When the candidate for president of the United States of America is not a “natural born citizen” that potential nominee is in violation of the U. S. Constitution. However, the highest court of the land has yet to make a preemptive ruling. It seems the keyword in Article 2, Section 1 is “born”.
As subsequent elections come and go, the 2008 presidential nomination and victory of Barack H. Obama will however remain forever historic. Not because merely because of his skin color but his heritage. The United States has had candidates that thought about seeking the highest elective office of the land before, but they were of European descent. The question of President Obama’s citizenship as it relates to the U.S. Constitution and the requirements to be president have confronted potential nominees before. Facing the prospect of a candidate that was born in Canada has American’s again checking “rule book”. The electorate in this presidential cycle seem to ignore the question. Natural born is not naturalized.
Written and ratified more than 230 years ago, the guiding document for the United States, The Constitution, is somewhat vague in who is exactly a “natural born citizen”. However for many voters every since Alexander Hamilton born in the British West Indies, 200 years ago, even until now with President Obama, a definitive and unambiguous ruling remains. During the presidential campaign of 1968, George Romney, the governor of Michigan and father of 2014 republican presidential nominee, Mitt Romney was born in Mexico.
For further contemplation, the 14th amendment to the U.S. Constitution, one of the “War Amendments” (ratified after the Civil War), addresses the notion of “natural born” as well. The “14th” is used for those children referred to as “anchor babies”. Therefore, there is obviously a difference in being naturalized and natural born.
During the 2016 cycle for president, the junior U.S. Senator from Texas, Republican Rafael Edward “Ted” Cruz, was born in Canada and has yet to draw the attention of pundits or the media. Is there a possible constitutional crisis looming? Is the prospect of Cruz becoming president not worth inspection? One thing for sure, Republican Party officials nor his fellow GOP seekers seem to have “tabled” the discussion for another time.
To further support the folks that believe that people not born on the territory of the United Stated are not eligible to be president, there is the Naturalization Act of 1798. The Act, which has been revised several times, and the 14th Amendment to the Constitution, specifies the requirements that a person not born in the United States into a citizen. Once meeting those requirements foreign born residents can become a citizen. The key word missing or that differs from the Constitution’s text is “born”.
So arose those called “birthers”, the term for those opposed to then United States Senator Barack Obama becoming the 44th president of the United States and argued that he must have been born in his fathers native land of Kenya. Some anti-Obama zealots even insisted that a persons heritage is linked to the country of his fathers birth. President Obama was born in a hospital in Hawaii, making moot the opposition. The clarity of Article 2, Section 1 for some is clear. Politics seems to be the only variable.
Perhaps the pending election is merely a popularity contest and that the “rule of law” is just a term thrown about when the opposition seems to have the edge in a political argument. In other words, the candidate is a citizen if his supporters says he is.