The Citizenship Conundrum

The Obama Conundrum:

  ~Why he might be  a natural born citizen regardless of his foreign father~

The assumption that Barack Obama does not qualify to be President because he is not a “natural born citizen” rests on a definition that does not yet exist, not by act of Congress nor by ruling of any court.  It rest solely on the common language description of the phase, which, while descriptive, is not definitive because to be definitive, by law, means that all of the possibilities have to be addressed by including them or excluding them.  This kind of exactness is not a part of common language descriptions.
“Natural born citizen” describes, but does not define, such citizens.  The description is that they are Americans born in the United States to American parents.  That accurately describes 99.999 % of American children because they are born where their American parents live. But the description does not carry with it the exclusion of that tiny percent of exceptions that fall outside the common description.  Think of the definition of what a sheep is; a four legged herbivore with white wool.  That is accurate 99.999% of the time, but occasionally there is a black sheep.  Is it to be defined as not a sheep just because it doesn’t match the common description?  No.  It is a sheep, regardless of how the white sheep or the shepherd feel about it.
So it is with the description “a natural born citizen”. There are exceptions to the norm and they must be defined as being within or without the decided meaning of the phrase.  That decision can only be made by the courts since the Congress doesn’t have final say on the interpretation of the Constitution.
What are the exceptions to the norm that might pass muster as being a legitimate part of its description?  There are many.
But first let’s look at the subconscious assumptions regarding the phrase.  The first is that the child that is born a natural citizen is not only born in the United State, like 99.999% are, but is also raised in the United States, as 99.999% also are.  The result of such “upbringing” is a citizen that is loyal to the nation of his citizenship and the land of his birth.  So he is loyal both because of what he is and because of where he is.   He has no competing allegiances.
The other presumption is that his citizenship is inherited from his parents, that it is something he is born with, it’s his by nature, by birth.  What is not presumed, since it is a clear fact, is that this is true 99.999% of the time, American children become citizens by birth to American parents.  But the exception to the rule, which is outside the norm, is births to single American woman. Not birth to two American parents but just to one.  Now let’s look at some examples.

1.  A single American woman gives birth via envitro  fertilization.  Her offspring has no known father, yet it’s a natural born American citizen with no competing allegiance due to a foreign father.
2.  A single American woman is raped in N.Y. City, or Washington D.C., both international cities with many foreign visitors.  She doesn’t know if the rapist was foreign or American.  If she doesn’t have an abortion when she becomes pregnant, will the baby be a natural born citizen?  It would not have dual citizenship nor competing allegiances so it can’t be excluded on that basis.  If she is married to an American and he accepts the baby, does that make any difference?
3.  An American woman has a one night stand with a foreign stranger and has his baby in the States, but has no connection to him and doesn’t even know his full name.  Is her baby’s citizenship, less than natural born American citizenship?
4.   A single American woman has an affair with a foreign man and has his child in the US but doesn’t marry him nor live with him.  She is not under his care nor jurisdiction.  What is the nature of her child’s citizenship?  Is it not solely American, born in America to an American?  Is her lover’s citizenship not irrelevant?
5.   An American woman marries a foreigner and becomes pregnant. They divorce before the child is born and have no further connection.  Does her citizenship not qualify her child to be considered to have been born as a natural American (or to be naturally born as an American)?   No dual-citizenship nor competing allegiance.
6  A single American woman is impregnated by a foreign man and marries an American man before the child is born.  Is her off-spring not a natural born citizen?
7.  An American woman is pregnant by a foreign man who dies before the child is born.  What is it’s citizenship?  Is it not fully American by reason of her citizenship?  Is it not born to an American parent in the United States?
8.  An American couple working in a foreign embassy deliver the American woman’s baby while there, then return to the States. Is the child not a natural born American citizen simply because it was not born within the US borders?
9.  A pregnant American woman married to an American man visits Canada or Mexico and while there she goes into labor and delivers her baby 10 feet outside the US border.  Is her baby not a natural born American?  Or is it Mexican, or Canadian?
10.  A pregnant American woman is married to an American who shortly before their child is born renounces his American citizenship to become say… Australian, and right after the birth he divorces her and leaves the country for good.  What is the citizenship status of her child?
There may be more that I haven’t yet thought of but these will suffice to demonstrate that the “black sheep” can’t just capriciously be defined as not being sheep because they don’t fit the description of the vast majority.
So the conundrum of the courts is to decide whether or not to make the common description of natural born citizen into the legal definition, or to expand it to include “all the sheep”
The true nature of Obama’s citizenship is like Churchill’s description of communism; “a mystery wrapped in a riddle inside an enigma”.  No one knows if his parents were married or not, whether they lived together or not, whether the baby Barack was ever under the national jurisdiction that flowed from that of his father.  So no one really knows if Obama Jr. ever had dual-citizenship or only American citizenship.  Without answers to those questions it is impossible to determine the nature of his citizenship.  Without knowing that, one can’t claim that he wouldn’t qualify as a natural born citizen under the definition that the Supreme Court might some day give,  (but will never give if it can avoid it).    A.R. Nash

Visit these excellent eye-opening websites:

Natural Born Citizen

Natural Born Citizenship

World Net Daily Forum


Old Glory


? wrote:  “”In addition, from the 1790 Act to SR511, ‘place of birth’ is not a contributing factor to presidential eligibility . . . that is a major distinction.”    (I guess you meant to say “distraction”.)
That statement seems to obfuscate the issue somewhat.  Place of birth was never a factor because ALL presidential candidates were born in the US, and were natural born citizens (with the exception of Chester Arthur).
To say it was not a factor ignores the fact that it was and is an element in the description of a natural born citizen, which is in essence “a native born child of US citizens” though I prefer that such a description not be taken as holy writ when it comes to  American children born outside our borders.
As I’ve been saying, jus soli and jus sanguinis citizenship conditions describes 99.99% of US citizens and I don’t know of any historical basis to argue that the framers didn’t have both native birth AND citizen parents in mind when they used the term “natural born citizen”.  So IF Obama wasn’t born in Hawaii, that could be one more element of natural born citizenship that he fails to meet.  Of course the problem is that the only way to prove that he wasn’t born in the US is to prove that he was born somewhere else.  That hasn’t happened and isn’t likely to happen. And even if one considers his weird-ass Hawaiian digitized ABSTRACT replication of a birth certificate to be a counterfeit, such a crime doesn’t demonstrate that he wasn’t born somewhere in Hawaii or Washington, only that it wasn’t in a hospital.  So his alien father is really the only issue that is irrefutable.


I wrote:  “That might work, but them being married….disqualifies him (from being President).”

The Magic M wrote:
No, “natural born” has nothing to do with marriage. There is not one indication from the Founders’ days that points to them considering (legal) wedlock in that regard.”

That is true only when both parents are US citizens.  But if the father is an alien and recognized by the US government to be the legal father due to marriage, then it absolutely has everything to do with the child not meeting the description of what a natural born citizen is in regard to Article II eligibility.  Why? Because it is through the legal process via the recognition of marriage, (and children that result from it) that the non-resident alien father is established as a co-imparter of citizenship.  Otherwise he and his nationality are invisible to the US Federal government and his child is just another baby born to an unwed mother.  If the father is a legal resident, then his child by an American mother is a US citizen via the 14th Amendment, but not a natural born citizen because the
father is not a citizen.  But the government has no avenue nor purpose (aside from the Presidency eligibility) to ever deal with nor recognize any citizenship that would officially be considered to be natural born.  It is only in regard to the unique office of the President and Commander in Chief that natural born citizenship is mentioned.

Aside from that it is as if it does not exist.   AN

10 Responses to The Citizenship Conundrum

  1. arnash says:

    [ e-mail response from a relative ]
    There are a lot of legitimate questions. One question I have is why do
    > they obscure the question of whether he meets the “natural born citizen”
    > requirement by asking about his birth certificate. If his father was indeed
    > Obama Sr., then he does not meet the definition of “natural born citizen”.
    > He is disqualified by having had dual citizenship at birth. If he was
    > adopted by Soetoro, which he apparently was, he would have to be naturalized
    > to become a citizen again, in which case he doesn’t meet the definition.
    > By the end of his term (either one or two), it will be irrelevant whether
    > or not he met the definition of “natural born citizen”, because he would
    > have already destroyed the country. He wins by buying time to do more
    > damage.

