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To: Sherman Logan
The very nature of a constitutional republic and the necessitated devolving of sovereignty upon the people negates the claim. You can find any number of early Supreme Court decisions that spell this out for you, Sherman Logan. Start with Chisholm v. Georgia.

You'll not find a cite from any judge or elected figure, even up to and beyond ratification of the 14th Amendment, that agrees with your interpretation of natural-born citizenship being precisely cognate with the feudal English concept of liege. It cannot be, there is no sovereign other than the people under a constitutional republic. Vattel made this clear, and so did our Founders.

On the other hand, there are numerous cites and historical references, that support the contention that being born on the soil of citizen parents is precisely the understanding that was intended by the Framers, and this understanding was supported explicitly right up to Minor v. Happersett and beyond, a decision which occurred by the way, after ratification of the 14th Amendment.

Try to find any of the Founders, or any early Supreme Court Justices, stating that anyone born in the country is a natural-born citizen. You won't. You'll find quite a few agreeing with a combination of jus soli and jus sanguinis, however. There was a practical reason for this, that involves poorly understood or even forgotten roles that the several States played.

Citizenship, natural-born or otherwise, was determined by those several States, by a variety of means. In order to make the Executive eligible under all jurisdictions, both jus soli and jus sanguinis had to be accommodated. That's what the 14th was all about, recall, that no one born on the soil of the United States could be denied citizenship. Who do you think was doing the denying, and under what authority?

58 posted on 12/28/2009 9:05:17 AM PST by RegulatorCountry
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To: RegulatorCountry
Citizenship, natural-born or otherwise, was determined by those several States, by a variety of means.

Au contraire. In the Dred Scott decision, the Supremes proclaimed that "persons of African race" were not and could not be citizens of the United States, regardless of whether a given State considered them citizens, or their personal status (free or slave). This decision was rammed thru, despite the fact that, as the dissenters on the Court pointed out, free blacks had at various times been considered citizens of a rather large number of states, including some southern ones.

By this rather dramatic power grab, the Supremes allocated to themselves the power of determining who was and was not a citizen of the United States, regardless of what a State said. The 14th Amendment was needed, or at least was used, to overrule this atrocious decision.

That's what the 14th was all about, recall, that no one born on the soil of the United States could be denied citizenship. Who do you think was doing the denying, and under what authority?

If you like, I'm open to the argument that the definition of how citizenship is acquired was changed by the 14th amendment, as it doesn't change my point with regard to the situation today. It also doesn't make your point, as the 14th merely states the law, it does not say it is changing it from that existing before. It took the power of determining citizenship, already severely wounded by Dred Scott, completely away from the States, or Congress for that matter.

The Wong Kim Ark decision is pretty clear, at least to me, that native born = natural born = born on the soil of the UN to someone other than a foreign diplomat. One of the dissenters pointed out that this decision made a child of "coolies" eligible to be elected President. Presumably he thought this was self-evidently a bad thing. He was nevertheless outvoted.

You may believe, and perhaps rightly, that the law should be otherwise. If you think a Supreme Court decision or constitutional amendment to impose your definition of "natural born" is politically feasible, I want some of whatever you're smoking.

I find it quite remarkable that there is little discussion of what needs to be done to prevent the future election of a perhaps ineligible president. Since all it would take is one state requiring all candidates to document their eligibility before going on the ballot, this shouldn't be too difficult to put through. But nobody seems interested. Why do you think that is?

70 posted on 12/28/2009 11:39:42 AM PST by Sherman Logan ("The price of freedom is the toleration of imperfections." Thomas Sowell)
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