Some Questions for Mario Apuzzo on Natural Born Citizenship

In This Article, We Put Mario Apuzzo on the Hot Seat

In This Article, We Put Mario Apuzzo and His Dubious Constitutional Claims on the Hot Seat

Recently, Mario Apuzzo, the main proponent of the claim that “natural born citizen” means “someone born on US soil of two citizen parents” — has participated in some debate here regarding Swiss philosopher Emer de Vattel’s influence (or lack thereof) on the meaning of “natural born citizen.”

For about 3 years, Mr. Apuzzo has been very determinedly claiming that anyone who does not have two US citizen parents at the time of his or her birth is ineligible to run for or serve as President or Vice-President of the United States.

Apuzzo has been “spreading the word” that our current President is Constitutionally ineligible — and so are some potential conservative candidates for President or Vice-President, including Bobby Jindal and Marco Rubio.

Mr. Apuzzo’s claims are impressive in their volume, their detail, and their seeming plausibility. Because of this, quite a few people in America have listened to his claims, and quite a few other people have passed them on to others.

Entire organizations — such as an “Article II SuperPAC” — have been formed to ensure that candidates meet these “Constitutional qualifications.” There are some folks pushing for our legislatures to pass laws making sure candidates are born with citizens for parents. And literally dozens of lawsuits have been filed in our courts challenging our current President’s eligibility on Constitutional grounds.

Yet, when one starts to closely examine the claims of Mr. Apuzzo, and similar claims made by others, one quickly begins to run into problems.

This has brought to mind a list of questions that we might ask Mr. Apuzzo. I am, of course, inviting Mr. Apuzzo to answer these questions in the comments here.

Many of these questions have to do with the nuts and bolts of the major claims made by Mr. Apuzzo and other “birthers.” Those who are newer to the issue and would like an overview — including conclusions reached regarding the “birther” claims — may like to refer to this article.

By the way, these are not new issues. They’ve been out there for a while. There’s already been extensive discussion of almost all aspects of Apuzzo’s major claims. But in spite of having deficiencies (and frankly, falsehood) of many of these claims pointed out by many people, Mr. Apuzzo continues to widely promote them. This fact has led to bringing a number of fairly pointed questions together in a single place, so as to help illustrate the fact that these claims of two-citizen-parent birtherism do not accurately represent our Constitution or our laws.

The Questions for Mario Apuzzo

1) Mr. Apuzzo: Why do you claim that THREE SHORT SENTENCES in the Supreme Court case of Minor v Happersett established “binding precedent” on a topic (the citizenship of children with non-citizen parents) that was not by any stretch of the imagination the actual question before the Court?

[Note: Further detailed discussion of Apuzzo's claims regarding Minor v Happersett is available starting here.]

And is it normal for a lawyer to claim that three sentences on a topic that is not a part of the question before the court constitutes “binding precedent?”

2) Why do you claim that three sentences on a topic (see above) that was not by any stretch of the imagination the actual question before the Court, in which there was ZERO discussion, ZERO research, and ZERO presentation of any actual authorities or references, is “binding precedent,” or anything other than pure obiter dicta — side comments — when in fact it clearly is nothing but side comment?

3) Why do you claim that Minor v Happersett gave a “definition” of “natural born citizen” — when there was clearly no reason for them to do so in that case, no expressed intention in that paragraph to do any such thing, and they themselves said regarding the status of children born on US soil to non-citizens, “For the purposes of this case it is not necessary to solve these doubts?”

4) Why did you make the following transparently false statement on my blog?

“Third, the Founders and Framers, in using the ‘natural born Citizen,’ clause for presidential eligibility, could not have intended that the clause would have had more than one definition. Minor gave us that only one definition and said that there were no doubts about that definition.

5) Why do you claim that the Court would EVER lay down a “binding precedent” on a topic not before the Court, without clearly spelling such a precedent out, and without giving even ONE single statement of background reasoning or even ONE single authority to justify such a “binding precedent?”

6) Why do you refuse to acknowledge that the Supreme Court in US v Wong Kim Ark found that the child born on US soil of parents was “natural born” — when the Court clearly stated that every citizen or subject of another country, while domiciled here” has an allegiance that is “strong enough to make a natural subject, for if he hath issue [that is, a child] here, that issue is a natural-born subject?

And why do you refuse to acknowledge that Wong Kim Ark clearly and absolutely fit those circumstances, and therefore was found — as an “irresistible” “conclusion” (in the words of the Court) to be a “natural born subject” (or if you prefer, a “natural born citizen” — whichever term you choose to use) as well as “a citizen?”

7) Why do you refuse to acknowledge the plain words of the Court in US v Wong Kim Ark, when they stated that the “SAME RULE” had always applied, first in England, then in the English Colonies, then in the United States after independence and after the adoption of the Constitution, and that that RULE was that “every child born in England [and later, the Colonies and the United States,] of alien parents was a natural-born subject unless the child of an ambassador or other diplomatic agent of a foreign State or of an alien enemy in hostile occupation of the place where the child was born?”

8.) Why do you claim that the Framers of the Constitution meant Vattel’s idea of citizenship,

  • when the term “natural born” itself came very clearly and undeniably directly from the English common law,
  • when it had a long-established and accepted meaning that is in direct conflict with Vattel’s concept,
  • when the Founding Fathers quoted Blackstone (the English common law authority) SIXTEEN TIMES as often as they quoted Vattel,
  • when there is absolutely zero evidence that the Framers of the Constitution meant anything other than what the term had always meant,
  • when there is absolutely zero record of any debate on the subject (indicating that the term was clearly understood and non-controversial and therefore MUST have meant what it had always meant),
  • when there is absolutely zero association of the term with Vattel in any of the writing of the entire period,
  • when it is clear that the Founding Fathers rejected many of Vattel’s other ideas (such as restrictions on the right to bear arms and freedom of press and religion),
  • and when you have produced and can produce absolutely no evidence that they actually meant Vattel’s concept by it?

9) If the Framers of the Constitution were referring to Vattel’s concept, then why didn’t they use Vattel’s terminology — and state that the President had to be “a natural,” or “an indigene?”

10) And finally, if they didn’t rely on our ENGLISH heritage and the common law for the meaning of “natural born citizen,” then why would they ever choose to use a specific legal term which was found in the common law and no place else?

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245 Responses to Some Questions for Mario Apuzzo on Natural Born Citizenship

  1. First, that is a great photo for this article.

    Some time ago I read the original complaint that Mario submitted on behalf of plaintiff Charles Kerchner in Kerchner v Obama. Guess what case was never cited? Yep, the landmark Minor v Happersett decision, which according to Mario defined natural born citizen. I wrote this on my blog:

    It has been interesting to watch the evolution of Mario’s reliance on his incorrect interpretation of Minor v Happersett, which he now touts as the defining case for the definition of a natural born citizen. You would think this important case would have been referenced in his one and only eligibility case. However I checked the Original Complaint in Kerchner v Obama filed on Inauguration Day in 2009, the Amended Complaint, filed on the following day, and the Second Amended Complaint, filed on February 20,2009. The Minor case is never cited nor even mentioned in any of the complaints. Even on his blog he only mentions Minor v Happersett in passing an an article on January 8, 2009 and then not again until June 2009. My theory is that like all the other Birther attorneys the “Two Citizen Parent” de Vattel nonsense was invented out of thin air in late 2008 (primarily by Leo Donofrio) when it was becoming more apparent every day that then candidate Obama was born in Hawaii and every piece of evidence supported that conclusion. The Birthers had to have a fall back position and a little Google work gave it to them. After the release of the LFBC the attachment to the nonsense theory became necessary and they began openly lying about Minor v Happersett out of complete desperation.

    • John Woodman says:

      First, that is a great photo for this article.

      Thanks.

      I don’t really like asking pointed questions of anybody, even when I know they are misleading other people. So this is likely the most pointed article I will ever write. But the problem is this: Without the slightest doubt, significant number of people are being led astray here. And I’m well aware that they’re being led astray; and I have sufficient information to show that.

      So do I just sit back and allow untrue information to keep gaining a foothold in the public arena — or should I try and do my little bit to challenge it?

      Of course one can’t fix every problem, right every wrong, oppose every false meme — Constitutional or otherwise. But it’s kind of difficult for me to just stand by and let fairly large numbers of people be misled when I have the information right at my fingertips to show that this particular claim is without merit.

      The other thing is that the claim is harmful in several ways.

      First, I think that any time untruth gains enough of a foothold to start to sway events in the public arena, that’s a bad thing in and of itself. It might be this particular untruth today; it might be a worse one tomorrow. And it just isn’t good to allow untruth to prevail. It sets a bad precedent. And I believe that when people stand up and simply tell the actual truth, that sets a good precedent. It is also a re-demonstration to people of the principle “you can’t believe everything you hear” — because it re-alerts people to the fact that there are two sides to every story. And while one side might initially appear to be truthful and convincing, sometimes when the other side speaks, those apparently convincing arguments fall apart.

      Secondly, untruth damages our system as it was envisioned by the Founding Fathers and as it’s supposed to be. Not how you or I might want it to be, but as it’s supposed to be. Now I don’t believe everything in this country has to be exactly as the Founding Fathers set it up, because they themselves were well aware that they weren’t setting up a perfect system, and they knew that that system would certainly need to be patched and improved over time.

      And because they knew that, they provided a means for that to be done. They gave us a system with both respect for the law, and a means to change that law. They gifted us with a means for us to change the Constitution, and that means works pretty well.

      That Constitution has been amended now 27 times. So if need be, it can clearly be done.

      If we respect the Founding Fathers and the Constitution and the law, then we will acknowledge what the law is. If it is satisfactory, then we will accept it. If not, we can change it. But what we won’t do — if we truly respect the Constitution and the law — is claim that it says something it that it does not say.

      Third, while there may be (and certainly is) something to be said for protecting our country from foreign influence, there’s also something to be said for the inclusiveness of our nation. I personally think there’s greatness and strength in the fact that two citizens of India can move to America, and their child born here before they are actually able to qualify to become US citizens (which usually takes 5 years) has the hope that he or she could one day be President.

      Let’s take a concrete example. A young couple moves here from India, to attend graduate school. The mom is pregnant. Who knows whether they planned to stay? In any event, a few months after their arrival, a son is born. They name him Piyush.

      But as Piyush grows up, he does so on a diet of American school and American culture and American television. Every day after school, he watches the Brady Bunch on TV. The little one, Bobby, is about his age, and this little boy thinks, “Bobby. I want to be called Bobby. Just like Bobby Brady.”

      And from that moment, little Piyush Jindal is no longer Piyush Jindal. He’s Bobby Jindal.

      And he grows up, here in America. And he’s as smart as a whip and he ends up going into politics, and becomes Governor of the State of Louisiana.

      I personally think there is something great to be said about the fact that someone like Bobby Jindal, born on US soil, grew up in America, the son of Indian immigrants, can hope to be elected President of the United States.

      Fourth, I know it’s unlikely that people’s acceptance of the claim might actually deprive us of a really good candidate for President or Vice-President, or cause a ticket with someone like Bobby Jindal or Marco Rubio on it to fail to win a narrow election. But it’s still a possibility. Let’s say that Marco Rubio — who has to be about at the top of the list for potential candidates for Vice-President — is selected to run for that slot.

      In a close election (and we’ve seen some of those, haven’t we? 1960? 2000?) it’s just conceivable that if the myth that Rubio is ineligible to be Vice-President should hold enough sway among the Republican base to cost Republicans the election.

      But of course it works kind of the same way for your candidate as well. If enough people should believe that Barack Obama (for example) is Constitutionally ineligible, then I suppose that could conceivably cost him a close election. Although it does seem more important to me for the Republicans at this juncture than it does for Obama.

      Either way, it just doesn’t seem good to suppose even the possibility that our next election might conceivably be decided not on the basis of the merits of the candidates, but on a false notion that one or more of them is ineligible, when that simply isn’t the case. It just isn’t good for the country. And I figure that my promoting the truth has a much better chance than my one personal vote of helping contribute to the integrity of our American system.

    • Reality Check,

      You have made the same point about Minor before. I see that you are dense. I told you before that a complaint is not the place where case law and legal arguments are made. That is done in a brief. Why have you not commented on my discussing the Minor case in the briefs that I filed with the courts?

      My January 8, 2009 article clearly covers the Minor case and explains that under that U.S. Supreme Court case, Obama is not a “natural born Citizen” and therefore not eligible to be President.

  2. ehancock says:

    My questions are these:

    (1) Do you believe that the US-born child of a foreigner is likely to be a less reliable citizen than the US-born child of a US-citizen?

    If so, what evidence do you have for that?

    (2) If there is no evidence that the US-born child of a foreigner is likely to be a less reliable citizen than the US-born child of US citizens, what makes you think that the writers of the Constitution thought that that was the case–unless they said it, and they never said it.

    • John Woodman says:

      I thought that this article might spark some additional questions for Mr. Apuzzo. Such questions are definitely welcome. ;-)

    • ehancock,

      You keep harping about equal protection. How come I do not see you sheding any tears for former Governor Arnold Alois Schwarzenegger who has been told he is not eligible to be President?

  3. William McPherson says:

    Are “Born Citizens” the same as “Natural Born Citizens”? If no, then what is the difference?

    • Thomas Brown says:

      Yes. There are exactly two kinds of Citizens… no more, no less. Anyone who says otherwise is either uninformed or lying.

      Natural born citizens are US citizens at birth. They are either native citizens, born on the soil to any parents (with certain very limited exceptions, such as children of diplomats), or those born to citizens while out of the country, such as John McCain. In either case, they are considered citizens from the moment of birth, and need no Naturalization; there is no legal distinction whatsoever between those native-born and those foreign-born to a citizen. They can all run for President. So Marco Rubio and Bobby Jindal are just as eligible as John McCain, Barack Obama and George Bush.

      A firm proof of the NBC status of almost any child born on US soil is the case of Tom Vilsack. He is in the line of succession to the Presidency today, and ran for President, competing briefly with President Obama in the last Democratic Party Primary. The salient fact here is that Tom Vilsack was a foundling; he was abandoned by unknown parents in Philadelphia. So all that is known about him is that he was American born, hence a Natural Born Citizen. And not a single word was said about any doubts about his eligibilty at the time he ran.

      Anyone born NOT A US CITIZEN can be made a citizen by Naturalization; they enjoy every privelege of Natural Born Citizens EXCEPT eligibility for the Presidency.

  4. Here is a fundamental Obot position which is repeated here: “How can people become U.S. citizens? There are just two ways; either they are born citizens or they become citizens later in life. In the first case, anyone who is a citizen by nature of his birth is a “natural born citizen.” In the second case, anyone who is a citizen of another country at birth, but is granted U.S. citizenship sometime afterward, is a naturalized citizen.” See http://www.humanevents.com/article.php?id=51134#comments

    The problem with this position is that the Founders and Framers called for a “natural born Citizen,” not a “born citizen.” By using the clause “natural born Citizen,” they informed us that birthright citizenship was reserved only for the children of citizens. And natural birthright citizenship was reserved only for children born in the United States to citizen parents. That was a “natural born Citizen.” That U.S. v. Wong Kim Ark in 1898 in applying the Fourteenth Amendment, which speaks only about citizenship and not natural born citizenship, created an additional citizen at birth, one born in the U.S. to domiciled alien parents, does not amend the original definition of a “natural born Citizen” which the People adopted as the definition for a would-be President to satisfy. If we want to change that definition, a constitutional amendment is needed.

    Additionally, the Constitution gives Congress the power to naturalize, but not the power to make “natural born Citizens.” Congress can through its naturalization powers create citizens at birth. These citizens are naturalized at birth and considered citizens from birth. But being naturalized, they are not “natural born Citizens.” So we can see that these persons who Congress can create to be citizens from birth are still naturalized by Congress and not “natural born Citizens” even though they are “citizens” at birth.

    Also, since all were not born to two U.S. citizen parents, but were born in the United States, Barack Obama (he still has not conclusively proven he was born in the U.S.), Marco Rubio, and Bobby Jindal may be Fourteenth Amendment “citizens of the United States, but they cannot be Article II “natural born Citizens.”

    • gorefan says:

      Not according to William Rawle,

      “Therefore every person born within the United States, its territories or districts, whether the parents are citizens or aliens, is a natural born citizen in the sense of the Constitution, and entitled to all the rights and privileges appertaining to that capacity. “

      • Thomas Brown says:

        Apuzzo has no clue about the English language. People say a
        “a completely unique experience” all the time, which is no different than “a unique experience” in fussy, absolutely critical terms, but there you have it.

        It is significant to understanding the Birther mentality [sic] that nobody in the entire history of Constitutional Law in the USA since ~1900 has failed to understand that the Constitution intended that anyone born a citizen is a natural born citizen eligible for the Presidency until a brown-skinned man with a foreign-sounding name was elected.

        • Thomas Brown,

          Why do you not prove what you just said. You can’t do it because you do not have the depth of knowledge necessary to do it even if the evidence existed which it does not. All you can do is just talk without evidence.

          • Thomas Brown says:

            Something you are eminently qualified to comment upon.

            The bottom line on you is this: you would be within the realm of the sane and the honorable were you to argue that your interpretation of NBC should prevail in established law, and to espouse a change in the understanding and application of the term. But you cannot do that by supporting your line of reasoning with self-serving misprisions based on the strained, arcane parsing of textual references you have bludgeoned into agreement with your position.

            You persist in arguing that we are wrong about the interpretation of NBC as it currently obtains. That is nonsense. We are utterly sure of, and we have volumes of evidence for, the jus soli -based definition of NBC. We are not deluded, we are not dishonest, we are not subversive, we are not disloyal, and every court decision backs us up. In light of which, when you speak of “Obot tactics” as if we were the ones with the thin, untenable argument it just makes you sound petulant and immature.

            Indeed, it takes very little “depth of knowledge” to see that it is your viewpoint that is radical, subversive, delusional, and downright absurd, bordering on seditious. It is you who have failed to prove your case that the current working definition of Presidential eligibility is at odds with the Founders’ intent. Failed. Like pissing into a swift wind, like pounding sand and examining it for diamonds, as in if wishes were horses we would all have a jolly ride.

            In fact, I doubt that you really believe President Obama actually is ineligible. I believe you are a demagogue, a partisan smear operative, preaching ideas you know to be faulty to people you know to be idiots, with the cynical goal of swaying their votes. That is the only logical conclusion that may be extrapolated from your arrogant, dismissive tone, your refusal to acknowlege the flaws in your reasoning when they are pointed out definitively, and the fact that you are apparently not stupid.

            You should know better, but choose to pretend not to. And that, Sir, is reprehensible.

    • John Woodman says:

      Interesting characterization of that as an “Obot position” — especially since it was espoused long before the Obama era by the United States Supreme Court, and especially since the article you refer to — which presents that position — was written by an Obama-opposing Republican whose acclaimed history of the Republican Party was apparently cited by conservative Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas. He describes you (not by name, but by your position) as a “voice from the fringe,” by the way.

      I see you’re still playing Birtherball — the rules of which appear to be:
      Try and find some one claim — any claim — that seems to support your position, and for which the evidence is ambiguous enough that you can claim victory. Then ignore the great body of evidence and claim an overall “victory” on the basis of that one dubious point. I don’t think the birtherball game is ever likely to get you very far, since there’s now a lot of evidence out there on almost every point you’ve ever raised, and virtually all of them have been shown by one person or another to be without merit. But I do thank you for showing up here anyway.

      Would you care to take a crack at the 10 questions above?

      • Mr. Woodman,

        The Obots have not even come close to showing that I am wrong in my position. People who can read and reason can tell who is winning and who is losing. Your rhetoric is not helping you to win.

        • John Woodman says:

          Sure.

          Would you care to take a crack at the 10 questions above?

        • John Woodman says:

          Oh, and while you’re at it, can you produce that quote from St. George Tucker that supposedly supports your claim, that you’ve been asked about half a dozen times for?

        • Jim says:

          Well, according to the Judges in Indiana, New Jersey, Georgia, Alabama, Illinois, etc, etc, etc…you have been shown to be wrong time and time again. And these Judges are not Obots. So, it seems that you’re the one who’s been losing. Sorry to break it to you…

  5. William McPherson says:

    Is the term, “natural”, superfluous as it is written ? Why put it in there?

    • John Woodman says:

      I take it that your question is for anyone, not specifically for Mr. Apuzzo.

      “Natural” is there because the term “natural born citizen” derives directly and absolutely from the English legal term “natural born subject.” In fact, the two terms — “natural born citizen” and “natural born subject” — were used absolutely synonymously in the law in at least one of the early United States. And the term was NEVER used in connection with Vattel until 10 years after the Constitution was written.

      The term “natural” was in “natural born subject” because it WAS a reference to natural law. The “law of nature” and the “law of God” were the same thing: it was God who had set up the “law of nature.”

      And by that law, as it was officially reckoned in the Kingdom of England, a person born within a particular kingdom was obligated to obey the authority that God had placed in charge of that particular kingdom. He owed allegiance. In turn, the King was bound by divine and natural law to provide justice, protection, and righteous government.

      The philosophy has clear roots in Paul’s Epistle to the Romans, Chapter 13. Romans 13:1 was quoted by Lord Coke in Calvin’s Case in 1607, which has served as a very important precedent for citizenship law in England and America ever since.

      • I believe someone had posted early state laws that still used the term “natural born subject” even after independence. The term “natural born” was also used in other contexts than citizenship as a modifier such as “natural born” talent or “natural born” killer. I suspect the usage in other contexts predated the use in reference to citizenship in England.

        • John Woodman says:

          Right. That posting is what I had reference to. I probably should’ve posted a link.

          As far as the term being used in other contexts, I think the “natural born subject” use goes WAY back, and is probably the original usage. “Natural born subject” goes easily back to some time before 1607. Probably centuries before.

          And it seems clear to me that it was a legal term that had reference to natural law. I personally would tend to think that was the original usage, and that other usages have since derived from that.

          • gorefan says:

            “And it seems clear to me that it was a legal term ”

            The term “natural born subject” was used in early colonial charters

            Charter of Georgia : 1732

            “Also we do, for ourselves and successors, declare, by these presents, that all and every the persons which shall happen to be born within the said province, and every of their children and posterity, shall have and enjoy all liberties, franchises and immunities of free denizens and natural born subjects, within any of our dominions, to all intents and purposes, as if abiding and born within this our kingdom of Great-Britain, or any other of our dominions”

            And in Treaties:

            Treaty of Peace and Commerce between Great Britain and the State of Tunis, 1751

            X. That whereas the island of Minorca in the Mediterranean sea, and the city of Gibraltar in Spain, do now belong to his Majesty the King of Great Britain; it is. hereby agreed and fully concluded, That from this time forward, for ever, the said island of Minorca shall be esteemed (as likewise Gibraltar) by the government of Tunis, to be, in every respect, part of his Britannick Majesty’s dominions, and the inhabitants thereof shall- be looked upon as his Majesty’s natural-born subjects, in the same manner as if they had been born in any other part of Great Britain.”

            • John Woodman says:

              The term certainly seems to go back before Calvin’s Case (1607), as it is used numerous times in that case, and the usage strongly suggests that it’s not a new term.

              So at the bare minimum, it is more than 400 years old.

              The term is not mentioned in the earlier law of De Natis Ultra Mare (1351), and I haven’t found it in a book that contains laws from that era.

              However, it was argued in Calvin’s Case that certain people going as far back as the time of Maud the Empresse were “natural born subjects.” Her time was in the 1100′s.

      • ballantine says:

        Most of the early state naturalization statutes used “natural born subject.” Here is some from Massachusetts:

        Massachusetts Legislature – Chapter 77. AN ACT FOR NATURALIZING William Martin and Others – March 2, 1787 (substantially similar language used in naturalization acts on May 1, 1787, November 16, 1787, June 19, 1788 and February 14, 1789)…..…that the aforenamed William Martin naturalized. and Elizabeth his wife, William Moch, John Amory, David /Smith and Elizabeth his wife, and their children, Viz. Moses, Ruth, Mercy, Lendall, David, Elizabeth, Hannah, Dorothy, and Godfrey, William Molton, William Haggett, Thomas Craige, and John Nicholas Rudberg, first taking the oath of allegiance to this Commonwealth, before two Justices of the peace, quorum unus, shall be deemed, adjudged and taken to be free Citizens of this Commonwealth, and entitled to all the liberties, priviledges and immunities of natural born subjects.

        Here are others from the same state during the same period using natural born citizen in nearly identical statutes clearly indicating the terms meant the same thing:

        Massachusetts Legislature – Chapter 43. AN ACT FOR NATURALIZING MICHAEL WALSH – February 17, 1786 (substantially similar language used in naturalization acts on February 28, 1785, July, 7, 1786, October 29, 1787, and November 21, 1788)……….that Michael Walsh be permitted to take and subscribe the oath of allegiance to this Commonwealth, before two Justices of the Peace, quorum units, of the county where he dwells; and thereupon, and thereafter, he shall be deemed, adjudged and taken to be a citizen of this Commonwealth, and entitled to all the liberties, rights and privileges of a natural born citizen.

        Here is the same legislature calling persons subject to the natural born citizenship clause “natural born subjects” in a proposed Amendment to expand the NBC clause:

        RESOLVE REQUESTING THE SENATORS AND REPRESENTATIVES IN CONGRESS TO PROPOSE AN AMENDMENT TO THE CONSTITUTION PROVIDING, THAT NONE BUT NATURAL BORN SUBJECTS BE ELIGIBLE TO CERTAIN OFFICES.
        Whereas it is highly expedient, that every constitutional harrier should be opposed to the Introduction of Foreign Influence, into our National Councils, & that ye Constitution of ye United States should be so amended as to effect and Secure in ye best manner ye great objects for which it was designed : Resolved that the Senators & Representatives of this Commonwealth in the Congress of the United States, be, and they hereby are requested to use their best endeavours, that Congress propose to the Legislatures of the several States, the following amendment to the Constitution of the United States, viz. “That (in addition to the other qualifications prescribed by said Constitution) no person *hall be eligible as President or Vice President of ye United States nor shall any person he a Senator or Representative in ye Congress of ye United States except a natural born Citizen ; or unless he shall have been a Resident in the United States at ye time of ye declaration of Independence, and shall have continued either to reside within the same, or to be employed in its service from that period to ye time of his election.”

        I could keep citing authority all day.

        “It requires all senators to be thirty years old, and prohibits any but a natural born subject from being president.” State v. Foreman, 16 Tenn. 256, 335–36 (1835).

        “An alien may, by becoming naturalized, be entitled to all the privileges of natural-born subjects; except that a residence of seven years is required to qualify an alien for a member of Congress, and that no person except a natural born subject can be a governor of a State, or President of the United States.” The Law Library, Vol. 84, pg. 50 (1854)

        “But the law quce nihil frustra, never casts the freehold upon an alien heir who cannot keep it: even a natural born subject or citizen cannot take by representation from an alien, because the alien has no heritable blood through which a title can be deduced.” McClenaghan v. McClenaghan, 20 S.C. Eq. (1 Strob. Eq.) 295 (1847).

        “Nor by the common law could a natural born subject or citizen transmit lands by descent to another, immediately, through the blood of an alien.” Banks v. Walker, 3 New York Leg. Obs. 340 (1848).

        Indeed there is an entire body of case law interpretating English statutes regarding natural born subjects that were adopted in the states. They all simply changed “subject” to “citizen.” See, e.g., Palmer v. Downer, 2 Mass. 179 (1806), Jacksons v. Sanders, 2 Leigh 109 (1830), McCreery v. Somerville, 9 Wheat. 354 (1824), Lessee of Levy v. McCartee, 31 U.S. 6 Pet. 102 (1832).

  6. ehancock says:

    Re: “And natural birthright citizenship was reserved only for children born in the United States to citizen parents.”

    Then why didn’t they say it? Why didn’t they say: “We do not consider the US-born children of foreigners to be as good as the US-born children of US citizens, so they cannot be Natural Born Citizens?”

    Why did they write the reverse–that all men were created equal? IF they did not consider that the US-born children of foreigners were equal to the US-born children of US citizens, all they had to do was say it. All they had to do was say: “We make this exception in the principles of the Declaration of Independence. US-born children of foreigners are not Natural Born; only the US-born children of US citizens are Natural Born.”

    If they did not say it, they could assume that anyone who read Natural Born Citizen was referring to the common law and that they really did hold by their principles and that the US-born children of foreigners are not a lower grade of citizen than the US-born children of US citizens.

  7. All your discussion about what a “natural born subject” is does not prove that the Founders and Framers defined a “natural born Citizen” the same as the English common law defined a “natural born subject.” Other than your unfounded assertion that the two clauses mean the same simply because they both share the clause “natural born,” you simply fail to provide any historical evidence of a link between the two.

    There are also many other problems with your position:

    First, when the Founders and Framers inserted the “natural born Citizen” clause into the Constitution, they had just fought and won a war with Great Britain. It is highly unreasonable to believe that they would have looked to the law of that same monarchial country to define their new hard fought and won republican citizenship.

    Second, at that time, the United States became a republic which adopted republican principles of government while Great Britain remained a monarchy with feudal and monarchial principles of government. Citizens have a completely different relationship to a republic than subjects have to a monarchy, with citizens consenting to their government’s existence and to be governed by that representative government but subjects of a King having no choice in the matter.

    Third, Thomas Jefferson specifically blotted out “subject” and replaced it with “citizen” in the Declaration of Independece.

    Fourth, our American Constitution says “natural born citizen,” not “natural born subject.” A basic rule of constitutional construction is that we have to give specific meaning to the specific clause used by the Framers when at all possible which according to the historical record is more than possible.

    Fifth, the “natural born Citizen” clause as applies to republics is a word of art, an idiom, and therefore has a very specific meaning which comes down through the ages. That specific meaning was recognized and confirmed by the unanimous U.S. Supreme Court in Minor v. Happersett (1875) and both the majority and dissent in U.S. v. Wong Kim Ark (1898). Your new attempt at defining a “natural born Citizen” by equating “natural born” with a “natural born subject” as did Judge Masin in New Jersey must therefore fail.

    Sixth, the historical record shows that the Founders and Framers rejected resort to the English common law as being applicable to the new republic on the national level and as a guide to defining terms in the Constitution that applied to that federal government. As two examples, they vehemently rejected the English common law’s indelibility of allegiance and subjecthood and Madison told us in The Federalist No. 42 that the English common law was “a dishonorable and illegitimate guide” for defining piracies and felonies in Article I, Section 8, Clause 10.

    Seventh, to whatever limited degree the Founders and Framers may have later through the Bill of Rights accepted the English common law to define a very limited area of rights, you have not provided one shred of evidence from the Founding period that the Founders and Framers relied upon the English common law to define the new national citizenship let alone that they defined a “natural born Citizen” the same as the English defined a “natural born subject.” Note that the framers of the Bill of Rights specifically included the Ninth and Tenth Amendments in the Bill of Rights to show that there were many other rights and powers retained by the people and the states which were not enumerated in the Constitution. These rights and powers would have come from natural law, revealed or divine law, the law of nations, and municipal law.

    • Jim says:

      Again, I have to disagree with you Mario. The courts have been very clear on this…

      In Dred Scott v. Sandford, (1857) 19 How. 393, Mr. Justice Curtis said:

      “The first section of the second article of the Constitution uses the language, ‘a natural-born citizen.’ It thus assumes that citizenship may be acquired by birth. Undoubtedly, this language of the Constitution was used in reference to that principle of public law, well understood in this country at the time of the adoption of the Constitution, which referred citizenship to the place of birth.”

      Not parentage, but place of birth. And yes, I know that this was overturned, but it was still used 40 years later in KWA. Note that it was “WELL UNDERSTOOD” at the time of the adoption of the constitution. Now, what do you have that shows it was different? Please cite laws and court opinions and not your personal opinion…which has been shot down many times over in court.

      • Jim,

        My position on the meaning of a “natural born Citizen” is not based on my personal opinion. Rather, I have amassed a great deal of evidence on the subject.

        I will not get into all the evidence which shows that a “natural born Citizen” is a child born in the country to citizen parents, but here are some cases on the subject:

        The Venus, 12 U.S. (8 Cranch) 253, 289 (1814): Chief Justice John Marshall, concurring and dissenting for other reasons, in 1814 cites Vattel and provides his definition of “natural-born citizen” and 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.’”

        Chief Justice John Marshall, an influential Founders, is more authoritative in 1814 on the meaning of a “natural born Citizen” than Justice Curtis is on that meaning in 1857. Being part of the Founding generation, he would have know how the public and legal and judicial professions defined a “natural born Citizen.” Justice Curtis cannot say the same.

        You also fail to note that Justice Curtis was in dissent on the very issue of citizenship, unlike Chief Justice Marshall who was in dissent on an unrelated issue.

        You also fail to state that in the very Dred Scott v. Sandford, 60 U.S. 393 (1857) decision that you cite and quote, Justice Daniels concurring cites Vattel and The Law of Nations and provides his definition of natural born citizens and takes out of Vattel’s definition the reference to “fathers” and “father” and replaced it with “parents” and “person,” respectively, and stated:

        “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. . . .”

        Unlike Justice Curtis, Justice Daniels was not in dissent, but rather in concurrence.

        Then of course, we have Minor v. Happersett, 88 U.S. 162 (1875). Even though the Fourteenth Amendment had already been passed, Minor did not rely upon that amendment to define either a “natural born Citizen” or a “citizen.” Rather, it applied the American “common-law” definition of those terms. Providing Vattel’s law of nations definition of a “natural-born citizen” without citing Vattel, and not in any way referring to the English common law, it laid down the definition of a “natural-born citizen” as follows:

        “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., at 167-68.

        Minor’s definition of a “natural born Citizen” was confirmed and quoted in U.S. v. Wong Kim Ark, 169 U.S. 649 (1898).

        If you want to examine all the other evidence that I have on the meaning of a “natural born Citizen,” you can visit my web site at http://puzo1.blogspot.com/ .

        • Jim says:

          Then show me where he was talking about natural born citizens. Because it is nowhere in an opinion talking about the citizenship of a child being natural born or not. In fact, nowhere in the opinion is natural born mentioned. Again, I showed you directly where the SCOTUS said and you’ve given your opinion. When I, as a voter, weigh the two…I go with SCOTUS a lot more than some unknown lawyer’s opinion…especially when that opinion has been shot down in court many times over.

        • Mario said:

          Minor’s definition of a “natural born Citizen” was confirmed and quoted in U.S. v. Wong Kim Ark, 169 U.S. 649 (1898).

          I think that is the most dishonest thing I have ever seen you write. No one could read Justice Gray’s opinion and honestly come to that conclusion. First, Minor v Happersett did not include a “definition” of natural born citizen. Justice Gray quotes only this part of Minor:

          “The Constitution does not, in words, say who shall be natural-born citizens. Resort must be had elsewhere to ascertain that.”

          That’s it. Gray quoted those two sentences from Minor and only those two sentences. And where was “elsewhere”. Justice Gray then immediately explained “elsewhere” was English common law, not Vattel, not American common law, English common law. Gray then spent the next several pages explaining exactly what the definition of natural born was from English case law.

          Mario, I am sure you will keep lying about WKA. You have been backed into a corner and in desperation all you can do is lie at this point. Your lies are now becoming absurd.

          • Thomas Brown says:

            This one brief but weighty comment exposes precisely Mario’s slippery, mendacious character and the intellectual bankruptcy of his mutinous quest.

            Your argument is perfectly lucid, and it would now be up to Mario to show where your thinking as outlined quite specifically above is wrong. Not by making a counter-argument based on other sources, but by directly refuting how you interpreted Gray’s opinion and especially his selective quotation of Minor and his reliance on English Common Law.

            But he cannot, and I predict will not, address your one single comment above head-on. He is checked, and I believe it is check-mate, or as the Persians said, shah-mat.

            If he does not do so, he is not worth taking the time to engage further. You may declare victory and sweep Mr. Apuzzo and his windmill-tilting into the dust-bin of history.

          • John Woodman says:

            Actually, RC, I’m going to have to disagree here. Gray does quote the passage from Minor that Mario claims is a “definition” of “natural born citizen.”

            Other points you have made are of course completely on target.

            The so-called “definition” is anything but. And far from confirming Mario’s idea of natural born citizen, US v Wong Kim Ark makes it quite clear that the child born on US soil of non-citizen parents is a natural-born citizen.

            Mario pretty much simply stays away from what US v Wong Kim Ark had to say that is actually relevant. He can’t refute the plain fact that the Court found a person in Wong’s exact situation to be “natural born,” and he can’t refute the passage that tells us clearly that the same rule always applied in both England and the US.

            And there’s a ton more in there that he can’t refute, either, so he just ignores it and continues to assert that Minor v Happersett provided this imaginary “definition.”

            An honest analysis of Minor v Happersett, combined with an honest analysis of US v Wong Kim Ark, is fatal to his claim. Nothing else is really needed. So it doesn’t actually matter how much Birther Scholarship Mario produces on other points. His claim is absolute toast on the basis of those two Supreme Court cases alone, in spite of all his protests to the contrary.

            • Thomas Brown says:

              Imagine, for example, a prominent legal scholar today making a huge effort to argue that slavery is actually still legal, and should practiced again in America.

              My period of focus in American history is the 1830′s, specifically the public debates about Abolition, Temperance, and the Bank of the United States.

              In my document collection is copies of Congressional speeches for and against slavery. It is defended using Biblical references, appeals to Natural Law, citations of the Founder’s opinions… in short, exactly like the Birther arguments in support of the two-citizen-parents requirement for NBC status.

              The modern slavery advocate could argue that the 13th Amendment doesn’t count, was passed illegitimately, etc. just like people on Mario’s side attack the 14th.
              He could proceed exactly like Mario does… he could cite court arguments in favor of slavery; there is no shortage.

              But what Mario fails (apparently) to grasp is that it doesn’t matter how many such items of support for his position he enumerates; just as irrevocably as posterity has decided that the pro-slavery supporters were wrong, and the abolitionists were right, it has decided that Mario and those he cites are wrong, and the broad-definition NBC advocates are correct.

              How he imagines that the teeming, steaming metric pant-loads of written argument he piles up are going to change that, I surely cannot tell you. Unless, like I said before, his is simply an insincere cynical partisan propaganda campaign, and he doesn’t care how little actual legal import it has, or how much public and private time and money he squanders on it.

            • John, you are correct. Thank you for pointing out my mistake! I am not sure why my word search didn’t find the second part of the quote from Minor in Justice Gray’s opinion. However now that I reread this part I am even more certain Mario is wrong! Justice Gray split the reference to Minor into two sections. I stand by my interpretation that Gray only quoted Minor in the first instance to show that the Constitution provided no definition of the term natural born and that the meaning must be obtained from common law. He says that definition came from English common law. In the second instance Gray quotes the remainder of the paragraph from Minor to show that the court did not exclude children of aliens born on US soil from being natural born citizens and did not exclude them from the coverage first clause 14th amendment. This is exactly the opposite of what Mario is claiming: that the court in Wong Kim Ark confirmed that children of aliens were not natural born citizens. Gray said in effect “This court did not rule out that group of people when they had the chance and we are going to settle this once and for all.”.

              Again, no honest reading of Justice Gray’s opinion could conclude otherwise.

            • John Woodman,

              You and your side kick Reality Check love to put out your challenges. So now here is one for both of you.

              You and others have now latched on to New Jersey ALJ Masin’s “natural born” argument. Note he amazingly did not say “natural born Citizen” which is what is clearly stated in the Constitution. It therefore appears to be critical to your success in this debate that Wong Kim Ark ruled that Wong was at least “natural born.”

              Granting you for sake of argument the use of “natural born” rather than “natural born Citizen,” please provide for the public any quote from Wong Kim Ark where the Court specifically says that Wong was “natural born.” When I say provide a quote, I do not mean your interpretation of the Court’s dissertation on English common law or your personal opinion as to what was “irresistible” to the Court. Rather, I need the exact holding of the case, quoted. If you are able to do so, I will concede that I have been wrong about Wong Kim Ark acknowledging and confirming Minor’s definition of a “natural-born citizen.” But if you are not so able, then I will proclaim victory.

              Here is you big chance. Don’t blow it.

            • gorefan says:

              Mario,

              Do you conceed that in Massachusetts’ natural born subject and natural born citizen were used interchangeably?

            • Actually it is quite easy. Justice Gray restated what Justice Swayne said in United States v Rhodes (1866)

              In United States v. Rhodes (1866), Mr. Justice Swayne, sitting in the Circuit Court, said:

              “All persons born in the allegiance of the King are natural-born subjects, and all persons born in the allegiance of the United States are natural-born citizens. Birth and allegiance go together. Such is the rule of the common law, and it is the common law of this country, as well as of England. . . . We find no warrant for the opinion [p663] that this great principle of the common law has ever been changed in the United States. It has always obtained here with the same vigor, and subject only to the same exceptions, since as before the Revolution.”

              In the final section Gray says:

              The evident intention, and the necessary effect, of the submission of this case to the decision of the court upon the facts agreed by the parties were to present for determination the single question stated at the beginning of this opinion, namely, whether a child born in the United States, of parent of Chinese descent, who, at the time of his birth, are subjects of the Emperor of China, but have a permanent domicil 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. For the reasons above stated, this court is of opinion that the question must be answered in the affirmative.

              It was well established by previous decisions of the court that citizens were either natural born or naturalized so the only issue before the court in Wong Kim Ark was whether the son of Chinese citizens was part of the former group. The court affirmed that he was.

              So pay up, Mario.

        • Rich D Valle says:

          Mario says: “I will not get into all the evidence which shows that a “natural born Citizen” is a child born in the country TO CITIZEN PARENTS…”

          Please Mario, as a fellow New Jesersian, share with me JUST ONE piece of that parental information so I can win a bet.

    • gorefan says:

      Mario,

      “Other than your unfounded assertion that the two clauses mean the same simply because they both share the clause “natural born,””

      In Massachusetts (home to the Boston Massacre, Boston Tea Party, Paul Revere’s ride, Lexington and Concord, and Battle of Bunker Hill) NBC=NBS

      Please explain the following:

      In February, 1785, the Massachusetts legislature passed “AN ACT FOR NATURALIZING NICHOLAS ROUSSELET AND GEORGE SMITH.” in which it was declared that Nicholas Rousselet and George Smith “shall be deemed, adjudged, and taken to be citizens of this Commonwealth, and entitled to all the liberties, rights and privileges of natural born citizens.”

      In February, 1786, the Massachusetts legislature passed “AN ACT FOR NATURALIZING MICHAEL WALSH.” in which it was declared that Michael Walsh “shall be deemed, adjudged, and taken to be a citizen of this Commonwealth, and entitled to all the liberties, rights and privileges of a natural born citizen.”

      In July, 1786, the Massachusetts legislature passed “AN ACT FOR NATURALIZING JONATHAN CURSON AND WILLIAM OLIVER” in which it was declared that Jonathan Curson and William Oliver “shall be deemed adjudged and taken to be free Citizens of this Commonwealth, and entitled to all the liberties, privileges and immunities of natural born citizens.

      In March, 1787, the Massachusetts legislature passed “AN ACT FOR NATURALIZING WILLIAM MARTIN AND OTHERS.” in which it was declared that William Martin and Others,”shall be deemed, adjudged and taken to be free Citizens of this Commonwealth, and entitled to all the liberties, privileges and immunities of natural born subjects.”

      In May, 1787, the Massachusetts legislature passed “AN ACT FOR NATURALIZING EDWARD WYER AND OTHERS THEREIN NAMED.” in which it was declared that William Martin and Others,”shall be deemed, adjudged and taken, to be free Citizens of this Commonwealth, and entitled to all the liberties, privileges and immunities of natural born subjects.”

      In October, 1787, the Massachusetts legislature passed “AN ACT FOR NATURALIZING BARTHOLOMY DE GREGOIRE, AND MARIA THERESA, HIS WIFE, AND THEIR CHILDREN.” in which it was declared that Bartholomy de Gregoire, and Maria Theresa, his wife, their children,”shall be deemed, adjudged and taken to be free Citizens of this Commonwealth, and entitled to all the liberties, rights and privileges of natural born citizens.”

      In November, 1787, the Massachusetts legislature passed “AN ACT FOR NATURALIZING ALEXANDER MOORE, AND OTHERS, HEREIN NAMED.” in which it was declared that Alexander Moore and others,”shall be deemed, adjudged and taken to be free citizens of this Commonwealth, & entitled to all the privileges, liberties, and immunities of natural born subjects.”

      In June, 1788, the Massachusetts legislature passed, “AN ACT FOR NATURALIZING WILLIAM MENZIES, AND OTHERS, THEREIN NAMED.” in which it was declared that William Menzies and others “shall be deemed, adjudged and taken to be free citizens of this Commonwealth, and intitled to all the liberties, privileges & immunities of natural born subjects.”

      In November, 1788, the Massachusetts legislature passed, “AN ACT FOR NATURALIZING ELISHA BOURN, AND OTHERS, THEREIN NAMED.” in which it was declared that Elisha Bourn and others “shall be deemed, adjudged and taken to be free Citizens of this Commonwealth, & entitled to all the liberties, privileges & immunities of natural born Citizens.”

      In February, 1789, the Massachusetts legislature passed, “AN ACT FOR NATURALIZING JAMES HUYMAN, AND OTHERS, THEREIN NAMED.” in which it was declared that James Huyman and others “shall be deemed, adjudged and taken to be free Citizens of this Commonwealth, and entitled to all the Liberties, Privileges and Immunities of natural born subjects.”

      In June, 1789, the Massachusetts legislature passed, “AN ACT FOR NATURALIZING NATHANIEL SKINNER, AND OTHERS, THEREIN NAMED.” in which it was declared that Nathaniel Skinner and others “shall be deemed, adjudged and taken to be free citizens of this Commonwealth, and entitled to all the liberties, privileges and immunities of natural born subjects.”

      In March, 1790, the Massachusetts legislature passed “AN ACT FOR NATURALIZING JOHN JARVIS, AND OTHERS, THEREIN NAMED” in which it was declared that John Jarvis and others, “shall be deemed adjudged and taken to be free citizens of this Commonwealth, and entitled to all the liberties, privileges and immunities of natural born subjects.”

      In March, 1791, the Massachusetts legislature passed“AN ACT FOR NATURALIZING JOHN WHITE & OTHERS” in which it was declared that John White and others, “shall be deemed adjudged and taken, to be free citizens of this Commonwealth, and intitled to all the liberties, privileges, and immunities of natural born subjects.”
      =====================================================

    • Suranis says:

      “First, when the Founders and Framers inserted the “natural born Citizen” clause into the Constitution, they had just fought and won a war with Great Britain. It is highly unreasonable to believe that they would have looked to the law of that same monarchial country to define their new hard fought and won republican citizenship. ”

      Why not? We did just that here in the Republic of Ireland, right after the war of Independence (1919 to 1921) and it remained settled law till 2003. And in case you hadn’t noticed, Ireland and England have had a bit of a tense relationship so you cant accuse us of bieng all lovey dovey to the Brits.

  8. gorefan says:

    Over at Mario’s site, he posted the following comment:

    “I just left this comment for John Woodman at his blog, http://www.obamabirthbook.com/http:/www.obamabirthbook.com/2012/04/mario-apuzzo-natural-born-citizenship/#comment-1558

    “All your discussion about what a “natural born subject” is does not prove that the Founders and Framers defined a “natural born Citizen” the same as the English common law defined a “natural born subject.” Other than your unfounded assertion that the two clauses mean the same simply because they both share the clause “natural born,” you simply fail to provide any historical evidence of a link between the two. “”

    How long before Mario responds to the “historical evidence of a link between” NBC and NBS in the naturalization acts in Massachusetts? LOL

  9. ehancock says:

    Mario Apuzzo said:

    “please provide for the public any quote from Wong Kim Ark where the Court specifically says that Wong was “natural born.”

    It is not necessary. Logic is sufficient. When you say that EVERY child born in the USA is natural born–except for certain exceptions. And Wong Kim Ark was born in the USA and none of the exceptions apply then Wong Kim Ark fits into the category of Natural Born.

    The court specifically ruled that he was a US citizen. He was thus both a US citizen and Natural Born, a Natural Born US Citizen.

    We still have not heard from Mario Apuzzo whether he believes that the US-born children of foreigners are lower class citizens, less reliable citizens, than the US-born children of US citizens. We also have not heard from him whether he sincerely believes that the writers of the US Constitution who had held that “all men are created equal” sincerely believed that the US-born children of foreign citizens should be lower class citizens because they are less reliable than the US-born children of US citizens.

    Unless you can show that the writers of the US Constitution did NOT consider the US-born children of foreigners to be equal to the US-born children of US citizens there is no court in the USA–and certainly not the US Supreme Court–that would hold that there is any requirement to have US parents in the Natural Born Citizen provision. Indeed, there are EXAMPLES of American writers at the time using the term Natural Born Citizen to refer to the place of birth and saying that ALL US citizens who were born in the USA are eligible to become president, and the is NO example of a writer at the time using the phrase Natural Born Citizen to refer to parents.

  10. John Woodman and gorefan,

    I thought that you would have presented something out of Wong Kim Ark which would have provided the evidential link between a “natural born Citizen” and a “natural born subject” but I see that you did not find anything in that opinion to help you but rather you have resorted to looking to Massachusetts naturalization acts. Your Massachusetts naturalization acts do not prove that a “citizen” and a “natural born Citizen” derived their meaning from an English “natural born subject.”

    Let us first define an English “natural born subject.” Blackstone told us that any child born in the King’s dominions and under his allegiance, with the exception of one born to foreign diplomats or foreign alien invaders, was a “natural born subject,” regardless of the citizenship of the parents. Hence, the citizenship of the parents played no role in making a child born within the King’s dominions an English “natural born subject.”

    Now let us briefly examine the American experience with citizenship. Remember that some states retained the English common law through their constitutions and statutes until abrogated by the legislatures. Massachusetts was one of these states. As you have pointed out, some states like Massachusetts in the early years continued to use the clause “natural born subject.” But Massachusetts did so because it had retained the English common law on the state level. For example, Massachusetts adopted the following statute:

    Reception Provision of Massachusetts Constitution, 1780, ch. vi, art. vi.:

    “All the laws which have heretofore been adopted, used, and approved in the Province, Colony, or State of Massachusetts Bay, and usually practiced on in the courts of law, shall still remain and be in full force, until altered or repealed by the legislature; such parts only excepted as are repugnant to the rights and liberties contained in this constitution.”

    The English common law continued in those states until abrogated by the state legislature through statutes. Hence, it is not unexpected that Massachusetts in its early years still referred to its naturalized citizens as “natural born subjects.” This is especially true given that an English “natural born subject” included naturalized subjects.

    But that the states in the early years of the republic may have continued to use the clause “natural born subject” does not mean anything for citizenship on the national level. The Founders and Framers did not adopt the English common law for the national level. In fact, they did no rely upon the English common law to define the new national citizenship.

    The Founders and Framers were well aware of a “subject” and a “natural born subject” as is evidenced by the use of the clause “natural born subject” by the Massachusetts legislature in 1785 to 1791. But the Founders and Framers did not choose the clauses for the Constitution. In the new republic, they replaced “natural born subject” with “citizen” and added “natural born Citizen” to signify the children of the “citizens.” After July 4, 1776, on the national level, never was the clause “natural born subject” used again. They had a reason for specifically rejecting the clause and accepting instead a “citizen” and a “natural born Citizen.” Indeed, these membership terms were suited for describing membership in an enlightened republic and not in a feudally-based monarchy. The meaning of these terms was already well established and generally understood.

    We have direct evidence from the Founding and later which shows that the Founders and Framers adopted neither the clauses “subject” and “natural born subject” nor their meaning for the new republic, but rather selected “citizen” and “natural born Citizen.” Historical evidence of this change which applied to the national government may be found, among other sources, in the Declaration of Independence (Jefferson obliterated “subject” and replaced it with “citizen”); Thomas Jefferson’s 1776 draft constitution for Virginia (uses “persons natural born”); the Treaty of Peace of 1783 (distinguishes between English “subjects” and American “citizens”); the original U.S. Constitution (only uses “citizen” and “natural born Citizen” in referring members of the U.S.); all the Acts of Congress on naturalization (e.g. Naturalization Acts of 1790, 1795, 1802, 1804, 1855, and all other acts that followed) (all use “natural born citizen” [only the 1790 Act] or “citizen”); the Fourteenth Amendment (only uses “citizen”); and case law from the United States Supreme Court (all use “citizen” or “natural-born citizen”).

    Furthermore, how a particular state decided to define its citizens did not nor could it determine how the federal government defined the new national citizenship. The original “citizens of the United States” became so by naturalization by condition, i.e., the Declaration of Independence and by adhering to the American Revolution. Once the Constitution was adopted in 1787, the states no longer were to legislate on who may be a “citizen of the United States” in the future. This new status was a national one and the power to decide it was given only to Congress. Note that the Constitution in Article I, Section 8, Clause 4 gave the power to naturalize exclusively to Congress. This power did not include the power to make “natural born Citizens” who were defined under American common law (the law of nations) as the children born in the country to “citizen” parents. Hence, as it pertained to national citizenship, it did not matter anymore what the states said about citizenship extending beyond their borders. Congress now decided who could be “citizens of the United States.”

    Furthermore, not all the states even used the concept of “natural born subject” within their own states. For example, let us examine what Justice James Wilson wrote in 1791. Needless to say, Justice Wilson was a highly influential Founder and Framers. Pennsylvania also passed an English common law reception statute but it treated the citizenship question differently. We know from Justice James Wilson that the Founders and Framers intentionally did not select an unknown term to describe the new membership in the republic. Justice Wilson also informs us that they also decided not to use the well-known clause, “subject” or “natural born subject,” because they would have had to be used with a different meaning. They decided upon “citizen” because the people were already using that term the way that the term was meant to be used and they knew that it did not mean what subjecthood had meant under English common law. For Wilson, the meaning of a “citizen” went back to ancient Greece. He said that one could become a “citizen” of Pennsylvania by residing in the state for two years and in that time paying a state or county tax or if he was between the ages of twenty one and twenty two years and the son of a citizen, he would also become a “citizen” of Pennsylvania.

    Virginia had also passed an English common law reception statute. But as I have already explained, Thomas Jefferson in his citizenship law of 1779 in order to give citizenship in Virginia to infants required that they be born to citizen parents. Jefferson also did not use the word “subject” or “natural born subject” in Virginia. Jefferson’s infants followed the condition of their parents. This was not the English common law, but rather natural law and the law of nations which on matters of citizenship became part of American common law. See Minor v. Happersett (1875) (said “common-law” defined a “natural-born citizen” as a child born in a country to parents who were citizens of that country).

