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107 Mich. L. Rev. First Impressions 1 (2008)

handle is hein.journals/mlro107 and id is 1 raw text is: 










     WHY SENATOR JOHN MCCAIN CANNOT
     BE PRESIDENT: ELEVEN MONTHS AND A
   HUNDRED YARDS SHORT OF CITIZENSHIP


                          Gabriel J. Chin* t

IN TRO D U CTIO N   .......................................................................................... 1
    I. WAS THE CANAL ZONE THE UNITED STATES FOR PURPOSES
        OF THE CITIZENSHIP CLAUSE? ................................................... 4
        A. The Canal Zone and Other Unincorporated Territories
           Are Not the United States ............................................ 4
        B. Natives of Unincorporated Territories Are Not Citizens ....... 4
    II. NATURAL BORN CITIZENSHIP AS A CHILD OF CITIZENS ............. 5
        A. Citizenship and Natural Born Citizenship by Statute ...... 5
        B. Citizenship by Descent in 1936: The Canal Zone
            Is a 'No M an's Land  .   .....................................................  6
        C. Should Section 1993 Be Re-drafted to Fix
            Congressional Error? ........................................................  9
        D. The Politics of Canal Zone Citizenship ............................... 11
   III. SENATOR MCCAIN'S PATHS TO NATURAL BORN CITIZENSHIP. 14
        A. Restricting Congressional Power by Overruling
            the Insular  C ases ..............................................................  15
        B. Restricting Congressional Power by Recognizing
            Common Law Citizenship ................................................ 16
        C. Restricting Congressional Power by Overruling
            the Plenary Power Doctrine ............................................. 16
C O N CLU SIO N   ........................................................................................... 17
A PPEN DIX A ........................................................................................  19

                            INTRODUCTION

   Article II, section 1 of the Constitution provides that No Person except
a natural born Citizen ... shall be eligible to the Office of President ..... A
person must be a citizen at birth to be a natural born citizen. Senator

    *   Chester H. Smith Professor of Law, Professor of Public Administration and Policy,
University of Arizona. Website: www.jackchin.org. I am grateful for helpful comments from David
Adelman, Deborah Beaumont, Reid Fontaine, Marty Lederman, Steve Legomsky, Earl Maltz, David
Marcus, Toni Massaro, Robert McWhirter, Howard Miller, Marc Miller, Gerry Neuman, Barak
Orbach, Polly Price, Vic Romero, Carol Rose, Ted Ruthizer, Stephen Sachs, Jorge G. Souss, Roy
Spece, Suja Thomas, David Upham, Rose Cuison Villazor, and Frank Wu. The views expressed
herein are solely mine.
    T   Suggested citation: Gabriel J. Chin, Commentary, Why Senator John McCain Cannot Be
President: Eleven Months and a Hundred Yards Short of Citizenship, 107 MICH. L. REV. FIRST
IMPRESSIONS 1 (2008), http://www.michiganlawreview.org/firstimpressions/vollO7/chin.pdf.

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