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. -Article II, Section 1 of the united States Constitution
We have something called the 1790 Naturalization Act, which clearly defines who a natural born citizen is. And no, it is not just a person born on American soil as the Constitution distinguishes between natural born and “a citizen of the United States, at the time of the adoption of this Constitution.” If all that was required was to be a “citizen,” then why the distinction? It was because of this.As Publius Huldah has pointed out, the framers were quite familiar with Vattel’s Law of Nations. As such, they understood what it meant to be “natural born,” though Vattel used the term subject, not citizen. While many have tried to blow off Congress’ use of the Law of Nations, Benjamin Franklin wrote a letter to Charles Dumas on December 9, 1775 to thank him for sending three copies of the book and specifically wrote, “… I am much obliged by the kind present you have made us of your edition of Vattel. It came to us in good season, when the circumstances of a rising state make it necessary frequently to consult the law of nations. Accordingly that copy, which I kept, (after depositing one in our own public library here, and sending the other to the College of Massachusetts Bay, as you directed,) has been continually in the hands of the members of our Congress, now sitting, who are much pleased with your notes and preface, and have entertained a high and just esteem for their author…”
So, Congress most definitely was aware of the volume, had high and just esteem for Vattel and continually had it in their hands. Keep in mind that this was all before the Constitution was written in 1787.
In fact, Publius Huldah points out that in the 1916 edition of the Law of Nations published by the Carnegie Endowment, Albert de Lapradelle wrote an introduction which stated that the fathers of independence, “were in accord with the ideas of Vattel,” that the found in Vattel “all their maxims of political liberty” and,
“From 1776 to 1783, the more the United States progressed, the greater became Vattel’s influence. In 1780 his Law of Nations was a classic, a text book in the universities.”
While our founders were originally subjects of Britain, once they won the war for independence, they became citizens, and Vattel was the one who offered that understanding they came to with regard to natural born citizen. Publius Huldah has previously pointed out what the gist of what Vattel penned in Law of Nations, Book I, Ch. XIX, at §§ 212-217, is this:
§ 212: Natural-born citizens are those born in the country of parents who are citizens – it is necessary that they be born of a father who is a citizen. If a person is born there of a foreigner, it will be only the place of his birth, and not his country.
§ 213: Inhabitants, as distinguished from citizens, are foreigners who are permitted to stay in the country. They are subject to the laws of the country while they reside in it. But they do not participate in all the rights of citizens – they enjoy only the advantages which the law or custom gives them. Their children follow the condition of their fathers – they too are inhabitants.
§ 214: A country may grant to a foreigner the quality of citizen – this is naturalization. In some countries, the sovereign cannot grant to a foreigner all the rights of citizens, such as that of holding public office – this is a regulation of the fundamental law. And in England, merely being born in the country naturalizes the children of a foreigner.
§§ 215, 216 & 217: Children born of citizens in a foreign country, at sea, or while overseas in the service of their country, are “citizens”.
So, the founders knew what it meant and we know they knew what it meant.
Furthermore, the 1790 Naturalization Act, which was written within two years of the Constitution, so there is no doubt that these men had the same definition of those who penned the Constitution, reads:
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America, in Congress assembled, That any Alien being a free white person, who shall have resided within the limits and under the jurisdiction of the United States for the term of two years, may be admitted to become a citizen thereof on application to any common law Court of record in any one of the States wherein he shall have resided for the term of one year at least, and making proof to the satisfaction of such Court that he is a person of good character, and taking the oath or affirmation prescribed by law to support the Constitution of the United States, which Oath or Affirmation such Court shall administer, and the Clerk of such Court shall record such Application, and the proceedings thereon; and thereupon such person shall be considered as a Citizen of the United States. And the children of such person so naturalized, dwelling within the United States, being under the age of twenty one years at the time of such naturalization, shall also be considered as citizens of the United States. And the children of citizens of the United States that may be born beyond Sea, or out of the limits of the United States, shall be considered as natural born Citizens: Provided, that the right of citizenship shall not descend to persons whose fathers have never been resident in the United States: Provided also, that no person heretofore proscribed by any States, shall be admitted a citizen as aforesaid, except by an Act of the Legislature of the State in which such person was proscribed.
Notice that even in this Act, there is a distinction between “citizens,” those who are “naturalized” and “natural born citizens.” There is no doubt that we can know exactly what the Framers had in mind when they wrote “natural born citizen.”
The Constitutional qualifications for President of the United States are: “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.”
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?”
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, un-amended Constitution; therefore, none can mean the same thing.
The Constitutional framers understood “natural born Citizen” and “Citizen” to be uniquely different and unequal; and they deliberately established this unique presidential qualification, while specifically excluding ‘naturalization’ as a qualification.
The SCOTUS case Minor v. Happersett (1874)–which is the only SCOTUS case to look at the qualifications for President, and is the one case that all self-appointed guardians and professors on Presidential qualifications conveniently overlook and never discuss publicly–is the one case in which the court actually defined what the founders meant by the unique phrasing of “natural born citizen.”
Chief Justice Waite delivered the opinion of the Court in the Minor vs. Happersett; it was a unanimous opinion—it is a precedent opinion that no other court has ever reversed, and no other court has reviewed the qualifications for POTUS since this case.
The court declared what the founders understood: that a child born to parents (note plural, thus mother and father) who are citizens of the United States at the time of their birth is a natural born citizen, meeting the POTUS qualification in the US Constitution. This finding has nothing to do with where the child was born, as the ruling is silent; it has everything to do with the parents and their citizenship status to the U.S. As this is a precedent case, nothing else influences it.
Based on the SCOTUS findings in 1874 and looking at the heritage of Mr. Obama, Senator Cruz, Senator Rubio, and Governor Jindal, one needs to ask if they fit the Constitutional requirement of Natural Born Citizen.
Mr. Obama’s father was a British Subject (Kenyan) when Obama was born. British nationality act (1948) declares Mr. Obama to be a British Subject, and, unlike Senator Cruz, Obama never surrendered his British Citizenship. Mr. Obama’s mother, Ann Dunham, born in Wichita, Kansas, was a United States Citizen by birth. Mr. Obama was born in 1961, has only one parent as a U.S. Citizen, and his father eventually returned to Kenya. Note also that no court in the United States has been willing to hear a challenge on his qualifications.
Senator Cruz: a good man in the senate. His mother is Eleanor Elizabeth Darragh Wilson, and his father is Rafael Cruz. In research, Eleanor Cruz was born in Delaware and earned a degree from Rice University in Houston, TX. Rafael Cruz, was born in Cuba and became a Naturalized Citizen in 2005. Senator Cruz was born in 1970. Because Senator Cruz was born in Canada, had both his parents been U.S. Citizens, he would be, without question, a natural born citizen, as his place of birth is not at issue (knowing that place of birth has no bearing on natural born citizen status is not common knowledge to our elected representatives or to the people at large of the United States). Like Mr. Obama, Senator Cruz can claim only one parent as a citizen at the time of his birth.
Senator Rubio: a good man in the senate. Both his mother and father (Mario Rubio Reina and Oriales Rubio) were Cuban Citizens at the time of this birth. His parents became naturalized citizens in 1975. Senator Rubio was born in 1971. Neither of Senator Rubio’s parents were citizens of the United States at the time of his birth.
Governor Jindal of Louisiana: a good man as governor. Both his father and mother (Amar Jindal and Raj Jindal) were Indian Citizens, from the state of Punjab, at the time of this birth (1971), in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. The record indicates that his mother came to the United States six months prior to his birth, as she enrolled in graduate school for an advanced degree. The record does not indicate if his parents ever became naturalized citizens.
But notice the other problem here. We are told we are a nation of immigrants. No, we are not. I’m not. My family decades ago may have been, but my parents were citizens, their parents were citizens and I’m a citizen. Furthermore we are natural born citizens.
My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children. Hosea 4:6
Indeed, America is being destroyed due to the lack of knowledge of the people. As a final thought, keep in mind that the Bible even teaches that a foreigner should not rule over the people, emphasizing the natural born status.