    Eventually, all the other states which had not yet done so, pursuant to new statutes, all started to use “citizen” in place of “natural born subject.” Not only did these states reject the old “subject” and “natural born subject,” but they even wrote citizenship laws that rejected how subjecthood was defined under English common law. For example, see the 1860 New York state citizenship statute which said that all persons born and domiciled in the state, except children of transient aliens and of public ministers and consuls, were citizens of New York. Here is the statute:
    Political Code of the State of New York (1860)

    Sec. 5. The citizens of the state are:

    1. All persons born in this state and domiciled within it, except the children of transient aliens and of alien public ministers and consuls;
    2 All persons born out of this state who are citizens of the United States and domiciled within this state.

    The State of New York thus rejected the English common and Lynch v. Clark, 1 Sandf.Ch. 583 (1844), a state decision which had held by relying on the English common law that a child born in New York of aliens parents who were subjects and domiciliaries of Ireland during their temporary sojourn in that city, returning with them the same year to their native country and always residing there afterwards was a “citizen of the United States.” Note that Minor in 1875 also put into serious doubt the validity of the Lynch decision and even U.S. v. Wong Kim Ark (1898) included “domicile” in its holding on the meaning of a “citizen” under the Fourteenth Amendment. There are many problems and errors with the Lynch decision which I will not discuss at this moment.

    All this, along with other evidence that I have presented, shows that a “natural born Citizen” did not take its meaning from a “natural born subject,” but rather had a meaning all of its own which I have shown came from antiquity and was handed down through the ages as part of natural law and the law of nations which we adopted at the Founding as part of American common law. Under that American common law which was acknowledged and confirmed in Minor and Wong Kim Ark, the meaning of a “natural born Citizen” was a child born in a country to citizen parents. So we can see that the meaning of a “natural born Citizen” (not to be conflated and confounded with a Wong Kim Ark Fourteenth Amendment “citizen” from birth) does not come from the English common law “natural born subject.”

    • gorefan says:

      Mario,
      “The Founders and Framers were well aware of a “subject” and a “natural born subject” as is evidenced by the use of the clause “natural born subject” by the Massachusetts legislature in 1785 to 1791. But the Founders and Framers did not choose the clauses for the Constitution. In the new republic, they replaced “natural born subject” with “citizen” and added “natural born Citizen” to signify the children of the “citizens.””

      So you concede that in Massachusetts, the terms “natural born citizen” and “natural born subject” were used interchangeably.

      So when the legislators in Massachusetts read the Constitution for the first time, how would they know that “natural born Citizen” meant something different than “natural born subject”?

  11. I see that no one here including John Woodman has been able to meet my challenge, i.e., produce any part of the Wong Kim Ark holding which shows the the Court ruled that Wong was “natural born.” Given you failure, you have left me no choice but to declare victory as I said I would in such case.

    • Suranis says:

      I can show you a part of the Wang Kim Ark ruling that said flat out that the ruling made Wong eligible to be president. Namely; The Dissent.

      The dissent is clear that the ruling made Wong elibible for the Presidency. It states that flat out. That was the main objection cited. The justice gave 5 reasons this was bad, including intoernational treaties, the fact that Wong was a subject of the Chinese Emporer, the fact the framers might not have liked it, etc.

      But you know what is not in it? It does not say he would be ineligible due to the fact that he did not have 2 citizen parents and that was the intention of the framers. Sorry and all.

    • Go tell it to the judges Mario. Oh wait you already did that didn’t you? Now what did they tell you? I knew you would weasel out of the promise. You are still lying about the Virginia citizenship laws too. How disgraceful.

    • John Woodman says:

      The fact that I haven’t so far had the time to reply to this particular line of Birther Scholarship means nothing.

      Of course, any reply I that I or anybody else — including the US Supreme Court — might make, no matter how many facts presented or how thoroughly they refute your bogus claims, means nothing to you as well. You are determined to declare the sky is green and the earth is blue. It matters not how many times your claims are shown to be utterly false — or how many of them. You will still “declare victory” anyway.

      Unfortunately, there is now enough evidence out there that any honest and reasonably intelligent individual who looks into your specific claims, examining both sides of the evidence, will soon note that you have been authoritatively proven false on many different points, including but by no means limited to:

      They will conclude that you are an absolute charlatan and snake-oil salesman, which is exactly what you are.

      They will also note that you have refused to directly answer any of the questions asked in this article, choosing instead to obfuscate as much as possible, hoping to throw up enough dust to disguise the fact that you’ve been outed.

      You are increasingly a laughing-stock not just all over the United States but even beyond our borders. Every single day I have people visit this site from all across America and all across Europe as well as places like China, Japan, Thailand, the Philippines, Nigeria, Brazil, Peru, Chile… The list goes on and on.

  12. Ed says:

    Mr. Woodman,

    Correct me if I am wrong, but you have claimed numerous times that all it takes is for someone to be born in this country to be considered a natural born citizen and eligible to run for president and the citizenship of the parents doesn’t matter…so if the citizenship of the parents doesn’t matter as you say then a child born in the US to illegal immigrants would be eligible to run for president. Do you agree that a child with illegal immigrant parents is eligible to run for president and why? and since you have quote English common law so much can you tell me where it says that a child of illegal immigrant parents is “natural born”?

    • Suranis says:

      hard thing to do since a lot of English common law is case law.

      But it stated it flat out right at the very beginning, in Calvin’s case in 1610, where it stated that if a Frenchman in ammity of the King has issue in England, the local alliegence is enough to render the issue (child) a Natural Born Subject.

      And then of course there is Lord Blackstones commentaries on English law.

    • John Woodman says:

      Ed,

      You asked pretty much this exact question a couple of weeks ago. I answered it here.

      • Ed says:

        Mr Woodman,

        Let’s forget about what the Supreme Court would say, I asked for your opinion, not the Supreme Court’s. It looks like you are dodging the question and contradicting yourself. If you really believe that all it takes is for someone to be born in the US to be a natural born citizen and eligible to run for president, then the child of an illegal immigrant born in the US is a natural born citizen and eligible to run for president…no ifs ands or buts. You said you don’t like anchor babies so please give me your opinion as to their eligibility to run for president. Your opinion, please, how would you feel about one of them running for president. Don’t dodge this question by talking about the Supreme Court. Again, I am asking for your opinion.

    • Ed

      I have heard Birthers ask this question a lot but I do not know whether you are a Birther or not so I will not guess. The answer is yes an “anchor baby” ( a term I find to be pejorative and racist) who is a citizen is natural born and would be eligible to run. However, the other side of the equation is that just being eligible does not give one the keys to the White House. There is the little matter of assembling a lifetime resume as a public person and running a successful $1 billion campaign to convince your party to nominate you and enough people to actually vote for you to win the requisite number of states.

      Now take Sarah Palin, she might be a natural born citizen (I have heard rumors she was born in Canada) but she will never again get near the White House because she has the brains of a slug and the morals of a common alley cat. The fact that she was chosen by John McCain to be his running mate and was as close as she was (not really that close) to winning the job of Vice President might be evidence of a flaw in our system for choosing vice presidential candidates. However, the overall system of selecting our leaders has in practice worked very well and shows no evidence of being broken.

      • John Woodman says:

        Ahem. I profoundly disagree with you assessment of Sarah Palin. I happen to be a Palin fan, and think she would make a good President.

  13. ehancock says:

    Mario Apuzzo said that I did not shed any tears for Governor Arnold Alois Schwarzenegger.

    Not true. I supported the effort to change the US Constitution to make him eligible, just as I did the effort to make Henry Kissinger eligible, just as in the 1950s I supported the effort to make Irving Berlin, the author of God Bless America, eligible.

    But they are not eligible because they were all NATURALIZED citizens, and a naturalized citizen is obviously not a Natural Born one.

    The issue is whether US-born children of foreign parents are Natural Born. You contend that they are not, but they are obviously not naturalized. So why are they different from the US-born children of US citizens?

    Yes, if there were a law or even an article by any of the writers of the US Constitution that said that the US-born children of foreign parents were not as good as the US-born children of US parents, that would be the law. BUT THERE IS NO SUCH LAW OR ARTICLE.

    So, why do you want us to believe that James Madison, Ben Franklin and George Washington considered that the US born children of foreign parents were lower quality citizens, less likely to be loyal, than the US born children of US parents?

    I repeat my question: Do YOU believe that the US born children of foreign parents are lower quality citizens, less likely to be loyal, than the US born children of US parents? If so, on what basis.

    If not, what makes you think that the writers of the US Constitution did either?

    • ehancock,

      The First Congress in 1790 said that childern born abroad to U.S. citizen parents were to be considered as “natural born citizens” and only retroactively.

      The Third Congress changed that in 1795 and said such children are only to be considered as “citizens of the United States.”

      I guess our early Congresses, which was populated with many Founders and Framers, had no problem treating such children differently from “natural born citizens,” i.e., children born in the United States to U.S. citizen parents.

      • John Woodman says:

        The very obvious and fundamental point has been made many times, which you ignore, that passing a law stating only that Group B are to be considered as “natural born citizens” does not define the status of Group A.

  14. Ed says:

    To ehancock who said
    “Why did they write the reverse–that all men were created equal? IF they did not consider that the US-born children of foreigners were equal to the US-born children of US citizens, all they had to do was say it.”
    —————
    The founders never meant to say that because all men are created equal they are all eligible to run for president. They had to draw a line somewhere. For example they did not consider a 34 year natural born citizen to be equal to a 35 year old natural born citizen. Because of the 35 year old requirement in the natural born citizen clause, a 34 year old natural born citizen is ineligible to run for president….same goes for the 14 year residency requirement.

    • ehancock says:

      That is only a partial answer. It is obvious that they drew lines. Your point on making people under 35 not eligible is proof of this.

      But the lines that they drew were the clear lines. We cannot say that they drew lines OTHER THAN THE LINES THAT THEY DREW. To do that is to “read into” the Constitution something that is not there.

      Under strict construction principles that is the end of it. If the Constitution does not specifically say that something is not allowed, it is allowed. Thus, there are NO eligibility requirements for Supreme Court justices, none at all. There is not a word about their age or their citizenship. Presumably a president could appoint and the Senate confirm a three-year old foreigner. Similarly, there is no specific stated barrier on criminals. The writers of the Constitution did not bar convicted persons from becoming members of Congress, Senators, Supreme Court justices or presidents.

      IF there is no words barring three-year old Frenchmen from becoming Supreme Court justices, where do you get the idea that the Constitution bars the US-born children of foreigners? From Vattel?

      Surely, if they had gotten the idea from Vattel, they would have told us.

      Although Vattel’s book was popular, it was by no means common reading, and Vattel’s use of the term Natural Born Citizen to refer to parents was by no means common. The common meaning was the common law meaning. It is absurd to think that the writers of the US Constitution used anything but the most common meaning of the term Natural Born WITHOUT TELLING US.

      There are quotations of American writers at the time using the term Natural Born Citizen to refer to the place of birth, and no quotations can be found of them using it to refer to parents.

      So, in addition to the strict construction rejection of the two-parent theory, there is no evidence for it.

      And, in addition to the historical evidence of the quotations at the time, there is profound historical evidence against the theory. For it to be true, the writers of the US Constitution must actually have believed that all men are not created equal and that the US-born children of foreigners are not equal to the US-born children of US citizens where the presidency is concerned. To be sure, if they had said that this was what they believed, that would be the law. BUT THEY NEVER SAID IT.

      Unless they said that they distrusted the US-born children of foreigners or that they specifically stated that they did not accept the common law definition, which includes them as Natural Born, then we cannot assume that they believed it. We must assume that they believed, as we believe today, that the US-born children of foreigners are no more to be distrusted than the US-born children of US citizens.

      To believe the two-parent theory, to not believe that the meaning of Natural Born comes from the common law and embraces all US citizens born in the USA, requires you to believe that George Washington, Ben Franklin, James Madison and the other writers really feared the US-born children of foreigners, feared that they would not be good citizens, feared that they would not be loyal. Fortunately, they never said any such thing, and therefore the evidence is strongly on the side that they believed that the US-born children of foreigners WERE CREATED EQUAL to the US-born children of US citizens.

      I agree with you that they drew lines. They drew visible lines. None under 35, must have 14 years residency. No one who is not a US citizen, no one who is not Natural Born. But they did not draw invisible lines. They did not make up a new definition of Natural Born WITHOUT TELLING US. So the old definition, the commonly used definition, of course holds, and that means as the Wong Kim Ark decision confirmed (and as many constitutional scholars in fact were writing in the early 1800s, that EVERY US citizen born in the USA is a Natural Born US Citizen and eligible (after the age of 35 of course) to become president.

      I would still like Mario Apuzzo to answer the questions: Does HE believe that the US-born children of foreigners are less likely to be good citizens than the US-born children of US citizens. And, if so, on what basis.

      And, if not, what makes him think that George Washington, James Madison and Ben Franklin and the other writers of the US Constitution did either?

      • Ed says:

        ehancock, I am going to ask you the same question I asked Mr. Woodman who couldn’t answer it nor give me his opinion and instead said he doesn’t know what the Supreme Court would say. Since you both think that all it takes is for someone to be born in this country to be considered a natural born citizen and eligible to run for president and the citizenship of the parents doesn’t matter then how do you feel about the eligibility to run for president of a child of an illegal immigrant born in the US? Because that child was born in the US is he/she a natural born citizen? Mr. Woodman did admit he doesn’t approve of anchor babies but failed to tell me how he feels about their natural born citizen status and eligibility to run for president.

        • Ed says:

          I just saw your answer…thank you. I wonder why Mr Woodman does not approve of anchor babies since you say they are eligible to run for president. Maybe he wants their citizenship to be revoked. Personally I think they are citizens but not natural born citizens and anyone who opposes birthright citizenship like Mr. Woodman needs to admit that the citizenship of the parents DOES matter. It doesn’t make much sense to take away the citizenship of someone who is eligible to run for president.

          • John Woodman says:

            The problem with the whole “anchor baby” discussion is that it kind of starts to get muddled if you look at it from all of its points of view.

            From the point of view of allowing people to come here and have anchor-baby children, I’m certainly against that. People wanting to immigrate into the United States need to do so legally.

            But let’s say that some people come here illegally from a foreign country and stay a long time. That by the way does not seem a stretch of the imagination.

            And they have a child who is born in the United States, and grows up in the United States. And when that child is 18 years old, someone in our government comes along who finally attempts to enforce our immigration laws.

            Do you then say to that child, who is by any meaningful measure an American, sorry — but we’re going to deport you to some foreign country you know nothing about and maybe have never even visited?

            And that’s probably the extreme example. But it’s the point at which the question starts to really get muddled for me.

            • Ed says:

              I happen to agree with you that a child born of illegal immigrants who grows up should be allowed to stay and not deported to some foreign country he/she knows nothing about. He/she is a citizen but not a natural born citizen and ineligible to run for president…and you’re still dodging the question…you still have not told me how would you feel about a child born in the US of illegal immigrants running for president. I don’t think the founding fathers would have liked the idea.

            • ballantine says:

              How do you know? There was no such thing as an illegal alien in 1787 and English law required obediance and allegiance from all inhabitants not protected by diplomatic immunity. I think it is funny that people claim that the founders agreed with them without the slightest evidence to support such notion. Madison, for example, didn’t think either the Constitution or the Law of Nations permitted the United States to deport aliens from nations we were not at war with. Why would you think he would be hostile to children of illegal aliens born on our soil. Madison said one owed allegiance to the community of one’s birth. Why wouldn’t he apply that concept to illegal aliens. The truth is that there is no authority that any founder would.

            • Thomas Brown says:

              Dear Ed: Yes, that is exactly what the current law is. He/she may run for President, but being the child of illegal aliens may make it hard to get, you know, elected.

              If you don’t like it, work to get a new law or amendment passed. If it passed, I’d support it because it would be the current law of the land, no matter how ill-considered I might find the law.

              You might try it.

              Not a single Birther has yet addressed the case of Tom Vilsack, who has run for President and is currently in the line of succession for the Office. He was a foundling, abandoned at birth in Philadelphia. The only thing we know is where he was born and when.

              What would you tell him? “Sorry, but you might have been the child of illegals, so you aren’t eligible”?

              Anything but “born on soil OR born abroad to a citizen who has resided in the USA = NBC” leads to legal and philosophical absurdities.

      • ehancock,

        There are three fundamental problems with your argument.

        First, you argue from your personal opinion without presenting any actual evidence from the Founding or from the time period shortly thereafter to support your expansive view of what a “natural born Citizen” is

        Second, the People in 1787 agreed that “citizens” could be President if they had that national character as of the time of the adoption of the Constitution. But they also said that for those born after the adoption of the Constitution, they would have to be “natural born Citizens.”

        Third, you want to argue for a policy change. The policy decision was already made by the People in 1787. It is not up to us now to change that policy decision by simply arguing about it. We can, of course, amend the Constitution if today we do not like the policy decision the People of 1787 made.

  15. ehancock says:

    Ed asked: “then the child of an illegal immigrant born in the US is a natural born citizen and eligible to run for president…no ifs ands or buts..”

    I cannot answer for John Woodman, of course. But my own answer is that you are absolutely correct. The US-born child of an illegal immigrant is Natural Born. The child of a US-born legal immigrant is Natural Born. The US-born child of one US citizen is Natural Born and the US born child of two foreigners is Natural Born.

    What protects us from the US-born child of an illegal immigrant from becoming president? Only us voters. We are free to chose. The writers of the US Constitution gave us that incredible power. They did not say: “no criminals” or “no atheists” or “no poor men” or “no rich men”. They gave us the right to decide.

    They DID make some specific limits, as you yourself pointed out. No one under the age of 35. No one who has not had at least 14 years residency in the USA, and of course no one who is not a citizen of the USA. But they did not say that the US-born children of foreigners are not eligible. If they had, that would be the law, but they didn’t.

    By the way, there has actually been a court ruling in which the US-born child of an illegal immigrant is described as a Natural Born Citizen:

    Diaz-Salazar v. INS, 700 F.2d 1156 (7th Cir. 1983) (child born in US to Mexican citizen is “natural born citizen” of US):

    “Petitioner, Sebastian Diaz-Salazar, entered the United States illegally [from Mexico] in 1974 and has been living and working in Chicago since that time. *** The relevant facts which have been placed before the INS, BIA, and this court can be summarized as follows: The petitioner has a wife and two children under the age of three in Chicago; the children are natural-born citizens of the United States.”

    • ehancock,

      (1) You said: “But they did not say that the US-born children of foreigners are not eligible. If they had, that would be the law, but they didn’t.”

      Your are very wrong about that. Congress in the Naturalization Acts of 1790, 1795, 1802, and 1855 told us that a child born in the U.S. to alien parents was not even a “citizen.” Hence, such a child could not be a “natural born Citizen.” These Congressional statutes abrogated any English common law rule that defined in the colonies what a “natural born subject” was and which may have been applicable in those colonies and states before the statutes went into effect. Through these statutes, our early Congresses and thus many Founders and Framers told us that the rules of who could be citizens in the United States had changed. They told us that we no longer followed the English common law in that regard.

      It took the U.S Supreme Court in Wong Kim Ark in 1898, through an expansive interpretation of the “subject to the jurisdiction” of the United States clause of the Fourteenth Amendment (saying that it only meant subject to the laws of the United States), to grant U.S. citizenship to a child born in the U.S. to domiciled alien parents. Again, what Wong did was hold that Wong was a “citizen” under the Fourteenth Amendment. It did not hold that he was a “natural born Citizen” under Article II.

      (2) You cite and quote Diaz-Salazar v. INS, 700 F.2d 1156 (7th Cir. 1983) for the proposition that a child born in the U.S. to a Mexican citizen father and U.S. citizen mother is a “natural born citizen” of of the U.S. This court’s decision is no authority on the meaning of a “natural born Citizen.” The reference to the children of the Mexican petitioner being “natural-born citizens” was made only as part of the “relevant facts” which were placed before the INS, BIA, and the Circuit Court which were simply accepted by the Seventh Circuit Court. There was no issue in the case as to the citizenship status of those children. It did not matter what type of U.S. citizens those children were. Hence, the Court did not engage in any analysis whatsoever of the meaning of a “natural born Citizen.” Without any analysis of the issue, the Court’s statement is not binding in the least.

      • Jim says:

        Apuzzo: “It did not matter what type of U.S. citizens those children were. Hence, the Court did not engage in any analysis whatsoever of the meaning of a “natural born Citizen.” Without any analysis of the issue, the Court’s statement is not binding in the least.”

        You know, it’s kind of funny. It was the same type of statement that was in Minor. There wasn’t any analysis in that opinion either. So, what you’re basically telling us is that if it agrees with you it must be precedence, but if it doesn’t it can’t be used. That kind of dishonesty will never get you where you’re going. Of course, if all you’re trying to do is scam the birthers for more money, have at it. That is all you are, isn’t it…an ambulance chaser trying to make a buck?

        • I was going to post exactly the same thing. I laughed out loud when I read Mario’s post! Birthers have no concept of irony. I can now add Mario to to the list with Orly Taitz in the group for whom I have serious questions as to how they passed the bar. Don’t attorneys have to have at least a fundamental grasp of logic?

          • PS:

            Thank goodness we live in a country where we through either luck or the intelligence of our forefathers chose judges who can easily see through the flawed arguments of legal charlatans like Mario Apuzzo and dismiss them as nonsense. I shudder to think how less noble this country would be if we had not outgrown a time when prejudice in the disguise of legal arguments by the likes of Mario Apuzzo, Orly Taitz, and Charles Kerchner could prevail.

            • Reality Check,

              You used to come off as some authority on the meaning of a “natural born Citizen.” You and your sycophantic buddies really thought who you were with you little radio show.

              But after I have gotten to know you, I have learned that you are nothing but a feigner of knowledge. You have nothing substantive to say about the subject. You cannot make any valuable legal argument on the matter. And your attempts to make any legal arguments at all fail miserably. You talk a big game, but are nothing but a big bag of hot air. Your role in all this is just to put out Obot propaganda. Maybe you can fool the unknowing, but you surely cannot fool the knowing.

            • Mario

              You said:

              Reality Check,
              You used to come off as some authority on the meaning of a “natural born Citizen.” You and your sycophantic buddies really thought who you were with you little radio show.

              If we are so wrong and such pushovers why won’t you come on the show and engage in a structured debate?

              But after I have gotten to know you, I have learned that you are nothing but a feigner of knowledge. You have nothing substantive to say about the subject. You cannot make any valuable legal argument on the matter. And your attempts to make any legal arguments at all fail miserably. You talk a big game, but are nothing but a big bag of hot air. Your role in all this is just to put out Obot propaganda. Maybe you can fool the unknowing, but you surely cannot fool the knowing.

              I never claimed to be an authority on the Constitution as you do. However, all it takes is a modicum of intelligence to see that you are wrong. Let’s review some of your “accomplishments”:

              1. In your one and only case in federal court you lost and lost in a way that should embarrass you. The appellate court called your case frivolous and you came within a gnat’s eyelash of earning monetary sanctions. You committed an egregious error of not citing a nearly identical losing case on the same issue in the same jurisdiction. I think the court only let you off because they saw you as crackpot who will not be coming their way very often.
              2. You never even heard of the case you love to misinterpret, Minor v Happersett, before 2008. How do I know that? Because you didn’t even cite it in your one and only case to that point.
              3. You couldn’t find a single attorney who would sponsor you for PHV admission in Virginia. Why? Because they all know you are wrong and do not want their names associated with an embarrassment like Tisdale’s case and your crazy legal theories.
              4. Your performance in New Jersey was pathetic and embarrassing. You had three years yo prepare for this and you were trounced by a young attorney fresh out of law school who understood the law and rules of evidence better than you could ever hope to do. When asked by Judge Masin to provide a quote from Wong Kim Ark you hadn’t even even bothered to bring a copy of it. You are claiming a victory because you were able to get her to state for the record that she did not submit a copy of President Obama’s birth certificate – something she never claimed to do. Everyone in the court room knew that the defendants were not required to submit that document to the Secretary of State and none was proffered.
              5. You continue to misinterpret the Virginia citizenship laws of 1779 and 1783 even though they have been explained to you with logic that the average fifth grader could grasp.
              6. Your claim that Wong Kim Ark cites Minor in support of your theory is delusional. Even a non-attorney like me can see that is the case. I and others have clearly demonstrated such and you engage in name calling instead of refuting our points.
              7. You technique of debate is to assume the conclusion and work backwards. That could be a valid technique if you were supporting a conclusion that was based in reality. For example, it has been accepted since the ratification of the Constitution in 1789 that anyone born a citizen is eligible to become President. That is reality. It is documented in thousands of textbooks, articles and journals. When something is that widely accepted there are usually reasons. The reasons are that is what the framers meant and that is what the courts have ruled. The fact that they did not say it in one sentence in Wong Kim Ark is irrelevant.

              I will let others judge the validity of my legal arguments. I am confident I am correct. Unlike you I admit if I missed something. If I make errors they are unintentional. (John Woodman usually points them out right away anyway. :lol:) I do not think you can say the same.

              I am so confident in my analysis that I would offer to bet $1000 that no court will ever rule that your legal definition of NBC is correct and declare President Obama to be ineligible to hold office. I would set any reasonable time limit you wish. In our system it is the courts administrators who run the elections that decide these matters. You can continue to write 50 page briefs and articles (mis)quoting the founding fathers and case law but nothing will ever happen. President Obama will serve as long as the people decide he deserves it. A bunch of crackpot conspiracy theorists such as you are not going to make that determination for us.

        • John Woodman says:

          You know, it’s kind of funny. It was the same type of statement that was in Minor. There wasn’t any analysis in that opinion either. So, what you’re basically telling us is that if it agrees with you it must be precedence, but if it doesn’t it can’t be used. That kind of dishonesty will never get you where you’re going.

          If where he’s going is the dust bin of shame-ridden contempt, it might just work.

        • Jim,

          You said that there was no analysis in the Minor decision about what citizenship in the United States is. I repeat to you and that gnat Reality Check better get out your reading glasses.

          • John Woodman says:

            Apparently, Mario, we can tell that you’re lying by the fact that your lips are moving; or because your fingers are touching the keyboard.

            Jim very clearly never stated (as you claim) that “there was no analysis in the Minor decision about what citizenship in the United States is.” His obvious point was that there was no analysis in the Minor decision about whether the children born on US soil of alien parents are natural born citizens.

            A single statement that they might or might not be citizens at birth does not constitute analysis. Two to three sentences in total in the entire decision that can be considered as even touching on the topic — with no sources cited whatsoever on the part of the Court — does not constitute analysis.

            Compare this to about 50 pages in Wong Kim Ark, with quotes, citations and analysis galore, and “natural-born” used nearly some 3 dozen times.

            On top of all your other false statements, you have now misrepresented Jim’s point on the matter.

            • John Woodman,

              I am thrilled to see that you concede that there was analysis in the Minor decision about what citizenship in the United States is. Your attempt then to excise from that discussion the Court’s definition of a “natural-born citizen” is rather absurd.

              As to Wong Kim Ark’s dissertation on what the English common law was during the colonies, it does not prove anything other than that such law existed then. That lengthy discussion along with the mentioning of that law’s “natural born subject” without showing that the Founders and Framers relied upon that law and that clause to define the new national citizenship in the United States does not prove that we are to define a “natural born Citizen” the same way that the English common law defined a “natural born subject.”

