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Thank You, John Jay for the insistence of “Natural Born Citizen”

September 15, 2008

as an elemental requirement for a presidential candidate per our US Constitution.

John Jay

John Jay

US constitutional definition

Although the United States Constitution does not explicitly define the term “natural born citizen”, Section 8 of Article I confers on Congress the power: “To establish an uniform Rule of Naturalization…” This power has been construed[weasel words] to include defining the characteristics of a “natural born citizen”, as well as the conditions of “naturalization”.

Section 1 of Article II of the Constitution contains the clause:

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.

Additionally, the 12th Amendment to the Constitution states that: “[N]o person constitutionally ineligible to the office of President shall be eligible to that of Vice-President of the United States.”

It is thought the origin of the natural-born citizen clause can be traced to a letter of July 25, 1787 from John Jay (who had been born in New York City) to George Washington (who had been born in Virginia), presiding officer of the Constitutional Convention. John Jay wrote: “Permit me to hint, whether it would be wise and seasonable to provide a strong check to the admission of Foreigners into the administration of our national Government; and to declare expressly that the Commander in Chief of the American army shall not be given to nor devolve on, any but a natural born Citizen.” There was no debate, and this qualification for the office of the Presidency was introduced by the drafting Committee of Eleven, and then adopted without discussion by the Constitutional Convention. (43 of the 55 delegates had been born in the Thirteen Colonies, and the others had been born on British-occupied soil: Ireland, England, Scotland, and the British West Indies.[1][])

The 2003 Equal Opportunity to Govern Amendment, a proposed amendment to the US Constitution, would, if adopted, have removed the prohibition against naturalized citizens holding the office of the President.

Today we have good news. Atty Philip Berg’s suit was given permission by the Court for discovery. Adding to this good news, Senator Obama and the DNC must have their Answer to the complaint filed by September 24, 2008. The FEC has until October 21, 2008.

4 Comments
  1. americasright permalink
    September 15, 2008 5:45 pm

    ellurian,

    I don’t know where you’re getting your information about a decision rendered on Berg’s Motion for Expedited Discovery. No decision has been made yet.

    I actually ran into Phil Berg here at the courthouse at 4:30pm today. We discussed the lack of decision from Judge Surrick.

    Just wanted to let you know.

    Jeff Schreiber
    America’s Right.com

  2. americasright permalink
    September 15, 2008 5:48 pm

    By the way, the document you’re linked to there is a PROPOSED order, a procedural bit of mumbo-jumbo which often accompanies motions as a kind of way to “assume the sale” when dealing with the judge.

    Should Judge Surrick grant Berg’s motion, he could then just sign the proposed order.

    Jeff Schreiber
    America’s Right.com

  3. ellurian permalink
    September 16, 2008 12:50 am

    As a follow up.. I have called several sources regarding the status of the motion to expedite discovery..and should have something definitive tomorrow.. This in addition to my e-mail.

    Thanks for your comments..

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