Senator Marco Rubio Not ‘Natural Born Citizen’

As United States Senator Marco Rubio prepares to deliver what his office describes as a “major foreign policy speech” Wednesday at The Brookings Institution, it’s understandable that many Americans see this fresh, young conservative leader as a good choice to serve as Republican Mitt Romney’s running mate this fall.  Unfortunately, the Florida Republican of Cuban ancestry is not a Constitutionally-eligible choice to serve should the GOP ticket prevail in November.

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.)

If you think I’m crazy, think again.  In an article published nine months ago, longtime conservative Beltway insider Paul R. Hollrah outlined the reasons why neither the Florida Republican nor his Louisiana Republican colleague, Gov. Bobby Jindal, meet the Constitutional requirements for eligibility to serve as either vice president or president of the United States.  Below is a lengthy excerpt:

The performance of these two young men, Jindal and Rubio… one the son of Indian immigrants, the other the son of Cuban refugees… has caused many conservatives and Republicans to think in terms of a future President Bobby Jindal or a future President Marco Rubio.

There is no doubt that either of these men, on their worst day, would make a more capable and competent leader than the narcissistic bungler, Barack Obama, on his best day. Unfortunately, neither of these men can ever hold that office because they are not “natural born” citizens, as required by Article II, Section 1 of the U.S. Constitution.

Contrary to widely-held “birther” opinion, it is not necessary to be born on American soil to qualify as a “natural born” citizen.  Former Michigan Governor and American Motors CEO George Romney, a 1968 candidate for the Republican presidential nomination, was born in the Mexican state of Chihuahua.  However, Romney qualified as a “natural born” citizen because both of his parents were American citizens.  Similarly, Sen. John McCain, born in the Panama Canal Zone in 1936, qualifies as “natural born” because both of his parents were U.S. citizens.

Gov. Bobby Jindal (R-La.)

Governor Jindal was born on June 10, 1971, in Baton Rouge, La.  However, according to a WorldNetDaily report of May 22, his father, Amar Jindal, a permanent legal resident of the United States, did not become a U.S. citizen until December 4, 1986.  His mother, Raj Jindal, also a permanent legal resident, became a naturalized U.S. citizen on Sept. 21, 1976.

Senator Rubio was born on May 28, 1971, in Miami.  Both parents, Mario and Oriales Rubio, were born in Cuba and came to the U.S. as refugees from Castro’s communist regime.  Both were given political asylum and permanent legal residency; however, the Rubios did not become citizens until Nov. 5, 1975, four and one-half years after Marco Rubio was born.

While some, liberals and conservatives alike, are fond of saying that the Founding Fathers did not define the term “natural born” in the Constitution, the fact is they did.  By direct implication, they defined the term “natural born Citizen” by describing what a “natural born Citizen” is not.  Article II, Section 1 of the U.S. Constitution reads, in part, as follows:

“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…”

At the time the U.S. Constitution became the law of the land on June 21, 1788, there were two categories of citizens:  there were “citizens” and there were “natural born” citizens.  Those in the “citizen” category included the former British subjects who became citizens on July 4, 1776, the day on which the Declaration of Independence was signed, as well as those later naturalized by act of law and those who were dual citizens by automatic operation of foreign laws.

The “natural born” citizens were the children born after July 4, 1776 to parents who became U.S. citizens on that date.  They were the first “natural born” citizens of the United States, and all were less than twelve years old when the Constitution was ratified on June 21, 1788.

As WorldNetDaily reminds us, the first U.S. Congress, which included eight members of the Committee of Eleven that drafted the Constitution’s “natural-born citizen” clause, defined a “natural born citizen” as a child born of two American parents.  The Naturalization Act of 1790 (later repealed) specified that a natural-born citizen need not be born on U.S. soil.  It proclaimed, “The children of citizens of the United States, that may be born beyond sea, or out of the limits of the United States, shall be considered as natural born citizens… ”

The subsequent repeal of that law does not alter the way in which the first Congress, and those who authored the “natural born citizen” clause, understood the meaning of the term.

John Jay, who later became president of the Continental Congress and the first Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court, wrote:

“Permit me to hint, whether it would be wise and seasonable to provide a strong check to the admission of Foreigners into the administration of our national Government; and to declare expressly that the Commander in Chief of the American army shall not be given to nor devolve on, any but a natural born Citizen.”

The above represent rather clear parameters showing that neither Governor Jindal nor Senator Rubio can claim status as “natural born” citizens… but neither can Barack Obama.  Barack Obama’s mother was a 17-year-old girl, an American citizen, but his father was a Luo tribesman from the African village of Nyang’oma Kogelo, Nyanza Province, in Kenya.  Not only was he not an American citizen, he was not a permanent legal resident and was kicked out of the country because he was a self-confessed bigamist.

