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      05-28-2011, 12:48 AM   #1
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Exploring natural-born Citizen

Exploring natural-born Citizen

The reason for this thread is to examine whatever evidence can be found that may help in understanding the term "natural-born Citizen".

The most well known use of these words is found in Article II, Section 1 of the U.S. 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.
As this is a term not normally used in day to day conversation, it is not well understood. For whatever reason it was adopted in the Constitition. There it is, unchanged by time, amendment, or act of congress. It seems the only place it has changed is in the minds of people.

Here we undertake the task of coming to understand where the words originated, and why this qualification was one of only three for being eligible to the office of the Presidency.

Supporting documentation will be historical, from times before the the U.S. Constitition. After adoption, writings further clarified original intent. And at times, the term was redefined. To better understand where we are today, we must know where we have been.
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      05-28-2011, 12:58 AM   #2
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These two pages are found in the historical document Law of Nations written in 1758 by Emmer de Vattel.

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      05-28-2011, 12:51 PM   #3
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It is asked, whether the children born of citizen in a foreign coutry are citizens? The laws have decided this question in several countries, and their regulation must be followed. By the law of nature alone, children follow the condition of their fathers, and enter into all their right; the place of birth produces no change in this particular, and cannot of itself furnish any reason for taking from a child what nature has given him; I say "of itself," for civil or political reasons, ordain otherwise.


naturally, it is our extraction, not the place of our birth that gives us rights;


Settlement is a fixed residence in any place with an intention of always staying there. A man does not then establish his settlement in any place, unless he makes sufficiently known his intention of fixing there, either tacitly, or by an express declaration. However, this declaration is no reason why, if he afterwards changes his mind, he may not transfer his settlement elsewhere. In this sense, a person who stops at a place upon business, even though he stay a long time, has only a simple habitation there, but has no settlement. Thus the envoy of a foreign price has not his settlement at the court where he resides.

The natural or original settlement is that which we acquire by birth, in the place where our father has his; and we are considered as retaining it, till we have abandoned it, in order to chuse another. The acquired settlement (udseititium) is that where we settle by our own choice.

Vagrants are people who have no settlement. Consequently those born of vagrant parents have no country, since a man's country is the place where, at the time of his birth, his parents had their settlement, or it is the state of which his father was then a member; --which comes to the same point: for to settle for ever in a nation, is to become a member of it, at least as a perpetual inhabitant, if not with all the privileges of a citizen. We may, however, consider the country of a vagrant to be that of his child, while that vagrant is considered as not having absolutely renounced his natural or original settlement.
What I gather from Vattel's words is that the he would agree a father who is British produces British children who have all the citizenship rights of their father. The children are British. For the children to have any citizenship other than their father's, the children would have to abandon (to renounce) their natural citizenship to acquire another citizenship.

Had the father been a permanent settler in another land, then it is natural his children would have the citizenship of their father.

By nature, a child's original citizenship can be only with the nation of his father's citizenship, unless the father is a vagrant.

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      05-28-2011, 01:39 PM   #4
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It should be noted that the credentials of Emerich de Vattel are substantial.

According to Wikipedia:
Vattel was a Swiss philosopher, diplomat, and legal expert whose theories laid the foundation of modern international law and political philosophy.

Benjamin Franklin also said that this book by Vattel, "has been continually in the hands of the members of our Congress now sitting"

On Oct. 8, 1789 George Washington had checked out from the lending library a copy of Law of Nations and it wasn't returned until 221 years.

