Obama’s Eligibility: Fact, Fiction or Fog?

Something to Hide?

Obviously, this is a controversial subject, and one that threatens to push those who discuss it into the weeds of that field now dubbed “birtherism,” but there is some news on this front that I believe does deserve coverage, if only because whether one believes Barack Obama to be ineligible to the office of President of the United States, or instead believes the whole issue to be a load of nonsense, it is now an issue at controversy in several courts around the country.  There is a certain red letter that becomes attached to people or sites that spend much time on the issue, and that letter is “K” for “kook,” but in fairness to those concerned, there are significant issues at stake.  The question is: How seriously should we take any of them?  I won’t be spending more time than this on the matter without significant developments in the case, but I do believe we should at least be aware of the issues in controversy as a matter for voters to consider, (or not.)

Let us back up a bit and examine the nature of the claim against Barack Obama, and why it matters, if everything or anything the so-called “birthers” contend is true.  In the United States Constitution, set forth in Article II, that pertains to the executive, the qualification of those who hold this office are set forth in Section 1, in the fifth clause:

“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.”

To examine this fairly, let us consider first the plain truth of what this says.  A person, to be eligible for the presidency, must be thirty-five years of age, apparently by the time of inauguration to it, and must have been a resident fourteen years within the United States, and must be a natural born citizen, or a citizen at the time of the adoption of the constitution.

From a factual point of view, it appears by all accounts that he has been a resident fourteen years, and it is clear that he is older than thirty-five years of age, so all that remains to be considered is the citizenship clause, and indeed, this is where the controversy attached to so-called “birthers” arises.  One section of this list of qualifications is obsolete, and that is this piece:

“or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution”

This odd distinction is no longer applicable, but it is important because it is a distinction, and because while no longer operative, it offers a clue to the intent of the framers.  This clause was inserted to permit some of those then alive, who would not meet the definition of natural born citizen to be eligible to that office.  After all, the United States was a new country, and all of its people had at one time owed their allegiance to the British empire, so that people like Washington, Jefferson, Adams, and all the rest of that generation had been British subjects, and not citizens of the United States from birth, or, as we shall find, not having been born to two citizen parents.  This entire requirement regarding citizenship is formulated in response to the question of loyalties.  It was assumed that those who had no attachment by birth or culture to the United States might have no particular qualms about undermining it.  It is therefore clear that the framers had intended our President to always be a loyal citizen from birth, that there would be less chance of a usurper with no loyalty to the country who might rise to occupy that office.

What the US Constitution does not do is to define the term “natural born Citizen,” and nowhere in its text can you find anything to reference on the matter.  Instead, we are left to find the meaning of that term, as distinct from “citizen” elsewhere in law.  At the time of the founders, the common law understanding of the terms appears to have been that a natural born Citizen is one born in the country of which both parents were citizens.  This understanding of the term has a precedent in law, with the 1875 U.S. Supreme Court decision, Minor v. Happersett:

“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.”

Let me give you the short version:  To be a “natural born citizen,” as late as 1875, one must have been born in the United States to two citizen parents.  If this is the controlling legal authority for the definition of the term “natural born Citizen,” then we have a problem.  If this is the strict definition of the term, there can be no way for Barack Obama to be a “natural born Citizen,” because he his father was not at any time a US Citizen, but instead a subject of the British crown, or a citizen of the nation Kenya.

This is then the central question under examination by so-called “birthers.”  There have been some subsequent cases that may override the earlier definition, but the problem is this: It’s really a straight-forward matter if the definition is as defined in Minor v. Happersett.  It is on this basis that the parties have been dueling in court these last four years, because on this simple matter of definition, turns the eligibility of Barack Obama.

There are other arguments too, about forged birth certificates, and hoax Kenyan birth certificates, and a whole lot of hyperbole that has more or less caused the issue to devolve into a circus with one side pointing at the other and calling them “wearers of tin-foil hats” while the other side points back with accusations of “koolaid drinkers,” and so on, but the matter may hinge on the definition of that one term in Article II, Section 1, Clause 5: What is a “natural born Citizen?”

