This post was first published on 7 December 2008.
Discrimination Bordering Upon Bigotry! Only ‘natural born’ Citizens Need Apply!
It is right there in the United States Constitution in Article II, Section 1, Clause 5, which states: “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.”
Discrimination upon the basis of national origin, discrimination upon the basis of age, and discrimination upon the basis of residency status! How about that?
In this past presidential election we had two candidates running for the office described above who admittedly were born on foreign soil, one in Panama and one in Nicaragua. The candidate who won, Barack Obama, describes himself as born in the state of Hawaii, however he has released no proof of his birthplace other than a generated Certificate of Live Birth, and there are reports that his own family members, and Kenyan government officials are conflicted over where exactly he was born.
Some Constitutional scholars spout off the legal definition of “natural born citizen” is one who was born within the jurisdiction of a national government, i.e. in its territorial limits, or born of citizens temporarily residing abroad. However, I found NO legal definition of “natural born citizen.” The phrase is not defined anywhere in the Constitution. In 1790, the Congress, attempted to make clarification with the Naturalization Act of 1790 that stated “And the children of citizens of the United States that may be born beyond the sea, or out of the limits of the United States, shall be considered as natural born citizens.”Seemingly this definition would have covered John McCain as a “natural born citizen,” except that in 1795, the Congress made another clarification, the Naturalization Act of 1795, which removed the words “natural born” and stated that children born to citizens beyond the seas are citizens of the U.S., but are not legally considered “natural born citizens” of the U.S. This confusion over the meaning of the Constitution’s “natural born citizen” is why the United States Congress passed a bill endowing Senator John McCain with “natural born citizen” status, so that, if elected President, he would be legal under the Constitution.
This murkiness over the Constitutional definition of “natural born citizen” has caused considerable scenarios to be proffered as to why Barack Obama is not Constitutionally qualified to be President, even if born in Hawaii. Some of them even have to do with the young age of his mother at his birth, who would not have had enough years of standing as a United States citizen to automatically confer American citizenship upon him, if he had been born in Kenya. It sounds far-fetched to you and me, but someone, somewhere has found some quirk in the law that seems to state that.
Other deniers claim that because Barack Obama was born a British citizen, as a son of a British father, regardless of where Obama himself was born, he cannot be considered a “natural born citizen.” That came as a shocker to me, as I had always considered myself a “natural born citizen,” even though I was born in Maryland of a British father. But, apparently, I am not only NOT a “natural born citizen,” according to some, I am not even a citizen of the USA, an interesting fact to discover at my age. At least I am in good company. It’s me, President-elect Barack Obama, and President Chester A. Arthur. It must be true as I read it at a BLOG.
If the Constitution were truly the Law of the Land, certainly a definition of “natural born citizen” would have been offered by the Supreme Court or the Congress by now. Or there would have been a law passed by the Congress that no candidates could run for president unless first vetted for eligibility according to Article II, Section 1, Clause 5. Of course, any American with a brain knows that we no longer live under rule of the Constitution, hence all of this kerfuffle over where Barack Obama was “really” born matters not one wit. He will be inaugurated President of the United States and will remain so, regardless of where in the world he was born.
Here is a long, involved treatise written by Constitutional scholar Jonathan Turley to try and convince us that, oh yes, we are a nation of Constitutional laws, and as such it would have been “Unconstitutional” for John McCain to serve as United States President as he is NOT a “natural born citizen.” Turley describes how he and his cohorts, while wrapped in the mantle of the U.S. Constitution, were all ready and willing to go to court to stop McCain’s “Unconstitutional” inauguration. Of course, the election happened a bit differently, and Jonathan Turley’s erudite but laughable opinion on “natural born citizen” suddenly turns 180 degrees as applied to Turley’s favored candidate, Barack Obama.
If we were truly living under the Constitution, Hillary Clinton would be unqualified to be appointed from the United States Senate to Secretary of State. Yet, no one, not Barack Obama, nor the American media, is offering any explanation of how her appointment can be Constitutional. Other American Presidents who disregarded the “Emoluments Clause” of the Constitution were Richard Nixon and Bill Clinton, who both got away with it, as will Barack Obama. President George W. Bush who wanted to nominate Senator Orin Hatch for the Supreme Court was told that would be Unconstitutional and he accepted that ruling and did not nominate Hatch. All of the above support my view that the United States Constitution is just a quaint and moldering document under glass at the National Archives, existing only to hammer heads, when needed, of those with unpopular ideas. It is now generally disregarded as little more than a venerated historic document.
According to what I have read of the birth certificate conspiracy, I believe Barack Obama was born in the United States. Deniers - think about this. Is it possible that Barack Obama, himself, created this smokescreen over his birth certificate to drive you to distraction as a way to divert attention from the more serious and controversial plans he has for his new nation?
UPDATE: The Supremes Sock it to the Deniers, according to Michelle Malkin.