In the most detailed examination yet of Senator John McCain’s eligibility to be president, a law professor at the University of Arizona has concluded that neither Mr. McCain’s birth in 1936 in the Panama Canal Zone nor the fact that his parents were American citizens is enough to satisfy the constitutional requirement that the president must be a “natural-born citizen.”
The analysis, by Prof. Gabriel J. Chin, focused on a 1937 law that has been largely overlooked in the debate over Mr. McCain’s eligibility to be president. The law conferred citizenship on children of American parents born in the Canal Zone after 1904, and it made John McCain a citizen just before his first birthday. But the law came too late, Professor Chin argued, to make Mr. McCain a natural-born citizen.
“It’s preposterous that a technicality like this can make a difference in an advanced democracy,” Professor Chin said. “But this is the constitutional text that we have.”
The Senate resolution approved in April is based on the premise that "the nation’s founders would have never intended to deny the presidency to the offspring of military personnel stationed out of the country." That occurred after a Democratic operative filed a lawsuit in federal court in New Hampshire seeking to have McCain declared ineligible to serve as president. This view is buttressed by a constitutional expert on citizenship.“No court will get close to it, and everyone else is on board, so there’s a constitutional consensus, the merits of arguments such as this one aside,” said Peter J. Spiro, an authority on the law of citizenship at Temple University. Even Professor Laurence Tribe, an Obama advisor, agrees that McCain meets the constitutional requirement.
It is very telling that the mainstream media continues to raise this issue with McCain, but ignores the firestorm brewing in the blogosphere over Obama's citizenship status. A birth certificate produced by the Obama campaign claiming birth in Hawaii has been thoroughly discredited as a fraud. In his book, "Dreams of My Father", Obama describes holding his birth certificate in his hand, but his campaign did not produce an original birth certificate. Instead, it produced what was purported to be a certified copy. The issue is further confused by conflicting claims of the hospital at which Obama was born. Two different hospitals in Honolulu, Hawaii have been identified as his place of birth.
Liberal-leaning blogs supportive of Sen. Clinton and foreign newspapers have concluded the birth certificate is a fraud, but the mainstream media refuses to discuss the issue. It is important because Obama's father is a Kenyan who recorded his son as Kenyan citizen. Obama has never publicly renounced his Kenyan citizenship. Can a President hold dual citizenship? Moreover, Obama's mother moved him to Indonesia when he was only six. If Obama was born outside the U.S., a possibility we cannot dismiss until Obama produces a legitimate birth certificate as proof he is a natural born citizen, Obama would not be considered a natural born citizen because his mother did not maintain her citizenship status for a continuous period of 10 years after his birth, a requirement in the law at the time he was born.
Also noteworthy is the fact that the birth certificate produced by Obama says only that the information concerning his birth had been "filed" with the registrar in Hawaii. It does not say the information had been "accepted" by the registrar as a Hawaiian birth certificate would typically denote a record of live birth in Hawaii. That suggests only a court could deem the record of his birth in Hawaii as official. Liberal blogs have pointed out that friends of Obama's mother claim she was in the State of Washington with her new-born son when he was only three weeks old, further raising questions about his actual place of birth. According to Michelle Obama, his mother wasn't even married to his father at the time of his birth. Obama himself admits there is some doubt about whether they were ever married. His father had at least two other wives back in Kenya. Adding to the suspicion is the removal of the official Obama explanation on his birth certificate from his own counter website, Fight The Smears.
So with all these discussions on the Internet about questions surrounding Obama's qualification as a "natural born citizen," why is the New York Times continuing to hammer away at McCain on this issue? It's very simple. The Obama campaign is fearing the absolute worst in disclosures on this issue in the coming weeks and months, which will eventually make it into the mainstream media. By raising doubts about McCain's citizenship status, the Obama campaign hopes to inoculate itself from the disclosures and the public debate which will undoubtedly ensue. It's hard to imagine that the American people will equate McCain's situation with Obama's. McCain's overseas birth is attributable to his Navy Admiral father's service for his country in the Panama Canal Zone. McCain went on to serve his country with distinction in a long career in the Navy, including five years of hell being tortured as a prisoner of war in North Vietnam. Obama never served his country through military service. To my knowledge, Obama has not even produced evidence he ever registered for the Selective Service System as required of all men between the ages of 18 and 26 born after January 1, 1960. One thing is clear. This issue is going to heat up.