Natural Born Citizenship and the “Law of Nations”

Did the Meaning of “Natural Born Citizen” Come From “American Common Law” Derived from the Law of Nations?

"Anyone Wanna Take Credit for 'Natural Born Citizen?'" -- Law of Nations Writers Vattel, Pufendorf, Grotius, Bynkershoek, Burlamaqui, and Wolff (Not Pictured: Thomas Rutherforth)

"Anyone Wanna Take Credit for 'Natural Born Citizen?'" -- Law of Nations Writers Vattel, Pufendorf, Grotius, Bynkershoek, Burlamaqui, and Wolff (Not Pictured: Thomas Rutherforth)

New Evidence Destroys Claim on the Origin of “Natural Born Citizen.”

One of the two foundational pillars of the “birther movement” has been that even if Barack Obama was born in Hawaii, he’s still ineligible to be President of the United States — since (according to the theory) it takes birth on US soil, plus two citizen parents at the time of birth, to make a “natural born citizen” who is eligible to be President.

But the birthers very quickly run into trouble, for the following reasons:

1) The phrase “natural born citizen” is exactly analogous to “natural born subject,” which has a centuries-long history in the English common law. Our American Colonies prior to the Revolution were, of course, English colonies.

2) We decided to rename “subjects” as “citizens,” so the obvious meaning of “natural born citizen” is almost exactly the same thing as “natural born subject.” The only apparent difference would seem to be that we are no longer “subject” to the Crown, but “citizens” of a free country.

3) Close to two thirds of our American leaders who wrote the Constitution were lawyers; and a strong knowledge of the English common law at the time was essential — even foundational — training for American lawyers. So at least around two thirds of the Framers of the Constitution were well familiar with the English common law.

For this reason, they would not only have been familiar with the term “natural born subject” — they would have understood what it meant.

4) There is no known technical or legal use of the phrase “natural born” before it was mentioned in the Constitution, that shows any sign of deriving from any source other than the English common law — including from Swiss philosopher Emer de Vattel, whom the birthers say came up with our idea of a “natural born citizen.”

In fact, the phrase “natural born citizen” does not appear at all in any translation of Vattel’s work until 10 years after our Constitution was written.

Nor does anybody ever appear to have even commented on Vattel’s work using the phrase “natural born citizen” at any time before the writing of our Constitution, or for years afterward.

5) There is no known statement anywhere by any member of our Founding Fathers or the Framers of our Constitution, or by any historical commentator, that would indicate that the Founding Fathers or Framers of the Constitution ever relied on Vattel in any way for our meaning of “natural born citizen,” or on his ideas of citizenship in general.

6) The writers of our Constitution did not use Vattel’s terminology. If they had, they would’ve stated that the President had to be a “natural” or an “indigene.”

But instead of using Vattel’s terminology, they used the phrase “natural born citizen” — which in itself almost conclusively indicates that they were referring instead to the English common law concept of a “natural born subject.”

7) There was in fact NO debate on the term in full session of the Constitutional Convention, and we have no record of any controversy whatsoever regarding the term.

This strongly suggests that those present had reference to a well-known phrase and concept, that was well understood by everybody and that had a known and established meaning. And the only phrase and concept that meets these qualifications is the English common law phrase “natural born subject” — as a direct analogue to “natural born citizen.”

8.) “Natural born subject” and “natural born citizen” are known to have been used completely synonymously in early America shortly after the Revolution.

Now here’s where all of the above known and established facts come together and turn into a massive problem for the birthers:

9) Under English common law, it is well known and extremely well established — for centuries — that even the children of non-citizens, born on the territory of the country, were natural born subjects.

And the only exceptions to this rule were the children of foreign royalty, foreign ambassadors, and members of hostile, occupying foreign armies.

From all of the above facts, it would appear — at least at first glance — that the claim that it takes two citizen parents to make a natural born citizen is totally cracked.

Not to be deterred by these known realities, though, birther lawyer Mario Apuzzo claims:

… ‘natural born Citizens…’ were defined under American common law (the law of nations) as the children born in the country to ‘citizen’ parents.

Were American and English Common Law Really Diametrically Opposed on this Point?

Natural Born Subject: No Citizen Parents Required. But Natural Born Citizen: Two Citizen Parents Required?

Natural Born Subject: No Citizen Parents Required. But Natural Born Citizen: TWO Citizen Parents Required?

So Apuzzo claims it was American common law — not English common law, that provided us with the definition of “natural born citizen” — and that this definition came from the “law of nations.”

Apuzzo admits that under English common law, ALL children born in the country were natural born subjects — with, of course, the few limited exceptions noted above:

“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.’” — Mario Apuzzo

But he says that our Founding Fathers and Framers of the Constitution clearly rejected English common law in this regard, and established some American common law, based on the “law of nations,” that was entirely at odds with the law of England on this particular point.

We’ve already explored in this blog the normal usage of the term “common law.”

By its ordinary definition, “common law” consists of legal precedent that is created by judges, over a period of time through court rulings. We therefore have looked to see whether we could find any records of case law in our American, colonial or pre-Constitution courts that would establish that the meaning of “natural born citizen” only includes children born on US soil of citizen parents.

We have found no such cases. Not one.

Nor has Mario Apuzzo or anybody else been able to produce even one such case, or any such judicial statement at all giving the birther definition for “natural born citizen.”

Mr. Apuzzo has, however, clarified his claim for us. It’s not that any such “common law” by that ordinary definition exists, he tells us.

It’s that the “Law of Nations” was incorporated, very early on, into our national law.

Therefore the Law of Nations – according to Mr. Apuzzo — controls our national definition of citizenship — particularly our definition of natural born citizenship.

IF Mario Apuzzo’s Claim is True, We Can Expect to Find that the Following Three Things Are True:

1) There is clear evidence that the Law of Nations was incorporated into US law — strongly enough to control the definition of “natural born citizen” in the Constitution.

2) The legal term of art “natural born citizen” is recorded somewhere in the Law of Nations. (Otherwise, how could it possibly be defined by that Law?)

3) And finally, we can expect to find that this term is, in fact, clearly defined in the Law of Nations as “a person born on the soil of a country [that is, within its territory] of parents who are citizens.”

If we (or he) can produce such evidence, and if that evidence is conclusive, then that should clearly establish that the term “natural born citizen” was intended to mean exactly what Mr. Apuzzo claims it means.

On the other hand, if no such evidence exists that the above three things are true, it will finally establish that there is no basis at all in law for the claim that “natural born citizen” requires having two citizen parents — because we will have exhausted all possible sources in American law for finding such a definition.

Will This Be Strike Three for the Birthers? Or a Home Run?

Apuzzo at Bat: The Birthers Really, REALLY Need a Home Run -- Just to Stay in the Game.

Apuzzo at Bat: The Birthers Really, REALLY Need a Home Run -- Just to Stay in the Game.

It’s been shown that the 1874-1875 Supreme Court case Minor v Happersett clearly does not establish a precedent for the definition of “natural born citizen.” This has been Strike One for the major legal claims (no pun intended!) of the birthers.

It’s also been shown that even if it had, any such precedent would’ve been overturned by the 1898 case of US v Wong Kim Ark, which clearly found that the child born on US soil of non-citizen parents was a natural born citizen.

Mr. Apuzzo has been invited to refute the evidence in these cases. In spite of his constant assertions to the contrary, it is clear that he has completely failed to do so. In fact, he really has never even attempted to directly address most of the points made in the articles referenced.

[And why not? Because he really can't. The established facts simply don't allow him to. All Mr. Apuzzo can do is repeat, against the evidence, "I have proven... I have shown..."]

So Minor v Happersett is Strike One for the birther position. That case represents their strongest claim that the Supreme Court has ever ruled for their position. And any reasonable analysis of the case shows that such a claim is simply not true.

US v Wong Kim Ark is Strike Two for the birthers. It shows that in fact, the Supreme Court has ruled directly against their position.

Now instead of arguing that Wong was wrongly decided, Mr. Apuzzo’s approach has been to completely deny the ruling that case reached and insist instead that the Court found in favor of his position. (?!?!!)

Nonetheless, the actual finding of the Court in that case is clear. And the obvious and accurate understanding of that ruling has been repeatedly affirmed ever since, by Constitutional scholars and judges alike.

Still… it might be possible that US v Wong Kim Ark was wrongly decided. Hence our search for an earlier legal definition (in “American common law”) that might establish the birther definition of “natural born citizen.” We failed in the Colonial and pre-Constitution courts, but we might still succeed with the Law of Nations.

This is the last chance for Apuzzo and the birthers.

So which will it be — a home run? Or strike three?

If it is the latter, then the birthers are “Out,” in terms of any legal arguments… although there might theoretically still be some historical argument to be made for their position.

Yes, the Founders Believed in the “Law of Nations.” But Even So, the Claim Quickly Runs into Problems.

It’s clear that our Founders’ generation did, for the most part, believe that there was such a thing as the “Law of Nations.” Furthermore, they believed it was important, and that our new country should absolutely fulfill its obligations to this international law or code of conduct.

Because to a good degree, that’s what it was: The international code of conduct that dictated how nations should treat one another. Our Founding Fathers understood that if a nation violated the way that nations were supposed to behave, the consequences could be very costly.

A brand new nation that had just concluded its war for independence didn’t need or want to stumble into a war with some other country.

Unfortunately for Mr. Apuzzo and the birthers, as soon as you begin actually examining both the Law of Nations and our relationship to it, you very quickly run into problems. And not just one or two problems, but a whole truckload of them.

We’ll deal only briefly with most of these, in order to focus on the most important ones. But let’s at least list the various problems that seem obvious.

1) The Constitution does not expressly incorporate the “Law of Nations” into our law.

It’s disputed and unclear to this day to what degree (if any) the “Law of Nations” was ever really intended to be incorporated into American law. And if it was intended to be “incorporated” into our law, it’s not entirely clear exactly how it was intended to be incorporated, and what priority in our legal system it was intended to have.

Was the Law of Nations intended to supersede our own explicit national and state laws? The idea seems very doubtful indeed. Here’s how one of the conservative members of our current Supreme Court describes the Law of Nations:

“At the time of its enactment, the ATS [Alien Tort Statute] provided a federal forum in which aliens could bring suit to recover for torts committed in ‘violation of the law of nations.’ The law of nations that would have been applied in this federal forum was at the time part of the so-called general common law… General common law was not federal law under the Supremacy Clause, which gave that effect only to the Constitution, the laws of the United States, and treaties. U.S. Const., Art VI, cl. 2. Federal and state courts adjudicating questions of general common law were not adjudicating questions of federal or state law, respectively -– the general common law was neither.”

– Justice Antonin Scalia, Concurring Opinion, Sosa v Alvarez (2004)

2) Assuming that at least some aspects of the “Law of Nations” were intended to be “incorporated” into US law does not mean that all aspects of the “Law of Nations” would have necessarily been incorporated.

Since the purpose of our working with the Law of Nations seems to have been to avoid conflicts with other nations, in international law, it seems very questionable that any aspects of the Law of Nations relating to whether a US born child of non-citizen parents was a “natural born citizen” would have been applicable to that purpose.

3) The “Law of Nations” was, however, considered to be fully incorporated into the English common law — and that did not change the fact that locally-born children of aliens were always “natural born subjects!

Quoting the preeminent authority on the English common law:

“…in England no royal power can introduce a new law, or suspend the execution of the old, therefore the law of nations (wherever any question arises which is properly the object of its jurisdiction) is here adopted in its full extent by the common law, and is held to be a part of the law of the land.”

– Sir William Blackstone, Commentaries on the Laws of England

This is a serious issue, for if the “Law of Nations” was incorporated “in its full extent” into the English common law, and if such incorporation in no way prevented the children of non-citizens from being “natural born subjects,” then there’s no reason on earth why it would prevent such children from being “natural born citizens” here in America.

In fact, this one point alone is likely fatal to Mr. Apuzzo’s claim… unless we can find some clear, definite, unambiguous American principle to the contrary.

4) Not everyone agreed what the parameters of the “Law of Nations” were. Not everybody agreed what the correct practice was in a particular situation, either.

In fact, not everyone even agreed what the Law of Nations even was. I’ve found at least three different definitions.

For some, it was the law of nature applied to nations. For others, it represented whatever international agreements nations had consented to between themselves. And for still others, it was that body of law that simply seemed to be common to all developed societies around the world.

5) There is no indication at all that Vattel’s definition of citizenship was intended to supercede our traditional understanding of citizenship.

In fact (as noted earlier) all indications are to the contrary.

And now we begin to arrive at some of the most critical problems for the claim that “American common law,” derived from the Law of Nations, dictated our definition of “natural born citizen,” and that that definition excluded those born on US soil of non-citizen parents.

6) When we look specifically at what was written on the “Law of Nations” — not one of the significant “Law of Nations” writers made any mention whatsoever of the legal term of art “natural born citizen” — not even Vattel.

Therefore, it is abundantly clear that the term itself DID NOT ORIGINATE from ANY writer on the “Law of Nations.”

This fact is diametrically opposed to the claim of Mario Apuzzo, who wrote:

“The Framers did not define an Article II ‘natural born Citizen’ because they did not see a reason to. It was a term that was well defined by the law of nations and well-know [sic] by civilized nations.”

In response to Apuzzo’s claim, one could ask him a one-word question.

Where?

Show us the quotes, Mario. Show us the long lists of authorities and quotes that establish exactly WHERE “natural born citizen” was “well defined by the law of nations.”

He can’t.

Because that clear definition of the term of art “natural born citizen” simply does not exist — as far as I can determine — anywhere in the “Law of Nations.”

It certainly does not appear in any relevant work by any major writer on the subject. I’ve even searched (albeit less exhaustively) for its occurrence in the works of at least six minor writers on the subject — and come up completely dry.

Mr. Apuzzo claims that “natural born subject” doesn’t mean “natural born citizen” because it’s a different phrase. It’s a different term of art.

This seems at least plausible.

But what’s good for the goose is good for the gander.

If Mr. Apuzzo maintains that we cannot accept the definition of “natural born citizen” as being similar to “natural born subject” because one single word is different (albeit highly analogous) then there is no way that we can possibly accept his definition for “natural born citizen” — because it appears that the only “terms of art” that were ever defined to mean his concept are “naturel” and “indigene.”

And the term “natural born citizen” bears far less resemblance to “naturel” and “indigene” than it does to “natural born subject.”

So by Apuzzo’s own argument, since none of the writers on the Law of Nations ever defined or even used the term of art “natural born citizen” — apparently not even once — he and the birthers do not have a leg to stand on.

As it stands, it looks like Apuzzo and the birthers are striking out.

But to round out our evaluation of whether it’s actually even plausible that “natural born citizen” came from the Law of Nations, we will look carefully at what the writers on the Law of Nations actually had to say about citizenship, to see whether the birther position can be rescued.

We will do this in our next article, titled:

What the Writers on the Law of Nations Had to Say Relevant to Natural Born Citizenship.

This entry was posted in Conclusions, Natural Born Citizen, New Information. Bookmark the permalink.

90 Responses to Natural Born Citizenship and the “Law of Nations”

  1. gorefan says:

    Subjects versus Citizrns

    During the New York Ratificatioin Convention in July 1788, there was a proposal to restrict Senators and Representatives to “natural born Citizens” or ” such as were Citizens on or before the fourth day of July one thousand seven hundred and seventy six”

    Citizens on/or before July 4th 1776. Don’t birthers claim that there were no citizens before July 4th, 1776.

    • John Woodman says:

      Yes.

      Birthers claim a LOT of things. And in investigating something probably exceeding 5 dozen of these claims, I’ve yet to find a really significant one that is true.

  2. I like the baseball analogy and especially the “Apuzzo at the plate” photo. However, I see Birthers as playing in the lowest level of the minor leagues like Class D in the Appalachian League riding WWII vintage buses to games.

    I think in comments both here and on my blog Mario has pretty well admitted he is never going to prevail with these theories in any court and I suspect he knows why. The answer isn’t corrupt judges either. He will be content to write 3000 word blog posts with a lot of double talk with a few legal terms and misapplied references tossed in and glued together with unsupported conclusions and claims.

    As Dandy Don Meredith used to sing “Turn out the lights, the party’s over; they say that all good things must end. Call it a night, the party’s over and tomorrow starts the same old thing again.”

  3. John Woodman,

    Your error is in that you have not done the necessary research to learn that on many matters, including those of national citizenship, the law of nations was incorporated into Article III “Laws of the United States” which under the supremacy clause of Article VI became binding on the nation. Even William Blackstone told us that the law of nations was adopted in full by the English common law. He said that “in England no royal power can introduce a new law, or suspend the execution of the old, therefore the law of nations (wherever any question arises which is properly the object of its jurisdiction) is here adopted in its full extent by the common law, and is held to be a part of the law of the land.” Sir William Blackstone, Commentaries on the Laws of England. Hence, in the United States too, the law of nations became what we call national, federal, or American “common law.”

    You also err in not understanding that a “natural born Citizen” is a word of art, an idiom, that, because of the American Revolution which brought us from being a monarchy to being a republic, can be defined only under American “common law,” and not under English “common law.”

    I will not go into all the evidence which shows that the national government adopted the law of nations or American “common law” definition of a “natural born Citizen.” Here is just one little piece.

    Justice Scalia in District of Columbia v. Heller (2008) tells us that in interpreting a word or clause in the Constitution, we are to look for the “the public understanding” of that word or clause held by the people at the time the word or clause was used.

    To accomplish that analysis, Justice Scalia informs of the critical importance of “the examination of a variety of legal and other sources to determine the public understanding of a legal text in the period after its enactment or ratification. That sort of inquiry is a critical tool of constitutional interpretation.”

    The 1797 English translator of Emer de Vattel’s The Law of Nations, Section 212 defined “Les naturels, ou indigenes” as “natives, or natural-born citizens.” He then translated as follows: “The native, or natural-born citizens, are those born in the country, of parents who are citizens.” This translator would have known what “the public understanding” was regarding the meaning of a “natural-born citizen” and from where that understanding came.

    First, he would have known if the Founding generation linked the “natural-born citizen” clause to Vattel. He concluded that they in fact did and so he took the Founders’ and Framers’ Article II’s “natural born Citizen” clause and inserted it into his 1797 English translation of Vattel’s Section 212 of The Law of Nations.

    Second, the translator would have also known how the Founding generation considered Vattel’s “natural-born citizen” to be defined. Hence, he translated the clause as: “The native, or natural-born citizens, are those born in the country, of parents who are citizens.” By defining Vattel’s “natural-born citizen” in this fashion, the translator told us that the Founding generation also defined a “natural-born citizen” as a child “born in the country, of parents who are citizens.”

    That the Founders and Framers linked a “natural-born citizen” to Vattel and that they considered Vattel as defining a “natural-born citizen” as “those born in the country, of parents who are citizens” is confirmed by both Minor v. Happersett, 88 U.S. 162 (1875) and U.S. v. Wong Kim Ark, 169 U.S. 649 (1898).

    In telling us who were “citizens of the United States” before the adoption of the Fourteenth Amendment, Minor first explained who the “original citizen” were. Id. at 166-67. Minor then said: “Additions might always be made to the citizenship of the United States in two ways: first, by birth, and second, by naturalization. . . . Thus new citizens may be born or they may be created by naturalization. Id. at 167. As to those to be added by birth, Minor said “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.” Id. at 167. So it said that there were not doubts as to who the “natural-born citizens” were. They were born in a country to parents who were citizens of that country.

    Minor then added: “Some authorities go further and include as citizens children born within the jurisdiction without reference to the citizenship of their [p168] 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. Hence, Minor said that throughout American history “there have been doubts” whether this other class of persons, those born in the United States to alien parents, were even just “citizens.” Under the “common-law” definition of a “natural-born citizen” provided by the Court, i.e., born in a country to parents who were citizens of that country, this other class, if they were “citizens,” could not be “natural-born citizens,” for they were not born to “citizen” parents.

    In 1898, Wong Kim Ark, answered the question left open by Minor, i.e., whether a child born in the United States to alien parents was a “citizen” under the Fourteenth Amendment. It held that children born in the United States to domiciled alien parents, being born “subject to the jurisdiction” of the United States, were “citizens of the United States” because of the Fourteenth Amendment. Note that the analysis of whether a child is born “subject to the jurisdiction” of the United States applied only to defining a “citizen” under the Fourteenth Amendment, but not in defining a “natural born Citizen” under Article II. Consistent with how Minor had defined a “natural born Citizen,” Wong Kim Ark also did not say that these other “citizens” were Article II “natural born Citizens.”

    Add to all this the evidence that the Founders and Framers, except for its limited incorporation through the 1791 Bill of Rights, generally rejected the application of the English common law on the national level (e.g., see James Madison in The Federalist No. 42 in how he defined “piracies” and “felonies;” James Madison’s October 18, 1787 letter to George Washington regarding the convention not incorporating the English common law into the Constitution) and specifically rejected the meaning of a “natural-born subject” as applicable to the republic (e.g., see the Naturalization Acts of 1790, 1795, 1802, and 1855), and one will be convinced that the Founders and Framers did not define a “natural born Citizen” under the English “common law,” but rather American “common law,” and they did not give to a “natural born Citizen” the same meaning the English gave to a “natural-born subject.”

    After Wong Kim Ark, these are the “citizens” that we have:

    1. By Birth: an Article II “natural born Citizen.”
    Characteristics:
    Born in the U.S. or its jurisdictional equivalent
    Born to “citizen” parents
    A U.S. “citizen”
    Called a “natural born Citizen” by Article II
    A U.S. “citizen” from the moment of birth
    Not born subject to any foreign power
    Born within the complete political jurisdiction of the U.S.
    Eligible to be President and Commander in Chief of the Military

    2. By Birth: a 14th Amendment “citizen of the United States” “at birth.” See also 8 U.S.C. Sec. 1401(a).
    Characteristics:
    Born in the U.S.
    Born to one or two domiciled alien parents
    Not born to parents who are foreign diplomats or military invaders
    A U.S. “citizen”
    Called a “citizen of the United States” by the 14th Amendment
    and 8 U.S.C. Sec. 1401(a)
    A U.S. “citizen” from the moment of birth
    Born subject to a foreign power
    Not born within the complete political jurisdiction of the U.S.
    Not eligible to be President and Commander in Chief of the
    Military

    3. By Naturalization: a naturalized citizen “after birth” under an Act of Congress or treaty.
    Characteristics:
    Born out of the U.S. to two alien parents
    A U.S. “citizen”
    Called a “citizen of the United States” by the 14th Amendment, Congressional Act, or treaty
    A U.S. “citizen” after birth
    Born subject to a foreing power
    Not born within the complete political jurisdiction of the U.S.
    Not eligible to be President and Commander in Chief of the Military

    These are what I will call No. 1 U.S. “citizens,” No. 2 U.S. “citizens,” and No. 3 U.S. “citizens.”

    Your error has been all along in conflating and confounding a No. 1 “citizen” with a No. 2 “citizen.”

    John Woodman, all the baseball games in the world cannot help you escape from the reason and logic and therefore truth of this argument.

    • gorefan says:

      Mario,

      So England incorporated the Law of Nations into it’s legal system, but they also kept the principle of jus soli as Blackstone and Cockburn have indicated. So under the law of nations the individual company gets to decide. Where is it written down that the Founders made a change?

    • Suranis says:

      Which law of nations are we talking about, Mario? The term goes back to Cicero (look him up)

      http://www.lonang.com/exlibris/blackstone/bla-405.htm

      And a clue to what Blackstone meant by law of nations can be gleaned from Book 4 chapter 5 of Blackstones commentaries “Of offences against the law of nations,” the chapter title incorporated into the US Constitution. In fact its more than a clue, he flat out says it.

      THE law of nations is a system of rules, deducible by natural reason, and established by universal consent among the civilized inhabitants of the world;1 in order to decide all disputes, to regulate all ceremonies and civilities, and to insure the observance frequently occur between two or more independent states, and the individuals belonging to each.2 This general law is founded upon this principle, that different nations ought in time of peace to do one another all the good they can; and, in time of war, as little harm as possible, without prejudice to their own real interests.3 And, as none of these states will allow a superiority in the other, therefore neither can dictate or prescribe the rules of this law to the rest; but such rules must necessarily result from those principles of natural justice, in which all the learned of every nation agree: or they depend upon mutual compacts or treaties between the respective communities; in the construction of which there is also no judge to resort to, but the law of nature and reason, being the only one in which all the contracting parties are equally conversant, and to which they are equally subject.

      IN arbitrary states this law, wherever it contradicts or is not provided for by the municipal law of the country, is enforced by the royal power: but since in England no royal power can introduce a new law, or suspend the execution of the old, therefore the law of nations (wherever any question arises which is properly the object of its jurisdiction) is here adopted in its full extent by the common law, and is held to be a part of the law of the land. And those acts of parliament, which have from time to time been made to enforce this universal law, or to facilitate the execution of its decisions, are not to be considered as introductive of any new rule, but merely as declaratory of the old fundamental constitutions of the kingdom; without which it must cease to be a part of the civilized world. Thus in mercantile questions, such as bills of exchange and the like; in all marine causes, relating to freight, average, demurrage, insurances, bottomry, and others of a similar nature; the lawmerchant,4 which is a branch of the law of nations, is regularly and constantly adhered to. So too in all disputes relating to prizes, to shipwrecks, to hostages, and ransom bills, there is no other rule of decision but this great universal law, collected from history and usage and such writers of all nations and languages as are generally approved and allowed of.

      No mention of incorporating Vattel into English law there, is there?

      Oh and guess what the offenses against this universal law are?

      THE principal offense against the law of nations, animadverted on as such by the municipal laws of England, are of three kinds; 1. Violation of safe-conducts; 2. Infringement of the rights of ambassadors; and, 3. Piracy.

      Nothing there about Presidenting while not having 2 citizen parents, is there?

      Maybe I should become a laywer…

    • Suranis says:

      “Your error has been all along in conflating and confounding a No. 1 “citizen” with a No. 2 “citizen.” ”

      That’s funny, because so did the 1790 naturalisation act. LOL

    • John Woodman says:

      Mario Apuzzo ignores pretty much every point made in the article above, and in the next one as well — which two articles totally obliterate his claim of support from the Law of Nations — to post:

      Your error is in that you have not done the necessary research to learn that on many matters, including those of national citizenship, the law of nations was incorporated into Article III “Laws of the United States” which under the supremacy clause of Article VI became binding on the nation.

      I like the approach, Mario. Try to position yourself as a serious, credible, knowledgeable authority. Say — without actually saying it, of course — that the person who just completely, factually destroyed all of the falsehoods you’ve been promoting to the public for the past three years really doesn’t know what he’s talking about.

      Why, he’s just an innocent babe in the woods who just hasn’t done enough research yet. That’s all!

      Of course, the entire line of snake-oil sales pitch falls apart when I politely point out:

      1) that I have, in fact, done quite sufficient research on whether the Law of Nations was incorporated into our Constitution — readers can refer both to this article and the one that follows it; and

      2) that what you yourself are about to mention about the incorporation of the Law of Nations into English law is by itself fatal to your own claim.

      But you’re good. You are definitely a smooth talker.

      Have you ever considered automobile sales? A used car dealership would love to have someone like you, and I’m sure you could actually make a very good living at it.

      Even William Blackstone told us that the law of nations was adopted in full by the English common law. He said that “in England no royal power can introduce a new law, or suspend the execution of the old, therefore the law of nations (wherever any question arises which is properly the object of its jurisdiction) is here adopted in its full extent by the common law, and is held to be a part of the law of the land.” Sir William Blackstone, Commentaries on the Laws of England. Hence, in the United States too, the law of nations became what we call national, federal, or American “common law.”

