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by David F. LaRocque

Rep. Brian Bilbray stated on MSNBC that it's "a legend" that a person must be born in the U.S. to be president.

(Aug. 7, 2010) — I arose early this morning to start some work I had planned when I stumbled onto a new video on YouTube showing my congressman, Brian Bilbray (CA-50), asserting that “natural born Citizen” does not mean “born in the country.”

I was so outraged that I immediately wrote an email to some friends on this subject.

Take a look at this shocking video:

Where is this guy from? Is he dealing with a full deck?

If the Constitutional term “natural born Citizen” does not mean “born in the United States,” and it does not mean “born of parents who are both United States citizens,” what DOES it mean?

I am shocked, stunned, dumbfounded and totally dismayed that a person serving in the U.S. House of Representatives could say such a thing.

As we all know, Attorneys Mario Apuzzo and Leo Donofrio have conducted an enormous amount of new research on the natural born Citizen issue. Each of them has established, independently and conclusively, that the “natural born Citizen” requirement of Article II of the United States Constitution clearly has its origins in the work of the political philosopher Emmerich de Vattel, who defined “natural born Citizen” as meaning “born in the country of parents who are citizens.”

Chief Justice John Marshall, in Marbury v. Madison, stated that it cannot be presumed that words placed in the Constitution do not have explicit meaning. If specific words are incorporated in the language of the Constitution, then it must be presumed that they have a specific purpose and meaning reflecting the conscious intent of the Framers.

Attorney Mario Apuzzo expressed it well here.

It is of critical importance that the Framers included in the Constitution the status of ‘natural born Citizen’ and ‘Citizen of the United States.’ There must be a reason for their including these two separate and distinct classes of citizenship. ‘It cannot be presumed that any clause in the Constitution is intended to be without effect; and therefore such construction is inadmissible, unless the words require it.’ Marbury v. Madison, 5 U.S. 137, 175 (1803).

Use of different language in different parts of a statute suggests that the words used have a different meaning (e.g., Bates v. United States, 522 U.S. 23, 29-30 (1997)). Hence, every clause in the Constitution must be given its own independent meaning. The Framers were very specific in including both these terms into the Constitution. The unambiguous text and structure of the Constitution show that the terms each describe a different type of citizen and each are ascribed to different political offices.

It has been well-documented that Vattel’s masterpiece “The Law of Nations, or Principles of the Laws of Nature Applied to the Conduct and Affairs of Nations and Sovereigns” was a principal reference work used by the Framers at the Constitutional Convention at Philadelphia in the summer of 1787; that this book was observed on the desk of George Washington by a visitor to his private office during the convention; and that the natural born Citizen requirement in the Constitution was specifically urged on General Washington, who was then serving as president of the Continental Congress, by John Jay, who was later to become the first Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court. Attorney Jay even underlined the word “born” in his letter to General Washington, which has been preserved and is easily found on the internet.

Furthermore, it is clear to all historians, based on numerous sources, including John Jay’s letter, that the need for the natural born Citizen clause grew out of a strong desire among the Framers to prevent, to the extent possible, the introduction of foreign influences at the level of the chief executive of the new nation. This was an issue that they had identified as having been the source of many problems in the history of the European nations.

Vattel’s definition of natural born Citizen was confirmed at numerous points in our history, most notably by Rep. John Armor Bingham of Ohio, principal framer of the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution (and later a prosecutor in the impeachment trials of President Andrew Johnson). In an address before  the U.S. House of Representatives on March 9, 1866 Rep. Bingham stated that “natural born Citizen” means “every human being born within the jurisdiction of the United States of parents not owing allegiance to any foreign sovereignty is, in the language of your Constitution itself, a natural born Citizen.”

There are also several decisions of the U.S. Supreme Court confirming this meaning. The following citation, quoted from Mario Apuzzo here, is one of the earliest and most unequivocal:

The Venus, 12 U.S. (8 Cranch) 253, 289 (1814): Chief Justice John Marshall, concurring and dissenting for other reasons, said: “Vattel, who, though not very full to this point, is more explicit and more satisfactory on it than any other whose work has fallen into my hands, says ‘The citizens are the members of the civil society; bound to this society by certain duties, and subject to its authority, they equally participate in its advantages. The natives or indigenes are those born in the country of parents who are citizens. Society not being able to subsist and to perpetuate itself but by the children of the citizens, those children naturally follow the condition of their fathers, and succeed to all their rights.”

