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by Joseph DeMaio, ©2022

(Dec. 6, 2022) — True to form, the lively discussions about what the “natural born Citizen” (“nbC”) clause in the Constitution means; where it originated; and why it remains important continue.  Recent comments here, here and here have generated much back and forth discussion between the two opposing viewpoints on these topics.  Is not the First Amendment fire? Fair warning: this offering is long.


Rather than respond individually to each commenter in the comment section of the noted posts, since they all refer, generally, to aspects of the same topic, your humble servant has elected to respond to a few of the different ones in a single, separate, free-standing post which seeks to gather them and address them in one place.  

In addition, your servant has selected the comments he deems to be worthy of response…, which means, not all of them will be addressed.  If that is unacceptable to some, your servant is certain he will hear of it.  On the other hand, since he is the author here, he gets to decide. 

Finally, the following responses will note, in text, the comments to which they are directed.  Hopefully, most of the comments strewn across the three posts listed will be more easily reviewed when gathered in one place.

Let us proceed.

The Selected Comments 

  1. “George Washington born in Virginia in 1732 was a natural born Subject of Great Britain until July 4th, 1776 when he became a natural born Citizen of the United States.”

(Becker comment here (Saturday, Dec. 3, 2022 at 10:25 PM.)

Wrong…, as in “not correct.”  Respectfully, from and after July 4, 1776, George Washington – a former “subject” of the King of Great Britain owing to the fact that both of his parents were British “subjects” when he was born – may have indeed become a U.S. “citizen.”  But that transformation was the result of naturalization by law – the Declaration of Independence – and not by birth, whether “native,” “natural” or otherwise. 

Moreover, the “Citizen of the United States” referenced in the “citizen grandfather clause” of Art. 2, § 1, Cl. 5 was also a “naturalized citizen,” not an nbC under a de Vattel § 212 analysis.  Naturalization produces “United States citizens,” but it does not produce the “natural born Citizen” intended by the Founders to be eligible to the office.  And because the 14th Amendment is also a naturalization law, it too produces only “citizens” of the United States, the ipse dixit extrapolations of the Wong Kim Ark decision by “de Vattel-deniers” aside.

Thus, just as Washington became a naturalized U.S. citizen via the Declaration of Independence, so too did all Colonial British-America “natural born Subjects” who determined to bear sole and undivided allegiance to the new United States of America.  Their intent was to sever all prior political ties to Great Britain. 

That severance included casting away the former “subject/liege” monarchical relationship or its purported successor doctrine, cosmetically substituting the term “citizen” for “subject.”  After fighting and winning the Revolutionary War, it is submitted that one of the last things the Founders intended to do was retain the concepts of a subject/liege relationship between the people and their new government.  Stated otherwise, the “once-a-Brit-always-a-Brit” relationship was not the Founders’ “cup of tea,” so to speak…, in Boston or anywhere else.

The only reason why each of Washington, J. Adams, Jefferson, Madison, Monroe, J.Q. Adams and Jackson were able to lawfully serve as President – despite being a “naturalized” citizen via the Declaration of Independence instead of a “natural born [emphasis Jay’s] citizen” – was because someone on the Committee of Eleven had the foresight to include the “citizen grandfather clause” as a time-limited exception to the strict “nbC” criterion in Art. 2, § 1, Cl. 5. 

John Jay was smart, but even smart Founders sometimes overlooked the forest for all of the trees in the way.  And the citizen-grandfather clause underscores this fact.  It is that simple. 

  • “And still no comment on the 1785/1786 use of the term ‘natural born Citizens of the United States’ by John Adams and Thomas Jefferson.”

(Fremick comment here (Sunday, December 4, 2022 at 8:57 AM)

John Adams, the second President of the United States

It is unclear where Adams discovered the term “natural born Citizen” used in the “agreement” (actually, it is a draft treaty).  Perhaps it was the 1760 English translation of the de Vattel treatise, perhaps not.  The tome was, after all, available in English from and after 1760.  

But while John Adams is generally included in the group of people characterized as the “Founders,” he was not a signatory to the Constitution. Thus, his participation (or sidelining) in the later, 1787 inclusion of the “nbC” term in the Constitution is unclear.  

But what is clear is that John Jay (also a “Founder” but not a signer of the Constitution, either), rather than John Adams or Thomas Jefferson directly influenced the insertion of the nbC clause into the document.  However, Adams is credited with being the person who drafted the 1780 Constitution of the State of Massachusetts.  A close examination of that document, however, reveals that it nowhere uses the term “natural born citizen,” but instead uses the words “people,” “citizens” and “subjects” as if they were fungible terms. 

In any event, whatever his concept of a “natural born Citizen of the United States” was prior to 1787, and from whence it came, was mooted and supplanted by the John Jay language given in his “hint” letter to George Washington, which he later forwarded to the Committee of Eleven.

As to the April 4, 1786 letter and attached draft treaty sent by Adams and Thomas Jefferson – in their capacities as “American Commissioners to the [British] Marquis of Carmarthen – although it is unclear whether Adams or Jefferson drafted it, it contains a confusing hodgepodge of terms, all randomly seeming to refer to the same type of “person” or “individual,” albeit not always dependent on the nationality of same.  

Specifically, there are references to (1) “The Subjects of his Britannic Majesty;” (2) “natural born Citizens of the United States;” (3) “the Citizens of the United States of America;” (4) “natural born Subjects of Great Britain;” (5) “all Persons;” (6) “the Subjects or Citizens of either of the contracting Parties;” (7) “any Person of their own or any other Nation;” (8) “the Citizens or Subjects;” and  (9) “the private Individuals of their Nation.”  

With this kind of inconsistent linguistic smorgasbord, it is little wonder that the Treaty was never signed or ratified.  Stated otherwise, because Adams and Jefferson seemed to be using these terms generically, it is possible that they meant “all Persons” throughout the draft.  Thus, to assert that either categorically recognized in 1786 the existence of someone qualified as an American “natural born Citizen” as defined in § 212 of the de Vattel tome is a bit of a stretch. 

But even if that were the case, in any event the 1786 letter predates John Jay’s July 25, 1787 “hint” letter to Washington, articulating, it is posited, the de Vattel § 212 concept of who would – and who would not – be eligible to the presidency.  

Emmerich de Vattel (public domain)

Again, if the “nbC” term meant what the commenter asserts, why was there a need in 1787 for the “citizen grandfather clause” at all?  If everyone was a converted “natural born subject” of the Crown with simply a new name – “citizen” – there would have been no need for the exception from the restrictive de Vattel nbC concept most likely adopted by the Founders and most certainly noted by the person on the Committee of Eleven who suggested, and probably drafted, the “citizen grandfather” exception.  

If your humble servant is wrong about the nonexistence of an American de Vattel “nbC” prior to Martin Van Buren – contrary to John Adams’s suggestion that one existed in 1786 – he would not be alone.  Moreover, he would willingly trade that error, if it be one, for acknowledgment that the nbC criterion in the Constitution, as ratified by the Supreme Court in Minor v. Happersett, mirrors the Founders’ intent in adopting the § 212 concept. 

  • “No one is arguing that naturalized citizens are natural born citizens”

(Lee comment here (Wednesday, November 30, 2022 at 3:14 PM)

As noted above, the Declaration of Independence operated to convert erstwhile Colonial British-America “subjects” into United States “citizens,” by operation of law – a naturalization procedure – but not by “birth.”  Accordingly, those who contend that the first seven Presidents were eligible to the presidency as “natural born citizens” without regard to the “citizen grandfather clause” are, respectfully, wrong.  The only reason they were eligible was by virtue of the time-constrained “citizen grandfather” exception to the strict nbC standard.   

John Jay’s July 25, 1787 “hint” letter to Washington contained no reference to a “citizen grandfather” exception.  Recognizing that none of them at the time met the strict nbC eligibility requirements, that exception was added by one or more members of the Committee of Eleven after they had received Jay’s letter forwarded to them by Washington.

Accordingly, each of the first seven Presidents was a U.S. “citizen” by naturalization, not birth, but eligible to the office only because of the citizen grandfather clause.  Thus, those who contend that § 212 of the de Vattel treatise did not inform the Founders’ intent regarding who would be – and, significantly, who would not be – an nbC, but could nonetheless be “grandfathered” for presidential eligibility purposes as an exception to the otherwise applicable eligibility restriction, are in effect if not plain reality actually arguing that “naturalized citizens are natural born Citizens.”

  • “The courts don’t apply the meaning ascribed to Vattel. Because they’ve concluded it isn’t the law.”

(Lee comment here (Saturday, December 3, 2022 at 10:39 PM)

Respectfully, the commenter is correct that no court thus far has specifically said, in so many words: “We hold that the meaning of the term ‘natural born Citizen’ in the Constitution was adopted by the Founders directly from the concept laid out by Emmerich de Vattel in § 212 of his 1758 treatise, The Law of Nations, and as set out in John Jay’s July 25, 1787 ‘hint’ letter to George Washington.”  On the other hand, the Supreme Court has come pretty darn close to saying exactly that in Minor v. Happersett, discussed below.

Moreover, the claim of “[b]ecause they’ve concluded it isn’t the law…,” is misleading and, to boot, a non sequitur.  It is inaccurate to state that “they” – presumably meaning the “courts” – have already addressed the issue directly and rendered precedential “decisions” on the merits (i.e., one not made on a procedural basis, such as “lack of standing” or “failure to state a claim”) which “conclude” that de Vattel’s concepts are either irrelevant or “wrong.” 

On the contrary, the vast majority of cases, state and federal, that have had the nbC issue brought before them have not resulted in “conclusions” manifesting themselves as “decisions.”  Instead, they have been rejected because of jurisdictional defects or because the plaintiff litigant lacks the requisite “standing” – a particularized “stake on the outcome” as opposed to only a general interest in the outcome – with one notable exception.

Ankeny, page 17

It is submitted that the most recent exception is the Indiana Court of Appeals decision in Ankeny v. Governor of the State of Indiana, 916 N.E.2d 678 (App. 2009), and as to which decision no attempt at U.S. Supreme Court review by certiorari was even sought.  Tisdale v. Obama was dismissed for “failure to state a claim,” undercutting its value as “precedent.”

The decision in Ankeny was wrong when it was decided and remains wrong today. And the decisions in other cases denying appellate review by certiorari because of a failure to state a claim or a purported lack of “litigant standing” are not decisions “on the merits.”  While the Ankeny decision might be binding precedent as to litigants in Indiana, it enjoys that status nowhere else.  And, it is submitted, it is in any event wrongly decided, as discussed here and here.

All of the other decisions involving the nbC issue veer off on procedural or “standing” grounds or treat the issues as obiter dictum.   

  •  “Minor, in its dicta, does not provide an exclusive definition for natural born citizen. It just says that no one doubts that a person born in the United States to two citizen parent is a natural born citizen because literally no one doubts that.” 

(Lee comment here (Sunday, Dec. 4, 2022 at 12:39 PM)

The commenter’s characterization of Justice Waite’s nbC discussion in Minor as “dicta” requires a more detailed response.  This argument as usually advanced against Minor is that Justice Waite’s discussion constitutes “obiter dictum,” Latin for “by the way” or “said in passing.”  Obiter dictum is distinguished from the “holding” of a decision.  The “holding” of a case is that which is precedential and binding on the parties to the case on the legal issue brought before the court and addressed by the opinion constituting its “answer” or ruling.  Unsurprisingly, your servant posits that Justice Waite’s statement is not obiter dictum.

Specifically, the Court’s statements in Minor on the “no doubts” and “never as to the first” language appearing in the opinion – usually relied upon by those who support the “§ 212 de Vattel” interpretation of the nbC term in the Constitution – are by the commenter characterized as non-binding dicta

U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice Morrison Waite

Indeed, even Justice Waite states that, as to the “doubts” encumbering the theory that parental citizenship does not matter and that mere birth here renders one an nbC, “[f]or the purposes of this case it is not necessary to solve these doubts.” (Emphasis added)  That statement seems plainly to address the “doubts” that exist regarding a non-de Vattel “parental-citizenship-is-irrelevant” analysis.  

Thus, Justice Waite seems clearly to be acknowledging that as to that issue – the “doubts” issue – it was not before the Court and thus, further discussion of it would constitute dictum.  At minimum, it was an issue not to be addressed in reaching the final “holding” in the case.       

But on the other hand, in the very next sentence, the opinion states: “It is sufficient for everything we have now to consider that all children born of citizen parents within the jurisdiction are themselves citizens.” (Emphasis added) The “everything we have now to consider” language renders the “born of citizen parents” language part of the case “holding” and removes it from the category of “dictum.”

Stated otherwise, Justice Waite acknowledges that there are “doubts” which burden the theory that status as an nbC exists regardless of parental citizenship if a person was merely a “citizen by birth” or a “citizen at birth.”  That was an issue not before the Court.  However, as to the issue which was actually before the Court – the citizen status of Virginia Minor – Justice Waite says: “It is sufficient for everything we have now to consider that all children born of citizen parents within the jurisdiction are themselves citizens.(Emphasis added)  

That would include Virginia Louisa Minor and must be seen as part of the holding that, notwithstanding her status as a “citizen,” the Missouri Constitution could deny her the right to vote without violating the 14th Amendment.  The record in the case confirmed that she was “a native born, free, white citizen of the United States, and of the State of Missouri….”  That recognition, coupled with Justice Waite’s statement that “all children born of citizen parents within the jurisdiction are themselves citizens…” compels three conclusions. 

Virginia Minor (public domain)

First, the conclusion is compelled that Virginia Minor was not only a “citizen,” but also a natural born citizen.  Again, think Euler diagrams. 

Second, the conclusion is compelled that Justice Waite’s statement that “all children born of citizen parents within the jurisdiction are themselves citizens” must be seen as part of the case “holding.”  In this regard, even if it be characterized as “dictum,” it would not be, technically speaking, “obiter dictum.”  Instead, it is more properly seen – even if viewed for the sake of argument to be dictum at all – to be “judicial dictum,’ a different species of “side comment” which can (and in this case should) be accorded precedential weight.

“Judicial dictum” has been described thusly:

“Judicial dictum” is a statement the court expressly uses to guide parties in their future conduct. As a general rule, such an expression of opinion on a point involved in a case, argued by counsel and deliberately mentioned by the court, although not essential to the disposition of the case, is distinguished from mere obiter dictum, and it becomes authoritative when it is expressly declared by the court as a guide for future conduct. Thus, a judicial dictum should receive dispositive weight in a lower court. Conversely, a court is not bound to follow dicta in a prior case that did not fully debate the point currently at issue.” See Buccieri, Buchwalter, Gore, and Griffith, “Judicial Dicta,” 21 C.J.S. Courts 226 (2020). (Emphasis added)

Whether or not Justice Waite’s statements in Minor would be accorded the “authoritative” or “dispositive” weight so described remains to be seen, as the definition speaks of future “conduct” rather than “constitutional interpretation.”  On the other hand, interpreting the Constitution is nonetheless “conduct,” albeit largely “cerebral conduct.”  Still, because he included the statement in the context of analyzing Virginia Minor’s status as a “citizen,” the statement is not properly disregarded as mere obiter dictum.

Third, while not specifically citing de Vattel or § 212 of his treatise, by noting that one must “look elsewhere” than the Constitution itself to ascertain the meaning of the term “natural born citizen,” it is far less than a fevered intellectual leap to recognize de Vattel and § 212 – with its “sont ceux qui sont nés dans le pays, de Parens Citoyens” (emphasis added) language – as being the most likely source “elsewhere” as informing the definition embedded in Waite’s language.

Accordingly, while Minor recognizes that “doubts” remain regarding the characterization of a person merely born in the United States, regardless of parental citizenship, as nonetheless being, purportedly, an nbC, zero doubts remain – except in the minds of de Vattel deniers – as to the nbC status of a person born here to parents who are already U.S. citizens.  That is not dictum.  Instead, it is a necessary part of the “holding” in Minor.  More to the point, beyond your humble servant, these points have received critical legal analysis here.

Your servant also recognizes that Justice Waite’s statement about defining an nbC, while mirroring the language and concept of § 212, does not automatically exclude the possible interpretation that other definitions might apply.  You humble servant has found none.  And the notion that the Founders – after having just fought and won the Revolutionary War as a consequence of needing to “dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another…” – would knowingly select Great Britain’s “natural born Subject” theory to define an American nbC when § 212 was available and free for the taking, is also something of a stretch.

Finally, the fact that the underlying conclusion in Minor – that the 14th Amendment did not render Virginia Minor eligible to vote in Missouri – was abrogated 45 years later by the 19th Amendment is immaterial.  The Court has not itself “overruled” its decision.  Instead, the people “abrogated” the decision on the suffrage issue alone, leaving undisturbed the holding that “all children born of citizen parents within the jurisdiction are themselves citizens.

  • “The U.S. Constitution contradicts Vattel’s beliefs on various points, so the Framers did not wholesale adopt it.”

(Lee Comment here (Sunday, December 4, 2022 at 12:07 PM)

It has never been argued that the de Vattel treatise was the sole and exclusive document to which the Founders turned for a purported, but commenter-imagined, “wholesale adoption” while drafting the Constitution.  Clearly, many other sources were consulted.  Nonetheless, the Supreme Court has confirmed that de Vattel and his treatise were the most frequently cited, and thus relied-upon sources during the 50 years between 1776 and 1826, clearly spanning the period when the Constitution was being drafted, finalized and ratified.  To deny this fact is to deny reality and history. 

The False Statements Act was amended by Congress in 1996

Moreover, to portray de Vattel as merely a “Swiss legal philosopher” and his tome as a garden-variety “philosophical treatise” as has the Congressional Research Service (see CRS Report R42097 at 22) is fatuous.  This from the repository of the “nation’s best thinking,” the same outfit that saw no problem in altering via ellipsis omission the words of a Supreme Court opinion (Perkins v. Elg) in a report before disseminating it to Congress, then, years later after Monsieur Obama was out of office, erasing the prior ellipsis and restoring the original Supreme Court language…, like it never happened.  Shameful…, and likely illegal (under 18 U.S.C. § 1001, the federal False Statements Act.

And the fact that the Constitution – and thus the Founders who drafted it – differed with de Vattel on various points set out in the tome does nothing to erode, much less negate, the conclusion that one of the principles upon which the Founders seemingly absolutely agreed was that of the definition of an nbC set out in § 212 of the document. 

This conclusion finds clear support in the statement by Justice Waite in Minor.  That statement, of course, is that although the Constitution itself does not in so many words define what is meant by the words “natural born Citizen” – that term, parenthetically, appearing only in the Eligibility Clause – there was never any “doubt” in the Founders’ minds that at minimum, in order to qualify, the individual had to be born of citizen parents within the jurisdiction….” (Emphasis added). 

Quite apart from where Justice Waite may have taken that language – one obvious source would be § 212 – your humble servant posits that his holding on the “of citizen parents” issue articulates a precedential decision of the U.S. Supreme Court.

  • “Cruz is a natural born citizen because his mother was a U.S. [citizen] at the time of his birth. That is sufficient.”

(Lee comment here (Saturday, December 3, 2022 at 9:06 PM))

Respectfully, the commenter’s assertion is a summary paraphrasing of the Harvard Law Review Forum magazine (not the formal bound law school review) article by former U.S. Solicitor General Paul Clement and former Acting Solicitor General Neal Katyal here

Your humble servant disagrees with the analysis and conclusions of Messrs. Clement and Katyal, as discussed here.  However, he underscores the term “humble” because the two authors of the article are seasoned attorneys and really smart people, so out of deference to their gravitas, your servant recognizes their stature in the legal community.  But we still disagree.

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

The commenter’s assertion, which mirrors that of the Clement-Katyal article, posits that if a person comes into the world as a “citizen at birth” or a “citizen by birth,” that alone is “sufficient” to make the person eligible to the presidency as a “natural born Citizen” as contemplated by the Founders.  This contention requires closer examination.

For purposes of constitutional nbC analysis, it is, respectfully, an intellectual leap to contend that, simply because a “citizen at birth” or a “citizen by birth” has not been required to go through the “naturalization” process, this circumstance ipso facto automatically renders that person a “natural born Citizen” under Art. 2, § 1, Cl. 5 as opposed to only a 14th Amendment U.S. “citizen.”  In fact, the “citizen at birth” or “citizen by birth” itself confirms that is it a naturalization process.

Specifically, regarding the “citizen” part of “citizen at birth” or “citizen by birth” concept – as, for example, gaining derivative citizenship from one’s mother – that derivative status arises as a result of a congressionally-enacted statute…, making the process one of naturalization, not birth. 

Quite apart from the conceptual definition set out in § 212 of the de Vattel tome, an essential part of the substantive decision in Minor – holding that “all children born of citizen parents within the jurisdiction are themselves citizens” – dictates that, in addition to birth here, parental citizenship must be taken into account. 

This is corroborated through recognition that when Justice Waite made his statement in Minor, he had just confirmed earlier in the same paragraph that “[T]hese were natives, or natural-born citizens….”  The only logical conclusion to be drawn is that Justice Waite was coupling birth here to parents who were already citizens here.

The Clement-Katyal article concludes that, because Senator Cruz’s mother was a U.S. citizen when the senator was born, it does not matter that the birth took place in Calgary, Alberta, Canada as opposed to here within the geographic boundaries of the United States.

Manuscript of the 14th Amendment (National Archives)

Respectfully, even the 14th Amendment – the basis for the specious argument that mere birth here alone, regardless of parental citizenship, suffices to make one an nbC, the core holding in Wong Kim Ark – requires birth or naturalization hereIt states, in relevant part: “All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside.” (Emphasis added) 

For Eligibility Clause purposes, including ascertaining the Founders’ intent, in addition to birth on U.S. soil, parental citizenship must clearly be taken into account.  To do otherwise is to sanction the potential that, for example, had Osama bin Laden been born at, say, the Kapi’olani Maternity and Gynecological hospital in 1957 in Honolulu while his Saudi parents were there on holiday, he would have been eligible to the presidency. 

Since the Clement-Katyal article addresses Senator Cruz’s eligibility against the backdrop of his mother’s U.S. citizenship alone (his father was a Cuban citizen when Cruz was born… in Calgary…), the bin Laden hypothetical would not apply.  Yet there are those who would argue that, yes, the Founders intended that anyone born here, regardless of parental citizenship, was eligible to be president as an nbC, including people like bin Laden.    

Those who argue that this hypothetical would have mirrored the Founders’ intent are either (a) woefully mistaken; (b) in deep denial, or (c) indulging in a controlled substance.  By adopting the nbC concept articulated in Minor – let alone the concept set out in § 212 – the Founders manifested their intent to absolutely preclude such a possibility.  And yet the CRS and a host of others advocate for just that opposite and dangerous non sequitur.


This response, of course, will not end the debate.  On the other hand, it might generate some additional comments.  Again, is not the First Amendment great? 

Faithful P&E readers (and opposition commenters), this post is already too long.  Few minds will be changed by your servant’s responses or commenters’ replies, rejoinders, etc.  Perhaps an additional, future post will address some of the other comments and questions not answered above. 

There is, however, one additional point that needs to be made, and it relates to the reality of the situation today rather than trying, 235 years after the signing of the Constitution, to divine the intent of the Founders.  Stay tuned, “de Vattel deniers,” as you will enjoy what follows.  The reality in 2022 America is that the Republic is deeply polarized.  It is polarized along political lines, cultural lines, racial lines and societal lines.  That being the case, your humble servant fears that a more problematic issue affecting the entirety of the nbC issue and the discussions surrounding it exists.

Formal group photograph of the Supreme Court as it was been comprised on June 30, 2022 after Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson joined the Court. The Justices are posed in front of red velvet drapes and arranged by seniority, with five seated and four standing. Seated from left are Justices Sonia Sotomayor, Clarence Thomas, Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr., and Justices Samuel A. Alito and Elena Kagan. Standing from left are Justices Amy Coney Barrett, Neil M. Gorsuch, Brett M. Kavanaugh, and Ketanji Brown Jackson. Credit: Fred Schilling, Collection of the Supreme Court of the United States

Specifically, the question arises: would a decision by the Supreme Court now, concluding and holding that, in fact, the Founders had adopted and intended to implement the de Vattel § 212 definition of an nbC, cast an unwelcome shadow on Barack Hussein Obama, Jr. and his eight-year presidency? 

If that were the holding of the Court, it would confirm that Obama had been a usurper of the office for two full terms.  His presidential retirement stipend (nearly $208,000 annually… like he even needs it…) would be put at risk.  And the indignity of such a ruling would be a catastrophic blow to his ego, with the WaPo headline reading: “First Black President Was a Common Usurper.”  Would the leftists scream that the Justices “will not know what hit them?”

If the public’s reaction to the Court’s recent Dobbs decision, overruling Roe v. Wade, is any indicator, the answer may well be, “Yes.” The risk of volcanic blowback is just too great to even consider adopting a “de Vattel” theory of what constitutes an nbC.   An opinion confirming your servant’s view on the nbC issue may be seen, even if correct, as simply a “bridge too far.”  As the Republic’s first “black” chief executive (something of a misnomer, since his mother, Ann Dunham Obama, was Caucasian), such a ruling would tarnish forever his administration, the legitimacy of same and his own personal legacy.  Would the Court be prepared to weather another storm of criticism, invective and, ominously, threats of assassination?

Stated otherwise, even if the Court were to conclude that Obama’s term in office constituted an usurpation, would the potential public reaction – at least from Democrats, leftists, media talking heads and progressives – force or “persuade” them to simply say: “Move along…, nothing to see here?”  It might well be easier to simply issue an opinion declaring that its prior ruling in the Wong Kim Ark case controlled and that Obama was an nbC solely on the basis of his birth in Honolulu.  Besides, it is all “water under the bridge,” so it is akin to “no harm, no foul.”

All too frequently, people believe what they want to believe.  If enough people voice their opinion and belief that Obama was fully eligible to occupy the presidency, it would not be difficult to predict a decision by the Court ratifying that belief – right or wrong – if for no reason other than to “put the issue to bed,” avoid future threats of assassination…, and just “move along” to “more important things.”

Author of the “hint” letter to George Washington, John Jay served as the first chief justice of the U.S. Supreme Court

That would be a lamentable, although not altogether unexpected day.  Expedient remedies are more often than not unprincipled ones.  And one wonders what the Founders would think of such a decision.  Kinda sad…, no?

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  1. As a natural born U.S. citizen all my life since Easter Sunday 1949, I find the comments from “Rudy Lee” to be ignorable, intentionally inciteful masquerading as insightful, and generally counter to Save America interests.

    Legal U.S. citizenship is in peril of serious erosion today and it got a real boost towards extinction altogether on 08-28-08 by lawless arrogant Coupsters Pelosi+Bidens+Clintons+Obamas+Roberts:

    Running for U.S. President has become a world class joke today as evidenced by allowing “no brainer” attorney-criminal Joke Biden to “lead” us, and this current list of “presidential candidates” for 2024 (who has vetted them for “nbC” pedigree, anyone?): https://ballotpedia.org/List_of_registered_2024_presidential_candidates

    And now, OPEN INVASION OF MILLIONS OF BIDEN-INVITED NON-U.S.-CITIZENS! https://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2022/12/man-made-disaster-illegals-flooding-open-border-now-title-42-expiring-joe-biden-migrants-17-countries-represented-last-24-hours/

    My research since 2013 leads this natural born U.S. citizen, me, to conclude:

    John Jay’s intent with his invention of “natural born Citizen” was to be, ideally, 100% void of foreign influences. No debate on this unless anyone shows proof of John Jay making discrete exceptions for dual-citizens, multi-citizens, et al, to become a U.S. President. got proof?

    So, which of the following is possibly more void of engrained foreign influences:
    A. Born in USA to sole-allegiance U.S. citizen-parents (like me and most Americans)
    B. Born and residing in Canada to a Cuban-national father (Rafael Cruz)
    C. Narrative-born in Hawaii to narrative-Kenyan-dad, later acquiring narrative-Indonesian-citizenship and proffering no uncontested documentation of U.S. citizenship (Barry Obama-Soetoro)
    D. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z20DMqLFVk8

    ANSWER: A, with no contestation; B,C and D are just nbC-hocus-pocus-focus!

    Any nbC commenters who have not read the life and times of John Jay and his clear intentions to make all U.S. Presidents-Vice Presidents-Senators-Representatives be verifiable sole-U.S.-citizens landowners, have little to no credence with me.

    nbC is never what you and I want it to be, nbC IS WHAT JOHN JAY MADE IT BE 1787- 1789- TODAY.

    Now, jump on it “Rudy Lee” with a follow-up sin spin.

  2. Robert Laity says:
    Saturday, December 10, 2022 at 2:21 AM
    Jay wanted ONLY NBCs to be President. That was then included IN the Constitution at Jay’s suggestion. That being added consideration then had to be given to HOW anyone then living, since they could not possibly enter in said office (None WERE NBCs) could be elected. Thus the grandfather clause was designed and adapted. Jay knew that those who were not born in the US to parents who were BOTH citizens themselves were NOT eligible to be President or VP.

    Please explain the 1785/1786 use of the term “natural born Citizens” by Thomas Jefferson and John Adams. This was prior to the Jay letter and the Constitutional Convention. Their use of the term could not be based on Vattel’s definition.

    Since Vattel equated natives to natural born citizens, explain Washington’s use of the term natives in 1777 and Jefferson’s use of the term natives in 1788. Neither’s usage could be based on Vattel’s definition of natives.

  3. Robert Laity says:
    Saturday, December 10, 2022 at 2:25 AM
    English Common Law does not control in America. We have our OWN common law. ALL LINKS to Britain dissolved when the USA was formed. Those who reference British law to inform us on US Jurisprudence do so without bona-fides or import.


    Justice Scalia said he used old English law to interpret the Constitution.

    “Now, my theory of what to do when interpreting the American Constitution is to try to understand what it meant, what it was understood by the society to mean when it was adopted. And I don’t think it has changed since then. That approach used to be orthodoxy until about sixty years ago. Every judge would have told you that’s what we do. If you have that philosophy, obviously foreign law is irrelevant with one exception: old English law—because phrases like “due process,” and the “right of confrontation” were taken from English law, and were understood to mean what they meant there. So the reality is I use foreign law more than anybody on the Court. But it’s all old English law.”


  4. If Rudy Lee were one of my students he would most definitely be failed out of my course with an “F-“. His arguments are fraught with ignoring facts at issue, inventing facts not in evidence and hyperbole as well as mendacious claims and prevarications.

    1. What class do you teach?

      If you are going to hurl accusations and personal attacks, you should give specific examples.

      Otherwise, it is just mendacious hyperbole.

  5. The upshot of all these comments is that there is no clear explanation for why the states and some Founders (Adams and Jefferson) used the terms natural born citizen or natives/native citizens prior to the Constitutional Convention and the Jay hint letter. Their usage could not be based on the Vattel definition.

    There is also no explanation for why Jay’s understanding of the terms could not be the same as the states and Adams/Jefferson?

    Finally there is the April 1777 letter by George Washington in which he called for only natives to be his personal guards. Natives who could not have had two citizen parents.

    “You will therefore send me none but Natives, & Men of some property, if You have them—I must insist that in making this Choice You give no Intimation of my preferance of Natives, as I do not want to create any invidious Distinction between them & the Foreigners.”


    Side out

    1. Must it be pointed out that in April 1777 there were no adult “natives of the new nation of the United States” to serve as Washington’s personal guard since the nation of the United States did not exist until July 1776. So he obviously was not referring to “Natives” of the new nation of the United States.

      What I believe Washington was referring to were “Natives” of the independent and sovereign states, the former colonies. And Vattel’s definition could very well apply to “Natives” of the sovereign states (since in the law of nations “states” is synonymous with countries in its application). Thus Washington could have been asking for guards who were born in those states to parents who were Citizens of that state when that person was born in the state. It should be obvious that before 4 Jul 1776 a person could be a Subject of the king of England and a Native of the state of Pennsylvania, for example. And some of said Natives of the state of Pennsylvania could have been “natives” of the kind that would have fit the definition of the French words “indigenes” and “naturels” in Vattel’s treatise, who Vattel defined in Vol. 1 Chapter 19, Section 212. So, Washington could have been thinking of Vattel’s definition from the perspective of the newly sovereign states and former colonies and that he wanted only “Natives” who were born in a state to citizens of that state. Or, he could have meant to send him men who were simply born in the colonies, which were now sovereign states. At this point in time one could argue both ways for the English words “natives” in general use in language.

      We do know the French word “indigenes” translates directly to the English word “indigenous” which we also know has several meanings and one of those is synonymous with “natives.” So that is how the French word got to be “natives” in the English translations of Vattel, in my opinion. And the French word “naturels” translates to the English word “natural.” Plug the French words “indigenes” and “naturels” into this online translator and dictionary and see: https://translate.yandex.com/?source_lang=fr&target_lang=en&text=indig%C3%A8nes%20et%20naturels

      Thus while certain members of this forum keep making the somewhat childish point that the English words “natural born Citizen” literally were not in the French edition (what a silly game that commenter is playing), the editors of the 1797 edition of Vattel’s treatise say the words “natural,” “born,” and “Citizen” were there in the equivalent French words in that sentence used by Vattel. They were there in the French equivalent words in the 1758 original French edition, and the 1774 French edition clearly in use by the revolutionaries. And they were literally there in the translation of Vattel’s sentence and definition of the natural born citizens in the 1797 English edition (which was a needed correction of the much poorer 1760 French-to-English translation), per this image as evidence: http://www.kerchner.com/images/protectourliberty/vattel-section212-french+english-sidebyside.jpg

      Citing poor and confusing use of the words that have multiple meanings such as “Natives” when used in various contexts or using “natural born Citizen of the United States” in a draft treaty in a time frame where there were none by various people making errors in composing various documents does not change the fact that Vattel in his treatise in French in 1758 and in the better-organized French 1774 edition by Dumas, clearly defined what a “natural born Citizen” was, and many of the Revolutionary founders and framers were very fluent in French, which was the diplomatic language of the day. At the time of the writing of the U.S. Constitution in 1787, John Jay and George Washington, and other framers on the committee who put it into the Constitution, clearly knew and understood the Vattel treatise definition of a “natural born Citizen” from the French editions was one that would minimize a person born with “foreign influence” on them via their birth circumstances. That is, only a person born in the country of parents who were both Citizens when the person was born in the USA, a person born with sole allegiance and unity of citizenship to the USA, was eligible to serve as Commander-in-Chief.

  6. Response to CDR Kerchner’s comment of Wednesday December 7, 2022 at 8:08 PM

    Kerchner: “That is, the detractors use the everyday common understanding of what “native”/”natives” means today as opposed to how Vattel clearly used it and defined it in his sentence back in the late 18th century, i.e., born in the country to parents who were both citizens of that country. Vattel clearly stated that in section 212.”

    So per Vattel – natives = natural born.

    This creates the same issue as the Adams/Jefferson draft treaty. The Founders used the term natives and native citizens in a way that could not be based on Vattel’s definition.

    For example:
    In 1781/82 Thomas Jefferson wrote Notes on the State of Virginia. Jefferson described them as “answer to Queries proposed to the Author, by a Foreigner of Distinction.”

    In his Query XIV “The administration of justice and description of the laws?” Jefferson wrote,

    “A foreigner of any nation, not in open war with us, becomes naturalized by removing to the state to reside, and taking an oath of fidelity: and thereupon acquires every right of a native citizen”


    This is based on his citizenship law of 1779.

    He uses the term “native citizen” and it cannot be based on the Vattel definition requiring two citizen parents.

    But it could be based on the Blackstone definition.

    1. And in his letter to John Jay in 1788, Jefferson specifically mentions that the US has native citizens serving as consul.

      “Bordeaux. Mr. John Bondfeild, a native citizen, has hitherto acted by appointment from Doctr. Franklin.”

      “Nantes. We have but one native citizen there, Mr. Burrell Carnes, who has acted by appointment from Mr. Barclay, and acted well as far as I am able to judge. He is young, and beginning business only”


      These can not be Vattel defined native citizens.

      Fremick “But it could be based on the Blackstone definition.”

      That’s right Blackstone equated natives to natural born subjects.

      “Book the First : Chapter the Tenth : Of People, Whether Aliens, Denizens or Natives”


    2. Hillary Clinton in her diplomatic dealings with Switzerland formally disagreed with the anti-Vattelians on the influence of Vattel. In fact she highlighted it and praised Vattel’s inspirations and contributions to the founding of our nation. See: https://www.scribd.com/document/63746242/Secretary-of-State-Hillary-Clinton-admits-Founders-of-U-S-were-Inspired-by-Vattel … and … https://www.scribd.com/lists/3224507/Vattel-s-Influence-on-U-S-Founders-Constitution-s-Framers

      CDR Kerchner (Ret)

      1. Who, exactly, disagreed that Vattel, generally, was an influence on the Founders and Framers?

        Regardless, Secretary Clinton’s praise did not mention the natural born citizen clause.

  7. Jefferson owned a copy of Vattel’s Law of Nations or Principles of Natural Law in his personal library. Jefferson was fluent in French so he clearly could read both the 1758 edition and 1774 French editions. And we know he also had access to the newest 1774 edition of Vattel’s treatise edited by Dumas, copies of which were sent in 1775 by Dumas to Franklin, and which Franklin shared with others: https://www.scribd.com/document/63130788/Ben-Franklin-thanks-Charles-Dumas-for-Copies-of-Vattel-s-Law-of-Nations-or-Principles-of-Natural-Law

    Jefferson, and the rest of the committee of 5 assigned the task, used the ideas from Vattel’s treatise, such as the people had the unalienable right to throw off an unjust sovereign. Vattel’s arguments in his treatise on natural law clearly was used to justify the revolution in the writing of the Declaration of Independence: https://www.thepostemail.com/2010/05/03/jefferson-used-vattels-the-law-of-nations-to-write-our-founding-documents/ Jefferson’s copy is now in the possession of the Library of Congress.

    It is obvious when one has read Volume 1 of Vattel and one looks at the rough draft editing (by Jefferson himself and likely suggestions of others on the committee of 5 selected to prepare the document such as Franklin), that Vattel’s teachings, philosophy on government, and influences from his treatise were entered into the Declaration. One clear example was ” the pursuit of happiness” which Vattel heavily emphasized as a natural right in his treatise: https://teachingamericanhistory.org/document/rough-draft-of-the-declaration-of-independence/

    If one reads Vattel’s Vol.1 you will see that is one of the prime directives and purpose of any just government was to enable said governed people to pursue happiness. Read Vol.1 of Vattel’s Law of Nations or Principles of Natural Law and you will clearly see that and how much Vattel emphasized that unalienable right. Others focused on life, liberty, and property. Vattel and others of the enlightenment focused on life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. And Vattel’s treatise of course was the premier treatise used in the revolutionary time frame to justify the revolution.

    Jefferson donated his personal copy of Vattel’s treatise, which had heavy person notes in the margins showing how much he read it and studied it, along with his entire personal library to the Library of Congress about the year 1814 because the British had burned the prior Library of Congress collection during the war of 1812 when they sacked and burned many buildings in Washington DC.

    CDR Kerchner (Ret)

    1. The words “natural born citizen” do not appear in the Declaration of Independence.

      Jefferson was not at the Constitutional Convention.

      The relevance of Jefferson to the drafting of the U.S. Constitution remains unexplained.

      1. While Jefferson was not physically at the Constitutional Convention since he was serving ministerial and diplomatic duties in France, our ally against England at the time, he was actively communicating with Madison about the Constitution. Especially advising about adding what became The Bill of Rights.

        Madison-Jefferson Letters on Advisability of a Bill of Rights, 1787-1789: https://firstamendmentwatch.org/history-speaks-madison-jefferson-letters-on-advisability-of-a-bill-of-rights-1787-1789/

        CDR Kerchner (Ret)

        1. Three letters from Jefferson that were sent after the Constitutional Convention had ended do not show that Jefferson was consulting with Madison about the main body of the U.S. Constitution.

          And “natural born citizen” appears in none of Jefferson’s letters. Neither does “Vattel,” for that matter.

  8. Chester Arthur (#21) was also a Usurper. His faux “presidency” was from 1881 to 1885. A hundred and twenty four years passed before our nation suffered our second faux “President”, Barrack Obama. In the last 12 years alone at least a dozen ineligible (Non-NBC) individuals have attempted to usurp our highest office. Indeed, we now have a faux Vice-President (Harris is not an NBC), a man who served as the faux VP (Biden) of a phony President (Obama) and the woman who facilitated Obama’s usurpation (Speaker Pelosi) by swearing that Obama was constitutionally eligible. This means that the current President, the VP and the Speaker of the House (all criminally complicit in the usurpation of our highest offices and as such guilty of treason and espionage) are NOW IN POWER. This reason alone suffices for SCOTUS To get off their collective arses and CORRECT this untenable assault on OUR sovereignty. If not now, it WILL repeat itself to no good end until it is finally resolved.

    1. Presidents Arthur and Obama, as well as Vice President Harris, all were born in the United States.

      Courts already have ruled, minor exceptions aside, those born in the United States are natural born citizens.

      Meaning none of them, nor President Biden nor Speaker Pelosi, committed any crimes with respect to anyone’s eligibility.

      1. How can you be a Natural Born Citizen when you owe allegiance and subject to the jurisdiction of another country that would mean Obama doesn’t meet the 14th Amendment.

        1. Because the U.S. Supreme Court over a hundred years ago already discussed these concepts and rejected the conclusions you draw from them.

          “President Obama doesn’t meet the 14th Amendment” isn’t even a complete, cogent thought.

      2. No court has ruled on the merits of the NBC eligibility controversy. Obama’s BC is a forgery. No proof that he was actually born in the US. Arthur was born in Canada. Mere birth in the USA does NOT qualify to be an NBC. You get an F-.

        1. Several courts have ruled on the merits in eligibility challenges. Ankeny, which is discussed in this article, being the most notable one. And the courts ruled, minor exceptions aside, birth’in the United States is enough to be a natural born citizen.

          There’s no evidence that President Obama’s birth certificate is a forgery. President Obama’s Hawaiian birth certificate is sufficient evidence that he was born in the United States.

          There’s no evidence that President Arthur was born in Canada. The claim against President Arthur’s eligibility is similar to the one against Vice President Harris’, that is, his parents were not U.S. citizens when he was born in the United States.

  9. Just TODAY, John Roberts of FOX news continued to express a misunderstanding of the term of art “Natural Born Citizen”. When his name was suggested as a candidate for Speaker of the House, Roberts quipped that he wasn’t born in the United States and was therefore not an NBC. Without mentioning that one’s parents must be US Citizens themselves, Roberts further acknowleged that anyone in line to BE VP or POTUS “MUST be a Natural Born Citizen”.

    1. For those born in the United States, parents’ citizenship isn’t relevant to eligibility. But Roberts wasn’t born the United States and is a naturalized citizen.

      Regardless, those in the line of succession don’t have to be natural born citizens, they merely can’t serve as president were the situation to arise. They would just be skipped over.

      There is no requirement the Speaker be a House member or even a U.S. citizen.

      Relying on a news correspondent’s legal advice never is a good idea.

      1. You fail. An NBC is one born in the country to parents who are both citizens. I KNEW that Roberts “wasn’t born [in] the United States”. That’s the point. A person in line of succession cannot serve either as President OR VP. Harris is in no danger of being “Passed over” until such time as the nation decides to follow article II.

        My reliance on legal advice lies with my own counsel,the counsel of other persons in the law, my own legal education, my fifty years of representing clients and the Constitution, Statutes and Regulations that make up the scope of jurisprudence in the USA.

        1. For those born in the United States, the parents’ citizenship is not relevant to being a natural born citizen.

          Roberts’ point was that he isn’t a natural born citizen. Which actually isn’t a requirement to serve as Speaker.

          The United States is following Article II; Vice President Harris is a natural born citizen because she (unlike Roberts) was born in the United States. No lawyer filed an eligibility challenge against her in 2020.

  10. Dual citizens aren’t Natural Born Citizens because they’re required to obey they laws of both nations to which they hold citizenship, the founders would have never permitted such an individual subject to the jurisdiction of a foreign country to be POTUS, that’s not even debatable. They also owe allegiance to both countries again something the founders would not have permitted.
    The Cruz ruling in NJ never mentioned The State Department rules for dual citizens, something Teddy was up until he wrote his letter to Canada begging them to cancel his Canadian citizenship.

    1. No court has ruled dual citizens cannot be natural born citizens. And courts have ruled various candidates with multiple citizenships are natural born citizens of the United States; Cruz being one such candidate.

      The State Department has no authority to create presidential eligibility requirements; only the U.S. Constitution can do that. Nor does the State Department have the authority to define terms in U.S. Constitution; only the courts (or an amendment) can do that.

      1. Continue to conflate, those rules aren’t optional and dual citizens would have to comply. The courts also have never been presented with the requirements, if they were they’d have a different ruling.

        1. I’m not conflating, and you continue not to explain how the State Department is constitutionally authorized to determine presidential eligibility.

          Among Leo Donofrio’s beliefs was that dual citizenship precluded natural born citizenship. He presented that to the courts, but his case wasn’t heard on the merits.

          But in light of later rulings, it also would have lost on the merits.

      2. Cruz was born in Canada. He can never, by any manipulation of naturalization law, BE an NBC. An NBC is one born IN the United States to parents who are BOTH US Citizens themselves.

    2. Food for thought and maybe another article in this alternative new website: IF – the Kenyan Kandidate debaters on this article are right about their many definitions and defense of what constitutes a natural born Citizen (nbC), then Rafael E. (Ted) Cruz is an nbC of both Canada and of the U.S.A.

      “I don’t think so, AL.” That is a ‘natural’ impossibility.

      Much mystery and obfuscation of documentation surrounding the citizenships of Ted and his parents still persist to this day. But, I am satisfied in my mind that Cruz is not an nbC of any country. His parents’ purported citizenships of different countries messed up the nbC formula.

      1. The definition for natural born citizen of the United States is consistent: citizenship at birth. And acquisition of that citizenship can happen in different ways, for example, birth in the United States is enough. And, under Canadian law, those born in Canada are natural born citizens of that country.

        Under those definitions, Cruz was a natural born citizen of both Canada and the United States.

        Regardless what you believe, the courts already ruled Cruz is a natural born citizen of the United States.

        1. Cruz’s birth certificate, which is a legal document, identifies who his mother is.

          Regardless, there’s the same amount of good faith that George Bush, Bill Clinton, or the presidents preceding them are natural born citizens.

          There are no “legal documents” to support their being natural born citizens, but there’s also no evidence they are not.

          If you have factual evidence that Cruz was not a U.S. citizen at birth, you have around a year to prepare a ballot challenge.

        2. Cruz is NOT and can never be a Natural Born Citizen of the United States. Any “court” that ruled that Cruz is an NBC wrongfully decided the case.

        3. Again, courts already ruled Cruz is a natural born citizen.

          You may disagree with those rulings, but your disagreement isn’t in equipoise with those rulings’ legal force and real-world implications.

  11. Besides John Adams’ letter to Jefferson in 1785 and Adams’ and Jefferson’s draft commerce treaty of April 1786, there are other examples of the use of the term natural born citizen(s) prior to the Jay letter and the Constitutional convention. Several use natural born subject(s).

    All of them cannot be based on Vattel‘s Law of Nations.

    November 7th, 1777
    “…the Citizens of every state, going to reside in another State, Shall be entitled to all the rights and privileges of the natural born free Citizens of the States to which they go to reside” draft of new articles to be added to The Articles of Confederation.


    1784 Maryland House of Delegates
    “ Be it enacted, by the general assembly of Maryland, That the marquis de la Fayette, and his heirs male for ever, shall be, and they and each of them are hereby deemed, adjudged, and taken to be, natural born citizens of this state, and shall henceforth be entitled to all the immunities, rights and privileges, of natural born citizens thereof, they and every of them conforming to the constitution and
    laws of this state, in the enjoyment and exercise of such immunities, rights and privileges.”


    Massachusetts legislature.
    February, 1785
    AN ACT FOR NATURALIZING NICHOLAS ROUSSELET AND GEORGE SMITH “…shall be deemed, adjudged, and taken to be citizens of this Commonwealth, and entitled to all the liberties, rights and privileges of natural born citizens.”

    February, 1786
    AN ACT FOR NATURALIZING MICHAEL WALSH “…shall be deemed, adjudged, and taken to be a citizen of this Commonwealth, and entitled to all the liberties, rights and privileges of a natural born citizen.”

    July, 1786
    AN ACT FOR NATURALIZING JONATHAN CURSON AND WILLIAM OLIVER “…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 citizens.”

    March, 1787
    AN ACT FOR NATURALIZING WILLIAM MARTIN AND OTHERS “…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.”

    May, 1787
    AN ACT FOR NATURALIZING EDWARD WYER AND OTHERS THEREIN NAMED “…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.”

  12. Yes, the editors of that edition did not fully translate Vattel’s “natural born Citizen” definition sentence in French correctly in that 1760 English edition. It was corrected in the 1797 English translation edition. See the French writing of Vattel and the correct English translation here from his section 212 titled in the French edition as “Des citôyens et naturels” i.e., the natural Citizens at this link: http://www.kerchner.com/images/protectourliberty/vattel-section212-french+english-sidebyside.jpg

    The 1760 translation left out completely the meaning of the French word “naturels” in Vattel’s sentence in the original French version, which means “natural” and/or “natural child” or “natural born Citizen” in that context in section 212: https://dictionary.reverso.net/french-english/naturel It was properly corrected in the 1797 edition translation into English, which edition is still considered by most scholars to be the best translation of Vattel’s French treatise into English in the 18th Century.

    Given that the new 1787 U.S. Constitution used the term “natural born Citizen” and said new Constitution was the topic of and studied by the world, the 1797 English edition editor’s were much more careful in translating Vattel’s sentence correctly, i.e., the word “naturels” because of the treatise impact on international law and relations, especially over disputed citizenship issues between nations.

    But I think you professional gaslighters here already know that but just will not admit it because it does not fit your agenda in this forum, which agenda of yours is to confuse people and spread misinformation.

    CDR Kerchner (Ret)

    1. The Framers in 1787 could not have relied on a translation that was not published until 1797.

      The linear nature of time is not misinformation.

      1. Rudy, Rudy, Rudy. Who are you fooling? Most of the framers and founders were fluent in French and thus could read the 1758 original French edition and the newly provided 1774 French editions and thus they did not have to depend on the flawed 1760 English translation. They thus could study Vattel’s writings in the language he wrote his treatise in. You should know by now that most of the framers, especially the key ones, were fluent in French, the diplomatic language of the day. But you still wish to obfuscate that fact.

        1. Even assuming at least some of the Framers spoke French, and further assuming at least some of the Framers ever had read section 212, there continues to be no evidence they actually translated anything in section 212 to the English words “natural born citizen.” A CRS memo actually refutes the assertion the Framers had made this transition.

          Just as there continues to be no evidence the Framers relied on Vattel when drafting the natural born citizen clause.

      2. The OFFICIAL language of diplomacy in the 18th century WAS French. The founders understood, read and spoke French in dealing with foreign nations. The Law of Nations was NOT written by Emmerich de Vattel. It was TRANSLATED into French BY Emmerich de Vattel. Your statement that the “Framers in 1787 could NOT have relied” on the French translation is simply false since THAT is precisely what they did., not to mention that there was an English version available way BEFORE 1787.

        1. There’s no evidence that Vattel translated his book from some unspecified language into French.

          Regardless, no pre-1787 translation of Vattel’s book contains the words “natural born citizen.”

          Again, there continues to be no evidence that the Framers relied on Vattel when drafting the natural born citizen clause. Your assertion that they did is not evidence that they actually did; your assertion is not evidence.

  13. Vattel’s treatise on the Law of Nations or Principles of Natural Law was of great influence on many of the founders and framers in justifying the revolution and break with England and in the writing of the founding documents. And for at least 50 years after the U.S. Constitution (the supreme U.S. National Law) was written Vattel’s treatise was important to the formation of our National Common Law, U.S. Supreme Court decisions. As one example, see the Venus 1814 U.S. Supreme Court case which cites Vattel: http://www.kerchner.com/protectourliberty/Article2SuperPACeligibilityfacts-issuespage.pdf

    And for another example of the great influence of Vattel’s treatise it was the required textbook for the “Class of National Law” at the College of William and Mary in 1837, one of the colleges in VA that Jefferson who died on 4 Jul 1826 at various times in his life was involved with: http://www.kerchner.com/protectourliberty/vattel/Vattel%20Law%20of%20Nations%20is%20textbook%20for%20National%20Law%20class%20at%20College-of-William-Mary-Laws-Regulations-1837.pdf

    CDR Kerchner (Ret)

    1. No one doubts that Vattel was an influence on Framers.

      But there continues to be no evidence the Framers relied on Vattel when drafting the natural born citizen clause.

      A textbook assigned in 1837 is not evidence of what occured in 1787. Again, the nature of linear time.

      The words “natural born citizen” do not appear in The Venus.

      1. Rudy, did you miss this one or choose to have a mental block on the facts and evidence detailed at the below links? Jefferson was the key framer of the Declaration of Independence. Jefferson and his use of Vattel’s treatise – The Law of Nations or Principles of Natural Law:

        PART 1: https://pixelpatriot.blogspot.com/2015/09/vattel-is-law-part-1.html
        PART 2: https://pixelpatriot.blogspot.com/2016/05/vattel-is-law-part-2.html

        CDR Kerchner (Ret)

    2. “Vattel’s treatise it was the required textbook for the “Class of National Law” at the College of William and Mary in 1837”

      William and Mary is not a good example since the law school was founded by Jefferson and the first law professor was George Wythe.

      “Wythe began teaching law at the college in January 1780. His students learned the nuances of the English common law, relying in significant measure on Blackstone’s Commentaries. Wythe also had his students read the work of contemporary political theorists, such as Montesquieu, and classical writers such as Horace and Virgil.”


      Blackstone is still very involved at William and Mary.


      1. Jefferson was the key framer of the Declaration of Independence one of the key founding documents. You keep deflecting reality by posting red herring, straw-man type statements that focus on a particular tree one at a time and miss the overall forest.

        1. It isn’t a red herring, at all, to note Jefferson was not involved with the drafting of U.S. Constitution, the documenting containing the phase natural born citizen.

          As he was not a Framer, Jefferson’s influences is the straw-man red herring.

      2. A straw-man statement Rudy. Who said Jefferson was a Framer of the U.S. Constitution in this comment thread? Everyone who studies any history on this subject knows Jefferson was out of the country and serving as a Minister for various American matters and serving in France at the time of the 1787 Constitutional Convention. So you are creating straw-men statements implying others said things in this thread that they did not, as usual with your one liners.

        1. As Jefferson wasn’t at the Constitutional Convention, what influenced him isn’t relevant to the drafting of the U.S. Constitution.

          Your complaints are better directed at the person who introduced the irrelevant topic of Jefferson’s influences.

  14. DeMaio: “In any event, whatever his (Adams and Jefferson) concept of a “natural born Citizen of the United States” was prior to 1787, and from whence it came, was mooted and supplanted by the John Jay language given in his “hint” letter to George Washington, which he later forwarded to the Committee of Eleven.”

    How does DeMaio know Jay’s understanding of the concept and whence it came?

    Maybe Jay’s understanding was identical to Adams and Jefferson.

    1. More twisted linguistic logic planted questions by the social engineer Mr. Fremick using the Antonio Gramsci linguistic tactics: https://cdrkerchner.wordpress.com/2022/07/15/gramsci-alinsky-the-left-by-jeff-carlson-cfa/

      Article II, Section 1, Clause 5 of the U.S. Constitution, the presidential eligibility clause, by its wording clearly tells us there is a difference between merely being a Citizen of the United States at the time of the adoption of the U.S. Constitution and a natural born Citizen of the United States. That wording differentiating the two kinds of Citizens in that clause is what is known as the “grandfather clause” in said presidential eligibility clause.

      Since the first Citizens of the United States as a new nation were created upon the signing of the Declaration of Independence in 1776 and adhering to it (see Ramsay 1789: https://www.scribd.com/doc/33807636/A-Dissertation-on-Manner-of-Acquiring-Character-Privileges-of-Citizen-of-U-S-by-David-Ramsay-1789), there obviously were no legally of majority age “natural born Citizens of the United States” in the year 1785, whether one argues Vattel’s definition of “natural born Citizen” in section 212 of the Law of Nations or Principles of Natural Law (https://lonang.com/library/reference/vattel-law-of-nations/vatt-119/) or the fallacious argument being made by some here from time to time in this newspaper’s comments forum, that anyone who is merely a “Citizen at Birth” declared under some manmade Positive Law, Act, Treaty, or Constitution is identically equal and 100% totally one and the same as a “natural born Citizen,” without regard as to what the citizenship status was for the two parents when the child is born in the country. (This Euler Diagram proves the logical fallacy of that identity argument — https://cdrkerchner.wordpress.com/2018/06/16/natural-born-citizen/ )

      Via Natural Law and the Law of Nations the first “natural born Citizens of the United States” would be the children born in country of parents who were both one of those first Citizens created in 1776.

      So, it is obvious to this party that the 1785 draft treaty wording is obviously prospective in its purpose and in meaning for the future when there will be natural born Citizens of the United States of sufficient age or majority age and engaged in commerce as its purpose, or it is simply logically in error and was not well thought out in the use of the term “natural born Citizens of the United States” in that 1785 draft treaty. People make errors. Diplomats make errors. Members of Congress make errors. The 1790 Naturalization Law which was totally repealed in 1795 proved that in the erroneous and unconstitutional use of the term “natural born” in the 1790 Law, Congress cannot create “natural born Citizens.” So the diplomats imo made an error with the wording in that 1785 treaty just as the new Congress seated after adoption of the new U.S. Constitution did with that 1790 law. They were human, after all, dealing with the founding of a new country, making laws and treaties. And mistakes were made. Especially those in a hurry who OK’d the draft and were shortly scheduled to go on a tour of some beautiful gardens in Europe. Time probably was the cure for that treaty as eventually there were adult “natural born Citizens of the United States” engaged in commerce and industry. But there were none in 1785.

      So pray tell me, who do you think were the “natural born Citizens of the United States” engaged in commerce who were referred to in that 1785 draft of a treaty? I say there were none of majority age engaged in commerce at that time and it was a mistaken choice of wording in that document. Of course there could have been some very young 9-10 year old entrepreneur, but I don’t think so. So, again, what say you? Who were the “natural born Citizens of the United States” referred to in that 1785 draft treaty?

      CDR Kerchner (Ret)

      1. Kerchner: “So, it is obvious to this party that the 1785 draft treaty wording is obviously prospective in its purpose and in meaning for the future when there will be natural born Citizens of the United States of sufficient age or majority age and engaged in commerce as its purpose”

        Article 5 of the Adams/Jefferson draft commerce treaty required it to go into effect 1 year after its ratification. So not prospective enough to all natural born citizens to reach the age of majority and start ecport businesses.

        Kerchner: “Especially those in a hurry who OK’d the draft and were shortly scheduled to go on a tour of some beautiful gardens in Europe.”

        Adams wrote to Jefferson in July 1785 that he would be adding “natural born citizen” to the commerce treaty. Eight months later he and Jefferson submitted the draft with the “natural born citizen” phrase to the British. Eight months is a long time for both Adams and Jefferson to make a mistake without anyone correcting it.

        Kerchner: “who do you think were the “natural born Citizens of the United States” engaged in commerce who were referred to in that 1785 draft of a treaty?”

        I think the evidence is clear that the Founders were well aware of the concept of being “natural born” from English Common Law. That they transferred that concept to the United States after July 4th, 1776 and continued to use the term natural born subjects for some time afterward eventually transitioning to natural born citizens.

        In 1788 Jefferson wrote in a letter to Jay a description of the two types of citizens – native citizens and citizens alien born.

        To them (the Founders) native citizens were natural born citizens.

        1. You argue “natural born” means identically “native born”. I do not agree with that. But for argument’s sake, let me point out to your that there were also no “native born” Citizens of the United States in 1785, i.e., persons simply BORN in the USA without regard to citizenship of the parents after 4 Jul 1776 who would be of legal age for that commerce treaty to apply to 1785. So the only logical conclusion was that the treaty wording was in error, unless the treaty was for prospective use, i.e., written in anticipation of the day when there would be “natural born Citizens” of the United States of legal age. So your use of a flawed worded treaty be applied to the 1785 time frame to prove anything is a logical fallacy.

          CDR Kerchner (Ret)

        2. Kerchner: “You argue “natural born” means identically “native born”. ”

          No, I am arguing that when the Founders/Framers use the term natives or native citizens as they did during the convention debates and as Jefferson did in his letter to Jay, they also meant natural born Citizens.

          Here is Jefferson’s 1788 letter to Jay

          “Native citizens, on several valuable accounts, are preferable to Aliens, and to citizens alien-born. They possess our language, know our laws, customs, and commerce, have generally acquaintance in the U. S. give better satisfaction, and are more to be relied on in point of fidelity.” Jefferson letter to John Jay, November 14th, 1788


          Jefferson recognizes three types of persons:

          Native citizens
          Citizens alien-born

          Vattel, “The natives, or natural-born citizens, are those born in the country, of parents who are citizens.”

          To Jefferson then native citizens = natural born citizens.

        3. Ray Fremick wrote at Wednesday, December 7, 2022 at 3:49 PM :

          “Vattel, “The natives, or natural-born citizens, are those born in the country, of parents who are citizens.

          To Jefferson then native citizens = natural born citizens.”

          And per the Vattel definition used and cited in above by Ray Fremick, said native citizens would have to be born in the country of parents who are citizens. The term “natives” as used back then by Vattel, as is clearly defined in the very sentence from Vattel that Ray cited, was not understood in that context to mean the same as we would take the word “native”/”natives” today in a sentence. Remember Vattel told us very clearly in the very sentence he used the words “natives” and “natural born Citizen” exactly what he meant by those words.

          And to confuse the meaning of the word “natives”, is one of the semantics games that many anti-Vattelian’s use to try to confuse the argument about what “natural born Citizen” meant. That is, the detractors use the everyday common understanding of what “native”/”natives” means today as opposed to how Vattel clearly used it and defined it in his sentence back in the late 18th century, i.e., born in the country to parents who were both citizens of that country. Vattel clearly stated that in section 212.

          And those who suggest that the founders and framers could not read French, the diplomatic language of the time (remember France was our ally and England was the enemy during the revolutionary time period) and that they did not read Vattel’s Law of Nations or Principles of Natural Law, they are clearly being ridiculous in their arguments.

          CDR Kerchner (Ret)

      2. If Jay was using Vattel’s Law of Nations as defining natural born citizens, he must have known that they didn’t exist before 1776. He did not include a citizenship clause in his hint letter.

        Was he expecting there to be no commander-in-chief until sometime in the early 1800s?

        Or did he believe that native citizens were also natural born citizens and could fill that role?

        1. Jay wanted ONLY NBCs to be President. That was then included IN the Constitution at Jay’s suggestion. That being added consideration then had to be given to HOW anyone then living, since they could not possibly enter in said office (None WERE NBCs) could be elected. Thus the grandfather clause was designed and adapted. Jay knew that those who were not born in the US to parents who were BOTH citizens themselves were NOT eligible to be President or VP.

        2. There’s no evidence that Jay, who was not a Framer, believed only those born in the United States to two citizen parents were natural born citizens.

  15. Mr. DeMaio wrote: ” … Those who argue that this hypothetical would have mirrored the Founders’ intent are either (a) woefully mistaken; (b) in deep denial, or (c) indulging in a controlled substance. By adopting the nbC concept articulated in Minor – let alone the concept set out in § 212 – the Founders manifested their intent to absolutely preclude such a possibility. And yet the CRS and a host of others advocate for just that opposite and dangerous non sequitur. … ”

    This humble servant would suggest there is another reason, … (d) purposely spreading misinformation and disinformation.

    They are here and active in these comments threads regarding “natural born Citizen” and the presidential eligibility clause in our U.S. Constitution on a mission to deceive and spread misinformation and disinformation and gas light new readers. Either as paid (directly or indirectly) operatives like those in the movie “The Haters (2020)”, or as hard-core subversive Marxist ” Antonio Gramsci” ideologues and sociologist types who either work for the government or academia and have lots of spare time on their day jobs to come here and play their psy-ops and social engineering games.

    They appear to enjoy twisting logic, circular reasoning fallacy repetitive arguments, child like repetitive “there is no evidence” or you can’t prove it type statements over and over again, and playing linguistic games to deceive people to achieve a cultural shift and political change on a subject to advance their subversive overall long-term political goals (in this case the presidential eligibility clause) to undermine our constitutional republic as was advocated by the Communist and Linguist, Antonio Gramsci: https://cdrkerchner.wordpress.com/2022/07/15/gramsci-alinsky-the-left-by-jeff-carlson-cfa/

    CDR Kerchner (Ret)

    1. Except no disinformation or misinformation is being offered: just the basic reality that none of these beliefs about the natural born citizen clause have persuaded any court or government body.

      But it is disinformation or misinformation to insinuate, without any evidence, that anyone is being paid to comment.

      It isn’t deceptive to note the paucity of evidence. Deception is making assertions unsupported by evidence.

  16. DeMaio citing Buccieri, Buchwalter, Gore, and Griffith, “Judicial Dicta,” 21 C.J.S. Courts 226 (2020) “…it becomes authoritative when it is expressly declared by the court as a guide for future conduct.”

    Chief Justice Waite gave such a declaration?

    And when Justice Gray wrote, “The same rule was in force in all the English colonies upon this continent down to the time of the Declaration of Independence, and in the United States afterwards, and continued to prevail under the constitution as originally established.”


    “For the reasons above stated, this court is of opinion that the question must be answered in the affirmative.”

    That was also judicial dictum. not binding but persuasive authority.

    “Our interpretation of Wong Kim Ark differs in several respects from that of the district court’s. Most notably, we do not understand Wong Kim Ark as commanding that we “must apply the English common law rule for citizenship to determine” the outcome of this case, as the district court phrased it. Wong Kim Ark never went so far. Instead, Wong Kim Ark instructs us that the Citizenship Clause, as with the rest of the Constitution, “must be interpreted in the light of the common law.” 169 U.S. at 654 (emphasis added). We take the general meaning of “in the light of” to mean “in context, through the lens of, or taking into consideration.” It is a phrase that introduces persuasive, not binding, authority. Wong Kim Ark therefore tells us to consider the common law in hopes that it sheds light on the constitutional question before us. It does not incorporate wholesale the entirety of English common law as governing precedent.” 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in Fitisemanu v United States (2021), cert petition denied by Supreme Court.

  17. The discussion about Virginia Minor’s status as a natural born citizen is dicta because it was irrelevant to the actual issue of the case, that is, whether the U.S. Constitution (including the 14th Amendment) guaranteed her the right to vote. The ruling would have been the same regardless whether she was a naturalized or natural born citizen, so her exact citizenship status never was part of the holding.

    In any event, the U.S. Supreme Court also never declared, expressly or otherwise, that its dictum about Minor’s citizenship was intended to be a guide for future conduct. Which is exactly why exactly no court ever has relied on Minor for a reading on the natural born citizen clause.

    Minor never cited Vattel, and Minor noted it was discussing the common law. Section 212 of Vattel’s book does not discuss the common law, so Minor’s dictum could not have been an implied reference to Vattel.

    The dissent in Reynolds v. Sims acknowledged that Minor had been effectively silently overruled.

    Regardless, the U.S. Supreme Court already has concluded in Wong Kim Ark the Framers’ understanding of citizenship was informed by English common law.

    1. English Common Law does not control in America. We have our OWN common law. ALL LINKS to Britain dissolved when the USA was formed. Those who reference British law to inform us on US Jurisprudence do so without bona-fides or import.

      1. English common no longer controls U.S. law, but several states expressly adopted English common law as their own.

        Regardless, the U.S. Supreme Court already ruled English common law may be looked at when determining the meaning of terms in the U.S. Constitution. And the U.S. Supreme Court already did that when determining the meaning of citizen.

        I have no idea why you believe the U.S. Supreme Court lacks boba fides or import.

  18. Speaking of uncaught errors: The 1760 translation of Vattel’s book does not contain the words “natural born citizen.”

    Outside of the Founding era, no is arguing that naturalized citizens are natural born citizens. And literally no one doubts that those born in the United States to two U.S. citizen parents are natural born citizens. The courts do not consider the 14th Amendment to be a naturalization law; nor do they treat it as one.

    A dismissal for a failure to state a claim is not a procedural dismissal: it is a dismissal on the merits. That is so because the court assumes the facts are true but nonetheless do not provide any basis for relief. In Ankeny, for example, it was undisputed that President Obama did not have two U.S. citizen parents. But that also was irrelevant because, as the court concluded, minor exceptions asides, those born in the United States are natural born citizens, regardless of the parents’ citizenship.

    While anyone may believe Ankeny was wrongly decided, such beliefs are not in equipoise to courts’ rulings and experts’ opinions. (And a law student is not an expert.) Ankeny came from an actual court; its ruling is binding authority in Indiana. It also carries persuasive authority, as it persuaded other courts to expressly adopt its reasoning and conclusion. No court has rejected it.

    Notwithstanding the lack of any legal or factual basis for their beliefs, the doubters will continue with their doubts. Despite their doubts already having not succeeded in any legal or political arena, and with no indication of any future success.

  19. From the author:
    It has been brought to your humble servant’s attention that he goofed. And when he goofs, he admits it and attempts to correct it. The frequently-mentioned (and by your servant criticized) “Ankeny” decision mentioned in the above post was not handed down by the Iowa Court of Appeals. Instead, it was made by the Indiana Court of Appeals. Your servant apologizes to P&E readers and to the Iowa Court of Appeals for the error …, but he still disagrees with the decision of the Indiana Court of Appeals.

  20. Mr. DeMaio is correct. Think logically. The term “natural born Citizen” is not logically identical to the term “Citizen at Birth”. The former is a subset of the latter. To argue otherwise is a logical fallacy. And such arguers would fail Ethics and Logic 101. Natural born Citizens are in general the largest kind and subset by far of the total Citizens in most nations. Think Euler Diagram: http://www.kerchner.com/images/protectourliberty/euler-diagram-nbc-not-logical-identity-to-cab.pdf … and … https://cdrkerchner.wordpress.com/2018/06/16/natural-born-citizen/

    CDR Kerchner (Ret)

    1. Of Trees and Plants and Basic Logic: Trees are plants but not all plants are trees. “natural born Citizens (NBC)” are “native born Citizens” or “Citizens at birth (CAB)” but not all “native born Citizens” or “CAB” are “NBC”! https://cdrkerchner.wordpress.com/2011/07/07/trees-are-plants-but-not-all-plants-are-trees-natural-born-citizens-nbc-are-citizens-at-birth-cab-but-not-all-cab-are-nbc-2/ … and … http://www.kerchner.com/images/protectourliberty/euler-diagram-nbc-not-logical-identity-to-cab.pdf

        1. It isn’t a gross mendacity, nor prevaricatory, to note courts already have ruled those born a U.S. citizen are natural born citizens. Because courts have made such rulings.

          Your ignoring them doesn’t invalidate them.

        1. And as expected. But not particular well, as they overly rely on ad hominem and personal attacks.

          Bob68 offered in support of his beliefs an article about his beliefs. But both Bob68’s beliefs and this author’s beliefs already have been contradicted by how the courts actually have ruled on these matters.

  21. “the Iowa Court of Appeals decision in Ankeny v. Governor of the State of Indiana, 916 N.E.2d 678 (App. 2009)”

    Court of Appeals of Indiana not Iowa. The title has the clue “Governor of the State of Indiana”

  22. DeMaio, “Again, if the “nbC” term meant what the commenter asserts, why was there a need in 1787 for the “citizen grandfather clause” at all?”

    August 13th, 1787

    “ Mr. GERRY wished that in future the eligibility might be confined to Natives. Foreign powers will intermeddle in our affairs, and spare no expence to influence them. Persons having foreign attachments will be sent among us & insinuated into our councils, in order to be made instruments for their purposes. Every one knows the vast sums laid out in Europe for secret services. He was not singular in these ideas. A great many of the most influencial men in Massts. reasoned in the same manner.” From Notes on the Debates in the Federal Convention by James Madison

    “The natives, or natural-born citizens, are those born in the country, of parents who are citizens.” Vattel

    Are natives and natural born the same?

    Mr. Gerry’s solution to limiting foreign influence was to limit membership in Congress to “natives”. Substitute “natural born” for “natives” in Mr. Gerry’s statement and you have the essence of Jay’s hint letter.

    “Mr. Wilson …remarked that almost all the Genl. officers of the Pena. line of the late army were foreigners. And no complaint had ever been made against their fidelity or merit. Three of her deputies to the Convention [Mr. R. Morris, Mr. Fitzimmons & himself] were also not natives.” From Notes on the Debates in the Federal Convention by James Madison

    So Framers Wilson, Morris and Fitzimmons (and a few others) were not considered natives. And if natives = natural born, they would need a grandfather clause to be eligible.

    “…the American states were free and independent on 4 July, 1776. On that day, Mrs. Shanks was found under allegiance to the State of South Carolina as a natural born citizen to a community” Justice Johnson dissenting opinion in Shanks v DuPont (1833)


  23. Why must the “usurper” always win the argument? The cowardly decisions
    to protect themselves by “giving in” is not justice….but they do it over and over,
    something is wrong in the court decision not the constitution. The constitution
    is clearly written, interpretation is always liberal leaning to protect the guilty. the lawbreakers. themselves.

    1. Because those accusing someone of usurping have neither facts nor law on their side.

      Which is why the courts have rejected the eligibility challenges.

      1. Most of the eligibility challenges have been rejected due to standing, Mittens wouldn’t challenge cause he himself isn’t a Natural Born Citizen. McCain’s status is shaky at best so he wouldn’t have challenged either, those are really the only 2 people that would have had standing to challenge in court. It’s interesting they stop the individual mandate in the ACA because then those individuals would have had standing to challenge Barry Soetoro eligibility and they couldn’t have that.

        1. Although many of the eligibility challenges were rejected on jurisdictional grounds such as standing, some were decided on the merits. And those challenges were not brought by election opponents.

          While receiving a merits-based result in a federal court likely will need an election opponent to file a suit, the same is not true for state courts. Citizens have sought and received merits-based rulings in eligibility challenges filed in states’ courts.

      2. Rudy, State Courts are not the courts of last resort on US Constitutional questions. Their rulings control ONLY within the parameters of their individual States and like the Ankeny ruling in Indiana are sometimes WRONGLY decided.

        1. No one said state courts were the courts of last resort for constitutional questions. No one said these state courts’ rulings bound every state.

          There is no evidence any legal scholar or court believes Ankeny was wrongly decided. There’s evidence courts believe Ankeny was correctly decided because other courts have expressly adopted its reasoning and conclusion.

        2. DeMaio is not a legal scholar in any meaningful sense of those words: there’s no evidence DeMaio has a law degree, ever worked in a professional capacity in the legal field, taught law at any institution, had his work published in any peer-reviewed journal, been cited in a judicial ruling, or any other recognized marker of achievement beyond self-proclamation.

          DeMaio’s belief that Ankeny was wrongly decided is not in equipoise with judicial rulings or even the opinions of actual scholars and experts that have come to contrary conclusions.

        3. I have no idea what has been seen and verified about DeMaio’s background, but there’s no public evidence of any legal training or experience.

          “Legal scholar” has no set meaning, but there’s no evidence of any professional recognition or achievement for DeMaio.

          Which is why DeMaio’s beliefs are not in equipoise with the experts with known credentials actually working on the field.

        4. You also say there is “no evidence” Obama’s birth certificate is forged, which is not accurate. I assure you DeMaio is highly qualified to analyze the law…and does his writing appear to you to be that of a non-lawyer? If so, you are clearly missing something.

        5. Except there is no evidence President Obama’s birth certificate was forged; none has been presented.

          Regardless, your assurance is not evidence of DeMaio’s bona fides. And scholarship is public, so anyone may access it. Yet where are DeMaio’s peer-reviewed articles? The citations in judicial rulings? Books published? Courses taught? Speaking engagements? Anything that could indicate professional experience and recognition.

          And since you asked: No, DeMaio doesn’t write like how lawyers write. It is too disorganized, makes too many asides and unsupported assertions, and gets basic concepts wrong. It isn’t indicative of someone trained in the law.

          Assuming DeMaio isn’t a pen name, if DeMaio, for example, has a law license, it would be trivially easy to just say that. Because that it something readily verifiable.

        6. Was this reporting recent?

          Regardless, when appealing to authority, there needs to be evidence that the authority being appealed to actually is an authority.