VATTEL IS LAW
CITATION BY THOMAS JEFFERSON FOR VATTEL AS LAW
A footnote in a biographical work is subject to the agenda and biases of the author. However, when it is an autobiographical citation; you can be certain of its significance. And when the autobiography is by Jefferson himself, the only conclusion an intellectually honest observer of history can reach is that his source for citation is significant, credible and evidentiary.
On January 6th, 1821 at the age of 77; Jefferson began writing his autobiography.
"On the contrary, it was argued by Monroe, Gerry, Howel, Ellery & myself that by the modern usage of Europe the ratification was considered as the act which gave validity to a treaty, until which it was not obligatory."1
Jefferson is actually citing two different sources. The first is Emer de Vattel, the Swiss philosopher, diplomat and jurist from his preeminent masterpiece Le Droit des gens; ou, Principes de la loi naturelle appliqués à la conduite et aux affaires des nations et des souverains 1758 (The Law of Nations or the Principles of Natural Law Applied to the Conduct and to the Affairs of Nations and of Sovereigns):
|Emer de Vattel (April 25, 1714 – December 28, 1767)|
|The Law of Nations, 1758|
Sovereigns treat with each other through the medium of agents or proxies who are invested with sufficient powers for the purpose, and are commonly called plenipotentiaries. To their office we may apply all the rules of natural law which respect things done by commission. The rights of the proxy are determined by the instructions that are given him: he must not deviate from them; but every promise which he makes in the terms of his commission, and within the extent of his powers, is binding on his constituent. At present, in order to avoid all danger and difficulty, princes reserve to themselves the power of ratifying what has been concluded upon in their name by their ministers. The plenipotentiary commission is but a procuration cum libera. If this commission were to have its full effect, they could not be too circumspect in giving it. But as princes cannot otherwise than by force of arms be compelled to fulfil their engagements, it is customary to place no dependence on their treaties, till they have agreed to and ratified them. Thus, as every agreement made by the minister remains invalid till sanctioned by the prince’s ratification, there is less danger in vesting him with unlimited powers. But before a prince can honourably refuse to ratify a compact made in virtue of such plen-ipotentiary commission, he  should be able to allege strong and substantial reasons, and, in particular, to prove that his minister has deviated from his instructions.
BOOK IV: §77. Instructions.
The instructions given to the minister contain his master’s secret mandate, the orders to which the minister must carefully conform, and which limit his powers. Here we might apply all the rules of the law of nature respecting procurations and mandates, whether open or secret. But exclusive of their being more particularly applicable to the subject of treaties, we may with the less impropriety dispense with such details in this work, as the custom has wisely been established, that no engagements into which a minister may enter, shall have any validity between sovereigns, unless ratified by his principal.
This is significant for the following reasons:
1. It’s in Thomas Jefferson’s own handwriting.
2. Vattel’s Law of Nations was already established internationally as a masterpiece on International Law and well known by the Founders. However, this reference by Jefferson transcends the work of Vattel to a level even greater than authoritative. He is referencing Vattel’s Treatise as LAW for determining when America’s international agreements with other nations become legally binding.
3. According to Jefferson in his autobiography, "ratification was considered as the act which gave validity to a treaty, until such time it was not obligatory." This has to be compared to Article II of the Constitution in that upon ratification on June 21st, 1788; it became the ‘LAW OF THE LAND’ and as of yet has not been amended and no statute can render it superfluous or without effect. Therefore, Article II is Constitutional LAW, obligatory and must be enforced.
4. It also signifies that other areas of Vattel’s Law of Nations are likewise considered as LAW. The Founders derived the class of citizen they called “Natural-Born Citizen” from BOOK I CHAPTER XIX §212 Citizens and natives.
This singularly unique class of citizen was based on the principles of natural law to ensure sole allegiance to the Republic. “The natives, or natural-born citizens, are those born in the country, of parents who are citizens.” This was the Founders way of providing a strong check against divided loyalties for the President or Chief Executive and Commander-in-Chief of its Armed Forces. This is evidenced by the differing eligibility requirement for President in Article II, Section I which is limited to a Natural-Born Citizen, compared to the eligibility requirements for Representative and Senator in Article I, Section II and III respectively; which are only for that of Citizen. Legally they are not synonymous or interchangeable.
ARTICLE II SECTION 1 CLAUSE 5
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.
ARTICLE I SECTION 2 CLAUSE 2
No Person shall be a Representative who shall not have attained to the Age of twenty five Years, and been seven Years a Citizen of the United States, and who shall not, when elected, be an Inhabitant of that State in which he shall be chosen.
ARTICLE I SECTION 3 CLAUSE 3
No Person shall be a Senator who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty Years, and been nine Years a Citizen of the United States, and who shall not, when elected, be an Inhabitant of that State for which he shall be chosen.
5. Barack Hussein Obama II has publicly admitted his father Barack Obama Sr. was a Kenyan native and a British subject whose citizenship status was governed by The British Nationality Act of 1948. Barack Obama Sr. never became a U.S citizen. Therefore, Barack Hussein Obama II is not now and never can be a “Natural-Born Citizen” of the United States by virtue of his recognized allegiance to a sovereign foreign nation inherited from his father precluding him from eligibility for the Office of the President of the United States. Therefore, according to Article II Section I Clause V of the United States Constitution as defined in the United States Supreme Court case of Minor v. Happerset 88 U.S. 162 (1874) which set binding precedent, the Office of the President of the United States was usurped by an ineligible candidate. Additionally, at least 3 Republican candidates currently seeking that office in the 2016 election do not satisfy the Constitutional requirement either.
|Library of Congress Main Reading Room, Washington, D.C.|
The Thomas Jefferson Autobiography Draft Fragment from January 6 through July 27, 1821 is part of the Thomas Jefferson Papers at the Library of Congress
Created / Published: 1821-07-27
Series 1: General Correspondence. 1651-1827
Microfilm Reel: 052
Repository: Manuscript Division
Digital Id: http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.mss/mtj.mtjbib024000