In a November 2010 broadcast, speculating on a future Rubio candidacy, Rush Limbaugh suggested that liberal “birthers” would almost certainly demand to see Rubio’s birth certificate.  He went on to say, “I’m not worried about it.  If Obama’s taught us anything, it’s that the news media doesn’t care where our presidents are born…  Well, let’s see if it does.  Let’s see if all of  a sudden the media starts caring where Republicans are born…”

Clearly, Limbaugh makes a rather common mistake.  He confuses “native born” with “natural born.”  Assuming their birth certificates are all valid (Obama’s birth certificate leaves much doubt in that regard), Bobby Jindal, Marco Rubio, and Barack Obama are all “native born,” but none are “natural born” and are, therefore, ineligible to serve as president of the United States.

When asked specifically if Senator Rubio considers himself to be a “natural born” citizen, his press secretary, Alex Burgos, is quoted as saying, “Yes.”  Similarly, Kyle Plotkin, Governor Jindal’s press secretary, is quoted by WorldNetDaily as saying, “The governor is obviously a natural-born citizen.”

Not so fast, gentlemen.  It’s nice to demonstrate loyalty, and it would be nice to have a common sense conservatives such as Bobby Jindal or Marco Rubio in the White House, but we can never forget that, unlike Democrats, we Republicans not only believe in the rule of law, we actually demand that our laws be enforced and that the demands of the U.S. Constitution be adhered to.

The American people deserve to have at least one political party that can be counted on to do what’s right, and two wrongs don’t make a right.

Paul R. Hollrah

While not popular, especially among conservatives who long for real leadership and new blood in our nation’s capitol, Hollrah’s explanation of why neither Senator Rubio nor Governor Jindal are eligible for the nation’s highest office is rock-solid.

EDITOR’S NOTE:  Something Hollrah didn’t point out could, in my mind, be equally important.  If Senator Rubio’s name appears on the ticket, it will be as if the Republicans are tacitly agreeing to set aside the evidence and overlook the widely-held belief that Obama is not eligible to serve as president of the United States.  That, my friends, should not happen.

Be sure to check out my new book, Three Days In August: A U.S. Army Special Forces Soldier’s Fight For Military Justice.

This entry was posted in Bobby Jindal, Marco Rubio, Mitt Romney, Presidential Election, Republican Party, U.S. Constitution and tagged , , , , , by BobMcCarty. Bookmark the permalink.

About BobMcCarty

A native of Enid, Oklahoma, Bob McCarty graduated from Oklahoma State University with a degree in journalism in 1984. During the next two decades, he served stints as an Air Force public affairs officer, a political campaign manager, a technology sales consultant and a public relations professional. Today, Bob spends most of his time researching topics, writing about them and publishing those writings. When he’s not writing online, he’s working as an author. Bob’s first published book, Three Days In August: A U.S. Army Special Forces Soldier’s Fight For Military Justice (October 2011), chronicles the life story and wrongful conviction of Sgt. 1st Class Kelly A. Stewart, a highly-decorated Green Beret combat veteran. In his second book, THE CLAPPER MEMO (May 2013), Bob connects the dots between a memo signed by James R. Clapper Jr. — the man now serving as our nation’s top intelligence official — and the deaths of dozens of Americans in Afghanistan at the hands of our so-called Afghan “allies” wearing the uniforms of their nation’s military, police and security forces. Bob is married, has three sons and lives in the St. Louis area. Bob is available for media and blogger interviews. Simply drop a comment here, leaving your name, organization, phone number, e-mail address and area of interest. He’ll try to respond as soon as possible.

43 thoughts on “Senator Marco Rubio Not ‘Natural Born Citizen’

  1. If you are born in the US, you are a natural born citizen. (Unless your parents are diplomats.) Both Jindal and Rubio are natural born citizens.

  2. Mitch – Just because you say it’s so doesn’t make it true. Did you read Paul’s post? He spent his entire working life in top-level national politics, and I don’t think he’s whistling Dixie, you know.

  3. Great blog. The best dissertation on the principles of natural born citizenship I’ve read.
    I cannot understand why people have so much difficulty understanding the basics of the term.
    My biggest concern is the question of the GOP leaders condoning the Obama violation of the law in order to accomodate Rubio. It is imperative that the law be upheld or we will suffer irreparable damage to our Constitution.

  4. David – All of the credit goes to Paul who, I failed to mention, has twice served as a member of the Electoral College and is very familiar with all of the laws and rules involved. Thanks! – bob

  5. Great article! However, I do have one question…doesn’t Article II actually say that these restrictions shall only be placed on the Vice President in the event that something happens to the President?! Granted, this would be an incredibly risky move, but I just re-read the two paragraphs of Article II, and I keep seeing the part that says, “In Case of Removal of the President from Office….” “…the Same shall devolve on the Vice President…”

    What am I missing?

  6. Bob,

    Paul’s analysis is a bunch of hogwash. And yes, I’ve read it. I’ve also read court decision after court decision directly rejecting his analysis and saying directly that anybody born in the United States is a Natural Born Citizen (with minor exceptions such as diplomats). Legal scholars such as Antonin Scalia and Sandra Day O’Conner directly agree with me and have said so in either public statements, or arguments in the Supreme Court. The definition that they want (jus saguinus) would get no votes from the 9 Supreme Court Justices. Now, I agree with him on one thing. John McCain was a Natural Born Citizen. However, so was Chester A. Arthur (who was born to a foreigner). So were the multiple Presidents who have been born with dual citizenship (Grant, Arthur, T. Roosevelt, Taft, F. Johnson, Truman, L. Johnson), despite them holding dual citizenship at their birth.

    The case-on-point is U.S. v. Wong Kim Ark (1898). This case directly said that the term “Natural Born” is directly taken from English Common Law, which says that anybody born in the country (with minor exceptions) is a Natural Born Citizen, and the status of the parent doesn’t matter. And now the birthers have precedents in both Virginia and Indiana that directly reject their redefinition of Natural Born.

    Paul’s basically arguing that despite the term “Natural Born” having 300 years of history in English Common Law, and being well known to the founders with that law, they redefined it to main basically the opposite of what it meant in England, and then didn’t tell anybody about it!

    Read U.S. v. Wong Kim Ark for the legal precedent on where U.S. Citizenship comes from. And let me tell you, it’s not some swiss philosopher who didn’t actually use the term “Natural Born” in his treasties, nor had any of his words actually translated to “Natural Born” until 5 years after the Constitution was written.

  7. Fuzzy,

    Read the 12th Amendment. “But no person constitutionally ineligible to the office of President shall be eligible to that of Vice-President of the United States.”

  8. dunstvangeet is an idiot for calling Paul a dunce. Further they are both wrong in my opinion in any understanding of natural law, the concepual basis for the “natural born citizen” clause. Only the father plays a role in the inherited status of natural born citizen! Women had only the right to inherit from the father at the time, they had not even the rightg to vote! Natural rights were inherited from the paternal line . Therefore the natural born inherited their status from the FATHER! You can not be born of only a citizen mother and be a Natural born citizen. If only the mother is a US citizen the offspring can NEVER BE a “NATURAL BORN CITIZEN! This is not designed to preclude Obama, but it does!

    To those of you that do not like the truth , I suggest you get busy changing the Constituion, not trying to ignor and violate it!

    The term natural born of English law is immaterial as to the term “natural born citizen”used in the Constituion as the founders were deliberate in avoiding the potential of English law insinuateing itself on our nation and establishing a “royal blood line” here to reassume its power and rule! It referrs to the status of natural inheritance from the paternal line in paternal society and heirarchy, period!

    Further, neither Jindal or Rubio are “natural born citizens” And it is beyond any reasonable arguement that Obama is totally ineligible to hold his office and all the fraud and deceit is superfluous to the issue of citizenship!

    I can find an idiot to argue any point to the contrary but they are just that , idiotic arguements by people with closed mines!

  9. Natural Born Citizenship status does not exclude the US-born children of foreign parents.

    The idea that it excludes the US-born children of foreign parents is in violation of the principle that “we hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.” To believe that the US-born children of foreigners are not Natural Born Citizens really means that they are not as good as the US-born children of US citizens. Well, few of us believe that today because MILLIONS of US-born children of foreigners have served their country and been excellent citizens. And, it turns out, that there is absolutely NO evidence that the writers of the Constitution thought any differently.

    IF the writers of the US Constitution had said that they thought the US-born children of foreigners were not as good citizens and could be disloyal and hence should be be president, that would have been the law. But they never said any such thing. NEVER. What they did was to exclude foreigners from becoming president (because they are not natural born), and they excluded naturalized citizens from becoming president (because they are not Natural Born). But they never said that they considered the US-born children of foreigners not to be as Natural Born as the US-born children of US citizens.

    And the meaning of Natural Born comes from the common law, and it includes ALL US citizens born in the USA.

    “Under the longstanding English common-law principle of jus soli, persons born within the territory of the sovereign (other than children of enemy aliens or foreign diplomats) are citizens from birth. Thus, those persons born within the United States are “natural born citizens” and eligible to be President….”—- Edwin Meese, et al, THE HERITAGE GUIDE TO THE CONSTITUTION (2005) [Edwin Meese was Ronald Reagan’s attorney general, and the Heritage Foundation is a well-known Conservative organization.]

  10. It is understandable people have opinions on matters of which they have no knowledge.

    What also is amazing Natural Born Citizen is so hard to understand.

    There may be clarification soon by the Supreme Court since Liberty legal Foundation is preparing to file a case with the Supreme Court. If they accept it then the question will be put to rest for ever although the logical answer, the one intended by the framers of the Constitution that used Vattel’s Law of Nations as a reference and who wrote (paraphrasing) a Natural Born Citizen is a child born to parents who are U.S. Citizens.