      And as I’ve already pointed out both in this article AND in the next one — that one point completely destroys your claim on the American common law.

      For if the law of nations was adopted into ENGLISH common law “IN ITS FULL EXTENT,” and if — as we know — that adoption did not for one moment stop the child born on English soil from being a natural born subject, then there is not the SLIGHTEST reason to suppose that its incorporation into American common law would ever stop the child born on US soil from being a natural born citizen.

      That fact alone shows that your claim that we got an “American common law” definition of “natural born citizen” as being “a person born on US soil of two citizen parents” because we incorporated the law of nations into our US national law is absolutely and unequivocally false.

      Thud.

      On to your next point:

      You also err in not understanding that a “natural born Citizen” is a word of art, an idiom, that, because of the American Revolution which brought us from being a monarchy to being a republic, can be defined only under American “common law,” and not under English “common law.”

      On the contrary, I’ve discussed the “word of art” or “term of art” nature of the phrase “natural born citizen” at length.

      I will not go into all the evidence which shows that the national government adopted the law of nations or American “common law” definition of a “natural born Citizen.”

      That’s a nice way of saying you have none.

      Here is just one little piece. Justice Scalia in District of Columbia v. Heller (2008) tells us that in interpreting a word or clause in the Constitution, we are to look for the “the public understanding” of that word or clause held by the people at the time the word or clause was used.

      Great point! We can therefore look to the understanding of Zephaniah Swift, whose legal treatise was subscribed to by a massive Who’s Who of Founders, Framers and US government big shots — including 3 US Presidents and half the US Supreme Court.

      We could also mention that these folks approved of Swift so heartily that they put him to work writing up the first official compilation of United States laws.

      And Swift refutes you.

      We can also look to the understanding of the Massachusetts legislature — who used the phrases “natural born citizen” and “natural born subject” absolutely synonymously.

      The Massachusetts legislature refutes you.

      Thomas Jefferson, as we’ve seen, clearly did NOT say in his Virginia citizenship law what you claim he said. All persons born on Virginia soil were citizens of the Commonwealth of Virginia.

      Thomas Jefferson refutes you.

      And as we’ve also seen, James Madison, the Father of our Constitution, quite clearly stated that when it came to the allegiance that made for citizenship, place of birth was the more certain criterion and was what applied in the United States.

      James Madison, the Father of Our Constitution, refutes you.

      And there’s more, far more. Every contemporary American record we have either directly states or strongly implies that your definition of “natural born citizen” is absolutely false. I have additional sources I haven’t even published yet.

      Which brings us to your next point.

      The 1797 English translator of Emer de Vattel’s The Law of Nations, Section 212 defined “Les naturels, ou indigenes” as “natives, or natural-born citizens.” He then translated as follows: “The native, or natural-born citizens, are those born in the country, of parents who are citizens.” This translator would have known what “the public understanding” was regarding the meaning of a “natural-born citizen” and from where that understanding came.

      First, he would have known if the Founding generation linked the “natural-born citizen” clause to Vattel. He concluded that they in fact did and so he took the Founders’ and Framers’ Article II’s “natural born Citizen” clause and inserted it into his 1797 English translation of Vattel’s Section 212 of The Law of Nations.

      Second, the translator would have also known how the Founding generation considered Vattel’s “natural-born citizen” to be defined. Hence, he translated the clause as: “The native, or natural-born citizens, are those born in the country, of parents who are citizens.” By defining Vattel’s “natural-born citizen” in this fashion, the translator told us that the Founding generation also defined a “natural-born citizen” as a child “born in the country, of parents who are citizens.”

      Now it turns out that we have access to a copy of that 1797 translation of Vattel’s Law of Nations — the first — and as far as I’m aware so far, the ONLY translation of Vattel’s work ever to use the phrase “natural born citizens.”

      Interestingly, we are not told directly WHO the translator was.

      We are merely told that the book was printed in London, “for G.G. and J. Robinson, Paternoster-Row.”

      It turns out that G.G. and J. Robinson were British book publishers, and Paternoster Row was a street in central London.

      We do have a bit of an introduction, however, from the editor himself — who identifies himself merely as “The Editor.”

      It is crystal clear from the content of this introductory note that “The Editor” is not merely someone who has assembled the works of somebody else; he is the person who directly and personally undertook this translation.

      His note is signed and dated — “LONDON, May 1, 1797.”

      So let’s get this straight, Mario…

      Your sole authority for the contemporary meaning of “natural born citizen,” on which your ENTIRE argument now rests against the mass of authorities that refute you, is that the translator of the 1797 edition would have understood exactly what the Founding Fathers meant by “natural born citizen.”

      Therefore (according to you) this translator consciously and deliberately chose to use the phrase “natural born citizen” in that particular edition because he understood that the Founders of our American Republic “also defined a ‘natural-born citizen’ as a child ‘born in the country, of parents who are citizens.’”

      And this is the ONLY contemporary authority you can produce, after having all of your “American common law” rubbish squashed like an elephant plopping down on a sparrow.

      And this great authority, with such an erudite understanding of the mindset and comprehension and doctrines of our American Founding Fathers, is…

      …an anonymous translator… about whom we know only ONE thing…

      That he was some unknown British guy who lived in London.

      BWAAAAAHAAAAAAAHAAAAAA
      HAAAAAAAHAAAAAAAHAAAA!


       

    • Pardon me but are you saying editors in England worded a 1797 translation of de Vattel’s Law of Nations to accommodate a new definition of the term natural born citizen developed in the rebellious colonies of America a few years earlier? I just want to make sure I understand the claim.

      • Northland10 says:

        It makes perfect sense. All you have to do is follow the evidence provided by Mario showing they changed the definition.

        Oh wait…

  4. I think I have heard it all now. Mario says they changed the translation of de Vattel to match the brand spanking new American common law definition of natural born citizen. Of course they never bothered to tell anyone they were doing that. What deep dark place did that one come from Mario? Wait don’t tell us. I don’t think we want to know. :lol:

    • John Woodman says:

      As one cleans out all the normal hiding places of the roaches, they scamper into whatever remaining tiny slits in the baseboards they can find.

      • But wait… there is progress. Now Mario is admitting that de Vattel in the original French and in earlier translations did not say natural born citizens were born of two citizen parents. The new translation had to be invented. Of course this matches all of Mario’s other legal theories that he invented out of thin air.

        I strongly encourage Mario to include this new legal discovery in a pleading somewhere. I would suggest Judge Clay Land’s court or Judge Schack if he wants to go the state route.

  5. John Woodman and Reality Check,

    You have no legal argument. The best you can do here is continue with your lies, sophomoric rhetoric, and pandering of the courts.

    • John Woodman says:

      I love it.

      Mario’s response to the equivalent of about 150 pages of carefully-researched, factual writing that obliterates every major claim he’s ever made on the subject and most of the minor ones — and I’m only talking about actual posts at this particular site, not even counting the extensive further comments and debate with the very meaningful and additional points made by RC, ballantine, ehancock and others — is to say:

      “You have no legal argument. The best you can do here is continue with your lies, sophomoric rhetoric, and pandering of the courts.”

      You are quite a remarkable person, Mario.

      • JRC says:

        Yeah, it is rather funny and ironic that Mario says you don’t have a legal argument, when court after court, time and time again say the same thing about Mario.

      • Thomas Brown says:

        Isn’t the measure of a legal argument that it prevails in court and that Judges at all levels concur?

        I’m just sayin’.

  6. JRC says:

    I know Mario likes to go on and on about Minor and the statement made by the court. I just want to say that there was some difference between common law and what was happening in America at the time, and why there may have been some debate or doubt on the issue other than two citizen parents. The most likely reason was that unlike the situation under the English Empire the U.S. made treaties with the American Indians. So they were technically in our territory, but because of treaties they were not an enemy invader, they were not foreign ambassadors (as would be obviously excluded), so if a child was born on or off a reservation in which one parent was a citizen of the U.S. and to an Indian parent as well, there was some doubt as to whether that child could be consider born under the jurisdiction of the U.S. government and therefore be considered Natural Born. It had nothing to do with Vattel at all, as there would be no doubt under his definition that not having two citizen parents disqualified a child from being “natural born” (though Vattel never used the term).

    • JRC says:

      When I typed “his”….I don’t necessarily mean Vattel’s definition. I mean Mario’s interpretation of Vattel’s definition.

  7. JRC,

    So now you are arguing that Minor’s doubts related only to the citizenship status of American Indians. Why do you just invent things that strike your fancy?

    1. The state court in Lynch v. Clark, 1 Sandf.Ch. 583 (1844) was not worried about the citizenship status of American Indians. Rather, improperly engaging in policy making, it worried about aliens not being able to be added to the rolls of U.S. citizens and thereby decreasing our numbers in the world population. It saw, as did the British, jus soli as the easiest way to “increasing the number” of U.S. citizens. All with the same pen, it increased the number of U.S. citizens needed for the nation and used that same relaxed rule as the basis for also declaring who was eligible to be President, all without any concern for what the Founders and Framers intended and desired when they wrote the “natural born Citizen” clause into the Constitution.

    2. It was proclaimed by many Congressmen during the debates on the Fourteenth Amendment that the amendment would finally remove doubts about who was a “citizen of the United States” at the same time that they said that Indians still were not citizens. “I am afraid that we have got very few citizens in some of the counties of good old Pennsylvania if the children born of German parents are not citizens.” Sen. Trumbull, Cong. Globe, 39th Cong. 1st Sess. 498 (1866). Indeed, there existed a problem concerning the citizenship status of children born in the U.S. to white European alien parents. Once the Amendment passed, it was used by the courts not only for blacks, but also to take care of citizenship problems faced by white alien Europeans and their U.S.-born children. So clearly the doubts that existed about who were citizens did not apply only to Indians.

    3. Justice Gray in Elk v. Wilkins, 112 U.S. 94 (1884), said:
    “The main object of the opening sentence of the fourteenth amendment was to settle the question, upon which there had been a difference of opinion throughout the country and in this court, as to the citizenship of free negroes, (Scott v. Sandford, 19 How. 393;) and to put it beyond doubt that all persons, white or black, and whether formerly slaves or not, born or naturalized in the United States, and owing no allegiance to any alien power, should be citizens of the United States and of the state in which they reside. Slaughter-House Cases, 16 Wall. 36, 73; Strauder v. West Virginia, 100 U. S. 303, 306.”

    Elk, at 101. We can see from what Justce Gray said the doubts about U.S. citizenship existed not only for Amerian Indians.

    4. The district court in Wong Kim Ark also was not worried about American Indians. With the court again improperly engaging in policy making, its concern was that white Europeans born in the U.S. to alien parents would be declared non-U.S. citizens and be no longer able to vote for the party and candidate of their choice.

    5. See also Benny v. O’Brien, 586 N.J.L. 36, 29 Vroom 36, 32 A. 696 (1895). The lower court in Benny, relying on Elk v. Wilkins, 112 U.S. 94 (1884), had ruled that a child born in the United States to domiciled alien parents was not a “citizen of the United States” under the Fourteenth Amendment, but the New Jersey Supreme Court, again being concerned that generation of persons would lose their right to vote if it affirmed the lower court, reversed and held a person born in the United States to permanently domiciled alien parents was a “citizen of the United States” under the Fourteenth Amendment. The person whose citizenship was in question was not an American Indian, but rather a local politician who was born in 1867 in Brooklyn, New York to a father who was born in Scotland and never naturalized. Also note that the New Jersey Supreme Court as Minor had said in 1875 explained that in the absence of the Civil Rights Act and the Fourteenth Amendment, children born in the United States to “citizen” parents were themselves “citizens” by virtue of their birth. Here we have another clear statement of what birthright citizenship was in the United States before the Civil Rights Act and the Fourteenth Amendment. Again, this was not the jus soli English common law rule.

    6. Treating Indians differently than non-U.S. citizen white Europeans was a creation of Justice Gray in Wong Kim Ark, which he needed to distinguish and get around his correct decision in Elk v. Wilkins, 112 U.S. 94 (1884) concerning the meaning of “subject to the jurisdiction” which contradicted his different position concerning the clause in Wong Kim Ark.

    So as you see, before Wong Kim Ark, doubts about who were citizens did not only concern American Indians as you would like for us to incorrectly believe, but any child born in the United States to alien parents.

    • Suranis says:

      Funny thing, isn’t it? I tried to have a look for Benny V O’Brien, and gosh and dammit I found that its cited in exactly the opposite to the way that you are categorising it. And, stunningly, didn’t I find yet more court cases that say stuff you don’t like?

      http://www.famguardian.org/TaxFreedom/CitesByTopic/USCitizen-8USCA1401-20090918.pdf

      Every person is a citizen or subject of the country of his birth, and owes allegiance to that country, unless and until his allegiance has been transferred with his country’s consent. In re Siem, D.C.Mont.1922, 284 F. 868. Ali-ens, Immigration, And Citizenship 683(3); Aliens, Immigration, And Citizenship 655

      The basis of citizenship in the United States is the English doctrine under which nationality meant birth within allegiance of the king. Petition of Sproule, S.D.Cal.1937, 19 F.Supp. 995. Aliens, Immigration, And Citizenship 655

      62. Children born at sea, persons born in United States

      Child born of Chinese parents on American merchant vessel on high seas is not citizen. Lam Mow v. Nagle, C.C.A.9 (Cal.) 1928, 24 F.2d 316. Aliens, Immigration, And Citizenship 655

      63. Alien parents, persons born in United States–Generally Alien’s son, born in United States, was “citizen.” Von Schwerdtner v. Piper, D.C.Md.1928, 23 F.2d 862. Aliens, Immigration, And Citizenship 655

      Persons born in the United States, though of alien parents, are citizens. U S ex rel Huber v. Sibray, C.C.W.D.Pa.1910, 178 F. 150, reversed on other grounds 185 F. 401, 107 C.C.A. 483. See, also, McKay v.Campbell, D.C.Or.1871, Fed.Cas. No. 8,840; In re Rodriguez, D.C.Tex.1897, 81 F. 337, 353; In re Giovanni, D.C.N.Y.1899, 93 F. 659; U.S. v. Weis, D.C.Md.1910, 181 F. 860; 1859, 9 Op.Atty.Gen. 373; 1862, 10 Op.Atty.Gen. 328; 1862, 10 Op.Atty.Gen. 329; State v. Fairlamb, 1894, 25 S.W. 895, 121 Mo. 150; Benny v.O’Brien, 1895, 32 A. 696, 58 N.J.Law 36.

