Yet another election complication

Other discussions not related to the Permanent Portfolio

Moderator: Global Moderator

User avatar
technovelist
Executive Member
Executive Member
Posts: 6977
Joined: Wed Sep 15, 2010 11:20 pm

Yet another election complication

Post by technovelist » Sun Oct 18, 2020 8:23 am

I think it is a pretty good bet that Harris isn't actually eligible to be President (and therefore VP). Her parents not only weren't citizens; they weren't even permanent residents. This has never yet been adjudicated in the Supreme Court, but I'm pretty sure the Republicans will sue to have it adjudicated if there is any indication that the Democrats have been able to steal the election.

So if Biden has to resign due to the Hunter scandal, and Harris isn't eligible, then any Biden electors will be free to vote for anyone they want even according to the strictest rules.

This should be interesting, don't you think?

See https://noqreport.com/2020/08/12/kamala ... n-citizen/ for a discussion, although the perspective there was from the point of view of August, not after November 3rd.
Another nod to the most beautiful equation: e + 1 = 0
User avatar
sophie
Executive Member
Executive Member
Posts: 3933
Joined: Mon Apr 23, 2012 7:15 pm

Re: Yet another election complication

Post by sophie » Sun Oct 18, 2020 10:09 am

technovelist wrote:
Sun Oct 18, 2020 8:23 am
I think it is a pretty good bet that Harris isn't actually eligible to be President (and therefore VP). Her parents not only weren't citizens; they weren't even permanent residents. This has never yet been adjudicated in the Supreme Court, but I'm pretty sure the Republicans will sue to have it adjudicated if there is any indication that the Democrats have been able to steal the election.

So if Biden has to resign due to the Hunter scandal, and Harris isn't eligible, then any Biden electors will be free to vote for anyone they want even according to the strictest rules.
I'm confused....

Harris may be an "anchor baby" but if she was born on US soil, she is a natural-born US citizen regardless of her parents' status. This is something we all think needs to change, but if it does, it certainly won't be applied retroactively.

Also if Biden resigns or dies in office and for some reason Harris can't take over, then there won't be an election - it will go to the Speaker of the House. Which in all probability will still be Nancy Pelosi. Unless maybe you meant that if Biden resigns after he is elected but before taking the oath of office? Kinda doubt that will change anything.

Nice try tech....
User avatar
technovelist
Executive Member
Executive Member
Posts: 6977
Joined: Wed Sep 15, 2010 11:20 pm

Re: Yet another election complication

Post by technovelist » Sun Oct 18, 2020 10:32 am

sophie wrote:
Sun Oct 18, 2020 10:09 am
technovelist wrote:
Sun Oct 18, 2020 8:23 am
I think it is a pretty good bet that Harris isn't actually eligible to be President (and therefore VP). Her parents not only weren't citizens; they weren't even permanent residents. This has never yet been adjudicated in the Supreme Court, but I'm pretty sure the Republicans will sue to have it adjudicated if there is any indication that the Democrats have been able to steal the election.

So if Biden has to resign due to the Hunter scandal, and Harris isn't eligible, then any Biden electors will be free to vote for anyone they want even according to the strictest rules.
I'm confused....

Harris may be an "anchor baby" but if she was born on US soil, she is a natural-born US citizen regardless of her parents' status. This is something we all think needs to change, but if it does, it certainly won't be applied retroactively.
It has never been adjudicated whether someone born on US soil to people who aren't permanent residents is a natural born citizen. That's what I was referring to.

See https://fedsoc.org/commentary/publicati ... rspectives for several perspectives on this question.
sophie wrote:
Sun Oct 18, 2020 10:09 am
Also if Biden resigns or dies in office and for some reason Harris can't take over, then there won't be an election - it will go to the Speaker of the House. Which in all probability will still be Nancy Pelosi. Unless maybe you meant that if Biden resigns after he is elected but before taking the oath of office? Kinda doubt that will change anything.

