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Defining Natural-Born Citizen: The Debate Over Who Qualifies To Run For President

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In order to qualify to be president, the U.S. Constitution states, “No Person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President; neither shall any person be eligible to that Office who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty five Years, and been fourteen Years a Resident within the United States.”

So what defines a “natural-born citizen”?  The answer has not been so simple over the years. The framers left it fairly vague and up to us to interpret throughout our history, and it is an issue that has gone back and forth.

This has all been brought into question as a result of one man whom various media outlets have kept an eye on as a possible presidential candidate in 2016. The man in question is freshman U.S. Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX).

Cruz was born in Canada to an American mother and a Cuban father. His parents were working in the oil business there. Cruz’s father did not become a U.S. citizen until 2005. So though he has made trips to Iowa and the media seems to be watching him quite closely, does he even meet the qualifications of being a natural-born citizen?

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Section 1 of the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution states, “All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”

This still only leaves a very vague definition for what constitutes a natural-born citizen. So now we look toward Section 5 of the 14th Amendment which states, “The Congress shall have power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article.”

It should also be noted that under Article 1, Section 8, Clause 4 of the U.S. Constitution, Congress has authority to create law regarding naturalization which includes citizenship.

So now we know that Congress, under the 14th Amendment, can write legislation declaring what constitutes a natural-born citizen. And yes, that means that there will be legal challenges and the U.S. Supreme Court (SCOTUS) will have to make sure such legislation does not violate the Constitution in any way… including Section 1 of the 14th Amendment.

In the case Minor v. Happersett (1875), the court ruled, “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.” – Minor v. Happersett

Though the Constitution is vague in what constitutes a natural-born citizen, Congress has stepped in to attempt to fill in the gap. Under Title 8 of the U.S. Code, Section 1401 defines the following as citizens of the United States upon birth… or natural-born citizens:

  • Anyone born inside the United States. The person must be “subject to the jurisdiction” of the United States. (This would exempt the child of a diplomat, for example, from this provision.)
  • Any Indian or Eskimo born in the United States, provided being a citizen of the U.S. does not impair the person’s status as a citizen of the tribe
  • Anyone born outside the United States, both of whose parents are citizens of the U.S., as long as one parent has lived in the U.S.
  • Anyone born outside the United States, if one parent is a citizen and lived in the U.S. for at least one year and the other parent is a U.S. national
  • Anyone born in a U.S. possession, if one parent is a citizen and lived in the U.S. for at least one year
  • Anyone found in the U.S. under the age of five, whose parentage cannot be determined, as long as proof of non-citizenship is not provided by age 21
  • Anyone born outside the United States, if one parent is an alien and as long as the other parent is a citizen of the U.S. who lived in the U.S. for at least five years (with military and diplomatic service included in this time)

By the conditions just laid out, it would appear that Senator Ted Cruz is not eligible to run for president as he would not qualify as a natural-born citizen since only one of the parents was a citizen of the U.S.

However, there still exists one more historical clause which will challenge this argument. The clause states, “a person born before May 24, 1934 of an alien father and a U.S. citizen mother who has lived in the U.S.” is a citizen.

Does this change the argument? If it is grouped with Section 1401 of Title 8 of the US Code, then it would appear so.

Currently, citizenship in the U.S. is governed by the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952.  The most recent changes to statutory law was done by Congress in 2001. So since this most recent debate has circulated around Cruz, I am going to focus on one particular section… birth abroad to one U.S. citizen.

There are a certain set of rules for those born after November 14, 1986, but I’m focusing on the rules at the time of Cruz’s birth, which are the rules that were in effect from December 24, 1952 – November 14, 1986. A person born abroad between those dates is a U.S. citizen upon birth if all of the following are true:

  1. The person’s parents were married at the time of birth;
  2. One of the person’s parents was a U.S. citizen when the person was born;
  3. The citizen parent lived at least ten years in the United States before the child’s birth; and
  4. A minimum of 5 of these 10 years in the United States were after the citizen parent’s 14th birthday.

By these very definitions of the law, it would appear that Cruz is a natural-born citizen and thus meets the qualifications to run for president if he decided to do so. This also does one more thing, as well.

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In regards to President Obama, if the “birther” theory had been proven correct (and I’m not saying that it is) in that he had been born in Kenya (instead of Hawaii) to his U.S. mother and his Kenyan father, he would still qualify as a natural-born citizen.

As I stated at the beginning, this issue is a complicated mess. The Framers left it vague when they wrote the Constitution. Did they do it because they couldn’t foresee our future situations or was it so we could make such a determination as our nation progressed? One can only really speculate on that.

Regardless, we have done our best to set forth a definition, and one that holds for all Americans — born here and born abroad. The laws have changed throughout our history, and they will probably change again in our future.

For now, we go by the laws which we have — the laws in which we live by — the laws that govern our society. They apply to us all equally. In this confusing mixture, I hope there has been some small sense to the issue and that now we can have a better understanding of it.

Join the discussion Please be relevant and respectful.

The Independent Voter Network is dedicated to providing political analysis, unfiltered news, and rational commentary in an effort to elevate the level of our public discourse.


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6204 comments
2brknot2b
2brknot2b

Law cannot change the Constitution. Only an amendment to the Constitution can change it, so your theory is bullspit.

rmblue2
rmblue2

(quot) "However, there still exists one more historical clause which will challenge this argument. The clause states, “a person born before May 24, 1934 of an alien father and a U.S. citizen mother who has lived in the U.S.” is a citizen."


This is what the author wrote. As you can see is say's at the end "U.S. citizen and not naturalized citizen. There is a difference! 

Archbishop Gregori
Archbishop Gregori

@rmblue2 'As you can see, it says at the end "U.S. citizen and not naturalized citizen." There is a difference!' it also doesn't say "NATURAL BORN CITIZEN". There is a difference between a citizen and a natural born citizen.

ggd11thacr
ggd11thacr

first the author seems to not separate the definition of a citizen and a "Natural Born Citizen", second he does not seem to realize that Ted Cruz's parents were both Canadian Citizens at the time of his birth. While it is true his Mother was born in the US, Canada did not accept dual citizenship at that time. Remember that this was during the Vietnam war period and the real reason they went to Canada was for his Father to avoid the draft aka a draft dodger. So there is no way Cruz is a "Natural Born citizen".  As to Rubio neither of his parents were citizens and contrary to the authors statement the 14th amendment created a means for descendants of slaves to become citizens they were not considered "Natural Born Citizens"  so Rubio is a naturalized citizen.

jh4freedom
jh4freedom

Thus far the state Election Boards in Illinois, New Hampshire and Indiana have ruled that Ted Cruz qualifies as a natural born citizen. No one has presented any evidence of Ted Cruz's mother having acquired Canadian citizenship.

No court or state election board has ruled that Marco Rubio is ineligible either.

Archbishop Gregori
Archbishop Gregori

@jh4freedom Cruz, Rubio and Obama are NOT Constitutionally eligible no matter what the Election Boards of Illinois, New Hampshire and Indiana have ruled. The U.S. Supreme Court HAS already agreed with the Framers of the Constitution as to the meaning of "Natural Born Citizen", and Cruz, Rubio, Jindal and Obama do NOT meet the definition. The ONLY thing that the election boards, the courts and Congress have proven is that the United States is no longer operating under the Constitution. See the following:


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ca-sfq7l9VA

jh4freedom
jh4freedom

From the Indianapolis Star: "Presidential candidates Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio stay on Indiana ballot, commission rules"

The Indiana Election Commission ruled Friday to keep Republican presidential candidates Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio on the Indiana ballot.

Challenges had claimed that Cruz and Rubio failed to meet the U.S. and Indiana constitutions’ requirement that presidential candidates be “natural born citizens.”

jh4freedom
jh4freedom

If you can find a judge or a member of Congress to supprt your position perhaps you can stop their candidacies.

Archbishop Gregori
Archbishop Gregori

@jh4freedom No matter what the  Indianapolis Star or the  Indiana Election Commission have to say, neither Cruz or Rubio meet the Constitutional Requirement of being "natural born citizens". Yes, they are citizens, but citizens and natural born citizens are NOT the same thing, and there is plenty of evidence that I am correct. This evidence can be found in the Constitution, in the Federalist Papers and in at least four U.S. Supreme Court rulings.

ConcernedCITIZEN
ConcernedCITIZEN

Now the million dollar question. When will Rafael Edward "Ted" Cruz wake up and smell the coffee? In my eyes, he is the BIGGEST HYPOCRITE and BIGOT.   I would love to read, BREAKING NEWS..Rafael Edward "Ted" Cruz has dropped out of the race!


Christian Hawk
Christian Hawk

Wow, chucktomlin1 - that is the absolute best explanation that I have heard to date.  Thank you for your offering. 

Christian Hawk
Christian Hawk

Yes we are a Republic and one  that uses the constitutional as it's template which must,  as our founders deigned it , restrain man's nature and the "inherit" danger of concentrated power and authority. Fortunately,  there is one handbook that must be used for clarification and as is a critical document when applying the  aforementioned constitution.  Without this document ,  the Constitution as well as our Republic,  would be a terror to man.  If you have already guessed what that document is ,then you can finish this offering. However,  if you have not already guessed it ,then I suspect that one would be lost in any further discussion of  the matter at hand.  Madison wrote that if men were Angles there would be no need for government " ( or a Constitution for that matter)  And by the way  Judges are #1 not Angels and #2 not perfect,. . .   just saying 

jh4freedom
jh4freedom

David would do well to remember that literally hundreds of articles were written over the last nine years arguing that Barack Obama was not a natural born citizen. Those articles had no impact on the courts or on members of Congress. Both of those institutions ruled and accepted Barack Obama as being a natural born citizen.

I'm betting that the courts and Congress will do the same concerning Senator Cruz.

jh4freedom
jh4freedom

That's your personal opinion and you are entitled to it. However the Constitution gives us a republican form of government and that means elected representatives of the people get to make the final decisions on political matters and the constitution says that the Courts get to resolve all cases and contraversies that arise under the Constitution.

That does not mean that either Congress or the Courts will always agree with you or with me.

In politics and in court, you win some and you lose some.

chucktomlin1
chucktomlin1

@jh4freedom but the people should rise up and NOT vote for any candidate who is NOT Natural Born. It's why I don'ts support my favorite conservative...Cruz, be cause he is NOT Natural Born!

Archbishop Gregori
Archbishop Gregori

@jh4freedom They will, because both sides are out to weaken or completely destroy the Constitution. As long as the Constitution remains, they cannot bring in the One World Government. Obama is NOT a "Natural Born Citizen" and neither are Cruz or Rubio. No matter what Congress or the SCOTUS say, Obama is NOT a Constitutional legitimate President, and if either Cruz or Rubio is elected, they won't be either.

jh4freedom
jh4freedom

If the courts and state election boards rule that a candidate qualifies as a natural born citizen, then people who want to vote for that candidate should be able to give her or him their vote.

Any voter always has the option of not voting for a candidate for any reason.

Thus far state election boards in New Hampshire and Illinois have ruled that Senator Cruz is eligible.

David in MA
David in MA

@jh4freedom They claim he is eligible because they have not sought all the facts of his birth and documentation of he and his parents in Canada. I will not be voting for him or Rubio because I believe they are not Constitutionally qualified to be president or v. president under the terms of the Constitution.

PogueMoran
PogueMoran

@David in MA That's not proof.  You like the article misread the act.  This had to do with canadian citizens who were born canadian acquiring another country's citizenship.  It had nothing to do with those who had another citizenship like Cruz's parents acquiring Canadian citizenship.

David in MA
David in MA

@PogueMoran @David in MA Read the damn thing again, a little slower, Cruz was born and is a Canadian citizen.

Is there ever a post you don't argue with?

Archbishop Gregori
Archbishop Gregori

"It should also be noted that under Article 1, Section 8, Clause 4 of the U.S. Constitution, Congress has authority to create law regarding naturalization which includes citizenship."

"So now we know that Congress, under the 14th Amendment, can write legislation declaring what constitutes a natural-born citizen."

Sorry, you are wrong. Congress can only write legislation declaring what constitutes a CITIZEN, NOT "natural born citizen". The framers based "natural born" citizenship on "NATURAL LAW" or NATURE'S LAW.

jh4freedom
jh4freedom

However the very first Congress in 1790 did write into the first Naturalization Act an exemption from needing naturalization for: "the children of citizens of the United States that may be born beyond Sea, or out of the limits of the United States, shall be considered as natural born Citizens: provided, That the right of citizenship shall not descend to persons whose fathers have never been resident in the United States".--Naturalization Act of 1790

The above goes to Original Intent.

ksdb
ksdb

@jh4freedom That's not an exemption; it was a consideration. This act proves that children born outside the U.S. are NOT natural-born citizens because Congress was compelled to write a law allowing for such a consideration. If they were already considered natural-born citizens, such a law wouldn't be need, else why not do the same for those born IN the country?

jh4freedom
jh4freedom

The words "SHALL BE CONSIDERED..." in the Naturalization Act of 1790 say it all.

In 1874 the Supreme Court ruled in Minor v Happersett that: "The Constitution does not say, in words, who shall be Natural Born Citizens. Resort must be had elsewhere to determine that."

"Elsewhere" is the Acts of Congress that are signed into law by presidents.

The Article II, Section 1 eligibility status of Panama Canal Zone born John McCain was determined by the courts and the courts will also decide the issue for Canada born Ted Cruz. Four lawsuits and a state election board challenge have already been filed.

Archbishop Gregori
Archbishop Gregori

@jh4freedom :"Elsewhere" is the original intent of the Framers of the Constitution found in the Federalist Papers.


Here is the full statement of the Supreme Court ruling in Minor v. Happersett , 88 U.S. 162 (1875):


"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."

jh4freedom
jh4freedom

Yes, that's the entire paragraph, and as several courts have ruled when there was an attempt to apply Minor v Happersett to Barack Obama's Natural Born Citizenship, Allen v Obama, Arizona Superior Court Judge Richard E. Gordon: "Arizona courts are bound by United States Supreme Court precedent in construing the United States Constitution, 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."--Pima County Superior Court, Tuscon, Arizona, March 7, 2012

H. Brook Paige v. James Condos, Secretary of State of Vermont and President Barack Obama: Robert R. Bent, Presiding Judge

"While the court has no doubt at this point that Emmerich de Vattel’s treatise The Law of Nations was a work of significant value to the founding fathers, the court does not conclude that his phrase–“The natives, or natural born citizens, iare those born in the country, of parents who are citizens.”–has constitutional significance or that his use of “parents” in the plural has particular significance. Thus far, no judicial decision has adopted such logic in connection with this or any related issues. In fact, the most comprehensive decision on the topic, Ankeny v. Governor of Indiana, examines the historical basis of the use of the phrase, including the English common law in effect at the time of independence, and concludes that the expression “natural born Citizen” is not dependent on the nationality of the parents but reflects the status of a person born into citizenship instead of having citizenship subsequently bestowed. The distinction is eminently logical."--Vermont Superior Court, November 14, 2012

ksdb
ksdb

@jh4freedom Elsewhere in Minor is from the law of nations, not from Acts of Congress. 

Minor's exclusive definition of NBC: all children born in a country of parents who were its citizens.

Law of Nations: The natives, or natural-born citizens, are those born in the country, of parents who are citizens.

Minor said "Congress shall have power "to establish a uniform rule of naturalization."" and"Under the power to adopt a uniform system of naturalization Congress" and "These provisions thus enacted have, in substance, been retained in all the naturalization laws adopted since." Again, if children born out of the U.S. were already considered natural-born citizens, they would need consideration in NATURALIZATION laws. 

Tell us how any court when confronted with the Supreme Court's direct statement in Wong Kim Ark, " A person born out of the jurisdiction of the United States can only become a citizen by being naturalized" would rule Ted Cruz to be a natural-born citizen?? 

jh4freedom
jh4freedom

No judge/court has ever ruled that quotations from the Law of Nations have any special relevance to the natural born citizenship status of any contemporary political candidate for president (ie Obama, McCain, Romney, whose father born in Mexico or Cruz).

ksdb
ksdb

@jh4freedom Nor has any judge/court been able to support with any actual legal precedent a reason to rule any contemporary candidate for president to be eligible for office. That doesn't make the obvious go away. The Supreme Court did unanimously and exclusively define natural-born citizen in a means that matches the law of nations.

Minor's exclusive definition of NBC: all children born in a country of parents who were its citizens.

Law of Nations: The natives, or natural-born citizens, are those born in the country, of parents who are citizens.

Speak2Truth
Speak2Truth

@jh4freedom Well, thank you for pointing out the problem. Contemporary courts are no longer obeying the Constitution, despite their oaths to do so.

There is only one meaning of Natural Born Citizen as used in the Constitution and it's the only meaning that could prevent the President from having foreign influence over him by birth:

"The natives, or natural-born citizens, are those born in the country, of parents who are citizens." - Law of Nations

Archbishop Gregori
Archbishop Gregori

@ksdb @jh4freedom: Minor was NOT the ONLY case in which the U.S. Supreme Court agreed with the Law of Nations definition of "Natural Born" citizen. Other cases are:

 The Venus, 12 U.S. 8 Cranch 253 253 (1814):  "Vattel, who, though not very full to this point, is more explicit and more satisfactory on it than any other whose work has fallen into my hands, says: “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 indigenes are those born in the country of parents who are citizens. Society not being able to subsist and to perpetuate itself but by the children of the citizens, those children naturally follow the condition of their fathers, and succeed to all their rights."


Dred Scott v. Sandford, 60 U.S. 393 (1857):  "The citizens are the members of the civil society; bound to this society by certain duties, and subject to its authority, they equally participate in its advantages. The natives, or natural-born citizens, are those born in the country, of parents who are citizens. As society cannot perpetuate itself otherwise than by the children of the citizens, those children naturally follow the condition of their parents, and succeed to all their rights.' Again: 'I say, to be of the country, it is necessary to be born of a person who is a citizen; for if he be born there of a foreigner, it will be only the place of his birth, and not his country. . . ."

United States v. Wong Kim Ark, 169 U.S. 649 (1898):  "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."


Archbishop Gregori
Archbishop Gregori

@Speak2Truth @jh4freedom:  I may be wrong, but didn't the lower federal courts, as well as the U.S. Supreme Court, refuse to hear any of the cases brought before them concerning Obama's constitutional ineligibility, claiming that those bringing the cases "Lacked Standing"? Yet, it seems to me that EVERY American citizen has "Standing", when it comes to blatant violations of the Constitution.

I may be old (71 years), but my mind is still clear, and I remember hearing on the FOX NEWS CHANNEL, that shortly after Obama had been elected, BUT before he was sworn in, he held a 'secret' meeting with eight of the then sitting U.S. Supreme Court Justices. FOX reported at the time that no other President-elect had ever done such a thing. To this day, nobody outside of those Justices knows what was discussed. However, at the very least that meeting was highly unethical and, at the very most, it was highly illegal, because at the time of the meeting, there were at least 6 to 8 cases pending before the Court concerning Obama's constitutional ineligibility to hold the Office of President or Vice-President. Also there were several other such cases pending before several lower federal courts. Now here is the thing, following that meeting and the swearing in of Obama, from that day forward, the SCOTUS, along with all of the lower federal courts, have refused to hear any of the eligibility cases against Obama. I believe that IF either Cruz or Rubio should win the election, those same courts will refuse to hear any cases that may be brought against them, concerning eligibility, and that, to me would indicate that the United States is no-longer operating under the Constitution or the Rule of Law.

jh4freedom
jh4freedom

U.S. v Wong Kim Ark (1898) has been cited as Supreme Court precedent in contemporary presidential eligibility rulings.

For example:

Ankeny v. Daniels, Indiana (A three judge panel of the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled unanimously): "Based on the language of Article II, Section 1, Clause 4 and the guidance provided by WONG KIM ARK, we conclude that persons born within the United States are 'NATURAL BORN CITIZENS' for Article II, Section 1 purposes, regardless of the citizenship of their parents."--Indiana Court of Appeals, November 12, 2009

A book on international law philosophy written in the 18th century by a Swiss professor has no bearing on current U.S. law.

jh4freedom
jh4freedom

Your last quote is from Minor v Happersett (1874) not U.S. v Wong Kim Ark.

Now if you could only find one judge, anywhere in America, at any level of the judiciary to support those rulings as being precedential...

All three citations have been presented in eligibility challenges ruled on since 2008 but none of them carried the day in finding any candidate to be ineligible.

jh4freedom
jh4freedom

To paraphrase former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, you go to court with the judges you have, not with the judges you wish you had.

jh4freedom
jh4freedom

Many eligibility challenges were dismissed for lack of standing but not all of them were. There were also trials on the merits conducted in some jurisdictions. Where lawsuits were dismissed for lack of standing, it was because those who filed suit failed to show how they wrre personally injured by the defendant in those suits.

On presidential eligibility, the persons who had 100% perfect standing were the only four other people to receive Electoral votes and have a realistic chance to become president/vice president: John McCain, Sarah Palin, Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan and/or the national Republican Party on their behalf.

They could easily demonstrate how they were injured by the actions of Barack Obama if he was ineligible, being denied the presidency/vice presidency.

None of those four or the Republican Party ever filed suit or agreed to be a co-plaintiff in a class action eligibility lawsuit. in fact, McCain and the Republican Party got a lawsuit dismissed for lack of standing when a citizen challenged McCain for being born outside of the U.S. (Hollander v McCain & the RNC).

There are no issues of standing at the Supreme Court of the United States. They can take any appeal that four Justices believe has merit. The Supreme Court might rule on whether a plaintiff should or shouldn't have been granted standing in the original trial court and they could send an appeal back to the lower court to be heard on the merits.

jh4freedom
jh4freedom

There were no eligibility appeals pending before the Supreme Court when Obama met with the Justices. Only one appeal had reached them: Berg v Obama.

