Can a person born in Puerto Rico run for presidency?

Puerto Rico is a US territory.


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Most Helpful Guy

  • No, they can't.
    Puerto Ricans also don't have the right to vote in an election such as the presidential election ALTHOUGH all national US laws also apply to Puerto Rico. This applies to a few other US territories, mostly in the South Pacific. If you think about it, it's absolutely appalling and crazy. This people are being governed by a government which they are not allowed to vote for. It's like Canada would be making your laws and you're not allowed to have a say in it. Remember how the Americans used to shout "no taxation without representation!" in the 18th century? Well, that's exactly what the US is doing right now to Puerto Rica. Funny how opinions change as you become more powerful.

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    • Yes, they do get food stamps by the USDA and no, apart from a few minor things, Obamacare does not apply to Puerto Rico. Puerto Rica has, however, its own public insurance.

    • Well, it's not appaling and crazy. If you want full benefits, then pay the price and become a state. That's how it works. Lots of Puerto Ricans want statehood but many don't. I remember Ford pushing for statehood in 75 or 76. When Puerto Rico applies for statehood and becomes a state, then they get the full benefits as anyone else who lives in a state.

What Guys Said 6

  • Run, yes. Serve, it's more problematic.

    John McCain was born in the Canal Zone (to US citizens) and could certainly have served as president. There is some overlap in these situations.

    A Supreme Court decision would likely deem a Puerto Rican-born person eligible to serve as US President. But it would be up to the court and is (as with so many things) largely a political question.

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  • I'm not sure. While US citizens, a person who comes from a territory might not be able to run; they might have to move to a state first. This is because of a Constitution requirement that Electors select inhabitants of states. (Read the 12th Amendment.) A Strict Constructionist like Scalia would interpret "state" literally; an activist judge might interpret as "state or territory" but Electors can't even come from territories, so I doubt an inhabitant of a territory can be President unless they move to a state.

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  • I am not sure. If, being born there, they are considered a full US citizen, then they should be able to. But because it is a territory, and not a state, I believe they have some autonomy, and so I don't know how their citizenship is considered.
    I'll have to look this up now. I'm curious.

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  • Justices Kennedy and Breyer seem to think they can.

    www.huffingtonpost.com/.../...ident_n_2875757.html

    Since Puerto Rico is a US territory, all persons born there are automatically US citizens, thus natural born US citizens. Some may cite the fact PR isn't a state, but no one would doubt someone who was born in the District of Columbia could be president., and it basically has the same status as a territory.

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    • And yet, they can't vote or be voted on. Watch the video I've posted. US territories such as Guam, the Virgin islands or Puerto Rico are being openly discriminated and nobody cares. This has been going on for the past 114 years. US laws do apply in Puerto Rico but Puerto Ricans don't have the right to vote on the government that makes these rules (or be part of it). Puerto Ricans are allowed to vote on a "representative" who gets to sit in the US congress but ridiculously, he doesn't get a vote either. He has the right to speak up and give his opinions but in the end, he doesn't actually have the right to be part of the decision-making.

    • @BlueCoyote I saw the episode when it first aired. Did you read the opinion of Justices Kennedy and Breyer I cited above? Voting rights are not the same as being a natural born US citizen, a point that Oliver alludes to beginning at around the 3:00 mark of the segment you posted. You seem to keep confusing these two distinct issues.

    • Well, he said Sotomayor was named a judge of the supreme court. I didn't think that would also be able for presidential elections.

  • No I did research, and sense it's only a teritory it doesn't count as being born in America

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  • I think you can also be born in another country so long as one of your parents is a US citizen. At least I think so. Correct me if I'm wrong.

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    • True. Just look at Ted Cruz.

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    • @VirginiaBeachBum
      Ted Cruz is Canadian and running for Pres. How is it possible , if Ted Cruz can run a person from puerto Rico should have all the benefits of a American.

    • #asker, Cruz is a natural born citizen based on the Nationality Act of 1940. But people such as Laurence Tribe, a professor of constitutional law at Harvard Law School, believes the matter is not settled and is uncertain if it would pass a SCOTUS case, something which has never before happened. Cases were brought before lower courts because of the whole Obama birther movement, but none reached the appellate court level due to matters of standing and evidentiary burdens. These are two very different cases, as Cruz admits he was born in a foreign country but is relying on US law, and not the Constitution, as proof of his eligibility. Many of the claims against Obama centered around either a claim of falsified evidence ("The birth certificate is fake"), or attempting to present falsified evidence of his birth. None of that is in dispute here.

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