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by Tom Deacon

The greatest defeat of the American Revolution was the fall of Charleston, SC to the British in 1780

(May 16, 2010) — Section 1 of Article II of the United States Constitution sets forth the eligibility requirements for serving as President of the United States:

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.

Try to understand this: At the time of the adoption of the Constitution there were no “natural born Citizens” (no country yet = no citizens, period?), so yes, the Founders wrote in a “grandfather” clause to allow those present (already born) at the time the Constitution was signed to qualify to be president.  However, if you weren’t born yet when the Constitution was adopted (that includes Obama), then you had to be a “natural born Citizen,” meaning both parents must be U.S. citizens. It is amazing how tough this is for some people to understand. The reason Congress “investigated” McCain was because he was not born in the USA. They concluded in their report that that was OK, because his “parents” (notice the plural form of “parents”) were both U.S. Citizens.  This is not true for Obama, and he clearly was not held to the same standard.

The Constitution says you must be a natural born Citizen, or a citizen at the time the Constitution was adopted. The Founders wanted the president to be a natural born Citizen, but they recognized that there were NO natural born Citizens until after the Constitution was adopted. They didn’t know that 200+ years from the signing, the education system would have dumbed down the USA’s population to the point that understanding it was an endangered ability.

Some may believe the natural born Citizen clause isn’t fair. The Founders of our nation believed it was the right thing to do because they had just fought a war with those who had allegiance to a country other than the one they were fighting to create….that country was the one they left to come to America, namely, England.  The Founders did not want to elect a newborn to the office of the president, nor did they want to wait 35 years for a natural born Citizen to meet the age requirement to be president. So they grandfathered themselves in with the statement “or a Citizen at the time of the adoption of the Constitution.” No doubt they trusted themselves and their children who were born prior to the signing of the Constitution to be loyal only to the USA, fighting a war with England would have had that effect on them.

Obama is the “poster child’ who proves once again that the wisdom of America’s Founders was impeccable.

You can make up excuses till the earth fries from global warming, but you can’t change the truth.

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  1. Thanks, Tom Deacon, for your thoughtful article.

    Here’s a complementary way to frame the issues surrounding Constitutional eligibility:

    It can be argued that the most significant eligibility question will not be resolved until the Supreme Court determines the meaning of the “natural born citizenship” eligibility requirement that the Founders inserted in Article 2, Section 1 of the Constitution. The Founders included that terminology in the Constitution and caveated it the way they did for a reason.

    It is important to recognize that even if Mr. Obama’s long form birth certificate were to be made public, that a long form birth certificate would not in and of itself end the quest for answers. If a long form birth certificate showed that Mr. Obama was born in Hawaii and confirmed that his father was Barack Obama Sr., there would still be an ongoing question about whether or not the Founders intended to exclude from the Presidency those born in the U.S. after the adoption of the Constitution who held “dual citizenship” at birth. If Barack Obama Sr. was Barack Obama’s father, then Barack Obama was a “dual citizen” at birth. Constitutional experts have defined “natural born citizen” as one born in the nation to two parents both of whom were citizens.

    Other additional questions would persist even if the Supreme Court were to disregard the Founders intentions! These involve the status of Mr. Obama’s citizenship from childhood on.

    The following website addresses these matters: http://eligibilityquestions.com . See especially the section there on Anderson Cooper’s apparent difficulties in understanding eligibility-related issues. Also offered on that website are plausible explanations why the mainstream media has done such a poor job in recognizing and researching the many unanswered questions concerning Mr. Obama’s eligibility.

    It is interesting to see how many people cannot seem to acknowledge, let alone discuss the fact that there are unanswered questions concerning Mr. Obama’s eligibility. I had some new thoughts about this as a result of seeing an interview of Jules Feiffer on Charlie Rose this week. Something Jules Feiffer said in that interview might be key to understanding why it is so many people appear to unable to even talk about these unanswered questions about Mr. Obama’s eligibility in a calm and reasoned way. Feiffer talked about the fact that he had regained his “illusions” and hope as a result of the election in 2008 and for the first time in eight years he sees the glass “as being half full” even though he has been less and less happy with the new Administration. I found his insights into himself quite illuminating. What he said made me realize that there are a lot of folks around who suffered from Bush derangement syndrome. Those individuals may well be the hardest to reach now since they may well be holding on for dear life to their new “illusions,” their new basis, however tenuous, for hope. I say all this because I have never seen a topic that causes more people to “shut down” or “go ballistic” than the topic of unanswered questions concerning Mr. Obama’s eligibility. Some people seem to be too threatened psychologically to even consider that there may be legitimate questions regarding Mr. Obama’s eligibility. Those who had been afflicted with “Bush derangement” syndrome may now be in the deepest denial and unable to realistically assess what is going on. There simply may be way too much cognitive dissonance for them to deal with. I share these ideas for the possible interest of those who have been trying to understand the obvious resistance that so many people have to the rational discussion of eligibility related questions.

  2. Seems strange that those who wrote the Constitution would intentionally include an eiligibility requirement for president that no one could define, doesn’t it? I believe that is because they thought everyone knew that a natural born citizen was someone born with two parents who were US citizens. Never dawned on them that 200 + years later a usurper would be in the White House while his hordes of cockroach like lawyers and butt-kissing minions tried 24/7 to make the meaning of the Constitution so confusing and hard to understand that the fraud could continue until America was completely destroyed.

  3. You can analyze what NBC means endlessly but it is an academic exercise. It is only useful in the sense that the general public gains some education.

    The facts are:

    1. NBC has never been defined

    2. Only SCOTUS can define it (interpreting the Constitution is not Congress’ function). This is what SCOTUS “get paid for”. Never mind that they all took oaths to protect the Constitution.

    3. SCOTUS refused, and will most likely resist, defining it, thereby rendering the Constitution unenforceable. Using Alen Keyes words they are guilty of “dereliction of duty”.

    4. Once it is defined, if either side does not like it, they can initiate a constitutional amendment process.

    There is little if any thought by any of the pro or contra commentators in this direction. A drive should be made for begging the all too noble SCOTUS through our representatives to define NBC. Logically this should be acceptable to both sides – assuming that the USA is still a law-respecting country.

    1. The Supreme Court has never characterized a natural born citizen as being anything other than someone born in the country to citizen parents.

      In Minor v. Happersett (1874), the Supreme Court defined the term natural born citizen in much the same language as did Vattel in 1758:

      “…At common-law, with the nomenclature of which the framers of the Constitution were familiar, it was never doubted that all children born in a country of parents who were its citizens became themselves, upon their birth, citizens also. These were natives, or natural-born citizens,…”

  4. Thinkwell:
    If, by what you just said, John McCain is not eligible then most definitely Barack Obama is not eligible because he wasn’t even born to U.S. citizen parents…at least not according to his own claim as to who his father was.

  5. The Constitution does not define either “citizen” or “natural born citizen”, and the Framers had neither mandate nor inclination to create a federal sovereign legal instrument to define a “natural born citizen”. Upon which sovereign legal instrument is Tom Deacon’s definition of “natural born citizen” based? None is cited and if one existed I’m sure that Tom Deacon would have mentioned it. This is not going to persuade the federal judges he hopes to rule on the issue.

    Federal courts have consistently taken the view over two centuries that US citizenship is based on the common law which existed prior to Independence. Common law became a sovereign legal instrument when incorporated into state law by state legislation enacted at Independence (and later in Hawaii as HRS 1-1). The acknowledged Father of the Constitution, James Madison, (Federalist 45) noted that the “powers reserved to the several States will extend to all the objects which, in the ordinary course of affairs, concern the lives [and] liberties… of the people and…the internal order…of the State.” These powers were constitutionally reserved to the states in the X Amendment, which Madison himself developed. Madison explained to Congress in May 1789:

    “It is an established maxim that birth is a criterion of allegiance…it is what applies in the United States… I conceive that every person who owed this primary allegiance to the particular community [i.e. colony] in which he was born retained his right of birth, as the member of a new community [i.e. state]… it was through his membership of the society of South-Carolina [the case in point], that he owed allegiance [to the US]…”

    Given Tom Deacon can cite no sovereign legal instrument defining “natural born citizen” as he understands it, federal courts must apply the X Amendment just as the Framers wrote it. Tom Deacon asks us to understand that “at the time of the adoption of the Constitution there were no ‘natural born Citizens’ ” but, as Alexander Hamilton reassured America in Federalist 84, local statutes were enacted to “recognize the ancient [common] law and to remove doubts [concerning legality] which might have been occasioned by the Revolution”; and James Madison further explained in 1789: “[it may be] 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 [the citizens] altogether one society, [was] being dissolved… [but] I conceive the colonies remained as a political society.” The Framers had no doubt that state law incorporating applicable common law carried over the colonial definition of “natural born” into the era of Independence. The common law definition of “natural born” operative in colonial (and then state) law was that decided in Calvin’s Case in 1608: any person born WITHIN the realm not being the child of an ambassador or an invader is natural born. When Congress tried in 1790 to define the children of US citizens born abroad as “natural born” this unconstitutional error was reversed in 1795.

    Applying the sovereign legal instrument enshrined in state-and-common law, a federal court should rule that Obama is NOT a “natural born citizen” of the United States because he is UNABLE TO PROVE that status as the Constitution requires. Well before then, however, on discovery of evidence, the birth of Obama outside a state of the Union and his Presidential ineligibility will have become clear to all. Lt. Col. Lakin is a legal party with standing who can expose the criminality, conspiracy, and contempt behind the usurpation: an extraordinarily courageous and honorable American officer upholding his oath deserves our full support.

    Joss Brown raises the issue of Obama’s parents’ marriage. Obama’s father was already legally married in Kenya when Obama was born, therefore under British law Obama was illegitimate and ineligible to British citizenship by DESCENT. Under Hawaii law (to which federal courts should defer) a bigamous marriage only becomes null and void following a decree from a Hawaii court. As no such decree was ever issued, Hawaii law made Obama for all US authorities the legitimate son of Ann Dunham. Problem: in 1961 US law stipulated that a woman who did not have 10 years US residence (5 of those years from age 14) could not transmit US citizenship to a LEGITIMATE child born outside the US. Given his mother was only 18 when he was born, and the very high probability that he was born outside the US, Obama was almost certainly not even a US citizen at birth.

    Tom the veteran asks would the Founders, after fighting a seven year war against the British, allow the son of a Brit to serve as their president? Tom ought to be reminded that Washington’s Continental Army was to a great extent “Brit”: generally one-quarter were born in Ireland and many others were English and Scotch. For example, the 7th Pennsylvania was 75% Irish born; the 1st Pennsylvania 46% Irish born; the 1st Maryland Artillery Company 46% Irish born; the Charleston Rangers and South Carolina Rangers both 50% Irish born. Alongside freed (but still non-citizen) black American soldiers were numerous slaves, fighting on a promise of manumission, “substituting” for natural born masters and their sons, who thereby contrived to avoid military service in the cause of American freedom. Perhaps that struggle was a little more complex than Tom recalls. These sources should help: http://tinyurl.com/Irish-WOI http://tinyurl.com/Irish-WOI-2 http://tinyurl.com/Blacks-WOI

    1. You left out part of Madison’s quote: “Birth however derives its force sometimes from place and sometimes from parentage, but in general place is the most certain criterion.”

