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The McCain campaign is going to have no interest in releasing his birth certificate.

It's not because it will once again reinforce his age--the certificate would not change the significance, or obviousness, of that issue.

It's because one of the candidates running for President actually wasn't born in the United States.  Though it's not exactly a secret, John McCain has done a good job keeping the public at large from catching on that he was born in Panama.

Don' believe me?  Check out the Washington Post, or John McCain's remarks from 2003 as recorded at the US Embassy of Panama:

Taped Remarks by U.S. Senator John McCain
July 4, 2003

I'd like to congratulate the Panamanian government and people on their hundredth anniversary. A nation that was born in conflict and now lives in peace. We are proud of our relationship and I am proud to say that I was born in your country.I am convinced that the prospects for our relations will continue to improve over the years as you also have as part of your country one of the most magnificent feats of engineering that the world has ever seen. I know that you will take good care of it. I look forward to seeing you soon.

(emphasis mine)

"Everyone knows" there are only two requirements to be President of the US: to be older than 35 (check) and to be born in the US.  So what is McCain's defense?

At the time, McCain was born on a US military base, his parents were US military, and the Panama Canal Zone was an unincorporated US territory.  Is this enough?

Here's what the US Department of State's Citizenship Primer has to say:

Page 6:

Despite widespread popular belief, U.S. military installations abroad and U.S. diplomatic or consular facilities are not part of the United States within the meaning of the 14th Amendment. A child born on the premises of such a facility is not subject to the jurisdiction of the United States and does not acquire U.S. citizenship by reason of birth.

Page 5:

FAM 1116.1-1 States and Incorporated Territories
(TL:CON-64; 11-30-95)
a. The phrase "in the United States" as used in the 14th Amendment clearly includes States that have been admitted to the Union. Sections 304 and 305 of the INA provide a basis for citizenship of persons born in Alaska and Hawaii while they were territories of the United States. These sections reflect, to a large extent, prior statutes and judicial decisions which addressed the l4th Amendment citizenship implications of birth in these and other U.S. territories. Guidance on evidence on such births should be sought from CA/OCS.
b. Sec. 101(a)(38) INA provides that, for the purposes of the INA, The term "United States",... when used in the geographical sense, means the continental United States, Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Virgin Islands of the United States.In addition, under Pub. L. 94-241, the "approving Covenant to Establish a Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands in Political Union with the United States of America", (Sec. 506(c)), which took effect on November 3, 1986, the Northern Mariana Islands are treated as part of the United States for the purposes of sections 301 and 308 of the INA.
c. All of the aforenamed areas, except Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands, came within the definition of "United States" given in the Nationality Act of 1940, which was effective from January 13, 1941 through December 23, 1952.
d. Prior to January 13, 1941, there was no statutory definition of "the United States" for citizenship purposes. Thus there were varying interpretations. Guidance should be sought from the Department (CA/OCS) when such issues arise.

(emphasis mine)

It appears that McCain's eligibility to be president is not beyond question--it is precisely a case like his (born in an unincorporated territory before 1941) which requires "guidance" from the State department.

Even if McCain believes he can put together a legal case that he is eligible (based on the Constitutional ambiguity in "natural born citizen"), you can be sure he does not want Americans discussing the fact that he was proud to be born in another country.  So don't expect to see his birth certificate in circulation anytime soon.

Update:  you might notice I did not label this "BREAKING".  Kossacks and other very political junkies may know this.  But when I talk to people who I don't know by political association, I've never met a single one who knew this.  McCain doesn't exactly trumpet it on his website.  An extended MSM "let's compare Birth Certificates" campaign would absolutely be a bombshell to McCain's campaign, even if he ultimately wins any legal case on presidential eligibility.  The optics of explaining quotes like "I am proud to say I was born in your country" are much more problematic than the legal jeopardy.

Update
:  There are many comments that seem to be under the impression that I make the case McCain is ineligible for President.  I do not believe he is ineligible, I am only making the case that it is not beyond question.  I agree that it is very unlikely he would be declared ineligible.  Many point to actions of Congress of 2008 and 1790. But given that TODAY the supreme  court declared an act of Congress unconstitutional, and that the 1790 congress had some of its rulings overruled, I will say that it's not obvious to me that an act of Congress settles a Constitutional issue.   I fail to see anything dishonest in noting that McCain was born there, has said he's proud to have been, and that there may be some questions about this.

There are also a number of comments suggesting that being born in Panama could actually help McCain because he was born on a military base.   This is a legitimate quarrel with what I said, because I did say it.  I'll just say I believe that John McCain has already tapped out the "He's a military guy" vote.  It's his entire raison d'etre for being a candidate.  I believe this could only be a net negative for him.  I suspect the effect would be small--maybe a quarter of a percent.

A lot of people have also commented that "there are better reasons to be against John McCain".  Well, of course there are.  But I think we throw away factually correct and honest lines of attack at our own peril.  

Originally posted to andyfoland on Thu Jun 12, 2008 at 02:49 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  It would be too hilarious if he got DQ'ed. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dogemperor, bearian, RBinDLH

    Seems doubtful, but does anybody know if there's any possibility of that?

    •  Troll Alert (28+ / 0-)

      Who gives a shit. Seriously.

      Anyone born to a US citizen IS a US citizen.

      There's so much ammunition available on McSame that diatribes like this serve only the conspiracy theorists who write and read blogs.

      Way to contribute to the political conversation today.

      Pffffft!

      •  US Citizenship is NOT the Constitutional Test (8+ / 0-)

        "Natural born citizen" is.  There's ancient case law which implies he is eligible, but it has never actually been settled in court.

        •  It's not worth settling in court. (7+ / 0-)

          He was born to a military family overseas.  It would be  a political disaster to challenge his eligibility, and it's highly unlikely that a court would rule against him anyway.

          Their number is negligible and they are stupid. -- Eisenhower

          by Pegasus on Thu Jun 12, 2008 at 03:43:44 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  It'd have to practically be common law. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Clem Yeobright

          If we're going on stuff besides English common law, there isn't any case law that's still valid:

          a) Immigration law has substantially changed from the days of the Founding Fathers (in fact, at the time of the ratification of the Constitution, birthright citizenship to persons born abroad didn't exist, and from roughly 1795 to 1865-ish it was considered legally a form of naturalisation) and there are mechanisms of acquisition of birthright citizenship that did not exist even seventy years ago (for instance, birthright citizenship from a US citizen single mother).

          b) The only case law that exists in the US regarding "natural born" citizenship of children born abroad to US parents is, of all things, Dred Scott (which was legally invalidated by the Fourteenth Amendment, and I think I speak for us all when I say thank Grud).

          Even the State Department can't really decide the matter--and seeing as they actually handle the law in regards to acquisition of citizenship, that should tell you how uncertain things are.

          Even if common law is counted in, it's kind of iffy, IMHO; one could make a good argument from case law, but one could equally make the argument the intent was to disqualify persons who potentially had ties to other countries, no matter how peripheral those ties are.  (And you could counter-argue THAT based on the fact no prohibition exists against people being born in the US who acquire a second nationality from a parent being banned from the Presidency, and counter-argue that with the fact that dual citizenship generally did not exist in the time of the Founding Fathers... :P)

      •  Then why does the State Department say otherwise? (7+ / 0-)

        The problem the diarist missed is that the U.S. military hospital in the Canal Zone has no record of his birth, nor has one yet been produced.  If, as it appears, he was born off-base, in a local Panamanian hospital, it further complicates the issue.

        The Obama Birth Certificate was released and a copy of it appeared here on DailyKos earlier today. Why cant we expect to see the same from John McCain?

        "Extremism in the Defense of Liberty is No Vice; Moderation, in the Pursuit of Justice is No Virtue." - AuH2O

        by Press to Digitate on Thu Jun 12, 2008 at 03:05:23 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  No, the problem the diarist missed is (9+ / 0-)

          HIS PARENTS WERE U.S. CITIZENS.

          Denny Crane: But if he supports a law, and then agrees to let it lapse ... then that would make him ...

          Shirley Schmidt: A Democrat.

          by Jyrinx on Thu Jun 12, 2008 at 03:09:25 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  **I have a serious question about just this point (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            dogemperor

            I have a nephew who was born to an American mother and an Australian father, in Australia.  Would he be considered a US citizen for travel to the US?

            **Yeah, I'm mad! I've been paying attention.

            by greylox on Thu Jun 12, 2008 at 03:18:54 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  That doesnt matter, if it was not on (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            dogemperor

            "American soil".  The State Department seems to think that location, not parentage is the key factor, and it appears McCain was born off post, hence S-O-L...

            "Extremism in the Defense of Liberty is No Vice; Moderation, in the Pursuit of Justice is No Virtue." - AuH2O

            by Press to Digitate on Thu Jun 12, 2008 at 03:36:32 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  See Denig's post, above. (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              denig, dogemperor

              "American soil" is only one of several possible conditions for automatic U.S. citizenship at birth.

              Denny Crane: But if he supports a law, and then agrees to let it lapse ... then that would make him ...

              Shirley Schmidt: A Democrat.

              by Jyrinx on Thu Jun 12, 2008 at 03:38:37 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  The big question is "natural born", I think. (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Clem Yeobright, Blissing

                The reason this stuff keeps coming up (and I actually do tend to agree this is not the best thing to attack McCain with) is the exact legal definition of "natural born citizen".

                Generally, it's been assumed that "natural born citizen" (for purposes of the Constitution--of note, the US Constitution is pretty much the only legal document that HAS this requirement) is someone who is either born in the US and thus acquires citizenship, or is born in a territory of the US which has its citizens either gaining US citizenship at birth or which is later incorporated and its citizens retroactively granted birthright citizenship.  (Hence, Obama being born in Hawaii would not be an issue; even before Hawaii was formally granted statehood, persons living in the Territory of Hawaii were considered US citizens.)

                McCain being potentially born in Panama rather than the Canal Zone (which, until 1980 at least, was technically a US possession similar in status to Guam and which did grant persons born there US citizenship under the treaty which formed the Canal Zone to begin with) does throw up a legal squidgy area that--to my knowledge--has never been decided in the courts, largely because it's a situation that has never come up.

                Namely, the question is, "Does someone born to US parents and acquiring birthright citizenship qualify legally, under Constitutional provisions, as a 'natural born' citizen for purposes of Presidential eligibility?"

                Again, we can't say "yes" or "no", because frankly this question has never come up.  We can definitely say (if McCain was born in the Canal Zone) that he'd have been eligible, because the Canal Zone was at that time US territory.  We can definitely say that Arnold Schwartzenegger is ineligible, because he was born in Austria and acquired US citizenship via naturalisation.

                The squidgy area occurs with someone who acquires birthright citizenship but is not born in the US or US territories proper (as may well have been the case with McCain, if he was born in Panama).  Again, things could swing either way, depending on whether "natural born citizen" means "someone whom acquired US citizenship at birth" or "person born on soil of US or US territories" (and there are good arguments for both--an argument "Yes" would fit in with the rest of immigration law, whilst there is also a good argument for "No" based on the fact the Founding Fathers may have been attempting to prevent persons who could legally claim dual citizenship from the Presidency).

                Part of the reason for this confusion is because immigration and citizenship law have changed quite a bit since the original ratification of the Constitution.  Birthright citizenship has only been around since 1790 and was considered even then an explicit form of naturalisation until a succeeding law in 1795 clarified the matter, and the Fourteenth Amendment only addresses the question of citizenship of people presently resident in the US (the only court decision beforehand re whether birthright citizenship of persons born outside the US is "natural birth" or naturalisation was, ironically, the infamous decision in Dred Scott--and quite obviously the Fourteenth Amendment rendered that moot, and thank goodness for that).  

                As if this wasn't bad enough in creating a legal grey area, the vast majority of legal decisions on what defines a "natural born citizen" have focused on people with at least one foreign-born parent, not two US citizens.  In fact, up until 1934, birthright citizenship was only available through the paternal line--children of a US-citizen mother and a foreign father in the US only became eligible for citizenship after a specific law was passed allowing maternal transmission of birthright citizenship as well.

                Even now, the situation is a little more complicated than most folks realise; the only categories of persons eligible for birthright citizenship when born abroad are folks with two married US citizen parents, one of which must have lived in the States.

                Even the State Department's own official advisories on acquisition of citizenship by kids born to US citizens abroad note that it is still an undecided, and legally squidgy, issue as to whether someone who gains citizenship via birth abroad to US citizens would qualify as "natural born":

                7 FAM 1131.6-2 Eligibility for Presidency
                (TL:CON-68; 04-01-1998)
                a. It has never been determined definitively by a court whether a person who acquired U.S. citizenship by birth abroad to U.S. citizens is a naturalborn citizen within the meaning of Article II of the Constitution and, therefore, eligible for the Presidency.
                b. Section 1, Article II, of the Constitution states, in relevant part that "No Person except a natural born Citizen...shall be eligible for the Office of President;"
                c. The Constitution does not define "natural born". The "Act to establish an Uniform Rule of Naturalization", enacted March 26, 1790, (1 Stat. 103,104) provided that, "...the children of citizens of the United States, that may be born ... out of the limits of the United States, shall be considered as natural born citizens: Provided that the right of citizenship shall not descend to persons whose fathers have never been resident in the United States."
                d. This statute is no longer operative, however, and its formula is not included in modern nationality statutes. In any event, the fact that someone is a natural born citizen pursuant to a statute does not necessarily imply that he or she is such a citizen for Constitutional purposes.

                (Emphasis mine.)

                The question has been the subject of debate in Congress as recently as 2004 (including attempts by Republican Congresscritters to formally define "natural born citizen" as being equivalent to birthright citizenship, as well as attempts to remove the "natural born" requirement altogether).

                So in short: If McCain was meaning "Panama" as in "That part of the Canal Zone now belonging to Panama", he's cool; if not, not even the State Department knows if he's legally eligible to be President, and it would be extremely likely to end up in a messy court case because there is frankly no legal guidance on the matter. :P

            •  This is flatly untrue! (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              carolita

              Please do some research before conveying such "facts."  From the State Department website:

              Birth Abroad to Two U.S. Citizen Parents in Wedlock: A child born abroad to two U.S. citizen parents acquires U.S. citizenship at birth under section 301(c) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). One of the parents MUST have resided in the U.S. prior to the child's birth. No specific period of time for such prior residence is required.

              BOTH of hia parents lived in the U.S. before his birth.  His father was a Naval Academy graduate!

              This is as bad as the righties and their conspiracies about Obama.  

              "Those who would sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither liberty nor security." -Ben Franklin

              by leevank on Thu Jun 12, 2008 at 04:10:49 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Again, the problem is "natural born". (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Clem Yeobright

                There's no real doubt that McCain would have been eligible for citizenship via his parents--the squidginess boils down to two questions:

                a) Whether McCain was born in the Canal Zone or an "off-base" hospital in Panama (this is important; at the time, the Canal Zone was US territory and people did specifically acquire "natural born" status by being born in the Canal Zone, whereas things get much more grey if he was born off-base).

                b) The legal definition of "natural born citizen" (which is a unique category that only occurs in the US Constitution, has not in fact been ever formally legally defined, has no case law regarding persons acquiring citizenship by being born abroad to US citizen parents, and could swing either "yes" or "no" depending on what particular legal arguments one uses).

                Even the US State Department--and they should know, if anyone should--has been unable to determine whether someone acquiring citizenship by birth abroad to US parents would be legally considered "natural born".  If it turns out McCain was born in Panama and someone does decide to sue stating he is Constitutionally ineligible, it's extremely likely that the ensuing court case would be the sole corpus of case law on it, and it would not be an exaggeration to state that it could result in a mild Constitutional crisis.  (Let us all work for Obama winning, or it could turn into a bigger and much messier one that could make the 2000 court case fiasco look like a game of Chutes and Ladders in comparison.)

      •  Are you calling me a troll? (5+ / 0-)

        Excuse me but this was news to me.

        It may be hard for you to see from your high horse, but some of us do give a shit, and it is our legitimate right to comment upon it so long as we are respectful and do so in good faith.

        Your sneering condescension does not "contribute to the political conversation today" any more than this diary.  Actually, far less.

        You see, some of us who are not constantly glued to blogs and news feeds were not aware of this, and, being good progressives, applauded any perceived weakness in the GOP candidate.

        If KOS can make an issue out of McCain's age and even his TEETH for god's sake, I'd wager that this issue is fair game, so if you don't like it, move along.  There are plenty of other diaries which you may find more substantive.

        •  then you should do a bit more searching (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          highacidity, leevank

          no point in making noise about this, focus on the real stuff -- his policies and inability to speak coherently

        •  I was talking about/to the diarist... (0+ / 0-)

          ...and was not replying to YOU. I tend not to comment as much on other people's comments as I do the diary or topic at hand. Because my comment landed beneath yours, even inline, is irrelevant.

          The issue of McCain's status as a US citizen has been gone through with a fine tooth comb to the point where, as another commenter reminded us, both houses of Congress passed a resolution declaring John McCain a citizen of the United States and to the point where Senator Obama called the argument ridiculous.

          You do NOT have to be "...glued to blogs and news feeds" to have a reasonable ability to debate or debunk current events and issues. As someone else here equally commented, this issue is four months old by measure of this political season and was even raised in 1999 when McSame was running against Bush. You can comment all day long on any issue and no one is going to get too hot and bothered about it though they may disagree.

          But, DKos is not your mother's blog site or a political version of myspace. I myself have learned the hard way that you can't just throw any old thing against the wall here (a diary of opinion), hope that it sticks, and get a thousand "ataboys" regardless of how well researched, presented, or authored. If there's a problem with one's logic, you will get called out fast.

          Call it elite. Call it ostracism. Call it whatever you want. You just can't call it unintelligent, behind the times, or uninformed.

          I stand by my opinion that this is a bullshit diary four months too late to be interesting.

    •  nice try (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      highacidity

      Thus there were varying interpretations. Guidance should be sought from the Department (CA/OCS) when such issues arise.

      So CA/OCS would rule against him you think?

      Not even worth bringing up.  Talk about political cheap shots backfiring... geegoddamn

      (-9.12,-7.33) I'm calling it now-- after the first Debate, MSM will run Nixon/Kennedy into the ground

      by Mikeguyver on Thu Jun 12, 2008 at 03:18:16 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Why reply this to me? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Clem Yeobright

        I didn't write this diary.  All I did was express passing interest in a topic which was news to me.

        Because of that, I'm now a troll, and I take cheap political shots, and I apparently need to independently verify every single diary before I comment on it.

        Sheesh, take a valium!

        •  I was replying to (0+ / 0-)

          It would be too hilarious if he got DQ'ed

          I never called you a troll, nor accused you of cheap shots.  Merely pointing out that pursuing that line of attack would indeed be a cheap political shot that would certainly backfire in a big way.

          I wouldn't mind a valium, actually.

          (-9.12,-7.33) I'm calling it now-- after the first Debate, MSM will run Nixon/Kennedy into the ground

          by Mikeguyver on Thu Jun 12, 2008 at 06:00:23 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Whose quote was it that said, "There's a 25% (0+ / 0-)

      chance that McCain will not end up being the nominee"?---  one of the self-important people---but I can't remember whom.  I think it was said after the green screen appearance tho and not in connection to this.

  •  Um, this was a bombshell (35+ / 0-)

    4 months ago, was diaried to death and his eligibility is not the least bit in question -- as it is supported by Obama who thinks this is ridiculous.

    My faith in the Constitution is whole, it is complete, it is total. Barbara Jordan 1974

    by gchaucer2 on Thu Jun 12, 2008 at 02:52:53 PM PDT

    •  And Worth Repeating Now. (0+ / 0-)

      Notice: This Comment © ROGNM

      by ROGNM on Thu Jun 12, 2008 at 02:54:50 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  BC and Wider Audiences, not Kossacks (0+ / 0-)

      I searched, but probably set something wrong and didn't catch the earlier ones.  My apologies.

