FACT CHECK: Has Nikki Haley Been Disqualified For The Presidency?

Anna Mock | Fact Check Reporter

A post shared on Instagram claims Nikki Haley has been disqualified from the presidency due to her parents not being U.S. citizens at the time of her birth. 


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A post shared by The Gateway Pundit (@gatewaypundit)

Verdict: False

The claim is baseless. Anyone who was born in the U.S. is an American citizen, with few exceptions, and Haley does not appear to fall under these exceptions.

Fact Check:

Former President Donald Trump has shared the claim that Haley is ineligible for the presidency due to her parents not being U.S. citizens when she was born, according to the New York Post. Trump shared a screenshot of a post from the Gateway Pundit making such a claim to his Truth Social, the outlet reported.

An Instagram screenshot shows another post from The Gateway Pundit making the same claim. The post shows an image of Haley along with the text, “Analysis: legal scholar asserts U.S. Constitution disqualifies Nikki Haley from presidential or vice-presidential candidacy.”

“In Nikki Haley’s situation, reports indicate that her parents were not U.S. citizens at the time of her birth in 1972,” the caption reads in part. “This fact, according to the Constitution’s standards as interpreted by Ingrassia, disqualifies her from presidential or vice-presidential candidacy under the Twelfth Amendment.”

There are no credible news reports about Haley being disqualified for the presidency. The corresponding article about the claim from the Gateway Pundit references Article II, Section 1, Clause 5 of the Constitution that states only U.S. citizens can run for office.

Haley is a U.S. citizen, however, because she was born in the United States, and her parents became citizens after her birth in 1972, according to NBC News. The 14th Amendment states,”All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside.”

The Congressional Research Service found that since the 1898 Supreme Court case United States v.Wong Kim Ark, children born in the U.S. are usually American citizens with the exception of children born unless their parents are “foreign diplomats, members of occupying foreign forces, or members of Indian tribes” due to the 14th Amendment. (RELATED: Nikki Haley Claims She Never Said Hillary Clinton Was An Inspiration)

There is no evidence that Haley’s parents were foreign diplomats or members of an invading army. Haley’s father was a biology professor at Voorhees College before retiring in 1998 and her mother taught in public school for several years, according to Business Insider. The two also ran a clothing boutique store until it closed in 2008 after they retired, the outlet reported.

Josh Blackman, a law professor at South Texas College of Law in Houston, told Check Your Fact in an email that “[t]he general consensus position is that children born in the United States to people who are not citizens are still ‘natural born citizens.'”

“The Supreme Court has never had to reach this question expressly. I am persuaded by the general consensus position. Regardless of whether this position is correct as an original matter, we have more than 150 years of practice built on this understanding, which I think would be very difficult to unravel,” Blackman added.

Clark Neily, senior vice president for legal studies at the Cato Institute, told Check Your Fact that the claim Haley is not eligible to be president was “preposterous.”

A spokesperson for the Gateway Pundit referred Check Your Fact to the site’s article. The Gateway Pundit has published false information before, according to NewsGuard.

Check Your Fact has reached out to a Haley spokesperson and other experts comment and will update this piece if responses are provided. 

Anna Mock

Fact Check Reporter