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Complaint questions McCain's citizenship

March 12, 2008 12:00:00 AM PDT
A Southland man has filed suit raising the question of whether John McCain, who was born in Panama, can legally be elected president of the United States. McCain was born in the Panama Canal Zone while his father, a naval officer, was assigned to the U.S. territory.He's been in politics for almost 30 years, a prisoner of war for almost six years, and he's even presumed to be the Republican candidate for president right now. But what if he's not even eligible to run for president?

Don't laugh -- it's something some people are wondering. Andrew Aames has filed a complaint asking a federal court for an answer.

"It would be nice to get this cleared up before the election," said Aames.

The issue is Article 2 of the U.S. Constitution. It says, "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."

McCain's status is in question by some who say because McCain was born in the Panama Canal Zone on a Navy base, and not in any of the 50 states, technically he can't run for president.

Aames spent $350 on this complaint to find out, even though courts have never ruled on this issue.

"It's a logical matter to get these issues resolved beforehand, because these people want to make sure their candidate they're voting for can assume the office they're voting for," said Aames.

But some wonder whether this lawsuit is worth it.

"I really think it's a waste of time, honestly, a really big waste of time," said resident Henry Gutierrez.

"To me, it would seem if his parents are in the military and they're doing the job for the country, why should they be penalized if they were born outside the U.S.?" asked resident Mary Shelton.

Talking about this issue couple weeks ago, McCain said, "There's no doubt about it, and frankly when I ran in 2000 - when I lost in 2000 - we went through this drill once before."

One guy who wanted to run for president and couldn't was Alexander Hamilton -- he was not born on U.S. soil, but he did get onto the $10 bill.

As for the two page lawsuit, there is no word on when U.S. district court is going to rule on it, but it's hard to imagine John McCain is on pins and needles over this.

 

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