Saturday, June 20, 2015

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Founders TV: History Professor Kevin Gutzman 
Addresses Article II Natural Born Citizen Issue

This one flew under the radar.

Professor of History at Western Connecticut State University, Kevin R. C. Gutzman, went where others won't.

And danced around like a professional tap dancer. On one hand foot he suggests Marco Rubio is ineligible to be POTUS due to lack of U.S. citizen parents and on the other hand foot he suggests Barack Obama and Ted Cruz are eligible.

Originally published in 2013 and resurrected last night via Twitter:

- twitter -

The Twitter link takes you to Church's website promoting the pay-per-view segment (original video embedded below):

Mandeville, LA- This Founders TV Episode was originally published on Sep 10, 2013 and is part of the Founders TV/ Post Show Show. 
Mandeville, LA - Exclusive Video and Audio - Kevin Gutzman joins us on today's Founders TV and discusses Emerich de Vattel's influence on natural born citizenship. The problem with Vattel is that most of his influence on this issue has been taken from an English translation post-Constitutional Convention that says that both parents must be citizens of the original country. But if you read the original French, it's just not clear. Kevin explains this in greater detail as it pertains to current politicians such as Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz, and of course, President Obama. So check out today's preview of Founders TV with Kevin Gutzman and sign up for a Founders Pass if you haven't already! - Mike Church.

I encourage you to watch the Founders TV episode as originally published on September 10, 2013;


I also encourage you to read this response by Obama researcher/litigant CDR Charles Kerchner(Ret):

I listened to Professor Gutzman's comments in the video. Here are my comments.

The purpose of having the term "natural born Citizen" as a constitutional requirement for future presidents and commander in chiefs or our military was as a "strong check", per John Jay's letter to George Washington, against foreign influence on the person who would hold that office in the future. They wanted a person born with Sole Allegiance and Unity of Citizenship to the USA and only the USA. They would never have wanted a person born with dual or tri citizenship to ever gain command of our military. As with anything dealing with our Constitution, if you wish to understand terms therein we need to go back to original intent and understanding as to why the founders and framers chose the words they did. We need to understand the Who, What, When, Where, How, and Why the term "natural born Citizen" was chosen by the founders and framers. The Why was they wanted a person with sole allegiance to the USA at birth for future commanders in chief of our military.

See this article for more on that point:

Now some specific comments about what Professor Gutzman said and also what he omitted from Vol.1 Chapter 19 Section 212 of Vattel's writings. First, he does not give the full name of Vattel's book. And that is important to the debate on its content. It was titled The Law of Nations or Principles of Natural Law.  "Natural Law" is key to this debate because the term under scrutiny is a natural law term, "natural born Citizen".  Any legal term with the word "natural" in it refers to Natural Law and not to positive, man-made law. Vattel's book was a treatise on Natural Law. And Natural Law forms the foundation of other types of law. And the founders and framers where keenly interested and aware of Natural Law as evidenced by the opening of the Declaration of Independence wherein it specifically cites the "Laws of Nature", i.e., Natural Law.  And the Law of Nations were mentioned in the Constitution also in reference to defining Piracy. So the founders and framers were keenly aware of Natural Law and the Law of Nations.  And Vattel was their number one choice and reference on those subjects.

I own both a French and English copy of Vattel's "The Law of Nations or Principles of Natural Law". Regarding the comment that Vattel's treatise The Law of Nations or Principles of Natural Law being written in French, the professor does not mention that most of the key founders and framers were multi-lingual and specifically they were fluent in French, which was the diplomatic language of that time frame.  The French were our allies in our Revolutionary War against England.  When he read part of the section 212 and he read the French word "naturels" he failed to acknowledge that that word had previously to the writing of the U.S. Constitution in 1787 been translated in treaty correspondence with the French to mean "natural born" in U.S. English. They did not look to English Common Law to define citizenship terms in our new federal Constitution and Constitutional Republic. They looked to Natural Law and the Law of Nations.

See:  The very title of Vol. 1, Chapter 19 in which "natural born Citizen" is defined, is "Des citoyens et naturels" which in the USA meant to the founders and framers, "The natural born Citizens".

The professor also neglects to read all of section 212 in which after Vattel states to be a "naturel" one must be born in the country of parents who are citizens, and since at that time women could not have independent citizenship and the citizenship of the husband determined that of his wife, Vattel goes on to state that emphatically the father must absolutely be a citizen of the country for the child to be a citizen of the country at birth.  Vattel does not say the citizenship of the mother and place of birth do not matter. He clearly said it does in the prior clear cut definition of naturel Citoyens. But Vattel further writes and reinforces the importance of the citizenship of the father being very important. In the case of Obama, Cruz, Rubio, and Jindal that is clearly not the case.  None of them had a citizen father at the time of their birth and thus they are not "natural born Citizens" of the USA.

The professor is carefully picking and choosing words to try and make his case that Obama is eligible.  In regards to the 1797 translation which correctly translates Vattel's naturel Citoyens to "natural born Citizens", it was just confirming what the world at that time new as to what Vattel meant and as was implemented in the U.S. Constitution several years before. Do words come into meaning only by creation in a dictionary or legal writings first or do they mostly appear there after, after they have been in use for some time in society?  The 1797 translation of Vattel's treatise into English simply confirmed what Vattel meant by his term "Des Citoyens et naturels" and/or naturel Citoyens, and his definition of same is there clearly written. When it came to the U.S. Supreme Court cases in the first 100 years of the USA they clearly looked to Vattel's writings on issues of Citizenship, quoting him literally in a couple cases, and saying in at least one case that Vattel was the best on the matter of Citizenship issues.

See: for some example cases.

When the professor in the soft ball back and forth discussion in the video finally admits that he's not sure and says "I don't know", he is in effect saying what we Constitutionalists all have been saying since 2008, we need the U.S. Supreme Court to decide this. And as Chief Justice Marshall said as to words and matters in the Constitution, ... the U.S. Supreme Court should have taken up a case if it goes to the Constitution, as it does in this matter on the meaning of "natural born Citizen" to constitutional standards as it applies in Article II.  The U.S. Supreme Court should decide it once and for all instead of ducking the question for the last almost 7 years.  The U.S. Supreme Court should have taken up the Atty Berg case in the summer of 2008 and decided the question right then and there re Obama.  In my 2010 petition to the U.S. Supreme Court we specifically said the question would come up again in the future.

See:  Now the Pandora's box is open and we have people not even born in the USA and with non-U.S. citizen fathers and twisting words and conflating two different legal terms and arguing they are eligible to be President and Commander in Chief of our military.

For more on the term "natural born Citizen", see the prior historical  and legal writings on the term and also my writings on that term at: and  and .  Also watch this video by the renowned constitutional scholar Dr. Herb Titus — Part I: and Part II: Also see these papers and writings on Vattel's influence of the founders and framers:

CDR Charles Kerchner (Ret)
Lehigh Valley PA USA