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by Jeff Lichter

Why was the "natural born Citizen" clause put into the Constitution?

(Dec. 30, 2010) — Being the recipient of attempted ridicule by being labeled a “birther” has never bothered me.  In fact, it was a welcome accusation because knowing that truth was on my side, I always responded that I was “very proud to be a birther.”

But now, it is becoming apparent that this term may be doing us more harm than we thought.  Too many people who hear the term think that the place of birth is not only the pre-eminent issue but the only issue.  They most likely have never heard the more important term that of a “natural born Citizen.”  And even if they have, they most certainly cannot come within a planet or two of providing something close to a constitutional meaning of the term or even how it might differ from just a plain Citizen.

It is my intention here to suggest that those of us who believe Barack Obama is not a natural born Citizen no longer employ the term “birther” or even repeat it, but always substitute the replacement term of either “constitutional natural born birther” or if that is too long then just “natural born birther.”  That would hopefully elicit either the silent or spoken question in the minds of others as to what the heck is a natural born birther?  We must start defining the issue correctly on our terms and get the message out that the place of birth is not the dominant issue, that even if one is born in the United States that does not necessarily of and by itself make one a natural born Citizen eligible to serve as the President of the United States.

Nomenclature can be very important, and before dismissing this as too trivial, consider how many times the media, all of them including O’Reilly, Beck, Matthews, and Cooper have spit the term birther at us and thereby framed the issue as only a place of birth matter while never using or discussing the constitutional term of natural born citizen.  Again just today, Megyn Kelly in about an 8 minute segment on Fox that she framed as a “debate” in regard to Hawaii Governor Abercrombie’s recent statements used the term birther (as did her two guests, both of whom did not debate but agreed on all points) at least ten times but none of them ever spoke of the larger matter of constitutional eligibility by using the term natural born citizen.  One of the two guests was the “conservative” Rich Lowry.

Let’s start properly defining the issue on our terms.  It starts with what comes out of our own mouths.


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  1. Dear Jeff;

    I am very pleased to see that I am not the only one who understands that your place of birth has nothing at all to do with Article II “natural born Citizen”. I have long insisted that it is those that support Obama who are the “birthers” because they believe that being “birthed” on U.S. soil can somehow endow one with the sovereign political natural rights that Article II is referring to.

    The U.S. Constitution and the Declaration of Independence establishes the concept as a natural fact of reality that we are to be a representative SOVEREIGN REPUBLIC of SOVEREIGN CITIZENS. The Declaration of Independence makes it clear that Sovereign Political Rights are Natural Rights that are inherited (endowed) via the Laws of Nature (self-evident truth and fact of Nature).

    Since Natural Rights can only be inherited from other human beings, the soil jurisdiction of Congress and the Courts cannot create you to be a Sovereign citizen at birth. Only a U.S. citizen father can do that because it is recognized as a function of Natural Law that natural political rights are inherited from males, not females or soil. This is why Vattel says that “by the laws of nature alone the children follow the condition (means political condition) of their fathers” (emphasis added). The rest of Article II (14 year residency requirement) takes care of any foreign allegiances at birth by allowing you to sever those loyalties due to foreign soil or your foreign mom and repatriate yourself as a sovereign U.S. citizen by inheritance from your dad, and reestablish your loyalty and allegiance to the U.S. Article II only requires you to have a citizen father who creates you so that you can claim a sovereign political authority as a sovereign representative of the sovereign people of the U.S. Your place of birth and mother’s status are irrelevant for Article II purposes. Obama was born as a sovereign of Kenya at birth because he inherited a sovereign political authority at birth from a sovereign Kenyan citizen father. This means that Congress has exceeded their authority and bestowed a “privilege” of claiming a sovereign political authority that Obama was not born inheriting and Congress cannot endow or bestow because they are not the Laws of Nature or God. We now live under a non representative government with invalid laws creating a condition of involuntary servitude and slavery in violation of the 13th Amendment. The political condition is identical to that of the American Colonies at the time of 1776.

  2. I have already decided to not let the traitors of this country define who I am or what I stand for. For me, the term “Birthers” is intentionally derogatory and I refuse to play in that sandbox. I am simply an American who believes in and supports our Constitution, our Declaration of Independence and the rule of law. Let the traitors choke on that.

