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AS some of you know, John MCCain, the Republican frontrunner in the 2008 PResidential Campaign, is now being challenged over his eligability for the office of PResident due to his Birth.

The COnstitution of the United States Of America stipulates that in order to be the President, one must be a Natural-Born citesen.

McCain was born in Panama, but in the US Panama Canal Zone. This makes him a US National. Others claim it also make shim a Natural-Born citesen, sicne he was Born in territory occupied by the United States of America, and to American Parents, at the time.

Yet, others disagree , sayign that it was not a part of the United States of America.

So, lets discuss this.

What are yout htoguths regarding John MCCains eligability, and if his Citesenship was native.

Sorry this post is a bit sloppily worded, it was in a hurry, and Im nto feelign quiet up to sorts.
Why is this an issue now? I can't see the question going too far, or booting him from the nomination.

Terry
I agree. His parents were in the Service of our country, stationed in Panama. McCain is a natural born citizen as far as I am concerned.

I am not planning on voting for him, but I must say, I think John McCain is a decent man, and I think some of the criticisms he has faced in the last few months are ridiculous.


blessings,


Lance

A Byzantine Christian in a Postmodern World [byzantinechristian.blogspot.com]
"Natural born citizen" hasn't yet been litigated. Article II doesn't actually say that one must to be born in the USA to be president, merely a natural born citizen. Someone must be worried he'll win.
Nan I think you hit the nail on the head.
They are afraid of him, although I must say that I will NOT be one that will vote for him.
Stephanos I
It's a non-question. He was born in the Canal Zone. This territory belonged to and was an integral part of the U.S. at the time of his bith, just like Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, etc.

If this logic obtained, then the folks born in Alaska and Hawai'i before 1959 statehood shouldn't be citizens either. And babies born in U.S. embassies or DoD hospitals overseas couldn't be citizens either.

McCain is American.

Dr John
Originally Posted by Nan
Article II doesn't actually say that one must to be born in the USA to be president, merely a natural born citizen.
Although it's often ignored, the rule for interpretation of such laws is to try to understand the mind of the lawgiver. In this case, it was clearly a matter of not wanting someone as president who might have lingering loyalties--possibly coerced--to a foreign government.


Peace,
Deacon Richard
Which is true; however, the Constitution is considered a living document and the interpretation thereof has evolved over time. What was in the minds of the framers has to be adapted to go with the times.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Panama_Canal_Zone#Citizenship
NAN- The COnstitution may be considered nowadays as "A living document", but, the idea htta we can re-interpet it to suit our modern day and age is a piculialy contemporary concept, tiself forign to those hwo wrote the COnstitution or those who lived with it for the firts 200 years or so of its inception.

The truth is, James Madison, who actulaly composed the framework and most of the ocntent of the COnstitution, as well as his fellow ratifiers, explicitly stated that the COnstitution shoudl be intepreted along the lines of its original intent, and not subject to the whimsy of intepretation based on individual philosophy or contemproary attitude.

In the Federalist Papers, he expressly stated that the original intent of the framers shoudl always be considered when intepretig tyhe COnstitution, and that all law boud within it shoudl always be reflective of the intent of the law when it was given.

We should not try to intepet the constituton based on the ever-changing times we live in, but shoudl instead consider it a fixed text, which binds us. When callign it a Livign Docuent, we relaly try to subjugate the COnstitution to our whims and make it maliable enugh to accomodate our own desires. This, I feel, is a great wrong.

Havign seen the sorts of division and arument cause by treatign the Bible as a Living Document amongst the Protestants, I am rather uninterested in maintaining the US COnstitution i the same way.

Woudl we relaly want it to end up as changable as the Bibles intepretation? Where in the same CHurch a doctirne form 30 years ago is forgotten because of the new and contemproary reaing that now grips the Denominaiton?

No, the COnatitution is to be udnerstood as the Framer sintended, and the law shoudl alays reflect the intet of the lawgier, and not be subject to the interpritation fo the judges base don their own view of the contemproary world.

That said, the COsntotution is amendable, and if we think soemthign in it is wrong, or utdated, the constitution can be altered to reflect the need for change, and this is the proper protocol for making revision, not creative reinterpretation.
The U.S Constitution is not a divinely inspired document, as is Holy Scripture. This analogy is not at all persuasive to me.

Ryan
It isn't that I am comparign the US Cosntituton ot he Scritures in both beign inspired, but in a more pratical viewn.

Even if one is Insoired,a dn the other is not, the problem remains. How does the community at large, and signifigantly how do their leaders, understand the text by which they buld their society upon?

If it is viewed as a "Living Document" whose intepretation can be redetermined to suit the attitudes of the modern age, then it become snotign btu a shallow puppet used to coerce other sinto agreeing with things that wher enever intended by using the authority of the text itself to force ones own will onto others.

The Principle is the same, even if the tewo things themselves are different.
Well - in practice the Constitution has always been used as a coercive document - how else can the Supreme Court claim the same document supports slavery in the 1800s, but condemns it in the 19th? How can it be against civil rights for 200 years, and then later for it?

I think the fantasy of the 'authority of the text' is more fluff than substance - but the aura of authority keeps people in line.
This is somehtign I hate about these discussions. I mean no offnecebut, the Constitution seems rather misunderstood in its role in law.

Well - in practice the Constitution has always been used as a coercive document -

No, it was used as a legal framework to set up a lawcode bindign on all of the States, and unite them under a common susyem, to ensure certian rights, and ot outline a Govenrment. Originally it limited he Govenment too 18 Ennumerated Powers.




how else can the Supreme Court claim the same document supports slavery in the 1800s, but condemns it in the 19th?


It didn't.

SLavery was not abolished by the Supreme COurt , it was abolished by the 13th Amendment, which was passed int eh Hosue of Reprtesentitives by a two-thrids majority, passed ot the senate, and won a two-thirds majority, then passed to the states for a two-thids Majority.

I had htis same argument with soemone else on another baord only over the supposed Seperation of Chruhc and Sttae menaign we cant allwo prayer sin school. They too thoguth the same constitution was used ot support slavery, then later to abolish it.

But in the case of slavery, it is an exampel of an amendment being made to the COnstitution.

The COnstitution, as it was originally written, wa snot reintepreted, much less by the SUpreme COurt, to allow the abolition of slavery. The ABolition of slavery was never decided in curt, and the USpreme COurt had nothign whatsoever to do with it.

The 13th Amendment was passed in 1865.

How can it be against civil rights for 200 years, and then later for it?


See above.



I think the fantasy of the 'authority of the text' is more fluff than substance - but the aura of authority keeps people in line.


And I think that some peopel need to read the jhisotry of the COnstitution, and not asusme that it has been intepreted in each new generaitomn to suit their own time period.

The COsntitution wasn't Reitnepeted byt he SUpreme court to discontinue slavery to grant civil rights, it was amended. By a proccess outliend nt eh COnstitution.

All this eligibility talk is quite silly. The Canal Zone was a US Territory when Senator McCain was born.

Previous presidential candidate, Senator Barry Goldwater was born in Arizona Territory on January 1, 1909. (Arizona was admiited to the Union on February 14, 1912.) No one questioned his eligibility to run for President.

It is interesting to note that outside of those Presidents who were born before the Declaration of Independence (Washington, John Adams, Jefferson, Madison, Monroe, John Quincy Adams, Jackson, and William Henry Harrison) nearly all of our Presidents were born in places that had already been admitted to the Union. Only Martin Van Buren, the 8th President, and Zachary Taylor, the 12th President, are exceptions. President Van Buren was born on December 5, 1782 in Columbia, New York. New York was admitted to the Union on July 26, 1788. President Taylor was born on November 24, 1784 in Orange County, Virginia. Virginia was admitted to the Union on June 25, 1788.

Their were also rumors that Chester A Arthur had been born in Canada.
IN each of those cases, though, the place where they where born was part of the United States Of America by the time thye ran.

Similarly, if the United Kingdom joined the United States ( I am not porposing a serious possibility, this is hypothetical) then those Born in England, Scotland, or Wales before Union would be eligable o run.

The clause regarding Natural Born Citesens extends to those who are Naturally born in a terrirotiyy that becoems part of the United Sttaes at a later time.

Citesenship is, by default, added to the new territory after-the-fact.


However, in the case of McCain, the situaiton is reversed, and the terriroty was US held before he was born, and when he was born, and for a while after he was born, but no longer is.

Similarly, if California Ceeded from the Union next year, people Born in California woudl have their eligability questioned in regard to runnign for th office of President. Even thguh they where Biorn American Citesens, and even if thye had move dout fo California to one fo the other states prior to seccession.

On that note, I too think the McCain affair is silly. The Panama Canal Zone did not Seceed form the Union, rather it was a temporary territory of the United States for a specified period of time. Obviously, American Citesens woudl need ot be there to secure their interest sint h region, and it was considered American territory and all its citesens American.

Unliek withhte Civil War, it didn't attmeot seccession, and thee is no evidnec that McCain is loyal at all to Panama.

Nor woudl he be, since he was Born in a US Held area.

Originally Posted by ZAROVE
This is somehtign I hate about these discussions. I mean no offnecebut, the Constitution seems rather misunderstood in its role in law.

Well - in practice the Constitution has always been used as a coercive document -

No, it was used as a legal framework to set up a lawcode bindign on all of the States, and unite them under a common susyem, to ensure certian rights, and ot outline a Govenrment. Originally it limited he Govenment too 18 Ennumerated Powers.




how else can the Supreme Court claim the same document supports slavery in the 1800s, but condemns it in the 19th?


