Of Presidential Eligibility, Doubling Down and Linguistic Torts, Part 2

“IT IS NECESSARY THAT A PERSON BE BORN OF A FATHER WHO IS A CITIZEN…”

by Joseph DeMaio, ©2012

John Jay became the first U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice. In 1787, he wrote a letter to Gen. George Washington recommending that no one except a "natural born Citizen" be eligible for the presidency

(Feb. 22, 2012) — [Editor’s Note:  The following is a continuation of Mr. DeMaio’s essay published at The Post & Email on February 20, 2012 discussing the third CRS memo produced by the Congressional Research Service on November 14, 2011 which attempts to “prove” that Barack Hussein Obama is eligible for the presidency based solely on his alleged birth in Hawaii and disregarding his non-U.S.-citizen father.  Here, DeMaio provides an in-depth analysis of Emmerich de Vattel’s The Law of Nations and its influence on the Founders in regard to their inclusion of the “natural born Citizen” clause in Article II, Section 1, clause 5 of the U.S. Constitution.]

DeMaio refers to the November 14, 2011 CRS memo as the “CRSR.”

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De Vattel’s The Law of Nations, § 212

Residing at the core of the debate is the proper interpretation of § 212 of Emmerich de Vattel’s tome The Law of Nations.  First published in 1758 in French (Page 190  – page 191, and first translated into English in 1760, that section states (in English) as follows:

§ 212. Of the 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 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 to the years of discretion, they may renounce their right, and what they owe to the society in 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.” (Emphasis added).

The CRSR dismisses in toto even the potential that this provision of de Vattel’s tome had anything to do at all with the Founders’ intent in placing into the Constitution the “natural born Citizen” eligibility requirement.  The report makes much ado over the fact that, at the time of the Constitutional Convention in 1787, there was, purportedly, no French word or phrase equating with “natural born Citizen” and that therefore, the Founders, in using the term, must have meant to adopt the analogous term “natural born subject” from  the English “common law.”  The CRSR argues that the French terms “Les naturels ou indegenes” as appearing in de Vattel’s original work in French could not, at least in 1787, be accurately translated as the equivalent of “natural born Citizen.”  The problem with the CRSR analysis, however, is that it ignores the words following that phrase, and whether evaluated in French or in English.

Specifically, and without regard to what the proper translation of “naturels” or “indigenes” may be, de Vattel explains that whatever meaning one assigns to those terms, collectively they mean “… sont ceux qui sont nés dans le pays, de parens citoyens….” or, in English: “are those who are born in the country, of citizen parents.”  Stated otherwise, whether denominated a “naturel,” an “indigene,” a “natural born Citizen” or a parrot, the entity at issue – in order to match its antecedent – needed to be born in the country to parents who also were citizens.  Disputable nomenclature and labels aside, that concept is the crux of § 212, so that, whether one is called “natural born,” “indigenous” or some other term, in order to qualify as such, one needed to be born in the country where the parents were also, at the time of birth, citizens.

In addition, the CRSR ignores the seventh and final sentence of § 212, which reads in French thusly: “Je dis que pour être d’un pays, il faut être né d’un pere citoyen; car si vous y êtes né d’un étranger, ce pays sera seulement le lieu de votre naissance, sans être votre patrie.”  Translation: “I say that in order to be of the country, it is necessary to be born of a citizen father; for if [you] are born there of a foreigner, it will be only the place of your birth, without being your country.”

Later English translations have altered the colloquial “second person” language of the original (i.e., “you” and “your”) to “third person” generic (i.e., “one,” “he” and “his”), but there is no alteration of the substantive import of the seventh and final sentence: if a person is born in a country to a father who is in that country as a foreigner, and not as a citizen, then the country is only the place of the person’s birth and cannot properly be deemed to be the person’s country, since the person’s country, wherever that may be, is that of the foreign father, whether the father be Peruvian, Japanese… or Kenyan.

If § 212 were a statute (and concededly, it is not), in construing and determining the underlying intent, it would be subjected to certain rules of interpretive construction.  One such rule requires that the “statute” be read as a whole, rather than as a collection of unrelated, disassociated words, in order to glean the overall intent of the drafters.  If that principle were to be applied here – an action seemingly both “foreign” as well as “alien” to the Congressional Research Service – there could be little question that, quite apart from nuances in the definitions and/or translations of such of the terms “naturels,” “indigenes” “citoyen” and “natural born citizen,” the core content and intent to be gleaned from de Vattel in § 212 was to convey the principle that only if a person’s father were a citizen of the nation where the person was born at the time of birth could that person be deemed to be “of” that country.  Otherwise, “…ce pays sera seulement le lieu de votre naissance, sans être votre patrie: the country will be only the place of your birth, not your country.”

