The Senate tonight unanimously passed a bipartisan resolution expressing the sense of the Senate that John McCain, a U.S. Senator from Arizona currently serving his fourth term in the Senate, is eligible to run for President of the United States. McCain is the presumptive Republican nominee for the presidency.
McCain was born on a U.S. military base in the Panama Canal Zone in 1936 to American citizens. In February, The New York Times published a report calling into question the legality of McCain's presidential run based on whether he is a "natural born Citizen," as required by the Constitution. The issue was recently analyzed by former Solicitor General Theodore Olson and Harvard Law School Professor Laurence Tribe, both of whom concluded that McCain is a natural born citizen within the meaning of the Constitution.
The bipartisan resolution was introduced on April 10 by Sens. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.), Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), and Tom Coburn (R-Okla.). It is also supported by Democratic presidential candidates Sens. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) and Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.), and Sen. Jim Webb (D-Va.). The Senate Judiciary Committee, which Leahy chairs and of which Coburn is a member, unanimously reported the resolution on April 24, and the Senate swiftly passed the measure.
"This bipartisan resolution erases any doubt that Senator McCain is eligible to run for president," said Leahy. "The Senate was right to quickly pass this measure, and we can now put to rest any question of his eligibility."
"There's no question in my mind that Senator McCain is eligible to become president, and I'm proud that my colleagues in the Senate came together on this resolution to help quickly put this debate to rest," McCaskill said.
"John McCain was born while his father was fulfilling his patriotic duty to his country. Even though they were not standing on American soil, his father's uniform still proudly displayed the flag of this nation. John McCain and his family have a proven record of public service and sacrifice and I am proud to support this bipartisan resolution recognizing the fact that John McCain is a natural born citizen," said Coburn.
McCain has served in the U.S. Congress representing Arizona in both the House of Representatives and the Senate.