Nice try tech....
No, I mean if he dies at any point before the Electoral College meets.
Remember, you aren't voting for President.
You are voting for a slate of electors who can in theory vote for whoever they want.
And if the P candidate is off the slate for any reason and the VP candidate is ineligible, then the electors could vote for anyone they wanted to.
Another nod to the most beautiful equation: e + 1 = 0
User avatar
vnatale
Executive Member
Executive Member
Posts: 3958
Joined: Fri Apr 12, 2019 8:56 pm
Location: Massachusetts
Contact:

Re: Yet another election complication

Post by vnatale » Sun Oct 18, 2020 10:53 am

technovelist wrote:
Sun Oct 18, 2020 10:32 am
sophie wrote:
Sun Oct 18, 2020 10:09 am
technovelist wrote:
Sun Oct 18, 2020 8:23 am
I think it is a pretty good bet that Harris isn't actually eligible to be President (and therefore VP). Her parents not only weren't citizens; they weren't even permanent residents. This has never yet been adjudicated in the Supreme Court, but I'm pretty sure the Republicans will sue to have it adjudicated if there is any indication that the Democrats have been able to steal the election.

So if Biden has to resign due to the Hunter scandal, and Harris isn't eligible, then any Biden electors will be free to vote for anyone they want even according to the strictest rules.
I'm confused....

Harris may be an "anchor baby" but if she was born on US soil, she is a natural-born US citizen regardless of her parents' status. This is something we all think needs to change, but if it does, it certainly won't be applied retroactively.
It has never been adjudicated whether someone born on US soil to people who aren't permanent residents is a natural born citizen. That's what I was referring to.

See https://fedsoc.org/commentary/publicati ... rspectives for several perspectives on this question.

Reading what you originally wrote led me to discuss it via email with someone. The below was his response.

Vinny



She was born in Oakland, CA. I will admit that I haven’t checked lately, but the last time I checked that was in the United States.



The Constitution is absolutely clear: “All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of state wherein they reside.”



The “subject to the jurisdiction thereof” provision is there to exclude those born in Indian territory and those born within the borders of the US but on foreign property. (remember, this was 1868 so people were born at home and foreign ambassadors would therefore have their children born in their embassies.)



The standard is clear that it is the individual that matters, not one’s parents.



Article II is also clear: “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.”



That clearly speaks to the person who would be president, not to the person’s parents.
"I only regret that I have but one lap to give to my cats."
User avatar
Cortopassi
Executive Member
Executive Member
Posts: 2212
Joined: Mon Feb 24, 2014 2:28 pm
Location: Illinois

Re: Yet another election complication

Post by Cortopassi » Sun Oct 18, 2020 11:00 am

As I said in another post, grasping at straws. Plastic, paper, metal, whatever.

Seems Vinny's friend's response is pretty clear.
User avatar
technovelist
Executive Member
Executive Member
Posts: 6977
Joined: Wed Sep 15, 2010 11:20 pm

Re: Yet another election complication

Post by technovelist » Sun Oct 18, 2020 11:31 am

vnatale wrote:
Sun Oct 18, 2020 10:53 am


The Constitution is absolutely clear: “All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of state wherein they reside.”


The “subject to the jurisdiction thereof” provision is there to exclude those born in Indian territory and those born within the borders of the US but on foreign property. (remember, this was 1868 so people were born at home and foreign ambassadors would therefore have their children born in their embassies.)
That's your friend's opinion.
Is he a Supreme Court justice? Is he a constitutional expert?
I'm going to say the answer to both of those is "no".
I'm citing constitutional experts who disagree with him.
Of course you can believe whoever and whatever you want, but the opinion of an unnamed person with no known qualifications isn't very compelling.
Another nod to the most beautiful equation: e + 1 = 0
User avatar
technovelist
Executive Member
Executive Member
Posts: 6977
Joined: Wed Sep 15, 2010 11:20 pm

Re: Yet another election complication

Post by technovelist » Sun Oct 18, 2020 11:32 am

Cortopassi wrote:
Sun Oct 18, 2020 11:00 am
As I said in another post, grasping at straws. Plastic, paper, metal, whatever.

Seems Vinny's friend's response is pretty clear.
Oh, it's clear all right.
That doesn't mean it's correct.

I could say "Harris is not eligible to be VP".
Is that clear? Yes.
Is it correct? That's a matter of opinion.
See the difference?
Another nod to the most beautiful equation: e + 1 = 0
User avatar
vnatale
Executive Member
Executive Member
Posts: 3958
Joined: Fri Apr 12, 2019 8:56 pm
Location: Massachusetts
Contact:

Re: Yet another election complication

Post by vnatale » Sun Oct 18, 2020 12:04 pm

technovelist wrote:
Sun Oct 18, 2020 11:31 am
vnatale wrote:
Sun Oct 18, 2020 10:53 am


The Constitution is absolutely clear: “All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of state wherein they reside.”


The “subject to the jurisdiction thereof” provision is there to exclude those born in Indian territory and those born within the borders of the US but on foreign property. (remember, this was 1868 so people were born at home and foreign ambassadors would therefore have their children born in their embassies.)
That's your friend's opinion.
Is he a Supreme Court justice? Is he a constitutional expert?
I'm going to say the answer to both of those is "no".
I'm citing constitutional experts who disagree with him.
Of course you can believe whoever and whatever you want, but the opinion of an unnamed person with no known qualifications isn't very compelling.
I will then add that he has a law degree from Rutgers and is an avid follower of all things legal.

Vinny
"I only regret that I have but one lap to give to my cats."
glennds
Executive Member
Executive Member
Posts: 278
Joined: Mon Jan 28, 2013 11:24 am

Re: Yet another election complication

Post by glennds » Sun Oct 18, 2020 12:27 pm

vnatale wrote:
Sun Oct 18, 2020 10:53 am


Article II is also clear: “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.”


I know this will be heresy to those who treat the Constitution as though it was handed to the founding fathers by Jesus Himself, but if it weren't so poorly drafted, it wouldn't be subject to so much bickering and controversy.

For example, the first sentence could be interpreted to literally say that anyone not born or naturalized at the time of Adoption is not eligible, therefore nobody is eligible to be President. I know, I know, that's absurd. But comma placement makes it less than totally clear.

However on a more serious note, and maybe to Technovelist's point, none of the terms are defined.

So what is a natural born Citizen for purposes of this Article? Since terms are not defined, it's not truly clear.

What if natural born means born in the geographical US to one (or two) Citizen parents? Or what if natural born simply means born in the geographical US with no other conditions applied? And what if natural born for purposes of citizenship is different than natural born for purposes of eligibility for President?

When McCain ran, there was a little bit of noise as to whether being born on a foreign located US military base made you a natural born Citizen, but the question was never adjudicated, and of course there's a clear indication of how most people would like the question to be answered, but that's not the same thing as a legal adjudication.

George Romney (Mitt's father) was born in Mexico on a Mormon settlement where his parents had settled when they fled the US to escape prosecution for polygamy. He ran for President in 1968 and the question of his eligibility was only casually raised. Had he defeated Nixon in the primaries, maybe the question would have developed more legs.

If the question ever does get formally adjudicated at the SCOTUS level, I would not bet money one way or the other as to which way the decision will go. I think it will have more to do with politics and the political leaning of the Court at the time, more than clarity in the law or Constitution (back to the sacrilege of poor drafting). I suppose the question could also be resolved legislatively by Congress.

BTW, I agree that a decision that retroactively takes away citizenship would be a radical, unlikely development. But that's not what we're talking about here. What we're talking about is a decision on eligibility for the office of President which would not remove anyone's citizenship, only make them ineligible to be President. These are two different things.
User avatar
technovelist
Executive Member
Executive Member
Posts: 6977
Joined: Wed Sep 15, 2010 11:20 pm

Re: Yet another election complication

Post by technovelist » Sun Oct 18, 2020 3:21 pm

glennds wrote:
Sun Oct 18, 2020 12:27 pm
vnatale wrote:
Sun Oct 18, 2020 10:53 am


Article II is also clear: “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.”


I know this will be heresy to those who treat the Constitution as though it was handed to the founding fathers by Jesus Himself, but if it weren't so poorly drafted, it wouldn't be subject to so much bickering and controversy.

For example, the first sentence could be interpreted to literally say that anyone not born or naturalized at the time of Adoption is not eligible, therefore nobody is eligible to be President. I know, I know, that's absurd. But comma placement makes it less than totally clear.

However on a more serious note, and maybe to Technovelist's point, none of the terms are defined.

So what is a natural born Citizen for purposes of this Article? Since terms are not defined, it's not truly clear.

What if natural born means born in the geographical US to one (or two) Citizen parents? Or what if natural born simply means born in the geographical US with no other conditions applied? And what if natural born for purposes of citizenship is different than natural born for purposes of eligibility for President?

When McCain ran, there was a little bit of noise as to whether being born on a foreign located US military base made you a natural born Citizen, but the question was never adjudicated, and of course there's a clear indication of how most people would like the question to be answered, but that's not the same thing as a legal adjudication.

George Romney (Mitt's father) was born in Mexico on a Mormon settlement where his parents had settled when they fled the US to escape prosecution for polygamy. He ran for President in 1968 and the question of his eligibility was only casually raised. Had he defeated Nixon in the primaries, maybe the question would have developed more legs.

If the question ever does get formally adjudicated at the SCOTUS level, I would not bet money one way or the other as to which way the decision will go. I think it will have more to do with politics and the political leaning of the Court at the time, more than clarity in the law or Constitution (back to the sacrilege of poor drafting). I suppose the question could also be resolved legislatively by Congress.

BTW, I agree that a decision that retroactively takes away citizenship would be a radical, unlikely development. But that's not what we're talking about here. What we're talking about is a decision on eligibility for the office of President which would not remove anyone's citizenship, only make them ineligible to be President. These are two different things.
Yes, that's exactly my point: no one knows the answer to the question as to whether Harris is eligible because the term "natural born" has never been explicitly defined, and this particular situation has never come up before so there isn't even an implicit definition as the result of a court case.
Another nod to the most beautiful equation: e + 1 = 0
User avatar
vnatale
Executive Member
Executive Member
Posts: 3958
Joined: Fri Apr 12, 2019 8:56 pm
Location: Massachusetts
Contact:

Re: Yet another election complication

Post by vnatale » Sun Oct 18, 2020 5:37 pm

technovelist wrote:
Sun Oct 18, 2020 3:21 pm
glennds wrote:
Sun Oct 18, 2020 12:27 pm
vnatale wrote:
Sun Oct 18, 2020 10:53 am


Article II is also clear: “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.”


I know this will be heresy to those who treat the Constitution as though it was handed to the founding fathers by Jesus Himself, but if it weren't so poorly drafted, it wouldn't be subject to so much bickering and controversy.

For example, the first sentence could be interpreted to literally say that anyone not born or naturalized at the time of Adoption is not eligible, therefore nobody is eligible to be President. I know, I know, that's absurd. But comma placement makes it less than totally clear.

However on a more serious note, and maybe to Technovelist's point, none of the terms are defined.

So what is a natural born Citizen for purposes of this Article? Since terms are not defined, it's not truly clear.

What if natural born means born in the geographical US to one (or two) Citizen parents? Or what if natural born simply means born in the geographical US with no other conditions applied? And what if natural born for purposes of citizenship is different than natural born for purposes of eligibility for President?

When McCain ran, there was a little bit of noise as to whether being born on a foreign located US military base made you a natural born Citizen, but the question was never adjudicated, and of course there's a clear indication of how most people would like the question to be answered, but that's not the same thing as a legal adjudication.

George Romney (Mitt's father) was born in Mexico on a Mormon settlement where his parents had settled when they fled the US to escape prosecution for polygamy. He ran for President in 1968 and the question of his eligibility was only casually raised. Had he defeated Nixon in the primaries, maybe the question would have developed more legs.

