A Birther Recants

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BY PROFESSOR RD SKIDMORE – Texas Gov. Rick Perry raised the legitimacy question on Mr. Obama’s birth certificates and location, only to recant. A media inquisition whereby one will be labeled a birther is intimidating, but it is standard fair for anyone who is serious about the Constitution and its requirements for the office of President.

The Constitution in Article II defines the duties and qualifications for President of the United States; Section 1, paragraph 5 declares:

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.

Thinking persons have to ask why the founders differentiated between “Citizen” and “natural born Citizen.” We know that George Washington, the first President of the United States fit the qualifications for President as a “Citizen…at the time of the Adoption of [the] Constitution” and not a ‘natural born Citizen.’ In fact the first seven Presidents, from Washington to Andrew Jackson, met the Constitution qualification of President as a ‘Citizen’ under Article II and not as a ‘natural born Citizen.’

Martin Van Buren was the first ‘natural born Citizen’ meeting the qualifications for President of the United States as well as the next 35 office holders.

The talking heads, in their ignorance have equated ‘citizen’ with ‘natural born citizen’ and insisted that ‘natural born citizen’ has never been defined—which is not true.

The U.S. Supreme Court in 1874 defined “Natural Born Citizen” in Minor v. Happersett as children born of two parents who are United States citizens. Without regard to the location of the child’s birth the court unanimously declared:

“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. These were natives, or natural-born citizens, as distinguished from aliens or foreigners.”

The findings of the Supreme Court in 1874 was unanimous; there was no dissention or opposition among the Justices as to the findings, and the definition has not changed.

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”. Therefore, by Constitutional definition, he is not a ‘Natural Born Citizen” as required, and thus is ineligible to be the President.

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:”

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 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.”

Thanks for reading.

RESEARCH AND REFERENCES

1787, United States Constitution, Article 2, Section 1, Paragraph 5.

1787, United States Constitution, Article 2, Section 1, Paragraph 6.

Amendment XII, U. S. Constitution, ratified July 27, 1804

SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES, MINOR v. HAPPERSETT,  88 U.S. 162; 21 Wall. 162 OCTOBER, 1874, Term; http://law2.umkc.edu/faculty/projects/ftrials/conlaw/minorvhapp.html, accessed 25 October, 2011; Minor v. Happersett, 88 U.S. 162, 167, 21 Wall. 162, 22 L.Ed. 627 (1875)   Refer to paragraphs 17-19.

British Nationality Act, 1772; Anno Regni decimo tertio G E O R G I I III. 1772 (13 Geo. 3) C A P. XXI.;  http://www.uniset.ca/naty/BNA1772.htm, accessed 26 October 2011

United States Congress, “An act to establish an uniform Rule of Naturalization” (March 26, 1790). ; Harvard, http://pds.lib.harvard.edu/pds/view/5596748, 26 October 2011; Indiana University, http://www.indiana.edu/~kdhist/H105-documents-web/week08/naturalization1790.html, 26 October 2011

United States Congress, “An act to establish an uniform rule of Naturalization; and to repeal the act heretofore passed on that subject” (January 29, 1795).; Indiana University, http://www.indiana.edu/~kdhist/H105-documents-web/week08/naturalization1790.html, 26 October 2011

Oath of naturalization for citizenship; http://www.uscis.gov/portal/site/uscis/menuitem.5af9bb95919f35e66f614176543f6d1a/?vgnextoid=facd6db8d7e37210VgnVCM100000082ca60aRCRD&vgnextchannel=dd7ffe9dd4aa3210VgnVCM100000b92ca60aRCRD, accessed 26 October 2011

Oath of Office for President, US Constitution, Article II, Section 1, adopted 1787,

Oath of Office  Congress: TITLE 5 > PART III > Subpart B > CHAPTER 33 > SUBCHAPTER II > § 3331; http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/5/usc_sec_05_00003331—-000-.html, accessed 26 October 2011

 

Professor Skidmore is a professor at Pierce College in Woodland Hills, Ca. He may be contacted at rskidmor49@excite.com.

