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Natural Born Citizen Book

If you are looking for the Natural Born Citizen book, you can find the chapters posted on this blog site by clicking here.

If you would prefer to have a copy of the book in traditional format you may purchase the paperback edition for $12.50.  To purchase, please click on the picture to the left.

Written by KJ Kaufman

October 8, 2009 at 2:21 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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.

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/

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 1, 2009 at 1:38 pm

Natural Born Citizen — Chapter 11: Congressional Duties

Evaluating the measures Congress and the cadidates could have taken to resolve the natural born citizen definition

As was mentioned in the opening of the book, in April of 2008 a non-binding Senate Resolution was passed stating that John S. McCain was a natural born citizen.  It is clear that many were questioning the Constitutional eligibility of Senator McCain, and the Senate found the matter important enough to pursue such a measure.  The non-binding Senate Resolution in total with the exception of individual Senators’ statements reads:

RESOLUTION

Recognizing that John Sidney McCain, III, is a natural born citizen.

Whereas the Constitution of the United States requires that, to be eligible for the Office of the President, a person must be a ‘‘natural born Citizen’’ of the United States;

Whereas the term ‘‘natural born Citizen’’, as that term appears in Article II, Section 1, is not defined in the Constitution of the United States;

Whereas there is no evidence of the intention of the Framers or any Congress to limit the constitutional rights of children born to American citizens serving in the military nor to prevent those children from serving as their country’s President;

Whereas such limitations would be inconsistent with the purpose and intent of the ‘‘natural born Citizen’’ clause of the Constitution of the United States, as evidenced by the First Congress’s own statute defining the term ‘‘natural born Citizen’’;

Whereas the well-being of all citizens of the United States is preserved and enhanced by the men and women who are assigned to serve our country outside of our national borders;

Whereas previous presidential candidates were born outside of the United States of America and were understood to be eligible to be President; and

Whereas John Sidney McCain, III, was born to American citizens on an American military base in the Panama Canal Zone in 1936: Now, therefore, be it

Resolved, That John Sidney McCain, III, is a ‘‘natural born Citizen’’ under Article II, Section 1, of the Constitution of the United States.[i]

Two very important statements appear in the above non-binding Senate Resolution.  First, they relied, in part, on The Nationality Act of 1790 when they stated:

Whereas such limitations would be inconsistent with the purpose and intent of the ‘‘natural born Citizen’’ clause of the Constitution of the United States, as evidenced by the First Congress’s own statute defining the term ‘‘natural born Citizen’’[ii]

They had to know that the “natural born citizen” language used in The Nationality Act of 1790 was later removed and that they gave such status to it is at least curious.  The second egregious error on their part was placing any significance on the following statement:

Whereas previous presidential candidates were born outside of the United States of America and were understood to be eligible to be President[iii]

Which previous Presidential candidates?  Did any of these Presidential candidates become President?  Were they referring to Presidential candidates that were eligible through the grandfather clause of Article II, Section 1 of the U.S. Constitution“ or a citizen of the United States, at the time of the adoption of this Constitution[?]” [iv]  Is it not clear that this statement in the non-binding Senate Resolution is steeped in incompetence?

Were the Senators trying to illicit some sort of Presidential candidacy precedent regarding who is deemed natural born and who is not based on who has run?  Such a line of thinking is indefensible.  We know for a fact that during the Presidential election of 2008 Roger Calero (he also ran in 2004) was placed on the ballot of many states as the Socialist Workers Party candidate even though he is absolutely not eligible to the hold the office of the President.  According to a website that promotes the Socialist Worker’s Party themilitant.com:

Born in Nicaragua, Calero has lived in the United States since 1985 when his family moved to Los Angeles. He joined the socialist movement there in 1993.[v]

Roger Calero certainly was not a natural born citizen having been born in Nicaragua to parents who were not U.S. citizens.  If you doubt that Roger Calero actually made it to the ballot of any State’s general election here is the State of New Jersey’s official governmental website where they list on Page 6 of 11 of their “Official List of Candidates for President For November 2008 General Election” one Roger Calero of the Socialist Workers Party.[vi]  Further, Roger Calero according to the same official website garnered 523 total votes in the State of New Jersey in the 2008 Presidential election.[vii]  So, I ask these Senators, how is it that they can place any legitimacy in the statement:

Whereas previous presidential candidates were born outside of the United States of America and were understood to be eligible to be President[viii]

Are they including Mr. Calero in this statement?  Mr. Calero clearly was born outside of the United States of America.  Mr. Calero is clearly not a natural born citizen and is ineligible to run for the office of President.

As of April 2008, the Senators were certainly aware that they had a conundrum on their hands.  They had the Republican Candidate for President potentially not eligible to be President of the United States with only seven months left until the General Election, and yet, they were willing to pass a non-binding resolution that could not guarantee John S. McCain’s eligibility risking a potential usurper to the Office of the Presidency.  Had John McCain won, it would have been clear that lawsuits would have ensued testing that eligibility.  John McCain would have begun his Presidency with serious questions as to his eligibility.  If the U.S. Supreme court later defined the term natural born citizen through a proper procedure and decided that John S. McCain did not meet that definition, the country would be thrust into a Constitutional crisis.  Any legislation that John McCain would have approved through signature would have been null and void and would require legislation to be written, approved, and signed again.  There is no doubt that a Constitutional crisis would have resulted.

Further, the Senate put Senator John McCain in quite a predicament with respect to him getting his name placed on the ballot in his own State of Arizona.  In order to be placed on the 2008 general election ballot as a presidential candidate, you had to submit a Presidential Preference Election Candidate Nomination Form (A.R.S. § 16-242)[ix]  Said form specifically requires the Presidential candidate to swear, affirm and have notarized the form which contains in part the following:

I am a natural born citizen of the United States, am at least thirty-five years of age, and have been a resident within the United States for at least fourteen years.[x]

Senator McCain was placed on the Arizona ballot, and, in fact, he won the Electoral votes of the State of Arizona in the 2008 presidential election, but was all of that accomplished in falsely swearing on a nomination form in his own State?  It should be noted that John McCain signed this form before the U.S. Senate passed the non-binding senate resolution; however, John McCain would have known he had already attested and signed the form and that his natural born citizen status remained under suspicion.

The United States Senate, according to our Constitution, is the legislative branch of the government with the purpose of representing the interests of the States.  This is why, regardless of population of the several States, each State is allowed two senators.  The U.S. Constitution originally dictated that Senators would be elected by the legislatures of their States.  It was not until 1913 under the 17th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution that the election of Senators was changed to election by the people of their respective states.  How could the Senate, which is supposed to represent the interests of the States, place John McCain in a position where he may have falsely attested to get on his own State’s ballot?

In fairness to the Senate, they most likely had no authority to do anything other than what they did at least by April of 2008.  We have seen legislation come from the Congress regarding citizenship, but that legislation deals with Naturalization laws.  Defining the term natural born citizen is not a naturalization issue.  The only methods at our disposal to define the term natural born citizen are: 1) thorough court cases that specifically address the natural born citizen clause such as the cases currently pending in numerous courts, or 2) through Constitutional Amendment.  It really wasn’t practical at the time for the Congress to attempt to amend the Constitution before the 2008 General Election as there wouldn’t have been enough time to get it accomplished prior to the election that was a mere 7 months away.  The process to amend the Constitution is contained in Article V of the Constitution and reads as follows:

The Congress, whenever two thirds of both houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose amendments to this Constitution, or, on the application of the legislatures of two thirds of the several states, shall call a convention for proposing amendments, which, in either case, shall be valid to all intents and purposes, as part of this Constitution, when ratified by the legislatures of three fourths of the several states, or by conventions in three fourths thereof, as the one or the other mode of ratification may be proposed by the Congress; provided that no amendment which may be made prior to the year one thousand eight hundred and eight shall in any manner affect the first and fourth clauses in the ninth section of the first article; and that no state, without its consent, shall be deprived of its equal suffrage in the Senate. [xi]

As you can see from the description, this would have been a time consuming process and there just was not adequate time to accomplish this before the 2008 General Election at least not if started in April of 2008 when the non-binding Senate Resolution was passed.  However, this issue of whom is a natural born citizen was not new to this Senate.  In fact, many attempts have been made in the past as to Amending the U.S. Constitution to define natural born citizen.  This same question of John McCain’s eligibility arose in the 2000 Republican primary; however, John McCain did not secure the nomination; therefore, the matter was dropped.  Are we to simply alleviate the United States Senate of its burdens to clarify matters because there wasn’t enough time?  Should we not wonder why the Senate did not take up the matter after many candidates had attempted to gain access to the Presidential ballot whom were not eligible?  I contend that the Senate has had plenty of time to clarify the natural born citizen clause through Constitutional Amendment through the many years of their body’s existence, and if they were interested in protected the people of the United States from usurpation of the Office of the President, they would have written and passed through the proper process an Amendment to the U.S. Constitution defining natural born citizen.

The House of Representatives, the other branch (with the Senate) of the Congress, is supposed to be the representation of the people in our Constitutional Republic.  The House of Representatives is based on the population in the several States thereby resulting in divvying up statistically its members.  Did the House of Representatives have any method that the Senate did not possess to define natural born citizen?  The answer is no, both the House of Representatives and the Senate make up the Congress and legislative powers granted within the Constitution apply to the Congress as a whole.  The negligence in addressing this matter by the Senate can also be attributed to the House of Representatives.  So what could have or should have been done to resolve this issue after April 2008 and before the November 4, 2008 election?

Both John McCain and Barack Obama were U.S. Senators while running for President in 2008.  Both men were keenly aware of the non-binding Senate resolution passed regarding John McCain’s natural born citizenship status as John McCain was the subject of the bill and Barack Obama was a co-sponsor of the bill.  Both men had to swear and attest to being natural born citizens on Arizona’s Presidential Preference Election Candidate Nomination Form (A.R.S. § 16-242).[xii]  When John McCain signed this form under what knowledge or authority did he make this attestation? 

In Barack Obama’s case, he studied law at Harvard and received his degree, a doctorate of jurisprudence, from Harvard.  According to a New York Times article written by Jodi Kantor on July 30, 2008 entitled “Teaching Law, Testing Ideas, Obama Stood Slightly Apart,” Barack Obama spent twelve years teaching at the University of Chicago Law School.  In the article, Kantor describes Barack Obama’s time at the University of Chicago Law School in part as follows:

At the school, Mr. Obama taught three courses, ascending to senior lecturer, a title otherwise carried only by a few federal judges. His most traditional course was in the due process and equal protection areas of constitutional law.[xiii]

It is easy to understand that Barack Obama’s studies and eventual teaching of constitutional law may not have focused on or taken him into the intricacies of naturalization laws, the natural born citizen requirement and the cases we have presented in this book, but surely he would have had some familiarity with these matters.  When Barack Obama signed Arizona’s Presidential Preference Election Candidate Nomination Form (A.R.S. § 16-242),[xiv] under what authority or understanding of the definition of natural born citizen did he feel comfortable in making this attestation?

