The Constitutional requirement for president is “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; …”
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”?
In the case Minor v. Happersett (1874), Minor, a woman, wanted to register to vote in the federal presidential election and was denied registration because of her gender.
Deliberating this case, the Supreme Court recognized that the constitutional framers did not define “natural born Citizen” but that they did know its meaning and that it was different from “Citizen” as stated in our Constitution. It was the framers who made this distinction, and the Court rendered unanimously the definition that children born of PARENTS (note the plural) who are citizens are natural born citizens eligible for the presidency.
The first seven presidents were “Citizens” of the United States and not “natural born Citizens,” yet they qualified for the office (Washington through Jackson) because they were citizens “at the time of the adoption of [the] Constitution”! These presidents had lived through the Revolutionary War; they were patriots, loved our country to the exclusion of Great Britain, and held allegiance to our country as patriots. The founders recognized that a “natural born Citizen,” being born to “Citizen” parents (plural) would have the same regard and love of country as these founders – at least that was their hope, prayer and intention.
Get the latest details on the jarring facts about Barack Obama and his past. Jerome Corsi’s e-book, “Where’s the Real Birth Certificate?” demonstrates conclusively that no legal authority has ever verified Obama’s legal eligibility to be president, that glaring inconsistencies, blackouts, and outright fabrications in his life narrative have generated widespread doubts, and that, in fact, a compelling body of evidence says Obama is not a natural-born citizen as is required of all presidents by Article 2, Section 1, of the Constitution
The founders recognized that Congress may define at any time who can become a citizen and how they become a citizen; one only need to begin reading the naturalization acts passed by Congress, and include the 14th Amendment. These enactments define citizenship and naturalization of citizens but never define the eligibility requirement for president of the United States.
Though constitutionally distinct and separate, there are those who argue that Mr. Obama is both a citizen and natural born citizen, and thus eligible for the office of president, because this fits their prejudices.
The constitutional citizenship clause does not apply to Obama, as it did to George Washington, because Obama was not alive and “a citizen of the United States” at the time of the adoption of the Constitution (1785).
Obama is subject to the “No Person except a natural born Citizen” clause. How does he fare under this clause?
Obama has documented that his father was a British subject at the time of his birth and The British Nationality Act of 1772 declares unequivocally that children born of British Subjects, regardless of their birth location, are themselves British Subjects:
“That all Persons born, or who hereafter shall be born, … are hereby declared and enacted to be, natural-born Subjects of the Crown of Great Britain, to all Intents, Constructions, and Purposes whatsoever, as if he and they had been and were born in this Kingdom.”
Now the issue and question is not where Obama was born, rather “Were both of his parents U.S. citizens when he was born?”
By Obama’s own admission, and demonstrated on the questionable documents he has provided the public, the answer is “NO.”
Remember, the Supreme Court (1874) in the Minor case unanimously defined children born of parents (note the plural) who are citizens are “natural born Citizens”; and it is these children who are eligible to hold the office of president of the United States.
Because Mr. Obama’s father at the time of his birth was a British Subject, and the constitutional definition requires citizen parents, he is not a “natural born Citizen” as required for the office; he is forever excluded from ever meeting the natural born citizen qualification for president. Thus, Mr. Obama is ineligible to be president of the United States.
Supporters of Mr. Obama do raise the case of U.S. v. Wong Kim Ark to defend their citizen/natural-born citizen prejudice.
Wong was the son of Chinese subjects and born in California. At 17, in 1890, he left to visit China. Upon his return he passed through the collector of customs and was permitted to land as “a native-born citizen of the United States.” Wong again left to visit China in 1894, and returning to his homeland (U.S.) “applied to the collector of customs to be permitted to land; and that such application was denied upon the sole ground that said Wong Kim Ark was not a citizen of the United States.”
In the Wong case (1898), the high court addressed the issue of Wong’s citizenship. The United States Supreme Court rendered a divided decision on the case where the majority found that Wong was a citizen. The court does not and did not address if Wong was a “natural born Citizen” qualified to be president of the United States; they left intact the Minor (1874) definition.
Unlike popular culture, in law there is precedent setting from stare decisis (to stand by that which is decided earlier). This is a hierarchy of law in that when a judgment is given by the court it is considered superior to future judgments and should be adhered to – the Rule of Law. Should stare decisis be ignored because the outcome does not fit our prejudices?
The 1874 case Minor v Happersett defined a child born of parents who are “Citizens” is a “natural born Citizen” eligible to hold the office of president, compared to the Wong case of 1898, which addressed Wong’s citizenship, not his qualifications to be president.
In each case the court addressed two different issues, and the Wong case did not strike down nor redefine presidential eligibility.
Our nation does not recognize dual citizenship, and when our naturalized citizens take their oath of allegiance to the United States they renounce any and all allegiance to any foreign land or person. As weak as some would want The British Nationality Act to be, the Supreme Court’s unanimous definition of natural born citizen remains unchanged.
Our Congress and courts have refused to confront this issue, and it is a constitutional crisis for our nation and troops. The media and candidates refuse to ask the right questions, insisting on affirming Obama was born in the USA while disregarding the constitutional requirements.
Where Obama says he was born is irrelevant. What is relevant is the constitutional requirement for the presidency and the oath many of us have taken, especially those in public office, to “… support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter: So help me God.”
R.D. Skidmore is a professor at Pierce College in Woodland Hills, Calif. He may be contacted at [email protected].