On the Real Meaning of “Natural Born Citizen”

Harvard Law Review Forum

On the Meaning of “Natural Born Citizen”

We have both had the privilege of heading the Office of the Solicitor General during different administrations. We may have different ideas about the ideal candidate in the next presidential election, but we agree on one important principle: voters should be able to choose from all constitutionally eligible candidates, free from spurious arguments that a U.S. citizen at birth is somehow not constitutionally eligible to serve as President simply because he was delivered at a hospital abroad.

[note: while their view is correct, their approach of total spurious dismissal is repugnant to anyone seeking to know the truth, such as America citizens to whom the truth matters but who have not yet found satisfactory explanations of what exactly it is.

They have a right to have their misconceptions dissolved by presentation of fact, but these two lawyers are too damn lazy or busy with their high-rate billing law practices that they can’t be bothered with explaining things to the little people who don’t matter.  But that’s okay because I’ve done it in place of them, -a couple hundred times over.

At least they were correct in their view that birth location is irrelevant, but it is inexcusable to not explain why. They can’t do that because they have not put words to the principle involved. That is because they do not deal in the realm of principles, which is why their comprehension of the founding era is so lacking.]

The Constitution directly addresses the minimum qualifications necessary to serve as President. In addition to requiring thirty-five years of age and fourteen years of residency, the Constitution limits the presidency to “a natural born Citizen.” 1. U.S. Const. art. II, § 1, cl. 5.

All the sources routinely used to interpret the Constitution [note: there are no sources that “routinely interpret” the meaning of “natural born citizen”] confirm that the phrase “natural born Citizen” has a specific meaning: [note: they confirm nothing because they have no authority to confirm the real meaning since they did not live when they were written, and no one who did wrote about it] namely, someone who was a U.S. citizen at birth with no need to go through a naturalization proceeding at some later time.

[That doctrine has never been “confirmed” by any federal court in American history. They have all side-stepped it when it came before them.]

And Congress has made equally clear [that] from the time of the framing of the Constitution to the current day, subject to certain residency requirements on the parents, someone born to a U.S. citizen parent generally becomes a U.S. citizen without regard to whether the birth takes place in Canada, the Canal Zone, or the continental United States.

[THAT IS IRRELEVANT!! First they bastardized the context totally and then they punted with the weasel word “generally”, and even worse (if possible!) they side-railed the discussion from “natural born citizen” to the irrelevant subject of “citizen”.
It does not matter who “becomes” a citizen. Natural born citizens do not “become” citizens.  They are born of and as citizens or they don’t exist.

And even more worse, they failed utterly to share the fact that State citizenship was in conflict with federal citizenship, and State law, which allowed dual-citizenship resulting from native-birth common law, was NOT the policy or position of federal law which did not allow dual-citizenship via common law.
So they set up a false scenario and then put a straw man into it and then they knock down their straw man. Isn’t that great? So intellectually honest and logical. Mr. Spock would put them in a painful Vulcan grip as punishment for their bastardization of fact and logic.

Let me illuminate, as I’ve already done yesterday in the exposition titled:

The Unknown Citizenship Fact that Changes Everything https://h2ooflife.wordpress.com/2015/03/23/the-unknown-citizenship-fact-that-changes-everything/

The only context that existed when the Constitution was written, -and long thereafter, was the one in which all such legal statements referred to American men only. Nationality was passed from husband to wife, and from father to children.
Every wife of every American husband was an American through her husband. And yet what deceitful thing did they write? “Someone born to a U.S. citizen parent generally becomes a U.S. citizen…”

MORONS! They bastardized the context by changing “a U.S. citizen father” by dropping the word “father” and substituting the inherently ambiguous word “parent“, as if gender significance did not even exist.
That is an intellectual falsehood and deliberately so because it allows them to cruise to their bastard destination based on the pretense that anyone born of an American mother “generally becomes a U.S. citizen [i.e., “natural born citizen”] without regard to whether the birth takes place…”

Understand this: no American mother was an American unless her husband was an American because her nationality couldn’t be different his; from the head of the family. Google the phase: “A Citizenship of Her Own” (title of a book and essay) and be amazed at the long and laborious history of American women trying to finally obtain their own citizenship.

