Friday, December 26, 2008

How the GOP will lose 200,000+ members in 2009

Barack Obama is Not Qualified to be President

Follow up to My Open Letter to U.S. Congress and U.S. Senate

: Final Notice to GOP

How the GOP will lose 200,000+ members in 2009

The Constitutional requirements to be a U.S. Congressman or U.S. Senator are different than the requirements to be U.S. President or Vice President. The requirements may be found at the following website: click here. In order to become a U.S. Senator or Congressman the Constitution only requires that one be a U.S. Citizen for the required number of years. In order to be President or Vice President, the Constitution requires that one be a natural born citizen. Many GOP Representatives are carelessly ignoring the special requirements to be President as if the requirements are the same as for Congressmen and Senators.

U.S. Congressman
Article I, Section 2, Clause 2
No Person shall be a Representative who shall not have attained to the Age of twenty five Years, and been seven Years a Citizen of the United States, and who shall not, when elected, be an Inhabitant of that State in which he shall be chosen.

U.S. Senator
Article I, Section 3, Clause 3
No Person shall be a Senator who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty Years, and been nine Years a Citizen of the United States, and who shall not, when elected, be an Inhabitant of that State for which he shall be chosen.

U.S. President
Article II, Section 1, Clause 5
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 United States Constitution requires that Presidents (and Vice Presidents) of the United States be natural born citizens of the United States. Therefore, it is undisputed that children of American citizens born in the U.S. are eligible to hold the office of President upon reaching the required age, and that persons naturalized as U.S. citizens after birth are disqualified from holding that office.

The special term "Natural Born Citizen" is used in particular as a requirement for eligibility to serve as President or Vice President of the United States.

Additionally, the Twelfth Amendment to the United States Constitution states that: "[N]o person constitutionally ineligible to the office of President shall be eligible to that of Vice-President of the United States." The grandfather provision of the Natural Born Citizen Clause thus covered the first several presidents and vice-presidents, who were citizens at the time of the adoption of the Constitution, but had been born as British citizens before the American Revolution.

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, whereas anyone whose citizenship is acquired after birth as a result of naturalization "process or procedure" is not a "natural born citizen" and is therefore ineligible for those two positions. In between these extremes lie gray areas, some controversy, and various settled precedents.

Supreme Court cases relating to citizenship and "natural born" status

Although the U.S. Supreme Court has never specifically determined the meaning of "natural born Citizen," they have occasionally considered the matter in passing.

Dred Scott v. Sandford, 60 U.S. 393 (1857): In regard to the "natural born citizen" clause, the dissent states that it is acquired by place of birth (jus soli), not through blood or lineage (jus sanguinis): "The first section of the second article of the Constitution uses the language, 'a natural born citizen.' It thus assumes that citizenship may be acquired by birth. Undoubtedly, this language of the Constitution was used in reference to that principle of public law, well understood in this country at the time of the adoption of the Constitution, which referred citizenship to the place of birth." (Much of the majority opinion in this case was overturned by the 14th Amendment in 1868.)

Slaughterhouse Cases, 83 U.S. 36 (1872): The Court discussed the Citizenship Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment: "the phrase 'subject to the jurisdiction thereof' was intended to exclude from its operation children of ministers, consuls, and citizens or subjects of foreign states, born within the United States."

United States v. Wong Kim Ark, 169 U.S. 649 (1898): It was held that a person born within the jurisdiction of the U.S. to non-citizens who "are not employed in any diplomatic or official capacity" is automatically a citizen, per the Fourteenth Amendment. The majority also mentioned what the situation was prior to the Fourteenth Amendment and the U.S. Constitution, by quoting Emerich de Vattel: "The natives, or natural-born citizens, are those born in the country of parents who are citizens. As the society cannot exist and perpetuate itself otherwise than by the children of the citizens, those children naturally follow the condition of their fathers, and succeed to all their rights." Dissenters in Wong Kim Ark wrote: "it is unreasonable to conclude that 'natural born citizen' applied to everybody born within the geographical tract known as the United States, irrespective of circumstances; and that the children of foreigners, happening to be born to them while passing through the country, whether of royal parentage or not, or whether of the Mongolian, Malay, or other race, were eligible to the presidency, while children of our citizens, born abroad, were not." The majority opinion in Wong Kim Ark did not explicitly disagree with this comment of the dissenters, and instead merely observed that: "The constitution nowhere defines the meaning of these words [citizen and natural born citizen], either by way of inclusion or of exclusion, except in so far as this is done by the affirmative declaration that 'all persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States.'"

Perkins v. ELG, 307 U.S. 325 (1939): The U.S. Supreme Court concluded that Marie Elizabeth Elg who was born in the United States of Swedish parents then naturalized in the United States, had not lost her birthright U.S. citizenship because of her removal during minority to Sweden and was entitled to all the rights and privileges of that U.S. citizenship. In this case, the U.S. Supreme Court affirmed the decree that declared Miss Elg "to be a natural born citizen of the United States."

Schneider v. Rusk, 377 U.S. 163 (1964): The Court voided a statute that provided that a naturalized citizen should lose his United States citizenship if, following naturalization, he resided continuously for three years in his former homeland. "We start from the premise that the rights of citizenship of the native-born and of the naturalized person are of the same dignity and are coextensive. The only difference drawn by the Constitution is that only the 'natural born' citizen is eligible to be President."

Rogers v. Bellei, 401 U.S. 815 (1971): Reviews the history of citizenship legislation and of the Fourteenth Amendment's Citizenship Clause.

Emmerich de Vattel

For the original definition the term Natural Born Citizen, its meaning at the time our Constitution was written, one need only look to Vattel. Emmerich de Vattel was the most popular of all writers on the law of nations in America before, but especially after, the American Revolution. Vattel's {The Law of Nations} arrived, shortly after its publication, in an America, which had already been greatly influenced by Leibniz. No later than 1770, it was used as a textbook in colleges. It was often quoted in speeches before judicial tribunals and legislatures, and used in formulating policy. Following the Revolution, Vattel's influence grew. Vattel was cited far more often than Grotius and Puffendorf, in court proceedings, from 1789 to 1820.

Among those citing Vattel in legal cases and government documents, were Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, James Wilson, Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, John Jay, and John Marshall.

John Adams, the future delegate to the Continental Congress, second President of the U.S., and father of President John Quincy Adams, recorded in his Diary on Feb. 1, 1763, that after spending the day frivolously, instead of reading and thinking, ``The Idea of M. de Vattel indeed, scowling and frowning, haunted me.'' In 1765, Adams copied into his Diary three statements by Vattel, ``of great use to Judges,'' that laws should be interpreted according to the intent of the author, and every interpretation which leads to absurdity should be rejected.

In a letter to the Foreign Minister of Denmark, in 1779, Benjamin Franklin quoted Vattel, and ``his excellent Treatise entitled {Le Droit des Gens.}''

James Madison, as a member of the Continental Congress in 1780, drafted the instructions sent to John Jay, for negotiating a treaty with Spain, which quotes at length from {The Law of Nations.} Jay complained that this letter, which was probably read by the Spanish government, was not in code, and ``Vattel's {Law of Nations,} which I found quoted in a letter from Congress, is prohibited here.'' Later, John Marshall, during his thirty-four years as Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, quoted Vattel by far the most among all authors on the law of nations.

The Law of Nations and The Declaration of Independence

Delegates to the First and Second Continental Congress, which produced the Declaration of Independence, often consulted {The Law of Nations,} as a reference for their discussions. One important reason why the delegates chose to meet in Carpenters Hall, was that the building also housed the Library Company of Philadelphia. The librarian reported that Vattel was one of the main sources consulted by the delegates during the First Continental Congress, which met from Sept. 5 to Oct. 26, 1774.

Charles W.F. Dumas, an ardent supporter of the American cause, printed an edition of {The Law of Nations} in 1774, with his own notes illustrating how the book applied to the American situation. In 1770, Dumas had met Franklin in Holland, and was one of Franklin's key collaborators in his European diplomacy. He sent three copies to Franklin, instructing him to send one to Harvard University, and to put one in the Philadelphia library. Franklin sent Dumas a letter, Dec. 9, 1775, thanking him for the gift. Franklin stated, ``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, has been continually in the hands of the members of our congress, now sitting ....''

