Thursday, November 12, 2009

Bad Cases Make Bad Law

The Indiana Court of Appeals today confirmed a common saying in the legal community that bad cases make bad law. A couple of pro se plaintiffs brought a lawsuit in Marion Superior Court in December, 2008 challenging the "natural born citizenship" status of President Barack Hussein Obama. The plaintiffs named the wrong defendant, Gov. Mitch Daniels, when they sought an "extraordinary writ of prohibition" against the governor "from issuing a Certificate of Ascertainment" or any other document to Congress containing the popular vote outcome of last year's presidential race in Indiana for the appointment of Barack Obama and Joe Biden as "Chief Electors." This complaint brought by Steve Ankeny and Bill Kruse also named the DNC, Barack Obama, the RNC and John McCain as defendants. Secretary of State Todd Rokita, who administers elections in Indiana, was not named as a defendant. Judge David Dreyer dismissed the suit for failing to state a claim upon which relief can be granted, although I give him a lot of credit for the thoughtful consideration he gave to the plaintiffs' embarrassing and poorly drafted complaint. The plaintiffs contended that Gov. Daniels had a duty to ascertain whether Obama was a natural born citizen, and that neither Obama nor John McCain were eligible to hold the office of president because neither were natural born citizens.

In an Indiana Court of Appeals opinion authored by Judge Elaine Brown, the electoral college process for electing our president is spelled out for the benefit of the confused plaintiffs. It explains that the Democratic Party nominated the state's nine electors who actually voted on behalf of Indiana to elect Obama president based on the fact that he won the popular vote in Indiana. The plaintiffs contended that Gov. Daniels had allowed Obama to become Indiana's "Elector in Chief" by permitting his name to appear on the ballot. "Plaintiffs' characterization of the electoral process in the State of Indiana simply is not consistent with the applicable laws," Judge Brown wrote. Something I uncovered a few months ago that has been overlooked by all of the parties is that the certification filed with Indiana's Election Division by the DNC and Indiana's Democratic Party omitted language certifying that Barack Obama was a natural born citizen. That's not a problem though for Judge Brown, who then went on to offer her constitutional interpretation of what "natural born citizen" means, something our U.S. Supreme Court has never done and something she had no obligation to do since there were already sufficient grounds to affirm Judge Dreyer's dismissal of the badly flawed lawsuit.

The only thing I believe the plaintiffs got right in their lawsuit was their contention that a "natural born citizen" is a person born within the U.S. to two U.S. citizen parents. Obama's father was at all times during his life a citizen of Kenya, which at the time of Obama's birth was a British commonwealth. By virtue of his father's citizenship, Obama was indisputably a dual citizen at birth. A person owing allegiance to two countries cannot be described as a natural born citizen in my opinion. The fact that Obama says he never affirmed his British citizenship before the age he was legally required to do so is irrelevant. A fact conveniently overlooked in Judge Brown's decision is that Obama immigrated to Indonesia at age 6 with his mother and became a citizen in that country as well after his step-father adopted him. Sen. John McCain also arguably was not a natural born citizen because he was born in a Panamanian hospital while his father was stationed at a Navy base in the Panama Canal Zone. Both Obama and McCain are U.S. citizens for different reasons, but the term "natural born citizen" is a unique term used in the U.S. Constitution only to define a person's eligibility to serve as president.

In determining that Obama is a natural born citizen, Judge Brown relied on the 1898 Supreme Court decision, U.S. v. Wong Kim Ark, which I've discussed at length on this blog in the past. I give Judge Brown credit for acknowledging that the Supreme Court in that decision did not conclude that Wong, a man born in the U.S. to two Chinese national parents, was a natural born citizen. "We note the fact the Court in Wong Kim Ark did not actually pronounce the plaintiff a 'natural born citizen' using the Constitution's Article II language is immaterial," Judge Brown nonetheless concluded. "Based upon the language of Article II, Section 1, Clause 4 and the guidance provided by Wong Kim Ark, we conclude that persons born within the borders of the United States are 'natural born citizens' for Article II, Section 1 purposes, regardless of the citizenship of their parents," Judge Brown concludes. Assuming Judge Brown's interpretation is correct, fellow attorney and blogger, Leo Donofrio, describes best what it means:

