Last Updated:September 18 @ 09:25 pm

Natural Born Citizen 101: Who can be president?

By GOPUSA Staff

E-mails constantly fly here, there, and everywhere regarding who can and can't be president or vice president. Can Barack Obama be president? How about Florida Sen. Marco Rubio for vice president? Can he serve? Here are some answers to those questions which have churned up comments on blogs across the Internet.

Thanks goes out to Fox News' Bret Baier for providing a least some bit of clarity to an issue which drives some people absolutely into a stupor.

The Constitution requires that the president be a "natural born citizen," but does not define the term. That job is left to federal law, in 8 U.S. Code, Section 1401. All the law requires is that the mother be an American citizen who has lived in the U.S. for five years or more, at least two of those years after the age of 14. If the mother fits those criteria, the child is a U.S. citizen at birth, regardless of the father's nationality.

The brouhaha over President Obama's birth certificate -- has revealed a widespread ignorance of some of the basics of American citizenship. The Constitution, of course, requires that a president be a "natural born citizen," but the Founding Fathers did not define the term, and it appears few people know what it means.

Brett lists several examples of who would be considered a natural born American. In short, people like Marco Rubio or Bobby Jindal can breathe a sigh of relief. They are good to go.

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452 Comments

  1. marioapuzzoesqComment by marioapuzzoesq
    May 1, 2012 @ 4:37 pm

    chilidog,

    What are you doing here at GOPUSA. Why do you not return to your Obot den?

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    • chilidogComment by chilidog
      May 1, 2012 @ 4:49 pm

      Mario, are you familiar with this quote from the Wong Kim Ark case?

      “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.”

      Do you know who said it and what it means?

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    • chilidogComment by chilidog
      May 1, 2012 @ 4:52 pm

      How about this quote from the Wong Kim Ark case?

      ”For the most persuasive reasons we have refused citizenship to Chinese subjects; and yet, as to their offspring, who are just as obnoxious, and to whom the same reasons for exclusion apply with equal force, we are told that we must accept them as fellow-citizens, and that, too, because of the mere accident of birth. There certainly should be some honor and dignity in American citizenship that would be sacred from the foul and corrupting taint of a debasing lineage.
      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?”

      Who said it?

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    • chilidogComment by chilidog
      May 1, 2012 @ 5:30 pm

      For those that are interested, knowing who said the above, when and where, will help understand just how futile the two parent argument is.

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  2. chilidogComment by chilidog
    May 1, 2012 @ 5:03 pm

    from Minor v Happersett:

    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 [p168] parents. As to this class there have been doubts, but never as to the first. For the purposes of this case it is not necessary to solve these doubts. It is sufficient for everything we have now to consider that all children born of citizen parents within the jurisdiction are themselves citizens.
    ——-

    Do you see that part?
    For the purposes of this case it is not necessary to solve these doubts.

    That means that the MvH opinion DID NOT APPLY to the case of children born to aleing parents.

    That issue was decided in the Wong Kim Ark case.

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    • marioapuzzoesqComment by marioapuzzoesq
      May 1, 2012 @ 5:32 pm

      Chilidog,

      Why don’t you stop misrepresenting what Minor and Wong Kim Ark decided and did not decide.

      Minor in 1875 told us that there was no doubt as to who was a “natural-born citizen.” It defined one as a child born in a country to parents who were its citizens. Minor added that despite what “some authorities” maintained, “there have been doubts” whether a child born in a country to alien parents was a “citizen” and by extension a “citizen of the United States” under the Fourteenth Amendment. It did not say that there were any doubts whether that child was a “natural-born citizen.” It therefore did not leave open any question whether that child was a “natural born Citizen.” It only left open the question whether that child was a “citizen.”

      Wong Kim Ark in 1898 answered the question left open by Minor. It said that such a child is a Fourteenth Amendment “citizen of the United States.” It arrived at its holding by saying that by the fact of being born in the country, the child of alien parents was just as much a “citizen” as the natural born child of citizen parents. So there you have it. Virginia Minor, born in the United States to citizen parents, was a “natural-born citizen.” Wong, born in the United States to alien parents, was a “citizen” under the Fourteenth Amendment, but not a “natural born Citizen” under Article II.

      The dissent in Wong Kim Ark in referring to eligibility to be President was only addressing the lower court’s position that Wong was a “natural born Citizen.” Again, the majority in Wong, although the issue was well raised both in the lower court and in the Supreme Court, never held that Wong was a “natural born Citizen” and so the dissent’s comments on that point prove nothing.

