Leo Donofrio: “The Propaganda Ponies of the Fourth Estate”

The Connecticut version of the Obama “natural born citizen” cases is before the Supreme Court for conferencing today. The title is, Wrotnowski v. Bysiewicz, docketed here. Cort Wrotnowski is a Greenwich CT attorney store owner (see comment below) and Susan Bysiewicz is Connecticut’s Secretary of the State. Leo Donofrio is the New Jersey attorney whose own case Donofrio v. Wells was declined a hearing before SCOTUS last week. Donofrio has assisted Wrotnowski in strengthening this case.

In his blog, Natural Born Citizen, Donofrio takes the press to task for their failure to recognize what this suit is about: namely, the removal of the ineligible candidates (Obama, McCain, Calero) from the ballot because they fail the “natural born citizen” test and not because of their various places of birth. Donofrio fires off this salvo:

This week has been quite enlightening as to the blatantly obvious fact that our “Fourth Estate” press corps have been transmogrified into propaganda ponies polly wanna crackering whatever may be handed down to them from “The One Corporation – your source for everything…” (cue eery theme tune). They don’t report the news anymore. No. Now they tell you what they want the news to be. There’s a huge difference.

For the record, my law suit was brought to remove three candidates from the ballots – three candidates who have big Constitutional issues as to their eligibility.

At the time of his birth, Obama was a British/Kenyan citizen by descent of his father. Because I pointed out pesky international laws which governed his citizenship due to the fact that a father has every legal right in the world to have the laws of his nation apply to his son, I have been labeled a conspiracy freakoid of nature.

Never mind that I included demands for Panama John McCain and the Nicaraguan born Roger Calero to also be removed from our ballots. No, they don’t want to talk about that do they – because it would blow the “he’s just another Obama hater” mantra clear out of play.

A citizen (me) raised the Constitutional issue of first impression as to the meaning of “natural born Citizen” in Article 2, Section 1, of the United States Constitution – that ultimate pesky legal document for those who would rather “be” the law instead of following it.

What are the Fourth Estate propagandists worried about? Thou doth protest too much. Me thinks so. Why? Because the law is against their man – it indicates Barack Obama is not a natural born Citizen of the United States. And most of the media pundits have basically agreed by default. I say this because when yelling and mocking the issue, their main argument is not that the law is on their side (they know it isn’t), but rather that the law shouldn’t be discussed at all.

The gist of Donofrio’s argument regarding Barack Obama:

Like it or not, rich or poor, great or strong, Democrat or Republican, Obama was born under the jurisdiction of Great Britain via Kenya. There is nothing conspiratorial about saying that. Obama has it posted on his own web site. It’s this very definition which I included in Cort’s Wrotnowski’s brief. Here’s what it says at Obama’s web portal, Fight The Smears:

When Barack Obama Jr. was born on Aug. 4,1961, in Honolulu, Kenya was a British colony, still part of the United Kingdom’s dwindling empire. As a Kenyan native, Barack Obama Sr. was a British subject whose citizenship status was governed by The British Nationality Act of 1948. That same act governed the status of Obama Sr.‘s children. (Emphasis added.)

There it is. Obama is telling you his status was “governed” by a foreign jurisdiction. This is no theory. This is a fact.

Propaganda-Ponies-of-4th-Estate

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16 Responses to “Leo Donofrio: “The Propaganda Ponies of the Fourth Estate””

  1. TJ Says:

    Nice fair article. I’d like to make one correction though. Wrontowski is a store owner and not a lawyer. He’s just average Joe citizen whose looking out for the Constitution.

  2. Cris Ericson Says:

    Please sign this petition
    to demand that
    all candidates
    who appear on the official election ballot
    should be invited
    to every
    candidate debate and forum.

    If every candidate
    who appeared
    on the official election ballot in 2008
    had been invited
    to every debate and fourm,
    then it is very likely that
    Mr. Obama
    would NOT have won.

    http://petitiononline.com/SINjames/petition.html

  3. steadyjohn Says:

    Thanks for the correction; it will be noted.

  4. smrstrauss Says:

    What will you do if this case gets thrown out too?

    It is an interesting and plausible theory that “natural born” where the president is concerned means something more than the usual meaning, which is born in the USA.

    But if the Supreme Court does not act, it is only a plausible theory.

  5. steadyjohn Says:

    smrstrauss You find the “natural born” theory “interesting and plausible” as applicable to the president (also to the Vice President btw). As you point out this may well be thrown out by SCOTUS. In that case I assume defenders of the Constitution will have to focus on possibly fraudulent documents submitted by Obama, i.e birth certificates and selective service registration.

  6. Ted Says:

    The consequences of the Supreme Court declining to address the US Constitution’s “natural born citizen” clause on the morning of Monday 12/15/08 — thereafter enabling the College of Electors to transform the crisis from “law” to “political and Congressional”, leading to the ‘inauguration’ of Mr. Obama, are nothing less than catastrophic. Lawsuits by members of the military challenging his ‘commander in chief’ status are INEVITABLE. And a military takeover to oust the “usurper” may be inevitable as well. Where is the media? This is no “tin foil hat” joke.

  7. smrstrauss Says:

    This just in:

    Court won’t review Obama’s eligibility to serve
    25 minutes ago

    WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court has turned down another appeal arguing Barack Obama is ineligible to be president because of his citizenship.

    The challenge by Cort Wrotnowski of Greenwich, Conn., was denied Monday without comment.

    Wrotnowski argued that Obama was a British subject at birth and therefore cannot meet the requirement for becoming president.

    He wanted the high court to halt presidential electors from meeting to formally elect Obama as president.

    Echoing an appeal that was rejected by justices last week, Wrotnowski said that since Obama had dual nationality at birth — his mother was American, his Kenyan father was a British subject — he cannot possibly be a “natural born citizen.”

  8. smrstrauss Says:

    Re: “possibly fraudulent documents submitted by Obama, i.e birth certificates and selective service registration.”

    Only the birth certificate has any relevance to his taking office.

    IF the selective service registration were forged, that would be a crime that would require impeachment. You are not going to get a majority of the heavily Democratic new House of Representatives to impeach, much less two-thirds vote of the Senate. Moreover, neither house would be listening to bloggers, but only would take action if the US military were to declare the document forged (which isn’t likely.)

    So, let’s concentrate on the birth certificate. Logically, there would be no point in forging it unless Obama were born somewhere else than in Hawaii. The fact that he may have changed his name while in Indonesia does not affect the location of birth. Moreover, a name change in a foreign country is not relevant to US law. If he changed his name under US law, that might affect perceptions, but you would not find out about the name change from an original birth certificate in any case.

    So, what is the evidence that Obama was born in Kenya (or anywhere outside the USA for that matter)? Well, there is allegedly the grandmother’s tape, but I listened to the edited version of that, and you couldn’t tell even within that version that the grandmother really understood the question. After all, what does “present” mean? I was present during the Cuba Missile Crisis, but that does not mean that I was present where the decisions were being made. Some have said that what she said was “present in the operating room,” but that is not true at all. She did not say that. She merely replied “yes” when asked whether she was present when Obama was born.

    The longer version of the tape makes it even less likely that the grandmother (and she is actually a step grandmother) was present at the hospital where Obama was born. I did not listen to it because I couldn’t find the full version. But Slate did listen to it, and this is what it reported:

    “None of that stopped Berg from stoking the conspiracy theorists. On Oct. 16, an Anabaptist minister named Ron McRae called Sarah Hussein Obama, the president-elect’s 86-year-old paternal step-grandmother, at her home in Kenya. Two translators were on the line when McRae asked if the elder Obama was “present” when the president-elect was born. One of the translators says “yes.” McRae contacted Berg and gave him a partial transcript of the call with a signed affidavit. He opted not to include the rest of the call, in which he asks the question more directly—”Was he born in Mombassa?”—and the translators, finally understanding him, tell him repeatedly that the president-elect was born in Hawaii.”

    Of course, you may not believe this. Slate may be lying, the two translators may be feeling Kenyan government pressure. But this opens another can of worms. Under the conspiracy theory BOTH the Kenyan government and the Health Department of Hawaii must be hiding vital information about Obama’s birth.

    Kenya, we have been told, has “sealed” Obama’s birth records. But actually only Corsi and WND has ever said this. WND has also reported that Hawaii’s governor (a Republican) had ordered Obama’s birth records to be sealed, but again only WND reported this, and the Health Department has denied it, saying that all birth records in Hawaii are sealed, which is of course the case.

