Natural Born Citizen – A Place to Ask Questions and Get the Right Answers

January 30, 2009

DISCUSSION1: Kerchner et al v. Obama et al – Discussion Thread #1

The thread in the original announcement post was getting too lengthy. Therefore, I have started a new discussion thread for Kerchner v Obama with this posting. Please use this thread to ask questions or post comments about Kerchner v Obama. For your convenience, I have provided a link below to the Amended Complaint posted at There you can read and download it to aid in discussing the case.

Case Doc Link:

Now for some new rules. Please keep in mind this is a moderated blog. This is akin to a court setting and is not a wide open say anything you want, anytime you want, free speech zone like a soap box in a public square. If you want that type of forum you will have to go elsewhere. Keep your comments and questions in the case threads serious and focused on the subject and merits of this case. Unsubstantiated statements which I determine are false and misleading, or even potentially misleading to others (the jury of public opinion reading this blog) as to the true facts of this case, repetitive, argumentative, personal attacks, and/or off topic comments will likely not be posted. I also will not discuss in public specifics of the case as to my planned tactics or strategies for pursuing this case. That will be only be revealed at the appropriate time in subsequent court filings and in the hearings or trial. I am the Judge in this blog and will rule on the merits, materiality, worthiness, etc., of all comments. My rulings on the acceptance or rejection of a comment are final. Please note that your comments will not appear immediately as I have to review them first. As I am busy working on this case, it may be several hours to 1/2 a day at times before your comment is reviewed and accepted and/or answered. Thank you for your kind consideration of the purpose of the blog posts about Kerchner v Obama and for your comments.

Mario Apuzzo, Esq.



  1. Hi John,Good analysis and work on the term “natural born citizen” as is used on our Constitution.John posted in the prior discussions:————————————-In my previous comment, I stated that I would be considering the following line of thought: the phrase “natural born citizen” is synonymous with the word “native”, which in turn is an antonym for the phrase “not foreign”.I have considered this alternative approach and rejected it for the following reasons:1. There is a counterexample; there are stateless persons (i.e. those who belong to no country) who are “not native” and “not foreign”.2. The synonym relationship is not an identity; the word “native” and “natural born citizen” are not equivalent.3. In going from a 3-word phrase such as “natural born citizen” to a single word “native”, there will be a loss of information (and meaning).4. Problems will result if the word “natural” is removed from the discussion. I believe it is this word “natural” that contains the most significant factors that distinguish a “natural born citizen” from other types of citizens.Consequently, to establish the meaning of the phrase “natural born citizen”, I believe it is better to work directly from the words of the given phrase “natural born citizen” rather than from the word “native”. This is the approach that I have taken thus far in my essay.John Greschak————————————-For those who have not read John Greshak’s research and analysis work on the term “natural born citizen” as it applies to Article II of our Constitution see:, good work.M Publius Goat

