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by Dr. Tom E. Davis, Col., USA (Ret.), ©2016

(Feb. 22, 2016) — The term “Natural Born” may be clear to those who desire it to be clear. It is not clear to this old citizen. The citizenship of our founders is and was clear enough, as was and is the citizenship of Senator John McCain.

In a purportedly scholarly article written and published as “Commentary” by Neal Katyal & Paul Clement in The Harvard Law Review of March 11, 2015, the authors appear to have overlooked one important item: subject to certain residency requirements on the parents, someone born to a U.S. citizen parent generally becomes a U.S. citizen without regard to whether the birth takes place in Canada, the Canal Zone, or the continental United States.”  Note the use of the singular ‘parent’ underlined above.

Farther on in the article, the authors switch to usage of the plural and state, “No doubt informed by this longstanding tradition, just three years after the drafting of the Constitution, the First Congress established that children born abroad to U.S. citizens were U.S. citizens at birth, and explicitly recognized that such children were “natural born Citizens.” The Naturalization Act of 1790 provided that “the children of citizens of the United States, that may be born beyond sea, or out of the limits of the United States, shall be considered as….”

Then, farther along the authors return to use of the singular:  children born abroad of a citizen parent were citizens from the moment of birth, and thus are “natural born Citizens.”

For individuals writing in the Harvard Law Review to make such obvious errors makes this reader more than a little suspicious of their intent. They appear to be quoting American documents but failing to point out the obvious inconsistencies.

It seems quite apparent that these two authors have taken a position to support not only Ted Cruz, but Barack Obama and Marco Rubio as well. To support the stated purposes of the founders’ efforts to prevent foreign intervention into the office of the Executive, both parents must be citizens in order to confer citizenship upon their offspring.

There is far too much opinion and too little evidentiary fact being injected into this question of presidential qualifications.

It is incumbent upon the 114th Congress to settle this issue and determine whether or not Barry Soetoro-Obama is, in fact, qualified.

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