In the concluding words of the article he posted to his website on March 4, 2010, Attorney Apuzzo states:

If Obama was born in Hawaii (a fact which he has yet to conclusively prove by presenting a contemporaneous birth certificate created in 1961 when he was born and not a Certification of Live Birth created in 2007 and posted on the internet in 2008), which would make him a dual citizen from birth of the United States and Great Britain, he could qualify as a “Citizen of the United States” under a liberal and questionable interpretation of the Fourteenth Amendment. But because his father was not a United States citizen when Obama was born, he was born subject to a foreign power which he inherited from his father. Being born subject to a foreign power like a naturalized citizen, he is not an Article II “natural born Citizen” and therefore is not eligible to be President and Commander in Chief of the Military of the United States.

One favorite tactic of the eligibility deniers is to claim that the alleged adoption of the Fourteenth Amendment in 1868 to address the citizenship issues regarding the former slaves (about which there is some doubt that the Constitutionally-prescribed amendment process was correctly followed) changed the presidential eligibility requirements of Article II. If this were true, the Fourteenth Amendment would necessarily make explicit reference to this change. Not only does no such language appear in the Fourteenth Amendment, the term “natural born citizen” is itself absent from the language of the amendment.

Attorney Apuzzo offers the following comments about these assertions regarding the Fourteenth Amendment:

The Fourteenth Amendment citizenship clause also causes further confusion in the Obama eligibility question, for some incorrectly ascribe a controlling effect to it. The Fourteenth Amendment requires that one be born in the United States and be ‘subject to the jurisdiction thereof’ in order to be a born ‘citizen of the United States’ thereunder. The way that the Amendment’s ‘subject to the jurisdiction thereof’ clause is currently interpreted, it does not contain any parentage requirement.

But a simple reading of the Amendment’s text shows that it only deals with a ‘citizen of the United States’ and not a ‘natural born Citizen.’ Hence, showing that Obama is a Fourteenth Amendment born “citizen of the United States’ (the Fourteenth Amendment born ‘citizen of the United States’ standard) without more is not sufficient to demonstrate that he is an Article II ‘natural born Citizen’ (the Article II ‘natural born Citizen’ standard). Nevertheless, Obama must at least prove that he is a born ‘citizen of the United States’ (born in the United States) before he can prove that he is an Article II ‘natural born Citizen.’

Can there be any doubt as to the meaning of “natural born citizen” as it is used in the United States Constitution? I would submit that there is no doubt whatever on this point. The historical context surrounding the creation of this magnificent document unequivocally supports the interpretation described above, as do a long list of historical documents which appeared following the establishment of this nation.

Any person who claims a different interpretation of this constitutional provision is obligated to provide the basis, as well as the associated proofs, of such a bizarre notion. I am not aware of any such attempt, including the multiple filings by the president’s attorneys in a long list of court cases raising this very issue. Instead, Obama’s attorneys have focused all of their efforts on secondary issues related to their insistence that U.S. citizens have no “standing” to demand that Barack Obama (if that is his real name) demonstrate his eligibility to serve in the office of president.

The U.S. Congressman, Brian Bilbray, who was captured on video making an unfounded and false statement regarding an extremely important and significant provision of the United States Constitution in a public television appearance, is exposing himself as seriously uninformed regarding that document. In fact, one could argue that this public misrepresentation of such an essential requirement of the U.S. Constitution renders this man unfit to serve in public office.

Either he does not have the basic knowledge of our constitutional foundation required to function effectively as an ordinary voting citizen (much less to serve as a representative of the people of this nation), or he is pursuing an agenda which is at odds with, and in direct conflict with, the founding charter of this nation.

This is an outrage to all American citizens who believe in the rule of law. How did we get such people in Congress? People like this need to be removed from the Congress as soon as possible.

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  1. They surely didn’t mean that anyone in the world foreign or domestic could be a U.S. President or they could have easily said that!

  2. Sen. Lyman Trumbull: The provision is, that “all persons born in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens.” That means “subject to the complete jurisdiction thereof.” What do we mean by “complete jurisdiction thereof?” Not owing allegiance to anybody else. That is what it means.
    >>>>>well that statement still does NOT take precedence over being natural born, does it ? NO, and it still does NOT change the constitutional requirements that specifically state that the president must be natural born, does it? NO. If the 14th ammendment intended to CHANGE the qualifications for president, then it would SPECIFICALLY STATE AS MUCH. But it doesn’t, so much for that illogical attempt as spin and twist from the author.

  3. Maybe the honorable congressman was trying to say that two US citizens can have a baby born outside of USA, and that baby is still considered a natural born citizen? Does that clarify his thought process in any way?
    Mrs. Rondeau replies: Yes, I believe that he could have been referring to that, although to say it the way he did, as if it were the rule rather than the exception, was deceiving, in my opinion. After all, every time McCain has run for president, a myriad of writers and Democrats have questioned whether or not he was a “natural born Citizen.” I think Bilbray was trying to cloud the issue by saying that “it’s a legend” that one has to be born in the country, because we all know that that is at least one requirement to be considered “natural born.”

    1. For McCain, and for tens of thousands of other Americans who were born in the Panama Canal Zone, the 1903 Hay treaty established the Canal Zone as sovereign US territory to be treated as under the sole jurisdiction of the United States, and that all persons born in the Canal Zone were to be treated and considered as natural born US citizens.

      That treaty became the model for territories permanently or temporarily ceded to the United States all around the world. For example, one of my sons was born at the 97th US Army General Hospital in Frankfurt, the Federal Republic of Germany. By the US-FRG treaty which established the basic inter-governmental relationship between the two governments, installations and facilities — including hospitals, major command headquarters, and embassy/consulate properties — were ceded to the US as sovereign territories solely under the jurisdiction of US law, my son was from his birth a natural born citizen. The Status of Forces agreement reiterated the sovereign nature of facilities, lands and resources on and in those lands and specifically stated that US law would apply in those areas until such time as the treaties, Status of Forces Agreements and Minutes Attendant were to be dissolved by mutual agreement.

      The fact that the Senate passed a resolution declaring Sen. McCain a natural born citizen made no difference to the reality of natural born status…but it was a nice thing for the boys & girls to do.

  4. The veiw of Presidential Eligibility held by Lawyers Breckinridge Long, Alexander Porter Morse, and anyone else who spends 5 minutes researching the subject, was also held by the Boston Globe’s Peoples Lawyer in 1896.

    Sorry, it’s not free…

    Interesting Queries for All Readers. Political, Presidential and Domestic Matters Considered. Some Forgetful Ones Still Waste Time and Money. Who Can be President?

    Boston Daily Globe (1872-1922) – Boston, Mass.
    Date: Nov 9, 1896
    Start Page: 4
    Pages: 1
    Text Word Count: 1931


  5. Bilbray has violated his oath by denigrating the Constitution. Schwarzenegger IS NOT eligible to run for POTUS. The Congress and courts are “evading’ the issue. Obama wants to be dictator. Schwarzenegger is a Nazi. Islamists like Obama and Nazis like Schwarzenegger have been strange bedfellows for a LONG TIME:

  6. This issue has been rehashed so many times, I feel like we’re all in an echo chamber. It’s abundantly obvious to any but the stubborn Obamabots and the fearful among us that the presidential clause manifestly renders BHO ineligible. But, until leading media types like Beck and O’Reilly take off their blinders and demonstrate some good ‘ole “fair and balanced” cred on this issue, the echo chamber will be our constant companion. Risk-averse, these guys will wait for everyone else to do the research and hard work before they will risk ridicule. Not exactly paragons of audacity and fairplay, they are obviously unwilling to objectively and honestly weigh in on this subject, opting instead to attack “birthers” and others who dare voice their genuine and well-founded concerns . These guys both do good things, especially Beck, but on this Constitutional issue they have been consisently untrustworthy and unreliable. Me- first cowards both, I’m afraid. But, don’t give up the ship. I am convinced the truth, whatever it might be, will eventually come out. And I suspect there will be plenty of red faces at FOX.

    1. What Beck and other Conservative media types (and I would not included O’Reilly in that group) don’t realize is that they can ask the below legitimate question of Constitutional law, which has nothing to do with the birth certificate or where Obama was born. It is a question that they can ask without taking any sides. Once the question is asked, the truth about the full definition of natural born citizen (born in the country to citizen parents) will come out.

      How can the status at birth of a natural born Citizen of the United States of American be governed by the laws of Great Britain?

