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Natural Born Citizen — Chapter 15: Conclusive Remarks

The author’s final thoughts on the natural born citizen issue

I wish to first thank all of you whom have read this book in its entirety.  I also thank those of you whom have read portions of the book that you found of interest or significant.  Most importantly, I would like to thank all of the readers who have participated in the comments section of each chapter with the goal of furthering the dialogue on this subject and helping to clarify and/or bring forth important points.  This book asked the question, whom among us are natural born citizens?  As I indicated in the introduction, I would not be able to provide a definitive answer to this question.  However, on our journey in pursuit of an answer, we have looked at the U.S. Constitution including its Amendments, we have reviewed the thoughts and writings of the time, we have reviewed the pertinent cases with respect to citizenship, we have reviewed other Country’s citizenship laws with respect to dual and multi-citizenship and we have reviewed how the Congress, the media and the courts have handled the issue.  Yet, in the final analysis, for myself, and for anyone who reads this book, we cannot definitively answer the question, whom among us are natural born citizens?

The logical question at this point is:  why am I, as the author, and those of you whom have ventured here to read this book, so concerned with this issue?   I cannot speak for those of you whom have read the book, but I can certainly speak for myself.  I remain concerned because it represents a pull of another thread, the act of willing promoting another tear, the result of which takes another chip out of our sacred document culminating in the “death by a thousand cuts” of the United States Constitution.  For me, as may be the case for many of you, the United States Constitution represents a turning point in human history where people were seen to have Divine unalienable rights which no government upon earth may take away.  As a result, our Constitution was drafted and ratified to ensure that promise, a contract, if you will, between the people and their government.  To allow any portion of that document to be circumvented, obfuscated or declared arcane is to nullify the contract and open the potential for further future abuses.  Through the course of human history the absence of man’s unalienable rights has always led to despotism and tyranny.

I opened the book with quotes from the non-binding Senate Resolution declaring Senator John McCain to be a natural born citizen.  The Senate utilized the argument that John McCain’s parents were United States citizens; therefore, the Senators seemed to place significant importance on parental citizenship.  The fact that no one in the U.S. Senate and no one in the main stream media questioned Barack Obama’s father’s citizenship with relation to Barack Obama’s natural born citizenship status is inconceivable to me.  Are we Americans so apathetic, so ignorant of our history and founding that we do not see that this is at the very least a legitimate line of inquiry and should have been discussed as part of our national dialogue during the campaign for the 2008 general election?

Even more egregious, when the U.S. Senate passed a non-binding Senate Resolution which had absolutely no weight and no authority declaring to us that Senator McCain was and is a natural born citizen, I find such a pronouncement jeopardizes our liberty and freedoms guaranteed by the Constitution.  For me, I cannot reconcile in my mind how the Presidential Candidates for the Republican and Democratic parties whom are both potentially ineligible to hold the Office could place their own personal goals of power above the most sacred document in our land.  Both men knew if he were to win that on a cold day in January he would place his hand on the Bible and swear to defend the Constitution, yet neither man could place that same hand on the Bible and swear before the Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court that he was in fact a natural born citizen. 

As I mentioned in the prologue to this book, my degree is in Philosophy with an emphasis in ethics.  For me, there are few things more important than one’s character.  It remains unfathomable to me that a man who showed moral courage and character beyond repute during the Viet Nam war while being held captive for in excess of 5 years would a mere four decades later have lost that moral courage when his character was tested placing his own personal power above his country.  Many of you may feel that I am overreacting, I am sorry, but I wholeheartedly disagree with you.  I believe we see the true character of others when they are faced with moral and ethical dilemmas.  Unfortunately, I saw no character on display by either the Republican or the Democratic candidates in the 2008 Presidential election.

My argument as to why John McCain and Barack Obama are not natural born citizens is a rather simple one:

  1. The sovereignty of our nation is protected in large part by our U.S. Constitution.
  2. In order to protect that sovereignty, our founders provided a provision in the U.S. Constitution to ensure that the highest office of our land could not be influenced by foreigners.
  3. John McCain was potentially a dual citizen at birth:  both a U.S. citizen and a Panamanian citizen.
  4. Barack Obama was a dual citizen at birth:  both a British citizen and a U.S. citizen.
  5. Since both candidates had claims to their citizenship by foreign nations, we cannot guarantee the absence of foreign influence.
  6. Since we cannot guarantee the absence of foreign influence by virtue of their birth rights, then we must conclude that these men are quite possibly not natural born citizens.

When I make the above argument, I am quite cognizant of the fact that many will disagree with my argument, but I am also aware that like myself there is no single person whom can with any authority define the term natural born citizen.  This matter must be legislated either through Amendment or preferably through the courts arising to the level of the United States Supreme Court for a final disposition on the matter.  To do any less is to jeopardize the very protections, liberty and freedoms all Americans enjoy as a result of the United States Constitution.  To do any less is an affront to our founders with profound disrespect for all that they fought for and accomplished on our behalf.

On October 31, 2008, Barack Obama stated in a campaign stump speech:  “we are five days away from fundamentally transforming America.” [i]  At the time, I wrote a post on this blog asking what he meant.  I concluded that the U.S. Constitution represents the fundamental aspect of our nation.  Regardless of whether Barack Obama won the election or John McCain had won, Mr. Obama’s words would ring true.  If a required provision for the highest office in the land need not be adhered to, then haven’t we in fact fundamentally changed the United States Constitution which may result in transforming America into a country that in the future none of us will recognize?  For as Orwell warned us in his book 1984: “Who controls the past… controls the future: who controls the present controls the past.”  In modern day application, if the past is made to be altered by those in the present, what will become of our future?  For our purposes with respect to the natural born citizen issue, if those in the present can change what the meaning of natural born citizen as used in the U.S. Constitution was believed to be in the past what consequence does that have for our Constitution in the future.  Do you wish to live in these Orwellian times? or would you prefer that proper Constitutional provisions and processes are followed?  As such, is it not best (for the future and for future Americans) that we bring this matter to the United States Supreme Court for final resolution?  I answer in the affirmative.


[i] YouTube Video of Obama October 31, 2008 Speech in Missouri — http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_cqN4NIEtOY

Any reproduction of the content in this blog post must credit the author:  KJ Kaufman (aka:  curi0us0nefromthe60s) and must reference a link to this blog site https://hesnotmypresident.wordpress.com or link to the specific blog post cited.  You are free to distribute this content in order to educate the populous as long as you adhere to the aforementioned conditions.  Your cooperation in citing this source when reproducing, referencing or redistributing the content contained herein is greatly appreciated.

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Natural Born Citizen — Chapter 14: Legal Remedies

The remedies currently available regarding the natural born citizen requirement

As we learned in our last chapter, there were those who attempted to resolve this issue before the election and again before the election results became official through the Electoral College process, but those attempts were unsuccessful.  So what does this mean for the American people?  Is there no legal remedy left to us to ensure the eligibility of the Commander in Chief after the election results are official and the President has sworn the oath and resides in the Office?  The answer, as Leo Donofrio researched and concluded, is the quo warranto statute.

Many of you may be under the impression that the only remedy to remove a President found to be usurping the office would be through the impeachment process powers granted to the United States Congress in the Constitution, but that would be inaccurate.  As Leo Donofrio argues in part one of his three part brief:

…Congress has delegated that authority to the District Court of the District of Columbia by providing for the removal of the President (and other public officers) by quo warranto where the President is found to be a usurper to the office even if he assumed the office with a good faith belief he was eligible. [i]

To support his legal argument he introduces us to the quo warranto federal statute citing the following pertinent language contained therein:

§ 16-3501 applies against any person within the District of Columbia who “usurps, intrudes into, or unlawfully holds or exercises… a public office of the United States.”  Under the statute, the writ of quo warranto is issued by the DC District Court in the name of the United States. [ii]

Leo Donofrio is introducing us to two important points here:

  1. The Congress has delegated its duties regarding removal of persons usurping federal offices to the District Court of the District of Columbia under the quo warranto statute, and 
  2. Both the United States Attorney General and the United States Attorney for the District of Columbia hold the power to bring a suit using the quo warranto statute to challenge the eligibility of a sitting President.

