Why Common Law Citizens Are Barred from being President
April 26, 2014 1 Comment
Under the British common law nationality policy in all of the colonies for a century, one born within the borders of England, and in subjection to the king’s authority was deemed to be his subject, whether by the original age-old principle of inclusion based on natural connection by blood (born of a native Englishmen) or instead by the contrived British court-created policy that deemed all children born there of resident immigrant parents to be subject through the obedience of their foreign father who had chosen to live within the royal kingdom.
By both means one could be born a subject of the Crown. To be a subject under that developed rule that became a part of the common law, one need merely be born to a native English father or an immigrant father.
That common law rule was not devised for the benefit of the children of natives (since they were all automatically members of their fathers’ nation), but for the non-English children of outsiders who were naturally, by descent, members of their father’s foreign nation, -being born without any natural connection to the people and culture of Britain. But such alien-fathered children would be born equally subject to the Crown, -born under their father’s civil subjection and thus being viewed as a subject from birth.
Due to the dual-doctrine of nationality, they were British nationals in the eyes of the British government even though born of aliens. But if the foreign father was viewed as being subject to the government of his new domicile, (-probably his permanent home & country) -then what about his subjection to his foreign king?
Assuming he was not a spy, his inherited national allegiance had no effect in Britain, -was inoperable, suspended, though not erased. He was a man subject to two sovereigns, which the king of England could accept since he held all of the cards over those living within his dominion. “Possession is nine-tenths of the law.”
That had become the nationality rule extrapolated from a high court’s ruling in a precedent-setting case in the early 1600s known as the Calvin case. It dealt with a Scotsman who was bequeathed English land but was not allowed to inherit it because of a law that allowed only by Englishmen to inherit English land.
Calvin sought to comply with the law by becoming an Englishman but England had no civil process of naturalization. The law was against him so he sought relief from Parliament. The only way to become a pseudo-Englishman required bribing Parliament which could simply declare one to be such. It could “naturalize” him, -make him, by its decree, to be in the eyes of the law a natural Englishmen like all others (defying fact and reason, -kind of like royal marriage annulments when annulment was impossible) since it could do almost anything it wanted, -but of course such a favor would only come at a price, -a steep price no doubt. One might image as much as 10-20 % of the value of the land? They could require any amount they chose.
How could any legal body declare something that was false to be true? Answer: by what is known as “a legal fiction” or fiction of law, -a legal pretense.
How did the legal pretense of natural-ization originate? The subject of naturalization has a very scant history. Finding its origins would require some successful detective work involving a whole lot of research I expect, since what is readily available is only of relatively recent vintage (a few hundred years) and explains nothing.
But what is discovered from the last half a millennium is that the king could not naturalize anyone via legal fiction since he could not make laws. He had no authority to turn a foreigner into an Englishman. All he could do was make them a denizen. [A denizen did not have full civic rights and privileges of Englishmen but had civil and fiscal rights which mattered the most.] Only Parliament could “natural-ize” the wealthy and influential foreigner, -make one into a “natural” English subject.
In effect, naturalization did not exist in Britain. A foreign immigrant could not become an Englishmen even though he was subject to the Crown and government. He remained forever a subject of his foreign monarch, -from birth ’til death. But his Britain-born children could, and did thanks to the Calvin case.
Calvin must not have had enough cash to bride Parliament and so he sued instead. His smart lawyer presented an argument that had never existed in the annuals of law and it was accepted by the court.
He argued that even though Calvin was a Scotsman, he should be free to inherit English land because he was born as a subject of the English king. That was due to the fact that Calvin’s king, (the King of Scotland) had become King of England also (James I) due to no English heir. So the judges of the case had to make a choice;
-keep the focus of nationality on the age-old timeless principle of inherited natural membership via birth to English countrymen, or shift it to subjection to the Crown of England which had also acquired sovereignty over Scotland, (though in a reverse manner).
Kings in those days (and after) viewed themselves as demi-gods whose people existed solely for their benefit. That mindset, to some degree, was inculcated into the thinking of the king’s judges and so they made a choice that was in the favor of both Calvin and the King by shifting the focus of nationality to the monarchy and away from the nation itself. That was a magnanimous consideration extended toward their new Scottish dual-kingdom brethren. [a century later the two crowns finally united to form the United Kingdom]
So Calvin, by their ruling and the pretense it adopted, was deemed to be a natural English subject via his subjection at birth to the English King. Thus was born the descriptor: “natural born subject”. He was born subject just like natural English subjects and so that was all that really mattered.
All eyes thus turned away from recognition of one’s relationship from birth to the land of their birth and its fellow inhabitants and shifted to one’s relationship to the king alone. Thus the paradigm was born that if one was born subject to the English King, (even if born of a foreigner) one was thereby deemed to be a subject of England.
From then on that became the new nationality rule of the common law; -all souls born within the king’s domain and under his authority were his subjects, regardless of an inherited foreign nationality.
That went into effect about the same time that the Jamestown colony was founded. It became the rule of nationality in the New World of North-East America and endured in the colonies up to and beyond the establishment of the United States.
Some, many, most, or all of the new independent sovereign republics of America retained that tradition. Without reading most early State constitutions, one has no way to know for certain if many or most of them, upon independence, returned to the original natural criterion of nationality: namely membership by inheritance. But we do know that they entirely rejected the sovereignty of the monarchy (along with the superiority of the aristocracy) but that left a vacuum.
If one’s nationality, or citizenship, was tied to one’s subjection to the king, but he and his authority no longer reigned, then by what principle would one be a citizen? That is a question that has never been legally addressed to this day. It goes unanswered still as a matter of law. Instead the answers are purely matters of policy or matters of circumstances. [The two common law circumstances are enshrined in the 14th Amendment (with the United States substituting for the King).] But the founders’ generation was very much not of one mind on the subject.
Those steeped in English law, schooled in it and raised under it, were incapable of rewiring their thinking and rejecting the only system they had known all of their lives.
They saw the king (the center of nationality) being newly replaced by the authority of government, -with government, in effect, being the new sovereign, the new king. In their slightly altered view, if you were born within the limits of and under the authority of the American governments, then you were an American national, a citizen of the United States.
That is they way they saw it, that is the way they stated it, and that is what they wrote to be the fact of the matter. But all the experts who did so were wrong by getting the principle wrong. They acknowledged no principle whatsoever, -only circumstances. By those circumstances, they were right some 98% of the time. But like a William Tell, being right 100% of the time is what really matters.
They were wrong because they were not the men who had to put their signature to the Declaration of Independence, -thereby making themselves traitors to the King and the British government.
They were not the men with a bounty on their heads and a death sentence hanging over them.
They were not the men who personally understood the price of freedom and the principles of Natural Rights which stood in direct opposition to all things connected to British authority.
Those men did not see things through the eyes of the sycophants of English law and common law. They saw things through the eyes of the great writers who illuminated the principles of Natural Rights possessed by all men, -from a viewpoint that was above the selfish, self-serving, aristocratic, merciless authority of the British government and its king.
The view that they had, (and enshrined in the Declaration of Independence as fundamental American principles) was in total opposition to the view of the supporters of the traditional system of nationality determination.
It was a war of Natural Law versus Man’s law, -natural inclusion versus assigned membership by established policy. One side viewed children of foreigners as foreigners by inherited political nature, -being naturally included in their parents’ group, -while the other continued viewing them as before the revolution; subjects / citizens via birth location and parental subjection to the sovereign’s rule.
Those men failed to grasp the fact that the American principle was that sovereignty was not vested in a superior sovereign entity known as Government, but was vested in The PEOPLE. They were the new sovereigns, and all natural rights belonged to them as co-equal members of a free national family.
Did the two competing sides discuss the situation and hash-out a solution? I suspect that they never discussed the conflict even once. I suspect that it remained under their radar and not acknowledged to even exist until after the Constitution was ratified and the first Congress was seated. After all, it was a war of fundamental philosophical differences and one’s view of life. One does not go out of their way to engage an associate in such a conversation. It would be like discussing fundamental religious tenants.
Consequently, when General Washington, -during the constitutional convention, had the presidential eligibility issue put before the members, with the proposed requirement that he must be a natural born citizen, one of either of four scenarios resulted.
Either they all understood it from the same perspective, with none of them viewing it as a term related to the common law, or all of them did;
-or some of them did and some of them didn’t but no one spoke up about a possible divergence of view because they weren’t aware that others might see it differently;
-or they knew that others saw it differently but did not want to engage in a war of words about such an arcane subject as whether or not American sons born of immigrant foreigners would or would not be barred from being President in the distant future when many or most of them would be dead. Why would they care? They didn’t already have enough on their plate?
And so there was no recorded discussion of the matter. Both sides could assume that the words meant what they assumed they meant and not concern themselves with whether or not all others agreed with their view. And so today we are engaged in the discussion that they never had, and seeking proof of what is the real American truth of the matter, -and not the British truth.
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Finding the truth must begin with asking the right questions, -and they are these:
1. In the beginning, or after, did the new national government, -authorized by the Constitution, have a constitutional provision of nationality for all Americans? (no)
-How about one for immigrants who wished to become Americans? How about one for their U.S. born children? (no & no)
2. If not, did it have an unwritten policy of adhering to the established British common law rule of nationality but as applicable to the U.S.? (no)
3. Did the sovereignty of the 13 American republics over their own immigration and naturalization continue after adoption of the Constitution or was it surrendered to the new national government? (yes & no. It was off-limits to the central government and protected by the enumerated limitations on the powers of Congress, -as well as the 9th & 10th Amendments.)
4. Was the nationality of all children of natives the result of natural inheritance without the hand of government involved? (yes)
5. And was the nationality of children of foreign immigrants viewed as being governed by the same principle of inheritance? (yes, by the national government)
6. Did common law citizenship from birth continue in each republic for such children? (yes)
7. After the Constitution went into effect, did the Americanization of foreigners continue to be accomplished only by State magistrates in State courts of record? (yes, until federal courts were established, then both were authorized.)
8. Were the children of naturalized persons also re-made into American citizens by the authority of Congress or by a natural authority?
9. If by Congress, then what is the source of that authority; -what words grant it to Congress? If it is by the “authority” of a natural principle, what is that principle?
10. Could the government refuse to naturalize someone that was considered unqualified or undesirable? If “yes”, then who was authorized to make that decision?
11. Were the words of the naturalization acts mostly merely statements of rules that needed to be followed and recognition of the results when they were? Or were they an exercise of sovereign authority by Congress over the nationality of individuals? Could Congress make foreigners into Americans? Or was it not given that authority?
On the State level, dual citizenship would be irrelevant as an issue. If one was born in one State but of citizens of another state, and both recognized such a person as a citizen, it would impact nothing that would affect anyone else. But if the national government recognized the children of foreign nationals as being Americans, it would create an international nationality conflict. Plus it would create someone with potentially competing allegiances, like being married to two countries in a world constantly threatened by war.
So dual nationality was not acceptable to the leaders of the United States Government because it was an unnatural form of political bigamy. But the policy that was a needed policy for the new national government was not policy for the individual republics of the Union. Their policy was one of acceptance and welcoming of outsiders since they were developed by outsiders, and they added much to society and its advancement.
Their focus of inclusion was very American and egalitarian, but their neighboring colonies/ nation-states were all of the same new national family (American) whereas the national government that they formed was on a world stage and relating to other strong and established nations who were not its philosophical nor native-born brethren but were even hostile to the new American nation.
So the priorities of the national government were very different from the priorities of the individual States, including in regard to who would be considered to be Americans. They could not allow those considered to be Americans to be of two competing minds and allegiances in regard to national loyalty. They knew the threat posed by divided loyalties since many Americans had been loyalist during the war of independence.
That was a situation that they would not allow to be possible for future generations. So they discarded the unacceptable British nationality doctrine of recognizing alien-born children as being subjects, or Americans.
Political bigamy was banished because otherwise, -like a wife married to two husbands, the lines of loyalty and obedience would be totally blurred. Such blurring was rejected by them because of their experience with treason. A child of immigrants would be in one of three situations analogous to a wife with two husbands.
1. She is faithful and obedient to one and not the other (being treasonous to the unsupported spouse), or…
2. She is not unfaithful to either but is obedient to neither, -rejecting relationships with both of them, or…
3. She is submissive to both of them, having relations with both, -like a traitor playing both sides for her own benefit.
The founding generation rejected all three. She could not have a second husband. Americans could not have a second nationality. They could not divide their loyalty between two different, and likely competing sovereigns. They were either American only or they were not American. There was no place for allegiance bigamy.
Treason was the reason why. They were very conscious of disloyalty to the revolution and the natural rights that it was fought for, -and were distrustful of any and all Americans with questionable loyalty or with expressed greater affinity toward Britain. Like a house divided against itself, everyone had to take sides or be seen as a mouse of a man.
As in the American Civil War, there was no neutral ground nor neutral States. “You are either for us or you are against us”. Choose which you will embrace, and seal your loyalty with an oath of allegiance. One very famous American military leader and combat hero did just that, in writing. He signed the oath of allegiance on his sacred honor before God. The problem was that he pretty much didn’t have much honor left because he pretty much had no use for any God that would have allowed to happen to him what did happen to him and his family. His name was Benedict Arnold.
” After joining the growing army outside Boston, he distinguished himself through acts of intelligence and bravery. His actions included the Capture of Fort Ticonderoga in 1775, and….
Despite Arnold’s successes, he was passed over for promotion by the Continental Congress while other officers claimed credit for some of his accomplishments. Adversaries in military and political circles brought charges of corruption or other malfeasance, but most often he was acquitted in formal inquiries.
Congress investigated his accounts and found he was indebted to Congress (after spending much of his own money on the war effort) because his expense receipts were lost during an aggressive retreat. The Congress took the attitude that if he could not account for how he spent its money, then he owed it that unaccounted for sum.
Frustrated and bitter at this, as well with the alliance with France and failure of Congress to accept Britain’s 1778 proposal to grant full self-governance in the colonies, Arnold decided to change sides and opened secret negotiations with the British.
In July 1780, he was offered, pursued, and was awarded command of the fortifications at West Point, New York (future site of the U.S. Military Academy after 1802), overlooking the cliffs at the Hudson River (upriver from British- occupied New York City), and planned to surrender it to the British forces.
Arnold’s scheme to surrender the fort to the British was exposed when American forces captured British Major John André carrying papers that revealed the plot. Upon learning of André’s capture, Arnold fled down the Hudson River to the British sloop-of-war Vulture.
Arnold received a commission as a brigadier general in the British Army, an annual pension and a lump sum of over £6,000. He led British forces on raids in Virginia, and against New London and Groton, Connecticut, before the war effectively ended with the American victory at Yorktown. In the winter of 1782, Arnold moved to London. He was well received by King George III and the Tories, but frowned upon by the Whigs.
In the House of Commons, Edmund Burke expressed the hope that the government would not put Arnold “at the head of a part of a British army” lest “the sentiments of true honor, which every British officer [holds] dearer than life, should be afflicted.” The dignity of the soldier’s military code of being faithful unto death would have been grievously insulted by being led by a traitor, -especially one who had fought vigorously against their own side.
In the eloquent words of Emmerich de Vatte; author of The Law of Nations: “§ 123.
“How shameful and criminal to injure your country. If every man is obliged to entertain a sincere love for his country, and to promote its welfare as far as in his power, it is a shameful and detestable crime to injure that very country. He who becomes guilty of it, violates his most sacred engagements, and sinks into base ingratitude: he dishonours himself by the blackest perfidy, since he abuses the confidence of his fellow-citizens, and treats as enemies those who had a right to expect his assistance and services.
We see traitors to their country only among those men who are solely sensible to base interest, who only seek their own immediate advantage, and whose hearts are incapable of every sentiment of affection for others. They are, therefore, justly detested by mankind in general, as the most infamous of all villains.”
Arnold’s family history was significant. He was named after his great-grandfather Benedict Arnold, an early governor of the Colony of Rhode Island. Through his maternal grandmother, Arnold was a descendant of John Lothropp, an ancestor of at least six U.S. presidents.
When he was ten, Arnold was enrolled in a private school in nearby Canterbury, with the expectation that he would eventually attend Yale. But great misfortune entered the picture repeatedly. (Only Benedict and his sister Hannah survived to adulthood; his other siblings succumbed to yellow fever in childhood.)
However, the deaths of his siblings when he was twelve may have contributed to a decline in the family fortunes, since his father took up drinking. By the time he was fourteen, there was no money for private education. His father’s alcoholism and ill health kept him from training Arnold in the family mercantile business,…
Arnold’s mother, to whom he was very close, died in 1759. His father’s alcoholism worsened after the death of his wife, and the (18 yr. old) youth took on the responsibility of supporting his father and younger sister. His father was arrested on several occasions for public drunkenness, was refused communion by his church and eventually died in 1761.” ~ ~ ~
A man with such a background would have had little use for belief in divine providence or a benevolent diety, probably embracing neither,- reinforced, no doubt, by the three grievous nearly crippling bone-shattering leg injuries he suffered in battles which side-lined him for a couple years. Without a belief in the all-seeing eye of the merciful but just “Judge of the World” he would lack a basis for honor and fidelity.
By every measure, he, with his family background and ancestral family respectability and national roots, would appear completely trustworthy and loyal to his country, but then, like a wife with two husbands, he could choose one over the other and switch sides, which he did when his ambition to command a major portion of the American Army went unfulfilled as Washington delayed in making his appointment.
So you have a committed war hero, patriot of the revolution who spent himself into penury for the war effort, -a native American with many generations of American ancestors and yet he was a traitor anyway for the sake of command, and remuneration.
“He had had disagreements with John Brown and James Easton, two lower-level officers with political connections that resulted in ongoing suggestions of improprieties on his part. Brown was particularly vicious, publishing a handbill that claimed of Arnold, “Money is this man’s God, and to get enough of it he would sacrifice his country“. How prescient.
This is the same man who, when the Boston Massacre took place on March 5, 1770, wrote that he was “very much shocked” and wondered “good God, are the Americans all asleep and tamely giving up their liberties, or are they all turned philosophers, -that they don’t take immediate vengeance on such miscreants?” How completely his devotion to liberty had fallen away as his disillusionment grew.
If the founding fathers could no longer be certain that all of those whom they would naturally trust would be loyal, then it would be impossible to trust those about whom they would naturally have suspicions, -namely those born of aliens.
Aside from those foreigners who fought with them as equals through the long and difficult war, (and for whom they made an allowance that they also would be eligible to serve as President if they had become a citizen of their home State before the Constitution was ratified) no foreigner, whether born abroad or born of a non-American in America would be eligible to command the American military by serving as President.
That was to avoid the possibility of a son of a foreigner, though born in America, not being raised in America but back in his parents’ homeland where he would be acculturated to be a loyal subject of his king and country, -and yet eligible to be the American President one day. Some prohibition was needed that would prevent it, -such as:
“No person except a natural born citizen, or a citizen of the United States at the time of the adoption of this constitution, shall be eligible to the office of the President;” (Article II U.S. Constitution).
With treason still on their minds, they wrote these words into the Constitution of the United States: Article II, section 4: The President, [and] Vice-President…shall be removed from office on impeachment for, and conviction of treason, bribery, and other high crimes and misdemeanors.
(Even the President (!) was not above suspicion nor thought of as incapable of treason. Now that is some very serious and justified cynicism about human nature.)
Article III, section 3: Treason against the United States shall consist… No person shall be convicted of treason unless… Congress shall have the power to declare the punishment of treason,…
Article IV, section 2: A person charged in any State with treason,..
So with disloyalty very much on their minds, it was impossible for them to allow any generation of alien-born Americans other than their own (which had proven itself in rebellion and war) to assume the reins of ultimate power in America. So who did the Constitution’s limitation prohibit? Was it those not born in America, or those not born as Americans, or both?
Obviously, those born as foreigners were prohibited (with the exception for the war generation) but what does that mean? Or better yet, what does it not mean?
It does not mean “those born in foreign nations” because Americans could and would be born in foreign nations as sons of America’s Ambassadors, military attaches and eventually servicemen stationed overseas, -along with American merchants, bankers, writers, scholars and university students, (as well as those with elderly and infirm foreign parents).
Why would the wise founders of our nation, and framers of its new Constitution, think it wise to deny the struggling new nation the spirit, competence, and leadership of the sons of such men, the cream of American society and “the best of the best” of future generations?
Fools foolishly assert that they would have thought them untrustworthy because of the supposed contamination with foreign allegiance resulting from birth on foreign soil. They view birth within American borders as necessary for instilling American values and allegiance in sons of Americans. They can’t grasp that maybe that was something that American fathers, mothers, and teachers were perfectly capable of doing and would do.
Such a view of foreign soil’s effect is similar to frightful concerns about the deviant mind-sets that would result from home-schooling. Heavens! How can one be a good American if not raised in an official government school? In Germany they have made it a crime to educate your own children, -based on nothing supporting such a law except total control reserved for Big Brother. Well, place of birth and place of school don’t ensure what they imagine them to produce.
Instilling American values is not something that foreign parents could be trusted to do, nor expected to, and that is why, just like their parents, foreigner children born in the States could not be viewed by the national government as being incapable of being loyal to another nation because there was no guarantee where and how they would be raised.
Short of writing a lengthier eligibility clause, with further elucidations of exceptions and their circumstances, a simple across-the-board prohibition against all but the children of citizens was quite adequate. That would only bar about 1% or less of the population.
What kind of man one was and what loyalty was held by a son of a foreigner was unknown and unknowable, so it was impossible to consider them securely trustworthy for the most powerful position in the nation.
Thus, to avoid a secret future Benedict Arnold from becoming President, they threw a curve ball that no son of a foreigner could ever hit, and that was the requirement that the President be a natural born American citizen and not simply a common law born citizen.
No such requirement for office existed under any of the 13 Constitutions of the American republics since those born & raised in the sovereign States were viewed as all being the same, -whether born of native citizens or of immigrant fathers.
Born & raised in America meant you were an American regardless of paternal citizenship status, and eligible to serve your State in every office available, both State & national. It’s easy to see why when they would have no accent, and even children born and raised for some years abroad, if British, might have only a slightly different accent, -which they would probably lose in time.
Where defenders of the likes of Barack Obama go astray is in believing that the words the founders used (natural born citizen) were from the legal realm, -a realm in which they would not and could not mean what they imply but must mean something different, something altered and artificial. In other words, a legal term of “art” or artifice.
If those three words are from the legal realm and not the natural realm of normal language, then they can say that they mean just what they want them to mean instead of what the English language says that they mean. So that is how they defend their dogma, -by asserting (without any rational basis) that the word “natural” is superfluous, and unnecessary, -leaving only “born citizen” as significant and determinative. “Natural” is just a kind of verbal appendix, -a leftover vestige from the British term of art: natural born subject.
Thus, they proclaim that anyone who was born with U.S. citizenship must be proclaimed to be a “natural born citizen” -just overlook that word “natural”; -pay it no attention! -ignore it like it doesn’t exist. But it does exist, and it is not from the legal realm but from the natural realm, -which the framers had to resort to because there is no legal term for one who inherits his nationality from his father.
The only equivalent term is “natural citizen”. That is the term that would have sufficed if it were not for a fundamental principle of American philosophy, and that is that all citizens are equal. How is the son of a tenth generation American equal to a native-born son of a naturalized foreigner? By the magic of natural-ization.
To natural-ize an outsider is to make them into an insider, -a natural insider and not an adopted outsider. That is possible by the employment of a legal fiction, -a legal pretense which remakes a foreigner into a new natural American citizen by changing him from being the subject of a foreign monarch into being a free citizen of the sovereign State republic that administered his natural-ization, conducting the swearing of the oath of Allegiance & Renunciation thus re-making him as a new citizen of that sovereign State republic, -and by extension, a member of the aggregate nation, an American national, -aka: a citizen of The United States of America.
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But what of those immigrants who did not want to become naturalized citizens or couldn’t learn English, and what of their children born in America? Just as there is an inherent ambiguity in the words “the united states” (the union of the 13 republics of America? or the title of the over-all nation or government?), so also there is an ambiguity in the word “citizen.
State citizen or national citizen? The word alone conveys no answer. So one cannot clearly even discuss the subject of citizenship since there was more than one form of citizenship and more than one rule.
As a result of the Calvin ruling, the unreality and distortion of an invented legal fiction was injected into the equation of nationality, -with it no longer based purely on natural inheritance, natural membership, natural inclusion. It became classified as a legal matter that was subject to the nationality common law established by that case.
The English common law was the law of the colonies except to the extent that it was over-ridden or codified by the legislatures of the colonies. We see its endemic nature in this constitutional amendment:
Amendment VII: “…the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury shall be otherwise re-examined in any court of the united States than according to the rules of the common law.
Being as that was not a statement made in a State constitution, it shows that the English common law was nation-wide since all colonies were English colonies. While England did not have any naturalization process for foreigners, the colonies all had to have one because they were being added to by constant immigration.
No foreigner could be assigned citizenship and equal citizenship rights as Americans if they still held to a foreign loyalty. Some State constitutions viewed the mere act of immigration as rejection of one’s former loyalty to the government under which one was born, but as a result of the war, and the surprising number of loyalists, the States developed naturalization procedures that required taking an oath of allegiance to the State of their domicile and desired citizenship. Having sworn that oath before God and man, one was deemed to be an equal member of the State, and just as American as all other Americans since America was all about the equality of man (as long as one was an educated, white, male, freeman of means and European descent). [after the Constitution’s adoption, allegiance was sworn to it and not a State constitution.]
All Americans were brethren in the war of independence and in the establishment of a new, successful civilization. All European immigrants, except English criminals banished to the colonies as indentured servants, came to America with needed skills, knowledge, experience, and savings. They were valued additions to the national family and were thus treated as such, -as equal to the natural citizens of the new nation.
The American fiction of law is that there are no second-class citizens; -all citizens are natural citizens and thus are innately equal. If parents discovered that their adopted child was actually their own natural child that they had given up at birth, that child’s status would change from being less equal to its siblings to being fully equal, and that is the purpose of the fiction of citizenship equality which makes all Americans equally American. Thus the children of naturalized Americans are deemed to be natural born citizens and therefore eligible to be President.
They are born as natural citizens by being born of citizens, but those born in America of un-naturalized aliens, -who were and are born as Americans, are also deemed to be natural citizens but by the American legal fiction. But they are not deemed to have been born that way.
Thus they are not natural born citizens since their “naturalness” is not via blood, -by natural inheritance, but acquired artificially by legal fiction just as their citizenship is by the constitutionalized policy of the common law (which is not a law of nature but a law of government.)
The Constitution’s framers did not write that “No person except a common law citizen shall be eligible…”.
To understand the difference between a natural citizen and a common law citizen one must understand the realm of Natural Law and how it relates to government law and policy.
In the beginning, there were only natural groups, -either clans or tribes, and all of the members were natural members or married to one. There was no need for laws covering nationality because there was no nation. But as tribes grew into huge populations, nationality emerged as an issue for the government which had to administer law & order. It had to have a policy (or law) governing the membership of children born among them to outsider parents.
Britain found itself with a new policy and doctrine for assigning national membership to such children thanks to the Calvin case which changed the nationality landscape from purely natural membership to one defined by the circumstances of one’s relationship to the king, -those being birth within his domain and subject to his authority.
Since they fit both children of Englishmen and children of foreigners, the concocted common law rule could reference only those indicators and ignore the facts behind them. Natural law was thus ignored and replaced by legal recognition of identifiable relationships to the King.
In the eyes of the agents of government, one was deemed to officially be that which one was according to the common law nationality policy. That worked almost flawlessly since they had no office of President which called for a policy that favored only the those born of countrymen in order to protect the security and survival of the nation in freedom.
As long as the colonies had no national President, there was problem either. Governors did not have to be born in the colony or of colonist since everyone was a British subject regardless. But the presidency threw something new into the nationality issue. His nationality origin had to be without any duality of national background. He had to be 100 % American and not half foreign by blood, and contaminated by foreign attachments of one or both parents.
Being born in America alone would not accomplish that singleness of allegiance. His parentage had to be addressed with words that would rule out common law citizens who were not 100 % American. He had to be a natural American and not a hybrid American with a foreign father. Appending the word “natural” to the requirement that he be born a citizen resulted in the exclusion that they required of the man who would be like the American king, -in charge of all American military forces in time of conflict.
That logic comes across crystal clear but the logic that remains elusive for many is that which addresses American sons born abroad. What was the view of the founders toward them, and what authority was Congress given, if any, to address their situation and their eligibility to be President?
Magnifying our view of the naturalization acts that the new Congress passed in the first five years of the new national government, reveals the truth not only about the authority of Congress but most importantly, the authority of natural law. Which prevailed? Or was there even a conflict between them? The answers to those and the questions raised earlier, (but not answered) are highly revealing and surprising to almost everyone, -not what you might suppose. It all began with the Naturalization Act of 1790. “An act to establish an uniform Rule of Naturalization”
When we glean only the central words from it we get:
“Be it enacted…that any alien, being a free white person…of good character,…may be admitted to become a citizen…on application to any common law Court of record in any one of the States wherein he shall have resided for the term of one year at least,…and taking the oath…to support the Constitution of the United States,.. thereupon such person shall be considered as a Citizen of the United States. And the children of such person so naturalized, dwelling within the United States,…shall also be considered as citizens of the United States. Provided…that no person heretofore proscribed by any State, shall be admitted a citizen as aforesaid, except by an Act of the Legislature of the State in which such person was proscribed.”
