Media Repression on the Question of What is a “natural born Citizen”?

Very clearly there is a distinction between a “natural born Citizen” and a naturalized citizen—they are not the same. Consistently, the notion of natural born Citizens implied that both parents would need to be citizens of the same country in order for their child to inherit the citizenship through natural law. More importantly, the father, leading the wife’s citizenship and identity meant that their child would perpetuate the loyalties and identity of the model citizen to uphold the Republic envisioned by the constitutional Framers.

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By Monica Morrill | February 15, 2016

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Many people at the center of power are arrogantly swimming in their pool of ignorance.

The media is currently the focus of this scrutiny. They have encouraged mud-slinging not as a sideshow but as the main event; it’s a modern political gladiator game. Except this time the only willing spectators are sitting in the media section, jeering at the candidates to see who will take the first blow, and who will finally be defeated, exiting the arena. Two weeks ago it was Martin O’Malley, Rand Paul and Rick Santorum. Last week it was Chris Christie and Carly Fiorina.

It’s simply media repression, and the root cause has been discovered. It comes from a virus. But the worst part is that we are deep in the middle of election flu season. Simply ignoring historical research or not reporting on the facts is the virus (the lie) being transferred from the carrier (the Press) and injected into the mind of the host (the Voter). To be fair, some carriers and hosts have better resistance to the “virus” than others. Nonetheless, during the primary elections, it’s time for an immunity boost (historical facts).

Presidential and Vice Presidential Eligibility

Firstly, most media outlets will not publish the discussion of presidential or vice presidential eligibility, and neither are they willing to invest in the minimal research. One editor wrote after a submission, “We’re not considering citizenship pieces unless they deal with the exact language on the matter contained within the U.S. Code, which is the overarching legal authority on the matter.” The need to source the U.S. Code is patently false.

Candidates emphasize on the election platform, “Our nation is built on laws,” so it’s best to begin with a solid source from the U.S. Legislative Branch: the Office of the Law Revision Counsel (OLRC) for the U.S. House of Representatives. This author received exclusive correspondence from the Assistant Counsel, regarding a question on presidential eligibility and the U.S. Code, who wrote on February 8, 2016:

The Code doesn’t contain exact wording on this. It is Article II, sec. 1, cl. 5 of the Constitution that provides the qualifications for president. The Government Publishing Office has a version of the Constitution with some analysis.

https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/GPO-CONAN-REV-2014/pdf/GPO-CONAN-REV-2014-9-3.pdf

A related section of the Code is 8 U.S.C. 1401, but this section doesn’t specifically address the presidency. The office of the President is covered in Title 3 of the Code, but there isn’t a section on qualifications.

For constitutional issues, you would have to search for court cases that interpret Article II, sec. 1, cl. 5.

Hence, an adventure in court decision history would need to be pursued. However, scholars and Professor of Law at University of San Diego, Michael Ramsey, who is writing an academic paper on The Original Meaning of “Natural Born” might benefit from referencing the U.S. Government Publishing Office (GPO) source as suggested by the OLRC.

Article II, section 1., clause 5 of the U.S. Constitution reads, “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.” Professor Ramsey correctly observes that there are, “two categories of eligible citizens (albeit only one relevant in modern times): (1) persons who are natural born citizens, and (2) persons who were citizens of the United States when the Constitution was adopted.”

Thus, quoting the content in the U.S. GPO link above recommended by the OLRC, it officially states on pages 453 and 454 under clause 5 “Qualifications” of the president that:

All Presidents from Martin Van Buren on were born in the United States subsequent to the Declaration of Independence. The principal issue with regard to the qualifications set out in this clause is whether a child [singular] born abroad of American parents [plural] is “a natural born citizen” in the sense of the clause. Such a child is a citizen as a consequence of statute [8 U.S.C. § 1401]. Whatever the term “natural born” means, it no doubt does not include a person who is “naturalized.” Thus, the answer to the question might be seen to turn on the interpretation of the first sentence of the first section of the Fourteenth Amendment, providing that “[a]ll persons born or naturalized in the United States” are citizens. Significantly, however, Congress, in which a number of Framers sat, provided in the Naturalization act of 1790 that “the children of citizens of the United States, that may be born beyond the sea,…shall be considered as natural born citizens…” This phrasing followed the literal terms of British statutes, beginning in 1350, under which persons born abroad, whose parents were both British subjects, would enjoy the same rights of inheritance as those born in England; beginning with laws in 1709 and 1731, these statutes expressly provided that such persons were natural-born subjects of the crown. There is reason to believe, therefore, that the phrase includes persons who become citizens at birth by statute because of their status in being born abroad of American citizens. Whether the Supreme Court would decide the issue should it ever arise in a “case or controversy”—as well as how it might decide it—can only be speculated about. (Emphasis added).

The Naturalization Act of 1790 became the first and only U.S. statute to use the term “natural born citizen” providing the right of citizenship to children born abroad whose father must have been resident in the United States. Very clearly there is a distinction between a “natural born Citizen” and a naturalized citizen—they are not the same. Consistently, the notion of natural born Citizens implied that both parents would need to be citizens of the same country in order for their child to inherit the citizenship through natural law. For more on natural law or “Laws of Nature,” the motivation for The Declaration of Independence, and the foundation of all Constitutional laws, please refer to Oliver DeMille’s We Hold These Truths to be Self-Evident.

The “Father,” Inheritance, and Sovereign Loyalty Under Natural Law

Secondly, legal theory would have presumed that married women during the eighteenth century were absorbed or subsumed by the husband’s identity. Therefore, the woman’s legal personality would have merged with her husband, as her individual legal identity was lost, and the husband/father and wife/mother became “one” as a family. So when the term “father” is being used in that context, it refers to the father and mother, because they are united.

Thus, the focus relating to “natural born Citizen” has less to do with location of birth. Clear all geography from one’s mind, as geography was a factor prior to the Declaration of Independence, when the location of the child’s birth made them a natural born “subject” to a monarch or potentate, but later the legal claim of subjects expanded to the child of subjects, even if they were born outside the sovereign territory to subjects of the monarchy. The notion of “natural born Citizen” superseded geography and was rather from parental (the father being the head of the family) inheritance. More importantly, the father, leading the wife’s citizenship and identity meant that their child would perpetuate the loyalties and identity of the model citizen to uphold the Republic envisioned by the constitutional Framers.

With clause 5 in mind and official U.S. government commentary, here is the nation’s U.S. Citizenship nomenclature according to J.B. Williams, who has used numerous resources at the North American Law Center:

1) NATURAL BORN CITIZEN – “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…The country of the fathers is therefore that of the children; and these become true citizens merely by their tacit consent.” This is the Natural Law understood by the Founders in Article II of the U.S. Constitution as described in de Vattel’s The Law of Nations. Natural Born Citizenship status is inherited at birth and cannot be taken away or granted.

2) NATIVE BORN CITIZEN – All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside (The 14th Amendment definition for “citizen,” Section 1).

3) NATURALIZED CITIZEN – The legal act or process by which a non-citizen of the U.S. may acquire citizenship or nationality of the U.S. It may be done by a statute, without any effort on the part of the individual (e.g. – anchor baby), or it may involve an application and approval by legal authorities, (e.g. – a Consular Report of Birth Abroad (CRBA) form filed with the U.S. State Department at the time of birth). This also includes “anchor baby” or “citizen at birth” born in the U.S. or abroad, under the 14th Amendment.

4) UNDOCUMENTED – Any person who is not natural born, native born, or otherwise naturalized as a legal citizen of the United States, is also known in U.S. law as an “illegal alien.” (Individuals in the U.S. via a VISA, or visiting on vacation, or with other written consent of the U.S. Government, are here “legally,” but are NOT “citizens.”)

The above four terminologies are not interchangeable. Each description is completely distinct from the other with strong historical justifications. Defining a “natural born Citizen” is well documented in previous court cases, and can be elaborated further in future discussions.

In fact, Benjamin Franklin wrote a letter to Charles Dumas on December 9, 1775, which was requested and approved by the committee of foreign correspondence appointed by the American Congress, John Dickinson and John Jay (men who were at the very foundation of the U.S. Supreme Court). Franklin thanks Dumas for the timeliness of the gift of three copies of Emer de Vattel’s book The Law of Nations in the original French. Franklin’s letter is an essential link connecting the influence of de Vattel on the Framers of the Constitution, particularly John Jay, one of the first U.S. Supreme Court Justices, regarding the subject of citizenry and the distinction of “natural born Citizen.” It’s worth noting here that de Vattel lived in surroundings heavily influenced by Republicanism, whereby the citizen had the power over government, in Switzerland, not as a subject under a monarch as in other European countries. Franklin writes to Dumas:

…I am much obliged by the kind present you have made us of your edition of Vattel. It came to us in good season, when the circumstances of a rising state make it necessary frequently to consult the law of nations. Accordingly, that copy which I kept, (after depositing one in our own public library here, and sending the other to the college of Massachusetts Bay, as you directed) has been continually in the hands of the members of our congress, now sitting, who are much pleased with your notes and preface, and have entertained a high and just esteem for their author…

While Professor Ramsey painstakingly covers a variety of legal historic backgrounds in his 36-page academic working paper, he doesn’t include the above crucial correspondence by Franklin to Dumas. However, interestingly, Ramsey highlights that there is evidence, that “natural born Citizen” had its origins with John Jay, then Secretary of Foreign Affairs (also future Federalist co-author and Supreme Court Justice), who was not at the Convention. Jay wrote a letter on July 25, 1787 to the chair of the Convention George Washington, more than twelve years after John Jay and others would have acknowledged de Vattel’s book, suggesting:

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.

