Skip to comments.4 Supreme Court Cases define "natural born citizen"
Posted on 04/25/2011 1:33:23 AM PDT by Veristhorne
(Oct. 18, 2009) The Post & Email has in several articles mentioned that the Supreme Court of the United States has given the definition of what a natural born citizen is. Since being a natural born citizen is an objective qualification and requirement of office for the U.S. President, it is important for all U.S. Citizens to undertsand what this term means.
Lets cut through all the opinion and speculation, all the he says, she says, fluff, and go right to the irrefutable, constitutional authority on all terms and phrases mentioned in the U.S. Constitution: the Supreme Court of the United States.
First, let me note that there are 4 such cases which speak of the notion of natural born citizenship.
Each of these cases will cite or apply the definition of this term, as given in a book entitled, The Law of Nations, written by Emmerich de Vattel, a Swiss-German philosopher of law. In that book, the following definition of a natural born citizen appears, in Book I, Chapter 19, § 212, of the English translation of 1797 (p. 110):
§ 212. Citizens and natives.
The citizens are the members of the civil society: bound to this society by certain duties, and subject to its authority, they equally participate in its advantages. The natives, or natural-born citizens, are those born in the country, of parents who are citizens. As the society cannot exist and perpetuate itself otherwise than by the children of the citizens, those children naturally follow the condition of their fathers, and succeed to all their rights. . . .
The French original of 1757, on that same passage read thus:
Les naturels, ou indigenes, sont ceux qui sont nes dans le pays de parents citoyens, .
(Excerpt) Read more at thepostemail.com ...
Article 2 Section 1 Clause 5 of the United States Constitution.
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.
Natural Born Citizen = BOTH parents are U. S. Citizens
AND child must be born in the U.S. mainland.
Where does it say they must be born on the mainland?
There’s no real distinction here. The natives and indigenous are defined as being born in the country to citizen parents. The concept of native-born, as the founders understood it, still revolved around being born to citizens. It makes complete sense then, given the 1781 translation of sujet naturels, that Vattel was revised to say natural born citizens in 1797. Thanks for proving you were wrong.
“It makes complete sense then, given the 1781 translation of sujet naturels, that Vattel was revised to say natural born citizens in 1797.”
It makes sense to revise the translation so it would say something it doesn’t say in the original...BWAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Only in Birtherland!
I can’t comment on your home -— birtherland -— never been there. Thanks for conceding the point though. The link you provided showed that the founders translated naturels in 1781 to mean natural-born. It’s only natural (pun intended), that they would read the French version of Vattel and translate it themselves to mean natural-born citizen. And again, the point that you dropped along the way, is that the founders considered native-born to be the SAME ... meaning born in the country to citizens. Under this understanding, Obama is neither natural born or native born ... except of course in his home country of Kenya.
No, they translated “sujets naturel” as natural born. That is because “sujets naturel” was the French equivalent to the English ‘natural born subject’. Pretty easy to figure out, isn’t it?
They did NOT translate “naturel”, by itself, as NBC or NBS. And Vattel did not write “sujets naturel”.
Anyone wanting education about the actual meaning of NBC should click these links and read. Your quote from Vattel explains citizenship not Natural Born citizenship.
Here is rxsid’s profile page, an education in itself:
And a current discussion:
LOL! You do realize that quite a few of the Founders were fluent in French, didn't you?
I am much obliged by the kind present you have made us of your edition of Vattel. It came to us in good season, when the circumstances of a rising state make it necessary frequently to consult the law of nations. Accordingly, that copy which I kept, (after depositing one in our own public library here, and sending the other to the college of Massachusetts Bay, as you directed has been continually in the hands of the members of our congress, now sitting, who are much pleased with your notes and preface, and have entertained a high and just esteem for their author. Your manuscript Idee sur le gouvernment et la royauté, is also well relished, and may, in time, have its effect. I thank you, likewise, for the other smaller pieces, which accompanied Vattel. Benjamin Franklin To Charles-Guillaume-Frédéric Dumas, Philadelphia December 9, 1775.
Just because Vattel didn't write his material with the intention of it being used for Constitutional interpretation doesn't mean the Founders didn't write the Constituion with Vattel in mind
In fact, if the Law of Nations is irrelevant to the Constitution, why are they mentioned IN the Constitution?
It is easy to figure out. sujets = subjects and naturels = natural born. So when the founders read "naturels" in Vattel's passage on citizenship, it's PLAIN to see that he was talking about natural born citizenship. Thanks again for proving you are wrong.
Are you blind?? Read it again.
§ 212. Citizens and natives.
The citizens are the members of the civil society; bound to this society by certain duties, and subject to its authority, they equally participate in its advantages. The natives, or natural-born citizens, are those born in the country, of parents who are citizens. As the society cannot exist and perpetuate itself otherwise than by the children of the citizens, those children naturally follow the condition of their fathers, and succeed to all their rights.
Actually, my eyesight is getting worse, Unfortunately. I didn’t manage to read that part.
I thought you were agreeing with MamaTexan that place of birth didn’t matter, only parentage.
Not ONLY weeks, but YEARS ago.
“In fact, if the Law of Nations is irrelevant to the Constitution, why are they mentioned IN the Constitution? “
The ‘Law of Nations’ in the Constitution doesn’t refer to Vattel’s book. It refers to international law, and punishing acts outside the US boundaries.
“You do realize that quite a few of the Founders were fluent in French, didn’t you?”
You do realize Vattel NEVER used the French equivalent to NBC anywhere?
Technically she's right. If you subscribe to Vattel, he says the place of birth is not important in the very same passage about natural born citizenship.
I say, that, in order to be of the country, it is necessary that a person be born of a father who is a citizen; for, if he is born there of a foreigner, it will be only the place of his birth, and not his country.
What she quoted from section 215 expounds on this thought.
By the law of nature alone, children follow the condition of their fathers, and enter into all their rights (§ 212); the place of birth produces no change in this particular, and cannot, of itself, furnish any reason for taking from a child what nature has given him ...
In both passages, Vattel de-emphasizes the place of birth. Children "naturally" follow the condition of their fathers. It "is necessary that a person be born of a father who is a citizen." Then he talks about what "nature has given" the child, which is not changed by the place of birth ... in all three instances, Vattel places emphasis on the father's citizenship.
The fatuous notion that statutory law can “define” a phrase in the Constitution seems to persist despite the fact that there is not a shred of legal authority to support such a notion. The original intended meaning in the Constitution can only be changed by amendment to the Constitution. What matters is what the framers intended, not what Congress subsquently “defines.”
“Sujets naturel” is a phrase, just as “natural born subject” is a legal phrase, not 3 words that just happen to be next to each other. No one should translate “naturel” as “natural born subject” or “natural born citizen” unless the rest of the phrase is there - and in Vattel, it was not.
That is why the first translations had, “The natives, or indigenes...” - and BTW, it was indigenes that was translated NBC in the 1797 mistranslation.
Absolute nonsense. Each of the words can be independently translated, else Vattel wouldn't be using "naturels" by itself. Holy crap. This is an utterly stupid reply on your part. Stupid.
“Then he talks about what “nature has given” the child, which is not changed by the place of birth ... in all three instances, Vattel places emphasis on the father’s citizenship.”
And that is totally contrary to both English common law and American law.
“So far as we are informed, there is no authority, legislative, executive or judicial, in England or America, which maintains or intimates that the statutes (whether considered as declaratory or as merely prospective) conferring citizenship on foreign-born children of citizens have superseded or restricted, in any respect, the established rule of citizenship by birth within the dominion. Even those authorities in this country, which have gone the farthest towards holding such statutes to be but declaratory of the common law have distinctly recognized and emphatically asserted the citizenship of native-born children of foreign parents.”
Yep. WKA was a native born citizen, which is another way of saying natural born citizen.
“Each of the words can be independently translated, else Vattel wouldn’t be using “naturels” by itself. Holy crap. This is an utterly stupid reply on your part. Stupid.”
Then the translation of “sujets naturel” would OBVIOUSLY be “natural subject”. And Vattel never used “sujets naturel”, and “naturel” was translated “native” in all translations of Vattel.
The 1797 mistranslation turned “indigenes” into “natural born citizen”. While my ancestors came here from Germany in the 1720s, I would not be considered an indigenous person of the US, would I...although I am, undoubtedly, a native citizen, natural born citizen, plain citizen, etc.
There is simply no way to read NBC into Vattel, unless you rely on a bad translation of “indigenes” 10 years AFTER the Constitution!