Tracy Fair, Chester A. Arthur, Elk v Wilkins, and Natural Born Citizenship

"Take My Presidency -- Please!"
Was Chester Arthur Asking Congress to Impeach Him? Or Is There a More Rational Explanation for His Words?

Tracy Fair (who has a lawsuit going in Maryland challenging Mr. Barack Obama’s eligibility to be President) recently posted a comment here:

“My Maryland ballot challenge has the proof that Obama is illegal. Perhaps you should read it and get educated! All sourced by Congressional Records, the Founder’s writings and Supreme Court precedent!”

And the actual brief filed by Tracy contains the statement:

“Overwhelming evidence proves that Barack Obama is not a natural born citizen and was fraudulently allowed to be placed on the ballot by the defendants, even though he is not eligible under federal and state laws.”

The statement certainly sounds good. But it’s simply not true.

Tracy’s brief does raise at least one interesting thing, though, that I hadn’t seen elsewhere before.

Here is my response to Tracy Fair:

Tracy, I do thank you for dropping by and commenting.

You seem to presume, though, both that I need to be “educated” on the subject, and that your brief is going to fill the bill.

You seem to presume that I haven’t already read and studied the full opinions (and some of the dissents as well) of all of the important court cases you cite.

You seem to presume that I haven’t spent many, many hours reading the Congressional debates on the Civil Rights Act of 1866 and the 14th Amendment — in context — for myself.

You seem to presume that I haven’t spent time studying the history of our Constitutional Convention, or made myself familiar with what the Founding Fathers had to say on the subject of citizenship, natural-born and otherwise.

And you seem to presume that I haven’t read what birther lawyers Leo Donofrio and Mario Apuzzo have to say on the subject.

But I have.

I’ve done all of those things in my research on the topic, and a good deal more. I’ve read Ramsay’s essay on citizenship and researched William Loughton Smith. I’ve read Frederick Van Dyne’s book on citizenship, and Horace Binney’s essay, and Vattel in the original French. I’ve researched what Jefferson had to say, and James Madison. I’ve searched through St. George Tucker’s View of the Constitution and Commentaries on Blackstone. I’ve read Bob Barney’s writings on the subject, and Stephen Tonchen’s. I’m familiar with Jacob Howard and James McClure and Jack Maskell and Donald Lutz and George Collins and George Bancroft.

I’ve even looked up who the heck Peter Van Schaack was.

And I know that there were a few people — not many, but a few — who made the same case you’re making today. Probably about the most notable of these was George D. Collins, a San Francisco lawyer, who argued for the government’s position in US v Wong Kim Ark.

Interestingly, this would be the same George D. Collins who a few years later got married in Chicago to the daughter of a wealthy widow, and ran into a few problems when he got back to San Francisco. Specifically, Mr. Collins was accused of being married to two women at the same time. He went before the court and swore that he had never been married to Charlotte Newman, but to her sister. That was fine until Charlotte herself showed up. One day Collins failed to appear for the trial. He had fled to Canada, because there was no extradition treaty for bigamy. Unfortunately, he had also committed perjury, and there was an extradition treaty for that. He was extradited back to the United States and duly sentenced to 14 years in prison for his crimes. There’s no doubt Collins was a skilled lawyer. He appealed the case all the way to the US Supreme Court, but they were not impressed. He did some hard time in San Quentin, eventually emerged, and died an old man during World War II.

But after extensive analysis and reasoning that comports with the vast majority of historical opinion and writing on the subject, the Supreme Court voted Collins and the government down, 6 to 2.

Not really even close. And have you read Fuller’s dissent? I have. It’s awful. And that’s not necessarily entirely Fuller’s fault. It seems that “awful” was about the best the dissenters — the birthers, we could say — could do.

So about the only significant thing in your brief that was new to me was the speech by President Chester A. Arthur in December 1884.

Let me be clear here before I comment on President Arthur’s speech: Literally every other significant point in your paper has already been addressed and found wanting, by myself and/ or other people.

I would refer you to my recent 5-part article on Minor v Happersett, my article on US v Wong Kim Ark, my article on Horace Binney, my article on John Bingham, the full debate I participated in with Mario Apuzzo, and my bottom-line conclusions.

