IRLI Got Some ‘Splainin To Do.
UPDATE 2: 4:40 PM March 18, 2011: This issue is the top story at American Thinker right now with a link and hat tip to this blog. The article, “Obama’s Puddles”, was written by longtime reader Sallyven. Thanks to her and AT for the excellent work.
UPDATE: 4:02 PM March 18, 2011: Patrick J. Charles misquoted Bingham again in the BYU Journal of Public Law back in June 2010. It’s the same exact misquote which has the words “of parents” omitted from Bingham’s statement on the floor of the House. Not cool.
Last week, a reader of this blog tipped me off to an incredible misquote of Representative John Bingham which appears in an amicus brief filed with the US Supreme Court by the Immigration Reform Law Institute – aka IRLI – for the Flores-Villar case. Here is that tip in full:
In the Flores-Villar citizenship case currently being decided by SCOTUS, the Immigration Reform Law Institute submitted an amicus brief which included the Bingham quote from the 37 Congressional Globe. On page 34 of the brief, it includes the same section you quoted, indented and appearing to be the complete word-for-word quote, although the critical words: “of parents” are missing. More scrubbing?
The comment was in response to articles I wrote – one which argued that the House of Representatives definition of “natural born citizen” requires a person to be born in the US to “parents” who are citizens – and the other highlighting the scrubbing of a Michigan Law Review article by a well known law professor which stated the same, but then was changed after the dual citizen issue began to haunt Obama.
My article concerning Rep. Bingham (aka father of the 14th Amendment) highlighted three statements made on the floor of the House which were not challenged by other Representatives. One of the Bingham quotes from 1862 was this:
“All from other lands, who by the terms of [congressional] laws and a compliance with their provisions become naturalized, are adopted citizens of the United States; all other persons born within the Republic, of parents owing allegiance to no other sovereignty, are natural born citizens. Gentleman can find no exception to this statement touching natural-born citizens except what is said in the Constitution relating to Indians.” (Cong. Globe, 37th, 2nd Sess., 1639 (1862))
But the amicus brief filed by IRLI misquotes Bingham as follows:
The words “of parents” are mysteriously missing from the quote. I held back on posting Sallyven’s comment until today because I wanted to contact IRLI and question them about the error.
I immediately phoned their office and was later contacted by a staff attorney (who shall remain nameless). The staff attorney and I had a long conversation. The relevant facts I need to relay are thus:
1. IRLI admitted the misquote after my call and then contacted the Supreme Court to inform them, but last I spoke to the staff attorney no supplemental brief correcting the quote had been submitted.
2. While the brief bears the name of Michael Hethmon, Esq., it was actually written by Patrick J. Charles. Mr. Charles operates the Charles Law and History Blog. Mr. Charles was made aware of the misquote by the staff attorney. But as of this morning, despite his blog having one article entitled, “Representative Sandy Adams and Revisionist Founding Era History“, Mr. Charles has not addressed the misquote at his blog.
3. IRLI felt that even though the quote was incorrect, it did not change their position and therefore the misquote was not important in context.
I explained to the staff attorney that this misquote was very problematic to me and the readers of my blog since this “of parents” issue is the core topic of my blog. I directed him to my blog. At this point, I was prepared to let the issue go since I had been informed that the Supreme Court would be properly notified. Although the misquote seemed a bit too “accidental”, I had nothing else to go on. But after the staff attorney went to my blog, he suddenly recalled a message he received about this blog a couple of weeks ago. I was then informed that…
IRLI WAS HEAVILY INVOLVED IN DRAFTING THE COMPACT BETWEEN STATES PERTAINING TO ARIZONA SENATE BILL 1308.
Remember my report on Arizona Senate Bill 1308? That’s the compact between numerous states which slyly defines “natural born citizen” as a person born in the US to one citizen parent.
Well hey now. What have we here? The same people who misquoted Bingham, are responsible for sanitizing Obama’s eligibility.
The staff attorney was suddenly on the receiving end of… shall we say, many many difficult questions. To his credit, he tried to defend the position of the compact as not having any direct legal effect on Article 2 Section 1. I was informed that the compact was not intended to help Obama or to change the Constitution as to eligibility. Obviously, that would take an amendment. But the compact is a pseudo amendment in that it includes a bunch of states and it must be approved by Congress.
Should these compact bills pass, the public would not be able to tell the difference. Intense damage would be done to the legal argument that a person not born of citizen parents isn’t eligible to be President.
I explained all of this to the staff attorney, and he agreed to send an email out to his superiors.
He continued to assure me that the words “natural born citizen” in Article I of the compact were only there to distinguish between “born citizens” and “naturalized citizens”. I told him that they could have accomplished the same goal by deleting the word “natural” and just using “born citizens”. I also told him that his superiors – should they truly care for the Constitution – must delete the word “natural”. He told me that it wasn’t up to them. It was up to each state.
He agreed that the compact could be changed, but that the states would have to agree on it. He also told me that IRLI could suggest such a change.
The next day we had a similar conversation and while we were speaking he sent out a second email to his superiors on this issue. At this point, despite my belief the staff attorney was not in on anything clandestine, I felt there was something rotten in Denmark.
The staff attorney promised to get back to me, but he didn’t. Yesterday marked a week with no response. I phoned him yesterday but didn’t receive a call back.
Something is very shady about this situation. The misquote combined with the compact emits a dangerous radiation. This radiation is covering our nation and it’s a symptom of disease. The country is dying. It is being killed from within. If IRLI is not part of the disease, they should come forward and make both issues right.
If we accept that a person born with dual allegiance can be President, we are opening the White House to the potential children of despots who hate this nation. Preventing this kind of foreign influence was the “strong check” John Jay warned George Washington of all those years ago when he introduced the “natural born citizen” requirement for POTUS.
by Leo Donofrio, Esq.