I moved this up from the comments section of the earlier post.
It is clear that any person born on US soil is a citizen. The question is: What constitutes a natural born citizen?
It is safe to assume the authors of the Constitution were intelligent men, well versed in the usages and nuances of the language. It is clear these men had an appreciation of the necessity for clarity within the document as well as it’s need to endure over time. Logically, there is no reason to use the term ‘natural born citizen’ at one point and ‘citizen’ at another unless there are unique definitions for each. The use of synonyms in creative writings is common practice; to do so in an official document opens the door for misinterpretation.
Attorney General Bates, in his opinion on citizens and race, clearly references his “fruitless search” for a clear definition of “citizen of the United States”. He does reference the Constitutional use of Natural Born Citizen and states “not made by law or otherwise, but born”.
This case pertains to dual citizenship and the term natural born citizen, while mentioned in passing, is hardly part of the discussion.
In fact, the idea that a person with dual citizenship could live abroad until their 45th birthday and then return to the US to run for President is ludicrous. This gives credence to the idea the founding fathers would use terminology prohibiting just such an occurrence, especially since absentee rulership was a major issue of the revolution. Including the term citizen to signify “born in the US” and natural born citizen to signify “born to citizen parents and reared by citizens as a citizen” would help to ensure Presidential eligibility for only those people with a demonstrated family allegiance to the country.
the rights of citizenship shall not descend to persons whose
fathers never resided in the United States.
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.[emphasis mine]
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.[emphasis mine]
To what nation a person belongs is by the laws of all nations closely dependent on descent; it is almost an 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. [emphasis mine]
Personally, I don’t care if he’s born again born here born there. The rule should be established and some one should be checking eligibility before the damn election. The NCAA checks thousands of student athletes for eligibility each year, we have the technology. They checked McCain. The info should be presented, checked, verified, and made public. Anyone running for office should have their info in hand and be proud to show it. At a minimum his proofs are suspect and it should have been resolved prior to any election.
The point remains “natural born citizen” is different than “citizen”. It stands to reason that ‘natural born” implies an additional ‘level’ (for lack of a better term) of citizenship. I see no realistic way to quantify ‘increased citizenship’ except with longevity – an additional generation or requiring US citizen parentage is logical and reasonable.
We can reference citizenship, and dual citizenship all day long. Until there is a difinitive ruling (which we should have had long since) on the usage of the terms when the document was written it’s up in the air.