NATURAL-BORN CITIZENSHIP AND THE CONSTITUTION
This absurdly long blog post is a summary of the conversations in which I’ve participated about the “natural-born citizen” eligibility requirement to be president. I’m summarizing all of these discussions here so I can simply post the link to the next conversation where I get sucked into this argument, and I can update this blog post when someone new wants to assert some novel theory about this issue that needs to be addressed. I have included a lot of text in this post, which is not fun to read, but if you really want to know about this issue, I’ve tried to include all the basics, and then some.
The quick answer is: Generally speaking, natural-born citizens are those who are born on our soil, or born to a parent that is a citizen, irrespective of where they are at the time of birth. There are details about residency, but that’s the gist. Congress has the power to make changes to these rules, and is given that power specifically by the Constitution in Article II. And that’s the answer if you were just looking for the answer. The rest of this post is a seriously overblown analysis that goes really deep to answer every little issue for those who just really want to talk about it ad infinitum.
I. WHAT IS A “NATURAL-BORN CITIZEN”?
Let’s start with the basics. The United States Constitution states:
“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.”
Art. II, Sec. 1, United States Constitution.
We often talk about the simplicity of the Constitution, and compare its four pages of concise beauty with much longer and detailed documents, like the Texas Constitution (nearly 200 pages) or the IRS code (seemingly infinite). But there is a price to that beauty, in that the document fails to it leaves out details that would make interpretation easier.
It would be nice, for example, if we could read somewhere the missing Original Intent Clause that says, “This document shall be interpreted with fixed definitions in accordance with the common law as understood at the time of its ratification.” Or something that clarifies whether a national bank is constitutional, which would be very natural to add in Article 1, Section 10, where the Constitution says that only gold and silver can be used as legal tender.Or a statement that capital punishment by hanging or firing squad is acceptable. Or maybe even a statement that specifically allows individuals to sue for the invalidation of laws under the Ninth Amendment, which would eliminate the idea that respected jurists could dismiss it as a mere inkblot.
Alas, as great as our Founders were, and as prescient as they were regarding the need for limitations on our federal government, the Constitution has no definition section, leaving some people, known generally as “Birthers”, to adopt an overly restrictive meaning for the phrase “natural-born citizen” based on the writings of Emmerich de Vattel, a French political theorist popular around the Founding Era.
II. IS VATTEL’S LAW OF NATIONS INCORPORATED INTO THE CONSTITUTION? NO.
The most bold of the Birthers’ claims is that the Constitutional Convention actually incorporated Vattel’s book, “The Law of Nations” into Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution, which lists powers of Congress, and states, “To define and punish Piracies and Felonies committed on the high Seas, and Offences against the Law of Nations.”
This claim is wholly without merit; of the thousands of notes and letters from the Founding Era, not a single one suggests that the Constitution should incorporate The Law of Nations. James Madison made copious notes during the Constitutional Convention, and specifically wrote about the discussion of the “law of nations” at various times, which includes his notes from July 23, 1787:
“A law violating a constitution established by the people themselves, would be considered by the Judges as null & void. 2. The doctrine laid down by the law of Nations in the case of treaties is that a breach of any one article by any of the parties, frees the other parties from their engagements. In the case of a union of people under one Constitution, the nature of the pact has always been understood to exclude such an interpretation. Comparing the two modes in point of expediency he thought all the considerations which recommended this Convention in preference to Congress for proposing the reform were in favor of State Conventions in preference to the Legislatures for examining and adopting it.”
Later on in the convention, Madison records this conversation when our Founders debated the clause, “To define & punish piracies and felonies on the high seas, and punish offences against the law of nations. His notes from September 14, 1787 includes:
Mr. Govr. Morris moved to strike out “punish” before the words “offences agst. the law of nations.” so as to let these be definable as well as punishable, by virtue of the preceding member of the sentence.
Mr. Wilson hoped the alteration would by no means be made. To pretend to define the law of nations which depended on the authority of all the Civilized Nations of the World, would have a look of arrogance. that would make us ridiculous.
