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Why Did Lawrence B. Solum Miss A Critical Point in the Natural Born Citizen Issue?

Hat Tip:  Blogger ConstitutionallySpeaking from a post on the Natural Born Citizen Blog

Solum Paper PicIn September of 2008, Lawrence B. Solum, a John E. Cribbet Professor of Law at the University of Illinois College of Law, wrote a research paper entitled “Originalism and the Natural Born Citizen Clause.”[i]  The main focus of the legal paper regards enigmatic areas of natural born citizenship and how an Orginalist or New Originalist would treat the natural born citizen clause in Article II of the United States Constitution.

Professor Solum believes there is an enigmatic area of the natural born citizen clause which comes to light when we have a candidate such as John McCain who was born to American citizens outside of the territory of the United States.  Professor Solum writes:

What is the legal significance of what we can call “the natural born citizen clause”? There is general agreement on the core of settled meaning.2 Anyone born on American soil whose parents are citizens of the United States of American is a “natural born citizen.” Anyone whose citizenship is acquired after birth as a result of “naturalization” is not a “natural born citizen.” But agreement on these paradigm cases does not entail that the clause has a clear meaning. The clause becomes enigmatic once we focus on persons who are born outside the territory of the United States to parents who are American citizens. Are they “natural born citizens,” eligible for the presidency? Or do they fall into a constitutional twilight zone, neither “natural born” nor “naturalized,” but nonetheless citizens. (Ibid p. 1)

Professor Solum makes three very important points in this paragraph of his legal paper:

  1. He argues that there is general agreement that “[a]nyone born on American soil whose parents are citizens of the United States of America is a ‘natural born citizen’.”
  2. He argues that “[a]nyone whose citizenship is acquired after birth as a result of ‘naturalization’ is not a ‘natural born citizen’.”
  3. He concludes that there are individuals who fall between these two standards, i.e., individuals who cannot satisfy the general agreement of the definition of natural born citizen and individuals whom are citizens but they did not receive their American citizenship via naturalization such as John McCain.  He describes these individuals as enigmatic to the natural born citizen clause.

The bulk of the paper goes on to discuss how Originalists or New Originalists will handle this conundrum.  This article wishes to first focus on the point already made by Professor Solum and discover whether or not President Obama fits Professor Solum’s description of an enigmatic natural born citizen.

We know that Barack Obama was born in 1961, and as a result of his father being governed by the British Nationality Act of 1948, President Obama was also governed by that same act at birth.  In accordance with the British Nationality Act of 1948, President Obama was a British citizen at Birth.  Through inheritance from his mother, President Obama was also a U.S. citizen at birth; hence, he possessed dual citizenship at birth.  In Professor Solum’s legal paper he is clear that anyone born on American soil whose parents (plural, not singular) are U.S. citizens are natural born citizens.  Since Barack Obama at birth cannot meet the generally accepted interpretation put forth by Professor Solum, then Barack Obama would fall under Professor Solum’s enigmatic persons with respect to the natural born citizen clause. 

Interestingly, Professor Solum never mentions Barack Obama nor Barack Obama’s birth circumstances in his legal paper.  Why?  Professor Solum resides and teaches in Chicago, Illinois.  Surely Professor Solum is well aware of President Obama’s history and birth status.  It is common knowledge that President Obama’s father was not a U.S. citizen when President Obama was born, yet Professor Solum doesn’t seem to note the importance of this fact when discussing the natural born citizen clause and originalism.  In fairness to Professor Solum, let’s look at more of his legal paper to see if he would qualify President Obama as a natural born citizen without any enigma surrounding that qualification.

As Professor Solum goes on to state in his legal paper:

This Essay explores the contribution of originalism as a theory of constitutional interpretation to the controversy over the meaning of the natural born citizenship clause.  Part II of the Essay explains the relevance of originalist constitutional theory to the controversy with special reference to the New Originalism—the view of constitutional meaning that emphasizes public meaning of the constitutional text at the time each provision was framed and ratified. Part III argues that that the clause creates a problem for public meaning originalism—the phrase “natural born citizen” may not have had a widely shared public meaning in the late eighteenth century; the solution to this problem could be the notion of a “term of art,” in particular, the idea that the meaning of “natural born citizen” derives from the English concept of a “natural born subject.” Part IV considers the possibility that the original meaning of the natural born citizen clause is subject to an irreducible ambiguity. Part V concludes with reflections on the exemplary significance of the natural born citizen clause for constitutional theory. (Ibid p. 2)

Without sifting through the arguments for original intent and the New Originalism, let’s review Professor Solum’s conclusion to his paper and determine if President Obama continues to be an enigma to Article II of the U.S. Constitution.  Professor Solum concludes:

The phrase “natural born citizenship” is semantically inaccessible to modern readers. Because this phrase violates the rule of compositionality, it must be understood as an idiom or term of art. For this reasoning, gleaning the meaning of the phrase requires us to investigate linguistic practice to recover the original meaning–the meaning of “natural born citizen” at the time of constitutional utterance. When we look for public meaning, we may discover that the division of linguistic labor in the late 19th century takes us to the shared understandings of those learned in the law. We may need to look  to eighteenth century linguistic practice to make sense of a phrase that would otherwise be either mysterious or radically ambiguous. For this reason, the natural born citizen clause may illustrate what we might call the “inescapability of originalism.” Some constitutional provisions only make sense after we turn our attention to the way language was used when they were framed and ratified—there is good reason to believe that the natural born citizen clause is one of these. (Ibid p. 12)

In summary, he concludes that natural born citizen as used in Article II of the U.S. Constitution is a term of art and illustrates the “inescapability of originalism.”  In getting to this conclusion, Professor Solum looks at the relevance of Constitutional Theory and cites the following:

[I]f one is not burdened by the label of “originalist,” then [McCain’s eligibility for the presidency] is a pretty easy question. The “natural born citizen” requirement manifests a distrust of the foreign-born that, in a nation of immigrants, can only be derided as repugnant. I both “reject” it and I “denounce” it! It’s still part of the Constitution, however, and therefore we need to try to figure out what it means. My frankly normative move would be to limit the damage by limiting the scope of “foreign-born.” There’s no plausible way to read the provision to permit Schwarzenegger and other naturalized citizens to become President. There is a ready (if not 100% clearly the original) way to read it to permit Americans born abroad to U.S. parents to become citizens.6 (Ibid p. 3)

In this argument, he cites Michael Dorf, so the words above are not Professor Solum’s but rather Dorf’s; however, it seems clear from the passage that the argument above tends to lend itself to an affirmation of John McCain’s natural born citizen status.  However, Professor Solum concludes as we saw earlier that the natural born citizen clause is bound by originalism,  consequently, we cannot attribute Dorf’s conclusions to Solum’s.  But we can ask under Dorf’s interpretation whether or not President Obama would be a natural born citizen, and the conclusion we must come to resides potentially in the negative.

Michael Dorf’s argument discusses foreign-born and a distrust of foreign-born, but what of foreign-inheritance.  As is widely assumed, the Article II natural born citizen clause was included in the Constitution to prevent foreign influence in the highest office in the land, the Presidency.  Is not a man with a foreign father that very influence which should be avoided?  And in that avoidance, do we not strengthen Professor Solum’s “core of settled meaning” that a natural born citizen is born on U.S. soil to parents who are citizens of the United States? 

Unfortunately, Professor Solum does not make his thoughts known on this subject because he does not address President Obama’s circumstances in his legal paper.  I have one question for Professor Solum, why was President Obama’s birth circumstances not addressed in his legal paper?  I have posed this question to Professor Solum via the following email, and I await a response:

From: [Redacted for Privacy Purposes]
Sent: Thursday, October 08, 2009 5:04 PM
To: [Redacted for Privacy Purposes]
Subject: A follow up question Regarding Research Papers Series No. 08-17

Dear Professor Solum,

I have an additional question for you regarding your Research Papers Series No. 08-17 and your article entitled “Originalism and the Natural Born Citizen Clause.”  In writing your paper, you mention that “[t]he meaning of the natural born citizen clause became politically salient when John McCain became the Republican nominee for President in September of 2008…”  I wonder why you did not come to this same conclusion when Barack Obama became the Democratic nominee in August of 2008.  You stated in your paper that “[t]here is general agreement on the core of settled meaning.2 Anyone born on American soil whose parents are citizens of the United States of American is a ‘natural born citizen’.”  Professor Solum, I make the assumption that you are aware that President Obama was not born to parents (plural, not singular) who were citizens of the United States.  As President Obama readily admitted on his website Fight The Smears before the September 2008 Draft of your article:

 FactCheck.org Clarifies Barack’s Citizenship                                                                                                                                                               Read this Article

 “When Barack Obama Jr. was born on Aug. 4,1961, in Honolulu, Kenya was a British colony, still part of the United Kingdom’s dwindling empire. As a Kenyan native, Barack Obama Sr. was a British subject whose citizenship status was governed by The British Nationality Act of 1948. That same act governed the status of Obama Sr.‘s children.

Since Sen. Obama has neither renounced his U.S. citizenship nor sworn an oath of allegiance to Kenya, his Kenyan citizenship automatically expired on Aug. 4,1982.”

Professor Solum, as you can see from the above quote, the British Nationality Act of 1948 governed Barack Obama’s citizenship making him through inheritance from his father a British citizen at birth.  Certainly President Obama’s birth circumstances represent an enigma to the Article II natural born citizen clause as he does not fit your “core of settled meaning.”   Can you please advise as to why you did not include Barack Obama in your legal paper on the subject of “Originalism and the Natural Born Citizen Clause.”  I find it curious that you would make such an omission.

Should Professor Solum reply to my email and agree to make his reply public, I will provide his reply in this post.  For now, we await his reply. 


[i] Journal Article

Originalism and the Natural Born Citizen Clause

Solum, Lawrence B.

SSRN eLibrary

2008

SSRN

originalism, natural born citizen, president, presidency, constitution, constitutional theory, term of art, compositionality, original public meaning, new originalism, semantic originalism, John McCain

http://ssrn.com/paper=1263885

English

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Written by KJ Kaufman

October 8, 2009 at 5:30 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

39 Responses

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  1. From Yale Law Review: “It is well settled that “native-born” citizens, those born in the United States, qualify as natural born.” http://yalelawjournal.org/images/pdfs/pryor_note.pdf

    And that is why such prominent conservative Senators who are also lawyers as Orren Hatch and Lindsay Graham say that a Natural Born Citizen is simply one who was born in the USA:

    Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC), said:

    “Every child born in the United States is a natural-born United States citizen except for the children of diplomats.” (December 11, 2008 letter to constituent)

    Senator Orrin G. Hatch (R-UT), said:

    “What is a natural born citizen? Clearly, someone born within the United States or one of its territories is a natural born citizen.” (Senate Judiciary Committee hearing hearing on OCTOBER 5, 2004)

    And that is why the Wall Street Journal says that Natural Born is a synonym for native born and for born in the country: “Some birthers imagine that there is a difference between being a “citizen by birth” or a “native citizen” on the one hand and a “natural born” citizen on the other. “Eccentric” is too kind a word for this notion, which is either daft or dishonest. All three terms are identical in meaning.”

    smrstrauss

    October 8, 2009 at 7:20 pm

    • I don’t know how many times you are going to quote the same unauthoritative sources. Especially the Wall Street Journal article written by known propagandist Taranto who adds words to laws that are not there. But go ahead Smrstrauss keep deluding yourself, but there will come a day where you will find that your actions in supporting a lie have left you with no freedom and enslaved to your tyrants that you gladly worship today.

      If you would like to actually read some truth on the matter, you might wish to read a fellow bloggers fine piece located at:

      http://constitutionallyspeaking.wordpress.com/2009/10/08/the-congressional-natural-born-citizen-part-iii-mccain-s-res-511-were-meant-to-sanitize-obamas-ineligibility-to-be-president/#comment-176

      Otherwise, you can remain in the dark, a slave to your misguided understanding and a slave to your masters.

      Further unsubstantiated repetitive comments that hold no weight made by you on this blog will be deleted. If you wish to bring new insights based in fact, your comments will be printed; otherwise, expect your comments to be deleted as I no longer have any time for a sycophant who has no interest in preserving our Constitutional Republic.

      curi0us0nefromthe60s

      October 8, 2009 at 7:32 pm

      • Well said.

        Ali (Alikat/Alleycat)

        October 8, 2009 at 11:35 pm

      • You need to go to the blog…. http://www.therightsideoflife.com

        and send this same message….I finally got fed up with there stupidity and kept leaving the same message but the administrator didn’t like my method so made some sarcastic remarks about me being mental….I am done with their BS and his as well….the OBOTS there seem to have taken over his blog and influenced his thinking which used to be somewhat sane….but now I question his sanity having let them take over with out and out propaganda a bull$$it!!!

        Jacqlyn Smith

        October 10, 2009 at 8:12 pm

        • Thank you Jacqlyn, I appreciate your comments. I have begun fully monitoring my blog and will no longer let comments be posted that do not focus on the facts. I’m tired of the sycophants and propagandists as you can tell.

          curi0us0nefromthe60s

          October 10, 2009 at 8:22 pm

    • You are confused about the Yale Review article. I have read it and do not find any statement that says that being born in the U.S. is both a “necessary” AND “sufficient” criterion for establishing that one is a “natural born citizen.” Your arguments aren’t furthered by careless reading, lack of logic and capricious misquotation!

      Lisa C.

      October 10, 2009 at 11:01 pm

  2. Thank you for posting this piece. As we can see the so called Constitutional scholars have been avoiding the question of Obama’s exact citizenship status too. The Main Stream Media (MSM) and everyone else went after McCain’s citizenship “issues”. But none went after Obama’s citizenship “issues” with any vigor or depth like they went after McCain. Citizens and news media and a couple lawsuits question McCain’s status and the Senate holds a hearing about it and SR 511 (right or wrong) comes out of it. Citizens and just a couple folks in very few media ask questions and dozens of lawsuits question Obama’s status and the Senate does absolutely nothing to investigate or hold hearings. The fix was in for Obama last year and the DNC, RNC, MSM, Scholars in Academia, the Congress, … were all in on it because the wanted Obama elected no matter what … Constitutional eligibility be damned in their minds. JMHO.

    Keep up the good work with your efforts to educate people about what the legal term of art Natural Born Citizen really means. It will be interesting to read what Professor Solum answers, if he does. Tribe is another one who should be asked these questions. But Obama was an intern working with Tribe and thus I expect Tribe is totally in the tank for Obama. Who knows, maybe Solum is too.

    M Publius Goat
    http://countryfirst.bravehost.com/phpBB3/viewforum.php?f=105

    mtngoat61

    October 9, 2009 at 4:47 pm

    • I hope that Professor Solum will reply, but I doubt that he will. Who knows, in fairness to him, maybe my email got caught in his spam filter. If Professor Solum looked at his paper honestly, he would have to conclude that President Obama falls into the enigmatic natural born citizen category Professor Solum writes about.

      curi0us0nefromthe60s

      October 9, 2009 at 4:52 pm

    • P.S. It would be interesting to ask all the leading constitutional scholars to look at and address the citizenship issues of Obama and write a scholarly piece on it

      P.S.S. In my prior comment I mis-wrote a bit in that the RNC did not directly want Obama to win but their reticence to go after Obama on the citizenship issue because they did not want a back-blow from Obama and DNC on McCain’s issues, lead to a cover-up which gave Obama a total pass.

      mtngoat61

      October 9, 2009 at 4:52 pm
      Reply

      mtngoat61

      October 9, 2009 at 4:52 pm

  3. I would like to address the mccain issue.

    I read that in vatel there is a passage that makes an exception as to being born on foreign soil if it is to someone in the military that is in that foreign country on the basis of their military service.

    Is that accurate? If it is, then shouldn’t it be a part of the discussion?

    yo

    October 10, 2009 at 7:32 am

    • Here are my thoughts on McCain (by the way, he is also my Senator),

      Although de Vattel may have discussed this, the problem is the Congress for many, many years has been trying to deal with this issue. They have attempted to pass legislation regarding someone in McCain’s circumstances but never have successfully done so. Why have they not been successful? The answer is simple because it requires a Constitutional Amendment, and the Congress knows it as does McCain.

      Although it may be unfortunate that McCain is not eligible under the current Constitution, the beauty of our Constitution is that it can be Amended to address someone in McCain’s circumstances. But Senator McCain did not choose to go the legal route in adherence to the Constitution. Instead he placed his own personal ambitions above the Supreme Law of the land. I respect McCain for his unbelievable service to this country, and it saddens me greatly that at his greatest moment to show love for his country, adherence to the United States Constitution, he failed. His actions are inexcusable to me. He has changed the course of American history all for his own selfish gain.

      curi0us0nefromthe60s

      October 10, 2009 at 9:35 am

      • I don’t understand your answer curious.
        You said vattel may have discussed it. It seems to me that if the constitution does not define nbc, but we have to go to outside sources to define it, and strict constructionists wish to use vattel, then what he said would not only be pertinent, but defining. And if he said there was an exception for foreign born military births, then that would be the standard we use. Why the need for a constitutional amendment?

        yo

        October 10, 2009 at 11:37 am

        • A Constitutional Amendment would be the Legislative Branch’s method (and subsequently, the people’s through their elected officials) to define natural born citizen in terms that qualified Senator McCain.

          Since the Constitution does not define the term and we have to look elsewhere, then outside of the legislative method mentioned above, a court case that rose to the U.S. Supreme court would have to ensue and be decided.

          When John McCain ran for President, neither of these two methods in line with the Constitution had occurred; therefore, John McCain could not assume that he was a natural born citizen eligible to the Presidency. The fact that the Senate passed a non-binding resolution with no legal or Constitutional weight makes it clear that McCain’s eligibility was in question.

          McCain failed us, and failed us miserably. A Statesman would have postponed running until the matter could be Constitutionally settled.

          curi0us0nefromthe60s

          October 10, 2009 at 12:17 pm

  4. I would like to add this to comment by M Publius Goat:

    Congress Waives Constitution

    During a recent event for Representative Denny Rehberg, I approached him about Obama’s natural born citizenship issue. Given the general knowledge of this issue prior to the November 4, 2008 election, I asked him why he (or any other Members of Congress) did not object when the electoral vote was counted by Congress on January 6, 2009. His response was that since the Democrats held a majority there was no point in objecting as they would simply vote to override the objection. It was a question of “practicality.” He indicated that we ordinary citizens did not understand the “rules.” I do not know what “rules” Representative Rehberg was referring to, but I know that Congress enacted legislation (Title 3, United States Code, Section 5) by which any electoral vote can be challenged for any reason. This legislation may very well be the “rule” that Denny was referring to. However, Members of Congress cannot avoid their responsibility simply by remaining silent for “practical” reasons and allowing the certification of the electoral vote to go forward. An extensive analysis of this issue was presented in an excellent article entitled “In the Shadow of Nemesis,” by Dr. Edwin Vieira, Phd., J.D., a portion of which I quote as follows:

    “First, without an objection “signed by at least one Senator and one Member of the House of Representatives” no inquiry at all can go forward. Yet the mere absence of an objection—particularly without any explanation—cannot preclude the possibility that an Elector’s vote ought to be the subject of an objection and may prove on examination to be objectionable. Indeed, in these times, the very absence of an objection may indicate only that “the good old boys” in Congress—Democrats certainly, and Republicans most likely, too—have “cut a deal” among themselves behind the scenes in order to suppress an investigation the inevitable and unavoidable results of which would demonstrate the utter bankruptcy, if not criminality, of the present electoral process—in that an individual possibly not “eligible to the Office of President” and his handlers may have managed to bamboozle, bribe, blackmail, or otherwise subvert, suborn, or silence both of the “two” major political parties, the big media, the pundits, and every public official with civil or criminal jurisdiction over elections throughout both the General Government and the States.”

