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      06-02-2011, 10:27 PM   #41
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Originally Posted by 11Series View Post
So let's review. Vattel is out for two reasons:

1) He couldn't have coined the phrase "Natural Born Citizen", because he wrote his stuff in French, and the founding fathers would have needed a time machine to read the first english translation in 1797 that used that phrase.

2) The 1797 translation of Vattel (that stole the phrase "Natural Born Citizen" FROM the US constitution) was heard by SCOTUS in the case of Wong Kim Ark, and SCOTUS rejected it.

Double burn, Vattel is out.
1) You have not established that the phrase "natural born Citizen" had not existed or had not been understood prior to the writing of the Constitution. You have not established there was no translation of the word "indigenes" used among the founders. Your references to a time machine are rather trite.

2) SCOTUS didn't rule on natural born Citizen. They ruled on citizen. Their ruling depended upon the 14th Amendment and not upon what existed at the time of the founding fathers. The ruling could be seen as playing a role in the case of whether citizen at birth is equal to "natural born Citizen". Perhaps even without the 14th Amendment Wong Kim Ark would have been ruled a citizen, but that would be very speculative to discuss. The ruling is appropriate to discuss here, but not in relation to the original meaning of "natural born Citizen" as understood by the founders. It is appropriate in the discussion of how the meaning of "natural born Citizen" may have been modified by implementation of the 14th Amendment. Obviously, making that connection would be to argue for jus soli alone as qualifying not only as citizen (again by the 14th Amendment) but also as natural born citizen. I don't see how it could be argued successfully that the 14th Amendment (or any court ruling or any statute) in any way affected the "natural born Citizen" clause.

Vattel is not out. You presented interesting information about a couple translations in use at the the time of question. It is certainly a piece of the puzzle. There are many more pieces to consider.

Though Vattel is not out, Law of Nations is one of the sources to consider, and a very significant one at that. Even if you reject the connection between "natural born Citizen" and Vattel, certainly you recognize (or maybe you don't) the significance his words had on influencing how nations regard citizenship of any kind, including native, natural, and naturalized.

You may want to exclude Vattel, but the founders did not. And his words in translation are regarded as authority in many American historical documents.

If you would rather not discuss Vattel any further, then don't. Vattel is not "out". If you have other authorities you can quote, then please do.

Last edited by scottwww; 06-02-2011 at 10:53 PM.