Exactly What IS a Natural Born Citizen?
There has been much confusion regarding Barack Obama’s eligibility and the aspect of Leo Donofrio’s lawsuit that sets it apart is his claim that Obama does not meet the constitutional definition of Natural Born Citizen. Here is an explanation from Leo Donofrio:
“Don’t be distracted by the birth certificate and Indonesia issues. They are irrelevant to Senator Obama’s ineligibility to be President. Since Barack Obama’s father was a Citizen of Kenya and therefore subject to the jurisdiction of the United Kingdom at the time of Senator Obama’s birth, then Senator Obama was a British Citizen “at birth”, just like the Framers of the Constitution, and therefore, even if he were to produce an original birth certificate proving he were born on US soil, he still wouldn’t be eligible to be President.
The Framers of the Constitution, at the time of their birth, were also British Citizens and that’s why the Framers declared that, while they were Citizens of the United States, they themselves were not “natural born Citizens”.
Hence their inclusion of the grandfather clause in Article 2, Section 1, Clause 5 of the Constitution: 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; That’s it right there. (Emphasis added.)
The Framers wanted to make themselves eligible to be President, but they didn’t want future generations to be Governed by a Commander In Chief who had split loyalty to another Country. The Framers were comfortable making an exception for themselves. They did, after all, create the Constitution. But they were not comfortable with the possibility of future generations of Presidents being born under the jurisdiction of Foreign Powers, especially Great Britain and its monarchy, who the Framers and Colonists fought so hard in the American Revolution to be free of.
The Framers declared themselves not eligible to be President as “natural born Citizens”, so they wrote the grandfather clause in for the limited exception of allowing themselves to be eligible to the Presidency in the early formative years of our infant nation.
But nobody alive today can claim eligibility to be President under the grandfather clause since nobody alive today was a citizen of the US at the time the Constitution was adopted.
The Framers distinguished between “natural born Citizens” and all other “Citizens”. And that’s why it’s important to note the 14th Amendment only confers the title of “Citizen”, not “natural born Citizen”. The Framers were Citizens, but they weren’t natural born Citizens. They put the stigma of not being natural born Citizens on themselves in the Constitution and they are the ones who wrote the Document. Since the the Framers didn’t consider themselves to have been “natural born Citizens” due to their having been subject to British jurisdiction at their birth, then Senator Obama, having also been subject to British jurisdiction at the time of his birth, also cannot be considered a “natural born Citizen” of the United States.
Brack Obama’s official web site, Fight The Smears, admits he was a British Citizen at birth. At the very bottom of the section of his web site that shows an alleged official Certification Of Live Birth, the web site lists the following information and link thereto: FactCheck.org Clarifies Barack’s Citizenship
“When Barack Obama Jr. was born on Aug. 4,1961, in Honolulu, Kenya was a British colony, still part of the United Kingdom’s dwindling empire. As a Kenyan native, Barack Obama Sr. was a British subject whose citizenship status was governed by The British Nationality Act of 1948. That same act governed the status of Obama Sr.‘s children.
Since Sen. Obama has neither renounced his U.S. citizenship nor sworn an oath of allegiance to Kenya, his Kenyan citizenship automatically expired on Aug. 4,1982.”
That is a direct admission Barack Obama was a British citizen “at birth”.
My law suit argues that since Obama had dual citizenship “at birth” and therefore split loyalties “at birth”, he is not a “natural born citizen” of the United States. A “natural born citizen” would have no other jurisdiction over him “at birth” other than that of the United States. The Framers chose the words “natural born” and those words cannot be ignored. The status referred to in Article 2, Section 1, “natural born citizen”, pertains to the status of the person’s citizenship “at birth”.
The other numerous law suits circling Obama to question his eligibility fail to hit the mark on this issue. Since Obama was, “at birth”, a British citizen, it is completely irrelevant, as to the issue of Constitutional “natural born citizen” status, whether Obama was born in Hawaii or abroad. Either way, he is not eligible to be President.
Should Obama produce an original birth certificate showing he was born in Hawaii, it will not change the fact that Obama was a British citizen “at birth”. Obama has admitted to being a British subject “at birth”. And as will be made perfectly clear below, his being subject to British jurisdiction “at birth” bars him from being eligible to be President of the United States.
As I have argued before the United States Supreme Court, the 14th Amendment does not confer “natural born citizen” status anywhere in its text. It simply states that a person born in the United States is a “Citizen”, and only if he is “subject to the jurisdiction” of the United States.
Article 2, Section 1, Clause 5 of the Constitution of the United States:
“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.”
The most overlooked words in that section are: “…or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution…” You must recall that most, if not all, of the framers of the Constitution were, at birth, born as British subjects.
Stop and think about that.
The chosen wording of the Framers here makes it clear that they had drawn a distinction between themselves – persons born subject to British jurisdiction – and “natural born citizens” who would not be born subject to British jurisdiction or any other jurisdiction other than the United States. And so the Framers grandfathered themselves into the Constitution as being eligible to be President. But the grandfather clause only pertains to any person who was a Citizen… at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution. Obama was definitely not a Citizen at the time of the adoption of the Constitution and so he is not grandfathered in.
And so, for Obama or anybody else to be eligible to be President, they must be a “natural born citizen” of the United States “at birth”. It should be obvious that the Framers intended to deny the Presidency to anybody who was a British subject “at birth”. If this had not been their intention, then they would not have needed to include a grandfather clause which allowed the Framers themselves to be President.”
Follow Leo Donofrio’s lawsuit here: