by Joseph DeMaio, ©2021 

What did the Framers mean by the term “natural born Citizen?”

(Jul. 19, 2021) — Faithful P&E readers, as we wait patiently for the ruling from the Supreme Court on the Petition for Rehearing in Laity v. Harris, USSC Doc. No. 20-1503 (don’t hold your breath for an order granting the petition…), perhaps it makes sense to take a few moments to once again revisit the foundations of the theory that if a person is a “citizen at birth” or a “citizen from birth” under the 14th Amendment, this means that the person is also a “natural born Citizen” as intended by the Founders in Art. 2, § 1, Cl. 5 of the Constitution, the presidential “Eligibility Clause.” 

While some might deem this theory to be “misinformation” worthy of being purged from existence, it still persists in the minds of those who believe that Kamala Devi Harris is a “natural born Citizen” eligible to serve as vice-president.  Although there are more colorful, colloquial terms to describe this “citizen-at-birth-equals-natural-born-citizen” intellectual anomaly, let us borrow from the Goofball-in-Chief’s “No Malarkey” campaign bus: the purported equivalence of a 14th Amendment “citizen” and an Art. 2, § 1, Cl. 5 “natural born Citizen” is not “No Malarkey,” but instead is “Pure Malarkey.” 

Accordingly, faithful P&E readers, consider the following discussion to be a brief “refresher” course in what is – and more importantly, what is not – the “fact-checked” truth underlying the issue because, apart from the question of “standing” in the Laity v. Harris case, this concept lies at the core of the substantive question presented in the dispute.  Some of the content may seem repetitive, so feel free to skip ahead as necessary.

Caffeinated beverage nearby?  Thinking cap in place?  Excellent… let us begin.

Malarkey at Work

To begin with, “malarkey” is defined as “insincere or foolish talk.”  It is not infrequently used to mislead or deceive.  And that, faithful P&E readers, is exactly what has occurred with regard to searching for the original intent of the Founders when they crafted the “natural born Citizen” eligibility restriction in the Constitution. 

The tsunami of misinformation stretches from the 1898 decision in United States v. Wong Kim Ark, 169 U.S. 649 (1898) (hereinafter “WKA”); to the various “products” of the Congressional Research Service (“CRS”) found here and here; to a more recent article published by two former Solicitors General of the United States captioned “On the Meaning of ‘Natural Born Citizen.’”  

The 2006 Federalist Blog Post

First, the U.S. Supreme Court majority opinion in WKA has been described as perhaps “one of the most incompetent and feeble rulings ever handed down by the Supreme Court….”   Not exactly high praise for the decision.  The just-cited Federalist Blog article – titled “Was U.S. v. Wong Kim Ark Wrongly Decided?” – posits that WKA was, as a matter of fact and law, wrongly decided for a wide variety of reasons.  Chief among those reasons was the fact that Associate Justice Horace Gray ignored his own ruling on the meaning of “and subject to the jurisdiction of the United States” under the 14th Amendment which he had earlier handed down in Elk v. Wilkins, 112 U.S. 94 (1884).

U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice Horace Gray (public domain)

The Elk case addressed the question of whether an American Indian, John Elk, who was born a Winnebago Indian to tribal member parents on the tribe’s reservation, but upon reaching majority, renounced his tribal membership and lived in the Nebraska Territory, was a 14th Amendment U.S. citizen.  The Supreme Court, with Justice Gray writing the majority opinion – Justices Harlan and Woods dissenting – held that despite being born in a U.S. territorial area, he was not subject to the “complete jurisdiction” of the United States under the 14th Amendment and remained subject to his tribe’s jurisdiction from birth. 

Thus, Justice Gray opined that Elk was not a U.S. citizen and was to be denied the right to vote in a municipal election for members of the Omaha city council.  Thank you, Justice Gray.  Mercifully, Congress abrogated Gray’s decision in 1924 by enacting the “Indian Citizenship Act,” 43 Stat. 253. 