    Comment by mtngoat61 — January 30, 2009 @ 11:10 pm

  2. Natural Subjects of Massachusetts, circa 1782When pondering the meaning of the phrase “natural born Citizen”, here is something to consider.On June 27, 1782, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts naturalized Micheal Cunningham and John Prescott with the following language:”they…shall…be deemed, adjudged and taken to be natural Subjects of this Commonwealth, to all Intents, Constructions and Purposes, as if they, the said Micheal Cunningham and John Prescott had been respectively born within this Commonwealth, and had continued and dwelt therein from the Time of their respective Births, and been here abiding on the Fourth Day of July, in the Year of our Lord Seventeen Hundred and Seventy-six, and had each of them at that Time and ever since, taken a Part with and been aiding the Inhabitants of this Commonwealth in Defence of their Liberties.”Contrast this with the following from March 23, 1784, through which the Commonwealth of Massachusetts naturalized Thomas Hopkins:”Thomas Hopkins…shall be deemed, adjudged, and taken to be a free citizen of this Commonwealth, to all intents, constructions and purposes as if he the said Thomas had been an inhabitant of the territory, now the Commonwealth aforesaid, at the time of making the present form of civil government”These statements must be viewed in the context of the Constitution of Massachusetts (from 1780), which states the following:”A Declaration of the Rights of the Inhabitants of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.” … “And to remove all doubts concerning the meaning of the word ‘inhabitant,’ in this constitution, every person shall be considered as an inhabitant, for the purpose of electing and being elected into any office or place within this State, in that town, district, or plantation where he dwelleth or hath his home.”I believe the following to be true:In these passages we have two types of citizens:CITIZENS of Massachusettswere inhabitants of the territory, now the Commonwealth, at the time at which the Massachusetts Constitution was adopted.NATURAL CITIZENS of Massachusetts(1) were born within the territory, now the Commonwealth,(2) had continued to reside therein from the time of their birth, and(3) had been there abiding on July 4, 1776, and had at that time and ever since, taken a part with and been aiding the citizens of the Commonwealth in defense of their liberties.Some would argue that there are only two types of citizens: those who had to be naturalized and those who did not have to be naturalized. They would say the latter are the “natural born Citizens”. In effect, they take the word “natural” as superfluous.To me, this example is interesting and instructive because it shows that the word “natural”, when used in the context of citizenship, HAS meaning. Further, this example shows that there could be some citizens who were neither naturalized nor natural citizens. Anyone who was an inhabitant of the territory that became Massachusetts, at the time at which the Constitution of Massachusetts was adopted, became a citizen. It was not necessary for such individuals to have been born there and resided there all their life. And, such individuals did not need to be naturalized to become citizens. However, to be considered a NATURAL citizen, one would have to have been born in the territory, resided there all their life (and shown allegiance to the Commonwealth).Beyond that, this example begs the question: Is there a residency requirement for one to be considered a natural born Citizen? In the coming days, I plan to examine this possibility. My conjecture is as follows: for a given individual to be a natural born Citizen of the United States, they must have been a resident of the United States throughout their life.One might argue that this is inconsistent with the fact that the residency requirement for the Office of the President is only 14 years. I would argue that this requirement is only EFFECTIVE (and therefore only intended) for those who were “grandfathered” into eligibility by the following clause: “or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution”. (Further, I suspect that the requirements “35 years of age” and “14 years a resident” are related. 35 minus 14 is 21, which was the “age of diferetion” that is mentioned in “The Law of Nations” [1797 Edition] and in the following passage from Blackstone’s “Commentaries on the Laws of England” [1765 Edition]: “The legal power of a father…over…his children ceafes at the age of twenty one: for they are then enfranchifed by arriving at years of diferetion, or that point which the law has eftablifhed…when the empire of the father, or other guardian, gives place to the empire of reafon.”)Let us suppose the phrase “natural born Citizen” does not imply “lifelong resident”. Suppose an individual were born in the United States of two parents who were Citizens of the United States at the time at which their child was born. Further, suppose this child were sent overseas, a few months after their birth. Suppose this child grew up in a foreign county with guardians who were not citizens of the United States. Suppose that, throughout their life, this individual had done the minimum that is necessary to ensure that they never lost their United States citizenship. Suppose at age 50, they returned to the United States. After residing in the United States for 14 years, they would be eligible to be President at age 64. I believe this possibility would be inconsistent with John Jay’s concern for a foreigner becoming Commander in Chief.For a copy of (what I believe to be) all the naturalization acts of Massachusetts from 1776 through 1790, see: GreschakP.S. Goat: Thanks again for the kind words.

    Comment by John Greschak — January 31, 2009 @ 12:51 am

  3. On one hand I am heartened by the legal solidness of your case and argument; on the other, I am nearly certain the momentum of the election and Obama’s sitting now in office will, along with a willing media, smother any chance this legal action may have. Is there an update, however, on where it stands now?

