Inquiring minds want to know, including mine so I have been studying this question for over a year. Wishing to have something published so I could talk about it on a very interesting radio show dedicated to this kind of question, I found this article from last year. Of course I couldn’t resist editing it a little, so it’s been updated. A much longer version will be ready soon. Watch this site.
Who is a Natural Born Citizen?
April 24, 2016
March 11, 2015, The Harvard Law Review Forum, published a Commentary by Harvard law graduate, Paul Clement, former Solicitor General in the George W. Bush Administration and Yale law graduate, Neal Katyal, former Acting Solicitor General in the Obama administration.(Paul Clement and Neal Katyal, (http://harvardlawreview.org/authors/neal-katyal/.) Retrieved April 24, 2016.)
Their commentary was treated by the Washington Post and other media outlets as the authoritative bi-partisan final word on this question, retrieved April 24, 2016). The case was closed. No one needed to say anything else. But is the case really closed? Katyal and Clement use British common law to argue that anyone born in the United States is a natural born citizen.
The sarcastic me wants to say, “They couldn’t be more wrong, as those born by Caesarian section are hardly “Naturally Born.” But sarcasm is not necessary to show they are wrong; a few facts will suffice. The British empire claimed as a subject, every baby born in the Empire (and if male, available for service in the King’s Navy – remember the War of 1812?) However, unlike American citizens, all British subjects, back then, did not have the same rights. All British citizens were not equal. In fact, we fought a war for Independence from a Parliament that did not represent us as equal citizens; remember, “No taxation without representation?”
We now have our own WRITTEN law based on the U.S. Constitution, and every citizen has the same rights under it, with one small exception, if one considers being President a right. (It’s really more of a job qualification.)
We fought another war after Chief Justice Roger Taney declared that the Constitution was written only for white men. Prior to the Dred Scott decision, most Americans believed the Constitution was written to fulfill the Declaration of Independence’s “All men are created equal….”
When civics was required in schools, students learned by 9th grade, that a “naturalized citizen” is not the same as “a natural born citizen.” The former is naturalized based on laws passed by Congress pursuant to Article I, Section 8, Clause 4. While these babies are citizens from birth, they are not eligible under the strict requirements of Article II to be President of the United States, at least not if we follow the Founders intentions. The reason for this “job requirement” is simple: our Founders feared foreign influence upon the office of the President and Commander-in-Chief. (Not in the 2016 version of this article – but I cannot resist adding here – that there may not be any Russian collusion this time, but the idea that foreign intervention is possible is obviously not a ridiculous one.
Should the President have a parent with dual loyalties, the President himself might also eligible for citizenship in that parent’s home country, just the same as children born abroad to U.S. citizens are. Does that mean he might be less loyal to his native country?
Globalists say borders don’t matter anymore. But most Americans think it’s quite a risk to allow someone who holds the nuclear football, the keys to America’s national security and the well-being of American citizens to also have ties to another country. Ergo, the Founders also believed that simply being born an American is necessary but not sufficient for the President of the United States. Both of the Presidents’ parents have to be citizens (being naturally born citizens is not necessary for them), but the Presidents themselves, must meet three strict requirements; be naturally born citizens, 14 years of resident in the United States and 35 years of age. About the time we stopped teaching civics in a serious way, the federal bureaucracy began handing out passports to anyone born on U.S. soil and birth certificates began to list all U.S. born babies as citizens. As a result of both these developments, people are easily confused. However, these practices do not change the Constitution; it can only be changed constitutionally by amendment pursuant to Article V.
The Constitution was designed for the people, not just for lawyers such as Clement and Katyal. It is only 4,400 words long, easily read and easily understood. While I do not have a law degree, I do have a PHD and I have been teaching the Constitution to students of all ages, from five to eighty-five for the last 30 years. When lawyers teach Constitutional Law, they focus on case law (and often never read the Constitution in class); when historians and political scientists such as myself, teach it, we focus on the words of the actual Constitution. Big difference. As a student of history and a professor, I have spent a great deal of time reading original documents. I suggest Katyal and Clement read more closely at least one of those documents, to wit, the U.S. Constitution
The best doctor I ever had for my children passed away unbeknownst to me.
