32 votes

Natural- born citizen defined

FACT: The US Constitution requires the president to be a NATURAL-BORN CITIZEN
FACT: John Jay wrote a letter to George Washington suggesting the requirement be made
FACT: The description of natural-born citizen was derived from Vattel's work, Law of Nations § 212
FACT: In the SCOTUS decision, The Venus, 1814, Justice Marshall defines 'natural-born citizen' using Vattel's work, but in his own words saying, (#123) 'Vattel, who, though not very full to this point, is more explicit and more satisfactory on it than any other whose work has fallen into my hands, says, '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 indigenes, are those born in the country, of parents who are citizens. Society not being able to subsist and to perpetuate itself but by the children of the citizens, those children naturally follow the condition of their fathers, and succeed to all their rights.'

FACT: During the 2nd Session of the 37th Congress in 1862, Mr Bingham defined 'natural-born citizen' on the House floor and NONE disputed his definition. To the nest of my knowledge, NO ONE has ever disputed this definition on either the House or Senate floor since, so the definition of 'natural-born citizens' remains as such (as per last sentence of this paragraph):
"The Constitution leaves no room for doubt upon this subject. The words "natural-born citizen of the United States" occur in it, and the other provision also occurs in it that "Congress shall have power to pass a uniform system of naturalization." To naturalize a person is to admit him to citizenship. Who are natural-born citizens but those born within the Republic? Those born within the Republic, whether black or white, are citizens by birth - natural-born citizens. There is no such word as white in your Constitution. Citizenship, therefore, does not depend upon complexion say more than it depends upon the rights of election or of office. All from other lands, who, by the terms of your laws and a compliance with their provisions becomes naturalized, are adopted citizens of the United States; all other persons born within the Republic, of parents owing allegiance to no other sovereignty, are natural-born citizens." (emphasis mine)
To read for yourself, click on link below, click pp 961-1920, type in 1639 in box next to 'Turn to image', click on 'Turn to image'. The above quote is in column 1, paragraph 3.

I would advise everyone to print the image of that page before they 'disappear it'.

I do not know what more proof is needed. It is clear - a natural born citizen is a child born of TWO parents of the same citizenship. This is 'jus sanguinis' not 'jus soli'. It is our duty to know our laws so none pervert them.

Cruz is INELEIGIBLE to be President and so is Obama but in this lawless country no one seems to know how to rectify the latter problem.

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Yeah, I'm totally saying we should interpret Vattel's argument about the father's citizenship as if we all lived in the 18th century and had an 18th century view of the role of women and therefore his mother's citizenship is completely irrelevant.

^^^purple font :-)

You don't like the 18th Century ...

... then you don't like the Constitution, either.

If you don't want to follow the law (Constitution is the #1 law), then that's fine by me.

None of us should follow any laws, by your logic. If we can't follow the highest law of the land, then let's ignore all of them.

Yet the 14th amendment would

Yet the 14th amendment would expressly prohibit government from granting that right to fathers and withholding it from mothers.

Plan for eliminating the national debt in 10-20 years:

Overview: http://rolexian.wordpress.com/2010/09/12/my-plan-for-reducin...

Specific cuts; defense spending: http://rolexian.wordpress.com/2011/01/03/more-detailed-look-a


So if I don't think that 18th century views on women's roles in society are valid today, then I must not like anything about the 18th century, and must therefore not like the Constitution? Wow.

I do want to follow the Constitution, thank you very much. I object to people making stuff up about what it means. I object to people quoting the part of Vattel that seems to support their argument out of context, omitting the rest of it, and I object to people pretending that some statement made on the House floor carries any weight of law at all, etc.

None of us should follow any laws? Sheesh.

Poorly Structured Arguement

You argument is invalid for a few reasons.

1) Words spoken on the floor of the house or senate are not binding in law in the least.

2) The passage quoted is invalid in logical terms since it is incomplete, stating two cases which fail to encompass all possibilities: a) All from other lands and b) all others, born within the Republic of parents with no foreign allegiance.

3) You own evidence implies that there are ONLY two possibilities:
- Natural Born
- Naturalized

Given #3 the president can be anyone who was born a US citizen -- that is a citizen that was not naturalized.

Once you realize

the sole intent and purpose of the law is to naturalize an alien condition existing prior to or at birth which is exclusive of and does not apply to a natural born condition everything makes perfect sense.

