Thursday, February 28, 2008
Times Reports Internet Buzz
The NY Times continues in their partisan campaign to find ways to discredit or diminish Sen. John McCain as Presidential Candidate. This time, the always reliably partisan Carl Hulse was tasked to pound out a tendentious cloud of oblivious blather about whether John McCain is eligible to run for President.
Hulse begins with this howler of an assertion:
Mr. McCain’s likely nomination as the Republican candidate for president and the happenstance of his birth in the
The worlds most quiet nagging, no doubt, and a “debate” so musty that it’s acquired over 200 years of dust since anyone’s seriously made the argument. No settled debate too archaic to escape the probing attention of NYT muckrakers, if a remote possibility exists that any of it will stick to their political opposition.
Blather, speculate, and cite academics who’d love to see the GOP candidate suffer any ill effects -- regular readers of the Times can imagine how the rest goes without needing to read further.
But in fairness, the NYT points to two pieces of legislation that directly clarify what little ambiguity stands in the Constitution:
Quickly recognizing confusion over the evolving nature of citizenship, the First Congress in 1790 passed a measure that did define children of citizens “born beyond the sea, or out of the limits of the United States to be natural born.” But that law is still seen as potentially unconstitutional and was overtaken by subsequent legislation that omitted the “natural-born” phrase.
Mr. McCain’s citizenship was established by statutes covering the offspring of Americans abroad and laws specific to the
Nice touch. In the first case, Hulse notes the very early fix (within scant years from the Constitution’s adoption), but then invokes unseen and unidentified authorities who see the law as “unconstitutional” and “overtaken by subsequent legislation.” None of the serious Constitutional scholars weighing in today have attested to such views. (And how exactly does that work, where subsequent legislation overtakes, and in some fashion, invalidates what came before, without in any way refuting or rescinding?)
In the second reference, Hulse offsets statutes that held sway over the
Franck’s assessment is blunt:
The last line of the Times article, quoting the author of a long-ago law review article, is that "it is certainly not a frivolous issue." I think that's just what it is, Ptolemaic epicycles of abstruse constitutional reasoning to the contrary notwithstanding.
A child born abroad to a
My daughter was born in
The US State Dept. processed and issued the birth certificate as part of normal consular activities.
Hey, NY Times! Look what I was able to Google: a US State Department information sheet on documentation for US citizens born abroad.
Abroad Who Acquire Citizenship At Birth
The birth of a child abroad to
Because, of course, persons born to US Citizens abroad are automatically granted the status of natural born citizens. Much like spurious email chain letters, the NYT (and internet buzz) imaginings that question McCain’s eligibility rests on US citizenship documentation processes for US territories and possessions. Again, from the
NOTE: Consular Reports of Birth are not available for persons born in Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, the Panama Canal Zone before October 1, 1979, the
The oddity in the case of McCain rests on an anomaly of how the birth of such
And nowhere in that process was there ever any process required to naturalize little Johnny McCain. No necessity at all, since he was a natural born
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