by Joseph DeMaio, ©2021

On July 25, 1787, John Jay wrote to George Washington, “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 american
army shall not be given to, nor devolved on, any but a natural born Citizen.”

(May 16, 2021) — When, in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for your humble servant to respond to comments in greater detail than allowed in the designated section of P&E posts, a longer post is required.  Such is the case with this offering regarding assertions made by those who reject the likely application of Book I, Ch. 19, § 212 of Emmerich de Vattel’s 1758 treatise, “Le Droit des Gens” or “The Law of Nations,” to the proper interpretation of Art. 2, § 1, Cl. 5 of the Constitution, the “natural born Citizen” restriction for the presidency.  Here we go again.

Valued P&E readers, that which follows is somewhat convoluted, but given that the issues are less than simple, a more complex explanation is necessitated.  Translation (more on that topic later…): keep some of your favorite caffeinated beverages handy.  Your humble servant has his can of Dr Pepper nearby.  In addition, it is assumed that readers are already possessed of some historical background relating to the issues, since complete treatment of all the interstices of the matter would make this offering much longer. For that, see all of your servant’s prior P&E posts on the topic. 

Ready?  Let us begin.

In response to this post addressing what a hypothetical amicus curiae brief in the “Laity v. Harris” matter now pending in the U.S. Supreme Court might look like, several commenters have pointed out various “errors” and purported anomalies in the article.  The substantive, as opposed to tertiary (has the CRS been contacted?) comments have been chiefly directed at the assertion that in the 1760 London edition English translation of de Vattel’s tome, in §212, the French word “indigènes” was translated as “natural born citizens.” 

Specifically, commenter Becker asserts (comment posted May 9, 2021 at 4:50 PM) that in all editions of the English translated work prior to 1797, the word remained “indigènes” and did not appear as the “natural born citizens” English translation until the 1797 London edition.  That comment is correct, at least when referencing the London and Dublin editions, noted in the same comment.  However, the record is unclear as to whether other editions from other translators making the “natural born citizen” translation existed prior to July 25, 1787, the date of John Jay’s “hint” letter to George Washington.  For purposes of the following discussion, however, that uncertainty is immaterial.

Regardless, the veiled suggestion is made that, because when John Jay composed his “hint” letter to General Washington in 1787, no edition of the Vattel tome translated the French word “indigènes” as “natural born citizens,” Jay could not have relied on the treatise when he used that very term in his letter to General Washington.  Whether Jay relied on other translations is unknown. 

“The Law of Nations” by Emmerich de Vattel

That uncertainty aside, for purposes of discussion, it will be assumed that the comment positing that the “natural born citizens” translation did not appear until the 1797 London edition is not inaccurate.  It is noteworthy, however, that this same point was argued, using essentially the same logic, in the 2011 version of the Congressional Research Service Report R42097, discussed here, and was equally unavailing there.  But more on that report later.

Your humble servant confesses that the likely source for the reference to the 1760 translation as including – perhaps, but perhaps not – the words “natural born citizens” was the citation to the work found in the Wikipedia entry found here. Memo to readers (and your humble servant): exercise caution when sourcing facts to “open source” websites, i.e., sites which can be edited by virtually anyone, with or without expertise or supervision.

That said, Wikipedia can be a source of useful information, as well as disinformation.  In this instance, it may be both, as evidenced by footnote 1 therein, referencing the 1758 original French version of the treatise, as well as the text discussing who came into possession of copies of the original version of the tome: Founder Benjamin Franklin.

Second, the Wikipedia textual entry notes: “Swiss editor Charles W.F. Dumas sent Benjamin Franklin three original French copies of the book in the 1770s. Franklin received them May 18, June 30, and July 8 by two couriers: Alexandre Pochard (Dumas’ friend and later companion to Fleury Mesplet) and a man named Vaillant. Franklin kept one copy for himself, depositing the second in ‘our own public library here’ (the Library Company of Philadelphia which Franklin founded in 1731) and sending the third to the ‘college of Massachusetts Bay’ (Franklin used the original name from 1636, not acknowledging the 1639 rename to Harvard College in honor of John Harvard). On December 9, 1775, Franklin thanked Dumas.” (footnotes omitted).

This entry, if true, informs of two main points.  First, it confirms that the 1758 French edition of de Vattel’s treatise was in Benjamin Franklin’s possession prior to John Jay’s July 25, 1787 “hint” letter to George Washington.  Second, and of greater significance discussed hereafter, it further informs that one copy of that tome was placed – presumably in the library – of the College of Massachusetts Bay, in 1639 to become Harvard College and later, Harvard University.  Stated otherwise, it would appear that a copy of the de Vattel work, in French, was easily accessible to, for example, members of the Massachusetts Legislature. 

In the original “Laity v. Harris amicus curiae” post reply comments, your humble servant posed the question: “If § 212 was not the source of John Jay’s term ‘natural born Citizen’ which he used in his July 25, 1787 ‘hint letter’ to George Washington, where did he get it?”  In a Becker comment posted May 11, 2021 (2:11 P.M.), there is offered this response: “Perhaps Jay was familiar with the acts passed by the Massachusetts legislature that were passed [sic] before he wrote his July, 1787 letter.”  The comment reminds one of the fictional “Department of Redundancy Department.”


As a threshold question, why, pray tell, would John Jay – from New York and in 1787 serving as the Secretary of Foreign Affairs under the Articles of Confederation – be “familiar” with five “special legislation” acts passed by the Massachusetts Legislature seeking to naturalize individual residents of a state other than New York?

It is equally if not more likely that Jay was already independently familiar with both the French and English editions of the de Vattel treatise and the principles of § 212 set out therein and thus relied on one or the other, or even both,for the language he used in his letter to Washington.

Those questions aside, the Becker comment lists five (5) instances where the State of Massachusetts – ummm…, rather than the yet-to-be assembled members of the Constitutional Convention – enacted laws declaring certain named individuals (“and others”) to be “Citizens of this Commonwealth,” sometimes calling them “natural born citizens,” sometimes calling them “natural born subjects.” 

Interestingly, in the two instances in closest temporal proximity to Jay’s “hint letter” of July 25, 1787, the Massachusetts legislative acts declare that the individuals being “naturalized” shall be “deemed, adjudged and taken to be free Citizens of this Commonwealth, and entitled to all the liberties, privileges and immunities of natural born subjects.” (Emphasis added).  Despite that anomaly, Jay used the term “natural born Citizen” (emphasis by Jay) in his letter to General Washington.  Recall, faithful P&E readers, that under the U.S. Constitution – as opposed to a pre-Republic Massachusetts law – a 14th Amendment naturalized citizen is ineligible to the presidency.  Schneider v. Rusk, 377 U.S. 163, 165 (1964). 

Text of John Jay’s letter to Gen. George Washington suggesting that only a “natural born Citizen”
be allowed to serve as president and commander-in-chief of the military

Accordingly, whether the term “natural born citizens” or “natural born subjects” is at issue, the fact that all of the Massachusetts laws cited in the Becker comment were naturalization laws would have otherwise disqualified each of the newly-minted Massachusetts citizens from the presidency, even if a U.S. presidency or Supreme Court existed at that time (neither of which did).

While Massachusetts, prior to its amalgamation into the Republic as a “state,” was an independent member of the original Thirteen Colonies under the Articles of Confederation – free to declare as to its residents their status vis à vis Massachusetts – that independent power was forfeited when it became a member of the United States governed by a single national constitution, including Art. 2, § 1, Cl. 5 of that document.   

Furthermore, if as the Becker comment posits, the source for Jay’s “natural born citizen” term may have stemmed from a purported familiarity with the Massachusetts naturalization acts listed in the comment, one must ask: (1) why did Jay change “natural born subjects” to “natural born citizen;” and (2) why is it not equally “possible” that the Massachusetts legislators themselves relied on § 212 for their use of the term and, despite the questionable supposition that John Jay was “familiar” with the naturalization acts of a state other than his own, conclude that is where they got the term? 

In either case, the source could well have been de Vattel’s treatise, either directly from Benjamin Franklin’s copy or indirectly from the Massachusetts legislators’ own analyses of § 212 in their naturalization acts.  Stated otherwise, if the source for the “natural born citizen” term in Jay’s letter was the same for John Jay – Franklin’s copy – as for the Massachusetts Legislature – the copy in the College of Massachusetts Bay library – it would be, as they say, a distinction without a difference.  And to reiterate, this circumstance, of course, does not even address the fact that the Massachusetts enactments were “naturalization” statutes, rather than constitutional proscriptions on eligibility to the presidency. 

Bear in mind, faithful P&E readers, that the original wording of the first sentence of § 212 in French begins with the words “Les Citoyens.”  There is no dispute (nor can there be) that these words translate in English, and well before 1797, as “The Citizens.”  The words do not translate as “the subjects.”  The second sentence begins thusly: “Les Naturels, ou Indigènes…,” suggesting clearly that a “natural” person is also an “indigenous” person. 

Moreover, later in the section, the French word “parens” indisputably translates as “parents,” in the plural.  In 1787, as today, the term “indigenous” (and in French: “indigène”) meant (and today means) “produced, growing, living, or occurring natively or naturally in a particular region or environment” (emphasis added) or “of or relating to the earliest known inhabitants of a place and especially of a place that was colonized by a now-dominant group.”

Because of Jay’s ancestral ties to French Huguenots and his negotiation of and signing of the Treaty of Paris, formalizing the end of the Revolutionary War, there should also be little debate over the fact that he understood not only English, but French as well.  Moreover, as a “Publius” contributor to The Federalist and serving as the first U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice, he was also rumored to be very smart.

Further to the point, the first two sentences of § 212, in French, read as follows: “Les Cityoens sont les membres de la Société Civile: Liés à cette Société par certains devoirs, & soumis à son Autorité, il participant avec égalité à ses avantages. Les Naturels, ou Indigènes, sont ceux qui sont nés dans le pays, de Parens Citoyens.” 

In English, but for the term in question “indigènes,” the two sentences translate thusly: “The Citizens are the members of the Civil Society: bound to this Society by certain duties and subject to its Authority, they participate equally in its advantages.  The natives, or ** indigènes, ** are those [who are] born in the country of parents who are citizens.”

