This is the presidential website of Abdul K. Hassan, Esq. I am an attorney by profession and a candidate for the Presidency of the United States in the 2012 general elections. I am running for and intend to be the Presidential candidate of the Democratic Party in 2012, and if necessary, in 2016. I initially announced my candidacy to the public on this website before commencing a lawsuit on March 5, 2008 in federal court to clear a major legal obstacle in my presidential run. As a naturalized American citizen, the natural born provision of the Constitution prevents me from becoming President. However, in my view, this prohibition has been trumped by the equal protection guarantee of the Fifth Amendment of the Constitution which prohibits the sort of national origin discrimination that is contained in the natural born provision. While the Fifth Amendment does not contain an equal protection clause like the Fourteenth Amendment, the Supreme Court has ruled that the equal protection guarantee under the Fifth Amendment is the same as under the Fourteenth Amendment. Under the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments race and national origin are the only two classifications that are subject to the highest level of judicial scrutiny (strict scrutiny) and almost every law (or probably every law) subject to strict scrutiny by the U.S. Supreme Court in the last sixty years has been declared invalid.
The government in my lawsuit explained that the natural born provision was adopted more than two hundred years ago (when the Constitution also allowed and protected slavery) because of a distrust of foreign-born persons. However, in invalidating a federal law under the Fifth Amendment which discriminated against naturalized citizens and in favor of natural born citizens, the Supreme Court in Schneider v. Rusk, 377 U.S. 163, 168 (1964), specifically and directly rejected this assumption and rationale as a factual matter when it stated in relevant part that:
This statute proceeds on the impermissible assumption that naturalized citizens as a class are less reliable and bear less allegiance to this country than do the native born. This is an assumption that is impossible for us to make.
It is also my view that the Citizenship Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, in essence, placed naturalized and natural born citizens on equal footing and in so doing, abrogated and trumped the discrimination against naturalized citizens that is contained in the natural born provision. In the seminal case of Afroyim v. Rusk, 387 U.S. 253, 260 (1967), the United States Supreme Court adopted without exception as to presidential eligibility, the rule that:
(The naturalized citizen) becomes a member of the society, possessing all the rights of a native citizen, and standing, in view of the constitution, on the footing of a native.
Moreover, in the recent case of McDonald v. City of Chicago, Ill., 130 S.Ct. 3020, 3059 -3060 (U.S., 2010), the U.S. Supreme Court discussed the issue of invidious discrimination in the Constitution - such as the citizenship discrimination in Dredd Scott and stated that:
[invidious discrimination is] irreconcilable with the principles of equality, government by consent, and inalienable rights proclaimed by the Declaration of Independence and embedded in our constitutional structure.
Simply put, the principles of government by consent, and government of and by the people, become meaningless if the more than ten million naturalized American citizens are categorically excluded from holding the Presidency because of their national origin over which they had no control.
My lawsuit in federal court represents the first time since Dred Scott v. Sandford, 60 U.S. 393 (1857), that a federal court is faced with invidious citizenship discrimination in the Constitution itself. The Supreme Court has described its citizenship ruling in Dredd Scott as a great “self-inflicted wound” and I believe that any decision to enforce the invidious citizenship discrimination in the natural born provision would be another great self-inflicted wound, especially in light of the equal protection guarantee of the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments and the Citizenship Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.
Any conflict between invidious discrimination and equality in the Constitution should be resolved in favor of equality – equality is the fundamental public policy of the United States and invidious discrimination is contrary to everything good we stand for as a nation. In Fitzpatrick v. Bitzer, 427 U.S. 445 (1976), and related cases for example, the U.S. Supreme Court has reaffirmed that on issues of discrimination, especially those subject to strict scrutiny such as national origin discriminaiton, a part of the Constitution that prohibits discrimination will trump or abrogate earlier parts of the constitution - In Fitzpatrick, the Court held that the Fourteenth Amendment which prohibits gender discrimination trumps and abrogates the Eleventh Amendment. Because national origin discrimination is subject to the highest level of judicial scrutiny (higher than gender discrimination), my arguments are a lot more compelling than the winning arguments in Fitzpatrick. My legal challenge to the invidious national origin discrimination in the natural born provision is currently working its way through the federal courts. Click Here to learn more about the legal case.
