The Historical Meaning of “Natural Born Citizen” –
Part 7: Summary and Conclusion

[To start at the very beginning, click here.] 

What Color Is the Sky?

In October 2008, Leo Donofrio filed a lawsuit alleging that Barack Obama, as the son of a Kenyan (and therefore British) father, was Constitutionally ineligible to be President of the United States.

That December, the US Supreme Court declined, without comment, to hear the case.

Since then, there’s been a lot of publicity (on the internet, at least) around the claim that it takes two citizen parents at the time of a person’s birth for that person to be a natural born citizen.

The claim, however, was like saying that the sky was orange: It flew directly in the face of what most Americans thought they knew about the natural born citizen clause.

The understanding of most people is that the sky is blue. Yes, there might sometimes be some other colors up in the sky — the white of clouds, or the orange, yellow or pink colors of sunset. But fundamentally, the sky is blue. That, at least, is our accepted belief.

This is very like the common understanding of “natural born citizen.” The government, the media, and our school textbooks all tell us that if you were born in the United States, then you are a natural born citizen; and that any kid born in American can one day grow up to be President.

It can sometimes be healthy, though, to challenge assumptions, and to test the conventional wisdom. Sometimes we find out new things when we do.

Maybe there’s a lot more to physics than old Sir Isaac Newton thought there was. Maybe man can build machines that fly after all.

Maybe the sky is orange.

But believing such a thing — that a heavier-than-air flying machine is possible, at a time when only balloons have ever flown before, or that the sky is orange, or that there is life on the moon or Mars — requires some compelling evidence.

Getting a Big Picture

You might possibly have noticed that throughout this series of posts, I’ve included a little block of color in the headline of each section. And, you may have noticed that some of these blocks have varied in color.

Those blocks represent what that particular piece of evidence seems to say. Here’s what those colors actually mean:

Clear evidence for the conventional understanding — against the 2-citizen-parent claim
Some evidence in favor of the conventional understanding
No real evidence either way
Some evidence in favor of the two-citizen-parent claim
Clear evidence in favor of the two citizen parent claim

The little blocks serve two purposes. First, they will let you go back and compare your own assessment of a particular bit of evidence with mine. And secondly, they will help us summarize the vast body of historical evidence and visualize an overall picture.

A Historical Picture, Rather Than a Legal One

When we speak of “evidence” here, it’s important to note that we are not necessarily talking about evidence regarding the legal definition of the term “natural born citizen.”

Legally speaking, any real argument has been settled — as Congressional Research Service attorney Jack Maskell notes, for more than a century.

First, Minor v Happersett clearly does not say what some have claimed it says. We know this for a variety of good reasons. In this blog, I myself have given no less than five.

And US v Wong Kim Ark (1898) quite clearly established that persons born in the situation of our current President are indeed natural born citizens, and therefore eligible to the Presidency.

So legally, the issue was settled 114 years ago. This is the ultimate reason why every case birthers bring on this issue is absolutely, 100% doomed to fail. (Incidentally, if you’ve been financially supporting any of these lawsuits, it is of benefit to you to understand this. You are quite literally throwing your money away.)

A fairly extensive analysis of the legal meaning of “natural born citizen” is available through this blog’s posts on legal authorities and case law.

But maybe the courts have been wrong? Maybe Americans have always understood “natural born citizen” to mean something else?

That is why we have taken an in-depth look at the historical meaning of the term.

Having done that, we are now prepared to take a “big picture” look at the historical evidence of what Americans have always understood the term to mean.

The Scales of History

We have carefully examined 41 different pieces of evidence. If we should give them all equal weight, they would look like this:

If We Were to Give Every Item of Historical Evidence Equal Weight, Our Results Would Look Like This

If We Were to Give Every Item of Historical Evidence Equal Weight,
Our Results Would Look Like This

Ignore, if you will, the stack of irrelevancies in the middle, and focus on the real evidence to the left and to the right.

Rather lopsided, isn’t it?

The only historical events we have found that weigh in birthers’ favor are the opinions of Alexander Porter Morse (orange) and Breckinridge Long (light orange), and the fact that the US State Department sometimes denied passports, in the late 1800s, to persons born on US soil of non-citizen parents who had removed them in childhood to other countries.

Some other historical events have been claimed to weigh in the birthers’ favor — such as Minor v Happersett — have been found completely wanting.

