23 January 2019

“Jacob Wohl” Appears Dazed and Confused

nopes and Politifact both inform me that some idiot I’ve never heard of—a guy who calls himself Jacob Wohl—tweeted

Kamala Harris is NOT eligible to be President. Her father arrived from Jamaica in 1961—mother from India arrived in 1960. Neither parent was a legal resident for 5 years prior to Harris’s birth, a requirement for naturalization. Kamala was raised in Canada …
Just like the worst President in American History, Barack Hussein Obama, Kamala Harris was NOT raised in the United States. Is it too much to ask to have a President that was born and RAISED in America?
(In point of fact the worst president in American History was James Buchanan, though a good case could be made for Andrew Johnson and—unless Donald Trump can score some positive achievements in the next two to six years to offset the string of disasters he’s presided over so far—our current president could be in the running.)
“Jacob Wohl” seems to be making the common mistake of confusing his own preferences with the legal requirements—that is, there is no requirement that a person be “born and RAISED in America” to be eligible for the presidency, however desirable the writer thinks those elements to be.
The Constitution sets the standards here. It says that a person must (1) “[be] a natural born citizen, or a citizen of the United States, at the time of the adoption of this Constitution”; (2) “have attained to the age of thirty five years”, and (3) “[have] been fourteen Years a resident within the United States”. It does not say anything about being “born and RAISED in America.” There is no requirement whatsoever about the citizenship of one’s parents, though one way of being a “natural born citizen” is having a parent who is a citizen. It’s not a requirement, however; anybody who is born on American soil is a citizen, with some clear exceptions (being a child of foreign diplomats is the main one).
To put it as simply as possible there are three ways one can be born an American citizen: (1) being born on American soil; (2) having a father who was an American citizen at the time of one’s birth; or (3) having a mother who was an American citizen at the time of one’s birth. In my case all three conditions are fulfilled—but that doesn’t make me three times the citizen somebody else is who fulfills only one of the conditions. Some idiots feel that a natural born citizen ought to be defined as one who fulfills all three conditions, and they are certainly entitled to feel that way. But their feelings don’t change the law in any way.
Since Kamala Harris was born in the United States and never renounced her citizenship, is over thirty-five, and has lived in the country for more than fourteen years, she is entitled to run for president. If she were to be elected there would be no constitutional bar to her serving. She would almost certainly be better than the low IQ individual currently occupying the position. That is a low bar, however.

Louis Jacobson, “Yes, Kamala Harris is eligible to run for president,” Politifact

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