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View Diary: The Bombshell on McCain's Birth Certificate (149 comments)

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  •  people are poorly informed on this issue. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    beagledad, Cassandra Waites, Jyrinx

    natural-born, does not mean born in the United States.

    It means 'is a citizen at birth', born into this world as an American citizen. If your parents were citizens, you are a citizen. If your parents were citizens, you are a natural-born citizen.

    "Honey, if men could get pregnant, abortion would be a sacrament" elderly Irish female taxi driver

    by denig on Thu Jun 12, 2008 at 03:25:10 PM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  Actually, this is debatable. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Clem Yeobright

      Whilst this definition of "natural born" does certainly apply for people born abroad in US territories (such as the Canal Zone), it is considered sufficiently legally iffy (due to the fact that there is no specific legal definition of "natural born citizen", no case law on the matter that is current, and the term only occurs in the Constitution) that no less than the very Federal agency charged with the registration of the births of children abroad to US citizen parents has noted the issue is murky enough that children acquiring birthright citizenship in this manner may not be considered "natural born citizens".

      At the time the Constitution was written, there was no such thing as birthright citizenship to children born abroad; this did not happen until 1790 (and a followup law in 1795), and even then (up until the sole bit of case law on the matter, the infamous Dred Scott decision, legally was invalidated by the Fourteenth Amendment), birthright citizenship of persons born abroad to US citizen parents was considered a form of naturalisation.

      After 1865, there has been no case law on the matter--largely because "natural born" only occurs in the context of Constitutional requirements for the Presidency, and aside from a very few other cases (notably Barry Goldwater--who would have been eligible anyways thanks to being born in the US Territory of Arizona--and George Romney, father of Mitt Romney) there has honestly not been the opportunity for case law on this matter.  The only attempts to clarify "natural born citizen" have focused on Republican efforts to pass laws defining "natural born" as birthright citizenship (including to children born abroad to US citizen parents) or to eliminate the "natural born" requirement altogether--both of which would likely require formal Constitutional amendments, and both of which have failed in Congress.

      So right now, the issue of whether children born abroad to US parents being specifically "natural born citizens" as opposed to citizens in general is sufficiently iffy that even the State Department can't really settle matters.  If it becomes an issue--either through someone suing after McCain gets the nomination or through some nasty infighting during the GOP convention (and no, I would not put it past dominionists who would much rather see Mike Huckabee as the candidate pull this--right now they are highly pissed at McCain for daring to spurn the "Joel's Army" preachers he formerly had as "spiritual advisors") it will end up in the courts and will end up setting what will likely be the foundational case law on the matter.

      •  Natural-born citizen: (0+ / 0-)

        From: U.S. Constitution Online:

        Who is a natural-born citizen? Who, in other words, is a citizen at birth, such that that person can be a President someday?

        The 14th Amendment defines citizenship this way: "All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside." But even this does not get specific enough. As usual, the Constitution provides the framework for the law, but it is the law that fills in the gaps.

        Currently, Title 8 of the U.S. Code fills in those gaps. Section 1401 defines the following as people who are "citizens of the United States at birth:"

          * Anyone born inside the United States
          * Any Indian or Eskimo born in the United States, provided being a citizen of the U.S. does not impair the person's status as a citizen of the tribe
          * Any one born outside the United States, both of whose parents are citizens of the U.S., as long as one parent has lived in the U.S.
          * Any one born outside the United States, if one parent is a citizen and lived in the U.S. for at least one year and the other parent is a U.S. national
          * Any one born in a U.S. possession, if one parent is a citizen and lived in the U.S. for at least one year
          * Any one found in the U.S. under the age of five, whose parentage cannot be determined, as long as proof of non-citizenship is not provided by age 21
          * Any one born outside the United States, if one parent is an alien and as long as the other parent is a citizen of the U.S. who lived in the U.S. for at least five years (with military and diplomatic service included in this time)
          * A final, historical condition: a person born before 5/24/1934 of an alien father and a U.S. citizen mother who has lived in the U.S.

        Anyone falling into these categories is considered natural-born, and is eligible to run for President or Vice President. These provisions allow the children of military families to be considered natural-born, for example.

        "Honey, if men could get pregnant, abortion would be a sacrament" elderly Irish female taxi driver

        by denig on Fri Jun 13, 2008 at 03:16:29 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

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