Can an island-born Puerto Rican become president without a constitutional amendment?

Mar 29, 2010 Full story: www.nytimes.com 9

Photo: From left, LOWELL P. WEICKER JR., of Connecticut, born in Paris, was told he was eligible for the Oval Office. GEORGE ROMNEY, born in Mexico, ran for the presidency in 1968. BARRY GOLDWATER was born in the Arizona territory in 1909, before it became a state. CHESTER A. ARTHUR was born in Vermont, but rumors suggested it was Canada.

[See Comment #1 in Topix forum for this thread.]

By CARL HULSE - The New York Times - Feb. 28, 2008 - WASHINGTON — The question has nagged at the parents of Americans born outside the continental United States for generations: Dare their children aspire to grow up and become president? In the case of Senator John McCain of Arizona, the issue is becoming more than a matter of parental daydreaming.

Mr. 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.

Almost since those words were written in 1787 with scant explanation, their precise meaning has been the stuff of confusion, law school review articles, whisper campaigns and civics class debates over whether only those delivered on American soil can be truly natural born. To date, no American to take the presidential oath has had an official birthplace outside the 50 states.

“There are powerful arguments that Senator McCain or anyone else in this position is constitutionally qualified, but there is certainly no precedent,” said Sarah H. Duggin, an associate professor of law at Catholic University who has studied the issue extensively. “It is not a slam-dunk situation.”

Mr. McCain was born on a military installation in the Canal Zone, where his mother and father, a Navy officer, were stationed. His campaign advisers say they are comfortable that Mr. McCain meets the requirement and note that the question was researched for his first presidential bid in 1999 and reviewed again this time around.

But given mounting interest, the campaign recently asked Theodore B. Olson, a former solicitor general now advising Mr. McCain, to prepare a detailed legal analysis. “I don’t have much doubt about it,” said Mr. Olson, who added, though, that he still needed to finish his research.

[Continued in Extended Entry section.] Full Story

Since: Dec 08

Location hidden

#1 Mar 29, 2010
Can a Puerto Rican born in Puerto Rico be a Candidate for President of the United States without amending the U.S. Constitution? Is there another way? Or does such a want-to-be candidate already qualify? Are there possible loop holes to qualify?

Over a local Puerto Rico radio station this morning was a discussion whether a Puerto Rican born in Puerto Rico could be president. Rep. Gutierrez of Chicago said he was born in Puerto Rico; and is therefore, not born in one of the fifty states.

However, if he were elected to be Head of the U.S. House of Representative and both the President and Vice President were to die, he would become President of the United States despite the fact he was born in Puerto Rico and not in anyone of the fifty states.

On this local radio show it was discussed that John McCain, though born in Panama to two American citizens, qualified to be a candidate for President of the United States. The following New York Times (28/02/08) article may shed some light on all this.

Recently, an article in Newsweek suggested that Republican Fortuño could run for President though he was born in Puerto Rico.
TPMP

South Amboy, NJ

#2 Mar 29, 2010
Puerto Rico is U.S soil. Gov Fortuno can run for president if he chooses. May Luis Fortuno never reun for President. He is a huge dissapointment as a governor..........TPMP
TPMP

South Amboy, NJ

#3 Mar 29, 2010
Correction: run.

Since: Dec 08

Location hidden

#5 Mar 29, 2010
Último comentario - 29 marzo 2010 12:54AM|-- The Cutting Edge

A que un boricua p un cubano pueden ser presidentes, claro q si , claro nacido en buchannan o guantanamo., cual es el problema?
El Senado federal, como una señal de apoyo a la nacionalidad de McCain (quien fue prisionero de guerra en Vietnam), aprobó una resolución en la que le reconoció como ciudadano natural, con la intención de echar a un lado cualquier asomo de que el asunto pudiera cobrar prominencia en las elecciones de noviembre de 2008.
Pero, lo que para algunos es una utopía de sectores cercanos a los estadistas de Puerto Rico -cosechar en San Juan, bajo el actual status, un candidato a la presidencia de Estados Unidos-, es un asunto que no está resuelto como controversia judicial.
En su artículo segundo, la Constitución de Estados Unidos indica -sin entrar en definiciones- que sólo un “ciudadano natural por nacimiento” puede ser presidente. Los tribunales han determinado que eso se refiere, según los principios del derecho británico, a lo que en latín se describe como ‘jus soli’, el derecho incondicional de una persona a tener una ciudadanía desde su nacimiento.

Ciudadanía desde el 1917

En 1917, el Congreso aprobó reconocer por ley a los nacidos en Puerto Rico como ciudadanos de Estados Unidos, lo que ha quedado reafirmado con otros estatutos federales.

La profesora Christina Duffy Burnett, de la Escuela de Derecho de la Universidad de Columbia y estudiosa de las relaciones entre Washington y San Juan, admite que entre los que han examinado el caso de Puerto Rico a fondo no hay consenso, pero, aunque advierte que no ha hecho un análisis formal sobre este asunto en particular, a su juicio es claro qué“cualquier persona que nazca ciudadana de Estados Unidos, donde sea, es un ‘ciudadano natural por nacimiento’’’.
Carlos Gorrín, profesor de Derecho Constitucional en la Universidad Interamericana, considera que este un tema que no se despacha con contestaciones simples, pero -también advirtiendo que no ha un estudio sobre el asunto- piensa que la jurisprudencia de los llamados Casos Insulares de principios del siglo pasado- en los que el Tribunal Supremo de Estados Unidos determinó que Puerto Rico “pertenece a, pero no es parte, de Estados Unidos”- regularía en gran medida la solución de una controversia de ese tipo.

“Esa es una doctrina que está intacta”, indicó Gorrín, al recordar que en 2008, en un caso referente a la cárcel de la base naval de Guantánamo para sospechosos de terrorismo, el Tribunal Supremo estadounidense volvió a aplicarla.
En un artículo de septiembre de 2008 de la revista jurídica de la Universidad de Michigan, el profesor de Derecho Gabriel Chin, de la Universidad de Arizona, defendió la jurisprudencia que mantiene que los territorios estadounidenses no incorporados no son parte de Estados Unidos, pero su trabajo se centró en el caso de McCain. Chin, de hecho, consideró que McCain no podía ser candidato presidencial.

Since: Dec 08

Location hidden

#6 Mar 29, 2010
seÑalados por ser territorio

“Los nacidos en Puerto Rico no cualifican como ciudadanos naturales por nacimiento y por tal razón son inelegibles para la oficina de la presidencia”, concluyó, por su parte, John R. Hein, cuando, como estudiante de Derecho, publicó en enero de 2009 un análisis en la revista “Journal of Constitucional Law” de la Universidad de Pennsylvania. Hein aludió a los Casos Insulares y al hecho de que Puerto Rico es un territorio no incorporado de Estados Unidos.
Para el ex secretario de Justicia de Puerto Rico, José Fuentes Agostini, quien trabaja como cabildero en Washington D.C. y está vinculado a los republicanos, no hay duda de que un natural de Puerto Rico, aún bajo el actual status, puede aspirar a la presidencia de Estados Unidos.
“Cuando se trata este asunto, no hay distinción entre un status incorporado o incorporado, pues ambos (status) están fuera de la enmienda 14 (de la Constitución), pero dentro de la esfera de las leyes federales de ciudadanía”, indicó Fuentes Agostini.

Tras los Casos Insulares, el Congreso ha tenido casi un siglo para cambiar los fundamentos que inspiraron esa jurisprudencia del máximo foro judicial estadounidense -por ejemplo, si así lo hubiese querido incorporar a la Isla por medio de un acto expreso- y en última instancia despejar todo este debate.

Pero, nunca lo ha hecho.

Since: Dec 08

Location hidden

#8 Mar 29, 2010
Citizenship since 1917

In 1917, Congress passed the law to recognize those born in Puerto Rico as U.S. citizens, which has been reaffirmed by other federal statutes.

Professor Christina Duffy Burnett, School of Law at Columbia University and scholar of the relationship between Washington and San Juan, concedes that among those who have examined the case of Puerto Rico to fund no consensus, but, though he warns that has not made a formal analysis on this particular issue, in his view it is clear why "anyone born a U.S. citizen, anywhere, is a" natural-born citizen'''.

Carlos Gorrín, professor of constitutional law at American University, considers this an issue that is shipped with no simple answers, but, also noting that not a study on the subject thinks that the jurisprudence of so-called Insular Cases of early past century in which the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that Puerto Rico "belongs to, but is not part of the United States - largely regulate the settlement of a dispute of this kind.

"That is a doctrine that is intact," said Gorrin, recalling that in 2008, in a case concerning the prison of Guantanamo naval base for terrorism suspects, the U.S. Supreme Court again applied.

In a September 2008 article of the law review at the University of Michigan Law professor Gabriel Chin, University of Arizona, argued the case law which holds that unincorporated U.S. territories are not part of the United States, but its work focused on McCain's case. Chin, in fact, thought that McCain could not be a presidential candidate.

Since: Dec 08

Location hidden

#9 Mar 29, 2010
be identified by territory

"Those born in Puerto Rico do not qualify as natural citizens by birth and for that reason are ineligible for the office of the presidency", he concluded, for his part, John R. Hein, when, as a law student, in January 2009 published an analysis in the Journal of Constitutional Law ", University of Pennsylvania. Hein spoke of the Insular Cases and the fact that Puerto Rico is an unincorporated territory of the United States.

For the former Attorney General of Puerto Rico, Jose Fuentes Agostini, who works as a lobbyist in Washington DC and is linked to the Republicans, there is no doubt that a native of Puerto Rico, even under the current status, can run for president of the United States.

"When it comes to this matter, there is no distinction between an incorporated or incorporated status, since both (status) are out of Amendment 14 (Constitution), but within the sphere of federal citizenship," said Fuentes Agostini .

After the Insular Cases, Congress has had almost a century to change the foundation that inspired the jurisprudence of the U.S. highest court, for example, if they had wanted to incorporate the island by an express act-and ultimately solve this whole debate.

But never has.
Factchecker

Eugene, OR

#10 Mar 29, 2010
Article II, Section 1 of the US Constitution, which states in part,

"No person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President;"

It would appear from the precedent of Goldwater, McCain and George Romney that a "natural born Citizen" is a person that is a citizen of the United States merely by his birth. There is nothing that states a person must be born on the soil of one of the existing states at the time of his/her birth. Clearly, Goldwater was born in one of the territories. Why wouldn't a person qualify for the presidency who was born in a US territory, eligible for US citizenship merely by the act of being born?

Of course, that person would have to LIVE in one of the 50 states to qualify for the Presidency.
eva

San Diego, CA

#11 Apr 20, 2012
you lov yourself so much!! all the comments are by you.

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