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Kamala Harris is eligible to serve as president

August 13, 2020 GMT

CLAIM: If Joe Biden picks Kamala Harris as his running mate she will not be eligible to serve as president because her mother is from India and her father is from Jamaica. That means, if Biden is unable to serve a full term as president, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi would be next in line to become president.

AP’S ASSESSMENT: False. Sen. Kamala Harris, a Democrat who represents California, is a natural-born U.S. citizen who is eligible to serve as president. 

THE FACTS: Facebook users are spreading a false claim that Harris is not able to serve as president.  

The posts suggest that if Biden were unable to serve a full-term, if elected to be president this fall, Harris would have to be skipped over to serve as his successor. Instead, the inaccurate claims say, Pelosi would be next in line to become president. 

The posts are emerging as Biden is narrowing down his list for a running mate, with Harris still in consideration. 

Harris, 55, is eligible to serve as president. She was born on Oct. 20, 1964, in Oakland, California, making her a natural-born U.S. citizen. Her father, an economist from Jamaica, and her mother, a cancer researcher from India, met at the University of California, Berkeley as graduate students. 

Since she was born in the U.S., she is regarded a natural born citizen under the 14th Amendment of the Constitution

“I can’t believe people are making this idiotic comment,” Laurence Tribe, a Harvard University professor of constitutional law, told The Associated Press in 2019, when similar false claims emerged about Harris during her presidential run. Harris ended her presidential bid in December. 

“She is a natural born citizen and there is no question about her eligibility to run,” Tribe said.


This is part of The Associated Press’ ongoing effort to fact-check misinformation that is shared widely online, including work with Facebook to identify and reduce the circulation of false stories on the platform.

Here’s more information on Facebook’s fact-checking program: