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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-19-13 06:22 PM
Original message
Birth and the Presidency
Edited on Mon Aug-19-13 07:21 PM by No Elephants
Section 1 of Article II of the Constitution of the United States says, in pertinent part:



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.


The Twelfth Amendment to the COTUS says that no person who is not eligible to be President shall be Vice President. So, the Vice President must also be a natural born citizen, at least 35, and a resident within the U.S. for at least 14 years (wow--should be longer, IMO).


Another part of the Constitution made every resident of the U.S. at the time of adopted of the Constitution a citizen of the US and the above makes such citizens eligible to be President, even if they were born elsewhere. (Ergo, the above made someone like Hamilton, who was born in the West Indies, eligible to be President, though he never was.)

However, all members of that group are long gone, unless you believe in immortals or the formerly dead. That leaves us with "natural born citizen," a term that the Constitution does not define. But, the term, on its face, seems to have something to do with birth.

Notice, though, that the above quote never mentions place of birth, something that seems to have eluded the likes of Trump, who apparently gets his knowledge on the subject who doesn't know the Constitution from third base.


The SCOTUS has never squarely decided what "natural born citizen" means in the context of Article II of the Constitution. However, in cases not interpreting the Constitution, the Supreme Court has said that, historically, a person born within a nation would be considered a natural born citizen of that nation. The SCOTUS has never said, however, that the ONLY way to be a natural born citizen of the US is to be born within the US.

I have not studied the history of this issue, even a little. However, it's inconceivable that someone whose parents were citizens of, say, England, would not be a citizen of England if he or she had been born abroad because the parents were spending time at a vacation home on the Riviera, for example.

Hence, McCain, who was born outside the US to a mother who was a US citizen and a father who was a US citizen, was eligible. (Some argued that he was eligible because he was born on a military base, so that means he was born in the US. I don't think that is the reason, though.)

Is one parent enough, though? Probably. So many members of the military have married women born abroad, when stationed abroad, or fighting abroad, or occupying a nation. That was probably so throughout history. It would be unimaginable to deny such babies citizenship. I believe that Gomez's mother was a US citizen. So, even though Gomez was born in Canada, he is eligible to be President or Vice President, as far as Article II is concerned.

What if neither parent is an American citizen AND the baby is born outside the US? In that case, unless the language quoted above is amended, I think the baby can never be President, even if he or she and the parents later become citizens. (So sad, Swartzenegger!)
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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-19-13 07:26 PM
Response to Original message
1. P.S.
Both Senators and Reps maybe be naturalized citizens. The additional requirement was thought necessary for the President because of his position as Commander in Chief.
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Enthusiast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-20-13 05:07 AM
Response to Original message
2. You have created an
interesting discussion out of a subject that I have grown weary of.

These birther fucks still won't give up on Obama's legitimacy even though no one disputes that his mother was a US citizen. That woman, Orly Taitz sounds insane. But she is convincing to Teabagger types.

Yeah, it's so sad we couldn't have had a Swartzenegger presidential candidate, lol. Hey, California Republicans that also happen to be actors, you know. It worked before.
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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-20-13 07:43 AM
Response to Reply #2
3. There was a show honoring Tim Russert, after he had died suddenly.
Everyone, of course, raved about Russert.

Arnold, however, took that moment to report that Russert had once told Arnold that Arnold should run for Governor of California. And, if he won, Russert would see to it that the Constitution got amended to let someone foreign born run for President. Arnold allowed as how he'd won, but then Tim had never done anything about the Constitution.

A tad self centered, what? Then again, who forces his wife to, without her knowledge, have his mistress and his child with her in her (Maria's) home for years. And who continues to employ the mother of his child as his family's maid? The self centered nature of that is mind boggling.
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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-20-13 10:39 AM
Response to Reply #2
4. P.S. Thanks for the compliment and thanks for reading my post, even though you
were tired of the general subject.

It's amazing what can be done by ignoring the noise and just reading the Constitution and giving it a bit of thought.

As for Orly Taitz, I'm guessing she probably raised a lot of money with her antics and did not forget to compensate herself from what she raised. So many courts slapped her down, many quite rudely, she had to know her claims were bs. But, she kept going, subjecting herself to the possibility of court imposed fines for filing frivolous lawsuits. That speaks volumes about where her motives lay.

I keep saying that Deep Throat taught us the most practical lesson of all: Follow the money.
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