What is the Constitutional definition of "Natural Born Citizen"? What is the specific part of our national jurisprudence that defines it? In Marbury V. Madison, 5 US 137(1803) the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) established the principle of judicial review. This holding established SCOTUS as the final arbiter in all matters in which it holds appellate jurisdiction. To date, the Congress has passed no law limiting the appellate jurisdiction of the SCOTUS in matter of Immigration and Naturalization law.
In Ogilvie Et Al, Minors V. United States, 519 US 79 (1996), the SCOTUS established the precedence that when part of a majority opinion is used to support a holding found in the case syllabus, the opinion is binding. Both of the aforementioned SCOTUS decisions have established the legal context for the actual binding jurisprudence that constitutes the legal definition of "Natural Born Citizen". In Minor V. Hapersett, 88 US 62, (1875), the second holding determined that Ms. Minor, being born of citizen parents (plural) within the jurisdiction of the United States, was a citizen before the fourteenth amendment. The majority opinion went on to state, " The Constitution does not, in words, say who shall be natural-born citizens. Resort must be had elsewhere to ascertain that. At common-law, with the nomenclature of which the framers of the Constitution were familiar, it was never doubted that all children born in a country of parents who were its citizens became themselves, upon their birth, citizens also. These were natives, or natural-born citizens, as distinguished from aliens or foreigners. …". Multiple SCOTUS decisions have sited Minor but none have overturned it and no constitutional amendment has vacated the Minor decision. The part of the 1790 immigration act that gave "Natural Born Citizen" status to children born overseas was rescinded in 1795 due the Congress understanding it had no power to give such status to anyone. No Statutory law since 1795 has attempted to define "Natural Born Citizen". Any statutory attempt to redefine "Natural Born Citizen" after the Minor decision would place such a law in direct opposition to the Minor decision and at odds with the supreme law of the land. (Judicial Review, Marbury, 1803)
Senator Ted Cruz cannot be a "Natural Born Citizen". Senator Rubio, unless both of his parents were naturalized prior to his birth, cannot be a "Natural Born Citizen" and yes, President Obama, even born in Hawaii, still does not meet the requirements to be a "Natural Born Citizen" because his father was never a citizen of the United States. If someone has knowledge that can counter this argument, I am all ears. But please remember, the binding jurisprudence found in Marbury and Ogilvie have negated any potential impact of any statutory law on the Minor decision so you need to find a SCOTUS case or a constitutional amendment to make your case.
Joseph M. Wert
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