Did not John McCain and Barack Obama have some moral duty to ensure they were eligible to be President under Article II, Section 1 of the U.S. Constitution?  Since when has political power and gain asked a man to abandon character and his moral compass?  Each man had to know that if it was later proven they did not meet the Constitutional requirement to be President that a Constitutional crisis would result jeopardizing the fundamental stability of our Constitutional Republic and society as a whole.  What type of men risk so much for personal gain?  This is the quandary we find ourselves in today.  Why didn’t either gentleman, file a law suit within the State of Arizona asking for clarification of the definition of natural born citizen?  The form did not define the term natural born citizen.  Each candidate had to know that he could not definitively make the case that he was without doubt a natural born citizen.  After filing suit and obtaining a definition, if the definition provided did not fit the description of the circumstances of the candidates birth, he could have appealed the case all the way up to the U.S. Supreme Court.  Given each gentleman’s prominence and what was at stake, it is quite reasonable to suggest that these matters could have made it through the courts before the National Conventions of each party held in July 2008 for the Democrats and August 2008 for Republicans.  Why would these two men, one of which was going to be elected President, take an oath (which they had already taken as U.S. Senators) to protect and defend the Constitution show no fidelity to it in their respective quests to become President?  With their apparent unwillingness to bring resolution to the matter, could not have someone or something else required them to pay fidelity to the Constitution?  The answer is emphatically, yes!  The supposed fourth estate, the media, and, in particular, what we refer to as the main stream media could have thoroughly investigated this matter forcing the issue to be put to rest.  However, the main stream media had no interest in paying fidelity to our Constitution either.


[i] Senate Resolution on McCain’s Eligibility — http://leahy.senate.gov/press/200804/041008c.html

[ii] Senate Resolution on McCain’s Eligibility — http://leahy.senate.gov/press/200804/041008c.html

[iii] Senate Resolution on McCain’s Eligibility — http://leahy.senate.gov/press/200804/041008c.html

[iv] Cornell University Online Constitution — http://www.law.cornell.edu/constitution/constitution.articleii.html#section1

[v] TheMilitant.com Biography of Roger Calero — http://www.themilitant.com/2008/ElectionCampaign/bios.html

[vi] New Jersey Official List of President Candidates For the 2008 General Election — http://www.njelections.org/2008results/08generalelection/2008-official-gen-elect-candidates-pres-vice-pres-092208.pdf

[vii] New Jersey Official List of President Candidates For the 2008 General Election Results — http://www.njelections.org/2008results/08generalelection/08-official-gen-elect-tallies-pres-120208.pdf

[viii] Senate Resolution on McCain’s Eligibility — http://leahy.senate.gov/press/200804/041008c.html

[ix] State of Arizona Presidential Preference Election Candidate Nomination Paper — http://www.azsos.gov/election/2008/PPE/Nomination_Paper_PPE_Feb_5_2008.pdf

[x] State of Arizona Presidential Preference Election Candidate Nomination Paper — http://www.azsos.gov/election/2008/PPE/Nomination_Paper_PPE_Feb_5_2008.pdf

[xi] Cornell University Law School 17th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution — http://www.law.cornell.edu/constitution/constitution.amendmentxvii.html

[xii] State of Arizona Presidential Preference Election Candidate Nomination Paper — http://www.azsos.gov/election/2008/PPE/Nomination_Paper_PPE_Feb_5_2008.pdf

[xiii] New York Times “Teaching Law, Testing Ideas, Obama Stood Slightly Aprt” — http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/30/us/politics/30law.html

[xiv] State of Arizona Presidential Preference Election Candidate Nomination Paper — http://www.azsos.gov/election/2008/PPE/Nomination_Paper_PPE_Feb_5_2008.pdf

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.

Natural Born Citizen — Chapter 10: Summation

Summation of what we have learned thus far

We do best at this point in the book to summarize what we have learned thus far.  We will begin with those facts that are indisputable.

Indisputable Facts:

  1. In April of 2008, the United States Senate acknowledged that it was uncertain as to John Sidney McCain’s natural born citizenship status; therefore, they passed a non-binding Senate resolution stating that he was and is a natural born citizen.  Their non-binding Senate resolution amounts to no more than their opinion of the definition of a natural born citizen.
  2. The non-binding Senate resolution regarding John McCain’s natural born citizenship status relied on the citizenship of John McCain’s parents. 
  3. The non-binding Senate resolution regarding John McCain’s natural born citizenship status relied on John McCain’s father serving in the military at the time of John McCain’s birth. 
  4. According to Article II, Section 1, Clause 5 of the United States Constitution, in order to be eligible to the Office of United States President, one must be a natural born citizen. 
  5. According to the Naturalization Act of 1790, John Sidney McCain may have been considered a natural born citizen had the wording providing for this condition not been repealed by the Naturalization Act of 1795.  Therefore, the current Naturalization legislation does not make John McCain a natural born citizen. 
  6. The 14th Amendment provides that persons born in the United States and all naturalized citizens under naturalization legislation are citizens of the United States provided they are  “subject to the jurisdiction thereof” of the United States.  Nowhere within the 14th Amendment is the term natural born citizen(s) used or implied. 
  7. The opinion in the Minor v. Happersett case clearly states:  “The Constitution does not, in words, say who shall be natural-born citizens. Resort must be had elsewhere to ascertain that.” [i]  At the time the Minor v. Happersett case was being considered by the Supreme Court, the 14th Amendment had already been ratified and was a part of the U.S. Constitution.  Therefore, when the above quoted statement of the court in their opinion in the Minor v. Happersett case was made, they would also be taking into consideration the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.
  8. In accordance with Barack Obama’s own admissions on his campaign website Fight the Smears, Barack Obama held dual-citizenship at birth (U.S. citizenship through his mother and British citizenship through his father). 