That says things so profoundly different from our thinking that they just bounce off our minds. They aren’t absorbed nor comprehended, starting with the first words; “Be it enacted” We understand that that shows an exercise of lawful authority, but exactly what is being enacted? Is it the changing of a foreigner into an American? That is what the lawyers seem to think, but they are wrong.
Instead, they are asserting that by the authority of Congress, something must be recognized. They are ordering that it be recognized. That order is the authority that they are wielding. They are stating a fact which must be acknowledge and not countermanded nor ignored.
Ignored by who? Civilians? Military? Or government officials? The answer is by those with power in government; -all executive officers of government and all judges. They are required to take as true that which Congress states as true.
U.S. Constitution: Article VI: “This Constitution and the laws of the United States which shall be made in pursuance thereof;…shall be the supreme law of the land; and judges in every State shall be bound thereby,…”
What statement of fact did Congress make that all judges are bound by? This: “~shall be considered as citizens of the United States”. There was no latitude nor leeway. No ifs or buts. No discretion involved. Recognize them as citizens or be guilty of nonfeasance at a minimum.
That was the second of two exercises of authority that Congress lawfully exerted under the Constitution. The first is in determining what the rules of naturalization would be for all of the States, -making them all uniform instead of all different.
The preamble of the 1795 Act reads: “For carrying into complete effect the power given by the constitution, to establish an uniform rule of naturalization throughout the United States”.
What rules did they create? Rules of personhood, residency, administrative jurisdiction, record keeping, and procedures. All of those elements pertained solely to the foreign man who sought to become an American.
For his minor children, only their presence within America mattered; nothing else. No oath was required. No sufficient residency, -and no character references, and yet Congress declared they “shall also be considered as citizens of the United States.”
What is missing (but our minds presume to be true) is an exercise of American authority which states that by the power of Congress such children are hereby deemed to be and are thereby declared to be and made to be American citizens. But it did not make such a pronouncement, in fact, no power is exerted for their father either. (!?)
The only power exerted is the mandate that his citizenship be recognized. So what was going on that is unseen, invisible, and yet steering the transformation of a foreigner and his children into Americans? The answer is…
The Power of the Oath. And the Principle of blood connection. Neither are manifestly evident, and if you have no idea of their influence, you would not recognize their influence in naturalization. But the power of an oath is enormous in the traditional, formal, honor-bound world of Law and Sin, (-with lying under oath being dishonorable and thus a sin, and condemned by God, -putting one’s soul in danger of damnation). And the oath itself that he was required to take was the most far-reaching oath on Earth.
It demanded not only total allegiance to the Constitution and the principles it embodied, but also a total renunciation of his obedience and attachment to his foreign lord or government. He had to cut the old bonds and embrace a new allegiance and new obedience and attachment to something above and beyond allegiance to a man and obedience to his power. He had to embrace the principles of Natural Rights and republican self-government.
By taking that drastic action of speaking the words of the oath, including naming the sovereign that he was renouncing before the judge that administered the oath to him face to face, he thereby made himself into an American.
Government had no power to do that for him. Only he could do it and no one could force him nor do it for him. The words had to come from his own mouth for the world to hear, -and be entered forever in the public record.
Do you get it? Nothing of government can make someone an American. It is only accomplished by one’s own volition and action. Without that action, nothing on Earth can make a foreigner into an American (honorary citizenship is not real citizenship). If one speaks the oath of citizenship before a magistrate, one is automatically an American, but to make it official and recognized there was be a record of that fact made. Making the record is not what makes one an American.
It’s exactly the same as with the wedding vows. It is not the person who officiates, not the public servant, or priest or pastor or reverend who merely conducts the service and records the deed. It is the words themselves that bind two people together in matrimony.
Those two words are “I do”. Without them, you can have everything else that goes with a wedding, but it will all mean nothing, because the bond of marriage is sealed by nothing but the vow of fidelity to one’s partner which is consummated by agreeing to it verbally in public. The bride and groom marry themselves by the binding power of their vows before witnesses.
So Congress does not make anyone into a U.S. citizen. It merely sets the stage and records the act, -the oath, the vow which produces the result of making one an American. Then the whole family in America is recognized as American also because they all are identical to their father who is the center and head of the family. Their nationality is derived from his, -and thus they, wife and children, are and were known as derivative citizens.
It’s kind of like in science fiction when someone alters the events of history after going back in Time. That alters the Timeline and everything adjusts accordingly. Similarly, their nationality adjusts accordingly and they become what he has just become. No government authority needed nor exerted. Blood connection and the union of marriage are the only elements involved.
The Act concludes with: “Provided also, that no person heretofore proscribed by any States, shall be admitted a citizen as aforesaid, except by an Act of the Legislature of the State in which such person was proscribed.”
That shows that each sovereign republic of the union had been exercising its own naturalization authority, and could bar unsavory persons from State membership as one’s poor or criminal character determined. The door to citizenship had to first be opened by a magistrate who considered one’s qualifications (residency & character).
Congress decreed that no one barred from citizenship in one State could obtain it from another State except as permitted by legislation. It was supporting the supremacy of the decisions of the States regarding their nationality choices, -not supporting its own authority over anyone or everyone.
Further evidence of the truth of that explanation is seen in these words: “may be admitted to become a citizen” and these: “shall be considered as a Citizen of the United States.”
Congress did not write: “shall be admitted to become a citizen” (that would be an exercise of authority) but wrote “may”, while following with “shall” after the oath has been spoken. That teaches us a couple of things.
Congress was not dictating to the States (since it had no authority to do so) that they were being forced to naturalize foreigners and to do so according the the rules of Congress. It was merely saying to the State judges and magistrates (and federal ones as well after they were installed) that if you naturalize someone, this is how it is to be done. You, the States, may choose to stop naturalization altogether since that is your prerogative, but you all must follow the uniform rule we’ve fashioned if you do conduct naturalization proceedings.
Again, an absence of any exercise of naturalization “power” by Congress. That has enormous implications that no one has recognized previously (or so I presume). It impacts presidential eligibility and theories of nationality because of the section of the act that I didn’t quote, which is:
“And the children of citizens of the United States that may be born beyond Sea, or out of the limits of the United States, shall be considered as natural born Citizens;”.
If, as just explained, that is not an exercise of government power over nationality but merely a mandate to recognize that which is, then the purpose for such recognition is very clear and highly limited, -limited solely to who is eligible to be President.
In the previous sentence, Congress mandates that children of naturalized fathers be recognized as “citizens of the United States” but then mandates that children of CITIZENS be recognized as natural born citizens.
Needless to say, that had a very real purpose, and since those words are related to nothing under the sun other than eligibility to be President, one cannot escape that implication as being the sole reason for mandating that they be recognized as such, -to protect their eligibility since there was no protection anywhere else.
Those children were over-looked in the writing of the Constitution, and it was the job of the first Congress to ensure that no judge or official in the land, at some date in the future, would ignorantly or deliberately seek to bar such a foreign-born son (perhaps one whose politics he didn’t like) from eligibility to seek the presidency.
So you need to ask yourself a lot of very important questions which go to the very heart of our relationship to government, including:
1. “Did Congress have the authority to “make” someone into a natural born citizen like even the king of England could not do for a foreigner?
2. “How can the authorization to write a uniform nation-wide rule for naturalization be construed to include making someone something that they were not born as?
3. Was Congress merely ordering that they be viewed as natural born citizens by “legal fiction” but not as “real” natural born citizens? And for what purpose would they do such a thing and why would they have felt that they were authorized to do so?
4. If the children of naturalized fathers were automatically turned into Americans upon their father taking the oath, would not children of Americans be automatically born as Americans since they were born of Americans? (with blood and descent being at work)
5. Is there something about borders that magically cancels the natural right of Americans to pass their citizenship, their nationality, their national membership to their young? Is such a magic power that can cancel unalienable rights found anywhere in the United States Constitution?
6. When and how and why would the sovereign States of the union have surrendered the right of their citizens to have their children recognized as also being citizens of their parents’ republic simply because of where they happened to be born?
7. Does any government have any authority to tell parents that their children are aliens and can only be included as members of their country if the government policy or laws permit it?
8. Who owns whom? Do the citizens own the government and tell it what its limits are or does the government own The People and can tell them who and what they do or don’t belong to?
9. If Congress ordered that all foreign-born children of Americans be recognized as natural born citizens because that is what they actually are, is that not an unmistakeable endorsement of the principle of American nationality being membership by descent and not common law, -regardless of the States continuing to apply it for children of outsiders?
10. If natural American citizenship is determined by descent, by inheritance, by blood connection instead of birth place, then is not the definition of what a natural born citizen is determined by that also and not by common law?
11. If a natural born American citizen can be born anywhere in the world or outer space, requiring nothing other than American parents, then how can one defend the view that Barack Obama is a natural born citizen and not a starkly constitutional fraud?
12. The defenders of Barack Obama argue that he is a natural born citizen because the term “natural born subject” was used to describe anyone born subject to the Crown, but how do they support the presumption that the authors of the Constitution intended for everyone to assume that they were also using a legal fiction term or term of artifice instead of a literal term? Why should anyone think that the word “natural” has no meaning at all? Did the assiduously meticulous authors of the Constitution throw in, for no justifiable reason, superfluous verbiage?
Thinking seems to be a pretty big enemy of their position if it is held to a strict diet of facts and error-less logic. Their unmovable position is that the framers of the Constitution were bound inescapably to the British contrived term “natural born subject” and could not have been free to use the English words that perfectly described what sort of citizen they meant to limit the presidency to.
They all must be viewed as having wanted to allow the wicked son of a self-serving prince or nobleman or aristocrat & wife who were visiting America for a time during which their son was born, to have the right to to run for the presidency with his nefarious foreign father propping him up and supporting his bid. Did they really intend to place the power of the Commander-in-Chief in such jeopardy, and the nation along with it?
Who wants to be first to salute that contention about the intelligence, naivete, and insight of the founding fathers, -men who one must presume knew very little about treason? Personally, I’ll pass. How about you?
by Adrien Nash April 2014 obama–nation.com
~ ~ ~ ~ ~
“The heir of a king of England may be born with all the vices of a Richard; with the tyrannical disposition, and cruelty of the eighth Henry; with the empty pride and folly of a James; with the cowardice and imbecility of a John; or with the stupid obstinacy, bigotry, or other depravity of temper, of any of his successors; he must nevertheless succeed to the throne of his fathers.
His person is sacred and inviolable as if he were an Alfred; -and unless his misdeeds are so rank as to bring him to the block, or force him to an abdication, he continues the lord’s anointed all his days.
A president of the United States must have attained the middle age of life, before he is eligible to that office: if not a native, he must have been fourteen years a resident in the United States.
His talents and character must consequently be known. The faculties of his mind must have attained their full vigor: the character must be formed, and formed of active, not of passive materials, to attract, and secure the attention, and approbation of a people dispersed through such a variety of climate and situation, as the American people are.
This activity of mind and of talent must have manifested itself on the side of virtue, before it can engage the favor of those who acknowledge no superiority of rights among individuals, and who are conscious that in promoting to office, they should choose a faithful agent, not a ruler, without responsibility.
And should it happen, that they are after all deceived in their estimate of his character and worth, the lapse of four years enables them to correct their error, and dismiss him from their service. What nation governed by an hereditary monarch has an equal chance of happiness?!
Document 18 St. George Tucker, Blackstone’s Commentaries 1:App. 316–25, 328–29, 1803
Mario Apuzzo wrote: “If a citizen is not a natural born citizen, then that citizen can only be a naturalized citizen.”
That is over-simplistic. It leaves out a very real category of citizens which at various points in history numbered in the millions. It is the category of the common law citizens of America.
The States, in part or in whole, retained the century-old common law tradition of viewing the native-born as citizens (with exceptions).
The national government abandoned that tradition, rejecting (as national policy) dual citizenship and dual allegiance, but never making that policy law.
It could not make that policy into law because that would reject as national citizens all State common law citizens. That was politically impossible.
Even the policy alone carried the huge implication that none of those with dual citizenship would be eligible to be President regardless of being born and raised as an American, nor of having served honorably in American wars.
It would “alter” the view of what a natural born citizen is by making the word “natural” have real legal meaning, and not merely an artificial, term-of-artifice meaning.
It would mean that only sons of citizens could be President, denying native-born sons of immigrant foreigners the right to that privilege.
You can bet that the immigrant community would have been apoplectic at such a disenfranchisement of their children.
The dissonance between State citizenship law (which included common law citizenship) and federal policy was finally resolved by the contrived opinion in the Wong case. From then on, it was the law of the land that common law citizenship was the rule in America for all children of immigrants.
They were never viewed by the citizens of the States as being “naturalized at birth”. Such a concept did not exist. It was non-existent in Britain and the colonies.
Naturalization was a thing that only concerned adult men and their embrace of a new nationality by an oath of allegiance.
Every father, including every naturalized father, was the determinant of the nationality of those under him and within his personal family unit.
They mirrored him. Whatever was true of him was true of them as well.
The family blood made it so by natural transmission of the father’s political nature.
But the reverse was not and is not true. The common law citizenship of an immigrant’s child does not make the parents citizens also.
Citizenship can never be obtained by adults except by actual naturalization, meaning by oath. Nothing else is naturalization. It is merely mandatory government recognition that every child is of the same nationality as its parents. That’s a simple political reality based on a law of nature.
Mario Apuzzo, Esq. said…
I see you are continuing to pick up and use information here which you call “new insight.”
You have almost arrived except for your position that national borders are irrelevant to our Constitutional meaning of a natural born citizen.
I see you are continuing to avoid addressing anything that I’ve written, and understandably so since it is toxic to your melding of natural law with common law.
You have NOT almost arrived because you are mentally incapable of addressing the issues that I’ve pointed out.
It’s clear to all that you never have and never will.
You fail the test of honest discourse by failing to refute the logic or truth of what I’ve shared.
You are a master of refutation when you are on the side of the truth, but regurgitating your doctrine for the thousandth time is not the same as point-by-point proving the fallacy of what I’ve presented.
It is simply a matter of deliberate avoidance. No one can refute that borders are irrelevant to natural membership by birth. That is a universal truth across all of nature, all families and all groups. Blood connection results in natural membership, -which on the political plane is known as natural citizenship.
Your dogma denies the fact that natural membership also applies in the national arena. It must avoid acknowledging that natural citizenship exists. That is your adamant stance and yet it is 100% wrong.
No reasonable person in American history has ever denied the reality of natural national membership. And yet you do just that in direct contradiction to the clear elucidation of David Ramsay and E. Vattel.
Mario Apuzzo, Esq. said… “I do not understand your point.”
Yes, you do understand my point but are totally unable to address it because it destroys the basis of your dogma. Your wrote: “If a citizen is not a natural born citizen, then that citizen can only be a naturalized citizen.”
I showed that that is inaccurate, and the reason it is inaccurate destroys your dogma. You then failed to refute or address any point that I made. Instead all we get is more obfuscation and a claim of not understanding. If you truly are incapable of understanding what I wrote, then I’m truly wasting my time with you since you are unteachable.
Mario Apuzzo, Esq. said…
Mr. Nash, You are full of it.
Slarti pontificated: “Since we know Mr. Wong was, in fact, a citizen and that all citizens are either naturalized or natural born, we are left to conclude that Mr. Wong was a natural born citizen.”
[OBSERVE! Both Obots and birthers defend the same fallacy!]
You facts are as defective as your logic, -same with Mario. There are five main kinds of citizens; natural citizens; natural-ized citizens; common law citizens; derivative citizens; and statutory citizens.
Do you really dare to claim with no basis whatsoever that four of the five are natualized?
Common law citizens are not naturalized. Derivative citizens are not naturalized. And statutory citizens likewise. Each has its own means of citizenship acquisition.
Only those who speak the oath of Allegiance & Renunciation before a magistrate of a court of record is a naturalized citizen. None of the others have any record of naturalization because they are not naturalized, nor are they natural citizens.
You both need your erroneous thinking patterns re-wired.
Obot’s version of Art II: “No person except a native-born citizen, or a citizen of the U.S. at the time of the adoption…who shall have resided in the U.S. for 14 years, shall be eligible…”
It’s totally fallacious to read native-born into the word “natural”. Also, the residency requirement is NOT attached to only naturalized and common law citizens, but to natural born citizens as well, indicating a possible foreign birth. Thus John McCain could have lived in Panama into his fifties before moving to the U.S. and running for President in his seventies.
“Natural-born United States citizen” means a United States citizen who has become a United States Citizen at the moment of his or her birth.”
There is no such term as “Natural-born United States citizen” in the Constitution.
There is no hyphen, which reveals your lack of comprehension of the subject, -and there is no United States. All natural citizens were State citizens first and foremost as the States were fathers of the union.
“at the moment of birth” is not natural citizenship. That requires “at the moment” of conception.
With natural citizens it is not a matter of timing (at birth, or at one year, or at ten years -like Cuba) it is a matter of origin, of nature, of inheritance, NOT TIMING!
If a baby’s nationality is not innate before birth, then it is an alien-born common law citizen and not a natural one. It’s nationality could be determined by its mother walking across the border before delivery.
THE DEVIL IS IN THE DETAILS AND THEY WILL DETERMINE OUR FUTURE, -BY IGNORANCE OR BY KNOWLEDGE.