Comments

comments

19 COMMENTS

  1. I couldn’t agree with you more.

    Here is another reason why a “born Citizen”, isn’t the same as a “natural born Citizen”.

    Here’s the record and why I believe birthright citizenship is not the same as a natural born Citizen, as required in Article ll:

    Birthright citizenship as defined by Section 1401 of Title 8 in the U.S. Code: “…means any person born in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof….”

    To my untrained eye, this is exactly what Alexander Hamilton had in mind when he proposed, while sitting as a member of the Rules Committee to the first Constitutional Convention on June 18, 1787: “No person shall be eligible to the office of President of the United States unless he be now a Citizen of one of the States, or hereafter be born a Citizen of the United States”.

    Shortly thereafter, the first appointed jurists of the US Supreme Court, and Constitutional Convention delegate from New York, John Jay, wrote a letter to G. Washington, presiding president of the convention, suggesting, among other things, …that a stronger check (against foreign influences) be placed upon the Commander in Chief of the American Army than Alexander Hamilton’s “born a Citizen” motion. “…the office of the Commander in Chief of the American Army shall not be given to nor devolve on, any but a natural born Citizen. A few weeks later this phrase, a “natural born” Citizen, was unanimously adopted by the Constitutional Convention over Alexander Hamilton’s “born Citizen” motion. Therefore, a born Citizen cannot possibly be a natural born Citizen within the meaning of the Constitution as adopted.

    Furthermore; in adopting the “natural born” Citizen clause, the delegates to the Constitutional Convention were undeniably stating — as you say — that the President, as Commander in Chief of the Army, should be of only one allegiance from birth, which could only be represented at that time by a citizen father. Since that time, Congress has given the right of allegiance to the mother, as well.

    In Conclusion:

    Since the clear action of the Constitutional Conventional delegates was to insure a single allegiance birthright Commander in chief, both parents must be citizens , born subject to the jurisdiction, to be an Article ll, natural born Citizen.

    The Minor court’s definition of an Article ll, natural born Citizen: as a person being born of citizen parents within the jurisdiction further confirms this conclusion.

    Lastly, the record of elected presidents observing the born of two-citizen rule cannot be denied or ignored, and further acts to strengthen the two-citizenship rule for a natural born Citizen.

    In short, being born a citizen within the jurisdiction cannot possible be the same as a natural born Citizen because the Constitutional Convention specifically overruled Alexander Hamilton’s “born a citizen” motion .

    ex animo
    davidfarrar

    • Sorry, David – The statement “this is exactly what Alexander Hamilton had in mind when he proposed, while sitting as a member of the Rules Committee to the first Constitutional Convention on June 18, 1787” is factually not true.

      This is common mistake, the draft plan that Hamilton submit to the Convention on June 18, 1787 did not have a Presidential eligibility clause, because it did not have a President. Hamilton called for a Governour to fill the executive position

      “The supreme Executive authority of the United States to be vested in a Governour to be elected to serve during good behaviour” Alexander Hamiliton, June 18, 1787

      Notice that the Governour serves a life-term.

      The “born a citizen” draft was presented by Hamilton to James Madison at the end of the Constitutional Convention. It was not presented to the Convention.

      “§. I. No person shall be eligible to the office of President of the United States unless he be now a Citizen of one of the States, or hereafter be born a Citizen of the United States”

      As to the idea of allegiance, James Madison told us that the “most certain criterion” of allegiance is place of birth.

      “It is an established maxim that birth is a criterion of allegiance. Birth, however, derives its force sometimes from place, and sometimes from parentage; but, in general, place is the most certain criterion; it is what applies in the United States”.

      And William Rawle told us the definition of “natural born Citizen”.

      “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”, 1826.

      Rawle is the only member of the Founding Generation to give a such a specific definition of the term.

      Rawle also agreed with Madison’s statement on place of birth.

      “Under our Constitution the question is settled by its express language, and when we are informed that, excepting those who were citizens, (however the capacity was acquired,) at the time the Constitution was adopted, no person is eligible to the office of president unless he is a natural born citizen, the principle that the place of birth creates the relative quality is established as to us.” William Rawle, “A View of the Constitution of the United States”, 1826.