If the question ever does get formally adjudicated at the SCOTUS level, I would not bet money one way or the other as to which way the decision will go. I think it will have more to do with politics and the political leaning of the Court at the time, more than clarity in the law or Constitution (back to the sacrilege of poor drafting). I suppose the question could also be resolved legislatively by Congress.

BTW, I agree that a decision that retroactively takes away citizenship would be a radical, unlikely development. But that's not what we're talking about here. What we're talking about is a decision on eligibility for the office of President which would not remove anyone's citizenship, only make them ineligible to be President. These are two different things.
Yes, that's exactly my point: no one knows the answer to the question as to whether Harris is eligible because the term "natural born" has never been explicitly defined, and this particular situation has never come up before so there isn't even an implicit definition as the result of a court case.
If you want to continue to go down this path, where has "person" ever been explicitly defined? Almost all the references are to "he" with only a few to "president". Finally what is the meaning of the word "is"??!!!

Vinny
"I only regret that I have but one lap to give to my cats."
User avatar
technovelist
Executive Member
Executive Member
Posts: 6977
Joined: Wed Sep 15, 2010 11:20 pm

Re: Yet another election complication

Post by technovelist » Sun Oct 18, 2020 5:44 pm

vnatale wrote:
Sun Oct 18, 2020 5:37 pm
technovelist wrote:
Sun Oct 18, 2020 3:21 pm
glennds wrote:
Sun Oct 18, 2020 12:27 pm
vnatale wrote:
Sun Oct 18, 2020 10:53 am


Article II is also clear: “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.”


I know this will be heresy to those who treat the Constitution as though it was handed to the founding fathers by Jesus Himself, but if it weren't so poorly drafted, it wouldn't be subject to so much bickering and controversy.

For example, the first sentence could be interpreted to literally say that anyone not born or naturalized at the time of Adoption is not eligible, therefore nobody is eligible to be President. I know, I know, that's absurd. But comma placement makes it less than totally clear.

However on a more serious note, and maybe to Technovelist's point, none of the terms are defined.

So what is a natural born Citizen for purposes of this Article? Since terms are not defined, it's not truly clear.

What if natural born means born in the geographical US to one (or two) Citizen parents? Or what if natural born simply means born in the geographical US with no other conditions applied? And what if natural born for purposes of citizenship is different than natural born for purposes of eligibility for President?

When McCain ran, there was a little bit of noise as to whether being born on a foreign located US military base made you a natural born Citizen, but the question was never adjudicated, and of course there's a clear indication of how most people would like the question to be answered, but that's not the same thing as a legal adjudication.

George Romney (Mitt's father) was born in Mexico on a Mormon settlement where his parents had settled when they fled the US to escape prosecution for polygamy. He ran for President in 1968 and the question of his eligibility was only casually raised. Had he defeated Nixon in the primaries, maybe the question would have developed more legs.

If the question ever does get formally adjudicated at the SCOTUS level, I would not bet money one way or the other as to which way the decision will go. I think it will have more to do with politics and the political leaning of the Court at the time, more than clarity in the law or Constitution (back to the sacrilege of poor drafting). I suppose the question could also be resolved legislatively by Congress.

BTW, I agree that a decision that retroactively takes away citizenship would be a radical, unlikely development. But that's not what we're talking about here. What we're talking about is a decision on eligibility for the office of President which would not remove anyone's citizenship, only make them ineligible to be President. These are two different things.
Yes, that's exactly my point: no one knows the answer to the question as to whether Harris is eligible because the term "natural born" has never been explicitly defined, and this particular situation has never come up before so there isn't even an implicit definition as the result of a court case.
If you want to continue to go down this path, where has "person" ever been explicitly defined? Almost all the references are to "he" with only a few to "president". Finally what is the meaning of the word "is"??!!!

Vinny
"Person" is a term that predates the Constitution and its definition is and was well-known.
The same is not true of "natural born citizen", unless you can find such a definition. I haven't been able to, but that isn't definitive (no pun intended).
Another nod to the most beautiful equation: e + 1 = 0
Post Reply