If Obama is eligible to be President then so are the sons of Osama Bin Laden, Kim Jong Il and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad if they impregnate an American woman who gives birth on US soil. The very notion is obscene. Such a person might be a US citizen under current policy, but their citizenship is not natural born and they cannot be President and Commander In Chief of the US armed forces.
Judge Brown then goes on to assert as fact in a footnote the wild claim that Chester A. Arthur, the 21st president of the United States, was born the son of an Irish citizen. "We note that President Obama is not the first U.S. President born of parents of differing citizenship," Brown writes. "Chester A. Arthur, the twenty-first U.S. President, was born of a mother who was a United States citizen and a father who was an Irish citizen," Brown asserts, citing a 1975 biography on Arthur by Thomas Reeves, entitled the "Gentleman Boss." Brown then goes on to discuss rumors that erupted during his presidency that Arthur was born in Canada and not the U.S. Brown's claim that Arthur's father was an Irish citizen at the time of his birth has never been proven. Indeed, Arthur's father, an immigrant from Ireland, became a naturalized citizen who ran for and was elected to public office during Arthur's lifetime, although it has been debated whether Arthur's father had become a naturalized citizen by the time of Chester's birth. It has been established that Chester lied about the date of his birth and burned most of his family's records to avoid discovery of the deceit over his date of birth.

Brown's opinion notes the authority relied on by the plaintiffs to support their claim that "natural born citizen" requires two U.S. citizen parents but dismisses it completely. "The Plaintiffs do not mention the above United States Supreme Court authority (referring to Wong Kim Ark) in their complaint or brief; they primarily rely instead on an eighteenth century treatise and quotations of Members of Congress made during the nineteenth century," she writes. "To the extent that these authorities conflict with the United States Supreme Court's interpretation of what it means to be a natural born citizen, we believe that the Plaintiff' argument fall under the category of 'conclusory, non-factual assertions or legal conclusions' that we need not accept as true when reviewing the grant of a motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim," she concludes.

It is worth noting that of the dozens of cases that have been brought forth over the past year challenging whether Obama is a natural born citizen, this is the only opinion that has been decided on the merits of the claim that he is not a natural born citizen. Every other decision refrained from making any determination on the actual merit; instead, the courts dismissed the complaints for lack of standing on the part of the plaintiffs to bring the constitutional eligibility challenge. There's a reason other courts failed to reach a conclusion Judge Brown reached in this opinion. It is based upon the long-held rule of constitutional interpretation that a court should refrain from deciding a case on constitutional grounds when the case can be disposed of on other non-constitutional grounds. Procedurally, this case had to be dismissed because the plaintiffs sued the wrong defendant and lacked standing to sue. There was no reason for the court to decide a constitutional question as it did in this case, and that's what makes it so disturbing. Judge Terry Crone and Melissa May signed on to Judge Brown's decision. Gov. Mitch Daniels appointed Judge Brown to the Court of Appeals last year. I bet we won't hear Gov. Daniels complaining about the judicial activism of his own appointees like he did the judges who ruled Indiana's voter I.D. law unconstitutional.

UPDATE: Leo Donfrio, who had his own case before the U.S. Supreme Court from New Jersey denied a hearing, offers this perspective on how the the Indiana Court of Appeal tripped over the natural born citizen issue with this decision:

The Indiana Court of Appeals in the Arkeny and Kruse case has just issued a lame judicial attempt at defining the “natural born citizen” clause. The errors of fact and law incorporated into the decision serve as a beacon outlining the desperation certain government factions now face. Obviously, the British birth issue is getting on their nerves and this was clearly an attempt to derail further national discussion on this issue.

The Indiana Court of Appeals held that the plaintiffs did not state a claim upon which relief might be granted, but then they went ahead and visited some of the underlying merits of the case in a rather cavalier manner. Since any appeal of this decision will be dismissed on other procedural grounds, no appellate court will ever review them on this issue. The upper courts will simply deny the appeal without reaching this aspect. So they took a crack at stopping this in its tracks.

And they failed miserably. And it’s very encouraging. The arguments presented by the Indiana Court of Appeals are weak. The facts used by them are also a fantastic attempt at propaganda. For example:

With regard to President Barack Obama, the Plaintiffs posit that because his father was a citizen of the United Kingdom, President Obama is constitutionally ineligible to assume the Office of the President. The bases of the Plaintiffs‟ arguments come from such sources as, The Rocky Mountain News…

That’s interesting. Later in the decision they reject this fact. Amazing. It appears that the Indiana Appellate Court was not willing to accept that Barack Obama Sr. was the President’s father. That alone tells you something was rotten in Denmark. But the legal arguments they proceed upon, particularly their selective quotations from the Minor and Wong Kim Ark cases illustrate a wonderful example of a court acting as one of the advocates.

