America’s First Legal Text — Subscribed to by George Washington, John Adams, and James Madison — Reveals the Meaning of “Natural Born.”

Washington, Adams, Madison, Ellsworth, Wilson, Iredell -- Zephaniah Swift's Subscribers Included 3 Presidents and Half the US Supreme Court

Washington, Adams, Madison, Ellsworth, Wilson, Iredell -- Zephaniah Swift's Subscribers
Included 3 Presidents and Half the US Supreme Court

In this article, we will see how America’s first legal text reveals an understanding of what the Founding Fathers’ generation meant by “natural born” — as in “natural born citizen.”

In 1795, United States Representative Zephaniah Swift began publishing the first American legal text in history.

It was a six-book project — in two volumes. It would take until 1796 to complete.

Written by “One of the Greatest Early American Jurists” — and Subscribed to by Three US Presidents, Various Founding Fathers and Framers of the Constitution, and Half the US Supreme Court

America's First Legal Text Reveals the Meaning of "Natural Born"

America's First Legal Text Reveals the Meaning of "Natural Born"

Swift has been described as “one of the greatest early American jurists.” He helped frame the Connecticut state Constitution and served as Chief Justice of the Connecticut Supreme Court.

And our nation’s leaders must have been impressed with his work, because he was chosen to compile the very first official set of United States statutes, “Folwell’s Statutes,” which was published the next year. (It was called “Folwell’s” Statutes because Richard Folwell was the publisher.)

Quoting the University of Connecticut School of Law:

“In 1810, Swift wrote A Digest of the Law of Evidence, the first American treatise on that subject. And in 1822, he authored his most well-known work, the Digest of the Laws of the State of Connecticut. Modeled after Blackstone’s Commentaries, it referred to Connecticut law but covered American law generally and was used throughout the U. S. It had significant influence at the time and is still being cited today.”

More information on Zephaniah Swift is available here.

Swift’s legal treatise, titled, A System of the Laws of the State of Connecticut, was issued on a subscription basis, in two volumes which spanned six books. The first volume is available here.

Subscribers included — among other notables —

  • George Washington, at that time our first President of the United States
  • John Adams, then Vice-President and soon to be the second President of the United States
  • James Madison, our fourth President of the United States, and Father of the Constitution
  • Oliver Ellsworth, Revolutionary, a drafter of the Constitution, and (by the time of the release of the second volume in 1796) Chief Justice of the US Supreme Court
  • James Wilson — Founding Father, Signer of the Declaration of Independence, and then Justice on the US Supreme Court
  • James Iredell — Strong supporter of the American Revolution and our new Constitution, and then Justice on the US Supreme Court
  • Edmund Randolph, influential delegate to the Constitutional Convention, presenter of the Virginia Plan, and first Attorney General of the United States
  • Charles Lee, third Attorney General of the United States
  • Aaron Burr, United States Senator and later Vice-President of the United States (under Thomas Jefferson)
  • Robert Morris, “Financer of the Revolution”
  • James Kent, first Professor of Law at Columbia, later Chief Justice of the New York State Supreme Court, and author of Kent’s famous Commentaries on American Law
  • St. George Tucker, famous Professor of Law at the College of William and Mary — our nation’s first law school
  • the College of William and Mary itself

Swift's Hundreds of Subscribers Were In All 16 States

Swift's Hundreds of Subscribers
Were In All 16 States

There were many other subscribers, of course.

Three of Swift’s subscribers already were (in the case of George Washington) or would soon become United States Presidents. Three of them were members of the US Supreme Court — including the Chief Justice.

Since the Court only consisted of six members in those days, that means that half of the US Supreme Court subscribed to Swift’s series of legal expositions.

And lest it be said that this was only relevant to Connecticut law, it should be noted that the subscriber list contains subscribers from literally every State of the Union — including all of the Thirteen Original States, Vermont, Kentucky, and even Tennessee — which became our 16th state around the time the second volume was published.

What Zephaniah Swift Had to Say About Citizenship and the Meaning of “Natural Born”

In his treatise, Swift uses the term “natural born subjects” rather than “natural born citizens.” Remember that we substituted the word “citizen” for the word “subject.” Remember, too, that in the 1780s and early 1790s the Massachusetts legislature clearly used the two terms — “natural born citizen” and “natural born subject” — absolutely interchangeably.

Swift wrote in 1795. It was nearly 20 years after the Declaration of Independence, and 8 years after the Drafting of the Constitution. The term “natural born subject” was fading in its use in America, but was obviously still being used.

And here’s what Zephaniah Swift had to say about citizenship:

“The people are considered as aliens, born in some foreign country, as inhabitants of some neighboring state in the union, or natural born subjects, born within the state. It is an established maxim, received by all political writers, that every person owes a natural allegiance to the government of that country in which he is born.”

Note how he describes aliens: They are those “born in some foreign country.” This necessarily implies that those not born “in some foreign country” are not aliens.

Note also his understanding of the relationship between a person and the country in which that person is born:

“It is an established maxim, received by all political writers, that every person owes a natural allegiance to the government of that country in which he is born.

There’s no uncertainty there. There’s no doubt, no ambiguity about a person’s natural allegiance to the country in which he was born.

Swift continues:

“The children of ambassadors, tho born abroad in a foreign country, are considered as natural born subjects [of the sending country], because their parents are not supposed to owe a natural allegiance to the government to whom they are sent, but that which sends them, and of course their children must owe allegiance to the same power. The children of aliens, born in this state, are considered as natural born subjects, and have the same rights with the rest of the citizens.

Swift therefore makes it plain that children of ambassadors are not natural born subjects, but children born in Connecticut of all other aliens are.

This is in exact accordance with the “same rule” that the US Supreme Court tells us (in US v Wong Kim Ark) has always applied both in England and in the United States.

And Swift also makes it plain that when he uses the word “natural born subjects,” he is referring to individuals who are citizens of the United States:

“The children of aliens, born in this state, are considered as natural born subjects, and have the same rights with the rest of the citizens.

In short, Zephaniah Swift concurs with what we know from every other legal authority: the children born on US soil were always considered to be “natural born” — regardless of the citizenship of their parents. And they are citizens.

They are natural born citizens.

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115 Responses to America’s First Legal Text — Subscribed to by George Washington, John Adams, and James Madison — Reveals the Meaning of “Natural Born.”

  1. Am I missing something? How does this help Mario?

  2. JRC says:

    I see Mario is whining over at his site, but hasn’t replied here yet. John, in my opinion your last two posts have been among the best for the fact that they are simple, and to the point leaving Mario very little wiggle room. Of course if he comes here, he’ll be squirming as always.

  3. Suranis says:

    Mario wuvs you John. he tried to sucker me into one of his interminable debates and attacked you as well

    “Fifth, what replaced the English common law on questions of citizenship was natural law and the law of nations which became part of the Article III “Laws of the United States” and was incorporated into American common law. It is funny how your friend, John Woodman, has written an article attacking me on my position on the American common law. He does not even understand what it is and where it came from in the early years of the Republic. He thinks it only came from courts and judge’s decisions and of course he says he cannot find any such court or judge decisions that made any such American common law on the issue of citizenship. John Woodman better go back to the drawing board and learn from where our early American common law came. ”

    So yeah, he’s thinks hes winning. Or something. It also means he’s running around spanning every comment section he can find. I guess he dosent have a lot of case work.

    • Jim says:

      Here’s my question…how much advertising per page does he have on his site? I hate going to those type of sites which make money off my clicks.

  4. Ed says:

    Mr. Woodman, you like to call out Mr. Apuzzo for dodging questions yet you keep dodging my question. You admitted last month that you don’t like “anchor babies” yet you keep refusing to answer my question as to how you feel about one of them running for president. If you really believe that all it takes for someone to be a natural born citizen (and to be eligible to run for president) is to be born in this country and the citizenship of the parents doesn’t matter, then you should not have a problem with the children of illegal immigrants born in the US being eligible to run for president. But it seems to me you have a problem with them running for president because you keep dodging my question.

    • JRC says:

      The anchor baby issue is difficult to answer….it would be as the Minor court says…one of doubt. I will grant you that children born to illegal immigrants may not be natural born citizens unless the parents are domiciled and working as stated in WKA, I believe. But I don’t believe there is any doubt as to legal immigrants children born in this country being natural born citizens.

    • Suranis says:

      Just because you thing the law should be changed does not mean you think the law is invalid. I was in favour of changing the Jus Soli rules we (Ireland) inherited from England some time ago, and I did not object when they were finally changed here in 2004. England itself changed its Jus Soli rules in 1984.

      But the law, right now, is the law. yes and Anchor Baby could run for president. One already did run for the Democratic promary in 2008. Yes I could head over to the states, inpregnate 15 women and every one of them would be eligible. Deal with it. (They would also be eligible for Irish citizenship.)

      You dont change the law by pretending its the way you want it to be is the way it always has been. The birthers with their craziness have probably set back any sensible reforms in citizenship law by at least a decade.

      Oh and by the way, under the rules adopted by ireland in 2004, Obama would still be eligible and would recieve citizenship at birth.

    • John Woodman says:

      The problem is this.

      Ever since the foundation of the United States, and even before, the term “natural born citizen” has been pretty much synonymous with “born a citizen.”

      Under the jus soli rule that was passed down to us from the Middle Ages in England, all persons born on the soil of the country (with a few very limited exceptions) were “natural born citizens” by natural law.

      So as time went by, English law began to clarify that the children born abroad of English parents were “natural born citizens” too. It’s been debated as to whether this rule became part of the common law or not.

      But there were only ever citizens by birth / natural born citizens, and naturalized citizens. And I think that the two terms really were handed down to us in a way that they basically mean the same thing. And I really don’t doubt that if the Supreme Court ever had to rule on the issue, they would almost certainly rule that the two terms mean the same thing: a citizen by birth is a natural born citizen.

      So I don’t believe those two things have ever in any way been separated from each other, and I don’t really think they are separable now.

      This kind of throws a kink into the illegal alien/ anchor baby issue, because it seems to me that if we accept that the children of illegal aliens are US citizens at birth, then that’s going to necessarily make such children eligible on reaching the appropriate age and living in the US to run for President.

      Could the child of an illegal alien actually win election? I really don’t think there’s any chance of it happening. So in one sense the question is just academic. I don’t think it’ll ever happen. Not in your lifetime or mine, anyway.

      So as I say, I think there is some argument for certain persons not to be deprived of US citizenship. I’m not sure that you deport someone who was born here through no fault of his or her own, who grew up here and knows no other country and has no desire to know any other country. But if you take that approach, I don’t know that you can practically detach the Presidential eligibility from that.

      I hope that answers your question. Because beyond that, I don’t really have much to say.

  5. William McPherson says:

    This logic seems to directly contradict the contents of the Naturalization Act of 1790. It states, “And the children of citizens of the United States, that may be born beyond sea, or out of the limits of the United States, shall be considered as natural born citizens”.

    • John Woodman says:

      It’s always been a question of “either/or,” or “both/and.” Historically, it’s been more “both/and.” And I’d say that’s all the more true these days. The world is a smaller place.

  6. this is a hard subject to walk away from, huh john ?

    have you had a chance to debunk the draft registration yet ?
    i’m glad you’re still here.

    • John Woodman says:

      It’s turned out to be a bit more difficult than I realized… lol.

      The Constitutional side is frankly pretty interesting.

      As for the draft registration, Kevin Davidson debunked that within days of the claim. It turns out that the postmark says “USPO” and not “USPS.” Not possible under the theory that a 2008 stamp was used.

      Hope you’re well!

      • gorefan says:

        “The Constitutional side is frankly pretty interesting. ”

        What you find when you examine the Founders is just how much they disagreed with each other. There was some real animosity between Hamilton and Jefferson.

        As to Mr Smith in a letter he compared a speech by Fisher Ames (a Federalist and supporter of Hamilton) and Madison (who more and more was aligning himself with Jefferson’s Anti-Federalists).

        “I agree with you in the commendation of the speech of Mr. Ames, but can assure you that the speech published falls infinitely short of the speech actually delivered, both as it respects the elegance of stile, the energy of expression, and the wonderful brilliancy of metaphor, for which Ames has the most copious talents of any man I ever heard speak. To this must be added that beautiful, animated and interesting manner for which he is distinguished and which is wholly lost in reading. Indeed it was the most sublime and eloquent harangue which I ever heard, and Ames is the most accomplished orator in the United States. The great Maddison, who has acquired so much undeserved celebrity, spoke the day following. He had full time to collect his ideas, arrange his arguments, and round his periods; but I assure you he is a child in comparison with Ames. A hollow, feeble voice,—an awkward, uninteresting manner,—a correct stile without energy or copiousness,—are his distinguishing traits; tho’ correct in expression and solid in judgment, yet he is wholly destitute of vigour of genius, ardour of mind, and brilliancy of imagination, He has no fire, no enthusiasm, no animation; but he has infinite prudence and industry, the greatest apparent candor, he calculates upon everything with the greatest nicety and precision; he has unquestionably the most personal influence of any man in the house of Representatives. I never knew a man that better understood to husband a character and make the most of his talents; and he is the most artificial, studied character on earth.” Philadelphia, Decr. 13th, 1794

        But one of the best letters from that period is Jefferson’s letter to Philip Mazzei in 1796.

        “The aspect of our politics has wonderfully changed since you left us. In place of that noble love of liberty and republican government which carried us triumphantly thro’ the war, an Anglican, monarchical and aristocratical party has sprung up, whose avowed object is to draw over us the substance as they have already done the forms of the British government. The main body of our citizens however remain true to their republican principles, the whole landed interest is with them,and so is a great mass of talents. Against us are the Executive, the Judiciary, two out of three branches of the legislature, all of the officers of the government, all who want to be officers, all timid men who prefer the calm of despotism to the boisterous sea of liberty, British merchants and Americans trading on British capitals, speculators and holders in the banks and public funds a contrivance invented for the purposes of corruption and for assimilating us in all things, to the rotten as well as the sound parts of the British model. It would give you a fever were I to name to you the apostates who have gone over to these heresies, men who were Samsons in the field and Solomons in the council, but who have had their heads shorn by the harlot England. In short we are likely to preserve the liberty we have obtained only by unremitting labors and perils. But we shall preserve them, and our mass of weight and wealth on the good side is so great as to leave no danger that force will ever be attempted against us. We have only to awake and snap the Lilliputian cords with which they have been entangling us during the first sleep which succeeded our labors.”

        The “Samsons in the field and Solomons in the council” were assumed to be Washington, Hamilton and Adams. It is said that Washington was particularly offended.

      • someone’s trying to steal your thunder john.

        what’s the difference between uspo and usps ? i’m not following.

        i’m doing great, thanks, hope you are to. but john, i hate to say it… but you coming out of retirement is a red flag for my team…
        just saying.

        is that fogbow radio show still going ? i may try to call them, i have a few questions.

        • gorefan says:

          USPO stands for United States Post Office (old name);
          USPS stands for United States Postal Service (new name). Name changed in 1970. Old hand cancellation stamps still used into the 1980’s

          • are there other examples of two digit stamps offset ? that would be a big help.

            • Thomas Brown says:

              So far no, but that one stamp could have been defective, or mis-inked. This possibility is confirmed by Sheriff “Pink Panties” Arpaio’s Cold Case Pussies referring to what they consider an “authentic” card that had the first “O” missing in “Honolulu.”


              But of course the card didn’t belong to Obama, so that was obviously fine.

            • gorefan says:

              It is not unusual for letters to appear to be missing.

              On President Obama’s the first “O” and second “L” in Honolulu is missing. The first “O” is also missing from one of the stamps from Honolulu.

              Offset dates in these stamps is not at all unusual. Even the one’s that Sheriff Joe used in his exhibits have examples with offset dates.

            • i see, kind of like epi’s “bad inking” explaination of the famous “x” in “the” on the bc pdf.

            • gorefan says:

              You could look at the Sheriff’s SSR cards exhibit or the one’s from ORYR that Susan Daniels collected on some of them the postal stamp is virtual illegible.

              Are they forgeries too? LOL

            • Suranis says:

              If the stamp on Obama’s SSN card was perfect Scott here would be sayd “LOOK AT ALL THESE OTHER CARDS WITH MISING BITS!!! HOW COME OBAMA’S CARS HAS NO BITS MISSING!! IT’S A FORGERY!”

            • John Woodman says:


            • why does obama always get “the one” defective ink stamp ?

              is he really forrest gump ?

            • John Woodman says:

              Scott, you can find something “odd” about just about anything. As noted, the examples that Arpaio’s office produced as being “good” stamps themselves have irregularities!

              Frankly, if it were a forgery it would most likely be “clean.”

          • scott

            Surely you are not still pushing the “TXE” conspiracy are you? Did you get John’s book? Check page 167.

            • i did, it was a free download. i like frank’s “bad inking” explaination.
              hey, do you still believe the obamas aren’t part of the chicago political machine ??

        • John Woodman says:

          Scott, you’re frankly hallucinatory if you think I’m part of some conspiracy.

          You would do well to apply your conspiracy thinking to those who are actually gaining significant public acclaim and also (for a select few) significant ca$h off of this deal.

          This has been frankly a costly public service on my part.

          • i know, you’re a patriot. that’s cool

            i’ll tell you what got me was when you became an expert on constitutional eligibility.

            and you coincidentally started using frank’s idioms and phrases. e.g. “what don’t you understand about…” and “fail fail fail…etc”
            fogbots say “yep” and “nope” alot. maybe just a curious affectation… i think you guys all know each other… kevin too. i’m 99% sure fogbow has a secret handshake too.

            btw the new edit feature is awesome, but now it’s like “beat the clock” or trying to put on a condom.
            i don’t type so fast. political forum has that.

            i don’t think you’re an obot anymore john, that’s why i wished you well in your retirement from birthering.

            • John Woodman says:

              i’ll tell you what got me was when you became an expert on constitutional eligibility.

              I’m also interested in nutrition, business, anti-aging science, politics, and the game of checkers.

              I used to teach mathematics, and may do so again.

              To varying degrees, I speak French, Spanish, Russian and Krio. With smatterings of Latin and Greek. And Portuguese is dead easy.

              At one point I wrote a summary of three dozen academic research studies on the effects of concealed-carry laws.

              And I lived 2 years in the Netherlands and 6 years in Britain, as well as shorter stints in Switzerland and Canada.

              I’m sure you can come up with something really suspicious about that.

              and you coincidentally started using frank’s idioms and phrases. e.g. “what don’t you understand about…” and “fail fail fail…etc” fogbots say “yep” and “nope” alot. maybe just a curious affectation… i think you guys all know each other… kevin too. i’m 99% sure fogbow has a secret handshake too.

