Skip to comments.Citizen Mccain's Panama Problem
Posted on 02/16/2008 8:19:47 PM PST by Tai_Chung
There have been some posts on this topic already, but they are incomplete and the Mccain campaign, Wikipedia, and other sources have weaseled around it with a reference to a 1790 act of Congress defining foreign-born children of US citizens as natural-born, thus meeting to requirements to run for President.
I started digging into the Act of Congress that Mccain's campaign said got him around this (5th Congress, March 26th 1790), but found that this act was repealed by the same Congress, January 29th, 1795, RE-defining such children as just American citizens (not natural-born, as required for Pres. by the Constitution), and that this act was re-repealed April 14th, 1802 by the 6th Congress, keeping the same definition of foreign-born US citizens.
Unless someone can show me something I've missed (and I can find nothing anywhere referring to ANY other defense on this issue as of yet), Mccain is NOT a natural-born citizen of the United States and according to all applicable laws I've found, is NOT eligible to run for President. Links to these Acts of Congress:
Anyone born in US territories is a US citizen.
The Panama Canal Zone was US territory until 1999.
This would also have been George Romney’s problem, if he’d every gotten beyond the very first primary state.
Correction - 1979, not 1999
Look, I don’t like McCain, but “dweebing” around with this silly arcane crap is ridiculous. He was born in Panama because that’s where his mother was at the time while his father was serving the U.S. as a naval officer. Trying that crap just makes you look small, even to me, and I don’t even like the guy.
Stop teasing Huckabee.
Wasn’t he born on a US military base in the Canal Zone?
Gov. George Romney was Mitt’s father and born in Mexico of American parents.
Romney Sr. of course ran in the 1960’s, and McCain ran before as well. This wasn’t considered a problem in either case before, although the facts were well known.
I don’t think the argument of McCain’s ineligibility will go anywhere, if it had merit it would have already been hashed out in the 60s or during the 2000 primary campaign.
It’s an open question, and we won’t know the answer until one of these candidates wins. Be assured: if McCain wins, the Democrats will go to court on this issue.
Sheese My nephew was born in germany when his father who was in the army at that time was stationed there *L* he is a us citizen and has made army his career. Mccains Dad was an admiral in us navy *L* his family goes all the way back to revolutionary war, You really think the rights of our military ‘s children should be taken away ?
The Panama Canal Zone was unquestionably U.S. territory when John McCain was born there. This dull question will hopefully never come up again.
I’m not trying to take away anyone’s right. I have a feeling this issue will resurface if the Democrats lose. The final decision could be in the Supreme Court.
It would make no sense to argue that a person who was born to two American citizens, served in the U.S. Military, fought in a War for America, was a P.O.W. and tortured and has served as a United States Senator has less of a right to run for the Presidency than someone who was born inside the United States to illegal immigrants and never served their country.
McCain wasn’t foreign-born. He was born in a US territory, same as Goldwater.
Yes, that means a foreigner can’t just show up at a US military hospital overseas and give birth to an “American” but an American family can.
Not really an issue as McAmnesty is going to lose big in November because he is closer to the Democrats than his base.
Anybody who thinks otherwise is fooling himself/herself.
No amount of cajoling, arguing, fear-mongering, or Name-calling (which seems to be the favorite approach of mcAmnesty supporters) is going to change his record or his approach. He will not convince enough of the base to follow him to make a difference in November.
The GOP and RNC would have had a cake-walk both in 2006 and 2008 if they would have dropped the Illegal Alien Amnesty and shown fiscal restraint.
They shot themselves in the foot and now are yelling and screaming at conservatives because they are too principled and will not follow them over the cliff in political suicide.
Someone will post it again.....you may count on it.
This is one of the STUPIDEST urban legends I have seen on this site.
The Panama Canal Zone was unquestionably U.S. territory when John McCain was born there. It wasn’t a foreign military base like Guantanamo, it was U.S. territory like Hawaii. This silly question will hopefully never come up again!
