in response to the McCain controversy

A friend asked me what I thought, so I respond­ed.  This was on Face­book, so it is a lit­tle infor­mal:

Whether McCain is a nat­ur­al-born cit­i­zen has been get­ting press (well, minor press) for years, but it makes sense that the politi­cos would bring it up now. I think the US Con­sti­tu­tion was cre­at­ed to define rights between the fed­er­al gov­ern­ment, the states, and the peo­ple, and giv­ing peo­ple rights is one of the big things, so it would make sense that “nat­ur­al-born” would be inter­pret­ed broad­ly. Also, I just spent a few min­utes perus­ing the INA, and sec. 303(a) says “Any per­son born in the Canal Zone on or after Feb­ru­ary 26, 1904, and whether before or after the effec­tive date of this Act, whose father or moth­er or both at the time of the birth of such per­son was or is a cit­i­zen of the Unit­ed States, is declared to be a cit­i­zen of the Unit­ed States.” It seems to me that the dis­tinc­tion between “cit­i­zen” and “nat­ur­al-born cit­i­zen” is just cit­i­zen­ship at birth. The courts should (at least I think they should) find that the use of “cit­i­zen” in the statute means “nat­ur­al-born cit­i­zen.” There.


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