Moreover, while the CRSR seeks to make the case that England’s “common law,” as articulated by Sir William Blackstone, must be the prime, if not exclusive, foundation for examination of the meaning and intent of the Founders and to the exclusion of de Vattel, any objective examination of the entire backdrop of circumstances extant when the Constitution was being drafted must allow for the operation of de Vattel’s teachings.

In this regard, the CRSR’s constant drumbeat that only the “common law” in existence at the time was relied upon by the Founders is rebutted by the very words of one of the Founders, George Mason: “We have it in our power to secure our liberties and happiness on the most unshaken, firm, and permanent basis. We can establish what government we please. But by that paper we are consolidating the United States into one great government, and trusting to constructive security. You will find no such thing in the English government. The common law of England is not the common law of these states.” (Emphasis added).  This quote comes from the constitutional ratification debates of June 19, 1788 in Virginia.

Since George Mason was one of Virginia’s delegates to the Philadelphia Constitutional Convention and is generally recognized, along with James Madison, as being one of the prime forces behind the Bill of Rights, he is also generally regarded as properly among those known as the “Founding Fathers.”  His comments in the Virginia debates, therefore, can hardly be ignored.  And yet, on this point, the CRSR says nothing.  However, as later discussed, assuming, for the sake of argument, that certain elements of the “common law” of England did, in fact, have influence on the Founders, it is most curious that the CRSR completely ignores Blackstone’s discussion of another aspect of the “common law” establishing the Best Evidence Rule.  More on that issue, post.

Finally, in dismissing de Vattel’s influence on the Founders, the CRSR frequently cites to a 1921 Yale Law Journal article, “Dual Nationality and Election,” 30 Yale Law Journal 535 (April, 1921), authored by the then-Assistant Solicitor of the U.S. Department of State, Richard W. Flournoy, Jr.  The CRSR relies heavily upon the first of the two-part article for its discussions of the differences and interrelationships between the doctrines of “jus soli” (law of the soil) and “jus sanguinis” (law of bloodline).  Mr. Flournoy also discusses, much to the pleasure of the CRSR, the circumstance that much (if not the entirety) of the “common law” of England formed the basis for principles of American law.  To this extent, the CRSR finds tangential support in the first part of Mr. Flournoy’s article.  However, oddly, the CRSR avoids any reference at all to the second part of the article, 30 Yale Law Journal 693 (May, 1921).

Specifically, at the end of Part 1, Mr. Flournoy states: “(To be concluded in May).”  While there are many additional matters discussed in the concluding “Part 2” of the article (30 Yale Law Journal 693, “Dual Nationality and Election,” May, 1921), perhaps one of the reasons the CRSR does not venture into that part of the article is because of its favorable discussion of the work of one… Emmerich de Vattel in his tome, The Law of Nations.

In particular, Mr. Flournoy addresses the issue of dual citizenship and the problems it creates and states (30 Yale Law Journal at 706): “The solution of the problem of dual nationality advocated by a number of the leading authorities on international law is simply the adoption by all countries of a single uniform rule for determining native citizenship, such rule to be based upon the principle of jus sanguinis. Vattel favored this principle, with a very important qualification. ‘By the law of nature,’ he declared [fn. 91], ‘children follow the condition of their fathers, and enter into all their rights; 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 not has 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.’”  (Emphasis added).

The footnote referenced in the Flournoy quote above (fn. 91) is to § 215 of de Vattel’s Law of Nations, which in turn articulates the same principle of § 212 of that work, that is, that the “children follow the condition of the father.”  Since elsewhere, the CRSR consistently tries to marginalize de Vattel’s work as being akin to a “philosophical treatise” rather than a serious legal work and characterizes persons who read de Vattel as “enthusiasts,” as if they were fans of a mystic, it is understandable that the CRSR would not want readers to know that one of the primary sources upon which it relies – Mr. Flournoy’s article – references and cites de Vattel favorably with regard to resolving difficult questions involving citizenship and how nations deal with these issues.

Interestingly, in the foregoing quote of de Vattel set out in the second installment of the Flournoy article (30 Yale Law Journal at 706), the 1833 Chitty translation of § 215 of de Vattel’s work, and taken from the French, is replicated.  But there appears in the Chitty translation of that quote an additional reference missing from the Flournoy quote.  The missing language takes the form of a parenthetical reference after the language “children follow the condition of their fathers….”  The reference is specifically to § 212 of de Vattel’s prior explanation of the importance of parental citizenship in distinguishing between a child born of such citizen parents – the “natural born citizen” – and a child born of alien parents, which children are “native born citizens.”

