The Instigator
claypigeon
Pro (for)
Losing
12 Points
The Contender
Pride_of_Scotland
Con (against)
Winning
29 Points

Senator Mccain does not qualify to be president

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/4/2008 Category: Politics
Updated: 9 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 3,591 times Debate No: 3066
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (11)
Votes (13)

 

claypigeon

Pro

I am reposting this debate as I find it interesting and the last person bailed.

As much of an open Obama supporter that I am, I also vehemently support Senator Mccain. In an election between any other democrat in the field and Mccain, I would probably vote for Mccain. I say this not to pander but to show my bias. As much as I like Senator Mccain, I do not believe he qualifies to be president, legally.

My argument has only one main part and I would be happy if someone can convince me that I am wrong as I truly do like Mccain and I would like justification to vote for him. Before we debate I will not try to spin this debate by defining certain terms to my advantage like SOME members here do. I prefer a "layperson's" debate where we debate substance and we don't just debate on who can throw out the most jargon and get the most "intellectual" or "philosophical".

Senator Mccain parent's were both veterans deployed to a military base when mommy was pregnant. This base was in the panama canal free zone. Senator Mccain was born in this zone, on a military base, in panama.

The constitution says (Article 1 Section 1) "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; neither shall any Person be eligible to that Office who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty five Years, and been fourteen Years a Resident within the United States."

Senator Mccain fits the latter criteria. He does not fit, imo, the natural born citizen argument as he was born in panama.

Please discuss
Pride_of_Scotland

Con

Since our last debate ended in a tie, I will challenge you to this one instead.

My knowledge of the American Constitution is that any AMERICAN can run for president. Was John McCain born to Panamanian parents? No. Was he born to parents that were Hispanic, African, or Asian? No. Therefore, regardless of his birthplace, he has just as much of a right to run for president as you do. To say that an American born to American parents can not run for president simply because they weren't born in the US is quite ridiculous. And, if I'm not mistaken, aren't US military bases American land?
Debate Round No. 1
claypigeon

Pro

I apologize for how this debate might get as this is more of a legal debate and not political or opinion or utility based.

The American constitution is outdated (imo) in the regard that "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......

Arnold Schwarzenneger could not become president as he was not born in the United States.

From my understanding, neither can Mccain

Senator Mccain was born in the Coco Solo military base in the Panama free zone in Panama. This zone could be considered to be like Guantanamo in that we were sovereign over it but it wasn't American territory. A better example are the Philippines or Cuba or Puerto Rico. These are all territories we were or are sovereign over but they are not considered to be American Land.

Please correct me here as I LIKE Mccain but I don't think I can vote for him or that he qualifies due to the following. He must be a "natural born citizen" to qualify for president.

This debate is based on what natural born citizen means. When the 14th amendment was made, two classes of citizens were made (according to the supreme court). Citizens of the U.S and citizens of the states. This was upheld in later cases as well. If you are born in the U.S, you are a citizen of the U.S. You are a citizen of the state due to law whether thats immigration or also being born there. One cannot be a citizen of a state w/o being a citizen of the U.S. There also came two means of citizenship. Being born here or naturalizing.

According to the State Department "Despite widespread popular belief, U.S. military installations abroad and U.S. diplomatic or consular facilities are not part of the United States within the meaning of the 14th Amendment. A child born on the premises of such a facility is not subject to the jurisdiction of the United States and does not acquire U.S. citizenship by reason of birth".

Here is the source and a PDF 7 FAM 1100 "Acquisition and Retention of U.S. Citizenship and Nationality". U.S. Department of State. U.S. Department of State. Retrieved on 2008-02-14.

The full text is below

7 FAM 1111.2 Citizenship

(TL:CON-64; 11-30-95)

a. U.S. citizenship may be acquired either at birth or through naturalization.

b. U.S. laws governing the acquisition of citizenship at birth embody two legal principles:

(1) Jus soli (the law of the soil), a rule of common law under which the place of a person's birth determines citizenship. In addition to common law, this principle is embodied in the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and the various U.S. citizenship and nationality statutes.

