THE SCRUBBING OF AMERICA: How Professor Lawrence Solum Disgraced Himself To Protect Obama’s Eligibility.

In September of 2008, the Michigan Law Review published an article by Lawrence Solum, the John E. Cribbet Professor of Law at the University of Illinois College of Law, entitled, “Originalism and the Natural Born Citizen Clause”.  The article focused upon the issue of whether John McCain was eligible to be President despite his birth in Panama.  The article did not even mention Barack Obama.  The direct citation is Michigan Law Review: First Impressions Vol. 107:22 2008.

The opening paragraph of Solum’s article states:

“What was the original public meaning of the phrase that establishes the eligibility for the office of President of the United States? There is general agreement on the core of its meaning. Anyone born on American soil whose parents are citizens of the United States is a ‘natural born citizen.'” (Emphasis added.)

According to this reference, there is general agreement that the core meaning of the natural born citizen clause = born in the US to parents who are citizens.  According to Solum back in September 08, anyone who doesn’t fit that description, like McCain, falls into a “twilight zone” of eligibility.  This interesting choice of words mimics the US Supreme Court’s “doubts” expressed in Minor v. Happersett:

“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. Some authorities go further and include as citizens children born within the jurisdiction without reference to the citizenship of their parents. As to this class there have been doubts, but never as to the first.” (Emphasis added.)

Solum’s definition of the core meaning of natural born citizen seems to be taken directly from the SCOTUS in Minor.  Solum then goes on to analyze McCain’s eligibility and concludes that there is no clear answer as to whether McCain was eligible to be President.

CUT TO… OCTOBER 27th 2008.

Solum published the original article in September 2008.  But then something happened.

The issue of whether a dual citizen at birth may be considered a natural born citizen had been ignored in the run up to the election – prior to October 27, 2008 – when I brought my law suit, Donofrio v. Wells, against the New Jersey Secretary of State.  Up until then, the issue of Obama’s dual citizenship was not on the radar of voters, pundits, or journalists.

By 2010, the dual citizen issue had become common knowledge.   Today, four states – Montana, Nebraska, Tennessee and Arizona – have drafted bills requiring Presidential candidates to prove they have never been dual citizens, or that both of their parents were citizens of the United States when the candidate was born.  If any of those states actually pass such a law, Obama will not be eligible for inclusion on their ballots.


On April 18, 2010, Solum republished the article under the same exact title but with a vastly different second paragraph.  The revised article was released online via the Social Science Research Network.  The citation for the scrubbed article is Illinois Public Law Research Paper No. 09-17.  The second paragraph now reads:

“What is the legal significance of what we can call “the natural born citizen clause”?  There is general agreement on the core of settled meaning.2 As a matter of inclusion, it is beyond dispute that anyone born on American soil with an American parent is a ‘natural born citizen.’3″ (Emphasis added.)

Scrubadub dub dub…

When you go to footnote 3, it continues to scrub as follows:

“3 In an earlier version of this article, I used the phrase “whose parents are citizens of the United States.”  Some readers have misread the original as implying that someone born of only one American parent on American soil is not a “natural born citizen.” That reading ignores the context of the original sentence, which was meant to provide a case where “natural born citizen” status was indisputable… Based on my reading of the historical sources, there is no credible case that a person born on American soil with one American parent was clearly not a “natural born citizen…” (Emphasis added.)

That’s some serious scrubbing.

He starts with – “In an earlier version of this article” – but he doesn’t cite to the Michigan Law Review article anywhere in the scrubbed article.  These so called “legal scholars” would list a citation to tissue paper if they sneezed in it while writing a report.  But good old Solum here, he’s suddenly struck with a case of amnesia citosis.


The Michigan Law Review has not published Solum’s revisions.  To their credit, the article remains unscrubbed at their web site.  I spoke with Amy Murphy, Editor In Chief of the Michigan Law Review this morning.  She informed me that they have a general policy of not publishing revisions of articles they have previously published.

I also informed her in detail about the scrubbing by Solum.  I explained my background, the case I brought to the Supreme Court, and the timeline of events as they pertained to Solum’s articles.  She agreed to listen as I read the original Michigan Law Review version and the recently scrubbed version of the second paragraph to her.  When I finished reading, she informed me that the Michigan Law Review has “no comment”.


In another telling paragraph (in both versions), Solum states:

“How would an originalist approach the question whether the original meaning of the natural born citizen clause would permit McCain (and others not born of American parents on American soil) to become President?” (Emphasis added.)

This is a second reference to “parents”.  This was not revised.

But there’s more.  Solum also states (in both articles):

“If the American conception of ‘natural born citizen’ were equivalent to the English notion of a ‘natural born subject,’ then it could be argued that only persons born on American soil to American parents would have qualified…”

Parents – plural – again.

And one more time:

“This could result in the interpretation suggested above—which would limit “natural born citizens” to persons born of American parents on American soil.” (Emphasis added.)

Solum needs to scrub this thing down a bit more to make it fit the needs of Obama eligibility.  Perhaps that is why the scrubbed version is only listed as a “draft” when you download it.  But it’s not listed as a draft at the Social Science Research Network site’s abstract download page for the scrubbed version.


If Solum felt that the original article had been misinterpreted, he should have written a follow up report with a new title explaining the issue.

Solum chose to use “parents” – plural – throughout the original article, no footnote necessary.  So when people took him at his word, he scrubbed his word.  That’s not what an ethical professor does.  He doesn’t publish research in an esteemed journal and then republish the same article with the very same title after scrubbing a controversial paragraph.

That’s intellectual cowardice and it’s also a professional disgrace.  Shame on you, Larry.  You know it and so do your colleagues.  You are, after all, the “John E. Cribbett Professor of Law”.

Whatever, dude.

(Hat tip to reader “Steve T” for pointing this scrubbing out in comments.)

Leo Donofrio, Esq.

51 Responses to “THE SCRUBBING OF AMERICA: How Professor Lawrence Solum Disgraced Himself To Protect Obama’s Eligibility.”

  1. There was a “Foreign Affairs Manual” FAM 7, late ’90 early 2000 edition that stated something like; “…there is no acknowledged definition of natural born Citizen, but WHATEVER it is it is not a naturalized citizen…”

    I’ve lost track of my copy and can not seem to find it on the net anymore….

    I only mention it to ACKNOWLEDGE the sustained effort over the past 20 yrs, at least, to dilute the ‘effect’ of A2S1C5.

    I, even still, revisit the various ‘opposition’ points that say the ‘original intent’ of the usage of the ‘idiom’ is obsolete and out of touch and written by a bunch of old white racist and so on.

    I do that to test my OWN intellectual honesty on the subject and weigh my conclusions against all the dicta and pronouncements out there to test my own inner conviction.

    In all of this it remains that the natural born Citizen requirement is a mere minimal requirement for a POTUS when realizing NO standard would actually be too stringent with all things considered.

    The PURPOSE of our Guv’mnt is to Protect and Defend the Nation so that the Citizens they are Representing can go about their business of living free and pursuing their happiness and the Commander in Chief is the Point of the Spear.

    What requirement of one of our own would be too much to ask…?

    Whatever the answer, WHATEVER is too little.

  2. Leo, Glad to see you are adding your expertise to these issues again!

    This should tell us something. What do Obama and Lawrence B. Solum have in common besides Illinois? The coincidences just don’t stop!

    J.D. Harvard Law School

    A magna cum laude graduate of Harvard Law School, Solum served as editor of the Harvard Law Review.

    ed. Good point.- leo

  3. I can personally attest to yet another early version of Dr. Solumn’s paper which was published on the Internet, but which now seems to have been deleted. That other early version contained the following text:

    What is the legal significance of what we can call “the natural born citizen clause”? There is general agreement on the core of settled meaning. Anyone born on American soil whose parents are citizens of the United States of American [sic] is a “natural born citizen.” Anyone whose citizenship is acquired after birth as a result of “naturalization” is not a “natural born citizen.” But agreement on these paradigm cases does not entail that the clause has a clear meaning.

    I cited the above text in my own work. The same text is also cited by this article:

    As far as I know, the sentence, “But agreement on these paradigm cases does not entail that the clause has a clear meaning”, does not appear in any other version of Dr. Solum’s paper. Nevertheless, it reinforces the impression that, except for two cases mentioned, the term “natural born citizen” does not have clear meaning, which would seem to imply some measure of uncertainty regarding the status of a US-born child of only one citizen parent.

  4. “there is no acknowledged definition of natural born Citizen, but WHATEVER it is it is not a naturalized citizen”
    This is true, if we look at US Code 1401 which defines all naturalized at birth and by oath Citizens, the only omitted permutation is for 2 US Citizen parents born on US soil.

    So there really is no debatable point on the definition of natural born Citizen, since there’s only finite permutations of blood and soil.

  5. I think the confusion lies in the fact that most people think “naturalized” only means taking an oath, when it really means any route to citizenship defined by statute or treaty.

    Also, Mr. Donofrio, is there ANY WAY to get some Arizonans to enforce ARS 16-311?
    “The affidavit shall include facts sufficient to show that, other than the residency requirement provided in subsection A, the candidate will be qualified at the time of election to hold the office the person seeks.”

    What does “FACTS” mean in this law? Last time the SoS just let Ofraud self-attest! What the hell! You can’t attest to your own birth, you can’t witness it, that’s not a “fact”. Or is this hopeless too?

    ed. Good point. I have to be honest when someone asks, “is this hopeless too”. It’s hopeless… yup. Nothing will be done. I started writing this blog again because I saw state legislatures acting to protect their ballots from unconstitutional candidates. The fiasco I just witnessed with regard to Arizona SB 1308 took the wind right out of me. I do not believe HB 2544 was ever intended as anything more than a chess move leading to 1308. I’m sick about it, really sick. This appears to have been well thought out and deals were made behind doors… somebody bartered anchor baby citizenship to protect Obama. And the language used was so evasive that it looked like it was designed to check Obama’s credentials and dual citizenship, but it does neither. It doesn’t even require to see his COLB let alone a long form BC and it defines a person born to only one citizen parent as nbc. Wolf in sheeps clothing.-Leo

  6. One comforting thought …

    Punch into Google the following, without quotation marks:
    Lawrence Solum, John E. Cribbet Professor of Law

    Note the reference to your article as the third response out of 1,210.

    Question now is how long it will take for that reference to be scrubbed.

  7. Leo, It’s great to see your posts again! I have been checking your site almost everyday since your last post back in September (?) 2010 wondering what happened to your case with the Chrysler agents. I thought sure you would go to DC Federal court with a quo warranto to expose that teflon-covered fraud in the White House. Keep up the great work Leo, we need you like water in a bone-dry desert. God bless you, I am praying for you.

  8. You are correct Evergreen. There ARE only 2 types of Citizenship, BORN or NATURALIZED. The only “BORN” US citizenship are those born in the US of US Citizen parents. Everyone else is Naturalized in some way, be it by election of residence at the age of majority (passive naturalization) by Congressional statute, or by oath (which, by the way, requires SOLE allegiance to the US and no other foreign power).
    Number (1) of USC 8 Section 1401 is a natural born Citizen:
    “(1) born in the US and subject to the jurisdiction thereof”
    (1) USC8S1401 is not named a “natural born Citizen” because it is natural law, and naming it would make it positive law (which is why “natural born” was probably deleted from NA 1790). A natural born Citizen is first a citizen, like any other citizen.
    The bastardization of “jurisdiction”, as we all know, is the root of the problem, and the avenue that the AZ. bill seeks to bastardize again. Horace Gray continues to damage our Constitution and security 113 years later.

  9. Chris Conover Says:

    You are harping on Prof. Solum’s cowardice. But what about his flagrant dishonesty. His original statement was unequivocally true: There is general agreement on the core of its meaning. Anyone born on American soil whose parents are citizens of the United States is a ‘natural born citizen.’”

    His revised statement is a flat-out lie: “it is beyond dispute that anyone born on American soil with an American parent is a ‘natural born citizen.’” How do we know this is a lie? By reading Prof. Solum’s own article! ““This could result in the interpretation suggested above—which would limit “natural born citizens” to persons born of American parents on American soil.”