The important point to remember, however, and one ignored in the CRSR, is that Mr. Flournoy in his article recognizes the efficacy of de Vattel’s teachings, unlike the approach taken by the CRSR, i.e., to dismiss and trivialize de Vattel’s work as having no bearing or relevance to the proper analysis of the question presented. But unless one reads beyond the first part of Mr. Flournoy’s article and examines the second part, one would be unaware that Mr. Flournoy speaks well of de Vattel.  One might even call him a de Vattel “enthusiast” on the points noted.

Thus, § 212 of de Vattel’s Law of Nations cannot properly be dismissed as immaterial to the analysis.  In this regard, the CRSR is plainly wrong.

John Jay’s Letter to George Washington

Both sides on this debate seem to agree that the idea of including within the newly-drafted Constitution an eligibility standard for the highest officer, the president, originated in a letter sent by one of the Founders, John Jay, to General George Washington on July 25, 1787.  A model of brevity, the entirety of the letter states: “Permit me to hint, whether it would not be wise & seasonable to provide a strong check to the admission of Foreigners into the administration of our national Government; and to declare expressly that the Command in chief of the [A]merican army shall not be given to, nor devolve on, any but a natural born Citizen.”  See CRSR at 6, n. 31.  In a response letter to Jay from Washington dated September 2, 1787, the “hint” is acknowledged.  See CRSR at 6, n. 32.

Against this historical factual backdrop, it seems reasonable to assume that if the concern of the Founders was to facilitate and foster as much as possible, if not guarantee, unquestioned and undivided allegiance to the new nation and to erect as effective a practical barrier to the entry into the presidency of foreigners as possible, then their preference logically would be for a higher, rather than a lower, standard of executive eligibility.  Stated otherwise, and labels aside, it would make sense that the higher standard articulated by de Vattel – requiring parental United States citizenship for persons born here to claim status as a “natural born citizen” – rather than the lower standard of being merely a “native born citizen” regardless of the person’s parental citizenship, would have been the preference of the Founders.

Moreover, since the debates and discussions during the Constitutional Convention produced no verbatim transcripts, but were recorded largely only through “notes” taken by many of the participants, it is not altogether beyond the realm of possibility that the concepts of parental citizenship as being central to the determination of who would, and who would not, be properly deemed to be a natural born citizen, would be foremost in the Founders’ minds, original French or contemporaneous English translations of de Vattel’s work notwithstanding.

For example, the CRSR makes specific note that English translations of de Vattel’s Law of Nations were not even available to the Founders at the time of the drafting of the Constitution, so the translation of the French “naturels ou indigenes” into “natural born Citizen”  “… could not possibly have influenced the framing of the Constitution in 1787.”  See CRSR at 22.  This bold observation ignores three salient facts.

First, it is well known that many of the Founders were fluent in French and many of them referred to and used de Vattel’s work in the tasks associated with the drafting of the Constitution.  The dismissive assumption of the CRSR that none of the Founders could possibly have understood either the French words used by de Vattel or, more importantly, the concept embodied in § 212 that in order for a person to be “of” the country, the person must be born as well to parents “of” the country and that, at minimum, the person’s father must be “of” the country, is lamentable.  Yet the palpable disdain for de Vattel in the CRSR is seemingly “par for the course” when the Congressional Research Service is involved.

Second, even the U.S. Supreme Court has recognized that de Vattel’s tome was of critical influence on the Founding Fathers, stating, for example, that “[t]he international jurist most widely cited in the first 50 years after the Revolution was Emmerich de Vattel. 1 J. Kent, Commentaries on American Law 18 (1826). In 1775, Benjamin Franklin acknowledged receipt of three copies of a new edition, in French, of Vattel’s Law of Nations and remarked that the book ‘has been continually in the hands of the members of our Congress now sitting….2 F. Wharton, United States Revolutionary Diplomatic Correspondence 64 (1889)…” (Emphasis added).  See U.S. Steel Corp. v. Multistate Tax Commission, 434 U.S. 452, 462, n. 12 (1978).

Third, Madison’s notes document that various delegates at the Constitutional Convention in 1787, in order to express their positions on certain matters and reference what others had written on the points, cited many other authorities, including de Vattel. If, as the CRSR seeks to show, the delegates could not possibly have known what de Vattel meant by the French terms “naturels” or “indigenes” in § 212, or what the underlying “concept” of that section was,  how is it that they could have understood other de Vattel passages read aloud to them during the debates?  In this regard, the CRSR may be seen as favoring “selective amnesia.”

