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

Arizona Judge Richard E. Gordon Threw the Minor v Happersett Claim Unceremoniously Out of His Courtroom.

Arizona Judge Richard E. Gordon Threw the Minor v Happersett Claim Unceremoniously Out of His Courtroom.

This is Part 5 of a series of articles. In the previous four parts, we ripped the birther claim regarding Minor v Happersett into little tiny pieces, looking at it from the points of view of its merits of legal precedent, the merits of the claim that the Court established a definition, the plain English of the claim, and the logic behind that plain English. For Part One, see here.

In March 2012, the Arizona Superior Court, Pima County very specifically ruled that Minor v Happersett quite simply does not say what the birthers claim it says.

Here’s what that court said:

[Supreme Court] precedent fully supports that President Obama is a natural born citizen under the Constitution and thus qualified to hold the office of President. See United States v. Wong Kim Ark… Contrary to Plaintiff’s assertion, Minor v. Happersett, 88 U.S. 162 (1874), does not hold otherwise.

That was a flat-out slapdown.

But it gets worse.

At least NINE federal and state courts — not even counting US v Wong Kim Ark — 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.

These cases include:

  • Nwankpa v. Kissinger, 376 F. Supp. 122 (M.D. Ala. 1974)
  • Diaz-Salazar v. INS, 700 F.2d 1156 (7th Cir. 1983)
  • Mustata v. US Dept. of Justice, 179 F.3d 1017 (6th Cir. 1999)
  • Tisdale v. Obama (US District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, Richmond Division, 2012)
  • Lynch v. Clarke (New York, 1844)
  • Ankeny v. Governor of the State of Indiana, 916 NE2d 678, 688 (2009), (Ind. Supreme Court, Apr. 5, 2010)
  • Farrar-Welden-Swensson-Powell v Obama (Georgia, 2012)
  • Allen v Democratic Party (AZ Superior Court, Pima Co., 2012)
  • Purpura & Moran v. Obama (New Jersey, 2012)

At the same time, no court has ever ruled that two citizen parents are required.

I’ve written an entire article on the recent Arizona ruling, here.

Finally, This Brings Us to the 900-Pound Gorilla that Grinds Whatever Is Left of the Claim into a Fine Powder.

The 900-pound gorilla is, of course, US v Wong Kim Ark.

In that case, the United States Supreme Court found that a young man, born in San Francisco of two non-US-citizen Chinese parents, was both “a citizen” and “natural born.” And the Court’s statement that he was “natural born” were part of the core reasoning of the case, which ran to more than 50 pages.

This being the case, it is US v Wong Kim Arknot Minor v Happersett — that has established binding precedent regarding who is a natural born citizen.

This brings us to the final point of this series: Even if Minor v Happersett had established such a precedent (which it didn’t) it would’ve been overruled by the later Wong Kim Ark case, which is the definitive ruling on the matter.

I have a separate post that makes plain that United States v Wong Kim Ark is the Supreme Court case that decided the matter.

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

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

  1. ehancock says:

    Great and cogent analysis.

    Turning back to the old old claims about forged birth certificates. I was wondering what you thought about the latest claim:

    I have seen this comment on another site:

    “This entire analysis is based on the idea that a person would only put a birth certificate into a typewriter once, and that hence the type would line up.

    But, you know, people did make mistakes, discover that they did not fill in every part of the document, and so they had to put the paper back into the typewriter. Or they often took the paper out when they changed ribbons (if you left the paper in, the new ribbon would smear on the paper and make a mess.)

    One thing that you must now accept. This conservative commentator has accepted as true that Savannah Gutherie SAW and photographed a physical copy of Obama’s birth certificate. That would be the one that the Sheriff’s posse claims does not exist.”

    • Thomas Brown says:

      Many, many Conservatives are immune to Birtheritis, and see right through these preposterous claims… like, for example, every Conservative I personally know. That’s what makes Birther-Watching the fun sport that it is!

      Pass this Liberal some popcorn, quick, before Orly testifies again!

    • John Woodman says:

      Like every other claim of “proof of forgery,” it’s absolute nonsense.

      I personally gridded-off the entire birth certificate last summer. I did so using the AP image as my source, but I also overlaid the Guthrie photograph, and every character is identically placed.

      In real life, the two things shown as “misaligned” line up.

      The one thing that doesn’t line up on the entire form is the Gender/ Single Birth/ “August 4.”

      This is because the typist — probably because she or he wanted to verify the spelling of the baby’s name — typed that information first, and then either removed the paper or released the platen and readjusted the form to go back and begin with the baby’s name.

      It’s all covered in the book. 😉

  2. Mario finally had a case heard directly on the merits of his two citizen parent theory in New Jersey yesterday and lost. I can’t imagine why anyone would be shocked at the decision.

    John, this is a very enjoyable series of articles on natural born citizenship. I am glad you decided to “come out of retirement” to write them.

    • John Woodman says:

      Thanks, RC!

      I’m looking forward to seeing the actual ruling by the judge in New Jersey.

      I’ve responded to some new info (new to me, at least) from Tracy Fair’s petition in Maryland, and that’s up now as a new post.

      Hopefully this “return from retirement” won’t involve too much more. I’m continuing to shut down comments on some of the older posts on the blog. I do have at least one other post in mind, though.

      • Thomas Brown says:

        Congratulations on another cleanly-written and closely-argued essay, Mr. Woodman.

        But as to the Carroll County Bar Association clerk’s assertion that Tracy Fair is mentally ill… it is easy to see why she thought so. While I agree that she is in all likelihood not actually clinically insane, the depth of dishonesty evinced by the far-fetched claims she has adopted could certainly make one wonder about her mental rectitude. And the arrogant attitude she displayed when asserting that you needed to be “educated” was probably all too obvious to the Bar Association clerk as well. Add in the degree to which her crusade requires ignoring facts so evident even to other Conservatives, and the clerk’s assessment of Ms. Fair as a “nut case” doesn’t seem all that far off, IMHO.

        It will be a sad day when you retire from this struggle in the cause of verifiable reality, but it seems your series of essays will soon exhaust the concerns of the Birther crowd, and there will really be little left to do.

        But if your site stays up, at least we can continue to counter their specific claims by saying “An article written by John Woodman covered this in detail; you should check it out.”

        • John Woodman says:

          There is so much more I could write. But it all takes time. Just from today I have ideas for three articles: one noting the New Jersey ruling, one on the Civil Rights Act of 1866, one on the “usurper” Chester A Arthur. Which of those (if any) I’ll actually write, I don’t know.

          And yes, I would of course like to leave the site up.

  3. ehancock says:

    I don’t see Tisdale vs Obama on the list. That is the federal court: (

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