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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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219 comments

  1. David Bryan,

    1. Your response: Okay, so let’s break your question down: “How do you explain that the unanimous U.S. Supreme Court in Minor, when explaining the historical development of U.S. citizenship made reference to “natives, or natural-born citizens” and not to “natural-born subjects”” Already covered that. The choice of words, whether citizen or subject, is of no significance: “When used in this sense, it is understood as conveying the idea of membership of a nation, and nothing more.”

    My response: You miss the point here. Wong Kim Ark relied on the definition of an English “natural born-subject when interpreting the Fourteenth Amendment, Minor did not rely on the definition of a “natural-born subject” when it explained who the “natives, or natural-born citizen” were at common law. Also, Minor refers to citizenship as “membership of a nation” but Wong Kim Ark does not, just telling us how under the English common law “subjects” were subjects of the King. You fail to explain why the difference in language and approach by the two courts.

    2. Your response: “…and included in the definition of those words the reference to the citizenship of the child’s parents and added that there had been doubts whether a child born within the jurisdiction to alien parents was a citizen when as I have shown above the English common law held that there were no such doubts?” I didn’t bother with that because there’s no such “definition” in the case. Chief Justice Waite had pointedly declined to state an exclusive definition of the term “natural born citizen.”

    My response: Your “I didn’t bother with that” demonstrates an inconvenient truth for you. Justice Waite said: “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.” First, Waite used the same nomenclature as Vattel in Section 212, i.e., “natives, or natural-born citizens.” Second, Vattel there provided a definition of those words, i.e., “[t]he natives, or natural-born citizens, are those born in the country, of parents who are citizens.” Third, Waite defined those words almost exactly the same as did Vattel, i.e., “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.” Note that Waite added that those natural-born citizen children became at the moment of their birth themselves citizens as were their parents. Fourth, we know that Waite provided a definition and that it was one of both inclusion and exclusion because he ended his definition of the natural born citizens by saying that “as distinguished from aliens or foreigners.” So, he put the natural born citizens as defined in one class and the alien or foreigners in another class. In other words, any person who was not born in the country to parents who were its citizens (the natural born citizens) was an alien or foreigner and had to be naturalized in order to be a “citizen” of the United States. After the ratification of the Constitution, naturalization was done either by Act of Congress, for individual naturalization, or treaty, for collective naturalization. Wong Kim Ark in 1898 demonstrated that the Fourteenth Amendment can also be used to naturalize “at birth” those who are born in the United States but who are not natural born because born to one or two alien parents (At the time of the Constitution, Minor, and Wong Kim Ark, both spouses were either U.S. citizens or aliens.) Congress calls these persons in its naturalization Act, 8 U.S.C. §1401(a), “citizens” of the United States “at birth.” Minor did not give a new definition of the natural born citizen. It only confirmed the Framers’ common law definition which how Minor presented that definition, along with the historical record, convincingly demonstrates they would have gotten it from Vattel’s Section 212.

    3. Your response: Be that as it may, Waite himself explained those “doubts”– “Disputes have arisen as to whether or not certain persons or certain classes of persons were part of the people at the time, but never as to their citizenship if they were.” These were “doubts” based entirely on race or servitude, and NOTHING else. They were of a piece with the exclusion of Native Americans, a special circumstance not applicable in England. That “part of the people” is language Waite lifted directly out of Scott v. Sandford, which had been kind of a big deal. Maybe you should look it up. You’ll find the most odious opinion in the case shows the same enthusiasm for Vattel that you do.

    My response: Wrong. If one was born in the United States to citizen parents, one was a natural born citizen, regardless of race or servitude. The doubts that existed as to who the original citizens were is one question. The doubts that existed as to who could thereafter be added to the original citizens as new citizens is a different one. You are resorting to the former in your effort to avoid answering my question. Justice Waite explained the difference between the two questions and their answers. He explained that the doubts that he chose not to resolve were doubts regarding who could be added to the new citizens by birth under the Fourteenth Amendment (not to be confounded and confused with by birth under common law). The doubts about whether children born in the jurisdiction to alien parents were “citizens” under the Fourteenth Amendment has nothing to do with the doubts regarding who were the original citizens.

    The question here is why would the unanimous U.S. Supreme Court in Minor say that there were “some authorities” who included as “citizens” children born within the jurisdiction to alien parents but that as to that “class” there had been doubts whether those children were “citizens” but never any doubts as to whether one was part of the natural-born citizen class. So, your retreat to the doubts regarding who was included as an original citizen to escape honestly addressing my question about why would Minor say that only “some authorities” believed that children born in the United States to alien parents were citizens under the Fourteenth Amendment and that there had been doubts whether that was true, when as Wong Kim Ark demonstrated there should not have been any such doubts given that the English common law, a law with which the U.S. Supreme Court was very familiar, without any doubt considered those children natural-born subjects.

    What also scores you negative points is your implying that Emer de Vattel was a racist and that anyone who relies upon him as an authority is also a racist.

  2. David Bryan,

    You say that I did not read Minor. Actually, you did not read my question.

    • Okay, so let’s break your question down:

      “How do you explain that the unanimous U.S. Supreme Court in Minor, when explaining the historical development of U.S. citizenship made reference to “natives, or natural-born citizens” and not to “natural-born subjects””

      Already covered that. The choice of words, whether citizen or subject, is of no significance: “When used in this sense, it is understood as conveying the idea of membership of a nation, and nothing more.”

      “…and included in the definition of those words the reference to the citizenship of the child’s parents and added that there had been doubts whether a child born within the jurisdiction to alien parents was a citizen when as I have shown above the English common law held that there were no such doubts?”

      I didn’t bother with that because there’s no such “definition” in the case. Chief Justice Waite had pointedly declined to state an exclusive definition of the term “natural born citizen.” Be that as it may, Waite himself explained those “doubts”–
      “Disputes have arisen as to whether or not certain persons or certain classes of persons were part of the people at the time, but never as to their citizenship if they were.”
      These were “doubts” based entirely on race or servitude, and NOTHING else. They were of a piece with the exclusion of Native Americans, a special circumstance not applicable in England.
      That “part of the people” is language Waite lifted directly out of Scott v. Sandford, which had been kind of a big deal. Maybe you should look it up. You’ll find the most odious opinion in the case shows the same enthusiasm for Vattel that you do.

  3. Charles,

    If as you claim Minor used the English common law rather than a common law based on the law of nations when it defined a natural born citizen, then why did Minor when defining citizenship in general and a natural born citizen specifically not use the language of the English common law, a language that we saw so much of in Wong Kim Ark?

  4. Charles,

    So, you have no evidence to support your position that Minor looked to the colonial English common law rather than to the common law based on the law of nations other than that Minor said “at common-law” and that as you claim before the adoption of the Constitution the only common law that the states were using was the English common law and that would have been the only common law of which the Framers would have been familiar.

    If I have misstated your position or if you have any other evidence, please explain or provide.

  5. Mario,

    You responded: “Do you mean like this – “At common-law, with the nomenclature of which the framers of the Constitution were familiar”?”

    “Please provide anything that Minor said in its decision which demonstrates that when it said “common-law,” it was referring to the English common law.”

    It’s right there in that the phrase I quoted, “At common-law, with the nomenclature of which the framers of the Constitution were familiar”.

    By Waite saying it was the common law familiar to the “framers of the Constitution”, he could only mean the common law prior to 1787.

    How is a “common law” developed? Is it based on court precedents or acts of a legislature?

    What federal court system existed after the Declaration of Independence and before the Articles of Confederation?

    What federal court system existed between the Articles of Confederation and the ratification of the Constitution?

    What common law was being used by state courts?

  6. I said: “If the English common law was the source that provided the rules of decision on U.S. national citizenship, then Chief Justice Waite should have acknowledged it even in some small fashion.”

    You responded: “Do you mean like this – “At common-law, with the nomenclature of which the framers of the Constitution were familiar”?”

    Please provide anything that Minor said in its decision which demonstrates that when it said “common-law,” it was referring to the English common law.

  7. Mario,

    “If the English common law was the source that provided the rules of decision on U.S. national citizenship, then Chief Justice Waite should have acknowledged it even in some small fashion.”

    Do you mean like this – “At common-law, with the nomenclature of which the framers of the Constitution were familiar”?

    Justice Gray understood this to mean the English Common Law – “And he [Chief Justice Wait] proceeded to resort to the common law as an aid in the construction of this provision.” Justice Gray then goes on to explain the provisions for citizenship under the English Common Law, not the Law of Nations. In fact, he expressly said so in discussing the Shanks v. Dupont decision:

    “But Mr. Justice Story certainly did not mean to suggest that, independently of treaty, there was any principle of international law which could defeat the operation of the established rule of citizenship by birth within the United States; for he referred to the contemporaneous opinions in Inglis v. Sailors’ Snug Harbor, above cited, in which this rule had been distinctly recognized, and in which he had said that “each government had a right to decide for itself who should be admitted or deemed citizens,””.

    Of course Chief Justice Fuller disagreed and wrote that citizenship should be based on international law.

    “Obviously, where the Constitution deals with common law rights and uses common law phraseology, its language should be read in the light of the common law; but when the question arises as to what constitutes citizenship of the nation, involving as it does international relations, and political, as contradistinguished from civil, status, international principles must be considered, and, unless the municipal law of England appears to have been affirmatively accepted, it cannot be allowed to control in the matter of construction.”

  8. Charles,

    If the English common law was the source that provided the rules of decision on U.S. national citizenship, then Chief Justice Waite should have acknowledged it even in some small fashion. Giving a general discussion about citizenship and explaining that the citizens were members of the nation, defining a natural born citizen with reference to the citizenship of the parents, using the words “born in a country” and “parents” and “children,” and saying that there had been doubts whether a child born in the jurisdiction to alien parents was a citizen reveals that the Court was not looking to the English common law.

