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.”
“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
Senator Kamala Devi Harris (D-California) cannot become president unless she is a “natural born Citizen.” The U.S. Constitution contains few eligibility criteria for our nation’s highest post. But being born to the country is one of them. Since a vice president must be able to succeed to the presidency, Harris could not run as vice president, either.
Article II, Section 1, Clause 5 requires that only a natural born citizen can serve as president. The Constitution clearly distinguishes between a citizen and a “natural born Citizen.” There is a special case of citizen who is also natural born. An interesting but often-ignored requirement is that one must also have “been fourteen Years a Resident within the United States.” The intent indicates an attempt to ensure allegiance to the United States by a strong connection. This was the result of continued loyalties to the British Crown among Tories and others after the Revolutionary War, where some politicians even suggesting the nation should return to a limited monarchy. The Framers thus wanted to eliminate “family influences” among our presidents.
Some may think of the Fourteenth Amendment. Even if we ignore the requirement that a person born in the country must be “under the jurisdiction thereof,” the Constitution clearly recognizes that not all citizens are eligible to be president.
Both of Harris’s parents were present in the United States under student visas when Harris was born in Oakland, California. They were not U.S. citizens at that time. A student visa requires a non-immigrant intent. That is, one must swear that they have no intent to stay. Harris’ parents appear to have lied. …. continue reading at: http://www.renewamerica.com/columns/klayman/190712
A Lesson from History. Is Simply Being ‘Born a Citizen’ (aka Born Citizen) of the United States Sufficient Citizenship Status to be President? The Founders and Framers Emphatically Decided No It Was Not! One needs to be a ‘natural born Citizen’. Adjectives mean something, especially in our Constitution. Read more in the following article.
A Civics Lesson from History. Is Simply Being Born a Citizen (Citizen at/by Birth) of the United States of Sufficient Citizenship Status to be President of the United States and Commander in Chief of Our Military? The Founders and Framers Emphatically Decided … No, It Was Not!
By: CDR Charles F. Kerchner, Jr., P.E. (Retired)
During the process of developing the U.S. Constitution Alexander Hamilton submitted a suggested draft for a Constitution on June 18, 1787. At some point, he also suggested to the framers a proposal for the qualification requirements in Article II as to the necessary Citizenship status for the office of President and Commander in Chief of the Military. Another version of Hamilton’s proposed Constitution, and which principles were stated during the convention’s deliberations per Madison notes and journal (see work of Farrand – pg 619), was given to Madison near the close of the convention for inclusion in Madison record of events for the convention. Hamilton’s proposed Constitution was not accepted.
Alexander Hamilton’s suggested presidential eligibility clause:
“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.”
Many of the founders and framers rightly had a fear of foreign influence on the person who would in the future be President of the United States since this particular office was singularly and uniquely powerful under the proposed new Constitution. The President was also to be the Commander in Chief of the military. This fear of foreign influence on a future President and Commander in Chief was particularly strongly felt by John Jay, who later became the first Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court. He felt so strongly about the issue of potential foreign influence that he took it upon himself to draft a letter to General George Washington, the presiding officer of the Constitutional Convention, recommending/hinting that the framers should strengthen the Citizenship requirements. John Jay was an avid reader and proponent of natural law and particularly Vattel’s treatise on Natural Law and the Law of Nations. In his letter to Washington he said that the Citizenship requirement for the office of the commander of our armies should contain a “strong check” against foreign influence and he recommended to Washington that the command of the military be open only to a “natural born Citizen”. Thus Jay did not agree that simply being a “born Citizen” or “born a Citizen” was sufficient enough protection from foreign influence in the singular most powerful office in the new form of government. He wanted another adjective added to the eligibility clause, i.e., ‘natural’. And that word natural goes to the Citizenship status of one’s parents, both of them, when their child is born, as per natural law.
The below is the relevant proposed change language from Jay’s letter which he proposed to strengthen the citizenship requirements in Article II and to require more than just being a “born Citizen” of the United States to serve as a future Commander in Chief and President.
John Jay wrote in a letter to George Washington dated 25 Jul 1787:
“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. “
See a transcription of Jay’s letter to Washington at this link. This letter from Jay was written on July 25, 1787. General Washington passed on the recommendation from Jay to the convention and it was adopted in the final draft and was accepted adding the adjective “natural” making it “natural born Citizen of the United States” for future Presidents and Commanders in Chief of the military, rather than Hamilton’s proposed less restrictive super-set of simply being born “born a Citizen”. Thus Article II, Section 1, Clause 5 of the U.S. Constitution, the fundamental law of our nation reads:
Article II, Section 1, Clause 5 of U.S. Constitution as adopted 17 Sep 1787:
“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.”
