Cenk Uygur, born in Turkey, kept off Nevada Democratic primary ballot after altering candidate form

The story at the Nevada Independent is here. Nevada, like some states, has a form that requires presidential candidates to attest under penalty of perjury they are eligible to serve as president. The form specifically asks candidates to attest that “I am a qualified elector [sic] pursuant to Section 1, Clause 5 of Article 2 of the Constitution of the United States; that I am a natural born Citizen; that I have attained the age of thirty five years; that I have been a resident within the United States for fourteen years.” (I don’t know why one must attest to being a “qualified elector” under that clause of the constitution.) Uygur crossed off the clause of the constitution, and crossed out “natural born” and wrote in “naturalized.”

One could say that Uygur has been blocked from the ballot because he is not qualified to serve, but that’s not exactly accurate. Like the many challenges Abdul Hassan (born in Guyana) brought in 2012, he’s blocked from the ballot for failing to fill out the paperwork correctly, as much as if he’d refused to sign it or refused to submit in a timely fashion. Yes, that failure to fill out the paperwork is because he could not attest under penalty of perjury that he met the constitutional qualifications, which, in turn, relates to the state’s power to adjudicate qualifications in the first place. But it is not an act of the Secretary of State exercising discretion to determine whether he is qualified–it is, at this stage, quite simply a paperwork issue.

Uygur has claimed that the Fifth Amendment supersedes the Natural Born Citizen requirement, an argument occasionally made elsewhere, but a related Fourteenth Amendment went nowhere with Hassan, and, if this matter is litigated, I assume will likewise go nowhere.

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