In a recent January 16 Article on News With Views, writer J.B. Williams has penned yet another article addressing natural born citizen titled, “TRUE FACTS ABOUT THE ENDLESS NATURAL BORN DEBATE.” Unfortunately nowhere in Williams article is there anything resembling facts, much less truthful ones.
Williams’ article actually misrepresents the #1 terms for natural born citizen, when it is solely own distorted cherry-picking of Vattel’s writing, in which Williams entirely bypasses Vattel’s explicit and clear definition of natural born stated in § 212 of Law of Nations, and instead extracts only the immediately following reference to paternalism, and the father determining the citizenship of the offspring. It is this reference that Williams represents as the legitimate definition of natural born, despite it being one recognized by only Williams himself. Talk about “truth”…
As far as the actual definition provided by Vattel, Williams presents this as his #3 recognition of natural born, but dishonestly impugns this as only the “birther” definition. Williams then proceeds to blame those birthers for focusing on McCain, and thereby allowing Obama to remain unchallenged in office. Notably, by this specious rationale, Williams has revealed the motivation for his extensive abuse of Vattel as being an underlying prejudice to validate only one individual – John Sydney McCain.
All the evidence, as provided by Williams himself, clearly indicates Williams’ own prejudicial determination to recognize John McCain as a natural born citizen, even while still condemning Obama, with the difference between the two being the status of the fathers. Therefore Williams reprehensibly pushed past Vattel’s clear and concise definition of natural born, onto the irrelevant narrative of about paternalism, solely for the purpose of supporting his own preconceived agenda of vindicating McCain, and condemning Obama. The result is a theory which is in no way resembling valid argument.
In an email exchange between myself and Williams regarding his specious claims, Williams defended his article with the following explanation:
“The column separates in total, six competing views…. Because it is those competing views that make the term unenforceable for seven years now. The “birther” definition is not the original meaning of the term, as I state. But it could be the a Founders original intent, as I also state. … you falsely claimed that what I wrote was not true or accurate, and I assure you, it is entirely true and accurate.”
J.B. Williams, via email, January 19th, 2016
Let us proceed to examine the “truth and accuracy” of Mr J.B. Willaims’ representations regarding natural born citizen:
In the course of an email exchange over nearly a year with J.B. Willaims about natural born, Williams has exhibited a gross ignorance of the fundamental issues, making such claims as the following:
1) The Article 1, Section 8 reference in the Constitution to “Law of Nations” is actually a direct reference to Vattel’s treatise. False, it is a reference to what we might recognize generally today International Law.
2) That Vattel is the source of authority for the terms presented in his treatise Law of Nations. False, Vattel only documented what was then commonly recognized.
3) That “Native” has the same meaning as “Native Born”. False, the two references have distinctly different meaning.
4) That “true citizen” mentioned by Vattel is the same as natural born, when it is only a phrase used by Vattel to indicate that the child’s following of the father might be recognized by law, resulting in that child being an actual “true citizen” under the law, rather than one just following the father by inclination.
5) That the terms of natural born go back to the Bible and Old Testament, when the social law Williams references in that ancient past has no more bearing on natural born than the social laws (Paternalism) of the more modern past, or the the statutory laws of the present! Blatant ignorance across centuries having no support.
In those previous email exchanges, I have provided Williams a more thorough insight into his misunderstandings, but to little or no effect.
What follows is my own citation of history and fact regarding natural born citizen, in contrast to Williams’ own representations, even as I conveyed them to J.B. Williams via email. Decide for yourself which narrative provides the more direct factual references:
ACTUAL TERMS FOR NATURAL BORN
#1 ORIGINAL ROOT TERMS FOR NBC: Vattel accurately recognizes the fundamental terms of natural born with his indication in § 212 of Law of Nations being “those born in the country, of parents who are citizens.”
Over the course of this country’s history , at least 5 separate U.S. Supreme Court decisions have recognized the same terms as Vattel, with some of these citing Vattel specifically, and others only providing the definition.
1814 – The Venus, 12 U.S. (8 Cranch) 253, 289, (cites Vattel’s definition of natural born citizens)
1857 – Scott v. Sanford, 60 U.S. 393, (Justice Daniel concurring uses same definition and cites Vattel)
1875 – Minor v. Happersett, 88 U.S. 162, 167-681884, (same definition without citing Vattel);
1879 – Ex Parte Reynolds, 1879, 5 Dill., 394, 402 (same definition and cites Vattel);
1890 – United States v. Ward, 42 F.320 (C.C.S.D.Cal.) (cites and quotes Ex Parte Reynolds, same definition and cites Vattel);
By somewhat less direct argument:
1872 – Slaughter-House Cases, 83 U.S. 36, 21 L.Ed. 394, 16 Wall. 36
1884 – Elk v. Wilkins, 112 U.S. 94
Curiously JB Williams would have us believe that these cases must involve “birthers” as well. Yet obviously even a fossil like McCain was nowhere around in those early times, but this is the level of ignorance and corrupt representations that Williams’ article stoops to. JB Williams is extremely fortunate that News With Views has no comments section, or else his claims would be eviscerated by many who are not nearly so ignorant. In truth, those who recognize Vattel’s terms of NBC hold the actual “birthers” in tremendous disdain, along with their fixation of playing “Where’s Waldo” with the birth certificate. Yet Williams is oblivious to this as well in his corrupt intent to falsely impugn the issue as “birther.”
