1. Constitutional Convention – “Born a Citizen” v “Natural Born Citizen”:
John Jay was an avid reader and proponent of natural law and particularly Vattel’s codification of natural law and the Law of Nations. In his letter to Washington he said that the Citizenship requirement for the office of the commander of our armies should contain a “strong check” against foreign influence and he recommended to Washington that the command of the military be open only to a “natural born Citizen”. Thus Jay did not agree that simply being a “born Citizen” was sufficient enough protection from foreign influence in the singular most powerful office in the new form of government. Rather, Jay wanted to make sure the President and Commander In Chief owed his allegiance solely to the United States of America. He wanted another adjective added to the eligibility clause, i.e., ‘natural’. And that word ‘natural’ goes to the Citizenship status of one’s parents via natural law.