Jay’s subtle warning of requiring a natural born Citizen as the requirement for eligibility for the Commander in Chief was adopted at the Constitutional Convention without objection. From all reasonable evaluations, only a citizen who fits the number one explanation above is constitutionally eligible for POTUS. “No person except a natural born Citizen…shall be eligible to the Office of President” (Article II, section 1, clause 5 of the U.S. Constitution). The only exception is for those who were alive at the time of the Constitutional adoption in 1789, because they became “citizens” by virtue of the foundation of the Republic.

The 2016 Presidential Campaigns

J.B. Williams adds that, “Marco Rubio, Bobby Jindal, and Nicki Haley all fall under number two above, they are ‘native born citizens’ under 14th Amendment naturalization. None of them are ‘natural born’ U.S. Citizens.”

According to Williams, Cruz’s eligibility is a very special case, “Ted Cruz (born Rafael Edward Cruz) falls under the number four term above – ‘undocumented’ – unless Cruz proves otherwise. Ted Cruz resides in the United States without any U.S. citizenship documents at all. Rafael Edward Cruz is a ‘native born citizen’ of Canada at birth in 1970. Ted Cruz maintained his legal Canadian citizenship from birth, until he renounced that citizenship in May of 2014. No U.S. citizenship papers of any type, bearing Ted Cruz’s identity, have been made public. Only his proof of Canadian citizenship has been made public. At the very best, Ted Cruz ‘might’ be a ‘naturalized’ citizen of the United States, if any U.S. documentation to authenticate this is ever made public.”

It’s rather ironic that Cruz scolded the Press at the Republican presidential debate in Boulder, Colorado last October 28th. Cruz highlighted that manipulating the debate is, “why the American people don’t trust the media.” The CNBC debate also illustrated the dearth of relevant discussions on the political platform. The list of insulting questions toward the candidates was nothing short of infantile jesting, even Frat style initiation methods intent to embarrass and provoke shocking moments. The moderators have become provocateurs in action, not to ask what is, but usually what they want the audience to see – their bias. No truth, just distractions.

But Cruz is just as culpable of assuaging the truth. Observers already suspect that self-verifying could also mean destroying the truth, as the time and method of Cruz’s U.S. citizenship has come into question. It appears he’s become like the government of Iran, promising to self-inspect where necessary by declaring himself eligible to run for POTUS. If Cruz is pursuing the “art of the possible” he has reached a new realm of “imaginable” in politics.

The fact is that most in the media have lowered their standards to what some may call the “salesmanship” of used politicians, particularly when the media and entertainment sold Obama as the ideal candidate in 2008. By 2012 there were ‘no returns accepted’ on Obama and now, they are desperate to justify their bias, even if that could mean Bernie or Hillary pick up the torch for the Democrats, and Rubio or Cruz to seize the nomination for the Republicans. Because if the Press investigated the truth about Rubio or Cruz’s eligibility, they would ultimately reveal that they neglected their constitutional role in their Republic in 2008 in vetting Obama – pursuing the relevance of what a “natural born Citizen” means.

Will the Citizens Keep Their Republic?

A virus, a disease, whatever one wants to call it, the Press is unraveling America in the worst possible way. But the good news is that striking back at the Press in Americans’ lifetime has never been more opportune.

The Founding Fathers’ intention in the First Amendment was to encourage the Press’ role to present the facts and ideas by candidates so that voters can make a responsible decision on Election Day. Endowed with the freedom of speech, voters must also be held accountable for their choices, and they must hold the Press accountable to report the facts.

The media has instead twisted Presidential Debates into a spectator sport of epic proportions. Videos and commentary of the debates are shown to amuse crowds, extrapolating a completely different message to diminish the seriousness: “Bad Lip Reading,” “Comedy Central,” or the children’s mock version of the debate, for good humor, of course. But there is nothing funny about Hillary having her own private e-mail account to receive and send highly classified information, endangering U.S. national security. There is nothing funny about watching America on the brink of another Civil War. There is nothing funny about lying and hiding the truth about anything remotely as serious as the eligibility of the next president. This ultimately undermines the Republic and minimizes the accountability of the electorate and their duty to choose worthy candidates.

The media has failed to do its job – it’s time for the people to hold the Press accountable. Some U.S. citizens might even need to create the relevant questions to the future leaders of America: How many presidential candidates are actually eligible to run for POTUS? Potentially fewer than were on the ballot for the primaries in New Hampshire on February 9th.

Where are the facts or the evidence of media research? One shouldn’t have to write this article, the professional media should be doing this. But now it’s finally time to submit a truth request to the media on the presidential candidates. A few facts have been shared, now it’s high time the media gets over their sickness.


Monica Morrill is a Geographer focusing on government regulation and policies. She co-authored the book BETRAYED: The Shocking True Story of Extortion 17 as told by a Navy SEAL’s Father. Ms. Morrill is also a contributor to SFPPR News & Analysis.