He's Not My President?

Thoreau: "Government is Best Which Governs Least"

Natural Born Citizen — Chapter 6: U.S. v. Wong Kim Ark

Citizenship case of a child born on U.S. soil to Chinese nationals

Wong Kim Ark alleged that he was born in the United States in 1873 to parents of Chinese decent whom were subjects of the emperor of China. In August of 1895, Wong Kim Ark was returning to the United States from a temporary visit to China wherein he was refused permission to land (dock) at the port of San Francisco by the collector of customs and was restrained of his liberty based solely upon the pretense that he was not a citizen of the United States.[i]

This case, like the Minor v. Happersett case, occurred after the ratification of the 14th Amendment.  Proponents of Barack Obama’s natural born citizenship status point to the following passage from the opinion written by Justice Gray[ii]:

The foregoing considerations and authorities irresistibly lead us to these conclusions: The fourteenth amendment affirms the ancient and fundamental rule of citizenship by birth within the territory, in the allegiance and under the protection of the country, including all children here born of resident aliens, with the exceptions or qualifications (as old as the rule itself) of children of foreign sovereigns or their ministers, or born on foreign public ships, or of enemies within and during a hostile occupation of part of our territory, and with the single additional exception of children of members of the Indian tribes owing direct allegiance to their several tribes. The amendment, in clear words and in manifest intent, includes the children born within the territory of the United States of all other persons, of whatever race or color, domiciled within the United States. Every citizen or subject of another country, while domiciled here, is within the allegiance and the protection, and consequently subject to the jurisdiction, of the United States. His allegiance to the United States is direct and immediate, and, although but local and temporary, continuing only so long as he remains within our territory, is yet, in the words of Lord Coke in Calvin’s Case, 7 Coke, 6a, ‘strong enough to make a natural subject, for, if he hath issue here, that issue is a natural-born subject’; and his child, as said by Mr. Binney in his essay before quoted, ‘If born in the country, is as much a citizen as the natural-born child of a citizen, and by operation of the same principle.[iii] (Emphasis added)

Proponents that say Barack Obama is a natural born citizen point to the highlighted portion above concluding that is as much a citizen and the natural born child of a citizen are equivalents in that sentence.  Thus, a child born in the United States of a foreigner domiciled in the United States is a natural born citizen child.  

First, it can be unequivocally argued that the justices in their affirmative opinion above found Wong Kim Ark to be a 14th Amendment U.S. Citizen.  There can be no dispute of this fact regardless of the soundness of the Justices’ arguments.  It should also be noted that while domiciled in the U.S. and again in accordance with the 14th Amendment that “every citizen or subject of another country, while domiciled here, is within the allegiance and the protection, and consequently subject to the jurisdiction, of the United States” was the additional argument that the opinion of the court was making.

The crux of the ruling though for our purposes is how it relates to the natural born citizen status of an individual and in the highlighted text above, the Justices clearly state:  and his child (snip) [i]f born in the country, is as much a citizen as the natural-born child of a citizen, and by operation of the same principle.  These twenty-seven words may ultimately decide the eligibility of Barack Obama to hold the Office of the President of the United States. 

The twenty-seven word sentence is the last portion of a much longer sentence, but because it has immediately before it a semi-colon, it stands alone as a complete thought.  The portion of the sentence that has been removed (snipped) is a parenthetical statement and is not necessary to the complete thought of the sentence.  The parenthetical portion that has been snipped is utilized in the sentence to cite an authority.  The fourteenth word of the sentence is the word as (the second time the word as is used in the twenty-seven word sentence) and is one of the most important words in understanding when deconstructing the sentence. 

When as is used in this context it is used as a subordinate conjunction.  Subordinate conjunctions compare two things, but they do not compare two like things.  In order to compare to equal things, correlative conjunctions are used.  In the sentence that we have extracted from the paragraph it is clear that a subordinate conjunction is being used, and in a subordinate conjunction there is a dependent clause and an independent clause. 

In our sentence, the independent clause is is as much as a citizen and the dependent clause is as the natural-born child of a citizen.  The relationship between the two clauses is in fact a comparison though.  It is a comparison between two types of American children.  One child is a child born in America and the other is a natural born American child.  They are not equivalent though because they are separated by a subordinate conjunction rather than a correlative conjunction.  The two children represented in the dependent and independent clauses being discussed are clearly two different children, but they are purposely being compared to one another.  In the independent clause, the child is a citizen even though his parent is a foreigner domiciled in the U.S.  In the dependent clause the child of the citizen is a natural born child.  In the independent clause, the child of the foreigner domiciled in the U.S., although the child is concluded to be a citizen, the foreign parent domiciled here is not necessarily a citizen.  Whereas, in the dependent clause, the parent of the natural born child is in fact a citizen, the parents as well as the child are both citizens.  Two completely different children are being compared to one another making use of the grammatical construct of a subordinate conjunction and determining that both children are citizens but not natural born citizens.  This is a critical point and should not be obfuscated.

Proponents of Barack Obama’s natural born citizen status could easily agree with the above grammatical analysis and still come to the same conclusion that Barack Obama is a natural born citizen.  They might argue even if the subordinate clause in question in itself is not comparing two equivalent children what the Justice is saying is that these two different children are as the final portion of the sentence states “and by operation of the same principle.” [iv]  On the other hand, those analyzing the sentence without deconstructing the sentence grammatically may conclude, just on the face of it, or in accordance with their first impression when they read the sentence appears to equate these two children implying that they are both natural born citizens.

In order to understand the Wong Kim Ark case one must know the history of the day.  At the time, the Chinese people were beholden to the Emperor of China.  The Wong Kim Ark case took very serious the notion of subject to the jurisdiction thereof not only in the sense of jurisdiction held by a nation while you were residing in it as to that nation’s laws, but actual allegiance to the nation in which you were residing.  The Wong Kim Ark case had to wrestle with the ability for a Chinese resident of the United States having legal allegiance under the 14th Amendment to the United States versus some political allegiance they have to give to the Emperor of China.  In the sentence we have been studying, remember we only took the last part of the sentence after the semi-colon, but the sentence is part of a greater thought on “subject to the jurisdiction thereof.”  The justices concluded in this sentence that both children (the child of resident aliens and the natural born child of a citizen) were both by operation the same principle.  Does this actually prove they were both therefore natural born citizens?

Justice Gray in writing the opinion of the court in this case went into a very a lengthy explanation of natural born citizens and subjects.  In the opinion, he writes:

It thus clearly appears that by the law of England for the last three centuries, beginning before the settlement of this country, and continuing to the present day, aliens, while residing in the dominions possessed by the crown of England, were within the allegiance, the obedience, the faith or loyalty, the protection, the power, and the jurisdiction of the English sovereign; and therefore every child born in England of alien parents was a natural-born subject, unless the child of an ambassador or other diplomatic agent of a foreign state, or of an alien enemy in hostile occupation of the place where the child was born.

III. The same rule was in force in all the English colonies upon this continent down to the time of the Declaration of Independence, and in the United States afterwards, and continued to prevail under the constitution as originally established. [v]

On the other hand, Chief Justice Fuller whom wrote the dissenting opinion in the Wong Kim Ark case stated the following:

Before the Revolution, the views of the publicists had been thus put by Vattel: ‘The natives, or natural-born citizens, are those born in the country, of parents who are citizens. As the society cannot exist and perpetuate itself otherwise than by the children of the citizens, those children naturally follow the condition of their fathers, and succeed to all their rights. The society is supposed to desire this, in consequence of what it owes to its own preservation; and it is presumed, as matter of course, that each citizen, on entering into society, reserves to his children the right of becoming members of it. The country of the fathers is therefore that of the children; and these become true citizens merely by their tacit consent. We shall soon see whether, on their coming to the years of discretion, they may renounce their right, and what they owe to the society in which they were born. I say that, in order to be of the country, it is necessary that a person be born of a father who is a citizen; for, if he is born there of a foreigner, it will be only the place of his birth, and not his country.’ Vatt. Law Nat. bk. 1, c. 19, 212. ‘The true bond which connects the child with the body politic is not the matter of an inanimate piece of land, but the moral relations of his parentage. … The place of birth produces no change in the rule that children follow the condition of their fathers, for it is not naturally the place of birth that gives rights, but extraction. [vi]

We, therefore, have two differing opinions within this one case of the subject of natural born citizen.  Granted, weight must be given to the case’s opinion rather the case’s dissent.  However, for those whom are still convinced that the Wong Kim Ark case unequivocally argues that a child born on U.S. soil regardless of the status of their parents’ citizenship is a natural born citizen, I ask the following question.  Why did Justice Gray not make this argument, place these words in the final paragraph of the courts’ decision when he wrote:

The evident intention, and the necessary effect, of the submission of this case to the decision of the court upon the facts agreed by the parties, were to present for determination the single question, stated at the beginning of this opinion, namely, whether a child born in the United States, of parents of Chinese descent, who, at the time of his birth, are subjects of the emperor of China, but have a permanent domicile and residence in the United States, and are there carrying on business, and are not employed in any diplomatic or official capacity under the emperor of China, becomes at the time of his birth a citizen of the United States. For the reasons above stated, this court is of opinion that the question must be answered in the affirmative.[vii] (Emphasis added)

Justice Gray could have written, becomes at the time of his birth a natural born citizen of the United States, but he did not use this qualification.

The problem with the original quoted passage from Wong Kim Ark and in particular the sentence that we have been deconstructing is that the sentence is just poorly constructed especially for use within a precedent setting legal opinion.  This sentence could have been constructed in a much clearer fashion which would have obviated the confusion we have today regarding Wong Kim Ark’s case and its relationship to the natural born citizen subject.  And as stated in the last paragraph, Justice Gray could have removed all doubt in the final paragraph of his written opinion.  In fairness to the Justice, the Wong Kim Ark case was not a case that required Wong Kim Ark to be a natural born citizen.  The case simply needed to prove that Wong Kim Ark was a 14th Amendment citizen.  It would have been convenient today if the quoted passage was more clearly defined in terms of natural born citizen status in a subsequent sentence by the Justices, but they felt no compelling reason to clear up any issues with regard to natural born citizens as their case did not require such a ruling.

As a result, it appears to this author that Wong Kim Ark really does not add precedent nor provide a final clarification of the natural born citizen definition, nor did the Minor v. Happersett case as to our legal impression of what was meant by natural born citizen.  Therefore, we remain without a legal definition of the term natural born citizen by our courts.

For a more thorough discussion on the Wong Kim Ark case please see the following discussions at the following website links:

http://naturalborncitizen.wordpress.com/2009/07/30/justice-horace-gray-clearly-indicated-wong-kim-ark-was-not-a-natural-born-citizen/

http://people.mags.net/tonchen/birthers.htm#ref14

http://federalistblog.us/2006/12/us_v_wong_kim_ark_can_never_be_considered.html


[i] Findlaw.com – U.S. Supreme Court U.S. v. Wong Kim Ark, 169 U.S. 649 (1898) — http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/scripts/getcase.pl?court=US&vol=169&invol=649

[ii] Justice Gray was appointed by President Chester Author.  There has been question as to whether or not Chester Author usurped the Presidency of the United States.  For a thorough discussion on this topic please see Leo Donofrio’s blog posts on this subject at http://naturalborncitizen.wordpress.com

[iii] Findlaw.com – U.S. Supreme Court U.S. v. Wong Kim Ark, 169 U.S. 649 (1898) — http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/scripts/getcase.pl?court=US&vol=169&invol=649

[iv] Findlaw.com – U.S. Supreme Court U.S. v. Wong Kim Ark, 169 U.S. 649 (1898) — http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/scripts/getcase.pl?court=US&vol=169&invol=649

[v] Findlaw.com – U.S. Supreme Court U.S. v. Wong Kim Ark, 169 U.S. 649 (1898) — http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/scripts/getcase.pl?court=US&vol=169&invol=649

[vi] Findlaw.com – U.S. Supreme Court U.S. v. Wong Kim Ark, 169 U.S. 649 (1898) — http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/scripts/getcase.pl?court=US&vol=169&invol=649

[vii] Findlaw.com – U.S. Supreme Court U.S. v. Wong Kim Ark, 169 U.S. 649 (1898) — http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/scripts/getcase.pl?court=US&vol=169&invol=649

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 21, 2009 at 10:24 pm

Natural Born Citizen — Chapter 5: Minor v. Happersett

Citizenship case before women’s suffrage

Minor v. Happersett was an 1872 case originating in Missouri brought by Virginia Minor who applied to Happersett (whom held the office of  Register of Voters at the time) to be a registered voter in the general election to be held in November of that year.[i]  This case preceded Women’s suffrage and the 19th Amendment which was not ratified until 1920.[ii]  The case was referred to the United States Supreme Court.  Because the case included supposed rights obtained via the 14th Amendment by a female wishing to vote, the opinion by the Supreme Court Justices broached the subject of a wide range of citizenship issues. 

The court first attempted to determine who were citizens of the United States at the time of the adoption of the Articles of Confederation and the adoption of the U.S. Constitution.  In the opinion written by the Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court such citizens were defined as follows:

Whoever, then, was one of the people of either of these States when the Constitution of the United States was adopted, became ipso facto a citizen-a member of the nation created by its adoption. He was one of the persons associating together to form the nation, and was, consequently, one of its original citizens. As to this there has never been a doubt. Disputes have arisen as to whether or not certain persons or certain classes of persons were part of the people at the time, but never as to their citizenship if they were. [iii]

Interestingly enough, even though this case did not require the justices to determine whether or not someone was a natural born citizen, the court made reference to natural born citizens.  The Chief Justice’s opinion entertained the following on the issue of natural born citizens:

The Constitution does not, in words, say who shall be natural-born citizens. Resort must be had elsewhere to ascertain that. At common-law, with the nomenclature of which the framers of the Constitution were familiar, it was never doubted that all children born in a country of parents who were its citizens became themselves, upon their birth, citizens also. These were natives, or natural-born citizens, as distinguished from aliens or foreigners. Some authorities go further and include as citizens children born within the jurisdiction without reference to the citizenship of their [88 U.S. 162, 168]   parents. As to this class there have been doubts, but never as to the first. For the purposes of this case it is not necessary to solve these doubts. It is sufficient for everything we have now to consider that all children born of citizen parents within the jurisdiction are themselves citizens. The words ‘all children’ are certainly as comprehensive, when used in this connection, as ‘all persons,’ and if females are included in the last they must be in the first. That they are included in the last is not denied. In fact the whole argument of the plaintiffs proceeds upon that idea.[iv] (Emphasis added)

It is a seminal point in this opinion when the Justice states:

“Some authorities go further and include as citizens children born within the jurisdiction without reference to the citizenship of their [88 U.S. 162, 168]   parents. As to this class there have been doubts, but never as to the first.” [v] 

Since this case references the 14th Amendment and therefore obviously follows the 14th Amendment, the precedent set here seems to indicate three crucial facts:

  1. Affirmation that the Constitution does not, in words, say who shall be natural-born citizens. Resort must be had elsewhere to ascertain that, and 
  2. That there is no dispute that children born in the United States to parents that are U.S. citizens are natural born citizens, and 
  3. Children that are born in the United States without reference to the citizenship of their parents are not without doubt citizens.

Remember, the courts should always seek to be as clear as is possible in their language within their writings as settled cases set precedent for cases that follow.  The Justices in this case clearly state the three critical points noted above in the case before them which occurred after the passage of the 14th Amendment to the United States Constitution. 

Surprisingly (and I say surprisingly as a female), the conclusion of this case did not grant the appellant, Virginia Minor, suffrage rights.  The court argued that:

If the right of suffrage is one of the necessary privileges of a citizen of the United States, then the constitution and laws of Missouri confining it to men are in violation of the Constitution of the United States, as amended, and consequently void. The direct question is, therefore, presented whether all citizens are necessarily voters. [vi] 

The court concluded the following:

Being unanimously of the opinion that the Constitution of the United States does not confer the right of suffrage upon any one, and that the constitutions and laws of the several States which commit that important trust to men alone are not necessarily void, we

AFFIRM THE JUDGMENT.[vii]

The ruling is important to our discussion in that it did not grant additional rights via the 14th Amendment to citizens of the United States.  In essence, it did not allow the 14th Amendment to be in contradiction with the original holdings of the U.S. Constitution.  With respect to our discussion, unless so stated it would appear that the 14th Amendment cannot change the understanding of natural born citizen known in the original text of the U.S. Constitution. 

The justices further argued in the case of suffrage:

We have given this case the careful consideration its importance demands. If the law is wrong, it ought to be changed; but the power for that is not with us.[viii]

In fact, it took another 48 years before the Constitution was amended and women were granted the right of suffrage.  Times change, societal norms evolve, new injustices are found, but the answer has always been to adhere to the Constitution, and, when applicable, to change it through the amendment process to update it to modern times.

As the Chief Justice in this case pointed out a definition of natural born citizen had yet to be determined.  Taking his thoughts along the lines of suffrage, we might also argue that if natural born citizen is ultimately defined as a person born on U.S. soil to U.S. citizen parents is wrong in that the law is wrong, it should not be argued that the law should not be upheld, but rather if the law is producing some sort of injustice then it should be changed.  In the case of the Constitution that provision would need to be changed through the Amendment process.

But it seems that we still do not know definitively what natural born citizen means.  At the time the case of Minor v. Happersett was argued in 1872, the justices claimed that there remained doubts as to whether or not a person born on U.S. soil without regard to their parents’ citizenship were natural born citizens.  The matter remains in question, but there is yet another subsequent case (U.S. v. Wong Kim Ark) that proponents for Barack Obama’s affirmative status as a natural born citizen rely upon which will be the subject of our next chapter.


