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Tags Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez , amendments , constitution

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Old 12th December 2018, 02:02 PM   #1
Brainster
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Should the Constitution Be Amended to Allow Under-35s and Immigrants to be President?

Here's an exceptionally silly article from Matt Yglesias, pushing the concept so that Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez can run in 2020. His arguments as to why AOC (or ACO) should run are somewhat amusing:

Quote:
One good sign that AOC should run for president is that she has a nickname — AOC.

A House Democratic staffer told me the other day that “ACO” was a good example of something, and I knew exactly who she meant despite the error because there aren’t any other members of Congress who have widely recognized nicknames that you would just drop into casual conversation.
I suspect that AOC has that nickname because her full name is 11 syllables long.

But as silly an argument for changing the constitution as Yglesias makes, it strikes me that revisiting the qualifications for the Presidency might not be a bad idea. Is there a good reason not to allow under 35s to be President? Is it important that immigrants be forever barred from the highest office in the land?

My thoughts? I think the age requirement of 35 is reasonable but somewhat arbitrary. And in general I'd been in favor of allowing immigrants who had become citizens to run for President, possibly with some minimum residency requirement.
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Old 12th December 2018, 02:08 PM   #2
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The reason to set a rule ahead of time is to protect yourself from your worse nature.

Trump has managed to blow the bar to hell. What are we afraid of electing someone under 35? We might get someone worse than Trump?
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Old 12th December 2018, 02:21 PM   #3
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We already allowed a Kenyan to be President, so there is no point in standing on that rule any longer
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Old 12th December 2018, 02:22 PM   #4
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Changing the rules to benefit a specific individual is never a good idea.
But generally, if you have the active right to vote, you should also have the passive one.
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Old 12th December 2018, 02:27 PM   #5
sir drinks-a-lot
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Originally Posted by Brainster View Post
My thoughts? I think the age requirement of 35 is reasonable but somewhat arbitrary. And in general I'd been in favor of allowing immigrants who had become citizens to run for President, possibly with some minimum residency requirement.
I agree with all of this.

I think the other interesting battleground is over who should be allowed to vote as far as age and immigration status, with what we know about voting demographics.
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Old 12th December 2018, 02:31 PM   #6
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Regardless of allowing foreigners to run, the definition of a citizen born abroad needs to be brought up to date removing the sexist clause that makes children of US citizen mothers different from children of US citizen fathers.

The nonsense about being born on US soil must definitely be changed. One can leave in or take out naturalized citizens being eligible, I have no opinion one way or the other.
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Old 12th December 2018, 02:32 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Brainster View Post
Here's an exceptionally silly article from Matt Yglesias, pushing the concept so that Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez can run in 2020. His arguments as to why AOC (or ACO) should run are somewhat amusing:

I suspect that AOC has that nickname because her full name is 11 syllables long.

But as silly an argument for changing the constitution as Yglesias makes, it strikes me that revisiting the qualifications for the Presidency might not be a bad idea. Is there a good reason not to allow under 35s to be President? Is it important that immigrants be forever barred from the highest office in the land?

My thoughts? I think the age requirement of 35 is reasonable but somewhat arbitrary. And in general I'd been in favor of allowing immigrants who had become citizens to run for President, possibly with some minimum residency requirement.
I'm in favor of keeping it as it is. Yes 35 is a somewhat arbitrary figure, but I think maturity and wisdom comes with age. But of course Trump destroys my argument.

Never mind.
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Old 12th December 2018, 02:47 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by acbytesla View Post
I'm in favor of keeping it as it is. Yes 35 is a somewhat arbitrary figure, but I think maturity and wisdom comes with age, if it comes at all. But of course Trump destroys my argument.

Never mind.
That may help a little.

On the subject, since we make removing a president prior to the end of their term a lengthy and somewhat difficult process I have no problem leaving some hoops to jump through to become president. For example, allow immigrants but require that they've been citizens for some number of years, like 20 or 30. I have no problem with the minimum age of 35. It is a touch arbitrary, but it at least may give a little maturity and perhaps gravitas to the individual**.

**I was an idiot in my 20s. And 30s. And still now in my 60s. So it doesn't always work.
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Old 12th December 2018, 02:49 PM   #9
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Now that I'm 70, I have my doubts about allowing under-35's to even vote. Then again, they mostly fit my political beliefs better than my own generation.
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Old 12th December 2018, 03:17 PM   #10
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The requirements are just stupidly paternalistic. If your people are going to elect an eighteen year-old clown, then you're already ******.

It's like members here wanting to create rules to prevent another Trump from obtaining office. That only treats the symptoms. That said, hell yes I'd take Bieber over Trump.
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Old 12th December 2018, 03:37 PM   #11
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I'm in favor of leaving it as it is. Yes, 35 is an arbitrary number but any age requirement would be an arbitrary number. Is it likely we'd vote in a 25 yr. old? No. But it wasn't likely we'd vote in a narcissistic, pathological lying, corrupt criminal either.

As for naturalized citizens being able to be president, I'm against it. On an individual basis, sure...a naturalized citizen may make a far better president than a natural born citizen. Schwarzenegger vs Trump, for example. However, I still think someone having a conscious or subconscious favoritism toward their original homeland or even traditional enemy (think Serbia/Croatia) is more likely than someone who was born in this country would have toward, perhaps, their parents' homeland. I can see others' arguments for allowing it, but I think it is wiser to err on the side of keeping it.
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Old 12th December 2018, 03:41 PM   #12
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I don't see a reason to change it. Having the head of state be a native-born one of wherever-it-is seems eminently reasonable to me; in history I don't think it was healthy when the king of X was actually from Y, etc. I don't care about ethnicity, just personal history: if the individual was born in the US, they're American enough.

As for the age, I wouldn't object if it were lowered to 30. Below that seems too young--people change more between 25 and 30 than they do between 30 and 35.

If we can't find a suitable native-born candidate over the age of 35 then we've got much bigger problems than can be solved by widening the job requirements.
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Old 12th December 2018, 03:46 PM   #13
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No on the first, yes on the second.
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Old 12th December 2018, 03:48 PM   #14
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The real question is why would anyone want Ocasio-Cortez to be president? I can't believe people actually voted for this idiot at all. I've never heard anything intelligent come out of her mouth. The fact that someone with her views got elected is concerning to me.
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Old 12th December 2018, 03:51 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by mgidm86 View Post
The real question is why would anyone want Ocasio-Cortez Trump to be president? I can't believe people actually voted for this idiot at all. I've never heard anything intelligent come out of her his mouth. The fact that someone with her views his brain got elected is concerning to me.
FTFY
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Old 12th December 2018, 03:55 PM   #16
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In my opinion, any adult citizen should be eligible.
I'm not convinced the limits are immoral, but if it was completely my choice, I would allow any adult citizen to be eligible.
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Old 12th December 2018, 04:15 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by beren View Post
In my opinion, any adult citizen should be eligible.
I'm not convinced the limits are immoral, but if it was completely my choice, I would allow any adult citizen to be eligible.
No restrictions? Hell, we don't even allow all adult citizens to drive.
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Old 12th December 2018, 04:16 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by Stacyhs View Post
I'm in favor of leaving it as it is. Yes, 35 is an arbitrary number but any age requirement would be an arbitrary number.
So don't have an arbitrary age requirement at all.

Quote:
As for naturalized citizens being able to be president, I'm against it. On an individual basis, sure...a naturalized citizen may make a far better president than a natural born citizen. Schwarzenegger vs Trump, for example. However, I still think someone having a conscious or subconscious favoritism toward their original homeland or even traditional enemy (think Serbia/Croatia) is more likely than someone who was born in this country would have toward, perhaps, their parents' homeland. I can see others' arguments for allowing it, but I think it is wiser to err on the side of keeping it.
If the constitution included an anti-papist clause, would you consider this argument valid against Catholic candidates? After all, they might owe more allegiance to the Vatican than the US.