Apart from the circus atmosphere that erupts from any making this particular claim or challenge to Barack Obama’s eligibility to that office, those who make this claim have an initial obstacle to pressing their case: As in any matter, the plaintiff must show legal standing before the court, and the court must take jurisdiction over it.  That has been the primary defense used by Obama’s legal team to tamp all of this down:  Those raising the issue have no standing before the courts in the matter, or that the courts themselves do not have jurisdiction over it.  This has served as a very effective shield to the questions ever gaining traction in a court of law.

As WND is reporting, there is now a case in process in the state of Georgia, wherein citizens can challenge the eligibility of anybody who wishes to be placed on the ballot.  There, Obama’s legal team is making two very different arguments, composed of asserting that because he is already president, this issue is mooted, but also that because he is president, he hasn’t the time or the obligation to answer to some lowly court in the state of Georgia over what his lawyers contend is a federal matter of jurisdiction.

Unfortunately for Obama, the judge in the case has refused to quash a subpoena on the basis of his legal team’s claims, stating that they may have the authority to do so on the basis of some executive privilege, but that they have yet to demonstrate its existence to the court.  This is actually a huge win for the so-called “birthers,”  because it implies that the case must go forward.  In the end, what is at stake is ballot access for Barack Obama in the state of Georgia.

Of course, there are other arguments about Obama’s eligibility, including notions about becoming a citizen of Indonesia subsequent to his birth, and being re-naturalized as a US Citizen. That too would make him ineligible, and the biggest obstacles to the cases brought around the country on that basis has been standing and jurisdiction, and the ability to subpoena records.

In researching this, what I’ve found is that there has been a vast and effective propaganda campaign against so-called “birthers,” trying to lump them all into the tin-foil-hat wearing ranks of conspiracy nuts, but not all of their claims are so “kooky” on closer examination.  Instead, what you find is that the group has been marginalized by grasping occasionally at hoaxes, like “Kenyan Birth Certificates” and other such things that have thus far all turned out to be frauds, at least insofar as my research has concluded.

I also think there’s another case to be made here, and that has to do with the intent of the framers.  What this requirement was clearly intended to create was an effective obstacle to the plotting of subversives who would take over the United States by acts of usurpation, rather than by open warfare against them.  In this sense, one could conclude that many of the beliefs of Barack Obama are foreign to American governance, and indeed seem preoccupied with the notion of overturning our form of government, begging the question: Whether or not he meets the strict definition of “natural born Citizen,” does his mostly unknown background and scarcely-recorded early advocacy and professions make him ineligible to that definition in spirit, even if not in fact?

I suspect this issue will haunt Obama until the end of his presidency, and for much the same reason as we now see a question of tax records haunting the steps of Mitt Romney:  If you have nothing to hide, and you’ve done nothing wrong, why will you not let us examine the records?  Nothing quiets a controversy quite like proof, and last year, when the Obama administration released what appeared to be a valid birth certificate, it really quieted the whole matter of the question of where he was born.  What it did not and could not quash was the matter of whether he is a “natural born Citizen,” by definition of law and applicable precedents.  It is clear that the framers intended a separate definition of that term by virtue of their specifying it in contrast to any other form or usage of the simpler term “citizen.”  That matter appears still to be an open question.

(Note: I don’t wish for this post to turn my site into “birther central” or some such thing, but with all the questions still raised in some quarters, and with the re-emergence of the matter back into the news cycle via the Georgia case, I felt it necessary to at least discuss the issue briefly, do a little research on it, and report it to you in similarly brief fashion.)

 

 

 

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  • http://invisiblemikey.wordpress.com Invisible Mikey

    Every time I have the misfortune to encounter the so-called "arguments" of the birthers, I have to take a moment to hold my head in my hands. There is no consistent logic, no competent research backing their position, and a constant refusal to accept concrete documentation.

    I'm no big Obama supporter, but these people have to be seen for what they are; racist, crazy or abominably ignorant. He was born in the USA, and he was old enough to run. Case closed.

    • http://www.markamerica.com MarkAmerica

      Hold on a moment, Mikey: "Racist, crazy, or abominably ignorant." That's a helluva charge, don't you think?

      I don't know how race has any bearing on this question. Is it crazy to ask questions? When you say "abominably ignorant," to what do you refer? He was born in the US. Okay. He was old enough to hold the office. Yes. As I explained in my article, the complaint or question of the so-called "birthers" seems not primarily to challenge those facts, but whether that is all it takes to meet the constitutional requirement of a "natural born Citizen." I think you're being nearly as unreasonable as those who scream from the other side that he is a "Kenyan usurper" or similar. Let's not bash folks unnecessarily, okay, and let's not hang the label "racist" on them either.

      • Dave

        Mark, excellent article, as usual. From what I have learned from looking at other blogs, it looks like you have encountered what they call a "troll." I followed the birther controversy for a while because, if true, and provable, it would effectively nullify most of the damage our marxist-in-chief has done to our country. And just like we Tea-partiers, the left and the establishment right have tried to label those who would require Obama to produce his citizenship records to determine his eligibility as racist or kooks. The reason the birther movement gained traction is because Obama refused to release his birth certificate and had all of his other records sealed by executive order. As you said in your article, if you have nothing to hide, then why not release all of this information and put an end to the controversy. The fact that he has not and continues to fight it only fuels the ineligibility claims, which, if true, would be the biggest fraud in history.

      • Joe Davis

        Mark, Mikey is hopelessly ignorant. To his way of thinking a Mexican anchor baby could one day qualify for the presidency, but he would be dead wrong. When Mikey can't refute hard facts he, like other Obamaphiles, goes into denial, brings on the tin foil hat routine followed by charges of racism. Can't win an argument with that kind of rebuttal. Mikey's been fooled by Obama and seems to enjoy it.

        Your article is excellent and right on. But you should have noted that the "birth certificate" released last April is a proven
        forgery by many experts.

        I'm thinking if Obama is a no show in Georgia the Plaintiffs win by default. If Obama does show with his documentation Plaintiffs win on the merits.

      • Lyndon

        Excellent piece, excellent. I have been touting this Natural Born Citizen angle for quite awhile. I am glad to see it getting legs.

        One thing I understood differently was Obama Sr. was a British subject only at the time of Barry's birth in 1961, because the country of Kenya did not come into existence until late 1963.

        This is part of the problem with the certificate of birth he released last year. In fact, there were three glaring weaknesses. One: His father was listed as being from the country of Kenya. Kenya did not exist until 1963. Two: The certificate listed him as African American. That term was not to come into vogue for quite some time. Negro was the common race designation. Three; The name of the hospital of birth did not exist until1979. GLARING!!! I would say.

        I also expect Obama to attempt to blow this case in Georgia off or ignore it.. The media will him him by staying mum as much as they can. Only if Georgia kicks him off the ballot will the stuff hit the fan.

    • Pat

      GEORGIA BALLOT CHALLENGE

      The Georgia ballot challenge to Obama intends to have a court rule on the merits of the Constitutional question:

      “Does the term “natural born citizen” in Article II of the Constitution, require that both parents of a Presidential candidate must have been U.S. citizens at the time the candidate was born?”

      Obama wants to avoid having a court rule on this question.
      That is why he didn’t show up and ordered his attorneys to not show up.

      He was hoping that the Georgia court would enter a default judgment rather than rule on the merits.

      He does NOT want any court to rule on the factual basis for the court action.

      If the court enters a default judgment, Obama will have succeeded in avoiding the Constitutional eligibility question. He will then appeal the default judgment, get the appellate court to suspend the default judgment pending appeal, and then delay the appeal until after the primary.

      FORCES BEHIND THE SCENES
      There are forces acting behind the scenes enabling and furthering their own agenda. What sort of forces would have the money to be able to completely subvert our legal system?
      Logic leads directly to the forces that “create” our “money”.

      Since 1913, those people have literally stolen our republic from us.

      Since 1913, our money has been “created” by the actions of private citizens (not the US Government). When ever a bank issues a loan – that money is “created”. The bank “loaning” the money does not need to have had to previously “earned” that money. That money does not even have to exist previous to the “loan”.

      The bank doesn’t have to have gold in a vault somewhere to back the new money it is issuing.