(2) Jus sanguinis (the law of the bloodline), a concept of Roman or civil law under which a person's citizenship is determined by the citizenship of one or both parents. This rule, frequently called "citizenship by descent" or "derivative citizenship", is not embodied in the U.S. Constitution, but such citizenship is granted through statute. As laws have changed, the requirements for conferring and retaining derivative citizenship have also changed.

7 FAM 1116.1-4 Not Included in the Meaning of "In the United States"

(TL:CON-64; 11-30-95)

c. Despite widespread popular belief, U.S. military installations abroad and U.S. diplomatic or consular facilities are not part of the United States within the meaning of the 14th Amendment. A child born on the premises of such a facility is not subject to the jurisdiction of the United States and does not acquire U.S. citizenship by reason of birth.

Furthermore, under 8 USC 1403(a),"Any person born in the Canal Zone on or after February 26, 1904, and whether before or after the effective date of this chapter, whose father or mother or both at the time of the birth of such person was or is a citizen of the United States, is declared to be a citizen of the United States."

Mccain is a citizen. That is not what we are debating. He cannot be a natural born citizen as he is "declared to be a citizen" and he was born outside what legally is considered the U.S. He is a citizen due to Jus sanguinis, law of the bloodlines, because his parents are citizens. He is not a natural born citizen due to Jus solio or law of the soil, as he was not born in what is legally considered the U.S

Mccain is a naturalized citizen and not a natural born one by this reasoning and cannot qualify to be president. I think this is pretty clear cut.
Pride_of_Scotland

Con

You seem to be forgetting that the Pan. Canal Zone was a US territory at the time McCain was born.

Also, a congressional act in 1790 stated:

"And 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."

The US State Department says that this law is again honored under section 301(c) of the Immigration and Nationality Act. Also Section I, Article II of the Constitution states:

"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; neither shall any Person be eligible to that Office who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty five Years, and been fourteen Years a Resident within the United States."

Even if he is ineligible it is unknown if anyone would even have legal standing to challenge his candidacy prior to being elected. And even then, it is still unclear.

Your reference to the statement by the US State Department is reffering to a scenario such as a woman of the country the base is located in gives birth in a military hospital. In this case, the woman is still on her native soil, so American law is void.
Debate Round No. 2
claypigeon

Pro

Interesting website you posted. I would encourage anyone observing the round to check it out as the crux of my argument will come down to what it means to be a "natural-born citizen". We are not disagreeing that Mccain is a citizen. The debate is whether he is a "natural-born" citizen.

1. Legalese

That 1790 law you posted was deemed unconstitutional by the Dred Scott case which was overtaken by the 14th amendment. That is the text we should be working from. The 1790 law was put back on the books in various forms but w/o the phrase "natural born".

Dred Scott v. Sandford, 60 U.S. 393 (1856)

Onto the Immigration and Nationalization act, you are correct that since Mccain's parents are citizens he is a citizen. However, the text is about citizenship AT birth not BY birth. This difference would be key to my argument except that the act was passed in 1952, after Mccain was born, hence it doesn't apply .

Sec. 301. [8 U.S.C. 1401] The following shall be nationals and citizens of the United States at birth.............

"Your reference to the statement by the US State Department is reffering to a scenario......"

My state department argument is straight copy and paste from the law. It applies to everyone.

Here it is again so no scrolling is neccesary

7 FAM 1116.1-4 Not Included in the Meaning of "In the United States"

(TL:CON-64; 11-30-95)

c. Despite widespread popular belief, U.S. military installations abroad and U.S. diplomatic or consular facilities are not part of the United States within the meaning of the 14th Amendment. A child born on the premises of such a facility is not subject to the jurisdiction of the United States and does not acquire U.S. citizenship by reason of birth

2. Qualification to Challenge

This debate is complicated but it is about whether or not Senator Mccain himself meets the qualifications neccessary to become president. It is not about whether anyone can or will sue him for breaching the conditions. I do not know much about who can and cannot bring suit. I'd assume anyone can bring suit in this case as this scenario is capable of repetition and by the time the case is settled the action of electing someone to president has already occurred. I know this was the reasoning behind Roe V Wade being a reviewable case. I assume it applies here but either way, thats not what we are debating.

3. Panama

At the time in question the Panama free zone was run by the United States and I'll even concede that it was controlled by the United States. It was not part of the United States though it can be considered part of America. It was an extraterritorial holding, much like Cuba, the Philippines, or Guantanamo This is key because as I'll explain below on the only way one can be a natural born citizen.
3. Natural Born Citizen

I hope that in all of the information I have cited, I have tried to show what a natural born citizen means under the law and not under one's own mores.

According to the relevant part of the 14th ammendment,

"All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States "

This creates two classes of citizens. Ones who are natural born and ones who are naturalized. One must be born in the states to be a natural-born citizen and one must be naturalized in the states to be a naturalized citizens. The states is key. Mccain was not born in a state therefore he cannot be natural born. The laws we have spoken of bestow naturalized citizenship on Mccain at birth, not by birth. The law I stated, 7 FAM 1116.1-4(c), stated that birth on a military installation abroad is not a part of the United States under the Fourteenth Amendment. Therefore Mccain is a naturalized citizen and not a natural born one.

Great debate and I look forward to hearing the rebuttal and user comments as this issue is bound to come up once a democratic representative is nominated.
Pride_of_Scotland

Con

I suppose it would go to the Supreme Court if a question was raised about his eligibliity as a presidential candidate. I believe the SC would rule in his favor because:

A. The phrase "Natural Born Citizen", scholars say, has its roots in the constitution from a letter sent by John Jay to George Washington. He said that the phrase should be added because he fears that foreigners would try to run for president. The Supreme Court knows this.

B. The letter from Jay also stated: "Permit me to hint, whether it would be wise and seasonable to provide a strong check to the admission of Foreigners into the administration of our national Government; and to declare expressly that the Commander in Chief of the American army shall not be given to nor devolve on, any but a natural born Citizen." He is clearly stating his fear of a foreigner (someone who has little or no American blood) taking control of the US armed forces. John McCain, whose parents are both American, is certainly not a foreigner.

C. John McCain's citizenship status clearly falls under section 8 USC 1401(c): "a person born outside of the United States and its outlying possessions of parents both of whom are citizens of the United States and one of whom has had a residence in the United States or one of its outlying possessions, prior to the birth of such person."

Also, a Democratic presidential candidate wouldn't dare argue the citizenship of John McCain because he is a war hero, and there would be much political backlash from challenging his citizenship because his father was serving our country, not to mention a loss of votes.
Debate Round No. 3
11 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by claypigeon 9 years ago
claypigeon
No problem. I saw a thing on yahoo news today saying how courts usually rule by statute and there is no way the courts would claim that someone born to a soldier who was ordered to Panama to serve his country doesn't get full natural-born rights and the person cited the 1790 law scotty cited. I do find this interesting as no court has defined what natural born citizen is. I think it might even come up in the election (if Hillary wins) but I even if it doesn't this is a case that should be resolved.
Posted by birdpiercefan3334 9 years ago
birdpiercefan3334
Well this has been a crucial issue for me for a while. I have never found a single document that expressively states , "YOU MUST BE BORN IN THE U.S., OR NO CIGAR." Well, not in those crude terms, but you get what I mean. I have actually thought that people like Governor Schwarzenegger could be able to run, since there was no actual final article. Well, I believe some of my own opinions spilled into the round, so I apologize for that. However, my vote still stands, as I still believe it can be 'either', since there is no expressive law stating an 'and'. Sorry if my opinions came in for my RFD, but it looks like I wouldn't have changed the final result by much.

NOTE: Pride of Scotland. Claypigeon beat you in the 'OBAMA' debate. Look it up. Please respond.
Posted by claypigeon 9 years ago
claypigeon
All I have saying natural born is needed is that section you posted and how it has been applied/interpreted over the years.
I'm sure there are laws clarifying that but we all know that Governor Schwarzenneger cannot run for president even though he is a citizen due to the naturalization issue.

Also, if we read that section you posted and assume that the or in "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 (be president)" refers to both natural born and future naturalized citizens, then only people born at the time of the adoption of the constitution can run for president. That'd be silly as everyone wh oculd run would be dead.
Posted by birdpiercefan3334 9 years ago
birdpiercefan3334
Can you give me an amendment to the constitution or some other legal passage that shows that Naturally born is needed, because the 'or' implied is still located in the section, or if i am mistaken, please reply.

I hate people who vote off their own opinions, too. That's why Pride of Scotland is winning badly.
Posted by claypigeon 9 years ago
claypigeon
Bird

No one should vote on this comment I'm saying but the or ,referring to citizen at the time of the adoption of the constitution, refers to those who at the time of the adoption were not natural born. If your argument is correct bird then schwarzenneger can run for president as he is a citizen.
Posted by birdpiercefan3334 9 years ago
birdpiercefan3334
"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; neither shall any Person be eligible to that Office who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty five Years, and been fourteen Years a Resident within the United States." ( Article 1, Section 1, Constitution of the United States of America). This is truly in the Constitution, as claypigeon stated. However, I must say that the Pro in this resolve has contradicted their selves. The passage from the governing document of our nation truly does state that, however, it is implied by the word 'or' as a way of saying 'in another way' or 'this other one'. The Candidate does not necessarily have to be BOTH a natural born citizen AND a U.S. Citizen. This thus shows that even if McCain truly was NOT naturally born as the Con stated, in a U.S. or U.S. born territory, he did become a Citizen. So, he was NOT a natural born citizen, as Pro states. However, he WAS a Citizen, as he "attained to the Age of thirty five Years, and been fourteen Years a Resident within the United States." He thus makes a Citizen, as he fulfilled that, while 'or' implies he does necessarily have to be a NATURAL-BORN. Thus, because he could be EITHER NATURAL BORN or NOT to be eligible for candidacy, and he was proven to be A CITIZEN, according to the parameters of this debate, he IS eligible, and is ready, in the area of eligibility, to become President. Thus, I negate the Resolution, and vote for Pride of Scotland, as shown by my RFD's and Analysis based on the debate talk.

NOTE: PRIDE OF SCOTLAND: I ended up changing my decision, because I misinterpreted the debate. So I voted for claypigeon, meaning he won. Go check the debate. He won. Congrats on winning, claypigeon, but NOT THIS WON!!!
Posted by claypigeon 9 years ago
claypigeon
please vote on the actual debate and not on whether Mccain is a good guy or not. I think he is a great guy but we are debating whether he is a natural born citizen.

Good debate again.
Posted by sadolite 9 years ago
sadolite
The man gave 5 years of his life being totured in a prison camp for this country. I question both Clinton and Obama's qualifications to be President because are soldiers are at war and they don't even support their mission. How could either of those two people expect any military person to have any respect for them when they know when things start to get tough they will ask them to turn and run in surrender. If I was in the millitary I would quit because I could never take orders from people like that.
Posted by Pride_of_Scotland 9 years ago
Pride_of_Scotland
http://www.factcheck.org...

A very relevant link as well
Posted by claypigeon 9 years ago
claypigeon
just-

According to the State Department "Despite widespread popular belief, U.S. military installations abroad and U.S. diplomatic or consular facilities are not part of the United States within the meaning of the 14th Amendment. A child born on the premises of such a facility is not subject to the jurisdiction of the United States and does not acquire U.S. citizenship by reason of birth".

Here is the source and a PDF 7 FAM 1100 "Acquisition and Retention of U.S. Citizenship and Nationality". U.S. Department of State. U.S. Department of State. Retrieved on 2008-02-14.
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