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    This will be dealt with

    This will be dealt with

    The nature of the hostility directed at me has changed over the years.

    In 2008-2010, it was mostly Obama supporters upset that someone who taught at an Ivy League law school would dissent.  I guess they figured their love letters weren’t working, so that has mostly (but not completely) stopped.

    The most unhinged of late are Elizabeth Warren supporters.  (More on that, perhaps, in a later post.)

    But along that road, there has been a consistent allegation that I was part of some vast conspiracy to conceal Obama’s alleged lack of constitutional qualification, first on birth place grounds and then on “natural born citizen” grounds.

    That, even though I was one of the few people to defend the right of anyone to question the constitutional qualifications of any presidential candidate, so long as the challenge was not based on conspiracy theories and making stuff up.  I never accepted the Barack Obama birthplace conspiracy theories any more than I accepted the Trig Palin birth mother conspiracy theories.

    I, almost alone, delved into the history of constitutional challenges, dating back to Chester Arthur on through George Romney and John McCain, with others along the way, to show that challenging constitutional qualification was not inherently racist and did not begin with Barack Obama.  No one pushed back against the abuse of the “Birther Card” more than I did.  (On the flip side of the coin, some left-wingers accused me of being a “Birther” because I refused to buy into the race card use.)

    Nonetheless, now that we have three Republicans who might be presidential contenders and who will be subject to claims they are not “natural born citizens” (Rubio and Jindal born here to parents legally in the country, and Cruz born in Canada to an American mother),  my involvement in the alleged conspiracy continues to be the source of emails and attempted comments, like this one, from someone using the pseudonym “I. BarKahn”:

    JACOBSON: First you display your inexcusable contempt for the law by keeping the fact of Obama’s ineligibility from your readers, for whatever discreditable reasons. Now you double down and defend and promote the candidacies of two more ineligibles, Rubio and Jindal. (The reason the Democrats have to paint Rubio and Jindal as crazies is because they know that thanks to people like you, the Republicans would actually put up an ineligible candidate.) What is wrong with you? Don’t you have any respect for the Constitution? Or for a government of laws?  You enable, aid and abet lawbreakers. You are a Professor of Law and your conduct is so egregious you are an indelible stain on the profession.

    Debate me, defend your conduct in any public setting. Or defend in writing your enablement of Obama and promotion of other ineligible candidates. You can’t, can you? There is no honorable defense, is there? No. You and your ilk are largely responsible for Obama’s tremendously destructive foreign and domestic policies of the past four years. Had you and your colleagues in the Conservative MSM spoken up four years ago, the Federal Courts would have removed Obama and avoided so much damage done and so much damage yet to be done.

    Such lawlessness. Such dishonesty. Such cowardice.

    I will write about this when my research is complete.  I have spent a lot of time reading analyses of the term “natural born citizen” by law professors and others before the Obama controversy, as well as the arguments raised by those claiming Obama lacked constitutional qualification.

    What I’m finding is that there is no easy, definitive answer as to what the term “natural born citizen” was intended to mean; there is an argument that it was based on the term “natural born subject” used in British law, but that is just an argument which seems inapplicable given that we were freeing ourselves from the British and rejecting the notion of “subjects.”  The more compelling argument, by far, is that the words distinguish natural born citizens from citizens to signify someone who becomes a citizen by virtue of birth, as opposed to some other process.

    But I’m not done with the research.  I will consider counter-arguments, and will then write a more detailed post, with links to sources.

    But that day will not come, in all likelihood, until sometime in March.  But it will be dealt with.

    Update 3-31-2013:  My hope of completing this by the end of March did not happen mostly due to other unexpected commitments which consumed my time.  I’ve been collection sources, and I’m hoping to have it done soon.

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    Comments



     
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    myveryownpointofview | February 20, 2013 at 3:57 pm

    @ Charlie Huges, William Rawles never explained where he came up with that “fact”. Not that I have found. And wasn’t he quite the abolitionist? I don’t suppose that would influence his opinion, would it?

    As to Blackstone references – are you referencing the original unabridged work? Or one of the many interpretations, or “commentaries” written by many different authors?