The above illustration, however, presumes that all items are worth equal weight. But this is not the case. Let’s compare the sum total of our “pro-birther” evidence to just ONE of the bits of evidence — that is, just ONE of the 19 solid blue blocks at left — that weigh AGAINST their claim:

The Total of ALL Evidence For the Two-Citizen-Parent Claim Compared to Just One Block of the Evidence Against It

The Total of ALL Evidence For the Two-Citizen-Parent Claim
Compared to Just One Block of the Evidence Against It

The above diagram compares the opinions of Alexander Porter Morse, Breckinridge Long, and the presumed opinions of several Secretaries of State to the single list of known quotes regarding natural born citizenship and Presidential eligibility from legal authorities.

And once again, this is still an uneven, charitable comparison! I haven’t attempted to add in any of the “blue” opinions of Secretaries of State (such as William Evarts and undoubtedly many others) or the policies of Secretaries of State since Perkins v Elg.

And I’m counting the opinions of Morse and Long as if they were equal with those of many more highly distinguished and recognized legal experts, including Justices of the US Supreme Court.

We have many highly authoritative sources — including some who speak in the list of quotes represented above, and some who don’t — that indicate that citizen parents are not and never were necessary for a person born on US soil to be a natural born citizen. These include, for example:

  • Philip Mazzei, close friend and neighbor of Thomas Jefferson
  • the Marquis de Lafayette, “natural born citizen forever” and personal friend of our first six Presidents
  • St. George Tucker and his authoritative comparison of American and English law
  • the lack of any known quotes indicating the necessity of citizen parents, or of reference to Vattel, during the entire lifetime of the Founders or Framers
  • the authoritative word of early legal expert and friend of Ben Franklin, William Rawle
  • comments by esteemed Supreme Court Justice Joseph Story
  • a comprehensive analysis of centuries of law by Judge Sandford in the case of Lynch v Clarke
  • the proud campaign literature of the first Republican Presidential candidate and son of a Frenchman, John Charles Frémont
  • the clear analysis and word of the US Supreme Court in US v Wong Kim Ark
  • the quotes mentioned from 62 different legal experts throughout American history
  • quotes from several hundred other sources that reveal the popular understanding throughout history
  • and a virtually absolute lack of any quotes that legitimately and in context claim or even imply a birther definition.

Elsewhere, in fact, I’ve estimated the total number of known book quotes, prior to 2008, that give evidence against the citizen-parents claim as being approximately 395, and the number of known “book quotes” giving evidence that could legitimately be said to be in favor of the claim — Morse’s book and Long’s newspaper article — as being 2.

In short, the evidence stands overwhelmingly against the two-citizen-parent claim, not only from a legal perspective, but also from a historical perspective as well.

We have only the personal opinions of Morse and Long, spoken a century after the Founding, as well as some implied evidence from several US Secretaries of State (from the same era as Morse and Long) — against a veritable mountain of historical evidence spanning the entire course of American history, that “natural born citizen” does not and never did mean what the birthers claim.

A Non-Partisan Conclusion

That Barack Obama, born in Hawaii to an American mother and a Kenyan father, is Constitutionally eligible to be President is not a partisan conclusion; nor is it one that simply benefits Democrats.

As we’ve seen, the first Republican Presidential candidate in history — John Charles Frémont — was in very much the same situation as Barack Obama. So, too, was Republican Presidential candidate Charles Evans Hughes.

Today the Republican Party has interesting candidates in Marco Rubio, Bobby Jindal and Nikki Haley. They aren’t the Republican Party’s only candidates, by any means. But we would be worse off without the possibility that one or another of these home-grown, American individuals might become a future President.

The birthers have done no one any favors. Not the Republicans. Not the Democrats. Not the American public. Not the Constitution. And not the Founding Fathers.

The Sky Is Still Blue

Some reading this article undoubtedly will have hoped that we would find the sky, as alleged in birther mythology, to be orange.

But it isn’t. The very few small bits of orange in the sky are merely the reflection of the sun going down on the two-citizen-parent claim.

Let’s return to the quote that we began this article with:

“…historically a ‘natural born Citizen’ had only one definition, i.e., a child born in the country to citizen parents. There never has been any other definition.”

It is quite true that historically, the term “natural born citizen” has only ever had one definition.

But the claim that that definition requires citizen parents for persons born in the United States is false — to the point of total, absolute absurdity.

