Gop will eat itself

mushrooms-large

I do love me some birthers – Ted Cruz birthers, that is.

What does that say about the list the authors put before you as “cleared for take off?” Both Jindal and Haley’s parents were Indian citizens and the Indian constitution makes their children citizens of India by BIRTH! See permanent residents are not required to renounce their former citizenship as naturalized citizens are, so the laws of India apply to the children of Indians born in the United States.

Cruz was born in Canada to an American mother and a Cuban father. Cruz is a great man, a true conservative but he is ineligible to be President, because the law of Canada made him a citizen of Canada by BIRTH. His citizenship comes from Title 8 of the United States Code.

Rubio has perhaps the best claim of them all to show that at the time of his birth he only had allegiance for the United States. The 1940 Cuban Constitution which was in effect at the time of his birth states, Those born in foreign territory, of Cuban father or mother, by the sole act of their becoming inhabitants of Cuba (become Cubans by Birth.) Here Rubio would need to perform a positive act to claim Cuban citizenship as he would need to migrate to Cuba and take up residence there. However, the Supreme Court has ruled that a natural born citizen is one born in the United States to citizen parents, and until that is changed by the Supreme Court of the United States Rubio will be on shaky legal ground.

All across the Nutweb they are springing up, like tiny phallic fungi, poking their heads up through the bullshit strewn around them. Watch now, as the slightly less insane representatives of the right, recognising (perhaps) that their party has fruited something unpleasant, poisonous and inconvenient, watch as they try to stomp the tiny little birther mushrooms into mush.

Eliana Johnson at the National Review Online. Stomp. Stomp. Stomp.

Some question whether the Canada-born freshman senator is eligible for the presidency (hint: he is).

The homepage of the website Birthers.org is currently devoted to making the constitutional case against Cruz’s eligibility. He is lauded for representing his state “with a passion not seen in Texas since the Alamo” and cheered for being “one hell of a Senator,” but Birthers.org’s denizens emphatically conclude that he cannot be president “because the law of Canada made him a citizen of Canada by BIRTH.”

On ObamaReleaseYourRecords.com, alongside the latest news about the president’s fraudulent birth certificate and his close ties to Islam, anonymous authors blast the media for propagating the “myth” that the Constitution permits a Cruz presidency. “What complete madness to suggest someone born in another country is a ‘natural born Citizen’ of the United States and eligible to be POTUS,” one of them argues. “It is complete rubbish and they know it.”

Donald Trump, who in 2011 hounded President Obama to turn over his long-form birth certificate and kept the birther movement in the national news for months, has yet to look into Cruz’s eligibility. “I like him,” Trump tells National Review Online, but says he has “not studied his situation.”

“Obviously, I have everybody calling me wanting my support,” he claims. Nonetheless, he considers Cruz’s case “very different” from the president’s because Cruz “has been very candid and open about his place of birth and his background.”

Ken Blackwell and Bob Morrison at the American Thinker, stomping their little hearts out. Stomp. Stomp. Squish. Watch the mycelium fly!

Can conservatives seriously believe that any of these otherwise qualified American citizens should be barred from running for president? We thought as conservatives we are opposed to assisted suicide. But reading the Constitution in such a strained and absurd way would render us politically dead.

Some people, unfortunately, are maintaining that anyone whose parents were not yet fully naturalized U.S. citizens are ineligible. That’s because, they say, only the children of U.S. citizens can be “natural-born citizens of the United States” under the Constitution’s requirements for being elected president (Art. II, Sec. 1). They say that because of this iron-clad condition, Florida’s Sen. Marco Rubio, and possibly even South Carolina ‘s Gov. Nikki Haley and Louisiana ‘s Gov. Bobby Jindal may all be ineligible to serve as president.

Marco Rubio was born May 28, 1971 in Miami, Florida. Bobby Jindal was born on June 10, 1971, in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and Nikki Haley was born January 20, 1971 in Bamberg, S.C.

The Fourteenth Amendment says this about being a U.S. citizen: “All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside.”

Last time we checked, Florida, Louisiana, and South Carolina were all part of the United States. And all these bouncing 1970s babies were subject to the jurisdiction of the United States.

So we think the silly season in presidential politics should be closed down, early. We believe that Cruz, Haley, Jindal, and Rubio are all eligible to serve as president. Now, this is not the same thing as endorsing any one of them. But, it’s a safe bet than any one of these worthies is capable of being a better president than the one we now have.

Greg Conterio at the Western Free Press, whatever the fuck that is… bringin’ out the big guns.

Much of this nonsense is due to the fervent desire of many people on the right to “prove” Obama is not qualified to hold the office of president, and their willingness to twist themselves into knots in pursuit of this belief. The truth of the matter is actually really easy to find if anyone bothers to take a few minutes to do a quick Internet search, and then read what they find.

There are a couple of common arguments cited in support of some of these fanciful definitions of natural born citizen. One such argument is that English Common Law is actually the controlling authority, another is that Section 1 of the 14th Amendment to the constitution somehow does the trick. Not quite.

While it was the source and inspiration for much of the code law in the United States, English Common Law is not any sort of legal controlling authority, and bears no weight whatsoever in determining what is and is not “legal” in the United States. The 14th Amendment was a part of the flurry of legislation following the Civil War and the abolition of slavery, and the purpose of section 1 was to prevent the former slave states from denying citizenship to one-time slaves, and to cut the legs out from under the onerous Dred Scott ruling of 1857. Apart from establishing that EVERYONE born on U.S. soil is a natural born citizen, it does not address with any specificity the meaning or definition of the term.

The constitution, in Article II, section 1 lays-out the qualifications required to serve as President thusly:

No person except a natural born citizen, or a citizen of the United States, at the time of the adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the office of President; neither shall any person be eligible to that office who shall not have attained to the age of thirty-five years, and been fourteen years a resident within the United States.

The illusion of ambiguity created by this lack of a constitutional definition is what leads to so many crack-pot theories as to what exactly a natural born citizen really is, but in reality the matter is not ambiguous at all. The definition can in fact be found in U.S. Code law, specifically Title 8, Subchapter III, section 1401.

Blam! Squish!

And yet, in the corners, little primordia, little buttons, more little mushrooms, sticking their caps up through the bullshit. Nasty things grow on bullshit.

Grow little mushrooms, grow.

[Image: Jan Fyt (1611-1661) – Mushrooms – Oil on wood – Musees Royaux des Beaux-Arts, Brussels.]

[This post was edited after posting to include the first quote, which is from birthers.org.]

98 replies
  1. 1
    RaflW says:

    All those 1971 anchor babies, now GOP darlings!

    Whoops!

  2. 2
    MattF says:

    I’m so pleased that The Donald is involving himself here. He will consider The Question. He will consult with The Thing on his head. We will be apprised of The Answer, in due course.

  3. 3
    EdTheRed says:

    Heard about the bird
    ‘Bout the plane and
    The superman?
    Word is: We can outlast anyone
    Supercede the superfly guys
    Who will concede
    They are dying flies

  4. 4
    schrodinger's cat says:

    Jindal and Haley may be eligible but the party of racist troglodytes is not going to nominate either of them.

  5. 5
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    Holy fuck.

  6. 6
    aimai says:

    May they get massive indigestion as they do so.

  7. 7
    Alison says:

    Gop will eat itself

    That’s gay.

  8. 8
    Face says:

    Marco Rubio was born May 28, 1971 in Miami, Florida. Bobby Jindal was born on June 10, 1971, in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and Nikki Haley was born January 20, 1971 in Bamberg, S.C.

    But how do we know this? Couldn’t Rubio been born in Havana, and then floated to Islamorada a few days later? Where are the long forms? Where are the passports, fingerprints, semen samples, and Sam’s Club memberships?

  9. 9
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    No person except a natural born citizen, or a citizen of the United States, at the time of the adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the office of President

    I like the interpretation that says that you had to have been a natural born citizen at the time of the adoption of the constitution to be eligible.

  10. 10
    Cervantes says:

    It’s worth clarifying that if you concede that Cruz is eligible, then ipso facto Obama is eligible even if he was in fact born in Kenya. The circumstances (real in Cruz’s case, fictitious in Obama’s) are identical. Just sayin’.

  11. 11
    Winston Smith says:

    @RaflW:

    All those 1971 anchor babies, now GOP darlings!

    Yesterday, Ted Cruz birtherism was subjected to some hot debate on Free Republic.

    There are a growing number of anti-birther Freepers who state the sane case pretty adamantly. This won’t get them banned, but I’m sure it puts them on watch lists for banning. The birthers are by far the dumbest people on Free Republic and that’s a tough competition. Birther threads devolve into blatant racism pretty quickly putting the lie to the “it’s not because he’s black” claim pretty handily.

    Anyway, I saw a new an interesting sub-topic: someone noticed that a lot of GOP favorites are “of questionable NBC status.” Could this be a coincidence? Racist conspiracy theories spun off that like puffs of steam rising wafting from a freshly laid turd in deep winter.

  12. 12

    There’s a joke here somewhere about Bobby Jindal’s mom mating with an orangutan, but I’m too drunk to pull it off without being horribly racist.

  13. 13
    jayjaybear says:

    Funny how the people the “absolutely not racist at all no how!” birthers are pre-disqualifying happen to be brownish folks, or at least have brownish names.

  14. 14
    Soonergrunt says:

    @Cervantes: You don’t actually think that matters do you?

