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> Is McCain a "Natural Born Citizen"?
scubatim
post Feb 28 2008, 09:29 PM
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Just thought that this would be an interesting discussion, or at least to see what temperature the water is here at ad.gif on the topic.

The NYT published a story discussing whether or not Senator McCain is considered a natural born citizen based on the fact that he was born in the Panama Canal Zone.

Questions for debate:

Is there any validity to the question of McCain being a natural born citizen of the United States?
Do you think Congress should amend the constitution in order to better define "Natural Born Citizen"?
Is that particular qualification archaic in today's United States? In other words, should that requirement be eliminated from our Constitution to be President of the United States?
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VDemosthenes
post Feb 29 2008, 04:49 PM
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QUOTE(carlitoswhey @ Feb 29 2008, 11:46 AM) *
Again, with respect, I linked the applicable regulations, which made no reference whatsoever to being on ships or bases. If you say "I'm not wrong," perhaps you could extend the same courtesy and provide some evidence?


Never said you were wrong. I'm saying, the operational precedent in place seems to be in conflict with the law because Armed Forces children and someone I know could run for president uninhibited.

Also, the Panama project would've been outlying posession, per your edit.

On the nature of the cruise ship, her family relates that they were in international waters at the time. Well the ship belongs to America. She can't just be country-less.

This post has been edited by VDemosthenes: Feb 29 2008, 04:51 PM
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carlitoswhey
post Feb 29 2008, 05:10 PM
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QUOTE(VDemosthenes @ Feb 29 2008, 10:49 AM) *
QUOTE(carlitoswhey @ Feb 29 2008, 11:46 AM) *
Again, with respect, I linked the applicable regulations, which made no reference whatsoever to being on ships or bases. If you say "I'm not wrong," perhaps you could extend the same courtesy and provide some evidence?


Never said you were wrong.

to clarify - I pointed out that you were wrong about all of these places being American soil, and you said "I'm not wrong."

QUOTE
I'm saying, the operational precedent in place seems to be in conflict with the law because Armed Forces children and someone I know could run for president uninhibited.


I take it that is a "no" to my request for evidence. If you have some evidence that "operational precedent" deviates from what the law says, please provide it.
QUOTE
Also, the Panama project would've been outlying posession, per your edit.

It has nothing whatsoever to do with the Panama Canal. McCain could have been born on the moon, and he still would be a citizen, because both of his parents were citizens, and they lived in the US prior to his father serving overseas.
QUOTE
On the nature of the cruise ship, her family relates that they were in international waters at the time. Well the ship belongs to America. She can't just be country-less.
If your friend is a natural born citizen, it would be because her father was a citizen and her mother lived in the US, and therefore was a US national. This would be true whether she was born on a ship or anywhere else outside the US and its possessions.

This post has been edited by carlitoswhey: Feb 29 2008, 10:25 PM
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turnea
post Feb 29 2008, 06:17 PM
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I agree with most of the responses to the first two question.

He's been a citizen since birth, hence he is a naturally born citizen.

It's the third question that interest me, so far only DTOM, quick, and VDemosthenes have (I think) looked at the situation.

...and only DTOM with what I think to be clear reasoning.


I don't think the stipulation is archaic.

I think it was probably always wrong and reflected an irrational paranoia that continues in some circles to this day.

Foreign birth is no real reason to question the loyalty of a president. Heck Robert E. Lee and Jefferson Davis where born here too.

Furthermore this whole idea of loyalty in elected officials is essentially a nonsense question but in any case something for the voters to decide.

In respect to reason we should dump this provision..
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carlitoswhey
post Feb 29 2008, 07:35 PM
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QUOTE(turnea @ Feb 29 2008, 12:17 PM) *
I agree with most of the responses to the first two question.

He's been a citizen since birth, hence he is a naturally born citizen.

It's the third question that interest me, so far only DTOM, quick, and VDemosthenes have (I think) looked at the situation.

...and only DTOM with what I think to be clear reasoning.


I don't think the stipulation is archaic.

I think it was probably always wrong and reflected an irrational paranoia that continues in some circles to this day.

Foreign birth is no real reason to question the loyalty of a president. Heck Robert E. Lee and Jefferson Davis where born here too.

In respect to reason we should dump this provision..


Which provision exactly would you dump? The law which applies, (which I have linked) has a list of exceptions to the foreign birth qualification. What other exceptions would you add? Or are you suggesting that naturalized citizens should also be allowed as President?

QUOTE
Furthermore this whole idea of loyalty in elected officials is essentially a nonsense question but in any case something for the voters to decide

Back when the "Obama won't wear a flag pin on his lapel" debate was going on, I heard several commenters ask "what's next - loyalty oaths?" Well, yeah. That's what's next, if he wins. Should we eliminate the oath of office as well?
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Sleeper
post Mar 1 2008, 12:54 AM
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Yet another negative story about John McCain by the New York Times... Looks like my prediction about The NYT is coming true....

I've been trying to find more balance in my life as of late because a wise person once told me "In an argument there are always two stories or accounts and the truth lies somewhere in the middle.

Even though I am supporting Obama for president, I can't stand by idle and watch the NYT contradict themselves by endorsing McCain then printing negative story after negative story.

I wonder when the NYT will unendorse McCain. hmmm.gif
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Swimmerwolf247
post Mar 1 2008, 02:25 AM
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While I think that he isn't a natural citizen, what scares me more is that if McCain is out, Huckabee steps up, and that's worse than having a candidate born elsewhere.
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Janabrute
post Mar 1 2008, 04:03 AM
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Is there any validity to the question of McCain being a natural born citizen of the United States?
Do you think Congress should amend the constitution in order to better define "Natural Born Citizen"?
Is that particular qualification archaic in today's United States? In other words, should that requirement be eliminated from our Constitution to be President of the United States?

Yes, there is validity to the question. McCain was neither born on US soil or US possession soil. The US never had possesion of Panama. A military base does not qualify as an embassy. In 1964, the US Supreme Court suggested that 'natural born' meant in the US.

No, an amendment is not necessary to clarify a single term.

No, this qualification should not be eliminated from the Constitution. You would have to be very narrow minded and naive to even entertain the idea. The Constitution is a very enlightened and wise document considering the period of time in which it was drawn up and signed.
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carlitoswhey
post Mar 1 2008, 05:02 AM
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QUOTE(Janabrute @ Feb 29 2008, 10:03 PM) *
Yes, there is validity to the question. McCain was neither born on US soil or US possession soil. The US never had possesion of Panama. A military base does not qualify as an embassy. In 1964, the US Supreme Court suggested that 'natural born' meant in the US.

I have now posted the relevant statute 3 times. What in the world are you people doing, arguing that someone needs to be born "on US soil" or the like? It is irrelevant. An urban myth. Congress clarified its opinion in 1790, a whopping year after the Bill of Rights was passed. Stop it please.
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turnea
post Mar 1 2008, 11:47 PM
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QUOTE(carlitoswhey)
What other exceptions would you add? Or are you suggesting that naturalized citizens should also be allowed as President?

That is precisely what I'm suggesting. smile.gif

I am sympathetic to a number of years residency in order to acquaint a candidate with the American way of life, but where one is born says nothing conclusive about loyalty one way or the other.

QUOTE(carlitoswhey)
Back when the "Obama won't wear a flag pin on his lapel" debate was going on, I heard several commenters ask "what's next - loyalty oaths?" Well, yeah. That's what's next, if he wins. Should we eliminate the oath of office as well?

...but the oath of office is not a loyalty oath, merely a statement of the purpose of the presidency.

QUOTE
I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.


Should we eliminate say, the pledge of allegiance?

Sounds like a grand idea to me, who needs it?
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Janabrute
post Mar 4 2008, 03:08 AM
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QUOTE(carlitoswhey @ Mar 1 2008, 12:02 AM) *
QUOTE(Janabrute @ Feb 29 2008, 10:03 PM) *
Yes, there is validity to the question. McCain was neither born on US soil or US possession soil. The US never had possesion of Panama. A military base does not qualify as an embassy. In 1964, the US Supreme Court suggested that 'natural born' meant in the US.

I have now posted the relevant statute 3 times. What in the world are you people doing, arguing that someone needs to be born "on US soil" or the like? It is irrelevant. An urban myth. Congress clarified its opinion in 1790, a whopping year after the Bill of Rights was passed. Stop it please.



If you are so sure that "natural born" was clearly defined in 1790, explain why the Supreme Court arrived at a different interpretation in 1964.

QUOTE(turnea @ Mar 1 2008, 06:47 PM) *
Should we eliminate say, the pledge of allegiance?

Sounds like a grand idea to me, who needs it?



Yeah, let's go ahead and eliminate the pledge of allegiance. Let's forget about loyality oaths, everybody is on the take anyway. The flag can go too. You see on TV, groups are burning it all the time anyway. The guy down the street would make a good President. Yeah, he's a convicted felon and has been in the US for only 2 years, but heck, who cares. These statements are pure sarcasm.

There are reasons for the procedure we follow. Today's American is so far removed from the American of the late 1770's.
No pride in this country anymore. Its just about what one can get for the least amount of effort and most amount of money.
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GuardianAngel
post Mar 4 2008, 03:34 AM
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QUOTE(scubatim @ Feb 28 2008, 09:29 PM) *
Just thought that this would be an interesting discussion, or at least to see what temperature the water is here at ad.gif on the topic.

The NYT published a story discussing whether or not Senator McCain is considered a natural born citizen based on the fact that he was born in the Panama Canal Zone.

Questions for debate:

Is there any validity to the question of McCain being a natural born citizen of the United States?
Do you think Congress should amend the constitution in order to better define "Natural Born Citizen"?
Is that particular qualification archaic in today's United States? In other words, should that requirement be eliminated from our Constitution to be President of the United States?



was he granted citizenship as an american upon his birth ?

if yes, then he is a "Natural Born Citizen"

end of story.

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Mrs. Pigpen
post Mar 4 2008, 11:56 AM
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QUOTE(Janabrute @ Mar 3 2008, 10:08 PM) *
QUOTE(carlitoswhey @ Mar 1 2008, 12:02 AM) *
QUOTE(Janabrute @ Feb 29 2008, 10:03 PM) *
Yes, there is validity to the question. McCain was neither born on US soil or US possession soil. The US never had possesion of Panama. A military base does not qualify as an embassy. In 1964, the US Supreme Court suggested that 'natural born' meant in the US.

I have now posted the relevant statute 3 times. What in the world are you people doing, arguing that someone needs to be born "on US soil" or the like? It is irrelevant. An urban myth. Congress clarified its opinion in 1790, a whopping year after the Bill of Rights was passed. Stop it please.



If you are so sure that "natural born" was clearly defined in 1790, explain why the Supreme Court arrived at a different interpretation in 1964.


You have provided no evidence whatsoever that the USSC arrived at a different interpretation in 1964. Link please? The only thing I could find was the SCHNEIDER v. RUSK case, and I see nothing there that supports your argument. The USSC ruled on whether or not citizenship could be revoked for living overseas for an extended period of time. It applied to naturalized citizens only, not those granted US citizenship at birth. The girl represented in this case was born in Germany to German parents, who later moved to the US and became citizens.

Again, "natural born" means granted citizenship at birth. Nationalized means acquired citizenship after birth. There is no other vernacular to fit. Even the strictest constructionist would agree on this. The Constitution also says Congress shall have the power "To coin money, and regulate the value thereof". Does that mean our paper dollars have/should have no value? Exactly the same logic you are using.

This post has been edited by Mrs. Pigpen: Mar 4 2008, 12:32 PM
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turnea
post Mar 4 2008, 12:05 PM
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QUOTE(GuardianAngel)
Yeah, let's go ahead and eliminate the pledge of allegiance. Let's forget about loyality oaths, everybody is on the take anyway. The flag can go too. You see on TV, groups are burning it all the time anyway. The guy down the street would make a good President. Yeah, he's a convicted felon and has been in the US for only 2 years, but heck, who cares.