Their main argument is to state that citizens are only born or naturalized. That fails to take into account the framers (and other original citizens) who themselves were neither born citizens nor were they naturalized. So the Court proves itself a bit wonky on that point. Still, I certainly do not dispute that today all US citizens are either born or naturalized. But that’s not the point. The necessary evaluation requires consideration of the various types of born citizenship. And on this important issue, the Indiana Court of Appeals has failed.

Born citizens can be broken up into three groups:

1. natural born

2. citizens by statute

3. 14th amendment citizens

- All three classes were born as US citizens, but not all three are the same. Persons born abroad are citizens by federal statute.

- A person born on US soil to alien parents who were domiciled here, according to Wong Kim Ark, is a 14th Amendment citizens.

- Natural born citizens are born on US soil to parents who are citizens.

All of the above are citizens, but each reaches their citizenship through different circumstances.

To be “natural born” is a circumstance of citizenship. It is not a separate level of citizenship. All citizens have equal rights. If that was not true, then naturalized citizens would be eligible for the office of President. But they aren’t. This is because the natural born citizen clause is a national security measure, not a right of citizenship. The Indiana Court conveniently ignores this point.

Born citizens are not necessarily bestowed with citizenship in the same way. Some require a statute. Some require the 14th Amendment. Some were natural born and their citizenship was self-evident.

The Indiana court also pointed to dicta in a 7th Circuit Court of Appeals case which labelled two children of an illegal alien as natural born. That case stated:

The petitioner has a wife and two children under the age of three in Chicago; the children are natural-born citizens of the United States.

But nothing about the issue was discussed. The children were mentioned in passing dicta. Whether the children were natural born was not an issue in that case. And it was a mistake for the court to say they were natural born.

The Indiana Court of Appeals acknowledges that the Supreme Court in Wong Kim Ark did not hold that the man was a natural born citizen. Essentially, the Indiana court acknowledges that the US Supreme Court exercised judicial restraint, but the Indiana Court of Appeals here doesn’t feel that they are restrained in that regard. How brave of them.

Furthermore, the Indiana Court chose to ignore the most relevant aspect of Wong Kim Ark where the SCOTUS clearly indicated that Wong Kim Ark was not natural born:

Every citizen or subject of another country, while domiciled here, is within the allegiance and the protection, and consequently subject to the jurisdiction, of the United States. His allegiance to the United States is direct and immediate…and his child, as said by Mr. Binney in his essay before quoted, ‘If born in the country, is as much a citizen as the natural-born child of a citizen…’

That tells you right there that the child of the citizen and the child of the alien are not both natural born.

“…and his child… ‘If born in the country, is as much a citizen as the natural-born child of a citizen…”

Justice Gray does a very revealing compare and contrast here:

- he compares two children

- on the one hand, he mentions the US born child of a resident alien

- on the other hand, he mentions the “natural-born” child of a citizen

He clearly states that only one is natural-born: the child of the citizen.

He says that both are citizens. But only the child of the citizen is natural born – for this is what he is comparing the other one to. So the holding indicates Wong Kim Ark was as much a citizen as any other citizen despite not being natural-born.

The Court does not say that the child of the alien is a natural-born citizen.
The Indiana Court conveniently ignored this analysis. And that comes as no surprise to me. They had to ignore it because there was no possible way for them distinguish it.


IndyPaul said...

The opinion cites to the statute requiring the governor to sign the certificate of ascertainment - the plaintiffs sued the correct party. The opinion also cites no less than four U.S. Supreme Court opinions which rely upon 300 years of British common law and state that a person born in the U.S. is a natural born citizen. Bloggers, on the other hand, are due no more precedential value than 18th century Swiss philosophers.

IndyPaul said...

Regarding Arthur, I thought we'd been through this. He was born in 1829. His father wasn't naturalized until 1843.

Advance Indiana said...

They did not sue the correct party, Paul. Gov. Daniels has no statutory role in making a determination of whether a person is a natural born citizen eligible to be president as the court correctly decided. The court falsely claimed that Arthur's father was an Irish citizen, ignoring the fact that he was a naturalized U.S. citizen who had been elected to public office as a U.S. citizen, unlike Obama's father, who returned to Kenya to become a domestic abuser with multiple wives and alcoholic.

Advance Indiana said...

And of course, Paul, you're happy with this decision because it offers an opinion on the merits with which you agree. You were all happy that one federal court after another dismissed similar lawsuits on the lack of standing grounds.

