The Fallacies of Congressional Legislative Attorney Jack Maskell’s Definition of a “Natural Born Citizen” | by Attorney Mario Apuzzo
Bob Quasius at Café Con Leche Republicans [in 2013] said:
“The citizenship of Ted Cruz’s father is irrelevant. Ted Cruz was born a citizen of the United States based upon his mother’s citizenship and many years of residency in the U.S., per the federal statutes in effect at the time Ted Cruz was born. A natural born citizen is one who was born a citizen, as compared to someone not born a citizen and naturalized. Ted Cruz was born a citizen, and therefore he’s a natural born citizen.”
[Editor’s Note: click here for more on Ted Cruz, Kamala Harris, and others who lack natural born Citizen of the United States status.]
Quasius’ argument is the classic example of Jack Maskell’s formal and informal logical fallacies of what the definition of a “natural born Citizen” is which are contained in his two Congressional Research (CRS) Memos. Jack Maskell wrote in his CRS memo published in 2009:
“[T]he weight of scholarly legal and historical opinion appears to support the notion that ‘natural born citizen’ means one who is entitled under the Constitution or laws of the United States to U.S. citizenship ‘at birth’ or ‘by birth,’ including any child born ‘in’ the United States (other than to foreign diplomats serving their country), the children of United States citizens born abroad of one citizen parent who has met U.S. residency requirements.”
Then he wrote in his 2011 CRS memo:
“The weight of legal and historical authority indicates that the term ‘natural born’ citizen would mean a person who is entitled to U.S. citizenship ‘by birth’ or ‘at birth,’ either by being born ‘in’ the United States and under its jurisdiction, even those born to alien parents; by being born abroad to U.S. citizen-parents; or by being born in other situations meeting legal requirements for U.S. citizenship ‘at birth.’” In this memo, he also added: “there is no Supreme Court case which has ruled specifically on the presidential eligibility requirements, although several cases have addressed the term ‘natural born’ citizen. And this clause has been the subject of several legal and historical treatises over the years, as well as more recent litigation.”
Maskell made his 2009 statement with little force and certitude. He said that this “scholarly legal and historical opinion” “appears to support the notion” as to what the “natural born Citizen” clause means. A “notion” is defined, in relevant part, as: “1. A general idea 2. a belief; opinion 3. an inclination; whim.” Webster’s New World Dictionary of the American Language 410 (1983). Here is another definition: “1: Idea, conception 2: a belief held: opinion, view 3: whim, fancy .” The Merriam-Webster Dictionary 480 (1974). And this “opinion” only “appears to support” that notion. Here, we can see that Maskell did not give us a clear and definite statement as to what the definition of a “natural born Citizen” is. Rather, he only put forth a theory that this “scholarly legal and historical opinion” supported this general idea, belief, or opinion of what the definition of a “natural born citizen” is.
While his 2011 statement contained more force, Maskell still stated that a “natural born citizen” “would mean” any person who is a “citizen by birth” or “citizen at birth,” regardless of the means by which the person obtained that birth status. Maskell said “would mean.” That means that the meaning that he gave to a “natural born citizen” is conditioned upon something else also being true. But he did not tell us what that something else is, let alone demonstrate that whatever it is, is true. He also stated that “there is no Supreme Court case which has ruled specifically on the presidential eligibility requirements.” As we shall see below, this is not true, for there are U.S. Supreme Court cases which have addressed the “common-law” definition of a “natural-born citizen” and that is a presidential eligibility requirement. … Continue reading this legal essay about who is a “natural born Citizen” of the United States, and the logical fallacies about same that were put out by the totally politicized Congressional Research Service to justify the running of Article II constitutionally ineligible candidates in both major political parties, and the comments about same at: http://puzo1.blogspot.com/2019/06/the-fallacies-of-congressional.html
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See a Euler Diagram which logically shows the kinds of U.S. Citizens and their set and subset relationships: https://cdrkerchner.wordpress.com/2018/06/16/natural-born-citizen/
CDR Charles Kerchner, P.E. (Retired)
Other suggested reading and viewing on being a “natural born Citizen” of the United States:
1. A chart which lists and explains the five (5) Citizenship terms used in the U.S. Constitution.
2. Being a “born Citizen” or “Citizen at Birth” is not identically the same as a being a “natural born Citizen”.
3. Read this essay regarding the constitutional term “natural born Citizen” and basic logic, i.e., trees are plants but not all plants are trees. “Natural born Citizens” are a subset of “born Citizens (citizens at birth)”. Adjectives mean something. All “natural born Citizens” are “born Citizens (citizens at birth) but not all “born Citizens (citizens at birth)” are “natural born Citizens”: https://cdrkerchner.wordpress.com/2012/06/20/of-natural-born-citizens-and-citizens-at-birth-and-basic-logic-trees-are-plants-but-not-all-plants-are-trees-natural-born-citizens-nbc-are-citizens-at-birth-cab-but-not-all-cab/
4. The “Three Legged Stool Test” for being a Natural Born Citizen: https://cdrkerchner.wordpress.com/2013/11/15/the-three-legged-stool-test-analogy-for-natural-born-citizenship-of-the-united-states-to-constitutional-standards/ …
5. Article II Presidential Eligibility Facts: http://www.art2superpac.com/issues.html or https://www.scribd.com/document/161994312/Article-II-Presidential-Eligibility-Facts
7. Read, download, and print a PDF copy of this White Paper by CDR Charles Kerchner (Ret) about the “natural born Citizen” term and presidential eligibility clause in Article II of our U.S. Constitution here: http://www.kerchner.com/protectourliberty/The-Who-What-When-Where-Why-and-How-of-NBC-Term-in-Constitution.pdf