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Response to unc70 (Reply #103)

Tue Mar 27, 2012, 01:05 PM

105. none of that provides any evidence whatsoever that natural born means *only* jus soli

The argument that "natural born" must not include jus sanguinis because the clause doesn't mention jus sanguinis would carry more weight if it weren't also equally true that the clause also doesn't mention jus soli. The established understanding of "natural born (subject)" at the time and place the constitution was drafted included both jus sanguinis and jus soli. Nothing in the constitution or in any law passed since suggests that the natural born clause intends something different from that. So absent any evidence to the contrary, I think the argument that "natural born citizen" obviously excludes jus sanguinis is not compelling.

The Act of 1790 is the only use of the term "natural born" in legislation. It is often cited to support framers intent to include jus sanguinis in their definition of natural born. What that argument fails to account for is the impact of the Act of 1795 which explicitly repeals the one of 1790 and uses only the term citizen, not natural born citizen.

If one believes as I do that natural born is acquired only by birth in the US and that the act if 1790 was ill formed, whether deliberately or by accident, then such error was corrected at the earliest opportunity in 1795 and not repeated since.


The act of 1795 revokes the act of 1790 because it makes significant changes to the naturalization process. (Again, by definition, naturalization confers citizenship to those who did not have citizenship at birth.) It does not specifically address the issue of natural born citizenship. Affirming that they are citizens does not suggest that they cannot also be natural born citizens. If they had wanted to correct that, it would have been very simple to do so. (And could have been done before 1795.) They didn't then, and never have since. Not when the act of 1795 was revoked in 1798 or when the 1798 act was revoked in 1802.

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LineLineLineLineLineLineLineLineLineLineReply none of that provides any evidence whatsoever that natural born means *only* jus soli
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