Natural Born Citizenship: It’s Not Where You Are Born, but How

In January 2016, Congressman Alan Grayson said he would sue Senator Ted Cruz (R-Tex) over his eligibility to be President.   Grayson told MSNBC that he would sue over Canadian-born Cruz's natural-born citizen status if the senator ever became the GOP nominee.  Why?  “Because the Constitution means what it says and says what it means.”  In February 2016, Presidential Candidate Donald Trump jumped into the fray and said he was “very seriously” thinking about filing a suit to challenge Ted Cruz's eligibility to be President.  Senator Cruz’ father was Cuban-born; his mother was American.  “He was born in Canada, lived there for years.”  Presumably, Mr. Trump’s suit would have sought to determine if his competitor was a “natural born citizen” as stipulated by the U.S. Constitution. 

Article II of the U.S. Constitution states: “No person except a natural born citizen ... shall be eligible to the Office of President.”

Congressman Grayson and Mr. Trump’s threats of a lawsuit seemed to suggest Senator Cruz’s birthplace in Canada—and that alone—would render him ineligible to be President of the United States.  However, apparently only Democrats and the media are sufficiently credentialed to make the determination of defining the constitutional phrase, “No person except a natural born citizen….”

Where a Presidential candidate was born is not a de facto eligibility disqualifier for the Office of President.  Senator John McCain was born to American parents while his father served in the U.S. Navy in Panama.  Had he been elected, he would have been the first President born outside the 50 states.  Senator Mitt Romney’s father was born in Mexico, and the elder Romney’s eligibility to run for President in 1968 was hardly questioned.  George W. Romney was born of American citizens living in a Mormon Church colony in Chihuahua, Mexico.

What is going on here?   Contrary to what the Democrats and the media have reported over the last eight years, with respect to the eligibility of the Office of President, as demonstrated above, it’s not where you are born but how you are born.  Any discussion of the somewhat ambiguous Article II eligibility requirements for the Office of President, during the 2016 election season, conveniently ignored any discussion of Barack Obama’s eligibility.   He’s already President.  At this point, what does it matter?

There has been no finer display and execution of media malfeasance and political disinformation than that of the eligibility of Candidate Barack Obama to be President.  During the 2007 election cycle, Democrats and the media buttressed his eligibility to be President with an unrelenting campaign that having been born in Hawaii automatically made the Candidate Obama—a child of a Kenyan national—a “natural born citizen” of the United States.  Newspaper and magazine articles steered away from discussing how the son of a Kenyan national could be the next President of the United States.  He was born in Hawaii and that was sufficient.

The Left despises the U.S. Constitution and the Founding Fathers.  From the Federalist Papers and the discussions at the time of the ratification of the U.S. Constitution, a Natural Born Citizen was never defined by the location of where a baby was born.  From the Signing to today, those three words have “always been a little obscure due to the lack of any single authoritative source to confer in order to understand the condition of citizenship the phrase recognizes.”  The Federalistblog provides the best background on the topic.  “One universal point most all early publicists agreed on was natural-born citizen must mean one who is a citizen by no act of law. If a person owes their citizenship to some act of law (naturalization for example), they cannot be considered a natural-born citizen. This leads us to defining natural-born citizen under the laws of nature – laws the founders recognized and embraced.

Under the laws of nature, every child born requires no act of law to establish the fact the child inherits through nature his/her father’s citizenship as well as his name (or even his property) through birth. This law of nature is also recognized by law of nations. Sen. Howard said the citizenship clause under the Fourteenth Amendment was by virtue of “natural law and national law.”

The advantages of Natural Law is competing allegiances between nations are not claimed, or at least with those nations whose custom is to not make citizens of other countries citizens without their consent. Under Sec. 1992 of U.S. Revised Statutes (1866) made clear other nation’s citizens would not be claimed: “All persons born in the United States and not subject to any foreign power, excluding Indians not taxed, are declared to be citizens of the United States.

Rep. John A. Bingham commenting on Section 1992 said it means “every human being born within the jurisdiction of the United States of parents not owing allegiance to any foreign sovereignty is, in the language of your Constitution itself, a natural born citizen.” (Cong. Globe, 39th, 1st Sess., 1291 (1866))”  *From the Federalistblog.

Did not Barack Obama Senior owe his allegiance to the foreign government, that country which is now Kenya?  Unable to secure U.S. citizenship through a marriage of convenience, he returned to Nairobi, without his wife and child.  The parents of John McCain and George Romney did not owe allegiance to any foreign sovereignty—both mother and father swore allegiance to and were Americans.  Those four American parents could recite the Pledge of Allegiance and they knew to turn to face the flag when they did.

