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dsa
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US Constitution: The Presidency

Tue Apr 17, 2007 8:48 pm

Hi

I have recently been studying the US constitution and have found particular interest in the Presidential requirements sections. It states that you must be a natural born citizen of the United States on most websites, but what I found interesting was that it says 'a natural born citizen or a citizen of the United States' this seems to me to contradict what it has just stated. I have checked the requirements on a couple of websites and it says that you must be a natural born citizen, but there is a debate that equal rights legislation supercedes this.

'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.'

It also seems to indicate that a someone who is not a natural born citizen could become a US citizen because to become President you must be at least 35 years of age, yet the Constitution states that the candidate must have been resident for only 14 years. I don't mean to nit-pick but I just found it interesting and no I am nto considering a run! I am just interested in the US, its constition and its political system.

So what do you think?

DSA>>>
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fr8mech
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RE: US Constitution: The Presidency

Tue Apr 17, 2007 8:52 pm

Quoting Dsa (Thread starter):
or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution,

What this means is that at the time of adoption, anyone who was a citizen of the US was eligible. In other words, all foreign born persons, who were citizens when the US Constitution ws adopted were grandfathered into the provisions of the article.
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dsa
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RE: US Constitution: The Presidency

Tue Apr 17, 2007 8:55 pm

So do you think equal rights legislation would supercede this?

DSA
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AeroWesty
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RE: US Constitution: The Presidency

Tue Apr 17, 2007 9:07 pm

Quoting Dsa (Reply 2):
So do you think equal rights legislation would supercede this?

Why would it? The requirements for the job are specific.
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fr8mech
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RE: US Constitution: The Presidency

Tue Apr 17, 2007 9:36 pm

Quoting Dsa (Reply 2):
So do you think equal rights legislation would supercede this?

Let's see your thinking, because I don't think equal rights have a thing to do with eligibility for the presidency.
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dsa
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RE: US Constitution: The Presidency

Tue Apr 17, 2007 9:54 pm

This is what I read on Wikipedia, which was cited by some legislators.
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lincoln
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RE: US Constitution: The Presidency

Tue Apr 17, 2007 9:57 pm

Quoting Dsa (Reply 2):
So do you think equal rights legislation would supercede this?

DSA

No, for a variety of reasons

a) The majority of the "equal rights" legislation comes from the Congress, and the Constitution is the supreme law of the land which would preempt other laws

b) In legal interpertations the specific trumps the general -- that is since equal rights legislation and constituional ammendments don't implicate the Presidency, and there is a specific clause in the constitution relating to the qualfications for the Office.
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UALPHLCS
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RE: US Constitution: The Presidency

Tue Apr 17, 2007 10:06 pm

Quoting Dsa (Thread starter):
I have checked the requirements on a couple of websites and it says that you must be a natural born citizen, but there is a debate that equal rights legislation supercedes this.

No.

It was only a provision for the first few decades of US existence. George Washington was NOT a natural born citizen of the US. He was English.

In fact the first American Born President was Martin Van Buren.

As for civil rights legislation superseding this, there is no debate.

Unless the Constitution were amended itself with this provision removed, the Constitution is the supreme law of the land, nothing supersedes it.
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deltagator
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RE: US Constitution: The Presidency

Tue Apr 17, 2007 10:13 pm

Quoting Dsa (Reply 5):
This is what I read on Wikipedia, which was cited by some legislators.

A website and a group of people to be taken with a grain of salt...always.

Quoting Dsa (Thread starter):
It also seems to indicate that a someone who is not a natural born citizen could become a US citizen because to become President you must be at least 35 years of age, yet the Constitution states that the candidate must have been resident for only 14 years.

It all goes back to colonial times when there were no US citizens until the point we broke away. Basically just a grandfather clause to cover the folks then and it is null and void now that they have all died. They didn't want someone who had just shown up on the latest boat from Southampton becoming President while they had fought for the country over the years.

Quoting Dsa (Reply 2):
So do you think equal rights legislation would supercede this?

Equal rights of what or who? Younger folks? Naturalized citizens?

Sorry but we don't want someone too young running this country and there is no way that we will open up the doors to naturalized citizens being allowed to become President. I won't go so far to call it xenophobia but it just won't happen.
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Banco
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RE: US Constitution: The Presidency

Tue Apr 17, 2007 10:18 pm

Quoting DeltaGator (Reply 8):
there is no way that we will open up the doors to naturalized citizens being allowed to become President.

I realise it would be virtually impossible to frame legislation to accommodate it, but surely there couldn't be much of an objection to someone who happened to be born prematurely (for example) in a Paris hospital to American parents who happened to be there on holiday, say? So I assume the objection would (again for argument's sake) be against someone like me, born and bred in Britain who could move to America and gain citizenship. It's not really an argument or a point, really, just an observation!
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lincoln
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RE: US Constitution: The Presidency

Tue Apr 17, 2007 10:24 pm

Quoting Banco (Reply 9):

The whole "natrual born citizen" thing isn't well defined, but in your Paris hospital example as I understand it the child would be a US Citizen by virtue of the fact that his/her parents are US citizens regardless of the actual location of the birth (conversely, a child born in the US is a US Citizen regardless of the citizenship of his/her parents) -- but I don't know (and a court would likely have to decide) if that qualified as a "natrual born citizen"

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UALPHLCS
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RE: US Constitution: The Presidency

Tue Apr 17, 2007 10:33 pm

Quoting Banco (Reply 9):
but surely there couldn't be much of an objection to someone who happened to be born prematurely (for example) in a Paris hospital to American parents who happened to be there on holiday, say?

That's a relatively common occurrence and does not preclude one from running for President. For example John McCain was born in Panama, in the Canal Zone.

I think there have been others who have run, born outside the US, I don't know if anyone has won, but it doesn't keep them from runner and is a non-issue.
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Banco
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RE: US Constitution: The Presidency

Tue Apr 17, 2007 10:38 pm

Quoting UALPHLCS (Reply 11):
That's a relatively common occurrence and does not preclude one from running for President. For example John McCain was born in Panama, in the Canal Zone.

Really? I didn't know that there was flexibility for such circumstances. How does that work vis a vis what the constitution says, then?
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UALPHLCS
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RE: US Constitution: The Presidency

Tue Apr 17, 2007 10:53 pm

If you're born to US parents, you're a US citizen. Period.

Lot's of military families have children born in Germany and Italy and South Korea. Anywhere the US has overseas bases, or members of the Diplomatic corps.

Children born overseas to civilians doesn't happen so often anymore. Travel being faster, and who leaves for a vacation while pregnant, but it was probably more common in the past. Still alot of ex-pats working overseas. It's common enough that these children are recognized as Americans and get a US passport.

It really isn't a big deal.
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N1120A
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RE: US Constitution: The Presidency

Wed Apr 18, 2007 1:07 am

Quoting Dsa (Thread starter):
but there is a debate that equal rights legislation supercedes this.

Legislation doesn't supercede the Constitution

Quoting Dsa (Thread starter):
yet the Constitution states that the candidate must have been resident for only 14 years.

What that means is someone like my great uncle, who was born in New York City and thus guaranteed the right to US citizenship would have not been allowed to run for President as his family moved back to France when he was a child and he never had any desire to live in the US. You have to have resided on US soil for 14 years.

Quoting Dsa (Reply 5):
This is what I read on Wikipedia, which was cited by some legislators.

2 lessons there

1) Those legislators are morons
2) DON'T RELY ON WIKIPEDIA!!

Quoting Banco (Reply 9):
I realise it would be virtually impossible to frame legislation to accommodate it, but surely there couldn't be much of an objection to someone who happened to be born prematurely (for example) in a Paris hospital to American parents who happened to be there on holiday, say?

The US has a strong Jus Soli tradition but blood can pass on citizenship as well. If you are born to 2 US citizen parents, even overseas, you qualify as American Born if they are resident of the US at the time.

Quoting UALPHLCS (Reply 11):
For example John McCain was born in Panama, in the Canal Zone.

The Canal Zone was US territory at the time.

Quoting Banco (Reply 12):
Really? I didn't know that there was flexibility for such circumstances. How does that work vis a vis what the constitution says, then?

The definition was approved by Act of Congress in 1790. Without that act, it is likely that Supreme Court would have made such a determination by common law.
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Arrow
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RE: US Constitution: The Presidency

Wed Apr 18, 2007 1:27 am

Quoting DeltaGator (Reply 8):
Sorry but we don't want someone too young running this country and there is no way that we will open up the doors to naturalized citizens being allowed to become President.

Who is "we?" In a truly democratic society, shouldn't the electorate be allowed that choice? Take out "under 35" in that rule and insert "black" or "Jewish" and I'm guessing there would have been a Constitutional Amendment by now. Interesting that an age discrimination that would be illegal in the workplace (i.e. there is no medical or other justification for it) is OK for presidential candidacy. Likewise the naturalized citizen rule. Can a naturalized citizen run for Senate or Congress? If so, then technically you could have an entire branch of the government run by naturalized citizens under 35 -- but not the president. Guess that's a check and balance.
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AirCop
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RE: US Constitution: The Presidency

Wed Apr 18, 2007 6:15 am

Quoting N1120A (Reply 14):
The Canal Zone was US territory at the time.

The last candidate for president (general election) that I knew that was born in a US Territory was Barry Goldwater in 1964, having been born in Arizona when it was still a territory and not a state.
 
N1120A
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RE: US Constitution: The Presidency

Wed Apr 18, 2007 7:16 am

Quoting Arrow (Reply 15):
Can a naturalized citizen run for Senate or Congress?

The Senate is part of the Congress, and naturalized citizens can run for both the Senate and the House of Representatives. One must be a citizen for at least 7 years to run for the House and 9 to run for the Senate.
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deltagator
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RE: US Constitution: The Presidency

Wed Apr 18, 2007 7:39 am

Quoting Arrow (Reply 15):
Can a naturalized citizen run for Senate or Congress?

Yes. And the age limit is lower than President. IIRC it is 24 or so.

Quoting Arrow (Reply 15):
If so, then technically you could have an entire branch of the government run by naturalized citizens under 35 -- but not the president. Guess that's a check and balance.

Sure could. It'll never happen but it is possible.

Quoting Arrow (Reply 15):
Interesting that an age discrimination that would be illegal in the workplace (i.e. there is no medical or other justification for it) is OK for presidential candidacy.

Here's the deal and call it whatever you want but as much as I would love to see change in the stodgy old guy's club that is Washington, DC I don't want to see some 20-something kid being elected because he is best buddies with Ryan Seacrest or has nice hair like Sanjaya from American Idol. The age rule of 35 is just fine because someone at that point will have had life experiences to help them in the job that someone younger just isn't going to have.

If you want some punk ass kid running Canada then feel free to let that happen to your country.
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N1120A
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RE: US Constitution: The Presidency

Wed Apr 18, 2007 8:51 am

Quoting DeltaGator (Reply 18):
Yes. And the age limit is lower than President. IIRC it is 24 or so.

25 for the House, 30 for the Senate.

Quoting Arrow (Reply 15):
Interesting that an age discrimination that would be illegal in the workplace (i.e. there is no medical or other justification for it) is OK for presidential candidacy.

The reason it is ok is because the Constitution says it is ok.
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