Skip to comments.Arizona deputies in Hawaii seeking Obama birth certificate
Posted on 05/22/2012 7:56:20 AM PDT by Brown Deer
Two men who identified themselves as being from the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office in Phoenix went to the Hawaii Department of Health Monday morning requesting verification of President Barack Obama's birth certificate, said a state spokeswoman.
A Hawaii deputy attorney general gave the men information concerning the legal requirements to obtain such a document; the requirements are posted on the Health Department's website. The two men then left the office, Health Department spokeswoman Janice Okubo said.
The two men showed Maricopa County Sheriff's Office badges and identified themselves as Michael Zullo and Brian Mackiewcz, Okubo said. They are "authorized by the Sheriff of Maricopa County, who is conducting an official investigation," a spokesman for the sheriff's office said in an email.
Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio has been researching Obama's residency status using a volunteer cold-case "posse," but now has employed a taxpayer-funded deputy, The Arizona Republic reported Monday.
Zullo is a volunteer, the Republic reported, but Okubo said that Mackiewicz presented a business card showing he is with the Threats Management Unit of the sheriff's office.
Arapaio's birth certificate investigation comes as the U.S. Justice Department is suing his office for alleged civil rights violations, including discrimination against Hispanics.
Separately, Arizona Secretary of State Ken Bennett, who says he is not a "birther," said in a radio interview Thursday that Obama's Arizona ballot status is in question unless Hawaii responds positively to his request under a Hawaii law regarding confirmation of birth certificates.
Hawaii Department of Attorney General spokesman Josh Wisch said Monday the department has been in touch with Bennett since Friday and that he would need to provide legal authority showing his office is "a governmental agency or organization who for a legitimate government purpose maintains and needs to update official lists of persons in the ordinary course of the agency's or organization's activities."
Obama was born in Honolulu on Aug. 4, 1961. Birthers contend Obama was not born in the United States and thus not eligible to be president. The state released a copy of Obama's long-form birth certificate last year, but the release did not satisfy many birthers.
Bennett, a Republican who is reportedly considering a run for governor in Arizona, said Friday he assumes he'll get the confirmation he requested in March from Hawaii officials.
Obama’s thugs enjoy legal games.
How did Obama get around this requirement to get his passport? Was he able to get one once he was sworn in as a senator? Is there a valid United States passport in his name? What passport did he travel on when he went to Pakistan? So many questions, so many obstructions.
That being said, the current president of the United States could not in any way apply for or receive a driver's license in the state of Florida without delivering an original birth certificate..
Ha! I just got a mental image of Dog chasing down zippy the ass clown... heck I think I pay good money to see that!
He’s using a logical fallacy called “No True Scotsman”. You write off anybody who doesn’t agree with you as ignorant because if they weren’t ignorant they would agree with you.
Someone is up to their leis in al-legate-ors.
Did they leis then or are they lei-ing now?
Jimmy Hoffa will show up before Zippy’s BC does....
Yeah that why he was sent to the thread with 9,000+ posts. Keep him busy (wink)
Stupid is as stupid does.
traction traction traction...
But here’s a likely outcome: Obama’s real Dad is not Obama Sr., and the posted BC at the Whitehouse website is a fraud. It is as it always was... It’s not the crime, but the coverup that end up biting you in the ass.
No. See #138. The AG has been involved before and the act of requesting the confirmation made it a legal issue.
Eight weeks....”Island time” No hurry! No Worry! /s
Ah, we have here a wordy liberal poppinjay, I see.
The answer to your question is so very simple. If I wanted to prove that I am a natural born citizen (born of two American citizens) - I have no doubt that the vetting (sic) media would subject me to a Joe the Plumber style inspection going back over at least 100 years. See, I wouldn’t need to prove it because the media would do it for us. Get it?
My life and the lives of my parents are an open book. We have nothing to fear from an honest inspection going back to 1638 when my fathers ancestors came here and 1541 when my mothers ancestors came here with Cortez. Nothing to hide. All my school records, traffic fines, divorce, military service - an open book - publicly available information.
For reasons unknown ( but not for long) the same cannot be said for Mr. Soetoro or whatever his name really is. Why is this?
Why is this?
He can break all laws with impunity with Abercromby in charge.
So the state is basically shut down. It looks like they are telling Arizona that they can't have a document unless they are directly hiring Obama as a direct hire. ??? The Hawaii corruption is on full display.
