The 'Irish Born' One American Citizenship Amendment

20 Pages Posted: 17 May 2018

See all articles by Kevin C. Walsh

Kevin C. Walsh

Columbus School of Law, The Catholic University of America

Date Written: April 18, 2018



"That article two, section one, clause five, be amended so as to read:

'No person except a Citizen of the United States shall be eligible to the Office of President; neither shall any person be eligible to that Office who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty five Years, and been fourteen Years a resident within the United States.'"

This essay outlines the case for an obvious and overdue amendment to the Constitution of the United States: repeal of the birth-based requirement that excludes naturalized American citizens from presidential eligibility. This amendment's adoption would mark the first successful amendment in the form that Madison and many others originally desired rather than the tack-on kind we've used up until now. Advocating for this amendment offers an opportunity to exercise self-government muscles that have atrophied from civic sloth. Now more than ever, we should work to bring our fundamental law into line with our more fundamental constitutional commitments. There are not two classes of American citizenship, just one. It is time to repeal the Natural Born Citizen Clause.

Keywords: Natural Born Citizen Clause, Constitutional Amendment, Irish, One Citizenship, Self-Government

Suggested Citation

Walsh, Kevin C., The 'Irish Born' One American Citizenship Amendment (April 18, 2018). Duke Journal of Constitutional Law & Public Policy, Forthcoming, Available at SSRN: or

Kevin C. Walsh (Contact Author)

Columbus School of Law, The Catholic University of America ( email )

3600 John McCormack Road, NE
Washington, DC 20064
United States

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