According to documents posted by others here on PR, Marco Rubio's parents were not American citizens at the time of his birth. Therefore, the senator was not a Natural Born Citizen according to the Vattel definition, although he is certainly a native-born citizen.
Nothing personal against Rubio here; he's been a good senator and he is constitutionally qualified for that position. But if he attempts a run for the presidency, you can bet that he'll face a constitutional legal challenge.
Nothing would please me more.
Succinctly put justiceseeker93. To put your true statement into current legal context, Chief Justice Marshall, citing Vattel, really is authoritative, but some will call his comment “Dictum” because the decision in The Venus didn't require the definition, which was cited at least twenty times until Chief Justice Waite needed the definition to complete his reasoning in Minor v. Happersett, 1875, turning the Vattel definition into positive law - precedence. The court can ignore precedence, but will have to give us reasons why, and they have not done so.
What still remains a mystery, though one can surmise, is why our “originalist” pundit, Mark Levin, or even Limbaugh, whose brother, father, and grandfather were/are attorneys, have never honestly and directly addressed the issue? Levin uses the purist Alinsky, rule 5 approach, ridicule, to discourage a discussion based upon the reasoning of Bastiat, Thomas Paine, James Wilson, John Marshall, John Jay, George Washington, and Alexander Hamilton.
Levin's shtick rests upon his claimed lifelong fondness for the framers and founders, and his skill with invective and ridicule? But he won't risk talking honestly about what they clearly said and understood. He even quoted a Madison letter explaining why there are not definitions in the Constitution proper - on page 37 of Liberty and Tyranny. Feet of clay!
Beck with all his excitement as he discovers the words of our framers, and collects antique volumes, won't mention Franklin's solicitation and delivery of early translations of Vattel’s Law of Nations to pre-revolutionary leaders as they argured independence, wrote The Declaration. Franklin's letter thanking Vattel’s publisher describing how constantly the volumes serve as a reference tells us how Franklin was shaping the construction of our Constitution. Beck blissfully ignores, along with the rest of the media, the quantitative fact that Vattel was, by at least factor of four, the most cited legal authority in American jurisprudence between 1790 and 1821. Somehow, there is no room for facts or truth in today's dialog, probably because truth leads to the inconvenient truth that all our wise men were afraid to discuss the truth of Obama's ineligibility.
He doesn't mention the Hamilton letter to Washington where Hamilton, Secretary of the Treasury, describes Vattel as his most trusted source for advising Washington on issues of international law, implying understanding between the two. He doesn't mention historical accounts, a delightfull book written during WWII, referring to newspaper accounts of Washington's first day as President, where Law of Nations is the only book on his desk in New York. The existing records from what became the New York Public Library confirm that Washington borrowed the book in 1789, and never returned it.
We are being “played” by both sides, who are probably correct in assuming Limbaugh's “low-information voters.” Obama is illegitimate and the response by our media, representatives, and judicial systems is to evade any serious discussion. Rubio certainly knows. Perhaps the coup is already too far advanced to reverse, and those thought to influence public opinion are merely trying to protect what they have?
With all due respect, that only those who are born in America and both of whose parents were U.S. citizens at the time of his birth can be deemed to be natural-born citizens is not, and has never been, the prevailing interpretation of the natural-born citizen clause. A natural-born citizen of the United States is one who has been a U.S. citizen since birth (a citizen at birth pursuant to the laws at the time of his birth); the term is used in contradistinction to a naturalized citizen, who became a U.S. citizen sometime after birth.
The confusion stems from the fact that, under18th century British law, persons born in Great Britain whose parents were not citizens would not be British subjects at birth (Britain had jus sanguinis to the exclusion of jus soli). But in the United States, Congress adopted as early as 1791 two ways for persons to be U.S. citizens at birth—being born in the U.S. (jus soli), or being born abroad of U.S.-citizen parents (jus sanguinis). Jus soli was later enshrined in Section 1 of the 14th Amendment, which declared all persons born in the U.S., and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, to be citizens at birth. Had the U.S. never adopted laws regarding U.S. citizenship, then the common law would have been applied and the U.S. only would have jus sanguinis. But the common law only is in effect in the absence of a statute, and Congress decided to supercede the common law in that instance. The U.S. Constitution and laws passed by Congress, not British legal traditions, are the Supreme Law of the Land.
