Is John McCain an illegal alien?
The New York Times is reporting this morning that questions are being raised about whether John McCain is a "natural-born citizen" and thus eligible to hold the office of President of the United States.
McCain was born on a military base in the Panama Canal Zone, where his father, a Navy officer, was stationed. Because he was not born in one of the 50 states, there is some question whether he qualifies as "natural born" as it was defined in 1787.
From the article:
Mr. McCain’s citizenship was established by statutes covering the offspring of Americans abroad and laws specific to the Canal Zone as Congress realized that Americans would be living and working in the area for extended periods. But whether he qualifies as natural-born has been a topic of Internet buzz for months, with some declaring him ineligible while others assert that he meets all the basic constitutional qualifications — a natural-born citizen at least 35 years of age with 14 years of residence.
Most legal scholars seem to think this is a red herring, and I'm inclined to agree, but the campaign is taking it seriously enough that they've hired a former soliciter general to prepare a detailed legal analysis.