Law of Nations has been described as "unrivaled among such treatises in its influence on the American founders".
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      05-28-2011, 04:24 PM   #5
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Vattel - Law of Nations

To be sure it is clear what Vattel is saying here, I have quoted another passage from his Law of Nations.
The citizens are the members of the civil society: bound to this society by certain duties, and subject to its authority, they equally participate in its advantages. The natives, or natural-born citizens, are those born in the country, of parents who are citizens. As the society cannot exist and perpetuate itself otherwise than by the children of the citizens, those children naturally follow the condition of their fathers, and succeed to all their rights.The society is supposed to desire this, in consequence of what it owes to its own preservation; and it is presumed, as matter of course, that each citizen, on entering into society, reserves to his children the right of becoming members of it. The country of the fathers is therefore that of the children; and these become true citizens merely by their tacit consent. We shall soon see, whether, on their coming to the years of discretion, they may renounce their right, and what they owe to the society in which they were born. I say, that, in order to be of the country, it is necessry that a person be born of a father who is a citizen; for if he is born there of a foreigner, it will be only the place of his birth, and not his country.
A natural born Citizen must be born in the nation of his father's citizenship to be a natural born Citizen. This appears to mean that being born in a land foreign to your father gives you less than natural born Citzen status. This can result in dual citizenship subject to laws of naturalization.
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      05-28-2011, 11:34 PM   #6
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You've gone off your rocker!
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      05-31-2011, 10:31 PM   #7
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"There is," says McLeod, "something in the idea of native country which is intimately connected with the doctrine of allegiance. It is not, however, the spot of earth, upon which the child is born that connects him with the national society, but the relation of the child's parents to that society."
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      06-01-2011, 07:04 PM   #8
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Rules are written by men which can be changed at any instance.

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      06-01-2011, 07:27 PM   #9
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Rules are written by men which can be changed at any instance.
For those who want to change the rules, there is a legal and political process that exists for it to be done. That process of Amendment or Constitutional convention to modify or remove the term "natural born Citizen" has not been done.
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      06-01-2011, 08:55 PM   #10
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Good luck with all your research and archival quotations. You may want to keep in mind, that whatever conclusion you eventually reach on the definition of "natural born citizen", make sure it includes a US born citizen having an American mother and a British father, because you wouldn't want to be so moronic as to waste years of your life investigating this, just to exclude the very circumstance which resulted in an elected President!
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      06-01-2011, 09:11 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by ScotchAndCigar View Post
Good luck with all your research and archival quotations. You may want to keep in mind, that whatever conclusion you eventually reach on the definition of "natural born citizen", make sure it includes a US born citizen having an American mother and a British father, because you wouldn't want to be so moronic as to waste years of your life investigating this, just to exclude the very circumstance which resulted in an elected President!
No doubt. If I continue to pursue research, then that will be covered.

Of first importance is understanding the original intent of the words in the Constitution. This is not an impossible task to undertake.

2nd is to see what effect, if any, the 14th Amendment had on "natural born Citizen".

Then an appropriate discussion would be about whether statute can change the original intent of the Constitution or of any Amendment.

I think I know the answer to these, yet it needs to be supported with evidence. I am not in the legal profession. These concepts are not exclusively for lawyers. If the Constitution was not understandable by the many, then our government would have a hard time being exemplified in this statement::

"Government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the Earth."
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      06-01-2011, 09:14 PM   #12
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^ While I half applaud you for thinking about this stuff, haven't you ever wondered why it seems that all the things you agree with in the Constitution should be kept 100% as-is, while the language you don't agree with you have to prod, manipulate, and circumvent the meaning?
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      06-01-2011, 09:21 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by 1997gtx View Post
^ While I half applaud you for thinking about this stuff, haven't you ever wondered why it seems that all the things you agree with in the Constitution should be kept 100% as-is, while the language you don't agree with you have to prod, manipulate, and circumvent the meaning?
I don't know what you are talking about. If it is about the "natural born Citizen" clause, then this might be a good place to discuss it, though the intent of this thread is to deal with evidence by quoting authoritative sources. Perhaps the discussion of what you mentioned would be of most value within the threads containing the manipulations.
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      06-01-2011, 11:01 PM   #14
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Citizen consists of 2 groups:

1) Natural Born citizens who obtained citizenship through birth.
2) Naturalized citizens, who obtained citizenship through Naturalization. The phrase "Naturalization" refers to the process where a non-citizen gains the status that Natural Born citizens gained through birth.

