Exclusive to Western Center for Journalism
On July 17 CNN’s Kitty Pilgrim pretended to interview Orly Taitz and Alan Keyes on the birth eligibility issue. Pilgrim did most of the talking and flat-out lied when she stated that the Obama campaign had posted the original birth certificate and that factcheck.org had examined the original birth certificate; whether it was forged or not, the Certification of Live Birth is not the original birth certificate. Dr Keyes spoke very well in the minute or so allotted him.
On the other hand, from her interview it seems that Orly Taitz is building her case on 2 premises, one false and the other irrelevant. It is unfortunate that Taitz is using these points as the basis of her case because it is increasingly clear that Obama was not born in Hawaii, and the issue should not be clouded by mistaken arguments.
Orly Taitz asserts that “to be president there have to be two parents who are citizens.” This is false. Here is Blackstone’s classic exposition in 1765 of the legal meaning of the term from the Commentaries on the Laws of England.
William Blackstone, Commentaries 1: 354 361–62
Natural-born subjects are such as are born within the dominions of the crown of England, that is, within the ligeance, or as it is generally called, the allegiance of the king; and aliens, such as are born out of it…all children, born out of the king’s ligeance [i.e on foreign soil], whose fatherswere natural-born subjects, are now natural-born subjects themselves, to all intents and purposes, without any exception; unless their said fathers were attainted, or banished beyond sea, for high treason; or were then in the service of a prince at enmity with Great Britain.” [The italics are Blackstone's]
Blackstone explicitly grounds natural-born status on location (jus soli), not parentage, except when the child is born abroad. The notion that both parents have to be citizens is false. All children born on American soil are natural-born subjects or citizens. If Obama was born on American soil there would be no controversy. If he was born on foreign soil, the fact that his father was not an American citizen would disqualify him from natural-born citizenship.
In discussing the Certification of Live Birth that the Obama campaign claims was posted on the web, Orly Taitz also asserts that “Hawaii has statute 338 that allows foreign-born children of Hawaiian residents to get Hawaiian birth certificates.” What she is referring to here is the 1982 amendment of the vital records law. Under Act 182 H.B. NO. 3016-82, state policies and procedures could accommodate even “children born out of State” (this is the actual language of Act 182) with an original birth certificate on record. But though Act 182 does provide children born out of state with a birth certificate it does not provide them with birth certificates that say that these children were born in Hawaii or at a specific location in Hawaii. Consequently these birth certificates cannot engender Certifications of Live Birth which state that the subject was born in Honolulu, as the purported Obama Certification of Live Birth does. So if the Obama Certification of Live Birth was not forged, it could not have been engendered by an Act 182-authorized birth certificate for “children born out of state”. And if it was forged, the false information on it was not based on anything that could be on an Act-182 authorized birth certificate. So Orly Taitz’ assertion that “Hawaii has statute 338 that allows foreign-born children of Hawaiian residents to get Hawaiian birth certificates” is irrelevant.