    Let’s get back to the Kenya side. There are allegedly other statements by relatives that are quoted as saying that Obama was born in Kenya, but these are not even as good as the tape recording of the grandmother. Only WND has these statements.

    Then there is the absence of confirming information from Kenya. If Obama’s mother had gone to Kenya, surely she would have been photographed with her inlaws. Why no photographs? Ah, because of the conspiracy, you may say. The Kenyan government has presumably rounded up all the photographs, just as it has sealed all the files. But that doesn’t quite ring true. If the grandmother and (according to WND) other relatives said that Obama was born in Kenya, then they could have said something along the lines of: “We had photographs to prove it, but the government made us turn them in.” But they didn’t say anything like that, and of course they didn’t show any photographs.

    Making it even more unlikely is the necessity of two things both having to occur: (1) Obama’s mother gave birth in Kenya, and (2) for some reason she was not proud of giving birth in Kenya. For, if she had given birth in Kenya, she would most likely told lots of her friends about it (after all, it was a very interesting thing to discuss), and yet do not have any friends coming forward saying “Yes, I remember. She told me about giving birth in Kenya when we were studying in College.” Or, if Obama’s mother had told Obama that he was born in Kenya, then he most likely would have told friends when he was in school in Hawaii, but none of them have come forward saying that he told them anything.

    So, there really isn’t any evidence that Obama was born in Kenya.

    Next, is there any evidence that he was born in Hawaii? Yes, there is the official Hawaii document, the certification of live birth, which says on it three times that Obama was born in Hawaii, and which the officials have confirmed on the basis of saying that they saw a birth certificate in the file.

    Some critics have said that this was an attempt to mislead because the officials did not say that they saw a Hawaii birth certificate in the files, and hence the birth certificate they saw could really have been a birth certificate from Kenya.

    What they do not realize is that Hawaii law does not allow the issue of a certification of live birth that says “born in Hawaii” to someone who was not born in Hawaii. This takes a bit of discussion because there have been some blogs claiming that Hawaii law does allow this. They quote Hawaii Revised Statute 338-178 which allows registration of birth in Hawaii for a child that was born outside of Hawaii to parents who, for a year preceding the child’s birth, claimed Hawaii as their place of residence.

    Yes, but this does not say that the document can LIE about the place of birth. The law does NOT allow a lie in a birth document.

    Yes. Hawaii Revised Statute 338-178 allows the issue of a Hawaii birth document to children who were not born in Hawaii. That means that the parents can get a document from Hawaii that certifies that their child named X was born at X time and that they are the parents. But, although this is a Hawaii birth document, it CANNOT say that the child was born in Hawaii unless the child was born in Hawaii. It has to say, “Hawaii Certification of Live Birth. Location of birth: Kenya (or New York for that matter).”

    Why can’t it say “Location of birth Hawaii?” Because (1) that would be lying; (2) the law simply does not say that the parents can claim a location of birth in Hawaii to someone who was not born in Hawaii (and it would have to go into details as to how they could select which location [county, island, city] they could claim as the location, which it doesn’t); (3) if Hawaii allowed persons who were not born in Hawaii to get Hawaii documents that said that people who were not born in Hawaii were born in Hawaii, the document would not be accepted by the US state department as evidence that the person was born in Hawaii for issuing passports (and, the US State Department DOES accept Hawaii certifications of live birth as proof of birth in Hawaii and issues passports to those persons).

    So the document in the file cannot be a Kenyan birth certificate (or one from Indonesia or Mexico or Krypton), and thus the officials were not misleading when they said they saw a birth certificate in the file as confirmation that Obama was born in Hawaii.

    That being the case, there IS documentary evidence that he was born in Hawaii and no evidence that he was born in Kenya (or anywhere else for that matter).

  9. steadyjohn Says:

    smrstrauss:

    “IF the selective service registration were forged, that would be a crime that would require impeachment…..but only would take action if the US military were to declare the document forged (which isn’t likely.)”
    You are quite correct that would be a crime and also that impeachment would be unlikely. Btw, the U.S. military has no jurisdiction over Selective Service documents.