  7. See link below for an essay at the Birthers.org website which may be of interest for future resolution of some of the issues for those in the military which can be addressed using caveats to the pure natural law definition of “natural born Citizen” spelled out in Section 212. Vattel codified natural law but addressed some issues for those serving the country in the military and physically out of the country in that service by offering several caveats as to the definition of the term “in the country” and not having “quit the country”. He did not alter the matter of the requirement that the parents be Citizens at the child’s birth. And up until the last 100 years or so, the wife was always considered to be a Citizen by derivation by marriage if the father was a Citizen. This legal fact applied to several U.S. Presidents whose mother’s obtained their citizenship by marrying a U.S. Citizen. Thus the Citizenship of the father was conferred to his wife upon marriage and to his children upon their birth to the two, i.e., a then Citizen father and mother. At present time the Foreign Affairs Manual of the U.S. State Department states that military bases in foreign countries are not considered U.S. soil by the status of forces treaties with the host countries. That is why they advise the mothers to return home to the USA to have the child. McCain surely knew about the State Department’s and treaties position on his birth status which is probably one reason he went for the lame S.R. 511 to pull off his part of the obfuscations in the 2008 presidential election. And in the process of getting that he agreed to the Senate Dem leadership to keep quiet about Obama’s multiple citizenship status problems. The citizenship status of children born to two citizen parents while serving in a foreign country needs to be further addressed and in the future it could be done via Treaties with the host country as suggested in the article at TheBirthers.org site. Also, one could amend the Constitution if the several states and the People so desire to remove the “natural born Citizen” requirement, although I don’t support that and I think most Americans would not support its removal once it is explained why it was put there in the first place. But these matters would have to be addressed first, not after the fact. Someone like Obama cannot simply usurp power under the Constitution as that fundamental law of the land as it is now written on who can be the President, and ignore the Article II clause or obfuscate its meaning. But as it stands now, under natural law as codified by Vattel, Obama can NEVER be considered to be a natural born Citizen of the USA to Article II constitutional standards. There are no caveats in Vattel that exempt Obama. His parents were not serving in the military when he was born in Kenya. Obama was born a British Subject via his father no matter where Soebarkah was born. Obama is NOT a “natural born Citizen of the United States”. See the article at TheBirthers.org .


    1. For McCain, in addition to military bases (such as the Naval base where he was born) in foreign countries not being considered US soil, Panama, not the US, was the sovereign of the land called the Panama Canal Zone. The 1903 treaty says this. And besides we were paying rent to Panama for the Canal Zone. If we were sovereign, we would not have been paying rent.

  8. my o my i see someone relies on the 14th amendment.. the 14th amendment never was properly certified…. on march 28 1861 the congreess sined d… with no date…… on july 4th 1861 the abe was calling for a congressional meeting… the sined d was totally ignored.. there should have been new elections…in the various states….. soo who was in congress….july 4 1861 versus pre march 28th 1861……check and see.. the 37th congressional records.. you will find the deception of PROCLAIMATION… the first executive order of the ‘ 85th”…catch it ….if you can……fiction persons leap under corporate rule…..on that date the organic constitution stood ”’ no more”

    1. The 14th Amendment does not apply to children of illegal aliens, because illegal aliens are subject to a foreign power (their home country).

      The primary framers of the 14th Amendment citizenship clause, Sen. Jacob Howard and Sen. Lyman Trumbull, made it clear that “jurisdiction”, as used in the 14th Amendment, means sole and complete U.S. jurisdiction, i.e., not subject to any foreign power:

      Sen. Lyman Trumbull: The provision is, that “all persons born in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens.” That means “subject to the complete jurisdiction thereof.” What do we mean by “complete jurisdiction thereof?” Not owing allegiance to anybody else. That is what it means.

      Sen. Jacob Howard: I concur entirely with the honorable Senator from Illinois [Trumbull], in holding that the word “jurisdiction,” as here employed, ought to be construed so as to imply a full and complete jurisdiction on the part of the United States, coextensive in all respects with the constitutional power of the United States, whether exercised by Congress, by the executive, or by the judicial department; that is to say, the same jurisdiction in extent and quality as applies to every citizen of the United States now.

  9. what he is saying the barack obama is proof …..you don’t have to be born in the united states to be a natural born….citizen.. statement of fact.. however does it apply to a usurper?

  10. ….”How did we get such people in Congress? People like this need to be removed from the Congress as soon as possible.”

    The idiots in Congress are not as much of a danger as those idiots that continue to elect them!?!?!?

    1. To 12th Generation American –

      I am not sure that your observation is true in the case of Congressman Bilbray. He ran as a conservative Republican after having been previously defeated by a Democrat in an earlier period of service in the same seat.

      As far as I knew, he was what he claimed to be. I met with him personally in May and I had met previously with his District Director. I had no idea that he held such disrespectful views regarding the Constitution. I believed that since he was trained as a lawyer, and since he had sworn the oath of office to “support and defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic”, his loyalty and respect for the Constitution was unquestioned and could be taken for granted.

      How wrong I was! To see Congressman Bilbray in that video repudiating the Constitution was shocking. I could not imagine a member of Congress making such an outrageously false statement concerning one of the most fundamental requirements of the Constitution.

      When I was in school, every American child learned that in order to be qualified to serve as president one must be born in the United States. That is one of the most well-known provisions of the Constitution. How could somebody claim otherwise?

      I can only compare the feeling I now have about Congressman Bilbray to the feeling I would have had if one of my Navy squadron-mates had been discovered spying for the enemy. I would have felt truly betrayed, and I feel truly betrayed by Congressman Bilbray. As far as I am concerned, what he has done is unforgivable.