            • ballantine says:

              The Court doesn’t have to prove it. However, unlike Minor, WKA cites nearly every legal giant in the early republic, Marshall, Story, Kent. Minor cites nothing. But, again the court doesn’t need to prove it. It just needs to tell us we are to define natural born citizen by the English common law and natural born citizen and subject mean the same thing.

              “All persons born in the allegiance of the King are natural-born subjects, and all persons born in the allegiance of the United States are natural-born citizens. Birth and allegiance go together. Such is the rule of the common law, and it is the common law of this country, as well as of England. . . ”

              Can you really not read English? I think we need to re-visit whether this is dishonestly or stupidity.

      • ballantine says:

        Well, it is clear that Mario is just going to repeat the same lies no matter how many times he’s debunked. That is what birthers do. It is simply a lie to say any naturalization statute said native children of aliens were aliens. Mario is reading that into them and the Supreme Court has stated multiple times his interpretation is wrong. You see only statements in Minor count.

        It is simply a lie to say that Minor said native born children of aliens were not natural born citizens. It didn’t say they were not citizens and didn’t say the doubt were about a type of citizenship other than natural born citizenship. Nor does it say they were talking about a common law different from the English common law. See, Mario thinks he can read between the lines and discern things the Justices actually didn’t say. Such practice has no place in law.

        It is simply a lie to say Justice Gray only said WKA was only a 14th Amendment citizen. The first half of the opinion is devoted to telling us person of WKA’s status wre natural born citizens before telling us the 14th Amendment restated the same rule. It is astounding that someone can keep insisting the case says exactly the opposite of what it actually says. The entire point of the case is a 14th Amendment citizen is the same as a natural born citizen. Duh.

        Fortunately,we see real judges know how to read and have no trouble seeing that WKA says to define natural born citizens by the English common law and that natural born citizen means the same thing as natural born subject.

        “All persons born in the allegiance of the King are natural-born subjects, and all persons born in the allegiance of the United States are natural-born citizens. Birth and allegiance go together. Such is the rule of the common law, and it is the common law of this country, as well as of England. . . ”

        All the spin in the world doesn’t change unambiguous statements like that from the Court. Mario pretends it doesn’t exist. Gee, if only the court told us “born in the allegiance” meant. Wait:

        “The fundamental principle of the common law with regard to English nationality was birth within the allegiance, also called “ligealty,” “obedience,” “faith,” or “power” of the King. The principle embraced all persons born within the King’s allegiance and subject to his protection. Such allegiance and protection were mutual — as expressed in the maxim protectio trahit subjectionem, et subjectio protectionem — and were not restricted to natural-born subjects and naturalized subjects, or to those who had taken an oath of allegiance, but were predicable of aliens in amity so long as they were within the kingdom. Children, born in England, of such aliens were therefore natural-born subjects.”

        “Two things usually concur to create citizenship: first, birth locally within the dominions of the sovereign, and secondly, birth within the protection and obedience, or, in other words, within the allegiance of the sovereign. That is, the party must be born within a place where the sovereign is at the time in full possession and exercise of his power, and the party must also, at his birth, derive protection from, and consequently owe obedience or allegiance to, the sovereign, as such, de facto. There are some exceptions which are founded upon peculiar reasons…..”

        Now, let’s see, a natural born subject or citizen is someone “born in the allegiance” and native born children of aliens are covered under the concept of “birth in the allegiance.” What could that possibly mean, duh. Getting very sad.

        • ballantine,

          I have asked for a quote from Wong Kim Ark showing that it held that Wong was either “natural born” or a “natural born Citizen.” I am still waiting, ballantine.

          Also, while you are at it, please give me one U.S. Supreme Court decision before Wong Kim Ark that defined citizenship in the U.S. using your English common law matrix.

          The only spin is yours. Face it, you have no evidence for your position other than just general talk about the English common law.

        • ballantine says:

          It is sad you really don’t understand law. The court does not need to hold WKA to be a natural born citizen in order to define the term and have such definition be part of the holding. Do you really not know what holding and dicta are? The court clearly tells us that persons of WKA’s status were natural born subjects and natural born citizens as they mean the same thing and pesons of WKA’s status were deemed born within the allegiance of the sovereign. The Court also clearly says that the same rule governs the 14th Amendment. No judge is having trouble understanding this.

          And, of course, the previous cases you cite do not say one needs citizen parents or that the common law was not the rule for persons born after the revolution. It is astouning that you still cite The Venus. It is simply a lie to say Marshall cited Vattel on the meaning of natives or citizenship as any first year law student would know. Of course, Marshall did speak about citizenship through the majority of the Court:

          “Whether a person born within the United States, or becoming a citizen according to the established laws of the country, can divest himself absolutely of that character otherwise than in such manner as may be prescribed by law, is a question which it is not necessary at present to decide.” Chief Justice Marshall, MURRAY V. THE CHARMING BETSEY, 6 U. S. 64 (1804)”

          Falsely claiming case support you when they don’t is unethical.

          • Thomas Brown says:

            Mario is the only example I have seen of someone committing an ad vericundiam fallacy using himself as the authority!

            Making him a uniquely oxymoronic creature: the “incompetent egomaniac.”

            Wait, I take back the “unique” part… Birfistan is full of them.

  16. John Woodman and ehancock,

    A commentator by the name of kanbun has left this comment at my blog under my latest article on James Monroe and the “natural born Citizen” clause:

    “As I listen to the current blather by those ‘objective’ media types about the potential candidacy of Marco Rubio for VPOTUS, I wonder how these people would justify Rubio as being eligible. Of course, there is no such discussion because Obama has removed not only the NBC requirement, but even any reasonable discussion thereof. That being said, I wonder….how do these media bobble heads and political operatives on both sides (Rubio is now the Republicans’ Obama) distinguish between a mere citizen and NBC? It is abundantly clear that the constitution makes a distinction, but if Rubio is NBC (as some have argued) then how do they define a mere citizen – what could be the difference. This same question applies to those who say Obama is NBC, but of course the question cannot be posed since it is not politically correct to consider constitutional eligibility a reasonable concern.”

    Keeping in mind that the Founders and Framers in Article I, II, and throughout the Constitution and Congress in all its naturalization acts distinguished between a “natural born Citizen” and a “Citizen of the United States,” and given your expansive definition of a “natural born Citizen,” how do you define a “citizen of the United States?”

    • John Woodman says:

      Why don’t you try answering the questions you were asked in this article?

      At this point, I’d just about even settle for you producing that quote from St George Tucker that you’ve been asked for something more than half a dozen times now, that supposedly backs up your bogus claims.

      But you can’t seem to locate that right now, can you?

      • John Woodman,

        I’ll get that St. George Tucker quote for you. I thought that you would have been able to find it by now. I have written on St. George Tucker enough for you to find it. I have not published my full article on Tucker yet. I will tell you that Tucker, America’s Blackstone, informs us that only the child of citizen parents has the right to be elected President. That excludes Barack Obama and anyone else not born to citizen parents.

        • Suranis says:

          I notice you never responded when I asnwered your “challange” and pointed out where in Wong Kim Ark it said that the ruling made Wong eligible to be president.

          Can I haz a cookie?

        • John Woodman says:

          So another 5 days goes by. Lots of writing from you, but no quote.

        • Rich D Valle says:

          Mario says, “I’ll get that St. George Tucker quote for you. I thought that you would have been able to find it by now. I have written on St. George Tucker enough for you to find it. I have not published my full article on Tucker yet. I will tell you that Tucker, America’s Blackstone, informs us that only the child of citizen parents has the right to be elected President. That excludes Barack Obama and anyone else not born to citizen parents.”

          I wonder if he presented that source in his NJ case? I can imagine as the judge throws the case at Puzo face all his sources and references tumble to the floor as the useless garbage it is.

          Some people just don’t know when to come in out of the rain.

          • John Woodman says:

            I actually found what Mario is referring to. There is no “quote” from St. George Tucker. Instead, Mario goes through a whole convoluted argument based on various bits and pieces of things that Tucker said that were peripheral to the issue to conclude that Tucker “would have” said Mario’s “definition” of “natural born citizen” is correct.

            Even the bits and pieces of information from Tucker that he bases his argument on are paraphrased rather than actual quotes, which (as we’ve seen before) allows Mario to insert all kinds of word-twisting and other mischief.

            • Jim says:

              Let’s see how well that word twisting works in front of the appeals court tomorrow. I don’t think they’ll take too kindly to it.

            • Thomas Brown says:

              Once again I am in awe of your scholarly research. Your patient historical refutation of Mario’s theories on NBCship is a remarkable piece of work.

              I can only add what seems obvious from the reverse angle: the fact that neither political party has EVER acted as if Mario’s Vattelist interpretation were correct. They have nominated, and discussed nominating, dozens of people who did not have (or couldn’t be proven to have had) two citizen parents.

              If one or both parties, or any third party, had a history of applying Vattelist criteria to their candidates, Mario’s quest wouldn’t seem so loopy and futile.

              But they didn’t, and it is.

            • John Woodman says:

              As you’ve noted, there are all kinds of indicators that Mario’s claim is false. He simply ignores them all and capitalizes on the small percentage of ambiguous statements he can twist to make it sound as if his claim is correct.

      • ballantine says:

        “A very respectable political writer makes the following pertinent remarks upon this subject. “Prior to the adoption of the constitution, the people inhabiting the different states might be divided into two classes: natural born citizens, or those born within the state, and aliens, or such as were born out of it.” St. George Tucker, BLACKSTONE’S COMMENTARIES (1803)

        “That provision in the constitution which requires that the president shall be a native-born citizen (unless he were a citizen of the United States when the constitution was adopted) is a happy means of security against foreign influence,…” St. George Tucker, BLACKSTONE’S COMMENTARIES (1803)

        Tucker sisn’t define “native” but divided the world into “native” and “aliens” just like Blackstone and defined aleins to be solely foreign born. Sorry Mario.

        “Aliens by birth, are all persons born out of the dominions of the United States, since the fourth day of July, 1776, on which day they declared themselves an independent and sovereign nation, with some few exceptions, viz. 1. In favour of infants, “wheresoever born, whose father, if living, or otherwise, whose mother was a citizen at the time of the birth of such infants; or who migrated hither, their father, if living, or otherwise their mother becoming a citizen of the commonwealth; or who migrated hither without father, or mother,” during the continuance of the act of May, 1779, c. 55, declaring who should be deemed citizens, which was repealed October, 1783, c. 16, of that session, so far as relates to the two latter cases; but continued as to the first. 2. Such persons as have obtained a right to citizenship under the existing laws of the state, whether infants, or otherwise. Edi. 1794, c. 110. 3. Such persons as have been naturalized under the act of 1 Cong. 2 Sess. c. 3. 4. Such persons as have, or may acquire the rights of citizenship pursuant to the act of 3 Cong. c. 85, and the children of such persons duly naturalized dwelling within the United States, and being under the age of twenty-one years, at the time of such naturalization; and the children of citizens of the United States, born out of the limits and jurisdiction of the United States. But the same act declares that the right of citizenship shall not descend to persons, whose fathers have never been resident in the United States ….” St. George Tucker, Blackstone Commentaries (1802)

        • ballantine says:

          And here is the Virginia statute on eligiblity for state offices that Tucker talked about. It was included in the revised statute in 1783 that unambiguously made any free person born in Virginia a citizen for anyone who can read English and such provision remained in place well into the 19th century.

          “Provided always and be it further enacted, That no person whatsoever. having or holding any place or pension from any foreign state or potentate, shall be eligible to any office, legislative, executive,or judiciary, within this commonwealth.”

  17. Jim says:

    Arpuzzo: “Keeping in mind that the Founders and Framers in Article I, II, and throughout the Constitution and Congress in all its naturalization acts distinguished between a “natural born Citizen” and a “Citizen of the United States,” and given your expansive definition of a “natural born Citizen,” how do you define a “citizen of the United States?””

    Don’t you mean that they distinguish between a “natural born Citizen” and a naturalized citizen? And these two groups make up the total “citizens of the United States”

    • Hey, Jim, do you need reading glasses?

      By the way, try answering the question.

      • John Woodman says:

        I think he did.

        Why don’t you try answering the questions.

        All of them. In the article.

        What’s the matter, Mario? Cat got your tongue?

      • Jim says:

        @Mario: Yeah, I do use reading glasses…the price of aging.

        I note that you’re an expert at avoiding questions…and answers that don’t agree with you. Too bad that the courts don’t work that way.

        You know, in seeing how you work and how Orly works and how the other anti-President lawyers work, I have to ask…who took the bar exam for you?

  18. ehancock says:

    Mario Apuzzo said: “Congress in the Naturalization Acts of 1790, 1795, 1802, and 1855 told us that a child born in the U.S. to alien parents was not even a “citizen.”

    First, you got the facts of those acts completely wrong. Second, are you saying that Thomas Jefferson and Andrew Jackson, who had foreign parents–and Jackson had two foreign parents–and not one of the three foreign parents became US citizens before Jefferson or Jackson was born–were not even US citizens? Neither Jefferson nor Jackson were naturalized, so they could not have been citizens. You claim that they were not Natural Born Citizens but that they were grandfathered. But to have been president under the grandfather clause you at least had to be a US citizen.

    I say that they were both US citizens and Natural Born because the meaning of Natural Born comes from the common law and includes all children born in the USA.

    However, it is important to remember that Natural Born and citizen are different things. Just as someone can be a citizen without being Natural Born–a naturalized citizen–someone can be natural born without being a citizen. How is that possible? Well remember American Indians. Before 1924 they were not allowed to be citizens. But an American Indian who was born in the USA was natural born. So, when the law changed she or he at that moment became a Natural Born Citizen.

    The importance of this is that citizenship law changes. The meaning of Natural Born doesn’t. So, if the writers of the US Constitution had meant to use Natural Born in any way other than the most commonly used form–the meaning embraced in the common law–they would still have had to have told us. They were by no means fools, and they knew that IF they had created a new legal meaning of Natural Born, referring to parents and not the place of birth, people would be confused. So, if they had done it, they would have told us.

    So we have the argument from confusion–they would not have used the term in an uncommon way without telling us. And we have the argument from equality. They would not have defined Natural Born to exclude the US born children of foreigners unless they really believed that the US born children of foreigners are not to be trusted—and then TOLD US ABOUT THAT. Neither occurred, of course, so there is absolutely no proof that the writers of the US Constitution used the term Natural Born any differently than in the common law.

    Mario Apuzzo also said: “It took the U.S Supreme Court in Wong Kim Ark in 1898, through an expansive interpretation of the “subject to the jurisdiction” of the United States clause of the Fourteenth Amendment (saying that it only meant subject to the laws of the United States), to grant U.S. citizenship to a child born in the U.S. to domiciled alien parents. ”

    A ruling of the US Supreme Court is the law of the United States. In this case the ruling was six to two (one not voting), and the idea that the US Supreme Court would overturn Wong Kim Ark in order to make the US-born children of foreigners not citizens or not as good as the US born children of US citizens is is not merely laughable, it is mad. It may well be that YOU believe that the US-born children of foreigners are not as good as the US-born children of US citizens–but very few other people do, and it is your dream, and your dream alone, that five justices of the US Supreme Court would vote that way.

    Re: Your repeated comment that the Wong Kim Ark decision did not rule that Wong Kim Ark was a Natural Born Citizen. This has been replied to repeatedly and you simply ignore the replies.

    You know that Wong Kim Ark was a citizenship case, not an eligibility case. The court did not have to rule that he was Natural Born, and as you say it didn’t. This is not surprising and has nothing to do with the meaning of Natural Born.

    However, the court spent a great deal of time on the meaning of Natural Born, saying that it comes from the common law (hence not from Vattel), and that under its meaning EVERY child born in the USA (except for rare exceptions) is Natural Born. Wong Kim Ark was born in the USA, and none of those exceptions applied to him. So, he and all the other US-born children were Natural Born regardless of the citizenship of their parents. When someone is both a US citizen (as you admit the Supreme Court found in Wong’s case) and Natural Born, she or he is a Natural Born US Citizen.

    That is what the four state courts and one federal court have ruled in Obama’s case, and numerous courts have also stated in the case of other US-born foreign children. And, to believe differently–to believe that in order to be Natural Born–children require US citizen parents–means that you believe that the US-born children of foreigners are NOT as good as the US-born children of US citizens. You may believe that, but the US Supreme Court in Wong Kim Ark certainly did not, nor did the four state courts and one federal court that ruled on Obama, nor did the US Electoral College, which elected him, or the US Congress–which confirmed him unanimously.

    • ehancock,

      The text of the naturalization acts of 1790, 1795, 1802, and 1855 speak for themselves.

      Jefferson and Jackson were not “natural born Citizens” but were “citizens of the United States.” Hence, they were grandfathered under Article II to be eligible to be President.

      You are correct that the meaning of a “natural born Citizen” comes from the “common law.” And Minor and Wong Kim Ark told us that that “common law” defines one as a child born in a country to parents who are citizens of that country.

      You said: “However, it is important to remember that Natural Born and citizen are different things.” I agree. That is why just showing that someone is a Fourteenth Amendment or statutory “citizen” does not show that one is an Article II “natural born Citizen.”

      You said: “The importance of this is that citizenship law changes.” I agree as to what a “citizen” is but not as to what a “natural born Citizen” is. In fact, our laws on “citizens” have changed since 1790 to the present, but our law on what a “natural born Citizen” is has never changed. And the reason for that is that the Constitution never changed that law and Congress does not have the power to change that meaning.

      I never said that Wong Kim Ark should be overturned. You are misrepresenting my position to so state.

      I am still waiting for that quote from Wong Kim Ark which shows that the Court held that Wong was “natural born” or a “natural born Citizen.” What’s the matter, can’t produce it?

      Finally, it does not matter what you say I believe about who is a better or worse citizen. What matters is what the Founders and Framers said is a “natural born Citizen.”

  19. ehancock,

    Should be: “The text of the naturalization acts of 1790, 1795, 1802, and 1855 speaks for itself.”

    • ballantine says:

      Mario thinks saying the statutes speak for themselves is somehow an argument. It is simply a lie to say such statutes way native born children of aliens are aliens. They do not. They do not clarify that derivative citizenship only applies to the foreign born when all American legal authority said such statutes only applied to the foreign born. You see, when the Supreme Court and all American legal authority say Mario’s interpretation of the statute is wrong, it simply doesn’t count. Mario has failed my challenge to show anyone has ever agreed with his interpretation and he is getting closer and closer to the sovereign citizen types who can only claim that everyone in history is wrong and they are right.

      “The right of naturalization was therefore, with one accord, surrendered by the States, and confided to the Federal Government. And this power granted to Congress to establish an uniform rule of naturalization is, by the well-understood meaning of the word, confined to persons born in a foreign country, under a foreign Government. It is not a power to raise to the rank of a citizen any one born in the United States, who, from birth or parentage, by the laws of the country, belongs to an inferior and subordinate class.” Chief Justice Taney, Dred Scott v. Sandford, 60 U.S. at 417

      “It appears, then, that the only power expressly granted to Congress to legislate concerning citizenship, is confined to the removal of the disabilities of foreign birth.” Justice Curtis, Dred Scott v. Sandford, 60 U.S. (19 How.) 393, 478 (1857)

      “But what is naturalization? It is the removal of the disabilities of alienage… Congress has power ” to establish an uniform rule of naturalization….An alien naturalized is “to all intents and purposes a natural born subject…The power is applicable only to those of foreign birth. Alienage is an indispensable element in the process. To make one of domestic birth a citizen, is not naturalization, and cannot be brought within the exercise of that power. There is an universal agreement of opinion upon this subject.” United States v. Rhodes, 1 Abbott, US 28 (Cir. Ct. Ky 1866)

  20. Harold Smith has left a new comment on your post “President James Monroe and the “Natural Born Citiz…”:

    As far as Woodman and the other ‘bots are concerned, it wouldn’t matter if someone tomorrow discovered the original personal diaries of the Founders and Framers, there to be found within, written in their own hand, the precise, unambiguous definition of “natural born citizen” and a comprehensive explanation of the rationale behind its inclusion into the Constitution.

    Why wouldn’t it matter? Because their “job” is to defend the machine at all costs. (In a sense they couldn’t care less about Obama. He’s far from indispensable).

    Whereas the “Birthers’” task is to take away all the wiggle room from the opportunists and the moral cowards; i.e., to tape their eyelids open, force them to look straight ahead, and then rip down the curtain that hides the machine,
    the ‘bots’ task is to churn out an endless stream of propaganda; pabulum for those masses of moral cowards.

    And when someone is so desperate to deceive himself (as much of our society seems to be), almost any excuse will do, no matter how laughably absurd it is on its face. Thus given this sad state of affairs, there will always be a “job” for Woodman et al., as it requires no specific knowledge or skills. All it apparently requires is an endless supply of contempt for the truth, and for the ideals upon which America was founded.

    Posted by Harold Smith to Natural Born Citizen – A Place to Ask Questions and Get the Right Answers at April 30, 2012 7:32 AM

    • Mario

      Since no one will support your lies here you had to copy over comments from your own blog? Isn’t that embarrassing?

    • ballantine says:

      I do see Mario simply fials to respond to quotes from the Supreme Court that say he is wrong. It is funny that Mario posts someone saying it wouldn’t matter to us if they discovered personal diaries of the Founders saying they are right. I guess the birthers would be different.

      Would be kind of like finding that Madison himself said the english rule was the rule in America. Oh, wait…

      Would be kind of like having judge after judge say citizen parents are not required per Wong Kim Ark. Oh, wait…

      Would be kind of like finding out that no verson of Vattel contained the relevant phrase until 10 years after the Convention and no one in the US cited such version for many more decades. Oh, wait…

      Would be kind of like finding that the framers only discussed a native birth requirement in the Convention when discussing eligibility and never mentioned parentage or Vattel on the topic.

      Would be like being unable to show a single early legal authority that actually said natural born was defined by Vattel or citizen parents were required.

      Would be like showing that the Supreme Court clearly stated that natural born citizen should be defined by the English common law and meant the same thing as “natural born subject.”

      Would be like showing that every serious modern legal scholar says they are wrong.

      Of course, if any of this happened, the birthers would give up their quest.

    • John Woodman says:

      I am trying to figure out exactly why I should care what Mr. Smith thinks.

      I long ago figured out that I was going to be slandered, maligned and cursed simply for telling the truth. I’m already aware that I’m going to be called names by those who, for whatever reasons, are bent on spreading false legal and historical theories and twisting our Constitution and laws, all the while portraying themselves as “patriots.”

      What I find interesting, though (and from this point of view I thank you for posting this here, as I would’ve missed it otherwise) is how people accuse others of the things they themselves (and those they support) are guilty of — ignoring the truth, churning out an endless stream of propaganda, defending the propaganda machine at all costs, moral cowardice, self-deception, contempt for the truth and the ideals of the Founding Fathers, etc., etc.

      So I do thank you for posting that.

  21. ehancock says:

    Mario Apuzzo just said: “Jefferson and Jackson were not “natural born Citizens” but were “citizens of the United States.”

    HOWEVER, he said earlier that US naturalization laws said that the US-born children of foreigners WERE NOT CITIZENS. That is what he said. Now, not remembering that he said it, he says that Jefferson (whose mother was not a US citizen) and Jackson (neither of whose parents were US citizens) were both US citizens. Well, what is it? Did the laws that you cite say that the US-born children of foreign citizens were not citizens? Or, did the laws that you cite actually not say a damn thing about the citizenship status of US-born children?

    The latter is of course the case.

    In addition to Jefferson and Jackson being citizens of the United States, they were Natural Born citizens because of their place of birth and because the meaning of Natural Born comes from the common law, not from Vattel, and refers to the place of birth.

    So, why was the grandfather clause written? Not to make George Washington or Thomas Jefferson or Andrew Jackson Natural Born Citizens. They were all both citizens and Natural Born due to their birth in one of the 13 colonies. It was to make for a short time people who were NOT Natural Born, but citizens owning to naturalization, eligible to become president. Such people as Alexander Hamilton, who was not born in one of the 13 colonies but on the British Caribbean island of Nevis.

    Well, Mario Apuzzo, which was it? Were Thomas Jefferson and Andrew Jackson at very least US citizens, or, as you once claimed, were there laws that said that the US-born children of foreigners were “not even citizens?”

  22. ehancock says:

    I have just read the Naturalization Act of 1790. (http://rs6.loc.gov/cgi-bin/ampage). See the bottom of the page, starting with Chapter III. The next page requires you to type in 104 in the box.

    There is NOT a word in it that says that the law considers the US born children of foreigners are not US citizens. In fact, it automatically naturalizes the foreign born children of naturalized citizens even if they were born outside of the country. One thing that it certainly does NOT say is that a US-born child of foreigners is not a US citizen at birth. There is not a word about it. I will turn next to the Naturalization Act of 1795.

  23. ehancock says:

    I have just read the Naturalization Act of 1795. (http://rs6.loc.gov/cgi-bin/ampage, and enter 415 for the next page of the document).

    As in the Naturalization Act of 1790 there is not a word in it that says that the US-born children of foreigners are not US citizens at birth. As in the case of the Naturalization Act of 1790, it automatically naturalizes with the naturalization of the father even the foreign born children of naturalized citizens even if they were born outside of the United States. One thing that it certainly does NOT say is that a US-born child of foreigners is not a US citizen at birth. There is not a word about it. I will turn next to the Naturalization Act of 1802.

  24. ehancock says:

    I have just read the Naturalization Act of 1802. (http://books.google.com/books?id=iwFAAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA58&dq=naturalization+act+of+1802&hl=en&sa=X&ei=edueT4GLIMPy6QGa85WcDw&ved=0CGQQ6AEwBjgK#v=onepage&q=naturalization%20act%20of%201802&f=false–and start reading at Chapter XXX)

    It also does NOT say that the US-born children of foreigners are not US citizens at birth, and in fact, like the two naturalization laws that preceded it, it also automatically makes even the foreign-born children of naturalized citizens automatically US citizens with the naturalization of their father. One thing that it certainly does NOT say is that a US-born child of foreigners is not a US citizen at birth. There is not a word about it. I will turn next to the Naturalization Act of 1855.

  25. ehancock says:

    I am unable to find the text of the Naturalization Act of 1855. However, I sincerely doubt that it includes any words that declare the US-born children of foreigners not to be US citizens. The thrust of the act goes the other way, declaring that the foreign-born children of US fathers are US citizens at birth, and that a foreign woman who marries a US citizen automatically becomes a US citizen.

    IF there are words in the act that say that US-born children of foreigners are not US citizens at birth, please show it. (Making even the foreign-born children of naturalized citizens into US citizens when their father is naturalized is not, obviously, proof that US born children of foreigners were not considered US citizens by this act.)

    • John Woodman says:

      ehancock,

      Let me help you out.

      Mario Apuzzo says:

      Congress in the Naturalization Acts of 1790, 1795, 1802, and 1855 told us that a child born in the U.S. to alien parents was not even a “citizen.”

      An easily verifiable Mario Apuzzo lie.

      Any reader can read the text of these Acts and see for himself or herself that these Acts said no such thing.

      You have already given links, above, to the first three Acts. Here is the Act of 1855.

      Since Mario Apuzzo has bald-faced lied on this point, why should anybody believe one single word this liar says?

      Not that this is by any means the only point he’s lied on. But it’s illustrative.

    • gorefan says:

      The Act of 1855

      Chapter LXXI. An Act to secure the Right of Citizenship to Children of Citizens of the United States born out of the limits thereof.

      Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That persons heretofore born, or hereafter to be born, out of the limits and jurisdiction of the United States, whose fathers were or shall be at the time of their birth citizens of the United States, shall be deemed and considered and are hereby declared to be citizens of the United States: Provided, however, That the rights of citizenship shall not descend to persons whose fathers never resided in the United States.

      Sec. 2. And be it further enacted, That any woman who might lawfully be naturalized under the existing laws, married, or who shall be married to a. citizen of the United States, shall be deemed and taken to be a citizen.

    • ballantine says:

      And, of course, the reason there was a naturalization statute of 1855 was that Horace Binney wrote a paper urging Congress to change the law. He said we had adopted the English common law and unless we adopted a statute providing that child born oversees to citizen parents, they were aliens. Congress agreed with such interpretation of the common law and amended the law citing Binney.

      Claiming authority says things it doesn’t say seems to be all Mario does. One could argue that the failure of naturalization acts to specify derivative citizenship is limited to the foreign born might imply such can apply to the native born is fair. Of course, any such suggested implication is rebutted by the fact that all US authority says naturaalization does not apply to the native born. But to claim such acts say native born children of aliens are aliens is simply lying. We should put together a list of plainly false statements that Mario continues to make that simply cannot be defended

  26. ehancock says:

    Mario Apuzzo said:

    “I am still waiting for that quote from Wong Kim Ark which shows that the Court held that Wong was “natural born” or a “natural born Citizen.” What’s the matter, can’t produce it? ”

    I assumed that lawyers had been taught logic. Were you? Were you taught syllogisms? If so, remember where it showed that if all men were mortal and Mario is a man Mario must therefore be mortal?

    If you disagree with that logic, please state your reasons.

    So, if in logic when EVERY child born in the USA is natural born (except for certain rare exceptions) and Wong Kim Ark was born in the USA (and none of the exceptions apply to him), then Wong Kim Ark and all the other US-born children must therefore be Natural Born. When a person is both a US citizen (as Wong was) and Natural Born, she or he is–duh–a Natural Born Citizen.

    • John Woodman says:

      You are entirely correct, of course.

      Apuzzo reads into Minor what the Court did not say, and denies what the Court in Wong Kim Ark DID say.

      The statement in US v Wong Kim Ark is crystal clear.

      They said that it clearly appeared to them that for the past 300 years, beginning in England and continuing in America through the Revolution and after the establishment of the Constitution, every child born of alien parents was natural born, unless the child of a foreign ambassador or diplomatic agent, or of an occupying enemy.

      “Every” is pretty definitive.

      They also said — and stated it as an “irresistible” “conclusion” — that the allegiance of aliens on US soil was “strong enough to produce a natural subject,” and that the child of such aliens was “natural born.”

      Wong Kim Ark was a child born on US soil of alien parents. Therefore, those statements clearly applied to him.

      Again, if Wong Kim Ark was “natural born,” and a “citizen,” then he was quite clearly a natural born citizen.

      And to claim that the Wong Court held otherwise is simply to lie.

      • John Woodman,

        I asked for the Court’s holding showing that it ruled Wong was either “natural born” or a “natural born Citizen.” That should be a rather easy request to satisfy. But you cannot find the words of the court and must instead rely upon your own interpretation.

        I think that speaks volumes.

        • You ignored my wager Mario. I am not surprised. Like Mark Gillar you talk a big game. You have to keep up appearances for your and Kerchner’s patsies who help fund those silly ads in the Washington Moonie Times. But when standing up for your beliefs might cause you to actually open your wallet you aren’t so bold.

          Tell us again about your great victory over a young, fresh out of law school attorney in New Jersey. Tell us how you sold Judge Masin by showing that President Obama actually went by the name “Barry” in high school. (That was my favorite part, BTW!) I thought Ms Hill was going to break out laughing at your stupidity when you tried to introduce the copy of the yearbook. I don’t think I could have been as professional as she was.

          • Reality Check,

            Why do you not leave Attorney Alexandra Hill alone. She has gone through enough.

            • Yes, she was subjected to almost 3 hours of legal gibberish recently. That could not have been pleasant.

              I admire Ms Hill. I defended her from the lies spread about her by Birther Dan Crosby at the Daily Pen. To your credit you also tried to correct that lie.

            • I assume you are referring to (unconfirmed) reports that Ms Hill has received harassing phone calls? If so, I find your concern to be hypocritical. After all she was doing her job defend the Obama campaign against a frivolous ballot challenge that you filed. Who do you imagine might be calling her? It would be Birthers who have been inspired in part by the lies about President Obama pushed on blogs like yours for three years or more.

        • Jim says:

          @Mario: Well, Mario, let’s put you to the same standards that you want to apply to John. Show me where in the court’s rulings that it says that a child born of an alien parent, except in the case of diplomats and invading armies, is NOT a natural born citizen. If you cannot show it we apply the same standards as you want to…that speaks volumes about how wrong you are.

        • ballantine says:

          And, of course, the your problem is the court doesn’t need to rule WKA was a natural born citizen in order to define the term and have it be part of the holding. You simply do not understand what holding is. A Court holding that WKA is a citizen because the English common law was incorporated both into the natural born citizenship clause and the 14th amendment means the defining of natural born citizenship was necessary for the disposition and hence is holding. Keep repeating the same silliness over and over just shows your ignorance. I suggest you take some CLE classes on the subject.

        • John Woodman says:

          What speaks volumes is your continual denial of what one Supreme Court clearly DID say, and your continual assertion that another Supreme Court said something that they clearly did NOT say.

          Like others here, I’ve gone back and forth between whether you are pathologically deluded or simply a bald-faced liar. It seems to me that you’ve given some fairly overwhelming evidence including your statements above, that you are not just deluded; that you simply think that if you lie hard enough and consistently enough and boldly enough, and if you spin hard enough, then at least some of the people are going to believe you.

          Unfortunately for that theory, your most major claims are now not just known to be falsehoods — they are documented to be falsehoods.

          Did you really think that you could push an entire set of false legal, historical and Constitutional claims onto the public and that nobody would ever call you on it? I suppose you must have.

          Unfortunately, there is just too much information out there, and too many people willing to check such information, for you to get away with it. Ten years ago, you might have been able to pull it off reasonably well.

          But now, not only can anybody look up Wong Kim Ark and Minor v Happersett and read for themselves what the Court said; they can also easily access a vast library of books and state laws and other documents published in the 1700s, and see for themselves that there’s no evidence the Founding Fathers ever indicated that they were referring to Vattel’s concept of citizenship.

          And there is more information out there that disproves your various claims. Tons of it, just waiting to be discovered — by myself, or ballantine, or ehancock, or reality check, or Jim, or suranis, or some new person who decides to find out for himself or herself what the truth really is, and is willing to go to the effort to search the records and see.

          Just in the last few days we’ve seen your claim on Jefferson’s Virginia law completely disproven. We’ve seen your claim on the Naturalization Acts completely disproven.

          So you see, Mario — the game is over. Your falsehoods cannot be sustained in an age of free information.

          I told you in February that the game was over, but you refused to believe me. Or maybe you just thought that you had too much invested to back out now. You would’ve done better to take my advice back then.

  27. ehancock says:

    Mario Apuzzo said: “Finally, it does not matter what you say I believe about who is a better or worse citizen. What matters is what the Founders and Framers said is a “natural born Citizen.”

    We are in total agreement. However, the Founders and Framers never said “two US citizen parents are required.” And they never said: “Natural Born, as defined by Vattel.” They simply said a Natural Born Citizen and the common meaning of that term at the time that they wrote referred to the place of birth, not to the parents.

    So you have to show that the Founders and Framers used Natural Born in a different sense than the common way that it was used. They would have done so only if they sincerely believed that the US-born children of foreigners were likely to be worse citizens than the US-born children of US citizens. If you do not believe that that is true, if you and most Americans do not believe that the US-born children of foreigners are likely to be worse citizens than the US-born children of US citizens, then what makes you think that George Washington and Ben Franklin believed it?

    All that they would have had to say is “we define Natural Born as based on two citizen parents” or “we do not believe that the US-born children of foreigners are Natural Born”–but they never said anything like it. What they did say, some of them, is that “we hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.” And yet, despite this statement, and despite NONE of the Founders and Framers saying that they considered the US-born children of foreigners not to be Natural Born, and none of them saying that they considered that the US-born children of foreigners are security risks, you believe that they really thought that the US-born children of foreigners really were security risks and hence should be treated differently than the US-born children of US citizens.

    When the US Supreme Court ruled in Wong Kim Ark that EVERY child born in the USA (with rare exceptions) is Natural Born, one of the things that that implied is that the US born children of US citizens and the US born children of foreigners are NOT different in their levels of citizenship. Neither of them are more likely to be better citizens than the other. The US-born children of foreigners have not turned out to be security risks–and there is no evidence that George Washington or Ben Franklin or the US Supreme Court has ever thought so.

    • Rambo Ike says:

      What always seems to be missing from these arguments: What was the thinking going on with John Jay when he got his now famous “… any but a natural born Citizen” added to the Constitution?

      • gorefan says:

        He may have been thinking about “the Bishop of Osnaburgh”.

      • ehancock says:

        What he was thinking about was that he did not want (1) people who are not citizens to be president; and (2) he also did not people who are naturalized citizens to be president. By requiring a Natural Born Citizen those two groups of people could not be president. But that is all. He did not say that he did not want left-handed people to be president, or red-heads or the US-born children of foreigners. He did not want foreigners and he did not want naturalized citizens. But he did not say, and neither did any other American at the time that (1) the US born children of foreigners were foreigners or (2) that the US born children of foreigners were less worthy citizens, citizens who should not be trusted, than the US-born children of US citizens.

        If he had thought that, he would have said it, but he didn’t.

  28. ehancock,

    May I suggest that you move on to addressing the real question raised by Wong Kim Ark.

    In your attempt to prove that Wong Kim Ark is dispositive in showing that Barack Obama is an Article II “natural born Citizen,” you state your first premise as “EVERY child born in the USA is natural born (except for certain rare exceptions [not applicable to Obama]).”

    Granting arguendo that we can define “natural born Citizen” only by defining the English “natural born,” which frankly I do not know how you conclude that is correct given that “natural born Citizen” is the exact clause chosen by the Founders and Framers and that clause is a word of art, and idiom, please give me the quote from Wong Kim Ark that says that very premise.

    I have repeatedly asked John Woodman and anyone else on this blog for that quote, but no one has been able to find one. By the way, nor did I hear New Jersey ALJ Masin provide any such quote when he made the same English “natural born” argument.

    The only reasonable conclusion to draw is that Wong Kim Ark made no such holding, but rather only held that Wong was under the Fourteenth Amendment a “citizen of the United States” from the moment of birth. This is no different from saying that a child born in any foreign country to U.S. citizen parents is a “citizen of the United States” from the moment of birth under the Naturalization Act of 1795 and all such similar acts that followed down to the present.

    Once we establish that, the next question is whether a “citizen of the United States” from the moment of birth under the Fourteenth Amendment is the same as an Article II “natural born Citizen?”

    Recognizing the real issue, Jack Maskell in his CRS memo argues that they are the same. I maintain that they are not.

    • ehancock says:

      Here is the quotation:

      “It thus clearly appears that, by the law of England for the last three centuries, beginning before the settlement of this country and continuing to the present day, aliens, while residing in the dominions possessed by the Crown of England, were within the allegiance, the obedience, the faith or loyalty, the protection, the power, the jurisdiction of the English Sovereign, and therefore every child born in England of alien parents was a natural-born subject unless the child of an ambassador or other diplomatic agent of a foreign State or of an alien enemy in hostile occupation of the place where the child was born.

      III. The same rule was in force in all the English Colonies upon this continent down to the time of the Declaration of Independence, and in the United States afterwards, and continued to prevail under the Constitution as originally established.”

      • Where does it say that Wong, the subject of the law suit who was living in 1898 and not in the colonies under the English common law, is a “natural born Citizen?”

        • John Woodman says:

          Obviously Wong was “in the United States afterwards.”

          It’s responses like these that provoke the question: Is Mario Apuzzo intellectually incapable of understanding crystal clear English, or is he only pretending?

          Unfortunately, neither alternative is terribly complimentary.

        • ehancock says:

          Re: “Where does it say that Wong, the subject of the law suit who was living in 1898 and not in the colonies under the English common law, is a “natural born Citizen?”

          You asked before for me to show the quotation that says that every child born in the USA (with rare exceptions) is natural born. I did that. That is what you asked for, and that is the quotation that I showed. Moreover, the quotation also states that that rule “continued to prevail under the Constitution.”

          As I told you before, lawyers are expected to understand logic. And in logic, syllogisms, if every child born in the USA is Natural Born, and if Wong Kim Ark was born in the USA (and he was), then Wong Kim Ark must be Natural Born.

          And, since he is both a citizen and Natural Born, he is a Natural Born Citizen.

          It is actually far more important for the court to find, as it did, that EVERY child born in the country is Natural Born than for it to have found that Wong Kim Ark is Natural Born. Wong was only one person, but there are about 300 million people who were born in the country, some of whom had foreign parents (and a generation ago many millions of US-born Americans had foreign born parents).

          In finding that EVERY child born in the country is Natural Born, the Supreme Court was merely repeating the fact known at the time that the Constitution was written, that the meaning of Natural Born comes from the common law and includes all the US citizens born in the country. The fact that the writers of the US constitution never used the term Natural Born in any way to refer to parents, and the fact that the Supreme Court ruled that the meaning of Natural Born comes from the common law and includes all citizens born in the country both reflect the simple facts that the meaning of Natural Born did come from the common law and did not refer to parents.

    • John Woodman says:

      I have repeatedly asked John Woodman and anyone else on this blog for that quote, but no one has been able to find one… The only reasonable conclusion to draw is that Wong Kim Ark made no such holding, but rather only held that Wong was under the Fourteenth Amendment a “citizen of the United States” from the moment of birth.

      And every time you make such a statement like this is an excellent opportunity to point out what a lying hypocrite you are.

      You demand an absolutely explicit statement from the Wong Court stating that Wong was a “natural born citizen,” using that exact wording, when it is abundantly clear and undeniable to any reasonable person whatsoever

      a) from the quote ehancock has given above

      b) from their statement that “Every citizen or subject of another country, while domiciled here” has an “allegiance to the United States [that] is direct and immediate, and, although but local and temporary, continuing only so long as he remains within our territory, is yet, in the words of Lord Coke in Calvin’s Case, 7 Rep. 6a, “strong enough to make a natural subject, for if he hath issue here, that issue is a natural-born subject

      and c) from all the rest of their 50+ page discussion

      that the Court found Wong Kim Ark to be a natural born citizen.

      At the same time that you demand an explicit quote from the Wong case, you completely and absolutely make up a claim in Minor v Happersett that the Court clearly did not say.

      It is abundantly clear that the Minor Court DID NOT STATE “the children born on US soil of aliens are not natural born citizens.” Where’s the quote? You can’t produce from Minorwhat you demand from Wong, because it does not exist.

      And unlike in Wong, the Minor Court did NOT give us the same information in a clear, albeit less-explicit wording.

      The Court simply DID NOT say in Minor that the children born on US soil of alien parents are NOT natural born citizens, and they DID say in Wong that they ARE natural born citizens.

      And that FACT is clear to anybody who goes and reads the cases for themselves. It is made more explicit by the series of articles that I wrote on what the Court said in both cases.

      1) In US v. Wong Kim Ark, the Supreme Court Set a Binding Precedent as to Who Is a Natural Born Citizen.

      2) The Statement in Minor Couldn’t Possibly Have Established a “Binding Precedent,” Because It Was Clearly “Obiter Dictum.”

      3) Minor v Happersett Gave No “Definition” for “Natural Born Citizen.”

      4) Plain English Says the Supreme Court in Minor v Happersett Never Claimed That Citizen Parents Are Required to Make a “Natural Born Citizen.”

      5) Elementary Logic Shows that the Supreme Court in Minor v Happersett Never Claimed That Citizen Parents Are Required to Make a “Natural Born Citizen.”

      6) At Least One Court Has Very Specifically Ruled that Minor v Happersett Says No Such Thing as What Birthers Claim.

  29. ballantine says:

    Mario said: “Once we establish that, the next question is whether a “citizen of the United States” from the moment of birth under the Fourteenth Amendment is the same as an Article II “natural born Citizen?”

    Have you really ever read Wong Kim Ark. Is it possible you don’t understand the point of the whole case is they mean the same thing. How many different ways did the court say natural born subject and natural born citizen mean the same thing:

    “All persons born in the allegiance of the King are natural-born subjects, and all persons born in the allegiance of the United States are natural-born citizens. Birth and allegiance go together. Such is the rule of the common law, and it is the common law of this country, as well as of England. . . .”

    Seriously, do your eyes glaze over when you read this stuff. And of course, it wasy the 14th Amendment is defined by the same rule of birth in the allegaince:

    “the Fourteenth Amendment affirms the ancient and fundamental rule of citizenship by birth within the territory, in the allegiance and under the protection of the country, including all children here born of resident aliens, with the exceptions or qualifications (as old as the rule itself) of children of foreign sovereigns or their ministers, or born on foreign public ships, or of enemies within and during a hostile occupation of part of our territory, and with the single additional exception of children of members of the Indian tribes owing direct allegiance to their several tribes. The Amendment, in clear words and in manifest intent, includes the children born, within the territory of the United States, of all other persons, of whatever race or color, domiciled within the United States.”

    It affirms the same ancient rule. Duh! Do you really not understand what the Court meant when it said “the face of the amendment, as well as from the history of the times, this was not intended to impose any new restrictions upon citizenship, or to prevent any persons from becoming citizens by the fact of birth within the United States who would thereby have become citizens according to the law existing before its adoption.” Hence it is “declaratory of existing rights and affirmative of existing law as to each of the qualifications therein expressed.” This is getting more and more pathetic.

  30. ballantine says:

    For those who find the 50 pages of WKA too difficult to comprehend, the dissenting opinion begins with an excellent summary of the majority opinion that Justice Gray would have obviously read before publication. Everything Fuller says is quoted or paraphrased from Gray’s majority opinion.

    “The argument is, that, although the Constitution prior to that amendment nowhere attempted to define the words “citizens of the United States” and “natural-born citizen” as used therein, yet that it must be interpreted in the light of the English common law rule which made the place of birth the criterion of nationality; that that rule

    was in force in all the English colonies upon this continent down to the time of the Declaration of Independence, and in the United States afterwards, and continued to prevail under the Constitution as originally established;

    and

    that, before the enactment of the Civil Rights Act of 1866 and the adoption of the Constitutional Amendment, all white persons, at least, born within the sovereignty of the United States, whether children of citizens or of foreigners, excepting only children of ambassadors or public ministers of a foreign Government, were native-born citizens of the United States.

    Thus, the Fourteenth Amendment is held to be merely declaratory except that it brings all persons, irrespective of color, within the scope of the alleged rule, and puts that rule beyond he control of the legislative power.”

    Such is exactly what Justice Gray said.

  31. Minor in 1875 told us that there was no doubt as to who was a “natural-born citizen.” It defined one as a child born in a country to parents who were its citizens. Minor added that despite what “some authorities” maintained, “there have been doubts” whether a child born in a country to alien parents was a “citizen” and by extension a “citizen of the United States” under the Fourteenth Amendment. It did not say that there were any doubts whether that child was a “natural-born citizen.” It therefore did not leave open any question whether that child was a “natural born Citizen.” It only left open the question whether that child was a “citizen.”

    Wong Kim Ark in 1898 answered the question left open by Minor. It said that such a child is a Fourteenth Amendment “citizen of the United States.” It arrived at its holding by saying that by the fact of being born in the country, the child of alien parents was just as much a “citizen” as the natural born child of citizen parents. Here is the actual quote from the Court: “‘[t]he child of an alien, if born in the country, is as much a citizen as the natural-born child of a citizen, and by operation of the same principle [birth in the country]’” (bracketed information supplied).

    In order for Wong to be a “natural born Citizen,” he had to first show that he was a “citizen.” The dissent maintained that he was not even a “citizen,” let alone a “natural born Citizen.” The dissent in Wong Kim Ark in referring to eligibility to be President was only addressing the lower court’s position that Wong was a “natural born Citizen.” Again, the majority in Wong, although the issue was well raised both in the lower court and in the Supreme Court, never held that Wong was a “natural born Citizen.” It only held that he was a “citizen.” Hence, the dissent’s comments on that point prove nothing.

    So there you have it. Virginia Minor, born in the United States to citizen parents, was a “natural-born citizen.” Wong, born in the United States to alien parents, was a “citizen” under the Fourteenth Amendment, but not a “natural born Citizen” under Article II.

    • gorefan says:

      In a detail discussion about the difference between dictum and holding, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals in United States of America v. John Allan Crawley, 837 F.2d 291 wrote,

      “So instead of asking what the word “dictum” means we can ask what reasons there are against a court’s giving weight to a passage found in a previous opinion. There are many. One is that the passage was unnecessary to the outcome of the earlier case and therefore perhaps not as fully considered as it would have been if it were essential to the outcome. A closely related reason is that the passage was not an integral part of the earlier opinion–it can be sloughed off without damaging the analytical structure of the opinion, and so it was a redundant part of that opinion and, again, may not have been fully considered. Still another reason is that the passage was not grounded in the facts of the case and the judges may therefore have lacked an adequate experiential basis for it; another, that the issue addressed in the passage was not presented as an issue, hence was not refined by the fires of adversary presentation. All these are reasons for thinking that a particular passage was not a fully measured judicial pronouncement, that it was not likely to be relied on by readers, and indeed that it may not have been part of the decision that resolved the case or controversy on which the court’s jurisdiction depended (if a federal court).”

      The question of citizenship was “not presented as an issue, hence was not refined by the fires of adversary presentation.”

      The single sentence about the “definition” of natural born “can be sloughed off without damaging the analytical structure of the opinion”.

      • gorefan,

        I will hold you to your own standard.

        The Court in Minor did not simply accept the parties concession that Virginia Minor was a “citizen.” Hence, it set out to explain in a thorough decision what citizenship was since the Founding and what “natural-born citizen” was. That type of analysis is enough to make its holding on the definition of a “natural-born citizen” binding precedent.

        On the other hand, even if it were true as you allege, was it necessary for Wong Kim Ark to hold that Wong was a “natural born Citizen?” Was it not sufficient for him to be just a “citizen of the United States” under the Fourteenth Amendment? After all, just being a “citizen” is enough not to get deported. There is no need to also be a “natural born Citizen.”

        • gorefan says:

          So you agree that even if it was necessary to declare Minor a citizen, it was not necessary to declare her a natural born citizen.

          Try it – slough off the single sentence “These were natives, or natural-born citizens, as distinguished from aliens or foreigners. ” It has no effect on the decision.

        • gorefan says:

          “Hence, it set out to explain in a thorough decision what citizenship was since the Founding and what “natural-born citizen” was.”

          You just described Justice Gray’s opinion in Wong Kim Ark.

    • John Woodman says:

      Minor in 1875 told us that there was no doubt as to who was a “natural-born citizen.”

      You lie. The Court did not state that there was “no doubt as to who was a ‘natural born citizen.’” The Court stated that there was no doubt that a person born on US soil of citizen parents was a member of that class.

      It defined one as a child born in a country to parents who were its citizens.

      You lie. The Minor Court clearly gave no “definition” of “natural born citizen.”

      Minor added that despite what “some authorities” maintained, “there have been doubts” whether a child born in a country to alien parents was a “citizen” and by extension a “citizen of the United States” under the Fourteenth Amendment. It did not say that there were any doubts whether that child was a “natural-born citizen.” It therefore did not leave open any question whether that child was a “natural born Citizen.” It only left open the question whether that child was a “citizen.”

      You lie. The Court never stated that such a child was not a natural born citizen.

      Wong Kim Ark in 1898 answered the question left open by Minor. It said that such a child is a Fourteenth Amendment “citizen of the United States.” It arrived at its holding by saying that by the fact of being born in the country, the child of alien parents was just as much a “citizen” as the natural born child of citizen parents. Here is the actual quote from the Court: “‘[t]he child of an alien, if born in the country, is as much a citizen as the natural-born child of a citizen, and by operation of the same principle [birth in the country]’” (bracketed information supplied).

      You lie, by omission. The Court also stated that every child born on US soil of alien parents was always natural born, and that the allegiance of an alien resident on US soil was (using the English terminology of Lord Coke), “strong enough to make a natural subject, for if he hath issue here, that issue is a natural born subject.”

      Again, the majority in Wong, although the issue was well raised both in the lower court and in the Supreme Court, never held that Wong was a “natural born Citizen.” It only held that he was a “citizen.”

      You lie.

      So there you have it. Virginia Minor, born in the United States to citizen parents, was a “natural-born citizen.” Wong, born in the United States to alien parents, was a “citizen” under the Fourteenth Amendment, but not a “natural born Citizen” under Article II.

      In fact, you lie so consistently that it appears one can tell you’re lying merely by the fact your lips are moving.

    • John Woodman says:

      By the way, Mario, in case you haven’t noticed — I’m trying to help you out over here by documenting the actual evidence of the American common law precedent that a “natural born citizen” is “a person born on US soil of citizen parents.”

      So far I’ve been coming up dry. Perhaps you can help us out?

    • ehancock says:

      Mario Apuzzo said: “Minor in 1875 told us that there was no doubt as to who was a “natural-born citizen.”

      No it did not. It simply said that if you had both of the criteria there was no doubt that you were a Natural Born Citizen. But it did not say that it was necessary to have both criteria to be a Natural Born Citizen. And analogy would be “There is no doubt that if you wear both suspenders and a belt your pants will stay up.” That, of course, is not the same thing as saying: “You have to wear both suspenders and a belt to hold your pants up.”

      And, as gorefan points out, the comment is dicta. It is not supported by any reasoning (where the discussion in Wong Kim Ark goes into many pages).

  32. ehancock says:

    IF the Minor vs Hapersett ruling had actually said: “you have to have US citizen parents as well as been born in the USA”–which it did not–it would have been saying that there were three categories of US citizens, naturalized citizens, natural born citizens with one or no US parents, and the third category, the highest, US-born citizens with two citizen parents.

    That would have been a radical decision indeed because it would have stated, without any legislation or articles by the founders to go on, that the US-born children of foreigners are not as good as the US-born children of US citizens. Some people may actually believe that crazy idea, but it is doubtful that justices that had gone through a civil war testing whether a nation devoted to the principle that all men are created equal would have believed such a thing, and certainly not ruled such a thing WITHOUT CITING PLENTY OF EVIDENCE FOR IT.

    Well, of course the Minor vs Happersett decision does not state any such thing, and in confirmation that the statement is dicata, there is no extensive discussion of the alleged rule that two citizen parents are required, nor is there a single cited fact in the ruling to back it up a supposed ruling that two citizen parents are required–no cited legislation, no cited articles, no cited legal scholars, no cited anything.

  33. I just love reading all your wishful thinking.

    Do you actually believe that the Founders and Framers used some undefined definition of a “natural born Citizen?” Do you really believe that the U.S. Supreme Court is supposed to just come along and reinvent each time a definition of a constitutional term relative to a specific personal status that satisfies the current political moment? Do you really believe that the Founders and Framers would have left presidential eligibility to such a chaotic process?

    • gorefan says:

      “the U.S. Supreme Court is supposed to just come along and reinvent each time a definition of a constitutional term”

      No, we believe in following the direction of the Founder and Framer Alexander Hamilton.

