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

May 28, 2010

Obama’s “Natural Born Citizen” Status: Is It Place of Birth or Parentage that Controls?

Article II, Section 1, Clause 5 provides: “No person except a natural born citizen, or a citizen of the United States, at the time of the adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the office of President; neither shall any person be eligible to that office who shall not have attained to the age of thirty five years, and been fourteen Years a resident within the United States.” The current debate is whether Putative President Obama is a “natural born Citizen” under this Presidential eligibility article.

There has been much confusion regarding the role that Obama’s place of birth (represented by his birth certificate) or parentage (represented by his alien father) plays in his being a “natural born Citizen.” A “natural born Citizen” must be born in the United States or what is deemed its equivalent. This is called the jus soli requirement. We know that while Obama maintains that he was born in Hawaii, there exists a considerable amount of evidence that he was born in Kenya. Some argue that Obama has to date not yet conclusively shown that he was born in Hawaii and that on the contrary, he was born in Kenya. They argue that since Obama was born in Kenya, he is not and cannot be a “natural born Citizen.” Hence, some focus on Obama’s place of birth as the only factor that needs to be considered in the question of whether he is a “natural born Citizen.” However, as I will explain below, being born in the USA is only one part of the issue.  Being born in the USA is a necessary but not sufficient part of being a “natural born Citizen.”

The original and only definition of an Article II “natural born Citizen” is that one must be born in the country, or what is deemed its equivalent, to citizen parents (mother and father). Emer de Vattel, The Law of Nations, Or, Principles of the Law of Nature, Applied to the Conduct and Affairs of Nations and Sovereigns (1758), Section 212 (“The citizens are the members of the civil society: bound to this society by certain duties, and subject to its authority, they equally participate in its advantages. The natives, or natural-born citizens, are those born in the country, of parents who are citizens. . . .”). As we can see, this definition contains two factors, place of birth and parentage or what is known as the jus soli and jus sanguinis factors. While Obama’s mother was born in the United States and was a “natural born Citizen,” Obama has admitted that under the British Nationality Act 1948, when Obama was born in 1961, his father, who was born in the then-British colony of Kenya, was a British subject/citizen and that Obama himself by descent from his father was also born a British subject/citizen. Hence, since his father was not a United States citizen when Obama was born and he himself was a British subject/citizen by descent from his father, Obama is not and cannot be a “natural born Citizen.” Given Obama’s admission, some therefore focus only on Obama’s parentage (alien father) factor and maintain that it is not necessary to know his place of birth wherever that may be because Obama is not and cannot be a “natural born Citizen” because his father was not a United States citizen when Obama was born. Under this argument, Obama is not a “natural born Citizen” because he is missing the parentage factor, a necessary condition found in the original and only definition of a “natural born Citizen.”

The Fourteenth Amendment citizenship clause also causes further confusion in the Obama eligibility question, for some incorrectly ascribe a controlling effect to it. The Fourteenth Amendment requires that one be born in the United States and be “subject to the jurisdiction thereof” in order to be a born “citizen of the United States” thereunder. The way that the Amendment’s “subject to the jurisdiction thereof” clause is currently interpreted, it does not contain any parentage requirement. But a simple reading of the Amendment’s text shows that it only deals with a “citizen of the United States” and not a “natural born Citizen.” Hence, showing that Obama is a Fourteenth Amendment born “citizen of the United States” (the Fourteenth Amendment born “citizen of the United States” standard) without more is not sufficient to demonstrate that he is an Article II “natural born Citizen” (the Article II “natural born Citizen” standard). Nevertheless, Obama must at least prove that he is a born “citizen of the United States” (born in the United States) before he can prove that he is an Article II “natural born Citizen.”

What this means is that proving that Obama was born in the United States is a necessary condition for proving that he is a “natural born Citizen” but is not a sufficient condition. Hence, that Obama may have been born in the United States does not necessarily make him a “natural born Citizen.” Rather, with his being born in the United States being a necessary condition, his not being born there would disqualify him from being both a Fourteenth Amendment born “citizen of the United States” and also an Article II “natural born Citizen.” In such a case, he would be disqualified from being President. But since we might in the end learn that Obama was born in Hawaii, it is not wise to rely solely on the place of birth factor when questioning whether Obama is a “natural born Citizen” and to completely disregard the parentage factor contained in the original definition of a “natural born Citizen.” Likewise, since the United States Supreme Court has yet to rule on the definition of an Article II “natural born Citizen” within the context of a case raising the question of whether a person is eligible to be President and Commander in Chief of the Military, it is not wise to rely only on the parentage factor when questioning whether Obama is a “natural born Citizen” and to totally discount the place of birth factor.

Please note that the Kerchner et al. v. Obama/Congress et al. case which was filed on January 20, 2009, after Congress confirmed Obama but before Chief Justice Roberts swore him in, and which is currently pending before the Third Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia with a tentative oral argument dated of June 29, 2010, argues both the place of birth and parentage factors.

Mario Apuzzo, Esq.
May 28, 2010
http://puzo1.blogspot.com
####

Advertisements

April 2, 2010

Founder and Historian David Ramsay Defines a Natural Born Citizen in 1789

In defining an Article II “natural born Citizen,” it is important to find any authority from the Founding period who may inform us how the Founders and Framers themselves defined the clause. Who else but a highly respected historian from the Founding period itself would be highly persuasive in telling us how the Founders and Framers defined a “natural born Citizen. ” Such an important person is David Ramsay, who in 1789 wrote, A Dissertation on the Manners of Acquiring the Character and Privileges of a Citizen (1789), a very important and influential essay on defining a “natural born Citizen.”

David Ramsay (April 2, 1749 to May 8, 1815) was an American physician, patriot, and historian from South Carolina and a delegate from that state to the Continental Congress in 1782-1783 and 1785-1786.  He was the Acting President of the United States in Congress Assembled. He was one of the American Revolution’s first major historians. A contemporary of Washington, Ramsay writes with the knowledge and insights one acquires only by being personally involved in the events of the Founding period. In 1785 he published History of the Revolution of South Carolina (two volumes), in 1789 History of the American Revolution (two volumes), in 1807 a Life of Washington, and in 1809 a History of South Carolina (two volumes). Ramsay “was a major intellectual figure in the early republic, known and respected in America and abroad for his medical and historical writings, especially for The History of the American Revolution (1789)…” Arthur H. Shaffer, Between Two Worlds: David Ramsay and the Politics of Slavery, J.S.Hist., Vol. L, No. 2 (May 1984). “During the progress of the Revolution, Doctor Ramsay collected materials for its history, and his great impartiality, his fine memory, and his acquaintance with many of the actors in the contest, eminently qualified him for the task….” http://www.famousamericans.net/davidramsay/. In 1965 Professor Page Smith of the University of California at Los Angeles published an extensive study of Ramsay’s History of the American Revolution in which he stressed the advantage that Ramsay had because of being involved in the events of which he wrote and the wisdom he exercised in taking advantage of this opportunity. “The generosity of mind and spirit which marks his pages, his critical sense, his balanced judgment and compassion,” Professor Smith concluded, “are gifts that were uniquely his own and that clearly entitle him to an honorable position in the front rank of American historians.”

In his 1789 article, Ramsay first explained who the “original citizens” were and then defined the “natural born citizens” as the children born in the country to citizen parents. He said concerning the children born after the declaration of independence, “[c]itizenship is the inheritance of the children of those who have taken part in the late revolution; but this is confined exclusively to the children of those who were themselves citizens….” Id. at 6. He added that “citizenship by inheritance belongs to none but the children of those Americans, who, having survived the declaration of independence, acquired that adventitious character in their own right, and transmitted it to their offspring….” Id. at 7. He continued that citizenship “as a natural right, belongs to none but those who have been born of citizens since the 4th of July, 1776….” Id. at 6.

Here we have direct and convincing evidence of how a very influential Founder defined a “natural born citizen.” Given his position of influence and especially given that he was a highly respected historian, Ramsay would have had the contacts with other influential Founders and Framers and would have known how they too defined “natural born Citizen.” Ramsay, being of the Founding generation and being intimately involved in the events of the time would have know how the Founders and Framers defined a “natural born Citizen” and he told us that definition was one where the child was born in the country of citizen parents. He giving us this definition, it is clear that Ramsay did not follow the English common law but rather natural law, the law of nations, and Emer de Vattel, who also defined a “natural-born citizen” the same as did Ramsay in his highly acclaimed and influential, The Law of Nations, Or, Principles of the Law of Nature, Applied to the Conduct and Affairs of Nations and Sovereigns, Section 212 (1758 French) (1759 English). We can reasonably assume that the other Founders and Framers would have defined a “natural born Citizen” the same way the Ramsay did, for being a meticulous historian he would have gotten his definition from the general consensus that existed at the time.

Ramsay’s article and explication are further evidence of the influence that Vattel had on the Founders in how they defined the new national citizenship. This article by Ramsay is one of the most important pieces of evidence recently found (provided to us by an anonymous source) which provides direct evidence on how the Founders and Framers defined a “natural born Citizen” and that there is little doubt that they defined one as a child born in the country to citizen parents. Given this time-honored definition, which has been confirmed by subsequent United States Supreme Court and some lower court cases such as The Venus, 12 U.S. (8 Cranch) 253, 289 (1814) (Marshall, C.J., concurring and dissenting for other reasons, cites Vattel and provides his definition of natural born citizens); Dred Scott v. Sandford, 60 U.S. 393 (1857) (Justice Daniels concurring took out of Vattel’s definition the reference to “fathers” and “father” and replaced it with “parents” and “person,” respectively); Shanks v. Dupont, 28 U.S. 242, 245 (1830) (same definition without citing Vattel); Slaughter-House Cases, 83 U.S. 36, 21 L.Ed. 394, 16 Wall. 36 (1872) (in explaining the meaning of the Fourteenth Amendment clause, “subject to the jurisdiction thereof,” said that the clause “was intended to exclude from its operation children of ministers, consuls, and citizens or subjects of foreign States born within the United States;” Elk v. Wilkins, 112 U.S. 94 (1884) (“the children of subjects of any foreign government born within the domain of that government, or the children born within the United States, of ambassadors or other public ministers of foreign nations” are not citizens under the Fourteenth Amendment because they are not subject to the jurisdiction of the United States); Minor v. Happersett, 88 U.S. 162, 167-68 (1875) (same definition without citing Vattel); Ex parte Reynolds, 1879, 5 Dill., 394, 402 (same definition and cites Vattel); United States v. Ward, 42 F.320 (C.C.S.D.Cal. 1890) (same definition and cites Vattel); U.S. v. Wong Kim Ark, 169 U.S. 649 (1898) (quoted from the same definition of “natural born Citizen” as did Minor v. Happersett); Rep. John Bingham (in the House on March 9, 1866, in commenting on the Civil Rights Act of 1866 which was the precursor to the Fourteenth Amendment: “[I] find no fault with the introductory clause, which is simply declaratory of what is written in the Constitution, that every human being born within the jurisdiction of the United States of parents not owing allegiance to any foreign sovereignty is, in the language of your Constitution itself, a natural born citizen. . . . ” John A. Bingham, (R-Ohio) US Congressman, March 9, 1866 Cong. Globe, 39th, 1st Sess., 1291 (1866), Sec. 1992 of U.S. Revised Statutes (1866)).

The two-citizen-parent requirement would have followed from the common law that provided that a woman upon marriage took the citizenship of her husband. In other words, the Framers required both (1) birth on United States soil (or its equivalent) and (2) birth to two United States citizen parents as necessary conditions of being granted that special status which under our Constitution only the President and Commander in Chief of the Military (and also the Vice President under the Twelfth Amendment) must have at the time of his or her birth. Given the necessary conditions that must be satisfied to be granted the status, all “natural born Citizens” are “Citizens of the United States” but not all “Citizens of the United States” are “natural born Citizens.” It was only through both parents being citizens that the child was born with unity of citizenship and allegiance to the United States which the Framers required the President and Commander in Chief to have.

Obama fails to meet this “natural born Citizen” eligibility test because when he was born in 1961 (wherever that may be), he was not born to a United States citizen mother and father. At his birth, his mother was a United States citizen. But under the British Nationality Act of 1948, his father, who was born in the British colony of Kenya, was born a Citizen of the United Kingdom and Colonies (CUKC) which by descent made Obama himself a CUKC. Prior to Obama’s birth, Obama’s father neither intended to nor did he become a United States citizen. Being temporarily in the United States only for purpose of study and with the intent to return to Kenya, his father did not intend to nor did he even become a legal resident or immigrant to the United States.

Obama may be a plain born “citizen of the United States” under the 14th Amendment or a Congressional Act (if he was born in Hawaii). But as we can see from David Ramsay’s clear presentation, citizenship “as a natural right, belongs to none but those who have been born of citizens since the 4th of July, 1776….” Id. at 6. Hence, Obama is not an Article II “natural born Citizen,” for upon Obama’s birth his father was a British subject and Obama himself by descent was also the same. Hence, Obama was born subject to a foreign power. Obama lacks the birth status of natural sole and absolute allegiance and loyalty to the United States which only the President and Commander in Chief of the Military and Vice President must have at the time of birth. Being born subject to a foreign power, he lacks Unity of Citizenship and Allegiance to the United States from the time of birth which assures that required degree of natural sole and absolute birth allegiance and loyalty to the United States, a trait that is constitutionally indispensable in a President and Commander in Chief of the Military. Like a naturalized citizen, who despite taking an oath later in life to having sole allegiance to the United States cannot be President because of being born subject to a foreign power, Obama too cannot be President.

Mario Apuzzo, Esq.
April 2, 2010
http://puzo1.blogspot.com/
####

March 5, 2010

Obama – Maybe a Citizen of the United States But Not a Natural Born Citizen

The question which has gripped our Constitutional Republic is whether putative President, Barack Obama, is eligible to be President and Commander in Chief of the Military. Article II, Section 1, Clause 5 of our Constitution provides that: “No Person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President; neither shall any person be eligible to that Office who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty five Years, and been fourteen Years a Resident within the United States.” Despite the fact that Article II itself, and when read together with Articles I, III, IV and Amendments Eleven, Fourteen, Fifteen, Nineteen, Twenty-Four, and Twenty-Six, clearly makes a distinction between a “Citizen of the United States” and a “natural born Citizen,” when it comes to deciding whether Obama is eligible to be President under Article II, many incorrectly interpret a “Citizen of the United States ” to be the same thing as a “natural born Citizen.” With these two clauses not having the same meaning, the proper eligibility question is not whether Obama is a “Citizen of the United States.” Rather, the correct inquiry is whether Obama is a “natural born Citizen.”

Most probably recognize that United States citizens are created either at birth or at the moment of naturalization. The former is a native (using that term in its modern sense and not in the sense that the Founders used it) and the latter is not. Most probably also recognize that a naturalized citizen is not eligible to be President. But what many fail to recognize is that the event of birth has two natural elements which always have and always will be present in every birth: (1) the place where one was born and (2) the two parents who procreated the child. Hence, some also fail to understand that there are two types of born citizens, one being a born “Citizen of the United States” and the other being a “natural born Citizen.” Under current law, a born “Citizen of the United States” is one granted that status under the 14th Amendment or Congressional Act (e.g. Title 8 Section 1401), both of which consider either (1) being born on United States soil or (2) being born to at least one United States citizen parent sufficient conditions for being granted the status of a born “Citizen of the United States.” Never in our history has the United States Supreme Court or the Congress ever required that one needs to satisfy both of these conditions in order to be a “citizen of the United States.” But as to a “natural born Citizen,” we have a different story.

