Natural Born Quotes

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“It is an established maxim that birth is a criterion of allegiance. Birth however derives its force sometimes from place and sometimes from parentage, but in general place is the most certain criterion; it is what applies in the United States; it will therefore be unnecessary to investigate any other.”

James Madison, The Founders’ Constitution Volume 2, Article 1, Section 2, Clause 2, Document 6 (1789)


“It is an established maxim, received by all political writers, that every person owes a natural allegiance to the government of that country in which he is born. Allegiance is defined to be a tie, that binds the subject to the state, and in consequence of his obedience, he is entitled to protection… The children of aliens, born in this state, are considered as natural born subjects, and have the same rights with the rest of the citizens.”

Zephaniah Swift, A system of the laws of the state of Connecticut: in six books, Volumes 1-2 of A System of the Laws of the State of Connecticut: In Six Book, pg. 163,167 (1795)


“that a man born within the jurisdiction of the common law is a citizen of the country wherein he is born. By this circumstance of his birth, he is subjected to the duty of allegiance which is claimed and enforced by the sovereign of his native land, and becomes reciprocally entitled to the protection of that sovereign, and to the other rights and advantages which are included in the term “citizenship.”

Garder v. Ward, 2 Mass. 244 (1805)


“The doctrine of the common law is that every man born within its jurisdiction is a subject of the sovereign of the country where he is born, and allegiance is not personal to the sovereign in the extent that has been contended for; it is due to him in his political capacity of sovereign of the territory where the person owing the allegiance as born.”

Kilham v. Ward 2 Mass. 236, 26 (1806)


“Our statutes recognize alienage and its effects, but have not defined it. We must therefore look to the common law for its definition. By this law, to make a man an alien, he must be born without the allegiance of the commonwealth ; although persons may be naturalized or expatriated by statute, or have the privileges of subjects conferred or secured by a national compact.” “This claim of the commonwealth to the allegiance of all persons born within its territories, may subject some persons who, adhering to their former sovereign and residing within his dominions, are recognized by him as his subjects, to great inconvenience, especially in time of war, when two opposing sovereigns may claim their allegiance. But the inconvenience cannot alter the law of the land. If they return to the country of their birth, they will be protected as subjects.”

Ainslie v. Martin, 9 Mass. 454, 456, 457 (1813).


“And if, at common law, all human beings born within the ligeance of the King, and under the King’s obedience, were natural-born subjects, and not aliens, I do not perceive why this doctrine does not apply to these United States, in all cases in which there is no express constitutional or statute declaration to the contrary. . . . Subject and citizen are, in a degree, convertible terms as applied to natives, and though the term citizen seems to be appropriate to republican freemen, yet we are, equally with the inhabitants of all other countries, subjects, for we are equally bound by allegiance and subjection to the government and law of the land.”

James Kent, COMMENTARIES ON AMERICAN LAW, pg. 258 (1826)


“As the President is required to be a native citizen of the United States…. Natives are all persons born within the jurisdiction and allegiance of the United States.”

James Kent, COMMENTARIES ON AMERICAN LAW (1826)


“That provision in the constitution which requires that the president shall be a native-born citizen (unless he were a citizen of the United States when the constitution was adopted) is a happy means of security against foreign influence,…A very respectable political writer makes the following pertinent remarks upon this subject. “Prior to the adoption of the constitution, the people inhabiting the different states might be divided into two classes: natural born citizens, or those born within the state, and aliens, or such as were born out of it.”

St. George Tucker, BLACKSTONE’S COMMENTARIES (1803)


“Allegiance is nothing more than the tie or duty of obedience of a subject to the sovereign under whose protection he is, and allegiance by birth is that which arises from being born within the dominions and under the protection of a particular sovereign. Two things usually concur to create citizenship: first, birth locally within the dominions of the sovereign, and secondly, birth within the protection and obedience, or, in other words, within the allegiance of the sovereign….That the father and mother of the demandant were British born subjects is admitted. If he was born before 4 July, 1776, it is as clear that he was born a British subject. If he was born after 4 July, 1776, and before 15 September, 1776 [the date the British occupied New York], he was born an American citizen, whether his parents were at the time of his birth British subjects or American citizens. Nothing is better settled at the common law than the doctrine that the children even of aliens born in a country while the parents are resident there under the protection of the government and owing a temporary allegiance thereto are subjects by birth.”

Justice Story, concurring opinion,Inglis v. Sailors’ Snug Harbor, 3 Pet. 99, 155,164. (1830)


“The 5th section of the 2d article provides, “that no person except a natural born citizen,” shall become president. A plain acknowledgment, that a man may become a citizen by birth, and that he may be born such.”

Amy v. Smith, 11 Ky. 326, 340 (Ky. 1822)


“The country where one is born, how accidental soever his birth in that place may have been, and although his parents belong to another country, is that to which he owes allegiance. Hence the expression natural born subject or citizen, & all the relations thereout growing. To this there are but few exceptions, and they are mostly introduced by statutes and treaty regulations, such as the children of seamen and ambassadors born abroad, and the like.”

Leake v. Gilchrist, 13 N.C. 73 (N.C. 1829)


“Therefore every person born within the United States, its territories or districts, whether the parents are citizens or aliens, is a natural born citizen in the sense of the Constitution, and entitled to all the rights and privileges appertaining to that capacity.”

William Rawle, A View of the Constitution of the United States, pg. 86 (1829)


“From the close of the revolutionary war to the time of the adoption of the constitution of the United States, all persons born in this country became citizens of the respective States within whose jurisdiction they were born, by the rule of the common law, unless where they were prevented from becoming citizens by the constitution or statutes of the place of their birth.”

American Jurist and Law Magazine, January, 1834


“Before our Revolution, all free persons born within the dominions of the King of Great Britain, whatever their color or complexion, were native-born British subjects; those born out of his allegiance were aliens. . . . Upon the Revolution, no other change took place in the law of North Carolina than was consequent upon the transition from a colony dependent on an European King to a free and sovereign State; . The term ‘citizen,’ as understood in our law, is precisely analogous to the term ’subject’ in the common law, and the change of phrase has entirely resulted from the change of government. The sovereignty has been transferred from one man to the collective body of the people, and he who before as a ’subject of the king’ is now ‘a citizen of the State.”

State v. Manuel, 4 Dev. & Bat. 20, 24-26 (1838)


“It requires all senators to be thirty years old, and prohibits any but a natural born subject from being president.”

State v. Foreman, 16 Tenn. 256, 335–36 (1835).


“and that no person except a natural born subject can be a governor of a State, or President of the United States.”

The Law Library, Vol. 84, pg. 50 (1854)


“The common law principle of allegiance was the law of all the States at the time of the Revolution and at the adoption of the Constitution, and, by that principle, the citizens of the United States are, with the exceptions before mentioned, such only as are either born or made so, born within the limits and under the jurisdiction of the United States or naturalized by the authority of law, either in one of the States before the Constitution or, since that time, by virtue of an act of the Congress of the United States. The right of citizenship never descends in the legal sense, either by the common law or under the common naturalization acts. It is incident to birth in the country, or it is given personally by statute. The child of an alien, if born in the country, is as much a citizen as the natural born child of a citizen, and by operation of the same principle…. But the law of France rejects the principle of the English law, and of our own laws, that birth within the limits and jurisdiction of France, makes a Frenchman, or a natural-born citizen or subject of France, absolutely,…”

Horace Binney, American Law Register, 2 Amer.Law Reg.193, 203, 204, 206, 208 (February 1854).