      When the bank issues a loan – that money is “created” simply through the action of a bank official writing down an amount.
      So what sort of power do you think you’d have if you could “create” money simply by writing down a number?

      That’s one of the biggest problems we face as individuals and as a nation.

      They not only “create” our money – with their ill gotten gains they have purchased our entire news media and bribed our government away.

      MASSIVELY OVER-REPRESENTED IN KEY POLICY MAKING POSITIONS
      So who are these people? It is instructive to note who controls, for example, the U.S. Treasury Department.

      Timothy F. Geithner (Jew) – Secretary of the Treasury
      Neal S. Wolin (Jew) – Deputy Secretary of the Treasury
      Stuart A. Levey (Jew) – Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence
      Alan Krueger (Jew) – Assistant Secretary for Economic Policy
      Michael S. Barr (Jew) – Assistant Secretary for Financial Institutions
      David S. Cohen (Jew) – Assistant Secretary for Terrorist Financing
      Herbert M. Allison, Jr.(White European) – Assistant Secretary for Financial Stability and Counselor to the Secretary
      Of the seven (7) top officials in the U.S. Treasury Department, six (6) are Jews. How many of these Jews are citizens of the Jewish Nation (Israel)?

      This is a numerical representation of 86%.

      Jews are approximately 2% of the United States population.
      This means that Jews are over-represented among the top officials of the U.S. Treasury Department by a factor of 43 times, or 4,300 percent.

      This extreme numerical over-representation of Jews among the top officials of the U.S. Treasury Department cannot be explained away as a coincidence or as the result of mere random chance.

      You must ask yourself how such an incredibly small and extremely unrepresentative minority ethnic group that only represents 2% of the American population could so completely dominate the U.S. Treasury Department.

      NOT AN ISOLATED CASE
      You may want to take a look at other key policy making positions within the government as well – and note who the people are who are holding those positions.

      Prepare to vomit if you decide to look into the ownership of the various media outlets in the US – or management positions in ALL of the US Federal Reserve system member banks.

      They’re “kosher”.

      POLICIES OF THE JEWISH NATION
      Our perpetual wars against Israel’s enemies – where Israel fights using American soldiers are starting to make more sense now…aren’t they?

      So is it “anti-Semitic” to state facts?

    • rick

      If he was a Republican he would've had to have shown his birth certificate, SS card, drivers liscense, high school yearbook and 3 baby pictures in the United States or the
      libs would have called for him to be ineligible. I can't understand how, if you must be 35 and a US citizen you wouldn't have to show proof before you are able to run for President. Race is not the question Mikey, integrity is.

  • Lee Patrick

    Obamas stories have so many holes they would make a great sieve. This article is excellant, tells it like it is. Supreme Court says both parents must be citizens, Obama only has one, checkmate.

  • Pat Cashman

    As far as the birth certificate, Kenya, indonesia, passports, and college records go, I think that will be a matter for the FBI once the 'natural born citizen" argument has been settled on the side of We The People. I can tell you this from a time way back when, and I'm 48 years old. My parents are immigrants from Ireland. They moved here in the 50's. My father became a citizen prior to 1963, the year I was born. My mother became a citizen in 1968. I was told, at the earliest that I can remember, that I could become senator, but I could never be president. If we ever had a reason to clarify tis argument, it should be now so that future generations can set their goals accordingly. Who knows, I could have been leading in the polls going into SC.

  • Pat Cashman

    One more thing. Marco Rubio could end all of this by entering the race and ask the courts if he is qualified under the Natural Born Citizen argument.

    • http://www.markamerica.com MarkAmerica

      Pat, unfortunately, the courts do not function in this way. There must be a case in controversy before the court before they can render a judgment. Otherwise, we wouldn't need a lawsuit to gain judicial review of Obamacare, for instance, because we could just ask them for an opinion. Clearly, our legal system isn't set up for that, and we must always have adversaries to a controversy, such as in that or any other case pending in the judiciary.