To understand what an Article II “natural born Citizen” is, we have to revert to the Founding era to determine what the Founders and Framers intended that clause to mean. In analyzing what meaning the Framer’s gave to the “natural born Citizen” clause, we must remember that they wrote the Constitution in the historical context of having won a Revolution and in having to constitute a new society. They were inspired by and found justification in the political philosophy of natural law and the law of nations and not that of the English common law in going forward with that Revolution and they relied on that same law when defining national citizenship. Article II, Section 1, Clause 5 of the Constitution grandfathered all persons to be eligible to be President who were “Citizens of the United States” at the time the Constitution was adopted. These persons would have been adults who were born in the colonies, children born in the new states, or adults inhabiting or naturalized under the naturalization laws in either place, at the time that the Constitution was adopted, provided they all adhered to the American Revolution. Justice Gray in United States v. Wong Kim Ark, 169 U.S. 649 (1898) explained that under English common law that prevailed in the colonies these original citizens included persons who were born in the colonies or new states to alien parents. These original citizens, whether born in the country or out of it, were all naturalized to be “citizens of the United States” by simply adhering to the American Revolution. The Founders in Article II grandfathered these “citizens of the United States” to be eligible to be President, provided that they were such at the time of the adoption of the Constitution which we know occurred on September 17, 1787. The grandfather clause is obsolete today.

The Founders themselves, being born prior to independence were subjects of the British Crown and to other foreign sovereigns but adhering to the American Revolution became part of the first “citizens of the United States.” All being born in the colonies before the Declaration of Independence was adopted in 1776 to British parents, the first seven Presidents were born subjects of Great Britain (born subject to a foreign power) and therefore needed the grandfather clause to make them eligible to be President. Andrew Jackson, the seventh President, born on March 15, 1767, was the last President who could utilize the grandfather clause to make him eligible to be President. Justice Story observed in his Commentaries on the Constitution of the United States that for the Framers to allow naturalized citizens (who like them were born subject to a foreign power and as we shall see below not “natural born Citizens”) to be eligible to be President was an exception to “the great fundamental policy of all governments, to exclude foreign influence from their executive councils and duties.” III J. Story, Commentaries on the Constitution of the United States Sec. 1473 (1833). Being born on December 5, 1782, on United States soil (in New York and therefore not born on foreign soil) to parents who had also become “citizens of the United States” by election to be loyal to the American Revolution (not born to foreign parents), Martin Van Buren, the eighth President (his mother was of Dutch ancestry and his great-great-great-great-grandfather Cornelis had come to the New World in 1631 from the Netherlands) was the first United States President not born a British or other foreign subject (not subject to a foreign power by being born either on foreign soil or to a foreign parent) who was born a “natural born Citizen” and who therefore did not need the grandfather clause to make him eligible to be President. The New Netherland Institute describes Van Buren’s family history as follows: “In fact, although they were fifth generation Dutch, all of their forebears were of Dutch extraction. The original Van Buren had come over in the 1640’s during the Van Rensselaer era when all of Columbia County was part of the Rensselaer Estate. And the original immigrant forbear probably came over sponsored by Killian Van Rensselaer, among many other immigrants, to occupy the Rensselaer estate. As a result Martin Van Buren was pure Dutch, and still spoke Dutch, the language that prevailed for many generations in that part of New York State along the Hudson River.” http://www.nnp.org/nni/Publications/Dutch-American/buren.html. It has been said that Van Buren is the first President born under the American flag.

On the other hand, for children born after the adoption of the Constitution in 1787, the same Article II, Section 1, Clause 5 provides, among other things, that only a “natural born Citizen” is eligible to be President. An Article II “natural born Citizen” is one granted that special status under American common law that has its origins in natural law and the law of nations. With citizenship being a matter of status having international implications, the Framers would have expected its definition to be supplied by public law or the law of nations and not by any municipal or English common law, which the States continued to use to resolve their local problems concerning contracts, torts, property, inheritance, criminal procedure, etc. Under the law of nations, to be a “natural born Citizen,” the child needed to be born in the United States (or what may be deemed its equivalent) to two citizen parents. This definition of a “natural born Citizen” is found in and has been confirmed by the following United States Supreme Court cases and other authorities:

1. Samuel von Pufendorf, The Whole Duty of Man According to the Laws of Nature (William Tooke trans., Ian Hunter & David Saunders, eds., Liberty Fund 2003, Book II, Chapter 6 (1691): “Citizens are either Originally so; that is, such as are born in the Place, and upon that Account claim their Privileges; Or else, Adscititious; that is, such as come from Foreign Parts. Of the first Sort, are either those who at first were present and concerned in the forming of the said Society, or their Descendants, who we call Indigenes, or Natives.”

2. Emer de Vattel, The Law of Nations, or Principles of the Laws of Nature, Applied to the Conduct and Affairs of Nations and Sovereigns, bk. 1, c. 19, sec. 212 (original French in 1758 and first English in 1759): “The citizens are the members of the civil society: bound to this society by certain duties, and subject to its authority, they equally participate in its advantages. The natives, or indigenes, are those born in the country of parents who are citizens”. In the 1797 English edition, the translator replaced the word “indigenes” with “natural-born citizens.” Hence, it read: “The citizens are the members of the civil society: bound to this society by certain duties, and subject to its authority, they equally participate in its advantages. The natives, or natural-born citizens, are those born in the country, of parents who are citizens.” Hence, while the definition of a natural born citizen never changed in Vattel’s texts, the term to express it was changed from “indigenes” to “natural-born citizens.”

With many of the Founders being proficient in Latin, Greek, and French, they probably obtained the clause “natural born citizen” and its synonym, “native,” from ancient Latin text which was also translated into English rather than from simply copying the clause “natural born subject” from the English common law and substituting the word “citizen” for “subject.” That ancient text was found in Institutio Oratoria, by Marcus Fabius Quintilianus (or Quintilian), published in Latin in the first century A.D. The Framers were well read in the Roman and Greek classics as is expounded upon in their writings in the Federalist Papers. Jefferson and other Founders had a love for Roman history and education. From the excellent research conducted by John Greschak, we learn the following: “In 1774, the phrase natural born citizen was used in an English translation (from the Latin) of the book Institutio Oratoria, by Marcus Fabius Quintilianus (published in the first century A.D.); this was done in Chapter I of Book VIII. The phrase is found in the Latin text: Quare, si fieri, potest et verba omnia et vox huius alumnum urbis oleant, ut oratio Romana plane videatur, non civitate donata. Quintilianus, Institutio Oratoria, Book 1, Chapter VIII. There have been at least five different English translations of this work and this sentence. The first was by Guthrie in 1756. Since then, there have been translations by Patsall (1774), Watson (1856), Butler (1920-2) and Russell (2001).” http://www.greschak.com/essays/natborn/index.htm. Greschak found that Guthrie in 1756 used the word “native” when translating Quintilianus’ reference to that Roman citizen who because of birth and family upbringing was expected to be most able to speak the pure Roman language. In referring to the same type of citizen, Patsall in 1774 translated the same sentence as: “Therefore, if possible, every word and the very tone of voice, should bespeak the natural born citizen of Rome, that the language may be purely Roman, and not so by a right different from birth and education” (emphasis supplied). Greschak states: “I do not claim that this is the first use of the phrase natural born citizen, but it is the earliest use of which I am aware.” Id. “Alumnum” means “nourished, brought up; reared/fostered by; native, brought up locally.” (Latin-English Dictionary 1.97FC). “Urbis” means city. Parentage, education, and upbringing made an “alumnum urbis oleant.” Just being born in the city was not sufficient to meet the definition of the phrase. It was both birth in the locality and parental and institutional rearing and education from birth that produced the “natural born citizen.”

Hence, Quintilianus’ work which was translated from the Latin to the English provided the clause “natural born citizen” and the word “native” and the translators used the words interchangeably to mean the same thing. This fluctuation in translation explains why the Founders, too, used the words “native” and “natural born Citizen” synonymously.