      While Madison says that place is the most certain criterion, he also acknowledges that parentage is a part of the equation, even if he believes it to be a less certain criterion. Birth derives its force from place and parentage. A natural born citizen derives his/her citizenship from country and its citizen parents.

  6. It appears that “obots” have made their presence known in this thread. The smoke and the stench of their arguments are fairly simple to discern. If the truth is simple, then a lie to cover requires complexity. Simply: obama is NOT a Natural Born Citizen as outlined in the Constitution. Therefore, he is NOT eligible to be President of the United States of America.

  7. This issue hinges on one thing – – – what was the founding fathers’ intent when they followed John Jay’s advise and added the requirement that their new commander-in-chief be Natural Born? This, my friends, is so simple. They knew without a doubt that the President of their newly-created country should have no allegiance to any other country or group, especially England, with whom we had just waged war.
    Now we have a man sleeping in our White House that had a non-American father that was a Kenyan Brit who fell under the British Nationality Act of 1948 which caused his newborn son to be born a British Subject at the moment of birth no matter where that birth took place. Barack Hussein Obama Jr. was born a Natural Born Citizen alright but he was born a Natural Born Citizen (Subject) of the British Crown not the United States of America. It has never been proven he is a simple American Citizen, but beyond any shadow of a reasonable doubt his allegiance to England by way of his birth bars him from ever becoming President of the United States of America under Article 2 Section 1. paragraph 5. of our Constitution. This language has never been amended or changed in any way. So we still have to look at this language as our founding fathers did. Would our founding fathers have wanted to allow a British Subject to gain control of their America and gain the ability to destroy it from within? Of course NOT! Have we allowed this to happen today? OF COURSE! Wake Up, America, before it is too late.

    1. Very well said. However, Obama was not born a natural born citizen or subject of either the US or Great Britain. He was born a dual citizen of both nations.

  8. About the McCain Jus soli natural born citizenship question:

    McCain claims he was born on-base rather than in Panama proper. As a man who sacrificed much in service of his country, assume he is an honorable man and that this claim is true (perhaps his birth certificate widely available on the Internet is bogus and differs from what he showed the Congressional committee investigating his natural born status).

    Some would claim that by E. de Vattel, to qualify as a natural born Citizen, one need only be born to citizen parents and be born free of any claim of foreign allegiance. Panama is a country that lays claims of allegiance by place of birth alone, so being born in peacetime in a Panamanian hospital would clearly disqualify McCain according to Vattel, but if he were truly born on-base, then he would be born within U.S. territory and his case would be less clear cut, at least according to Vattel.

    To this I say look to the Naturalization Act of 1790 and its revision of 1795. The original stated: “the children of citizens of the United States, that may be born beyond sea, or out of the limits of the United States, shall be considered as natural born citizens […]” whereas, in the revised 1795 version, this was changed to just plain “citizens.” The “natural born” part was dropped. Why? The original Act must have been considered to have been in conflict with the Constitution (which cannot be superseded by a mere Act of Congress), therefore the revised Act informs us as to the Founders’ understanding of at least some of the intended restricted meaning of “natural born Citizen.”

    U.S. controlled territories are not States, and McCain was very clearly born “beyond sea” and “out of the limits of the United States,” so by the guidance of the history of the Naturalization Act, he cannot be a natural born Citizen (even if he were to be “a child born in the Armies of the State” as defined by Vattel).

    In the context of his time I suppose that Vattel would be referring to the entourage of wives and families that sometimes accompanied an army on extended campaign (including during an occupation). A modern day equivalent would be like when our troops were in hostile administrative occupation in post WWII Germany or Japan, whereas the situation in Panama seems more like a non-wartime business venture or like our troops being stationed by consent in a friendly territory or country today.

    While at war the entourage is an encapsulated little bit of the home culture on-the-move. While stationed for long periods within the territory of a friendly foreign ally, the likelihood of mixing and absorbing the culture is much greater. The latter case seems, at the very least, like a gray zone situation more akin to a birth occurring while on an extended business assignment – I wonder what Vattel would have thought of that?

    Also, there is the history of the Naturalization Act that perhaps adds further restrictions beyond Vattel (depending on what his true intent was). Clearly the Founders (for they were still active at the time of the Naturalization Act and its revision) thought that to “be born beyond sea, or out of the limits of the United States,” even if born to citizen parents, was not enough to make one natural born.

    NBC = blood + dirt : NO dual allegiances or foreign influences allowed, just born by Nature (not by statute) 100 percent red-blooded all American.

    1. Overseas military bases are not US territory. That’s a myth. The sovereignty of the land is retained by the host state, the US just rents it. This even applies to embassies and consulates. The inviolability people associate with these places is merely a reciprocal courtesy given by the host country. So even if McCain was born on the Coco Solo base he was still born on Panamanian soil. In addition the base was located within the confines of the city of Colon which was specifically excluded from the PCZ. So people who say he was born on US territory or in the PCZ are just wrong or lying.

      1. The U.S. Department of State Foreign Affairs Manual Volume states the following:

        Birth on U.S. Military Base Outside of the United States or Birth on U.S. Embassy or Consulate Premises Abroad:
        (1) Despite widespread popular belief, U.S. military installations abroad and U.S. diplomatic or consular facilities abroad are not part of the United States within the meaning of the 14th Amendment. A child born on the premises of such a facility is not born in the United States and does not acquire U.S. citizenship by reason of birth.

        McCain was a citizen by birth (not the same thing as natural born citizen) because of the following statute (Title 8 Section 1401):

        The following shall be nationals and citizens of the United States at birth:
        (c) a person born outside of the United States and its outlying possessions of parents both of whom are citizens of the United States and one of whom has had a residence in the United States or one of its outlying possessions, prior to the birth of such person.

    2. For a different take on Senator McCain’s NBC status, it is interesting to read the transcript of an interview that Andrea Shea King had in October of 2009 with Attorney Mario Apuzzo and Charles Kerchner. See the transcript and read about their perspective at http://eligibilityquestions.com . If Apuzzo and Kerchner are correct in their speculations, they have provided a plausible explanation of reasons why the RNC as well as the DNC and those in the Senate responsible for Senate Resolution 511 (passed April 30, 2008) did not address Mr. Obama’s natural born citizenship status in 2008 and have not addressed it since.

      Apuzzo and Kerchner had a different reading of Vattel as well. See the citation provided in footnotes in the Apuzzo/Kerchner transcript. Vattel’s words are provided there concerning the natural born citizenship status of those born abroad to citizens owing to the fact that a parent was serving the nation at the time.

  9. No one seems to get it. “Natural” is just that natural. Even those of you that correctly understand that B.O. Jr is ineligible do not fully understand the particular reason why this is so( this being due exclusively to his claim to have been born of a NON-U.S. immigrant, foreigner, father
    The Founders/Framers(the majority of whom) were NOT as short-sighted; so limited in their scope or thinking that they would have been foolish enough to have permitted the “natural born” clause to have been written in the restrictive, closed-minded manner proponents of “both sides” of this faux- argument would have had it. The requirement is NOT that you be born of “2 citizen parents” just as it is NOT that- you merely be born “on the soil” IT IS, THAT; YOUR STATUS IE CITIZENSHIP BE OF A NATURAL QUALITY. EG. ONE is of unknown, indeterminate parentage- such as what was once referred to as a ‘foundling’ today’s version of the “firehouse baby” and modern day phenomenon including the products of artificial insemination through anonymous donors. These examples wards of the state, upon birth, would be deemed natural born ; for no legitimate recognized authority, foreign or otherwise, has laid claim to them. They, at birth, as far as can be determined, were “subject to the complete jurisdiction of the the United States gov’t & owed sole allegiance to it—such will assumed
    So let us calm down with the “2 parent+ soil prescription or equation” obsession and more properly and appropriately characterize the issue .

    1. “The requirement is NOT that you be born of “2 citizen parents” just as it is NOT that- you merely be born “on the soil” IT IS, THAT; YOUR STATUS IE CITIZENSHIP BE OF A NATURAL QUALITY. EG. ONE is of unknown, indeterminate parentage- such as what was once referred to as a ‘foundling’ today’s version of the “firehouse baby” and modern day phenomenon including the products of artificial insemination through anonymous donors.”

      Ad-Hoc. Natural Laws are absolute they can’t be twisted or mocked. There’s nothing natural about the use of “artifical” unless you chose to redine what IS is. Give us a break!
      Read Vattel’s Natural Law of Nations ….the Founding Fathers did.

  10. Joss Brown wrote;
    “You can also be a natural born citizen if your father is a foreign citizen. If your parents are not married, or if their marriage is not legally recognized, then you’re born out of wedlock and only follow your US mother. So here too you are a US citizen at birth without foreign allegiance = NBC.”

    That’s a non-sequitor… by his(Obama) own admission his father is a British National. Even if his father was unknown he would be at best by virtue of his mother’s citizenship a citizen but not a NBC where there would be no doubts. There is no doubt Obama is a dual citizen. No definition for dual citizen is required.

    1. Excellent point about “doubts”. If we know a child is born in the US and we know that the parents were US citizens at the time of the child’s birth, then there is no doubt that the citizenship of the child is American. By the laws of nature, it is obvious and self-evident that the child’s citizenship is 100% American and 0% foreign at birth. This child will have attained his/her citizenship without the aid of any human law.

  11. At the time of the adoption of the Constitution there were no “natural born Citizens” (no country yet = no citizens, period?)

    Not exactly. The country was founded July 4, 1776. With the signing of the Declaration of Independence, the founders became among the first U.S. citizens. At the time of the adoption of the Constitution, there were some natural born citizens in this country, but the oldest of them were born in 1776 and were still a long way away from becoming 35 years old. Hence the need to include the “grandfather clause” of those who were merely a “citizen” (rather than “natural born citizen”) at the time of the adoption of the Constitution.

    I agree with the rest of the post, but please don’t say our country did not exist from 1776 – 1787. It most certainly did.

    If there is any doubt, refer to Abraham Lincoln’s famous address, delivered in 1863:

    Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

    Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation, so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

    But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate…we can not consecrate…we can not hallow this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us—that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion—that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain—that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom—and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

    A “score” is twenty. “Four score and seven” is 87.
    1863 – “Four score and seven (87) years” = 1776.

  12. “At the time of the adoption of the Constitution there were no “natural born Citizens” (no country yet = no citizens, period?)”

    Not exactly. The country was founded July 4, 1776.

  13. It’s not very comfortable to write this but I feel that many commenters (and the author) didn’t read my recent comment


    that leads to “The ultimate proof of Obama’s Ineligibility to be President Of The United States (POTUS) according to the Constitution” (and a related stuff too).

