Conwell: Who or What is a Natural Citizen?
A case much of the media has ignored took place in a Georgia court the last week in January. Judge Michael M. Malihi subpoenaed President Obama to appear in his court to determine whether or not the president was indeed eligible to be on Georgia’s November presidential ballot. To appear on the ballot, one must be a natural citizen.
Now, this “natural citizen” thing has been around over 220 years in Section I, Article II of the constitution. And I might add, for over 220 years, its exact meaning has never been defined.
Obama isn’t the first sitting president to face this question. Chester Arthur faced it. Having been born in Panama Canal Zone, John McCain’s natural born citizenship was questioned as has been current hopeful, Mitt Romney, because his father was born in Mexico.
So it is nothing new.
Craig Andresen reported in the “National Patriot” that the Georgia case involved whether or not Obama was a natural citizen under the articles of the Constitution. If not, his name would not be on the Georgia ballot this coming November.
I’m no constitutional scholar. In fact, I do well to even spell “constitution,” but in reading the applicable section of that article, I have a feeling the Georgia court is really just whistling into the wind.
The germane section 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.” It goes on to mention the fourteen years residency and thirty-five age requirements.
So, Judge Michael M. Malihi subpoenaed the president, a move itself unusual, but legal.
Promptly at nine o’clock the day of the trial, the judge, wrote Andresen, called the attorneys into his chambers. Obama’s attorney, Michael Jablonski of Atlanta, did not show up, nor did his client, the president himself.
Seems like when Obama received the subpoena, he told his attorney, Michael Jablonski of Atlanta, to take care of it. Jablonski, make several efforts to shut down the case, from asking it to be dismissed to arguing the state could not determine who would or would not be on a ballot.
The court dismissed the arguments, so Jablonski wrote the Georgia Secretary of State stating the case was not to be heard and neither he nor the president would show up.
Brian Kemp, Georgia’s Secretary of State, replied that Jablonsi was free to do as he wished, but he would do so at his “client’s peril.”
So, they did not appear, and so the court was called to order.
Obama’s birth certificate was entered into evidence as well as his father’s birthplace, Kenya East Africa. Evidence confirmed his father’s passport had been revoked and that he was a non-citizen of the United States.
So far, this is nothing new.
But then came testimony regarding the definition of “Natural Born Citizen” from a Supreme Court opinion in 1875, Minor v Happersett.
At that time, the attorney pointed out that the 14th Amendment does not alter the definition of the meaning “natural born.” The point is, says the attorney, to be a natural born citizen, one must have two parents who at the time of birth, are citizens.
Now this last statement does not appear (at least I couldn’t find it) in Minor vs Happersett. That case was about a woman, Minor, wanting the right to vote.
So, what is a Natural Citizen, one parent or two? I can’t find a definitive answer anywhere.
What did the framers of the constitution have in mind? (which is no grounds for any kind of decision)
Hstory will give us a hint.
In 1787, John Jay suggested to George Washington, presiding officer of the Convention, that “we should provide a strong check to the admission of Foreigners into the administration of our government and declare the Commander-in-Chief shall be held only by a natural born citizen.”
You see, we had just won our independence and Jay wanted to be sure no outside influence would put us back under English rule.
Various opinions have been offered regarding the expression’s meaning. The Congressional Research Service has stated that “any child born in the U.S., other than to foreign diplomats serving their country; the children of US citizens born abroad; and those born abroad of one citizen parent who has met US residency requirements are natural born citizens.”
The Congressional Research Service is Congress’s A”think tank,” composed of 900 individuals or various disciplines.
No question, Obama’s mother was a citizen. That seems to satisfy the “one citizen parent” in the CRS’s statement, but, the fact CRS made the interpretation does not make it law.
There is no law defining natural citizen.
It’ll be interesting to see if indeed Obama’s name will be on the Georgia ballot, but whether it is or not, information that turned up during testimony made me do a double take until I started double-checking. (never accept words as gospel)
A state licensed PI hired to look into Obama’s background discovered the SS number he used in 1979 was fraudulent. The number showed the card owner was born in 1890. That same number came up with addresses in Illinois, Washington D.C. and Massachusetts. The latter was a surprise for according to testimony, the year it was issued in Massachusetts, Obama was living in Hawaii.
Snopes disputed this.
The testimony goes on and on from out-of-sequence serial numbers on birth certificates to different verification signatures on certificates at the time of his birth.
This was also disputed by Snopes, yet I’ve even read where Snopes has been disputed as the right hand of George Soros, but Snopes disputed that also.
Talk about crazy! How nice would it be to have the capability of disputing your own indictment, whether justified or not?
The next witness, an expert on information technology and photoshop, testified the birth certificate Obama provided is layered. This indicates that different parts of the certificate have been lifted from more than one document.
I could find nothing disputing the previous paragraph. Not even on Snopes.
This trial caused several knee jerks among various states. Alabama, Massachusetts, and Obama’s own state, Illinois are blocking his name on the ballot until they get some kind of verification of his citizenship.
I’ve no idea what comes next, but it’ll be interesting to see how it all unfolds.
You tell me, what would happen if a state refused to put a sitting president on its ballot?