The study of {The Law of Nations} by the delegates to the Continental Congress, to answer questions ``of the circumstances of a rising state,'' is reflected in the Declaration of Independence of July 4, 1776. The central ideas of that document are coherent with Vattel's arguments on the criteria of a people to overthrow a tyrannical sovereign.

The Declaration of Independence states that governments are instituted to fulfill the ``inalienable rights'' of ``life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness,'' and can be changed if they fail to meet these obligations to the people. Governments should not be changed for light and transient causes, but only after a long chain of abuses to the fundamental rights of the people, with repeated requests for redress of grievances, which were refused. Repeated appeals were made to our ``British Brethren,'' but since they ``have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity,'' we are prepared to face them either in war or in peace. Therefore, we declare ourselves independent of the British Crown, with the full powers of a sovereign government, ``to levy war, conclude peace, contract alliances, establish commerce, and to do all other acts and things which Independent States may of right do.''

The inclusion of the central conception of {The Law of Nations,} Vattel's Leibnizian concept of happiness, as one of the three inalienable rights, is a crucial statement of the Declaration's Leibnizian character. The Declaration of Independence was prepared by a committee consisting of Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Robert Livingston, and Roger Sherman.

Jefferson was assigned by this committee to write the draft of the Declaration, after John Adams turned down the task, because of his numerous other responsibilities. The fact, that Jefferson was a strong proponent of the philosophy of John Locke by as early as 1771, is often used as evidence that the Declaration was based on Locke's philosophy. However, Locke had argued, in his {Two Treatises of Government,} that the fundamental right of men is to ``Life, Liberty, and Property.'' The inclusion of ``the pursuit of happiness,'' rather than ``property,'' as an inalienable right, was a crucial statement, that the American Revolution would be a battle for the establishment of a true Republic, rather than merely a dispute between two groups of aristocrats over the division of property.

So in order to understand the term Natural Born Citizen in order to make the proper distinction between the Consitutional requirements to be a U.S. Senator or Congressman (a citizen of the United States), and to be President (a natural born citizen) we must look to Vattel’s definition.

Vattel’s Law of Nations Chapter 19, § 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. As the society cannot exist and perpetuate itself otherwise than by the children of the citizens, those children naturally follow the condition of their fathers, and succeed to all their rights. The society is supposed to desire this, in consequence of what it owes to its own preservation; and it is presumed, as matter of course, that each citizen, on entering into society, reserves to his children the right of becoming members of it. The country of the fathers is therefore that of the children; and these become true citizens merely by their tacit consent. We shall soon see whether, on their coming to the years of discretion, they may renounce their right, and what they owe to the society in which they were born. I say, that, in order to be of the country, it is necessary that a person be born of a father who is a citizen; for, if he is born there of a foreigner, it will be only the place of his birth, and not his country.”

I will repeat some of Vattel’s passages from above for emphasis.

  • ‘The natives, or natural-born citizens, are those born in the country, of parents who are citizens.” [The word parents is plural implying that both parents are US citizens at the time of birth.]

    “The country of the fathers is therefore that of the children…” [This is a truth that works both ways. If your father was a citizen of Kenya when you were born, then no matter where you were born, Kenyan (British) citizenship passed to you. Kenya was Barack Obama’s country at birth.]

    “…in order to be of the country, it is necessary that a person be born of a father who is a citizen…” [In order to be of the United States, it is necessary that one is born of a father who is a U.S. Citizen.]

    “…for, if he is born there of a foreigner, it will be only the place of his birth, and not his country…” [If Barack Obama was born in the United States, then this was mearly the place of his birth, and not his country.]

Presidential candidates whose eligibility was questioned

While every President and Vice President to date (as of 2008) is widely believed to have been a citizen at the adoption of the Constitution in 1789, or else born in the United States, there have been some presidential candidates who were either born or suspected of having been born outside the U.S. states.[18] This does not necessarily mean that they were ineligible, only that there was some controversy (usually minor) about their eligibility, which may have been resolved in favor of eligibility.[19]

Chester A. Arthur (1829-1886), 21st president of the United States, might have been born in Canada.[20] This was never demonstrated by his political opponents, although they raised the objection during his vice-presidential campaign. He was born to a U.S.-citizen mother and a father from Ireland who was eventually naturalized as a U.S. citizen. Arthur was sworn in as president when President Garfield died after being shot.

