Does Obama Really Meet The Constitutional Definition Of A 'Natural Born Citizen?'


The Constitutional requirement for President is “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; …”

Note the Constitutional distinction of “natural born Citizen” and “Citizen.” The paramount question is “why would the founders make the distinction of ‘natural born Citizen’ and ‘Citizen’ if it was not meaningfully important”?

The Constitutional framers understood “natural born Citizen” and “Citizen” to be uniquely different and unequal; and deliberately established this unique presidential qualification while specifically excluding ‘naturalization’ as a qualification.

Applying the Principles of Constitutional Construction, a term more often used by the Founders, in the original, unamended Constitution, any phrase that is different from another phrase cannot have the same meaning, via the axiom "There are no redundancies within the original unamended Constitution."

Chief Justice John Marshall, in delivering the opinion of the Court in Marbury v. Madison (1803) stated "It cannot be presumed that any clause in the constitution is intended to be without effect; and therefore such construction is inadmissible, unless the words require it." "Citizen," "naturalization" and "natural born Citizen" are ALL in the Original, unamended Constitution; therefore, none can mean the same thing.

In the case, Minor v. Happersett (1874), Minor, a woman, wanted to register to vote in the federal Presidential election and was denied registration because of her gender.

Deliberating this case, the Supreme Court recognized that the Constitutional framers did not define ‘natural born Citizen’ but that they did know its meaning and that it was different from ‘Citizen’ as stated in our Constitution. It was the framers who made this distinction, and the Court rendered unanimously the definition that children born of parents (note the plural) who are citizens are natural born citizens eligible for the Presidency.

The courts decision states: "The Constitution does not, in words, say who shall be natural-born citizens. Resort must be had elsewhere to ascertain that. At common-law, with the nomenclature of which the framers of the Constitution were familiar, it was never doubted that all children born in a country of parents who were its citizens became themselves, upon their birth, citizens also. These were natives, or natural-born citizens, as distinguished from aliens or foreigners."

In Minor v. Happersett the Supreme Court fully understood and applied the Principles of Constitutional Construction in their decision.

The first seven Presidents were ‘Citizens’ of the United States and not ‘natural born Citizens’, yet they qualified for the office (Washington through Jackson); because they were citizens “at the time of the adoption of [the] Constitution!” These Presidents had lived through the Revolutionary War, they were patriots, loved our country at the exclusion of Great Britain, and held allegiance to our country as patriots. The founders recognized that a ‘natural born Citizen’, being born to ‘Citizen’ parents (plural) would have the same regard and love of country as these founders; at least that was their hope, prayer and intention.

The founders recognized that congress may define at any time who can become a citizen and how they become a citizen; one only need to begin reading the naturalization acts passed by congress, and include the 14th Amendment. These enactments define citizenship and naturalization of citizens but never define the eligibility requirement for President of the United States because it is already constitutionally established.

Though constitutionally distinct and separate there are those who argue that Mr. Obama is both a citizen and natural-born citizen, and thus eligible for the office of President because this fits their prejudices.

The Constitutional citizenship clause does not apply to Obama, as it did to George Washington, because he was not alive and “a citizen of the United States” at the time of the adoption of the Constitution (1785).

Obama is subject to the “No Person except a natural born Citizen” clause; so how does he fare under it?

Obama has documented that his father was a British subject at the time of his birth and The British Nationality Act of 1772 declares unequivocally that children born of British Subjects regardless of their birth location are themselves British Subjects:

“That all Persons born, or who hereafter shall be born, … are hereby declared and enacted to be, natural-born Subjects of the Crown of Great Britain, to all Intents, Constructions, and Purposes whatsoever, as if he and they had been and were born in this Kingdom:”

As political bodies are prone to do they revisit prior acts and act upon them again, always with the purpose of increased clarity. This being true The British Nationality Act of 1948 re-confirmed the Nationality Act of 1772 and governed the status of Obama, (Part II, Section 5) with a special gift:

“Subject to the provisions of this section, a person born after the commencement of this Act shall be a citizen of the United Kingdom and Colonies by descent if his father is a citizen of the United Kingdom and Colonies at the time of the birth…”

One should note the established birthright inheritance Obama received from his father.