There is no other purpose or intent of any citizenship law than naturalizing an alien condition. There is no law to naturalize a natural born condition because natural born conditions are mutually exclusive to alien conditions.

The only power delegated in the constitution is to establish rules of naturalization which is the establishment of rules operating on aliens to confer citizenship. The law surgically performs and operation to remove any alien defects and viola ... they become citizens. :)

Ted Cruz, The NAU President

Ted Cruz Born in Canada from Cuban Father, educated in Yale Princeton Harvard, Texas Senator home of the NAFTA Super Highway makes him the ideal North American Union Presidente.

“In the beginning of change, the patriot is a scarce man, and brave, and hated and scorned. When his cause succeeds, the timid join him, for it costs nothing to be a patriot.”

Mark Twain

Actually, I don't care if he

Actually, I don't care if he runs or doesn't run. He'll be easily knocked out of the contest early in the process and neither politicians, nor the public really care about whether or not the Constitution is followed "as long as they get theirs."

If Americans really believed in this country and our Constitution, a huge number of us/them would've either rioted in the streets or voted en masse to take Washington back years ago. Abstract notions of "freedom" and "liberty" are meaningless to people until it's absence or restriction impacts something personal. I suppose this is why already persecuted and marginalized people such as Greenwald or Paul (who regularly ignore the larger societal norms of playing along to get along) it affects more directly.

not just two parents, you

not just two parents, you ALSO have to be born on the land of the republic

I have read the text of the

I have read the text of the constitution. Where do you find reference to having to be born on American soil? I suspect this is just an inaccurate meme that is going around.

Natural born citizen (NBC) is a legal 'term of art'

that must be studied and understood in the context of what it meant to the founders and ratifiers of the Constitution in 1787-1789. A "term of art" is a technical word or phrase that can only be understood within its field of specialty, in this case the "law", that cannot usually by understood by simply applying the common meaning or usage to each word.

The founders were familiar with the writings of Emmerich de Vattel, specifically his treatise "The Law of Nations" (some of them read and understood it in the original French) which defined the legal term of art, NBC, as children born in the country to citizen parents. This term of art and its definition were cited and adopted in several Supreme Court cases, including Minor v. Happersett in 1875, which definition was essential for its findings and ruling in the case and therefore became binding LAW and precedent for all subsequent Courts.

Minor was cited by the Court its 1898 Wong Kim Ark decision, which case recognized Minor's definition of NBC, but determined Ark's CITIZENSHIP in light of the 14th Amendment and not the NBC clause in Article II, Section 1 because ARK, unlike Minor, was NOT an NBC. Minor's definition of NBC has been cited in other Supreme Court cases, both before and after its ruling in 1875. It has never been overruled and remains law in the US until the Supreme Court overrules itself or until the NBC portion of Article II, Section 1 of the Constitution is amended by the people.

Are you a POT or a PET - Person Embracing Tyranny?

This is my understanding

since forever.

BOTH parents AND born in the U.S.

Natural Born means there is no possibility of another country claiming you as a citizen at your birth. For that to be the case BOTH parents must be citizens AND you must be born in the U.S. All other combinations make you a naturalized citizen with all rights and priviledges as a natural born citizen except being eligible to be president.


"Natural Born [citizen] means there is no possibility of another country claiming you as a citizen at your birth."

It means nothing of the sort. It means "citizen-by-birth" as opposed to naturalized which means "citizen-by-process"

The constitution makes this distinction...

"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".

"[Congress shall have the power]To establish an uniform Rule of Naturalization"

If citizenship is granted at birth, as in the case of a single US citizen giving birth over-seas or a child being born of illegal aliens in the US, they are natural born (citizen at birth).

Naturalization ...

... does not mean "citizen by process."

Naturalization INCLUDES citizen by process as ONE way to obtain US citizenship for those who are not born on US soil.

Naturalization ALSO INCLUDES an act of Congress uniformly granting US citizenship at birth to certain classes of people.

Congress COULD pass a law that says that anyone born on December 1st is a US citizen, and anyone in China or Brazil or Sudan or anywhere else born on December 1st would be a US citizen, granted uniformly by Congress. Such a person would be a US citizen at birth by way of naturalization law.

Congress did not pass that law, but they did pass a law uniformly granting US citizenship to anyone born on foreign soil to US citizens in the military. The parents still have to go through a process to fill out paperwork to make the claim.

