I received the following email request on December 26, 2008:
“XXXXX XXXXXX of TX has today gotten off the phone with Ron Paul.
Her parents live in the same city as RP.
Bad news. He does NOT intend at this time to stand up on Jan
8th. Part of the reason XXXXX mentioned was that RP said no
one knew the definition by either the law cases and Constitution
itself as to the real menaing of natural born.
Citizen Wells, I immediately thought of all your great research
on natural born that you’ve posted on our website. Its too much
to expect RP or any Congress critter to read it all BUT…
Here’s you assignment. Condense into no more than 3 pages with
full legal references on as many pages as needed. The more the
RELEVANT references the better. Can we have this done by Dec 28th?
I also ask that XXXXX, XXX and you coordinate the naturing of Ron
Paul. Your goal is to get him to agree to file the written
objection NLT Jan 3rd.
Are you’ll up to that challenge? If Ron Paul does sign on, he
will bring other Constitutionalists along in both the Senate and
Obviously Ron Paul is not paying attention.
I spent most of my time trying to debunk what I believed
about natural born citizen and after much reading posted
the following on the Citizen Wells blog on December 28,
Natural born citizen explained
Dean Haskins used this information to
produce this excellent video:
Exactly What IS a Natural Born Citizen?
Leo Donofrio has posted his most recent opinion about natural
born citizen and the influence of Vattel on the founding
fathers. Thanks to Phil at the Right Side of Life website
for the heads up.
“ONE FINAL POINT ABOUT THE NATURAL BORN CITIZEN CLAUSE.
The more I read Vattel (pictured above), specifically the passage which defines “natural-born citizen”, the more convinced I become that the framers understood Vattel much better than we have on this issue. I now am firmly convinced that the framers relied on Vattel’s definition when they included the natural born citizen clause in Article 2 Section 1 Clause 5.
Yesterday, I had a revelation as to what Vattel meant and what the framers intended “natural born citizen” to mean in the Constitution. It’s obvious that the framers drew a distinction between the meaning of “citizen” and the meaning of “natural born citizen”. A “citizen” can be Senator or Representative, but in order to be President one must be a natural born citizen.
It’s the difference between a fact and a legal status.
Whether you are a natural born citizen is a fact of nature which can’t be waived or renounced, but your actual legal citizenship can be renounced. The difference is subtle, but so very important. “Natural born citizen” is not a different form of “citizenship”. It is a manner of acquiring citizenship. And while natural born citizens may end their legal tie to the country by renouncing citizenship, they will always have been naturally born into that nation as a citizen.
Let’s take a look at Vattel’s famous text:
§ 212. Citizens and natives.
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.
Two different sentences. Two different civil groups are being discussed.
Examine the subject heading given by Vattel, “Natives and Citizens”. Two separate groups of the civil society are addressed in the heading. And here is the start of the greatest proof that the framers relied on Vattel as to the natural born citizen clause.
In the passage above, the first sentence defines who the “citizens” of a civil society are. Vattel states; “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.”
In the very next sentence he describes a different set of people wherein he states, “The natives, or natural-born citizens, are those born in the country, of parents who are citizens.”
There are natives and citizens, just as the header says. All citizens are members of the civil society, but not all citizens are natives or natural-born citizens. A native can’t renounce his “nativeness”. He’s a native forever. He might renounce the citizenship he gained through being a native, but he can’t renounce the FACT of his birth as a native.
Vattel equates natives with natural-born citizens. They are the same. According to Vattel, in order to be a native, one must be born of the soil and the blood of two citizen parents.
He goes on as follows:
“As the society cannot exist and perpetuate itself otherwise than by the children of the citizens, those children naturally follow the condition of their fathers, and succeed to all their rights…I say, that, in order to be of the country, it is necessary that a person be born of a father who is a citizen; for, if he is born there of a foreigner, it will be only the place of his birth, and not his country.
Some have argued that this passage indicates only one parent – the father – is necessary for one to be a natural born citizen. That is false. The above passage only mentions the word “citizen”. It says the children of the father are “citizens”, but it does not say they are “natives or natural-born citizens”. Vattel is discussing the legality of citizenship, not the fact of one’s birth as being native.
When Vattel wrote this in 1758, he wasn’t arguing for its inclusion in a future US Constitution as a qualification for being President. But the framers did read his work. And when it came to choosing the President, they wanted a “natural-born citizen”, not just a citizen. That is clear in the Constitution. Vattel doesn’t say that “natives or natural-born citizens” have any special legal rights over “citizens”. He simply described a phenomenon of nature, that the citizenship of those who are born on the soil to citizen parents (plural) is a “natural-born citizen”.
Citizen = legal status
Native or natural-born citizen = fact of birth which bestows citizenship.
Vattel also wrote:
“The country of the fathers is therefore that of the children; and these become true citizens merely by their tacit consent. We shall soon see whether, on their coming to the years of discretion, they may renounce their right, and what they owe to the society in which they were born.
Once again, he does not mention natives or natural-born citizens in this passage, just citizens. Furthermore, he states that the citizens may renounce their citizenship when they come of legal age. But nobody can renounce a fact of birth. The fact is true or it is not true. You’re either “born” a natural-born citizen or you are not. The legal citizenship which attaches to this fact of birth may be renounced, but the fact will be with you forever.
And it is that fact of birth the framers sought to guarantee for each President of the United States. The framers ruled that the commander in chief be a natural born citizen. Like Vattel, the framers purposely distinguished between “citizens” and “natural born citizens”. And to that distinction there can only be one effect:
ONLY A NATURAL BORN CITIZEN CAN BE PRESIDENT.
According to Chief Justice Marshall’s opinion in Marbury v. Madison, the 14th amendment cannot make the natural born citizen clause from Article 2 Section 1 superfluous. If being born as a 14th Amendment citizen was enough to be President, then the natural born citizen clause would have no effect. According to Marshall, that argument is inadimissible.
President Obama is not a natural born citizen of the United States whethe he was born in Hawaii or not.
I am not going to protest any longer. As a Christian, I’m somewhat convinced this nation has been judged by the almighty and his fury may be descending as we speak. Such fury appears to be in the form of Constitutional cancer. I have prayed over my continuing role in this battle and the answer to those prayers said I am done here. As a true believer in the Lord Jesus Christ, I place my faith not in any organized religion but in the words of the lamb and the voice of God. Peace be with you.
Leo C. Donofrio
I respectfully disagree with Leo Donofrio on one important aspect.
Barack Obama is not president under the US Constitution. No amount
of swearing in makes one president. Only a combination of the
election process and being qualified under the US Constitution makes