Therefore every person born within the United States, its territories or districts, whether the parents are citizens or aliens, is a natural born citizen in the sense of the Constitution, and entitled to all the rights and privileges appertaining to that capacity.”—William Rawle, A VIEW OF THE CONSTITUTION OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. 2d ed. (1829)

      That was in 1829, which is even further before the Wong Kim Ark case.

      And here is the use of the term in 1803, which is still further before the Wong Kim Ark case:

      “Prior to the adoption of the constitution, the people inhabiting the different states might be divided into two classes: natural born citizens, or those born within the state, and aliens, or such as were born out of it. The first, by their birth-right, became entitled to all the privileges of citizens; the second, were entitled to none, but such as were held out and given by the laws of the respective states prior to their emigration. …St. George Tucker, BLACKSTONE’S COMMENTARIES: WITH NOTES OF REFERENCE TO THE CONSTITUTION AND LAWS OF THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT OF THE UNITED STATES AND THE COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA. (1803)

      So, what I have shown are three examples in which American leaders used the term Natural Born just the way that it was used in the common law, to refer to the place of birth. And, as I said earlier, there are NO examples of the writers of the US Constitution ever in any of their writings ever using it to refer to parents. EVER.

      Re: “A person with dual citizenship is not under the sole jurisdiction of the U.S. ”

      As far as US citizenship law is concerned he is. And in fact with regard to virtually all US laws, as far as I know (except perhaps some dual taxation treaties). US citizen get no special rights in the USA because they are also dual citizens and they lose no rights in the USA because they are dual citizens.

      And the meaning of Natural Born in the common law does not exclude dual citizens, so they are not excluded. And, i have pointed out some presidents and presidential candidates who were for sure dual citizens already–Wilson for sure, Eisenhower probably, and John C. Freemont (the first presidential candidate of the Republican Party) for sure, and in fact proudly.

      Conservative strict construction principles (remember them?) require you to show that the Constitution or at least articles by the writers of it actually forbids something for it to be forbidden. You are not allowed to speculate about it and to deduce things from the speculation. I know that liberals do, but Conservative principles must be higher than that, and according to those principles, the law or the Constitution must actually say something for it to apply. Well, neither the Constitution nor any of the articles or letters by its writers ever said that Natural Born meant two citizen parents or that it excluded dual citizens.

      • 7delta says:

        I found one even better…from a State Department discussion where the SD guy explained to another guy, who said we didn’t have dual citizenships, that even though we discourage them, reality is, they exist. Okay, despite the early date and most of the laws still in place about marriage, etc. I was with him so far and waited for him to explain. So his explanation was that if a child was born in Italy to an Italian father, the child was a dual citizen. Huh? Who was the U.S. citizen? Had to be the mother, I guess, and since the Cable Act was yet to be thought of, why was she not an Italian citizen? Did he mean the father was a U.S. citizen by naturalization? If so, the U.S. considered him expatriated..the oath and all.

        You gotta double check some of things these experts say, because they are sometimes just promoting what they or their boss wants, not what is. And sometimes, they’re just ignorant of the law. Lots of people get appointed to government positions whose only qualification is unrelated to competency. Compare it against the law at the time and the law’s lineage.

    • Gary Harper says:

      Either this video has been faked by a photoshopper, or the long form BC on the White House web page has been faked by a photoshopper. I have not gone there and looked at it yet.

      • smrstrauss says:

        The answer is that it is not faked at all. Not at all. Only birther “experts” have claimed that it was forged. They include such violent enemies of Obama as Paul Irey, who has claimed that Obama did not attend Columbia College (despite Columbia saying that he did attend and graduate) and Doug Vogt, who has claimed that he discovered the original Altar of Abraham.

        It makes, as I pointed out in an earlier posting, very little sense for Obama’s BC to be forged if (1) Obama was really born in Hawaii (and they idea that he was born anywhere else is pretty nutty given the high expense and risk of such a trip late in pregnancy at the time); and (2) the facts on Obama’s published BC are exactly the same, repeat EXACTLY the same, which is what the officials in Hawaii have repeatedly said, as the facts on the BC in their files, and those facts include “African” and Kapiolani Hospital.

        ne proof that Obama’s birth certificate is not forged is Obama’s short-form birth certificate.

        Short-form birth certificates are created by a clerk reading the information from the document in the file, and filling out the computer form that generates the printed short-form birth certificate. The officials in Hawaii have confirmed that they sent a short-form to Obama. So, unless they are lying—and they were Republican officials–the only way that Obama’s birth certificate could have been forged was that it was forged in 2007 and slipped into the file just before the clerk looked at the file. That is not very likely, is it? And it is especially unlikely since at the time Obama was not even the candidate of the Democrats. He was still in the primaries at the time, and he was only a junior senator from Illinois.

        And birther sites have not shown you these real experts.

        Dr. Neil Krawetz, an imaging software analysis author and experienced examiner of questioned images, said: “The PDF released by the White House shows no sign of digital manipulation or alterations. I see nothing that appears to be suspicious.”

        Nathan Goulding with The National Review: “We have received several e-mails today calling into question the validity of the PDF that the White House released, namely that there are embedded layers in the document. There are now several other people on the case. We looked into it and dismissed it. … I’ve confirmed that scanning an image, converting it to a PDF, optimizing that PDF, and then opening it up in Illustrator, does in fact create layers similar to what is seen in the birth certificate PDF. You can try it yourself at home.”

        John Woodman, independent computer professional, said repeatedly in his book and in various articles on his Web site that the claims that Obama’s birth certificate was forged were unfounded.

        Ivan Zatkovich, who has testified in court as a technology expert, and consultant to WorldNetDaily: “All of the modifications to the PDF document that can be identified are consistent with someone enhancing the legibility of the document.” And, by the way, when WND received Zatkovich’s article that said that he found nothing wrong with Obama’s birth certificate, WordNDaily simply did not publish it.

        Jean-Claude Tremblay, a leading software trainer and Adobe-certified expert, who has years of experience working with and teaching Adobe Illustrator, said the layers cited by doubters are evidence of the use of common, off-the-shelf scanning software — not evidence of a forgery. “I have seen a lot of illustrator documents that come from photos and contain those kind of clippings—and it looks exactly like this,” he said.

        Birthers’ claim that Obama’s birth certificate is false is well understood to be caused by their own motives—they hate Obama and would like to harm him.

  6. I do not think that race would factor into it, as there is a Constitutional Amendment that covers the regrettable prior slave representation issue. If Obama had just released his birth certificate in the first place when all of this started, it would be easier. The purported Kenyan birth certificate is actually a fake. I can see that. I have not seen a good clear photograph of the Hawaiian certificate, so I will accept it on circumstantial evodence as being genuine. If the Supreme Court has not heard any argumwnts in such a case, it will still go back to the exact wording (and there is not much) coupled witjh the context of the times if they eventually did hear it. If his Hawaiian birth certificate is good, end of story.

    The framers had not considered any of this exactly. Of course, race would have kept Obama from running in the first place back then.

    • smrstrauss says:

      Re: ” If Obama had just released his birth certificate in the first place when all of this started, it would be easier. ”

      Obama released the short-form birth certificate, called the Certification of Live Birth, which by the way is the OFFICIAL birth certificate of Hawaii, used by thousands of people every year to get their US passports, way back in June of 2008—eight months before the election of that year.

      Here are several clear pictures of it:http://www.factcheck.org/2008/08/born-in-the-usa/

      And, that by the way, is when the first of the repeated confirmations by the officials of Hawaii went out. They have confirmed that there is a birth certificate in their files, and that they sent the short form and long form birth certificates to Obama, and that the facts on the long form MATCH (that was the word they used) the facts on the document in the file.

      That should surely be sufficient, but there are those who claim that the officials in Hawaii (although they include the officials of BOTH parties, including the former Republican governor) are lying. But they are not. Their confirmation is still further confirmed by the public Index Data file and the birth notices sent to the Hawaii newspapers by the DOH of Hawaii in 1961 (and only the DOH could sent notices to the “Health Bureau Statistics” section of the papers, and it only did so for births in Hawaii).

      • Gary Harper says:

        I meant release a photocopy of the original, long form document. The one in the photos is a recent one, issued by Hawaii. I cannot read the revision date on it at the bottom left, but “LASER” is distinct. It is “on the face of it” evidence that there is a birth certificate on file with the same information. I was referring to an exact photocopy of the one from 1961, not a brand new document that allegedly has the same information on it that is on the original form. That is the only way the birthers will be satisfied, the only way to finally put it to bed.

        • smrstrauss says:

          How could he release a photocopy of the original, long form document. He does not have it. The one that was sent to his parents was lost years ago. He, like millions of us, lost the original BC sent to him. So in 2007 he asked for a new one, and Hawaii sent him the short form, which is the official BC of Hawaii, used to prove US citizenship by thousands of people every year. Obama published it in June 2008, five months before the election of that year. Birthers claimed it was forged. The officials of Hawaii, who were Republican appointees at the time, went back to the files and confirmed (1) that they sent the short form BC to Obama and (2) that the facts on it were accurate. And they did that with the long-form too.

          Birthers have found that they can claim anything that they want, and a few fools will believe them. But they are not believed by Mitt Romney or Paul Ryan or Ann Coulter or Glenn Beck or the National Review or any court or any member of the US Congress (all of whom confirmed Obama’s re-election). And that is surely enough. There are still some poor fools who believe that the earth is flat.

          If there is anyone who is reading this site who still believes that Obama could have been born in another country, ask yourself three questions;

          (1) When Obama was born, his American grandfather was a furniture salesman and his grandmother was a low-level employee in a bank and his mother was a student at university. What gives you the idea that they had enough money and were stupid enough to spend it on sending their daughter at enormous expense and high risk of stillbirth to a foreign country when she was late in pregnancy——when there were perfectly good hospitals in Hawaii????

          (2) IF a child actually were born in a foreign country, she or he would have to have either a US visa or be entered on the mother’s US passport to be carried into the USA (except perhaps across the Mexican border, but Hawaii does not have a border with Mexico). So, if Obama were born in Kenya (which, btw, the Kenyan government says DID NOT HAPPEN) or any other country, he would have had to have that visa or passport change made in that country, which if it existed could be found and used by the Bush Administration before he was elected—but no such document was ever used, making it highly unlikely that there was such a document.

          (3) What are the odds against both (1) and (2) both being wrong, meaning that somehow Obama’s relatives had enough money and were stupid enough to send their Obama’s mother to a foreign country to give birth AND that the Bush Administration (and the officials in Hawaii of both parties) concealed that fact. About a zillion to one against, I’d say.

          • 7delta says:

            YOU claim that federal regulations required states to impose certain burdens upon their citizens, namely to describe their race according to the rules that you say were in place. That, however, is simply not true. But, because YOU think that those federal regulations forced all the states to force their residents to describe their races using different words does not make it true.

            You’re off the rails here. I don’t make that claim. The federal government requires it. It’s not forcing someone into some demeaning position for vital records to be kept in an orderly, predetermined manner. Go find the federal vital statistic sites and look at the regulations. It’s there…or was. Who knows now? And why should anyone feel ‘forced’ to state the obvious? Is it something to be ashamed of? Is it intrusive for the federal government to require gender on an identification form or record too? Your attitude about race being a characteristic someone would feel forced to reveal is not only odd, it’s well..racist. It assumes shame or embarrassment for biological characteristics.

            The reason that I pointed out that it is absurd to believe that Obama was born in a foreign country is that you have been using your claim about the “African”

            I’ve never said that. I said I was not convinced there were not problems with the bc. I was a reader of the Daily Kos at the time and I followed the thread, until it disappeared. That doesn’t mean I’m making any claims about where he was born. My original point was that all the questions about the multiple anomalies in his life story should have been answered honestly and with undisputable documentation, just like all previous candidates have done when questioned about specific issues. Historical facts…in context…do not support a life narrative that has morphed, shifted, and flipped according to circumstantial need. If a legitimate response had occurred when the Democrats for Hillary brought it up, people would have accepted it…unless it was impossible to answer and maintain the narrative, then the sordid show would make more sense, but not necessarily for the obvious reasons most people would think. And don’t say nothing would satisfy birfers. That’s absurd. This entire issue has been manufactured by the Obama machine and used to manipulate the public…both sides. You too, whether you know it or not. It’s deliberate. Get out in front of the narrative. Ridicule. Keep fueling it. Ridicule more. Stoke it. Divide people over it. Make it into a race issue. Send out the troops to disrupt, discredit and destroy. I resent all of that. I resent it because I expect the person who sits in the Oval Office to be a person of integrity and honor, no matter whether I agree or disagree with him, and no matter what kind of miscreant may have occupied the office before. I expect adult behavior from him, his staff, his campaign, his supporters…and his detractors. I expect this from ANY public servant and if they can’t meet muster, then they have no business being there. I’ve done my research. I continue to do it. I want the truth. That’s all.

