Natural born Citizen

With this odd fellow we elected President has come discussion about the Constitutional requirements for being President, and in particular that pesky little phrase “natural born citizen”. There are some very long (and some long-winded) discussions about that this means. I personally think the thing is being over analyzed.

I hit the Concise Oxford English Dictionary for the “old meaning” of the term, and it provided a very simple definition: “having a position by birth”, so “natural born citizen” means being a citizen at birth. There’s nothing new here, and indeed this is what is usually understood by the term. If you look at all the uses of “natural born”, it means “born with” some characteristic, e.g. natural-born storyteller, natural-born swimmer, natural-born athlete, natural-born mathematician, natural-born musician, and on and one. A natural born citizen is just someone born with the quality of being a citizen.

At first blush, this would seem to be a slam dunk answer for Barack Obama’s natural born citizenship, since the fourteenth amendment defines: “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”. There’s no question in my mind that Barack Obama was born in the United States. Some quibble about the latter part: “subject to the jurisdiction thereof”. Keep in mind that now we are talking about citizenship in general, not the qualifications for President. Some argue that the children of non-citizens born in the United States should not be citizens because they are subject to the government of their parents, that they have divided jurisdiction. This non-citizenship for the children of non-citizens would be a big surprise to hundreds of thousands of Americans with US Birth Certificates and carrying US Passports, and to the US State Department and most of the population. However, the question of citizenship for the children of non-citizens was settled long ago by the United States Supreme Court in the case of United States v. Wong Kim Ark. Wong was born in the US, the child of two Chinese temporary workers. He tried to re-enter the country and was denied entry because he was not a citizen. The Supreme Court in a 6-2 vote declared that he was indeed a citizen.

A lot is being written right now about the Wong case (some of it misleading), but the one sure thing in Wong is that the children born in the United States to non-US citizens are themselves citizens at birth.

Since “natural born” refers to a quality at birth, anyone born in the United States can grow up to be President.

INA: ACT 301 – NATIONALS AND CITIZENS OF THE UNITED STATES AT BIRTH

Sec. 301. [8 U.S.C. 1401] The following shall be nationals and citizens of the United States at birth:
(a) a person born in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof;
(b) a person born in the United States to a member of an Indian, Eskimo, Aleutian, or other aboriginal tribe: Provided, That the granting of citizenship under this subsection shall not in any manner impair or otherwise affect the right of such person to tribal or other property;
(c) a person born outside of the United States and its outlying possessions of parents both of whom are citizens of the United States and one of whom has had a residence in the United States or one of its outlying possessions, prior to the birth of such person;
(d) a person born outside of the United States and its outlying possessions of parents one of whom is a citizen of the United States who has been physically present in the United States or one of its outlying possessions for a continuous period of one year prior to the birth of such person, and the other of whom is a national, but not a citizen of the United States;
(e) a person born in an outlying possession of the United States of parents one of whom is a citizen of the United States who has been physically present in the United States or one of its outlying possessions for a continuous period of one year at any time prior to the birth of such person;
(f) a person of unknown parentage found in the United States while under the age of five years, until shown, prior to his attaining the age of twenty-one years, not to have been born in the United States;
(g) a person born outside the geographical limits of the United States and its outlying possessions of parents one of whom is an alien, and the other a citizen of the United States who, prior to the birth of such person, was physically present in the United States or its outlying possessions for a period or periods totaling not less than five years, at least two of which were after attaining the age of fourteen years: Provided, That any periods of honorable service in the Armed Forces of the United States, or periods of employment with the United States Government or with an international organization as that term is defined in section 1 of the International Organizations Immunities Act (59 Stat. 669; 22 U.S.C. 288) by such citizen parent, or any periods during which such citizen parent is physically present abroad as the dependent unmarried son or daughter and a member of the household of a person (A) honorably serving with the Armed Forces of the United States, or (B) employed by the United States Government or an international organization as defined in section 1 of the International Organizations Immunities Act, may be included in order to satisfy the physical-presence requirement of this paragraph. This proviso shall be applicable to persons born on or after December 24, 1952, to the same extent as if it had become effective in its present form on that date; and
(h) a person born before noon (Eastern Standard Time) May 24, 1934, outside the limits and jurisdiction of the United States of an alien father and a mother who is a citizen of the United States who, prior to the birth of such person, had resided in the United States. 302 persons born in Puerto Rico on or after April 11, 1899

Source: U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. See also: Acquisition and Retention of U.S. Citizenship and Nationality – US Department of State.

And if we needed a precedent, President Chester A. Arthur was born in the United States to an American mother and a British father. He became president in 1880.

See also this interesting article, Natural Born Citizenship for Dummies.

About Kevin

Just an old guy with opinions that I like to bounce off other people.
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50 Responses to Natural born Citizen

  1. Ted says:

    SCOTUS has now prevented itself from acknowleding the question whether Obama is or is not a “natural born citizen” (as distinguished from “citizen”) three times and counting: First before the Nov 4 general election and twice before the Dec 15 vote of the College of Electors. Other cases on the same question are at, or are heading to, SCOTUS. Whether SCOTUS ultimately decides if Obama is or is not a “natural born citizen” only after the Electors vote, only after Congress acts on the Electors’ vote, prior to Obama’s inauguration, or only after Obama’s inauguration, SCOTUS will have to decide — or the people and/or the military will. The issue no longer is Obama. The issue is SCOTUS.

  2. Kevin says:

    Actually, I don’t think there is any difference between the “citizen” argument and the “natural born citizen” argument. It is the same argument essentially with just one term substituted for another. Donofrio trots out some Swiss philosopher and translates him into English and makes that the rule that the Constitution must be interpreted by (it’s all he’s got) when any instance you can think of of the use of the term “natural born” means born nature, or nature at birth–here citizen at birth.

    Huge articles are written that bring in great concepts of sovereignty and loyalty and divided jurisdiction, but they all fall flat compared to what the Constitution plainly says. If the Constitution doesn’t define “natural born” then the framers must have assumed that it meant what the phrase means everywhere else: “having a position by birth”. Now perhaps the framers had an unusual idea of exactly who was a citizen at birth, but that was cleared up by the 14th amendment, and clarified as to its application in United States v. Wong Kim Ark.

  3. Sally says:

    Providing your example of Chester Arther is as you say, precedent – WHY did Arther lie about every fact relating to his birth? He lied about his actual birth year – to throw off those who were investigating. He lied about the date and location at which his Irish born father entered the country to throw off those who were investigating. He lied about the time his mother spent living in Canada to keep people looking at a possible Canadian birth (looking in one place for the answers, when the true issue was in other hidden facts). AND FINALLY, he lied about the year his father obtained naturalized US Citizenship. Humm….he made it retroactive to his birth IN ORDER TO MAKE HIMSELF A NBC. The fact is, his father didn’t naturalize until Arther was 14 years old.

    You see, Arther KNEW for a FACT that he was not a natural born citizen and therefore had to lie to cover up the fact that he was ineligible to the office of POTUS. THAT IS NO PRECEDENT.

    The only precedent in play with Arther was the fact that he lied and covered up his ineligibility – just as Obama is doing.

    Arther was an usurper to the office of POTUS – just as Obama will be. Not exactly the way I would want my presidency defined in the annals of history.

    Good article otherwise and at least – FINALLY – some intelligent debate over the real issue that needs to be settled – the true definition of NATURAL BORN CITIZEN. However – you should tell the WHOLE truth about Arther, and not just the truth that suits your position. And just to be clear – Arther is the ONLY POTUS to hold office that was not born to 2 US Citizens. Every post grandfather clause President of this nation was born in the United States to parents who were US Citizens.

    And again – Arther lied through his teeth to do so.

    In my mind – to be a NBC is to be born of 2 parents who claim the US to be their country. The founding fathers knew they could not see into the soul of every person that happened to be born on US soil – (US Citizens); therfore, they had to put into place a stopgap to prevent someone taking office with divided loyalities. That stopgap was a full generation of citizenship. They knew if both parents were US Citizens, then their child would have no possibility of divided loyalties. Here it is in a nutshell: In order to be OF the country, it is necessary that a person be born of 2 US Citizens. If either parent is of foreign origin, the US can ONLY be the PLACE OF HIS BIRTH and cannot be HIS COUNTRY.

  4. Kevin says:

    Sally,

    First, I am not willing to concede that “Arthur lied about every fact relating to his birth”, nor that “Arthur KNEW for a FACT that he was not a natural born citizen”. He certainly didn’t lie about the fact his father was an Irish emigrant. I read basically everything from the NY Times about Arthur in 1880 prior to the election and there wasn’t much, just the biography of Arthur which says his father emigrated at 18 and a note that some “democratic operative” was nosing around Vermont for birth records. All of these claimed deceptions never made it into the newspaper in his home state. The modern biography of Arthur I’m reading now doesn’t say anything about conflicting birth stories either, except a brief aside about Canada. I would need to do a lot more research before I am willing to conclude one way or another.

    I do, however, have deep doubts that Arthur believed he was not a natural-born citizen. In fact I know of no evidence that anyone in Arthur’s time would have believed that, had they known his father was not a citizen at Arthur’s birth. As far as I know, the view you express, two American parents required to be President, has never been a view held by any significant number of people.

    My main problem with this “natural born” argument is that it is based on opinions of what people thought about citizenship and what they might have considered important in a president, ignoring what the phrase “natural born” means in English. One would think that the framers would have taken the time to say what they meant instead of saying something else. Of course that Swiss philosopher was writing in French and I don’t know if the idiom directly translates into English or not. And for the life of me I can’t see how you get from “natural born” to “a full generation of citizenship”.

    Sally, it has been my experience that people tend to believe what they want to believe. The Arthur precedent would have completely destroyed Denofrio’s whole claim to celebrity. He had the choice of admitting he was wrong, or demonizing Chester A. Arthur. He demonized Arthur. Given the extreme bias of the source, and the history of conspiracy theory thinking about Obama, one should approach these claims about Arthur with extreme caution. Even you said “he KNEW” when you could not possibly have know that.

  5. Jasper James says:

    I think the pesky phrase “subject to the jurisdiction of” was not written to be pesky – but had some meaning. If everyone in the U.S. was already “subject to the jurisdiction of” then why write it? That would be stupid and redundant. Aparently the original intent of that phrase was – “not of foreign allegance”. Unfortunatly – that pesky phrase is currently ignored by everyone when defining citizenship. That is what the big problem is with regards to defining Citizenship. Again – its unfortunate that the SC has refused to resolve this issue – and its unfortunate that no-one even seems to understand what that phrase even means. I shall assume that natural born Citizen is the same as “Citizen at Birth” as discussed in the 14th amendmant. But you have got to ask – if someone is not “subject to the jurisdiction of” our government – then why would we grant them citizenship? To put it another way – if someone does not feel or have a natural allegance to our country – why would we want them to be in a position of supreme power – such as president of the United States. For example, would a vistor in the U.S. accidently having a baby here want to have U.S. Citizenship forced on them. Or if you had a baby would you like Mexico to declare your child a Citizen of Mexico. So just because someone is temporarily living in a country certainly that person may not wan their children to be forced into Citizenship of said country. Such people are NOT “subject to the jurisdiction of” the said country. And so the 14th amendment basically says – if someone is born in the U.S. of parents that are not “subject to the jurisdiction of” the U.S. then their children are not – “Citizens at Birth” or “natural born Citizens”. The subsequent statutes that have been created have not followed this basic statement – and currently allow anyone who pops out a baby on U.S. soil whether they are “subject to the jursidiction of” the U.S. or not to declare that child a U.S. citizen. Well that is current policy but it may not be consistant with the constitution and is subject to change if properly challenged. Obama’s father was not a citizen, and was not “subject to the Jurisdiction of” the U.S. The Framers of the constitution would not consider Obama a “Natural Born Citizen”, however current definitions of “Citizens at Birth” do seem to include Obama. We have NO supreme court rulings that confirm this point of view – so technically we are really in limbo on this issue and Obama’s presidency will test this.

  6. Kevin says:

    The “subject to the jurisdiction of” clause was included in the fourteenth amendment to exclude a small class of special cases which are enumerated in naturalization law, and they include the Indian tribes, children of foreign ambassadors and persons born on foreign ships at sea within the external territorial waters of the US. This subject was examined at length by the Supreme Court in United States v. Wong Kim Ark which said:

    The real object of the fourteenth amendment of the constitution, in qualifying the words ‘all persons born in the United States’ by the addition ‘and subject to the jurisdiction thereof,’ would appear to have been to exclude, by the fewest and fittest words (besides children of members of the Indian tribes, standing in a peculiar relation to the national government, unknown to the common law), the two classes of cases,—children born of alien enemies in hostile occupation, and children of diplomatic representatives of a foreign state…

    For a very informative discussion of citizenship, see Acquisition and Retention of U.S. Citizenship and Nationality – US Department of State. Section 7 FAM 1116.2 therein talks about what jurisdiction means.

    Jasper, you say “the SC has refused to resolve this issue” but I must disagree with you there. By not hearing the two cases before it regarding the definition of “natural born citizen”, the court has decided to let things remain as they are. While a minority of anti-Obama agitators have created a constitutional crisis in a teacup, there was no controversy before it was invented. Natural born citizen simply meant being born a citizen, and the 14th Amendment, the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952 plus the Supreme Court decision in Wong have that all well covered.

  7. Jasper James says:

    I think allowing someone to become a Citizen at birth by laws or statutes are not in anyway the same as saying they are natural born Citizens. A child born in the U.S. of foreign parents (or mixed Citizenship) – may or may not become a U.S. Citizen depending on the choice of the parent – thus the “state” of Citizenship of the child is NOT natural-born Citizen. Whereas a child born in the U.S. of parents who are Citizens – is a natural born Citizen – and no laws are required per se to define that – and his Citizenship state at birth is not a choice. (Although later in life the child can make a choice). Do you see the difference? In the case of Obama – he is by choice a citizen of the U.S. because the laws and Statutes of the U.S. allowed him to become a Citizen of the U.S. at Birth. Because his Father was a British Citizen (and later a Kenyan) Obama by choice (and by laws) could become a Citizen of Britain or a Citizen of Kenya (or Indonesian). All these possibilities exist because of the laws of the respective countries. Thus he is not natural born Citizen of the U.S. – But he is a Citizen at Birth. To put it another way – can you be a natural born Citizen of two countries? If Kenya – for example – considers Obama a natural born Citizen of Kenya because his Father is Kenyan (and say they have Obama registered in their Country as a Kenyan Citizen) doesn’t this conflict imply that there is something of a conflict in the laws of the nations? Such a conflict of laws does not exist in the case of a natural born Citizen. Again, I say, it is a shame that the SC did not resolve this issue for us, instead Obama’s presidency will be legal question mark.

    If the writers of the 14th amendment meant to say anybody born on U.S. soil was a natural born citizen, why didn’t they say “natural born” as was done in Article 2, Section 1? Instead they said “all persons born or naturalized in the United States…are citizens of the United States.” Notice they are just citizens not natural born.

  8. Kevin says:

    I posted this comment on Donofrio’s Natural Born Citizen blog. We’ll if he publishes it.

    Pull down the Oxford English Dictionary and read the historical uses of “natural born”. They are universally descriptive of a quality present at birth, whether it is today’s “natural-born athlete” or something from the 18th century defined by “having a position by birth”. The Founders did not define “natural born”, but they did not define “is” either. One only defines terms that need defining, that have technical and legal specialization apart from common usage.

    The Founders did not define “citizenship” either, deferring to the States. Whatever notions they had about who should and should not be a citizen (and certainly with regard to the slaves their views would not match ours today), they decided not to put them into the Constitution. The left a “loose end” as to who was born a citizenship.

    The fourteenth amendment tied up that loose end and perhaps tied it up in a way that some of the founders might not have liked. Nonetheless the amendment is now part of the Constitution and the Founders don’t get to say who is and is not a citizen any more. And that amendment, supported by the Supreme Court, says that the children of aliens in the United States are born citizens. They are born with the nature of citizenship. They are natural born citizens.

    You can quote Swiss philosophers translated from French into English all day, but I’ll stand by my trusty dictionary to determine what English means.

  9. Jasper James says:

    I think the analogy to a natural born Football player is apropos – he doesn’t have a choice in the matter. It is something in his genes that makes him a natural-born Football player. He may however choose not to play football but that does not change his natural talents. In the case of children born to foreign parents (or mixed Citizenship) – that child can choose to be a U.S. Citizen or Not – and the laws of the respective country give him and his parents the choice at birth. The children born to U.S. Citizens in the U.S. don’t have any choice in the Citizenship at Birth thus – it they are natural-born Citizens without choice. I think that it is FUNDAMENTAL that a natural born citizen is so – without laws defining it so. Obama is ONLY a U.S. Citizen because LAWS have allowed it to be so – and his parents choose it. Again – do you see the difference?

  10. Kevin says:

    Jasper,

    You said: “I think allowing someone to become a Citizen at birth by laws or statutes are not in anyway the same as saying they are natural born Citizens.”

    It’s not a matter of laws or statues, but rather the Constitution, and specifically the fourteenth amendment, that makes them citizens at birth. In plain English, “natural born” means “born with the nature of”. So natural born citizen on its face means born a citizen. What other definition of “natural” can you offer that makes it come out some other way?

    You said: “A child born in the U.S. of foreign parents (or mixed Citizenship) – may or may not become a U.S. Citizen depending on the choice of the parent”

    This is completely wrong. Scroll up and read ACT 301. That child is a United States citizen AT BIRTH. There is no “become”; there is no choice. He already IS a citizen with that first gulp of good old USA air. At some point that person may renounce his US citizenship, but his parents cannot choose for him.

    Even for those with dual citizenship, so long as they reside in the United States, we consider their US citizenship “paramount”.

  11. Jasper James says:

    If the child was – born of parents or parent temporarily residing in the U.S. – like a Student – who had no intention of staying or becoming a Citizen of the U.S. and said Child was Granted U.S. Citizenship at birth and the parents (or parent) wanted to take the child to their own country (after finishing school) and raise him – My question is this – would the U.S. Government demand that such a child who is a U.S. citizen register for the Draft (if such exist) and go to said parents country and demand said child fight in our wars? I think not. We don’t “Force” Citizenship on people don’t want it,however we allow them to have it if they do want it. Again – its not Natural at all that a Foreign Parent Residing in the U.S. should have Citizenship imposed on their Child (or Children) who are Accidently Born in the U.S. The parents, by Laws (or Statutes) may choice to allow their Children to become U.S. – but it is not Naturally Enforced on to them. And in the case of Children Born in the U.S. of U.S. Citizens – it is Naturally enforced on them (sort of speak) and natural-born Citizens are required to register for the Draft as long as the remain citizens. This is their obligation to the Government and Nation. The Former Child had no such obligation or Allegiance to the U.S.

    Rep. Bingham commenting on Section 1992 said it means “every human being born within the jurisdiction of the United States of parents not owing allegiance to any foreign sovereignty is, in the language of your Constitution itself, a natural born citizen.” This national law does not endow upon any person allegiance through birth alone as was the custom under the old English common law practice but only recognizes citizenship of those born to parents who owe no allegiance to another nation. In other words, national law prevented the creation of conflicting dual citizenships between other nation’s citizens.

  12. Jasper James says:

    Some additional notes….

    John A. Bingham, chief architect of the 14th amendments first section, considered the proposed national law on citizenship as “simply declaratory of what is written in the Constitution, that every human being born within the jurisdiction of the United States of parents not owing allegiance to any foreign sovereignty is, in the language of your Constitution itself, a natural born citizen…”

    “Even the dissenting minority (in the United States v. Wong Kim Ark 1898) affirmed that the result of the citizenship clause was designed to ensure that all persons born within the United States were both citizens of the United States and the state in which they resided, provided they were not at the time subjects of any foreign power.”

    “The most significant truth to come out of the entire Wong Kim Ark ruling was from chief justice Fuller himself, when he said, “the words ‘subject to the jurisdiction thereof,’ in the amendment, were used as synonymous with the words ‘and not subject to any foreign power.’”

    The fact is – that this issue is not resolved. And its really a shame we don’t have a definitive analysis of it by the SC!

  13. Jane says:

    Yes there is a differenct between natural born and naturalized, otherwise the founding father would not had made a distintion by mentioning both.

  14. Kevin says:

    Jasper, you said:

    If the child was – born of parents or parent temporarily residing in the U.S. – like a Student – who had no intention of staying or becoming a Citizen of the U.S. and said Child was Granted U.S. Citizenship at birth and the parents (or parent) wanted to take the child to their own country (after finishing school) and raise him – My question is this – would the U.S. Government demand that such a child who is a U.S. citizen register for the Draft (if such exist) and go to said parents country and demand said child fight in our wars?

    United States v. Wong Kim Ark plainly says that children of temporary residents are citizens, and in this case Wong’s parents were exactly that, going back to China after Wong was born. Wong said (among many such things) “[Nothing] is better settled at the common law than the doctrine that the children, even of aliens, born in a country, while the parents are resident there under the protection of the government, and owing a temporary allegiance thereto, are subjects by birth”.

    In the case of dual nationality:

    c. While a person who has dual or multiple nationality resides in the United States, the
    right of the United States to claim his or her allegiance is held to be paramount of the right
    of the other countries of which he or she may be a national. Conversely, while a person
    who has dual nationality resides abroad in a foreign country of which he or she also is a
    national, the right of that country to claim his or her allegiance is paramount to that of the
    United States.

    http://www.state.gov/documents/organization/86755.pdf

    Rep. Bingham’s remarks are interesting, and one might ask the question of why this language “not owing allegiance to any foreign sovereignty” was dropped for the fourteenth amendment (of which Bingham was called “the father”) when defining citizens at birth. Just remember that everyone when speaking of “natural born citizen” means exactly “citizen at birth”. The arguments put forward today about “natural born citizenship” are the same arguments made a decade ago in an anti-immigrant context to deny citizenship to the children of aliens.

  15. Kevin says:

    A discussion of “jurisdiction”:

    Jasper, you said: ““The most significant truth to come out of the entire Wong Kim Ark ruling was from chief justice Fuller himself, when he said, “the words ’subject to the jurisdiction thereof,’ in the amendment, were used as synonymous with the words ‘and not subject to any foreign power.’””

    That is fine, but it makes my case not yours. Since the Supreme Court under Wong concluded that Mr. Wong was a citizen from birth under the fourteenth amendment, then he must therefore have been born under the jurisdiction of the United States and if, as you say this is equivalent to “not subject to any foreign power” then this person born of Chinese citizens must been “not subject to any foreign power”. QED

    If we accept the equivalence of “subject to the jurisdiction” with “not subject to any foreign power” then Wong demolishes any argument based on “not subject to any foreign power” since the Wong decision is entirely about making the children of aliens citizens under the fourteenth amendment, and specifically placing them “subject to the jurisdiction” of the United States.

    Look at these from Wong:

    ‘This section [of the fourteenth amendment] contemplates two sources of citizenship, and two sources only,—birth and naturalization. The persons declared to be citizens are ‘all persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof.’ The evident meaning of these last words is, not merely subject in some respect or degree to the jurisdiction of the United States, but completely subject to their political jurisdiction, and owing them direct and immediate allegiance. And the words relate to the time of birth in the one case, as they do to the time of naturalization in the other. Persons not thus subject to the jurisdiction of the United States at the time of birth cannot become so afterwards, except by being naturalized, either individually, as by proceedings under the naturalization acts, or collectively, as by the force of a treaty by which foreign territory is acquired.’

    Remember, that was talking about citizenship, not the qualifications to be president. If these children are not subject to the jurisdiction, then are not citizens at all. But Wong goes on to say that they indeed are fully under the jurisdiction.

    It thus clearly appears that by the law of England for the last three centuries, beginning before the settlement of this country, and continuing to the present day, aliens, while residing in the dominions possessed by the crown of England, were within the allegiance, the obedience, the faith or loyalty, the protection, the power, and the jurisdiction of the English sovereign; and therefore every child born in England of alien parents was a natural-born subject, unless the child of an ambassador or other diplomatic agent of a foreign state, or of an alien enemy in hostile occupation of the place where the child was born.

    “Subject’ and ‘citizen’ are, in a degree, convertible terms as applied to natives; and though the term ‘citizen’ seems to be appropriate to republican freemen

    By the constitution of the United States, congress was empowered ‘to establish an uniform rule of naturalization.’ In the exercise of this power, congress, by successive acts, beginning with the act entitled ‘An act to establish an uniform rule of naturalization,’ passed at the second session of the first congress under the constitution, has made provision for the admission to citizenship of three principal classes of persons: First. Aliens, having resided for a certain time ‘within the limits and under the jurisdiction of the United States,’ and naturalized individually by proceedings in a court of record. Second. Children of persons so naturalized, ‘dwelling within the United States, and being under the age of twenty-one years at the time of such naturalization.’

    The point of the preceding citation is to emphasize that aliens residing here are “under our jurisdiction” while they are still aliens.

    The supreme judicial court of Massachusetts, speaking by Mr. Justice (afterwards Chief Justice) Sewall, early held that the determination of the question whether a man was a citizen or an alien was ‘to be governed altogether by the principles of the common law,’ and that it was established, with few exceptions, ‘that a man, born within the jurisdiction of the common law, is a citizen of the country wherein he is born. By this circumstance of his birth, he is subjected to the duty of allegiance which is claimed and enforced by the sovereign of his native land and becomes reciprocally entitled to the protection of that sovereign, and to the other rights and advantages which are included in the term ‘citizenship.” Gardner v. Ward (1805) 2 Mass. 244, note. And again: ‘The doctrine of the common law is that every man born within its jurisdiction is a subject of the sovereign of the country where he is born; and allegiance is not personal to the sovereign in the extent that has been contended for; it is due to him in his political capacity of sovereign of the territory where the person owing the allegiance was born.’

    Chancellor Kent, in his Commentaries, speaking of the ‘general division of the inhabitants of every country, under the comprehensive title of ‘Aliens’ and ‘Natives,” says: ‘Natives are all persons born within the jurisdiction and allegiance of the United States. This is the rule of the common law, without any regard or reference to the political condition or allegiance of their parents, with the exception of the children of ambassadors, who are, in theory, born within the allegiance of the foreign power they represent.’

    The real object of the fourteenth amendment of the constitution, in qualifying the words ‘all persons born in the United States’ by the addition ‘and subject to the jurisdiction thereof,’ would appear to have been to exclude, by the fewest and fittest words (besides children of members of the Indian tribes, standing in a peculiar relation to the national government, unknown to the common law), the two classes of cases,—children born of alien enemies in hostile occupation, and children of diplomatic representatives of a foreign state,—both of which, as has already been shown, by the law of England and by our own law, from the time of the first settlement of the English colonies in America, had been recognized exceptions to the fundamental rule of citizenship by birth within the country

    The chief justice first laid down the general principle: ‘The jurisdiction of the nation within its own territory is necessarily exclusive and absolute. It is susceptible of no limitation not imposed by itself. Any restriction upon it, deriving validity from an external source, would imply a diminution of its sovereignty to the extent of the restriction, and an investment of that sovereignty to the same extent in that power which could impose such restriction. All exceptions, therefore, to the full and complete power of a nation within its own territories, must be traced up to the consent of the nation itself. They can flow from no other legitimate source. This consent may be either express or implied. In the latter case, it is less determinate, exposed more to the uncertainties of construction; but, if understood, not less obligatory.’ 7 Cranch, 136.

    In short, the judgment in the case of The Exchange declared, as incontrovertible principles, that the jurisdiction of every nation within its own territory is exclusive and absolute, and is susceptible of no limitation not imposed by the nation itself; that all exceptions to its full and absolute territorial jurisdiction must be traced up to its own consent, express or implied

    From the first organization of the national government under the constitution, the naturalization acts of the United States, in providing for the admission of aliens to citizenship by judicial proceedings, uniformly required every applicant to have resided for a certain time ‘within the limits and under the jurisdiction of the United States,’ and thus applied the words ‘under the jurisdiction of the United States’ to aliens residing here before they had taken an oath to support the constitution of the United States, or had renounced allegiance to a foreign government.

    The words ‘in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof,’ in the first sentence of the fourteenth amendment of the constitution, must be presumed to have been understood and intended by the congress which proposed the amendment, and by the legislatures which adopted it, in the same sense in which the like words had been used by Chief Justice Marshall in the wellknown case of The Exchange, and as the equivalent of the words ‘within the limits and under the jurisdiction of the United States,’ and the converse of the words ‘out of the limits and jurisdiction of the United States,’ as habitually used in the naturalization acts. This presumption is confirmed by the use of the word ‘jurisdiction,’ in the last clause of the same section of the fourteenth amendment, which forbids any state to ‘deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.’ It is impossible to construe the words ‘subject to the jurisdiction thereof,’ in the opening sentence, as less comprehensive than the words ‘within its jurisdiction,’ in the concluding sentence of the same section; or to hold that persons ‘within the jurisdiction’ of one of the states of the Union are not ‘subject to the jurisdiction of the United States.’

    By the civil rights act of 1866, ‘all persons born in the United States, and not subject to any foreign power, excluding Indians not taxed,’ were declared to be citizens of the United States. In the light of the law as previously established, and of the history of the times, it can hardly be doubted that the words of that act, ‘not subject to any foreign power,’ were not intended to exclude any children born in this country from the citizenship which would theretofore have been their birthright; or, for instance, for the first time in our history, to deny the right of citizenship to native-born children or foreign white parents not in the diplomatic service of their own country, nor in hostile occupation of part of our territory. But any possible doubt in this regard was removed when the negative words of the civil rights act, ‘not subject to any foreign power,’ gave way, in the fourteenth amendment of the constitution, to the affirmative words, ‘subject to the jurisdiction of the United States.’

    In 1871, Mr. Fish, writing to Mr. Marsh, the American minister to Italy, said: ‘The fourteenth amendment to the constitution declares that ‘all persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States.’ This is simply an affirmance of the common law of England and of this country, so far as it asserts the status of citizenship to be fixed by the place of nativity, irrespective of parentage.

    ‘But no sovereignty can extend its jurisdiction beyond its own territorial limits so as to relieve those born under and subject to another jurisdiction, from their obligations or duties thereto; nor can the municipal law of one state interfere with the duties or obligations which its citizens incur while voluntarily resident in such foreign state, and without the jurisdiction of their own country.

    In a very recent case, the supreme court of New Jersey held that a person born in this country of Scotch parents who were domiciled, but had not been naturalized, here, was ‘subject to the jurisdiction of the United States,’ within the meaning of the fourteenth amendment, and was ‘not subject to any foreign o wer,’ within the meaning of the civil rights act of 1866;

    Every citizen or subject of another country, while domiciled here, is within the allegiance and the protection, and consequently subject to the jurisdiction, of the United States. His allegiance to the United States is direct and immediate, and, although but local and temporary, continuing only so long as he remains within our territory, is yet, in the words of Lord Coke in Calvin’s Case, 7 Coke, 6a, ‘strong enough to make a natural subject, for, if he hath issue here, that issue is a natural-born subject'; and his child, as said by Mr. Binney in his essay before quoted, ‘If born in the country, is as much a citizen as the natural-born child of a citizen, and by operation of the same principle.’ It can hardly be denied that an alien is completely subject to the political jurisdiction of the country in which he resides, seeing that, as said by Mr. Webster, when secretary of state, in his report to the president on Thrasher’s case in 1851, and since repeated by this court: ‘Independently of a residence with intention to continue such residence; independently of any domiciliation; independently of the taking of any oath of allegiance, or of renouncing any former allegiance,—it is well known that by the public law an alien, or a stranger born, for so long a time as he continues within the dominions of a foreign government, owes obedience to the laws of that government, and may be punished for treason or other crimes as a native-born subject might be, unless his case is varied by some treaty stipulations.’ Executive Documents H. R. No. 10, 1st Sess. 32d Cong. p. 4; 6 Webster’s Works, 526; U. S. v. Carlisle, 16 Wall. 147, 155; Calvin’s Case, 7 Coke, 6a; Ellesmere, Postnati, 63; 1 Hale, P. C. 62; 4 Bl. Comm. 74, 92.
    94

    To hold that the fourteenth amendment of the constitution excludes from citizenship the children born in the United States of citizens or subjects of other countries, would be to deny citizenship to thousands of persons of English, Scotch, Irish, German, or other European parentage, who have always been considered and treated as citizens of the United States.

    That was rather long, but it is important to actually read the case.

    So it is settled. Persons born here are fully and completely subject to our jurisdiction, and are citizens by birth. All you need to finish the question of presidential eligibility is a dictionary. No wonder the Supreme Court decided not to get involved.

  16. Kevin says:

    Jane said: “Yes there is a difference between natural born and naturalized, otherwise the founding father would not had made a distinction by mentioning both.”

    Quite right. “Natural born” citizens are those who are born citizens, and “naturalized citizens” are those who acquire citizenship later.

  17. Jasper James says:

    I think the intent of the parent residing in the U.S. needs to be considered in this Citizenship issue. The intent of the parents in “United States v. Wong Kim Ark 1898″ the intent of the parents was to remain in the U.S. The intent of a Student in the United States may not be to become a Citizen and may not wish their issue to be Citizens. The intent of a Traveler in the U.S. may not be to have their issue be Citizens of the U.S. And the intent of Foreign Amasadors is not to have their issue be Citizens.

    Your statement by Mr. Binney in his essay before quoted, ‘If born in the country, is as much a citizen as the natural-born child of a citizen, and by operation of the same principle.’ is in effect saying that Native-Born is equivalent to Natural Born Citizen. I think not, they are different and have different meanings. A Native-Born person may or may-not wish to be Citizens depending on his/her circumstances even if they are subject to our laws while within the U.S. borders. Natural-Born Citizens do not have a choice in the matter. The fact that there is a difference no matter what our laws say is a problem. The Article II usage of the term Natural-Born Citizen has never – to date – been ruled on by the supreme court. I agree that there is much clarification of who may be citizens, and who may be citizens at birth and who may be citizens by Naturalization – but there is not official clarification of the eligbility clause and that pesky term “natural-born Citizen”. Dictionary Definitions are not Law.

  18. Kevin says:

    Jasper, I disagree with what you say about Wong. His parents did not “remain in the U.S.”

    That said mother and father of said Wong Kim Ark continued to reside and remain in the United States until the year 1890, when they departed for China.

    So are you agreeing that if Obama was born in Hawaii then he is a “native-born citizen”?

  19. Kevin says:

    US Code Title 4 Chapter 1 says that the United States flag is red, white and blue. You will not find in the law what “red” means, but you will find it in a dictionary. Same for “natural born”.

    If you insist in some foundation in law, then read the citation from Wong above regarding “natural born subject” and the equivalence of “subject” and “citizen” for the native born.

  20. Jasper James says:

    I do not insist that everything be defined by law – but if it is unclear to people the meaning of something – then the law needs to step in especially where something as significant as the President of The U.S. is concerned. In the case of Natural-Born Citizen the term seems to have become unclear to the point that it is ignored and similarly the term or phrase “in the jurisdiction of” seems to have become unclear to people. This lack of clarity is unfortunate and due to poor education, poor news media (MSM) coverage, and the fact it did not need to be clear until now.

    Citizenship has obviously different categories and we cannot be U.S. Centric in our view of it, and we cannot be oblivious to the wisdom of the Framers of the Constitution and their intentions and understanding, and we cannot be oblivious to our evolving understanding of our purpose on this planet as people, and we cannot be oblivious to the needs of our country and its changing character, and we cannot be oblivious the our National Security and National Interests.

    The intent of the lenient Citizenship laws over the years has been multifold. Probably the need for citizens on our vast shores caused the citizenship doors to open widely to include as many people as possible. The courts interpretations of the phrase “in the jurisdiction of” were inclusive at a time when our land was growing and was sparsely populated. This interpretation was not challenged. But as time goes – and our shores become densely populated we will need to adjust our laws, and we will do that.

    Natural Born Citizens – needed no laws to be created to include them. Let us look at the classes of occupants of a Land (political entity):

    1) Born on the Land; Of US Citizen Parents,
    2) Born on the Land; Father-Only US Citizen,
    3) Born on the Land, Mother-Only US Citizen,
    4) Born on the Land, Legal Non-Citizen Parents w intentions of remaining w foreign allegiance,
    5) Born on the Land, Legal Non-Citizen Parents w intentions of remaining w no foreign allegiance,
    6) Born on the Land, Legal Non-Citizen Parents w no intentions of remaining w foreign allegiance,
    7) Born on the Land, Legal Non- Citizen Parents w no intentions of remaining w no foreign allegiance,
    8) Not Born on the Land; Of US Citizen Parents,
    9) Not Born on the Land; Father-Only Citizen,
    10) Not Born on the Land, Mother-Only Citizen,
    11) Born on the Land, Non-Legal Non-Citizen Parents w intentions of remaining w foreign allegiance,
    12) Born on the Land, Non-Legal Non-Citizen Parents w intentions of remaining w no foreign allegiance,
    13) Born on the Land, Non-Legal Non-Citizen Parents w no intentions of remaining w foreign allegiance,
    14) Born on the Land, Non-Legal Non- Citizen Parents w no intentions of remaining w no foreign allegiance,

    Natural Born Citizenship; Case 1 definitely and sometimes Case 2, 8, 9 and 10.
    Native Born Citizenship; Case 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,11,12,13,14
    Citizenship by Parents Citizenship; Case 1,8 Definitely Sometimes Case 2,3,9,10

    If I understand your position – all 1 -14 are citizens at birth and thus they are eligible to be president. My position is that ONLY case 1 is the most clear cut case of a Natural Born Citizen. I would say both McCain and Obama are not qualified.

  21. Kevin says:

    Jasper, you said: “In the case of Natural-Born Citizen the term seems to have become unclear to the point that it is ignored and similarly the term or phrase “in the jurisdiction of” seems to have become unclear to people. ”

    I would agree that what confusion there is over “natural born citizen” is from a lack of education. If we were having this discussion among constitutional lawyers, federal judges or law school professors, it would be over very easily, and I believe that they would be in complete agreement with the view I will give at the end, which they would describe as the consensus view with minor dissention. For example, Jill Pryor writing in the Yale Law Review in 1998 said:

    It is well-settled that “native-born” citizens, those born in the United States, qualify as natural born.

    My position, which is also exactly what the the law says, is that 1-7 and 11-14 are citizens at birth, with perhaps some additional parental residency qualifications for 8-10. I say that anyone who is a citizen at birth is (and I say “by definition”) also a natural born citizen.

    Let me give you a little lesson about “natural born citizen”. America’s First Congress (2nd session) passed the Naturalization Act of 1790. Now you would think that the First Congress would have a fairly close sense of what the writers of the Constitution had in mind by the phrase “Natural born citizen”. That law says:

    …the children of citizens of the United States, that may be born beyond the sea, or out of the limits of the United States, shall be considered as natural born citizens: Provided, That the right of citizenship shall not descend to persons whose fathers have never been resident in the United States…

    One could hardly expect everyone to know all this stuff. That’s why we have specialists to worry about it.

  22. Jasper James says:

    As support to the fact that this issue is not clear see: S.2128 Natural Born Citizen Act
    http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bill.xpd?bill=s108-2128

    And Article by Jill Pryor
    http://yalelawjournal.org/2008/03/03/citizenship.html

    Which – I don’t agree with the article nor do I agree with the bill. The bill would not be required if the SC had done its Job.

  23. Kevin says:

    As for the Natural Born Citizen Act, there are two thing to note: 1) It hadn’t gotten anywhere, meaning that subject doesn’t have much interest and 2) theoretical technical arguments made against natural born status say that since “‘natural born’ status means a citizen by the Constitution itself (and now by law)”, passing a law would not solve anything. [The argument is mine.] The only situation that could conceivably require clarification is that of persons born outside the United States, and we didn’t elect “that one”.

    Pryor says there is room for argument, not that there is a lack of widespread consensus. And the place for the argument is not about people who were born here.

    If the Supreme Court took up the issue, it would no doubt follow the precedent of Wong that everyone born here (except for the few named exceptions) is a citizen, and that citizenship conferred under the 14th amendment to those born here constitute natural born citizens. The result would be an affirmation of what we already knew.

  24. Jasper James says:

    I agree – that is probably what the SC would do. And I agree that the bill has not gone anywhere – which is a good thing. I think the SC is proper place to clarify the phrase NBC. However in an article written by Nancy Salvato….

    “Between l994 and 2002, over 90 percent of the immigrants to this country were dual citizens. When an immigrant to this country becomes a citizen yet continues to actively participate politically in the home country, this clearly represents a conflict of interest. Yet, the United States does not regulate whether dual citizens vote, serve, or fight for a foreign government. As a result, countries like Mexico encourage its nationals living in the United States to vote absentee in their elections. As a matter of fact, candidates for office in Mexico actually campaign in the United States as if these nationals still lived in their country. Certain Israeli political parties (Orthodox-Haredi mainly) regularly airlift their followers to Israel to vote. Dominicans actually voted at polling booths set up in New York. This list goes on. It is well known that political participation fosters and reflects an emotional bond with a country. How can an immigrant express patriotism and vote in our elections through an American frame of reference when there is no expectation of true allegiance to the home team”

    and…

    “While to some folks the idea of dual citizenship might seem benign, it can greatly effect a person’s emotional attachment and identification with this country. Emotional attachment and identification with a country contributes greatly to a person’s willingness to make sacrifices and stand in harms way to defend our home, values, and ideals. Still, dual citizenship has become acceptable because instead of promoting assimilation, diversity has become the mantra of our public institutions, undermining what traditionally binds us together; the shared values and political beliefs that make us one people… This notion and the idea that there are no consequences for those whose allegiance to this country might be compromised. ”

    and finally..

    “Conflict of interest is undermining this country’s sovereignty. Immigrants to the United States are actively maintaining ties to their home country and their home countries are encouraging this. Furthermore, there are people living in the United States who do not feel loyalty to our country, who put foreign ideals above our own, and who are willing to put our people in harms way to further their personal beliefs. According to the Constitution, it is the legislative branch that is in charge of naturalization laws. It is up to the people to vote in legislators who will fix this mess!”

    I could not have said it better. From my point of view – the Framers of the constitution felt that the President should be a Natural Born Citizen, as I defined it above, so that his allegiance would not be mixed or confused by Dual Citizenship (as in the case of Obama). I think Obama may be Doubly confused since he was also brought up in Indonesia and may have Plural Citizenship issues. If the SC does not clarify the NBC issue before he takes office – then his legitimacy will always be in question (albeit by a minority of people). The other aspect that the SC should resolve is – who responsibility is it to verify the eligibility of the candidates. It is bizare to me that the SOS’s have said that it is not their responsibility, the Electors have said it is not their responsibility, the courts have said the citizens have not got “standing” to question his eligbity and to date – I have not heard anyone saying that they have verified the eligiblilty of Candidates. How can this be? I don’t think Candidates posting birth Certificates on the Web is a valid way to verify eligibility. Frankly I think Arnold ought to seal all his records and state that he is eligible. As long as no one takes any responsibility to check his eligibility- he too could become president.

  25. Kevin says:

    Jasper, I respect your views on citizenship. The article you posted points out what I’ve been saying from the beginning, that the Obama natural born citizen objection is rooted in citizenship objection. I think Obama natural born status is tangential to the real argument which is a distrust of immigrants.

    As a liberal, I tend to err on the side of inclusion rather than on the side of exclusion. Being born in the United States, the child of two US Citizens is no guarantee of loyalty. The best example that comes to mind is Lee Harvey Oswald. It is a founding concept in the constitution that Congress will not declare a person or group of persons guilty of some crime and punishing them without benefit of a trial (no “bill of attainder”). I think that suspicions about purity of loyalty to our country are best determined in some way other than a class distinction based on who someone’s father was.

    For the record, the state director of Hawaii Department of Health has issued a public statement that Obama’s records are not “sealed”. Access to his birth information is no more or less restricted than to anyone else’s. I do agree that posting a birth certificate (no matter how genuine) on the Web is not a way to verify eligibility. My personal view is that Congress should do this prior to certifying the election by looking physically at the birth certificate posted on the web.

    I would agree that before taking office any President should rightly renounce citizenship in any other country he might hold. While Barack Obama has held dual citizenship in the past, my best information is that such unexercised and unconformed citizenship expired when he reached age 21. I do not think Obama was ever an Indonesian citizen, but it he was, it would have expired as well.

    And whatever the general argument might be, I cannot credit the idea that our current president elect holds allegiance to Indonesia or to Great Britain. This is a powerful example of why it would be a mistake to impose the restrictions you offer. Better let the voters decide individual cases, which they are fully able to do.

  26. Kevin says:

    Jasper, I believe that what you are suggesting is saying is not a clarification of the Constitution. It is a change in the Constitution. No amount of “clarification” by the Supreme Court is going to get you where you want to go, and unless the fourteenth amendment is repealed Nancy Salvato will not get where she wants to go.

    If there is to be a fundamental change in our understanding of presidential eligibility or of who is a citizen, then I suggest that a Constitutional amendment is the only route to take.

  27. TRUTH says:

    I really don’t know the fact of what “natural born” is. It is a judgement call to which each of you will make, depending on what you want it to say in favor of your theory.

    Something I do find funny is……..

    [Kevin said: ] And if we needed a precedent, President Chester A. Arthur was born in the United States to an American mother and a British father. He became president in 1880.

    You’ve also said a few times before in ref. to a Birth Certificate … “no OTHER President ever had to show his REAL Birth Certificate…….”

    What I find funny about both those statements, just because something was done one way in the past, what makes it ok to do it again if it is Wrong? That is just another excuse to try to avoid from having to show something they don’t want to show or do something the right, more correct way.

  28. Kevin says:

    It’s my sense of fair play. If one President can have a British father (with no one uttering a constitutional objection), then it is unfair to “change the rules” after the election of this one. Obama PUT ON HIS OWN WEB SITE that he was born with dual citizenship. FactCheck.org had it on their web site. Most voters did not consider this a barrier to his being President.

    As for having to show a birth certificate, my point is not whether Obama should show a second birth certificate (or a third of a fourth) or not, but rather to question the legitimacy of those who claim they are just defending the constitution (which they were unconcerned about 8 years ago). These people who claim noble motives are the same people who utter falsehood after falsehood after falsehood about Obama (well documented on this web site). The point is that most of what is said in opposition to Obama is fraud (or carelessly repeated fraud), not legitimate political opinion.

    [In the case of natural born citizenship definition, there is responsible discussion of the issue by a few who are not spreading falsehoods.]

  29. Sally says:

    Kevin, I’ll conceed on the point of Chester Arthur only so much as you’re right, I don’t know Arthur’s true intent – no one does. But I also do not believe you can say it destroyed Donofrio’s case. I did some of my own research on the past VP’s, Arthur being one of them. My very FIRST hang up was his birth year. It is reported in numerous places that his birth year was 1829 AND 1830. My next hang up was the year his father emigrated and then I could find no record of his naturalization. While I am basing much of my information on Donofrio’s site – I must say, I do trust his sources (links at bottom) and do not believe them to be slanted – specifically the Library of Congress, Arthur family Bible, and letters from Arthur’s decendents. One thing for sure – Hinman WAS investigating the indescrepancies surrounding Arthur’s birth year, location, and circumstances. Also, Arthur had almost all his papers burned. While it is only speculation, you do that for one reason only – just as you would seal records for one reason only.

    I believe Hinman is today’s Berg. Looking in the wrong place – whether by accident or by design is uncertain. Is Berg a smokescreen (looking at one set of FALSE “facts” (birth certificate), order to divert attention from the other set of TRUE “facts” (duel-citizenship), much as Hinman did?

    I feel like through the evidence I have found and what I have read, that Arthur knew full well he was not a NBC – therefore he lied and changed dates – which sets no precedent – other than that of sealing records. I can appreciate you have a different take on the subject.

    Kevin’s and Jasper’s conversations surrounding the Kim Wong Ark are interesting because they take into consideration a decision from SCOTUS that must be reviewed due to the judge who wrote the seminal opinion in that case. That judge (Justice Gray) happened to be appointed by Chester Arthur. At the very least, I believe this calls into question the integrity of Justice Gray and whether the relationship between Chester Arthur and Justice Gray was influenced by Arthur’s eligibility problems and whether those issues effected Gray’s opinion and vote in Wong Kim Ark.

    Interestingly however, in the Ark case, Justice Gray quoted directly from the holding in a prior Supreme Court case, Minor v. Happersett. In the Minor case a natural born citizen was a person born in US to “citizen parents”. In Minor, they clearly established who was a “natural born citizen” beyond any doubt, a definition that does not include Obama.

    Kevin stated, “Just remember that everyone when speaking of “natural born citizen” means exactly “citizen at birth”.” I’m not sure I agree with that. I believe there is a difference in citizen AT birth and citizen BY birth. AT calls into play the statutes that make a person a US Citizen when born, and BY would be you became a US Citizen by the mere act of being born – thus, there were no laws, statutes, or acts that made you a US Citizen; therefore you are NATURAL BORN.

    In considering whether Obama is a NBC or not: He would not have been a US Citizen BY birth due to his father’s foreign status; therefore he would have been a US Citizen AT birth, which would mean he was not a NBC.

    Leo Donofrio’s site is a wealth of information on Chester Arthur – definitely worth the read.

    Sources:
    http://naturalborncitizen.wordpress.com/
    Sources where Donofrio got his info:
    http://eagle.brooklynpubliclibrary.org/
    http://www.amazon.com/Gentleman-Boss-Chester-Arthur-Signature/dp/0945707037
    http://openlibrary.org/b/OL6978891M
    http://books.google.com/books?id=OvXVAAAACAAJ&dq=chester+arthur+dehler&client=firefox-a
    http://naturalborncitizen.wordpress.com/2008/12/10/a-little-more-on-chester-arthur-from-the-library-of-congress/

  30. Sally says:

    When writing my previous post, I hadn’t read the last 2 entries. I believe we never asked to see previous President’s BC’s because there was never any doubt as to lineage – usually the parents were known by J.Q. Public to be US Citizens; therefore the candidates qualification as to NBC was not an issue. Was this wrong? YES! There should be an office, process, etc. that checks all the elements of qualification. If I have to literally SHOW my child’s long-form BC to play Little Leage – you would certainly think it is not a stretch that a candidate for POTUS would be expected to show his.

    Prior to my own experience in trying to obtain a Passport, I would have never throught twice about the differences in a short-form and long-form. However, FROM EXPERIENCE, I can tell you that Obama would NOT be getting a Passport if he supplied only a Certified Copy of what he placed on his website. I first submitted my short-form and it was promptly returned to me and I was told that if I wanted a Passport I would submit the long-form. When I went back to my Health Department, I requested a long-form. I was questioned as to WHY I wanted a long-form. The clerk then said, of course, you need a long-form if you are getting a Passport – you should have told us that the first time you were here. And if he did obtain a Passport using that form, then I was discriminated against, either because I was a woman or because of my race…and perhaps that is something I should look into – IF, in fact, he did obtain his Passport with the Cert of Live Birth (which I have strong suspect that he did NOT).

    Personally, I’m not too concerned with seeing Obama’s long-form (although it would be nice if he released ALL his records – I thought he ran on the platform of transparancy – I guess I missed the disclaimer where his own personal records were excluded). I believe he was born in Hawaii to a US Citizen mother and a foreign national father.

    As far as my motives for wanting to preserve the integrity of the Constitution, they have nothing to do with Obama the man. I didn’t get involved with politics and following the actions of Congress until just recently. I’m ashamed to say that. I had even stopped voting in the previous 3 presidential elections – life was too harried with kids in school, PTA, School board meetings and the like. I’m totally ashamed to say that I had no idea the Constitution was being trampled on in the name of ‘safety’. I support Bush, but I do NOT support his actions that were in direct conflict with the Constitution. I was asleep at the wheel, as many of us were.

    I went back and read some of your previous articles on this site. I’m in disagreement with you about Arthur – I do believe he covered up his father’s status, changed dates and locations to keep his non-NBC status hiden. I had that feeling in the first 30 minutes of starting my research on him – nothing seemed to add up. The more I have read and the information that Donofrio has uncovered has only served to solidify those beliefs. I also believe the Times article that you cite got their facts wrong, or at least are at odds with other publications. I believe Arthur was born in 1829, not 1830 and that his father was not 18 when he emigrated to the US.

    You make a statement: “I have yet to see any site challenging Obama’s qualifications for President that does not have significant misinformation on it”. I’m not sure that is a fair statement to make. Donofrio’s site is definitely challenging Obama’s qualifications, but I do not believe he KNOWINGLY has significant misinformation on it. If you believe otherwise, I’d like to know what you view as such. I believe his heart is in the right place and that if he uncovered information in oppoisiton to his stated position that he would post it as well and conceed that it does not help his case. I also do not believe he was looking for fame in his quest for the truth. But, that’s just my 2 cents.

    All that said – I have enjoyed your site and reading your opinions very much. I appreciate your intelligent discussion on a matter that I feel is important and has yet to be properly addressed. It’s funny, I have given thought as to why the mainstream media will not cover the issue. Whether they agree or disagree, whether they think it is lunacy, tin-foil hat stuff, or conspiracy theories – several cases making their way to SCOTUS is news and should be reported. To fail to do so is media malpractice. However, in failing to report, I believe they have in some ways ramped up the issue. By their refusal to admit there is an issue – drives peoples interest in just what this hubbub is that the media feels they do not need to know about.

  31. Kevin says:

    In reply to Sally (two messages up):

    If Chester A. Arthur were known to be the son of a non-US citizen at the time of his election with no one raising the slightest objection, then the precedent would I think make all this current “crisis” look silly. If no one cared whether Arthur was born of a US citizen or not (whether it was known or not), then I also think the current hubbub looks rather thin. If people were given a false expectation that Arthur was born to a citizen, then the precedent doesn’t help Obama.

    Donofrio has chosen to attack the precedent by claiming Arthur intentionally lied to such an extent that he confused people so badly that somehow they lost the presence of mind to question whether his father was a citizen. I find that remarkable under Lincoln’s dictum: “you can’t fool all of the people all of the time”. Rather than being a distraction, issues of Arthur’s birth all over the world, in my mind, would seen to focus attention on all aspects of his birth and ancestry — that would certainly be the case today in the Obama citizenship denial frenzy.

    What I would really like to see is some evidence that some people in 1880 would have thought Arthur ineligible had they known he had a non-citizen father. That would be the “smoking gun”. I realize it would be a hard task to find such thing if it existed, but it would still be better than claiming our ancestors were too stupid to ask the right questions, which I find highly unsatisfying.

    I don’t question Reeves as an authoritative source. But not having that tome in my hand, I’m not going to trust it to someone else to excerpt and categorize what it says. My gut tells me this is a paste up job. But I’m at a disadvantage without access to original sources (and the huge amount of time to waste necessary to play catchup). InterLibrary loan takes time.

    You said something I agree with, but for a different reason: “I believe Hinman is today’s Berg.” I see Berg as a conspiracy theorist who believes what he wants to believe, is not beyond trying to mislead people, and hasn’t figured out the difference between rumor and evidence. He thinks like a blogger rather than a lawyer (and his suit looks more like ObamaCrimes.com than anything else). On second thought, perhaps he is exactly like a lawyer, trying to confuse a jury when the evidence is against him. [Sally, thanks for the occasion for me to get that insight.]

    Wong was decided 6-2, so it doesn’t matter which way Justice Gray voted. Whether he is part of the conspiracy and the cover up [tongue in cheek] is moot.

  32. Kevin says:

    In reply to Sally, two messages up:

    On birth certificates and passports. I have a specimen birth certificate here from back when I wrote an electronic abstract birth certificate printing system for the state back in the ’70’s. It’s a wallet-sized card and it’s great for getting a kid into school. It will not get a passport, as you experienced with your short form. Some short forms will get you a passport and some will not. The US Department of State says: “Please note, some short (abstract) versions of birth certificates may not be acceptable for passport purposes. ” They go on to detail what is needed: “A certified birth certificate has a registrar’s raised, embossed, impressed or multicolored seal, registrar’s signature, and the date the certificate was filed with the registrar’s office, which must be within 1 year of your birth”. Barack Obama Certification has all of those features.

    When you go to the Hawaii Department of Health web site to order a “birth certificate” there is a PDF form to fill out and all you can order is a “certified copy” and what you get is what Obama got. Now is it even mildly credible that the only birth certificate you can order from Hawaii (without maybe some kind of unusual procedure) isn’t good for a passport?

    I am fairly confident that some administrative procedure exists to get a photocopy, but you won’t find it on their web site or on their order form (I guess it’s that box called “other”). I have seen an image on the Internet of a photocopied Hawaiian birth registration form (the “Alan” form). It is from 1963, but I cannot tell when it was printed. All the samples people sent to TechDude and Dr. Rod Polarik were Obama-style.

    And, by the way, Obama has a US Passport which itself is a primary proof of citizenship document.

    But as you say, that’s not why you’re writing here…

    I’m willing to concede that you could be 100% right that Arthur lied and covered up for political advantage. I just haven’t seen enough primary (or close to primary) sources to make a judgment. I remain skeptical. I am also skeptical that any significant number of people held the view that only the children of citizens could be president or vice president. I’ve seen no evidence either way. I do know that Arthur was elected between the passage of the 14th amendment and US v. Wong. That the Wong case existed at all proves that at least some folks believed that the offspring of TWO non-citizens who were temporary residents, were not citizens at all. And it was the United States government that argued against Wong. A look at the government’s brief would be instructive. However, the government could be simply expressing anti-Chinese bigotry (evidence The Chinese Exclusion Act) rather than a general well-considered view of more “normal” immigrants like, say, those from Europe.

    You fairly challenge me when I said: “I have yet to see any site challenging Obama’s qualifications for President that does not have significant misinformation on it”. I did not have Natural born citizen in mind when I said that because it is not a classic anti-Obama site. Natural born citizen is a bit over the top, though:

    “They [Supreme Court] fumbled on purpose because they were afraid to run with the ball and get hit.”

    “you have no Constitution and you have no “Supreme” court. You have a filthy corrupted snake pit which tried to protect itself from responsibility for this issue by using clerks like brutal praetorian guards.”

    “IT’S NOT ABOUT OBAMA OR McCAIN – IT’S ABOUT WHO COMES NEXT. THEY SHOULD HAVE KNOWN THAT AND FALLEN ON THEIR PRESIDENTIAL SWORDS TO PROTECT THIS COUNTRY.”

    I am fairly familiar with United States v. Wong Kim Ark, and I find it very difficult to see how it helps Donofrio, even though he talks about it. It does everything short of saying “anyone born here is a natural born citizen”. What it does say is that British Common Law is where we should look, and that everyone born in Britain is a “natural born subject” regardless of who their parents are, and then goes further to say that subject and citizen are about the same thing for native-born people. I guess like any good defense attorney, Donofrio’s good at creating reasonable doubt. I haven’t had that reasonable doubt raised with me about what a natural born citizen is yet.

    Let me leave you with a question to ponder. Some folks thought John McCain was not qualified to be president because he was not “native born”. Obama and Clinton sponsored a non-binding resolution in the Senate that “McCain is a natural-born citizen”. The resolution passed by unanimous consent. Why do you think no one thought it necessary to offer a similar resolution for Obama whose own web site said he was born with dual citizenship? Is it because no one in the Senate thought it was an issue?

    But right in the middle of an election is the worst possible time to be having this discussion.

  33. Sally says:

    Well, we are talking 1880 – the telephone had JUST been invented and probably wasn’t available to many. Information didn’t spread at the speed of light as it does now. So – to compare the number of people that might have called into question Arthur’s eligibility with the number that are today calling into question Obama’s eligibility based on NBC – is not a fair comparison. I’m not saying people were ignorant in 1880, but rather not of the legal mindset that society has evolved into.

    I don’t think people were looking into Arthur’s eligibility issues where they needed to because he had taken great pains to cover that issue up. In my opinion, it is uncanny the similarities of Arthur and Obama. One has to wonder if Arthur, himself created the smokescreen and allowed Hinman to carry on looking for proof of his Canadian birth while refusing to release his BC, knowing all the while that the actual smoking gun was the fact that his father had not naturalized until 14 years AFTER his birth, rendering him ineligible to POTUS. That’s my point in saying that Hinman is today’s Berg.

    Since I believe Obama to be born in Hawaii to US Citizen Ann Dunham and British Subject Barack Obama Sr. – I believe that is exactly what his long-form will confirm. BUT…by NOT releasing it, Obama keeps the focus on the ‘suspect’ Birth Certificate all the while the smoking gun was in plain sight – the FACT that he himself posted on his own website – that he was a dual-citizen at birth.

    I have no problem thinking that in 1880, with limited communication the issue was slow to gain attention, let alone the evolution of the true issue at hand. I’m not certain how soon or what timeframe Donofrio brought his suit in relation to Berg, but I’m guessing it was afterward. Pure supposition on my part would lead me to the fact that Donofrio heard of Berg’s suit and in thinking it over from a legal standpoint and perhaps doing some research, the REAL issue came to light. I’m not suggesting that Berg was ignorant, rather stuck on one idea – or not seeing the forest for the trees.

    I have heard – but have nothing concrete that prior to running for POTUS, Obama and associates did a study to see how POTUS was verified – if in fact the SOS, DNC, Congress, or anyone required that proof of eligibility be provided. Their research confirmed that no proof had been required in the past and so they went with it. Also, there is an article by a woman who is employed by a legal firm that represents him that discusses the need to remove the “natural born citizen” requirement from the Constitution. Personally – I have a hard time thinking these are all just coincidences.

    Now – as for McCain. He is clearly ineligible. He was NOT born in the Panama Canal Zone, rather in a Colon Hospital in Colon, Panama. Yes, he was born to two US Citizens, but not on US soil. He, like Obama was born with dual-citizenship, rendering him ineligible to POTUS. He surely knew this, thus he didn’t push Obama on the issue. As for Hillary – one can only guess the reason she didn’t pursue it. I know she started down that road and there are plenty of conspiracy theories out there as to why she dropped it like a hot potato.

    The resolution was just plain ignorant. My opinion that Obama basically sponsored it was due to his own situation, thinking if things ever did go sour on him, he could fall back on it. The question remains, WHY would he do this for his staunch enemy, McCain – what was in it for him? There is speculation that if he was born outside the US or illegitimately then he would be covered by his and other Dem’s adding unnecessary clauses to the resolution. I don’t know about all that – seems highly suspect…..BUT doesn’t it seem that EVERYTHING surrounding Obama is a mystery, suspect, hidden, and unknown?

    On to BC’s. My short-form that I sent in, looked identical to the one Obama posted, certified, signed and sealed. There was no place on the application at my health department to request the long form either. In fact, I was questioned as to why I needed the long-form. Once I said Passport – it was a breeze – they KNEW I needed the long-form to obtain it. Personally, I’d like a look at his Passport (US as well as Indonesian). I’d like an explanation as to how he got on the plane in Indonesia as Barry Soetoro and got off the plane in the US as Barack Obama.

    My guess is that the name changing is an issue for him as well. I find it odd that when he has filled out papers and been asked for previous alias’ or other names used, he says none. There are just too many unknowns about the guy.

    On the issue of Wong, I still feel an investigation needs to be made into what effect, if any, Arthur had upon the decision in that case as it relates to his appointment of Gray. To think that Gray may not have had persuasion over other justices is to be naive. The finding seems to have been tailor-made for Arthur’s ineligibility problem; thus, not out of the realm of possibilities that the decision is tainted.

    A couple of other issues that I’d like to point out:
    You stated: “Most voters did not consider this a barrier to his being President.” – I take real exception to this. I think it has been shown beyond a shadow of a doubt that Obama received the majority of the vote from the ill-informed and mostly politically ignorant populace. When asked most don’t know who Rezko, Wright, etc are, but they know who’s daughter was pregnant out of wedlock. They don’t know which candidate thinks he had visited 57 states with 1 more to go, but they know which one that Tina Fey mocked by saying she could see Russia from her house. I highly doubt that but a handful knew he held duel-citizenship at birth.

    Also you made reference the 1790 naturalization act, but failed to mention that the act was actually repealed in 1795 and replaced with the same exact clause you cite, EXCEPT the words “natural born” was deleted leaving only the word “citizen”.

    Like Jasper, I see the difference and to me the difference is that of being a Citizen BY birth – Naturally, the minute you breath the air, you are a natural born citizen as opposed to becoming a Citizen AT birth due to extenuating circumstances. Obama was born with dual-citizenship therefore, something had to happen (statute, law, choice) AT birth in order for him to become a US Citizen. The mere fact that we are having this discussion – that there is ANYTHING to discuss gives rise to the fact that there is a difference in the two terms. AND that it is an issue that needs to be clarified – preferably prior to his being sworn in.

  34. Kevin says:

    In rely to Sally (in italics).
    Well, we are talking 1880 – the telephone had JUST been invented and probably wasn’t available to many. Information didn’t spread at the speed of light as it does now. So – to compare the number of people that might have called into question Arthur’s eligibility with the number that are today calling into question Obama’s eligibility based on NBC – is not a fair comparison. I’m not saying people were ignorant in 1880, but rather not of the legal mindset that society has evolved into.

