The Boston Globe: “native born” does not equal “natural born” for Presidential eligibility.
You may add The Boston Globe to the growing list of influential media sources who have expressed the opinion that simply being born in the United States does not qualify one to be President. Recently, this blog pointed to a similar opinion in the New York Tribune. These pre-dated Breckenridge Long’s similar opinion as stated in the Chicago Legal News.
Recently, one of my readers uncovered this crucially relevant article published in the Boston Globe on November 9, 1896 by Percy A. Bridgham, aka “The People’s Lawyer“. (Mr. Bridgham’s book, One Thousand Legal Questions Answered by the “People’s Lawyer” of the Boston Daily Globe, can be found in the Harvard Law School library.)
The People’s Lawyer, upon answering a reader’s question regarding the Constitution’s natural born citizen clause, stated:
“The fact that the Constitution says “natural” instead of native shows to my mind that the distinction was thought of and probably discussed. A natural born citizen would be one who by nature, that is by inheritance, so to speak, was a citizen, as distinguished from one who was by nativity or locality of birth a citizen. A child born to Irish parents in Ireland cannot become a citizen except by naturalization, while his brother born in the United States is a native born citizen; the former is neither naturally nor by nativity a citizen, the latter is not naturally, but natively a citizen.”
It’s important to note that, while this article was written two years before the controversial decision in Wong Kim Ark, Bridgham adopts a similar conclusion as Justice Gray did in that case by stating that children born of aliens on US soil are citizens. But Bridgham also states that while these children are “native born” citizens, they are not “natural born” citizens and therefore cannot be President.
Bridgham further states:
“A comparison of the meanings of native and natural as given by Webster bears me out in my opinion of the intent of the constitution. The very definition of natural is “fixed or determined by nature,”…I do not find that our courts have ever passed upon the meaning of the word natural in connection with citizenship, so we must take its ordinary meaning.” (Link to full article.)
So, The People’s Lawyer (and the Boston Globe) can now be listed as “birthers”.
Your legislators continue to dodge the issue claiming that it’s a “distraction”. The Constitution is a distraction? Only to a traitor. Everyone should note with very careful particularity the name of each elected official who refers to the Constitution as a distraction. These are traitors to their oath of office.
The question we are raising is not something made up to deal with Obama alone. As I have stressed many times throughout the history of this blog, those who are “native born” are not necessarily “natural born”. The Boston Globe published this back in 1896. In that same year, the New York Tribune echoed the sentiment with regard to the Labor Party Candidate, Johannes Schurmann. And in 1916, former Assistant Secretary of State and Ambassador to Italy, Breckenridge Long, wrote the following in the Chicago Legal News:
“It is not disputed that Mr. Hughes is not a citizen of the United States, but if he had the right to elect, he must have had something to choose between. He was native born because he was born in this country, and he is now a native born citizen because he is now a citizen of this country; but, had he been a “natural born” citizen, he would not have had the right to choose between this country and England; he would have had nothing to choose between; he would have owed his sole allegiance to the government of the United States, and there would have been no possible question, whether he found himself in the United States or in any other country in the world, that he would be called upon to show allegiance to any Government but that of the United States.”
Recently, I published a report detailing the US State Department’s long standing rule of recognizing dual allegiance. In that report, Secretary of State Lansing informed Senator Lodge that a US citizen – who was not born of citizen parents – could be forced into foreign military duty (even against the United States). Long maintained that, as to such a citizen, the US had no diplomatic authority to demand his release.
Alternatively, Secretary of State Long stressed that if the child had been born of citizen parents, the child would be released to the US since the child would owe no allegiance to the foreign nation.
The issue of dual allegiance is not a joke and certainly no distraction (other than to those who disrespect our Constitution). At the very least, those who support Obama should support the need for his eligibility to be reviewed by the US Supreme Court. To leave the issue in perpetual limbo is to endanger the nation.
If Obama is eligible, so are the potential sons of foreign despots who hate this country. Take your pick. If Kim Jong Il or Osama bin Laden were to impregnate an American woman who gave birth in the US, that child could be Commander In Chief of the US Armed Forces based upon the precedent set by Obama.
Those states considering bills which would require Presidential candidates to prove they did not have dual allegiance at the time of their births are on the front lines of this battle. I have come back to this blog in order to support their effort. I hope there is at least one state in the union which has legislators who care enough about this nation’s future to risk the scorn of media propaganda.
Obama has admitted that his birth status was governed by Great Britain. Therefore, he owed a dual allegiance to both the US and the monarchy. This is not disputed. The simple question we have raised, as have others throughout our history, is whether such a person, who at the time of his birth serves two masters, can be considered to be a natural born citizen of the US.
I don’t agree with everything Long stood for, and Bridgham’s thought process would have made McCain eligible, which I do not agree with. Readers of this blog know that I don’t believe McCain was eligible. The fact that he even ran for President, having been born in Panama, shows a cavalier and selfish attitude which was shared by his opponent. True statesmen do not subject their nation to a crisis such as is now before us. Thanks fellas. Your self-importance is staggering.
History shows that Obama’s eligibility is, at best, questionable. I don’t expect his supporters to back down, and I don’t even expect them to recognize the historical validity of the question. To do so would be to admit that history does not provide a true foothold for Obama in the oval office. His foothold depends upon ignoring, mocking and denying proven historical facts and debate.
Any legislator who thinks the Constitution is a distraction is an enemy of the Constitution. Vote them out.
This nation was won by bravery and law. I hope there is enough respect for those principles in state houses to get the job done because your federal legislators have sold you out. Once again, it’s up to the states to get it right. By enacting a bill which denies those born with dual allegiance to POTUS ballot access, the issue should end up at the doors of the Supreme Court.
by Leo Donofrio, Esq.