Now the issue and question is not where Obama was born, rather “Were both of his parents U.S. citizens when he was born?

By Obama's own admission, and demonstrated on the questionable documents he has provided the public, the answer is "No". On his birth certificate and in both of his books Obama reports that his father was Kenyan, thus at the time of his birth also a British subject, and today, Kenya is a member of the British Commonwealth of nations.

Remember, the Supreme Court (1874) in the Minor case unanimously defined children born of parents (note the plural) who are citizens are ‘natural born Citizens’; and it is these children who are eligible to hold the office of President of the United States.

Because Mr. Obama’s father, at the time of his birth was a British Subject, and the Constitutional definition requires citizen Parents (note the plural), he is not a ‘natural born Citizen’ as required for the office; he is for ever excluded from ever meeting the natural-born Citizen QUALIFICATION for President; thus Mr. Obama is ineligible to be President of the United States.

Obama’s supporters confuse and argue that citizen and natural born citizen are equivalent; and if that were true the Constitutional qualification would not have listed and differentiated citizen and natural born citizen. Obama’s supporters raise the case of U.S. v Wong Kim Ark to defend their citizen/natural-born citizen prejudice.

Wong was born in California and his parents were Chinese subjects. In 1890 at age 17 Wong left to visit China. Upon his return he passed through the collector of customs and was permitted to land as ‘a native-born citizen of the United States.’ Wong again left to visit China in 1894, and returning to his homeland (U.S.) “applied to the collector of customs to be permitted to land; and that such application was denied upon the sole ground that said Wong Kim Ark was not a citizen of the United States.”

In the Wong case (1898) the court addressed the issue of Wong’s citizenship under the provisions of the 14th Amendment. The United States Supreme court rendered a divided decision on the case where the majority found that Wong was a citizen and limited its holding strictly to the issue of the 14th Amendment citizenship, making no new determination to the Article 2 Section 1 eligibility requirements for President. The court does not and did not address if Wong is a ‘natural-born Citizen’ qualified to be President of the United States; they left intact the Minor (1874) definition.

The definition of natural born citizen in Minor v. Happersett is binding precedent; Ex Parte Lockwood (1894) acknowledged Minor (1874) as precedent for the definition of federal citizenship; and the statements in Minor fit the description of precedent established by the Court in Ogilvie Et Al., Minors v. United States.

Unlike popular culture, in law there is precedent setting from Stare Decisis (to stand by that which is decided earlier by a superior court). This is a hierarchy of law in that when a judgment is given by the court it is considered superior to future judgments and should be adhered to; the Rule of Law. Should stare decisis be ignored because the outcome does not fit our prejudices?

Minor v Happersett (1874) defined a child born of parents who are ‘Citizens’ are a ‘natural born Citizen’ eligible to hold the office of President, compared to the Wong case of 1898 which addressed Wong’s citizenship, not his qualifications to be President.

In each case the court addressed different issues, and the Wong case did not strike down nor re-define Presidential eligibility. Re-defining Presidential eligibility would take an act of congress with a two-thirds approval vote of both houses and a three-fourths approval vote of the 50 states; this is an amendment process to the constitution. The courts are not allowed to amend our constitution though some in congress prefer the courts to be a legislative body in order to avoid their responsibilities as elected representatives.

Our nation does not constitutionally recognize dual citizenship and when our naturalized citizens take their oath of allegiance to the United States they renounce any and all allegiance to any foreign land or person. As weak as some would want The British Nationality Act to be, the Supreme Court’s unanimous definition of Natural Born Citizen remains unchanged.

Our congress and courts have refused to confront this issue and it is a Constitutional crisis for our nation and troops. The media and candidates refuse to ask the right questions, insisting on affirming Obama was born in the USA while disregarding the Constitutional requirements.

