With President Barack Hussein Obama’s eligibility to hold office formally unresolved, and with plenty of intentional (or not) opposition mis/dis-information being bandied across the blogosphere, it’s time to bring some notable information together in one posting to help any casual observer answer the following questions:
- What, exactly, is this eligibility thing all about?
- Why is it important that this issue be seriously considered and not simply flippantly dismissed?
I have brought together exceptional analysis from a handful of sources to cover everything you need to know about this issue (the opposition would similarly do well to take heed of the following):
- “Obama Presidential Eligibility – An Introductory Primer” by Stephen Tonchen (via commenter “john“)
- Barack Hussein Obama—A Natural Born Subject of Great Britain by paralegalnm
- Natural Born Citizen Through the Eyes of Early Congresses by Mario Apuzzo
- Why Can’t Obama Give a Simple and Truthful Answer to the Birth Certificate Question? by Mario Apuzzo
I will subsequently be incorporating this post into my “Who is Barack Hussein Obama?” widget on my sidebar, to the right…
First, I’ve included the abstract and table of contents from Mr. Tonchen’s exceptionally objective summary concerning questions surrounding this President’s eligibility:
Despite the mainstream news media’s silence regarding this matter, an increasing number of Americans are concerned that Barack Obama might not be legally eligible, under the Constitution, to serve as President.
According to the U.S. Constitution, an individual born after 1787 cannot legally or legitimately serve as U.S. President unless he or she is a “natural born citizen” of the United States.
Among members of Congress and the mainstream news media, the consensus of opinion is that anyone born in the United States is a “natural born citizen”. However, when we researched this issue a bit more carefully, we found that the consensus opinion is not consistent with American history.
In Minor v. Happersett (1874), the Supreme Court said that, if you were born in the United States and both of your parents were U.S. citizens at the time of your birth, you are, without doubt, a natural born citizen. In the same case, the Supreme Court also said that, if you were born in the United States and one of your parents was not a U.S. citizen when you were born, your natural born citizenship is in doubt. So far, the Supreme Court has not resolved this doubt because, until now, there has never been any need to do so.
With only two exceptions, every American President, who was born after 1787, was born in the United States, to parents who were both U.S. citizens. The two exceptions were Chester Arthur and Barack Obama. When Chester Arthur ran for office, the public did not know about his eligibility question. Only recently did historians learn that, when Arthur was born, his father was not a U.S. citizen. The 2008 election was the first time in history that the United States knowingly elected a President who was born after 1787 and whose parents were not both U.S. citizens.
Barack Obama publicly admits that his father was not a U.S. citizen. According to Minor v. Happersett, there is unresolved doubt as to whether the President is a natural born citizen. This doubt is not based on the imaginings of some tin-foil-hat-wearing conspiracy theorists on the lunatic fringe of society. This doubt comes from what the Supreme Court has actually said, as well as a variety of other historical and legal sources which are presented and discussed here.
This Primer introduces and explains the Obama Eligibility Controversy, in question-and-answer format, for a non-technical general audience. We’ve double-checked the facts presented here, and we’ve cited the sources of each fact.
Questions and Answers
1. What is a “birther”?
2. What are the eligibility requirements for President?
3. Why do birthers think Barack Obama is not eligible to be President?
4. How is “natural born citizen” defined?
5. In a nutshell, what is the Obama eligibility controversy?
6. Does the birthers’ viewpoint have any historical or legal merit?
7. What was the original purpose of the presidential “natural born citizen” requirement?
8. What is the difference between a “Constitutional” and a “statutory” natural born citizen?
9. Wouldn’t the most recent modern-day statutory meaning of “natural born citizen” take precedence over the original Constitutional meaning?
