No one questioned if John McCain was a citizen. It was legal scholars that questioned whether McCain was a "natural born" citizen, as the Constitution requires. At the time of McCain's birth, he was not technically a "natural born" citizen. A law was passed in 1937 that changed that, but McCain was already born by then. Currently, legal scholars are still divided on the point, but it is a moot issue unless McCain decides to run again.<quoted text>
Thirdly, liberals also questioned John McCain's citizenship because he was born outside of the US. However it was immediately extinguished because there is an exception for American service parents having children overseas while serving in the armed forces.
"In the most detailed examination yet of Senator John McCain's eligibility to be president, a law professor at the University of Arizona has concluded that neither Mr. McCain's birth in 1936 in the Panama Canal Zone nor the fact that his parents were American citizens is enough to satisfy the constitutional requirement that the president must be a "natural-born citizen."
The analysis, by Prof. Gabriel J. Chin, focused on a 1937 law that has been largely overlooked in the debate over Mr. McCain's eligibility to be president. The law conferred citizenship on children of American parents born in the Canal Zone after 1904, and it made John McCain a citizen just before his first birthday. But the law came too late, Professor Chin argued, to make Mr. McCain a natural-born citizen.
"It's preposterous that a technicality like this can make a difference in an advanced democracy," Professor Chin said. "But this is the constitutional text that we have.""