Against this backdrop, it is something less than rocket science to posit that, even if Jay possessed only an early original edition of de Vattel’s treatise in French, the combination and proximity of the words “citoyens,” “naturels,” “indigènes” and “parens” could logically, if not inexorably, have led Jay to conclude that, under § 212 of the de Vattel tome, a person born to two citizen parents in the land to which they were indigenous members constituted a “natural born citizen.” 

This result would seem to be at least as viable, if not more likely, as one concocted under the theory that Jay could have been merely “familiar” with the “acts passed by the legislature of Massachusetts” before writing his 1787 letter to Washington.  Furthermore, ask yourself this: would it have made any sense at all for Jay to “hint” to George Washington that the office of the president of the new Republic should be restricted to “indigènes” when the entirety of the balance of his letter was in English?  Huh?

Furthermore, it is odd – and as yet unexplained – why in the various English translations of the original de Vattel tome in the 1760 London edition; in the 1787 Dublin edition; and in the 1792 Dublin edition, the translation of text from French to English is applied to every single one of the 200+ French words in § 212… except the word “indigènes,” which remains untouched and in French.  Why that singular anomaly exists in each of the pre-1797 London editions remains a mystery.  Stated differently: Pourquoi? 

As noted, the French to English translation of the term “indigène” results in the word “indigenous.”  But prior to the use of the term “indigènes,” de Vattel posited that the individuals at issue were the “naturels ou indigènes.”  The French term “naturels” translates in English to “naturals” (translators have substituted the term “natives”), so it is logical to conclude that, even in 1787, the Founders would understand that a person who was a “natural, native or indigenous” person was one who was born in the nation to two parents who were already its citizens.  This conclusion applies as well to Jay with respect to his likely thought processes on July 25, 1787.

Finally, while somewhat beyond the scope of a response to the Becker comments about Massachusetts special legislation naturalization laws – and at the risk of unnecessarily lengthening this post – a brief revisiting of the issue as addressed by the Congressional Research Service in its November 14, 2011 Report R42097 – prior to its revision and restoration of the curious and problematic “Elg ellipsis,” discussed here – would be appropriate. 

November 1, 2014 memo on the subject of “natural born Citizen” by the
Congressional Research Service

In that Report, the CRS argues that the French terms “Les naturels ou indigènes” 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 CRS analysis, however, is that it ignores the words following that phrase, and whether evaluated in French, English or even Mandarin. 

Specifically, and without regard to what the proper English translation of “naturels” or “indigènes” 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….” (Emphasis added) or, in English: “are those who are born in the country, of citizen parents.” (Emphasis added). 

Stated otherwise, whether denominated a “naturel,” an “indigène” or a “natural born Citizen,” in order to match its antecedent, the person needed to be born in the country to parents (plural) who also were citizens.  Labels and debatable nomenclature aside, that concept is the crux of § 212, so that, whether one is called “natural born,” “indigenous” or something else, in order to qualify as such, one needs to be born in the country where both parents – particularly the father – are also, at the time of birth, citizens of that country.

In this regard, the CRS Report completely 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 père citoyen; car si vous êtes né d’un étranger, ce pays sera seulement le lieu de votre naissance, sans être votre patrie.”  English 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.” (Emphasis added)

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, Kenyan…, or Jamaican.

If § 212 were a statute (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 CRS – there could be little question that, quite apart from nuances in the definitions and/or translations of the terms “naturels,” “indigènes” and “citoyen,” 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 already a citizen of the nation where the person was born 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.”

So, faithful P&E readers, after all the dust settles and the blogosphere smoke created by “pro-Vattel” and “con-Vattel” gladiators clears, this situation is why the Supreme Court should accept jurisdiction in “Laity v. Harris,” USSC Case Docket No. 20-1503.  The Court should (a) find the requisite standing in Robert Laity; (b) grant his petition for certiorari; (c) order the briefing of the issue on the merits; (d) entertain the filing of amicus curiae briefs; (e) set the matter for oral argument in the 2021 term beginning October 4, 2021; and (f) resolve, finally, the “natural born citizen” question which it has for many years “evaded.”

There is still a fairly good chance that, once again, the Supreme Court – despite the additions of Justices Gorsuch, Kavanaugh and Barrett – will again punt and refuse to address the issue.  A “per curiam” order stating merely “certiorari denied” is so much less grating than “issue evaded once again.”  Intellectual courage has never been a prerequisite for Supreme Court Justices.  Just ask Chief Justice Roberts.

On the other hand, if jurisdiction is denied, perhaps Justice Thomas will take the opportunity to explain whether he (a) agrees with the denial, or (b) disagrees with the denial, maybe even explaining his reasons.  Either way, it would be an improvement over the present – and recurring – situation, even if he were to come out as “pro-CRS” and “con-Vattel.”  Sad, but possible.

In conclusion, last night, once again your humble servant channeled Founder John Jay – ahem…, the first Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court – and secured his view as to what he believes the proper decision in USSC Docket 20-1503 should be.  He asked that your servant keep his opinion in confidence, which request will be honored.  But after confirming to your servant that he keeps a copy of de Vattel’s original 1758 treatise on his nightstand, you can probably guess what his position is. 

