Campaign Law — FEC

FEC: No U.S. Birth Certificate; No Presidential Matching Funds

Commissioners cite Constitution in case of naturalized citizen

Matt Loeb
Add to Briefcase
Matt Loeb
Sept. 3, 2011, 2:45 p.m.

Un­der the Con­sti­tu­tion, Ab­dul Has­san isn’t qual­i­fied to be pres­id­ent, but that hasn’t stopped the New York law­yer from launch­ing a long-shot cam­paign for the White House — and ap­ply­ing for tax­pay­er-un­der­writ­ten pres­id­en­tial cam­paign match­ing funds.

Mem­bers of the Fed­er­al Elec­tion Com­mis­sion agreed un­an­im­ously Thursday that Has­san would be in­eligible to re­ceive the money but post­poned mak­ing their de­cision of­fi­cial with a vote.

Has­san, a nat­ur­al­ized cit­izen, was born in Guyana. That means he’s barred from serving as the na­tion’s top elec­ted lead­er. The Con­sti­tu­tion says that “[n]o 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.”

That also means Has­san can’t re­ceive pub­lic match­ing funds for his cam­paign, FEC Chair Cyn­thia Bauerly con­cluded. “Clear and self-avowed con­sti­tu­tion­al in­eligib­il­ity for of­fice is one of the few in­stances where the Com­mis­sion’s ex­er­cise of its dis­cre­tion to with­hold funds is ap­pro­pri­ate,” she wrote in an ad­vis­ory opin­ion be­fore the meet­ing.

Com­mis­sion­ers Don McGhan and Steven Walth­er reasoned that provid­ing Has­san with match­ing funds would le­git­im­ize an im­per­miss­ible pres­id­en­tial cam­paign. They wor­ried that Has­san could point to a fa­vor­able FEC rul­ing to fun­draise for a non-vi­able pres­id­en­tial cam­paign. 

Fur­ther­more, McGhan noted that in­flu­en­tial early vot­ing states, namely Iowa, New Hamp­shire and Nevada, re­quire pres­id­en­tial can­did­ates to sat­is­fy all con­sti­tu­tion­al re­quire­ments for bal­lot eli­gib­il­ity. Has­san would be un­able to meet this pre-con­di­tion.  

The com­mis­sion­ers post­poned a fi­nal vote, however, be­cause Has­san has filed suit to over­turn the con­sti­tu­tion­al ban on for­eign-born cit­izens serving as pres­id­ent. 

He con­tends the 14th Amend­ment, which pro­hib­its any law abridging the priv­ileges or im­munit­ies of U.S. cit­izens, trumps Art­icle II, Sec­tion 1, the ban on non-U.S.-born cit­izens oc­cupy­ing the pres­id­ency.

A New York fed­er­al court dis­missed his case, but he has ap­pealed. On this con­sti­tu­tion­al ques­tion, the Su­preme Court could be the ul­ti­mate ar­bit­er.

Even if his White House pro­spects are fore­closed, Has­san has oth­er av­en­ues for his polit­ic­al am­bi­tions. Non-U.S.-born cit­izens have served in many oth­er high of­fices. Among them, former Cali­for­nia Gov. Arnold Schwar­zeneg­ger, a nat­ive of Aus­tria, and former Michigan Gov. Jen­nifer Gran­holm, who was born in Canada.

What We're Following See More »
NEW FROM THE STATE DEPARTMENT
24 Individuals Report Health Affects from Attacks in Cuba
3 minutes ago
THE LATEST
HUSBAND “AN UNBELIEVABLE HERO”
Listen: Soldier’s Widow Shares Video of Her Call with Trump
1 hours ago
THE DETAILS

Natasha De Alencar, widow of Army Staff Sgt. Mark R. De Alencar, shared a video her daughter took of a phone call she received from President Trump following the death of her husband. "Trump opened by saying how sorry he is about the 'whole situation,' before adding that De Alencar’s husband was 'an unbelievable hero.' ... Later in the call, Trump invited De Alencar to the White House, telling her, 'If you’re around Washington, you come over and see me in the Oval Office.'"

Source:
MANY ARE PUZZLED
Robert Mugabe Appointed WHO Goodwill Ambassador
1 hours ago
THE LATEST

"The new head of the World Health Organization has named Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe a goodwill ambassador for the agency, a move that has startled public health experts...A number of organizations that attended the" Montevideo conference where the appointment was announced "said in a statement after the announcement that they could not recognize Mugabe as a WHO goodwill ambassador."

Source:
TRUMP’S ATTORNEY WAS SET TO TESTIFY ON WEDNESDAY
Senate Intel Postpones Testimony by Cohen
1 hours ago
THE LATEST
CAN LIKELY MOVE THROUGH THE HOUSE WITHOUT CONFERENCE
Senate Passes Budget Bill
4 hours ago
THE DETAILS

"The Senate approved the Republican-proposed budget Thursday night, a major step forward for the GOP effort to enact tax cuts. The budget, which now moves to the House, is projected to expand the deficit by $1.5 trillion over 10 years. Its passage will allow the GOP to use a procedural maneuver to pass tax legislation through the Senate with 50 or more votes, removing the need for support from Democratic senators."

Source:
×
×

Welcome to National Journal!

You are currently accessing National Journal from IP access. Please login to access this feature. If you have any questions, please contact your Dedicated Advisor.

Login