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Stephen Tonchen - Obama Presidential Eligibility

Stephen Tonchen - Obama Presidential Eligibility

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Published by Juan del Sur
With only two exceptions, every U.S. president who was born after 1787, was born in the United States, of parents who were both U.S. citizens. The two exceptions were Chester Arthur and Barack Obama. When Chester Arthur ran for office in 1880, he lied to newspaper reporters about his family history and burned most of his family records, to conceal the fact that, when he was born, his father was not a U.S. citizen (Historical Breakthrough - Chester Arthur - http://www.ronpaulwarroom.com/?p=18831)

President Obama publicly admits that his father was a Kenyan native who never became a U.S. citizen. At birth, President Obama acquired British/Kenyan nationality by descent from his father. Thus, the 2008 election was the first time in history that the United States knowingly elected a post-1787-born president whose parents were not both U.S. citizens. Moreover, 2008 was the first time that the U.S. knowingly elected a post-1787-born president who, in addition to being a U.S. citizen, was also a foreign national at birth.

U.S.-born children of non-citizen parents are U.S. citizens by modern-day law, but there is unresolved doubt as to whether such children are Constitutional natural born citizens. This doubt is not based on the imaginings of tin-foil-hat-wearing conspiracy theorists on the lunatic fringe of society. This doubt comes from what the Supreme Court has actually said, as well as a variety of other historical and legal sources which are presented and discussed here.

This Primer introduces the Obama Eligibility Controversy, in question-and-answer format, for a non-technical general audience. We've double-checked the facts presented here, cited their sources, and believe them to be correct. Please contact us if you find any material in this Primer that you believe to be inaccurate. (http://people.mags.net/tonchen/sendmail.htm)
With only two exceptions, every U.S. president who was born after 1787, was born in the United States, of parents who were both U.S. citizens. The two exceptions were Chester Arthur and Barack Obama. When Chester Arthur ran for office in 1880, he lied to newspaper reporters about his family history and burned most of his family records, to conceal the fact that, when he was born, his father was not a U.S. citizen (Historical Breakthrough - Chester Arthur - http://www.ronpaulwarroom.com/?p=18831)

President Obama publicly admits that his father was a Kenyan native who never became a U.S. citizen. At birth, President Obama acquired British/Kenyan nationality by descent from his father. Thus, the 2008 election was the first time in history that the United States knowingly elected a post-1787-born president whose parents were not both U.S. citizens. Moreover, 2008 was the first time that the U.S. knowingly elected a post-1787-born president who, in addition to being a U.S. citizen, was also a foreign national at birth.

U.S.-born children of non-citizen parents are U.S. citizens by modern-day law, but there is unresolved doubt as to whether such children are Constitutional natural born citizens. This doubt is not based on the imaginings of tin-foil-hat-wearing conspiracy theorists on the lunatic fringe of society. This doubt comes from what the Supreme Court has actually said, as well as a variety of other historical and legal sources which are presented and discussed here.

This Primer introduces the Obama Eligibility Controversy, in question-and-answer format, for a non-technical general audience. We've double-checked the facts presented here, cited their sources, and believe them to be correct. Please contact us if you find any material in this Primer that you believe to be inaccurate. (http://people.mags.net/tonchen/sendmail.htm)

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Stephen Tonchen \u2013 Obama Presidential Eligibility - An Introductory Primer
Page 1 of 97
Obam a Pr esiden tial Eligibility - An In tr oductor y
Prim er
Author: Stephen Tonchen
Last revised: February 21, 2010
Reprinted with Specific Permission
The most current version of this document is found at
http:/ / people.mags.net/ tonchen/ birthers.htm
Introduction
The U.S. Constitution was adopted on September 17, 1787. Anyone born after that date must
be a "natural born citizen" in order to be eligible to serve as president [01].
According to Dr. Lawrence Solum, a law professor at the University of Illinois College of Law,
we know two things for sure about the meaning of "natural born citizen":
\u2022
People who are born in the United States, of parents who are U.S. citizens, are
definitely, without doubt, natural born citizens.
\u2022
People who acquire U.S. citizenship through naturalization are definitely not natural
born citizens [02].

But what about everyone else? What aboutf o r eig n - b o r n children of U.S.-citizen parents? And what about U.S.-born children ofn o n - cit iz e n parents? They might be U.S.cit iz e n s by law, but are they natural born citizens? So far, Federal law, the Constitution and the courts have not answered these questions.

In 2004, Senator Don Nickles predicted that, if these questions remain unanswered, they will
someday become "a real issue":

The definition of this term ["natural born citizen"] is an issue that has been debated in legal circles for years and has never been ruled on by the courts. Clarification is needed before this becomes a real issue. (Nickles

)

Senator Nickles' prediction has come true. Today, an increasing number of Americans are
concerned that Barack Obama, whose father was not a U.S. citizen, might not be a "natural
born citizen" and therefore might not be eligible, under the Constitution, to serve as president

[03].

