Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., has been floated as a possible presidential or vice presidential candidate — but is the rising progressive star too young for those top positions?
Section 1 of Article Two of the U.S. Constitution establishes the eligibility requirements for the presidency: “No Person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President; neither shall any person be eligible to that Office who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty five Years, and been fourteen Years a Resident within the United States.”
And, the 12th Amendment to the Constitution sets the requirements for the vice presidency: “…[N]o person constitutionally ineligible to the office of President shall be eligible to that of Vice-President of the United States.”
Ocasio-Cortez was born on October 13, 1989, meaning she would not be 35 years old by Inauguraiton Day on January 20, 2021. Therefore, even though she is a natural-born citizen and a long-term U.S. resident, Ocasio-Cortez is ineligible to be either the president or vice president in the 2020 campaign cycle. AOC would also be ineligible to fill these posts at any time during the next administration.
However, Ocasio-Cortez would be eligible to serve as president or vice president in the 2024 campaign cycle, narrowly making the age cutoff. She will have turned 35 by Inauguration Day on January 20, 2025.
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., has been floated as a possible presidential contender. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
The only possible constitutional exceptions that could barr AOC from the high offices would occur in rather extreme circumstances — including if AOC were ever somehow impeached or disqualified by the U.S. Senate, or found to have rebelled against the United States.
In the meantime, Ocasio-Cortez, who endorsed Bernie Sanders’ 2020 presidential bid, has kept up her high profile as a first-term congresswoman with an urgent and unique agenda.
“One thing that I am concerned about … is in our climate,” Ocasio-Cortez said as Joe Biden cemented his frontrunner status in the 2020 race. “I’m legitimately concerned about what this means for carbon emissions… There are many many issues where peoples’ lives are on the line. But the scale and the feedback and the irreversible nature of climate change is something that we all really need to pay close attention to.”
And top progressives, who have watched as Ocasio-Cortez has repeatedly taken on Democratic congressional leaders, say she isn’t going anywhere.
“Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is a leader in the progressive movement,” longtime Bernie Sanders adviser Jeff Weaver told Politico last year. “She is broadly popular, frankly, among Democratic voters. She is particularly strong with young voters, voters of color.”
Fox News’ Tyler Olson contributed to this report.