    If someone could interpret the meaning of natural born citizen in the fashion described, then how could anyone say with a straight face that the idea that NBC requires only one citizen parent is beyond dispute? Thus even if we set aside the puzzle of why a purported expert in this area could possibly have been ignorant of all the citizenship challenges being pursued in court on grounds that NBC requires two citizen parents, Prof. Solum’s argument is contradicted by his own research and reasoning.

  10. Constantine Says:


    Do you think that the big arrogant powers like Abercrombie and many of the TV news anchors, who don’t REALLY know the issues, shoot off their mouths out of ignorance until they really, actually find that what Obama has or doesn’t have is in reality quite shady? I found it exceedingly stupid what Neil Abercrombie did, and then almost immediately he did a 180 and we’re supposed to believe that he didn’t also immediately find out the details —- namely the reality of what Obama has (or doesn’t) in the vault?

    It’s just insulting to any sane thinker’s intelligence. Forget “birther” and all the ad hominem. It’s just common sense and logic about humanity.


    ed. I can’t comment on the other issue at this time, but the situation in Hawaii is beyond Twilight Zone, probably by intention but Im just not sure. – Leo

  11. The drought of moral people of influence in this country is astounding…I am speaking of professors, politicians etc.
    I just went to a link for Solum’s profile I picked up from Free Republic and I noticed that Solum coauthored a book “Destruction of Evidence” with none other than Jamie Gorelick. Surprise, surprise!
    I hate to think that fighting this fight is futile but it seems to be right now.
    I hope the good Lord with take it from here.
    Thanks Leo for researching and explaining this in such a concise way…you are so appreciated.

  12. politicaldoc Says:

    Do you have any comment on the Texas bill authored by Leo Berman? The bill simply asks a candidate to present a long form birth certificate.

    ed. I think it actually only requires an “original birth certificate”. There’s wiggle room there, but even that wont pass. Nobody is going to ask Obama for anything, not even a COLB. It’s not gonna happen. – leo

  13. @ Chris,

    Nicely said. I picked up on the same contradiction, but you beat me to laying it out in a post.

    Any bets that Solum howls at a full moon too?

  14. Mick: Naturalized covers naturalized by oath or naturalized-at-birth: Under US Code 1401 it has a section called “Born Citizens” under the total umbrella of naturalized Citizens. Naturalized just means via statute or treaty, and it includes naturalized-at-birth or “born citizens” and naturalized by oath.
    But the 2 US Citizen/born on US soil permutation is the only one omitted from US Code 1401, and rightly so as that is the definition of NBC, and it is not a naturalized citizen.

    ed. This is a very good point. The US code lists all types of paths to citizenship but it does not list “born in the US to “parents” who are citizens”. This is because such a person is a natural born citizen and no statute or Amendment is necessary to make one a US citizen.-leo

  15. Wouldn’t a good definition of “intellectual cowardice” be someone who is so scared of actual debate that he deletes the comments that prove him wrong?

    ed. That assumes there are comments that “prove” him wrong. And so far I haven’t come across any.

    But as to your comments not being posted, try being courteous to the author of this blog, removing insults against other readers and removing blatant lies. There are dissenting voices in these comments but they all have two things in common – courtesy and a genuine question. ie Gorefan who obviously has done much research and who is also courteous. I don’t agree with him at all, but he’s posted many counter arguments as have others.

    As to lies, you kept trying to post on this blog a comment to the effect that the State Department treats a COLB from Texas and California the same way they treat them from other states. That’s a blatant lie. The State Department web site states:

    “*A certified birth certificate has a registrar’s raised, embossed, impressed or multicolored seal, registrar’s signature, and the date the certificate was filed with the registrar’s office, which must be within 1 year of your birth. Please note, some short (abstract) versions of birth certificates may not be acceptable for passport purposes.”

    “short (abstract) versions of birth certificates” = COLB

    Passport Visa is a professional expediting company officially recognized and registered with the U.S. Passport Agency. At their web site, it states:

    “Applicants born in California or Texas MUST submit a Long-Form Birth Certificate; short forms or abstract birth certificates are UNACCEPTABLE”

    -Both of those quotes come from the article you were trying to post a comment to. Had you simply read the article, perhaps you might not have wasted my time with the question. But your manner and rudeness indicate a person who was not sincerely interested in debate but rather someone with an agenda. Regardless, I did not post your question because you were rude and insulting, not because I didn’t have very simple fact based refutation. The same refutation that was in the original article.

    This question was asked in a courteous manner and so it was posted. New comments will be posted as long as they respect the forum and are designed to instigate honest debate. The fact that I have responded to this comment is proof of the integrity of the blog and the rules.


  16. borderraven Says:

    I somewhat agree with Mick:

    There are only 2 paths to US citizenship:

    1. Naturalization in a United State = US Citizen

    2. Birth.
    There are 4 sub-paths to US citizenship by birth:
    a. Foreign birth to a US Citizen in a Foreign State = US Citizen
    b. Foreign birth to 2 US Citizens in a Foreign State = US NBC

    ed. No way. NBC requires birth in US. McCain was not eligible, just stop it. That’s bunk.-Leo

    c. Native birth to a US Citizen in a United State = US Citizen
    d. Natural birth to 2 US Citizens in a United State = US NBC

    — or this version

    1. A US citizen, eligible to serve in the Legislative Branch, and Judicial Branch, but not the Executive Branch, is:
    a. any naturalized US Citizen
    b. A US-born US citizen using the formula: (SOIL)+(MOM)+(DAD) = BABY CITIZENSHIP
    c. A foreign-born US citizen using the formula:

    2. US Natural Born Citizen, eligible to serve in the Legislative Branch, the Executive Branch, and the Judicial Branch, is:
    a. Using the formula: (SOIL)+(MOM)+(DAD) = BABY CITIZENSHIP

    — or the longer version:

    Any way you look at it Barack Hussein Obama II is not constitutionally eligible to be a US President.

    Since Obama isn’t natural born, he is ineligible to be POTUS.

  17. borderraven Says:

    John Bingham in the 37th Congress 2nd Session House of Representatives 1862

    Who are natural born citizens?


  18. borderraven Says:

    Another tidbit.

