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The States have the Power to Prevent Ineligible Candidates from Becoming “President”
By Robert Greenslade Nitwit Press

February 20, 2012

After Barrack Obama took office in 2009, some groups and individuals asserted Obama was ineligible because he was not born in Hawaii and/or his birth certificate is a forgery. Constitutionally, it does not matter whether Obama was born in Hawaii, Illinois, or the basement of the White House, he is NOT a natural born citizen and is ineligible to be President of these United States of America.

Bobby Jindal, the Republican Governor of Louisiana and Marco Rubio, the Republican U.S. Senator from Florida, who have both been mentioned as presidential and/or vice presidential candidates, are also NOT natural born citizens and ineligible to hold either office.

Qualifications to be President

Article II, Section 1, Clause 5 of the Constitution enumerates the qualifications to be President:

“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.”

The Twelfth Amendment, ratified on July 15, 1804 states, in part:

“[N]o person constitutionally ineligible to the office of President shall be eligible to that of Vice-President of the United States.”

Thus, both the President and Vice-President of the United States must be natural born citizens. These are the only federal offices that contain this requirement.

Natural Born Citizen

The term natural born citizen is not defined in the Constitution because its meaning was well-known to the Founders. To be a natural born citizen an individual MUST be born of parents who are both citizens.

In 1875, in Minor v. Happersett, the U.S. Supreme Court, in one of the few judicial references to the definition of “natural-born citizen” stated:

The Constitution does not in words say who shall be natural-born citizens. Resort must be had elsewhere to ascertain that. At common law, with the nomenclature of which the framers of the Constitution were familiar, it was never doubted that all children born in a country of parents who were its citizens became themselves, upon their birth, citizens also. These were natives or natural-born citizens, as distinguished from aliens or foreigners.”

It has been asserted by Obama supporters that simply being born in the United States makes an individual a natural born citizen irrespective of whether the parents are citizens. They also claim the so-called the citizenship clause of the 14th Amendment, which was adopted 80 years after the Constitution was ratified and 7 years before the Minor v. Happersett decision, confirms their assertion. Section 1 of the Amendment states, in part:

"All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside.”

It is a cardinal principle of statutory construction that the intent of the lawmaker constitutes the law. In 1862, Congressman John Bingham from Ohio, who is recognized as the father of the so-called citizenship clause of the 14th Amendment, made the following statement during debate on the floor of the House:

“All from other lands, who by the terms of laws and a compliance with their provisions become naturalized, are adopted citizens of the United States; all other persons born within the Republic, of parents owing allegiance to no other sovereignty, are natural born citizens. Gentleman can find no exception to this statement touching natural-born citizens except what is said in the Constitution relating to Indians.”

Four years later, Bingham stated:

“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.”

If simply being born in the United States made an individual a natural born citizen and the 14th Amendment is a confirmation of that, then why did the Supreme Court omit reference to the so-called citizenship clause of an Amendment that was ratified 7 years before the Minor v. Happersett decision and why did the Court state “resort must be had elsewhere (outside of the Constitution) to ascertain” the meaning of the term? When the 14th Amendment was ratified it immediately became part of the Constitution so the elsewhere” cannot be the Amendment.

The “Elsewhere”

Article I, Section 8, Clause 8 of the Constitution contains a reference to the “Law of Nations.” In his article: “‘The Law of Nations or Principals of Natural Law’ as U.S. Federal Common Law Not English Common Law Define What an Article II Natural Born Citizen Is Attorney Mario Apuzzo wrote:

“We know from the historical record and from the way the Constitution is framed that the Founders relied heavily upon Emmerich de Vattel and his highly acclaimed treatise, The Law of Nations or Principles of the Law of Nature (1758), as a crucial and fundamental guide in knowing what the law of nations was.”

He went on to state:

“Vattel…analyzed citizenship and related topics. The Founders knew that Vattel defined a ‘citizen’ simply as any member of society. They also knew from reading Vattel that a ‘natural born Citizen’ had a different standard from just ‘citizen,’ for he or she was a child born in the country to two citizen parents (Vattel, Section 212 in original French and English translation).”

In section 212 Vattel wrote:

“The natives, or natural-born citizens, are those born in the country, of parents who are citizens. As the society cannot exist and perpetuate itself otherwise than by the children of the citizens, those children naturally follow the condition of their fathers, and succeed to all their rights. …The country of the fathers is therefore that of the children; and these become true citizens merely by their tacit consent. …I say, that, in order to be of the country, it is necessary that a person be born of a father who is a citizen; for, if he is born there of a foreigner, it will be only the place of his birth, and not his country.”

The Law of Nations, not the Constitution, as originally written, or the 14th Amendment, is the “elsewhere” for determining the definition of a natural born citizen as used in the Constitution.

Obama is not a Natural Born Citizen

During the 2008 presidential campaign, Obama’s website stated:

“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.”

In this statement, Obama validated Vattel’s statement that under the Law of Nations citizenship flows from the child’s father.

Obama was born in Hawaii to only one parent not owing allegiance to a foreign sovereignty. Thus, Obama is not a natural born citizen even though he was born in one of the United States.

During the 2008 presidential election process, John McCain’s eligibility was questioned because he was born on a U.S. military base. In response, the Senate passed Resolution 511. The Resolution, co-sponsored by then Senator Barrack Obama, declared John McCain eligible to be president and a natural born citizen because he was born to citizen parents on a U.S. military base in the Panama Canal Zone. If his father had been a citizen of Panama, McCain could NOT have been declared a natural born citizen.

This Resolution proves members of Congress know the definition of a natural born citizen. U.S. military bases are subject to the jurisdiction of the United States. The Senate was attempting extend U.S. soil to a military base in Panama to establish that McCain was “born within the jurisdiction of the United States of parents not owing allegiance to any foreign sovereignty” just as Congressman Bingham stated in 1866.

Co-sponsoring this Resolution was an admission by Barrack Obama that he knows the requirements to be a natural born citizen. When he placed his hand on the Bible and took an oath to “preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States” in 2009 he perpetrated a fraud on the American people that continues to this day.

Note: Why did the Senate establish McCain’s eligibility but not Obama’s?

The Problem

The only constitutional way to remove a setting President from office is through impeachment. Article II, Section 4 states:

The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.

Impeachment is a two-step process. Pursuant to Article I of the Constitution, the House of Representatives “shall have the sole Power of Impeachment” and the Senate “shall have the sole Power to try all Impeachments.”

During Obama’s first 2 years in office the House and Senate were controlled by members of his party so the chances of him being impeached for misrepresenting his eligibility were slim to none. Since Republicans only control the House, impeachment would be an exercise in futility because a Senate controlled by democrats would never convict Obama; not to mention the charges of racism that would be tied to their tails by the press.

So the immediate problem is this―an ineligible candidate is running for a second term and he will not be impeached before the election; impeachment would disqualify him ever holding office again. (See endnote for an approach that could force impeachment.)

The Presidential Electors are the Solution to the Eligibility Question

Every four years the American people go to the polls thinking they are casting their vote directly for the President and Vice President of these United States. In reality, they vote for a representative in their State called an elector. Each of the political parties, in the several States and the District of Columbia, appoints a slate of electors pledged to vote for their candidate. It is the electors of the party that wins the popular vote in each State who vote for the President and Vice President, not the people. The election in each State is simply the method adopted by the State legislatures to determine which parties slate of electors will be elected to vote for their State.

The electoral process is set forth in Article II, Section I, Clauses 2-4 of the Constitution for the United States. Clause 3 has been superseded by the 12th Amendment as ratified by the several States in 1804. Provisions of the 12th Amendment have been superseded by the 20th Amendment as ratified by the States in 1933.

“Each State shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a Number of Electors, equal to the whole Number of Senators and Representatives to which the State may be entitled in the Congress: but no Senator or Representative, or Person holding an Office of Trust or Profit under the United States, shall be appointed an Elector.

The power vested in State legislatures by this clause is the key to preventing illegible candidates from getting elected. A State legislature simply needs to pass a statute prohibiting the appointment of electors for a candidate who does not meet the natural born citizen definition per the language in Minor v. Happersett, the author of the so-called citizenship clause of the 14th Amendment and Vattel’s treatise of 1758. The statute also needs a safety clause that disqualifies any votes for an ineligible candidate.

Since Obama is a democrat, it is unlikely that members of his party, in States where they control the legislative and executive branches of government, would pass a statute prohibiting the appointment of electors as described above. Thus, that duty would fall on States controlled by republicans. It would be intellectually dishonest to challenge their creditability because the statute would disqualify two of their rising stars from ever being elected President or Vice President of the United States.

If a State passed this type of statute it would put an offending political party in a Catch 22. The party would either have to take the issue to court and argue the definition of a natural born citizen or do nothing and have their candidate’s electors removed from the election process. In my opinion, they would be forced to choose the former and take the issue to court. This would resolve the natural born citizen issue sooner rather than later.

Sue a State when its Electors Vote for an Ineligible Candidate

If a State appointed the electors of a candidate who was not a natural born citizen and/or counted the electoral votes for an ineligible candidate, a State or States could immediately sue in federal court. At a minimum, this would force a ruling on the natural born citizen issue because one or more of the United States would have standing to pursue the issue and it would constitute an important federal question. Also, since the time from election to taking office is less than 3 months, a suit on certifying the electoral vote for an ineligible candidate would force an expedited decision.

Article III, Section 2 of the Constitution states:

“The judicial Power shall extend to all Cases, in Law and Equity, arising under this Constitution, the Laws of the United States…to Controversies between two or more States…”

The States could also invoke Article VII to establish standing:

“The Ratification of the Conventions of nine States, shall be sufficient for the Establishment of this Constitution between the States so ratifying the Same.”

Since the Constitution is “between the States,” the individual States, as parties to the compact, have the duty and standing to intercede when another State violates the terms of the compact. If a State appoints electors from the party of an ineligible candidate, allows electors to vote for an ineligible candidate, or certifies electoral votes for an ineligible candidate, it should immediately be challenged for blatant unconstitutional acts.

Congress Failed to do its Duty so the States Must Act

Once the electoral votes have been certified by the individual States, the process shifts to Congress. This is when Congress enters the game and gets to determine whether the electors from the individual States voted for a natural born citizen.

Following the November presidential election, Congress, in joint session, meets on the 6th day of January to tally the electoral vote. Any objection to the vote must be raised at this time. The objection must be made in writing and state, clearly and concisely, without argument, the ground thereof and signed by at least one member of the House and Senate. If a member objects to the electoral vote, both bodies are required by statute to withdraw to their respective chambers and debate the merit of any objection. This process is a safeguard and allows Congress to nullify any electoral votes for an ineligible candidate.

Since that body failed to enforce the eligibility requirement in 2009, the individual States have the power to enforce the natural born citizen requirement through the electors. The constitutionally grounded States must be prepared to immediately sue every State that allows electors for an ineligible candidate to participate in the process as described above.

Prior to the election, the Attorney General of States that still believe in the Constitution should collaborate and prepare a memorandum on the eligibility issue. They need to notify every State prior to the November election of the consequences of allowing electors to vote for an ineligible candidate, irrespective of party.

A State or States could also sue the United States as a governmental entity if Congress certifies the electoral vote for an ineligible candidate.

In my opinion, the eligibility issue can only be resolved through the States or the electors because members of Congress are too partisan and gutless to perform their constitutional duty.

Endnote: If a State really wanted to escalate the eligibility issue, it could step outside of the presidential election process and notify Congress that unless it removes the individual occupying the White House within 60 days, it will interpose and declare every act by Obama that affects the State and/or its people null and void.

Your comments and feedback are welcome!
Now PoL has its own forum at The Mental Militia! Check it out

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Some other, related reading:

The Flawed Second Amendment Debate

The Second Amendment and the Preamble to the Bill of Rights

Another Look at the Wording of the Second Amendment

Would the Repeal of the Second Amendment Empower the Federal Government and Negate the Right to Own a Firearm?

Tell me why the States needed the so-called "Collective Right" Second Amendment?

The Second Amendment is an Individual Right

A Question For The Supreme Court

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Book now Available! See Editor's review here.

"The Bill of Rights Does Not Grant You Any Constitutional Rights"
By Robert Greenslade and Claude Ellsworth

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Email any questions concerning the book/booklet to Bob at-govtnitwit [at] yahoo.com

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Robert Greenslade focuses his writing on issues surrounding the federal government and the Constitution. He believes politicians at the federal level, through ignorance or design, are systematically dismantling the Constitution in an effort to expand their power and consolidate control over the American people. He has dedicated himself to resurrecting the true intent of the Constitution in the hope that the information will contribute, in some small way, to restoring the system of limited government established by the Constitution.

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If you are interested in finding out more about the Constitution, take a look at this book. I use it in many of my articles and it is the best book I've found on this subject. Bob

The Federal Government: Its True Nature and Character: Being a Review of Judge Story's Commentaries on the Constitution of the United States.

Reprint of the 1868 edition. ''Perhaps the ablest analysis of the nature and character of the federal government that has ever been published. It has remained unanswered.'' This review of Judge Story's Commentaries on the Constitution of the United States is perhaps the ablest analysis of the nature and character of the Federal Government that has ever been published. It has remained unanswered. Indeed, we are not aware that any attempt has been made to challenge the soundness of its reasoning. The great vise of Judge Story and the Federalists consisted in desiring the clothe the federal government with almost monarchical power, whereas the States had carefully and resolutely reserved the great mass of political power for themselves. The powers which they delegated to the federal government were few, and were general in their character. Those which they reserved embraced their original and inalienable sovereignty, which no state imagined it was surrendering when it adopted the constitution. Mr. Madison dwelt with great force upon the fact that ''a delegated is not a surrendered power.'' The states surrendered no powers to the federal government -- they only delegated them. 160 pages.

Please see the bottom of the page for Bob's book offer.

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