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Mark of New Jersey

Mark is a Founding Editor of The League of Ordinary Gentlemen, the predecessor of Ordinary Times.

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138 Responses

  1. Avatar Jason Kuznicki says:

    That law would probably disqualify me from getting on the ballot.

    I was born in Massachusetts, or at least so I’m told. Massachusetts doesn’t have “long form” birth certificates. (Mine appears to have been a collaboration between a mimeograph and a typewriter.)

    You know what other state doesn’t have long form certificates? Hawaii. So birthers are asking for something that doesn’t exist.

    Indeed, they’re asking for something that they appear to have invented, because no states have long form birth certificates. They’re a fabrication.

    Here are Google trends results for:

    2007
    2006
    2005
    2004

    Archive.org doesn’t yield any relevant pre-birther results either.

    Of course, this still produces an embarrassment for Obama anyway. He has three choices:

    (a) Beg for the release of a nonexistent document;

    (b) Fail to appear on the ballot in Arizona, and seemingly confirm the birthers’ nutty conspiracy theories;

    (c) Litigate, with the same consequences as (b).

    Any bets that a Republican will somehow get an exemption from (b)?Report

    • I think he may have a fourth option, which is to make sure that a fringe candidate of some sort challenges the law’s constitutionality instead, giving him plausible deniability for being involved in the litigation at all.

      Still, the deniability there is merely plausible, so he probably winds up being embarrassed for no reason anyhow.Report

    • I wonder if I could get on the ballot, either. I was born (I am told; I have no firsthand recollection of the event) in a U.S. Army hospital in what was then called West Germany. I held dual citizenship as a minor and forfeited my GDR citizenship by failing to register for the German military (given that I didn’t speak all that much German, it seemed like a reasonable lifestyle choice at the time). I’ve no idea where to get a certified copy of my birth certificate and I live in mortal terror of losing my passport because without it I cannot prove my own existence.Report

  2. Avatar RTod says:

    “Any bets that a Republican will somehow get an exemption from (b)?”

    Well, duh. Republicans are obviously American. If Obama didn’t want people to question his being a Kenyan, he shouldn’t have chosen to be a damn Democrat. Or black.

    His bed to lie in.Report

  3. Avatar Jonathan says:

    I regularly feel bad for Erik.Report

  4. Avatar BSK says:

    Looking at the wording of the bill, I wonder if “long form” is an unofficial term. Basically, they want certain criteria that they know Obama’s form lacks. They could insist that they will only accept birth certificate of candidates without O’s in their last name and insist that is the true definition of a long form. When a word has no meaning, anyone can decide how to use it.

    FWIW, I read that there does exist another form associated with his birth that is kept in house in Hawaii and does not get released; it is simply for internal documentation. An official in Hawaii (who has final say over such record keeping) acknowledges she has looked into the files themselves and confirms its existence. My hunch is that if such a lawsuit did come to pass, rather than challenge the law itself, Obama could simply have the records subpoenaed and give a big, “FUCK YOU!” to the Birthers.

    This runs into the same problem of any official response lends credibility to this nonsensical movement. But if their attempt to deny him the ballot in their state lends to putting the controversy to rest with them definitively on the losing side, there’d be a certain irony to the whole thing.Report

    • Avatar stillwater in reply to BSK says:

      Basically, they want certain criteria that they know Obama’s form lacks.

      Is there any doubt? This little trick is just an instance of a broader GOP/conservative principle to prevent people who don’t hold the ‘right’ policy views from participating in the democratic process.Report

  5. Although the amended version that actually pass does marginally rectify the problem by allowing the candidate to alternatively provide two of: (1)baptism or circumcision records [this just adds to the Constitutional problems, though]; (2) a hospital birth record; (3) a postpartum medical record signed by the doctor or midwife; or (4) an early census record. In the alternative, you can also produce an affidavit of two or more persons who witnessed your birth.

    Of course, if you were born in a state without a “long form” certificate (whatever that is), were not born in a hospital (or didn’t keep that birth record) and your parents did not keep any of your early childhood medical records, you’re SOL.Report

  6. Avatar Robert Cheeks says:

    God bless the Arizona Senate!Report

      • Avatar Robert Cheeks in reply to BSK says:

        I’m getting the opinion reading this thread that those of you sworn to commie-demness are whistling in the proverbial graveyard. You know something ain’t right with that damn birth certificate. You’re concerned about Barry’s lawyers working so hard and spending so much to shut the damn thing down. I kinda feel sorry for yous guys. He is the ‘other.’ He’s a weird dude.Report

        • Avatar BSK in reply to Robert Cheeks says:

          Why don’t you just say what you really mean? Drop the pretext and drop a few n-bombs, Bobby boy…Report

        • Avatar North in reply to Robert Cheeks says:

          Come now Robert, do you really type praise to your creator and write theological/philosophical analysis of his nature and will with the same fingers that you use to type this nonsense? Do you utter these falsehoods with the same lips you use to kiss your wife (my warmest to Ms. Martha as always)?
          Obama’s credentials as a legal citizen of this country and a native born son of Hawaii have been established to the satisfaction of every person who’s formally and fairly investigated it, even ones who would love to see him invalidated. Even Ann Coulter, of all people, has pointed out how much of a false story this is.
          I understand how you love tweaking liberal noses but as a man who purports to love the one ultimate truth do you not feel uncomfortable snuggling in so closely with this particularly petty and small lie?Report

          • Avatar Jason Kuznicki in reply to North says:

            Both truth and lie are a pose. Get with the times, my man!

            What matters is not the sincerity of belief, or the clash of beliefs held with sincerity, or the attempt to test belief in the public square.

            What matters is the image you get in your head of your enemies sitting at their computers. We can only presume they are crying and shaking their fists in impotent rage. Why the hell else does anyone write?Report

          • Avatar Robert Cheeks in reply to North says:

            Actually, NOrth and not wanting to relieve the tension re: the birther thing, I could care less. I’m figuring if mommy dropped him in France he’s still an American…but, hey maybe I’m wrong.
            What fascinates me is the eruption of huffery and puffery here at the Leauge when Pharo Obama is mocked and belittled, or when I merely submit the requisite qualifiers, “Kenyan-Marxist”. One senses a collective nervousness, a catching of the breath, a momentary inability to respond, among the cognescenti which never fails to brighten my day. I must say Jason’s comments emoted, no doubt, while rending his shirt, stand as the model of hauteur here at the Leauge. And Jason, you have no knowledge of truth.
            Yes, North I confess that tweaking the sacred tenets of the ideological Left is both a character fault and a hobby. However, in Barry’s birther case, I do think there’s a delicious possibility that there’s something on some document somewhere that Barry doesn’t want made public, so I do wish The Donald good luck.
            Oh, btw bro North, were you always kind, fair, and courteous to Mr. Bush? Mr. Chaney? the Sec-Def, what’s-his-name or did you engage in partisan ‘talk’?Report

            • Avatar Jason Kuznicki in reply to Robert Cheeks says:

              You could hardly have made my point better than you just did.

              I spit on your God. The thing that surprises me is that apparently you do, too.Report

            • Avatar RTod in reply to Robert Cheeks says:

              I think, Bob, that you are 180′ wrong in your analysis.

              I think the reason the left makes such a big deal about birthirism is because they WANT these things to be in the spotlight. The Kenya thing might be red meat for folks like you, but you were never going to vote D anyway. The payoff for the left is that this issue tends to drive away independents away from the right like clockwork.Report

              • Avatar Jason Kuznicki in reply to RTod says:

                I’m not on the left, but I’ll tell you what I see.

                To the left, sane people with different values from mine are talking about policy.

                To the right, you have to genuflect to a lunatic conspiracy theory just to get a seat at the table. And when you get there, the discussion about policy is — who’da thunk? — pretty shallow.

                Lefties occasionally glance rightward, and it disgusts them. Appropriately.Report

              • Avatar RTod in reply to Jason Kuznicki says:

                I agree, Jason. Since you have a better view of these things then I do, I’m curious to get your take:

                Why the hell IS the right like this right now? Seriously, it baffles me. The timing stinks.Report

              • Avatar Jason Kuznicki in reply to RTod says:

                Got me. Maybe Bob knows.Report

              • Avatar Robert Cheeks in reply to Jason Kuznicki says:

                Trump is getting attention for his possible presidential campaign?Report

              • Avatar Kolohe in reply to RTod says:

                Why the hell IS the right like this right now? Seriously, it baffles me. The timing stinks.

                Because over the last 20-30 years, the Democrats have made peace with bourgeois whiggishness on an individual level, and corporations at the structural level, thus are able to pilfer what had been a big chunk of the Republican party since its founding. (and serving as a counterveiling force on the big chunk of the Democratic party the Republicans had sliced off of the course of the fifteen to twenty years before that)Report

              • Avatar Tim Kowal in reply to RTod says:

                For what it’s worth, here’s my take. I don’t like the reflexive approach of the left to accuse anyone who is curious about Obama’s “long form” as a racist, but I have to acknowledge that’s a factor. Ralph Nader, Michael Dukakis, Hubert Humphrey, Colin Powell, etc., were all born of immigrants, and though their parents naturalized before their births, apparently no one bothered asking for proof or otherwise raising a stink. Also, Bill Richardson, Ben Fernandez, and Peter Camejo didn’t have two citizen parents, and there’s conflicting evidence whether Spiro Agnew’s father was a citizen.

                On the other hand, and most famous of all, Chester A. Arthur’s father was apparently not a U.S. citizen (he was an Irish immigrant to Canada, both part of the U.K. at the time). David Kopel at Volokh explains that during the 1880 election, “Democrats hired Wall Street lawyer Arthur P. Hinman to investigate Arthur’s background. Hinman released his findings to the Brooklyn Eagle newspaper during the campaign, and later wrote a book, How a British subject became president of the United States (1884).” Kopel concludes that “the existence of the Arthur controversy is an example of political opponents raising questions about whether a president was really a natural born citizen, and raising such questions for reasons other than racism.”

                Thus, while racism is probably a factor, it is certainly not the only factor, and I would contend, not even the primary factor.

                A while back, I was asked to prepare a white paper on what the Natural Born Citizen provision at article II, section 1 of the Constitution requires. Apart from being terribly reluctant to touch the issue, the legal history is about as clear as mud. Is citizenship of both parents required, or is one acceptable? What happens in the case of dual citizenship? What happens if an otherwise natural born citizen becomes a citizen of another sovereign prior to the age of majority? I’ve come to my own theory how to answer these questions, but I’m in no way confident that my theory or any other theory fits the varying examples in case law or accounts in the legal treatises.

                Given that, I think it’s completely predictable that states, particularly red states, would use this as an opportunity to leverage a heretofore uninterpreted Constitutional presidential requirement against an increasingly unpopular president. Again, there may be racist motives too, but there are plenty of good ol’ high-pressure political reasons to explain the new Arizona law.Report

              • Avatar RTod in reply to Tim Kowal says:

                You may be right; and I suspect for a great many this is no kore than a strategic issue.

                But I also think that analysis doesn’t properly factor in those that are truly furious that a Kenyan has knowingly subverted the Constitution to be elected for some nefarious purpose. And I think there are a lot of these folks out there. (I occasionally listen to a local Limbaugh wanna be in the Portland area. Even though we’re not known as a particularly red-state kind of city, the number of people who call in genuinely concerned about this – often to the point of tears – is really quite impressive.)

                I can’t ever know what goes on in someone else’s head, of course. And I think to a certain extent you have to give someone the benefit of the doubt with something as hot-button as racism, especially if your litmus test is a subject you are in disagreement about.

                And yet….

                I do have a hard time believing that a white guy would be having the same issue to deal with, to this extent and this degree of fever pitch.Report

              • Avatar Mike Schilling in reply to Tim Kowal says:

                You left out John McCain, who was born outside the US and whose status was changed to “citizen” retroactively. And the Arthur investigation was

                A. Over 100 years ago, and
                B. An investigation of fact (where was Chat born?), not a fact-denying conspiracy.

                But false equivalence has been a tool of the Right for so long now that it no longer surprises me in any way.Report

              • Avatar stillwater in reply to Tim Kowal says:

                Tim, you wrote:

                I’m in no way confident that my theory or any other theory fits the varying examples in case law or accounts in the legal treatises.

                So you’re admitting that you’re theory doesn’t derive from, and that it’s inconsistent with, case law and precedent on this issue? If that doesn’t smack of finding arguments to justify a pre-determined conclusion, I don’t know what does. I mean, what other evidence could possibly matter in determining the legal requirements for citizenship than the relevant court rulings? Some obscure letter written by one of the founders to a friend in France?Report

              • Avatar Tim Kowal in reply to Tim Kowal says:

                stillwater:

                I didn’t say what my theory is.Report

              • Avatar stillwater in reply to Tim Kowal says:

                Tim, More cagey-ness. You did say, however, it isn’t consistent with precedent. But why not end the suspense, and stop being so cagey with your views, and just present your theory.Report

              • Avatar Tim Kowal in reply to Tim Kowal says:

                I didn’t present my theory because it’s not relevant to the post, because it’s a bit long for a comment, and because it’s not relevant to the point I was making. That point is that based on my research, I submit there is no theory, not even the one I came up with, that can conclusively settle the interpretive question of what the words “natural born Citizen” mean. I wouldn’t say my theory is “inconsistent” with the cases. (The cases, by the way, are from various European jurisdictions, and thus only instructive at best—not binding.) There are just a lot of varying understandings concerning citizenship law, and these understandings evolved over the decades from the 18th, 19th, and 20th centuries. So perhaps the main reason I’m uncomfortable sharing my theory is that I’m just not confident it’s right, particularly since I’m really not an expert in citizenship law or legal history.

                Since you’ve expressed interest, however, here are some principles of citizenship law that seem important:

                – Every person is presumed to be the citizen of at least one nation. I don’t know that Obama has claimed citizenship of another other nation, or that any other nation has claimed citizenship over him. So it should be presumed he’s a U.S. citizen.

                – Inversely, in one understanding, duel citizenship at birth is not supported by natural law of citizenship. Thus, if one is born with a claim of citizenship to two sovereigns (e.g., born to an American mother and an Irish father), there might be an argument that he is a “natural born citizen” of neither.

                – The doctrine of “jus solis” (“right of the soil”), while imported from English common law, doesn’t comport with the American view of citizenship by consent. Englishmen were “subjects” of the crown, not consensual citizens, and this was the principle underlying the feudal notion that one’s right as an Englishman vested simply by virtue of being born within the realm. (The rule was later relaxed so that children born to traveling Englishmen were also deemed subjects of the crown.) Thus, there is an argument and some precedent to support the idea that American-born children do not “perfect” their citizenship—even “natural born citizenship”—until they give their implied consent to U.S. citizenship by reaching the age of majority without having left the U.S. and putting themselves under the jurisdiction of another sovereign.

                Again, a lot of this is based on confusing and fusty doctrine and precedent. It’s interesting to some people, but in my view, there’s little hope it will lead to a persuasive theory of settling the meaning of “natural born Citizen.” That’s because there’s such scant evidence of what the Founders meant by it, or that even they had much of idea what it meant.Report

              • Avatar stillwater in reply to Tim Kowal says:

                Thanks for the reply. I guess my question reduces to this: why think that the phrase ‘natural born citizen’ means anything other than being born in the United States (however that term is understood)? Hasn’t the convention for oh so many decades been that merely being born on US soil suffices for citizenship? And isn’t this understanding justified given the following caveat in the Constitution: “or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution”?

                It seems to me the relevant parameters here are a) the boundaries of what constitutes the United States, and b) being physically in that boundary at important specified times.Report

              • Avatar Tim Kowal in reply to Tim Kowal says:

                For one thing, there are people who are born in the territorial jurisdiction of the U.S. who obviously are not citizens. Children of ambassadors or enemy soldiers or visitors, for example. Moreover, although the term was somewhat ambiguous, “natural born citizen” was a term of art that meant something different than merely “born in the territorial jurisdiction.” For example, the Fourteenth Amendment uses the language “All persons born … in the United States….” (Of course, even that amendment is not so simple, as it goes on to impose a further condition “and subject to the jurisdiction thereof….”) Finally, citizenship is not just smiles and sunshine. In addition to the privileges and immunities that come with citizenship, obligations are imposed on the citizen as well by nature of the sovereign/citizen relationship. The right to tax and confiscate property, and the right to conscript citizens into military service are some of the most obvious and severe. The rhetoric of citizenship tends to be overwhelmed by the word “grant,” suggesting citizenship is a one-way street in favor of the individual. In fact, citizenship is a two-way street and, in the U.S., is based on consent. (As briefly described above, under the English feudal system, consent was not implicated, and the crown made “subjects” of individuals born within its domain. Not so in the U.S.) Thus, more conditions are required in order to presume the consent necessary for “natural born citizenship” in the U.S., as well as for so-called “birthright citizenship.”Report

              • Avatar BSK in reply to Tim Kowal says:

                “Kopel concludes that “the existence of the Arthur controversy is an example of political opponents raising questions about whether a president was really a natural born citizen, and raising such questions for reasons other than racism.” Thus, while racism is probably a factor, it is certainly not the only factor, and I would contend, not even the primary factor. ”

                So because something happened before and was not motivated by race, we can conclude that if it happens again, race was not a factor or only marginally so? Do you believe that it is impossible for one person to kill another person of a different race because of racism because, previously, people of the same race have killed each other?

                Whether or not the birther nonsense is fueled by racism, to decide that it isn’t (or, if so, is only marginally so) because a similar controversy involving a white president and white critics occurred is nonsensical.Report

              • Avatar stillwater in reply to Tim Kowal says:

                Thanks for the reply. It seems to me what you list (children of ambassadors, children born of foreign soldiers) are exceptions in the applicability of the otherwise general. (And I admitted above that conditions needed to be met for ‘citizenship at the time of adoption to apply’ (and citizenship to apply in any event) (at least I think I did).)

                And look, I’m not gonna get in an argument over subtle legal distinctions about this (IANAL, you are), but I guess it amounts to this: it seems to me that conservatives are looking to justify and impose restrictions on the conventionally agreed upon sufficient conditions for citizenship, and they’re doing this for purely political purposes.

                So my broader question, to reiterate it, is what constitutes the basis for thinking that ‘natural born’ doesn’t in fact mean what the courts and convention have previously understood it to mean?

                I don’t mean this in a challenging way, either. I just don’t understand why now, all of a sudden, revisions of ‘birthright citizenship’, or what constitutes ‘natural born’, or subtleties re: dual citizenship at the time of birth, are being pushed as a justifiable constitutional revision.Report

              • Avatar BSK in reply to Tim Kowal says:

                Tim-

                Are you familiar with this documentary: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1372293/

                While there are obvious reasons to not simply accept all that is recorded as objective, inarguable fact, there is no doubt evidence of explicit racism directed towards Obama by people who feel that a black man ought not be President. Do they represent a majority opinion? No. Do they represent a majority opinion of his opposition? No. But let’s not stick our head in the sand and pretend that there is no reason to believe that racism and race are a factor in some of the unique criticisms and attacks that Obama has faced, including the “birther” nonsense. Remember, you don’t have to be yelling the N-word and leading lynches to be a racist. There is enough evidence out there if you care to look to demonstrate that racism has a way of pervading situations without the word race even being mentioned.

                Again, another candidate in that race (John McCain) was not born in the United States yet not once did I see his eligibility questioned. Do you REALLY think that is a coincidence? You have to go back over 100 years to find another case where such nonsense achieved even a modicum of credibility in the mainstream. Your rationalization here reeks of denialism.Report

              • Avatar BSK in reply to Tim Kowal says:

                “Again, there may be racist motives too, but there are plenty of good ol’ high-pressure political reasons to explain the new Arizona law.”

                And what are they? Are times really any more high pressure now than they’ve been in the previous 100 years that such a tactic has never been pulled out? If you think there are motives other than racism as the primary driving factor (there assuredly are others at play, but I don’t believe they are the primary reason), please defend this position.Report

              • Avatar Soylent Green is Sheeple in reply to Tim Kowal says:

                @ BSK

                Again, another candidate in that race (John McCain) was not born in the United States yet not once did I see his eligibility questioned. Do you REALLY think that is a coincidence?

                http://www.nytimes.com/2008/02/28/us/politics/28mccain.html

                http://americanchaos.wordpress.com/2008/02/02/john-mccain-is-he-even-eligible-to-be-president/

                http://www.opencongress.org/bill/110-sr511/showReport

              • Avatar Tim Kowal in reply to Tim Kowal says:

                And what are they? Are times really any more high pressure now than they’ve been in the previous 100 years that such a tactic has never been pulled out? If you think there are motives other than racism as the primary driving factor (there assuredly are others at play, but I don’t believe they are the primary reason), please defend this position.

                As far as I can tell, other more recent examples dealt with pure legal questions, such as whether McCain’s being born in the Canal Zone sufficed, whether Goldwater’s being born in the territory of Arizona prior to its gaining statehood sufficed, etc. With Obama, as with Arthur, there were uncovered factual questions bearing on the ultimate outcome. Thus, the opposition to both of them might very well just be based on political concerns, not necessarily or primarily racial prejudices.
                Though you’ll note that more than once I acknowledged the racism component, in the desperate hope of avoiding accusations of “denialism.”Report

              • Avatar Tim Kowal in reply to Tim Kowal says:

                So my broader question, to reiterate it, is what constitutes the basis for thinking that ‘natural born’ doesn’t in fact mean what the courts and convention have previously understood it to mean?