"Naturalization" refers directly to "Natural Born". This is the root of the term "Naturalization", and why we use that term.

There is no third type of citizenship in the United States, and no silly European French-Swiss dead guy you quote can change that. Only a hard-core delusional nutter would turn to a French-Swiss European for determining US law.
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      06-01-2011, 11:11 PM   #15
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Citizen consists of 2 groups:

1) Natural Born citizens who obtained citizenship through birth.
2) Naturalized citizens, who obtained citizenship through Naturalization. The phrase "Naturalization" refers to the process where a non-citizen gains the status that Natural Born citizens gained through birth.

"Naturalization" refers directly to "Natural Born". This is the root of the term "Naturalization", and why we use that term.

There is no third type of citizenship in the United States, and no silly European French-Swiss dead guy you quote can change that. Only a hard-core delusional nutter would turn to a French-Swiss European for determining US law.
What is the source of the piece you quoted? Is the writer of this excerpt a nutter?
Obviously, where the constitution deals with common-law rights and uses common-law phraseology, its language should be read in the light of the common law; but when the question arises as to what constitutes citizenship of the nation, involving, as it does, international relations, and political as contradistinguished from civil status, international principles must be considered; and, unless the municipal law of England appears to have been affirmatively accepted, it cannot be allowed to control in the matter of construction.

Nationality is essentially a political idea, and belongs to the sphere of public law. Hence Mr. Justice Story, in Shanks v. Dupont, 3 Pet. 248, said that the incapacities of femes [169 U.S. 649, 708] covert, at common law, 'do not reach their political rights, nor prevent their acquiring or losing a national character. Those political rights do not stand upon the mere doctrines of municipal law, applicable to ordinary transactions, but stand upon the more general principles of the law of nations.'

Twiss, in his work on the Law of Nations, says that 'natural allegiance, or the obligation of perpetual obedience to the government of a country, wherein a man may happen to have been born, which he cannot forfeit or cancel or vary by any change of time or place or circumstance, is the creature of civil law, and finds no countenance in the law of nations, as it is in direct conflict with the incontestable rule of that law.' Volume 1, p. 231.

Before the Revolution, the views of the publicists had been thus put by Vattel: 'The natives, or natural-born citizens, are those born in the country, of parents who are citizens. As the society cannot exist and perpetuate itself otherwise than by the children of the citizens, those children naturally follow the condition of their fathers, and succeed to all their rights. The society is supposed to desire this, in consequence of what it owes to its own preservation; and it is presumed, as matter of course, that each citizen, on entering into society, reserves to his children the right of becoming members of it. The country of the fathers is h erefore that of the children; and these become true citizens merely by their tacit consent. We shall soon see whether, on their coming to the years of discretion, they may renounce their right, and what they owe to the society in which they were born. I say that, in order to be of the country, it is necessary that a person be born of a father who is a citizen; for, if he is born there of a foreigner, it will be only the place of his birth, and not his country.' Vatt. Law Nat. bk. 1, c. 19, 212. 'The true bond which connects the child with the body politic is not the matter of an inanimate piece of land, but the moral relations of his parentage. ... The place of birth produces no change in the rule that children follow the condition of their fathers, for it is not naturally the place of birth that gives rights, but extraction.'

And to the same effect are the modern writers, as, for instance, [169 U.S. 649, 709] Bar, who says: 'To what nation a person belongs is by the laws of all nations closely dependent on descent. It is almost a universal rule that the citizenship of the parents determines it,-that of the father where children are lawful, and, where they are bastards, that of their mother, without regard to the place of their birth; and that must necessarily be recognized as the correct canon, since nationality is in its essence dependent on descent.' Int. Law, 31.

The framers of the constitution were familiar with the distinctions between the Roman law and the feudal law, between obligations based on territoriality and those based on the personal and invisible character of origin; and there is nothing to show that in the matter of nationality they intended to adhere to principles derived from regal government, which they had just assisted in overthrowing.

Manifestly, when the sovereignty of the crown was thrown off, and an independent government established, every rule of the common law, and every statute of England obtaining in the colonies, in derogation of the principles on which the new government was founded, was abrogated. - U.S. v. Wong Kim Ark
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      06-02-2011, 12:18 AM   #16
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Why are you quoting the DISSENTING opinion on the LOSING side of US v Wong Kim Ark? Do you not know that you are proving your claims wrong, because you are quoting the losing side of a case where the US Supreme Court ruled exactly opposite of what the dissenting judges said?


Or did you think we were stupid enough not to realize you left out this part of your quote:

"MR. CHIEF JUSTICE FULLER, with whom concurred MR. JUSTICE HARLAN dissenting.

I cannot concur in the opinion and judgment of the court in this case. "


You can turn to some Frenchie-Swiss frog if you want to, but it doesn't mean jack. The WINNING side of the US v. Wong Kim Ark DISAGREES with you. Now I've explained to you how SCOTUS has ruled in the United States, whether you want to understand or not. If you choose to side with French, against SCOTUS, you are completely out in left field.

Besides, the original French text that Vattel wrote in doesn't even contain the phrase "natural born citizen". That doesn't appear until the English translations created AFTER the US Constitution was penned. Vattel wrote “Les Naturels ou indegenes”. Any attempt to use Vattel as a glossary definition of a phrase he never wrote is fraudulent at best.

Vattel also didn't believe in Freedom of the Press, or Freedom of Religion, saying "all men are bound to serve God, the entire nation in her national capacity is doubtless bound to serve and honour Him." so he obviously was ignored when the constitution was written.

And even Vattel recognizes that common law of other states in the late 1700's did NOT follow his political theories he wrote in his book:

“Finally, there are states, as, for instance, England, where the single circumstance of being born in the country naturalizes the children of a foreigner.”

So you are even wrong on your reading of the LOSING side of the SCOTUS ruling in US v. Wong Kim Ark.


Did you think you could defraud us into believing that the dissenting opinion was the majority opinion?

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      06-02-2011, 12:30 AM   #17
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Other bullcrap that Vattel believed in:

" 122. Right of carrying off women.

… A nation cannot preserve and perpetuate itself, except by propagation. A nation of men has, therefore, a right to procure women, who are absolutely necessary to its preservation; and if its neighbours, who have a redundancy of females, refuse to give some of them in marriage to those men, the latter may justly have recourse to force"


This is seriously your guy you are backing in this debate? Do you also believe a nation has the right to force women from other nations into being sex slaves by force? Really? You are backing the sex slave trader?



But the thing that really kills your argument is reality.

In reality, the US has ALREADY dealt with the issue when Chester A. Arthur was elected US President. Because "At the time of the birth of the future president, Arthur's father was an Irish subject of the United Kingdom" just like Obama's father.

History has already played out. You are wrong. You are dead in the water.

If you and the right-wing Republitards wants to be the folks who are seen denying a Black President what was allowed for a White President, don't go crying about "race cards". If you find yourself quacking like a duck, stop quacking.

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      06-02-2011, 01:36 AM   #18
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To put the FINAL nail in this corpse filled coffin, if you are going to quote the dissenting opinion and back it, you should quote the all important conclusion of the dissenting opinion:

"I am of opinion that the president and senate by treaty, and the congress by legislation, have the power, notwithstanding the fourteenth amendment, to prescribe that all persons of a particular race, or their children, cannot become citizens"

Do you understand that you are backing the losing side, who used their claims to conclude that the Congress could ban people from becoming US citizens based solely on their race? This is racist.

Again, if you don't want to be called a racist, don't quote racists here on this board. It's bad enough that you tried to leave out that your quote came from the losing side of a SCOTUS decision, do you have to side with the racist justices too?

This is as bad as quoting the founding fathers putting that black slaves are only worth 3/5ths a white man in the constitution, and then claiming Obama can't be President because the founding fathers were against having a black president.

Stop dredging up old racist crap from the worst racist times in America.