“Alligience”: It is natural, acquired, or local. Natural allegiance is such as is due from all men born within the United States; acquired allegiance is that which is due by a naturalized citizen. It has never been decided whether a citizen can, by expatriation, divest himself absolutely of that character.

Bouvier Law Dictionary (1843)


“That all natural born citizens, or persons born within the limits of the United States, and all aliens subject to the restrictions hereinafter mentioned, may inherit real estate and make their pedigree by descent from any ancestor lineal or collateral…”

January 28, 1838, Acts of the State of Tennessee passed at the General Assembly, pg. 266 (1838)


“The term citizen, was used in the constitution as a word, the meaning of which was already established and well understood. And the constitution itself contains a direct recognition of the subsisting common law principle, in the section which defines the qualification of the President… The only standard which then existed, of a natural born citizen, was the rule of the common law, and no different standard has been adopted since. Suppose a person should be elected President who was native born, but of alien parents, could there be any reasonable doubt that he was eligible under the constitution? I think not. ”

Lynch vs. Clarke (NY 1844)


“Every person, then, born in the country, and that shall have attained the age of thirty-five years, and been fourteen years a resident within the United States, is eligible to the office of president.”

Lysander Spooner, The Unconstitionality of Slavery, pg. 119 (1845)


“It is the very essence of the condition of a natural born citizen, of one who is a member of the state by birth within and under it, that his rights are not derived from the mere will of the state.”

The New Englander, Vol. III, pg. 434 (1845)


“This is called becoming naturalized; that is, becoming entitled to all the rights and privileges of natural born citizens, or citizens born in this country.”

Andrew White Young, First lessons in Civil Government, pg. 82 (1856).


“The first section of the second article of the Constitution uses the language, ‘a natural-born citizen.’ It thus assumes that citizenship may be acquired by birth. Undoubtedly, this language of the Constitution was used in reference to that principle of public law, well understood in this country at the time of the adoption of the Constitution, which referred citizenship to the place of birth.”

Justice Curtis, dissenting, Dredd Scott v. Sandford, 60 U.S. 393 (1857).


“The Constitution itself does not make the citizens, (it is. in fact,made by them.) It only intends and recognizes such of them as are natural—home-born—and provides for the naturalization of such of them as were alien—foreign-born—making the latter, as far as nature will allow, like the former. …” ‘

Attorney General Bates, Opinion of Citizenship, (1862)


“All persons born in the allegiance of the king are natural-born subjects, and all persons born in the allegiance of the United States are natural-born citizens. Birth and allegiance go together. Such is the rule of the common law, and it is the common law of this country, as well as of England. There are two exceptions, and only two, to the universality of its application. The children of ambassadors are in theory born in the allegiance of the powers the ambassadors represent, and slaves, in legal contemplation, are property, and not persons.”

Justice Swayne, United States v. Rhodes, 1 Abbott, US 28 (Cir. Ct. Ky 1866)


“in like manner every one who first saw the light on the American soil was a natural-born citizen ; but the power of naturalization, which, under the king, each colony had claimed to regulate by its own laws, remained under the confederacy with the separate states.”

George Bancroft, History of the United States, from the Discovery of the American Continent: The American Revolution., pg. 439 (1866)


“Every person born within the United States, its Territories, or districts, whether the parents are citizens or aliens, is a natural-born citizen of the United States in the sense of the Constitution…Natural-born subjects are such as are born within the dominions of the crown of England; that is, within the ligeance, or, as it is generally called, the allegiance of the King; and aliens are such as are born out of it.” …… “It makes a man a subject in England, and a citizen here, and is, as Blackstone declares, ‘founded in reason and the nature of government’ … The English Law made no distinction … in declaring that all persons born within its jurisdiction are natural-born subjects. This law bound the colonies before the revolution, and was not changed afterward.” ‘

Rep. Wilson, 1866 Civil Rights Act debates. 10 Cong. Globe, 39th Cong., lst Sess. 1115, 1117 (1866)


“By the common law of England, which is in force in this country, and which may be assumed as also the law of all the European states, persons within the jurisdiction of the government, or limits of the territory, are either natives, or aliens. Natives are those born within the national jurisdiction; aliens are born without that jurisdiction. The exception to this almost universal rule, are the foreign-born children of ambassadors, who are assumed to carry with them the jurisdiction of the nation which they represent. As a general principle of the English and American law, all native-born, free persons, of whatever age, sex, and parentage, are citizens.”

John Norton Pomeroy, Introduction to Municipal Law, pg. 419 (1865)


“As matter of law, does anybody deny here, or anywhere, that the native-born is a citizen, and a citizen by virtue of his birth alone ?”

Senator Morrill, Cong. Globe, 1st Sess. 39th Congress, pt. 1, pg. p. 570 (1866).


“Mr. Thayer, of Pennsylvania, said that the bill was an enactment simply declaring that all men born upon the soil of the United States shall enjoy the fundamental rights of citizenship.”

Cong. Globe, 1st Sess. 39th Congress, pt. 1, p. 1151 (1866).


“What is a citizen but a human being who, by reason of his being born within the jurisdiction of a government, owes allegiance to that government?”

Congressman Broomall, Cong. Globe, 1st Sess. 39th Congress, pt. 1, pg. 1262 (1866).


“A Natural Born Citizen.” — Not made by law or otherwise, but born… “Natural Born Citizen” recognizes and reaffirms the universal principle common to all nations, and as old as political society, that the people born to a country do constitute the nation, and, as individual, are natural members of the body politic…Every person born in the country is, at the moment of birth, prima facie a citizen.”

George Washington Paschal, THE CONSTITUTION OF THE UNITED STATES DEFINED AND CAREFULLY ANNOTATED, (1868)


“By the terms of the Constitution he must have been a citizen of the United States for nine years before he could take a seat here, and seven years before he could take a seat in the other House ; and, in order to be President of the United States, a person must be a native-born citizen. It is the common law of this country, and of all countries, and it was unnecessary to incorporate it in the Constitution, that a person is a citizen of the country in which he is born….I read from Paschal’s Annotated Consitutution, note 274: “All persons born in the allegiance of the king are natural born subjects, and all persons born in the allegiance of the United States are natural born citizens. Birth and allegiance go together. Such is the rule of the common law, and it is the common law of this country as well as of England. There are two exceptions, and only two, to the universality of its application. The children of ambassadors are, in theory, born in the allegiance of the powers the ambassadors represent, and slaves, in legal contemplation, are property, and not persons.”

Sen. Trumbull (author or the Civil Rights Act of 1866), April 11, 1871, Cong. Globe. 1st Session, 42nd Congress, pt. 1, pg. 575 (1872)


“All persons born in the limits and under the actual obedience of the United States were its “natural-born citizens”; and it is in this sense that the phrase is used in section one of article two of the constitution.”

John Joseph Lalor, Cyclopædia of political science, political economy, and of the political history of the United States, Volume 2, pg. 948 (1883)


“So, also, any person born of a foreign father in any place subject to the jurisdiction of the United States, may be a natural- born American citizen, if he choose. In these doubtful cases the person may choose the country of his father or the country of his birth. So that a person may be a natural-born citizen of the United States, without being a native of the United States.”

Albert Orville Wright, An Exposition on the Constitution of the United States, (31st Ed.) (1888).


“There is no uniform rule among nations by which the nationality of effect of birth a person may be determined from the place of his birth. England and America claim all who are born within their dominions as natural-born subjects or citizens, whatever may have been the parents’ nationality.”

Henry Wheaton, Elements of International Law, 1889 edition.


“Natural-born Citizens, those that are born within the jurisdiction of a national government; i.e., in its territorial limits, or those born of citizens, temporarily residing abroad.”