Mr. Govr The word define is proper when applied to offences in this case; the law of (nations) being often too vague and deficient to be a rule.
On the question to strike out the word “punish” (it passed in the affirmative)
N- H. ay. Mas- no. Ct. ay. N- J. ay. Pa. no. Del. ay Md. no. Va. no. N . C- ay- S- C- ay. Geo- no. [Ayes – 6; noes – 5.]
As the process moved into the ratification phase, there are many discussions concerning the law of nations, such as a letter from James Madison in a letter during the Virginia Convention (June 20, 1788), where he uses this verbiage:
“There is a general power to provide courts to try felonies and piracies committed on the high seas.—Piracy is a word which may be considered as a term of the law of nations. — Felony is a word unknown to the law of nations, and is to be found in the British laws, and from thence adopted in the laws of these states. It was thought dishonorable to have recourse to that standard. A technical term of the law of nations is therefore used, that we should find ourselves authorized to introduce it into the laws of the United States. . . “
There are many such discussions available to anyone who wants to read them, including letters from George Mason and James Wilson, notes made during the ratification process, and Federalist Numbers 42and 53, just to name a few. There are, by my limited count, no fewer than 48 different archived documents from the Founding Era which mentions the law of nations. All of those references indicate use of the phrase as a general reference to international relations; none of them include any reference to Vattel.
Some Birthers have told me that the Founders were just inherently assuming the Vattel definition, and did not need to talk about Vattel, but the Founders writings militate against that position as well. Madison’s notes indicate that Vattel was quoted by Luther Martin on June 27, 1787 when Martin was making the point that all men were equally free and quoted writings from Vattel to make his point (along with John Locke and Samuel Rutherford and others).
Additionally, Vattel is quoted with authority on sovereignty issues and the enumeration of rights during the Pennsylvania Ratification Convention. The only time that Vattel’s book is even mentioned is in Jasper Yeates’ Notes of the Pennsylvania Ratification Convention (December 5, 1787), where one participant to the convention paraphrases Vattel in support of his position that governments are for the purpose of doing what can’t be done by the people, but that the supreme power belongs to the people. When these men wanted to make a point, they often appealed to authorities they respected, but they never brought up Vattel in discussing the law of nations.
The natural conclusion is that the phrase “law of nations” refers to the relationship of nations to each other, and has nothing to do with Vattel or his book, The Law of Nations.
III. VATTEL’S DEFINITION OF “NATURAL-BORN CITIZEN”.
Even when all of the above evidence is provided to some people, they will assert that Vattel’s definition was assumed by the Founders even if Vattel’s book was not, and a later change of a word’s definition aught not change the law, even if we want it to change. To be sure, this is a valid principle; just because we start using a word differently should not change an actual law unless that law is changed. But that principle is not applicable here. Let’s start with Vattel’s definition, from his discussion in The Law of Nations:
The citizens are the members of the civil society; bound to this society by certain duties, and subject to its authority, they equally participate in its advantages. The natives, or natural-born citizens, are those born in the country, of parents who are citizens. As the society cannot exist and perpetuate itself otherwise than by the children of the citizens, those children naturally follow the condition of their fathers, and succeed to all their rights. The society is supposed to desire this, in consequence of what it owes to its own preservation; and it is presumed, as matter of course, that each citizen, on entering into society, reserves to his children the right of becoming members of it. The country of the fathers is therefore that of the children; and these become true citizens merely by their tacit consent. We shall soon see whether, on their coming to the years of discretion, they may renounce their right, and what they owe to the society in which they were born. I say, that, in order to be of the country, it is necessary that a person be born of a father who is a citizen; for, if he is born there of a foreigner, it will be only the place of his birth, and not his country. (Underlining added for emphasis.)
Examples are in order, based on Vattel’s above discussion (and no actual law):
1) A husband and his pregnant wife (who are both citizens of the United States after the Constitution was ratified on May 29, 1790) visit their brother in Quebec, because he’s a skilled doctor, who delivers their child on June 2, 1790. The baby is not a natural-born citizen of the United States, because he was born outside the border.
2) Martha Washington’s daughter Patsy marries the French military leader, the Marquis de La Fayette. Patsy bears the Marquis several children in their Virginia home. None of them are natural-born citizens of the United States, because La Fayette is a French citizen, irrespective of the fact that Patsy is a natural-born citizen.
Summarizing, to meet the Birthers’ version of Vattel’s definition of a “natural-born citizen”, one must be 1) actually born in the United States, and 2) born to a father that is a citizen of the United States. (The mother’s citizenship is irrelevant to Vattel’s definition.)
But I believe that Vattel really did not intend for his opinion to be taken so strictly. He states in the Law of Nations with respect to children of citizens born in a foreign country:
“It is asked whether the children born of citizens in a foreign country are citizens? The laws have decided this question in several countries, and their regulations must be followed.(59) By the law of nature alone, children follow the condition of their fathers, and enter into all their rights (§ 212); 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. But I suppose that the father has not entirely quitted his country in order to settle elsewhere. If he has fixed his abode in a foreign country, he is become a member of another society, at least as a perpetual inhabitant; and his children will be members of it also.”
First, we need to recognize that Vattel states that the various laws of the various countries are established and must be followed. No one can look at that verbiage and say that there is one “natural law” that requires one answer for all countries at all times, whether one is discussing naturalized or natural-born citizens. But then Vattel goes on to say in reference to the natural-born citizen section (§ 212, discussed supra), “But I suppose that the father has not entirely quitted his country in order to settle elsewhere,” in modern vernacular, we would say that his earlier statements include an assumption that the father has not moved his loyalty to a new country. If he has immigrated and intends on being a citizen, then his children will be “members of it also”.
The most reasonable interpretation of Vattel’s language, looking at all of the context and sections, and not just § 212, indicates that Vattel is saying that it is naturally obvious that a child born to parents in the geographic boundaries of a country must be considered a natural-born citizen of that country, but the outer boundaries of that definition and who else is considered a natural-born citizen is controlled by a country’s laws, which Vattel recognizes as perfectly reasonable.
IV. THE NATURALIZATION ACT OF 1790 CLARIFIES THE MEANING OF “NATURAL-BORN”.
Birthers refuse to recognize that Vattel’s common law understanding of “natural-born citizen” can be legally expanded from the minimalist definition, and then also claim it is authoritative to the point that no law can change that understanding, raising Vattel’s understanding to a super-constitutional status based on a claim that natural law requires a minimalist definition, without a shred of evidence to support that position. Rather than argue without support, we can show that the Founders did not have the Birthers’ understanding.
The Constitution states that Congress is given the power “[t]o establish an uniform Rule of Naturalization, and uniform Laws on the subject of Bankruptcies throughout the United States.”
To that text, Birthers say, “Ah ha! It says Congress can make laws about naturalization. It doesn’t say that Congress can make laws about what a natural-born citizen is!” The fact that Congress is to establish a uniform rule of naturalization means that it needs to establish a definition of who needs to be naturalized, and who doesn’t, and how those who need naturalization should be processed and gain citizenship. It is not obvious what the extent of congressional power is by just reading the text. But let’s look at the behavior of our Founders, and see what they thought.
What should be immediately noticed is that the discussion about what constitutes a “natural-born citizen” is not really discussed in the convention notes. However, the discussion about a uniform rule of naturalization is discussed in Federalist No. 42, where Madison is pointing out that a uniform rule is needed among the states, where he states:
“The dissimilarity in the rules naturalization, has long been remarked as a fault in our system, and as laying a foundation for intricate and delicate questions….In one State residence for a short term confers all the rights of citizenship. In another qualifications of greater importance are required. An alien therefore legally incapacitated for certain rights in the latter, may by previous residence only in the former, elude his incapacity; and thus the law of one State, be preposterously rendered paramount to the law of another, within the jurisdiction of the other…”
Madison is clearly arguing for a rule of naturalization that will eliminate confusing scenarios that were occurring under the Articles of Confederation, and giving Congress the power to make one rule for all the states. Federalist No. 42 does not provide any argument to support either side to the question of whether Congress will or will not be empowered to give “natural-born” status to anyone it wishes if the Constitution becomes the law of the land.
In fact, after a long and torturous examination of every instance of the word “naturalization” and “natural-born” (with and without the hyphen), I can state that I could not find any limiting language in any Founding Era documentation that clearly supports or argues against the idea that Congress can define “natural-born citizen” any way it wishes.
But we are not left without any indication of what the Founders believed on this issue. The genesis of the requirement to be natural-born comes from a letter from John Jay to George Washington sent on July 25, 1787:
“Permit me to hint, whether it would not be wise & seasonable to provide a a strong check to the admission of Foreigners into the administration of our national Government; and to declare expresly that the Command in chief of the american army shall not be given to, nor devolve on, any but a natural born Citizen.”
The Constitutional Convention began in May of 1787, and wraps up in September of 1787. Jay’s letter winds up becoming part of the eligibility requirement to run for President with minimal discussion, almost as an afterthought.
You can ask any legislator you know what the likelihood of introducing a new idea into a legislative session halfway through the process – you will be informed that it is nearly impossible, and unlikely to be well-considered. And imprecise wording is the natural result. But the point of the requirement is not to pin down the birth place of a potential president, but to ensure that the president is loyal to the country.
But we are not left without deliberate action by our Founders on this issue. The Constitution was ratified on May 29, 1790, followed by the first Congress, which passed the Naturalization Act of 1790. The President was George Washington. John Adams was Vice-President. Thomas Jefferson was Secretary of State. Congress was full of individuals who signed the Declaration of Independence and helped to ratify the Constitution, including James Madison. The Act states, in full:
“Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America, in Congress assembled, That any Alien being a free white person, who shall have resided within the limits and under the jurisdiction of the United States for the term of two years, may be admitted to become a citizen thereof on application to any common law Court of record in any one of the States wherein he shall have resided for the term of one year at least, and making proof to the satisfaction of such Court that he is a person of good character, and taking the oath or affirmation prescribed by law to support the Constitution of the United States, which Oath or Affirmation such Court shall administer, and the Clerk of such Court shall record such Application, and the proceedings thereon; and thereupon such person shall be considered as a Citizen of the United States. And the children of such person so naturalized, dwelling within the United States, being under the age of twenty one years at the time of such naturalization, shall also be considered as citizens of the United States. And the children of citizens of the United States that may be born beyond Sea, or out of the limits of the United States, shall be considered as natural born Citizens: Provided, that the right of citizenship shall not descend to persons whose fathers have never been resident in the United States: Provided also, that no person heretofore proscribed by any States, shall be admitted a citizen as aforesaid, except by an Act of the Legislature of the State in which such person was proscribed.” (Underlining added for emphasis.)
There are interesting things about this law. It establishes a rule of naturalization that all the states will use. It also states that children (under 21 years old) of parents being naturalized are also considered citizens. However, the wording indicates that those naturalized children are not “natural born citizens” because the Act uses that phrase in the very next sentence to clarify that the children of citizens are “natural born citizens”, wherever they are born, so long as the father has been a resident of the United States.
So when Congress was dominated by the people who put the country together and ratified the Constitution, it passed a law that was signed by the Father of the Country, and which clearly makes a baby born to U.S. citizens to be a natural-born citizen, irrespective of whether the child was born inside this country, expanding the definition from Vattel.
Thus, Birthers are left with the reality that the guys who supposedly idolized Vattel (and read it in the original language, which we are not doing), and wrote the Constitution, also passed the Naturalization Act of 1790, which expanded Vattel’s definition. I have a hard time understanding how to square these facts, unless it is that Vattel’s definition and point is intended to make the point that natural law requires a country to allow babies born in it to citizens to have all the benefits of citizenship that are possible, but that the law does not require that those benefits be limited to the narrowest possible group.
