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FEC To Allow Foreign-Born Citizen to Run for President

The six commissioners of the Federal Election Commission are being tasked with a Constitutional question: Can a foreign-born citizen run for President of the United States?

The Constitution strictly forbids anyone but a “natural-born citizen” from becoming president, but it does not restrict candidacy. Now, the FEC won’t either.

Guyana-born New York attorney Abdul Hassan would like to file papers, take campaign contributions, and collect federal matching funds for his candidacy. Two draft advisory opinions from the FEC may let him do just that – even though he can never be sworn into that office.

Hassan had posed four questions to the commission.

1) As a naturalized American citizen, will Mr. Hassan be considered a “candidate ” or “person ” running for President under the Act?

2) As a naturalized American citizen, is Mr. Hassan eligible to receive presidential matching funds under the Presidential Primary Matching Payment Account Act?

3) As a naturalized American citizen, will Mr. Hassan violate 2 U.S.C. 44Ih(b) if he solicits and receives contributions for his presidential campaign?

4) Is Mr. Hassan required to comply with the Act’s provisions regarding expenditures, contributions, record keeping, and reporting?

The opinions state that he can be a candidate, can collect campaign contributions and would be required to disclose his campaign finances to the commission. The difference between the two opinions is the question of whether or not he may receive federal matching funds for his campaign. Draft A forbids him from collecting the matching money and Draft B sidesteps the question as “hypothetical”.

Why Hassan is pressing this issue, with full knowledge that he will not win the election and even if he did, could not be president is not immediately clear. It could be the slippery-slope approach that liberals take when attempting to erode the power of the Constitution. Before long, the FEC may be questioning the definition of “natural-born” or “citizen”. It would only take a single challenge to his candidacy to open a legal case that would ultimately end up in the Supreme Court.

The Constitution does not define “natural-born citizen”. That term is defined in section 8 of the United States Code of  Laws. This challenge could open up the question of whether the U.S. code is an accurate or Constitutionally-acceptable definition. Semantics are the tool of the left and they may be at work to change the application of a fundamental clause in the U.S. Constitution.

This is not the first attempt to circumvent the natural-born citizen requirement to be president. More than 20 amendments to the Constitution have been proposed to change the requirement. Perhaps the most famous being one that was intended to allow Henry Kissinger to serve as President.

The FEC could vote on the opinions as early as Thursday and for either opinion to be accepted, four of the six commissioners must agree.

Public comments must be submitted by Noon on Wednesday August 31st, 2011. Those wishing to comment on the Draft A or Draft B of the Draft Advisory Opinion 2011-15 should follow these directions:

  1. Comments must be in writing, and they must be both legible and complete.
  2. Comments must be submitted to the Office of the Commission Secretary by hand delivery or fax (202) 208-3333, with a duplicate copy submitted to the Office of General Counsel by hand delivery or fax (202) 219-3923.
  3. Comments must be received by noon (Eastem Time) on August 31,2011.
  4. The Commission will generally not accept comments received after the deadline. Requests to extend the comment period are discouraged and unwelcome. An extension request will be considered only if received before the comment deadline and then only on a case-by-case basis in special circumstances.
  5. All timely received comments will be made available to the public at the Commission’s Public Records Office and will be posted on the Commission’s website at https://saos.mctusa.com/saos/searchao

If you would like to deliver your comments by hand, one copy each should be delivered to:
Office of the Commission Secretary
Federal Election Commission
999 E Street, NW
Washington, DC 20463

-AND-

Office of General Counsel
ATTN: Rosemary C. Smith, Esq.
Federal Election Commission
999 E Street, NW
Washington, DC 20463

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Rich Mitchell

Rich Mitchell is the editor-in-chief of Conservative Daily News and the president of Bald Eagle Media, LLC. His posts may contain opinions that are his own and are not necessarily shared by Bald Eagle Media, CDN, staff or .. much of anyone else. Find him on twitter, facebook and

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One Comment

  1. I am working on my comments as I type this! Unfortunately, I cannot use the language that immediately popped out of my mouth when I read this…. so it will take me some time to compose myself and write an appropriate letter to send to the FEC.

  2. Just another “unintended consequence” of our legal system – one that has no clear-cut interpretation. As Rich says, “Semantics are the tool of the left and they may be at work to change the application of a fundamental clause in the U.S. Constitution.” One more reason to ALWAYS vote conservative.

  3. Just more ass-kissing and giving away taxpayer dollars for the enemy within. Aiding and abetting these enemies should be followed by a quick public hanging. The law-bending and stretching would stop pretty damn fast, I would think. Hammer their asses, polite little suck=butts. Hanging would be too fast for my taste-they should suffer greatly for their crimes against the USA. But it would be effective.

  4. This is TREASON and all should be tried and if found guilty HANGED like the FOUNDERS would have done.

    1. This isn’t an FEC issue, regardless of how they interpret this. And despite what you might think, what the FEC isn’t doing is more important than what it hasn’t the power to do in the first place, and that is define “natural born citizen.” They just can’t make it up, or apply a definition of their own making. As such, this is a matter of Constitutional law, ultimately resting with lawmakers, and if required, SCOTUS.

      What you call “slippery slope” is actually a good thing. For it demonstrates that every citizen has the power to challenge our laws as we see fit, that our laws are not rigid or unquestionable. Thus giving credence to our constitution that has been amended 27 times.

      And another thing. My brother, born to U.S. military parents in post-war Japan, is a naturalized citizen, and we would disqualify him, and tens of thousands of others like him, from seeking the highest office afforded to every U.S. Citizen (except those not born on U.S. soil?) There was a time in history where we had good reason to fear a British subject from attempting such a feat. But those days are over guys. And if you think ole “Hasan” is a threat… what the heck will you do when U.S. born muslims seek the Presidency? Croak?

  5. This article states, “The Constitution does not define “natural-born citizen”. That term is defined in section 8 of the United States Code of Laws.”

    Does anyone have the exact citation for the definition of a natural born citizen in US Code? If so, would you leave a comment with that info.

    Thanks!

    1. Title 8, section 1401:

      • Anyone born inside the United States and subject to the jurisdiction of the United States, which exempts the child of a diplomat from this provision

      • Any Indian or Eskimo born in the United States, provided being a citizen of the U.S. does not impair the person’s status as a citizen of the tribe

      • Any one born outside the United States, both of whose parents are citizens of the U.S., as long as one parent has lived in the U.S.

      • Any one born outside the United States, if one parent is a citizen and lived in the U.S. for at least one year and the other parent is a U.S. national

      • Any one born in a U.S. possession, if one parent is a citizen and lived in the U.S. for at least one year

      • Any one found in the U.S. under the age of five, whose parentage cannot be determined, as long as proof of non-citizenship is not provided by age 21

      • Any one born outside the United States, if one parent is an alien and as long as the other parent is a citizen of the U.S. who lived in the U.S. for at least five years (with military and diplomatic service included in this time)

      1. To Rich Mitchell and all who read his comment: the definition cited in Title 8, Sec. 1401 does NOT define natural born citizen according to the US Code, but as the heading says, “Sec. 1401. Nationals and citizens of United States at birth. The following shall be nationals and citizens of the United States at birth:”

        I am uncertain why you chose to omit the heading which applies generally to defining citizenship; perhaps I was unable to find the term “natural born citizen” in Title 8; if it is there, and you can show us where, please accept my apology. The term “natural born citizen” appears NOWHERE in the US Code, but is plentifully ruled on in several Federal Court decisions, and they are all unanimous that a NATURAL born citizen (as opposed to a NATIVE born citizen or other type) is the child of TWO parents BOTH of whom were US citizens (by any definition) at the time of his birth in the US.

        Barry Hussein IS a native born citizen, the child of a US citizen and a national (foreigner), but not a natural born citizen. And this inanity of allowing the FEC to rule on Abdul Hassan’s (some Swedish Lutheran, I’m guessing) application is beyond reason.

        1. Countryman…

          Can you provide a court case source for this?

          “The term “natural born citizen” appears NOWHERE in the US Code, but is plentifully ruled on in several Federal Court decisions, and they are all unanimous that a NATURAL born citizen (as opposed to a NATIVE born citizen or other type) is the child of TWO parents BOTH of whom were US citizens (by any definition) at the time of his birth in the US.”

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