Injunctions had been denied in December, 2008 and the Petition for a Writ of Certiorari (request for oral arguments) was denied on January 12, 2009.

Obama and Biden met with 8 of the 9 Justices on January 14, 2009.

jh4freedom
jh4freedom

It was Chief Justice John Roberts who invited Barack Obama and Joe Biden to a social gathering with the Justices.

From the Wall Street Journal:

Obama and Biden to Meet With Supreme Court Justices

President-elect Barack Obama and Vice President-elect Joe Biden will visit the U.S. Supreme Court today after an invitation was extended by Chief Justice John Roberts.

This is the third time in modern history that a president-elect and vice-president elect have made pre-inaugural stops to the court—Bill Clinton and Al Gore visited the court on Dec. 8, 1992 and Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush visited the court on Nov. 19, 1980.

Obama and Biden will meet with Roberts and the associate justices in the ceremonial West Conference Room, and are expected to take a tour of the court. The event is private and closed to the press.

Christian Hawk
Christian Hawk

I am honestly totally confused and a lot of what we are all talking about seems to be getting lost in the timing and ubiquity of a stand alone written response.  Would you all be will to go vocal with  your beliefs .  I think I can arrange the event if everyone is agreeable to it. 


Christian Hawk
Christian Hawk

U.S. CITIZENSHIP BY THE LAW © North American Law Center

1) NATURAL BORN CITIZEN – “As the society cannot exist and perpetuate itself otherwise than by the children of the citizens, those children naturally follow the condition of their fathers, and succeed to all their rights. The country of the fathers is therefore that of the children; and these become true citizens merely by their tacit consent.” (The Natural Law as understood by the Founders in Article II of the US Constitution)

2) NATIVE BORN CITIZEN - 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. (The 14th Amendment definition for “citizen”)

3) NATURALIZED CITIZEN - the legal act or process by which a non-citizen in a country may acquire citizenship or nationality of that country. It may be done by a statute, without any effort on the part of the individual (aka anchor baby), or it may involve an application and approval by legal authorities, (such as a Consular Report of Birth Abroad (CRBA) form filed with the US State Department at the time of birth). (This includes “anchor baby” or “citizen at birth” born here or abroad, under the 14th)

4) UNDOCUMENTED – anyone who is not natural born, native born or otherwise naturalized as a legal citizen of the United States, also known in U.S. law as an “illegal alien.” (Individuals in the USA via a VISA, or visiting on vacation, or with other written consent of the US Government, are here “legally,” but are NOT “citizens.”)

5) The four above terms are NOT interchangeable. Each is unique and distinct from the other. Only one of the four is constitutionally eligible for the Oval Office. “No person except a natural born citizen shall be eligible to the office of President.” (The only exception were those alive at the time of the adoption, who became “citizens” by virtue of the adoption.)

Marco Rubio, Bobby Jindal and Nicki Haley all fall under #2, native born citizens under 14th Amendment naturalization. None of them are “natural born” US Citizens.

Ted Cruz falls under #4 at present – He resides in the USA without any U.S. citizenship documents at all. Rafael Edward Cruz was a “native born citizen” of Canada at birth in 1970. Mr. Cruz maintained his legal Canadian citizenship from birth, until he renounced that citizenship in May of 2014. No U.S. citizenship papers of any type, bearing Ted Cruz’s identity, have been made public. Only his proof of Canadian citizenship has been made public.

At the very best, Ted Cruz “might” be a “naturalized” citizen of the United States, if any U.S. documentation to authenticate is ever made public.

FINAL WORD - The current “legal” effort is to make all four terms synonymous, equal in legal stature, thereby eliminating the NBC clause in Article II and opening up the Oval Office to anyone from anywhere, with no U.S. documentation at all. If that effort is successful, the new requirements for the Oval Office will be only someone who has “attained to the age of thirty-five years, and been fourteen Years a resident within the United States”  per JB Williams and endorsed by Christian Hawk

jh4freedom
jh4freedom

Back in 1884 the Supreme Court saw things differently:

Elk v Wilkins, 112 U. S. 94 (1884)

The distinction between citizenship by birth and citizenship by naturalization is clearly marked in the provisions of the constitution, by which ‘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;’ and ‘the congress shall have power to establish an uniform rule of naturalization.’Const. art. 2, § 1; art. 1, § 8.

