Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio: Is There A Question On Their Eligibility To Be President

by Dr Alan Keyes
Over the weekend I read an article by Larry Klayman in which he asserts that, like Barack Obama, Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio are not “natural born” citizens of the United States; and are therefore ineligible to serve as President. He asserts that to satisfy the requirement both parents must have been U.S. Citizens at the time of birth. He cites the authority of the French thinker Emerich de Vattel to justify this conclusion. In point of fact, however, what Vattel says on the subject in his work on The Law of Nations is this:
Natural or indigenous [citizens] are those who are born in the country, of citizen parents. Since society cannot perpetuate itself except through the children of citizens, these children naturally follow the condition of their fathers, and enter into all their rights… (Para. 212)…By the law of nature alone, children follow the condition of their fathers, and enter into all their rights; the place of birth produces no change in this particular and cannot of itself furnish any reason for taking from a child what nature has given him; I say “of itself,” for civil or political laws may, for particular reasons, ordain otherwise (Para 215)….because a man’s country is the place where his parents lived at the term of his birth, or the State to which his father belonged at that time. (Para. 219). (My translation of the French language Kindle edition of the text, dated 1757.)
In line with this more accurate reading of Vattel, Thomas Lee, a Fordham University law professor, takes the view that “Jus sanguinis, or the law of blood…would have applied to that father’s place of birth in 1788.” Lee thus implies that America’s Founders would have upheld this practice of nations as evidence of the natural law. 

But the notion that the father has, by nature, superior parental authority is rejected by John Locke in Chapter VI of his Second Treatise, a work known to have influenced the American Founders’ understanding that “all men are created equal”. This understanding, proclaimed in the Declaration of Independence, applies to all human beings, unless we accept the easily disproved notion that the use of the word “men” in the Declaration is a reference to gender rather than humanity. But this is obviously absurd, since it would not only strip women of all parental authority, it would strip them of any and all God endowed unalienable rights- a thought never seriously entertained at the time of the founding, or in any subsequent generation of Americans. 

In the Second Treatise Locke finds fault with the use of the word “paternal” in reference to the human power to which children are naturally subject at birth: “…as this…seems so to place the power of parents over their children wholly in the father, as if the mother had no share in it; whereas, if we consult reason or revelation, we shall find she has an equal title. This may give one reason to ask whether this might not be more properly called ‘parental power,’ for whatever obligation nature and the right of generation lays on children, it must certainly bind them equally to both concurrent causes of it.” 

Now, with reference to generation (i.e., the consequence of procreation) the word “obligation” refers, at its root, to bonds that inform and determine the characteristics that pass from one generation to the next. Given the scientific breakthroughs of the 20th century, we understand the nature of these bonds even more explicitly than ever before in human history. Rest of article