    I hope that after reading the whole stuff there will be ” …a little less talk and a lot more action!” according to a good quote from 12thGenerationAMERICAN:


  14. A few weeks ago I was in DC, and happened to go to The National Archives just to humor my husband. I figured that as long as I was there, what the hell, I’d look in the Constitution for the Natural Born Citizen clause.

    I will tell you this. I didn’t expect to be in awe of a paper document. I can be greatly moved by artfully written words, but typically not so much by a document of this nature. I’ve seen the words in print so many times, seen reproductions all over the place.

    This was different. This was a thing which captured you and pulled you into it, and made you want to stand and think. This was the ages whispering to you to remember. It was unique in that every line you read you felt that it was somehow a little bridge in time, and you felt humbled knowing that the meaning of much of this can be better understood if you just have the chance to stand there and look on the ink words penned on that paper so long ago.

  15. It doesn’t say anywhere in the constitution that one must be born on US soil of two US parents to be natural born. We know that in this purest case you *are* in fact a natural born citizen.


    You’re going to have a hard time here trying to confuse anyone with that BS.

    Requirement for US POTUS = NBC , it’s in the Constitution .

    NBC = Born on US soil to two US citizens . NBC definition can be found in the founders writings , federal papers , common law , all over the INTERNET and even the bible.

    Why would the founders put the requirement in the Constitution in the first place , why even bother if all you had to be was a citizen.

    Dual Loyality……….

    1. The Founding Fathers made a clear distinction between “natural born citizen” and “citizen” with the so-called grandfather clause:

      “or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution”.

      The Founding Fathers were not natural born citizens because what they all had in common was that they were all born subject to a foreign power.

      Article II Section 1 Clause 5 also requires that the President have lived the last 14 years in the US. This is because the Founding Fathers understood that foreign influence came not only from birthplace and birthparents, but also from having been exposed to foreign ideas from having lived recently in a foreign land.

  16. I’m sorry but I am not a Obama supporter and did not vote for McCain either as he is driving America over the cliff also (just not getting there as fast) but if Obama was born in Hawaii with a American mother who was a citizen, I would not fight his being president (still think he’s a socialist at best). I heard that 65% of Americans either don’t know where he was born or doubt he was born in Hawaii. My guess is that 90% of them would drop the questioning if he would (or could) show a long form BC from Hawaii that could be authenticated,

    1. You should fight it. This is not about politics, race, or even Obama. This is about defending the Constitution, and it is worth fighting for. If we allow a simple phrase such as “natural born citizen” to be ignored, then no part of the Constitution is safe.

  17. Obviously, Joss Brown has not read all of Vattel’s work and the correspondence between the writers of the Constitution regarding his (sic) work and its incorporation into the Constitution. If you want an abomination like Obama as President, then you need to muddy the waters. I believe the truth will win out and this undocumented worker (obama) will be deported (although the law requires a stricter punishment).

  18. I’m not sure it would matter if the marriage is null and void. I believe the law states that a child born to a single mother, without the father being acknowledged is then a NBC. Even if the marriage was not legal or null and void, the father was listed as Obama Sr. on the BC; therefore the law would not apply to Obama. Since, by virtue of his father, he was born with dual-citizenship, he is not a NBC.

    1. Actually, there is a question whether illegitimate children gained British citizenship by descent under the BNA of 1948.

    2. It still dosn’t matter what BS you spout. The LAW is NBC=2 US citizens, and as you will say later it doesn’t matter; well, it does. He has taken the birthright of all legitimate citizens and turned into an electional defiling and mockery.

      1. Why the anger? I’m on your side. My comment only applied to what Sally Hill said. IF Obama was legally illegitimate then the question of his having British citizenship is open for debate. BTW, there is no LAW that NBC=2 US citizens.

        32-(2)- Subject to the provisions of section twenty-three of this Act, any reference in this Act to a child shall be construed as a reference to a legitimate child; and the expressions “father”, “ancestor” and “descended” shall be construed accordingly.

  19. To put it simply, what Mr. Deacon is saying is this; do you really think that after fighting a seven year war against the British, the Founders would allow the son of a Brit to serve as their president? This is common sense America! I rest my case!

  20. Based on the comments, I guess it is true, there is no accurate description of “natural born citizen”. If there was an intent for natural born citizen when it was written into the Constitution, it has since been twisted into an unrecognizable form?

    Does this mean the Obamabots win, and from this point on all that is required to be Constitutionally eligible to be president is to be a “citizen” and even that requirement is waived for Obama?

    1. Bob, you and I, along with many others, know (or at least believe very strongly that we know) what the Founders meant by the term “natural born citizen” when they used it to outline eligibility requirements for POTUS. That they were wise, forward-looking men, which shows in the US Constitution. It appears, however, that they didn’t foresee a day when people – educated people – wouldn’t know what is meant by the term “natural born citizen.” We’re living in that day.

      I predict that if Obama’s ineligibility due to lack of NBC status ever makes it to a court room, it will be elevated to the SCOTUS for final and official definition of “natural born citizen.” This is what Obama wants to happen. He helped set the wheels in motion with his bold statement on his web site about his father being a Kenyan in HI when he was born. As he’s wriggled out of presenting his BC in a court room, at a a cost of approx $2million, he’s been preparing for the NBC question to one day soon reach the SCOTUS. His preparations include the appointment of Sotomayer and the future appointment of Kagan to the SCOTUS and the retention of attorney Robert Bauer. Read: Obama waives ethics rules for eligibility lawyer http://www.wnd.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=152177

      Listen, since late summer of 2008, I’ve followed the many efforts to expose “the Manchurian candidate” now turned POTUS. I’m one of the (relatively) few people who waited with bated breath for news of the first filed lawsuit, the one we hoped and believed would keep his name off the ballots, only to learn that, thanks to the court clerk, he would be on the ticket. I was among those who told people to stop talking about the BC, that it didn’t matter where he was born because his father was a British subject at his birth, giving him dual citizenship and therefore making him ineligible because he’s not a NBC. Back then, I even cared that their talking about the BC and his being born somewhere other than HI made us look like loons. In more recent months, I wondered if it wasn’t his BC he was hiding after all, that perhaps it was something else entirely but that he was keeping “birthers” on the wrong trail intentionally.

