Skip to comments.JAMES TARANTO: It's certifiable: the last word on Obama's place of birth
Posted on 07/30/2009 5:06:48 PM PDT by curiosity
Several readers have written over the past few days taking us to task for dismissing so-called birthers as lunatics without bothering to refute their claims. We reluctantly concede their point. The birthers have managed to sow confusion in the minds of some who are not lunatics, and for the latter groups benefit it is worth clarifying matters.
(Excerpt) Read more at online.wsj.com ...
Hawaii's record isn't too good in that regard. This is just one that has been found. There's a couple more that have been noted so I've pinged Polarik to the tread, I'm sure he can recall the others.
Even to a non citizen mother, and/or father, it makes a citizen, per the 14th amendment. But natural born? That's another issue, one not addressed b any Court, with lots of historical referances to indicate that natural born status goes with parentage, even if citizenship does not.
Think about it. The reason that the provision is in the Constitution, is to keep foreign influence out of the office of Commander in Chief. (That's the way John Jay put it in his letter to "His Excellency, G. Washington). If someone with a non American citizen father were born in the US, raised in the father's country, and then sent back, they would definitely have more sympathy for their father's land and the land they grew up in, than for the United States. That sort of thing was actually done by Monarchs in the centuries before our revolution. True, it sometimes backfired, as the mother influenced the son against his father's country,, but the idea was to get your loyalists inside the government of your rivals or enemies.
I submit that BHO has shown an awful lot of sympathy for the culture and religion of both his father and stepfather, to the detriment of the United States. Add to that the essentially foreign ideology (marxism) of many of his associates, and you have the perferct example of what the natural born citizen requirement is aimed at preventing.
But all that said, natural born must mean today, for Constitutional purposes, what it meant in 1787. If it meant born in the US, born in the US with at least one citizen parent (and if it had, it would most likely needed to have been the father), then so be it. But the question should at least be asked, since there are obviously considerable questions about the matter which has never come up before, either before or during the Presidency of the person in question. Chester Arthur managed to hid the fact that his father was not a citizen when he was born, although he was by the time Arthur became an adult.
No no, I agree with the strict rule of “two US citizen parents born on US soil”
Also, I always have the idea of the founders intent — behind the natural born rule — to prevent election of a President with dual loyalties.
What I meant to say was one could start to define “natural born” by using a process of elimination (logical deduction) as to what a natural born citizen is not.
What is left should be a description of what a natural born citizen IS.
Two US citizen parents born on US soil would seem to cover all the bases.
Anyway, thanks for your response.
and it only took one greedy fame seeker to end it all before it began.
1 relative talking to a foreign pressman
1 rogue worker at the Hawaii Dept of Health
1 political enemy who put 2 and 2 together...like you did.
0 must have sighed in deep relief after he won. Now he could cover his tracks with the power of the Presidency. Unfortunately for 0 the corporate media is talking about "the Birthers," just as 0's numbers are tanking. That Darn Corporate Media!!! Clearly the WSJ, USA today, and CBS(w/illuminated all-seeing-eye) were forced to defend 0 because of the hard working dedication to our beloved US Constitution by living patriots blogging truth.
God Bless Our United States of America, Our Glorious United States Constitution, and The Free Republic. Amen!
Maybe we should start compiling a list so we can get an idea of the scope of the conspiracy. Now we know they got to Hawaii Director of Health Fukino, and the Registrar of Vital Statistics, possibly the previous occupants of those positions since people have been talking about 0 running for Pres since 2004. oooo and getting Rep Gov Lingle to get on board...what a stroke of luck. Lets add in the Drive-Byes who ignored the story and then brought it back just when 0 was at his weakest. heh heh heh...the blundering fools.
Well its all gonna come out now, we got them just where we want them and we are gonna get em all. In fact the more treacherous 0 conspirators like Republican Gov Lingle, and 0 apologists like Taranto, Bill O and Michael Medved the better. They will all be exposed.
Good Job you got 0 the run.
This isn’t about ‘moving the goalposts’, the fact is, ALL of these questions must be answered in order to eliminate the issue of 0bama’s ineligibility to hold the Office he is currently occupying.