      My point is the following.  You know about this.  I know about it.  (I knew about it two years ago, actually, but that's another matter.)  But 99%+ of Americans do not know this.  And a prolonged "let's look at Birth Certificates" media campaign will bring it up to those 99%.  I've talked to a lot of non-political junkies who are absolutely blown away every time I've ever mentioned it.  And it really bothers some of them--even ex-military.

      And McCain doesn't have any interest in reminding them.  You think this is mentioned on McCain's bio on his website?  Take a look and see if you can find it.

      The eligibility is not at all obvious, if you click through the Wash Post link.  There are some "natural born citizen" arguments.  But even the Senate thought this sufficiently possible to be an issue to take the time to vote on it.

    •  You're right.. he's eligible (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      reflectionsv37

      I don't think there's much of a question here about his actual eligibility, but I think the diarist makes an interesting point. It isn't something that mccain WANTS people to know.

      I wonder, would it be damaging to him if more people knew about it?  He's definitely been downplaying it. The corp media (at least the cablenets) haven't said word one about it. That gives me pause right there. If they think it's damaging to him, that would be their pattern of behavior.

      A learning experience is one of those things that says, 'You know that thing you just did? Don't do that.' Douglas Adams

      by dougymi on Thu Jun 12, 2008 at 03:17:13 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I wonder (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bejammin075, Greasy Grant, Amber6541

    if this was the first time in his life he was proud to be born in Panama.

    The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt. Bertrand Russell

    by accumbens on Thu Jun 12, 2008 at 02:53:33 PM PDT

  •  Yeah, and the Pres and Veep can't be from the (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    OLinda, Amber6541

    same state either, right?

    So, explain the two Texans in office now....

    You kids behave or I'm turning this universe around RIGHT NOW! - god

    by Clem Yeobright on Thu Jun 12, 2008 at 02:53:42 PM PDT

    •  Easy: IOKIYAR (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Clem Yeobright
    •  Well... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Clem Yeobright

      Technically, Cheney moved his primary residence to Wyoming.

      TexasDemocrat
      Giggity giggity giggity...Iraq's a Quagmire

      by TexasDemocrat on Thu Jun 12, 2008 at 02:59:55 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Technically, anybody can move any time (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Superribbie

        so either the Founders got technically pwn3d or they intended that 'residency' be interpreted straightforwardly ...  When these clowns chose to snicker at the Constitution from nomination day, we should have been well apprised of how they would treat it after inauguration day, no?

        You kids behave or I'm turning this universe around RIGHT NOW! - god

        by Clem Yeobright on Thu Jun 12, 2008 at 03:03:22 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  States (5+ / 0-)

      Yeah, and the Pres and Veep can't be from the same state either, right?

      Sure they can.

      But electors can't cast votes for President and Vice President for two people who are both inhabitants on the day of the election of the same state as the state for which the elector is voting.

      •  Which properly left one of them unelected in 2000 (0+ / 0-)

        The Electors shall meet in their respective states and vote by ballot for President and Vice-President, one of whom, at least, shall not be an inhabitant of the same state with themselves ...

        - 12th Amendment

        'Establishing residence' is not so simple as loading up a moving van and crossing the state line on November 3 - the rethugs flouted the spirit of the Constitution in 2000 even if there was never to be a court ruling about it ...

        You kids behave or I'm turning this universe around RIGHT NOW! - god

        by Clem Yeobright on Thu Jun 12, 2008 at 03:09:45 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Inhabitance (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Clem Yeobright

          'Establishing residence' is not so simple as loading up a moving van and crossing the state line on November 3

          Don't be absurd.

          How does one define "inhabitance"?  [That's the word that appears in the Constitution, not "residence"]

          It's a serious question.

          A court of law would probably rule that eligibility to vote (in said state) is sufficient.

          The simple reality is, it's an very easy hurdle to clear.

          PS - The Constitution is almost certainly not talking about the general election (your "November 3") but the casting of Electorals)

          •  So the founders were blowing smoke (0+ / 0-)

            up their own asses, right?

            All it comes down to is a moral imperative for the electors individually, and the Texas electors in 2000 reveled in the fact they were flouting the Constitution.

            That's all.

            You kids behave or I'm turning this universe around RIGHT NOW! - god

            by Clem Yeobright on Thu Jun 12, 2008 at 03:22:44 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Inhabitance (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Clem Yeobright

              It's a word.  Words have meanings.

              And then there are vague phrases which don't mean much of anything ...

              So the founders were blowing smoke up their own asses, right?

              The founders weren't picking random words - they were being very specific.  They used the term inhabitant.  They used the present tense.  Obviously, they were allowing that each recipient of a Virginian Elector's votes might, in the past, have inhabited Virginia.

              You're the one ignoring the Constitution and ignoring the fact that the Founders haggled over every word.  I'm not running around making silly comments like the founders were blowing smoke up their own asses.  I'm looking at the Constitution.  And the fact that you wish it said something it doesn't is too bad for you.

              That's all.

              •  Missed your meds this morning? LOL (0+ / 0-)

                If "I moved to Joisey last week" works for you, what the hey, it works for me too!

                Peace!

                You kids behave or I'm turning this universe around RIGHT NOW! - god

                by Clem Yeobright on Thu Jun 12, 2008 at 03:44:53 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  More Childishness from Clem (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Clem Yeobright

                  Missed your meds this morning?

                  Like I said, words have meanings.  Want to have a discussion, Clem?  Then stop acting like a juvenile.  

                  If "I moved to Joisey last week" works for you, what the hey, it works for me too!

                  Actually, I already pointed out that we have legal definitions of inhabitance:

                  A court of law would probably rule that eligibility to vote (in said state) is sufficient.

                  I don't think any state allows one to vote after a mere week of residence.  But, by all means, keep up with the juvenile remarks and pretending I never addressed your points.  Keep up the pithy comments and utter ignore what the Constitution actually says.

                  Because, Clem, you've made it very clear that actually arguing the facts don't do a thing for your case.

                  And now I'm done unless you stop acting like a petulant child.

                  •  Okay, seriously, it's jejune (0+ / 0-)

                    The Convention spent ZERO time on the method for electing the president - it was a last-minute solution by the Committee on Details, and their formulation blew up horribly in the 1800 election, after having been revealed to be weak already in 1796.

                    The twelfth amendment was not considered any more deeply, except in terms of fixing the problem it was intended to fix.

                    At the time, a prominent citizen was recognized to be an inhabitant of a state, and "I moved to Joisey last week" would not likely have been persuasive, regardless of voting regulations.

                    "Inhabitant" is also used in Article I, wherein persons are excluded from either house

                    who shall not, when elected, be an Inhabitant of that State in which he shall be chosen.

                    - except that a Senator was required to be "an inhabitant of that state for which he shall be chosen." ['Words have meaning', you say, so that discrepancy must have some deep meaning, right? What could it be????]

                    Do you remember Bobby Kennedy's rush to establish NY residency? And the first Mrs Rockefeller's effort to establish Nevada residency while Nellie frolicked with his happily pregnant Happy?

                    Now, if a candidate were to die during or after the campaign and before Dec 19, someone might actually be disqualified in the Electoral College. Stranger things have happened ... and recently!

                    You kids behave or I'm turning this universe around RIGHT NOW! - god

                    by Clem Yeobright on Thu Jun 12, 2008 at 04:14:56 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

  •  Come on. We have issues to fight him with. (13+ / 0-)

    This is silly.  He was born to military personnel, for God's sake.  If an American tourist gave birth on a trip to Europe, are you telling me her child wouldn't be a U.S. citizen?  

    We don't need to play these games.  We got McCain on the issues.  Let's beat him that way.

  •  This is a ridiculous argument (14+ / 0-)

    Im no McCain fan but to attempt to make a claim that children of US Soldiers serving our country overseas are unable and ineligible to dream of being the President of the United States is an insult to anyone who has served.

    Id like this issue to die, mccain isnt that hard to beat.

    •  it came from the Republicans (0+ / 0-)

      they didn't want McCain, new stupid smears like this work with a reasonable number of stupid people, and went with it.  Sounds like a problem doesn't it?

      So the fact that it's being repeated here is somewhat disturbing.  

      I saw an attempted smear on Obama along the same lines, I guess that's why he released his birth certificate.

      But if McCain can't supply a birth certificate, he can't vote in a lot of places nowadays.  Do you have to be eligible to vote in your state to hold Federal office?

  •  This should be kept on the low-down until AFTER (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    unterhausen, Amber6541

    the GOP nominating convention.

    Otherwise, it might justify replacing him with a do-over candidate:  Mitt, Huckabee, Giuliani or some other brokered candidate.

    We don't want McCain to be the stalking horse for a surprise GOP candidate - he is shaping up to be the Bob Dole of this election cycle in terms of his competitiveness to Obama.

  •  Oh, grow up! (10+ / 0-)

    This has been diaried to death.

    Both of John McCain's parents were U.S. citizens.  Of course he is a U.S. citizen.

    Do you think that any baby born out of the country, to two U.S. citizens, is not a citizen?  If I had had my children in Mexico (I was on vacation and in Mexico when I was pregnant--could have happened) that my kids would not be U.S. citizens?

    No, no, no.  Just everyone shut up about this.  It is a useless distraction from real issues--like McCain's 100 years of occupation, and his distaste for Americans having healthcare through single payer, and his environmental views, and all of the other substantive issues of this election.

    To say my fate is not tied to your fate is like saying, "Your end of the boat is sinking."--Hugh Downs

    by Dar Nirron on Thu Jun 12, 2008 at 02:56:33 PM PDT

  •  Being Born in the U.S. ... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Noisy Democrat, ksingh, Jyrinx

    ... is not a requirement to be President.

  •  Very old news (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bejammin075

    tell us something we don't know.  You just wake up from a 20 year nap?

  •  i think maybe (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cosette

    they want us to make an issue of it, so they in turn could disqualify him...given he's such a disaster.  I say leave it alone!!!!

    We can and we will!!!!!!

    by jarell on Thu Jun 12, 2008 at 02:58:58 PM PDT

  •  Look People - I believe it is an issue (7+ / 0-)

    This very issue happen to me.

    Overseas in Panama, having child, was told that my child, while being born in a US Military hospital the hospital was on Panamanian sovereign territory and the child would not - I repeat - would not be a "natural born" citizen but a "naturalized citizen".  All of the vital records would be retained by the country of Panama and he would be a dual citizen at his chosen.

    So guess what I did - I flew back to the Unites States @ 7 months pregnant and had the child in the good - old - US or A (Missouri)

    Before: "America Rising" - John Edwards we are with you. - After - Not This Time - Barack Obama we are with you!

    by totallynext on Thu Jun 12, 2008 at 02:59:27 PM PDT

    •  This, from Senate.gov (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      dogemperor, ksingh, Hank Skorpio

      as commentary on article II section 1 of the Constitution:

      This clause requires that in order to take the oath of office a president must be 35, a resident within the United States for 14 years, and a natural-born citizen. This last requirement raises the question of whether someone born to American parents outside of the United States would be eligible to hold the office.

      You kids behave or I'm turning this universe around RIGHT NOW! - god

      by Clem Yeobright on Thu Jun 12, 2008 at 03:12:38 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Ah, yes. The Senate homepage. (0+ / 0-)

        That's where all the lawyers go for the latest case law.

        Denny Crane: But if he supports a law, and then agrees to let it lapse ... then that would make him ...

        Shirley Schmidt: A Democrat.

        by Jyrinx on Thu Jun 12, 2008 at 03:19:49 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  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 ]

    •  that may be,,, (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      cosette

      but when McCain was born Coco Solo was not on sovereign Panamanian territory. It was in the Panama Canal Zone which was a U.S. Territory just like Guam or the Virgin Islands. It didn't become Panamanian territory until 1979.

  •  Uh, (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Marie, denig

    if you're born to even one American citizen on foreign soil you are born an American citizen.

    My granddaughter was born in Beijing to my American son and his Chinese wife. Guess what. My four-year-old granddaughter is an automatic American citizen and so it states on her American passport.

    What am I not getting here? Were McCain's parents not American citizens?

    You've got to vote for someone. It's a shame, but it's got to be done.--Whoopi Goldberg

    by Libertaria on Thu Jun 12, 2008 at 02:59:40 PM PDT

    •  It's... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Clem Yeobright, totallynext

      It's not about citizenship...

      TexasDemocrat
      Giggity giggity giggity...Iraq's a Quagmire

      by TexasDemocrat on Thu Jun 12, 2008 at 03:01:05 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  But I'd like to thank (0+ / 0-)

      the diarist for insinuating that my granddaughter is not a US citizen and can never run for Prez.

      You've got to vote for someone. It's a shame, but it's got to be done.--Whoopi Goldberg

      by Libertaria on Thu Jun 12, 2008 at 03:01:25 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Again - don't be a jerk (3+ / 0-)

        The discussion is an honest discussion - the premise is not whether they are citizens = but the category of citizenship.

        Before: "America Rising" - John Edwards we are with you. - After - Not This Time - Barack Obama we are with you!

        by totallynext on Thu Jun 12, 2008 at 03:02:18 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  He's a citizen by virtue of his birth. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          leevank

          That makes him a natural-born citizen. Period.

          Denny Crane: But if he supports a law, and then agrees to let it lapse ... then that would make him ...

          Shirley Schmidt: A Democrat.

          by Jyrinx on Thu Jun 12, 2008 at 03:04:24 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Gee, the folks at Senate.gov don't agree (0+ / 0-)

            at least, not with your 'period'.

            This clause requires that in order to take the oath of office a president must be 35, a resident within the United States for 14 years, and a natural-born citizen. This last requirement raises the question of whether someone born to American parents outside of the United States would be eligible to hold the office.

            You kids behave or I'm turning this universe around RIGHT NOW! - god

            by Clem Yeobright on Thu Jun 12, 2008 at 03:15:08 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Sure, it "raised the question" (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Clem Yeobright, Cassandra Waites

              and that question has been thoroughly swatted down in the meantime.

              I'm really not sure every blurb on the senate.gov site is exactly on the bleeding edge of legal jurisprudence.

              Besides, how does "natural-born citizen" require geographical location to figure into it? He is a citizen because of the circumstances of his birth. Why on Earth would a judge rule otherwise? Just because it isn't actually settled case law doesn't mean there's any doubt about what the outcome would be.

              Denny Crane: But if he supports a law, and then agrees to let it lapse ... then that would make him ...

              Shirley Schmidt: A Democrat.

              by Jyrinx on Thu Jun 12, 2008 at 03:19:08 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  Natural-born citizen: (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              cosette, Clem Yeobright, Jyrinx

              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 Thu Jun 12, 2008 at 03:31:09 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Made ya look! LOL (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                denig

                I'm sure that anyone who carries a US passport and has not gone through the naturalization process will both by law and by general agreement be deemed eligible to run for and serve as President. It just makes sense.

                And as long as Ah-nold is excluded, I am content ...

                Peace!

                You kids behave or I'm turning this universe around RIGHT NOW! - god

                by Clem Yeobright on Thu Jun 12, 2008 at 03:49:07 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

        •  You mean there are (0+ / 0-)

          categories of citizenship? Admit it, you pulled that one out of your derriere.

          My granddaughter's passport does not specify what 'category of citizenship' she is.

          You've got to vote for someone. It's a shame, but it's got to be done.--Whoopi Goldberg

          by Libertaria on Thu Jun 12, 2008 at 03:04:46 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Well, there are. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Clem Yeobright

            Rupert Murdoch is a U.S. citizen, but (thank Christ) he can't even run for President because he is a born citizen of Australia and not the U.S.

            But McCain is a natural-born citizen, so yeah.

            Denny Crane: But if he supports a law, and then agrees to let it lapse ... then that would make him ...

            Shirley Schmidt: A Democrat.

            by Jyrinx on Thu Jun 12, 2008 at 03:06:52 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  So you're saying that (0+ / 0-)

              any baby born to US soldiers overseas cannot run for Prez? You're saying that McCain was a born citizen of another country? What the hell are you saying?

              You've got to vote for someone. It's a shame, but it's got to be done.--Whoopi Goldberg

              by Libertaria on Thu Jun 12, 2008 at 03:09:58 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  No, no, no (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                cosette

                I'm saying he can run for President, but Murdoch (for instance) can't, even though Murdoch is a U.S. citizen. (Same team! :-) )

                Denny Crane: But if he supports a law, and then agrees to let it lapse ... then that would make him ...

                Shirley Schmidt: A Democrat.

                by Jyrinx on Thu Jun 12, 2008 at 03:11:03 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

    •  His parents were also Panamanian moles (0+ / 0-)

      photoshop anyone? I prefer the Starnose Moles myself.
        Lighten up everybody, big deal, who cares.
      He's a goon.

      McMeatwad (R) for pResident.

      by KenBee on Thu Jun 12, 2008 at 03:28:12 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Not a silly argument. What's good (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ROGNM, baxxor

    for the goose is good for the gander.  We should be demanding McCain show is BC.  If the stupid Republicans didn't raise this issue with Obama, then McCain's place of birth needn't be raised.

    I think it should be demanded that he reciprocated just as the Republicans demanded of Obama.

    It's the only way to stop these idiots from continually holding Obama to a higher standard than McCain.

    So he served in Vietnam, but does that automatically qualified him to be President?

    Nothing can stand in the way of a million voices calling for change! - Obama

    by jalenth on Thu Jun 12, 2008 at 02:59:42 PM PDT

    •  Cliches Notwithstanding (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Indexer, Libertaria

      Not a silly argument. What's good for the goose is good for the gander.

      When the goose makes a moronic, factually bereft, nonsensical argument it is not then "good" for the gander to do the same.

      •  Who you callin' factually bereft? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Clem Yeobright

        You think the US State Department's primer on "Natural Born Citizens", and the section on Incorporated Territories, and the section going directly at the "born on a military base", all just appeared on my screen one day?

        •  Factually Bereft (0+ / 0-)

          I was referring to the argument made by the goose.  The gander is a fool to emulate such behavior.

          Prior to January 13, 1941, there was no statutory definition of "the United States" for citizenship purposes. Thus there were varying interpretations. Guidance should be sought from the Department (CA/OCS) when such issues arise.

          I think what didn't appear on your screen was everything inconvenient to your foolish agenda.  Whether the U.S. was definited pre-1941 is irrelevant, for Congress had long since made clear that those born beyond the U.S. to American citizens were themselves natural born.

  •  Unanimous Senate: He is "natural born citizen" (5+ / 0-)

    http://leahy.senate.gov/...

    And the Leahy resolution (cosponsored by Obama and Clinton) was just confirmation of the 1790 law providing this.

    http://www.associatedcontent.com/...

    Seriously.  We don't need to ape the wingers round here.

    John McCain: Healthcare for kids? Not in the Bush-McCain America.

    by bosdcla14 on Thu Jun 12, 2008 at 03:01:12 PM PDT

  •  To those hammering the diarist (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TexasDemocrat, baxxor, m4gill4

    for old news.

    FYI... some of us took a break from the battle was going on here between the Obama/ Clinton camps.

    Additionly, I believe the diarist's point was that McCain is not excited about having the general public be reminded he was born outside the US.  As we all know, the general public is not as well informed as most of the people here.

  •  vetted (0+ / 0-)

    and disposed of.  Nothing to see here, move along.

    I am quite sure now that often, very often, in matters concerning religion and politics a man's reasoning powers are not above the monkey's. - Mark Twain

    by route66 on Thu Jun 12, 2008 at 03:01:55 PM PDT

  •  Obama co-sponsored a resolution (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    gilgaiiowa, Jacob Bartle, Libertaria

    in the Senate to clear up any questions. he said McCain IS a citizen.

    •  So a resolution - overrides the 14th Amendment (0+ / 0-)

      of the constitution?  

      Before: "America Rising" - John Edwards we are with you. - After - Not This Time - Barack Obama we are with you!

      by totallynext on Thu Jun 12, 2008 at 03:04:09 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Repeat: (0+ / 0-)

        I despise the S.O.B. but he is a US citizen. Quit digging yourself in deeper.

        You've got to vote for someone. It's a shame, but it's got to be done.--Whoopi Goldberg

        by Libertaria on Thu Jun 12, 2008 at 03:07:12 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I don't think we should pursue this, but... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          SarahLee

          as a lawyer, there is an unsettled legal question here.
          The Constitution says that to be President you have to be a natural born citizen as of the date of the passage of the Constitution.
          Hence, a law passed by Congress in 1790 purportedly defining the term "natural born citizen" could not possibly have any impact on the meaning of that term in 1789, except perhaps as evidence of what the colonies understood the term to be when they ratified the Constitution in 1789.  Which is debatable.

          •  Founders (0+ / 0-)

            Hence, a law passed by Congress in 1790 purportedly defining the term "natural born citizen" could not possibly have any impact on the meaning of that term in 1789, except perhaps as evidence of what the colonies understood the term to be when they ratified the Constitution in 1789

            Which is a damn good guide, given that the 87 members of Congress in 1790 were largely drawn from the same pool of politicians which comprised the Constitutional Convention (which drafted the Constitution) and the legislatures of the States (which all ratified the Constitution).

            Not to mention the President which signed the bill.  You know, the guy who was also the President of the Constitutional Convention?

        •  US Citizen is NOT the Constitutional Test (0+ / 0-)

          and in any case, my main point is the optics of it for McCain, more than the actual legal jeopardy.

          •  ... and the optics favor McCain. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            SarahLee, bugscuffle

            Seriously, how much know-how would a GOP operative need to make this look like a left-wing veteran-smearing campaign? He was born on a U.S. ARMY BASE. (Okay, maybe he was born in a local hospital - to a father who was stationed at the nearby U.S. ARMY BASE.)

            Denny Crane: But if he supports a law, and then agrees to let it lapse ... then that would make him ...

            Shirley Schmidt: A Democrat.

            by Jyrinx on Thu Jun 12, 2008 at 03:15:07 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  Overrides Amendment XIV? How? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        gilgaiiowa

        How, precisely, is Amendment XIV "overriden" by the resolution in question?

  •  BREAKING: (6+ / 0-)

    Brooklyn Dodgers to relocate to Los Angeles!

  •  zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz n/t (0+ / 0-)

    dissent not only welcome... but encouraged

    by newfie53523 on Thu Jun 12, 2008 at 03:04:28 PM PDT

  •  Holy shit. (5+ / 0-)

    I was hoping this was snark.

    Again:  McCain could have been born   on a T-34 tank in Red Square on May Day.  If his parents were Amnerican citizens, he is a natural-born American citizen.

    •  This Has Never Been Settled (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      dogemperor, Clem Yeobright

      It's implied in a court case from 1790 but never directly ruled on in the context of a presidential campaign.

      In any case, I am not really raising that McCain might not be eligible.  I think he'll win the court case.  But my point is that I am sure he doesn't want it as a topic of discussion.

      •  He would *love* it to be discussed (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        dogemperor, Libertaria

        that he was born on a frickin' army base. Serious boost to his veteran credentials and his ancestry (father and grandfather both veterans as well).

        Denny Crane: But if he supports a law, and then agrees to let it lapse ... then that would make him ...

        Shirley Schmidt: A Democrat.

        by Jyrinx on Thu Jun 12, 2008 at 03:13:07 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Never Been Settled, Tsk, Tsk (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        bugscuffle, Cassandra Waites, Jyrinx

        It's implied in a court case from 1790 but never directly ruled on in the context of a presidential campaign.

        What court case?

        You know what else has never been settled?

        Whether a President must be 35 "Earth" years old!  Maybe they mean Mercurian years (hey, my 6th-grade twins are old enough!) or maybe they mean Jovian years (hey, neither Obama nor McCain are old enough!).

        Some things are never "settled" by a court because almost everybody sees them as glaringly obvious.

      •  Okay. (0+ / 0-)

        Why don't you march down to the federal courthouse and file a suit to keep McCain off the ballot.

      •  I'll Ask Again - What Court Case? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        bugscuffle

        It's implied in a court case from 1790 but never directly ruled on in the context of a presidential campaign.

        Actually, I think I know the answer to this one.  

        The "court case" you reference was actually the first naturalization bill ever passed by Congress, back in 1790.  And it doesn't "imply" that those born overseas to U.S. citizens are themselves citizens, it states it in no uncertain terms.

        If, as I suspect, you are confusing a law passed by Congress and a court case, then you've got serious credibility problems.  

        But, I'm happy to be shown the court case you refrence.

        Well?

  •  old news (0+ / 0-)

    try to keep up.

  •  His father was on active duty, (6+ / 0-)

    in the Navy, I believe.  His parents were both citizens of the US.  The situation is covered in law, and Senator McCain is most definitely a natural-born citizen of the United States of America.

    There are a sufficiency of other reasons to keep him out of the White House.

  •  US code: title 8, 1403. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Cody

    "(a) Any person born in the Canal Zone on or afterFebruary 26, 1904, and whether before or after the effective date of this chapter, whose father or mother or both at the time of the birth of such person was or is a citizen of the United States, is declared to be a citizen of the United States.
    (b) Any person born in the Republic of Panama on or after February 26, 1904, and whether before or after the effective date of this chapter, whose father or mother or both at the time of the birth of such person was or is a citizen of the United States employed by the Government of the United States or by the Panama Railroad Company, or its successor in title, is declared to be a citizen of the United States. "

  •  Yaaaaaawwwwwwnnnnn. n/t (0+ / 0-)

    I never meant to say the the Conservatives are generally stupid. I meant to say that stupid people are generally Conservative. -John Stuart Mill

    by word player on Thu Jun 12, 2008 at 03:26:09 PM PDT

  •  That dog won't hunt... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Jyrinx

    IMHO, there's a fairly obvious reason why neither campaign will do well to harp on the circumstances of the other's birth.  In both cases, as the old saw goes, "that don't won't hunt."

    In McCain's case, not only is this old news, but the objections to McCain's eligibility on this score have serious merit: are we to then say to our service men and women, who are subject to being stationed abroad at any time, that any children they may have while they're off serving their country will be thus barred from seeking the highest office in the land on a weird technicality?  Hardly.  No right-wing OR left-wing person I know would dare make that claim, and properly so.

    In Obama's case, it may be new news to most people that he was born in Hawaii, but any attacks against his American-ness won't hold water with anyone outside of that group of people who are already dead-set against him.  It's a sufficiently shallow sham as to be completely refuted by the documentary evidence, and can't fail to come across as anything other than a hugely clumsy attempt to smear Obama.  Independent and undecided voters probably won't take kindly to that sort of thing.

    In both cases the criticism amounts to little more than a smear.  As a campaign issue, it just doesn't have "legs".

  •  John PanaMcCain Should Be Running For President (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Clem Yeobright

    In Panama

    McCain/(Hagee+Parsley) '08 "We Hunt Jews and Muslims So You Dont Have To. Straight Talk"

    by DFutureIsNow on Thu Jun 12, 2008 at 03:32:16 PM PDT

  •  This is old news (0+ / 0-)

    and complete bullshit.  He was born on a  military base which is  considered legally usa territory.  Get McCain on real issues please.

    http://politicz.wordpress.com/

    by GlowNZ on Thu Jun 12, 2008 at 03:32:58 PM PDT

  •  Oh, for crying out loud! (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    beagledad, begone, Jyrinx

    This is old news and settled law. He's a natural born citizen, so it doesn't matter where he was born.

    See the 1790 Naturalization Act; Article II, Section 1 of the Constitution; 8 USC 1401; the precedents of George Romney, Barry Goldwater, and Chester A. Arthur; and the handful of SCOTUS decisions dealing with citizenship, none of which disqualify McCain.

  •  People - People - People...... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    carolita

    Stop being so silly.

    Through birth abroad to two United States citizens
    See also: jus sanguinis

    In most cases, one is a U.S. citizen if both of the following are true:
    Both parents were U.S. citizens at the time of the child's birth

    At least one parent lived in the United States prior to the child's birth.

    A person's record of birth abroad, if registered with a U.S. consulate or embassy, is proof of his or her citizenship. He or she may also apply for a passport or a Certificate of Citizenship to have his or her citizenship recognized.

    [edit]

  •  This should be used as "rebuttal" (0+ / 0-)

    When the "for the first time in my adult life I'm proud of my country" crowd comes out, just bring up this juicy quote.

    At least she was born here.  McCain is proud that he wasn't born here, and he said as much in this speech.

    As far as grounds for a court case, it is a waste of resources.

    "If we outlaw everything some people find offensive, there wouldn't even be a Texas in the first place." - Cindy Campos, Lifeguard

    by jandrewmorrison on Thu Jun 12, 2008 at 03:52:06 PM PDT

  •  McCain was born of American parents on American (0+ / 0-)

    territory. The fact that it's NOT american territory NOW has nothing to do with it.

  •  asdf (0+ / 0-)

    We should probably not bring this up.  Republicans want to dump McCain and this will give them an easy out.

    * 4096 * http://icasualties.org/oif/

    by BDA in VA on Thu Jun 12, 2008 at 04:13:04 PM PDT

  •  Aw, you updated and got all reasonable. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Clem Yeobright, bugscuffle

    You're no fun :-)

    Denny Crane: But if he supports a law, and then agrees to let it lapse ... then that would make him ...

    Shirley Schmidt: A Democrat.

    by Jyrinx on Thu Jun 12, 2008 at 04:21:24 PM PDT

  •  Citizenship and "natural born" citizens (0+ / 0-)

    The question, I think, is not whether McCain is in fact a citizen (he is, the laws at the time provided for birthright citizenship by being born to parents abroad).

    There is not an issue so long as McCain was technically born within the Canal Zone--during the period when the Canal Zone was in existence, it was considered a territory of the US and legislation provided for birthright citizenship of people who were born within the Canal Zone (same as people who are born in Puerto Rico are legally US citizens).  

    The big question, IMHO, is if McCain turns out to have been born off-base in Panama rather than in the Canal Zone--and I also think it is inaccurate to say he is or isn't ineligible for the presidency.

    This is, in large part, because--quite frankly--what the hell a "natural born citizen" is in the Constitution has never been formally or legally defined--not by law, not by court precedent.

    The US Constitution is the only place in law, in fact, where the term "natural born citizen" shows up like this.  It is assumed that people born in US territories and possessions generally can be considered "natural born" citizens, but things get considerably more hairy when discussing people who acquire US citizenship by being born to US parents abroad.

    In part, this is a matter of confusion because there was no law granting birthright citizenship to people born abroad to US citizen fathers until several years after the Constitution was ratified (and was only extended to women two years before McCain was born); there has been considerable change in immigration law since then, and literally the only bit of usable case law (the infamous Dred Scott decision) was invalidated by the Fourteenth Amendment.  

    People in certain areas and categories can be specifically granted the status of "natural born" citizens by law (this was done for African-Americans in former slave territories by the Fourteenth Amendment and for Native Americans in the Indian Citizenship Act of 1924--yes, technically my great-grandmother and many of my ancestors from about 1838 on to 1924 were technically "illegals" as persons with Native American ancestry were barred from US citizenship--and with the Canal Zone during its existence).  However, no such law exists regarding the general category of people born abroad to US parents (who acquire birthright citizenship) and no case law has ever defined what "natural born" means in a Constitutional context.

    This has resulted in a situation where even the State Department warns people that the issue of "natural born" citizenship re children born abroad to US parents is undecided--"natural born" citizenship is a category above and beyond citizenship granted via naturalisation, and it has never been formally decided if people acquiring US citizenship whilst being outside the US (by being born to parents who are US citizens) qualifies as being "natural born" or not.

    My prediction?  If it does in fact become an issue re McCain, it will end up going to court, and that court is probably going to set the first precedent in the matter as to whether or not persons born abroad to US parents (and not being born in US territories) count as "natural born citizens".  Either way, it will cause the Mother of All Shitstorms, and it may end up in a motion to amend the Constitution before all is said and done with.

    And I'll be the first to agree that we have much, much better things to use to knock McCain down with.  :3  My point was that things are not so cut and dry as "he's eligible" or "he's not eligible".  If he was born in the Canal Zone, he's definitely eligible; if not, the issue of whether he is eligible is best defined as "undecided, likely to end up in the courts and possibly spur a campaign to amend the Constitution to remove the "natural born" restriction".

  •  But may make him STFU (0+ / 0-)

    I understand the diary to be suggesting that at the very least, this inconvenient truth (not probably disqualifying, but definitely inconvenient) will dampen the otherwise tempting route of challenging Obama's citizenship/patriotism/foreignness.

    I wish I could be that optimistic, though it will likely diminish the use of Obama's birth certificate as the framing for those smears.

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