This is long, but covers the topic of Natural-Born Citizen completely:
NATURAL BORN CITIZENDEFINED
T.J. McCann, III
This authoring involves no consideration whatsoever of the contentious birth certificate, as the contents of that document are entirely irrelevant to the final conclusion. This analysis examines the importance of historic context in considering the terms of qualification for the Office of President of the United States, resolving that Barack Obama is incapable of being a natural born citizen and is thereby forever ineligible to hold that Office, based on established fact.
The positive mandate in Article 2, Section 1, Clause 5, that No person except a natural born Citizen,
shall be eligible to the Office of President is neither irrelevant nor antiquated and originates from the core philosophy of the Declaration of Independence, and U.S. Constitution, and is of the very same origin as our unalienable rights as American citizens.
Natural born citizen is a known, static definition, derived from Natural Law,a term of art outside of any Positive Law, hence the reason it needs no definition within the Constitution. This Natural Law involves a self-evident status so fundamental to our unalienable rights and freedoms, that it is expressed in the very first sentence of the Declaration of Independence: When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them,
A natural born citizen is a self-evident status upon birth because that offspring could not possibly be a citizen of, and owe allegiance to, any other country or peoples. Natural Born incorporates all aspects of citizenship heritance at birth, including that conveyed by the soil (jus soli) and that conveyed by both parents ‟blood allegiance (jus sanguinis).
Natural Born Citizen, Not Citizen
The requirement for President in Article II is not "citizen" nor citizen at birth, but rather natural born citizen". In Alexander Hamilton's first draft of Article II the requirement was indeed only "citizen" or more accurately citizen at birth ("born citizen"). However they did not go with Hamilton's early draft of Article II.
From the Yale Law Journal [Vol. 97: 881] referencing John Jays letter to George Washington leading to the inclusion of natural born citizen :On June 18, a little over a month before Jay's letter, Alexander Hamilton submitted a "sketch of a plan of government which 'was meant only to give a more correct view of his ideas, and to suggest the amendments which he should probably propose ... in... future discussion.' "40 Article IX, section 1 of the sketch provided: "No person shall be eligible to the office of President of the United States unless he be now a Citizen of one of the States, or hereafter be born a Citizen of the United States.": "Hamilton's draft, which appears to be an early version of the natural-born citizen clause, contains two distinct ideas: first, that those currently citizens will not be excluded from presidential eligibility, and second, that the President must be born a citizen. What actually transpired over this change in wording , replacing born a citizen with natural born citizen, was that the President was no longer to be elected by Congress, but rather by the people, and therefore the office required more stringent safeties regarding the allegiance of the office holder.By selection among the duly qualified and elected Congress, a certain degree of security was established for the office of President. However in transferring the responsibility to the citizens, a more stringent requirement was needed to ensure that any occupant of the Office would have allegiance to Constitutional principle sand American society. Especially given this draft change, it is clearly wrong to equate "natural born citizen" with anyone who is a citizen at birth. Similarly, it is improper to ignore the word "natural" in the phrase "natural born citizen" simply because one has no innate understanding of the meaning of "natural". Again, "natural" in "natural born citizen", in the language of our founding documents and principles, is a self-evident status upon birth, owing no allegiance to any other country, and thereby a full participant in this society. Given that the requirements for the Office of President have long been inscribed on parchment, since the founding of this country, it would be unreasonable to assume that the definition of "natural born citizen" was unknown or vague. This same Yale Law Journal article [Vol. 97: 881] recognizes that the only reasonable interpretation of natural born citizen would be that held by the founders at the time of ratifying the Constitution, and that this meaning was clear.: "Constitutional scholars have traditionally approached the uncertainty surrounding the meaning of the natural-born citizen clause by inquiring into the specific meaningof the term "natural born" at the time of the Constitutional Convention. They conclude that a class of citizens should be considered natural born today only if they ould have been considered natural-born citizens under the law in effect at the time of the framing of the Constitution"(see footnote 8)
8. These writers assume that the phrase "natural born citizen" was a term of art during the preconstitutional period since the phrase is not defined in either the Constitution or the records of the Constitutional Convention. See Gordon, supra note2, at 2 ("The only explanation for the use of this term is the apparent belief of the Framers that its connotation was clear."); These two conclusions together indicate that 'scholars' believe that the one interpretation of "natural born citizen" by the founders from 200+ years ago remains intact, discernable, and the only valid interpretation today.
Natural Born Citizen vs. British Common Law Natural Born Subject:
Many reference British Common Law in search for a definitive answer as to the meaning of natural born, and resolve, by that Common Law, the definition of natural born to result from birth on the native soil of a country. Justice Gray does a thorough job of delving into British history in the landmark case of U.S. vs. Wong Kim Ark, 169 U.S. 649 (1898), even going back to Lord Coke and Calvins case (1608), some 180 years before this nations founding ,and preceding the Ark decision by 290 years.
However, in truth, Lord Cokes decision in Calvins case is as fundamentally alien to these United States founding principles as the rest of British Common Law citizenship. Calvins case was landmark in its day, and the early modern common-law mind, for being the first to articulate a theoretical basis for territorial birthright citizenship. Calvins Case was not only influential in establishing the citizenship right of American colonials, but also was much later argued as the basis common-law rule for U.S. birthright citizenship. Calvin's Case is the earliest, most influential theoretical articulation by an English court of what came to be the common-law rule that a person's status was vested at birth, and based upon place of birth. . However this recognition of British common law also ignores the inherent conflicts with the fundamental tenets of our Constitution, conflicts so profound philosophically that they were causal in the Revolutionary War and War of 1812. In Lord Cokes decision, the law of the Creator is conflated with the law of England and being lain down via edict to the common man from that divine Crown through the judiciary. Even as described by Justice Gray in Wong Kim Ark, the Coke decision involves feudal concepts of ligealty, obedience, faith, or power of the King.
This feudal oblige and extension of the dominion of the Crown to ANY territory held by the King, even making natural born subjects of those born in America, contributed to British settlers leaving Britain in the first place and ultimately became a primary factor in the "Declaration of Independence", with colonists declaring themselves free of such an involuntary burden of the Crown while having no protection and no representation. In 1765 the British Jurist William Blackstone recognized the mandate of the Crown having changed the inherent meaning of "natural-born Subject", progressively over time, to be anyone born in British territory, regardless of the parents' allegiance or citizenship. Initially a child was born a natural-born subject if born on British soil, even if the child's parents were aliens. However, Blackstone later wrote in his 1765 Commentaries, the following1:To encourage also foreign commerce, it was enacted by statute 25 Edw. III. st. 2. That all children born abroad, provided both their parents were at the time of the birth in allegiance to the king, and the mother had passed the seas by her husband's consent ,might inherit as if born in England: and accordingly it hath been so adjudged in behalf of merchants. But by several more modern statutes these restrictions are still farther taken off: so that all children, born out of the king's ligeance, whose fathers were natural-born subjects, are now natural-born subjects themselves, to all intents and purposes, without any exception; unless their said fathers were attainted, or banished beyond sea, for high treason; or were then in the service of a prince at enmity with Great Britain. This passage indicates that even those not born on British territory are to be thenceforth considered "natural born" because of blood lineage no less, and for the purpose of trade (aswell as the Treasury), showing that this is not a static understanding of "natural born", but one evolved over time and by executive mandate of the Crown hardly any sort of common law.5
What Gray has represented as British common law natural born subject, was not static and was the evolution of Crown dictate over time, expressed in statutory law. This statutory definition is far removed from any sort of natural, self-evident‟ term employed by the United States in its Constitution. Only 30 years prior to Blackstones writings, in 1736, British scholar Matthew Bacon recognized the fundamental meaning of "natural-born Subject" to be: "All those are natural-born Subjects whose Parents, at the Time of their Birth, were under the actual Obedience of our King, and whose Place of Birth was within his dominions." (Matthew Bacon, A New Abridgement of the Law, 1736, Vol 1, pg 77)2
Not only does this indicate that the place of birth must be within the "dominion" (British territory) itself, but it also indicates that the parents must be under the actual obedience of the King. The emphasis on actual Obedience seems to strongly differentiate that from a presumed obedience resulting from mere happenstance of birth within the dominion. Given this, those who had foreign allegiance did not give birth on British soil to British natural born subjects. This is definition by Bacon is the same as our own Natural Law Definition today, involving (1) the allegiance (citizenship) of both parents and (2) birth within the U.S. territory (dominion).
In Grays majority opinion for Wong Kim Ark, Gray makes two references to natural born citizen which directly conflict with his British common law approach. The first is a reference to Justice Waites opinion from Minor vs. Happersett, in which Waite refers to a Vattels definition of natural born citizen as birth to two citizen parents on countrys soil. In the second, Justice Gray quotes from a pamphlet entitled Alienigenae of the United States, by Horace Binney, which used the term "natural born" in connection with a child of a citizen, but not in connection with a child of an alien parent. :The right of citizenship never descends in the legal sense, either by the common law or under the common naturalization acts. It is incident to birth in the country, or it is given personally by statute. The child of an alien, if born in the country, is as much a citizen as the natural born child of a citizen, and by operation of the same principle. (Binneys statement, as cited by Gray U.S. v. Wong Kim Ark (1898)) While Binney references both children as citizens, only the child born of a citizen is referenced as "natural born".