It took well over a century to achieve. In fact in 1907 Congress passed a revision of the naturalization law and in it women actually lost their citizenship by marrying a foreigner.
Because by mutual agreement between nations, she took on her husband’s nationality. In a patriarchal era, she belonged to her husband due to the continuing vestige of an earlier and more traditional male-dominated society. British & American women were to a large extent similar to wives of Muslim men today.
The question therefore must be asked: How the hell did these two geniuses not know that??? If they could get something so plain and historical wrong, what the heck can’t they get wrong?]

While some constitutional issues are truly difficult, with framing-era sources either nonexistent or contradictory, here, the relevant materials clearly indicate that a “natural born Citizen” means…

[MORONS!!! In the “framing-era” there were NO SOURCES!  They too were “nonexistent”. If no “relevant materials” existed, how could they indicate anything? They couldn’t because they didn’t exist!
And that is why they cited none. Does that not seem odd?? They are supposedly deep investigators and yet can’t say what they found because they in fact found NOTHING! FRAUDS!]

…a “natural born Citizen” means a citizen from birth with no need to go through naturalization proceedings. The Supreme Court has long recognized that two particularly useful sources in understanding constitutional terms are British common law3. See Smith v. Alabama, 124 U.S. 465, 478 (1888). and enactments of the First Congress.

[1888??? Does that date, one hundred years after the “framing-era” of the Constitution, seem like a contemporary source for explaining what was in the framers’ minds? Idiots! Pure obfuscation.

4. See Wisconsin v. Pelican Ins. Co., 127 U.S. 265, 297 (1888). Both confirm that the original meaning of the phrase “natural born Citizen” includes persons born abroad who are citizens from birth based on the citizenship of a parent.

[Again with the fraudulent misappropriation of the word “confirm”. Pontificators who express a concept or misconception have not “confirmed” a damn thing! The Pope’s Bible scholars once “confirmed” that indeed the sun does revolve around the Earth. Both confirmations not worth spit.

But even worse, they repeat the fallacy of an ambiguous context by using the word “a parent” again instead of “the father”. Appreciate just how wickedly clever and Luciferian is their word choice. It could not be more clever because it can be both totally true as well as totally false depending on gender.]

As to the British practice, laws in force in the 1700s recognized that children born outside of the British Empire to subjects of the Crown were subjects themselves and explicitly used “natural born” to encompass such children.

[“recognized” is properly used here but they failed to openly state that it was used because they were in fact natural-born subjects by Natural Law and not “made into” natural-born subjects by Parliamentary legal artifice.]

5. See United States v. Wong Kim Ark, 169 U.S. 649, 655–72 (1898). These [British] statutes provided that children born abroad to subjects of the British Empire were “natural-born Subjects . . . to ALL Intents, Constructions, and Purposes whatsoever.” 6. 7 Ann., c. 5, § 3 (1708); see also British Nationality Act, 1730, 4 Geo. 2, c. 21.

The Framers, of course, would have been intimately familiar with these statutes and the way they used terms like “natural born,” since the statutes were binding law in the colonies before the Revolutionary War. They were also well documented in Blackstone’s Commentaries,

[“natural-born” was not “used” in any context other than when combined with “subject”. Natural-born cannot be found in Blackstone’s Commentaries or any legal dictionary of the times because it had no meaning. Only the full phrase “natural-born subject” had meaning.
The British never used the words “natural born citizen” because “citizen” only pertained to voting residents of cities, -not to national membership in the nation of England or the expanded United Kingdom.]

7. See 1 William Blackstone, Commentaries *354–63. a text widely circulated and read by the Framers and routinely invoked in interpreting the Constitution.

