What does the Constitution say about the eligibility of Kamala Harris to hold the office of vice president of the United States? Harris was born in Oakland, California. For many, that would seem to end the discussion right there. She is a “natural-born citizen” by virtue of her birthplace and the Fourteenth Amendment, and no power on earth says otherwise, right?
Not so fast, says Claremont University law professor John Eastman. Tradition and custom may say one thing, but the Constitution actually says another.
Newsweek: The language of Article II is that one must be a natural-born citizen. The original Constitution did not define citizenship, but the 14th Amendment does—and it provides that “all persons born…in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens.” Those who claim that birth alone is sufficient overlook the second phrase. The person must also be “subject to the jurisdiction” of the United States, and that meant subject to the complete jurisdiction, not merely a partial jurisdiction such as that which applies to anyone temporarily sojourning in the United States (whether lawfully or unlawfully).
Indeed, we may claim that anyone born here is automatically a citizen regardless of any other circumstances, but as Eastman points out, “the Supreme Court has never held that anyone born on U.S. soil, no matter the circumstances of the parents, is automatically a U.S. citizen.”
Harris’s father was Jamaican and her mother was Indian. At the time of Kamala Harris’s birth in 1964, neither parent was a “lawful permanent resident,” thus, they were not subject to the “complete jurisdiction” of the U.S. government, making Harris’s eligibility to become vice president an open question. – READ MORE