    You write as though you are convinced that our entire Constitution was based on English common law, and all of the various laws of the states were as well. I give our Founders a bit more credit than that. Yes, English common law was the law here prior to the US gaining independence, everyone knows this. What happened after becoming a new nation is another thing.

    I don’t bother myself with limits in research. By that I mean that I don’t limit myself to only seeking results that support my opinion or bias. Whatever I find, I find. It’s not personal with me – I am not trying to defend someone, I am looking for the actual meaning as intended by the men that signed the Constitution. That’s my motivation.

    So you and your friend, Mr. Con. can post all your English common laws from here to forever and it does not mean that you are correct. It means that you assume. Maybe what I want to try and find simply does not exist, but I’m willing to look for it just on the chance that it does. Meanwhile, I am not making claims that I have the answer, but I will say that it does not appear to be the case that the new government clung as closely to the laws of England as some suggest. I say that because I found this to be a common theme in many books that I have read during the past months.


       
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      charlie hughes in reply to myveryownpointofview. | February 20, 2013 at 5:56 pm

      “And wasn’t he quite the abolitionist? I don’t suppose that would influence his opinion, would it? ”

      As were John Jay and Ben Franklin, that’s John Jay of the “natural born citizen” hint letter.

      “I should also have been for a clause against the continuation of domestic slavery, and the support and encouragement of literature, as well as some other matters, though perhaps of less consequence.” April 29, 1777 Jay to Livingston and Morrison on the New York State Constitution

      “…that you will devise means for removing the Inconsistency from the Character of the American People, that you will promote mercy and justice toward this distressed Race, & that you will step to the very verge of the Powers vested in you for discouraging every Species of Traffic in the Persons of our fellow men.” Petition to Congress for the Abolition of Slavery by Benjamin Franklin, February 3, 1790.

      I use Blackstone’s Commentaries as published on Yale’s Avalon Project –

      Source:
      Commentaries on the Laws of England
      Blackstone, William, Sir, 1723-1780
      4 v. : 2 geneal. tables ;27 cm. (4 to)
      First Edition
      Oxford : Printed at the Clarendon Press, 1765-1769

      The only changes I make are to convert the “f”s to “s”s where appropriate.

      I do not limit myself in research either, I go where the research leads. For example, I never argue that the Founders would have never translated the French edition of Vattel to say “natural born”, there is evidence in the Journals of the Continental Congress that they would probaly have translated “Les Naturels, ou Indigènes” as “The natural born or indiogenes” or possibly as “The natural born or natives”. Simply saying that Vattel was influential and that the Founders rejected British law is simplistic. they did not start over from scratch and creat all new legal terms and laws. They took what they knew and modified it for their situation.

      “So you and your friend, Mr. Con. can post all your English common laws from here to forever and it does not mean that you are correct. ”

      Strange, I don’t recall posting any English Common Law. I did post statements from the Founders all post-1776 that say that they used the English legal system as a model. I did suggest that you read Blackstone’s Commentaries chapter on “Of Offenses Against the Law of Nations” and compare it to Article I Section 8 Clause 10 of the Constitution.

      Here is some more research from the Massachusett legislature for you to consider:

      February, 1785, “AN ACT FOR NATURALIZING NICHOLAS ROUSSELET AND GEORGE SMITH.” in which it was declared that Nicholas Rousselet and George Smith “shall be deemed, adjudged, and taken to be citizens of this Commonwealth, and entitled to all the liberties, rights and privileges of natural born citizens.”

      http://tinyurl.com/b9q2blr

      February, 1786, “AN ACT FOR NATURALIZING MICHAEL WALSH.” in which it was declared that Michael Walsh “shall be deemed, adjudged, and taken to be a citizen of this Commonwealth, and entitled to all the liberties, rights and privileges of a natural born citizen.”

      http://tinyurl.com/a9ceb8b

      July, 1786, “AN ACT FOR NATURALIZING JONATHAN CURSON AND WILLIAM OLIVER” in which it was declared that Jonathan Curson and William Oliver “shall be deemed adjudged and taken to be free Citizens of this Commonwealth, and entitled to all the liberties, privileges and immunities of natural born citizens.“

      http://tinyurl.com/bh9jdqc

      March, 1787, “AN ACT FOR NATURALIZING WILLIAM MARTIN AND OTHERS.” in which it was declared that William Martin and Others ”shall be deemed, adjudged and taken to be free Citizens of this Commonwealth, and entitled to all the liberties, privileges and immunities of natural born subjects.”