    DYNES V. HOOVER, 61 U. S. 65 (1857)

    “that the President of the United States, as constitutional commander-in-chief of the army and navy, and in virtue of his
    Page 61 U. S. 84
    constitutional obligation that “He shall take care that the laws be faithfully executed,” violated no law ”

    If the Supreme Court can rule the President violated no laws, then can SCOTUS rule if the POTUS was an ineligible candidate or if the person in office, being ineligible, is breaking the law?

  19. borderraven Says:


    Wisconsin lawmakers fled to Illinois. Under the 14th Amendment, we change state citizenship by residence. Can a State Governor proclaim those vacated seats seats now open, and assign temporary replacements?

  20. @borderraven: There may be more than one path to NBC, but I’m not exactly sure. If you come from Vattel, whose book was used by the Framers, it’s clear: birth in the US plus two citizen parents. But there was also this article by Breckinridge Long who spoke of this other opinion, a more general opinion, namely that if “a person at the instant of birth […] owes […] allegiance to any sovereign but the United States, he is not a ‘natural born’ citizen of the United States”. I can think of certain specific instances, where this proposed unity of US citizenship and allegiance to be NBC (i.e. the absence of non-US citizenship at birth) can be acquired via other paths than Vattel, e.g. (1) birth in a foreign country, if its laws do not confer its citizenship on children of US citizens born on its soil, or (2) birth in the US to an American mother and a foreign father, but out of wedlock, which would mean that the child’s citizenship only depends on the US mother and US ius solis. In both cases we would have absence of foreign allegiance at birth, but does that automatically mean that the child is a NBC?

    Anyways, great to see you back, Leo. Don’t forget to make some music. 🙂


  22. Dear Leo,
    I am elated you are posting again, and like others I had checked your site daily since September: wishin’ and a hopin’. While you were gone (I suspect deeply immersed on Chrysler) I had emailed you (12-2-2010) an insight which I’d like to post here for others to ponder.

    In 1787 “citizen” was left for the States to define, but “natural born Citizen” was a federal case from the onset. Might this help show “citizen” has always been viewed as different from NBC? I believe these two terms may have been seen as a federal versus “States Rights” issue, at least prior to the 14th Amendment in 1868.

    Our Founders left the definition of “citizen” to the sovereign authority of each State (or so it seems to me), and it remained there until 1868 with the 14th Amendment. Prior to this the definition of “citizen” was not a federal issue, only “natural born Citizen” was such. Furthermore, the 14th does not mention NBC. This action reinforces there was, indeed, seen to be a difference between the two, as viewed by the Congress and the entire Nation in 1866-68 when the 14th was being proposed and ratified.

    Although “natural born Citizen” is not defined in the original Constitution of 1787 NEITHER is the word “citizen.” Furthermore, an absolutely crucial point is the Founders had left “citizen” for each of the States to define, because it was not a federal issue, only NBC was. (It might have been one of the States Rights issues so strongly expressed prior to the Civil War.) Not until 1866, via the 14th Amendment, was “citizen” defined at the federal level and – most notably – NBC is not mentioned.

    Thus, from the onset, it is clear Our Founders knew these two terms meant something entirely different. Plus, prior to the Civil War each of the States had held sole authority to define who was a citizen. It was only after the Civil War that the gross inequities among the States came to light, and gave rise to what became the 14th Amendment so that the rules to becoming a U.S. Citizen would be the same in every state. It was only then that the definition of “citizen” became a federal issue. Repeating myself, NBC is not mentioned in the 14th which reinforces the fact that the legislators at that time (1866-1868) knew NBC to be a term defined totally separate from “citizen.”

    This may help to discredit the spurious arguments still being made that the two terms are either the same or hold little difference, at least as might (should) be viewed within a court of law if not in the realm of public opinion.

    Thank you for listening and, again, HOORAY that you are back.


    ed. Kill the caps Ken. It’s considered bad netiquette. As to the content of your comment, I think that all federal reserve notes are not Constitutional money and that more than anything will eventually lead to the inevitable destruction of the dollar. No President has done anything to change this, other than perhaps JFK… and we all know how that story ended.- Leo

  24. It good to see Natural Born Citizen blog up and running again. Thank you for not throwing the towel.

    It is also good to see that the discussion has moved more to jus sanguinis than jus soli. I guess Big Foot is still out there but many more people understand why it is not the critical factor.

    I have been chastising those who mis-use the exact Article II term of ‘natural born Citizen’. When I see ‘Natural Born Citizen’, ‘natural-born Citizen’ or any combination of these and the acronym NBC I get agitated.

    I believe through both ignorance and actual attempts to muddy the waters of Article II people are mis-using the term and then saying – “its not a defined term” and implying the founders made a grievous oversight or error.

    However, when the term is looked at correctly – “natural born Citizen” it should recognized that the founders did use a proper noun and it is defined – Citizen. It is a Citizen of one the United States. But when I apply basic English language constructs along with proper read of of legal wording ‘natural’ and ‘born’ are simply adjectives to enhance and refine the type of ‘Citizen’ who can be President. They are NOT part of a formally defined proper noun construct. If they were the term would be ‘Natural Born Citizen’ and acronym of NBC would be correct. And we could say – this proper noun is not defined in the Constitution and hence the founders made a grievous error.

    But the founders used lower case adjectives and did not create a special word (i.e. natural-born) and did not indicated they part of a formal term. So should we not look to each as a stand alone description? Is the term ‘natural Citizen and born Citizen’ equal and the same as ‘natural born Citizen’? The only difference is that it uses fewer words.

    If that is the case then a ‘natural Citizen’ and a ‘born Citizen’ can be two different things. I see some here say ‘there are only two types of Citizenship’ – Born and Naturalized. I think this is misstated. If this were the case then the founders could have dispensed with the ‘natural’ part of ‘natural born Citizen’. But they did not. It is possible to be a Citizen at birth. From the second you are born you can be a Citizen but if the method of Citizenship is through statute and positive man made law then you are not a natural Citizen. Such is the case with 14th Amendment babies. They are born as citizens. But they lack natural status since they require a status to be considered citizens.

