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FACT CHECK: Is Kamala Harris Not Eligible To Be President?

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Jacob Wohl, a 21-year-old conservative activist, said in a tweet Jan. 22 that Democratic Sen. Kamala Harris is not eligible to run for president.

“Kamala Harris is NOT eligible to be President. Her father arrived from Jamaica in 1961—mother from India arrived in 1960,” Wohl said. “Neither parent was a legal resident for 5 years prior to Harris’s birth, a requirement for naturalization.”

“Kamala was raised in Canada,” he added.

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Verdict: False

Harris, a natural-born U.S. citizen, meets the presidential requirements laid out in the Constitution.

Fact Check:

Article II, Section 1 of the Constitution specifies that the president must be a natural-born U.S. citizen, at least 35 years of age and a resident within the U.S. for 14 years.

The framers of the Constitution may have feared “wealthy European aristocracy or royalty coming to America, gaining citizenship, and then buying and scheming their way to the presidency without long-standing loyalty to the nation,” reads a 2011 Congressional Research Service (CRS) report.

Harris is a U.S. citizen, born on Oct. 20, 1964 in Oakland, California. Her father, Donald J. Harris, is a native of Jamaica who taught economics at Stanford University. Her mother, breast cancer researcher Shyamala Gopalan Harris, was born in India and came to the U.S. to earn a Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley.

After her parents’ separation, Harris moved with her mother and sister to Montreal in the mid-1970s and attended Montreal’s Westmount High School.

Harris returned to the U.S. for college. She earned a B.A. from Howard University in 1986 and a J.D. from the University of California Law School in 1989. After working for years as a prosecutor in California, Harris served as California’s attorney general from 2011 to 2016 and was elected to the U.S. Senate in 2016.

While Wohl did not argue that Harris was not born in the U.S., he did take issue with the fact that she spent part of her childhood abroad. “It’s not birtherism … It’s a question of whether the American People deserve to have a President that was Born and Raised in the Untied [sic] States,” Wohl tweeted.

He also suggested that the legal status of her parents affected her ability to become president.

Donald Harris’ Stanford biography states that he is a U.S. citizen, but it is unclear when he was naturalized. The Daily Caller News Foundation could not identify Shyamala Harris’ citizenship status. Harris’ senate office and presidential campaign did not respond to requests for comment.

The U.S., however, offers automatic citizenship to children born in the U.S. regardless of their parents’ immigration status, except for the children of foreign diplomats.

The 14th Amendment to the Constitution states that “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.” An 1898 Supreme Court ruling, U.S. v. Wong Kim Ark, held that children born to immigrants residing permanently in the U.S. are natural-born citizens.

“There is no provision in the Constitution and no controlling American case law to support a contention that the citizenship of one’s parents governs the eligibility of a native born U.S. citizen to be President,” reads the 2011 CRS report.

President Donald Trump said in an Axios interview in October that he would try to limit birthright citizenship for children of illegal immigrants and other foreign parents. While some legal scholars argue that Trump may have the authority to limit birthright citizenship, most say that limits would require an act of Congress or a constitutional amendment.

Some commentators raised questions about presidential eligibility for former Republican presidential candidates Ted Cruz, who was born in Canada to a U.S. parent, and the late John McCain, who was born in the Panama Canal Zone while his father was in the military.

Wohl did not respond to a request for comment.

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119 comments

  1. Mario Apuzzo are you going to waste valuable court time on useless challenges to Kamala Harris’s eligibility? As noted above, the “two citizen parents” idea has been rejected by every court where it has been raised.

    • It’s never been raised in federal court because apparently no one has standing to sue over the question.

      • It has been raised and rejected in a federal court; in Tisdale. It also has been raised and rejected in state courts, which also interpret and apply the U.S. Constitution.

          • You are, of course, free to believe whatever you desire. If even reality proves you wrong.

          • It doesn’t.

          • You can believe that Tisdale (a federal case) and Ankeny (a state case) don’t exist, but they do.

            No judge, professor, or other expert thinks they we’re wrongly decided, because every one of them who have spoken on the matter agree that birth in the United States is sufficient to confer natural-born citizenship. Even this site agrees.

            But you do you.

          • A case thrown out at a preliminary hearing and a state case mean nothing.

          • It must be great to live in a world in which you alone can decide that real judges in real courts making real rulings in real cases “mean nothing.”

            They “meant nothing,” yet President Obama appeared on every ballot for two elections (four, if you include the primaries) and he served two full terms.

            But you do you.

          • Again there was no ruling in Tisdale and any ruling in a state case means nothing on the federal level.

          • Again, there was a ruling in Tisdale: Tisdale was not entitled to an injunction to prevent candidates without two-citizen-parents from appearing from the ballot because birth in the United States is sufficient to confer natural-born citizenship. Tisdale failed in his attempt to remove President Obama from Virginia ballot in 2012 — a state that President Obama won in that election.

            And state cases mean a lot at the state level, which is important because the states actually administer elections. Ankeny, for example, is a case from Indiana; because of that case, it is now the law of Indiana that birth in the United States is sufficient to confer natural-born citizenship.

            But you do you.

          • My mistake should have used decision not ruling. The ruling however was not what you said but was that Tisdale had not cited any damages.

          • Your belief regarding the basis for the ruling in Tisdale is wrong, as the word “damages” never appears in the ruling: https://www.scribd.com/document/80563782/Tisdale-v-Obama-et-al

  2. It was Blackstone’s influence and not Vattel’s influence that was the source of the natural born citizen term in the Constitution.

    Blackstone wrote in his Commentaries the following:

    The first and most obvious division of the people is into aliens and natural-born subjects. Natural-born subjects are such as are born within the dominions of the crown of England, that is, within the ligeance, or as it is generally called, the allegiance of the king; and aliens, such as are born out of it. (Commentaries of the Laws of England (1765)

    Blackstone further noted the difference between Civil Law and Common Law regarding children born of aliens in England:

    The children of aliens, born here in England, are, generally speaking, natural-born subjects, and entitled to all the privileges of such. In which the constitution of France differs from ours; for there, by their jus albinatus, if a child be born of foreign parents, it is an alien. Id.

    As such, Blackstone recognized and affirmed Chief Justice Lord Coke’s opinion in Calvin’s Case in 1608 that children born of aliens within the dominions of England were natural born subjects.

    The natural born citizen language in the Constitution is derived from its English Common Law counterpart natural born subject. This idea is based on courts understanding that the term citizen is analogous with term subject. “The term `citizen,’ as understood in our law, is precisely analogous to the term `subject’ in the common law, and the change of phrase has entirely resulted from the change of government.”). Rather, the terms are meant to encompass persons living under distinct forms of government: “A monarchy has subjects; a republic has citizens.” Matimak Trading Co. v. Khalily, 118 F. 3d 76 , 85 (2nd Cir. 1997)

    The court in Smith v. Alabama, 124 U. S. 465, 478 (1888) stated in clear and concise language the common law’s influence in the Constitution: “The interpretation of the Constitution of the United States is necessarily influenced by the fact that its provisions are framed in the language of the English common law, and are to be read in the light of its history.”

    Vattel’s “Law of Nations” in which Vattel described the Civil Law’s concept of citizenship that only natural born citizens are born to citizens of a country; nevertheless, Vattel himself acknowledged the difference between CIVIL LAW and English COMMON LAW regarding natural born citizenship when he wrote in Law of Nations: “Finally, there are countries, such as England, in which the mere fact of birth within the country naturalizes the children of an alien.”

    The Constitution does not defined Natural Born Citizen. As such, when language in a statute does not define a common law term, courts are “guided by the principle that where words are employed in a statute which had at the time a well-known meaning at common law or in the law of this country they are presumed to have been used in that sense unless the context compels to the contrary.” Standard Oil Co. of NJ v. United Sates, 221 US 1, 59 (1911)

    That at the time of the drafting of the Constitution Blackstone’s Commentaries including his definition of natural born subjects was available to the founding fathers. Justice Stone observed: “It is noteworthy that Blackstone’s Commentaries, more read in America before the Revolution than any other law book.” CJ Hendry Co. v. Moore, 318 US 133 , 151-152 (1943) . Similarly, the court in United States v. Green, 140 F. Supp. 117, 120 (SD NY 1956) noted: “ Blackstone, whose Commentaries probably did much to influence the thinking of American lawyers at and before the time of the framing of the Federal Constitution.”

    In addition the court in Reid v. Covert 354 U.S. 1 (1957) stated “that two of the greatest English jurists, Lord Chief Justice Hale and Sir William Blackstone—men who exerted considerable influence on the Founders” id at 26.

    Moreover, “As with many other elements of the common law, it was carried into the jurisprudence of this Country through the medium of Blackstone, who codified the doctrine in his Commentaries.” Benton v. Maryland, 395 US 784 795 (1969)

    In United States v. Wong Kim Ark, 169 US 649, (1898), the United States Supreme Court noted the jus soli English common law rule of Calvin’s Case, and observed:

    “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.

    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.” Id. at 654-55 (emphasis added)

    Moreover, Chief Justice Fuller who wrote the dissent in Wong Kim Ark acknowledged that under the majority’s holding that Wong Kim Ark as a NATURAL BORN CITIZEN could run for the office of the President when he observed:

    Considering the circumstances surrounding the framing of the Constitution, I submit that it is unreasonable to conclude that “natural-born citizen” applied to everybody born within the geographical tract known as the United States, irrespective of circumstances; and that the children of foreigners, happening to be born to them while passing through the country, whether of royal parentage or not, or whether of the Mongolian, Malay or other race, WERE ELIGIBLE TO THE PRESIDENCY, while children of our citizens, born abroad, were not.” United States v. Wong Kim Ark,169, U.S. 649, 715 (1898) (C.J. Fuller, dissenting)(emphasis added)

    As such, even the DISSENT in Wong Kim Ark acknowledged that the majority’s holding would allow Wong Kim Ark to be eligible to the presidency.

    Finally, the court in Briehl v. Dulles, 248 F.2d 561 (DC Cir. 1957) noted that: “Professor Crosskey refers to the [Blackstone’s] Commentaries as “that great `best-seller’ of the eighteenth century” and points out that some of the members of the Constitutional Convention were on the subscription list of the original American edition in 1772. Politics and the Constitution, Vol. 1, p. 411, and Vol. 2, p. 1326, n. 3 (1953). Id. at fn 88

    As such, it is inconceivable for the framers of the Constitution to “import” a foreign idea of citizenship based on the bloodline of fathers and not based on the Jus Soli doctrine as enunciated by Lord Coke in Calvin’s Case and reaffirmed by Blackstone in his Commentaries whose books were required readings by lawyers in colonial America.

    • Do you have any case by the U.S. Supreme Court that specifically defines a natural born citizen under the English common law? I am not asking you to produce a case regarding the Fourteenth Amendment, but rather a case that refers specifically to Article II’s natural born citizen which is part of the original Constitution.

      • Mario Apuzzo certainly doesn’t have a case defining natural-born citizen as he believes it is defined — because he was reduced to misreading Minor.

        • I see that you concede that you do not have any case by the U.S. Supreme Court that specifically defines a natural born citizen under the English common law.

          • You mean other than Wong Kim Ark?: “In Minor v. Happersett, Chief Justice Waite, when construing, in behalf of the court, the very provision of the Fourteenth Amendment now in question, said: ‘The Constitution does not, in words, say who shall be natural-born citizens. Resort must be had elsewhere to ascertain that.’ And he proceeded to resort to the common law as an aid in the construction of this provision.” Wong Kim Ark says Minor applied the common law.

            And Old Man Mario Apuzzo “forgets” about the numerous birther cases that applied Wong Kim Ark to President Obama, and concluded that birth in the United States is sufficient to confer natural-born citizenship.

            The very same birther cases that will be cited when rejecting the inevitable challenges to Harris’ eligibility.

          • Well, goodness gracious me….

            One started poking at dearest darling Mr Apuzzo, partially out of a naughty sense of furtive enjoyment and then one decided to perform a teeny amount of further research on preceding posts by the poor dear on other matters to see if his inanity and ignorance is a new or pre-existing condition.

            And Lo and Behold, it is plain to see that Mr A is a perennial, persistent and purblind protestor of pants law in other areas he plainly has no grasp around. Over at a site called CAAFLOG which documents and discusses matters military justice. This goes back to 2010……..

            Specifically, Mario thought it was wise and sage to interject himself into the discussions around the court martial of another Birther, Terry Lakin.

            The whole interaction is quite delicious and one titbit one unearthed in cache was a post from some mean individual called Trevor who lampooned Mr A and his pretensions with a one act play called “Mario meets the Supremes”

            Mario meets The Supremes….

            Justice Alito: Mr Apuzzo, I would….

            Mario: Esquire

            Justice Alito: I beg your pardon

            Mario: It’s Mr Apuzzo Esquire, I’m a lawyer you know.

            Justice Alito: I am fully aware you are a lawyer Mr Apuzzo, you’re here arguing a case.

            Mario: It’s important to get the terminology right, I paid good money for the Esq.

            Justice Scalia: OK already, we get it, the Esq is given lets move on.

            Justice Alito: Thanks Tony, moving on, Mr Apuzzo, your case is one that seeks….

            Mario: I object

            Justice Alito: What ! What do you mean you object, I’m trying to describe your case how can you object to that?

            Mario: They are here !!!

            Justice Scalia: What, what are you talking about, who is here..?

            Mario: Them, those two, over there in the black robes

            Justice Thomas: We all wear black robes, that’s all I’m saying and it’s not dicta.

            Justice Roberts: Sammy, what’s he saying, look can we hurry up, she who must be obeyed has a long Honey-Do list for me for Christmas

            Justice Alito: Mr Apuzzo, just WHAT or WHO are you objecting to?

            Mario: Those two there, (points wildly)

            Justice Alito: From your frenetic semaphore I take it you mean Justices Sotomayer and Kagan

            Mario: Yeah, them two, shouldn’t be here

            Justice Kagan: I got this Sammy, OY, paisan, what’s your problem with me, ’cause I’m a woman, ’cause I use Jewish words or ’cause I’m from Noo Yawk. Well, spit it out, don’t keep me waiting.

            Mario: You didn’t recuse yourselves that’s why AND YOU KNOW WHY !!!

            Justice Kagan: No Joisey, I don’t “know why” why don’t you enlighten Sonia, me and the boys

            Mario: You were nominated by the Usurper so you’re tainted, begone by the power of Vattel vested in me.

            Justice Sotomayer: Vatell…Vattel, what’s he babbling about, ¦anyone..?

            Justice Kennedy: I seem to remember something from. .no not that’s it ..no…¦Don’t they make children’s toys? Is this a consumer safety case? I thought it was an electoral issue?

            Mario: NO not Mattel, Vattel, Vattel he is the most significant contributor to the Constitution and defined Natural Born Citizen, its’ all in my briefs

            Justice Ginsburg: I remember, part of a pop quiz back in ’56 at Harvard, “Who was cited the LEAST in the Federalist Papers but had a minor input on international relation definitions in the Constitution”, no one got it, we couldn’t even agree how his name was spelled or his nationality. Nasty ideas but a creature of his time.

            Justice Breyer: Oh no..Johnny, he’s a bloody Birther, what in the name of Beelzebub’s left nut are we doing with this. We had this chat over 2 years ago

            Justice Kagan: A Birfer…A Joisy Birfer..A Joisy Birfer who thinks he can tell ME to recuse myself? Sammy, did you set this up?

            Justice Alito: I’m sorry, a friend asked if I could have a look, I owed him a favour, what can I say. Maybe when I saw all the clerks sending his brief around as a punk’d email I should have looked a little closer.

            Mario: I demand they recuse themselves it’s a plot by Soros.

            Justice Scalia: Shut it….Sammy, I get it, I understand but really, Birfoons in the court, we had this out when that Mad Cow Orly was around, no Birfoons except at the Christmas party for light entertainment.

            Justice Alito: Sorry all, I’ll make it up for everyone in the Christmas present

            Mario: But..

            Justice Roberts: Can it “esquire”, frivolous case, inherently valueless, a waste of this courts time, what say you ? Show of hands..OK done

            Mario: But my case..it’s a Konstitutional Krisis.!!

            Justice Roberts: Can it or the sanctions here will make Orly swoon. Bailiff, escort “esquire” from the courts and if he gives you any trouble……

            Mario: (voice receding) Let me FEEEENISH

      • The Founding Fathers who drafted and approved the language in the Constitution were cognizant of the English common law that was in effect at the time of its creation 1787. In reading the Constitution there are many terms that weren’t defined; as such,” common defense and general welfare”, “necessary and proper”, “high crimes and Misdemeanors,” “privileges and immunities” AND “NATURAL BORN CITIZEN.”

        In the Civil Rights Amendments, we have more terms that weren’t defined, as such, “establishment of religion,”(1st Amendment), “right of the people to keep and bear Arms”(2nd Amendment), “unreasonable searches and seizures,”(4th Amendment), and “nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation” (5th Amendment).

        As such, the Constitution can’t be read in a vacuum but must be read in light of the prevailing common law.

        Chief Justice Taft understood this when he observed in Ex Parte Grossman, 267 U.S. 76, 108-09 (1925):

        “The language of the Constitution cannot be interpreted safely except by reference to the common law and to British institutions as they were when the instrument was framed and adopted. The statesmen and lawyers of the Convention who submitted it to the ratification of the Convention of the Thirteen States, were born and brought up in the atmosphere of the common law, and thought and spoke in its vocabulary. They were familiar with other forms of government, recent and ancient, and indicated in their discussions earnest study and consideration of many of them, but when they came to put their conclusions into the form of fundamental law in a compact draft, they expressed them in terms of the common law, confident that they could be shortly and easily understood.”

        You would have us disregard our common law heritage from the English in which Chief Justice Marshall observed “whose language is our language and whose laws form the substratum of our laws.” U.S. v. Burr 25 Fed. Cas. 55, no. 14,693 C.C.D.Va. 1807

        In fact, we are informed that “The framers of the Constitution were familiar with common-law concepts and the words and phrases employed by common-law lawyers.” In re Gannon, 27 F. 2d 362 , 363 (ED PA 1928)

        “In many cases, the language of the constitution and laws would be inexplicable without reference to the common law; and the existence of the common law is not only supposed by the constitution, but it is appealed to for the construction and interpretation of its powers. “ James Kent, Commentaries on American Law (1826) page 316

        And this is from your good buddy Chief Justice Moore of Alabama:

        “Our jurisprudence explains that old English statutes are a part of the common law. The statutes passed in England before the emigration of our ancestors, which amend the law and are applicable to our situation, constitute a part of our common law.” Ex parte HH, 830 So. 2d 21, 33 (Alabama 2002)( Moore, C.J., concurring)

        If the term in the Constitution “natural born” were to be construed other than its common law origin then in the words of Chief Justice Marshall “It is hardly conceivable that the term was not employed by the framers of our Constitution in the sense which has been affixed to it by those from whom we borrowed it. So far as the meaning of any terms, particularly terms of art, is completely ascertained, those by whom they are employed must be considered as employing them in that ascertained meaning, unless the contrary be proved by the context.” U.S. v. Burr 25 Fed. Cas. 55, no. 14,693 C.C.D.Va. 1807

        Moreover, “[w]here so important a distinction in the Constitution is to be realized, it is fair to seek the meaning of terms in the statutory language of that country from which our jurisprudence is derived” quoting Alexander Hamilton, Pollock v. Farmers’ Loan & Trust Co., 157 US 429, 572 (1895)

        As such, the framers of the Constitution did not insert the phrase “natural born citizen” in the Constitution in a vacuum without reference to English common law; but rather the framers were cognizant of the historical development of citizenship in English common law.

  3. Apuzzo has a novel legal theory in which he believes that there exists a third type of citizenship who are neither natural born citizens or naturalized citizens.

    This type of citizenship is different from those who are natural born citizens and those who are naturalized citizens. These citizens are those who are born in the United States but whose parents are not United States Citizens. It is his theory that these citizens were created by the 14th Amendment and as such can never be considered natural born citizens even though they are born in the United States. Apuzzo contends that prior to the ratification of the 14th Amendment that children born in the United States of non-citizen parents were they themselves aliens.

    The problem with Apuzzo’s third citizenship” theory is that the courts have never recognized this third type of citizenship. On the contrary, the courts have always recognized two types of citizenships, native/natural born citizens and naturalized citizens. “There are only two types of citizens: those who are native born and those who are naturalized.” Schaufus v. Attorney General of United States 45 F.Supp. 61,66 (D. MD 1942); “There are only two classes of citizens of the United States, native-born citizens and naturalized citizens; and a citizen who did not acquire that status by birth in the United States is a naturalized citizen.” Zimmer v. Acheson, 191 F. 2d 209, 211 (10th Cir. 1951)

    Moreover, courts prior to the ratification of the 14th Amendment in 1868 had recognized that there is no legal distinction between those persons born in the United States to those born to citizen parents and non-citizen parents.