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    • SuncoastComment by Suncoast
      May 1, 2012 @ 5:38 pm

      Mario, you are correct once again. Don’t even waste your time answering Chili. He/she/it is just a troll who immediately grades each and every one of his/her/its comments with a 5 star so that it can satisfy theirs narcissism. This type individual just tries to irritate others and imagines that their power over others is vindicated when able to do so. Keep up the good work Mario, a lot of us appreciate your efforts.

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    • chilidogComment by chilidog
      May 1, 2012 @ 8:21 pm

      So, Mario, are you going to appeal your loss in New Jersey?

      LOL LOL LOL

      FAIL

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    • alcumComment by alcum
      May 7, 2012 @ 7:31 am

      Mario does not understand either the Minor or the Wong cases. He is wrong on both, as many judges have been telling him if only he would listen.

      Minor most certainly did not define who is a natural born citizen, but did the opposite: It defined those born to citizen parents on US soil as natural born citizens. A lawyer would understand the difference. It was not “exclusive” but inclusive. As the Minor court then went on to explicitly say, there may also be others but we’re not deciding that here.

      Mario’s position is akin to him saying: “All dogs have four legs; therefore, only dogs have four legs.” Clearly, Mario is incorrect.

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    • MichaelNComment by MichaelN
      May 20, 2012 @ 11:07 pm

      @ alcum

      What “common law” was the SCOTUS in Minor v Happersett referring to?

      You know, the one that held doubts as to whether native-birth alone sufficed to make a “citizen”.

      It couldn’t have been the English common law, because it holds no such doubts.

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  3. SpiderMikeComment by SpiderMike
    May 1, 2012 @ 5:11 pm

    Presidential eligibility aside, if my reading of the US Code is correct, why do we even have the issue of “anchor” babies? Why are babies born to illegal parents in the USA considered citizens? They clearly are not. What am I missing?

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    • chilidogComment by chilidog
      May 1, 2012 @ 5:23 pm

      you are missing the 14th amendment.

      The object is to avoid creating a second class of citizens.

      no one wants that. . . .

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    • icetreyComment by icetrey
      May 21, 2012 @ 1:36 pm

      How can it create a second class of citizens? You’re either a citizen or your not. 160 countries do not grant citizenship to the children of non resident aliens. They don’t seem to be having any big problem with it.

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  4. vComment by v
    May 1, 2012 @ 5:12 pm

    It requires BOTH PARENTS to be Legal US Citizens at the time of the childs birth in order to be able to run for the Presidency of the United States!
    If BOTH PARENTS are LEGAL US CITIZENS it doesn’t matter where the child was born that child is a Legal US Citizen and can run for the Presidency of the United States!

    If only One Parent is a Legal US Citizen at the time of the childs birth then that child has dual citizenship and is not allowed to become president of the United States!

    Obama is NOT ELIGIBLE! His father was a British Subject and a Citizen of Kenya!

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    • chilidogComment by chilidog
      May 1, 2012 @ 5:24 pm

      You are just making **** up now. There is NO case law, legal code or precedence to support you position.

      The courts have routinely rejected this position of yours.

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    • VickiComment by Vicki
      May 1, 2012 @ 9:07 pm

      Chilidog writes:
      ——————————————–
      There is NO case law, legal code or precedence to support you position.
      ——————————————–

      That depends on what the definition of “is” is.

      For those of us who know the definition here is some evidence to support the position.

      http://www.art2superpac.com/issues.html#Supreme%20Court

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    • LAPhilComment by LAPhil
      May 2, 2012 @ 8:12 am

      It depends on where the child is born. In the case of your example, if the child is born in the U.S. and has at least one citizen parent, it is automatically a U.S. citizen and a natural-born citizen.

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    • VickiComment by Vicki
      May 2, 2012 @ 2:25 pm

      @LAPhil There would be some disagreement to that assertion.

      http://www.federalistblog.us/2008/11/natural-born_citizen_defined/

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    • alcumComment by alcum
      May 7, 2012 @ 7:28 am

      This is legally and factually incorrect. To be a natural born citizen, it is unnecessary for either of your parents to be citizens if you are born on US soil. This is long settled US law and a tradition that predates the Declaration of Independence. The Supreme Court has clearly ruled on this. Rubio, neither of whose parents were citizens, is a natural born citizen. So is Jindal, who was born here shortly after his non-citizen parents set foot on US soil. And obviously, so is Obama.

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  5. dakibComment by dakib
    May 1, 2012 @ 5:16 pm

    I don’t think that whoever wrote this article understands it either. My take is that neither Obama or Rubio are eligible to be president. Obama had a British citizen for a father. Rubio had parents who were getting US citizenship but he was born before it happened. However, since Obama has gotten a pass on this I guess Rubio is also good to go.