    Only a short time after the country was founded in 1814, Supreme Court Justice Livingston, Appointed by President Thomas Jefferson, a major framer of the Constitution, quoted Vattel in the Venus Case of what a Natural Born Citizen was. After that there are three other Supreme Court cases supporting the same meaning.

    People can believe what they want but to ignore the facts is, although not rare, is rather stupid.

  11. With all due respect, I’ve spent some time looking into eligibility and am convinced of two things relevant to this note:

    1) Paul Hollrah is exactly correct about the Constitutional distinction between “citizen” and “natural born citizen.” Obama, our “Manchurian President,” definitely has a problem — even if he was born in Hawaii, which has the other problem of “probable cause for fraud” over his series of birth certificates. (I think Obama is currently on birth certificate # 4.)

    2) This issue, however, does NOT legally prevent Rubio from running as VP.

    “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.”

    Admittedly, Rubio would have a problem for his Constitutional eligibility to be PRESIDENT – but the “natural born Citizen” clause ONLY applies to the President, not to the VP.

    So, yeah, it is, for sure, a possible problem for the future, but not this year. Hence, with all due respect, given the desperate state of our nation at present, and the fact that this is the most critical election in my lifetime, this is one cat fight I’m going to stay out of.

    One thing I know: Four more years of Obama will surely doom our Republic and cost us our freedoms.


    There have already been FOUR state courts and one federal court that have specifically ruled that Obama is a Natural Born Citizen because of the Wong Kim Ark Supreme Court case which ruled that the meaning of Natural Born comes from the common law (not Vattel) and that EVERY citizen born in the USA is a Natural Born Citizen.

    “Natural born citizen. Persons who are born within the jurisdiction of a national government, i.e. in its territorial limits, or those born of citizens temporarily residing abroad.” — Black’s Law Dictionary, Sixth Edition

    “What is a natural born citizen? Clearly, someone born within the United States or one of its territories is a natural born citizen.” (Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on OCTOBER 5, 2004)–Senator Orrin G. Hatch (R-UT).

    “Prior to the adoption of the constitution, the people inhabiting the different states might be divided into two classes: natural born citizens, or those born within the state, and aliens, or such as were born out of it. The first, by their birth-right, became entitled to all the privileges of citizens; the second, were entitled to none, but such as were held out and given by the laws of the respective states prior to their emigration. …St. George Tucker, BLACKSTONE’S COMMENTARIES: WITH NOTES OF REFERENCE TO THE CONSTITUTION AND LAWS OF THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT OF THE UNITED STATES AND THE COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA. (1803)

    “Therefore every person born within the United States, its territories or districts, whether the parents are citizens or aliens, is a natural born citizen in the sense of the Constitution, and entitled to all the rights and privileges appertaining to that capacity.”—William Rawle, A VIEW OF THE CONSTITUTION OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. 2d ed. (1829)

    That’s just a few of the opinions, which stem from the key US Supreme Court ruling, Wong Kim Ark, which ruled that EVERY child born in the USA, except for the children of foreign diplomats, is Natural Born.

    And there have been LOTS of lower-court rulings, all stemming from the Wong Kim Ark ruling, which have stated that the US-born children of foreigners are Natural Born Citizens, due to their natural birth, birth in America.

    Mustata v. US Dept. of Justice, 179 F.3d 1017 (6th Cir. 1999) (children born in US to two Romanian citizens described as “natural born citizens” of the US):

    “Petitioners Marian and Lenuta Mustata are citizens of Romania. At the time of their petition, they resided in Michigan with their two minor children, who are natural born citizens of the United States.”

    Diaz-Salazar v. INS, 700 F.2d 1156 (7th Cir. 1983) (child born in US to Mexican citizen is “natural born citizen” of US):

    “Petitioner, Sebastian Diaz-Salazar, entered the United States illegally [from Mexico] in 1974 and has been living and working in Chicago since that time. *** The relevant facts which have been placed before the INS, BIA, and this court can be summarized as follows: The petitioner has a wife and two children under the age of three in Chicago; the children are natural-born citizens of the United States.”

    Nwankpa v. Kissinger, 376 F. Supp. 122 (M.D. Ala. 1974) (child born in US to two Biafra citizens described as “natural born citizen” of the US):

    “The Plaintiff was a native of Biafra, now a part of the Republic of Nigeria. His wife and two older children are also natives of that country, but his third child, a daughter, is a natural-born citizen of the United States.”

    AND there was Ankeny v. Gov State of Indiana, (one of the four state courts that ruled specifically on Obama) which ruled:

    “Based upon the language of Article II, Section 1, Clause 4 and the guidance provided by Wong Kim Ark, we conclude that persons born within the borders of the United States are ‘natural born citizens’ for Article II, Section 1 purposes, regardless of the citizenship of their parents.”