If any person is born on foreign soil, they are not citizens by birthright. They can be citizens at birth if they meet one of the rules Congress has set up to grant citizenship.

Only those born on US soil are citizens by birthright -- if parents are not both citizens then the 14th Amendment makes the child a citizen; if both parents are, then the common law makes them natural born citizens.

"US citizen" is NOT the same thing as a "US citizen who is also a natural born citizen."

Correct, the important

Correct, the important distinction of NBC is birthright via common law, not naturalization ...

Try reading the Constitution.

The only requirement is that a person is a natural born citizen. This means if you receive citizenship automatically by being born, you are a natural citizen. If you have to acquire it because you do not posses it, then you have to become naturalized.

My son was born on foreign soil, to a foreign woman, and issued a foreign birth certificate from the hospital. His father (me)is an American. He is american, because my american sperm produced him. He did not need to ask to become a citizen. He was born one. He is a natural U.S. citizen. Also, as much as I hate Obama, It wouldn't matter if he was born in Kenya, his mother is American, and that makes him American.

"American sperm"

i hear the American sperm gets inferior mileage and has more plastic in the interior.

"Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the the universe."-- Albert Einstein

The only way ...

... for your son to be a US citizen at birth is if you were in the military when he was born.

Congress has uniformly granted US citizenship to such people, under Title 8, Section 1401(g) of the United States Code.


Congress would not have to pass such a law if such a person was automatically a citizen at birth. The only way he became a citizen at birth is through an act of Congress, and then only because you were in the military at the time.

If he was born on foreign soil, he does not acquire US citizenship by birthright, but does through a naturalization act of Congress.

However, he is not a natural born citizen, and he is not eligible to be president.

I am a vet but I was not in

I am a vet but I was not in the military at the time. In all the piles of crap people have put on here, your point is the only one that made sense. The point about needing to have a law to make a military person's child natural.

Oh, well my son probably wasn't going to be President anyways. I prefer him having dual citizenship. As a dual citizen of the Philippines, he can own property there. An acre of beach front paradise can be purchased as low as $25k, coconut trees and all. Also, a guy can live like a king there on a poverty income as compared to the states.

you missed the law that

doesn't allow the automatic citizenship of a child whose citizen parent is under 18 at the child's birth. So clearly, if a person is born outside the U.S. they have to have a act of congress granting them citizenship. as such that person is a naturalized citizen and not natural born. This why the location of Obama's birth IS important for him to even be a U.S. citizen at birth since his mother could not pass citizenship to him under the law at the time of his birth. So Obama is a naturalized citizen (assuming he was born in Hawaii).

Cyril's picture

That is my understanding, too.

That is my understanding, too.

One of my sons was born in CT and has a natural born citizen mother, while I am a permanent resident "alien".

I understand he is a naturalized citizen "only", and I will raise him with the understanding he will likely never be reckoned the eligibility of running for any of the presidence or vice presidence offices.

But I'm curious, am I right understanding if one of his kids is born on U.S. soil from a natural born or naturalized citizen mother, then that child of his and her will be natural born citizen nevertheless, despite the naturalized citizen status of either or both parents?


"Cyril" pronounced "see real". I code stuff.


"To study and not think is a waste. To think and not study is dangerous." -- Confucius

Your son is not eligible ...

... but his children will be if their mother is a citizen (no matter how she obtained it), and they are born within the United States.

Cyril's picture

Thank you. Works for me.

Thank you.

Works for me.

"Cyril" pronounced "see real". I code stuff.


"To study and not think is a waste. To think and not study is dangerous." -- Confucius

Your son

is already eligible. But you raise a good point. According to liberty4us your son could continue your genealogy line for several generations all within the U.S. and never gain eligibility if one of the parents was always naturalized. That makes no sense.

not what I said at all

the method of the parents gaining citizenship is immaterial. they can both be total foreigners and immigrated here then became citizens. As long as they are citizens prior to the child's birth then that child is a natural born citizen with citizen parents at birth and born in the U.S.



Are you a POT or a PET - Person Embracing Tyranny?

Your understanding

is not the legal interpretation.

it is the correct interpretation none the less

you can piss on the constitution but I will not

You're the

one pissing on the Constitution by thinking your "understanding", not being any appointed justice, is what we should all go by.

the constitution is plain english

I don't need a justice to tell me what plainly written words mean.