      • Pat Cashman

        I was being facetious. If I had your mad writing skills I could have made that clear. Lol. But I think that I may have hit on this problem. Suppose Rubio does indeed seek to put himself on the ballot. Now suppose, and with absolute transparency, a republican Secretary of State files with the court on his eligibility. Rubio can put the entire thing to rest by defending his case without really giving it much effort. No stone walling. No motions to dismiss. Just an argument on the merits from both sides. The results would be swift and to the point, making Obama's case fall apart. I would donate to a Rubio defense just to see him lose. And he would be a hero.

  • http://twitter.com/BDWatcher bdwatcher (@BDWatche

    The wording of the Constitution was deliberately and carefully constructed as not to have variable interpretations. It is a mystery all that is going on with this Citizen or Naturalized Citizen and Natural Born or Native Citizen. You need to read the actual words to differentiate this.

    From the Constitution of the United States:

    Eligibility of Congressmen-
    No Person shall be a Representative who shall not have
    attained to the Age of twenty fi ve Years, and been seven
    Years a Citizen of the United States, and who shall not,
    when elected, be an Inhabitant of that State in which he
    shall be chosen.

    Eligibility of Senators-
    No Person shall be a Senator who shall not have attained
    to the Age of thirty Years, and been nine Years a Citizen of
    the United States, and who shall not, when elected, be an
    Inhabitant of that State for which he shall be chosen.

    Eligibility of the President of the United 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.

    The obvious wordage difference is Citizen and Natural born citizen has different meanings. A Citizen at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution or a Natural Born citizen, accordingly is a person born or two citizens. Minor v Hapersett expandes upon this meaning and has not been repealed, suspended or ursurped in any way. Academy has issued various arguements, but no judgement by judicial decision.

    A person can be elected to Congress and Senate even being a Citizen (Naturalized or Native Born) and explain further that they must have LIVED AS A CITIZEN of the United States for 7 years (Congressman) and 9 years LIVED AS A CITIZENof the United States (Senator). Differentiate the expression "and LIVED AS A RESIDENT within the United States" to be eligible as the President as opposed to a citizen for a related time. Logic expresses the difference as living as a citizen and living as a resident? Natural Born must be born of Citizens of the United States. If someone is already a Natural Born Citizen, the further eligibility requirements are the length of time residing in the United States as a Resident……..

    To be eligible to be elected President of the United States.. He must be a natural born citizen living as a resident for 14 years. Thusly, Obama is NOT eligible to be the President of the United States. This man was not vetted properly by the Congress along with all his sealed records,

  • Joe Davis

    Mitt Romney clearly meets the NBC definition, Bobby Jindal and Marc Rubio do not, unfortunately. They both know that and wouldn't try and pull a scam as did Obama.

  • http://mashedpotatobulletin.wordpress.com mpbulletin

    Well written post. I liked how you, in a very civil manner, assessed the issues. I do have one point of contention to point out, or rather an addendum to your court case examination. A review of the Supreme Court decision in United States v. Wong Kim Ark (1898),will find the issue of non-citizen parents is voided. This is where the interpretation that anyone born on US soil is a US citizen comes from. Because of this case, that portion of the "birther" argument would be essentially nullified.

    • http://twitter.com/BDWatcher bdwatcher (@BDWatche

      The Supreme Court decision with United States vs Won Kim Ark. His parents were vacatoning in the US and birthed him. They took him back and he decided to return. He was denied entry. The Supreme Court used the words "Native Born" representing that he was born in territorial United States. I do believe wrong terminology due to Minor v Hapersett and definitely the Constitution. He was determined to be a citizen and gained entry.

      Still with what has been determined by Obama's birth. shouldn't he be eligible to be president if he lived here 14 years as a resident? No.. Same as Obama. Again, as I stated above, the words of the Constitution were very carefully stated. Only a Natural Born Citizen can become the President along with proper residency.

