At this point, our number of dissenting voices is small, and those who would stifle our voices are legion. But still the cause moves on, pushed forward by an invincible belief in honor, justice, and fair play. This force ultimately wins, because it is the life-force itself, expressed in human thought and action.
Good makes the world, evil destroys it. Evil may triumph among some of the people some of the time, but those who embrace evil are unable to advance society or culture. If a society rejects the Golden Rule, and the Ten Commandments, they reject the Natural Laws on which those rules are based.
Biological research on the behaviors of social vertebrates supports this idea. For example, wolf packs behave according to certain rules of conduct, and these rules enhance the survival of the pack. Many rules of conduct in wolf societies resemble those of human societies.
Thus, the evidence for the existence of Natural Law comes both from the Bible, and from the findings of secular science.
Natural law is based on the observation that humans are a highly interdependent social species which must peacefully cooperate and compete to succeed as a species. No single hermit has created a civilization. No culture or society can thrive if it is solely based on selfishness, dishonesty, covetousness, and revenge. Such societies may be able to parasitise other societies, but they cannot survive on their own.
So no matter what the outcome of this Constitutional crisis, the fight will be worth it. If we fail in this struggle against selfishness and dishonesty, others will pick up the challenge in some other time and place. As for Obama, it is vital to convey to him that he will never attain and keep his claim on the Presidency without a fight, and this fight will persist for centuries until it is finally settled. Obama needs to know that he is in a tough fight, a fight that ultimately intends to erase his Presidency from history.
Thank goodness for the Internet, for without it, most of our collective action would be impossible. Three big things have happened recently.
(1) Google itself has sided with Obama in information warfare. Google has “sandboxed” the Atlas Shrugs website run by Pamela Geller. Google admits they engage in censorship.
Pamela has led the eligibility fight from the beginning, and many thousands visit her site for updates. Google is making it harder to find Atlas Shrugs when people do searches like “Obama birth certificate”. Pretty disgusting stuff.
(2) Another newspaper advertisement, this time in Chicago, is about to challenge Obama’s eligibility. Obama’s home base is Chicago.
The text is here: ChicagoTribune-Obama-Letter-Nov-2008
I like this one better than the Washington Times ad, because it’s more carefully reasoned. It makes a clearer case that a Constitutional crisis is already underway.
(3) The biggest news is an article by Judah Benjamin at Texas Darlin.
Judah Benjamin makes a much more thorough and detailed discussion than I do here, and his whole piece is very much worth reading. What follows is just my brief summary.
Here is the key Constitutional clause, from Article II, Section 1:
“No Person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President; neither shall any person be eligible to that Office who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty five Years, and been fourteen Years a Resident within the United States.”
Benjamin makes a strong case that under this clause, Obama is ineligible by Obama’s own admission. That is, Obama has clearly and publicly stated that he was born a dual citizen because his father was Kenyan, and the laws of Kenya at that time conferred Kenyan citizenship to the newborn automatically.
Benjamin grounds his reasoning on the laws and word meanings that were in common use at the time the Framers wrote the Constitution. This is the most common way legal scholars interpret the Constitution. They enquire into what the Framers meant, given the linguistic and social context of their time.
For the definition of “natural born citizen,” the best context comes from “Commentaries on the Laws of England”, by Justice Sir William Blackstone, 1769. “William Blackstone lectured on law at Oxford University in 1753. As a result, the first professorship of English law was established. His lectures were published in 1769 as the “Commentaries on the Laws of England”. They greatly influenced the American colonists and were the basis of legal education in England and America for years. They were comprehensive and covered real property, crime and punishment, court procedure, contract, corporations, and commercial law.”
When the Framers did their work, they had very little US law to go on, and relied heavily on British law, as it was written and interpreted at that time. Blackstone’s work was authoritative at that time (it still is for many things), and a lot of the thinking and language in the Constitution is derived from Blackstone.
Blackstone was British, and the peoples of Britain were and are subjects of the Queen (or Crown). They owe a personal, faithful, and undivided allegiance to the Crown. That’s what Blackstone meant when he wrote about a “British subject,” or just a “subject”.
In America, the Framers got rid of the word “subject” and substituted “citizen”. US citizens owe a personal, faithful, and undivided allegiance to their Constitution, not to the Crown. But in other ways, the character of the personal, faithful, and undivided allegiance is the same.
Writing about citizenship, Blackstone reasoned that if a person was born on British soil, they were a British subject, and their allegiance to the British Crown would not be questioned, except in certain explicit circumstances. For example, if an ambassador and his spouse, coming from a foreign country, had a baby on British soil, the baby would owe its allegiance to its father’s homeland, and therefore would not be a British subject at all.
To Blackstone, a “natural born subject” was one who was born on British soil, and had no allegiances of any kind to any other country. He meant that anyone born on British soil with dual citizenship is not a natural born subject. Even if the child were to grow up and renounce their second citizenship, the person could never be deemed a natural born subject. They would be deemed a naturalized subject.
Blackstone’s reasoning is clearly present in Article II, Section 1 of the US Constitution. Blackstone’s definition of a “natural born subject” looks exactly like the Constitution’s definition of a “natural born citizen”. In fact, unless you use Backbone’s definition, the clause in Article II, Section 1, seems to make very little sense. If you use Blackstone’s definition, the clause makes perfect sense. The framers didn’t want the President to have any divided loyalties at all, so any President who was born after the Constitution was enacted, had to be a natural born citizen of the USA.
Judah Benjamin’s piece has a bunch of important implications.
(4) Benjamin has laid out the case in a way that all us non-lawyers can understand it. That’s vital, because if this battle is going to be won, it will be won by informed citizens who won’t take “go away” for an answer.
(5) Benjamin’s reasoned case may be why the SCOTUS has agreed to confer on the eligibility challenges. They are conferring on the case brought by Donofrio, which is reasoned very much like Benjamin’s case.
(6) People who challenge Obama’s eligibility don’t need to resort to cyber-warfare to get him to cough up his birth certificate. They can if they want to, but they don’t have to. Prima facie, Obama is ineligible because he was born a dual citizen. Done. Completamento Finito. Fermé. Kaput.
(7) “The Poisoned Chalice” problem. SCOTUS may feel damned if they do and damned of they don’t. Whether we like it or not, Judges are people first, and humans are not inherently good at disinterested logic and reasoning. They have to discipline themselves to control their emotions and keep their judgments rational. Most commenters have decided that SCOTUS will cave, because the risk of civil disturbances is just too high.
I’m not going to make a prediction. If Obama sits as President in this state of ineligibility, there is also a risk of civil disturbance at some point. As the four years elapse, Obama’s popularity will subside, as it always does with Presidents. If it gets very low, and the stresses on the nation get very high, dissent may become organized disobedience.