    Quoting further:

    “Yet the Constitution demands that, if such an inquiry is held, it should arrive at the correct conclusion with sufficient evidence in support. After all, the question of Obama’s eligibility vel non is not within the discretion of Congress to skirt or to decide as its Members may deem politically or personally expedient. Even by unanimous vote, Congress cannot constitutionally dispense with the requirement that Obama must be “a natural born Citizen,” by simply assuming that he is such, or by accepting something other than what lawyers call “the best evidence” (in this case, his supposed original Hawaiian birth certificate, as opposed to some purported “certification of live birth” computer-generated only decades later).”

    “Therefore, if no objection at all is made to any Elector’s vote for Obama—or if no objection to an Elector’s vote on the specific basis that Obama is not a “natural born Citizen” (and therefore the Elector cannot constitutionally vote for him) is allowed—or if such an objection is allowed, but no searching and complete inquiry, or no inquiry at all, is had—or if partisan Senators and Representatives jury rig “decision[s]” that whitewash Obama on the facts or the law—or some other gross irregularities appear in the process—then thereafter the matter cannot be said to have been settled to a constitutional sufficiency. Congress simply cannot “waive,” or simply flub, the Constitution’s eligibility requirement “to the Office of President” by inaction, or incompetent action, or collusive action.”

    Montana Patriot

    Harry Solomon

    October 10, 2009 at 9:39 am

  5. Article II, Section I, Clause 5:

    “No Person except a natural born Citizen, or a CITIZEN OF THE UNITED STATES, AT THE TIME OF THE ADOPTION OF THIS CONSTITUTION, shall be eligible to the Office of President;…

    The words I put in capital letters are what we call the GRANDFATHER clause. The Framers had to grandfathered themselves to become POTUS, since they were only Citizens because they had dual citizenship at birth thru Britain.. just like Obama.

    Obama will NEVER meet the requirements of NBC in the Constitution. He is a USURPER, period.

    If he was born in Hawaii, he would only be a CITIZEN, not a Natural Born Citizen. But chances are that he was born in Kenya, therefore, not only he wouldn’t be a NBC, but he wouldn’t even be a CITIZEN… he would then become an illegal alien.

    French Montrealer

    October 10, 2009 at 6:26 pm

    • Your comments are sound and were very good until you stated that “chances are that he was born in Kenya.” The chances actually greatly favor that he was born in Hawaii. You should remain focused on your point that he is not a natural born citizen based on the fact that he was a British citizen at birth and quit chasing the Kenyan trail.

      curi0us0nefromthe60s

      October 10, 2009 at 6:43 pm

  6. Time will tell. But too many of his relatives and even the Ambasador of Kenya stated he was born in Kenya. There are affidavits of these statements.

    And don’t you find that odd, that none of the hospitals in Hawaii claimed he was born in their hospital? I don’t care how many people believe he was born in Hawaii, I am convinced he was born in Kenya. Hawaaii gives life birth certificate for babies born abroad.

    French Montrealer

    October 10, 2009 at 7:01 pm

  7. I see nothing sensationnal about this. Why do you think Obama sealed all of his records in Kenya?
    Think about it. There would be no need to do this if he was born in Hawaii.

    French Montrealer

    October 10, 2009 at 7:18 pm

    • He has no records in Kenya to seal. You believe wild claims without substantial proof. That my friend means you enjoy sensationalism and allow it to triumph over intellectual thought.

      curi0us0nefromthe60s

      October 10, 2009 at 7:21 pm

  8. Good Lord! How can you believe that the documents were not sealed in Kenya. It is all over the Net. The Kenyan government even admits it. Phil Berg even has the proof in his lawsuit.

    Anyways, believe what you want if it consoles you… but I bet you anything you are WRONG, dead wrong. And time will prove you wrong and I’m right.

    Till then, keep your conscending comments to yourself. You are the one here making a fool of yourself. I surely will never read the link to the article you wrote. It would be a complete waste of time. You are a narrow- minded man.

    French Montrealer

    October 10, 2009 at 7:53 pm

    • I am a female, and you sir are a fool. Don’t post any more comments on my site. They will be censored and not published. I can’t deal with individuals who deal in fantasy and lack intellectual honesty.

      For the record, I don’t console myself with my beliefs, I simply wish to have a laser focus on the true facts that we know, and those facts are that Barack Obama was a dual citizen at birth holding British citizenship and is, therefore, not a natural born citizen.

      curi0us0nefromthe60s

      October 10, 2009 at 7:58 pm

      • Please….the both of you…..It has not been proven beyond doubt where the FRAUD was born….otherwise you wouldn’t be having this discussion so neither of you are correct!!

        Jacqlyn Smith

        October 10, 2009 at 8:21 pm

        • I forgot to add…I like your site though curi0us0nefromthe60s

          Jacqlyn Smith

          October 10, 2009 at 8:22 pm

          • Thank you, much appreciated.

            curi0us0nefromthe60s

            October 10, 2009 at 8:28 pm

        • It is true that it has not been proven beyond doubt the place of his birth, but at this time I choose to focus on what we know unequivocally, at least the facts that Barack Obama has admitted to. By his own admission Barack Obama states his father was bound by the British Nationality Act of 1948 as was Barack Obama when he was born. Those are the only facts in the public domain that come from Obama. Until proven otherwise, those are the facts I will focus on.

          curi0us0nefromthe60s

          October 10, 2009 at 8:32 pm

  9. We have elected officials whose job it is to understand the Constitution and manage legislation that adheres to that foundation.

    Why shouldn’t all our elected officials be required to go on the record with their answer to one, simple question?:

    What do you think was the Framers’ intent in employing the phrase, “natural born Citizen,” while specifically differentiating it from “Citizen?”

    TexasVoter

    October 10, 2009 at 8:34 pm

    • It’s a good question and one I wish they would answer, but we both know they never will. I am working on a one on one meeting with my Representative to discuss this very issue. I will be writing a detailed blog post on the matter after I speak with him or one in his administration.

      curi0us0nefromthe60s

      October 10, 2009 at 8:40 pm

  10. the only answer you will probebly get will be using todays definition. that is the whole problem. it must be done using the definition used at the time of the signing of the constitution. the english language has changed over the past 200 years.

    turretman1st

    October 10, 2009 at 10:17 pm

  11. This is the first time I have read your site Curious and I like it very much.

    The focus must be on WISDOM AND TRUTH AND REALITY regarding anyone. THE TRUTH ABOUT OBAMA HAS ALWAYS BEEN – OBAMA IS NOT NOW AND OBAMA NEVER WAS AT BIRTH a Natural Born Citizen of the United States Of America because Obama’s father was a Foreign Kenyan Citizen of Africa, a British Citizen of Africa at the time of Obama Jr’s birth. Obama Sr. NEVER became an American citizen during his lifetime.

    WISDOM and TRUTH says Barack Hussein Obama Jr. had DUAL CITIZENSHIP at birth IF he was born in the USA, as he wants you to believe. If Obama Jr. was born in Hawaii, Obama was a dual citizen at birth.

    WISDOM and TRUTH says Obama today has not publicly renounced his British citizenship through his Kenyan foreign Citizen of Africa father, Obama Sr.

    WISDOM and TRUTH says everyone must asknowledge openly in public the simple facts about Barack Hussein Obama Jr’s birth: There has been NO LEGAL PROOF submitted in public TO THE AMERICAN PUBLIC by Obama Jr. that LEGALLY ESTABLISHS Obama Jr.’s LEGAL BIRTH HISTORY – surrounding Obama Jr’s BIRTH and what country Obama Jr. was actually truly born in.

    Obama’s Online COLB has been found to be a strange counterfeit forgery, and there is a man who admits to forging it publicly on record. Obama’s Selective Service registration was found to be a counterfeit forgery.

    WISDOM and TRUTH says just because Obama Jr. says he was born in Hawaii, while Obama Jr. REFUSES to offer LEGAL PROOF publicly to THE AMERICAN PEOPLE, WISDOM and TRUTH says, there are CONSTANT RED DANGER FLAGS RAISED BY OBAMA JR. – NOT THE AMERICAN PEOPLE – OVER OBAMA’S REFUSAL to simply publicly show OBAMA’S LEGAL IDENTIFICATION DOCUMENTS AND OBAMA’S LEGAL IDENTIFICATION RECORDS.

    WISDOM and TRUTH says Obama Jr. who merely says “I was born in Hawaii” but who turns around and hides, seals, and refuses to publicly present and publicly show his LEGAL DOCUMENTS PUBLICLY TO PROVE HIS PUBLIC CLAIMS – CAN ONLY MEAN ONE THING – OBAMA IS A CONSTANT LIAR, WHO IS LYING TO YOUR FACE ABOUT EVERYTHING HE SAYS TO YOU.

    FYI, if you listen to Obama Jr. speak you will soon hear and see that everything Obama says are Constant Lies to the American people’s faces. I am currently taking every one of the videos I have heard of Obama speaking his Constant Lies To Each and Every American person’s face, and I am writing down all of the Constant Lies that I have heard Obama Jr. say to the American people.

    I want people to listen to Obama’s own words lying and I will take Obama’s words and expose him publicly with the TRUTH against Obama’s own public Constant Lies – and Obama will be soon by known in the USA and in every nation on earth as the Servant of Satan the Devil, the Constant Liar, that Obama Jr. is.

    Curious, what does WISDOM and TRUTH say to you? If a person was truly a Natural Born Citizen of the USA, and if this person was truly born IN THE USA, why would that SAME person HIDE & SEAL THEIR birth certificate, and ALL of their personal Identitiy Documents and Records, like Obama has done?

    Wisdom and truth says if a person was born in the USA they would NEVER want to hide and seal their birth records, and any person who is running for USA president who would DEFINITELY hide and seal their birth records, would be someone either who is
    1)Foreign born outside of the USA or 2)Born outside of a hospital with no legal witnesses or 3)Has parents that are different from what the public has been told or 4)Has parents that are unknown – because this person was adopted by someone…

    Starla

    October 11, 2009 at 2:36 am

  12. OBAMA IS A CONSTANT LIAR, WHO IS SAYING CONSTANT LIES TO ALL AMERICAN PEOPLE’S FACES ABOUT EVERYTHING HE SAYS TO YOU.

    I AM WORKING ON EXPOSING OBAMA EXACTLY FOR WHO OBAMA IS – AS THE CONSTANT LIAR THAT OBAMA IS – WITH OBAMA’S OWN CONSTANT LIES OBAMA IS TELLING PEOPLE AND EVERYONE DAILY.

    BARACK HUSSEIN OBAMA JR. WILL BE KNOWN BY ALL AMERICANS AND IN EVERY NATION AS A CONSTANT LIAR BECAUSE THAT IS WHAT BARACK HUSSEIN OBAMA IS.

    P.S. OBAMA IS ALREADY KNOWN BY GOD ALMIGHTY THE MOST HOLY TRINITY, AS A CONSTANT LIAR — AND AS A SERVANT OF SATAN THE DEVIL THE FATHER OF ALL LIARS.

    Very truly yours,

    Your humble little servant of Christ Jesus the Lord Almighty GOD the Savior – YESHUA, the Messiah sent by GOD ALMIGHTY THE MOST HOLY TRINITY TO Save Humanity from sins and from itself, and to save humanity from ETERNAL FOREVER FIRE HELL-FIRE, and to save any person who is faithful and true to GOD ALMIGHTY, THE MOST HOLY TRINITY – THROUGH LORD JESUS CHRIST – THE HOLY FOREVER SAVIOR AND MESSIAH TO HEAVEN FOREVER LIFE.

    Starla

    Starla

    October 11, 2009 at 3:03 am

    • Starla, And you wonder why people don’t go to church anymore. What ever happened to Love thy enemies? Pray for those in authority? You have all this ranting about liars but no evidence. But I will say God loves you and so do I. May Peace be with you and your family.

      Jim

      October 11, 2009 at 9:51 am

  13. Birthright citizenship, as with much United States law, has its roots in English common law.[3] Calvin’s Case, 77 Eng. Rep. 377 (1608), was particularly important as it established that under English common law “a person’s status was vested at birth, and based upon place of birth–a person born within the king’s dominion owed allegiance to the sovereign, and in turn, was entitled to the king’s protection.”[4] This same principle was adopted by the newly formed United States, as stated by Supreme Court Justice Noah Haynes Swayne: “All persons born in the allegiance of the king are natural- born subjects, and all persons born in the allegiance of the United States are natural-born citizens. Birth and allegiance go together. Such is the rule of the common law, and it is the common law of this country…since as before the Revolution.” United States v. Rhodes, 27 Fed. Cas. 785 (1866).

    Jim

    October 11, 2009 at 8:35 am

    • Jim,

      Professor Solum disagrees with you. If you click on any of the links to his article and read the whole article, he talks about British common law and refutes your position above. You might want to see what he says about it.

      curi0us0nefromthe60s

      October 11, 2009 at 9:18 am

      • With all due respect curious, Professor Solum is just that, a Professor. He has no judicial or legislative position or power. This case of Untied States vs Rhodes was decided upon using the English Common Law therefore making it precedence for future cases.

        Jim

        October 11, 2009 at 9:42 am

        • Your point is well taken regarding him being a professor etal. But were we really following British Common Law in the Constitution? Let’s look at the words of Supreme Court Justice Wilson who was appointed by George Washington. Justice Wilson very eloquently stated in the 1st commentaries on the Constitution the following:

          “The law of nature, when applied to states and political societies, receives a new name, that of the law of nations. This law, important in all states, is of peculiar importance in free ones. The States of America are certainly entitled to this dignified appellation…But if the knowledge of the law of nations is greatly useful to those who appoint, it surely must be highly necessary to those who are appointed…As Puffendorff thought that the law of nature and the law of nations were precisely the same, he has not, in his book on these subjects treated of the law of nations separately; but has every where joined it with the law of nature, properly called so…the law of nature is applied to individuals; the law of nations is applied to states.”

