Skip to comments.America’s Two Unconstitutional Presidents
Posted on 12/14/2009 7:02:03 AM PST by Danae
Students of history know that history repeats itself, and today we are reliving the past of 1880s. Some of the similarities between the 21st President and the 44th are startling, and the ramifications are huge.
During the campaign of 1880, questions were asked about Chesters birth place, but just as today, those doing the research were looking in the wrong direction. Arthurs father, William Arthur was a British citizen at the time of the future Presidents birth. Born in Ballymena, Ireland in 1796 he would not become a Naturalized citizen until August 31st, 1843. No one ever checked into his immigration status at the time of his sons birth. Chester Arthur, 14 at the time his father was naturalized, and would surely have known this. Sound somewhat familiar?
Today, a direct and startlingly similar situation exists between President Arthur and President Obama. The 44th President was also born to a British citizen, not a naturalized citizen of the United States. For the same reasons both Presidents were not eligible for the office, the only difference lay in Barack Obamas public admission of his fathers status:
(Excerpt) Read more at examiner.com ...
“Me Luv Obama”
“Me Lactate for Obama”
No. It is not okay with me. My comment had more to do about the circumstances of Obama’s election and his administration’s intentions than his or Chester Arthur’s eligibility for office. As Danae points out, Arthur was a compromise candidate for Vice President and ultimately an “accidental” President. Obama, on the other hand, was quite deliberate.
How would he know that since he didn't have you there to tell him?
He rose to prominence in New York Politics through his work on two African American Civil-rights cases in the 1850’s. The 14th Amendment was also passed just a few years before Arthur would get the Nomination. He was a lawyer, and was well versed in issues of citizenship.
Now consider that the day his father got Naturalized as an American, given the importance of citizenship, and of attaining it, it was then and still is today a BIG deal, at 14, Chet was sure to have known about it. Chester knew he wasn’t a Natural Born Citizen, but because his family was grounded in the states for a long time, no one would have though to look there, and Chester himself could bent the truth, something he was willing to do, and state truthfully that his dad was a Naturalized citizen, he just left out WHEN he became Naturalized. A half truth, and people bought it. It was believable. That being said, Chester was still of British and American Citizenship, and not a Natural Born citizen and he knew it.
The rub is that there's nothing particularly Constitutional about it either, which is at the heart of the debate. Imagine that the British Ambassador, Military Attache, etc. to the US has a child with his spouse that is born at a U.S. Hospital on U.S. soil. Certainly few would argue that the child should not have any issues returning to England someday as a British subject, with British Nationality conferred through his/her parents. Certainly the case could also be made for dual-citizenship, and arguably for "natural born" status here in the U.S. (i.e. "anchor baby").
This is something that our Founders did not specifically address in the Constitution, although a fair case can be made that they did address it elsewhere, or relied on generally accepted definitions of the day. The 14th Amendment muddied the waters as much as they clarified them, but with it remaining in some degree of ambiguity, there is some substance to the argument that Obama's dad, being a British subject, may have conferred British nationality on Obama simply by fathering him. Likewise, US law at the time did not automatically confer US citizenship due to his mother's age and other possible factors, depending on where he was actually born.
There are two types of citizenship. Natural born and Naturalized. Both Obama and Arther were citizens without being naturalized, therefore both are natural born.
Again, how did Arthur know that since he didn't have the advantage of you being there with your opinion of who is a natural-born citizen and who is not? And what if, God forbid, he disagreed with you?
“It is unconstitutional to run for President or Vice President if you are the son of a British Citizen.”
No it’s not. Even if children born of British citizens are not natural born citizens, it is unconstitutional to BE president, not run for president.
Excellent .. by our own FReeper, Danae.
I’ve been waiting for this ... kudos!
History repeats itself, indeed.
Take it far and wide.
I've never understood this line of reasoning. Apparently, having a foreign nation declare you as a citizen bars you from the Presidency? Doesn't that open us up to every two-bit dictator in the world deciding who can be President? After all, what if Hugo Chavez declares Sarah Palin as a citizen of Venezuela - according to this logic, she would be barred from running for the Presidency or Vice Presidency.
How another nation considers a person should be irrelevant; the only thing that should matter is how WE consider that person. From what I can tell, if you're born on US soil (or the equivalent, like a military base or possession) to at least one US citizen (naturalized parent or not) you're a natural born citizen.
Another nation's "claim" on your citizenship is irrelevant.
Here is what the Supreme Court said on this subject:
U.S. v. WONG KIM ARK, 169 U.S. 649 (1898)
“there is some substance to the argument that Obama’s dad, being a British subject, may have conferred British nationality on Obama simply by fathering him”
But there is no substance, or ver, very little, to the idea that dual citizenship bars one from the office of the presidency. It in no way bars you from being a citizen at birth, after all, since whether other countries can claim you is of no concern to the U.S. government. For it does not recognize dual citizenship.
The point you make can’t be emphasized enough:
what citizenship status one is at the *instant*
of their birth is what they are ... period.
It is what it is.
LOL! I agree. You can have a father from just about any country. Not prohibited by the constitution.
No it could not, since the people you mentioned enjoy diplomatic immunity and are not subject to the jurisdiction of the United States. Per U.S. law and the 14th Amendment they are not citizens at all.
“Apparently, having a foreign nation declare you as a citizen bars you from the Presidency? Doesn’t that open us up to every two-bit dictator in the world deciding who can be President? After all, what if Hugo Chavez declares Sarah Palin as a citizen of Venezuela - according to this logic, she would be barred from running for the Presidency or Vice Presidency.”
Although I agree with your overrall argument, I don’t think this line of reasoning is fruitful. We’re not talking here about arbitrary acts of dictators, which can easily be ignored as extra-legal by our authorities. We’re talking about a process that’s been in place for a long time; i.e. being able to claim citizenship through your parents regardless of where you’re born.
It is unconstitutional to run for President if you are not a Natural Born Citizen.
“No person except a natural born citizen, or a citizen of the United States, at the time of the adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the office of President; neither shall any person be eligible to that office who shall not have attained to the age of thirty five years, and been fourteen Years a resident within the United States. “
The phrase “shall be Eligible” requires that one actually BE eligible in order to run for the office. Just as much as one has to be 35 and have live in the States for the 14 years previous, you have to be a Natural Born Citizen.
“How another nation considers a person should be irrelevant; the only thing that should matter is how WE consider that person.”
Exactly, but to be fair to the Birthers, they’re not interested in what other nations can claim, either. They’re concerned about split loyalites. The idea is that if you are not born to two citizen parents, your love of country is questionable.
That’s stupid, but at least it’s logical. Problem is, the Constitution doesn’t speak to the issue, so bad luck for them.
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