Dr. Dorthy Reese was my pediatrician when I was a graduate student in Tuscaloosa from 1969, until she moved her practice to North Carolina. She took care of my three small children like they were her own and when an obstetrician removed too much foreskin from my newborn son, I thought Dr. Reese was going to physically assault that doctor, she was that mad!
She said she would testify against him in court if the wound did not heal right!
I will never forget what she said when a drug she needed (gamma globulin, I think) to treat measles in children (this was before the vaccine) was not available because the health department was using most of the available supplies to treat STD’s in homosexual males: “I would let them have one treatment, and after that, I’d cut it off.”
Students were charged outrageously low fees and when we thought we had an after-hours emergency, she would tell us to meet her at the hospital, but not to sign in. That was so we would not have to pay for a hospital visit it turned out to be unnecessary – and it usually was. No other doctor I have ever known (and I went on to have two more children) ever did this, but maybe they couldn’t. Since Medicare and Medicaid, medicine has become more and more controlled by hospitals, insurance companies, etc., then it was in our days in Tuscaloosa – and not for the better, in my humble opinion. I really miss old fashioned, independent docs, like Dorthy A. Reese!
When the government told her she had to charge everyone the same, she packed up and moved to Tennessee. We were crushed, but admired her independence. What a great lady, what a great doctor, I am sorry I did not know she passed away; I would have gone to her funeral. I regret I did not.
Dorthy Reese, old school feminist, fighter for mothers and children, impervious to the opinions of her “colleagues” if they disagree with what she thought best for her patients, lover of children, fearless defender, God-send to poor parents, and our friend. May the Lord grant her eternal rest, and may we meet again where there is no more illness, weeping or regrets.
In the 90’s, when we were living in Georgia, my little family enjoyed constant contact with Peter, Rita, and Catherine Lawler. The Lawlers met in graduate school at UVA, where they studied political science and their daughter was between our daughters in age. We met at the Georgia Political Science Convention in Savannah and just clicked!
Peter gave talks for me at Kennesaw State University, mentored me as a professor and wrote a fabulous letter recommending me for tenure. As an ISI professor (Intercollegiate Studies Association), he mentored our daughter and wrote letters for her as well, and he did not leave out Rob – for a while they met weekly to discuss Rob’s writing. We were very fortunate to have him for a friend.
Peter lectured across the nation, wrote numerous blogs, articles, and 15 books. He was appointed by George W. Bush to the President’s Council on Bio-Ethics and was named the George Washington Distinguished Professor of the American Founding, The Society of the Cincinnati, among a host of other worthy activities and well-deserved honors.
Of the four of us adults, Peter was the youngest – only 65 when he passed away last Tuesday. We attended the funeral yesterday and I have never been to a more crowded Mass, except on Easter or Christmas, definitely the most crowded funeral Mass. It was at St. Mary’s in Rome (not THAT Rome), in Georgia. I think every lawyer he taught as undergraduates at Berry College was there and they were weeping! He was a much loved Professor and he never let his work come between him and a friend or a student. His famously messy desk testifies to his people over process approach to life. I hope one of his better students will take on the task of archiving the contents of his desk with the rest of his papers.
My husband has a wonderful reflection about Peter at AmGreatness.com (https://amgreatness.com/2017/05/24/peter-augustine-lawler-memoriam/).
The death was such a surprise and the funeral was held so quickly, that his many friends in places remote, were unable to make it but I did see: Professors Carl Scott and Ralph Hancock from Unesstah; Professors Dan Mahoney and Marc Guerra from Assumption College (where they are doing fabulous work – note to Christian students interested in studying politics), Glenn Arbery, President of Wyoming Catholic, and Professor John Eastby from Hampton-Sydney College (who was so kind to me when I interviewed there).
We were all so sad and continue to be sad about the loss of so dear a man, so great a teacher, and so interesting a thinker.
Comey Fired! The Left positively livid! Especially that smooth-talking hypocrite, Senator Chuck Schumer. “Trump should have fired Comey sooner,” he says. Maybe the day Schumer called for Comey to be fired? Schumer would have still found fault.
The talking heads tell us how in the past the White House had an orderly process for handling things like this; only that dastardly Nixon ever did something so outrageous. But do you think Archibald Cox, the special prosecutor hired to investigate the Watergate Scandal, was shocked that Richard Nixon went after his job? When people say “Nixonian” they forget what Nixon did wrong in the Watergate Scandal – he tried to cover up the misdeeds of some fairly low level employees.
Who in DC today defends low level employees? Wait, I know the answer, Democrats. They defend every job, every person, no matter what they have done because they are a team. Republicans belong to a society of individualists, a nice way of saying our side is filled with people too conservative to take any risks for anybody. To be fair to Republicans, they have proper concerns about defending those who are actually guilty; however, they don’t always take the time to find out if they are guilty.
While we are on the subject of White Houses past, let me tell you a tale about the Clinton White House.
Once upon a time there was a new Speaker of the House of Representatives and the shock on November 8th, 1994, when he was elected along with scores of new Republican congressmen, was much like the one we saw last November 8th. The Congress was now in Republican hands; Oh my! How could this have happened?
While FBI Director Comey has had plenty of time and every reason to think the Republican President might replace him, I could not have expected what happened to me and Schumer was a key player in my demise. He was not fair; he didn’t make sure the timing was right or that I was informed about what was coming. No one, except a couple of reporters, who could hardly be heard above the pack on my front lawn.
The Left didn’t bother to investigate the charges, it was enough that I’d been hired by their nemesis, Newt Gingrich. As his first hire, I was fair game even if I was a brand new innocent on the Hill who was so far from being an anti-Semite that I was eventually defended by Anti-Defmation League of B’nai B’rith.
I was hired by that new Speaker, who just happened to be my congressman and I had no reason to think he would fire me from the rather obscure, but important job of House Historian. How could I have anticipated that in less than a week, within an hour or so of Schumer’s demand that I be fired, it would happen in the middle of the night. Later, Newt’s press secretary would brag that mine was the faster firing in history. My picture was on CNN every 15 minutes and on the front page of every newspaper in the country the next morning.
Piecing together what happened with the help of friendly reporters (the Speaker had a lot of enemies), someone (maybe in his inner circle) informed the White House that Newt Gingrich had hired a professor (me) who had once criticized a Holocaust Education grant proposal. Since she was from the South, and she’d been hired by HIM, her reason for criticizing the proposal had to be because she was an anti-Semite. Some New York papers called me “Newt’s Nazi historian.”
On the Monday after the new Congress was sworn in, George Stephanopoulos informed Jewish, black, and female Democrat members of Congress, that the Gingrich appointee to the House Historian job was an anti-Semite. There were one-minute speeches before the opening of the Congress; Schumer and Barney Frank had a rally on the House steps that night to demand my firing. Schumer yelled that hiring me was an insult to tens of thousands of his constituents who were Holocaust survivors.
About 9:00 p.m., Newt talked with the press – I don’t think he knew what to say; he told half of them I’d been fired and the other half that I had resigned. Asked by Atlanta Journal and Constitution reporter Jeanne Cummings exactly how he had informed me, she was told I was fired on my answering machine. The truth was this: I was not fired and I did not resign – instead I tried to persuade Newt that letting the Left bully him was a bad way to start his Speakership. He never said to me, that I was fired, but dozens of reporters had heard him say it. My husband flew to Georgia, to talk to him privately in his Marietta Office. He should have listened to us.
This all happened only days after Newt Gingrich had praised my qualifications on National Television; the day after he fired me he said, “I hold her in high esteem.”
Mr. Comey has a net worth in excess of 11 million dollars – $10,894,000 more than I had when I was fired (http://www.newsweek.com/james-comey-net-worth-salary-fbi-director-trump-fired-pay-606406). I sure wish Chuck Schumer and the other breathless defenders of James Comey, who are complaining about the timing, the means, the lack of notice, etc., had cared about the way I was treated. But no. This is what he said to me, in front of his entire staff, including his Chief of staff, Anthony Wiener: “We knew you weren’t anti-Semitic, but hey, your people did not defend you.”