            Answer one question for me. Why? Why do you–or both of you–spend so much time cruising around the Internet depositing provably wrong information? Whether it’s your job or your hobby, I can’t see why anyone would be so devoted to a politician who doesn’t care about you or even know that you exist that they would waste their time aiding and abetting him to cause harm, even if it’s just to the truth. And don’t ask me where I was while Bush was destroying the country. I was not a Bush fan. In fact, I’m not a fan of any politician. They are what they are and if we demanded better, we could get better. I’ll give most of them a chance, some I like better than others, but I never lose sight of the fact that they are politicians, not saints, not demi-gods, and they are more than likely, according to studies, to be a tad on the psychopathic side. I was willing to give Obama a chance. He, and he alone, is the one who convinced me I was wasting my time. I especially resent how he has used the black community.

            So why do you do this? You’ve put enough time into your script that I’m sure you’re an intelligent person. You must have core principles about understanding right and wrong. I mean, even kindergartners know it’s wrong to lie, cheat or steal, to infringe on someone else’s property and to not keep your word. You know the kind of principles I mean; the basic moral values that are the basis of good character and the law throughout all cultures and societies. What would make you and the others who do this compromise the common values of decency and truth? I’ve watched for years now…from both trenches…as the troops, the warriors now…which I also resent since it completely perverts the warrior ethos…behave like jackals drunk on hate and lust for blood. Lies trip from the keyboards like poison darts. Eighth-grade mean girls look angelic in comparison to the nastiness visited upon anyone who dares disagree or question a man who, if a man of honor, would have never considered or allowed this ignoble of a tactic to respond to critics.

            Sadly, human nature never changes. Man is as wont to descend to lowest pits of evil as he is to soar to greatest heights as he has ever been. We will never evolve out of it. We can only choose who we will be and whether we will embrace the most sordid of principles and call them good, or strive to live by the ones that bring us to be humble servants of mankind and the truth. Unfortunately, as it is, we are regressing to the Dark Ages and calling it progressive.

            And don’t take my words to assume I’m a Republican and don’t see the mirror image. I see it clearly. That’s the problem. Both parties are the same. Sure, there are decent people in both, but at the top, the old guard, I would give you a nickel for the difference between them. I don’t like to be played and I’m not playing this game. I know what my principles are and where they’re based. I’m willing to learn, but I’m not willing to accept lies and pretend it’s truth. I love my country and my government, but it’s the people who are this country that I love most of all. I don’t like seeing them played either. Many are suffering while politicians point fingers in blame, then jointly keep passing bad laws and setting destructive regulations that eat out of the people’s sustenance to scratch the backs of their big donors, serve their own goals and adhere to perverse ideologies they embrace with religious fervor. I resent those who pervert the core values, the truth and manipulate, regardless of party. It’s time for everybody to wake up and vote them out in secured elections. Or…wither away under despotism. Your choice. I know mine. And, believe it or not, I don’t like seeing you played either.

            I don’t usually get involved in these eligibility discussions, but this time, I felt it was time to simply say, ‘It’s time to ante up. No one is above the law. It’s time to put this to rest.” Had you not dropped in with your script, I would have walked away. But let’s fact it, it’s time for all of our public servants to man up. Your life and sustenance depends on it as much as mine.

            I wrote replies to your other comments, but I’m not going to post them. I’m just repeating myself, as are you. We’re at an impasse. You know where to go to find the truth, if you want it, but I suspect you’ve known that all along. I’ll keep searching for more documented information and the truth that can be found in it. Not just about some disingenuous life fairy tale, but the truth about man’s quest for life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. This hasn’t been a discussion to find an answer anyway. It’s something else. Forget responding to the bc regulations, etc. It’s not important. I’m interested only in your answer to the sincere question I asked: Why do you do this?

          • smrstrauss says:

            Re: “The federal government requires it.”

            Answer: But it doesn’t. It does not. It is a regulation for how Federal BCs (not state or city BCs) must be entered. It also applies to the coding of races for entry in federal databases, which is what the pencil entries on the side of the boxes in Obama’s long form BC refer to, and the numeral “9” penciled into the entry for the race of his father indicates “Other non-white”—-which in fact is the correct coding for the word “African.”

            http://www.obamaconspiracy.org/2012/07/indicting-the-sheriff-joe-and-the-cold-case-posse/

            http://www.obamaconspiracy.org/2012/07/cold-case-posse-backed-into-a-corner/

            What applied in Hawaii was the regulations of Hawaii, and Hawaii says that it did not force people to enter specific words for their races. Your interpretation of the impact of the federal regulations on Hawaii is thus in error.

            How do we know that Hawaii allowed any word to be used to describe race? Because it SAID SO, and because it has confirmed that the word “African” also appears on the original BC, the one in its files. For your speculation about the regulations to be correct, the officials in Hawaii would have to be lying about allowing people to use any word that they wanted and also about the word “African” appearing on the BC in the files. The first of these lies would be very difficult to get away with. Why? Because THOUSANDS of parents in Hawaii have filled out those forms, perhaps millions, and if any of them had recalled being instructed what word to use to describe their race or that there was a checklist of allowed racial terms, they would have said so.

            Re: “That doesn’t mean I’m making any claims about where he was born. ”

            Let me see if I have this right. You accept the fact that Obama was born in Hawaii (Good, because the evidence for that is overwhelming.) But you think that there may be something wrong with his BC even though it doesn’t make any sense whatever to forge his BC if in fact he was born in Hawaii, and it makes even less sense to forge his BC with all the facts on it being EXACTLY the same as in the document in the files, and unless the officials in Hawaii of both parties are lying in their repeated statements, the facts on Obama’s published BC are EXACTLY the same as on the one in their files, and that includes “African” and Kapiolani Hospital.

            In this case you are using the world “African” as a way of trying to show that there is something wrong with Obama’s BC (which is wrong because “African” is just fine). But, more importantly, even if there were something wrong with the word “African,” it would not prove that Obama was born in a foreign country.

            There have been many claims of forgery about Obama’s long-form BC, but they come from people who are violent enemies of Obama, like for example Paul Irey (who has insisted that Obama did not attend Columbia College, despite Columbia University saying that in fact he did attend and graduate). What motivates Irey to make such a claim? Certainly not evidence that Obama did not attend Columbia. And another of the repeatedly quoted birther “experts” who has claimed that Obama’s BC is forged is Doug Vogt, who has claimed to have discovered the original Altar of Abraham. Is this a credible “expert?”

            And birther sites do not quote the analysts who say that there is nothing wrong with Obama’s birth certificate. For example:

            Dr. Neil Krawetz, an imaging software analysis author and experienced examiner of questioned images, said: “The PDF released by the White House shows no sign of digital manipulation or alterations. I see nothing that appears to be suspicious.”

            Nathan Goulding with The National Review: “We have received several e-mails today calling into question the validity of the PDF that the White House released, namely that there are embedded layers in the document. There are now several other people on the case. We looked into it and dismissed it. … I’ve confirmed that scanning an image, converting it to a PDF, optimizing that PDF, and then opening it up in Illustrator, does in fact create layers similar to what is seen in the birth certificate PDF. You can try it yourself at home.”

            John Woodman, independent computer professional, said repeatedly in his book and in various articles on his Web site that the claims that Obama’s birth certificate was forged were unfounded.

            Ivan Zatkovich, who has testified in court as a technology expert, and consultant to WorldNetDaily: “All of the modifications to the PDF document that can be identified are consistent with someone enhancing the legibility of the document.” And, by the way, when WND received Zatkovich’s article that said that he found nothing wrong with Obama’s birth certificate, WordNDaily simply did not publish it.

            Jean-Claude Tremblay, a leading software trainer and Adobe-certified expert, who has years of experience working with and teaching Adobe Illustrator, said the layers cited by doubters are evidence of the use of common, off-the-shelf scanning software — not evidence of a forgery. “I have seen a lot of illustrator documents that come from photos and contain those kind of clippings—and it looks exactly like this,” he said.

            Obama has shown his birth certificate twice, and the officials of BOTH parties in Hawaii have repeatedly confirmed the facts on it.

            Birthers’ claim that Obama’s birth certificate is false is well understood to be caused by their own motives—they hate Obama and would like to harm him.

            Moreover, for Obama not to be a Natural Born Citizen, Obama would have had to have been born in some country other than in the USA, and that—considering how far Hawaii is from the nearest foreign country and the fact that pregnant women seldom traveled long distances late in pregnancy in 1961 AND that the officials in Hawaii and the birth certificate and the birth notices in Hawaii say that he was born in Hawaii—is not very likely at all.

            Re: “My original point was that all the questions about the multiple anomalies in his life story should have been answered honestly and with undisputable documentation, just like all previous candidates have done when questioned about specific issues.’

            Answer: Obama has shown his short form official birth certificate of Hawaii, the COLB, which is the one that thousands of people use to get their US passports every year, and he has shown the long-form BC, and the officials in Hawaii have repeatedly confirmed that they sent them to Obama, and the officials in Hawaii have repeatedly confirmed that the facts on them are accurate, and this is further confirmed by the Index Data file and the birth notices sent to the Hawaii newspapers by the DOH of Hawaii in 1961.

            What other indisputable documentation would you like? I agree that he has not shown his school or college transcripts, or his passport records, but then neither did Mitt Romney or John McCain—nor did other presidents and presidential candidates, so why should he? If you are thinking that maybe he got bad grades and was helped along by reverse racism at the colleges—well, so what? Obama won the elections against McCain and Romney, which means that we think that he is sufficiently smart.

            Regarding my motives for responding to you. They are the same as your motives for responding to me.

          • smrstrauss says:

            Re: “Why do you do this?”

            I post for the same reason that you post. The difference between us is that I have the facts.

          • smrstrauss says:

            Replying to; “even kindergartners know it’s wrong to lie, cheat or steal, to infringe on someone else’s property and to not keep your word. You know the kind of principles I mean; the basic moral values that are the basis of good character…”

            Perhaps you did not know that birther sites have repeatedly violated the lying part of those moral principles.

            (1) They lied when they said that Obama’s Kenyan grandmother said that he was born in Kenya. In fact, the transcript shows that she said that he was born in Hawaii.

            (2) They lied when they said that he had been adopted in Indonesia and that he became an citizen of Indonesia, as a telephone call to the Indonesian Embassy will confirm.

            (3) Some of them lied by forging “Kenyan birth certificates.” Others lied by forging a video in which Obama is claimed to have said that he was not born in the USA and that he was born in Kenya. Those are lies.

            (4) They lied when they said that Obama must have traveled to Pakistan on a foreign passport because Pakistan did not allow US citizens to enter in 1961 or because Pakistan was on a US “no travel list” in 1961—-neither were the case.

            (5) And they lied by omitting the real facts when they commissioned a document expert to determine whether Obama’s BC was forged and the expert said that it wasn’t, and they did not run that statement, and they lied when they did not even discuss the other real experts who said that the BC was not forged.

          • smrstrauss says:

            Oh, and they have been lying recently when they claimed that Obama’s lawyer admitted that the BC was forged. She never said any such thing. And even more recently there have been birther blogs claiming that the officials in Hawaii have said that the BC is forged. The officials in Hawaii have not said that either.

          • smrstrauss says:

            Re: “The federal government requires it.”

            Actually, it doesn’t. The officials in Hawaii have stated that they allowed everyone to use whatever words that they want, to “self describe” their race. In addition to their statement on the matter (and if they were lying it would be easy to show it because hundreds of thousands of people have filled in that form over the years, and if there had been a checklist of races or they had been told what race to fill in, they would show that the officials were lying when they said that there was no checklist and no one told people what words to use to describe their race). In addition to the statement, the fact that Hawaii allowed anyone to use any word is showed by the fact that “African” does not appear only on Obama’s published birth certificate. It is exactly the same on the document in the files of the DOH. Officials in Hawaii have repeatedly stated that the facts on Obama’s published BC are exactly the same as on the document in the files, and that includes the word “African” describing his fathers’ race. And it includes the name of the hospital too, of course, Kapiolani Hospital in Honolulu, HA (which BTW did exist at the time).

  7. 7delta says:

    Gary stated: my premise is that the Court would have to look at the context of the requirements at the time of framing, and balance it with the current definition.

    What is the current definition? The one the Obama wagon is dragging around that says anyone born on the soil is natural born or the one that says born on the soil to one-citizen parent or the one that says he is a natural born citizen through the 14th Amendment? LOL. They’ve made me dizzy.

    The “Fight the Smears” website originally posted that he is a native born U.S. citizen and his British citizenship was governed through his father by the British Nationality Act of 1944 (or thereabouts). Word play is always interesting.

    When all this started in ’08, I was naive enough to think the DNC and the courts would clear it up. I soon discovered otherwise. However, the tip-off for me was the original ‘birth certificate’ posted on Daily Kos. First, it appeared under suspicious circumstances (and after a thread discussion that subsequently disappeared) which made me think it was a joke aimed at the people who questioned eligibility. The unintended consequence of the joke was that it quickly got out of hand. Suddenly, news outlets were running it as proof. What could Kos or the campaign do then? It was a long time before Gibbs ever claimed he put it up on Fight the Smears, though I don’t think he ever claimed he or someone else gave the birth certificate to Kos, or it was longer still before it was mentioned in the context of it Kos being the first to run it, which in itself, is pretty illogical, when the campaign had an official website that would reach a wider range of viewers. And why, if the campaign was the source, did it take so long for it to appear on the FtS’s site?

    But the one piece of info on the bc that made me actually question what was going on was the ‘race’ category of father. Sorry, but no. African is not a race. That’s like saying my race is American. From my own knowledge about how the rules work to maintain uniform vital statistics, that was an absolute non-starter. I confirmed that with a little research. It simply reinforced my theory that the bc was made by someone with no knowledge of data requirements and that person was operating with modern political correctness. By acknowledging the Kos bc as legitimate, the campaign and administration locked themselves into having to repeat the original mistakes in any subsequent document. Another unintended consequence. But you have to work with what you’ve got, even if it’s flawed.

    I would like to see integrity, rightful national security concerns and adherence to oaths of office to the Constitution resolve this issue, but to be honest, after seeing all the bizarre shenanigans of the administration, the courts and Hawaii, I have little hope. These events also lead me to ask, why? Too many people involved and no legitimate resolution by reviewing certified documents. We have judges accepting the Internet as a legitimate source on which to adjudicate the legality of a document. Wow. What’s going on behind the curtain?

    • smrstrauss says:

      All native born citizens are Natural Born Citizens. That is what the US Supreme Court found in the Wong Kim Ark case (a six to two decision, one justice not voting), and nine state and one federal court have all ruled that the Wong Kim Ark case really is the key decision on the matter and that the Wong Kim Ark case really did rule that every child born in the USA is a Natural Born US citizen except for the children of foreign diplomats.

      • smrstrauss says:

        Re: “But the one piece of info on the bc that made me actually question what was going on was the ‘race’ category of father. Sorry, but no. African is not a race. ”

        That’s right. But Hawaii allowed people to use any word that they wanted to to describe their race. No one stood over them and instructed what to enter nor was there a check list of races. So people could use any word that they wanted, and what was the word that the African exchange students in the 1960s normally used to describe their race? AFRICAN. And what was the word that colonial government of the Kenya Colony (which btw did exist at the time; the name had been changed from British East Africa in 1920) used to describe the black residents of that colony? AFRICANS.

        • 7delta says:

          That’s right. But Hawaii allowed people to use any word that they wanted to to describe their race.

          Categories were and are federal guidelines that must be used for vital statistics. So yeah, Hawaii was bound by and adhered to those guidelines.

          • smrstrauss says:

            I repeat. There was no checklist of races nor did anyone stand over your shoulder and tell you what race to enter. Japanese is not a race, but you could enter it. Chinese is not a race, but you could enter it. American certainly is not a race, but people could and DID enter it. People could, and DID, enter hyphenated terms like Chinese-American or Chinese-Japanese. That is because they could use any words that they wanted. There was NO requirement that Hawaii or any other state for that matter specify that people must describe their race according to specific “guidelines.” (There were guidelines in coding the BCs for data entry, but that is different, and it only did such things as standardize the use of Negro for Black or mixed-race for any hyphenated term).

            So, once again, people could use any word that they wanted to describe their race. And what is the word that African exchange students commonly used to describe their race in the 1960s? Answer: African. And what is the word that Obama’s father would have been familiar with since it was the word used to describe blacks by the colonial government of Kenya at the time? Answer: African.

            IT is irrational to believe that Obama’s relatives were rich enough (his grandfather was a furniture salesman and his grandmother was a low-level employee in a bank in 1961) or stupid enough to send Obama’s mother on a long, expensive and risky (the incidence of stillbirth was high in those days) trip to a foreign country when she was late in pregnancy——when there were perfectly fine hospitals in Honolulu, Hawaii.

          • 7delta says:

            I repeat. There was no checklist of races nor did anyone stand over your shoulder and tell you what race to enter.

            You may repeat it as often as you like, but it does not change the federal regulations in place then and now that require certain terms and categories be used for vital records purposes.

            While no one may have stood over anyone in how they classified themselves, it’s worth remembering that parents do not fill out birth certificate information, but give that information to the designated person who collects it for the purpose of entering it into the official document. Those people were well aware of what terms and categories were required and used them. Sr. could have protested he was ‘African’ all day long and it would not have been entered as his ‘race’. The fact that other nationalities were allowed, such as Japanese, etc. does not belie this fact, since these terms denoted a difference between Asian heredities. As sloppy as Hawaii may have been in ‘who’ they acknowledged as citizens, they didn’t flaunt it by ignoring federal regulations.

            Since your claim defies federal regulations that were most assuredly in place, I’m willing to entertain your theory if you can provide official documentation that Hawaii was exempted from the regulations all other states were required to use.

            When I first noticed the ‘African’ entry, I was willing to accept your theory that he may have insisted on being referred to in that manner…an anomaly, just one of many. However, world view effects how people view themselves, so I did some research to see how Kenyans would view themselves in terms within their own society and to the outside world. They, like many, if not most, countries do not record race on their birth certificates. This is especially true of traditionally homogenous societies. I found that Sr. would have most likely seen himself as a Luo, since by ‘tribe’, is how Kenyans traditionally view themselves.This is also what was and is recorded on their birth certificates, unless it’s changed in the last few years since I researched the history of their vital records. It’s unlikely he would have seen himself in such a generic term as ‘African’, especially since he was an adamant opponent of colonization and its subordination of belonging to a specific country by making all people of the colonies British subjects above their natural identity. His pride would have most likely been specific, not generic.

            IT is irrational to believe that Obama’s relatives were rich enough (his grandfather was a furniture salesman and his grandmother was a low-level employee in a bank in 1961) or stupid enough to send Obama’s mother on a long, expensive and risky (the incidence of stillbirth was high in those days) trip to a foreign country when she was late in pregnancy——when there were perfectly fine hospitals in Honolulu, Hawaii.

            I didn’t make that claim, as it is irrelevant to the subject at hand, which is focused on federal regulations for recording vital record information.

          • smrstrauss says:

            YOU claim that federal regulations required states to impose certain burdens upon their citizens, namely to describe their race according to the rules that you say were in place. That, however, is simply not true. But, because YOU think that those federal regulations forced all the states to force their residents to describe their races using different words does not make it true.

            What is true? What is true is that the government of Hawaii says that it did not then and does not now force people to describe their race using particular words and that they can use any words that they want. THAT is the fact, not your speculation based on your interpretation of federal regulations. It says that parents were allowed to ‘self report” their race, meaning that there was no checklist nor did any official tell them what to put down. Here are the words of the DOH official as reported by FactCheck: “Kurt Tsue at the DOH told us that father’s race and mother’s race are supplied by the parents, and that “we accept what the parents self identify themselves to be.” ”

            In other words, Obama’s father could use any word that he wanted to describe his race.

            The reason that I pointed out that it is absurd to believe that Obama was born in a foreign country is that you have been using your claim about the “African” description of Obama’s father as alleged proof that the birth certificate was forged. (Which, of course, is foolish. It is not a reason because If contemporary people had forged Obama’s BC, they would have used either “Negro,” “black” or “African-American” [the latter being particularly foolish because Obama’s father was African, but was not American]).

            Well, Obama’s long-form birth certificate is not forged, as these experts say:

            Dr. Neil Krawetz, an imaging software analysis author and experienced examiner of questioned images, said: “The PDF released by the White House shows no sign of digital manipulation or alterations. I see nothing that appears to be suspicious.”

            Nathan Goulding with The National Review: “We have received several e-mails today calling into question the validity of the PDF that the White House released, namely that there are embedded layers in the document. There are now several other people on the case. We looked into it and dismissed it. … I’ve confirmed that scanning an image, converting it to a PDF, optimizing that PDF, and then opening it up in Illustrator, does in fact create layers similar to what is seen in the birth certificate PDF. You can try it yourself at home.”

            John Woodman, independent computer professional, said repeatedly in his book and in various articles on his Web site that the claims that Obama’s birth certificate was forged were unfounded.

            Ivan Zatkovich, who has testified in court as a technology expert, and consultant to WorldNetDaily: “All of the modifications to the PDF document that can be identified are consistent with someone enhancing the legibility of the document.” And, by the way, when WND received Zatkovich’s article that said that he found nothing wrong with Obama’s birth certificate, WordNDaily simply did not publish it.

            Jean-Claude Tremblay, a leading software trainer and Adobe-certified expert, who has years of experience working with and teaching Adobe Illustrator, said the layers cited by doubters are evidence of the use of common, off-the-shelf scanning software — not evidence of a forgery. “I have seen a lot of illustrator documents that come from photos and contain those kind of clippings—and it looks exactly like this,” he said.

            Obama has shown his birth certificate twice, and the officials of BOTH parties in Hawaii have repeatedly confirmed the facts on it.

            Birthers’ claim that Obama’s birth certificate is false is well understood to be caused by their own motives—they hate Obama and would like to harm him.

            Moreover, the officials in Hawaii have stated in writing that the facts on Obama’s birth certificate are exactly the same, exactly, that they match word for word, the document in the files, and officials of both parties have seen the document in the files. Those facts include Kapiolani Hospital (which BTW did exist at the time), the African race listed for Obama’s father, the name of the doctor, and the location of birth, which was in Honolulu, Hawaii.

            To repeat on the African front. Obama’s long-form BC says “African.” Officials in Hawaii say that his father could use any word that he wanted. Officials in Hawaii say that the word “African” appears on the BC in the files too. Officials of both parties saw the document in the files with the word “African” on it.

            Re: “Kenyans would view themselves in terms within their own society and to the outside world. They, like many, if not most, countries do not record race on their birth certificates. ”

            Did you notice that you are using the present tense? What you need is something that uses the past tense because the word “African” appeared on Obama’s birth certificate in 1961, more than 50 years ago. What Kenya does today is not a sign of what they did in 1961. And, it is important to note that in 1961, Kenya was a colony, a British colony, known as “The Kenya Colony.” And what word did the colonial officials of The Kenya Colony use to describe the black residents of their country??? Answer: They called them “Africans.”

      • I find the diplomats part interesting.

        • smrstrauss says:

          Yes, the children of foreign diplomats are excluded from citizenship at birth (they can be naturalized like anyone else, of course). That is because under the common law the children of foreign diplomats were also excluded. The thinking behind this is not to deprive those children of any right but not to put pressure on those diplomats to do anything. Since their children are not citizens, they cannot be drafted, Etc.

      • 7delta says:

        Please quote where Justice Gray declared Wong Kim Ark to be a natural born citizen.

        • smrstrauss says:

          He didn’t. Why should he have? The issue with Wong Kim Ark was whether he was a citizen or not, and he was, and that is what Justice Gray declared.

          But rulings can do more than one thing. In addition to ruling on whether Wong was a citizen or not, the ruling ALSO defines what is a Natural Born Citizen, using these words:

          “It thus clearly appears that, by the law of England for the last three centuries, beginning before the settlement of this country and continuing to the present day, aliens, while residing in the dominions possessed by the Crown of England, were within the allegiance, the obedience, the faith or loyalty, the protection, the power, the jurisdiction of the English Sovereign, and therefore every child born in England of alien parents was a natural-born subject unless the child of an ambassador or other diplomatic agent of a foreign State or of an alien enemy in hostile occupation of the place where the child was born.

          III. The same rule was in force in all the English Colonies upon this continent down to the time of the Declaration of Independence, and in the United States afterwards, and continued to prevail under the Constitution as originally established.”

          That quotation quite clearly says that the meaning of Natural Born Citizen comes from the common law (hence not from Vattel), and that it refers to the place of birth, not to the citizenship of the parents. And it says that every child born in the USA except for the children of foreign diplomats is a Natural Born US Citizen.

          Read it again. Don’t believe your own eyes??? Well, if not, then you should know that NINE state courts and a federal court, total ten, have all ruled that the Wong Kim Ark case indeed ruled on this matter, and that it is the key ruling, and that Minor v. Happersett does not apply at all, and that the Wong Kim Ark case said, what you can see above with your own eyes, that the meaning of Natural Born Citizen comes from the common law and refers to the place of birth, not to the citizenship of the parents of a US-born citizen. For example:

          Hollander v. McCain (New Hampshire 2008) ruling: “Those born “in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof,” U.S. Const., amend. XIV, have been considered American citizens under American law in effect since the time of the founding, United States v. Wong Kim Ark, 169 U.S. 649, 674-75 (1898), and thus eligible for the presidency,

          Ankeny v. Governor of Indiana (Indiana 2008 – Appellate Court) ruling: “Based upon the language of Article II, Section 1, Clause 4 and the guidance provided by Wong Kim Ark, we conclude that persons born within the borders of the United States are “natural born Citizens” for Article II, Section 1 purposes, regardless of the citizenship of their parents.”

          And, even before Obama, courts were ruling exactly the same way. For example:

          Mustata v. US Dept. of Justice, 179 F.3d 1017 (6th Cir. 1999) (children born in US to two Romanian citizens described as “natural born citizens” of the US):

          “Petitioners Marian and Lenuta Mustata are citizens of Romania. At the time of their petition, they resided in Michigan with their two minor children, who are natural born citizens of the United States.”

          Diaz-Salazar v. INS, 700 F.2d 1156 (7th Cir. 1983) (child born in US to Mexican citizen is “natural born citizen” of US):

          “Petitioner, Sebastian Diaz-Salazar, entered the United States illegally [from Mexico] in 1974 and has been living and working in Chicago since that time. *** The relevant facts which have been placed before the INS, BIA, and this court can be summarized as follows: The petitioner has a wife and two children under the age of three in Chicago; the children are natural-born citizens of the United States.”

          Nwankpa v. Kissinger, 376 F. Supp. 122 (M.D. Ala. 1974) (child born in US to two Biafra citizens described as “natural born citizen” of the US):

          “The Plaintiff was a native of Biafra, now a part of the Republic of Nigeria. His wife and two older children are also natives of that country, but his third child, a daughter, is a natural-born citizen of the United States.”

          What makes the third child different from her siblings? Only that she was born in the USA.

  8. Gary Harper says:

    A very good analysis. I noted the plural parents. Citizen is citizen, but “natural-born Citizen” is what the Constitution days. It is exclusive, not inclusive. Since the Constitution does not directly define what that is, my premise is that the Court would have to look at the context of the requirements at the time of framing, and balance it with the current definition. I also would be interested in seeing an honest answer.

    The Framers did not concieve of a society where someone with Obama’s background could even possibly win nomination, such was the distrust of everyone for outside foreign influence at that time. Most true Tories moved to Canada.

    I really thank you for weighing in. After 2-15-13, your information may be helpful to others trying to analyze what really happened.

    • smrstrauss says:

      Re; ‘The Framers did not concieve of a society where someone with Obama’s background could even possibly win nomination, such was the distrust of everyone for outside foreign influence at that time…”

      Have you forgotten the Marquis de Lafayette? He was made not merely a US citizen by various states, but Maryland passed a law that said that he and his male offspring would be Natural Born Citizens forever. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gilbert_du_Motier,_Marquis_de_Lafayette). This action implied that the strict meaning of Natural Born, referring to the place of birth, could be altered by legislation to include people who certainly were not born here.

      Re: “such was the distrust of everyone for outside foreign influence at that time…”

      Historical research indicates that the Grandfather clause argues just the reverse of this statement. After all, the grandfather clause allowed men who were not Natural Born to become president for a short period of time. That meant that even people who were not born in America were allowed to become president so long as they were Naturalized—and Alexander Hamilton was one of them. But the grandfather clause also allowed about 60,000 other men, who were not born in America but were naturalized by states (and that was a lot in those days) to be eligible to be president. That does not sound like they were worrying about foreigners.

      More importantly, there is no evidence whatever that they considered the US-born children of foreigners to be foreigners or to be a lesser class of citizen than the US-born children of US-citizens or to not be Natural Born Citizens. Historical research shows that the term Natural Born was used just the way that it was used in the common law, to refer to the place of birth.

      • Here before the ratification, and here forv at least 14 years grandfathered you. After ratification, born on US soil only came into play. Or, born on foreign soil to U.S. PARENTS came into play. Parents later became parent. It would be up to the Courts on that one. The qualifications to be president are not inclusionary of all citizens, they are exclusionary of particular groups of citizens.

        • smrstrauss says:

          The qualifications of those who can be president exclude people who are under the age of 35 and those who have not lived in the USA for 14 years (which apparently does not have to be consecutive or even the 14 years immediately before the election, just 14 years). It does not exclude criminals from being president. It does not exclude atheists, former Tories (remember the guys who supported and fought for the British?), people with multiple wives, tax cheats, card sharps, communists, fascists, people with body odor, etc. The point that I am making is that the writers of the constitution bent over backwards NOT to exclude anyone. If they had meant to exclude criminals and Tories—they would certainly have said so, and if they had meant to exclude the US-born children of foreigners, they would have told us.

          The principle, obviously, was that they did not want to exclude even criminals and people who beat their wives because they expected us to be smart enough to make that decision, and if we aren’t, then too bad for us. The point is that we voters have the responsibility, not them.

          Here is what they did exclude. The Natural Born Citizen clause excludes, duh, everyone who is not a citizen—–some billions of people. And it excludes naturalized citizens. But every other citizen of the USA over 35 with 14 years residence (EXCEPT for three people, Clinton, Bush and, now, Obama, who are all limited to two terms ) is eligible to become president in the next presidential election.

          • smrstrauss says:

            Oh, and a thought about the 14 year requirement. Some people say that the writers of the US Constitution were concerned about foreign influence. Well, the 14 year residence requirement is a sign of that. People did have to have SOME experience of the USA to be eligible. But, not very much, just some. Notice that 14 years is not even a majority of the 35 age requirement? A person could have lived outside of the USA for 21 of her or his years and still be eligible. In other words, they could have lived 60% of their life outside of the USA. Or, if the candidate was 50 years old, she or he could have lived 72% of their life outside of the USA.

            That does not seem to be overwhelming concern about foreign influence.

      • 7delta says:

        That meant that even people who were not born in America were allowed to become president so long as they were Naturalized—and Alexander Hamilton was one of them

        Hamilton was grandfathered in, just like all the founding generation, because there were no nbc at that point. Everyone had been born a British subject or a citizen or another country. That provision expired when the last person living at the time of ratification died.

        But the grandfather clause also allowed about 60,000 other men, who were not born in America but were naturalized by states (and that was a lot in those days) to be eligible to be president. That does not sound like they were worrying about foreigners.

        To assume federal citizenship, a person had to be a citizen of a state. Each state, at that time. required oaths of loyalty. During the Madison administration, Virginia recognized any person born on the soil was a ‘son of the soil’. Under the pen name of Publius, Madison wrote for publication in newspapers that this recognition did not extent to citizenship for federal purposes.

        And yes, indeedy, they worried about foreign influence. I gave you a quote in my last post, but I can provide you with many more straight from the Constitutional Convention and other attendee sources, if you need them. However, I would suggest you take some time and read those resources yourself. Straight from the horse’s mouth is always best, I think.

        Historical research shows that the term Natural Born was used just the way that it was used in the common law, to refer to the place of birth.

        You will also find in the Constitutional Convention Records what the participants had to say then and later regarding English Common Law. When questioned about it, Madison replied that each state had different laws based on their needs and understanding. Which set of common laws should the Convention had adopted? The Constitution is not based in English Common Law, despite later courts that made such declarations in their rulings. Early rulings noted that federal law was not English Common Law, even though the founders were quite well versed in it and familiar with its terms. Please read them for yourself. It’ll mean more than for me to quote them to you.

        However, given your consistent record of following these discussions around the Internet, I think we will probably have to agree to disagree. I can quote straight from the records and it will make little difference. But you can read them and decide for yourself. If you wish to continue to believe what you’ve written here, that’s your right, but I’ve read them and continue to read, as the amount of written documentation from that era is extensive. I see no reason to not believe what the men who were there wrote. There is a wide variety of material from their squabbles to their agreements to their deliberations. You may even find some new ammo for your argument from some of the guys who lost the debate and weren’t happy about it.

        • smrstrauss says:

          Sure they worried about foreign influence. But there not a shred of evidence that they thought that a child born in the USA of foreign parents was a foreigner. If they had thought so, they would surely have said so, but they didn’t. Instead, we have this quotation from Rawle, who was friends with both Washington and Franklin:

          “Therefore every person born within the United States, its territories or districts, whether the parents are citizens or aliens, is a natural born citizen in the sense of the Constitution, and entitled to all the rights and privileges appertaining to that capacity.”—William Rawle, A VIEW OF THE CONSTITUTION OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. 2d ed. (1829)

          EVERY PERSON. Not just those whose parents were US citizens. EVERY person.

          Re: “The Constitution is not based in English Common Law.”

          However, it does use common law terms, like Habeas Corpus and ex post facto, and the common law is referred to about twenty times in the Federalist Papers, and always with respect and admiration, and John Jay actually wrote the common law into the first Constitution of the state of New York, making the common law the law of New York until changed by a New York Statute.

          So, the issue is where the words Natural Born are concerned did they come from the common law or from some other source. Well, if the words came from some other source, there are only two ways of finding out: (1) The writers of the Constitution or other Americans at the time would have used the phrase differently than in the common law (which they didn’t); (2) and/or they would have told us that they were making a change from the use in the common law (which they also didn’t.). Rawle and Tucker at the time, and the US Supreme Court in Wong Kim Ark and Meese in later years are all correct. The term really does come from the common law and really does refer to the place of birth.

      • 7delta says:

        Have you forgotten the Marquis de Lafayette? He was made not merely a US citizen by various states, but Maryland passed a law that said that he and his male offspring would be Natural Born Citizens forever. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gilbert_du_Motier,_Marquis_de_Lafayette). This action implied that the strict meaning of Natural Born, referring to the place of birth, could be altered by legislation to include people who certainly were not born here.

        You’re correct that prior to the ratification of the Constitution, Lafayette was presented with the highest form of citizenship from the State of Maryland in 1784 at a ceremony in Annapolis. It could be argued theoretically that when the citizens of the several states became U.S. citizens at the ratification of the Constitution that would include the honorary citizenship of Lafayette, but in practice and law, it did not make Lafayette a U.S. citizen. The U.S. Congress did not recognize Lafayette as a citizen until 2002, under the Bush Administration. Maryland also stated Lafayette’s male heirs would forever be citizens of the Maryland and natural born. The citizenships, both in Maryland prior to the Constitution and in 2002 are honorary. Under the Constitution, only Congress has the authority to recognize naturalizations with all states uniformly adhering to those laws. Maryland’s 1783 declaration was a heartfelt tribute to Lafayette for his aid in American Independence during the war. Maryland bestowed on him their honorary highest recognition of citizenship, but under the Constitution and federal statutes, etc, Lafayette’s heirs would have no legal claim to rights and privileges of U.S. Citizenship. Maryland’s kind resolution was merely honorary as a show of gratitude for a foreigner who risked much to aid them in their time of need.

        Honorary Citizenships have been bestowed only six times by Congress throughout our entire history.

        The U.S. Dept. of State Foreign Affairs Manual Volume 7–Consular Affairs states:

        a. At different times in our history, the President, by means of an Act of Congress, has declared a non-U.S. citizen person of exceptional merit to be an honorary citizen of the United States.

        b. Honorary citizenship does not carry with it the rights and privileges of ordinary citizenship, and such status does not confer any special entry, travel or immigration benefits upon the honoree or the honoree’s relatives and dependants. It also does not impose additional duties or responsibilities, in the United States or internationally, on the honoree. It is a strictly symbolic act. No oath is required.

        a. Honorary U.S. citizens are not eligible for U.S. regular, official, or diplomatic passports or passport cards.

        b. When Winston Churchill was awarded honorary U.S. citizenship in 1963, President Kennedy presented an “honorary U.S. passport” to Winston Churchill’s son on his behalf. This is the only time such an “honorary U.S. passport” has been configured. Such honorary passports convey respect, but are not valid travel documents, and do not confer any special entry, travel or immigration benefits.

        The 1784 Maryland Act reads:

        An Act to naturalize Major General the Marquiss de la Fayette and his Heirs Male Forever.

        Whereas the General Assembly of Maryland anxious to perpetuate a name dear to the State and to recognize the Marquiss de la Fayette for one of its Citizens who at the Age of nineteen left his native Country and risqued his life in the late revolution–who on his joining the American Army, after appointed by Congress the rank of Major General, disinterestedly refused the usual rewards of Command and fought only to deserve, what he attained, the Character of Patriot and Soldier–who when appointed to conduct an incursion into Canada called forth by his prudence and extraordinary discretion the approbation of Congress–who at the head of an Army in Virginia baffled the Maneuvers of a distinguished General, and excited the admiration of the oldest Commanders–who early attracted the notice and obtained the friendship of the illustrious (General) Washington, and who laboured and succeeded in raising the honour and the name of the United States of American, therefore
        Be it enacted by the General Assembly of Maryland–that the Marquiss de la Fayette and his Heirs male forever shall be and they and each of them are hereby deemed adjudged and taken to be natural born Citizens of this State and shall henceforth be intitled to all the Immunities, Rights and Privileges of natural born Citizens thereof, they and every one of them conforming to the Constitution and Laws of the State in the Enjoyment and Exercise of such Immunities, Rights and Privileges.

        By the Senate Dec. 28, 1784 By the House of Delegates, December 28th, 1784
        Read and assented to Read and assented to.
        By Order. By Order
        J. Dwight. W. Harwood

        WM. PACA

        It was a generous and enthusiastic honorary gesture by Maryland’s General Assembly, but irrelevant in determining who is a natural born Citizen for Constitutional purposes.

        • smrstrauss says:

          I agree with you. ONLY the original meaning of Natural Born applies to Article II eligibility. But what was the original meaning of Natural Born? The original meaning applied to place, only to the place of birth. But some, such as the state of Maryland, held that you could add to that other people who were not born here. That’s why some people think that Cruz may be a Natural Born Citizen, even though he was born in Canada, because his mother (not his father) was a US citizen. In any case, that does not change the fact that the original definition, the one that applies to Obama and Jindal and Rubio was from the common law and referred to the place of birth, and Obama was born in the USA (in Hawaii).

          • smrstrauss says:

            Moreover, let me add that the fact that Maryland passed a law making Lafayette a Natural Born Citizen does not indicate overwhelming worry about the possible bad influence of foreigners. Sure, they did worry some about foreigners. They made them swear oaths of allegiance to become citizens. But they never made US-born children swear oaths of allegiance, even the ones who were born of two foreign citizens. They never said that a US-born child of foreigners was not a US citizen at birth or that the US-born child of foreigners was a lower grade of citizen, a higher security risk, than the US-born child of US citizens.

            That indicates some, but not overwhelming, worry about foreign influence. It certainly is not evidence that the writers of the US Constitution used some other definition of Natural Born in Natural Born Citizen from the meaning of Natural Born in Natural Born Subject, and that was simply the place of birth.

  9. 7delta says:

    Interesting look at the eligibility issue. You’ve done a lot of good research, but let me give you another possible avenue to explore. You’ll have to decide if it’s relevant to your theory or not. I’ll try to give you just as quick an overview as I can of the information I found by revisiting old documents and following the succession of laws throughout our history.

    I don’t have an answer, but I do have a lot of questions and believe the question should have been addressed seriously five years ago. The left’s calling people racist for asking questions originally raised by the Clinton campaign is at best a political ploy to discourage any questions or criticisms, or at worse, a political ploy to discourage any questions or criticism because there is something to hide. The latter is a twofer. Either way, neither is acceptable. It’s not just about transparency or ‘fairness’ but about national security, which was the reason the provision was placed in the Constitution originally. This issue should not exist.

    After the Revolutionary War, the Congress, under the Articles of the Confederacy, had to determine who was a citizen. It was decided that the people, generally defined as a man and his family (minor children), who supported the cause of Independence were citizens.

    The Confederacy didn’t work out well, so representatives from the states reconvened at the Constitutional Convention. John Jay wrote George Washington (paraphrased, because I don’t have time to look up the original quote, but promise to do no harm): “Permit me, sir, to hint that in order to check foreign influence, the office of chief executive should not be awarded to, nor devolve upon, any but a natural born citizen.” Thus, Art. 2, Sec. 1. The founding generation, regardless of where they were born or to the citizenship of their parents, did not consider themselves natural born. Therefore, they grandfathered in that generation, after which, when the last person living at the time of ratification died, the clause expired.

    What does natural born mean? We know the Constitutional Convention attendees had copies of Vattel’s ‘Law of Nations’ in their possession through letters from Franklin thanking the provider of three copies. Everybody who has followed this issue knows what the book said. It gives us an insight, but not a concrete law. However, we know from records and early SCOTUS rulings that referenced the LoN that it was relevant to our laws, but there is other evidence as to how citizenship was constructed and developed found in records.

    It was common practice, or the Law of Nations, for a woman to take her husband’s citizenship upon marriage, if hers differed from his. An American woman marrying a German would automatically be naturalized according to Germany’s laws. Her American citizenship was forfeit as in any naturalization to a foreign state. A French woman who married an American man would be automatically naturalized as an American citizen, without any further action on her part. If the marriage ended, for whatever reason, she could reapply for citizenship and would be reinstated as a naturalized citizen. Any children would remain the father’s citizenship unless naturalized.

    As you noted, in the Naturalization Act of 1790, Congress outlined the process to naturalize. A man, meeting the requirements, could present himself to any local magistrate and request citizenship. The Act stated that any children under the age of 21 were included in a man’s naturalization. No mention of his wife, because she was naturalized by marriage to him. We can also see that birth on the soil did not grant citizenship. No distinction is made between a child born on the soil or abroad before the father naturalized. The child’s citizenship, if under 21, followed the father’s, as did the wife/mother’s. The Act goes further to state that children born abroad to U.S. citizens, provided the father was a U.S. citizen, were “natural born across the sea”. Marriage=wife’s citizenship again. Two parents. Five years later, at Madison’s urging, the law was changed to strike “natural born across the sea” and was replaced by “citizen”, because the U.S. has no jurisdiction over foreign soil. All Congress could/can determine was how citizenship is derived on our soil (by heredity and nature) or if born abroad (by heredity and naturalization). That still holds true, that a child born outside U.S. jurisdiction to parents or parent, meeting the statutory requirements, is a citizen by statute, not by nature, because the U.S. has no control over foreign soil to claim any natural rights.

    As variations of parenthood and birth circumstances needed to be addressed, the law soon stated that a child born out of wedlock followed the citizenship of the father, unless the father was unknown, which granted that the child would follow the mother’s, but did not alter the basic premise of two-parent citizenship and jurisdiction. Out-of-wedlock births just wasn’t a giant problem back then.

    At the beginning of the 1800’s, the Law of Nations recognition, under which a woman’s citizenship was tied to her husband’s, was codified by Congress.

    Until the SCOTUS ruling in Wong Kim Ark (post-14th Amendment) when Justice Gray ruled that birth on the soil was enough to grant citizenship, a citizen by nature (no law required) was only to two citizen parents with the birth occurring within U.S. jurisdiction with no other soil-birth category recognized (except the soil birth to a single U.S. citizen woman and unknown father), or a citizen naturalized at birth by birth abroad to two citizens, provided the father was a citizen. After this ruling, despite the original intent of the framers of the 14th Amendment, anyone born on the soil was a citizen, regardless of parental citizenship, but Gray did not rule Wong Kim Ark was natural born. The court ruled recently that anchor babies are not natural born. So we know we have a subcategory of citizenship born on the soil from Wong Kim Ark and the recent ruling, but neither equate citizen and natural born citizen as the same. Statutory construction would dictate that such changes be noted. We can then be certain that a 14th Amendment citizen is not necessarily a natural born citizen, nor is he a naturalized-at-birth citizen by being born outside U.S. jurisdiction. The child is a citizen with all the rights and privileges as all other citizens, except for Constitutional purposes. (SCOTUS has also upheld this.)

    Not until 1922 was marriage citizenship changed with the Cable Act. At that point, a woman’s citizenship was separated from her husband’s and she would have to naturalize to gain citizenship. Dual citizenship, while discouraged by the federal government, but still recognized as reality, became legally significant. The State Dept. held then, and continues to hold today, that a dual citizen, when on the soil of either country where they hold citizenship, is subject to the same laws and responsibilities as any other citizen of that country. If a naturalized U.S. citizen is on the soil of their birth and their former country refuses to recognize the legal change of allegiance to hold the U.S. citizen responsible to their citizen requirements, our State Dept. will intervene on their behalf. We do not recognize that dual citizenship since from the U.S.’s view that duality does not exist. The State Dept. will not, however, intervene in cases of dual citizenship by birth that the foreign citizenship has not been relinquished or in a case where the former U.S. citizen has renounced their U.S. citizenship to naturalize to another country.

    Now we know that all citizens by birth are not natural born, whether born on the soil or abroad. The 14th Amendment did not change previous citizenship requirements, per statements by the framers of that amendment entered into Congressional Records, and by their statements that the amendment was meant to remedy the freeman’s situation that U.S. citizenship could be granted under the Constitution, but without amendment, freemen could be barred from state citizenship. State citizenship was controlled by the state and did not necessarily equate federal citizenship requirements. Under the Constitution, technically, Americans hold dual citizenships within dual sovereign states–state and federal.

    Art. 2, Sec. 1 has never been amended, despite numerous attempts over the last decade or so. The definition and purpose remains the same as when it was placed into the Constitution. It cannot be changed by legislation alone, but only by amendment, so U.S. Code regarding who is a citizen and by what requirements is irrelevant, since it’s by legislation alone. The only time a distinction is made between citizen and natural born citizen is Art. 2, Sec. 1.

    The question then is: Since Art. 2, Sec. 1 has not been amended and simple legislation cannot alter it, nor has any other amendment process superceded it, what unique birth and hereditary circumstances are required to be a natural born citizen?

    I’d like an honest judiciary to answer that.

    • smrstrauss says:

      Re: “We know the Constitutional Convention attendees had copies of Vattel’s ‘Law of Nations’ in their possession…”

      Yes they did, but then they read a lot of other things too. Neither Vattel nor his book is mentioned even once in the Federalist Papers, while the common law is mentioned about twenty times, and under the common law the term Natural Born refers to the place of birth, not to the citizenship of a US-born citizen. And that is the way that the US Supreme Court ruled in the Wong Kim Ark case as well, that the meaning of Natural Born came from the common law and referred to the place of birth.

      nder the longstanding English common-law principle of jus soli, persons born within the territory of the sovereign (other than children of enemy aliens or foreign diplomats) are citizens from birth. Thus, those persons born within the United States are “natural born citizens” and eligible to be President. Much less certain, however, is whether children born abroad of United States citizens are “natural born citizens” eligible to serve as President …”—- Edwin Meese, et al, THE HERITAGE GUIDE TO THE CONSTITUTION (2005) [Edwin Meese was Ronald Reagan’s attorney general, and the Heritage Foundation is a well-known Conservative organization.]

      Here is the ruling of the US Supreme Court in the Wong Kim Ark case (which btw was after Minor v. Happersett) that says that the meaning of Natural Born comes from the common law and refers to the place of birth and that every child in the USA with the exception of children born to foreign diplomats is a Natural Born US citizen.

      “It thus clearly appears that, by the law of England for the last three centuries, beginning before the settlement of this country and continuing to the present day, aliens, while residing in the dominions possessed by the Crown of England, were within the allegiance, the obedience, the faith or loyalty, the protection, the power, the jurisdiction of the English Sovereign, and therefore every child born in England of alien parents was a natural-born subject unless the child of an ambassador or other diplomatic agent of a foreign State or of an alien enemy in hostile occupation of the place where the child was born.

      III. The same rule was in force in all the English Colonies upon this continent down to the time of the Declaration of Independence, and in the United States afterwards, and continued to prevail under the Constitution as originally established.”

      As you can see, it says that the meaning of Natural Born comes from the common law and refers to the place of birth and that every child born in the country except for the children of foreign diplomats is a Natural Born US Citizen.

