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DISCUSSION OF ARTICLE II ELIGIBILITY CLAUSE SCRUBBED
by John Albert Dummett, Jr., Presidential Candidate
(Dec. 1, 2011) — Editor’s Note: Recently presidential candidate John Dummett contacted The Post & Email regarding a summary he wrote and submitted to Wikipedia, the online encyclopedia, regarding the term “natural born Citizen” contained in Article II, Section 1, clause 5 of the U. S. Constitution.
Under that heading, Wikipedia cites the publications of the Congressional Research Service, authored by “Legislative Attorney” Jack Maskell, which some writers and legal scholars contend are misleading and defective in their arguments as to the meaning and intent of the term “natural born Citizen.”
Dummett is working with the Liberty Legal Foundation to challenge the eligibility of Barack Hussein Obama, who currently holds the office of President of the United States, by means of a lawsuit filed against the Democrat National Committee on October 26, 2011. Liberty Legal contends that Obama’s place of birth is irrelevant to whether or not he qualifies as a “natural born Citizen,” but rather, that his foreign-national father precludes him from eligibility.
Maskell’s memos and most recent report seem to imply that Obama is eligible by virtue of simply having been born on U.S. soil. However, there remain questions as to whether or not Obama was born anywhere in the United States, as no city or town has claimed him as its own.
Wikipedia reports that the U.S. Supreme Court “has never directly addressed the question of a specific presidential or vice-presidential candidate’s eligibility as a natural-born citizen” and that Obama was born to a British-citizen father.
Some contend that birth in the United States to two citizen parents is required for a person to be considered “natural born.” The New Hampshire Secretary of State’s office has disqualified at least two presidential candidates in the recent past for having been born outside of the country.
Below is Dummett’s addition to the “natural born Citizen” article in Wikipedia which he reported was removed “within 25 minutes”:
The Law of Nations written by Emmerich de Vattel, a Swiss-German philosopher of law. In that book, the following definition of a “natural born citizen” appears, in Book I, Chapter 19, § 212, of the English translation of 1797 (p. 110):
§ 212. Citizens and natives.
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 natural-born citizens are those born in the country of parents who are citizens.
As the society cannot exist and perpetuate itself otherwise than by the children of the citizens, those children naturally follow the condition of their fathers and succeed to all their rights. The French original of 1757 on that same passage read thus; Les naturels ou indigenes sont ceux qui sont nes dans le pays de parents citoyens.
The terms “natives” and “natural born citizens” are obviously English terms used to render the idea conveyed by the French phrase “les naturels, ou indigenes” but both referred to the same category of citizen, one born in the country of parents who were citizens of that country. In the political philosophy of Vattel, the term “naturels” refers to citizens who are such by the Law of Nature that is by the natural circumstances of their birth, which they did not choose. The term “indigenes” is from the Latin indigenes, which like the English, “indigenous” means, “begotten from within” (inde-genes), as in the phrase “the indigenous natives are the peoples who have been born and lived there for generations.” Hence, the meaning of the term “natural born citizen” or “naturels ou indigenes” is the same. Born in the country of two parents who are citizens of that country. Vattel did not invent the notion “natural born citizen”. He was merely applying the Law of Nature to questions of citizenship. In fact, the term first appears in a letter of the future Supreme Court Justice John Jay to George Washington during the Constitutional Convention where the Framers were consulting three copies Vattel’s book to complete their work (according to the testimony of Benjamin Franklin).
===Rulings of The Supreme Court of the United States of America===
Shanks vs. Dupont http://supreme.justia.com/us/28/242/case.html
Minor v. Happersett , 88 U.S. 162 (1875)
United States v. Wong Kim Ark, 169 U.S. 649 (1898)
The Venus, 12 U.S. 8 Cranch 253 253 (1814). The first was decided in A.D. 1814, at the beginning of the republic by men who were intimately associated with the American Revolution. In that year, the following men sat on the Supreme Court. John Marshall, Henry Brockholst Livingston, Bushrod Washington, William
Johnson, Thomas Todd, Gabriel Duvall and Joseph Story. Most of these men participated in the American Revolution, or their fathers did. Joseph Story’s father took part in the original Boston Tea Party. Thomas Todd served six months in the army against the British and participated in five Constitutional Conventions from 1784-1792. During the Revolutionary War Henry Brockholst Livingston was a Lieutenant Colonel in the New York Line and an aide-de-camp to General Benedict
Arnold before the latter is defection to the British. William Johnson’s father, mother and elder brother were revolutionaries who served as political leader, rebel or nurse assistant to the line troops. John Marshall was First Lieutenant of the Culpeper Minutemen of Virginia and then Lieutenant in the Eleventh Virginian Continental Regiment and a friend of General George Washington and debated for ratification of the U.S. Constitution by the Virginian General Assembly. Bushrod
Washington was George Washington’s nephew and heir. Being witnesses and heirs of the Revolution they understood what the Framers of the Constitution had intended.
