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You Make Me Feel Like A Natural Born Citizen!

 
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jabailo



Joined: 20 Mar 2006
Posts: 1273
Location: Kent (East Hill), WA

PostPosted: Fri Mar 02, 2012 3:29 pm    Post subject: You Make Me Feel Like A Natural Born Citizen! Reply with quote

Ok, the Birth Certificate issue.

People, it doesn't matter.

I've read and re-read Clause 5:

Quote:

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;

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Natural-born-citizen_clause_of_the_U.S._Constitution


and this is my interpretation.

At the time of the Constitution, there were people living in the United States who could not be citizens. Reason? There was no Constitutionally determined "United States"! And there were the newborns who came after the ratification.

The "native born" seems to clearly refer to the former. Those people who were born in the land area of the states and territories who could potentially be President. Then there is anyone born after the Constitution who is a citizen. The clause says "or" not "and". So anyone who is a Citizen of the United States and meets all of the other requirements is eligible to be President.

So...President Schwarzenegger? Yes...perfectly legal...as legal as President Obama, a citizen of the United States.
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 02, 2012 6:40 pm    Post subject: Re: You Make Me Feel Like A Natural Born Citizen! Reply with quote

I think one needs to consider the (implicit) parentheses...


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;


Either you were born a citizen (impossible for people then living), or you were a citizen at the time of adoption (as in anyone living here then).

Over time, the "citizen at time of adoption" clause has become moot, since none of them has survived.

Quote:
At the time of the Constitution, there were people living in the United States who could not be citizens. Reason? There was no Constitutionally determined "United States"! And there were the newborns who came after the ratification.

The "native born" seems to clearly refer to the former. Those people who were born in the land area of the states and territories who could potentially be President. Then there is anyone born after the Constitution who is a citizen. The clause says "or" not "and". So anyone who is a Citizen of the United States and meets all of the other requirements is eligible to be President.

So, "native born" refers to the *latter*, the ones that didn't happen to be citizens during the period of the ratification.

So, sorry, no President Schwarzenegger.


===========

Incidentally, if you want to try to read the parentheses differently, then nobody would be eligible to be president. As in:

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;

This reading would require presidents to be chosen from people that were alive in 1776.
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