Justice Grays articulation of British Common Law in Wong Kim Ark regarding U.S. citizenship should be considered nothing short of an abomination, because it is truly runs contrary to the very origins and hard-won principles of this country. While Grays argument in Wong Kim Ark has had deleterious effect on citizenship, the case did not affect natural born citizen because Gray never pronounced that a natural born citizen was equivalent to a natural born Subject, despite obviously desiring to do so, and Gray never at all undermined 6 the definition provided by Justice Waite from Minor vs. Happersett. While Wong Kim Ark was pronounced a citizen of the United States, Ark was never declared to be a natural born citizen of the United States. George Mason, called the "Father of the Bill of Rights" and considered one of the "Founding Fathers" of the United States, is widely quoted as saying: The common law of England is not the common law of these states. (Debate in Virginia Ratifying Convention, 19 June 1788) More recently Justice Antonin Scalia confirmed the irrelevancy of British Common Law: The common law is gone. The federal courts never applied the common law and even in the state courts it's codified now. (Audio/Video: Justice Scalia speech, Nov 22, 2008)
Citizen vs. Subject:
Those who argue that meaning of natural born citizen can be resolved by looking to British common law natural born Subject ignore the vast difference between Citizen and Subject. AMichigan Law Review article considers the profound difference between Citizen and Subject: So far we have assumed that the conventional meaning of natural born citizen for those learned in the law in the eighteenth century was equivalent to the meaning of natural born subject in nineteenth century English law. But is this assumption correct? Does the substitution of the term citizen for subject alter the meaning of the phrase? And if those learned in the law did recognize a difference, what implications does that have for the meaning of the natural born citizen clause? The distinction between citizens and subjects is reflected in Chief Justice John Jays opinion in Chisholm v. Georgia, the first great constitutional case decided after the ratification of the Constitution of 1789: [A]t the Revolution, the sovereignty devolved on the people; and they are truly the sovereigns of the country, but they are sovereigns without subjects. . . .
Justice James Wilson confirmed Jays articulation of the opposition between subjects and citizens. The term citizen reflects the notion that individual citizens are the soil, and via blood heritance from the parents. While both British common law natural born subject and American natural born citizen might be said to involve birthright citizenship, the former involves an unequal obligation to the Crown and the latter involves natural, self-evident recognition of at-birth conditions of the citizen, with that citizen being sovereign, and a full member of American society having no allegiance to any other society.
Supreme Court Opinion:
While there are deviations from the Natural Law definition of natural born, these deviations have generally been asserted on the state rather than federal level and part of court obiter dicta , offered without any supporting legal argument. Both British common law and American statutory history involve such assertions, yet these do not change the fundamental meaning of natural born, as it is exerting statutory definition on a term outside of Positive Law, when it is resolved by natural, self-evident means.
Not surprisingly the first 100+ years of this countrys history are spanned by Supreme Court opinions clearly indicating the definition of natural born citizen, and repeatedly indicating the same reference consulted by our founders as they authored the Constitution in Carpenter's Hall, that reference being Emmerich de Vattel's "Law of Nations".
1814 The Venus, 12 U.S. (8 Cranch) 253, 289 (1814) (Marshall, C.J., concurring) (cites Vattels definition of natural born citizens);
1830 Shanks vs. Dupont, 28 U.S. 242, 245 (1830) (same definition without citing Vattel);
1875 Minor vs. Happersett, 88 U.S. 162, 167-68 (1875) (same definition without citing Vattel);
1879 Ex parte Reynolds, 1879, 5 Dill., 394, 402 (same definition and cites Vattel);
1890 United States vs. Ward, 42 F.320 (C.C.S.D. Cal. 1890) (same definition and cites Vattel);
1898 U.S. vs. Wong Kim Ark, 169 U.S. 649 (1898) (same definition and C.J, Fullers dissent confirming Vattels definition of a natural born Citizen );
1899 Keith vs. U.S., 8 Okla. 446; 58 P. 507 (Okla. 1899) (common law rule that the offspring of free persons followed the condition of the father was applied to determine the citizenship status of a child);
posted on 08/19/2013 9:56:33 PM PDT
(Congress - another name for the American politburo!!)
TJ is entitled to his opinion but US law only recognizes 2 categories of citizens, natural born and naturalized. This idea of other types of citizens is all conjecture.
posted on 08/20/2013 1:46:36 AM PDT
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