The Original Intent the Natural Born Citizen


The American Thinker is falling into a partisan stupor, in their article “Cruz, Haley, Jindal, Rubio: Flight 2016 Cleared for Takeoff” by Ken Blackwell and Bob Morrison they prove they have no idea of what they are talking about. In this article they cynically ask the question.


Consider this historical question: Could it have been the original intent of the Founders to disqualify themselves from serving as president?


Perhaps they failed to read Article II, Section 1, Clause 5 or perhaps they are so desperate to increase the GOP ranks of charismatic presidential candidates they ceased to be objective.


Regardless, the Constitution clearly solves this “dilemma” these authors create with the Grandfather clause included in the presidential eligibility criteria of Article II.


“No person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President.” Article II, Section 1, Clause 5


Notice the phrase “or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution.” Clearly they (the Founding Fathers) thought this problem through.


In fact Chief Justice Waite in his Minor v. Happersett decision speaks of who were the original citizens.


Whoever, then, was one of the people of either of these States when the Constitution of the United States was adopted, became ipso facto a citizen -- a member of the nation created by its adoption. He was one of the persons associating together to form the nation, and was, consequently, one of its original citizens.


So both Blackwell and Morrison have shown to us just how ignorant they are to ask a question in hopes of supporting their title statement.


They frame their question in such a way so that we should only look at the original intent through the filter they want us to. But what was the original intent of the Natural Born Citizen Clause.


So I ask them to consider what was the original intent of the Natural Born Citizen clause. We are blessed with having the framers thoughts recorded for posterity. And we are doubly blessed that these records are few but in concert as to their intent.


John Jay wrote George Washington saying, "Permit me to hint whether it would not be wise and seasonable to provide a strong check to the admission of foreigners into the administration of our national government; and to declare expressly that the command in chief of the American army shall not be given to, nor devolve on any but a natural born citizen."


Alexander Hamilton raises a very profound question as to influence of foreigners in our Presidency. “Nothing was more to be desired than that every practicable obstacle should be opposed to cabal, intrigue, and corruption. These most deadly adversaries of republican government might naturally have been expected to make their approaches from more than one querter, but chiefly from the desire in foreign powers to gain an improper ascendant in our councils. How could they better gratify this, than by raising a creature of their own to the chief magistracy of the Union?


Clearly the NBC clause was established to prevent foreigners and foreign influence from taking command of America’s armed forces!


So the question is who is a foreigner? The three most popular dictionaries define a foreigner as one whose allegiance is owed to a foreign country.


MerriamWebster Dictionary - “a person belonging to or owing allegiance to a foreign country.”


Oxford English Dictionary – “One who is a subject of another country than that in which he resides. A resident foreign in origin and not naturalized, whose allegiance is thus due to a foreign state.”


Blacks Law Dictionary - “A person who is not a citizen or subject of the state or country in which mention is made, or any one owing allegiance to a foreign state or sovereign”


So the Framers only wanted a person to be President if they had no foreign allegiances.  This seems to be the same sentiment about 80 years later when Congress was adopting the Civil Rights Act and 14th Amendment.


I find no fault with the introductory clause, which is simply declaratory of what is written in the Constitution, that every human being born within the jurisdiction of the United States of parents not owing allegiance to any foreign sovereignty is, in the language of your Constitution itself, a natural born citizen; but, sir, I may be allowed to say further, that I deny that the Congress of the United States ever had the power or color of power to say that any man born within the jurisdiction of the United States, and not owing a foreign allegiance, is not and shall not be a citizen of the United States.” John A. Bingham, (R-Ohio) US Congressman, Architect of Section 1 of the 14th Amendment, March 9, 1866


What is so hard to understand, a natural born citizen is one who is born not owing allegiance to any country but the United States of America?


Does this mean the Vattel 212 formula is the only formula for defining a natural born citizen? No, although the formula Vattel proscribed in his seminal work the Law of Nations does in fact guarantee that those born in the United States to citizen parents are natural born citizens, there are mitigating factors that still uphold the framers intent of having allegiance only to the United States. One example would be the child found abandoned on the street at six months of age, we agree if no one claims him or her before the age of 21 that child is considered a natural born citizen.


What does that say about the list the authors put before you as “cleared for take off?” Both Jindal and Haley’s parents were Indian citizens and the Indian constitution makes their children citizens of India by BIRTH! See permanent residents are not required to renounce their former citizenship as naturalized citizens are, so the laws of India apply to the children of Indians born in the United States.


Cruz was born in Canada to an American mother and a Cuban father.  Cruz is a great man, a true conservative but he is ineligible to be President, because the law of Canada made him a citizen of Canada by BIRTH. His citizenship comes from Title 8 of the United States Code.


Rubio has perhaps the best claim of them all to show that at the time of his birth he only had allegiance for the United States. The 1940 Cuban Constitution which was in effect at the time of his birth states, Those born in foreign territory, of Cuban father or mother, by the sole act of their becoming inhabitants of Cuba (become Cubans by Birth.) Here Rubio would need to perform a positive act to claim Cuban citizenship as he would need to migrate to Cuba and take up residence there.  However, the Supreme Court has ruled that a natural born citizen is one born in the United States to citizen parents, and until that is changed by the Supreme Court of the United States Rubio will be on shaky legal ground.


Both Governor’s Hailey and Jindel are 14th Amendment citizens of the United States. They are a credit to the American dream, and outstanding executives in their states. Marco Rubio is also a 14th Amenedment citizen of the United States, he has bucked the Florida Republican RINO establishment and became a voice for a new generation of conservatives not only in Florida but all across America, but until he can prove he was only born with allegiance to the United States his natural born status is questionable.  And Ted Cruz is one hell of a Senator from Texas, he represents the people of Texas with a passion not seen in Texas since the Alamo, but he is simply a Title 8 citizen of the United States.


Unfortunately simply being a citizen of the United States is not good enough to be President. One would have needed to be a citizen on September 17, 1787 to be eligible. Those citizens created after September 17, 1787 are by constitutional definition ineligible.


Article II, Section 1, Clause 5 does not say those who were naturalized after this date are ineligible, it says those who are citizens of the United States are ineligible to be president. The 14th Amendment does not say those born in the United States are natural born citizens, and those naturalized are citizens of the United States, it says born or naturalized are citizens of the United Stated.


The Supreme Court case of the United States v. Wong Kim Ark did not say that the children of aliens permanently residing and domiciled in the United States are natural born citizens, it said they were citizens of the United States by virtue of the first clause of the 14th Amendment.


The question presented to the Supreme Court in Wong Kim Ark is whether a child born in the United States, of alien parents, who, at the time of his birth, are subjects of foreign power, but have a permanent domicil and residence in the United States, and are there carrying on business, and are not employed in any diplomatic or official capacity under that foreign power, becomes at the time of his birth a citizen of the United States by virtue of the first clause of the Fourteenth Amendment of the Constitution. The court answered yes, the child becomes a citizen of the United States, and the constitution says a citizen of the United States created after September 17, 1787 is ineligible to be the President of the United States.


Demonstrating that their understanding of constitutional law is wanting the authors try their hand(s) at a little Alinksy ridicule, albeit conservative style, with “There was actually some silly maneuvering around the accession of Chester Alan Arthur in 1881. Some misguided folks then tried to argue that young Chet had been born in Canada and smuggled across the border into Vermont as an infant.”



The map above shows as Point A, Fairfelid, Vermont the place listed as the birth place of Chester A. Arthur in the National Historic Landmark Database. Point B is the center of Dunham, the town where Arthur’s father and mother lived when they were first married and the place his older sister Regina was born. It should also be noted that Dunham Canada was the home of Arthur’s American born mother’s family. Records show that she lived their during The line represents the 25 miles of road between the two locations.


What can be clearly seen is midway between these two points is the well-fortified border between the United States and Canada. Clearly smuggling would be difficult as the two experts Blackwell and Morrison point out, considering the army of ICE agents monitoring the frontier, the electronic border fence looking for the slightest movement on and below the fence, the swarms of drones patrolling overhead with their Maverick missiles ready to blow the poor unfortunate couple and baby boy Arthur to kingdom come at the slightest nod of the head of Homeland Security’s chief Napolitano. WAIT JUST ONE MINUTE; we are talking about 1829 not 2013. In 1829 the normal mode of transportation would have been a horse drawn carriage, and traveling at 10 miles per hour the Arthur’s would only need to travel 2 and ½ hours at a leisurely pace to travel between the two locations. As far as border crossings in 1829 there were no paved roads and the total federal non-military work force could have fit inside an average college basketball arena. Crossing the international border would be as easy as crossing the Mason-Dixon line.  So before they mock others they should first do their homework to make sure the story they tell doesn’t have as many holes in it as Obama’s birth certificate.  The historical records clearly show the Arthur’s were migrants moving around the upper Vermont and lower Quebec area.   


Lastly the authors try to blame the Republicans misfortunes on us. “If conservatives want to be a majority of the electorate, we need to welcome, not put off, immigrants and children of immigrants. Any other stance will result in our "self-deporting" ourselves as conservatives -- from the White House.”


We had that argument 225 years ago, and we CONSTITUTIONALISTS WON!!!.


We conservatives will continue to loose not only the White House but also respect when we talk one way and act another. That is why we fought Obama’s dubious claim and continue to fight those who base their claim on if Obama can do it so can we.


The democrats already have their missile batteries ready to shoot down that poor pilot who listened to the peanut gallery shout “ready for take off,” instead of getting clearance from the Supreme Court of the United States.