No doubt informed by this longstanding tradition, just three years after the drafting of the Constitution, the First Congress established that children born abroad to U.S. citizens were U.S. citizens at birth, and explicitly recognized that such children were “natural born Citizens.” The Naturalization Act of 1790

8. Ch. 3, 1 Stat. 103 (repealed [and replaced] 1795). provided that “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: Provided, That the Right of citizenship shall not descend to persons whose fathers have never been resident in the United States . . . .”9. Id. at 104 (emphasis added).

The actions and understandings of the First Congress are particularly persuasive because so many of the Framers of the Constitution were also members of the First Congress. That is particularly true in this instance, as eight of the eleven members of the committee that proposed the natural born eligibility requirement to the Convention served in the First Congress and none objected to a definition of “natural born Citizen” that included persons born abroad to citizen parents.

[Ta-da!! Bingo! “citizen parents” as in married citizen couples. But even that is deliberately deceitful obfuscation. Why? Because they deliberately changed the text or noun from “fathers” to “citizen parents” which they can then misconstrue on purpose to mean a single American women (who just might happen to be married to a total foreigner like foreign student Barack Obama from Kenya).

THAT WAS IMPOSSIBLE because if she was an American it was because she was married to an American. There was no such thing as a mixed-nationality couple in the United States or in Britain. If an American women married a British gentleman, she became British because unity of nationality was preserved within the family based on that of the husband-father.]

The proviso in the Naturalization Act of 1790 underscores that while the concept of “natural born Citizen” has remained constant and plainly includes someone who is a citizen from birth by descent without the need to undergo naturalization proceedings,…

What they are failing to reveal in that statement is what “descent” actually entails.  One’s ancestry or lineage was via descent through one’s….FATHER!  Descent was not through a mother.  No son inherited their mother’s name but their father’s, and his station in life, and one day his estate.  Wives did not inherit the family estate. The eldest son did. Anglo-American society was totally patrilineal. But they do not want to tell you that because it demolishes the falsehood that they will base on the erroneous assumption that nationality passed also from mother to child when that never happened and couldn’t happen unless the father was dead, unknown, or a stateless person.

…the details of which individuals born abroad to a citizen parent [gender neutral] qualify as citizens from birth have changed. [no mention of citizens by birth, just “from” birth, conflating the two origins of born citizenship] The pre-Revolution British statutes sometimes focused on paternity such that only children of citizen fathers were granted citizenship at birth. [“sometimes” seems awfully specious since it was probably “always” except for exceptions like those noted above.]

The Naturalization Act of 1790 expanded the class of citizens at birth to include children born abroad of citizen mothers as long as the father had at least been resident in the United States at some point.

Try to understand just how mindless that statement is.  “Citizenship” did not exist under the British.  United States national citizenship did not exist until the union of the united STATES of AMERICA was formed following the adoption of the Constitution.  The sovereign States each had their own citizenship and undoubtedly recognized all children of their citizens as citizens also, regardless of birth location.

Consider the alternative: a respectable and important State citizen and pregnant wife are residing in Europe for negotiations of some important sort.  The wife gives birth during that period.  What would be the attitude of the leaders and citizens of such a family’s home State?
Would they take the attitude that they would surrender political sovereignty over their representative’s child to the British?  Allow the British to declare their child to be a British subject for life?  Or would they strenuously defend the child’s right to be an American like its parents?

If you view the latter option as realistic, and it applied to most or all of the individual States, then it is absurd to say that Congress “expanded the class of citizens at birth” by including those born abroad.  Why would they not already have been citizens at birth?

Even worse, since there was no congressional authority to bestow natural citizenship to any foreigner or to any natural citizen by birth, how the heck could that “class” have been “expanded” by Congress via the 1790 act?

That statement is rife with gigantic falsehoods that are easily overlooked, including:

1.  Congress had no authority to make citizens, -only to determine which foreigners (immigrants) would be allowed to become by their solemn oath a United States citizen.  That meant writing a uniform rule for nation-wide adoption by all of the individual States for use in their naturalization process.

2. It presupposes that even before Congress passed anything regarding citizenship, no American born abroad was considered to be an American but was considered to instead be a foreigner by the new national government that had never existed before.  How could it expand on a recognition of citizenship when no recognition could have previously existed?

