Atty. Apuzzo Responds To Fred Thompson's Article Defending Marco Rubio's Eligibility
Atty. Mario Apuzzo Responds To Fred Thompson's Article Defending Marco Rubio's Eligibility
Mario Apuzzo, Esq.
Fred Thompson has written an article in which he argues that Marco Rubio is eligible to be Vice-President. See it at this link. (http://fredthompsonsamerica.com/2012.../#comment-2254) I have left this comment at his blog:
Article 2, Section 1, Clause 5 of the Constitution of the United States: “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.” Did you see that, today only a “natural born Citizen” is eligible to be President. A “citizen of the United States” is not eligible to be President today.
The clear distinction between a “citizen” and a “natural born Citizen” is natural and therefore universal, for a civil society must start with original members (called “citizens” in a republic) who are the creators of that society. Their children, grandchildren, etc. (“Posterity”) then are the “natural-born citizens.” This is what Article II, Section 1, Clause 5 in effect says. The creators of the new republic were “Citizens of the United States” and their “Posterity” (Preamble to the Constitution) were “natural born Citizens.” The Founders and Framers also allowed for new citizens through naturalization. Hence, any naturalized citizen under any Act of Congress becomes a “citizen of the United States,” just like the original “Citizens of the United States.” A reading of the plain text of the Fourteenth Amendment shows that it also only adds to the “citizens of the United States,” simply by persons being born (without requiring “citizen” parents) or naturalized in its jurisdiction. And the children (“Posterity”) born in the United States to those new first generation “citizens of the United States” then become “natural born Citizens,” just like the children of the descendents of the original “Citizens of the United States.”
Minor defined a "natural-born citizen" under the "common-law" with which the Framers were familiar. The definition it gave is a child born in a country to parents who were "citizens" of that country at the time the child was born. Some argue that this definition is not dispositive, because the Court did not say that a child born in the United States to alien parents is not a “natural-born citizen.” This argument is frivolous, for we need to understand what the Court intended by what it said, and not by what it did not say. If I want to define a dog, I include as many of a dog’s attributes, including that a dog by nature is an animal with warm blood. I do not also have to say at the same time that by nature a dog is not an animal with cold blood. There is no indication that this definition is not totally inclusive and exclusive. On the contrary, this has always been the definition of the clause. This definition has never changed.
It is more than clear that Minor had two types of “citizens” in mind, a “citizen” and a “natural-born citizen,” and it cannot be otherwise. In the doubt-free definition of a “natural-born citizen” presented by Minor and to which you also concede, the parents are “citizens” and the children are “natural born citizens.”
So, there was no question for the Minor Court whether children born in the United States to alien parents were or were not “natural-born citizens.” Those children simply did not meet the Founders’ and Framers’ definition of a “natural-born citizen.” So, they were not “natural-born citizens.” The only question was whether those children now fell under the new Fourteenth Amendment which included as “citizens of the United States” children born “within the jurisdiction” of the United States. Minor did not need to answer that question, for Virginia Minor was a "natural-born citizen."
Minor did not itself create this definition but only confirmed it. In fact, Emer de Vattel had already stated this same definition in 1758 as follows:
"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 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."
Fred Thompson's article can be read here: http://fredthompsonsamerica.com/2012...rubio-eligible
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