It is critical that we understand that there is a way out and that a usurper does not need to remain in office if only those with the Constitutional and legal power choose to challenge the usurper.  Unfortunately, the reality is that the likelihood that the U.S. Attorney General or the U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia will pursue this matter might be characterized as on par with “pigs flying.”  We reach a point where we might conclude that no action will ever be taken in this matter and as a result, or possibly another unintended consequence would be that a dangerous precedence is set as to who is eligible to be President of the United States. It is deplorable that the quo warranto statute will probably not be used.  Making use of the quo warranto statute would most certainly lead to appeals all the way up to the United Supreme Court where once and for all we would finally receive a definition of natural born citizen. 

The goal of this book is in part to open a national dialogue on the subject matter of natural born citizen, but the book’s ultimate goal is to have the term natural born citizen defined by the U.S. Supreme Court.  With the book’s ultimate goal in mind, the quo warranto statute is not the only legal means to garner said outcome.  Every State Legislature in the nation has the power to bring this issue to light and to the public through its own State’s election laws.

In January of 2009, the Arizona Legislature introduced bill SB 1158 An Act Ammending Sections 16-341 and 16-507, Arizona Revised Statutes; Relating to Conduct of Elections.  The bill focuses on adding the following language in an attempt to make presidential candidates prove that they are Natural Born Citizens:

Within ten days after filing the nomination paper, a presidential candidate shall submit an affidavit in which the presidential candidate states the candidate’s citizenship and age and shall append to the affidavit documents that prove that the candidate is a natural born citizen, prove the candidate’s age and prove that the candidate meets the residency requirements for President of the United States as prescribed in ARTICLE II, section 1, Constitution of the United States. [iii]

Unfortunately, this legislation focuses on Barack Obama’s birth controversy or conspiracy (however you choose to categorize those who believe he may not have been born in Hawaii, or that we at least have no proof that he was born in Hawaii) rather than focusing on his admitted dual citizenship at birth, but this legislation is a start.  I contend that legislation like this could prove very important to resolving this issue, but the legislation must go further and define the term natural born citizen.  If we accept that we have no definition for the term natural born citizen, then it seems difficult for a potential presidential candidate to prove that he or she is a natural born citizen regardless of the paperwork he or she submits if the term natural born citizen is not defined in the legislation.

In attempt to get this clarification inserted into Arizona Senate Bill 1158 (SB1158), I emailed the sponsors of the bill asking that they include in their legislation the definition for natural born citizen.  Several of the State Senators whom I emailed responded letting me know that Senate Bill 1158 did not get passed in the last legislative session and is, therefore, “dead.”  I have encouraged them to reintroduce the bill in the next legislative session and to add the language defining natural born citizen.  I have encouraged them to use Emerich de Vattel’s definition, but should they use a different definition that would be fine as well.  The goal here is that they insert a definition for natural born citizen into the legislation and then pass the legislation.  Once the legislation is passed with a definition of natural born citizen included therein, I am confident that the definition the State Legislature uses will be challenged and hopefully a court case will make it to the United States Supreme Court so that the definition can be declared once and for all. 

Should my legislators in the State of Arizona not take up this matter, or fail to pass this legislation, it is my hope that another State will do such.  Regardless, the issue of natural born citizen can still be resolved in the courts either through the quo warranto statute or through election laws passed in our States.  The onus now is on the American public to demand that one or both of these measures are taken.

For a more detailed look at the Quo Warranto Statute, I encourage you to read all three parts of Leo Donofrio’s legal brief which can be found at the following links:
QUO WARRANTO LEGAL BRIEF: part 1

 

QUO WARRANTO LEGAL BRIEF – Part 2: The Federal Quo Warranto Statute Is The Only Constitutional Means of Removing a Sitting President Other Than Impeachment
 
QUO WARRANTO LEGAL BRIEF: Part 3 STANDING-TRIAL BY JURY- HISTORY OF STATUTE – SEPARATION OF POWERS Cont.,

[ii] Quo Warranto Legal Brief: Part 1 Natural Born Citizen Blog — http://naturalborncitizen.wordpress.com/2009/03/04/quo-warranto-legal-brief-part-1/
[iii] SB 1158 An Act Amending Sections 16-341 and 16-507, Arizona Revised Statutes; Relating to Conduct of Elections — http://www.azleg.gov/FormatDocument.asp?inDoc=/legtext/49leg/1r/bills/sb1158p.htm

 

Any reproduction of the content in this blog post must credit the author: KJ Kaufman (aka:  curi0us0nefromthe60s) and must reference a link to this blog site https://hesnotmypresident.wordpress.com or link to the specific blog post cited.  You are free to distribute this content in order to educate the populous as long as you adhere to the aforementioned conditions.  Your cooperation in citing this source when reproducing, referencing or redistributing the content contained herein is greatly appreciated.

