Citizen Essay on the Meaning of “natural born Citizen”

WHAT HAS THE SUPREME COURT SAID?

by Donald R. Laster, Jr., ©2012

Emmerich de Vattel wrote "The Law of Nations" in 1758

(Jan. 3, 2012) — Minor vs. Happersett is only one case that cites the meaning of “natural born Citizen.” By my count, there have been at least six or seven major cases that have referenced the meaning of “natural born Citizen.”  People who argue that The Law of Nations does not define “natural born Citizen” are ignoring history, Supreme Court rulings and arguing the “dictionary does not define the meaning of words.”

From a document I wrote which was published here and can be accessed here:

The Supreme Court reference the definition of “natural born Citizen” in 1814 in the opinion The Venus, 12 U.S. 253 (1814)1. in which Justice J. Washington of the Supreme Court stated:

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 this case, Justice J. Washington just used the English version of the word “indigenes,” meaning:

One born in a country; a native animal or plant.”2.

Justice J. Washington translated the French text of Monsieur De Vattel’s The Law of Nations, Book 1, Chapter 19, Paragraph Number 212 himself according to the records of the time.

In the Supreme Court decision Shanks v. Dupont, 28 U. S. 242 (1830)3 we find that the Court directly references the The Law of Nations in the following paragraphs and the concepts of that text.

If she was not of age then, under the circumstances of this case, she might well be deemed 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 natural character as a citizen of that country.

It is of importance here that it should be held in view that we are considering political, not moral, obligations. The latter are universal and immutable, but the former must frequently vary according to political circumstances. It is the doctrine of the American court that the issue of the Revolutionary War settled the point, that the American states were free and independent on 4 July, 1776. On that day, Mrs. Shanks was found under allegiance to the State of South Carolina as a natural born Citizen to a community, one of whose fundamental principles was that natural allegiance was unalienable, and this principle was at no time relaxed by that state by any express provision, while it retained the undivided control over the rights and liabilities of its citizens.

In the Supreme Court case of Scott v Sanford, 60 U.S. 393 (1857)4, Justice Daniel in a separate opinion quoted The Law of Nations extensively in his pre-Amendment 14 opinion.

Thus Vattel, in the preliminary chapter to his Treatise on The Law of Nations, says:

Nations or States are bodies politic, societies of men united together for the purpose of promoting their mutual safety and advantage by the joint efforts of their mutual strength. Such a society has her affairs and her interests, she deliberates and takes resolutions in common, thus becoming a moral person who possesses an understanding and a will peculiar to herself.

Again, in the first chapter of the first book of the Treatise just quoted, the same writer, after repeating his definition of a State, proceeds to remark that, from the very design that induces a number of men to form a society which has its common interests and which is to act in concert, it is necessary that there should be established a public authority to order and direct what is to be done by each in relation to the end of the association. This political authority is the sovereignty.

Again, this writer remarks: “The authority of all over each member essentially belongs to the body politic, or the State.”

This same writer also said:

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 society [p477] cannot perpetuate itself otherwise than by the children of the citizens, those children naturally follow the condition of their parents, and succeed to all their rights.

Again:

I say, to be of the country, it is necessary to be born of a person who is a citizen, for if he be born there of a foreigner, it will be only the place of his birth, and not his country. The inhabitants, as distinguished from citizens, are foreigners who are permitted to settle and stay in the country.

Vattel, Book 1, cap. 19, p. 101:

Once again, the term “natural born Citizen” is distinctly referenced.

The Supreme Court in Minor v. Happersett (1874) 21 Wall. 162, 166-1685 Chief Justice Waite wrote:

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. As to this class there have been doubts, but never as to the first.

In United States v Wong Kim Ark 18 S. Ct. 456 (1898) the Supreme Court said:

That in the year 1890 the said Wong Kim Ark departed for China, upon a temporary visit, and with the intention of returning to the United States, and did return thereto on July 26, 1890, on the steampship Gaelic, and was permitted to enter the United States by the collector of customs, upon the sole ground that he was a native-born citizen of the United States.

That, after his said return, the said Wong Kim Ark remained in the United States, claiming to be a citizen thereof, until the year 1894, when he again departed for China upon a temporary visit, and with the intention of returning to the United States, and did return thereto in the month of August, 1895, and applied to the collector of customs to be permitted to land; and that such application was denied upon the sole ground that said Wong Kim Ark was not a citizen of the United States. That said Wong Kim Ark has not, either by himself or his parents acting for him, ever renounced his allegiance to the United States, and that he has never done or committed any act or thing to exclude him therefrom.’

Because of Amendment 14, Wong Kim Ark was a citizen of the United States, even though his parents were not U.S. Citizens.

In Perkins, Secretary of Labor, et al. v Elg. 59 S.Ct. 884 (1939), we find a different scenario. Marie Elizabeth Elg was born to parents who were naturalized citizens who later returned to their country of origin and renounced their US Citizenship. Her mother became a US Citizen due to the naturalization of her husband in accordance with the laws of the time. In this case she was declared to be a “natural born Citizen.”

What has happened over the years is that often the difference between a natural born Citizen, or a person who is born in the country of parents who are citizens, and a native born citizen, or a person who has one citizen parent or is born under the provisions of Amendment 14, has been obscured by the misuse of the terms. The Supreme Court ruling in Elk v Wilkins, 112 U.S. 94 (1884)1 contains a detailed discussion of Amendment 14 citizenship and the operation of the clause “and subject to the jurisdiction thereof.”

And From Count 6 of Purpura v Sebelius (currently at Supreme Court under docket number 11-7275):

1. In 2009 the Senate of the Congress of the United States originated a number of revenue raising bills under the guise of health care reform that was then signed into law by Barack Hussein Obama Jr in violation of Article 2, Section 1, Paragraph 5 of the contract defined by the U.S. Constitution that created the General Government. Specifically the Contract states:

No person except a natural born citizen, or a citizen of the United States, at the time of the adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the office of President; neither shall any person be eligible to that office who shall not have attained to the age of thirty-five years, and been fourteen years a resident within the United States.

2. It is asserted and alleged by Plaintiffs that the Act has never been legally and constitutionally signed into law as required by the contract represented by the U.S. Constitution.

3. It is indisputable and not denied that Mr. Barack Hussein Obama Jr’s father was a citizen of the British Commonwealth. By law, it is undeniable Mr. Barack Hussein Obama Jr is ineligible to hold the office of President of this United States. The framers of the Constitution when they adopted the requirement they excluded dual citizens from qualifying as natural born. Mr. Obama was born of a father who is a British subject/citizen and Obama himself was the same. The term “natural born citizen” is defined, at least since 1758, as “a child born in the country of parents who are citizens.” Only one of Barack Hussein Obama Jr’s parents was a citizen at the time of his birth; in this case his mother who was/is a U.S. Citizen.

Please take Special Judicial Notice: Plaintiffs are not arguing whether Mr. Obama was or was not born in Hawaii, though it is incumbent for this Honorable Court to also address that question. Mr. Obama has expended in excess of one point seven million dollars to have the State of Hawaii seal his records. The question that mandates an answer, why is Mr. Obama above the law, when by law you need a birth certificate to obtain a driver’s licenses, Social Security card and/or passports. They are also used extensively for employment purposes, to obtain benefits or other documents, to assist in determining eligibility for public assistance and other benefits, to enroll children in school and as proof of age eligibility for sports and other age-restricted activities. There are other questions that demand answers; why does Mr. Obama have scores of Social security numbers, and those numbers it has been discovered were issued by the State of Connecticut. If a fraud was perpetrated upon the American people it is a crime. Regardless, based upon the Constitution and the British citizenship of Mr. Obama’s father, he, Mr. Barack Obama Jr, is constitutionally ineligible to hold the office of the President of this United States. Not being eligible to be president and Commander in Chief, Mr. Obama is currently acting without constitutional authority which is causing plaintiffs injury in fact.