There is plenty of evidence there to conclude that the two-citizen-parent claim does not have the slightest bit of merit to it whatsoever. I think you will find every significant point from your entire brief already addressed, with the exception of your words regarding Chester A. Arthur.

But President Arthur’s speech was new to me. So let’s talk about that.

Was Chester A. Arthur Really Inviting Congress to Find Him Ineligible and Impeach Him? Or Did He Have Reference to Something Else?

In December 1884, President Arthur made a speech in which he said, among other things:

“An uniform rule of naturalization such as the Constitution contemplates should, among other things, clearly define the status of persons born within the United States subject to a foreign power (section 1992) and of minor children of fathers who have declared their intention to become citizens but have failed to perfect their naturalization. A just and uniform law in this respect would strengthen the hands of the Government in protecting its citizens abroad and would pave the way for the conclusion of treaties of naturalization with foreign countries.”

You say:

“The statement is rich with context. President Arthur indicated that persons born in the U.S., subject to a foreign power, required naturalization. Additionally, he calls for the status of such persons to be clarified. Which class of persons subject to a foreign power does he refer to? Certainly not ambassadors and ministers, since their status has always been clear. And only four weeks earlier, in Nov. 1884, the status of Indians was declared in Elk v. Wilkins, so he’s not making reference to them. That leaves the third class of persons discussed on page 73 of The Slaughter-House Cases, “citizens or subjects of foreign States born within the United States”.

You basically suggest that President Arthur (whose father was not a US citizen at the time of his birth) was asking Congress to pass a law to make him ineligible.

I would suggest that that doesn’t make just a whole great deal of sense.

In fact, Presidents’ speeches are not normally geared towards finding a way to get Congress to impeach them.

They much more usually tend to address contemporary issues, that arise through contemporary events. Wouldn’t you agree with that?

And guess what kind of speech it was that President Chester A. Arthur gave on December 1, 1884?

It was the 1884 State of the Union Address.

Now what is a State of the Union Address all about?

It’s about the state of the Union. And because of that, it is ALL about what’s going on in the country at the time.

Furthermore, if you read Arthur’s State of the Union address, it’s abundantly clear that that’s exactly what his speech was about.

You yourself have glossed over the glaringly obvious context and reason for Arthur’s quoted comments in that speech.

Four weeks to the DAY before Arthur’s speech, the United States Supreme Court handed down a decision in a big, important citizenship case.

It was a decisive decision — 7 to 2 — but it was hardly a satisfactory one.

It was the decision in Elk v Wilkins.

Elk v Wilkins — Decisive, But Not Satisfactory

As I think you know, the case of Elk v Wilkins was brought on behalf of a Mr. John Elk, a resident of Omaha, Nebraska.

Mr. Elk had gone to register to vote in 1880, and had been turned away by the registrar, a Mr. Charles Wilkins.

And Mr. Wilkins gave as his reason that Mr. John Elk was an Indian, and therefore not a citizen of the United States, and therefore not entitled to vote.

So Mr. Elk took him to court.

The matter eventually reached the United States Supreme Court, where after months of consideration it was decided, 7 to 2, that Wilkins was right: as an American Indian, Mr. Elk was not a US citizen, and was not entitled to vote in the city council election.

This was counted true even though John Elk had completely separated himself from his tribe, and gone to live in Omaha, and was participating in the society of that town.

And the reason of the Court was that Elk had been born under a separate government — that of his tribe.

In other words, Elk had been born not subject to the jurisdiction of the United States. Therefore, Elk had not been born a citizen, and having not been born a citizen he could only become a US citizen by going through a naturalization process.

This meant that for any Indian who separated himself from his tribe, and went to participate in regular American society, he or she was — until and unless he or she went through the naturalization process for foreigners — literally a person without a country, a person with no nationality at all.

It was far from a satisfactory decision.

And that was the obvious reason for the comments in President Chester Arthur’s speech. That was why President Arthur told Congress that the nation’s law ought to “clearly define the status of persons born within the United States subject to a foreign power.”

Like virtually every other time this phrase is used, it had clear and primary reference to the Indians.

