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Message Subject RED ALERT!!! Massive cover-up underway in the White House! Natural Born Citizen Definition SCRUBBED FROM ALL ONLINE DICTIONARIES!!!
Poster Handle Anonymous Coward
Post Content
"GIBSON, DUNN & CRUTCHER LLP
Washington, DC, April 8, 2008.

Re legal analysis of question whether Senator
John McCain is a natural born citizen eligi-
ble to hold the office of President.

Hon. ARLEN SPECTER,
Ranking Member, Committee on the Judiciary,
U.S. Senate, Dirksen Senate Office Build-
ing, Washington, DC.

DEAR SENATOR SPECTER: Pursuant to a re-
quest received from Democratic Committee
staff, I enclose for your consideration a copy
of my and Professor Laurence Tribe’s anal-
ysis of the question whether Senator John
McCain is a ‘‘natural born citizen’’ eligible,
under Article II of the Constitution, to hold
the office of President of the United States.
Professor Tribe and I are in agreement that
the circumstances of Senator McCain’s birth
to American parents in the Panama Canal
Zone make him a natural born citizen within
the meaning of the Constitution.
Please do not hesitate to contact me if I
can be of further assistance in this matter.
Very truly yours,
THEODORE B. OLSON.
MARCH 19, 2008.

We have analyzed whether Senator John
McCain is eligible for the U.S. Presidency, in
light of the requirement under Article II of
the U.S. Constitution that only ‘‘natural
born Citizen[s] . . . shall be eligible to the
Office of President.’’ U.S. Const. art. II, § 1,
cl. 5. We conclude that Senator McCain is a
‘‘natural born Citizen’’ by virtue of his birth
in 1936 to U.S. citizen parents who were serv-
ing their country on a U.S. military base in
the Panama Canal Zone. The circumstances
of Senator McCain’s birth satisfy the origi-
nal meaning and intent of the Natural Born
Citizen Clause, as confirmed by subsequent
legal precedent and historical practice.

The Constitution does not define the mean-
ing of ‘‘natural born Citizen.’’ The U.S. Su-
preme Court gives meaning to terms that are
not expressly defined in the Constitution by
looking to the context in which those terms
are used; to statutes enacted by the First
Congress, Marsh v. Chambers, 463 U.S. 783,
790–91 (1983); and to the common law at the
time of the Founding. United States v. Wong
Kim Ark, 169 U.S. 649, 655 (1898). These
sources all confirm that the phrase ‘‘natural
born’’ includes both birth abroad to parents
who were citizens, and birth within a na-
tion’s territory and allegiance. Thus, regard-
less of the sovereign status of the Panama
Canal Zone at the time of Senator McCain’s
birth, he is a ‘‘natural born’’ citizen because
he was born to parents who were U.S. citi-
zens.

Congress has recognized in successive fed-
eral statutes since the Nation’s Founding
that children born abroad to U.S. citizens
are themselves U.S. citizens. 8 U.S.C.
§ 1401(c); see also Act of May 24, 1934, Pub. L.
No. 73–250, § 1, 48 Stat. 797, 797. Indeed, the
statute that the First Congress enacted on
this subject not only established that such
children are U.S. citizens, but also expressly
referred to them as ‘‘natural born citizens.’’
Act of Mar. 26, 1790, ch. 3, § 1, 1 Stat. 103, 104.
Senator McCain’s status as a ‘‘natural
born’’ citizen by virtue of his birth to U.S.
citizen parents is consistent with British
statutes in force when the Constitution was
drafted, which undoubtedly informed the
Framers’ understanding of the Natural Born
Citizen Clause. Those statutes provided, for
example, that children born abroad to par-
ents who were ‘‘natural-born Subjects’’ were
also ‘‘natural-born Subjects . . . to all In-
tents, Constructions and Purposes whatso-
ever.’’ British Nationality Act, 1730, 4 Geol.
2, c. 21. The Framers substituted the word
‘‘citizen’’ for ‘‘subject’’ to reflect the shift
from monarchy to democracy, but the Su-
preme Court has recognized that the two
terms are otherwise identical. See, e.g., Hen-
nessy v. Richardson Drug Co., 189 U.S. 25, 34–
35 (1903). Thus, the First Congress’s statu-
tory recognition that persons born abroad to
U.S. citizens were ‘‘natural born’’ citizens
fully conformed to British tradition, where-
by citizenship conferred by statute based on
the circumstances of one’s birth made one
natural born.

There is a second and independent basis for
concluding that Senator McCain is a ‘‘nat-
ural born’’ citizen within the meaning of the
Constitution. If the Panama Canal Zone was
sovereign U.S. territory at the time of Sen-
ator McCain’s birth, then that fact alone
would make him a ‘‘natural born’’ citizen
under the well-established principle that
‘‘natural born’’ citizenship includes birth
within the territory and allegiance of the
United States. See, e.g., Wong Kim Ark, 169
U.S. at 655–66. The Fourteenth Amendment
expressly enshrines this connection between
birthplace and citizenship in the text of the
Constitution. U.S. Const. amend. XIV, § 1
(‘‘All persons born or naturalized in the
United States, and subject to the jurisdic-
tion thereof, are citizens of the United
States. * * * ’’) (emphases added). Premising
‘‘natural born’’ citizenship on the character
of the territory in which one is born is root-
ed in the common-law understanding that
persons born within the British kingdom and
under loyalty to the British Crown—includ-
ing most of the Framers themselves, who
were born in the American colonies—were
deemed ‘‘natural born subjects.’’ See, e.g., 1
William Blackstone, Commentaries on the
Laws of England 354 (Legal Classics Library
1983) (1765) (‘‘Natural-born subjects are such
as are born within the dominions of the
crown of England, that is, within the
ligeance, or as it is generally called, the alle-
giance of the king.* * * ’’).

