Immigration

USA Today Op ed Making the Case for Abolishing the Constitutional Requirement that the President Must be a "Natural Born" Citizen

I coauthored it with Harvard Law School Professor Randall Kennedy.

|The Volokh Conspiracy |

Sen. Kamala Harris—focus of the most recent controversy over eligibility under the Natural Born Citizen Clause.

 

This morning, USA Today published my op ed making the case for abolishing the constitutional requirement that the president must be a "natural born" citizen. This step would enable immigrants to become president, and also put an end to the sorts of ridiculous controversies over eligibility under the Clause that have arisen in every presidential election since 2008. The op ed is coauthored with Harvard Law School Prof. Randall Kennedy, one of the leading academic experts on racial and ethnic discrimination. I have been a big fan of Prof. Kennedy's work since I was a young law student in the 1990s, and it is a great honor to coauthor this piece with him. We differ on many issues, but we completely agree on this one.

Here is an excerpt:

This presidential election season joins the last several in being attended by accusations that certain candidates are ineligible because of the requirement in Article II of the Constitution that the president be not only a citizen, but a "natural born" citizen. This time around, some have claimed that Sen. Kamala Harris is ineligible for the presidency because, though born in the United States, her parents were immigrants who had not become citizens by the time of her birth.

We believe this claim is untenable. But the need to address the matter at all highlights why eligibility distinctions that turn on place of birth or status of parent ought to be abolished….

In 2016, the targets were Republican candidates Ted Cruz (born in Canada to U.S.-citizen parents who had immigrated from Cuba) and Marco Rubio (also the son of Cuban immigrants). In 2008 and 2012, Barack Obama, was assailed by "birthers" who falsely claimed he was born outside the United States. Obama's 2008 GOP opponent, John McCain, came under attack because he was born in what was then the Panama Canal Zone. Such episodes are all too likely to recur. In an increasingly diverse society, it will often be possible to claim tendentiously that some candidate or other is ineligible….

Barring naturalized citizens from eligibility for the presidency is little different from discrimination based on race, ethnicity or gender. Such unchosen circumstances of birth say nothing about a person's competence or moral fitness for office. Our legal system rejects the natural born requirement elsewhere. It does not apply to governors, members of Congress, justices of the Supreme Court, cabinet officers, or the Chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. It should be removed as a condition for eligibility for the presidency.

In the remainder of the op ed, we address some standard justifications for keeping the Clause, and also explain why prospects for enacting a constitutional amendment to repeal it are likely to improve over time (though it will still be an uphill struggle due to the large supermajority needed to enact any amendment).

I discuss GOP Senator Orrin Hatch's 2003 proposal to repeal the Natural Born Citizen Clause (mentioned in the op ed) in greater detail here. The similarity between racial and ethnic discrimination and discrimination on the basis of parentage and place of birth is analyzed in greater depth in Chapter 5 of my recently published book Free to Move: Foot Voting, Migration, and Political Freedom (Introduction available for free download here).

NEXT: Affirmative Action in College Admissions Will Be on California's Ballot in November

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. The devil is in the details. Under a constitutional amenedment, after becoming a citizen, how long should you have to wait before you’re eligible to the Presidency?

    If it’s about people who are said to be aliens at the time of their birth but who became naturalized soon thereafter with their parents, then a 35-year waiting period would solve the problem. Natural-born citizens have to wait 35 years to be eligible, so why not those naturalized as children?

    As for those naturalized as adults, what should the waiting period be?

    (Inevitable Godwin – a certain Austrian became a naturalized German citizen and soon thereafter was the Leader of Germany)

    1. How about something like 25 years? Somebody who is naturalized at 25 can be president at 50. Sound reasonable.

      1. I quit working at shoprite and now I make $65-85 per/h. How? I’m working online! My work didn’t exactly make me happy so I decided to take a chance on something new…NFe after 4 years it was so hard to quit my day job but now I couldn’t be happier.

        Here’s what I do…>> CashApp

      2. What if the mind control programming lasts longer than 25 years?

        1. then the first part of the movie will have to be shot in black and white, and that’s box office poison.

      3. There are terrorist cells that have been around that long. The ChiComs probably have a candidate groomed and ready to go if we ever stupidly change the law under the pretense of anti-discrimination just as the CIA black ops probably has numerous possible candidates in standby status for this and other countries. Anybody who wants to make it easy for a foreign citizen to lead the country likely isn’t supporting the People of this country. They’re trying to sneak somebody in for the benefit of another country. That’s the exact opposite of the one thing we’re missing more than any other, and that’s loyalty to each other.

    2. “Under a constitutional amenedment, after becoming a citizen, how long should you have to wait before you’re eligible to the Presidency?”

      As long as they meet the age requirement, what’s the justification for any waiting period? Loyalty?

      There is a saying in religious circles: No one is as righteous/zealous as a recent convert.

      1. What we’re trying to avoid is having a President who is loyal to a foreign power rather than to the American people. Ideally, the screening process of a campaign for election would weed out people unfit to serve for this (or any other) reason. We now know that we can’t rely on this if a substantial-enough portion of the country actively WANTS an unfit leader. Waiting for karma to take hold is unsatisfying for most, and also unreliable. Even when they get caught doing something wrong it’s no guarantee that the idiots won’t still support the unfit leader and no guarantee that the Senate won’t acquit.

        1. A President who is loyal to a foreign power is *one* think we’re trying to avoid. Another is a President who is loyal to the US, but has a foreign conception of what the US should be. Who, in what they view as the nation’s best interest, might try to fundamentally change it to be less America.

          1. Point to the Constitutional text that supports your claim.

            1. Article 2, Section 1:
              “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.”

              1. Try again, and this time answer the question.

                1. Which, for the record was not “quote a random part of the Constitution.”

          2. That seems like a question for the voters. For example, in 2016 they (via the electoral college, not of their own accord) picked someone who flunked that test.

            1. And again in 2016.

              1. Dammit, where’s the rest?

                And, again, in 2016… they had a limited slate of choices from which to choose.

                1. I think you managed to say exactly the opposite of what you wanted to say. 🙂

                  1. It’s fairly obvious that Americans in 2016 didn’t actually want either candidate to win, and they voted more AGAINST the candidate they didn’t want than FOR the candidate they wanted. Had they had a meaningful third choice, there likely would have been a different outcome. That dynamic may be shaping up for 2020. Democrats don’t seem to be excited by a chance to elect Mr. Biden so much as excited by the chance to tell Mr. Trump that he’s fired. And the Trump campaign has been nothing but looking for reasons to vote against Biden (they’ve been grasping at straws, and the desperation is showing.)

