Constitutional Amendment – Why Needed?
EACH is considering seeking a sponsor for a Constitutional Amendment that would accomplish the same objectives as the Natural Born Citizen Act (NBC Act). The NBC Act is intended to clarify the term “natural born citizen” and end uncertainty about the eligibility requirements to run for the Office of the Presidency. Whether any person born outside the boundaries of the United States is eligible to be President has been an issue debated in legal circles for years and has never been ruled on by the courts. Clarification is needed before this becomes an actual issue.
The NBC Act defines the term “natural born Citizen” as used in the Constitution to include three categories: Any person born in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof; any person born outside the United States to a U.S. citizen parent or parents who are eligible to transmit citizenship; and any person adopted by the age of 18 by a U.S. citizen parent or parents who are eligible to transmit citizenship to a biological child.
Although it is clear that in the absence of judicial interpretation of Constitutional language, Congress can express a legislative interpretation of Constitutional terms, a Constitutional amendment would be a definitive method of accomplishing the same goal as the NBC Act. Congress should make it clear that all children of American citizens who are eligible to transmit their citizenship to their children are eligible to run for President of the United States. This should apply to all children of American citizens regardless of whether they are born in the United States or born and/or adopted outside the United States by American citizen parent/s.
Even if EACH proceeds to pursue a Constitutional Amendment, it will also continue to pursue enactment of the NBC Act. A statute is quicker and easier to pass than a Constitutional Amendment, so EACH would like to see the NBC Act enacted into law while it pursues a Constitutional Amendment if it is deemed necessary to do so.
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