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  1. Just to add to the very insightful contributions herein on this John Jay convention invention, being, “natural born Citizen”:

    July 25, 1787:

    July 25, 1788: >>>
    “That no Persons except natural born Citizens, or such as were Citizens on or before the fourth day of July one thousand seven hundred and seventy six, or such as held Commissions under the United States during the War, and have at any time since the fourth day of July one thousand seven hundred and seventy six become Citizens of one or other of the United States, and who shall be Freeholders, shall be eligible to the Places of President, Vice President, or Members of either House of the Congress of the United States.”

    It is becoming clearer to me daily that John Jay expressly would not admit foreigners to be a US President or Vice-president, nor be admitted into US Government in general.



  2. Mr. DeMaio: “the source could well have been de Vattel’s treatise, either directly from Benjamin Franklin’s copy or indirectly from the Massachusetts legislators’ own analyses of § 212 in their naturalization acts.”

    Or Blackstone’s Commentaries.

    In May, 1776, the Continental Congress advised the colonies to form their own governments.

    In May and early June of 1776 Jefferson wrote two draft constitutions for Virginia. These drafts had a naturalization clause with the following phrases:

    1st draft: “shall be declared by such court invested with the rights of a member natural born.”

    2nd draft: “shall be considered as residents & entitled to all the rights of persons natural born.”

    The third draft in June, 1776 did away with the naturalization clause entirely (perhaps Jefferson decide to leave naturalization to the legislature.) He did include a form of naturalization in his citizenship act of 1779.

    In these first two drafts, Jefferson seems to be unsure whether to call people citizens or subjects (this was mirrored in the Declaration of Independence). And notice the juxtaposition. He does not write natural born member or natural born persons. But member natural born and person natural born. Makes it rather generic. The issue is no longer subject versus citizen but rather how someone becomes natural born. When Jefferson wrote these drafts, natural born meant birth in the country without regard to the status of the parents (with few exceptions).

    That would explain why we can find examples of the Founders using both of the terms natural born citizen and natural born subject through the early years of the Republic.

  3. Natural born is a Kind. This means a child’s parents must be the same kindred and natural kind. If you’re born heterogeneous then you’re not natural born. The Founders wanted a homogeneous society and a homogeneous President. Naturalization is a Kind. I can understand the Vattel definition but everyone must dig deeper. Start with the Book of Common Prayer: “The kyndly fruits of the Earth”. Unkind means UnNatural. Obama and Harris were not born the same kindred and natural kind. Their parents were not the same kindred and natural kind. All citizenship acts since Reconstruction violate Article 1, Section 8, Clause 4 in the Constitution.

    Declaration of Independence “our common kindred”.
    King Henry V: “Were all thy children kind and natural?”
    Wordsworth: “Yearnings to be with her own natural kind.”

    Read Federalist 2 and 14.

      1. Absolutely, positively. Only those born in America to White Europeans can be President. They are the only ones who could be the same kind — born in America to American citizen parents.

    1. Your examples don’t seem to work.

      In the Declaration of Independence, Jefferson was specifically addressing England and the fact that they colonists were from England.

      “Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our Brittish brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations”

      In the King Henry the Fifth example, if natural = kind then this statement is saying “Were all thy children natural and natural?”
      That makes no sense. It also doesn’t fit the context of the play.

  4. All of this is IRRELEVANT. The supreme law of the land for the US is the Constitution. In Article 1 section 8 clause 4, the Legislature is exclusively invested with all powers regarding naturalization. That includes, who is and is not a citizen, who requires naturalization and who by the conditions of their birth, are natural born citizens. That authority was exercised in the first acts of Congress and has continued to this day as expressed in US Code, title 8 section 1401.

    1. Re. USC Title 8 Section 1401, defines who is a “Citizen” by man made laws and amendments. It does not address who is a “natural born Citizen” of the United States, a “Kind” of Citizen that requires no man made law or amendment to make them a Citizen. The words “natural born” are not even mentioned in that law. If you specifically need that law and only that law to prove you are a “Citizen” of the United States, then you are not a “natural born Citizen” of the United States. The only birth scenario not mentioned in that law is that of the “natural born Citizen”, one born in the country of parents who are both Citizens of the United States, born or naturalized Citizens, at the time their child is born in the United States. See: Also see my white paper on the subject of “natural born Citizen”:

    2. Since neither Article 1, section 8, clause 4 of the U.S. Constitution or US Code, title 8, Section 1401 of the United States Code contain the verbiage “natural born citizen” what RELEVANCE do they have to the issue being discussed herein?

    3. Not entirely. The President has the power to keep certain people out of the country altogether. He determines according to the Constitution who may not even enter the US and can order Congress to pass laws barring them. Once people are allowed into the US, then Congress has the power to constitutionally affirm their status. However, State legislatures still have the constitutional authority to reject Congressional law regarding this issue.

  5. Is the author supporting Coca-Cola again? That was a short-lived boycott. Coke’s stock is back near it’s 52-week high. Coca-Cola/Dr Pepper just announced a major deal.

    Ozarks Coca-Cola/Dr Pepper Bottling Company celebrates grand opening of new Springfield facility
    The Ozarks Coca-Cola/Dr Pepper Bottling Company has opened a new warehouse and distribution facility in Springfield.(KY3)

    By KY3 Staff Published: May. 15, 2021 at 3:42 PM CDT

    SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) – The Ozarks Coca-Cola/Dr Pepper Bottling Company has opened a new warehouse and distribution facility in Springfield. The new 432,000-square-foot facility, located at 1777 North Packer Rd. in northeast Springfield, is adjacent to the company’s headquarters. It also connects to the existing production facility via a conveyor.

    Business leaders celebrated the grand opening of the new facility Saturday with a ribbon-cutting ceremony. “This is a wonderful opportunity to celebrate our continued growth. For over a hundred years, Ozarks Coca-Cola has faithfully served the communities of southwest Missouri. This ceremony will be a dedication to both the efforts of the past that led us to our current success, and our commitment to future growth of our company for generations to come,” said Sally Hargis, Chairman of the Board, Ozarks Coca-Cola/Dr Pepper Bottling Company. We are proud to support our Ozarks community, and we look forward to serving you in the next chapter of our history.”

  6. First, we should all thank, and donate to, The P&E staff for maintaining this free fingertip-accessible IN-PLAIN-SIGHT website EVERYDAY since 08-28-09, beginning one year after TREASON QUEEN PELOSI tore-down the 219 year old “natural born Citizen” statute on 08-28-08, and 46 years after MLK gave his somewhat forgotten, “I Have A Dream”, speech on 08-28-63.

    It is on this world premier website that John Jay’s “natural born Citizen” statute is kept alive and defended for future generations.

    STREET looters tear-down statues, while ELITE looters tear-down statutes!

    As some comments herein allude to, our entire US judicial system flat-out refuses to find Obama and Kamala and Canada Cruz, et al, in violation of John Jay’s “natural born Citizen” qualifier since Obama, Kamala and Cruz are foreign-citizens of foreign-citizen parents, being, a direct antithesis of what John Jay wisely intended for any US Commander-in-Chief who will be entrusted with US armed forces to protect US national security.

    Therefore, squabbling with unscrupulous outlawyers and nationally-syndicated judges on the legal verbal history of “natural born Citizen” phraseology, will likely continue to yield flat-out judicial refusals via an idiotology of picket fence defenses, such as the legal voodoo doo-doo of “plaintiff has no standing” or “this court has no federal jurisdiction; go back to Congress” or “the court may fine plaintiff for frivolous petitions”, or “your complaint was not filed correctly”, or “laches or moot” non-sense defenses, etc.

    Since Nature Rules, and men follow, it is only natural, then, for the survival of their lives and livelihoods, that most all US attorneys and judges will punt on the formal dethroning of Obama II and Kamala,Too.

    We the People on Main Street USA, then, must dethrone Biden II+Obama II+Kamala,Too. The first way to do this is use simple OBSERVATIONS OF REALITY to convince all private citizens that (1) 8 of the 46 US presidents were “original citizens” elected from the existing post-colonial population of “Constitutionally naturalized; oath-taking original citizens”, WITH NO FOREIGN-CITIZENS ALLOWED to either vote for, or run for, US President and (2) subsequently, 35 natural US citizens born of the existing US population of natural, or naturalized, US citizen-parents were elected by US-citizens (minus illegal foreign nationals) to the highest office of our land, again, WITH FOREIGN-CITIZENS BEING EXCLUDED FROM ENTERING THIS HIGHEST OFFICE OF OUR LAND.

    John Jay’s un-amended “natural born Citizen” qualifier REMAINS A SUPREME LAW OF THE LAND, with all foreign-citizen residents here excluded from the office of natural-US-citizen-President (since 1789) and natural-US-citizen-Vice-president (since 1804).