      I am reluctant to use this word, but is he not a traitor if he is willing to repudiate the Constitution? And if he is willing to sell out on his oath to defend the Constitution, what else is he willing to sell out on?

      We are all dismayed at what is happening to our country, and we struggle to understand how it could have happened. Well folks – this incident is a clear demonstration of what has been going on in Washington. Congressman Bilbray is not the only Republican who has sold out the Constitution. There are surely many others or we would not be where we are.

      Why has not one single Republican stood up on the floor of the House or the Senate and demanded answers to the multitude of questions surrounding the fake president now residing in our White House? How could all of our elected officials who claim to be conservative and patriotic Americans allow our government to be taken over by a bunch of radicals and Marxists?

      What the H–l is going on in Washington?

      What the H–l is going on in our courts?

      I attended two hearings in the Federal District Court for the Southern District of California in Santa Ana, CA late last year. In the first hearing I heard Judge David O. Carter, a decorated combat U.S. Marine officer in Vietnam, announce to the packed courtroom that the case he was hearing, Barnett et al v. Obama, would not be dismissed on a technicality and that the American people deserved answers to the legitimate questions raised in the case. Then a month later, this same judge was a changed man. He was brusque and dismissive in the second hearing, with no mention of his previous commitment to hear the case on its merits. Several weeks later he dismissed the case for lack of “standing” (shortly after taking on a new clerk from the same law firm that had represented Obama).

      I am so angry about this I can’t sleep at night. I did not fight for my country in Vietnam to see it destroyed in front of my eyes while my elected representatives refuse to talk about it.

      Aren’t you people angry? What are you going to do about it?


  11. Now that the lid is being blown off the eligibility issue, this is the next tactic of the left – to dismiss the importance of where the POTUS was born. Ridiculous!

  12. Get rid of Him , If he does not understand the ” Constitution ” then he should not even be an American Citizen , Let alone be in American politics

  13. With all due respect to Mr. LaRocque, I believe he needs to read De Vattel’s §215, which states a child CAN be born in a foreign country and still be considered Natural Born as long as the parents are American Citizens and have not relinquished their American citizenship. The reason Obama is not, and can never be considered Natural Born is because his father was not an American citizen. Remember, a child inherits the allegiance to the country of his father’s nationality, and not necessarily the place of his birth.

    De Vattel’s § 215. “Children of citizens born in a foreign country.
    It is asked whether the children born of citizens in a foreign country are citizens? The laws have decided this question in several countries, and their regulations must be followed. By the law of nature alone, children follow the condition of their fathers, and enter into all their rights (§ 212); the place of birth produces no change in this particular, and cannot, of itself, furnish any reason for taking from a child what nature has given him; I say “of itself,” for, civil or political laws may, for particular reasons, ordain otherwise. But I suppose that the father has not entirely quitted his country in order to settle elsewhere. If he has fixed his abode in a foreign country, he is become a member of another society, at least as a perpetual inhabitant; and his children will be members of it also.”

    1. Vattel does not say in paragraph 215, nor in paragraph 217 (Children born in the armies of the state), that these children are natural born citizens. He says instead that they are citizens. Only once does he say who are natural born citizens, and this is in paragraph 212 (born in the country, of parents who are citizens).

      A child born in a foreign country would be subject to jus soli, if that is the law of that country, such as it is in the US. And a child born abroad in the armies of the state might be a dual citizen of the foreign country. This could happen if the father, serving in the armed forces abroad, despite having his family (and presumably his wife) with him, has a child with a foreign citizen.

      The only sure-fire way to be a natural born citizen is to born in the country to citizen parents. This is citizenship by the laws of nature and not of man, for a natural born citizen needs no human law (not even the 14th amendment) to say that he is a citizen. He is obviously and “naturally” a citizen — he is a natural born citizen. And no foreign country can lay any legitimate claim on the citizenship and allegiance of a natural born citizen.

    2. Tom –

      I believe that the Vattel reference you cite is addressing the question of the citizenship of a child born in a foreign country. I do not believe that this has any bearing on the question of whether or not such a child could be considered a “natural born citizen”. The NBC definition in Vattel is unequivocal and indisputable. This child would not be a natural born citizen according to either Vattel or to the United States Constitution, in my opinion.

      This raises the issue of John McCain’s eligibility as a presidential candidate under Article II of the U.S. Constitution, having been born in the Panama Canal Zone while his father was serving there as a U.S. naval officer. Even if John McCain were born in a U.S. naval hospital on U.S. territory in a foreign country, there are legitimate questions about how the Article II requirement would apply in his case. (For example – if John McCain had been born on Saipan in the Northern Marianas Islands, a U.S. territory whose residents are U.S. citizens, would he qualify as a natural born citizen? I think not.)

      In McCain’s case, it appears that the U.S. naval hospital in the Canal Zone did not exist at the time of his birth, and he may actually have been born in the city of Colon in the foreign country of Panama. This would appear to make him ineligible.

      Now it gets interesting.

      Certain members of the Democratic Party in the U.S. Senate (including then-Senators Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama) became concerned enough about this problem that they sponsored Senate Bill 511 in April 2008, which reads as follows:


      Recognizing that John Sidney McCain, III, is a natural born citizen.

      Whereas the Constitution of the United States requires that, to be eligible for the Office of the President, a person must be a `natural born Citizen’ of the United States;

      Whereas the term `natural born Citizen’, as that term appears in Article II, Section 1, is not defined in the Constitution of the United States;

      Whereas there is no evidence of the intention of the Framers or any Congress to limit the constitutional rights of children born to Americans serving in the military nor to prevent those children from serving as their country’s President;

      Whereas such limitations would be inconsistent with the purpose and intent of the `natural born Citizen’ clause of the Constitution of the United States, as evidenced by the First Congress’s own statute defining the term `natural born Citizen’;

      Whereas the well-being of all citizens of the United States is preserved and enhanced by the men and women who are assigned to serve our country outside of our national borders;

      Whereas previous presidential candidates were born outside of the United States of America and were understood to be eligible to be President; and

      Whereas John Sidney McCain, III, was born to American citizens on an American military base in the Panama Canal Zone in 1936: Now, therefore, be it

      Resolved, That John Sidney McCain, III, is a `natural born Citizen’ under Article II, Section 1, of the Constitution of the United States.

      One has to wonder – what is the connection, if any, between this resolution and the problems with Obama’s eligibility?

      Why would Democratic Senators be concerned about McCain’s eligibility?

      Does the sponsorship of this resolution mostly by Democrats suggest that the sponsoring senators were well aware of the requirements of Article II, section 1, Clause 5 of the United States Constitution, including the requirement that the president had been born in the United States AND the requirement that both parents must have been U.S. citizens?

      Did the sponsors of S. 511 really believe that a Senate resolution could have any effect on the unequivocal requirements of the United States Constitution?

      What previous presidential candidates were born outside of the United States and how could they have been understood to have been qualified to serve under Article II of the U.S. Constitution if their qualifications were never challenged when the Electoral College results were presented to the Congress?

      Could this resolution have been intended as a smoke screen to distract the voters from the parental citizenship element of the Article II requirements?

      Do the sponsors of the Senate resolution believe that the American citizens are a bunch of stupid fools who will accept all the lies and obfuscations foisted upon us by the political aristocracy?

      This whole mess stinks to high heaven.

      By the way Tom – thanks for your service. I am also a veteran of the U.S. Navy. I served in Vietnam as a naval aviator.


      1. Mario Apuzzo’s 8 Sep 2009 post suggests an interpretation of Vattel’s (Sec. 217) that would grant NBC status to a foreign born child if parents were serving the armies of the state or in government service. See para. 17 at http://puzo1.blogspot.com/2009/09/natural-born-citizen-clause-requires.html:

        “Vattel did did state that there was an exception to the “in the country” rule for children born abroad to citizen parents who were serving the armies of the state or in government service, for he considered these children to be “reputed born in the country.”

        Vattel, Sec. 217. In this connection and as an aside which applies to the question of whether Senator McCain is an Article II “natural born Citizen,” it should be noted that according to Vattel, being physically born out of the country did not necessarily mean that one was not born “in the country.” Vattel explained that if a child was born “in the armies of the state,” that child was “reputed born in the country; for a citizen, who is absent with his family on the service of the state, but still dependent on it, and subject to its jurisdiction, cannot be considered as having quitted its territory.” Vattel, Sec. 217. Since this child would have been born in the foreign “armies of the state,” he would normally not be granted citizenship in the country in which he was physically born. Additionally, the country on whose soil the child might be born might adhere to a jus sanguinis system of conferring citizenship (meaning that born on its soil alone would not confer citizenship and therefore allegiance and loyalty on the child). Being born under those conditions, this child would therefore be born with sole allegiance to the country of his parents and would qualify as a “natural born citizen” of that country.”

      2. DL, Ditto on the “thank you for your service”. I was U.S. Navy Seabee! 1968-1974

        I think you’re correct when you ask if the Resolution could be a smoke screen! Just because they passed a Resoultion doesn’t mean the Resolution was constitutional! The problem with our government is that nobody challenges or is allowed to challenge anything anymore claiming “standing”? You would think that the Supreme Court would have picked-up the NBC issue before it got out of hand, but they knew it would open a big can of worms. Justice Thomas has already stated that they are avoiding the issue! Boy, ain’t that great! Then why do we need the Supreme Court?
        I think we will respectfully have to agree to disagree. I believe Vattel’s 215, 216, & 217 address birth status out of country. 215 specifically references back to 212, but as I stated in my original post, and which we both agree, Obama can never be considered Natural Born because of his father.