IndyPaul said...

Obviously, the parents' nationality at the time of birth is the question. Their subsequent lives are inconsequential to whether their child is "natural born". The fact that President Arthur's father was naturalized 14 years after his birth is irrelevant.

While Federal Courts are required to observe the Case or controversy standard for standing, state courts are not. This explains why the Indiana Court of Appeals reached the merits and the federal courts have not. I am happy that a Court was able to reach the merits and lay out the long settled principle that a person born in the US is a "natural born" citizen.

Advance Indiana said...

You are correct, Paul, on the varying standards applied for determining standing between federal and Indiana courts. I'm not at all happy, though, that the court ventured into the merits of a claim that on its face was not meritorious because of how it was procedurally brought. Let me give you an example of what this definition of natural born citizen means. I had a client who was born in San Diego. Her father, a citizen of Saudi Arabia, was working there temporarily for a Saudi company. Her parents returned to Saudi Arabia a short time after her birth. She spent the next 27 years of her life living in Saudi Arabia. When she decided to visit the U.S. for the firt time, she learned that she needed a U.S. passport because she was a U.S. citizen by virtue of being born on American soil. What Judge Brown held is that this woman could move to the U.S. and run for president after she reaches the age of 35. That's obscene, Paul. There would have been no point in putting the eligibility requirement in the U.S. Constitution if it permitted such individuals "natural born" status.

IndyPaul said...

You're putting a modern spin on a Constitutional provision written in the 18th century. Such movement was unheard of at the time, and there was no reason to address it. What you are really arguing for is a new interpretation based upon current conditions - the Constitution as a breathing changing document. I have not heard that argument made with regards to this provision. Good luck. Moreover, you're overlooking the requirement that a person be a permanent resident of the US for at least 14 years to be eligible to be president. If she did indeed move to the US at age 27, your client would not be eligible to run until she turns 41. Even then, her prospects as a long time citizen of Saudi Arabia would presumably be pretty bleak.

Advance Indiana said...

Don't count on it, Paul. Obama ran as a "citizen of the world" for good reason. The liberals have been trying to eliminate the natural born citizen requirement for years. They no longer need to do that since judges have reinvented what it really meant by the men who wrote it into our constitution. It's just the beginning of the end for American sovereignty. Are you prepared for rule by his masters in Dubai and Riyadh? Will Obama get that 5th vote on the Supreme Court to rewrite the Second Amendment? Will he succeed in forcing Americans to buy health insurance or face huge tax penalties? Will he force economically disastrous "cap and trade" policies on American industry that will effectively put many industries out of business? Will he seize the wealth of hard-working patriotic Americans by allowing the repeal of the inheritance tax to sunset? I hear Fidel Castro is very proud of the job Obama is doing. Bet that makes you real proud, Paul.

IndyPaul said...

I guess if you don't have the law on your side, you have to resort to scare tactics. The only movements to alter the Natural Born Citizen provision I am aware of are the the current one you are a part of, and that of Republicans who a few years ago eyed Schwarzenegger as a presidential contender. At least they acknowledged that a constitutional amendment would have been necessary.

Advance Indiana said...

I believe in the constitutional requirement as written, Paul. You believe in a rewritten version that ignores the contemporaneous views of the framers of our constitution. If you want to call that having the law on your side, then so be it. The constitution becomes pointless if judges can simply rewrite it to suit their personal judgement of what it should say instead of an objective interpretation.

Alan said...

A few things:

1. Chester A. Arthur was born during a time when his father was a citizen of Britian/Ireland.

2. Your entire argument of Indonesia has already been heard by the Supreme Court, and rejected over 75 years ago. Look for a case called Perkins v. Elg (1933). Fits exactly the definition that you're seeking with your Indonesian Citizen argument. Supreme Court even called Elg a "Natural Born Citizen". Indonesian Citizenship, whether or not he ever had it, is irrelevant to this discussion.

3. As far as your other theories. They were addressed by the court, and rejected. U.S. v. Wong Kim Ark is pretty subjected in that.

Let me give you a few other scenarios:

A. A person is born to 2 American Citizens. While she is still a minor, she's removed in her minority and taken to Sweden. Through the actions of her parents, she obtains Swedish Citizenship. Before reaching the age of 21, she returns to the United States, and lives there for 14 years. Is she eligible to be President of the United States? Supreme Court declared her so, in Perkins v. Elg.