    In 1844, a judge in New York noted that a child born in New York of aliens parents during their temporary sojourn in that city, returned with them the same year to their native country, and always resided there afterwards. He held that she was a citizen of the United States by noting:

    “The term citizen, was used in the Constitution as a word, the meaning of which was already established and well understood. And the Constitution itself contains a direct recognition of the subsisting common law principle, in the section which defines the qualification of the President. ” No person except a natural born citizen, or a citizen of the United States at the time of the adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the office of President,” The only standard which then existed, of a natural born citizen, was the rule of the common law, and no different standard has been adopted since. SUPPOSE A PERSON SHOULD BE ELECTED PRESIDENT WHO WAS NATIVE BORN, BUT OF ALIEN PARENTS, COULD THERE BE ANY REASONABLE DOUBT THAT HE WAS ELIGIBLE UNDER THE CONSTITUTION? I THINK NOT. The position would be decisive in his favor, that by the rule of the common law, in force when the Constitution was adopted, he is a citizen. Court of Chancery, State of New York, Lynch v. Clarke, 1 Sand. Ch. 583, 656 (1844) (emphasis added)

    Justice Curtis in his dissent in the Dred Scott decision observed: “The first section of the second article of the Constitution uses the language, “a natural-born citizen.” It thus assumes that citizenship may be acquired by birth. Undoubtedly, this language of the Constitution was used in reference to that principle of public law, well understood in this country at the time of the adoption of the Constitution, which referred citizenship to the place of birth.” Dred Scott v. Sandford, 60 US 393 576 (1857) (Curtis, J., dissenting)

    In 1858, a court in New York reaffirmed the citizenship status of those born of non-citizen parents “It is further contended, on the part of the defendant, that the plaintiff himself is an alien. He was born in Ballston Spa, in this state, while his father was a resident of Canada, and returned to his father’s domicil, with his mother, within a year after his birth. . . . In Lynch v. Clarke, (1 Sand. Ch. R. 583,) the question was precisely as here, whether a child born in the city of New York of alien parents, during their temporary sojourn there, was a native born citizen or an alien; and the conclusion was, that being born within the dominion and allegiance of the United States, he was a NATIVE BORN CITIZEN, whatever was the situation of the parents at the time of the birth. That case, if law, would seem to be decisive of the present question.” Munro v. Merchant, 26 Barb. (N.Y.) 383. 400-401, (1858)

    In the debates to pass the Civil Rights Act of 1866, Senators noted that children born in the United States to non-naturalized parents (i.e. foreign nationals) were citizens of the United States.

    Senator Trumbull observed: “I understand that under naturalization laws children who are born here of parents who have not been naturalized are citizens. That is the law, as I understand it at the present time.” Cong. Globe, 39th Cong., 1st Sess. 498 (January 30, 1866)

    Senator Trumbull further added “There has been no time since the foundation of the government when an American Congress could by possibly have enacted such a law, or with propriety have made such a declaration. What is this declaration? All persons born in this country are citizens.” Cong. Globe, 39th Cong., 1st Sess. 570 (February 1, 1866)

    The executive departments of our government have repeatedly affirmed that children born of foreign parents are citizens.

    Mr. Marcy, Secretary of State, in 1854, in an instruction to Mr. Mason, United States Minister to France, said: “In reply to the inquiry which is made by you, . . . whether ‘the children of foreign parents born in the United States, but brought to the country to which the father is a subject, and continuing to reside within the jurisdiction of their fathers country, are entitled to protection as citizens of the United States,’ I have to observe that it is presumed that, according to the common law, any person born in the United States, unless he be born in one of the foreign legations therein, may be considered a citizen thereof until he formally renounces his citizenship.” Mr. Marcy to Mr. Mason, June 6, 1854, MSS. Inst. France.

    Attorney General Black, in 1859, held that “a free white person born in this country of foreign parents is a citizen of the United States.” 9 Ops. Atty. Gen. 373.

    Attorney General Bates, in 1862, held that a child born in the United States of alien parents who have never been naturalized is, by the fact of birth, a native-born citizen of the United States, entitled to all the rights and privileges of citizenship. 10 Ops. Atty. Gen. 382.

    Noted legal scholar, William Rawle, wrote in 1829:

    “The citizens of each state constituted the citizens of the United States when the Constitution was adopted. The rights which appertained to them as citizens of those respective commonwealths, accompanied them in the formation of the great, compound commonwealth which ensued. They became citizens of the latter, without ceasing to be citizens of the former, and he who was subsequently born a citizen of a state, became at the moment of his birth a citizen of the United States. Therefore every person born within the United States, its territories or districts, whether the parents are citizens or aliens, is a natural born citizen in the sense of the Constitution, and entitled to all the rights and privileges appertaining to that capacity. William Rawle, A view of the Constitution of the United States (2nd ed. 1829) page 86

    As such, Apuzzo’s theory of a third citizenship has no support by case law, congressional debates, executive orders and legal scholars.

  4. It would be illustrative if attorney Apuzzo could cite a single case he litigated* in which a judge said his theory that the 14th amendment created a new class of citizen ineligible to be president had any merit but he cannot. It would also be nice if Apuzzo could provide a link to a single peer reviewed paper he has written and had published in a legitimate legal journal addressing the subject. But he cannot. There is also telling that the overwhelming majority of real legal experts in constitutional law disagree with his interpretation of the 14th amendment.

    Apuzzo would have us believe he is a constitutional scholar but his record belies that claim. Therefore, he trolls comment sections on articles and posts his discredited nonsense theories ad nauseum. No one other than ignorant Birthers believe him to be an authority

    * I have chronicled Mr. Apuzzo’s 0-16 record in “Birther” cases here: https://rcradioblog.wordpress.com/2016/07/19/birther-attorney-mario-apuzzo-continues-to-rack-up-the-losses/

    • That is not a legal argument.

      • Oh, the irony: Mario Apuzzo thinks chronicling how his dreck flamed out in real courts isn’t “a legal argument.”

        • Show how each one of those cases addresses my legal arguments and then maybe the citations would serve as a “legal argument,” although not the final word in any event. You have done nothing but just cite cases without showing how they are dispositive of the arguments I have presented. Hence, you have made no legal argument.

        • Only if you consider lack of standing a flame out.

          • A loss is a loss; especially since Mario Apuzzo, Esq. should know when he lacks standing. And not all cases were dismissed on lack of standing; some were dismissed on the merits.

          • If the game is cancelled no one loses.

          • To belabor that metaphor, a dismissal means the status quo remains the same. In President Obama’s case, it meant he appeared on every ballot, and continued to serve as president.

    • Can you name a single federal case which specifically deals with defining the phrase natural born Citizen?

        • And what is a case dismissed for failure to state a claim going to add to our knowledge as to the definition of natural born citizen?

        • The Federal District Court dismissed the Tisdale pro se plaintiff’s case the same day it was filed on the ground that he failed to show as a matter of law that he was entitled to 42 U.S.C. Section 1983 damages and an injunction. In dicta, the court defined a natural born citizen, stating that anyone born in the United States under circumstances satisfying the Fourteenth Amendment is a natural born citizen.

          Dismissing the case the same day it was filed and with no briefing, the Court surely could not have given much thought to the meaning of a natural born citizen. The pro se plaintiff appealed the case to the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals. The Fourth Circuit, after having the case for just several days which included the weekend, affirmed. It wrote at the top of its Tisdale v. Obama decision: “UNPUBLISHED.” Before its one paragraph which comprised its entire decision and which refers only to the issues of the 1983 damages and the injunction, and which makes no mention of a natural born citizen, it wrote: “Unpublished opinions are not binding precedent in this circuit.” Here is the 4th Circuit’s total decision:

          PER CURIAM:
          Charles Tisdale appeals the district court’s order denying relief on his 42 U.S.C. § 1983 (2006) complaint and motion for an injunction. We have reviewed the record and find no reversible error. Accordingly, we affirm for the reasons stated by the district court. Tisdale v. Obama, No. 3:12-cv-00036-JAG (E.D. Va. Jan. 23, 2012). We deny Tisdale’s motions to expedite the appeal and for an injunction, and to recuse Judges Davis, Keenan, Wynn, Diaz, and Floyd. We grant the motion to file an amicus curiae brief and file it out of time. We deny all other pending motions filed by Tisdale. We dispense with oral argument because the facts and legal contentions are adequately presented in the materials before the court and argument would not aid the decisional process.
          AFFIRMED.

          We do not see a word about a natural born citizen and Bob wants us to believe that Tisdale is a case that supports him. As we can see, the case is not a precedent let alone a case that defines a natural born citizen.

          • The district court very much did discuss natural-born citizenship. And Tisdale couldn’t have any damages because President Obama was duly elected; duh.

        • Bob finds it impossible to tell the truth. Tisdale filed his lawsuit pro se. The Federal District Court dismissed his case sua sponte the same day it was filed on the ground that he failed to show as a matter of law that he was entitled to 42 U.S.C. Section 1983 damages and an injunction. Hence, Tisdale was not given an opportunity to address the court’s dismissal or to argue the natural born citizen issue. Dismissing the case the same day it was filed and with no briefing and including in its decision dicta on the Fourteenth Amendment, the Court surely did not give any serious thought to the meaning of a natural born citizen and whether President Obama satisfied that definition. In total, the District Court’s statements about the meaning of a natural born citizen is dicta which contains dicta.