                    1. I quit working at shoprite and now I make $65-85 per/h. How? I’m working online! My work didn’t exactly make me happy so I decided to take a chance on something new…MGf after 4 years it was so hard to quit my day job but now I couldn’t be happier.

                      Here’s what I do…>> CashApp

            2. It’s ALL a question for the voters if you’re going to take that position: What you’re arguing in essence is that you shouldn’t have qualifications for office, you should just let the voters sort it out. Maybe they WANT to elect a child, or a foreigner, or a chimpanzee.

              Our Constitution isn’t written on the theory that offices should have no qualification beyond winning the election.

              1. “Our Constitution isn’t written on the theory that offices should have no qualification beyond winning the election.”

                Our Constitution is written on the the theory that losing the election is complete disqualification for the office sought.

          3. “Who, in what they view as the nation’s best interest, might try to fundamentally change it to be less America.”

            As I said, ideally, this sort of unfitness would be detected by voters prior to the election. Say one of the candidates went around wearing a hat that said America wasn’t great. In a perfect world, that guy’s unelectable.

          4. Another is a President who is loyal to the US, but has a foreign conception of what the US should be. Who, in what they view as the nation’s best interest, might try to fundamentally change it to be less America.

            You mean “less America” according to you? No thanks. No one died and made you Pope. Those sentences reek.

            The President is perfectly free to try to change things without your approval, or that of your political allies.

        2. “What we’re trying to avoid is having a President who is loyal to a foreign power rather than to the American people.”

          Excluding naturalized citizens, even recent ones doesn’t do that for you anyway.

          ” Ideally, the screening process of a campaign for election would weed out people unfit to serve for this (or any other) reason. We now know that we can’t rely on this if a substantial-enough portion of the country actively WANTS an unfit leader.”

          But the courts have more or less declared the qualifications for office in the constitution as non-justicable, so that election screening process is all you get.

          1. “But the courts have more or less declared the qualifications for office in the constitution as non-justicable, so that election screening process is all you get.”

            As it turns out, we get a second bite at that particular apple, in just a couple off months.

      2. There’s a seven year waiting period for a naturalized citizen before being eligible for the House. Nine years for the Senate.

        Have competent, zealous patriots been kept out of Congress under this system? Perhaps so, but the waiting-period principle doesn’t seem to have inspired a lot of call for constitutional change.

    3. (Inevitable Godwin – a certain Austrian became a naturalized German citizen and soon thereafter was the Leader of Germany)

      I wonder how many will get that reference.

      1. Well, I think we can agree the “process” was a little rigged.

        1. I don’t think the process of him becoming Chancellor was that rigged it was very dangerous for the republic but Hindenburg had no good choices..

    4. “(Inevitable Godwin – a certain Austrian became a naturalized German citizen and soon thereafter was the Leader of Germany)”

      But it only happened that one time, and then they learned. Besides the conditions for that sort of thing were ripe at the time, caused by the costs of losing WWI.

      1. Our republic is stronger than the Weimar Republic was, with a longer history.

      2. Its worth noting that our “certain Austrian” didn’t invent the concept of ethno-nationalism; many Germans at the time considered Austrians as ethnically German as themselves, so they never considered him a foreigner or immigrant

    5. Oh HELL NO! The presidency is NOT some job “Americans won’t do”. If we can’t find a qualified candidate out of 300 million + people, we aren’t a country anyway. I don’t want some foreign born “celebrity” as president because he is an internet youtube “influencer” or something equally ridiculous.

      1. “Oh HELL NO! The presidency is NOT some job “Americans won’t do”.”

        It’s a job we have an American not doing right now. how is that different?

        1. You’re not very clever Pollock.

          1. But far, FAR more clever than you, so I still have that going for me…

      2. Those 300+ million include a fair number not born in the US.

        I don’t want some foreign born “celebrity” as president because he is an internet youtube “influencer” or something equally ridiculous.

        Close to what we have now, except for the foreign-born part – an incompetent, dishonest, reality show celebrity.

  2. Again, let me post that the polling for this is so low it’s a lost cause.

    “21% of Americans would favor changing the Constitution to allow people who aren’t natural born U.S. citizens to become President, 75% would oppose such a change.”

    https://www.cbsnews.com/news/cbs-news-poll-should-us-presidents-be-natural-born/

    1. I’d imagine the polling wording would make a lot of difference on this. “[Change] the Constitution to allow people who aren’t natural born U.S. citizens” versus “Change the Constitution to allow lawful U.S. citizens who have resided in the U.S. for XX years . . .”

      1. Yes, you can get wildly different results by tweaking your survey questions. This is not a new development. You can also adjust your results by carefully choosing your sample base, and this isn’t new knowledge, either.

    2. I don’t think the polling is relevant to the strength of the argument.

      Besides, isn’t the point of an op-ed to change people’s minds?

      1. “isn’t the point of an op-ed to change people’s minds?”

        Part of it is deciding IF peoples’ minds are likely to change.

      2. The argument is missing a key piece of information for the reader, which is a sober realization of the hard work of actually getting an amendment passed, especially one that is highly unpopular with the general public. Readers may then, if they know that 4/5th of America disagrees, then their limited time and resources would be better used on other issues (more) worthy of reform.

        Somin is very, very disingenuous unless he notes that it is very unpopular.

        And no, it’s not a fallacy ad populum, because this is a democratic republic.

        1. I don’t agree. It’s not disingenuous not to mention a proposal’s popularity or lack thereof.

          He’s not asking people for contributions, or to spend time working on getting an amendment passed. He’s just making an argument which readers can accept or not. It doesn’t have to be a popular idea to be interesting.

    3. Probably more than 75% of Americans are unaware that whether someone is a natural-born citizen is not an easy question. This article is a step towards educating people.

      1. I think that we would have a better solution. Defining natural born citizen explicitly in the constitution. People keep coming up with really stupid arguments that it’s complicated, when it’s not. Saying “A person who, according to the law of the United States at the time, was a citizen at birth due to parentage and location”.

        The most extreme example is John McCain, born in a Panama hospital to two citizen parents, who were stationed in the nearby military base and his father later obtained the title of Admiral. No rational person should argue that he doesn’t comply with the birthright citizenship requirement. Yet, people keep doing so.

        It’s not hard. We have a explicit, detailed set of rules who is a citizen by birth, and yet imbeciles keep trying to argue that doesn’t count for constitutional purposes.

  3. Not really a big issue.

    All the examples listed were resolved appropriately and I can’t see this being anything more than a hassle for some candidates.