The parents do not have to be born in the US for a child to be a natural born citizen, the parents must be citizens at the time of birth of the child.
OK, you may be right; such an opinion may have been posted here, but certainly not by any person with knowledge of the issue.
The meaning of “natural born” has been discussed here on FREE REPUBLIC extensively for four years, possibly more than it has since it was written in the constitution through 2007.
This is where the current experts on “natural born” are now found. These experts range from high school grads who can read to attorneys allowed to plead a case to the US Supreme Court.
No knowledge on the subject..HELL! you sir are a mole!
The source, the Staradvertiser, is a liberal rag. After the 2008 election, they marketed Obunga memorial crap in the paper for months.
I misspoke in my first post to the punchamullah. Indeed, both parents MUST be US citizens for their offspring to be nbc’s
Maybe if we start referring to him as the White African the press will force him to produce documents.
What is this mole thing of which you continue to mention? Is a mole a subterfuge for being a genuine FReeper? Is it a low-life? Is it a leftist who pretends to be a conservative? A KGB agent in the CIA?
What does the term “mole” mean in the context you are using it?
Those in charge in Hawaii have no respect for the Constitution or the people of the United States. They will not cooperate unless under extreme pressure.
Thank you. Arpaio certainly does have standing since a crime, a felony has likely been committed in Maricopa County. Arpaio is bound by law to refer any evidence of this fact to the state attorney as I understand it.
Has a grand jury been seated yet in this matter?
“who-—makes? “-—my shop can make most anything. Lately we’ve been knocking out a few pitchforks. Let me know when you are ready for that guillotine.
A mole as in soviet mole as in deep plant spy/mole
some one who burrows in and causes damage or problems
a liberal under false pretences who foments hate and discontent who is convinced that conservatives are too stupid to speak and therefore the libs, are not going to let them speak.
I don’t like moles!
Got It. Thanks.
Yeah just breaking off ET wires this morning so I think Dog would have MORE TImes on his hands LOL!
Monk where your photoshop on this ROFL
Nice of them to post the conclusion of what the investigators are looking into for us...no need for them to continue, I guess
Obamuzzie was old enough to get his first drivers license before he left HI-—around 1978 or so. All he would have needed there was proof of a local address, student ID card or anything similar. Was there, done that. Most subsequent states in those years would simply let you turn in your previous license to get a local one. It’s the Patriot Act that’s gotten all the states to tighten way up. A few years ago I had to renew in Oregon so I took the whole pedigree in-—happy young DMV chick said my docs were “museum quality “——actually thanked me for having an easy to read, organized set of books.
the original stays with the department
You can only get a CERTIFIED copy ( a copy of the original with a raised seal certifying that it was made from the original)
you cannot COPY the CERTIFIED COPY and use that, you need the ORIGINAL CERTIFIED COPY
People are using ORIGINAL and ORIGINAL CERTIFIED COPY interchangeably as if they were the same thing, and they are not
Your reply is no answer at all. Think about this:
Why did the framers NOT insert the words of two parent citizens after the term Natural Born Citizen?
The Founders being smart people, many of them experienced lawyers, knew that there was an English phrase Natural Born Subject, which had been in use in England and later the colonies for 400 years. There was no requirement to have subject parents citizenship. The English believed that if you were born on English soil, you were English without further qualification.
Even aliens visiting upon their shores, except diplomats, could have children born on English soil and they would be subject to the Crown with exactly the same rights as any Englishman. This same phrase, Natural born subject was used in the Constitutions and Charters of the colonies to convey citizenship. This was the CONTEXT of the times.
Despite there existing this phrase, Natural Born Subject, that everyone knew, that had been used by each of the colonies, and which formed the backbone of many of the legal arguments the revolutionaries made in supporting the Revolution, the present day birther movement think the framers scrapped the understood meaning of natural born in favor of a more restrictive type of citizenship, ala Vattel.
Now heres where it gets outlandishly dumb. Birthers believe that instead of choosing a different phrase than the one that was 400 years old and in common use, the framers used the very SAME phrase and expected that people would just get that they meant to refer to Vattels interpretation - even though Vattels book, even in the English language never said natural born citizen until 10 years after the Constitution was ratified! I wish I could have put all that in capital letters and shout it out.
Vattels book, in a 1760 English translated version used the words naturels and indigenes to describe citizens so if the Framers intended that meaning they would have used it. The Founders didnt once say to themselves, maybe we should use indigenes, like Vattel did. They didnt once write down, We mean natural born citizen to be completely different from natural born subject. We know it might cause confusion but we really like that Vattel guy and were sure that if he was translated right, he would have written it that way.
Vattel wrote: The natives, or indigenes, are those born in the country of parents who are citizens.
If Vattel coined the phrase as such, then why didnt the framers do likewise if they meant it to be that way?
The Congressional Research Service (CRS), known as “Congress’s think tank”, had this to say:
In addition to historical and textual analysis, numerous holdings and references in federal (and state) cases for more than a century have clearly indicated that those born in the United States and subject to its jurisdiction (i.e., not born to foreign diplomats or occupying military forces), even to alien parents, are citizens at birth or by birth, and are natural born, as opposed to naturalized, U.S. citizens. There is no provision in the Constitution and no controlling American case law to support a contention that the citizenship of ones parents governs the eligibility of a native born U.S. citizen to be President.
The source of this statement actually comes from a birther website:
The CRS is also responsible for this quote:
the weight of scholarly legal and historical opinion indicates that the term means one who is entitled under the Constitution or laws of the United States to U.S. citizenship “at birth” or “by birth,” including any child born “in” the United States, even to alien parents (other than to foreign diplomats serving their country), the children of United States citizens born abroad, and those born abroad of one citizen parent who has met U.S. residency requirements.
I can find three court cases that actually make a statement on “natural born”.
Lynche v. Clarke:
“Suppose a person should be elected president who was native born, but of alien parents; could there be any reasonable doubt that he was eligible under the Constitution? I think not. The position would be decisive in his favor, that by the rule of the common law, in force when the Constitution was adopted, he is a citizen.”
Someone born on US soil, of two non-citizen parents, is a natural-born citizen.
In re Look Tin Sing:
“After an exhaustive examination of the law, the Vice-Chancellor said that he entertained no doubt that every person born within the dominions and allegiance of the United States, whatever the situation of his parents, was a natural-born citizen, and added that this was the general understanding of the legal profession, and the universal impression of the public mind.”
Someone born on US soil, of two non-citizen parents, is a natural-born citizen.
But those were both lower courts, one a state court. So obviously those aren’t enough.
How about Perkins v. Elg, decided by the Supreme Court in 1939?
“The court below, properly recognizing the existence of an actual controversy with the defendants [307 U.S. 325, 350] (Aetna Life Ins. Co. v. Haworth, 300 U.S. 227 , 57 S.Ct. 461, 108 A.L.R. 1000), declared Miss Elg ‘to be a natural born citizen of the United States’ (99 F.2d 414) and we think that the decree should include the Secretary of State as well as the other defendants.
Someone born on US soil, of two non-citizen parents, who then return to their home country - renouncing the US citizenship for the child - can, as an adult, un-renounce US citizenship, claim US citizenship by birthright as being born on US soil, and be declared “a natural born citizen” by the Supreme Court.”
I think that decides it. The Supreme Court says that even if you’re born on US soil, and claim US citizenship as an adult even if your parents renounced US citizenship for you when you were a child, you’re a natural born citizen.
The Supreme Court even quoted the following from the lower-court ruling in their findings:
“Young Steinkauler is a native-born American citizen. There is no law of the United States under which his father or any other person can deprive him of his birthright. He can return to America at the age of twenty-one, and in due time, if the people elect, he can become President of the United States;”
Yup, they even explicitly state that a person such as this is qualified to become President. If Barak was born in Hawaii, he is qualified too.
The birther movement is a fringe element that distracts from the real issues and make the rest of us look like idiots.
What has to be done, and is being done by Arizona is proving that the BC is fraudulent. THAT IS THE WAY! There is no court in the land or politician that will say obummer is not qualified if he WAS indeed born in the U.S. no matter who his parents were, but they will declare him a usurper if he was born in Kenya as he has claimed previously. This is the way to go.
Finally, calling me wordy is ok because I am, but referring to me as a liberal poppinjay simply shows your own ignorance. Only liberals can disagree with you? You own the holy grail and no one dare speak out against you? You are on the right side of the issues on all matters? I owe you no further explanation.