          First, regarding the Tisdale District Court dicta, the court said:
          “It is well settled that those born in the United States are considered natural born citizens. See, e.g., United States v. Ark [sic meant Wong], 169 U.S. 649, 702 (1898) (‘Every person born in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, becomes at once a citizen of the United States.’)” So, the court said that anyone born in the United States under circumstances satisfying the Fourteenth Amendment is a natural born citizen. In support of its statement, “[i]t is well settled that those born in the United States are considered natural born citizens,” the Court cites Wong Kim Ark and the holding of the case. But that case and its holding do not directly relate to a “natural born Citizen.” Judge Gibney cites Perkins v. Elg, 99 F.2d 408, 409 (1938), but that case supports the plaintiff’s position and not the Court’s. In that case, the child was born in the United States to citizen parents. The lower court found Elg to be a “natural born citizen.” Judge Gibney cites the Fourteenth Amendment as support for his statement that a “natural born citizen” is any child born in the United States. But as the U.S. Supreme Court in Minor v. Happersett (1875) explained, that amendment does not provide the standard for defining a “natural born Citizen” and in fact does not even mention the clause. Even Wong Kim Ark, when it gave us its definition of a “natural born Citizen,” cited and quoted Minor and made no reference to the Fourteenth Amendment as it did in deciding whether Wong, who was born to alien parents, was a “citizen of the United States.” Finally, it was not necessary for the court to reach this issue, for it dismissed the case on other ground that plaintiff failed to show as a matter of law that he was entitled to 42 U.S.C. Section 1983 damages and an injunction. ___ develop more

          Second, regarding the Tisdale District Court’s dicta within dicta, the authority that the court cited to support its dicta about the Fourteenth Amendment, Hollander v. McCain, 566 F.Supp.2d 63, (D.N.H. 2008), is no authority for the Tisdale court’s dicta on the Fourteenth Amendment. The plaintiff’s case was about the constitutional eligibility of John McCain (born in Panama to two U.S. citizen parents who at the time of his birth were serving the interests of the U.S. military) to be president, not Barack Obama, presumably born in the United States to a U.S. citizen mother and an alien father. In the end, the court’s decision is about whether the plaintiff had standing to sue John McCain and the Republican National Committee and no more. The court held that he did not and dismissed the case for lack of jurisdiction.

          In its introduction to its Order, Hollander was clear as to the extent of its decision when it said: “The court does not reach the rest of the parties’ arguments, including, most notably, the question of McCain’s constitutional eligibility to be President.” Id. at 65. Under “II. Background,” Hollander did, however, include two statements of dicta. First, it said that under “American law” in effect since the founding, persons “born in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof,” citing the Fourteenth Amendment, have been considered “American citizens,” citing Wong Kim Ark. Id. at 66. Second, it further said that those persons were “thus eligible for the presidency,” citing Schneider v. Rusk, 377 U.S. 163, 165 (1964), but parenthetically signaling that what Schneider said was dicta. Id. When citing Wong Kim Ark, the court said that those persons were “considered American citizens,” and did not say they were considered “natural born citizens.” Second, Hollander recognized that Schneider’s statement about those gaining U.S. citizenship under the Fourteenth Amendment being eligible to be president was dicta. All this demonstrates that Hollander is not an authority on the meaning of a natural born citizen.

          The Fourth Circuit affirmed the Tisdale District Court, but not on anything to do with the meaning of a natural born citizen or the Fourteenth Amendment. It wrote at the top of its Tisdale v. Obama decision: “UNPUBLISHED.” Before its one paragraph which comprised its entire decision and which refers only to the issues of the 1983 damages and the injunction, and which makes no mention of a natural born citizen or the Fourteenth Amendment, it wrote: “Unpublished opinions are not binding precedent in this circuit.” So, the court said that its decision was not to be precedential, not even in its own circuit.

          Finally, the 4th Circuit in Tisdale did not find that President Obama was duly elected. I quoted for you the whole 4th Circuit Court decision. There is not one word there about what is a natural born citizen, the Fourteenth Amendment, or that President Obama was duly elected. That is what you said, not what the court said.

          So, Bob does not tell the truth when he says that the Tisdale District Court “very much did discuss natural-born citizenship.”

          • Mario Apuzzo can’t help but lie.

            Preliminarily, Tisdale filed on a Tuesday; the case was dismissed on the following Monday. Not “the same day,” as Apuzzo claims.

            Tisdale wanted an injunction to bar as ineligible from the ballot all candidates who lacked two citizen parents. The district court dismissed Tisdale’s case because he was not legally entitled to such an injunction — as two citizens parents are not required to be eligible for the presidency. Mario Apuzzo, who claims to be a lawyer, calls that dicta, but it is the essential ruling by the district court.

            Mario Apuzzo, “Esq.” ought to know that sua sponte dismissals are common enough, especially in the federal courts. But Tisdale actually had an opportunity to complain about the dismissal: In the Court of Appeals. Yet the appellate court summarily affirmed the district court because its ruling was so obviously correct that further discussion would be unnecessary. And a waste of judicial resources, a resource for which Apuzzo has no respect.

            Apuzzo continues his inability to read: I never said the 4th Circuit said President Obama was duly elected. And Apuzzo continues his pattern of lies by misattributing who said what.

            Despite Apuzzos’ protestations, President Obama twice was duly elected: He twice won the majority of votes in the Electoral College, and Congress twice certified those results. After an unbroken string courtroom losses and the passage of two years since President Obama left office, Mario Apuzzo spends his remaining days repeating the same lies that got him nothing but ridicule the first time around (and second and third, with Cruz).

  5. Atticus Finch,

    Again, the Fourteenth Amendment does not define a “natural born citizen” of the United States. Rather, it defines a “citizen” of the United States. It declares that people who are born or naturalized in the United States and “subject to the jurisdiction thereof” are “citizens” of the United States. It also provides that those citizens of the United States are also citizens of the state in which they reside. Knowing that Article II, Section 1, Clause 5 calls for the president to be a “natural born Citizen” and that Congress calls people it naturalizes “citizens” of the United States, either “at birth” or after birth, it is telling that Congress chose “citizen” rather than “natural born citizen” to be the status for those to whom it was granting U.S. citizenship at birth. Wong Kim Ark recognized this and therefore held that Wong, born in the United States to alien parents who were legally domiciled and residing in California, was only a “citizen” of the United States from the moment of birth, but only by virtue of the Fourteenth Amendment and not the common law that defined an Article II natural born citizen (not to be confused and confounded with the English common law that had been used in the colonies to define an English natural born subject).

  6. PogueMoran,

    Surely you can find some instances of the founders referencing Blackstone when it came to the requirements for President. You have to have some proof in the debates of the constitution or the federalist papers or something to prove they looked to him on citizenship. You wouldn’t just make this up right?

    • I notice you avoided answering my question Mario. You claimed they relied on Vattel. Where did I make an argument for Blackstone Putzy? So Mario is conceding that he lied when he said that the founders relied on Vattel for the presidential requirements.

  7. Dear Mr Apuzzo,

    One is a tad confused. You tout a, let us be honest, obscure political writer, specifically Vattel.

    Now, one does trust that you are aware that in the very writing of said individual he does NOT lay out and define binding criteria for citizenship, he simply opines and records the various and multitudinous manners various countries of the time period varied in.

    He also and very specifically notes that for countries such as….wait for it….England, remember, the country of whose laws the FF’s were schooled and qualified in, birth on the soil, irrespective of parental nationality made a naturally born citizen. Less of course the usual disqualifiers of diplomats and invading military.

    So, since your entire PERSONAL thesis resides solely on one writer, who specifically identifies England as a jus soli nation, surely you must agree that your PERSONAL view has therefore no supporting basis in fact from your source….Mr Vattel.

    Now, based upon historic trends, as opposed to a simple, concise, well argued response one expects Mr Apuzzo’s traditional long, tedious, prolix verbiage. Or a squeal of BEGONE FOUL OBOT or the like.

    Oh, and as a matter of instruction and information for the readers of this thread, it might be appropriate to remind one and all of the track record of Mr A when it comes to his PERSONAL, UNSUPPORTED view on NBC status.

    Specifically the occasions where, for example, he lost in open court to a 2nd year associate in this matter, or how on July 3, 2010, the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, citing Berg v. Obama, affirmed the dismissal of his fact free case, and ordered Apuzzo to show cause why he should not be sanctioned for initiating a frivolous appeal..?

    A threat of sanction that was discharged only after a grovelling apology, in written form, to the court. A 50+ page grovelling apology of unsurpassing opaque blather and whine

    • You have stated nothing of substance in your response.

      • “Nothing of substance” perfectly desctibes Mario Apuzzo’s legal career.

      • Oh poor, poor Mr Apuzzo, when plainly cornered over your fallacious personal interpretation of the Constitution and having the inability of your Mr Vattel to support said purblind foolishness rubbed in your face and all you can muster is a paltry 9 words.

        For shame, for shame.

        So let’s try again shall we?

        You hang your hat on a treatise by Vattel, a treatise you state proves that the USA requires 2 parent citizens AND birth on soil to create an NBC.

        And yet, Vattel himself EXPLICTLY identifies England, the country that gave the common law and its understanding of citizenship to he USA as NOT supporting your personal thesis.

        So do tell, how’d you square this circle..?

      • Mario obviously wants everyone else to make legal arguments since so many of his have failed in court. Maybe Mario needs help with being an actual lawyer from someone else not named Mario Apuzzo?

        • What a pounding your gang has received here. It’s time for you to pack it up and hit the road.

          • Imaginary poundings. I notice you still haven’t been able to answer any questions posed to you. So again are you asking others to give you legal arguments since yours have failed repeatedly in court?

          • Apuzzo loves to brag about all the poundings and spankings he gives. Hot hot hot!

  8. The problem with Vattelites in their argument that the term Natural Born Citizen was founded on Roman or Civil Law instead of English Common Law is that their argument demonstrate their ignorance that the Constitution provisions were framed in the language of the English Common Law and their argument ignore the historical development of Anglo-American jurisprudence that is rooted in the English Common Law.

    Courts have recognized that the drafters of the constitution of who most were lawyers were influenced by the principles and history of the common law that we inherited from the English. “The principles and history of the common law were well known to the framers of the Constitution and the members of the First Congress; it was from that system that their terminology was derived; and the provisions of the Constitution and contemporaneous legislation must be interpreted accordingly.” Southern Pacific Co. v. Jensen, 244 US 205, 230 (1917) (Pitney, J. dissenting); See also Smith v. Alabama, 124 U. S. 465, 478 (1888) (“The interpretation of the Constitution of the United States is necessarily influenced by the fact that its provisions are framed in the language of the English common law, and are to be read in the light of its history.”)

    Likewise, Chief Justice, Holmes in Gompers v. United States, 233 US 604 (1914) noted that courts must considered to common law origin of the provisions of the Constitution when he observed: “[T]the provisions of the Constitution are not mathematical formulas having their essence in their form; they are organic living institutions transplanted from English soil. Their significance is vital not formal; it is to be gathered not simply by taking the words and a dictionary, but by considering their origin and the line of their growth.” Id at 610

    Moreover, Chief Justice Taft stated in Ex Parte Grossman, 267 U.S. 76, 108-09 (1925): “The language of the Constitution cannot be interpreted safely except by reference to the common law and British institutions as they were when the instrument was framed and adopted.”