William Cox Cochran, The student’s law lexicon: a dictionary of legal words and phrases : with appendices, Pg. 185 (1888)


“Citizens are either natural-born or naturalized. One who is born in the United States or under its jurisdiction is a natural-born citizen without reference to the nationality of his parents. Their presence here constitutes a temporary allegiance, sufficient to make a child a citizen.”

Theodore Dwight, Edward Dwight, Commentaries on the law of persons and personal property, pg. 125 (1894)


“Citizens may be divided into two classes : natural born and alien born. Natural-born citizens are of two kinds: native born—those born of either American or alien parents within the jurisdiction of the United Slates, and foreign born—those born of American parents without the Jurisdiction of the United States.”

John Clark Ridpath, The standard American encyclopedia of arts, sciences, history, biography, geography, statistics, and general knowledge, Volume 8, pg 3058 (1897).


“The children of aliens, born in America or in England, are entitled to all the privileges of natural-born citizens.”

William Story, Edmund Bennett, A treatise on the law of sales of personal property, pg. 17 (1871)


“The common law rule upon the subject of citizenship by birth was in force in all the English colonies upon this continent down to the time of the Declaration of Independence, and in the United States afterwards under the articles of confederation, and continued to prevail under the constitution as originally adopted;8 with this qualification, however, that, prior to the adoption of the fourteenth amendment to the constitution, neither the negroes of the African race, who, at the time of the Declaration of Independence, had been imported into this country and sold and held as slaves, nor their descendants, whether they had become free or not, were embraced within the rule.”

Chrisenberry Lee Bates, Federal Procedure at Law: A Treatise on the Procedure in Suits at Common Law, pg. 195 (1908).


“[t]he Constitution of the United States, as originally adopted, uses the words ‘citizen of the United States,’ and ‘natural-born citizen of the United States…the Constitution nowhere defines the meaning of these words….in this as in other respects, it must be interpreted in the light of the common law, the principles and history of which were familiarly known to the framers of the constitution…The interpretation of the Constitution of the United States is necessarily influenced by the fact that its provisions are framed in the language of the English common law, and are to be read in the light of its history.”

U.S. v. Wong Kim Ark,169 U.S. 649,654 (1898)


“It thus clearly appears that by the law of England for the last three centuries, beginning before the settlement of this country, and continuing to the present day, aliens, while residing in the dominions possessed by the crown of England, were within the allegiance, the obedience, the faith or loyalty, the protection, the power, and the jurisdiction of the English sovereign; and therefore every child born in England of alien parents was a natural-born subject, unless the child of an ambassador or other diplomatic agent of a foreign state, or of an alien enemy in hostile occupation of the place where the child was born. The same rule was in force in all the English colonies upon this continent down to the time of the Declaration of Independence, and in the United States afterwards, and continued to prevail under the constitution as originally established.”

U.S. v. Wong Kim Ark,169 U.S. 649,658 (1898)


“The notion that there is any common law principle to naturalize the children born in foreign countries, of native-born American father and mother, father or mother, must be discarded. There is not, and never was, any such common law principle. Binney on Alienigenae, 14, 20; 2 Amer.Law Reg.199, 203…Here is nothing to countenance the theory that a general rule of citizenship by blood or descent has displaced in this country the fundamental rule of citizenship by birth within its sovereignty.”

U.S. v. Wong Kim Ark,169 U.S. 649,671,673 (1898)


“the Fourteenth Amendment affirms the ancient and fundamental rule of citizenship by birth within the territory, in the allegiance and under the protection of the country, including all children here born of resident aliens, with the exceptions or qualifications (as old as the rule itself) of children of foreign sovereigns or their ministers, or born on foreign public ships, or of enemies within and during a hostile occupation of part of our territory, and with the single additional exception of children of members of the Indian tribes owing direct allegiance to their several tribes.”

U.S. v. Wong Kim Ark,169 U.S. 649,693 (1898)


“It was contended by one of the learned counsel for the United States that the rule of the Roman law, by which the citizenship of the child followed that of the parent, was the true rule of international law, as now recognized in most civilized countries, and had superseded the rule of the common law, depending on birth within the realm, originally founded on feudal considerations….There is, therefore, little ground for the theory that, at the time of the adoption of the Fourteenth Amendment of the Constitution of the United States, there as any settled and definite rule of international law, generally recognized by civilized nations, inconsistent with the ancient rule of citizenship by birth within the dominion….Here is nothing to countenance the theory that a general rule of citizenship by blood or descent has displaced in this country the fundamental rule of citizenship by birth within its sovereignty…..So far as we are informed, there is no authority, legislative, executive or judicial, in England or America, which maintains or intimates that the statutes (whether considered as declaratory or as merely prospective) conferring citizenship on foreign-born children of citizens have superseded or restricted, in any respect, the established rule of citizenship by birth within the dominion.”

U.S. v. Wong Kim Ark,169 U.S. 649, 666, 668, 673, 674 (1898).


“Every person born -within the United States, its territories or districts, whether the parents are citizens or aliens, is a natural born citizen, within the sense of the Constitution, and entitled to all the rights and privileges pertaining to that capacity. Town of New Hartford v. Town of Canaan, 5 Atl. SCO, 3(!4, 54 Conn. 39 (citing Rawle, Const. U. S. p. 86). See also. Lynch v. Clarke (N. Y.) 1 Sandf. Ch. 584, 2 Kent, Comni. (9th Ed.): McKay v. Campbell (U. S.) 16 Fed. Cas. 157; Field, Int Code, 132; Morse, Citizenship, 203).”

Judicial and Statutory Definitions of Words and Phrases, pg. 4664 (1904)


“As anyone born in the dominion of the king was ipso facto the king’s subject, so anyone born on American soil now became a natural born American citizen.”

Samuel Macclintock, Alienage And Citizenship, Illinios Law review, pg.503 (1908)


“The rule of the common law is that citizenship turns upon the place of birth, and that one born within the jurisdiction, even though of alien parents, is a citizen by birth, or, as the Constitution expresses it, a natural-born citizen; and this rule has been very generally recognized and enforced by all the departments of the government.”

Raleigh C. Minor, Address on the Citizenship of Individuals …, PROCEEDINGS OF THE AMERICAN SOCIETY FOR INTERNATIONAL LAW (1910)


“NATURAL BORN CITIZENS. A natural-born citizen of the United States is one who is a citizen by reason of his place of birth or the citizenship of his father. The two classes of naturalized and natural born citizens are thus mutually exclusive, and together constitute the entire citizen body of the United States. ”

Andrew C. McLaughlin & Albert Bushnell Hart ( Ed.), CYCLOPEDIA OF AMERICAN GOVERNMENT Vol. 2 (1914).


“NATURAL-BORN CITIZEN. A person whose citizenship derives from the nation where he or she was born.”

Kenneth Robert Redden, Enid Veron, Modern Legal Glossary, pg. 263 (1980)


“Natural-born citizens can acquire that status by being born in the United States, on the basis of jus soli…”

William Carroll, Norman Smith, American Constitutional Rights: cases, documents, and commentary, pg. 130 (1991)


“The requirement that the president be a “natural born” citizen implies that the framers recognized the principle of jus soli. According to this doctrine – literally meaning the “right to land or ground” – citizenship results from birth within a national territory.”

Kermit Hall, The Oxford Companion to the Supreme Court of the United States, pg. 24 (1992)


“Americans are accustomed to the concept of automatic citizenship granted to persons born in the United States, who are called “natural-born citizens…”

Joseph M. Bessette, American Justice, Volume 1‎ – Page 129 (1996)


“Natural-born citizens are people born in the United States.”

