Barack Obama, Natural Born U.S. Citizen

One of the more bizarre controversies that refuses to die this campaign is the subject of Barack Obama’s birth certificate and whether in fact he is a “natural born citizen” of the United States and thus eligible to become president pursuant to Article II of the Constitution.

First, as A.J. Strata explains in elaborate detail, the electronic copy of Obama’s birth certificate confirming that he was born in Hawaii is not, as has been alleged, a forgery.

Second, as Dean Esmay points out, it makes no difference whatsoever where Obama was born because his mother was an American citizen at the time of his birth. (Because only 42 men have ever been elected president and they were all born here, this has technically never been tested in court. FindLaw explains, though, why there’s every reason to presume that someone who is, by statute, a citizen at the time of their birth would pass muster.)

UPDATE: In the spirit of parallelism, I should note that there are questions as to whether John McCain is a ‘Natural-Born Citizen.” He was born in Panama, don’t you know.

FILED UNDER: Campaign 2008, US Politics, , , , , , ,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. Dave Schuler says:

    Yeah, I posted on this story (which I, basically, consider pretty idiotic) a week or so ago. The problem as I see it is that Sen. Obama might be compelled to prove his status in a court of law. I think we’ve had quite enough of that for one century.

  2. Bithead says:

    Uh… wait.
    Wasn’t the argument from the Demorats recently that there are some charges which are so consequential, that the very charge being made, of itself requires a hearing?

    Just sayin….

  3. gadfly says:

    Findlaw has more to say about citizenship. Go to page two and read the US Law as it relates to 1961 when Barack was born.

  4. Pug says:

    Wasn’t the argument from the Demorats recently that there are some charges which are so consequential, that the very charge being made, of itself requires a hearing?

    No, don’t think so.

  5. Boyd says:

    If you follow the link from Dean’s post, or even better, follow Gadfly’s link, you’ll see that Obama can only claim US citizenship by virtue of birth within the United States. His mother was too young, according to the law at the time, for him to acquire “natural born” status through her.

    But regardless, it sure seems simple to put this to rest once and for all. We in the blogosphere get a little impatient sometimes.

  6. “there are some charges which are so consequential, that the very charge being made, of itself requires a hearing”

    That does not, however, imply that this is such a charge. I believe the issue at hand for the Democrats is one of behavior; “did you do this” is, for certain actions, certainly such a charge. I do not believe issues of circumstance – “did this happen to you” – qualify similarly.

    My fundamental problem with the Democratic party’s strongly liberal foundation is that they are willing to make any argument and cross any boundary to achieve their goals. If we are to oppose that in any reasonable fashion, we must draw our own lines in the sand and obey them – even when our opposition does not. We should avoid fallacy and impropriety in our rhetoric, regardless of how liberally the other side may employ them.

  7. Bithead says:

    No, don’t think so.

    You’d better. Here’s a clue: “The Plame Game”

  8. Bithead says:

    Good work, Cal.

    That does not, however, imply that this is such a charge.

    Well, perhaps not. There’s not a whole buch of ‘there’ there. Then again, there wasn’t a whole buch of ‘there’ there, either, in the case I pointed up, and you correctly remembered the quote from, that I was thinking of.

    But of course the question I’m asking is why the bar is set higher in the mindless of the Democrat party for this particular happening. The issue at hand of course is that the crage involves a possible coverup by a Democrat.

  9. Bithead says:

    I withdraw the ‘good work”… misread your comment. My bad.

  10. anjin-san says:

    I withdraw the ‘good work”… misread your comment. My bad.

    Hey Bit, why don’t you tell us what mischief that Hugo dude is up to down in Argentina today?

  11. Bithead says:

    Why?

  12. I’ve quoted you and linked to you here.