The issue of Obama's eligibility to be US President is unlikely to end with the recent release of his long form birth certificate. Already suggestions of forgery abound on the net. Or a problem shift: doesn't matter where he was born because his dad wasn't American.
So, I thought, how would I prove that I am a 'natural born' citizen?
Turns out, if I have no proof of how I became a citizen, but I am a citizen, then I must be natural born. It's the fact that I have no documentation of becoming a citizen that proves I'm a natural born citizen. OK, bear with me a minute. Here's some back story.
This whole issue only comes up if you want to know if you are eligible to be US President. Sadly, most infants today really aren't thinking this through. All the Constitution says is Article II, Section I:
"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."
So far as I can see, that's all the constitution actually requires. You gotta be at least 35. And you gotta be a natural born citizen, or over 224 years old.
The sticking point is that term 'natural born'. Which seems to mean you are a citizen by virtue of your birth, as opposed to becoming a citizen some other way. The constitution doesn't provide a more precise definition of "natural born," but US Code does:
There's a variety of clauses, but basically you must be EITHER born here OR have at least one parent who is a US Citizen. There's some odd Eskimo and Indian clauses too. But the common theme here is that the circumstances of your birth determine whether you are (or aren't) natural born.
There are various other ways to become a citizen. Marry a citizen, serve in the armed forces, adoption, etc. None of these other paths have anything to do with the circumstances of your birth. An application must be made and a document will be issued. There's the key. Become a citizen by any of these routes and there is a paper trail, a document, of how you became a US citizen. So. If you path to citizenship is documented, you are not natural born and you are not eligible to be President.
On the other hand, if are a citizen but don't have citizenship documents, you must be simply a natural born citizen. Oh, you may have other documents like a birth certificate. But you don't have a US government issued document proving you are a natural born citizen.
Take me. I'm a citizen. But there is no record at all of me ever becoming one. I was just born one. It's the very fact that I CAN'T document it that proves I'm natural born! Very peculiar situation!
As for Obama, seems to me, qualifies as natural born on two counts: he was born in Hawaii and his mom was a US citizen. The whole story is just bogus.
Put it this way. If you accept that Obama is a citizen, you need only ask how he became one. Is there some record of him becoming a citizen some way? A court, a judge, an agency of some sort granting him citizenship? If there were some such record, then he's not natural born. If not, he is. It's actually interesting. If you ARE a citizen, but there is no record of you every becoming a citizen, then you must be natural born.
It seems to me like a balk in baseball. I once heard a conversation with an umpire where they were trying to define a balk. Said the umpire: "when I say it's a balk, it's a balk." Same with 'natural born'. Obama has been certified as officially elected President. Officially, he's a natural born citizen. The only thing that would change the official status, as far as I can see, would be a Supreme Court ruling. And that just isn't going to happen, at least IMO.
Senator John McCain, BTW, has his own 'natural born' eligibility issues. He was born in the Panama Canal Zone, or thereabouts, at a time when it wasn't US territory. He's a citizen, yes, because his parents were. But 'natural born'? Well. The PCZ isn't Kenya! But it ain't Hawaii either!
There's actually a non-binding Senate Resolution declaring McCain natural born:
but his story is, I would say, comparably complex to Obama's. I mean, McCain needed a Senate Resolution. That alone is official acknowlegment that there was at least some doubt.
It's all very much along the lines of "are you now or have you ever been a Communist, and if not, prove you are not." Just harassment.
Let's move it along, folks. Nothing to be seen here, move it along.