    Don’t need a constitutional convention for this because LAWDY LAWDY a convention could really go far off the rails (left or right).

    1. “All the examples listed were resolved appropriately”

      Not really. They either lost the election for unrelated reasons or won, without the eligibility every being definitively settled, and the courts have been unwilling to entertain post election challenges on the basis of eligibility, so the issue never got settled.

      1. “the issue never got settled.”

        The issue got settled, Obama was President. McCain went back to being a Senator. A few malcontents muttered in the corner about imaginary “Kenyan Muslims”, but nobody with functioning brain cells paid them any mind.

        1. I think Obama’s eligibility got decisively settled once he stopped obstructing. McCain’s just became irrelevant without actually being settled.

          1. it seems you’re defining having actually been born in Hawaii as “obstructing”.
            McCain wasn’t eligible to be President because not enough Electors voted for him. That was pretty firmly settled.

            1. Brett has an — interesting — definition of “obstructing.” If I claimed, without any supporting evidence and in defiance of reasonably accessible facts, that Brett was not a natural born citizen, Brett would be well within his rights to tell me to f**k off. If I demanded proof of his citizenship, he would, again, be well within his rights to say “F**k off, a*****e. If you have any proof, you bring it out.” If Obama does it, far more politely, it’s obstruction.

              1. “Brett has an — interesting — definition of ‘obstructing.’”

                But he rises in anger if you suggest that Mitch obstructs anything.

                1. You must have me confused with somebody else, if you think that. Mitch McConnell is one obstructive SOB. Sometimes I approve of what he’s obstructing, much of the time I disapprove. But obstructing is 90% of what he does.

                  1. Until the filibuster, and the Republican majority, are retired. After that, he’s just another whining bigot from Kentucky.

                    1. *Yawn*

                      Hey retard, did you say something?

              2. My definition of “obstructing” is “engaged in legal actions attempting to prevent the release of his birth certificate”.

                Which, I’ll point out, got released the moment he turned around and said it was OK to release it.

                1. A whole bunch of a******s brought frivolous lawsuits, all dismissed as such, claiming without any basis that Obama was not a natural born citizen and demanding that he be declared ineligible for the Presidency. Opposing frivolous lawsuits isn’t anyone’s definition of “obstructing.” A can’t insist without basis that B go to the trouble of disproving A’s baseless claim. Nobody was “obstructed” from finding out the truth, even though they wouldn’t have recognized it if it bit them in the a*s. They just weren’t allowed to make someone else do their work for them.

                  1. I think the natural born citizen clause makes demanding proof of citizenship inherently non-frivolous, at least for the first person to demand it in any given case. I’m not fond of the judiciary rendering clauses of the Constitution moot by declaring that nobody has standing to enforce them.

                    In the end, all Obama had to do to end the controversy was ask Hawaii to release the birth certificate. He could have done that the first time anybody challenged his qualification in this regard, instead of dragging it out years. It wasn’t much of a burden to do it, he was just being stubborn.

                    1. Why should he have had to jump through hoops just because someone brought frivolous – and they were legally frivolous – lawsuits? What obligation did he have to satisfy the demands of a******s?

                2. “My definition of “obstructing” is “engaged in legal actions attempting to prevent the release of his birth certificate”.
                  “Which, I’ll point out, got released the moment he turned around and said it was OK to release it.”

                  So, he wasn’t obstructing it under your definition and the people who said “no, not that birth certificate, your double-secret REAL one” were just stupid. Agreed on both points.

          2. ” I think Obama’s eligibility got decisively settled once he stopped obstructing. ”

            I’d ascribe that observation to Birther Brett, but upon reflection that nickname might be unfair to Mr. Bellmore.

            When Brett became commonly known to be a birther, he might have misunderstood the question, thinking he heard ‘are you a Bircher?’ before he raised his hand.

            So maybe it should be “Bircher Brett,” nor “Birther Brett.”

            1. So boring…….

              Hihn is dead. Why don’t you follow suit. Suicide would be a good idea for you.

      2. >and the courts have been unwilling to entertain post election challenges on the basis of eligibility, so the issue never got settled.

        In fairness, it’s not obvious that the courts get to “settle” the issue…everyone else in government has also sworn an oath to preserve and protect the Constitution. And, I think most citizens would agree they have a similar duty.

        Most people get the theory of judicial review wrong. It’s not so much that SCOTUS “decides” the issue. It’s more that every branch has a duty to stop unConsitutional acts. SCOTUS just votes on the issue last.

        1. “Most people get the theory of judicial review wrong.”

          Take it up with Marshall’s ghost. Marshall used about 10 million words to explain why the Constitution, which didn’t explicitly permit judicial review, nevertheless implied it. Reading the opinion is like reading a Dickens novel.

    2. Generally agree. The only problem with the Constitutional requirements today is that ‘natural born’ is not specifically defined.

      How about we solve the issue with the smallest change possible? Define natural born.

      The requirement has generally served us well enough…

      1. The originalists will tell you that there’s no need to define “natural born”, because these words will have their ordinary meanings. A natural-born citizen is a citizen who was a ciitzen at the time of their birth, whether through 14th amendment birthright citizenship or by descent (via statute).

        1. yet the arguments we are having about what it means are just as significant and serious as what ‘shall not be infringed’ means

        2. >because these words will have their ordinary meanings.

          …at the time the amendment was made.

          >or by descent (via statute).

          1. “…at the time the amendment was made. ”

            No, as of around 20 minutes ago.

        3. I would agree with you. The meaning is clear and plain, but we keep having this argument where clearly natural born citizens were challenged. I’m not meaning Obama, which was a question of fact (his mother was too young to grant him citizenship by herself, so he had to be born in America). I’m meaning Cruz and McCain, who were both born to American parents but outside of the country. No question of fact, but people still tried to argue that they weren’t natural born citizens.

          A clarifying definition would end this pointless debate once and for all.

  4. I think we should keep the “natural born citizen” requirement. Who knows what lasting, permanent change is done to a human fetus when it is removed surgically from the uterus of the mother? Only the vaginally-delivered infants should grow up with a chance to be President!

    1. ^This is the best argument/justification for getting rid of the “natural born citizen” requirement. We can’t agree on what the fuck it even means, and the courts have been unwilling to settle the issue, making the requirement unenforceable and there fore effectively a nullity anyway.

      1. We all KNIw what it means, but there are always progressives who try and twist things around for their own agenda. Even if their arguments contradict themselves regularly.

        1. Why do you insist on stupidly trying to pigeonhole anyone who says anything you don’t like about your Great American Messiah?

    2. Not sure if this was a joke. I’m sure the Founders were well aware of how Julius Caesar was born.

      1. The British accepted anesthesia for childbirth because Queen Victoria used it, but we don’t have to listen to any stinkin’ royals ’round here!

      2. Probably in the natural way, as his mother, Aurelia Cotta , survived his birth (and possibly him too) In Roman times Cesarean section was mostly performed when the mother had died, or was close to dying – and even in Victorian times the survival rate was a mere 15%

        1. Roman surgery was not well-executed, and it wasn’t until Pasteur showed up that surgeons began to understand why so many of their patients were dying of sepsis.

          1. Roman surgery was not well-executed…compared to what, exactly? Not that I’m a reflexive defender of Romans in general, but they knew that cleanliness mattered in the survival of patients, even absent germ theory. But considering the time, I’d rather be treated by a Roman military doctor, than say, a tribal shaman.

            1. “Roman surgery was not well-executed…compared to what, exactly?”

              compared to surgery where most of the patients survived and recovered after the surgery.

              1. Yea, well, I dare say don’t look at the number of people who die in surgery today and via medical mistakes. You might be disappointed.

                What I’m trying to get through to you, perhaps to subtly, is that comparing ancient Roman medicine to today it stupid, because you’re comparing modern medicine (which is still a lot of butchery) against people 1,500 years or so ago, who were *still* comparatively advanced to the rest of the world.

                1. What I’m trying to get through to you, is that those 1500 years’ worth of scientific progress is not readily discarded as immaterial.

      3. Or MacDuff.

  5. ” In 2008 and 2012, Barack Obama, was assailed by “birthers” who falsely claimed he was born outside the United States.”

    Donald Trump clung to the lie even after 2012.

    1. His publisher saying he had been (to sell books) didn’t help.

      1. the suggestion that Donald Trump reads books is ludicrous on its face.

        1. But he might read dust jackets.

          1. Not accepting that without objective proof, either.

            1. It must bother you that Trump is considerably more intelligent than you. Since you hate him so much. So it’s no surprise that you’re such a self loathing, imbecilic fool.

              1. “It must bother you that Trump is considerably more intelligent than you.”

                Since this is only true in your imagination, go ahead and imagine it that way if you want to.

        2. I will accept that Trump doesn’t read books but I’m pretty sure he draws in them with crayons and/or draws penises in the columns of the Constitution.

          1. Typical progtard. Just like that fucking Pollock, you’re denigrating Trump in area where he is vastly superior to you.

            1. I’m sorry that life didn’t give you all the things you wished for.
              but only a little bit.

            2. Here is a complete list of ways that Trump is superior to me.

              1. Inherited a nine-figure pile of money from Fred.
              2. There is no 2.

      2. His publisher didn’t say it, and obviously not to sell books, and it had precisely zero to do with the birther nuts, who only found the pamphlet you were referring to afterwards.

  6. I don’t understand how an “anchor baby” would be ineligible for the Presidency if they were born in the United States. Birthright citizenship is birthright citizenship.

    In any case, Ms. Harris is not running for President any more. Does the Constitution have a natural born citizen requirement for the office of vice President? No? Guess that ends that particular problem, then.

    1. Actually the exact same requirements for President apply to the office of VP as well.

    2. Because there’s no agreement as to what “natural born citizen” means and there are plenty of people who argue that birthright citizenship under terms set through ordinary stature by Congress isn’t enough.

      And the courts want’ no part of settling the issue of what “natural born citizen” means.

      1. “Because there’s no agreement as to what “natural born citizen” means and there are plenty of people who argue that birthright citizenship under terms set through ordinary stature by Congress isn’t enough. ”

        Not relevant how Congress sets birthright citizenship for those who get theirs from the 14A.

    3. “But no person constitutionally ineligible to the office of President shall be eligible to that of Vice-President of the United States.” /12th Amendment.

      1. that’s a problem for the Electors, not the voters.

        1. You said:

          “Does the Constitution have a natural born citizen requirement for the office of vice President? No? Guess that ends that particular problem, then.”

          1. I know what I said. I said it. Guess what? Nothing changed between then and now.

            1. Were you right or wrong?

              1. He was wrong, but far be it from him ever to admit that.

                1. You’re projecting.

              2. Some of both.

                1. What were you right about in that quote?

                  1. “Does the Constitution have a natural born citizen requirement for the office of vice President? No? Guess that ends that particular problem, then.”

                    1. If that part was right, which part was wrong? The Twelfth Amendment?

                    2. Do you suffer from a reading disability of some sort?

    4. The Harris administration, with the help of Joe Biden, begs to differ.

      1. Note, I don’t give a shit about the natural born citizen arguments regarding Harris et al, but the idea Biden if elected will still be president by July 20th 2021 is ludicrous.

        1. The muttering about second-amendment solutions is pretty much empty talk.
          Besides, he’s using all those performance-enhancing drugs, if we can believe all those people telling President Trump about it. “People are saying”.

          1. The 2nd amendment enters into it where? Biden can’t even get through a softball interview with the likes of Corden, hardly a serious journalist, without the assistance of a teleprompter being fed answers by his handlers. His candidacy is the definition of elder abuse. Trump may be a bloviating blowhard, but there is no doubt he can continue on for hours if needed.

            1. “Trump may be a bloviating blowhard, but there is no doubt he can continue on for hours if needed.”

              He doesn’t need to be fed facts by teleprompter because he has no use for facts. Trump’s record of reading off a teleprompter is not good. AND he needs two hands to operate a glass of water.

        2. raven,
          The idiot wing on the other side of the political spectrum was muttering the exact same thing about Trump back in 2016 and 17. And tons of people were *100% sure* that Trump would certainly certainly never run for reelection.

          No one is dumber than someone who pretends to be certain about anything in politics.

          1. Their argument was that Trump wasn’t serious and was doing it all as a joke, not that he couldn’t handle the effort of campaigning and the presidency. Well, not by anyone whose head wasn’t far enough up their own ass about Trump they could lick their epiglottis.

        3. Could you clarify what you think will happen before 7/20/21?

          1. Probably something involving the 25th amendment.

            Look, both Harris AND Biden have recently called it the “Harris-Biden” administration. Sounds like a trial balloon to me.

            1. both Harris AND Biden have recently called it the “Harris-Biden” administration.

              Oh. Like that’s never happened before.

              Don’t be ridiculous. But if you insist here’s a proposition: I’ve got $100 that says if Biden wins, and doesn’t actually die before July 20, 2021, he will still be President on that date.

              Will you take that bet?

              1. Oh. Like that’s never happened before.

                Easy enough to objectively measure. I’ll wait for your raft of citations to “[vice president]-[president] administration” — particularly out of the mouth of the president-hopeful.

                1. George Bush called his administration Reagan’s third term. Is that close enough?

      2. Unless you resolve the problem of the VP being allegedly ineligible for the Presidency by adjusting the succession order.
        I’m sure the Pelosi administration will be more soothing for you.

    5. You bring up a good point Pollock. Birthright citizen ship to two foreigners should be eliminated.

      1. All you need is 2/3 each house of Congress and 3/4 of the state legislatures…

  7. Quote:

    Barring naturalized citizens from eligibility for the presidency is little different from discrimination based on race, ethnicity or gender. Such unchosen circumstances of birth say nothing about a person’s competence or moral fitness for office.

    Then couldn’t the same be said of citizenship as well? Under your view, wouldn’t it be immoral to limit the office to citizens only? And citizenship also has nothing to do with a person’s competence.

    1. It’s not about competence. It’s about loyalty. A person believing that competence being required of the Presidency need look no further than 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue to be dissuaded from that canard.

      1. The election of Trump shows that even being natural born has nothing to do with loyalty to the U.S. People will elect a President even if he is obviously beholden to a hostile foreign government. So there goes the “loyalty” rationale.

        1. It’s regrettably common that people in the grip of a delusion think the truth of their delusion is obvious.

          So obvious it doesn’t need proving!

          1. Pointers on evidence and delusion from birthers are always a treat.

          2. Damn Brett. Arty is obsessed with you. I’ll bet he bitterly masturbates to you comments while alternatively looking at his bedside 8×10” glossy of Trump at his bedside.

            1. Somebody’s letting their private fantasies go public.

        2. “The election of Trump shows that even being natural born has nothing to do with loyalty to the U.S”

          The founders didn’t see Trump coming. They thought obviously unqualified candidates would be eliminated from contention before election day.

    2. Then couldn’t the same be said of citizenship as well?

      One could say that restricting the presidency to citizens is immoral, but one can’t say “the same,” because citizenship is not merely an “unchosen circumstance of birth.” It can be changed.

      1. “One could say that restricting the presidency to citizens is immoral, but one can’t say “the same,” because citizenship is not merely an “unchosen circumstance of birth.” It can be changed.”

        How, exactly, does one change their natural born citizenship status?

  8. Sure. Now that Arnold’s chance to run is over.

    1. “You’re a funny guy, Sully. I like you. That’s why I’m going to kill you last.”

    2. “Sure. Now that Arnold’s chance to run is over.”

      What, he’s not more than 35 any more?

  9. You don’t say what qualifications, if any, you would use to replace it.

    Clearly not being a resident. US citizen ex-patriots residing abroad should be eligible.

    Being a citizen? That’s problematic too. US citizens who don’t have passports are never required to prove their citizenship in normal circumstances. We are also reluctant to force illegal immigrants to reveal their illegal status.

    What is to prevent Vlaimir Putin from running for US President?

    Perhaps you mean Citizen and residents are both eligible, but you didn’t say so in this blog post.

    So what wording exactly would you put in a constitutional amendment?

    There are many other flaws in the Constitution. How about a constitutional convention empowered to tear it up and start from scratch? That’s a scary thought.

    How about a serious proposal for adjusting the difficulty of making constitutional amendments? Justice Scalia said that it is far too difficult. As few as 2% of the population can veto an amendment. The proposition system in California is said to be too easy. So, what mechanism would make it just right difficulty and would have a chance of passing the existing system? That’s a constructive thing for law professors to work on.

    1. ” US citizen ex-patriots residing abroad should be eligible.”

      Stated as fact with no rationale. Why should expats be eligible? What do they know about the US and it’s needs?

      1. I was an expat once. I continued following US news.

        There is no reason to presume that US residents are better informed than expats.

        1. Well if a citizen wants to be president they can just suck it up and live here. It’s not like this is a difficult thing for much of anyone.

          God forbid we have any standards at all for someone to become one of the most powerful people in the world.

        2. “There is no reason to presume that US residents are better informed than expats.

          Nor is there a reason not to.

  10. This is like opening up the British Monarchy to Eskimos. There’s zero practical benefit.

    There are millions of eminently qualified natural born americans living today that would be far better than any President we’ve ever had that will never come close to being in office due to being in excess of the one available seat. Likewise opening up the pool to billions of other unqualified crazy foreigners isn’t going to fix the fundamental issues with our flawed selection process.

    It boils down to balancing the symbolism of the Presidency. do you want the symbolism of a hyperopen America or an America led by a blood product of its values? Ilya who obviously despises the concept of a nation falls in the former camp but I think there are good arguments for the latter.

    In the event that some future Emperor of the World arose that was actually great enough to justify disbanding this provision. I doubt that not getting rid of it beforehand would be much hindrance in that personage assuming their rightful place.

    1. there are hundreds of millions of Americans who could do a better job of it than the current occupant of the office, but Republicans scoured their ranks and couldn’t find ANYONE ELSE they liked.
      This is not a rational argument.

      1. That comment is an irrelevancy

        1. Unlike yours.

          1. Good observation. His comment is better than yours. Which is the point. You say mostly stupid things, motivated by bad ideas and discredited policies.

            1. “Good observation. His comment is better than yours.”

              Everyone’s is better than yours.

              ” You say mostly stupid things”

              That’s for your benefit. I want you to be able to follow along.

      2. There are hundreds of millions of Americans who could do a better job than Biden, but who did the Democrats pick?

        1. The one of their number who was most recently Vice President.

          Doesn’t mean they landed on the best candidate, but the logic checks out.

          I would have chosen differently, if the Democrats had let me vote in their primary, but they didn’t.

    2. They consider it important for them to be very, very solicitous of specific people to the exclusion of others.

      If your religion required the veneration of Eskimos over others, then of course you’d be pushing for them to be allowed to ascend to the throne.

      1. If your ego required veneration of yourself over others, then of course you’d be pro-Trump.
        If not, you’d be pointing out that Trump doesn’t have a throne; never did, never will.

        1. It’s a pattern where obsessed haters based on race or religion or some other excuse change the subject of whatever conversation to the people they are obsessed with, even when others aren’t talking about that. It’s very predictable.

          You should try to find a way to be less negatively obsessed in general and less hateful of people. It looks bad and it’s mentally and emotionally unhealthy.

          1. you’ve developed a sudden obsessive hatred of me?

            Oh noes….

            1. You should talk to a mental health professional. They might be able to help you with your problems.

              1. The guy with the sudden obsessive hatred is lecturing OTHER PEOPLE to seek professional help???

    3. Agreed, I really don’t see the crying need to very marginally increase the number of people qualified for a position that requires only a handful of occupants per decade.

      If an amendment were proposed replacing natural born citizen with “35 years a citizen of the United states”, I don’t suppose I’d object, but I don’t really see the need.

      Aren’t there more important amendments? Dozens of them, maybe hundreds?

    4. By this reasoning, nearly any restriction on eligibility would be reasonable since it would leave millions of qualified candidates.

      1. Any reasonable restriction, anyway. The argument is that there’s no shortage of qualified applicants for the job, just that we need to amend the Constitution to increase the pool we can draw from.

        It’s an amendment to solve a non-problem.

        1. ” The argument is that there’s no shortage of qualified applicants for the job”

          you currently unaware of who is currently nominated?

    5. “This is like opening up the British Monarchy to Eskimos. There’s zero practical benefit. ”

      Hybrid vigor is one practical benefit.

  11. Kamala Harris and Bobby Jindal and Nikki Haley and Marco Rubio are not NBC because they didn’t have a citizen parent at birth. Trump Jr. would have to take a DNA test to prove Trump is his father because his mother wasn’t a citizen when he was born.

    1. Funny thing, the Constitution grants citizenship to infants born in the United States, full stop. Not a word in there about “to citizen parents”. It’s almost like they were intended to extend citizenship to people whose parents weren’t citizens when they were born or something.

      Trump, Jr. is ineligible because he’s a Trump. We don’t have primogeniture here, and when America awakens from its Trump nightmare it’ll be smart enough to avoid it in the future.

      1. “Subject to the jurisdiction thereof” is not nothing, or without complication, full stop.

        1. Foreign diplomats can bring their wives to Washington.

        2. Exactly, Nikki Haley has a slightly older sister that is ineligible but just because Haley was born in South Carolina instead of Vancouver she is magically eligible to be president?? NBC has to mean something and it is pretty obvious citizenship of parents is what makes a citizen a NBC. That said, I still voted for Rubio even though he isn’t a NBC because no one has standing to get him declared ineligible.

          1. Little Mario was far more suitable (and still is) than the Orange Clown.

          2. NBC has to mean something

            Yeah. It means that if you’re born in SC (usually) you can be President, and if you’re born in Vancouver (usually) you can’t be.

            and it is pretty obvious citizenship of parents is what makes a citizen a NBC.

            Both the 14th Amendment and Wong Kim Ark say that’s completely incorrect.

            1. Neither Wong Kim Ark nor 14A use the legal term of art “NBC”. Governor Granholm is a citizen but she is not eligible to run for president so clearly some citizens aren’t eligible to run for president. Furthermore John McCain wasn’t born in America but he clearly is a NBC and thus was eligible to run for president. So clearly NBC refers to citizenship of parents because otherwise McCain wouldn’t have been eligible…so clearly NBC doesn’t simply mean “not naturalized” because why wouldn’t the framers have simply said “not naturalized”??

              1. I don’t think the word “clearly” means what you think it means.

                Furthermore, repeating your notion of what “NBC” means over and over is not an argument that you are “clearly” correct.

                Governor Granholm is a citizen but she is not eligible to run for president so clearly some citizens aren’t eligible to run for president

                Yes, those who, like Granholm, were born abroad and naturalized.

                1. Granholm is ineligible because her parents weren’t American citizens because Ted Cruz was born in Canada and he is eligible…so being born in Canada is not disqualifying, it is citizenship of parents that disqualifies Granholm.

                  1. it is citizenship of parents that disqualifies Granholm.

                    It is citizenship of parents plus the fact that she was born abroad. Had her parents been living in the US when she was born she would be eligible, despite the parents’ not being American citizens.

                    You keep saying the same thing over and over again, as though that will make a false statement true.

                    1. Quite frankly I shouldn’t be replying to a vile racist that giggles with glee that Ilhan Omar is ineligible while Trump is eligible but I will reply so non racists can read what I have to say. Clearly NBC doesn’t mean born in America because the 1790 Naturalization Act states that babies born overseas to American citizens are NBC. We have birthright citizenship now but one can also become a citizen through naturalization or become a citizen through one’s parents’ citizenship. I will let you get back to your racist ranting against Ilhan Omar now.

                    2. quite frankly, you shouldn’t be replying until you get some functioning brain cells to rub together.

                    3. Everyone should be pretty goddamned happy a treasonous lunatic like Omar can’t become president.

                    4. “Everyone should be pretty goddamned happy a treasonous lunatic like Omar can’t become president.”

                      The treasonous lunatic we have now is just ruining it for all the treasonous lunatics.

                  2. “being born in Canada is not disqualifying, it is citizenship of parents that disqualifies Granholm.”

                    The problem with playing dumb is that some people will believe it.

                    There’s more than one way to be entitled to citizenship at birth. Congress wrote a statute that confers US citizenship to children born abroad to citizen parents.
                    the 14th amendment grants citizenship to people born in the United States, to people who aren’t foreign diplomats with immunity. If you didn’t get citizenship by being born in the US or via statute, your citizenship isn’t birthright and you can’t be President.

                  3. ” her parents weren’t American citizens because Ted Cruz was born in Canada”

                    That right there is a direct, cut & paste quote.

              2. “Neither Wong Kim Ark nor 14A use the legal term of art “NBC”.”

                Neither does the Digital Millenium Copyright Act.

          3. ” it is pretty obvious citizenship of parents is what makes a citizen a NBC.”

            It was pretty obvious you pulled that out of your ass.

            1. Why wouldn’t the Framers have simply stated “not naturalized” if that is what NBC means?? So for most of my existence it was understood the NBC meant something and what it most likely meant was one had to be born on American soil. In 2020 we have Wikipedia so I can quickly find out that John Adams’ grandson was born in Berlin in 1801…so I very seriously doubt John Adams would have agreed to a provision that would have prevented his son from pursuing a career in diplomacy. (Thomas Jefferson was living in France as the Constitution was being drafted so obviously these men knew having a child outside of America was a very real possibility). So NBC means something and it means born to an American citizen…which is why not only is Haley’s sister ineligible but also Haley is ineligible.

              1. “Why wouldn’t the Framers have simply stated “not naturalized” if that is what NBC means?”

                Because, as your high-school English teacher should have explained to you, that is poor English construction.

                ” for most of my existence it was understood the NBC meant something”
                It means “entitled to US citizenship at birth.”, even though, of course, not one of the Founders was born a citizen of the United States and several of them served as President.