George Romney (1907-1995), who ran for the Republican party nomination in 1968, was born in Mexico to U.S. parents. Romney’s grandfather had emigrated to Mexico in 1886 with his three wives and children after Utah outlawed polygamy. Romney's monogamous parents retained their U.S. citizenship and returned to the United States with him in 1912. Romney never received Mexican citizenship, because the country's nationality laws had been restricted to jus-sanguinis statutes due to prevailing politics aimed against American settlers.[21]

Barry Goldwater (1909-1998) was born in Phoenix, in what was then the Arizona Territory. During his presidential campaign in 1964, there was a minor controversy over Goldwater's having been born in Arizona when it was not yet a state.[20]

Lowell Weicker (1931-), the former Connecticut Senator, Representative, and Governor, entered the race for the Republican party nomination of 1980 but dropped out before voting in the primaries began. He was born in Paris, France to parents who were U.S. citizens. His father was an executive for E. R. Squibb & Sons and his mother was the Indian-born daughter of a British general.[22]

Róger Calero (1969-) was born in Nicaragua and ran as the Socialist Worker's Party Presidential Candidate in 2004 and 2008. In 2008, Calero appeared on the ballot in Delaware, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York and Vermont.[23]

John McCain (1936-), who ran for the Republican party nomination in 2000 and was the Republican nominee in 2008, was born at the Coco Solo Naval Air Station in the Panama Canal Zone to U.S. parents.[24] In March 2008 McCain was held eligible for Presidency in an opinion paper by former Solicitor General Ted Olson and Harvard Law Professor Laurence H. Tribe.[25] In April 2008 the U.S. Senate approved a non-binding resolution recognizing McCain's status as a natural born citizen.[26] In September 2008 a Federal District judge said obiter that it was "highly probable" that McCain was a natural born citizen of the United States owing to the citizenship legislation existing at the time.[27][28] These views have been criticized by Gabriel J. Chin, Professor of Law at the University of Arizona, who claims that McCain was at birth a citizen of Panama and was only retroactively declared a born citizen under 8 U.S.C. § 1403.[29]

Barack Obama (1961-) may have been born in Honolulu, Hawaii to a U.S. citizen mother and a father from Kenya who was not a U.S. citizen. Before and after the 2008 presidential election, which Obama won, the argument was made that he was not a natural-born citizen. On June 12, 2008, the Obama presidential campaign launched a website to counter what it described as smears by his opponents, including these challenges to his eligibility. The most prominent issue raised against Obama was the assertion that he was not actually born in Hawaii. At least one lawsuit conceded that he was a citizen by virtue of birth in Hawaii, but argued that he was nevertheless not a natural-born citizen because of his entitlement to dual citizenship (through his father) at birth. As of December 16, 2008 no court has agreed to hear any of these challenges, nor has Barack Obama voluntarily disclosed his original long-form certificate of live birth.

Legislative Certification of Electoral Votes

On January 8, 2009, the U.S. Congress, and U.S. Senate will meet to certify the results of the electoral college.

Under federal law an objection to a state's electoral votes may be made to the President of the Senate during Congress's counting of electoral votes on January 8th. The objection must be made in writing and signed by at least one Senator and one member of the House of Representatives. Both the Senate and the House of Representatives debate the objection separately. Debate is limited to two hours. After the debate, both the Senate and the House of Representatives rejoin and both must agree to reject the votes.

If members of the GOP refuse to object to the election of Barack Obama, knowing that he may not be constitutionally qualified, then the GOP could stand to lose at least 200,000 of its members. I derive this number from the 196,149 who have to-date signed the World Net Daily Petition (which is only one of several such efforts) duly expressing:

“…concerns that our government is not taking this constitutional question seriously will result in diminished confidence in our system of free and fair elections.”

Should the GOP fail to act in support of the concerns of its constituents, then, the GOP need never ask this citizen for any further support of any kind. In other words notice has been served.

December 26, 2008
Larry M. Walker, Jr.