    Finally for the ‘birth’ adjective. I believe the proper use of this meant ‘from birth’. Not just ‘at birth’. These means if you do leave the country and return and change Citizenship and then go through a formal naturalization process you are certainly no longer have ‘natural born’ status. The point it time definition is too limited. And with current holder of the office of the President this could could also be a problematic thing.

    ed. the “from birth” vs “at birth” thing is interesting. Nice post. – Leo

  25. Hi Leo,

    I have a puzzler for you. 🙂

    Many nbC definitional revisionists try to claim that being born with dual citizenship cannot of itself disqualify one as a natural born Citizen. They argue that, since any country can unilaterally lay its claims of citizenship on Americans born within the USA to US citizen parents, dual citizenship does not really matter. A common example given of such a country is that of Italy, which may claim third generation bloodline citizenry through a single Italian citizen grandfather. Such a grandchild could be a US natural born Citizen, yet also hold an Italian passport.

    I think the key to sorting out this conundrum may be found in examining the allegiance of the parents, from which the allegiance of the child derives. The key is that the parents must have allegiance to the US alone.

    In the case of naturalized citizen parents, as a condition of citizenship, the parents were required to swear an oath of sole allegiance to their newly adopted country, specifically renouncing any prior allegiances. Thus, just as with natural born Citizens, their expressed fealty and loyalty lies exclusively with the USA, regardless of whatever claims any other country may make. This ensures that the child is raised in an atmosphere of exclusive loyalty and dedication to the USA such that the child’s own exclusive loyalty will then flow naturally from this condition.

    In the time of the Founders, the allegiance of a wife was subsumed by that of her husband, and in the USA dual citizenship was rare (if permitted at all?) so that the condition of the child simply followed that of the father. Today, things are not so simple, as women are now sovereign citizens equal in every way to men (regardless of marital state) and dual citizenship is more commonly recognized (you can probably see where this is leading…).

    I wonder if this doesn’t allow the possibility of a birth condition of confused loyalties unforeseen by the Founders: i.e., a child born to and raised by dual citizen parents? Even though such a child may be born on US soil to US citizen parents, the parents may have openly expressed equal loyalty to another country. Yes, our government may only conditionally recognize the parents second citizenship based on their physical location at the time, but I could imagine a case where such parents physically spend most of their time in their “other” country, yet retain their US citizenship. Then their child might easily develop a greater attachment to the second country. How then could such a child really ever be considered to be a natural born Citizen (at least to the Founder’s intent)? Maybe this is the not-unexpected subterfuge of our country’s slow slide into “progressivism.”

    So, what do you think?

    ed. I think if your parents are citizens when you are born in the US, then you are a natural born US citizen. – Leo

  26. Hi, Leo. Great to have your postings again.

    This part is in answer to thinkwell who posted: “Even though such a child may be born on US soil to US citizen parents, the parents may have openly expressed equal loyalty to another country. ”

    The Supreme Court case PERKINS v. ELG, 307 U.S. 325 (1939) decided that Ms. Elg, born in Brooklyn of two AMerican citizens parents (naturalized from Sweden), was a natural born citizen, and even as her Dad went back to Sweden and reclaimed THAT citizenship, and took his daughter with him to Sweden… the US Supreme Court decreed that Ms. Elg’s US natural born citizenship could NOT be stripped from her by her father.

    Naturalized citizens renounce their other citizenship(s), when they become (soley) American citizens.

    US father + US mother + born in US = nbC baby.

    This can also be “seen as a triangle with the three parts as the three sides, forming an equilateral triangle.

    Removing ONE side of this triangle… ypou don’t have a tirangle any more. You have an angle.

  27. Bill Cutting Says:

    So why did L. Solum all of a sudden change his article on April 18th 2010?

    Here is what i suspect

    On April 10th 2010 The Post & Email published the 1916 legal opinion by St Louis attorney Breckinridge Long who challenged the NBC status of presidential candidate Charles Evans Hughes.
    As I recall there was a follow up article on this blog.

    Solum must have went into panic mode.

  28. Hey ,Leo,so now the duplicious and unethical machinations come down to a single letter being erased.Not even qualifying words being added,or addtional vebiage to phrases to perform feats of magic and legalese.Sadly,if this occured when there was a furor over the eligbility issue the political and mainstream media hacks would’ve called it nitpicking,irrelevant,and paranoia to show concern over an issue of parmaount importance.As an aside,the federal reserve note has never been real money.It is fiat currency.It once was backed by precious metals,but they changed the wording long ago to say it is legal tender.All you can do is exchange it for another note at a fed reserve bank.You can’t exchange it for gold or silver.The Fed Reserve Act of 1913 was one of the most treasonus acts against the American people in our history.The dollar died in 1933.But it has been propped up by the Illuminati ever since as the true wealth of all nations has passed hands slowly awaiting the destruction of this and other erstwhile great nations.We’ve had a few instance where the Stock Market almost crashed completely,but lo and behold it survives.After the last one in 2008,it was thought by most Globalist Researchers,including yours truly that the plug would be pulled by mid-2009.But there is no predicting when these cretins will pull the plug.Meanwhile,the evil and depravity grows exponentially.Sorry to be so gloom and doom but I’m awestruck at what has transpired in the world since you went on blog hiatus.As I said long ago,there was a very small window of opportunity in justice being done after the dual oath was taken by Obama,and if it passed,then all the blogs and radio shows would fade away and it would be business as usual,with everyone playing the partisan shell game of right and left and “voting the bums out”.But we all continue our best to fight in our own ways.Glad to see you back here for whatever fight you are in,or exposure of negligent behavior of our politicans and their dereliction of duty to serve “we the peope”. Take Care……………Jim

  29. @Joss Brown: I think have an answer to your question, and it has to do with a distinction between Vattel’s natural law definition of natural born citizen (born in the country to citizen parents) and the intent of the Founding Fathers with their use of the term natural born citizen, which was as a “strong check” against foreign influence.

    The Founding Fathers wanted presidents who had no foreign allegiance at birth – persons with exclusive allegiance to the US. This condition is clearly met by a person born in the country to citizen parents, which is a natural born citizen as defined by the laws of nature.

    But the above distinction leads us to accepting, as eligible for president, a person who was born with no foreign allegiance who is not a natural born citizen as defined by Vattel and natural law. Such a person could be born to US citizen parents in a foreign country with no jus soli laws. Note that this condition may apply to McCain, who was born in the sovereign territory of Panama. He was not born with allegiance to Panama, but he was born with an option to be a Panamanian citizen at the age of majority, and that option may have presented enough of an attachment to a foreign country to disqualify McCain in the eyes of our Founding Fathers.