4. The Supreme Court of these United States, in “Minor v Happersett” when deciding an issue of citizenship issued a decision on March 29, 1875 specifically held:

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 [p 168] parents. As to this class there have been doubts, but never as to the first. For the purposes of this case it is not necessary to solve these doubts. It is sufficient for everything we have now to consider that all children born of citizen parents within the jurisdiction are themselves citizens. The words “all children” are certainly as comprehensive, when used in this connection, as “all persons,” and if females are included in the last they must be in the first. That they are included in the last is not denied. In fact the whole argument of the plaintiffs proceeds upon that idea.

5. The Supreme Court specifically referenced and acknowledge the meaning of “natural born citizen” as defined by Monsieur De Vattel’s “Law of Nations” Book 1, Chapter 19, Paragraph Number 212, which states:

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 society is supposed to desire this, in consequence of what it owes to its own preservation; and it is presumed, as matter of course, that each citizen, on entering into society, reserves to his children the right of becoming members of it. The country of the fathers is therefore that of the children; and these become true citizens merely by their tacit consent. We shall soon see whether, on their coming which they were born. I say, that, in order to be of the country, 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. In the Supreme Court ruling “PERKINS,” Secretary of Labor, et al. V ELG. ELG v. PERKINS, Secretary of Labor, et al.” which was decided on May 29, 1939 discussed the differences between a natural born citizen and a native born citizen. From the decision

Fifth.-The cross petition of Miss Elg, upon which certiorari was granted in No. 455, is addressed to the part of the decree below which dismissed the bill of complaint as against the Secretary of State. The dismissal was upon the ground that the court would not undertake by mandamus to compel the issuance of a passport or control by means of a declaratory judgment the discretion of the Secretary of State. But the Secretary of State, according to the allegation of the bill of complaint, had refused to issue a passport to Miss Elg ‘solely on the ground that she had lost her native born American citizenship.’ The court below, properly recognizing the existence of an actual controversy with the defendants Aetna Life Ins. Co. v. Haworth, 300 U.S. 227, 57 S.Ct. 461, 81 L.Ed. 617, 108 A.L.R. 1000), declared Miss Elg ‘to be a natural born citizen of the United States’ (99 F.2d 414) and we think that the decree should include the Secretary of State as well as the other defendants. The decree in that sense would in no way interfere with the exercise of the Secretary’s discretion with respect to the issue of a passport but would simply preclude the denial of a passport on the sole ground that Miss Elg had lost her American citizenship.

7. In the Supreme Court ruling of “THE VENUS, 12 U. S. 253 (1814)” the Court referenced the definition of “natural born citizen” and cited Book 1, Chapter 19, Paragraph Number 212 of Vattel’s Law of Nations.

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.

8. Due to the dual citizenship status of the Barack Hussein Obama Jr, Barack Hussein Obama Sr, was a British citizen and gave his son British citizenship, Barack Hussein Obama Jr. does not meet the “natural born citizen” requirement of Article 2, Section 1, Paragraph 5 of the contract represented by the US Constitution nor was he, Barack Obama Jr., alive and a citizen of the United States of America at the time the US Constitution was adopted. Barack Hussein Obama Jr. is a native born or statutory citizen and is therefore ineligible to exercise the authority of the office of President of the United States and cannot sign bills into law.

Sharon Rondeau has operated The Post & Email since April 2010, focusing on the Obama birth certificate investigation and other government corruption news.  She has reported prolifically on constitutional violations within Tennessee’s prison and judicial systems.

One Response to "Citizen Essay on the Meaning of “natural born Citizen”"

  1. Jim Delaney   Tuesday, January 3, 2012 at 12:15 PM

    Good post. But, isn’t it a tad irritating to realize that we’re still stuck in an echo chamber? How liberating it will be when–and IF–the eligibility issue is finally, honestly and objectively discussed in the light of day. But, dare I hold my breath?
    ————–
    Mrs. Rondeau replies: Perhaps you won’t have to hold it too long: http://www.thepostemail.com/2012/01/03/georgia-judge-denies-obamas-motion-to-dismiss-in-ballot-challenge/

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