    We may ask if not the English common law then to what common law was Minor referring. Vattel in Section 212 of The Law of Nations starts his discussion by explaining that “[the citizens are the members of the civil society,” provided the exact nomenclature used by Minor, i.e., the “natives, or natural-born citizens” and “parents” and “children,” and defined those phrases virtually the same as did the Court, stating that the “natives, or natural-born citizens, are those born in the country, of parents who are citizens.” Furthermore, Vattel in Section 214 also explained that children born in the country to alien parents needed naturalization (Finally, there are states, as, for instance, England, where the single circumstance of being born in the country naturalizes the children of a foreigner.”). This would explain Minor’s statement about the doubts that existed with whether those children born in the United States (not England) were citizens. Minor had also reviewed the early naturalization Acts of Congress (1790, 1804, and 1855) and showed how they provided that a minor child born to alien parents became a citizen during his minority when the parents naturalized as citizens of the United States and the child was dwelling in the U.S. (“the children of such persons so naturalized, dwelling within the United States, being under twenty-one years of age at the time of such naturalization, should also be considered citizens of the United States”). So, Minor knew that in the United States, birth in the U.S. alone did not naturalize the children of a foreigner. Hence, we can conclude that Minor was not referring to the English common law but to a common law that had its foundation in the law of nations.

  9. Bob is so messed up that when he goes off script he really gets himself so confused.

  10. Mario Apuzzo, who fancies himself an expert in eligibility challenges, appears unaware that eligibility cases were still lingering in the appellate courts in 2015.

    And pedantic Apuzzo still cannot admit that he is alone in his misreading of Minor, and instead must rely on ghosts to whisper in his ear that he is correct.

  11. Bob is so messed up that he cannot even count three centuries of time.

  12. Mario,

    “how do you explain Minor discussing the development of U.S. citizenship that included the definition of a natural born citizen and stating that that definition had its source at common law with which the Framers were familiar but not using one iota of a word or phrase that indicated that law to be the English common law?”

    Are you now contending that under the English Common Law a child born in England to two parents who were natural born subjects would NOT be a natural born subject?

    Under the English Common Law the statement in Minor is true but incomplete. And because CJ Waite chose not to resolve the doubts of some authorities, it was left to the Wong decision to complete the definition.

  13. Predictable as a merry-go-round, Mario Apuzzo returns to his misreading of Minor. Literally no judge, professor, or other expert who has discussed the subject reads Minor has he does; and several have expressly said Apuzzo was wrong. But Apuzzo has neither the intelligence nor to honesty even acknowledge this basic fact.

    But it appears Apuzzo has contacted Justice Waite via a seance, so that the good (but dead) justice could opine on cases were decided 140 years after Minor. While Apuzzo has Waite’s ear, perhaps he could also inquire about the upcoming lottery numbers?

  14. Bob continues to not understand that real judges in the unanimous U.S. Supreme Court case of Minor v. Happersett (1875) already have articulated legal arguments that amply demonstrate that the conclusions of others upon whom he rests his entire case (not to be confused with actual reasoned analysis) are wrong.

  15. According to Justice Gray in the 1898 decision of Wong Kim Ark, under the English common law for the last three centuries there had been no doubts that children born in the jurisdiction to alien parents were natural born subjects. Here is Justice Gray explaining this:

    “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, the jurisdiction of the English Sovereign, and therefore every child born in England of alien parents was a natural-born subject unless the child of an ambassador or other diplomatic agent of a foreign State or of an alien enemy in hostile occupation of the place where the child was born.”

    “III. The same rule was in force in all the English Colonies upon this continent down to the time of the Declaration of Independence, and in the United States afterwards, and continued to prevail under the Constitution as originally established.”

    How do you explain that the unanimous U.S. Supreme Court in Minor, when explaining the historical development of U.S. citizenship made reference to “natives, or natural-born citizens” and not to “natural-born subjects” and included in the definition of those words the reference to the citizenship of the child’s parents and added that there had been doubts whether a child born within the jurisdiction to alien parents was a citizen when as I have shown above the English common law held that there were no such doubts?

    In answering this question, please do not a la Bob merely provide the conclusions of others, for that is not a reasoned discussion.

    • You ask:
      “How do you explain that the unanimous U.S. Supreme Court in Minor, when explaining the historical development of U.S. citizenship made reference to “natives, or natural-born citizens” and not to “natural-born subjects” and included in the definition of those words the reference to the citizenship of the child’s parents and added that there had been doubts whether a child born within the jurisdiction to alien parents was a citizen when as I have shown above the English common law held that there were no such doubts?”

      From the case:
      “There cannot be a nation without a people. The very idea of a political community such as a nation is implies an 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. He owes it allegiance and is entitled to its protection. Allegiance and protection are in this connection reciprocal obligations. The one is a compensation for the other; allegiance for protection and protection for allegiance.

      For convenience, it has been found necessary to give a name to this membership. The object is to designate by a title the person and the relation he bears to the nation. For this purpose, the words “subject,” “inhabitant,” and “citizen” have been used, and the choice between them is sometimes made to depend upon the form of the government. Citizen is now more commonly employed, however, and as it has been considered better suited to the description of one living under a republican government, it was adopted by nearly all of the states upon their separation from Great Britain, and was afterwards adopted in the Articles of Confederation and in the Constitution of the United States. When used in this sense, it is understood as conveying the idea of membership of a nation, and nothing more,” Minor v. Happersett, 88 US 162, 165-166 (1874).

      Is it so hard to just read the case? It’s not even very long.

  16. Mario Apuzzo continues to not understand that real judges already have articulated legal arguments, and have ruled his to be lacking.

  17. Bob continues to show that he is not able to articulate a legal argument.

  18. Charles,

    If as you say within the context of defining an Article II natural born citizen “citizenship terms of the Constitution were defined by the English Common Law,” then how do you explain Minor discussing the development of U.S. citizenship that included the definition of a natural born citizen and stating that that definition had its source at common law with which the Framers were familiar but not using one iota of a word or phrase that indicated that law to be the English common law?

  19. Mario Apuzzo continues to unsurprising but fruitlessly warble his tired old song that he thinks he is correct.

    Apuzzo, who claims to be an attorney, dismisses the real rulings of real judges in real courts hearing real cases as “conclusions of others.” A professional would acknowledge the validity of those rulings, and would have the dignity to not continue his lonely whine so many years after the fact.

    The truly sad part is that this is a purgatory of Apuzzo’s own creation. If only Apuzzo had the character to admit that he was wrong, but he doesn’t.

  20. Just citing some state law decisions which include administrative law ones (which I have already shown were erroneously decided) without demonstrating how they are correct does not cut it when it comes to Constitutional interpretation.

  21. Charles,

    I have supported my position with sources and reasoned analysis. You have supported yours a la Bob with the conclusions of others which in any event I have demonstrated are erroneous.

  22. Mario

    “Having satisfactorily covered all your points, it looks like Vattel is still the victor.”

    Except where it matters.

    You are wrong about the significance of the comments in Chief Justice Fuller’s dissent.

    He read the majority opinion and said it made the Common Law of England the source for the Constitutional terms Natural-born Citizen and Citizen of the the United States. That is his understanding of the majority opinion.

    The Indiana Appeals Court, the Vermont Superior, Court, the Georgia Administrative Law Court, the New Jersey Administrative Law Court, the 2nd Circuit Court of Florida, The Superior Court of Pima County Arizona, the Circuit Court for Carroll County, Maryland, the Supreme Court of Kings County, New York have all read the Wong decision and came to the same conclusion as Chief Justice Fuller, Justice Gray said that the citizenship terms of the Constitution were defined by the English Common Law.

  23. As expected, Mario Apuzzo in the comments section (of obscure blogs) yet again crowns himself the victor. But Mario Apuzzo in the courtroom loses. Every. Single. Time.

    And, in the reality-based world, the law is given by judges, and not losing litigants haunting comments sections.

    Apuzzo appears to have remembered some of the cases that expressly ruled that birth in the United States is sufficient to confer natural-born citizenship. And if he just scrolled down beyond his own words, he would see who some of the professors and other experts were. Or he could just go review his own onanistic blog, because a younger Apuzzo knew who they were.

  24. Charles,

    1. As to your Ankeny quote, Ankeny is wrong. The quote does not support a notion that the Framers defined an Article II natural born citizen under the English common law. In fact, nowhere in the Wong Kim Ark decision will you find any such statement. On the contrary, the colonial English common law was selectively adopted in all the colonies and most of the states. It was never adopted on the national level and while some states may have used it to determine who were state citizens, it never provided the rules of decision for defining the citizenship of the United States. Even the wrongly decided and overruled New York State case of Lynch v. Clark in 1844 understood that U.S. national citizenship had to be defined by a national rule and not by any state rule.

    2. As to Vermont Judge Bent, given that Ankeny’s reliance on that Wong Kim Ark passage to define a natural born citizen is mistaken, citing to Ankeny makes neither Ankeny nor Judge Bent correct.

    3. As to Georgia Administrative Law Judge Malihi, citing to Ankeny makes neither Ankeny nor Judge Malihi correct. See above.

    4. As to New Jersey Administrative Law Judge Masin, who decided Purpura v. Obama and Victor Williams et al v. Cruz and Rubio, citing to the same Wong Kim Ark passage in the Obama case again shows that ALJ Masin’s reliance there is mistaken. In the Obama case, ALJ Masin also found that even Mickey Mouse could run for President in New Jersey.

    Furthermore, ALJ 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.

    5. On Chief Justice Fuller on dissent, what he said on dissent cannot serve as the holding of the case. What Justice Gray said speaks for itself.

    6. On Justice Gray’s comment as to what Minor held, it goes without saying that if the Court recognized Minor as holding that a woman born of citizen parents within the United States was a citizen of the United States, it follows a fortiori that under Minor’s definition of a natural born citizen she was in fact a natural born citizen. Note that Justice Gray did not leave out of his statement of Minor’s citizenship holding that the Court held that she was a citizen because she was born in the United States to U.S. citizen parents. Justice Gray’s statement on the Minor holding also shows that there were two holding in Minor, one on Virginia’s citizenship and the other on her right to vote.

    7. Regarding the English common law, as the unanimous U.S. Supreme Court demonstrated in Minor, it simply does not apply to defining an Article II natural born citizen. When Minor defined a natural born citizen, you will not find any mention by the Court of any of the elements of the English common law that defined a natural born subject, as expressed by Justice Gray in Wong Kim Ark when he explained:

    “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, the jurisdiction of the English Sovereign, and therefore every child born in England of alien parents was a natural-born subject unless the child of an ambassador or other diplomatic agent of a foreign State or of an alien enemy in hostile occupation of the place where the child was born.”

    “III. The same rule was in force in all the English Colonies upon this continent down to the time of the Declaration of Independence, and in the United States afterwards, and continued to prevail under the Constitution as originally established.”

    No, not a single word in Minor about the dominions; the Crown of England; the allegiance, the obedience, the faith or loyalty, the protection, the power, the jurisdiction of the English Sovereign; England; natural-born subject; ambassador; diplomatic agent; alien enemy; and English Colonies. None of that mattered because as the Court explained, a natural born citizen child had to be born in the country to U.S. citizen parents. Hence, all the elements of the English common law were irrelevant. For sure, Minor gave the simple definition of a natural born citizen as had been provided by Vattel in Section 212 of The Law of Nations which Minor said was the common law upon which the Framers relied when they drafted the natural born citizen clause into the Constitution.

    8. On Tisdale, its reliance on Wong Kim Ark is misplaced. See above. Regarding my saying that it decided the merits of the meaning of a natural born citizen, it did to the extent that in dictum it commented on using the Fourteenth Amendment to make one a natural born citizen which is erroneous because that Amendment does not define a natural born citizen as both Minor and Wong Kim Ark instruct. I have already addressed how nothing that Tisdale said about the meaning of a natural born citizen is precedential. In fact, the 4th Circuit, which affirmed the Federal District Court, did not even mention the clause natural born citizen. 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 in Hollander 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. So, Tisdale adds nothing for you.

    Having satisfactorily covered all your points, it looks like Vattel is still the victor.

    By the way (what follows is not dictum), what happened to all those cases, professors, and experts that Bob keeps passing off to us ad nauseam in every one of his comments as definitively closing down the natural born citizen debate?

  25. Bob,

    Yes, and it was during the oral arguments in front of the New Jersey appeals court that he explained exactly how the English Common Law operated,

    “The English Common Law says if you are born in the dominion of the King under his obedience, regardless of the citizenship of your parents, you are a natural-born citizen.”

    And in Paige v Obama Apuzzo supplied a brief which Judge Bent described as attempting mightily to distinguish as to which model of citizenship the Framers intended but that in the face of the Wong decision his brief was only academic.

    Mario Apuzzo also submitted an amicus brief for the appeal to the 4th Circuit in Tisdale v Obama. In fact, that is how we know it was the first federal court to rule on the merits of the meaning of a “natural born Citizen.” Mario Apuzzo said it was.

  26. In Pupura v. Obama (one of the cases that cited approvingly Wong Kim Ark), wasn’t the losing litigant’s lawyer one … Mario Apuzzo (“Esquire”)?

  27. In the published opinion of the Appeals Court of Indiana in Ankeny v. Daniels the court cited this passage from Wong Kim Ark of “authoritative” dicta (it may be holding):

    “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, the jurisdiction of the English Sovereign, and therefore every child born in England of alien parents was a natural-born subject unless the child of an ambassador or other diplomatic agent of a foreign State or of an alien enemy in hostile occupation of the place where the child was born.”

    “III. The same rule was in force in all the English Colonies upon this continent down to the time of the Declaration of Independence, and in the United States afterwards, and continued to prevail under the Constitution as originally established.”

    In the Superior Court in Vermont, Judge Bent in Paige v. Condos, cited from the Ankeny decision and highlighted this same passage from Wong Kim Ark.

    In Farrar v. Obama, Georgia ALJ Malihi cited from Ankeny the very same passage from Wong Kim Ark.

    In New Jersey in Purpura v Obama, ALJ Masin cited this same passage from Wong Kim Ark.

    But it wasn’t just recent cases that cited this “authoritative” dicta, Chief Justice Fuller in his dissent in Wong Kim Ark also cited it.

    “And it is this rule [English Common Law], pure and simple, which it is asserted [by the majority] determined citizenship of the United States during the entire period prior to the passage of the act of April 9, 1866, and the ratification of the Fourteenth Amendment, and governed the meaning of the words “citizen of the United States” and “natural-born citizen” used in the Constitution as originally framed and adopted.”

    And here is what Justice Gray said about the Minor decision:

    “The decision in that case [Minor v Happersett] was that a woman born of citizen parents within the United States was a citizen of the United States, although not entitled to vote, the right to the elective franchise not being essential to citizenship.”

    Note he says she is a citizen not she is a natural-born citizen.

    And how does the English Common Law handle citizenship?

    Mario Apuzzo said “The English Common Law says if you are born in the dominion of the King under his obedience regardless of the citizenship of your parents you are a natural-born citizen.” Which is pretty much in agreement with what Justice Gray said in Wong.

    BTW, Tisdale v Obama also was decided based on the ruling in Wong Kim Ark. In fact, I believe you said it was the first federal court to rule on “the merits of the meaning of a “natural born Citizen.” “

  28. “Any conclusion that anyone is a natural born citizen based on anything that Wong Kim Ark said that is contrary to how Minor defined a natural born citizen is simply wrong.”

    And how did that work out for you in court, Mario Apuzzo (“Esquire”)?

  29. Charles,

    First, please cite “the recent court rulings that President Obama is a natural born citizen based on the “authoritative” dicta in Wong Kim Ark.”

    Second, there is no dictum in Wong Kim Ark that defines a natural born citizen any differently than how Minor defined one in 1875 under what it said was the common law with which the Framers were familiar when they drafted and adopted the Constitution. Other than citing and quoting Minor on the definition of a natural born citizen, Wong Kim Ark did not touch the meaning of the clause. Rather, what it did was interpret the Fourteenth Amendment’s “subject to the jurisdiction thereof” clause, using the colonial English common law as an aid in that interpretation.

    Wong Kim Ark, unlike Minor, was compelled to interpret the Fourteenth Amendment because Wong was not a natural born citizen like Virginia Minor was. The U.S. government maintained that since Wong’s birth in the United States was to alien parents, he was not born “subject to the jurisdiction” of the United States and therefore not a “citizen” of the United States under the Fourteenth Amendment. The government could only have arrived at that conclusion by relying upon The Slaughterhouse Cases (1873) and Minor (1875). The U.S. Supreme Court in The Slaughterhouse Cases, 83 U.S. 36, 72-73 (1873) had said: “The phrase, ‘subject to its jurisdiction’ was intended to exclude from its operation children of ministers, consuls, and citizens or subjects of foreign States born within the United States.” Minor had said that there never had been any doubts that a child born in the country to parents who were its citizens (who the Court called the “natives, or natural-born citizens”) was not only a “native, or natural-born citizen,” but also a “citizen,” but there had been doubts whether a child born within the jurisdiction to alien parents was even a “citizen.” Wong Kim Ark overruled what it said was dicta in The Slaughterhouse Cases. It did not overrule Minor’s definition of a natural born citizen. Unlike Minor, which made a direct reference to the Framers when it defined a natural born citizen, Wong Kim Ark did not mention the Framers at all, something that it would have had to do if it were going to provide a different definition of a natural born citizen than Minor had. The Court could have easily done so if it intended to provide a different definition of a natural born citizen, but it did not. On the contrary, the Court cited to Minor and quoted its definition of a natural born citizen when saying that, since the Constitution did not define what “subject to the jurisdiction” meant, it could go outside the Constitution and resort to the common law as Minor had done as an aid to interpret the Constitution. The Court was not, however, defining a natural born citizen but rather interpreting the Fourteenth Amendment. Hence, Wong Kim Ark did not have to change the definition of a natural born citizen, but rather only interpret the meaning of “subject to the jurisdiction thereof” as required by the Fourteenth Amendment.

    In interpreting the Amendment’s jurisdiction clause, Wong Kim Ark looked to a different common law. It did not look to the common law that Minor said the Framers used to define a natural born citizen. Rather, it utilized the colonial English common law and its rule of jus soli, which prevailed in the colonies and then in the states to define state citizenship but not on the national level to define a citizen of the United States. Having done that analysis, the Court distinguished a natural born citizen at common law from a “citizen” of the United States at birth under the Fourteenth Amendment and held:

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

    ~~~~~

    Wong Kim Ark was clear that it had answered only “the single question” brought forth by the parties which was:

    The question presented by the record is whether a child born in the United States, of parents of Chinese descent, who, at the time of his birth, are subjects of the Emperor of China, but have a permanent domicil and residence in the United States, and are there carrying on business, and are not employed in any diplomatic or official capacity under the Emperor of China, becomes at the time of his birth a citizen of the United States by virtue of the first clause of the Fourteenth Amendment of the Constitution.

    ~~~~~

    In answering that single question, it did not change the meaning of a natural born citizen. It only defined the jurisdiction clause of the Fourteenth Amendment and whether a child born in the United States to alien parents could be included as a “citizen” of the United States thereunder. And in so doing it required that the child’s alien parents have a permanent domicile and residence in the United States and not be employed in any diplomatic or official capacity for a foreign nation. By requiring that the alien parents be permanently domiciled and residing in the United States, it in effect like Minor had already done in 1875, overruled Lynch v. Clarke, 1 Sand. Ch. 583 which had found that“ a person . . . who was native born, but of alien parents,” who happened to be in the United States on a temporary basis, was a natural born citizen and therefore eligible to be elected President. Note that the Court found that Wong was a “citizen” of the United States from the moment of birth, not by virtue of the common law with which the Framers were familiar and which defined a natural born citizen, but rather by virtue only of the Fourteenth Amendment.

    So, as you can see, Wong Kim Ark made no change to the definition of a natural born citizen. It overruled what it considered to be dictum in The Slaughterhouse Cases regarding the Fourteenth Amendment’s jurisdiction clause but did not overrule anything that Minor said regarding a natural born citizen. On the contrary, it confirmed Minor’s definition of the clause. Any conclusion that anyone is a natural born citizen based on anything that Wong Kim Ark said that is contrary to how Minor defined a natural born citizen is simply wrong.

  30. Mario,

    BTW, thank you for admitting that Tisdale v Obama was decided on the merits.

    “The Tisdale case is the first federal court case that has ruled on the merits of the meaning of a “natural born Citizen.” ” Mario Apuzzo

    And District Judge Gibney based his decision on the “authoritative’ dicta in Wong Kim Ark.

  31. Tired old Mario Apuzzo has run out of gas: He thinks, by switching the subjects of what I wrote, he proves a point; in reality, it proves only that he has nothing but years of pent-up bitterness over being repeatedly wrong.

    Old Man Apuzzo could scroll downward in this very comments section and see the references to the now years-old cases of Allen, Ankeny, and Tisdale. And a younger and sharper Apuzzo might have remembered that he discussed these very cases ad nauseam on his very own onanistic blog.

    In addition, there are the opinions, to name a few, of Professors Eugene Volokh, Ronald Rotunda, and Lawrence Solum, as well as Jack Maskell of the Congressional Research Service. Again, if fading Apuzzo needs a refresher on what they wrote, Apuzzo — again — need only refer to his very own onanistic blog.

    Because the reality is that I can and have referenced some of the judges, professors, and other experts who have expressly stated that birth in the United States is sufficient to confer natural-born citizenship.

    In contrast, Apuzzo stands alone, spitting his hated into the wind.

  32. Citing Minor v Happersett, the main holdings which have been either overturned by either Constitutional Amendment or later decisions is almost as nonsensical as citing Scott v Sandford. Of course Apuzzo has cited both in his terrible legal arguments.

  33. Mario,

    “So, I prevail either way. First, Minor’s definition of “natives, or natural-born citizens” is not dictum. Second, even if it is dictum, it is still authoritative.”

    Then you must agree that the recent court rulings that President Obama is a natural born citizen based on the “authoritative” dicta in Wong Kim Ark, were decided correctly.

    For example, the English Common law was the basis for US citizenship:

    “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, the jurisdiction of the English Sovereign, and therefore every child born in England of alien parents was a natural-born subject unless the child of an ambassador or other diplomatic agent of a foreign State or of an alien enemy in hostile occupation of the place where the child was born.”

    “III. The same rule was in force in all the English Colonies upon this continent down to the time of the Declaration of Independence, and in the United States afterwards, and continued to prevail under the Constitution as originally established.”

    And that citizen is “precisely analogous to the term “subject” in the common law.”

  34. I know I make a reality-based observation by stating, notwithstanding Bob’s (and his ilk’s) endless attempts, only some state judges, professors, or other experts have expressed agreement with his incorrect reading of Minor. Because if so many had agreed with Bob, he would have told us who they are and quoted them.

    Bob fantasizes about those silent somehow agreeing with him. Such childlike behavior may be appropriate for blogs’ comment sections, but not a courtroom.

  35. I know I make a reality-based observation by stating, notwithstanding Mario Apuzzo’s (and his ilk’s) endless attempts, no judge or professor or other expert has expressed agreement with his queer reading of Minor (and some have expressly disagreed). Because if even one had agreed with Apuzzo, he would have quoted them.

    Apuzzo fantasizes about those silent somehow agreeing him. Such childlike behavior may be appropriate for blogs’ comment sections, but not a courtroom.

  36. Bob thinks that he makes a legal argument when he says that some state judges among who knows how many, some professors among who knows how many, and some experts among who know how many do not read Minor as I do. In Bob’s world, those few speak for the great masses of them, including the U.S. Supreme Court.

  37. Speaking of nonresponsive, Mario Apuzzo again has no response for the decade-old but still accurate observation that no judge, professor, or other expert reads Minor as he does.

  38. Of course, I did not expect Bob to say anything responsive. My comment was not for him anyway. But he just can’t resist. He has to say something no matter how repetitive just to make it look like he is in control.

  39. Apuzzo’s so lost in his own woods that he fails to notice that literally only birthers read Minor as to require two citizen parents for natural-born citizenship.

    Holding, “authoritative dicta,” or just pretty words — no one reads that one paragraph in Minor like Apuzzo does.

  40. Charles,

    First, you say that my reliance on footnote 3 in Doughty v. Underwriters at Lloyd’s, London, 6 F.3d 856, 861 n.3 (1st Cir. 1993) is faulty. There is no denying what the court said there in the main part of the decision and in n.3. What the court explained about dictum supports my position that Minor’s definition of a natural born citizen is not dictum and that even if it is, the statement is authoritative. Here is the pertinent part of Doughty:

    Dictum” is a term that judges and lawyers use to describe comments relevant, but not essential, to the disposition of legal questions pending before a court. See Kastigar v. United States, 406 U.S. 441, 454-55, 32 L. Ed. 2d 212, 92 S. Ct. 1653 (1972); Dedham Water Co. v. Cumberland Farms Dairy, Inc., 972 F.2d 453, 459 (1st Cir. 1992); United States v. Crawley, 837 F.2d 291, 292-93 (7th Cir. 1988). Given the familiar principle that “whatever may be done without the employment of [mandamus], may not be done with it,” Ex parte Rowland, 104 U.S. 604, 617, 26 L. Ed. 861 (1882)); see also Helstoski v. Meanor, 442 U.S. 500, 505-08, 61 L. Ed. 2d 30, 99 S. Ct. 2445 (1979), the Court’s statement in Thermtron defies description as mere dictum. To the exact contrary, the mandamus remedy employed in Thermtron necessarily betokened, and, indeed, depended on, the Court’s antecedent holding anent the unavailability of direct appellate review. Because deleting the challenged statement would have impaired the analytical foundation of the Court’s ultimate decision to issue mandamus, that statement is properly categorized as part of the court’s holding, not as dictum. 3

    ~~~~~

    Here is Footnote 3.

    On this issue, all roads lead to Rome. Were we to assume, favorably to appellants, that the challenged statement did not comprise part of the Court’s holding, we would nevertheless hew to it. Carefully considered language of the Supreme Court, even if technically dictum, generally must be treated as authoritative. See United States v. Santana, 6 F.2d 1, (1st Cir. 1993) [No. 93-1393, slip op. at 19-20 ]; McCoy v. Massachusetts Inst. of Technology, 950 F.2d 13, 19 (1st Cir. 1991), cert. denied, 118 L. Ed. 2d 545, 112 S. Ct. 1939 (1992). This truism is fortified here inasmuch as the rule that the Court’s statement enunciates — that remand orders are not final judgments — has been adopted in a long string of circuit-level opinions. See, e.g., Garcia, F.2d at [slip op. at 7-8 ]; Melahn v. Pennock Ins., Inc., 965 F.2d 1497, 1500 (8th Cir. 1992); V & M Management, 929 F.2d at 833-34 ; Corcoran, 842 F.2d at 34; Nasuti v. Scannell, 792 F.2d 264, 267 (1st Cir. 1986); see also Milk ‘ N’ More, Inc. v. Beavert, 963 F.2d 1342, 1344 (10th Cir. 1992); McDermott Int’l v. Lloyds Underwriters, 944 F.2d 1199, 1203 (5th Cir. 1991).

    ~~~~~

    So, I have said about Minor’s discussion on citizenship in general and natural born citizen specifically the same that Doughty said about appellant’s argument there that the challenged statement was dictum. Minor’s voting rights holding is “necessarily betokened, and, indeed, depended on” the Court’s antecedent holding” concerning Virginia Minor being a citizen without the aid of the Fourteenth Amendment because she was a natural born citizen. Despite the parties’ demurrer on the citizenship issue, the Supreme Court thought it important to find sua sponte that women had been and could be citizens as much as men. Because deleting the challenged statement about who the “citizens” and “natural-born citizens” were would have impaired the analytical foundation of the Court’s ultimate decision that even if women are citizens they do not have the constitutional right to vote, the Court’s statement as to who the natives or natural born citizens were which allowed the Court to easily dispose of the question of whether Virginia Minor was a citizen is categorized not only as part of the Court’s ultimate holding but actually a separate holding and not dictum. In footnote 3 the Doughty court added that even if the challenged statement had been dictum, the court would still follow it because “[c]arefully considered language of the Supreme Court, even if technically dictum, generally must be treated as authoritative.”

    Second, we cannot “slough[] off without damaging the analytical structure of the opinion” the Minor’s statement: “These were natives, or natural-born citizens, as distinguished from aliens or foreigners.” The Court explained that “it was never doubted that all children born in a country of parents who were its citizens became themselves, upon their birth, citizens also” because they were the “natives, or natural-born citizens.” It added that there was never any doubt that the children born in the country to citizen parents were themselves citizens. Indeed, the Court held that Virginia Minor was a “citizen” because she was born in the country to citizen parents, i.e. because she was a “natural born citizen.” It added that “some authorities” included as “citizens” children born within the jurisdiction to alien parents. It said that there were doubts whether those children (that “class”) were “citizens” (a reference to the Fourteenth Amendment and The Slaughterhouse Cases which was decided by the same Minor Court except for Chief Justice Chase who had since passed away and which said they were not “citizens” under the Fourteenth Amendment), but never any doubts about the natural born citizen “class” being citizens. The Court said that it was not necessary for it to resolve those doubts. After all, Virginia Minor did not need the aid of the Fourteenth Amendment given that she was a natural born citizen. The Court concluded that for purposes of the case before it, it was sufficient that all children born in the country to citizen parents were themselves citizens. Through its dichotomy of these two classes of citizens, Minor drew a distinction between the natural born citizens and what would later be recognized by Wong Kim Ark as “citizens” of the United States at birth under the Fourteenth Amendment who were not born under the same birth circumstances as the natural born citizens.

    Minor’s discussion and statement of the meaning of a natural born citizen also affected how the U.S. Supreme Court decided Wong Kim Ark in 1898. Rather than sloughing off Minor’s “[t]hese were natives, or natural-born citizens, as distinguished from aliens or foreigners” as it did The Slaughterhouse Cases statement about children born in the U.S. to alien parents not being citizens of the United States under the Fourteenth Amendment, the Court cited and quoted Minor’s definition of those exact words. Wong, born in the U.S. to alien parents who were domiciled and permanently residing in the U.S., did not have it as easy as Virginia Minor in proving that he was a “citizen” of the United States. Given his birth circumstances, Wong was not and could not be a natural born citizen like Virginia Minor and therefore as Minor had explained there were doubts whether he was a “citizen” of the United States. Indeed, the U.S. Government refused his entry into the U.S. because it said he was not a “citizen” of the United States. If Wong would have been a natural born citizen as defined by Minor, there would not have existed any doubt that he was a citizen. The Wong Kim Ark Court had to travel on a tortured historical path, even resurrecting as a source for national U.S. citizenship the dead English common law that only prevailed in the states and not on the national level, to show that he was as much a “citizen” of the United States as a natural-born citizen child born in the country to citizen parents, not by virtue of being a “natural born citizen” under the common law with which Minor explained the Framers were familiar and which defined the clause, but only by virtue of the Fourteenth Amendment.

    As we can see, Minor’s natural born citizen analysis is integral not only to its decision, but also to the Wong Kim Ark decision, forcing the Court in Wong Kim Ark to interpret the Fourteenth Amendment’s “subject to the jurisdiction” clause and in so doing resorting to using the colonial English common law and its jus soli, as modified by its requirement that the alien parents be domiciled and permanently residing in the U.S., to find that Wong was a “citizen” of the United States at birth under the Fourteenth Amendment. Reading the decisions in tandem, we can see how the Constitution makes a critical distinction between an Article II “natural born citizen” of the United States at common law and a “citizen” of the United States at birth by virtue of only the Fourteenth Amendment.

    So, I prevail either way. First, Minor’s definition of “natives, or natural-born citizens” is not dictum. Second, even if it is dictum, it is still authoritative.

  41. It bears repeating that Mario Apuzzo, who claims to be an attorney, knows little of the law, how the law works in the real world, or reality itself — as evidenced by him losing every single eligibility challenge that he filed.

    Mario Apuzzo conceded that Minor only needed to be a citizen to vote, and the parties had agreed she was a citizen — they disagreed over whether women could vote. The parties did not litigate whether Minor was a “citizen under the Fourteen Amendment” because (obvious to everyone not named Apuzzo) she was born in 1824, well before the 14th Amendment was ratified. Apuzzo raises this Apuzzo-ian strawman argument that her citizenship was somehow dependent on the 14th Amendment, which is irrelevant to the actual issue that was before the court. Which is why no one but birthers think that the Minor court’s “by the way” about natural-born and naturalized citizenship is anything other than dicta.

    Which is also why real judges in real courts hearing real cases had no problem dismissing the birthers’ fantasy about Minor. One such case is Allen v. Arizona Democratic Party. A younger and sharper Mario Apuzzo was once aware of this very case because — nearly seven years ago to the day — he discussed and obligatorily dismissed it on his own onanistic blog: http://puzo1.blogspot.com/2012/03/putative-president-barack-obamas.html?showComment=1331233043906#c4926891388640652371

    Because Apuzzo is predictable as a merry-go-round, he will now whine that the Arizona court’s ruling isn’t sufficiently rigorous for his tastes; a common enough (but again predictable) complaint from losing litigants. Notwithstanding Apuzzo’s tired tantrums, this ruling: expressly did not read Minor as authoritative; had the real-world consequence of assuring President Obama’s place on the Arizona ballot; and was consistent with the rulings from every other eligibility case. (So much for Apuzzo’s canard about “authoritative dicta” — yet another example of how reality and Apuzzo’s beliefs diverge.)

    Apuzzo is free to cling to his fantasy that a candidate or political party will bring an eligibility challenge in 2020, but, as the past is prologue, it just will be the same tired birthers doing so — and in state courts. Birthers such as (and perhaps including?) Apuzzo will present the same shopworn losing arguments, and they’ll unsurprisingly lose again. And — surprise! — these new rulings will cite the very rulings from birthers’ previous losing efforts. (This is how the real law really works, Apuzzo: courts sometimes cite prior rulings, even if they are only of persuasive authority.) And, the past again being prologue, the U.S. Supreme Court again will deny certiorari to any eligibility challenge that reaches that far.

    Leaving Mario Apuzzo to continue wasting his remaining days obsessively haunting comment sections of obscure blogs.

  42. Mario,

    Your reliance on the footnote in Doughty v. Underwriters at Lloyd’s, London is faulty as the statemtn in Minor is not “[c]arefully considered language”. The footnote refers back to this statement by the Court “Because deleting the challenged statement would have impaired the analytical foundation of the Court’s ultimate decision to issue mandamus, that statement is properly categorized as part of the court’s holding, not as dictum.”

    This is similar to the statement by the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals in United States of America v. John Allan Crawley, 837 F.2d 291

    “So instead of asking what the word “dictum” means we can ask what reasons there are against a court’s giving weight to a passage found in a previous opinion. There are many. One is that the passage was unnecessary to the outcome of the earlier case and therefore perhaps not as fully considered as it would have been if it were essential to the outcome. A closely related reason is that the passage was not an integral part of the earlier opinion–it can be sloughed off without damaging the analytical structure of the opinion, and so it was a redundant part of that opinion and, again, may not have been fully considered. Still another reason is that the passage was not grounded in the facts of the case and the judges may therefore have lacked an adequate experiential basis for it; another, that the issue addressed in the passage was not presented as an issue, hence was not refined by the fires of adversary presentation. All these are reasons for thinking that a particular passage was not a fully measured judicial pronouncement, that it was not likely to be relied on by readers, and indeed that it may not have been part of the decision that resolved the case or controversy on which the court’s jurisdiction depended (if a federal court).”

    In the Minor case the single sentence “These were natives, or natural-born citizens, as distinguished from aliens or foreigners.” can be “sloughed off without damaging the analytical structure of the opinion”.

    Here it is without the sentence.

    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. Some authorities go further and include as citizens children born within the jurisdiction without reference to the citizenship of their …In fact the whole argument of the plaintiffs proceeds upon that idea.

    The citizenship question is still resolved, the doubts of some authorities still exist and the Constitution does not “confer the right of suffrage upon any one, and that the constitutions and laws of the several States which commit that important trust to men alone are not necessarily void”.

  43. Mario – “The Court saw both parts as necessary to its decision. Resolving the citizenship question was a necessary antecedent to resolving the voting question, for the Court would not have reached the latter without concluding that Virginia was a citizen.”

    There was no citizenship question to resolve. Virginia Minor declared she was a “native-born citizen” and Happersett agreed. When Chief Justice Waite says “For the purposes of this case it is not necessary to solve these doubts” he is acknowledging the fact that Minor and Happerset agree she is a citizen and the status of her parents does not need to be considered.

    Is it your contention that the 14th amendment created a new class of citizens?

  44. Have we noticed how Bob cannot articulate a winning position and so he resorts to prefacing every one of his repetitive comments with the statement that I only claim to be a lawyer.

    Bob still does not understand that it does not matter that the parties in Minor agreed that Virginia Minor was a citizen under the Fourteenth Amendment. The unanimous U.S. Supreme Court nevertheless still thoroughly analyzed the citizenship question and rightfully so. It saw the case as having two parts–one about citizenship and the other about the right to vote that Virginia Minor contended attached to that citizenship. The Court saw both parts as necessary to its decision. Resolving the citizenship question was a necessary antecedent to resolving the voting question, for the Court would not have reached the latter without concluding that Virginia was a citizen. Hence, the Court thoroughly addressed the issue of citizenship and it did so because it would never have gotten to the question of whether citizenship carries with it the right to vote which a state cannot abridge because of the protections afforded to a citizen by the Fourteenth Amendment.

    Bob says I disparage the state courts. I simply said that state court decisions have no binding effect outside the state of the decision and surely not in federal courts. This rule is often stated by the courts and not said to disparage any state. Bob does not understand that that is how our legal system works. Also, notice that Bob keeps talking about these state court decisions but does not tell us their names or how many there are. Maybe Bob can show us how these state courts have rejected my reading of Minor.

    Bob tries to make those state court decision binding by arguing that the states run elections and that I have ignored that fact. First, it is ridiculous for Bob to say that I have ignored that state’s run elections when he comments on my having filed several ballot challenges in state courts. Second, that states run elections is irrelevant to my point that state court decisions, even if binding in state and only a percentage are, are not binding outside the issuing state and on the federal level.

    Bob tries to impress us by telling us that only candidates have standing in federal courts. His statement is wrong because political parties also have standing in federal courts. Additionally, standing has nothing to do with interpreting and understanding the Minor decision which is the issue that we are discussing. Likewise, state courts might be where ballot challenges are filed, but that has nothing to do with the question of whether Minor’s definition of a natural born citizen is precedent. Bob wants me to “heed” what some lower state courts have ruled. Bob forgets that it is the U.S. Supreme Court that is the final court arbiter of the Constitution, not a state judge, professor, or other expert.

    I cited for Bob a Federal Circuit court decision that said that U.S. Supreme Court dictum is “authoritative.” The citation goes against him when he said that I was wrong in so saying. Rather than admit that I supported what I said, he responds by saying that I fail to grasp that federal circuit rulings are not binding on the state courts. Bob produces no evidence that I fail to grasp that federal circuit rulings are not binding on state courts and surely my Circuit Court citation and quote is not such evidence. Bob produces no state court decision that supports his position that U.S. Supreme Court dictum is “persuasive” but not “authoritative.” Additionally, ballot challenges are not the only way that the natural born citizen issue could reach the U.S. Supreme Court, for a candidate or political party could file an action in federal court. Bob also misses the point that how a state court may define a natural born citizen is not the final word on the matter and that we should be looking to how the U.S. Supreme Court would rule on the question.