 


>[i] Quo Warranto Legal Brief: Part 1 Natural Born Citizen Blog — http://naturalborncitizen.wordpress.com/2009/03/04/quo-warranto-legal-brief-part-1/

Natural Born Citizen — Chapter 13: The Courts

A look at the courts and Barack Obama’s natural born citizen status

We have already looked at a few of the cases that the U.S. Supreme court has heard regarding a person’s citizenship (such as the Happersett case and the Wong Kim Ark case), and we have come to the conclusion that to date, no Supreme court decision has defined natural born citizen.  Is that because no case came before them needing to define the term natural born citizen?  The answer is a qualified, no, that is not necessarily the case.

In October of 2008, before the election, Leo Donofrio (attorney, musician, poker and chess player, and in my opinion extraordinary human being) sued the New Jersey Secretary of State to remove ineligible candidates from the New Jersey State ballot for the general election of 2008 for the office of the presidency.  The lawsuit included the removal of the names of John McCain, Barack Obama and Roger Calero.  On, November 3rd the day before the election, Leo Donofrio submitted an application for emergency stay with the U.S. Supreme court.  In the official court document, under the “relief requested” section of the document,  Leo Donofrio, in part, specifically asked the U.S. Supreme court (even though he had not made the same request in the lower courts) to stay the national election to be held on November 4, 2008. [i]

According to the U.S. Supreme court docket (No. 08A407), the stay application was initially denied by Justice Souter (on November 6, 2008) two days after the general election had taken place.  The case was later refiled, and was submitted to Justice Clarence Thomas on November 14, 2008. [ii]  On Monday, December 8, 2008, Leo Donofrio’s application for stay addressed to Justice Thomas and referred to the court was denied. [iii]  No reason was given by the court for the denial.

As I understand the unfolding of events in Leo’s case Donofrio v. Wells, Leo had a procedural problem in the lower court case resulting from an Appellate Judge’s mischaracterization of the case.  You can find discussions on the lower courts procedural problems resulting from the Appellate Judge’s mischaracterization at Leo’s blog Natural Born Citizen Blog

Leo Donofio had also teamed up with Cort Wrotnowski in Cort’s case where Cort sued the Secretary of State for Connecticut, Susan Bysiewicz, for an application for emergency stay and/or injunction as to the 2008 electoral college meeting and alternatively as to Connecticut electors. [iv]  Cort Wrotnowki’s application for stay and/or injunction was submitted to Justice Ginsberg on November 25, 2008 (U.S. Supreme court docket no. 08A469). [v]  Like Donofrio’s case, Wrotnowski had his first filing denied.  Cort Wrotnowski had to refile his case with Justice Scalia.  His case was distributed to the court and then later denied on December 15, 2008.  Remember in Wrotnowski’s case he also filed for an injunction against the Electoral College meeting.  It is interesting to note that the Electoral College in the several states would meet on December 15, 2008, the very day Wrotnowski’s application was denied. [vi]  Like in Donofrio’s case, no reason was given by the U.S. Supreme court as to their denial of Cort Wrotnowski’s case. 

In both cases, Donofrio and Wrotnowski argued that the “matter reflects an important public interest and involves a Constitutional issue of first impression as to the legal significance of the term ‘natural born citizen’ as enumerated in Article 2, Section 1, Clause 5 of the  Constitution of the United States.” [vii]  By using the term “first impression” in their cases, Donofrio and Wrotnowski were stating (and attempted to substantiate that claim in their filings) that there was no definition of natural born citizen in the Constitution or the courts, and, therefore, the United States Supreme court would be taking up a case of first impression. 

Leo Donofrio although cognizant of his own case having issues in the lower court was confident of the Wrotnowski case being sound.  Leo wrote about his own case when it was denied:

My case may have suffered from the NJ Appellate Division Judge having incorrectly characterized my original suit as a “motion for leave to appeal” rather than the “direct appeal” that it actually was.  On Nov. 21 I filed official Judicial misconduct charges with the NJ Supreme Court Advisory Committee on Judicial Conduct, and I updated  SCOTUS about that by a letter which is part of SCOTUS Docket as of Nov. 22.  The NJ Appellate Division official case file is fraudulent.

