A Guyana-born naturalized US Citizen has asked the Federal Election Commission for permission to start raising funds in a run for US President. While we know that the FEC does not vet candidates’ qualifications for running, in this case an advisory opinion is being asked about fundraising, something within the purview of the FEC, and the FEC is taking the question seriously, according to the Capitol Hill newspaper, The Roll Call. The FEC could release their opinion within 60 days.
This is an interesting turn of affairs because in the case of Berg v. Obama et al, the FEC argued that “[the FEC] has no oversight over the Constitution’s Presidential Qualifications Clause.”
The Roll Call explains the basis of Abdul Hassan’s claim:
He also has a novel legal argument for his issue before the FEC. “The Fif[teen]th Amendment prohibits national origin discrimination, which is the very thing that the natural-born requirement does,” he said. He also said he has other 14th Amendment arguments that could be persuasive.
While I would not expect any decision from the FEC to have a direct bearing on the claims that Barack Obama is not eligible, such a decision could provide a precedent for a future lawsuit against the FEC challenging Obama’s fundraising (provided someone with standing could be found willing to bring it – how about Michele Bachmann). Hassan previously tried a lawsuit, but was found by the appeals court to lack standing.