    Finally, Bob says that even if Minor’s statement that those born in the United States to two citizen parents are natural-born citizens is binding precedent, no one doubts that unmarkable statement. First, Bob refused to admit that that is the definition of a natural born citizen, as quoted by the unanimous U.S. Supreme Court in Minor and other Supreme Court Justices before Minor. That is the definition that is found in Vattel’s Section 212 of The Law of Nations (1758) (1797), a source to which the Founders and Framers looked for guidance and inspiration for the revolution and in subsequently making the new republic. Also, all of Congress’s naturalization Acts from 1790 to the present confirm through the process of exclusion that that is the definition of a natural born citizen. Bob is not able to cite one U.S. Supreme Court decision that provides a different definition of the clause.

    In short, Bob’s job is to at all costs defend an open-borders definition of a natural born citizen. He does so for political advantage and by resorting to insults, omission, obfuscations, misstatements, and irrelevancies.

  45. Mario Apuzzo, who claims to be a lawyer, still doesn’t understand that Minor’s citizenship was never in dispute. Apuzzo concedes Minor needed to be only a citizen to vote — but the parties already had agreed that she was an of-voting-age citizen of Missouri and the United States. And no one believed that women weren’t citizens; but for her sex, she was eligible to vote. There was no need for the U.S. Supreme Court to “by the way” into the weeds of natural-born citizenship and naturalization because such discussions were not necessary to the ultimate issue regarding how the Privileges and Immunities Clause affected her undisputed citizenship.

    Apuzzo again disparages the state courts who have rejected his misreading of Minor, but he continues to ignore that the states run elections. As only candidates have standing in federal courts (a lesson Apuzzo should have remembered from his Kerchner debacle), state courts are where the action is for eligibility challenges. If Apuzzo dares to file another eligibility challenge, he’ll do so in states’ courts. So, if Apuzzo wants to be competent, he ought to heed that differing states that have ruled on the merits all reached the same conclusion. (Apuzzo also cites a federal circuit case for a debatable role of U.S. Supreme Court dicta, but unironically fails to grasp that federal circuit rulings aren’t binding on the state courts — the very courts that he dismisses.)

    More basically, Apuzzo continues his decade-long quest to ignore that literally no judge (or professor or other expert) agrees with the birther misreading of Minor: no lawgiver (or bona fide commentator) believes that two citizen parents are required for natural-born citizenship. And some courts have expressly rejected the misreading of Minor that Apuzzo obsesses over. Even if Minor’s statement (that those born in the United States to two citizen parents are natural-born citizens) is binding precedent, literally no one doubts that unmarkable statement.

  46. Not only did Minor believe that the citizenship analysis was necessary, but it in fact set out to treat the citizenship issue as if it were necessary and for good reason. That is because the citizenship issue was a necessary antecedent to its ultimate decision on the right to vote, for Virginia Minor argued that she had the right to vote because she was a citizen of the United States. In that process, the court carefully analyzed the development of U.S. citizenship, from the Founding to the then-present, at common law and under the naturalization Acts of Congress, to show that Virginia Minor was a citizen even though she was a woman.

    Minor began its citizenship analysis by stating that there was no doubt that women could be citizens under the Fourteenth Amendment, for they were “persons.” It added that they did not need that Amendment to be citizens because there always had been citizens prior to the Amendment. The Court then addressed who were the first citizens. It said that more could be made by birth or naturalization. The Court later explained that while women could be naturalized to be citizens, Virginia had not been naturalized and so the Court set out to show that she was a citizen from the moment of her birth.

    It then said that the Constitution did not define a natural born citizen and that we had to look outside it for its definition. It explained that at common law with which the Framers were familiar it was never doubted that all children born in a country to parents who were its citizens were themselves citizens like their parents. It added that these were the “natives, or natural-born citizens,” the same exact nomenclature found in Vattel’s Section 212 of The Law of Nations, where Vattel defined a natural born citizen. There is stated: “The natives, or natural-born citizens, are those born in the country, of parents who are citizens.” Minor added that all the rest of the people were “aliens or foreigners.” Hence, these other people needed naturalization to be a citizen of the United States.

    It then said that “some authorities” included as citizens children “born within the jurisdiction without reference to the citizenship of their parents.” This was a reference to the Fourteenth Amendment debate regarding whether those children qualified as “citizens” of the United States under the Fourteenth Amendment. It said that there were doubts if they were citizens but no doubts that they were citizens if they were natural born citizens. It added that it was not necessary for purposes of the case before it that it address and resolve those doubts. Virginia only needed to be a “citizen” of the United States in order to advance her argument that she had the constitutional right to vote that attached to being a citizen. Hence, the Court concluded that it was “sufficient for everything we have now to consider that all children born of citizen parents within the jurisdiction are themselves citizens.” Note that the Court was looking to first decide the citizenship issue before it could move forward to resolve “everything we have now to consider” which was the ultimate question of whether Missouri could deny Virginia the right to vote. The Court arrived at that holding by defining a natural born citizen and concluding that anyone who was such had to be a citizen. So, Virginia Minor was indeed a “citizen” by the simple fact that she was a natural born citizen, i.e., she was born in the country to citizen parents. This was the Court first holding. The Court’s second holding was that citizenship did not carry with it the right to vote and therefore even though Virginia Minor was a citizen, Missouri could deny her the right to vote.

    There you have it, two holdings that were necessary in the Court’s mind to resolving the case and two holdings to which the Court arrived through thoughtful, careful, and reasoned consideration and analysis. Not only did the Court believe it was necessary for it to analyze the citizenship issue, but it actually did so in a thorough manner. Its holding regarding Virginia’s citizenship status constitutes the law of the case. It is a judgment and not a mere statement in an opinion. If Virginia Minor was not a citizen, the Court would never have reached the second part of its decision which addressed whether voting was a privilege or immunity of U.S. citizenship. If she were not a citizen, she would not have had any standing to make the privileges and immunities argument. Hence, the Court’s decision on Virginia Minor’s citizenship had a significant effect on the Court’s ultimate decision. The Court’s citizenship analysis was not superfluous to the Court’s ultimate holding. The Court’s definition of a natural born citizen, necessary for it to get to its ultimate conclusion that Virginia Minor was a citizen, is therefore not dictum.

    Bob says that I cannot explain “how the result would have been different had Minor been born or became a citizen under different circumstances.” Bob’s point lacks sense. Virginia Minor only needed to be a citizen. It would not have mattered how she became one provided that she could show under the applicable law that she was one. If Virginia had been born in the United States to alien parents like Wong in Wong Kim Ark, the Court could not have held that she was a citizen by virtue of being a natural born citizen. It would have had to resolve the Fourteenth Amendment doubts to which it alluded and which Wong Kim Ark did in 1898. Wong Kim Ark held that Wong, born in the U.S. to domiciled and permanent resident alien parents was a “citizen” of the United States from the moment of birth, not by virtue of being a natural born citizen as was the case for Virginia Minor, but rather by virtue of the Fourteenth Amendment.

    I said that even if Minor’s statement of the definition of a natural born citizen were dictum, Supreme Court statements of dictum are authoritative. Bob says that it is only “persuasive.” Again, Bob is wrong, see Doughty v. Underwriters at Lloyd’s, London, 6 F.3d 856, 861 n.3 (1st Cir. 1993) (“carefully considered language of the Supreme Court, even if technically dictum, generally must be treated as authoritative”).

    About those few state court decisions, Bob does not understand that those decisions are not binding outside those states and surely not on the federal level.

  47. Mario Apuzzo, who claims to be a lawyer, ridiculously believes that if a court felt an analysis was necessary, then it isn’t dicta. Under Apuzzo’s absurdity, there could be no dicta; actual legal practitioners, however, understand that dicta are statements that are not actually crucial to the reasoning (notwithstanding a court’s contrary beliefs) or refer to unrelated issues. And Minor’s natural-born-citizenship “by the way” in a voting-rights case is classic dicta: Apuzzo cannot explain how the result would have been different had Minor been born or became a citizen under different circumstances.

    Apuzzo, showing his fondness for weasel words, says dicta is “authoritative.” in actuality, dictum is merely persuasive, that is, not binding.

    Apuzzo — reluctantly — acknowledges that some eligibility cases have expressly classified Minor’s discussion of natural-born citizenship as dicta, but he dismisses them as “only some state courts.” Which is queer because the states actually administer elections, and the rulings of these mere state courts directly contributed to President Obama’s appearing on the ballot in every state — twice (four times, if primaries are included). Apuzzo is, of course, free to believe those were wrongly decided, but he isn’t free to believe there were no real-world consequences from those cases.

  48. Mario – so why did the Court also provide an analysis of citizenship by naturalization? Was Virginia Minor a naturalized citizen?

  49. The courts to which Bob refers that did not find the unanimous U.S. Supreme Court decision of Minor v. Happersett (1875) as being controlling on the issue of the meaning of a natural born citizen are only some state courts.

    The Minor Court believed its citizenship analysis was necessary to its decision on the voting right issue or else the Court would not have done the analysis. Having so concluded, it gave an in-depth analysis of U.S. citizenship including confirming the Framers’ common law definition of a natural born citizen.

    Bob says that the Court would have reached the same result if Virginia Minor had been born in the United States to alien parents. He is wrong, for under those circumstances the Court like the Wong Kim Ark Court would not have been able to resolve the question of whether Virginia Minor was a citizen by looking to whether she was a natural born citizen. Rather, it would have had to interpret like Wong Kim Ark did the Fourteenth Amendment. In any event, it does not matter that the result would have been the same if Virginia Minor had been born under different birth circumstances. The Court still provided its citizenship analysis after thinking that it was necessary for it to do so. With the Court believing that its citizenship analysis was necessary to the Court’s ultimate decision, the Court’s definition of a natural born citizen provided during that analysis is not dictum.

    In any event, even if it were dictum, Supreme Court statements of dictum are authoritative.

    Now, maybe Bob will follow his own words. We know that the unanimous U.S. Supreme Court made a ruling in Minor v. Happersett (1875) and as part of that ruling it defined a natural born citizen. Now, Bob, remember that “Judges’ rulings aren’t merely an opinion; they’re the law. As any community college could teach you, in the United States, judges are lawgivers. And of course you are free to disagree with a ruling, or believe it was wrongly decided; you are not free, however, to believe those rulings are not the law, or did not have real-world consequences.”

