You know, there is a lot of speculation as to the nationality of President Barack Obama. President Obama’s argument is that he was born in Hawaii, which would automatically give him US Citizenship, and therefore, eligible to run for the President of the United States. The, what I’ll call, conspiracy theories suggest that President Obama was born in Kenya, and therefore not eligible to become President.
Now comes the Mark Graham Plan of Excellence Argument: It doesn’t matter, either way he is eligible to become President of the United States.
Now before you go on a rant suggesting that I’m a huge liberal, I can assure you I am not. I’m quite conservative, but I take a realistic approach to issues and review them and create a solution or answer. Thus the Mark Graham Plan of Excellence.
So let’s dive into this a little more shall we? Who is eligible to become President? The constitution is fairly straight forward with this, or perhaps not. It says the following:
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.
Ok, so you have to be a natural born Citizen, you must be at least 35 years old, and have to be a resident of the United States for 14 years.
Where everyone is getting hung up is the term natural born citizen. Unfortunately, that is where the ambiguity starts. There isn’t a real definition of the term ‘Natural Born Citizen’ – likewise, there is a lot of ambiguity of the requirement of being a 14 year resident – does that mean if you left the country for a day in the last 14 years you are not eligible to become President? Of course not but I digress.
So my argument is centered around US Birthright law. There are two ways to get a citizenship automatically upon being born.
Jus Soli: This is where if you are born in the United States, you are automatically given citizenship, and therefore you are completely eligible to run for President of the United States. Even if both your parents were foreigners (legal or not), you are instantly given citizenship to the US because you were physically born here.
Jus sanguini: This is where one of your Parents, in this case President Obama’s mother, is a US Citizen and you are born outside of the US or one of its territories. Because Obama was born to a female US Citizen, he was instantly given US Citizenship.
Particularly, my argument centers around 8 U.S.C. Section 1409 paragraph (c) and 32 CFR 584.5 which says (summary) if a female ‘natural born US Citizen’ has a child that was born out of the United States, to a foreigner, and out of wedlock, that child would receive the same “nationality status of his mother”. Thus, if Obama’s mother was a natural born citizen, Obama would inherit that trait as his citizenship and should be considered a natural born citizen.
So why is there this big conspiracy? Because courts have yet to rule on people running for President with citizenship by Jus sanguini. Given a proper challenge in court, I think the courts would decide that anyone with a Jus sanguini citizenship would be eligible for Presidency, given the spirit of the law.
I mean how far are we going to take this ‘natural born citizen’ thing? What about a child that wasn’t born naturally – lets say a US Mother and US Father have a child, in the United States, by In Vitro Fertilization? That certainly isn’t natural, so should the child be eligible for the Presidency? Give me a break!