Accordingly, since de Vattel, rather than Blackstone, seems to have been the preferred “go to” authority in matters of this nature between 1776 and 1826 – the “50 years after the Revolution” above noted – the notion peddled by the CRSR that de Vattel’s teachings should be marginalized and disregarded is, with respect, nonsense.  Moreover, the disingenuous attempt by the CRSR to dismiss de Vattel’s work, including his articulation of the definition of “natural born citizen” in § 212, as being a source which, purportedly, “could not possibly have influenced the framing of the Constitution in 1787” is, at minimum, misleading.  If the Supreme Court’s reference to de Vattel’s important work and influence on the Founders, via Kent’s Commentaries on American Law, is to be ignored, that action should come in a Supreme Court decision, not a CRS “product.”

Returning, therefore, to the Founders’ presumed concerns over the standards of eligibility to be engrafted into their new Constitution following John Jay’s letter to Washington, it has been observed that the addition of the higher eligibility requirement, i.e., that the president would need to be a “natural born citizen,” represented “… a sharp departure from the Committee of Detail’s recommendation, made on August 22, [1787; see Madison’s Notes, August 22, 1787:], that the president merely be ‘a citizen of the United States.’  See Constitutional Qualifications to be President,” Michael Nelson, Presidential Studies Quarterly  Vol. 17, No. 2, at 396 (1987).

It must be noted as well that, from Madison’s August 22, 1787 Notes on the Debates in the Federal Convention of 1787, the Committee of Detail had also recommended that the period of residency for the president would be set at twenty-one years, a period of time fully one-third again as long as the fourteen-year residency requirement finally inserted into the Constitution.  At that time, the term “citizen of the United States” had the same meaning as that which would later come to be known as the “native born citizen” or merely a “citizen” under the words of the 14th Amendment.

Against this backdrop, plainly, the Founders had in mind something more than being a mere “citizen” regarding presidential eligibility.  Indeed, perceiving the need for a so-called “grandfather clause” to ensure that persons alive at the adoption of the Constitution in 1787 would not be automatically ineligible to the office (George Washington, for example, being a “natural born subject” of England), the Founders allowed for the temporary “grandfathering” standard of being merely “a citizen of the United States” until someone would emerge in the future meeting the higher “natural born Citizen” eligibility standard, thus supplanting the lower, “citizen” or “native born citizen” standard later recognized under the 14th Amendment.  History shows that such a person, born in the United States to citizen parents after 1787, was Martin Van Buren, generally recognized as the first “natural born Citizen” president.

Based on these facts, originating with Jay’s letter to Washington and the sentiment embodied in it, the most reasonable conclusion to be drawn is that the Founders may have seen a lowering of the residency standard to be required for presidential eligibility as being the “trade-off” for the higher standard of citizenship eligibility in terms of a citizen who also had parents who themselves were citizens.  It is the concept – a person whose parents are also citizens, rather than the label “natural born Citizen” attached to the concept – which might well have motivated them.  Nothing in the various notes of scriveners at the Constitutional Convention, including the detailed notes of James Madison, would seem to contradict such a possibility.

Clearly, the Founders knew that they wanted, at minimum, a president who would also be a citizen.  Otherwise, unacceptable impediments to clear and undivided allegiance to the new nation would be invited.  By addressing the allegiance issue through adopting as a “sharp departure” from a lower eligibility standard for one who was merely a “citizen” the higher standard of a citizen whose parents were also citizens, their objectives would otherwise be met, allowing them to consider lowering the criterion for residency from 21 years to but two-thirds of that, or 14 years.

Such an interpretation would no doubt be rejected as untenable by those supporting the CRSR’s “anyone-who-is-born-here-can-be-president” approach.  The CRSR’s viewpoint is so subjectively “contemporary” and “politically correct” as well as compatible with a “living, breathing Constitution,” it naturally poses the inferential question: “How could anyone, other than a ‘birther’, doubt the Founders’ intent on the point?” Nonetheless, the interpretation suggested above, recognizing the influence of § 212 of de Vattel’s Law of Nations, is one which is not only possible against the backdrop of Jay’s letter to Washington, it makes empirical sense.

Moreover, while it may be argued that status as a natural born citizen from de Vattel’s perspective – physically born in the geographic limits of the United States to parents who at the time of birth are themselves U.S. citizens – cannot be deemed an infallible proxy for allegiance and fidelity to the nation, is it really logical to speculate – and worse, market as established fact – that the Founding Fathers, meeting in secret and writing on a completely clean slate the template for the future governance and survival of the United States, would in 1787, favor and select a lower standard for presidential eligibility when a known, higher standard was available to them?

To reiterate, the Supreme Court, through reference to Kent’s Commentaries on American Law, has recognized de Vattel as being “… the international jurist most widely cited in the first 50 years after the Revolution.” (Emphasis added).  It would thus appear that (1) James Kent and the U.S. Supreme Court deem de Vattel to be a “jurist” of high repute as opposed to a mere “philosopher” with a crowd of “enthusiasts” in tow, as suggested in the CRSR and (2) since the adoption of the Constitution took place in 1787, a mere 11 years after the “Revolution” and well within the “first 50 years after the Revolution,” it seems safe to assume that de Vattel, his teachings and the concepts emanating from those teachings may have been far more prevalent at the Philadelphia Constitutional Convention in 1787 than the CRSR would wish one to believe. 

And besides, James Kent’s work addresses American law; William Blackstone’s word addresses English common law.  Given that a Revolutionary War had been fought by the Americans against the British, which exposition would appear more likely to have been favored by the Founders in 1787?

 

20 Responses to "Of Presidential Eligibility, Doubling Down and Linguistic Torts, Part 2"

  1. imrubberyoureglue   Sunday, February 26, 2012 at 3:51 PM

    Must read all 8 explosive parts… http://obamasgarden.wordpress.com/2012/02/18/answers/

  2. winnybar   Saturday, February 25, 2012 at 8:35 PM

    Better to use the KISS method: There is not a single legal document that has been vetted that proves Obama.Sr. was Obama’s father. By the way Obama,Sr. spelled his name B-a-r-r-a-c-k according to a Kenyan Friend. The corollary is that there is not a single legitimate legal document that Stanley Ann Dunham was Obama’s mother.

  3. RSA9999   Friday, February 24, 2012 at 3:07 PM

    What is amazing to me is that according to the status quo understanding, there is NO definition of natural born citizen. Birthers have challenged the meaning and have been fobbed off as lunatics by the opposing side. At that point in time and especially since the presidency is at stake, you would think that everything would come to a screeching halt until the question was settled. After all, even at the ball game, they stop the game long enough to establish whether a goal was scored. Instead, nothing is done and the situation continues according to the “logic” of the other side. That simply means that the other side enforced their will on the birthers by merely deriding their opposing opinion. Sounds like bully tactics to me. By ignoring and demeaning the birthers, they have loudly proclaimed that they are right and challenged the rest of us to “vote him out”. No-one should have progressed until someone was right!!

    I am foreign born and asked my American citizen child a simple question: “If you became president, would you be able to wage war against my country where your and my relatives reside?” The answer was “No. I could wage war against another country I have no allegiance to, but not yours”. This spoke volumes to me. My child is not allowed to have dual citizenship with my country under their laws, so is not bound nor has any allegiance to my country, yet waging war would not be possible without first warning our family of the impending doom. That I believe would be giving aid and comfort to the enemy. My grandchild will have no such problem. Even though Marco Rubio’s parents might have been stripped of their citizenship, his allegiance through his parents and possible friends and family would be an achilles heel to his presidency in the event of impending war against Cuba. Neither he nor my child would hesitate to invade any other country in the world only because they are foreigners to those countries. How would Obama react if congress decided that a war was justified against Kenya or Indonesia? His reaction would be vastly different to the way he treated Libya. When you are deeply inside the situation, you begin to realize what the founders of the country were thinking and what the birthers are thinking today with this imposter as their “leader”.

    However if I had my sights on taking over the American government, I would be delighted that my child has now been given a precedent to become the leader of the free world. Imagine how I could shape the future of my original country since I only have one foot on this soil!

    Just my comment from a resident alien point of view (non-citizen).

  4. Kevin J Lankford   Friday, February 24, 2012 at 8:01 AM

    I agree on all your points except that in my opinion you seem willing to make a dangerous
    and arbitrary exception to the rule of law for rubio.

  5. Rule of Law   Thursday, February 23, 2012 at 11:36 PM

    I disagree. The condition of natural born citizen is engaged at birth. The definition that makes the most sense in the context of the times has to do with the condition of the parents’ citizenship status at the time of birth. Quite simply, both of Mr.Rubio’s parents were NOT US citizens even though a foreign government may have stripped them of their native citizenship at the time. They were granted legal residency and application for citizenship, but at the time of Mr. Rubio’s birth they were not US citizens, they were in the truest case denizens allowed to reside in this country by the tolerance of the national government. It doesn’t matter if they had their citizenship stripped from them by their government at the time, they were aliens. It defies logic to say that Mr. Rubio and his family themselves gave up that distinction because in this country, no one can divest a person of their citizenship including the national government, unless they themselves do it formally. Did Mr. Rubio’s father at any time formally revoke his citizenship with Cuba prior to Mr. Rubio’s birth? Or was that action totally on the part of the Cuban regime? This is a grey area, I agree. Simply because it is a grey area, does not guarantee Mr. Rubio NBC.