      The idea that place of birth determined the “relative quality” of natural born citizenship was also known in the various states. For example in 1795, Zephaniah Swift, a US Congressman and the future Chief Justice of the Connecticut Supreme Court published, “A System of the Laws of the State of Connecticut: in Six Books”. In what is the first legal treatise published in the United States, Swift wrote,

      “The children of aliens born in this state are considerded as natural born subjects and have the same rights with the rest of the citizens.”

      This was the understanding of the term and the Framers never stated that they were changing it.

  2. And this moron is a “professor?” Professor of what? Conspiracy theory 101? Give it up already birthertard.

  3. Chilidog – Professor Skidmore teaches business at Pierce College a two year jounor college.

    The problem with this articel is that Prof. Skidmore cuts off the quote from the Minor opinion. Did he do that deliberately to change it’s meaning? If he did that would be intellectually dishonest for a College Professor.

    Here is the entire quote:

    “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. These were natives, or natural-born citizens, as distinguished from aliens or foreigners. Some authorities go further and include as citizens children born within the jurisdiction without reference to the citizenship of their [p168] parents. As to this class there have been doubts, but never as to the first. For the purposes of this case it is not necessary to solve these doubts.”

    Notice Justice Waite does not exclude children born to foreign parents, he says there are doubts about this class and that the Court will not settle these doubts.

    Now look at what Justice Morrow of the Federal District Court of the Northern District of California wrote about the Minor decision;

    “But the supreme court has never squarely determined, either prior to or subsequent to the adoption of the fourteenth amendment in 1868, the political status of children born here of foreign parents. In the case of Minor v. Happersett, 21 Wall. 168, the court expressly declined to pass upon that question.” Justice Morrow, Wong Kim Ark v. United States, January 3, 1896, No. 11, 198.

    The fact is that the Minor case has never been considered precedential with regards to the question of citizenship. Just read the first paragraph of the Minor decision, the court specifical said that Virginia Minor was a citizen and that there is only one question to the case – voting rights.

  4. As recently as November of 2009, a court decision was issued in a case brought specifically to challenge Pres. Obama’s eligibility. In a unanimous ruling, a three-judge panel of the Indiana Court of Appeals in Ankeny v. Daniels thoroughly reviewed the history of U.S. natural-born citizenship and said:

    “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.”

    The ruling was appealed to the Indiana Supreme Court, which refused to hear it. At that point, it could have been appealed to the Supreme Court of the United States in hopes of getting the definitive decision that the birthers claim to desire.

    But for some reason, the plaintiffs decided to allow the deadline to pass and the SCOTUS appeal was never filed. It leaves the distinct impression that the birthers decided to continue to complain that the issue was never resolved rather than to take the risk that it would be resolved but not in their favor.

    • The Indiana Court of Appeals in the Ankeny case also cited Minor v. Happersett (the case Prof. Skidmore says is precedential),

      “The United States Supreme Court has read these two provisions in tandem and held that “[t]hus new citizens may be born or they may be created by naturalization.” Minor v. Happersett, 88 (21 Wall.) U.S. 162, 167 (1874). In Minor, written only six years after the Fourteenth Amendment was ratified, the Court observed that:

      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. These were natives, or natural-born citizens, as distinguished from aliens or foreigners. Some authorities go further and include as citizens children born within the jurisdiction without reference to the citizenship of their parents. As to this class there have been doubts, but never as to the first. For the purposes of this case it is not necessary to solve these doubts. Id. at 167-168. Thus, the Court left open the issue of whether a person who is born within the United States of alien parents is considered a natural born citizen.”

      So the Court of Appeals disagreed with the birthers (and Prof. Skidmore) that Minor defined the term “natural born citizen”.

      For the sake of his students, I hope Prof. Skidmore knows more about accounting than he does Constitutional law.

  5. The WKA SCOTUS case clearly rules that WKA was a natural born citizen ins spite of the fact that both his parents were chinese citizens specifically excluded from U.S. citizenship.