      Since that time, however, as I’ve watched it all play out, it’s become clear to me that, first of all, it is his BC he’s hiding because he was born in Kenya. The Kenyan officials saying to this day that he was born there has convinced me. The second thing I’m convinced of is that the meaning of the term “natural born status” isn’t as clear to all as it is to me and, despite what some say, it has not been addressed directly and defined by the SCOTUS. Thirdly, Obama has all of WA DC, SCOTUS judges included, and doesn’t fear being ousted due to NBC. In fact, and this is number four, he prefers being challenged over NBC status to having to present his original BC, which is evidenced by his bold statements about his father’s Kenyan/British citizenship. And fifth, news and official statements out of Kenya keep him busy, evidence of which can be found in the scrubbing and editing of news articles and statements published on the Internet and his mysterious disappearance that placed him near the office of the Kenyan ambassadors while he was supposed to be meeting with the press. The disappearing act happened only days after the Internet publication of the March Kenyan meeting minutes in which one of the officials again mentioned his Kenyan birth.

      I really don’t care which gets him ousted: his Kenyan birth or his father’s British citizenship. And I certainly don’t care if it turns out that I’m wrong just so long as the truth wins. My only hope is that whichever ineligibility issue finally makes it to a court room to be truly heard and addressed first wins because there will be no going back to address the other if it loses.

      1. PS: I’m not a lawyer and certainly not a Constitutional lawyer or scholar, so I don’t claim to know it all. That said, I’ve read this before and recently saw it again in the comments at Apuzzo’s blog. There may be more but it’s the only thing I’ve run across in which the SCOTUS address the NBC/eligibility issue.

        SCOTUS 88 U.S. 162 Minor vs. Happersett Argued: February 9, 1875 — Decided: March 29, 1875 “The Constitution does not, in words, say who shall be Natural Born citizens. Resort must be had elsewhere to ascertain that. At common-law, with the nomenclature of which the framers of the Constitution were familiar, it was ‘NEVER DOUBTED’ that all children born in a country of parents who were it’s Citizens became themselves, upon their birth, citizens also. These were natives, or Natural Born citizens, as distinguished from aliens or foreigners.”

        Although some cite it as proof of the definition of NBC, it’s hardly definitive. The last sentence seems to equate “natives” with “Natural Born Citizens” by use of the word “or.” If it read “These were natives, and Natural Born citizens, as distinguished from aliens or foreigners,” then it would be clear that there are “natives” and “Natural Born Citizens,” thus they aren’t one and the same. With the word “or” between them, however, it reads as if “natives” and “Natural Born Citizens” have the same meaning. (Would you say, “These (flavors) were chocolate, or vanilla, as distinguished from strawberry?” No, because chocolate and vanilla aren’t the same flavor. You would say, instead, “These were chocolate, and vanilla, as distinguished from strawberry.”)

        Again, I’m not saying that native born is the same as natural born citizen nor am I arguing that Obama is a NBC (assuming for the sake of discussion that he was born in HI and is a citizen at all). What I’m saying is that it’s not been addressed directly by the SCOTUS for clear definition and differentiation from native citizenship.

      2. AuntieMadder, the phrase “natives, or natural born citizens” comes from Vattel’s French phrase “Les naturels ou indigenes” which was originally translated as “the natives or indigenes”. However, I understand that the original translation and all subsequent translations have gotten it wrong: “Les naturels” means “the naturals” and “indigenes” means “natives”. So, if this is correct, then the translation should have been “The naturals or natives”. So, it would be “Les naturels” that should have been translated as “natural born citizens” since it would be odd in English use the word “naturals” as a noun. And so it would appear that Vattel used the other word (indigenes/natives) to help futher explain the type of persons he was describing, which were children born in the country to citizen parents.

        Note also that the title to Chapter 212 is “Of Citizens and Natives”. However, using the above “correct” translation, this chapter should have been translated as “Of Citizens and Naturals” — given the French title (Des Citoyens et Naturels).

        The above is something that I read, and while I have done some computer translation of French words (such as naturels, indigene, etc.) to English, it would be good if someone who spoke French might give an opinon on this. Or better yet, someone who understands French, as was spoken in 1758.

      3. you omitted this from the Minor v Happ decision might of helped clarify things for ya:
        “….Some authorities go further and include as citizens children born within the jurisdiction without reference to the citizenship of their parents. As to this class there have been doubts, but never as to the first…”

  21. It doesn’t matter whether you’re talking about nbc status, the feds threatening to sue arizona for upholding immigration laws, or any one of dozens of other things that this administration does, the laws mean nothing to them. We’re a lawless country now. As has been stated many times right here at this news outlet, they all know they”re skirting the law, too.

    Asking lawless people to obey the law is pointless. It’s taken it a while to sink in, but we must come to that realization. They must be Forced to follow the law, or they’ll never comply.

    1. You’re right, yo. It’s the same for liars. Liars lie. That’s why I sometimes feel bad for people when they try to break down the words of Obama, his wife and First Wookie, Pelousy and the rest in an attempt to find the kernels of truth or the hidden meanings of what they’re saying. The same when they try to come up with the perfect wordings for their questions, looking for ways to ask so that the question must be answered directly and not skirted. Also the same for those who look into Obama’s words and his alleged autobiographies to solve the mystery of Obama. Liars lie. If asked in way that the answer can’t be skirted, they’ll answer with a lie. When giving speeches and answering the press, they lie. During interviews, they lie. And when writing (or ghost writing) their autobiographies, they lie.

      You’re right. We won’t be able to use the law to control the lawless in DC. And we’ll never get the truth from them.

  22. You can be a natural born citizen, even if you’re not born in the US: although he was born in Mexico, George Romney was a natural born US citizen because Mexico laws at the time did not give him Mexican citizenship. Therefore Romney was a US citizen at birth without foreign allegiance = NBC.

    You can also be a natural born citizen if your father is a foreign citizen. If your parents are not married, or if their marriage is not legally recognized, then you’re born out of wedlock and only follow your US mother. So here too you are a US citizen at birth without foreign allegiance = NBC.

    It doesn’t say anywhere in the constitution that one must be born on US soil of two US parents to be natural born. We know that in this purest case you *are* in fact a natural born citizen. But the only thing we can really only derive from the constitution (incl. the grandfather clause), the statutes at large in conjunction with the 14th Amendment, case law and legal opinions, is that a natural born citizen must be a *born US citizen* and must not have any foreign allegiances at the time of his birth.

    There are constellations where this works with only one US citizen parent (the mother) and/or without birth on US territory. In Obama’s case it would only work if his parents’ marriage was null and void. But we don’t know that yet. If his parents’ marriage was legal, then he also had British allegiance = *not* a NBC.

    1. Addition: In McCain’s case it’s clear. He was born in Panama and automatically also received that country’s citizenship, not only US citizenship. Therefore he had foreign allegiance at birth and cannot under any circumstances be regarded a natural born citizen of the US.

      1. Vattel in Law of Nations does say that a child born in the Armies of the State can be NBC if born overseas to US citizen parents. McCain may fall under that umbrella even though he was born outside of U.S. Canal territory, but the Supreme Court should interpret that. Too bad the McCain eligibility case was throw out for lack of standing. I personally think that Vattel, meant no restriction on where overseas a 2 citizen parent child was born as long as one of the parents (presumably he meant the father) was in the Armies of the state overseas under orders of the president.

      2. In my humble opinion, the legislation Congress passed for McCain was a load of crap. He was and remains ineligible to run for POTUS because he wasn’t born on the US military base or US owned property or US soil. Bills that violate the Constitution can’t become law no matter how many votes they receive and/or who signs them. The signed bill to give McCain the okay to run for POTUS isn’t worth the paper it’s written on.

        I take that back. That signed bill is worth loads in that it was written by, or at least sponsored by, Hillary Clinton, Obama and McCaskill, which says something about those three in particular and the rest of congress in light of Obama’s ineligibility.

      3. @Garacka: I actually agree that the military jurisdiction *should* play a role here. But as long as the child also receives foreign citizenship, I fear it’s completely irrelevant. If there’s foreign allegiance at birth, a child can never be a NBC.

      4. @AuntieMadder: Even if McCain had been born in the Panama Canal Zone on the US military base, he wouldn’t have been eligible. Read the essay by Chin. He makes the general error in assuming that McCain was born in the PCZ, not in Panama, but it nevertheless is very insightful. McCain wouldn’t even have been a US citizen at birth (Insular Cases).

      5. Garacka, Vattel does not say that children born in the armies of the state are natural born citizens, he just says that they are “reputed born in the country”. Why? I think it is because a male citizen, in the service of his country in a foreign land, even when accompanied by his family (which presumably includes his wife) could very well father a child with a citizen woman of the foreign country. By the laws of nature, this child would be a dual citizen and not a natural born citizen.

        Vattel does say that if the child is born in the country of his/her citizen parents, then that child is a natural born citizen — the child’s citizenship is established by the laws of nature and the child’s citizenship at birth is not in doubt.

      6. Late to return to this party but want to reply to the following just the same.

        Cincinnatus Dogood says:
        Sunday, May 16, 2010 at 10:02 PM
        McCain is not President. It doesn’t matter.

        It darn sure does matter for two reasons.
        1) Congress has no business signing into (pseudo-)law bills that are unConstitutional or that overwrite the Constitution. And we have no business allowing them to do it.
        2) After each party running an ineligible candidate for POTUS in 2008, who the heck will they try to run in 2012? Will they write and sign into “law” another bill that is unlawful as per the Constitution?

    2. Para 1: I think Romney could only have been NBC if his father was there while in the Armies of the State (per Vattel).

      Para 2: How did you ever conclude that having a foreign father can make you NBC? Not according to Vattel, the founders, historians of the day and several court cases can that be true.

      The issue of parents not being married or not legally recognized is an interesting one for an NBC determination. How did Vattel and the founders define parents? Do they have to be married?

      If the father is not known, one could argue that the child is not NBC, because you need to have 2 citizen parents, and if you don’t know the father you can’t know his citizenship. What if he (a foreign citizen) pops up when the child is 5 to claim his child and influence his allegiance

      1. Vattel does not say that a child born in the “armies of the state” is a natural born citizen. What he says is that the child is “reputed born in the country”.

        McCain is not a natural born citizen because he attained his US citizenship via a statute. Title 8 Section 1401 (c) states that he was a US citizen at birth:

        (c) a person born outside of the United States and its outlying possessions of parents both of whom are citizens of the United States and one of whom has had a residence in the United States or one of its outlying possessions, prior to the birth of such person.