This section contemplates two sources of citizenship, and two sources only: birth and naturalization. The persons declared to be citizens are “all persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof.”

ksdb
ksdb

@jh4freedom You left out a huge chunk of Elk v. Wilkins. You're last sentence is referring to the 14th amendment, not just the "distinction between citizenship by birth and citizenship by naturalization." You need to include the whole quote. It changes the context a lot.


"By the Thirteenth Amendment of the Constitution, slavery was prohibited. The main object of the opening sentence of the Fourteenth Amendment was to settle the question, upon which there had been a difference of opinion throughout the country and in this Court, as to the citizenship of free negroes (Scott v. Sandford, 19 How. 393), and to put it beyond doubt that all persons, white or black, and whether formerly slaves or not, born or naturalized in the United States, and owing no allegiance to any alien power, should be citizens of the United States and of the state in which they reside. Slaughterhouse Cases, 16 Wall. 36, 83 U. S. 73; Strauder v. West Virginia, 100 U. S. 303, 100 U. S. 306."

jh4freedom
jh4freedom

Nothing you quoted alters the meaning of my point which was taken from Elk v Wilkins: there are only two types of U.S. Citizenship, born and naturalized.

Speak2Truth
Speak2Truth

@jh4freedom 

The Constitution affirms all Citizens the same exact rights and privileges whether they were born a citizen or naturalized.

The only other type of citizen recognized by the Constitution is the  Natural Born Citizen, a subset of those who are born citizens. Only the natural born citizen can be President or Vice President.


The Framers made this distinction to ensure the President has no foreign allegiance by birth.


"The natives, or natural-born citizens, are those born in the country, of parents who are citizens." - Law of Nations

 

ksdb
ksdb

@jh4freedom Wrong. It doesn't say there are only two types of U.S. citizenship. It says the 14th amendment only considers two SOURCES of citizenship. It's not a comprehensive limitation on all types of citizenship.

Speak2Truth
Speak2Truth

@jh4freedom At some point, you'll realize courts have no power to change the law.

The only correct meaning of the law is that which was understood when it was written. Later courts can be dead wrong.

We know exactly what "natural born citizen" means because we can look it up in the same reference book the Framers used when they wrote the Constitution. 


"The natives, or natural-born citizens, are those born in the country, of parents who are citizens." - Law of Nations

jh4freedom
jh4freedom

No subsequent court has interpreted the Elk holding in that manner.

jh4freedom
jh4freedom

United States v. Wong Kim Ark 169 US 649 (1898)

[An alien parent’s] "allegiance to the United States is direct and immediate, and, although but local and temporary, continuing only so long as he remains within our territory, is yet, in the words of Lord Coke in Calvin’s Case, 7 Coke, 6a, ’strong enough to make a natural subject, for, if he hath issue here, that issue is a natural-born subject’"

“'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.’"

"…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."

Speak2Truth
Speak2Truth

@jh4freedom As an American, I can tell you with absolute confidence that after the Declaration of Independence, American law no longer recognized Americans as being natural-born subjects to the King of England.

It is the war to get British law off the American people that we call the "Revolution". The next war in that cause was the "war of 1812".

Because a natural-born subject to the King is NOT the same thing as the natural-born citizen of the nation. For an American, it is not possible to be both.


"The natives, or natural-born citizens, are those born in the country, of parents who are citizens." - Law of Nations

That excludes British sovereignty over the person who would be President.

jh4freedom
jh4freedom

There are many different forms of law in the United States: Constitutional law, statutory law, administrative law and regulations, military law under the Uniform Code of Military Justice, state law and local ordinancs.

All exist under the Constitution and are constitutional unless and until ruled otherwise.

Courts make case law.

"It is well settled that those born within the United States are natural born citizens."-- Tisdale v. Obama, U.S. District Court of the Eastern District of Virginia, January 23, 2012.

jh4freedom
jh4freedom

President Obama is fortunate that 21 court rulings have explicitly declared him to be a Natural Born Citizen and no court has ever ruled otherwise; nor has Congress taken any action to disqualify him from the office that he attained.

"Arizona courts are bound by United States Supreme Court precedent in construing the United States Constitution, 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."--Pima County Superior Court, Tuscon, Arizona, March 7, 2012

jh4freedom
jh4freedom

I agree with you that Americans stopped being natural born subjects and eventually became natural born citizens. The first president to be a natural born citizen was Martin Van Buren who assumed the office in 1837.

ksdb
ksdb

@jh4freedom It is "well settled" that the only natural-born citizens are those born in the country to citizen parents. BTW, you just shot down Ted Cruz.

jh4freedom
jh4freedom

The statute under which Bellei was stripped of his citizenship was repealed by the U.S. Congress in 1978.