10. If Obama is not a “Constitutional natural born citizen”, so what? Why should anyone care?
11. Why has every birther lawsuit been dismissed?
12. What is a 14th Amendment natural born citizen?
13. In the 14th Amendment, what does “jurisdiction” mean?
14. Doesn’t the Wong Kim Ark decision make Obama a “natural born citizen”?
15. Doesn’t the Julia Lynch case show that Obama is a “natural born citizen”?
16. Could “natural born citizen” be based on the British Common Law principle of jus soli?
17. What’s the “beef” with President Obama’s birth certificate?
18. Didn’t the State of Hawaii recently verify that President Obama was born in Hawaii?
19. Doesn’t the mere existence of Barack Obama’s original Hawaiian birth certificate prove that he was born in Hawaii?
20. If President Obama’s birth certificate shows conclusively that he was born in Hawaii, would it end the eligibility controversy?
21. Where do we go from here?
The above is an excellent starting point for anyone wishing to do their own research on the subject.
Next, “paralegalnm” presents their take on the question (excerpted):
This is a legal memorandum. I am formally trained in legal research, and hopefully you will find this easy to read and return to for deeper appreciation for the laws and legal reasoning backed up by citations of law and authoritative sources.
IMPORTANT CAVEAT: While most of the Eligibility Controversy focuses on Barack Hussein Obama’s birth certificate, or lack thereof . . . that is a minor point in this legal memorandum. First, I stipulate from the outset that the KOS or FightTheSmear posted C.O.L.B. is genuine. I see no dispositive value of forensic analysis of a jpeg posted on-line.
In addition, the jurisprudence of challenging ‘prima facie’ evidence is the key reason for demanding Obama’s original 1961 birth registration information. The Hawaii department of vital records either has a birth certificate from a licensed birthing facility, or merely a compulsory record of data from undocumented and unconfirmed sources. (See H.R.S. § 338-5)
Equal, if not more weight, has been given to the definition of the term of art ‘Natural Born Citizen.’ If, indeed, Obama does have a Hawaii birth certificate on record (why he has kept it sealed, I can’t imagine), the Natural Born Citizen issue is still a moot point . . . a child of a foreign alien, foreign born or native born, can not be a Natural Born Citizen.
QUESTIONS & COMMENTS: I have had over 2500 hits, but questions keep coming in. Most of these questions are best addressed by reading the blog one section at a time and using the footnotes. The footnotes include vital legal links, if not full quotation of the cited law.
While the Obama Eligibility case is, for now, barred in court on its merits due to the Political Questions Doctrine, the interpretation of ‘natural born citizen’ as used in Article II of the U.S. Constitution is still within the original jurisdiction of the U.S. Supreme Court, and constitutional powers of investigation by members of congress.
Even the most liberal interpretation of 8 U.S.C. 1401 or the 14th Amendment does not define a child of an alien, non-resident father to a U.S. citizen mother to be a ‘natural born citizen.’ One jurisdiction by nature, not naturalization law (de-alienage of foreign nationality), is the distinction between a ‘natural’ born and ‘native’ born citizen.
Berg vs. Obama has been delayed. Oral arguments appealing the summary dismissal on ’standing’ are now informally scheduled for Septemper, 2009. Visithttp://obamacrimes.com for updates and news.
WHAT YOU CAN DO NOW: If you have any Republican congressmen, e-mail and ask them to co-sponsor Rep. Bill Posey’s H.R. 1503. Unfortunately, I live in New Mexico and the last election was fraught with fraud via ACORN and U.S. Attorney David Iglesias throwing away the $100 thousand dollars he was given to investigate said voter fraud. We now have ZERO Republican representatives. (This has been the subject of constant media and Democrat congressional hearings, attempting to sue Roberto Gonzales and G.W. Bush for firing nine U.S. Attorneys.)
With the Obama attacks on the Financial sector, Housing, Republican-owned car dealerships, and now major Manufacturing (GM), the Republicans will lose campaign funding . . . it will take H.R. 1503 and the Will of the People to stop the Obama/Marxist juggernaut.
The drastic measures Barack Obama has taken to keep hidden the 1961 Hawaiian Dept. of Health birth registration suggests that Obama was born inKenya, where the original hospital certificate resides to this day. The newspaper notice of birth is inconclusive, as it may have been an automatically generated notice by the Department of Health.