    For Christ’s sake, they’ve ginned up this theory whereby the fact that he traveled to Indonesia as a child and his mother married an Indonesian invalidates Obama’s US citizenship, even after they’ve been told over and over again that there is not now, and never was any provision in either US or Indonesian law that would make that possible. These people are pathological.

  15. 15

    @Winston Smith:

    the dumbest people on Free Republic

    Crikey, that’s a high bar.

  16. 16
    PsiFighter37 says:

    @Sarah, Proud and Tall: Hope the cause of the drink isn’t Cole deleting any posts you had saved.

    As for this, Ted Cruz won’t be elected for anything beyond senator from the state of Texas. The man is a virtual doppelganger of Joe McCarthy, along with sounding just like him.

    How does Texas elect fools like him and Rick Perry and John Cornyn?

  17. 17
    jibeaux says:

    very candid and open about his place of birth and his background

    = lighter skinned

    I know, you probably gathered that already, but for any of you slowpokes.

  18. 18
    NonyNony says:

    @jayjaybear:

    Funny how the people the “absolutely not racist at all no how!” birthers are pre-disqualifying happen to be brownish folks, or at least have brownish names.

    Well to be honest – there aren’t a lot of GOP hopefuls whose parents immigrated here from Europe.

    Also too – birther nonsense swarmed around John McCain in 2000 because he was born in Panama. It didn’t reach Obama-birther levels of insanity, and that’s probably due to party affiliation and skin color, but it certainly was stupid.

  19. 19
    Short Bus Bully says:

    Can’t they just finally come out and say “THESE FOLKS ARE NOT WHITE!!”?????

    … and scene.

  20. 20
    jibeaux says:

    In more “it’s all over but the shoutin'” news, Sen. Kay Hagan (D-NC) is for the gay sexy marriages. Kay Hagan is NOT a profile in courage and she is up for re-election next year so she must not see any downside to it. Richard Burr has taken the “states’ rights” tack, which you can see evolving as the new party line before your very eyes: the platform is the platform, but the voters in the states should ultimately decide. God willing, this drives off the Huckabees.

  21. 21
    Bobby Thomson says:

    @Cervantes:

    It’s worth clarifying that if you concede that Cruz is eligible, then ipso facto Obama is eligible even if he was in fact born in Kenya. The circumstances (real in Cruz’s case, fictitious in Obama’s) are identical. Just sayin’.

    Were both of Cruz’ parents American citizens when he was born in Canada? If so, he’s eligible. If not, maybe not. And Obama would not have been a natural born citizen if born in Kenya because his father most assuredly was not an American citizen (unless you buy into the even crazier theories; e.g., Malcolm X Jr.).

    But to the Paulines, it doesn’t matter.

  22. 22
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    OT: SCOTUSblog just won a Peabody Award.

  23. 23
    Jack the Second says:

    @Belafon (formerly anonevent): Eternal President Zachary Taylor?

  24. 24
    schrodinger's cat says:

    @Bobby Thomson: Only one parent needs to be a citizen and even crazy birthers do not deny that Obama’s mom was a citizen.

  25. 25
    DavidTC says:

    While it was the source and inspiration for much of the code law in the United States, English Common Law is not any sort of legal controlling authority, and bears no weight whatsoever in determining what is and is not “legal” in the United States.

    This is actually wrong. When we ‘forked’ from England, the individual states asserts that they were not under English law anymore. However, the states still had state law, and state law was, tada, subject to common law. That is, English common law, forked as of the moment the Declaration of Independence was signed.

    The original 13 colonies are bound by English common law of 1775 the same way they’re bound by American common law of 1820. That is, not very much, but _legally_ those interpretations of the law still apply if the laws are still on the books and if they have not been overridden. If there’s a law on the books in Georgia dating from 1745 about entering a house via a door vs. a window, and a English common law decision in 1750 about what ‘window’ means in that law, and no one has actually bothered to change any of that in the centuries since, or had any more recent court cases, the courts will indeed use the _English_ common law definition from 1750.

    Now that I’ve explained this, the problem is, for the stupid logic here from the birthers, at _this_ point there appears to be very little English common law that has not been clarified by American courts, or just is discarded by the US changing the laws.

    And we _have_ changed the laws about who is a citizen. In fact, there was _no such thing_ as a US citizen under 1775 English law (duh) so it’s rather hard to see how any common law could apply to that at all! In fact, we had a damn constitutional amendment about it.

    Addendum: And last I checked, only North Carolina would be under English common law anyway!

  26. 26
    The Moar You Know says:

    “Obviously, I have everybody calling me wanting my support,” he claims. Nonetheless, he considers Cruz’s case “very different” from the president’s because Cruz IS NOT BLACK

    Translated.

  27. 27
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    @PsiFighter37: “R” is next to their name.

  28. 28
    MattF says:

    @PsiFighter37: I agree that Cruz is going nowhere, except maybe to a highly remunerative position in the think-tank-industrial complex when he gets tired of being a Senator. And I wouldn’t be surprised if that happened relatively soon– it’s quite clear that the other 99 Senators are giving him a wide berth.

  29. 29
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: In 1961 the relevant law had provisions about living in the US for a certain number of years after turning 18 that the birthers argue meant that a Kenyan-born Obama would not qualify. I have never delved too deeply into it because Hawai’i.

  30. 30

    @PsiFighter37:

    I was working on a restaurant post and a story about LBJ dropping bombs on Phoenix, but thankfully I am lucky enough to draft in Firefox, keep my computer on, and know how to use the copy function.

    ETA: The drinking is because I like drinking.

  31. 31
    schrodinger's cat says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: I did not know that, I haven’t been paying much attention to the crazies and their theories.

  32. 32
    Chris says:

    @The Moar You Know:

    Or IOKIYAR. No one gave Herman Cain this kind of shit… of course, Cain wasn’t supposed to win either.

  33. 33
    minutemaid says:

    Jesus titty fucking christ…of all the BJ posters this Sarah Proud persona is the least annoying but can’t you find something better to post about that the tired ole …teh birtherzzz are kkkrazyy and Donald Trump is their icon.

  34. 34
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    @minutemaid: No. Go somewhere else.

  35. 35
    Emma says:

    @minutemaid: Question: if BJ posters annoy you so much, why are you here? Really, there’s this big thing call the Internets out there where you can find your soul mates with only a little effort!

  36. 36
    Bobby Thomson says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: It’s more complicated than that, or at least it was in 1962.

  37. 37

    @minutemaid:

    Jesus titty fucking christ…of all the BJ posters this Sarah Proud persona is the least annoying but can’t you find something better to post about that the tired ole …teh birtherzzz are kkkrazyy and Donald Trump is their icon.

    I’ll try to do better next time I promise. The LBJ story is shaping up nicely, I think.

    ETA:

    of all the BJ posters this Sarah Proud persona is the least annoying

    Flirt.

  38. 38
    Randy P says:

    @DavidTC: When I lived in MD (and probably still) there was an ongoing dispute between MD and VA over water rights to the Potomac that dated back to a 17th century proclamation or whatever from King Charles.

  39. 39
    peach flavored shampoo says:

    OT: SCOTUSblog just won a Peabody Award.

    Is there a Sherman award that goes with it? ($5 to the first person who gets this ref)

  40. 40
  41. 41
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Emma:

    if BJ posters annoy you so much, why are you here?

    My guess is, minutemaid comes here just to return the favour.

  42. 42
    Randy P says:

    @peach flavored shampoo: Let’s go back in the Way Back Machine to find out

  43. 43
    PsiFighter37 says:

    @Sarah, Proud and Tall: That’s good to know, but other Juicers here seem to get mad at me when I mention my drinking.

    PF37 +1 Mad Hatter IPA (Michigan brew…nice floral hops, not too bitter)

  44. 44
  45. 45
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @PsiFighter37:

    but other Juicers here seem to get mad at me when I mention my drinking.

    Not so. People just give you shit about it, you drunk.

  46. 46
    Booger says:

    @PsiFighter37: Am I the only one who thinks Cruz also possesses all the evil of Patrick J. Buchanan?

  47. 47
    minutemaid says:

    Gee thanks for all the attention people. You have inspired me to comment even more.

  48. 48
    aimai says:

    @Bobby Thomson:

    His mother was an american citizen at the time of his birth–that is all it took. You could have dual citizenship and still be an American citizen by birth.

  49. 49
    PsiFighter37 says:

    @aimai: My father is not an American citizen, but my mom is…so I am pretty sure I was a U.S. citizen from birth, even though I was born outside the U.S.

    That said, my understanding is that does not make me a natural-born citizen.

  50. 50
    jl says:

    I didn’t know that birther toadstools were sprouting up over Cruz. But, this is the kind of issue where the wingnut GOP has no problem with incoherence, so won’t they all fall in line once the orders come down direction and kind instruction on correct thought is given? I think the Steele-Priebus steel cage death match is more interesting. If only because you get to hear Steele mouthing off.

  51. 51
    Poopyman says:

    @peach flavored shampoo: Oh, that goes Wayback.

    I’ll take it in ones, please.

  52. 52
    Randy P says:

    @PsiFighter37: I was going to cite the case of John McCain but a quick Googling (taking me to an article at snopes.com) tells me that apparently “natural born” has never been clarified by the Supreme Court. So McCain’s eligibility to run for President is not actually established.

  53. 53
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    Cruz, Jindal, Rubio, and Haley (So far) amount to little more than GOP attempts to convince people of color that they aren’t racists without actually giving up racism.

