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Ted Cruz, Originalism, and the “Natural Born Citizen” Requirement
National Review ^ | 05/08/2013 | Ed Whelan

Posted on 05/08/2013 8:03:24 AM PDT by SeekAndFind

In one of my first essays for NRO back in 2005 (“Are You an Originalist?”), I selected the Constitution’s “natural born Citizen” criterion for eligibility to be president—a provision that then seemed at the time to be beyond the distorting effects of political bias—to illustrate that everyone intuitively recognizes the common-sense principle at the heart of the interpretive methodology of originalism: namely, that the meaning of a constitutional provision is to be determined in accordance with the meaning that it bore at the time that it was adopted. The public debate in 2008 over whether John McCain, having been born in 1936 in the Panama Canal Zone to parents who were American citizens, was a “natural born Citizen” ratified my point, as virtually all commentators purported to undertake an originalist inquiry.

I hadn’t seen any reason to comment on the left-wing “birther” attacks on Senator Ted Cruz’s eligibility to be president. Cruz was born in Canada in 1970 to a mother who was then an American citizen. Under the laws then in place, he was an American citizen by virtue of his birth.

As this Congressional Research Service report sums it up (p. 25; see also pp. 16-21), the “overwhelming evidence of historical intent, general understandings [in 18th-century America], and common law principles underlying American jurisprudence thus indicate[s] that the most reasonable interpretation of ‘natural born’ citizens would include those who are considered U.S. citizens ‘at birth’ or ‘by birth,’ … under existing federal statutory law incorporating long-standing concepts of jus sanguinis, the law of descent.” In other words, there is strong originalist material to support the semantic signal that “natural born Citizen” identifies someone who is a citizen by virtue of the circumstances of his birth—as distinguished from someone who is naturalized later in life as a citizen. (In McCain’s case, the dispute turned on whether he was indeed an American citizen by virtue of his birth—or was instead naturalized a citizen under a law enacted when he was eleven months old. For more, see law professor Gabriel Chin’s lengthy article making the case against McCain.)

To my surprise, the New Republic’s Noam Scheiber tries to argue that Cruz’s embrace of constitutional originalism somehow means that Cruz can’t determine that he is a “natural born Citizen.” But the only evidence that Scheiber offers for this position is the assertion (which Scheiber mischaracterizes as a concession) by a non-originalist law professor in an MSNBC interview that the proposition that a person is a “natural born Citizen” if he is a citizen by virtue of his birth “isn’t really clear cut if you limit yourself to the actual wording of the Constitution” (that’s Scheiber’s paraphrase) but instead depends on “how our understandings have evolved over time.” Scheiber both overlooks the powerful originalist evidence in support of Cruz’s status as a “natural born Citizen” and misunderstands how originalist methodology operates. (In public-meaning originalism, you don’t “limit yourself to the actual wording of the Constitution,” and you don’t find yourself lost simply because the Constitution “never defines what ‘natural born’ means.” You instead look to the public meaning of the term at the time it was adopted.)

My point here isn’t to contend that the originalist evidence points entirely in one direction. As law professor Michael Ramsey observes in a post that I’ve run across while finalizing this post (a post that also takes issue with Scheiber), there are originalist scholars who don’t “find the argument entirely conclusive.” But Scheiber’s piece is a cheap whack at Cruz as well as a cheap whack at originalism.


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Culture/Society; News/Current Events; US: Texas
KEYWORDS: aliens; certifigate; constitution; naturalborn; naturalborncitizen; originalism; tedcruz
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1 posted on 05/08/2013 8:03:25 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
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To: basil

ping for later reading........


2 posted on 05/08/2013 8:13:00 AM PDT by basil (basil --Second Amendment Sisters.org)
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To: basil

The issue of Ted Cruz’s qualification for the Presidency by virtue of his birth will be a heated debate in this site *IF* he ever runs.

The fact that Obama was able to get away with it won’t end the debate at all.


3 posted on 05/08/2013 8:15:17 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
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To: SeekAndFind

I heard Mark Levin say these words, that he hopes Ted Cruz will run in 2016. THERE, HE SAID IT.

Which proves, among other things, that Mark believes Ted is a natural born citizen.


