Reading over some new material on citizenship from early in our country’s history, I was suddenly struck by the thought: John McCain probably isn’t a natural born citizen of the United States. If we were talking about President McCain today instead Obama, how would the story be different?
The historical fact is that McCain was nominated by the Republican Party to run for president, and that he was on the ballot in all 50 states. A lawsuit was filed, Hollander v. McCain, that challenged his eligibility, a lawsuit that was dismissed. We can reasonably presume that the lawsuits against Obama, had they been filed against McCain would have been similarly dismissed for the same reasons, reasons that are not tied to the truth or falsehood of his eligibility.
McCain’s (and Obama’s) eligibility was not a significant factor in the election. Given that the Senate had already unanimously declared John McCain a natural born citizen in Senate Resolution 511, it hardly seems credible that any Senator would have objected to the certification of his election and an objection must be raised by one Senator and one House member before an objection is recognized. There were articles written by law professors challenging McCain’s eligibility, but I don’t see a mechanism by which the process would have run any differently than it did. Continue Reading →