Members of the mainstream news media generally believe that all persons born in the United
States are "natural born citizens", regardless of their parents' citizenship. But this belief,
though widely held, is not consistent with what the Supreme Court has said regarding natural

born citizenship, nor it is consistent with American and English history.
Six yearsa f t er the 14th Amendment became part of the U.S. Constitution, the U.S. Supreme
Court -- in Minor v. Happersett (1874) -- commented that, if you were born in the United
Stephen Tonchen \u2013 Obama Presidential Eligibility - An Introductory Primer
Page 2 of 97
States and both of your parents were U.S. citizens at the time of your birth, you are,w it h o u t
doubt, a natural born citizen. In the same case, the Supreme Court also remarked that, if you
were born in the United States and your parents were not U.S. citizens when you were born,
your natural born citizenship is in doubt [04]. The Supreme Court has never resolved this
"doubt" because, until now, there has never been any need to do so [05].
With only two exceptions, every U.S. president who was born after 1787, was born in the
United States, of parents who were both U.S. citizens. The two exceptions were Chester

Arthur and Barack Obama. When Chester Arthur ran for office in 1880, he lied to newspaper reporters about his family history and burned most of his family records, to conceal the fact that, when he was born, his father was not a U.S. citizen (Historical Breakthrough - Chester Arthur -h t t p : / / www.r o n p a u lwa r r o o m .co m / ? p = 18 8 3 1

)

President Obama publicly admits that his father was a Kenyan native who never became a
U.S. citizen. At birth, President Obama acquired British/ Kenyan nationality by descent from
his father. Thus, the 2008 election was the first time in history that the United States

know ingly elected a post-1787-born president whose parents were not both U.S. citizens.
Moreover, 2008 was the first time that the U.S.k n o w in g ly elected a post-1787-born president
who, in addition to being a U.S. citizen, was also a foreign national at birth.
U.S.-born children of non-citizen parents are U.S.cit iz e n s by modern-day law, but there is

unresolved doubt as to whether such children are Constitutional natural born citizens. This
doubt is not based on the imaginings of tin-foil-hat-wearing conspiracy theorists on the
lunatic fringe of society. This doubt comes from what the Supreme Court has actually said, as
well as a variety of other historical and legal sources which are presented and discussed here.

This Primer introduces the Obama Eligibility Controversy, in question-and-answer format,
for a non-technical general audience. We've double-checked the facts presented here, cited
their sources, and believe them to be correct. Please contact us if you find any material in this
Primer that you believe to be inaccurate. (http:/ / people.mags.net/ tonchen/ sendmail.htm )

Stephen Tonchen \u2013 Obama Presidential Eligibility - An Introductory Primer
Page 3 of 97
Contents
1. What is a "Birther"?

2. What are the eligibility requirements for president?
3. Why do Birthers think Barack Obama might not be eligible to serve as president?
4. Where should we begin looking for the original Constitutional meaning of "natural born

citizen"?
4.1 Modern-day word usage
4.2 U.S. Constitution and Early Naturalization Acts
4.3 U.S. Federal Law
4.4 English Common Law
4.5 English Urban Citizenship
4.6 European Precedent
4.7 Eighteenth Century Literature

4.8 U.S. Supreme Court
5. In a nutshell, what is the Obama eligibility controversy?
6. Does the Birthers' viewpoint have any historical or legal merit?

7. What was the original purpose of the presidential "natural born citizen" requirement?

8. What is the difference between a "Constitutional" and a "statutory" natural born citizen? 9. Wouldn't the most recent modern-day statutory meaning of "natural born citizen" take precedence over the original Constitutional meaning?

10. If Obama is not a "Constitutional natural born citizen", so what? Why should anyone care?
11. Why has every Birther lawsuit been denied or dismissed?
12. What is a 14th Amendment natural born citizen?
13. What was the originally intended meaning of "jurisdiction" in the 14th Amendment?

14. Doesn't the Wong Kim Ark decision make Obama a "natural born citizen"? 15. Doesn't the J ulia Lynch case show that Obama is a "natural born citizen"? 16. What was "Calvin's Case"?

17. Did "natural born" imply exclusive allegiance at birth?
18. What was Vattel's "Law of Nations"?

19. Why is there disagreement over the meaning of "natural born citizen"?
20. When we put the pieces together, what do we get?
21. What's the "beef" with President Obama's birth certificate?
22. Didn't the State of Hawaii recently verify that President Obama was born in Hawaii?
23. Doesn't the mere existence of Barack Obama's original Hawaiian birth certificate prove

that he was born in Hawaii?
24. Do Birthers actually believe that President Obama was born in a foreign country?
25. If President Obama's birth certificate shows conclusively that he was born in Hawaii,

would it end the eligibility controversy?
26. Aren't Obama eligibility challenges merely partisan attacks by Republicans against a
Democratic president?
27. What is "Quo Warranto"?
28. What can we do?
Footnotes
References
Acknowledgments

Disclaimer
Revisions
Copyright

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