Quintilianus also provides an explanation of how the Framers translated Vattel by taking his French words of “Les naturels, ou indigenes” or the same words translated into English as “natives or indigenes” and translated or converted them into “natural born Citizen” which is what they wrote into Article II. Being able to read and understand the definitions that Vattel gave to the clause “Les naturels, ou indigenes” (in French) and “The natives or indigenes” (in English), they realized that Vattel’s clauses as written in either French or English were the equivalent to “native” or “natural born citizen” with which they were familiar from having found the clauses in ancient Latin text or its English translations that we saw above. The Founders would have been familiar with both “natural born citizen” and “native” from having seen the two expressions in these various English translations of the ancient Latin text. These English translations took the Latin clause “alumnum urbis oleant” and translated it into either “native” or “natural born citizen.” Hence, it appears that the English translators believed that either “native” or “natural born citizen” captured the meaning of “alumnum urbis oleant.” The Framers, applying their study and knowledge of natural law, would have equated Vattel’s description of “Les naturals, ou indigenes” or “the natives or indigenes” found in Section 212, which was a citizen of true origin and therefore of the highest order with what Quintilanus called “alumnum orbis oleant,” also considered by him to be a citizen of true Roman origin and of the highest order. In fact, during the constitutional debates the Framers also used both “natural born citizen” and “native” interchangeably, just as the English translators of the Latin term “alumnum orbis oleant” did. It would be highly coincidental that both the English translators of Quintilianus’ Latin text and the Founders would have been using those two clauses interchangeably unless they were referring to the same concept, “alumnum orbis oleant.” We know that the Framers chose “natural born Citizen” rather than “native.” They then applied Vattel’s definitions to the “natural born citizen” clause that they selected. It is also significant that the English translator of the 1797 English edition used “the natives, or natural-born citizens” in the place of “the natives, or indigenes.” In making this change, this translator probably knew that the Founders used “natives” or “natural born Citizens” to represent the citizens of the highest order and whom Vattel called “Les naturels, ou indigenes,” or what had been to date translated as “the natives, or indigenes.”

3. The Venus, 12 U.S. (8 Cranch) 253, 289 (1814): Chief Justice John Marshall, concurring and dissenting for other reasons, said: “Vattel, who, though not very full to this point, is more explicit and more satisfactory on it than any other whose work has fallen into my hands, says ‘The citizens are the members of the civil society; bound to this society by certain duties, and subject to its authority, they equally participate in its advantages. The natives or indigenes are those born in the country of parents who are citizens. Society not being able to subsist and to perpetuate itself but by the children of the citizens, those children naturally follow the condition of their fathers, and succeed to all their rights.’”

4. Shanks v. Dupont, 28 U.S. 242, 245 (1830): “If she was not of age, then she might well be deemed under the circumstances of this case to hold the citizenship of her father, for children born in a country, continuing while under age in the family of the father, partake of his national character as a citizen of that country.”

5. Dred Scott v. Sandford, 60 U.S. 393 (1857): Justice Daniels concurring, cited and quoted from Vattel and The Law of Nations thus: “The citizens are the members of the civil society; bound to this society by certain duties, and subject to its authority, they equally participate in its advantages. The natives, or natural-born citizens, are those born in the country, of parents who are citizens. As society cannot perpetuate itself otherwise than by the children of the citizens, those children naturally follow the condition of their parents, and succeed to all their rights.” Again: I say, to be of the country, it is necessary to be born of a person who is a citizen; for if he be born there of a foreigner, it will be only the place of his birth, and not his country. . . .” It should be noted that Justice Daniel took out of Vattel’s definition the reference to “fathers” and “father” and replaced it with “parents” and “person,” respectively.

6. Rep. John Bingham, in the House on March 9, 1866, in commenting on the Civil Rights Act of 1866 which was the precursor to the Fourteenth Amendment: “[I] find no fault with the introductory clause [S 61 Bill], which is simply declaratory of what is written in the Constitution, that every human being born within the jurisdiction of the United States of parents not owing allegiance to any foreign sovereignty is, in the language of your Constitution itself, a natural born citizen. . . . ” Cong. Globe, 39th, 1st Session, 1291 (1866).

7. Slaughter-House Cases, 83 U.S. 36, 21 L.Ed. 394, 16 Wall. 36 (1872): In explaining the meaning of the Fourteenth Amendment clause, “subject to the jurisdiction thereof,” said that the clause “was intended to exclude from its operation children of ministers, consuls, and citizens or subjects of foreign States born within the United States.”

8. Minor v. Happersett, 88 U.S. 162, 167-68 (1875): “The Constitution does not in words say who shall be natural-born citizens. Resort must be had elsewhere to ascertain that. At common law, with the nomenclature of which the framers of the Constitution were familiar, it was never doubted that all children born in a country of parents who were its citizens became themselves, upon their birth, citizens also. These were natives or natural-born citizens, as distinguished from aliens or foreigners. Some authorities go further and include as citizens children born within the jurisdiction without reference to the citizenship of their parents. As to this class there have been doubts, but never as to the first. For the purposes of this case, it is not necessary to solve these doubts. It is sufficient, for everything we have now to consider, that all children, born of citizen parents within the jurisdiction, are themselves citizens.” Id., 169 U.S. at 679-80. Minor did not cite Vattel but as can be seen the Court’s definition of a “citizen” and a “natural born Citizen” are take directly out of Vattel’s Section 212.

9. Ex parte Reynolds, 20 F.Cas. 582, 5 Dill. 394, No. 11,719 (C.C.W.D.Ark 1879): “[T]he offspring of free persons…follows the condition of the father, and the rule partus sequitur patrem prevails in determining their status. 1 Bouv. Inst., 198, § 502; 31 Barb. 486; 2 Bouv. Law Dict. 147; Shanks v. Dupont, 3 Pet. [28 U.S.] 242. This is the universal maxim of the common law with regard to freemen — as old as the common law, or even as the Roman civil law… No other rules than the ones above enumerated ever did prevail in this or any other civilized country. In the case of Ludlam v. Ludlam, 31 Barb. 486, the court says: ‘The universal maxim of [**17] the common law being partus sequitur patrem, it is sufficient for the application of this doctrine that the father should be a subject lawfully, and without breach of his allegiance beyond sea, no matter what may be the condition of the mother.’ The law of nations, which becomes, when applicable to an existing condition of affairs in a country, a part of the common law of that country, declares the same rule. Vattel, in his Law of Nations (page 101), says: ‘As the society cannot exist and perpetuate itself otherwise than by the children of the citizens, these children naturally follow the condition of their fathers and succeed to their rights. * * * The country of the father is, therefore, that of the children, and these become true citizens merely by their tacit consent.’ Again, on page 102, Vattel says: ‘By the law of nature alone, children follow the condition of their fathers and enter into all their rights.’ This law of nature, as far as it has become a part of the common law, in the absence of any positive enactment on the subject, must be the rule in this case.”

10. Elk v. Wilkins, 112 U.S. 94 (1884): “The main object of the opening sentence of the fourteenth amendment was to settle the question, upon which there had been a difference of opinion throughout the country and in this court, as to the citizenship of free negroes, (Scott v. Sandford, 19 How. 393;) and to put it beyond doubt that all persons, white or black, and whether formerly slaves or not, born or naturalized in the United States, and owing no allegiance to any alien power, should be citizens of the United States and of the state in which they reside. Slaughter-House Cases, 16 Wall. 36, 73; Strauder v. West Virginia, 100 U. S. 303, 306… [S]ubject to the jurisdiction thereof… is, not merely subject in some respect or degree to the jurisdiction of the United States, but completely subject to their political jurisdiction, and owing them direct and immediate allegiance…. Persons not thus subject to the jurisdiction of the United States at the time of birth cannot become so afterwards, except by being naturalized… Indians born within the territorial limits of the United States, members of, and owing immediate allegiance to, one of the Indian tribes, (an alien though dependent power,) although in a geographical sense born in the United States, are no more ‘born in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof,’ within the meaning of the first section of the fourteenth amendment, than the children of subjects of any foreign government born within the domain of that government, or the children born within the United States, of ambassadors or other public ministers of foreign nations…. To be a citizen of the United States is a political privilege which no one, not born to, can assume without its consent in some form.”

11. United States v. Ward, 42 F.320 (C.C.S.D.Cal. 1890) (same definition and cites Vattel); “At common law, with the nomenclature of which the framers of the Constitution were familiar, it was never doubted that all children, born in a country of parents who were its citizens, became themselves, upon their birth, citizens also. These were natives, or natural-born citizens, as distinguished from aliens or foreigners.”

