Is America Ready for a Thai Vice President?

VICE PRESIDENTS, TOO, MUST BE “NATURAL BORN CITIZENS”

by Don Fredrick, The Complete Obama Timeline, ©2020

U.S. Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), public domain

(May 21, 2020) — Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL)—someone most voters never heard of—is reportedly on Joe Biden’s “shortlist” of potential running mates. CNN’s Chris Cillizza calls her personal story “incredible and compelling.”1 (Duckworth lost both legs in Iraq.) She is also “the second Asian American woman in the Senate” (the first being the lamebrained, Japanese-born, senior Senator from Hawaii, Mazie Hirono), while Duckworth’s “Midwestern appeal makes her an appealing pick.” Discounting the fact that using the words “appeal” and “appealing” in the same sentence tells us Cillizza is not much of a writer, the fact that he has not investigated Duckworth’s background also tells us he is not much of a journalist. It takes less than one minute on the Internet to learn that Ladda Tammy Duckworth was born in 1968 in Bangkok, Thailand to a Thai mother of Chinese descent, Lamai Sompornpairin, and an American father, Franklin Duckworth, who worked with the United Nations. “Midwestern appeal,” Chris?

Only 12 years ago the Democrats and media leftists were falling all over themselves to insist that Barack Hussein Obama was born in Hawaii. That was a direct refutation of those who claimed Obama could not serve as president of the United States because he was born in Kenya and was therefore not a “natural born citizen.” In 2008, everyone seemed to understand that birth in Kenya would have disqualified Obama. Why, then, in 2020, does having been born in Bangkok not disqualify Tammy Duckworth from serving as vice president (which also requires natural born citizen status)? Are memories that short? Does no one care about the U.S. Constitution? (We know New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy does not care. He infamously told Fox News’ Tucker Carlson he “wasn’t thinking of the Bill of Rights” when he imposed drastic rules on the citizens and businesses of his state because of the Wuhan virus.)2

Tammy Duckworth was born in a country other than the United States, to one non-American parent and one American parent. That means she is not a natural born citizen of the United States. She is a naturalized citizen of the United States, but she is certainly not a natural born citizen. Again, if birth in Kenya would have disqualified Obama, why would birth in Thailand not disqualify Duckworth?

A federal statute, 8 U.S. Code § 1401, outlines the citizenship rules for individuals born outside the United States. Needless to say, a person born in the United States is considered a “national” and a generic citizen of the United States. (Depending on the citizenship of the parents, however, that person might not be considered a natural born citizen.) The statute also considers a person a U.S. citizen if born outside the United States, provided both parents were U.S. citizens at the time of birth. That rule does not apply to Duckworth, as her mother was not a U.S. citizen in 1968.

Another subsection of the statute would apply to Duckworth:

“(g) a person born outside the geographical limits of the United States and its outlying possessions of parents one of whom is an alien, and the other a citizen of the United States who, prior to the birth of such person, was physically present in the United States or its outlying possessions for a period or periods totaling not less than five years, at least two of which were after attaining the age of fourteen years…”

Is Duckworth “a person born outside the geographical limits of the United States and its outlying possessions”? Yes. She was born in Bangkok, Thailand, which is neither the United States nor a U.S. possession like Guam.

Was Duckworth born “of parents one of whom is an alien” Yes, her mother was, at the time she gave birth to Ladda Tammy, a citizen of Thailand.

Was Duckworth’s other parent “a citizen of the United States”? Yes, her father was a citizen of the United States (if one assumes he did not at some point become a citizen of Thailand—which arguably might be suggested by the fact that he spent many years living outside the United States.)

Prior to the birth of Tammy Duckworth, was her father “physically present in the United States or its outlying possessions for a period or periods totaling not less than five years, at least two of which were after attaining the age of fourteen years”? That is assumed to be the case.

Because the answers to those questions are “yes,” Tammy Duckworth would be considered a citizen of the United States, according to 8 U.S. Code § 1401.

Now consider that the statute only declares that an individual who satisfies one of its sets of requirements is a U.S. citizen. It does not state that the person is also a natural born citizen. The statute refers only to “citizen” and not to “natural born citizen.” It does not declare that an individual like Duckworth is a natural born citizen. It makes it clear that she is only considered a “generic” citizen.

You either have natural born citizen status at birth or you do not. It is not a status that can be granted at some future point in time. It does not and cannot have anything to do with how long a parent lived in the United States. It is based solely on place of birth and the citizenship of the parents at the moment of birth. The various rules found in 8 U.S. Code § 1401 only define the circumstances under which an individual born outside the United States can be considered a U.S. citizen, not a natural born citizen. The term “natural born citizen” does not even appear in the statute.

Some will argue that Duckworth is a natural born citizen of the United States simply because her father was a U.S. citizen. But if the mere fact that her father was a U.S. citizen is sufficient for her to be considered a natural born citizen, much of the text of 8 U.S. Code § 1401 serves no purpose! If Duckworth’s father, for example, had not been “physically present in the United States or its outlying possessions” for at least five years, his daughter would not, according to the statute, be considered a U.S. citizen. How, then, could one argue that she is a natural born citizen if she was not even a citizen? That is precisely why the statute refers only to citizen and not natural born citizen status. It was never intended to impose natural born citizen status on anyone.

Tammy Duckworth may be a U.S. citizen, but she is not a natural born citizen. She is prohibited by the U.S. Constitution from serving as vice president or president. (Technically, Duckworth would be a U.S. citizen only if  her parents filed the appropriate paperwork for her when they moved from Thailand to Hawaii in the mid-1980s. If that paperwork was never filed, Duckworth would still be considered a citizen of Thailand, she would not be a U.S. citizen, and she could not even legally serve as U.S. Senator from Illinois—let alone serve as vice president or president.)

If Chris Cillizza were a good journalist, he would ask some questions about Duckworth’s eligibility status. He would also open a book or two about the U.S. Constitution. The historical meaning of the term “natural born citizen” is birth on U.S. soil to two U.S. citizen parents. That was the definition understood and followed by the Founding Fathers, and the authors of the U.S. Constitution. By that definition, Tammy Duckworth is ineligible to serve as vice president or president. Also ineligible are Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX), Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL), former Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley, and Barack Hussein Obama—also known as Indonesian student Barry Soetoro.

Some claim that the 14th Amendment applies to candidates like Cruz, but the 14th Amendment never even uses the term natural born citizen! One cannot magically pretend that any time the generic word “citizen” is used in the Constitution, its Amendments, or federal legislation that it automatically also means “natural born citizen.” It does not. Any first-year law student would receive a failing grade from his professor if he made such an argument. Claiming the word “citizen” in legislation necessarily must also mean “natural born citizen” is as wrong-headed as claiming that wherever a city ordinance uses the term “automobile” it also means “truck” or “motorcycle.” Words have meanings. (All trees are plants, but not all plants are trees. All natural born citizens are citizens, but not all citizens are natural born citizens.)

Rep. John Bingham

Those who believe the 14th Amendment “proves their case” should be told that Congressman John Bingham—who authored that amendment—said on the floor of the House of Representatives in 1862, “All from other lands, who by the terms of 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 [italics added], are natural born citizens.” Read that again and let it sink in. In 1862, the members of Congress understood that a natural born citizen was someone born on U.S. soil to two U.S. citizen parents. Let it also sink in that no law has been passed since then to change the meaning of the term, nor has there been an amendment to the U.S. Constitution regarding that issue.

In 1866 Bingham stated, “Every human being born within the jurisdiction of the United States of parents not owing allegiance to any foreign sovereignty [italics added] is, in the language of your Constitution itself, a natural born citizen.” Obama supporters—including attorneys filing briefs with the U.S. Supreme Court—have intentionally omitted the words “of parents” when quoting Bingham’s statement, in a shameful effort to mislead. Ask yourself, “Why would Obama-supporting attorneys have thought it might help their client if they omitted the words ‘of parents?’”