[i] Cornell University Law School’s Supreme Court collection — http://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/historics/USSC_CR_0088_0162_ZS.html

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

[iii] 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

[iv] 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

[v] 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

[vi] 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

[vii] 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

[viii] 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

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 13, 2009 at 6:34 pm

The Natural Born Citizen Book

For those of  you who are following my book Natural Born Citizen being posted on this blog, I thought I would make it easier for you to find the chapters you wish to revisit or to start the book from beginning to end.  Below you will find links to each of the chapters of the book.    On September 25, 2009, I completed the book, and in late November 2009, I published the book.  For those of you who would like to purchase the book, so that you have a copy to carry around with you to help generate discussion on the matter, click on the image to the left.   I sincerely hope you enjoy the book and that it assists in opening a national dialogue on the subject matter. 

Prologue to the book on the natural born citizen issue

Natural Born Citizen — Chapter 1:  Introduction

Natural Born Citizen — Chapter 2:  Constitutional Requirements

Natural Born Citizen — Chapter 3:  The Naturalization Act of 1790

Natural Born Citizen — Chapter 4:  The 14th Amendment

Natural Born Citizen — Chapter 5:  Minor v. Happersett

Natural Born Citizen — Chapter 6:  U.S. v. Wong Kim Ark

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

Natural Born Citizen — Chapter 8:  Dual and Multi Citizenship

Natural Born Citizen — Chapter 9:  Allegiance

Natural Born Citizen — Chapter 10:  Summation

Natural Born Citizen — Chapter 11:  Congressional Duties

Natural Born Citizen — Chapter 12:  The Media

Natural Born Citizen — Chapter 13:  The Courts

Natural Born Citizen — Chapter 14:  Legal Remedies

Natural Born Citizen — Chapter 15:  Conclusive Remarks

Written by KJ Kaufman

August 13, 2009 at 2:49 pm

Natural Born Citizen — Chapter 4: The 14th Amendment

Change to United States citizenship law

Since it has been noted that the United States Constitution does not define natural born citizen in Article II, Section 1, we must look at all other Articles and Sections within the Constitution as well as its Amendments to discover whether or not the issue is addressed and the words natural born citizen have been defined.  Within the original Constitution no other mention of natural born citizen is cited.  There are certainly other sections of the Constitution where requirements to hold office are detailed.  For example, in Article I, Section 3 of the U.S. Constitution, the requirements to hold the office of Senator is stated as follows:

No person shall be a Senator who shall not have attained to the age of thirty years, and been nine years a citizen of the United States and who shall not, when elected, be an inhabitant of that state for which he shall be chosen.[i]

There is no mention of natural born citizen in the requirement for Senator, simply the requirement to be a citizen for nine years.  John McCain’s place of birth and Barack Obama’s Father’s citizenship would not, therefore, necessarily preclude these men from meeting the citizenship requirements to be U.S. Senators.

On July 28, 1868, the 14th Amendment to the United States Constitution was ratified by the required three-fourths of the States.  The 14th Amendment directly dealt with the issue of citizenship and provided for citizenship to former slaves recently freed via the Civil War and the Emancipation Proclamation.  Also known as the “Reconstruction Amendment,” 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.  No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.[ii]

When the debate regarding Barack Obama’s citizenship first surfaced, many of Barack Obama’s supporters pointed to the 14th Amendment as their proof that Barack Obama was eligible to be President.  The argument they make goes something like this:

… Barack Obama is, in fact, a natural-born citizen of the United States, for the simple reason that he was born on American soil (in Hawaii, two years after it acquired statehood). The age and citizenship status of Obama’s parents at the time have no bearing on Obama’s own citizenship.

Any confusion on this point is the result of misunderstanding the legal concepts of jus sanguinis (right of blood) and jus soli (right of birthplace).[iii]

We learned earlier in our discussion that de Vattel unequivocally believed that both jus sanguinis (right of blood) and jus soli (right of birthplace) were requirements to be natural born citizens not simply jus soli (right of birthplace) as the above argument contends.  In addition, it has always surprised me that the 14th Amendment has been relied upon so heavily by those who argue it makes Barack Obama a natural born citizen as nowhere contained therein is the term natural born citizen. 

I was not aware until today, however, (a day after posting this chapter of the book) that referenced on one of Barack Obama’s campaign websites Fight the Smears was a statement regarding Barack Obama’s citizenship with reference made to the 14th Amendment.  While reading a respected legal blogger known as jbjd, I found the following post “If Drowning out Opposing Facts is ‘Un-American,’ then Ignoring Unpleasant Facts Must Be Un-American.”[iv]  In the blog post, jbjd references the Fight the Smears website which states:

Senator Obama was born in Hawaii in 1961, after it became a state on August 21st 1959.  Obama became a citizen at birth under the first section of the 14th Amendment. [v]

It is amazing that a candidate’s own website would reference a citizenship amendment via the 14th Amendment declaring that the candidate is a citizen when it is distinctly evident that the qualification for President is to be a natural born citizen.

For those that are still convinced that the 14th Amendment proves that Barack Obama is a natural born citizen by virtue of his birth in Hawaii, let us look at the words of John Bingham credited as the father of the 14th Amendment.  Mr. Bingham said in 1866 while speaking to the first session of the 39th Congress:

I find no fault with the introductory clause, which is simply declaratory of what is written in the Constitution, that every human being born within the jurisdiction of the United States of parents not owing allegiance to any foreign sovereignty is, in the language of your Constitution itself, a natural born citizen; but sir, I may be allowed to say further, that I deny that the Congress of the United States ever had the power or the color of power to say that any man born within the jurisdiction of the United States, not owing foreign allegiance, is not and shall not be a citizen of the United States.  Citizenship is his birthright, and neither the Congress nor the States can justly or lawfully take it from him.[vi] (Emphasis added)

In the Congressional record, John Bingham makes clear reference to a difference between natural born citizens and citizens that difference being jus sanguinis, i.e., the citizenship of the parents.   I ask those proponents of Barack Obama’s natural born citizenship status how then does the 14th Amendment support that status when the father of the 14th Amendment , John Bingham, in his own words states:

that every human being born within the jurisdiction of the United States of parents not owing allegiance to any foreign sovereignty is, in the language of your Constitution itself, a natural born citizen…[vii]

Barack Obama’s father was a British Citizen temporarily residing in the United States while he attended school.  Barack Obama’s father clearly owed allegiance to a foreign sovereign.  In the words of the father of the 14th Amendment that makes Barack Obama a citizen of the United States of America but not a natural born citizen. 

For those who deny the importance of this statement, we shall look at those significant cases on citizenship that followed the 14th Amendment to see if we can find any indication that the understanding of natural born citizenship that Mr. Bingham purported has somehow changed in meaning and application.


[i] Cornell University Online Constitution — http://www.law.cornell.edu/constitution/constitution.articlei.html#section3

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

[iii] About.com in the comments section of a post entitled: “Email Claims Barack Obama Isn’t a Natural Born Citizen” — http://urbanlegends.about.com/od/barackobama/a/obama_citizen.htm

[iv] Word Press Blog by jbjd “If Drowning Out Opposing Facts is ‘Un-American,’ then Ignoring Unpleasant Facts Must Be Un-American, Too” — http://jbjd.wordpress.com/2009/08/13/if-drowning-out-opposing-facts-is-un-american-then-ignoring-unpleasant-facts-must-be-un-american-too/#comment-839

[v] Word Press Blog by jbjd “If Drowning Out Opposing Facts is ‘Un-American,’ then Ignoring Unpleasant Facts Must Be Un-American, Too” — http://jbjd.wordpress.com/2009/08/13/if-drowning-out-opposing-facts-is-un-american-then-ignoring-unpleasant-facts-must-be-un-american-too/#comment-839

[vi] The Congressional Online Record “The Congressional Globe p. 1291” — http://memory.loc.gov/cgi-bin/ampage?collId=llcg&fileName=071/llcg071.db&recNum=332

[vii] The Congressional Online Record “The Congressional Globe p. 1291” — http://memory.loc.gov/cgi-bin/ampage?collId=llcg&fileName=071/llcg071.db&recNum=332

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 12, 2009 at 1:01 pm

Natural Born Citizen — Chapter 3: The Naturalization Act of 1790

Temporary clarification by the Congress of natural born citizen

In looking at the term natural born citizen, we must also look to other indications of what the founders were thinking during and shortly after the time of drafting and ratifying the Constitution.  In Article I of the U.S. Constitution, the founders vested legislative powers in the Congress.  One of those enumerated powers vested in the Congress was the power to “establish a uniform rule of naturalization.”[i]  In accordance with this power, the Congress passed The Naturalization Act of 1790.

Some proponents of Senator McCain’s and some opponents of Barack Obama’s status as a natural born citizen point no further than to The Naturalization Act of 1790 legislated during the Second Session of the First Congress.  The following portion of the Act discussed natural born citizen as follows:

And the children of such persons so naturalized, dwelling within the United States, being under the age of twenty-one years at the time of such naturalization, shall also be considered as citizens of the United States.  And the children of citizens of the United States that may be born beyond sea, or out of the limits of the United States, shall be considered as natural born citizens:  Provided, That the right of citizenship shall not descend to persons whose fathers have never been resident in the United States:  Provided also, That person heretofore proscribed by any State, shall be admitted as a citizen as aforesaid, except by an act of Legislature of the State in which such person was proscribed.[ii]

The legislation makes the case that John McCain is in fact a natural born citizen as the legislation clearly states:  “And the children of citizens of the United States that may be born beyond sea, or out of the limits of the United States, shall be considered as natural born citizens.”  Therefore, proponents of John McCain’s natural born citizen status appear to have the definition they need to assert John McCain is a natural born citizen, but unfortunately, this is not the case.

The Naturalization Act of 1790 as quoted above does not stand today in its original form and is not the final legislation on naturalization and citizenship.  The Naturalization Act of 1790 has been revised numerous times, and in 1795 the words natural born citizen were repealed from the act altogether.[iii]   It remains important, however, that just three years after the United States Constitution was written and two years after it was ratified, the legislature placed significant importance on jus sanguinis.  In The Naturalization Act of 1790, they seemed to place significance on jus sanguinis rather than jus soli.  So why did the legislature redact this definition a mere five years later?  The answer could be as simple as the Congress realized that they did not have the power granted in Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution to define natural born citizen within their powers to enact naturalization laws.  Their power was to create legislation with respect to the naturalization of persons as U.S. citizens.  Many argue that the status of natural born citizen cannot come under naturalization legislation because it is a “natural” condition that one holds at birth, and is not a condition that naturalization legislation can confer upon a person. 

In the non-binding Senate Resolution that we looked at to open the book, the resolution stated as part of its arguments for affirmation of John McCain’s natural born citizen status the following:

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 <snip>”[iv]

The Senate Resolution is clearly referencing The Naturalization Act of 1790 here, but they do not go on to state that the natural born citizen definition was later repealed from this legislation.  Why would they leave out such a critical caveat?  Could it be because there would still be questions as to John McCain’s status?  Also important, in using this argument, was the Senate not begging the question that a natural born citizen must be of citizen parents?  And if they were begging this question, then wouldn’t it appear to them that Barack Obama may have some issue when it came to natural born citizen status?  Barack Obama co-sponsored this resolution.  Are we to believe that in the resolution’s own wording and arguments that Mr. Obama did not see a significant problem with his own natural born citizenship status?  Yet, neither the Senate nor Mr. Obama ever brought to light this significant issue.  The American People were never made aware that through the Senate’s own non-binding Resolution, the United States Senate was begging the question that jus sanguinis plays a part in natural born citizen status.

In fairness to the Senators, let’s give them the benefit of the doubt at this point and let’s look into further legislation and court cases that were not covered in the non-binding Senate Resolution to see if the Senators at least had something more to go on in their deliberations as to who is and who is not a natural born citizen.


[i] Cornell University Online Constitution, Article I, Section 8 — http://www.law.cornell.edu/constitution/constitution.articlei.html#section8

[ii] Harvard University Library “The Naturalization Act of 1790 — http://ocp.hul.harvard.edu/immigration/outsidelink.html/http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HLS.LIBR:981715

[iii] The Library of Congress Naturalization Act of 1795 — http://rs6.loc.gov/cgi-bin/ampage?collId=llsl&fileName=001/llsl001.db&recNum=537

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

Natural Born Citizen — Chapter 2: Constitutional Requirements

Background information on the natural born citizen provision

The United States Constitution has a provision in it as to whom is eligible to be President of the United States.  Article II, Section 1, Clause 5 states that:

No person except a natural born citizen, or a citizen of the United States, at the time of the adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the office of President; neither shall any person be eligible to that office who shall not have attained to the age of thirty five years, and been fourteen years a resident within the United States.[i]

As the Senators noted in their resolution on John McCain’s eligibility, the words natural born citizen were never defined in the Constitution, and, therefore, we are left to interpret what was meant by natural born citizen.  It is widely held that the inclusion of this clause in our Constitution was the result of a letter sent on July 25, 1787 by John Jay to George Washington.  It should be noted that John Jay later became the 1st Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court.  The Honorable John Jay’s letter in part stated:

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…[ii]

Why didn’t the founders define natural born citizen?  They seemed to think enough of John Jay’s letter to include it in the Constitution, yet they also seemed to feel no desire to further enunciate or debate the term in their constitutional convention or in the federalist papers written to persuade passage of the Constitution.  Their actions seem to indicate that the term was very clear in their minds, that the meaning of the term natural born citizen was clear and that the meaning provided a “strong check” preventing “foreigners” from being elevated to the United States Presidency.

What evidence or customary understanding of the term natural born citizen would the founding fathers have been using during their drafting and deliberations of the United States Constitution?  At the time the Constitution was written, there were at least two legal theories that would have been invaluable to them:   1) Emmerich de Vattel’s legal treatise entitled The Law of Nations and 2) the practice of common law adopted in the several states. 

In Emmerich de Vattel’s legal treatise The Law of Nations, Chapter XIX, Section 212, natural born citizen was defined as follows:

The citizens are the members of the civil society; bound to this society by certain duties, and subject to its authority, they equally participate in its advantages. The natives, or natural-born citizens, are those born in the country, of parents who are citizens. As the society cannot exist and perpetuate itself otherwise than by the children of the citizens, those children naturally follow the condition of their fathers, and succeed to all their rights. The society is supposed to desire this, in consequence of what it owes to its own preservation; and it is presumed, as matter of course, that each citizen, on entering into society, reserves to his children the right of becoming members of it. The country of the fathers is therefore that of the children; and these become true citizens merely by their tacit consent. We shall soon see whether, on their coming to the years of discretion, they may renounce their right, and what they owe to the society in which they were born. I say, that, in order to be of the country, it is necessary that a person be born of a father who is a citizen; for, if he is born there of a foreigner, it will be only the place of his birth, and not his country.[iii] (Emphasis added)

In accordance with this one paragraph from The Law of Nations, it can be concluded that John McCain and Barack Obama have a valid and significant issue when it comes to their natural born citizen status.  John McCain was born in the Panama Canal Zone.  Barack Obama’s father was not a citizen of the United States at the time of his birth, and through citizenship inheritance, Barack Obama was also a British citizen at birth.  According to de Vattel’s definition of natural born citizen neither man would therefore qualify as one.  According to de Vattel, in McCain’s case the United States would not be “the place of his birth” and in Obama’s case, the United States would “be only the place of his birth, and not his country.”

On the other hand, we have common law.  Common law in its broadest definition as dictionary.com defines it is:  “the unwritten law, esp. of England, based on custom or court decision, as distinct from statute law.”[iv]  In common law, if no precedent setting case has decided a matter than the case before the court is referred to as a case of “first impression.”  At the time of our Constitution, the law of England or British common law, stated in part:  “and therefore every child born in England of alien parents was a natural-born subject”[v] with exceptions that are not relevant to our discussion here.  Within this definition if United States citizenship were substituted for British subject, one might conclude that the common law definition makes Barack Obama a natural born citizen while still excluding John McCain from natural born citizenship.  What we have discovered through de Vattel’s definition of natural born citizen and the English common law understanding of natural born subject is that there is some importance attributed to both place of birth and the citizenship of the parents which brings us to the Latin terms of these conditions. 

The discussion on natural born citizens and/or subjects wrestles with the Latin terms jus soli meaning right of soil and jus sanguinis meaning right of blood.  These terms were well known in the late 18th century when our Constitution was being drafted.  Following these terms, we see that Barack Obama is said to be a citizen of the United States via jus soli while John McCain is a jus sanguinis United States citizen.  Neither Mr. Obama nor Mr. McCain seems (to be discussed and qualified later) to possess both jus soli and jus sanguinis in their citizenship qualifications.  According to Emmerich de Vattel, both jus soli and jus sanguinis were required to be a natural born citizen.  According to British common law, jus soli satisfies the requirement for a natural born subject.  Which concept were our founding fathers following?  What can we glean if anything from the provision they placed in Article II, Section 1 of the U.S. Constitution?

We know that they didn’t consider themselves natural born citizens, otherwise, they would not have included in the provision “or a citizen of the United States, at the time of the adoption of this Constitution”[vi] (otherwise known as grandfathering themselves in) which allowed the signors and their fellow citizens to be eligible provided adherence to the subsequent conditions to hold the office of the Presidency.  Unfortunately, the “grandfather clause” probably cannot shed definitive light on the subject.  Based on jus soli, the nation in which they were born was a British Colony and subject to the King of England, so even though they were born on land that later became the United States, at the time of their birth that was not the condition.  This leads us to the first indication that a person’s birth status cannot be changed via an act of rebellion, law or legislation.  In other words, the circumstances of one’s status at birth becomes immutable.  This certainly helps us to understand the “grandfather clause,” but it does not appear to provide us with a definitive answer as to who among us are natural born citizens.  We still need further inquiry to determine what it means to be a natural born citizen.  Now that we have opened the line of inquiry as to legislation with respect to natural born citizen, let’s move forward to acts of legislation on citizenship and the significant citizenship cases that followed within our courts.


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

[ii] 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

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

[iv] Dictionary.com common law definition — http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/common+law

[v] Findlaw.com – U.S. Supreme Court U.S. v. Wong Kim Ark, 169 U.S. 649 (1898) — http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/scripts/getcase.pl?court=US&vol=169&invol=649

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

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 1: Introduction

The circumstances that led to the natural born citizen issue

In April of 2008, Democratic Senators Claire McCaskill and Patrick Leahy introduced a Senate Resolution declaring that John Sidney McCain III is a natural born citizen as required under Article II, Section 1 of the United States Constitution for eligibility to the Presidency thus touching off what would later become one of the most significant political issues of our time.  In the end, we would ask ourselves on the one hand a simple, but on the other hand an extremely complex question.  Whom among us are natural born citizens?

According to the first portion of the resolution, Senators Leahy and McCaskill argued that the United States Constitution does not define the term natural born citizen; therefore, the most expedient way for Congress to show its belief that Senator McCain is a natural born citizen and eligible to run for the Office of President was to pass a non-binding Senate resolution confirming Senator McCain is a natural born citizen.

Within the resolution, Senator Leahy (D-VT) stated:

John Sidney McCain, III, was born to American citizens on an American Naval base in the Panama Canal Zone in 1936.  Numerous legal scholars have looked into the purpose and intent of the “natural born Citizen” requirement.  As far as I am aware, no one has unearthed any reason to think that the Framers would have wanted to limit the rights of children born to military families stationed abroad or that such a limited view would serve any noble purpose enshrined in our founding document.  Based on the understanding of the pertinent sources of constitutional meaning, it is widely believed that if someone is born to American citizens anywhere in the world they are natural born citizens.[i]

At a judiciary committee hearing on April 3, 2008, Senator Leahy went as far as to ask then Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff, who was a former Federal Judge, the following:

You are the head of the agency that executes Federal immigration law.  Do you have any doubt in your mind–I mean, I have none in mine.  Do you have any doubt in your mind that he [John S. McCain] is constitutionally eligible to become President?

Secretary Chertoff.  My assumption and my understanding is that if you are born of American parents, you are naturally a natural-born American citizen.

Chairman Leahy.  That is mine, too.  Thank you.[ii]

As a consequence of John McCain’s place of birth, the bulk of the resolution and testimony therein relied on the premise that Senator McCain’s parents were both United States citizens.  It appears on the face of it that the resolution in part defines natural born citizenship as the person being born to United States citizen parents, but a funny thing happened on the way to the election.  Senator Barack Obama was not born to two United States citizen parents.  His father was an African national from Kenya.  At the time of Barack Obama’s birth, his father Barack Obama Sr. was a British citizen as Kenya at the time was a British colony.  You would imagine with the uncertainty surrounding McCain’s status which compelled the Senate to pass a non-binding resolution defining John McCain as a natural born citizen that they passed a similar non-binding resolution attesting to Barack Obama’s natural born citizenship, but they did not.  You might imagine that the main stream media launched a thorough investigation to detail the requirements of natural born citizenship to help the public determine whether or not either John McCain or Barack Obama were eligible to hold the Office of the Presidency, but surprisingly they did not.  Well, of course, the courts must have taken up the issue to ensure the people were voting for eligible candidates, but they too did not.  On November 4, 2008, the day of the General Election, millions of voters went to the polls blissfully unaware of any potential issue with the eligibility of the Republican and Democratic candidates.  Now some nine months after the election, the issue remains unresolved, no court since the ratification of the Constitution has definitively defined the term, and our current President may not be eligible to hold the office he currently occupies. 

This book looks at the issue of John McCain’s place of birth and Barack Obama’s father’s citizenship and how these circumstances relate to their natural born citizen status.  This book does not delve into any conspiracy theories or make the case that any that exist are legitimate.  This book simply views the natural born citizen requirement in Article II, Section 1 of the United States Constitution and attempts to have an intellectual discussion as to Mr. McCain’s and Mr. Obama’s status.  The intent is to begin a national dialogue on the subject because until there is a national debate, until the general populous is involved and informed and until the courts get involved, the issue remains Constitutionally problematic.  When you are finished reading this book, you will not have a definitive answer to the question who is a natural born citizen; however, the hope is that you will understand the very important questions related to this subject matter, how they affect our Constitutional Republic, and why it is critical that the subject matter no longer remain silenced and become a part of a national discussion to a point of final resolution.


[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

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.

Prologue to the Book on the “Natural Born Citizen” Issue

constitution_quill_penI have read numerous blog posts and articles on the U. S. Constitution’s Presidential natural born citizen requirement.   When speaking with my friends about the subject, it is interesting to discover the disparate views and the sometimes uninformed views on the subject.  I have come to the conclusion that the natural born citizen issue brings to light one of the fundamental issues before our country today, i.e., how does America view itself and how do Americans view ourselves in the globalist world view of the day?  Are we as Americans going to choose to participate in a world view of governance or are we going to cling to (not meant in a disparaging way, but utilized in its original form of hold closely, stick to) our United States Constitution? 

