Is McCain Really A “Natural Born” Citizen?

Since we’re talking about people questioning Obama’s citizenship (which is really just designed to dredge up fears that he’s black, has an African father, and is possibly Muslim), lets not forget that there is a real serious question as to whether John McCain is a “natural born citizen” as the U.S. Constitution requires. Of course, McCain was born in Panama, and while there is no doubt he is a citizen (his two parents were citizens), whether he is a “natural born” citizen, as the Constitution requires, is questionable.

No one will really have standing to challenge this unless McCain is actually elected President. Therefore, McCain’s choice for Vice President (who would become President if McCain is disqualified, dies, or resigns from office) becomes awfully important. The fact that McCain might be leaning toward a pro-choice Vice-President should be interesting to watch.

58 comments

  1. Erick says:

    Good post. And that’s the point on both. No one really has standing to contest the matter, but the only Secretary of State in the nation who is probably gutsy enough to keep one of them off the ballot is Georgia’s.

    So we could have lots of fun here with these guys.

  2. Harry says:

    “Only native-born U.S. citizens (or those born abroad, but only to parents who were both citizens of the U.S.) may be president of the United States.”

    Let’s see a valid, certified copy of Obama’s birth certificate.

  3. Doug Deal says:

    This is all moot anyway, as McCain was born before the adoption of the US Constitution and therefore grandfathered in since he was a citizen at the founding.

    Seriously, though, the courts have recognized that there are only 2 ways to become a citizen. By birth or by naturalization. Anyone who is given citizenship by the status of his birth (having at least one US Citizen parent) does not require any type of “naturalization”, and is therefore natural born.

    But, I hope the Friends of Barry pursue this type of challenge, as the FOBs have been unable to produce a non-forged birth certificate of Obama’s birth in Hawaii. Why forge a fake birth certificate like the Kos Kids did, if there is a real one somewhere.

  4. atlantaman says:

    It’s an interesting argument, concerning Obama, I found this on Wikipedia – take it for what it’s worth.

    “John McCain, who ran for the Republican party nomination in 2000 and is the presumptive Republican nominee in 2008, was born at the Coco Solo U.S. military base in the Panama Canal Zone to U.S. parents. Although the Panama Canal Zone was not considered to be part of the United States,[5] federal law states that “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”.[6] The law that conferred this status took effect on August 4, 1937, one year after John McCain was born — albeit with retrospective effect, resulting in McCain being declared a U.S. citizen from birth.[7]”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Natural-born_citizen

  5. Harry says:

    That’s obviously a carved-out exception pertaining to the Canal Zone only.

    The general rule is, “Only native-born U.S. citizens (or those born abroad, but only to parents who were both citizens of the U.S.) may be president of the United States.”

  6. Rick Day says:

    I hope Obama’s BC turns out false, but he picks The Hill ™ for Veep, thereby sweeping in Madam President ™ into office, thanks to Republican dirty tricks.

    Yep….like Your Book ™ intones, you reap what you sow.

    Perhaps the “naturalized” incident will cause ignorant US citizens to refrain from referring to themselves as “Americans” like everyone else on the land mass can legitimately generically call themselves.

    But I doubt it.

  7. Harry says:

    Maybe Obama’s parents wanted to emigrate to Canada, and wanted an “anchor baby” there, and then quickly realized it would not help them?

    After Obama’s nomination, his campaign may in for a nasty surprise if Obama can’t prove he’s eligible to be president. May I point out that, if it goes that far, the Supreme Court currently tends to be fairly conservative.

  8. Game Fan says:

    Yeah it’s too bad we can’t find a decent Presidential candidate who was born right here in the U.S.A. (like the Founders intended) And even though I’m no Lawyer methinks when they use the word “Natural” it usually refers to something that doesn’t need a bunch of legal explanation or interpretation. For example:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Natural_rights

  9. Decaturguy says:

    Harry,

    You’re no better than those “activist liberal judges” you are always talking about, adding words in parens to the actual text of the U.S. Constitution. The actual words are:

    “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.”