        A natural born citizen attains his/her citizenship via the laws of nature and not of man. If you were born in the US (one of the 50 states or DC) and your parents were both US citizens, then you do not need any human law to say that you are a US citizen.

      2. Vattel says: “The natives, or natural-born citizens, are those born in the country, of parents who are citizens.” It does not say that the parents are necessarily married. If they had to be married, then he would have said so.

      3. Vattel is not US law. Only what is the law and what the Framers intended the law to mean is relevant. As I said before, we can *only* derive that a NBC was thought to be a US citizen at birth without foreign allegiance. Romney does fit that category, although he was born in Mexico. The army has nothing to do with it, only Mexico’s laws at the time.

        A child born of a US mother and a foreign father *out of wedlock* also fits that category. If the father’s citizenship is legally irrelevant, then the child can be a NBC, even if the father is a foreigner. The absence of marriage blocks foreign citizenship. Back in Vattel’s days it was the same as today: the child followed the mother, when born out of wedlock. That’s probably one of the oldest laws in the world.

        The unknown-father-argument is definitely interesting but irrelevant. It is hard to assume that an unknown foreign father and the US mother were married.

      4. Joss, you are not getting it. A natural born citizen attains his/her citizenship by the ever present and unchanging laws of nature, and not by the laws of man (or lack there of).

        Mexico’s laws regarding citizenship are human laws and not laws of nature. Take away all Mexican human laws, and a child born on Mexican soil is a Mexican citizen by the laws of nature.

        Same goes with the “oldest law of the world” regarding unwed mothers and unknown fathers. That is a human law. By the laws of nature, there is a father, and should that man step forward and claim the child as his, then his citizenship is passed to the child by descent. This is why a child born in the country to a citizen mother and unknown father cannot be a natural born citizen.

    3. Para 1: I think Romney could only have been NBC if his father was there while in the Armies of the State (per Vattel).

      Para 2: How did you ever conclude that having a foreign father can make you NBC? Not according to Vattel, the founders, historians of the day and several court cases can that be true.

      The issue of parents not being married or not legally recognized is an interesting one for an NBC determination. How did Vattel and the founders define parents? Do they have to be married?

      If the father is not known, one could argue that the child is not NBC, because you need to have 2 citizen parents, and if you don’t know the father you can’t know his citizenship. What if he (a foreign citizen) pops up when the child is 5 to claim his child and influence his allegiance

      Para 3: No it doesn’t define NBC in the Constitution which is why you need to go to the founders intent, and that was found in Vattel and many other writings. See Apuzo’s blog (http://puzo1.blogspot.com/) as he has it nailed down tight as a drum).

      Para 4: If one grew up believing and publicly pronouncing that a non U.S. citizen parent was your parent and the story is changed later in life after they have had their influence on you, isn’t the original story what must be followed?

      BTW, I think that NBC should mean that one is born to 2 citizen parents, in the country (unless deployed in the military) and is raised in this country until the age of majority, and never relinquishes U.S. citizenship at any time in one’s life, and a Constitutional amendment is warranted on this.

      1. (1 & 2) see above

        (3) The founders’ intentions are not found in Vattel. They were probably influenced by Vattel, but their own intentions are found in the proceedings, US historical records, letters, speeches, legal opinions of the time etc.—and of course the constitution itself. (The grandfather clause is very important.)

        (4) What the child or the parents believe is irrelevant. If a biological parent is not the legal parent at the time of the child’s birth, then that parent can have as much personal influence on the child as he wants. It doesn’t change anything with regard to the legal status.

        (5) What you or I think NBC should mean is irrelevant. Only what the Founders/Framers thought is. And of course: what the courts say on the meaning of NBC. That a child born in the US of 2 citizen parents is a NBC, is clear. But the story doesn’t necessarily end there.

      1. Because Romney is an important example that shows that a person born *outside* of the US can still be a natural born citizen. It is not relevant for Obama, but it’s relevant here, with regard to this strange idea that *only* a birth on US soil plus 2 US parents makes a child natural born.

    4. George Romney was not born in the country, and so he cannot be a natural born citizen. By Mexican law (a human law), he was not a citizen of Mexico at birth. But by the laws of nature, Romney was a citizen of both Mexico and the US at birth.

      1. I believe Joss is arguing that parents determine Natural Born citizenship and that place only matters if the country of that place does not also convey citizenship. If another country had such an NBC rationale, then a person born in the US to parent citizens of that other country could not be an NBC of that other country because he/she would be a dual with the U.S.

        I disagree, because so much points to NBC being both jus soli and jus sanguinis. Also, I think there is a very good reason to not accept birth in another country for NBC even if that country does not grant jus soli citizenship. That is because there is some likelihood that the parent(s) are or have created an affiliation for that other country that might influence future actions as President. After all they have gone to that country for their own reasons. They could be innocent (vacation) or not. This is not discriminatory, because being President is not a right but a privilege.

      2. Garacka, you make a good point about parents being in the foreign country and possibly having an affinity for that foreign country, especially given their comfort level with having a child there.

  23. Yes , unfortunately the statement about ” Americans not being intelligent enough to understand the Constitution ” is all so true , so many ” Americans ” can not seem to understand what is wriiten down and even after I explain such to them , then they throw a tantrum , instead of admitting their ignorance and then try’ing to get educated about such , this is how the ” OBAMA ” administraion has taken ” America ” but , only for a while , ” OBAMA ” needs to be brought to trial for treason against ” AMERICA ” along with all his supporters