Hear that? It's the sound of the worm turning! McCain doesn't pass the Constitutional "natural-born citizen" test for the Presidency.
No, I didn't get this mixed up.
This is not another one of those false stories about Sen. Barack Obama's "questionable" birth certificate. This is real...and it's about Sen. John McCain.
According to The New York Times:
In the most detailed examination yet of Senator John McCain’s eligibility to be president, a law professor at the University of Arizona has concluded that neither Mr. McCain’s birth in 1936 in the Panama Canal Zone nor the fact that his parents were American citizens is enough to satisfy the constitutional requirement that the president must be a “natural-born citizen.”Let me repeat that again in case you spit your coffee across the room when you read it the first time:
...neither Mr. McCain’s birth in 1936 in the Panama Canal Zone nor the fact that his parents were American citizens is enough to satisfy the constitutional requirement that the president must be a “natural-born citizen.And yes, there was a respected researcher involved:
The analysis, by Prof. Gabriel J. Chin, focused on a 1937 law that has been largely overlooked in the debate over Mr. McCain’s eligibility to be president. The law conferred citizenship on children of American parents born in the Canal Zone after 1904, and it made John McCain a citizen just before his first birthday. But the law came too late, Professor Chin argued, to make Mr. McCain a natural-born citizen.The Professor's analysis has a show-stopping (campaign-stopping?) title: Why Senator John McCain Cannot Be President: Eleven Months and a Hundred Yards Short of Citizenship.
However, interestingly enough, it sounds like the decision has already been made...or has it?
Several legal experts said that Professor Chin’s analysis was careful and plausible. But they added that nothing was very likely to follow from it.It seems that the accepted opinion is that nothing will come of this:
“No court will get close to it, and everyone else is on board, so there’s a constitutional consensus, the merits of arguments such as this one aside,” said Peter J. Spiro, an authority on the law of citizenship at Temple University.
Mr. McCain has dismissed any suggestion that he does not meet the citizenship test.
In April, the Senate approved a nonbinding resolution declaring that Mr. McCain is eligible to be president. Its sponsors said the nation’s founders would have never intended to deny the presidency to the offspring of military personnel stationed out of the country.
A lawsuit challenging Mr. McCain’s qualifications is pending in the Federal District Court in Concord, N.H.
In the motion to dismiss the New Hampshire suit, Mr. McCain’s lawyers said an individual citizen like the plaintiff, a Nashua man named Fred Hollander, lacks proof of direct injury and cannot sue.However, if they refuse to hear the case and (horrors) McCain wins the Presidency, wouldn't that set legal precedent for someone like AH-NOLD to challenge the "natural born citizen" qualification? After all, no matter what McCain's circumstances, wouldn't he be breaking the law? I also wonder how many other people in McCain's situation were never given a pass when it came to other things requiring "natural born citizenship"...whatever they may be.
Daniel P. Tokaji, an election law expert at Ohio State University, agreed. “It is awfully unlikely that a federal court would say that an individual voter has standing,” he said. “It is questionable whether anyone would have standing to raise that claim. You’d have to think a federal court would look for every possible way to avoid deciding the issue.”
It just bugs me that...once again...the man is getting a pass. This time, it's a doozy!
*********UPDATE/CLARIFICATION (from my comments below)***********
I don't deny that he's as American as it gets and that this is all the result of a bizaare combination of events.
However, John McCain has known about this issue for years and has chosen to just ignore it rather than do what the rest of us would have to do, get it squared away with the courts. It's just one more example to me of that "air of entitlement" these guys feel...that they are (quite literally) above the law.
I don't like setting a precedent like this without addressing the issue head-on and deciding if we want "natural born citizenship" to remain as part of the criteria.
(Pictures are of Sen. McCain, his father John S. McCain, Jr. and grandfather John S. McCain, Sr.)