    But I don’t think that this distinction would make a US-born child (born out of wedlock) to a US mother and foreigner father a natural born citizen and eligible to be President. I believe that by the laws of nature, citizenship is transmitted by the father and mother, even if unmarried. So the child in your example would be a dual citizen at birth and born with a foreign allegiance.

    ed. Hold on there brother. I seem to recall that McCain was probably a Panama citizen at birth. Regardless, he was not eligible, not born in US. – Leo

  30. borderraven Says:

    On the concern over any foreign government exerting extra-territorial jurisdiction to affect the decisions of a dual-national serving in the US government (military, executive,legislature, judicial, etc.). We should worry more that a dual-national President may choose to favor a foreign nation or entity (religion) over the best interests of US citizens. The Founding fathers allowed for citizens born abroad to serve in the military, legislature, judicial, etc., but restricted the executive to a nbC (native-born to two US Citizens) for good reason.

  31. borderraven Says:

    Minors cannot consent or contract. They are wards of their parents or guardians, until reaching the age of consent or majority.
    Minors follow the allegiance (religion, condition) of their parents.

    Barry v Mercein 46 U. S.(1847) Case Footnote 4:

    “4. The plaintiff in error being of legeance to the crown of England, his child, though born in the United States during its father’s temporary residence therein,-twenty-two months and twenty days,-notwithstanding its mother be an American citizen, is not a citizen of the United States. It is incapacitated by its infancy from making any present election, follows the legeance of its father, partus sequitur patrem, and is a British subject. The father being domiciled and resident within the dominions of her Britannic Majesty, such is also the proper and rightful domicil of his wife and child, and he has a legal right to remove them thither. The child being detained from the father, its natural guardian and protector, without authority of law, the writ of habeas corpus ad subjiciendum is his appropriate legal remedy for its restoration to him from its present illegal detention and restraint; Constitution United States, art. 3, 2; Judiciary Act, 1789, 11; Inglis v. Trustees Sail. Snug Harb., 3 Pet., 99; 7 Anne, cap. 5; 4 Geo. 3, cap. 21; Warrender v. Warrender, 2 Cl. & F., 523; Story Confl. L., 30, 36, 43, 74, 160; Shelf. Marriage, Ferg., 397, 398.”

    See counter argument at:

  32. The two types of citizens are naturalized, either naturalized at birth (1401 calls them citizens of United States at birth) or naturalized by oath, i.e. all statutory Citizens…or natural born Citizens. The former is defined by statute, the latter by nature. The former always has at least one first generation tie by blood or soil to a foreign nation, the latter never does. And so the generation is imperative, not any citizenship claim by another country.

    The Founders made clear that a Citizen is never a natural born Citizen, because otherwise they would have written article II differently: Fr the Grandfather Clause they would have required POTUS be 11 years a Citizen and 3 years a Resident, and thereafter POTUS would have had to have been 14 years a Citizen. But no, they only required Congress and Senate be 6 and 9 years a CITIZEN (and age 25). The founders made clear they did not consider “Citizen” to at all mean what “natural born Citizen” means; there are no statutes for natural born Citizens, there are statutes for defining Citizens.

  33. Article II requires POTUS be 14 years a RESIDENT, they make it obvious that a natural born Citizen, is never a Citizen!!

  34. I just wanted you to know did not make up the ‘from birth’ definition of born on my own. I found it after realizing that the ‘term’ ‘natural born Citizen’ is not a defined term in the strict legal sense (I read a lot of contracts and know why terms are capitalized in a contract) or a proper noun using basic English language construct as taught in grade school. I simply used Google and looked up ‘natural’ and ‘born’ as stand alone adjectives.

    I have had a lively debate on this subject at the following link. I post as bluecat6.;page=251

    Also, After looking at this for 2 year I will share that I believe 2 or 3 formal adoptions of Obama occurred. Hence, the lack of original records that no one – even Gov. Abercrombrie can find. I believe that Obama was formally adopted by his step father – Lolo Soetoro. But then in late 1971 Obama went through the full range of citizenships of his youth. This is when he was formally transferred to his grandparents for raising.

    Here is what I posted at Hannity forums on this subject:


    This is why Sr is needed in 1971.

    1. He reclaims Obama as his and thus terminates Indonesian citizenship under Article 17.c – “being recognized by an alien as his/her child if the person concerned has not reached the age of 18,…”. Mom can not legally terminate the Indonesian citizenship status on her own. She is now an Indonesian in the eyes of Indonesia. They need the “alien father” to formally claim Obama Jr. again. This is needed to ensure Obama is never caught up in the lack of dual citizenship status in Indonesia. Mom will still be there and he needs the ability to come and go from that country in the future if wanted/needed. And the grandparent probably do not want that issue hanging around.

    2. At this point he is a Kenyan/UK citizen for sure. Does he still have US Citizenship? I will not go there for now. Remember, his mother is now an Indonesian in the eyes of Indonesia so she can not/did not terminate his Indonesian on her own. If there are any doubts if Obama was formally a Kenyan/UK citizen this erases them. At least for a few minutes or days or weeks he had to be a formal Kenyan/UK citizen and the formal child of BHO Sr. – again.

    3. Then the Dunhams formally adopt Barry. He is now a US citizen (again?), his legal guardians are the grandparents and everyone can now go and lead a normal American life. Barak Obama Sr. is then freed of his parental responsibilities and goes back home. But the who process with approvals, typewriters, embassies, etc. takes time. Hence why Barack Sr. hangs out in Hawaii for around a month and hangs with his family.

    4. When the process is complete – SAD/SAS goes back to Lolo in Indonesia no longer the legal guardian/parent of Obama Jr. Obama Sr. is gone and you have a somewhat standard family situation.

    Think about it. If you were the grandparents and you were take responsibility for this child do you just flaunt the law and risk running into Citizenship and legal guardian issues later? Hell no. You do all of this by the book. You know your daughter is a flake and you know daddy was daddy in name only. You run into guardian/citizenship issues down the road and its a nightmare. So I bet the grandparents made sure everything was done by the book and legal in December 1971-January 1972 while they had SAD and BHO Sr. there. They had to if they were to continue raising their grandchild.