These requirements get defended because they're in our sacred founding document. Without it, they might just look like xenophobic nonsense that makes second class citizens out of 20 million Americans.
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Old 12th December 2018, 04:17 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by mgidm86 View Post
The real question is why would anyone want Ocasio-Cortez to be president? I can't believe people actually voted for this idiot at all. I've never heard anything intelligent come out of her mouth. The fact that someone with her views got elected is concerning to me.
I'd definitely vote for her Congress. She seems like a genius compared to Trump or George W or most of the GOP.
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Old 12th December 2018, 04:18 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by Stacyhs View Post
No restrictions? Hell, we don't even allow all adult citizens to drive.
You also don't need to engage in a bruising two-year campaign to get a driver's license.

The most important requirement, of course, is the soft requirement of electability.
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Old 12th December 2018, 04:28 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by mumblethrax View Post
So don't have an arbitrary age requirement at all.
Setting any age requirement would be arbitrary. 18? Arbitrary. 21? Arbitrary. 29? Arbitrary. Or are you suggesting there be no age requirement?

Quote:
If the constitution included an anti-papist clause, would you consider this argument valid against Catholic candidates? After all, they might owe more allegiance to the Vatican than the US.
That is a hypothetical case that could not exist in the Constitution because it violates the First Amendment. Our Founding Fathers had a reason to include the natural born citizen requirement and it's one I agree with. If the American people voted to amend it and allow naturalized citizens to run for the presidency, then so be it. Personally, I see no reason to do so.

Quote:
These requirements get defended because they're in our sacred founding document. Without it, they might just look like xenophobic nonsense that makes second class citizens out of 20 million Americans.
I hope you're not accusing me of being a xenophobe considering you don't even know me. Your assumption of why those not in favor of changing it is your personal opinion, certainly not a fact.
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Old 12th December 2018, 04:31 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by mumblethrax View Post
You also don't need to engage in a bruising two-year campaign to get a driver's license.
I don't see the relevance of this.

Quote:
The most important requirement, of course, is the soft requirement of electability.
I don't disagree.
What restrictions, if any, would you require?
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Old 12th December 2018, 04:38 PM   #23
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I have few to no qualms about the age requirement, and I would be in favor of a change allowing naturalized citizens to run for the office after 35 years of citizenship and at least 14 years of residence.

Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post
Regardless of allowing foreigners to run, the definition of a citizen born abroad needs to be brought up to date removing the sexist clause that makes children of US citizen mothers different from children of US citizen fathers.
To which clause do you refer, specifically?
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Old 12th December 2018, 04:43 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by Stacyhs View Post
Setting any age requirement would be arbitrary.
You're begging the question: there's no reason to set an age requirement at all.

Quote:
That is a hypothetical case that could not exist in the Constitution because it violates the First Amendment.
It could exist just fine in our constitution because the first amendment doesn't have primacy. For example, wildly malapportioned upper houses in state legislatures are unconstitutional under the 14th amendment, but that has no bearing on the constitutionality of the Senate.

Quote:
Our Founding Fathers had a reason to include the natural born citizen requirement and it's one I agree with.
You understand that this glorified pack of dead lawyers had a lot of very bad reasons for doing some of the things they did? These are the same people who excluded non-white people from eligibility for citizenship altogether. They weren't exactly enlightened by modern standards.

Quote:
If the American people voted to amend it and allow naturalized citizens to run for the presidency, then so be it. Personally, I see no reason to do so.
If you'll defer to the American people in constitutional matters (despite the fact that the people have no formal voice in constitutional matters), it's unclear why you won't do the same for presidential elections.

Quote:
I hope you're not accusing me of being a xenophobe considering you don't even know me. Your assumption of why those not in favor of changing it is your personal opinion, certainly not a fact.
No, I'm characterizing the requirement as xenophobic, and its justification in modern times as a mostly stupid defense of the status quo.
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Old 12th December 2018, 04:44 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by Brainster View Post
My thoughts? I think the age requirement of 35 is reasonable but somewhat arbitrary. And in general I'd been in favor of allowing immigrants who had become citizens to run for President, possibly with some minimum residency requirement.
I see no reason why a naturalized citizen shouldn't be allowed to become president.

35 is reasonable enough. I'd just add an age cap of 65 when starting first term. Might fall afoul of anti-age discrimination legislation though.
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Old 12th December 2018, 04:48 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by Stacyhs View Post
I don't see the relevance of this.
That the comparison (between applying for a driver's license and running for president) is a poor one, because one involves an election (which entails all sorts of de facto requirements) and the other does not.