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      06-02-2011, 06:23 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 11Series View Post
Why are you quoting the DISSENTING opinion on the LOSING side of US v Wong Kim Ark? Do you not know that you are proving your claims wrong, because you are quoting the losing side of a case where the US Supreme Court ruled exactly opposite of what the dissenting judges said?


Or did you think we were stupid enough not to realize you left out this part of your quote:

"MR. CHIEF JUSTICE FULLER, with whom concurred MR. JUSTICE HARLAN dissenting.

I cannot concur in the opinion and judgment of the court in this case. "


You can turn to some Frenchie-Swiss frog if you want to, but it doesn't mean jack. The WINNING side of the US v. Wong Kim Ark DISAGREES with you. Now I've explained to you how SCOTUS has ruled in the United States, whether you want to understand or not. If you choose to side with French, against SCOTUS, you are completely out in left field.

Besides, the original French text that Vattel wrote in doesn't even contain the phrase "natural born citizen". That doesn't appear until the English translations created AFTER the US Constitution was penned. Vattel wrote “Les Naturels ou indegenes”. Any attempt to use Vattel as a glossary definition of a phrase he never wrote is fraudulent at best.

Vattel also didn't believe in Freedom of the Press, or Freedom of Religion, saying "all men are bound to serve God, the entire nation in her national capacity is doubtless bound to serve and honour Him." so he obviously was ignored when the constitution was written.

And even Vattel recognizes that common law of other states in the late 1700's did NOT follow his political theories he wrote in his book:

“Finally, there are states, as, for instance, England, where the single circumstance of being born in the country naturalizes the children of a foreigner.”

So you are even wrong on your reading of the LOSING side of the SCOTUS ruling in US v. Wong Kim Ark.


Did you think you could defraud us into believing that the dissenting opinion was the majority opinion?
Are your really saying that only the majority opinion of the Supreme Court has any value? That is an indefensible argument unless you are a "yes-man" always agreeing with the winning side in any argument. That attitude would seem to be impossible to maintain, and even if it were possible, you might as well not be able to utter a thought as your opinion is already better stated.

I have some familiarity with the case from prior research. I was aware of the ruling. Wong Kim Ark was not declared to be a "natural born Citizen". And from what I know of the case, I agree with the majority opinion he is a citizen. [This leant support to the argument that by this U.S. standard, another candidate for the Presidency was not a "natural born Citizen" of the United States because he was born on foreign soil.]

Vattel is referenced many times by many people in history. Vattel's Law of Nations is a notable source. That you disagree with Vattel does not in any way diminish the weight of his words in the framing of our Constitution, and for purposes of this thread, specifically in the choice of the words "natural born Citizen" as one of three pre-requisites for the President and the Vice President.

What is your source for the opinion that Vattel was not translated into English prior to the writing of the Consititon?
Vattel’s Law of Nations was translated anonymously into English several times in the eighteenth century. The first edition of 1760 was based on the French original Droit des gens of 1758. A Dublin translation of 1787 is remarkably fluent and elegant, but it does not include the substantive notes of the original nor, more importantly, the notes added to the posthumous French edition of 1773 and intended by Vattel for a second edition he did not live to complete. Several English editions, including the 1916 Classics of International Law edition, are similarly flawed and based on the edition of 1760. However, two English editions from the end of the eighteenth century include Vattel’s later thoughts. One, from 1793, contains a pagination error. This has been corrected in the revised version, London 1797, and the latter forms the basis for the present edition. The 1797 edition has the benefit of a detailed table of contents and margin titles for subsections.
What year was the Constitution penned?

If the use of translated materials were fraudulent, then much mroe than this case is in trouble. Would you support your statement that "Any attempt to use Vattel as a glossary definition of a phrase he never wrote is fraudulent at best."?

The part of the minority opinion I quoted is a good description of citizenship by jus sanguinis. I had referenced the quote because Vattel is not known well by most of us. This is one of many quotes to establish that Vattel's Law of Nations is authoritative.