There is substantial legal support for the
proposition that the Panama Canal Zone was
indeed sovereign U.S. territory when Senator
McCain was born there in 1936. The U.S. Su-
preme Court has explained that, ‘‘[f]rom 1904
to 1979, the United States exercised sov-
ereignty over the Panama Canal and the sur-
rounding 10-mile-wide Panama Canal Zone.’’
0’Connor v. United States, 479 U.S. 27, 28 (1986).
Congress and the executive branch similarly
suggested that the Canal Zone was subject to
the sovereignty of the United States. See,
e.g., The President—Government of the
Canal Zone, 26 Op. Att’y Gen. 113, 116 (1907)
(recognizing that the 1904 treaty between the
United States and Panama ‘‘imposed upon
the United States the obligations as well as
the powers of a sovereign within the [Canal
Zone]’’); Panama Canal Act of 1912, Pub. L.
No. 62–337, § 1, 37 Stat. 560, 560 (recognizing
that ‘‘the use, occupancy, or control’’ of the
Canal Zone had been ‘‘granted to the United
States by the treaty between the United
States and the Republic of Panama’’). Thus,
although Senator McCain was not born with-
in a State, there is a significant body of legal
authority indicating that he was neverthe-
less born within the sovereign territory of
the United States.

Historical practice confirms that birth on
soil that is under the sovereignty of the
United States, but not within a State, satis-
fies the Natural Born Citizen Clause. For ex-
ample, Vice President Charles Curtis was
born in the territory of Kansas on January
25, 1860—one year before Kansas became a
State. Because the Twelfth Amendment re-
quires that Vice Presidents possess the same
qualifications as Presidents, the service of
Vice President Curtis verifies that the
phrase ‘‘natural born Citizen’’ includes birth
outside of any State but within U.S. terri-
tory. Similarly, Senator Barry Goldwater
was born in Arizona before its statehood, yet
attained the Republican Party’s presidential
nomination in 1964. And Senator Barack
Obama was born in Hawaii on August 4,
1961—not long after its admission to the
Union on August 21, 1959. We find it incon-
ceivable that Senator Obama would have
been ineligible for the Presidency had he
been born two years earlier.

Senator McCain’s candidacy for the Presi-
dency is consistent not only with the accept-
ed meaning of ‘‘natural born Citizen,’’ but
also with the Framers’ intentions when
adopting that language. The Natural Born
Citizen Clause was added to the Constitution
shortly after John Jay sent a letter to
George Washington expressing concern about
‘‘Foreigners’’ attaining the position of Com-
mander in Chief. 3 Max Farrand, The Records
of the Federal Convention of 1787, at 61
(1911). It goes without saying that the Fram-
ers did not intend to exclude a person from
the office of the President simply because he
or she was born to U.S. citizens serving in
the U.S. military outside of the continental
United States; Senator McCain is certainly
not the hypothetical ‘‘Foreigner’’ who John
Jay and George Washington were concerned
might usurp the role of Commander in Chief.
Therefore, based on the original meaning
of the Constitution, the Framers’ intentions,
and subsequent legal and historical prece-
dent, Senator McCain’s birth to parents who
were U.S. citizens, serving on a U.S. military
base in the Panama Canal Zone in 1936,
makes him a ‘‘natural born Citizen’’ within
the meaning of the Constitution.
LAURENCE H. TRIBE.
THEODORE B. OLSON. "

April 30, 2008
Congressional Record in the Senate
S3645 and S3646

excerpts.

Obama is mentioned in the above pages as being natural born by virtue of being born in Hawaii. Well, that is what it says on page S3646.


What I am getting out this is that the Senate Judiciary committee tried to figure out what "natural born" meant for purposes of eligibility, and they decided that if you are born in the United States -- it does not matter who your parents are and so it is ok to become a senator or a president, and they specifically mentioned Obama in this regard.



"Historical practice confirms that birth on
soil that is under the sovereignty of the
United States, but not within a State, satis-
fies the Natural Born Citizen Clause. For ex-
ample, Vice President Charles Curtis was
born in the territory of Kansas on January
25, 1860—one year before Kansas became a
State. Because the Twelfth Amendment re-
quires that Vice Presidents possess the same
qualifications as Presidents, the service of
Vice President Curtis verifies that the
phrase ‘‘natural born Citizen’’ includes birth
outside of any State but within U.S. terri-
tory. Similarly, Senator Barry Goldwater
was born in Arizona before its statehood, yet
attained the Republican Party’s presidential
nomination in 1964. And Senator Barack
Obama was born in Hawaii on August 4,
1961—not long after its admission to the
Union on August 21, 1959.
We find it incon-
ceivable that Senator Obama would have
been ineligible for the Presidency had he
been born two years earlier.

GIBSON, DUNN & CRUTCHER decided this issue for us, and the Senate went with it.

I think it needs defined by the Supreme Court or a federal court not some law firm.
 
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