Yes, Duckworth, Cruz, Rubio, Jindal, and Haley are citizens of the United States, but they are not natural born citizens because they did not satisfy both requirements: birth “within the jurisdiction of the United States” and being born “of parents [plural!] not owing allegiance to any foreign sovereignty.” By no stretch of the imagination can anyone claim Duckworth, Cruz, Rubio, Jindal, and Haley (and Obama) were born on U.S. soil and to two U.S. citizen parents. In fact, Cruz and Duckworth were arguably born with dual citizenship: Canadian/U.S. and Thai/U.S. (Some might even argue that Cruz was also born with Cuban citizenship.) Rubio, Jindal, and Haley were “anchor babies,” born in the U.S. to two parents who were not at the time citizens of the U.S.

In the 1885 U.S. Supreme Court case Minor v. Happersett, Chief Justice Morrison 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 [italics added] 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.” That is, there was agreement by all legal scholars in 1885 that the term natural born citizen meant “born in the United States to two U.S.-citizen parents.” (A minority argued that the citizenship of the parents was not material but, without justification, some accept that less common interpretation.)

The Supreme Court has never ruled on the meaning of the term natural born citizen. It certainly had the opportunity to do so with the Obama eligibility challenge lawsuit Kerchner v. Obama, but the Justices declined to accept the case for review. One must ask why the court was afraid to accept such an important case for review if it would have put the issue to rest once and for all. The answer is that the court likely knew it would have to rule against Obama, and it was reluctant to do so—perhaps because they believed it might have resulted in political upheaval and nationwide race riots. But because the Court chose not to hear Kerchner, the issue may again rear its ugly head for Duckworth in 2020—or for Cruz, Rubio, Jindal, and Haley in 2024. (This author’s assumption is that the power-brokers in Washington, D.C. knew full well that Obama was not a natural born citizen because his father was not a U.S. citizen, but chose to ignore the issue. The Republicans gave a pass to Obama in exchange for the Democrats giving a pass to their own rising stars: Cruz, Rubio, Jindal, and Haley. They got away with it because the media leftists eagerly supported Obama—and were too lazy to research the history of the term “natural born citizen.”)

Article II, Section 1, clause 5 of the U.S. Constitution requires the president to be a “natural born Citizen”

Those who think they understand the issue should take a moment to read the actual presidential eligibility rule. Article II, Section 1, Clause 5 of the U.S. Constitution states:

“No Person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution [italics added], 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.”

Note the italicized “grandfather clause.” That text was made necessary after the term “born citizen” was changed to read “natural born citizen.” An earlier draft of the document read as follows:

“No Person except a Born Citizen 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.”

“Born Citizen” simply means born on U.S. soil—without regard to the citizenship of one’s parents. John Jay then wrote George Washington and asked that all presidents be required to be natural born citizens—that is, born on U.S. soil to two U.S. citizen parents. The logic of Jay’s argument was that a natural born citizen would be further removed from ties to other nations than would a citizen whose parents were not born in the U.S. (As an example, some might question whether a President Nikki Haley or a President Bobby Jindal would be more eager to side with India if that country were to go to war with Pakistan.) John Jay therefore suggested the presidency be limited to natural born citizens. But simply making the change from “born” to “natural born” would have been inadequate:

“No Person except a natural born Citizen 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.”

Why would that text be insufficient? The problem with that text would be that neither George Washington nor John Adams (nor anyone else) was a natural born citizen! Those potential presidents age 35 or older who were born on U.S. soil (such as George Washington, who was born in Virginia) obviously could not have had U.S. citizen parents at the time of their births—because the United States did not yet exist! (Washington’s parents were citizens of Great Britain, as were most of the residents of the 13 colonies). In other words, it would be 35 years before any natural born citizen could qualify to serve as president! To allow for that problem, the final version read:

“No Person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution [italics added], 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.”