Of all of his 43 predecessors, NONE of them have gone to the lengths that 0bama has to conceal the details of their lives, of their origins, of their scholastic records, of their travel history, and the fact is, he works for US (’We The People’) and none of us would ever consider hiring someone to work in our own business if they refused to disclose information regarding where they were born, the details and conditions of that birth, the details of their education, and if they stated to us that they were born in one place, but their relatives were on record as stating they were born somewhere else entirely, that alone would create enough doubt that ANY reputable employer would demand clarification and evidence to establish whatever the truth might be.
Based upon the vacuum of information regarding 0bama, he couldn’t even pass a security clearance if he were seeking a job in our own Defense Department, how pathetic is that?
0bama promised transparency, and it’s damn time that he lived up to that.
Any chance this was all a left wing plot?
Yes, I see it!!! His approval numbers are going through the roof!!! If the "birthers" keep at it, we'll have barry TOTUS for life!!
Other than "natural born" being a qualifier applied to the word "citizenship," I disagree with your conclusions. Born in the US is insufficient basis for being a natural born US Citizen.
I also don't think that being born in the US is a necessary condition for being a natural born US Citizen.
Yeah, that's the Dem's talking point, all right. But why is a supposed conservative repeating it? The issue, as has been said repeatedly, is easily resolved. WHY has Obama hired one of the most expensive law firms on the West Coast (Perkins-Coie) and spent upwards of a million dollars to avoid the simple thing that virtually every citizen has to do at some point in his or her life??
Sorry, but I can't see it as a laughting matter.
I hate to burst your balloon, but in law it is not any evidence at all of what the phrase in Article II of the Constitution means or whether something in a Hawaiian document meets the requirement set out in the Constitution. What the Supreme Court says about the phrase carries weight. She quite ambiguously refers to a phrase in the Constitution but so could any Hawaii official and it is meaningless in law. It does not even carry the modest weight that an opinion by a legal officer of the estate would, and that would be of minor significance since it is the U. S. Constitution that is at issue. The attorney general of Hawaii could make a pronouncement about C sections but it would not have any authority as a health pronouncement whereas it would carry weight as to any legal issue involved. Similarly the good doctor could say with authority that the One was born naturally rather than by C section but it has zero weight as to whether a constitutional imperative has been complied with. Why do you have such difficulty comprehending such an obvious point. To contend that the doctor’s statement carries legal and constitutional authority is a joke and should be treated as such.
How so? I just want him to release the vault copy of his birth certificate. If he was born in Hawaii, that would end the question of his eligibility for me.
Yes, Andy McCarthy did point out in his article that there could be questions raised about the definition in the Constitution of natural born versus native born. However, for me, I want to just see the vault copy to ensure that Obama has met the Constitutional requirements and be done with it.
The real question that you and others like you should be asking is why doesn't Obama just allow the State of Hawaii to unseal the records and release them to the public? Until he does, the speculation will go on and Obama's legal costs will continue to rise. One would think that the person who has made "transparency" one of the pillars of his administration and who likes to think of himself as a uniter not a divider would put an end to all of this. If he did, then he would marginalize the conspiracy nuts to a very small group similar to those who still believe we never landed on the moon.
A very slight majority (51%) said they KNEW about the issue. So in fact a lot of the people who said they wanted to see the BC were probably in the group that had not even heard of the issue. Not surprising, since I want to see the BC. In fact, my guess is the way the question was worded, it undercounted the number of people who wanted to see the BC, because it sounds like it was a multi-answer question and some might have chosen just one other answer, even though it looks like you could give multiple answers.
Unfortunately, that survey didn't ask the question about how people felt about the GOP based on the issue, so the poll does NOTHING to assuage the fears that it is hurting conservatives.
The issue doesn't have to hurt conservatives, but to be helpful the focus has to be changed quickly and sharply to the issue of openness (releasing all his records for the public to see) and away from the insistance that Obama isn't a citizen and must removed from the Presidency.
(NOTE: If it was shown he was not born in this country, he SHOULD be disqualified and removed. The problem is that there isn't evidence of that, and those who assert certain knowledge of his disqualification overstep the evidence.)
But saying he should release his records is a different point than insisting he isn't a citizen, and it is again a different issue altogether than his father not being a citizen.
Even if you find some people smart enough to jump hoops through the dozen or more different issues that get raised whenever this comes up, the american people in general have neither the time nor inclination to follow that type of argument.
"Release the Records" is an easy to state, simple to communicate message that resonates. If we stick to that, and downplay the insistance that we know Obama is ineligible, it would be helpful. In my opinion, that was Mark Steyn's position, and several other conservatives who downplay the BC issue are still pushing the document release issue.
