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 »
SHUT DOWN MISLEADING FALSEHOODS
Facebook To Cut Down On Govt-Sponsored Info Campaigns
1 minutes ago
BREAKING

Facebook "outlined new measures it is taking to combat what it calls 'information operations' that go well beyond the phenomenon known as fake news" on Thursday. Facebook acknowledged that there are governments using its platform as a tool to launch propaganda information campaigns and "manipulate public opinion in other countries. ... Facebook suspended 30,000 accounts in France ahead of last Sunday’s first-round presidential election."

Source:
PRESIDENT CALLS MEDICAID FUNDS A “BAILOUT”
Puerto Rico Another Sticking Point in Budget Talks
21 minutes ago
THE DETAILS

President Trump’s portrayal of an effort to funnel more Medicaid dollars to Puerto Rico as a "bailout" is complicating negotiations over a continuing resolution on the budget. "House Democrats are now requiring such assistance as a condition for supporting the continuing resolution," a position that the GOP leadership is amenable to. it should be included. "But Mr. Trump’s apparent skepticism aligns him with conservative House Republicans inclined to view its request as a bailout, leaving the deal a narrow path to passage in Congress."

Source:
POTENTIAL GOVERNMENT SHUTDOWN?
Democrats Threaten Spending Bill Over Obamacare
4 hours ago
BREAKING

Democrats in the House are threatening to shut down the government if Republicans expedite a vote on a bill to repeal and replace Obamacare, said Democratic House Whip Steny Hoyer Thursday. Lawmakers have introduced a one-week spending bill to give themselves an extra week to reach a long-term funding deal, which seemed poised to pass easily. However, the White House is pressuring House Republicans to take a vote on their Obamacare replacement Friday to give Trump a legislative victory, though it is still not clear that they have the necessary votes to pass the health care bill. This could go down to the wire.

Source:
IN 2014
Pentagon Warned Flynn Not To Accept Foreign Payments
5 hours ago
BREAKING
WOULD PUSH DEADLINE TO MAY 5
One-Week Spending Bill On The Table
6 hours ago
BREAKING

Members of Congress are eyeing a one-week spending bill which would keep the government open past the Friday night deadline, giving lawmakers an extra week to iron out a long-term deal to fund the government. Without any action, the government would run out of funding starting at midnight Saturday. “I am optimistic that a final funding package will be completed soon," said Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen, R-N.J., chairman of the House Appropriations Committee.

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