  2. arnash says:

    “Frederick Van Dyne’s widely taught textbook treatise on Citizenship of the United States focused especially on the effects of the Civil Rights Act and the 14th Amendment.”
    ” This matter was elaborately considered in the case of Lynch v.Clarke,1Sandf.Ch.583, decided in 1844 in New York. In that case one Julia Lynch, born in New York in 1819, of alien parents, during their temporary sojourn in that city, returned with them the same year to their native country, and always resided there afterwards. It was held that she was a citizen of the United States. After an exhaustive examination of the law, the court said that it entertained no doubt that every person born within the dominions and allegiance of the United States, whatever the situation of his parents, was a natural-born citizen; and added that this was the general understanding of the legal profession, and the universal impression of the public mind.
    The executive departments of our government have repeatedly affirmed this doctrine.”

    The magnitude of this delusional view is shocking (!). It’s an easy, simple, and wonderfully Pollyanna-ish approach to just assume that citizenship was basically meant for anyone in the world who happened to be delivered on US soil, but it has nothing to do with reason and common sense nor any sane governance over who is allowed to be a citizen. Just because everyone calls Native Americans “Indians”, doesn’t mean they are correct in doing so since they are not Indians, nor born in India. Misconceptions and misunderstanding is inherent is the thinking of people in all levels of society and achievement. So it is to common sense one must turn to ascertain what is true.
    The court in this case made two glaring errors, and they are that they ignored the meaning of “within the dominions and allegiance of the United States”. They would have been correct if the phrase had excluded the “and allegiance” part, which involves the volition and full loyalty of the parents of the person in question. To which sovereignty to they pay allegiance? Domestic? or Foreign? This is not some trifle of a thing than can be simply ignored and swept aside like it has no significance. That is what they did and that was very foolish.
    Secondly, they made the error of assuming that their determination of US citizenship by native birth was not merely equal to that of natural born citizens, but was in fact identical to it, indistinguishable, like identical twins who are really one person. It was totally wrong to use those words to describe a citizen that was not born to US citizens.

  3. arnash says:

    Posted by su359115 on Apr 03, 2011 18:23 on the WND forum (I think)

    Lynch, in 1844, reverted to a philosophical principle based on vague law. The judge was wrong, as was Gray . . .
    Fuller’s dissent was far superior to that of Rehnquist in Roe . . . a brief missive stunted by shock.

    The 1772 British Nationality law gained allegiance from those born within its dominion, as well as of its subjects. They wanted it both ways.

    The Liberal mind is so open that it makes no distinctions, and thus is lawless. In fact, the classic legal definition of ‘liberal’ is going outside the boundaries of existing law, and might I add outside of logic itself. The folly of liberalism reveals itself, eventually. You have citizens of New Mexico who have lost their state sovereignty to illegal aliens, based on issuance of drivers licenses to undocumented residents without birth certificates. The logic for giving out licenses was flawed, outside of existing law, . . . the Sec. of State just couldn’t say, ‘NO.’ Hospitals, health insurance, jobs, jails . . . all compromised by liberals’ desire not to say ‘NO;’ and by not saying ‘No’, passing the terrible costs on for others to pay. Those are the liberal judges, flawed in their persons and politics, liars.
    Watch as they destroy an entire society, unless we follow the advice of Vattel, and not remain silent. See § 199.

    How the right of the nation protected is lost by its silence.

  4. arnash says:

    Posted elsewhere by ch22240 on Apr 03, 2011 17:53

    What does Blackstone say about Vattel and the Law of Nations.
    Blackstone’s Commentaries on the Laws of England
    Book: the Fourth – Chapter: the Fifth

    ACCORDING to the method marked out in the preceding chapter, we are next to consider the offenses more immediately repugnant to that universal law of society, which regulates the mutual intercourse between one state and another ; those, I mean, which are particularly addressed, as such, by the English law.

    THE law of nations is a system of rules, deducible by natural reason, and established by universal consent among the civilized inhabitants of the world a ; in order to decide all disputes, to regulate all ceremonies and civilities….between two or more independent states, and the individuals belonging to each,

    b. This general law is founded upon this principle; that different nations ought in time of peace to do one another all the good they can; and, in time of war, as little harm as possible, without prejudice to their own real interests,

    c. And, as none of these states will allow a superiority in the other, therefore neither can dictate or prescribe the rules of this law to the rest ; but such rules must necessarily result from those principles of natural justice, in which all the learned of every nation agree : or they depend upon mutual compacts or treaties between the respective communities; in the construction of which there is also no judge to resort to, but the law of nature and reason being the only one in which all the contracting parties are equally conversant, and to which they are equally subject.

    What does this mean;

    1. THE law of nations is a system of rules,

    2. deducible by natural reason, and established by universal consent among the civilized inhabitants of the world in order to decide all disputes, and to regulate all ceremonies and civilities,

    3. There are different types of jurisdiction: territorial, political, civil, local, temporary, permanent, etc

    What is a ‘Natural Born Citizen’ per the Law of Nations?

    The natives, or natural-born citizens, are those born in the country, of parents who are citizens.

  5. arnash says:

    post from another blog by unknown author

    My understanding is that if he was born here, he is “native born”, like the children of illegal aliens. To be a “natural born citizen”, which is a higher requirement, required only of the president, is that both of his parents have to be citizens; they can be native born or naturalized citizens, but they BOTH have to be citizens That’s what the founders who inserted the requirement into the Constitution expected. The “natural law” view of the phrase “natural born Citizen” at the time of America’s founding – going back to Emmerich de Vattel’s 1758 classic, “Law of Nations” – requires citizen parents at the time of the individual’s native birth. The historic view is
    not in doubt; but interpretation of the 14th Amendment and the U.S. Code’s variations for “citizenship” have clouded the “natural born” definition for some.

    The founding fathers were concerned with dual loyalty. His father is Kenyan, which was an English colony at the time of his birth, so he can’t confer “natural born” status. If he was born in Kenya, and there is evidence that he was, then his mother did not qualify to confer “natural born” status on him either. She had to have been physically present in the U.S. for 10 years prior to the birth of her child, five of
    those years had to have been after the age of 14. His mother was only 18. Here is Philip Berg’s Supreme Court brief on the case >

    Then there is the matter of his adoption. His adoption was a matter of record & his admission. When he was adopted, he acquired Indonesian
    citizenship. That would make him a dual-citizen, which the Constitution didn’t allow. So, what is his status now? Who knows?

    The ultimate question is whether the Supreme Court would define the natural born clause as requiring an unbroken chain of allegiance to the United
    States. That question remains unanswered because remarkably not one congressional or judicial hearing has been held on the substance of Obama’s
    constitutional eligibility.”
    Read more:Presidential eligibility: Why it matters

  6. arnash says:

    PhoxarRed wrote:

    Accordingly, the 14th Amendment’s use of “in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof” is EXACTLY equivalent in form AND SUBJECT to it’s parent expression used repeatedly in the 1790Naturalization Act series (Et seq) ” any Alien… who shall have resided WITHIN THE LIMITS AND UNDER THE JURISDICTION OF THE UNITED STATES for the term of two years, may be admitted to become a citizen thereof.”

    Excellent point! I conceded the validity of your view…until it occurred to me what it likely means. If you are right, then it means submitting oneself to the laws of the land. If I’m right, then it means more than that, it means submitting oneself also to the political jurisdiction of the US government, meaning mainly, the State Department. Which translates to obeying government orders regarding banned travel, banned trading, banned association and banned communication with hostile governments. It means TOTAL subjugation to the complete jurisdiction of the US government, even it that meant defying the orders of ones own government. Foreign residents may take it either way, but foreign visitors don’t. They do not subjugate themselves to the total jurisdiction of the United States, so if they delivery a baby on US soil, it is under their jurisdiction, and they are under foreign jurisdiction, so their baby would not be a legal US citizen.

  7. Nancy says:

    According to Obama and the Senate during the McCain hearings, to qualify for “natural born” citizenship, you have to have 2 American citizen parents.

  8. arnash says:

    Boiling the issue of citizenship down to its most elemental questions, you’re left with just two in determining if Obama is a natural born citizen. 1. Was there a legal connection between his parents, such as marriage, which would prove that one of his parents was a non-citizen. If they were not a couple in any legal sense, then the nationality of the father has no legitimate connection to his off-spring because he would have no custody or parent/guardian rights making the child essentially fatherless. Therefore the only source of inherited citizenship would be his mother.
    Which raises the 2nd question; “Will the Supreme Court someday rule that a single or widowed American mother is considered to be a lone bestower of American natural-born citizenship when there is no father in the picture, regardless of his nationality?”
    Since the phrase “natural born citizen” has no legal definition, it can’t be asserted that its general description amounts to a legal definition. And since a description does not necessarily include all possibilities that the description could cover, it can’t be categorically asserted that natural born citizenship cannot flow from just one parent.
    The possibilities are numerous, beginning with a case of two American parents, but the father dies before the child is born. In such a case, it can be said that the child only had one American parent at birth and since the general description of a natural born citizen includes two parents, therefore such a child can never be eligible to be President. Such logic mistakes what is in fact just a description with what is erroneously assumed to be a definition.
    The opposite kind of case could be an American man who marries a foreign woman who conceives but dies before their child is “born” although her body is kept on life-support until a caesarian section is performed. Again, the child has only one parent alive at birth so is it, or is it not, eligible to be President someday? No one can say because these kinds of cases have never been examined by the Supreme Court in relation to presidential eligibility.
    In regard to Obama, if no one can prove that his parents were married or in even a common law type of union, then they lack a basis to argue that Obama is not a natural born citizen because the Supreme Court has not ruled that a single parent is insufficient to convey natural born citizenship. So we’re in a legal limbo regarding his Presidency until a marriage certificate is uncovered. If he is as nefarious as some believe him to be then he would want that marriage certificate to disappear so he could claim that he was wrong about his parents being married, and therefore about his being the son of a British subject and therefore having dual-citizenship.

  9. arnash says:

    The lack of a legal definition of nbc isn’t about a lack of understanding of who it describes, but a lack of certainty about who it DOES NOT describe. A child born of citizens in the US is automatically recognized as a nbc, but the questions are whether or not birth abroad will be recognized by SCOTUS, or if birth to a single or widowed American mother is sufficient for recognition. My assumption is that without a legal relationship between the
    mother and father, the off-spring has no connection in federal law to the father. What would be the basis for the federal government to ascribe any legitimate link to a father that exercises no responsibility for, or authority over a child that the mother names as his on a birth certificate, (and that without any proof such as a DNA test).
    It seems logical that since citizenship passes from mother to child, the State Department would have no interest in any other citizenship claim unless it was asserted, or at least had a legal basis.
    paraleaglenm Says: “Of course the U.S. would recognize Obama, Sr’s legal parent status, and Obama’s Kenyan citizenship.” This is a certainty, but only if the father actually IS the legal parent. The US government would have NO basis to recognize Obama Sr. existence outside of a legal relationship with the mother. Or is that wrong? If no legal relationship existed between them, then how can the nationality of the father have any relevance? Why would the government recognize jus sanguinis transference of citizenship from the father to the son if the father is legally irrelevant?
    Of course these questions are also irrelevant if they were proved to be married, but why would the State Dept. even know about such a marriage unless it was the result of the father asserting his legal jurisdiction over his son? If he didn’t assert his parentage to the State Dept. then how would his son become recognized by the US
    government as having an additional nationality? Why would the government care about the possible foreign citizenship of a child of a relationship that was not claimed, asserted, nor verified? Such a marriage would be invisible even if it existed (except at the state level).
    No Supreme Court will ever rule that a single American mother’s child is NOT a natural born citizen, when and if they ever accept the task of making a ruling about who is and who isn’t a natural born citizen. Also, no Congress will ever impeach a President if it was proved that he was a year or two under 35 at the time of his inauguration, nor if it was proved that he lack a year or two of the 14 year residency requirement, nor if it was proved that he had
    an unacknowledged and unconnected foreign father. But such a President may not be allowed to run for a second term if the public and press become aware of his lack of a recognized eligibility. But all those on his side will confuse the issue by asking for ‘proof” that he ISN’T eligible. And as yet, there isn’t any such SCOTUS defined
    proof. So a real conundrum exists and may not be resolved before the next election is settled.

    paraleaglenm Says: 3) The legal relationship is the C.O.L.B. and now the Birth Certificate . . . once Dunham registered Obama, Jr. in Hawaii, Sr. was the putative/legal father unless he challenged it in a timely fashion.” That may be true of the Hawaiian government, but it does not follow that it would also be true of the federal government. It makes no sense that the State Dept. would recognize the father at all unless he made an affirmative assertion of
    being the legal father. The State Dept. would assume nothing automatically nor avoid ascribing British citizenship to Obama Jr. ONLY if the father “challenged” his biological or legal paternity. He would be invisible until he asserted his legal connection to his child. AN

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