McCain Ineligible For Presidency?

Right, so there are lots of reasons why I’m sure folks may believe Senator John McCain would be ineligible to take up residence in the White House; he’s too old, too tied to Bush policies, too willing to hop off the Straight Talk Express for the sake of a little political expediency, too tied to lobbyists and too tied lying about it, and my personal favorite, because he has an R after his name.

But would you believe one of the things that makes him ineligible might be because he just might not meet the constitutional requirement of a “natural born citizen”?  Yeah, me neither.

Of course, I have some moral liberal guidance on that front in the first place.  I’ve got no qualms with naturalized citizens running for the highest office in the land; history has proven that being born on American soil doesn’t prevent one from being a crook, a liar, a cheat, or even a traitor.  If there’s an immigrant that comes to these shores, becomes naturalized, that makes them American in my book, and if they have the juice to run the Oval Office, more power to them, says I.

Granted, it would be beyond ridiculous to call McCain an immigrant even if he was born in the Panama Canal zone as a result of his father’s military service.  Which only goes to make the NYT story even more smoke than actual fire; woe be to any who call the children of military personnel serving abroad un-American.

In general, this does not I think put at risk in the slightest McCain’s ambitions for the White House, though it does point out phrasing of the Constitution that could use a little clarification (and, if I had my way, something of an overruling).

No, McCain’s got plenty of real hurdles on his way to the White House, like Iraq, or his professed lack of knowledge on the economy just at the time when that has turned to be the most significant issue according to voters, or his tendency to lose control of his temper, or the lack of enthsiasm amongst Republican voters compared to Democratic voters, or that he’ll be likely be facing a Democrat with strong independent and moderate appeal which is his ownmeal ticket.  Those and many other obstacles will serve just fine.

12 Responses to “McCain Ineligible For Presidency?”

  1. An interesting point is that anyone born in a US Territory is considered to be a natural citizen (except to foreign diplomatic personnel). The Panama Canal Zone was one till 1979. So, McCain is in the same standing as someone born in the continental US.

    Interestingly, if Obama had been born 2 years earlier, we could have had the same convo about him.

    But, yes, some of law does need to be changed, because it does not automatically make someone a natural citizen who is born at, say, a military base in England.

  2. gt sims says:

    actually the panama canal was not a us territory and the treaties granted only naturalized citizenship for those born in the canal…

    So mccain is stuck and not eligible until a constitutional ammendment is done which takes forever

  3. Do some research, gt. You are wrong. The PCZ was, in fact, an official US Territory, just like Hawaii was.

  4. Actually, interesting point, the PCZ was a US controlled territory from the first decade of the 1900’s to the late 1970’s. John McCain was born in the 1930’s, but it wasn’t until the 1950’s that congress passed a law clearly specifying that any child born in the PCZ would be a natural US Citizen so long as one of the two parents were also US Citizens.

    Thus, the law that would have kept this a clear cut case ended up coming about twenty years late.

    As the situation stands, he was born in US controlled territory, but the clarification as to the status of children born in that area wasn’t in place at the time, so we cannot, without significant legal argument, determine where we’re at.

  5. Robert Wyatt says:

    I found an article on fact check that points to why it doesn’t really matter.

    But McCain is a natural-born citizen, even though he was not born within this country’s borders, since his parents were citizens at the time of his birth. As a Congressional Act stated in 1790 and another reaffirmed in 1795:

    Congress: “And the children of citizens of the United States, that may be born beyond sea, or out of the limits of the United States, shall be considered as natural born citizens.”

    I could be wrong, but it seems to be straight forward.

  6. Interesting,I’ll lookitup.

  7. Scott says:

    I don’t know that the 1790/1795 laws count because Congress cannot change the constitution by passing a law. For example, Congress could not pass a law that defines a “natural born citizen.” So I think that leaves things with the 14th amendement.

    Although it is not legally binding, the US State Department says: “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.”

    This would appear to make McCain’s citizenship the result of his parents (jus sanguinis) and not the right of the land (jus soli).

    I’m not constitutional expert, and experts seem to think that this issue is rather tricky and in no way clear-cut.

    Since the article is missing over 50% of the facts/argument, I think it isn’t worth much. In addition, they are frequently wrong.

  8. John AKA highwaytoserfdom says:

    Manuel Noriega is going to run as a third party.. Both Neo-con warmongers…. This is ridiculous McCain is not a natural born citizen. Just LET GEORGE BUSH RUN AGAIN…

  9. Jason says:

    US Code, Title 8, Section 1403:

    (a) Any person born in the Canal Zone 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, 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.

    So, regardless of whether he is QUALIFIED to be President, he certainly is eligible.

  10. John says:

    The link is the best legal points seen on the issue. McCain is in no way eligible by law on the natural born question. The bigger question is pre preemptive war based colonial empire supported by both candidates. Both candidates are bought and paid for by corporate fascist. The credit and housing theft on Citizens is the main reason 48% of people don’t vote. Both politicians are spreading fear on economics, or terrorist. The real enemy is big government and bad foreign and domestic policies.

  11. David says:

    Clearly, by the letter of the law, McCain is barred from serving as the President of the United States. In the extremely unlikely event that this ever becomes a live issue, what would be the repurcussions?

    Let’s say that, against all odds, McCain achieves a majority of electors in the electoral college – would their decision be trumped by the constitution, or would McCain need to be sworn in before legal action could be pursued? Would we end up with the VP being promoted at the inauguration?

    I think it raises some interesting problems, and makes McCain’s VP choice even MORE important. Already we know he is likely to expire within four years, but this would make his VP the ‘unelected’ president (that would make three in a row, for those of you counting).

    Bottom line? It doesn’t matter, because there is no way McCain will win this election. Interesting, though!

  12. john AKA highwaytoserfdom says:

    McCain is not eligible due to Article II section I clause 5. The best resource that I have seen is here. I am a conservative and McCain/s stifling of MIA action of Vietnam vets, his involvement in the 1.4 T dollar S&L, the who knows multi trillion current housing/credit criminal usury bubble, his erratic behavior (5 planes crashed, power lines down) including Forstall wet start. Most of all his lack of intellect and Neo-con ideas. This topped off with the Isman lobbying scandle for billions of media cross ownership issues.. The media cartel has totally bought off the RNC and DNC. The only hope is a brokered RON PAUL.

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