On the chance that SCOTUS was looking at both my case and Cort’s case, I must stress that Cort’s case does not have the same procedural hang up that mine does.   It may be that without a decision on the Judicial misconduct allegation correcting the NJ Appellate Division case file, SCOTUS might have been in the position of not being able to hear my case as it would appear that my case was not before them on the proper procedural grounds. [viii]

Leo Donofrio felt at the time his case was denied by the court that the U.S. Supreme court may still hear the Wrotnowski case.  Of course, Wrotnowski’s case would also be denied one week later on December 15, 2008.  In response to another dismissal without reason by the courts, Leo Donofrio became quite dejected and wrote a scathing piece against the U.S. Supreme court that he later redacted and in which he also (in his blog) apologized to the courts. 

It is little wonder that Leo Donofrio felt spurned by the courts.  He and Cort Wrotnowski did everything in their power to attempt to have the issue of who is a natural born citizen resolved by the U.S. Supreme court an action that, in my opinion,  the court must take up at some point.  Simply delaying the matter does nothing to protect this Nation and its Constitutional Republic.  Simply delaying the matter, as many have written, potentially sets a dangerous precedent as to who can occupy the highest office in the land of the United States of America.  Many still believe that this issue is not nearly as important as this book and many people believe it to be, but I ask you once again, if such a vital provision of the U.S. Constitution can be obfuscated, ignored, accused of being outdated, or worse purposefully subverted, then what provision in the Constitution remains intact?  By what law do you now assert your rights with respect to those rights afforded you in the first ten Amendments of the U.S. Constitution?  I would maintain that if one provision of the Constitution need no longer apply, then it is only a matter of time before those rights enumerated in the Constitution also become outdated, ignored, obfuscated and perhaps purposefully subverted which, by the way, is already happening in this great Nation and has been occurring for quite some time.  It seems just a small step away that concludes that those first ten Amendments spelling out your rights are sacrificed without your knowledge and without your consent.  A situation the founding fathers would have never wished upon us.  But, there is still time, there are still avenues in which this matter can be resolved and that will be the focus of our next chapter.


[i] Donofrio v Wells Application for Emergency Stay — http://www.scribd.com/doc/8950650/Donofrio-v-Wells-Application-for-Emergency-Stay

[ii] U.S. Supreme Court docket 08A407 — http://www.supremecourtus.gov/docket/08a407.htm

[iii] U.S. Supreme Court Order List:  555 U.S. — http://www.scribd.com/doc/8950688/Donofrio-v-Wells-Orders-List

[iv] Wrotnowski v Bysiewicz Stay Application to US Supreme Court — http://www.scribd.com/doc/8969495/Wrotnowski-v-Bysiewicz-Stay-Application-to-US-Supreme-Court

[v] U.S. Supreme Court docket 08A469 — http://origin.www.supremecourtus.gov/docket/08a469.htm

[vi] U.S. Electoral College 2008 Presidential Election “Summary of key dates and events” — http://www.archives.gov/federal-register/electoral-college/2008/dates.html

[vii] Wrotnowski v Bysiewicz Stay Application to US Supreme Court — http://www.scribd.com/doc/8969495/Wrotnowski-v-Bysiewicz-Stay-Application-to-US-Supreme-Court

[viii] Naturalborncitizen.wordpress.com blog “Donofrio application denied – Wrotnowski application still pending” — http://naturalborncitizen.wordpress.com/2008/12/08/donofrio-application-denied-wrotnowski-application-still-pending/

Any reproduction of the content in this blog post must credit the author:  KJ Kaufman (aka:  curi0us0nefromthe60s) and must reference a link to this blog site https://hesnotmypresident.wordpress.com or link to the specific blog post cited.  You are free to distribute this content in order to educate the populous as long as you adhere to the aforementioned conditions.  Your cooperation in citing this source when reproducing, referencing or redistributing the content contained herein is greatly appreciated.