  13. Hmmm…. It would be best for all of America, I think, if we could have a current Supreme Court Ruling (Kagan Excluded) about Eligiblity. Here below is what I think the current status is — but it does not matter what I think the current status is. What matters is how the Supreme Court rules. They should rule and get this over with.


    According to the United States Supreme Court, Obama is ineligible to be the President. That’s right, you read that correctly. The United States Supreme Court has ruled that Obama is ineligible to serve as President. It’s not that you haven’t been paying attention lately and, yes, you can be excused for missing the ruling as it came down, not in the last few days but back in 1875.

    This is the argument currently being made by the Liberty Legal Foundation. The Liberty Legal Foundation has filed two lawsuits, one in Arizona and the other in Tennessee neither of which have one single thing to do with Obama’s birth certificate OR challenging whether or not Obama was born in the United States. This isn’t about “birthers,” it’s about the Constitution and a Supreme Court ruling.
    (Note: This is, of course, only one aspect of eligibility. Corsi, Trump, Klein and others have raised various other eligibility and fraud issues which remain unresolved. News Flash: A Georgia court just ruled in favor of a case to block Obama from the state’s ballots in 2012. More. NH. More.)

    At the core of this recent action is a simple request that Federal courts uphold the old Supreme Court ruling. Both lawsuits, and the Liberty Legal Foundation promises there will be more, would render it impossible for the Democratic National Committee to place Obama’s name on the 2012 ballot. Here’s the crux of it. Back in 1875, the United States Supreme Court, in Minor v, Happersett, ruled that:
    “Natural Born Citizen” was defined as children born of two U.S. citizens – regardless of the location of the birth. It found: “The Constitution does not, in words, say who shall be natural-born citizens. Resort must be had elsewhere to ascertain that. At common-law, with the nomenclature of which the framers of the Constitution were familiar, it was never doubted that all children born in a country of parents who were its citizens became themselves, upon their birth, citizens also.”
    Post Continues on

    From another source: “Recently, Leo C. Denofrio Esq., produced an analysis of the Supreme Court case, “Minor v Happersett.”

    In his analysis Mr. Denofrio argued that SCOTUS confirmed the meaning of “Natural Born Citizen” in this case and the meaning was confirmed as, “native birth AND two citizen parents.”

    It is notable that the legal database, began (years ago) removing internet links to this part of the decision in an effort to defeat researchers from finding the details of the ruling. Justia admits the links were removed but denies it was done intentionally.

    Maybe the Secretary of State, or chief election official in each state (along with all media outlets and every member of Congress) should be flooded with this analysis from Leo Denofrio, who said, “The way I see it, SCOTUS refused to take up the current eligibility challenge because it was already settled in Minor v. Happersett on March 29, 1875.”

    Here is the link to Denofrio’s work.

  14. I appreciate the passion of the discussion. Although I don’t have the time right now to participate fully, I would like to make just one point for consideration.

    When the Framers met in Philadelphia in September 1787 to approve the final draft of the U.S. Constitution, the physical scars of the War of Independence from Great Britain were still visible all around them and a deep-seated animosity to all things British colored every aspect of their daily lives. So is it even remotely conceivable that just five years and eleven months after the British surrendered at Yorktown, the Founders would have sent to the states for ratification a Constitution that would have allowed an individual with divided loyalties… i.e. dual US-British citizenship… to serve as president of the United States and commander in chief of the Army and the Navy?

    Only a complete imbecile would believe that’s what they did.

    If Barack Obama is the son of Barack Obama, Sr, he was born with dual US-Britich citizenship (see Part 2, Sec. 5(1) of the British Nationality Act of 1948). He held that dual citizenship until December 11, 1963, the day that Kenya won its independence from Great Britain. He held dual US-Kenyan citizenship from December 12, 1961 until August 4, 1984, his 23rd birthday (see Chapter VI, Sec. 87(3) of the 1983 Kenyan Constitution. Then, on August 4, 2010, when the people of Kenya adopted a new constitution, Obama was given status as a “citizen by birth,” which he holds to this day (see Chapter 3, Sec. 14 of the 2010 Kenyan Constitution).

    The founder never intended for those with divided loyalties (dual citizenship) to serve as President of the United States and commander in chief of the Army and the Navy. To believe otherwise is sheer insanity.

  15. Paul, your question can be flipped this way.

    1. Would the Founders let every other country have a veto over who can and cannot serve as their President? That is what your argument on the ban of dual citizenship allows because we have no control over other countries. You’re basically arguing that every other country can decide who is born eligible or not eligible for the Presidency due to their own citizenship law, and not American Law. Do you really think that the founders would have this surrender of National Sovereignty by surrendering the decision of who is eligible to be President to have dual citizenship?

    2. Parantage is an idiotic determiniation of “foreign influence” and “loyalty”. I’ll give you 2 examples.

    A person is born to 2 foreigners in the United States. The foreigners naturalize as citizens 1 day after the birth of the person. He never sets foot outside the United States. According to you, he has too much foreign influence to be President of the United States.