Hopefully the voters. Why do we need these pointless laws to protect us from ourselves?

This is America. The state is meant to be loyal to us and we'll elect who we darn well please. smile.gif

I'm painting with a broad brush but really naturalized citizens are no less American that citizens by birth.
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entspeak
post Mar 4 2008, 06:57 PM
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QUOTE(carlitoswhey @ Feb 29 2008, 11:02 PM) *
QUOTE(Janabrute @ Feb 29 2008, 10:03 PM) *
Yes, there is validity to the question. McCain was neither born on US soil or US possession soil. The US never had possesion of Panama. A military base does not qualify as an embassy. In 1964, the US Supreme Court suggested that 'natural born' meant in the US.

I have now posted the relevant statute 3 times. What in the world are you people doing, arguing that someone needs to be born "on US soil" or the like? It is irrelevant. An urban myth. Congress clarified its opinion in 1790, a whopping year after the Bill of Rights was passed. Stop it please.


Well, what you fail to mention is that the Naturalization Act of 1790 was explicitly repealed and superceded by the Naturalization Act of 1795, which removes the term "natural born" from the relevant phrase:

QUOTE
...and the children of citizens of the United States born out of the limits and jurisdiction of the United States, shall be considered as citizens of the United States.


No subsequent naturalization act re-introduces the term.

The Naturalization Act of 1790 is irrelevant.

So, while I have my own opinion on the subject, the question regarding his eligibility to be President under the Constitution is valid.

On a side note, the research I did provided some interesting tidbits. I didn't realize that Madeleine Albright was not a part of the line of succession because she is not "natural born", two current cabinet members are removed from the line of succession for this reason.

This post has been edited by entspeak: Mar 4 2008, 07:09 PM
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Mrs. Pigpen
post Mar 4 2008, 07:37 PM
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QUOTE(entspeak @ Mar 4 2008, 01:57 PM) *
QUOTE(carlitoswhey @ Feb 29 2008, 11:02 PM) *
QUOTE(Janabrute @ Feb 29 2008, 10:03 PM) *
Yes, there is validity to the question. McCain was neither born on US soil or US possession soil. The US never had possesion of Panama. A military base does not qualify as an embassy. In 1964, the US Supreme Court suggested that 'natural born' meant in the US.

I have now posted the relevant statute 3 times. What in the world are you people doing, arguing that someone needs to be born "on US soil" or the like? It is irrelevant. An urban myth. Congress clarified its opinion in 1790, a whopping year after the Bill of Rights was passed. Stop it please.


Well, what you fail to mention is that the Naturalization Act of 1790 was explicitly repealed and superceded by the Naturalization Act of 1795, which removes the term "natural born" from the relevant phrase:

QUOTE
...and the children of citizens of the United States born out of the limits and jurisdiction of the United States, shall be considered as citizens of the United States.


No subsequent naturalization act re-introduces the term.

The Naturalization Act of 1790 is irrelevant.


It isn't irrelevant. We aren't debating the Act itself, but the phraseology. The Naturalization Act of 1790 provides sound evidence of precisely what the founders intended when they said "natural born citizens" during the time the Constitution was written.


This post has been edited by Mrs. Pigpen: Mar 4 2008, 07:42 PM
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Hobbes
post Mar 4 2008, 08:13 PM
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QUOTE(Dontreadonme @ Feb 28 2008, 06:05 PM) *
Is there any validity to the question of McCain being a natural born citizen of the United States?

No....

Do you think Congress should amend the constitution in order to better define "Natural Born Citizen"?

No.

Is that particular qualification archaic in today's United States? In other words, should that requirement be eliminated from our Constitution to be President of the United States?

Yes, it is archaic and is not based on any sound basis whatsoever.


