It wouldn’t matter if Obama were born in Kenya!

So, I was reading an article about the late George Romney’s eligibility for the Presidency when I made an interesting discovery. According to the Reuters article:

[T]he Congressional Research Service declared that the practical, legal meaning of “natural born citizen” would “most likely include” not only anyone born on U.S. soil but anyone born overseas of at least one parent who was a U.S. citizen. [Emphasis mine.]

So, I looked into it. Here is the only paper I could find by the Congressional Research Service on the matter. And it quotes from the case United States v. Carlos Jesus Marguet-Pillado, in which a Court said:

No one disputes that Marguet-Pillado’s requested instruction was “an accurate statement of the law,” in that it correctly stated the two circumstances in which an individual born in 1968 is a natural born United States citizen: (1) that the person was born in the United States or (2) born outside the United States to a biologically-related United States citizen parent who met certain residency requirements. [Emphasis mine, again.]

So, let’s review: Obama’s mother was born in Wichita, Kansas. She was therefore a U.S. Citizen. Consequently, by this definition, Obama is a natural born citizen no matter where he was born. So there, conspiracy theorists: even if your “born-in-Kenya” idea proved to be entirely true, it doesn’t automatically make him ineligible.

Incidentally, I would have thought someone in the mainstream press would have pointed this out to Donald Trump and that crowd, instead of merely stringing them along to generate a farcical diversion from serious matters.


  1. 1) Your analysis is not helpful. It would matter a great deal.

    2) Even if your analysis were accurate, are you saying lies don’t matter? Are you saying that a counterfeit document doesn’t matter? Give one to your bank and see what happens.

    1. 1) Let me clarify: by “matter”, I meant it would not result in him instantly being ineligible. Because the definition is not clear, it would result in a lengthy legal battle to define the term, and there is already judicial precedent for a definition of the term that favors Obama. Hence, even if incontrovertible evidence that he had been born somewhere else were found, it would not result in his removal from office.

      2) True; if it turned out to be a forgery it would show Obama to have lied, but then he–like all politicians–has lied about other things too, and this does not hurt his re-election chances. You might say it means he is not an honest person, but then his opponents already assumed that. It would change the political reality hardly at all.

      3) The fact that this legal precedent exists suggests that his birth certificate is *not* a fake, since it would be absurd to fake a document when there was no actual need to do so. It is true that similar “unnecessary dishonesty” has occurred in politics before, but nonetheless, it is a rare thing, and something a shrewd politician would be unlikely to do.

What's your stake in this, cowboy?