Obama’s ineligibility for dummies

CFP

On August 28, 2008, Representative Nancy Pelosi, then Chair of the Democratic National Convention signed an official Certification of Nomination verifying that Barack Obama was legally qualified to serve as President of the United States under the provisions of the United States Constitution.

I would like to know what Constitutional criteria were used by Rep. Pelosi to make that determination and what evidence she provided to support her contention.

The issue of Barack Obama’s eligibility must be resolved now before the 2012 election. It is incumbent on those, who authorize his place on the ballot to cite the legal bases for making such a claim.

Let me begin by asserting that the Certification of Live Birth, which mysteriously appeared without verification by the State of Hawaii and may be a forgery, or newspaper clippings, are not adequate proof of eligibility.

Article II, Section 1 of the Constitution states:

“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 shall any 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.”

Traditionally, “natural born” refers to ancestry describing a child born in the United States (or areas such as US military bases), whose parents are US citizens at the time of birth.

I hasten to add, however, that nowhere in the Constitution or in its Amendments is the term “natural born” defined.

Nevertheless, there is a legal paper trail supporting that description. Much of what I write below is taken from a superb report by Leo Donofrio found here (link).

The definition of “natural born” originates from John Armor Bingham, a Republican congressman and abolitionist from Ohio and principal framer of the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution.

In 1862 and 1866, respectively, Bingham stated on the floor of the House of Representative:

“All from other lands, who by the terms of [congressional] laws and a compliance with their provisions become naturalized, are adopted citizens of the United States; all other persons born within the Republic, of parents owing allegiance to no other sovereignty, are natural born citizens.”

“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.”

No Representative took issue with these words.  The underlying issues within those Congressional debates were hotly contested. Yet Bingham’s definition of “natural born citizen” (born in the US of citizen parents) was never challenged on the floor of the House.

In the concurring opinion in Duncan v. Louisiana, 391 U.S. 145 (1968), United States Supreme Court Associate Justice Hugo Black, emphasized his reliance on the statements made by Representative Bingham and Senator Howard in Congress which pertain to the drafting and adoption of the Fourteenth Amendment.  Justice Black stated that “it is far wiser to rely on” the words of Bingham and Howard when analyzing the 14th Amendment. The relevant passage is as follows:

“Professor Fairman’s “history” relies very heavily on what was not said in the state legislatures that passed on the Fourteenth Amendment. Instead of relying on this kind of negative pregnant, my legislative experience has convinced me that it is far wiser to rely on what was said, and, most importantly, said by the men who actually sponsored the Amendment in the Congress. I know from my years in the United States Senate that it is to men like Congressman Bingham, who steered the Amendment through the House, and Senator Howard, who introduced it in the Senate, that members of Congress look when they seek the real meaning of what is being offered. And they vote for or against a bill based on what the sponsors of that bill and those who oppose it tell them it means.”

As best as I can ascertain from the Constitution and its history, Barack Obama is not eligible to be President of the United States.

That is my argument, Rep. Pelosi. Please tell us yours?

Source:

12 responses to “Obama’s ineligibility for dummies

  1. You are right that the Constitution never defines “natural born citizen.” But the document that does is the United States Code, which is “a consolidation and codification by subject matter of the general and permanent laws of the United States” that is prepared and published by the Office of the Law Revision Counsel of the House of Representatives. If the Constitution provides the framework and principles for how our government works, the U.S. Code defines those principles specifically. Here is a link to the U.S. Code: http://uscode.house.gov/lawrevisioncounsel.shtml. 8 USC Sec. 1401, Title 8, Chapter 12, Subchapter III defines who is a citizen at birth of the United States.

    I believe that Barack Obama was born in Hawaii, as he has stated, as well as the former Republican governor, Linda Lingle and the Health Department of Hawaii during the 2008 campaign. Why would a Republican governor admit to having seen his actual birth certificate if it did not exist? That would have been against the interest of her party and the country. Being born in Hawaii would qualify Obama as a natural born citizen under (a) of the statute. Even if I believed, as some birthers do, that Obama was born in Kenya, there has not been any of them that refute that his white mother was born in and lived in Kansas. Even if she had travelled to Kenya to deliver Obama, he’d still be a natural born U.S. citizen under (e) of the statute. I think that the people in the leadership of the Republican Party either know or have lawyers who know about the United States Code and know that there is no legitimate legal case for Obama being ineligible. Some argue that if Obama is a citizen, why doesn’t he just release his birth certificate and end the debate? Well, I argue, why should he? Has any other president had to provide his birth certificate as proof of citizenship? If so, please provide the documentation from an independent source. I will gladly concede this point if someone can offer me valid proof. On a side note, what about the presidents who were born outside of hospitals or before states required birth certificates to be issued? Should their presidencies be retroactively voided?