Unfortunately, the Right usually bows to the bullying; but not Donald J. Trump. Many Republicans accuse him of not being conservative, but he sure is courageous.
Anyone who fights back against the bullies is going to offend the Left. The Schumers and their ilk have been bullying the Right for so long, they both think it’s natural.
When a leader stands up to bullies, you know what happens? Others find their courage as well. The District of Columbia is going to be a better place for conservatives, whether they like Trump or not, whether Trump is a conservative or not. If conservatives don’t start to warm to him, then we really are as stupid as the Left says we are.
Three cheers for Donald J. Trump, draining the swamp to make America great again.
As I write, the South Carolina Senate is considering a bill calling for a Convention of the States (COS) or ConCon (Constitution Convention).
S.547 Con Con (Article V Convention) Bill is before the SC Senate Judiciary Subcommittee and has been under discussion in Columbia, in the Gressette Room 209, since 9AM this morning.
The Constitution provides two ways of proposing Amendments and two ways of ratifying them. Since the adoption of the Constitution, Congress has itself proposed every amendment that has been ratified and ratification of every amendment except one, has been by 3/4 of the state legislatures; the one was the 21st which repealed prohibition.
The unused way to propose Amendments is for 3/4 of the state legislatures to call for a convention for the purpose of proposing amendments. Proponents want ratification to be the more traditional route, that is by 3/4 of the state legislatures.
The ConCon or Convention of the States (COS) is not a good idea because it is not possible to limit the powers of a convention – in fact, that is how our Constitution came into existence. Lightly educated people criticize the delegates to the Constitutional Convention (the Founders) for exceeding their authority, but that is incorrect. We inherited the British tradition of allowing every convention to set its own rules. A ConCon that cannot set its own rules would be something strange and innovative. Conservatives are naturally skeptical of such breaks with Western tradition because the can be precedent setting and the fallout could be dangerous to self-government everywhere.
Every convention makes its own rules (and some of them, the ones not run by Communists, or other lawless thugs, are conscientious about following the rules they adopt and going by the universally accepted Robert’s Rules. Democrats, Progressives, Communists and others willing to cheat in order to advance their agenda, cannot be counted on to play by the rules – they may also pretend to be conservative in order to elected to the COS.
The problem with the COS is at least two-fold: First, to agree on a set of rules that no one will try to change in convention; and Second, to get those who agree to a set of rules to follow them once the Convention starts – we live in corrupt times, people’s word is not their bond and sometimes their bond is fake too, so it is very difficult to guarantee either one in our godless era. Ergo, it seems to me, that we had better stick with what we have and try to make it work – there are still people who respect the Constitution, will there be more people who respect the new and improved Constitution? Will the people now pushing it like the results? Too many questions – I say, let’s not do this.
I posted a version of this argument on my FB page (this one is just a little more cleaned up) and got some interesting responses to share with my readers:
When the lords of the land shift loyalties, the foot soldier must determine his oath to the final goal or to the lord.
Immediate master or final goal is what we are deciding.
COS is the means by which the footsoldiers can reaffirm their commitment to the final goal or pledge allegiance to a man/cause. Liberty is a messy affair. Neglected liberty is doubly so. What we are living under resembles nothing of the liberty that was inherited by our generation. I strongly affirm that any means we have at our disposal should be brought to bear in the restoration of our constitutional republic. The progressive/communists are defeating us by using the law against us. Unless a patriot is willing to bear arms in defense of liberty, there are few options available to the citizens for the redress of grievances. If one were so inclined to take up arms, remember this:
1. No strategy
2. No Unity
3. No tactical advantage.
The only option left is to use their own strategy against them. Know the law. Educate citizens about the law and to illustrate through a COS that the law works both ways. Chains can be used universally. The federal government has already usurped their role and exceeded their jurisdiction. Apart from a full recital of the declaration of independence, the COS is all we have left in our peaceful arsenal. My thoughts as one who knows the inner workings of the 3% and oath keeper groups and their lack of will.
I confess I do not fully understand what Eric Buss is saying, but I have heard John Eastman on this subject and he is very convincing, but while he is the most convincing and the most reliable advocate of this cause I know, he’s still not convincing enough. But you decide. Hear the former Dean of the Chapman Law School here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=24iPESIPmms.
See also here, a refutation of the good Dr. Eastman as well as a treasure trove of related Constitutional information: https://publiushuldah.wordpress.com/category/convention-of-states-project/
What do you think of these plans for and objections to a ConCon. After reviewing the arguments, for the umpteenth time, I am more convinced than ever that the COS/ConCon is a bad idea. I would love to know what you think.
Check back here to find out what happened at the SC State Senate Judiciary hearing on the ConCon/COS.
My friends, I did not write this, but I could have – it’s all true and clearly articulated. I reprint it here so you can share with friends who have had their heads in the sand. Help them get those heads up and smell the smoking guns. The Wikipedia article says 30,000 trained activists but I hear estimates of more than 30,000 in training now. The goal is much more. Young people love revolutions – they do not think “what will we put in place when we overturn the existing order?” They have not studied economics or history; they don’t know that the only “fair” societies ever, were (1) very small, voluntary socialistic communes, like the Shakers (who died out) and monasteries and (2) ethical societies based on free market economics. Capitalism works well to make money, but it is an ugly system without ethics and morality.
From my friend Lois:
“This is what the Democrat party has become and it only gets worse from here.
It looks as if it is working already……
What You Should Know about the OFA (ORGANIZING FOR ACTION)”
If you had an army some 30,000 strong and a court system stacked over the decades with judges who would allow you to break the laws, how much damage could you do to a country? We are about to find out in America.
The ex-president said he was going to stay involved through community organizing and speak out on the issues, and that appears to be one post-administration promise he intends to keep. He has moved many of his administration’s top dogs over to an organization called Organizing for Action (OFA). ”
OFA is dedicated to organizing communities for progressive change. Issues are gun control, socialist healthcare, abortion, sexual equality, climate change, and of course, immigration reform. OFA members were propped up by the ex-“president’s” message from the shadows: “Organizing is the building block of everything great we’ve accomplished. Organizers around the country are organizing in their communities and OFA is one of the groups on the front lines. Commit to this work in 2016 and beyond.”
The OFA website says it obtained its “digital” assets from the ex-president’s re-election effort and that he inspired the movement. In short it’s the shadow government organization aimed at resisting and tearing down the Constitutional Republic.”
Paul Sperry, writing for the New York Post, says OFA is an army of agitators 30,000 strong who will fight President Donald Trump at every turn of his presidency and the ex-president “will command them from a bunker less than two miles from the White House. Sperry writes that the ex-president is setting up a shadow government to sabotage the incoming administration through a network of leftist nonprofits led by OFA, which is growing its war chest (currently more than $40 million) and has some 250 offices nationwide. OFA’s IRS filings, according to Sperry, indicate OFA has 32,525 volunteers nationwide. The ex-president and his wife will oversee the operation from their foundation office near the White House.”
Think about how this works. Trump issues an immigration executive order; OFA signals for protests and statements from Islamic and pro-immigrant leftist groups; ACLU lawyers file lawsuits in jurisdictions where activist judges obstruct the laws; volunteers are called to protest at airports and Congressional town hall meetings; the leftist media springs to action; the twittersphere lights up with revolutionary social media; violence ala University of California follows. All of this emanates from the ex-president’s signal that he is heartened by the protests. Sad times are ahead.”
Don’t believe there is an OFA?”
“Organizing for Action (OFA) is a nonprofit 501(c)4 organization and community organizing project that advocates for the agenda of former U.S. President Barack Obama. The organization is officially non-partisan, but its agenda and policies are strongly allied with the Democratic Party. It is the successor of Obama’s 2012 re-election campaign and of Organizing for America, which itself succeeded Obama’s 2008 campaign.
Founded after Obama’s re-election, the group seeks to mobilize supporters in favor of Obama’s legislative priorities. OFA is registered as a 501(c)(4) organization, which may advocate for legislation but is prohibited from specifically supporting political candidates.”
Organizing for the overthrow of America! To see footnotes – check out: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Organizing_for_Action