It could hardly be more false. It’s about as false as publicly claiming that car windshields are made from heat-treated sugar water, that Bozo the Clown invented the internet, or that 2 plus 2 equals 17.

And an accurate historical evaluation is perfectly in harmony with the legal reality.

For a person born on US soil, it does not — and never did — require citizen parents for that person to be a natural born citizen.

Thanks to the Readers, Participants, and Contributors of This Blog

This post completes a 14-month, thorough evaluation of the claims of the birther movement.

That evaluation began by looking into claims of “proof of forgery.” It continued with an investigation of the legal claims of the birther movement and the status of actual US law. And it has ended with a complete tour of the meaning of “natural born citizen” in the light of history.

In the course of that evaluation, I have written and published one book — on the forgery claims — and also published, here, more than enough material for a second book.

This has been this blog’s final post, and it’s time for me to move on to other things. I would like to thank all — both birthers and anti-birthers — who have read, participated or otherwise contributed to this blog.

For any readers who appreciate having been told the truth and would be willing to make a financial contribution to help offset the enormous cost of time, energy and effort over the past 14 months that this blog has taken, any such contribution would be welcome and will be put to good use.

Again, thanks — and I wish all of you — yes, even the birthers — the best.

John Woodman

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19 Responses to The Historical Meaning of “Natural Born Citizen” –
Part 7: Summary and Conclusion

  1. John Woodman says:

    This is it. Apologies that it took so long to wrap things up and get it posted!

    Again, thanks to all who have participated here. I will continue to allow and respond to comments for a little while to let the dust settle. And of course, Tuesday (which is now tomorrow) there’s supposed to be another astonishing press conference with shocking revelations from Sheriff Joe Arpaio, and I suppose I will have to make some kind of statement regarding that. At this point, based on their past record of presenting to the public already debunked conspiracy theory claims, I don’t expect them to turn up any legitimate evidence of any kind of forgery or fraud; but who knows? Lightning might strike.

    Nonetheless, I am now in wrapping-up mode.

    It is interesting to go back through and see various drafts of things I started but never got around to finishing. One was a separate article on Senator Jacob Howard, who is mentioned in Part 4 of the final article. I would like to share a somewhat larger version of the image of Senator Howard that I put into the article. I came to admire Senator Howard and other champions of liberty during my extensive research on the Civil Rights Act of 1866 and the Fourteenth Amendment, and was particularly happy with how his image turned out.

    To get this image, I started with Wikipedia’s black-and-white photo of Senator Howard, cleaned it up, getting rid of various specks and spots, and then added the background and shadow, colorized it, and so forth. I had to guess, of course, as to hair and eye color, but I doubt I am too far off. Hopefully, at least. ;-)

  2. Suranis says:

    It has been a privilege getting to know you a little bit and discussing things with you, John. I wish you all the best.

  3. Jim says:

    Thanks John! It’s been a pleasure reading your material. Thanks for all your hard work and time you’ve put into this site. Above all, thanks for the debates with Mario et al, they truly show that the movement against the President is just a witch hunt. Best wishes to you and your family!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Iu1qa8N2ID0

  4. Thomas Brown says:

    Hear, hear. What they said.

  5. John Woodman says:

    Thanks to you guys as well, for the time and effort you’ve put into analyzing and discussing all the various birther theories, which I know has been substantial. :-)

  6. Michael Heuss says:

    What a wealth of knowledge this site has been! Thank you so much, and best of luck to you on your future endeavors.

  7. John Woodman says:

    Thanks, Michael! :-D

  8. Scientist says:

    Not just well-researched, but well-written, a combination that is all too rare.

    John, would you mind if ask you one question, since Arpaio has another dog and pony show planned tomorrow? In a post in September 2011, you said, “Actually, I started my investigation tending to believe that Barack Obama was probably born somewhere other than the United States.” May I ask why? The story of a young woman travelling alone from Hawaii to Kenya to give birth, was frankly ridiculous, ab initio. You even wrote a satirical piece ridiculing it. When my wife was in the 3rd trimester, it was hard to get her to leave the house, never mind travel halfway around the world to a less-developed country. Certainly, the vast majority of babies are born where their mother lives, so, even in the absense of any birth documents, the odds are overwhelming that the child of a Hawaiian resident would be born in Hawaii. So I’m curious about your statement.

    • John Woodman says:

      Not just well-researched, but well-written, a combination that is all too rare.

      Thanks!!

      I felt it was difficult to keep things moving given the length of material presented, and have worried about losing quite a few readers. But I also wanted to adequately cover the material, and didn’t want to divide it up into more than the number of posts I eventually divided it into.

      As to your question:

      1) All of us are influenced by the sources of information that we are tuned in to.

      2) I don’t particularly trust politicians.

      3) Obama’s behavior at the time seemed odd to me. It seemed to me that he should release his long form birth certificate, and then the birther issue would go away. Especially given the subsequent feeding frenzy that actually followed the release of his long form birth certificate, the behavior frankly makes more sense to me now.

      • Scientist says:

        Do politicians lie? Sure, and so do non-politicians. I’m not convinced that the level of dishonesty is statistically different among the 2 populations. Rather, it’s that politicians lie in public and ordinary folks lie in private. It would be an interesting study, perhaps.

        As for the LFBC, I saw nothing odd in Obama’s behavior. Imagine you and a group of 43 others are entering a building. The guard lets the other 43 walk in and then pulls you aside and demands ID. No sign says that ID is required. You would feel singled out, wouldn’t you? But not wanting to make a fuss, you pull out your driver’s license and show him. Nope, not good enough-he wants something with fingerprints and iris scans, even though no such rule exists and he let the other 43 through with nothing and who the hell is he anyway. Would you run all over town to come up with an ID that meets the arbitrary standards of this guard, and will he even accept the super-duper-special ID once you go to the trouble to get it? I believed at the time that Obama should not have caved to the birthers and should have simply re-released his COLB, since I think most people never saw it the first time. He could have gotten Biden and the cabinet to order up their own and release them all together just to show there was nothing odd about his. The LFBC added nothing for me, other than Dr. Sinclair’s name, and honestly, who cares?

        Anyway, I keep coming back to the lack of a credible story for Obama’s birth anywhere but Hawaii. The birthers have spent many lifetimes coming up with ridiculous conspiracy theories, but have never bothered to provide a story that makes the slightest sense.

        Now, Mitt Romney’s parents lived a few miles from a foreign country with a wide-open border (much more so in those days)and a common language, similar culture and medical care equivalent to the US. They even owned a house there (it’s still in the family). His father, unlike Obama Sr or Stanley Dunham was wealthy and influential enough to organize a cover-up. So, do I believe Mitt was born in Canada? Not really, even though his Michigan b.c. says “void” right on it. But I would say the odds of a Canadian birth for Mitt are infinitely better than those of a Kenyan birth for Obama.

        • Thomas Brown says:

          Although if he WAS born in Canada, only a Birfer like [name redacted] would insist he wouldn’t be a natural-born citizen anyway. Of course, him being a white Republican would mean the subject would never have been raised in the first place. He would be one of the 43 who were waved through without question in Scientist’s example above.

          It takes really sour grapes to make a good whine.

  9. Isunue says:

    I’d like to thank you for a job well done; it’s been quite an education, legally, historically and culturally. We hope this blog will remain up to serve as a reference site to help guide those in the future that’ll stumble onto the “conspiracy.”

    Perhaps like many, I was willing to believe the “forgery” claims several years ago when it first came up but “something” didn’t seem quite right yet couldn’t put my finger on it. There was no concentrated source of documentation back then to address just what is a “natural born citizen” and where that term really came from. Your site, along with Dr. Conspiracy’s, provided the well-rounded education needed and now I know how much bunk the birthers threw up.

    Maybe it’s in the nature of the American psyche, but there is a tendency to believe most national calamities are the opposite of what is commonly seen and known. I present as my evidence the always persistent “conspiancies” of JFK’s and MLK’s murders as being caused by anything other than a lone gunman getting lucky. And when a true foriegn conspiracy occured to fruition, as in the 9/11 attacks, a belief that it was home-grown sprung up instead. Or that FDR knew in advance about the Pearl Harbor sneak attack.

    The birthers will just have to accept the facts that OGL was born within the country and American law accepts that as proof of Natural Born Citizen, pending some sort of extraordinary verifiable proof to the contrary. And just move on to accepting we got a home-grown “red-diaper baby” in the White House and strive to elect him out this November.

    • John Woodman says:

      You’re welcome, Isunue!

      And yes, the plan is for this site to stay as an ongoing reference point to the significant claims of the birther movement, every single one of which — and I speak in reference to more than 60 such significant claims — has proven to be invalid or outright false.

