Here is the eligibility clause, exactly as the Founders wrote it, and as we should always reproduce it in our writings:No Person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President; neither shall any person be eligible to that Office who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty five Years, and been fourteen Years a Resident within the United States.A great many people believe, rightfully so, that all U.S. citizens have equal rights and responsibilities. Unfortunately, they also believe that all citizens therefore have the right to serve as President. This thinking is incorrect, and the Founders demonstrate this clearly in the above quotation.
Note first how they assigned importance to the term by capitalizing the word “Citizen,” giving it special significance. Note also that the Founders placed two adjectives before the first Citizen, but not in front of the second Citizen. This is a distinction with a profound difference! Words have meaning. Those two simple adjectives tell us the Founders wanted a special kind of Citizen to serve as President of the United States.
Tuesday, January 12, 2016
Capitalization, The Constitution, And The Meaning Of Natural Born Citizenship"