Let me put it to you in appropriately simple language:
Clause A = “Only a natural born Citizen may be President.”
Clause B = “Anyone born in the United States is a Citizen.”
(While these two clauses reflect Article 2, Section 1, and the 14th Amendment, I shall refer to them as “Clause A” and “Clause B” for now.)
The code of statutory construction is learned by every student in law school, and every practicing attorney has confronted it. Every judge is required to apply the rule equally to all statutes, and the Constitution. There is no wiggle room at all. The rule states that when a court examines two clauses, unless Congress has made it clear that one clause repeals the other, the court must observe a separate legal effect for each. More specifically, regardless of the chronology of enactment, the general clause can never govern the specific.
Clause B is a general rule of citizenship, which states that all persons born in the country are members of the nation.
Clause A is a specific clause that says only those members of the nation who are “natural born” may be President.
According to the rule of statutory construction, the court must determine that Clause A requires something more than Clause B.
It’s truly that simple. This is not some crazy conspiracy theory. It’s not controversial. This is not rocket science. Every single attorney reading this right now knows, beyond any shadow of a doubt, that I have accurately explained the rule of statutory construction to you. Any attorney who denies this rule, is lying. The rule cannot be denied. And its simplicity cannot be ignored.
Now let’s see what the United States Supreme Court has to say about the rule:
Is it possible to give separate effect to both Clause A and Clause B?
Yes. The Constitution tells us that any Citizen can be a Senator, or Representative, but that to be President one must be a “natural born Citizen”. The Constitution specifically assigns different civic statuses to “Citizens” and “natural born Citizens”. Therefore, not only is it possible to give separate effect to both Clause A and Clause B, it is absolutely required by law, and no court has the ability to circumvent the rule.
Had the original framers intended for any “born Citizen” to be eligible to the office of President, they would not have included the word “natural” in the clause. Additionally, had the framers of the 14th Amendment intended to declare that every person born in the country was a “natural born Citizen”, then the 14th Amendment would contain clear and manifest language to that effect. But it doesn’t. Therefore, each clause must be given separate force and effect.
Deputy Chief Judge Malihi explained the rule of statutory construction in his denial of candidate Obama’s Motion to Dismiss, wherein his opinion of the Court stated:
The rule of statutory construction, with regard to the Constitution, was best stated by Chief Justice Marshall in Marbury v. Madison, 5 U.S. 137 (1803):
Any genuine construction of the “natural born Citizen” clause must begin from the starting point that it requires something more than citizenship by virtue of being born on U.S. soil. Minor v. Happersett, 88 U.S. 162 (1874), tells you exactly what that something is; citizen parents.
Leo Donofrio, Esq.
[For a more detailed analysis of this issue, please see my Amicus Brief entered in the Georgia POTUS eligibility cases.]