  54. 54
    Randy P says:

    @minutemaid: That is the textbook definition of trolling. But we knew that already.

    By the way. Obama Birtherism + Trump Involvement: old. Cruz Birtherism + Trump Involvement: new. And funny.

  55. 55
    Winston Smith says:

    @minutemaid:

    can’t you find something better to post about that the tired ole …teh birtherzzz are kkkrazy

    Objectively, no.

    Delusional people are entertaining. A mob of delusional people slugging it out over whose delusion is more believable is incredibly entertaining.

    This is the most fun read I’ve found on the Internet in weeks.

  56. 56
    phil says:

    Natural born just means you didn’t have to apply for citizenship; the state recognizes that you are a citizen.

    @Bobby Thomson: In those dark old days (before the USA recognized dual nationality – thanks Israel), you’d just have to decide on your 18th birthday if you wanted citizenship from the USA and denounce the other/s. Many countries wouldn’t recognize you denouncing their citizenship anyway. The UK would just give you a passport if you asked, and the USSR would demand you do your service in the military if a young male and you stupidly visited the USSR.

  57. 57
    DavidTC says:

    To play devil’s advocate, the anti-birthers are actually wrong about a few things too.

    Firstly, if Obama had not been born in the boundaries of the US, he would _not_ be a citizen. Because the goddamn idiotic laws at the time require someone to be a citizen for 18 year for their kids to automatically be citizens, and Obama’s mother had not been a citizen that law, mainly because she hadn’t _lived_ that long.

    I.e, at the time Obama was born, if a pregnant 17 year old American-from-birth stepped over the line into Canada and gave birth, the kid would not have American citizenship. (Assuming his father was also under 18, or not a citizen.) Yes, this is completely fucking stupid and the law has been changed, but it was actually the law at the time. So saying ‘he’d be a citizen even if born in Kenya, his mother was American’ is just factually wrong. (Although under US law, considering his mother lived in America, she could easily petition to the courts to make him a citizen…but it wouldn’t be ‘natural born’ citizenship.)

    However, sadly for the birthers, Obama was born within the boundaries of the US, and no matter what the law says, the 14th amendment quite clearly says he’s a citizen.

    Secondly, the fact that _US law_ defines what a natural born citizen is has no bearing at all what the _Constitution_ thinks it is. US law cannot be used to define terms in the constitution, that would render the constitution complete gibberish.

    However, sadly for the birthers, the _courts_ can define what words in the constitution mean, and the courts have, every time it has come up, defined ‘natural born citizen’ to mean ‘citizen at the moment of birth’. Which, of course, Obama was. (Note this does mean the law indirectly defines ‘natural born citizen’. In fact, the law could rather deliberately exclude people from the presidency by, for example, making the children of overseas Americans into citizens one day after they are born, thus making them not ‘natural born citizens’ under the court’s definition. But, of course, laws can’t modify the 13th amendment.)

  58. 58
    Citizen_X says:

    On ObamaReleaseYourRecords.com, alongside the latest news about the president’s fraudulent birth certificate and his close ties to Islam

    Oh, NRO. Even as you’re getting burned, you just can’t stop playing with fire, can you?

  59. 59
    Roger Moore says:

    @Cervantes:

    It’s worth clarifying that if you concede that Cruz is eligible, then ipso facto Obama is eligible even if he was in fact born in Kenya.

    Not necessarily; there are some subtle differences between their cases. Obama’s mother was legally a minor at the time he was born, which IIRC had some affect on his citizenship were he born abroad. There’s also some legitimate question about the legality of his parents marriage, since it’s not clear if Obama Sr. was properly divorced from his first wife at the time. And I think the citizenship law was revised between 1961 and 1971, so Obama’s legal status may be different from somebody whose family situation was exactly identical but was born later.

  60. 60
    Roger Moore says:

    @jibeaux:

    Richard Burr has taken the “states’ rights” tack, which you can see evolving as the new party line before your very eyes: the platform is the platform, but the voters in the states should ultimately decide.

    IOW, they’re afraid that the Democrats will soon have the votes to overturn DOMA if the Supreme Court doesn’t get to it first, at which point going state by state will be the only way of denying marriage equality.

  61. 61
    brad says:

    Maybe there is a god.

  62. 62
    greennotGreen says:

    @DavidTC: I thought Ann Dunham was 18 when Barack was born. FWIW, Wikipedia does, too.

  63. 63
    catclub says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: “even crazy birthers do not deny that Obama’s mom was a citizen. ”

    Actually, I think they do deny just that. She was not an adult citizen for enough years. I think 500 was necessary in her case.

  64. 64
    ricky says:

    No Sixteen Seed has ever advanced in the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament. No person has ever been denied the Presidency due to an Article II, Section I violation.

  65. 65
    ET says:

    The people trying to stomp out the birthers going after GOP candidates are reaping what they sowed.

  66. 66
    I am not a kook says:

    @DavidTC:

    Firstly, if Obama had not been born in the boundaries of the US, he would _not_ be a citizen. Because the goddamn idiotic laws at the time require someone to be a citizen for 18 year for their kids to automatically be citizens, and Obama’s mother had not been a citizen that law, mainly because she hadn’t _lived_ that long.

    I’m not going to believe this unless you can point to cases of children of teenage American mothers being denied citizenship at the time.

  67. 67
    DavidTC says:

    Oh, and let me clarify yet another stupid argument that I see _both_ sides making in different contexts. Specifically, let me remind people that there were ‘natural born citizens’ of the US before the fourteenth amendment. Because, duh, no time machines.

    The founders must have been operating on the assumption that ‘natural born citizens’ was somehow defined by law in some manner. Now, citizenship was, at that time, _entirely_ defined by law, so ‘natural born’ must have been some subset of that.

    So _either_ the question is whether ‘natural born’ is supposed to be defined as a subset of citizenship in general, i.e, the law is supposed to say ‘These classes of citizen are natural born’. Or is there some sort of already existing way to know who is ‘natural born’ is via terminology that was not intended to be defined by law.

    If the subset is supposed to be spelled out in law…well, as we have actually failed to ever do that, either we must assume every single president who was not alive at the time the constitution was signed was invalid?! Or, saner, we will assume the default is ‘natural born’, and the law would need to specify that a specific group of citizens are _not_ ‘natural born’. (This interpretation, incidentally, makes _all_ current citizens eligible to be president.)

    If the subset is instead supposed to be a natural subset, well, there’s really only one logical way that works. The only sane interpretation is term applied to people who were citizens, by law (As all citizenship was at that time.), as a virtue of their birth, instead of those who naturalized later. There’s not really any other plausible definition.

    A lot of people, on both sides, make really weird arguments by bring the fourteenth amendment into the definition of ‘natural born citizen’. We can argue about how the fourteenth amendment was intended to be interpreted under the ‘natural born citizen’ clause, but we can’t do that backwards and pretend ‘natural born citizen’ is in some way explained by the fourteenth amendment signed decades later!

  68. 68
    Bubblegum Tate says:

    The biggest birther I know has been banging on for a while now that the GOP needs to file a lawsuit against one of these people (Jindal is the usual selection) in order to force a definitive court ruling on who is and isn’t eligible.

    This would never happen, obviously, but man, it’d be fun to be a fly on the wall for that meeting if it did.

    GOP: Hey, Bobby.
    JINDAL: So am I gonna have your support for the presidential nomination?
    GOP: Yeah, funny you should mention that because…we’re suing you. Just trust us. It’s all part of a brilliant master plan.

  69. 69
    DavidTC says:

    @I am not a kook:
    I’m not going to believe this unless you can point to cases of children of teenage American mothers being denied citizenship at the time

    The non-citizen minor children of any American can get American citizenship fairly easily, regardless of the circumstances of their birth. Quite a lot of children become citizens because their parent married an American and became a citizen.

    Obama, being solely in the care of an American, would obviously been granted citizenship.

    But he would have been _granted it by the court_, days after he was born. And hence arguably would not have been a ‘natural born citizen’.

  70. 70
    NonyNony says:

    @DavidTC:

    Secondly, the fact that _US law_ defines what a natural born citizen is has no bearing at all what the _Constitution_ thinks it is. US law cannot be used to define terms in the constitution, that would render the constitution complete gibberish.

    Whoa. Now hold on there slick – that’s just completely wrong. The Constitution doesn’t define what a natural born citizen is, so somehow US law must determine what it means. Whether you believe that it can be settled via the legislature’s decision to define it OR you believe it can only be settled by taking it up to nine unelected justices who sit on their bench for life doesn’t enter into it – somehow US law has to determine what that phrase means or else the whole document is just gibberish anyway.

    (Much like our nine unelected justices have defined what “well-regulated militia” means, since it isn’t defined in the document itself.)

  71. 71
    JPL says:

    @Winston Smith: From the comments… Perhaps you don’t know anything about FR. Just in case, here are the basics. Conservatives come here to discuss ideas & events from a conservative POV.

    haha.. paranoia points of view…

  72. 72
    gene108 says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    Jindal and Haley may be eligible but the party of racist troglodytes is not going to nominate either of them.

    Jindal could be a candidate in the future.

    He’s popular in Louisiana.

    Whatever it is that pushes minorities away from the GOP isn’t old fashioned racism of “segregation now, segregation forever” type animosity.

    It’s a confluence of fundamentalist Christianity and the economic policies that primarily benefit the well-to-do. I’ll throw in the “deport all the Mexicans” crowd that’s alienated Latino’s.

    The blacks, who have been on the short end of the stick with regards to economic well being, aren’t willing to embrace the IGMFY mindset of right-wingers because they don’t have gobs of inherited wealth to pass around.

    I think the identity issues for many on the Right revolve more around the secularization of America and therefore they want someone, who has religious values the religious conservatives can identify with. Jindal matches up pretty well with fundamentalists, with regards to his Christian views.

    Jindal also won’t rock the boat, with regards to the economic agenda of right-wingers and keep the course that’s been charted via privatizing Social Security, the Ryan budget, etc.

    I don’t think there’s much he can do to push Republicans to embrace true immigration reform, but he’d put a nice shade of lipstick on that pig for MSM consumption, which to the MSM would be the same as passing a real law.

    Anyway, I think there’s more to right-wing racial attitudes now than the old-fashioned segregationist views. It’s actually become a bit nuanced.

  73. 73
    The prophet Nostradumbass says:

    Ich bin ein Auslander seems appropriate, given the post’s title.

  74. 74
    DavidTC says:

    @NonyNony:

    The Constitution doesn’t define what a natural born citizen is, so somehow US law must determine what it means. Whether you believe that it can be settled via the legislature’s decision to define it OR you believe it can only be settled by taking it up to nine unelected justices who sit on their bench for life doesn’t enter into it – somehow US law has to determine what that phrase means or else the whole document is just gibberish anyway.

    I have no idea why you think the courts deciding something is ‘US law’ deciding it. When people talk about ‘US law’, they are generally talking about the things that legislators have passed.

    Now, it is possible to talk about ‘common law’ and mean to include ‘court decisions’ under law, as ‘law’ is actually a very vague term. Some people have claimed it is impossible to define ‘law’. However, a) I didn’t say ‘common law’, and b) I _explicitly_ made the distinction between ‘US law’ and ‘court decisions’, so that rather obviously is _not_ how I was using the term ‘US law’. I was clearly using it to mean ‘the US code’.

    US code cannot define terms in the constitution as they are used in the constitution. Often, they list the definition for convenience and for use in other laws, but the constitutional terms themselves are always defined by the courts, period.

    That said, as I said in my followup post, the definition decided by the court for ‘natural born citizen’ could actually end being ‘Any citizen defined as natural born under US code’. Aka, the courts could _let_ legislation define it. (But they probably won’t.)

  75. 75
    karen marie says:

    Back in 2003 Orrin Hatch tried to get legislation passed so that Arnold Schwarzenegger could run as a Republican candidate for president. He would prefer you didn’t remember that.

  76. 76
    elmo says:

    Cruz is a great man, a true conservative but he is ineligible to be President, because the law of Canada made him a citizen of Canada by BIRTH.

    So if the laws of any other country grant you citizenship by birth, you can’t be a “natural-born” American citizen. Okay then.
    So in its next brilliant strike against the imperialist aggressor, the People’s Democratic Republic of North Korea grants all persons born in the United States *automatic* North Korean citizenship. So presto! No more natural born citizens, and no more US Presidents. Chaos will reign!

  77. 77
    IowaOldLady says:

    “Obviously, I have everybody calling me wanting my support,”

    I had to stop reading right there and laugh for a while.

  78. 78
    dmbeaster says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    Actually, when Obama was born, the law was different. If born outside the US, both parents had to be citizens or the US parent must have resided in the United States for at least 10 years, at least 5 of which were after the age of 16. The law was changed in 1986.

  79. 79
    chopper says:

    @peach flavored shampoo:

    when Sherman burned Atlanta to the ground he spared the Peabody hotel?

    jesus, come on. we’re not all 19.

  80. 80
    Mnemosyne says:

    @DavidTC:

    I.e, at the time Obama was born, if a pregnant 17 year old American-from-birth stepped over the line into Canada and gave birth, the kid would not have American citizenship.

    Actually, the law wasn’t very clear on that point (which is probably why it was later revised). It seemed to be trying to say that foreign resident US citizens couldn’t automatically pass that citizenship on to their children unless they themselves had lived in the US for X number of years after turning 18. It’s not at all clear whether that would have meant that a pregnant minor who had lived in the US her entire life but happened to be in a foreign country when she went into labor would have a non-citizen child.

  81. 81
    Ed Drone says:

    @PsiFighter37:

    How does Texas elect fools like him and Rick Perry and John Cornyn?

    One stuffed ballot box at a time.

    Ed

  82. 82
    NonyNony says:

    @DavidTC:

    I have no idea why you think the courts deciding something is ‘US law’ deciding it. When people talk about ‘US law’, they are generally talking about the things that legislators have passed.

    I disagree – when people say “US law” they mean “the laws of the US”. Which are a combination of legislation, court decisions, and executive orders. Brown v. Board of Ed and Miranda vs. Arizona is part of US law as much as the PATRIOT Act is. If you mean legislation you should say legislation.