She said someone posted the address on the Internet. That July posting contained a photocopy of what is most likely the first mention of Barack Obama ever published — a tiny, one-line birth notice in the Sunday, Aug. 13, 1961, edition of The Honolulu Advertiser:
“Mr. and Mrs. Barack H. Obama, 6085 Kalanianaole Highway, son, Aug. 4.”
The exact same notice appeared the following day in the Honolulu Star-Bulletin. The numerous birth announcements above and below the Obama listing also were identical in both papers, which were unaffiliated, competing publications.
Advertiser columnist and former Star-Bulletin managing editor Dave Shapiro was not at either paper in 1961, but he remembers how the birth notices process worked years later when both papers were jointly operated by the Hawaii Newspaper Agency — which no longer exists.
“Those were listings that came over from the state Department of Health,” he said. “They would send the same thing to both papers.”
If born in Hawaii, British jurisdiction through the father lasted only one year because Obama, Sr. failed to register his foreign born child with the British secretary of state. Registration was recorded the intent of the father to support the child. As we know, Obama, Sr. abandoned mother and child to accept a Harvard scholarship.
The 14th Amendment only conferred native born status. Obama was born with dual nationality. This voids sole allegiance at birth required for natural born status.
If born with dual nationalities, naturalization law must be applied to ‘de-alienage’ one citizenship in order to establish which legal jurisdiction takes precedent.
As discussed above, until the original 1961 birth registration proves to be a witnessed Hawaii hospital birth certificate, the affidavit direct testimony of his Kenyan birth is more probative.
Born in Kenya, Obama was a British subject up to age six, when naturalized by the mother as Indonesian. Obama was returned to Hawaii at age 10 to live with his grandparents. At age 14, Obama began fulfilling the 1952 Immigration and Nationality Act’s (INA) 301(b)’s five-year continuous residency requirement to become a U.S. citizen, a birthright he obtained because his mother married a bigamist and Obama was born out of wedlock. See 8 U.S.C. 1409(c)
Obama was born with inchoate U.S. nationality through his mother, but only because the Obama-Dunham marriage was void ab initio per bigamy. He only became a full-fledged U.S. citizen at age 19. At best, if the hidden Hawaiian certificate is probative of U.S. birth, Obama is only native born.
Berg vs. Obama et al 08-cv-04083 claimed Stanley Ann Dunham failed to meet the statutory five-year residency U.S. requirements post 14 years of age.Therefore, if born in Kenya, Obama not only was a British subject, but had noU.S. nationality at birth. This is his reasoning for Obama today being an illegal alien. I challenged Mr. Berg with the out-of-wedlock provision of 8 U.S.C. 1409(c) that reduces the five-year requirement to only one-year, but Berg insisted he was correct because the Obama-Kezia Kenyan marriage was a “village marriage” and not recognized by the United States. This is in conflict with Hague Conventions concerning recognition of foreign marriages. Any foreign marriage, solemnized and recognized by the foreign country is recognized by the United States.
Challenge of the Hawaiian C.O.L.B. follows rules of prima facie evidence. Not only is Obama’s refusal to produce the witnessed 1961 birth certificate circumstantial evidence it doesn’t exist, but Phil Berg includes as exhibits a tape recording and two affidavits from Africa, describing the event of Obama’s Mobassa birth. http://www.obamacrimes.info/justthefacts.html
Because of a foreign national father, Obama is not a natural born citizen.
Leonard A. Daneman
510 2nd Street NW
5th Floor – Tower Plaza
Albuquerque, NM 87102
All rights reserved.
© 2009 Leonard A. Daneman [emphases original]
Mario Apuzzo, attorney for Plaintiffs in Kerchner v. Obama, wrote two excellent pieces covering the eligibility question to date. The first:
Not much information exists on why the Third Congress deleted “natural born” from the Naturalization Act of 1790 when it passed the Naturalization Act of 1795. There is virtually no information on the subject because they probably realized that the First Congress committed errors when it passed the Naturalization Act of 1790 and did not want to create a record of the errors.