Quote:
What restrictions, if any, would you require?
I see no reason to have any formal requirements at all, beyond the one where you have to get elected. I expect lots of informal requirements (vetting on the part of political parties, for example), but I see no good reason to constitutionalize any of them.
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Old 12th December 2018, 04:52 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by mumblethrax View Post
You're begging the question: there's no reason to set an age requirement at all.


It could exist just fine in our constitution because the first amendment doesn't have primacy. For example, wildly malapportioned upper houses in state legislatures are unconstitutional under the 14th amendment, but that has no bearing on the constitutionality of the Senate.


You understand that this glorified pack of dead lawyers had a lot of very bad reasons for doing some of the things they did? These are the same people who excluded non-white people from eligibility for citizenship altogether. They weren't exactly enlightened by modern standards.


If you'll defer to the American people in constitutional matters (despite the fact that the people have no formal voice in constitutional matters), it's unclear why you won't do the same for presidential elections.


No, I'm characterizing the requirement as xenophobic, and its justification in modern times as a mostly stupid defense of the status quo.
Thank you for your opinion which is no more, or less, valid than mine.
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Old 12th December 2018, 05:17 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by Stacyhs View Post
Thank you for your opinion which is no more, or less, valid than mine.
I wish people would lead with stuff like this. It would be a real time saver.
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Old 12th December 2018, 06:45 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by Stacyhs View Post
That is a hypothetical case that could not exist in the Constitution because it violates the First Amendment. Our Founding Fathers had a reason to include the natural born citizen requirement and it's one I agree with. If the American people voted to amend it and allow naturalized citizens to run for the presidency, then so be it. Personally, I see no reason to do so.
Interestingly, the Founding Dads didn't specify that the president had to be male. Probably self-evident at the time. As a more likely hypothetical, where would you stand on a "male only" clause?

Right now, we don't even seem to have a clear-cut uncontested definition of "natural born". So far, there hasn't been a case to bring it to the courts, but it seems inevitable that there will be.
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Old 12th December 2018, 06:49 PM   #30
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What is the good reason to have the citizen requirement?
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Old 12th December 2018, 07:03 PM   #31
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Originally Posted by sylvan8798 View Post
Interestingly, the Founding Dads didn't specify that the president had to be male. Probably self-evident at the time. As a more likely hypothetical, where would you stand on a "male only" clause?

Right now, we don't even seem to have a clear-cut uncontested definition of "natural born". So far, there hasn't been a case to bring it to the courts, but it seems inevitable that there will be.
Are you seriously asking me where I'd stand on a 'male only' clause? It's as relevant as asking where I stand on a 'white only' clause or a 'human only' clause. They are not comparable to an age requirement. Sorry, but I don't feel the need to defend my opinion on this any more than I need to defend my opinion that liver is disgusting. I haven't asked you to defend yours. After all, they are opinions and not equivalent to opinions based on erroneous facts.
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Old 12th December 2018, 07:08 PM   #32
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Originally Posted by BobTheCoward View Post
What is the good reason to have the citizen requirement?
That the requirement is challenged by a pointless, thoughtless, and useless philosophy seems like a good enough reason to me.
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Old 12th December 2018, 07:28 PM   #33
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Yes, but then you'd need an English fluency requirement.

And no accents.

Maybe we could give potential candidates accent reduction therapy if necessary. Imagine the country being led by a naturalized immigrant with an accent.
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Old 12th December 2018, 09:19 PM   #34
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Originally Posted by Stacyhs View Post
I'm in favor of leaving it as it is. Yes, 35 is an arbitrary number but any age requirement would be an arbitrary number. Is it likely we'd vote in a 25 yr. old? No. But it wasn't likely we'd vote in a narcissistic, pathological lying, corrupt criminal either.