If not for Democrat Party propaganda and media disinformation, what made Barack Obama eligible to be President in the first place?  The President’s father, BHO senior, was a British then a Kenyan national.  Like the United States of America, the Brits and Kenyans have constitutions outlining the laws of the land.  And like every country on the planet, the Kenya Constitution has firm “citizenship by birth” requirements: A person is a citizen by birth if on the day of the person’s birth, whether or not the person is born in Kenya, either the mother or father of the person is a citizen.  

Simply, Barack Obama II, with a Kenyan father and an American mother, was born under two constitutions, where one parent owed allegiance to a foreign sovereignty.  It’s not where you are born that counts to be eligible to be the President of the United States but how you are born.  What nation doesn’t recognize citizenship of children born to their own citizens wherever they may be?  Some countries have constitutionally-mandatory military service requirements of its citizens even when they are born abroad. 

If anyone had cause to sue over the eligibility issue regarding running for the Office of the President, it was Senator John McCain.  To have the question of what constitutes “natural born citizen” answered once and for all, Senator McCain should have taken Senator Barack Obama to court; to the Supreme Court.  McCain vs Obama.  Dozens of Americans have tried to sue President Obama over his eligibility to serve as President but failed; they had no “standing.”  Regarding standing, only another presidential candidate would have a case to sue another presidential candidate.  See Bush vs. Gore. 

Although there were issues with the candidacy of Senator Obama—could they overcome the constitutional hurdle of eligibility—could they also negotiate the other hidden political landmine: the candidate’s religion.  Democrats and the media refused to engage in a discussion about the religion of President Obama’s father, that he’s a Muslim.  To do so would enter uncharted territory.  Isn’t a child born of a Muslim also a Muslim?  Senator McCain turned himself into a pretzel anytime someone brought up this issue at a townhall meeting.

With the Republican candidate capitulating early on the tough issues of constitutional eligibility and Muslim-by-birth, the Democrats were emboldened.  Their candidate wasn’t a Muslim but a member of the Trinity United Church of Christ led by the Reverend Jeremiah Wright.  All they had to do was skirt the U.S. Constitution through strong-arm politics, propaganda, and disinformation. 

Senators McCain and Obama, all of Congress, Democrats far and wide, as well as the media knew of the constitutionally-mandated eligibility requirements for President.  For the Democrats, the media, and the Candidate Obama, it was a game of chicken.  Would the Maverick McCain call their bluff or would he fold?  I submit, Barack Obama would not have been able to withstand the challenge.  It would have required unsealing his sealed record history during discovery.  Immigration documents.  Passports.  College applications.  I suppose, afraid of being called a racist for bringing a lawsuit against an apparently ineligible candidate, however “transformative” he may be, trumped truth, justice, and the American way. 

Out of 350 million people living in America, only Donald Trump was able to get President Obama to respond to the cries that there was something wrong with the President’s eligibility, and the White House released his birth certificate, however bogus that document appears to be.  American Thinker ran several articles on the issue.  1, 2, 3, 4, and others.

Little has been written on why the Candidate Trump mocked the senior Senator from Arizona.  I submit Mr. Trump’s issues with Senator McCain stem from the senator’s cowardly and abject failure to sue the Candidate Obama.  If Senator McCain thought he was being noble by not challenging the bona fides of Barack Obama, he was not only sadly mistaken but wrong.  It was an easy case to win.  Senator McCain did not uphold his oath to uphold and defend the U.S. Constitution against a usurper of the Constitution.  So much for being a Maverick.

And on the issue of allegiance.  Many on the Right have tried to make the case, using his own words from “The Audacity of Hope,” that President Obama would “stand” with Islam and Muslims “should the political winds shift in an ugly direction.”  It’s hard to defend a man whose daily words and actions can be easily interpreted as being overly sympathetic to Islam and Muslims, to the detriment of America and Americans. 

I think the Founders got it right; to avoid any split allegiance to another country or a religion, candidates seeking the Office of the President need to demonstrate they are Americans first, born of Americans, that they love this country, and that they will do whatever is necessary to protect and defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic.  Our President is not doing any of that.  He is not and never has been on the side of America. 

Only one candidate today is on the side of America.  And he demonstrated no fear to sue another candidate who may not have been eligible to run for President. 