    Clearly John McCain is a citizen (I’m not questioning that). What I’m questioning is whether he is a “natural born” citizen, as the Constitution requires, and qualified to be President. The Constitution in several places differentiates between a mere citizen and a natural born citizen.

    Furthermore the U.S. Supreme Court has never interpreted the term “natural born citizen,” despite Harry’s interpretation of the word.

    So the question is still out there – Is John McCain qualified to hold the office of the President?

  10. Harry says:

    Here’s what John O’Neill says:

    As American citizens, it is our right and duty to question the background, character, and proposals of any candidate who could be our next commander in chief. Democrats and the media are not holding Obama accountable, so conservatives must.

  11. DoubleDawg3 says:

    Chrisishardcore – haha, good point!

    As for the main argument here over McCain… do you think a court would ever touch this? (Okay, maybe the Federal District Ct. for the Northern District of California – that includes San Fran, right?)

    I pity the court that would take up and decide such a challenge, b/c you essentially risk excluding the children of all US Military members located overseas at the time of the child’s birth.

    Also, as several of you have pointed out – standing would be a major problem.

  12. DoubleDawg3 says:

    Not sure and this is a real stretch, but is there any basis for a federal quo warranto challenge (and if so, would it have any power if used against the President?) Doubt it.

  13. heroV says:

    Decaturguy: The more interesting and pressing question, however, is whether Andre Walker is a natural born citizen. dun dun dun!!!

  14. atlantaman says:

    McCain was born in Panama and I quoted statute, in an earlier post, that states everyone born in the Panama Canal Zone, with a US mother and father, is considered a natural born citizen.

  15. Game Fan says:

    F.y.i. McShame would simply be another step backward for real conservatism. With that in mind “considered” by who? A bunch of politicians and Lawyers? McCain a.k.a. “wetstart” a.k.a. “songbird” is a sick joke.

  16. Decaturguy says:

    Atlantaman,

    The statute in question on declares that people born in that zone were citizens, it makes no declaration about “natural born citizens.” That is just your activist, liberal interpretation of that statute. Who knew that you and Harry were such liberal activist judges?

  17. GOPeach says:

    Oh great – The stupid mindless wonders AKA American Primary Voters have nominated (2) foreign born suits to sit in the OVAL OFFICE…

    And people have a problem singing ” God Bless America”…. We better stop singing it and start BEGGING for it along with a trainload of MERCY!

    Honestly … I am focusing on local races…

    Hoping C-Biscuit and E. Setzler got my checks.
    They are my favorite (2) candidates for State House!

  18. Col. Sheppy says:

    The issue is simply one regarding jus sanguins (right of blood) citizenship. We all know there is no doubt regarding jus soli (right of the land) citizenship or naturalization. A person born in the first instance can become president while a person in the second definitely cannot.

    Both the U.S. Constitution Art. 1 Sect. 8 cl 4 and the US Supreme Court have give the power to regulate citizenship to Congress.

    While neither Congress nor the Court has ever defined what “natural born” means, Congress has passed numerous laws to declare certain classes of people citizens by birth.

    INA (Immigrant and Naturalization Act) 302 declares all Puerto Ricans born after 1/13/1941 to be citizens by birth. 304 does the same with Alaskans born 3/30/1867 and later.

    Both of these sections also gave citizenship status to those born before those dates as well.

    In fact, though we consider it a no brainer that someone born on US soil of US Citizen parents is obviously a “natural born citizen,” NOTHING in the U.S. Constitution itself (excluding the amendments) dictates that someone born in the US is a US Citizen by birth. The principle of jus soli birth does not come from the Constitution, but from English Common Law and the feudal system before it.

    With that being said, that also means jus sanguin is also a product of Congress and the first law Congress passed dealing with the subject was the the Act of March 26, 1790.

    Futhermore, in 1937, the law was that anyone with two U.S. citizen parents was born a citizen with no residence requirement in the US required for that child to remain a US Citizen.

    Given INA 303 specifically mentions the Panama Canal Zone, it would naturally seem that the purpose of the law was to remove all doubt that those born in the zone were naturally born citizens.

    Also, if Obama wasn’t born in Hawaii, where was he supposedly born?