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  6. getoutComment by getout
    May 1, 2012 @ 5:17 pm

    The Founding Father’s surely had no way of knowing how complicated the world would become for the need to be extremely explicit and define every single word written that only a lawyer could decipher. What’s disturbing is the fact that the land in the USA does not ex~pand to accommodate anymore newcomer’s. Seems the only thing most people took literal from the Bible was to “Be fruitful and multiply,” even though the Earth is only 1/3 land. Guess one day we will all be carrying a person on our shoulders to prevent stepping on one another.

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  7. beatlesComment by beatles
    May 1, 2012 @ 5:19 pm

    Regarding citizenship through the mother–in 1961 the US Code stated that the mother had to be 21–the Code being referred to in many posts is the current code–in 1961 Obama’s mother could not by birth give him citizenship. He had to be born in Hawaii–if he was born outside there was no citizenship throuh mom

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  8. LenaComment by Mona
    May 1, 2012 @ 5:21 pm

    Anyone notice that almost everyone of the people here screaming that Rubio isn’t eligible is a brand new member?

    Bet this got posted on a Ron Paul forum or maybe a liberal Democrat one.

    I’ll just point out that Obama IS president even though he has one non-citizen parent. If it didn’t disqualify him, it won’t disqualify Rubio either.

    Birthers have filed lawsuit, piled upon lawsuit and none of them have gotten anywhere. The precedent has been set.

    Even if Obama had been born in Topeka he still wouldn’t be a patriotic American because of the way he was raised.

    Both Rubio and Jindal were raised by conservatives who love America and who taught their sons to love her too. They are more American than all the crackpots posting here put together. And one of them very likely will be president one day.

    America should be so blessed.

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    • suranisComment by suranis
      May 2, 2012 @ 10:53 am

      I do think Rubio would make a very good candidate for the GOP.

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  9. johnlockeComment by johnlocke
    May 1, 2012 @ 5:24 pm

    US 8 1401 is the relevant statute. Minor v. Happersett is not. The logic isn’t fuzzy. Minor v. Happersett simply says that if both parents are citizens than the child is a citizen. It is silent on the issue of one or both parents NOT being citizens. US 8 1401 defines (rather clearly) the criteria. Part d states that if one parent (either father OR mother) is a citizen (along with other requirements), then the child is a citizen.

    Let me put it another way using the language of Minor v. Happersett:

    “It is never doubted that all quadrilaterals that are squares are rectangles”. This is abolutely true, but it does not deny the existence of rectangles that are not squares.

    Some of you are letting ideology get in the way of logic.

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    • chilidogComment by chilidog
      May 1, 2012 @ 5:27 pm

      Nice, but don’t expect the birthers to respond to logic, it make their heads hurt.

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    • MichaelNComment by MichaelN
      May 21, 2012 @ 4:02 pm

      johnlocke said

      “Minor v. Happersett simply says that if both parents are citizens than the child is a citizen. It is silent on the issue of one or both parents NOT being citizens.”

      WRONG!

      The SCOTUS in the Minor v Happerset case was verbal and clear in that the court introduced, entertained and recognized that there were doubts as to whether a native-born child to alien or foreign parents was a citizen at all.

      Then the SCOTUS acknowledged that the doubts still existed and had merit, as they were yet to be solved.

      The doubts were NOT as to whether a native-born child to alien or foreign parents was a “natural born citizen”, but rather the doubts were whether such a child was a “citizen” at all.

      If the court already thought that native-birth alone sufficed to make a natural born citizen, then the court would not have introduced mention of the doubts in the first instance NOR acknowledged the doubts made merit.

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  10. Robert MylesComment by Robert Myles
    May 1, 2012 @ 5:25 pm

    We can all see what caused the split between Glenn Beck and fox News in this post by Bret baier of the now left leaning Fox news services. GFeorge Soros’s minions dig deep and find ways to blackmail the American news media. The case of who can be president was settled over 100 yrs ago in the Minor VS Happerstat case that states that to be natural born the parents must also be US Citizen’s Obama’s father was a kenyan national and never help us citzenship. To me that ends the debate. Obam is not elegable to be president and is an imposter and usurper of power laughing at the entire country as he brings it to ruin down to the 3rd world country he wants the us to be

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  11. MyNickelsworthComment by MyNickelsworth
    May 1, 2012 @ 5:45 pm

    I believe the quote of about the mother needs to be a citizen, etc…At Least 2 Supreme Courts have ruled on this subject and both defined the term as requiring BOTH parents to be American Citizens. I do not remember the particular cases in which this occurred but I read it once or twice on the internet when this subject was being discussed. Both Cases were a long time ago – in the early 1800′s.

