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Anonymous User July 21, 2009 at 10:13am
Article 2, Section 1, US Constitution.
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.
So what is a 'natural born' citizen?
Natural-born citizens, are "those born in the country, of parents who are citizens", as defined in Vattel's masterpiece of political philosophy 'The Law of Nations' (1758) § 212, and instrumental to the Founding Fathers, who deemed it unnecessary to define in the Constitution, as it was already understood and clearly self evident.
Recently it has been erroneously suggested that Vattel's meaning was not apparent to the Founding Fathers, either in his original work written in French, or subsequent translations published shortly after the original volume. They falsely claim that Vattel's intended meaning was not apparent, until much later translations, made many years after the Constitution was written.
To such persons, so desperate to defend the eligibility of a usurper posing as president, I would simply remind them that the word "translation" is defined as: the rendering of something into another language or into one's own from another language.
Vattel's meaning was certainly evident in his own writing. This was then carried over into subsequent translations, as accurately as possible by the translator, in order to faithfully preserve Vattel's original meaning. To alter the original meaning would not be a translation, but a revision.
Therefore the fact that the original work was later translated to so clearly state that Vattel's original meaning was to define natural born citizens as those born in the country, of parents who are citizens, clearly serves to reinforce the tremendous impact Vattel's theories of natural law, had on the thinking of the Founding Fathers as they created our Constitution in 1787.
It is the height of presumptuous arrogance to presume to dismiss Vattel by saying the French term "indigenes" translates to "native-born". It actually translates to indigenous, which is a requirement of being a native citizen. However indigenous also implies original and generational. In fact, one can not be a natural born citizen without being native born and also having parents (plural) who are citizens.
If the Founding Fathers had meant native born, they would have written that. Instead they uniquely required one be a natural born citizen, to be eligible to serve as president.
They didn't say native citizenship, which means born in the country, irrespective of the citizenship of one's parents.
They didn't say naturalized citizenship, which means being born outside the country and later being made a citizen by emigration, marriage, adoption or special decree of congress.
They required the highest most exclusive form of citizenship possible, a natural born citizen, which means born in the country of parents (plural) who are citizens. They purposefully did this to assure the loyalty of the president to only the United States of America, as best they could.
Vattel, was truly held in the highest regard for his invaluable magnum opus 'The Law of Nations', which is still used as an invaluable reference for modern scholars studying our Constitution.
"I am much obliged by the kind present you have made us of your edition of Vattel. It came to us in good season, when the circumstances of a rising state make it necessary frequently to consult the Law of Nations. Accordingly, that copy which I kept, has been continually in the hands of the members of our congress, now sitting."
—Benjamin Franklin, letter to Charles W.F. Dumas, December 1775
"This [previous work on the law of nations], says a writer, is evidently rather an introduction than a system; and it served only to excite a desire to see it continued with equal perspicuity and elegance. The honor of this task was reserved for the great Vattel, whose work is entitled to the highest admiration!"
—James Duane, Mayor and Chief Judge of New York City, August 1784
"Permit me to hint, whether it would not be wise & seasonable to provide a strong check to the admission of Foreigners into the administration of our national Government; and to declare expressly that the Command in chief of the American army shall not be given to, nor devolve on, any but a natural born Citizen."
—John Jay, letter to George Washington, an attendee of the Constitutional Convention, July 25, 1787
As for the repetitious posts claiming that the Founding Fathers embraced English common law rather than the natural law espoused by Vattel, please accept that just as we differ in our loyalties to the truth and the Constitution, I see no value in attempting to reinforce the veracity of one's posts with redundancy, rather than facts. Therefore, in the spirit of both consistency and brevity, I shall simply leave the repeat offenders with this short reminder of the facts, by means of a definitive quote on the matter.
“The common law of England is not the common law of these States.”
---George Mason, Virginia delegate to the U.S. Constitutional Convention and the Founding Father primarily responsible for the addition of the Bill of Rights to the Constitution of the United States.
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