  6. BobSR   Thursday, February 23, 2012 at 9:51 PM

    I like your post A pen, but what does LEX REX mean?

  7. NUTN2SAY   Thursday, February 23, 2012 at 9:49 PM

    Can you please give the citation of the Congressional record for which you speak of.

  8. NUTN2SAY   Thursday, February 23, 2012 at 9:47 PM

    Can you please provide citations to your claims so as others can followup for review.

  9. A pen   Thursday, February 23, 2012 at 6:32 PM

    With all the focus on a single phrase the intent of the law is lost. The intent of preventing certain persons from entering that post was a protection from foreign intrigue or in other words an idea that the constitution is easily overcome by securing that post. Is it unreasonable to suggest there is such a person in that post and he was ushered in by secrecy, deception and violations of the public trust that continues unabated? The entire case hinges on one tiny fact, a fraud has been committed in violating the intent of the law when many attempts to alter it by any other means failed, miserably. LEX REX requires the intent be upheld first while the exact method be defined according to the language which is parsed though evaluation by our Supreme Court when a controversy arises. The rules defining the court’s powers are constitutional however it has itself crafted a mechanism which aids the willful violation of the supreme law by allowing lower courts and clerks the power to disenfranchise the citizen through rules of standing. Naturally the high court, once faced with a case of treason it has enabled, will refuse to intervene and implicate itself. That thin skin the court has is damning the nation to a lesson in human nature that should never have to be suffered. The government run education system’s failure is being exposed by this schooling through hard knocks. It’s pathetic that we are arguing meanings of words when the intent is much easier to define.

  10. Rowena   Thursday, February 23, 2012 at 1:54 PM

    Congress has the authority to naturalize citizens, they do not have the authority to make natural born citizens.

    Daniel Webster wrote Vattel’s Law of Nations is law in the US. The Obots like to claim Vattel is limited to International Law but this is false. There’s 4 parts or books in the Law of Nations. Part 4 is war, 3 is establishing Embassies, 3 is nation to nation and 1 is forming a country and a constitution.

    Reviewing the Congressional Record the Founders were desperate to get their hands on Vattel, your can read letters to various booksellers requesting Vattel.

    The British ship the Amazon was captured by the colonists, part of its cargo was destined for British soldiers, in the cargo were copies of Vattel’s Law of Nations. The Founders ordered they be sent to them in Convention. This is in the Congressional record.

    Constitutional Law Professor Gilmore of the U. of Virginia wrote in his Lecture on Vattels Law of Nations, chapter xix, section 212, page 101 is used in the Constitution. The pamphlet is available online.

  11. Rowena   Thursday, February 23, 2012 at 1:36 PM

    The Founders translated “naturels” to “natural born”; it is in the Congressional record.

    Alexander Porter Morse in his Treatise on Citizenship translated “naturels” or “indigenes” to “natural born.” He referenced Vattel’s Droit des Gens, chapter xix, sect 212. The translation is located on the preface page xi. See Footnote 4 where he cites Vattel.

  12. NUTN2SAY   Thursday, February 23, 2012 at 1:24 PM

    I like to think of it in another way that I hope others will agree and talk about more often in the future because I believe it is true and is beneficial to the cause.

    It has been said that the Founding Fathers were concerned about foreign influence on American Presidents. So how does a new nation go about ensuring that presidents are free of foreign influence? By ensuring that the mother and father of that president are too U.S. citizens. By doing so the Founding Fathers by making only Natural Born Citizens has being the only citizens eligible to ever be a U.S. president they were ensuring that presidents were ……….ALL AMERICAN PRESIDENTS! To be eligible for the Office of the President, a person must be a NATURAL BORN CITIZEN, or in other words… an ALL AMERICAN CITIZEN, in order to be an ALL AMERICAN PRESIDENT!

    And we all know that Obama is not “ALL AMERICAN”!

  13. paraleaglenm   Thursday, February 23, 2012 at 12:20 PM

    Marco Rubio’s Article II Eligibility

    ‘Native’ does not automatically devolve citizenship. The 14th Amendment guarantees citizenship and legal rights to ‘native-born’ children of stateless slaves. The 1790 Uniform Naturalization Act conferred status ‘as natural born citizens’ to foreign-born children born of U.S. citizens, as did SR511 to Sen. John McCain. However, children of aliens had birthright to that alien nationality.

    As for Blackstone and English common law, Blackstone also mentions the right of English subjects to bear ‘natural born subjects’ if the children are born ‘outside the King’s dominion’ going back as far as 1350 and citing the 1722 British Nationality Act.

    English common law had force of precedent in the early post-Revolutionary War states, but English law could not supersede legislated act and only had force of statute if specifically listed in a state’s supreme court. (Citations omitted.)

    I have written 17 blogs on Natural Born Citizenship, my research starting 10/2008 arguing with Phil Berg and first posting a 6000-word analysis of Obama’s eligibility 2/2009.

    My goal, however, was to distill the term of art Natural Born Citizen to its most essential elements or, more analagous, a compression of the law and history into a diamond-like, crystaline clarity.

    This I did by rephrasing Vattel’s and Minor’s analysis to, ‘A child born without Alienage.’

    Flournoy’s ‘dual nationality’ is flawed from the outset, as any claim a child of mixed heritage (what some called ‘hybrid’ citizens) to natural born citizenship is impossible. In addition, the feudal concept of jus soli is only suited to nations who recognize NO rights to its subjects; only those of the Lord, instead of the jus sanguin rights to the free citizen, i.e., the father as the foundational unit of a nation, not the King.

    The misinterpretation of the 14th Amendment and/or the supreme court creation of a jus soli citizen outside the original intent of the 14th Amendment (Wong Kim Ark) created a conflict of law, invalidating the holding.

    Let’s take Marco Rubio’s eligibility. His father was a ‘Gusano,’ an anti-communist who fled Cuba seeking U.S. asylum under the C.R.A. (1952 INA 208, 253 if memory serves). Cuba automatically revoked Rubio’s father of Cuban citizenship (and right to life) while his successful asylym in the U.S. guaranteed him, and his children, legal residency and application for citizenship.

    Therefore, Marco Rubio was born to a stateless father who was approved for citizenship and thus a true 14th Amendment U.S. citizen at birth . . . and here is the key . . . WITHOUT ALIEN NATIONALITY . . . Therefore, while not satisfying Vattel or Minor per se, Marco Rubio’s citizenship does fit John Jay’s admonition to George Washington, “to provide a strong check to the admission of Foreigners into the administration of our national Government.”

    Marco Rubio was born without Alienage, and is therefore Article II eligible.

  14. Rule of Law   Thursday, February 23, 2012 at 10:25 AM

    Absolutely logical and to the point. However we are dealing with people who have no use for logic. I had an internet conversation with an ardent supporter of the usurper and she went on and on about the recent court cases and then I told her that we could talk about Blackstone’s commentaries and what was actually written on the topic of Natural born subject off line. She retorted that Blackstone’s commentaries didn’t apply without ever acknowledging that Blackstone was used as the foundation to equate natural born subject with natural born citizen.

    These people never met a fact that they could not twist or cherry pick to feed their delusions. That is why we are in for a fight to preserve our Republic. The people who support the Gimmick are not entirely sane.

  15. Rule of Law   Thursday, February 23, 2012 at 10:19 AM

    They are used interchangably. A Natural born citizen is a native citizen with US citizen parents. Natural born is a subset of native, in the same way illegal alien is a subset of immigrant. The distinctions are blurred for the same reason.

    You also have to consider that at the time the ‘natives’ were likely the children of natives, because the modes of transportation were so slow and cumbersome. Once you were in the New country it was unlikely you were going anywhere else. In the 18th century you could get away with using native and natural born to mean the same kind of person.

    In modern context and with the speed of travel the distinction grows ever wider. You can be born in one country, live your formative years in another, come home to your native land to take advantage of their higher level education resources, travel back to the country that you have given your allegiance to and work against the country of your birth and still be a ‘native’ citizen.

    Anwar Al-Awlaki was a leader in the Taliban and Al-queda. He was also a native born American citizen and could have run for President under the rulings of Indiana and Georgia.

    That is what we are fighting against.

  16. Allen   Thursday, February 23, 2012 at 9:48 AM

    On the May 20, 2010 Diane Sawyer World News Show, there was a report regarding the “Law Of Nations” and how George Washington borrowed what appears to be an English version from a NY library on Oct 5, 1789 and never returned it.

