Obama to co-sponsor bill clarifying McCain’s citizenship status

posted at 5:42 pm on February 29, 2008 by Allahpundit

Via S&L, a typically shrewd move by the Messiah on three counts — blunting any criticism of his own citizenship status; showing himself to be as magnanimous towards his opponent as Maverick was after l’affaire Cunningham; and avoiding any potential confrontation foisted on him by his dimmer supporters who’d dare challenge McCain’s right to American citizenship based on his military pedigree.

Sen. Barack Obama’s campaign announced he would co-sponsor legislation introduced yesterday by his political ally Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) to ensure that John McCain can become president, even though he was born in the Panama Canal Zone.

“Senator McCain has earned the right to be his party’s nominee, and no loophole should prevent him from competing in this campaign,” Obama said.

Also, he gets another bill with his name on it signed into law. This makes what now? Two?

Update: A commenter complains that Congress can’t define “natural born citizen” since it’s a constitutional phrase and thus falls within the purview of the Supremes. Yes, true, the Court has final say, but the Court isn’t about to snatch citizenship from the children of military families and having a co-equal branch on record as supplying a definition makes it easier to defer.


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Since when does the Senate get to interpret Constition Law? Another example of Obama’s ignorance and inexperience.

irish_infidel on February 29, 2008 at 5:45 PM

Also, he gets another bill with his name on it signed into law.

Interesting. This means I’m more likely to agree with a piece of legislation with Obama’s name on it than one with McCains name on it. Ugh. World gone mad.

pecan pie on February 29, 2008 at 5:46 PM

Can you say that you’ve doubled your resume in a single day? I sure can’t!

Give him some props.

lorien1973 on February 29, 2008 at 5:46 PM

That man is the most dangerous person in the world. We will never defeat him. He is kryptonite.

Alex K on February 29, 2008 at 5:46 PM

I think it is 3, but who is counting?

upinak on February 29, 2008 at 5:48 PM

Maverick should one up him, by sponsoring a bill promising never to announce a candidates middle name.

THE CHOSEN ONE on February 29, 2008 at 5:51 PM

What a waste.

Some might consider it a shrewd move. I consider it to be idiotic on many levels.

Obama’s Women Reveal His Secret

LegendHasIt on February 29, 2008 at 5:53 PM

What kinda of earmarks will be stuffed in this one? Sneaky devil, that Obama.

Limerick on February 29, 2008 at 5:55 PM

Yes, true, the Court has final say, but the Court isn’t about to snatch citizenship from the children of military families and having a co-equal branch on record as supplying a definition makes it easier to defer.

They aren’t about to “snatch” it from military members children OR children of American women whose fathers are not American… when they openly allow children of NON US CITIZENS to be citizens just because their mother’s run across the border and give birth on US soil. This is why this whole discussion is rather stupid since there is no move yet to address the 14th Amendment and the rights of “anchor babies”

TOPV on February 29, 2008 at 5:57 PM

The same dude will slash our military to uselesseness.

SouthernGent on February 29, 2008 at 5:57 PM

no loophole should prevent him from competing in this campaign,” Obama said.

There isn’t a loophole, you jerk. The bill is completely unnecessary for McCain.

How about McCain introduces a bill stating that someone whose only accomplishment is their skin color is still eligible to be president.

pedestrian on February 29, 2008 at 6:03 PM

What kinda of earmarks will be stuffed in this one? Sneaky devil, that Obama.

Limerick on February 29, 2008 at 5:55 PM

$200,000 to the Chicago based Anit-Panamanian Defamation League.

THE CHOSEN ONE on February 29, 2008 at 6:04 PM

He either has the right or he has not based on the Constitution and the laws of the US. No one “earns” the right to be President.

In addition, isn’t this preferential treatment? Does the qualification that it applies to military personnel go against equal treatment? What about other Americans abroad in the same situation.

I agree Obama will probably benefit from the PR of taking doing this but playing games wthout thinking things through and considering the implications of handing out privileges like candy, is exactly what we don’t need in a President. McCain would do well to thank Obama but explain he’s willing to abide the Constitution and laws of the USA, interpreted by the Judicial Branch of the government, as they do in fact exist now, and not change them for either political convenience or personal ambition.

Dusty on February 29, 2008 at 6:06 PM

He’s starting to get on my nerves, much like the commercial with the EverReady battery bunny or the Timex “takes a licking and keeps on ticking” thing that we were subjected. I’ll need dental implants by the time this fiasco is over in November. Knashing my molars into dust.