    A person is born to 2 citizen parents. These parents naturalize in a foreign country 1 day after their son is born and renounce their U.S. Citizenship. The child never sets foot inside the United States until their 21st birthday. According to you, they’d be eligible for the President.

    Now, which one has more “foreign influence”? It’s obvious that the one who’s actually lived 3/5ths of their lives outside the United States. But according to you, they are perfectly acceptable to be President. And the 1st person has too much foreign influence, despite having all but for 1 day of their life being raised by U.S. citizens.

  16. And secondly, why hasn’t North Korea clearly seen this way to bring down the U.S. Government. All they have to do is declare everybody who is born in the United States to be citizens of North Korea. They are then born as dual citizens, and therefore ineligible to be President. In 70 years, nobody will be alive who is eligible to be President of the United States, and the government of the United States will crumble without North Korea ever firing a shot.

  17. And furthermore, Sandra Day O’Connor, who has more knowledge of constitutional law than you do says that anybody born in the United States (with minor exceptions of diplomats or invading armies in occupied territory), are Natural Born Citizens.

    Now, is anybody who is born a citizen, a Natural Born Citizen: YES, I believe so. That’s not so much of a settled question.

    And as far as Leo Donofrio’s legal analysis, court after court has directly rejected his legal analysis and took the actual binding precedent of U.S. v. Wong Kim Ark to guide them. But anyways, you can go back even further and see the bunk that you say. The Supreme Court directly says that any terms not found defined in the Constitution are to be found in English Common Law (Smith v. Alabama). Natural Born has a definition in English Common Law, so therefore the Supreme Court would say that “Natural Born” means what it did in English Common Law.

    Minor v. Happersett (a case about whether or not women had the right to vote) directly said that they would not determine the definition of citizenship. U.S. v. Wong Kim Ark directly defined citizenship, and clearly showed that our citizenship law comes from English Common Law.

  18. Were the first 10 presidents natural born citizens. Just wondering everyone else’s take on this. Also, comment 17 is great. Made my day.

  19. To Scott S. –

    There were only two Presidents who have been, to my knowledge, argued to not meet the “old” requirements of “Natural Born Citizen,” meaning that both parents were US citizens.

    One was Woodrow Wilson, whose mother was British. However, under the laws of the day, she became a US citizen when she was married to a US citizen, and Woodrow was not born until several years later.

    The other was Thomas Jefferson, who was not a natural born citizen, but who qualified for the office because of being a citizen of the US when the Constitution was signed.

    Others are rising the point that dual citizenship is not allowed, but I don’t see that in the Constitution. Such an issue might be argued, I suppose, and, if so, it would take SOCUS to resolve it.

    In any case, BHO fails to qualify since his father was not a citizen, and this even if he was born in the US, which is disputed.

    The eligibility issue is in court right now in NJ, and Obama’s own attorney argued the current Obama birth certificate — which she specifically did NOT dispute was a forgery — is “irrelevant.”

  20. John,

    Chester A. Arthur: Born to an Irish Father who did not naturalize until Arthur was 14. His political enemies knew about this, and despite aledging that he was ineligible, failed to use this to argue. Don’t you think that if the definition was “Born to 2 U.S. Citizen Parents” that the political enemies that had alledged that Arthur was ineligible would actually use this to get him disqualified?

    So, we have a defined precedent of a person serving as President before Obama who was not born to 2 citizen parents.

    There were other Presidents who were born with dual citizenship (research Huguenots and French citizenship). There were others that were born to foreign Parents (Andrew Jackson, who was born to 2 Irish immigrants).

  21. Re: “The eligibility issue is in court right now in NJ, and Obama’s own attorney argued the current Obama birth certificate — which she specifically did NOT dispute was a forgery — is “irrelevant.”

    You are out of date. That case has been settled, and the judge ruled against the birthers.

    In New Jersey the birth certificate IS irrelevant. That is because the law in New Jersey does not require that a birth certificate be shown. If you would like the law to be changed, you have the right to petition Governor Christy and the legislature to change it. But currently it is not the law. Therefor showing it in court, or discussing whether or not the images of it were forged, is irrelevant.

    There have been seven US presidents who had foreign parents including Obama.

    Thomas Jefferson
    Andrew Jackson
    James Buchanan
    Chester A. Arthur
    Woodrow Wilson
    Herbert Hoover

    Of these two fell under the grandfather clause, Jefferson and Jackson.

    As to the others, the ones who were not under the grandfather clause:

    Birthers claim that James Buchanan’s father was naturalized before his birth. Unfortunately for them, THERE IS NO EVIDENCE OF IT. No evidence at all.