4 posted on 05/08/2013 8:28:49 AM PDT by txrangerette ("...hold to the truth; speak without fear..."(Glenn Beck))
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To: SeekAndFind
The fallacy of this, and similar arguments is that it requires the existence of a subsequent act of congress to make people such as Cruz a citizen. Without that Congressional act, Cruz is a non-citizen.

This therefore requires us to believe that Congress can redefine the meaning of words in the US Constitution, which is absurd.

5 posted on 05/08/2013 8:32:16 AM PDT by DiogenesLamp (Partus Sequitur Patrem)
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To: txrangerette
I heard Mark Levin say these words, that he hopes Ted Cruz will run in 2016. THERE, HE SAID IT.

Which proves, among other things, that Mark believes Ted is a natural born citizen.

And that proves that Mark has a flawed understanding. If Congress had not passed that act, Cruz would have no claim on American citizenship.

Natural citizenship based on an act of congress? That is a contradiction. Suppose congress passed no such act? Would he still be a "natural citizen"?

6 posted on 05/08/2013 8:35:36 AM PDT by DiogenesLamp (Partus Sequitur Patrem)
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To: txrangerette

If Cruz is a US NBC, is he also a Canadian NBC?


7 posted on 05/08/2013 8:37:35 AM PDT by B4Ranch (http://www.theycometoamerica.com/)
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To: txrangerette

Levin also believed until recently that if you were born on American soil you were automatically a citizen. He doesn’t believe that anymore. The obvious conclusion is that his understanding of basic law with regards to this issue is evolving. Now, knowing this, why would you want to put forth a candidate who wasn’t even born in America? Why would anyone do that? Cruz is a ridiculous choice because he is so obviously not a natural-born citizen.


8 posted on 05/08/2013 8:39:03 AM PDT by HMS Surprise (Chris Christie can STILL go straight to hell.)
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To: FReepers
Did You Know?

The Current FReepathon Pays For The Current Quarters Expenses?

Now That You Do, Donate And Keep FR Running


9 posted on 05/08/2013 8:42:10 AM PDT by DJ MacWoW (My faith and politics cannot be separated)
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To: B4Ranch

Natural-born means: so naturally a citizen that no statute is needed to establish the relationship between an individual and his or her country. In Cruz’s case it is obvious that statutes would be required to “grant” citizenship. He, like Obama, is without question a citizen. But, he, like Obama, is also clearly not natural-born.


10 posted on 05/08/2013 8:43:24 AM PDT by HMS Surprise (Chris Christie can STILL go straight to hell.)
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To: SeekAndFind

Wouldn’t it be just like the left to push hard for a strict interpretation of eligibility when it’s our candidate and totally ignore Obama’s ineligibility?

And then call us racists for pointing it out.


11 posted on 05/08/2013 8:45:31 AM PDT by MrB (The difference between a Humanist and a Satanist - the latter admits whom he's working for)
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To: null and void

ping


12 posted on 05/08/2013 8:45:39 AM PDT by Fractal Trader
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To: SeekAndFind

Interestingly, this article isn’t really about Cruz’s eligibility, it’s about liberals being intellectually dishonest. Big shock there.


13 posted on 05/08/2013 8:46:41 AM PDT by cdcdawg
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To: SeekAndFind

Notice that the article stresses that, “under the laws that were in place (when Cruz was born)...” If you are “natural-born” no laws need to be “in place.” You are just naturally a citizen by the circumstances of your birth. Your mom is a citizen, your dad is a citizen, and you were born in their country. Think about it this way... If there is the possibility of statutes that could disable your citizenship altogether, how can you be construed as “natural-born?”


14 posted on 05/08/2013 8:47:26 AM PDT by HMS Surprise (Chris Christie can STILL go straight to hell.)
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To: SeekAndFind

http://www.nationalreview.com/bench-memos/347616/ted-cruz-originalism-and-%E2%80%9Cnatural-born-citizen%E2%80%9D-requirement


15 posted on 05/08/2013 8:59:30 AM PDT by Zhang Fei (Let us pray that peace be now restored to the world and that God will preserve it always.)
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To: DiogenesLamp

That is only true if you assume that the term “natural-born” already have a common-law meaning at the time the constitution was written, AND that the term excluded people born to parents from the country but who were out of the country at the time of birth.