” [expanded] to include children born abroad of citizen mothers as long as the father had at least been resident in the United States…” “But Congress eliminated that differential treatment of citizen mothers and fathers…”

3.  How deviously subtle.  Notice the use of “citizen mothers” but avoidance of “citizen fathers”, employing instead the nondescript “father” of no specific or relevant nationality.
That’s a set-up for the unspoken lie that a child’s nationality could be passed within marriage through its American mother by a means other than law, namely “by nature”, thereby classifying it as a natural born “citizen from birth“.
But they then immediately distract by claiming that Congress eliminated a “differential treatment” that required only the nondescript father to have lived in America.

So under modern day law a single, unmarried American woman can give birth to a child abroad which was fathered by anyone and it would magically qualify for the status stated in the first and only naturalization statute which declared that the children of United States citizens (meaning simply American fathers because all wives were under the umbrella of their nationality) were to be recognized as natural born citizens per the principle of the 1790 act?

[note that it has long been US policy that a child born out of wedlock has no right whatsoever to US citizenship except via the allowance of statutory naturalization regulations.]

What IDIOTS!  They have utterly changed the elements involved but attempt to equate the results.  No “citizen mother” could have been married to a foreigner and given birth to a natural American citizen because she herself would no longer be an American!  She would be a foreigner!  How can a foreign mother give birth by law or nature to a natural American citizen child?  What could be more absurd than that?  And yet clever and subtle sophistry serve to subvert the reader’s comprehension.

They invoke naturalization statutory law regarding mixed nationality couples who are allowed to have the American parent’s citizenship be imputed to their child by law, in conjunction with the foreign parent’s legal system doing the same regarding its citizenship, resulting in a child with split / dual allegiance due to dual inherited citizenship.

How exactly is an analogous off-spring of a dog and a cat a natural born dog or natural born cat?  THAT is the Kool-Aid they are offering you!  Don’t drink it!

Another angle of deception is in the mention of “differential treatment of citizen mothers and fathers” regarding required residency, but residency in the later and modern naturalization acts is specifically related to the individual American parent with a foreign spouse and not, as is the case with their quoted first act of 1790, related instead to non-recognition of citizenship of a child born abroad to an American father who was also born and raised abroad and never lived in the United States, making his child effectually even more a foreigner than himself. It said that citizenship shall not DESCEND in such a case, -meaning from a citizen father and citizen mother, both of which would be essentially non-American.

Thus, in the relevant time period, and subject to certain residency requirements, children born abroad of a citizen parent were citizens from the moment of birth, and thus are “natural born Citizens.”

The relevant time period refers to the era of the first act, during which citizenship emanated from father to wife and children .  But pronto they made a statement that is not relevant to that time period but to one that came over a century or more later, during which the acts eventually allowed an American mother to pass her citizenship directly to her foreign-born, alien-fathered child provided she had lived in the United States a requisite number of years and was thus Americanized by that experience even though foreign born.

That conflation of the founders’ era with our own modern era was made possible by  conflating the restriction “provided” in the naturalization acts then and after [to end transmission of US citizenship to children who are not really Americans and have no connection to America] with the similar residency requirements applicable to either gender U.S. parent before recognition of the U.S. citizenship of a mixed-nationality child.  Such a child is not an “American” child! It is a political Siamese twin. That is combining apples and oranges.  Yes, they are both fruit, but otherwise essentially different.

The only honest comment would have been to point out that not just the father had to have had residence in the U.S. but the mother as well. In the 1790 act, the mother’s history was irrelevant because she was an American only while married to one. I believe that if a foreign wife divorced her American husband, or vice versa, she because foreign again since her proof of citizenship was her marriage certificate and her husband’s birth certificate, neither of which would be in her possession after a divorce.

“~citizens from the moment of birth, and thus are “natural born Citizens.””

If you know what a non-sequitur is, well, you are looking at a huge one of a logic sort. What is stated in the first section is unrelated to the second by any logic. In fact a major logic error is glaringly evident but most people have never taken a college course in logic and will fail to notice it. It is like saying that: If A = B, then B = C.(!)