12. U.S. v. Wong Kim Ark, 169 U.S. 649 (1898): It quoted the same definition of “natural born Citizen” as did Minor v. Happersett. It declared under the Fourteenth Amendment a child born on United States soil to alien parents who were domiciled and legally residing in the United States and therefore subject to the jurisdiction of the United States a “citizen of the United States,” It did not find him an Article II “natural born Citizen.” Chief Justice Fuller in his dissent said that he would not have found Wong to be a “citizen of the United States” because his parents were not citizens. He also confirmed Vattel’s definition of a “natural born Citizen.”

The two citizen-parent requirement (not only just one parent) comes from the definition of a “natural born Citizen” referring to the child’s parents in the plural. It also comes from the common law that provided that a woman upon marriage took the citizenship of her husband. Both parents must also be citizens in order for the child not to be born subject to any foreign power and therefore with any other conflicting allegiance or loyalty. Hence, given the Framers’ use of the “natural born Citizen” clause, they required a would-be President to have both (1) birth on United States soil (or its equivalent) and (2) birth to two United States citizen parents as necessary conditions of being granted that special status. Given the necessary conditions that must be satisfied to be granted the status, all “natural born Citizens” are “Citizens of the United States” but not all “Citizens of the United States” are “natural born Citizens.”

It is telling that of all the positions and offices the Framers provided for in the Constitution, only that of the President and Commander in Chief of the Military (and also the Vice President under the Twelfth Amendment) may be occupied only by a “natural born Citizen.” They therefore believed that this singular and all-powerful office was more vulnerable to foreign influence than any other and they thereby sought to give it the most protection that they could. Minor said that there were doubts whether the children born in the United States to alien parents were “citizens.” The Minor decision was decided in 1875 or 87 years after the Constitution was adopted and as Justice Waite explained in that decision our nation still had doubts on whether children born in the United States to alien parents were even citizens. If the Court had doubts about whether these children were “citizens,” it surely had doubts whether they were “natural born Citizens.” We cannot reasonably imagine that the Framers would have used a standard for a person to meet in order to be eligible to be President and Commander in Chief of the Military which would have created doubts as to its meaning and which would therefore have put at risk the security and integrity of that critically important office. Surely, they would have relied on a definition that created no doubt which Minor explained was one that included that both the child be born in the country (or its equivalent) to citizen parents. Indeed, as Minor explained, such a standard created no doubt. It was through the “natural born Citizen” clause that the Framers sought to accomplish the goal of protecting the Office of President and Commander in Chief of the Military from foreign influence and of providing a definition of national citizenship which the nation would have no difficulty to understand.

Because “natural born Citizen” status requires unity of citizenship and allegiance, conditions which descend naturally to the child at the time of birth from the two events of birth in the United States and birth to United States citizen parents, this status provides a would-be President with the greatest degree of loyalty and allegiance to the United States, a quality that the Framers expected all Presidents and Chief Military Commanders born after the adoption of the Constitution to have. It is this high degree of loyalty and allegiance to the United States in a President and Military Commander in Chief of the Military that provides the nation and each of its citizens and residents with both the greatest confidence in the person holding that highest civil and military office and the greatest protection from enemies both foreign and domestic, or what John Jay in his letter of July 25, 1787, to then General Washington called “a strong check” on foreign influence invading our government. Wisdom shows that there is no sound national security or public policy reason why a Constitutional Republic such as the United States should demand anything less from a person who would aspire to the singular and all-powerful office of President and Commander in Chief of the Military.

Because Obama was born 173 years after the Constitution was adopted, he cannot take advantage of Article II’s now obsolete grandfather clause which would have allowed him to be eligible to be President if he could conclusively prove that he was a “citizen of the United States” (by conclusively proving he was born in Hawaii). Since he cannot utilize the grandfather clause, he must conclusively prove he is a “natural born Citizen” to be eligible to be President. But Obama’s birth circumstances show that, even if he were born in Hawaii as he claims, he cannot satisfy his constitutional obligation under Article II. Obama’s father, being born in the then-British colony of Kenya, was under the British Nationality Act 1948 a British subject/citizen and not a United States Citizen when Obama was born in 1961. Being here only temporarily on a student visa, he was not domiciled or permanently residing in the United States. Obama himself in 1961 by descent from his father was also born a British subject/citizen under that same 1948 Act. If Obama was born in Hawaii (a fact which he has yet to conclusively prove by presenting a contemporaneous birth certificate created in 1961 when he was born and not a Certification of Live Birth created in 2007 and posted on the internet in 2008), which would make him a dual citizen from birth of the United States and Great Britain, he could qualify as a “Citizen of the United States” under a liberal and questionable interpretation of the Fourteenth Amendment. But because his father was not a United States citizen when Obama was born, he was born subject to a foreign power which he inherited from his father. Being born subject to a foreign power like a naturalized citizen, he is not an Article II “natural born Citizen” and therefore is not eligible to be President and Commander in Chief of the Military of the United States.

Mario Apuzzo, Esq.

March 4, 2010

http://puzo1.blogspot.com/
####

December 1, 2009

United States v. Low Hong, 261 F.73 (5th Cir. 1919) Is No Precedent on the Question of What is an Article II “Natural Born Citizen”

There are some blogs that are citing the case of United States v. Low Hong, 261 F.73 (5th Cir. 1919), as the latest word on what a “natural born Citizen” is. Their position is that this case proves that a child born in the United States even to alien parents is a “natural born Citizen.” The issue that was before the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals was whether a petitioner was entitled to be discharged from immigration custody on his habeas corpus petition when he showed that the government was holding him in custody pending a deportation hearing before the Secretary of Labor (who handled immigration matters then) under the Immigration Act, § 17 (Comp. St. 1918, § 4289 1/4ii), and other sections relating to excluding and deporting persons from the country, which is expressly applicable only to aliens. Affirming the judgment of the district court which granted the petition and his release, the Court held that since the government had admitted that the petitioner was a citizen (which the government did not), it could not hold him in immigration custody and had to release him.

Low Hong alleged in his amended habeas petition that he was born in the United States and that he was a citizen thereof. The government did not deny his allegation that he was born in the United States. But it also did not admit that he was a citizen. The government’s position was that there was no factual dispute and that the case dealt with only a legal question as to petitioner’s citizenship which was not properly before the Court on a habeas corpus petition which it said petitioner filed prematurely. The Court ruled that the government did not dispute that petitioner was born in the United States. It therefore also ruled that the government admitted petitioner was a citizen. The Court also ruled that the statute allowing excluding and deporting aliens applied only to aliens. The Court found that the government’s admission that Low Hong was a citizen was also an admission by the government that he could not be held in immigration custody pending a deportation hearing before the Secretary of Labor. The Court said that since the government admitted Low Hong was a citizen, the Secretary of Labor had no jurisdiction or authority to detain him in immigration custody pending his deportation hearing. Low Hong therefore had to be released.

There are two errors with the Low Hong decision. First, the government never admitted that petitioner was a citizen. Rather, it only admitted that he was born in the United States and took the position that the status of his citizenship was “nothing but a question of law” yet to be decided. While the decision does not make any mention of petitioner’s parents, they were probably Chinese aliens who could not naturalize in the United States because of the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 (among other things, made Chinese immigrants who were in the United States permanent aliens by prohibiting them from becoming citizens through naturalization) which were not repealed until the 1943 Magnuson Act which permitted Chinese who were already in the United States to naturalize and thereby become United States citizens under the Fourteenth Amendment. We also do not know if petitioner’s parents met the same factual scenario as did the parents of Wong Kim Ark in United States v. Wong Kim Ark, 169 U.S. 649 (1898) (the Court decided the case based only “upon the facts agreed by the parties” and that the “necessary effect” of its decision was to declare “a child born in the United States, of parents of Chinese descent, who, at the time of his birth, are subjects of the emperor of China, but have a permanent domicile and residence in the United States, and are there carrying on business, and are not employed in any diplomatic or official capacity under the emperor of China, becomes at the time of his birth a citizen of the United States”). Id. 169 U.S. at 705. Hence, the Court on its own took the conceded fact that the petitioner was born in the United States and added that the government also conceded that he was a citizen.