As for naturalized citizens being able to be president, I'm against it. On an individual basis, sure...a naturalized citizen may make a far better president than a natural born citizen. Schwarzenegger vs Trump, for example. However, I still think someone having a conscious or subconscious favoritism toward their original homeland or even traditional enemy (think Serbia/Croatia) is more likely than someone who was born in this country would have toward, perhaps, their parents' homeland. I can see others' arguments for allowing it, but I think it is wiser to err on the side of keeping it.
But there is a(sad but real) argument that trump was voted in by slime wanting to destroy America by putting an uncontrollable POS clown in the office and hoping the corrupt handlers of the POS will corrupt all they can and steal as much as they can.
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Old 12th December 2018, 09:20 PM   #35
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Originally Posted by Stacyhs View Post
FTFY
Either seems to work!!!
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Old 12th December 2018, 09:39 PM   #36
Skeptic Ginger
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Originally Posted by Grizzly Adams View Post
... To which clause do you refer, specifically?
Because you don't believe me, do you?

Wiki: Children born overseas to unmarried parents
Quote:
There is an asymmetry in the way citizenship status of children born overseas to unmarried parents, only one of whom is a U.S. citizen, is handled.

Title 8 U.S.C. § 1409 paragraph (c) provides that children born abroad after December 24, 1952 to unmarried American mothers are U.S. citizens, as long as the mother has lived in the U.S. for a continuous period of at least one year at any time prior to the birth.

8 U.S.C. § 1409 paragraph (a) provides that children born to American fathers unmarried to the children's non-American mothers are considered U.S. citizens only if the father meets the "physical presence" conditions described above, and the father takes several actions:

Unless deceased, has agreed to provide financial support while the child is under the age of 18 years
Establish paternity by clear and convincing evidence and, while the person is under the age of 18 years
the person is legitimated under the law of the person's residence or domicile,
the father acknowledges paternity of the person in writing under oath, or
the paternity of the person is established by adjudication of a competent court.
8 U.S.C. § 1409 paragraph (a) provides that acknowledgment of paternity can be shown by acknowledging paternity under oath and in writing; having the issue adjudicated by a court; or having the child otherwise "legitimated" by law.
Because of this rule, unusual cases have arisen whereby children have been fathered by American men overseas from non-American women, brought back to the United States as babies without the mother, raised by the American father in the United States, and later held to be deportable as non-citizens in their 20s.[23][24] The final element has taken an especially significant importance in these circumstances, as once the child has reached 18, the father is forever unable to establish paternity to deem his child a citizen.[25]

This distinction between unwed American fathers and American mothers was constructed and reaffirmed by Congress out of concern that a flood of illegitimate Korean and Vietnamese children would later claim American citizenship as a result of their parentage by American servicemen overseas fighting wars in their countries.[26] In many cases, American servicemen passing through in wartime may not have even learned they had fathered a child.[26] In 2001, the Supreme Court, by 5–4 majority in Nguyen v. INS, first established the constitutionality of this gender distinction.[23][24]
American fathers need to establish paternity, that makes some sense though that law should be updated given paternity is now established with a genetic test. Certain politicians don't want to recognize as citizens children born to foreign women fathered by American men. That should be changed but it won't be in this climate. But just like with unwed American mothers, the unwed foreign mother in these cases has few rights compared to the unwed fathers.

But there is no maternity doubt for an unwed mother. Why does she have to have lived in the US for a year? A woman who is a legitimate citizen but has children born out of wedlock in another country is a second class citizen.

In both cases, unwed mothers have fewer rights for their children not born in the US regardless if one parent is a US citizen.
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Last edited by Skeptic Ginger; 12th December 2018 at 09:46 PM.
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Old 12th December 2018, 09:41 PM   #37
The Great Zaganza
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The problem with so many politicians is that they have no skin in game when it comes to the well being of the country.
We should therefore only allow wealthy landowners to occupy positions of power.
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Old 13th December 2018, 12:34 AM   #38
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Originally Posted by lobosrul5 View Post
35 is reasonable enough. I'd just add an age cap of 65 when starting first term. Might fall afoul of anti-age discrimination legislation though.
That's begging the question: Why is 35+ not age discrimination?
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Old 13th December 2018, 01:04 AM   #39
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I love how AOC triggers the little snowflakes on the USAian right. An independent young brown skinned woman actually out to drain the swamp.

Just look at them clutching their pearls. I love it so much.
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Old 13th December 2018, 02:06 AM   #40
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As a non-American I say yes! It is my dream to be your ruler. Make it so!
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