Do not get me wrong here. I support what Senator Ted Cruz has been doing since elected from the great state of TEXAS, His stands, both inside the hallowed chamber of the US Senate, and out in public, have been GREAT. I support and agree with 99.9% of what he has done and said, but that does not equate to unconditional support for his election to the POTUS position. I know, I know, I will get a LOT of flak for this and it puts me on the wrong side of many people that have said otherwise but let me explain.
First, lets look at the qualifications as laid out in the U.S, Constitution….not some web site or blog, but the actual document. In order to qualify to serve as the POTUS and thus Commander In Chief of the U.S. Military you must be……
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.
The key phrase here is NATURAL BORN CITIZEN, though people now a days focus on the second part “or a Citizen of the United States”, mainly due to the election of the current resident of 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. The applicant must also be at least 35 years of age, which so far has not been a problem.
But let’s look at the reason for the “Citizen of the United States…” and “been fourteen years a resident within the United States”. Remember, when this was written there were no “Natural Born Citizens” as the country had just been founded. All Citizens were then just that, Citizens of the United States, nothing more, nothing less. They had been citizens under the Crown of England, or some other country before hand, but were now citizens of the new country. The founders, in their wisdom put a road block in place to shield from agents of the Crown taking up the Presidency by requiring anyone in that office to have actually resided within the territorial area that was now the U.S. to have done so for 14 consecutive years. Make sense? Yes, Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio would both match all this criteria IF that was all it was. Yet it is not. It is still questionable as to whether B.H.O matches it or not, but this is not about him.
Knowing that it would take at least 1 generation to begin to get Natural Born Citizens to qualify (those born within the geographic boundaries of the United States and not the Colonies) they inserted the NATURAL BORN CLAUSE but left out any explanation as to just what was meant. So we have to look elsewhere, as close to the writing of this document as possible to try and figure out the intent of this clause.
House Report No. 784, dated June 22, 1874, stated, “The United States have not recognized a ‘double allegiance.’ By our law a citizen is bound to be ‘true and faithful’ alone to our government.” This actually rules out anyone that, by issue of birth, has dual citizenship, and therefore the possibility of dual allegiances to two separate countries. See where we get into trouble already with Senator Cruz? He was born in Canada and until just recently, held “Citizenship” status to Canada and to the United states. It also, if you believe the reports of BHO’s Kenyan birth, rules him out.
People then fall back on English Common Law for an answer but that is whimsical at best. Under the old English common law, birth was viewed as enjoining a “perpetual allegiance” upon all to the King that could never be severed or altered by any change of time or act of anyone. England’s “perpetual allegiance” due from birth was extremely unpopular in this country; often referred to as absurd barbarism, or simply perpetual nonsense. America went to war with England over the doctrine behind “natural-born subject” in June of 1812.
So where do we look? The 14th Amendment, which was written 90 years after the founders inserted NATURAL BORN CITIZEN? I don’t believe so because, in the words of the writer of that Document it is to be used for “allowing the status of Citizenship to be conferred to the freed slaves”. It also deals with “who may be born CITIZENS” but not Natural Born Citizens, the requirement of the Constitution.
Let’s look at the opinions of some world renowned legal minds of that time for a bit.
The Law of Nations,written by Emmerich de Vattel, a Swiss-German philosopher of law in 1797 states in Sub Section 212. Citizens and natives. “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 natural-born citizens, are those born in the country, of parents who are citizens.” Yet this is an English translation of an earlier book, one written BEFORE the Founders brought forth a new Nation, and might shed even more light onto the mindset of the framers of the Constitution.
The French original of 1757, on that same passage read thus: Les naturels, ou indigenes, sont ceux qui sont nes dans le pays de parents citoyens, . . .The terms “natives” and “natural born citizens” are obviously English and French terms; used to render the idea convyed by the French phrase “les naturels, ou indigenes”: but both refered to the same category of citizen: one born in the country, of parents who were citizens of that country.
So we now have an idea as to the original meaning, used by the Founders, of NATURAL BORN CITIZEN. They are clearly not those born in a foreign country and/or subject to foreign laws and allegiances. As evidenced by House Report No. 784 quoted above. Nor are they born in this country of a parent or parents that have dual allegiances either as it is clearly stated who are citizens (plural meaning both) of the country. It is also clear that the intent be BOTH PARENTS (hence the plural of the word) be citizens of the country. So, we now know that in order to be a NATURAL BORN CITIZEN of the United States, the Framers intended that one be “BORN WITHIN THE UNITED STATES, SUBJECT TO IT’S JURISDICTION (LAWS), AND BE BORN OF BOTH PARENTS WHO ARE, AT THE TIME OF BIRTH, CITIZENS OF THE UNITED STATES”.
But looking at the writings of foreign born scholars, though it gives us a clear picture as to the intent of the framers, is not enough, by it’s self, to nail the lid down on this matter. We need precedence founded in American Law to do that. So let’s look to the Supreme Court of the United States for that. There are 4 cases that were decided close to the founding.
One was close enough to where some of the Justices seated were actually soldiers in the fight for Independence. Others were attendees and assisted in the Constitutional Conventions that wrote the document. It was The Venus case, 12 U.S. 8 Cranch 253 253 (1814) in which the UNANIMOUS opinion states…
“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.” It goes on to describe the difference between natural born and “Inhabitants”, or citizens from somewhere else. “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” … an almost direct quote from The Laws of Nations!! Once again, and this time from the SCOTUS, a Natural Born Citizen must be “Born in the country of parents who are (themselves) citizens of the country” and separates them from those “inhabitant” citizens who are not born in, but reside in the country.
In Shanks v. Dupont, 28 U.S. 3 Pet. 242 242 (1830), Justice Story, who gave the ruling, does not cite Vattel per se, but cites the principle of citizenship enshrined in his definition of a “natural born citizen”:
“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.” *Note: this case was to determine the citizenship purely for an inheritance from the Father, but still lays out that, according to the SCOTUS in 1830, the right of Citizenship passed from the Citizenship of the Father and still relies upon being born within the United States.
In Minor v. Happersett , 88 U.S. 162 (1875) The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court in that year, wrote the majority opinion, in which he stated:
“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 United States v. Wong Kim Ark, 169 U.S. 649 (1898) Justice Gray gave the opinion of the court. On p. 168-9 of the record:
“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. “
Justice Gray goes on to tackle the issue of Citizenship brought forth by the adoption of the 14th Amendment….and splits Native Citizen from Natural Born Citizen….
“On the basis of the 14th Amendment, however, the majority opinion coined a new definition for “native citizen”, as anyone who was born in the U.S.A., under the jurisdiction of the United States. The Court gave a novel interpretation to jurisdiction, and thus extended citizenship to all born in the country (excepting those born of ambassadors and foreign armies etc.); but it did not extend the meaning of the term “natural born citizen.” ”
So there you have it folks. It is clear that the Founding Fathers, when setting out the stringent qualifications to become President of The United states made it a CONSTITUTIONAL REQUIREMENT that the person be a NATURAL BORN CITIZEN (born within the United States, of parents who are both Citizens of the United States at the time of birth) and thus can not be a person with any allegiance to a foreign country (dual citizenship) at the time of their birth. This person can not be born in a foreign country, even a great ally like Canada, and can not be born to either parent who is not a citizen of the United States.
Therefore I submit that though I feel Ted Cruz may make a great President, if he was qualified under the Constitution, he is sadly NOT CONSTITUTIONALLY nor as a matter of the Laws of the United States, as interpreted by the Supreme Court, qualified for the job.