Skip to comments.Bret explains "natural born citizen" requirements for president and vice president
Posted on 05/01/2012 9:32:22 AM PDT by GregNH
Here's the deal...
Many legal analysts and scholars agree with this take-- and until the Supreme Court weighs in.. this is how the law is interpreted:
The Constitution requires that the president be a "natural born citizen," but does not define the term. That job is left to federal law, in 8 U.S. Code, Section 1401. All the law requires is that the mother be an American citizen who has lived in the U.S. for five years or more, at least two of those years after the age of 14. If the mother fits those criteria, the child is a U.S. citizen at birth, regardless of the father's nationality.
The brouhaha over President Obama's birth certificate -- has revealed a widespread ignorance of some of the basics of American citizenship. The Constitution, of course, requires that a president be a "natural born citizen," but the Founding Fathers did not define the term, and it appears few people know what it means.
(Excerpt) Read more at foxnews.com ...
“The idea that being raised by US citizens creates a different type of citizen than being raised by non-US citizens is incomprehensible to them.”
You are aware, I trust, that the children of two citizen parents can be raised by non-citizens, too. Many people are raised by people other than their parents. They could be raised overseas, even, and still qualify to be president, assuming they come back for the residency standard.
So, yes, that being raised by non-US citizens would disqualify someone for the presidency is incomprehensible to me.
“Ummm...key words there...at birth.
If that child in the womb is aborted were they ever even a citizen or an alien?”
Ah, I see I was right, and that somehow you would bring up the limbo between birth and conception. Well, what would the fetus be? Who cares? Once they are born, the law applies to them and they are citizens. Therefore the law applies to citizens, and you were wrong to say it doesn’t.
Yes. In #4, you wrote, "8 U.S. Code is titled 'Aliens and Nationality'....You have to be an Alien first for anything therein to apply."
The section under discussion applies to children who are born a citizen. Therefore, it seemed that you must think that somehow a child born a citizen--someone to whom § 1401 applies--is "an Alien first."
I've been trying to figure out just when that is. Seems like a simple enough question.
“Philman, you are disgracefully rude. What brings you to this forum when you can’t display even a minimal level of respect for another freeper?”
To be fair, I sorta started it, at least between the Freepers. But only because they called the author of the article stupid, and turnabout is fairplay. Since then they’ve rather runaway with the childishness.
Any foreign born child prior to meeting the statutory requirements for retroactive “citizen at birth” status is an alien until processed under the statute.
John McCain was an alien at birth in the Panama Canal Zone. IIRC, within about two years of his birth, Congress passed a law deeming that Panama Canal Zone births to two US citizen parents were retroactively citizens at birth.
The US Senate tried to create the appearance of amending the Constitution with ludicrous nonbinding resolution 501 which declared that McCain was a retroactive Natural Born Citizen as well. I don't believe that McCain had to naturalize to be a US citizen.
IIRC until recently children of US military on foreign bases excluding the Canal Zone had to have naturalization papers filed for them to convert from alien to retroactive statutory US citizen at birth and many were dual citizens until they affirmatively dropped the second citizenship on majority for that country.
Barry's legal team has gone off the deep end in their latest filing in defense of his ballot eligibility in several states including NJ by citing to 9th Circuit case, US v Marguet-Pillado, with Barry's legal team claiming that even if Barry was born in a foreign country with only a biological (unwed) relationship to a US citizen he would still be a natural born citizen.
See my FR thread for the latest legal action:
“Obama cites US v Marguet-Pillado. Dicta implies Obama eligible even if born in Kenya (vanity)”
BTW, the State Department used to state that SCOTUS had not yet ruled on whether a statutory “natural born citizen” (statutory citizen at birth) was POTUS eligible.
“2. A derogatory term developed and used by Leftists and Neo-Cons in a lame attempt to marginalize those who harbor the silly notions that Truth matters, and that Republics perish who refuse to uphold the Rule of Law”
Funny thing you mention “Truth.” The appelation “birther” is a carryover from “truther,” which itself derives, I believe, from “bircher.” All three deserve derogation, as they are kooky crank movements. So I don’t mind using the same nomenclature as leftists and neo-cons to describe them.
I would be astonished to think one of our Founding Fathers would agree that post-Constitutional adoption, a son born to a British Subject father would be considered "natural born" and eligible to become the President. Along that line, did you know that for a time a female American citizen upon marrying a foreign national lost her citizenship as a result? Mull that one over for a while. And while this is no longer the case it puts an interesting twist when considering Original Intent.
The issue of citizenship, let alone Presidential qualifications, has never been as simple as "there are only two types" after the Republic was formed.
Before the Constitution you were a citizen of the Confederacy or the state in which you lived. Before the Articles of Confederation, you were a citizen of your state and informally I guess of the quasi-nation under the Continental Congress. Before the Continental Congress, you were a British subject.
