Skip to content

Natural Born Citizenship: Myths, Law of Nations; Update: Common Law Still Exists?

Prolific blogger and attorney Leo Donofrio has posted yet another fascinating opinion regarding not only natural born citizenship myths — you know, those things that we tend to presume when getting into a great debate either on this blog or other sites — but also the “law of nations” as referred in the Constitution:

Rarely, when conducting legal research does one find a historical document that is directly on point.  But even more rare is to find a document which is directly on point multiple times.  But that’s exactly what has happened this week.  A historical document which destroys every bogus point being made by Obama POTUS eligibility supporters was recently discovered by a cracker jack team of university students from UCONN.  They call themselves UNDEAD REVOLUTION.

They have been sending me good stuff for quite a while now.  A wonderful contributor to comments at this blog – Kamira – is part of that team.  This group is preparing the mother of all natural born citizen research reports based upon their unique historical document discoveries.  It will be guest blogged by them right here when it’s ready for public consumption.

But for now, and as a lead in to their work, I offer you one of their superb historical finds.  It’s an article from The American Law Reviewdated Sept./Oct. 1884.  The American Law Review was a premier legal journal –  the brain child of Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendel Holmes.

This was not a law school publication.  It was considered to be the state of legal art which utilized the most esteemed attorneys of the period.

The article I am about to show you was published in The American Law Review, written by George D. Collins, Esq.  Attorney Collins was the Secretary of the California Bar Association.  His name was recognized nationally for cases in the federal courts and moreso due to his regular publishing of articles via The American Law review.

The article I am excited to bring you is titled:


The article provides historical opposition for every single point raised by Obama eligibility pundits and destroys all propaganda in its path.

The article is written in a clear and concise manner, easily understood by lawyers and lay persons alike.  I will now introduce each relevant issue confronted in this article and then present the article in full for your review.


MYTH #1: Chester Arthur’s British birth was known and accepted by the American people.

This article was written in Summer 1884, while Chester Arthur was stillPresident.  Since The American Law Review was such an esteemed legal publication, old Chester must have been somewhat intimidated by the report of Mr. Collins.  This is because the article makes perfectly clear that to be a natural born citizen one must have been born to a US citizen father.

Chester’s father William was not naturalized until 1843, 14 years after Chester was born.  This meant that Chester Arthur was a British subject at birth and was therefore not eligible to be President as was first reported at this blog back in December 2008.

It has been argued that Chester Arthur’s occupation of the White House set a legal precedent for Obama since both Chester and Barack were born of British fathers.  But the public – at the time Chester was running for VP and later when he became POTUS – never knew that Chester Arthur was a British subject since he successfully lied to the public about his parental heritage.

The law review article goes into great detail concerning the issue of who exactly rises to the level of natural born citizen.  It discusses law cases and legal precedent in its analysis, but it does not even mention the current President – Chester Arthur – even though Attorney Collins steadfastly denies that a person born on US soil to an alien father could be a natural born citizen.

If Attorney Collins – esteemed lawyer, Secretary of the Bar Association and nationally known legal journalist – had thought his current President at the time this article was published – Chester Arthur – was a British subject at birth, then the article would have required a discussion of that point.

But the article does not mention President Chester Arthur because Chester Arthur managed – through blatant deceit – to cover that issue up.  He successfully concealed his British birth from the American people.  This law review article is proof of that conclusion.

MYTH #2: Lynch v. Clark ( a New York State case, not federal) is legal precedent for Obama to be considered a natural born citizen.

Despite the fact that state court cases have absolutely no legal weight of authority in federal court, Obama eligibility supporters cite this case often.  Attorney Collins tears the decision to shreds and exposes its faulty conclusions.

MYTH #3: Common law states that being born on the soil – Jus Soli – makes one a “natural born subject” and therefore every person born on US soil is a “natural born citizen”.

Attorney Collins takes this on directly and establishes clearly that there is no common law in the United States.  He also explains that natural born citizens are in no way, shape or form, the same as natural born subjects.