    To complicate matters, some are saying that they believe Obama’s father was NOT Barack Obama,Sr but some Commie who was involved in the young Obama’s growing up years who was sexually involved with his mother in her wild years.
    That is my nickelsworth!

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  12. Spiritof76Comment by Spiritof76
    May 1, 2012 @ 5:51 pm

    Obama had all his college records sealed. Why?
    How did he enter the California college? Who paid for his education? Did he take on the citizenship of his step-father, in Indonesia? What passport did he use to travel to Pakistan? Mysteriously, official record of his passport is missing? What is his social security number? So far, we have two “most probably” forged documents released by Obama- birth cetificate and his selective service card, according to Sheriff Joe Arapio. How come none of his classmates have ever come out to talk about him in school? Bottomline, we have someone sitting in the White House of whom we know nothing about because that person made it that way deliberately. Why would any US citizen who legitimately wants to be president of the US suppress most of his life details from grade school to the time that he became the state senator in Illinois? I smell a rotting fish of criminality here, regardless of what the US Constitution says or not.

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    • suranisComment by suranis
      May 2, 2012 @ 1:18 pm

      He didn’t have his college records sealed. They are sealed by privacy laws. You try getting your kids college records and see how far you get.

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    • crunchemComment by crunchem
      May 14, 2012 @ 4:39 pm

      @suranis

      A while ago I contacted the university I attended in the early 80′s for a copy of my transcripts. Arrived yesterday. President can do the same, but doesn’t want to.

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    • alcumComment by alcum
      May 14, 2012 @ 10:14 pm

      Hey crunchem, how come you didn’t put your transcripts online? I got news for you, Obama could also get his transcripts but so what? They’re not necessary and not wanted. It’s just harassment by the haters.

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    • suranisComment by suranis
      May 14, 2012 @ 11:00 pm

      Yeah, he can get his own. Big deal, I never said he couldn’t. I said you can’t get the college transcripts of your kids. And that’s not them sealing the records, that’s privacy law.

      But last I checked no-one was claiming that you need college transcripts to be eligible for president of the United states, so they are none of your goddam business.

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  13. mcoryComment by mcory
    May 1, 2012 @ 6:00 pm

    Bret Baier doesn’t know what he is talking about. What he is decribing is a native born citizen, not natural born. Natural born requires two U.S. citizens, not one. Rubio and Jidal technically would be native born citizens because their parents were not citizens at the time of both those men’s birth. But, Rubio’s and Jidal’s parents did become citizens later, so I would give the men a pass and declare them Natural born. Obama, however, would still be a native born; but with the phony birth certificate, I don’t think that he is a citizen. Why fake it if you are a native born citizen?

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  14. nanelleComment by nanelle
    May 1, 2012 @ 6:14 pm

    http://www.art2superpac.com/issues.html#Supreme%20Court

    This is what judges say about citizenship! Not sure Brett knows what he’s talkin about.

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    • suranisComment by suranis
      May 2, 2012 @ 10:20 am

      No, thats what Birthers WANT judges to be saying. Sadly if you actually read the cases they quote, they turn out to be extreamly cherrypicked quotes from unrelated cases.

      See Ankeny V Daniels.

      http://nativeborncitizen.wordpress.com/2009/11/12/ankeny-v-gov-of-indiana-natural-born-defined-born-on-us-soil-regardless-of-citizenship-parents/

      “Based upon the language of Article II, Section 1, Clause 4 and the guidance provided by Wong Kim Ark, we conclude that persons born within the borders of the United States are “natural born Citizens” for Article II, Section 1 purposes, regardless of the citizenship of their parents. Just as a person “born within the British dominions [was] a natural-born British subject” at the time of the framing of the U.S. Constitution, so too were those “born in the allegiance of the United States [] natural-born citizens.”15

      [14] We note the fact that the Court in Wong Kim Ark did not actually pronounce the plaintiff a “natural born Citizen” using the Constitution‟s Article II language is immaterial. For all but forty-four people in our nation‟s history (the forty-four Presidents), the dichotomy between who is a natural born citizen and who is a naturalized citizen under the Fourteenth Amendment is irrelevant. The issue addressed in Wong Kim Ark was whether Mr. Wong Kim Ark was a citizen of the United States on the basis that he was born in the United States. Wong Kim Ark, 169 U.S. at 705, 18 S. Ct. at 478.”

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  15. 5apothecary4Comment by 5apothecary4
    May 1, 2012 @ 6:34 pm

    Seems like a lot ado about nothing: have heard Obama is legal.
    That being the case, how about addressing a more important facet. If he is indeed legal; why in the name of all that is holy would he,aspiring to be president of the USA, hesitate even one minute about showing his birth certificate!??!Nothing there to arouse any suspicion – yeah, right. So much for transparency.Have found it incredible that
    our vaunted press – including Fox – has not deemed that a red
    flag.
    5Apothecary4

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    • suranisComment by suranis
      May 2, 2012 @ 10:24 am

      Obama didn;t hesitate. he published his official Birth certificate in 2008, and the head of the Hawai’in DOH confirmed it was genuine and that she had personally viewed the records and that he was a, her words “Natural Born American Citizen.”

      Now the double standard in that question is of course that John Mc Cain refused to publish his birth certificate when asked, and no-one said anythign about it. Not that I’m attacking McCain for doing that, he quite rightly told people who could not take his word on that to sod off and not vote for him. But the fact is that Obama is attacked by idiots for doing what John McCain did while no-one says anything about McCain.

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  16. doug25Comment by doug25
    May 1, 2012 @ 7:26 pm

    The law should be changed that any person running for any office anywhere should be 3rd generation born so that they left the country behind they came from. This is why this country is all messed up. People come here and try to change us so we are like them.

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  17. Chris CarmoucheComment by Chris Carmouche
    May 1, 2012 @ 8:33 pm

    “The brouhaha over President Obama’s birth certificate — has most certainly revealed a widespread ignorance of some of the basics of American citizenship” … ON THE PART OF BRET BAIER.

    Baier is mistaken and he needs to retract this horrendous error.

    Baier is quoting Paragraph G of 8 U.S.C. 1401 which was amended as of November 14, 1986, but this amendment ONLY applies to individuals born on or AFTER November 14, 1986. The intent NOT to make the law retroactive is stated in the amending legislation itself and again, by Congress in 1988 with the passage of Public Law 100-525.

    Per U.S.C. 1401, as it appies to Mr. Obama (since he was born in 1961 and subject to the previous version of 8 U.S.C. 1401); if he were born abroad, he can only be considered a citizen at birth if one of his parents was a citizen of the United States and had maintained residence in the United States for FIVE of the preceeding TEN years after ataining the age of 14.

    Stanley Ann Dunham was 18 when Mr Obama was born. By law, assuming Mr. Obama were born abroad, she could not have passed her citizenship onto Obama at birth. 18-14 equals 4… not 5.

    If we’re going to debate Mr. Obama’s eligibility, let’s debate on the merits and not spread media misinformation in an attempt to cloud the truth.

    Wong and Minor make interesting legal arguements, but the United States Code is (and always was) clear. Mr. Obama’s effort to prove eligibility (in his particular case) rests on his place of birth and it’s high time the American people see a NON-digitally altered birth certificate to put this issue to rest once and for all.

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    • LAPhilComment by LAPhil
      May 1, 2012 @ 9:35 pm

      Chris, congratulations, you are the first person who ever got this right! Thank you, I just feel so relieved at not having to keep going through the same arguments umteen million times now that you’ve got it all in the nutshell.

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    • suranisComment by suranis
      May 2, 2012 @ 10:26 am

      Congratulations. Unfortnatly, President Obama was not Born abroad so that argument is moot.

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    • MichaelNComment by MichaelN
      May 21, 2012 @ 4:15 pm

      “Mr. Obama’s effort to prove eligibility (in his particular case) rests on his place of birth and it’s high time the American people see a NON-digitally altered birth certificate to put this issue to rest once and for all.”

      Wrong!

      Presidential eligibility “rests” on BOTH native birth AND natural descent from US citizen parents.

      According to the Minor court,these are the two qualities that make a “natural born citizen” and furthermore the Minor court stated that there we doubts as to whether native-birth alone would suffice to make a “citizen”.

      The Wong Kim Ark court changed nothing to do with “natural born citizen”, as it ONLY addressed whether a native-born child was a “citizen”, and under the 14th Amendment, the court affirmed that Wong Kim Ark was a “citizen” ONLY and Wong Kim Ark was NOT held or ruled to be a “natural born citizen”.

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  18. CharlieComment by vietnamvet
    May 1, 2012 @ 9:31 pm

    I am glad to see that there is discussion of Rubio’s eligibility. I do not hope that he is ineligible, but I want to be sure that we never let another fraud in the White House.

    True … native born and natrual born are two entirely different things.
    An amendment made it possible for any child born here to be an automatic (native born) citizen, regardless of the nationality of his parents.

    But no law, or amendment is required to define a natural born citizen. He is a citizen because the circumstances of his birth make it impossible for him to be anything else.

    If you have to find a justification to prove someone is natural born, than he isn’t.

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  19. Chris CarmoucheComment by Chris Carmouche
    May 1, 2012 @ 10:48 pm

    Amen LAPhil.

    For the record, I am not discounting the arguements re Wong or Minor or the arguement that a “citizen at birth” is not a “natural born citizen.” If Obama would actually prove that he was born in Hawaii, those arguement could still come into play. But he won’t!

    8 USC 1401 is the slam-dunk arguement. Obama is a constitutional attorney. He knows as much and that probably explains why he is going to such lengths to NOT show his true birth certificate to the American people. If Obama was not born in Hawaii, he’s not a citizen… period (additional arguement are unnecessary); and, if he was not born in Hawaii, he has committed fraud by falsifying his birth records to reflect that he was born in Hawaii.

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    • LAPhilComment by LAPhil
      May 2, 2012 @ 8:09 am

      Exactly. It’s not really that complicated, is it?

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    • suranisComment by suranis
      May 2, 2012 @ 10:31 am

      he published 2 birth certificates where no other president ever has, and the state he was born across 2 administrations from the 2 different parties.certified that they were valid and genuine. What more do you want, to be taken back to the Birth room in a time machine?

      Your president was born in Hawaii. Get over it.

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  20. KMcCComment by KMcC
    May 1, 2012 @ 11:36 pm

    well it seems that suncoast has a point with defining a CITIZEN. However, the referenced US Code 8 1401, only defines a CITIZEN not natural born Citizen!. This is still such a problem that the Senate / House passed a law stating that John McCain was in fact a US Citizen by being born in the Panama Canal zone to US parents. Now over the past 10 years there have been at least 3 attempts to pass a law to further define what a Natural Born Citizen is. SO FAR THIS HAS NOT HAPPENED! So it would seem we need to follow past SCOTUS rulings or get a new ruling or a Law that confirms what a Natural Born Citizen is.
    Just my opinion is the Pres. Obama has shown his true allegiance is to the Islamic world in which he was raised. His second alleniance appears to be to Rev. Wright, and his third is to the Democratic Socialist Party of the U.S.

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  21. marioapuzzoesqComment by marioapuzzoesq
    May 2, 2012 @ 12:20 am

    chilidog,

    You like to talk about the New Jersey Obama ballot challenge. I would not consider that case a loss. Without even going into the merits of what ALJ Masin and SOS Guadagno decided which is being appealed, I think the case was a great victory for truth.

    I got Obama through his attorney to stipulate that there was no evidence before the court or the New Jersey Secretary of State, including the internet image of an alleged Certificate of Live Birth dated April 27, 2011, of Obama’s identity and place of birth. In other words, Obama conceded that, even after being challenged under New Jersey law to do so, he presented absolutely no evidence of who he is or where he was born to the court or the New Jersey SOS in order to get on the primary presidential election ballot. Rather, he argued that he did not have to show that he was constitutionally eligible to run for President and that even Mickey Mouse could run for President.

    Now the question one needs to ask is what normal person running for president of the United States would flout the Constitution and treat it with such contempt.

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    • suranisComment by suranis
      May 2, 2012 @ 10:29 am

      Thats funny, becasue I can off the top of my head recall a case where 3 BIRTHER atterneys stipulated that the image released by the white house was a valid and legal birth certificate and evidence of a Hawaiin Birth. The Case was Obama V Farrar et al. That case preceeded yours by 2 months and was precedential.

      One of those Atterneys was Orly taitz, the famous queen of the Birthers.

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  22. Sam BarnesComment by Sam Barnes
    May 2, 2012 @ 12:39 am

    My granddaughter was born in Germany on an American Army Post and she was afforded dual citizenship until the age of 18. At that point in time she had to make a decision whether to be a German Citizen or an American Citizen. If she had chosen to become a German Citizen she needed only to fill out some paperwork and she would automatically have become a citizen. This I might add was irregardless of her presence in Germany at the time of her 18th birthday.

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  23. jonrolandComment by jonroland
    May 2, 2012 @ 10:10 am

    There are several points of confusion which I address in an article linked from the home page of constitution dot org.