The second error that the Court made is in declaring the petitioner a “natural-born citizen” on the record that it had before it. In Low Hong, the issue was not whether the petitioner was an Article II “natural born Citizen.” Rather, the issue was whether he could be held in immigration detention pending deportation if he was an admitted citizen as the Court perceived the government to have conceded. The Court in dicta then said that “[t]he averments of the amended petition show that the appellee is a natural-born citizen of the United States,” citing United States v. Wong Kim, 169 U.S. 649 (1898). The reference to “natural-born citizen” was dicta because the question of whether Low Hong was a “natural born Citizen” was not before the Court. Without any opportunity for the government to even address the issue, the Court concluded that Low Hong was a citizen because the government did not contest the petitioner’s allegation that he was born in the United States. Low Hong only needed to be a born United States citizen under the Fourteenth Amendment or some Congressional Act to avoid detention and deportation. There was no need for Low Hong to also be declared an Article II “natural born Citizen.”

The Low Hong Court’s citing Wong Kim Ark also does not make the decision a precedent for the meaning of Article II “natural born Citizen.” Wong Kim Ark, also presented with a person born in the United States to alien Chinese parents, did not declare Wong a “natural born citizen” but rather only a “citizen” of the United States under the Fourteenth Amendment. The Wong Kim Ark Court never connected Wong’s citizen status to an Article II “natural born Citizen.” The Court also did not say that there was no difference between a Fourteenth Amendment born citizen and an Article II “natural born Citizen.”

The Low Hong Court did not explain what made Low Hong a “natural born citizen” as opposed to just a plain “citizen” which is what he alleged in his amended habeas petition. Hence, the Court’s gratuitous statement that Low Hong was a “natural-born citizen” was not only not addressed by the parties or analyzed in any way by the Court but also has no basis in law or fact. In Low Hong, the Court did not even perceive citizenship to be in issue. We surely cannot use the decision for any precedent on the meaning of an Article II “natural born Citizen.” Its conclusory statement regarding Low Hong being a “natural- born citizen” is therefore not binding on any court.

The Constitution, Congressional Acts, United States Supreme Court decisions, and the Fourteenth Amendment itself also show that the Low Hong court was wrong in declaring the petitioner a “natural born Citizen.” We cannot reasonably deny that the Constitution makes a distinction between a “citizen” and a “natural born Citizen.” Article II itself, in specifying the eligibility requirements, clearly spells out that there is a difference between a “citizen” and a “natural born Citizen,” for the former was grandfathered eligible to be President up to the time of the adoption of the Constitution and the latter represented the new standard for Presidential eligibility for births after the adoption of the Constitution. The “Citizen” grandfather clause is now obsolete. The Constitution at Article I, III, IV and at Amendment XI, XIV, XV, XIX, XXIV, and XXVI also mentions “Citizen” and not “natural born Citizen.” Hence, the only place that the Constitution refers to a “natural born Citizen” is in Article II, Section 1, clause 5.

Even Congress, throughout our history has distinguished between a “Citizen” and a “natural born Citizen.” See the Naturalization Act of 1790 (children born abroad to citizen parents were deemed “natural born citizens”), 1795 (repealed the 1790 act and deemed the children born abroad to citizen parents just “citizens”), and all such acts that followed to the present (8 U.S.C. Section 1401 to 1409). Except for the Act of 1790, Congress has never legislated on the status of “natural born Citizen.” Some members of Congress have made various attempts to define “natural born Citizen,” but except for Senate Resolution 511 (declared McCain who was born in Panama to military United States citizen parents a “natural born citizen” but which is non-binding), these attempts have all failed. One of these attempts is worth mentioning because it pertains to children born in the United States. After H.J. Res. 88 failed to make it out of committee, Sen. Nickles (OK) along with Landrieu (LA) and Inhofe (OK) brought forward S. 2128 in February 25, 2004, the Natural Born Citizen Act, a bill to define the term “natural born Citizen” as used in Article II of the Constitution of the United States to establish eligibility for the Office of President. Paragraph (1) of the bill repeats the same language that is found in the Fourteenth Amendment that pertains to born citizens and declares those persons “natural born citizens.” This attempt at amending Article II’s “natural born Citizen” clause by declaring that Fourteenth Amendment born citizens are also “natural born citizens” shows that there are members of Congress who recognize that there is a difference between an Article II “natural born Citizen” and a Fourteenth Amendment born “citizen of the United States.”

The meaning of an Article II “natural born Citizen” has been addressed by various United States Supreme Court and other court cases. These cases show that the Framers did not use English common law to define what a “natural born Citizen” was but rather natural law and the law of nations which became federal common law. English common law continued to be used in the several states to provide the law on property, contracts, torts, inheritance, criminal substance and procedure, and other areas, but not the law on federal matters such as national citizenship. In defining a “natural born citizen,” these cases made specific reference to the citizenship of the child’s parents at the time of the child’s birth. Low Hong did not cite any of these cases or even explain why their definition of a “natural born Citizen” should not be followed. These cases have defined a “natural born Citizen” as a child born in the country to citizen parents which is the definition provided by Emer de Vattel in his influential and celebrated treatise, The Law of Nations, Or, Principles of the Law of Nature, bk 1, c. 19, sec. 212 (1758 French edition) (1759 first English translation). These cases are The Venus, 12 U.S. (8 Cranch) 253, 289 (1814) (Marshall, C.J., concurring) (“Vattel, who, though not very full to this point, is more explicit and more satisfactory on it than any other whose work has fallen into my hands, says, ‘the citizens are the members of the civil society; bound to this society by certain duties, and subject to its authority, they equally participate in its advantages. The natives, or indigenes, are those born in the country, of parents who are citizens. Society not being able to subsist and to perpetuate itself but by the children of the citizens, those children naturally follow the condition of their fathers, and succeed to all their rights.’”) (emphasis in the original); Dred Scott v. Sandford, 60 U.S. 393 (1857) (which also took out of Vattel’s definition the reference to “fathers” and “father” and replaced it with “parents” and “person,” respectively, when it quoted Vattel thus: “ ‘The citizens are the members of the civil society; bound to this society by certain duties, and subject to its authority; they equally participate in its advantages. The natives, or natural-born citizens, are those born in the country, of parents who are citizens. As society cannot perpetuate itself otherwise than by the children of the citizens, those children naturally follow the condition of their parents, and succeed to all their rights.’” Again: “ ‘I say, to be of the country, it is necessary to be born of a person who is a citizen; for if he be born there of a foreigner, it will be only the place of his birth, and not his country. The inhabitants, as distinguished from citizens, are foreigners who are permitted to settle and stay in the country.’ (Vattel, Book 1, cap. 19, p. 101.)” (emphasis in original); Shanks v. Dupont, 28 U.S. 242, 245 (1830) (same definition without citing Vattel); Minor v. Happersett, 88 U.S. 162, 167-68 (1875) (same definition without citing Vattel); Ex parte Reynolds, 1879, 5 Dill., 394, 402 (same definition and cites Vattel); United States v. Ward, 42 F.320 (C.C.S.D.Cal. 1890) (same definition and cites Vattel); U.S. v. Wong Kim Ark, 169 U.S. 649 (1898) (favorably citing Minor v. Happersett).

The case of Minor v. Happersett, 88 U.S. 162 (1874) deserves special attention. It distinguished between “natives, or “natural born citizens” on the one hand and “citizens” on the other. The United States Supreme Court in Minor said that “[a]t common-law, with the nomenclature of which the framers of the Constitution were familiar,” the “natives, or natural-born citizens” were “all children born in a country of parents who were its citizens…” It added that “[s]ome authorities go further and include as citizens children born within the jurisdiction without reference to the citizenship of their parents. As to this class there have been doubts, but never as to the first….” The Court was very specific in defining “natives, or natural born citizens” as requiring not only birth in the country but also citizen parents and in stating that the Framers would have defined the terms as such. In mentioning “some authorities” going further in defining “citizens” (without reference to the citizenship of the child’s parents), the Court surely did not say that the Framers maintained any such position on citizenship. Rather, the Court was referring to “some” commentators who had made such an argument. The Court also did not say that these other “authorities” considered these other children to be “natural born citizens.”

As we can see, these cases adopted the natural law and law of nations definition of a “natural born citizen.” Reliance on this definition would have been expected, for the Framers were heavily influenced by natural law and the law of nations as expounded upon by Cicero, Grotius, Pufendorf, Burlamaqui, and their favorite, Vattel. The law of nations which was based on natural law was received and adopted by the new nation as its federal common law after the Constitution was adopted. Citizenship being a topic that affected the relations among nations, the Founder and Framers would have, as did the United States Supreme Court, looked to the law of nations as the authoritative and binding source for providing any definition of national citizenship. There is no United States Supreme Court case that to this day has changed this original definition of a “natural born Citizen” provided by Vattel and recognized and confirmed by these Supreme Court cases.

Nor did the Fourteenth Amendment change the meaning of an Article II “natural born Citizen.” It did not modify “natural born Citizen” status as originally conceived by the Framers and as confirmed by the above-cited Supreme Court cases. Article II mentions “natural born Citizen” and “Citizen” while the Fourteenth Amendment mentions “Citizen.” The Constitution must be read as one whole document and all its words must be given meaning. The framers of the Fourteenth Amendment were well aware of the Constitution using the words “natural born Citizen” and “Citizen.” Hence, when the Fourteenth Amendment says “Citizen,” it must be referring to the same “Citizen” found in Article II and in other parts of the Constitution and not to Article II’s “natural born Citizen.” The words “natural born” must be given a meaning all of their own. Also noteworthy in understanding the amendment is Rep. John Bingham, who in the House on March 9, 1866, in commenting on the Civil Rights Act of 1866 which was the precursor to the Fourteenth Amendment, stated: “[I] find no fault with the introductory clause, which is simply declaratory of what is written in the Constitution, that every human being born within the jurisdiction of the United States of parents not owing allegiance to any foreign sovereignty is, in the language of your Constitution itself, a natural born citizen. . . . ” John A. Bingham, (R-Ohio) US Congressman, March 9, 1866 Cong. Globe, 39th, 1st Sess., 1291 (1866), Sec. 1992 of U.S. Revised Statutes (1866). Additionally, we cannot simply assume that the Fourteenth Amendment amended Article II. There is simply no such evidence that the Fourteenth Amendment framers did or even intended to amend the meaning of an Article II “natural born Citizen.” Amending the Constitution is a very serious and solemn undertaking. We surely cannot have constitutional amendments by assumptions or implications. Rather, Article V of the Constitution must be followed to have any such amendments to the Constitution.

Obama has claimed that he is a “native born citizen.” The above-cited authorities and case law show that under natural law and the law of nations which became federal common law, “native born citizen” meant the same thing as “natural born citizen.” But over the years, “native born citizen” took on a different meaning. It was later used to show that under the Fourteenth Amendment someone became a citizen by being born on U.S. soil rather than by being naturalized. Hence, when used in the modern sense, “native born citizen” does not necessarily mean the same thing as a “natural born Citizen.” Hence, Obama stating that he is a “native born citizen” does not necessarily mean that he is saying that he is a “natural born Citizen.”

We know that an Article II “Citizen” was grandfathered to be eligible to be President and that the grandfather clause is now obsolete. Hence, today one must be a “natural born Citizen” to be eligible to be President. Being a “Citizen” is not sufficient. A “Citizen” is defined by the Fourteenth Amendment and Congressional Acts. An Article II “natural born Citizen” is defined by federal common law (emanating from natural law and the law of nations) which provides that it is a child born in the country to a citizen mother and father.

Obama fails to meet the “natural born Citizen” eligibility test because when he was born in 1961 (where ever that may be), he was not born to a United States citizen mother and father. At his birth, his mother was a United States citizen. But under the British Nationality Act of 1948, his father, who was born in the British colony of Kenya, was born a Citizen of the United Kingdom and Colonies (CUKC) which by descent made Obama himself a CUKC. Prior to Obama’s birth, Obama’s father neither intended to nor did he become a United States citizen. Being temporarily in the United States only for purpose of study and with the intent to return to Kenya, his father did not intend to nor did he becomes even a legal resident or immigrant to the United States.

Obama may be a plain born “citizen of the United States” under the Fourteenth Amendment (if he was born in Hawaii). But he is not an Article II “natural born Citizen,” for upon Obama’s birth his father was a British subject and Obama himself by descent was also the same. Hence, Obama was born subject to a foreign power. Obama lacks the birth status of natural sole and absolute allegiance and loyalty to the United States which only the President and Commander in Chief of the Military and Vice President must have at the time of birth. Being born subject to a foreign power, he lacks Unity of Citizenship and Allegiance to the United States from the time of birth which assures that required degree of natural sole and absolute birth allegiance and loyalty to the United States, a trait that is constitutionally indispensable in a President and Commander in Chief of the Military. Like a naturalized citizen who despite taking an oath later in life of sole allegiance to the United States cannot be President because of being born subject to a foreign power, Obama too cannot be President.

Mario Apuzzo, Esq.
185 Gatzmer Avenue
Jamesburg, New Jersey 08831
http://puzo1.blogspot.com/
December 1, 2009

October 18, 2009

Congress and the Media Have Placed America at Risk of Being Attacked from Within

An election for President and Commander in Chief of the Military must strive to be above reproach. Our public institutions must give the public confidence that a presidential candidate has complied with the election process that is prescribed by our Constitution and laws. It is only after a presidential candidate satisfies the rules of such a process that he/she can expect members of the public, regardless of their party affiliations, to give him/her the respect that the Office of President so much deserves.

All those who have been following the Obama eligibility issue well know that Article II, Section 1, clause 5 provides that “No person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President. . .” At this blog, I have already explained the importance of the “natural born Citizen” clause. See my essay entitled, Why the “Natural Born Citizen” Clause of Our Constitution Is Important and Worth Preserving, located at http://puzo1.blogspot.com/2009/08/why-natural-born-citizen-clause-is.html. In order for Obama to prove that he is an Article II “natural born Citizen,” he must conclusively demonstrate that he was born in the United States to a United States citizen mother and father. For legal support for this definition of what an Article II “natural born Citizen” is, see, among others, my articles at this blog entitled, The Natural Born Citizen Clause of Our U.S. Constitution Requires that Both of the Child’s Parents Be U.S. Citizens At the Time of Birth, located at
http://puzo1.blogspot.com/2009/09/natural-born-citizen-clause-requires.html;
Article II “Natural Born Citizen” Means Unity of Citizenship At Birth, located at
http://puzo1.blogspot.com/2009/04/article-ii-natural-born-citizen-means.html;
and ‘The Law of Nations or Principles of Natural Law’ as U.S. Federal Common Law Not English Common Law Define What an Article II Natural Born Citizen Is, located at http://puzo1.blogspot.com/2009/08/law-of-nations-and-not-english-common.html.

At present, there is much controversy regarding where Obama was born. We have seen much contradictory information regarding this issue. Obama maintains he was born in Hawaii at Kapi’olani Medical Center and as his best evidence he has posted on the internet a computer-imaged Certification of Live Birth (COLB, which is a summary of his alleged long-form hospital-generated birth certificate) to prove that fact. According to the laws of Hawaii, this summary document, which does not contain information as to which hospital he was born in or what doctor delivered him, is only prima facie evidence of a birth in Hawaii. On the other hand, there exists evidence that Obama was born in Kenya. For a presentation of this evidence, see my essay on this blog entitled,
Obama Has Not Met His Burden Of Proving He Was Born In Hawaii, located at http://puzo1.blogspot.com/2008/12/obama-has-not-met-his-burden-of-proving.html. Additionally, just over the last few days, we have seen surface on the internet old newspaper articles that were written in African newspapers in 2004 stating that Obama was born in Kenya. http://thepostnemail.wordpress.com/2009/10/16/video-documents-discovery-of-ap-story-declaring-obama-kenyan-born/; http://thepostnemail.wordpress.com/2009/10/16/2-more-african-news-agencies-declare-obama-kenyan-born/; http://thepmnews.com/2008/11/25/two-nigerians-tipped-as-potential-%E2%80%98british-obama%E2%80%99. Because of this conflicting information, the prima facie validity of the COLB must fail. Hence, Obama should present evidence that corroborates his and the State of Hawaii’s position that he was born in Hawaii and that he is a “natural born Citizen. He has without good reason refused to provide this evidence.