  3. This natural-born constitutionalist can’t be any happier than to see this report about a pair of Arizona lawmakers planning to start off the new Congress with a bill to stop automatically granting U.S. citizenship to “anchor babies.” I left some comments there and encourage others to do the same and send a strong message to Sen. John Kyl for deserting Lt. Col. Terry Lakin: http://azcapitoltimes.com/news/2010/12/28/date-set-for-unveiling-of-birthright-citizenship-bill/#comment-50064

  4. Birther just means someone capable of using logic and common sense who does not fear speaking out about their beliefs. It’s the anti-birthers who are the cowards, and who pretend to believe what they are told to believe out of fear, or maybe greed when they think of perhaps losing their jobs for asking totally reasonable questions about “who is Barack Obama?”.

    Birther to me does not mean just the BC certificate, but emcompasses everything, including the evidence Obama was born in Kenya, his many hidden records, his likely adoption and name change….the whole nine yards.

    If the knuckleheads in the media can’t find anything in Obama’s past worth investigating, they have obvious been bought off or scared off or both.

    Beck, O’Reilly, Kelly, Hannity. Malkin, Coulter, Levin and all the rest of the so-called conservatives have proven to be worse than useless on this most important issue. The crap they waste time talking and talking on each day is of zero importance compared to Obama’s totally obvious ineligibility.

  5. http://onlineslangdictionary.com/definition+of/birther

    birther–noun •a person who believes – against evidence – that Barack Obama was born outside of the United States.

    I do not believe or disbelieve that BO was born outside of the United States. Therefore, I am NOT by definition a “birther.”

    BO is NOT constitutionally qualified to be POTUS regardless of where he was born because by his own admission his dad was a British/Kenyan citizen.

    There is a clear, concise and definitive statement in Vattel’s Law of Nations which was the principal legal treatise used by the Founding Fathers in writing the Constitution.

    “The natural-born citizens, are those born in the country, of parents who are citizens… it is necessary that a person be born of a father who is a citizen; for, if he is born there of a foreigner, it will be only the place of his birth, and not his country.”


  6. I like the idea. I think it’s past time we re-framed and re-defined the debate, and this is a good start. Of course others will call us whatever they wish to call us. But just by re-monikering ourselves, we can force them to address the natural born issue, the same way we forced them to address the eligibility issue as a whole.

    Let’s never forget the power of the word. The pen is mightier than the sword.

  7. If you control the vocabulary, you control the situation. Just like calling murder of infants “abortion”…the same people call law-abiding citizens upholding the laws “birthers.”

    Interesting connection….birth, life, truth.

    They murder babies and they murder the Law. They murder free speech and the rights of others.

    I have noticed the intolerance of “anti-birthers”…have you? In simple conversations, they kill free speech and will not allow expression. They will not tolerate your viewpoint.

    I am not a birther. I am pro-Life and pro-Truth and pro-Law and pro-Transparency.

    When you hear somebody describing those defending the Law as “birthers”….they have revealed quite a bit about themselves, far beyond Obama. Tiny minds use tiny terms to mock and demean.

    Liars never win in the long run and have trouble sleeping at night….because they know they are at great risk, and they never know who will turn on them in their own crowd.

    “Birther” and “abortion” …. Obama is to the Constitution as abortion is to women’s health care. They both trample on the rights of others. We know Obama was born…we have no clue who his real parents are, or actual place of birth.

    If we give the power to define the situation and the argument to the Liars and Murderers, we yield defeat. I think if I hear “birther” used, I will ask them to please define the term, I have no idea what they mean by that, other than slang for a pregnant woman who has delivered, and I have not, and then see where the conversation leads.

    Those who use the term “birther” are usually found to be deceptive manipulators.

    Obama, you are not eligible from your own personal biography. We do not need a birth certificate or any other hidden documentation.

    A lawyer can take the book Dreams of My Father into court as evidence, and say here is documented proof by Obama himself, that he has a foreign father, and therefore is not eligible to serve. He can hide whatever he wants. Here is all the proof we need that he must be removed. In his own words, he has declared himself not eligible.

    1. “If you control the vocabulary, you control the situation. Just like calling murder of infants “abortion”…”

      Or calling a fetus an infant? Embryos and fetuses can be aborted but infants can’t be aborted any more than teenagers or adults can be aborted.

      By the way, there is a word for the murder of infants. It is “infanticide.”

    2. > A lawyer can take the book Dreams of My Father into court as evidence, and say here is documented proof by Obama himself, that he has a foreign father, and therefore is not eligible to serve.

