The Senate has unanimously declared John McCain a natural-born citizen, eligible to be president of the United States.
That is the good news for the presumptive Republican nominee, who was born nearly 72 years ago in a military hospital in the Panama Canal Zone, then under U.S. jurisdiction. The bad news is that the nonbinding Senate resolution passed Wednesday night is simply an opinion that has little bearing on an arcane constitutional debate that has preoccupied legal scholars for many weeks.Article II of the Constitution states that "no person except a natural born citizen . . . shall be eligible to the office of president."
Of course, Buddy didn't need a Congressional order to be declared a natural born citizen. We've got a piece of paper from the US Embassy to prove that he's an American boy. But the founders never specified what a natural born citizen really is and it's never come up, so it's never been tested by the courts.
But it will be soon, apparently there are three pending law suits disputing McCain's eligibility.
But Sarah H. Duggin, an associate law professor at Catholic University who has studied the "natural born" issue in detail, said the question is "not so simple." While she said McCain would probably prevail in a determined legal challenge to his eligibility to be president, she added that the matter can be fully resolved only by a constitutional amendment or a Supreme Court decision."The Constitution is ambiguous," Duggin said. "The McCain side has some really good arguments, but ultimately there has never been any real resolution of this issue. Congress cannot legislatively change the meaning of the Constitution.
And apparently, McCain's situation is further complicated because his birth isn't recorded in the consular records (as it should have been).
As I've stated before, I'd rather eat a razor blade than vote for McCain, but I really hope he's eligible to run.
As American as apple pie or baseball
Hat tip: Kleinheider from Post Politics