    Birthers claim that Chester A. Arthur hid the fact that his father was not a US citizen. Unfortunately for them, THERE IS NO EVIDENCE OF IT. There is no evidence that Chester A. Arthur kept his father’s citizenship secret. So, it is likely that people knew about it when he was picked to run as Garfield’s vice president.

    And Wilson’s and Hoover’s mothers were foreign citizens.

    Birthers say that they had been naturalized before the births. Actually, they were only made US citizens due to laws that made women who married US men automatically US citizens. That is hardly the same thing as being naturalized, in which you have to give up your citizenship in the foreign country and swear an oath. Because Woodrow Wilson’s mother never formally gave up her British citizenship, Woodrow was, at birth, a dual citizen.

    Turning back to Jackson. BOTH of his parents were not US citizens at the time that he was born. Neither of his parents were US citizens at the time that he was born.

    Granted that he was under the grandfather clause. But rationally IF the citizenship of the parents really had an effect on a person’s loyalty Jackson would be the least loyal of presidents, far less loyal than those with two citizen parents and less loyal than those with one citizen parent. Yet Jackson–with two foreign parents–was the most fiercely loyal of them all.

    So, there is the argument for biology, which is more rational than law. IF we have a large number of presidents with foreign parents, and there is no evidence that they were more disloyal than presidents with two citizen parents, then what is the evidence that presidents whose parents are not US citizens are more disloyal than presidents whose parents were US citizens. And, if there is no evidence to convince us–then what is the evidence that the writers of the US Constitution believed it either???

    If we today do not believe that a US-born child of foreign parents will tend to be less loyal than the US-born child of US parents (and Jackson’s loyalty shows that the US-born children of foreigners can be highly loyal), why believe that the writers of the US Constitution believed it either?

    If they had believed it, they would have said it. But they didn’t say it. All that they did was use the term Natural Born, which referred at the time to the place of birth, not to the parents.

    Oh, and as to dual citizenship. THREE US presidents (at least) were dual citizens. Thomas Jefferson and James Madison were dual citizens when they were president because the French assembly voted to make them full French citizens. And Woodrow Wilson was a dual citizen at birth because his mother never renounced her British citizenship (although she became a US citizen automatically when she married Wilson’s father), and hence, according to British law, he was a British subject at birth.

  22. Not to mention the VPs…

    Other than Arthur (who was later sworn in as President), we have Spiro Agnew (which there is contradictory evidence whether his father naturalized before his birth).

    We have Charles Curtis (who was not only not born in a state, but also was born to a woman who may due to being 3/4ths Native American may have been ineligible to ever become a citizen. Remember, this was before a lot of Native Americans got citizenship in the United States. In fact, Charles Curtis in his time in the Senate was the driving force behind giving Native Americans citizenship at birth). I’d suggest that you actually research this stuff before trying to spout your paticular definition.

  23. dunstvangeet:

    jps-teacher published this list back in December 2008:

    Vice President [George Mifflin] Dallas’s father was from Jamaica. (G.M. Dallas was vice president when Polk was president).
    VP Charles Curtis’s mom not only was not a US Citizen, but under the rules of the time, could not become one, I suspect.
    VP Hubert Humphrey’s mom, Ragnild Kristine Sannes, was Norwegian.
    VP Spiro T. Agnew’s father, Theodore Spiros Anagnostopoulos was a Greek immigrant.

    And he commented: “No sign of naturalization for them, either.”

    That adds two, and the comment that we do not know whether or not the parents were nationalized is significant. As you have pointed out, Curtis’s mother could not have been nationalized since at the time she was not allowed to be a citizen.

  24. Bob your readers are so very very smart. But if Obama gets another term I’ll bet we have a
    coup d’tat by the military and Rodney King riots on steroids. Then the fat lady sings as our republic implodes.

  25. Re: “But if Obama gets another term I’ll bet we have a…”

    I’ll bet we won’t. In any case, what does your speculation about the future have to do with Rubio’s and Obama’s Natural Born Citizen status.

    Both are Natural Born Citizens and nightmares about coups and riots do not change those facts.

  26. I have never read so much BS IN MY LIFE ABOUT A SUBJECT with so little meaningful purpose.

  27. Well, all this is interesting, and I don’t know the answer, except re: McCain. Yes he was born in the Canal Zone to to American Citizen parents. But the Canal Zone was a U.S. territory, thus making all other arguments moot. A U.S. territory is U.S. soil, period.

  28. Mark, actually, it’s not that simple.

    The “Born in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof” language only applies to people who were actually born in either one of the states, or DC. Otherwise, why would Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Guam need other provisions under U.S. law to provide their citizenship (8 USC 1402-1408)? Wouldn’t that just be redundant? Furthermore, people born in American Samoa, and the Northern Mariana Islands do not automatically get U.S. Citizenship (unless they are covered under other provisions). Both American Samoa and the Northern Mariana Islands are territories of the United States. The only citizenship that is protected by the Constitution are people who are born in one of the states.

