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Defendants’ Legal Conclusion Regarding the Definition of “Natural BornCitizen” is Incorrect
Defendants’ motion asserts that “there is no question as to President Obama’sstatus as a ‘natural
born citizen’”…concluding “President Obama is a natural born citizen by virtue of his birth in the United States.”
Defs. Mot. At 12. The Defendants cite
United States v. Wong Kim Ark
in support of their conclusion.
. citing 169 U.S. 649, 702(1898). However, the holding of
Wong Kim Ark
did not address the definition
of the term “natural born citizen” nor did
it address Article II qualifications to serve asPresident.
at 705.The WKA holding did no
t define the term “natural born citizen” because the
WKA facts did not present a question that required interpretation of Article II.
at 653.WKA explicitly addressed the scope of 14
at 705. However,citizenship under the 14
Amendment is legally distinct from “natural born citizen” as
required under Article II for eligibility to serve as President.Just twenty-four years prior to WKA the Supreme Court did define
“natural borncitizen” as that term is used in Article II.
Minor v. Happersett
, 88 U.S. 162, 167 (1874).Unlike WKA, the
Court expressly used its definition of “natural born citizen” to
reach its holding.
Because the WKA Court did not need to define Article II “natural born citizen” toreach its holding, any inferences drawn from WKA about the term “natural born citizen”
are simply dicta.
Black’s Law Dictionary
465 (Bryan A. Garner ed., 7
ed., West 1999)
Case 2:11-cv-02089-SRB Document 26 Filed 04/30/12 Page 3 of 18