  19. McCain was born in Panama and I quoted statute, in an earlier post, that states everyone born in the Panama Canal Zone, with a US mother and father, is considered a natural born citizen.

    Actually, no, that’s not what it said in what you quoted:

    “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.”

    OK, so McCain’s a citizen, as this law states. But it does not state that he’s a natural-born citizen.

    I think with the jellyfish judges we have on most benches today, they’ll “declare” that McCain is a natural-born citizen. But the Constitution and the Law says otherwise.

    And by the way… if McCain selects a pro-abortion running mate, ALL BETS ARE OFF for the convention. Romney’s delegates (a pretty good-sized chunk) and Huckabee’s delegates (which includes almost ALL of Georgia’s) will likely revolt at the RNC, and with 20-30% or so Ron Paul supporters there that have been elected delegates and alternates, we could have a wide-open convention.

    Bring it on. 🙂

  20. McCain was born in Panama and I quoted statute, in an earlier post, that states everyone born in the Panama Canal Zone, with a US mother and father, is considered a natural born citizen.

    Actually, no, that’s not what it said in what you quoted:

    “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.”

    OK, so McCain’s a citizen, as this law states. But it does not state that he’s a natural-born citizen.

    I think with the jellyfish judges we have on most benches today, they’ll “declare” that McCain is a natural-born citizen. But the Constitution and the Law says otherwise.

    And by the way… if McCain selects a pro-abortion running mate, ALL BETS ARE OFF for the convention. Romney’s delegates (a pretty good-sized chunk) and Huckabee’s delegates (which includes almost ALL of Georgia’s) will likely revolt at the RNC, and with 20-30% or so Ron Paul supporters there that have been elected delegates and alternates, we could have a wide-open convention.

    Bring it on. 🙂

  21. Col. Sheppy says:

    Taft, since the Constitution is basically silent on what is “natural born citizen[ship]” except where I stated above, please explain how how the Constitution and the law say otherwise.

  22. Harry says:

    If Obama did have a birth certificate issued in Canada, and if he couldn’t prove one was issued in Hawaii; and given that his father was a non-US citizen, and given that there are questions concerning his fidelity to this country (not bothering to place his hand over his heart for the pledge, etc.); then I’d think a further exploration of Obama’s “natural born citizen[ship]” status would be in order and of interest to the voters.

  23. Decaturguy says:

    Harry, stuff like what you are espousing is going to cost you guys the election, and not only that, you are going to lose the hearts and minds of an entire generation of voters putting you in the minority not only until well after you are dead, but your children as well.

    Keep it up.

  24. Doug Deal says:

    Decaturguy,

    It is laughable how you could criticize Harry about attacking Obama on his citizenship (among other things) ona thread that raises doubts about McCains.

    Do you lefties have any credibility left?

  25. Decaturguy says:

    Big difference, Doug. No one is questioning whether McCain (an old white guy with US Citizens as parents) is a citizen, but whether he does not qualify as a “natural born citizen” because he was, admittingly, born on foreign soil in Panama. The questions about Obama stem from the fact that he is black, had a father who was foreign, some people believe he is Muslim. It is all just a fake issue meant to seed doubts in the American people’s mind as to whether someone like him can be “loyal” to the U.S. If his name were John Wilson from Iowa, we wouldn’t be having this discussion.

    Doug, aren’t you just a shameless right wing hack? I’m sure I could look back in the archives and find comments from the same people back during the primary saying they would never vote for McCain if he were the nominee, including ol Harry. At least I’m consistent, I have always supported Obama from the beginning.

  26. MelGX says:

    Speaking of credibility:

    FIGHT THE SMEARS

    I think you’ll find this site helpful to avoid looking like one of those old fools who buys in to every email meme.

    PS. Comments here don’t work on Mac running FireFox. Either that, or I’ve been banned. BTW decaturguy, the lack of a Georgia connection to this post is noted. Better watch your back man.

  27. Col. Sheppy says:

    I will say it again…the Constitution and the US Supreme Court never define “natural born.” For many years, certain groups were born in the United States and NOT considered citizens (slaves, Indians, Chinese, etc).