                “So NBC means something and it means born to an American citizen”

                It doesn’t mean that, although of course being born to an American mother grants US citizenship at birth. Being born to an American father didn’t grant anything at birth because they didn’t have good paternity testing back in the day. Without looking it up, I believe the rules are still different for children born outside the US to an American and a foreign citizen depending on whether it’s the mother or the father who’s a US citizen.

                It is well-known that when the Constitution was being written many of the participants wanted George Washington to become President. George was not born to US citizens, he was born to British citizens. They would not have wanted to disqualify Washington so the reading of the natural born citizen clause as requiring Presidential candidates to be born of US citizens is worthy of extensive mocking.

                1. They resolved the startup problem with ” or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution”, rather than leave the office empty for 35 years.

                2. Seriously?? The NBC clause takes care of that because Washington was a citizen at the time the Constitution was adopted. So if being born on American soil was so important they could have stated that anyone born on what is now American soil is eligible…but instead they went with simply a citizen at adoption or NBC going forward. Then in the Naturalization Act of 1790 they clarified that Jeffersons’ or Adams’ born overseas were NBC. So we agree not all citizens are eligible but you believe Haley’s sister is ineligible because her parents weren’t citizens but Haley is because she was born in SC…but Ted Cruz was born in Canada and he is magically eligible?!?

                  1. have simply stated “not naturalized” if that is what NBC means?”

                    Because it’s an awkward and unnecessary construction. “Natural born citizen” means what it says – an individual who acquired citizenship at birth. You get to be a citizen either through birth or naturalization.

                    There is no third way – no mysterious way of becoming a citizen by virtue of birth, not needing to be naturalized, and yet not being a natural-born citizen.

                    That’s insane.

                    1. So “citizen at birth” is awkward?? And “or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution” is NOT awkward??

                  2. ” you believe Haley’s sister is ineligible because her parents weren’t citizens”

                    You’ve done an incredibly poor job of telling me what it is that I believe.
                    You weren’t even close, despite the fact that I wrote it all down.

                  3. “” it is pretty obvious citizenship of parents is what makes a citizen a NBC.””

                    “Seriously?? The NBC clause takes care of that because Washington was a citizen at the time the Constitution was adopted.”

                    I’ll just let you argue with yourself a bit here.

          4. ” just because Haley was born in South Carolina instead of Vancouver she is magically eligible to be president??”

            If she can get enough Electors to write her name down, she can be President. uh, magically.

  12. Our current experience makes me think we should tighten the qualifications for the presidency, not expand them.

    1. How would you rewrite the qualifications to avoid the current-era problems?

      1. Require complete public financial disclosures, including tax returns, all holdings, personal financial statements filed with banks, etc.

        If we want to avoid undue foreign influence on a President it seems more important to know about possible foreign financial entanglements than to worry about birthplace.

        1. You already have the foreign emoluments clause to help us avoid undue foreign financial influence.

          1. Are you serious?

            First, it lacks any enforcement mechanism.

            Second, there seems to be no way to investigate potential offenses.

            Third, some people, like Blackman, busily concoct arguments as to why it covers everyone but the President. That’s bizarre, of course, but we live is a bizarre era.

            1. Yeah, that’s silly. The big problem here is that, too the extent that it has a clear definition, it refers to something you hardly ever see today. And attempts to modernize the definition have been too obviously aimed at one particular person.

              We’d need to clearly define what it now means, going forward.

              1. “The big problem here is that, too the extent that it has a clear definition, it refers to something you hardly ever see today. ”

                The big problem here is that you have parties made up of people who see no evil from members of their chosen party.

        2. If we go down that right, we’d have to widen much, *much* further to cover things like: “give the bribe to my son Hunter” style corruption, “pay my husband seven figures for a speech” style corruption, and “donate to my personal foundation” style corruption.

          1. Yeah, the net to capture imaginary corruption will have to be much bigger.

          2. I’d think that the speaking fees would show up on tax returns.

            If not, there’s a serious problem here.

            As to “bribes,” well, they’re illegal, unlike the money Hunter Biden got. Companies pay to have prestigious sounding name son the board all the time. Yeah, it’s unseemly, but that’s all it is. Get over it and stop pushing Fox/Limbaugh BS.

            1. the problem with the Hunter Biden story the Republicans want to push is that they didn’t close the loop and show any actual corruption.

              yes, it looks hinky that Hunter Biden got made a director of a foreign corporation despite not having any particular expertise in running such a business.

              Yes, it seems likely that Hunter was placed in such a position in hopes of influencing daddy.

              Now, all you have to do is point to the specific votes or favors putting Hunter Biden on the payroll got for them. (crickets)

              Looks like a case of a smoking gun but no bullets.

        3. How about college records?

          1. How about ’em?
            I think college records are irrelevant once the athletes go pro.

      2. All presidential candidates should be required to spend 50 hours picking up trash on the side of the road.

  13. Great Idea!
    Then Putin can just run for the office without a sock puppet.

    (Oh, wait. That would describe Kween Kamala)

    1. Either one would be better than another 4 Trump years.

      1. You’re such a fool.

        1. As if you’d know.

  14. Can we remove the requirement that Supreme Court justices must hold law degrees from Ivy League schools?

    1. Maybe require that they actually practice law for a term of years, as many state Supreme courts require.

      1. Why that?
        In fact, they are not even required to be lawyers.

        1. The job of the Supreme Court is to announce what the law is in order to resolve cases and controversies. Maybe a little familiarity with law would be a good idea.
          The “not even required to be lawyers” thing is left over from the fact that in the Founders’ days, it was possible to become a lawyer by “reading law” (without any guidance). You get doubts about requiring judges to be lawyers from people suspicious of “book learning” and leftist-controlled higher education, but I happen to think a more formal apprentice system should be used to qualify lawyers “got an ABA accredited law degree? Swell, but if you want to practice law what you have to do is get a qualified bar admittee to take you under their wing and teach you how the profession works. You get to work 18-hour days for just enough money to make your student-loan payments and get closely supervised for your first year as a lawyer. Then you get a full admission to the bar and either renegotiated the terms of your employment or hang your shingle.”

          1. ” You get doubts about requiring judges to be lawyers from people suspicious of “book learning” and leftist-controlled higher education”

            Also from people who view the legal community as a labor cartel, and don’t want to limit the judiciary to members of the cartel.

            1. You think you make it better by making people who don’t know law into judges? (or lawyers).

          2. “The job of the Supreme Court is to announce what the law is in order to resolve cases and controversies.”
            You make them into legal town criers. They do much more than that as everyone knows.