      “where so important a distinction in the Constitution is to be realized, it is fair to seek the meaning of terms in the statutory language of that country from which our jurisprudence is derived. ”

    • Jim says:

      Apuzzo: “I just love reading all your wishful thinking.”

      According to the courts, you’ve got that backwards. It’s your “wishful thinking” that is at work, or as Judge Masin stated “The petitioners’ legal position on this issue, however well intentioned, has no merit in law. Thus, accepting for the point of this issue that Mr.Obama was born in Hawaii, he is a “natural born Citizen” regardless of the status of his father.” Which, as we all know, is a nice way of saying “you’re full of it”.

      • Thomas Brown says:

        The “wishful thinking” part is the entire thinking public (this includes, thank God, Judges) wishing Apuzzo would buy himself a clue.

        • I notice that when you have nothing to say, you resort to what a judge said.

          We are not in a law court here. Rather, we are in the court of public opinion. State your case here. No, you have no case. Rather, all you have is your reliance on Wong Kim Ark which does not support your position that a child born in the U.S. to alien parents is a “natural born Citizen.”

          • Jim says:

            Mario: “No, you have no case.”

            Again, you have it backwards. It is you who has no case Mario, and scamming poor shmucks out of money isn’t the court of public opinion. Besides, since all you’re really doing is wasting the courts time, the taxpayer money, and providing entertainment for people who can’t believe that you have no clue what you’re talking about…I’ll leave you with another quote from a Judge who’s heard one of the over 100 cases against the President and lost:

            “Unlike in Alice in Wonderland, simply saying something is so does not make it so.” – Judge Clay Land

        • ballantine says:

          Yes, in the court of public opinion there are a small number of stupid people that have fallen for your BS. However, real courts and scholars have no trouble understanding what Wong Kim Ark and every other case that has addressed the issue has said. Indeed, anyone who can read plain English can. It is truly sad that you think the detailed discussion of natural born citizenship doesn’t count because the court didn’t call him an NBC. I have explained how it is still part of the holding and you cannot state otherwise for you apparently have no idea what is deemed precedent in a case. Real judges would also see that pretty much every authority you cite fails to actually support your position. Simply put, you have no actual authority. there is not a chred of evidence any framer supported your position and no court has every said one needs citizen parents. All the spin in the world will not change that.

        • ballantine says:

          Mario, you never explained why these statement from the court don’t count. Clear, unambiguous staatements that you are wrong. Please enlighten us.

          “There is, however, one clear exception to the statement that there is no national common law. The interpretation of the Constitution of the United States is necessarily influenced by the fact that its provisions are framed in the language of the English common law, and are to be read in the light of its history.” (Clear, unambiguous language quoted by the Court in 6 different cases).

          “and therefore every child born in England of alien parents was a natural-born subject unless the child of an ambassador or other diplomatic agent of a foreign State or of an alien enemy in hostile occupation of the place where the child was born. The same rule was in force in all the English Colonies upon this continent down to the time of the Declaration of Independence, and in the United States afterwards, and continued to prevail under the Constitution as originally established.” ( No ambiguity here. The English rule was incorporated into our original Constitution.)

          “All persons born in the allegiance of the King are natural-born subjects, and all persons born in the allegiance of the United States are natural-born citizens. Birth and allegiance go together. Such is the rule of the common law, and it is the common law of this country, as well as of England..”

          “The first section of the second article of the Constitution uses the language, “a natural-born citizen.” It thus assumes that citizenship may be acquired by birth. Undoubtedly, this language of the Constitution was used in reference to that principle of public law, well understood in this country at the time of the adoption of the Constitution, which referred citizenship to the place of birth.”

          “it is beyond doubt that, before the enactment of the Civil Rights Act of 1866 or the adoption of the Constitutional Amendment, all white persons, at least, born within the sovereignty of the United States, whether children of citizens or of foreigners, excepting only children of ambassadors or public ministers of a foreign government, were native-born citizens of the United States.”

          “that a man born within the jurisdiction of the common law is a citizen of the country wherein he is born.” ( I thought our common law was different from England?)

          “The doctrine of the common law is that every man born within its jurisdiction is a subject of the sovereign of the country where he is born, and allegiance is not personal to the sovereign in the extent that has been contended for; it is due to him in his political capacity of sovereign of the territory where the person owing the allegiance as born.” ( I thought our common law was different from England?)

          “Two things usually concur to create citizenship: first, birth locally within the dominions of the sovereign, and secondly, birth within the protection and obedience, or, in other words, within the allegiance of the sovereign.” ( Sounds like the English common law)

          “Nothing is better settled at the common law than the doctrine that the children, even of aliens, born in a country while the parents are resident there under the protection of the government and owing a temporary allegiance thereto, are subjects by birth.” (Story was talking about American citizenship)

          “Whether a person born within the United States, or becoming a citizen according to the established laws of the country….”

          “The term “citizen,” as understood in our law, is precisely analogous to the term “subject” in the common law, and the change of phrase has entirely resulted from the change of government. The sovereignty has been transferred from one man to the collective body of the people, and he who before as a “subject of the king” is now “a citizen of the State.” (I thought Mario said “subject” meant something different than “citizen”)

          “the citizens of the United States are, with the exceptions before mentioned,(namely, foreign-born children of citizens, under statutes to be presently referred to) such only as are either born or made so, born within the limits and under the jurisdiction of the United States or naturalized by the authority of law,…’
          )
          “The right of citizenship never descends in the legal sense, either by the common law or under the common naturalization acts. It is incident to birth in the country, or it is given personally by statute.”

          “Natives are all persons born within the jurisdiction and allegiance of the United States. This is the rule of the common law, without any regard or reference to the political condition or allegiance of their parents, with the exception of the children of ambassadors, who are in theory born within the allegiance of the foreign power they represent. .” (I thought Mario said our common law was different than England)

          “And if, at common law, all human beings born within the ligeance of the King, and under the King’s obedience, were natural-born subjects, and not aliens, I do not perceive why this doctrine does not apply to these United States, in all cases in which there is no express constitutional or statute declaration to the contrary. . . . Subject and citizen are, in a degree, convertible terms as applied to natives,..” (Gee, I thought Mario said our common law was different than England)

          “The very learned and useful opinion of Mr. Justice Gray, speaking for the court in United States v. Wong Kim Ark, 169 U. S. 649, establishes that, at common law in England and the United States, the rule with respect to nationality was that of the jus soli, that birth within the limits of the jurisdiction of the Crown, and of the United States, as the successor of the Crown, fixed nationality, and that there could be no change in this rule of law except by statute”

          • ballantine,

            Quotes have to be evaluated within the context in which they are made. How do you expect me to answer you on your quotes without the sources which need to be consulted for that context. Or are you now running some type of undercover law operation?

          • ballantine says:

            In other words, you have no answer. These quotes are clear and unambiguous. Of course they all come from Wong Kim Ark save the last one and the context is they are support for the Court’s conclusion that the English common law rule was incorporated into the original Constitution. But you already know that. Now, tell us why we should ignore the clear, unambiguous statements that natural born citizen and subject mean the same thing, that they are defined by place of birth, that our common law is the same as England. Unfortunately for you, real judges have no trouble understanding these statements.

        • John Woodman says:

          We are not in a law court here. Rather, we are in the court of public opinion. State your case here. No, you have no case. Rather, all you have is your reliance on Wong Kim Ark which does not support your position that a child born in the U.S. to alien parents is a ‘natural born Citizen.’

          This is the most astonishing thing from Apuzzo that I have ever read.

          It pretty well amounts to (my interpretation):

          “Okay, I can’t deny the logic. I can’t contest the facts. So I’m not even going to go there.

          What I will do instead is simply claim, for the sake of the show, that what is obviously true, is false, and what is obviously false, is true.

          Because what I will NOT do, even though my position is clearly wrong, is admit it. I have followers who believe my claims. I have three years and a web site invested into them. I have prestige that I’ve gained from making those claims.

          And no matter what the truth is, and no matter how clearly or convincingly that truth is demonstrated, I’m not giving any of that up. And you can’t make me. I’m going to simply deny the truth, and continue do so publicly, because I know for a FACT that there are some people out there who want to believe me so badly that they’ll still believe my claims no matter how clearly you debunk my nonsense.

          I’ll simply remind them that I’m a ‘lawyer.’ And I’ll act bold about it. And they’ll believe me, on the basis of that authority, and because they can’t or don’t want to think for themselves, and on the basis of the fact they want to believe.

          So there.”

          I think Mr. Apuzzo has spent too much time in the courtroom defending guilty people — and managing to get some of those off of the hook. I think he has concluded that the truth doesn’t really matter — all that really counts is whether you make a plausible-sounding enough case to get the judge to rule in your favor.

          He thus shows contempt not only for the truth and our Constitution and laws, but for the audience of suckers who accept the bogus tale he has to tell them.

          In the real world, though, the truth does matter. And the fact is, anyone who actually wants to know the truth can look up the facts for themselves and see that Mario Apuzzo is telling falsehood on virtually every point that he makes. I encourage any and all readers to honestly investigate the sources for themselves.

          I’m sure Mr. Apuzzo has lost cases before. “You win some, you lose some.”

          He’s lost this one.

    • $1000 is just waiting for you Mario. Cat got your tongue? Just get one case to be decided and upheld that Obama is not a natural born citizen. That is all you have to do. Surely if your case is as persuasive as you say it is you would be willing to put a little cash on it. Wouldn’t you?

  34. ballantine,

    First, you provided quotes only from Wong Kim Ark and a case that relies upon Wong Kim Ark. I already told you that Wong Kim Ark ruled that Wong was a “citizen” under the Fourteenth Amendment, not a “natural-born citizen” under Article II.

    Second, Wong Kim Ark said that the English common law only applied if it was not abrogated by “express constitutional or statute declaration to the contrary.” The last time I checked, our Constitution still said “natural born Citizen,” not “natural born subject.” That, my friend, is an express constitutional declaration” that the English common law “natural born subject” had no further application in the new republic.

    Third, why do you not provide evidence from the Founding or shortly thereafter like what our early Congress thought about who should be a citizen. After all, the early Congress was populated by many Founders and Framers. The Naturalization Acts of 1790, 1795, 1802, and 1855 abrogated the English common law in the United States as law to define our national citizenship. Clearly, Congress rejected the jus soli rule of the English common law. Rather, they required that a child, whether born in the United States or abroad, be born to citizen parents in order to be himself or herself born a “citizen of the United States.”

    Fourth, English common law was not incorporated into the Constitution on the national level. That law only continued to apply on the state level and only until abrogated by statute. It only came into the Constitituion by way of the Bill of Rights in 1791. But that limited application of the English common law under the Bill of Rights does not mean that the English common law was brought back into America. Also, note that the Bill of Rights does not touch upon national citizenship.

    Fifth, what replaced the English common law on questions of citizenship was natural law and the law of nations which became part of the Article III “Laws of the United States” and was incorporated into American common law. It is funny how John Woodman has written a separate article on what American common law is. He does not even understand what it is and where it came from in the early years of the Republic. He thinks it only came from courts and judge’s decisions and of course he says he cannot find any such court or judge decisions that made any such American common law on the issue of citizenship. John Woodman better go back to the drawing board and learn from where our early American common law came.
    So as we can see, the English common law simply had no further application to define U.S. national citizenship. And that is not even to speak of the Expatriation Act of 1868 which finally rid our shores of feudalism.

    • Jim says:

      Mario: “First, you provided quotes only from Wong Kim Ark and a case that relies upon Wong Kim Ark. I already told you that Wong Kim Ark ruled that Wong was a “citizen” under the Fourteenth Amendment, not a “natural-born citizen” under Article II. ”

      Ballentine: ““The first section of the second article of the Constitution uses the language, “a natural-born citizen.” It thus assumes that citizenship may be acquired by birth. Undoubtedly, this language of the Constitution was used in reference to that principle of public law, well understood in this country at the time of the adoption of the Constitution, which referred citizenship to the place of birth.” ”

      Mario:”Second, Wong Kim Ark said that the English common law only applied if it was not abrogated by “express constitutional or statute declaration to the contrary.” The last time I checked, our Constitution still said “natural born Citizen,” not “natural born subject.” That, my friend, is an express constitutional declaration” that the English common law “natural born subject” had no further application in the new republic. ”

      Ballentine: ““All persons born in the allegiance of the King are natural-born subjects, and all persons born in the allegiance of the United States are natural-born citizens. Birth and allegiance go together. Such is the rule of the common law, and it is the common law of this country, as well as of England..” ”

      Mario: “The Naturalization Acts of 1790, 1795, 1802, and 1855 abrogated the English common law in the United States as law to define our national citizenship. Clearly, Congress rejected the jus soli rule of the English common law.”

      Ehancock: “There is NOT a word in it that says that the law considers the US born children of foreigners are not US citizens. In fact, it automatically naturalizes the foreign born children of naturalized citizens even if they were born outside of the country. One thing that it certainly does NOT say is that a US-born child of foreigners is not a US citizen at birth. There is not a word about it.”

      Mario:”Fourth, English common law was not incorporated into the Constitution on the national level.”

      Ballentine: ““All persons born in the allegiance of the King are natural-born subjects, and all persons born in the allegiance of the United States are natural-born citizens. Birth and allegiance go together. Such is the rule of the common law, and it is the common law of this country, as well as of England..” ”

      Fifth part is just getting boring now Mario. I’ll let the lawyers shoot that one down…again. Every statement you’ve made has been shown to be wrong. Time to go back to the birther sites…I’m sure talking to them makes you feel like you’re accomplishing more than just taking their money.

    • Jim says:

      Actually, for the fifth one, why don’t you show me the “Laws of the United States” where it states that there was a change in citizenship. When I looked it up on the web, there were no Articles only sections. So, I must be looking at the wrong one. I am always willing to learn, as long as you have source to back up your statements…and don’t lie to me.

  35. ballantine says:

    Just repeating the same BS over and over isn’t going to convince anyone. The quotes I cited are unambiguous and destroy every point your make. It is lying to say the Court ruled WKA was a citizen under the 14th Amendment. It said he was a citizen because the English common law was incorporated into the NBC clause and the 14th Amendment restated the same rule. It appears you will never understand that the court does not need to call WKA natural born in order to define the term and have it be holding. At this point I am convinced you are just stupid.

    We have cited a mulitude of early authority that actually addresses the subject and it all says you are wrong. Insisting the naturalization acts abrogated the common law is delusional as you cannot a single auhtority to support such position. In fact, it does seem that a single authority you cite actually support your position.

    Try reading these again real slowly. It really isn’t that hard.

    “There is, however, one clear exception to the statement that there is no national common law. The interpretation of the Constitution of the United States is necessarily influenced by the fact that its provisions are framed in the language of the English common law, and are to be read in the light of its history.” (Clear, unambiguous language quoted by the Court in 6 different cases).

    “and therefore every child born in England of alien parents was a natural-born subject unless the child of an ambassador or other diplomatic agent of a foreign State or of an alien enemy in hostile occupation of the place where the child was born. The same rule was in force in all the English Colonies upon this continent down to the time of the Declaration of Independence, and in the United States afterwards, and continued to prevail under the Constitution as originally established.” ( No ambiguity here. The English rule was incorporated into our original Constitution.)

    “All persons born in the allegiance of the King are natural-born subjects, and all persons born in the allegiance of the United States are natural-born citizens. Birth and allegiance go together. Such is the rule of the common law, and it is the common law of this country, as well as of England..” (read this a few times, really, really, really clear)

    “The first section of the second article of the Constitution uses the language, “a natural-born citizen.” It thus assumes that citizenship may be acquired by birth. Undoubtedly, this language of the Constitution was used in reference to that principle of public law, well understood in this country at the time of the adoption of the Constitution, which referred citizenship to the place of birth.” (no ambiguity here)

    Again, explain why these clear statements don’t count.

    • ballantine,

      Recyling your worn out presentation simply to have the last word does not hlep you at all. You have not addressed my points.

      Also, I note that you cannot read the naturalization acts the same way that you cannot read Jefferson’s citizenship laws. By the way, for your and John Woodman’s information, I showed the Jefferson naturalization language to my 9 year-old son. He said clearly, that “infant” trumps “person” when applying the act to “infants” and agreed with me.

    • ballantine says:

      Well that settles it. Apparently, the interpreation of your 9-year old son controls. Have you actually read any of the debates from the Congresses who passed such naturalization statutes. In 1790, they cited Blackstone and stated that English law was where they got their knowledge on this subject. They also made clear that they were copying English naturalization statutes. Exactly how does that mean they abandoned English law? And, in 1855, they expressly stated they were following English law as they admitted that under the English common law, the better view was that the foreign born were aliens. Have you actually done no research at all?

      Your misinterpretation of Jefferson’s statute has been completely debunked on this site for weeks. And, of course, the Virginia statutes from 1783 on are unambiguous in stating anyone born in Virginia is a citizen. The fact remains that you cannot cite a single legal authority other than your son to support your interpretation of these statutes. The Supreme Court and every legal authority in the early republic stated that the native born cannot be naturalized. To claim this authority simply does not count because you and your son say otherwise is comical. I just can’t understand why birthers continue to lose every case that addressed the issue.

      • ballantine,

        Rather than always repeat that everything that I say has been debunked and talking about the lack of authorities either way, why not address the text of Jefferson’s citizenship laws which is pretty straightforward?

        It is simply absurd to think that Congress, before the Fourteenth Amendment was passed, did not have the capacity under its naturalization powers to declare that children born in the United States to aliens were themselves aliens.

        And for your information, “Publius” (probably James Madison) agrees with me on how I read the early naturalization acts of Congress. A 1811 Publius article states that James McClure was born in the United States on April 21, 1785. His father was a British subject at the time of his birth. On February 20, 1786, his father naturalized to be a citizen under the laws of South Carolina. McClure remained in the United States until 1795 when he was sent to England for his education. He never returned to the United States. His father also returned to his country, Great Britain.

        Publius on October 7, 1811, in The Alexandria Herald, concerning the “Case of James McClure,” published:

        “Mr. Rodman hints, that it would have been sufficient for James McClure to have been born in the United States—he is mistaken. The law of the United States recognizes no such claim. The law of Virginia, of 1792, does—for, “all free persons born within the territory of this commonwealth,” is deemed a citizen. The law of Virginia considers him as a son of the soil. An alien, as well as a citizen, may beget a citizen, but the U. States’ act does not go so far. A man must be naturalized to make his children such.”

        See Leo Donofrio’s article at http://naturalborncitizen.files.wordpress.com/2011/12/alexandria-herald.pdf which explains this find by a internet researcher.
        So what do you have to say, ballantine?

        • John Woodman says:

          Rather than always repeat that everything that I say has been debunked and talking about the lack of authorities either way, why not address the text of Jefferson’s citizenship laws which is pretty straightforward?

          The problem with this is that ballantine is not the one failing to address the points. Ballantine is not the one making bald assertions with no evidence to back them up.

          You are.

          Ballantine said:

          The quotes I cited are unambiguous and destroy every point your make.

          In point of fact, the quotes that ballantine cited are unambiguous, and destroy every point you make.

          Rather than always repeat that everything that I say has been debunked and talking about the lack of authorities either way, why not address the text of Jefferson’s citizenship laws which is pretty straightforward?

          You are so full of it. You know full well that the text of Jefferson’s citizenship law — which I will agree is pretty straightforward — has already been addressed to its depth.

          However, since you appear to have a memory that does not extend beyond a few days, I will repeat it for you:

          You claim that citizenship was only extended to the children born of aliens on Virginia soil IF their father or mother was already a citizen, or if their father or mother became a citizen (I suppose they must have had government citizenship-processing functionaries who went around with the doctors or midwives), or if they had no father or mother.

          The claim is false, bogus, incorrect, deceptive, erroneous, fictitious, unfounded, misleading, without merit, spurious, deceitful, counterfeit, specious, mendacious, fraudulent, phony, and just plain not true.

          Here’s the relevant portion of the Act:

          Be it enacted by the General Assembly,

          • that all white persons born within the territory of this commonwealth
          • and all who have resided therein two years next before the passing of this act,
          • and all who shall hereafter migrate into the same; and shall before any court of record give satisfactory proof by their own oath or affirmation, that they intend to reside therein, and moreover shall give assurance of fidelity to the commonwealth;
          • and all infants wheresoever born,
            • whose father, if living,
                     or otherwise, whose mother was,
                            a citizen at the time of their birth,
            • or who migrate hither, their father, if living,
                      or otherwise their mother
                            becoming a citizen,
            • or who migrate hither without father or mother,

          shall be deemed citizens of this commonwealth, until they relinquish that character in manner as herein after expressed:

          And all others not being citizens of any the United States of America, shall be deemed aliens.

          “And” means “AND.” It means “in addition to.” It means “plus.”

          We have several different groups here. Six of them, in fact.

          Again, they are:

          • All white persons born in the Commonwealth.
          • All who had lived there since May 1777.
          • All immigrants who would go before a court and give assurance of their fidelity.
          • All infants wheresoever born whose father (if living) or mother was a citizen at their birth.
          • All infants wheresoever born whose father (if living) or mother would become citizens.
          • All infants who should migrate into the Commonwealth without father or mother.

          Although in the law, all of the “infants wheresoever born” are combined into a single group, so we really have four groups, linked by the “ands.”

          We could call them Group A, Group B, Group C, and Group D.

          And the law says:

          Group A
          AND Group B
          AND Group C
          AND Group D

          shall be deemed citizens of the Commonwealth of Virginia.

          This means:

          Everybody in Group A,
          PLUS everybody in Group B,
          PLUS everybody in Group C,
          PLUS everybody in Group D,

          shall be deemed citizens of the Commonwealth of Virginia.

          There is no way around this. This is the plain English of the law.

          You can only evade this if you can somehow alter the meaning of the word “and.”

          Besides that, the additive nature is made even more explicit in the 1783 law, which says specifically, “AND ALSO” when it mentions the children.

          So the legislative intent was CLEARLY additive and NOT to restrict a previously-mentioned category.

          But we don’t actually need the even more explicit term “and also.”

          “And” means “and.” It means one thing plus another.

          And when a law says “Group A and Group B and Group C and Group D shall be deemed citizens, that’s exactly what it means.

          And you cannot change its meaning.

          Another meritless Mario Apuzzo claim has been shown to be absolutely false.

        • gorefan says:

          What evidence is there that this “Publius” is James Madison? Couldn’t anyone use that name in a letter to the newspaper?

          Also the article says that James McClure while in Lomdon received a US passport from the American Minister “confessing him to be a native citizen of the U.S.”, did the US Minister in Great Britian recognize jus soli as the source of citizenship?

          What is the difference in the language of the 1792 Virginia citizenship law and the 1779 Virginia citizenship law that makes the 1792 include “jus soli” citizenship (according to Publius”) but not in the 1779 act (according to you)?

        • Mario

          Leo just speculates this “Publius” was Madison. Loren at the Fogobow said this:

          “… Additionally, Madison and Co. did their Federalist writings as “Publius” in 1787 and 1788. They were all published in The Independent Journal and The New York Packet.

          Leo would like to believe that 23 years later, in 1811, then-President Madison dragged his old pseudonym out of retirement to send a letter to the Richmond Enquirer. A somewhat odd choice, given that Madison had been publicly known to be one of the authors of the Federalist for a decade.

          One is forced to wonder why, if the President of the United States wanted to expound a legal opinion as to who is born with U.S. citizenship, he would need to do so in a quasi-anonymous letter to a Virginia newspaper.”

          As has been pointed out James Madison’s own Secretary of State James Monroe ruled McClure was a citizen just weeks later. Leo’s argument that this newspaper opinion piece by an unknown author is controlling law is beyond pathetic and now you repeated it.

          We do not know if that statement came from Madison but we know without doubt that Madison said this in 1789 during the debate on the seating of Representative William Smith:

          “It is an established maxim, that birth is a criterion of allegiance. Birth, however, derives its force sometimes from place, and sometimes from parentage; but, in general, place is the most certain criterion; it is what applies in the United States; it will, therefore, be unnecessary to investigate any other. Mr. SMITH founds his claim upon his birthright; his ancestors were among the first settlers of that, colony.”

          You own arguments, including this one, completely destroy your thesis. How do I know this? Because in the cases you bring forth the disputes were not about who was a citizen and who was a natural born citizen. In every one of them the question was about who was a citizen at birth, a natural born citizen, and not over a differentiation between “citizen” and “natural born citizen”. That was a litigated question from the time of ratification of the Constitution. We know that people of color were excluded even after being freed from bondage by Scott v Sandford. The post-Civil War laws and amendments corrected these injustices. Not one case you have cited is over whether a person shall be a “citizen” or a “natural born citizen”. That was never the question before the court in the cases you cite. The disputes were more basic. Wong Kim Ark was fighting for his status as a citizen. To win his attorneys had to demonstrate that he was a natural born citizen because he was never naturalized. His only path to citizenship was to be a natural born citizen. Justice Gray didn’t write page after page in his opinion about “natural born subject” and “natural born citizen” because he thought it was a fascinating thing to write about. It was because he determined that to rule the Chinaman was indeed a citizen he had to figure out just who were the natural born citizens. He concluded that our citizenship laws came directly from English common law and were cemented by the 14th Amendment.

          Let me say that again. Every case you have brought up is either about who was a citizen, not over who was a “natural born citizen” vs. “citizen” or as in the case of Minor had nothing to do with who was a citizen. What you have to find is a case where the dispute is over whether someone known already to be a citizen is a natural born citizen. These are the cases that you must seek out, Mario.

          In John Woodman’s new spirit of being helpful if you cannot find them I would be glad to point you to several such cases.

          More to come ….

      • ballantine says:

        Mario says “It is simply absurd to think that Congress, before the Fourteenth Amendment was passed, did not have the capacity under its naturalization powers to declare that children born in the United States to aliens were themselves aliens.”

        That is what the Supreme Court has said as I have pointed out. It is the only thing the majority and both dissents agreed upon in Dred Scott. Such point was made repeatedly in the 14th Amendment Congress which is one reason we have an Amendment rather than just of statute. The only judicial adjudication of the Civil Rights Act also made such point. Madison said only aliens can be naturalized. I have challenged you to find one legal authority saying that any native born persons were aliens or needed to be naturalized. Tucker, Kent, Wilson, Bouvier, Burrell, Townsend and every early American authority says you are wrong and no court has ever said someone born on US soil is naturalized. I guess you can keep making up your own law if you want but no one cares.

        And repeating Donofrio’s delusional nonsense is not going to help you either. To claim that an anonymous writer was really the sitting president without any proof is pretty delusional. Of course, as with almost everything Donofrio writes, the research is poor. Within a month of such publication, Secretary of State James Monroe sent papers to France attesting to the citizenship of James McClure and instructing Ambassador Barlow secure his release.

        http://books.google.com/books?id=BC2trq … oe&f=false

          • gorefan says:

            The National Archives has a copy of this Monroe letter which reads:

            Joel Barlow Esq. Department of State
            Paris Nov. 27, 1811

            Sir
            I have the honor to enclose several affidavits and certificates just handed to me by Mr. Cheves the Representative in Congress from the City of Charleston proving that James McClure now detained in France as a British Prisoner of War was born in Charleston since the Revolution. To these Papers is annexed a Certificate of W[illiam] Johnson Esq. one of the Justices of the Supreme Court of the United States before whom the affidavits were taken stating “that agreeable to the laws and usage of the United States, the said affidavits and Certificates are sufficient to establish the fact that James M McClure above named is a Citizen of the United States.” As such he must be considered by this Government. You will therefore interpose your good offices in his behalf and obtain his release from confinement as soon as possible.

