1) In 1969 Pinckney McElwee uncovered evidence in the House Committee notes from 1795 which indicate that the reason the reference to natural born citizen (NBC), included in the 1790 Naturalization Act, but entirely removed from the 1795 Naturalization Act, was that people would wrongly infer that that Act was actually intending that those born overseas outside the country were to become natural born citizens. Clearly Madison was not wanting to make natural born citizens of the children born overseas to American parents. On June 14, 1967, Representative John Dowdy introduced McElwee’s unpublished article, “Natural Born Citizen” (pg 10), on the House floor, to the U.S. House of Representatives. Until recently, the import of this evidence has been largely unrecognized.
2) If they were not intending to make them natural born citizens, as McElwee’s evidence from the 1795 House Commitee notes indicates, THEN the founders were using the reference to NBC in the original 1790 Naturalization Act in some other way than to actually confer NBC status. That other intended use involves the reference to “natural born citizen” being employed as “SIMILIE: (comparing two unlike things or conditions) in order to argue for the mere citizenship of those born overseas, and NOT to confer Natural born citizen status upon them. This is an antiquated rhetorical device more commonly employed in the 18th Century in order to present a sort of pro forma argument, in this case, for the mere citizenship of those born overseas.
3) Some have argued that the terms of the Constitution might be altered merely by Congressional legislation, rather than an Article V amendment, with this intention being particularly applied to the term of art “Natural Born Citizen” utilized only in Article II, thereby enabling Congress to change the requirement for President at its whim, such as:
- Matthew Spalding Ph.D., formerly the Vice President of American Studies at the Heritage Foundation, and currently Dean of Educational Programs at Hillsdale College, who appeared before a 2004 Senate Judiciary Committee hearing (page 19) held for the purpose of expanding the original meaning of “natural born citizen” to make the office of President more inclusive, even to include naturalized persons, and those born to parents overseas in service of the military, and other things. Spalding specifically testified that the 1790 Naturalization Act’s reference to natural born citizen “clearly” (in his biased opinion) shows that the Founders viewed it was within Congress’ authority to establish a “uniform rule of naturalization”. Spalding even closed by disclosing his own personal bias, referencing his adoption of two Russian orphans, whom he described being “as natural born citizens.” We should instinctively recognize this argument as false due to the fact that natural born citizen status has nothing to do with any sort of naturalization, and does not fall under that authority of Congress. We can now recognize Spalding’s entire argument referencing the 1790 Naturalization Act as establishing precedent for Congress to alter the terms of the Constitution by mere legislation, as entirely false and corrupt.
- Jack Maskell of the Congressional Research Service (CRS) who wrote a 2009 article, updated in 2011, “Qualifications for President and the “Natural Born” Citizenship Eligibility Requirement”, in which Maskell mistakenly references the 1790 Naturalization Act as, “expressly defining the term ‘natural born citizen’ to include those born abroad to U.S. citizens.”
Both Matthew Spalding and Jack Maskell, allegedly American history scholars, each conspicuously failed to address the fact that the 1795 Naturalization Act entirely repealed the 1790 Naturalization Act, and was a near-verbatim repeat of that Act, except entirely removing the reference to “natural born citizen”. The failure to address this conflict with their arguments strongly indicates an agenda in disregard of fact.
- Numerous legislation attempts to redefine “natural born citizen” by statute or amendment, including but not limited to Senate Bill S. 2678, “Children of Military Families Natural Born Citizen Act”, which intended to modify the meaning “natural born citizen” by inappropriate means, when the phrase is a term of art from Natural Law, which is by definition outside of man-made Positive Law, and entirely beyond the reach of such statutory manipulation.
The evidence indicates these approaches to altering the Constitution are entirely invalid. 1790 Naturalization Act – “Considered As” That 1790 Naturalization Act, this country’s very first act of naturalization, indicates:
“And the children of citizens of the United States that may be born beyond Sea, or out of the limits of the United States, shall be considered as natural born Citizens .,,”
Many have believed the phrasing “shall be considered as natural born Citizens” was intending to confer natural born citizen status upon those born overseas. However new information has surfaced indicating this to not be the case. In 1789, only a year before the 1790 Act, James Madison made a similar reference addressing natural born, also employing the same phrasing “considered as.” Many employ this Madison reference similarly to the 1790 Naturalization Act, to argue against the two citizen-parent terms:
“It is an established maxim, received by all political writers, that every person owes a natural allegiance to the government of that country in which he is born. Allegiance is defined to be a tie, that binds the subject to the state, and in consequence of his obedience, he is entitled to protection… The children of aliens, born in this state, are considered as natural born subjects, and have the same rights with the rest of the citizens”
In this address Madison references the children of aliens born on American soil, as being “considered as” natural born . I believe this reference is not actually intending to confer on those alien children “natural born” status, nor even recognize them as just “citizens”, but rather was Madison’s indication these alien children born on U.S. soil are entitled to fundamental rights, i.e. property, due process, etc. Many assume that these two references to “natural born” represent the deliberate expansion of the terms for natural born citizen, but evidence exists showing such interpretations to not actually be the case. THE EVIDENCE: Only 5 years after that 1790 Naturalization Act, Congress specifically repealed that Act, replacing it with the 1795 Naturalization Act, which was a nearly verbatim repeat of the previous 1790 Act, except without any reference to natural born citizen whatsover. Many “authorities” conspicuously overlook reference to this 1795 Act’s specific and deliberate repeal of that 1790 Act.
Mr. James Madison, who had been a member of the Constitutional Convention and had participated in the drafting of the terms of eligibility for the President, was a member of the Committee of the House, together with Samuel Dexter of Massachusetts and Thomas A. Carnes of Georgia when the matter of the uniform naturalization act was considered in 1795. Here the false inference which such language might suggest with regard to the President was noted, and the Committee sponsored a new naturalization bill which deleted the term “natural-born” from the Act of 1795. (1 Stat 414) The same error was never repeated in any subsequent naturalization act.
(McElwee, Natural Born Citizen, 1967, Page 10)
Again recollect that the previous Madison 1789 quotation and the 1790 Naturalization Act both use the exact same phrasing of “considered as natural born” (citizens/subjects). By McElwee’s own report, Madison was involved in having the “natural born citizen” reference in the 1790 Naturalization Act, entirely removed in the 1795 Naturalization Act, so that the reference would not be misunderstood. Given the similar phrasing in the quotation, perhaps Madison was even influential in drafting that 1790 Naturalization Act. What “Considered As” Actually Intends