Second Circuit Dismisses Challenge to Natural Born Citizen Clause

In this funny little case decided a couple of days ago, the Second Circuit dismissed for lack of standing a man’s claim that the Natural Born Citizen Clause of Article II is trumped by the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments and therefore is no longer applicable to people who would like to be President.  The court refused to hear his claim because it thought that the plaintiff, who is not a natural born citizen, had failed to allege concrete and particularized facts showing that he was actually harmed by the Natural Born Citizen Clause.  The guy had registered a domain name suggesting he might run for President, but he had done nothing more.  As the court explained:

Hassan’s bare assertion that he “intends to seek the Presidency of the United States in the year 2012, and thereafter if necessary,” is, by itself, insufficient to establish the sort of “actual or imminent, not conjectural or hypothetical” injury required to establish standing. As a preliminary matter, Hassan alleges virtually nothing in support of this ostensible intention to run for office and thus the likelihood that he might ever actually be impacted by the constitutional provision in question. Indeed, aside from registering a domain name—itself an act that takes just moments to complete—the complaint alleges no specific steps toward, or concrete plans in furtherance of, a run for the presidency. That he might mount a run for the presidency which might result in some form of future injury is simply insufficient to satisfy the injury-in-fact-requirement.

“Standing” is a really sucky doctrine.


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