      http://tinyurl.com/b6yzhd9

      May, 1787, “AN ACT FOR NATURALIZING EDWARD WYER AND OTHERS THEREIN NAMED.” in which it was declared that William Martin and Others ”shall be deemed, adjudged and taken, to be free Citizens of this Commonwealth, and entitled to all the liberties, privileges and immunities of natural born subjects.”

      http://tinyurl.com/apcrvfj

      October, 1787, “AN ACT FOR NATURALIZING BARTHOLOMY DE GREGOIRE, AND MARIA THERESA, HIS WIFE, AND THEIR CHILDREN.” in which it was declared that Bartholomy de Gregoire, and Maria Theresa, his wife, their children ”shall be deemed, adjudged and taken to be free Citizens of this Commonwealth, and entitled to all the liberties, rights and privileges of natural born citizens.”

      http://tinyurl.com/axpogxw

      November, 1787, “AN ACT FOR NATURALIZING ALEXANDER MOORE, AND OTHERS, HEREIN NAMED.” in which it was declared that Alexander Moore and others ”shall be deemed, adjudged and taken to be free citizens of this Commonwealth, & entitled to all the privileges, liberties, and immunities of natural born subjects.”

      http://tinyurl.com/acjx5r2

      June, 1788, “AN ACT FOR NATURALIZING WILLIAM MENZIES, AND OTHERS, THEREIN NAMED.” in which it was declared that William Menzies and others “shall be deemed, adjudged and taken to be free citizens of this Commonwealth, and intitled to all the liberties, privileges & immunities of natural born subjects.”

      http://tinyurl.com/acroa8g

      November, 1788, “AN ACT FOR NATURALIZING ELISHA BOURN, AND OTHERS, THEREIN NAMED.” in which it was declared that Elisha Bourn and others “shall be deemed, adjudged and taken to be free Citizens of this Commonwealth, & entitled to all the liberties, privileges & immunities of natural born Citizens.”

      http://tinyurl.com/a4hsc8s

      February, 1789, “AN ACT FOR NATURALIZING JAMES HUYMAN, AND OTHERS, THEREIN NAMED.” in which it was declared that James Huyman and others “shall be deemed, adjudged and taken to be free Citizens of this Commonwealth, and entitled to all the Liberties, Privileges and Immunities of natural born subjects.”

      http://tinyurl.com/b5jcnfm

      June, 1789, “AN ACT FOR NATURALIZING NATHANIEL SKINNER, AND OTHERS, THEREIN NAMED.” in which it was declared that Nathaniel Skinner and others “shall be deemed, adjudged and taken to be free citizens of this Commonwealth, and entitled to all the liberties, privileges and immunities of natural born subjects.”

      http://tinyurl.com/ax6434g

      March, 1790, “AN ACT FOR NATURALIZING JOHN JARVIS, AND OTHERS, THEREIN NAMED” in which it was declared that John Jarvis and others “shall be deemed adjudged and taken to be free citizens of this Commonwealth, and entitled to all the liberties, privileges and immunities of natural born subjects.”

      http://tinyurl.com/bfbpqg3

      March, 1791, “AN ACT FOR NATURALIZING JOHN WHITE & OTHERS” in which it was declared that John White and others “shall be deemed adjudged and taken, to be free citizens of this Commonwealth, and intitled to all the liberties, privileges, and immunities of natural born subjects.”

      http://tinyurl.com/b2uoexq

      ===========================================================

      Why did the Massachusett legislature use both terms “NBC” and “NBS” interchangeably?


         
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        myveryownpointofview in reply to charlie hughes. | February 20, 2013 at 9:16 pm

        Ah, the tactic of posting a large number of references and links in one comment. In order to reply a person would need to spend literally hours reading, following links, referencing and cross referencing. That or take your word for it.

        I intend to do none of those things. Your intent is to overwhelm, and since I don’t wish to be led into your rabbit hole I will continue my own research in my own fashion.

        If your offerings were conclusive this would be settled law. It isn’t. Same with your buddy, Mr. Con. You both have one agenda, and that is to shut down discussion about obamas eligibility question. You both post vast “research” which supposedly supports your point of view, but you keep harping over and over on the use of the term natural born subject. That term does not appear in our Constitution.


           
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          Dr. Conspiracy in reply to myveryownpointofview. | February 20, 2013 at 9:29 pm

          Actually, you should be able to read and understand that list in under 5 minutes, and if you know your material, you’ve already seen it.

          Those are trivially simple examples from naturalization law, all more or less the same, showing that state legislatures freely switched back and forth between natural born citizen and natural born subject, both before and after the Constitution.

          Birthers generally lack the willpower to actually read original sources. Your attempt to reject evidence because there’s too much of it is, let us say, quaint.


           
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          charlie hughes in reply to myveryownpointofview. | February 20, 2013 at 10:12 pm

          Wow, and I thought you would be grateful to get research material that you were obviously not aware of.

          I provided the Mass. Acts and the statements from the Founders/Framers for your consideration. You are certainly free to ignore the words.

          I’m sure that will lead you to the conclusion you are trying to reach.


       
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      Dr. Conspiracy in reply to myveryownpointofview. | February 20, 2013 at 9:00 pm

      It’s “Rawle” not “Rawles” and William Rawle was a personal friend of both Benjamin Franklin and George Washington. He was a noted judge and lawyer. He was appointed by George Washington to be US Attorney for Pennsylvania, and was a founding member of the Boston Historical Society. His book, “A View of the Constitution” was used as a textbook at West Point.

      He is what we call an authority.


         
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        myveryownpointofview in reply to Dr. Conspiracy. | February 20, 2013 at 9:28 pm

        He wrote a textbook based on the Constitution. He is what some consider an authority.

        He stated something as a fact without providing anything to substantiate his position. I consider that the same as offering a personal opinion. And yes, I read the textbook. It was quite a while back, but I did read the entire thing.

        So what?


         
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        Dr. Conspiracy in reply to Dr. Conspiracy. | February 20, 2013 at 11:24 pm

        A correction: I wrote Boston Historical Society, when I should have said Pennsylvania Historical Society.


       
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      Dr. Conspiracy in reply to myveryownpointofview. | February 20, 2013 at 9:07 pm

      You have something against abolitionists?

      Judge Taney was a racist. Do you think that had something to do with the Dred Scott decision?


       
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      Dr. Conspiracy in reply to myveryownpointofview. | February 20, 2013 at 9:31 pm

      Your buddy Vattel was an abolitionist too. He said that slavery was a “disgrace to humanity.”


         
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        myveryownpointofview in reply to Dr. Conspiracy. | February 20, 2013 at 9:36 pm

        Openly trolling now.


           
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          Dr. Conspiracy in reply to myveryownpointofview. | February 20, 2013 at 11:27 pm

          Run out of excuses for losing the argument, I see.


             
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            myveryownpointofview in reply to Dr. Conspiracy. | February 21, 2013 at 1:23 pm

            Listen Mr. Con., this isn’t orly tatizs’ blog, nor mine, nor yours. The Professor addressed a concern that a large number of Americans are aware of and seeking an answer to. I would hope you and your colleague, and I, can be respectful of that.

            I read this blog daily, and comment here frequently – I didn’t just pop in to suffocate the conversation and belittle good people under the guise of offering the Professor some material to consider.

            The only time I see you comment on any blog it’s on a “Birther” blog or any blog POST that happens to mention the eligibility question. And just as you did here you end up snarking and being insulting to people who have a different viewpoint than your own. People who just want a true and honest answer to this one question. Your behavior is always the same, as is the material you post – which is exactly the same material as all of the other bully’s who gang up on anyone who asks this one question on eligibility.

            Now, I expect the excellent Professor is a very skilled researcher, and his findings will add much that we can have trust in as being without bias. I can respect his work, and I know that he will NEVER insult or snark at those who differ with him over the results. If I happen to find anything in my happy-go-lucky style of amateur researching that I hope may help settle the question, I will send it to his tip-line.

            Again I will point out that this is not your blog, nor mine and so first and foremost we should show due respect to Professor Jacobson by not engaging in a display of bad manners on his blog.