      One who was born of Mexican parents in the United States became a citizen of the United States by birth. Nieto v. McGrath, S.D.Tex.1951, 108 F.Supp. 150. Aliens, Immigration, And Citizenship 655

      A person born in the United States is a citizen thereof irrespective of nationality of his parents. Tomasicchio v. Acheson, D.C.D.C.1951, 98 F.Supp. 166. Aliens, Immigration, And Citizenship 655

      One born in the United States in 1914 of an American-born mother and an Italian father was a citizen of the United States by birth and she continued to be a national and a citizen of the United States entitled to all rights, privileges and immunities of such citizenship, though taken to Italy by father in 1920 from which her return to the United States within two years after effective date of former § 601 of this title was prevented through no fault of her own. Repetto v. Acheson, N.D.Cal.1950, 94 F.Supp. 623. Aliens, Immigration, And Citizenship 655; Aliens, Immigration, And Citizenship 683(5)

      A child born in the United States of alien parentage becomes a “citizen” of the United States. Regan v. King, N.D.Cal.1942, 49 F.Supp. 222, affirmed 134 F.2d 413, certiorari denied 63 S.Ct. 1168, 319 U.S. 753, 87 L.Ed. 1706. Aliens, Immigration, And Citizenship 655

      One born in United States of Mexican parents was citizen of United States, where there was no proof that he had changed his citizenship. Ex parte Lopez, S.D.Tex.1934, 6 F.Supp. 342. Aliens, Immigration, And Citizenship 655

      So many court cases all disagreeing with you on parentege Mario. And stunningly all that was just from one page of a 255 page pdf.

      You want to explain as to how all those law cases were wrong? Oh yeah, only SOME courts disagree with you. Right.

      • suranis,

        So I guess you are using the Judge Schack approach. I never said that a child born in the U.S. to alien parents is not a “citizen.” Rather, I said that such a child is not a “natural born Citizen.” Your citations do not prove me wrong. On the contrary, they agree with me.

        • Jim says:

          And, pray tell Mario, how many cites do you think that suranis can come up with that shows there are only 2 types of citizens in this country? How many law professors, judges, direct quotes do you think he can come up with? How many direct quotes by the same can you show me that there are more than 2?

    • Northland10 says:

      Mario,
      Did you just state that the court ruled on WKA to protect their voting block of native born children of aliens? What type of evidence do you have for this interesting method of goal post moving?

      While your at it, maybe you could explain why Justice Waite swore in Chester Arthur who had an alien father.

      • Northland10,

        To prove your point you need to tell us what you maintain Justice Waite should have done if he know that Chester Arthur was not eligible to be President. Will you be so kind and share that with us.

        • Jim says:

          Quite simply, he would have brought it up with members of Congress. And, if it was truly a sticking point, more than one legal scholar of the time would have brought it up. But, since it wasn’t a problem, nobody had to do that.

    • John Woodman says:

      So now you are arguing that Minor’s doubts related only to the citizenship status of American Indians. Why do you just invent things that strike your fancy?

      It’s frankly a much better theory — and by “better,” I mean more in line with reality, not “more entertaining” or “more useful for a desired political outcome” — than any of the volumes of claptrap you’ve invented to serve your purposes.

      1. The state court in Lynch v. Clark, 1 Sandf.Ch. 583 (1844) was not worried about the citizenship status of American Indians. Rather, improperly engaging in policy making, it worried about aliens not being able to be added to the rolls of U.S. citizens and thereby decreasing our numbers in the world population. It saw, as did the British, jus soli as the easiest way to “increasing the number” of U.S. citizens. All with the same pen, it increased the number of U.S. citizens needed for the nation and used that same relaxed rule as the basis for also declaring who was eligible to be President, all without any concern for what the Founders and Framers intended and desired when they wrote the “natural born Citizen” clause into the Constitution.

      Wow. That’s a novel interpretation.

      And here I thought all this time that Lynch v Clarke was about deciding whether Julia Lynch, born in the state of New York of non-citizen parents, was a US citizen and therefore legally eligible to inherit her uncle’s property in that state.

      Huh. I guess you learn something new every day.

      2. It was proclaimed by many Congressmen during the debates on the Fourteenth Amendment that the amendment would finally remove doubts about who was a “citizen of the United States” at the same time that they said that Indians still were not citizens. “I am afraid that we have got very few citizens in some of the counties of good old Pennsylvania if the children born of German parents are not citizens.” Sen. Trumbull, Cong. Globe, 39th Cong. 1st Sess. 498 (1866). Indeed, there existed a problem concerning the citizenship status of children born in the U.S. to white European alien parents. Once the Amendment passed, it was used by the courts not only for blacks, but also to take care of citizenship problems faced by white alien Europeans and their U.S.-born children. So clearly the doubts that existed about who were citizens did not apply only to Indians.

      Amazing that you can use a quote that refutes your entire claim, and twist it to try and support your bogus claim.

      Senator Trumbull made the obvious and frankly uncontroversial point that the children born in the US of German parents were ALREADY US citizens, from the moment of their birth. In Trumbull’s view, and in the view of our other Congressmen, this was and always had been the law.

      And what was the response of Senator Cowan, with whom he was debating? Was it, “No, the children born in Pennsylvania of German parents are not US citizens?” Not at all. Cowan readily conceded that the children born in the US of WHITE non-citizens were (and always had been) US citizens:

      Mr. Cowan: “The honorable Senator assumes that which is not the fact. The children of German parents are citizens; but Germans are not Chinese; Germans are not Australians, nor Hottentots, nor anything of the kind. That is the fallacy of his argument.”

      Mr. Trumbull: “If the Senator from Pennsylvania will show me in the law any distinction made between the children of German parents and the children of Asiatic parents, I may be able to appreciate the point which he makes; but the law makes no such distinction; and the child of an Asiatic is just as much of a citizen as the child of a European.”

      Mario Apuzzo next appeals to the “but people also said n*****s weren’t citizens” argument:

      3. Justice Gray in Elk v. Wilkins, 112 U.S. 94 (1884), said:
      “The main object of the opening sentence of the fourteenth amendment was to settle the question, upon which there had been a difference of opinion throughout the country and in this court, as to the citizenship of free negroes, (Scott v. Sandford, 19 How. 393;) and to put it beyond doubt that all persons, white or black, and whether formerly slaves or not, born or naturalized in the United States, and owing no allegiance to any alien power, should be citizens of the United States and of the state in which they reside. Slaughter-House Cases, 16 Wall. 36, 73; Strauder v. West Virginia, 100 U. S. 303, 306.”

      Elk, at 101. We can see from what Justce Gray said the doubts about U.S. citizenship existed not only for Amerian Indians.

      Yeah, that’s right, Mario. But nobody ever contended that the children born on US soil of free WHITE European immigrants, who were not themselves US citizens, whether those parents came here from Ireland, or Britain, or Germany, or Italy, or Switzerland, or France, or Poland, or Scandinavia, were ever anything other than natural born United States citizens.

      4. The district court in Wong Kim Ark also was not worried about American Indians. With the court again improperly engaging in policy making, its concern was that white Europeans born in the U.S. to alien parents would be declared non-U.S. citizens and be no longer able to vote for the party and candidate of their choice.

      Wow. What a load of absolute horse puckey. Let me get this straight, because even after reading all of your previous creative legal fiction I can hardly believe you’re saying it.

      You’re asserting — on the basis of precisely no evidence whatsoever — that the United States federal district court in the case of US v Wong Kim Ark made a crooked ruling in Wong Kim Ark’s favor because some California party boss somewhere, of some completely unspecified party — or heck, of both parties — would otherwise have been inconvenienced by having some children of German or Irish or Norwegian immigrants declared ineligible to vote until and unless they went through a naturalization process.

      That is what you’re claiming, isn’t it?

      That has got to be one of the most idiotic, desperate things I have ever read.

      5. See also Benny v. O’Brien…

      Have you ever noticed the common thread running through these cases? Let me give you a clue:

      They all ruled against your position. Every one of them.

      • John Woodman,

        It would be nice to see an argument from you that is responsive to my argument, rather than receiving from you all your ridiculous staw man arguments which have nothing to do with the point.

        • Jim says:

          @Mario: He has responded directly and on point to every argument you’ve put forward. He’s done the investigation and put down each and every one of your points with direct quotes from the courts, the founding fathers, and from law books. You, on the other hand, have backed up your arguments with your opinion and misreadings of historical fact. And, you still have not answered the questions that have been put to you directly…avoidance that shows you know you have no case.

        • John Woodman says:

          I can’t really put it better than Jim has done.

          It should by this point be obvious even to your former supporters — if they will read the material available and your complete inability to meaningfully respond to any of it — that you are nothing short of a total charlatan.

    • JRC says:

      Well Mario, I’m not saying only American Indians first off, but that would seem a likely point of doubt or debate. It was a comment by the court with no cited foundation as I’m aware. It would be a situation that as far as I’m aware isn’t covered under common law. I could be mistaken, and if I am I’ll admit it, unlike yourself. Anyway, you are telling us that the court had doubt about it, but if they were going by your interpretation of Vattel’s definition as to “natural born citizen” there would have been no doubt. You can’t explain that away, but we are to believe you and your “legal arguments” while you basically say that I’m just making things up to suit my fancy. Now that is classic sir. You are definitely a character. Talk about the pot calling the kettle. Could my analysis be wrong? Yes, it wasn’t put out there to be fact. It was just an analysis or observation as to possible reasons for the court’s comment, since your explanation holds no water.

      Thanks John. I was trying to think about the issue in a realistic way and in the historical context. Of course it could have been a number of things such as the America Indians, Asians, and other non-white immigrants. The American Indians seem to be a likely candidate especially when considering one parent being American Indian and the other being a U.S. citizen born.

      • JRC says:

        Darn it, you give us an edit button and I still mess up my post. *lol* The last word “born” shouldn’t be there, just U.S. citizen, not U.S. citizen born.

    • John Woodman says:

      Mario,

      Here’s what I don’t understand about you.

      Why don’t you find some other horse to ride?

      This one is dead.

      We’ve popped a paper bag next to its ear. It doesn’t flinch.

      We’ve tested its reflexes. There are none.

      We’ve measured its temperature. It’s room temperature.

      We’ve beaten it with a stick. The only response is from the force of the stick.

      We’ve sniffed it, and the horse stinks to high heaven. We no longer even have to get very close.

      There simply is no merit whatsoever to the claim that it takes two citizen parents to make a natural born citizen.

      Not in Minor v Happersett.

      Not in US v Wong Kim Ark.

      Not in any other court case.

      Not in Vattel.

      Not in the Law of Nations.

      Not in the words of our Founding Fathers.

      Not in any historical figure or any legal precedent whatsoever.

      And yet still you persist in claiming that what is clearly false is true, and what is clearly true is false.

      Why?

      • Thomas Brown says:

        Reminds me of an old joke that applies to Mario:

        An attorney, cross-examining the local coroner, queried, “Before you signed the death certificate had you taken the man’s pulse?”

        “No,” the coroner replied.

        “Well, then, did you listen for a heart beat?”

        The coroner answered, “No.”

        “Did you check for respiration? Breathing?”, asked the attorney.

        Again the coroner replied, “No.”

        “Ah,” the attorney said, “So when you signed the death certificate you had not taken any steps to make sure the man was dead, had you?”

        The coroner rolled his eyes, and shot back “Counselor, at the time I signed the death certificate the man’s brain was sitting in a jar on my desk. But I can see your point. For all I know he could be out there practicing law somewhere.”

    • John Woodman says:

      What were you thinking, Mario? How did you ever expect to win a debate in which all the facts were against you?

  8. John Woodman & Company,

    Here is a challenge for you. If Wong Kim Ark held that Wong was a “natural born Citizen,” there should be all kinds of cases following but before the Obama controversy which contain basically the same facts, i.e., a child born in the U.S. to one or two alien parents, and which held that such a child is a “natural born Citizen.” Why do you not produce all these cases so that we can test the validity of your claim.

    • John Woodman says:

      Mario,

      I looooove that birther double standard.

      Somehow you think you have the right to demand things from others, when you’ve completely failed to answer ANY of the objections that invalidate all of your bogus claims. And of course, if you can find one single point that others either can’t or don’t get around to answering… why… we’ll declare victory!

      Never mind that your bogus claims have been shown to be absolutely false and without merit time after time after time.

      Why don’t you try this, Mario?

      Why don’t you try actually answering some of the 10 questions I asked earlier of you?

      Why don’t you try actually addressing any of the specific points in the series of FIVE articles on Minor v Happersett?

      Why don’t you try actually addressing any of the arguments in my article on US v Wong Kim Ark, and explaining how the specific points made there somehow don’t count?

      Why don’t you respond to the analysis that shows that your interpretation of Thomas Jefferson’s Virginia citizenship law is undeniably false?

      Why don’t you respond to the specific points made that show there is absolutely no basis for the claim that the Founding Fathers got their idea for natural born citizenship from Vattel?