Ankeny v. Daniels, Indiana, Ruling on whether Barack Obama qualifies as a natural born citizen.

"Based on the language of Article II, Section 1, Clause 4 and the guidance provided by Wong Kim Ark, we conclude that persons born within the United States are 'natural born citizens' for Article II, Section 1 purposes, regardless of the citizenship of their parents."--Indiana Court of Appeals, November 12, 2009

David in MA
David in MA

@jh4freedom The larger question before any else is: Do these courts have legal authority to even address this issue or act upon it.

My understanding has always beem there are only two entities which can legally make this kind of determination: First, Congress & Second, SCOTUS. And with past SC & Congress decisions along with the understanding of the framers of the Constitution and past usage it takes two parents of U.S birth and the birth on American soil.

jh4freedom
jh4freedom

The Court in Tisdale v Obama was only dealing with the circumstances of Barack Obama's birth in Hawaii.

Five lawsuits have been filed thus far challenging Senator Cruz's status under Article II, Section 1. We'll have to wait and see how those courts rule.

My guess is that because the law definng a Citizen of the United States at Birth includes a person born outside the U.S. to one citizen parent, Senator Cruz will be deemed to qualify as a natural born citizen.

jh4freedom
jh4freedom

The Supreme Court has allowed 27 lower court rulngs to stand and Congress has exhibited zero interest in this issue for nine years now.

Barack Hussein Obama, II first announced that he was a candidate for president on February 10, 2007, nine years ago today.

RussellFowler
RussellFowler

@jh4freedom My Congressman Bill Posey try in 2008 but was shot down by U.S. Rep. Neil Abercrombie, D-HI because he was a personnel friend of Obama. To this day, Neil has not been able to find Obama real BC.


Speak2Truth
Speak2Truth

@jh4freedom Citizenship by birth is not the definition of "natural born citizen". Our Constitution ensures all Citizens, whether by birth or naturalization, have exactly the same rights and privileges.

"If it was intended that anybody who was a citizen by birth should be eligible, it would only have been necessary to say, “no person, except a native-born citizen”; but the framers thought it wise, in view of the probable influx of European immigration, to provide that the president should at least be the child of citizens owing allegiance to the United States at the time of his birth." - "NATURAL-BORN CITIZEN OF THE UNITED STATES: ELIGIBILITY FOR THE OFFICE OF PRESIDENT" (Albany Law Journal Vol. 66 (1904-1905))


It is only one subclass that has access to the Presidency.


"The natives, or natural-born citizens, are those born in the country, of parents who are citizens." - Law of Nations



jh4freedom
jh4freedom

Neither Bill Posey nor Neil Abercrombie followed the law in Hawaii for gaining access to an original Certificate of Live Birth.

Hawaii Revised Statute 338-18 (b) [point 9] is very clear, a confidential birth record can be released for inspection to a person "whose right to inspect or receive a copy is established by an order of a court of competent jurisdction."

Governors and members of Congress have to follow the law just like average citizens.

Talk to a judge, convince the judge that you have a legitimate reason for inspecting the birth certificate, bring the court order to the Hawaii Department of Health and you get to inspect the birth certificate.

Also Bill Posey must not have been able to convince a Chairman of a House of Representatives Committee to issue a congressional subpoena for the birth certificate. Congressional subpoenas have the same effect as a judge's court order.

jh4freedom
jh4freedom

President Obama was very fortunate that the Republican Governor of Hawaii from 2002 until 2010 had vouched for the existence and authenticity of Barack Obama 's birth certificate.

"You know, during the campaign of 2008, I was actually in the mainland campaigning for Sen. McCain. This issue kept coming up so much in the campaign, and again I think it's one of those issues that is simply a distraction from the more critical issues that are facing the country. And so I had my health director, who is a physician by background, go personally view the birth certificate in the birth records of the Department of Health, and we issued a news release at that time saying that the president was, in fact, born at Kapi'olani Hospital in Honolulu, Hawaii. And that's just a fact. And yet people continue to call up and e-mail and want to make it an issue. And I think it's, again, a horrible distraction for the country by those people who continue this. It's been established. He was born here." --[former] Governor Linda Lingle (R-HI)