Qualifications for President

constitutionLet me start off with a caveat: I was once a birther that believed that Obama did not meet the requirements to hold the Office of President. Oh, and one other thing, I still despise that son of a goat.

Now then….

As written into the original Constitution,

Article II Section 1:

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.

Lots of folks that have been dubbed “Birthers” tend to stop at the second comma:

No Person except a natural born Citizen,
or a Citizen of the United States,

And that would not be proper, considering the sentence structure sets up the third portion of the sentence as the qualifier (not for the office, for the sentence) for the first two portions. Therefore:

at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution,

Those that meet one or the other within the first two parts of the sentence, either being a “natural born Citizen” OR a “Citizen of the United States” would have met the requirements to be President “at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, [shall be eligible to the Office of President;]

You can’t “pick and choose” which portion of this article you want to read. And that’s exactly what’s been happening, even with Obama.

Most folks know exactly how much I detest Obama. If you don’t, you’re blind and deaf. That being said, I would love for Obama to not be qualified for Office and get thrown out. But that simply isn’t the case by way of something I love as much as anything in this world and that is the Constitution of the United States.

To continue on, to further show the requirements for the office of President, Article II Section 1 goes on to say “…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.”

So, that being the case at hand, if you were seeking the Office of President, AT THE TIME OF THE ADOPTION OF THE CONSTITUTION (created September 17, 1787 – ratified June 21, 1788) – You had to meet three requirements:

  1. Been a natural born citizen OR a citizen
  2. 35 years of age
  3. 14 years living within the U.S.

However, because of the “at the time” qualifier for the sentence, after the adoption, if you want to hold the Office of President, there are only TWO requirements for holding that office:

  1. 35 years of age
  2. 14 years living within the U.S.

Therefore, there are no requirements to be a citizen (although it *could* be argued that the drafters of the Constitution considered “residents” to be Citizens) in order to be qualified for the Office of President.

Folks, that’s not an interpretation of the Constitution, that’s how it’s written. To see it any other way IS an interpretation and subject to opinion.

I may not like it, you may not like it, but leaving out a portion of a sentence in order to justify your argument is not valid – which is what I did previously, and won’t do again.