It can be reasonably argued that Congress realized that under Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution, Congress is given the power to make uniform laws on naturalization and that this power did not include the power to decide who is included or excluded from being a presidential Article II “natural born Citizen.” While Congress has passed throughout United States history many statutes declaring who shall be considered nationals and citizens of the United States at birth and thereby exempting such persons from having to be naturalized under naturalization laws, at no time except by way of the short-lived “natural born” phrase in Naturalization Act of 1790 did it ever declare these persons to be “natural born Citizens.” The uniform definition of “natural born Citizen” was already provided by the law of nations and was already settled. The Framers therefore saw no need nor did they give Congress the power to tinker with that definition. Believing that Congress was highly vulnerable to foreign influence and intrigue, the Framers, who wanted to keep such influence out of the presidency, did not trust Congress when it came to who would be President, and would not have given Congress the power to decide who shall be President by allowing it to define what an Article II “natural born Citizen” is.
Additionally, the 1790 act was a naturalization act. How could a naturalization act make anyone an Article II “natural born Citizen?” After all, a “natural born Citizen” was made by nature at the time of birth and could not be so made by any law of man.
Finally, allowing a child born on foreign soil to be President would have invited conflict with the foreign nation on whose soil the child was born. For example, Great Britain adhered to the concept of perpetual natural allegiance. Just imagine the Framers allowing a child born in Great Britain to two U.S. citizen parents (a perpetual natural born subject under English common law) after the adoption of the Constitution (post Article II grandfather time period) to be President and Commander in Chief of the United States. Also, “natural born Citizen” status, having a uniform definition under the laws of nations, could not be made to depend on the laws of the foreign country in which the child would be born to U.S. citizen parents. Congress realized their errors in passing the 1790 Act and corrected it in 1795.
What is important about these two naturalization acts which were passed in the early part of the founding of the Republic and which is also reflected in the Constitution itself, is that they show that the Framers of the Constitution clearly saw a distinction between a “Citizen” and a “natural born Citizen.” They show that the Framers rejected English common law which in addition to how it granted “natural born subjectship” through jus solis also made a child a “natural born subject” if born out of the King’s dominion to parents who were “natural born subjects” (jus sanguinis). Under the law of nations which the Framers adopted for the new United States, a “natural born Citizen” was a child born in the United States to a mother and father who were at the time of the child’s birth both United States citizens and a “Citizen” was any person who became a citizen by naturalization. A “Citizen” had the same civil and political rights as a “natural born Citizen” except he was not eligible to be President if born after the adoption of the Constitution. Only by becoming a citizen could a father and derivatively from him the mother give to their child the inherited right to be a “natural born Citizen.” Not including the American Indians because they belonged to a different nation and blacks because they were or their parents had been slaves, the United States was a new nation and only after its new citizens gave birth to a new generation of Americans could that new generation be called indigenous, natives or “natural born Citizens” of the United States. All those who were born British subjects before the adoption of the Constitution (which included the Founding Fathers themselves), actually became naturalized United States citizens by electing to become a United States citizen by adhering to the revolutionary cause rather than chosing to become British subjects by remaining loyal to Great Britain. They could not elect to become “natural born Citizens” because they were born British subjects.
From these early naturalization statutes, we can see that it is not sufficient to be a born “citizen” under the Fourteenth Amendment to qualify as a Presidential Article II “natural born Citizen.” While this amendment constitutionally makes those who qualify under its terms to be “citizens,” it does not nor was it ever intended to make these individuals Article II “natural born Citizens.” The framers of the Fourteenth Amendment were well aware that Article II refers to “natural born Citizen” and that Article I and Article IV refer to “Citizen.” By chosing the word “citizen,” they left intact the original meaning of “natural born Citizen” as it existed under the law of nations which the Founders adopted as the national law of the new United States.
Mario Apuzzo, Esq.