    Since the drafters of the Constitution wrote it in the language of the English common law then according to statutory construction that unless otherwise defined in the Constitution, words are to be taken at their ordinary and contemporary meaning. “A fundamental canon of statutory construction is that, unless otherwise defined, words will be interpreted as taking their ordinary, contemporary, common meaning.” Perrin v. United States, 444 US 37, 42 (1979).

    Moreover, if the use of words in the Constitution have a common law meaning
    then the courts must infer the incorporation of this common law meaning unless the language of the Constitution compels a different meaning.” [G]uided by the principle that where words are employed in a statute which had at the time a well-known meaning at common law or in the law of this country they are presumed to have been used in that sense unless the context compels to the contrary.” Standard Oil Co. of NJ v. United Sates, 221 US 1, 59 (1911); Neder v. United States, 527 US 1, 21 (1999) (It is a well-established rule of construction that “` [w]here Congress uses terms that have accumulated settled meaning under . . . the common law, a court must infer, unless the statute otherwise dictates, that Congress means to incorporate the established meaning of these terms.’) (internal citations omitted)

    Furthermore, if words were created not by positive law but rather by judicially created concept then any interpretation of those words other than their common law meaning must be specific and clear. “The normal rule of statutory construction is that if Congress intends for legislation to change the interpretation of a judicially created concept, it makes that intent specific.” Stillians v. Iowa, 843 F.2d 276, 280 (8th Cir.1988) (quoting Midlantic Nat’l Bank v. New Jersey Dep’t of Envtl. Protection, 474 U.S. 494, 106 S.Ct. 755, 88 L.Ed.2d 859 (1986)). Thus, it is proper to consider that Congress acts with knowledge of existing law, and that “absent a clear manifestation of contrary intent, a newly-enacted or revised statute is presumed to be harmonious with existing law and its judicial construction.” Johnson v. First Nat’l Bank of Montevideo, 719 F.2d 270, 277 (8th Cir.1983), cert. denied, 465 U.S. 1012, 104 S.Ct. 1015, 79 L.Ed.2d 245 (1984). Estate of Wood v. CIR, 909 F. 2d 1155,1160 (8th Cir. 1990)

    In other words, If drafters of the Constitution used words in the Constitution that have a common law meaning then it is PRESUMED that drafters intended common law application of the words UNLESS there is language in the Constitution that intended a contrary interpretation of the words.

    As such, the term natural born citizen is a derivation of the term natural born subject that was a judicially created concept as articulated by Blackstone in his Commentaries of the Laws of England (1765) then UNLESS the founding fathers intended a different meaning other than the common law rule meaning of natural born citizen it was the responsibility of drafters to incorporate this different meaning.

    The failure of the drafters to indicate a different meaning other than the common law meaning of natural born citizen in the Constitution demonstrated that the drafters intended to incorporate the established common law meaning of natural born citizen.

  9. According to the Argument Above that you merely need to be born on US Soil regardless of your parents citizenship to become President. My Grandfather who was born in Newark New Jersey While His Parents were on a visit from Italy and who immediately left America a month after his birth, he had lived his whole life in Italy, spoke no english but was Actually Able to run for President of the USA simply because he born there, Just Doesn’t Sound Right to Me!

    • To clarify, Constitutionally acceptable to run and “able” to run are vastly different beasties, at the end of the day, the electorate can make a decision and opine via vote.

      It is when you move towards edge cases such as Ted Cruz that there is the scintilla of concern that might make for a case.

      Mr Cruz was born in Canada and actually until his run for presidency still had Canadian citizenship, albeit never exercise, until he formally renounced it.

      In addition, whilst his mother, at the time of birth, was a US citizen (by birth), his father was not a citizen of the US, was variously a Cuban and Canadian citizen and did not naturalize in the US until 2005.

      A case COULD be made that Mr Cruz’s status is such that he would not be constitutionally eligible although, some existing case law COULD argue the obverse.

      Ms Kamala’s status is plain, she was born an American, in America and has never had or taken other citizenship. Irrespective of parental heritage she is Constitutionally qualified.

      As examples, if parental condition was to be taken into consideration, then any President that had been born to a single citizen parent, an orphan or foundling would automatically be ineligible

      So as examples

      Andrew Jackson
      Rutherford B Hayes
      Bill Clinton

  10. The allegiance of alien parents has no legal effect upon the United States citizenship status of a child born in the United States.

    Unlike hair color or eye color, a child doesn’t inherit a parent’s allegiance at birth.

    “[I]t has consistently been held judicially that one born in the United States and subject to its jurisdiction is, from birth, a citizen of the United States; that such citizenship does not depend upon like citizenship of his or her parents, or of either of them (except in the case of the children of ambassadors etc.). United States v. Richmond, 274 F. Supp. 43, 56 (CD Ca 1967). See also Von Schwerdtner v. Piper, 23 F. 2d 862 (D. MD 1928) (child born in the United States to German nationals)

    “A person who is born in the United States, regardless of the citizenship of his parents, becomes an American citizen not by gift of Congress but by force of the Constitution. U.S.C.A., Constitutional Amendment 14, Section 1.” In re Gogal, 75 F. Supp. 268, 271 (WD Pa 1947)

    As such, the allegiance of parents whatever their situation is irrelevant in determining the citizenship status of a child born in the United States. “ At common law, a native is a person born within the jurisdiction and allegiance of a country, irrespective of the allegiance of his parents, except the child of an ambassador. Ex parte Palo, 3 F. 2d 44, 45 (W.D. Wa 1925) (internal citation omitted)

  11. Her claims of being black are also being challenged. It used to be a terrible thing to have black blood and you were generally labeled as black if you had even 1/64th black ancestry. So that’s all fine but things have changed a little in the last 50 years. Even an English prince has married a woman who was at least half black. Kamala is what, 50% black or 25% black or what, and her mother is Eastern Indian. But even today she was probably generally classified as black because she wasn’t at least 25% white. But look at her. She is the lightest skinned black I can think of in my memory yet she was still probably treated as black. But she should try to avoid becoming like Warren claiming to be Native American Indian in her mind etc., but yet Kamala is far more more black than Warren is Indian. I don’t think anyone can deny she Kamala a sweetheart, and intelligent and on the right side of the coin politically. I think this topic is or may be a total diversion to make her look like another self-deluded wannabee of something she isn’t, which seems easy due to the fairness of her light, very light skin color. However I’d say she is more Indian than black, genetically, even more Indian than she is a white black. But whatever label settles upon her, the combination seems to have worked, and she should not allow herself to be defined by her color. That would be ridiculous and she shouldn’t allow it while running a campaign. Our Democratic community should move away from color based rights and judgements. My wife has some black magic in her (from her Black Sicilian great grand parents), and my son is olive skinned whiloe my daughter is fair. But she is undeniably cute, smart, hot, educated, and a woman of character and after 35 years I am even more attracted to her. Good luck to Kamala, but she should treat her color as a non-issue and not play into the ‘race bait’ because it is a personal and a poisonous dialogue! In America it was probably easier for her to identify as black being in the non-white category. Not easy to get into a white sorority and probably not many Indo-Jamaico-Canado-American outfits to join. An that is all unfortunate and wrong that we judge each other in this way. I am technically Anglo-Franco-Danish-Italo-Hispano-Russo-Germano-American but It’s easier to say I am Euro-American. I have over 50 ancestors that came to America or were born in America in the 1600s. They crossed the Atlantic back then in crowded small sailing vessels (by today’s standards) (a lot easier than climbing over a wall)! I wish we had treated the Indians with more respect. Also we don’t want to go back to our Medieval ways. Let’s never let go of our Freedoms, increase them, and never abuse them.

  12. Kamala Harris is NOT A NATIVE-BORN AMERICAN CITIZEN; and, therefore is NOT ELIGIBLE TO SEEK OR TO HOLD THE OFFICE OF PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES. (Art. 2, Sect. 1, Par. 5)

    Anyone, or any organization, that reflects a different perspective, is full of Schiff.

    You’d think that after the 8 years in Hell, that obama put America and the World through, that WE THE PEOPLE would have learned our lesson.

    Although, Harris has as much of a chance of being elected, as does Bin-Laden.

  13. The Court in Wong absolutely did not declare him a natural born citizen. The decision merely calls him a citizen even though the appeals court had called him natural born.
    There is no law nor federal court case that specifically defines the phrase natural born citizen. No one alive knows what it means! Unless a federal court accepts a plaintiff with standing to sue or a law is passed we’ll never know.

    • If Wong Kim Ark was not a natural born citizen then please explain why Chief Justice Fuller tell us in his dissent that because of the majority ruling that Wong Kim Ark was eligible to be president with the following words “that the children of foreigners, happening to be born to them while passing through the country, whether of royal parentage or not, or whether of the Mongolian, Malay or other race, were eligible to the Presidency.”? United States v. Wong Kim Ark,169, U.S. 649, 715 (1898)(C.J. Fuller, dissenting)

      Furthermore, if Wong Kim Ark was only a “citizen” as you stated then why was Chief Justice Fuller having a hysterical fit over the majority’s ruling that would allow children of foreigners of the MONGOLIAN race who happened to be born to them while passing through the United States were eligible to the presidency?

      If Chief Justice Fuller who wrote the dissent understood that Wong Kim Ark was a natural born citizen because he was eligible to the presidency then why can’t today’s birthers understand the same logic and reasoning that was so apparent to Chief Justice Fuller back in 1898?

      • The holding of a case is found in the majority of an opinion, not in its dissent.

        • No wonder Mario Apuzzo always loses: he can’t read for context. No one said the dissent is the holding; rather, Atticus said the concept was so clear that even the dissent understood it.

          • The context is all there. Rather than just quote for us the holding of the U.S. Supreme Court in Wong Kim Ark, Atticus uses the dissent to prove his claim that the Court held that Wong was not only a “citizen” of the United States under the then-new Fourteenth Amendment but also a “natural born citizen” of the United States as defined by the common law upon which the Framers relied when they drafted the natural born citizen clause into the Constitution and provided therein that future presidents and commanders in chief would have to meet the stricter standard of being a “natural born Citizen” of the United States rather than the lesser standard of being a “Citizen” of the United States. The latter standard would suffice only if a would-be president had that status as of the time of the adoption of the Constitution. The Framers did not define these citizenship statuses in the Constitution but rather only used their nomenclature which set up the constitutional dichotomy which is critical given that the President and Vice-President must be a natural born citizen and not just a citizen. Congress since 1790 has respected the distinction in nomenclature in all its naturalization Acts, including the Civil Rights Act of 1866 and the Fourteenth Amendment in which it continued to use “citizen” rather than “natural born citizen.”

          • Mario Apuzzo still can’t read: The quote from the dissent shows that it understood the logical conclusion of the majority’s reasoning. The exact conclusion reached by every judge who heard an eligibility challenge on the merits

          • The only judges who heard the case on its merits were state courts and they don’t matter.

          • A federal court heard a case on the merits as well, and rejected it. No idea why you believe state courts’ rulings don’t matter.

          • No and state courts don’t make federal law. It’s obvious you’re an ignorant troll so I’m done with you.

          • As any community college could teach you, state courts frequently interpret the U.S. Constitution. (They just don’t have the final say.)

    • It is not true that the “appeals court had called him natural born.” Judge Morrow of the Northern District of California used the same language as the Supreme Court.

      “From the law as announced and the facts as stipulated, I am of opinion that Wong Kim Ark is a citizen of the United States within the meaning of the citizenship clause of the fourteen amendment” Judge Morrow, District Court, Northern District of California

      The US. Government in its appeal of Morrow’s decision said that he was in error when he ruled Wong Kim Ark a natural born citizen.

      “The question presented by this appeal may be thus stated: Is a person born within the United States of alien parents domiciled therein a citizen thereof by the fact of his birth? The appellant maintains the negative, and in that behalf assigns as error the ruling of the district court that the respondent is a natural-born citizen”

      The government went on to say that the Court ruling in Wong’s favor would make Chinese children eligible to be President.

      “Are Chinese children born in this country to share with the descendants of the patriots of the American Revolution the exalted qualification of being eligible to the Presidency of the nation, conferred by the Constitution in recognition of the importance and dignity of citizenship by birth? If so, then verily there has been a most degenerate departure from the patriotic ideals of our forefathers; and surely in that case American citizenship is not worth having.”

      In his dissent, Chief Justice made the same argument.

      “Considering the circumstances surrounding the framing of the Constitution, I submit that it is unreasonable to conclude that “natural-born citizen” applied to everybody born within the geographical tract known as the United States, irrespective of circumstances, and that the children of foreigners, happening to be born to them while passing through the country, whether of royal parentage or not, or whether of the Mongolian, Malay or other race, were eligible to the Presidency, while children of our citizens, born abroad, were not.”

      in 1898 and 1903, several prominent lawyers said the Wong Kim Ark decision made children of Chinese alien parents eligible to be President.

      • The important part is that none of that calling him an nbC are decisions in federal cases. They are opinions which hold no more weight than yours or mine. The phrase is undefined. No one knows what it means.

        • That is a Supreme Court decision – U.S. v. Wong Kim Ark 169 U.S. 649

          And is has been cited as binding precedent by state and federal courts. For example:

          Arizona:

          “Most importantly, Arizona courts are bound by United States Supreme Court precedent in construing the United States Constitution, Arizona v. Jay J. Garfield Bldg. Co. , 39 Ariz. 45, 54, 3 P.2d 983, 986(1931), and this precedent fully supports that President Obama is a natural born citizen under the Constitution and thus qualified to hold the office of President. … Contrary to Plaintiff’s assertion, Minor v. Happersett, 88 U.S. 162 (1874), does not hold otherwise”

          Maryland:

          “The issue of the definition of “natural born citizen” is thus firmly resolved by the United States Supreme Court in a prior opinion [US v Wong], and as this court sees it, that holding is binding on the ultimate issue in this case.”

          In these cases and in others they ruled that President Obama was a natural born citizen.

          • The decision in Wong clearly declares him a only a citizen.

            “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.”

          • That SCOTUS in Wong Kim Ark ruled that he was a citizen does not mean it ruled that he wasn’t a natural-born citizen.

            Many court’s have applied Wong Kim Ark’s rationale, and, from it, concluded birth in the United States is sufficient to confer natural-born citizenship.

          • The first part yes the second no. No federal court has ever heard a case specifically concerning the definition of natural born citizen. Please cite one if they have. I mean where the decision says “A natural born citizen is…blah blah blah.”

          • Again: In Tisdale, a federal court said that birth in the United States is sufficient to confer natural-born citizenship.

            Why that is good for the rest of the world but not you is your problem alone.

          • In dicta. There was no hearing on the merits. There was no decision. There was only the personal opinion of a judge. It’s meaningless.

          • It wasn’t dicta; it was a reason why Tisdale could never claim damages (because Obama was duly elected). Hearings aren’t required to make a judge’s ruling valid and binding on the parties. A real judge’s real ruling in a real case in a real court is more than just an opinion.

        • Every judge who ruled on an eligibility case on the merits concluded that birth in the United States is sufficient to confer natural-born citizenship.

          And that’s not judges’ “opinions,” but actual law given by an actual lawgivers. Rulings that have real-world consequences — like President Obama being on the ballot in every state. Twice.

          But since you like federal cases: “It is well settled that those born in the United States are considered natural born citizens.” https://www.scribd.com/document/80563782/Tisdale-v-Obama-et-al

          • The only cases heard on the merits were state cases, Ankeny I think. Tisdale was thrown out so anything the judge said is meaningless.

          • The convenient sound of goal posts being moved!

            ALL the cases were thrown out; the judge’s ruling in Tisdale isn’t “meaningless” because it explains there was no “there” there in the birthers’ beliefs about what natural-born citizen means.

          • Moving goalposts? My point this entire time has been no federal court has ever heard the case.
            Tisdale was thrown out because the plaintiff couldn’t state any actual harm that had come to him by Obama’s actions.

          • Tisdale is case in a real federal court, in which a real judge really ruled that Tisdale had suffered no injury because President Obama was duly elected. Just like all the State judges who ruled that President Obama was entitled to be on states’ ballots because he was an eligible candidate.

  14. didn’t matter for obama, he established precedent

  15. christopher fiore

    actually the person that wrote said that the part that says, and under the jurisdiction thereof, made it clear that you are not an instant citizen of the US. read the interpretation of the 14th amendment in the heritage guide to the constitution. The parents were not legal citizens and had allegiances to their own countries, hence making her an alien by definition.

    • Parents’ allegiance had nothing do with the Natural Born Citizen language in the Constitution. All persons born in the former British Colonies in America regardless as to the alienage of their parents or naturalized prior to the adoption of Constitution became citizens of the United States. After the adoption of the Constitution only those persons who were born in the United States (Jus Soli) or through blood of their parents (if born overseas) were eligible to be President.

      Lord Chief Justice Coke in his opinion in the Calvin’s Case in 1608 enunciated the common law rule for a child born to aliens within the protection and allegiance of a sovereignty is that he or she is a natural born subject.

      Moreover, Chief Justice Coke’s legal authority was “most admired and most often cited by American patriots” Anastasoff v. United States, 223 F.3rd 898, 900 fn. 6, (8th Cir. 2000)

      The focus on the allegiance of the parents in determining the citizenship status of the child is misplaced since Blackstone wrote that “Natural allegiance is such as is due from all men born within the king’s dominions immediately upon their birth.”

      “[I]t has consistently been held judicially that one born in the United States and subject to its jurisdiction is, from birth, a citizen of the United States; that such citizenship does not depend upon like citizenship of his or her parents, or of either of them (except in the case of the children of ambassadors etc.).
      United States v. Richmond, 274 F. Supp. 43, 56 (CD Ca 1967). See also Von Schwerdtner v. Piper, 23 F. 2d 862 (D. MD 1928) (child born in the United States to German nationals)

      A person who is born in the United States, regardless of the citizenship of his parents, becomes an American citizen not by gift of Congress but by force of the Constitution. U.S.C.A., Constitutional Amendment 14, Section 1. In re Gogal, 75 F. Supp. 268, 271 (WD Pa 1947)

      As such, the allegiance of parents whatever their situation is irrelevant in determining the citizenship status of a child born in the United States. “ At common law, a native is a person born within the jurisdiction and allegiance of a country, irrespective of the allegiance of his parents, except the child of an ambassador. Ex parte Palo, 3 F. 2d 44, 45 (W.D. Wa 1925)
      (internal citation omitted)

  16. The historical and legal record demonstrates that there is a critical constitutional distinction between a “natural born citizen” of the United States and a “citizen” of the United States. If Sen. Kamala Harris was born in California to parents who were not U.S. citizens at the time of her birth, she would be a “citizen” of the United States from the moment of birth by virtue of the Fourteenth Amendment. She would not be a common law “natural born citizen” of the United States.

    • The 14th Amendment did not create a new citizenship by its ratification but rather it codified the ancient doctrine of Jus Soli when Justice Grey in United States v. Wong Kim Ark observed:

      “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.” United States v. Wong Kim Ark, 169 US 649, 693 (1898)

      That is why there is no such legal term as “14th Amendment Citizen” that is recognized by courts.

      By their twisted logic, birthers argued that a so-called “14th Amendment citizen” can’t be a natural born citizen since a natural born citizen is superior to a so-called “14th Amendment citizen”.

      Courts have never recognized “14th Amendment citizen” as a distinct third type of citizenship. On the contrary, the courts have always recognized two types of citizenships, native/natural born citizens and naturalized citizens. “There are only two types of citizens: those who are native born and those who are naturalized.” Schaufus v. Attorney General of United States 45 F.Supp. 61,66 (D. MD 1942); “There are only two classes of citizens of the United States, native-born citizens and naturalized citizens; and a citizen who did not acquire that status by birth in the United States is a naturalized citizen.” Zimmer v. Acheson, 191 F. 2d 209, 211 (10th Cir. 1951)

      • Under the law of nations and common law that defined a natural born citizen and as confirmed by all of Congress’s naturalization Acts since 1790, only persons born in the United States to U.S. citizen parents were “natural born citizens” of the United States. This common law rule prevented anyone born in the United States to non-U.S. citizen parents from even just being a “citizen” of the United States, the nomenclature that Congress used in its naturalization Acts. Congress’s first statute to address this problem was the Civil Rights Act of 1866. The “not subject to a foreign power” was still too limiting, as children born to aliens, unlike children born to slaves who had long lost any allegiance to a foreign power, were clearly born subject to a foreign power. So, Congress introduced the Fourteenth Amendment with its much easier test of “subject to the jurisdiction,” which allowed even children born in the United States to qualifying alien parents to be citizens of the United States.

