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Citizen McCain

The former U.S. submarine base at Coco Solo in Panama, where Sen. John McCain was born in 1936, had fallen into disrepair by the time of this April 9, 2008, photo. McCain's father, a Navy officer, was stationed in the U.S.-run territory in Panama in the 1930s.(Reuters)

By Ben Pershing
A few Senators really, really believe that Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) can serve as president (not "should" serve, necessarily, but "can").

Back in late February, a New York Times story revisited the question of whether McCain, who was born in the Panama Canal Zone (where his father was serving in the Navy), fit the constitution's requirement that the president be a "natural-born citizen" of the United States.

Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) quickly sprung into action, introducing a bill clarifying that children born to U.S. military personnel serving overseas can indeed grow up to be president. In a show of bipartisan magnanimity, Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) signed on as a co-sponsor the bill the next day, followed by Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) a few days later.

But that's about as far as the bill went. It hasn't budged out of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and it only has four co-sponsors. So on Thursday, McCaskill tried again, this time introducing "a resolution recognizing that John Sidney McCain, III, is a natural born citizen." The new measure has already beaten its predecessor by picking up five co-sponsors, including Obama and Clinton again.

Continue reading at Capitol Briefing »

By Web Politics Editor  |  April 11, 2008; 11:42 AM ET
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This is a non issue. Senator McCaskill is either incredibly dense or is an opportunist who wantss to get her name on some piece of legislation. My guess is that she knows better than this.

This type of story belongs with the Kennedy assassination conspiracy theories.

Surely no one believes that Senator McCain is not a U.S. citizen. Claire, there are many real problems that need to be addressed by legislators.

Sorry for my loose fingers on the first post.

Posted by: Daniel Hancock | April 13, 2008 7:59 PM | Report abuse

This is a non issue. Either Senator McCaskill is incredibly dense or is an oppurtunist that whats to get her name on some piece of legislation. This type of story belongs with the Kennedy assassination conspiracy theories.

Posted by: danielhancock | April 13, 2008 7:54 PM | Report abuse

McCain has Ted Olson the former solicitor general and the man who argued Bush v. Gore at the Supreme Court, working on it.

Olson, who is backing McCain, and Harvard law professor Laurence Tribe who is supporting Democrat Barack Obama, jointly noted they believe the Constitution allows someone like McCain to run for president.

"It goes without saying that the Framers did not intend to exclude a person from the office of the President simply because he or she was born to U.S. citizens serving in the U.S. military outside of the continental United States," they wrote.

If they wrote it, where is it?

This is actually a challenge to the Post reporting staff. Here is news. Go get it. You have press credentials and 6 Pulitzers. The McCain campaign will give it to you. Go for it.

Posted by: Publius | April 12, 2008 11:07 AM | Report abuse

Lawyers Tribe and Olson have produced an opinion supporting McCain, and AP has reported it.

But there seems to be no copy of the report or memo on the web, as of yet.

I think we would all like to read it to see their reasoning. It should be read into the Congressional Record with the bill introduced Thursday.

Why doesn't the Washington Post reporting team track this down and post it?

[t could be a scoop]

Posted by: Vince Treacy | April 12, 2008 8:22 AM | Report abuse

John Sidney McCain was not born at Coco Solo, Canal Zone, on August 29, 1936. He was born at the Colon Hospital within the
city limit of Colon, Republic of Panama.

Congress on August 4, 1937 through a "collective naturalization" Act, declared
that class of alien children born in the
Republic of Panama, to American Citizen
Parents, citizens of the United States on
August 4, 1937, but not at birth. Now we
have SR-511 that whats to overright a prior
Act of Congress, by a new declaration naming McCain a citizen of the United States at birth. The Act was codified as
Title 8, Section 5e, United States Code and
was repealed effectively on January 13, 1941.

Senators, a non-binding resolution can not
override a prior Act of Congress. McCain
is a natural born citizen of the Republic of Panama, not the United States.

Posted by: Mark Seidenberg | April 11, 2008 5:46 PM | Report abuse

If we were talking about some Enlisted Squid's Panamanian Wife's Baby, I could possibly understand any concern being brought up-And for that matter, the Baby Should be considered even more Legit than Bill Richardson(Who's Mother was Flown into the States to drop said Anchor Baby!).

BUT, for crying out LOUD, we are talking about the Son of an Admiral, who was tyhe Son of an ADMIRAL! :-/

Posted by: RAT-The | April 11, 2008 11:56 AM | Report abuse

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