Prerequisites to the presidency *UPDATED*

Obama refuses to release his birth certificate. I’m with the Campaign Spot in believing that it shows nothing more than some embarrassment about the fact that his birth name was a Motown sounding Barry, rather than the hip, foreign sounding Barack.

Be that as it may, given that a prerequisite for the Presidency is a “natural born citizen,” it’s worth asking this question: When the citizens ask for it, on what possible basis can Obama refuse to make a copy of his birth certificate available?

Hat tip: LGF

UPDATE:  Please see comment no. 1 to this post, in which suek introduces some fascinating information.   Wouldn’t it be interesting if Obama was disqualified from the race for failing to meet the most basic prerequisite for the American presidency?

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  • suek

    I’ve copied and pasted this comment from Michelle Malkin’s blog on the topic. I’m not sure of the propriety of this, but think the information – which _appears_ to be correct – is worth putting out there. If you feel that copying and pasting a comment from another blog is improper, feel free to delete… Otherwise…let the debate begin!

    “On June 10th, 2008 at 8:37 am, legendx3 said:

    Barack Obama is not legally a U.S. Natural-born citizen according to the law on the books at the time of his birth, which falls between “December 24, 1952 to November 13, 1986? . Presidential office requires a natural-born citizen if the child was not born to two U.S. Citizen parents, which of course is what exempts John McCain though he was born in the Panama Canal. US Law very clearly stipulates: “…If only one parent was a U.S. Citizen at the time of your birth, that parent must have resided in the United States for at least ten years, at least five of which had to be after the age of 16.” Barack Obama’s father was not a U.S. Citizen and Obama’s mother was only 18 when Obama was born, which means though she had been a U.S. Citizen for 10 years, (or citizen perhaps because of Hawai’i being a territory) the mother fails the test for being so for at least 5 years **prior to** Barack Obama’s birth, but *after* age 16. It doesn’t matter *after* . In essence, she was not old enough to qualify her son for automatic U.S. Citizenship. At most, there were only 2 years elapsed since his mother turned 16 at the time of Barack Obama’s birth when she was 18 in Hawai’i. His mother would have needed to have been 16+5= 21 years old, at the time of Barack Obama’s birth for him to have been a natural-born citizen. As aformentioned, she was a young college student at the time and was not. Barack Obama was already 3 years old at that time his mother would have needed to have waited to have him as the only U.S. Cizen parent. Obama instead should have been naturalized, but even then, that would still disqualify him from holding the office.

    *** Naturalized citizens are ineligible to hold the office of President. *** Though Barack Obama was sent back to Hawaii at age 10, all the other info does not matter because his mother is the one who needed to have been a U.S. Citzen for 10 years prior to his birth on August 4, 1961, with 5 of those years being after age 16. Further, Obama may have had to have remained in the country for some time to protect any citizenship he would have had, rather than living in Indonesia. Now you can see why Obama’s aides stopped his speech about how we technically have more than 50 states, because it would have led to this discovery. This is very clear cut and a blaring violation of U.S. Election law. I think the Gov. Of California would be very insterested in knowing this if Obama were elected President without being a natural-born U.S. Citizen, and it would set precedence. Stay tuned to your TV sets because I suspect some of this information will be leaking through over the next several days…”

  • http://bookwormroom.com Bookworm

    Wow!

  • Tiresias

    You actually think this is going to be a problem for these people?

  • http://bookwormroom.com Bookworm

    It should be. Technically speaking, in a rational world, if you don’t meet the fundamental prerequisite for a job, you don’t get the job. If Obama is indeed not a citizen as the Constitution demands, to ignore that fact marks the beginning of the end of the American Constitution. No longer do we try to define our way out of it, and make up pretend rights under it, we simply ignore it all together. Next stop: anarchy.

  • Tiresias

    I would say the “beginning of the end of the American Consitution” arrived quite some time ago, and is plainly apparent in many of the supreme court decisions that have come down in my lifetime.

    Come on! This is the party of the Clintons, Maxine Waters, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid! You think they’re going to worry about some lousy law somewhere, that nobody reads anyway?

    Get real. They’ll slide right through, over, under, or around it. Laws are for other people.

  • Marguerite

    I thought his mother was born in Kansas, and would thereby be a citizen at the time of his birth.

  • http://www.writingenglish.wordpress.com judyrose

    Marguerite, I think what suek is saying is that it doesn’t matter that his mother was a citizen. What matters is that she was not 5 years beyond the age of 16 when he was born. I’m guessing it has to do with either the maturity or the loyalty of such a young person who has a child with a non-citizen. I had no idea such a law exists, but if that’s the criteria then this should be an interesting discussion.

    In the end, I don’t think it will come to anything. And I certainly don’t want Arnold to be able to run for president. So just one more thing to worry about. What else is new?

  • Marguerite

    Thank you, judyrose. Another little facet of the deep thought given to the qualifications for President by our founders who knew humanities many foibles! I hope at least a discussion ensues.

  • Tiresias

    The argument will be that it was a bad law, vide it being changed in 1986, and he qualifies under the current standards – so what’s the problem?

    While he should be reflexively disqualified, he won’t be.

  • suek

    Here’s another comment by someone at AT…

    “Did Obama ever register with the Selective Service? No one may serve in the Executive Branch of govt. if they never registered. If the Dem party and election commissions are using Widipedia and Google to ‘vet’ him, this will never be disclosed. The Reps should be looking in to this, as well as anyone able to do so.”

    So I went looking for stuff on it. Found this:

    What is the penalty for not registering?
    If you do not register, you could be prosecuted and fined up to $250,000 and/or be put in jail for up to five years. Registration is also a requirement to qualify for Federal student aid, job training benefits, and most Federal employment.
    http://www.sss.gov/QA.HTM#quest4 which gave me a link for this:
    “According to law, a man must register with Selective Service within 30 days of his 18th birthday. Selective Service will accept late registrations but not after a man has reached age 26.

    Some men may have failed to register during the time they were eligible to do so and may now find they are ineligible for certain benefits.”

    and this:

    “If you have passed your 26th birthday and are now being denied eligibility for Federal student financial aid, Federal job training, or Federal employment, or are having difficulty obtaining U.S. citizenship because you failed to register, you have the the following recourse available to you: Explain to the official handling your case (for example, a student financial aid officer) the reasons for your failure to register with Selective Service. A non-registrant may not be denied any benefit if he can “show by a preponderance of evidence” that his failure to register was not knowing and willful. Offer as much evidence supporting your case, and as much detail, as possible.”

    Of course then _this_: http://www.sss.gov/FSmen.htm
    pretty much says that your local selective service board will determine if you’re excused from the over 26 yrs of age penalties, and we know he’s from Chicago, so maybe it’s moot…!

    Nothing about serving in the executive branch, though. Not that I could find…

  • suek

    Ok…so now I’m wondering who’s responsible for vetting presidential candidates to verify that they’re eligible? The individual state attorney generals? or who’s in responsible for certifying elections in each state? Remembering Fla…would the person who is responsible for certifying the results also be the person responsible for certifying that the candidates were qualified?

    Whoooboy. This could be interesting.

    Or not.

  • suek

    Marguerite…here’s the critical sentence:

    “_If only one parent_ was a U.S. Citizen at the time of your birth, that parent must have resided in the United States for at least ten years, at least five of which had to be after the age of 16.”

    Barack’s father was not a US citizen. He was a Kenyan. You’re right, though. His mother was from Kansas. And if he was born in Hawaii, she probably never gave it a second thought. I don’t think I would have. But we _are_ talking about the Presidency of the US…I think we have the right to be picky about the requirements.

    Especially since I think he’s a disaster!!!

  • suek

    Found this. It disagrees with my quote, but the quote specifically refers to citizenship requirements between ’52 and ’86, and this is apparently current law. I don’t know how to find the requirements of that period. I’ll look, though.

    http://www.usconstitution.net/consttop_citi.html

  • suek

    More…

    http://www.visalaw.com/05jan1/2jan105.html

    “When one parent was a US citizen and the other a foreign national, the US citizen parent must have resided in the US for a total of 10 years prior to the birth of the child, with five of the years after the age of 14. An exception for people serving in the military was created by considering time spent outside the US on military duty as time spent in the US.”

    Note that this says 14, not 16. That would still mean his mother had to be 19 when he was born. Was she? I have no idea.

    Finally…

    “Children born out of wedlock to a US citizen mother were US citizens if the mother was resident in the US for a period of one year prior to the birth of the child.”

    So…it might depend on whether he was legitimate or not.
    To be honest, I don’t know how he could be – his father already had a wife in Kenya…but not in the US, so maybe there was a legal marriage.

    By the way…another Hot Air comment quoted on MM links this same info to the “Passportgate” deal – which has been pretty much dropped. Apparently the info there(for Obama’s passport) would clarify the situation.

    One of the reasons this is of interest is the Hillary factor. If Obama can be eliminated without her apparent involvement, the black vote may still swing to her. If she appears to have “stolen” the candidacy, she’s toast.

  • Tiresias

    14 is the law since 1986, Suek – the current law. It was not the law when he was born.

    And, as you note, even under the more relaxed current standard he doesn’t qualify.

    Since he was never naturalized (and even if he were, naturalization doesn’t do it for the Presidency) the fact of the matter is, if you want to push to the logical – and legally inevitable – conclusion: he isn’t to this day an American citizen.

    Somebody somewhere in that campaign knows it, too. Otherwise, what’s the problem with releasing the birth certificate?

  • Marguerite

    Yes, according to Wikipedia she was born 11-29-42, so was 19 when BO born 8-4-61.

  • suek

    Tiresias…

    Check out that visalaw link – according to it, it’s 14yrs old in the ’52 to ’86 timeframe. I don’t know how reliable it is.

  • suek

    Marguerite…check the math (I _hate_ doing the years thing!)..she was 18, 9 months and about 25 days…(I think!). Under 19. She would have been 19 on 11-29-61.

  • Snowman

    Perhaps he committed a felony and lied on his passport application… When in doubt, release the documents. The fact that he won’t is just contributing to this speculation.

    Operation Chaos strikes again!

  • Tiresias

    Dunno about that, suek. Take the link, go to section 4 – December 25, 1952 to November 13, 1986.

    http://immigration.findlaw.com/immigration/immigration-citizenship-naturalization/immigration-citizenship-naturalization-did-you-know(1).html

  • Ymarsakar

    This Constitution thing is rather inconvenient to the Democrats, don’t you think, Book?

  • suek

    Tiresias…

    You’re correct by findlaw. Don’t have time to check them out at the moment – I think I’m inclined to accept findlaw…I know it’s used by lawyers – I don’t know much about visalaw…I’ll check that tomorrow!
    Even better…don’t have to do the year math!

  • Ellie2

    One has to hope the eligibility question is answered before the Dem Convention. I shudder at the idea of another Presidential election being decided by the Supremes. And I don’t think the Senate (as some have suggested) can amend the Constitution by passing a resolution….

    WOW is right.

  • Zhombre

    Y, it may be inconvenient to the Democrats but they will probably ignore it. Remember the New Jersey race for the U.S. Senate seat? Torricelli dropped out and the Democrats substituted Lautenberg to run against Forrester, on the scissors-paper-stone strategy that an Empty Suit might wrap around a Sleazeball but an Old Fossil rips the Empty Suit. The substitution was contrary to NJ law but that minor inconvenience was rolled right over. You think a little contretemps like this will stop the Ascension of Obama?

  • suek

    >>You think a little contretemps like this will stop the Ascension of Obama?>>

    You know…this is exactly what has occurred to me…_assuming_ he isn’t actually a “natural born” citizen, he isn’t legally eligible to be president. Who stands in his way? I’m assuming the Dems won’t – if they don’t choose to. So then…the Repubs? John Q Citizen? Does someone need to sue him? or the Dems? Is it up to some state official? I never thought about it before…!

  • benning

    I’d be more interested in knowing Obama’s Selective Service status. Did he or didn’t he register? Regardless of what some Chicago Pol might do to rectify the situation now, has he been a scofflaw for all these years? It would make for a very interesting election.

    Who holds those records? Who can open them? Who will report this so the American people can know more about their coming genius-saviour?

    I know I registered! Way back when, at the close of the Vietnam War, I registered and was classified as “1-X”. The draft had been ended, so I was not in any danger of being yanked from hearth and home, barring some international conflagration. But I sure as hell went to the Draft Board and registered. In fact I registered to vote the same day. (No, the people there did not think ‘3 Stooges Party’ was funny.)

    So what’s the status of Barry O?

  • suek

    Selective Service is a government function – maybe subject to FOIA. On the other hand, it’s personal info – so maybe not without permission. Still a _negative_ response might be allowed…!

  • Tiresias

    benning – unkown, but given his record, whaddaya think?

    Jimmy Carter reinstituted registration for the draft on July 2, 1980 in proclamation 4771. (He was responding to the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan.) Everyone between the ages of 18 and 26 was supposed to register, Obama had his 18th birthday in 1979, so he should have registered any year through 1986.)

    I’ll allow myself a tiny bit of bias here: does anyone here think he did? (If he had, he’d have said so.)

    Interestingly enough, he mentioned on February 22 this year that reinstating the draft was probably a good idea.

    Just not for him. Laws are for other people.

  • suek

    Tiresias…I’m with you – I don’t think he did. So….if he had federal loans???? was he entitled to them? Of course, we _all_ know he’s paid them back, but surely there’s _some_ kind of chaos that could be wrought??? Hmmm…what kind of info is needed for a student loan, and who would be holding that info?

    also … The SS page says that there’s a possible $250,000 fine, but no indication of what triggers it.

  • Ellie2

    He’s a native born citizen.

    “A person born in Hawaii on or after August 12, 1898, and before April 30, 1900, is declared to be a citizen of the United States as of April 30, 1900. A person born in Hawaii on or after April 30, 1900, is a citizen of the United States at birth. A person who was a citizen of the Republic of Hawaii on August 12, 1898, is declared to be a citizen of the United States as of April 30, 1900. ”

    http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/html/uscode08/usc_sec_08_00001405—-000-.html

    I think all those other comments about parent and ages etc only apply if you are born outside the US.

  • suek

    Ellie2…
    The “born in Hawaii” citizenship thing was to determine the status of residents in Hawaii when it became a US territory. When Obama was born, Hawaii was a state, and would be governed by US citizenship laws, whatever happened to apply, not laws that would apply to the territory of Hawaii. That said, there are two basic questions:where was Obama actually born and why won’t he make his birth certificate public, since the status of his birth is a prerequisite for the presidency. Then there’s the follow-on of does he meet the requirements. Apparently, there’s a question being raised of whether he was actually born in Hawaii, or may have been born in Kenya. All of which might just be hot air – which could be dispersed if he’d just make his birth certificate public. So…why doesn’t he?
    And no, they apply to those born in the US as well. It was only in ’86 that citizenship was conferred on _anybody_ born to _anyone_ within the US. Wonder who sponsored that one…!

  • Tiresias

    Ellie, even if he was born in Chicago he’d still require naturalization owing to the status of his parents – Hawaii has nothing to do with it.

    His father was not American, and his mother had not lived five years in this country after the age of 16 – period. (She was 19 when he was born, 16 + 5 do not equal 19.)

    He required naturalization. I would suspect no one thought of it, which simply means that he is in fact not an American citizen to this day. As such, does not get to live inthe White House. And, even if his parents had thought to naturalize him, that is also a disqualification for the White House.

    As I said before, someone buried somewhere in that campaign knows this is a large (not to mention embarrassing) problem, too. Otherwise, the birth certificate would have been released by now.

  • http://helenl.wordpress.com/ Helen Losse

    Barack Obama’s birth certificate can be seen here http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2008/6/12/11012/6168/320/534616

  • gkong3

    Dear Helen;

    1. it’s a birth certification, which is a slightly different thing.

    2. Any authenticating/verifying marks have been redacted, which makes it less than useless in proving anything.

    Not that I have a horse in this race, really – I’m not American either.

    Greg

  • Tiresias

    It’s a birth certification – and it doesn’t address the problem. If Mama was younger than 21, then he needed naturalization.

    Hard to say it any simpler: if his mother, as the American parent, had not lived in this country for five years AFTER she turned 16, then he needed to be naturalized. 19 is not 5 years past 16. Therefore she hadn’t.

    Naturalized citizens are not eligible for the White House.

    However, as I’ve been syaing all along, this is a quaint thing called a “rule,” and those don’t apply to democrats in general, him in particular.

  • suek

    Tiresias…

    >>If Mama was younger than 21, then he needed naturalization.>>

    As I read it, not true if he was illegitimate. That might be the rub. If he’s illegitimate, he’s natural born. If his mother and father were married, then he may not be a citizen even now – though I’m not any way sure about that. But who wants to proclaim himself illegitimate? Could be a bind…!

  • Tiresias

    Legitimacy doesn’t enter into it.

    The citizen parent had to live here for 5 years after age 16 – legitimate, illegitimate, or Martian, for that matter.

  • Ellie2

    Suggested reading: “Anchor baby.” “14th Amendment”

    a) if you are born in the USA, you are a US citizen, even if your parents are from Mars. Period.

    b) If you were born in Hawaii after 1900, you are a US citizen. Period.

    I would gladly favor a Constitutional Amendment that said in order to be “native born” you have to be born of US citizens, and “legitimate” to boot!

    Sadly, all that is required to be “native born” is for your mom to lurch across the border to drop her”anchor baby.” Then in the interest of “family unity” all your relations can come on in!

  • suek

    You’re right – I misread it…

  • suek

    Ellie 2…

    That’s since 1986. Obama was born in 1961 – a different law applies.Check Tiresias link. Quote follows.

    http://immigration.findlaw.com/immigration/immigration-citizenship-naturalization/immigration-citizenship-naturalization-did-you-know

    “4. December 24, 1952 to November 13, 1986

    If, at the time of your birth, both your parents were U.S. citizens and at least one had a prior residence in the United States, you automatically acquired U.S. citizenship with no conditions for retaining it.

    If only one parent was a U.S. citizen at the time of your birth, that parent must have resided in the United States for at least ten years, at least five of which had to be after the age of 16. There are no conditions placed on retaining this type of citizenship. If your one U.S. citizen parent is your father and you were born outside of marriage, the same rules apply if your father legally legitimated you before your 21st birthday and you were unmarried at the time. If legitimation occurred after November 14, 1986, your father must have established paternity prior to your 18th birthday, either by acknowledgment or by court order, and must have stated in writing that he would support you financially until your 18th birthday.”

  • Ellie2

    Suek, glad you came around. Now, would you pls explain it to Tiresias?

    Book- maybe we need an R rating for this site? (No one under the age of 18)

  • suek

    Ellie 2…
    Sorry…I’m on her side! My comment about being wrong was to Tiresias…and my response to you got eaten! It could be in moderation, but I suspect it got got.

    Here’s the relevant quote:

    “4. December 24, 1952 to November 13, 1986

    If, at the time of your birth, both your parents were U.S. citizens and at least one had a prior residence in the United States, you automatically acquired U.S. citizenship with no conditions for retaining it.

    If only one parent was a U.S. citizen at the time of your birth, that parent must have resided in the United States for at least ten years, at least five of which had to be after the age of 16. There are no conditions placed on retaining this type of citizenship. If your one U.S. citizen parent is your father and you were born outside of marriage, the same rules apply if your father legally legitimated you before your 21st birthday and you were unmarried at the time. If legitimation occurred after November 14, 1986, your father must have established paternity prior to your 18th birthday, either by acknowledgment or by court order, and must have stated in writing that he would support you financially until your 18th birthday.” (from the link in comment 20)

    What I misread was about the illegitimacy issue – it addresses a father being the qualifying citizen and subsequent legitimation. There’s no accommodation for illegitimacy when the mother is the citizen. She doesn’t meet the “5 years after the age 16″ requirement. In Obama’s case, it’s the mother who is the citizen parent, and she would not have met the conditions to make him a “natural born citizen”. It looks to me like an unintended loophole, and normally wouldn’t be an issue – but we _are_ talking about the eligibility for the presidency!

  • Ellie2

    Judge Judy: Beauty fades; Stupid is forever.