    “Only the birth certificate has any relevance to his taking office.”
    OK, so why is Obama going to extraordinary lengths to keep the B.C. contents secret? There is a body of research that purports to show that the B.C. that popped up on the web, after questions were raised, is a forgery. http://polarik.blogtownhall.com/

    The important thing to remember about the Hawaii official is that she confirmed that an original certificate was on file but she did not confirm its contents. I am not interested in Obama’s place of birth; that may very well be irrelevant. I insist that we are entitled to know more about this person who is about to become POTUS. There is a reason why he is revealing nothing about his past save what we are privileged to read in his autobiography. His college years are a total mystery; we find nothing written by him during the entire period except an unsigned piece in the Harvard Law Journal.

    “So, let’s concentrate on the birth certificate. Logically, there would be no point in forging it unless Obama were born somewhere else than in Hawaii.”

    If you refer here to the ‘vault sealed’ B.C. I don’t know of anyone claiming that it is a forgery; as to the one on the internet, see above.

    “What they do not realize is that Hawaii law does not allow the issue of a certification of live birth that says “born in Hawaii….born in Hawaii. It has to say, “Hawaii Certification of Live Birth. Location of birth: Kenya (or New York for that matter).”

    I don’t know who is disputing that, certainly not I. The only important issues about the original B.C. are the place of birth, father’s name, mother’s name, hospital, attending physician etc. But again, I must repeat; Obama doesn’t want us to know those facts. I have a feeling there is a question as to who really is his father and that is what must remain a secret.

    You belabor the Kenya business; I think that’s irrelevant and that is Donofrio’s opinion as well.

    “there IS documentary evidence that he was born in Hawaii”

    Sorry, there IS NOT!

  10. smrstrauss Says:

    OK, so why is Obama going to extraordinary lengths to keep the B.C. contents secret?

    What are the “extraordinary lengths?” If you mean he is opposing the Andy Martin case that seeks to open the file, we don’t even know to what extent Obama is involved in that case. The State of Hawaii is opposing opening the file.

    It turns out that the only birth document that Hawaii will issue these days is the Certification of Live Birth. So you cannot say “why doesn’t he post the original?” or “why doesn’t he post the vault copy?” Why not? Because he cannot get them. All he can get is the certification.

    Re: It is forged. Baloney. Get someone impartial to say it is forged and someone might believe you.

    Here’s a conservative from Hawaii who says very clearly it is NOT forged.

    A posting from Andrew Walden, publisher of the Hawaii Free Press, a right-wing blog based in Hawaii.

    http://www.hawaiifreepress.com/main/ArticlesMain/tabid/56/articleType/ArticleView/articleId/92/Barack-Obama-Born-in-Hawaii.aspx

    Barack Obama: Born in Hawai`i
    by Andrew Walden
    |
    It is time to focus on REAL issues, not imaginary ones.

    A fairly impressive internet industry has sprung up claiming that Obama was born in either Kenya or Indonesia. This is nonsense, which distracts from the broadly unexplored story of Obama’s upbringing. This kind of nonsense has emerged because the McCain campaign chose not to raise the many questions about Barack Obama’s numerous hard-left alliances. Barack Obama was born in Hawai`i, August 4, 1961 at Kapiolani Medical Center in Honolulu.

    Obama’s birth certificate posted online is exactly the same birth certificate everybody in Hawai`i gets from the State Department of Health. It is not forged. There is nothing unusual about the design or the texture. In addition to the birth certificate, the August 13, 1961 Honolulu Advertiser also carries an announcement of Obama’s birth. The Honolulu Star-Bulletin also carries the same announcement. Both papers require submission of a copy of the birth certificate to print a birth announcement.

    End Quote

    Re: The important thing to remember about the Hawaii official is that she confirmed that an original certificate was on file but she did not confirm its contents.

    Hawaii cannot issue a certification of live birth that says “born in Hawaii” to someone who was not born in Hawaii. That would be illegal. It can issue a Hawaii birth certificate, but the place of birth must be wherever it was. Therefore, the original birth certificate in the file must be a Hawaii birth certificate. It cannot be from Kenya or any other place, because it it were, and the Hawaii officials said “it is a birth certificate” without saying that it is a non-Hawaii birth certificate, they would be saying that the COLB which says “born in Hawaii” was telling the truth, when it would be lying. They would thus be lying, and why should they?