185 Gatzmer Avenue
Jamesburg NJ 08831
Email: apuzzo [AT] erols.com
TEL: 732-521-1900 ~ FAX: 732-521-3906
His second posting is even better, as it provides another general summation of known evidence to date (my original coverage here):
According to Obama and Gibbs, this digital document alone [the certification of live birth] is supposed to allow Obama to qualify to be President of the United States and Commander in Chief of the Military. According to them, this electronic image alone is sufficient to prove that Obama is a U.S. citizen and therefore qualified to have the full power of the executive vested in him. It is unbelievable that Obama would expect the American people to grant him such license over their lives based simply upon an electronic image on a computer screen. It is even more unbelievable that the Electoral College, our Congress, political institutions, security forces, and media would allow him to get away with it. This document, which in its paper form is undoubtedly a legal document, has no probative value given that it was posted by some unknown person on the internet as a digital image without following any prescribed electronic media security protocols. We know that digital images can be easily manipulated through computer technology. See http://technology.findlaw.com/articles/01102/010555.html for an explanation of the need to follow defined federal and state standards when it comes to electronic/digital information transmittal of legal documents. If Obama expects this digital image of a COLB to have such unprecedented value which allows him to be President of the United States, then he should at least show that the electronic image he posted meets electronic/digital security standards.
While not officially confirmed, the authenticity of the COLB computer image has been questioned by at least two digital image experts who have concluded that the COLB image is a forgery.
Obama says he was born in a hospital. A birth certificate provides the name of the hospital where the birth occurred and the name of the doctor delivering the baby. The COLB does not have this vital corroborating information.
When Obama was born in 1961, Hawaii had in effect the Certificate of Hawaiian Birth Program which it established in 1911 and which it terminated in 1972. Someone could under Act 96 get a certificate claiming a Hawaiian birth even if he was physically born in Kenya by an adult or parent falsely claiming to the director of health that he was born in Hawaii when in fact he was born in Kenya. Hence, because of the contradictory evidence that exists regarding where he was born, plaintiffs are entitled to pierce the alleged COLB and examine the file that is in the possession of the Hawaiian Secretary of State which may contain a sworn application/petition in which some party set forth circumstantially all the facts upon which the application rested and supporting sworn affidavits of witnesses. The file could also contain the results of the Secretary or his designee examinations under oath of the applicant or other person who may have been cognizant of the alleged facts regarding the application/petition along with other documentary evidence that they may have obtained as a result of issuing subpoenas for books and other papers. …
Not eve the Hawaii Department of Home Lands accepts a certification of live birth (COLB) as conclusive evidence of being a native of Hawaii for its Homeland program. From its web site: “In order to process your application, DHHL utilizes information that is found only on the original Certificate of Live Birth, which is either black or green. This is a more complete record of your birth than the Certification of Live Birth (a computer-generated printout). Submitting the original Certificate of Live Birth will save you time and money since the computer-generated Certification requires additional verification by DHHL.”
Despite the numerous and more-to-come law suits that have been and will be filed against Obama, he continues to refuse to release his original birth certificate and has opted rather to spend large sums of money using lawyers to defend himself and to cause the courts and litigants to expend large amounts of time and resources pursuing litigation against him and other third parties. He relies on procedural and other threshold arguments such as jurisdiction, justiciability, standing, political question, separation of powers, mootness, and ripeness rather than simply produce his original birth certificate and make a motion for summary judgment with prejudice as to the merits so that no other future cases can be brought against him and others which would then put an end not only to the ongoing drain of money, time, and other resources but also to the great public outrage that continues to be brew regarding his constitutional eligibility.
For some unknown reason and relying on state privacy laws, Obama has refused to publicly release his original Certificate of Live Birth (BC) even though in his book, Dreams from My Father, he stated that he has it.
Obama and his half-sister have each stated that he was born in different hospitals in Hawaii. In November 2004, in an interview with the Rainbow Newsletter, Maya told reporters her half-brother Sen. Barack Obama, was born on Aug. 4, 1961, at Queens Medical Center in Honolulu. But Obama has said he was born at Kapi’olani Medical Center for Women & Children. Changing her story, in February 2008 Maya then told reporters for the Honolulu Star-Bulletin that Obama was born at the Kapi’olani Medical Center for Women and Children.
On February 5, 2008, Madelyn Dunham was still alive, but the Obama campaign did not make her available for interviews with the media. Obama’s maternal grandmother surely would have known where her grandson was born but Obama refused the media access to her. http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2004164387_brodeur05m.html.
Neither of the two or any other hospital in Hawaii or anywhere in the world has been willing to come forward and claim its place in history as being the hospital where the first African-American President was born. There is no Hawaiian hospital that has confirmed that Obama and/or his mother were present in any such hospital at the time of Obama’s alleged birth in Honolulu. Not a single person has come forward, not a doctor, nurse, hospital administrator, nor any one else to confirm Obama’s birth in Hawaii.
Nor has the American public heard from any other person who could confirm Obama’s birth in Hawaii. …
Other than the COLB and the two newspaper announcements whose basis for information is the same single source, there does not exist one known corroborating medical or other document of any kind which shows that Obama was born in Hawaii. Obama’s birth notices appeared in both Honolulu Sunday newspapers on August 13, 1961. The information for those birth notices comes straight from the state Health Department’s Vital Records Division. Hence, the birth announcements, not having their source of information in some other place, do not add any corroboration to the COLB. Other secondary evidence may include baptismal or circumcision certificates, hospital birth records, or affidavits of persons having personal knowledge about the facts of birth. Other documentary evidence can be early census, school, or family bible records, newspaper files, or insurance papers. No such documents have been produced for the American public.
No public official in Hawaii has publicly confirmed that Obama was born in Hawaii. Director of Hawaiian Department of Heath, Fukino, said she has “personally seen and verified that the Hawaii State Department of Health has Sen. Obama’s original birth certificate on record in accordance with state policies and procedures,” but she failed to say that the certificate shows that Obama was born in Hawaii.
We have not heard from one international, federal, state, or local police or security agency that Obama’s birth place has been officially confirmed. …
Obama has refused all effort to have him release the following documents, relying on sealing of records and/or privacy laws: Punahou High School records, Occidental College records, Columbia College records, Columbia Thesis paper, Harvard College records, Selective Service Registration, medical records, Illinois State Senate records, Illinois State Senate schedule, Law practice client list, Certified Copy of original Birth Certificate, Harvard Law Review articles that were published, University of Chicago scholarly articles, exit and entry immigration records covering all of Obama’s travels out of the United States; passports; and record of baptism, if any.
Fightthesmears.com and factcheck.org have since maintained silence on the birth place issue after the questionable COLB was posted on the internet.
Obama has remained silent and has not declared publicly after his COLB and place of birth were questioned that he was born in Hawaii.
No member of the media, political party, the Executive Branch of Government, Congress, other political institution, Judiciary, or law enforcement entity, nor has Speaker Nancy Pelosi stated that she, has publicly stated that he or she has independently confirmed that Obama was born in Hawaii.
This Himalayan Mountain of contradictory evidence is sufficient to cause the prima facie presumption of the COLB to fall. Obama therefore now has the burden to come forward with competent evidence to conclusively prove that he was born in Hawaii. To date, he has failed to come forward with such evidence. Hence, under these circumstances, how can the American people in good faith conclude that Obama was born in Hawaii? How did Obama in good conscious twice take the oath to be President on January 20th when so many Americans have put forward all this contradictory evidence regarding where he was born and he refuses to come forward with any other convincing evidence (like a certified copy of his original birth certificate) showing that he was born in Hawaii?
We cannot place any trust in what Mr. Gibbbs said. He and Mr. Obama have to do a much better job than Mr. Gibbs’ feeble and floundering effort at answering Mr. Kinsolving’s simple question. Obama should just do the right and simple thing for everyone’s sake and produce the real evidence of where he was born rather than have his political cronies dodge the question for him.
Don’t forget that a current listing of Obama’s unreleased (sealed) background documentation can be found here.
A current listing of citizen grand jury and eligibility lawsuits can be found here.