Saturday, April 04, 2015

Fact checking Natural Born Citizen

I question the accuracy of the below message in regard to the assertion of the third paragraph.  Minor v Hapersett ( case dealt with the question of whether a woman citizen could vote in Missouri.  It did not seek to discover the conclusive meaning of natural born citizen, and the Court confessed doubts about the common-law meaning in its dicta.
"The Constitution does not, in words, say who shall be natural-born citizens. Resort must be had elsewhere to ascertain that. At common-law, with the nomenclature of which the framers of the Constitution were familiar, it was never doubted that all children born in a country of parents who were its citizens became themselves, upon their birth, citizens also. These were natives, or natural-born citizens, as distinguished from aliens or foreigners. Some authorities go further and include as citizens children born within the jurisdiction without reference to the citizenship of their [p168] parents. As to this class there have been doubts, but never as to the first. For the purposes of this case it is not necessary to solve these doubts. It is sufficient for everything we have now to consider that all children born of citizen parents within the jurisdiction are themselves citizens. The words "all children" are certainly as comprehensive, when used in this connection, as "all persons," and if females are included in the last they must be in the first. That they are included in the last is not denied. In fact the whole argument of the plaintiffs proceeds upon that idea."

In the very next paragraph, the Court went on to describe how Congress had extended whatever the Common Law had actually meant by natural born citizen.
"Under the power to adopt a uniform system of naturalization Congress, as early as 1790, provided "that any alien, being a free white person," might be admitted as a citizen of the United States, and that the children of such persons so naturalized, dwelling within the United States, being under twenty-one years of age at the time of such naturalization, should also be considered citizens of the United States, and that the children of citizens of the United States that might be born beyond the sea, or out of the limits of the United States, should be considered as natural-born citizens. [n8]"
The court seemed to conclude, as I do, that Congress could firm up (change) the meaning of natural born citizen in order to comply with common sense.  As an example, Congress addressed the question of whether a child born of citizen parents outside the USA had natural born citizen status.

However, I can imagine circumstances in which US Citizen parents could give birth to a child in a foreign land having a culture and government utterly alien and inimical to those of the USA.  Such a child could hardly help developing deep-seated loyalties to the land, culture, religion, and people of birth.  I know that something similar happened to Barack Hussein Obama, and he has confessed as much in his writings and behaviors. That is why so many American, with good reason in my opinion, doubt his loyalties.

The whole purpose of the natural born citizen prerequisite to serving as US President consists of ensuring the people of the USA that a foreign power has not influenced the President to become detached from or disloyal to the USA and its people. It has NOTHING to do with the right of a putative citizen to serve as President.  It has everything to do with protecting the nation and its people from foreign influence on the chief executive.

Supporting laws should accomplish that purpose.  If they do not, such as by giving way to the modern concept of political correctness that would let any foreigner become President, they are bad laws.

Read the Wikipedia article on Natural Born Citizen.  You might enjoy it.  And then you might wonder how so many experts could wallow in such confusion.

I think you will find much more enjoyment in Jon Roland's analysis, specifically with respect to Barack Obama's eligibility for the Presidency (and read his comments below the article):

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: d
Date: Tue, Mar 31, 2015 at 3:39 AM
Subject: Your Fact checking

Seems like you need to take your articles by line and "fact - check" your own journalism, or lack thereof(of journalism).

You stated twice that the supreme court never has ruled on 'natural born citizen" which isn't true, so you shouldn't rely on statements of others but do some 'journalism'.

In 1875 the US sup Ct in Minor v Happersett looked back at the founders meaning of the term and ruled that to be Natural born one had to have citizen parents(note the s). This is standing precedent having never been overturned. Also note, no Act may overrule the Constitution, only an amendment.

If two citizen parents were not required for 'Natural Born Citizen' status then there is no possible logical reason for the adoption clause in Article 2 Section 1. All the founders were charter citizens with non-citizen parents because the country did not exist when their parents gave birth to them. And there were many citizens at that time who were born on U.S. soil but not to citizen parents for the same obvious reason. The only distinguishable difference between the "citizens at the time" and a "natural born citizen" is the citizenship of the parents at the time of birth. The founders knew it would take a generation to produce the first 'Natural Born Citizen' born on U.S. soil from parents who were citizens to produce a candidate free from any direct foreign birthright allegiances. The founders needed to include the charter citizens in order to have Presidential candidates (themselves) until a 'Natural Born Citizen' could be available for candidacy. At the time of the adoption there were only two groups of charter citizens available for the candidate pool...native born citizens (born on U.S. soil to non-citizen parents) and naturalized citizens (those born abroad). If either of these groups were eligible to hold office as President then there would be no reason for the adoption clause nor would there be a need to distinguish 'Natural Born Citizens'. And to those who would suggest that the adoption clause was because the 'soil' was British before the adoption and that it was strictly a matter of jus soli, the article would read 'no person except a native born citizen' instead of 'no person except a natural born citizen' as it was well understood and a part of the language of the day to regard a person born on the soil a native born citizen.
The Constitution followed Vattel's, The Law of Nations or the Principles of Natural Law (1758). Emmerich de Vattel wrote "The natives, or natural-born citizens, are those born in the country, of parents who are citizens. As the society cannot exist and perpetuate itself otherwise than by the children of the citizens, those children naturally follow the condition of their fathers, and succeed to all their rights. The society is supposed to desire this, in consequence of what it owes to its own preservation; and it is presumed, as a matter of course, that each citizen, on entering into society, reserves to his children the right of becoming members of it. THE COUNTRY OF THE FATHERS IS THEREFORE THAT OF THE CHILDREN.Book 1 Chapter 19, section 212.
For a historical note:President Chester Arthur faced a challenge by those who believed his father was not a citizen when Chester was born. Before the authorities could seize them Arthur took all his family documents and burned them in his back yard effectively covering up the fact of his ineligibility to hold office. Would he have done this if he didnt believe this would have made him ineligible? It was only recently in 2009 that a researcher found documentation which confirmed that Arthur's critics were right about his ineligibility because his father was not a citizen at the time of Chester's birth.

Currently Santorum(Italian father), Jindal(Indian parents), Rubio(Cuban parents), Cruz(Cuban father), are NOT Natural born citizens, nor is Obama(British father). 


Unknown said...

For a branch of government that supposedly never defined natural-born Citizen, the Supreme Court sure has said a lot about its meaning.

In the Supreme Court decision, The Venus, 1814, Justice John Marshall defined “natural-born citizen” citing Vattel, but using his own words stated “Vattel, who, though not very full to this point, is more explicit and more satisfactory on it than any other whose work has fallen into my hands, says, 'the citizens are the members of the civil society; bound to this society by certain duties, and subject to its authority, they equally participate in its advantages. The natives, or indigenes, are those born in the country, of parents who are citizens. Society not being able to subsist and to perpetuate itself but by the children of the citizens, those children naturally follow the condition of their fathers, and succeed to all their rights.’

In U.S. v. Wong Kim Ark (1898), the Supreme Court held children born in the United States, of permanently-domiciled alien (permanent legal resident) parents, are native-born citizens. But the Court did not hold these children to be natural-born citizens. To the contrary, the Court has consistently used the term “natural born citizen’ to apply only to persons born on U.S. soil, to citizen parents (plural).
The decision was based on the 14th Amendment. This case is often used by some as evidence that any citizen born in the U.S. can be President. However, the 14th Amendment only stated, "all persons born in the United States...excluding Indians not taxed...." were citizens and were to be given "full and equal benefit of all laws." The Ark decision did not assert or imply the definition of natural-born citizen in the Constitution had changed.

In Inglis v. Trustees (1830) and Elk v. Wilkins (1884), the plaintiff was born in the United States, of a father owing allegiance to sovereignty other than the United States. In each case, the Court determined that the plaintiff did not acquire U.S. citizenship at birth: his nationality at the time of birth was that of his father, not his birthplace.

In Dred Scott v. Sandford (1856), Justice Daniels’s concurring opinion characterized the view that:” natural -born citizens are those born in the country to parents who are citizens”.

In Minor v. Happerset (1874), the decision most on-point, the Court defined two classes of citizens. The first consisted of citizen children born in the United States to U.S.-citizen parents (plural). The second consisted of U.S. born children of non-U.S.-citizen parents. The Court used the term “natural-born citizen’ to apply to members of the first class. While both classes are citizens, only persons in the first class are natural-born.

In Kwock Jan Fat v. White (1920), the Supreme Court referred to Mr. Kwock as a natural-born citizen. He was born in the United States to a father who was a native-born citizen and a mother who was a U.S. citizen by marriage.

In Perkins v. Elg (1939), the Supreme Court referred to Marie Elizabeth Elg as a natural-born citizen. She was born in the U.S. to a father who was a naturalized citizen and a mother who was a U.S. citizen by marriage.

Rogers v. Bellei, 401 U.S. 815 (1971) stated children born outside the United States (pay attention Senator Cruz) to U.S. citizen parent(s) are citizens through a naturalization Act of Congress and these children would be ALIENS without such an Act.

Whenever the Supreme Court has referred to a person as a natural-born citizen, that person was
always born in the United States to U.S. citizen parents.

smrstrauss said...

You are wrong, and the Heritage Foundation is right:

“Under the longstanding English common-law principle of jus soli, persons born within the territory of the sovereign (other than children of enemy aliens or foreign diplomats) are citizens from birth. Thus, those persons born within the United States are "natural born citizens" and eligible to be President. Much less certain, however, is whether children born abroad of United States citizens are "natural born citizens" eligible to serve as President ..."---- Edwin Meese, et al, THE HERITAGE GUIDE TO THE CONSTITUTION (2005) [Edwin Meese was Ronald Reagan’s attorney general, and the Heritage Foundation is a well-known Conservative organization.]

And that, BTW, is why the chief justice of the United States swore Obama in after each of his elections, and that is why Mitt Romney and Karl Rove and Gingrich and Santorum and Huckabee and Ann Coulter and Glen Beck and the National Review all accept that Obama is the president of the United States and that birther claims about his place of birth and about two citizen parents being required are false.

BTW, Vattel is not even mentioned ONCE in the Federalist Papers, while the common laws is mentioned about twenty times. (Yes, they did read Vattel----but then they read a lot of other things too.)

smrstrauss said...

More reading on the subject: