By Publius Huldah
July 18, 2012
We have been visited recently with several very silly articles which assert that Marco Rubio is a “natural born Citizen” within the meaning of Art. II, §1, cl. 5, U.S. Constitution (ratified 1789), and hence is qualified to be President:
Bret Baier (Fox News) asserts that Congress can define (and presumably redefine, from time to time) terms in the Constitution by means of law.
Chet Arthur in American Thinker quips that “the original meaning of ‘natural born citizen’” is determined by reference to “The Heritage Guide to the Constitution” and to the definition of “citizen” at Sec. 1 of the 14th Amendment, ratified 1868.
Human Events claims that anyone born within The United States is a “natural born citizen” eligible to be President.
Jake Walker at Red State purports to show how the term has been used from 1795 to the present. After quoting James Madison on the citizenship requirements imposed by Art. I, §2, cl. 2, to be a member of the House, Walker gleefully quotes a 1795 discussion of “natural born subject” to “prove” that anyone born here is a “natural born citizen”:
“It is an established maxim, received by all political writers, that every person owes a natural allegiance to the government of that country in which he is born. Allegiance is defined to be a tie, that binds the subject to the state, and in consequence of his obedience, he is entitled to protection…” [emphasis mine]
“The children of aliens, born in this state, are considered as natural born subjects, and have the same rights with the rest of the citizens.” [emphasis mine]
But “subjects” are not “citizens”; and we fought a war so that we could be transformed from “subjects of the British Crown” to Citizens of a Republic!
The four writers don’t know what they are talking about. But I will tell you the Truth and prove it. We first address Word Definitions.
Like clouds, word meanings change throughout time. “Awful” once meant “full of wonder and reverence”; “cute” meant “bowlegged”; “gay” meant “jovial”; and “nice” meant “precise”. Accordingly, if someone from an earlier time wrote of a “cute gay man”, he was not referring to an adorable homosexual, but to a cheerful bowlegged man.
So! In order to understand the genuine meaning of a text, we must use the definitions the authors used when they wrote it. Otherwise, written texts become as shifting and impermanent as the clouds – blown hither and yon throughout the years by those who unthinkingly read in their own uninformed understandings, or deliberately pervert the text to further their own agenda.
So! Is Our Constitution built on the Rock of Fixed Definitions – those our Framers used? Or are its Words mere clouds to be blown about by Acts of Congress, whims of federal judges, and the idiotic notions of every ignoramus who writes about it?
What Did Our Framers mean by “natural born Citizen”?
Read more here: http://www.newswithviews.com/Publius/huldah110.htm