24K lady on February 29, 2008 at 6:06 PM

Video: How many bills sponsored by Obama have been signed into law?

http://hotair.com/archives/2008/02/27/video-how-many-bills-sponsored-by-obama-have-been-signed-into-law//

ninjapirate on February 29, 2008 at 6:06 PM

Hello people…. this is one more working its way through the ranks we all needs to be screaming out against!!
Obama’s sovereignty giveaway plan- The Obama bill, S2433, needs to be blown out of the water.. read more here:

http://www.wnd.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=56959

Be Reasonable on February 29, 2008 at 6:07 PM

What kinda of earmarks will be stuffed in this one? Sneaky devil, that Obama.

Limerick on February 29, 2008 at 5:55 PM

Murtha and Ted Stevens are probably planning porky election campaign dinners at 5000 bucks apiece as we speak. You can squeeze a lot of sausage through a keyhole with good planning. Messiah may just start a legal defense fund for Renzo. Smart move.

a capella on February 29, 2008 at 6:08 PM

How about a bill that states that just because Hillary was co-president for 8 years that she is still eligible. We wouldn’t want her to be excluded, just because of a loophole.

pedestrian on February 29, 2008 at 6:08 PM

Congress can’t define “natural born citizen” since it’s a constitutional phrase and thus falls within the purview of the Supremes

Someone (outside of McCain’s campaign) needs to seize on this bill to challenge Obama’s basic understanding of American Consitituional government, and the roles in it of Congress and the USSC.

Obama is slick with the style, but the content of his comments is starting to make him look unready for the job.

petefrt on February 29, 2008 at 6:10 PM

This is why this whole discussion is rather stupid since there is no move yet to address the 14th Amendment and the rights of “anchor babies”

TOPV on February 29, 2008 at 5:57 PM

Do you think this was a smart or necessary move by Obama? It is what started this “stupid” discussion.

a capella on February 29, 2008 at 6:13 PM

This bill isn’t needed.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Naturalization_Act_of_1790

gmoonster on February 29, 2008 at 6:15 PM

McCain should get together the “gang of 14″ once again just to make sure this bill does not pass.

F15Mech on February 29, 2008 at 6:16 PM

That man is the most dangerous person in the world. We will never defeat him. He is kryptonite.

Alex K on February 29, 2008 at 5:46 PM

Google: Obama, Morris, Odinga

We WILL prevail.

Califemme on February 29, 2008 at 6:17 PM

Congress can’t define Constitutional terms nor can they add to the Constitution unless through the amendment process.

This is also why they reapealed the 1790 mistake where Congress had done just that.

Buddahpundit on February 29, 2008 at 6:27 PM

“Update: A commenter complains that Congress can’t define “natural born citizen” since it’s a constitutional phrase and thus falls within the purview of the Supremes. Yes, true, the Court has final say, but the Court isn’t about to snatch citizenship from the children of military families and having a co-equal branch on record as supplying a definition makes it easier to defer.”

Having Congress pass the law will not prevent the contest. All the more reason for McCain to oppose the proposed bill and take the high road to the Supreme Court in expedited fashion. There are rules. Congress should not put the Supreme Court the a position of having to decide whether to earn the emnity of the people or allow Congress broad new powers of being a coequal interpreter of the Constitution.

Dusty on February 29, 2008 at 6:27 PM

[petefrt on February 29, 2008 at 6:10 PM]

Great point.

Dusty on February 29, 2008 at 6:29 PM

Congress can’t define “natural born citizen” since it’s a constitutional phrase and thus falls within the purview of the Supremes

Congress has already done just that, and the Supremes have had ages to smack them down, but have not.

Pablo on February 29, 2008 at 6:30 PM

Obama to co-sponsor bill clarifying McCain’s citizenship status

He’ll finally have an accomplishment he can point to!

TheBigOldDog on February 29, 2008 at 6:37 PM

Pablo on February 29, 2008 at 6:30 PM

The SCOTUS does not go looking for cases. People have to bring them. There’s never been a reason to challenge the law. If McCain wins, some nutjob will….

TheBigOldDog on February 29, 2008 at 6:39 PM

Romeny is lobbying against the bill.

THE CHOSEN ONE on February 29, 2008 at 6:40 PM

Pablo on February 29, 2008 at 6:30 PM

I searched the document you linked to and didn’t even find the phrase “natural born”.

Buddahpundit on February 29, 2008 at 6:41 PM

califemme@6:17PM – thanks for the google heads up on Morris/Obama/Odinga. The list is delicious and I pulled a number of them to send out.