          For more on this subject you can find information here:

          http://constitutionallyspeaking.wordpress.com/2009/10/08/the-congressional-natural-born-citizen-part-iii-mccain-s-res-511-were-meant-to-sanitize-obamas-ineligibility-to-be-president/

          curi0us0nefromthe60s

          October 11, 2009 at 10:02 am

          • I know you define “Natural Born” from what Vattel wrote in the Law of Nations. Let’s suppose this does goes to court. How are you going to prove that the writings of Vattel were used to define “Natural Born Citizen” as written in the Constituion since it is not clearly defined in the Constituion? I read what Dr. Orly wrote on her site that most of the founding fathers had copies of this book and she showed where Benjamin Franklyn thanking Vattel for his English translation of the book. But that does not prove anything. In fact, if you read Book 1 Chapter12 paragraphs 129-131, Vattel writes where States( free nations) should form a State religion and that if the people do not conform to this religion that they should be banish from their lands and sent to a nation where they can practice their religion. Now if you compare that to the First Amendment of the Constitution where is states, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”, it completely contradicts Vattel on State religion. Just think if the the Founding Fathers were to adopt Vattel’s notion of a State religion. We would be just like Saudi Arabia.

            [Editor: ran out of embedded links so I will place my response here.]

            Obviously, it need not be argued that the founders followed all of Vattel’s work, but what is important is that they understood the concept of natures laws and the laws of nations. If this went to court, I would expect the Supreme Court to look at cases. In particular, I imagine that they would look at Minor v. Happersett and the Wong Kim Ark among many others when reaching their decision. Minor v. Happersett states (I’m paraphrasing here but in essence they said) that it is indisputable that children born on U.S. soil to parents (plural) that are U.S. citizens are natural born citizens, but any less than that qualification is in dispute. In Wong Kim Ark the most widely quoted paragraph in the ruling (again paraphrasing here) compares two types of children and states that their rights are essentially the same, but the children are not the same. One is natural born and one is a 14th Amendment U.S. citizen.

            I am more than happy for the U.S. Supreme Court to hear this case, and even if they ruled that both John McCain and Barack Obama were natural born citizens, I would happily accept that decision. What I am most afraid of is that they will never hear this case, will never rule, and that we have set a dangerous precedent on who can become President when they are possibly ineligible and most probably are in eligible. If you would like a thorough understanding of my thoughts on the matter, I would direct you to Chapter 15 of my book Natural Born Citizen which you can find on this blog. In the last Chapter (Chapter 15) I am very clear as to why I think this issue is important and why I feel the way that I do. I welcome disagreement with my position, but want folks to see why I feel the way I do.

            Chapter 15 of my book can be found here: http://hesnotmypresident.wordpress.com/2009/09/25/natural-born-citizen-chapter-15-conclusive-remarks/

            Jim

            October 11, 2009 at 10:12 am

  14. Did you all see this?

    —————————————–
    http://puzo1.blogspot.com/2009/10/federal-courts-are-committing-treason.html

    The Federal Courts Are Committing Treason to the Constitution per Chief Justice John Marshall.

    The federal courts and judges are committing treason to the Constitution by not taking jurisdiction and getting to the merits in the various cases before them regarding the Article II eligibility clause question for Obama.

    It is worth keeping in mind the words of U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Marshall when he wrote in Cohens v. Virginia 19 US 264 (1821):

    “It is most true that this Court will not take jurisdiction if it should not: but it is equally true, that it must take jurisdiction if it should. The judiciary cannot, as the legislature may, avoid a measure because it approaches the confines of the constitution. We cannot pass it by because it is doubtful. With whatever doubts, with whatever difficulties, a case may be attended, we must decide it, if it be brought before us. We have no more right to decline the exercise of jurisdiction which is given, than to usurp that which is not given. The one or the other would be treason to the constitution. Questions may occur which we would gladly avoid; but we cannot avoid them. All we can do is, to exercise our best judgment, and conscientiously to perform our duty. In doing this, on the present occasion, we find this tribunal invested with appellate jurisdiction in all cases arising under the constitution and laws of the United States. We find no exception to this grant, and we cannot insert one.”

    Link to the treason quote:
    http://www.kerchner.com/images/protectourliberty/chiefjusticemarshallwordsontreasontoconstitution.jpg

    Link to Summary:
    http://www.oyez.org/cases/1792-1850/1821/1821_0

    Link to Full Case:
    http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/scripts/getcase.pl?court=US&vol=19&invol=264

    The Judge in the Kerchner v Obama & Congress lawsuit and the Judges in the other cases should simply read the words of U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice Marshall from the past and take jurisdiction of the constitutional question of the Article II eligibility clause in the Constitution and proceed to a fact finding hearing and trial on the merits to see if Obama is Constitutionally eligible or not. I say Obama is NOT eligible. But we need the federal courts to take the cases and get a SCOTUS ruling to settle this.

    Charles F. Kerchner, Jr.
    CDR USNR (Ret)
    Lead Plaintiff
    Kerchner et al v Obama & Congress et al
    http://puzo1.blogspot.com/
    http://www.protectourliberty.org/
    —————————————

    mtngoat61

    October 12, 2009 at 11:47 am


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