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Opinion
Elmer Savilla: A Native veteran questions McCain


Ed. Note: Elmer M. Savilla is the former chairman of the Quechan Nation.

"At the outset, I am not an attorney and do not pretend to be one. I am a patriotic Native American, and WW II veteran. I was taught to read and write English at a very early age. I do read a lot of law related documents, one of them being our own U.S. Constitution. It appears to me that the Constitution is being ignored in many ways by our politicians. This year’s presidential election is important to all of us. There is an issue of eligibility of candidates that should be addressed and cleared up before any voting takes place.

From the time of his birth in 1936, John McCain has been wrapped in controversy. He was born on Aug. 29, 1936 in a military hospital in the Panama Canal Zone. The controversy is that the U.S. Constitution, at Article II, Section 1, reads in part, "No Person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States at the time of adoption of this Constitution … ; shall be eligible to the Office of President … ." (The emphasis is the writer’s) There is no exception made for persons born on a military base in a foreign country, even if one’s father is an admiral, or other official.

The fact that he was not "born within the continental United States" as required by the U.S. Constitution for anyone wanting to run for the presidency, did not stop him from announcing his candidacy in 2004, and again in 2008. In this sad period in history when our Congress and president is content to ignore constitutional requirements, this gave John McCain reason to claim he was not excluded from being president just because he was born in Panama. Article II, Section 1, of our Constitution is very clear about this issue. Granted, John McCain served honorably in the military and has been a government official for 26 years. He is to be commended for that, but that is not sufficient to make him eligible for the presidency.

So John McCain is not a natural born citizen. This bars him from the presidency. If the Constitution truly contains our country’s guiding principles, shouldn’t this apparent miscarriage of principle be settled before any precedent is made? This is, of course, a very important issue."

Get the Story:
Elmer M. Savilla: Constitution Ignored? (The Burke Connection 9/29)

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