David Heath, the Presidency of the United States, pg. 8 (1999)


“Natural Born Citizenship Clause. The clause of the U.S. Constitution barring persons not born in the United States from the presidency.”

Black’s Law Dictionary, eigth edition (1999)


“Under the longstanding English common-law principle of jus soli, persons born within the territory of the sovereign (other than children of enemy aliens or foreign diplomats) are citizens from birth. Thus, those persons born within the United States are “natural born citizens” and eligible to be President. Much less certain, however, is whether children born abroad of United States citizens are “natural born citizens” eligible to serve as President …”In United States v. Wong Kim Ark (1898), the Supreme Court relied on English common law regarding jus soli to inform the meaning of “citizen” in the Fourteenth Amendment as well as the natural-born-citizenship requirement of Article II, and noted that any right to citizenship through jus sanguinis was available only by statute, and not through the Constitution. ”

Edwin Meese, et al, THE HERITAGE GUIDE TO THE CONSTITUTION (2005)


“What is a natural born citizen? Clearly, someone born in the United States or one of its territories is a natural born citizen. ?

Statement of Senator Orrin Hatch, United States Senate Judiciary Committee, October 5, 2004.


“It is clear that a child born within the physical borders of the United States and subject to the jurisdiction of the United States is eligible to run for President.”

Statement of Senator Nickles, United sates Senate Judiciary Commitee, October 5, 2004.


“If the Panama Canal Zone was sovereign U.S. territory at the time of Senator McCain’s birth, then that fact alone would make him a “natural born” citizen under the well-established principle that “natural born” citizenship includes birth within the territory and allegiance of the United States…”

Letter by Theodore Olson and Laurence Tribe, reported in 154 Cong. Rec. S3645-46 (Apr. 30, 2008).


“United States citizens born to parents subject to United States jurisdiction in one of the fifty states are unquestionably natural born citizens. Even the narrowest reading of the Fourteenth Amendment dictates that all current states are in the United States. This is true regardless of parental citizenship, unless a child’s parents are protected by the full immunity extended to foreign diplomats and their families, or they are enemy combatants.”

Sarah Helene Duggin & Mary Beth Collins, ‘Natural Born’ in the USA: The Striking Unfairness and Dangerous Ambiguity of the Constitution’s Presidential Qualifications Clause and Why We Need to Fix It, 85 B.U. L. Rev. 53, 90-91 (2005).


“United States citizens born to parents subject to United States jurisdiction in one of the fifty states are unquestionably natural born citizens. Even the narrowest reading of the Fourteenth Amendment dictates that all current states are in the United States. This is true regardless of parental citizenship, unless a child’s parents are protected by the full immunity extended to foreign diplomats and their families, or they are enemy combatants.”

Sarah Helene Duggin & Mary Beth Collins, ‘Natural Born’ in the USA: The Striking Unfairness and Dangerous Ambiguity of the Constitution’s Presidential Qualifications Clause and Why We Need to Fix It, 85 B.U. L. Rev. 53, 90-91 (2005)


“It is now generally assumed that the term “natural born” is synonymous with “native born.” “It [therefore] is clear enough that native-born citizens are eligible [for the presidency] and that naturalized citizens are not.” There is a general agreement among commentators, whether or not they are advocates of an originalist approach to constitutional interpretation, that “whether someone born of American parents abroad would be considered a natural born citizen” is an open question.”

Lawrence Freedman, An Idea Whose Time Has Come–The Curious History, Uncertain Effect, and Need for Amendment of the “Natural Born Citizen” Requirement for the Presidency, 52 St. Louis U. L.J. 137, 143 (2007)


“The most straightforward argument is that “natural born” was a well recognized term of art, based upon the most commonly applied principle of traditional British common law dating from the 16th century. These distinguished between citizenship by birth and being “natural born” for purposes of such questions as the right to inherit and the right to hold certain offices. Under those common law rules children of British citizens born anywhere other than on English soil generally were eligible for birthright citizenship; however, they didn’t generally inherit their English parents own “natural-born” status. Because of these disabilities, Parliament made occasional exceptions, granting some (but not all) of the rights of “natural born” citizens to persons born overseas. If we applied the common law rules in force at the time of the Founding, McCain fails to meet the “natural born” requirement for the Presidency. John McCain was not born on American soil; rather, he was born at a U.S. military base in the Panama Canal Zone.”

J. Rebekka Bonner,Why John McCain Needs The Living Constitution” on Balkinization, May 15, 2008


“The undebated provision that the President be “natural born” was, however, again ambiguous. As Madison observed in 1789, there were two conceptions of citizenship by birth available to the framers. Birth derived its “force” as a “criterian of allegiance … sometimes from place,” as in the common-law tradition of jus soli expounded by Coke and Blackstone, and “sometimes from parentage,” from birth to one or more citizens, a position known as the jus sanguinis and endorsed by Vattel and Burlamaqui…..But in keeping with the nativistic tone of the debate over these clauses, and not with the Constitution’s predominant liberal republicanism, it was almost certainly the common-law criterion of place of birth that the delegates meant to install, as Madison later asserted. It thus perpetuated the older view of “natural” civic membership in a way that conformed to xenophobic sentiments.”

Rogers M. Smith, CIVIC IDEALS: CONFLICTING VISIONS OF CITIZENSHIP IN U.S. HISTORY (Yale University Press, 1999)


“It is clear that under the English common law this term ‘natural born’ meant ‘native born.’… It was this genuine ‘native-born’ citizen … to which the framers of the Constitution referred when they used the term ‘natural-born citizens’ as one of the qualifications for the President”

McElwee, unpublished article reprinted in 113 Cong. Rec. 15,875 at 15,876 (1967)


“Native: A natural-born subject or citizen; a citizen by birth; one who owes his domicile or citizenship to the fact of his birth within the country referred to.”

Black’s Law Dictionary 6th Addition (1994).


“Throughout this country’s history, the fundamental legal principle governing citizenship has been that birth within the territorial limits of the United States confers United States citizenship. The Constitution itself rests on this principle of the common law. …The phrase “subject to the jurisdiction thereof” was meant to reflect the existing common law exception for discrete sets of persons who were deemed subject to a foreign sovereign and immune from U.S. laws, principally children born in the United States of foreign diplomats, with the single additional exception of children of members of Indian tribes. Apart from these extremely limited exceptions, there can be no question that children born in the United States of aliens are subject to the full jurisdiction of the United States. And, as consistently recognized by courts and Attorneys General for over a century, most notably by the Supreme Court in United States v. Wong Kim Ark, (6) there is no question that they possess constitutional citizenship under the Fourteenth Amendment.”

Walter Dellinger (AAG), Statement before the Subcommittees on Immigration and Claims and on the Constitution of the House Committee on the Judiciary (Dec. 13, 1995)


48 thoughts on “Natural Born Quotes

  1. Again, so much nonsense, I don’t know where to begin.

    “Remember that the Minor Court said that “some authorities” maintain that a child born in the country of non-citizen parents was a “citizen” and that it had doubts about such a proposition.”

    Actually, the Minor Court said that there were doubts that children born within the jurisdiction without reference to the citizenship of their parents were natural born. Of course, I think everyone would have doubts about such a proposition as pretty much all authority agreed that there were exceptions to the locality of birth rule under the common law for certain parents and there was much debate about such exceptions in America at such time.

    “I am sure the Minor Court was well aware of all of the pre-1875 “authorities” you cite and discounted them as the final word on who may be a “citizen” of the United States.”

