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Is McCain Eligible? Born overseas

The US Constitution states, No person except a natural born citizen,shall be eligible to the office of President

Three major candidates have sought the Presidency who were born outside the United States: Barry Goldwater (ran in 1964) was born in Arizona while it was still a U.S. territory, George Romney (ran in 1968) was born in Mexico to U.S. parents, and John McCain (ran in 2000 and runs in 2008) was born in the Panama Canal Zone to U.S. parents. Barry Goldwater's case among these three is unique in that although Arizona was not a state, it was a fully incorporated territory of the United States, making it debatable whether or not he was born "outside" the United States. The Panama Canal Zone, though controlled by the United States and partly under its jurisdiction, was part of Panama.

None of these candidates was elected, so it has never been fully addressed whether children born to Americans overseas are "natural-born citizens" and thus eligible for the Presidency.


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Ex Post Facto Law?

On Thursday, Claire McCaskill, an Obama Supporter, introduced legislation to "to clarify the legal definition of 'natural born' to include John McCain."

According to Wikipedia, this falls into the category of an ex post facto law:

"An ex post facto law (from the Latin for 'from something done afterward') or retroactive law, is a law that retroactively changes the legal consequences of acts committed or the legal status of facts [emphasis added] and relationships that existed prior to the enactment of the law. Conversely, a form of ex post facto law commonly known as an amnesty law [emphasis added] may decriminalize certain acts or alleviate possible punishments (for example by replacing the death sentence with life-long imprisonment) retroactively."

It seems that Obama Supporters such as McCaskill also support McCain as Obama's opponent. Why would that be? Simply in the interest of a "fair fight" or could it be construed that Obama and his supporters PREFER to have McCain as an apparently-strong (but, in fact fairly weak) opponent?

Not again???!!!!!!!!!!!


Ron Paul 2008

are we really wasting time on this?

Considering 99 percent of the media and politicions don't give a sh*t about the constitution. Really, do you think a little thing like the articles and sections of that old piece of parchment means a damn to these people?
Is'nt that the entire point of ron's run? That they don't obey the constitution. Why would they start now?

here it was just understood

that because you were born here, you could never be POTUS. Everybody just 'knew' that, they were all citizens but....being President is more. I think that McCain is figuring that we've become so globalized that the idea that the founders actually meant physically born here will be repugnant and old-fashioned to the people. That does not mean, that the issue has ever been settled though. I really thinks it's one of those old laws like 'you're not allowed to work on Sunday' or 'you're not allowed to shoot buffalo in the city'

The benefit of the doubt

goes to accepting him as a natural-born citizen. Since it does seem a toss up on technical language, you could go back to the intention of the Constitution. The intention is to prevent people who may have loyalty to their birth country from becoming president. No one can say that John McCain has any special loyalty to the Panama Canal Zone that could override his loyalty to the United States.

Defend Liberty!

I agree with both of you,

I agree with both of you, but I still think it needs to be addressed. I'd like to see someone challenge it in court.

Maybe someone should get a fundraiser going

For a court challenge of McCain's qualification based on his birth outside the US.

What really hacks me about McCain is his war mongering and his bogus claim to be a war hero. He was a traitor while a POW in violation of the Military Code of Conduct. We can feel sorry for him for being in that position, but was it heroic to give information about his mission etc. that could be used to shoot down other pilots. Was making anti war broadcast to troops in the south heroic?

"Bend over and grab your ankles" should be etched in stone at the entrance to every government building and every government office.

Yes, McCain is eligible

People who become citizens LATER IN LIFE can't become President.

McCain was born on a US military base to two US citizen parents. He was a US citizen the moment his head popped out of the womb. He's a natural born citizen, not a "naturalized" citizen (somebody who applied for citizenship).

There is ZERO doubt that he is eligible. This is just a fantasy.

Zero doubt is a bit optimistic

This has naturally come up here in Panama, where I live. At very least the issue is more complex than "zero doubt" Many of these posters are former military personnel....Here's an excerpt:
"Like B and K above, I was also born and raised in the Canal Zone and carry both passports. The whole time we grew up in Panama, it was common knowledge that we could not ever be President. Recently, others that I grew up with and I have discussed this issue relative to John McCain's status and have wondered if, somewhere along the line, the rules got changed. Like Ken, I come from a family immigrating to the U.S. from England in the early 1800's and my father was a decorated WW II veteran of the Normandy invasion and I did Viet Nam. But, I have always known and accepted the fact that the Presidency was out of reach simply because I was not born in the U.S. as were my siblings."

another point is that: "under Panamanian law, he is a Citizen of Panama and thus hold dual citizenship which is exactly what the founding fathers where trying to avoid."

I just read the wikipedia

I just read the wikipedia entry on natural born citizens, and I'm still confused as to whether or not John McCain is technically eligible to run. Also, I guess I would figure that the issue would have come up when McCain ran in 2000, though I don't recall it being an issue then.

However, wikipedia is the gospel as laid down by the Man upstairs, and thus infallible. They say it has never been fully addressed whether children born to Americans overseas are 'natural-born citizens' that would be eligible to become President.

I believe "natural born" is different than a person that is considered to be a "naturalized" citizen. I'm not a lawyer, but it seems to me that McCain would not be eligible, because he is not a natural born citizen. Instead, I would consider his birth by U.S. parents overseas to grant him birthright citizenship as a "naturalized" citizen, not natural born.

It is a petty argument as far as I'm concerned. However, the coincidence theorist in me is wondering what to make of Schwarzenegger's endorsement of John McCain. I believe the stage is being set for McCain to win the nomination. At some point during the campaign, a legal challenge to his campaign will be brought forth on the grounds that McCain is not eligible to become President. Ultimately, this will go to the Supreme Court to further erode our national sovereignty, as they will rule that McCain is eligible. Congress may then step into the act (assuming the activist Court doesn't), as Congress already has recently attempted to do, and they will change the anachronistic Constitution to allow any "naturalized" citizen to run. Thus, opening the door for a Schwarzenegger Presidency in 2012.