Skip to comments.Why Wasn't Ankeny v Daniels Appealed To The Supreme Court?
Posted on 01/10/2012 10:51:44 AM PST by Obama Exposer
As the election for the presidency starts to heat up, the discussion if Barack Obama is a natural born citizen is also heating up. The Supreme Court case Minor v Happersett is being used as the main case to declare Obama not natural born in growing state ballot challenges to his candidacy. What I have noticed in the heated arguments on many political forum boards lately is that Obama supporters are countering Minor v Happersett with the Indiana case Ankeny v Daniels. That case declares this:
"Based upon the language of Article II, Section 1, Clause 4 and the guidance provided by Wong Kim Ark, we conclude that persons born within the borders of the United States are "natural born Citizens" for Article II, Section 1 purposes, regardless of the citizenship of their parents."
Even though it is a state case, it is the gold standard case (along with the SCOTUS case Wong Kim Ark) that Obama supporters use to declare the issue case closed pertaining to Obama's eligibility. As we all know, Minor v Happersett is binding precedent on what a natural born Citizen is, born in the country to citizen parents. My question is if the judges got it wrong in Ankeny v Daniels, why didn't the plantiffs appeal the ruling to the Supreme Court? There seems to be no answer to this question.
So what would your rebuttal be to Obama supporters who constantly bring Ankeny v Daniels up in arguments? They use it as their basis that Obama is eligible because the judges referred Ankeny V Daniels to Wong Kim Ark instead of Minor v Happersett.
Why would you think there was nothing to appeal? Please elaborate.
Ummm, because State Courts cannot declare binding Federal precedent?
The first thing to look at is that binding precence of a court ruling is not in and of itself a law. So unless a law or statute is made to define the term, all we will have is a court interpretation of the clause. There is nothing definitive.
The case says X=3, but since it also does not say that X=/=7, it could mean that X=7.
That is not the way the worlds works.
We note the fact that the Court in Wong Kim Ark did not actually pronounce the plaintiff a natural born Citizen using the Constitution‟s Article II language is immaterial.
The court in Wong Kim Ark did NOT pronounce the plaintiff to be a natural-born citizen. IOW, the Supreme Court didn't follow this so-called "guidance." Ankeny claims that this inconvenient fact is immaterial. Why do they say this??
For all but forty-four people in our nation‟s history (the forty-four Presidents), the dichotomy between who is a natural born citizen and who is a naturalized citizen under the Fourteenth Amendment is irrelevant.
They're claiming this is irrelevant to everyone but the people who were elected president. This is sheer stupidity. The natural-born citizen requirement isn't there for the benefit or the convenience of the electee. It's there to ensure the best leadership for this government of the people. It's not irrelevant to everyone else. We know this because of John Jay's letter suggesting that it would help prevent foreign influence. The Ankeny decision does nothing to support this presumption.
The Ankeny decision cites this citation from Wong Kim Ark:
All persons born in the allegiance of the king are natural-born subjects, and all persons born in the allegiance of the United States are natural-born citizens.
This paragraph is talking about people born in the United States. It's saying you can be born on U.S. soil and NOT be a U.S. citizen. This citation is describing a passage from Shanks v. Dupont which noted that the Treaty of 1783 said those who were natives or otherwise were either citizens OR British subjects depending on whether the parents adhered to the Crown or United States allegiance. You can't be both. Under this citation, Obama is a British subject and NOT a U.S. citizen.
Ankeny makes this ridiculous claim about the Minor definition of NBC:
... the Court left open the issue of whether a person who is born within the United States of alien parents is considered a natural born citizen.
A) This isn't true. Such persons were characterized as foreigners or aliens in the passage they quoted. B) Minor went on to discuss the naturalization act of 1790 which said that the children of aliens could become citizens AFTER their fathers naturalized. Further, Ankney contradicts themselves in their own footnote on this point:
Note that the Court in Minor contemplates only scenarios where both parents are either citizens or aliens, rather in the case of President Obama, whose mother was a U.S. citizen and father was a citizen of the United Kingdom.
Here it says the court contemplated situations where both parents are aliens. Note, there's nothing cited that says they left any questions open on these children, so how do they "contemplate" something and leave a question open?? Contemplate means "to consider at length." IOW, if they contemplated the scenario, then they addressed it, rather than left the question open.