There you have the crux of the issue now before the nation and the answer.
Hamilton’s proposed principles for a Constitution and a presidential citizenship eligibility requirement therein requiring that a Citizen simply had to be ‘born a Citizen’ of the USA, i.e., a Citizen by Birth. See Madison’s comment in his journal of the convention re this fact in which it reports as follows: ” … Copy of a paper Communicated to J. M. by Col. Hamilton, about the close of the Convention in Philada. 1787, which he said delineated the Constitution which he would have wished to be proposed by the Convention: He had stated the principles of it in the course of the deliberations. …” — 3 Max Farrand, The Records of the Federal Convention of 1787, at 619-630 (1911) – page 619. But that citizenship status for who could be President was rejected by the framers as insufficient. Instead of allowing any person “born a citizen” to be President and Commander of the military, the framers chose to adopt the more stringent requirement recommended by John Jay via George Washington, i.e., requiring the Citizen to be a “natural born Citizen“, to block any chance of the person with foreign influence or allegiances or claims on their allegiance at birth from becoming President and Commander of the Military. No person having any foreign influence or claim of allegiance on them at birth could serve as a future President. The person must be a “natural born citizen” with unity of citizenship and sole allegiance to the United States at birth.
Jay’s proposal and recommended clause added the additional adjective of “natural” before simply being a “born Citizen” which was proposed by Hamilton. And that word and adjective “natural” means something special from the laws of nature that modifies just being born a Citizen of the USA such as being simply born on the soil of the United States. Natural means from nature by the facts of nature of one’s birth. Not created retroactively after the fact by a man-made law. A natural born Citizen needs no man-made law to bestow Citizenship on them. The added adjective “natural” comes from Natural Law which is recognized the world over as universal law and which is the foundation of the Law of Nations which was codified by Vattel in 1758 in his preeminent legal treatise used by the founders, The Law of Nations or Principles of Natural Law. In Vol.1 Chapter 19 of Vattel’s Law of Nations, the “Des citoyens et naturels“, Vattel in Section 212 explains to us (the French term “naturels” was translated to English in 1781 in the Journal of the Continental Congress and in the 1797 English edition of Vattel), to tell us that the “natural born Citizens” are those born in the country to parents (plural) who are Citizens of the country when their child is born. These are the natural Citizens of the nation per universal principles of natural law for which no man-made law is necessary to explain or justify. Such a person, a natural born Citizen, is born with unity of Citizenship and sole allegiance at birth due to having been both born on the soil AND being born to two Citizen parents. The person who would be President must be a second generation American with no foreign claims of allegiance on them at birth under the law of nations and natural law, the child of two Citizens and born in the USA. This is a much stronger check to foreign influence than simply being born a Citizen say on the soil of the USA but with one or the other parent being a foreigner, such as is the case of Obama. The situation with Obama’s birth Citizenship status is exactly the problem that the founders and framers did not want. They did not want the child of a foreign national, non-U.S. citizen serving as President and Commander of our military. This was a national security concern to them. And it is a national security concern now.
Another founder of our nation and great historian of the American Revolution named David Ramsay contemporaneously defined in a 1789 essay what the term “natural born Citizen” means. Read a copy of Ramsay’s original dissertation at this link. Other research papers from history on the term “natural born Citizen” published long before the current controversy was created by the 2008 election debacle can be read at this link. The paper by Breckenridge Long in 1916 is a particularly good one.
Barack Hussein Obama II may or may not be a born Citizen of the USA depending on what the 1961 contemporaneous birth registration documents sealed in Hawaii reveal. And Americans have good reason to be greatly concerned about the truth as to where he was physically born as opposed to where his birth may have been falsely registered by his maternal grandmother as occurring in Hawaii as this Catalog of Evidence details. But he can never be a “natural born Citizen of the United States” since his father was a foreigner, a British Subject who was never a U.S. Citizen and was not even an immigrant to the USA. Since his father was a British Subject and not a U.S. Citizen when Obama was born, Obama was born a British Subject. The founders and framers are probably rolling over in their graves knowing this person was sworn in as the putative President and Commander of our military.
The founders rejected acquisition of Citizenship by birth on the soil without consideration as to who were the parents. That is clear from the history and evolution of the writing the eligibility clause in Article II, Section 1, Clause 5, which specifies who can be President and Commander in Chief of the military.