    It’s not just about numbers. I don’t know of a single person who said anything about Arthur’s father (viz-a-viz his citizenship) in the election.

    Do you think that is a good thing, that the Internet society has a legal mindset? The result is that we have professional debaters (lawyers) setting up web sites on which they can present their case, with no judge to interpret the law to the “jury”, no rules of evidence, and no opposing counsel. That sounds like a formula for recruiting partisans but not a forum for arriving at the truth.

    You talk about (below) Obama voters being ignorant of the issues. Do you think folks visiting Natural Born Citizen have the background to critically evaluate what’s on that site?

    I don’t think people were looking into Arthur’s eligibility issues where they needed to because he had taken great pains to cover that issue up. In my opinion, it is uncanny the similarities of Arthur and Obama. One has to wonder if Arthur, himself created the smokescreen and allowed Hinman to carry on looking for proof of his Canadian birth while refusing to release his BC, knowing all the while that the actual smoking gun was the fact that his father had not naturalized until 14 years AFTER his birth, rendering him ineligible to POTUS. That’s my point in saying that Hinman is today’s Berg.

    To use your own argument, there were no telephones in 1880. Few Americans got to see the candidates. What they did see were surrogates for the candidates giving speeches, they saw newspapers and political pamphlets. Certainly Mr. Hinman was getting some play in the newspapers. So by the same token anything Mr. Arthur said about when he was born may not have gotten wide play or if this “confusion” distracted anyone, it was not because Aurthur said it, but because Hinman popularized it! Anyhow I find Arthur getting his dates wrong for the purposes of hiding his father’s immigration status far fetched at best.

    Since I believe Obama to be born in Hawaii to US Citizen Ann Dunham and British Subject Barack Obama Sr. – I believe that is exactly what his long-form will confirm. BUT…by NOT releasing it, Obama keeps the focus on the ’suspect’ Birth Certificate all the while the smoking gun was in plain sight – the FACT that he himself posted on his own website – that he was a dual-citizen at birth.

    And I believe that providing a standard Hawaiian Birth Certificate on his web site should have ended any debate over where he was born among rational voters. Philip Berg and his followers are the ones who focused attention. Obama largely ignored the issue!

    I have no problem thinking that in 1880, with limited communication the issue was slow to gain attention, let alone the evolution of the true issue at hand. I’m not certain how soon or what timeframe Donofrio brought his suit in relation to Berg, but I’m guessing it was afterward. Pure supposition on my part would lead me to the fact that Donofrio heard of Berg’s suit and in thinking it over from a legal standpoint and perhaps doing some research, the REAL issue came to light. I’m not suggesting that Berg was ignorant, rather stuck on one idea – or not seeing the forest for the trees.

    Donofrio says he was inspired by the earlier law suit of Steve Marquis. Marquis’ suit was that somebody should be enforcing eligibility.

    Letter to Steve Marquis

    It is customary for conspiracy theorists to find excuses to explain those who don’t agree with them.

    I have heard – but have nothing concrete that prior to running for POTUS, Obama and associates did a study to see how POTUS was verified – if in fact the SOS, DNC, Congress, or anyone required that proof of eligibility be provided. Their research confirmed that no proof had been required in the past and so they went with it. Also, there is an article by a woman who is employed by a legal firm that represents him that discusses the need to remove the “natural born citizen” requirement from the Constitution. Personally – I have a hard time thinking these are all just coincidences.

    Without source, attribution or details, I will assume this fiction and not worth the electrons wasted in transmitting it over the Internet. One can hardly have a coincidence consisting of one thing. On one web site there is a complex java applet that allows you to find connections from Obama to various other things through his wife’s cousin once worked for a company whose president contributed to a senator who served on a committee with someone who… Conspiracy theorists take great store by connections and really get excited when they find one. What they fail to realize is that the world is a pretty connected place and that coincidences not only happen, they happen regularly. (For example my wife and I met in our 50’s only to discover that our respective high school football teams had played each other when we both lived in another state.) To see just how connected things, are look into the trivia game: The Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon.

    Now – as for McCain. He is clearly ineligible. He was NOT born in the Panama Canal Zone, rather in a Colon Hospital in Colon, Panama. Yes, he was born to two US Citizens, but not on US soil. He, like Obama was born with dual-citizenship, rendering him ineligible to POTUS. He surely knew this, thus he didn’t push Obama on the issue. As for Hillary – one can only guess the reason she didn’t pursue it. I know she started down that road and there are plenty of conspiracy theories out there as to why she dropped it like a hot potato.

    Another mark of conspiracy theory thinking is to attribute hidden motives to explain why people don’t act in ways consistent with the conspiracy theory (as you do for Hillary Clinton). Donofrio, as I quoted before, explains the Supreme Court’s lack of attention to the conspiracy theory as “cowardice”. If you look at US v Wong you will see language, rooted in British Common Law, that strongly suggests McCain is a natural born citizen. I think most folks (including the whole Senate) believe McCain was eligible.

    Donofrio’s latest attack on the Supreme Court, is way over the top, and it makes me concerned for his mental state. First he was forced to demonize Chester Arthur to miss the precedent bullet, now he has to demonize the Supreme Court to explain it’s rejection of his suit (and others).

    Donofrio Wussy picture
    Photo from Leo C. Donofrio’s Natural Born Citizen web site

    The resolution was just plain ignorant. My opinion that Obama basically sponsored it was due to his own situation, thinking if things ever did go sour on him, he could fall back on it. The question remains, WHY would he do this for his staunch enemy, McCain – what was in it for him? There is speculation that if he was born outside the US or illegitimately then he would be covered by his and other Dem’s adding unnecessary clauses to the resolution. I don’t know about all that – seems highly suspect…..BUT doesn’t it seem that EVERYTHING surrounding Obama is a mystery, suspect, hidden, and unknown?

    Creating a sense of mystery and dwelling in ambiguity is how conspiracy theories live. Obama is really a fairly straightforward person, particularly after his very revealing memoir, Dreams From my Father, published over a decade ago. The Obama conspiracy theory crowd turn normal things (like a standard birth certificate) into a forged, means nothing, tool to hide the truth, or to misdirect the public. I can’t think of anything about Obama that is a “mystery, suspect, hidden, or unknown.” Philip Berg is a 9/11 conspiracy theorist, Jerome Corsi (Obama Nation) believes in a secret plan to bring the US, Canada and Mexico into a single government, and Andy Martin believe Obama’s father is an American communist.

    I have a copy of the recent Globe article on Obama.

    image001

    It’s all “SOME SPECULATE”, “RUMORS SAY”, “SOME CLAIM”. Those phrases are a license to say anything without facts.

    Conspiracy theorists have a hard time separating speculation from evidence. The very fact that speculation exists for them means the idea becomes more likely to be true, when in fact it is not. Some people say “where there is smoke, there is fire.” I say, where there is smoke, there is smoke (and maybe somebody blowing smoke).”

    On to BC’s. My short-form that I sent in, looked identical to the one Obama posted, certified, signed and sealed. There was no place on the application at my health department to request the long form either. In fact, I was questioned as to why I needed the long-form. Once I said Passport – it was a breeze – they KNEW I needed the long-form to obtain it. Personally, I’d like a look at his Passport (US as well as Indonesian). I’d like an explanation as to how he got on the plane in Indonesia as Barry Soetoro and got off the plane in the US as Barack Obama.

    Given the primary relationship between birth certificates and passports, it is not credible for your state not to provide a direct and public way to get the right form. If you don’t mind, what year did you apply for your passport and what state did the certificate come from?

    According to Barack Obama’s book, Dreams From my Father, Obama entered the US from Indonesia on his US Passport. It is credible that he left the US at age 6 with a US Passport and returned at age 10 on the same passport.

    My grandparents laughed and pointed at me and waved some more until the customs official finally tapped me on the shoulder and asked me if I was an American. I nodded and handed him my passport.

    Page 54.

    My guess is that the name changing is an issue for him as well. I find it odd that when he has filled out papers and been asked for previous alias’ or other names used, he says none. There are just too many unknowns about the guy.

    A name change (legal or informal) in Indonesia would have no effect in US Law. To change your name in most US jurisdictions requires a US court order.

    On the issue of Wong, I still feel an investigation needs to be made into what effect, if any, Arthur had upon the decision in that case as it relates to his appointment of Gray. To think that Gray may not have had persuasion over other justices is to be naive. The finding seems to have been tailor-made for Arthur’s ineligibility problem; thus, not out of the realm of possibilities that the decision is tainted.

    Conspiracy thinking again: the other justices did not vote based on their professional judgment but because their minds were turned away from the conspiracy theory through manipulation of the tainted judge. I would also point out that Arthur was dead when Wong was decided 6-2. Conspiracy theories live on highly implausible but not absolutely impossible scenarios.

    A couple of other issues that I’d like to point out:
    You stated: “Most voters did not consider this a barrier to his being President.” – I take real exception to this. I think it has been shown beyond a shadow of a doubt that Obama received the majority of the vote from the ill-informed and mostly politically ignorant populace. When asked most don’t know who Rezko, Wright, etc are, but they know who’s daughter was pregnant out of wedlock. They don’t know which candidate thinks he had visited 57 states with 1 more to go, but they know which one that Tina Fey mocked by saying she could see Russia from her house. I highly doubt that but a handful knew he held duel-citizenship at birth.

    Obama also received a majority of votes from voters with college educations. In fact Obama had majorities in most demographic groups except white men with no college education and seniors. Again conspiracy thinking says others don’t agree with conspiracy because they are ignorant, poorly informed, etc.

    Also you made reference the 1790 naturalization act, but failed to mention that the act was actually repealed in 1795 and replaced with the same exact clause you cite, EXCEPT the words “natural born” was deleted leaving only the word “citizen”.

    [I didn’t know that.] Just as “subject to no foreign power” was dropped from the Civil Rights Act of 1866 in the fourteenth amendment’s language “under the jurisdiction of”.

    Like Jasper, I see the difference and to me the difference is that of being a Citizen BY birth – Naturally, the minute you breath the air, you are a natural born citizen as opposed to becoming a Citizen AT birth due to extenuating circumstances. Obama was born with dual-citizenship therefore, something had to happen (statute, law, choice) AT birth in order for him to become a US Citizen. The mere fact that we are having this discussion – that there is ANYTHING to discuss gives rise to the fact that there is a difference in the two terms. AND that it is an issue that needs to be clarified – preferably prior to his being sworn in.

    I think Obama’s eligibility is as clear as his birth certificate is legal. In my usage “citizen by birth” would suggest inherited citizenship rather than birth location. Obama is a citizen by virtue of the Constitution (14th amendment) not an “extenuating circumstance”.

  35. Sally says:

    I apologize for getting too close to the truth and pushing you to start the name calling. I am NOT a conspiracy theorist – I merely wish to express my concern for the Constitution as a US Citizen. Last I checked, I still had that right – I hope I still have it in 4 years.

    I was enjoying our intellectual discussion; however, you have put an end to it.

    You are right about one thing – people will believe only what they want to believe…even if it defies the laws of common sense. You seem to have closed your mind to any other possibities.

    Thank you for your time and best wishes.

  36. TRUTH says:

    Sally, Oh YES you Are. If your not completely on board with Obama, your a Conspiracy Theorist. Your allowed to question something about Obama, but when you get an answer you better be prepared to accept it or else your a Conspiracy Theorist. That is just how it is. They break out the dictionary on you and read it with more conviction than they do the Constitution.

  37. Kevin says:

    Sally G, do you actually expect to come here and dismiss the entire election and everybody that disagrees with you by saying “I think it has been shown beyond a shadow of a doubt that Obama received the majority of the vote from the ill-informed and mostly politically ignorant populace” and expect rational discussion to continue?

    If you detected some dismissiveness in my previous remarks, you were correct. You arrived with some semblance of reason in your dialog. When you made that insulting and bigoted remark, I started looking more critically at what you were saying and I picked up the consistent pattern of dismissing everyone not in on the conspiracy theory as either ignorant, ill-informed, misdirected, out of communication, etc.

    You came here as a defender of Leo Donofrio. While Mr. Donofrio seemed at the beginning to be someone focused on a legal issue (as you did), after his case and that of Mr. Wrotnowski was denied, his writing became irrational and his analysis became classical conspiracy theory thinking, culminating at the insulting image of the Supreme Court and the more insulting written comments.

    I was slow to pick up on the tin foil hat nature of the entire Obama Citizenship Denial movement, mainly because I’ve never looked closely at conspiracy theories. The Wikipedia article on Barack Obama citizenship conspiracy theories has proved helpful.

    Despite numerous challenges from me to provide the tiniest bit of evidence that the public ever saw things the way you do, you accuse me of shutting down the conversation. Well, when you ran out of facts, the conversation was already shut down.

  38. TRUTH says:

    KEVINs quote: Sally G, do you actually expect to come here and dismiss the entire election and everybody that disagrees with you by saying “I think it has been shown beyond a shadow of a doubt that Obama received the majority of the vote from the ill-informed and mostly politically ignorant populace” and expect rational discussion to continue?

    Sally, your exactly correct. I said in here before, which you probably did not read, I worked the polls Nov. 4th. I can’t recall the exact numbers now, so I would probably misquote my original post, so I will estimate. We had something like 60 or 70 Spoiled Ballots at our precinct. 90% of those were Democrat voters. Of the Dem voters all but just a few made the mistake of voting not just for Obama, but for Multiple Presidents. WHY?… because they were to illiterate or to ignorant, or both, to read a ballot. I SWEAR to you, I had to log at least 40 ballots where Obama voters picked between 6 and 12 total Presidents, because they did not read at the top of the column “CHOOSE ONLY ONE PRESIDENT”

    The point being, we were just a very small precinct, living in a neighborhood with a small amount of minorities. I can only imagine how many uneducated, politically ignorant people voted elsewhere for him.

    I’m not saying they don’t deserve to vote. But it sure makes someone question, if you can’t hardly read, can’t hardly spell your own name, can’t follow simple directions, how can you be expected to make a rational decision of whom you think is best suited for office? They DID NOT. They voted for race and race alone. A person should be proud to vote for someone of their race, but NOT if that is the only reason they are doing it, and I KNOW it was.

  39. Kevin says:

    So Truth, did those ballots get counted for Obama? If not, then Obama won without those votes, which sort of invalidates your argument that Obama won with the illiterate vote.

    In my way of thinking anyone who listens to conservative talk radio, gets their new from Fox New Network, or reads books like “The Case Against Barack Obama” should be put in the “politically ignorant” column too.

  40. TRUTH says:

    Did they? DID THEY?!?!! Oh hell yes their Votes counted. Do you think for a moment someone came into the precinct and their votes never counted?? That was the part I guess I put in the first time I told this story. Of every spoiled ballot, I had to take their bad one, log it and put it in a separate envelope, give them a New ballot, then explain in detail HOW to vote for a President, and to Choose ONLY ONE as the directions at the top in said, in BOLD.

    Don’t take it personnel that I use the word Ignorant. I meant it as in “dictionary” terms. And yes they were a large part of who voted for Obama, In MY Opinion. Because if a small precinct as I worked in had so many, I can only imagine how many were in others, Nationwide. And to put it in perspective, this was not a rich neighborhood, but it wasn’t low income either. Everyone voting in this zip was within the middle income class easily, and supposedly educated. Well they had me fooled, until each time I heard that BUZZZ!!! when they would put their ballots in the electronic box and it rejected it.

    It is a moot point now, he won the popular vote and is the candidate of choice. I am not arguing that anyone else should have won. I’m merely making the point of WHO was the kinds of people that choose your next President. You should be so proud to keep such good company. BUZZZZZ!!!! it kind of made that sound like the hockey rink buzzer makes at the end of a period, and I don’t even like hockey. BUZZZZ!!!

  41. TRUTH says:

    LOL!! there you go throwing darts at the Fox News Network again. The ONLY network that didn’t praise Obama for the last two years, so they MUST be a bad Network. HAD you listened to them, you would have heard them say many good things about Obama as well as other candidates. It is just hard for democrats to listen to even one critical thing of their Obama. I understand how you feel, it made me sick to listen to CNN, NBC, ABC, CBS & MSNBC. Charlie Gibson and Katie Curic were about the most biased reporters, I “used” to like, ever.

    So hold onto that hate you carry for FNN, even though they were the most fair network, for if they turn democrat you won’t have any networks to despise. Oh wait, that’s right, the Fairness Doctrine is ONLY going after Talk Radio, TV is safe….. for now, until democrats come up with a reason FNN is bad. Because the Fairness Doctrine would only hurt the other TV networks.

  42. Kevin says:

    I was on Fox News’ case long before I ever heard of Obama. If you think Fox News is fair, well that explains a lot of the rest of the things you say. I turned them on one time and took notes for 20 minutes. Here’s the notes:

    Hang on while I take a sample:

    I’m tuning in FOX News and will report the first thing I see…Interview with Palin (Todd and Piper at a diner). Question to Palin from Fox reporter (Greta): What is the single most important reason for not voting for the Democratic ticket?” Question: “Todd, what’s the number one reason to vote for your wife?” Question: “What don’t we know about Todd?” Question: “Gonna win on Tuesday?” Question: Piper, if you could vote…”

    Next item:
    Positive spin about Palin being “amused” by the fake French president phone call hoax and “taking it in stride”.

    Next Item:
    AP reports Obama has aunt living illegally living in the US. The aunt made an illegal campaign contribution. They they are sympathetic with Obama (who is in the middle of major flip flops on other issues and …). Negative story + negative spin.

    Next Item:
    Viewer Poll: is Obama right that Republicans are making a virtue out of selfishness? 3% yes, 97% no. I take that negative.

    Next Item:
    Polls 6-8% for Obama. “Republicans typically have a surge at the end ” “I think this is a bit closer” “McCain can win if…” “Hillary beat Obama in Pennsylvania” “Strange unhappiness in Pennsylvania that could go for McCain” “McCain encouraged by number of undecided” “If they’ve waited this long, undecided voters aren’t going to go for Obama” “Calling in to question Obama’s whole economic program” “The youth vote will go for Obama, but older people…” “PA Governor says “don’t believe the polls” “McCain is getting traction on the National Security issues” “traction with Joe the Plumber” “the immediate economic crisis has passed” “Obama commercial was directed at Obama’s failure to connect with the middle class” “Palin was very effective hammering Obama’s tax plan in Florida”

    Ad for Mike Huckabee Special on FOX.

    In 20 minutes I heard 100% McCain positive, Obama negative. Not a single exception.

    It’s not a scientific poll, but THAT’s the FOX News I know.

    Sat Nov 01, 2008 10:20 pm

  43. TRUTH says:

    EWWW, 20 minutes, that had to about kill you. How about the other 23 hours and 40 minutes? And you make my point by saying ALL they said is Positive stuff about McCain and Negative about Obama. ALL the OTHER Networks Praise him continuously for 2yrs, but because FNN doesn’t that made them Unfair. Fox News was without a doubt leaning right, but BIG DEAL, they have to choose somebody. Again, FIVE OTHER Networks praised Obama, that wasn’t enough? LOL!!! Amazing.

    Sorry, although I disagree with you in other things because we just see things differently, and you usually make very good points, you are wrong on this matter. I never watched Fox much, about 20% of the time before June 2008. But I was getting so sick of the other networks I did become an avid FNN watcher, and watching them a LOT while still catching time on CNN and CBS some, I can say Fox was easily the most Fair. You were just spoiled watching the other biased networks that FNN “seemed” unfair, which is totally understandable. To much koolaid will blur your vision.

  44. Kevin says:

    I don’t listen to network news in general, so I couldn’t comment on them. You think that 20 minutes was bad? My DENTIST has Fox news on over the treatment chair.

  45. TRUTH says:

    If you can sit in a dentist chair and concentrate on ANY TV show, you have a talent.

  46. Kevin says:

    Truth, the pain of the dental treatment provides a welcome distraction from the Fox News programming.

  47. I can’t believe people love Obama so much.

  48. Gov Student says:

    UHm, listen, in my house, when i was younger we had a similar discussion, my mother was born OUTSIDE the continental united States, Hawaii and Alaska, she was born in a Hospital on a Naval Base in Okinawa Japan. She is a natural born citizen. I have since delved further into the subject, and oddly enough, common sense prevails. If you are born in any of the United States, or US controlled Soil (territory, permanent bases, embassies etc) you are a citizen, and remain a citizen your entire life, even if you move outside the country, the US government will not officially recognize dual citizenship, if you go to another country and become a citizen their, the US stull looks at you as a natural born citizen. Obama was born in Hawaii, after it became a state; he is a Natural Born Citizen. Fox News’ fans are just trying to bend rules that don’t even apply to the situation to add credence to their complaints.

  49. Warren Hathway says:

    To Kevin and others,

    In his work, “Blunders of the Supreme Court of the United States, Part 3″ (online), the author, Dan Goodman, shows with cases from the Supreme Court that the political jurisdiction of the United States does not extend to the several States, but only to the District of Columbia, its territories and possessions, and federal enclaves with the several States of the Union and that one born in a State of the Union is subject to the political jurisdiction of that State and not that of the United States.

    So birthright citizenship does not apply to the several States of the Union!

    This article can be read at these two links:

    http://www.docstoc.com/docs/81552988/Blunders-of-the-Supreme-Court-of-the-United-States-_-Part-3

    http://www.scribd.com/doc/57701755/Blunders-of-the-Supreme-Court-of-the-United-States-Part-3

  50. Kevin says:

    Warren, there have been historical arguments on this point, but I think that they are certainly moot at least since the 14th amendment. Given that the federal government was given the power to punish treason by the Constitution, it is really hard to argue that the federal government doesn’t have jurisdiction over its citizens.

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