    Gee, that’s a persuasive argument. The court rather said it was not looking into the issue. The citations above only include the most famous and influential scholars, treatises and judges of the early republic. Good luck arguing they didn’t get the memo. We are still waiting for you to cite one early authority that contradicts them.

    “Other than citing and commenting upon Wong, you do not cite any U.S. Supreme Court cases which support your theory that the Framers used ENGLISH and not AMERICAN common law to define who would be eligible to be President and Commander in Chief of the Military of the new Constitutional Republic.”

    Wong is the only case that thoroughly looked at the issue and hence is the ultimate authority. You can also see the opinions of Justice Story, Curtis and Swayne above. I also could have cited Chief Justice Marshall defining persons born in the US as citizens or McCreery v. Somerville calling children of aliens native born citizens. If you actually read Supreme Court decision you would know that the court looks to all such early authority to determine the original understanding with some of the persons cited above amongst the most frequently cited.

    “I have cited several but you never mention them other than to say that I have misinterpreted them or that what they say is dicta.”

    Sorry, none of the cases you have cited even remotely support your theory. Are you still citing cases that cite Vattel on issues totally unrelated to native american citizenship and claim they have some significance? Do you still make these claims after it was pointed out the same Justices cited elsewhere specifically looked to the English common law view with respect to native citizenship. That is a good way to get sanctioned. Are you still claiming the citation of Vattel by one Justice in Dred Scott is meaningful when another Justice in the same case embraced the English common law and it was that Justice who was later cited by the 39th Congress and a majority of the court on such point. Not only have we seen no supreme court opinion that supports your theory, we have seen no authority at all other than the view of one congressman long after the federal convention, one dissenting opinion and a law review article that was rejected by the legal mainstream.

    “I like how you tell everybody what Wong allegedly says about “natural born Citizen” but of course in your mind that is not dicta.”

    Whether dicta or not, it is the only Supreme Court majority that directly addresses the application of natural born status to the children of aliens which is the only relevant question with respect to Obama. It is thus the most substantial authority we have.

    “I also like how you and others here equate an Article II “natural born Citizen” with a Fourteenth Amendment born “citizen of the United States,” in effect ignoring and thereby nullify critical parts of the Article II presidential eligibility clause, i.e., the words “natural born.”

    Wong and the legislative history make clear that the 14th amendment was simply defining “natural born.” The court, if you actually read the decision, makes clear they mean the same thing.

    “Also, Wong only defined what a “citizen of the United States” is.”

    No, it defined “natural born citizen” and cited authority specifically defining “natural born citizen.” I see that when a court has quoted Vattel you claim the court takes ownership of all of such quote. Accordingly then, you must agree that Wong takes ownership of its quotes of Justice Curtis and Swayne which unambiguously define natural born citizen. Also, Wong’s tells us the English common law rules governed citizenship both before and after the 14th amendment and under such common law any citizen at birth was by definition “natural born.” You really need to do more research on this.

    “When referring to a “natural born Citizen,” it cited and quoted from Minor v. Happersett.”

    I think you should actually read Wong. It cited Minor first for the proposition that “natural born citizen” should be defined by the common law (which it later made clear was the English common law about 12 times). It also cited Minor to point out that the Slaugherhouse Court, largely the same court as Minor, did not mean to abandon the common law interpretation. The Wong court had already defined natural born citizen and the common law rule by that point in the decision in accordance with the English common law.

    “The best for you that I can say about your string of citations is that they support the definition of a “citizen of the United States” that existed at the time of the adoption of the Constitution, as explicated by Wong Kim Ark.”

    Actually, many of them specifically defined “natural born citizen” in accordance with the English common law. What these citations actually say is that every court, scholar and treatise by the most influential legal authorities in the early republic support our English common law interpretation. If you actually read Supreme Court cases, you would know that this is exactly the authorities the court will look to to determine the original understanding. We are still waiting for you to cite one early authority to support your theory, other than your misrepresentation of cases that have nothing to do with native citizenship.

    “You will note that the commentators cite no authority when they refer to “natural born Citizen.”

    Actually, many of them do if you read their works. However, just because a famous scholar who lived through the revolution and was a respected expert on all relevant law in the early republic doesn’t cite authoritiy doesn’t mean their opinion isn’t substantial legal authority as the early treatises most cited by the Supreme Court seldom cite such authority. I guess you will stop citing Bingham and Minor since they don’t cite authority. I guess you should stop citing Vattel since he doesn’t cite authority for his opinion.

    “Finally, may I ask you why you and your followers would support a theory of who may be eligible to be President and Commander in Chief of the Military which only weakens our nation?”

    Your issue is with the founders themselves as it is clear from the convention that most delegates, and the most important founders, were not very concerned about foreign influence and no one in the convention raised parentage or Vattel. If you actually look to the citiations above, you will see that Madison, Kent, Story, Bouvier and every other legal authority in the early republic, without exception, defined allegiance by place of birth. Accordingly, the founding generation did not consider any native born to be foreigners. If you don’t know this, you need to do a lot more research.

    On the other hand, your attacking the legitimacy of our duly elected president with a fringe theory that is contrary to every constitutional treatise, court case or legal dictionary pretty much in our history may lead people to seriously question your patriotism.

  2. Greg,

    So I guess you do not agree with nbc and me that it is American commonl law that defines who can be President. You insitst that it is English common law.

  3. You should direct your ire towards the Supreme Court. I’m quoting THEM.

    But, you’re upset by a strawman.

    Wong showed that American Common Law was the SAME AS English Common Law.

    Whether it should be called English Common Law or English Common Law as adopted in US Common law, the FACT is that the Constitution has to be interpreted in light of the common law of the day, which was the same on either side of the Atlantic!

  4. “When referring to a “natural born Citizen,” it cited and quoted from Minor v. Happersett.”

    Minor is quoted on page 655 to explain that we have to look to common law to define “natural born.” Wong then quotes Smith v. Alabama:

    “The interpretation of the Constitution of the United States is necessarily influenced by the fact that its provisions are framed in the language of the English common law, and are to be read in the light of its history.”

    Did you see that? ENGLISH COMMON LAW. And, yes, that’s a Supreme Court Case. 124 US 478

    Minor is also quoted on 679-680 to prove that Slaughterhouse did not exclude children born of aliens.

    Neither of these quotes are in the part of the case (part III) where the Court defines Natural Born Citizen in American law. The later quote is about the meaning of “subject to the jurisdiction of.”

    Have you READ Wong? You are consistently wrong about EVERYTHING you say about the case.

  5. nbc,

    I note that you did not include Minor v. Happersett, an 1875 decision of the United States Supreme Court, in your string of “authorities.” Remember that the Minor Court said that “some authorities” maintain that a child born in the country of non-citizen parents was a “citizen” and that it had doubts about such a proposition. I am sure the Minor Court was well aware of all of the pre-1875 “authorities” you cite and discounted them as the final word on who may be a “citizen” of the United States.

    Other than citing and commenting upon Wong, you do not cite any U.S. Supreme Court cases which support your theory that the Framers used ENGLISH and not AMERICAN common law to define who would be eligible to be President and Commander in Chief of the Military of the new Constitutional Republic. I have cited several but you never mention them other than to say that I have misinterpreted them or that what they say is dicta. I like how you tell everybody what Wong allegedly says about “natural born Citizen” but of course in your mind that is not dicta.

    I also like how you and others here equate an Article II “natural born Citizen” with a Fourteenth Amendment born “citizen of the United States,” in effect ignoring and thereby nullify critical parts of the Article II presidential eligibility clause, i.e., the words “natural born.” Also, Wong only defined what a “citizen of the United States” is. When referring to a “natural born Citizen,” it cited and quoted from Minor v. Happersett. Hence, if anyone has a vivid imagination, it is you and your supporters here.

    The best for you that I can say about your string of citations is that they support the definition of a “citizen of the United States” that existed at the time of the adoption of the Constitution, as explicated by Wong Kim Ark. They do not support the definition of an Article II “natural born Citizen” that came into being after the Constitution was adopted. You will note that the commentators cite no authority when they refer to “natural born Citizen.” Rather, they only offer their own personal opinions regarding the meaning of that term. Rawle is a great example of one who offers his personal opinion on the definition of a “natural born Citizen” without any cited authority to support it. In addition to the commentator’s personal circumstances, it would be interesting to know what social, economic, and political forces where at work when these commentators made these statements.

    Finally, may I ask you why you and your followers would support a theory of who may be eligible to be President and Commander in Chief of the Military which only weakens our nation? Remember that John Jay wanted a “strong” check on foreign influence creeping into and invading the Office of Commander in Chief of the Military. Why would you and your supporters opt for a theory on who is Article II eligible to be President and Commander in Chief of the Military which does not give specifically to those singular and all-powerful offices and generally to the United States the most protection possible from foreign influence? I do not believe that your theory on who may be President and Commander in Chief of the Military is consistent with what the Framers wanted for the new nation.

  6. You do not add anything of substance to the argument. You just do a lot of dancing around.

    Also, I like how you attempt to turn the “patriotism” issue around on me. You really do think you are clever.

  7. Typical response of one who has nothing of substance to say. We are still waiting for you to cite any early authority that honestly supports any of you statements. I guess we have a long wait. We cite the leading scholars and judges in the founding generation and early republic, you cite nothing other than claiming cases say things they don’t.

  8. Mario-The fact that you are here arguing your case in front of people you don’t know, who have no power to satisfy your claims (though neither does any court) suggests you are attempting to convince yourself. I would have thought that with the recent blizzard there would be plenty of fender benders to keep you occupied. Frankly, I suggest you take those on. At least there you have standing and might avoid getting laughed out of court.

  9. I have several pages of quotes that show how to interpret the term “natural born citizen” and you accuse me of not adding any substance to the argument?…

    It seems to me you are confusing ad hominems with substance my dear Mario.

    As to patriotism, I find it always amusing that some find it necessarily make claims of patriotism to support their actions. What was the saying again? Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel. Samuel Johnson

    I do not see how reinterpreting the Constitution is in any form a fashion a patriotic act especially when the foundation for such is so shallow.

  10. Scientist,

    I guess you have not yet had enough from me and just keep coming back for more. I thought by now you would have given up given that you have made very little sense in anything you have said. You really have no legal arguments and just resort to your trite personal attacks and ridicule. I hope you do not treat your scientist colleagues who do not agree with you on your theorems regarding how quickly the plant is warming the same.

  11. “theorems regarding how quickly the plant is warming”

    Are you into horticulture as well as ambulance chasing?

  12. I guess you have not yet had enough from me and just keep coming back for more. I thought by now you would have given up given that you have made very little sense in anything you have said. You really have no legal arguments and just resort to your trite personal attacks and ridicule.

    Oh the irony Mario, the irony…

    You’re a funny guy….

  13. nbc,

    I only asked you about how you justify weakening the Presidency and our nation by lowering the standard to be President. You are the one who came back and questioned my patriotism. Hence, you wrapping yourself around the Presidency and trying to take the higher ground are really the scoundrel.

  14. You will note that the commentators cite no authority when they refer to “natural born Citizen.” Rather, they only offer their own personal opinions regarding the meaning of that term. Rawle is a great example of one who offers his personal opinion on the definition of a “natural born Citizen” without any cited authority to support it.

    And Vattel cited what, exactly?

    Rawle cites the citizenship laws of Greece, Rome, Carthage, England and France. He also cites and criticizes John Locke.

    Tucker’s commentaries on Blackstone (1803) cites several court cases and a 1796 letter from Nicholas George, Esq.

    Kent’s Commentaries on American Law (1828) cites M’Ilvaine v. Coxe, Respublica v. Chapman, Jackson v. White, Ainslie v. Martin, Gardner v. Ward, Kilham v. Ward, the Case of MacDonald, as well as the laws of ancient Rome and modern England.

    Justice Story’s Conflict of Laws (1834) cites Blackstone and Vattel.

    Hurd’s Law of Freedom and Bondage (1858) cites McIlvaine v. Coxe’s Lessee’s, Inglis, and Shanks v. Dupont.

    Paschal’s “The Constitution of the United States Defined and Carefully Annotated” (1868) cites AG Bates on Citizenship, Sharwood’s Blackstone Commentaries, AG Legare, Kent’s Commentaries, Calvin’s Case, Doe v. Jones, Shanks v. Dupont, and Horace Binney.

  15. NBC only asked if you’d stopped beating your wife. There is no evidence that the NBC clause, even interpreted properly, is beneficial to the nation. It would not allow Bob Hope to be President, not because anyone thinks he would be disloyal, but because of the accident of his birth.

    When you extend, improperly, and without any evidence, the NBC clause to cover the children of aliens, or the child of one alien and one citizen, you push the NBC clause from anachronistic, to moronic. We’re to believe that Obama is more inclined toward Kenya because his father, who left him when he was two, was from there? Even though Obama never really had much love for the man until after he was dead?

    But, apparently, his living in Indonesia from ages 6-10 aren’t disqualifying from the standpoint of the NBC clause. Neither were Clinton’s alleged protests in Russia.

    Or, maybe, Obama is more loyal to England – the nation that oppressed the country that Obama’s dad came from. Was it Dad, or Granddad that was held in a British prison?

    Honestly, the NBC clause is an embarrassment that survives because people don’t understand it. It doesn’t become better by stretching it to cover those it was never intended to exclude.

  16. This really is a new low. We know you can’t win a legal argument by citing authority, as you have none. I guess we really are weakening the presidency by maintaining the position that is in every law book for the past 220 years rather than adopting a fringe theory that has never been accepted by anyone in the legal mainstream. I suggest you actually do some research and see the founders defined allegiance by place of birth and no one in the convention said anything to remotely support your position. I guess founder like Madison, Hamilton and Wilson were traiters because they didn’t want any limitation on office holders at all.

  17. As far as I am aware, all other countries open their highest office to all citizens (possibly with an age limitation). Now I know it’s theoretically possible that the whole world could be wrong and Mario right, but if you get on the NJ Turnpike and see all the cars coming TOWARDS you, you had better have a damn good reason why you’re right and they’re wrong.

  18. An interesting academic question. I think that if Congress declared someone to be natural born under their naturalization power there is a good argument they could be president. Obviously that is not the current case. However, since Parliament bestowed natural born status on the foreign born and naturalization meant to remove disabilities of alienage, including the inability to hold offices, there seems to be a pretty good argument the founders would have thought Congress had such power. The first Congress appears to have held such a view as they clearly stated they were mimicking Parliament in saying that children of citizens born oversees were natural born. This also clearly indicates the common law rule was not the rule of descent or they would not have had to provide for them. I recommend you read up on the 1855 amendment to the naturalization act where Congress amended to act to provide for children of citizens born oversees after Horace Binney made clear that under the English common law there was no rule of descent. Congress amended the statute after recognizing that the better view was that there was no such rule of descent under the common law.

    With respect to children of aliens born in the United States, i have seen no authority that anyone in our history ever thought they needed to naturalized. Rather, I have cited early case after case and early treatise after treatise declaring that anyone born in the United States was an American citizen. These include the leading scholars and judges of the period. Furthermore, the term “naturalization” was also a common law term of art. Let us look at one of the most influential treatises of the 19th century:

    “But what is naturalization? It is the removal of the disabilities of alienage… Congress has power ” to establish an uniform rule of naturalization….An alien naturalized is “to all intents and purposes a natural born subject…The power is applicable only to those of foreign birth. Alienage is an indispensable element in the process. To make one of domestic birth a citizen, is not naturalization, and cannot be brought within the exercise of that power. There is an universal agreement of opinion upon this subject.” George Washington Paschal, The Constitution of the United States defined and carefully annotated, note 274, (1968).

    You see, native born children of aliens could not be naturalized as such term only applied to the foreign born. This rule was cited again and again in the 39th Congress and was one of the main arguments why the Civil Rights Act was unconstitutional. For example:

    ” I maintain that a negro can not be made a citizen by Congress ; he can not be made a citizen by any naturalization laws, because the naturalization laws apply to foreigners alone. No man can shake the legal truth of that position. They apply to foreigners alone; and a negro, an Indian, or any other person born within the United States, not being a foreigner, can not be naturalized; therefore they can not be made citizens by the uniform rule established by Congress under the Constitution, and there is no other rule. Congress has no power, as I said before, to naturalize a citizen. They could not be made citizens by treaty. If they arc made so at all, it is by their birth, and the locality of their birth, and the general operation and effect of our Constitution.” Sen. Davis, quoted in History of the thirty-ninth Congress of the United States, William Horatio Barnes, pg. 208, (1868).

    Even James Madison thought that the native born could not be naturalized:

    “Mr. Madison did not think that Congress, by the constitution, had any authority to readmit American citizens at all. It was only granted to them to admit aliens.” Abridgment of the Debates of Congress, from 1789 to 1856: From Gales and Seatons’ Annals of Congress; from their Register of debates; and from the official reported debates, by John C. Rives, pg. 556 (1860)

  19. Greg,

    If you do not like the NBC clause, then get a constitutional amendment done to change it. You surely do not have any right to change the constituition because doing so serves your little political purpose. The People have spoken when they passed it and get the new People to change it.

  20. Scientist,

    You are an embarrassment to science. Why do you not work on that Frankenstein project you have been trying to finish for all these years. I’m sure you got the electricity turned back on by now.

  21. The Birthers have been encouraged by these scam artists because they didn’t like the outcome of the election. Whether you call it racism or sour grapes doesn’t matter…

    These scam artists are preying on people who have neither a clue about the constitution, constitutional law, privacy laws or even how our system really works. And these scam artists are seeking funds to support their misguided attempts at usurping our system to their benefit…

  22. True…but that doesn’t seem to stop the Birther Fail Boat from continuing to sing the “Ode-to-Vattel” as the ship continues it’s journey to the depths…

  23. Putzy,

    I believe you have the IQ of a pumpkin pie (on second thought make that a very small slice – no topping) and that your inability accept reality has been facilitated by your addiction to sniffing old law books, tossing down cough syrup, and licking the paint off the side of your neighbor’s house. Also, the Luciferian New World Order may or may not be involved…

    Dear Dad,

    I know said I’d shut up, but rank and willfully ignorant amateurs need to be dealt with. I am sure there is an ambulance somewhere without “a proper legal representative”.

  24. jorgA,

    Inability to accept reality? old law books? it’s quite simple. We cannot have a person be President and Commander in Chief of the Military who is born with multiple allegiances (British/Kenyan and maybe U.S.) which carries with it divided loyalty, foreign entanglements, claims made from more than one nation, incompatibility with the obligations of American citizenship, and lack of full attachment to America. The Office of President and Commander in Chief, which is not subject to a security clearance, is too powerful and too important to the survival and safety of the nation to expose it to such risk. That’s very real and modern, my friend.

  25. We cannot have a person be President and Commander in Chief of the Military who is born with multiple allegiances (British/Kenyan and maybe U.S.) which carries with it divided loyalty, foreign entanglements, claims made from more than one nation, incompatibility with the obligations of American citizenship, and lack of full attachment to America. The Office of President and Commander in Chief, which is not subject to a security clearance, is too powerful and too important to the survival and safety of the nation to expose it to such risk. That’s very real and modern, my friend.

    You are making many unfounded assertions, attempting to turn your case into one related to national security because at birth, President Obama had dual allegiance. Of course, at the same time as he was born a natural born US citizen, he also followed, temporarily, the condition of his father, which caused him to lose his British attachment and gain a temporary Kenyan attachment which he lost when he reached the age of 23. In the mean time, President Obama not only maintained his natural born, birthright citizenship, but also continued to show attachment to the United States.

    There is nothing that suggests that President Obama is not with full attachment to the United States, and as American Jurisprudence has shown, anyone born on US soil is considered to be a natural born citizen and thus can run for President.

    Hiding behind these ‘concerns’ is not going to further your case. I understand that when facts lack, one can attempt to appeal to sentiments but that’s quite an ugly route imho.

    Let me ask you a question: “How patriotic is it to insist that a duly elected President is removed from office”? Certainly, I doubt that the Founders would have supported such a position and in fact, while discussing a very similar topic, Congress made some powerful arguments that once elected, a President can only be removed through a single process: that of impeachment and the Courts lack any standing in these matters. Neither Quo Warranto nor other fanciful legal theories can stand here. In other words, even if you were correct, it’s too late to do anything about it. Of course, given US Jurisdprudence, your concerns have to be rejected as lacking in logic, reason and historical and legal precedent.

    The Founders were concerned that certain factions in Europe could quickly obtain a US citizenship and run for President. However, it would never have occurred to the Founders to reject natural born citizens as opposed to naturalized citizens, to run for President.

    You have argued that there are three kinds of citizens: Citizens, natural born and naturalized. But that is like saying that there are three kinds of chess pieces: Chess pieces, white and black. It is clear that the category of citizen consists of naturalized (aka datus) and natural born (aka natus). There is no mythical third category. There is no evidence of such a mythical category and there is insurmountable evidence to the contrary.

    If you believe Obama’s actions to be treason, then I suggest that you get Congress to impeach the President for his ‘crimes’, otherwise, you will have to abide by the choice of the electorate, the certification of Congress and the wisdom of the Founders that President Obama is a duly elected and eligible President.

  26. Mario is also using a term which can be easily confused. The term allegiance is the same as ‘under jurisdiction’ as used in the 14th amendment (All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside.)

    In other words, allegiance means born on US soil, and subject to the laws of the United States. This was meant to exclude people who were not subject to the laws of the US, such as children born to foreign dignitaries, invading military and Indians not taxed.

    Then there is the occurrence of dual citizenship aka as dual allegiance which means that there are conflicting laws of citizenship. It is overly simplistic to confuse a child born with multiple citizenships as being born with divided loyalties or lack of full attachment to the United States. Such statements, while appealing to some ‘sentiments’ are ill founded in logic, jurisprudence etc. In fact, we know that children born in the US who went abroad and fought in foreign military and served in foreign governments, still remained natural born US citizens, despite their actions.

    The US has ruled that citizenship, once acquired cannot be abandoned by the parents and only by the adult involved when explicitly stated.

    This all follows from the US’s emphasis on expatriation, the right to chose one’s citizenship, all based on the US Constitution.

    To suggest that a child born under a temporary or even permanent dual allegiance is somehow disabled from running for President is at odds with reason, logic, historical and legal jurisprudence.

  27. One does not have to have played football to recognize a fumble

  28. JorgA,

    I hope you realize that your introductory statement is a universal one.

    JorgA, you are what you write and also what you hide which is a lot, my angry little friend. Your self-righteousness does not make you right.

  29. You ought to be an expert on wrong by now. Batting a cool .000 there eh Putzy…

    Although many people in anonymous environments (such as the internet), exaggerate their feelings for intellectual amusement or confrontational entertainment, the frequency and unrepentant tone your posts indicate something much deeper – you seem to be on a mission. Often people in your

    situation feel like they are under attack, are misunderstood, or a getting “the short end of the stick”. Continuing to indulge in self-serving

    emotional justification, and the seeking of constant reinforcement for such is dangerous. Your need to vent your contempt and frustrations publicly

    also reinforces the above analysis.

  30. Your self-righteousness does not make you right.

    Let that be a lesson for you Mario…

  31. You’re right, Mario. I don’t like it. I, at least, know what it means.

    You’re also right that the people have spoken. And in speaking, they foreclosed any possibility of you removing Obama absent Congressional action.

    Don’t like it, amend the Constitution!

  32. Mario:

    If you do not like the NBC clause, then get a constitutional amendment done to change it.

    The same advise may be given to you my dear confused friend.

  33. Well, you and scientist may have something in common after all… being an embarrassment to their field of interest.

    I understand your ad homs. what else is there to do…

  34. nbc,

    If you are going to keep score, be sure to start from the beginning. In basketball, the points start to add up from the first baskets made. Someone cannot just simply come into the game at some point and then start to keep score. Turning a blind eye to all the scores is really no way to keep score.

  35. Mario, you have no score to speak of. In fact, the Courts so far has ruled many fouls and no goals at all.

    When it comes to arguing your case, you have managed to make many claims, most if not all of them shown to be based on a fallacious interpretation of Court cases, lack of supporting evidence or contradicted by the facts.

    If you want to play in the big league you should stop acting like you are in the minor league.

  36. Let’s not confuse Mario with the facts of the matter Greg. Worse for him is that there are no authorities really quoting Vattel.

  37. Putz,

    You might try asking Santa for a real brain and some legal acumen for Christmas. Looks like you have been out of stock on both for quite some time.

  38. Putz,

    I doubt that you have ever played with a “full deck”..

    Sorry Dad – I couldn’t help myself – it just had to be said. I will be quiet now…

  39. Here’s what cinches the case that Mario and his pals are nothing but scam artists. Obama announced his candidacy in January 2007. By that point it was already public knowledge that his father was a foreign student from Kenya. No teams of high-priced investigators were needed. Just a copy of Dreams From My Father. A responsible, patriotic attorney would certainly not want to put the country through the process of electing an “ineligible” candidate and then the lengthy and uncertain course of trying to remove them post hoc. No, said, responsible, patriotic attorney would have immediately filed suits with the various Secretaries of State to keep this “ineligible” person off the ballot. They would have tried to spare the country the uncertainty and trauma and given us a race between Hillary and McCain or Hillary and some other Republican, if you consider McCain to also be “ineligible”.

    Only an unpatriotic, irresponsible person would wait until close to or after Election Day to bring forward arguments that could have been brought forward from the day Obama announced.

  40. So there are those who claim that the framers of the US Constitution used the English common law as the basis or source of Article “natural born Citizen”.

    Well let’s pretend that is true.

    Chief Justice of the SCOTUS, i.e. Horace Gray in the Wong Kim Ark court, proposed that the English case i.e. Calvin’s case was the landmark common law case in which the framers of the USC must have relied on.

    So let’s take a look at Calvin’s case.

    Lord Coke – Calvin’s case…..

    “Calvin the Plaintiff naturalized by procreation and birth right,….”

    So the framers followed English common law, right?

    So there are only two types of US citizens, i.e born and alien-born who become naturalized, right?

    And a naturalized US citizen would not be eligible to be the US President, right?

    But the English common law per Lord Coke says that Calvin ( who the court held to be a “natural born subject”) was naturalized, right?

    It doesn’t make sense, in the US, how could a US “natural born Citizen” be a person that had to be naturalized to be a US citizen?

    Did the framers really follow English common law?

    Then we have Lord Coke per Calvin’s case stating that if a friendly alien-born man, whilst visiting the English realm, sired a child, born native in the English realm, then that child would be a “natural born subject” because the child would be born “under the ligeance of a subject”.

    Not only did Lord Coke say that the English common law required that a native-born child MUST be “born under the ligeance of a subject” to be himself a subject, Lord Coke also made it very clear that it was NOT NATIVE BIRTH that made the “subject born”.

    Lord Coke – Calvin’s case….

    “And it is to be observed, that it is nec coelum, nec solum,54 NEITHER THE CLIMATE NOR THE SOYL, but ligeantia and obedientia that make the subject born: for if enemies should come into the realm, and possess a town or fort, and have issue there, THAT ISSUE IS NO SUBJECT to the King of England, THOUGH HE BE BORN UPON HIS SOYL, and under his meridian, for that HE WAS NOT BORN UNDER THE LIGEANCE OF A SUBJECT, nor under the protection of the King.

    So if the framers did follow the English common law, then would not a friendly alien-born visiting US, who sired a child born native in the USA,need to FIRST become a US citizen, before his child was native-born in the US, for his child to be “BORN UNDER THE LIGEANCE” of a US citizen to be a “natural born Citizen”?

    Here’s what Lord Coke said, per Calvin’s case, about how a native-born child can be an alien.

    (note the foot-note translation in #151 it will help you understand)

    “An Alien is a subject that is born out of the ligeance of the king, and under the ligeance of another, and can have no real or personal action for or concerning land; but in every such action the tenant or defendant may plead that he was born in such a Country which is not within ligeance of the king, and demand judgment if he shall be answered.

    And this is in effect the description which Littleton himself maketh, lib. 2. cap. 14. Villen. fol. 43. Alienigena est alienae gentis seu alience ligeantiae, qui etiam |[16 b] dicitur peregrinus, alienus, exoticus, extraneus, &c. Extraneus est subditus, qui extra terram, i.e. potestatem regis natus est.151

    And the usual and right pleading of an alien born doth lively and truly describe and express what he is.

    And therein two things are to be observed; 1. That the most usual and best pleading in this case is, both exclusive and inclusive, viz. extra ligeantiam domini Regis, &c. et infra ligeantiam alterius Regis,152 as it appeareth in 9 Ed. 4. 7. Book of Entries, fol. 244, &c. which cannot possibly be pleaded in this case, for two causes; First for that one king is Sovereign of both kingdoms; second, One ligeance is due by both to one Sovereign, and in case of an alien there must of necessity be several kings, and several ligeances. Secondly, no pleading was ever extra regnum,153 or extra legem,154 which are circumscribed to place, but extra ligeantiam,155 which (as it hath been said) is not local or tied to any place.”

    [Foot-notes]

    [151. ][Ed.: An alien born is of foreign birth OR FOREIGN ALLEGIANCE, and is also called peregrinus (foreigner), alien, exotic, stranger, etc. A stranger is a subject who is born outside the land, that is, outside the king’s power.]

    So it would be correct to say (given that US followed English common law and the wife took the citizenship or nationality of the husband) that Barack Obama is an alien-born, due to being born of foreign allegiance, and therefore cannot possibly be a US “natural born Citizen” because he was “not born under the ligeance of a” US citizen.

    It is because, the English could “naturalize” a person by “procreation and birthright” and give them “natural born subject” status, and the US could not possible have a naturalized person as a “natural born Citizen”, that it becomes abundantly clear that the framers did not resort to the English common law definition of a “natural born subject” when they created the unique, un-precedented term of art used as an eligibility criteria for the office of POTUS in Article II of the USC.

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