What “Natural Born Citizen” Really Means & Why
June 13, 2012 14 Comments
~a history of confusing citizenship terms
Barack Obama’s right to serve as the President of the United States is predicated on his qualification for the office. The qualification for the office is spelled out in the U.S. Constitution. The President must be a “natural born citizen”. so Barack Obama must be a natural born citizen in order to be constitutionally qualified to be President. But there’s a problem, -he is not a natural born citizen.
His sycophants have done their utmost to alter the perception of the meaning of the Constitution’s term and the two ways they have gone about doing that is to conflate “natural” with “native” and to compress the three words into one inseparable term. By doing that they can put forward the falsehood that those words constitute one single concept, and one single explanation for their meaning.
But their false misconstuence is juvenile at best and wickedly deceitful at worst. That’s because no one has the right to alter the meaning of words to suit their agenda. And make no mistake, we are talking about words (plural), meaning two adjectives and one noun, -not one monolithic term to which they can attach their own warped Obama-defending meaning.
To understand the meaning of the term “natural born citizen” all we have to do is examine the meaning of the words that comprise it. We will come to understand the relationship between those words by understanding the history behind them coming to be used in conjunction.
In every legal document, every term must be clearly explained in order to avoid the confusion that ambiguity introduces. As they say, “the devil is in the details”. So it is with federal law and the words that make up the Constitution. If ever there was a legal document in which one would want to avoid ambiguity, it would be the Constitution of the United States and its amendments, -our fundamental law, -the foundation and boundary for most other laws.
But unfortunately, we don’t live in a perfect world, and in our present age, far removed from the days when it was written, the Constitution and its amendments are not completely free from words and phrases that, in our distant era, we have a right to be automatically certain that we fully understand.
With this being true, we have a problem, -the kind of which always requires the wizards of the Supreme Court to issue a ruling on, -to issue an “opinion of the court”. Opinions are statements which sometimes are actually facts, but in general are only opinions about what the facts are. But when the fat ladies of the high court sing, that spells the end of any argument about what they, by a majority vote, view to be or chose to be the law of the land.
There are many issues of contention in national law which they need to rule on because there is widespread ignorance in some quarters about the limits placed on the federal government, and about the meaning of certain words, phrases, or clauses.
There is one clause in particular which requires their attention because its true meaning, if proclaimed by the court, would unseat the current President of the United States. That would be a momentously significant event unlike any other seen since the end of the Watergate matter. The clause to which I refer is the presidential eligibility clause in Article II, Section I of the Constitution.
“No Person, except a natural born citizen…shall be eligible to the office of the President,…”
In our far removed era, the meaning of “natural born citizen” is no longer clearly understood, and so we suffer from the confusion of ambiguity, -a confusion that allowed the cowards in Washington to seat and swear-in to the office of President a man who is constitutionally forbidden from serving in that particular office, -though allowed to serve in all others. He is unqualified because he does not fit the definition of being the type of citizen that our founding fathers required.
Many don’t know what they required, -others know but don’t care, -while others know and care but are cowards.
The result is that there has been nothing but total silence from all of our so-called leaders, including opposition media voices such as the likes of the Constitution-defending Mark Levine, Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, and Sean Hannity. That silence has been unbroken by the lapdog sycophants and dummies in the American press.
But those who detest the abrogation of our foundational legal charter carry on with the effort of explaining the true meaning of that phrase, because the Supreme Court has not yet ruled on it, and will never rule on it in all likelihood, because it scares the hell out of them.
So here follows one more elucidation of the meaning of the type of citizenship mentioned by the authors of the Constitution, -a meaning that they all understood and hence felt no need to explain.
Understand that no document in history has received more scrutiny during its construction than the Constitution. Every word and phrase had to pass numerous and repeated reviews because there were thirteen separate sovereign nations with widely different opinions and only a few of their government leaders had a clue that the charter of their continental federation was being totally rewritten in secret without their knowledge or permission.
The Constitution had to be as perfect as possible, and that included being devoid of ambiguities that could result in opposition to it causing it to fail being ratified. So it would be foolish to assume that some of its authors thought one thing and others thought something else because such a universally important charter could allow no room for misunderstanding, at least not any that they were presently aware of. So what did they all understand a natural born citizen to be?
The answer requires understanding three things; 1. the meaning of words, -and how they relate to: 2. English common law, 3. Natural Law.
In general there is little valid controversy concerning the mean of words, at least not until those
with a biased motive attempt to alter their meaning by misconstruing common law terms. They do so by conflating dissimilar terms, (which is easy to do thanks to historical statements by some in government who did the same thing because they were unjustifiably certain about their views, -having swallowed an erroneous concept based on one of the two possible meanings of an ambiguity).
Truth is obscured when the terms of common law are bent and twisted and divorced from their relationship to natural law. Since England has never had a Constitution, the law of the land is the sum total of the laws, edicts, and judicial rulings handed down over the long centuries of her history, rulings that were based on the judicial understanding of those laws, and edicts, as well as social practicality.
They comprise the English common law, -one single body of legal rulings. But the colonies and states were thirteen bodies, not one, and they each had their own laws which they made as they saw fit. So it should be understood that there was no United States common law, (since there was no United States) there was only colonial/state common law which was mostly derived from English common law.
In England, the members of its national society were label by the monarch as “subjects” because they were subject to the authority of their sovereign, the King. Those who weren’t subjects were “aliens”, because they were not members of the King’s society, -his realm, -his dominion. They were foreigners. Some confusion of terms resulted from aliens emigrating from their homeland to the King’s land. What should such new members of his realm be called since they were no longer members of a foreign land but had become members of his?
They were labeled “alien subjects”. That was an unambiguous term. It was in contrast to his other subjects, who then had to be labeled “natural subjects” in order to distinguish between the two. All was clear and unambiguous at that point, but another problem came with alien immigrants; -they had children born within the King’s realm.
What the heck do you call them? They were not natural subjects because they were of their foreign parents and not of Englishmen. But they were not foreigners because they were not from a foreign country but from England. How can one distinguish them from alien subjects and natural subjects?
Answer: they were labeled “native-born subjects” since they were born in England. That label created a conceptually new class of subjects, and combined those who were born of Englishmen with those born of foreigners. But if one was to speak of a born subject, how could one know if the discussed subject had English blood, -English parentage, -English background & ancestry, or foreign? That is where ambiguity entered the picture, and it’s been in it ever since.
The term “natural subject” means one born of an English father, -English by political inheritance. An “alien subject” was a foreigner, with a foreign political background and nationality. A “born subject” was the off-spring of either group, -being distinguished not by parentage alone (born to an English subject) but also by birth location (born as a legal subject by being born in England).
They were born as subjects of the King because they were born on his property, -within his British realm. What they both had in common was a relationship to birth; -inheriting one’s father’s status/nationality by being fathered by him, or obtaining right to be an English subject by birth within the King’s dominion.
That term, born citizen, shifted the focus away from the actual origin of national membership, parents who were members, and placed it on the birth location & national boundaries. That was what they all had in common, almost. But not entirely because some Englishmen lived in Europe or America, and their children were not born in England. They were natural subjects but not born subjects in the sense that those born in England were.
What difference did it make in the nature of one’s national membership? Essentially none because they both had the same rights and responsibilities. Though there was one area where it did make a difference. It didn’t involve rights nor responsibilities, -it involved a sacred trust.
Some persons had to hold positions of extremely important national significance, -positions of vital state security, including top secret information and command authority. Could such a sensitive position be entrusted to a son of a foreigner, -a foreigner whose allegiance to the King was unknown and unknowable? Well, they knew it could be, but the real question was, should it be?
Wise and cautious leaders chose to err on the side of caution and not allow such sons to hold such offices and positions of command, -positions on which the fate of the nation might rest. So if they were to discuss such a position and the men who might be appointed to it, they are saddled with ambiguous language in describing who such an eligible candidate was. He clearly could not be an alien subject because they were all foreigners by birth and upbringing. So he had to be “a born subject”, -as in native-born in England, i.e., “a native son”.
But ambiguity still existed even with those terms. What kind of native son? There were two, and they both were “born subjects”. If you wanted to distinguish between the two, how would you do it? Simple, use the language that was already elemental to describing subjects. Call the sons of Englishmen natural born subjects. That would be in contrast to naturalized born subjects who were born to foreigners who had sworn allegiance to the King and become accepted not as mere foreign immigrants but as new Englishmen.
Similarly, if one’s foreign father had never sworn the oath and become an Englishman, one could be labeled an “alien born subject”. Labeling such a son as merely a “born subject” could be considered to not be ambiguous if everyone understood that that label was only used to describe sons of alien subjects, and not natural subjects.
Natural subjects were not distinguished by national borders, -by where they exited their mother’s womb. They were distinguished by the fact that they were children of Englishmen and not foreigners.
Ambiguity is only definitely avoided by using common language adjectives to distinguish between the various types of subjects inhabiting the King’s realm. From simply “subjects” to natural vs alien subjects; to distinguishing between the children of the two groups and then further distinguishing between the children of the alien subjects. With the use of the proper adjectives, the new labels were not ambiguous and the meaning of the terms was universally understood. So it was also in the colonies.
“Natural” meant the same in the colonies as it did in England. It did not become transmogrified into meaning “native”. “Native” was an adjective indicating place of birth, and defined the adjective “born”, hence the adjective phrase “native-born” was the result. Its words defined the noun “subject”. A native-born subject was one born within one of the colonies, as opposed to having been born in England or some other country or colony or state, i.e., -a native-born Virginian.
Natural subjects were those born to subjects of the colonies, and not born to foreigners. The founding fathers, detesting the oppressive, morally illegitimate rule of monarchical tyrants, abhorred the concept and term of “subject”, and discarded it in favor of the term befitting members of a free republic, namely “citizen”, and so it came to be substituted for the term applicable in England.
In order to distinguish between natural citizens and the citizen sons of immigrants naturalized in the states, (ex-foreigners whose dignity was preserved by not referring to them as “alien citizens”) they would be referred to as “native-born citizens” or simply “born citizens”, (indicating that their citizenship was tied to their place of birth) reflecting the dichotomy adopted in England.
Their citizenship, unlike that of natural citizens, was wholly dependent upon having been born within a state that granted citizenship to children born of its immigrants (“sons of the soil”). If they were not born within such a state, then they were not citizens of the state of their birth nor citizens of the federal government. They were foreigners.
But natural citizenship was entirely dependent upon having been born, -not within the state, but to citizens of the state. It was about parentage, not location.
If Hawaii had not been a state that recognized and recorded the birth of children born to Hawaiian residents while outside the state, then Barack Obama, like other children born abroad to Hawaiian citizens, would not have ever received a Hawaii birth certificate.
But Hawaii allowed its residents to have a child anywhere in the world and they would acknowledge it as one of their own and issue it a birth certificate. They were dealing with the real world, not a philosophical one.
As a rule, probably 98% of natural citizens were also native-born , but with the uncommon exception of those born outside of the borders of the American states and federal territories. They were children of Americans living abroad, such as ambassadors, consuls, diplomats, scholars and merchants.
Other than state security positions, there was no need to distinguish between children born to natural citizens [nor naturalized citizens] and children born to foreigners in those states that automatically granted such children citizenship. But for the majority of states, as well as the federal government, citizenship was acquired only by paternal inheritance or by being naturalized.
When a foreigner became an American, his children were deemed to have automatically inherited his American citizenship. They were known as “derivative citizens” because their citizenship was derived automatically from that of another. Foreign women who married American men also obtained such citizenship automatically, -via marriage.
As an essentially universal rule, the children of citizens, regardless of how their parents came to be citizens, were equal in all regards. There was no conceivable reason to distinguish between them, -except one, National Security. The founders of our nation were wise enough to carve out one tiny, statistically insignificant exception to that otherwise universal rule.
That exception was in regard to the issue confronted by the English leaders when it came to offices and positions of utmost criticality involving national security; i.e., national secrets, and national military might. That lone exception was in regard to what type of citizen should be entrusted with the ultimate national power held by the commander-in-chief of the United States Army and Navy.
Since the founders had agreed that the military command should be headed by an elected civilian leader, consolidating the civil and military jurisdictions, they had to take extra precautions when it came to what type of citizen would be allowed to hold the power of that combined office.
Alexander Hamilton had suggested that no one who was not a born citizens should hold that office. Choosing to err on the side of caution, our founding fathers adopted a suggestion offered to George Washington by John Jay, leader of the Continental Congress, -a suggestion that went one step further, agreeing, as in England before them, that such an office be held by no one who was not born as a natural member of the nation, -i.e., a natural born citizen. So they wrote the mandate in plain English, stating that no person, except a natural born citizen be entrusted with the authority of the office of the President.
That was meant to exclude alien children born of foreign fathers. So an undefined type of “born citizen” was not to be acceptable. One must be a specific American-only type of born citizen. One must be a natural born citizen.
In INS parlance, citizens are distinguished by the labels “naturalized”, “native-born” and “natural-born”. Being merely a native-born citizen (via the law of individual states, -and later, the 14th Amendment) was not deemed sufficient since mere native-birth by itself was no guarantee of American loyalty, and implied that one was the son of a foreign father and not an American father.
It also meant that in most states, as well as in the view of the federal government, they were not
citizens at all. They might be a citizen of the state in which they were born, depending on its laws, but not a citizen of the nation since one’s patrilineal parentage was everything.
In British parlance, they could have been labeled as “alien-born Americans” or “foreigner-born Americans” if the federal government were willing to recognized them as citizens, which it wasn’t. The children of foreigners were foreigners also, just like their father, regardless of where they were born.
The root and origin of natural citizenship is in a principle reflected in nature, and recognized via our acknowledgement of Natural Law, i.e., -the laws of nature. In nature, the location of a creature’s birth has absolutely no significance whatsoever on the nature of the born. Its nature is determined by its parents’ nature. If a Norwegian woman gives birth in Africa, her child is not African, -not Negro. If an African women gives birth in Norway…vice versa.
If an American child is born in China, that does not make it a natural Chinese citizen. What it naturally is is determined by who its parents were, -not China, -not birth location, -not naturalization law. Naturalization law only applies to foreigners and their children, not Americans and their children.
he children of Native Americans were born within the United States territory but that fact did not make them Americans because what they were was what they inherited from their parents and nothing more. The federal government didn’t care where they were born. It cared who their parents were. They inherited nothing from American soil or American borders or American law, until the law of the United States finally declared that they also were Americans. Until then, they were solely “natural born” “Indians”.
Being sons of “alien subjects” (which non-naturalized immigrants were, -similar to Native Americans who were described as “domestic subjects”) as opposed to sons of natural or naturalized citizens, meant that one would not be qualified to serve as the American President.
But we have just such an unqualified citizen occupying the White House right now, -and reigning
over all the executive branch and the United States military, signing legislation into law, -even appointing judges to sit on the Supreme Court.
But compounding the magnitude of the travesty, his father was not only not an American, he was not even an immigrant to America. He was a person with no connection to the United States whatsoever, aside from the permission it granted him by which he was allowed to attend college in the U.S.
He never swore any allegiance to the United States and owed it none. He was never subject to its jurisdiction because he remained subject solely to that of Great Britain and Kenya, -protected by international treaty and the Law of Nations.
The U.S. government has a label for foreigners such as him, -it is “non-immigrant alien”. Can you imagine the rightfully paranoid leaders of England entrusting their most sensitive and dangerous information, as well as their most powerful military positions, to the sons of “non-immigrant aliens”? That would never have been allowed, and wasn’t.
Can you imagine the nobility and aristocracy of Great Britain allowing the son of a foreigner to assume the throne of England? The entire royal line would have to have been dead or in captivity first.
Can you imagine the blissfully ignorant American electorate entrusting all the most sensitive and dangerous national security matters, as well as all of the power of the American war machine, including thousands of nuclear bombs, to one fathered by a foreign dictator, foreign tourist, or foreign student? I know, you don’t have to imagine because the later actually happened. The only question is; “Will anything ever be done about it, and if so, by whom, and when?”
by a.r. nash june 2012
Citizenship and Allegiance
Law Quarterly Review Jan. 1902
In English law, subjects, whether natural or alien, are those who owe allegiance to the Crown. By allegiance is meant the feudal obligation of fidelity and obedience due from a vassal to his lord–an obligation which has as its counterpart the duty of protection and guardianship which the lord owes to his vassal. The King is the supreme feudal lord of all the people, as well as of all the land of England. They are his men, his fideles, his faithful. They owe him such fealty as any vassal owes his Lord, for he is their sovereign lord the King. In the technical phrase of feudalism, they are ad fidem regis–in the faith of the King. The oath of allegiance is simply a variant of that oath of fealty which binds together lord and vassal in any other case.
Allegiance is of two kinds. That which natural subjects owe is permanent and personal, while that which is due from alien subjects is merely temporary and local.
A natural subject remains bound at all times and in all places; he is permanently entitled to the King’s protection, and permanently bound by the bond of fealty.
But an alien subject is such only by reason of his residence within the King’s dominions; so long as such residence continues he stands within the King’s protection, and owes him a correlative allegiance.
So long, but so long only, he is the King’s subject. Like any other subject he may be guilty of treason.
Like any other subject he must obey the King’s laws, and submit himself to the royal government and jurisdiction, but he may withdraw himself at any time from all such obligation, and for what he does beyond the realm of England he will not answer to the King of England.
The natural subject, on the contrary, can in no way sever the bond of fealty. He possesses an enduring status which he can by no means abandon.