    I think the bottom line is that we (U.S. citizens, voters and our elected officials) need to grow up and admit that we are not all going to agree with all, or in some cases any of the policies of any president. This does not mean that we should constantly try to delegitimize him or her. This goes for the conservatives who despise this president and the liberals who tried to constantly belittle and undermine President Bush and the conservatives who tried to do the same to President Clinton. That is the point that I believe this blatant disrespect for and reflexive opposition to presidents of opposite parties began. I don’t think that just because a person is president that you have to respect them. But if one really believes the Constitution and its principles, one would understand that the presidency is about the office and not about the man (or, perhaps in the future, woman) who occupies it. The office at least deserves our respect. If our leaders spent as much time and energy trying to work together to solve serious issues as they do trying to undermine their opposition, we might be much better off.

    I hope that you will let my comment become public, even if you disagree. I’m about increasing knowledge and facts and I look forward to any response you may have. Some bloggers only allow one side of a story or argument. Also, feel free to visit my blog, discourseamerica.wordpress.com; check out the posts and comment if you’d like. I try to be informative and insightful about our great country.

    • In the official copies of the THIRD U.S. Congress (1795) margin notes state “Former act repealed. 1790. ch. 3.” referencing the FIRST U.S. Congress (1790).

      Document ONE: the actual text of the THIRD CONGRESS in 1795 states, “…children of citizens [plural, i.e. two parents] of the United States…shall be considered citizens of the United States; Provided That the right of citizenship shall not descend to persons, whose fathers have never been resident in the United States…” (THIRD CONGRESS Sess. II. Ch.21. 1795, Approved January 29, 1795, pp. 414-415. Document margin note: “How children shall obtain citizenship through their parents” Document margin note: “Former Act repealed 1790 ch.3.”) See Attachment A.

      Document TWO: the actual text of the FIRST CONGRESS in 1790 states, “…children of citizens (NB: plural, i.e. two parents) of the United States…shall be considered as natural born citizens of the United States; Provided That the right of citizenship shall not descend to persons, whose fathers have never been resident in the United States…” (FIRST CONGRESS Sess. II Ch.4 1790, Approved March 26, 1790, pp. 103-104. Document margin note: “Their children residing here, deemed citizens.” Document margin note: “Also, children of citizens born beyond sea, & c. Exceptions.”) See Attachment B.

      Document THREE: the actual text of the Constitution from the Continental Congress and the Constitutional Convention, 1774-1789, and subsequent official printings, of the Constitution of the United States of American: Article II Section 1 Clause 5 states,
      “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…” See Attachment C.

    • Even Wikipedia gets it right:

      “It is generally agreed that these constitutional provisions mean anyone born on American soil to parents who are U.S. citizens is a “natural born citizen” eligible to someday become president or vice-president…”

      Two American parents and on American soil — simple as that.

    • It should be noted, that to define a term is to indicate the category or class of things which it signifies. In this sense, the Supreme Court of the United States has never applied the term “natural born citizen” to any other category than “those born in the country of parents who are citizens thereof”.

      Hence every U.S. Citizen must accept this definition or categorical designation, and fulfill his constitutional duties accordingly. No member of Congress, no judge of the Federal Judiciary, no elected or appointed official in Federal or State government has the right to use any other definition; and if he does, he is acting unlawfully.

    • Attorney Mario Apuzzo sys that assuming that Obama was born in the United States, he was not only born a dual national of the United States and Great Britain, but at present he continues to be such. Some maintain that American law on citizenship cannot be subjected to any foreign law. But such an argument does not resolve the question of Obama’s dual nationality, for each nation has the sovereign right to make its own citizenship laws and one nation cannot deny another nation that right. This point can be better understood when we consider that McCain was born in Panama to U.S. citizen parents and U.S. citizenship law declared him a U.S. citizen even though he was born in Panama and Panamanian law may have declared him a citizen of Panama. Neither Panama nor any other nation questioned the United States’ right to pass a law that gave McCain U.S. citizenship by descent from his parents even though he was born in Panama. Great Britain, being a sovereign nation, has the same right as does the United States to pass such citizenship laws. Now let us examine the British law that applies to Obama and his father and which makes Obama a British citizen not only at the time of his birth in 1961 but still today.

      The British Nationality Act of 1948 provides in pertinent part as follows:

      “4. Subject to the provisions of this section, every person born within the United Kingdom and Colonies after the commencement of this Act shall be a citizen of the United Kingdom and Colonies by birth:

      Provided that a person shall not be such a citizen by virtue of this section if at the time of his birth—
      (a) his father possesses such immunity from suit and legal process as is accorded to an envoy of a foreign sovereign power accredited to His Majesty, and is not a citizen of the United Kingdom and Colonies; or
      (b) his father is an enemy alien and the birth occurs in a place then under occupation by the enemy.

      5.—(1) 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 ….”

      Under the British Nationality Act of 1948, Obama’s father became a British citizen under Section 4 by being born on the soil of an English Colony, Kenya. Under Section 5, when Obama was born in 1961 in Hawaii or some other place, he automatically became a British citizen by descent from his father who was a British citizen under Section 4.

      Obama has deflected attention to his British citizenship by focusing the public’s attention on his former Kenyan citizenship. Notwithstanding what Obama may lead the public to believe, this British citizenship is not a type of citizenship that he has since lost. Moreover, this citizenship did not expire with Obama’s 21st birthday nor is it one that had to be registered in any specified period of time.

    • All three of the 2008 presidential candidates, Obama (aka Soetoro), McCain, and Calero were not eligible under Article II, Section 1, Clause 5 of the U.S. Constitution to serve as Commander-in-Chief.

      Just like a residential purchase of a home is void if fraud in the inducement (where one party conceals a material fact that if people knew about it ahead of time, they would not enter into a residential purchase of a home), the same thing has occurred with the primaries and presidential election on November 4, 2008.

      Because these three candidates (Obama (aka Soetoro), McCain, and Calero) were ineligible under Article II, Section 1, Clause 5 of the U.S. Constitution, the 2008 presidential election and its results should be voided.

      Regardless of what game of charades people in the mainstream media and people within our federal government are trying to pull. That is a legal fact that can not be disputed.

      Obama has only one US citizen parent. His father was British subject and a Citizen of Kenya — as was Obama.

      McCain was not born in the mainland US. John Sidney McCain III was born at the Colon Hospital, located at Avenida Melendez and 2nd Street, Manzanillo Island, City of Colon, Republic of Panama. The time of birth on the birth certificate issued by Panama Railroad Company (which owned the Colon Hospital) was 5:25 PM and the day and date of birth was Saturday, August 29, 1936.

      Calero was not born in the mainland US. He was born in Nicaragua.

    • On February 28, 2008, Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO) introduced a bill to the Senate for consideration. That bill was known as S. 2678: Children of Military Families Natural Born Citizen Act. The bill was co-sponsored by Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL), Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY), Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ), and Sen. Thomas Coburn (R-OK).

      Bill S. 2678 attempted to change article II, section 1, clause 5 of the Constitution of the United States with reference to the requirements of being a “natural born citizen” and hence; the entitlement to run for President of the United States. This bill met the same fate that similar attempts to change the Constitution have in the past. Attempts such as The Natural Born Citizen Act were known to have failed and the text scrubbed from the internet, with only a shadow-cached copy left, that only the most curious public can find.

      Sen. McCaskill, her co-sponsors, fellow colleagues and legal counsel, contend that the Constitution is ambiguous in article II, section 1 and requires clarification. But does it?

    • 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 shall any 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.

      That is the exact language of the Constitution. It exempts those citizens at the time of adoption because many had English parents or from other countries. They thought of themselves as citizens that did not meet the criteria of being natural born and excepted themselves. The true natural born citizens were few and most were young.

      If you can not see that is proof that Obama is not a natural born citizen you must still be drinking the kool aid.

    • First, let me note that there are 4 such cases which speak of the notion of “natural born citizenship”:

      The Venus, 12 U.S. 8 Cranch 253 253 (1814)

      “The citizens are the members of the civil society; bound to this society by certain duties, and subject to its authority, they equally participate in its advantages. The natives or indigenes are those born in the country of parents who are citizens. Society not being able to subsist and to perpetuate itself but by the children of the citizens, those children naturally follow the condition of their fathers, and succeed to all their rights.

      “The inhabitants, as distinguished from citizens, are strangers who are permitted to settle and stay in the country. Bound by their residence to the society, they are subject to the laws of the state while they reside there, and they are obliged to defend it…

      Shanks v. Dupont, 28 U.S. 3 Pet. 242 242 (1830)

      Ann Scott was born in South Carolina before the American revolution, and her father adhered to the American cause and remained and was at his death a citizen of South Carolina. There is no dispute that his daughter Ann, at the time of the Revolution and afterwards, remained in South Carolina until December, 1782. Whether she was of age during this time does not appear. If she was, then her birth and residence might be deemed to constitute her by election a citizen of South Carolina. If she was not of age, then she might well be deemed under the circumstances of this case to hold the citizenship of her father, for children born in a country, continuing while under age in the family of the father, partake of his national character as a citizen of that country. Her citizenship, then, being prima facie established, and indeed this is admitted in the pleadings, has it ever been lost, or was it lost before the death of her father, so that the estate in question was, upon the descent cast, incapable of vesting in her? Upon the facts stated, it appears to us that it was not lost and that she was capable of taking it at the time of the descent cast.

      Minor v. Happersett , 88 U.S. 162 (1875)

      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. Some authorities go further and include as citizens children born within the jurisdiction without reference to the citizenship of their parents.

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

      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.

      I’d like to add to these, Perkins v. Elg, the importance of which is that it actually gives examples of what a “natural born citizen” of the U.S. is; what a “citizen” of the U.S. is; and what a “native-born citizen” of the U. S. is.

      In this case, the U. S. Supreme Court found that a “natural born citizen” is a person who is born of two U.S. citizen parents AND born in the mainland of U.S.

  2. How much more past time is this do? Good find, posting, link back. Jim

  3. Didn’t I read that Hawaii was the only state to decline signing?

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