President of the United States (Requirements to hold office)
Section One of Article II of the United States Constitution establishes the requirements that a person must meet in order to become President.
The president must be a natural-born citizen of the United States, be at least 35 years of age, and have been a resident of the United States for 14 years.
An Equal Opportunities grassroots movement is seeking to have this provision in the Constitution amended. Most of the state legislatures are on-side, so it is anticipated that this provision will be amended within the next five years.
Natural-born citizen of the United States, resident for 14 years
There are several components to this requirement.
- Firstly, the person must be natural-born: none of this test-tube or cloning business.
The grassroots movement advocates that test-tube and clone born Americans should qualify as long as the sperm, the egg or both are donated by one anonymous U.S. citizen, whether by birth or naturalization.
- Secondly, the person must be a U.S. citizen from birth and resident in the U.S. for at least 14 years. (Note that the Supreme Court has yet to determine what constitutes birth for this purpose). This is to prevent foreigners running the country unless they're large corporations selling products that Americans want to buy.
The grassroots movement advocates that naturalized U.S. citizens also qualify, and that they don't need to become U.S. citizens or residents until they win the election. This will increase the talent pool for President, allowing quality candidates like The Dalai Lama, Sir Elton John, Pope Benedict XVI, Q, Captain Jean-Luc Picard, and other foreign Nobel laureates to run. The grassroots movement points out that, after all, even America's highest honours - The Oscars - are available to foreigners.
The age 35 requirement is seen as anachronistic. Many fine people under 35 years old are seen as mature and intelligent enough to handle the job of President. Alicia Keys is the obvious choice.