In fact, it is very plain, in reading the Congressional Debates on the Civil Rights Act of 1866 and on the 14th Amendment, exactly WHO the words “subject to the jurisdiction of the United States” and “not subject to any foreign power” INCLUDED, and who those words EXCLUDED.

Those who were “subject to the jurisdiction of the United States,” and who were “not subject to any foreign power” were the following:

* children born on US soil of people who were participating in United States society.

That’s it. There was no requirement of citizen parents. At all. So “subject to the jurisdiction of the United States” and “not subject to any foreign power” INCLUDED the children born on US soil of non-citizen parents, as long as they didn’t meet any of the exceptions listed below.

Those who were NOT “subject to the jurisdiction of the United States,” or who were “subject to any foreign power” were the following:

* children of foreign royalty and ambassadors
* children born on foreign ships
* children of members of occupying armies
* and children born into Indian and other indigenous American tribal governments.

And the biggest category of these, by far, was the American Indians and Eskimos, or indigenous Americans.

In fact, during the debates, whenever those words were used (“subject to a foreign power,” or “not subject to the jurisdiction of the United States”), it was clear who was mostly being referred to.


And that was what Chester A. Arthur was commenting on.

Because it just didn’t make sense to say to American Indians who wanted to take the huge step of separating themselves from their tribal governments and joining the mainstream of American society, “Fine, buddy. You can do that if you want. But you won’t be a citizen if you do. And if you show up to vote, we’ll turn you away. Oh, if you want to become a citizen, you can — using the same naturalization process we would apply to someone from Botswana. But even though you were born right here in the United States, you’ll be treated like a complete foreigner until you do.”

In spite of Arthur’s appeal, it would not be until 1924 — some 40 years later — that Congress would finally pass a law granting full US citizenship to all indigenous Americans.

Again, as for the rest of your brief, I’ve already heard every argument in it that’s significant.

You expressed a belief that I ought to become educated on the matter. I’ve already done that. I would suggest that YOU might actually like to become educated on the matter, by reading — in context — all of the original source materials referenced above.

But along the way, you might also want to get oriented by first going through, with a fine-toothed comb, the various writings mentioned, including the debate that ehancock and I had with Mario Apuzzo had on the subject over at

In that debate, 12 different specific claims are identified by Mario Apuzzo that are simply not true. And it’s not hard to verify that the claims are false. The sources are clear enough for you to do that.

That’s not a good track record, so I wouldn’t put a great deal of faith in Mr. Apuzzo’s writings.

Finally, you mention in your petition that the woman at the Carroll County Bar Association stated to you, “You are a nutcase and need to check yourself into a mental institution.”

I don’t agree. I don’t think you’re a nutcase at all. And I totally don’t think you need to check yourself into a mental institution.

This is particularly true if you have simply believed the law-and-history-twisting writings of Leo Donofrio and Mario Apuzzo without doing your own in-depth research. On the surface, until you actually check them out, their claims can sure sound pretty convincing.

The problem is this: You’re just 114 years too late to the party. And legally and historically speaking, when all of the facts are known you don’t have a leg to stand on. In the courts, you don’t have a snowball’s chance in Havana of prevailing. You are simply wasting your effort and time.

But don’t take my word for that. I would invite you to do the research for yourself.

I really don’t think there’s any other conclusion that a rational and fully informed person can come to.

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

17 Responses to Tracy Fair, Chester A. Arthur, Elk v Wilkins, and Natural Born Citizenship

  1. MinutemanCDC_SC says:

    The crux of your argument appears to be your following unsupported claim:

    Those who were “subject to the jurisdiction of the United States,” and who were “not subject to any foreign power” were the following:

    * children born on US soil of people who were participating in United States society.

    That’s it. There was no requirement of citizen parents. At all. So “subject to the jurisdiction of the United States” and “not subject to any foreign power” INCLUDED the children born on US soil of non-citizen parents, as long as they didn’t meet any of the exceptions listed below.

    Those who were NOT “subject to the jurisdiction of the United States,” or who were “subject to any foreign power” were the following:

    * children of foreign royalty and ambassadors
    * children born on foreign ships
    * children of members of occupying armies
    * and children born into Indian and other indigenous American tribal governments.

    In order to maintain a sense of dignity and decorum, I will refrain from calling that what it is and instead circumlocute around the obvious by calling it:

    eloquent and insincere rhetoric;
    fraudulently false statements;
    deceptive falsehoods;
    scheming intrigue; and/or
    exaggerated, foolish, pretentious nonsense.

    The next time you are in Laredo, Texas, and you get run over or shot dead by a drunk illegal alien, your attorney may wish to try that silly daffynition of “subject to the jurisdiction thereof” on the consul who comes to get your assailant out of jail and whisked off to Old Mexico, beyond extradition for his capital crime. Hopefully, you will not have paid said attorney in advance.

    • John Woodman says:

      I’m going to say something to you that I almost never have the opportunity to say to any “birther” who shows up and comments at my blog.

      It’s very rare, really.

      And that something is this: You have a point that is at least somewhat valid.

      And your somewhat-valid point is that I haven’t at this point submitted a great deal of documentation to back up the claim that I made above.

      At this point — although there is plenty of evidence to back it up in the debates that I referenced — it’s more of an assertion on my part.

      Now notice that this is something that folks on “your side” of the issue do all the ever-lovin’ time. They do it blatantly, and they do it unashamedly.

      They assert that Obama was born in Kenya. They assert he’s not a natural born citizen. They assert that I am an Obot. They assert, they assert, they assert.

      Sometimes it’s with totally inadequate supporting evidence, and sometimes it’s with no evidence at all.

      So your point is valid. You’ve identified my statement as (at this point) an assertion.

      Now, having said that…

      1) Even if I haven’t (yet) backed it up with the proper evidence, it’s still true. And my lack of backing it with evidence can fairly easily be corrected.

      2) Your assertion that it’s untrue is no more backed by any evidence than my claim that it’s true. It’s just as much of a bald assertion (if not more) than my original claim.

      3) I have roots enough in Texas to be able to somewhat-legitimately be able to say that I’m “from” there. Actually, I may well be making a visit down to south Texas sometime in the next year or so.

      I deeply sympathize with anyone who gets run over or shot dead by an illegal alien.

      And the problem of crimes committed by people who are in our country illegally has almost nothing to do with what the intention of Congressmen in the mid 1800s who wrote the words, “subject to the jurisdiction of the United States,” and “subject to any foreign power.”

      I’m sure they had some awareness of the possibility of persons in the country without permission. And I’m sure they also had awareness of possible criminal acts by such persons.

      But that was not really an issue in their debate, and so the issue really doesn’t have much, if anything, to do with what they meant by those words.

      In any event, you’ve highlighted a need for me to back up that statement, as I’ve backed up pretty much everything else I’ve written. So by the time I’m done, I’m probably going to have to do that. I’ll try and let you know when I do.

    • John Woodman says:

      While I’m at it, I’d like to point out “Minuteman’s” use of a typical “birther” technique. “Minuteman” begins the post:

      “The crux of your argument appears to be your following unsupported claim:”

      But that’s not “the crux of my argument” at all.

      In fact, the discussions that took place in the post-Civil War Congressional debates was just about the last thing I’ve gotten around to researching (together with the history of Chester A. Arthur) because those things are not exactly central to the entire issue.

      More central to the issue are:

      • the case law in regard to natural born citizenship (including US v Wong Kim Ark and the case law that came before it back to Calvin’s Case (1607) and beyond)
      • the centuries-long history of the term “natural born”
      • the lack of any historical support whatsoever for the idea that the Framers of the Constitution were referring to Vattel, including the fact that his passage, when they wrote the clause, had never even been translated to say “natural born citizens”
      • the clear reliance of the Founding Fathers on Blackstone and the English common law roughly 16 times as often as they ever relied on Vattel
      • the completely unsupportable and in fact false claim by Apuzzo and others regarding Minor v Happersett
      • the English — not “European” — concept of natural law behind the term “natural born”
      • the history of the Constitutional Convention
      • and the huge number of historical quotes that make it plain that the understanding of almost everybody of any authority at all has always been that it doesn’t take two citizen parents to make a natural born citizen.

        So there is a mountain of evidence that the “two citizen parents” claim is just absolute nonsense. And I’ve previously published a good deal of it. I would refer readers to my five-part series on Minor v Happersett, my article on US v Wong Kim Ark, the entire long debate in which I took part with ehancock and Mario Apuzzo, and other materials here including the rebuttal to MichaelN.

        The “birther” technique is to find one point — just one point out of a hundred or a thousand, that hasn’t been so thoroughly supported with evidence and references as to be totally undeniable — no matter how non-central or even obscure it is.

        Then the birther will make a bald-faced assertion (unbacked by any evidence of his or her own whatsoever) that that one point isn’t true — and then “declare victory” based on that one point.

        It’s a completely bogus way of arguing. In fact, it’s often completely disingenuous.

        It is (as I’ve stated before) the exact same thing as the old Biblical analogy of the Pharisees, who “strained out gnats but swallowed camels.”

    • John Woodman says:

      I have now completed the Herculean task of going through the entire Congressional debates on the Civil Rights Act of 1866 and the Fourteenth Amendment.

      Let me give folks an idea how Herculean this is.

      • The Civil Rights Act Debates in the House of Representatives took up two full weeks of the House’s time. Some 40 Representatives made speeches, some of which were quite long.
      • The Civil Rights Act Debates in the Senate were even longer and more involved!
      • And a transcript of the debates on the Fourteenth Amendment runs to over 400 pages.

      Having gone through ALL of these debates, I can now state with confidence that NOT ONCE, during the ENTIRE HISTORY of these debates, did ANYBODY ever contend that it took two citizen parents for a white child born in America to be a natural-born citizen.

      There were those who wanted to deny such status to the children of black parents, to the children of Chinese or Mongolian parents, to the children of Gypsy parents, and to Indians.

      But NEVER did ANYBODY ever once contend that the child born here of parents that were Norwegian, or Scottish, or British, or French, or Irish, or German, or Italian, was anything other than a natural born citizen — even though the parents themselves might not be US citizens at all.

      And in fact, it was asserted again and again and again, by those Senators and Representatives who represented the clear MAJORITY in both Houses, that the opposite was true — that any child born on US soil was a citizen regardless of the citizenship status of his or her parents. NO claim was ever made that such a person was not “natural born,” and in a number of instances such people were explicitly described as being “natural born citizens.”

      The only exceptions mentioned were, again, the ones that I stated above.

    • John Woodman says:


      Over the past 4 months or so, I have conducted and completed an entire, objective overview of the legal, Constitutional and historical meaning of the phrase “natural born citizen,” particularly as it relates to those born on United States soil. I haven’t been quite as thorough in regard to how it relates to children born US citizens outside of the United States, although I’ve read quite enough to come to a clear understanding in regard to those citizens as well.

      I can tell you without the slightest doubt that the claims that it takes, or ever took, two citizen parents in order for a person to be a “natural born citizen” are absolute bunk. That is not and never was the legal meaning of the term. There is no evidence that it was the intention of the Founding Fathers or Framers of the Constitution. And there is no evidence that that was EVER been the understanding of more than a very small percentage of the US population. The vast majority of Americans have ALWAYS understood that anyone born on US soil, whether their parents were American citizens at the time or not, were natural born US citizens and therefore eligible to run for President.

      The result of these months of research have been a series of close to 30 articles, exploring pretty much every possible aspect of the issue. And the evidence is entirely overwhelming.

  2. For the record, I did not take my info from Mario and Leo, THEY took it from me and I can prove it!

    I’ve read most of your stuff here and still believe that I am right. The Civil Rights Act citizenship clause is enough to prove Obama is not a citizen!

    “That all persons born in the United States and not subject to any foreign power, excluding Indians not taxed, are hereby declared to be citizens of the United States;”

    Obama was subject to a foreign power at birth pursuant to the British Nationality Act of 1948.

    • John Woodman says:


      First of all, the understanding of our Congressmen nearly 100 years after the Founding Fathers is not necessarily reflective of the understanding and intent of the Founding Fathers.

      Secondly, I spent WEEKS reading through the debates of the Civil Rights Act of 1866 and the Fourteenth Amendment. Frankly, I kind of put it off not only because it was a big task, but also because I expected to find — and report — that our Senators and Representatives after the Civil War had expressed opinions regarding natural born citizenship that were at odds with earlier history.

      Let me make this clear: I read the Congressional debates of 1866 EXPECTING to find that those debates backed the “two citizen parents” claim, and fully prepared to report that they did.

      The reason I expected this was because the quotes produced by people like yourself made it sound that way.

      What I found frankly surprised me. I found that every single quote that seemed to back the two-citizen-parents claim had been pulled completely out of its context, and when read in context did NOT back the claim that was being made.

      My being surprised at that was probably a reflection of a bit of naivete — at the time — regarding some of those making the claims, whom I assumed to be reasonable people of good faith. I am almost a bit ashamed now to admit that I WAS surprised.

      But I was.

      I also found that NOT ONCE, in the ENTIRE COURSE of the months-long debates on the Civil Rights Act of 1866 or the Fourteenth Amendment, did anybody ever contend that the child born on US soil of NON-CITIZEN parents who came here as immigrants from Germany or Sweden or England, who were not themselves representatives of foreign governments or members of invading armies — NOT ONCE did anybody EVER contend that such persons were not natural born US citizens.

      And it’s not because they didn’t talk about them.

      Finally, the people backing those laws repeatedly stated that they understood them simply to be declaratory of the law as it already was. The sole purpose of those laws was to make sure that the law was applied in the case of ALL born here on US soil, most especially black people who belonged to a large ethnic body of Americans who until recently had typically been enslaved.

      Instead of reading most of my stuff here, you need to read ALL of my stuff here, and you need to go back and look at the original sources. I think anyone who does so objectively — okay, so I’m not sure you’re capable of being objective, Tracy, but most other readers are — I think anyone who does so objectively can come to no other conclusions than the same conclusions I reached.

      The two-citizen-parents claim is entirely, utterly, and absolutely without merit.

    • John Woodman says:

      Oh — and as far as being “subject to a foreign power” — our Congressmen during the Civil Rights Act debates were not aiming at the children of non-citizens with that clause.

      They were aiming at members of Indian tribes, and at the very same exceptions there had always been throughout history — children of ambassadors, foreign royalty, and invading armies.

      They improved the wording during the 14th Amendment to make more clear what they actually meant: “subject to the jurisdiction of the United States.” And it is clear from a full reading of those debates, in context, that what they meant by that was anybody fully subject — like the great mass of our population — to United States law.

      Again, those who were not fully subject to United States law were… the children of foreign ambassadors, foreign royalty, invading armies, and persons born into the jurisdiction of Indian tribal governments.

    • Scientist says:

      Tracy may not realize it, but SHE is subject to British law. That’s right, even though her ancestors might be American back to 1776 on both sides (I don’t know whether that is true or not), she is subject to British law. How so, you may ask? Well, Britain has very strict libel laws. There is no protection just because the person you libelled is a public figure. So Obama, or anyone else who feels wronged by something on Tracy’s web site, could sue her in a British court. After all, there is doubtless someone in the UK who has visited her site. The aggrieved party could get a judgement and attempt to enforce it against Tracy’s assets (assuming she has any). Likely? No. Easy to do? No. But possible? Absolutely.

      So, Tracy is by her own lights ineligible to be President, since she is subject to foreign laws. In fact, by Tracy’s lights, EVERYONE is ineligible. So the office will just have to sit vacant or be filled by an ineligible person from this day forward.

    • Ballantine says:

      Trumbull, who wrote the language of the 1866, said exactly who he thought was subject to a foreign power, children of amabassadors and temporary residents. Trumbull said over and over during such debates that children of aliens were citizens including in his reply to Johnson’s veto. Trumbull also said that he thought the language of the 14th Amendment was better language. With respect to temporary residents, such argument was rejected by the House Judiciary Chariman and rejected during the 14th Amendment debates without anyone making an objection. Such language did not mean we let the law of foreign nations determine who are citizens were. For example, the entire purposes of the Expatriation Act two years later was to declare that we would not recognize the claims of foreign nations on the allegiance of our citizens. Tracy is just ignorant of history and clearly has not read the debates of these Congresses.

      Here the author of the Civil Rights Act:

      “The senator from Missouri and myself desire to arrive at the same point precisely, and that is to make citizens of everybody born in the United States who owe allegiance to the United States. We cannot make a citizen of the child of a foreign minister who is temporarily residing here. There is a difficulty in framing the amendment so as to make citizens of all the people born in the United States, and who owe allegiance to it. I thought that might, perhaps, be the best form in which to put the amendment at one time, ‘that all persons born in the United States, and owing allegiance thereto, are hereby declared to be citizens;’ but, upon investigation, it was found that a sort of allegiance was due to the country from persons temporarily residing in it whom we would have no right to make citizens, and that that form would not answer. Then it was suggested that we should make citizens of all persons born in the United States not subject to any foreign power or tribal authority. The objection to that was, that there were Indians not subject to tribal authority, who yet were wild and untamed in their habits, who had by some means or other become separated from their tribes, and were not under the laws of any civilized community, and of whom the authorities of the United States took no jurisdiction. . . . Then it was proposed to adopt the amendment as it now stands,—that all persons born in the United States, not subject to any foreign power, excluding Indians not taxed, shall be citizens.” Senator Trumbull, Cong. Globe, 39th Cong., lst Sess. 572 (1866).

      “birth entitles a person to citizenship, that every free-born person in this land is, by virtue of being born here, a citizen of the United States.” Senator Trumbull, Cong. Globe, 39th Cong. 1st session. 600 (1866)

      “And, as is suggested by a Senator-behind me, even the infant child of a foreigner born in this land is a citizen of the United States long before his father.” Senator Trumbull (reply to President Johnsons’s Veto), William Horatio Barnes, History of the Thirty-ninth Congress of the United States, pg. 254 (1868).

      “I understand that under the naturalization laws the children who are born here of parents who have not been naturalized are citizens. Is not the child born in this country of German parents a citizen?” Senator Trumbull, CONG. GLOBE, 39th Cong., 1st Sess. 497 (1866).

      “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)

      “Undoubably.” Sen. Trumbull, Cong. Globe, 39th Cong. 1st Sess. 498 (1866)(in reply to Sen. Cowen’s question whether [the Civil Rights Act] will not have the effect of naturalizing the children of Chinese and Gypsies born in this country).

      “It is competent for Congress to declare, under the Constitution of the United States, who are citizens. If there were any question about it, it would be settled by the passage of a law declaring all persons born in the United States to be citizens thereof. That this bill proposes to do.” Senator Trumbull, Cong. Globe, 1st Sess. 39th Congress, pt. 1, p. 475 (1866).

      “whenever they [indians] are separated from their tribes, and come within the jurisdiction of the United States so as to be counted, they are citizens of the United States.” Senator Trumbull, Cong. Globe, 39th Cong., lst Sess. 572 (1866).

      “The Constitution of the United States declares that no one but a native-born citizen of the United States shall be President of the United States. Does, then, every person living in this land who does not happen to have been born within its jurisdiction undergo pains and penalties and punishment all his life, because by the Constitution he is ineligible to the Presidency? Senator Trumbull, Cong. Globe, 39th Cong., lst Sess. 2901(1866).

  3. The language of the 14th Amendment trumps any prior act even if Tracy’s misreading of the Civil Rights Act of 1866 were correct.

    • John Woodman says:

      Right… but it isn’t.

      Tracy’s absolutely welcome to waste the next 4 or 5 years of her life on her futile quest, though. Maybe it’ll keep her out of other potential trouble.

      • I think the Birthers are playing in a reverse lottery to see who is the first one to find a judge who says enough is enough and lays down some significant sanctions for bringing the same nonsense into the courts. Chris Strunk may have already won when he got slapped down by Judge Schack but Strunk is a special case [of crazy].

    • Ballantine says:

      Trumbull’s actual words were that that language of the 14th Amendment was “better choosen.” This is clear from the number of people who misconstue the Civil Rights Act language.

  4. Y’all go ahead and keep your heads in the sand.

    I’d like to hear one of you explain the difference between Natural Born Citizen and Citizen, which is located in Art 2 Section 1…

    Let’s hear it…

    • Slartibartfast says:

      KBO(no A),

      Sure. “Citizen” includes both naturalized citizens and Natural Born Citizens. All citizens who are not naturalized are natural born.

      Hope that helps.

  5. Pingback: My Fair Loony!!! (A Parody Song For The Maryland Birther) « The Birther Think Tank

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