            I have [the honor]
            James Monroe

            Secretary of State Monroe specifically mentions the fact that he was born in Charleston after the Revolution and makes no mention of his father. That would not have been necessary if McClure’s citizenship was based on the Naturalization Act of 1802.

  36. ehancock says:

    Mario Apuzzo said: “The last time I checked, our Constitution still said “natural born Citizen,” not “natural born subject.”

    Absolutely right. We are in total agreement.

    The question that you have not answered, however, is whether a Natural Born Subject requires two subject parents or a Natural Born Citizen requires two citizen parents. Or perhaps it is just one citizen parent for each or perhaps NO parents for each? In short, what law or authority says that NBCs require a certain number of citizen parents while NBSs do not require any?

    Citizens and subjects are different, but where is the law or the article that says that Natural Born citizens require a different kind of parent treatment than subjects? (Are you saying that the one definition for this is Vattel? A SWISS philosopher–and Switzerland has long been a jus sanguinus country–who also recommended that every country should have a state religion?)

    And, even if it were Vattel, someone would have had to have said that they were relying on Vattel for that definition, and no American writer at the time did.

    In fact we have quotations from American leaders using the term Natural Born Citizen the way that Natural Born Subject was used in the common law, and NO quotations at the time by any American writer using the term Natural Born to refer to parents.

    Notice that the above discussion has not referred to a single law case.

  37. ehancock says:

    Mario Apuzzo said: “The Naturalization Acts of 1790, 1795, 1802, and 1855 abrogated the English common law in the United States as law to define our national citizenship. Clearly, Congress rejected the jus soli rule of the English common law. Rather, they required that a child, whether born in the United States or abroad, be born to citizen parents in order to be himself or herself born a “citizen of the United States.”

    Yes laws change the previous law or the common law. That is normal. But there is nothing in these laws that say that Natural Born Citizens have to be born in the USA and have to have two citizen parents.

    Re: “Rather, they required that a child, whether born in the United States or abroad, be born to citizen parents in order to be himself or herself born a “citizen of the United States.”

    That is untrue. And, if you know the truth and continue to repeat that statement, those statements are lies. There is nothing in any of those acts that says that US-born children are not US citizens at birth. Not a word.

    By the way, you haven’t answered my comment on Thomas Jefferson and Andrew Jackson. Neither of them had two citizen parents, and Jackson had NO US citizen parents. You have said at one point that they were US citizens, and now you continue to spread the manure that “…a child, whether born in the United States or abroad, be born to citizen parents in order to be himself or herself born a “citizen of the United States.” ”

    Well, which was it?

    Face it, why not break down and read the statutes again and admit that there is not a word in them that says that “…a child, whether born in the United States or abroad, be born to citizen parents in order to be himself or herself born a “citizen of the United States.” “

  38. ehancock says:

    A question for Mario Apuzzo on another topic. Did Obama’s New Jersey lawyer, Alexandra Hill ever admit that Obama’s birth certificate was forged?

  39. gorefan,

    The Publius article which was published in The Alexandria Herald stated what the Naturalization Act of 1802 said regarding children born in the U.S. to alien parents. It said they were not citizens which is the same that I have argued. There is no record of anyone writing back and taking issue with that interpretation of that naturalization act. If it was so clear and established that the act said what you say it says, i.e., that it only applied to children born out of the United States, why would someone who was so familiar with the McClure case invent such an interpretation in 1811? According to John Goodman and ballentine, since Publius says the same as what I have said about the acts, looks like both Publius and I cannot read English.

    That Secretary of State Monroe almost two months later after the article published decides to intervene and state that McClure was a citizen does not prove your point. We do not know whether this was anything but a political decision made by the U.S. Government for who knows what reason. There is nothing in Madison’s letter that addresses what the law on citizenship is. You have not provided the affidavits and Certificates which Monroe said were “sufficient to establish the fact that James M McClure above named is a Citizen of the United States.” I want to see by what reasoning James Monroe arrived at his decision before I can give more weight to what he wrote than I give to Publius who was most likely James Madison.

    Lynch v. Clark, 1 Sandf.Ch. 583 (1844), reported in the New York Legal Observer, in 1844 also attempted as you do to explain away the early naturalization acts. In Lynch, the plaintiffs also argued that the naturalization acts also applied to children born in the United States. Add another to your list of people who cannot read the English language. The court conceded that “[t]he acts make no distinction between children born here, and those born abroad.” Id. at 258. But then simply ignoring the plain text of the acts, the court said that they applied only to children born abroad. The court said that since the amount of children born in the United States to aliens was so small in comparison to those born to aliens out of the United States, it was not “necessary” for Congress to act upon them and such children were therefore to be removed from the reach of the statutes. It would have been nice if Congress said that rather than a court which was suppose to only interpret what Congress plainly wrote.

    The court then used the fact that the Naturalization Act of 1804 did not distinguish between widows who were born in the United States and those who were born abroad as justification for its decision to limit the acts just to children born abroad. Apart that it is highly suspect for the court to use a provision about women in the 1804 act to interpret a provision about children in the 1802 act, the court’s point makes no sense given that wives followed the citizenship of their husbands and therefore there was no need for Congress to make any distinction between widows who were born in the United States or abroad. In other words, any woman marrying an alien became an alien if she was a U.S. citizen and remained an alien if she was herself an alien. I cannot imagine that the court did not know that Congress understood based on natural law and the law of nations that both wives and children followed the citizenship of the husbands and fathers.

    The court then said: “[u]pon the whole, the implication claimed from these statutes, is not a necessary one, and cannot be raised to overturn an established legal principle.” But it was up to Congress to say what was or what was not necessary. Also, in the very decision the court repeatedly said that the English common law would not have any application in defining national citizenship if there was a Congessional statute that abrogated it. Now in total contradiction, it said that an Act of Congress could not be raised to overturn the English common law which it said was “an established legal principle.” What is amazing is that the court thrust the English common law jus soli citizenship rule upon the national government when the historical record shows that the Founders and Framers, while adopting in 1791 only certain English common law rights through the Bill of Rights, did not include in that adoption the jus soli English common law rule on the national level.

    Lynch did not cite to any authorities that supported its outlandish position on the meaning of the naturalization acts. The court basically just made things up about the meaning of what Congress plainly wrote. What a shameful display of judicial workmanship, all for the purpose of arriving at a preconceived result. The damage that Lynch did to citizenship jurisprudence in the United States is inestimable. Even Wong Kim Ark cited to and blindly relied upon its decision.

    • gorefan says:

      Mario

      There are at least four different opinions in the article.

      1.) The American Minister in London (most likely William Pinkney) who granted McClure a passport on the basis of his being a “native citizen of the United States”.

      2.) The American Minister in France (General John Armstrong Jr.) who refused to recognize McClure citizenship.

      3.) John Rodman who believes that McClure is a citizen by birth.

      4.) Publius who believes that native birth is not enough.

      At this point all this article shows is confusion over birth right citzenship in the early years of the republic. We knew that from the William Smith Case and Representative Jackson speech in that case.

      • John Woodman says:

        Even “Publius” says that he thinks “a very honest and enlightened man might honestly differ with me on the occasion.”

        It’s clear what the position of the US government was: McClure, born in America, was a US citizen.

        • gorefan says:

          Mario wrote, “There is no record of anyone writing back and taking issue with that interpretation of that naturalization act.”

          We could say the same thing about William Rawle’s statement. He published a second edition of his View of the Constitution and there is no recorded complaint about his take on birthright citizenship.

          • gorefan,

            Did you forget about Minor’s statement about “some authorities.” I believe that the U.S. Supreme Court trumps Rawle.

          • ballantine says:

            It might if it actually examine the issue telling us what authorities he was talking about and whether the doubts had any merit. But, of course, it did not leaving the comical situation of you claiming a case that expressly declined to address an issue is dispositive of the issue. Sad.

            • John Woodman says:

              Mario claims to know exactly what “common-law” Justice Waite was talking about, and that it absolutely did not include English common law, even though Hamilton and other Courts have told us we have to look to the English common law to understand the terminology the Constitution was written in.

              As you noted, Mario claims that a case that expressly declined to address an issue, that includes no analysis and no citations of authority regarding an issue, is dispositive of that issue.

              And he claims that a case that took on that same issue head-on, that mentioned “natural born” some 3 dozen times, and that clearly found the plaintiff to be a natural born citizen, somehow does not count — even though he can’t refute the words or reasoning of the Court in that case.

              I guess that about sums it up.

            • ballantine,

              The things you say are so absurd. Minor, a U.S Supreme Court decision that addressed in depth the general concept of citizenship in the United States and during that discussion defined a “natural born citizen” the same way that previous Supreme Court justices did does not count, but Rawle’s one or two sentences without any citation or support does count?

            • @Mario

              If Minor is such a pivotal case why did you not even bother to cite it in your complaint in Kerchner v Obama? You are completely wrong in your interpretation of the case of course.

              How many judges have to rule that Obama is a natural-born citizen before you go back to defending DUI cases for a living? Six isn’t good enough. Do we need ten?

            • ballantine says:

              You are delusional. Minor examined citizenship in depth in a few paragraphs citing no authority at all? Wong Kim Ark spent 21 pages disussing citizenshi0p under the original constitution. Happy hour early today?

              Spin and parse all you want but Minor didn’t say native children of aliens were not citizens or that the doubts were about a type of citizenship other than natural born citizenship. To say otherwise is lying.

              And it is a lie to say any early Supreme Court justice defined the term in such manner,. Are you going to embarrass yourself still trying to claim a citation to Vattel on issues unrelated to citizenship mean they adopted Vattel’s definition. If you haven’t figured that out yet you are hopeless. However, Wong Kim Ark did quote former Justices defining the term. You just are not smart enough to figure that out. Everyone else can though.

              “All persons born in the allegiance of the king are natural-born subjects, and all persons born in the allegiance of the United States are natural-born citizens. Birth and allegiance go together. Such is the rule of the common law, and it is the common law of this country, as well as of England. There are two exceptions, and only two, to the universality of its application.”

              “The first section of the second article of the Constitution uses the language, ‘a natural-born citizen.’ It thus assumes that citizenship may be acquired by birth. Undoubtedly, this language of the Constitution was used in reference to that principle of public law, well understood in this country at the time of the adoption of the Constitution, which referred citizenship to the place of birth.”

            • John Woodman says:

              Mario, you keep asserting that Minor gave a “definition” of “natural born citizen” when it is obvious that it did not.

              Why do you not ever deal with the criticism that Minor gave no such definition?

              Wait… you don’t have to answer that. I know. It’s because you can’t.

      • ballantine says:

        How very sad that Mario has been reduced to citing an anonymous letter. How funny that every time Mario tries to cite authority he ends up hurting his case. The Madison state department only mentioned his place of birth as nothing else is relevant. He can only cite an anonymous letter because no legal authority has agreed with him. Yes, Lynch v. Clarke was wrong. Justice Rhodes, Taney, Curtis and Gray are all wrong. Every legal scholar in the early republic was wrong. But Mario iwll never admit he is wrong. Fortunately, no one cares. The Wupreme Court has spoken and no judge will have trouble understanding what they have said.

        • ballantine,

          Try to reduce the great value of the McClure case. Too bad for you that the case shows that I have been right from the begining on the meaning of the Naturalization Acts of 1790, 1795, 1802, and 1855. The evidence is all there in the historical record. All your running is not going to help you. So it looks like I do know how to read English, but you do not.

          • gorefan says:

            Mario,

            In the McClure case, why did the American Minister in London give McClure a US passport on the basis of him being a “native citizen of the United States”?

          • John Woodman says:

            And why did James Madison’s administration come to his rescue saying that he was definitely a citizen of the United States?

            For that matter, why did the writer himself (whose identity is completely unknown) state that “a very honest and enlightened man might differ with me on the occasion?”

          • ballantine says:

            But just think how astounding it is that anyone would claim an anonymous letter proves their legal theory when they don’t know if it was written by a moron, a child or an ignorant 19th century freeper and, of course, has no evidence any legal authority agreed with it. Even more so after it is clear that the government of Madison himself disagreed. Even more astounding when it has been pointed out that all actual legal authority disagreed with what it said. But we know the statements of the Supreme Court, legal scholars and Congress itself doesn’t count when Mario has found an anonymous letter. This is beyond any normal dishonesty or stupidity. This is someone willing to say anything to support a hopeless quest.

            • John Woodman says:

              I couldn’t agree more. It’s certainly astounding.

              But that’s Mario Apuzzo for you, and it’s the birthers.

        • ballantine says:

          Yes, an anonymous letter rejected by the state department is of such great value. You really are an idiot. Yes, the anonymous letter trumps Madion’s state department which only mentions place of birth as relevant, it trumps the Supreme Court saying that native cannot be naturalized or that native born children of aliens were only citizens, it trumps all our early legal scholars. You have made clear you cannot cite a single real authority to support you. So again, all you have is your son, an anonymous writer and a few idiot freepers.

      • I just shows how pathetic Mario’s and Leo’s arguments are that the best they can do is reference an obscure anonymous opinion piece from 1811 that Leo, while possibly channeling James Madison in a stupor, decided is the James Madison. The article proposes that Mr. McClure is not a natural-born citizen but a short time later the Madison administration declared McClure to be a natural-born citizen.

        Mario, how is the search going for those cases where someone born in the US is disputed to be a citizen but not a natural-born citizen? I stand ready to help you. The $1000 bet is still there for the taking too. Cat got your tongue?

    • Suranis says:

      Lynch v. Clark, 1 Sandf.Ch. 583 (1844), reported in the New York Legal Observer, in 1844 also attempted as you do to explain away the early naturalization acts. In Lynch, the plaintiffs also argued that the naturalization acts also applied to children born in the United States. Add another to your list of people who cannot read the English language.

      Wow, plaintiffs that put forward a crazy frivolous opinion that has no basis in fact, becasue what the want the law to be clouds their ability to read what the law actually is, and they put forward a rediculous argument with no basis in actual writen law.

      Sounds REALLY familiar, don’t you think?

      • Suranis says:

        PS, When you have to rely on the arguments of people who LOST in an attempt to back up our case, you are doing it wrong. Just a tip.

  40. ehancock says:

    Mario Apuzzo has recently said: “The Publius article which was published in The Alexandria Herald stated what the Naturalization Act of 1802 said regarding children born in the U.S. to alien parents. It said they were not citizens which is the same that I have argued.”

    As I have shown there is absolutely noting in the text of the law that says that US-born children of foreigners are not US citizens at birth. If that were the case it would have to be carefully spelled out in the law since it is a radical change from the British approach that Americans were familiar with.

    But Apuzzo apparently thinks that it is true. And, he holds not only is it true for the Naturalization Act of 1802 but for all the other Naturalization Acts of that era and, in fact, that that was the common way Americans at the time considered the US-born children of foreigners.

    Unfortunately for Apuzzo, BOTH Thomas Jefferson and Andrew Jackson were the US-born children of foreigners, and there is no evidence that their parents were naturalized before their birth or that either of the men were naturalized. That would mean, according to his interpretation, that we have had two presidents who were not even US citizens. According to the Natural Born Citizen clause, the Natural Born part was grandfathered. But the citizen part was not grandfathered; you did have at least to be a US citizen. But Apuzzo claims that to be a US citizen, even if you were born in America, you had to have citizen parents.

    Earlier he responded saying that he considered Jefferson and Jackson were US citizens, though not Natural Born Citizens. But he has not explained how they could be US citizens according to his idea that even the US-born children of foreigners were not citizens, unless they were naturalized, and they were certainly not naturalized.

    • William McPherson says:

      Why does the Declaration of Independence not apply for these two Presidents? Did it not naturalize them?

      • ehancock says:

        Of course the Declaration of Independence made all persons born within the 13 colonies automatically US citizens on July 4, 1776. But Mario Apuzzo claims that it did not. His claim is that the Declaration of Independence only made the US-born children of people who were already citizens into US citizens. He has repeatedly claimed that the various laws at the time stated (which, by the way, they did not) that the US-born children of foreigners were not citizens.

        However, he has said at another point that he did consider the Thomas Jefferson and Andrew Jackson were US citizens. But he has never explained how this could have happened. If the laws said, as he claims, that the US-born children of foreigners were not citizens, then Jefferson and Jackson could not be citizens. On the other hand, if the laws actually did not say that the US-born children of foreigners were themselves foreigners and, in fact, both the US-born children of foreigners and the US-born children of citizens became citizens at birth, then Jefferson and Jackson were US citizens–and there is no problem.

        OF COURSE there is no problem. The question is simply how does Mario Apuzzo rationalize his claim that the laws at the time considered that the US-born children of foreigners were themselves foreigners. He has not attempted to answer this contradiction.

    • gorefan says:

      “As I have shown there is absolutely noting in the text of the law that says that US-born children of foreigners are not US citizens at birth. If that were the case it would have to be carefully spelled out in the law since it is a radical change from the British approach that Americans were familiar with.”

      Mario ignores the statement of Representative Jackson during the debates on the 1790 Naturalization Act:

      “I shall take the liberty of supporting the contrary doctrine, which I contend for, by reference to the very accurate commentator on the laws of England, Justice Blackstone, I, 10. “Naturalization,” says he, “cannot be performed but by an act of Parliament;…without such disabling clause in it.” So that here we find, in the nation from which we derive most of our ideas on this subject, not only that citizens are made progressively, but that such a mode is absolutely, necessary to be pursed in every act of Parliament for the naturalization of foreigners.”

      • ballantine says:

        Yes, and he also has to ignore the clear statements from Congress adopted the 1855 Act who were looking to the English common law to determine who they had to naturalize. Mario never answers clear authority that he is wrong because he has nothing to say. All he can say is must ignore the mountain of authority that says he is wrong in favor of his dishonest interpretation of Minor.

  41. William McPherson says:

    “The common law of England is not the common law of these States.” – June 1778, George Mason, delegate to Constitutional Convention from Virginia.

    • gorefan says:

      Alexander Hamilton:

      “where so important a distinction in the Constitution is to be realized, it is fair to seek the meaning of terms in the statutory language of that country from which our jurisprudence is derived.”

    • ehancock says:

      There may well be differences between the common law of England and the common law of the United States. But it is necessary to show the differences, if they exist. In this discussion the claim is that the English common law defined a Natural Born subject as any child born in Britain (with some rare exceptions), and the US common law requires TWO citizen parents. But where is the evidence for this? Where are there cases or articles or letters from the writers of the US Constitution or experts on the American common law saying: “Natural Born means two US citizen parents”???

  42. Another judge speaks out on Mario’s two parent citizen theory (granted it is not exactly the same as Mario’s theory but you get the idea):

    Judge Arthur Schack (Kings County, NY, Strunk v. New York State Board of Elections )

    Plaintiff STRUNK cannot wish into existence an interpretation that he chooses for the natural born citizen clause. There is no arguable legal basis for the proposition that both parents of the President must have been born on U.S. soil.

    Much more at at the link: http://www.obamaconspiracy.org/2012/05/judge-goes-literary-dismissing-strunk-suit/

    Is this another judge whom we should not believe in favor of a DUI attorney from New Jersey?

  43. William McPherson says:

    Does a born citizen with foreign parents not share any allegiance to the parents’ citizenship?

    • Jim says:

      Depending on the laws of the country where the parents are citizens, they could. That’s why children can be born with dual, or even more citizenships. But, a person’s citizenship is their own, not owned by the parents, and controlled by the that person. And, upon reaching a certain age, depending on the country and the different laws of those countries, the person could decide to only be a citizen of a certain country or denounce all other citizenships if they so desire. The laws on citizenship differ from country to country, but we are only concerned about US citizenship in this country.

    • John Woodman says:

      I honestly think that would be a question that would be decided on a case by case basis. And it would be decided by voters.

      In the spring of 1975, 125,000 Vietnamese people fled that country’s regime. These people left Vietnam and its Communist government behind permanently.

      Would I vote to elect someone born here of Vietnamese parents who had not yet at that person’s time of birth become citizens President of the United States? If the candidate were right, I would. And I would expect that person’s allegiance to the government of Vietnam to be zero.

      On the other hand, if someone was born here of Red Chinese parents and had been indoctrinated into allegiance to that country, would I vote to elect such a person? No.

      It constantly amazes me that some of the very same people who rightly insist that our government should not be a nanny state nonetheless DEMAND that our Founding Fathers should have removed any discretion from the People as to whether we would elect a US born, lifelong citizen who had had non-citizen parents at the time of his or her birth, as President.

      Some of these things are matters for the People to decide, in accordance with the principle that the government of the United States is run by the People.

      • Jim says:

        John: “On the other hand, if someone was born here of Red Chinese parents and had been indoctrinated into allegiance to that country, would I vote to elect such a person? No.”

        And then again, what about the possibility that American parents have a child in Hong Kong, who goes through school and college in China, then moves to the US in their early twenties and spends the rest of their life in the US? They would be eligible, but would they be electable? That would be for the People to decide when given all the information.

  44. ehancock says:

    Re: “Does a born citizen with foreign parents not share any allegiance to the parents’ citizenship?”

    Under US law NO. If the child is born in the USA, she or he is considered to have allegiance to the USA. Millions of Americans who were born of German immigrants went to war against Germany in World Wars I and II. No one ever suggested that these people should not serve or should be exempt from the draft because of their dual status. Some, such as Eisenhower, may not even have known that according to German law he was considered at one time (apparently until he began to work for the US government, which was when he went to West Point) that they were dual citizens.

    Here’s the thing about dual citizenship. You may not even know that you are a dual citizen. If some foreign land has a law that says: “The children of our citizens or the grandchildren of them are citizens in our country regardless of whether the parents or grandparents were naturalized by a foreign country”–then you are a dual citizen.

    What dual citizenship means is that two countries THINK that a person has allegiance to both of them. But Blackstone and James Madison believed that that was impossible. They held that allegiance could not be divided and that a person really had only one allegiance, no matter what the countries thought. And Madison said that the one criterion of allegiance that applies in the USA is THE PLACE OF BIRTH.

    James Madison said: “It is an established maxim that birth is a criterion of allegiance. Birth however derives its force sometimes from place and sometimes from parentage, but in general place is the most certain criterion; it is what applies in the United States; it will therefore be unnecessary to investigate any other.’

    Birth is what applies in the United States. In the USA, Madison says, birth is the criterion of allegiance, the PLACE of birth. There are two possible criteria, but Madison says that only one applies in the USA–the place of birth. (http://press-pubs.uchicago.edu/founders/documents/a1_2_2s6.html)

    • Thomas Brown says:

      Wowee… that’s almost clear and simple enough for Mario to understand!

  45. It appears that Mario is going to stand by his lies come hell or high water. In case the readers of your blog have not seen it yet they should read the opposition motion submitted by the Mississippi Democratic Executive Committee last week in the Taitz v Mississippi Democrat [sic] Party case that was recently removed to federal court. In particular, this section addresses the “two citizen parent” nonsense:

    The Constitution does not countenance Plaintiffs’ heritage-based claims

    22. Plaintiffs also contend that “since [President] Obama’s father was a foreign national . . . he would have been a foreign national from birth based on his father’s citizenship,” he is not eligible for his office because the “meaning of natural born citizen as intended in the US Constitution, is one born in the country to two US citizen parents.” See FAC at page 14 ¶ 5.

    23. The contention that Barack Obama is not a natural born citizen because his Father was not a citizen when President Obama was born is “without merit,” as recently recognized by the District Court in Tisdale v. Obama, where plaintiff Charles Tisdale raised the identical argument.6 In Tisdale, plaintiff sought an injunction to prevent the Virginia State Board of Elections from certifying any candidate who lacks standing as a “natural born citizen” from appearing on the 2012 election ballot. There, as here, plaintiff argued that President Obama is “ineligible to appear on the ballot, on the grounds that [he] had at least one parent who was not a citizen of the United States.” The District Court firmly rejected this frivolous argument, stating the obvious:

    “It is well settled that those born in the United States are considered natural born citizens. See, e.g., United States v. [Wong Kim] Ark, 169 U.S. 649, 702 (1898) (“Every person born in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, becomes at once a citizen of the United States.”); Perkis v. Elg, 99 F.2d 408, 409 (1938). Moreover, “those born ‘in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof,’ . . . have been considered American citizens under American law in effect since the time of the founding . . . and thus eligible for the presidency.” Hollander v. McCain, 566 F. Supp. 2d 63, 66dnh (2008)”

    Tisdale v. Obama, No. 3:12-cv-00036-JAG (E.D. Va. Jan. 23, 2012), Order at 2.

    Indeed, a New York state court recently found the argument advanced by Plaintiffs to be frivolous:

    “Despite plaintiff’s assertions, Article II, Section 1, Clause 5 does not state this. No legal authority has ever stated that the natural born citizen clause means what [plaintiff] claims it states. “The phrase ‘natural born Citizen’ is not defined in the Constitution, see Minor v Happersett, 88 US 162, 167 [1875]), nor does it appear anywhere else in the document . . . [Plaintiff] cannot wish into existence an interpretation that he chooses for the natural born citizen clause. There is no arguable legal basis for the proposition that both parents of the President must have been born on U.S. soil. This assertion is [] frivolous.”

    Strunk v. NY Bd. of Elections et al, No. 006500/2011 (N.Y. King County Supr. Ct. Apr. 12, 2012), Ord (dismissing complaint challenging, among other things, President Obama’s eligibility to his office and issuing a show cause order as to why sanctions should not be imposed upon plaintiff), Order at 37.

    These cases are among several court and administrative hearing cases holding that Barack Obama is a natural born citizen, eligible to serve as President. For example, in 2009 the Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed a lower court’s dismissal of a complaint filed during the 2008 election based on the same heritage-based argument advanced by Plaintiffs here for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted. See Ankeny v. Daniels, 916 N.E.2d 678, 688 (Ind. Ct. App. 2009) transfer denied 929 N.E.2d 789 (Ind. 2010). The Ankeny plaintiffs – like Plaintiffs here – argued that “because his father was a citizen of the United Kingdom, President Obama is constitutionally ineligible to assume the Office of the President.” 916 N.E.2d at 685. The court firmly rejected this argument, recognizing that

    “based upon the language of Article II, Section 1, Clause 4 and the guidance provided by Wong Kim Ark, we conclude that persons born within the borders of the United States are ‘natural born citizens’ for Article II, Section 1 purposes, regardless of the citizenship of their parents. Just as a person born within the British dominions was a natural-born British subject’ at the time of the framing of the U.S. Constitution, so too were those born in the allegiance of the United States natural-born citizens.”

    Case 3:12-cv-00280-HTW-LRA Document 16 Filed 05/04/12 Page 13 of 24 14 Ankeny v. Daniels, 916 N.E.2d at 688.

    Similarly, a state court in Arizona earlier this year rejected the identical argument advanced by Plaintiffs here and, like Ankeny and Tisdale, recognized that United States Supreme Court precedent – i.e., Wong Kim Ark – “fully supports that President Obama is a natural born citizen under the Constitution and thus qualified to hold the office of President.” Allen v. Obama et al, No. C20121317 (Ariz. Pima County Super. Ct. Mar. 7, 2012), appeal filed (Mar. 8, 2012).