    The segment containing the Law of Nations report (which starts at 1:42 into the segment), after a few other unrelated reports (the first one is about cycling), can be viewed at

    http://abcnews.go.com/WNT/video/admissions-denials-cycling-world-10705935?tab=9482930&section=1206853&playlist=10706039

    The following is a quote of Diane Sawyer from the show. “And remember learning about Abraham Lincoln, how honest Abe walked miles to return a book, well it turns out George Washington not so much, on Oct 5, 1789, 221 years ago, he borrowed the ‘Law Of Nations’ from a New York library and never returned it. A new inventory turns up a signout sheet from the President, that says ‘the President’. And the overdue fee about $300,000 dollars. The library agreed however to let his estate donate a different valuable book.”

  17. Stephen T   Thursday, February 23, 2012 at 9:37 AM

    Employ simple logic:

    Article 2 Section 1 of the Constitution reads: 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.

    If two citizen parents were not required for ‘Natural Born Citizen’ status then there is no possible logical reason for the adoption clause in Article 2 Section 1. All the founders were charter citizens with non-citizen parents because the country did not exist when their parents gave birth to them. And there were many citizens at that time who were born on U.S. soil but not to citizen parents for the same obvious reason. The only distinguishable difference between the “citizens at the time” and a “natural born citizen” is the citizenship of the parents at the time of birth. The founders knew it would take a generation to produce the first ‘Natural Born Citizen’ born on U.S. soil from parents who were citizens to produce a candidate free from any direct foreign birthright allegiances. The founders needed to include the charter citizens in order to have Presidential candidates (themselves) until a ‘Natural Born Citizen’ could be available for candidacy. At the time of the adoption there were only two groups of charter citizens available for the candidate pool…native born citizens (born on U.S. soil to non-citizen parents) and naturalized citizens (those born abroad). If either of these groups were eligible to hold office as President then there would be no reason for the adoption clause nor would there be a need to distinguish ‘Natural Born Citizens’. And to those who would suggest that the adoption clause was because the ‘soil’ was British before the adoption and that it was strictly a matter of jus soli, the article would read ‘no person except a native born citizen’ instead of ‘no person except a natural born citizen’ as it was well understood and a part of the language of the day to regard a person born on the soil a native born citizen.

    Obama’s long form birth certificate, were it not a blatant forgery, would be relevant only in that it would have confirmed that Barack Obama Sr. was his father as Obama claims in his book and on his website. Barack Obama Sr. (if indeed that was his father) was not a U.S. citizen at the time of Obama’s birth nor did he ever naturalize during his lifetime. If Obama is telling the truth about who his father is then he was born a British citizen by virtue of the British Nationality Act of 1948 as he openly admits on his website. Obama says he is a ‘Native Born Citizen’ with dual citizenship at birth. As pointed out above this means he is ineligible to hold office and is subject to arrest for federal election fraud.

    President Chester Arthur faced a challenge by those who believed his father was not a citizen when Chester was born. Before the authorities could seize them Arthur took all his family documents and burned them in his back yard effectively covering up the fact of his ineligibility to hold office. It was only recently in 2009 that a researcher found documentation which confirmed that Arthur’s critics were right about his ineligibility because his father was not a citizen at the time of Chester’s birth.

    So, even if Obama was born on the White House steps he is not nor can ever be eligible to hold office as President of the United States of America

  18. jeffm1776   Thursday, February 23, 2012 at 3:38 AM

    “It is clear there can be no common law of the United States. The federal government is composed of twenty-four sovereign and independent states, each of which may have its local usages, customs and common law.

    There is no principle which pervades the Union and has the authority of law, that is not embodied in the constitution or laws of the Union. The common law could be made a part of our federal system only by legislative adoption.”

    — Wheaton v. Peters – 33 U.S. 591 (1834)

    So much for that common law nonsense Congress continues to cling to. Sorry, Congress, you’ll have to do better than that.

  19. Kevin J Lankford   Wednesday, February 22, 2012 at 9:40 PM

    It is my understanding in reading De Vattel that native and natural born are synonymous,
    therefore requiring the same qualifications. I personally can only guess how they became
    separate terms.

    Also he initially refers to the need of the parents to be citizens, and then follows by
    saying the children inherit the citizenship of the father. I do find this a little confusing,
    and would apparently eliminate dual citizenship if the mother was not relevant.

  20. Rule of Law   Wednesday, February 22, 2012 at 5:50 PM

    Unfortunately, there are elements being exposed in our government who are working to undermine the Constitution and make it less relevant. They want a global citizen to be President, one who does not have natural allegiance to this Country and her People.

    What people need to realize is that it is a goal supported by both parties. This isn’t about conservative vs liberal, but Political Class vs American citizen.

    We have all been thrown under the bus by both parties and as long as we continue to return incumbants to their places in Washington, this nonsense goes on and we have NO ONE to blame but ourselves.

    This is a tipping point and if we conceed it, we will lose the Republic.

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