Then Ankeny says this:
The Court in Wong Kim Ark reaffirmed Minor in that the meaning of the words citizen of the United States and natural-born citizen of the United States must be interpreted in the light of the common law, the principles and history of which were familiarly known to the framers of the constitution.
Minor does NOT say anything about considering anything in the light of the common law. The NBC definition is uses is from the Law of Nations, as it matches verbatim. The Law of Nations was a principle and history which were famiilarly known to the framers.
Ankeny stabs itself in the foot here:
In Minor, written only six years after the Fourteenth Amendment was ratified, the Court observed that:
The Constitution does not, in words, say who shall be natural-born citizens.
The 14th amendment IS the Constitution. IOW, the 14th amendment doesn't say who shall be natural-born citizens. IOW, the guidance that Ankeny claims is simply NOT there.
Here's another error. They quote Justice Story in Inglis v. Sailor's Snug Harbor.
Also, as quoted in Wong Kim Ark, Justice Joseph Story once declared in Inglis v. Trustees of Sailors‟ Snug Harbor, 28 U.S. (3 Pet.) 99 (1830), that 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.
That's all well and good if we're trying to determine who British subjects are. The person Story was talking about was born in the U.S. but he was considered to be a British subject (which would mean Obama is too, under this doctrine). This wasn't about making someone a citizen by birth in the country.
It appears to me, that upon principles of public law as well as of the common law, he must if born a British subject, be deemed to adhere to, and retain the national allegiance of his parents, at the time of the treaty. Vattel considers the general doctrine to be, that children generally acquire the national character of their parents (Vattel, B. 1, ch. 19. sec. 212, 219); and it is certain, both by the common law and the statute law of England, that the demandant would be deemed a British subject.
Further, from the same decision, it is acknowledged in the opinion of the court, that citizenship descends from the father:
The facts disclosed in this case, then, lead irresistibly to the conclusion that it was the fixed determination of Charles Inglis the father, at the declaration of independence, to adhere to his native allegiance. And John Inglis the son must be deemed to have followed the condition of his father, and the character of a British subject attached to and fastened on him also, which he has never attempted to throw off by any act disaffirming the choice made for him by his father.
Finally, I just wanted to address a couple of the sloppy points in the Ankeny decision. They can't seem to get the facts straight:
As to President Obama‟s status, the most common argument has been waged by members of the so-called birther movement who suggest that the President was not born in the United States ....
The Plaintiffs in the instant case make a different legal argument based strictly on constitutional interpretation. Specifically, the crux of the Plaintiffs‟ argument is that [c]ontrary to the thinking of most People on the subject, there‟s a very clear distinction between a citizen of the United States‟ and a natural born Citizen,‟ and the difference involves having [two] parents of U.S. citizenship, owing no foreign allegiance.
Now, Ankeny says the plaintiffs aren't arguing place of birth, but just a few pages earlier, the court said:
Specifically, Plaintiffs appear to argue that the Governor did not comply with this duty because: (B) neither President Barack Obama nor Senator John McCain were eligible to hold the office of President because neither were born naturally within any Article IV State of the 50 United States of America . . . .
Okay, so which is it?? The plaintiffs are or are NOT arguing where Obama was born??? And then stuff like this is just bizarre:
The bases of the Plaintiffs‟ arguments come from such sources as FactCheck.org, The Rocky Mountain News, an eighteenth century treatise by Emmerich de Vattel titled The Law of Nations, and various citations to nineteenth century congressional debate.11
11 Plaintiffs do not provide pinpoint citations to the congressional debate quotations to which they cite.
Now, I just showed where a Supreme Court case that Ankeny cited, Inglis, quoted Vattel from The Law of Nations. They don't seem to understand the Supreme Court has regularly used Vattel as a legal resource. Second, the "ninenteenth century congressional debate" citations were being used as the original intent of the authors of the 14th amendment. Why does this court downplay original intent?? Then the Ankeny court quotes Wong Kim Ark citing things like Dicey's "Conflict of Laws" .... how is that okay, but not Vattel?? The Ankney court concludes with this doozy:
To the extent that these authorities conflict with the United States Supreme Court‟s interpretation of what it means to be a natural born citizen, we believe that the Plaintiffs‟ arguments fall under the category of conclusory, non-factual assertions or legal conclusions that we need not accept as true when reviewing the grant of a motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim.
