Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard was born a U.S. citizen and served two tours of duty in the Middle East as a member of the Army National Guard. She’s served in elective office — as a member of the Hawaii Legislature, Honolulu City Council and U.S. House of Representatives — for a combined 10 years.
So it might seem odd that her eligibility to run for president of the United States, something she’s giving serious thought to, would ever be called into question. But being born in American Samoa, where Gabbard lived until the age of 2, elicits unsettled constitutional questions about what it means to be a “natural-born citizen,” a requirement for the presidency, according to legal scholars.
And while a broad consensus holds that Gabbard is indeed eligible to run, that gray area within constitutional law could become a political issue for the Hawaii representative if she does seek the national political spotlight.