    Re: “The only important issues about the original B.C. are the place of birth, father’s name, mother’s name, hospital, attending physician etc. But again, I must repeat; Obama doesn’t want us to know those facts.”

    As I said, you cannot get an original birth certificate from the Department of Health in Hawaii any more. All that they will issue is the COLB, and that shows what it shows in Obamas’ case. It does not show the hospital or the doctor. Well, that’s too bad, but that is all that they issue.

    How do I know? I asked them, and they replied:

    Quotes

    It is possible that we have records with more information but we issue only certified computer-generated certificates with certain necessary information to confirm a birth. We are the only agency that issues certified birth records for Hawaii
    Aloha,
    (Name removed)
    End Quote

    Re: “You belabor the Kenya business; I think that’s irrelevant and that is Donofrio’s opinion as well. ”

    The Donofrio case was thrown out by the Supreme Court, as was the other one today. They both are based on interesting theories, but they are only theories. The Supreme Court must take the case or cases and find that the theories are valid before they have any weight of law.

    You can continue to believe those theories, like the folks who believe that the last king of Scotland escaped the battle, or Anastasia survived the execution of the Czar and his family. But why join the flat-earth theorists?

    Re: If you refer here to the ‘vault sealed’ B.C. I don’t know of anyone claiming that it is a forgery; as to the one on the internet, see above.

    Yes I agree, it cannot be forged since it has never been shown. But as I said, Obama cannot get it.

    My point was that the only reason Obama would have for forging a birth document would be if he was NOT born in the USA, but the vault sealed copy MUST show that he was born in the USA, since Hawaii cannot legally issue a Certification of Live Birth that says “born in the USA” to someone who was not born in the USA.

    Re: “His college years are a total mystery.” That was an issue for the election. So we elected someone who didn’t release all the information about himself. Big deal. There have been elections in which convicted felons are returned to Congress (Adam Clayton Powell) and as mayor (Curley of Boston) and almost as Senator (Alaska). We have a right to vote for felons and for people who don’t tell everything about themselves, and while you may feel that McCain was the better of the candidates, it’s too late to change the result of the election.

  11. Ned Says:

    This comment is for Cort Wrotnowski. Since I don’t have his contact info, I cannot email him directly.

    Cort,

    I am posting some discussions that originated on the http://www.obamacrimes.com website with my comment that I posted at the following location:

    http://www.obamacrimes.us/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=31:open-comments&catid=1:open-comments&Itemid=3&cpage=3600#comment-9843

    You and/or Donofrio may want to consider filing a Writ petition, since as per this discussion and as also confirmed by Lisa, Berg’s assistant your Writ petitions are still alive and they may also be able to help you prepare the Writ.

    Jay…re: standing in SCOTUS
    written by Ned, December 16, 2008

    Jay,

    I would like to respond to your comment regarding standing of the plaintiffs in all these cases pending before the SCOTUS. You may notice one thing about all these lawsuits, i.e. the SCOTUS has not yet denied the Writ of Certiorari petition on any of these lawsuits, due to the plaintiffs not having standing. Mr. Berg’s writ is still pending in the SCOTUS. The SCOTUS denied Leo Donofrio’s stay application that was filed pending the filing and disposition of the Writ of Certiorari, by him, but it appears that Leo has yet to file the Writ application in the court . The stay application was denied without any comment and his standing was not questioned. So, I believe, if Leo were to now submit the Writ petition, it would still stay pending until the Election process is completed with the Congress counting the Electoral College votes. After that, the Supremes will decide whether to conduct a judicial review and address all the pending Writ applications. Just my 2 cents .