There are also numerous comments identifying the terms of natural born over this country’s history by other qualified persons, such as John A. Bingham, co-author of the 14th Amendment, who indicated on the floor of the House, “Every human being born within the jurisdiction United States of parents not owing allegiance to any foreign sovereignty is, in the language of your Constitution itself, a natural born citizen.” (Cong. Globe, 39th, 1st Sess., 1291 (1866))
#2 NBC DEFINITION FOUNDED ON BRITISH “COMMON LAW” DICTATE:
in 1898, thirty years after the ratification of the 14th Amendment, Justice Horace Gray argued in U.S. v. Wong Kim Ark that, by British Common Law, “anyone born on the soil”, regardless of parentage, is not only a citizen or subject from birth, but also natural born, based on Gray’s own cherry-picking of British Jurist Blackstone’s 1765 Commentaries.
It should be noted that to proffer this argument, Justice Gray had to inherently presume, despite the 110 years of the United States existence, that this country had no citizenship laws of its own on the books, thereby making British “common law” dictate relevant, which obviously is patently false and demonstrating gross judicial corruption. This is the claim that current Progressives cite most often as the actual terms of natural born citizen, yet JB Williams’ article fudges these two somehow to create two separate definitions which he numbers #4 and #5, while not providing any reference at all to the corrupt Wong Kim Ark decision!
In 1881 Prentiss Webster published A Treatise On the Law Of Citizenship In The United State, in which Webster recognizes these two schools of thought regarding natural born citizen status, which are represented as terms #1 and #2, above. Webster recognized the latter reliance on British common law as being feudal-monarchical dictate, entirely in conflict with this country’s founding principles. Webster indicates, “Such a theory had its origin in the feudal law, on which the principles of this country were not grounded, and, while it may be argued that it finds place in the English common law, it must not be forgotten that “our ancestors brought with them, and claimed as their birthright its general principles, and adopted that portion of it only which was applicable to their situation.”
Webster’s 1881 recognition of the two schools of thought on natural born status does, in fact, serve to powerfully condemn J.B. Williams’ claim that the terms of natural born recognized by Vattel are merely the result of contemporary “Birther” corruption.
Even more curious regarding Justice Gray’s representation, is that the “birth on soil” claim is not even the most current indication provided by Blackstone’s 1765 Commentaries! Justice Gray was actually cherry-picking Blackstone! Further on in his Commentaries, Blackstone recognizes as natural born subjects those who are born outside the country. However in doing so Blackstone recognizes that this ever-expanding definition is made by authority of the Crown, and is statutory in nature, even providing the statute code of “25 Edw. III. st.2.” :
To encourage also foreign commerce, it was enacted by statute 25 Edw. III. st. 2. that all children born abroad, provided both their parents were at the time of the birth in allegiance to the king, and the mother had passed the seas by her husband’s consent, might inherit as if born in England: and accordingly it hath been so adjudged in behalf of merchants. But by several more modern statutes these restrictions are still farther taken off: so that all children, born out of the king’s ligeance, whose fathers were natural-born subjects, are now natural-born subjects themselves, to all intents and purposes, without any exception; unless their said fathers were attainted, or banished beyond sea, for high treason; or were then in the service of a prince at enmity with Great Britain.
Blackstone thus recognized these allegedly “common law” terms as nothing but evolving statutory definitions, not at all constant. Yet Williams own article makes no distinction between statutory corruptions, even recognizing yet another definition of NBC that involves only statutory definitions, even from what are explicitly naturalization laws, despite what is stated therein having application to “citizenship” only. Williams mistakenly elevates these irrelevant statutory definitions to his #2 “The Textual Meaning”, when they have no valid application to natural born status at all, only to mere citizenship. Williams fails to recognize that natural born citizen, even by definition, is not the product of man-made Positive Law.
To no surprise given the progressive expansion of terms, Britain has a root-definition of natural born, which predates Blackstone’s 1765 Commentaries, a definition which is the same as that recognized by Vattel, albeit phrased differently. Thirty years prior to Blackstone’s Commentaries, British jurist Matthew Bacon recognized the unadulterated terms of natural born to be:
“All those are natural-born Subjects whose Parents, at the Time of their Birth, were under the actual Obedience of our King, and whose Place of Birth was within his dominions.”
(Matthew Bacon, A New Abridgement of the Law, 1736, Vol 1, pg 77)
Not only does Bacon indicate that the place of birth must be within the “dominion” (British territory) itself, but it also indicates that the parents must be under the “actual obedience” of the King. This emphasis on “actual Obedience” is in direct conflict with Justice Gray’s own presumed obedience of Law in the Wong Kim Ark decision. Presumed obedience resulting from mere temporary happenstance of giving birth within the territory does not equate to the obligation of actual obedience of being a citizen, or subject, not even under British feudal doctrine. Even the Crown had no authority to overthrow existing allegiance and make subjects of those who are aliens.
Despite being phrased differently, this definition by Bacon actually recognizes the original terms of natural born subject to be the same as our own, and the same as related by Vattel, involving (1) the actual allegiance (citizenship) of both parents and (2) birth within the territory, or dominion. Yet Williams entirely sidesteps and ignores the clear and succinct definition provided by Vattel, dismissing it as “birther”!
The problem is that J.B. Williams is not actually sufficiently familiar with the history to recognize false claims, including his own. Instead of educating himself, Williams blissfully fabricates a highly prejudicial definition of natural born from gross abuse of Vattel’s text, a definition that only he recognizes.
In Conclusion, natural born citizen is not a product of statutory law, and the whole array of U.S. naturalization laws only apply to “citizen” and “citizenship”, and in no way have any relevance to the terms of natural born citizen. JB Williams’ uninformed and superficial articles only serve to establish Willams as the poster child for ignorance on the matter of natural born citizen status, and not any sort of voice of discernment.