  • http://Kvrinc.com Magdalene51

    Mark, I was a professional graphic artist for 35 years, the last 18 of which I owned my own business. I also taught at Vo Tech, Illustrator, Photoshop, etc. I downloaded the alleged birth certificate from the White House website the day it was released, and I've subsequently dissected it. My professional opinion is that it's as fake as a $3 bill. There are aspects of it that are simply not possible to create without manipulation. Objects that show individual rotation or resizing, as well as a mix of bitmap (8 bit), grayscale (16 bit), and color (32 bit) objects, which would not be possible if it were as they presented it to be, simply a scan of a paper.
    Not only that, but it was so poorly constructed that had I been grading it it would have been a D. I was appalled that a document like this could have been given to the public as a real birth certificate. Angry, and ashamed.
    I don't know what he's hiding, and I make no assumptions about the content of the document. But I would stake my reputation on this statement: the birth certificate is a fraud.
    Don't know if you remember me, we met at the Machine Shed the night Sarah came.

    • http://www.markamerica.com MarkAmerica

      Yes I do, and this is a very interesting evaluation of the document. In my research of the subject, I ran across similar appraisals by others in your field. Thank you for reading and also remembering me from that night!

    • http://twitter.com/BDWatcher bdwatcher (@BDWatche

      I have a suspician that his mother became a citizen of Kenya, perhaps Malasyia, thus not being a citizen of the US when Obama was born, thus, like Won Kim Ark, ineligible to be the President.

      I am familiar with Asian Countries. The corruption and graft, plunder of politicians would make it easier to hide or change official records.

  • http://gravatar.com/teefrtwo Gail

    Thanks Mark and keep us posted….Something is strange about Obama and his hidden papers of all sorts, and my gut tells me he is not eligible to be President of the USA.

  • Joe Davis

    MP, Wong Kim Ark only confirmed Wong as a "citizen of the United States" and nothing about "natural born citizen." Obamaphiles, as a pathetic defense, try and squeeze Obama into the definition and then morph it into NBC status. Doesn't work and in no way nullifies anything in Minor v Happersett which is the binding precedent of the Constitional definition of natural born citizen.

    I'd like to refer you to attorney Mario Apuzzo, an authority on the subject, as he delves into the entire situation masterfully.
    http://puzo1.blogspot.com/

    • http://mashedpotatobulletin.wordpress.com mpbulletin

      Joe, the information I've come across for Apuzzo is that he has been an attorney for 29 years focusing primarily on Car Accidents, DUI / DWI, Injury Law, Municipal Law. I'm not entirely sure these areas of experience provide him with much expertise in constitutional law.

  • http://mashedpotatobulletin.wordpress.com mpbulletin

    To those who replied about my inaccurate interpretation of Supreme Court decision in United States v. Wong Kim Ark (1898)… I refer you to the actual text of the opinion on Cornell Law School's website.

    His parents were not on "vacation" when they were here but instead were;
    "persons of Chinese descent, and subjects of the Emperor of China; they were at the time of his birth domiciled residents of the United States, having previously established and still enjoying a permanent domicil and residence therein at San Francisco; they continued to reside and remain in the United States until 1890, when they departed for China, and during all the time of their residence in the United States, they were engaged in business, and were never employed in any diplomatic or official capacity under the Emperor of China."

    Additionally, it does state that he was native-born at this point in the text;

    "…and was permitted by the collector of customs to enter the United States upon the sole ground that he was a native-born citizen of the United States."

    It uses "native-born" several times throughout the opinion refering to the question as to whether or not Wong was indeed a citizen based on his native birth and the decided that he was a citizen based on that very termenology.

    The same would go for Obama. He was born on US soil, in Hawaii, despite one of his parents being of another nationality.

    http://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/historics/U

    • Joe Davis

      Give it a read and see what you think. I know he is often referred to as expert in the area of constitutional law. But there are dozens of others who will tell you the same thing about WKA. In Obama's case his father was never a US citizen, Obama can never be a natural born citizen.

    • http://twitter.com/BDWatcher bdwatcher (@BDWatche

      My altzheimers kidking in. (smile) It was Wong Kim Ark who went on vacation. Still..
      http://supreme.justia.com/cases/federal/us/169/64….

      Due to the exacting wordage of the constitution and obvious restrictions of being a Citizen for a number of years for Congressman and Senator and being a Natural Born Citizen with the requiements to be a Residentfor 14 years, my conclusion remains that the President of the United States must be born of parents who are citizens.