  29. I’m amazed at the prattle, pettifoggery, and diversion on this thread to suppress honest discussion of Constitutional eligibility, especially since the topic here was about Romney’s best choice of a running mate, not about our Kenyan Community Organizer in Chief’s various problems.

    So NJ doesn’t have a law specifically requiring people present their birth certificates? Well duh!

    The core issue is Constitutional eligibility, not NJ law. And, sure, Obama’s lawyer won her case on a technical point, moving the case to appeal, buying time, and delaying.

    It’s 99% of the lawyers that give the rest of the profession a bad reputation.
    Likewise the governing law is the 1875 Supreme Court ruling.

    A string of speculations about what might have been over issues that were not raised in the years preceding this finding are silly. The key words are “Natural Born Citizen,” which the ruling defined. The Constitution makes no mention of “naturalization” or “dual citizenship,” only of Natural Born, and only for the Office of the President.

    If Obama is ineligible but unchallenged, does that lower the bar for future Presidential candidates? One hopes not, but, still, it is best to resolve this issue sooner rather than later.

    Still, it could go either way. Who knows? Perhaps by the time it is all over we’ll have devolved to where we allow third world candidates to eat defeated opponents, or at least their dogs.

    “When plunder becomes a way of life for a group of men living together in society, they create for themselves in the course of time a legal system that authorizes it and a moral code that justifies it.” Frederic Bastiat

  30. Whoops — I keep forgetting….

    Other than the key issue of what defines eligibility (Natural Born Citizen = having two US citizens as parents, for starters, which he does not), there are, of course, the so-called “birther” issues. Is he a citizen? If so, was Obama born in the US, etc.? And what about forged documents, being a “foreign student,” multiple SS numbers, multiple birth certificates, etc.?

    I don’t know. Personally, I think the “natural born citizen” issue itself is the major red flag, and enough to resolve the issue if he fails this test. But the other issues might have merits on their own.

    It is a shame that this tangled mess was not resolved when Obama was a candidate.

  31. John Trudel said: “Natural Born Citizen = having two US citizens as parents, for starters, which he does not.”

    Answer. Who told you that you have to have two US citizens as parents? It is wrong. ALL US citizens born in the USA are Natural Born Citizens. The only kind of US citizen who is not a Natural Born Citizen is a naturalized citizen. (That is why Obama’s election was confirmed UNANIMOUSLY by the US Congress; if there actually had been a constitutional provision that required two citizen parents there would have been at least a few members of Congress who recognized that fact and voted against Obama.)

    Re multiple SS Numbers. MILLIONS of people have them due to data entry errors by Social Security Administration clerks. Who told you that Social Security clerks never made mistakes or rarely made mistakes?????

    There is absolutely no evidence that Obama was a foreign student. (There is only an April Fool’s article that claims that he was.)

    Obama has shown the short form and long form birth certificate of Hawaii and three Republican and several Democrat officials in Hawaii have confirmed the facts on it, and there is absolutely no evidence that Obama’s mother traveled outside the USA in 1961.

  32. Ellen asks, “Who told you that you have to have two US citizens as parents?”

    Answer: You put words in my mouth to deflect and confuse. I did not say that “YOU” (or ME) had to have…. I said that to be a “Natural Born Citizen” an eligible candidate for President of the United States has to have two US citizens for parents.

    Only the President, not anyone else. Obama fails this test.

    Here’s why: SOCUS in the 1875 ruling, per the analysis from Leo Denofrio, who said, “The way I see it, SCOTUS refused to take up the current eligibility challenge because it was already settled in Minor v. Happersett on March 29, 1875.” There are several suits pending that assert this.

    Conclusion: Aside from Obama’s other issues, which could be show stoppers themselves, it would seem that he is ineligible simply by NOT having two US parents.

    Suggestion: Rather than dissembling about what you think about Obama’s eligibility, why not let this go to court so we’d all know? I think the 1875 ruling itself disqualifies Obama.

    The string of forged documents, and the fact that he might not have been born in the U.S. cause Mr. Obama other problems, but I do not speak to those. Obama has other alleged issues as well, like draft cards, college records, SS numbers (from several states, some where he never lived), loans as a foreign student, etc. I do not speak to these either.

  33. Bob, funny…

    Even the lawyers representing the birthers in that case can’t remember that Obama’s lawyers said that. Basically, what happened is a conservative blogger said it once. He was mistaken, but now it’s part of the birther lexicon. Even the conservative blogger (who, by the way was not actually at the hearing) admits that Obama’s lawyers did not say that. Even Mario Apuzzo admits that Obama’s lawyers did not say that.

    Next time you lie (and you actually did, because it’s easily checkable), you should really research the information.

  34. Direct Quote from Mario Apuzzo, who was actually there: “I am not personally aware of Ms. Hill ever admitting during the court proceedings that the posted image of the 4-27-11 birth certificate is a forgery.”

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