Dusty, great points. All this Congress has done is submit frivolous bills loaded with billions of $$ in earmarks, hold frivolous hearings, and stand before cameras and rant frivolous hysteria on prime-time news. Nothing of value has been accomplished. Making McCain an honorary citizen eligible to run for President is proof of their fuzzy thinking and somehow it’ll be Bush’s fault!

24K lady on February 29, 2008 at 6:45 PM

Maybe instead of this meaningless fishwrap, they should, I dunno….uggghhhh……pass the Terrorist Surveillance Act.

THE CHOSEN ONE on February 29, 2008 at 6:50 PM

I searched the document you linked to and didn’t even find the phrase “natural born”.

Buddahpundit on February 29, 2008 at 6:41 PM

Its there…
“The Act also establishes the United States citizenship of children of citizens, born abroad, without the need for naturalization, “the children of citizens of the United States that may be born beyond Sea, or out of the limits of the United States, shall be considered as natural born Citizens”.

Be Reasonable on February 29, 2008 at 6:58 PM

24K lady on February 29, 2008 at 6:45 PM

Good luck, 24K lady, I would shout it from the rooftops if it would do any good! I’m glad people are starting to delve deeper into Obama, considering this is the left’s Hope for Change candidate. Shout it, scream it, post it, and eventually someone will ask him the hard questions… “Senator Obama, why are you supporting the opposition (to democracy) leader in Kenya? Does this ideology run in the family?”

THE CHOSEN ONE on February 29, 2008 at 6:50 PM

Oh, you mean do their job!

Califemme on February 29, 2008 at 6:58 PM

It’d be interesting to see who votes “nay” on such a bill. Bet Obama votes “present”.

Mark V. on February 29, 2008 at 7:00 PM

“McCain should get together the “gang of 14″ once again just to make sure this bill does not pass.

F15Mech on February 29, 2008 at 6:16 PM”
Stupid low blow which adds nothing to the discussion and only reminds people that the Gang of 14 allowed us to have our cake (Scalia and Thomas) and eat it too (allow us to keep the moral high ground when a Dem Congress “nukes” us)

Squid Shark on February 29, 2008 at 7:03 PM

Actually, I think Congress can define “natural born citizens” for those born outside the U.S. That includes defining it to include children born abroad by citizen parents, like McCain IIRC.

NorthernCross on February 29, 2008 at 7:04 PM

“It’d be interesting to see who votes “nay” on such a bill. Bet Obama votes “present”.

Mark V. on February 29, 2008 at 7:00 PM”
True

Squid Shark on February 29, 2008 at 7:04 PM

I’ll tell you right now, that when I heard of Obama sponsoring a bill having anything to do with defining citizenship, the first idea that came to mind was that he would try to work it in a way to allow more and more people to be included and possibly enforce the wrongful interpertation of the 14 amendment. He is only using this minor technicality as a means to open the door even wider. His Global Poverty Scam, is nothing but a means to open the US to UN taxation and chip away hugh chunks of our soveriegnity. The worse part of all this is that McCain would do EXACTLY THE SAME THING! We have a choice between two marxists and a global socialist to vote for this election. The second American Revolution cannot be far off.

Bikerken on February 29, 2008 at 7:05 PM

Sean Hannity: Can any Obama supporter name one thing Barack has accomplished in the senate?

Obama Supporter: Sure! He co-sponsored a bill clarifying McCain’s citizenship status.

jjcarrillo on February 29, 2008 at 7:05 PM

Sorry about my 7:03 post, I means Roberts and Alito not Scalia and Thomas. Brain Freeze

Squid Shark on February 29, 2008 at 7:05 PM

“The worse part of all this is that McCain would do EXACTLY THE SAME THING!”

Ken, where the hell does McCain say anything even remotely close to this?

Squid Shark on February 29, 2008 at 7:07 PM

Obama probably won’t even be in the building for the vote.

A commenter complains that Congress can’t define “natural born citizen” since it’s a constitutional phrase and thus falls within the purview of the Supremes.

Actually, they can, since Article 1, Section 8 gives them the power to determine what naturalization means.

To establish an uniform Rule of Naturalization….

They have already done that when Congress made the rules that stated that anyone born in a US Territory, except to foreign diplomatic personnel, is automatically a natural citizen. The Panama Canal Zone was a US Territory till Carter gave it away.

William Teach on February 29, 2008 at 7:08 PM

William Teach on February 29, 2008 at 7:08 PM

Wasn’t that Blackbeard’s real name?

THE CHOSEN ONE on February 29, 2008 at 7:09 PM

Squid Shark on February 29, 2008 at 7:07 PM

You do know that now that we’re in the minority that Gang of Fourteen thang helps us, right?