    I am glad you are blogging on this subject again. Others still are but they do so with too much emotion. You provide outstanding insight into the subject.

  35. bob strauss Says:

    What about the precedent that is being set by not declaring Obama ineligible to be POTUS?

    ed. No precedent… obviously we have a Constitutional crisis on our hands.-Leo

  36. The most-used reference on terms in American Law is Black’s Law Dictionary, and according to all the editions of Black’s that I’ve found, a child who receives citizenship due to birth in the U.S. qualifies as a natural-born citizen. The Sixth editions goes even farther and would include John S. McCain: “Natural born citizen. Persons who are born within the jurisdiction of a national government, i.e. in its territorial limits, or those born of citizens temporarily residing abroad.”

    I’ve seen papers in the legal literature saying that the native-born issue is a settled, specifically Charles Gordon, “Who Can be President of the United States: The Unresolved Enigma,” 28 Maryland Law Review 1, 7-22 (1968); and Jill Pryor “The Natural-Born Citizen Clause and Presidential Eligibility: An Approach for Resolving Two Hundred Years of Uncertainty”, 97 Yale Law Journal 881-889 (1988).

    My question: Are there sources from during Barack Obama’s lifetime, but before he declared his candidacy for the presidency, that imply a foreign father makes the child ineligible? Was anyone arguing, before 2008, that Black’s had it wrong? Was there any contemporary rebuttal to Gordon’s claim, “It is clear enough that native-born citizens are eligible”? Or Pryor’s: “It is well settled that ‘native-born’ citizens, those born in the United States, qualify as natural born.” [Quotes are from the law review articles cited above.]

    ed. Yup there is… plenty. Start here…more to come in the days ahead. – leo

    I think the answer to my question is ‘no’, which gives us a situation in which for all of Barack Obama’s life the standard references on law told him that he is a natural-born citizen potentially eligible to be President, and no one was saying otherwise. Then, when he runs, sources such as this blog start telling the rules different.

  37. kittycat77 Says:

    My understanding of an NBC is this, born of two US citizen parents. And that includes born on US bases wherever in the world, right?

    ed. Wrong, the FAM of State Department clearly says that a person born on a base does not derive citizenship for being born on the base. The citizenship comes through the blood of the parents but not from birth on a base. McCain was not eligible and should have spared the country from his having run. He hurt this nation by running. – leo

    Plus, just being a citizen is good even though you might not be an NBC. You still have every benefit of being an American, EXCEPT being the POTUS. It’s really a special thing that one is born into. It’s there for a good reason, which is evident with what is happening to our nation right now, in my honestly opinion.

  38. kittycat77 Says:

    NBC is a status, but not a right. You’re either born that way, or you are not born that way. It can never change, I don’t think. But if someone later in years denounces their US citizenship, then does it change if they decide to come back to it?

    Just curious about that one.

  39. Leo, some time ago, you wrote about Obama, that when he was a candidate, could have made a legal request to the US Supreme Court for a clarification on his eligibility. There was a name for that legal request, and I cannot remember what is was. Can you provide me the term? Thanks.

    ed. I dont recall if I said exactly that… perhaps by way of “certified question” but that would have come through a declaratory judgment request in a lower court I believe. – leo

  40. da verg Says:

    Georgia’s now trying to better AZ

    ed. That looks pretty solid. -Leo

  41. elspeth Says:

    As with the make-believe media, when someone/something like Solum show their “true colors”/loyalty, we should make note and act accordingly.

    True patriots to these United States are getting easier to identify, don’t you think?

  42. Constantine Says:

    Leo, I just asked Apuzzo this question:

    How do we ever hope to get back to enforcing the Constitution when we can’t even keep those who are obviously ineligible, and admit it, from our presidential ballots? You obviously know Roger Calero and his story: He was on the 2004 ballot in the state of New Jersey.

    It seems to me that if no one can preclude him from the ballot in the first place, or any place, it is clear: the lone adjudicators of eligibility are electoral college and congress.

    How could the Supreme Court NOT take a case of let’s say, Donofrio vs. Calero and tell us WHO IS ELIGIBLE? It seems like the easiest route in the world! We should be carrying Calero on our shoulders for helping us solve this totally ridiculous circumstance. Instead, we’re sitting here with our tools in our hands unable to do anything!

    It makes absolutely NO sense.

    ed. The true evidence of just what can be done was done by various secretaries of states who kept Calero off their ballots. This proved that the states have the right and legal authority to protect their ballots.- Leo

  43. evergreen Says:

    February 25, 2011 at 2:03 AM
    Mick: Naturalized covers naturalized by oath or naturalized-at-birth: Under US Code 1401 it has a section called “Born Citizens” under the total umbrella of naturalized Citizens. Naturalized just means via statute or treaty, and it includes naturalized-at-birth or “born citizens” and naturalized by oath.
    But the 2 US Citizen/born on US soil permutation is the only one omitted from US Code 1401, and rightly so as that is the definition of NBC, and it is not a naturalized citizen.

    ed. This is a very good point. The US code lists all types of paths to citizenship but it does not list “born in the US to “parents” who are citizens”. This is because such a person is a natural born citizen and no statute or Amendment is necessary to make one a US citizen.-leo

    It was argued in the 1st case I presented that the conditions requisite could be ‘distilled’ by the process of elimination in Title 8 with the irreducible minimum remaining being a NBC, the only set of circumstances of birth not codified yet, nevertheless, natural occurrence in every civil society.

    If I have taken a particular concern expressed in the past by the ED it may not be ‘appropriate’ to ‘codify’ the condition and circumstances of natural born Citizen into a ‘statutory construction’. I lean that way also but find it difficult to express the cause of concern; ‘an unalienable yet unenumerated Right..(?), In the honoring of Parents (?);

    Yet it seems circumstances plainly advises that an “Acknowledged” and “Legal” definition has become necessary for the Constitutional purpose of the “legal” perpetuation of the Executive Offices.

    In order to “legally” satisfy the needs of the “transient Political aspects” of the Constitutional idiom of natural born Citizen it is made necessary to define the whole of the circumstances and conditions requisite of “being” born a natural born Citizen and, perhaps, also conditions and or circumstances which might alter that claim during the course of ones life.

