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Friday, May 2, 2008

Opposing Attorneys in Bush v. Gore Team Up to Help McCain

There is an issue lurking out there that could send a McCain victory in this year's election straight to the Supreme Court of the United States: Is he a "natural born citizen" as required by the Constitution?

The Washington Post has a great article in depth about this. Briefly, McCain was born in the Panama Canal Zone in on Aug. 29, 1936 on the military base there. Now, at least three people have filed lawsuits challenging his eligibility to be President. According to the Post:

Jurists on both sides of the political divide, consulted by the McCain campaign, insist that the issue is clear-cut. They argue that McCain is a natural-born citizen because the United States held sovereignty over the Panama Canal Zone at the time of his birth

Laurence Tribe, a Harvard law professor and attorney who represented Gore in the 2000election lawsuit, teamed up with Theodore B. Olson, former Solicitor General and attorney for Bush on other side of the lawsuit, to look at the issue. They both say McCain is eligible to be President. However, according to the Post:

[A] State Department manual, [says] U.S. military installations abroad cannot be considered "part of the United States" and "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." Tribe said the manual is an "opinion" with no legal status.

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