Courts have recognized that the drafters of the constitution of whom most were lawyers were influenced by the principles and history of the common law that we inherited from the English.The principles and history of the common law were well known to the framers of the Constitution and the members of the First Congress; it was from that system that their terminology was derived; and the provisions of the Constitution and contemporaneous legislation must be interpreted accordingly. Southern Pacific Co. v. Jensen, 244 US 205, 230 (1917)(Pitney, J. dissenting); See also Smith v. Alabama, 124 U. S. 465, 478 (1888)(The interpretation of the Constitution of the United States is necessarily influenced by the fact that its provisions are framed in the language of the English common law, and are to be read in the light of its history.)Absent any amendments to Article II Section 1 Clause 4, the natural born Citizen requirement is still the supreme Law of the Land. The Founding Fathers were very careful in their wording of the Constitution. The words natural born Citizen are used only once and that is when the Founding Fathers were discussing the qualifications to hold the highest office of Government. The historical thread from Vattel thru the first Naturalization Law to Chief Justice Morrison Waites 1874 Supreme Court opinion is consistent. Each one identifies the requirement that the parents must be citizens in order for their child to be natural born. President
Since the drafters of the Constitution wrote it in the language of the English common law then according to statutory construction that unless otherwise defined in the Constitution, words are to be taken at their ordinary and contemporary meaning. A fundamental canon of statutory construction is that, unless otherwise defined, words will be interpreted as taking their ordinary, contemporary, common meaning. Perrin v. United States, 444 US 37,42 (1979).
Moreover, if the use of words in the Constitution have a common law meaning then the courts must infer the incorporation of this common law meaning unless the language of the Constitution compels a different meaning.[G]uided by the principle that where words are employed in a statute which had at the time a well-known meaning at common law or in the law of this country they are presumed to have been used in that sense unless the context compels to the contrary. Standard Oil Co. of NJ v. United Sates, 221 US 1, 59 (1911)
Furthermore, if words were created not by positive law but rather by judicially created concept then any interpretation of those words other than their common law meaning must be specific and clear. "The normal rule of statutory construction is that if Congress intends for legislation to change the interpretation of a judicially created concept, it makes that intent specific." Stillians v. Iowa, 843 F.2d 276, 280 (8th Cir.1988)(quoting Midlantic Nat'l Bank v. New Jersey Dep't of Envtl. Protection, 474 U.S. 494, 106 S.Ct. 755, 88 L.Ed.2d 859 (1986)). Thus, it is proper to consider that Congress acts with knowledge of existing law, and that "absent a clear manifestation of contrary intent, a newly-enacted or revised statute is presumed to be harmonious with existing law and its judicial construction." Johnson v. First Nat'l Bank of Montevideo, 719 F.2d 270, 277 (8th Cir.1983), cert. denied, 465 U.S. 1012, 104 S.Ct. 1015, 79 L.Ed.2d 245 (1984). Estate of Wood v. CIR, 909 F. 2d 1155,1160 (8th Cir. 1990)
In other words, If drafters of the Constitution used words in the Constitution that have a common law meaning then it is PRESUMED that drafters intended common law application of the words UNLESS there is language in the Constitution that intended a contrary interpretation of the words.