  50. I see the Rambo Ike character showed up and is still lying about what I said on my blog. What I said was that women were nonpersons as far as having independent citizenship was concerned in the early days of the US. They had no right to suffrage. There citizenship was entirely dependent upon that of their husband.

    Even into the 20th century a woman who was an American citizen could lose her citizenship if she married a foreigner, a situation that was fixed by the Cable Act of 1922. This is a fact and says nothing derogatory about women today who are fully coequal to men as far as citizenship and everything else is concerned.

    This is what Ike does. He plays petty word games because he cannot win an argument.

  51. Mario,

    How specifically would the Waite decision change if Virginia Minor had naturalized prior to the 14th Amendment?

    Would Waite have spent time discussing women and naturalization?

  52. Judges’ rulings aren’t merely an opinion; they’re the law. As any community college could teach you, in the United States, judges are lawgivers. And of course you are free to disagree with a ruling, or believe it was wrongly decided; you are not free, however, to believe those rulings are not the law, or did not have real-world consequences.

    I’m not Atticus Finch’s keeper, so I don’t what happened to him. But I do know that 1771 is not 1787, and that Sam Adams was not a framer of the U.S. Constitution. Just as I know that the U.S. Supreme Court already has said that terms in the U.S. Constitution are to be defined by British common law.

    I’m spitballing here, but maybe so many believe birthers are racists because they say racists things, post racist memes, and pal around with racists. And maybe there’s something a wee bit racist underlying their whole “Blut und Boden” beliefs.

    It is soooo cute that you think Rondeau’s lonely person’s cry for attention is a “legitimate news service.” And it is totally unsurprising that you wholeheartedly approve of her squelching commentary by “Obots” (whatever that means); snowflakes need their safe spaces, after all.

  53. bob
    February 21, 2019 at 4:57 pm:
    “SCOTUS has already ruled that the terms in the U.S. Constitution are to be interpreted by British common law.”

    Those are opinions and misguided at that. You know what is said about opinions, eh? They’re like a’holes, everybody has one. I’ll bet there are a lot of Supreme Court justices’ opinions that you don’t agree with.
    ~~~~
    What happened to your boy Atticus Finch? Apparently he doesn’t want to defend his misleading bogus claim: “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.”

    Here’s some more proof from someone who was there at the time. Samuel Adams writing in the Boston Gazette (newspaper of the American Revolutionaries) dated October 28, 1771: “THE writer of the history of Massachusetts Bay tells us, that “our ancestors apprehended the acts of trade to be an invasion of the rights, liberties and properties of the subjects of his Majesty in the colony, they not being represented in parliament; and according to the usual sayings of the learned in the law, the laws of England were bounded within the four seas, and did not reach America.”

  54. You’re comparing a legitimate news service like the ‘The Post & Email’ with a extremely bigotted speech-nazi blog that RC operates.

    You can’t blame Sharon for blocking you Obots. She doesn’t want all that racist, anti-American rhetoric you Obots constantly spew infesting her news service.

    The 2nd biggest problem I had in my dealings with Obots was their constant smearing of anyone that didn’t support Obama as being a racist.

    I was appalled by some of RC’s statements. He referred to women as nonpersons on his blog, and defamed a 95 yr old WWII vet who only was trying to debate RC on the Birther issues.

  55. Mario Apuzzo, who claims to be an attorney, does not (and cannot) explain how a demurrer could possibly “stop” the Supreme Court from analyzing whatever it wants. But its commentary on Minor’s parents’ citizenship is indeed dicta because the result of the case would have been the same whether Minor had two, one, or no citizen parents; it would have been the same if Minor was a naturalized citizen.

    As Mario Apuzzo should know, no court has read the Minor’s commentary on natural-born citizenship as controlling. Indeed, some eligibility cases expressly said that Minor was dicta with respect to the definition of natural-born citizen; they rejected the birthers’ beliefs.

  56. The defendant’s demurrer in Minor v. Happersett (1875) did not nor could it stop the U.S. Supreme Court from analyzing whether women were citizens and in that process giving an in-depth analysis of the meaning of a natural born citizen. That analysis and definition of the clause is binding precedent.

  57. Mario, what does it mean when a defendant in a civil suit demurs?

    • Mario Apuzzo can’t be bothered to honestly answer a legal question; he’s too busy pissing his life away trolling comment sections.

      • Well, okay. What do you think?

        Virginia Minor in her complaint said she was a native-born citizen of the United States, over 21 and a citizen of Missouri. She went to register to vote and the registrar Reese Happersett refused on the grounds she was a female.

        Happersett demurred.

        What does that mean?

        • A “demurrer” is responsive pleading that does not dispute the factual basis of the claim, but instead argues there’s no legal basis for relief. The modern federal equivalent in the United States is a motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted (a “12(b)(6)”).

          So Happersett essentially said, “I don’t dispute that Minor was a native-born citizen, over 21, and a Missourian (i.e., meets the eligibility requirements to vote in Missouri). I don’t dispute that she attempted to register to vote, but I didn’t let her because she was a woman. And that was legal because women do not have the right to vote.”

          I see where you are going: Happersett did not dispute that Minor was a native-born citizen. As Happersett did not dispute that Minor was a native-born citizen, it was dicta for the U.S. Supreme Court to delve into Minor’s natural-born citizenship. Because her eligibility to vote — other than her sex — was not in dispute.

          (Do you think I finally caught Apuzzo’s interest?)

  58. 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

    • Bob is still going around the internet claiming that Tisdale is a precedent for his argument that a child born in the United States to one or two alien parents is a natural born citizen under the Fourteenth Amendment. This is so even though I have shown below that Tisdale is no such precedent.

      • Ole Man Apuzzo still can’t read for comprehension; no wonder he loses in court every time.

        Nowhere did I say Tisdale was binding precedent; yet another one of Apuzzo’s strawman arguments. Rather, ChillyDogg said no federal court had ruled on the merits, but Tisdale (1) was decided by a federal court and (2) dismissed because birth in the United States is sufficient to confer natural-born citizenship (thus making it impossible for Tisdale to receive the injunction he requested).

        Seven years later, and Apuzzo still can’t understand these basic concepts.

        • Poor Bob, he is parsing his words to save face. Here is what he wrote about his case, Tisdale, in full context:

          ~~~~~

          ChillyDogg
          February 12, 2019 at 6:03 pm
          Can you name a single federal case which specifically deals with defining the phrase natural born Citizen?

          bob
          February 12, 2019 at 7:30 pm
          Tisdale v. Obama: [link to decision]

          ChillyDogg
          February 12, 2019 at 7:53 pm
          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?

          bob
          February 12, 2019 at 8:34 pm
          That a challenge to the definition of natural-born citizen fails to state a claim. Because the definition is already known; duh.

          ChillyDogg
          February 12, 2019 at 9:52 pm
          OK you don’t know anything.

          bob
          February 12, 2019 at 9:57 pm
          I know a federal court has provided the exact ruling you requested, and you refuse to accept it as real.

          ***

          bob
          February 13, 2019 at 12:10 am
          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
          February 13, 2019 at 4:03 pm

          ***

          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.

          ***

          bob
          February 15, 2019 at 10:04 am
          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.

          bob
          February 15, 2019 at 10:04 am
          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.

          ChillyDogg
          February 18, 2019 at 4:14 pm
          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.

          bob
          February 18, 2019 at 4:57 pm
          Your belief regarding the basis for the ruling in Tisdale is wrong, as the word “damages” never appears in the ruling: [link to decision]

          ~~~~~

          Now that all looks to me like Bob is arguing that Tisdale is some sort of precedent on the meaning of a natural born citizen.

          • In all that pointless cutting and pasting, why didn’t Ole Man Apuzzo notice that I never used the word “precedent”? (Hint: Because the discussion was about Tisdale’s existence and holding; if only Apuzzo could keep up.)

            Apuzzo should stop trying to cram words into people’s mouths, and start trying to read for comprehension. He might learn something, for a change.

          • Poor Bob, he gets destroyed and he tries to save face by playing word games.

          • Oh, the irony: Apuzzo gets caught playing word games and he thinks someone else was destroyed.

          • Bob is so funny. He thinks by having the last word, no matter how dumb, he wins.

          • Oh the irony: After being laughed out of the courts, Mario Apuzzo haunts the comment sections of obscure blogs, insisting that he’s correct. The very epitome of demanding the last word.

          • See, I was right, Bob just has to have the last word. He is laughed off of this comment section and he lies about me being laughed out of any court. As can be seen from what I have written here, there nothing funny about my argument that Bob and his gang cannot refute.

          • There is no need to attempt to refute Apuzzo’s beliefs here because they already have been refuted repeatedly in the courts. And Apuzzo has made it clear that he will never accept that he is wrong. Yet Apuzzo will be compelled to respond, to proclaim a victory that exists only in his head. What a sad waste of his remaining days.

          • See, I am right again. It’s stronger than Bob, his compulsion to have the last word. Also, Bob concedes that neither he nor any member of his gang has refuted my arguments here. Oh, by the say, isn’t Bob such a wonderful person, concerned for my remaining days.

          • Is this your life, Apuzzo? Unable to comprehend your unbroken string of losses in the courts, so you are reduced to ineffectively insulting strangers on the internet? Sad!

          • Bob again sees the irresistible compulsion to have to get the last word in. Now he complains about me insulting him on this comments section when he is the person in this comments section who instead of engaging in an intelligent discussion on the meaning of a natural born citizen insulted me. Poor Bob, so typical of his ilk.

          • If Mario Apuzzo actually was interested in learning about the meaning of “natural-born citizen,” he would try reading for comprehension from the various judges who ruled that birth in the United States is sufficient. But Mario Apuzzo is enamoured by only the sound of his own voice.

            And Mario Apuzzo confuses a complaint for pity: Mario Apuzzo is the one who lost every case in court, and has nothing better to do with his life than to tell lies in comment sections of obscure blogs about his unblemished record of failure.

          • So why does Bob feel so compelled to continuously bore us with his repetitive inane comments?

          • Why did Mario Apuzzo feel so compelled to bore various courts with his legal fantasies? And then spam various comment sections of obscure blogs with the exact same losing nonsense?

            Is Mario Apuzzo warming up for more courtroom losses in 2020?

          • You’re just going to have to hang out and wait to find out. In any event, what business is it of yours?

          • There’s a friendly wager afoot on how gluttonous Mario Apuzzo is for more public humiliation.

          • One can read the comments here and see that the public humiliation is all Bob’s.

          • Of course: I’m humiliated for stating the undisputed proposition that every judge who heard on eligibility challenge on the merits ruled that birth in the United States is sufficient to confer natural-born citizenship.

            Unlike Mario Apuzzo, who lost every eligibility suit that he filed. And, years later, continues to haunt comment sections of obscure blogs to insult strangers on the internet. Like all serious lawyers do.

            Of course.

          • Bob continues to be that compulsive pest that he is. First, he has no argument himself that he can offer on the meaning of a natural born citizen and only repeatedly refers (he needs to keep reminding the reader that he already won) to some judge somewhere who made some decision on some basis.

            I like how he misstates the Fourteenth Amendment itself which does not provide the constitutional standard for defining a natural born citizen and therefore is not sufficient to make a natural born citizen, leaving out that birth in the United States has to be “subject to the jurisdiction thereof” in order to make a “citizen” of the United States “at birth”; it does not say “natural born citizen” of the United States and therefore did not change the common law meaning of the clause.

            About haunting comments section, the only ghost that I see around here is Bob himself.

          • Mario Apuzzo, who claims to be a lawyer, seems unaware that judges are lawgivers — their rulings shape and inform what the law actually is, and not what Apuzzo wishes the law to be.

            The same is true for reality: President Obama appeared on every ballot twice (four times, if the primaries are included), and he served two full terms as the president. Similarly, candidates like Ted Cruz were not removed from any ballot, notwithstanding Apuzzo’s massive waste of time and (Charles Kerchner’s) money.

            And Mario Apuzzo can’t help but lie because I have never discussed the Fourteenth Amendment. Old Man Apuzzo can’t even keep his strawman arguments straight anymore.

            Mario Apuzzo again will be compelled to proclaim himself the victor — all for a party of one. What a sad waste of his life.

          • Bob thinks he can fool the reader by dressing his dull expressions in different clothing. Over and over and over again, poor Bob, he so lost for words.

          • Bob said:

            bob
            February 20, 2019 at 2:58 pm
            ***
            And Mario Apuzzo can’t help but lie because I have never discussed the Fourteenth Amendment. Old Man Apuzzo can’t even keep his strawman arguments straight anymore.

            But before he said:

            bob
            February 19, 2019 at 3:35 pm
            If Mario Apuzzo actually was interested in learning about the meaning of “natural-born citizen,” he would try reading for comprehension from the various judges who ruled that birth in the United States is sufficient. But Mario Apuzzo is enamoured by only the sound of his own voice.

            ~~~~~

            So, Bob now says that he was not talking about the Fourteenth Amendment. Maybe Bob can enlighten us regarding to what law he or the judges were referring when he said that “various judges . . . ruled that birth in the United States is sufficient” to make one a natural born citizen.

          • Wow, Old Man Apuzzo is really losing it. (Which generously assumes that he ever had it.)

            When I wrote “every judge who heard on eligibility challenge on the merits ruled that birth in the United States is sufficient to confer natural-born citizenship,” “natural-born citizenship” refers to eligibility requirements for the Office of President, as specified in Article II, section 1 of the U.S. Constitution.

            Given that Mario Apuzzo, who claims to be an attorney, lost every eligibility case that he filed, it is unsurprising that he did not know this rudimentary fact.

          • By his latest response, Bob shows himself to be the trolling fraud that he is.

            I asked him:
            Maybe Bob can enlighten us regarding to what law he or the judges were referring when he said that “various judges . . . ruled that birth in the United States is sufficient” to make one a natural born citizen.

            Bob responded:
            When I wrote “every judge who heard on eligibility challenge on the merits ruled that birth in the United States is sufficient to confer natural-born citizenship,” “natural-born citizenship” refers to eligibility requirements for the Office of President, as specified in Article II, section 1 of the U.S. Constitution.

            ~~~~~

            Now isn’t Bob cute. Bob refuses to admit that he was referring to the Fourteenth Amendment and not Article II because he is incapable of defending his position. He dodges answering my question which clearly refers to what law provides that “birth in the United States is sufficient” to make one a natural born citizen by running to Article II’s eligibility requirement for the Office of President. But that Article does not answer the question because it does not define a natural born citizen in any manner let alone how Bob has defined one. So, there must be some other source upon which Bob relied when stating that birth in the United States is sufficient to make one a natural born citizen. That source can only be the Fourteenth Amendment, which specifically refers to birth in the United States in relation to making one a “citizen” of the United States. As I have already pointed out, Bob left out of his statement that the person at the time of birth must be not only born in the United States but also “subject to the jurisdiction thereof.” In any event, all that is not sufficient to make one a natural born citizen simply because a plain reading of the Amendment shows that it defines a “citizen” of the United States and not a “natural born citizen” of the United States and its history also shows that it was never intended that the Amendment would repeal or amend Article II’s natural born citizen clause. In other words, the Fourteenth Amendment does not provide the constitutional test for defining an Article II natural born citizen. Rather, that test is provided by the common law which defines a natural born citizen generally as a child born in the United States to parents who were both citizens of the United States at the time of the child’s birth.

            This last answer by Bob shows that his only role in any communication regarding the natural born citizen clause is to troll ad nauseum and not to engage in any real discussion on the meaning of a natural born citizen.

          • Hi Mario,

            I asked you a legal question at the top of this thread.

            Did you miss it?

          • Old Man Mario Apuzzo is really ’round the bend: Apuzzo believes me not referring to the Fourteenth Amendment is really me refusing to admit that I was referring to the Fourteenth Amendment. Strawman-on-strawman action!

            Apuzzo lamely asks, “what law?”, so once again, but with feeling for the slow: ***EVERY JUDGE WHO HEARD AN ELIGIBILITY CHALLENGE ON THE MERITS*** ruled that birth in the United States is sufficient to confer natural-born citizenship.

            The judges; they ruled; they’re lawgivers. Mario Apuzzo, who claims to be an attorney, should have learned this basic fact in law school, if not before.

            * * *

            To Charles Hughes: Mario Apuzzo is too mired in lamely trolling to see your question above, which actually might be of interest of him.

    • Poor Bob, he is parsing his words to save face. Here is what he wrote about his case, Tisdale, in full context:

      ~~~~~

      ChillyDogg
      February 12, 2019 at 6:03 pm
      Can you name a single federal case which specifically deals with defining the phrase natural born Citizen?

      bob
      February 12, 2019 at 7:30 pm
      Tisdale v. Obama: https://www.scribd.com/document/80563782/Tisdale-v-Obama-et-al

      ChillyDogg
      February 12, 2019 at 7:53 pm
      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?

      bob
      February 12, 2019 at 8:34 pm
      That a challenge to the definition of natural-born citizen fails to state a claim. Because the definition is already known; duh.

      ChillyDogg
      February 12, 2019 at 9:52 pm
      OK you don’t know anything.

      bob
      February 12, 2019 at 9:57 pm
      I know a federal court has provided the exact ruling you requested, and you refuse to accept it as real.

      ***

      bob
      February 13, 2019 at 12:10 am
      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
      February 13, 2019 at 4:03 pm

      ***

      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.

      ***

      bob
      February 15, 2019 at 10:04 am
      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.

      bob
      February 15, 2019 at 10:04 am
      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.

      ChillyDogg
      February 18, 2019 at 4:14 pm
      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.

      bob
      February 18, 2019 at 4:57 pm
      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

      ~~~~~

      Now that all sounds to me like Bob is arguing that Tisdale is some sort of precedent on the meaning of a natural born citizen.

    • Notice how Mario Apuzzo didn’t respond the simple question of whether he intended to file a legal challenge to Harris’ appearance on the ballot?

    • Of course Mario will continue to file and waste the court’s time with frivolous challenges as long as Kerchner and others will front the money to pay the filing fees. He has already demonstrated he has no shame and doesn’t mind getting his clock cleaned by more competent attorneys.

      • Heck, Mario Apuzzo doesn’t mind getting his clock cleaned by informed laypersons; his ego demands the attention, even if it’s negative attention.

      • RC,

        You’re out of your Obot safe-zone. Which means you can’t ban people like you always do when losing in a debate.

        And besides, what’s being debated here is above your level of comprehension.

        • Oh, the irony: Birthers do nothing but hide behind Rondeau’s moderation skirt. Rondeau doesn’t approve comments that prove her wrong; she likewise blocks people for doing the same on Twitter.

          Ditto with “Truthseeker” Carl Gallups. And why is Mario Apuzzo’s barely alive blog populated with only birthers? His heavy-handed moderation.

  59. 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.

        • Atticus Finch
          February 13, 2019 at 4:04 pm: “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.”

          Blackstone’s Commentaries on the Laws of England

          Section the Fourth : Of the Countries Subject to the Laws of England
          P 105

          Avalon Project:
          OUR American plantations are principally of this latter fort, being obtained in the laft century either by right of conqueft and driving out the natives (with what natural juftice I fhall not at prefent enquire) or by treaties. And therefore the common law of England, as fuch, has no allowance or authority there ; they being no part of the mother country, but diftinct (though dependent) dominions.

          Lonang Institute (modern english):
          Our American plantations are principally of this latter sort, being obtained in the last century either by right of conquest and driving out the natives (with what natural justice I shall not at present inquire) or by treaties. And therefore the common law of England, as such, has no allowance or authority there; they being no part of the mother country, but distinct (though dependent) dominions.

  60. 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.

  61. 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).

  62. 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).

  63. 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.

  64. 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!

  65. 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.

  66. 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

  67. 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)

  68. 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.

  69. 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.

  70. 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.

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

  72. 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)

  73. 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.

  74. 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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