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The Expansionist
Friday, July 11, 2008
More Idiocy in the News. Today, in surfing cable news channels (while waiting, impatiently, for my computer to reboot after a McAfee update froze my machine) I heard that some idiot law professor in Arizona has said that John McCain is not eligible to run for President because he was born in the Panama Canal Zone. Shut up!
My mother was born in Ancon, in the Panama Canal Zone, to U.S.-citizen parents. There was never any doubt that she was born a U.S. citizen. The Panama Canal Zone, tho regarded technically as residually Panamanian territory, was for all practical purposes a U.S. possession. But it doesn't matter whether a person who is born to U.S. parents is born inside the United States or in a wholly foreign territory. Anyone born to U.S. parents anywhere on Earth is a "natural born citizen" of the United States, as Congress made plain a mere two friggin' years after the ratification of the Constitution:

the Constitution was ratified in 1788. Congress first recognized the citizenship of children born to U.S. parents overseas on March 26, 1790, under the first naturalization law: "And the children of citizens of the United States that may be born beyond sea, or outside the limits of the United States, shall be considered as natural born citizens."
This is, in short, long-settled law, about which no reasonable doubt exists. John McCain was born of U.S. parents. He could have been born in Outer Mongolia — or on the Moon, or Mars, or at the most distant edge of the Universe — and still have been a U.S. citizen by birth. He was not adopted, so his citizenship was acquired by natural birth. He is thus plainly a "natural born citizen", and thus completely and unquestionably eligible to become President.
Comics might invoke the second portion of the language of the original Constitution, before amendments:

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[.]
But in any case, John McCain's eligibility is NOT a serious legal question, and all talk of it should be ended. The next President will NOT be a foreigner. NO President will ever be a foreigner, because Americans will never amend the Constitution to allow a naturalized citizen to become President. Nor should we. Retaining one office for native-born Americans is NOT abusive of latecomers. Hear that, Schwarzenegger? You will NEVER be eligible to be President of the United States. Not EVER.
In some countries, the Supreme Court can issue advisory opinions to guide events, so could settle this issue before the November election. That is not the practice here. Once President McCain takes office, on January 20, 2009, anyone seriously concerned about his eligibility will have to try to find some way to bring the issue before the courts, and it is unlikely any court would entertain any such lawsuit from anyone, not even the defeated challengers, even if Obama, Nader, and Barr were inclined to sue, individually or as a class.
It's bad enuf that the media waste our time pretending that the United States of 2008 could elect a black man, which cannot happen unless McCain selects a woman, or "nonwhite" man, or nonwhite woman, as his running mate. But to waste our time on a non-issue like McCain's citizenship is intolerable. The people of the United States should tell the Chattering Class to shut the f(asterisk) up.
(The current U.S. military death toll in Iraq, according to the website "Iraq Coalition Casualties", is 4,118 — for Israel.)

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