      This brings to mind some other comments from my experiences with some of these folks, which I will make here.

      • Isunue says:

        Since there are over 60 such false claims, you might consider organize them into an index in the fashion TalkOrigins.com does with creationist claims: http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/index.html

        • John Woodman says:

          That would be convenient, and it might be interesting to see them all so organized, but it sounds like a lot of extra work to me. I was supposed to have retired from this whole thing already.

          If anyone wants to enumerate claims in this way, there are more than 30 of them that I covered regarding the forgery theories in my book. And on the natural born citizen side, one can start with the index of this site, focusing first on the series on the legal meaning of “natural born citizen,” then going through the series of 7 posts on the historical meaning of the term. I’ve dealt with some 41 different points of historical evidence in this series, most having to do with untrue birther assertions.

          In addition, there’s the disproven Selective Service postmark claim, the claim that optimization produces the wrong number of layers, the claim that the presence of the “clipping mask” is necessarily evidence of some kind of forgery or fraud, the claim that “natural law” requires two citizen parents, and many, many smaller nonsense claims and sub-claims that haven’t merited separate or extensive treatment.

          If you could count up all of the birther false claims ever made, including the insignificant ones, how many different false claims in all? No way to know. I’m guessing hundreds.

  10. John Woodman says:

    What Snake-Oil Salesmen Do

    Snake-oil salesmen peddle bogus goods to the public. They don’t peddle these goods (whether they are products, services, or conspiracy theories) for altruistic reasons — although they often claim to do so as a key part of their marketing.

    They peddle their bogus goods for their own benefit.

    That benefit may be directly financial, or it may be for the sake of fame and prestige which they may then leverage into further personal benefit.

    How to Identify a Snake-Oil Salesman

    There is only one way to identify a snake-oil salesman: give their product a thorough, honest, competent, impartial testing. If you are not good at doing this kind of testing, have someone who know and trust, who IS good at this kind of testing, do it for you.

    It doesn’t matter whether you want the product to work, or the claim to be true. It doesn’t matter that you want their Ultimate Health Formula to immediately and safely reduce you to your ideal weight, completely eliminate your belly fat, boost your memory and alertness, fill you with bursting amounts of new energy, produce a constant state of emotional happiness and restore hair to your bald head. Nor does it matter that you want the current President to be ineligible, and to magically go away at the wave of a lawsuit.

    What matters is: Are the claims true?

    Snake-Oil Salesmen Make Plausible-Sounding Claims

    Snake-oil salesmen are experts at making claims that sound good. They present “evidence” that sounds good.

    The problem is, when you really check it out, it doesn’t add up.

    Snake-oil salesmen also speak with apparent absolute conviction. They are great actors, knowing that a certain percentage of the population will believe somebody simply because he says what he says as if he really believes it.

    In this regard, the snake-oil salesman has something of an advantage over the teller of truth: The truth often makes for a less dramatic, less exciting, less desirable story. Also, people who are honest and who tell the truth will often express where there is actually lack of clarity, or some doubt, about a particular point.

    The snake oil salesman is quick to seize upon such areas of lack of clarity as “proof” his opponent is “wrong.”

    Another technique that snake-oil salesmen use is to find some small point — any point will do — at which they can legitimately criticize the truth-teller. They will then claim that that one insignificant point “proves” that their opponent is a “liar.” (The implication, of course, is that THEY are the ones telling the truth.)

    An Unproven Claim Is Usually a Bad Claim

    If someone makes a major claim — like “this product will safely regrow your hair,” or “President Obama’s birth certificate is a forgery,” then that claim ought to be verifiable. And not just claimed to be verifiable by the so-called “experts” on one side of the issue. It ought to be publicly verifiable.

    Don’t invest your money, or your support, into unproven claims. Verify everything.

    Extraordinary Claims Require Extraordinary Proof

    An extraordinary claim — such as “you are not actually legally required to pay income tax,” or “it takes two citizen parents to be a natural born citizen” — requires extraordinary proof.

    The Sheer Number of Claims Means Nothing.

    Snake-oil salesmen often use a large number of false claims to convince their sucker audiences. Some people who would not be convinced by one or two dubious claims may very well be convinced if there are twenty related false claims all intended to support the same MAJOR false claim.

    The goal here is for the snake-oil salesman to convince his audience, using the adage: “Where there’s smoke, there’s fire!”

    But the adage is not true. Where there is smoke, there may indeed be fire. But there may also be a smoke-blowing machine manned by somebody who wants you to believe there is a fire, so that he can profit by your false belief.

    Don’t Believe People Who Make False Claims

    Again, verify everything.

    If you find that somebody has made a statement that is provably false — and I’m talking about really, and truly, factually false — then anything and everything that person says should be suspect, especially if he or she continues making a claim that has been shown to be false. Repeating something known and shown to be untrue is lying.

    And one significant claim that turns out to be untrue might be a mistake. Two or three starts to establish a pattern of deception.

    Again, it doesn’t matter whether the person is saying what you want to hear. Deception is deception.

    And it matters little whether the person is an absolute liar out to scam you, or whether he sincerely believes the nonsense he’s claiming. The end result is still the same: Deception. The only difference is whether the first person deceived is the claimant (in other words, he’s sincerely deluded) or you (in other words, he’s a bald-faced liar).

    It’s deception either way, no matter where it begins.

    Snake-Oil Salesmen Will Make Their Bogus Claims for as Long as They Have Suckers Who Support Them.

    When a snake-oil salesman’s claim has been shown to be false, he has several possible courses of action.

    He could stop making his false claims. Well, that’s not going to happen, for as long as there is an audience of suckers or sycophants or other supporters who will reward him for continuing to make false claims.

    He may abandon the original claim and substitute something new. We have seen a great many claims, for example, in the birther movement, that when shown to be false have been quietly abandoned. The first that comes to mind is the claim that the hospital that Barack Obama was born in didn’t exist in 1961. But there have been many more birther claims quietly dropped in favor of more probable-sounding ones, or claims that are complex enough to give some difficulty in disproving them. Generally, a snake-oil salesman will abandon the less plausible-sounding claims and keep the most plausible-sounding ones.

    He can baldly assert that the disproof of his claim is invalid or doesn’t exist. This is the “you’ve disproven nothing” approach. It fails when people actually give an impartial hearing to the facts, but it can enable the snake-oil salesman to retain the support of some of his audience — those who are so eager to believe his fantasyland claims that they will overlook the facts, or not bother to really look at them at all.

    What We Can Expect From the Birther Movement Now

    To date, the birther movement has produced something beyond SIXTY known INVALID AND/OR FALSE CLAIMS.

    That is far more than enough to establish a track record that anybody and everybody can well expect: If they come up with any new claims, those claims are almost certainly going to be false.

    Those driving the birther movement will continue to push their claims. They will continue to push known and proven false claims, to whatever extent they can get people to believe them.

    When people stop believing a particular claim, they will drop that one, and substitute some new claim that is more readily believable, that will advance their purposes.

    We can expect birthers to continue deceiving gullible members of the public based on claims that are already proven false. It doesn’t matter that the claims are known to be false. All that matters is whether they can get enough people to believe the false claims.

    We can expect birthers to continue viciously attacking those who tell the truth, and we can expect them to continue to label such people as “liars” and “traitors.”

    We can expect birthers to continue to portray themselves as true patriots, and those who debunk their nonsense as “traitors.”

    We can expect them to use whatever slick marketing they can come up with to sell their goods to the public. Having seemingly-believable authority figures to represent them is one technique.

    And we can expect them to continue inventing new claims, new bits of “evidence,” that are just as invalid or false as the claims that have already been debunked.

  11. Isunue says:

    By a remarkable coincidence there is a presentation by law professor Garrett Epps on CSPAN 3 right now on the title “14th Amendment and Birthright Citizenship” presented at University of Baltimore on 3/30/12. I checked CSPAN to see if the vid is on their site but, alas, all I can find is the announcement: http://www.c-span.org/Events/14th-Amendment-amp-Birthright-Citizenship/10737432237/ . It’s a great oral summary of what you have presented here.

    • John Woodman says:

      Thanks for letting me know about that.

      I did manage to check my email and then tune in just in time to hear most of Prof. Epps’ last sentence. :lol:

  12. Jim says:

    I finally came across the article I’ve been looking for from a law scholar on the phrase natural born Citizen.

    http://www.examiner.com/article/constitutional-law-scholar-on-natural-born-issue

    “I asked Mr. Choper about the language in Article II, “No person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President…” Mr. Choper responded that “natural born” simply meant “not naturalized.”

    When in doubt, it helps to consult an expert.”

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