B. A person is born on U.S. Soil, to one citizen (mother), and one British Citizen (father). After his birth, his father Naturalizes, and becomes a U.S. Citizen. At the age of majority, this person makes no attempt to retain his British Citizenship, having lived in the United States all of his life. Is this person eligible for the Presidency? You just described Chester A. Arthur.

C. A person is born to 2 U.S. Italian-American Citizens. Both of these Italian-Americans parents were born in the United States, to Italian Immigrants. As a result, these 2 parents have both Italian Citizenship, and U.S. Citizenship from birth. Their children will also have Italian Citizenship and U.S. Citizenship from birth. Are their children Natural Born Citizens?

D. An American Family is stationed overseas in Saudi Arabia in the Army. They're both American Citizens from Birth. Saudi Arabia does not grant citizenship via Jus Soli, so the children are not Saudi Citizens. They have a child while stationed over there. Is their child a Natural Born American Citizen?

E. An American Family is stationed overseas in France in the Army. They do not have Diplomatic Immunity. France grants citizenship to anybody born within their country, regardless of the status of their parents (minor exceptions provided). Are they considered a Natural Born Citizen?

Advance Indiana said...

Alan, Chester Arthur's case was not litigated in a single court of law. Nothing but pure speculation existed surrounding his birth. People didn't question at all whether his father was a U.S. citizen at the time of his birth; the public debate, albeit very limited debate, surrounded whether he had been born in Canada and not in Vermont as he claimed. The case you cite has absolutely no applicability to the natural born citizen requirement in the constitution for presidents. That issue has never been litigated and decided on its merits by a court of proper jurisdiction. The Indiana state courts had no jurisdiction to decide the eligibility of a president. In the examples you gave, A&B are not eligible. C is eligible. D&E raise McCain-like problems that are less clear. Congress initially defined the term natural born citizen to include the children of persons in service to the government overseas. It later repealed that provision of the Immigration and Nationality Act on the ground that it should be left to the courts to interpret the meaning of "natural born citizen." As far as the federal court system is concerned, the term has not been definitively decided by the Supreme Court. Hey, look how many years we had to wait to get a decision on the Second Amendment and that was by a mere 5-4 vote.

Advance Indiana said...

On Chester Arthur's father, Remember that his father would have been eligible to naturalize within 5 years of arriving in the U.S. The reason Arthur likely lied about his age was to make it appear that his father had lived long enough in the U.S. to have become naturalized at the time of his birth. It was not learned that Arthur's father had in fact not become naturalized until many years after his birth when Leo Donofrio uncovered that fact as part of his research just a few months ago. You and Paul, as well as this Indiana court, pretended those facts were known then and litigated as such. They weren't. It never got beyond the rumor stage during his presidency.

IndyPaul said...

I never said or inferred that Arthur's case had been litigated. The point is, the fact that his father was Irish was never an issue, as it would have no impact upon his natural born status. As you point out, the only issue raised was whether he was born in the US or not.

Three opinions of the U.S. Supreme Court, all cited by Brown, specifically hold that a person born in the US is a natural born citizen, which is also supported by 300 years of British jurisprudence. You are either born a citizen or naturalized. If you are a citizen at birth, you are a natural born citizen. Its really rather elemental.

You want to bring in an 18th century Swiss philosopher and isolated comments of Congressmen, and call that objective??

Advance Indiana said...

Paul, British common law doesn't have a damn thing to do with this issue. The U.S. Constitution is a unique legal document written in rejection of our country's rule by the British monarchy. None of those cases decided the meaning of "natural born citizen" in the context of a presidential candidate. The "hey look over here" bullshit never ceases to end by people on the Left. It's working quite well. Quickly, the American people are being brainwashed into dissolving our constitutional republic.

whistleblower said...

Paul, You refer to Brittish common law. --As such, did you know that the Law of Nations was adopted as part of Brittish common law in 1764?

If the Law of Nations was adopted as part of the Common Law of England, prior to the ratification of our Constitution, AND since SCOTUS has determined that the words used in our Constitution should be interpreted as they were used in the common law of England; is there a definition of NBC among that common law other than that which exists in the Law of Nations?

Can you provide us with one SCOTUS opinion that describes anyone other than someone born on U.S. soil, to parents, who are themselves citizens, as being a natural born citizen?

Can you provide us with one SCOTUS case, where a transient, having no permanent allegiance, is the parent of a natural born citizen?

kismetique said...

Alan - you make interesting arguments, but not quite.

In your scenarios:
A. Yes, Elg is a NBC because her father naturalized PRIOR to her birth and at the time, his naturalization automatically naturalized his wife. So she was born on US soil to 2 US Citizens.

B. No, Arthur was not eligible to be POTUS because he was not a NBC, due to his father not naturalizing PRIOR to his birth, which may or may not have been in the US - which is another problem for him. I certainly wouldn't feel comfortable using Arthur for any sort of precedent - due to his many lies and possible improprieties with dates.

C. Interesting and I would say no, not NBC - but I'm not at all sure that the Italian citizenship would transfer through 2 generations. The problem with dual citizenship passing through to the child is allegiance / foreign security issues. If, as I suspect, the Italian citizenship did not pass through for a second generation, then the child would be a NBC.

D. Depends on where the child was born. If born in a military hospital on soil that is under US soverign control, then NBC, providing both parents are US Citizens. Otherwise, no.

E. Same answer as D. If either child is born on French or Saudi Arabian soil, then no - they are not NBC. This is the same reason that McCain is not a NBC. He was NOT born on the base in the canal zone. He was born in the civilian hospital in Colon, Panama; therefore he too was born with dual citizenship and not on US soil.

My question is - if anyone simply born on US soil is a NBC, why would anyone even have any interest in changing the Constitution with regards to that requirement? What would be the point?

I disagree that you are either born a citizen or naturalized. And not all US Citizens are NBCs. Surely you don't consider Anchor babies NBC's. Have you no consideration for loyalty or allegiance?

The problem I have with Obama is his paternal allegiance. Actions speak much louder than words. What would have been his reason for travelling to Kenya, well after his 21st birthday to campaign for a purported paternal relative who believes in Sharia Law?

There can only be 3 answers to that question.
1. Obama, too, believes in Sharia Law.

2. Obama campaigned for Odinga out of loyalty to his father or his Kenyan tribe - whether he believes in Sharia Law is another issue. If he doesn't, he would still campaign for the man?

3. He just goes where the wind takes him and doesn't care what consequences his actions have - he has no belief / moral / integrity system - he just lives in the moment.

Personally - any of the 3 reasons don't speak well of Obama.

Our hearts and minds and how they connect with our roots/parents are strange things. Sometimes we do not act within reason when it comes to issues of the heart - precisely what the FF's were trying to guard against by requiring that POTUS have NO outside ties - no matter how far removed - to interfere with POTUS foreign and domestic decision making. For the knew such decisions could be corrupted in many ways, but first and foremost they wanted to try and guard against such to the extent that they had control.

IndyPaul said...

No, the law of nations was not "adopted" by British Common Law. While parts of it were followed, within its jurisdiction, such as maritime law and foreign relations, it was not adopted wholesale. (I can't even locate the citizenship provision in LON - as I recall, its not itself decisive ). The British common law, was as stated in Wong Kim Ark, which the Indiana Court of Appeals quotes at length:

"therefore every child born in England of alien parents was a natural-born subject, unless the child of an ambassador or other diplomatic agent of a foreign state, or of an alien enemy in hostile occupation of the place where the child was born.
III. The same rule was in force in all the English colonies upon this continent down to the time of the Declaration of Independence, and in the United States afterwards, and continued to prevail under the constitution as originally established."

The parents of Wong Kim Ark were Chinese. They returned to China 17-22 years after Wong was born. The Supreme Court nonetheless held that Wong was a natural born citizen. Despite the fact that Wong's parents lived in the US for a period of time, their allegiance was presumably to China. This did not change the fact that their son Wong, born in the US, was a natural born citizen.

William said...

IndyPaul, you are wrong when you state the third sentence below.

"The parents of Wong Kim Ark were Chinese. They returned to China 17-22 years after Wong was born. The Supreme Court nonetheless held that Wong was a natural born citizen."

You will provide the EXACT quotation in the WKA case which specifically says he was "natural born citizen".

And you may not use THIS one, which says he is a "citizen".

"His allegiance to the United States is direct and immediate…and his child, as said by Mr. Binney in his essay before quoted, ‘If born in the country, is as much a citizen as the natural-born child of a citizen…’"

Did ypoui see that, IndyPaul? The Supreme Court in WKA case, is comparing him (son of an alien) to a "natural-born son of a citizen. BOTH are "citizens", buy only the son of the citizen is called "natural-born".

So, please providde the exact sentence of the WKA case wherein HE is called a "natural born citizen".

IndyPaul said...


The phase "as much" means to the same degree. The Court compares the natural born son of a citizen to the natural born son of an alien, and says they are the same.