If that Act of 1790 was a constitutionally valid law, then we have established that those close to the original group believed that the Vattel/common law/natural law understanding whatever it was, can be controlled by statute, or at least add to it. And if that’s true, then later statutes can change it again. And they have, multiple times. In fact, the same group of men that passed the Naturalization Act of 1790 repealed that law and replaced it in 1795. The Naturalization Act of 1795 does not include the “natural-born” adjective, stating only that the children of citizens “shall be considered as citizens of the United States.”
It is perfectly plausible that Congress did not intend to materially change the law, or it could mean that Congress intended to go backward to Vattel’s definition. But there is no indication that was the case, and every indication that Congress intended to eliminate the fuzzy “natural-born” adjective. In fact, my understanding is that the only U.S. law that uses the exact term “natural-born citizen” is the Naturalization Act of 1790.
The 14th Amendment only helps us indirectly, stating, “All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside.Though Birthers seem to want to find a third category, all citizens fall into either the “born” or “naturalized” category. If a person is a citizen, but has not been naturalized, then that citizen is a “natural-born” citizen.
Though the 14th Amendment does not help us specifically by defining “natural-born citizen” directly, it does state that “No state shall…deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”
Sex-based differences in treatment under the law are scrutinized by courts to ensure that they further an important government interest in a way that is substantially related to that interest. It would be amazing to think that the Supreme Court would state that it is rational to allow a child to claim citizenship on the basis of his father’s citizenship, but deny another child that citizenship when the mother was the one with the U.S. citizenship.
Today, 8 U.S. Code § 1401, entitled “Nationals and Citizens of United States at Birth”, tells us:
“The following shall be nationals and citizens of the United States at birth:
(a) a person born in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof;
(b) a person born in the United States to a member of an Indian, Eskimo, Aleutian, or other aboriginal tribe: Provided, That the granting of citizenship under this subsection shall not in any manner impair or otherwise affect the right of such person to tribal or other property;
(c) a person born outside of the United States and its outlying possessions of parents both of whom are citizens of the United States and one of whom has had a residence in the United States or one of its outlying possessions, prior to the birth of such person;
(d) a person born outside of the United States and its outlying possessions of parents one of whom is a citizen of the United States who has been physically present in the United States or one of its outlying possessions for a continuous period of one year prior to the birth of such person, and the other of whom is a national, but not a citizen of the United States;
(e) a person born in an outlying possession of the United States of parents one of whom is a citizen of the United States who has been physically present in the United States or one of its outlying possessions for a continuous period of one year at any time prior to the birth of such person;
(f) a person of unknown parentage found in the United States while under the age of five years, until shown, prior to his attaining the age of twenty-one years, not to have been born in the United States;
(g) a person born outside the geographical limits of the United States and its outlying possessions of parents one of whom is an alien, and the other a citizen of the United States who, prior to the birth of such person, was physically present in the United States or its outlying possessions for a period or periods totaling not less than five years, at least two of which were after attaining the age of fourteen years: Provided, That any periods of honorable service in the Armed Forces of the United States, or periods of employment with the United States Government or with an international organization as that term is defined in section 288 of title 22 by such citizen parent, or any periods during which such citizen parent is physically present abroad as the dependent unmarried son or daughter and a member of the household of a person
(A) honorably serving with the Armed Forces of the United States, or
(B) employed by the United States Government or an international organization as defined in section 288 of title 22, may be included in order to satisfy the physical-presence requirement of this paragraph. This proviso shall be applicable to persons born on or after December 24, 1952, to the same extent as if it had become effective in its present form on that date; and
(h) a person born before noon (Eastern Standard Time) May 24, 1934, outside the limits and jurisdiction of the United States of an alien father and a mother who is a citizen of the United States who, prior to the birth of such person, had resided in the United States.”
The modern law does not use the term “natural-born citizen” but it does have a statement of who is a citizen at birth. Based on the Naturalization Act of 1790, which indicates that Congress can determine who a natural-born citizen is, and has had 200+ years to clarify the verbiage, it seems like Congress is happy enough with the idea that there are two categories – naturalized, or natural-born.
I have been asked if I can show that Ted Cruz has a U.S. birth certificate, as though a lack of a birth certificate controls anything. Senator Cruz was born in Canada. I expect that he has a Canadian birth certificate. But his mother was clearly a U.S. citizen, making Cruz a U.S. natural-born citizen. There is no requirement to have a U.S. birth certificate. I don’t know that he doesn’t have one, or there is not some reciprocal documentation that is created. It’s an irrelevant question.
I’ve also been asked about the fact that Ted Cruz had dual citizenship until recently. He gave it up to eliminate any loyalty question, and it was reasonable to do so. But Cruz has been a loyal citizen of the United States all his life. It is absurd to think that another country could give out citizenship to all who are born there, irrespective of any decision to remain in the country, and thereby control who can run for president in this country.
Another important consideration is that Congress makes significant changes and rules regarding these issues, such as it has with enlisted soldiers fighting for our side in Korea and other conflicts, and how they handle children of those soldiers born “over there”. It was surprising to me how complex the whole thing is, once I delved into the subject.
For example, there are situations where we give naturalization post-humously to dead soldiers, so their wives can get benefits. What if there was a child born to a Korean mother and a US immigrant that is naturalized after he is killed in combat, because his paperwork just came through? It would seem like the child of the now-dead father goes from being a non-citizen to a natural-born citizen all at once.
There are other special deals that occur from time to time, such as people who were living near the Panama Canal area. There are special deals that occur during war, or when we get more property or territories. The idea that this is fixed in stone by a French writer 200+ years ago in a common law definition is absurd.
While we are covering this subject, we often cover the question of whether someone’s allegiance should matter. I would argue that you have to have allegiance to our country to receive citizenship by being born on our soil, but I am not in the majority on that issue. The 14th Amendment explicitly says that those born on our soil and subject to our laws receive citizenship. The law is not what we want it to be.
Birthers consistently claim that they are constitutional originalists, and state that a real originalist must accept this definition, or be deemed a liberal. This challenge is what first irked me enough to get involved in this discussion. I consider myself an originalist, and I like being on the right side of the Constitution. But the more I look at this issue, it appears that Birthers just want to be against President Obama’s citizenship, and are now against the nomination of Ted Cruz, and enjoy taking one side and ignoring all evidence.
Birthers also want to cite natural law as a foundation for their position on this, but I see no theory to suggest that the question of natural-born citizenship can be answered by natural law. There is no “natural” reason to say that citizenship is conferred by the father. That might have been normal and common back when the father swore an oath to the feudal lord, and the wife followed her man, but that’s not true today. Once we got rid of the laws that disfavored females and gave them their own citizenship, that whole discussion became moot. The more natural thing, imho, is that the child follows the citizenship of the mother, which is traditionally a more easy connection to make. We always know who the mother of a child is – the father is not always so certain.
Conclusions – The first Congress showed that there was nothing unconstitutional about changing the outside parameters about who can be considered a natural-born citizen. We are following their lead. Citizens are either naturalized, or natural-born. The color of your birth certificate is irrelevant if you have a parent that is a citizen and meets some basic residency requirements. Ted Cruz is eligible to be president.
And I’m sorry this was so long. But now when you run into one of these people, just give them this link.
1) The term “natural-born citizen” should be hyphenated as I’ve written it in this sentence. It’s hard to be consistent when quoting other inconsistent writers.
2) I employ the British practice of quote placement, instead of always on the outside of the punctuation. When I write for clients or judges, I’ll do it the accepted “right” way, instead of the way that makes sense.
3) I will keep this page up for future reference and update it when a new argument pops up, but it will be updated at my leisure, which really doesn’t exist.
 Of course, our federal government ignores the Constitution’s requirement to use gold and silver, so one can argue that our federal government would also ignore any prohibition against the establishment of a national bank.
