- WND - http://www.wnd.com -

Feinstein defines 'natural-born citizen'

When America’s Founders wrote in the Constitution that a president must be a “natural born Citizen,” they must really have meant only “citizen,” according to Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif.

The senator made the assertion in response to a question about the issue that was forwarded to WND by a constituent.

WND has reported on various definitions and interpretations members of Congress have used to explain why they believe Barack Obama, whose status as a natural-born citizen has not been documented, is constitutionally eligible.

With his release of an image of a Hawaiian “Certificate of Live Birth” April 27, some critics charge that he proved his ineligibility, because the document lists Barack Obama Sr. as his father.

A significant number of analysts have concluded that the understanding of “natural-born citizen” at the time it was used in the Constitution was a person born of citizen parents. Obama Jr.’s father was not a citizen of the United States.

Get the New York Times best-seller “Where’s the Birth Certificate? The Case that Barack Obama Is Not Eligible to be President,” autographed by Jerome Corsi, Ph.D.

According to Feinstein’s constituent, the senator responded to a question about Obama’s qualifications for office with:

Thank you for writing regarding President Barack Obama’s qualifications to be President. I appreciate this opportunity to respond.

Article II, Section 1 of the U.S. Constitution specifies the qualifications for this executive office. It states that no person except for a natural born American citizen is eligible to run for President of the United States. Also, the candidate must be at least thirty-five years of age and have resided in the United States for at least fourteen years.

President Obama meets these constitutional requirements. If you were not already aware, on April 27, 2011 the White House released a copy of President Obama’s long form birth certificate. He was born in Honolulu, Hawaii, on August 4, 1961. According to the Fourteenth Amendment, all persons born in the United States are considered citizens of the United States. Under these criteria, President Obama, a 47-year old U.S. citizen, who has resided in the United States for longer than fourteen years, is eligible to be President.

If you are interested in viewing the President’s birth certificate, it is available on the White House’s website at www.whitehouse.gov.

It was signed Dianne Feinstein.

WND calls to her office today did not generate a comment or response to the questions raised by the email.

But Lawrence Sellin, a Ph.D. who retired recently at the rank of colonel after 29 years in the U.S. Army Reserve, has commented on this perspective in his writings at Canada Free Press.

“There is no gray area. Either members of Congress are liars or they are too stupid to serve in government,” Sellin wrote.

The book “Where’s the Birth Certificate: The case that Barack Obama is not Eligible to be President,” by Jerome Corsi, explains a natural-born citizen is not the same as a “citizen,” one cannot become a “natural born citizen” after the fact.

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.”

Since the term “natural-born citizen” is not defined in the Constitution, Corsi drew from the writings of Swiss diplomat Emerich de Vattel, whose work is known to have influenced the Founding Fathers. Vattel wrote in “The Law of Nations” in 1758, “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.”

Corsi said that during research for his book he found the only U.S. Supreme Court case directly on point is Minor v. Happersett, from 1874, in which the court said, “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.”

Even Senate Resolution 511, passed in 2008 to declare John McCain was a natural-born citizen, specified a natural-born citizen would have to be born of two U.S. parents. McCain’s birth in the Panama Canal Zone was regarded by the Senate as an exception that the Founders would have supported. The Senate reasoned that a person should not be disqualified from running for president because the parents were serving in the defense of the nation, Corsi said.

Among the sponsors of that statement was a junior senator named Obama.

The resolution includes two references to “Americans” or “American Citizens” as parents.

Retired Maj. Gen. Paul Vallely of Stand Up America US told WND that the Constitution is crystal clear on the issue that presidents must be a natural-born Citizen, and the Vattel writings make it clear that someone with divided loyalties, such as a dual citizen like Obama at birth, cannot qualify.

“It means an offspring of two citizen parents,” he said.

The military officer said the comments from Congress that say Obama qualifies as a natural-born citizen because of a newspaper announcement regarding his birth, or other factors, “leaves the country with a very low standard.”

He said the nation will go “over a cliff” if the dispute is not returned to a proper perspective – that it is a constitutional requirement and like other constitutional provisions it cannot be altered, avoided, discredited or ignored.

“Where are the men of honor, the women of honor?” he asked. “We know there’s a major coverup of this individual’s background.

“A lot of questions need to be answered and we need men of courage and women of courage to get this thing settled.”

WND reported earlier how Jerry W. Mansfield, an information research specialist in the Knowledge Services Group of the Congressional Research Service, issued a memo to prepare members of Congress to rebut and defuse questions constituents were asking regarding Obama’s presidential eligibility under the natural-born citizen requirement of the Constitution.

WND has posted the CRS memo on Scribd.com for download.

Attached to the memo was an attack piece published by FactCheck.org to dismiss claims that Obama’s short-form Certification of Live Birth, originally published during the 2008 presidential campaign by DailyKos.com, was a forgery.

But Sellin said, “There has never been any vetting or investigations of Obama’s eligibility by federal agencies. … It’s a sham.”

And when Obama released an image of a Hawaiian “Certificate of Live Birth” on April 27, after years of stating that the document was not available, the Hawaii’s Department of Health and governor’s office refused to confirm for WND that the image released was an accurate representation of the state’s records.

Sellin wrote, “In fact, there is far more evidence from independent third parties demonstrating that Obama’s Certificate of Live Birth, which he presented as his own during the April 27, 2011, press conference, is a forgery.”

WND previously has reported statements from members of Congress that apparently are based on arguments presented in the material provided by CRS.

Among the statements from members of Congress: