Jeff Winston
Since Mar 21, 2010

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This is all just a record of past history now. If you like, you can read my final post here at FR.

According to our First Congress (which with President Washington included nearly half of the Signers of the Constitution, folks like Ted Cruz are very specifically "to be considered as natural born citizens." Ted Cruz is therefore entirely eligible to be President.

And according to our early legal experts, Ted Cruz is eligible to be President.

You're here because you're curious as to what I'm about. Well, here's a reply I wrote to a fellow FReeper who says we conservatives need to use Alinsky-style tactics against the left:

I simply don’t agree that we need to or should lie in order to advance conservatism.

I can see that there might be an extraordinary situation in which lying might well be justified. But I don’t think lying as a matter of course is either necessary or advisable for conservatives.

I believe that conservatism is the truth, and that the truth is strong enough to stand on its own. That truth helped defeat the Soviet Union. That truth helped make America the great country we are today.

Gandhi overcame violence with peace. I am not willing to become the enemy in order to “defeat” them.

I have been re-watching the Lord of the Rings movies lately. Boromir attempts to take the Ring, because he knows the Ring gives its holder the power to conquer the world.

Would it have given him that power? Yes, but he would not have been victor over Sauron. He would only have been his replacement. Later, his brother Faramir captures Frodo and decides to send the Ring to Gondor, to give Gondor its power. Galadriel comments that the captain of Gondor (that is, Faramir) has only to stretch out his hand and take the Ring, and all will be lost.

Upon seeing the power of the Ring to corrupt even Frodo, Faramir changes his mind and releases the Ring-bearer to continue his quest to destroy the Ring. In fact, he decides he is even willing to forfeit his life in order to do so. And that one decision makes a difference between a failure that looks like a victory, and a real victory.

And yes, it’s just a story. But great stories are great because they reflect the principles of real life.

Conservatism is strong enough to stand on the truth. That is what I believe. If you believe otherwise, then we’ll just have to agree to disagree.

Speaking of the truth:

The idea that it takes BOTH birth on US soil AND citizen parents in order to be a natural born citizen, is simply FALSE.

This idea has been popular recently, but there is almost nothing in history or law to support it. Actually, it is astonishing that so many people believe it. It is a sad commentary on the gullibility of the public, and on their willingness to accept claims that they like, simply because they are presented by someone claiming to be an "expert."

The following chart illustrates an accurate understanding of natural born citizenship. This same understanding is backed by every competent legal authority and all major CONSERVATIVE, Constitution-honoring think tanks.

So yes. TED CRUZ IS (ALMOST CERTAINLY) ELIGIBLE. MARCO RUBIO IS ELIGIBLE. BOBBY JINDAL IS ELIGIBLE. And so are others who may yet step forward as conservative champions, born in similar circumstances.


For a brief explanation of why Ted Cruz is eligible to be President, see this post. There is also some additional good discussion of the legal principles, with FReeper Tau Food, in the posts around that one.


Another birther myth is that George Washington and Thomas Jefferson and our other early Presidents were not "natural born citizens" of the United States, so they required the "grandfather clause" in order to be eligible. For a pretty extensive discussion of this myth, see this post, and this post.
This is important to birthers because (as nearly as I can figure) they want to use the existence of the "grandfather clause" as "evidence" to support their claim. It seems to me that they want to say, "See? George Washington wasn't born on US soil, so he wasn't a natural born citizen. But the argument makes no sense as evidence for their claim, because if their reasoning were correct, he wouldn't have had citizen parents either. So no one in the entire country would've had either birth on US soil OR citizen parents. Hmmm...


There are so many birther myths. For a discussion of The Venus (1814) and why it doesn't make the birther case, see post 445 here and post 483 and post 486 that follow it.


Vattel was NOT the source of the phrase "Offences against the Law of Nations" in our Constitution.

In a conversation with birther [name removed at her request], I made the following assertions:

1. The Constitution says, "The Congress shall have Power... To define and punish Piracies and Felonies committed on the high Seas, and Offences against the Law of Nations...

That's a quote from the official online copy.

2. The "law of nations" was a general topic of law, and there were a number of writers on the subject besides Vattel.

If you look at Jefferson's library, it has Vattel's book. It also has "law of nature and nations" books by Beller, Cumberland, Burlamaqui, Perreau, Ward, Grotius, Puffendorf, Wolff, Martens, Rayneval, Felice, Barbeyrac, Lee, Selden, Bynkershoek, and others.

3. A different writer wrote a book in which he included a chapter entitled, "Of Offences Against the Law of Nations."

Blackstone, the writer on the English Common Law, from which we got both "natural born subject" and (when we changed "subject" to "citizen") "natural born citizen."

Book 4, Chapter 5:

4. Vattel does not mention either "Piracies" or "Felonies" in his work on the law of nations. He does not use the word "Felon" at all, and mentions "Pirates" only once in his entire book.

Searchable text of Vattel, the 1760 English edition that the Founding Fathers would have read:

The other author that I refer to speaks of "felons" and "felonies" 5 times, and has a discussion of Piracy in which he uses the terms "Piracy," "pirate," "piratical," some 15 times. Moreover, he also refers, in that chapter, to the "high seas." Vattel does not refer to the "high seas" even once in his book.

See above reference to Blackstone.

5. The other writer was extremely well known, not only to a few people, but to all lawyers in early America, and he was quoted by the Founding Fathers SIXTEEN TIMES more often than they quoted Vattel.

"Blackstone’s great work, Commentaries on the Laws of England, was basic to the U. S. Constitution. This work has sold more copies in America than in England and was a basic textbook of America’s early lawyers."

"Within United States academia and practise, as well as within the judiciary, the Commentaries had a substantial impact; with the scarcity of law books on the frontier, they were "both the only law school and the only law library most American lawyers used to practise law in America for nearly a century after they were published"."

Blackstone cited 7.9% of time by Founding Fathers, Vattel 0.5% of time. Ratio: 15.8 Blackstone citations for every 1 Vattel citation.

6. I can show you where the notably thrifty Founders spent precious public funds to purchase that author's work for use in the Senate.

[Name Removed] posted:

Can you show where the notably thrify Founders spend precious public funds to purchase his work for use in the Senate?

From the Library of Congress-

Ordered, That the Secretary purchase Blackstone's Commentaries, and Vattel's Law of Nature and Nations, for the use of the Senate.

Journal of the Senate of the United States of America / Monday / March 10, 1794 / Volume 2 / page 44

Source is the exact same link she posted to me.

All of the above absolutely destroys the idea that Vattel was the source of the phrase "law of nations" in our Constitution. Given the phrase, "Offences against the Law of Nations" and the use of "felon(ies)," "piracies," and "high seas," Blackstone's influence on that clause is very clear.

The other birther claims are complete BS as well. My comments in this thread probably sum up my views pretty well.

John Charles Frémont, the first Republican Presidential candidate in 1854

Aside from that... I call BS whenever and wherever I see it. The George Zimmerman trial, which I've followed closely, is another good example.

More stuff...

Comments on Samuel Roberts.