Many of us are researchers of the U.S. Constitution, and the issue surrounding the definition of “natural born citizen.” As stewards of the Constitution, we need to be very precise when we quote the eligibility clause in our writings, because as you will see below, our Founders used capitalization and word choices to send a specific message. They weren’t simply making the text decorative.
This realization didn’t hit me until I went offline, and began to read a hard copy of the U.S. Constitution, reproduced by the Cato Institute. Immediately I noticed words capitalized, which I had not seen capitalized online, including at the website of Cornell’s University Law School. They, too, omit capitalization in the eligibility clause for President, as well as elsewhere in the document.
Why would the Cato Institute capitalize certain words in the eligibility clause, unless they were replicating the document exactly as it was handwritten, not just word for word, but visually as well? To check the veracity of their reproduction, I located an image of the page containing Article II, Section 1, Clause 5, and printed it to get a better view. With the aid of a magnifying glass, I was able to confirm my assumption. The Cato Institute was absolutely faithful in their reproduction of the original document. Sadly, Cornell is not faithful to the document.
Why should the Founders use of capitalization matter to us today?
Because we are in an historic battle to protect and preserve the Constitution from politicians and usurpers, whose mission is to remake this document and our country into something the Founders would never recognize. President Obama said prior to election day, “We are five days away from fundamentally transforming the United States of America”. We must stop Obama from transforming the Constitution to suit his particular worldview.
To that end we must pay particular attention to the way our Founders used words, because this gives us the legal tools we need to constitutionally remove him from office.
Here is the eligibility clause, exactly as the Founders wrote it, and as we should always reproduce it in our writings:
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.
A great many people believe, rightfully so, that all U.S. citizens have equal rights and responsibilities. Unfortunately, they also believe that all citizens therefore have the right to serve as President. This thinking is incorrect, and the Founders demonstrate this clearly in the above quotation.
Note first how they assigned importance to the term by capitalizing the word “Citizen,” giving it special significance. Note also that the Founders placed two adjectives before the first Citizen, but not in front of the second Citizen. This is a distinction with a profound difference! Words have meaning. Those two simple adjectives tell us the Founders wanted a special kind of Citizen to serve as President of the United States.
To understand the difference between these two kinds of citizenship, readers should view the Graphic Defining “Citizen” vs “Natural Born Citizen”. This will clarify the reasons why Barack Obama fails the eligibility test, and why he should not hold the Office of President.
It is incumbent upon all of us to preserve the Constitution by quoting it with fidelity to the original. For this reason, and when in doubt, I highly recommend readers get a copy of the U.S. Constitution from the Cato Institute and keep it next to your keyboard.