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by Glen Gilliland

The Framers added the term "natural born" to the citizenship requirement found in Article II of the U.S. Constitution

(Apr. 28, 2011) — There are some things I know to be true. One of them is that my school teachers were not in the habit of lying to us.

The website usconstitution.net lists citizens and nationals, and states:

Anyone falling into these categories is considered natural-born, and is eligible to run for President or Vice President.

I know this statement is untrue.

I decided to join the constitutional debate boards on that site and began a discussion on citizenship.

It appears the moderators are pushing a political agenda. They locked the discussion board when they began to lose the debate. How sad that a child might come upon this “educational website” to learn about our Constitution and be misled on this subject.

The definition of “natural born Citizen” is found in Vattel’s Law of Nations, Chapter XIX, 212.

The USSC in THE VENUS, 12 U. S. 253 (1814) 289 Page 12 said:

The whole system of decisions applicable to this subject rests on the law of nations as its base…
Vattel, who, though not very full to this point, is more explicit and more satisfactory on it than any other…
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.”

The USSC affirmed the definition in MINOR v. HAPPERSETT, 88 U.S. 162 (1874).

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, as distinguished from aliens or foreigners.

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.

The 14th Amendment and the decision in Wong Kim Ark v United States 1898 removed that doubt.

From the New Englander and Yale Review, Volume 3 (1845):

The expression ‘citizen of the United States occurs in the clauses prescribing qualifications for Representatives, for Senators, and for President. In the latter, the term ‘natural born citizen’ is used and excludes all persons owing allegiance by birth to foreign states; in the other cases, the word “citizen” is used without the adjective and excludes persons owing allegiance to foreign states, unless naturalized under our laws.

Citizenship is a debt of loyalty, and there are only two ways to acquire that debt, being born into it (by nature), or being adopted into it (by naturalization).

An immigrant who takes the “Citizenship Oath” is agreeing to a debt of loyalty. With that debt comes all the rights, privileges, and duties of any other “Citizen” who also owes that same debt.

The founders feared, a foreign influence might sneak into the administration of our government and corrupt it. They required in the Constitution that the highest office in our government be held by no one but a “natural born Citizen”, one with “exclusive allegiance.”

These things were learned by many of us when we were children in a classroom a long time ago.

Rep. John Bingham, the abolitionist Representative from Ohio “considered the father” of the 14th Amendment, described the definition of “natural born Citizen” during Congressional discussions prior to the 14th Amendment.

All from other lands, who by the terms of congressional laws and a compliance with their provisions become naturalized, are adopted citizens of the United States; all other persons born within the Republic, of parents owing allegiance to no other sovereignty, are natural born citizens (CONGRESSIONAL RECORD, 1862 (Cong. Globe, 37th, 2nd Sess., 1639 (1862).

As a young man, I served in the military. My very first act was to take this oath:

I, ____, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God.’

Our politicians are administered that same oath as they enter office. When asked, they say “the location has been established”, and skirt the most fundamental requirement of the “natural born Citizen” clause, “exclusive allegiance.” I have little doubt most of them know better, yet they continue this charade. Does their oath not mean anything?

Our government was not meant to belong to the politicians or the political parties, it was meant to belong to each and every “Citizen.” As “Citizens” its our duty to insist the rules be followed. It is my duty to speak out.

In 1787, Benjamin Franklin was asked as he left Independence Hall on the final day of the Constitutional Convention, “What have we got a monarchy or a Republic”?

“A Republic,” Franklin replied, “if you can keep it.”

We have strayed too far from our Constitution. We need to make better choices. We need to start thinking!

I ask again, When did the definition of “natural born Citizen” change?

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  1. SO …let me get this straight:

    “Natural Born Citizen” is a person born in the United States of America to two parents “who were themselves, also born in the United States”? Is it permissible, for one parent to have been born in England but later marries a US Citizen and becomes a “US Citizen”?
    Mrs. Rondeau replies: The definition of the “Unity of Citizenship Theory” is that the child is born on U.S. soil to two parents, both of whom are U.S. citizens at the time the child is born. Therefore, one or both parents could have been born in another country but immigrated to the U.S., taken the citizenship class and the Oath of Allegiance in which previous foreign allegiance is abandoned, and become a U.S. citizen before the birth of the child. As long as both parents are citizens at the time of the child’s birth, he or she is considered “natural born.”

  2. Glen Gilliland, did you see this?

    A forum member wanted to know the origin of this verbiage used at usconstitution.net:
    “Anyone falling into these categories is considered natural-born, and is eligible to run for President or Vice President. These provisions allow the children of military families to be considered natural-born, for example.”

    Almost two weeks later Steve Mount, “Webmaster and researcher for USConstitution.net,” responded with this:
    The source of the quoted material is my own text. It doesn’t come from the State Department or anywhere else. It is, however, just a matter of common sense. The law, as linked to, defined all persons as citizens at birth. “Citizen at birth” is a synonym for “natural born.” Ergo, if you’re a citizen at birth, you are eligible to be President or Vice President. Anyone who is a citizen, but not a citizen at birth, is not eligible to be President nor Vice President.

    1. Who is Steve Mount? http://www.usconstitution.net/sjjm.html
      He’s someone so impressed with himself that he posts his assumptions as facts and even answers questions about the Constitution with the confidence of a Constitutional scholar. http://www.usconstitution.net/constfaq.html
      Unfortunately, confidence doesn’t equal qualification or knowledge.

      At the top and the bottom of each page at the usconstitution.net site should be a notice or disclaimer letting users know that the text includes interpretations of the Constitution made by the webmaster, whose sole qualification is the audit of one course in Constitutional law.

  3. The opinions of those seeking to cover the greatest fraud ever are meaningless. They are subversion in it’s plainest form. The founders made the law so it could not be perverted by any honest means. That it is being perverted to an end spelled out in attempted amendments and in a particular senate judiciary hearing is evidence of one thing, outright treason. These people are not due debate only marked as betrayers of the law. There are two sides and they aren’t political parties at all.

  4. Can I also add this.

    It has been said that the Founding Fathers did not define NATURAL BORN CITIZEN in the constitution. Well not directly. We here at the Post & Email know that those who use the NBC not defined in the Constitution in reality hide behind it and don’t want it defined. But I also think they know what it means!

    It’s in the Constitution, it just needs a little deciphering which is not at all that difficult of a task to do but a major impossibility if you are one of those anti-America liberals.

    The Founding Fathers as we know established as the Supreme Law of the Land….two classes of citizen.
    Citizen to be a member of the House or Senate and the NATURAL BORN CITIZEN reserved exclusively for those who want to be a president.

    So the next question to ask is…What is it about NATURAL BORN CITIZEN which is for presidents only that is different from Citizen?

    OK then. What is it that presidents do that is different from what members of the House or Senate do? Presidents are the Commander in Chief of America’s military!

    Isn’t it on America’s Historical Record that Founding Father and very first United States Supreme Court Chief Justice John Jay in a letter written to George Washington expressed a strong concern about foreigners in American government and in particular the Commander in Chief of America’s army, the president to be nothing other than a NATURAL BORN CITIZEN.

    In other words John Jay was deeply concerned about the quality of loyalty, devotion. and allegiance a Commander in Chief of America’s military would behold to his or her country. The way to ensure such loyalty, devotion, and allegiance as a Commander in Chief was to be a NATURAL BORN CITIZEN!

    Now you are living more than two hundred years ago at a time when a new nation is being born. The old nation is consisting of people who just got off a ship from somewhere else. Let’s say newly arrived citizens, and people who may have a family heritage that can go back as far to when the Mayflower landed at Plymouth Rock in 1620…NATURAL BORN CITIZENS!

    Who are you going to have more trust in for the Commander in Chief of your newly founded nation….NATURAL BORN CITIZENS who have an established history of family living in the new land or new citizens for which you know nothing about?

    It’s only logical to want and desire a NATURAL BORN CITIZEN as the new President and Commander in Chief of a New Nation!

    NATURAL BORN CITIZEN did not have to be defined back then. It was understood. NATURAL BORN CITIZENS had a mother and father who who was already living in the new land prior to giving birth to a new NATURAL BORN CITIZEN. Citizens had just arrived off the boat!

    1. I want to add to your comment. Let us suppose the definition that revisionists want to use as Natural Born to mean anyone born on U.S. soil is considered natural born without reguards to their parents. Using this absurd definition King George’s wife could have come to the U.S. and given birth to George’s son on U.S. soil then she could have taken him back to Great Britian till he was 21 then the son could have come back to the U.S. and ran for president when he was 35 DOES ANYONE IN THEIR RIGHT MIND THINK THE FRAMERS OF THE CONSTITUTION WANTED THAT ????

      1. But there is a difference between what revisionist wildly imagine and American History of U.S. Constitutional Law. I always ask….where are the republicans? This is another (this anchor baby nonsense) area where republicans just sit at the sidelines and allow anti-America liberals to spew their nonsense as republicans do nothing to defend American Laws and History!

  5. I’m going to look in the climate legislation. I’m betting Pelosi is going to try and make 0bama eligible with it kind of like how she tried to pass mass amnesty in a military appropriations bill…

    1. That wager wouldn’t be a long shot. Perhaps it was you who mentioned in a comment here at P&E News that while Barky held the focus of the entire nation with the surprise presentation of his supposed birth document, Pelousy added 300 pages (I think it was 300) to that bill. I guess they’ll have to sign the bill so we can find out what’s in those hundreds of pages she added to it.. ;)

  6. If they get evidence of a consensus then they can take it to Congress and have a law passed making people with dual citizenship eligible to be POTUS. We can be watching for this to happen sometime soon, before the 2012ballots.

  7. Great Article!
    Here is another excellent site for Natural Born arguments.

  8. …….has anyone compared the dates/time of birth on the Lucas Smith kenyan birth certificate for barry soetoro and the one released by the white house wednesday?

  9. Go to the Forums and read the thread “Citizenship”. You’ll see a debate by ReasonAble and the moderators who then resort to personal attacks, then one moderator actually locked the thread so ReasonAble could no longer post. Eventually, another moderator unlocked the thread and ReasonAble posted again, being told it was an automatic lock from 99th post. However, you’ll see the moderator who hated it most admit to locking it the first time to shut down ReasonAble, and then locked it a second time.