Archive for February, 2012

Mr. Binney and Justice Gray: A Study In Error.

Posted in Uncategorized on February 7, 2012 by naturalborncitizen

The lack of historical analysis evident in every judicial opinion which has discussed Obama’s eligibility is staggering. If you compare Judge Malihi’s recent opinion in Georgia, and the Ankeny case from Indiana, to important citizenship decisions by the U.S. Supreme Court, it becomes clear what separates the men from the boys. In a word; research.

U.S. Supreme Court opinions dodge nothing. Every issue is confronted head on. Every argument is taken into consideration, and even if they twist the facts and law to make it condone a blatant abuse of power, such as in the Kelo case, the Court doesn’t run away and hide from the most important obstacles placed in its path.

Of course, some of these decisions are obviously rigged to issue a pre-determined conclusion. The worst example of this is the racist holding in Scott v. Sandford. Still, the opinion doesn’t run and hide like a sissy from tough issues. But in confronting the racial issue, the Court gave itself and the nation a disease which led directly to civil war. This is what happens when the highest Court in the nation sells its soul. But even when the soul is sold, it’s sold with history and research that confronts the tough issues head on. You’re not left wondering what the Court thought about anything relevant to the case.

Another controversial opinion concerns U.S. v. Wong Kim Ark. The majority opinion is 55 single spaced pages long, and the dissent weighs in at 27. The majority opinion was composed by Justice Horace Gray, aka – the Legal Historian of the Supreme Court, and Father of the Historical Method. At first glance, his opinion appears to have tracked down every relevant piece of information and law necessary to a proper resolution of the case.

Indeed, Gray goes all the way back to English statutes in 1351, continues through Calvin’s Case in 1608, and drives right to the newest state court cases of the day. Nothing was avoided. That depth of research is what made the Supreme Court an icon of justice, and is severely lacking from the flimsy opinions of lower courts that have weighed in on POTUS eligibility.

Bad ass research and an intellectual capacity to delicately do ballet thereupon is what makes the Supreme Court’s opinions stand out in contrast to their lower court peers. The SCOTUS gives the appearance of true legal authority. And it’s this patented appearance of legal authority that the stability of the nation is grounded upon.

When that appearance of authority was humiliated in the Dred Scott case, all hell literally broke loose upon this country.

Unfortunately, in U.S. v. Wong Kim Ark, we have the second worst piece of stinky refuse the Court has ever passed wind upon. And the appearance of true justice has once again been utterly humiliated. Consider that Justice Gray was appointed by Chester Arthur, a man born of an alien father. And in 1898, when Wong was decided, had the public at large, and the Court at large, known that Arthur was born a British subject in the U.S., then there would have been no need to determine the citizenship fate of anyone else born in the country to alien parentage.

If alien parentage didn’t stop old Chet from being President, why should it stop anyone else from being a citizen?

Yet, Justice Gray never mentions the citizenship status of the man who appointed him. Gray controlled his own fate by presiding over an opinion, the outcome of which decided the very legitimacy of his appointment to the Supreme Court. And the appearance of impartiality has been destroyed by this sordid history. Whether Justice Gray knew Arthur was born of alien parentage is not as important as the objective appearance.

This report continues the forensic investigation of whether Supreme Court Justice Horace Gray composed the infamous opinion in U.S. v. Wong Kim Ark to subversively cure the citizenship defects – and accompanying POTUS eligibility defects – of the man who appointed him to the bench. President Chester Arthur successfully defrauded the nation as to his parental heritage which established him to have been a British subject at birth, since his father failed to naturalize in the U.S. until 1843, fourteen years after Chester was born.

Prior reports in this series discussed inexcusable misquotes with regard to Gray’s erroneous reliance upon McCreery v. Somerville, as well as the unexplained abandoning of his very own arguments and associated points of authority from Elk. v. Wilkins.

And in my Amicus Brief submitted in the recent Georgia Ballot challenges, I offered evidence that other Supreme Court opinions were abused by Justice Gray who cleverly distorted them to mean the exact opposite of what the Court actually held.


Today, we shall strip another foundational building block from the opinion in Wong Kim Ark.  I refer to the mysterious “paper” written by Philadelphia attorney, Horace Binney, in 1853.  My research has revealed that his paper, The Alienigenae of the United States Under the Present Naturalization Laws, was published in three editions, not two, as was erroneously suggested by Justice Gray. Furthermore, Gray’s suggested chronology of publication is false.

The most important section of Binney’s paper, as it relates to Justice Gray’s opinion from Wong Kim Ark, was deleted in the third and final revision, while Justice Gray wrongly suggested that the second edition was the final one, thereby appearing to justify his reliance upon it. This is absolutely false.