  6. Others have done a good job dismantling parts of the author’s case. Here’s another error: he writes that “our nation does not recognize dual citizenship.” That’s not true. It is true that the Oath of Allegiance for naturalized citizens asks them to renounce their “allegiance and fidelity” to other nations. But that doesn’t necessarily mean they lose their citizenship (that’s up to the other nation to decide), and in any case it doesn’t apply to someone born a citizen, whether you think that means the same thing as “natural born” or not.

    More on dual citizenship here: travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/cis/cis_1753.html

      • Huh, interesting. I wonder exactly what they mean by “recognize.” The site I linked to says, “A U.S. citizen may acquire foreign citizenship by marriage, or a person naturalized as a U.S. citizen may not lose the citizenship of the country of birth.” So maybe it means that according the the U.S., you’re a citizen of the U.S., even though according to another country you might be a citizen of that country too?

        Anyway, Mr. Skidmore seems to be implying that the U.S. doesn’t allow it, which is clearly incorrect.

      • Yes, I think you’ve got it right. International law recognizes that every country has the right to determine who its own citizens are. U.S. citizens can lose their U.S. citizenship status based on things they say or do, but not based on actions taken or laws passed by foreign governments (such as any of the British Nationality Acts).

        That’s why this particular birther argument is so foolish. The United States would never compromise its sovereignty by giving another country the power to determine who is eligible to be President. Mr. Skidmore simply doesn’t know what he’s talking about.

  7. Others have debunked the author’s conclusion whose seminal basis is the Minor decision. However, what’s not clear about Obama is where he was born. Corsi’s latest book is good, but I suggest those who are “believers” rather than “doubters” (the latter often incorrectly termed “deniers” as if they are sure Obama wasn’t born in Hawaii which is just as uninformed as those who claim he was) download the Donald-Trump-forced Obama b/c from WhiteHouse.gov. It’s a .pdf document that simply falls apart when its layers are exposed by Adobe Illustrator — on of several software mechanisms used to create .pdf documents. It’s obviously a fraudulent document — although not necessarily Obama’s fraud. To me it seems to have a-made-in-Hawaii amateur-hour fragrance, but it’s a stink Obama likes and one that the mainstream media just can’t smell.

    • @MRethman —

      It’s an interesting theory, but it raises a curious question. Even if it’s an amateur forgery that falls apart when the layers are examined, why would the forger go to all the trouble of creating a fake document that contains accurate information?

      According to the State of Hawaii, at http://hawaii.gov/health/vital-records/obama.html,

      “On April 27, 2011 President Barack Obama posted a certified copy of his original Certificate of Live Birth.”

      I guess it’s possible that Hawaiian officials didn’t bother to check the posted document for layers. But don’t you think they would have noticed if the information didn’t match their own records?

    • The pdf has been shown to not be a forgery.

      Search on John Woodman, obamabirthbook

      This guy takes apart the birther experts.

  8. Re: Thinking persons have to ask why the founders differentiated between “Citizen” and “natural born Citizen.”

    LOL. Actual thinking persons are aware of the existence of naturalized citizens: they are the difference. Only birfoon morons don’t know about them. This critter is a “professor”? Poor students…

  9. This is just silliness. Minor v. Happersett DID NOT define natural born citizenship and the judges flatly stated they did not need to resolve that issue. The Ankeny v. Governor judges recognized that fact and said, about the Minor Court:

    In Minor, written only six years after the Fourteenth Amendment was ratified, the Court observed that:

    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. These were natives, or natural-born citizens, as distinguished from aliens or foreigners. Some authorities go further and include as citizens children born within the jurisdiction without reference to the citizenship of their parents. As to this class there have been doubts, but never as to the first. For the purposes of this case it is not necessary to solve these doubts.

    Id. at 167-168. Thus, the Court left open the issue of whether a person who is born within the United States of alien parents is considered a natural born citizen.12

    How much more clear does it get than that???

    Squeeky Fromm
    Girl Reporter

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