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Re: Re: 'Does Nikki Haley qualify as a natural born citizen?' [Village News, Willis letter, 4/13/23]

Hmmmmm, how did we get here? Ms Willis, in the 3/9/23 edition of the Fallbrook Village News, made a statement that Nikki Haley was not qualified to be the U.S. president, because she was not a “Natural Born Citizen.”

This statement was probably based on the fact that Nikki Haley’s parents were not U.S. citizens at the time of her birth. However, the term “natural born citizen” is not defined anywhere in the written U.S. constitution. There is mention of a person not born in the U.S. but born of U.S. citizen parents as a U.S. citizen. This statement only refers to foreign born persons.

In my research of her statement, I was lead to the 14th amendment to the constitution which clearly defines the qualifications to be a U.S. citizen. I did not mention nor intend that this was a definition of a “Natural Born Citizen.”

Ms. Willis also stated: ”As I mentioned in my letter, the Founding Fathers were very specific as to the qualifications needed to run for President and Vice President – just being a "citizen" does not qualify.”

As it turns out, the Founding Fathers were not so specific in stating the qualifications needed to become the president or vice president. The term natural born citizen has not been defined in the constitution, hence the numerous attempts to use this term to support a political opinion.

By the way, Ms. Willis’ statement: “Please read Article I Sec 1 paragraph 5: "No Person except a natural born Citizen...." can be President. This term is front and center to the qualifications.” is inaccurate. The Article is actually Article II.

As I stated in my initial response to Ms. Willis’ option piece, “Vattel's Law of Nations" is not law. If it were, then it would be codified in the constitution as a reference, which it is not. The fact is, what we think the Founding Fathers meant when they wrote the constitution is not germane. Their actual writings are the law except as overturned or redefined by amendments.

I don’t understand the references listed as definitions of “Natural Born Citizens.” A number of them have been overturned. As an example, Dred Scott v. Sandford, 60 U.S. (19 How.) 3903 (1857). This was overturned by the 13 and 14 amendments.

Finally, Ms Willis stated, “By the way, I am a Conservative Republican, but want the Constitution to be followed as written.” If that were the case, then there would be no need for amendments, and Nikki Haley, and the others mentioned in her latest opinion piece, are still eligible to be the president.

Len Tevebaugh


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