      3. Garacka, Vattel does not refer to children born abroad in the armies of state as natural born citizens, and I can think of one scenario of why.

        Suppose an Army officer and his wife and family are stationed in a foreign country in a military base belonging to the officer’s home country. During this assignment, the officer has an extra-marital affair with a local woman and a child is born in the military base’s hospital. This child is reputedly born in the country and has a father who is a citizen. But the child is also born with his mother’s foreign citizenship. The child is a dual citizen at birth and not a natural born citizen.

      4. You and virtually everyone responding to this apparently ignorant legislator are clearly on top of the key issues. The “apparent” is because several of our legislators, John Kyl, Orrin Hatch, and most sadly, Jim DeMint, feigned ignorance of the definition of NBC as well. They certainly realize they were all trapped by the feeling of entitlement, both by McCain and by legislators for POW McCain, which made raising questions about Obama’s clear ineligibility career ending. Nathan Deal of Georgia was one of a few who asked, after the inauguration, and was answered shortly with charges from the House Ethics Committee.

        Some may not have noticed that in February of 2008, prior to Sen.Res 511 ( for which Obama was a co-sponsor – the audacity of hope!), that 511 sponsor, Claire McCaskill tried a bill, Senate Bill 2678, “To clarify the law and ensure that children born to United States citizens while serving overseas in the military are eligible to become President.” There was essentially the same cast of sponsors. McCaskill, on Obama’s election committee, had the benefit of Obama’s Constitutional Law professor, Larry Tribe, who, along with same-sex-marriage advocate Ted Olson, wrote a position paper for the Senate Hearings on McCain’s eligibility. They argue that the 1790 Nationality Act shows that there was always the intent to include children born abroad of citizen parents as “reputed” natural born citizens. They don’t mention that the 1790 Act was replaced in 1795 with the natural born citizen statute, clearly unconstitutional, removed. Thus Tribe and Olson do not think McCain is eligible, but suggest that they think he should be, or the 1790 citation would be unnecessary.

        Democrats in the Senate worked very hard, two measures in two months, to suggest that McCain, after ten years of lawsuits and hearings, was suddenly eligible. SB 2678 may have seemed a bit too blatant. Leahy, McCaskill, Clinton, and Obama were part of the clever strategy that McCain be Obama’s opponent, thus silencing Republicans, There are too many attorneys who know attorneys, some of whom must have read John Marshall or Morrison Waite, or Story on Interpreting the Constitution. The Minor v. Happersett/Vattel definition is even cited in the Congressional Archives’ annotated Constitution (unless it has recently been scrubbed). McCain was defended by an Obama law firm, which sponsored a brief on the “stupidity” of the natural born Citizen provision (Sarah Herlihy, Chicago Kent Law Review). The question we will probably never know the answer to is the extent to which McCain cooperated with the scheme. He certainly knew well, after ten years of hearings and lawsuits,

        If any Republican were to have made a fuss there would have been screams of racism, James Carville predicted riots, and Hillary was waiting eagerly in the wings. They trapped Republicans, presuming there are some with enough respect for the Constitution, to have asked (as Commander Kerchner requested of many legislators by registered letter in the Summer of 2008). Now, every Republican is complicit in what can only be seen in history as a remarkable cover-up, and willful repudiation of our Constitution. We will probably never know if Bilbray was acting under orders to support the deception, or if he really hasn’t read about our framers. In fairness, before Obama, I had not read carefully about our founders, and did not know their intent with Article II, and had never seen Vattel’s Law of Nations. Perhaps we in California should assume Bilbray believed the state-run media? We could send him a copy of Democrat Breckinridge Long’s thorough brief exposing Woodrow Wilson’s Republican opponent as being ineligible for the presidency because he was born of British parents, and thus not a natural born Citizen! (thanks again, Sharon Rondeau; this ‘discovery’ is right there with the Chester Arthur exposure by Leo Donofrio).

        The military seems to be a common thread here; I was in the Army’s Air Defense Missile Command.


  14. Consider the enemy within, the progressive caucus, had lain silent until it was ready to strike at the law with a majority who were assembled through fraud and mistake. The numerous times the attemp to alter the law failed so miserably we must assume there was great secrecy and deception so as not to alarm the people or patriotic congressmen, senators or anyone who might have investigated their motivations about what they were planning. That much we do know as congress secretly decided to allow Obama to run, hold the office and be aided in the usurpation by the entire system. Our founders would call that a despotic government. They would also seek to end their influence over the people in the fastest way they could. In a nutshell, their instructions were to not suffer despotism any longer than to identify it. I submit that the act of evading the supreme law is an act displaying their assertion they hold absolute power. What has transpired since that initial act reenforces that observation and speaker Pelosi will once again begin an assault upon this nation on Monday, August 9th by asserting that the federal government must indebt America further to support the failed socialist states under the guise of responding to another entirely different issue, the Bush acceptance of socialist mandates.

    1. Please stop with the California bashing. There is quite a large number of us in California who are conservatives. Unfortunately, many Californians were blinded by Arnold’s “star power” and didn’t see that the real Governor should have been strong conservative Tom McClintock if we were going to get back on the right track. People paid no attention to whom Arnold was married. True, they should have been smart enough to see the forest for the trees, but, as you know, many people are not. And as for Pelosi, I ask you to see johndennis2010.com. I had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Dennis and he’s a strong conservative who is running against Nancy Pelosi. Please help spread the word about Mr. Dennis’ candidacy so we do everything we can to get him elected. True, botox face has a ton of money to spread her propaganda and “friends in high places,” but with hard work and exposure we can get her out – which would be the shock heard around the country. Many of us in California would like to leave, but we are anchored by businesses and jobs. Unfortunately, our choices for governor in November is a rehashed progressive/liberal or Arnold’s third term in the other candidate (but who calls herself a Republican – a true RINO). It’s a no-win situation, so I urge any of you out there from California to perhaps look into a third party candidate – there are others out there. Nevertheless, in the meantime, please stop bashing Californians as a whole. Contrary to popular opinion, we do not all fit into the perceived “mold.”
      Mrs. Rondeau replies: The purpose of Mr. LaRocque’s editorial was not to “bash California” as a whole, as I see it, but rather, to show the ignorance and/or disingenuousness of a particular congressman who intentionally misled the audience to try to convince them that being born in a foreign country is not an impediment to Article II, Section 1, clause 5 of the U.S. Constitution. Directly following Bilbray’s comments was a piece on Arnold Schwarzenegger’s possibility and/or aspirations to be president, so the implication was that a foreign-born person should be able to run. Bilbray did not explain that a foreign-born person MIGHT qualify if his parent(s) was/were in military service to the nation, but rather stated that the well-known requirement of being born on U.S. soil is a “legend” without providing any context.

  15. It’s astonishing and embarrassing the number of our reps in DC who are ignorant of basic info related to the founding of our country. There should be some sort of civics exam that they must pass before they are even allowed to go on the ballot.

  16. If Bilbray believed, as many do, that “natural born citizen” means the same thing as “native born citizen,” I’d chalk it up to ignorance or miseducation. That he said one doesn’t need to be born in the US to run for POTUS, has me thinking that he’s the one attempting to miseducate for political purposes. Either he’s aware that Oilbama was born elsewhere and that the SCOTUS will soon be prepared to look at his eligibility case and to legally define NBC or the governor of his state has his eye on the presidency. Or maybe it’s something else entirely. Whatever it is, I believe he is conniving and said this for a reason. Therefore, I say he should be ousted.

    1. If you tell a lie enough times it becomes the truth, to some people who are not exactly the brightest bulbs in the chandelier.

  17. Of course he is wrong, but so was Congress in the 1790 Naturalization Act which said that children born abroad to citizen parents would be considered natural born citizens. Congress corrected themselves in the 1795 Naturalization Act by saying that children born abroad to citizen parents would be considered citizens, dropping the words “natural born”. This correction was made without any explanation, that I know of.

    Some speculate that the 1790 act was incorrect because natural born citizenship is about being born in the country and has nothing to do with the citizenship of the parents. I say the 1790 act was incorrect because it left out the requirement of being born in the US, which is needed in addition to having US citizen parents.

    In addition to what you said about the 14th amendment (ratified in 1868), there is also what was said by the Supreme Court in the 1874 case of Minor v. Happersett. They said that the Constitution did not say in words who shall be natural born citizens. Well, in 1874 the 14th amendment had been a part of the Constitution for 6 years, and so the 14th amendment could not have said who shall be natural born citizens, else the Supreme Court not have said what they said.

  18. Bilbray is one of thpose arrogant, pompus a***** who fancy themselves God’s gift to the electorate.

    He – and ALL the rest of the current incumbents – should be replaced … every last one and I’m doing my best to help achieve that.

    When “my” CongressCats don’t even have the common decency to acknowledge the receipt of any of my letters or my emails (and there have been many) merely because they wish to not talk about “eligibility,” they will forever get nothing but my scorn and contempt.