      Why don’t you respond to the specific points made in the series of three articles that show clearly that there is absolutely no basis at all for any claim that we got a birther definition of “natural born citizen” from the Law of Nations?

      Why don’t you respond to the latest response that shows your claim that the 1797 translator used “natural born citizen” because he deeply understood what the Founding Fathers meant by the term is absolute baloney?

      Why don’t you respond to the specific legal analysis by Zephaniah Swift?

      Now… having said all of that, I’ll answer your question.

      I can give at least NINE federal and state court cases that have either found or stated that citizen parents are NOT required to make a natural born citizen, or have given examples of people who were “natural born citizens,” who clearly did NOT have two US citizen parents.

      Here they are.

      Yes, some of those have to do with Obama. That in no way makes them invalid.

      Do you have any idea how obvious it has become that you are a total charlatan?

  9. John Woodman,

    According to your response, the only post Wong Kim Ark and pre-Obama cases that have used the clause “natural born Citizen” in their decisions are Nwankpa v. Kissinger, 376 F. Supp. 122 (M.D. Ala. 1974), Diaz-Salazar v. INS, 700 F.2d 1156 (7th Cir. 1983), and Mustata v. US Dept. of Justice, 179 F.3d 1017 (6th Cir. 1999). These are three immigration deportation cases which only concern themselves with whether an alien is a “citizen of the United States,” not whether the alien is a “natural-born Citizen.” Too bad for you that those cases did not analyze the definitions of either “citizen” or “natural born Citizen.” So, it looks like you have struck out (again) in light of all the post-Wong Kim Ark cases that say that a child born in the U.S. to one or two alien parents is a “citizen.” None of these cases have said that such a child is a “natural born Citizen.”

    So, when our judiciary was not politically pressured, it told us that Wong Kim Ark held that Wong was a “citizen.” Post Obama, our judiciary in some limited cases has converted all that is “citizen” into “natural born Citizen.”

    But in all this, I have Minor which tells us what children are to be included as “natural born Citizens.” Wong Kim Ark confirmed the inclusion. Given that the “natural born Citizen” clause is a test for presidential eligibility, there cannot be and there is no other included class. You have Wong Kim Ark which tells us what children born in the U.S. are to be included as “citizens of the United States.” Too bad for you, the test of presidential eligibility is “natural born Citizen,” not “citizen of the United States.”

    Again too bad for you, it does not look like you have a true winning argument.

    • John Woodman says:

      According to your response, the only post Wong Kim Ark and pre-Obama cases that have used the clause “natural born Citizen” in their decisions are Nwankpa v. Kissinger, 376 F. Supp. 122 (M.D. Ala. 1974), Diaz-Salazar v. INS, 700 F.2d 1156 (7th Cir. 1983), and Mustata v. US Dept. of Justice, 179 F.3d 1017 (6th Cir. 1999).

      No, I didn’t say that. I said those were ones of which I was already aware. I wouldn’t be surprised to find out there were quite a few more.

      Too bad for you that those cases did not analyze the definitions of either “citizen” or “natural born Citizen.”

      What would it matter if they had? You completely and absolutely disregard the 50+ pages of analysis in US v Wong Kim Ark, and the clear finding of that Court. If any of the above cases had done similar analysis, you would simply disregard that as well, since any analysis by the Court is not going to say what you want it to say.

      But all of this is downright ridiculous. Those cases never needed to do such analysis, and never would have done such analysis, because that analysis was already done by the Wong court. No lower court would ever reinvent the wheel; they would simply cite the exhaustive and definitive analysis that had already been done by the high Court — as they have done.

      An analysis which you insist on misinterpreting.

      But the analysis, again, is quite clear. It’s crystal clear enough for everybody except birthers who insist that the law must be something other than what it is.

      It’s crystal clear enough for the conservative Heritage Foundation, who published a guide to the Constitution saying that birth on US soil is sufficient to make one a natural born citizen.

      You have never addressed the specifics of my article on the Wong case, and will not, and can not, because that case clearly refutes you.

      So, when our judiciary was not politically pressured, it told us that Wong Kim Ark held that Wong was a “citizen.” Post Obama, our judiciary in some limited cases has converted all that is “citizen” into “natural born Citizen.”

      Frankly, Mario, if there were a firm legal basis for doing so, I would at this point report you to the authorities for fraud, since it is clear that you persist in making false claims. Unfortunately, there’s no law against deceiving people if there’s no commerce involved. So you are free to push your snake oil to the public as much as you want. But by the same token, others are free to point out to the public what a lying charlatan you are.

      Your statement that Wong was “only” found to be a “citizen” has been shown many times now to simply be false. And any intelligent impartial observer, upon reading the case or even my earlier article on the case, can see clearly that your statement is false.

      What do you call someone who persists in publicly making an entire smorgasbord of of known and easily verifiable false claims? I have little choice but to call that person a known liar and a charlatan.

      You further said:

      blah blah blah…

      Again too bad for you, it does not look like you have a true winning argument.

      The argument must not be too bad, since there are about 8 different entire areas of specific analysis, listed above, that you absolutely refuse to even respond to.

      Except, of course, to baldly reassert the same lies.

  10. It looks like we will soon hear what the New Jersey Appellate Court has to say. Anyone want to bet on what that outcome might be?

  11. John Woodman,

    Maybe you can help me understand your position. Minor did not look to the Civil Rights Act of 1866 or the Fourteenth Amendment when it defined the birthright citizenship status of those born in the United States. It looked to the Article II “natural born Citizen” clause and told us how that clause was defined by “common-law” which you know I contend is American “common-law,” given that the Court included in the definition of a “natural-born citizen” the requirement of citizen parents which did not exist under English common law which when defining a “natural-born subject” made no reference to the citizenship of the parents. Since it looked to neither the Fourteenth Amendment with its “subject to the jurisdiction” clause nor the Civil Rights Act of 1866 with its “not subject to any foreing power” clause, which both contain the the type of citizen called “citizen of the United States,” it could only look to Article II and select a “natural born Citizen” as that type of citizenship to define. And it did just that and said that a “natural-born citizen” is a child born in a country to parents who are citizens of that country. Being a “natural-born citizen,” the Court then concluded that Virginia Minor was also a “citizen.” Being able to declare Virginia Minor a “citizen” by showing that she was a “natural-born citizen,” the Court said that it was not necessary to decide whether a child born in the United States to alien parents was a “citizen” under the Fourteenth Amendment.

    Now with Wong Kim Ark, the story is much different. Since Wong was not like Virginia Minor, i.e., not born to citizen parents, Justice Gray had to look to the Fourteenth Amendment’s citizenship clause to see if he qualified for citizenship thereunder. In other words, without the Fourteenth Amendment, Wong could not enjoy birthright citizenship status because, while he was born in the United States, he was not born to citizen parents. While it is a birthright status, the only birthright citizenship status under the Fourteenth Amendment is that of a “citizen of the United States.” The Wong Court concluded that Wong was a “citizen of the United States” from the moment of birth by virtue of the Fourteenth Amendment. The Court thereby created another birthright citizenship. This one was under the Fourteenth Amendment. With this new status, children born in the United States to domiliced alien parents were given birthright citizenship under the Fourteenth Amendment which the amendment calls “citizen of the United States.”

    While both Article II and the Fourteenth Amendment provide a birthright citizenship status, we saw that under Article II that status is called “natural born Citizen” and under the Fourteenth Amendment it is called “citizen of the United States.” We also know that Article II, Section 1, Clause 5 provides that no person shall be President unless he/she is a “natural born Citizen.” Under that eligibility clause, today a “Citizen of the United States” is not eligible to be President. We also know that when the Founders and Framers included the “natural born Citizen” clause into Article II, there was no Civil Rights Act or Fourteenth Amendment. So, for the Founders and Framers, for those children born in the United States, there was only one type of birthright citizenship. And according to Minor, for those children born in the United States, birthright citizenship was that reserved for children not only born in the United States but also born to citizen parents.

    Having said all that, by what legal principle do you take Wong’s Fourteenth Amendment birthright citizenship status which the amendment calls “citizen of the United States” and convert it into Article II birthright citizenship status which the article calls “natural born Citizen?”

    • Jim says:

      Ok Mario, let’s look at Minor.

      “Additions might always be made to the citizenship of the United States in two ways: first, by birth, and second, by naturalization. This is apparent from the Constitution itself, for it provides6 that ‘no person except a natural-born citizen, or a citizen of the United States at the time of the adoption of the Constitution, shall be eligible to the office of President,’7 and that Congress shall have power ‘to establish a uniform rule of naturalization.’ Thus new citizens may be born or they may be created by naturalization. ”

      WKA was not a naturalized citizen. He was born a citizen. As you can see, the Minor court tied that directly with the Presidential eligibility clause in the constitution. Thus, Minor states that if you are born a citizen, then you are eligible for the Presidency. Thanks for playing.

      • Jim,

        You totally ignored my point that Minor spoke of one birthright citizenship and Wong Kim Ark of another. They both share in common birth in the country which under Wong Kim Ark is sufficient to create a “citizen.” I call this Wong Kim Ark birthright citizenship. But they also both require birth in the country coupled with birth to citizen parents, to make a “natural born Citizen.” I call this Minor birthright citizenship. The former is the status of a “citizen” “at birth” under the Fourteenth Amendment and the latter is the status of a “natural born Citizen” under Article II.

        • Jim says:

          What you call it is irrelevant. What SCOTUS called it is what’s important here. And, as stated in Minor, they actually DID define a natural born citizen. And the passage I showed DID show it, tied directly with presidential eligibility. It also showed that there are only two types of citizens, as per the constitution. You’re either born a citizen and eligible, or acquire your citizenship via naturalization. How you were declared a citizen at birth is at the discretion of Congress, either by an act of Congress or by Amendment to the Constitution. That is why, the child of 2 American citizens, born out of the country, is also eligible so long as they fulfill the other requirements. I would like you to stand in front of all the brave service men and women stationed all over the world who protect your freedoms and tell them that their children born out of the country could NOT become President because you’re such a bigot! So your argument is null and void. And the funny part is, I did it using your own citation.

          • John Woodman says:

            That is indeed funny, and frankly — I believe I stand corrected.

            I have often stated that Minor v Happersett gave no definition of “natural born citizen.” It now appears to me that that assessment was erroneous.

            It now appears to me that Minor v Happersett actually DID define “natural born citizen” — as someone who is born a citizen.

            • Jim says:

              And, to add more weight to that, Minor also shows that Congress IS given the power to declare who is born a citizen.

              “Under the power to adopt a uniform system of naturalization Congress, as early as 1790, provided ‘that any alien, being a free white person,’ might be admitted as a citizen of the United States, and that the children of such persons so naturalized, dwelling within the United States, being under twenty-one years of age at the time of such naturalization, should also be considered citizens of the United States, and that the children of citizens of the United States that might be born beyond the sea, or out of the limits of the United States, should be considered as natural-born citizens. ”

              According to Mario, Congress doesn’t have that power, however we can see here that Minor points out that Congress DOES have that power and was used by *gasp* our FOUNDERS to declare who was a citizen at birth able to rise to the office of President! At least I assume most of Congress and the President in 1790 would have been part of the writing of the Constitution.

            • John Woodman says:

              The first Congress certainly believed they had the authority, at least, to declare that the children born to US citizens abroad should be considered as natural born citizens.

          • Jim,

            You are as big a liar and fraud as John Woodman and Reality Check. I never said that children born out of the United States to members of our military serving our nation are not “natural born Citizens.”

            That is why they say birds of a feather flock together. I add, for better or worse.

            • Jim says:

              Sure you did! By using Minor in the way you did and saying that it defines what a natural-born citizen is, you eliminate children of service people born overseas from eligibility. Or, are you admitting to the fact that you’re wrong and Minor doesn’t define natural-born as “all children born in a country of parents who were its citizens became themselves, upon their birth, citizens also.” Come on Mario, you can’t have it both ways! BWAHAHAHAHA

            • John Woodman says:

              Mario,

              You have claimed — AGAIN AND AGAIN AND AGAIN — in the face of ALL evidence to the contrary, that Minor v Happersett gives a “DEFINITION” of “natural born citizen” as “someone born IN THE COUNTRY TO CITIZEN PARENTS.”

              If that’s your “DEFINITION” of “natural born citizen” — and you have repeatedly affirmed that it is — then that would quite obviously exclude anybody NOT born in the country, and therefore would obviously exclude children born oversea of US military.

              Like Jim says, you can’t have it both ways.

              I will agree with you on one point, though: Jim does appear to be “as big a liar and fraud as John Woodman and Reality Check” — which is to say, not at all.

              The only liar and fraud in this debate that I am aware of — and I speak on the basis of known and verifiable information as regards your entire collection of false claims — appears to be you.

              Everything that Jim, RC or I have ever said is CLEARLY VERIFIABLE by anybody who wants to follow the references and see for himself. And I encourage people to verify the facts for themselves.

              And those facts show, again and again and again, that every significant claim you’ve made on the issue is false.

            • John Woodman says:

              I never said that children born out of the United States to members of our military serving our nation are not “natural born Citizens.”

              I would like to come back to this.

              Is it your position that children born out of the United States to members of our military serving our nation are “natural born citizens?”

              Or are they not?

    • John Woodman says:

      Maybe you can help me understand your position.

      Having been called out as a charlatan, now you’re playing “innocent.” The act might pass for people new to the discussion, but I don’t think anyone who has followed the discussion for any length of time will find it credible that you are so dull as to be unable to understand my position, which has been explained clearly, repeatedly and at length.

      Minor did not look to the Civil Rights Act of 1866 or the Fourteenth Amendment when it defined the birthright citizenship status of those born in the United States. It looked to the Article II “natural born Citizen” clause and told us how that clause was defined by “common-law…”

      Minor did indeed first note that the Framers of the Constitution used the phrase “natural born citizen,” before stating that there was no doubt that Virginia Minor was one.

      1. Stating that there is no doubt that someone is a member of a group does not constitute a “definition” of that group, no matter how many times you assert that it does.

      There is NO DOUBT, for example, that you are a charlatan, but that does not define the group of people known as charlatans. Are lying used car salesmen included? What about telemarketers who tell all kinds of lies in order to build rapport with the customer, but do not lie about the product? The fact that you are undoubtedly a charlatan does not tell us.

      Likewise, the fact that Virginia Minor — along with all who were born on US soil of citizen parents — was undoubtedly a natural born citizen does not constitute a DEFINITION of “natural born citizen.”

      What is your response to that?

      which you know I contend is American “common-law,” given that the Court included in the definition of a “natural-born citizen” the requirement of citizen parents which did not exist under English common law

      As pointed out above and in an entire article on the subject, Minor gave NO “definition” of the term. To contend otherwise is simply to lie.

      You claim that the Minor Court was referring to “American common law” and NOT to “English common law.”

      2. Given that there was no “definition,” and given that our courts (including the Supreme Court) FREQUENTLY referred to the ENGLISH common law, and given that Founding Father and principal author of The Federalist, Alexander Hamilton, told us, “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 [that is, the LAW] of that country [ENGLAND] from which our jurisprudence is derived,” you have NO BASIS WHATSOEVER for the claim that they had no reference to the English common law.

      What is your response to that?

      3. Even if they HAD been referring to “American common law,” and even if the Law of Nations were FULLY incorporated into American law, it STILL would not stop a person born of alien parents from being a NATURAL-BORN citizen, as it most certainly did not stop any child born on English soil from being a NATURAL-BORN subject.

      This is fatal to your claim.

      What is your response to that?

      4. A full review of the major writers on the Law of Nations reveals that NONE of them EVER used the term of art “natural born citizen.” Therefore, we can’t have gotten the term from them. That being the case, it quite OBVIOUSLY derives directly from the extremely similar term of art “natural born subject,” which in fact was used absolutely synonymously in the early United States.

      What is your response to that?

      5. A full review of the major writers on the Law of Nations reveals that the MAJORITY of them held views of citizenship that appear to have been in accordance with the ENGLISH understand and are NOT in line with the view expressed by Vattel. Therefore, even if we HAD been influenced by the Law of Nations, such influence STILL would not have required two citizen parents.

      What is your response to that?

      which [English common law] when defining a “natural-born subject” made no reference to the citizenship of the parents.

      Since it looked to neither the Fourteenth Amendment with its “subject to the jurisdiction” clause nor the Civil Rights Act of 1866 with its “not subject to any foreing power” clause, which both contain the the type of citizen called “citizen of the United States,” it could only look to Article II and select a “natural born Citizen” as that type of citizenship to define.

      It was completely immaterial whether the Minor Court declared Virginia Minor a natural born citizen or a naturalized citizen, since the voting rights of ANY citizen were precisely the same. And once again, you repeat the lie that Minor “defined” “natural born citizen.”

      6. You also refuse to deal, point by point, with the analysis that shows quite clearly that anything the Court might have said in Minor is nothing more than obiter dicta.

      What is your response to that?

      And it did just that and said that a “natural-born citizen” is a child born in a country to parents who are citizens of that country.

      7. You’re an absolute and transparent liar.

      It said that there was no doubt that a child born in a country to parents who are citizens of that country is a natural born citizen. It absolutely did NOT say that “a ‘natural-born citizen’ is a child born in a country to parents who are citizens of that country.”

      If I say that a Frenchman is a European, that’s not a statement that any European is a Frenchman.

      What is your response to that?

      Being a “natural-born citizen,” the Court then concluded that Virginia Minor was also a “citizen.” Being able to declare Virginia Minor a “citizen” by showing that she was a “natural-born citizen,” the Court said that it was not necessary to decide whether a child born in the United States to alien parents was a “citizen”…

      And they made that comment because the question before the Court was NOT whether Virginia Minor was “natural born.” She wasn’t running for President. She only wanted the right to vote. So the only thing the Court considered was whether she was a CITIZEN.

      Now with Wong Kim Ark, the story is much different. Since Wong was not like Virginia Minor, i.e., not born to citizen parents, Justice Gray had to look to the Fourteenth Amendment’s citizenship clause to see if he qualified for citizenship thereunder.

      False. Gray did NOT have to look to the 14th Amendment. A great deal of his argument does not concern the 14th Amendment at all.

      In other words, without the Fourteenth Amendment, Wong could not enjoy birthright citizenship status because, while he was born in the United States, he was not born to citizen parents.

      The statement is false, and you know it.

      While it is a birthright status, the only birthright citizenship status under the Fourteenth Amendment is that of a “citizen of the United States.”

      8. As Jim has so aptly pointed out, the Court in Minor clearly and DIRECTLY tied being BORN a citizen with Presidential eligibility. The Court in Minor practically stated, “If you are BORN a citizen, then you are eligible to be President.”

      What is your response to that?

      We also know that Article II, Section 1, Clause 5 provides that no person shall be President unless he/she is a “natural born Citizen.” Under that eligibility clause, today a “Citizen of the United States” is not eligible to be President.

      According to the Court in Minor v Happersett, if he or she is BORN a citizen, then he or she is eligible.

      We also know that when the Founders and Framers included the “natural born Citizen” clause into Article II, there was no Civil Rights Act or Fourteenth Amendment. So, for the Founders and Framers, for those children born in the United States, there was only one type of birthright citizenship. And according to Minor, for those children born in the United States, birthright citizenship was that reserved for children not only born in the United States but also born to citizen parents.

      The statement is absolutely false, and you’re a liar.

      Having said all that, by what legal principle do you take Wong’s Fourteenth Amendment birthright citizenship status which the amendment calls “citizen of the United States” and convert it into Article II birthright citizenship status which the article calls “natural born Citizen?”

      I conclude that the Supreme Court clearly found Wong Kim Ark to be a natural born citizen by the “legal principle” of the FACT that they quite clearly did find Wong Kim Ark to be a natural born citizen.

      • John Woodman,

        What a pleasure to watch you squirm.

        I love how you avoid answering the question of how could Minor have relied upon English “common law” if it said that those who were born in the country to citizen parents were “natural-born citizens.” Why would the Court need to include in its formula the citizenship of the parents if the English common law considered the citizenship of the parents irrelevant? The absurdity of your position that Minor referred to the English common law is shown by this example. Let us assume that the Court said: “Those born in the country with brown hair are “natural-born citizens.” Why would the Court even mention brown hair if it is irrelevant? So why would Minor mention citizen parents if they were not relevant under English common law?

        Your logical analogy used to attempt to discredit my Minor argument, that a Frenchman is a European does not mean that a European is a Frenchman (other Obots have used that a dog is a creature with four legs does not mean that all creatures with four legs are dogs) does not apply to the “natural born Citizen” issue. Being French is only one of many nationalities (one of many subsets) that make up the larger class of many nationalities combined which we call European, just like a dog is a subset of the larger class we call creatures with four legs. In other words, there is more than one nationality that comprises the European class just like there is more than just dogs that make up the class of creature with four legs. Your logical analogy does not work with “natural born Citizen,” for the Founders and Framers, writing a bright line standard for presidential eligibility, provided for only one definition of the clause, i.e., a child born in the country to citizen parents. In other words, being a “natural born Citizen” does not have the same numerosity characteristic as does Europeans and creatures with four legs, i.e., there is only one definition of a “natural born Citizen” unlike there are many types of Europeans and creatures with four legs. Again stated differently, there is only one definition of a “natural born Citizen” in the class that we call “natural born Citizen.”

        So, yes, there are many nationalities that make up the Europeans and there are many creatures that make up creatures with four legs. But really, your argument is absurd when applied to writing bright line eligibility standards for the President. How many types of “natural born Citizens” do you think the Founders and Framers had in mind when they said the President had to be a “natural born Citizen? Are you going to tell me as many as there are Europeans and four-legged creatures? Are there still some more definitions of a “natural born Citizen” yet to be discovered, depending on who may want to run for the Office of President in any given moment? Do you not see the absurdity of your argument? Do you not see that the Framers would have had in mind only one definition of a “natural born Citizen” when they said a would-be President had to have that status in order to be eligible to be elected President? Minor confirmed that one definition of a “natural-born citizen” as had other previous U.S. Supreme Court cases. Even Wong Kim Ark confirmed that same definition (agreeing with Horace Binney and confirming that a “natural born Citizen” is a “natural born child of a citizen” “born in the country”). There never have been any other definitions of the clause. Do you think that the Founders and Framers expected a court to come along and just change the definition of terms they used in the Constitution, all done without constitutional amendment? We cannot change the constitution at whim every time political circumstances require it. The current constitutional definition of a “natural-born citizen,” as confirmed by Minor and Wong Kim Ark, can be changed, but only by constitutional amendment.

        Now that you have made your ridiculous logical argument, why do you not defend your position and tell the whole wide world how many definitions of a “natural born Citizen” the Founders and Framers had in mind when they wrote the clause into the Constitution.

        • Jim says:

          Oh Mario…avoiding the direct quotes from Minor makes your argument very weak. I agree with you, Minor DID define natural-born citizen.

          “Additions might always be made to the citizenship of the United States in two ways: first, by birth, and second, by naturalization. This is apparent from the Constitution itself, for it provides6 that ‘no person except a natural-born citizen, or a citizen of the United States at the time of the adoption of the Constitution, shall be eligible to the office of President,’7 and that Congress shall have power ‘to establish a uniform rule of naturalization.’ Thus new citizens may be born or they may be created by naturalization. ”

          I repost the DIRECT QUOTE IN ITS ENTIRETY so that you can see the definition…complete with direct connection with Presidential qualification. And, as you have stated, it has been confirmed in previous cases and cases since. Pick a case. Go ahead. Find any other SCOTUS case where you think it defines natural-born citizen the way you state, and within that same case, you will be proven wrong. It isn’t difficult to do, because you are wrong.

        • Jim says:

          Mario:”I love how you avoid answering the question of how could Minor have relied upon English “common law” if it said that those who were born in the country to citizen parents were “natural-born citizens.” Why would the Court need to include in its formula the citizenship of the parents if the English common law considered the citizenship of the parents irrelevant?”

          Answer: Because they didn’t want Naturalized citizens to become president, as shown in Minor by the quote I added. Further:

          In Smith v. Alabama, Mr. Justice Matthews, delivering the judgment of the court, said:

          “There is no common law of the United States, in the sense of a national customary law, distinct from the common law of England as adopted by the several States each for itself, applied as its local law, and subject to such alteration as may be provided by its own statutes. . . . 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.”

          Mario:”for the Founders and Framers, writing a bright line standard for presidential eligibility, provided for only one definition of the clause, i.e., a child born in the country to citizen parents.”

          Not according to Minor…

          “Additions might always be made to the citizenship of the United States in two ways: first, by birth, and second, by naturalization. This is apparent from the Constitution itself, for it provides6 that ‘no person except a natural-born citizen, or a citizen of the United States at the time of the adoption of the Constitution, shall be eligible to the office of President,’7 and that Congress shall have power ‘to establish a uniform rule of naturalization.’ Thus new citizens may be born or they may be created by naturalization. ”

          All the arguments agree with John, not you Mario. More important, Minor agrees with John and not you.

        • John Woodman says:

          Mario,

          I love how you avoid answering the question of how could Minor have relied upon English “common law” if it said that those who were born in the country to citizen parents were “natural-born citizens.”

          Your comment is frankly ridiculous.

          I’ve directly addressed virtually every comment or question you’ve made.

          How many questions have you avoided answering?

          Hey, why don’t we start with the 10 questions over here?

          Why don’t we add on the 8 additional questions I asked you for a response to above?

          And how about the questions I asked about why you continue to publicly make claims that have been clearly and repeatedly shown to be false?

          Wow, we’re up to maybe 20 or more questions that Mario Apuzzo refuses to even address. Granted, some may be duplicates. But there are still not just one or two, but a LOT of questions you simply won’t answer.

          And here you accuse others of avoiding questions.

          You have become a caricature of yourself.

          Why would the Court need to include in its formula the citizenship of the parents if the English common law considered the citizenship of the parents irrelevant?

          The Court quite obviously put no research whatsoever into that particular completely peripheral SIDE COMMENT. Without a doubt they had the English common law in mind, but they may well have had American common law in mind as well. They obviously did not do a thorough research of both English and American common law to find out the extent of any doubts. Actually, if theyhad researched thoroughly, I frankly don’t think they would’ve even said what they said. If they had done thorough research on the issue, they would’ve come to the exact same conclusion that the Wong Court did 23 years later, and similarly been “irresistibly” led to the conclusion that all persons, except children of ambassadors, invading armies, and Indians in tribes, were natural born citizens.

          But that was 50-plus pages of research and commentary that the Minor Court simply did not do.

          The absurdity of your position that Minor referred to the English common law is shown by this example. Let us assume that the Court said: “Those born in the country with brown hair are “natural-born citizens.” Why would the Court even mention brown hair if it is irrelevant? So why would Minor mention citizen parents if they were not relevant under English common law?

          Look. They said it was NEVER DOUBTED — and that means by ANYBODY — that people who possessed BOTH characteristics A and B were natural born citizens.

          If someone is born on US soil of citizen parents, then there can be no doubt at all that that person is an American, because there is no possible pathway that they could possibly be anything else.

          The fact that they were born in France of two citizen parents, or that they were born in Ohio of non-citizen parents, opens up the POSSIBILITY of doubt. It doesn’t necessarily mean that that person is not an American citizen.

          Your logical analogy used to attempt to discredit my Minor argument, that a Frenchman is a European does not mean that a European is a Frenchman… does not apply to the “natural born Citizen” issue… Your logical analogy does not work with “natural born Citizen,” for the Founders and Framers, writing a bright line standard for presidential eligibility, provided for only one definition of the clause, i.e., a child born in the country to citizen parents.

          Your argument is once again ridiculous, and once again reveals you to be the charlatan that you are. What you are saying is, “My proof that the Founding Fathers excluded children on US soil of non-citizen parents from being ‘natural born citizens’ is that the Founding Fathers excluded children on US soil of non-citizen parents from being ‘natural born citizens.’”

          The analogy stands. The fact that a Frenchman is a European does not mean that all Europeans are Frenchmen. And the fact that the Minor court said that children born on US soil of citizen parents are natural born citizens does not mean that all natural born citizens are born on US soil of citizen parents. To contend otherwise shows that you’re either a bald-faced liar or an idiot.

          Do you not see that the Framers would have had in mind only one definition of a “natural born Citizen” when they said a would-be President had to have that status in order to be eligible to be elected President? Minor confirmed that one definition of a “natural-born citizen” as had other previous U.S. Supreme Court cases.

          You layer fallacy on top of fallacy. The best definition of “natural born citizen” — someone who is born a citizen — is a single definition.

          Even Wong Kim Ark confirmed that same definition (agreeing with Horace Binney and confirming that a “natural born Citizen” is a “natural born child of a citizen” “born in the country”).

          Why do you never address the specific analysis from both Wong Kim Ark AND Horace Binney which shows that BOTH of them clearly considered the child born on US soil of non-citizen parents to be a NATURAL BORN CITIZEN?

          Oh, no. We won’t go there. We will simply falsely assert that both of these authorities said the exact opposite of what they genuinely said.

          Fortunately, the true facts are out there. Anybody can see for himself, in their own words, what the Wong Court said and what Horace Binney said as well.

          So when are YOU going to actually answer some questions, Mario?

    • John Woodman says:

      Mario,

      I’m still waiting for you to respond to my 8 questions.

      In the meantime:

      Perhaps you can help me understand your position better.

      Why do you continue to publicly promote legal and Constitutional claims that have clearly and repeatedly been shown to be false?

      I would like to understand your motivation.

      Are you making money off of this issue? Is that it? Is Charles Kerchner paying you money? Are you getting cash from other birthers as well?

      Do you think that it’s just a game, where you want to see if you can put a really big whopper over on the public? Are you going by the experience of having seen some of your clients who were guilty get off the hook simply by continuing to insist their innocence with apparent sincerity? Are you going by your own past experience of being able to get people who were guilty as sin off the hook by simply continuing to maintain they were innocent?

      Is it that you really like being a big shot, and this is the only opportunity you can think of for being seen as a “guru?” If that’s the case, then you ought to become aware that the longer you defend your false claims, the worse you look.

      Or is it that you somehow started accidentally down this path, and find yourself for reasons of ego unable to let go and admit that you’ve been promoting false claims?

      I would really like to understand your motivation.

  12. Jim,

    Your lies just continue. I never said that Congress does not have the constitutional power to make citizens “at birth.” That is just ridiculous, for Congress has been making citizens “at birth” since 1790. What I did say is that, given that the Constitution in matters of citizenship only gives Congress the power to naturalize, Congress does not have the constitutional power to make a “natural born Citizen.”

    • Jim says:

      Sorry Mario, as Minor points out, they do. In fact, as I showed above, the VERY FIRST CONGRESS made natural-born citizens of children born out of the country to citizen parents. Wouldn’t they know best if they had the power or not? So, let’s recap. From the case you cited, Minor v Happersatt:
      1) Defines natural-born citizen as someone born a citizen
      2) States that if you are born a citizen, you may become President
      3) States that there are only 2 types of citizen in this country, natural-born and naturalized
      4) Shows that Congress has the power to declare who is a citizen at birth (natural-born) and who must be naturalized to become a citizen
      5) Shoots down every one of your arguments
      So Mario, if you’re going to cite Minor, you have to agree the President Obama is a natural-born citizen eligible to hold the office.

    • John Woodman says:

      Mario,

      When the first Congress declared that children born overseas of US citizen parents “shall be considered as natural born citizens,” did they have the authority to make that law, or was this Congress — composed largely of Founding Fathers and Framers of the Constitution — exceeding their Constitutional authority?

      And if they were exceeding their Constitutional authority, then why did the Supreme Court in Minor v Happersett lend legitimacy to their unconstitutional act by stating that Congress had passed that law “under the power [GIVEN THEM BY THE CONSTITUTION] to adopt a uniform system of naturalization?”

      And since the ONLY privilege extended to a NATURAL BORN citizen, above and beyond the normal privileges extended to all other citizens — including the naturalized ones — is Presidential eligibility, do you maintain that the Congress, in specifically declaring such persons “shall be considered as natural born citizens,” did not intend for them also to be eligible for the Presidency?

  13. John Woodman,

    The use of “natural born citizen” in the Naturalization Act of 1790 was inadvertently used by the First Congress when it really meant to say “citizen.” See Pinckney G. McElwee, Natural Born Citizen, Congressional Record-House, 15877, June 14, 1967. Mr. McElwee presents comments from the House debate on the proposed naturalization bill and explains that the law was clearly a naturalization bill. He explains that such a bill does not and cannot create a “natural born Citizen.” The error was noticed in 1795 by the Third Congress which included James Madison in Committee, and so “natural born citizen” was replaced with plain “citizen.” Congress never again used the clause “natural born Citizen” in any of its naturalization acts.

    • Jim says:

      Mario,

      You do realize that the article you are showing us is explicit in stating that a natural-born citizen is the same as a native-born citizen and therefor adds another layer of proof that President Obama is eligible, don’t you? Or, did you even bother to read the whole thing? The question they were trying to answer was is a child, born of two citizen parent outside the US, eligible for the office of President. There was absolutely no doubt in their minds that a child born in the US was eligible, no matter if the parents are citizens or not. Thanks for proving again that President Obama is eligible to hold the office. Are you sure you’re not working to get the President re-elected? Sure seems like it!

    • John Woodman says:

      Mario,

      That’s quite an interesting article you’ve steered me to. Mr. McElwee’s entire point is that Governor George Romney (father of the soon-to-be Republican nominee for President) is not eligible for the Presidency, having been born in Mexico.

      Quite a few authorities disagree with Mr. McElwee on that point, including (recently) Laurence Tribe and Ted Olson. But let’s look at what else the article has to say.

      The language used In the Constitution must be construed with reference to the English Common Law. As stated In I Kent’s Commentaries, par. 336:

      “It Is not to be doubted that the Constitution and laws of the United States were made In reference to the existence of the common law …. In many cases, the language of the Constitution and laws would be inexplicable without reference to the common law; and the existence of the common law Is not only supported by the Constitution, but It Is appealed to for the construction and Interpretation of Its powers.”

      It has been frequently held by the U.S. Supreme Court that the language of the Constitution cannot be properly understood without reference to the common law. Moore v. United, States, 91 US 270 (274), United, States v. Wong Kim Ark, 169 US 649 (654), Smith v. Alabama, 124 US 478. It was stated In Moore v. United States by Justice Bradley In a unanimous opinion, page 274:

      “The language of the Constitution and of many acts of Congress could not be understood without reference to the common law.”

      So McElwee directly refutes your claim regarding whether the Constitution (and in specific, the phrase “natural born citizen” should be interpreted in light of the English common law.

      It will be seen from the foregoing that Mr. George Romney was born in Chihuahua, Mexico of an American born father and by virtue of the birth and citizenship of his father in the United States, George was born with dual citizenship, being a citizen of Mexico by birth and becoming a citizen of the United States at birth automatically by naturalization pursuant to the Act of Congress granting automatic naturalization in such circumstances.

      The Constitution itself does not define the term natural-born citizen. At the time of the adoption of the U.S. Constitution, under the common law, the terms native born citizen and natural born citizen were synonymous, but. the customary usage was to refer to such type of citizenship as “natural born” Instead of “native born.”

      The words “natural” and “native” are both derived from the latin word “natus” meaning birth. Blackstone’s Commentaries, Chapter X. defines natural-born subjects as:

      “Natural-born subjects are such as are born within the dominions of the crown of England; that Is, within the ligence, or, as It is generally called, the allegiance of the king; and aliens. such as are born out of it.”

      McElwee refutes you.

      The first definition of the word “natural birth.” Literally translated both “natural born citizen” and “native-born citizen” mean citizen by and from birth. Black’s Law Dictionary defines “native” as “a natural born subject or citizen by birth; one who owes his domicile or citizenship to the fact of his birth within the country referred to.” Black defines “natural born” as “In English law one born within the dominion of the King.” Black defines “naturalize” as “to confer citizenship upon an allen; to make a foreigner the same, in regard to rights and privileges, as if he were a native citizen or subject.” Bancroft’s History of the U.S. (1876) VI, xxvl, 27, states. “Every one who first saw the light on the American soil was a natural-born American citizen.”

      McElwee states that “native born” and “natural born” are the same thing, and both mean born within the country referred to.

      McElwee, Black, and Bancroft refute you.

      All of these statutes of naturalization demonstrated that the citizen by birth was the genuine “natural born citizen.” As stated in Van Dyne on Citizenship of the United States, pp. 32: “It was almost universally conceded that citizenship by birth in the United States was governed by the principles of the English common law. It is very doubtful whether the common law covered the case of children born abroad to subjects of England. Statutes were enacted in England to supply their deficiency. Hence, it was deemed necessary to enact a similar law In the United States to extend citizenship to children born to American parents out of the United States.”

      It should be borne In mind that the English common law did not become the common law of the United States. But, the English common law is referred to in explaining the meaning of the language used by ‘the framers of the Constitution who were familiar with its terminology. Thus, in determining the meaning of the term “natural-born citizen,” as used in the Constitution, we should inquire what the language meant to the members of the Constitutional convention, and not what the English common law and statutory law was in all of its ramifications relating to the subject of citizenship. It is clear that under the English common law this term “natural born” meant “native born”, i.e. within the realm and dominion of the King. While naturalization and other acts of Parliament had afforded to foreign born allen children of English parentage certain rights to citizenship and inheritance by being “deemed” to be “natural born” (i.e. “deemed” native born when not so born), still, the fact remains that the genuine “natural-born” citizens were the “native-born” citizens. It was this genuine “native-born” citizen (rather than one who was not. but by act of Parliament was “deemed” to be) to which the framers of the Constitution referred when they used the term “natural-born citizens” as one of the qualifications for the President.

      McElwee and Van Dyne refute you.

      In Dicey’s Conflicts of Law (1896) It is stated: (pp.173). “Natural-born subject,” means a British subject who has become a British subject at the moment of birth. “A naturalized British subject means any British subject who is not a natural-born British subject. (pp 175) Rule 22. Subject to the exceptions herethafter mentioned any person who (whatever the nationality of his parents) Is born within the British dominions is a natural-born British subject.”

      In the case of Lynch v. Clarke, 1 Sandf. 583, N.Y.), the Vice-Chancellor stated that he entertained no doubt “that every person born within the dominion and allegiance of the United States, whatever the situation of his parents, was a natural born citizen.” He added that “this was the general understanding of the legal profession, and the universal impression of the public mind.”

      McElwee and Lynch v Clarke refute you.

      In the Dred Scott Case, 60 U.S. 393, June 14, 1967 576 in his separate opinion, Justice Curtis stated:

      “The first section of the second Article of the Constitution used 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 ot the Constitution, which referred citizenship to the place Of birth.

      In State v. Rhodes (C.C. Ky.) 27 Fed. Cas 785, 879 (1866), Justice Swayne of the Supreme 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 common law, and It is the common law of this country, as well as of England.”

      In Rawle’s view on the Constitution of the United States, page 86, It Is stated:

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

      McElwee, Curtis, Swayne, and Rawle refute you.

      Both articles assume that the restriction to natural-born citizens was based upon the law of blood of parentage, Jus Sanguinis, rather than the place of birth, Jus Soli; and without legal basis, claim that the former was of a higher order than the latter. Based upon such assumption they conclude that it is not the place of birth in the United States which controls, but the American parentage of the child that complies with the requirement of the Constitution. The fact is, however, that the blood relationship had nothing whatsoever to do with the requirement, and the sole basis for the [Presidential eligibility] requirement was place Of birth.

      McElwee refutes you.

      Continuing, [the 1904 Albany Law Journal article referenced by the author] says, “it remains to be decided whether a child of domiciled Chinese parents, born in the United States, is eligible, if otherwise qualified, to the Office of President and to all privileges of the Constitution.” (This had already been decided in the affirmative In U.S. v. Wong Kim Ark, 169 US 649)…

      Regarding US v Wong Kim Ark, the very authority you cite DIRECTLY refutes you.

      To summarize; a natural-born citizen of the United States, as that term is used in the Constitution of the United States, means a citizen born within the territorial limits of the United States and subject to the laws of the United States at the time of such birth. This does not Include children born within the territorial limits of the United States to alien parents who, although present with the consent of the United States, enjoy diplomatic immunity from the laws of the United States, and, as a consequence are not subject to the laws of the United States. Nor would this include children born within the territorial limits of the United States to alien enemy parents in time of War as a part of a hostile military force, and, as a consequence not present with the consent of the United States, and not subject to the laws of the United States. But, this does Include children born to alien parents who are present within the territorial limits of the United States “In amity” t.e. with the consent of the United States, and subject to its laws at the time of birth. U.S. v. Wong Kim Ark 169 US 649, Luria v. U.S., 231 US 9, Minor v. Happersett 88 US 162.

      And once again, McElwee refutes you.

      In fact, this very authority that you cite for support for your bogus claims, in one single article, refutes you not once — but at least NINE TIMES.

      • John Woodman,

        Why can you not speak one piece of truth about anything that I say? I never said that Pinckney G. McElwee supports my position on what a “natural born Citizen” is.

        There is some good information in his article, like what I shared with you on the 1790 Naturalization Act, but then there are many things in his article with which I do not agree.

