When our founders drafted our Constitution, they understood our new Government would only be as JUST as the people who held office were ENLIGHTENED.
Much thought was given to the QUALIFICATIONS, or prerequisites, required of the those that would be eligible to hold office. Contrary to our general understanding today, NOT just anyone would be eligible to serve OUR people.
Compare and Contrast the differences. What are the categories?
- Citizen /”Natural Born Citizen” / “Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution”
- “Inhabitant of that State” / “Resident within the United States” (for this essay, I am going to ignore Inhabitant & Residence)
Congressional Representatives: Article I. Section 2.
No person SHALL be a Representative who SHALL not have attained to the Age of twenty five Years, and been SEVEN Years a CITIZEN of the United States, and who SHALL not, when elected, be an Inhabitant of that State in which he shall be chosen.
Senators: Article I. Section 3.
No person SHALL be a Senator who SHALL not have attained to the Age of thirty Years, and been NINE Years a CITIZEN of the United States, and who SHALL not, when elected, be an Inhabitant of that State for which he SHALL be chosen.
The President: Article II. Section 1.
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.
The Judges: Article III. Section 1.
The Judges, both of the supreme and inferior Courts, SHALL hold their Offices during good BEHAVIOUR, and SHALL, at stated Times, receive for their Services a Compensation, which shall not be diminished during their Continuance in Office.
Why the different ages? 25 for a Representative. 35 for a Senator and President. None for Judges. Representatives only serve for 2 years, and there are more of them. Senator’s terms are 6 years, and there are only 2 per State. Difficult to keep one “bad apple” under control with fewer numbers and longer terms. A Senator has “numerically” much “better odds”, justifying the term Senators have “more power”. The President, he is the head of an entire branch of Government and is Commander in Chief. Judges? No description? Judges are picked by the President and confirmed by the Senate. I argue the founders believed, our Servants in Government would do the Right thing and carefully consider who was appointed to serve, so no qualifications were thought necessary to restrain the President and the Senate.
Citizen / “Natural Born Citizen” / “Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution”
This is important. Look at each one of these qualifications individually in the quotes. Each one is a “term of art”. You cannot divide the IN QUOTE phrase above !
Are you paying attention? Congress was given exclusive POWER to determine WHO was/is a CITIZEN. Not the Judiciary / Not the Supreme Court.
Article I. Section 8.
The Congress SHALL have Power To . . . To establish an uniform Rule of Naturalization
Congress has the SOLE authority for Power to write laws to determine who ought, or ought not, be a Citizen. Congress can control her own destiny by changing the definition of “Citizen”. Congress does NOT have the power (without a future Constitutional Amendment) to change the definition of “Natural Born Citizen” which is a “term of art”. The Executive and Judiciary do not have the power to determine who a “citizen” is, or who a “natural born citizen” is. Those POWERS are already given to other branches, or defined by the Constitution. The Judiciary may only determine whether a Congressional Law is clear or unclear as to definition, and whether that law, OR the President’s actions, conflict with some other branch of Government’s Power, or Constitutional LIMITATION. Congress and the Judiciary, CANNOT affect the QUALIFICATION for office of the PRESIDENT. Only CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT can affect or change the qualifications.
If Congress or the Judiciary, could determine the qualifications for President, then Congress, or the Supreme Court would be MORE POWERFUL than the executive branch, one of the 3 branches of Government. NOPE, Natta, Ain’t Right, Just Can’t Be FOLKS.
Assume the “Age” and “Residency” requirements have been met.
There are two (2) different ways to Qualify for the Office of the President of the United States: First, the Second way:
“Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution”
These people are all dead now. Self explanatory. (I ask you to compare and contrast the phrase “natural born citizen” with “Citizen” phrases.) If a person was ALIVE in 1789, in order to be eligible to be President, that person only needed to be a CITIZEN in 1789, as defined by CONGRESS. That person would not have to be a Natural Born Citizen. ONLY a CITIZEN. Now, assume, a person was born in 1775, but was naturalized as a Citizen in 1810, that person would NEVER be qualified to be President unless a CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT were passed changing the qualifications for the Executive.
Next, after qualifying age, and residency for 14 years, a candidate for President MUST satisfy this qualification for President:
“Natural Born Citizen”
Recently we have all read and heard things in the news about this qualification for the first time in our lives. Don’t leave your REASON and COMMON SENSE “at the door”. I warn you the Statists have hijacked the Internet with incorrect and misleading definitions.
“Natural Born Citizen” DOES NOT EQUAL “Citizen”
[6/29/2012, editor addition: How do I KNOW that the phrases “Natural Born Citizen” does not equal “citizen”, and must mean different things? The two different phrases would not be used, one after the other in Article II, section 1. With “Natural Born Citizen for “all time” and “Citizen” only applying to those alive and a citizen at the time the Constitution was ratified.]
“Natural Born Citizen” is Citizen PLUS something more. What could/would that be? To understand, “we” must all take ourselves back to the time of our founding. 13 TINY colonies, with the world’s SUPERPOWER, ENGLAND, surrounding us and waiting for a weakness to pounce. (Ala’ war of 1812.) During the 18th & 19th centuries, diplomats traveled by ship, horse, buggy, or walked. Diplomatic missions took months or years. When a French, Spanish, or English diplomat came to America to discuss and negotiate with our new Government, that diplomat did not come alone. The Diplomat brought his family, and/or created a new family here. Children created in America by loyal subjects with LOYALTY to their Monarch. When the Diplomat’s mission was concluded, the diplomat took his family home to his home country. The offspring born in our Country with ALLEGIANCE and LOYALTY to their FATHER, and their father’s HOME COUNTRY, were citizens of the country of their father and the allegiances and loyalties their Father held. No DUAL CITIZENSHIP. No LOYALTIES to ANY other GOVERNING ENTITY.
A “natural born citizen” is a person who is born on American soil as a citizen,
to a father(now both parents) who was also a citizen with
LOYALTY and ALLEGIANCE to ONLY AMERICA.
WHY is this important? What were our Founders making sure they were preventing? Assume an English diplomat, an envoy of the Crown, came to America to negotiate “business and trade”. That Englishman, Loyal to the Crown, would have children in America. Under English law, the offspring of a “subject”, is by English law, a subject of the Crown also. Now, while that child, might someday be able to renounce his loyalty and allegiance as a subject of England, and become a naturalized American citizen, the child could never be a “Natural Born Citizen”. Why? Once a person becomes a “naturalized citizen”, and meets the requirements of “inhabitant”, they do qualify for the office of Representative, Senator, or Judge. But not President. WHY?
Think, George Washington. No, not the man. His offices, his duties. COMMANDER IN CHIEF of the Armies, Marines, and Navy. Protection from foreign invaders. In 1787, this was an imminent and REAL THREAT. America had just survived a 7 year war to win her Independence. That threat was real as the future War of 1812 would show. If a person, was a former subject, but became a naturalized citizen of America, he could still be Loyal to the Crown of England. If that person became President (but secretly remained Loyal to the Crown, or foreign government), he/she would have the Power to command our COMMON DEFENCE to weakness so that ENGLAND, or the foreign”nation” could Conquer America once again.
(But wait you say, “the 14th Amendment, changed the definition of citizen”. Yes you are correct. But read the 14th Amendment, it ONLY speaks to “CITIZEN” not “Natural Born Citizen”. I recommend you go here, for a historical and legal explanation that shows in the “legal and Congressional records” that this is true.)
The qualification “Natural Born Citizen” requires a Constitutional amendment to change. Congress cannot change by law. The Judiciary cannot change by “holding”. If Congress or the Supreme Court could change the qualification for the President, they would both be more powerful than the Executive Branch.
We have 3 SEPARATE but EQUAL pillars of Government.
Please explore for yourself. LEARN, ENJOY, RESPECT. MARVEL at the true GENIUS of our Constitution.
(Disclaimer: This is not legal advice or opinion. This essay is not intended to be legal advice or opinion and should not be considered as such.)