    BTW, Leo seems to have all but given up on his lawsuit. Can someone from this forum (maybe Phil or Lisa) contact him and point this out to him that his Writ of Certiorari is yet to be filed and is considered pending at the SCOTUS? I tried to convey this message to him via PlainsRadio, since I don’t have his contact info. Leo’s SCOTUS docket is available at the following location:

    http://origin.www.supremecourtus.gov/docket/08a407.htm

    Interestingly, Wrotnowski’s petition was just a stay application and was not filed pending the filing of a Writ of Cert. So, maybe he can also file a Writ, but it will probably have to be a new case. His docket is available at the following link:

    http://origin.www.supremecourtus.gov/docket/08a469.htm

    Can someone comment on the proper legal procedures to file the Writs for the above 2 cases?
    ———————————————————————————————-

    Ned
    written by bergs assistant, December 16, 2008

    A Petition for Writ of Cert is a form of appeal and must be done within so much time. It is an extremely expensive process and has to be procedurally correct. It is not easy and most firms take 30-60 days to prepare one. They are a lot of work, a lot! The stays in both Cort’s and Donofrio’s case were not even granted review. Their theory of law was far different than ours. Not saying ours will get granted, but we sure hope so. We also have an emergency stay before Justice Kennedy so we are waiting to see what happens with that. As for our Petition for Writ of Cert, we should be calendared for conference sometime this week.

    ———————————————————————————————-

    Ned
    written by bergs assistant, December 16, 2008

    To give you a better example of a Petitin for Writ of Cert, you have to file an original in odd form with 40 copies to the US Supreme Court. We spent thousands of dollars just in printing and having them bound. If Donofrio or Cort want to contact me, I would be happy to help them, but again our theory of law is far different. I can give them the process and tell them exactly how it must be put together.

  12. smrstrauss Says:

    Would Benedict Arnold have been eligible to be president?

    It seems a silly question. No one that I know would vote for the notorious traitor. But would he be CONSTITUTIONALLY eligible? Is there anything in the constitution that would bar Arnold, or any other traitor from running for and winning the presidency of the United States? Maybe there should be. But that does not answer the question. The question is whether there is anything in the Constitution that would bar a traitor from becoming president.

    It is worth asking because proponents of the theory that “natural born” citizenship requires more than birth in America say that they do so because the writers of the constitution were sensitive to the question of divided loyalty. They say that the born-in-America definition of “natural born” is good enough for creating one obvious way of becoming a citizen, but in order to be president one must be both born in America and the result of parents who also are US citizens. And they say that the reason for the additional requirement is that the writers of the constitution were concerned about divided loyalties.

    But is that really the case?

    The writers could simply be using “natural born” in the common way that it is used in citizenship law, which is a citizen who has not been naturalized. To eliminate the possibility that the writers of the constitution were using “natural born” in the common way requires passing two tests.

    (1) You must show why, if the founders or the writers of the 14th Amendment (which some theorists hold actually narrowed the requirements for president) really meant that children of foreign nationals are not eligible, didn’t they say: “Children of foreign nationals are not eligible”? Or, more directly, why didn’t they say that “persons with divided loyalty are not eligible?”

    (2) You must show that the founders or the writers of the 14th Amendment were concerned about divided loyalty at all. And, since there is no mention of traitors being barred, this seems most unlikely.

    Concerning (1): It should be noted that most of the proponents of the theory that “natural born” means more than the commonly used definition of “natural born” also hold to the theory that judges cannot read theories into definitions or extrapolate theories from “penumbras” of the constitution. Thus there is no such thing as the Right of Privacy, they hold. Yet, they also hold that “natural born” in this context means something more than either born in the USA or not naturalized. This may be true, but to prove that it is true without interpreting the meaning in context cannot be done. In other words, “natural born” does not of itself mean the ordinary meaning PLUS something. Of itself, it means the ordinary meaning and ONLY the ordinary meaning.

    And (1) cannot be overcome without proving (2) which is that the original writers or the writers of the 14th Amendment were really concerned about divided loyalty when they used the terms “natural born citizen.”

    But (2) clearly fails the historical test. It fails overwhelmingly. We know that the writers of the Constitution were familiar with the Revolutionary War. Many had fought in it. They were aware that some native born Americans, called Tories, had fought against the revolution, and after July 4th 1776, the Tories fought against the United States of America. Yet the Constitution does not bar Tories from becoming president, nor are traitors such as Benedict Arnold barred.

    Sure, maybe they should be barred. But the writers of the Constitution did not think it necessary to impose a higher barrier to their becoming president than the common-sense barrier — which is that traitors are unlikely to be elected.

    The same holds in the 14th Amendment, which was passed shortly after the Civil War. During that war quite a few Americans fought against Union forces who were carrying the US flag, and yet the only ones that the 14th Amendment bars from ANY office under the federal government are those who not only fought against the USA (or gave aid and comfort to the enemies of the USA) but had previously taken an oath to support the Constitution.

    In other words, of literally hundreds of thousands of Confederate soldiers and sailors and millions who gave them aid and support, only the ones who had previously sworn to support the Constitution were barred from federal office. An ordinary Johnny Reb remained eligible to hold any federal office, and that includes the presidency.

    In case there is any question, here is the text:

    “No person shall be a Senator or Representative in Congress, or elector of President and Vice-President, or hold any office, civil or military, under the United States, or under any State, who, having previously taken an oath, as a member of Congress, or as an officer of the United States, or as a member of any State legislature, or as an executive or judicial officer of any State, to support the Constitution of the United States, shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof. But Congress may by a vote of two-thirds of each House, remove such disability.”

    And even the great rebels, Jefferson Davis, the members of his cabinet and the great Confederate generals, even if they had taken oaths to support the Constitution and despite their key roles in the rebellion, would be eligible to hold federal office, including the presidency if a two-thirds vote of both houses removes the disability. Granted that a two-thirds vote of each house is a tough thing to get, but it is considerably less than a Constitutional Amendment, which would be two-thirds of each house plus three-quarters of the states.

    After reviewing this history, namely that the original writers of the Constitution did not specifically mention divided loyalty in barring persons from becoming president, nor did they exclude traitors and Tories. Also, that the writers of the 14th Amendment did not bar most Confederates from becoming president, we can certainly doubt the theory that a concern over divided loyalty existed. If it did not exist, how can such a concern be used to prove that the term “natural born citizen” means something more than “not a naturalized citizen?”

    To be sure WE may believe that a person with divided loyalty should not be president, and we have the right to vote against him or her, but we cannot know that the Constitution bars such persons from being president.

    The Constitution appears to bend over backwards to allow everyone who is a natural born citizen, over the age of 35 and who has resided in the USA for 14 years to be eligible to be president. It does not bar felons from being president. It does not bar atheists. It does not bar drunks or imbeciles or persons carrying loathsome diseases. For a time, large groups of people were excluded. Blacks were not eligible to be president until they became citizens, and that was not until the 14th Amendment on a federal basis (some states acted earlier). American Indians. I believe, did not become citizens and hence eligible to become president until, I think I read, the 1930s.

    But Benedict Arnold was always eligible. This surely disproves any historical argument that “natural born” means something more than the common-language term. (Some legal readings of natural-born for citizenship purposes hold that it is only persons born in the USA. Others hold that it is this group plus persons born of two US citizens even if born outside the USA, and some others hold that under some circumstances even the child of one US citizen can be “natural born.” No common definition excludes persons born within the USA simply because one parent is not a citizen).

    In fact, I have read (please check me) that six presidents so far have had at least one parent born outside US territory and who was not a US citizen at the time of the future president’s birth, and this includes Andrew Jackson, who had two parents who were not citizens at the time of his birth.

    Granted, he was born in US territory before the Constitution, but if the writers of the Constitution had wanted to exclude Jackson or people like Jackson, they need not have simply said: that they allowed “a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution” (The comma is generally regarded as misplaced). They could have said “ a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution EXCEPT where the parents were not citizens of the USA.”

    The list of presidents whose parents at the time of birth were not US citizens that I have seen is:

    a) Thomas Jefferson (English mother)

    (b) Andrew Jackson (Scots-Irish parents emigrated from Northern Ireland);

    (c) James Buchanan (Irish father)

    (d) Chester Arthur (Irish father)

    (e) Woodrow Wilson (Scottish mother);

    (f) Herbert Hoover (English-Irish mother).

    There can be quibbles in the case of Jefferson and Jackson because prior to 1776 all who were born in America were as British as Jefferson’s English mother and Jackson’s Scots-Irish parents. But not quite. Colonies already had rules about who were citizens of the colonies for the purposes of voting in colonial elections or in some cases holding land.

    It is difficult to argue that a “natural born citizen” excludes Herbert Hoover, but some theorists say that the term applies only to persons whose FATHER was not a citizen.