A) Vattel does NOT conflict with the Supreme Court's interpretation of natural-born citizen. The ONE definition that Ankeny cited matches Law of Nations verbatim. B) This court basically just says it doesn't have to accept the plaintiffs assertions as true, even though the Supreme Court regularly relies on such authorities as were used by the plaintiffs. This decision is simply an embarrassment to the legal profession.
You’re welcome. Please feel free to PM me if you ever have any questions or other issues, and I will be happy to answer if I can.
Thank you very much for your reply in specifics. I just wonder why these guys didn’t appeal it? Was it they couldn’t afford attorney’s?
I’m pretty sure they appealed to the Indiana Supreme Court and were dismissed without a hearing. I’m not sure this case could be appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court. Generally there needs to be a Federal law involved, or equal protection has to come into play. Since these guys were suing the Governor of Indiana under Indiana law, then it probably would have had to stay in the state court system.
Nothing in the appeals decision regarding natural-born citizenship carries any legal weight. It doesn’t outweigh Minor or Wong Kim Ark. The interpretation is clearly in error, but they never actually applied that interpretation to anyone. They simply said they didn’t have to accept the plaintiff’s arguments and there was a failure to state a claim upon which relief could be granted. I think these judges wanted to make a statement, but they ended up embarrassing themselves.
More like saying “These are a member of this set” instead of “This set consist solely of these”.
“Children born of two citizen parents are Natural Born Citizens” is a different statement than “Natural Born Citizens are children born of two citizen parents”.
I wonder if the judges use Justica.com for their case law these days. Apparently it had been scrubbed of all reference to Minor etal.
Well, yes, actually it does. "These are the natives, or natural-born citizens, as distinguihsed from aliens or foreigners." Had this been inserted one sentence later, the meaning would mean what you think it means. Instead, it said that some authorities go further in delcaring persons to be citizens, but it never characterizes nor suggests that such persons can be characterized as natural-born citizens. Instead it says, that such persons' citizenship would be in doubt. IOW, in this context, natural-born means citizenship that is without doubt.
That might explain it, but it doesn’t explain how this court simply contradicted itself. It noted that Wong Kim Ark never declared the appellee to be a natural-born citizen. It noted that after the passage of the 14th amendment, that the Supreme Court said the Constitution does NOT say who shall be natural-born citizens. The definition that Minor used matches Vattel’s from the Law of Nations. It also doesn’t explain why it said the children of alien parents was contemplated but that the question of the children of aliens was somehow left open, when clearly Minor says that such children ONLY become citizens when the father naturalizes.
Your link goes to the appellate review.
Not sure if you have been exposed to the term - dictum. It is background used by a judge to then form a ruling. The appellate judges ruling is 99% dictum to reach a simple decision:
“Steve Ankeny and Bill Kruse (collectively, Plaintiffs), pro se, appeal the trial courts grant of a motion to dismiss filed by Mitch Daniels, in his official capacity as the Governor of the State of Indiana (Governor). Plaintiffs raise nine issues, which we revise and restate as whether the trial court erred by granting the motion to dismiss under Ind. Trial Rule 12(B)(6).1 We affirm. 2”
That is the entire ‘ruling’. Everything else after that is dictum. Nauseating dictum at that. And unnecessary dictum since the ruling above did not rely on any of it. It was all show to provide fodder for those who want this to stop - basically an politician or government official.
The ruling above relied on this simple rule in Indiana trial law:
“(B) How presented. Every defense, in law or fact, to a claim for relief in any pleading, whether a claim, counterclaim, cross-claim, or third-party claim, shall be asserted in the responsive pleading thereto if one is required; except that at the option of the pleader, the following defenses may be made by motion:
(6) Failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted, which shall include failure to name the real party in interest under Rule 17; “
See here for expanded specific to the Indian Trial Rules:
So it is odd that a judge who makes a ruling citing only state trial law rules would go out their way to write so much dictum that used SCOTUS rulings and other material.
....unless someone wrote it for him......
That part is covered when the court says “as distinguished from aliens or foreigners” and “As to this class there have been doubts, but never as to the first.” In this context, it becomes an exclusive definition, used to characterized only ONE set of citizenship criteria: all children born in the country of parents who were its citizens.
Where Birthers go ‘round the bend is when they get dogmatic that this is the only interpretation and anyone who disagrees is some kind of traitorous O-bot.
Can you read?? Minor lists two classes of persons who are considered to be citizens. Which class was characterized as natural-born citizens???
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.