Or did you not realize what you were saying?
Firstly, you can be born where no government rules...
Where has that ever existed? Even something so small as a tribe has a leader and, henceforth, government.
You cannot have been a U.S. citizen before ratification of the positive law that is U.S. Constitution.
Partly right. Articles of Confederation, but we've been over that. And, precedent that, as a member of a British colony people had British citizenship as you noted earlier.
And the positive law Constitution recognized natural law as you well know,
that being your recognition of the natural law to keep and bear arms.
But what does that matter, for our purposes?
To illustrate that natural law existed before any law was written. I thought you understood that.
If there was a coup tomorrow and Obama wrote a new compact and held guns to the heads of governors to sign it, would you call the resulting entity the same thing as the constitutional U.S.?
I'll take that as rhetorical. Nobody was forced to sign the Constitution just like nobody was forced to sign the Articles of Confederation. Coercion isn't principled and nothing based upon coercion is legal.
“You’re the one who believes that USC 8 applies to citizens when it doesn’t”
It applies to the children of aliens who qualify to be citizens, therefore it applies to citizens. You know it does, and are carrying on I don’t know why. I suppose by now it’s a matter of pride, and the argument must be won by endless delaying tactics.
“No, my arguments are not ‘null’. You’re the one saying the children are citizens before they’re born when the law says ‘at birth’, not before birth.”
Huh? When did I say they were children before they’re born? I don’t believe in my life I’ve ever considered the citizenship status of the unborn before today, and upon consideration I say “Who cares?” Their status prior to birth is not the issue. Obviously the law applies to them at birth, which is when they become citizens. Therefore, the law applies to citizens, specifically citizens who born to aliens who become citizens at birth by meeting certain qualifications.
“Therefore, the children can’t be naturalized citizens, via that particular section of USC 8, until they are born so no citizens are covered by the law.”
You’re seriously beyond me now. I have no idea what you’re getting at, unless it’s, like, you become a citizen at birth, but the law can’t apply to you until a couple seconds after your born. But since by that time you’re a citizen and everyone knows it, the law somehow doesn’t apply to you because it’s about aliens and their chidren.
What?!?! We’re in cloud cuckoo land. The law applies to you at birth when, bam!, you’re a citizen. The law and your citizenship apply to you at the same time, as it were. There’s no lacuna between your birth and when the law can apply to you that excludes you from consideration under the law.
“Aliens, and the children of aliens, are the subject, not citizens or the children of citizens.”
But, as I’ve said about 47 times now, the children of aliens can be citizens. Therefore, the law applies to citizens.
“Are aliens citizens of this nation? No!”
No. Once again, though, their children can be.
“The children are naturalized at birth”
There’s no such thing, but for the limited purposes of this argument, okay. let’s say they are. They’re naturalized by this law, and are citizens. Therefore, this law applies to citizens.
“not before birth, via positive laws and under the proper uniform rules of naturalization Congress was empowered to create.”
Actually, if they’re born after the passage of the law, yes, before birth. Not that they are citizens before birth; you have to be born to be a citizen, as everyone agrees. But the groundwork for you being a citizen automatically at birth has been established before your birth.
Whatever, what relevance does this have to our disagreement? Before birth or after birth, it’s about people getting to be a born citizens according to a few qualifications. Therefore, it applies to citizens: the citizens who are born according to its qualifications.
Can you not recognize when someone is having sport with a rhetorical question?
Once they are born, the law applies to them and they are citizens. Therefore the law applies to citizens, and you were wrong to say it doesnt.
No, I'm not wrong.
The law applies to the parents, aka aliens. It tells them, and everyone else, that once the child of that alien is born they are a citizen of the U.S. You can't put the cart before the horse.
Why can't you grasp that?
Your post is in reply to post #1 - and the author is discussing Article II of the Constitution.
The Constitution currently envisions only TWO ways of becoming a U.S. citizen - either one is naturalized or one is natural born.
Why do you think the term “naturalized” is used? What are they naturalizing? One is either natural, meaning the natural act of being born itself is sufficient to convey citizenship; or one is naturalized via a legal process.
Your claim was that this view of the law rendered verbiage of the Constitution superfluous - I pointed out to you that such a position is far from the truth. A view that citizens at birth are natural born citizens doesn't render Article II qualifications meaningless - it clearly disqualifies ONE type of citizen.
What type of citizen is that?
“Yes, the children are naturalized citizens when they’re born, not before they’re born. The children aren’t citizens until they’re born. The parents are still aliens. The law doesn’t govern citizens.”
Yet again, I don’t get it. Once they are born, they are citizens under this law. Therefore, the law applies to citizens. No more of this rigmarole about born and unborn.
“I’ll give you a partial victory here...The only instance where I would say that the law might govern a citizen is when you have the situation we have here with an alien and a citizen parent.”
Well, yes, that’s what the law the article brought up is about. We aren’t arguing about some other law, so I don’t see how you can call it “partial.” That’s the whole of the argument.
“The child is still the child of an alien and falls under USC 8 as both parents aren’t citizens.”
Yes, that’s why the article referenced USC 8. We knew that all along.
“Until the child is born the child is not a citizen.”
True. No one has any citizenship status until they are born.
“Either way, only one parent is a citizen and the child is naturalized at birth under positive law and can’t be a natural born citizen as resort to USC 8 must be taken for citizenship.”
Like I said above, everyone must reference positive law to be a citizen of something, natural born or otherwise. Without the positive law that is the U.S. Constitution there is no such as a U.S. citizen under the Constitution. To say nothing of U.S. citizens under the Articles, who also must reference the positive law that is the Articles of Confederation. But that’s another argument.
Where in reply 4 did I say the child was an alien?
Here it is in its entirety...
Where did I call the child an alien?
The section under discussion applies to children who are born a citizen.
The section under discussion applies to children who are born to aliens.
What great lengths you went to in misconstruing that.
Therefore, it seemed that you must think that somehow a child born a citizen--someone to whom § 1401 applies--is "an Alien first."
Ah, "it seemed" a certain way. Thanks for clarifying that.
“The founding document...The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America”
I realize people like to pretend there was one continuous national government from the Continental Congress to the present day. But that’s really more of historical or abstract possibly even metaphysical purposes. For practical purposes, until the states ratify the Constitution, there is no federal government as created by the Constitution to recognize you as its citizen. The thing you are a citizen of today, in addition to your state, is the federal government as established by the Constitution.
The Declaration created a free union of states, or declared itself to. But unless it won the war with Britain and eventually adopted the Constitution, the thing you are a citizen of would not exist. You could not be a natural born citizen of the constitutional U.S., nor a president of the U.S. There would be no such thing, because there would be no U.S. under the Constitution.
“the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them”
The Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God do not entitle you to be born a citizen of the U.S. That right cannot exist until such time as there is a U.S. to be a citizen of, and that time comes only when there is positive law to make it so.
You know it does, and are carrying on I dont know why.
I know no such thing. In fact, this is what we both know...
The section under discussion applies to children who are born to aliens.
Youre the one saying the children are citizens before theyre born when the law says at birth, not before birth.
When did I say they were children before theyre born?
You're saying they're citizens before they're born. How obtuse can you get?
The law applies to you at birth when, bam!, youre a citizen.
Again, as you well know...The section under discussion applies to children who are born to aliens.
But, as Ive said about 47 times now, the children of aliens can be citizens.
Have I said they couldn't be?
Therefore, this law applies to citizens.
Once again...The section of the law under discussion applies to children who are born to aliens. It doesn't apply to citizens.
You can argue it all you want, but a cloud is a cloud and rain is only rain after it starts to fall.
“Notice, Larry - Moe and Curly, that Tublecane completely left out the loyalty aspect.”
I didn’t leave it out, really, since it is the issue looming over the argument. My larger point is that you can’t assume disloyalty on the basis of being born to British subjects. Nor, furthermore, does being born yourself a British subject. Certianly our Framers weren’t afraid of extending eligibility to such persons, as made obvious by the Grandfather Clause.
Bringing up merely muddies the issue. He wasn’t going to run for president, nor would he ever be elected, so it’s moot point.
“Notice, Larry - Moe and Curly, that Tublecane completely left out the loyalty aspect.”
I didn’t leave it out, really, since it is the issue looming over the argument. My larger point is that you can’t assume disloyalty on the basis of being born to British subjects. Nor, furthermore, does being born yourself a British subject allow the presumption of disloyalty. Certianly our Framers weren’t afraid of extending eligibility to such persons, as made obvious by the Grandfather Clause.
Bringing up Benedict Arnold merely muddies the issue. He wasn’t going to run for president, nor would he ever be elected, so it’s moot point.
Once they are born, they are citizens under this law.
I agree 100%. Once they are born, not before.
Therefore, the law applies to citizens.
No, it doesn't! It tells the parent (or parents), who are aliens, as well as all of the other people of America, that the child is now a citizen through naturalization and they are afforded all of the protections that every other citizen has.
The sole exception for this naturalized citizen is that being POTUS is denied them due to their alien parentage and yet they have the knowledge that their children will have that privilege under qualifying conditions.
I didnt leave it out, really, since it is the issue looming over the argument.
Really?! Oh, that's right...you used weasel words...
Loyal men were allowed, not men with questionable loyalty.