John McCain 2008 www.JohnMcCain.com
Whether you’re a Republican, Democrat or Independent it‘s difficult to criticize John S. McCain’s military record. While on a bombing mission during the Vietnam War, McCain’s plane was shot down, he suffered injuries, and was held as a prisoner of war for a period exceeding 5 years by the North Vietnamese.
When you add to the mix the fact McCain’s grandfather and father were both Four-Star admirals in the U.S. Navy, it’s difficult to challenge the right of this particular candidate to run for the highest office in the land, but the challenge must be made and the issue resolved.
Article II, Section 1, Clause 5 of the U.S. Constitution has three requirements that must be met by any person running for President of the United States. The person must be a natural born citizen, they must be at least 35 years of age and they must have lived within the United States for a period of 14-years.
“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.”
Wikipedia indicates John S. McCain III was born on "August 29, 1936 at Coco Solo Naval Air Station in Panama within the then-American-controlled Panama Canal Zone to Navy officer John S. McCain, Jr. (1911-1981) and Roberta (Wright) McCain (1912)".
Although there was a U.S. Navy submarine base at Coco Solo, the hospital at Coco Solo was not built until the summer of 1941, after Franklin Roosevelt signed Executive Order 8981, expanding the Panama Canal Zone to include Coco Solo.
It is reported McCain’s certificate of birth indicates he was born in Colon, Republic of Panama, which is the closest city to Coco Solo, but Colon has never been included as part of the Panama Canal Zone.
However, McCain’s citizenship status is covered by the following section of U.S. Code – Title 8 > Chapter 12 > Subchapter III > Part I > Section 1403 – Persons born in the Canal Zone or Republic of Panama on after February 26, 1904
(b) Any person born in the Republic of Panama on or after February 26, 1904, and whether before or after the effective date of this chapter, whose father or mother or both at the time of the birth of such person was or is a citizen of the United States employed by the Government of the United States or by the Panama Railroad Company, or its successor in title, is declared to be a citizen of the United States.
That still leaves the determination as to whether or not McCain is "natural born".
Over the years the question has been asked time and time again but there is no clear answer. According to the New York Times, the McCain campaign has “recently asked Theodore B. Olson, a former solicitor general now advising Mr. McCain to prepare a detailed legal analysis” on the subject.</ span></ span> </ span>
Since there is not a legal precedent for the term the question of what our forefathers meant by natural born can be twisted and turned and the question kept on the table for years without a real answer. There are now two works in progress that may finally answer this question – perhaps not to everyone’s satisfaction, but well enough to serve as the legal precedent.
On February 28, 2008 Senator Claire McCaskill [D-MO] introduced S. 2678 – Children of Military Families Natural Born Citizen Act – which declares that any person born to a U.S. citizen while serving in the U.S. armed services will be considered a "natural born citizen’ and is therefore eligible to become President. On February 28, 2008 this bill was referred to the Committee on the Judiciary. What is refreshing to note is the fact both Democratic Presidential candidates, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama have signed on as cosponsors.
On March 6, 2008 Case Number ED CV 08 – 00304 was filed in the United States District Court Central District of California requesting a declaratory judgment from the court stating whether or not John S. McCain III would be allowed to serve, per the U.S. Constitution, if elected President of the United States.
This is obviously an issue that needs to be settled before the election. What could/would they do about it after he is elected, assuming he won the election? Would he be able to stay in office while the issue was decided by the courts, or would his Vice Presidential choice immediately become President?