                I appreciate the question. I might not have been clear above, but the problem is that there has not been any adjudication of what “natural born citizen” means in our Constitution. There have always been competing theories for what those words mean: born in the jurisdiction only? born of one citizen parent? two citizen parents? what about dual citizen parent(s)? citizen parents traveling abroad at the time of birth? There’s no conclusive answers to these questions with respect to the NBC clause.Report

              • Avatar David Cheatham in reply to Tim Kowal says:

                I might not have been clear above, but the problem is that there has not been any adjudication of what “natural born citizen” means in our Constitution. There have always been competing theories for what those words mean: born in the jurisdiction only? born of one citizen parent? two citizen parents? what about dual citizen parent(s)? citizen parents traveling abroad at the time of birth? There’s no conclusive answers to these questions with respect to the NBC clause.

                I don’t know what you’re talking about, because most of those have never been theories. No theory based on number of citizens parents has _ever_ been proposed, and that seems like a strange thing to bring up now, except as part of ‘Let’s challenge Obama’. In fact, we’ve already _had_ presidents where only one parent was a citizen. I’m pretty certain we’ve had them where neither was a citizen.

                And dual citizenship can’t have anything to do with anything, the requirement isn’t that you _aren’t_ something, it is that you _are_ a natural born citizen. (In my mind, it might be a good idea to require that the president renounce any other citizenship before taking office, or even have that as part of the oath, but such a requirement does not exist currently.)

                And most of the debate about ‘what that phrase means’ is over people who weren’t paying attention in history. A lot of people seem to think it’s related to the 14th amendment, that only people under that amendment can be elected, but that’s clearly nonsense, or we wouldn’t have had a president until 1868. For the first 100 years of this country, the constitution made _no one_ a citizen, just laws, so that requirement _can’t_ be saying ‘Only people who are constitutionally citizens, aka, born in the US, can be president’.

                What the courts have suggested, and what appears to be the _only_ possible theory for what ‘natural born citizen’ means, is ‘legally a citizen at time of birth’. If the law (or, now, the constitution) makes you a citizen as you’re born, you can be president. Whereas if it makes you one later, if you naturalize, you cannot.

                You can imagine there are ‘competing’ theories all you want, but there are not. While it is a slightly baffling term by itself, there’s only actually been _one_ suggestion as to what it means, ‘citizen at time of birth’, and the courts accept it. No other theory is even slightly plausible, and the only one that is suggested is the anachronistic one that the 14th amendment is relevant, which it can’t be. (There is one interesting 14th amendment question, as it made a lot of people citizens, and the question is, was that intended to be retroactive back to their birth, and if so, are they eligible for president? I believe the answer would be yes, as the intent clearly was to give everyone ever born in the US _full_ rights, not ‘naturalize’ them. But none of them ever ran, and now they are all dead.)Report

              • Avatar Mike Schilling in reply to Tim Kowal says:

                With Obama, as with Arthur, there were uncovered factual questions bearing on the ultimate outcome.

                What might these be? Both the birth certificate and the newspaper announcements demonstrate that he was born in Hawaii.Report

              • Avatar Tim Kowal in reply to Tim Kowal says:

                David Cheatham,

                As I mentioned above, the “natural born Citizen” requirement in the Constitution has never been adjudicated by any court in the United States. Scholars agree that the meaning of the Natural Born Citizen clause is vague. The words “natural born citizenship” themselves seldom appear in the records of the Constitutional Convention. Yet, you offer some unequivocal pronouncements about what the clause does and doesn’t require (e.g., “dual citizenship can’t have anything to do with” natural born citizenship, and “a requirement [to renounce any other citizenship] does not exist currently”), suggesting you know of some authority and precedent defining the meaning of that clause I must not be aware of.

                I am familiar, however, with the theory you insist is the “one” and “only” “suggestion as to what it means.” That theory was offered by a law student named Jill Pryor, who offered the interesting argument that “natural born Citizen” ought to be understood to mean “naturalized born Citizen,” or a citizen at the time of birth according to the naturalization laws in effect at the time. Jill A. Pryor, The Natural-Born Citizen Clause and Presidential Eligibility: An Approach for Resolving Two Hundred Years of Uncertainty, 97 Yale Law Journal 881 (1988) (available at http://www.jstor.org/pss/796518). But Ms. Pryor rejected your suggestion that this is the one-and-only theory ever advanced concerning the meaning of the clause. Instead, Ms. Pryor acknowledged the existence of the questions I posed above—for example, “whether a person born abroad of American parents, or of one American and one alien parent, qualifies as natural born has never been resolved.” Ms. Pryor also observed that “[c]ourts have characteristically distinguished between ‘native-born’ and ‘naturalized’ citizens, asserting that their status is the same except that the latter are ineligible for the Presidency.”

                Thus, while the theory you advance is an interesting one and has been discussed by some scholars, it is most certainly not, as you say, the “one” and “only” theory ever advanced as to the meaning of the natural born citizenship clause.Report

              • Avatar BSK in reply to Tim Kowal says:

                Tim-

                The problem is you are intellectualizing what has largely been an unintelligent movement. Disagreements aside, you seem like a knowledgeable guy and I’ll take what you’ve presented here on the law at face value. That being said, I have never once seen a “birther” articulate that argument with regards to President Obama. They are not citing Constitutional precedent or ambiguity or debating the meaning of “natural born citizen”. Every argument I’ve seen put forth has been, “Drrr! He was born in Kenya! His birth certificate is a complete forgery! Everyone is lying.” It’s conspiracy theory nonsense and your attempts to lend credibility to it only take away from your own credibility.

                If there is room for conversation about just what the eligibility requirements are for Presidency, let’s have that conversation. But let’s sweep aside all the “birth certificate’ nonsense which has been the heart (and really only part) of this whole “debate”. The bill in question says nothing of “natural born citizenry” and deals only with birth certificates and other documentation.Report

              • Avatar Tim Kowal in reply to BSK says:

                BSK,

                I totally get what you’re saying. The reason I started researching this question was to see if the law could bring any order to the chaos here. As I’ve mentioned, there may be *some* grounds for making a challenge under the NBC clause, but that challenge has not been focused or based on a sound legal footing. After my research, I’m coming to the conclusion that there’s no clear legal answer. The best approach for making a challenge is for states to pass laws that require natural born citizenship and will force SCOTUS to adjudicate the matter once and for all. But you’re probably right that AZ’s law places too much focus on the birth cert issue, and thus defeats the whole purpose, since SCOTUS can adjudicate that law on that aspect alone and sidestep the interpretive issue of the NBC clause.Report

              • Avatar BSK in reply to Tim Kowal says:

                Tim-

                Under what potential reasonable definitions of NBC would President Obama NOT be eligible? And, if such definitions held, what other Presidents would also have been ineligible (allowing for the necessary exceptions made during the early years of the Nation)? The latter question may be beyond your purview, but I’m hopeful you can answer the former. I only ask the latter because it’d be interesting/funny to see if those who would push for an interpretation that is favorable for their social or political agenda might suddenly lose some of their folk heroes from decades past.Report

              • Avatar Tim Kowal in reply to BSK says:

                BSK,

                I’m reluctant to answer, because I’m just not comfortable saying what is a “reasonable definition”–not just because the authority is scant and inconsistent, but because I’m afraid of being wrongly labeled a “birther.” This is obviously a charged issue, and I’ve probably already waded in beyond what prudence would advise.