             
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            Dr. Conspiracy in reply to Dr. Conspiracy. | February 24, 2013 at 5:15 pm

            Well if this is not your blog, then I fail to understand why you are trying to assume the role playground monitor on it. In fact, I’ve been very respectful, and you have been spiteful, aggressive and insulting rather than engaging the substantive comments I have made. Perhaps you should read your own comments over again.

            However, I think that it would be better if I just ignored you on this forum going forward.


             
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            myveryownpointofview in reply to Dr. Conspiracy. | February 25, 2013 at 8:58 pm

            Troll.


     
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    Doug Wright | February 20, 2013 at 11:16 pm

    Prof. J: You have the patience of Job, another reason you are the able leader of LI, as you take us out of the desert we’ve been wondering in these past few days; actually just one yet it seems longer.

    Cheers as we salute you we even as we kneel down to take a drink from the river of knowledge, with one hand grasping our spear of knowledge whilst our eye remains on the prize. Leave the squabbling rabble stay behind to clean up our campsite if they can do even that!

    Interesting. A couple of days ago, I posted the link to a recent scholarly paper by a well-respected attorney and historian on the inarguably related subject of birthright citizenship, and a well-known, anonymous “anti-birther” expert (he’s been quoted on Factcheck and Huffpo no less!!) jumps into the conversation and declares the paper’s numerous citations and sources, “unpersuasive.” This same individual and his buddy then flood this comments page with numerous, lengthy quotes that are supposed to be more than “persuasive”– they simply settle the “cemented” matter. And anyone who disagrees, although they may not have been called so here, is considered racist and stupid. How can I be so sure of those labels? Go to “Dr. Conspiracy’s” site. For if one is known by the company they keep, then a few clicks around his site and a look at the infinite number of pro-everything-Obama and extremely nasty comments directed to everyone else will tell you everything you need to know.

    A couple of years ago I had an article on American Thinker on Ann Coulter’s brilliant book, “Demonic,” here:
    http://www.americanthinker.com/2011/07/birther_card_coulters_turn.html

    I hope readers here will go back and read that piece. It doesn’t contain numerous, boring citations. It is simply an appeal to logic by observing the reactions to the controversy.

    In Coulter’s book, she dismissed “birtherism” as the “one myth” believed by more Republicans than Democrats: “The liberal mob, writes Coulter, views Americans as ‘either enlightened truth-seekers or racist, paranoid haters.’  Yet with the stroke of her pen she similarly dismissed, Alinsky-style, those who question any facet of Obama’s eligibility as idiots, thereby joining the very mob she abhors.”

    Is this controversy really just a “myth”? — the lone exception to the normal rational-thinking of conservatives? Or is it a battle between logic and an odd lack of transparency by Obama, the nastiness of the mainstream media, and the reluctance of the Republican establishment to address it? It is sad that we have come to this.

    Until Obama entered the national political scene, the controversy over birthright citizenship was discussed in civil terms. There was even a 2005 Congressional hearing on the topic.

    I look forward to hearing what the professor here has to say about it all. Considering the need for real immigration reform, it is a conversation we need to have. And it is very related, unavoidably, to the subject of natural born citizenship and presidential eligibility.


       
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      Dr. Conspiracy in reply to Csimpson. | February 24, 2013 at 5:25 pm

      It is a severe misrepresentation to call my web site, Obama Conspiracy Theories, “pro-everything-Obama.” I have gone to a lot of effort specifically NOT to show a pro-Obama viewpoint on the site. Whether Obama is a good or a bad president or whether he has good or bad policies is explicitly off topic.

      What the site does, however, is to debunk, and sometimes insult the birther movement and conspiracy theorists about Obama. If you think that saying Obama really is president and that he was born in Hawaii (something you can read in any encyclopedia) is “pro-Obama” then I suggest that your bias is the reason you misunderstood my web site and not that the site is pro-Obama.

      Yes, I found Mr. Charles paper unpersuasive, as has the Supreme Court (not that they have read it, but that they have ruled contrary to it). I didn’t say it was worthless, but I was not persuaded by it, knowing the other side of the argument.

      The main point, though, is that there is nothing in Mr. Charles paper that says Obama is ineligible.


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