    But that raises the question why should only fathers affect the allegiance of their children? Historically, perhaps, you might argue that old laws passed on the line on the father’s side, and old laws confered citizenship based on the father’s side. But if so, then what is being discussed is the concept of legal allegiance, not real allegiance. If a father passes on allegiance, and not the mother, what we are talking about is a legal concept, not whether the child really is taught that his allegiance is to X country or Y country. The theory holds that the child has allegiance to his father’s country even if there has been a divorce and the child is under the custody of his mother, who is likely to teach him to have allegiance to her country. This may be legal, but it is not what really affects the allegiance of adults after such an experience.

    And, if you really support this theory, then you hold that the writers of the constitution were concerned about the lack of “legal” allegiance and not a real lack of allegiance. But we know that this is not true. We know that they were practical men. Moreover, the basis of the entire theory that “natural born” means something other than its common use is that the writers of the constitution were concerned about divided loyalty—that means they were concerned about REAL divided loyalty, not legal divided loyalty.

    If the Constitution allows even traitors to be elected, why should it bar infants, who themselves are so far neither patriots or traitors, but whose parents are not citizens, from being elected president when they become adults? Surely, if the writers of the constitution were concerned about a REAL lack of allegiance, and not a legalistic lack of allegiance of an infant, they would have written about adults and not about infants. In other words, they would not write “natural born citizen” and assume that interpreters of the phrase knew that they meant “born in the USA AND not of divided loyalty.” They would write “born in the USA and not of divided loyalty at the time of the election.” They would mean divided loyalty to refer to the condition of the adult and not to that of the infant.

    Obamas’ case makes this clear. Obama had dual nationality at the time of birth. He lost his British citizenship because it expired. (Some hold that he still holds dual Indonesian citizenship, though this is moot since the Indonesians did not seem to be claiming it when they invited him to make an official presidential visit after the inauguration.) The point, however, is that the infant’s loyalties do not affect policy, while adult’s loyalties do affect policy. Therefore to talk about “natural born” as including divided loyalty but only the divided loyalty of the child at birth, is an impractical thing, which the writers of the Constitution would not be concerned about. It is hard to argue that “natural born” also excludes persons who have dual citizenship which occurs after birth, as in Obama’s Indonesian side, because the term refers only to birth.

    In short, the strict constructionists of the constitution are not going to vote for “natural born” as meaning more than the commonly used concept of “not naturalized,” and the liberals on the court are not going to vote for it either.

    It would be best, therefore, for the folks who believe that Obama is not eligible, to go back to their original attempts to prove that he was born outside of the USA or that he lost his citizenship. Both are extremely unlikely, but they are less unlikely than that writers of the constitution who allowed even Benedict Arnold to become president meant to exclude children of dual nationals when they wrote “natural born.”

    • steadyjohn Says:

      To smrstrauss: I appreciate your comments; obviously you have devoted considerable research to the issue. I have not had time to reply to some of your earlier posts for which I apologize. According to what you say, and what others have said, the “natural born” test is a dead end and a non issue. I tend to agree.

  13. smrstrauss Says:

    CORRECTION:

    Correction: It is difficult to argue that Herbert Hoover was not a “natural born citizen” and that the definition excludes Herbert Hoover. He was born in the USA but his mother was not a citizen. However, some “natural birth” theorists say that Herbert Hoover can be considered a natural born citizen because the exclusion from natural birth for a foreign parent applies only to persons whose FATHER was not a citizen.

  14. smrstrauss Says:

    Re: According to what you say, and what others have said, the “natural born” test is a dead end and a non issue. I tend to agree.

    For sure. I just thought of another argument against it. According to the “natural birth” theory a person inherits the “allegiance” of his father at birth. Or some say, inherits the allegiance of both parents, but if one is not a US citizen, then that means divided loyalty.

    Well, that is like saying that if my father was a Baptist at the time of my birth, then I inherit the religion of the Baptists and must remain a Baptist all my life. Or, at the very least, that it influences me in later life.

  15. Eligibility Movement About Love Not Hate: Day 43 - March2, 2009 « The Usurpation Chronicles Says:

    […] the year journalism in the United States died. The press has become, in the words of Leo Donofrio, The Propaganda Ponies of the Fourth Estate. At the time of his birth, Obama was a British/Kenyan citizen by descent of his father. Because I […]

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