      BTW, the Wall Street Journal put it rather well. It said:

      “Some birthers imagine that there is a difference between being a “citizen by birth” or a “native citizen” on the one hand and a “natural born” citizen on the other. “Eccentric” is too kind a word for this notion, which is either daft or dishonest. All three terms are identical in meaning.”—http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204619004574322281597739634.html?KEYWORDS=obama+%22natural+born+citizen%22+minor+happersett

      • smrstrauss says:

        Re: “The court ruled recently that anchor babies are not natural born.”

        That is not true. There is no such ruling, and anchor babies, like all children born in the USA, are indeed Natural Born.

        Here is an example of how courts have ruled on the matter:

        Diaz-Salazar v. INS, 700 F.2d 1156 (7th Cir. 1983) (child born in US to Mexican citizen is “natural born citizen” of US):

        “Petitioner, Sebastian Diaz-Salazar, entered the United States illegally [from Mexico] in 1974 and has been living and working in Chicago since that time…..The relevant facts which have been placed before the INS, BIA, and this court can be summarized as follows: The petitioner has a wife and two children under the age of three in Chicago; the children are natural-born citizens of the United States.”

    • Gary Harper says:

      People cannot get it through their heads that there is a difference between a citizen and a natural born cotozen for Constitutional purposes. thank you for the history lesson. I saw a ;lot of that but did nit go into it, as the article was long enough as is! I figured that everything would come out in the comments, and I was right. By the time this is all over, everyone will know all they need to know about all of this, except Obama himself…
      Thanks again.

      So what was the outcome of the meeting with the Supreme Court on this issue? Anyone hear anything?

      • smrstrauss says:

        OF COURSE there is a difference between a citizen and a Natural Born Citizen for constitutional purposes. The difference is that citizens include naturalized citizens. Natural Born Citizens do not include naturalized citizens. That is the only difference. The ONLY difference. The meaning of Natural Born does indeed come from the common law, as the US Supreme Court ruled in the Wong Kim Ark case, and as supported by historical research (the writers of the US Constitution NEVER used the term Natural Born to refer to parents in any of their writings and there are examples of writings at that the time that show that it was used just the way that it was used in the common law, to refer to the place of birth).

        Re: “So what was the outcome of the meeting with the Supreme Court on this issue? Anyone hear anything?”

        Answer. If you are referring to Orly’s appeal. It was thrown out on February 19. http://www.supremecourt.gov/Search.aspx?FileName=/docketfiles/12a606.htm

        If you are referring to Cody Robert Judy’s appeal of the Farrar case in Georgia, which had ruled with the nine other state courts and one federal court that the Wong Kim Ark case had ruled that every child born in the USA is a Natural Born Citizen except for the children of foreign diplomats, it was thrown out on October 1.

  10. The 14th doesn’t really add anything. The question the Supreme Court has never heard does not concern U.S. citizenship. It concerns the smaller class of citizens who are eligible to be the President. For exam[ple, no on 33 years of age is eligible, etc. Just because you are a citizen does not mean that you are automatically eligible to be the President. While Obama appears to meet all the eligibility reqiuirements, posessing a dual citizenship when he started running for office or even today could be a sticky point for him. Also, if he is fomenting rebellion, or has sworn to uphold the Constitution…but they were not the subject of my article.

    The rest of the 14th is of interest to DCC readers. You should do a followup article on it.

    • smrstrauss says:

      Re Dual Citizen allegedly affecting NBC status. Did you know that James Madison was a dual citizen when he was president (having been made a full voting citizen of France) and that Woodrow Wilson was a dual citizen of Britain and the USA when he was born (just like Obama), since although Wilson’s mother became a US citizen when she married his father she never gave up her British citizen status.

      Moreover there is a theoretical problem with the notion that dual citizenship can affect. it is that a foreign country could just pass a law making someone a citizen of that country and hence making her or him not eligible. For example, Mexico could pass a law saying that anyone born in territories once owned by Mexico, Texas for one, were also Mexican citizens at birth. IF dual citizenship made those children not Natural Born Citizens then all those children born in Texas would not be eligible. We cannot, and in fact, do not allow foreign citizenship laws to affect either our citizenship laws or our rule on Natural Born status.

      • 7delta says:

        Dual Citizen allegedly affecting NBC status. Did you know that James Madison was a dual citizen when he was president (having been made a full voting citizen of France) and that Woodrow Wilson was a dual citizen of Britain and the USA when he was born (just like Obama), since although Wilson’s mother became a US citizen when she married his father she never gave up her British citizen status.

        Madison was made an honorary citizen of France in April of 1793. He was born a British subject, as were most of the founding generation. You’ll recall Art. 2, Sec. 1 grandfathered that generation into eligibility since there were no U.S. nbc until the first child was born on the soil to U.S. citizen parents after ratification. Even if he had been a nbc, he was not born with a French citizenship and he did not seek it as a matter of his will. It was a diplomatic gesture.

        Wilson was a U.S. nbc since his mother was naturalized at the time of her marriage to a U.S. citizen. That simply confirms my point in my previous post about jurisdiction. The U.S. has no jurisdiction over foreign land. What another country does or does not accept is irrelevant to our laws. From the U.S.’s perspective, Wilson owed no allegiance to England since neither parent was a British subject at the time of his birth on U.S. soil.

        Moreover there is a theoretical problem with the notion that dual citizenship can affect. it is that a foreign country could just pass a law making someone a citizen of that country and hence making her or him not eligible

        That’s not a problem at all. A foreign country has no jurisdiction over U.S. soil. From the perspective of the U.S., if a person is a citizen here without any acknowledged dual citizenship, that person is solely a U.S. citizen. This issue has arisen in the past with naturalized citizens whose birth country did not recognize the renouncing of citizenship required by our naturalization laws. Only recently, within the last decade or so, expatriation no longer results in a U.S. citizen having to relinquish their U.S. citizenship if they embrace another. However, the expatriation laws that require they do so are still on the books. The U.S. recognizes now, but has never encouraged dual citizenship as a matter of public policy.

        If there is an acknowledged dual citizenship, either by birth or personal volition, the person is also entitled to all the rights and privileges of the other country’s citizenship, as well as being responsible for all the duties owed that country by their citizens when on its soil, such as military service. Again…jurisdiction. A foreign country may claim all births on their soil as citizens, if they so decide, making that child a citizen of their country, as well. The U.S. can acknowledge the hereditary citizenship through the parents, but without jurisdiction, the U.S. cannot claim natural birth rights over another sovereign country’s soil. The child must be naturalized at birth. Or, if the child received dual citizenship at birth through a parent, then they are simply a dual citizen, but they also a citizen by legislation (14th Amendment or by U.S. code) not by nature, even if born on U.S. soil. At a later set age, the child will determine whether they retain the foreign citizenship or not.

        The U.S. is one of only perhaps three countries worldwide that still apply jus soli as the only requirement, regardless of parental citizenship. It is not a wise practice.

        We cannot, and in fact, do not allow foreign citizenship laws to affect either our citizenship laws or our rule on Natural Born status.

        Exactly, so your argument is specious. Natural born is a condition of birth and cannot include any other country that could effect or divide the child’s loyalty. A natural born child is a citizen by nature, not by legislation. A natural born citizen can be nothing but a U.S. citizen, to whom the child’s sole allegiance belongs. There are arguments that favor that a child born abroad is still in allegiance to the U.S. and therefore natural born, but you will note in 1790 Naturalization Law that it included the provision for children born to U.S. parents abroad, provided the father was a U.S. citizen. In the Congressional Record, you will also find remarks from other Congressional members noting they are pleased these children of U.S. citizens abroad have been taken of. These members are acknowledging that the child would not be a citizen without the provisions written into the law, because the land is outside of U.S. jurisdiction and a law must be passed to legally recognize something that occurred outside our borders.The child’s U.S. citizenship was not an act of nature occurring within the U.S.’s natural domain, but an act of legislation to bring the birth within our legal jurisdiction. Five years later, the terminology was changed at Madison’s urging from natural born citizen across the sea to simply citizen.

        That also explains your Madison quote: “It is an established maxim, that birth is a criterion of allegiance. Birth, however, derives its force sometimes from place, and sometimes from parentage; but, in general place is the most certain criterion; it is what applies in the United States.” Jurisdiction. Remember BOTH parents were always of the same citizenship. There were no dual citizenships at that time from our perspective. There were no jus soli U.S.citizens born to foreigners on U.S. soil then. Allegiance could only be as closely secured as possible by birth on the soil to U.S. parents. Art. 2, Sec. 1 has never been amended.

        At the Constitutional Convention, Madison said, “The ministers of foreign powers would have, and make use of, the opportunity to mix their intrigues & influence with the Election. Limited as the powers of the Executive are, it will be an object of great moment with the great rival powers of Europe who have American possessions, to have at the head of our Government a man attached to their respective politics and interests. No pains, nor perhaps experience, will be spared to gain from the Legislature an appointment favorable to their wishes. Germany & Poland are witnesses of this danger. In the former, the election of the Head of Empire, till it became in a manner hereditary, interested all Europe, and was much influenced by foreign interference. In the latter, altho’ the elected Magistrate has very little real power, his election has at all times produced the most eager interference of foreign princes, and has at length slid entirely into foreign hands.”

        Sole allegiance to check foreign influence.

        • smrstrauss says:

          IF the writers of the US Constitution wanted to exclude dual citizens, they would have told us. Instead, they used the term Natural Born from the common law which includes dual citizens.

          You are absolutely right that we ignore foreign law that claim to have effect over us. And we ignore the alleged affect of dual citizenship as well. In fact, there is excellent evidence that the founders did not believe that dual citizenship affected allegiance in the slightest. They held, with Blackstone, that a person could have only one allegiance, not divided allegiance, and where did that allegiance lie? It was determined by THE PLACE OF BIRTH. And in fact, Madison said that there were two possible criteria of allegiance, parents and place of birth, and that the place of birth was more certain and the criterion that was used in America.

          In a speech before the House of Representatives in May of 1789, James Madison said:
          “It is an established maxim, that birth is a criterion of allegiance. Birth, however, derives its force sometimes from place, and sometimes from parentage; but, in general, place is the most certain criterion; it is what applies in the United States.”

          You notice that Madison says that while place and parentage could be the criteria, only one of them is most certain and only one of them is listed as applying in the USA—place.

          In any case, there is absolutely no evidence that the meaning of Natural Born excludes dual citizens. None whatever. And, as I said, Woodrow Wilson really was a dual citizen at birth because although his mother became a US citizen she never was formally naturalized, simply became a US citizen due to a law that made every woman who married a US man a US citizen. So she never swore an oath of allegiance or gave up her British subject status, so Wilson was at birth US-British. Some consider that Eisenhower was US-German at birth because there were old German laws that made the grandchildren of its citizens German citizens.

          The point is that if there were a law that said that Eisenhower was German because of his grandparents or Wilson was British because of his mother, or Rubio was Cuban because of some Cuban law or Jindal was Indian because of some Indian law, none of them count. None of them have any effect. We ignore such laws, and there is certainly no exception in the meaning of Natural Born that excludes dual citizens from the broad definition, which is EVERY citizen who was born in the USA and no citizen who was naturalized.

          • smrstrauss says:

            Re: “You’ll recall Art. 2, Sec. 1 grandfathered that generation into eligibility since there were no U.S. nbc until the first child was born on the soil to U.S. citizen parents after ratification.”

            The above is a two-fer theory about the grandfather clause. It is not true. The people who were born on American soil, that is to say the 13 colonies, considered themselves AMERICANS. Yes, they were legally British subjects, but they considered that July 4, 1776 made them Americans. The grandfather clause was written for people who were not Americans at all, people who were not born in the 13 colonies. It was written mainly to allow Alexander Hamilton, who was born on the Caribbean island of Nevis, and James Wilson (a prominent member of the Constitutional Convention), who was born in Scotland, to become president. (Both had been naturalized by states before the writing of the Constitution.) And there has been some historical research that shows that the grandfather clause actually allowed some 60,000 men (which is a hell of a lot considering the small size of the population) to be eligible to be president.

            This is further proof, as the Madison quotation above shows, that the founders considered that the soil was key to allegiance. Here is another one, a quotation from 1803, shortly after the Constitution was written:

            “Prior to the adoption of the constitution, the people inhabiting the different states might be divided into two classes: natural born citizens, or those born within the state, and aliens, or such as were born out of it. The first, by their birth-right, became entitled to all the privileges of citizens; the second, were entitled to none, but such as were held out and given by the laws of the respective states prior to their emigration. …St. George Tucker, BLACKSTONE’S COMMENTARIES: WITH NOTES OF REFERENCE TO THE CONSTITUTION AND LAWS OF THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT OF THE UNITED STATES AND THE COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA. (1803)

            As you can see, the reference is to citizenship due to the place of birth. There is no mention of the people born before the Constitution being British or requiring two US citizen parents or requiring parents who were citizens of the state. They were Natural Born Citizens due simply to the fact that they were born in a state. The same feeling was true for those who were born in colonies, and the same is true for the people who were born in all the colonies who were made independent in later years.

            The people born in Israel did not think that they were British after independence because they had been legally British before independence; they considered that they were born citizens of Israel at the moment of independence, and the people born in India did not think that they were British after independence because they had been legally British before independence; they considered that they were born citizens of India at the moment of independence.

            George Washington and John Adams were Natural Born US citizens. Alexander Hamilton was a naturalized US citizen, so were 60,000 other men. The clause was written for him and for James Wilson and for other non-Americans who fought in the Revolution, and it allowed 60,000 other men who were naturalized citizens to be persident. It was not written for Washington and Adams and Jefferson, who considered themselves Natural Born Citizens because of the simple fact that they were born in America.

          • 7delta says:

            In fact, there is excellent evidence that the founders did not believe that dual citizenship affected allegiance in the slightest

            Please provide references. The words from their mouths and pens say otherwise, so I’d be interested in your source.

            You may also wish to consider that it has been law and policy since the beginning of this country that when a person naturalizes, they take an oath to the United States and abjure all previous oaths or alliances. If duality of citizenship was of no concern to the founders, then there would have been no need for new citizens to renounce their previous allegiances.

            You may also recall that the nation states of Europe, at the time, were, by and large, monarchies. The Doctrine of Divine Right of Rule governed their affairs, with the only sovereign being the person who sat on the throne. At the event of birth, a child was immediately assumed as a subject to the sovereign and without the power to disassociate himself from the political ties of allegiance to the monarch.

            Natural Law, the force behind the political philosophy of the U.S., is in direct opposition to the European philosophy of Divine Right. Instead, Natural Law recognizes the free agency, or free will, of sovereign individuals who may choose their political alliances and may dissolve them at will through expatriation. Because Great Britain and France did not recognize the free agency of their subjects, it was imperative that the U.S. made plain in their naturalization course, that all such bindings to former allegiances were broken. While the U.S. had authority to only make such laws within its own jurisdiction, it did make clear U.S. perspective regarding their point of view. It was because of these conflicting views, the War of 1812 commenced, because France and G.B. were boarding our ships and conscripting immigrants from their country to the U.S. by force. They did not recognize the right of the individual to expatriate. But the U.S. did recognize the right to choose political association and the U.S. considered those previous bonds broken. Denying dual citizenship as policy was of the utmost importance in not only rejecting foreign influence, but also as protection of naturalized citizens against their former country. The philosophy of an individual’s sovereign free agency is found in Natural Law, not in British Law.

            Tucker St. George explains the differences of political philosophy well in this excerpt from an essay regarding U.S. philosophy v. Blackstone’s explanation of allegiance.

            St. George Tucker, Blackstone’s Commentaries 1:App. 184–85, 254–59; 2:App. 90–103

            “It is a principle of universal law, that the natural born subject of one prince cannot by any act of his own, no, not by swearing allegiance to another, put off, or discharge his natural allegiance to the former.” Blacks. Com. Vol. I. p. 369.

            Neither can I well conceive how this can be considered as a principle of the law of nature; for according to that law, all men are equal. One man therefore can not owe allegiance to another, in virtue of that law; since there is neither prince nor subject among men according to the principles of it.

            Nor yet does this appear to be a principle of the law of nations, though perhaps it may have been the practice of particular nations to prohibit their subjects from migrating to any other: but in this case the prohibition arises from the particular law of the state, and not from the general law and practice of nations towards each other

            From the whole that we have seen, it appears, that the right of emigration is a right strictly natural; and that the restraints which may be imposed upon the exercise of it, are merely creatures of the juris positivi, or municipal laws of a state. And consequently that wherever the laws of any country do not prohibit, they permit emigration, or, as I rather chuse to call it, expatriation. Now I apprehend it is altogether immaterial to us in America, whether the laws of England, France or Spain, permit the subjects of those countries, respectively, to expatriate themselves, inasmuch as I have shewn, or at least endeavoured so to do, that the municipal law of no other country upon earth hath any force, or obligation over the citizens of the United States, as such; or over the citizens of any one state in the union, otherwise, or in any greater degree than the constitution or laws of such particular state may have adopted the same: and then it obtains a force and operation, so far, and so far only, as the act of adoption extends, and not on account of any intrinsic obligation which it might be supposed to possess, or derive from any other source.

            Aliens, in the United States, are at present of two kinds. Aliens by birth; and aliens by election. . . . 1. Aliens by birth, are all persons born out of the dominions of the United States, since the fourth day of July, 1776, on which day they declared themselves an independent and sovereign nation, with some few exceptions, viz. 1. In favour of infants, “wheresoever born, whose father, if living, or otherwise, whose mother was a citizen at the time of the birth of such infants; or who migrated hither, their father, if living, or otherwise their mother becoming a citizen of the commonwealth; or who migrated hither without father, or mother,” during the continuance of the act of May, 1779, c. 55, declaring who should be deemed citizens, which was repealed October, 1783, c. 16, of that session, so far as relates to the two latter cases; but continued as to the first. 2. Such persons as have obtained a right to citizenship under the existing laws of the state, whether infants, or otherwise. Edi. 1794, c. 110. 3. Such persons as have been naturalized under the act of 1 Cong. 2 Sess. c. 3. 4. Such persons as have, or may acquire the rights of citizenship pursuant to the act of 3 Cong. c. 85, and the children of such persons duly naturalized dwelling within the United States, and being under the age of twenty-one years, at the time of such naturalization; and the children of citizens of the United States, born out of the limits and jurisdiction of the United States. But the same act declares that the right of citizenship shall not descend to persons, whose fathers have never been resident in the United States. . . . All persons born before the fourth day of July, 1776, who were not natural born subjects of the crown of Great-Britain; nor were on that day residents within, or inhabitants of the United States; nor have since that time become citizens of the United States, or some one of them, are also aliens by birth.

            2. Aliens by election are all such natural born, or naturalized subjects of the crown of Great-Britain, as were born, or naturalized before the fourth day of July, 1776, and have not since become actual citizens of the United States; or, having been actual citizens, have at any time thereafter during the revolutionary war, voluntarily joined the armies of Great-Britain, and borne arms against the United States, or any of them; or been owner or part owner of any privateer or other vessel of war; or a member of the refugee board of commissioners at New-York; or have acted under their authority; or have been for any other cause proscribed by any state in the union. See V. L. 1779, c. 14 and 55. Oct. 1779, c. 18. Oct. 1783, c. 16, 17. Edi. 1785. 1786, c. 10. 1794, c. 110. L. U. S. 1 Cong. 2 Sess. c. 3. 3 Cong. c. 85.

            This distinction between aliens by birth, and those by election, is of importance. Aliens by birth are generally subject to all the incapacities to which aliens are subject by the rules of the common law. Aliens by election (although during the revolutionary war they were subject to many incapacities, and even penalties) are now upon a much more eligible footing; possessing rights, (partly derived from the rules of the common law, and partly from the provisions contained in the treaty of peace in 1783, and the treaty of London in 1794) to which aliens by birth can have no claim, except as they may be derived (under the treaty of 1794) by descent, devise, or purchase, from aliens by election.

            Aliens by election may then be shortly described to be those subjects of the crown of Great-Britain on the fourth day of July, 1776, who have elected to remain such, and have not since become, and continued to be, citizens of the United States, or some one of them. These, by the common law, upon the separation of the two countries, were still capable of inheriting and holding lands in the United States, notwithstanding such separation; and on the other hand, the citizens of the United States born before the separation, had the like capacity to inherit, or hold lands in the British dominions. 7 Co. Calvin’s case. But it is conceived that upon the death of these antenati, as they are called, their lands in both countries, would have been liable to escheat, if their heirs should be postnati, or born after the separation. But that is provided against by the treaty of London, 1794, Art. 9, whereby it is agreed, “that British subjects, who THEN held lands in the territories of the United States; and American citizens who then held lands in the British dominions, shall continue to hold them according to the nature and tenure of their respective estates, and titles, therein: and might grant, sell or devise the same to whom they please, in like manner as if they were natives; and that neither they, their heirs or assigns, shall, so far as may respect the said lands and the legal remedies incident thereto, be regarded as aliens.”

            You will note that birth on the soil alone–wheresoever born’–did not qualify a child as a citizen of the U.S. but the child followed the status of the father, unless he was absent by death, unknown or because he did not immigrate, by which then, the child followed the status of the mother should she naturalize. The infant child was considered an alien by birth. The word ‘favour’ is used here as in ‘well intended regard to’, to recognize a child who was incapable at the time of making decisions of agency.

            I will continue in additional posts since the St. George excerpt is so long.

          • 7delta says:

            They held, with Blackstone, that a person could have only one allegiance, not divided allegiance, and where did that allegiance lie? It was determined by THE PLACE OF BIRTH. And in fact, Madison said that there were two possible criteria of allegiance, parents and place of birth, and that the place of birth was more certain and the criterion that was used in America.

            Blackstone recorded English Laws and yes, it was referenced, as were many other sources, such as Vattel, Locke, et al. Please provide an original documentation that supports Blackstone was their primary source. I can provide a more than an ample amount that cite why the Convention rejected British Law. In fact, if you count the number of times Blackstone was mention in the recorded transcripts of the Convention, he was mentioned once. Vattel got five, but neither prove complete reliance. Both were sources. We have to turn to their words to see which direction they went and since we know they relied on Natural Law principles, the question is answered.

            In a speech before the House of Representatives in May of 1789, James Madison said:
            “It is an established maxim, that birth is a criterion of allegiance. Birth, however, derives its force sometimes from place, and sometimes from parentage; but, in general, place is the most certain criterion; it is what applies in the United States

            Let’s look at that quote in context, and with the paragraph complete.

            Madison was speaking about Mr. Smith, a newly elected representative from SC, whose eligibility was questioned. Without going into details of Mr. Smith’s circumstances, in the end, Mr. Smith was confirmed as a citizen under the same criteria as all others of that generation when they transitioned from British subject to American citizen. It’s kind of long, but we don’t want to miss the good parts.

            It is an established maxim, that birth is a criterion of allegiance. Birth, however, derives its force sometimes from place, and sometimes from parentage; but, in general, place is the most certain criterion; it is what applies in the United States; it will, therefore, be unnecessary to investigate any other. Mr. Smith founds his claim upon his birthright; his ancestors were among the first settlers of that colony.
            It is well known to many gentlemen on this floor, as well as to the public, that the petitioner is a man of talents, one who would not lightly hazard his reputation in support of visionary principles: yet I cannot but think he has erred in one of the principles upon which he grounds his charge. He supposes, when this country separated from Great Britain, the tie of allegiance subsisted between the inhabitants of America and the King of that nation, unless, by some adventitious circumstance, the allegiance was transferred to one of the United States. I think there is a distinction which will invalidate his doctrine in this particular, a distinction between that primary allegiance which we owe to that particular society of which we are members, and the secondary allegiance we owe to the sovereign established by that society. This distinction will be illustrated by the doctrine established by the laws of Great Britain, which were the laws of this country before the revolution. The sovereign cannot make a citizen by any act of his own; he can confer denizenship; but this does not make a man either a citizen or subject. In order to make a citizen or subject, it is established, that allegiance shall first be due to the whole nation; it is necessary that a national act should pass to admit an individual member. In order to become a member of the British empire, where birth has not endowed the person with that privilege, he must be naturalized by an act of Parliament.

            What was the situation of the people of America, when the dissolution of their allegiance took place by the declaration of independence? I conceive that every person who owed this primary allegiance to the particular community in which he was born, retained his right of birth, as a member of a new community; that he was consequently absolved from the secondary allegiance he had owed to the British sovereign. If he were not a minor, he became bound, by his own act, as a member of the society who separated with him from a submission to a foreign country. If he were a minor, his consent was involved in the decision of that society to which he belonged by the ties of nature. What was the allegiance, as a citizen of South Carolina, he owed to the King of Great Britain? He owed his allegiance to him as a King of that society to which, as a society, he owed his primary allegiance. When that society separated from Great Britain, he was bound by that act, and his allegiance transferred to that society, or the sovereign which that society should set up; because it was through his membership of the society of South Carolina that he owed allegiance to Great Britain.

            This reasoning will hold good, unless it is supposed that the separation which took place between these States and Great Britain, not only dissolved the union between those countries, but dissolved the union among the citizens themselves: that the original compact, which made them altogether one society, being dissolved, they could not fall into pieces, each part making an independent society; but must individually revert into a state of nature; but I do not conceive that this was, of necessity, to be the case; I believe such a revolution did not absolutely take place. But in supposing that this was the case, lies the error of the memorialist. I conceive the colonies remained as a political society, detached from their former connexion with another society, without dissolving into a state of nature; but capable of substituting a new form of Government in the place of the old one, which they had, for special considerations, abolished. Suppose the State of South Carolina should think proper to revise her constitution, abolish that which now exists, and establish another form of Government: surely this would not dissolve the social compact. It would not throw them back into a state of nature. It would not dissolve the union between the individual members of that society. It would leave them in perfect society, changing only the mode of action, which they are always at liberty to arrange. Mr. Smith being then, at the declaration of independence, a minor, but being a member of that particular society, he became, in my opinion, bound by the decision of the society, with respect to the question of independence and change of Government; and if afterwards he had taken part with the enemies of his country, he would have been guilty of treason against that Government to which he owed allegiance, and would have been liable to be prosecuted as a traitor.

            If it be said, that very inconvenient circumstances would result from this principle, that it would constitute all those persons who are natives of America, but who took part against the revolution, citizens of the United States, I would beg leave to observe, that we are deciding a question of right, unmixed with the question of expediency, and must, therefore, pay a proper attention to this principle. But I think it can hardly be expected by gentlemen that the principle will operate dangerously. Those who left their country, to take part with Britain, were of two descriptions–minors, or persons of mature age. With respect to the latter, nothing can be inferred with respect to them from the decision of the present case; because they had the power of making an option between the contending parties; whether this was a matter of right or not is a question which need not be agitated in order to settle the case before us. Then, with respect to those natives who were minors at the revolution, and whose case is analogous to Mr. Smith’s, if we are bound by the precedent of such a decision as we are about to make, and it is declared that they owe a primary allegiance to this country, I still think we are not likely to be inundated with such characters; so far as any of them took part against us, they violated their allegiance, and opposed our laws; so, then, there can be only a few characters, such as were minors at the revolution, and who have never violated their allegiance by a foreign connexion, who can be affected by the decision of the present question. The number, I admit, is large who might be acknowledged citizens on my principles; but there will very few be found daring enough to face the laws of the country they have violated, and against which they have committed high treason.

            So far as we can judge by the laws of Carolina, and the practice and decision of that State, the principles I have adduced are supported; and I must own, that I feel myself at liberty to decide, that Mr. Smith was a citizen at the declaration of independence, a citizen at the time of his election, and, consequently, entitled to a seat in this Legislature.

            You notice that Madison says that while place and parentage could be the criteria, only one of them is most certain and only one of them is listed as applying in the USA—place.

            You’ll notice from the entire quote that your point is moot. Inapplicable. Out of context.

          • 7delta says:

            They held, with Blackstone, that a person could have only one allegiance, not divided allegiance, and where did that allegiance lie? It was determined by THE PLACE OF BIRTH. And in fact, Madison said that there were two possible criteria of allegiance, parents and place of birth, and that the place of birth was more certain and the criterion that was used in America.

            One additional comment. Birth on the soil as sole qualification is a feudal practice related to the Divine Right to Rule of European monarchies where the subject had no sovereignty to dissolve the bands of allegiance and where the sovereign head had no power to release them. However, if the parents were not subjects, then the child became a denizen, a person in allegiance, but without full citizenship rights. Natural Law and the law of this country does not make different citizens as far as rights are concerned. Born or naturalized citizens all have the same rights, save eligibility to the presidency and vice-presidency. That’s the only time it matters. If it didn’t matter that the person had foreign allegiance, then the founders would not have placed this special condition on the presidency. And since there were no dual citizens at that time, there was no subcategory of born citizen who held dual citizenship. All born citizens were born to two parents of U.S. citizens within U.S. jurisdiction or were later naturalized at birth, if born to citizen parents abroad. This feudal philosophy is in complete opposition to Natural Law where citizens are sovereign and inherit their political affiliation through the father (with a mother who is a citizen by marriage) and are free to dissolve those allegiances by expatriation.

            The current policy regarding the 14th Amendment is feudal and not at all what was intended by the founders or by the framers of the 14th Amendment.

            I’ll come back later and provide documentation, if you need to see it.

          • smrstrauss says:

            Madison’s quotation is almost exactly the same as Blackstone’s:

            “….that every man owes natural allegiance where he is born, and cannot owe two such allegiances, or serve two masters, at once.”

            And, while Madison does say that other countries use the citizenship of parents as their criterion, he does mention only one criterion as used in the United States, place of birth.

            Re: “I conceive that every person who owed this primary allegiance to the particular community in which he was born, retained his right of birth, as a member of a new community; that he was consequently absolved from the secondary allegiance he had owed to the British sovereign. ”

            So you are showing once again that Madison believed that Madison believed that a person’s primary allegiance was to the community of the place in which he was born. Once again, the criterion is PLACE.

            Re: “Mr. Smith being then, at the declaration of independence, a minor, but being a member of that particular society, he became, in my opinion, bound by the decision of the society, with respect to the question of independence and change of Government; and if afterwards he had taken part with the enemies of his country, he would have been guilty of treason against that Government to which he owed allegiance, and would have been liable to be prosecuted as a traitor.”

            Once again you are showing that Madison believed that the place of birth was the criterion of allegiance. Smith was born in South Carolina. If he had been an enemy to his place of birth, he would be a traitor. Madison said earlier, as you can see, that every person owned primary allegiance to the community in which he was born, and Smith was born in South Carolina.

            This by the way continues to be the law where treason is concerned. Only a US citizen can be tried for treason by the USA, a foreigner cannot. But a person with dual citizenship can be tried for treason. Yes, he can. Can a person born on foreign soil be tried for treason? Maybe, if he had two citizen parents. But again, maybe. Can a person with dual citizenship born on American soil be tried for treason. Certainly, no question about it. Why is there a question about a person born on foreign soil being tried for treason and no question at all about a person born on US soil being tried for treason? Because Madison’s and Blackstone’s rules about allegiance going with the place of birth are still in effect.

            Re: “You may also wish to consider that it has been law and policy since the beginning of this country that when a person naturalizes, they take an oath to the United States and abjure all previous oaths or alliances. If duality of citizenship was of no concern to the founders, then there would have been no need for new citizens to renounce their previous allegiances.”

            Good point. But it applies only to foreigners. It indicates that the Americans at the time required foreigners to swear an oath of allegiance to the USA. They were concerned about the allegiance of foreigners who became citizens.

            But they did NOT require any child who was born in the USA to swear an oath of allegiance. Why not? (1) Because they believed with Blackstone and Madison that someone born in the USA would have allegiance to the USA. (2) Because they never said that a child born in the USA was not a US citizen regardless of the citizenship of his parents, nor did they ever say in any of their writings that the children of foreigners born in the USA were security risks or that they were a lower grade of citizens than the US-born children of US citizens.

            Re: “Natural Law, the force behind the political philosophy of the U.S., is in direct opposition to the European philosophy of Divine Right. ”

            Maybe. But that certainly does not help you. Here is our Natural Law. “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal….” And that means that according to our natural law (and remember NO member of the Constitutional Convention ever wrote anything to the contrary) the US-born children of foreigners are equal in every way to the US-born children of US citizens. Only if the writers of the constitution had told us explicitly that they did not consider the US-born children of foreigners to be equal, should we believe that they actually thought it—and they never said any such thing.

            Re: “Natural Law recognizes the free agency, or free will, of sovereign individuals who may choose their political alliances and may dissolve them at will…”

            Answer: Citizenship at birth applies to children right out of the womb, who do not have the capability of choosing their political alliances. There are two ways of determining citizenship at birth, jus sanguinus (the citizenship of one or two parents, usually only one, and those laws applied on the continent of Europe but not in Britain or her colonies) or jus soli (which was the law in Britain and its colonies).

            Re: “Denying dual citizenship as policy was of the utmost importance in not only rejecting foreign influence, but also as protection of naturalized citizens against their former country.”

            Absolutely. We absolutely reject foreign citizenship status having any effect whatever on our citizenship. It has no effect. It has NO effect on Natural Born Citizen status either. If we were to allow it to have effect, it would mean that foreign countries could make a candidate for president a citizen of that country and that would make her or him ineligible. Or, it could mean that because some law was passed in Germany saying that the grandchildren of its citizens were citizens of Germany than Eisenhower would not be eligible to be president.

            Fortunately, it doesn’t. It has no effect. As you said, we deny dual citizenship as a policy. It has NO effect on US citizenship. It has no effect on Natural Born status. The common meaning of Natural Born used at the time that the Constitution was written made no mention of dual citizenship affecting that status. It referred only to the place of birth.

            Re: “if you count the number of times Blackstone was mention in the recorded transcripts of the Convention, he was mentioned once. Vattel got five, but neither prove complete reliance…”

            Agreed. Vattel was quoted five times about INTERNATIONAL law, and the selection of a president is a domestic matter. The reason that Blackstone was quoted only once was because the common law was quoted MANY MANY TIMES. For example, it was quoted about twenty times in the Federalist Papers, while Vattel was not quoted at all.

            Re: “You’ll notice from the entire quote that your point is moot. Inapplicable. Out of context.”

            On the contrary. Madison repeatedly says that place of birth is the criterion that applies to Smith and in his philosophy to all persons born here. He makes no exceptions. He never says that parents affect allegiance. He says repeatedly that birth in the community creates allegiance.

            There have already been at least two presidents who were dual citizens at birth. Wilson, because although his mother became a US citizen with her marriage to his father she never swore an oath of allegiance nor did she give up her British subject status, so Woodrow Wilson was a dual citizen at birth. And Eisenhower because of old German laws about the nationality of the grandchildren of its citizens. The first presidential candidate of the Republican party, James C. Fremont, was a dual citizen of France and America—and he was not protected by the grandfather clause, and his father was French and was NEVER naturalized. People at the time knew all about Fremont’s father, he was very proud that his father was French, and it was not an issue.

            Why not? Because the meaning of Natural Born really does come from the common law, as the Tucker and Rawle quotations make clear, and as the US Supreme Court ruled in the Wong Kim Ark case, and none of them nor the common law makes any exceptions for dual citizenship.

          • smrstrauss says:

            This is what St George Tucker said about Natural Born Citizen status.

            “Prior to the adoption of the constitution, the people inhabiting the different states might be divided into two classes: natural born citizens, or those born within the state, and aliens, or such as were born out of it. The first, by their birth-right, became entitled to all the privileges of citizens; the second, were entitled to none, but such as were held out and given by the laws of the respective states prior to their emigration. …St. George Tucker, BLACKSTONE’S COMMENTARIES: WITH NOTES OF REFERENCE TO THE CONSTITUTION AND LAWS OF THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT OF THE UNITED STATES AND THE COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA. (1803)

            (YOU notice that he mentions ONLY the place of birth. Natural Born Citizens were simply “those born within the state.” No mention of parents. No mention of dual citizenship affecting.)

            And this from about twenty-five years later, by a writer who had been friends with Washington and Ben Franklin:

            “Therefore every person born within the United States, its territories or districts, whether the parents are citizens or aliens, is a natural born citizen in the sense of the Constitution, and entitled to all the rights and privileges appertaining to that capacity.”—William Rawle, A VIEW OF THE CONSTITUTION OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. 2d ed. (1829)

        • smrstrauss says:

          Re: “Madison was made an honorary citizen of France in April of 1793. ”

          NOT an honorary citizen. He was made a FULL voting citizen with all the rights of any Frenchman. So, when Madison was president he was both a US citizen and a French citizen, and he knew it. But he had already stated that he believed—as did most of the Americans at the time following the principle stated by Blackstone—that a person could have only one allegiance, and that was to the country where she or he was born.

  11. I did not brush on that. I was interested in the context of the qualifications for President that have never been heard before the Supreme Court, as that is coming up soon. And what the current arguments are. The question is Constitutionality in the eyes of the Court. The 14th would definitely override anything prior thsat it specifically addressed. I will do an article on the 3/5 representation thing someday. I will look at the 14th again and get back to you.

  12. Bret says:

    Go back and look at Reformation laws, specifically the 14th Amendment. Your in for a treat. It addresses the civil rights and citizenship issues your missing.

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