Sign up for our daily briefing

Make your busy days simpler with Axios AM/PM. Catch up on what's new and why it matters in just 5 minutes.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on the day's biggest business stories

Subscribe to Axios Closer for insights into the day’s business news and trends and why they matter

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Stay on top of the latest market trends

Subscribe to Axios Markets for the latest market trends and economic insights. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sports news worthy of your time

Binge on the stats and stories that drive the sports world with Axios Sports. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tech news worthy of your time

Get our smart take on technology from the Valley and D.C. with Axios Login. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Get the inside stories

Get an insider's guide to the new White House with Axios Sneak Peek. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Denver news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Des Moines news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Twin Cities news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Twin Cities

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Tampa Bay news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa Bay

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Charlotte news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Charlotte

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Photo: Olivier Douilery/AFP via Getty Images

Trump campaign senior legal adviser Jenna Ellis on Thursday shared a Newsweek op-ed that baselessly claims Sen. Kamala Harris may be ineligible for the vice presidency because both of her parents were not naturalized citizens at her birth.

Why it matters: Harris was born in Oakland, Calif. She is an American citizen and is eligible for the office. Critics, including many Republicans, denounced the piece as a new attempt at "birtherism" — the conspiracy theory that President Obama was not actually born in the U.S. — targeting the first woman of color on a presidential ticket.

  • The op-ed, penned by conservative law professor John Eastman and published Wednesday, argues that Harris might not be considered a natural-born citizen because a clause in the 14th Amendment — "and subject to the jurisdiction thereof [the U.S.]" — could preclude her given her parents' citizenship.
  • Eastman's view on birthright citizenship and presidential eligibility is not accepted by constitutional law scholars.

The state of play: Ellis doubled down on her retweet, telling ABC News' Will Steakin that she believes Harris' citizenship is "an open question, and one I think Harris should answer so the American people know for sure she is eligible."

Worth noting: In January 2016, Eastman argued in the National Review that doubts about the presidential eligibility of Sen. Ted Cruz, born in Canada to an American mother, were "downright silly."

  • "No serious constitutional scholar adheres to the view that the meaning of the 'natural-born citizen' requirement contained in ... the Constitution applies only to people born on American soil," he wrote.
  • President Trump, then campaigning against Cruz, was one of the first to push the idea of his ineligibility. He was also a key proponent of the birtherism theory.

What they're saying: Conservative blogger Erick Erickson tweeted in response to the op-ed that people can "get ready for a whole new round of birtherism, and it'll be as stupid as the first time."

  • Republican pollster Frank Luntz simply reiterated that Harris was born in Oakland.
  • "[I]t’s unsurprising, but no less abhorrent, that as Trump makes a fool of himself straining to distract the American people from the horrific toll of his failed coronavirus response that his campaign and their allies would resort to wretched, demonstrably false lies in their pathetic desperation," said Biden campaign rapid response director Andrew Bates.

The big picture: The criticism forced Newsweek to issue an editor's note about the column on Thursday, saying it "has nothing to do with racist birtherism."

  • Newsweek's global editor-in-chief Nancy Cooper and opinion editor Josh Hammer argued that Eastman's piece was premised on "issues of legal interpretation about which scholars and commentators can, and will, robustly disagree."

The bottom line: Ellis' promotion of the op-ed suggests a willingness by the president and his supporters to use baseless or unsavory arguments to try to undermine the legitimacy of the Biden ticket — all as Trump lags Biden in the polls with 82 days until Election Day.

Go deeper

Updated Nov 7, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Joe Biden elected president, AP projects

Biden in Los Angeles in March. Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images

The Associated Press projects Joe Biden has been elected the 46th president of the United States, ousting President Trump after a single term marked by impeachment, constant battles, a disastrous response to the deadly coronavirus pandemic and an unexpectedly close election.

Kamala Harris will join him as the first woman and first female person of color to be elected vice president — a historic breakthrough largely overshadowed by the turmoil surrounding the election. The news drew cheering crowds to the White House, while Biden made plans to address the nation at 8 pm Eastern.

5 hours ago - World

Over 170 Palestinians injured in clashes with Israeli police in Jerusalem

An injured man is carried away as Israeli security forces clash with Palestinian protesters at the al-Aqsa mosque compound in Jerusalem. Photo: Ahmad Gharabli/AFP via Getty Images

At least 178 Palestinians have been injured in clashes with Israeli police in Jerusalem, Reuters reported late Friday.

The big picture: The clashes come amid growing anger over the threatened eviction of Palestinians from their homes on land claimed by Jewish settlers in East Jerusalem. Tensions have also escalated in the occupied West Bank in recent weeks.

Updated 7 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

  1. Health: Coronavirus cases hit a seven-month low — Majority back vaccine proof requirements for travel, schools and work — The race to avoid a possible "monster" COVID variant.
  2. Politics: Oklahoma secures $2.6 million refund for hydroxychloroquine purchase — Why Biden's latest vaccine goal is his hardest yet.
  3. Vaccines: Pfizer begins application for full FDA approval of COVID-19 vaccine — Moderna says its COVID booster shot shows promise against variants.
  4. Economy: U.S. adds just 266,000 jobs in April, far below expectations — Americans' return to the skies could benefit smaller airlines.
  5. World: WHO authorizes China's Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use — Mixed response in Europe to Biden's vaccine patents bombshell.
  6. Variant tracker: Where different strains are spreading.