The point of the argument made here is that if you look at the term as used in those days, it would have already granted citizenship.

That congress passed a law to make it clear what this meant is not germane, unless you believe that without any law, there would be a clear answer to the question.

Note that McCain was judged to be a natural-born citizen even though he was born before the latest law was passed.

It would be nice in some cases if the founding fathers had included a glossary of terms, and had spent a little more time defining what they were talking about. Of course, they couldn’t have anticipated our modern ability to twist every word that exists. But I believe if they spent a year here today, and went back, they could have written a constitution that had much better protection against the tyranny that has befallen us.

I’m convinced the commerce clause would be a section all on its own, because that is the most certain area where what we do today isn’t anything like what they thought.


16 posted on 05/08/2013 9:02:57 AM PDT by CharlesWayneCT
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To: DiogenesLamp
This therefore requires us to believe that Congress can redefine the meaning of words in the US Constitution, which is absurd.

Absurd if you don't know history. The first Congress and Pres. Washington made children born over seas to citizen parents "natural born citizens" and used that term in the law. That's really all we need to know: Congress can define the term by law just as it defines who is and who is not a citizen by birth. As far as inherited citizenship, they're one-and-the-same.

17 posted on 05/08/2013 9:18:39 AM PDT by newzjunkey (bah)
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To: CharlesWayneCT
"Of course, they couldn’t have anticipated our modern ability to twist every word that exists."

Can you really believe it was different in their day?

18 posted on 05/08/2013 9:20:05 AM PDT by newzjunkey (bah)
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To: SeekAndFind
I disagree (somewhat respectfully) with the learned author. Since neither he, nor I, are members of The SCOTUS at this time, are opinions are equally valid.

The SCOTUS of the USA is closed to the issue, leaving me, the author, and about 40 Million Americans at loggerheads. Several justices (Thomas, Scalia, Alito,) have suggested in not-so-veiled hints, that The SCOTUS people are ducking this issue. Since nothing they can say or do at this point can possibly affect The Mombasa Mofo who is the sitting President, all we can do is earnestly beseech the black-robed bum-kissers is to get on with it and do their job.

All they can do now is say, "Yes, or No. I.E., Kid Kenya was...was not... eligible to run." In fact, they needn't go even that far, IMNVHO, all they need to do is straighten out what THEY think is a "natural born Citizen," (Article II capitalization). They also ought to rule on this entirely stupid and unconstitutional notion that a child born here to non-citizen parents is automatically a citizen, even if the parents are here illegally.

I am reasonably sure that the sequester has not caused SCOTUS paychecks to bounce, but this bullshiite is paralyzing the rest of the country and undermining the prestige of the Presidency, whether Reggie's BF wants to admit or not.

19 posted on 05/08/2013 9:22:45 AM PDT by Kenny Bunk ("Obama" the movie. Introducing Reggie Love as "Monica." .)
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To: SeekAndFind

Sorry, I can’t access the original piece.

Yes, “natural born” means a citizens by circumstances at the time of birth.

The problem is, what are those circumstances that qualify a person to be a citizen at the time of birth. There actually is a bit of a history to this. The (original) Constitution doesn’t spell these out the circumstances.

On the matter of lineage, some people could have argued that natural born requires that the father be a citizen at the time of birth, which is known as patrilineal lineage. This has been the predominant form of lineage, and remains in practice in many countries.

At a later time, the 14th Amendment established birthright citizenship; i.e., any person born in the U.S. is a citizen.

The U.S. Congress established statutory law for natural born citizen (filling in a void in the Constitution, as it were). By reason of such law, natural born include:

Persons born in certain places, such as Puerto Rico, about which there might be some doubt at to whether those places are part of the U.S.

Persons born not in the U.S. of American mothers and of American fathers only. (Those born of American mothers have no problem ever claiming their citizenship. Those born of American fathers only have no problem if their citizenship is claimed when they are very young. If they are older when the claim is made, they have the burden of proof, which can be easily met nowadays with DNA samples).

The Congress also limited the passing on of citizenship to one generation. (Therefore, the community of people in Brazil that are descendants of CSA veterans who went there rather than live under the domination of Yankees are not U.S. citizens.)

Do these Congressional acts mean that it is wrong for somebody to argue what “natural born” should be? Not at all. Congress could amend the law (regarding persons born overseas). The Congress could even propose a Constitutional Amendment to limit or eliminate “birth right” citizenship.

The U.S. Supreme Court might be persuaded that “natural born” citizenship requires both parents be citizens at the time of birth and be born in one of the states of the U.S. Perhaps this was the original understanding. Or, perhaps this is justified because the Constitution is a “living document” and it means whatever the Supreme Court says it means.


20 posted on 05/08/2013 9:23:26 AM PDT by Redmen4ever
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To: HMS Surprise; CharlesWayneCT; MrB
Ping
and make that "our" opinion.
21 posted on 05/08/2013 9:25:43 AM PDT by Kenny Bunk ("Obama" the movie. Introducing Reggie Love as "Monica." .)
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To: Kenny Bunk

If they leave it in the realm of ambiguity,
the left can do what they intend to do -

ignore Obama’s ineligibility,
and disqualify Cruz for being ineligible.


22 posted on 05/08/2013 9:36:27 AM PDT by MrB (The difference between a Humanist and a Satanist - the latter admits whom he's working for)
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To: SeekAndFind

When Barry Goldwater ran in 1964, some Democrats argued that he wasn’t eligible because when he was born in 1901, Arizona was not yet a state.


23 posted on 05/08/2013 9:38:36 AM PDT by TBP (Obama lies, Granny dies.)
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To: txrangerette

Nonsense. He’s merely someone willing to discard the constitution for expediency.


24 posted on 05/08/2013 9:46:33 AM PDT by JCBreckenridge (Texas is a state of mind - Steinbeck)
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To: TBP

That’s covered under the Fourteenth which was specifically worded to cover these cases. Anyone born in territory that was American as of 1865 was considered to be a citizen of the United States - even if they were born under a different flag.


25 posted on 05/08/2013 9:47:43 AM PDT by JCBreckenridge (Texas is a state of mind - Steinbeck)
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To: CharlesWayneCT

“Note that McCain was judged to be a natural-born citizen even though he was born before the latest law was passed.”

Being born on American soil in the Canal Zone. Something that doesn’t apply to Cruz.


26 posted on 05/08/2013 9:50:06 AM PDT by JCBreckenridge (Texas is a state of mind - Steinbeck)
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To: MrB

Why are we arguing this? Cruz is ineligible, he wasn’t born in America. Arguing that just because the Democrats don’t respect the constitution, that we should act like them is bad.


27 posted on 05/08/2013 9:51:12 AM PDT by JCBreckenridge (Texas is a state of mind - Steinbeck)
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To: B4Ranch

Not unless his parents or himself declared as much.

“there is more NBC misinformation than there was on who was getting any in high school”

All this conjecture shows why the Founders knew better than let a bunch of overly opinionated old farts decide law, unless of course we’re all confirmed as Justices of the Supreme Court.

Cruz sure seems to be a God-send at the right place and the right time. Whether or not he’s true NBC will not be decided until someone “with standing” raises an objection and it makes it through the SCOTUS. If a blaring case such as nobama never had a “with standing” objection, then there probably never will be.


28 posted on 05/08/2013 10:04:59 AM PDT by X-spurt (Republic of Texas, Come and Take It!)
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To: newzjunkey; CharlesWayneCT

The difference between 1775 and today is that in 1775 every Tom, Dick and Harry were not able to publish their opinion and most of those opinions went poof shortly after being spoken.


29 posted on 05/08/2013 10:09:58 AM PDT by X-spurt (Republic of Texas, Come and Take It!)
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To: JCBreckenridge

I agree. I didn’t know he was born in Canada and that his father did not become a citizen until 2005.


30 posted on 05/08/2013 10:10:58 AM PDT by frogjerk (We are conservatives. Not libertarians, not "fiscal conservatives", not moderates)
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To: JCBreckenridge

McCrazy was not born on American Soil in the Canal Zone, he crawled from under a Panamanian hospital rock outside the Canal Zone.


31 posted on 05/08/2013 10:17:16 AM PDT by X-spurt (Republic of Texas, Come and Take It!)
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To: JCBreckenridge; holdonnow
"Nonsense. He’s merely someone willing to discard the constitution for expediency."

Mark should receive a courtesy ping in case he wishes to respond to that.

32 posted on 05/08/2013 10:29:06 AM PDT by CatherineofAragon ((Support Christian white males----the architects of the jewel known as Western Civilization).)
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To: CharlesWayneCT
That is only true if you assume that the term “natural-born” already have a common-law meaning at the time the constitution was written, AND that the term excluded people born to parents from the country but who were out of the country at the time of birth.

Being born in British America (Canada Now) makes you British under Common Law. The same "Common Law" you cite to make one an American, if born here, makes one a Canadian if born there. We are either following "common law" or we are not. Which is it?

33 posted on 05/08/2013 10:47:28 AM PDT by DiogenesLamp (Partus Sequitur Patrem)
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To: txrangerette

No, it simply means that Mark thinks Cruz is eligible. Has Mark actually defined what Mark thinks is an NBC?


34 posted on 05/08/2013 11:09:19 AM PDT by SgtHooper (The last thing I want to do is hurt you. But it's still on the list.)
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To: newzjunkey
Absurd if you don't know history.

You insinuate I have a lesser knowledge of history than do you, and then post this:

" The first Congress and Pres. Washington made children born over seas to citizen parents "natural born citizens" and used that term in the law. "

Yes, they did, and what did they stipulate in that Citizenship Act of 1790? How about we look at it and see how well it fit's your theory?

United States Congress, “An act to establish an uniform Rule of Naturalization” (March 26, 1790).

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America, in Congress assembled, That any Alien being a free white person, who shall have resided within the limits and under the jurisdiction of the United States for the term of two years, may be admitted to become a citizen thereof on application to any common law Court of record in any one of the States wherein he shall have resided for the term of one year at least, and making proof to the satisfaction of such Court that he is a person of good character, and taking the oath or affirmation prescribed by law to support the Constitution of the United States, which Oath or Affirmation such Court shall administer, and the Clerk of such Court shall record such Application, and the proceedings thereon; and thereupon such person shall be considered as a Citizen of the United States. And the children of such person so naturalized, dwelling within the United States, being under the age of twenty one years at the time of such naturalization, shall also be considered as citizens of the United States. And the children of citizens of the United States that may be born beyond Sea, or out of the limits of the United States, shall be considered as natural born Citizens: Provided, that the right of citizenship shall not descend to persons whose fathers have never been resident in the United States: Provided also, that no person heretofore proscribed by any States, shall be admitted a citizen as aforesaid, except by an Act of the Legislature of the State in which such person was proscribed.

"Shall be considered as" does not mean the same thing as "Is". Secondly, the status of "shall be considered as" is dependent upon the father's citizenship and residency in the U.S.

But the point is moot. In 1795, Congress struck out the words "Natural Born Citizen" and has never put them back into legislation, to my knowledge. (Not even the 14th amendment.)

That's really all we need to know:

Obviously you needed to know more than you thought.

Congress can define the term by law just as it defines who is and who is not a citizen by birth.

Congress cannot make "natural citizens." They can "naturalize" anyone they want, but if they can create them, they can destroy them too. A "natural citizen" cannot be destroyed by the whim of congress. If congress can pass a law to make you a citizen, they can take it away too.

As far as inherited citizenship, they're one-and-the-same.

If they are the same, then how did Aldo Mario Bellei have his citizenship stripped away for failing to comply with the Congressional law which granted him his citizenship at birth?

I didn't have to comply with this law. There were no "conditions" on my citizenship. If they are the same, why did Bellei have to comply with this artificial law made by congress, but I didn't have to? Inquiring minds want to know!

35 posted on 05/08/2013 11:15:39 AM PDT by DiogenesLamp (Partus Sequitur Patrem)
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To: frogjerk

I love the guy, he’s my amazing Senator. But, he’s not eligible. Let’s not waste time arguing over it.

We have a candidate for 2016 - Santorum. Won as many states as Romney did in 2008.


