Regardless of what may be purported, the Article II Natural Born Citizen requirement has never been constitutionally amended

How Liberals Cloud the Meaning of Natural Born Citizen

By Dean C. Haskins—— Bio and Archives--June 1, 2011

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I don’t know how many times I’ve had this dialogue over the past couple of years, but it seems those who make it often pride themselves on their ability to type, regardless of the content of their thoughts.  I participate in many discussions in which the Natural Born Citizen requirement of Article II is deceptively convoluted to the point that it is, supposedly, rendered meaningless.  However, nothing could be further from the truth.


The problem is, if one is not armed with the facts, it might prove difficult for these flawed arguments to be refuted.  The first thing to realize is that when one’s premise is a lie, his conclusion will not be the truth.  Let me give an example.  In some of these dialogues, it is proffered that in the case of United States v. Wong Kim Ark, the Supreme Court ruled that Ark was a citizen “because he was a natural born citizen” at birth.  This premise is easily shown to be a lie, since what the court actually decided was that Ark was a citizen because he was a NATIVE-BORN citizen at birth.  Nothing at all about the Article II Natural Born Citizen mandate was determined in this case, but by cunningly substituting one term (native) for another (natural), liberals attempt to undermine the truth.

In another case, Elk v. Wilkins, liberals try to make the case that the ruling states there are only two types of citizens: natural born and naturalized.  However, that conjecture is not part of the ruling, but merely part of a justice’s opinion that was published along with the ruling.  Opinions are not laws, and are sometimes erroneous (additionally, even laws are occasionally erroneous—see: Roe v. Wade).

Often, the 14th Amendment is cited as the law that defines the Article II requirement.  This is probably one of the most widespread uses of deception in this arena, as liberals exchange the term “Natural Born Citizen” with “Citizen.”  There are many citizens in this country who cannot be president because they were not natural born citizens (a determination that is made at the moment of one’s birth).  Moreover, if “citizen,” or even “native born citizen,” were the constitutional requirement for presidential eligibility, the framers, most of whom were born here, would have had no reason to grandfather themselves into eligibility.

Undoubtedly, until this issue is properly resolved, there will be endless theories fabricated in an attempt to shroud the criminal fraud that has been perpetrated upon the American people; however, theories about the truth will never stand up against the simple truth itself.  Let me see if I can make this simple enough for even the staunchest of Obots to understand (even if they won’t admit it).

Regardless of what may be purported, the Article II Natural Born Citizen requirement has never been constitutionally amended, so it still remains the law as it pertains to presidential eligibility.  Moreover, the historic definition of the term has never been formally altered.  Accordingly, the only proper way to approach the issue honestly is to consider it, first, at face value, and then determine if the issue even merits any further positing.  For the purposes of this discussion, the issue of “why” the requirement was put forth will not be considered—only that it was put forth, and remains the law.

First, the Natural Born Citizen requirement is not mentioned in conjunction with any other constitutionally derived position, so the framers obviously meant SOMETHING when they included the phrase.  It was a special status of citizen that was reserved for the highest office in the land.  Irrespective of their reasons for doing so, it must be understood that they perceived it to mean something other than simply “citizen,” or it would not have been included in the presidential requirements.

But, can we know exactly what they understood the term to mean?  We absolutely can.  Even though the liberals who make these convoluted arguments try to proclaim Emmerich de Vattel’s Law of Nations to be “obscure” and “irrelevant,” it is far more conspiratorial to believe that Vattel’s definition is not what the framers intended.  Law of Nations defines Natural Born Citizens to be “those born in the country, of parents who are citizens.”

Since the framers used Law of Nations as the blueprint for our Constitution, and they used a term that is found in Law of Nations as part of the law they were penning, and there is no evidence that any other definition for that term existed at the time of the framing, is it not just simple logic to understand that, if they had meant anything other than Vattel’s definition, they would have clearly specified those variances within the mandate?  They didn’t; so the only honest conclusion is that Vattel’s definition is precisely what the framers penned into law.

Simplified, this is what liberals would have us believe:

  • The framers drew heavily from Vattel in writing the Constitution
  • The framers stated A (without any caveats)
  • Vattel’s was the only definition of A that existed at the time
  • A and B are not equivalent
  • Liberals claim the framers meant B

Can you see how ludicrous their argument really is?

Clearly, if Vattel’s definition of Natural Born Citizen is obscure and irrelevant, then so is much of our Constitution—and that is a cogent thought here, for liberals would actually love for much of our Constitution to be obscure and irrelevant. In light of the ease with which the Article II Natural Born Citizen requirement is clearly understood, maybe it should be those who fight against the historic definition of the term who should be wearing the tin foil hats.

Dean Haskins is a freelance writer, professional musician/producer, and the former chairman of Restore the Constitutional Republic, one of the original “birther” organizations.


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