(Jun. 25, 2019) — One of the Democrat wanna-be candidates yearning for the opportunity to get bludgeoned by President Trump in the 2020 general election is Sen. Kamala Harris. You will recall from her classless performance in the now-Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh Senate Judiciary Committee hearings, she believes that the mere allegation of a crime – and particularly a sexual assault crime – is sufficient to warrant a conclusion of guilt in the alleged perpetrator.
Due process and the presumption of innocence – let alone actual proof or competent evidence of the actual commission of a crime – are principles of law which are foreign to Democrats in general, and seemingly altogether alien to Ms. Harris in particular. Interesting trait in a lawyer…, no?
These circumstances make it all the more ironic and hypocritical – par for the course with Democrats, of course – that Harris, a former San Francisco District Attorney and California Attorney General, would now claim that, because of her “prosecutorial” experience, she is the best situated candidate among the Democrat field to “go after Trump” once she is elected to the presidency. She has even analogized her zeal to pursue President Trump with a reference to a “rap” sheet concocted against the president.
But here’s the juicy part: she recently promised a crowd of supporters in South Carolina that she would “prosecute the case against Trump on the debate stage” prior to the election, if she were the Democrats’ nominee. Please…, please…, D’s…, nominate her and put her on stage next to Trump. Your faithful servant would pay a big-time sum for tickets to be in that same room when the questions begin flying.
One of the first questions that Trump should pose to Harris (regardless of whether it is ‘on topic’ as dictated by the moderators) is this: “Are you eligible under the Constitution as a ‘natural born Citizen?’” Her answer would likely be: “Seriously? You’re going to the ‘birther’ nonsense again? Of course I’m eligible. I was born in Oakland, California.” Trump (or whoever the moderators might be) should follow up: “But when you were born, were your parents already U.S. citizens?” Her likely response: “That doesn’t matter. I have it on good authority that anyone born here, regardless of the citizenship of their parents, is a natural born Citizen.” Trump should then grin and say: “Prove it.”
P&E readers, you see where this is going, right? As your faithful servant has attempted to explain over the years, it was the demonstrable intent of the Founders, for anyone willing to see, to absolutely restrict eligibility to the office of the “Chief Magistrate” – the President – to a “natural born Citizen,” and only to someone who met the criteria for same. That restriction, adopted by the Founders in Art. 2, § 1, Cl. 5 of the Constitution, was taken from § 212 of The Law of Nations, the seminal work of one Emmerich de Vattel, a 17th Century jurist and philosopher. In order to be a “natural born citizen,” as opposed to a “native born citizen” or a “naturalized citizen,” both of one’s parents must be, at the moment of the person’s birth, citizens of the country where the birth occurs.
DeVattel’s work, as recognized by the U.S. Supreme Court, was continually in the hands of the Founders as they labored over the drafting of the Constitution and was the work “most widely cited in the 50 years after the [American] Revolution.” See United States Steel Corp. v. Multistate Tax Commission, 434 U.S. 452, 462, n.12 (1977).
As it turns out, Kamala Harris was born to a Tamil Indian mother, Shyamala Gopalan Harris, and a Jamaican father, Donald Harris. Given that one Barack Hussein Obama II continues to refuse to remove the dark cloud of constitutional ineligibility still hanging over his usurpation of the presidency, Ms. Harris might expect similar problems.
Bear in mind, Monsieur Obama’s “original Hawaiian birth certificate,” thought by many to be (and likely in reality) a computerized forgery, listed his father as being a citizen of Kenya, not the United States. Thus, even if the .pdf image of a document posted to the Internet which he claims is his “real deal” birth certificate were treated as “authentic,” he would still have been ineligible. The fact that his mother (some would even question that “fact”) was a U.S. citizen in 1961 is irrelevant: because his father was never a U.S. citizen, he was, as we say “from the get-go,” ineligible to hold the office of the president. The fact that he occupied the office illegitimately merely recognizes that he “got away with it.” So far…, that is.
Returning to the eligibility of Ms. Harris, because the available public records fail to confirm that both her mother and her father were, on October 20, 1964, naturalized U.S. citizens, her eligibility remains very much in doubt. The several deeply flawed and deceitfully structured Congressional Research Service (“CRS”) Memos and Reports from 2009, 2011 and 2016, seeking to prop up the purported (but false) legitimacy of Monsieur Obama as a natural born Citizen, will not help her. Memo to P&E readers: as noted here, the 2009 CRS “What to Tell your Constituents… Memorandum” has been scrubbed from the Scribd.com website and is no longer accessible there, but you can learn about what it said here, here and here. [Editors note: I have updated the link from “2009” in the upper part of this paragraph to a working URL to see the 2009 CRS Memo.]