              I’ve talked to Kevin once or twice on the phone. I’ve talked to RC, and emailed back and forth with him. I’ve emailed back and forth with you. So what?

              Is there some problem with the edit feature that requires you to type faster? If there is, I wasn’t aware of it. Let me know.

              i don’t think you’re an obot anymore john, that’s why i wished you well in your retirement from birthering.

              That’s good, because I’m not. I’m trying to get back to the point where I feel I can retire again — for good.

            • scott

              The timer is only active if you are editing something you have already posted. I posted a comment today that took me about an hour because I was reading other material while working on it. You should read it too because I destroyed the idea that Wong Kim Ark did not define “natural born citizen”. 😉

            • you know i’m a “concern troll” right ?

            • John Woodman says:

              I can believe it.

            • Suranis says:

              Does that mean we are supposed to be concerned with you?

              Come on we know you are just here cause you are lonely. Birthers make lousy company.

            • John Woodman says:

              RC, which Wong Kim Ark post is that? Maybe you can post a link?

          • what about your book ?? you must be getting royalties…

            i know what you mean though, it’s an expensive hobby/advocation

            • John Woodman says:

              Not enough for it to be profitable. Certainly not enough to remotely anywhere near justify the time put into it.

              Conspiracy theory books can be profitable. Investing time and energy into telling the truth about conspiracy theories does not seem to be a profitable endeavor.

            • why did you spend so much time on a pdf ?

            • John Woodman says:

              I was interested in the truth, and it’s what we had to work with.

        • John Woodman says:

          I just noticed your link to the article about Sheriff Joe.

          Ha! I TOLD you back in March that Apraio’s so-called “investigation” was as bent as the spine wire in a spiral notebook.

        • John Woodman says:

          In fact — rereading all of this — it’s frankly been a VERY costly public service.

          You have no idea how much doing this has cost me, at least in terms of time and effort, with — after expenses — no financial recompense at all for my time.

          And I’ll tell you something else, Scott: I get really sick of you intimating that I must somehow be on somebody’s payroll or part of a conspiracy. It’s frankly rude, and I’m frankly tired of it.

          • what’s the point of having a blog, you’re the one that put yourself out there. i don’t think you’re on the payroll. you told me you weren’t.
            i do think you’re pals with fb and dr. goldcoin. sorry, i don’t mean it in a bad way. what’s the fun of having a conspiracy (theory) if you can’t take a few chances. stand your ground amigo. when your right you have nothing to hide.

            • John Woodman says:

              Well, I would like for you to knock off the “red flag” language.

              I would prefer to be friends with everybody in this issue that it’s possible to be friends with.

              At this point, I count RC as a friend, and several other people as almost-friends, including Kevin Davidson, you, and Paul Irey.

              I’ve even sent a few cordial emails to Mario Apuzzo over the past few months. I would’ve preferred to see him simply come forward with the truth instead of sticking to the nonsense. I suspect Mario doesn’t like me, though.

      • William McPherson says:

        A 2008 pica stamp was not used. The theory is the forger could not come up with the insert that reads, “1980”. The stamp is kept, but the inserts are discarded.
        The red herring is the ‘8’. What are the odds are that it’s cut off to prevent seeing whether it’s upside down or not? Perhaps, they are the same as the ’19’ falling out, when it’s a 4 digit insert. In other words, the entire number may fall out, but only two digits could not.
        The card may be real, but the best explanation for the missing ’19’ comes from the Cold Case Posse. It’s a public record and should be allowed to be investigated.

          • John Woodman says:

            I read that.

            Have you ever worked with or for a US government agency?

            I have.

            I find the idea that a US government agency could

            • process some new rules —
            • AND get said new rules transmitted to some other US government agency
            • AND have that other agency go through the entire process of PUBLISHING those new rules

            in 4 days

            about as credible as the idea of Britney Spears becoming a quantum physicist and revolutionizing science.

            • well with brittany, a body in motion stays in motion… you know

              so the story is wrong/contrived ??

              have they found other registrations with two numbers offset like that ?

              it’s funny obama just barely missed the window, i fell into a brief period where it wasn’t required (’59).

            • Suranis says:

              Yep, they have. In fact the Birthers found them for you. Every single stamp on the examples Corsi’s posse provided as “real” had characters missing. Every one of them had bits and pieces out of place. Its called ink smearing. You might have heard of it. It gives you Xs instead of Hs and Smiley faces.

              So, can you please tell us where they got a USPO stamp 30 years after they were discontinued and the USPO was put out of buisness? Oh sorry these are goverment forgers of such majical sophistication that they can do anything yet provide forgeries that people who sell photocopiers can see through them.

              (Oh sorry did I call it Corsis possi? I mean Joe’s posse, of course. Joe Farah that is.)

        • Jim says:

          @Wild Bill: Nobody is stopping anybody who wishes to investigate. YOU’RE free to investigate. However, in case you missed it, Sheriff Joe doesn’t feel like he has enough proof to turn his investigation into any authority for investigation. Probably because he KNOWS he doesn’t have any proof of any wrong doing.

        • Suranis says:

          What are the odds that its cut off because it was an old stamp that had the 1 and the 9 worn down so much that they no longer recieved ink? Very hidh concidering the other numbers would be changed every so often, where as the 19 would be there for a century.

          And whats your explination for all the missing characters and other anomalies on the SSN cards that the CCCP said were real? Have a look at them, nothing looks right and nothing lines up on any of them. Thats becasue they were RUBBER STAMPS that would by their very nature bend and twist as they were used

          Are missing characters and parts of the stamp, along with other anomalies badges of authenticity on those stamps but mean something else on the stamp of a Democratic President? “OOOH LOOK OBVIOUS FAKE. ITS MISSING AN O AND THE OTHER LETTERS DONT LINE UP!!”

          And where did they get a USPO stamp anyway?

          Boy, dealing with you fools would have a Monk strapping on a machine gun

          • the post office cut the 19 ? back then ?

            • Suranis says:

              No, it had worn down so it didnt take ink. Or there was an air bubble blocking the ink right there. Or any number of silly reasons. And how come Obama was able to pay federal taxes for years and do all that other stuff for 30 years which you need an SSN registration for 30 years without an SSN card?

              Or do you honestly think a “forger” would leave out the 19? 😀

              So what is your explination of the missing o in honolulu?

              And if you are trying to prove “HE DOESN’T HAVE AN SSN SO HE WAS NOT A CITIZEN!!!” well his father applied for and got an social security number, so he would be able to get an SSN regardless, so whats the point of this particularly stupid conspiracy theory?

              Honestly, in a sea of stupid birther thworys this is the most stupid. All it takes is 2 seconds thought about the effect of having no SSN on Obama IIs life to see how stupid this is.

            • i guess the o in honolulu was worn down, or had a bubble. “bad inking” as wong calls it.

              i don’t know what forgers are capable of. i’ll bet bill ayers does.

              btw uncle onyango has an ss# and a drivers license… just saying.

              i wish i could see the w2 from baskin robbins. that would sure end the entire controversy lickety split (intended).

            • Suranis says:

              “I guess the o in honolulu was worn down, or had a bubble.”

              That was on the SSN card held up by the CCCP as genuine, Scott. And that has missing pieces. SO the best possible SSN card found by corsi to show off had missing bits.

              So you are agreeing that the anomalies on the Obama SSN card (which you also agree he could have gotten even if he was a forigner, so therefore there would be no need to forge one to cover up him bieng a forigner) could be caused by a bubble or by the stamp getting worn down.

              So therefore the missing bits can be explained by simple wear and tear, or bad inking.

              Thanks Scott, you are making progress. I’m off to post everywhere that Stott Earlandson acrees that there are natural causes for the Obama SSN card.

            • no, i think he’s a crook. i was being facetious. thanks though suranis. same goes for being a “concern troll”. i picked up that phrase at dr. goldcoin’s before he banned me. but they don’t know what it means either so….

              i am making progress… not here, but maybe somewhere. thanks again suranis, stott e.

            • John Woodman says:

              i am making progress… not here, but maybe somewhere.

              As long as you’re making progress. 😉

        • jtmunkus says:

          The only thing anyone has proven conclusively is that Barack H. Obama II used his own Social Security Number to timely register for Selective Service, per federal law.

          You birthers are lunatics. Must be hell getting through your lives, with such delusions. How do you work out personal relationships, without the ability to reason? How do you make it?

          It boggles the mind.

          • i’m pretty sure that obama’s clinton’s and mccain’s passport files were breached during the 08 election.
            i remember that secretary rice called obamavich to apologise.
            maybe not, it was a long time ago.

            or it was a bubble blocking the ink right there.

            • Suranis says:

              I’m just going to copy and paste RCs post about that on this very page.

              You never read any of the debunks that people give you, do you? Does the truth hurt so much? Or are you just repeating from the same limited set of lies all the time that you have memoriesed, without an original thought of your own?

              Heres RC’s post in italics.
              Some data entry contractors gained access passport records for Sens. McCain, Obama and Clinton in 2008. They didn’t change anything. They were just snooping and the system alerted the right people that it had happened. The people involved were either fired or denied further access to the records. Are you saying this proves that someone could forge a selective service record for Barack Obama?

              You might try researching these things before you just throw them out Scott. It makes you look somewhat shallow.


              Your response will likely be “huh look whos talking about original thinking” and completly ignoring RCs post again.

          • no, i’m having a great time.
            but you have to temper it all with a grain of humor.

    • gorefan says:

      What the proponents of the fraudulent Selective Service Registration would have us believe is that in 2008, forgers obtained a SSR card from the 1970’s/1980’s, then they obtained an obsolete, round postal cancellation stamp from the Makaki Station post office in Honolulu, Hawaii, then they obtained a 10 digit DLN (Document Locator Number) which happens to be very close to the DLNs from SSR cards also stamped at the Makiki Post Office in July/August, 1980, then they snuck into the Selective Service Systems offices and inserted this phony card into the file system and added President Obama’s name and info into the computer system.

      And all of this is based on the fact that the 19 in 1980 is missing from the post office stamp on President’s SSR card.

      According to the conspiracy buffs, the forgers were able to do all of the above but could not find a 19xx stamp to use to make a 1980.

      And they wonder why no one buys their nonsense.

      • nbc says:

        Well, logic has never been the strongest suit of birthers. Just saying…

      • these people got bin laden ?

        weren’t the passport files broken into (compromised ?

        • gorefan says:


          Not Selective Service. Two different systems. SSR card is a 3×5 card that exists at the very least on microfilm if the originals have been destroyed. Although the originals might still exist.

          • i meant, weren’t clinton obama and mccain’s passport files breached ?

            • Suranis says:

              Only in a Tom Clancy Novel and the feavered imaginings of Free Republic.

              Seriously you people have been making shit up and telling one another false stories for so long now even you can’t tell whats the truth and whats a lie anymore. 2 Thesselinians 2:10-11 has come true for you.

              God punishes liars by making them believe their own lies.

            • John Woodman says:

              The Bible verse that has kept echoing in my subconscious for months now is 2 Timothy 4:3:

              For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.

            • Suranis says:

              Thats pretty much spot on as well John.

            • Northland10 says:

              Excellent John!

            • Thomas Brown says:

              …and lo! they shall call it “Fox News.”

            • Some data entry contractors gained access passport records for Sens. McCain, Obama and Clinton in 2008. They didn’t change anything. They were just snooping and the system alerted the right people that it had happened. The people involved were either fired or denied further access to the records. Are you saying this proves that someone could forge a selective service record for Barack Obama?

              You might try researching these things before you just throw them out Scott. It makes you look somewhat shallow.


            • John Woodman says:

              …and lo! they shall call it “Fox News.”

              I would have to disagree; but of course we’re going to disagree on that particular point.

              I would say, “…and lo! they shall call it WND!”

            • Thomas Brown says:

              Are you sure that’s not because they’re telling you what you want to hear?

            • John Woodman says:

              One can easily ask that question of ANY news source.

              In fact, I’d say the presumption ought to be that ANY news source is telling their audience a lot of what they wanted to hear; otherwise they wouldn’t be able to stay in business.

            • Suranis says:

              Thats one of the reasons why I like the BBC News world service. Its funded by the British goverment so it has no reason to sugar coat itself for its audiance. But its been hurt badly by Tony Blair’s revenge for telling the truth.

  7. gorefan says:

    “have you had a chance to debunk the draft registration yet ?”

    What questions are there about the draft registration?

  8. Suranis says:

    Since Mario has temporarily wandered off, I thought I’d toss in his arguments to me on another blog concerning one David Ramsey, who frankly I’d never heard of

    2. What better way to learn what the Founding generation thought about what a “citizen” and “natural born Citizen” was than to get it directly from the mouth of an influential Founder. In his 1789 essay, A Dissertation on the Manners of Acquiring the Character and Privileges of a Citizen (1789), accessed at , while not using the phrase “natural born Citizen,” Founder and famous historian, David Ramsay, described the original citizens that existed during the Founding and what it meant to acquire citizenship by birthright after the Founding. The Constitution itself shows that the Framers called the original citizens “Citizens of the United States” and those that followed them “natural born Citizens.”

    First, Ramsay told us that there is a difference between a “subject” and a “citizen of the United States” and by the way he describes that difference we surely cannot simply say that for the Founders and Framers a “natural born Citizen” had the same meaning as a “natural born subject.” He said:

    “A citizen of the United States, means a member of this new nation. The principle of government being radically changed by revolution, the political character of the people also changed from subjects to citizens. The difference is immense. Subject is derived from the latin words, sub and jacio, and means one who is under the power of another; but a citizen is an unit of a mass of free people, who, collectively, possesses sovereignty. Subjects look up to a master, but citizens are so far equal, that none have hereditary rights superior to others. Each citizen of a free state contains, within himself, by nature and the constitution, as much of the common sovereignty as another. In the eye of reason and philosophy, the political condition of citizens is more exalted than that of noblemen. Dukes and earls are the creatures of kings, and may be made by them at pleasure: but citizens possess in their own right original sovereignty.” Id. at 3 (emphasis in the original).

    So we can see that with the American Revolution, the Founders and Framers abandoned the notion of a British common law “natural born subject” and replaced it with the new “political character” which they called “citizen of the United States,” a concept that had its genesis in natural law and the law of nations. And this latter term, which Ramsay said described a “political character,” had a meaning which was tied to the form of government chosen by the Founders and Framers, that form being a constitutional republic. It had a meaning that would serve the best interests of a constitutional republic to be led by a representative form of government rather than a monarchial one.

    Second, Ramsay then explained the different ways by which the “high character of a citizen of the United States” is acquired in the new republic. He said concerning the children born after the declaration of independence:

    “None can claim citizenship as a birth-right, but such as have been born since the declaration of independence, for this obvious reason: no man can be born a citizen of a state or government, which did not exist at the time of his birth. Citizenship is the inheritance of the children of those who have taken part in the late revolution; but this is confined exclusively to the children of those who were themselves citizens….” Id. at 6.

    He added that “[t]he citizenship of no man could be previous to the declaration of independence, and, as a natural right, belongs to none but those who have been born of citizens since the 4th of July, 1776.” Id. And again, “citizenship by inheritance belongs to none but the children of those Americans, who, having survived the declaration of independence, acquired that adventitious character in their own right, and transmitted it to their offspring….” Id. at 7.

    In referring to birthright citizenship, Ramsay did not use the clause “natural born Citizen.” Rather, he referred to citizenship as a birthright which he said was a natural right. But there is little doubt that how he defined birthright citizenship meant the same as “natural born Citizen,” “native,” and “indigenous,” all terms that were then used interchangeably and all which meant that the child was born to citizen parents.

    Ramsay did recognize that future U.S. citizenship could also be gained by naturalization. Hence, it is only reasonable to conclude that his birthright citizenship was not limited to only the children of direct descendents of the original citizens but would also be available to the children of naturalized “citizens of the United States.”

    Here we have direct and convincing evidence of how a very influential Founder defined a “natural born Citizen.” Noah Webster, 1828, in explaining how an American dictionary of the English language was necessary because American words took on different meanings than the same word in England, placed David Ramsay among great Founders such as “Franklin, Washington, Adams, Jay, Madison, Marshall, Ramsay, Dwight, Smith, Trumbull…”

    For more information on David Ramsay and his influence during the Founding, please see my essay, Founder and Historian David Ramsay Defines a Natural Born Citizen in 1789, accessed at this blog at

    And just after

    3. On David Ramsay, an important Founding-era legal scholar who carries great weight in interpreting the Constitution, unlike William Rawle jus soli rule, expressed in 1789 a jus sanguinis element to the definition of a “natural born Citizen” which was adopted by our U.S. Supreme Court and lower courts in The Venus, 12 U.S. (8 Cranch) 253, 289 (1814): (Chief Justice John Marshall); Shanks v. Dupont, 28 U.S. 242, 245 (1830); Inglis v. Sailors’ Snug Harbor, 28 U.S. 99, 3 Pet. 99, 7 L.Ed. 617 (1830); Dred Scott v. Sandford, 60 U.S. 393 (1857) (Justice Daniel concurring); Minor v. Happersett, 88 U.S. 162, 167-68 (1875); Ex parte Reynolds, 20 F.Cas. 582, 5 Dill. 394, No. 11,719 (C.C.W.D.Ark 1879); United States v. Ward, 42 F.320 (C.C.S.D.Cal. 1890); and U.S. v. Wong Kim Ark, 169 U.S. 649, 708 (1898). All these courts said that a “natural born Citizen” is born in the country to “citizen” parents. His jus sanguinis rule was also adopted by Thomas Jefferson when he wrote the citizenship laws for Virginia in 1779 and Congress when it wrote the naturalization acts of 1790, 1795, 1802, and 1855. Another Founding era giant, St. George Tucker, expressed the same jus sanguinis rule as Ramsay.

    So I looked up this guy by reading his essay. Not only does Mario get the Start wrong in the subject/citizen distinction, this guy was a racist piece of trash, even by the standards of his time. Not only did he believe that only could the decendents of those known to have fought on the revolutions side be born citizens, but the guy flat out said that the Negro could never be a citizen, only a resident. He also said that voting was a right of citizenship, which kind of blows Minor V happersett on its side. I also later found out that this was the guy whom Madison delivered his famous Birth is the Criterion, it is what applies in the united states” speech.

    By citing this guy, Apuzzo is deliberatly setting himself at cross purposes withthe entire strand of American law, and lionising a racist to boot.

    Thats why my patience with birthers has dropped to a low ebb today.

    • John Woodman says:

      Was Ramsay a racist? I haven’t run across anything to that effect. I’d be interested in a source.

      What I do know is that:

      a) Ramsay’s treatise on citizenship wasn’t some scholarly article written for the edification of the nation. It was a marketing piece designed to help Ramsay try and get William Loughton Smith — who had beaten Ramsay in an election for US Representative — declared ineligible.

      b) Ramsay had absolutely nothing to say about the children born on US soil of non-citizen immigrant parents. Not a word.

      c) Ramsay brought his case as to Smith’s ineligibility before the House, along with his citizenship doctrine to justify throwing Smith overboard. And they didn’t buy it — royally. That was the occasion on which James Madison (the “Father of the Constitution”) said that two things make for the allegiance that produces a citizen, parentage and place of birth, and in general place of birth is the more certain criterion, and “it is what applies in the United States.” Ramsay was voted down a super-embarrassing 36 to 1 on the very citizenship issues Mario likes to quote.

      So to say that Ramsay represented the Founding Fathers in their views on citizenship is just ludicrous.

      But Mario’s a past master at the ludicrous.

      • Suranis says:

        To be honest I know next to nothing about Ramsay, but I did quick search and found this

        Now I have no idea if that has been altered by the uploader or not. Certainly certain passages are highlighted in red by he uploader

        In this Ramsay says

        Negroes are inhabitants, but not citizens. Citizenship confers a right of voting at elections, and many other privileges not enjoyed by those who are no more than inhabitants

        So maybe I was looking at it with 20th centuary eyes when calling him a racist. Always a dangerous thing to do.

        b) Ramsay had absolutely nothing to say about the children born on US soil of non-citizen immigrant parents. Not a word.

        There is this passage

        4th. None can claim citizenship as a birth-right, but such as have been born since thedeclaration of independence, for this obvious reason: no man can be born a citizen of a state or government, which did not exist at the time of his birth. Citizenship is the inheritance of the children of those who have taken a part in the late revolution: but this is confined exclusively to the children of those who were themselves citizens. Those who died before the revolution, couldleave no political character to their children, but that of subjects, which they themselves possessed. If they had lived, no one could be certain whether they would have adhered to the king or to congress. Their children, therefore, may claim by inheritance the rights of British subjects, but not of American citizens

        Like I said, I haven’t crosschecked with other sources to see if this is the original text. But that’s pretty much as much time as I wanted to spend on Mario’s lunacy.

        But after googling I see Doc C had a post on this in 2010, which I’m going off to read now.

        • John Woodman says:

          None can claim citizenship as a birth-right, but such as have been born since the declaration of independence, for this obvious reason: no man can be born a citizen of a state or government, which did not exist at the time of his birth.

          Guess who was born in South Carolina, before the Declaration of Independence?

          William Loughton Smith.

          Citizenship is the inheritance of the children of those who have taken a part in the late revolution: but this is confined exclusively to the children of those who were themselves citizens. Those who died before the revolution, could leave no political character to their children, but that of subjects, which they themselves possessed. If they had lived, no one could be certain whether they would have adhered to the king or to congress.

          Guess whose parents died before the revolution?

          William Loughton Smith.

          Their children, therefore, may claim by inheritance the rights of British subjects, but not of American citizens.

          Guess who David Ramsay was proclaiming a British subject, and not a US citizen — at least, until later in his life?

          American-born William Loughton Smith.

          • Suranis says:

            Gosh, what an amazing coincidence!!!

          • ballantine says:

            What kind of person could actually claim that a self-serving paper by a sore-loser trying to over-turn an election, whose theory was rejected by Madison himself, as well as the entire Congress, is important authority. The kind of person with no actual authority who thinks people are too stupid to see past his dishonesty. The type of person who keeps claiming that a string of cases support him when, in fact, not a single one does. The kind who thinks people won’t notice the statutes he cites don’t say a word to support him. The kind who will ignore what all the actual early scholars said. The kind who can do nothing but call judge after judge after judge stupid as they laugh this nonsense out of court.

            • Thomas Brown says:

              What kind?

              Mario is the only man I have ever encountered so simultaneously dim*, arrogant and conceited that he commits ad vericundiam fallacies using himself as the authority!

              *although, as I’ve said before, he is not necessarily stupid; he may actually be smart and is aware that all his arguments are tripe but is feigning belief in them as political propaganda. Making him a dishonest liar. So his activities have exposed him as either dumb or without moral fibre. Nice. No wonder he’s a Birther Hero.

              His arrogance and egomania, on the other hand, are apparently the real deal.

            • gorefan says:

              And in that Congressional vote were four other signers of the Constitution:

              Thomas Fitzsimmons, George Clymer, Daniel Carroll and Nicholas Gilman.

            • John Woodman says:

              Every single new fact that emerges further discredits Mario and his claims.

              I wonder why that is?

              Do you think it might just be because the claims are FALSE?

        • By modern standards nearly all the authors of the Constitution were racists. One black = 3/5’s of white person? Really? Fortunately, most of us have progressed since then. Some Birthers make you wonder though.

  9. ehancock says:

    Because I will be traveling, and because I probably missed many good points, I hope to get the help of some anti-birthers skilled in the NBC debate over on

  10. JRC says:

    OH NO, LMFAO at Michele Bachmann….sorry I’m sure you guys know, but what will the Birthers and Tea Party say. ROFLFMAO

  11. ehancock says:

    Can anyone help me out on the “Rule of Statutory Construction” and some other technical legal points over on this site:

    • John Woodman says:

      I remember reading someone’s comments on that, but I don’t recall exactly where.

      Here’s my take, Ellen. It’s really pretty simple.

      The US Supreme Court has held that the purpose of the 14th Amendment — and their holding is accurate — was not to create some new rule about how citizenship was understood. It was merely to make sure that the existing rules on citizenship were applied to all persons born on US soil, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof.

      And subject to the jurisdiction thereof included everybody except for children of ambassadors, foreign royalty, invading armies.

      Those who authored the Civil Rights Act of 1866 and the 14th Amendment stated repeatedly that they understood the Act and Amendment they were creating to be merely declaratory of the law as it already was.

      And the rule that had always applied in regard to natural born citizenship was… you know it.

      That the 14th Amendment did not specify that such persons were “natural born” DOES NOT mean that they weren’t. To know that, we have to look elsewhere, and the “elsewhere” (that is, the totality of ALL other evidence) tells us CLEARLY that IF they were citizens, born on US soil, then they were NATURAL-BORN citizens.

      As far as the “rule of statutory construction” is concerned, the Presidential eligibility clause DOES tell us something more. It tells us that natural born citizenship is a requirement for Presidential eligibility.

      That rule would be most properly applied the other way around, though, since the 14th Amendment was passed after the Constitution itself.

      And the 14th Amendment DOES tell us something more than the Presidential eligibility clause. It tells us that Congress wanted to make sure that all of the benefits of citizenship were applied equally regardless of skin color. It tells us that Congress wanted to make SURE that black people were not denied all of the benefits of citizenship.

      But it creates no new rule regarding natural born citizenship; nor does it destroy any existing rule. Specifically, it DOES NOT destroy the existing rule as to who were natural born citizens. And you know exactly what that rule was and is.

      That’s my take. I’m not a lawyer. I think I heard someone else who is say that the “rule of statutory construction” is not as big a deal as the birthers claim it is. But I don’t know. I’d love to see ballantine weigh in on this; ballantine is very knowledgeable.

      I hope that helps. I don’t think I can go and get directly involved in the conversation at this point as I’m kind of stretched to the max. My priority on this stuff right now is to try and get a bit of new writing finished and posted.

    • I looked a bit at that blog and it looks like several are just copying Apuzzo’s and Paraclete’s stuff. That JS03 guy is an idiot. How can you argue with logic like this:

      Unfortunately, in U.S. v. Wong Kim Ark, we have the second worst piece of stinky refuse the Court has ever passed wind upon. And the appearance of true justice has once again been utterly humiliated. Consider that Justice Gray was appointed by Chester Arthur, a man born of an alien father. And in 1898, when Wong was decided, had the public at large, and the Court at large, known that Arthur was born a British subject in the U.S., then there would have been no need to determine the citizenship fate of anyone else born in the country to alien parentage.

      If alien parentage didn’t stop old Chet from being President, why should it stop anyone else from being a citizen?

      Yet, Justice Gray never mentions the citizenship status of the man who appointed him. Gray controlled his own fate by presiding over an opinion, the outcome of which decided the very legitimacy of his appointment to the Supreme Court. And the appearance of impartiality has been destroyed by this sordid history. Whether Justice Gray knew Arthur was born of alien parentage is not as important as the objective appearance.

      He is parroting Leo’s nonsense that Gray had to cover up something years after he had been confirmed on the bench and Chester Arthur was dead. They like to claim Arthur hid his lineage without proof yet contemporary biographers list William Arthur as having been born in Ireland. If everyone knew that NBC required two citizen parents (or a citizen father) where was the evidence that any of his opponent’s demanding his father’s naturalization papers? Instead some of Arthur’s detractors were spreading rumors he was born in Canada or Ireland.

      • Suranis says:

        Not to mention that Gray was on the bench when the most holy MINOR was decided.

        • Actually no. Gray was appointed by Arthur and confirmed in 1881. The Minor decision was 1875. The flaw with the Paraclete’s argument is that Gray was only one of 6 Justices voting with the majority. While a justice may persuade another justice through reason and respect the idea that Gray could convince 5 Supreme Court justices to throw a case is laughable. Gray was appointed for life even if they found Chester Arthur was Venutian.

      • John Woodman says:

        Yep. That’s the Parakete’s stuff, all right!

  12. this is getting a little confusing and my posts aren’t all “taking”… but i’ll be back. thanks y’all

    • It could be the new “truthfulness filter” John installed a couple of days ago along with the post edit widget. Do you notice that nothing from Mario has shown up lately? The darn thing appears to be working! 😆

  13. Suranis says:

    Since Mario seems to have slithered off, I have to announce that he has progided, on another blog, the quotation of St George Tucker!!!!

    lets see how St. George slew the dragon…


    St. George Tucker, the editor, says this in a footnote in his edition of Blackstone’s Commentaries:

    Persons naturalized according to these acts, are entitled to all the rights of natural born citizens, except, first, that they cannot be elected as representatives in congress until seven years, thereafter. Secondly, nor can they be elected senators of the United States, until nine years thereafter. Thirdly, they are forever incapable of being chosen to the office of president of the United States. Persons naturalized before the adoption of the constitution, it is presumed, have all the capacities of natural born citizens. See C. U. S. Art. 1, 2.

    Take it away boys…

    • John Woodman says:


      If that’s the quote (and it almost certainly is) then no wonder Mario refuses to actually produce it — no matter how many times he’s asked.

      He knows that his utterly bogus claim regarding that quote will be shredded like a pit bull tearing through chicken-flavored tissue paper.

      And no wonder he’s so willing to lie about Thomas Jefferson’s Virginia law, and the Naturalization Acts.

      His lies about those acts serve to prop up his lie about St. George Tucker.

      And his lie about St. George Tucker props up his lies about those acts, and about the issue in general.

      It’s all a circular house of cards that is now collapsing on his head.

      Too funny.

      [Update: That’s not Mario’s claimed Tucker quote; see below.]

      • You’re kidding? That is the quote we have been waiting on Mario to provide? In one paragraph it confirms that there are only two kinds of citizens, the grandfather clause was for people not born in the colonies like Hamilton, natural born subjects became natural born citizens at the time of the adoption of the Constitution and this was in a footnote to Blackstone’s Commentaries.

    • Suranis says:

      Er… I’ve just reread it, and since it was buiried in the midst of a ton of Mario’s BS my decieving eyes read his name on it, but its actually from a birther Sov cit called Jon Rolland. It was not written by Mario at all. :*(

      But frankly, it probably IS the paragraph/footnote Mario missread in the first place…

      Sorry guys… *bangs head against wall*

      • John Woodman says:

        I think I’ve actually got a line on Apuzzo’s St. George Tucker stuff — although I don’t have time to work with it now.

        I have kind of a busy weekend lined up, starting about now. Not sure whether I’ll have time to do much of anything here this weekend, although I may.

        You may be interested to know: A significant new article or two is about ready to drop. 😉

      • John Woodman says:

        Yes — I DO have a line on Mario’s St. George Tucker claim. And it’s not the quote above.

        It’s yet another instance of taking an ambiguous quote, and assuming what it means, while ignoring the context that clarifies what it means.

        Same old stuff.

Comments are closed.