Friday, June 13, 2008
1. Is John McCain a Natural Born Citizen? 2. Goodbye (Especially to Cora, who Broke my Heart)
I have stayed longer than the usual Prawfs visit hoping to write a certain potentially fascinating (yet non-privacy invading or sensational) interview -based post, but for good and substantial reasons, it appears that it will not materialize. Accordingly, I now sign off with gratitude and hoping that the following will not eliminate me from future consideration for another visit.
I am finishing a project which I hope Prawfs will mention in the near future. The piece argues that that under the Supreme Court's current views of the Constitution and the citizenship statutes, John McCain is not a natural born citizen. It is not an airy-fairy theoretical claim, but based on plain vanilla application of established doctrine. Thus, the year after Senator McCain was born, Frances Perkins, Secretary of Labor, then responsible for the Bureau of Immigration and Naturalization, explained that people in Senator McCain's position “are citizens in every sense except as a matter of law.” That is, maybe such people should have been regarded as citizens. But the law did not make them such, for reasons I explain.
Needless to say, almost everyone disagrees with this bottom line (even me, before I started looking in to it). Here are blog posts by Althouse, Lindgren, Volokh and Kopel on Volokh, Turley, Dorf, J. Rebekka Bonner on Balinization, Solum on Legal Theory Blog, The New York Times article, and the Washington Post article, the Senate press release after they passed a resolution saying he was a natural born citizen, and an opinion by Harvard Professor Laurence Tribe and former Solicitor General Theodore Olson. Also, J. Rebekka Bonner's article on SSRN, and a Yale Law Journal note from 1988.
Thanks again to the Prawfs team for having me.
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