Another misunderstanding has occurred due to a recent misreading of the 19th-century Minor case. The Minor case was about a woman claiming some right, and the Court first had to consider whether she was a cititen. The woman had been born in Iowa of citizen parents, and the opinion of the unanimous Supreme Court stated that, *at the very least*, a person born in the U.S. to citizen parents was a natural-born citizen. The Court also wrote that the term natural-born citizen meant citizen at birth and was used in contradistinction to naturalized citizen.
And insisting that natural-born status required that both parents be citizens at the time the child was born was a fringe position even in the 19th century. When Chester Arthur ran for Vice President (which has the same NBC requirement as the presidency) in 1880, Democrats claimed that he had been born in Canada instead of northern Vermont, and some even claimed that he had been born in Ireland (where his father was from), had he been born abroad, with a father who was a British subject, he would not have been a U.S. citizen at birth and thus not eligible for the vice presidency. But you know what claim was *not* made by prominent Democrats? That the fact that his father was not a U.S. citizen at the time of Chester’s birth meant that Chester was not an NBC (his father became a naturalized citizen years after Chester was born).
The both-parents-must-be-citizens requirement was still a fringe position in 1916, when recently retired Supreme Court Justice Charles Evans Hughes was the Republican candidate for the presidency. Hughes’s father was Scottish, and it was undisputed that he was a British subject (and not a U.S. citizen) when Charles was born. Yet no Republican objected to his nomination, and, as far as I know, only one Democrat rose in opposition on constitutional grounds, penning a well written, but entirely unconvincing, argument about the both-parents-must-be-citizens requirement. His main evidence was how some letters from U.S. consular officers to Americans with French parents warning them that, if they moved to France, France might draft them into military service *because they were French citizens under French law*, somehow “proved” that such persons were ‘t U.S. citizens at birth (when all it meant was that U.S. law is valid in the U.S. and French law is valid in France). And if that argument proved anything, it proved too much; if Italy or Germany claimed that the grandchildren of Italians or Germany were Italian or German citizens, would that mean that someone born in the U.S. with two U.S.-citizen parents wouldn’t be a NBC due to a foreign government’s claims? Is Italian or German law the Supreme Law of the Land in America, having precedence over U.S. law and our Constitution? In any event, no state kept Hughes off the ballot, and Congress counted each of Hughes’s 250+ electoral votes (he came within less than 1% of carrying California, which would have given him the victory over President Wilson).
Which brings us to 2008. For years, it had been an undisputed that Barack Obama’s father never was a U.S. citizen, which, had the both-parents position been the prevailing interpretation of the NBC Clause, would have meant that Obama was ineligible. But you did *not* see prominent constitutional scholars or jurists step forward to argue that position. Only when circumstantial evidence pointing to Obama having been born abroad—which, given federal law in 1961 would have meant that he was not a U.S. citizen at birth—did his possible disqualification become an issue. When some plaintiffs later claim that he was disqualified because his father was not a citizen, the claim was laughed out of court, and no state even considered keeping him off the ballot because of his father not being a citizen—the only serious controversy was that it wasn’t clear whether Obama had been born in Hawaii or abroad, and had he been born abroad them he would not be a NBC under U.S. law at the time of his birth. In the end, Congress counted every one of his EVs, with no objections from any members based on his father’s non-citizenship.
So, given this history, you believe that Republicans unilaterally should disarm and apply, for the first time ever, a fringe interpretation of the NBC Clause so as to disqualify Marco Rubio (and Bobby Jindal, and maybe Ted Cruz?) from the presidency? I will defend your right to say that Marco Rubio would make a bad president, or that he isn’t good on the issues, or that he is untested, or that he would lose the election—while I can’t say that I agree with any of those positions, reasonable minds may disagree—but I will not engage in unilateral disarmament based on a legal theory that is disrespectful to U.S. sovereignty (giving foreign law precedence over U.S. law) and which has been rejected again and again by our judicial and political institutions for well over a century.