Friday, June 29, 2012
A Point in Time - Understanding “Natural Born Citizen": - By Mike Voeltz
A Point in Time - Understanding “Natural Born Citizen":
By Mike Voeltz
To understand Article 2 Section 1 Clause 4, one must simply look at it through the prism of the time it was written. At the time of the ratification of the Constitution, 1789, the time referred to in the clause, there were only 2 sets of “citizens” in America, and all were eligible to be President. Those two sets were the citizens of the new states in 1789, and the natural born Citizens, or those born of the citizens of those new states since the Declaration of Independence.
From the American perspective the ante nati, the time when those born in the colonies were British, and adhered to perpetual allegiance to the Crown, ended on July 4, 1776. The British perspective is that the Treaty of Peace, ending the Revolutionary War, in 1783, ended the ante nati. (28 US 99, 121). The Treaty of Peace released all British subjects from perpetual allegiance who were resident in the colonies and adhered to the Revolution (they were given until 1789 to leave if they desired), and the Americans adopted law of nations or “the Law of Nature and Nature’s God” on July 4, 1776.
The case of Inglis v. Trustees of the Sailors’ Snug Harbor, 28 US 99 (1830), only 41 years after ratification, illustrates that point in time of 1789. The reason that case is annotated to Article 2 section 1, clause 4, by the 43rd Congress, in the Revised Statutes 1873, is because of that illustration. It proves that Congress, in 1873, thought that natural born Citizens were born in the US of 2 US Citizen parents. The clause has never been amended, and must mean exactly what it did then. Any blurring, clouding, or obfuscation of the meaning of natural born Citizen is thwarted by the simple logic of examining the point in time the clause was ratified.
According to the holding of the majority in Sailors v. Trustees (1830), John Inglis, even if born within the United States after the Declaration of Independence, would have been considered a British subject, because he followed the election of his father, Charles, as a British subject, and was too young to make that election. “The facts disclosed in this case, then, lead irresistibly to the conclusion that it was the fixed determination of Charles Inglis the father, at the declaration of independence, to adhere to his native allegiance. And John Inglis the son must be deemed to have followed the condition of his father, and the character of a British subject attached to and fastened on him also, which he has never attempted to throw off by any act disaffirming the choice made for him by his father.” 28 US 99, 124
“2. If born after 4 July, 1776, and before 15 September of the same year, when the British took possession of New York, his infancy incapacitated him from making any election for himself, and his election and character followed that of his father, subject to the right of disaffirmance in a reasonable time after the termination of his minority, which never having been done, he remains a British subject and disabled from inheriting the land in question.” Id., 126
John Inglis stood on the same ground as Barack H. Obama stands today, born in America (supposedly) as a British subject, of a British subject father. John Inglis certainly was not a natural born Citizen at that point in time; he could not even inherit land in America, much less be President. Likewise, Barack H. Obama, born British in 1961 is certainly not natural born by the holding of Inglis.
In 1789 only two sets of US Citizens existed, and there was no Congressional naturalization law yet. Those that were resident in the colonies in 1789, who were either born in the ante nati, in the colonies, as British subjects, or who had immigrated and resided prior to 1789, were naturalized by the ratification of the Constitution as US Citizens. Those born of those new US Citizens since 7/4/1776 were the natural born Citizens, needing no naturalization. The first natural born Citizens were only 13 years old at the time of ratification, so the “citizens at the time of the ratification” were grandfathered in to eligibility. ALL US citizens, resident in the colonies in 1789, were eligible to be President, and NONE of them were British. Of course some of them were born British, but were released from that perpetual allegiance by adherence to the Revolution, and by the Treaty of Peace, 1783, and were grandfathered in to eligibility by Article 2. Barack H. Obama was born 172 years too late to take advantage of that clause. The Inglis case illustrates perfectly that point in time when law of nations, and the right of election, replaced British Common Law and perpetual allegiance to the Crown. The fact that Congress annotates Article 2, section 1, clause 4 with Inglis tells us that the thought that “no one knows” what natural born meant, or that it was “not defined” is utter nonsense.
“British doctrine therefore is that the American ante nati, by remaining in America after the treaty of peace, lost their character of British subjects. And our doctrine is that by withdrawing from this country and adhering to the British government, they lost, or, perhaps more properly speaking, never acquired the character of American citizens.
This right of election must necessarily exist in all revolutions like ours, and is so well established by adjudged cases that it is entirely unnecessary to enter into an examination of the authorities. The only difficulty that can arise is to determine the time when the election should have been made. Vattel, B. 1, ch. 3.” Id., 122
“The law of nations is a law founded on the great and immutable principles of equity and natural justice.” The Venus, 12 US (8 Cranch) 253, 297 (1814)
Justice Gray, in Wong Kim Ark, cites Dicey’s “Conflict of Laws” that, "'British subject' means any person who owes permanent allegiance to the Crown… 'Natural-born British subject' means a British subject who has become a British subject at the moment of his birth.'” 169 US 649, 658
“Citizens” are not “subjects” (isn’t that what the Revolutionary War was about?), and have the “right of election” according to the Inglis case. The new US Citizens threw off perpetual allegiance, which in the eyes of the laws of nations is the bane of all freedom loving people.
Natural Allegiance, or the obligation of perpetual obedience finds no countenance in the law of nations, and is in direct conflict with the incontestable rule of that rule of law. Twiss, Law of Nations in Peace, pg. 231
“The doctrine of perpetual allegiance is inadmissible in the US, that matter settled by the Revolution”. Cushing, Foreign Relations of the United States, Part 2, pg. 1280 (William Cushing served on the first Supreme Court).
There is no British Common Law in America. It ended in 1776. If the right of election supplanted perpetual allegiance at that point, then to say that “natural born Citizen” is the same as “natural born subject” is a nonsensical lie.
Posted by Sam Sewell at 5:17 PM