Mark is the author of espionage thrillers Special Access and Shoot Down. 

In January 2016, Congressman Alan Grayson said he would sue Senator Ted Cruz (R-Tex) over his eligibility to be President.   Grayson told MSNBC that he would sue over Canadian-born Cruz's natural-born citizen status if the senator ever became the GOP nominee.  Why?  “Because the Constitution means what it says and says what it means.”  In February 2016, Presidential Candidate Donald Trump jumped into the fray and said he was “very seriously” thinking about filing a suit to challenge Ted Cruz's eligibility to be President.  Senator Cruz’ father was Cuban-born; his mother was American.  “He was born in Canada, lived there for years.”  Presumably, Mr. Trump’s suit would have sought to determine if his competitor was a “natural born citizen” as stipulated by the U.S. Constitution. 

Article II of the U.S. Constitution states: “No person except a natural born citizen ... shall be eligible to the Office of President.”

Congressman Grayson and Mr. Trump’s threats of a lawsuit seemed to suggest Senator Cruz’s birthplace in Canada—and that alone—would render him ineligible to be President of the United States.  However, apparently only Democrats and the media are sufficiently credentialed to make the determination of defining the constitutional phrase, “No person except a natural born citizen….”

Where a Presidential candidate was born is not a de facto eligibility disqualifier for the Office of President.  Senator John McCain was born to American parents while his father served in the U.S. Navy in Panama.  Had he been elected, he would have been the first President born outside the 50 states.  Senator Mitt Romney’s father was born in Mexico, and the elder Romney’s eligibility to run for President in 1968 was hardly questioned.  George W. Romney was born of American citizens living in a Mormon Church colony in Chihuahua, Mexico.

What is going on here?   Contrary to what the Democrats and the media have reported over the last eight years, with respect to the eligibility of the Office of President, as demonstrated above, it’s not where you are born but how you are born.  Any discussion of the somewhat ambiguous Article II eligibility requirements for the Office of President, during the 2016 election season, conveniently ignored any discussion of Barack Obama’s eligibility.   He’s already President.  At this point, what does it matter?

There has been no finer display and execution of media malfeasance and political disinformation than that of the eligibility of Candidate Barack Obama to be President.  During the 2007 election cycle, Democrats and the media buttressed his eligibility to be President with an unrelenting campaign that having been born in Hawaii automatically made the Candidate Obama—a child of a Kenyan national—a “natural born citizen” of the United States.  Newspaper and magazine articles steered away from discussing how the son of a Kenyan national could be the next President of the United States.  He was born in Hawaii and that was sufficient.

The Left despises the U.S. Constitution and the Founding Fathers.  From the Federalist Papers and the discussions at the time of the ratification of the U.S. Constitution, a Natural Born Citizen was never defined by the location of where a baby was born.  From the Signing to today, those three words have “always been a little obscure due to the lack of any single authoritative source to confer in order to understand the condition of citizenship the phrase recognizes.”  The Federalistblog provides the best background on the topic.  “One universal point most all early publicists agreed on was natural-born citizen must mean one who is a citizen by no act of law. If a person owes their citizenship to some act of law (naturalization for example), they cannot be considered a natural-born citizen. This leads us to defining natural-born citizen under the laws of nature – laws the founders recognized and embraced.

Under the laws of nature, every child born requires no act of law to establish the fact the child inherits through nature his/her father’s citizenship as well as his name (or even his property) through birth. This law of nature is also recognized by law of nations. Sen. Howard said the citizenship clause under the Fourteenth Amendment was by virtue of “natural law and national law.”

The advantages of Natural Law is competing allegiances between nations are not claimed, or at least with those nations whose custom is to not make citizens of other countries citizens without their consent. Under Sec. 1992 of U.S. Revised Statutes (1866) made clear other nation’s citizens would not be claimed: “All persons born in the United States and not subject to any foreign power, excluding Indians not taxed, are declared to be citizens of the United States.

Rep. John A. Bingham commenting on Section 1992 said it means “every human being born within the jurisdiction of the United States of parents not owing allegiance to any foreign sovereignty is, in the language of your Constitution itself, a natural born citizen.” (Cong. Globe, 39th, 1st Sess., 1291 (1866))”  *From the Federalistblog.

Did not Barack Obama Senior owe his allegiance to the foreign government, that country which is now Kenya?  Unable to secure U.S. citizenship through a marriage of convenience, he returned to Nairobi, without his wife and child.  The parents of John McCain and George Romney did not owe allegiance to any foreign sovereignty—both mother and father swore allegiance to and were Americans.  Those four American parents could recite the Pledge of Allegiance and they knew to turn to face the flag when they did.