Let me just add, how does it feel to know your position (2 parent rule) will NEVER see the light of day in any courtroom unless referring to citizens born abroad? You are on the losing end of a stupid and indefensible position. Now I’m a poppinjay! Ta Ta!
There you'll learn that Vattel was the primary reference for "The Law of Nations" used by the members of the Constitutional Convention.
Also, as James Madison once said "the Common Law of England is not the Common Law of the United States."
The dispute over this was one of the reasons for the War of 1812!
I fully support Sheriff Joe in his mission, but exactly what are they going to do this time? Say “pretty please with sugar on top?”
"Natural Born" means a status that exists as a result the of nature of one's birth - no act of man or government can change that.
If someone gives up their citizenship and takes on an allegiance to another state, their status as a NBC is gone for good, never to be regained.
I recall reading years ago that Obama did not get a US Passport until he became a US Senator, which I suspect means that he didn’t have to go through the regular channels and provide documentation like the rest of us peasants. However, when I went back later and tried to find the original article, it was down the memory hole.
People have tried to search Stanley Ann’s Passport records, which are supposed to be kept for 75 years, but somehow her files from 1960-65 were accidentally destroyed! People have also wondered on which passport Obama visited Pakistan during his college years He’s very vague on the details of that whole visit- might be a “composite” of trips perhaps? US Citizens were not forbidden to travel there in the early 1980s - they were simply advised to exercise extreme caution but did Obama perhaps have an Indonesian Passport from his time living there? And if he renewed that after the age of 18, would that be considered an affirmative action of renouncing US citizenship?
So many questions and such a collective lack of curiosity on the part of the MSM!
I’ve always been suspicious of Obama’s father’s race being shown as “African” on his birth documents. I found this article that supports my suspicions.
It looks to me like his birth documents may have used “vital statistics” standards in effect since 1989, not those in effect in 1961, leading me to believe his birth documents were created after 1989 by someone unfamiliar with “vital statistics” standards in effect in 1961.
The state released a copy of Obama's long-form birth certificate last year...
"The state" has never done any such thing.
I guess the hope is that people to overlook this blatant lie.
I guess the hope is that people
to will overlook this blatant lie.
The common law of England has not been declared by the Constitution to be a part of the law of the United States.
No statute has made the common law of England a part of the law of the United States.
Applying the common law of England to the federal government of the United States is not even possible.
An excellent explanation as to why English common law can not be the basis of the Federal government is found in the Appendix to “Correspondence between George Nicholas Esq. of Kentucky, and the Hon. Robert G. Harper of South Carolina, on the subject of the Alien and Sedition Laws, 1798”
The Appendix is titled, Observations of Judge Addisons Charge to the Grand Jury On the Liberty-of-the-Press
The thrust of the argument:
Could the common law of England become part of the law of the United States by its being part of the law of each of the states, at the time of the adoption of the Constitution?
Although this would be giving efficacy to the inferior instead of the superior, let it be considered.
The law of each state prior to the adoption of the Constitution consisted of the common law of England, the state constitution, and the acts of the state legislature.
The common law of England then was only one of three pillars on which the law of each state was built. It was also the weakest of the three; because it ceased to have any efficacy as law as soon as it was clearly contradicted by either of the others.
If the common law became a part of the law of the United States, because it was part of the law of the individual state, the other two parts of the law of those states must also become a part of the law of the United States, and for the same reason.
But it may be said that these other two parts of the law of each state were dissimilar in the different states, and therefore could not become a part of the law of the United States; whereas the common law of England, in every state being the same, it might become the common law of the United States.
Is the common law of England in every state the same?
The acts of the British parliament are in force in the different states up to different periods; in some to the reign of one king, in others to that of a different king.
Thus the common law of England would be different in these two states.
But the great difference which has been made in the common law in the different states, has proceeded from the changes which have been made in it, by the acts of all the legislatures of the different states, from the time of their first settlement.
Not only is the common law of England different among the states, each state legislature has altered it in different ways; thus the common law of the various states is in no way uniform.
The common law being materially different in all the sates, how can there be any common law in the United States? How shall it be determined which of the states shall be considered as the standard, so far as to make their common law, the common law of the United States? Shall it be a majority of the states; or shall it be those states which contain a majority of the people of the United States? &c &c
Incorporation of the common law into the Federal govt is impracticable.
Has the common law of England been declared to be a part of the law of the United States by the Constitution?
