Ed. 7 FAM 1131.6-2 Eligibility for Presidency
a. It has never been determined definitively by a court whether a person who acquired U.S. citizenship by birth abroad to U.S. citizens is a natural born citizen within the meaning of Article II of the Constitution and, therefore, eligible for the Presidency.
The State Department is part of the Executive Branch. The Foreign Affairs Manual is hosted at “State.gov” (see URL). Please note that the analysis of eligibility by the State Department – now controlled by Obama – requires two US Citizen parents.
Many have argued that Senate Resolution 511 – which served to falsely sanitize John McCain’s POTUS eligibility – states that a natural born citizen is a person born abroad to “American citizens” – plural.
[UPDATED: 9:07AM] – The actual language of the resolution reads as follows:
Whereas John Sidney McCain, III, was born to American citizens on an American military base in the Panama Canal Zone in 1936: Now, therefore, be it
Resolved, That John Sidney McCain, III, is a ‘‘natural born Citizen’’ under Article II, Section 1, of the Constitution of the United States.
Furthermore, the official statement of Senator Leahy which is part of the congressional record to the proposed resolution states:
Because he was born to American citizens, there is no doubt in my mind that Senator McCain is a natural born citizen.
And finally, the testimony of Secretary Cherthoff who was a Federal Judge was also made part of the official record. He stated:
My assumption and my understanding is that if you are born of American parents, you are naturally a natural-born American citizen.
The argument has merit to the Obama eligibility issue in that Senate Resolution 511 – co-sponsored by Obama – does not state that a person is a natural born citizen if born abroad to only one citizen parent.
The magic question is:
Why was it important to all who co-sponsored Senate Resolution 511 that both parents be citizens?
What was their logic? The question is certainly not the same as to Obama because McCain was born abroad and not on US soil. Assuming Obama was born in Hawaii, his supporters argue birth on US soil alone makes him a natural born citizen. I recognize there is a difference in circumstance.
However, the important point to be made with regard to Senate Resolution 511 concerns the policy that appears to prohibit a person from natural born citizen status if born abroad to only one citizen parent.
Why does it require two citizen parents? What is the policy behind the language requiring two US citizen parents? This is where the issue can be further supported by your questioning of Senators. Policy as used with regards to the drafting of laws is a legal term of art. It’s analogous to concern. What legal concern is acknowledged by requiring two citizen parents? Get the Senate and Obama to answer that question.
Obama eligibility supporters have argued that back when the framers drafted the Constitution women couldn’t vote and therefore a preference for acknowledging the father’s citizenship prevailed as to the son. These Obama supporters argue that if the Constitution ever required two citizen parents for natural born citizenship such requirement is not relevant any longer since women can now vote by Constitutional amendment.
To that argument I will now ask why Senate Resolution 511 doesn’t state that a person born abroad to one citizen parent is a natural born citizen?
WHY DOES THE SENATE REQUIRE TWO CITIZEN PARENTS FOR NATURAL BORN CITIZEN STATUS OF THOSE BORN ABROAD?
What is so important and relevant to natural born citizen status that both parents must be citizens if the child is born abroad? How would Obama, who co-sponsored Senate Resolution 511, answer this question? This is the question you need to now ask your Senators who agreed unanimously to Senate Resolution 511. Get a quote on the record answering this question.
I’m trying to imagine their answers in light of the Obama dual nationality issue and the arguments which claim he is not eligible according to the framer’s intent and Vattel’s definition of natural born citizen. They would have no other reason to argue both parents be citizens other than the safety of the nation and the framers intent.
Ask them specifically how they have determined their level of concern requiring two US citizen parents. It will not be easy for them to craft a response which doesn’t also acknowledge the very same concerns for person’s born on US soil to a parent who was never a US citizen.
But more important is that the very same question now needs to be asked of Obama’s own State Department which to this day also acknowledges the necessity of citizen parents on the same issue in their continued publication of the Foreign Affairs Manual at 7 FAM 1131.6-2.
Again, that section states:
“It has never been determined definitively by a court whether a person who acquired U.S. citizenship by birth abroad to U.S. citizens is a natural born citizen within the meaning of Article II of the Constitution and, therefore, eligible for the Presidency.”
Why does the Obama State Department’s continued publication of the Foreign Affairs manual acknowledge that the issue requires two US citizen parents?
What is the policy requiring both parents be US citizens as opposed to just one?
Please also note that Senate Resolution 511 does not discuss ordinary “citizenship”. This is a fine distinction which needs to be noted clearly. In Senate Resolution 511 they acknowledged that natural born citizenship is not the same as citizenship. Since one can become a citizen by naturalization, neither parent would need to be a US citizen.
In Senate Resolution 511, the Senate has acknowledged that “citizens” are not the same for Constitutional purposes as “natural born citizens”. This is confirmation, even signed on by Obama, that it takes something more to be a “natural born citizen” of the US rather than just a “citizen” of the US. Those who argue they are the same for purposes of POTUS eligibility must be confronted by Obama’s own admission in both co-sponsoring Senate Resolution 511 and publishing the Foreign Affairs manual that they are not one in the same thing.
I do not agree at all with the Senate’s definition of “natural born citizen” in Senate Resolution 511, but I do agree with the Senate and Obama that all citizens are not natural born citizens for purposes of satisfying the rigid requirements to be President in Article 2 Section 1 of the US Constitution.