  7. The research on intent is exhaustive and microscopic. There are clear FACTS disputed in this argument. It is like the 2nd Amendment, “…. shall not be infringed” This statement is not an invitation to debate, it is the Law of the Land.
    Yet, some will dispute the rock solid foundation, just as they do the Natural Born Clause in Article 2, Section 1.
    The documents first drafted for our budding country were in this order: Declaration of Independence, Constitution, Amendments.
    I am not going to give you the dates of the ratifying, you can find out on your own. Suffice it to say, the order of the documents in time destroys any doubts as to the additional requirements for the office of the President of the United States.
    Since the Constitution is the basics laws of the Land unlike the Declaration, which states intent, the Constitution is the first to setup offices and departments. With the founding Fathers agreeing that a President (Executive Branch) was needed, AND that this person be of ONE allegiance over any other Country, it was suggested that a SPECIAL test of patriotism be included JUST for that Office. Any other office in all of the 3 branches of the government do not require any addition qualifications (even education much to our chagrin)
    That test for the President of the United States of America is 3 fold:
    At least 35 years of age.
    Be a Natural Born Citizen.
    Be a Resident for 14 years of the States
    That is all. Just those three rules.
    Any other elected member of the government can be any type of U.S. citizen.
    This PATRIOTIC TEST was the first SPECIFIC rule to being President.
    If you did not meet the qualifications, you can not be President. Period.
    Enter the NEXT crucial development of the process; The Amendments.
    All Amendments came AFTER the acceptance (Ratification) of the Constitution.
    To note, the 14th amendment who’s sole purpose was to legally open birth Right Citizenship to be a Citizen of this Country. As an amendment, it does NOT change the stipulations of Article 2. Therefore as a matter of LAW of the Land, you still need to qualify under Article 2 to be President of the United States. Nowhere in the 14th Amendment’s wording does it negate or even mention Article 2 of the Constitution. Amendment 14 came after the tried and true accepted test of the highest executive office.
    Amendment 14 is for other persons wanting to join the United States; Politically.
    For this chronological delineation alone, one can reason logically that with no change in status, rule of definition, the following must be true.
    1. Assuming we still need a man and a women to procreate, the mother and the father must be CITIZENS of any means and the child of said parents (both of them) is a Natural Born Citizen within the definition of Article 2.
    1.a To my mind, when the situation presents it self, and a invitro born child is seeking eligibility, there will have to be a revaluation of the Father definition.
    2. Attaining 35 years of age is set in stone.
    3. Being a NATURAL BORN CITIZEN from birth residing in the United States for 14 years.
    Anything else doesn’t cut it.
    Obama is, nor was he EVER, Constitutionally eligible to be President of the United States.
    Senator Kamala Harris is NOT a Natural Born American Citizen, and is NOT eligible to be the President or Vice President. She cannot fulfill the role of Vice-Presidential succession. With Ms. Harris in that position, the 12th and 25th Amendments would skip her, and fall to the Speaker of the House.
    Alas, the wording on the Constitution is being perverted by the politicians. Shall is no longer a sure thing, and theft of our freedom is commonplace.
    Our ancestors fought and died for our freedom. All of those nifty little saying about patriotism notwithstanding, we are now in charge of our own fate.
    One has to wonder about the direction of our Country, when a fully qualified congress person openly engages in theft and trickery to win an election and gets away with it. Solely because we expect that of them.
    It won’t work for long.

    1. But a life time appointed ineligible Obama judges like Sotomayor or Kagan are producing void ab initio orders or decisions that must be voided so in a real sense both judges are not eligible scotus judges as NBC appointments of an ineligible natural born citizen potus

  8. Mr DeMaio: “Accordingly, whether the term “natural born citizens” or “natural born subjects” is at issue, the fact that all of the Massachusetts laws cited in the Becker comment were naturalization laws would have otherwise disqualified each of the newly-minted Massachusetts citizens from the presidency, even if a U.S. presidency or Supreme Court existed at that time (neither of which did).”

    Not under the grandfather clause. Under that clause, naturalized citizens were eligible to be president.

    Mr. DeMaio: “As a threshold question, why, pray tell, would John Jay – from New York and in 1787 serving as the Secretary of Foreign Affairs under the Articles of Confederation – be “familiar” with five “special legislation” acts passed by the Massachusetts Legislature seeking to naturalize individual residents of a state other than New York?”

    Without meaning to speak for Mr. Becker, I suspect by his addition of the acts that use both terms NBC and NBS, he meant to show that the legislature in Massachusetts was using both terms somewhat interchangeably.

    For example this 1790 act uses both terms in the same act. First in the Preamble and then in the body.

    “Whereas John White, Roger Dickenson and John Atkinson (said Atkinson in behalf of himself, his wife and children) have petitioned the General Court that they may be naturalized, & become intitled (sic) to all the rights and priviledges (sic) of natural born citizens; …”
    “Be it enacted …shall be deemed adjudged and taken, to be free citizens of this Commonwealth, and intitled to all the liberties, priviledges, and immunities of natural born subjects.”

    1. This is exactly right. The Founders at the time were using the two terms interchangeably. They continued to use English Common Law after July 4th, 1776. John Jay is the principle author of the New York Constitution Of 1777, he specifically incorporated the Common Law into it. Other states also incorporated the Common Law into their constitutions

      Connecticut did not draft a constitution but continued under their colonial charter from 1622. That had a passage that people born in the colony were natural subjects as if they were born in England.

      So it makes sense that in his letter, Jay was assuming natural born referred to the system everyone knew.

  9. When John Roberts swore-in the ineligible, identity fraud con-artist Barack Hussein Obama in 2009 Obama’s ineligibility immediately protected him from ever being removed from office. The number of people within our government who swore an oath to protect the Constitution and failed big-time is huge, and the penalties for the crimes committed are severe. From that point until today Obama became untouchable because the people involved in Obama’s usurpation and cover-up were/are many of the same people who would make the decision on Obama’s eligibility. They ain’t going to send themselves to prison……..or worse.
    Of course I would be VERY happy to be found wrong on this………………

  10. The tenure of the fraud Barack Obama should be ample evidence of why the founders wanted a natural-born citizen as commander in chief. Barack Obama even today is shunned by many of the very people he is allied to, the Muslims. The Saudis recently asked Biden to keep Obama out of the Iranian area of influence.

    Barack Obama began his anti American fervor before he entered office and I do believe the only reason he entered office is through election fraud. He cheated in the elections through electronic fraud and the fraud perpetuated by a totally spineless detached republican party. Nothing has changed on that front but I will
    say most of us want the president we elected back in office where he belongs and where we elected him to be, not this cabal of criminals who committed election fraud again to install a couple democrat beck benchers to destroy everything we had gained.

    All hell has broken out in the middle east, gas prices are back toward the stratosphere, social unsavory edicts from the left like men in girls sports, the country is in an economic malaise and the future spells doom and gloom from a man with the energy of a post and a VP that seems fully aware she is unqualified and way out over her skis’.

    With the upcoming audit findings in Arizona, Wisconsin, New Hampshire, Illinois, Michigan and others up and down ballot, Armageddon with respect to the Biden/Harris administration looms closer thank God. This election has to be returned to the rightful winner as soon as the true results are in. Period! I’ve had it with all these smarmy weak republican spokesmen that say “this audit isn’t to change the election, but to fix it for the next election” and to that I say “BS”. There had better be charges of election fraud in every state this election was thrown up and down ballot or there will be hell to pay! I personally am fed up with these weak republican trolls who are less afraid of us than they are the democrats and their allied lying media.

    1. “this audit isn’t to change the election, but to fix it for the next election”

      Only Republicon can-kickers would attempt to foist “a new law” so as to kick the can down the road in order to knowingly dismiss any can-do punishment of any fraud-candidates and any fraud-voters and any fraud-election-officials involved in the 2020 general election.

      Any proposed “new law”, without any prosecution of any of the many 2020 election fraudsters, would naturally embolden all future election fraudsters, while We the People remain suspicious of any future election integrity.

      He’s the old worthless promise that We must fully reject, if proposed, going forward:

      “We are passing new laws today so that election fraud will never happen again […UNTIL IT HAPPENS AGAIN, Sucker!]”
      EXHIBIT A: After the Tanzania and Kenya US embassy bombings in 1998, new embassy security measures/laws were enacted…but those measures were largely abandoned by SOS Hillary et al in 2012, which ultimately resulted in the Benghazi Massacre and Cover-up.

  11. The Wikipedia entry for The Law of Nations doesn’t say that the 1760 edition contains the words “natural born citizen.”

    The Wikipedia entry does link to an English translation, but its title page clearly notes it is the 1844 edition.

    Regardless, Laity’s case was dismissed for lack of standing, and there’s no indication that any judge believes Laity has standing. So, absent a rescheduling, the petition will be denied by June 1.

    1. Henry, SCOTUS went communist 7 to 2. All power is inherent in the people. We must do it ouselves.

      A Constitutional solution is to assemble as in the 1st amendment on your state. With; people that will do the work; people that will form a Lawful grand jury and bring a true bill against these evil doers. On Oregon we bring Article I Section 1. We need; people to populate a VII amendment jury of peers to bring forth a verdict that has no appeal in law in Our Article III one supreme Court claiming original jurisdiction. There may be other solutions!! However, this one works; it is we the people in assembly, forming a civilian court of record, implementing Ex Parte Milligan which nullified Lieber Code/martial law.. DOJ, FBI, USMS, USMC, STATE OF OREGON all acquiesced and defaulted. Will you help your state assemble? You have a pulpit. It only takes 45. Americans on a state in a minimum of 21 days.. Invite all non evil Americans. It only takes 45 people, no persons.. all the best of every good fortune for the good,

    2. “Lack of standing” is an acknowledgement of the federal courts’ limited jurisdiction. As explained in Justice Scalia’s seminal ruling in Lujan.

      A citizen-assembled grand jury (“forming a civilian court of record”) has no legal authority.

      1. David Ramsey was not a Framer; he was not at the 1787 Constitutional Convention.

        And Apuzzo’s 2010 article concedes that “natural born citizen” doesn’t appear in Ramsey’s 1789 essay.

        1. Skirt the issue all you want with your own tidbit pet innuendoes/oddities and continue obfuscating that which are too difficult for you to fathom and has not yet been reconciled by a law-abiding US court system, but just remember that God has the final word when judging the real truth.

        2. It isn’t skirting to note that Ramsey wasn’t a Framer and he never wrote an essay about natural-born citizenship.

          That you disagree with the rulings doesn’t mean the courts aren’t abiding the law.

        3. Reply from the author:

          Mr. Wilson’s 5/18/21 comment that David Ramsay never wrote about “natural born citizenship” is correct, because there is no such legal status as “natural born citizenship.” Indeed, the term “citizenship” appears nowhere in the Constitution. “Natural born Citizen,” yes; “natural born citizenship,” no. That latter term is a concoction of the Congressional Research Service in CRS Report R42097. It is a manufactured neologism advanced in support of the theory that if one enjoys “citizenship” as a result of the 14th Amendment, such will suffice to establish, purportedly, “natural born citizenship” under Art. 2, § 1, Cl. 5 of the Constitution. Wrong. That misinformation was debunked back in 2016 here: (Of Neologisms, End-Around Runs and Gorillas: The Congressional Research Service 2016 Report on Presidential Eligibility – The Post & Email (

        4. “Citizenship” means “status of being a citizen.” “Natural-born citizenship” therefore means “status of being a natural-born citizen.”