        Hence, the Fourteenth Amendment naturalizes from the moment of birth persons born in the United States to one or two qualifying alien parents to be “citizens” of the United States “at birth” just like a naturalization Act of Congress naturalizes from the moment of birth persons born out of the United States to one or two U.S. citizen parents to be “citizens” of the United States “at birth.” The Fourteenth Amendment does nothing more than naturalize at birth a person born in the United States to parents who are not both U.S. citizens. That is why its framers said that persons who acquire U.S. citizenship either under the Amendment or by naturalization in the United States are “citizens” of the United States. With Congress being aware of the natural born citizen clause serving as one requirement of presidential eligibility, if the former were natural born citizens, Congress would have said so and then said that naturalized persons were “citizens” of the United States. But Congress did not draw any distinction in the nomenclature between persons who acquire citizenship under the Amendment and those who acquire it through a naturalization Act of Congress. It said that they are both “citizens” of the United States “at birth.” This is why courts that have addressed the issue have held that the Fourteenth Amendment did not amend Article II, Clause 1, Section 5 and its natural born citizen clause.

        This means that all natural born citizens of the United States are also citizens of the United States under the Fourteenth Amendment, but not all citizens of the United States under the Amendment are also natural born citizens of the United States. If a person needs and satisfies the Fourteenth Amendment to be a “citizen” of the United States, meaning that he or she is not able to satisfy the requirements of the common law that defines a “natural born citizen” of the United States (like Virginia Minor was), but can satisfy the requirements of the Amendment (like Wong Kim Ark did), then that person is a “citizen” of the United States “at birth” but not a “natural born citizen” of the United States.

    • You presented this argument in several courts and they rejected it. Judge Masin in New Jersey said that the law was settled and the status of the parents does not matter. The New Jersey Court of Appeals agreed with Judge Masin.

      The same happened in Vermont went Judge Bent told Brooke Paige that someone like President Obama was a natural born citizen.

      • New Jersey Administrative Law Judge Jeff Masin, in my New Jersey ballot challenge against Senator Ted Cruz, found in 2016 that English and U.S. naturalization Acts were incorporated into and became part of English common law and therefore U.S. common law and that therefore under that “common law,” a child born out of the United States to two or even one U.S. citizen parent is a natural born citizen. ALJ Masin held: “The more persuasive legal analysis is that such a child, born of a citizen-father, citizen-mother, or both, is indeed a ‘natural born citizen’ within the contemplation of the Constitution.” The full decision can be read here: https://www.scribd.com/doc/308269472/NJ-Judge-Advisory-Opinion-Rules-Canadian-Born-Cruz-Eligible-To-Be-President-4-12-2016. Reduced, ALJ Masin concluded that birth to one U.S. citizen parent, no matter where that child may be born in the world, is sufficient to make one a natural born citizen. I objected to this position and holding, arguing that if it were correct that American common law had been so transformed by such statutes and such transformed common law formed the basis of the constitutional definition of a natural born citizen, then all of Congress’s naturalization Acts since the beginning of our nation have been unconstitutional and the U.S. Supreme Court, which has ruled on the meaning of U.S. citizenship and interpreted those Acts throughout the centuries, has gotten it wrong. The Supreme Court ruled in 1967 in Afroyim v. Rusk, 387 U.S. 253 (1967) that the government can expatriate an American citizen only after he or she commits a voluntary act that demonstrates an intent to renounce his or her U.S. citizenship. The Court said: “We hold that the Fourteenth Amendment was designed to, and does, protect every citizen of this Nation against a congressional forcible destruction of his citizenship, whatever his creed, color, or race. Our holding does no more than to give to this citizen that which is his own, a constitutional right to remain a citizen in a free country unless he voluntarily relinquishes that citizenship.” Id. at 268. If the Fourteenth Amendment offers such protection which I agree it does, then, if ALJ Masin is correct, it, along with the Fifth Amendment, can also be used as a basis for arguing that Congress has since the beginning of our nation violated the Constitution by not recognizing the natural born citizen status of all children born out of the United States to one or two U.S. citizen parents and the U.S. Supreme Court has gotten each one of its decisions that interpreted those laws wrong. Hence, to accept such an interpretation of the natural born citizen clause would lead to a ridiculous, absurd, or impractical conclusion. This is a clear case of the reductio ad absurdum which demonstrates why we should reject such an interpretation. Incidentally, neither ALJ Masin nor the New Jersey Appellate Division addressed my argument.

        • The courts “addressed” Mario Apuzzo’s beliefs by rejecting it, repeatedly.

        • Actually Mario, I wasn’t referring to your failed case against Senator Cruz but rather your failed case against President Obama, as his situation (born in the US to one citizen parent and one alien parent) more closely matches the situation of Senator Harris (born in the US to two alien parents).

          In that case (Purpura v. Obama), Judge Masin wrote that your argument had “no merit in law.” He based his decision on a careful review of the Wong Kim Ark decision.

          In your appeal to the New Jersey Superior Court, Appellate Division the court affirmed “for the reasons set forth in ALJ Jeff S. Masin’s thorough and thoughtful written opinion.” And under New Jersey rule R. 2:11-3(e)(1)(E) they are not required to provide a written opinion when “some or all of the arguments made are without sufficient merit to warrant discussion in a written opinion” as cited by the Appeals Court (“We have carefully considered appellants’ arguments and conclude that these arguments are without merit. R. 2:11-3(e)(1)(E).”).

          But you can always file another lawsuit in New Jersey against Senator Harris. The New Jersey Democratic Primary is currently scheduled for June 2, 2020. So you have plenty of time to prepare. I’m sure Judge Masin will be happy to see you again.

          • Why are you spreading false information? The New Jersey Primary, not the “Democratic Primary” as you call it, is June 5, 2019, not June 2, 2019. Maybe ALJ Masin will answer the questions he did not address last time around.

        • “Why are you spreading false information?”

          Poor reading comprehension? Is that why you fail?

          The Presidential Primary in New Jersey is June 2, 2020, not June 5th, 2019. So I don’t image you filing a challenge to Senator Harris’ eligibility to be on the 2019 New Jersey ballot would make a much sense. But hey, you be you.

          If you take the time to read Judge Masin’s opinion and if your reading comprehension skills are adequate (2019 primary – LOL) you would see that his response in Purpura v. Obama was based on the decision in Ankeny v. Daniels and US v. Wong Kim Ark. He incorporated into his opinion the rather length and thorough historical research of Justice Gray. Why would he need to retrace those steps?

          He answered the questions, you just didn’t like the answers.

          • You forgot to tell us that New Jersey ALJ Jeff Masin and attorney Alexandra Hill said that presidential candidate Barack Obama did not have to present to the New Jersey Secretary of State any evidence as to who he was or where he was born because even “Mickey Mouse” could run for President.

          • So what? Don’t like New Jersey law, run for the state legislature and work to change it.

            Judge Masin also said that assuming for the sake of the argument that Obama was born in Hawaii and that his father was not a US citizen, he is still a natural born citizen.

          • Judge Masin ruled that, as the challenger, it was Mario Apuzzo’s burden to show that President Obama was not born in the United States. And, unsurprisingly, Apuzzo failed.

          • New Jersey is going to hold a democratic primary on a Wednesday this year Mario? That’s what June 5th is. So even in your correction you’re wrong. June 4th is the date.

          • And Alexandra Hill was correct. Under New Jersey law there is no requirement to show a birth certificate to be on the ballot. It must stick in your craw that you got beat by a 2nd year attorney Mario.

  17. Natural Born Citizen is a second generation citizen. This is why our forefathers were excluded at the birth of our nation. U.S. Senate Resolution 511 clearly states the measurement of what a NBC is. Born to two US Citizens, on US Soil.
    It is not that hard to understand the intent of the Article and section. Loyalty only to this country as a citizen, and being the child of citizens.
    You can reference Law of Nations by Vattell, Hamiltons papers, John Jays letter to George Washington.
    A Natural Born Citizen is of the blood, of the soil, a second generation citizen.

    • There is no question that the founding fathers were familiar with Vattel who was a scholar on INTERNATIONAL LAW; however as to MUNICIPAL LAW or DOMESTIC LAW he was not the source of our statutes regarding citizenship which is in the providence of a nation’s municipal law. “Citizenship depends, however, entirely on municipal law and is not regulated by international law. “ Tomasicchio v. Acheson, 98 F. Supp. 166, 169 (DC 1951).

      Moreover, the United States Supreme Court has held that our citizenship laws were inherited from English common law. “Our concept of citizenship was inherited from England and, accordingly, was based on the principle that rights conferred by naturalization were subject to the conditions reserved in the grant. See Calvin’s Case, 7 Co. Rep. 1 a, 77 Eng. Rep. 377 (1608). Schneider v. Rusk, 377 US 163, 170 (1964).
      “We thus have an acknowledgment that our law in this area follows English concepts with an acceptance of the jus soli, that is, that the place of birth governs citizenship status except as modified by statute.” Rogers v. Bellei, 401 US 815,828(1971)

      Nowhere in over 200 years of court opinions have had any court suggested that our citizenship law was based on Vattel’s concept of citizenship. In fact, there are many court cases that held that children born in the United States to parents other than citizen parents are natural born citizens. “Petitioners Marian and Lenuta Mustata are citizens of Romania. At the time of their petition, they resided in Michigan with their two minor children, who are natural born citizens of the United States. Mustata v. US Dept. of Justice, 179 F. 3d 1017, 1019 (6th Cir. 1999). “Abdel-Karim A. El-Nobani is a legal resident of the United States, is married to a natural born United States citizen, and is the father of two natural born United States citizens, ages two and eight, respectively. He was born in Jordan and moved to the United States in 1988. El-Nobani became a permanent resident of the United States in 1993.” US v. El-Nobani, 145 F. Supp. 2d 906, 909 (ND OH 2001)

      As for the drafting of the Constitution, Blackstone’s influence was noted throughout the document, such as, Law of Nations clause in which it was noted: “”In the fourth volume of his Commentaries, Blackstone has a chapter on “Offences against the Law of Nations.” Guided by Blackstone, the Founding Generation viewed the law of nations as a system of rules deducible by natural reason, and established by universal consent among the civilized inhabitants of the world. Justice Story would later put it, “every doctrine that may be fairly deduced by correct reasoning from the rights and duties of nations, and the nature of moral obligation, may be said to exist in the law of nations.” 3 Dartmouth C. Undergraduate J.L. 51 (2005)

      Another example of Blackstone’ influence “The universal maxim of the common law of England, as Sir William Blackstone expresses it, `that no man is to be brought into jeopardy of his life more than once for the same offence,’ is embraced in article V of amendments to the Constitution of the United States, and in the constitutions of several States, in the following language: `Nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb;’ and in many other States the same principle is incorporated in the organic law, Kepner v. United States, 195 US 100, 132 (1904)

      As for Vattel’s contribution to the Constitution, there has not been one decision in which a court has cited Vattel’s influence on drafting of the CONSTITUTION. This is not to say that courts have not cited Vattel on the INTERNATIONAL LAW in which his book “Law of Nations” have been cited by the courts but as to the CONSTITUTIONAL AND MUNICIPAL LAWS OF THE UNITED STATES, Vattel’s influence was nonexistent.

