Is There An Eligibility Issue?

The New York Times is poised to hit again by running a story on the eligibility of Senator John McCain to run for the Office of President.

According to the U.S. Constitution, Article II, Clause 5, “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; neither shall any Person be eligible to that Office who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty-five Years, and been fourteen Years a Resident within the United States.”

The perceived problem is that Senator John McCain was not born in the United States but rather at Coco Solo Air Base located in the once controlled U.S. Panama Canal Zone.

If this is the case, does this pose a problem for the electorate? Will this face a challenge with the US Supreme Court? Could this be a reason why Mike Huckabee remains in the race and why Mitt Romney only suspended his campaign?


  1. David Cantelme says

    The issue is unfounded but not new. Barry Goldwater was born in 1909 in the Territory of Arizona, and some of his opponents made the same argument in 1964. It wasn’t valid against Goldwater and its not valid against McCain. McCain was a natural born citizen, because if nothing else his father and mother were citizens at the time of his birth.

  2. The NYT has become a pitiful shell of a fish wrap that has absolutely NO relevance or legitimacy left at all. All of the so called “intellectuals” who swear by this disgusting rag should turn in their MENSA memberships if they believe the absolute load of BS they throw out every morning.

    Bruce Ash

  3. Just Win Baby says

    No, that isn’t Huckabee’s or Romney’s reason for anything. If it was, we would have heard about while those two still had a chance of winning. Why would they know about it, sit on it, wait until McCain had all of the delegates, and then rely on the New York Times to reveal it?

  4. Isn’t it true that an American air base or U.S. Embassy is technically American soil?

    If they were to stick with this logic, tthan no Indian born on a reservation is born in America as places like the Navajo Nation are other nations

  5. Children born abroad to US citizen are considered “native born”. It is not an issue.

  6. Read “US citizens” in the prior post. Spellcheck, alas, is not a grammar check.

  7. Last summer when Patriots (correctly) shut down the McCain-Kennedy Amnesty plan, McCain said, after his damn fence tirade against the people, “I heard the people, I understand now, I’ll have the left leaning border states Governors certify their borders are secure (har!) and then we’ll have comprehensive (amnesty) reform.” Well…where is our “damn” fence? McCain and Kyl take the course that if they can’t have amnesty then nevermind on any border security improvement at all. It’s amnesty or nothing with these two. Disgusting. I hope NYT is onto something and we get a second chance to nominate a pro sovereignty conservative.

  8. 9-11-2001 Lesson 1: Immigration Enforcement followed immediately by Secure Borders.

  9. So Shane you believe the NYT now? John McCain II was a career Naval Officer; he was stationed in the Panama Canal when his son John III (the next President of the United States) was born. Your in such denial. Get over it!

  10. Jeffey Boy,

    I suggest you read the post again and take note of the tone and attempt for objectivism. Yes, I think McCain has the nomination locked up and Huckabee and Romney are done and the likely Dem will be Obama. This post was written in anticipation of the article that will appear in the NYT which will probably ignite another discussion just like the article about the female lobbyist. No, I don’t think the NYT is credible. But I do appreciate the discussion that has taken place on this posting by some pretty astute individuals. It has actually allowed some good commentary about how this should be handled. What I don’t appreciate is you overly-enamored obsession with John McCain to cloud every thought that is written on this blogsite. I think many would agree that your love for the McCain machine has clouded your judgement.

  11. McCain is as entitled to run as anyone. The story goes nowhere.

    Obama will not mention the issue. Your talk radio wack jobs are another conversation.

    Perhaps that Cincinnati kook could use the information. Who does he think we should elect?

  12. Shane Boy,

    Your delusional hatred for John McCain makes you look like a fool. Your constant rants against McCain only hurt you and your causes. Keep it up, I really enjoy the laughs!

  13. National Review’s Campaign Spot Blog: Times Inadvertently Asserts Both Likely Nominees Ineligible

    By Jim Geraghty

    Hmmm. The New York Times says that “queries” and “debate” is resurfacing over whether John McCain is eligible to be U.S. President, because he was born on a U.S. military facility.

    But the “queries” are coming from the paper, and the The headline says that there are “queries” and say a “debate” has resurfaced. But they cite no one complaining or challenging him. They quote lots and lots of legal scholars saying this is a non-issue.

    I also note the inane opening sentence: “The question has nagged at the parents of Americans born outside the continental United States for generations: Dare their children aspire to grow up and become president?”

    Uh, if there’s an issue of being outside the continental United States (a blatant misreading of the Constitution) what does that say about the likely Democratic nominee who was born in Hawaii?

  14. I believe the debate on this minor issue hinges on whether eligibility to run for President is dependent on the location of your birth or dependent on who your parents are.

    This came up a few years ago with regard to Arnold Schwarznegger and it was determined that he would not be eligible to run for President unless the Constitution was changed.

    It also brings into the discussion whether or not an illegal alien giving birth on US soil has just endowed the baby with US citizenship.

  15. The requirement is not that a person be born on US soil but that they be a “natural born” citizen. It has been previously determined that anyone born abroad to Parents who are “both” American are “Natural Born” citizens. There seems to be an issue with regard to when one parent is an American and the other is not an American citizen.

    In addition a procedure has been in place for decades to assure that documents are processed via the State Department and base for all children of military born overseas. The document is a record of “American Citizen born abroad” and was established initially to cover American Citizens families working for the DOD, State Dept, and other agencies who happen to be born out of the continental U.S.

    As for John McCain the issue is even more clear. He was born at a time when the U.S. Panama Canal Zone was a US Controlled protectorate of the United States. The same is true for all American citizens born in Puerto Rico, and other territories.

    A final issue is that Regular (not reserve) Commissioned American officers must be Natural born citizens. McCain was commissioned “regular” officer in the US Navy. This commission was awarded by the President of the US and confirmed by Congress at that time.

  16. My immigration law textbook says “that there are two basis for the accquisition of nationality at birth: the jus soli, literally right of land or ground–conferment of nationality based on birth within the national territory; and the jus sanguinis, or right of blood–the conferment of nationality based on descent, irrespective of the place of birth.”

    The current jus sanguinis rules are set forth in INA secions 301(c),(d),(e),(g), 308(2) and 309. If both parents are U.S. citizens, the child acquires citizenship at birth, provided only that one of the parents had a residence in the United States at some time prior thereto. Certain kinds of government and military service abroad count as physical presence in the United States for purposes of secion 301(e).

    So, assuming that John McCain’s parents were U.S. citizens, and at least one had a residence here, and possibly considering that their reason for living abroad at the time of his birth related to government or military service, he was conferred U.S. citizenship at his birth, though born abroad.

  17. I did not find the original post offensive or slanted. Far reaching for something beyond a slight of hand by the dems/libs perhaps, but considering it must be difficult for you, I call it progress.

    You might be getting plenty of practice, McCain is picking up steam while Obama is losing his.

  18. Ann,

    It has been difficult. Thank you for acknowledging that.

  19. DSW,
    What do you mean with Jeff’s judgment being clouded by his love for the McCain Machine?
    Jeff is one of those driving the machine.

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