As Kamala Harris prepares to accept the vice presidential nomination at this week’s Democratic National Convention, there is a document on file in the Alameda County Recorder’s Office that contradicts any and all theories — legal, conspiracy or otherwise — that the California senator is ineligible for the office.
Here it is, a copy of her birth certificate, available to anyone from the public for a fee of $25, plus shipping since the county office is closed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Harris was born at Kaiser Hospital Oakland at 9:28 p.m. on Oct. 20, 1964, according to the document. At the time of her birth, Harris’ mother who was from India and father who was from Jamaica had completed doctoral degrees from UC Berkeley and were working as academics. It lists her mother’s residence on Regent Street in Berkeley, an apartment building today.
Under the U.S. Constitution, a person born on U.S. soil who is at least 35 and a resident for at least 14 years is eligible for the nation’s highest office.
“Is Oakland U.S. soil? Yes, it is. That’s the full legal analysis,” said Jessica Levinson, a professor at Loyola Law School. “This isn’t something I would even ask on a law school exam because there’s nothing to argue.”
The issue of Harris’ eligibility to serve as vice president arose last week among some conservatives and President Donald Trump shortly after Joe Biden named Harris as his running mate, making her the first Black and first Asian American candidate for the job.
Legal experts say her eligibility was never up for debate, but they reluctantly weighed in after conservative attorney John C. Eastman published an opinion piece in Newsweek sowing doubt because Harris’ parents were immigrants. He used a widely discredited legal argument that the U.S. Constitution doesn’t grant birthright citizenship.
Laurence H. Tribe, a professor of constitutional law at Harvard Law School, told the New York Times that Eastman’s claims were “total B.S.” and compared them to the “flat earth theory.”
“I hadn’t wanted to comment on this because it’s such an idiotic theory,” Tribe told the Times. “There is nothing to it.”
Added Levinson: “The political story is much more troubling — that you have the president peddling racist falsehoods.”
On Thursday, President Trump stirred up the theory, which some of his followers have spread online.
“I heard it today that she doesn’t meet the requirements,” Trump told reporters. “I have no idea if that’s right. I would have thought, I would have assumed, that the Democrats would have checked that out before she gets chosen to run for vice president.”
The obsession with Harris’ birth record didn’t stop there when reality court TV judge Joe Brown posted on social media incorrectly that Harris was listed as Caucasian on her birth certificate. There is no listing for the baby’s race. Her late mother, cancer researcher Shyamala Gopalan was listed as Caucasian, a common classification in the U.S. for people from India at the time.
There was one alteration found in Harris’ birth record that many parents can relate to. About two weeks after she was born, her parents filed an “affidavit to correct a record.” They changed Harris’ middle name from Iyer to Devi.
Source: Orange County Register