Why Clinton's Candidacy is Unconstitutional

Yosef Rabin,

לבן ריק
לבן ריק
צילום: ערוץ 7
Yosef Rabin
Yosef Rabin lives and works in Jerusalem and writes on a wide range of issues affecting Israel and the Jewish world. Yosef can be contacted at ymrabin@gmail.com...

I want to preface by saying that I am not against the idea of a woman being President of the US, but I am very much against Hillary Clinton, for more reasons than I can count. With that said, it seems to me that it currently it would be unconstitutional for a female to hold the Office of the Presidency of the United States of America.

When I say unconstitutional, I do not mean in violation of the spirit of the constitution, I mean against the technical reading of the constitution, which is just as important.

First, some background: Women were only granted the right to vote after the passing of the 19th Amendment in 1920. The amendment established that any citizen has the right to vote, but was this right also established for the highest office in the land?

ARTICLE II, SECTION 1, CLAUSE 5 states: No Person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, 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.

On the surface, it would appear that any citizen of the United States is eligible to be president. Right? Well, not so fast!

Clause 5 states clearly, "at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution" meaning that anyone who was not considered a citizen at the time of the signing of the constitution could not be president. This would include, blacks, women and even white men who were not landowners. In the early years, the status of married women was defined under the principle of “Coverture”, meaning that their status was “covered up” by the identity of the husband. 

In the 1760s, the famous English jurist William Blackstone defined "Coverture" as follows: “By marriage, the husband and wife are one person in the law: that is, the very being or legal existence of the woman is suspended during the marriage”. Women did not have any identity, because her “citizenship” was only by virtue of her husband's existence, the wife did not legally exist. Hillary Clinton’s married status, would have rendered her at the time of the constitution, as legally “non-existent”.

Furthermore, throughout the entire ARTICLE II the words He or His appears no less than 17 times. This affirms that in the intention of the Framers of the Constitution was that women should not be President. Although one could argue that the terms "He/His" is just a general reference to a human being and was once used interchangeably to refer to either a male or female, I would argue that this is not the case.

In response to the question of semantics, I would like to suggest the following. The Framers drew from biblical work or the so-called "Judeo-Christian Heritage", when drafting the constitution. In ancient Jewish legal texts the question is asked if female decedents from Aaron the High Priest may function in the Temple alongside males. The Talmud in Tractate Kedushin chapter 1, explains that when the Bible uses to term "sons of Aaron" in Leviticus 1:8, it comes to exclude women. Simply put, if all the children of Aaron were meant to serve in the Temple, the verse would have also mentioned “the daughters of Aaron. This is an early legal case that uses textual semantics to solve an important legal dispute.

The time has certainly come for an additional Amendment to article 2, which would explicitly permit women and others to run for president, but there is not enough time before the election to make that happen. So in the meantime, Hillary should either drop out or someone should take this to court.

Look forward to your thoughts.