    The best guess is that “natural born” means a “citizen from birth” as opposed to someone who was naturalized.

    Federal law at the time of Obama’s birth said anyone with one parent who is a U.S. citizen IS born a U.S. citizen.

    Decaturguy, this issue was brought up by the Clinton folks, not the GOP where it concerns Obama.

    And yes, there were a lot of people, even in the GOP, questioning whether McCain is eligable to be President.

    I had a State Rep. kill a resolution I wrote to endorse McCain as a show of unity at the Cobb GOP convention back in March once McCain had clinched the nomination specifically on this issue.

    It’s Hillary’s supporters still trying to raise doubts about Obama being qualified to try to wrestle away the nomination from Obama. It’s not officially over until the DNC is gavelled closed.

  28. jsm says:

    Mel, you must be retarded if you believe that birth certificate you linked is real. No document looked like that in 1961.

  29. MelGX says:

    Retarded? No, but Erick informed me earlier today that my comments were getting caught in the “spam trap”, whatever that is. So I guess that says something.

  30. Doug Deal says:

    DecaturGuy,

    I still stand by that statement and will add more to that today. I do not edit my opinions based on party affiliation; I just shine light on hypocrites like you. I think this citizenship stuff, from either side is stupid. Try beating people on merits, instead of hoping for ridiculous technicalities.

    The sad fact is that as bad as Bush is, he was superior to both that now raving lunatic Gore and that gigolo-phony Kerry. The even sadder fact is that as bad as McCain is, he is orders of magnitude better than Obama.

    Perhaps if you guys spent more time finding better candidates and less time finding fault (that you proceed to overlook in your own candidates) with Republicans, you might produce one candidate from dog catcher to President that is worth voting for. Perhaps the Republicans would then return the favor and find better candidates to match your higher standards.

    You choose to see Obama as a qualified candidate because he carries that little blue D beside his name. If he was a Republican, he would suddenly transmography into the “most corrupt politician of our time”, benefiting from “sweetheart land deals”, with no experience and a sellout to his race. Amazing the power of that silly little blue letter.

    Obama is a joke. If he had a high squeaking voice and vision problems that prevented him from properly reading a teleprompter, he would still be in the Illinois legislature, if even there.

  31. Doug Deal says:

    Here is more about the birth certificate.

    It is clear that the document Obama posted was a “fake” at least in a technical sense. It does not mean that there isn’t a real one, but it does not appear to represent how a CoLB is generally handled by Hawaii, so it was not obtained in the usual method of obtaining such documents.

    In any event, it is a silly track as his mother WAS CLEARLY A US CITIZEN, making him a citizen by birth right, and thus a “natural born citizen” as opposed to a naturalized one.

  32. Decaturguy says:

    Harry, I don’t know where you get your information about him being born in Canada, but the only Presidential candidate that we know for sure was not born in the United States is John McCain, who was born in Panama.

    Is this the best you’ve got? The one hope of a Republican holding onto the White House? With no chance of re-taking the House or Senate, and with such record breaking turnout expected from Democrats this fall that even Georgia is in play, you’re one hope is some unsubstantiated rumor that Obama was really born in Canada? Pathetic.

  33. Harry says:

    Decaturguy, you said

    I’m sure I could look back in the archives and find comments from the same people back during the primary saying they would never vote for McCain if he were the nominee, including ol Harry.

    I’m sure you can’t.

  34. Doug Deal says:

    Rag-Rat,

    I have closely analyzed the supposed document, and it is obviously a fraud. To be specific, there is no seal from a notary proclaiming his permanent and undying un-Americanism, which is a requirement for all foreign birth certificates. That’s why they can’t be President, but can be a part of the most un-American of all institutions, Congress.

  35. Romegaguy says:

    You would think that at least one of the candidates for President this year would be pro-life. Does anyone know if this is true and which candidate would fit this criteria?

  36. Icarus says:

    I don’t know Rome, I’m more concerned about the racial aspect of the campaign.

    After Peach’s diatribe on hyphonated uppity black folk, you would think she wouldn’t try to further help her candidate by calling him Mecaca-cain.

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