The eight statements above make up the indisputable facts that we have discussed thus far.  The remaining discussions in the book have highlighted facts that remain controversial or within dispute.  We will now outline the important disputable facts that the book has addressed.

Disputable Facts:

  1. The meaning of natural born citizen as used in Article II, Section 1, Clause 5 of the United States Constitution uses Emmerich de Vattel’s definition of natural born citizen, i.e., “those born in the country, of parents who are citizens.” [ii]   
  2. The meaning of natural born citizen as used in Article II, Section 1, Clause 5 of the United States Constitution uses the English Common Law definition of natural born citizen, i.e., those born in England or its territories with allegiance to England regardless of the parents’ citizenship were natural born subjects.  Under this definition, there are those that argue that the United States use of the term natural born citizenship falls under the same definition meaning those born in the United States or its territories with allegiance to the United States regardless of the parents’ citizenship are natural born citizens. 
  3. Some argue that the Wong Kim Ark decision made Wong Kim Ark a natural born citizen.  While others argue that the Wong Kim Ark case made Wong Kim Ark a 14th Amendment United States citizen.  While still others argue that the Wong Kim Ark ruling is flawed on many levels and incorrectly applied the 14th Amendment to the opinion rendered in the case.

There are probably numerous other facts we could list under our disputable facts section, but they would do little to add to our discussion here.  The three disputable facts enumerated above tend to summarize the issue we have debated within the pages of this book, and, for our purposes, describe the contention to date as to whether or not John McCain and Barack Obama are natural born citizens.

As a result of the indisputable and disputable facts listed above, it should be clear to all readers that the great injustice perpetrated by the 2008 presidential election was that the American people could not be ensured that either the Republican or the Democratic candidate were, in fact, eligible to hold the position for which they were campaigning.  The result of the 2008 presidential election, therefore, produced a result that could only be described fairly as presenting this country with a Constitutional crisis for the eventual President of the United States may not be Constitutionally eligible to hold the position.

We will now move on to part two of this book that will look at how this Constitutional crisis came to be, and, more importantly, how it could have been avoided.  The branches of the federal government, the candidates themselves, and the 4th estate (the media) could have prevented this constitutional crisis had they been so inclined.  They were not so inclined, and, as a result, the true losers in the 2008 presidential contest have been the electorate, the American people.


[i] Findlaw.com – U.S. Supreme Court Minor v. Happersett, 88 U.S. 162 (1872) — http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/scripts/getcase.pl?court=US&vol=88&invol=162

[ii] Constitution Society — http://www.constitution.org/vattel/vattel_01.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.

Natural Born Citizens — Chapter 9: Allegiance

Allegiance to a country

The founding fathers would have been concerned with allegiance to the newly formed United States of America and their newly formed government.  Obviously, having defeated the British in the Revolutionary War securing their independence and sovereignty in their budding Nation, it was critical to the founders to have loyal patriots running the government.  It cannot be debated that the founders held the occupant to the Office of the President to a higher standard than any other office in the Federal Government by requiring a natural born citizen to be the office holder making no other position within the Federal Government held to the same standard of citizenship (with the exception that the Vice-President must also be held to this standard should he or she become President).  But why did the founding fathers require natural born citizenship for the President and no other office?  Clearly, as John Jay wrote in his letter to George Washington:

Permit me to hint, whether it would not be wise and seasonable to provide a strong check to the admission of Foreigners into the administration of our national Government and to declare expressly that the Command in Chief of the American army shall not be given to, nor devolve on, any but a natural born Citizen…[i]

John Jay referred in his letter to “Command in Chief” as we understand today to be the Commander in Chief.  The U.S. President is the Commander in Chief of the armed forces.  To this point in the book, we have not been able to discern with certainty what John Jay meant by natural born citizen, so let us see if we can understand what was meant by Foreigner(s).  Returning to our dictionary.com site, foreigner is defined as: 

a person not native to or naturalized in the country or jurisdiction under consideration; alien.[ii]

Clearly under this definition, this is our first indication that maybe dual citizenship does not preclude one from being a natural born citizen.  Utilizing this definition for foreigner, it is clear that Barack Obama would not be considered an alien of the United States.  Being born in Hawaii and although having dual citizenship, he did possess U.S. citizenship through his Mother, so it would certainly appear that he would not be considered a foreigner or an alien.  Was this enough for him to satisfy what was meant by John Jay’s qualification of natural born citizenship status for the Presidency? 

After the U.S. Constitution was written and signed by our founding fathers, it had to be ratified by the States in order to become the Supreme Law of the land.  In an effort to get the people of New York State to support the ratification of the Constitution, the Federalist Papers were written and published in New York City newspapers to persuade the people.  As the FoundingFathers.info website explains:

In total, the Federalist Papers consist of 85 essays outlining how this new government would operate and why this type of government was the best choice for the United States of America. All of the essays were signed “PUBLIUS” and the actual authors of some are under dispute, but the general consensus is that Alexander Hamilton wrote 52, James Madison wrote 28, and John Jay contributed the remaining five.

The Federalist Papers remain today as an excellent reference for anyone who wants to understand the U.S. Constitution.[iii]

In my searches of the Federalist Papers, I find no discussion of the natural born citizen clause from Article II, Section 1.  Why?  If said provision and requirement is so critical to the Office, why is no further mention of it made in “selling” the Constitution to the people?  It may be as simple as the fact that the Federalist Papers sought to focus their essays on the contentious portions of the Constitution and opposition in general to a federal government rather than spend time on those areas without dispute.  Further, the role and responsibilities of the President as Commander in Chief were discussed in detail in the Federalist Papers even though no mention of the natural born citizen provision was made.  In the final analysis, it may simply be that the term natural born citizen was firmly rooted in the minds of the founders either through de Vattel’s definition or another definition they commonly knew, so the founders never questioned in their minds what was meant.  Was there any other evidence as to why the founders included this provision especially with respect to using the term natural? 

The founding fathers were learned men.  They had read and were versed in many subjects and literate in the writings and teachings of the political thinkers that came before them.  One such political thinker whom the founding fathers were profoundly familiar was Cicero.  In reading Cicero’s works on natural law, the founders concluded that:

The Law of Nature or Nature’s God is eternal in its basic goodness; it is universal in its application.  It is a code of “right reason” from the Creator himself.  It cannot be altered.  It cannot be repealed.  It cannot be abandoned by legislators or the people themselves, even though they may pretend to do so.  In Natural Law we are dealing with factors of absolute reality.  It is basic in its principles, comprehensible to the human mind, and totally correct and morally right in its general operation.[iv]

They created the Supreme Law of Land when they wrote the Constitution based on this idea of natural law.  Emmerich de Vattel’s The Law of Nations is a treatise on natural law as indicated by the full title of his treatise:  The Law of Nations or Principles of Natural Law.[v] 

If we study this idea of natural law in relation to birth, we have to conclude that God given birth rights has something to say on the subject, therefore, the parents citizenship must play a part in the birth rights of the child, and arguably must play at minimum an equal role to the place of birth of the child.   It is reasonable to conclude that this may be the very reason that de Vattel defined natural born citizen in the manner in which he did:  on the soil of the country to citizen parents of the country.

At this point, however, there is a very interesting issue that arises in our modern day society.  We can accept all of the above and yet find in modern times that to be in accordance with natural law that it now may only take one citizen parent and not two to be a natural born citizen.  Why do I make this claim?  I make the claim for these reasons.  Many scholars have argued that the citizenship of a child follows the citizenship of the father, but as Leo Donofrio pointed out the other day on his blog, earlier in our history a Mother’s citizenship could result from “derivative citizenship” meaning at the time a woman married she took on the citizenship of her husband.  In modern times, this is no longer true.  Automatic citizenship upon marriage is not the United States law today.  Therefore, we must now make a distinction between parents and give weight to one over the other which of course we do in practical applications of the law justly or unjustly where the rights of the Mother typically garners more weight.  Could it be said that even though the founding fathers were using de Vattel’s definition of natural born citizenship when they wrote natural born citizen into the Constitution that the definition is not the same today even if you ascribe to original intent Constitutional doctrine?  I think the answer is probably no, let me explain. 

We know that the founding fathers followed natural law in their political concepts of government.  Why is only one citizen parent under natural law, birth rights and natural born citizenship incompatible?  I would argue it is for this reason, allegiance.  As we discussed, in modern America, we no longer have the transfer of citizenship by marriage or “derivative citizenship” by marriage.  In the case of a foreigner marrying a U.S. citizen, the foreigner remains a foreigner with whatever citizenship status they possess at the time that they marry.  Their path to U.S. citizenship is altered in only that they have to wait a few less years to apply for U.S. citizenship and naturalization.  And it is this naturalization that is important to our discussion here not in the traditional sense but in what it can tell us about dual citizens that wouldn’t be naturalized.

The term naturalization in essence means to make natural what is not now natural.  In the case of citizenship, it is to make that persons’ new citizenship natural to him or her.  In other words, his or her citizenship is naturalized so that his or her citizenship can be in accordance with the laws of nature.  One of the processes of naturalization in the United States is to take a “Naturalization Oath of Allegiance.”  The oath is as follows:

I hereby declare, on oath, that I absolutely and entirely renounce and abjure all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state or sovereignty, of whom or which I have heretofore been a subject or citizen; that I will support and defend the Constitution and laws of the United States of America against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I will bear arms on behalf of the United States when required by the law; that I will perform noncombatant service in the armed forces of the United States when required by the law; that I will perform work of national importance under civilian direction when required by the law; and that I take this obligation freely without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; so help me God.[vi]

Now we know that no natural born citizen need take an oath of allegiance.  However, what does it mean if we allow the definition of a natural born citizen to not include the citizenship of both parents, and if one of those parents is not a U.S. citizen thereby conferring that citizenship to the child?  How is it that the child does not by the laws of nature possess some allegiance to that foreign sovereign regardless if they are conscious of it or not?  This is the trouble that I have with using a definition apart from de Vattel’s because we can’t unequivocally say that the person does not possess at least a birth right allegiance to another nation.  Having a birth right allegiance to another nation can present unintended future consequences and certainly cannot guarantee sole and unencumbered allegiance to the United States of America.

In the next chapter of the book, I would like to summarize both the irrefutable facts and the opinions that cannot be known with certainty to layout what we have learned throughout our discourse thus far.  After summarizing what we’ve learned, we will move on to the next part of the book that will look at the reasons we have reached this crisis within our Constitution and how this crisis could have been avoided.


[i] Columbia University Library – The Papers of John Jay — http://wwwapp.cc.columbia.edu/ldpd/app/jay/search?mode=search&action=search&match=all&p=1&aut=john+jay&submit=Search&recip=george+washington&keywd=natural+born+citizen&rep=&jayid=&y1=&m1=&d1=&y2=&m2=&d2=&sort=date&resPerPage=25

[ii] Dictionary.com  definition of the word “foreigner” — http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/foreigner

[iii] The Federalist Papers e-text — http://www.foundingfathers.info/federalistpapers/

[iv] The 5000 Year Leap A Miracle that Changed the World ©1981 by W. Cleon Skousen p. 40.

[v] The Law of Nations or Principles of Natural Law — http://www.lonang.com/exlibris/vattel/

[vi] Global Policy Forum “Naturalization Oath of Allegiance” — http://www.globalpolicy.org/component/content/article/171/29826.html

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

August 27, 2009 at 10:17 am

Natural Born Citizen — Chapter 8: Dual and Multi Citizenship

Dual and multi citizenship and their relation to natural born citizenship

If a person who is born with dual or multi citizenship can also be a natural born citizen, how does that circumstance potentially jeopardize our Constitutional Republic?  First let’s address the issue of dual and multi citizenship.  In Chapter 7, we discovered that according to Barack Obama’s own campaign website Fight the Smears, Barack Obama possessed dual citizenship upon his birth.  As was noted, his Father was bound by the British Nationality Act of 1948, and as a result, Barack Obama was also bound by that Act as well.  So what does the British Nationality Act of 1948 state regarding the citizenship Barack Obama inherited at birth?  Part II, Section 5 of the British Nationality Act of 1948 states:

Subject to the provisions of this section, a person born after the commencement of this Act shall be a citizen of the United Kingdom and Colonies by descent if his father is a citizen of the United Kingdom and Colonies at the time of the birth.[i]

That would appear fairly straightforward and would thereby make Barack Obama a citizen of the United Kingdom and Colonies.  But the Act goes on to discuss provisions thereafter that affect the above quoted passage.  The provisions in this portion of the passage discuss ways in which citizenship would not be acquired under this section of the Act, but may be obtained in another Section within the Act.  In reviewing the provisions none would have excluded Barack Obama under Part II, Section 5.  It would appear that in accordance with Part II, Section 5 of the British Nationality Act of 1948, Barack Obama at the time of his birth did in fact hold citizenship in the United Kingdom.

In Part II, Section 19 of the Act, renunciation of citizenship is allowed as follows:

(1) If any citizen of the United Kingdom and Colonies of full age and capacity who is also— 

(a) a citizen of any country mentioned in subsection (3) of section one of this Act or of Eire; or

(b) a national of a foreign country,

makes a declaration in the prescribed manner of renunciation of citizenship of the United Kingdom and Colonies, the Secretary of State shall cause the declaration to be registered; and, upon the registration, that person shall cease to be a citizen of the United Kingdom and Colonies:

Provided that the Secretary of State may withhold registration of any such declaration if it is made during any war in which His Majesty may be engaged by a person who is a national of a foreign country.[ii]

Do we have any evidence that Barack Obama renounced his British Citizenship?  In his FactCheck.org reference, he claimed his Kenyan citizenship had expired.  Why is there no mention of his British citizenship?  The answer may lie in the fact that in 1963, two years after Barack Obama’s birth, Kenya gained its independence from Great Britain.  At that time, both Barack Obama Sr. and Barack Obama became Kenyan citizens.  Their citizenship was defined in the 1963 Kenyan Constitution in Chapter 6, Section 87 as follows:

Persons who became citizens on 12th December, 1963

1. Every person who, having been born in Kenya, is on llth December. 1963 a citizen of the United Kingdom and Colonies or a British protected person shall become a citizen of Kenya on 12th December, 1963:

Provided that a person shall not become a citizen of Kenya by virtue of this subsection if neither of his parents was born in Kenya.

2. Every person who, having been born outside Kenya. is on llth December, 1963 a citizen of the United Kingdom and Colonies or a British protected person shall. if his father becomes. or would but for his death have become, a citizen of Kenya by virtue of subsection (1). become a citizen of Kenya on 12th December. 1963.[iii]

In accordance with Section 87, Subsection (1), Barack Obama Sr. became a Kenyan Citizen on December 12, 1963.  In accordance with Section 87, Subsection (2), Barack Obama became a Kenyan Citizen on December 12. 1963. 

At the time of gaining Kenyan citizenship, what became of the British citizenship of Barack Obama Sr. and Barack Obama?  The British Nationality Act has been updated numerous times since Kenya became a sovereign country in 1963.  In my research, I have not found anywhere in the Kenyan Constitution information regarding British citizenship.  Neither have I found in the subsequent Amendments to the British Nationality Act of 1948 any language discussing the loss of British citizenship by virtue of Kenya becoming a sovereign country.  On the face of it, I would assume the citizenship was transferred from British citizenship to Kenyan citizenship; therefore, Barack Obama was no longer a British citizen; however, I have no documentation to prove this assumption.  And it is also possible that Barack Obama’s British citizenship remains intact today, and if that is case, such a condition would seem to be a significant issue for a man currently occupying the White House.

For the purposes of our discussion, although it is important what became of Barack Obama’s British citizenship, what is more important is that at the time of his birth he held dual citizenship as both a U.S. citizen and a British citizen.  In our discussion, it is important what the founders when writing the Constitution would have thought about this dual citizenship with respect to the natural born citizen clause of Article II, Section 1 of the Constitution.  My first impression is that the founders would unequivocally have a problem with multi citizenship at birth.  I say that because it seems unfathomable to me that a person whom holds citizenship in another country based on that country’s laws possesses sole allegiance to the nation where he was born.  As such, I can’t imagine how that same person could be considered a natural born citizen and eligible to the Presidency.  In the next chapter, we will look at what the founders may have thought of this condition when we discuss allegiance.


[i] The British Nationality Act of 1948 — http://www.uniset.ca/naty/BNA1948.htm

[ii] British Nationality Act of 1948 — http://www.uniset.ca/naty/BNA1948.htm

[iii] Kenyan Constitution Chapter 6, Section 87 — http://kenya.rcbowen.com/constitution/chap6.html#87

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

August 26, 2009 at 7:22 pm

Natural Born Citizen — Chapter 7: Natural Born Citizen Remains Debatable

Further information on defining natural born citizen

As we can see from reviewing the case law, the definition of natural born citizen remains undefined by the courts and debatable within the public.  From a practical point of view, the definition really comes down to exactly what has already been discussed:  is it enough to simply be born here, or does it also require that both of your parents were U.S. citizens at the time of your birth, jus sanguinis (right of blood)? 

One of the important issues that clouds this debate is that many people confuse the term citizen and the term natural born citizen.  In the court cases we have reviewed so far, no one was conferring natural born citizen on any of the parties to the cases including those citizens described in the 14th Amendment.  This book is concerned with this special type of citizenship, i.e., natural born citizenship.  The only time natural born citizenship in the United States is required is to hold the Offices of President and Vice-President of the United States.  You do not need to be a natural born citizen to be a Senator, nor to be a Representative in the House.  You don’t have to be a natural born citizen to be Governor of a state, Mayor, or a City Council person.  You do not need to be a natural born citizen to enjoy any of the rights guaranteed to you in the first 10 Amendments of the U.S. Constitution.  Do not these facts on their very face seem to imply or at least lead to the argument that there is something uniquely special about natural born citizenship?  If so, what would that uniqueness be?  Is it unreasonable to think that the uniqueness might just in fact be as de Vattel wrote:  “The natives, or natural-born citizens, are those born in the country, of parents who are citizens [?]”  But what is most important is what our U.S. Constitution and how our current law can guide us in ascertaining a decision.  As the Chief Justice wrote in the Minor v. Happersett decision, “[t]he Constitution does not, in words, say who shall be natural-born citizens.  Resort must be had elsewhere to ascertain that.”[i]  Remember, the opinion written in the Minor v. Happersett case was written after the 14th Amendment was ratified and became a part of the Constitution, so when the opinion in the case makes the above statement, the 14th Amendment is included in that statement meaning the 14th Amendment does not define natural born citizen either.

We have already pointed out that the founding fathers studied de Vattel to the extent that Benjamin Franklin admitted to The Law of Nations use in the Continental Congress.  As a result, the founders would have been aware of his definition of natural born citizen at the time of their writing of the Constitution.  We have looked at the Nationality Act of 1790.  We have reviewed the 14th Amendment and the cases of Minor v. Happersett as well as U.S. v. Wong Kim Ark.  We have not, however, in detail looked at the provision in the 14th Amendment that states “subject to the jurisdiction thereof.”  As a reminder, the 14th Amendment begins:

All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside.[ii]

There is no doubt that when Barack Obama was born in Hawaii, he would have been subject to the territorial jurisdiction of the United States meaning the laws of the United States and the laws in the State of Hawaii, but would he also be politically subject to the jurisdiction thereof, or did he also hold political jurisdiction via the British Naturalization Act of 1948 to the country of England?  The question we have been debating here is would he have qualified as a natural born citizen?  Is a British citizen at birth a natural born U.S. citizen?

During the Presidential Campaign of 2008, Barack Obama’s campaign put up a website called Fight the Smears (www.fightthesmears.com) in order to debunk any rumors that surfaced about him during the campaign.  One of the rumors surfacing in June of 2008 questioned whether or not Barack Obama was born in Hawaii.  In response to this smear, Barack Obama’s website posted a page on their website debunking this rumor, by showing a digital copy of Barack Obama’s “Certification of Live Birth” from the state of Hawaii.  The website page included an article written by the Washington Post as well as a website post from FactCheck.org where the first (Washington Post) attempted to confirm that he was born in Hawaii while the latter (FactCheck.org) addressed his citizenship.  The page on the Fight the Smears website[iii] debunking the Hawaiian birth certificate smear is depicted below:

fightthesmearsbirthing

At the top of the webpage is the website’s official statement on the matter, and it reads in its entirety as follows:

Smears claiming Barack Obama doesn’t have a birth certificate aren’t actually about that piece of paper – they’re about manipulating people into thinking Barack is not an American citizen. 

The truth is, Barack Obama was born in the state of Hawaii in 1961, a native citizen of the United States of America.

Next time someone talks about Barack’s birth certificate, make sure they see this page.[iv]

The next item on this page of the website was the digital copy of his Certification of Live Birth from the state of Hawaii.  The next item was an extract from The Washington Post article (with a link to the article) stating:

 The Washington Post[v] Debunks Smears, Confirms Barack’s Citizenship

 “The truth: Sen. Barack Obama, born in Hawaii, is a Christian family man with a track record of public service.”

And the final portion of this page on his website showed the statement by Factcheck.org clarifying Barack Obama’s citizenship:

FactCheck.org[vi] Clarifies Barack’s Citizenship

“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.”