    1. Only the location of birth on U.S. soil makes one “natural born”, but not necessarily a citizen. The present exceptions would be if a parent is a foreign diplomat representing a foreign nation (it is possible to be a U.S. citizen serving as ambassador from a foreign nation) or a foreign invader (not just someone who overstays a visa). Originally when the 14th amendment was adopted it also excluded Native Americans who were not assimilated, but they are all considered assimilated now.
    2. U.S. soil for this purpose means “incorporated territory”. That is territory that is not a protectorate like Puerto Rico or Guam, or a leasehold like the Panama Canal Zone or Guantanamo. That does not include U.S. military bases abroad, the grounds of foreign embassies abroad, territorial waters, or the space within U.S. flag vessels on or over international waters or Antarctica. A person born in Arizona, Hawaii, or Alaska before those territories became states would be eligible, because it is “incorporation” and not statehood that makes them U.S. soil.
    3. “Citizen at birth” is not “natural born citizenship”. Many people are made citizens at birth by statute. That is what the statute did that retroactively made John McCain a U.S. citizen at birth, or the statute that makes persons born in Puerto Rico U.S. citizens at birth, or 8 USC 1401, but those are naturalization statutes, and one can be naturalized at birth. It doesn’t have to be done after birth.
    4. No Supreme Court opinion has “defined” natural born citizenship for purposes of presidential eligibility. The cases cited were either dictum or concerned ordinary citizenship sufficient to vote or hold office other than that of president.
    5. The evidence we have of the original meaning of “natural born” citizen (although they used the term “subject”) come from the commentaries of William Blackstone and Edward Coke. Vattel is not a correct source on this point, because he was a Swiss writing about the rule used on the European Continent, jus sanguinis, not the different rule used in Britain and its colonies, jus solis.
    6. The burden of proof of eligibility is on the candidate, not on one challenging eligibility, and he must be presumed to be ineligible unless or until he can produce the proof. The image of the document that has been offered is clearly fraudulent, no matter who may attest otherwise, because the original image can be viewed in the tool used to produce it, Adobe Illustrator, which shows the separated edit layers that reveal the history of how it was composed using pieces of image from different sources.
    7. The Congressional Research Service is not a reliable scholarly source. They are like Wikipedia, a place to start but not authoritative. I have worked with the CRS and they harbor a lot of what historians call “law office history”.
    8. The only point at which eligibility can be challenged is at the point Congress counts the electoral votes, and no court has jurisdiction to tell Congress how to do that. It does not work to try to exclude an ineligible candidate from the ballot because people are not voting for the candidate, they are voting for electors, and it is only the eligibility of the electors that matters at that point.

    Everything you need on the subject is at constitution dot org.

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  24. marioapuzzoesqComment by marioapuzzoesq
    May 2, 2012 @ 11:08 am

    Suranis,

    First, you provided quotes only from Wong Kim Ark and a case that relies upon Wong Kim Ark (Ankeny). Again, Wong Kim Ark ruled that Wong was a “citizen” under the Fourteenth Amendment, not a “natural-born citizen” under Article II.

    Second, Wong Kim Ark said that the English common law only applied if it was not abrogated by “express constitutional or statute declaration to the contrary.” The last time I checked, our Constitution still said “natural born Citizen,” not “natural born subject.” That, my friend, is an express constitutional declaration” that the English common law “natural born subject” had no further application in the new republic.

    Third, why do you not provide evidence from the Founding or shortly thereafter like what our early Congress thought about who should be a “citizen.” After all, the early Congress was populated by many Founders and Framers. The Naturalization Acts of 1790, 1795, 1802, and 1855 abrogated the English common law in the United States as law to define our national citizenship. Clearly, Congress rejected the jus soli rule of the English common law. Rather, they required that a child, whether born in the United States or abroad, be born to citizen parents in order to be himself or herself born a “citizen of the United States.”
    Fourth, English common law was not incorporated into the Constitution on the national level. That law only continued to apply on the state level and only until abrogated by statute. It only came into the Constitituion by way of the Bill of Rights in 1791. But that limited application of the English common law under the Bill of Rights does not mean that the English common law was brought back into America. Also, note that the Bill of Rights does not touch upon national citizenship.

    Fifth, what replaced the English common law on questions of citizenship was natural law and the law of nations which became part of the Article III “Laws of the United States” and was incorporated into American common law. It is funny how your friend, John Woodman, has written an article attacking me on my position on the American common law. He does not even understand what it is and where it came from in the early years of the Republic. He thinks it only came from courts and judge’s decisions and of course he says he cannot find any such court or judge decisions that made any such American common law on the issue of citizenship. John Woodman better go back to the drawing board and learn from where our early American common law came.

    So as we can see, the English common law simply had no further application to define U.S. national citizenship. And that is not even to speak of the Expatriation Act of 1868 which finally rid our shores of feudalism.

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    • suranisComment by suranis
      May 2, 2012 @ 11:30 am

      “Second, Wong Kim Ark said that the English common law only applied if it was not abrogated by “express constitutional or statute declaration to the contrary.” The last time I checked, our Constitution still said “natural born Citizen,” not “natural born subject.” That, my friend, is an express constitutional declaration” that the English common law “natural born subject” had no further application in the new republic. ”

      Good God Mario, that BS was settled in 1813. Do try to keep up

      Ainslie v. Martin, 9 Mass. 454, 456, 457 (1813).