MYTH #4: Vattell’s definition of a natural born citizen was not considered by the framers.

Attorney Collins discusses Vattell in great detail.  And Collins agrees that to be a natural born citizen one must be born on the soil of parents who were themselves citizens.  Collins quotes Vattell.

But more important is the fact that Collins makes it clear Vattell’s definition of “natural born citizen” was not actually Vattell’s definition.

This is very important.

The definition of “natural born citizen” was not created by Vattell in his treatise, “Law of Nations.”  That treatise simply discussed the established body of law known as “the law of nations”.  The definition of natural born citizen discussed in Vattell’s treatise was actually the definition established by the body of law known as “law of nations”.

Attorney Collins makes all of this quite clear in the article below.  Now please review Article 1, Section 8 of the US Constitution:

The Congress shall have power…To define and punish piracies and felonies committed on the high seas, and offenses against the Law of Nations;

The capital letters are not in reference to Vattell’s treatise, but theyare in reference to the body of law Vattell wrote about – the actual “law of nations”.  And that body of law –  according to Attorney Collins as well as Vattell – held that a “natural born citizen” was somebody with connections to the nation for having been born on the soil as well as having been born of citizen parents.  In Article 1, Section 8, we therefore have a direct recognition that the framers respected the law of nations.


This is what the framers required for the Commander In Chief.  Any child of immigrants from any nation could become President – as long as his parents became naturalized US citizens before that child was born on US soil.  In their wisdom, the framers sought two generations of US citizenship.  This discriminates against no race at all.

To be an American has nothing to do with race.  It has to do with being a person cloaked in liberty – free from monarchy, free of repression, free forever.

The natural born citizen clause does not establish a superior form of citizenship.  It does establish a national security safeguard against foreign invasion of the White House and takeover of the US Armed Forces.

It makes all the sense in the world that the person who holds the keys to the massive nuclear arsenal in our possession should be born on US soil to parents who were citizens.

If we allow persons born in the US of alien fathers to be President of the US then Kim Jong Il, Osama Bin Laden and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad are all eligible to have their direct offspring become President of the United States and Commander In Chief of our Armed Forces.

That is what you are saying if you think Obama is eligible to be President.

You can’t discriminate based on race or nationality in this country.  If a person whose father was not a US citizen at the time of his birth can become President, then it doesn’t matter what nation that person is a dual citizen of.

This is the main issue and main reason why I have dedicated so much of my time to this situation.  I am no more worried about Obama than I was about Bush or Clinton.  I see all of them as having struck horrific blows against US sovereignty.  But I am seriously worried about who comes next.  Who is being groomed as a Manchurian candidate as we speak? [emphases original]

Here is the George D. Collins article:

Are Persons Born Within the United States Ipso Facto Citizens Thereof – George D. Collins

All of the above is definitely worth a read. I don’t think that anyone can disagree with the notion of bringing more evidence to either substantiate or refute the fundamentals of the eligibility issue is a bad thing. And while I haven’t always personally commented in response to some in the opposition tha have brought up many of the above arguments, I think that it’s about time to seriously take the eligibility issue seriously.

Of course, the natural question is, “Why?”

Is it not abundantly clear that one risks employing a complete and total alien (of the terrestrial kind!) to the presidency if one does not explicitly enforce the presidential eligibility clause? Why is it considered by some to be such a bad thing to ask about such an ambitious individual’s background?

I have said a long time ago on this site that the issue is not so much Mr. Obama, per se, regarding eligibility; he’s merely the catalyst that got the research started. Rather, it is the constitutional aspect of the question that continues to intrigue me. What’s more, the fact that this clause in the Constitution hasn’t been more explored is bizarrely appalling to me; just because there is next to no actual case law specifically referring to constitutional presidential eligibility doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be pursued.

I think it’s been shown quite clearly as of late that the opposition to discovering more about the eligibility clause (does there really have to be an opposition to further studying out the Constitution? Frankly, that sounds quite crazy to me as I type it!) operates under their own standards of what’s acceptable.