          Regardless, Ramsay wasn’t a Framer, and his essay didn’t discuss the status of being a natural-born citizen.

          Which has nothing to with Vattel never writing the words “natural-born citizen” and no pre-1787 translation of his work using those words.

          Which has nothing to due with the pending cert. petition for a case that was dismissed for lack of standing.

  12. The word “Parent” was used in Vattel’s translation into French from a previous work. Vattel did not write the book. In any event, French was the primary language of Diplomacy in 1776. The founders spoke French in Diplomatic arena’s. “Les naturels, ou indigenes, sont ceux que sont nes dans le pays de parentS citoyenS”. (parents citoyens is plural). Natural, or indigenous people ARE those born IN the country of citizen parents”. That definition does NOT include persons born outside the country and does NOT include persons born of ONE citizen parent. NEITHER of Kamala Harris’ parents were US Citizens when she was born. BOTH were British Subjects. Both Jamaica and India are members of the British Commonwealth of Nations. Kamala Harris was born a British Subject under the British Nationality Act. Furthermore, Kamala’s parents were NOT legally able to apply for citizenship until being in residence in the US for FIVE years. Their daughter Kamala is at best naturalized under the 14th Amendment and at worse (for her) not qualified to have become a US Citizen at all.

    1. As this article shows, there’s no evidence that, pre-U.S. Constitution, “indigenes” was translated as “natural-born citizen.”

      And as this article shows, there’s no evidence that Jay was relying on or even referring to Vattel.

      India and Jamaica had gained independence by 1964.

      “British Commonwealth” was an obsolete term by 1964.

      No part of the British Nationality Act applies to someone born in United States in 1964.

      The 14th Amendment doesn’t naturalize anyone.

      And none of this is relevant to the lower courts’ dismissals for lack of standing.

  13. Mr. Demaio:
    Great article and arguments. Don’t know if you have ever seen this article written by Teo Bear regarding a finding of his via his research of Continental Congress correspondence between the Continental Congress and France may provide further insight into how the founders and framers read and understood words used by Vattel in Vol. 1 Chapter 19 Section 212, although as you clearly point out the rest of the sentence defines what he means no matter how exactly one translates one word or another. See:
    The anti-Vattel dissemblers nitpick at one word and beat that drum in a vacuum and ignore the entire rest of Vattel’s sentence and the entire section 212.

    Also, when the 1797 edition was created the translator did not pick the term “natural born Citizen” out of thin air. That translation of “naturels” to “natural born” must have been well known by the time the 1797 edition was made. It just puts into plain English what “naturels” translated to and understood to mean in English as to the type of Citizens being defined in that sentence, and section by Vattel.

    Also look at the full title of Chapter 19 Section 212, in French and for that matter the full and complete title of Vattel’s treatise in French and the use of the term “naturels” in the French. Clearly talking/writing about Citizens who were “natural born” under the Laws of Nature, not of man.

    The term “natural born Citizen” was obviously in use and had the meaning of what Vattel was describing significantly prior to that via the 1797 re-translation for that English term for the meaning of the French term given in that sentence, one born in the country of parents who were both citizens of that country. Treatises and/or dictionaries aren’t created with the words out of thin air. They write and describe what terms already in use mean. So in 1797 “natural born Citizen” was in use and its use fully described who the “naturels” were as the rest of that sentence by Vattel defines it. The rest of the sentences answers the question emphatically as to what the prior words meant.

    Also, when I have read and re-read the original French edition and the earlier English editions, and then the 1797 edition, I just thought that the translator of the 1797 edition switched around the order of the words in that key sentence putting the latest in use English translation of “naturels” in second place after the word “indigenes”, instead of the opposite order of those words in the original in French sentence. But either way it does not change the meaning of the whole sentence. But the translator/editor may have felt it translated and read better in English by the year 1797 as to Vattel’s meaning and intent in that sentence by switching the order of the words in that sentence. The editor/translator obviously knew of the use of the term “natural born Citizen” in Article II Section 1 Clause 5 of the U.S. Constitution and obviously knew in my opinion its purpose, sole allegiance at birth to one country and only one country for the Commander in Chief of the military of the new United States of America. Citizenship and Allegiance are opposites sides of the same coin. One demands the other. Something else to consider.
    CDR Charles Kerchner (Ret)
    Lehigh Valley PA USA

    1. No one has translated ever “naturals” to “natural-born citizen.”

      And as this articles shows, no pre-Constitution edition of The Law of Nations translated “indigenes” to “natural-born citizen.”

    2. “I just thought that the translator of the 1797 edition switched around the order of the words in that key sentence”

      In the earlier English editions (pre-1797) “naturels” was translated as “natives” and “indigènes” was translated as “indigenes” (without the accent over the first “e”). But you are saying the translator reversed the French phrase from “Les naturels, ou indigènes” to “Les indigenes, ou naturels” and then translated that as “natives, or natural born citizens.”

      I don’t think that is necessary to achieve what you want.