Written by KJ Kaufman

September 4, 2009 at 3:46 am

Natural Born Citizen — Chapter 12: The Media

The role the media has played in the natural born citizen issue

What role has the media, and in particular the main stream media (both television and print) as well as the cable news networks, played in the issue of John McCain’s and Barack Obama’s natural born citizen issue?  On April 11, 2008, Ashby Jones of the Wall Street Journal wrote a law blog entitled “Clinton, Obama Agree:  McCain’s a Natural Born Citizen.”  Jones begins the article by stating:

Well here’s something that John McCain, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton apparently all agree on. John McCain is, in fact, eligible to serve as president. [i]

Jones then pointed to a February New York Times article for the bulk of the information contained within the Wall Street Journal blog posting on this subject. 

On February 28, 2008, Carl Hulse wrote an article entitled “McCain’s Canal Zone Birth Prompts Queries About Whether That Rules Him Out.” [ii]  In the article, Hulse mulls over some of the points we’ve discussed here including alluding to The Naturalization Act of 1790 and rightly pointing out that the provision in it for natural born was later removed.  He cites an expert on the subject by the name of Sarah H. Duggin whom comes to the conclusion that McCain may in fact have an issue here.  What appears interesting to me in Mr. Hulse’s article are several phrases he uses to describe this situation.  He refers to the controversy surrounding the natural born citizen provision as “reviving a musty debate.”   He later refers to the Constitutional provision as an “arcane” subject.  And finally, toward the end of the article he refers to the provision as the “natural-born” enigma.  Mr. Hulse chooses musty, arcane and enigma which means outdated, obscure and puzzling respectively.  We will see this theme play out many times in the media when referring to the natural born citizen clause. 

On July 11th, published in the New York Times, Adam Liptak wrote “A Hint of New Life to a McCain Birth Issue.”  In the article, Liptak stated:

In the most detailed examination yet of Senator John McCain’s eligibility to be president, a law professor at the University of Arizona has concluded that neither Mr. McCain’s birth in 1936 in the Panama Canal Zone nor the fact that his parents were American citizens is enough to satisfy the constitutional requirement that the president must be a “natural-born citizen.”

The analysis, by Prof. Gabriel J. Chin, focused on a 1937 law that has been largely overlooked in the debate over Mr. McCain’s eligibility to be president. The law conferred citizenship on children of American parents born in the Canal Zone after 1904, and it made John McCain a citizen just before his first birthday. But the law came too late, Professor Chin argued, to make Mr. McCain a natural-born citizen. [iii]

The article went on to say that legal scholars including Professor Chin did not think it was plausible that McCain would ever be disqualified on this technicality or that any court would hear this issue if the people voted McCain into office.  But this article gave us our first glimpse of the issue of natural born citizenship being an immutable condition.  If Professor’s Chin’s arguments are correct, she is unquestionably arguing that no law can change that status after the fact.

Shortly after the February New York Times article previously referred to, CNN’s “The Situation Room” with Wolf Blitzer had on its “Cafferty File” segment a discussion regarding McCain’s eligibility.  The report by Jack Cafferty was basically a rehash of the New York Times article.  No further information during the segment was provided as to the importance of this issue or its potential significance. [iv]

Also in February of 2009 covering the same New York Times article, The Hannity and Colmes program on Fox News had a segment on the show where they discussed the issue. [v]   Ken Rudin, from National Public Radio (NPR) and Ari Flescher were guests on this segment.   During the segment Alan Colmes stated:  “The Times isn’t saying he shouldn’t be President.  I don’t think anybody’s saying that are they?”  His guest Ken Rudin agreed that nobody was saying that.  Rudin went on to layout that George Romney ran in 1968 even though he was born in Chiauiau, Mexico, but of course he didn’t gain the nomination making the point moot.  Ken Rudin emphatically stated in the segment that the courts had yet to rule on the issue.  Ari Flescher in the segment pointed out that Sean Hannity had mentioned the Naturalization Act of 1790 earlier in the show.  Nobody appeared in this segment of the show to illuminate the fact that the term natural born citizen was removed from subsequent naturalization legislation.  The gist of this report was much like the rest.  Since we have no definition for natural born citizen and since it’s just an esoteric or “arcane” provision within our Constitution, the public should be assured that the candidates, and, in particular, candidate John McCain should be eligible.