      “And if, at common law, all human beings born within the ligeance of the King, and under the King’s obedience, were natural-born subjects, and not aliens, I do not perceive why this doctrine does not apply to these United States, in all cases in which there is no express constitutional or statute declaration to the contrary. . . . 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.”

      TLDR; Subject and citizenship are the same thing, its just that citizens dont have a King as head of state. So a natural Born Subject is the same thing as a natural Born citizen. Thats from the really real courts.

      “Third, why do you not provide evidence from the Founding or shortly thereafter like what our early Congress thought about who should be a “citizen.””

      Ok

      James Madison, The Founders’ Constitution Volume 2, Article 1, Section 2, Clause 2, Document 6 (1789)

      “It is an established maxim, received by all political writers, that every person owes a natural allegiance to the government of that country in which he is born. Allegiance is defined to be a tie, that binds the subject to the state, and in consequence of his obedience, he is entitled to protection… The children of aliens, born in this state, are considered as natural born subjects, and have the same rights with the rest of the citizens.”

      Zephaniah Swift, A system of the laws of the state of Connecticut: in six books, Volumes 1-2 of A System of the Laws of the State of Connecticut: In Six Book, pg. 163,167 (1795)

      “that a man born within the jurisdiction of the common law is a citizen of the country wherein he is born. By this circumstance of his birth, he is subjected to the duty of allegiance which is claimed and enforced by the sovereign of his native land, and becomes reciprocally entitled to the protection of that sovereign, and to the other rights and advantages which are included in the term “citizenship.”

      Garder v. Ward, 2 Mass. 244 (1805)

      “The doctrine of the common law is that every man born within its jurisdiction is a subject of the sovereign of the country where he is born, and allegiance is not personal to the sovereign in the extent that has been contended for; it is due to him in his political capacity of sovereign of the territory where the person owing the allegiance as born.”

      Kilham v. Ward 2 Mass. 236, 26 (1806)

      “Our statutes recognize alienage and its effects, but have not defined it. We must therefore look to the common law for its definition. By this law, to make a man an alien, he must be born without the allegiance of the commonwealth ; although persons may be naturalized or expatriated by statute, or have the privileges of subjects conferred or secured by a national compact.” “This claim of the commonwealth to the allegiance of all persons born within its territories, may subject some persons who, adhering to their former sovereign and residing within his dominions, are recognized by him as his subjects, to great inconvenience, especially in time of war, when two opposing sovereigns may claim their allegiance. But the inconvenience cannot alter the law of the land. If they return to the country of their birth, they will be protected as subjects.”

      That clear enough for you? But others far more brilliant than I have rubbed your nose in this stuff for years.

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    • suranisComment by suranis
      May 2, 2012 @ 11:37 am

      “So as we can see, the English common law simply had no further application to define U.S. national citizenship. ”

      Then how come Minor V Happersett looked to English common law to define it, and in fact stated that the Framers looked to common law, which they were familiar?

      “It is funny how your friend, John Woodman, has written an article attacking me on my position on the American common law”

      Nice of you to mention John Woodman. Heres the link

      http://www.obamabirthbook.com/http:/www.obamabirthbook.com/2012/04/vattel-and-natural-born-citizen/

      I’m sure nothing can dismiss everything you’ve written here better than a simple click on that link and allowing the reader to see your debate with John Woodman. I’m not afraid of providing that link Mario. Why were you?

      Seriously, did you learn law by watching My Cousin Vinny? No wonder you nearly got sanctioned the last time you tried this in actual courts.

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    • MichaelNComment by MichaelN
      May 21, 2012 @ 4:25 pm

      suranis said ..

      “Then how come Minor V Happersett looked to English common law to define it, and in fact stated that the Framers looked to common law, which they were familiar?”

      The SCOTUS in the Minor court did NOT LOOK to English common law.

      It was not English common law that the SCOTUS based its definition for citizenship on.

      The SCOTUS introduced, recognized and acknowledged merit in doubts as to whether a native-born child was even a citizen?

      English common law holds no such doubt that native-birth alone sufficed to make a “natural born subject”.

      So now you know that it was not the English common law, what “common law” do you suppose it was that the Minor court was referring to?

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  25. jonrolandComment by jonroland
    May 2, 2012 @ 11:33 am

    Nonconflicting parts of American common law as of 1787 (which is not quite the same as English common law because with cases like Zenger it had begun to develop as a different branch) were indeed incorporated into the Constitution. First, the language in which the Constitution was written is the language of the common law. Second, it was done implicitly in the Fifth Amendment for trials and explicitly in the Seventh Amendment for appellate proceedings.

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