Standing ovation, and thank you very much for your succinctly stated view.
Here is what I have posted elsewhere in my attempts to help well-meaning but "tough-minded" FReepers realize that not only is Minor not binding law on the point, it does not define NBC.
The choice is:
A. Minor defines natural born citizenship as belonging to only those born in the U.S. of two citizen parents, or
B. Minor defines a particular class of citizens as natural born citizens but does not exclude the possibility of other classes.
Suppose we are talking about Irish Setters (born in the U.S. of citizen parents), you might say these were four-legged animals (these were natural-born citizens).
Does that mean you believe no other four-legged creatures (citizens) can be classified as four-legged animals (natural-born citizens)? Certainly not.
Would it have been more helpful had the court said, if that is what was intended, that these were the natural born citizens? Certainly, it reasonably excludes other possibilities.
Would this have been even more helpful: these and these alone were natural born citizens? Most certainly, it expressly excludes all other possibilities.
This would ALMOST make sense if not for a couple of things.
A. Minor distinguished natural-born citizens from aliens or foreigners who can only be citizens through naturalization.
B. Minor explains a few paragraphs later how the children of aliens become citizens AFTER the father naturalizes.
C. This means the characterization of natural-born citizens is exclusive to one class of citizens ... because there are no doubts that must be resolved.
D. It makes no sense for the court to define natural-born citizens unless it is specifically setting them apart from those persons whose citizenship is dependent on statutory or Constitutional means. And the court is clearly setting this class of citizens apart. Notice how deliberate the court is in rejecting the 14th amendment in terms of conferring citizenship for those persons who have it naturally (through birth in the country to citizen parents):
There is no doubt that women may be citizens. They are persons, and by the fourteenth amendment "all persons born or naturalized in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof" are expressly declared to be "citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside." But, in our opinion, it did not need this amendment to give them that position.
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The fourteenth amendment did not affect the citizenship of women any more than it did of men. In this particular, therefore, the rights of Mrs. Minor do not depend upon the amendment. She has always been a citizen from her birth, and entitled to all the privileges and immunities of citizenship. The amendment prohibited the State, of which she is a citizen, from abridging any of her privileges and immunities as a citizen of the United States; but it did not confer citizenship on her.
I've asked this question a few times. Why did the court emphasize citizenship of the parents. This emphasis is affirmed in U.S. v. Wong Kim Ark. Why bring it up since the 14th amendment doesn't require citizen parents??? Why does the court give a narrower definition of citizenship than is needed to resolve the voting question?? Justice Gray emphasized this citizenship when he gave the holding in Wong Kim Ark:
Minor v. Happersett (1874), 21 Wall. 162, 166-168. The decision in that case was that a woman born of citizen parents within the United States was a citizen of the United States, ...Minor v. Happersett (1874), 21 Wall. 162, 166-168. The decision in that case was that
I have, BTW, no dog in this fight. The Constitution does not clearly state what it means by “natural-born citizen.” Personally, I tend towards the notion that it was a somewhat awkward way of saying “native-born” or a citizen by birth as opposed to one by naturalization.
But I think that is not really clear. When what is meant by the wording of the Constitution is not really clear, it is entirely appropriate for the Supreme Court it established to clarify things. While I don’t believe the Court would rule the way so many at FR want it to, I do wish they would take a case bearing on this point and issue a ruling defining the terminology.
I also think a ruling deciding Obama was not eligible and therefore was improperly elected would be extraordinarily destructive. It would constitute the greatest power grab by the judicial branch in US history and would require it to make many thousands of followup decisions to determine which actions, if any, taken under Obama’s invalid authority are legal. The consequences of invalid decisions would then have to be straightened out. Cans of worms aren’t in it.
I think conservatives who cling to the notion that the disasters of the last few years can be reversed by a Court ruling are unconciously falling prey to the liberal notion that the Constitution as interpreted by the Courts is the answer to all our problems. That anything we don’t like can be declared unconstitutional and it will go away without appeal to Congress or the electorate.
I really, really don’t think that’s what the Founders intended. If the people want Obama out, that’s why we have elections.
I’m also unclear why so many seem to assume Biden would be any improvement on Obama.