by Joseph DeMaio, ©2021 

May 23, 2021 

U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Clarence Thomas

Dear Justice Thomas:

With respect, it is virtually certain that in the next Court conference – this coming Thursday, May 27, 2021 – the matter in Docket No. 20-1503, “Laity v. Harris” will be addressed.  Further, it is also not altogether unlikely that, based on existing Court precedent, and as has happened in past cases involving the same plaintiff/petitioner – Mr. Robert Laity – his challenge to the constitutional eligibility of Vice-President Kamala Harris as a “natural born Citizen” may be denied on the grounds that he lacks the “requisite standing” to maintain and support his certiorari petition, arguments to the contrary notwithstanding.

This conclusion is not posited to advocate or suggest either a granting or denial of the petition, but merely to acknowledge the reality that based on precedent, the Court may deny the petition.  Indeed, you may well concur in a determination that the petition be denied for lack of requisite standing under the Court’s existing precedent, including Lujan v. Defenders of Wildlife, 504 U.S. 555 (1992).

With utmost respect, Mr. Justice Thomas, the issue of presidential eligibility as a “natural born Citizen” under Art. 2, § 1, Cl. 5 of the Constitution is not an insignificant one.  Instead, it goes to the very core of who the Founders intended would be entrusted with command over the “[A]merican army” and be mandated to “take care that the laws be faithfully executed.” These directives would seem to be at least as important as those regarding, for example, whether individuals seeking redress for alleged and perceived environmental habitat and endangered species damage resulting from events in Egypt and Sri Lanka possessed “standing,” as encountered in Lujan. 

While requisite standing was found lacking in Lujan – a conclusion in which you concurred with Justice Scalia – at least the matter was granted review on the petition for certiorari.  And yet, in virtually every case seeking to question or challenge the constitutional “natural born Citizen” bona fides of persons including Barack Hussein Obama, Jr., John McCain and now, Vice President Harris, a ruling on the merits by the Court has been avoided or “evaded” on the grounds that the challenger lacked standing, resulting in a peremptory denial of certiorari.

In this regard, you will no doubt recall your remarks made April 15, 2010 to the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government.  Subcommittee Chair Rep. José Serrano (D-NY.) asked you a question, but admitted that he was not a judge, which elicited your response that he “did not have to be born in the United States.”  The Chairman then quipped: “So you haven’t answered the one about whether I can serve as president, but you answer this one?”  Your response: “We’re evading that one… we’re giving you another option.”

Following the last election, but prior to the Electoral College gathering to count and certify the results, it was suggested here that Vice President Pence could have taken action long ago to have the question brought before the Court.  As the then-sitting Vice President, he would seemingly have had the “particularized injury in fact” – at least after Nov. 3, 2020 – to have satisfied the Court’s “requisite standing” rulings.  He of course did not do that.

Thus, the question remains unanswered and therefore unresolved by any decision of this Court.  Those who rely on the 14th Amendment and the decision interpreting that amendment in United States v. Wong Kim Ark, 169 U.S. 649 (1898) to conclude that a “citizen at birth” or a “citizen by birth” under the amendment, regardless of parental citizenship, is the constitutional equivalent of a “natural born Citizen” as contemplated by the Founders in Art. 2, § 1, Cl. 5, have thus far largely succeeded in preventing any contrary views from being given serious analysis.  Consequently, by default, the issue has been relegated to the opinions and pontifications of law school professors, law review articles and “products” of the Congressional Research Service…, but not the United States Supreme Court.

Moreover, those who rely on this Court’s decision in, for example, Minor v. Happersett, 88 U.S. 162 (1875), abrogated by the 19th Amendment (1920) for its statement (88 U.S. at 167-168) that the Founders never doubted that a “natural born citizen” was a person born here to two persons already U.S. citizens, largely ignore the fact that the decision has been abrogated and that, in the view of certain scholars – but as far as can be determined, never a U.S. Supreme Court Justice – the observation is obiter dictum.  Accordingly, the issue continues to perplex and confound as the years and successive general elections roll on. 

Absent a constitutional amendment either clarifying the meaning of the eligibility restriction – or repealing and/or abrogating it altogether – the debates will continue.  Therefore, assuming, arguendo, that the pending petition in Docket No. 20-1503 will be denied, it would not be unprecedented for one or more of the Justices to articulate their own views as to the propriety (or impropriety) of that denial.  If such a view or views were to be disseminated, the likelihood is that that the issue would finally be perpetually avoided. 

As a result, lower court decisions; the products of the Congressional Research Service; the opinions of former Solicitors General; and the bulk of law review articles on the topic would become the ersatz “law of the land” interpreting Art. 2, § 1, Cl. 5.  Future debate on the topic would likely diminish significantly, if not completely evaporate. 

On the other hand, a granting of the certiorari petition in Docket No. 20-1503 – as happened in Lujan ­– could also result in a decision on the merits, regardless of any dissents, inuring to the benefit of everyone and even if not to the liking of one or the other of the parties in the action. 

As Confucius is rumored to have said: “May you live in interesting times.”                