It was by jus soli that Wong Kim Ark had legitimate claim. To be a natural born Citizen, which is the argument before us (not in Wong Kim Ark) is foremost that you must have jus sanguinis, but also you must have jus soli. If you are lacking in one, then a "natural born Citizen" you are not.

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      06-02-2011, 06:39 PM   #20
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Yes. When it comes to interpreting the current meaning of law, I always side with the party who's opinion is lawful and legally binding. I am a "Yes" man that way, as are every single judge in the United States. You clearly do not, that's your problem.

Dissenting opinions are important in that they are by definition the LOSING argument, and have been proven wrong. Trying to pretend that the dissenting opinion holds any weight of law is foolish.

The translation that contained the phrase "Natural Born Citizen" in English wasn't published until 1797. So the only way the exact phrase "Natural Born Citizen" could be directly attributed to Vattel would be if Ben Franklin had invented a time machine, and transported himself into the future to get the phrase from the 1797 english translation of Vattel. So all your attempts to pretend that the constitution's "Natural Born Citizen" was a product of Vattel's definition ARE fraudulent.

If you want to quote Vattel in either French or in English the way the founding fathers would have read it, go for it. Just make your point without using the phrase "Natural Born Citizen" when quoting Vattel, because that didn't appear anywhere in print until well AFTER the constitution was penned. Claiming otherwise is fraudulent.
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      06-02-2011, 06:49 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by 11Series View Post
Other bullcrap that Vattel believed in:

" 122. Right of carrying off women.

A nation cannot preserve and perpetuate itself, except by propagation. A nation of men has, therefore, a right to procure women, who are absolutely necessary to its preservation; and if its neighbours, who have a redundancy of females, refuse to give some of them in marriage to those men, the latter may justly have recourse to force"


This is seriously your guy you are backing in this debate? Do you also believe a nation has the right to force women from other nations into being sex slaves by force? Really? You are backing the sex slave trader?



But the thing that really kills your argument is reality.

In reality, the US has ALREADY dealt with the issue when Chester A. Arthur was elected US President. Because "At the time of the birth of the future president, Arthur's father was an Irish subject of the United Kingdom" just like Obama's father.

History has already played out. You are wrong. You are dead in the water.

If you and the right-wing Republitards wants to be the folks who are seen denying a Black President what was allowed for a White President, don't go crying about "race cards". If you find yourself quacking like a duck, stop quacking.
There is no reason that a person must accept every argument of one with whom they agree on some things. I am not well read on Vattel. I am discovering how well his work has been used in U.S. and international law. Do you believe Vattel is widely discredited.

As you, I have also done a small amount of reading on Chester Arthur in the last couple weeks. His case is the most similar to Obama's. It was the Democrat party that supported the fight against Arthur. Their lawyer made some errors in his argument that caused him to lose credibility. And Arthur was well liked. Everything comes down to a popularity contest, but the argument is best made on firm support. Also, Arthur had a stronger case for his citizenship than Obama. His father, though not a citizen at Chester's birth, was a permanent resident of the U.S. as evidenced by his remaining here and in fact becoming a U.S. citizen. None of that was true of Obama Sr. So, just as Arthur's case never faced judgement, and Obama's likely never will, the court of public opinion may still hear the case render a different verdict.

And for what it's worth, Arthur ascended to the Presidency from the Vice Presidency. He was unsuccessful at gaining his party's nomination for re-election. He died about 1-1/2 years later.

How closely do you want to tie Obama's fate to Arthur's?
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      06-02-2011, 06:50 PM   #22
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By the way, other words and phrases that never appeared in Vattel:

President

United States

Congress

Supreme Court


Vattel didn't write about Presidents, he wrote about Sovereigns, meaning Kings. He lived in pre-revolution France, when all the French leaders were named King Louis, and pre-revolution Switzerland, where the rule of law went from God to Pope and then down. His writings reflect that.

Vattel is not a founding father, his writings in no way resemble the US constitution.
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