LOL. The "current law" took effect long before Obama was born. The 14th amendment and subsequent SCOTUS cases have reinforced jus solis as grounds for citizenship regardless of the nationality of the parents. The case of illegal aliens being able to have their children who are born here become American citizens is a matter of law under US Code. It needs to be challenged in the courts.
As I said in the post you refer to, you need to settle the "citizen" issue separately. Current law is that if you are born here, you are a citizen. We can disagree with that law, and even insist that it is unconstitutional, but that doesn't change the law, nor do the courts seem fit to overturn the entire anchor-baby movement.
But that is a distraction from this issue, because when Obama was born the law was different. At the time he was born, if his mother was a citizen, and he was born in the US, he would be a citizen. If he was born outside the US, his mother would have to be 19 and have lived in this country 10 years and 5 years after age 14, which she didn't, so he wouldn't be a citizen.
HOWEVER, if you do conclude that Obama is a CITIZEN, then he WILL be a natural-born citizen, because "natural-born" just means the citizenship was from birth and the person was born in this country.
So it's not that being born in this country makes him a citizen, although it is a necessary condition, along with his mother being a citizen; it's that, if he is a citizen at birth, he is also natural-born because he would be born in this country.
Which means that the entire issue comes down to proving whether he was born in this country or not. Nothing else matters, because it is accepted fact that his father was not a citizen, and his mother WAS a citizen who was 18 at the time of Obama's birth.
I heard you the first time, and I still disagree.
Exactly! The big release was a jpeg image posted on a left wing web site. And that's supposed to be credible? That would be like posting an image of President Bush's Air National Guard credentials on FR.
What part are you arguing?
Do you disagree that if Obama was born in Hawaii to a U.S. citizen mother and a foreign father, he is a natural-born Citizen?
Or do you disagree that he is a citizen at all?
Or do you simply disagree that he was born in Hawaii?
It appeared to me that you were arguing against citizenship. Are you really arguing that a person that is a citizen by birth, and born in the country, is still not a “natural-born citizen”?
Countering claims of illegitimacy with 'my-accuser-is-a-slut' defense ....how impressive.
Further, "natural born" is a qualifier applied to citizenship, indicating not whether someone IS a citizen, but rather that they were born a citizen, and born within the borders of the country. If you are NOT a citizen, you can't be a natural-born citizen. If you were BORN a citizen, and you were born in this country, you are a natural born citizen.
No Charles, your statement that "if you were born a citizen" is still insufficiently clear and specific. The accurate and correct statement is that under the current regulatory interpretations (which are NOT mandated by the Constitution and could be easily changed if the will to do so were present), if you are born in this country you are a citizen, but under the Constitution (14th Amendment) AND in established case law, you are a natural born citizen "if and only if" you are born in this country to parents "who are subject to the jurisdiction" of the United States. Both conditions must be satisfied.
Yes. Assuming for the sake of argument that Obama was born in Hawaii, I find that there is a non-trivial legal argument that, while he is a citizen, he does not possess the parentage that the founders intended when they added the "natural born" qualifier in Article II of the US Constitution.
If the founders intended "citizen" as sufficient, which they did for Congressmen, they would have omitted the "natural born" term.
-- Are you really arguing that a person that is a citizen by birth, and born in the country, is still not a "natural-born citizen"? --
I am arguing that some (many) but not all people who are citizens by birth, and born in the country, are "natural born citizens." You are asserting that all such situated births result in natural born citizenship.
From a "plain English language" point of view, "born in the USA" in combination with "citizen if born in the USA" seem to naturally combine into "natural born citizen." But citizenship inquiries (mere citizenship inquiries, not inquiries into "natural born" which is clearly some sort of "exalted" status required only of the president) also involve the citizenship of the parents. See, e.g., a child born abroad, of US citizens.
I amend my previous post. Cboldt is correct. The key factor is the parents being subject to the jurisdiction of the United States. This was precisely the situation with John McCain's birth.
Good points FRiend, and I cannot help but wonder what kind of hue and cry we would be hearing from the lamestream media and their leftist mouthpieces if we were NOT talking about Barack Hussein 0bama, but about George W. Bush, if there had been ANY question regarding his own Constitutional bonafides regarding his eligibility to serve as President.
24/7 we would hear the roars and shrieking, all of the talking heads demanding “DUBYA RELEASE YOUR RECORDS!”