36 posted on 05/08/2013 11:42:36 AM PDT by JCBreckenridge (Texas is a state of mind - Steinbeck)
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To: X-spurt

His status is already known. He was born in Canada. He’s a Canadian citizen. Ergo, he is not a NBC.


37 posted on 05/08/2013 11:43:26 AM PDT by JCBreckenridge (Texas is a state of mind - Steinbeck)
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To: CatherineofAragon

Levin has an account here? I did not know that. I’ll happily direct the comment to him. I love Cruz, but he’s not eligible for the presidency.


38 posted on 05/08/2013 11:45:39 AM PDT by JCBreckenridge (Texas is a state of mind - Steinbeck)
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To: Redmen4ever

Congress “amending the law” is the very antithesis of “natural.”


39 posted on 05/08/2013 11:56:06 AM PDT by DiogenesLamp (Partus Sequitur Patrem)
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To: X-spurt
McCrazy was not born on American Soil in the Canal Zone, he crawled from under a Panamanian hospital rock outside the Canal Zone.

After having interacted with you previously, I am not at all surprised to see you repeating this false information. John McCain was indeed born on the Coco Solo Navy base in Panama. Back in 2008 a bunch of Liberal Democrats started spreading the rumor that he was born in Colon Panama, and even faked up a birth certificate in an attempt to convince others. John McCain never released his birth certificate. The one floating around on the internet is a fake.

Unfortunately, this crap has spread so far that a whole lot of people now believe it. It isn't true. Read this:

40 posted on 05/08/2013 12:05:21 PM PDT by DiogenesLamp (Partus Sequitur Patrem)
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To: HMS Surprise
Natural-born means: so naturally a citizen that no statute is needed to establish the relationship between an individual and his or her country.

"Natural born" is the antonym of "naturalized." It means someone who became a citizen at birth, as opposed to one who was naturalized later.

41 posted on 05/08/2013 2:24:31 PM PDT by Lurking Libertarian (Non sub homine, sed sub Deo et lege)
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To: Lurking Libertarian

Your logic fails the test of simple critical thought, so I’ll assume a retort is useless.


42 posted on 05/08/2013 2:42:56 PM PDT by HMS Surprise (Chris Christie can STILL go straight to hell.)
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To: HMS Surprise
Your logic fails the test of simple critical thought, so I’ll assume a retort is useless.

In law, precedent trumps logic.

43 posted on 05/08/2013 2:45:20 PM PDT by Lurking Libertarian (Non sub homine, sed sub Deo et lege)
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To: Lurking Libertarian

This isn’t law, it’s the definition of a phrase. Whatever the phrase “natural-born” meant when it was written down in the Constitution, is exactly what it means today. You won’t search for that meaning because the search, in your mind, would be an admission of failure. Hmmm, maybe you aren’t... Well, just google: bouviers... definition... natural... born... citizen... The truth is our goal, not brownie points for your ego.


44 posted on 05/08/2013 4:24:47 PM PDT by HMS Surprise (Chris Christie can STILL go straight to hell.)
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To: SeekAndFind

United States Citizens at Birth (INA 301 and 309)

A. General Requirements for Acquisition of Citizenship at Birth

A person born in the United States who is subject to the jurisdiction of the United States is a U.S. citizen at birth, to include a person born to a member of an Indian, Eskimo, Aleutian, or other aboriginal tribe.[1]

In general, a person born outside of the United States may acquire citizenship at birth if:

One parent is a U.S. citizen; and
The U.S. citizen parent meets certain residence or physical presence requirements in the United States or an outlying possession prior to the person’s birth in accordance with the pertinent provision.[2]

Until the Act of October 10, 1978, persons who had acquired U.S. citizenship through birth outside of the United States to one U.S. citizen parent had to meet certain physical presence requirements to retain their citizenship. This legislation eliminated retention requirements for persons who were born after October 10, 1952. There may be cases where a person who was born before that date, and therefore subject to the retention requirements, may have failed to retain citizenship.[3]

An officer should determine whether a person acquired citizenship at birth by referring to the applicable statutory provisions and conditions that existed at the time of the person’s birth. These provisions have been modified extensively over the years.[4] The following sections provide the current law.

B. Child Born in Wedlock[5]

1. Child of Two U.S. Citizen Parents[6]

A child born outside of the United States and its outlying possessions acquires citizenship at birth if at the time of birth:

Both of the child’s parents are U.S. citizens; and
At least one parent had resided in the United States or one of its outlying possessions.

2. Child of U.S. Citizen Parent and U.S. National[7]

A child born outside of the United States and its outlying possessions acquires citizenship at birth if at the time of birth:

One parent is a U.S. citizen and the other parent is a U.S. national; and
The U.S. citizen parent was physically present in the United States or one of its outlying possessions for a continuous period of at least one year.

3. Child of U.S. Citizen Parent and Foreign National Parent[8]

A child born outside of the United States and its outlying possessions acquires citizenship at birth if at the time of birth:

One parent is a foreign national and the other parent is a U.S. citizen; and
The U.S. citizen parent was physically present in the United States for at least 5 years, including at least 2 years after 14 years of age.

Time abroad counts as physical presence in the United States if the time abroad was:

As a member of the U.S. armed forces in honorable status;
Under the employment of the U.S. government or other qualifying organizations; or
As a dependent unmarried son or daughter of such persons.

4. Child of a U.S. Citizen Mother and Foreign National Father[9]

A child born outside of the United States and its outlying possessions acquires citizenship at birth if:

The child was born before noon (Eastern Standard Time) May 24, 1934;
The child’s father is a foreign national;
The child’s mother was a U.S. citizen at the time of the child’s birth; and
The child’s U.S. citizen mother resided in the United States prior to the child’s birth.

C. Child Born Out of Wedlock[10]

Child of a U.S. Citizen Father

The provisions listed above[11] for a child born in wedlock apply to a child born out of wedlock outside of the United States claiming citizenship through a U.S. citizen father if:

A blood relationship between the child and the father is established by clear and convincing evidence;

The child’s father was a U.S. citizen at the time of the child’s birth;

The child’s father (unless deceased) has agreed in writing to provide financial support for the child until the child reaches 18 years of age; and

One of the following criteria is met before the child reaches 18 years of age:
The child is legitimated under the law of his or her residence or domicile;
The father acknowledges in writing and under oath the paternity of the child; or
The paternity of the child is established by adjudication of a competent court.

In addition, the residence or physical presence requirements contained in the relevant paragraph of INA 301 continue to apply to children born out of wedlock claiming citizenship through their fathers.

Child of a U.S. Citizen Mother

A child born out of wedlock outside of the United States and its outlying possessions acquires citizenship at birth if:

The child was born after December 23, 1952;
The child’s mother was a U.S. citizen at the time of the child’s birth; and
The child’s U.S. citizen mother was physically present in the United States or outlying possession for one continuous year prior to the child’s birth.[12]

D. Application for Certificate of Citizenship (Form N-600)

A person born abroad who acquires U.S. citizenship at birth is not required to file an Application for Certificate of Citizenship (Form N-600). A person who seeks documentation of such status, however, must submit an application to obtain a Certificate of Citizenship from USCIS. A person may also apply for a U.S. Passport with the Department of State to serve as evidence of his or her U.S. citizenship.[13]

A person who is at least 18 years of age may submit the Application for Certificate of Citizenship on his or her own behalf. If the application is for a child who has not reached 18 years of age, the child’s U.S. citizen parent or legal guardian must submit the application.[14]

USCIS will issue a proof of U.S. citizenship in the form of a Certificate of Citizenship if the Application for Certificate of Citizenship is approved and the person takes the Oath of Allegiance, if required to do so.[15]

E. Citizenship Interview and Waiver

In general, an applicant must appear in person for an interview before a USCIS officer after filing an Application for Certificate of Citizenship. This includes the U.S. citizen parent or legal guardian if the application is filed on behalf of a child under 18 years of age.[16] USCIS, however, may waive the interview requirement if all the required documentation necessary to establish the applicant’s eligibility is already included in USCIS administrative records, or if the application is accompanied by one of the following:

Department of State Form FS-240 (Consular Report of Birth Abroad of a U.S. Citizen);
Applicant’s unexpired U.S. Passport issued initially for a full five or ten-year period; or
Certificate of Naturalization of the applicant’s parent or parents.[17]

F. Decision and Oath of Allegiance

1. Approval of Application, Oath of Allegiance, and Waiver for Children under 14 Years of Age

If an officer approves the Application for Certificate of Citizenship, USCIS administers the Oath of Allegiance before issuing a Certificate of Citizenship.[18]

However, the INA permits USCIS to waive the taking of the Oath of Allegiance if USCIS determines the person is unable to understand its meaning.[19] USCIS has determined that children under the age of 14 are generally unable to understand the meaning of the oath.

Accordingly, USCIS waives the oath requirement for a child younger than 14 years of age. If USCIS waives the oath requirement, USCIS issues a Certificate of Citizenship after the officer approves the application.

2. Denial of Application

If an officer denies the Certificate of Citizenship application, the officer must notify the applicant in writing of the reasons for denial and include information on the right to appeal in the notice.[20] An applicant may file an appeal within 30 calendar days after service of the decision (33 days if the decision was mailed).

1. [^]
See INA 301(a) and INA 301(b). Children of certain diplomats who are born in the United States are not U.S. citizens at birth because they are not subject to the jurisdiction of the United States. See 8 CFR 101.3.
2. [^]
Any time spent abroad in the U.S. armed forces or other qualifying organizations counts towards that physical presence requirement. See INA 301(g).
3. [^]
The Act of October 10, 1978, Pub. L. 95-432, repealed the retention requirements of former INA 301(b). The amending legislation was prospective only and did not restore citizenship to anyone who, prior to its enactment, had lost citizenship for failing to meet the retention requirements.


45 posted on 05/08/2013 5:43:39 PM PDT by Nero Germanicus
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To: Nero Germanicus
Yes, Government Bureaucrats are who we should look to for the meaning of "natural born citizen."

Let's get back to this:

So if *I* had failed to report for induction, I would have lost my citizenship?

You seem to have left it on the table for some reason.

46 posted on 05/08/2013 6:11:29 PM PDT by DiogenesLamp (Partus Sequitur Patrem)
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To: DiogenesLamp

Government bureaucrats are charged with implementing laws passed by Congress and laws can be challenged via the judicial branch.
I made my comment about Rogers v. Bellei. I don’t anything else to say on that tangent.
The actual law of the land that governs Senator Cruz’s birth circumstances seems much more relevant.


47 posted on 05/08/2013 7:29:50 PM PDT by Nero Germanicus
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To: Nero Germanicus
I made my comment about Rogers v. Bellei.

I must have missed it. I'll go back through the messages and see if I can find anything where you addressed the point.

I don’t anything else to say on that tangent.

Tangent? It's ground zero to the point. Cruz Share's Bellei's circumstances of birth. According to you, Bellei is a "natural born citizen" who just happened to have his citizenship stripped away because he didn't report for induction.

I'm very interested in understanding how this works. It seems to me, all we have to do is threaten Cruz with the Draft, and he will lose his citizenship or something.

48 posted on 05/08/2013 8:01:59 PM PDT by DiogenesLamp (Partus Sequitur Patrem)
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To: Nero Germanicus

Wow, there’s nothing “natural” in citing convoluted statutes on immigration and nationality that fall under the title of “Aliens and Nationality” in the U.S. Code. You’ve just helped prove why Cruz would not be a natural-born citizen.


49 posted on 05/08/2013 8:53:04 PM PDT by edge919
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To: DiogenesLamp

So, being born outside of Britain, you were still British.

If you were born on a boat in international waters, were you still British?

If you were born while your boat was docked in France, were you still British?

The issue of course isn’t whether you were British, it is whether you were considered “natural-born”. We know that there is a birthright citizenship in many countries, and we know that America has long counted as citizens the children of citizens whereever they were born, which allowed people to claim dual citizenship if they chose.

The question is whether, when the founders wrote that clause, they meant to exclude children born to american citizens who happened to be on holiday when they gave birth. Of course, being on Holiday wasn’t nearly as common to them as it is to us. You can easily give birth to a child in Japan, and have the child back in your home in Alabama in a week.


50 posted on 05/08/2013 8:59:49 PM PDT by CharlesWayneCT
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