In May of 2008, writing for The Washington Post, Michael Dobbs penned an article entitled:  “McCain’s Birth Abroad Stirs Legal Debate” with the subtitle:  “His Eligibility for Presidency is Questioned.”  Dobbs opens the article by stating:

The Senate has unanimously declared John McCain a natural-born citizen, eligible to be president of the United States.

That is the good news for the presumptive Republican nominee, who was born nearly 72 years ago in a military hospital in the Panama Canal Zone, then under U.S. jurisdiction. The bad news is that the nonbinding Senate resolution passed Wednesday night is simply an opinion that has little bearing on an arcane constitutional debate that has preoccupied legal scholars for many weeks. [vi]

There’s that term “arcane” again.  The mantra of the main stream media continued to be to dismiss the natural born citizen clause as an outdated portion of the U.S. Constitution having no place in our enlightened modern day America.  I wonder what other “arcane” provisions, the main stream media finds in the U.S. Constitution?  As we have discussed before, this type of thinking where portions of the Constitution can be dismissed without going through the legal and called for process of Amending the U.S. Constitution should give every American pause.  For if all provisions of the Constitution are not upheld, adhered to with fidelity, then we simply have no legal Supreme Law of the Land because it need not be followed.

We must say at this point that at least the main stream media covered the McCain natural born citizen question.  Very little main stream media coverage was forthcoming regarding Barack Obama’s natural born citizenship status.  On October 10, 2008, Ann Sanner wrote an Associated Press article:  “Washington – As John McCain and Barack Obama vie to become president, certain fevered voices persist in saying they should not even be allowed to try.”  She writes in the opening:

In an argument popular on the Internet and taken seriously practically nowhere else, critics of the candidates argue that each does not qualify to run for the White House because he’s not a “natural-born citizen ” as the Constitution requires.

Obama plainly is, because he was born in the U.S.

McCain qualifies, too, although the circumstances of his birth _ on a U.S. naval base in the Panama Canal Zone in 1936 _ were unusual enough to merit a review. [vii]

It should trouble most American’s that the writer, Sanner, can so easily dismiss the extremely complicated issue we have been discussing here as to the definition of natural born citizen.  The author goes on to state:

Alsup ruled in September that McCain was essentially a qualifying citizen two times over _ first, because both his parents were U.S. citizens, which satisfied eligibility rules of the time; and because a law passed a year after his birth retroactively recognizing people born in the zone as natural-born Americans. [viii]

Sanner admits in this piece that a judge ruled McCain was a natural born citizen because in part “both of his parents were U.S. citizens which satisfied eligibility rules of the time.”  Then, Sanner goes on in the piece to talk about those in opposition to Barack Obama’s natural born citizenship are solely concerned with Barack Obama’s place of birth.  She writes:

Theories abound that Obama actually was born abroad and that his birth certificate, proving he was born in Hawaii, is a fake.

Obama was born in Honolulu in 1961, two years after Hawaii became a state. He is the son of a Kenyan father and a mother from Kansas, who met and married in Hawaii. After the marriage failed, a 6-year-old Obama left Hawaii to spend four years in Indonesia with his mother and Indonesian stepfather. In 1971, when he was 10, Obama’s mother sent him back to Honolulu to stay with his maternal grandparents.

In response to the allegations, Obama’s campaign in June posted the Illinois senator’s birth certificate on his campaign Web site, http://fightthesmears.com/articles/5/birthcertificate.

The nonpartisan Web site Factcheck.org examined the original document and said it does have a raised seal and the usual evidence of a genuine document. [ix]

The author seems to have no problem sharing that Barack Obama has a Kenyan father and then makes no effort to understand what that might mean in relation to his natural born citizen status.  She goes as far as to link to the Fight The Smears website and makes claims of the non-partisan nature of Factcheck.org, yet Ms. Sanner sees no reason to question the statement from that site regarding Barack Obama Sr.’s citizenship being governed by the British Nationality Act of 1948 and what that same Act might say regarding Barack Obama’s citizenship.  Could it be any clearer that the media was manipulating how we viewed this issue?