            1. “You make them into legal town criers.”

              Take it up with Mr. Marshall’s ghost.

  15. Is Ilya paving the way for his own candidacy?

  16. Can we amend the Constitution to add another qualification for presidents? How about that he or she has a record of telling the truth more than half the time? I can think of at least one president who would have been disqualified.

    1. What is truth?

      1. “What is truth?”

        the opposite of whatever DJT just said.

    2. “How about that he or she has a record of telling the truth more than half the time?”

      Gee, Billy the C only got caught perjuring himself that once. guess he’d still be eligible.

      All you’re going to get with your change is that candidates will have a spokesperson do the lying for them. Like they do now with campaign ads.
      Americans for a more American future is responsible for the contents of this ad.

  17. You know what, maybe this is old school….but if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

    Nothing is broke. What are we really trying to fix here?

    1. “Nothing is broke. What are we really trying to fix here?”

      The shortage of appealing candidates for the office of the Presidency.

      1. Isn’t that our fault ultimately, meaning the electorate?

        I simply do not see a problem to fix.

    2. The policy underlying the current constitutional provision seems to be that we should make sure that candidates for the Presidency will owe their primary loyalty to the interests of this country, rather than the interests of some other country. But the method chosen to achieve this goal is not very satisfying: It excludes people like my daughter (adopted from China at the age of 11 months, and has lived here ever since), but includes a person who is born here, but thereafter spends his or her entire adult life in some other country. That’s why it seems broke.

      1. It targets a person who is loyal to a foreign government and people over our government (and people), but it didn’t prevent someone who is loyal only to himself rather than to our government (and people0.

        1. Although it hasn’t stopped Noe Biden from running. The fucker is definitely in both Putin’s and Xi’s pocket.

  18. There are a number of foreign Royals who were or could be “Natural Born Citizens” due to their parents citizenship. They including the current Prince of Monaco, King Hussein of Jordan’s children by Queen Noor – Prince Hamzah, Prince Hashim, Princess Iman and Princess Raiyah. Also children Megan Markle and Prince Harry including, Archie Mountbatten-Windsor. I’m not sure if any of these renounced their american Citizenship and there are probably others.

    1. “neither shall any person be eligible to [the office of President] who shall not have…been fourteen Years a resident within the United States”

      1. Archie will probably eventually qualify.

        1. Could be, and so what. If he is elected in 2056, so be it.

        2. As long as Jughead isn’t his running mate.

    2. This causes me no heartburn whatsoever.

    3. “There are a number of foreign Royals who were or could be “Natural Born Citizens” due to their parents citizenship. ”

      Of course, they’d have to renounce their foreign title to take the Presidency.

  19. A few years ago when Arnold Schwarzenegger wanted to change the constitution so he could run for president I asked myself why would we want to do this. My response to myself was that we already have enough nuts in this country running for president why would we want to Add to the list. I still feel that way.

    1. The main problem is that, come election day, we limit the choices to candidates offered by two major parties, plus a handful of others with no reasonable expectation of winning. It’s entirely reasonable to prefer none of the choices offered. I’m ready to give the “rent is too damn high!” guy another look.

      1. So much inferior thinking from you……..

        1. Shooting for your level.

  20. THe real question is whether Putin is satisfied with owning the POTUS or whether he wants to become POTUS

  21. ✧✧✧✧Start making cash right now… Get more time with your family by doing jobs that only require for you to have a computer and an internet access and you can have that at your home. Start bringing up to $9564 a month. I’ve started this job and I’ve never been happier and now I am sharing it with you, so you can try it too. You can check it out here… ➤➤➤ Go fast & Earn ➤➤➤

  22. Imagine a Russian-born US citizen running for the presidency.

  23. ✧✧✧✧Start making cash right now… Get more time with your family by doing jobs that only require for you to have a computer and an internet access and you can have that at your home. Start bringing up to $9564 a month. I’ve started this job and I’ve never been happier and now I am sharing it with you, so you can try it too. You can check it out here…

    ===========➤➤➤ VISIT HERE!!!!!
    All copyrights Reserved © 2020

  24. STAY AT HOME & WORK AT HOME FOR USA ►Check it out, and start earning yourself . for more info visit any tab this site Thanks a lotHere………………………ReadMore.

  25. I could not disagree more with the proposition to repeal the natural born citizen clause. Save the Second Amendment, perhaps no other provision of the Constitution has been more disregarded. The concerns of the founders about foreign influence are as valid today as at the founding.

    Beginning with Chester A. Arthur, we have experienced disregard for this proviso. While he was born in the U. S., his father was not a U.S. citizen at the time of his birth.

    George Romney was born in Mexico and his father fled the jurisdiction of the U.S. because of the prohibition of polygamy.

    Ted Cruz was born in Canada of a Cuban father.

    Marco Rubio was born in the U.S., but neither of his parents were U.S. citizens. The same is true of Bobby Jindal and Kamala Harris.

    Barack Obama (Barry Soetoro) was born of a foreign national father who was not a U.S. citizen.

    Michelle Bachman, while apparently a natural born citizen prior to her marriage, by operation of Swiss law, became a Swiss citizen upon her marriage to a Swiss citizen and has actually remarked about wanting to preserve the Swiss citizenship of her children so that they could choose which citizenship they preferred upon attaining majority.

    Ted Cruz’s Ivy League buddies incorrectly assert that the natural born citizen clause is based upon English common law and apply a tortured interpretation to support his eligibility. Nothing could be further from the truth.

    Beginning with John Jay’s letter to George Washington, as President of the Constitutional Convention, the matter of loyalty and foreign influence was raised. Emmerich de Vattel’s book, The Law of Nations, was the source of the natural law definition originally understood by the founders, consisting of two U.S. citizen parents and birth within the U.S. or territories thereof (e.g. Barry Goldwater was born of citizen parents in the territory of Arizona prior to elevation to statehood.

    This was recited in Minor v Happersett which denied even natural born citizens the right to vote on the basis of sex and tangentially in Wong Kim Ark.

    Senate Resolution 511, dealing with the eligibility of John McCain to be President, recited the two U.S. citizen parent requirement., but, after discussion of the status of the Panama Canal Zone where McCain was born, asserted that the founders would not have wished to disqualify children born of parents serving there pursuant to military orders.

    It has been asserted that we have been living in a post constitutional era. These facts, along with incompetent or hyper political jurists are such evidence. (One judge ruled in a case involving Barack Obama that “the matter had already been Tweeted”.

    Although the founders provided a means to amend the Constitution, exercising that option in this instance would, in my view, be unwise to say the least.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.