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To: Cboldt
If the conclusion of the majority opinion is correct, then the children of citizens of the United States, who have been born abroad since July 28, 1868, when the amendment was declared ratified, were and are aliens, unless they have or shall, on attaining majority, become citizens by naturalization in the United States; and no statutory provision to the contrary is of any force or effect.

I would disagree with the justice. There is no reason I can see why there cannot be more than one route by which one qualifies as a "natural born" citizen.

The problem is that there has never been a definitive ruling as to what is meant by the term. We can argue about it all day and drag in various quotes from Court decisions, regulatory rulings, etc. In the end, the actual meaning of the phrase is kind of a Schrodinger's Cat. Its meaning is indeterminate until the Supreme Court has ruled.

I'm not a fan of the "living Constitution" by any means, but when terms in the Constitution are ambiguous, as this one is, some body has to make a decision what it means.

43 posted on 12/09/2009 9:34:40 AM PST by Sherman Logan ("The price of freedom is the toleration of imperfections." Thomas Sowell)
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To: Sherman Logan
-- I would disagree with the justice. There is no reason I can see why there cannot be more than one route by which one qualifies as a "natural born" citizen. --

In this case, he is describing the application of the rule advanced by the majority - citizenship attaches by location of birth. If the constitutional rule is "citizenship attaches by location of birth," then no amount of statute can overcome the rule.

As to citizenship, of course, naturalization is available. But if "natural born" attaches solely by location (and that is the only variable favorable to Wong Kim Ark), the children born abroad, of US citizen parents, are unqualified to the presidency; and children born in the US, regardless of the citizenship of their parents (excluding diplomats), are qualified.

-- The problem is that there has never been a definitive ruling as to what is meant by the term. [natural-born citizen] --

I agree, but there is a substantial number of people who find Wong Kim Ark to be determinative on the question, and again, my initial point was that Congress deliberately avoided asking and debating the question of how dual citizenship at birth plays against the constitutional requirement of "natural born citizen." By their actions, they have held that dual citizenship is not a barrier.

I think a majority of Congress would like to amend the constitution to admit naturalized citizens to eligibility, as well.

45 posted on 12/09/2009 9:52:45 AM PST by Cboldt
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To: Sherman Logan
-- when terms in the Constitution are ambiguous, as [natural born citizen] is, some body has to make a decision what it means. --

When it counted the electoral votes without raising the issue as a challenge, Congress decided that a dual citizen can also be a natural born citizen. No Court is going to touch the question. I doubt a majority of the public cares one way or the other.

46 posted on 12/09/2009 9:55:49 AM PST by Cboldt
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