      Unfortunately, it is not that easy. Don’t you think Mario Apuzzo or Orly Taitz would have taken that route long ago if it were that easy? (I usually don’t argue by authority, but if these constitutional experts think that this is not a feasible proposition, us laymen can likely take it for granted they are correct.)

      Obama’s own admission is not proof since he cannot, by legal standards, prove (!) who his father was by simply putting words into his book, no more than he can prove that the Sun revolves around the Earth by writing such a thing into his book.

      > we have no clue who his real parents are

      Precisely. Obama’s admission does not change that fact, not even to his disadvantage, as much as we would like it to be so.

  8. I am proud to be a Birther, as in Birth of the Nation, constitutional eligibility states Natural Born Citizen. One must be born to American Citizens in order to take the Oath of Office of the President / VP of the United States of America.

    What is so hard to understand, media? … oh, we know, you know. you’re evading that issue just like Justice Clarence Thomas. couldn’t discuss the birther issue in the media if you went there…since that is a fact…

    Your parents need to be Americans — and one cannot flit about according to Hawaiian Statutes…like 5 consecutive years before age 21…that’s another matter.

  9. the media is crashing like an avalanche on the “so called birthers”

    Maureen Dowd – Usurper In Chief?
    Chris Matthews – Why not just show us the long form?
    All the Abercrombie – reports
    Megyn Kelly
    Substitute on Glenn Beck’s radio program this week

    Its not going away and they are using the “birther-Kenya” story as their lie to reasoning to discuss it in public. Well, at least they are discussing it and good for us that they are going on record with their opinions…it will soon open the door to ineligibility due to not being a full blooded American, which one must be regardless of where you were born.

    bogus potus is a Caucasian American, by the way. Otherwise, he’s not a scintilla American. His African father was just a fly-by-night in our Country, which is the very reason he’s ineligible to server as Chief Executive/ Commander In Chief.

  10. Like Larry Brian Radke, I prefer the term “Constitutionalist”. The gov is not just trampling Article II Section 1, Clause 5, but just about everything the Constitution represents. Its now a living document that is only adhered to when it is convenient, or when it can be twisted to support the Left’s socialistic utopia. The General Welfare clause for example, is being abused with alarming frequency. HCR is case and point.

    Kelly and Lowry’s performance yesterday was abominable. When are these people going to get that this issue goes beyond where O was born? While a legitimate b/c is relevant, where he was born is of no consequence if BHO Sr. is the daddy. Surely National Review and Fox have been inudated by reader/viewer emails that describe the Constitutional merits of our concerns. This issue will never get traction in a significantly size public forum until the focus shifts to the Founding Fathers intent in regard to the definition of a NBC.

    “Journalists” ( I use that term loosely) such as Erza Klein, are detriment to a free society. He thinks that we are too stupid to read and interpret the Constitution for what it is. Problem is that neither he, nor younger generations were properly schooled in the Constitution; it’s just as foreign to them as the Magna Carta is. They however have been well schooled in Marx and Engel’s Communist Manifesto.

  11. What is the danger in the man who serves in the office of the President and as Commander-in-Chief not being a “natural born Citizen”?

    That scenario allows that man to owe allegiance to foreign sovereigns. If the President owes allegiance to foreign sovereigns, then he could favor those foreign sovereigns in decisions that he make as President and Commander-in-Chief of America’s Armed Forces. Those decisions would more than likely not be in the best interest of America, nor would they support and defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign or domestic.

    If the President’s decisions do not support and defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic, then he would be derelict in his duty to support and defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic.

    At this point, the President would then become a domestic enemy of the Constitution.

    The oath of a US Army officer states:

    “I, _____ (SSAN), having been appointed an officer in the Army of the United States, as indicated above in the grade of _____ do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign or domestic, that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservations or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office upon which I am about to enter; So help me God.” (DA Form 71, 1 August 1959, for officers.)

    In article 2, section 1, clause 5, the Constitution states that the qualifications for the office of the President are the following:

    1) 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;

    2) neither shall any Person be eligible to that Office who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty-five Years,

    3) and been fourteen Years a Resident within the United States.

    If “We the People” do not stand up to support and defend the “natural born Citizen” qualification for the office of President, then the only qualifications for that office will be:

    1) neither shall any Person be eligible to that Office who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty-five Years,

    2) and been fourteen Years a Resident within the United States.

    If “We the People” do not stand up to support and defend the “natural born Citizen” qualification for the office of President as codified in the Constitution, by removing Obama from the office President, NOW… then “We the People” submit that anyone age 35 or over who has been a Resident within the United States for fourteen years, would be eligible to serve in the office of the President of the United States.

    Hey Hugo Chavez, come reside in America for fourteen years, and you too, can be eligible to serve as President of the United States of America.

    Hey Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, take up residency in the United States of America for fourteen years, and you too, could become the Commander-in-Chief of Ameria’s Armed Forces.

    Who will be the “Bulwarks of the Constitution”?

    Who will stand in support of the Constitution to support and defend the “natural born Citizen” qualification for the office of President from being discarded because no one was willing to enforce it on the current person serving in the office of the President and as Commander-in-Chief of America’s Armed Forces?

    Will the “natural born Citizen” qualification for the office of the President and Commander-in-Chief of America’s Armed Forces fall into abeyance because “We the People” would not take a stand to support and defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic, by ensuring that persons who owe allegiance to foreign sovereigns do not attain the office of President of the United States and Commander-in-Chief of America’s Armed Forces?

    1. You have it right — it is the lack of exclusive allegiance to the US that makes a person unfit to be President and CIC of our Armed Forces.

      Imagine this scenario (as unlikely as it may seem): Millions of Americans in the US are under imminent danger from terrorists headquartered in Kenya. The quickest way to thwart the threat is to take out the terrorist headquarter by bombing a major city in Kenya, which would kill thousands of innocent Kenyans. Would Obama be able to give that order?

  12. For those who still dwell in ignorance,adhominen,or name calling is the only defence
    they can muster,other than the infamous c.o.l.b.,wich is a proven forgery.

    Of course there is the contemporaneous birth announcements. Many people do not
    recognize the value placed on American Citizenship, and it not so far-fetched that his
    mother, or his grand-parents would do almost any thing to obtain citizenship for their
    little alien. This can be witnessed right now with our current flood of illegal aliens trying
    to pass themselves off as American Citizens.

    No one has ever tried to acert there was some conspiracy from his birth to put him in
    the whitehouse, that is just one more pejorative from his minions. What ever name
    they use to describe those who demand the truth, they do there best to insure it does
    not refect the truth.

  13. > “natural born birther.”

    Semantically, that would be a birther who is natural born. ;)

    I would suggest “NBCster” or “natural-bornster”, but then again I don’t think we need to coin a new term just to get our point across. “Truther” (for the proponents of the “Bush did 9/11” theory) wasn’t that perfect a description either, yet anyone knew what was meant.

    > as to what the heck is a natural born birther?

    Yes, so they would say “***” and go on. The term doesn’t really incite people to start thinking, just like “compactable refurbished birther”, for that matter.

    Besides, I don’t think “birther” confines the issue solely to the place of birth. It encompasses everything birth-related, including whether Obobo was natural born.

  14. I agree… seems all the media is doing is to dis-credit anyone who is trying to find out the truth… I think the media tries to make fools out of anyone asking REAL proof. They all use the word “Birthers” as if it is derogatory…. The American citizens have a right to know the truth. The politicans avoid the facts & just go by what is told to them – even if it is wrong!! It just proves they are gutless & only care about themselves. Maybe come up with a phrase like… American Citizens Wanting Proof the ACWP… just a sample…

    My feeling is that if a politican refuses to any one of the people they represent then that politican should NOT be in office – vote them out regardless whether they are Dem or Rep or Ind or Teaparty… the truth is 99.9999% of all politicans, reporters, etc do NOT know the truth… as they never seen REAL proof. The only ones who know are those who are helping to create the fraud or coverup… BUT the truth is this will NOT go away & the truth will come out one day. Just remember who would not listen or report or even investigate to be sure… those people will pay for their errors!! Lastly, anyone who comes back & says they are shocked, surprised, or didn’t know will have the egg on the face & will lose support.

  15. Without the media’s cooperation it is not possible to change the label. The media likes it, so they will keep using it. It is strait out of Alinsky’s textbook.

  16. I don’t think your point trivial but it doesn’t matter if we call ourselves “constitutional natural born birthers” or just “natural born birthers.” They labeled us “birthers” before most of us came to accept it. (Like you, I came to accept being called “birther” early on.) They will continue to call us “birthers” whether we accept it or not and no matter what we call ourselves.

    They know how convoluted Barky’s multiple citizenships and citizenship issues are just as we know it. They even know that we know it and that we know that they know it. But they have the microphones and the tv air time and the readerships and they’ll frame the issue and those of us who keep pushing it to the front however it pleases them (or their masters), not us.

    1. Words do mean things, but words alone ring hollow. It’s not reassuring when the GOP announces that the 111th Congress will convene with a reading of the Constitution. As one blogger said, it is a “cheap parlor trick.” Just talking the talk.

      We the People are being held hostage by our government. The rule of law has been replaced by the rule of man. The Constitution is quoted as much as the Bible and similarly ignored. The usurper President is not the problem, he is a symptom of the disease. Corruption is boundless, don’t expect resolution from any elected officials or Congress or the courts. I am not being partisan. Bush I and II have more blood on their hands than Obama. The globalist demon has been around since the dawn of civilization.

      1. …correction…it’s the 112th Congress convening Jan 3, 2011. Happy New Year everyone, let’s toast to 2011, the “Year of the Constitution.”

  17. Saw the fiasco with Megyn today, and I was VERY angry. They continually try to discredit us by claiming the “out of Country” birth. Here’s my answer to anyone who TRIES to claim I am a “birther”. I don’t care if Barack was born on the carpet in the Oval Office, his father was never a U.S. citizen. He owed allegiance to Britain and Kenya at the time of his birth, and even HE has admitted it.
    I am also very tired of people like Beck who “pick and choose” which parts of the Constitution need protecting, and which questions should be asked with “Boldness”.
    I HOPE everyone is keeping up with Miss Tickly at:
    It’s all unraveling………even the Dems are calling him out these days…….apparently their legs are no longer “tingling”.
    GOD Bless you, Sharon, for all you are doing!

    1. Sent Megyn Kelly (kelly@foxnews.com) this email yesterday after her “Fair & Balanced” Fiasco:

      Megyn, MAN UP!!

      Just saw your segment on “The Birthers”, of which I’m a very Proud Birther, otherwise known as a “strict Constitutionalist”! What is it that you and Lowry don’t understand about the “natural born Citizen” clause (Art 2, Sec 1) in the Consitution of the United States of America?? Why aren’t you “Woman Enough” or “Man Enough” to discuss the real facts, admitted to by Obama himself?? How dare you think that you are discussing this subject with FACTS!!?? I’m sure that you must have learned about the NBC requirement in law school, I know I was taught this in High School!!

      One question: Why has he spent more than $2 million dollars to hide who he is?? http://citizenwells.wordpress.com/2010/12/30/robert-bauer-et-al-illegally-scheme-with-obama-attorney-ethics-rules-of-professional-conduct-criminal-or-fraudulent-conduct/#comment-174711

      His father was a citizen of Kenya, with no intention whatsoever of becoming an American citizen, when he was born (and BTW, it doesn’t matter WHERE he was born), which would make Obama, by his own admittance, a Dual Citizen of Britain and the US!! If what Obama says is true, then he CANNOT EVER be a “natural born Citizen”, because it takes BOTH parents to be citizens of the US (can be “naturalized citizens”), and to be born on US soil!

      Remember the question about McCain’s NBC status in 2008 and he brought his Long Form BC to Congress for that discussion? Why didn’t Obama get the same treatment, and why can’t he have that same treatment NOW?? Is it because you, along with Rick Lowry and everyone else who is afraid to discuss this are afraid to be called “RACIST”!! Just show us the damn Long Form Birth Certificate (like all of us born here in America have) and get it done with!!

      I have lost any respect for you that I’ve had, ever since you and O’Reilly discussed this subject a few months ago. How can you be so “Intellectually Dishonest”?? I DARE you to bring on Mario Apuzzo for this discussion, I guess you’re afraid you might learn something from a Constitutional expert!! I dare you, Megyn, on your children’s future, to deal with this in an honest discussion (which both of your segments on this have NOT been)!! SHAME ON YOU, you are disrespecting all of us in this wonderful country by the way you are dealing with the Constitutional Crisis!

      What’s in store for your children’s future if you refuse to deal with this Constitutional Crisis??


  18. I really like Mr. Lichter’s point and it is well taken. But I wonder if there might not be another more abbreviated term that people might adopt.

    How others might react, I am unsure but for a while now, I’ve been considering myself a ROLer or ROList, as in Rule Of Law. After all, that is what the Constitution means to all of us – the rule of law. And the Constitution is precisely what we are trying to convince people to look at and follow. Without the rule of law, nothing else truly matters.