Where Obama says he was born is irrelevant. What is relevant is the Constitutional requirement for the Presidency; and the Oath many of us have taken especially those in public office to “… support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter: So help me God”

REFERENCES

An act to establish an uniform Rule of Naturalization”, United States Congress (March 26, 1790). ; Harvard, available at http://pds.lib.harvard.edu/pds/view/5596748, (last visited 26 October 2011) ; Indiana University, available at http://www.indiana.edu/~kdhist/H105-documents-web/week08/naturalization1790.html, (last visited 26 October 2011)

An act to establish an uniform rule of Naturalization; and to repeal the act heretofore passed on that subject”, United States Congress (January 29, 1795).; Indiana University, available at http://www.indiana.edu/~kdhist/H105-documents-web/week08/naturalization1790.html, (last visited 26 October 2011)

British Nationality Act, 1772; Anno Regni decimo tertio G E O R G I I III. 1772 (13 Geo. 3) C A P. XXI.; available at http://www.uniset.ca/naty/BNA1772.htm, (last visited 26 October 2011)

British Nationality Act, 1948, (11 & 12 Geo. 6.) CHAPTER 56. “Part II, Citizenship of the United Kingdom and Colonies. Citizenship by birth or descent.” http://www.uniset.ca/naty/BNA1948.htm, (last visited 14 January 2012)

CONSTITUTIONAL INTERPRETATION: TEXTUAL MEANING, ORIGINAL INTENT, AND JUDICIAL REVIEW by Keith E. Whittington. Lawrence, KS: University Press of Kansas, 1999. 320 pp. Cloth $39.95. ISBN 0-7006-0969-5. Vol. 10 No. 4 (April 2000) pp. 261-264., http://www.bsos.umd.edu/gvpt/lpbr/subpages/reviews/whitting.html, (last visited 7 November 2011)

Marbury v. Madison, 5 U.S. 137, (5 U.S. 1 Cranch 137) (1803), available at http://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/historics/USSC_CR_0005_0137_ZS.html, (last visited 3 December 2011.

MINOR v. HAPPERSETT, 88 U.S. 162; 21 Wall. 162 OCTOBER, 1874, Term; available at http://law2.umkc.edu/faculty/projects/ftrials/conlaw/minorvhapp.html, (last visited 25 October 2011); Minor v. Happersett, 88 U.S. 162, 167, 21 Wall. 162, 22 L.Ed. 627 (1875) Refer to paragraphs 17-19.

Principles of Constitutional Construction; http://constitution.org/cons/prin_cons.htm, (last visited 7 November 2011)

Principles of Constitutional Interpretation, http://www.thefederalistpapers.org/principles-of-constitutional-interpretation, (last visited 7 November 2011)

Oath of Office Congress: TITLE 5 > PART III > Subpart B > CHAPTER 33 > SUBCHAPTER II > § 3331; available at http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/5/usc_sec_05_00003331----000-.html, (last visited 26 October 2011)

Oath of naturalization for citizenship; available at http://www.uscis.gov/portal/site/uscis/menuitem.5af9bb95919f35e66f614176543f6d1a/?vgnextoid=facd6db8d7e37210VgnVCM100000082ca60aRCRD&vgnextchannel=dd7ffe9dd4aa3210VgnVCM100000b92ca60aRCRD, (last visited 26 October 2011)

Oath of Office for President, US Constitution, Article II, Section 1, adopted 1787

US SUPREME COURT PRECEDENT STATES THAT OBAMA IS NOT ELIGIBLE TO BE PRESIDENT. http://naturalborncitizen.wordpress.com/2011/06/21/us-supreme-court-precedent-states-that-obama-is-not-eligible-to-be-president/, (last visited 14 January 2012)

O'GILVIE ET AL., MINORS v. UNITED STATES - 519 U.S. 79 (1996). available at http://supreme.justia.com/us/519/79/case.html, (last visited 14 January 2012)

United States Constitution, Article 2, Section 1, Paragraph 5. 1787

United States Constitution, Article 2, Section 1, Paragraph 6. 1787

United States Constitution, Amendment XII, U. S. Constitution, ratified July 27, 1804

United States Constitution, Amendment XIV, ratified July 9, 1868

U.S. v. WONG KIM ARK, 169 U.S. 649 (1898), (JUSTICE HARLAN dissenting.); Cornell University Law School, Legal Information Institute; Available at http://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/historics/USSC_CR_0169_0649_ZS.html, (last visited 7 November 2011)

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About Richard Skidmore
Richard Skidmore is a professor at Pierce College in Woodland Hills, Ca. He may be contacted via [email protected]
  • Derek

    No matter how much I don't like Obama the constitution reads "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; neither shallany Person be eligible to that Office who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty five Years, and been fourteen Years a Resident within the United States." Obama is a Citizen of the United States right? Yes he's not a natural born Citizen but it says "or" not "and". Also it says "at the time of the Adoption" and it way past the time it was Adopted. So all you have to be is a citizen that has attained at least an age of thirty five years and been at least a fourteen year resident within the United States to be President.

    • ONEPISSEDOFFCITIZEN

      Did you even BOTHER to read this article?

  • cfkerchner

    Historical, legal, and other papers discussing meaning of "natural born Citizen". Neither Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Bobby Jindal, or Obama is one: http://www.scribd.com/collections/3301209/

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001120538336 Heather Renee Kahler
  • SummerSands

    Based on Minor vs. Hapersett, 88 U.S. 162, the Supreme Court defined "natural born citizens" as "all children born in a country of parents who were its citizens."

    "Natural born citizen" is defined as the purest form of citizenship, requiring both jus soli ("law of the soil") citizenship and jus sanguinis ("law of the blood") citizenship—with BOTH parents being citizens.

    US citizens, even if born in the US to parents who were both US citizens, who have any foreign citizenship, no matter when or how acquired, are not eligible to be President. This issue has nothing to do with race or ethnicity. It's a question of loyalty and avoidance of even the appearance of conflict of interest. Nothing more, and nothing less.

    The only explicit definition of "natural born citizen" in the historical record, that was provided by one of the Founders, defines it as meaning a person born in the country to citizen parents. No testimony from any other Founder or delegate of the Constitutional Convention exists that claims any other definition.

    Obviously obama was not vetted properly and by his own admitted parentage, he's ineligible to legally hold the office of POTUS.

    http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2840767/posts

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Paul-Brown/100002411832072 Paul Brown

    This muslim islamic pig has been a fraud from day one and the demoncraps knew about it and didn't give a damn because thats the kind of thieves these pigs are. The entire demoncrap party should be held accountable for this treasonous act to try and take over the Gov. and our country from us, and the FBI knows about this and won't do anything about it because they are afraid of a black uprising in this country, well I could care less let them bring it on! We'll worry about it later and take care of it ourselves. This c pig is an illegal alien, on a You Tube video to a room full of people he admitted it. He said, " I am a muslim and NOT a Christian and I am NOT a citizen of this country but I am of my country of birth, Kenya." He should have been impeached the next day he was sworn in and the FBI should be held for not doing anything either. I vote to throw this pig and the demoncraps in jail ...NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • debtom

    this is hogwash!

    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."

    this is a contradiction in itself...

    “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

    if this was true, the founders would not have made the distinction between 'citizen' and natural born citizen'...

    “Some birthers imagine that there is a difference between being a “
    citizen by birth” or a “native citizen” on the one hand and a “natural
    born” citizen on the other. “Eccentric” is too kind a word for this
    notion, which is either daft or dishonest. All three terms are
    identical in meaning

  • Steve

    If he's not a natural-born citizen, why didn't he have to go through a naturalization process?

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_KIRZSBSOQWEIGNURVTKR37LIGQ GMiller