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  1. Don’t be so sure Wilson. I cited SCOTUS precedent in my brief that provides for third party standing under certain circumstances. See: Uzuegbunam, et al v. Preczewski, et al, #19-968, USSCt. (March 2021).

    Nominal damages are sufficient to prove standing. I cited redressable injuries and meet all the elements necessary to prove standing.

    1. Uzuegbunam argued he had standing because his free speech rights were violated; first-person, not third-person standing.

      SCOTUS’ denial of Laity’s petition will be published Tuesday morning. As evidenced by its not publishing the grant order on Friday.

  2. Citizen. born Citizen. natural born Citizen PRECEDENT PRESIDENTS

    ALL 8 U.S. “Precedent” Presidents BORN BEFORE July 4, 1776, from George Washington to William Henry Harrison, were “Revolutionalized-naturalized” as U.S. citizens of original “Revolutionalized-naturalized” U.S. citizen-parents.

    ALL 35 U.S. “Precedent” Presidents BORN AFTER July 4, 1776, from Martin Van Buren to George W. Bush, just as a universal observation of reality to all humanity today, interpreted “natural born Citizen” to mean, “born in sole U.S. jurisdiction to natural, or naturalized, U.S.-citizen-parents”, except “Republicon” Chester Arthur.

    U.S. Vice-President Chester Arthur was thrust into to the U.S. Presidency after the assassination of President James Garfield. “Republicon” Arthur hid, and later burned, his father’s foreign-citizen identity documents.


    Now, IF all the above is factually true, and, also, IF all U.S. Vice-Presidents after 1804 were born in U.S. jurisdictions to U.S.-citizen-parents, THEN, Obama II+Kamala,Too must be arrested and prosecuted for candidate/voter/election FRAUD, don’t you think? What would YOU do if all this is TRUE?

    Common sense tells me that any uncontested President of USA would “naturally be from the tribe of existing U.S. citizens, including the President’s parents”. Why would anyone reject this indisputable natural condition and, instead, make-up make-believe stuff like, “the President’s father may be a visiting Kenyan-citizen or any other foreign-citizen” (= Obama, Kamala and Cruz et al) or “the President may be born in Canada or any other foreign country” (Cruz), etc.? Where are those two disputable “may be” clauses expressly codified?

    My belief: both national Parties and virtually all U.S. election-system officials, since at least 08-28-08, have no intention of adhering to the original intent of John Jay’s supreme law of the land relative to presidential-eligibility, being, naturally born-a-U.S.-citizen of U.S.-citizen-population-parents, aka, “natural born Citizen” 1789- TODAY.

    Why do I sustain this belief with such confidence? Because our entire U.S. election-system today is obviously fraught with fraud (and MY incumbent President Trump is obviously rigged-removed from office!), and, no U.S. election officials that I know of have blocked “Lyin’ Ted the Undocumented Fed”, born in Canada as a Canadian-citizen [!], from illegally running as a foreign-citizen for the highest office of our land >>>

    Power-Grab-Pelosi on 08-28-08: MAKE-THEM-BELIEVE MAKE-BELIEVE!

  3. He misquotes Minor v. Happersett. The court said “it was never doubted that all children born in a country of parents who were its citizens became themselves, upon their birth, citizens also. ” He claims that the court said “the Founders never doubted that a “natural born citizen” was a person born here to two persons already U.S. citizens, “.

    The court’s wording merely says that Ms. Minor meets the criteria for being a citizen. The latter (Laity’s) wording implies that this is the definition of Natural Born Citizen. He has reversed the order and thereby completely changed the meaning of the sentence.

    Indeed, that has always been his position. Unfortunately for him Minor v. Happersett does not support that position.

    Furthermore, the case was not about NBC status. It was about whether or not voting was a right of citizenship that was protected by the 14th Amendment. The court ruled it was not. It took the 19th Amendment to change that.

    1. Truncated = obfuscated.
      The full text is:
      “The Constitution does not, in words, say who shall be natural-born citizens. Resort must be had elsewhere to ascertain that. At common-law, with the nomenclature of which the framers of the Constitution were familiar, it was never doubted that all children born in a country of parents who were its citizens became themselves, upon their birth, citizens also. These were natives, or natural-born citizens, as distinguished from aliens or foreigners.” Minor v. Happersett, 88 U.S. 162, 168.

      1. Immaterial as the statement in Minor is obiter dictum and not binding.

        Here is the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals explanation of distinguishing dictum from holding from the case of United States of America v. John Allan Crawley, 837 F.2d 291

        “So instead of asking what the word “dictum” means we can ask what reasons there are against a court’s giving weight to a passage found in a previous opinion. There are many. One is that the passage was unnecessary to the outcome of the earlier case and therefore perhaps not as fully considered as it would have been if it were essential to the outcome. A closely related reason is that the passage was not an integral part of the earlier opinion–it can be sloughed off without damaging the analytical structure of the opinion, and so it was a redundant part of that opinion and, again, may not have been fully considered. Still another reason is that the passage was not grounded in the facts of the case and the judges may therefore have lacked an adequate experiential basis for it; another, that the issue addressed in the passage was not presented as an issue, hence was not refined by the fires of adversary presentation. All these are reasons for thinking that a particular passage was not a fully measured judicial pronouncement, that it was not likely to be relied on by readers, and indeed that it may not have been part of the decision that resolved the case or controversy on which the court’s jurisdiction depended (if a federal court).”

        The passage from Minor meets several of these examples for dicta.

      2. Literally no one has doubted that those born in the United States to two U.S. citizen parents are natural-born citizens.

        But no judge has agreed with the belief that only those born in the United States to two U.S. citizens are natural-born citizens.

        Even Minor acknowledges it isn’t necessary for it to define natural-born citizen, and also the definition is not relevant to the question actually before it (whether the U.S. Constitution guarantees a right to vote).

        And, of course, Laity’s case was dismissed for lack of standing.

    2. You misquoted the article’s author, Mr Joseph Demaio. The only words he quoted from Minor v. Happersett (“the Court”) were “natural born citizen” — the rest was his paraphrasing what the Court said and, therefore, your claim that he misquoted the Court is false.

      Additionally, the Court, in context, said: “The Constitution does not, in words, say who shall be natural-born citizens. Resort must be had elsewhere to ascertain that. At common-law, with the nomenclature of which the framers of the Constitution were familiar, it was never doubted that all children born in a country of parents who were its citizens became themselves, upon their birth, citizens also. These were natives, or natural-born citizens, as distinguished from aliens or foreigners.” Although Mr. Demaio misquoted the Court’s “the framers” as “the Founders” he kept the order and thereby the meaning of the sentence intact and, therefore, your claim that Mr Demaio reversed the order and thereby completely changed the meaning of the sentence is false.

      Furthermore, your intentional omission of the first and last sentences of what the Court said, which establish that the intent of what the Court said in the third sentence was to define “natural-born citizen”, is nothing less than deceit.

      But nothing less than deceit has always been the modus operandi of those who knowingly erroneously equate “citizen” with “natural born Citizen” in obvious defiance of the fact that, as the Kenyan himself said: “Words matter!” Words do indeed matter. And the words “natural” and “born” do indeed differentiate “born citizen” from “citizen” and, in turn, “natural born citizen” from “born citizen.” PERIOD!

      Finally, please correct me if I’m wrong about this but as far as I know no SCOTUS case in history has been about NBC status per se. However, during the 2008 election cycle a U.S. Senate committee was in fact about the NBC status per se of Republican nominee Senator John McCain and it determined he was a NBC because he was born to parents each of whom was a U.S. citizen at the time of his birth. However, no similar committee was about the NBC status per se of Democrat nominee Senator Barack Hussein Obama and, thus far, no similar committee has been about the NBC status per se of former Democrat Senator now Democrat Vice-President Kamala Harris.

      1. SR 511 was a non-binding resolution; it has no force of law. It existence has no legal bearing.

        And the resolution also says that McCain was born on a military based in 1934 in the Panama Canal Zone. That doesn’t mean the Senate believes only those born in 1934 on bases in Panama are natural-born citizens.

        Obama and Harris, unlike McCain, were born in the United States.

        None of which is relevant to Laity’s case being dismissed for lack of standing.

        1. As I recall SR 511 was proposed in response to articles in the NY Times and some other publications about McCain’s birth circumstances. It was a favor to their fellow senator and passed with hardly any debate.

        2. McCain was born in a civilian hospital in the Panamanian city of Colon. Was the Panamanian city of Colon contained within the USN military base?
          If so, how many US states voted to incorporate Colon into the United States of America?

        3. Re: U.S. Senator John S. McCain, III (deceased).

          Regardless No. 1: Wherever in the Canal Zone McCain was born, the US State Department has their guidance, albeit it makes me scratch my head concerning illegal alien parents giving birth to their newborns in USA and the US State Department declaring these babies US citizens.

          To wit: “c. Birth on U.S. Military Base Outside of the United States or Birth on U.S. Embassy or Consulate Premises Abroad: (1) Despite widespread popular belief, U.S. military installations abroad and U.S. diplomatic or consular facilities abroad are not part of the United States within the meaning of the 14th Amendment. A child born on the premises of such a facility is not born in the United States and does not acquire U.S. citizenship by reason of birth.”

          Regardless No. 2: US statutes NEVER state that anyone is a “natural born Citizen”; statutes only state that someone is a “citizen”, a plain-vanilla citizen, if-you-will.

          Senate Resolution 511 was a total SCAM.

      2. McCain was not born IN the United States. The Panama Canal Zone was never a fully incorporated territory of the United States. Furthermore, McCain was born in Colon,Panama. Colon and Panama City were EXCLUDED by treaty from the parameters of the PCZ. McCain was NOT a Natural Born US Citizen.

  4. The honest mind knows what was intended by “Natural Born”….
    Now so many dishonest minds are perusing in how to “mis + dis” interpret the Framers intent actual honesty is rapidly becoming extinct…!

    1. “If” is doing all the work, because it won’t: If the schedule holds, the petition will be denied at this week’s conference, with the denial being announced next week.

      DeMaio’s letter acknowledges Lujan as the precedent, but the lower courts’ routine application of it is not a basis for granting cert.