A - A Compendium of Errors
B - Key Decisions from the Opposing Lines of Judicial Opinion
A Compendium of Errors
Though ordinarily this critic would not bother to acknowledge the lunacy that lurks at the other end of the following link, another exception must be made, for like Steven Whittlake's gas, debunked in Was Senator John McCain a U.S. Citizen at Birth?, this blog's specious claims are plastered all over the Internet and are routinely imbibed by conservatives, even though the mysterious figure behind the source is an Obama supporter: What's Your Evidence?, "SCOTUS and 'Natural Born Citizen' - A Compendium".
However, we need not linger on it for long, as this critic has already laid down all the fundamentals. The pertinent historical traditions of citizenship under Roman and English statutory law, English Common Law, natural and constitutional law were expounded. A survey of the statutory history regarding the conferral of citizenship on persons born abroad of U.S. citizens and analyses of the most pertinent decisions from American case law were included. Armed with this information, one can readily separate the wheat from the chaff, and the pertinent contents of this blog are nicely summarized for us.
Until 1971, the US Supreme Court recognized two types of citizenship, and two types only: natural born and naturalized. In the 1971 case . . . Rogers v. Bellei . . . the Court, in a 5-4 opinion, created a third type of "non-constitutional" citizenship, holding that a person who attains his/her US citizenship by virtue of being born abroad to a US citizen is not a "Fourteenth Amendment first sentence citizen" and, as such, is not entitled to the protections of the 14th Amendment.The US Supreme Court has consistently and repeatedly equated the concept of "natural-born citizenship" with "native-born citizenship" and "born a US citizen." Indeed, there is no case in which the Court makes any distinction between a natural born citizen and a native born citizen or born US citizen (What's Your Evidence?, "SCOTUS and 'Natural Born Citizen' - A Compendium").
Indeed, the Court recognizes "two types of citizenship, and two types only", and despite the stupidity that follows, the Court still recognizes "two types of citizenship, and two types only". There is not and cannot be any such thing as a "non-constitutional citizenship". A person born abroad of U.S. citizens, as stated in Rogers, "simply is not a 'Fourteenth Amendment first sentence' citizen", and this does not mean that such a person "is not entitled to the protections of the 14th Amendment", unless something very odd occurred in Rogers whereby the claims of the dissenting justices carried the day. If not, then the only opinion that counts is that of the Court's majority, and the majority never made any such ridiculous claim.
The only sense in which the protections of the Fourteenth Amendment do not apply to persons born abroad of U.S. citizens goes to the acquisition and retention of citizenship, and to be fair to Justice Black, though he certainly doesn't deserve it, his objection to the Court's decision apparently appertained in that sense too. But he does muddy the waters with his prattle about a "permanent status of second-class citizenship".1 With all of the requirements of citizenship retention fulfilled, the protections of the Fourteenth Amendment, like those of the rest of the Constitution, do apply to them.
The Court did not change or create anything new in Rogers. It correctly upheld well-established law—no more, no less. In fact, rather than demote the status of citizenship acquired by persons born abroad of U.S. citizens, it stymied the judicial line of dicta that threatened to.
SCOTUS "has [not] consistently and repeatedly equated the concept of 'natural-born citizenship' with 'native-born citizenship' and 'born a US citizen'." The terms native born and natural born are not synonymous; however, all native-born persons are natural-born citizens, and all persons born abroad of U.S. citizens are natural-born citizens. The only time the Court has ever referred to a natural-born citizen as a native-born citizen is when that citizen was born in the United States, rather than abroad. Sometimes persons are both; sometimes they're not.
Special treatment: there is no "third type of . . . citizenship" of any kind, such as a "born U.S. citizen" who is a "non-constitutional" citizen "not entitled to the protections of the 14th Amendment", but still a . . . whatever citizen. But perhaps the author is not referring to a person born abroad of U.S. citizens, though such a person is a U.S. citizen at birth, that is, "born a U.S. citizen." Oh, never mind.
And the Court most certainly has made a distinction between the terms native born and natural born, and it has also characterized persons born abroad of U.S. citizens to be both natural-born and naturalized citizens, albeit, only in dicta. Congress and the State Department have consistently regarded persons born abroad of U.S. citizens to be natural-born citizens.
Is the author of this gobbledygook a Soiler.2 Who knows? It's not clear. The point here is that the author's pathetically stupid summary and the site's "compendium" have been used by Soilers and non-Soilers, including conservatives and leftists, to argue in "see-I-told-you-so" fashion both ways. The problem with this compendium is that it is not informed by the traditions and philosophy of citizenship or by an objective view of the historical development of American law on citizenship. Without an understanding of the infrastructural doctrines, principles or concepts that govern the terms of nationality, allegiance, sovereignty, jurisdiction and the like; without an adequate knowledge about the historical events that influenced their development or about the legal precedents linking the various decisions of case law, the connective tissue: such a compendium might as well be a babbling stream of sewage flowing past your kitchen window.___________________________
1Rogers v. Bellei, 401 U.S. 815 (1971), No. 24, pg. 839, http://supreme.justia.com/us/401/815/case.html.
2See The Obama Controversy and the Soiler Factor, Michael David Rawlings.
_Opposing Lines of Judicial Opinion, Key Decisions_
Wong Kim Ark (1898)
Schneider v. Rusk (1964)
Afroyim v. Rusk (1967)
Plyler v. Doe (1982)
Insular Cases, beginning with Downes v. Bidwell (1901)
Weedin v. Chin Bow (1927)
Perez v. Brownell (1958)
Rogers v. Bellei (1971)
Vance v. Terrazas (1980)