Then, right after the election, there were some newspaper reports with respect to Leo Donofrio’s cases (an attorney whose cases we will discuss in length in the next chapter) where the main stream media tended to get his case wrong or mislead the public regarding his case(s).  Leo provides an overview on two such reports in his blog post entitled:  “ABC News Gets the Donofrio SCOTUS Story Wrong.” [x]

But the most egregious misrepresentation of the natural born citizen issue occurred just recently in an article written by James Taranto in The Wall Street Journal.  As Leo Donofrio pointed out on his blog naturalborncitizen.wordpress.com what Taranto did in his piece amounts to nothing less than pure propaganda.  As Leo Donofrio describes in his piece entitled “Wall Street Journal Caught Spreading False Legal Propaganda Via James Taranto:”

Yesterday, American journalism reached a new low when James Taranto of the Wall Street Journal published legal propaganda that appears to blatantly lie to readers.  In discussing the issues surrounding Obama’s birth to an alien father, Taranto added text to a US statute which does not contain such text.  Here is the offensive passage:

“Someone born overseas and after 1986, but otherwise in identical circumstances to Obama, would be a natural-born citizen thanks to a law signed by President Reagan.” <snip>

The US code Taranto makes reference to is TITLE 8 > CHAPTER 12 > SUBCHAPTER III > Part I > § 1401 (g):

§ 1401. Nationals and citizens of United States at birth

The following shall be nationals and citizens of the United States at birth:

(g) a person born outside the geographical limits of the United States and its outlying possessions of parents one of whom is an alien, and the other a citizen of the United States who, prior to the birth of such person, was physically present in the United States or its outlying possessions for a period or periods totaling not less than five years, at least two of which were after attaining the age of fourteen years…

The statute does not use the words “natural born citizen.”(emphasis Leo’s) [xi]

So it wasn’t enough for the early journalists reporting on the issue to obscure the facts surrounding the natural born citizen issue, at least one journalist now needed to resort to outright lies/propaganda when reporting on the situation.  There was no honest intellectual discussion on whether or not Barack Obama’s dual citizenship at birth presented an eligibility challenge.  The public was left thinking that it had two eligible candidates running for the two primary parties’ nominations for President. The public has continued to be fed that lie throughout the months following the election.  As a result, this issue never reached the main stream media regarding a proper discussion as to the issues with both candidates natural born citizenship.  So we were left with the courts as our last resort to resolve the matter, but as we will see in the next chapter, the courts want nothing to do with defining the term natural born citizen, and have no desire to see to it that the American people are led by a President that is in fact eligible to hold the office.


[i] Wall Street Journal Law Blog “Clinton, Obama Agree:  McCain’s a Natural Born Citizen” — http://blogs.wsj.com/law/2008/04/11/clinton-obama-agree-mccains-a-natural-born-citizen/

[ii] The New York Times “ McCain’s Canal Zone Birth Prompts Queries About Whether That Rules Him Out — http://www.nytimes.com/2008/02/28/us/politics/28mccain.html?pagewanted=print

[iii] The New York Times “ A Hint of New Life to a McCain Birth Issue” — http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/11/us/politics/11mccain.html

[iv] You Tube Video of The Situation Room “The Cafferty File” February 2009 — http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fW_7MjY8Y9I

[v] Hannity and Colmes Segment on McCain Eligibility February 2008 — http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ukoozJ_nTuc

[vi] The Washington Post “McCain’s Birth Abroad Stirs Legal Debate” — http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/05/01/AR2008050103224.html

[vii] FoxNews.com publishing of AP Press Article by Ann Sanner — http://www.foxnews.com/wires/2008Oct10/0,4670,CandidatesNaturalBorn,00.html

[viii] FoxNews.com publishing of AP Press Article by Ann Sanner — http://www.foxnews.com/wires/2008Oct10/0,4670,CandidatesNaturalBorn,00.html

[ix] FoxNews.com publishing of AP Press Article by Ann Sanner — http://www.foxnews.com/wires/2008Oct10/0,4670,CandidatesNaturalBorn,00.html

[x] [x] Leo Donofrio’s Natural Born Citizen Blog — http://naturalborncitizen.wordpress.com/2008/12/04/abc-news-gets-the-donofrio-scotus-story-wrong/

[xi] Leo Donofrio’s Natural Born Citizen Blog — http://naturalborncitizen.wordpress.com/2009/07/31/wall-street-journal-caught-spreading-false-legal-propaganda-via-james-taranto/

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Written by KJ Kaufman

September 1, 2009 at 1:38 pm