The italicized “grandfather clause” is essentially a “loophole” that means, “We can’t go without a president for decades while we wait for our infant natural born citizens to reach age 35, so we will temporarily allow individuals who are not natural born citizens to serve as president—as long as they were living here in the colonies and became U.S. citizens in 1776 when the nation was founded.” Considering the above, it is clear that the U.S. Constitution prohibits Obama, Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL), former Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley, Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX), and Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) from serving as president or vice president.

Obama is arguably the nation’s second illegal president. (The first illegal president was Chester A. Arthur, who hid from the public the fact that his father was not a U.S. citizen at Chester’s birth. Arthur even went so far as to burn his father’s documents—something that would not have been necessary if his father’s citizenship was irrelevant.) Regardless of where Obama was born, his father was not a U.S. citizen—if one assumes his father was the drunken Kenyan Marxist. Obama is therefore not a natural born citizen. (Of course, if Obama’s father was actually Frank Marshall Davis, his communist mentor in Hawaii, then Obama is a natural born citizen because Davis was an American. Ironically, Obama’s efforts to hide the identity of his father are what caused the question of his eligibility to come up. Had he made it known from the start that Davis was his father, no one would have questioned whether he was a natural born citizen—but they would have better understood his resentment toward America, white people, Jews, Israel, and capitalism.)

Although Obama did his best to hide past, some Republicans have not. Marco Rubio was born in Florida to Cuban-citizen parents. He is a U.S. citizen, but he is not a natural born citizen. Bobby Jindal and Nikki Haley were born in the United States to Indian citizen parents. They are U.S. citizens but are not natural born citizens. Ted Cruz was born in Calgary, Canada to an American mother and a Cuban father and is also not a natural born citizen—although he is a U.S. citizen. As noted above, Tammy Duckworth was born in Thailand to a Thai mother and an American father. She is a U.S. citizen but not a natural born citizen. (A Senator is not required to be a natural born citizen. Senators need only be citizens.)

None of this is to suggest that Cruz, Rubio, Jindal, Haley, or Duckworth would not be capable presidents or vice presidents. But the law is the law and the Constitution is the Constitution. Nowadays, of course, millions of Americans seem not to know what is in the Constitution, and others—including legislators and even Supreme Court Justices—seem not to care what is in the document or that it is routinely being violated. Nevertheless, it would be nice if the pundits would at least stop ignoring and lying about history. Go ahead and lobby for an amendment to change the Constitution if you want to eliminate the natural born citizen requirement, but do not insult our intelligence by changing the meaning of a historical term simply because it suits your political purposes.

https://www.cnn.com/2020/03/26/politics/joe-biden-kamala-harris-elizabeth-warren-amy-klobuchar/index.html

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tammy_Duckworth

https://lawandcrime.com/legal-analysis/how-n-j-s-constitutionally-clueless-gov-phil-murphy-could-have-avoided-his-fox-news-trainwreck/

https://www.amazon.com/Complete-Obama-Timeline-August-March/dp/1503132587/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1419372391&sr=1-1&keywords=don+fredrick

10 Responses to "Is America Ready for a Thai Vice President?"

  1. Nikita's_UN_Shoe   Saturday, May 23, 2020 at 8:12 AM

    Question: What do John F. Kerry, Robert S. Mueller, III, and Ladda T. Duckworth have in common?

    Answer: All three use the “color of military service” resume to henceforth excuse their insufferable actions.

  2. Robert C Laity   Saturday, May 23, 2020 at 5:38 AM

    Fredluss, That does not mean that the Pennsylvania court decision controls. It means nothing with regard to a federal question that has already been established and answered in at least four previous USSCt. decisions. The Venus,Wong Kim Ark,Minor v Happersett and Shanks v Dupont all affirmed that an NBC is one born in the US to parents who are both US Citizen. State decisions do not overide SCOTUS.

  3. Robert C Laity   Saturday, May 23, 2020 at 5:31 AM

    Lew Harper, State Courts do NOT decide federal issues. Sure the top court in the State can weigh in with their opinion but it isn’t controlling on a federal issue. The State’s ruling can be appealed directly to the U.S. Supreme Court. Cruz has never been a Natural Born Citizen. Those State courts you mentioned, as with any other State court lacks subject matter jurisdiction to decide a federal question.

  4. Bob Russell   Saturday, May 23, 2020 at 12:23 AM

    Very well written, very factual, and very truthful. Sadly, too many people don’t have a clue and/or don’t care what the Constitution says. I wrote about Cruz myself at the time he was in the primary process and I was very soundly criticized for my stance because people thought he would be a good choice. I thought he would be good too but that didn’t make him eligible and I stated that I would not, for any reason, vote for a ticket that included him. I stand on the Constitution before on who I like. I am a veteran who swore to uphold, protect, and defend the Constitution from all enemies, both foreign and domestic. That oath still matters to me and will as long as I live.

  5. marlene   Saturday, May 23, 2020 at 12:08 AM

    NO! Nor a female either!

  6. Lew Harper   Friday, May 22, 2020 at 9:59 AM

    “the Pennsylvania courts ruled Senator Cruz was a natural-born citizen.”

    So did the New Jersey courts, specifically rejecting Mario Apuzzo’s arguments.

    “But do the people have to accept that?”

    Do people get to pick and chose which court decisions to accept?

  7. Robert C Laity   Friday, May 22, 2020 at 6:26 AM

    Great article. I have a list of people that I have concluded are NOT Natural Born Citizens. My list includes John McCain as well. He was not born in the Panama Canal Zone. He had two U.S. Parents (100% U.S. Jus Sanquinis) but he did not have U.S. Jus soli. McCain was born in Colon, Panama. Furthermore, the PCZ was never a fully incorporated territory of the U.S. McCain was naturalized. Others on my list who are not eligible are Obama, Cruz, Jindal, Rubio, Harris, Gabbard, Swarzenegger, et al. I sued Obama and McCain in Laity v NY,Obama and McCain, USSCt. and I sued Cruz,Rubio and Jindal in Laity v NY,Cruz,Rubio and Jindal, USSCt. (2018). In both cases the SCOTUS declined to revisit the no less then FOUR SCOTUS precedents in which Natural Born Citizenship was discussed. In Minor, the court decision was unanimous. That it is said that the court never decided what an NBC is is not supportable. The (6) cases that involved a discussion of natural born citizenship mean that the court has settled upon the meaning of what a NBC is. One born IN the United States to parents who are both U.S. Citizens themselves. Vattel had it right! Les Naturels,ou indigenes, sont ceux qui sont,nes de le pays, de parents citoyens. My french is good enough to know what he said is that Natural Born citizens are those born in a country to parents who are that country’s citizens. In Minor v Happersett, there was NO DOUBT in the minds of ALL NINE Justices in that case. There was however doubt as to other categories of citizenship which did not take parental status in consideration. I see that as a legally established consensus by the highest court in the land as to what an NBC is., a consensus that was cited in Shanks v Dupont, Wong Kim Ark, Laity v NY and Obama and Laity v NY,Cruz,Rubio and Jindal. See also: The Venus.

  8. Sharon Rondeau   Thursday, May 21, 2020 at 11:32 PM

    But do the people have to accept that?

  9. Douglas Fredluss   Thursday, May 21, 2020 at 10:05 PM

    In 2016, the Pennsylvania courts ruled Senator Cruz was a natural-born citizen. And the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear the challenge to Cruz’s eligibility.

  10. Jeffrey harrison   Thursday, May 21, 2020 at 5:19 PM

    Mr. Fredrick, thanks for your article about Tammy Duckworth. It is well written and I liked it
    so much, I had to make copies of it for future use and I will to send it out to others. Your article
    is a great aid to me. Likewise, I am thankful for The Post and Email and for the information they
    and others revealed of Obama’s fraud. Others and myself are still in the fight to expose and hold Obama and his team accountable.

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