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Archive | May, 2010

Early civics book comments on presidential eligibility

I stumbled across an interesting text this morning, “Elementary catechism on the Constitution: for the use of schools” (1828) by  Arthur J. Stansbury. It presents a series of questions and answers about the Constitution. One question in particular interested me:

Q. May any person be chosen President of the United States ?

A. Not every person ; none may be chosen unless he has been born in the United States, or was a citizen when the Constitution Was agreed to, nor can such a one be chosen if he is less than thirty-five years old, or if he has not resided within the United States for fourteen years.

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Doc C’s birth certificate

I for one have never been hesitant to say in which state I was born. I was born in Alabama. In 1995 I needed a passport and ordered birth certificates for that purpose. Alabama wasn’t “computerized” in 1995, so they photocopied the record onto security paper, applied a stamp and a seal, and that was it. The result is quite similar to what we see from Hawaii before they went paperless in 2001.

What is interesting about my certificate is that I ordered 3 of them, and they are not all quite alike. So here is the certificate, and I will walk you through a few things including the small difference.

Doctor Conspiracy's Birth Certificate (click full size)

First, can you see the raised seal of the State of Alabama? The certificate is folded twice; can you find the folds? I know where the seal and folds are, but I can’t see them in the scan. (You are invited to remember similar objections to Obama’s COLB.)  Block 17, the informant, was, as is almost always the case, the mother. While you can’t see this because I blanked it out, my father’s name is misspelled. Mistakes on birth certificates happen; it’s no big deal. My certificate has a block 19: “Date Rec’d by Local Reg”. The unlabeled deletion (left side across from Birth No.) is the last name of the attending physician.

The important thing, and the reason I wrote this article is the difference between this certificate, and my other more “normal” Alabama birth certificates, the text partially cut off at the bottom (and fully cut off on other copies). The text says “Following Section will not be … FOR MEDICAL AND HEALTH USE ONLY” (it’s easier to read on the original). You see, my birth certificate looks like what folks call a “long form”, but it and all others like it are not really the whole hospital certificate, just a portion of it. There is a large section below that was photographically cropped before printing by the state. I hate to break this to you birthers, but YOU ALL HAVE SHORT FORMS! Muahahahahahaaaa! 👿

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John McCain – natural born citizen

John McCain

This is the second in a new series of articles examining the citizenship of American presidents and presidential candidates. In the first I demonstrated that our first president, George Washington, was a natural born citizen. Here we look at John McCain, 2008 Republican candidate for president. John McCain was born in the Panama Canal Zone in 1936 to two US citizen parents.

To forestall possible objections, the McCain campaign requested an opinion from Harvard Law Professor Laurence H. Tribe and former Solicitor General Theodore B. Olson. That opinion appears as Appendix A to an article by Gabriel Chin (Chin disagrees that McCain is a natural born citizen). The US Senate took up a resolution (S. Res. 511) that declared John McCain a natural born citizen. The resolution, sponsored by Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, passed unanimously.

John McCain’s eligibility was challenged in a lawsuit filed by Fred Hollander (Hollander v McCain). Just before this suit was dismissed for lack of standing, Hollander introduced a fake birth certificate alleging that John McCain was born in the Republic of Panama. Hollander is the best known, but not the only lawsuit to be filed alleging John McCain was not a natural born citizen. Others include the Pennsylvania case filed by Carmon Elliott.

In the federal court for the Northern District of California, Markham Robinson filed suit against California Secretary of State Bowen (Robinson v Bowen et al) seeking to prevent McCain from appearing on the November ballot. In his order in the case,  federal judge William Alsup went beyond dismissing the case for lack of standing and wrote about the underlying issue of McCains’ eligibility: Continue Reading →

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