Natural Born Citizen –
Two interesting articles that expose the kabuki dance of deception being played by those in the legal and academic communities to support a stretch, rewriting of the original meaning of the term ‘natural born citizen’ for your consideration.
January 6, 2012
The obstacles in Barack Obama’s path to the presidency have been overcome, or covered over. Rather than merely avoiding the contentious question of Obama’s “natural born” eligibility, America’s academic establishment has muffled discussion on the inextricably related issue of citizenship law in our country, in the greater context of immigration reform.
The first instance of academia’s cloak-throwing was noted in an American Thinker article which described the revision made by Professor Larry Solum to his scholarly paper that addressed Senator McCain’s eligibility, “Originalism and the Natural Born Citizenship Clause.” The original version was published in 2008. Without saying it explicitly in his footnote of explanation, Solum’s revision implied, subtly, that he also supported the eligibility of Obama, with his one citizen parent instead of two — yet Solum did not include citations or references that defended his rationale for the change, nor has he published papers since that discussed this aspect of the issue.
Solum’s unsupported rewriting was mentioned again in the more recent article, “The Great American Memory Hole.” That column also described the strange and related story of “JustiaGate” — the “mangling” of text and citations, for approximately a three-year period beginning mid-2008, on Justia’s database for 25 Supreme Court decisions that directly cited the particular case of Minor v Happersett. It so happens that Minor contains a succinct definition of “natural born” citizenship (essentially, born in the country to citizen “parents,” plural) that attorney Leo Donofrio contends represents binding precedent. In addition to the anomalies noted at Justia, Donofrio discovered a complete block of relevant text missing from Ex Parte Lockwood at Cornell — a case that Donofrio argues further proves his assertion that Minor‘s statements on citizenship are binding precedent vs. dicta.
Cornell’s Professor William Jacobson countered that Justia is not utilized by “practicing lawyers,” but it is revealing to note that both Jacobson‘s Legal Insurrection blog and the WSJ Law Blog, for example, recently and frequently link to Justia’s Supreme decisions, and that Google searches often list Justia as a top hit — reinforcing the reality that Justia’s Supreme Court database does indeed maintain a significant voice in the court of public opinion.
Shortly after Donofrio’s findings and further claims regarding the precedent set by Minor, Professor Jonathan Turley published a post by contributor David Drumm entitled “Holdings, Dicta, and Stare Decisis.” The last sentence of Drumm’s post refers to the Wikipedia article on Minor as further support for his assertion that the “natural born” comments are dicta; however, that particular Wikipedia entry was revised only a couple of months ago (soon after Donofrio’s assertions) to include the very paragraph that Drumm cites. Comments on Drumm’s post now number over 1,300, bearing witness to an ugly war that continues to rage among anonymous commenters. The revision history for the Wikipedia entry reveals similar battle scars.
“In the Spirit of Truth,” Donofrio has, via his “Natural Born Citizen” blog, invited other attorneys to directly challenge his assertions:
The definition of natural born citizen in Minor v. Happersett is binding precedent; Ex Parte Lockwood acknowledged Minor as precedent for the definition of federal citizenship; and the statements in Minor fit the description of precedent established by the Court in Ogilvie Et Al., Minors v. United States.
Will any accept the offer, or, along with other legal academics, will attorneys continue the “bizarre birther intellectual dance” described by Jacobson that sidesteps reasonable questions of law and spins around only the infamous birth certificate?….
AND this article is included because it answers the question of why.
January 6, 2012
By Bruce Walker
… What if Obama, to take his case as an example, was really the son of a man who was a natural-born American citizen? The more we poke into this area, the murkier it can get.
So why does the Obama birth certificate issue still matter to so many people? It has much less to do with how we read the Constitution than it does with Obama hiding key documents and probably lying to the American people. What if Obama had said from the beginning something like this?
“I think I was born in Hawaii, but honestly, I can’t be sure; I was a newborn at the time, and my mother moved around a lot. I cannot even say for sure who my father was — just as most of us cannot know who our father with absolute certainty. But I believe that I am perfectly eligible to be president, and I will gladly open any records in my power to open. I ask over the next 60 days that every constitutional professor and lawyer discuss and debate this issue. I hope, after we have gone through this process, that the issue can finally be put to rest.”
Would we still be discussing his qualifications to be president? Certainly not. The problem with Obama — and this is a crucial distinction from the eligibility of Rubio or Jindal — is skullduggery and mischief, not constitutional eligibility per se. We need to keep that sneakiness the vital point in our Article I, Section II attack. Rubio and Jindal are not hiding anything from us. No one is accusing them of lying to the American people.