 Robert Bork famously commented during his failed attempt to join the Supreme Court, stating, “I do not think you can use the Ninth Amendment unless you know something of what it means. For example, if you had an amendment that says ‘Congress shall make no’ and then there is an ink blot and you cannot read the rest of it and that is the only copy you have, I do not think the court can make up what might be under the ink blot if you cannot read it.”
 Madison’s Notes on the Constitutional Convention, July 23, 1787, http://consource.org/document/james-madisons-notes-of-the-constitutional-convention-1787-7-23/#21
 James Madison’s Notes of the Constitutional Convention, dated September 14, 1787, http://consource.org/document/james-madisons-notes-of-the-constitutional-convention-1787-9-14/#23, see also the introduction of the phrase “law of nations” in Madison’s Notes from August 17, 1787, http://consource.org/document/james-madisons-notes-of-the-constitutional-convention-1787-8-17/
 See http://consource.org/document/james-madison-in-the-virginia-convention-1788-6-20/. See also an essay referenced as “Anti-Cincinnatus” dated December 19, 1787, found at http://consource.org/document/anti-cincinnatus-1787-12-19/.
 George Mason to Arthur Lee on May 21, 1787, http://consource.org/document/george-mason-to-arthur-lee-1787-5-21/.
 James Wilson in the Pennsylvania Convention from December 11, 1787, http://consource.org/document/james-wilson-in-the-pennsylvania-convention-1787-12-11-2/.
 Journal Notes from the Virginia Ratification Convention Proceedings on June 19, 1788, http://consource.org/document/journal-notes-of-the-virginia-ratification-convention-proceedings-1788-6-19/.
 Federalist No. 42 (or 41, depending on the numbering version employed), by Publius (James Madison) (January 22, 1788), http://consource.org/document/the-federalist-no-42-1788-1-22/.
 Federalist No. 53 (or 52), Publius (Madison), http://consource.org/document/the-federalist-no-53-1788-2-9/.
 See http://consource.org/library/?type=&collections=&topics=&date=&authors=&q=%22law+of+nations%22.
 James Madison’s Notes on the Constitutional Convention, June 27, 1787, http://consource.org/document/james-madisons-notes-of-the-constitutional-convention-1787-6-27/
 James Wilson’s Notes on the Pennsylvania Ratification Convention, http://consource.org/document/james-wilsons-notes-of-the-pennsylvania-ratification-convention-1787-12-1-2/.
 Notes of Thomas Lloyd on the Pennsylvania Ratification Convention, http://consource.org/document/thomas-lloyds-notes-of-the-pennsylvania-ratification-convention-1787-12-4-2/.
 Notes of Jasper Yeates on the Pennsylvania Ratification Convention, December 5, 1787, http://consource.org/document/jasper-yeates-notes-of-the-pennsylvania-ratification-convention-1787-12-5/.
 Vattel, The Law of Nations, § 212, at http://www.constitution.org/vattel/vattel_01.htm.
 Patsy Washington was Martha’s last child. She married Thomas Peter, and not the Marquis de La Fayette.
 Vattel’s Law of Nations, § 215
 United States Constitution, Article 1, Section 8, paragraph 4.
 James Madison, Federalist No. 42.
 Letter from John Jay to George Washington, July 25, 1787, http://consource.org/document/john-jay-to-george-washington-1787-7-25/
 Naturalization Act of 1790, http://legisworks.org/sal/1/stats/STATUTE-1-Pg103.pdf.
 Naturalization Act of 1795, http://rs6.loc.gov/cgi-bin/ampage?collId=llsl&fileName=001/llsl001.db&recNum=537
 14th Amendment, Section 1.
 Craig v. Boren, 429 U.S. 190 (1976)(Overturning Oklahoma’s laws allowing women to buy beer at 18 when men had to wait until 21, based on an intermediate level of scrutiny.)
 8 U.S.C. § 1401 – Nationals and Citizens of United States at Birth