I find analogies in how one answers the world view question and how one views the natural born citizen issue once a person is fully cognizant of the requirement.  As a result, I realized there wasn’t a single source to find an intellectual discussion on the natural born citizen subject that tied the subject together in a book type format read from beginning to end.  In other words, I wanted to provide someone with an overview of the natural born citizen issue in book format allowing the reader to read the story from beginning to end and understand the significance of the issue.  I have now completed the book and posted it online here.  I continue to go back through each chapter fixing grammatical errors and tightening up my arguments.  My primary motivation in writing this book is to help educate other people.  I have decided to publish this completed book as a series of blog posts (the series of posts being the individual chapters of the book) here on my blog.

I have also been asked what credentials I hold to write such a book.  I happily admit that I am not a lawyer.  I am simply a fellow American concerned with the Constitution.  I have a Bachelor of Arts degree in Philosophy with an emphasis in ethics and a minor in English from Chapman University located in Orange, California.  I have never been of the opinion that one must hold a certain degree or for that matter a degree from an institution of higher learning specializing in a specific subject to understand that subject.  I hold that anyone with an inquiring mind and some time on his or her hands can learn and understand the following:  our nation’s history, the U.S. Constitution, U.S. legislation and Supreme Court cases.  All one really needs is a desire to apply himself or herself to such endeavors.  Hopefully when you finish reading my book, you will agree.

I ask that you share this content with your friends, family and associates to help further educate them on the issue.  Since this work is my intellectual property (where I have borrowed from others’ intellect, I have clearly sourced their content), all that I ask is that you credit my blog as your source.   I encourage all of you who read each chapter to participate in the comments section of the Chapter’s blog post so that we can open a national discussion on the overall subject and the subject matter contained in each Chapter.  I look forward to your comments and analysis regardless of what political side of the spectrum you come from and regardless of your political party affiliation if any.  I only ask that all comments are respectful of all views on the subject and that commentators remain civil.  Any participation in profanity or other posts lacking the decorum such a serious subject requires will not be posted or will be removed.

Sincerely,

KJ Kaufman
A Natural Born Citizen
(formerly known in the blogosphere as curi0us0nefromthe60s and AZConservative)

Written by KJ Kaufman

August 5, 2009 at 3:56 pm

Is Bill O’Reilly Really A Stand Up Guy on the Birth Certificate Issue?

bill oreillyOn Monday night Bill O’Reilly began covering the Obama birth certificate controversy in the vane of analyzing Lou Dobbs’ coverage of the issue.  Bill O’Reilly made it clear that he does not agree with those who believe that President Obama was not born in Hawaii.  O’Reilly also pointed out that Lou Dobbs does not agree with the “Birthers.”  Bill O’Reilly defended Lou Dobbs’ right to cover the issue on Lou’s television program.  As a result, Lou Dobbs stated that he does  “appreciate Bill O’Reilly being a stand up guy” found in this video at the 1:42 mark.  But is Bill O’Reilly really a stand up guy on the birth certificate issue?

In the same program where Bill O’Reilly defended Lou Dobbs, he disengenuously used the issue to tout his own program and investigation regarding the birth certificate issue.  During the “Impact Segment” on his program that night he made the following comments which are all distortions of the issue which further fuel the “Birthers” and their birth certificate issue movement:

The Factor investigated it [the birth certificate issue], found out it’s bogus.  (:15 seconds into the video)

Alright again, we found that uh President Obama was born in Hawaii.  We uh were sent the documents and what are you going to do?  I don’t know why it’s still around?  That was more than a year ago.  (:40)

So if he’s [Lou Dobbs is] going to go out there and push a story that is patently absurd.  It is.  It’s an absurd story.  (1:58)

What exactly did the factor do to investigate the birth certificate?  Later in the same program Bill O’Reilly stated something to the effect that the factor had contacted Hawaii and Hawaii had sent The Factor the birth certificate.  I can’t link to the video of this statement because it was in the “Reality Check” segment of the program and has not yet been posted online for review.  I have contacted Fox News to attempt to get a transcript of this portion of the program so that I can cite the words he used verbatim, but again they were something along the lines of Hawaii sent us a copy of the birth certificate.  Talk about absurd.  Mr. O’Reilly is flat out lying to his audience.  If The Factor had contacted Hawaii for a copy of Barack Obama’s birth certificate, they would have received the exact same answer from Hawaii that everyone else has received when attempting to get a copy of the birth certificate that under Hawaii privacy laws, the State of Hawaii is not at liberty to release it.

So why does Bill O’Reilly portray himself and his program as some investigative authority on the birth certificate issue?  Bill O’Reilly claims to be in the business of “looking out for the folks.”  Yet, on Monday night, Bill O’Reilly obfuscated the birth certificate issue, spun a narrative on this issue of investigative journalism in “the no spin zone” and at the end of his program outright lied to his audience.  It is this type of media coverage that Bill O’Reilly participated in on his Monday night program that continues to add fuel to the controversy of the birth certificate issue.  So much for Bill O’Reilly being a stand up guy.

Rambling Man

Obama Health CareIf you watched President Obama’s press conference tonight (focusing on health care), then you may have noticed that rather than layout specifics for the American people or actually specifically answering the softball questions posed at him, he rambled on and on and on and on about generalities, nothing new that we didn’t already know and basically gave us no indication of what his health care plan truly is.  In other words, the President (the rambling man) wasted an hour of your precious time tonight.

I think Bill O’Reilly immediately following the press conference laid out what you had heard and seen quite well in his talking points memo.  If you missed President Rambler’s press conference, simply go to www.FoxNews.com and find Bill O’Reilly’s talking points memo from tonight and you’ll have all of the information you need from this yawner.

Once again, the Washington Press Corp is a huge disappointment offering no difficult questions for our President on this most important issue.  Quite frankly, I’m so tired of the press not doing its job.  I simply wonder in amazement how much longer they can even remain somewhat relevant.  I fear their time is about up, and they will be tuned out just like our rambling President.  Oh well, so much for the 4th Estate of our Government providing checks and balances on the Executive Branch.