Honest differences about what the Constitution means are qualitatively different from maliciously concealing facts which relate to constitutional issues. Honest differences of fact on issues like paternity are also qualitatively different from concealing relevant information. Obama, so typical of all leftists, is hiding evidence and very likely lying. That is our issue. That is also a winning issue with the American people…
As I was about to post these I read a quote that seems perfect for the Obama ‘natural born citizen’ discussion:
“When truth is not given complete freedom, freedom is not complete.”
Václav Havel, the first president of the Czech Republic and a prominent figure in its struggle for democracy during the communist era, passed away on December 18th, 2011…
2012 Elections –
I just heard Glenn Beck talking about the spat Rick Santorum got into with a few students about gay marriage and I think I need to repost an article written a year or so ago about marriage that supports Glenn Beck’s position. Rick Santorum is correct in posing the questions he did about how far marriage might be extended.
Marriage is the Domain of the Church and God –
Market Risk is the Domain of Individuals and Business –
Neither is the Domain of the Federal Government.
This morning I heard Glenn Beck talking briefly about gay marriage, civil unions and the possibility that triad couples (between more than 2 people) could soon start demanding the same rights. After I finished rolling my eyes, I began thinking about the issue and quickly came to the same opinion that I hold concerning gay marriages and marriage in general. Marriage is an issue for the church, consenting adults, and God. If there are some churches that recognize gay marriages, fine (as long they are between freely consenting adults). If there are some churches that recognize marriage between more than two people or communal families, fine (as long as they are between freely consenting adults). I’m not in the religion or morality business as long as actions don’t hurt others or infringe upon their rights.
Why in the world is the government, any government, state or federal, in the business of sanctifying or recognizing any marriage? It has always been clear to me that when government makes it possible for people who are “married” to have benefits and rights (social security or medical decision making) different from “non-married” people, it is a violation of both the equal protection clause (14th Amendment to the Constitution) and the prohibition respecting the establishment of religion (1st Amendment to the Constitution).
Social Security benefits accruing to surviving spouses are probably the main reason people are upset about the federal government not recognizing gay marriage in general. I agree completely that gay and single couples both have a legitimate right to be upset. Where does the idea and definition of marriage come from? It comes from the church. (Particularly churches of the Judea/Christian tradition.)
In this country, the Christian church’s biblical interpretation that marriage is only between one man and one woman is engrained in literature and history as the rule. However today, there are churches that recognize and perform marriages between couples of the same sex, transgender persons, and even between a man and a woman. So, when official government process bestows benefits to those individuals who are in “traditional marriages”, the definition of which was establish by the Judea/Christian beliefs, there is clearly a preference being made for one religion’s or church’s definition of marriage over those found in other religions or churches.
When government goes down the “we benefit you, but not you” path; it sure seems like government is either involved in establishing a particular religion or government is not providing equal protection and opportunity for “single” individuals who wish to consolidate and share their resources as “partners” or “significant others” the same as “traditionally married” people. Government should either benefit people equally or don’t benefit anyone.
It seems so easy for the federal government to remedy the social security surviving spouse benefit problem. All the Social Security Administration would need to do is to have a provision for the pooling of social security earnings and benefits. If Joe and Mary, or Joe and Sam, or Joe, Mary, & Jane said to the government that we want to pool our social security contributions from this date forward, then every participant’s individual social security contributions would be pooled and the sum would be divided by the number of people involved and that amount would be credited to each person’s individual social security earnings account.
This would allow the stay-at-home mom or dad to make contributions to their individual social security account as if they were “working” (half of the family’s income would be credited to each person in the relationship). It would work the same way for gay couples or communal families. Each person in such an arrangement would have some measure of protection vis-à-vis social security. There would be no surviving spouse benefit because they would have their own social security. Primary income earners or those with a bigger income could direct part of their social security contributions to another’s account because they are committed to the other person (or people) and/or recognize the value of another person(s) non-monetary contributions such as raising children, gardening or taking care of the house.
I would think that most people would not have a problem with such a restructuring of Social Security because the government would be recognizing the limits of its power by saying we are not going to involve ourselves with the definition of the term marriage. Marriage is within the domain of the church, the consenting individual(s), and their God.
It amazes me that the government doesn’t try harder to stay out of the business of limiting the rights of individuals more. It seems like politicians want division so they can play each side off the other and maintain their grip on power. Every time the government and politicians get involved in anything they create fear and uncertainty; and then use that uncertainty to their own advantage. One only needs to look at the current financial mess that the economy is in.
Obama likes to say that he inherited the mess and he is only doing what has to be done. However, the truth is that he and many Democrats in Congress share a great deal of the blame for the economic mess and Obama is using this crisis to get his political objectives accomplished. The entire mess can be traced back to when government (mostly Democrats, Barney Frank, Chris Dodd) decided it wanted to get into the business of setting up regulations that created opportunities for groups like ACORN to pressure banks into lending to people who were not able to afford mortgages. This led to many of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac’s problems; which coupled with packaging these sub-prime assets into financial bundles and selling them round the world; it caused the global house of cards to collapse.