That’s not the issue.Inside and outside of military installations and diplomatic facilities, the Canal Zone was a US territory.
Don’t forget everyone born in Alaska and Hawaii prior to their entries in 1959.
A similar problem was presented when Goldwater ran in ‘64. He was born in the Territory of Arizona, and not of course in one of the United States. The “problem” became moot very quickly when it became evident that his chance for election was nil. The sniping talk dried up. It would be nice, though, if there were more precision in the written laws controlling these things. Let’s ask Al Gore if he knows of any “controlling legal authority”.
1). The Panama Canal Zone was a US Territory until 1979.
2). Plenty of jobs require US citizenship. Untold thousands of military children have gotten these jobs without an issue as to their citizenship. Voting, as well as other benefits require US citizenship as well. Could you show me a single case in all of the years that the US has been a nation where any child of any military personnel born on foreign soil to US parents has been permanently denied citizenship or even just the rights of citizenship?
2b). If, as you imply, all of these people are not citizens, would you recommend suing them for fraud or simply suing them for the benefits they received, but were in no way entitled to?
3). This line of questioning, which has been answered before in spades can only serve to upset and anger members of the military in an election year. What would you tell those military members who risk their lives daily for our nation, but whose children you do not consider citizens?
My husband was born on a military base, so I eagerly await your reply. I'd just hate like anything to be married to an illegal alien
There are lots of reasons to vote against McCain but this isn’t one of them. The Panama Canal Zone was U.S. territory when McCain was born there. It isn’t now, because Jimmy Carter and a traitorous Senate gave it away. Using this as an issue against McCain just distracts from the real reasons to oppose his candidacy.
It seems that Freepers are bored, and dreaming up legal non-issues to discuss. Even if McCain had been born in Russia while his father was hypothetically stationed there as naval attache, the courts are likely to rule that any child born to two U.S. citizens is a natural-born citizen of the U.S. Since Johnny was actually born on U.S. territory, there is only an issue for those who can’t think of anything more interesting to talk about.
McCain is a scumbag, but this is ridiculous criticism.
Title 8 of the U.S. Code Section 1401 defines the following as people who are "citizens of the United States at birth:"
Anyone born inside the United States
Any Indian or Eskimo born in the United States, provided being a citizen of the U.S. does not impair the person's status as a citizen of the tribe
Any one born outside the United States, both of whose parents are citizens of the U.S., as long as one parent has lived in the U.S.
Any one born outside the United States, if one parent is a citizen and lived in the U.S. for at least one year and the other parent is a U.S. national
Any one born in a U.S. possession, if one parent is a citizen and lived in the U.S. for at least one year
Any one found in the U.S. under the age of five, whose parentage cannot be determined, as long as proof of non-citizenship is not provided by age 21
Any one born outside the United States, if one parent is an alien and as long as the other parent is a citizen of the U.S. who lived in the U.S. for at least five years (with military and diplomatic service included in this time)
A final, historical condition: a person born before 5/24/1934 of an alien father and a U.S. citizen mother who has lived in the U.S.
Anyone falling into these categories is considered natural-born, and is eligible to run for President or Vice President.
The 14th Amendment defines two classes of citizenship those born in the United States, which would include its territories, or naturalized.
Your darn right it would
McCain has little respect for the 1st Amendment, so why should anyone have any respect for the 14th?
Sure its silly, but its still interesting.
I keep reading “The Panama Canal Zone was U.S. territory” but I can’t seem to find any sites to back that up. I find comments about it having been a territory administered by the U.S. and the military base there was US territory-but nothing putting in the same place as say Puerto Rico. Anyone have a link?
P.S. Yes, I know its silly, no need to keep reminding us, this is just for fun.
I guess while were on running for President, we should let it be known that if Hillary or Obama get elected their two appointments to the US Supreme Court would rule in removing him and any other similarly situated. Thus allowing anchor babies and even illegals to have rights ahead of other US citizens. It’s all in the vote ... and who makes it.
Yes. George Romney wasn’t a natural born US citizen. It isn’t even debatable.
Google news archives search will inform you about past prospects that never advanced beyond the wishful thinking stage because they weren’t natural born citizens, even though they were born to parents who were American citizens. George B. McClellan and Christian Herter for starters.
Republicans are trying to ignore the Constitution for what they feel is a “should be”. If the Constitution means nothing unless it conforms to our idea of “should be”, it truly means nothing.
Thanks for the legal information.
Here’s the canal zone treaty of 1903: http://www.octc.kctcs.edu/mmaltby/his109/panama_canal_treaty.htm
Here, in contrast, is the Adams-Onis Treaty (by which Spain ceded Florida):
The naivete of those so dismissive of the language difference is striking—do they really think that custom and tradition are going to mean a damned thing if the Rats lose? If McCain wins, this will go to the SCOTUS. Might be a losing battle, but it’s one that will be fought.
“Actually it’s a common misunderstanding that the zone was a U.S. territory - in fact, the U.S. had lease rights, but not territorial rights.”
Found this on redstate, was curious if you have something that says it was a US territory? Thanks
Looks pretty clear, the zone was NOT U.S. territory.
That isn't law. It is someone assembling a guide book based on his own feelings. If the feelings of a guide book assembler trump the Constitution and legislation, the guide book drawers would be the final arbiter of everything.
Surely you'd agree that someone can't be a natural born citizen of two nations. Which nation is an anchor baby a natural born citizen of if both parents are Mexican?
Natural born means born on US soil. McCain is no more a natural born citizen of the US than the many Panamanians who were born at the hospital he was born at.
and if SCOTUS declares the POTUS candidate ineligible, the VPOTUS candidates gets the prize!
So maybe we should hope it to be true!
This is worse then grasping at straws!
McCain is the nominee for better or worse, so much choice will be worse & much much worse. I choose worse!
Hmmmmm ..?? This is an interesting twist. I do believe an American military base on foreign soil becomes American soil - therefore making McCain a “natural born” citizen.
Even if I don’t like the guy .. this is a “going nowhere” story.
Would the problem go up in smoke for the Paulies if he said he’d legalize pot?
The way I understand it is as follows: First there is no question about John McCains citizenship; he is and was a citizen of the United States at birth by “blood” because his parents were US Citizens. What he is not is a Citizen by “soil” because he was not born on US soil. Being a citizen by “soil” is the only form of citizenship that can not be regulated by congress, it is unquestionable and irrevocable. All other citizenship “classes” can be and are regulated by congress, including the citizenship rights of children to US military personnel born on foreign soil. For example one limitation congress has put on Citizens that have their citizenship by their bloodline is: If a US Citizen by blood does not become a United States resident throughout their life time and does not remain a resident for at least 5 years(i.e. grows up and remains abroad), his or her Children again (grand children of the US citizen by soil) does not become United States Citizens if they also are born abroad. Children born to US citizen on foreign soil may also have citizenship rights in the country where they were born, however, that is typically not the case when the parents were there in a diplomatic capacity or as part of a military occupation and not all countries recognize citizenship by soil like the US does anyways but have citizenship laws based fully on citizenship by blood.
While the exact meaning of the requirement for becoming president; “a natural born citizen”, has never been tried in a court of law - the issue of Citizenship by birth on US soil versus Citizenship by blood line and congress’ right to regulate only the latter, was and has since been well settled law tried all the way to the supreme court.
I don’t think he is logged on right now; may I be of service?
He was born on a US military base in a US territory. The author may have wanted to do a little research. Plus did they actually believe McCain could have been on Presidential ballots if he was not eligible?
My husband’s brother in law was born in Cuba, just a year two after McCain. His father worked for the state dept, his mother was a friend of John Kerry’s mother, both from Groton. My husband’s brother in law is not legally a citizen because his parents never filed the proper paper work. He didn’t have to serve in Vietnam because he was not legally a citizen, but he has voted in every election.
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