                Nonetheless, there is a definition–reserving judgment on whether it’s “reasonable” or not–that NBC requires TWO citizen parents. That’s the “Vattel” theory. I set out to find authority to debunk it, but so far have been unable to conclusively do even that. Also, there seems to be some authority that suggests that any “dual citizenship” at birth might be a bar to NBC status. Again, I’m skeptical that SCOTUS would ever adopt such a high bar to qualify under the NBC clause.Report

              • Avatar Mike Schilling in reply to Tim Kowal says:

                Tim, do you understand how much the above looks like a rationalization that ignores both facts and law in an attempt to get to he desired conclusion?

                There may be be “some” grounds

                You won’t tell us what they are, but apparently there are some circumstances, unique to Obama, that override the uncontested evidence that he was born in the United States.

                but that challenge has not been focused or based on a sound legal footing

                But it could be, in some way you’re unwilling to divulge.

                After my research, I’m coming to the conclusion that there’s no clear legal answer.

                That is, there is some requirement other than “born in the United States and subject to its jurisdiction” (the second part eliminates the completely irrelevant case of children of embassy personnel), but again, you won’t tell us what it is.

                The best approach for making a challenge is for states to pass laws that require natural born citizenship

                In addition to the one already in the Constitution?

                The central object to Birtherism is that its goal is to unseat Obama, and it’s willing to ignore facts, logic, and law towards that goal. Your latest comment is a prima facie example of that.Report

              • Mike,

                I don’t know what “desired conclusion” you’re referring to, because as even you acknowledge, I haven’t stated any. And I’m not “unwilling to divulge” such a conclusion: as I’ve said, I don’t feel confident my research leads to any firm conclusions. There’s a limit to how much I’m willing to talk out of my ear.Report

              • Avatar Mike Schilling in reply to Tim Kowal says:

                Actually, you answered most of my questions in the previous comment by describing the two theories under which Obama wouldn’t count as a peacock. Thanks for that. I can’t begin to believe that the Supreme Court would oust a sitting president by enshrining either of them, but then again I didn’t believe that they’d decide the 2000 election either.

                From the WWI edition of Blackadder:

                “You’re the German spy!”

                “German? I’m as British as Queen Victoria!”

                “So your father’s German, you’re half-German, and you married a German!”

                .Report

              • Avatar samc in reply to Tim Kowal says:

                How naive. How do you bring order to the chaos? The purpose of birtherism is to create chaos. Researching this as if it is perfectly acceptable to question African American candidates and elected officials to produce documents that no white officials are asked to produce seems beyond the pale to me. And here I thought Jim Crow was dead.Report

              • Avatar David Cheatham in reply to Tim Kowal says:

                As I mentioned above, the “natural born Citizen” requirement in the Constitution has never been adjudicated by any court in the United States

                I have absolutely no idea why you think this.

                ‘It thus clearly appears that by the law of England for the last three centuries, beginning before the settlement of this country, and continuing to the present day, aliens, while residing in the dominions possessed by the crown of England, were within the allegiance, the obedience, the faith or loyalty, the protection, the power, and the jurisdiction of the English sovereign; and therefore every child born in England of alien parents was a natural-born subject, unless the child of an ambassador or other diplomatic agent of a foreign state, or of an alien enemy in hostile occupation of the place where the child was born.’ -Minor v. Happersett

                Moreover, the very first Congress thought they could define people as natural born citizens by making them citizens at birth: …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…

                I quote the Congressional Research Service: ‘Considering the history of the constitutional qualifications provision, the common use and meaning of the phrase “natural-born subject” in England and in the Colonies in the 1700s, the clause’s apparent intent, the subsequent action of the first Congress in enacting the naturalization act of 1790 (expressly defining the term “natural born citizen” to include a person born abroad to parents who are United States citizens), as well as subsequent Supreme Court dicta, it appears that the most logical inferences would indicate that the phrase “natural born Citizen” would mean a person who is entitled to U.S. citizenship “at birth” or “by birth”.Report

              • Avatar Tim Kowal in reply to Tim Kowal says:

                BSK,

                I totally get what you’re saying. The reason I started researching this question was to see if the law could bring any order to the chaos here. As I’ve mentioned, there may be *some* grounds for making a challenge under the NBC clause, but that challenge has not been focused or based on a sound legal footing. After my research, I’m coming to the conclusion that there’s no clear legal answer. The best approach for making a challenge is for states to pass laws that require natural born citizenship and will force SCOTUS to adjudicate the matter once and for all. But you’re probably right that AZ’s law places too much focus on the birth cert issue, and thus defeats the whole purpose, since SCOTUS can adjudicate that law on that aspect alone and sidestep the interpretive issue of the NBC clause.Report

              • Avatar Tim Kowal in reply to Tim Kowal says:

                Mr. Cheatham,

                That quote is from Wong Kim Ark, a case interpreting the Fourteenth Amendment, not the NBC clause. Minor v. Happersett acknowledges the ambiguity of the NBC clause as well. Unfortunately, I don’t have time to do a fuller treatment of either case at the moment.

                Also, the CRS cite is from a memorandum, not binding, from 2009. I don’t necessarily disagree that it represents the “most logical inference,” but it’s not conclusive or settled. That’s my basic point.Report

              • Avatar Robert Cheeks in reply to Jason Kuznicki says:

                I have no doubt you’ll cast your ballot for the Kenyan-Marxist.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Robert Cheeks says:

                There are more than two parties, Bob.

                The guy I voted for came in 16th. And I didn’t even have to come up with some story like “I was hoping that so-and-so would die so his Vice-President could take over.”Report

              • Avatar Robert Cheeks in reply to Jaybird says:

                Actually, JB, I voted for the Constitutional Party dude, and don’t remember his name.Report

              • Avatar Jason Kuznicki in reply to Robert Cheeks says:

                There would have to be one on the ballot first.

                Also, he’d have to be a Libertarian.Report

              • Avatar RTod in reply to Jason Kuznicki says:

                Kenyan-Marxist Libertarians are notorious for doing really well at the local level, but flailing in national races.Report

              • Avatar Chris in reply to Jason Kuznicki says:

                Many of the original “libertarians” were socialists. 😉 Maybe not Marxists, but then didn’t Marx once quip that, “All I know is that I am not a Marxist”?Report

              • Avatar Aziz Ishak in reply to Robert Cheeks says:

                If Obama is a Marxist then I’m the son of God. Extending tax cuts for the rich? Bailouts for big banks? What self-respecting Marxist would do that? He’s barely in the middle of the Democratic party consensus, a consensus that is not all that liberal in the first place, let alone Marxist. The distance between him and Marxist ideology is like the distance between the US and Kenya.

                But I guess if the birthers believe that a pregnant 18-year-old teenager can travel alone* to Kenya to give birth in the land of her husband’s birth, that distance must not seem that far after all.