    24. Notwithstanding this clearly-established precedent, Plaintiff Taitz and those who share her views have parroted these arguments to various courts and regulatory agencies around the country. Not surprisingly given the clearly-established precedent, in each and every instance where their heritage-based argument has been considered, Plaintiffs’ argument has been soundly and firmly rejected – including one instance involving a lengthy evidentiary hearing at which Taitz offered most of the same exhibits attached to the FAC as “evidence,” put several of the same witnesses on the stand whose affidavits are attached to the FAC, and even personally testified with no opposition present to represent the President’s interests. See Farrar v. Obama, No. OSAH-SECSTATE-CE-1215136-60 -MALIHI (Ga. Office of St. Admin. Hrg. Feb. 3, 2012) (rejecting challenge to President Obama’s eligibility to appear on 2012 ballot in Georgia after holding an evidentiary hearing; finding that President Obama is a “natural born citizen”).

    In total, the MDEC has identified eight written decisions issued in seven different states to date, in which Plaintiffs’ heritage-based argument has been squarely considered – and flatly rejected.

    25. In their FAC, Plaintiffs simply ignore the controlling authority of Wong Kim Ark, and instead cite to an earlier U.S. Supreme Court decision, Minor v. Happersett, 88 U.S. 162 (1874). See FAC at page 24 (incorrectly referring to Minor as an “1875” decision).

    However, as even a cursory reading of Minor confirms – and as every court to consider the argument advanced by Plaintiffs has held – Minor does not come close to supporting Plaintiffs’ argument.

    See, e.g., Allen v. Obama et al, Order at 2 (“[c]ontrary to Plaintiffs’ assertion, Minor v. Happersett, 88 U.S. 162 (1874), does not hold otherwise”); Ankeny v. Daniels, 916 N.E.2d at 686 (“the [Minor] Court left open the issue of whether a person who is born within the United States of alien parents is considered a natural born citizen”); Farrar v. Obama, Decision at 8 (same); Purpura v Obama, No. STE 04588-12 (N.J. Office of Admin Law Apr. 10, 2012), Decision at 6 n.2 (recognizing that Minor Court discussion of term was dicta).

    26. In short, Plaintiffs’ argument – which is at the core of Taitz’s “Sisyphean quest”8 to unseat President Obama – is founded upon their inability to accept the obvious:

    “The constitutional history, the nearly unanimous consensus of legal and constitutional scholars, and the consistent, relevant case law thus indicate that every child born in and subject to the jurisdiction of the United States (that is, not children of diplomatic personnel representing a foreign nation or military troops in hostile occupation), is a native born U.S. citizen and thus a “natural born Citizen” eligible to be President under the qualifications clause of the Constitution, regardless of the nationality or citizenship of one’s parents. The legal issues regarding “natural born” citizenship and birth within the United States, without regard to lineage or ancestral bloodline, have been well settled in this country for more than a century, and such concepts date back to, and even pre-date, the founding of the nation.”

    Jack Maskell, Cong. Research Srv., No. R42097, Qualifications for President and the “Natural Born” Citizenship Eligibility Requirement (2011) (Exhibit C) at 50.

    You can read the entire motion at Jack Ryan’s SCRIBD page: Memo in Support of Motion for Summary Judgment on the Pleadings

    Mario said on his blog that I am afraid that if his case makes it SCOTUS he would win. Well, first his case has already been rejected by SCOTUS. If one ever did make it that far (and it will not) attorneys stand read who would rip it to shreds just as was done above. The justices would laugh at the way Mario has lied about every significant case. He would be destroyed. I hope Mario does step out of the safety of his blog to file more cases. Eventually, he will find a judge who expects more from an attorney than frivolous cases and lies. It will hurt Mario in the wallet and could impact his career as an attorney.

    • ballantine says:

      I guess Mario can dream. The courts are full of cranks, idiots and small time lawyers dreaming of glory. To think that these cases which are dismissed out of hand at every level will reach the Supreme Court is delusional. There are two types of cases that come before appellate courts. Serious and not serious. As soon as the clerks see misrepresentation of case law or claims that authority says things it doesn’t, it goes in the not serious pile. Such things are not tolerated in serious law. Of course, neither are claims an anonymous letter is legal authority. It is amateur hour and the judges will soon lose any patience for this stuff.

    • John Woodman says:

      Mario’s putting on a brave front, but I think he’s smart enough to know his claims don’t have a snowball’s chance in Havana of prevailing in court.

      As he alluded earlier, he seems to be playing mostly to the court of public opinion.

      I suppose he’s seen quite a few people stand up in some of his court cases and boldly proclaim bald-faced lies, and get away with it simply by virtue of the fact that they acted confident and never, ever changed their story.

      There’s just one problem with that. That works well in a “he said, she said” kind of situation where the facts can’t be verified. It doesn’t work so well when anybody can go and check out the facts for themselves.

      And in this case: Anybody can read Minor v Happersett and see that it doesn’t say what he claims it says. Anybody can read US v Wong Kim Ark and see that it says what he claims it doesn’t say. Anybody can read Jefferson’s citizenship law and see that his claim is a lie. And the list goes on and on.

      And the facts in those cases have been clearly presented. Mario can’t and doesn’t refute them, but still won’t change his claims.

      Undoubtedly, of course, there are always going to be some folks who will believe whatever he says just because thay want to. A few (like Ike) will even participate as willing tools. But on the broader scale, I think Mario’s already lost in the court of public opinion.

      The disgusting thing is the evident contempt for the truth, our history, our Constitution, and even for his gullible audience that Mr. Apuzzo displays. He really doesn’t seem to care what damage he does to the country as long as he can perpetuate a few lies to try and make himself look good. Seems to me it’s all about Mario.

  46. jtmunkus says:

    Everyone knows there are only two kinds of American citizen – born and naturalized. You can be born to a US citizen parent, or two, anywhere in the world, and you’re a natural born citizen. Or you’re just an unassuming fetus (with parents from anyoldwhere) drinking in his or her first breath on American soil.

    Easy peasy. We all learned that in around first grade. And, by the way Mario – the 14th Amendment settled it. Quit saying that the 14th Amendment doesn’t count; indeed it IS the Constitution.

    Mario would take natural born citizenship away from millions upon millions of Americans – past & present – to carry out his ridiculous racist vendetta against our first black president.

    Sounds rather seditious to me.

    • John Woodman says:

      Welcome to the comments!

      Did you happen to notice that Mario seems to have no answer at all for most of the questions asked?

  47. JPotter says:

    JW,

    Thanks for hosting another spot which will consume my time. I haven’t been by in awhile. I read through the first half of this thread and skimmed to the end. My eyes are bleeding. Allergic to the snake oil. You note MA has no answer for ‘most’ of your and others questions. I didn’t see any statements of substance at all, much less answers. Were those in the second half of the thread?

    I see that he, as other birthers I have encountered, bases his Vattelist dream on the delusion that the writing of the US Constitution represented a complete reboot of the legal traditions of 13 separate, sovereign states, and that the relation of citizens, states, and the national government were from the get-go as they are today. What ignorance.

    I do wonder how each of these guys settles on the level of foolishness they are willing to adopt. Personal preferences? Level of tolerable dishonesty? Level of ignorance? To me, Epperley up in Alaska is the ultimate fool (so far) …. he has spents years pushing similar ‘original intent’ positions, including the objection to all female politicians, on the grounds that women have no political rights. Perhaps if MA keeps retrenching, he can catch up to Epperley.

    • John Woodman says:

      You note MA has no answer for ‘most’ of your and others questions. I didn’t see any statements of substance at all, much less answers. Were those in the second half of the thread?

      I was trying to err on the side of being generous to Mr. Apuzzo. As far as my memory goes, I’m thinking you may have already hit his most “substantive” “responses.” Sorry about that. There are probably a couple of amusing moments along the way, though.

      My sympathies on your snake oil allergy. We’re trying to come up with an antidote, or at least a treatment of some kind. For more details you might want to have a look at the content guide. ;-)

  48. Trevor says:

    I noted that dear Mario has, as yet, conspicuously failed to respond to the answer to his “WKA never said anywhere he was an NBC”.

    I fact the cavilling, evasion and outright pompous lying reminds me of the fun we had over at CAAFLOG during the Lakin fun and games.

    You remember Mario don’t you?

    The round beasting and beating that went on was quite delicious, I seem to recall you took some exception to my little play in one act, “Mario and the Supremes.”

    Justice Alito: Mr Apuzzo, I woul….

    Mario: Esquire

    Justice Alito: I beg your pardon

    Mario: It’s Mr Appuzzo Esquire, I’m a lawyer you know.

    Justice Alito: I am fully aware you are a lawyer Mr Apuzzo, you’re here arguing a case.

    Mario: It’s important to get the terminology right, I paid good money for the Esq.

    Justice Scalia: OK already, we get it, the Esq is given lets move on.

    Justice Alito: Thanks Tony, moving on, Mr Apuzzo, your case is one that seeks…..

    Mario: I object

    Justice Alito: What ! What do you mean you object, I’m trying to describe your case how can you object to that?

    Mario: They are here !!!

    Justice Scalia: What, what are you talking about, who is here..?

    Mario: Them, those two, over there in the black robes

    Justice Thomas: We all wear black robes, that’s all I’m saying and it’s not dicta.

    Justice Roberts: Sammy, what’s he saying, look can we hurry up, she who must be obeyed has a long Honey-Do list for me for Christmas

    Justice Alito: Mr Apuzzo, just WHAT or WHO are you objecting to?

    Mario: Those two there, (points wildly)

    Justice Alito: From your frenetic semaphore I take it you mean Justices Sotomayer and Kagan

    Mario: Yeah, them two…shouldn’t be here

    Justice Kagan: I got this Sammy, OY, paisan, what’s your problem with me, ’cause I’m a woman, ’cause I use Jewish words or ’cause I’m from Noo Yawk. Well, spit it out, don’t keep me waiting.

    Mario: You didn’t recuse yourselves that’s why AND YOU KNOW WHY !!!

    Justice Kagan: No Joisey, I don’t “know why” why don’t you enlighten Sonia, me and the boys

    Mario: You were nominated by the Usurper so you’re tainted, begone by the power of Vattel vested in me.

    Justice Sotomayer: Vatell…Vattel, what’s he babbbling about…anyone..?

    Justice Kennedy: I seem to remember something from ….no not that…is it ..no…Don’t they make childrens toys? Is this a consumer safety case? I thought it was an electoral issue?

    Mario: NO Vattel…Vattel he is the most significant contributor to the Constitution and defined Natural Born Citizen, its’ all in my briefs

    Justice Ginsburg: I remember, part of a pop quiz back in ’56 at Harvard, “Who was cited the LEAST in the Federalist Papers but had a minor input on international relation definitions in the Constitution”… no one got it, we couldn’t even agree how his name was spelled or his nationality. Nasty ideas but a creature of his time.

    Justice Breyer: Oh no…Johnny, he’s a bloody Birther, what in the name of Beelzebubs left nut are we doing with this. We had this chat over 2 years ago

    Justice Kagan: A Birfer…A Joisy Birfer..A Joisy Birfer who things he can tell ME to recuse myself? Sammy, did you set this up?

    Justice Alito: I’m sorry, a friend asked if I could have a look, I owed him a favor, what can I say. Maybe when I saw all the clerks sending his brief around as a punk’d email I should have looked a little closer.

    Mario: I demand they recuse themselves it’s a plot by Soros.

    Justice Scalia: Shut it…Sammy, I get it, I understand but really, Birfoons in the court, we had this out when that Mad Cow Orly was around, no Birfoons except at the Christmas party for light entertainment.

    Justice Alito: Sorry all, I’ll make it up for everyone in the Christmas present

    Mario: But..

    Justice Roberts: Can it “esquire”, frivolous case, inherently valeless, a waste of this courts time, what say you…? Show of hands..OK done

    Mario: But my case..it’s a Konstitutional Krisis.!!

    Jusice Roberts: Can it or the sanctions here will make Orly swoon. Bailiff, escort “esquire” from the courts and if he gives you any trouble….

    Mario: (voice receding) Let me FEEEENISH

    • I remember that discussion and your little one act play! There were 1300 comments on that article and a good 300 of them were Mario’s. It was all about Dwight Sullivan posting just a few sentences on his Kerchner appeal to SCOTUS. Dwight wrote:

      This week at the Supremes: Tomorrow’s the day! We’ll find out whether the Golden CAAF will be making an cross-continent Washington-to-Washington journey. We’ll find out whether the lawyers at Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP will be wondering why they’ve received a small gilded bovine statuette in the mail. We’ll find out whether we have to order a Golden CAAF III. We’ll find out whether the 14-year draught for a granted servicemember’s cert petition under 28 U.S.C. § 1259 has ended. In short, we’ll learn whether the Supremes have granted cert in Smith v. United States, No. 10-18. The order list will be available on SCOTUSblog.com at 1000 EST or shortly thereafter. Also on tomorrow’s order list will be the denial of my cert petition in Nerad v. United States, No. 10-532, and denial of the guano crazy birther cert petition in Kerchner v. Obama, No. 10-436.

      Mario took issue with Dwight’s prediction that his case was going to be denied.

  49. I have two more questions to add to the list of questions Mario will not answer:

    1. Why did the Republicans nominate Chester Arthur to be Garfield’s running mate in the summer of 1880 when they should have known about the monumental decision in Minor v Happersett just five years prior? (Arthur’s father was not naturalized until Chester was 14). According to records there was a mini “Birther” movement against the VP candidate but the Arthur Birthers spread rumors about his place of birth being Canada or Ireland. Why didn’t they just point to Minor?

    2. Why did Justice Waite swear in Arthur upon the death of James Garfield in 1881? This was only 6 years after the Minor decision and the opinion was written by Waite himself.

    • John Woodman says:

      Good questions!

      • A bit more information on Justice Waite and Chester Arthur:

        Arthur was sworn in the first time on September 20, 1881 by NY State Supreme Court Judge John R. Brady after Garfield’s death. Justice Morrison Waite did a second swearing in ceremony two days later just to make it doubly official. No one questioned the fact that Arthur’s father was not citizen when he was born – just more evidence that Mario Apuzzo is full of nonsense.

        Others, including Kevin Davidson, have previously pointed out that Waite was happy to swear in Arthur.

        • John Woodman says:

          More than that, Arthur is known to have had political enemies who were agitating to try and prove he was ineligible… and who, in order to do so, first alleged that he had been born in Ireland, and then alleged he had been born in Canada!

          They were casting about to find any pretense they could to call him ineligible, but somehow it just never occurred to them that he was ineligible because his dad was not a US citizen when he was born.

          Idiots, huh?

      • ehancock says:

        The allegation of birthers is that Arthur was successful in hiding the fact that his father was not a citizen. That is their CLAIM, but it is not true. There is no evidence that Arthur hid the fact that his father was not a US citizen. And, by the way, the father of James Buchanan was also born overseas, and there is NO evidence that he was naturalized before Buchanan was born.

  50. Trevor says:

    Ahhhhh happy days, the whole thread was a joy and a terribly amusing learning experience…well, except for Dear Mario….. 8-)

  51. ballantine says:

    Here are some of the questions he has been unable to answer ont his blog:

    Why can’t you produce one early authority saying the American common law of citizenship was different from England?

    Why can’t you produce one quote from a court that actually says someone born after the revolution needs citizen parents?

    Since Madison himself said only aliens can be naturalized, why can’t you find a single authority other than an anonymous letter saying native children of aliens were aliens or needed naturalization?

    Why do all authorities on the subject say you are worng?

    Here is some research help for Mario on this subject:

    “Under the 4th section of the act of April 14, 1802, to establish an uniform rule of naturalization, &c., (2 Stats., 153,) such children, if dwelling in the United States, are declared citizens. That section provides, in brief, that the children of persons duly naturalized under any of the laws of the United States, &c., being under the age of twenty one years at the time of their parents being so naturalized, or admitted to the rights of citizenship, shall, if dwelling in the United States,’ be considered as citizens of the United States. The section, of course, refers to children born out of the United States, since the children of such persons, born within the United States, are citizens without the aid of statutory law.” Attorney General Bates, Opinion on Citizenship (1862).

    “The general words used, do not prove that general words were necessary. The statutes were necessary, and every part of i them is fulfilled, although children bom here were already citizens. They operate on the much larger class of the children of aliens, viz: those who were born abroad.” Lynch vs. Clarke, pg. 250, 258 (NY 1844)

    “The provision of the act of the 14th of April, 1802 (section 2172, Revised Statutes of the United States), has received both executive and judicial construction. The Attorney General of the United States (Bates), in 1862, held that ‘under the 4th section of the act of April, 1802, to establish a uniform rule of naturalization, &c., such children, if dwelling in the United States, are declared citizens.’ ‘That section,’ continues the Attorney-General, ‘provides in brief that the children of persons duly naturalized under any of the laws of the United States, etc., being under the age of twenty-one years at the time of their parents being so naturalized or admitted to the rights of citizenship, shall, if dwelling in the United States, be considered as citizens of the United States. ‘The section of course refers to children born out of the United States, since the children of such persons born within the United States, are citizens without the aid of statutory law.’ (10 Up., 329.)” Mr. Davis, Acting Sec. of State, to Mr. Brulatoor, July 30,1883. MSS. Inst., France.

    “a free white person born in this country of foreign parents is a citizen of the United States.” Attorney General Black, 9 Ops. Atty. Gen. 373 (1959)

    “In reply to the inquiry which is made by you in the same letter whether ‘the children of foreign parents born in the United States, but brought to the country of which the father is a subject, and continuing to reside within the jurisdiction of their father’s country, are entitled to protection as citizens of the United States,’ I have to observe that it is presumed that, according to the common law, any person born in the United States, unless he be born in one of the foreign legations therein, may be considered a citizen thereof until he formally renounces his citizenship. There is not, however, any United States statute containing a provision upon this subject, nor, so far as I am aware, has there been any judicial decision in regard to it.” Mr. Marcy, Sec. of State, to Mr. Mason, Juno 6, 1854. MSS. Inst., France.

    “The naturalization of an alien naturalizes his minor children born abroad but residing in the United States at the time of his naturalization. Children born abroad of aliens who subsequently emigrated to this country with their families, and were naturalized during the minority of their children, are citizens of the United States. 10 Ops. Atty. General, 329; Gumm v. Hubbard, 97 Mo. 311; 10 Am. St. Rep. 312; State, ex rel. Carey v. Andriano, 92 Mo. 70, 4 S. W. 263.” Frederick Van Dyne, Treatise on the Law of Naturalization in the United States, (1907)

    “So far as concerns our own local law, a child born in the United States to a British subject, is a citizen of the United States.” Mr. Fish, Sec. of State, to Mr. Ellis, Apr. 14, 1873. MSS. Dom. Let.

    “The minor child of a Spaniard, born in the United States and while in the United States, or in any other country than Spain, is a citizen of the United States. “The United States has, however, recognized the principle that persons although entitled to be deemed citizens by its laws, may also, by the law of some other country, be held to allegiance in that country.” Mr. Fish, Sec. of State, to Mr. Cashing, Feb. 16, 1877. MSS. Inst., Spain.

    “The 4th section of the act of April 14, 1802 (Rev. Stat., § 2172) (making children of naturalized persons citizens, and extending citizenship to children born abroad to citizens), ” is only a municipal law, and can have no effect beyond the jurisdiction of this country, and especially in Holland, if it should be in conflict with the local law of that country. If, therefore, Johannes (whose citizenship was contested) voluntarily placed himself within Dutch jurisdiction, his rights and his obligations must be measured by the laws of Holland and not by the laws of the United States.” Mr. Marcy, Sec. of State, to Mr. Wendell, Sept. 7,1854. MSS. Doiu. Let.

    “And, as is suggested by a Senator-behind me, even the infant child of a foreigner born in this land is a citizen of the United States long before his father.” Senator Trumbull, William Horatio Barnes, History of the Thirty-ninth Congress of the United States, pg. 254 (1868).

    “And this power granted to Congress to establish an uniform rule of naturalization is, by the well-understood meaning of the word, confined to persons born in a foreign country, under a foreign Government.” Chief Justice Taney, Dred Scott v. Sandford, 60 U.S. at 417 (1857)

    “It appears, then, that the only power expressly granted to Congress to legislate concerning citizenship, is confined to the removal of the disabilities of foreign birth.” Justice Curtis, Dred Scott v. Sandford, 60 U.S. (19 How.) 393, 478 (1857)

    “But what is naturalization? It is the removal of the disabilities of alienage… Congress has power ” to establish an uniform rule of naturalization….An alien naturalized is “to all intents and purposes a natural born subject…The power is applicable only to those of foreign birth. Alienage is an indispensable element in the process. To make one of domestic birth a citizen, is not naturalization, and cannot be brought within the exercise of that power. There is an universal agreement of opinion upon this subject.” Justice Swayne, United States v. Rhodes, 1 Abbott, US 28 (Cir. Ct. Ky 1866)

    ” I maintain that a negro can not be made a citizen by Congress ; he can not be made a citizen by any naturalization laws, because the naturalization laws apply to foreigners alone. No man can shake the legal truth of that position. They apply to foreigners alone; and a negro, an Indian, or any other person born within the United States, not being a foreigner, can not be naturalized; therefore they can not be made citizens by the uniform rule established by Congress under the Constitution, and there is no other rule. Congress has no power, as I said before, to naturalize a citizen. They could not be made citizens by treaty. If they arc made so at all, it is by their birth, and the locality of their birth, and the general operation and effect of our Constitution.” Sen. Davis, quoted in History of the thirty-ninth Congress of the United States, William Horatio Barnes, pg. 208, (1868)

    “Mr. Madison did not think that Congress, by the constitution, had any authority to readmit American citizens at all. It was only granted to them to admit aliens.” Abridgment of the Debates of Congress, from 1789 to 1856: From Gales and Seatons’ Annals of Congress; from their Register of debates; and from the official reported debates, by John C. Rives, pg. 556 (1860)

    “But to return to the subject of alienage—an alien, according to the notion commonly received as law, is one born in a strange country and in a foreign society, to which he is presumed to have a natural and a necessary allegiance.” James Wilson, The Works of James Wilson, Vol. II, pg. 291 (1802)

    “Aliens by birth, are all persons born out of the dominions of the United States, since the fourth day of July, 1776, on which day they declared themselves an independent and sovereign nation, with some few exceptions, viz. 1. St. George Tucker, Blackstone Commentarires, (1802)

    “We have already defined an alien to be one born without the limits of the United States, and owing allegiance to a foreign country.” William Charles White, a Compendium and Digests on the laws of Massachusetts (1809)

    NATURALIZATION. The act by which an alien is made a citizen of the United States of America. Bouvier Law Dictionary pg. 189 (1843)

    ALIEN, persons. One born out of the jurisdiction of the United States, who has not since been naturalized under their constitution and laws. To this there are some exceptions, as this children of the ministers of the United States in foreign courts. See Citizen, Inhabitant. Bouvier Law Dictionary (1843)

    Naturalization. That process by which an alien becomes a citizen. Analysis of Civil Government, By Calvin Townsend, pg. 325 (1869)

    An alien is one who is born in a foreign country. Analysis of Civil Government, By Calvin Townsend, pg. 325 (1869)

    NATURALIZATION. [Lat. naturalizatio.] The act of investing an alien with the rights and privileges of a native or natural-born subject or citizen.* Co. Litt. 129 a. 1 Bl. Com. 374. 2 Kent’s Com. 64—67. Alexander Mansfield Burrill, A new law dictionary and glossary, pg 737 (1851)

    Alien: In american Law. One born out of the jurisdiction of the United States. Alexander Mansfield Burrill, A new law dictionary and glossary, pg 81 (1851)

    “The people are considered as aliens, born in some foreign country, as inhabitants of some neighbouring state in the union, or natural born subjects, born within the state.” Zephaniah Swift, A system of the laws of the state of Connecticut: in six books, Volumes 1-2 of A System of the Laws of the State of Connecticut: In Six Book, pg. 163,167 (1795)

    “An alien is a person born out of the jurisdiction of the United States. There are some exceptions, however, to this rule, by the ancient English law, as in the case of the children of public ministers abroad, (provided their wives be English women,) for they owe not even a local allegiance to any foreign power. ” James Kent, COMMENTARIES ON AMERICAN LAW (1826)

    “Aliens are persons born out of the jurisdiction of the United States, and not naturalized.” John Frederick Archbold, John Jervis, William Newland Welsby, Thomas Whitney Waterman, A complete practical treatise on criminal procedure, pleading, and …, Volume 1, pg. 8 (1853)

    By this law, to make a man an alien, he must be born without the allegiance of the commonwealth ; although persons may be naturalized or expatriated by statute, or have the privileges of subjects conferred or secured by a national compact.” Ainslie v. Martin, 9 Mass. 454, 456, 457 (1813).

    “Natives are those born within the national jurisdiction; aliens are born without that jurisdiction.” John Norton Pomeroy, Introduction to Municipal Law, pg. 419 (1865)

    Not surprizingly, the Supreme Court thus concluded:

    ” it is beyond doubt that, before the enactment of the Civil Rights Act of 1866 or the adoption of the Constitutional Amendment, all white persons, at least, born within the sovereignty of the United States, whether children of citizens or of foreigners, excepting only children of ambassadors or public ministers of a foreign government, were native-born citizens of the United States.” U.S. v. Wong Kim Ark, 169 U.S. 649, 674-75 (1898)

    • Thomas Brown says:

      Oh, sure…is THAT all you’ve got?

      Sorry; I was channelling Mario for a second.

      • John Woodman says:

        All of THOSE authorities, of course, are wrong.

        But hey, we’ve got this guy over in Switzerland from 20 years before the Revolution… who doesn’t actually use the phrase “natural born citizen” or even “natural born…”

    • John Woodman says:

      We ought to post a collection here of quotes from legal and scholarly authorities that indicate children born on US soil of non-citizen parents are natural born citizens, and that native-born citizens are natural born citizens.

      But you may have such a collection posted elsewhere?

  52. I was looking for contemporary discussions about citizenship published following the WKA decision and I found a several. One was from a work titled A treatise on the rights and privileges guaranteed by the fourteenth amendment to the Constitution of the United States by Henry Brannon – W.H. Anderson, 1901

    From Page 32:

    Chinese Children – Those born here of Chinese parents residing here are American citizens by reason of birth here though their parents are aliens. This is the common law doctrine before stated in these pages, that any one born within the territory and allegiance of king or country is a natural born citizen. Such can not be deported or excluded under the act the immigration of Chinese and deporting them certain circumstances 54 [Emphasis added]

    54 22 US Stat at large Ch 126 14 p 261 In re Wong Kim Ark 71 F 382 169 US 696

    My search also uncovered this one:

    Rights of citizens and persons under the Fourteenth amendment by Chin-Yung Yen, Press of the New era publishing company Lancaster, Pa. 1905

    From Page 17

    The decision in the case of Wong Kim Ark not only overruled the Civil Rights Act but practically settled the whole question of natural born citizenship of the United States. Natural born citizens according to this decision are those persons who are born in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof without regard to the nationality of their parents. Persons who possess the element of birth in the country and the element of subjection to the United States at the time of their birth are natural born citizens.

    It seems that the meaning of the WKA ruling as it defined “natural born citizen” was grasped fairly soon after the decision. I also looked for contemporary articles or books stating that Minor v Happersett defined “natural born citizen”. So far I am not finding any.

  53. ehancock says:

    Because I will be traveling, and because I probably missed many good arguments, I hope to get the help of some legal anti-birthers over on http://blogs4victory.wordpress.com/2012/05/03/natural-born-citizen/#comment-44252

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