Despite the obstacles, I decided to become a 2012 presidential candidate because I believe I can offer solutions to our nation's problems and challenges such as the national debt, health care, education and foreign policy. My main focus, however, is the national debt and budget deficit because we cannot realistically solve any of the many problems we face as a nation unless we fix our finances. The national debt/deficit is the biggest threat to the United States and our way of life as a people. Our current crop of politicians would like us to believe that they will solve the debt problem with spending cuts and/or tax increases. However, because the national debt and deficit are so large it is impossible to solve the deficit and debt problem with spending cuts and/or tax increases without destroying our way of life. The significant tax increases or spending cuts needed to solve the debt problem would have such a huge negative impact on our standard of living that any politician voting for such measures would be voted out of office. Moreover, we don't want to destroy our society through large spending cuts and tax increases in order to solve the debt problem - such a strategy would backfire.
By way of background, the budget deficit is the difference between government spending and government revenues. If the government spends three trillion dollars in a year but only had revenues of two trillion dollars for that year, the budget deficit for that year would be one trillion dollars. The national debt includes all the budget deficits throughout history. For example, if the national debt is fourteen trillion dollars and we run a deficit in the next budget of one trillion dollars, the national debt will be fifteen trillion dollars plus accrued interest.
Under my plan, all budget deficits will be funded by bonds purchased by the Federal Reserve Bank. We will no longer sell bonds to other countries or to Wall Street. If the Federal Reserve holds the bonds the interest paid on those bonds will come back to the United States treasury instead of going to foreign countries and entities that would otherwise hold the debt. In addition to buying bonds to fund the budget deficit each year going forward, the Federal Reserve will also be given the mandate of purchasing all of the outstanding debt which is currently held by entities other than the federal government such as other countries, corporations and individuals. In making purchases of outstanding debt, the Federal Reserve will be given discretion as to the timing and quantity of the purchases in light of general economic and financial market conditions but with the goal of purchasing all outstanding debt within twenty years. Just by having the Federal Reserve hold all the debt, the American taxpayer will save hundreds of billions each year in interest payments. Moreover, as to the debt held by the Federal Reserve, the Federal Reserve will also be given the mandate of retiring and canceling this debt with discretion as to timing and quantity in light of general economic and financial market conditions but with a goal of retiring or canceling all of the federal government debt it holds within thirty years.
I was happy to see that my idea of having the Federal Reserve purchase significant amounts of government bonds was recently validated by the Federal Reserve itself. On February 9, 2011, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke testified before the House of Representatives. He was asked about his Quantitative Easing 2 program under which the Federal Reserve purchased 600 billion dollars of treasury bonds in a few months. Bernanke was reminded that the Federal Reserve had overtaken China as the largest holder of U.S. bonds and was asked if he is not monetizing the debt and if he will not create inflation? As to inflation, he said even with all the debt purchases inflation is still low and businesses do not expect inflation to rise. He said he believes the Federal Reserve’s purchases of federal government bonds have created about three million jobs. He said rapidly growing economies like Brazil may face inflation risks but that the United States is not such a rapidly growing economy. He said that monetizing debt is when you print money and permanently increase the money supply. He said the printed money the Federal Reserve is using to buy debt is used as reserves and is not actually going into the economy. Whether or not such purchases constitute monetization of the debt makes little difference. It is better to run the risk of inflation than for an elderly couple to run the risk of eviction because cuts in their retirement or medical benefits or tax increases they cannot afford. The risk of inflation is a good check against Congress and will ensure that spending is kept under control even though under my plan, any deficit will be funded through bond purchases by the Federal Reserve. The more fiscally responsible Congress is, the less debt there will be for the Federal Reserve to purchase or cancel and the less will be the risk of inflation.
The Federal Reserve is especially well suited to play a debt and deficit reduction role under my plan. The Federal Reserve already has as part of its mandate the control of inflation – so it is in the best position to balance the debt purchases and cancellation under my plan against the risks of inflation. Significantly, unlike the Congress and the President, the Federal Reserve is not directly affected by electoral politics and can generally act quickly based on economics instead of politics. For example, following the 2008 financial crisis, a civil war broke out in Congress over the 750 billion dollar TARP program. By contrast, the Federal Reserve, with relative ease, was able to print and pump as much as nine trillion dollars (by certain calculations) into the economy to save it from collapse – the chairman of the Federal Reserve won Time Magazine’s Person of the Year for these efforts. If the Federal Reserve can print and lend as much as nine trillion dollars to Wall Street and win awards for doing so, the Federal Reserve can certainly lend a lot less money each year to the United States treasury to save the American people from more tax increases, spending cuts and job losses.
I will be unveiling my solutions to our other problems so be sure to keep checking in. I would like to have your support in the campaign and in the elections and pray that I am successful in challenging the natural born provision so I can take office if I win and together we can make our country even better.