        First, let us look at what I consider to be the bad. McElwee’s problem is that he was so bent on making sure the children born out of the United States were not eligible to run for President, i.e. George Romney, that he sold his soul to the English common law, arguing that the English common law required birth in the country to be a “natural born subject,” and that while a naturalization statute made children born out of the country “citizens,” those children were at best naturalized “citizens” at birth. This position drives him to many contradictions which usually occurs when one relies upon the English common law to define U.S. citizenship. Hence, he maintained, George Romney, born in Mexico, naturalized at birth under a Congressional Act, could not be a “natural born Citizen,” but rather only a “citizen” naturalized at birth. Being naturalized, he concluded he was not eligible to be President. He was so determined to show how powerful birth in the country was that he even erroneously considered the Founders, who were born in the colonies which became the states, to be “natural born Citizens.”

        McElwee touched upon the issue of what is a “natural born Citizen” only on a very superficial level. While he found great comfort, although unjustifiably, in Wong Kim Ark to support his position that George Romney was not eligible to be President (Wong Kim Ark made Wong a “citizen” by the power of being born in the country and also said that persons born out of the United States to U.S. citizen parents, while citizens at birth, were still naturalized citizens under an Act of Congress), his analysis is wanting in the so many historical sources which inform on the meaning of a “natural born Citizen.”

        Another problem with McElwee’s analysis is that he said George Romney, being born in Mexico, was born with “dual citizenship” which disqualified him from being a “natural born Citizen,” but then held a child born in the U.S. to alien parents, who is also born a “dual citizen,” eligible to be President. You seem to be a fan of McElwee. How do you justify such a contradiction?

        Second, now let us look at what I consider to be the good. Here is some other material included in his article which you have left out of your commentary:

        (1) “But the question under consideration is not one of simple citizenship but rather, whether he is a ‘natural born citizen’ as prescribed in the Constitution of the United States for the Presidency.” Here, he correctly recognized that being a “citizen of the United States” is not sufficient to be eligible to be President. He correctly stated that one has to be a “natural born Citizen.”

        (2) He quoted Horace Binney, as quoted in Wong Kim Ark, thus: “ ‘The child of an alien, if born in the country, is as much a citizen as the natural-born child of a citizen.’” He emphasizes that Binney made his comparison between alien and natural born, not native born. This is an important point which needs further understanding. First, as McElwee correctly said, “[a]t the time of the adoption of the U.S. Constitution, under the common law, the terms native born citizen and natural born citizen were synonymous, but, the customary usage was to refer to such type of citizenship as ‘natural born’ instead of ‘native born.’” Binney used “natural born” because his reference was to children born to citizen parents. If he had been referring to children born in the country, he would have used “native born.” Hence, when the focus was citizen parents, the correct term used to describe that relationship was “natural born.” When the focus was birth in the country, the term used to describe that relationship became “native birth” or “native born.”

        (3) He recognized the importance of the July 25, 1787 John Jay letter to Washington, which expressed concern over foreigners” infiltrating the administration of government and the Office of Commander in Chief, in motivating the insertion of the “natural born Citizen” clause into the Constitution.

        (4) He explained how careful James Madison was in distinguishing between a “Citizen of the United States” and a “natural born Citizen,” that he made sure that the 1795 Naturalization Act, unlike the erroneous 1790 Naturalization Act, read “citizen of the United States” and not “natural born Citizen,” which is what the 1790 Act had included. In commenting on the error and in criticizing the 1904 Albany Law Journal Article which concluded that children born abroad to U.S. citizen parents were “natural born,” McElwee, says: “The author seemed to have lost sight of the fact that the English common law in respect to citizenship did not become the common law of the United States.” This statement is correct. This statement is also contradictory to his other statement that anyone could be a “natural born Citizen” under the holding of Wong Kim Ark. In any event, he strongly emphasized that there is a critical constitutional distinction between a “citizen” and a “natural born Citizen.”

        (5) He recognized that acquiring U.S. citizenship “at birth” does not equate with being a “natural born Citizen.” He so stated to disqualify from the status of “natural born Citizen” children born abroad to U.S. citizen parents (i.e., George Romney). There is no reason that his disqualification does not equally apply to children born in the United States to alien parents who under the Fourteenth Amendment are considered U.S. “citizens” “at birth,” but are not otherwise “natural born Citizens.” Like what McElwee says about children born abroad to U.S. citizen parents, these children are born aliens, but automatically naturalized, not by an Act of Congress which is what is used for children born abroad, but by the Fourteenth Amendment.

        (6) The “natural born Citizen” clause “was to insure loyalty and freedom from foreign sympathy and ideologies.” This is correct and tells us that any definition of the clause has to provide to the greatest degree possible for the People making this policy choice.

        (7) Presidential eligibility standards are the product of bright line rules which must be honored. This statement shows that the “natural born Citizen” clause could only have had one definition that satisfied the Founders and Framers. You will recall that Minor confirmed what that sole definition was.

        So, McElwee has his view of what a “natural born Citizen” is. But Minor told us that despite what “some authorities” contended, “there have been doubts” whether children born in the country to alien parents were even “citizens” (let alone “natural-born citizens”). And Wong Kim Ark did not hold Wong to be a “natural born Citizen.” I have to take the word of our U.S. Supreme Court over that of McElwee. It took the Fourteenth Amendment and Wong Kim Ark to make a child born in the U.S. to domiciled alien parents a “citizen” from the moment of birth. But no U.S. Supreme Court case has held that such a child is a “natural born Citizen.”

        • Jim says:

          Mario Apuzzo, Esq. says: “It took the Fourteenth Amendment and Wong Kim Ark to make a child born in the U.S. to domiciled alien parents a “citizen” from the moment of birth. But no U.S. Supreme Court case has held that such a child is a “natural born Citizen.””

          Sorry to disagree with you Mario, but SCOTUS HAS.

          Luria v. United States, 231 U. S. 9 (1913)
          Citizenship is membership in a political society, and implies a duty of allegiance on the part of the member and a duty of protection on the part of the society. These are reciprocal obligations, one being a compensation for the other. Under our Constitution, a naturalized citizen stands on an equal footing with the native citizen in all respects save that of eligibility to the Presidency. 88 U. S. 165; Elk v. Wilkins, 112 U. S. 94, 112 U. S. 101; 22 U. S. 827

          Schneider v. Rusk (1964)
          We start from the premise that the rights of citizenship of the native born and of the naturalized person are of the same dignity and are coextensive. The only difference drawn by the Constitution is that only the ‘ natural born’ citizen is eligible to be President. Art. II, s 1.

          Kwock Jan Fat v. White, 253 U.S. 454 (1920)
          It is not disputed that if petitioner is the son of Kwock Tuck Lee and his wife, Tom Ying Shee, he was born to them when they were permanently domiciled in the United States, is a citizen thereof, and is entitled to admission to the country. United States v. Wong Kim Ark, 169 U. S. 649. But, while it is conceded that he is certainly the same person who, upon full investigation, was found, in March, 1915, by the then Commissioner of Immigration, to be a natural born American citizen…

          Mario: “(7) Presidential eligibility standards are the product of bright line rules which must be honored. This statement shows that the “natural born Citizen” clause could only have had one definition that satisfied the Founders and Framers. You will recall that Minor confirmed what that sole definition was. ”

          Yes they did, in the preceding paragraph. The bright line is that naturalized citizens can’t become President, while if you are born a citizen, you can.

          Minor
          “Additions might always be made to the citizenship of the United States in two ways: first, by birth, and second, by naturalization. This is apparent from the Constitution itself, for it provides that ‘no person except a natural-born citizen, or a citizen of the United States at the time of the adoption of the Constitution, shall be eligible to the office of President,’ and that Congress shall have power ‘to establish a uniform rule of naturalization.’Thus new citizens may be born or they may be created by naturalization.”

          Sorry Mario, no backing for your opinion at all. BTW, weren’t you suppose to turn in some homework for the courts Friday? Have you posted it? Thanks!

          • Jim,

            Luria, Schneider, and Kwock do not hold that a child, such as Wong, born in the U.S. to domiciled alien parents is a “natural born Citizen.” Your quotes do not support your point nor does anything in the decisions.

            • Jim says:

              Kwok was born the same as Wong and called a natural born citizen. Native born citizens are eligible for the Presidency. If you are born a citizen, you are eligible for the Presidency. All these show that your argument is only your opinion and have no basis in US law and is totally unsupported by the SCOTUS. Your argument is blown to heck.

            • Thomas Brown says:

              Of course they do. You just aren’t man enough to admit it.

              You are a disgrace to the legal profession.

          • Mario can make these inane legal arguments on a blog all he wants with impunity. If he continues to do so in court however a judge or judges will eventually call him out for unfit behaving dishonestly and unprofessionally. The Democratic party has had its fill of these charlatans. Just read the latest briefs calling out Taitz for her dishonesty in MS and Kreep for the same in CA.

  14. Today, the President under Article II must be a “natural born Citizen,” not only a “Citizen of the United States.”

    The Fourteenth Amendment speaks only of a “citizen of the United States.”

    How does someone who is a “citizen of the United States” under the Fourteenth Amendment, which was passed in 1868, automatically converted into an Article II “natural born Citizen” without showing that the person in fact meets the definition of a “natural born Citizen” upon which the Founders and Framers relied when they wrote the clause into the Constitution?

    Again, the Fourteenth Amendment says “citizen of the United States,” not “natural born Citizen.” Furthermore, Minor said that the amendment does not define a “natural born Citizen.”

    • Mario

      You keep using the phrase “Article II natural born citizen” as if the term were defined there. It was not. As Justice Gray said the definition was to be found in English common law. The Supreme Court has used the terms “natural born” and “native born” completely interchangeably over the years as Jim and others have shown. Please continue to use these arguments in your briefs however. It will make for fun down the road.

      Did you file a brief last week?

    • Jim says:

      Mario Apuzzo, Esq. says: “Today, the President under Article II must be a “natural born Citizen,” not only a “Citizen of the United States.” ”

      Not just today Mario, but for a couple of hundred years. And not one single person has argued against that point…including SCOTUS. That is why Arnold Schwartzenegger, who is a citizen of the United States, is ineligible.

      And yes, Minor makes that point quite clearly in the paragraph before the one you so like to quote…in fact it even ties it to the Presidency, which the part you like to cite does not. Lose again Mario.

      • John Woodman says:

        Mario is fond of making a deal of this point: “There is a distinction between a ‘natural born citizen’ and a ‘citizen of the United States.’

        As if anybody were arguing that there isn’t. The point is truly pathetic. It’s basically a straw man argument — claim that others are representing that mere citizenship is enough to qualify for Presidential eligibility, and then knock that down. But even as a straw man it’s completely pathetic.

      • John Woodman says:

        Just a quick elaboration on Mario’s present (14th Amendment) argument, as I don’t want to be guilty of a straw man myself.

        Mario claims that when the 14th Amendment says, “All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside,” that doesn’t necessarily make someone a natural born citizen. And to a point, he’s correct — especially as regards “all persons… naturalized.”

        But here are the elephants in the room which he denies or tries to hang a curtain over:

        Elephant #1: All persons born in the United States — as long as they were regular white Europeans, whatever the status of their parents, were always natural born citizens.

        And nobody ever really contested that. Trumbull and others maintained that the Civil Rights Act, and the Amendment that followed, were merely declaratory of the law as it already was.

        Elephant #2: Nobody ever maintained there was a distinction between someone who was born a citizen on US soil, and a “natural born citizen.” Ever.

        Elephant #3: The 14th Amendment may not have “made people ‘natural born citizens,’ but it just as equally did not make them NOT ‘natural born citizens.’” And since all persons who were born citizens were always regarded and considered as “natural born citizens,” the 14th Amendment didn’t only assure “citizenship” for black kids born in America, it also assured Presidential eligibility.

        If you take Mario’s arguments — that the 14th Amendment didn’t make anybody a “natural born citizen” — very far, here’s what you get: “Negroes are not eligible to run for President.”

        I’d love to see Mario make his arguments before the US Supreme Court on that.

        • Jim says:

          John Woodman says:”If you take Mario’s arguments — that the 14th Amendment didn’t make anybody a “natural born citizen” — very far, here’s what you get: “Negroes are not eligible to run for President.””

          Nice catch…thanks John.

          • Jim,

            Anyone can be a “natural born Citizen, regardless of color, race, sex, religion, etc., provided he or she is born in the country to citizen parents.

            • Suranis says:

              Prove it in a court of law. But you might find there are more experienced people than first year lawyers arguing against you this time.

              Haven’t you heard? The gloves have come off. This is no longer a funny game to seem important to idiots… Now you actually could be facing serious sanctions for your bullshit.

            • Jim says:

              Not according to the Judge in your case Mario. BTW, you ever going to show us what you filed?

            • John Woodman says:

              I actually think it’s about time for some serious sanctions. Mario and the other birther lawyers are without excuse, as far as I can see. Their claims have been shown to be false, again and again and again. They can’t refute the arguments that show the claims to be false, and yet they continue making the claims, and filing lawsuits based on them.

        • Suranis says:

          Plus, as Minor declares, the 14th did noting to make women citizens, as they were already.

          There is no doubt that women may be citizens. They are persons, and by the Fourteenth Amendment “all persons born or naturalized in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof” are expressly declared to be “citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside.” But in our opinion it did not need this amendment to give them that position. Before its adoption, the Constitution of the United States did not in terms prescribe who should be citizens of the United States or of the several states, yet there were necessarily such citizens without such provision.

    • Suranis says:

      Furthermore, Minor said that the amendment does not define a “natural born Citizen.”

      No it doesn’t, and I’ve just looked through Minor again to make sure (yes I’ve read more than 3 sentences of the Minor decision.) It says that the CONSTITUTION does not define a natural born citizen

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

      Good grief Mario, you are so freaking pathetic. I have no legal training whatsoever and I’d probably run rings around you in a court of law.

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