THE CHOSEN ONE on February 29, 2008 at 7:13 PM

Edward Teach.

My real middle name is William, went to East Carolina U, home of the Pirates, and Blackbeard spent some time on the Carolina coast, particularly near Beaufort.

William Teach on February 29, 2008 at 7:14 PM

“You do know that now that we’re in the minority that Gang of Fourteen thang helps us, right?

THE CHOSEN ONE on February 29, 2008 at 7:13 PM”
Ummm yes the Gang of 14 helps us when in and out of the minority. When we are in the minority, we will value the right to filibuster.

Squid Shark on February 29, 2008 at 7:19 PM

“My real middle name is William, went to East Carolina U, home of the Pirates, and Blackbeard spent some time on the Carolina coast, particularly near Beaufort.

William Teach on February 29, 2008 at 7:14 PM”

Dies as Okracoke Island in the Outer Banks.

Squid Shark on February 29, 2008 at 7:20 PM

Heh, my sister is an East Carolina Pirate, graduated in 92′ and lived in Tar River. I live in Southern Pines right next to Pinehurst. Small world. Also, it took like 35 stab wounds and
like seven gunshots to kill that Bastard. Supposedly, he buried his booty somewhere on Ocracoke and it’s never been found. Cool. They are about to raise what’s left of the Queen Ann’s Revenge this summer I believe.

THE CHOSEN ONE on February 29, 2008 at 7:31 PM

I lived in Tar River for about 2 years. Graduated in 90. Very small world!

They are raising lots of stuff from the QAR, there’s a museum in Beaufort, keep meaning to get down there to see the stuff.

William Teach on February 29, 2008 at 7:53 PM

Futility is indignant, as this has long been defined, plus the area was U.S. territory at the time of his birth.

Idiocy is also indignant.

Entelechy on February 29, 2008 at 8:01 PM

William Teach on February 29, 2008 at 7:53 PM

New Delhi or Rockafellas?

Also, did you make the Peach Bowl when Blake, Fisher, and Robert Jones laid the smackdown on the wolfpack?

THE CHOSEN ONE on February 29, 2008 at 8:20 PM

Its there…
Be Reasonable on February 29, 2008 at 6:58 PM

No it’s not. Some of you really need to reconsider your willingness to lie for McCain. Throwing red herrings around, attempting to make your case by quoting repealed statutes, using bare assertion to trump the Constitution, messenger shooting and mob mentality are not useful ways for conservatives to argue constitutional matters. McCain ain’t worth it.

Buddahpundit on February 29, 2008 at 8:24 PM

“Buddahpundit on February 29, 2008 at 8:24 PM

*rolls eyes but is not suprised*

Squid Shark on February 29, 2008 at 8:34 PM

Having Congress pass the law will not prevent the contest. All the more reason for McCain to oppose the proposed bill and take the high road to the Supreme Court in expedited fashion.

Dusty on February 29, 2008 at 6:27 PM

There isn’t going to be a legal contest, at least not pre-election. To bring suit, you must have standing. And to have standing, you must demonstrate that you either have, or will, suffer a “concrete and particularized” harm. The injury must actual or imminent, and not hypothetical. Wednesday, Nov. 5, 2008 is the very earliest that anyone could file suit to challenge McCain’s constitutional qualifications to hold the presidency.

For more, see this post by law professor Ann Althouse.

And for a full explanation of why this whole business is legal nonsense, see this post by law professor Jim Lindgren.

This matter will never reach the Supreme Court, whose appellate jurisdiction is discretionary, i.e., the Court doesn’t have to hear your case.

If some goof files suit after the election, the district court will dismiss for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted. The court of appeals will affirm, and the Supreme Court will deny certiorari, there being no important question of law at stake.

I’m no fan of John McCain’s, and won’t be voting for him. But there is no doubt that he’s constitutionally qualified to be president.

paul006 on February 29, 2008 at 8:51 PM

All I can say is, with all due civility and respect: Thank you, Senator Obama.

HotAirJosef on February 29, 2008 at 9:15 PM

Hey, Chosen One, yup, I was there for that game. Simply awesome. Luke Fisher is actually one of my fraternity brothers.

William Teach on February 29, 2008 at 9:24 PM

No it’s not. Some of you really need to reconsider your willingness to lie for McCain. Throwing red herrings around, attempting to make your case by quoting repealed statutes, using bare assertion to trump the Constitution, messenger shooting and mob mentality are not useful ways for conservatives to argue constitutional matters. McCain ain’t worth it.

Buddahpundit on February 29, 2008 at 8:24 PM

Excuse you Budda, but I take exception to you calling me a liar! You are the one who said:

I searched the document you linked to and didn’t even find the phrase “natural born”.