The deleted section of the Binney paper was relied upon, and quoted by Gray twice in the Wong Kim Ark opinion. He quotes the passage in the body of the opinion, as well as in the very holding of the case. While Justice Gray acknowledges that the passage did not appear in the peer-reviewed American Law Register (precursor to the University of Pennsylvania Law Review) version, he suggests that the ALR version was the first edition, and that it came before the second edition relied upon by the Court so heavily in Wong Kim Ark. As you will see below, Justice Gray got that very very wrong. My research has now established with absolute certainty that the ALR version was the third and final version of the Binney paper.

Mr. Binney and his editors at the ALR deleted the infamous passage relied upon by Justice Gray in the Wong Kim Ark opinion. It did not survive the peer review process and was gutted in the third and final edition of the paper. Furthermore, the necessity for their being three versions of the same paper – all published within three months of each other – was caused by two consecutive screw ups by Binney in quoting the U.S. Naturalization Act of 1790. As we shall discuss in detail below, Binney not only misquoted the statute in the first edition, but he compounded the error by applying speculative analysis to the statute as if it contained the misquoted provision.

Imagine analysis of a statute which does not exist. That’s exactly what happened in the first edition. Then, in the second edition (relied upon so heavily by Justice Gray), Binney appears to have offered the infamous page-long footnote (on pg. 22 of the paper) as a counter-analysis to the first edition’s mistaken conclusions. Unfortunately, Mr. Binney failed to correct the misquote in the second edition as well.

Both the first and second editions, therefore, contain analysis of a statutory provision which did not exist. This, of course, makes the analysis useless. It’s based upon a fictional statutory provision, so the analysis of that non-existent provision cannot be a legal authority for anything, let alone the majority opinion of the U.S. Supreme Court in the very case which set our citizenship path for the last 114 years.

In the third and final edition of the paper, as published by the ALR, Binney’s name was deleted along with that part of the footnote relied upon twice by Justice Gray. Welcome to the wonderful world of Wong Kim Ark.

We have the sad reality of the highest court in the nation relying upon – in the most important citizenship decision in our national history – a legal authority which was deleted by the concerned author and his esteemed editors. When we add this new evidence to all of the other anomalies in the Wong Kim Ark opinion, as framed by the strange history of Chester Arthur’s citizenship status, the stench becomes unbearable. And the current United States Supreme Court should really clean it up.


Binney was no stranger to controversy. His paper on Habeas Corpus advocated for the Government’s right to strip this most precious jewel of liberty from the populace when it saw fit. That paper was criticized heavily by his peers (although today’s federal mafia would salivate over it).

But the paper which Justice Gray relies upon, “The Alienigenae of the United States Under the Present Naturalization Laws“, self-published by Binney in Philadelphia (1853), did start upon a valid point. It reiterated the sentiment from prior authorities, which explained that there was no statute in place to naturalize the children born abroad of U.S. citizens. Binney’s paper sought to influence a correction of the law. And in 1855, the law was corrected.


Justice Gray was a titan of the historical method, famously known as the pre-eminent historian of the Supreme Court, to which great tales have been told concerning his legendary research skills. And his knowledge of the Binney paper was apparently far advanced from that of the attorneys litigating WKA. Ark’s attorneys were not able, in 1898 – almost fifty years after Binney published the paper – to establish with any certainty that Binney had written the paper, and it was Justice Gray who was finally able to do it for them in his opinion from WKA.

There is a telling anecdote about the obscurity of Binney’s paper, memorialized by Ark’s attorney, J. Hubley Ashton, Esq., in Great American Lawyers, Volume 8:

“There was cited in the argument for the appellee in that case a paper of remarkable ability on the ‘Alienigenae of the United States’, published many years ago in the American Law Register, which had always and universally been attributed by lawyers and judges to Horace Binney, although his name was not appended to the article. As one of the counsel for the appellee, I made considerable effort to ascertain before the argument whether the great lawyer of Philadelphia had ever formally acknowledged this paper as his own, but the search for information on the subject was unavailing. My surprise was almost humiliating, I remember when I saw in the opinion of the court delivered by Mr Justice Gray, a passage with a note, from what was described by him as tha second edititon of this paper, ‘printed in pamphlet form at Philadelphia with a preface bearing Mr Binney’s signature and the date of December 1st 1853’, accompanied by the following observation of the learned judge:  ‘This paper without Mr Binney’s name, and with the note in a less complete form, and not containing the passage last cited, was published (perhaps from the first edition) in the American Law Register for February 1854.’ I was naturally curious to know where and how Mr Justice Gray had found this rare pamphlet, no copy of which appeared to be in any department of the Library of Congress. He told me that although he had no doubt from internal evidence and otherwise that the paper referred to was the authentic work of Mr Binney, he was indisposed to cite it as such in the opinion of the Supreme Court upon mere tradition or general belief on the subject, and that as a result of a search among some old pamphlets purchased by him many years ago, and stored away in his private library, he found the pamphlet described in his opinion, which established, of course, the authorship of the learned paper contained in it.” Id. pg. 169-170. (Emphasis added.)

So, 55 years after Binney’s paper was first released, the Library of Congress didn’t even have the original editions of the paper. The only person who did have them, according to this anecdote, was Justice Gray. He apparently had the second edition tucked away in his private library. But what about the first edition? If he was in possession of that, then his entire opinion in Wong Kim Ark is proved to be a fraud. If he knew of the true first edition, his suggestion that the ALR version was the first edition would be outright fraud. Keep this in mind as we move along to examine the text of each edition.

But first, let me stoke your paranoia. One of my favorite films is “The Ninth Gate”, wherein Johnny Depp plays a seedy rare book collector/charlatan. The plot concerns a Satanic coven, and the leader is a rich magnate who seeks to gather the only three remaining copies of an esoteric text. Depp’s character discovers, by comparing the copies, that the illustrations are ever so slightly different copy to copy. Some of them are signed by “LCF”, some not. This turns out to be Lucifer.

Besides Justice Gray’s infamous misleading quote from Binney appearing on pg. 666 of the Wong Kim Ark opinion, spookier anomalies have popped up throughout my research of the natural-born citizen issue. Of course, JustiaGate takes the prize and sets the standard for this kind of freaky malevolence. But just now it happened again with regard to the passage just quoted from the Great American Lawyers text. I downloaded the book from Google Books about eight weeks ago. And it’s to that downloaded copy that I have provided a link to above. The text is in the public domain and therefore, as of eight weeks ago, the entire book was available as a preview, and as a download from this link.

Well, it’s a good thing I downloaded it then, because as of today, Google has Justiafied the text, so that pg. 170 has been clipped from both the preview, and the downloadable version. The part about Justice Gray having the Binney paper in his private library has been scrubbed by Google as of today. Download the Google copy and compare it to the copy available here at my blog. They do not match. And this development has taken place recently, since I downloaded the full copy from Google Books just a few weeks ago. What a freak show, America. Raise the lights, dim the Twilight Zone theme, and let’s get down to business.


Binney, after having published the first edition of the paper must have become acutely aware of his screw up, and quickly published a second edition which added an infamous footnote which sought to alleviate the erroneous analysis based upon the incorrect statutory quotation. Binney, however, failed to inform the reader that the note was required due to the misquote. The second edition, therefore, contains a footnote which changes the analysis of the statute. Unfortunately, the second edition also failed to correct the misquote.

This must have doubled the embarrassment of Binney, who was a very upright character. I have been to the Philadelphia Historical Society to read his personal papers, and handwritten memoirs, which illustrate he was a very decent man. I do not wish to sully his reputation, but the reputation of the paper in question, as relied upon by Gray, deserves stern negative critique. And Binney’s failure to allow his name to appear on the ALR version justifies the criticism.

I never understood why an obscure paper, rather than prior decisions of the Supreme Court, should have provided the backbone for Gray’s opinion. Up until Wong Kim Ark, there were multiple U.S. Supreme Court decisions, which held that minor children follow the political status (aka citizenship status) of their parents (see my Amicus Brief at 31-39), and that birth on the soil did not necessarily confer citizenship, unless the parents were themselves citizens. Two decisions which held America to this principle were, Inglis v. Sailors’ Snug Harbor, and Shanks v. Dupont, to which Justice Gray failed to acknowledge the majority holdings, as they directly conflicted with his opinion in WKA.

But now it has become clear that even Binney’s obscure paper should provide no support at all for Justice Gray’s opinion in Wong Kim Ark.

The footnote quoted by Justice Gray in Wong Kim Ark does not appear in the first edition of Mr. Binney’s paper. You may examine the first edition at this link to Harvard’s online collection. Additonally, I have extracted the pamphlet from a collection of Binney’s writings made available by Widener University. The full text of that document is here. And I have extracted the first edition of Binney’s paper, and uploaded it here. Go to pg. 22, that is where the statute is misquoted, as follows:

“[T]hat the children of citizens of the United States, that may be born beyond sea, or out of the limits of the United States shall be considered as natural born citizens — with a proviso, that the right of citizenship shall not descend to persons who had never been resident in the United States. 2 US Laws 83.” 

The proviso from the actual statute, however, did not require that the persons born overseas be resident in the U.S. It required that the fathers of such persons must have resided in the country:

Provided, That the right of citizenship shall not descend to persons, whose fathers have never been resident in the United States…”

Binney then went on to analyze the statute as if the misquote was genuine:

“[T]he proviso did not apply to citizens naturalized under that Act, who must have been resident within the United States at the time of their naturalization, but only to such native citizens, or citizens naturalized by British law, as had left the country before or during the Revolution and had never returned.”

This analysis is awkward, and does not appear to make any sense with regard to British law. Binney recognized that, and quickly published a second edition, which contains the footnote cited by Justice Gray. I have uploaded the second edition here. The footnote takes up most of pg. 20, continuing on pg.21. Justice Gray quoted from it as follows:

“Mr. Binney in the second edition of a paper on the Alienigenae of the United States, printed in pamphlet at Philadelphia, with a preface bearing his signature and the date of December 1, 1853, said: ‘The common- law principle of allegiance was the law of all the states at the time of the Revolution and at the adoption of the constitution; and by that principle the citizens of the United States are, with the exceptions before mentioned [namely, foreign-born children of citizens, under statutes to be presently referred to], such only as are either born or made so, born within the limits and under the jurisdiction of the United States, or naturalized by the authority of law, either in one of the states before the constitution, or, since that time, by virtue of an act of the congress of the United States.’ Page 20. ‘The right of citizenship never descends in the legal sense, either by the common law, or under the common naturalization acts. It is incident to birth in the country, or it is given personally by statute. The child of an alien, if born in the country, is as much a citizen as the natural-born child of a citizen, and by operation of the same principle.’ Page 22, note. This paper, without Mr. Binney’s name, and with the note in a less complete form, and not containing the passage last cited, was published (perhaps from the first edition) in the American Law Register for February, 1854. 2 Am. Law Reg. 193, 203, 204.” U.S. v. Wong Kim Ark, 169 U.S. 649, 665-666 (1898). (Emphasis added.)

The second edition, however, while supplying the note, also contains the exact same statutory misquote as the first edition. Additionally, Justice Gray got his facts very wrong in the bold print part quoted above. The note from the peer-reviewed ALR edition is the third and final edition, and the note, therefore, is in its complete form in that edition, whereas the second edition contains a longer note, but that note is based upon the statutory misquote, and is, therefore, not the final note.

Justice Gray’s suggestion that the ALR was the first edition is proved false by the fact that the ALR edition finally gets the statute right, and the note attached to the ALR edition makes sense when read in light of the correct statute. I have uploaded the ALR version here. Go to pg. 12, and you will see that the statute now reflects the true proviso, which requires the fathers to have been resident. The note in the ALR version appears on pg. 13, and you can see that the following passage was stripped from the final edition:

“The right of citizenship never descends in the legal sense, either by the common law, or under the common naturalization acts. It is incident to birth in the country, or it is given personally by statute. The child of an alien, if born in the country, is as much a citizen as the natural-born child of a citizen, and by operation of the same principle.”

  Justice Gray relied on this deleted, and discredited passage, not only on pgs. 665-666 of the Wong Kim Ark opinion, but he also relied on it in the holding, on pg. 693.

The first edition was published in December, 1853. The second edition appears to also have been published in December 1853, as was noted by Justice Gray. The ALR edition was published in Feb. 1854, and is the only edition to have correctly quoted the statute.

That Binney screwed it up twice, must have been the reason his name didn’t appear on the ALR edition. The prior versions contain analysis based upon a statutory provision which did not exist. That analysis drove Binney to quickly publish a second edition, but in doing so he just made it worse.

Justice Gray relied upon this paper multiple times in the Wong Kim Ark opinion, specifically citing the discredited quotes twice. The errors which caused Binney’s first two papers to require these misguided quotations to be removed from the final edition were caught in peer review, and stripped from the third edition. The ALR version is certainly the third and final edition, not the first as was suggested by Gray.

This revelation leaves us with a very rotten opinion from Wong Kim Ark that has determined our national citizenship policy, which, as can be seen from the lack of research applied to it by the lower courts reviewing Obama’s eligibility (none of which mentioned any of the clear errors made by Justice Gray, and pointed out here at this blog), continues to have broad ranging implications that directly touch national security with regard to who is eligible to be commander in chief.

The analysis I have provided in this report, when added to the rest of the sad story concerning Justice Gray’s many errors of law and fact as shadowed by the Chester Arthur controversy, leaves the nation’s highest court looking either corrupt, or stupid. If Justice Gray was aware of the true chronology of the three versions of Binney’s paper, he is guilty of directly, and purposely, defrauding the nation. If he was guilty of negligence, that’s almost just as bad. The U.S. Supreme Court is not supposed to look this bad.

The Wong Kim Ark opinion looks very bad, America.

Leo Donofrio, Esq.

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