• Ted Cruz is a Natural Born Citizen

    January 8, 2016

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    Posted in: Embassy/State

    ted cruz

    May lightening not strike me, but I am going to help Ted Cruz now. Ted is a natural-born citizen and he can be president. There is no ambiguity, no legal question. It is very clear.

    Clear of of course to nearly everyone but Donald Trump, his running dog Ann Coulter, and a somnolent American media who would rather have this faux-controversy than simply say to Trump he is factually wrong.

    Sigh. Here it is.

    The Constitution, Article II, Section I, states one must be a “natural born citizen” to become president. That means immigrants who were born citizens of one country and naturalized to become American citizens later in life are not eligible. Natural born means the person was an American by birth, at birth. Yes, yes, technically the Supreme Court has never be asked to rule on this, but the Supreme Court has never ruled on lots of things that are still true and lawful. That argument is pretty damn weak. Let’s challenge the Third Amendment, about quartering troops in private homes, first.

    Cruz was indeed born in Canada, which is indeed a foreign country. His mother was born in the United States. His father was Cuban. They lived in Canada, working in the oil industry. A child of an American citizen mother born abroad is an America citizen, absent some very specific circumstances that even Trump isn’t challenging.

    The determination of American citizenship for a kid born abroad is formally adjudicated by the State Department, which documents the citizenship with a Consular Report of Birth Abroad (CRBA, or Form FS-240.) Happens all the time. Technically there is no actual requirement to even have that document — it is only convenient proof of what are the circumstances of a birth abroad.

    The natural born question is not new, but it has been so well-chewed over such that there is no need to do it again as Trump is doing.

    In 2008, the Senate passed a resolution that John McCain was allowed to run for president even though he was born in the Panama Canal Zone, which is not the United States. Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, both senators then, voted for it.

    The Congressional Research Service, the agency tasked with providing authoritative research to members of Congress, published a report after the 2008 election supporting the fact that natural born citizenship means citizenship held at birth.

    If we must have more, two of the best-known Supreme Court lawyers make the case that Cruz, as were McCain, George Romney (born in Mexico) and Barry Goldwater (born in Arizona when it was only a territory, not a state) before him, is eligible to run.

    Neal Katyal, who served as acting solicitor general in the Obama administration, and Paul Clement, who was solicitor general under George W. Bush (i.e., bipartisan support), wrote earlier this month in the Harvard Law Review that “there is no question” Cruz is eligible.

    OK, that’s the last time I’m going to help Ted Cruz.

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