In the official statement on the Fight the Smears website, Barack Obama is said to be a “native born citizen.”  The Washington Post extract on the website makes no mention of citizenship.  And the FactCheck.org statement on the website states:

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.[vii]

At the time the FactCheck.org statement was posted on the Fight the Smears website, sometime in late August or early September of 2008, some people were astounded to see this admission.  These folks made the argument that the website posting proved that Barack Obama had at a minimum held dual citizenship at the time of his birth, and that as a British subject at birth he could not possibly be a natural born citizen.  It did not matter to them that the FactCheck.org statement went on to say that Barack Obama’s Kenyan citizenship expired on August 4, 1982.  For them, this was enough to prove that Barack Obama was not in fact and by his own admission a natural born citizen.  For if his citizenship was governed by an Act of the British Government then he must be subject to their political jurisdiction in some manner.  The logical question being, can a person who possesses dual citizenship at birth be a natural born citizen?   This of course is the seminal question of our discussion.  Barack Obama’s Fight the Smears website refers to him as a native born citizen.  Is there in fact a difference between native born and natural born citizens?

Prima facie evidence suggests when we look at the definitions of native born versus natural born we see no differentiation in the definitions.  Dictionary.com defines native born as:  “born in the place or country indicated,” (definition having its origins from 1490 to 1500) and defines natural born as “a native born” (definition has its origin from 1575 to -85).[viii]  According to Dictionary.com the term native born has its origins prior to the term natural born which logically allows for the later to derive its definition from the former.  As a result, one can conclude that according to Dictionary.com, the case is closed, natural born equals native born.  In fact, in de Vattel’s definition of natural born he somewhat alluded to the terms as equals when he stated:  “The natives, or natural-born citizens, are those born in the country, of parents who are citizens.”  If natives is equal to native born then de Vattel would also be stating that they are equal.  It is not clear, however, if de Vattel is in fact using the term natives in place of native born.  Interestingly, no other online dictionary defines natural born, and my Second College Edition of The American Heritage Dictionary (albeit is a bit dated) also does not define the term natural born while it does provide the same definition for native born as dictionary.com.  Can we conclude that these other dictionaries do not define the term natural born citizen because we do not possess a definition as has been argued to this point in the book?

To this point, in the various chapters of the book, we have discussed different types of citizenship including:  natural born citizens, native born citizens, U.S. citizens and naturalized citizens.  Although our endeavor is to define the term natural born citizen, it might be helpful to find a finite definition for each of these terms.  Our friend, M Publius Goat at the Country First website has put together a citizenship chart which is depicted as follows:

citizenship chart

Reprinted with Permission

The chart is a little bit hard to read in our reproduced copy of it, but if you click on the chart it will take you to a larger version of the chart.  In order to assist with what is depicted above, here is the breakdown of citizenship:

Citizen of the U.S. = born to at least (1) U.S. citizen parent, or born in the U.S.A., or naturalized as a U.S. citizen

Born Citizen of the U.S. = born in the U.S.

Naturalized Citizen = not born in the U.S. and citizenship rights gained by the process governed by federal statute.

Natural Born Citizen = Both parents U.S. citizens (of any type above) and born in the U.S.A.

I highly recommend that you click on the chart and see the logical definitions and relationships between the types of citizens.

The chart provided makes a lot of sense and logically it appears to give us a clear understanding of the various types of citizenship.  Unlike the proponents of Barack Obama’s natural born citizenship status, I am not just going to point to this chart and claim our work is done, that we now have a definitive answer as to all of our natural born citizenship questions.  This is an excellent start, and lays out citizenship logically for us, but we still have the duty to confirm the chart in accordance with our Constitution and subsequent Amendments and Federal Statutes.  The definition of natural born citizen is becoming much clearer to us as we proceed through these discussions, but we are not arrogant enough to think that we can unequivocally define that which has not been defined within our Constitutional and legal system.  It should be noted that it is not that those whom are opponents to Barack Obama’s natural born citizenship status are saying Barack Obama is definitely not a natural born citizen even though they are fairly sure he is not, they are simply saying at the very least that they have no definitive way of knowing for sure if he is.  As a result, the matter must be decided to protect our nation ensuring adherence to its Constitution.  If a person whom is not a natural born citizen is allowed to occupy the Office of the President of the United States in usurpation, then there is no other law contained within the Constitution that must also be abided.  Should this occur, then the result is anarchy and our nation no longer exists as a Constitutional Republic bound by the rule of law.  Furthermore, there would be nothing to prevent someone from becoming President of the United States whom is not a natural born citizen and has ill intentions whom would do irreparable harm to our nation as a result of becoming President. 


[i] Findlaw.com – U.S. Supreme Court Minor v. Happersett, 88 U.S. 162 (1872) — http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/scripts/getcase.pl?court=US&vol=88&invol=162

[ii] Cornell University Online Constitution – http://www.law.cornell.edu/constitution/constitution.amendmentxiv.html

[iii] Fight the Smears Birth Certificate Page — http://www.fightthesmears.com/articles/5/birthcertificate.html

[iv] Fight the Smears Birth Certificate Page — http://www.fightthesmears.com/articles/5/birthcertificate.html

[v] Washington Post “In Flag City USA, False Obama Rumors Are Flying”  http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/06/29/AR2008062901871_pf.html

[vi] FactCheck.org article: Does Barack Obama have Kenyan citizenship?  http://www.factcheck.org/askfactcheck/does_barack_obama_have_kenyan_citizenship.html

[vii] Fight the Smears Birth Certificate Page — http://www.fightthesmears.com/articles/5/birthcertificate.html

[viii] Dictionary.com website:  the definitions of natural born and native born – http://dictionary.reference.com

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.