                *I’m not sure what the mythology about this is. Was Obama’s mother supposed to have traveled to Kenya alone, or with her husband? Or did they make a family holiday of it and brought her parents, too?Report

            • Avatar North in reply to Robert Cheeks says:

              Bob you’re right, I engaged (and engage!) mightily in name calling of Bush, Dick and Uncle Rummy to say the least. Nor have I called you out for name calling Obama; rather I have scolded you for asserting things that are patently untrue. While I’ve said many uncomplimentary and partisan things about Bush&Co that are a matter of opinion I haven’t clung dogmatically to accusations or assertions of anything that has been demonstrated as objectively false. I have no doubt you can see the clear distinction there, you’re a clever fellow.Report

              • Avatar Robert Cheeks in reply to North says:

                The idea that Barry’s a “Kenyan” is an assertion that his grandma, for one asserts. I really don’t know, but like I said it’s fun to fire up the moronic wing of the ideological Left, so I do. That’s all. Actually, I’m not as sure as you are that it’s not true and like I said, I’m happy to let Donald find out. It really doesn’t matter to me other than I have my jape. I’m a little disappointed that you seem as stiff about it as Jason when you know I’m jackin’ with the true believers, whas up wid dat?Report

              • Avatar Jason Kuznicki in reply to Robert Cheeks says:

                The idea that Barry’s a “Kenyan” is an assertion that his grandma, for one asserts.

                No, it’s not.

                I really don’t know, but like I said it’s fun to fire up the moronic wing of the ideological Left, so I do.

                It’s moronic to distinguish truth from fantasy?

                Actually, I’m not as sure as you are that it’s not true and like I said, I’m happy to let Donald find out.

                You could always read the transcript.

                But I guess only sages like Donald Trump are permitted that.Report

              • Avatar Robert Cheeks in reply to Jason Kuznicki says:

                Jason, didn’t you say you were going to announce that Renaldo Reagan and George Bush had a homosexual affair? When are you going to do that? And, will you do that in Cato Unbounded?Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Robert Cheeks says:

                Dude. Your shtick works best when you have a sense of humor that exceeds that of your interlocutors.

                You need to be sharper. Not duller.Report

              • Avatar Robert Cheeks in reply to Robert Cheeks says:

                Thx jb I’ll keep that in mind, however, my inquiry was related to what Jason said he was going to do, an obligation as it were. I wasn’t trying to score points:
                “…if you see me tonight with an illegal smile,
                it don’t cost very much, but it lasts a long while
                won’t you please tell the man I didn’t kill anyone
                hell, I’m just tryin’ to have me some fun…yours sister’s a nun.”Report

              • Avatar North in reply to Robert Cheeks says:

                C’mon Bob, Obama’s Gramma is an issue that Jason did put to bed. You couldn’t have missed the resolution of that particular trope without willfully refusing to consider the evidence presented.
                Now maybe I have come off stiff, what can I say sometimes I post on the fly. I can’t come off like a clown with every post, even jesters get tired (or at least we jesters on the left do). If I sound scoldy it might be because I’m a little disappointed. Honestly, though, I still like ya; mostly because hating you would be too much work. I am a slothful man; a sum of my vices to be sure.
                I would like to note, gently if I may, that you’re annoying the resident libertarians more than the liberals. The lefties just see this behavior, nod their head in satisfaction and tune out; their prejudgments comfortably confirmed. It’s the libertarians and centrists who look at this with dismay because (and I’m conjecturing here being a lefty myself) they honestly would prefer to have two viable sane sides in the country and to them it looks like one side is self immolating before their eyes.Report

              • Avatar Robert Cheeks in reply to North says:

                North, I’m only talking possibilities, I’m not drinking anyone’s kool-aide. Jason may have addressed Barry’s grandma’s remarks to your satisfaction but I hold that other possibilities exist such as Barry’s handlers/reps may have put the cajammers on that interview as soon as the poor, old girl muttered: “…Kenya!”
                Look, if he’s actually, really born in Hawaii I’ll apologize and in the future refer to him as our Hawaiian-Marxist president..no big deal. I appreciate that your worried about my reputation, that’s kind of you. But if you find it annoying that I hold out that these possibilities exist, well then you’re just going to have to skip over my comments.
                And North, I still like you and wouldn’t ever conceive of hating you, or Jason for that matter.Report

              • Avatar Rufus F. in reply to Robert Cheeks says:

                Look, you guys, carry on about this topic as endlessly as you like, but there’s one thing I have to bring up yet again: at Jonestown, they drank Flavor Aid. It was not Kool-Aid. I know that some people think that term started with the Electric Kool Aid Acid Test, although honestly that makes no sense to me. You’re talking about people cultishly buying into something that isn’t good for them- then you’re thinking of Jonestown and “drinking the flavor aid” (plus cyanide). Okay? Carry on.Report

              • Avatar BSK in reply to Robert Cheeks says:

                Can I hold out the possibility that you are a secretly bisexual transvestite dominatrix? I mean, you haven’t sufficiently demonstrated to ME that you’re not. And, while I certainly could, would it not besmirch my own character to insist that you MIGHT be something you insist you most definitively are not?

                And while we’re talking about possibilities, what about the possibility that McCain, the other major candidate in that race, was not a US Citizen? There are legitimate reasons to question whether he met the standards based on his out-of-America birth. Why is that you ONLY entertain such possibilities with Obama? Or do you doubt the legitimacy of all comers and only talk about Obama because he’s currently the President?Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Robert Cheeks says:

                Thank you, Rufus.

                I was going to make the same point.

                Is Flavor Aid regional to the Mid-/South-West or something? Maybe it didn’t exist in the cultural centers and so they used the product they were familiar with.Report

              • Avatar Mike Schilling in reply to Robert Cheeks says:

                I’m unfamiliar with Flavor-Aid, myself, being a Left Coaster.Report

              • Avatar Rufus F. in reply to Robert Cheeks says:

                Jay, I think it’s like Band-Aids. There are plenty of brands of adhesive bandages, but that’s the most popular one, so people call all of them “Band-Aids” as a sort of generic name. Same with “Frisbees”- Wham-O actually doesn’t like that people call all plastic flying discs “frisbees”, but we all know what they mean when they use it generically. I am still somewhat surprised that Kraft Foods never tried to correct this. “No, it was Flavor Aid. Don’t drink the Flavor Aid. Look at what happened in Jonestown. You might die.”Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Robert Cheeks says:

                I think it’s also that Flavor Aid was the, ahem, “bargain brand”.

                And not in the “we’re number 2, so we try harder” sense of the term, but in the “your momma’s so poor that she bounced food stamps” sense of the term.

                Acknowledging them would be advertising that they otherwise could not buy.Report

            • Avatar BSK in reply to Robert Cheeks says:

              Robert-

              I was a huge supporter of Obama who is now a huge critic. I am disappointed in him for many reasons. I do not cringe at legitimate criticism of him. But criticism that is grounded in racism or other forms of hatred or bigotry are disgusting to me and will be dismissed as such. The birther nonsense, the “Kenyan” nonsense, the secret Muslim BS, even the Marxist and Socialist labels (does anyone even know what those words really mean anymore?) are either intended to subtly otherize him or to openly question his legitimacy because of his race or supposed face. Nonsensical. And if you think that doing so is fair game because you like the reaction you get, then shame on you for disgusting tactics with no attempt at genuiness.