It has been reported how past Hawaiian State practices with its birth certificate procedures have presented opportunities for birth certificate fraud. An example of such fraud is that of Chinese native, Sun Yat Sen, one of the founders of the Republic of China, who was born in China but was able to obtain a Certificate of Hawaiian Birth in 1904 based on his fraudulent affidavit and evidence submitted by witnesses to the Hawaiian authorities stating that he was born in Hawaii on November 24, 1870. http://www.scribd.com/doc/9830547/Sun-Yatsen-Certification-of-Live-Birth-in-Hawaii. See also the September 2000 report of the Office of Inspector General, entitled “Birth Certificate Fraud,” which provides an update on the nature and extent of birth certificate fraud, found at http://oig.hhs.gov/oei/reports/oei-07-99-00570.pdf. Because of critical importance of knowing for sure who the President is, the potential for birth certificate fraud, and since Obama’s original long-form birth certificate housed in the offices of the Hawaii Department of Health can be some type of certificate (even a Certificate of Hawaiian Birth) that is based on some family member’s affidavit of personal knowledge but which includes no documentary evidence of an actual birth in Hawaii, it becomes crucial to confirm whether there exists any corroborating evidence of Obama actually being born in Hawaii. Consequently, various members of the public have tried to obtain information that would adequately confirm Obama’s and the State of Hawaii’s statements that he was born in Hawaii. These concerned citizens have made requests to the State of Hawaii and to various hospitals there for such information. The State of Hawaii, Kapi’olani Medical Center, and Queens Medical Center (originally claimed by Obama’s sister to be his birth place) have publicly stated that they cannot release the needed details of Obama’s birth, including whether his deceased mother was even a maternity patient in any of those hospitals, because of Obama’s state and federal privacy rights. Not being successful, some of these concerned citizens, feeling duty bound to the Constitution and our country, have filed law suits and Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) actions against Obama and others to obtain this information.

Given that Obama and/or his agents have already publicly released some information regarding his place of birth, one commentator, William, has asked me on my blog ( http://puzo1.blogspot.com/. ) whether Obama has waived his privacy rights to such birth information. At least two arguments can be advanced that Obama has waived any privacy right that he might have in his birth information located in the State of Hawaii and in its hospitals. One is that he has waived his privacy rights to his alleged long-form, hospital-generated birth certificate by posting his COLB on the internet for the world to see. A problem with this argument is that the COLB does not disclose all his private information (name of hospital, doctors, etc.) and he can argue that his waiver is only as to the information contained on the COLB and no more. As a response, it can be argued that Obama waived his privacy right as to the identity of the hospital in which he was born given that he allegedly wrote a letter dated January 24, 2009 to Kapi’olani Medical Center in which he acknowledged being born there and which letter the hospital posted on its web page (suspiciously posting not a scan of an actual paper letter but only a computer-generated image created with HTML code) for the world to see. For more details, see the WND story on the letter at http://www.wnd.com/index.php?pageId=104146. I have grave doubts whether this letter is authentic given that both Obama and U.S. Rep. Neil Abercrombie D-Hawaii, who allegedly gave the letter to the hospital and publicly read the letter during the hospital’s centennial celebration, refuse to confirm whether this letter is real.

The second argument is more powerful and convincing. Under Article II, a would-be President must be a “natural born Citizen” to be eligible for the Presidency. Hence, any candidate knows that such “natural born Citizen” status is required to hold the public Office of President. No one winning an election and wanting to fill that public office has a reasonable expectation of privacy as to where he/she was born given that job’s eligibility requirement that one must be a “natural born Citizen.” See my article on this blog entitled, Obama’s Personal Right To Privacy Cannot Trump The Right Of The People To Know Who Their President Is, at http://puzo1.blogspot.com/2008/12/obamas-personal-right-to-privacy-cannot.html. Of course, that person’s obligation to prove his/her “natural born Citizen” status includes providing credible, competent, and sufficient documentary and other evidence of, among other things, place of birth. Clearly and without doubt, the public interest in knowing that the President-elect is eligible for the office he/she seeks to fill by far out weighs any privacy interest that the person may have in his/her birth documents. It is also clear that knowing who the person is who will occupy the Office of President and Commander in Chief concerns national security and the safety of the United States and the whole world. It is not reasonable to believe that such a person’s privacy interest would out weigh the People’s need to safeguard national security and for self-preservation. Simply put, it would be beyond absurdity to honestly contend that such a person has a right to shield from the same People that he/she is constitutionally duty bound to serve and protect information that he/she must provide to them to show that he/she is qualified for that singular and all-powerful public position which would vest him/her with great power to affect every aspect of the People’s lives.

But underneath the privacy rights question lurks a much more serious concern. We can see the absurdity of Obama sitting on privacy rights to conceal his long-form birth certificate from the public. It is downright despicable for our media and Congress and others to apologize for Obama and let him get away with it. They know full well that he has no such privacy rights. The birth information and documents that Obama refuses to reveal to the public surely are revealing of whether his is eligible to hold the Office of President. Why has the media not filed any legal actions against Obama, the State of Hawaii, and other parties, seeking to legally lift any privacy barriers to Obama’s birth information as it has so many times in the past filed actions against others running for public office who sought to prevent the public from learning details of some aspect of their private lives? What is a travesty of justice is that Obama was probably able to win his U.S. Senate seat because the media (Chicago Tribune) filed a legal action against rival Republican Jack Ryan in which it was successful in getting the “kinky sex” details of his divorce released to the public. Why the media in our country would believe what type of sex two consenting married adults practice is more important than making sure that the national security of our country is protected is beyond comprehension and represents the quintessence of warped priorities. I do not believe that anyone who truly cares about our country and Constitution can express enough in words the outrage that he/she feels about how cowardly our political leaders and media have acted with Obama on the question of his place of birth.

Congress has abdicated its constitutional oath and the media, the so-called fourth branch of our government, has failed to perform its journalistic duty to the People of the United States to assure them that Obama’s election to the highest and most powerful office in the land adhered to our Constitution and laws. Congress has been given a chance to correct its failings and still it refuses to perform its constitutional obligation. With the assistance of its media cronies and others, they all ridicule and suppress the efforts of those who are fighting to make sure that our Constitution has been respected in the last Presidential election and that our nation is safe with Obama currently occupying the Presidency and being the Commander in Chief of our military might.

We must then ask ourselves why Congress and the media have not pressed Obama for the necessary and relevant birth information for at least the sake of the integrity of the Presidential election process and the safety of our nation? Moreover, Obama cannot be an Article II “natural born Citizen” because under the British Nationality Act of 1948 when Obama was born in 1961 his father was a British subject/citizen and Obama himself was born a British subject/citizen. See Obama, the Putative President of the U.S., Is Currently Also a British Citizen, located at http://puzo1.blogspot.com/2009/07/obama-president-of-us-is-currently-also_29.html. Like a naturalized citizen who is not eligible to be President, Obama was born with an allegiance to a foreign power and is therefore not eligible to be President and more so not eligible to be the leader of our military men and women. To allow Obama to hide his birth information and to not challenge him for not being an Article II “natural born Citizen” is nothing more than at best, politicians and those in their coterie allowing corrupt party politics, self-interest, and/or cowardice to blind their constitutional duty to protect and defend our country and Constitution, at worst, part of someone’s plot to attack and destroy the United States from within, or both. Given that any attack on the United States will most likely come from within, these latter two scenarios must be given serious consideration and ruled out only after sufficient evidence exists to so rule them out. Hence, the deliberate or reckless failing by those who are supposed to protect and defend our country and Constitution is tantamount to treason.

All members of Congress that have allowed and continue to allow the raping of our Constitution and the placing of our nation at risk of being attacked from within need to be removed from Congress, without any exceptions. As to what to do with those members of the media and others who have failed and continue to fail to do their job to adequately protect and defend our Constitutional Republic, that is a question for another day.

Mario Apuzzo, Esq.
185 Gatzmer Avenue
Jamesburg, New Jersey 08831
October 17, 2009
http://puzo1.blogspot.com/

Next Page »

Blog at WordPress.com.