Is John McCain eligible to run for President?

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by elcid, Feb 28, 2008.

  1. elcid macrumors 6502

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    #1
    These are always to come up, and this year it is on McCain. McCain was born on a military base in the Panama Canal when his father was stationed there. Every other President has been born in the United States.

    Article II:

    INS definition

    So the question is, is he eligible to run for President. Maybe we have some constitutional scholars who just can't get enough of Apple :)
     
  2. atszyman macrumors 68020

    atszyman

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    #2
    Aren't military bases we control considered U.S. soil?

    And the INS definition:
    I am assuming his parents were U.S. Citizens which would trump being born on foreign soil.

    so in a word yes he is eligible.
     
  3. sushi Moderator emeritus

    sushi

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    #3
    Agree.

    His father was in the US Navy, and he was born on a US Base.
     
  4. elcid thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #4
    Do a search and people will come up with reasons why he is not. I was always told that people born in the US and people born to US citizens are born citizens.

    Just another thing those silly Framers didn't think about.
     
  5. NAG macrumors 68030

    NAG

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    Yeah, US bases are considered US soil. Besides I doubt something like this would be overlooked, especially by republicans (who have some real nationalistic type guys in their ranks).
     
  6. TEG macrumors 604

    TEG

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    #6
    To be elegible, you have to be both a citizen and born on US Soil (traditionally meaning the 50 states, DC, or any territory). I know that the US was in effective control of the Panama Canal Zone, but I'm unsure as to how that is defined. Also, US Bases are NOT US soil, they are nothing more than existing on someone elses soil, only Embassies and Consulates are considered US Soil.

    TEG
     
  7. atszyman macrumors 68020

    atszyman

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    #7
    OK, I've done a little research since nothing was in the original post to make me even question but here's the gist:

    The Panama Canal Zone was leased by the U.S. for military bases but we had no territorial rights. Both McCain's parents were U.S. Citizens.

    The definition of "Natural Born" in the Constitution has never been clarified. Does it mean you had to be born on U.S. soil? If so, the case could be made that since we did not have territorial rights in Panama McCain was not born on U.S. soil. However I think since both of his parents were U.S. Citizens it would count as being "Natural Born."

    If he were to win, and it makes it to the Supreme Court the current justice split of 5/4 will ensure that "Natural Born" is defined as on U.S. soil or to citizen parents. If this were being asked about one of the Democrat nominees I could see it going the other way.

    Edit: More research has shown that

    It was considered enough of a territory that Congress considered foreigners born there U.S. Citizens until 1953, 17 years after John McCain was born.
     
  8. abijnk macrumors 68040

    abijnk

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    #8
    That depends on what the definition of "is" is... :rolleyes:
     
  9. Virgil-TB2 macrumors 65816

    Virgil-TB2

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    #9
    This is pretty clearly wrong, but like as not no one will make a big deal out of it.

    Even the wiki goes on about the "confusion" over what natural born means, but then offers no alternative definition. :confused: The weaseling on the wiki, sounds like more like a sop to keep argument about the topic under control than it does a definitive stance IMO.

    It's clear to anyone with a brain in their head that the intent of the phrase is that you have to be born "in the USA" to be "natural born," What the heck else could it mean considering that being born of US parents wherever you are in the world automatically gives you the *regular* kind of US citizenship?

    Like Barry Goldwater, McCain is going to lose anyway so won't really have to be decided for a while.
     
  10. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

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    #10
    I imagine the actual distinction is whether you were born eligible for US citizenship, which depends on the citizenship of your parents, not where your mother was when you were born.
     
  11. skunk macrumors G4

    skunk

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    #11
    Since when? Diplomatic missions everywhere are considered sovereign territory of whichever country they represent, but military bases certainly are not.
     
  12. NAG macrumors 68030

    NAG

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    #12
    Yeash, got mixed up with the two. :p No need to crucify me.

    Still, I doubt this will be an issue if he wins.
     
  13. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

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    #13
    Oh, I dunno... people have been crucified for much less before! ;)
     
  14. ucfgrad93 macrumors P6

    ucfgrad93

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    #14
    Wrong, the liberals will go on how he stole the election, just like they did with Bush.:rolleyes:
     
  15. Rodimus Prime macrumors G4

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    #15
    To me natural born is some one who is born a US citizen. That means if both your parents are a US citizen then you are a US citizen and nature born. It does not matter what soil you where born on. Just that you are a US citizen from birth.
     
  16. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

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    #16
    I believe somebody said that already.
     
  17. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

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    #17
    Asked about the controversy, McCain's chief lobbyist / campaign manager replied "I'll ask the Senator for his response when he wakes up from his nap".
     
  18. toaster_oven macrumors regular

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  19. EricNau Moderator emeritus

    EricNau

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    #19
    Indeed. I don't understand where this controversy is coming from, because the Constitution is very clear, and John McCain meets every requirement.

    It's as simple as this: "Natural-born" means "having a position by birth." In the US, any baby born to parents holding US citizenship with at least one parent living in the US, is a US citizen. Therefore, John McCain was born with his US citizenship.
     
  20. TimJim macrumors 6502a

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    #20
    I know that Super Carrier's are considered US Soil so i would assume that Military bases are as well. Im not sure though.
     
  21. Sherman Homan macrumors 6502

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    Non-issue, McCain meets the Constitutional requirements. By the way, we have had several US presidents who would not have met the silly definition of the New York Times: George Washington was one.
     
  22. Gelfin macrumors 68020

    Gelfin

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    #22
    That would depend on the laws of Panama.
     
  23. mrkramer macrumors 603

    mrkramer

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    #23
    George Washington was born in the British colonies that lated became the United States, and the constitution made an exemption to allow people who were not US citizens when they were born to be president as long as they were a US citizen at the time the constitution was ratified, so if McCain were to somehow win he would be the only president we have had born outside of the United States.
     
  24. yg17 macrumors G5

    yg17

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    #24

    Isn't he old enough to meet that constitution ratification exemption though? :D
     
  25. stevento macrumors 6502

    stevento

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    #25
    yeah i think that counts as us soil

    i dont that's fair to say "oh this person wasnt technically born in the US"
    plus i dont think that matters if your parents were american
     

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