              And before you martyr youself, no one has said you can’t think or say those things. But I, for one, denounce you and them for not only their factual inaccuracies, but because of the ignorance and hate that propel many of them.Report

              • Avatar Robert Cheeks in reply to BSK says:

                dude, get another ‘race’ card, the one you use daily has gotta be worn out!Report

              • Avatar BSK in reply to Robert Cheeks says:

                Defending your ignorance with further ignorance. The “race card” response is typical of people who are unable or unwilling to confront racism. It’s a basic form of denialism. When to embrace anti-intellectualism. I guess that’s necessary when you believe fairy tales about magic men in the sky.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to BSK says:

                I guess that’s necessary when you believe fairy tales about magic men in the sky.

                Careful with that.
                You might hit a Muslim.Report

              • Avatar BSK in reply to Jaybird says:

                Touche. Though I would contend that A) I am talking to one specific man and B) more generally, I think all the magic fairy tales are equally bullshit but, more importantly, equally deserving of the intellectual, religious, spiritural, and legal freedom to be believed in as people see fit.Report

              • Avatar BSK in reply to Jaybird says:

                You bring up a good point, though, which is namely that people presume because I (trying to speak from the I perspective) defend the rights of Muslims and Islam, I somehow have a vested interest in their belief system or a preference for it. Not at all. I personally think all organized religions are batty and immoral, largely because of the failures of the men and women who organize and run them. Jesus seemed like a cool dude with great ideas. But the Pope sitting on a war chest of gold yet claiming to believe in charity for the poor makes me want to throw up in my mouth. I don’t know enough about Islam to know whether Mohammed would be welcome at my dinner table nor about the Muslim leaders to know whether I would disdain them as equally as I do the Pope (likely answer: yes).

                So, yes, you could reasonably consider me anti-religion or, at the very least, anti-organized-religion. However, what I also am is decisvely pro-religious-freedom and do not think anyone should be impugned for their faith insofar that it does not impact the freedoms and rights of those around them.Report

              • Avatar BlaiseP in reply to Jaybird says:

                @BSK: This. The only valid expression of a brand is what the customer believes, not the corporate bozos in bespoke suits who are forever screwing it up. It’s no accident external marketing firms do the Superbowl ads and the crappy little internal PR divisions are relegated to formatting the corporate press releases.

                You might find Muhammad the Prophet an interesting dinner companion. He was centuries ahead of his time in promulgating the doctrine of war crimes and crimes against persons. He was way ahead of the Christians in religious tolerance, though his followers have made a hideous mockery of his doctrines. He had excellent ideas about hygiene. He gave women rights in law, including divorce, unheard of in his own times. He had a vision of the equality of men. Most of all, he made the right enemies: the bigots all lined up against him.Report

              • Avatar BSK in reply to Jaybird says:

                I’d sit down to dinner with him any day of the week then! My comment about not knowing him was just that: I really didn’t know much about the man so couldn’t comment one way or another.

                And this is where I struggle with religion. For me, the Catholic Church is the one I am most critical of, but that is because it is the one I am most familiar and involved with: I was raised Catholic, spent half my schooling in Catholic institutions, and have at least one parent who is still deeply religious. But I have a ton of misgivings about the institution and many of its practitioners. I was recently at a wedding ceremony in a Catholic Church. There were several comments made by the priest that offended me deeply as a person. Had it not been a wedding, I would have been moved to comment. However, I likely would not have. Because regardless of the hatefilled speech being put forth on the pulpit, and regardless of how little I believed in what was being offered, I realized that the faith was a very real thing to a great deal of people and, for many of them, it inspired goodness and meaning. They likely would have reached a similar worldview otherwise, but they did it this way and I can respect that. So, while I wanted to throttle the priest (and probably some of the churchgoers if I knew them better), I realized it wasn’t the faith’s fault itself.

                And, yea, I would likely feel this way about all religions. Especially if I knew them as well as I knew the RC Church.Report

              • Avatar tom van dyke in reply to BSK says:

                BSK, Muslims believe “fairy tales about magic men in the sky,” too.

                Bigot.Report

              • Avatar Robert Cheeks in reply to tom van dyke says:

                I dunno, sounds like a racist to me?Report

              • Avatar Mike Schilling in reply to tom van dyke says:

                Magic man in the sky. Unlike Christianity, just the one.Report

              • Avatar BSK in reply to tom van dyke says:

                I do believe my later comments indicated my general disdain for organized religion of all formats. And now because I find the belief systems particularly objectionable, but because of the exploitative and contradictory nature of the institutions.Report

              • Avatar Heidegger in reply to BSK says:

                BSK–you continually look for racism and bigotry when there are none to be found. Zero. Why is that? What odd sense of fulfilment do you get making these broad based accusations towards people who don’t have a bigoted drop of blood in their bodies?
                Everything, everything, everything is about race with you. I know a few people that might be able to help you out with this fixation of yours. Please let me know if your interested. And for what it’s worth, I should let everyone know, I’m a Tranny. Yep. You heard it right. And it doesn’t end there. I’m also a midget. You think you have it hard, (no pun intended) try getting a date on a Saturday night as a midget Tranny. If it was not my ability to do a perfect Jessica Beals impersonation–(that’s the girl from “Flashdance”) I don’t know what I’d do for a living. Who the hell wants to see a midget Tranny nude under a shower dancing to Flashdance? Too many I’ve found. We all have our crosses to carry–I just wish mine were Liberace to marry.
                Have a heart, will ya?Report

              • Avatar BSK in reply to Heidegger says:

                I’m sorry, Heidiggy, I’ll embrace ignorance as you are so willing to do.

                Let me ask you this: Why are you so apt to deny racism? I have experienced enough, known enough, seen enough, heard enough to know that racism is still well and alive in this country and this world. You want to pretend it’s not. Probably because you’ve never faced it. You are denying your privilege by flaunting it. Well served.

                And ‘tranny’? ‘Midget’? Are you trying to offend as many groups as possible?Report

              • Avatar Jason Kuznicki in reply to Heidegger says:

                You were the one who called for genocide against Muslims.

                I don’t think “looking for” bigotry is the problem here.Report

              • Avatar Heidegger in reply to Robert Cheeks says:

                Forgot to mention, BSK, Dr. Cheeks and Dr. Heidegger are the “ones” to offer you a helping hand. We’ll knock this obsessive, compulsive disorder out of your nervous system faster than you say, Electric Shock!!

                Sorry Bob–I should have spoken to you first, but we’re dealing with a very, very serious thought disorder and time’s NOT on our side. Thanks.Report

              • Avatar BSK in reply to Heidegger says:

                Nah, I’m cool. I’d rather err on the side of false positives than false negatives. And I realize full well the way in which false positives undermine the efforts I make. Still, simply denying anything is going on is hardly a better approach.Report

              • Avatar Heidegger in reply to BSK says:

                “Heidiggy”? What’s next, my old lady wears Army boots?

                I think Chris now uses, “Heidi”. Which is fine–could not care less. Chris, should I now address you as Christine?Report

              • Avatar Heidegger in reply to BSK says:

                Is a truce even within the possibilities of this discussion? Even for an hour or so?Report

              • Avatar Heidegger in reply to Heidegger says:

                BSK writes: “And ‘tranny’? ‘Midget’? Are you trying to offend as many groups as possible?”

