Is Obama Too Young to Be President?

Steven Calebresi has a pretty persuasive argument that if you interpret the Constitution dynamically, Obama is Too young for the No. 1 job.

Good thing Calabresi doesn't have standing to raise it in court!

This rising age thing is actually an old Yale Law chestnut they drag out every year for the first year Con Law class, but it's still fun to think about. In fact, most serious exponents of dynamic interpretation don't apply it to rules written as bright lines, which is expedient in many ways (not least making drafting easier if you mean to have a bright line) although in principle it's not obvious why that bright line necessarily exists.

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7 Responses to Is Obama Too Young to Be President?

  1. Margaret Jane Radin says:

    You can’t be serious that this is “persuasive.” We should not assume a connection between the prevailing life expectancy at any given time and the amount of time from birth it takes for someone to achieve wisdom, judgment, responsibility. It is equally possible that the framers thought 35 is a very wise age regardless of how long the person can expect to live. And the rest of this article is just snide, one-sided, propaganda. More of the sort of thing he characterizes as “youthful” “mistakes” were committed by the dementia-afflicted Reagan, etc., etc.
    Peggy

  2. michael says:

    No, I am not serious. I was trying to be tongue-in-cheek.

    And now I’m worried that people think I’m nuts. Or too old or something….

  3. Margaret Jane Radin says:

    Oh, well, talk about too old!
    Peggy

  4. Lou says:

    Considering that John McCain was 54 at the time of the Keating Five Scandal, I think there could be some holes in Professor Calabresi’s theory.

    Oddly, I’ve noticed that these kinds of problems occur with such tendentious arguments.

  5. person from Porlock says:

    Are there any reasons to think that Obama is naive, inexperienced, arrogant or lacks knowledge of foreign policy?

    One rather suspects that Obama, unlike Calabresi’s preferred candidate, knows that “Czechoslovakia” and “the Iraq-Pakistan border” do not exist.

  6. Miami grad says:

    That’s funny. There’s also an article written by Professor Chin that’s floating around SSRN that argues that McCain isn’t a natural-born citizen and is thus ineligible for the presidency.

    Interesting election year.

  7. Casey says:

    Well what I find interest is so many people are hung up on this age thing did you know that many of the people who were present in drafting out constitution were under 35 at the time of its ratification the average age of the men at that convention was I believe 37 and you always had old farts like Ben Franklin there who was I believe into his 80s which really offsets the average. Over half of those men wouldn’t have even been able to run for president under their own Constitution at the time it was ratified yet we as a nation entrusted them, these men we now look upon like demi-gods, to construction a strong constitution that would bring us together and it did just that and we are entrusting even less responsibility on Obama we aren’t saying that he needs to make a new nation we are just saying we entrust him to lead and to pass all laws so my opinion is to anyone who accuses Obama of being too old take a look at the makers of this great nation and then tell me he is too young.

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