I agree completely with DTOM on all points, particularly this last one. This debate is ample evidence of why it is archaic, and in fact can even be abused. There is no more reason to question McCain's 'natural born' status than there is Obama's. Both would be equally absurd, yet we're only having the one issue raised. The concept itself is outdated, given the internationalization of the world. Arnold Schwarzenegger is probably the perfect example of that...think what you want of his politics, but is there any doubt about where his loyalties lie, or on how 'American' he is? No. I think, in fact, that many (most?) naturalized citizens probably have a greater appreciation of what it really means to be American now than most natural born citizens...just as those born without money have a much better appreciation of having it than those who were born with it. If the American voting populace has a concern about someone's naturalization status, then they would have amply opportunity to voice that concern during the election process and in the voting booth.
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entspeak
post Mar 4 2008, 08:15 PM
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QUOTE(Mrs. Pigpen @ Mar 4 2008, 01:37 PM) *
It isn't irrelevant. We aren't debating the Act itself, but the phraseology. The Naturalization Act of 1790 provides sound evidence of precisely what the founders intended when they said "natural born citizens" during the time the Constitution was written.


Well, five years later the phrase was removed. The same founders who approved the 1790 Act approved the removal of that phrase. Frederick Muhlenberg, John Adams and George Washington held the same positions at the time of both Acts. Their names are on both Acts. It has never been included in any subsequent naturalization law. It appears that the founders changed their mind.
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Mrs. Pigpen
post Mar 4 2008, 08:29 PM
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QUOTE(entspeak @ Mar 4 2008, 03:15 PM) *
QUOTE(Mrs. Pigpen @ Mar 4 2008, 01:37 PM) *
It isn't irrelevant. We aren't debating the Act itself, but the phraseology. The Naturalization Act of 1790 provides sound evidence of precisely what the founders intended when they said "natural born citizens" during the time the Constitution was written.


Well, five years later the phrase was removed. The same founders who approved the 1790 Act approved the removal of that phrase. Frederick Muhlenberg, John Adams and George Washington held the same positions at the time of both Acts. Their names are on both Acts. It has never been included in any subsequent naturalization law. It appears that the founders changed their mind.



Okay, where did the founders define 'natural born citizen'? In the first Act. When did they redefine it? Oops, they didn't. Did the 1790 Act distinguish a difference between the type of citizenships given at birth? No, it didn't. Well, then by the above reasoning I suppose it could be argued that the 1790 Act, in usurping the first, must indicate that there are no longer any "natural born citizens" at all and no one can run for president.

This post has been edited by Mrs. Pigpen: Mar 4 2008, 08:35 PM
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entspeak
post Mar 4 2008, 09:12 PM
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QUOTE(Mrs. Pigpen @ Mar 4 2008, 02:29 PM) *
Okay, where did the founders define 'natural born citizen'? In the first Act. When did they redefine it? Oops, they didn't. Did the 1790 Act distinguish a difference between the type of citizenships given at birth? No, it didn't. Well, then by the above reasoning I suppose it could be argued that the 1790 Act, in usurping the first, must indicate that there are no longer any "natural born citizens" at all and no one can run for president.



If the first Act provided the definition of "natural born citizen" rather than including a specific group in that category, then one could also argue that the Naturalization Act of 1790 limited the eligibility for the Presidency to only those "children of citizens of the United States that may be born beyond Sea, or out of the limits of the United States." But, I think it's safe to say that the phrase was not a definition of the term "natural born citizen", but rather a definition of a group that was to be included in the category of "natural born citizen". That inclusion was repealed five years later by the same people that put it in.

And I think you probably mean "...the 1795 Act, in superceding the first..."

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GuardianAngel
post Mar 5 2008, 12:06 AM
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QUOTE(turnea @ Mar 4 2008, 12:05 PM) *
QUOTE(GuardianAngel)
Yeah, let's go ahead and eliminate the pledge of allegiance. Let's forget about loyality oaths, everybody is on the take anyway. The flag can go too. You see on TV, groups are burning it all the time anyway. The guy down the street would make a good President. Yeah, he's a convicted felon and has been in the US for only 2 years, but heck, who cares.

Hopefully the voters. Why do we need these pointless laws to protect us from ourselves?

This is America. The state is meant to be loyal to us and we'll elect who we darn well please. smile.gif

I'm painting with a broad brush but really naturalized citizens are no less American that citizens by birth.



wow I did not know that I said any of that please enlighten me as to where I posted that garbage.
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