    But, being a Constitution from which all laws are meant to emanate a conundrum is made by the ‘conflicts’ of differing historical interpretations and bastardizations by statutory constructions of the term of words that were intended to be ‘self evident’ when used.

    So, “Acknowledgment” of the ‘specific circumstances and conditions requisite’ are in need of expression in a form that are made the “Legal acknowledgment” for Constitutional purposes.

    So, in Jeopardy terms; What is; not ‘statutory’ yet taken as being the ‘legal authority’ on a subject.

  44. brygenon Says:

    My question again: Are there sources from during Barack Obama’s lifetime, but before he declared his candidacy for the presidency, that imply a foreign father makes the child ineligible? Obviously Breckinridge Long’s article from 1916 doesn’t qualify. Furthermore, Long wrote, “Mr. Hughes was born before the adoption of the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution, so the status of his citizenship must be considered as under the laws existing prior to the time of the adoption of that Amendment.”

    ed. yes there are sources. and as a “brilliant legal scholar” and professor of Constitutional law, I’m sure he was aware of them, and there was no excuse for him not to have been. – leo

  45. Another ‘born’ = “from birth” link.

    From Johnson County auditor in Iowa:

    Under “Citizenship” column – ‘FROM birth’

  46. brygenon Says:

    “yes there are sources. and as a ‘brilliant legal scholar’ and professor of Constitutional law, I’m sure he was aware of them, and there was no excuse for him not to have been.” – leo

    I don’t think that’s reasonable. Peer review for the /Yale Law Journal/ let through Jill Pryor’s claim, “It is well settled that ‘native-born’ citizens, those born in the United States, qualify as natural born.” How can you be sure Obama’s legal experience made him aware of sources apparently unknown to Pryor and the referees?

    ed. How about this peer review from Sept 2008? “There is general agreement on the core of its meaning. Anyone born on American soil whose parents are citizens of the United States is a “natural born citizen.” Oh wait, it was scrubbed after the election.

    Leo, in answer to my quest for sources from Obama’s lifetime, but before he ran for president, you now answer, “yes there are sources”, but decline to cite them. Are your sources on the level of peer-reviewed articles in legal journals? The papers by Gordon and Pryor are widely cited; did anyone rebut them on their claims that native-born citizens qualify as natural-born and that that much is clear and settled?

    ed. There’s more coming… no worries there. And what does in his lifetime mean? Like history starts at his birth and he’s only required to know about things published after he was born? That’s irrational. – leo

    — bryan

  47. brygenon Says:

    ed: “How about this peer review from Sept 2008? [] ‘There is general agreement on the core of its meaning. Anyone born on American soil whose parents are citizens of the United States is a natural born citizen.’ Oh wait, it was scrubbed after the election.”

    My question for the fourth time: Are there sources from during Barack Obama’s lifetime, but before he declared his candidacy for the presidency, that imply a foreign father makes the child ineligible? The Sept 2008 article fails two ways: First, Obama could not have been aware it when he declared his candidacy, because it wouldn’t exist for another year. Second, as the author made clear in the original, and emphasized in the revision that you refer to as a “scrubbing”, the statement you quote was never meant exclusively.

    ed. “There’s more coming… no worries there. And what does in his lifetime mean? Like history starts at his birth and he’s only required to know about things published after he was born? That’s irrational.” – leo

    Law from when history began is not the issue. If the legal question was clear and settled before the particular case arose, then that’s that. According to Charles Gordon’s paper, published by the /Maryland Law Review/ when Obama was seven years old, “It is clear enough that native-born citizens are eligible”. According to Jill Pryor’s paper, published by the /Yale Law Journal/ when Obama was about 27, “It is well settled that ‘native-born’ citizens, those born in the United States, qualify as natural born.” Those papers were widely cited; did anyone rebut them on those claims on principle — that is — before the issue was Barack Obama’s run for the presidency?

    As I wrote here before, we seem to have a situation in which for all of Barack Obama’s life the standard references on law told him that he is a natural-born citizen, potentially eligible to be president, and no one was saying otherwise until he decided to run. Even /Black’s Law Dictionary/, the standard reference for terms in American law, defined “natural-born citizen” so that the U.S. born son of a Kenyan would qualify. Who in our time said /Black’s/ was wrong on that, before the issue was about the particular man?


    ed. You sound like a cult member… like history begins when Obama was born. The poor child with a the Columbia Harvard education isn’t responsible for knowing legal history. He knew this issue better than all of us. Maybe we should change the calendar and simply call 1961 year 1 BO? And Jill Pryor is a prophet of the most holy. You’re freaking me out dude. -Leo

  48. Joss Brown Says:

    Quote Solum (footnote 3, p. 1 of the draft):

    Based on my reading of the historical sources, there is no credible case that a person born on American soil with one American parent was clearly not a “natural born citizen”.

    Most annoying (and pseudoscientific) is also the fact that he doesn’t include a single of these alleged “historical sources”. No peer reviewer would have approved this. He rather does away with the matter by stating that he doesn’t want to address the question, whether the “conventional view” is correct or not. Wow, what a “scientist”!

    ed. This situation is just dark, Joss. Solum knows that what he did was not right. He knows this as do his peers. He blames others for misinterpreting him, but all people did was take him at his clear word. His scrubbed article is fraud, plain and simple. – leo

  49. 2discern Says:

    The scrubbing action lends credibility to the issue at hand. If it is scrubbed then it is threatening to the cover up and fraud and continual obfuscation. I saved the original article from the Honolulu Advertiser where Tammy Duckworth (VET Admin.) emphatically states her similarity to barry soetero being born in Indonesia and then going on to the same high school in Hawaii. Hours later when I contacted the editor the article was scrubbed (I still have it off line).

  50. Howard Charles Yourow, S.J.D. Says:

    Friends All,

    Yea, Verily, The Lord Worketh In Ways Wondrous !

    <>, now breaking into the ” mainstreamedia ” via this very day’s Miami Herald article, will, it is to be hoped and prayed, pry further open the Barry Soetoro scandal re: the NBClause.

    The Truth Will Out !

    Never give up : Never, Never, Never ! ! !

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