    Comment by pakchangkeun — January 31, 2009 @ 2:18 pm

  4. Hi Pak,We’ll have to wait to hear from Atty. Apuzzo, about any news about the case’s status. I did learn the other day from Atty. Apuzzo that the case was moved in the docketing system from the Newark district where it was electronically filed at about 3 a.m. on the 20th, before the inaugauration started later that morning, and before Obama was sworn in (a key point), to the Camden district in NJ. The key point is that Obama was still not the President when the suit was filed. He was no longer just a candidate then either. He was the confirmed President Elect. Being just a candidate was the reason given for denial of many of the prior cases. The various judges ruled you cannot sue a candidate and meddle in the “political process”. Well, at the end of the day on the 8th of January, 2009, the formal political process was over in the election of a President. Now the time is “ripe” to sue against those who erred in the process. This suit is thus different in that it was filed when Obama was President Elect, i.e., no longer just a candidate. He was at that point the confirmed President Elect by the unconstitutional and illegal actions of Congress on the 8th. And that is a key difference in this suit, i.e., who is being sued and their legal status at the time of filing in the presidential election and confirmation process. As to why that district change in NJ districts venue was done, maybe the Newark judge didn’t want this “hot potato” and lateral passed it off to someone else in the 3rd Circuit. JMHO. But the quick transfer from one district to another in NJ on the same day, is puzzling. :-)However, there is coverage news regarding the case at As is pointed out in that news story, what is different about this case is that the Plaintiffs are suing Congress. See this link for more on the article: Publius Goat

    Comment by mtngoat61 — January 31, 2009 @ 5:06 pm

  5. John, in your statements regarding the use of the term “Natural Born” in the Massachusetts your examples fail to illustrate a case where someone is born in the territory, yet is not considered natural born.

    Comment by A. P. — February 1, 2009 @ 5:56 pm

  6. Hi all,Here are two recent online articles discussing this case:Chicago Park Bench: Publius Goat

    Comment by mtngoat61 — February 2, 2009 @ 6:17 pm

  7. If Mr. Obama is not a natural born citizen within the parameters of all the laws that applied to him at the time of his birth, then he is not a natural born citizen now. Which makes his Presidency invalid from the beginning – not later on.Is Barack Hussein Obama Soetoro a natural born citizen? The Courts need to be flooded with suits from many organizations and peoples demanding the answer to this simple question. The citizens have the right to receive such answer. This government is made for and by the people and all citizens deserve to know even if just one asks the question.Is it possible to sue the Supreme Court for dereliction of duty?Keep up the good fight!J – Beltsville, MD

    Comment by j — February 2, 2009 @ 10:39 pm

  8. A.P.,Regarding your statement: “John, in your statements regarding the use of the term “Natural Born” in the Massachusetts your examples fail to illustrate a case where someone is born in the territory, yet is not considered natural born.”First, there were almost no “born” citizens of Massachusetts circa 1782. The Declaration of Independence was made in 1776; the Constitution of Massachusetts was adopted in 1780. It is my understanding that, in 1780, Massachusetts citizenship was conferred on everyone who was an inhabitant of Massachusetts. In 1782, the only born citizens of Massachusetts would have been those few children who had been born between 1780 (or perhaps 1776) and 1782. That is why this particular period is interesting. I believe it is for this reason that Massachusetts used the phrase “natural Subject” instead of “natural born Subject” at this time. Because the word born was removed (from what would normally be the phrase “natural born Subject”), the examples I cited demonstrate that the word “natural” can have meaning in the context of a phrase containing the word “subject” (or “citizen”).For an example of an individual who was born in the territory, but was not considered a natural Subject (in place of the example concerning Thomas Hopkins that I quoted), consider the following from February 13, 1784, through which the Commonwealth of Massachusetts naturalized John Gardiner (and his family):”Whereas the faid John Gardiner was born in Bofton…hereby declared to be, and they are free citizens of this Commonwealth; and as such are, and hereafter fhall be, confidered, acknowledged and known, to all intents and purpofes whatfoever, and intitled to all the privileges and immunities of free citizens to all intents and purpofes, in as ample a manner as if they had been inhabitants in, and citizens of the Commonwealth at the time of forming the conftitution of the fame.”Also, I should note that there is a table (that might be of some help to you) in my essay “What is a Natural Born Citizen of the United States?” (at that summarizes all the acts that are quoted in the article “The Naturalization Acts of Massachusetts: 1776-1790” (at Greschak

    Comment by — February 2, 2009 @ 10:51 pm

  9. First of all, thank you for carrying the banner of freedom for us all.Second, can you tell me why no one seems to have filed an action for breach of fiduciary duty against a congressman or the congress in toto? Congress owes their employers (the taxpayers) a duty to only seat a constitutionally eligible candidate for President. They breached that duty even though they knew or should have known that Obama/Soetero was not born to two citizen parents.Thank you, Truth Exists

    Comment by TruthExists — February 3, 2009 @ 4:28 am

  10. Charles Curtis was vice president under Herbert Hoover.He was not a natural born citizen.

    Comment by A. P. — February 3, 2009 @ 6:21 pm

  11. John. Your example of John Gardiner is rather complicated and not a good example.John Gardiner was born in Boston in 1731. He left America for England in 1748 where he studied law, married and had children. His son, John Sylvester John Gardiner was born in Wales in 1765. In 1768, John Gardiner was appointed by the British government to be Attorney General in St. Christopher in the West Indies where he remained until 1783. In 1784, he was naturalized.,M1

    Comment by A. P. — February 3, 2009 @ 6:44 pm

  12. John, do you have any other examples of someone born in the territory, who was not considered natural born?

    Comment by A. P. — February 3, 2009 @ 7:01 pm

  13. A.P.,You wrote:”John, in your statements regarding the use of the term “Natural Born” in the Massachusetts your examples fail to illustrate a case where someone is born in the territory, yet is not considered natural born.”In response, I said that almost no individual would have been considered a natural born subject at the time in question (because Massachusetts had only recently been “born”). Still, I provided you with an example that I felt might meet your criteria approximately, and thus serve your needs.You responded with:(1) “Your example of John Gardiner is rather complicated and not a good example.”(2) “John, do you have any other examples of someone born in the territory, who was not considered natural born?”As I stated in the introductory section of my article “The Naturalization Acts of Massachusetts: 1776-1790” (at”…the objective here is to provide a comprehensive list of such acts…”There are 28 acts that I have listed there. Each is relatively small. I cannot know (as well as you) what you are trying accomplish or conclude by your research effort. Thus I believe, if you would like to find an example of naturalization in Massachusetts that meets some specific criteria that you have selected, your best bet would be to examine the data yourself.Now, here is a question for you:In my essay “What is a Natural Born Citizen of the United States?” (at, I wrote the following regarding the phrase “natural born Citizen”:”…I believe we may compose the meaning of this phrase from the meanings of its three constituent words.”Do you agree with this statement?John Greschak

    Comment by John Greschak — February 3, 2009 @ 10:59 pm

  14. Vice President Charles Curtis was born in the ORGANIC territory of Kansas on January 25, 1860 1 year before Kansas was a state.Senator Barry Goldwater was born in the ORGANIC territory of Arizona before its statehood. THE difference between a “Territory” and an “Organic Territory”– US Congress had TOTAL Jurisdiction overOrganic Territories. They had limited self government, in the lines of a municipality. The natural born issue is based on sole jurisdiction of the US on the individual at the time of birth. A safeguard against competing loyalties for anyone who holds the office of POTUS.

    Comment by 34N2NbcXqoLW4.tgDhgVNWvVq08XIw-- — February 4, 2009 @ 12:36 am

  15. —US Congress had TOTAL Jurisdiction over Organic Territories”—-Unless of course you are talking about Indian reservationsSee Elk v. Wilkins

    Comment by A. P. — February 4, 2009 @ 11:20 pm

  16. John, you asked:I wrote the following regarding the phrase “natural born Citizen”:”…I believe we may compose the meaning of this phrase from the meanings of its three constituent words.”Do you agree with this statement? No I do not. You are over parsing the term “natural born.” The two words used together have a totally different meaning than the separate words. The term “natural born” means to have an innate trait, from birth as it were. For instance, one can be a Natural-born redhead, or one can become a redhead later through the application of Henna dye. Those are the only two choices. It’s the same with citizenship. It can either be Natural-born (ie. Innate from birth) or it can be acquired after birth (ie. Through the process of naturalization). There is no third choice.By over parsing the phrase, you imply there is a state called “unnatural-born.” which has no validity. There are only two classifications of citizenship. Natural-born (innately acquired at birth) or naturalized (acquired sometime after birth). All else is mere sophistry.

    Comment by A. P. — February 4, 2009 @ 11:40 pm

  17. You are wrong again and imo are deliberately misleading people here once again in this forum. I have studied your postings closely … and you continually want to mislead people reading here.For you to argue there are only two types of citizens is ridiculous. And, as I said, I believe that you must know that, but simply wish to camp out here and conveniently mislead people and forget the contents of the Constitution in your postings by using the tactic in debate of the deliberate error of omission on your part. Obama was good at that too, i.e., deliberately omitting release of his long-form, vault copy, signed by his mother, original CERTIFICATE of Live Birth (Birth Certificate), possibly stapled to the front of a Kenyan Birth Certificate document, imo. As they say, birds of a feather flock together … you are known by the company you keep …, etc., comes to mind in reading you and in reading Obama and the company he kept in Chicago.There are five types in the U.S. Constitution. Of course folks of your crowd (the O-Bot supporters) don’t care about the Constitution, do you?To remind you, just in case you never read the Constitution, here are the five types of citizenship mentioned and/or referenced in the Constitution:1. The Citizen in the general and broadest all encompassing sense mentioned in many places in the Constitution.2. The grandfathered group, original citizen subset mentioned in Article II, Section 1, Clause 5.3. The “natural born citizen” subset mentioned in Article II, Section 1, Clause 5.4. The “born” citizen subset listed in the 14th Amendment.5. The “naturalized” citizen subset listed in the 14th Amendment.You only want two types of citizens in order to lump “natural born citizen” and “born citizen” as being one and the same. Nice try. 😉 But even erroneously doing that you missed other types.Read the Constitution instead of trying to twist it here in this forum. Also, read the “natural law”, Wong, Elg, and other cases which dispute your attempts to mislead people on the parsing of the term, natural born citizen, and decide that there are only two types of citizens. John has it right and you have it wrong.John can answer you some more, if he cares to, but I think you are here just playing games and running people in circles and wasting time and trying to plants seeds of false logic to support you and your O-Bot crowds position regarding Mr. O, the usurper in the Oval Office. Thus, debating you further is a waste of time.M Publius Goat

    Comment by mtngoat61 — February 5, 2009 @ 2:52 am

  18. APYou collapse “natural born” into one citizenship status and equate that status with Fourteenth Amendment birth citizenship. You then proclaim that as long as a person possesses Fourteenth Amendment birth citizenship status, he/she can be President. I might agree with you if the Founding Fathers when writing Article II said “born Citizen.” But the simple and most profound and powerful truth is that they said more than that. They said “natural born Citizen.” I will not allow you to so easily dismiss the Founder’s words and to discredit all intelligent effort at finding meaning in all their words by characterizing such efforts as mere “parsing of words” or “sophistry.” You have still to unlock the secret. Keep trying. Mario Apuzzo, Esq.

    Comment by Puzo1 — February 5, 2009 @ 2:57 am

  19. NOTICE TO ALL. END OF THIS THREAD.This Kerchner et al v. Obama et al “Discussion #1” thread is now closed. I have started a new thread dated in February 2009, to continue these discussions. Please post your comments and questions about this case and continuation of these discussions at the new post. I will post replies to any still unanswered questions and comments you posted in this thread in that new thread. But please do not post any more new comments or questions here. Click below to go directly to the new discussion thread for the Kerchner v. Obama case. you,Mario Apuzzo, Esq.

    Comment by Puzo1 — February 5, 2009 @ 3:28 am

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