Unfortunately, those standards are biased under the auspices that to question the eligibility clause is to fundamentally question who Mr. Obama is in terms of what he brings to the political table. As such, I’m sure that many opposition commenters would turn the question around and ask, thusly:

What if the President were an individual who pushed for the federal government to be constrained by the enumerated powers as defined in the Constitution, yet who is constitutionally ineligible for the presidency? Would you “birthers” be pushing just as hard to remove such a person?

My answer is a resounding “yes.” Though I would readily admit I would hate for such a scenario to occur, it doesn’t matter to what party the individual belongs — they are either eligible or they are not.

As a final thought on the above, I can only imagine that very few individuals in the press (e.g.: outside of the blogosphere) have even contemplated any of the above. Therefore, be better than them — read, contemplate and then comment. It certainly won’t hurt the situation!

Update: Criminal investigator Paul Andrew Mitchell responded to Mr. Donofrio’s posting thusly:

The “common law” is mentioned TWICE in the Seventh Amendment:

Moreover, the Seventh Amendment is the supreme Law of the Land
throughout the 50 States and D.C. and all Federal Territories, chiefly because
Congress expressly extended the Constitution into D.C. in 1871
and all Federal Territories in 1873.

And, 42 U.S.C. 1988 permits a State’s common law to decide a court case
if there is no adequate Federal remedy:

“… but in all cases where they are not adapted to the object, or are deficient in the provisions necessary to furnish suitable remedies and punish offenses against law, the common law, as modified and changed by the constitution and statutes of the State wherein the court having jurisdiction of such civil or criminal cause is held, so far as the same is not inconsistent with the Constitution and laws of the United States, shall be extended to and govern the said courts in the trial and disposition of the cause, and, if it is of a criminal nature, in the infliction of punishment on the party found guilty.”

Also, 28 U.S.C. 1652 authorizes importation of State laws into Federal court cases, as rules of decision:
the common law is the rule of decision in all California courts, for example:  CCC 22.2:

22.2. The common law of England, so far as it is not repugnant to or inconsistent with the Constitution of the United States, or the Constitution or laws of this State, is the rule of decision in all the courts of this State.

Also, see UCC 1-103:
concerning supplemental principles of law:

(b) Unless displaced by the particular provisions of [the Uniform Commercial Code],
the principles of law and equity, including the law merchant and the law relative to capacity to contract, principal and agent, estoppel, fraud, misrepresentation, duress, coercion, mistake, bankruptcy, and other validating or invalidating cause supplement its provisions.

Accordingly, it is NOT correct to say that “there is no common law in the United States”
EVEN IF “United States” is limited to the federal zone and/or to the Federal government.

(Emphases original)

See the following links regarding the eligibility saga:


Subscriptions -=- Twitter: @trsol -=- Facebook (TRSoL) -=- Facebook (Rightside Phil)


  1. Fatal error: Uncaught Error: Call to undefined function ereg() in /srv/users/serverpilot/apps/the-right-side-of-life/public/wp-content/themes/veryplaintxt/functions.php:183 Stack trace: #0 /srv/users/serverpilot/apps/the-right-side-of-life/public/wp-content/themes/veryplaintxt/comments.php(33): veryplaintxt_commenter_link() #1 /srv/users/serverpilot/apps/the-right-side-of-life/public/wp-includes/comment-template.php(1469): require('/srv/users/serv...') #2 /srv/users/serverpilot/apps/the-right-side-of-life/public/wp-content/themes/veryplaintxt/single.php(42): comments_template() #3 /srv/users/serverpilot/apps/the-right-side-of-life/public/wp-includes/template-loader.php(74): include('/srv/users/serv...') #4 /srv/users/serverpilot/apps/the-right-side-of-life/public/wp-blog-header.php(19): require_once('/srv/users/serv...') #5 /srv/users/serverpilot/apps/the-right-side-of-life/public/index.php(17): require('/srv/users/serv...') #6 {main} thrown in /srv/users/serverpilot/apps/the-right-side-of-life/public/wp-content/themes/veryplaintxt/functions.php on line 183