How Arnold Schwarzenegger Can Become President
stevenjamar at gmail.com
Sat Nov 1 13:45:47 PDT 2008
I would be concerned about retroactivity . . .
On Sat, Nov 1, 2008 at 4:36 PM, Marty Lederman <lederman.marty at gmail.com>wrote:
> Well, that was the working title of the paper I was going to write in
> response to Jack Chin's provocative recent essay (see the Mich. L. Rev.
> symposium), but I didn't have time.
> The theory in short, was that Arnold could become President if two things
> 1. Congress enacts a law providing that anyone born in Thal, Austria on
> July 30, 1947, is a U.S. citizen.
> 2. The relevant constitutional interpreters -- namely, Schwarzenegger
> himself, the delegates to the Republican Convention, millions of voters in
> November, a majority of electors, and the members of Congress who count the
> electors' votes -- all agree that it is permissible to read the Natural Born
> Citizenship clause to provide, at a minimum, that anyone who is a citizen
> *by virtue of the circumstances of one's birth* is eligible to be
> Now, there will be many on this list who will argue that it would be wrong
> -- impermissible, unthinkable, out-of-bounds -- to construe the NBC clause
> to permit anyone who is a citizen by virtue of the circumstances of one's
> birth* *to be eligible to be President. I, however, (i) am sympathetic to
> any construction of the NBC clause that gives it the least possible effect;
> (ii) do not think this construction is beyond the pale; and (iii), in
> particular, do not think that this interpretation is foreclosed (or even
> disfavored) by the text.
> Provocative enough?
Prof. Steven Jamar
Howard University School of Law
Associate Director, Institute of Intellectual Property and Social Justice
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