Have a good weekend FRiend.
Yep. I think what the founders were aiming to do was limit the presidency to those people who were born to and would be raised by citizens. And in the day, families were "ruled" by the father, making citizenship and allegiance of the father most important.
The founders wanted the president to be born in this country, not just to be a citizen. They wanted them to be a citizen by birth.
The argument that a person can be a citizen by birth, and be born in this country, and still not be a “natural born citizen” doesn’t seem to have any rational basis.
As we have already had a case (Arthur) in which the mother was a citizen, but the father was not, there is even precedence.
Of course, since “natural born” has no real relevance except as regards the presidency, there isn’t a lot of case law on that aspect.
McCain was born outside the country, and therefore needed some different method for being ‘natural born’.
I totally agree with #353.
That clause specifically applies to people born OUTSIDE the United states. It was also modified in 1795 to remove the “natural born” part.
There simply doesn’t seem to have been any real issue raised about whether a child born in this country to a mother who was a citizen would be a citizen, and being born here, a natural born citizen.
Chester Arthur, our 21st president, had a citizen mother and a non-citizen father.
I think the founders were relatively indifferent as to location of birth, although at the time people didn't travel abroad as easily as we do now, so the supposition was that a person born of citizens would probably be born in the country.
-- The argument that a person can be a citizen by birth, and be born in this country, and still not be a "natural born citizen" doesn't seem to have any rational basis. --
There is abundant rational basis for debate and discussion on the relevance of the citizenship of the parents and the status of natural born citizenship. What's the rational basis for NOT considering the citizenship and allegiance of the parents?
-- As we have already had a case (Arthur) in which the mother was a citizen, but the father was not, there is even precedence. --
I'm not familiar with the case, a cite would be helpful, but I'm going to go out on a limb and predict that the case was about citizenship - as was the Wong Kim Ark case.
-- Of course, since "natural born" has no real relevance except as regards the presidency, there isn't a lot of case law on that aspect. --
I agree. And I find Congress to have been derelict for not raising the question at the time the electoral ballots were counted. It's a non-trivial issue, and it should have been debated and resolved.
If your argument had merit, it would make no difference whether Obama had a Birth Certificate from Hawaii or not. The fact that his father was not a citizen would disqualify him for President.
Since the birth certificate movement is focused on the birth certificate, it seems they think the BC matters a lot more than you think it does.
That's correct. The fact that his father was not a citizen (and from all appearances, had very strong allegiance to Kenya) draws into question whether or not the child is a natural born citizen.
-- Since the birth certificate movement is focused on the birth certificate, it seems they think the BC matters a lot more than you think it does. --
That's correct too. Although I am open to finding that his vital records do not unequivocally show he was born in Honolulu, I think the proximity of the certificate number to that of the Nordyke twins (assuming the certification isn't false) puts his birth there.
IOW, his vital statistics may or may not be determinative of their own right. If he was not born in the US, his very citizenship is put into question, on account of citizenship law, 8 USC 1401(g), as it stood at the time of his birth. But even if he is a citizen by dint of being born on US soil, that fact alone does not establish him as a natural born citizen.
The most prominent issue raised against Obama was the claim that he was not actually born in Hawaii. In two other lawsuits, the plaintiffs argued that it was irrelevant whether he was born in Hawaii, but argued instead that he was nevertheless not a natural born citizen because his citizenship status at birth was also governed by the British Nationality Act of 1948. The relevant courts have either denied all applications or declined to render a judgment due to lack of jurisdiction. Some of the cases have been dismissed because of the plaintiff's lack of standing.] On July 28th, 2009, State officials in Hawaii once again issued a statement officially confirming Obama was born in the state of Hawaii.
c. The Constitution does not define "natural born". The Act to establish an Uniform Rule of Naturalization, enacted March 26, 1790, (1 Stat. 103,104) provided that, ...the children of citizens of the United States, that may be born ... 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.
d. This statute is no longer operative, however, and its formula is not included in modern nationality statutes. In any event, the fact that someone is a natural born citizen pursuant to a statute does not necessarily imply that he or she is such a citizen for Constitutional purposes.