If not for Democrat Party propaganda and media disinformation, what made Barack Obama eligible to be President in the first place?  The President’s father, BHO senior, was a British then a Kenyan national.  Like the United States of America, the Brits and Kenyans have constitutions outlining the laws of the land.  And like every country on the planet, the Kenya Constitution has firm “citizenship by birth” requirements: A person is a citizen by birth if on the day of the person’s birth, whether or not the person is born in Kenya, either the mother or father of the person is a citizen.  

Simply, Barack Obama II, with a Kenyan father and an American mother, was born under two constitutions, where one parent owed allegiance to a foreign sovereignty.  It’s not where you are born that counts to be eligible to be the President of the United States but how you are born.  What nation doesn’t recognize citizenship of children born to their own citizens wherever they may be?  Some countries have constitutionally-mandatory military service requirements of its citizens even when they are born abroad. 

If anyone had cause to sue over the eligibility issue regarding running for the Office of the President, it was Senator John McCain.  To have the question of what constitutes “natural born citizen” answered once and for all, Senator McCain should have taken Senator Barack Obama to court; to the Supreme Court.  McCain vs Obama.  Dozens of Americans have tried to sue President Obama over his eligibility to serve as President but failed; they had no “standing.”  Regarding standing, only another presidential candidate would have a case to sue another presidential candidate.  See Bush vs. Gore. 

Although there were issues with the candidacy of Senator Obama—could they overcome the constitutional hurdle of eligibility—could they also negotiate the other hidden political landmine: the candidate’s religion.  Democrats and the media refused to engage in a discussion about the religion of President Obama’s father, that he’s a Muslim.  To do so would enter uncharted territory.  Isn’t a child born of a Muslim also a Muslim?  Senator McCain turned himself into a pretzel anytime someone brought up this issue at a townhall meeting.

With the Republican candidate capitulating early on the tough issues of constitutional eligibility and Muslim-by-birth, the Democrats were emboldened.  Their candidate wasn’t a Muslim but a member of the Trinity United Church of Christ led by the Reverend Jeremiah Wright.  All they had to do was skirt the U.S. Constitution through strong-arm politics, propaganda, and disinformation. 

Senators McCain and Obama, all of Congress, Democrats far and wide, as well as the media knew of the constitutionally-mandated eligibility requirements for President.  For the Democrats, the media, and the Candidate Obama, it was a game of chicken.  Would the Maverick McCain call their bluff or would he fold?  I submit, Barack Obama would not have been able to withstand the challenge.  It would have required unsealing his sealed record history during discovery.  Immigration documents.  Passports.  College applications.  I suppose, afraid of being called a racist for bringing a lawsuit against an apparently ineligible candidate, however “transformative” he may be, trumped truth, justice, and the American way. 

Out of 350 million people living in America, only Donald Trump was able to get President Obama to respond to the cries that there was something wrong with the President’s eligibility, and the White House released his birth certificate, however bogus that document appears to be.  American Thinker ran several articles on the issue.  1, 2, 3, 4, and others.

Little has been written on why the Candidate Trump mocked the senior Senator from Arizona.  I submit Mr. Trump’s issues with Senator McCain stem from the senator’s cowardly and abject failure to sue the Candidate Obama.  If Senator McCain thought he was being noble by not challenging the bona fides of Barack Obama, he was not only sadly mistaken but wrong.  It was an easy case to win.  Senator McCain did not uphold his oath to uphold and defend the U.S. Constitution against a usurper of the Constitution.  So much for being a Maverick.

And on the issue of allegiance.  Many on the Right have tried to make the case, using his own words from “The Audacity of Hope,” that President Obama would “stand” with Islam and Muslims “should the political winds shift in an ugly direction.”  It’s hard to defend a man whose daily words and actions can be easily interpreted as being overly sympathetic to Islam and Muslims, to the detriment of America and Americans. 

I think the Founders got it right; to avoid any split allegiance to another country or a religion, candidates seeking the Office of the President need to demonstrate they are Americans first, born of Americans, that they love this country, and that they will do whatever is necessary to protect and defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic.  Our President is not doing any of that.  He is not and never has been on the side of America. 

Only one candidate today is on the side of America.  And he demonstrated no fear to sue another candidate who may not have been eligible to run for President. 

Mark is the author of espionage thrillers Special Access and Shoot Down.