The Venus case regarded the question whether the cargo of a merchantman named the Venus, belonging to an American citizen and being shipped from British territory to America during the War of 1812 could be seized and taken as a prize by an American privateer. However, what the case said about citizenship is what matters here.
====What the Venus Case Says on Citizenship====
In the Venus Case, Justice Livingston who wrote the unanimous decision quoted the entire §212nd paragraph from the French edition using his own English. On p. 12 of the ruling,Vattel who, though not very full to this point is more explicit and more satisfactory 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. “The inhabitants” as distinguished from citizens are strangers who are permitted to settle and stay in the country. Bound
by their residence to the society they are subject to the laws of the state while they reside there and they are obliged to defend it.
Shanks v. Dupont, 28 U.S. 3 Pet. 242 242 (1830)
In 16 years later the Supreme Court heard the case regarding the dispute over the inheritance received by two daughters of an American colonist from South Carolina, one of whom went to England and remained a British subject the other of whom remained in South Carolina and became an American citizen. At the beginning of the case Justice Story, who gave the ruling does not cite Vattel per se, but cites the principle of citizenship enshrined in his definition of a “natural
born citizen”. Ann Scott was born in South Carolina before the American revolution and her father adhered to the American cause and remained and was at his death a citizen of South Carolina. There is no dispute that his daughter Ann, at the time of the Revolution and afterwards, remained in South Carolina until December 1782. Whether she was of age during this time does not appear. If she was then her birth and residence might be deemed to constitute her by election a
citizen of South Carolina. If she was not of age then she might well be deemed under the circumstances of this case to hold the citizenship of her father for children born in a country continuing while under age in the family of the father partake of his national character as a citizen of that country. Her citizenship then, being prima facie established, and indeed this is admitted in the pleadings, has it ever been lost or was it lost before the death of her father so that the estate in question was upon the descent cast incapable of vesting in her? Upon the facts stated it appears to us that it was not lost and that she was capable of taking it at the time of the descent cast.
Minor v. Happersett , 88 U.S. 162 (1875)
This case concerned Mrs. Happersett an original suffragette who in virtue of the 14th Amendment attempted to register to vote in the State of Missouri and was refused because she was not a man. The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court in that year wrote the majority opinion in which he stated, “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 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.
United States v. Wong Kim Ark, 169 U.S. 649 (1898)
In this case, Wong Kim Ark the son of two resident Chinese aliens claimed U.S. Citizenship and was vindicated by the court on the basis of the 14th Amendment. In this case, the Justice Gray gave the opinion of the court. On p. 168-9 of the record, He cites approvingly the decision in Minor vs. Happersett. 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. Based on the 14th Amendment however, the majority opinion coined a new definition for “native citizen” as anyone who was born in the U.S.A. under the jurisdiction of the United States. The Court gave a novel interpretation to jurisdiction and thus extended citizenship to all born in the country (excepting those born of ambassadors and foreign armies etc.), but it did not extend the meaning of the term “natural born citizen”. To define a term is to indicate the category or class of things, which it signifies. In this sense, the Supreme Court of the United States has never applied the term “natural born citizen” to any other category than “those born in the country of parents who are citizens thereof”. Hence, every U.S. Citizen must accept this definition or categorical designation, and fulfill his constitutional duties accordingly. No member of Congress, no judge of the Federal Judiciary, no elected or appointed official in Federal or State government has the right to use any other definition and if he does, he is acting unlawfully because it is unconstitutional.
About Emer de Vattel
The law of Nations – Vattel
Dummett received the following response after his submission was removed:
Hi. The Law of Nations and Minor v. Happersett have been discussed at length in connection with the subject of natural-born citizenship, and the consensus is that these materials are not sufficiently relevant to give them significant treatment in this article. Please carefully read the article’s talk page before trying to add this material back into the article.
Dummett told The Post & Email, “The above posting was rejected in its entirety. Therefore, if Minor vs. Happersett was the problem the rest could have been included in the entry.”