Buddahpundit on February 29, 2008 at 6:41 PM

Even though it was repealed, the phrase “natural born” IS on that page. I was simply copy and pasting the ‘phrase’ for you, NOT trying to make a case for anyone! So get off your high horse and go peddle it some where else!

Be Reasonable on February 29, 2008 at 9:31 PM

William Teach on February 29, 2008 at 9:24 PM

Most football players didn’t run with those crazy ass TKE’s so I’ll guess KA?

THE CHOSEN ONE on February 29, 2008 at 9:42 PM

William Teach on February 29, 2008 at 9:24 PM

My sister was at the game in Raliegh I think in 90′ when ECU beat State in Carter Finley and the riot broke out. She said that a ton of Pirate fans ripped down one of the goalposts and marched it out of the stadium. Wish I could have seen that.

THE CHOSEN ONE on February 29, 2008 at 9:45 PM

Be Reasonable on February 29, 2008 at 9:31 PM

Now you are telling me that Title 8 includes repealed statutes. I don’t know, man. I’d ask you to be reasonable but I don’t do irony.

Buddahpundit on February 29, 2008 at 10:11 PM

Pointless legally, but, I have to admit, rather clever politically. Now I wonder if I’ve been so focused on defeating the Antichrist that I’ve underestimated this smooth-tongued young’un.

Splunge on February 29, 2008 at 10:24 PM

Senator Obama, why are you supporting the opposition (to democracy) leader in Kenya? Does this ideology run in the family?”

THE CHOSEN ONE on February 29, 2008 at 6:50 PM

Oh, you mean do their job!

Califemme on February 29, 2008 at 6:58 PM

The Kenya crisis is over. Odinga is probably about to assume the soon-to-be created office of Prime Minister.

baldilocks on February 29, 2008 at 10:32 PM

Buddahpundit on February 29, 2008 at 10:11 PM

You really are an idiot. I spell out for you the reason for what I posted and you still refuse to get it. I simply showed you the wording you said wasnt there, nothing more, nothing less.

Be Reasonable on February 29, 2008 at 11:21 PM

but the Court isn’t about to snatch citizenship from the children of military families

Yes, the court won’t do that because it’s not the issue. The issue is not ill obtained citizenship. The issue is the meaning of ‘natural born’ to see who can and cannot become president.

mycowardice on February 29, 2008 at 11:44 PM

I searched the document you linked to and didn’t even find the phrase “natural born”.

Buddahpundit on February 29, 2008 at 6:41 PM

The document, which is federal law, states:

The following shall be nationals and citizens of the United States at birth:

If you are a citizen at the moment of your birth, how could you possibly be anything but a natural born citizen? If you need not be naturalized to become a citizen, then you must be a natural born citizen. What definition of “natural born” do you suppose could mean anything but that you are automatically a citizen at the moment of your birth? You know, like subsection (a) of 1401:

(a) a person born in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof;

Pablo on March 1, 2008 at 1:40 AM

The bill is not now necessary but the irony of the whole thing just amazes me.

ilitigant on March 1, 2008 at 8:05 AM

This solution is more offensive than the accusation. If Obama wanted to piss off the military he couldn’t have done a better job if he had wiped his ass with the Stars and Stripes.

It gives credence to the thought that something needs to be done because thousands of military brats born overseas, including myself, aren’t currently citizens. We already are, we don’t need a bill to tell us this.

(Edited for the filter) you, Obama.

James on March 1, 2008 at 9:19 AM

Obama is…”showing himself to be as magnanimous towards his opponent as Maverick was after l’affaire Cunningham”…
That set a precedent of censorship and even tho some would like to ‘take the higher ground’ on silly things like middle names there are many others on the right and left who will not. John and Barak will do nothing but repudiate the truth tellers and reduce the Presidential race to a non-laughable farce. Oh, it’s already that.

Christine on March 1, 2008 at 12:00 PM

I forgot to say…besides trying to lift themselves out of the mire of ‘partisan’ politics, (they have alot in common), John and Barak will also come together on non-issues like this one.

Christine on March 1, 2008 at 12:04 PM

Pablo on March 1, 2008 at 1:40 AM

Natural born and citizen at birth are not the same thing. If the circumstances of someone like McCain’s birth is “natural born”, then Congress wouldn’t have given it citizen status by statute in 1795. They initially tried to call that status natural born, in 1790, but Congress only has the power to naturalize ( you can’t be naturalized and natural born ) so it was unconstitutional and was repealed.

Buddahpundit on March 1, 2008 at 12:14 PM