      • The English common law definition of a “natural born subject” of the King simply does not square with the Founders’ and Framers’ desire to keep foreign and monarchical influence out of the Office of President and Commander in Chief of the Military. On the contrary, the law of nation’s definition of a “natural born citizen” served their purpose just nicely.

        • To deny the central role that Emer de Vattel played in the American Revolution and in the drafting of the Constitution is simply to deny our history. The Federalist Papers and the historical record are filled with references to the law of nations and the important role that body of law played for the Founders and Framers in rejecting Coke’s perpetual natural allegiance and thereby justifying the American Revolution, writing the Constitution, and resolving the many problems with which they were faced both before and after the adoption of the Constitution. Emer de Vattel was the Founders’ and Framers’ favorite writer on the law of nations and specifically consulted his treatise, The Law of Nations, as the source to go to on the law of nations. Indeed, our courts have recognized Vattel as an important source of law and political philosophy for the founders and framers.

          • The drafters of the Constitution were learned men who understood the necessity of writing in clear and concise language. “Our Government is founded upon a written Constitution. The draftsmen expressed themselves in careful and measured terms corresponding with the immense importance of the powers delegated to them. The Framers of the Constitution, and the people who adopted it, must be understood to have used words in their natural meaning, and to have intended what they said.” Coolidge v. New Hampshire, 403 US 443, 500(1971)(Black, J concurring and dissenting)

            If the lawyer drafters of the Constitution wanted to incorporate into the Constitution Vattel’s version of “natural born citizen” they would have made their intent clear and specific.

            At the time of the drafting of the Constitution, these lawyer drafters were familiar with Blackstone’s Commentaries and Vattel’s Law of Nations. Through their reading of these treatises they would have found that there were two rules of citizenship, one that was the common law rule as enunciated by Blackstone and the other rule was the Roman or Civil law as enunciated by Vattel.

            We are informed that the Constitution was framed in the English common law language (Smith v. Alabama, 124 U.S. 465, 478 (1888)) and that the lawyer drafters were familiar with common-law concepts (In Re Gannon, 27 F.2d 362, 363 (ED Pa 1928).
            As such, these lawyer drafters would be familiar with statutory construction maxims that included the maxim that a statutory term is generally presumed to have its common-law meaning (Taylor v. United States, 495 U.S. 575, 592 (1990) UNLESS there is legislative intent to change the common law meaning by specific intent (Midlantic National Bank. v. New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (474 U.S. 494 (1986).

            It is presumed that the lawyer drafters had knowledge of the existing common law rule of natural born citizen and that ABSENT a clear manifestation of contrary intent, then that the Natural Born Citizen language in the Constitution is presumed to be harmonious with the existing common law rule (Estate of Wood v. CIR 909 F.2d 1155,1160 (8th Cir. 1990)

          • Surely Mario you can find some instances of the founders referencing Vattel when it came to the requirements for President. You have to have some proof in the debates of the constitution or the federalist papers or something to prove they looked to him on citizenship. You wouldn’t just make this up right?

        • The founding fathers were “inspired” by Vattel to insert a CIVIL LAW definition of Natural Born Citizen in the United States Constitution that was written in the English common law language?

          Did you know that Natural born subject and Natural born citizen mean the same thing?

          The term “natural born citizen” in the Constitution was derived from the English common law term “natural born subject” since the term citizen is analogous to the common law term subject.

          Courts have long recognized that the term “citizen” and “subject” were interchangeable to reflect the change of government.

          “Subject and citizen are, in a degree, convertible terms as applied to natives, and though the term citizen seems to be appropriate to republican freemen, yet we are, equally with the inhabitants of all other countries, subjects, for we are equally bound by allegiance and subjection to the government and law of the land.” 2 Kent Com. 258. Medvedieff v. Cities Service Oil Co., 35 F. Supp. 999, 1002 (SD NY 1940)

          The Supreme Court of North Carolina in State v. Manuel, 4 Dev. & Bat. 20, 26, (quoted in United States v. Wong Kim Ark, 169 U.S. 649,) said: “The term `citizen,’ as understood in our law, is precisely analogous to the term `subject’ in the common law, and the change of phrase has entirely resulted from the change of government. The sovereignty has been transferred from one man to the collective body of the people; and he who before was a `subject of the King’ is now `a citizen of the State.'” Hennessy v. Richardson Drug Co., 189 US 25, 34 (1903)

          “The term `citizen,’ as understood in our law, is precisely analogous to the term `subject’ in the common law, and the change of phrase has entirely resulted from the change of government.”). Rather, the terms are meant to encompass persons living under distinct forms of government: “A monarchy has subjects; a republic has citizens.” Matimak Trading Co. v. Khalily, 118 F. 3d 76 , 85 (2nd Cir. 1997)

          Did you know that after the Declaration of Independence and before the ratification of the United State Constitution that the term Natural Born Subject was written in several state Constitutions?

          1786 Vermont Constitution

          XXXVI. Every person of good character, who comes to settle in this State, having first taken an oath or affirmation of allegiance to the same, may purchase, or. by other just means, acquire, hold and transfer land, or other real estate; and, after one year’s residence, shall be deemed a free denizen thereof, and entitled to all the rights of a NATURAL BORN SUBJECT of this State, except that he shall not be capable of being elected Governor, Lieutenant-Governor, Treasurer, Counsellor, or Representative in Assembly, until after two years’ residence. (emphasis added)

          1776 Pennsylvania Constitution

          SECT. 42. Every foreigner of good character who comes to settle in this state, having first taken an oath or affirmation of allegiance to the same, may purchase, or by other just means acquire, hold, and transfer land or other real estate; and after one year’s residence, shall be deemed a free denizen thereof, and entitled to all the rights of a NATURAL BORN SUBJECT of this state, except that he shall not be capable of being elected a representative until after two years residence.
          (emphasis added)

          See also the 1778 Constitution of the State of Maryland (“immunities, rights, and privileges of a natural-born subject of this State.”); 1776 Constitution of the State of Delaware (“immunities, rights, and privileges of a natural-born subject of this State”)

          Now if Vattel was such an “inspiration” to the drafters of the Constitution then why didn’t they use Vattel’s term “Natural born citizen” in place of “natural born subject” in their respective state Constitutions since most of the drafters of the Constitution were also the drafters of their respective state Constitutions

          • First, Minor v. Happersett (1875) did not have to cite Emer de Vattel for us to know that Minor relied upon Vattel when defining a citizen and a natural born citizen. Minor’s words tell us that it is all Vattel.

            Here is Vattel:

            “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.

            Vattel, at Sec. 212.

            Here is Minor:

            There cannot be a nation without a people. The very idea of a political community, such as a nation is, implies an [p166] association of persons for the promotion of their general welfare. Each one of the persons associated becomes a member of the nation formed by the association. . . .

            For convenience it has been found necessary to give a name to this membership. . . . Citizen is now more commonly employed . . . When used in this sense it is understood as conveying the idea of membership of a nation, and nothing more.”

            ***

            [A]ll children born in a country of parents who were its citizens . . . were natives, or natural-born citizens. . .

            Minor, at 165-67.

            Clearly, they both use the word “citizen,” they both say that being a citizen is being a member of a civil society or nation, they both distinguish from citizens the “natives” or “natural-born citizens,” who both say are children of citizen parents. They both use “natives, or natural-born citizens,” and both distinguished them from “citizens.” And they both define those terms exactly the same, i.e., a child born in a country to parents who were its citizens.

            Second, in Minor there is not a trace of how William Blackstone defined a natural-born subject under the English common law. In Minor’s definition of “citizens” and “natives, or natural-born citizens,” there is no mention of the king, his realm or dominion, “the allegiance, the obedience, the faith or loyalty, the protection, the power, the jurisdiction of the English Sovereign” (Wong Kim Ark, at 658), foreign ambassadors or diplomats, or military invaders or alien enemies. Rather, what we do see is mention of simple membership in a nation and birth in a nation’s country to parents who were its citizens, universal concepts of the law of nations.

            The unanimous U.S. Supreme Court in Minor told us that the Framers used the law of nations to define a natural born citizen and not the English common law.

          • More clear is how judges have repeatedly rejected birthers’ beliefs on how to read Minor. No one disputes that those born in the United States to two citizen parents is a natural-born citizen; rather, all courts have rejected the belief that such a condition is necessary for natural-born citizenship.

          • The case you cited Minor v. Happersett, 88 U.S. 162 (1875) had nothing to do with the term “Natural Born Citizen” in the Constitution. In fact, the issue in the case was whether a woman who was a citizen of the United States had a right to vote under the privilege clause of the 14th Amendment.

            Chief Justice Waite, speaking for the court, held that the “Constitution of the United States does not confer the right of suffrage upon any one, (Id. at 178)” unless specifically mentioned in the 15th Amendment where it provides: “The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States, or by any State, on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude.”

            In his opinion, Chief Justice Waite mentioned in passing the following language that was not germane to the case by noting:

            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 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. Id 167-168

            The above language is a typical example what is refer to as Obiter Dictum or in other words “words of an opinion entirely unnecessary for the decision of the case.” Black’s Law Dictionary, p. 967 (Fifth Ed. 1979). When there is Obiter Dictum language in an opinion that part of the opinion that contained Obiter Dictum language has no precedent value since it was unnecessary in the court’s decision.

            In the Minor case, nowhere in the opinion was the status of Virginia Minor citizenship discussed. Moreover, there was no discussion as to the citizenship status of Minor’s PARENTS. In fact, the court noted “She has always been a citizen from her birth, and entitled to all the privileges and immunities of citizenship.” Id. at 170.

            Therefore, Chief Justice Waite’s gratuitous comment about “natural born citizenship” had absolutely nothing to do with the decision of the court. In fact,
            he himself remarked “For the purposes of this case it is not necessary to solve these doubts [citizens children born without reference to citizenship of their parents].” Id at 168.

            As such, the holding in the Minor case was that citizenship does not itself confer the right to vote under the Privilege Clause of the 14th Amendment.

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