Arthur was born in Vermont to a U.S. citizen mother and a father from Ireland, who was eventually naturalized as a U.S. citizen. Arthur was sworn in as president when President Garfield died after being shot. Since his Irish father William was naturalized 14 years after Chester Arthur's birth, his citizenship status at birth is unclear, because he was born before the 1868 ratification of the 14th Amendment, which provided that any person born on United States territory and being subject to the jurisdiction thereof was considered a born U.S. citizen, and because he may have also held British citizenship at birth by patrilineal jus sanguinis. Arthur's natural born citizenship status is therefore equally unclear.
Ahh, now I see what you meant by the Arthur case.
From what little I've been able to gather, Arthur attempted to hide the fact that his father was not a citizen. He seems to have gone to substantial lengths to hide this. Why?
And if the issue was hidden or obscured at the time, it stands to reason that the precedent can't stand for the proposition that parentage is irrelevant to finding "natural born citizen," or that "A child born to foreign parents, on US soil, is a natural born citizen." At best, the precedent is that "we didn't ask and settle the question."
Keep right on talking about how the Hawaiian GOVERNMENT declared him a natural born citizen....
I highly doubt they have the authority to DEFINE natural born citizen....
I wonder if they won’t be subject to some sort of problem because of their LEGAL conclusion.
I think the courts might do exactly that in coming up with their reasoning about the definition.
But I believe if Obama was born in Kenya SCOTUS will punt it back to Congress.
I am not sure this is going to go anywhere until someone who is facing a criminal sentence because of something Obama did decides to bring it up in his defense.
The other great candidate for this is a soldier facing a court martial.
Foreign born “insert word here” raped a US RIGHT TO LIFE Citizen whose child was born in this country.
Said biological father goes to jail.
Should that child be allowed to be President?
There is your argument.
In this day and age, there are plenty of dead beat dads who skip out on a mother.
Does his sperm mean the child is not a NBC?
Does marriage make a difference? There is plenty of citizenship law that hinges on whether a child’s father and mother were married. SCOTUS has upheld that an unwed father can be treated different than an unwed mother in the 21st century.
there are many questions...
It should have been settled back when our Founding Fathers actually read the bills they were going to pass.
I can’t imagine what a bill would look like that would have to cover all the bases.
You asked — Any chance this was all a left wing plot?
You’ll have to clarify that a bit. Do you mean the question about qualifications per the Constitution being an issue in the first place? Or do you mean the issuing of the statement from the State of Hawaii? Or do you mean the recent increase in news media reports labeling birthers as a fringe element? I’m not sure where to start answering... :-)
None of your thoughts are rational, and your inability to see the pure Hubris on the grossly politically misused Hawaii web joke site tells much about who and what you are.
You’re certainly not a Freeper!
Yes, that is one variation. I think the hypothetical is incomplete, and it would be interesting to research how the founders viewed adoption; children born to a woman, fathered by someone other than the husband; and children raised in a house where the father died and the mother remarried.
The general question, IMO, is answered by finding what the founders intended by inserting the qualifier "natural born" only for eligibility to be president. The 14th amendment addresses what it takes to be considered a citizen, but it doesn't mention "natural born" at all.
1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside.
It does not say:
1. All persons born in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are natural-born citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside; and all persons naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside.
I think its inescapable that the phrase "natural born" is intended to probe the allegiance passed to the child in upbringing, and is a requirement peculiar to the offices of president and vice-president.
A deliberate deception?
The constitution doesn't define any of the termes used therein. All of the terms used in the constitution were defined in common usage at the time that it was written. 'Natural born' was also well defined in the letters of the authors of the constitution. It means born in the country of parents that are both citizens thereof.
Using your absurd requirement that the constitution contain a glossary to define all terms would leave it in shambles, which appears to be your goal here.
You are quoting the wrong residency requirement. YOu have to solve the first problem that the marriage to Ann was Void Ab Initio.
If you probe the allegiance..then what do you do about :
Bob who was born here of two US citzens and has an allegiance to Saudia Arabia and will bow before the King.
The founding fathers might have thought no such person would be elected.
Isn’t a natural born citizen defined at birth and not what he thinks at the age of 16 and then 20 and then 25, etc.
What’s the definition of allegiance. Allegiance in the mind or merely the country of the father. What if the country of the father cannot be conferred on the child because he was a bastard (as in the case of Obama)
Displaying your abysmal ignorance again (still)?
Karma is a Hindu term that has considerable corespondence to the Biblical doctrine of Retribution. "What goes around comes around." This is known by most as an inviolate fact of life, thus the "golden rule."
uh...Ann Coulter has called you guys cranks. Has she gone over to the dark side too?