The Federalist Blog post also discusses Gray’s refusal to take into consideration the documented legislative history behind enactment of the 14th Amendment, referencing Justice John Paul Stevens’s later observation that a refusal to consider reliable evidence of original intent in the Constitution is no more excusable than a judge’s refusal to consider legislative intent: both refusals are inexcusable.

Returning to Gray’s opinion in WKA, only by ignoring via a painfully feckless attempt to distinguish his prior Elk holding could Justice Gray “fudge” the conclusion that Wong Kim Ark qualified as a person who was purportedly – despite the status of his parents as non-citizen subjects of the Emperor of China – “completely subject” to the political jurisdiction of the United States and owing to the United States “direct and immediate allegiance.” 

But ignoring inconvenient facts which undercut the desired narrative has rarely stopped a politician – or a judge – from the attainment of a desired outcome.  See, e.g., Justice Antonin Scalia’s dissent in National Federation of Independent Business v. Sebelius, 567 U.S. 519, 646 – 707 (2012) (“Obamacare” held constitutional, with Justices Scalia, Kennedy, Thomas and Alito dissenting).

The Federalist Blog article linked above remains as relevant on the “completely subject” aspect of Gray’s WKA decision now as it was in 2006 when it appeared.  Thus, reading it again would not be a bad idea…, that is, of course, if one is interested in learning the true facts surrounding the WKA majority opinion.  Yes, Virginia, there is a cogent dissent in WKA which should also be read.  As is true of all dissents, it maintains that Gray’s majority opinion is wrong.

Justice Horace Gray’s WKA Blunder

Second, Justice Gray’s anemic attempt to distinguish his prior holding in Elk is actually surpassed in WKA when he “erroneously” (some might argue “deceptively”) misrepresents that in 1795, Congress re-enacted “in the same words” the “natural born citizens” language it had carelessly used in 1790 to describe the status of children born “beyond sea” to American citizen parents.  No, Virginia, Congress did just the opposite.  This anomaly is addressed here.

United States Statutes, Naturalization Act of 1790 (Wikisource)

Specifically, as discussed here, in 1790, Congress passed 1 Stat. 103 entitled “An Act to establish an uniform Rule of Naturalization” (Emphasis added).  Note that this law dealt with the “naturalization” of aliens and foreigners and did not address the statutory creation of “natural born citizens.”  Section 1 of the act purported to bestow status as a “natural born citizen” upon the children of American parents born “beyond sea, or out of the limits of the United States….”

However, less than five years later, seemingly realizing that it had improperly attempted to amend the Constitution by a statute – a “no-no” even in 1790 – in 1795, Congress repealed 1 Stat. 103 and on January 29, 1795 passed in its place 1 Stat. 414, with President Washington thereafter signing it into law.  1 Stat. 414, § 3 deleted the words “natural born” before the word “citizens” as it had appeared in 1 Stat. 103.  Thereafter, “children of citizens of the United States, born out of the limits and jurisdiction of the United States, shall be considered as citizens of the United States….” but not “natural born citizens.”  Section 4 of the Act repealed, in toto, 1 Stat. 103.

Stated otherwise, after January 29, 1795 (or whenever President Washington signed the bill into law), 1 Stat. 103 could no longer properly or authoritatively be relied upon for the proposition that Congress intended that children born to American citizen parents outside of the United States were to be considered “natural born citizens.”  Between 1790 and 1795, that status may have obtained as to children born to American citizen parents located outside the United States, but thereafter, as they say on the street: “no way.”  Period. 

This “fact-checked” and indisputable reality has nevertheless been nearly universally ignored in the products of the CRS and in the various court opinions purporting to address and “settle” the “natural born citizen” presidential eligibility issue, including, for example, United States v. Wong Kim Ark; Tisdale v. Obama; Elliott v. Cruz; and Ankeny v. Governor of Indiana.

None…, repeat, none of these cases addresses the repeal of the “children considered to be natural born citizens” in 1 Stat. 103 by 1 Stat. 414.  Indeed, already noted, Supreme Court Justice Horace Gray went so far as to erroneously (some might argue “falsely”) misinform readers of the WKA opinion that the 1795 statute, 1 Stat. 414, “reenacted, in the same words,” the 1790 statute. (Emphasis added).  See WKA, 169 U.S. at 672-673.  Wrong.  Flat wrong.

Not only does this, at minimum, wildly misrepresent the import of Justice Gray’s spectacular blunder – if not an intentional misrepresentation – the anomaly has also become a part of the faulty foundation upon which rests much of the reasoning Gray uses to manufacture Wong Kim Ark’s status as a “citizen” under the 14th Amendment.  In the law, this blunder would normally invoke the principle “falsus in uno, falsus in omnibus: false in one thing, false in all things.”  In the common vernacular, it is called “WTH?” or “what the heck?”  But since we are here discussing presidential eligibility, that principle is tossed to the curb. 

Stated otherwise, if Gray’s intellectual stumble is acknowledged for what it is – an obvious misstatement, intentional or not, of what Congress did in 1790 and 1795 – that mistake infects and casts doubt on the entirety of his reasoning and rationale for the conclusion that Wong Kim Ark was properly deemed to be a “citizen by birth” under the 14th Amendment.  This, of course, is explained in detail in the Federalist Blog already cited. 

Against this indisputable factual backdrop, one might well ask: when, exactly, will the Congressional Research Service, the judges in the Tisdale, Elliott and Ankeny cases and the authors of the Harvard Law Review Forum article “On the Meaning of ‘Natural Born Citizen’” concede as much and demand that such “misinformation” be “memory-holed” and banished from public view?  Indeed, when will the U.S. Supreme Court do the same? 

Do not hold your breath for an answer to those questions, because a candid response could undermine the “settled” party narrative that a “citizen at birth” under the 14th Amendment is incontrovertibly – and do not dare to contend otherwise – synonymous with a “natural born Citizen” under Art. 2, § 1, Cl. 5 of the Constitution.  Can’t let that happen…, can we?

The Harvard Article and Senate Resolution 511

Third, the Harvard Law Review Forum article by former U.S. Solicitors General Paul Clement and Neal Katyal – “On the Meaning of Natural Born Citizen” – claims that the term “natural born Citizen” in the Constitution was intended by the Founders to mean anyone born merely “a citizen from birth by descent without the need to undergo naturalization proceedings….” and whether born here or elsewhere.  See 161 Harv. L. Rev. For. at 162. 

In reaching that conclusion, the authors cite and directly or indirectly rely upon 1 Stat. 103 – the law Congress repealed and jettisoned in 1795 via 1 Stat. 414 – no fewer than five times.  See 161 Harv. L. Rev. For.at 162, 163 and 164.  To their credit, the authors acknowledge the repeal of 1 Stat. 103 in 1795, but one needs to pause in reading the article text to find that unexplained concession buried in a parenthetical reference in footnote 8.

Nonetheless, by persisting throughout in referring to 1 Stat. 103 as being the contemporary sine qua non intellectual guidepost for what Congress intended when drafting Art. 2, § 1, Cl. 5, the article posits that although Congress in 1795 deleted and repealed the specific language of the 1790 statute regarding children born to American citizen parents “beyond sea,” it still purportedly intended to thereafter preserve the concept – if not the pre-existing statutory authorizing language – that such children remained “natural born citizens.”  In the law, this illogical tactic is called a “non sequitur.”  In the common vernacular, it is called “dumb.” 

Moreover, the argument that Congress in the 1795 Act was merely making a “stylistic” change or deleting the language as “surplusage” is belied by the actual legislative history underlying the enactment of 1 Stat. 414, discussed here

Specifically, the remarks of Congressman James Hillhouse (see 4 Annals of Congress, “3rd Congress,” 2nd session at 1046) offer a more logical and rational explanation for the deletion.  That explanation, as espoused by Congressman Hillhouse, is that in recognition that “the ground upon which foreigners should be admitted to a share in the administration of our Government ought to be narrowed in every possible way…” (emphasis added), the removal of the “natural born” modifier found in 1 Stat. 103 would eliminate any question of conflict between the “natural born Citizen” requirements of Art. 2, § 1, Cl. 5 and the “naturalization” powers of Congress under Art. 1, § 8, Cl. 4, consistent with the intent of Congress underlying the 14th Amendment as addressed and explained in the 2006 Federalist Blog post noted above.

Furthermore, the article by Messrs. Clement and Katyal also attempts to support its arguments with a reference to the 2008 “unanimous” resolution of the Senate, S. Res. 511, 110th Cong. (2008).  That resolution, addressed and dissected here, purports to declare that former Senator John McCain, born to American military personnel parents in Panama, was a “natural born citizen” eligible to the presidency by virtue of, among other things…: 1 Stat. 103.  Really? 

On April 10, 2008, the vaunted intellects of the U.S. Senate – including Hillary Clinton and Barack Hussein Obama, Jr. – stated in their resolution that, among other “whereas” assertions, the “First Congress’s own statute defining the term ‘natural born Citizen’ [i.e., 1 Stat. 103] supposedly fortified the resolution.  Not so fast. 

First, 1 Stat. 103 did not “define” the term at all: it merely asserted via ipse dixit something which likely did not comport with either the language or original intent of the Founders in Art. 2, § 1, Cl. 5.  Second, adding dumb to dumber, the resolution even acknowledges that although the term “is not defined in the Constitution of the United States,” Congress somehow wields the power to independently and unilaterally supply a “definition” which may or may not correspond to the original intent of the Founders and may or may not depend on the flawed reasoning of the decision in WKA.  This, faithful P&E readers, is what passes for intelligent governance in Washington, D.C.

Interestingly, two well-respected authorities on the Constitution – Ted Olsen, a former U.S. Solicitor General under President George H. W. Bush, and Harvard law professor Laurence Tribe – submitted a March 19, 2008 joint letter to the Chairman and Ranking Member of the Senate Judiciary Committee (Senators Patrick Leahy and Arlen Specter, respectively) regarding the issue.

In that letter, Messrs. Olson and Tribe opine that Senator McCain was, in their opinion, a natural born citizen eligible to the presidency.  And while they cite the decision in WKA in support of their conclusion, they omit altogether any discussion of Justice Gray’s manifest linguistic blunder or the matters addressed in the Federalist Blog which appeared two years earlier. 

Conclusion

Accordingly, as we await the Supreme Court’s ruling on Mr. Laity’s Petition for Rehearing, ponder the wisdom of allowing the determination of who is – and who is not – a “natural born Citizen” for presidential eligibility purposes to fall upon those who would claim that the language of 1 Stat. 103 still controls the analysis of the question today, 226 years after it was repealed rather than reenacted “in the same words.”  Does that make any sense at all?

I’ll wait.

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  1. Hello everybody,

    I’m curious to know what Mr. DeMaio’s take on the Congressman Hillhouse’s statement that an alien’s children would be “natural born citizens”.

    The NBC statement is right there in the same Hillhouse speech that Mr. Demaio quotes on page 1046.

    1. “Congressman Hillhouse’s statement that an alien’s children would be “natural born citizens””

      Welcome to the elephant in the room.

      Mr. Hillhouse clearly was opposed to foreigners serving in the government. Later in the debates he said, “If Mr Giles would make an amendment incapacitating all foreigners whatever from holding, upon any account, a civil office in America, Mr. H would agree with him, because he did not want to see any of them in such offices, and conceived that Americans could legislate for themselves without any such assistance.”

      https://memory.loc.gov/ll/llac/004/0500/05261055.tif

      So here is a guy who doesn’t want foreigners in the government but who recognizes that children born in the US to alien parents are natural born citizens. If the understanding among the people was that the Framers used Vattel’s Law Of Nations for Presidential eligibility, why would Mr. Hillhouse make that statement?

      And notice no one in Congress disputes him.

      BTW, Mr. Hillhouse’s attitude towards foreigners in government echoes John Jay’s.

      Jay letter to Timothy Pickering

      “13th May, 1798
      .
      Dear Sir:
      It is said that the Naturalization Act is to be revised and amended. Permit me to suggest an idea which I have for many years deemed important. We doubtless may grant to a foreigner just such a portion of our rights and privileges as we may think proper. In my opinion it would be wise to declare explicitly, that the right and privilegeof being elected or appointed to, or of holding and exercising any office or place of trust or power under the United States, or under any of them, shall not hereafter be granted to any foreigner; but that the President of the United States, with the consent of the Senate, be nevertheless at liberty to appoint a foreigner to a military office.
      I am, dear sir,
      Your most obedient servant,
      John Jay”

      https://oll.libertyfund.org/title/johnston-the-correspondence-and-public-papers-of-john-jay-vol-4-1794-1826#lf1530-04_head_020

    2. Response from Joseph DeMaio:
      ————————
      Regarding the Courney comment regarding Congressman Hillhouse’s remarks about the children of former aliens, when the totality of the discussions taking place around the 1795 Naturalization Act is taken into consideration (4 Annals of Congress 1033 – 1066), Congressman Hillhouse was primarily concerned over the potential for an amendment being made to the bill that ultimately became 1 Stat. 414. The amendment, in his view, could allow for the naturalization of an alien possessed of a title of nobility which the alien had refused to renounce, to which potential he objected.

      Against this backdrop, his comments seem clearly to address a situation to be at all costs avoided, i.e., allowing the naturalization of an alien foreigner as a U.S. citizen, but one still allowed to keep a foreign land’s title of nobility previously bestowed on him.

      True, that person’s children, if born here, would be natural born citizens – parenthetically, altogether consistent with § 212 of Emmerich de Vattel’s “Le Droit des Gens” (“The Law of Nations”) – but a situation to be rejected by the Congress. If the alien applicant refused to renounce all former titles of nobility, in Congressman Hillhouse’s view his application for citizenship should be rejected. Even the potential for such a situation to exist, as was his concern over the proposed amendment, was “an idea which ought not, either explicitly or impliedly, to be admitted.”

      Ultimately, the law as enacted came to be understood as mandating that an alien, previously a nobleman, seeking to become naturalized as a U.S. citizen would be required to absolutely and permanently renounce and abjure any and all prior allegiances or aristocratic titles bestowed upon him by his former country. But once he renounced his prior titles and allegiances and became a U.S. citizen, then – as was also true for those aliens not possessed of prior titles of nobility, and thus having no such titles to renounce – his children, being born of a father who was a U.S. citizen, would be natural born citizens consistent with § 212 of the Law of Nations.

      1. Mr. DeMaio is wrong.

        On page 1030 of the 3rd Congress’ record is this statement.

        “After some further discussion, Mr. Giles proposed a new clause, which was in substance, that all such aliens, who had borne any hereditary titles, or titles of nobility in other countries, should make a renunciation of such titles before they can enjoy any right of citizenship.”

        https://memory.loc.gov/ll/llac/004/0500/05131029.tif

        “…should make a renunciation of such titles before they can enjoy any right of citizenship.” The title had to be renounced before the alien could be admitted to citizenship.

        The Giles amendment specifically says the alien had to renounce the title before they could be admitted to citizenship.

        The final clause of the amendment reads, “…he shall make an expressed renunciation of his title, or order of nobility, …before he shall be entitled to such admission”.

        https://memory.loc.gov/ll/llac/004/0500/05191041.tif

        Mr. Hillhouse asks what happens if an alien refuses to renounce his titles? The alien can come to America “marry, purchase lands, and enjoy every other right of a citizen, except electing and being elected to office.“

        An alien cannot vote (“electing”) or be elected to office but a naturalized citizen can. It is clear Mr. Hillhouse is not talking about a naturalized citizen.

        Hillhouse then says the aliens children are natural born citizens.

      2. The amendment they were debating had a requirement that the titled alien had to renounce his titles before he could be admitted to citizenship. Hillhouse’s argument is “what would happen if he refused to renounce them”. He could not be admitted to citizenship. But he could come to the US do all the things of a citizen except vote or hold public office and his children would be natural born citizens.

        I don’t see how you can interpret it any other way.

  2. A flashback in history on how allowing Obama to become President and Commander in Chief has allowed the accelerated infiltration of our government and institutions. I said at the time that Obama was a national security risk and history has proven me correct. The major media, Congress, and the federal court system dodged the issue on technicalities such as “standing” and left the Constitution and our country down and now we are bearing the fruit of their cowardice to address Obama’s lack of being a “natural born Citizen”, with Obama’s 3rd term in office as the puppet master behind Joe Biden: http://www.kerchner.com/audio/Andrea%20Shea%20King%20Show%2020100122%20-%20show_844645.mp3

  3. the whore IS NOT ELIGIBLE but devildemocommiecrats, their Pravda/Goebbels fake news propagandists, and deep state gop establishment TRAITORS will twist themselves into pretzels to show she is, no matter how many lies they have to tell and how much they have to shred the Constitution to make their false narrative stick!!!!!!!!!! satan, the father of lies, is their “god”!!!!!!!!!!

  4. Mr. DeMaio: An excellent piece of legal analysis and writing regarding the malarkey spewed by those who wish to abrogate the original intent meaning of the “natural born Citizen” term in Article II Section 1 Clause 5 of our U.S. Constitution, the presidential eligibility clause.

    Readers: Also see my white paper for more on the original intent of the “natural born Citizen” term in the presidential eligibility clause of our U.S. Constitution via answering the five questions which are the basics of information gathering — “The Who, What, When, Where, Why, and How of the ‘natural born Citizen’ Term In Our United States Constitution”: http://www.kerchner.com/protectourliberty/naturalborncitizen/TheWhoWhatWhenWhereWhyandHowofNBC-WhitePaper.pdf In particular read the section on the “Why” the term was put into the presidential eligibility clause.

    Also see: http://www.art2superpac.com/issues.html for more on the history of the various attempts to abrogate the original intent meaning of “natural born Citizen” and also several relevant U.S. Supreme Court decisions regarding that term.

    CDR Kerchner (Ret) — http://www.ProtectOurLiberty.org

  5. Ownership of property, be it land, a physical object such as a sculpture, painting, heirloom, or title such as Baron or citizen, always revert back to the beginning, the inception or, in this case, the birth, if you will.

    Barry Soetoro, aka Obama, never did pass the litmus test and Harris never will either, but the fact remains that Obama drove our country into the ground (don’t believe me? Just take a look at the ghastly collection of cowards who pass themselves off as the “Joint Chiefs of Staff”, a sorry collection if I ever saw one of people who do not honor their Oath to the Constitution).

    If a painting was stolen, and then resold multiple times under the guise of honesty with impeccable lines of ancestry (long line of “Bills of Sale”, each one legitimate) does not make the stolen painting any less stolen.

    Just because a ruling in the past was wrong or unjustified, does not dictate that past errors be ignored or continued as if a wrong can be made right by ignoring the error. If, for example, a survey was in error in 1800, it is still in error today irrespective of how many grandfather clauses attached to it: a lie is a lie no matter how many times it is passed off, or accepted, as the truth.

    At some point in human history, common sense must prevail and if it does not, then all this talk about equal justice is meaningless. I, for one, will not be quiet while idiots and imbeciles, infected with a disease of the soul that we call greed, are systematically destroying our country.

    OPOVV

  6. In case it isn’t clear, the “Federalist Blog” has no association with the well-known Federalist Society. And the author of that post, P.A. Madison, does not claim any legal training or expertise; indeed, “Madison” likely is a pseudonym. So it is unsurprising that Madison’s beliefs have not resonated with judges, scholars, or experts like the CRS.

    Regardless, judges aren’t going reopen cases disposed of years ago. Especially when they are now moot (Obama served two full terms, Cruz did not win his party’s nomination).

    1. From Joseph DeMaio:
      ———————–
      “… experts like the CRS.”

      One thing that CRS “products” which address the eligibility issue have become “expert” at is altering, via ellipsis omissions, the language – and thus the meaning – of the Supreme Court opinion in Perkins v. Elg, discussed here (Of Presidential Eligibility, Doubling Down and Linguistic Torts, Conclusion – The Post & Email (thepostemail.com). Further burnishing that expertise, the CRS has also become “expert” at “memory-holing” and covering its tracks, discussed here (Like it Never Happened – The Post & Email (thepostemail.com).

      An argument can be made that this species of “expertise” is not what John Jay had in mind when “hinting” to George Washington about presidential eligibility nor what the Founders had in mind when they drafted Art. 2, § 1, Cl. 5 of the Constitution. Then again, if the current United States Supreme Court doesn’t care, why should we? Answer: because it really does matter.

      The future Republic needs another ineligible president (or vice-president) like it needs another pandemic lockdown. Too bad we cannot go door-to-door vaccinating against indifference and insouciance.

      1. That the CRS corrected a minor error doesn’t lessen its expertise.

        An argument and a persuasive argument are different. And it is clear which argument has persuaded the judges, scholars, and experts.

        1. I am persuaded that judges, scholars, and experts may and can be imbeciles. A statement made by an imbecile, then later that same statement corrected by an imbecile, still makes that person an imbecile.

          Judges often make wrong decisions under the color of law – and we’re suppose to accept it?

        2. You may believe whatever you want.

          But judges’ decisions, until overturned or superseded by legislative acts, are binding law. You are not free to pretend those rulings have no legal force.

        3. From Joseph DeMaio:
          ———————-

          Wilson asserts: “That the CRS corrected a minor error doesn’t lessen its expertise.”

          An “error” is an inadvertent mistake or accident. On the other hand, the conscious deletion of quoted words in the Perkins v. Elg opinion through the execution of multiple keystrokes – inserting in place of the excised words and punctuation (i.e., “, was naturalized in 1854,”) an ellipsis ( . . . ), thus altering the meaning of the quote from the original opinion – is neither a “mistake” nor an “error.” It is a sentient, conscious, deliberate act.

          Quite apart from the fact that the alteration of the words of a Supreme Court opinion bearing on the meaning of the term “natural born citizen” is something far more than a “minor error,” the fact that the “error” was originally communicated to 535 members of Congress in 2009, repeated in 2011, but not “corrected” until 2016 – conveniently, when Barack Hussein Obama, Jr. was in the final year of his second and, mercifully, last term – speaks more to “misleading” and “memory-holing” than to “expertise.”

        4. No one disputes the insertion of an ellipsis was intentional. Seeing it as an intent to alter the meaning, on the other hand, is a poorly reasoned conclusion, especially considering the later revision.

          An honest mistake in judgement that was corrected is just an acknowledgement of an error, nothing more; it isn’t an intent to deceive. Especially when DeMaio refused to inquire with the author as to his intent.

          And it was republished in 2016 only because there was a renewed interest in the topic due to Cruz’s candidacy. The CRS should be commended, not scolded, for its revision; it would have been dishonest if it had been aware of the mistake and didn’t correct it.

          Regardless, a single ellipsis in a footnote of a heavily research paper did not detract from the paper’s thesis.

        5. Dennis said: Gee Mr. Wilson, I looked up the word malarkey today in the dictionary and your name was there as part of a word use example sentence: “Mr. Wilson camps out on The PostEmail.com news site and spreads malarkey in the comment threads”. Gee Mr. Wilson, you are infamous.

        6. If DeMaio did inquire with the CRS author, he’s free to affirmatively say that he did. Because when asked previously this exact question, DeMaio curiously went silent.

          Which dictionary did “Dennis” consult? Because this tale sounds like … malarkey.