      Wong Kim Ark is a Native Born Citizen, but not a Natural Born Citizen. Several states now will take the wordage defining the difference in the wordage of the Constitution. I find the wordage deliberate and intentional to prevent the exact problem we have with our current president. Obama is Native Born (if born in Hawaii), but not Natural Born

      In 1981 Obama flew to Pakistan. What passport did he use? (Sealed) Pakistan was a no fly for Americans during this time. His name was changed.. Where is the documentation? (Sealed) Where is the Malaysian school records? These denote citizenship and religion? (sealed) The big question is also is WHY?

  • Wally Palo

    Remember this story from last October? http://www.examiner.com/civil-rights-in-portland/… An important on-line legal resource was caught hiding all references to Minor vs Happersett (1875). That case was where the Supreme Court used the Natural Born Citizen clause in the way you describe and set an important precedent. The web resource "Justia.com" started altering Supreme Court case histories in June of 2008.

    • http://twitter.com/BDWatcher bdwatcher (@BDWatche

      In my research, I found that Justia.com has mislead transparency to research past supreme court cases.
      http://www.americanthinker.com/2011/12/m-justiaga

      When Law Libraries begin to change or disrupt legal research, all of us lose. A big question would be again…. Why?

    • http://twitter.com/BDWatcher bdwatcher (@BDWatche

      For those of you who do not like links…

      "Citizenship is membership in a political society, and implies a duty of allegiance on the part of the member and a duty of protection on the part of the society. These are reciprocal obligations, one being a compensation for the other. Under our Constitution, a naturalized citizen stands on an equal footing with the native citizen in all respects, save that of eligibility to the Presidency. Minor v. Happersett, 21 Wall. 162, 165, 22 L. ed. 627; Elk v. Wilkins, 112 U.S. 94, 101, 28 S. L. ed. 643, 645, 5 Sup. Ct. Rep. 41; Osborn v. Bank of United States, 9 Wheat. 738, 827, 6 L. ed. 204, 225."

  • Tracy

    Let's see. No vetting by congress. No vetting by the media. Father definitely not an American citizen. Not one person has come forward from the supposed schools he went to. Past girlfriends? All records sealed. Birth certificate highly questionable and more than not a fraud. How can anyone say with a straight face that this man is not hiding something. Actually he's hiding everything. Somebody who fights this hard to hide their past is nothing but suspicious.

  • Rogue Rose

    Wonderful article. 3 items.
    1) Some have proposed Rubio or Jindal as Vice Pres candidates, but the 12th Amend prohibits them from that office under the "natural born citizen" requirement. "But no person constitutionally ineligible to the office of President shall be eligible to that of Vice-President of the United States."

    2) IF he wasn't born in the US, he's not even a citizen, much less a "natural born citizen". Many believe since his mother is an American, he would get his citizenship from her. But that's not the case if he was born abroad. (Remember, his mother was 18 when he was born so she wasn't present in the US for the required 5 years after the age of 14.) Here's the quote and the link from our State Dept website..
    "Birth Abroad to One Citizen and One Alien Parent in Wedlock

    A child born abroad to one U.S. citizen parent and one alien parent acquires U.S. citizenship at birth under Section 301(g) of the INA provided the U.S. citizen parent was physically present in the United States or one of its outlying possessions for the time period required by the law applicable at the time of the child's birth. (For birth on or after November 14, 1986, a period of five years physical presence, two after the age of fourteen, is required. For birth between December 24, 1952 and November 13, 1986, a period of ten years, five after the age of fourteen, is required for physical presence in the United States or one of its outlying possessions to transmit U.S. citizenship to the child.) http://travel.state.gov/law/citizenship/citizensh

    3) I think he probably was born in Hawaii. I think the fuss over the bc and the fuzzy docs that have been released to date was to keep the focus off the "natural born citizen" requirement and to paint all challengers as kooks, birthers, and racists. Seems pretty well orchestrated to me. Weren't the first questions about his bc raised by Hillary?

  • donna ls

    First, and foremost, excellent article Mark!! – - And, for once, there were few 'bashing' replies! The fact that concerns me most is that, since there has been no valid BC presented we really don't know who Obama's (or whatever his 'real' name is) parents are! I really 'feel' that one, and/or both, proclaimed parents are falsely identified – - no need to go furhter on that issue as I'm sure your readers have researched that also. – - there was a 2 hour debate yesterday, Jan. 21, on Obama's presented BC having been forged – - unfortunately I turned in on-line when there was only 5 minutes left – - I've been unable to locate any posts on the debate – - does anyone have any information??

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  • ellen

    he Minor vs. Happersett decision is NOT a ruling on the meaning of Natural Born Citizen.

    The court explicitly refused to decide whether a person born in the US without reference to the citizenship of the parents may be considered a natural born citizen.

    This ruling does not support the claim that birth in the USA to one citizen-parent is not Natural Born Citizenship. It does not even support the claim that a child born in the USA to TWO foreign parents is not a Natural Born Citizen. It simply is not a ruling. It said that it was not going to rule.

    To be sure, a person born in the USA to two US citizen parents IS a Natural Born Citizen. That is because she or he fulfills all the possible ways of being a Natural Born Citizen. But, although the court said that it was never doubted that someone who fulfilled all the possible ways of being a Natural Born Citizen is a Natural Born Citizen, it never said that all the possible ways were required.

    However, the Wong Kim Ark case, which followed the Minor vs. Happersett decision and hence would have overturned it (IF Minor was a decision, which it wasn’t), IS a decision. It ruled that EVERY child born in the USA is Natural Born (unless she or he is the child of foreign diplomats). What, then, is a Natural Born Citizen? A citizen who was Natural Born, of course. And according the the US Supreme Court in Wong (six to two, one not voting), the meaning of Natural Born comes from the common law and refers to the PLACE of birth.

    Thus all US citizens who were born in the USA are Natural Born Citizens.

    That is why such prominent conservative Senators who are also lawyers as Orren Hatch and Lindsay Graham say that a Natural Born Citizen is simply one who was born in the USA:

    Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC), said:
    “Every child born in the United States is a natural-born United States citizen except for the children of diplomats.” (December 11, 2008 letter to constituent)

    Senator Orrin G. Hatch (R-UT), said:
    “What is a natural born citizen? Clearly, someone born within the United States or one of its territories is a natural born citizen.” (Senate Judiciary Committee hearing hearing on OCTOBER 5, 2004

    The Wall Street Journal put it this way:
    “Some birthers imagine that there is a difference between being a “citizen by birth” or a “native citizen” on the one hand and a “natural born” citizen on the other. “Eccentric” is too kind a word for this notion, which is either daft or dishonest. All three terms are identical in meaning.

    Obama received all 375 Electoral Votes that he won in the general election—despite a campaign by birthers and two-fers to have some of the electors change their votes. Not one of the 375 electors that Obama won thought that he was not a Natural Born Citizen. In addition, Obama was confirmed unanimously by the US Congress—despite a campaign by birthers and two-fers that tried to convince some members of Congress that Obama was not a Natural Born Citizen. And he was sworn in by the Chief Justice of the United States. Not even one of the Obama electors thought that Minor vs Happersett was a precedent for two citizen parents. Not even one member of Congress thought it, and the Chief Justice of the USA did not think it, obviously, or he would not have sworn in Obama.

    This meaning of Natural Born Citizen has been followed in dozens of federal court cases. For example:

    Mustata v. US Dept. of Justice, 179 F.3d 1017 (6th Cir. 1999) (children born in US to two Romanian citizens described as “natural born citizens” of the US):

    “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.”
    The parents are both Romanian, the children are Natural Born Citizens.” What makes them Natural Born Citizens? Their birth in the USA.

    And:

    Diaz-Salazar v. INS, 700 F.2d 1156 (7th Cir. 1983) (child born in US to Mexican citizen is “natural born citizen” of US):

    “Petitioner, Sebastian Diaz-Salazar, entered the United States illegally [from Mexico] in 1974 and has been living and working in Chicago since that time. *** The relevant facts which have been placed before the INS, BIA, and this court can be summarized as follows: The petitioner has a wife and two children under the age of three in Chicago; the children are natural-born citizens of the United States.”

    • http://mashedpotatobulletin.wordpress.com mpbulletin

      Very thorough response ellen. Excellent points.

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