The constitution declares, that this constitution and the laws of the United States which shall be made in pursuance thereof, and all treaties made or which shall be made under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme law of the land.
The common law of England has not been declared to be a part of the law of the United States by the Constitution.
Therefore, in no way can the Federal govt. be said to be based on, or to have incorporated, the common law of England.
The relevant pages of the original document, as well as a transcript from those images, is available at scribd:
Or go to the Library of Congress:
Maybe I’m just stupid.Seems that this is a waste of everyone’s time to bother asking/demanding Hawaii to show this or that.It seems to be so simple to me.Just inform the bastard squatting in our executive mansion that he will not be placed on any ballot,unless HE HIMSELF provides the necessary certified evidence that he is qualified to run for whatever office he seeks.If HE wants the job,HE provides documentation.All states should do this.Leave Hawaii out of it and let the chips fall where they may.
“Why did the framers NOT insert the words “of two parent citizens after the term Natural Born Citizen?”
Aliens do not produce citizens, “natural born” or otherwise. Aliens produce aliens. See the Naturalization Acts of 1790, et. seq.
To be “natural born” you must be born to citizens. At the Framing, the citizenship of the wife followed that of the husband, hence two citizen parents.
What? More “Birthers?” Heavens, what’s this world coming to? Wonder if they’ll run into Trump’s guys. Maybe Inspector Clouseau.
In Minor vs. Happersett, the court held that the 14th Amendment granted no one at all any right to vote, regardless of sex, age or citizenship. Previous cases had already held that there was no Federal right to vote. The second principal holding in Minor, as well as the holdings in previous cases, are the reason that the 15th, 19th, 24th and 26th Amendments were later proposed and adopted, the language of which forbids the denial of the privilege of voting based on race, previous condition of servitude, sex or age (for those 18-years of age or older.) The 19th Amendment, for example, requires that if one sex is granted the privilege to vote, the other sex must be granted that same privilege equally.
But the court in Minor determined that before it could decide the issue of whether the petitioner (who was an adult White woman) had any Federal right to vote based on the 14th Amendment, it first had to decide whether or not she was a citizen, and if so on what basis? Understanding why the court approached the issue that way is crucial: Firstly, if women as a class be not US citizens, then the second sentence of the 14th Amendment that forbids States from denying citizens any privileges of US citizens would not apply to them, since it only applies to those who are US citizens. Secondly, the court was concerned with whether or not the citizenship of women as a class depended on the 14th Amendment. In other words, the question was whether or not, in the absence of the 14th Amendment, would any women at all be citizens? That second issue mattered for two reasons:
1. The legal principle known as judicial restraint:
If women as a class were not citizens before the adoption of the 14th Amendment, then the Court would have to decide whether the first sentence of the 14th Amendment granted women “born in the US and subject to the jurisdiction thereof” US citizenship. But if the woman who was the petitioner in the case at hand could be held to be a US citizen even without applying the first sentence of the 14th Amendment, then the principle of judicial restraint would behoove the Court to avoid deciding whether or not the 14th Amendment grants any women US citizenship. Judicial restraint requires that courts not make precedent-setting holdings when the issues in a case do not require it.
The court has always interpreted the principle of judicial restraint as sufficient reason to use the original (unamended) text of the Constitution before relying on the text of any subsequent Amendments, if such is possible. That’s especially true in the absence of any prior precedents based on a particular clause of the Constitution. They seek to avoid making a “first instance” interpretation of any clause when there are other precedents that can be used instead (where it can be shown that no reasonable meaning of the unused clause could possibly change the outcome.) In this case, since the 14th Amendment definitely did not deprive anyone of citizenship, there was no reason to rely on its first sentence to determine citizenship, if it could be determined that the petitioner was a citizen based on the original text of the Constitution.
2. The court reasoned that, if women can be citizens without applying the 14th Amendment, then the 14th Amendment cannot fairly be interpreted as granting them any rights or privileges of citizenship that they have not always possessed, even before the ratification of that Amendment. In fact, this is the crucial point the court relied on in order to reach its second principal holding (that the 14th Amendment did not grant anyone the right to vote)! In the words of the court in Minor:
It is clear, therefore, we think, that the Constitution has not added the right of suffrage to the privileges and immunities of citizenship as they existed at the time it was adopted. This makes it proper to inquire whether suffrage was coextensive with the citizenship of the States at the time of its adoption. If it was, then it may with force be argued that suffrage was one of the rights which belonged to citizenship, and in the enjoyment of which every citizen must be protected. But if it was not, the contrary may with propriety be assumed. [pp. 171, 172]
The Court in Minor held that the petitioner was in fact a US citizen, and had been such from birth, before the ratification of the 14th Amendment. The reasoning the Court used to reach that holding is actually central to the question of the Supreme Court’s definition of “natural born citizen,” and so that reasoning (and the Court’s definition of “natural born citizen”) needs to be examined in more detail.
But before we do, let us first consider another issue: Is what is asserted to be a holding in Minorthat the petitioner was a US citizen based on the original (unamended) text of the Constitution (and in fact had been such since birth, before the ratification of the 14th Amendment)actually a precedent-setting holding? Or was it, as has been claimed elsewhere, merely dictum, and therefore not binding US Supreme Court precedent?
To answer that question, we first refer to the most recent Supreme Court precedent regarding the principles to be used to distinguish between dicta and holdings that establish binding precedents, which can be found in a case decided in 1996 known as Ogilvie Et Al., Minors v. United States, 519 U.S. 79 (1996). Justice Breyer’s majority opinion in that case stated that when the Court discusses a certain reason as an independent ground in support of our decision, then that reasoning is not simply dictum:
Although we gave other reasons for our holding in Schleier as well, we explicitly labeled this reason an independent ground in support of our decision, id., at 334. We cannot accept petitioners claim that it was simply a dictum.
The syllabus of the Minor case lists the following as one of the holdings:
2. In that sense, women, if born of citizen parents within the jurisdiction of the United States, have always been considered citizens of the United States, as much so before the adoption of the fourteenth amendment to the Constitution as since.
The fact that that decision is listed in the syllabus of the case is evidence that the Court considered its decision on the citizenship question to be a precedent-setting holding, and not dicta.
The fact that the Minor court used the fact that the petitioner was a US citizen without recourse to the first sentence of the 14th Amendment as one of the independent grounds for their other principal holding regarding the right to vote makes that decision a precedent-setting holding, according the principles established in Ogilvie.
Therefore, the citizenship holding in Minor is binding US Supreme Court precedent. Although the second principal holding regarding the right to vote was later mooted by the 19th Amendment, the first principal holding regarding the basis for establishing US citizenship without any reliance on the 14th Amendment still stands as binding Supreme Court precedent which has never been overturned nor obviated by subsequent Amendments to the Constitution.
The reason this is so important is because in the Minor decision, the Supreme Court didn’t just decide that a woman was a citizen, it made that decision by providing its official interpretation of the phrase “natural born citizen,” specifically referencing the qualifications to be US President from Article II section 1, and then applying the definition of “natural born citizen” to the petitioner and coming to the conclusion that she satisfies all the conditions to be a “natural born citizen.” Here’s the text:
Additions might always be made to the citizenship of the United States in two ways: first, by birth, and second, by naturalization. This is apparent from the Constitution itself, for it provides [n6] that “no person except a natural-born citizen, or a citizen of the United States at the time of the adoption of the Constitution, shall be eligible to the office of President,” [n7] and that Congress shall have power “to establish a uniform rule of naturalization.” Thus new citizens may be born or they may be created by naturalization.
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.
The Court concluded that, since the term “natural born citizen” was used in the Constitution as one of the qualifications to be President, that anyone who qualified as a “natural born citizen” necessarily was defined by the Constitution as a citizen. So the Court proceeded to research the meaning of “natural born citizen” to see whether it could rule the petitioner to be a citizen based on the definition of that term. Pursuant to its research, it then defined “natural born citizens” as “all children born in a country of parents who were its citizens.”
Note that the Court states that “natural born citizens” are distinct from “aliens or foreigners.” That’s actually a very important semantic distinction. To see why, it is necessary to understand the 18th-century common law meanings of the words alien and foreigner:
According to Black’s Law Dictionary, the word “foreigner” can be used in a municipal context and in an international context. In a municipal context, anyone who is not a member of a community is a “foreigner” in that community. In an international context, anyone owing allegiance to a foreign state or sovereign is a “foreigner”:
FOREIGNER. In old English law, this term, when used with reference to a particular city, designated any person who was not an inhabitant of that city. According to later usage, it denotes a person who is not a citizen or subject of the state or country of which mention is made, or any one owing allegiance to a foreign state or sovereign. (Henry Campbell Black, A Dictionary of Law, First Edition, 1891, p.506)
In 2009, the Berkeley Journal of International Law published a comprehensive historical analysis of the words “foreigner” and “alien”, as used in English and American legal writings during the late eighteenth century. Research by Anderson Berry found that the word “foreigner”, when used in an international context, has a general meaning and a specific meaning. In the general sense, anyone who was born in a foreign country or is a citizen or subject of a foreign country is a “foreigner”. But in the specific sense, “foreigner” is used in contradistinction to “alien”.
...the overwhelming majority of sources available to the drafters of the judicial bill [of 1789] define an “alien” as an individual who: 1) is foreign-born, and 2) resides in a sovereign’s territory other than the one where he was born. A “foreigner” is defined as an individual who: 1) is foreign-born, or more specifically, is a foreign citizen or subject, or 2) is a foreign-born individual residing extraterritorially [outside the sovereign’s territory]. (Berry, pp.337-8)
“Aliens” are persons who relocate permanently to one country, while they are still citizens or subjects of some other country. Presumably, aliens intend to renounce their allegiance to their country of origin and become naturalized citizens of the country of their new permanent residence. In contrast, “foreigners” are temporary visitors who retain citizenship and permanent residence in their home country and intend to someday return to their home country .
In the general sense, the eighteenth-century meaning of “foreigner” was not limited to persons born in a foreign country. If you are a citizen or subject of a foreign country, you are a “foreigner,” regardless of your residence or place of birth.
So someone who is a citizen of the United States could be also an alien, if he or she retains or acquires foreign citizenship, and could also be a foreigner if he or she was born outside the United Stateseven if the person no longer had any foreign citizenship. Note also that a US citizen born in the US could become an alien simply by acquiring foreign citizenship. So the fact that the Supreme Court has defined “natural born citizens” as distinct from “aliens or foreigners” excludes anyone who either has foreign citizenship or was not born in the United States from qualifying as a “natural born citizen.”
Starting with the very next sentence following the first quote from the case given above, the Court then continues to discuss the fact that yet other persons could be citizens who don’t qualify as “natural born citizens.” To understand the message the Court intends to convey, it is important to remember that the issue on which the court was focusing was whether or nor the petitioner was a citizen regardless of the first sentence of the 14th Amendment. The definition of “natural born citizen” was relevant solely because a) Article II, section 1 establishes “natural born citizen” as the strictest class of citizenship, and b) anyone who qualifies as a “natural born citizen” necessarily qualifies as a citizen:
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 [regarding citizenship, but not regarding “natural born citizenship”], but never as to the first [because anyone who qualifies as a “natural born citizen” is a citizen beyond dispute]. 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. The words “all children” are certainly as comprehensive, when used in this connection, as “all persons,” and if females are included in the last they must be in the first. That they are included in the last is not denied. In fact the whole argument of the plaintiffs proceeds upon that idea.
The Court notes in passing that those born in the United States, regardless of the citizenship status of their parents, may nevertheless qualify as citizens. The fact it uses the word “citizens” in that clause instead of using the phrase “natural born citizens” categorically falsifies any claim that the Court intended to convey the idea that anyone born of non-citizen parents might possibly be “natural born citizens.” The doubt the Court was expressing concerned whether or not such persons might even be citizens at all. The Court goes out of its way to ensure we don’t miss this crucial point by referring to those about which there were doubts regarding citizenship as “this class,” thereby explicitly identifying those born in the country to non-citizen parents as a separate and distinctclass, as members of a set disjoint and distinct from the set (class) of “natural born citizens.”
Note also that the Court’s discussion regarding persons born in the US to non-citizen parents is dicta, because it was not used as grounds for any of their holdings in the case. They actually state that such questions have no relevance to the case before themthereby explicitly labelling their discussion of any hypothetical class of citizens beyond the class “born in the US of citizen parents” as dicta.
The Court then compares the facts of the petitioner’s birth against the definition of “natural born citizen” that it determined to be Constitutionally and historically correct, and concluded that, since the petitioner was born in the US to parents who were US citizens at the time of her birth, she was in fact a “natural born citizen” and so also necessarily a citizen of the United States. That’s why there was no need to consider whether any alternative definitions or theories of citizenship could be used to assign citizenship. The Court saw no need to concern itself with citizenship acquired by naturalization, nor with any other classes or types of citizenship based on any other theories, “natural law” and/or English common law definitions or other Constitutional clauses, such as the first sentence of the 14th Amendment. Therefore, they exercised proper judicial restraint and left those questions undecided.
Remember that, per Ogilvie, if the Court uses any of the quoted conclusions above as “independent grounds” for any of its precedentialholdings, then these conclusions are also precedential holdingsand that that rule is transitive: any conclusion or decision used as “independent grounds” for a later holding is itself a holding, recursively back to ever earlier decisions and conclusions.
The Supreme Court itself held that its definition of “Natural Born Citizen” in Minor was a holding:
LOCKWOOD, EX PARTE, 154 U.S. 116 (1894):
In Minor v. Happersett, 21 Wall. 162, this court held [So it was not dicta] that the word ‘citizen’ is often used to convey the idea of membership in a nation, and, in that sense, women, if born of citizen parents within the jurisdiction of the United States, have always been considered citizens of the United States, as much so before the adoption of the fourteenth amendment of the constitution as since; but that the right of suffrage was not necessarily one of the privileges or immunities of citizenship before the adoption of the fourteenth amendment, and that amendment did not add to these privileges and immunities. Hence, that a provision in a state constitution which confined the right of voting to male citizons of the United States was no violation of the federal constitution.
Note also that, since the citizenship issue in Minor was decided by defining “natural born citizen” based on the text of Article II, section 1, but the citizenship issue in Wong Kim Ark was decided based on the first sentence of the 14th Amendment, the two decisions do not conflict with each other. Therefore, Wong Kim Ark does not supersede Minor.
It is worth noting that, had the petitioner in Wong Kim Ark been a “natural born citizen,” failure to simply use the precedent established in Minor to rule that Wong Kim Ark was a citizen would have been a failure to abide by judicial restraint. The fact that the Wong Kim Ark Court, unlike the Minor Court, decided that it was necessary to decide the citizenship issue using the first sentence of the 14th Amendment, instead of using the “natural born citizen” clause, demonstrates that a person who satisfies the 14th Amendment’s qualifications for citizenship does not necessarily qualify as a “natural born citizen.” The only reason to make a “first instance” interpretation of the first sentence of the 14th Amendment would be because the question could not be settled using any existing precedent, such as the one in Minor.
The settled law of the land is that the US President must be a natural born citizen, and that to be a natural born citizen, you must have been born in the United States to parents both of whom were US citizens when you were born.
You may disagree with the goal of the Constitutional Convention, and/or with the means they chose to achieve it. But it’s not a technicality, not an anachronism no longer relevant in modern times, nor is it racist. Especially in modern times, it enables persons of any race or ethnic heritage to become President. And it’s what the Constitution requires.
You may also disagree with binding precedent regarding the meaning of “natural born citizen” as established in Minor. But in our system, the Constitution, and the Supreme Court’s interpretation of it, are the “supreme law of the land.” And if one faction gets to disregard the Constitution and/or the Supreme Court because they disagree, then that sets a precedent where all other factions can do the same. And get away with it. Is that really what you want? foreigner,b, as much so before the adoption of the fourteenth amendment of the constitution as since; but that the right of suffrage was not necessarily one of the privileges or immunities of citizenship before the adoption of the fourteenth amendment, and that amendment did not add to these privileges and immunities. Hence, that a provision in a state constitution which confined the right of voting to male citizons of the United States was no violation of the federal constitution.
Is that the Sun Yat-Sen birth certificate?
PostScript: New birther conspiracies born from an editorial
By Rachel Manteuffel
In an editorial today, The Post excoriated Arizona Secretary of State Ken Bennett (R) for pandering to the lunatic fringe of his party by keeping the absurd birther conspiracy alive. Bennett is threatening to strike the presidents name from the state ballot this fall unless Hawaii coughs up the presidents birth certificate. (Again.) The Post called this ballot buffoonery.
Good news: Judging from the thousands of robust comments to this editorial, the birther movement is dead as a doornail. Few readers of any political stripe seem to give it any credence at all anymore.
Almost word for word.
Secondly, I do not seek credit, for two reasons: 1) The message is far more important, and 2) I relied heavily on the work of others in writing my essay.
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