                No.
                However, I think I forgot to add, Midget Al-Qaedaians. No doubt you’d have them all in some country club prison receiving around the clock treatment for their hatred of humanity. or at least the United States. You’re not a Tranny, are you? Not that there would be anything wrong that, mind you. Just curious. See ya soon my friend! Don’t ya’ll fret now–help is on the way!!Report

              • Avatar Heidegger in reply to Heidegger says:

                One other thing–does anyone know where I can purchase a strand of Beethoven’s hair?
                Thanks.Report

              • Avatar Heidegger in reply to Heidegger says:

                Come on, Jason. How many Muslims will die because of a totally tongue-in-cheek quip about cockroaches and Muslims?

                Just curious–how many homosexuals do you think will be allowed to have the freedom of a same-sex marriage in any Arabic country of your choice?Report

              • Avatar mark boggs in reply to Heidegger says:

                Heidegger,

                Jason has made it rather clear that he has a whole host of problems with the Islamic religion. Why you seem to think that his irritation with you talking about genocide or Muslims as cockroaches all of a sudden means he’s a cheerleader for the Islamic religion is bizarre. I am all too familiar with the binary thinking being a victim of it many times myself, but is it possible that Jason can find Islam’s generally illiberal treatment of women or homosexuals offensive while also finding it offensive that you would casually throw out phrases about genocide and certain humans as cockroaches? Is that really *that hard* to grasp? Or are you trying to persuade him to feel, as you seem to, that they are a monlith, with no differentiation between any of them in their views?Report

            • Avatar Heidegger in reply to Robert Cheeks says:

              Is squashing cockroaches, genocide? Well, maybe for the cockroaches but am not sure cockroaches were signatories to the Geneva Convention. I could be wrong. Even should they survive this legal battle, there is the very difficult problem of uniforms in combat. They don’t wear any. These despicable cowards hide behind their women for protection from the rampaging Crusaders.Report

              • Avatar mark boggs in reply to Heidegger says:

                Wow. You missed it so completely. You ended up in Geneva.Report

              • Avatar BSK in reply to Heidegger says:

                The problem here is that if Heidegger were brave enough to speak these words to a Muslim’s face (I doubt he would, since he seems like every other internet coward out there), there is a good chance the Muslim would pummel him (justifiably, in my opinion) and Heidegger would use this as confirmation of the inherent flaws in the faith and all of its practitioners. On that note, Heidegger, should we ever cross on the street, I’ll be glad to punch you in the face as a demonstration of my alliance with those who oppose bigotry in all its forms. I wonder if you’d then conclude that all non-practicing Catholics are inherently violent.Report

  7. Avatar Burt Likko says:

    Responding to the original question, I’ll add:

    5. Vagueness and ambiguity (what is a “long form” birth certificate?)

    6. Article IV, Section 4 — “The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government” which would seem to suggest that voters can vote for whom they choose without unreasonable barriers imposed by the state against the exercise of their franchise.

    7. Article II, Section 1 — Eligibility clause; the law places an unreasonable barrier against a natural-born citizen from standing for election.

    8. 14th Amendment Equal Protection Clause — all eligible citizens should be equally able to stand for election.

    I’m not sure I see the P&I clause argument.Report

    • I meant to include Equal Protection in my original. D’Oh!

      The P&I is definitely my biggest stretch, especially since I’m not familiar with any case law on ArtIV P&I except to the extent it’s coextensive with the now-meaningless 14th Amendment P&I.

      But I figure that it closely parallels the Full Faith and Credit argument – you’re denying a citizen of another state the privilege of being on the ballot in Arizona for a national ballot by virtue of some other state’s birth certificate laws being insufficiently compliant with Arizona’s.Report

  8. Avatar David Cheatham says:

    The Full Faith and Credit Clause is the big one.

    The state of Hawaii has produced a document stating that Barack Obama was born there. They have confirmed the document Barack has shown people was actually produced by them.

    Q.E.D, that’s it, that’s the end of the story. Arizona is _required_ to accept that as evidence that he was born in Hawaii. They do not get to make any other qualifications as to that.

    Now, if it was just for their own use, they could choose to…um…not recognize he existed, even without a birth certificate. There’s a difference between ‘recognizing it as a document’ and ‘it producing some sort of legal results under state law’.

    It’s like with gay marriage…Georgia wouldn’t recognize the marriage itself, but it can’t pretend two guys with a marriage license from Massachusetts aren’t married _in Massachusetts_, if that ever needs to be legally decided in Georgia. (I.e, if one spouse tries to sue the other for theft, and the second spouse points out it was purchased while they were married in Massachusetts, and hence is jointly theirs, and the first spouse claims that the marriage ‘doesn’t exist’ under Georgia law…yes, it _does_, even if the marriage confers no privileges in Georgia.)

    So if there was an _Arizonian_ law saying ‘Someone needed a birth certificate of a certain kind’ to gain a privilege in Arizona, that would be okay.

    However, the Presidency is a Federal office, and the requirement isn’t ‘a birth certificate’, it is, more sanely, to be _born_ here. (For the purposes of this discussion.)

    An argument can be made that Arizona has the right to determine who is eligible to be on the ballot for that office (Although that itself is debatable!), as the responsibility for that is not spelled out in the constitution and _someone_needs to do it, but they can’t pretend that the state of Hawaii does not assert he was born there (No matter what sort of paper they print it on), and thus he is allowed under that that constitutional qualification.

    The state of Hawaii has _repeatedly_ made itself very clear about this, going well above any documentation generally released to the point of making official government statements about it, and Arizona _must_ accept their word on this.

    And adding extra qualifications to any Federal office is _already_ declared to be unconstitutional, witness the fail efforts at state attempts to impose term limits on their congressional representatives. The only ground AZ possibly has to keep someone off the ballot is they fail the _Federal_ requirements for the office.Report

  9. Avatar E.D. Kain says:

    I have banned Heidegger.

    We are implementing a new commenting policy. I will have a post up about it sometime in the near future. Those of you who are fond of trying my patience – go for it.Report

    • Avatar North in reply to E.D. Kain says:

      Looks like Heidegger finally obtained the martyrdom he came onto this blog decrying. I don’t know that giving him what he wanted was a good idea but it’s your call E.D. Maybe he and Makoto could start a site together? WEC’s and Bach?Report

  10. Avatar samc says:

    The Arizona law would exclude me from the ballot. Long explanations of why this birther stuff is’nt racist are pretty unconvincing. There was no demand that the other 3 candidates on the 2008 ballot produce a birth certificate for the public to peruse. That’s why this stuff lingers; birthers go on tv with a copy of the president’s COLB and point out all kinds of goofy things they think are fraudulent, yet not one journalist has asked them to produce a state- sanctioned document that they would accept as a comparison. I was born in Idaho; so was Sarah Palin. My COLB has less information on it than the President’s. I would love to put Palin’s COLB next to the President’s and ask the birthers why his citizenship is in doubt and hers isn’t. Irrational hatred is pretty unflattering, but there seem to be an unlimited supply of people willing to humiliate themselves over this issue.Report

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