McCain’s likely nomination as the Republican candidate for president and the happenstance of his birth in the Panama Canal Zone in 1936 are reviving a musty debate that has surfaced periodically since the founders first set quill to parchment and declared that only a “natural-born citizen” can hold the nation’s highest office. — IHT.com
Yes cub scouts… This actually is an issue. In 1790 Congress stated that persons born outside of the United States to U.S. parents are natural born citizens. This was also addressed in the Dred Scott case, But this was struck down in 1868 in the 14th Amendment to the Constitution.
According to the State Department:
Despite widespread popular belief, U.S. military installations abroad and U.S. diplomatic or consular facilities are not part of the United States within the meaning of the 14th Amendment. A child born on the premises of such a facility is not subject to the jurisdiction of the United States and does not acquire U.S. citizenship by reason of birth.
It seems fairly clear that the Government has said people born on U.S. military bases overseas are not automatically citizens, which implies they are not natural born citizens. Which means John McCain is not eligible for the Presidency.
Read: McCain’s Canal Zone Birthplace Raises Eligibility Questions
on Alternet, posted by Hubris Sonic, Group News Blog ~ February 28, 2008.
and read: McCain’s birthplace prompts queries about whether that rules him out
by Carl Hulse ~ February 28, 2008 ~ The International Herald Tribune