2. Natural-born citizenship is derived through birth to citizen parents. It is founded on, or derived from, the law of nature, not from positive (statutory man-made) law.
3. Congress cannot statutorily create natural-born citizens. 'Natural' is based on natural law, not statute. The same can be said about marriage between man and wife. No law or statute is required to define a natural state.
4. A child born of an American mother and an alien father cannot be a natural born citizen.
5. The term "natural-born" was commonly understood and there was no reason to define the term. At the time of the adoption of the Constitution, following the American Revolution, the term was well known to mean those born of citizens, most of whom had yet to be born.
The Constitution is certain and fixed. It contains the permanent will of the people, and is the supreme law of the land. The Constitution is stable and permanent, not to be worked upon by the temper of the times, nor to rise and fall with the tide of events. In expounding the Constitution of the United States, every word must have its due force, and appropriate meaning; for it is evident from the whole instrument, that no word was unnecessarily used, or needlessly added.
A provision of the Constitution does not admit of two distinctly opposite interpretations. It does not mean one thing at one time and an entirely different thing at another time.
The whole aim of construction, as applied to a provision of the Constitution, is to discover the meaning, to ascertain and give effect to the intent of its framers and the people who adopted it. The necessities which gave birth to the Constitution, the controversies which preceded its formation, and the conflicts of opinion which were settled by its adoption, may properly be taken into view for the purpose of tracing to its source any particular provision of the Constitution in order thereby to be enabled to correctly interpret its meaning.
On every question of construction we should carry ourselves back to the time, when the constitution was adopted; recollect the spirit manifested in the debates; and instead of trying to find, what meaning may be squeezed out of the text, or invented against it, conform to the probable one, in which it passed.
The history of the times, the state of things existing when the provision was framed and adopted, should be looked to in order to ascertain the mischief and the remedy. As nearly as possible, we should place ourselves in the condition of those who framed and adopted it. And if the meaning be at all doubtful, the doubt should be resolved, wherever reasonably possible to do so, in a way to forward the evident purpose with which the provision was adopted.
The language of the Constitution is to be read not as barren words found in a dictionary but as symbols of historic experience illumined by the presuppositions of those who employed them. Not what words did Madison and Hamilton use, but what was it in their minds which they conveyed?
To ascertain the meaning of a constitutional provision or rule of procedure we first look to the normal, plain meaning of the language. The intent of the framers is first sought from the terminology used in the provision, with each word being given its ordinary and popularly understood meaning.
Since Constitutions are the basic and organic law, and are meant to be known and understood by all the people, the words used should be given the meaning which would be given to them in common and ordinary usage by the average man in interpreting them in relation to every day affairs.
Common sense is the foundation of all authorities, of the laws themselves, and of their construction. Laws are made for men of ordinary understanding and should, therefore, be construed by the ordinary rules of common sense. Their meaning is not to be sought for in metaphysical subtleties which may make anything mean everything or nothing at pleasure. The Constitution was written to be understood by the voters; its words and phrases were used in their normal and ordinary as distinguished from technical meaning; where the intention is clear, there is no room for construction and no excuse for interpolation or addition.
If the language is clear and unambiguous, we need not look beyond the provision's terms to inform our analysis. If the words are not ambiguous, the inquiry is terminated, for the Court is not at liberty to search beyond the Constitution itself where the intention of the framers is clearly demonstrated by the phraseology utilized.
It is axiomatic that where the language of a Constitution is clear and unambiguous, there can be no resort to construction to attribute to the founders a purpose or intent not manifest in its letter. The constitution is an instrument from the people and a construction thereof should effectuate their purpose from the words employed in the document; and the courts may not color it by the addition of words or the ingrafting of their views as to how it should be written.
The constitutional words deserve deference and precise definition. When a strict interpretation of the Constitution, according to the fixed rules which govern the interpretation of laws, is abandoned, and the theoretical opinions of individuals are allowed to control its meaning, we have no longer a Constitution; we are under the government of individual men who, for the time being, have power to declare what the Constitution is according to their own views of what it ought to mean.
The purpose and object sought to be attained by the framers of the constitution is to be looked for, and the will and intent of the people who ratified it is to be made effective. As nearly as possible, we should place ourselves in the condition of those who framed and adopted it. On every question of construction we should carry ourselves back to the time, when the constitution was adopted; recollect the spirit manifested in the debates; and instead of trying to find, what meaning may be squeezed out of the text, or invented against it, conform to the probable one, in which it passed.
We are bound to interpret the constitution in the light of the law as it existed at the time it was adopted. We must place ourselves in the position of the men who framed and adopted the Constitution, and inquire what they must have understood to be the meaning and scope of its provisions. The necessities which gave birth to the Constitution, the controversies which preceded its formation, and the conflicts of opinion which were settled by its adoption, may properly be taken into view for the purpose of tracing to its source any particular provision of the Constitution, in order thereby to be enabled to correctly interpret its meaning.
The line we must draw between the permissible and the impermissible is one which accords with history and faithfully reflects the understanding of the Founding Fathers. In construing the Constitution we are compelled to give it such interpretation as will secure the result which was intended to be accomplished by those who framed it and the people who adopted it.
Where there is no ambiguity in the words, there is no room for construction. Language is ambiguous if it admits of being understood in more than one way, refers to two or more things simultaneously, is difficult to comprehend, is of doubtful import, or lacks clearness and definiteness. The language of the Constitution where clear and unambiguous must be given its plain evident meaning.
Where language is clear and unambiguous, any inquiry into intent is unnecessary, and statute must be applied as written.
If the meaning of the text is clear, the inquiry ends.
As has been repeatedly declared by the courts the best rule for interpreting the technical terms employed in the Constitution is to give to them the meaning which they had at the time that instrument was framed and adopted.
The framers of the Constitution were not mere visionaries, toying with speculations or theories, but practical men dealing with the facts of political life as they understood them: putting into form the government they were creating and prescribing, in language clear and intelligible, the powers that government was to take.
As men whose intentions require no concealment generally employ the words which most directly and aptly express the ideas they intend to convey, the enlightened patriots who framed our Constitution, and the people who adopted it, must be understood to have employed words in their natural sense, and to have intended what they have said.
There is nothing ambiguous in the term "natural-born". There is nothing doubtful in the words themselves, nothing ambiguous, nothing to be explained, and, therefore, no room for construction.
Natural Born Citizenship is founded on the law of nature, not positive (statutory man-made) law. Natural-born citizenship is derived through birth to citizen parents.