April 28, 2011

Klansman Trump

A white man who was handed everything called the President of the United States (and me) a nigger. — Baratunde
Racists are still racists today, long-form birth certificate or not.

Art Tatum —— Billie Holiday —— Sarah Vaughn —— Bob Marley

Those there put the lie to racism as effectively as I can imagine.


[Redacted] said...

I confess myself disappointed that the President entered the fray on this. Anyone with the least bit of knowledge of American citizenship law knows that his place of birth literally does not matter. His mother was an American citizen, meaning he could have been born on fucking Mars and American citizenship would still be his under jus sanguinus as defined by 8 U.S.C. Sec. 1401, so long as his mother had been "physically present" in the US for a total of at least five years (here's a tip: she had). Ergo, his place of birth is totally irrelevant. QED.

Also, Jon Stewart's blast on Trump last night was priceless. I really, really want The Donald to run. Then he can explain what he meant when he said he "has a good relationship with 'the blacks.'"

illusory tenant said...

I hear you, but I guess he was goddamn fed up.

Blake said...

[Redacted], by and large I see your larger point, that perhaps the President's release of the longer certificate was indulging those who should not be indulged, but my understanding is that place of birth probably does matter; that while it hasn't been legally tested, the Constitutional phrase "natural born citizen" is widely interpreted to mean "born on United States soil." I know that's not what the law you've cited says, but obviously should it ever be tested a court could adopt the popular understanding of the phrase, right?

illusory tenant said...

Lot of wing-nuts Googling Emerich de Vattel.

[Redacted] said...

Blake, conceivably you are correct. However, that would be a wholesale misrepresentation of what "natural born" actually means, which is a citizen at birth, i.e., not a naturalized citizen.

Your conservative judges would have a hard time reconciling the opposite reading with the growing desire among conservatives to roll back birthright citizenship (jus soli) to prevent "anchor babies" while at the same time denying that those born outside the United States to American parents aren't "natural born" within the meaning of the Constitution.

Also, Section 1401 was the very same law that the United States Senate based it's non-binding resolution regarding the citizenship of one John Sidney McCain upon, therefore if Obama were ruled to be not "natural-born," you could have said exactly the same thing of McCain. Anyway, if the founders had wanted to say "born in the United States and only in the United States," they could have said that, and they didn't.

More practically, I'll put on my hat of predictions and tell you that probably no one (certainly no court) is in a hurry to force the judicial branch to decide this issue. If a court were to take up the issue now and rule that natural born means only those with jus soli citizenship can be president, it would be (justifiably) derided as a judicial coup d'etat, the overthrowing of a presidency by a junta of judges. An analogy can be made to the War Powers Act, which is only very dubiously constitutional, but absolutely no one wants to force the courts to decide that only Congress can send troops off to war in the 21st Century, and even less of us want them to rule that Congress have no place at all in war, so the law goes unchallenged.

[Redacted] said...

Bear in mind also that just a few years ago Orin Hatch proposed an amendment (the Equal Opportunity to Govern Amendment, if memory serves) that would have allowed naturalized citizens to run for POTUS. I bet you'll never guess the name of the Austrian-born Republican Governor of California that law was designed to assist. Here's a couple hints: He played the Terminator, and his name isn't Barack Hussein Obama. Heh.

Blake said...

All very good points, especially how hypothetical it all is, this being more or less one of those classic "political questions" the Court steadfastly and happily refuses to engage with, just like the War Powers Act as you pointed out. I guess I just hadn't much considered before that jus sanguinus is as reasonable an interpretation of "natural born" as jus soli. Thanks!