It didn't.

SLavery was not abolished by the Supreme COurt , it was abolished by the 13th Amendment, which was passed int eh Hosue of Reprtesentitives by a two-thrids majority, passed ot the senate, and won a two-thirds majority, then passed to the states for a two-thids Majority.

I had htis same argument with soemone else on another baord only over the supposed Seperation of Chruhc and Sttae menaign we cant allwo prayer sin school. They too thoguth the same constitution was used ot support slavery, then later to abolish it.

But in the case of slavery, it is an exampel of an amendment being made to the COnstitution.

The COnstitution, as it was originally written, wa snot reintepreted, much less by the SUpreme COurt, to allow the abolition of slavery. The ABolition of slavery was never decided in curt, and the USpreme COurt had nothign whatsoever to do with it.

The 13th Amendment was passed in 1865.

How can it be against civil rights for 200 years, and then later for it?


See above.



I think the fantasy of the 'authority of the text' is more fluff than substance - but the aura of authority keeps people in line.


And I think that some peopel need to read the jhisotry of the COnstitution, and not asusme that it has been intepreted in each new generaitomn to suit their own time period.

The COsntitution wasn't Reitnepeted byt he SUpreme court to discontinue slavery to grant civil rights, it was amended. By a proccess outliend nt eh COnstitution.

Doesn't that prove the point even more? The Constitution is derived from English common law, which is based on precedence and tradition - in the case of the USA, particularly the Declaration of Independence, which was ignored or interpreted differently (depending on how one views this) for centuries.
No.

When dealign with the Constitution, and Constitutional law, we must view the COnstitution as the Bindign law of the United States and its member societies.

THus, we must still operate udner the Charter as wreritten, and the interpretation fo the document shoudl b derived fromt eh Framers intentions.

English Common law was, and still is, a fluid thing which is by natre undefined, and the Constitution, while derived form English Common Law to a degree was designed to correct the problem of British Law that occures wiht htis fluidity. If we rtreat the COnstitution as a "Living Document" to be intepreted as we see fit, we defeat its purpose. At leats to an extent.

The child of two United States citizens is a citizen of the United States automatically. When he reaches majority the child can opt to become a citizen of the place of his birth, but that would mean abrogating his american citizenship.
Originally Posted by Epiphanius
Although it's often ignored, the rule for interpretation of such laws is to try to understand the mind of the lawgiver. In this case, it was clearly a matter of not wanting someone as president who might have lingering loyalties--possibly coerced--to a foreign government.

I would expect the courts to pass on this, leaving it to Congress when accepting or rejecting the electors as a "political question." If Congress passes a law to codify the issue first, then the court would likely address that law (as in Bush v. Gore), which could conceivably make a difference in which electors were placed on the ballots.

Originally Posted by Nan
...the Constitution is considered a living document and the interpretation thereof has evolved over time. What was in the minds of the framers has to be adapted to go with the times.

That is one of the theories of interpretation, but certainly not dominant . . .
hawk, esq.
Still a valid theory, and explains how the definition of citizenship with voting rights evolved from mostly protestant white men who owned property to people who were born in this country or became naturalized citizens with no regard to their property-owning status, religion, ethnicity, gender, ability to pay a poll tax and/or literacy, only in certain cases due to constitutional amendments.
Originally Posted by ZAROVE
AS some of you know, John MCCain, the Republican frontrunner in the 2008 PResidential Campaign, is now being challenged over his eligability for the office of PResident due to his Birth.

The COnstitution of the United States Of America stipulates that in order to be the President, one must be a Natural-Born citesen.

McCain was born in Panama, but in the US Panama Canal Zone. This makes him a US National. Others claim it also make shim a Natural-Born citesen, sicne he was Born in territory occupied by the United States of America, and to American Parents, at the time.

Yet, others disagree , sayign that it was not a part of the United States of America.

So, lets discuss this.

What are yout htoguths regarding John McCains eligability, and if his Citesenship was native.

Sorry this post is a bit sloppily worded, it was in a hurry, and Im nto feelign quiet up to sorts.


John McCain is constitutionally allowed to become President, there is really not a doubt about this. When Barry Goldwater ran there were questions as to whether or not he was eligible because he was born in Arizona before it became a state. That also was bantered about, but was not a real issue.

Eligibility is not the question for John McCain, the real question is why anyone would support a candidate who believes that the rule of law should not be followed and would allow our border to be wide open and allow an invasion of another culture and language on this country. Put that with campaign finance, opposing tax cuts, saying that we'll be in Iraq for 100 years, etc. and it's mind boggling that he is the Republican nomination for President of the US.

Monomakh

And as Pat Buchanan recently said "John McCain will make Dick Cheney look like Gandhi"
Why do you say this?
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