The government was trying to manipulate business RISK principles and it backfired. Banks wound up being in the position of making risky loans that could be sold to the government (or guaranteed) and the bank’s RISK of losing its own money was greatly diminished. It’s a lot easier to play fast and loose with other people’s money.
Market Risk is the Domain of Individuals and Business.
Now, people are getting excited that the stock market appears to be signaling the end of the crisis. Think again. The news of the past few days paints a much bleaker picture. Consider the following:
With passage of Obama’s budget, the government will have to borrow almost 50 cents for every dollar it spends this year.
The Federal deficit will be greater than 1.8 trillion dollars this year.
Social Security and Medicare financial projections have been revised to reflect that they are going broke sooner than expected. Medicare is already losing money by the truckloads and Social Security will be sending out payments faster than money coming in by 2016. That’s only 7 years away! Congress is not only spending money like drunken sailors but they are also so afraid of risking the votes of senior citizens that they are unwilling to effectively address the Social Security/Medicare problem. (That’s the problem with creating dependency for voter loyalty, the bill always comes due. Then it comes down to who can be blamed. With the American media’s proclivity for supporting Democrats, blame usually finds it way to Republicans regardless of facts to the contrary.)
Last week, the Treasury auction went poorly and Treasury yields soared. This means that the government has to pay much more interest on the amounts they are borrowing.
This week, the government was buying their own securities to bring the yields back down some. Where are the funds coming from to for the Fed to do all this buying? They have the printing presses running overtime. This will, in the not too distant future, damage severely the value of the dollar and cause a substantial rise in inflation. The price of everything will go up and foreign countries will be reluctant to purchase our debt to keep the charade going.
China, who holds a great deal of our debt, will be looking for treasuries paying higher interest in order to entice them to purchase more debt.
The more the government prints money out of thin air, the more the dollar’s value will be affected. There will more money available to buy the same number of goods – causing inflationary pressure. Demand will likely take a downturn once consumers figure out they need to be protecting bank balances. However, with a decline in dollar’s value, it means that many goods will cost more to produce because the materials required for production will cost more. Therefore producers will either need to raise prices, lower profit margins, lower labor costs (lower wages and/or cut jobs), and/or relocate to areas where the costs of production (taxes etc.) are lower. However, even with these actions, consumers may not buy at higher prices (or even current prices) and businesses will go under.
So why are stock going up? I believe that many people are being led to think the crisis is ending by Obama and the media and they want to be in on the bull market. I also believe that many people are moving out of U.S. Securities because the yields are relatively low right now, some stocks price/earnings ratios look attractive comparatively and some investors are starting to believe that Treasuries are too risky and could collapse in the future. I think people are buying stocks because they feel like they are buying something tangible like buildings, machinery, etc. I bet buyers are looking at companies that don’t have high debt to equity ratios. Stocks just look better than most of the other choices right now. Now is the operative word because once interest rates on government securities are forced to rise to 6 or 7%, a lot of investors will shift back trying to stay ahead of the calamity that’s nearly certain to come. This amount of debt and planned taxation is not sustainable.
This crisis can only be overcome by returning to sound economic principles now. Congress and Obama must stop trying to spend and tax our way out of this. The media needs to be telling the story of how to work toward healthy long term economic fundamentals and not just promoting Obama’s plan. Obama’s massive stimulus is a short-term feel good illusion; but like social security, the bill will come due.
The media should encouraging Tea Parties instead of attacking them. The media needs to tell the truth about Obama and his real objectives. The media needs to investigate & report factually about Obama’s eligibility issue, Rezko, Ayers, Larry Sinclair’s allegations, Obama’s associations with ACORN, and the numerous other issues and scandals from Obama’s past. Before America can come together, these questions must be addressed fully. The media generated Obama “fairy tale” must stop because America’s future is at stake. The media needs to tell the truth and report the news.
We need to support companies like Ford who are not feeding off tax payers and taking direction from self-serving politicians. Boycott companies like GM, Chrysler, Citigroup and others who undermine ingenuity and lead America to mediocrity.
Neither marriage nor market risk should be within the domain of the Federal Government.
Keeping with the Glenn Beck theme:
Whoever is careless with the truth in small matters cannot be trusted with important matters.
Official Disclosure – Just to be clear, my graphics depict almost all members of the BOPAC Administration as being full of crap. They do not actually look like turds – one needs special ‘full of crap’ glasses to be able to see the core of those who continually feed America BS. I treat everyone equally – when Glenn Beck goes off on those who reasonably question Obama’s eligibility, he gets a half-full of crap depiction.