They have not shown any logical link that reveals the two different terms to be synonymous, -nor showing that there is no difference between being a citizen at birth and being a natural born citizen.  They cannot show that because it is not true and they know it is not true.
They are just paid liars hiding behind distortions of legal facts.  Or they might instead be really stupid people who can’t see what is plain to anyone looking for legitimate untwisted truth.

A. = B (the 1790 act declares children born abroad of American couples = natural born citizens.)

B = C. (natural born citizens are both citizens at birth and by birth)

C = A  (all citizens at birth = natural born citizens.)

Missing facts:
1. Not all citizens at birth are citizens by birth because they are dependent on statutory law due to not being the off-spring of American couples but of mixed-nationality couples.
2. Mixed nationality couples can only produce political hybrid children, chimeras, cross-breeds, half-bloods having citizenship in two different nations.
3. No natural citizen has dual citizenship by parentage.
4. Dual citizenship by birth location is irrelevant to natural law and natural belonging.  One naturally belongs to their parents and to the groups of which they are members, whether family or clan or country or nation. Birth-place citizenship is a gift of human law, not a right of natural law.

The original meaning of “natural born Citizen” also comports with what we know of the Framers’ purpose in including this language in the Constitution. The phrase first appeared in the draft Constitution shortly after George Washington received a letter from John Jay, the future first Chief Justice of the United States, suggesting:

[W]hether it would not be wise & seasonable to provide a . . . strong check to the admission of Foreigners into the administration of our national Government; and to declare expressly that the Command in chief of the American army shall not be given to, nor devolve on, any but a natural born Citizen.

12. Letter from John Jay to George Washington (July 25, 1787), in 3 The Records of the Federal Convention of 1787, at 61 (Max Farrand ed., 1911).

As recounted by Justice Joseph Story in his famous Commentaries on the Constitution, the purpose of the natural born Citizen clause was thus to “cut off all chances for ambitious foreigners, who might otherwise be intriguing for the office; and interpose a barrier against those corrupt interferences of foreign governments in executive elections.”

13. 3 Joseph Story, Commentaries on the Constitution of the United States § 1473, at 333 (1833). The Framers did not fear such machinations from those who were U.S. citizens from birth just because of the happenstance of a foreign birthplace. Indeed, John Jay’s own children were born abroad while he served on diplomatic assignments, and it would be absurd to conclude that Jay proposed to exclude his own children, as foreigners of dubious loyalty, from presidential eligibility.

Exactly what I’ve argued a thousand times over.  They put logic to that foreign-born = alien-born nonsense.  It’s pathetic that so many people fail to distinguish between foreign-born and foreigner-born. One is about the irrelevant time and place of exit from the womb, while the other is about who brought you into the world and raised you.  They are completely unrelated in any way, with the former unrelated also to anything of nature.

A year ago I was hoping to learn and discover that John Jay had children abroad so I could mount the same argument, but it would have been a rather flat argument because, as I recall, his wife did not produce sons abroad but daughters, -neither of which were eligible for public office, much less the presidency.

But the point is that there is no way at all that the thinking of the founders was of such a rights-surrendering manner that they would have embraced a system or doctrine of citizenship which would have disenfranchised their own children from full and unlimited citizenship privilege. Instead, they chose to disenfranchise the children of immigrants, for life.

Citizenship by descent was the rule for that 98% of the population that was born of citizens, and citizenship “at birth” via native-birth common law (codified by many or most states) was the rule for the 2% born of foreign fathers.
One or the other was not to be defined by the words “natural born citizen”, (it could not be both because of the word “natural”), and there were perhaps a thousand to ten thousand American native-born sons of unnaturalized immigrants to each individual American son born abroad.  It is no wonder that the words “natural born” were removed by the third Congress five years later.
That was enough time to hear from their constituents who far out-numbered the probably non-existent foreign-born birthright-citizenship lobby.  So it was good-bye to their presidential eligibility protection written into the first Uniform Rule of Naturalization.

The uncertainty that resulted has never been resolved to this day, and never will be, for the same reasons. Truth must take a far back seat to equal treatment.  After all, don’t nearly all native-born persons grow up to be just as American as those born of citizens?
Heck, some who were foreign-born and foreigner-born but brought to the US as small children don’t know any other country. America is their only home, and American is their only identify, -and English may be their only language, and yet huge numbers of them are not United States citizens because their parents came here with them illegally. They are called “the dreamers” because their dream is to be citizens as well as Americans.

“Despite the happenstance of a birth across the border, there is no question that Senator Cruz has been a citizen from birth and is thus a “natural born Citizen” within the meaning of the Constitution.”

Wow!  Talk about unsupported leaps of “logic”!  Why didn’t they just skip the thought bridge about “citizen from birth” and just pole-vault straight to the other side with: “there is no doubt that Senator Cruz is a “natural born citizen’…?  Because that would be too blatant and thus unscholarly. They had to maintain a pretense of logic and fact when they are not able to present either for their baseless case.

“within the meaning of the Constitution.”  The reason that they have spent many hours and I spent an incalculable number of hours on this subject is because there is no “meaning” given in the Constitution.  It has to be construed, surmised, deduced and done so correctly.

They have done it incorrectly because they have committed a cardinal sin against constitutional interpretation, and that is to bastardized the meaning of common English language words so that they mean what they want them to mean.

Lawyers, politicians, and bureaucrats commit that crime routinely and that is how they prosper and become far more powerful.  That was what has always happened, as it did with Prohibition.
The constitutional amendment barred “intoxicating liquors”.  Everyone knew what that meant; it meant hard liquor or spirits.  High alcohol content stuff.  But what did the totalitarians in government do to that clear meaning?  They bastardized the hell out of it by extending it illogically to include wine and beer.

Well, just ask yourself; when in the world did anyone ever call beer “liquor”?  Never.  But to the shock of the whole nation the totalitarians criminalized making and drinking even beer and did so by the fiat will of regulators, (the kind that will soon call all of the shots in Obamacare and internet freedom and energy production).

The did the same with the income tax amendment. As written and passed, income original meant earnings on investments or property. It had no connection to wages which are a barter of time & talent in exchange for cash. Wages are not income in the sense of the amendment. What happened to that original meaning? It was BASTARDIZED big time.So the People became the slaves and the GOVERNMENT became the Master.

Indeed, because his father had also been resident in the United States, Senator Cruz would have been a “natural born Citizen” even under the Naturalization Act of 1790.

For that statement they should be flogged and pilloried, -either for abject stupidity or Luciferian deceit.  They talk about citizenship by descent, and yet there was no descent from a father who was a stateless person, -not an American, so how could he have any influence on his son being a natural American citizen by birth?

That is a thought that occurred to neither of them.  But what must have occurred to them was that the U.S. residency of an alien father meant absolutely ZERO!!!  And worse still, having lived in the United States was only necessary if the son of an American father (his was ex-Cuban, not American) had been born and raised abroad, like in Canada, and had himself produced a child abroad which he raised abroad.  His child, by the 1790 act, would not have had a right of citizenship by descent unless his father (like Ted Cruz) had lived some period in the United States.

See there?  The 1790 act’s restriction (not allowance) was not about a father who emigrated (Cruz senior) as they dishonestly portrayed, but his grandson born and raised abroad, -whose father never lived in the grandfather’s country.  So how again did Cruz Sr., as an alien who lived in the US, serve to transmit natural born American citizenship to his child when neither residency in general, nor his residency, nor his nationality had any connection to natural American citizenship?

I would call that brain-dead intellectual incompetence but I can’t assume that anyone could be that incompetent without being a total failure. There must be some other reason, and it’s not an honest one.

First they put forth the cock-&-bull story that his mother’s residency qualified him to inherit her citizenship and PRESTO!  That makes him a “NATURAL BORN CITIZEN”!  Now they can’t resist piling another lie on top of that one by claiming that even his alien father’s residency determined his son’s presidential eligibility.  That is the maximum height of stupidity or Hitlerian nerve.  I really do not like either possibility.  Both stink to high heaven.

There are plenty of serious issues to debate in the upcoming presidential election cycle.

Let’s not spend any serious time looking into our spurious deceptions folks, -nothing to see here, so just move along, -same thing that Obama and his helpers said when it came to releasing his fake long-form “Certificate of Live Birth” -almost verbatim.

The less time spent dealing with specious objections to candidate eligibility, the better.

Hey, Luciferian, how people choose to spend their time is none of your business. Every crook that ever served in government said the same thing when an investigation was called for by some alert citizen.

Fortunately, the Constitution is refreshingly clear on these eligibility issues. [As clear as a black hole!] To serve, an individual must be at least thirty-five years old and a “natural born Citizen.” Thirty-four and a half is not enough and, for better or worse, a naturalized citizen cannot serve.

Yes! Let’s go there! A person who is half old enough is not eligible. A person who is half-American is not eligible. See how that works? It is “refreshingly clear”!!

But as Congress has recognized since the Founding, a person born abroad to a U.S. citizen parent is generally a U.S. citizen from birth with no need for naturalization.

Again with the damn “citizen parent” instead of citizen father. And note the retreat to using only the term “a citizen” instead of a natural born citizen.  Understand this: what Congress “recognized” is irrelevant to natural nationality inheritance, -to natural national membership via blood lineage, aka, right of descent.

Congress only had authority to write a uniform rule of naturalization which the State governments were obligated to adopt in order to make naturalization uniform nationwide. That is all Congress was empowered to do.
But it could do something that was not an exercise of authority, and that is to state facts that should not be misunderstood or unknown. The one that they stated for the benefit of all foreign-born Americans was that they are in fact natural born citizens and shall be considered as such by every State election official in charge of whose names were allowed to be placed on election ballots for the office of President.

That was the one and only purpose served by inserting the words “natural born” in front of “citizen”, -something that they chose to not do for children of naturalized foreigners.
Notice the entirely overlooked fact that in the nat. acts it is stated that the children of a person so naturalized if dwelling in the United States “shall be considered as citizens of the United States”!! It did not care where there were born, abroad or on US soil. They were not citizens in the eyes of Congress until their father was a citizen.]

“generally a U.S. citizen from birth with no need for naturalization.”

Notice the two insinuations that spring from that?  One is that “a U.S. citizen” is eligible to be President when citizenship is not the measuring stick, and the other is that “generally” most foreign-born children having one American parent does not need to be naturalized.  What that means is that some do need to be naturalized. But what the hell does that even mean?  How can you naturalized a baby?  Force it to recite the naturalization oath??

What they have inadvertently implied is that there is a form of naturalization other than by the oath, meaning by compliance with a statute.  But that is a two edged sword because it means that being a “citizen at birth” may be because of automatic statutory naturalization by conformity with requirements.

Oh-oh… you can’t be a statutory citizen or a naturalized citizen if you are a natural born citizen because natural citizens are not citizens by any law, while their counter-parts are not citizens at all except by law.  hmmmm… someone’s been lyin’ to the judge!

And the phrase “natural born Citizen” in the Constitution encompasses all such citizens from birth [if “born abroad to a U.S. citizen parent”]. Thus, an individual born to a U.S. citizen parent — whether in California or Canada or the Canal Zone — is a U.S. citizen from birth and is fully eligible to serve as President if the people so choose [PROVIDED THE SPOUSE IS ALSO A U.S. CITIZEN as was always the case from the very beginning. NO ALIENAGE FROM A FOREIGN-SUBJECT FATHER, CITIZEN-BORN ONLY].

* Paul and Patricia Saunders Professor of Law, Georgetown University.
** Distinguished Lecturer in Law, Georgetown University; Partner, Bancroft PLLC.

[added “commentary” by self-appointed dragon slayer: Adrien Nash, -a thorn in the side of the wicked deceivers. see obama–nation.com]

9-page PDF version: On the Real Meaning of Natural Born Citizen

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