By Jeff West
The Times Examiner
December 10, 2008
...Many people have questioned why the Founding Fathers did not define the phrase “natural born citizen” in the Constitution. The answer is simply that the meaning was commonly understood and there was no reason to define the term. Since Obama’s birth and before, Congress has passed many unconstitutional laws defining the phrase according to their ever-changing whims, with the result that it was consistently liberalized over time. It is a very sad statement about America that Congress cannot understand that the Constitution trumps their laws, hence the need for the Supreme Court to strike down their erroneous, unconstitutional laws.
The Supreme Court reiterated this in their decision of S.C. v. U.S. in 26US Supreme Court 110, 111 (1905) when they wrote: “The Constitution is a written instrument. As such, its meaning does not alter. That which it meant when adopted, it means now.”
They further confirmed this by quoting Chief Justice John Marshall (Gibbons v. Ogden):
“As men whose intentions require no concealment generally employ the words which most directly and aptly express the ideas they intend to convey, the enlightened patriots who framed our Constitution, and the people who adopted it, must be understood to have employed words in their natural sense, and to have intended what they have said.”
My discovery of this historical evidence symbolically came to me on Thanksgiving as I was thinking about how God blessed America with a wonderful land and Constitutional form of government. I was reading an article on the Internet discussing various legal attempts to define the phrase “natural born citizen” and I thought, “I know there is some literature or documents contemporaneous with the Founding Fathers that define this phrase as they understood it.” Suddenly I remembered that our Constitution was based upon the encyclopedic “The Law of Nations,” a treatise written by Swiss lawyer and diplomat Emerich de Vattel as a manual for how government should function. Written in 1758, this work was read not only by the Founding Fathers, but was also well-known throughout the colonies among the populace.
Thankfully, I found a copy on the Constitution Society’s website and sure enough, in Book I, Chapter XIX, part 212, it says: “The natives, or natural-born citizens, are those born in the country, of parents who are citizens.” Here is the definition the Founding Fathers did not deem necessary to supply since it was already understood...
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