    And even there I disagree for exactly the reasons that you state – the court could very easily decide to punt and say “natural born citizen is whatever Congress has decided it is” because it actually IS Congress’s job to figure that stuff out if it isn’t clearly outlined in the Constitution. They could also decide to veto Congress and do it themselves (as they did when they decided what a “well regulated militia” means). They SHOULD leave it up to Congress to take care of it since we ostensibly have a democratic process that is perfectly capable of dealing with that question (and has dealt with it in the US code), but, well, “activist judges” and all that.

  83. 83
    maya says:

    Aretha Franklin is both a natural born citizen and woman. Why isn’t she running?

  84. 84
    stringph says:

    And there is the Macbeth argument: People born within the United States by Caesarian section are not automatically citizens. ‘Cause it’s not a natural birth…

  85. 85
    Sister Rail Gun of Warm Humanitarianism says:

    @stringph: And over here, we have a fine specimen of Poe’s Law.

  86. 86
    pseudonymous in nc says:

    An important point here is that the US Supreme Court is not like those constitutional courts in other countries that can issue advisory opinions or clarify constitutional terms in the abstract or screen laws before they’re enacted for their constitutionality.

    There needs to be an actual “case” or “controversy” and a plaintiff with standing. My guess is that the constitution will be amended to allow naturalized citizens to become president — post-dated so that it doesn’t benefit to any current politicians — before such a case arises.

  87. 87
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: Yeah, actually if Obama were born in Kenya he probably wouldn’t be a natural-born citizen, but the reasons are incredibly complicated and not worth describing in full because it’s a completely crazy hypothetical.

    Just to make it even crazier, the whole thing depends on the validity of his parents’ marriage, among many other things. If their marriage was invalid because of his father’s bigamy (which is itself a plausible theory, I think), that would make Obama a natural-born citizen by virtue of his mother’s citizenship alone.

    But his having been born in Hawaii makes the whole issue very simple, so that’s the thing people concentrate on.

  88. 88
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @DavidTC:

    I.e, at the time Obama was born, if a pregnant 17 year old American-from-birth stepped over the line into Canada and gave birth, the kid would not have American citizenship. (Assuming his father was also under 18, or not a citizen.)

    They’d have to be legally married for that to be the case, right? If they weren’t married, the kid would have been a citizen.

    I think.

  89. 89
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @PsiFighter37: If you were a US citizen from birth, you’re a natural-born citizen, according to every non-crazy definition I’ve seen.

  90. 90
    Jebediah says:

    @Matt McIrvin:

    But his having been born in Hawaii makes the whole issue very simple, so that’s the thing people concentrate on.

    Did he ever have Sprinsteen’s “Born in The USA” blaring at any campaign rallies? That might have been fun…

  91. 91
    KIlkee says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: Except that the REALLY crazy birthers insist that she hadn’t lived in the US long enough after her 15th birthday to qualify, conflating a law dealing with naturalized citizens with natural born ones. But for fun.

  92. 92
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @MattF: Ha!

    He is the Kingmaker for Repubs. Good luck with that.

    Go Hilary!

  93. 93
    KIlkee says:

    @Mnemosyne: This, One Million Times.

  94. 94
    KIlkee says:

    @Matt McIrvin: Why would the citizenship of the father matter, or whether the marriage was valid? If the MOTHER was a citizen, she gives birth to a citizen, whether she’s married or not, whether the father is a citizen or not.

  95. 95
    KIlkee says:

    The Short Fingered Vulgarian will have to tread lightly into this. As much as he shouted about Obama’s supposed birth issues, he helped spawn one group of birthers who insist that NC requires that BOTH parents have been US-born citizens. That’s a bit of a problem for Mr. Trump, as his mother was born in Scotland. In fairness, six presidents before Obama had at least one foreign-born parent (Jackson had two) but this is the sort of thing, much like Court decisions, that has no impact whatsoever on birthers.

  96. 96
    equs_personus says:

    @Randy P: I understand McCain was born in a Navy hospital in Panama, but not in the Canal Zone which was ‘US Soil’ at the time. ALso I hear there is further evidence in the LaBrea Tar Pits.

  97. 97
    John Revolta says:

    Hell people, you don’t even have to be elected at all. You can be anointed President by the Supreme Court.

  98. 98
    Epicurus says:

    @aimai: This. Some pea-brained people really struggle with the idea of dual citizenship. Here’s a clue, birthers; President Obama was born in Hawaii, after its admission to the Union. Therefore, he is ipso facto a U.S. citizen. Those who derive citizenship from (one of) their parents, are likewise, citizens at the time of their birth. What twisted definition of “natural-born” are these assholes trying to push on the rest of us? I guess they just enjoy mental masturbation. Have at it!

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