Skip to comments.CATO Institute: Yes, Ted Cruz Can be President
Posted on 08/30/2013 12:02:15 PM PDT by Jim Robinson
By Ilya Shapiro, Senior Fellow In Constitutional Sudies and Editor-In-Chief, Cato Supreme Court Review
As we head into a potential government shutdown over the funding of Obamacare, the iconoclastic junior senator from Texas love him or hate him continues to stride across the national stage. With his presidential aspirations as big as everything in his home state, by now many know what has never been a secret: Ted Cruz was born in Canada.
(Full disclosure: Im Canadian myself, with a green card. Also, Cruz has been a friend since his days representing Texas before the Supreme Court.)
But does that mean that Cruzs presidential ambitions are gummed up with maple syrup or stuck in snowdrifts altogether different from those plaguing the Iowa caucuses? Are the birthers now hoist on their own petards, having been unable to find any proof that President Obama was born outside the United States but forcing their comrade-in-boots to disqualify himself by releasing his Alberta birth certificate?
No, actually, and its not even that complicated; you just have to look up the right law. It boils down to whether Cruz is a natural born citizen of the United States, the only class of people constitutionally eligible for the presidency. (The Founding Fathers didnt want their newly independent nation to be taken over by foreigners on the sly.)
Whats a natural born citizen? The Constitution doesnt say, but the Framers understanding, combined with statutes enacted by the First Congress, indicate that the phrase means both birth abroad to American parents in a manner regulated by federal law and birth within the nations territory regardless of parental citizenship. The Supreme Court has confirmed that definition on multiple occasions in various contexts.
Theres no ideological debate here: Harvard law professor Laurence Tribe and former solicitor general Ted Olson who were on opposite sides in Bush v. Gore among other cases co-authored a memorandum in March 2008 detailing the above legal explanation in the context of John McCains eligibility. Recall that McCain lately one of Cruzs chief antagonists was born to U.S. citizen parents serving on a military base in the Panama Canal Zone.
In other words, anyone who is a citizen at birth as opposed to someone who becomes a citizen later (naturalizes) or who isnt a citizen at all can be president.
So the one remaining question is whether Ted Cruz was a citizen at birth. Thats an easy one. The Nationality Act of 1940 outlines which children become nationals and citizens of the United States at birth. In addition to those who are born in the United States or born outside the country to parents who were both citizens or, interestingly, found in the United States without parents and no proof of birth elsewhere citizenship goes to babies born to one American parent who has spent a certain number of years here.
That single-parent requirement has been amended several times, but under the law in effect between 1952 and 1986 Cruz was born in 1970 someone must have a citizen parent who resided in the United States for at least 10 years, including five after the age of 14, in order to be considered a natural-born citizen. Cruzs mother, Eleanor Darragh, was born in Delaware, lived most of her life in the United States, and gave birth to little Rafael Edward Cruz in her 30s. Q.E.D.
So why all the brouhaha about where Obama was born, given that theres no dispute that his mother, Ann Dunham, was a citizen? Because his mother was 18 when she gave birth to the future president in 1961 and so couldnt have met the 5-year-post-age-14 residency requirement. Had Obama been born a year later, it wouldnt have mattered whether that birth took place in Hawaii, Kenya, Indonesia, or anywhere else. (For those born since 1986, by the way, the single citizen parent must have only resided here for five years, at least two of which must be after the age of 14.)
In short, it may be politically advantageous for Ted Cruz to renounce his Canadian citizenship before making a run at the White House, but his eligibility for that office shouldnt be in doubt. As Tribe and Olson said about McCain and couldve said about Obama, or the Mexico-born George Romney, or the Arizona-territory-born Barry Goldwater Cruz is certainly not the hypothetical foreigner who John Jay and George Washington were concerned might usurp the role of Commander in Chief.
>Why dont you try listening to him now?
To tell you the truth, I don’t listen much to any politician. I read a lot...receive four conservative publications and of course FR. I am talking about the Republicans. They are the ones that want a winner and if he doesn’t impress them he won’t win the primary.
There’s only one Gipper (RR).
But as for Cruz and his range of speaking abilities, I’ll predict this: “You ain’t seen nuthin’, yet”.
I do, too. Don’t get me wrong here. I fully believe he is a natural born citizen because he didn’t need to be naturalized to achieve citizenship.
Yeah.....NBC was a completely meaningless phrase. At least, that is what everybody says now. Of course, in my younger days I thought 2+2 =4, but now 5 is ok or 6 as long as you are trying to get to the right answer.
B U M P
If you choose not to listen, your choice, your loss.
As for Republicans deciding based on how they like his speechmaking or not, the Republican Establishment is terrified of his abilities. They HATE him for his abilities because they don’t want his Conservativism to WIN.
That’s how twisted things have become.
And just so you’ll know, the same type of GOP Establishment actually hated Ronald Reagan. They tried and tried to stop him but the majority of all Americans liked him so much, the Republican E of that day could NOT stop him.
“If Ted Cruz decides to run for the Presidency and he appears to be the strongest conservative running, I will support him to the hilt.”
He doesn't get ruffled and he doesn't back down. There is no implied apology when he speak or asks some democrat pol a question. All demorat candidates today require that their opponents be defferential to them. And for some damn reason the McCains and Romneys of the party always complied. Cruz doesn't do that. He's all in, all the time. That's the hook!
I agree with this analysis and firmly believe that Senator Cruz is natural born citizen and eligible to be President. He cannot be denied a spot on the ballot unless and until someone with standing challenges his eligibility.
Should that happen, the chances of the case being heard by the Supreme Court approach zero, but if by some quirk they do, they will rule in his favor. Either way, Senator Cruz’s candidacy will drive a stake through the heart of the Vattel, Jus Solis, Assertion by Freeper post, and the other various nonsense put forward by the usual suspects. Often entertaining, though.
“In other words, anyone who is a citizen at birth as opposed to someone who becomes a citizen later (naturalizes) or who isnt a citizen at all can be president. “
Puerto Ricans are citizens at birth, and naturalized.
The ‘becomes a citizen later’ is a crook of you-know-what.
If being a citizen AT birth is all you need to be then the word natural in ‘natural born Citizen’ is unnecessary. It would have sufficed to say ‘born Citizen’.
This ‘born at citizen’ = natural born Citizen is a lie. A poor one at that.
In a Constitutional Republic - if the Constitution is ignored what is left? The answer is nothing.
Here's part of what I mean about "being an effective speaker": Reagan had probably the same amount of scare thrown at the Republicans by big media but he was able to sooth their fears. I remember being a little embarrassed at the things he had to say while doing so. To me it was borderline dishonesty but that is what you have to do. Remember, conservatives are a minority and once Cruz starts to campaign he might not seem to be the Cruz you remember all the time if he needs to attract the know-nothings.
Respectfully, you and they are wrong.
NBC is rather specific, not elastic.
Levin admitted he had not studied this in all seriousness to have an informed opinion.
NBC is defined by the Cato Institute and many others the same way Levin defines it and Ted Cruz defines it and the controlling law cited in the article defines it.
Nobody said NBC doesn’t matter. All have said it matters and is defined as, a citizen when born, as opposed to a citizen later by naturalization. And by statute is defined based on at least one parent who is an American citizen of a certain age and certain years of residency in the United States (among other possible statutory definitions), which Ted Cruz clearly meets through his mother, and which is NOT based on whether the mother gives birth while temporarily over a boundary line.
Others refuse to accept that as the legal definition and do little but ride their horse 24/7.
No need to mischaracterize us.
What specifically does the Constitution require?
A Poison Pill...
“If being a citizen AT birth is all you need to be then the word natural in natural born Citizen is unnecessary. It would have sufficed to say born Citizen.”
No, English dominates that illogical conclusion.
English says a “born citizen” is a citizen that has been born. Well, no duh. Can’t be a citizen if not born. So, one would never say, “a born citizen”.
English also says since there is a “naturalized citizen”, it is proper to distinguish between the two by using the phrase “natural born citizen”.
There is nothing more to the Constitution than that.
Respectfully, is that your considered legal opinion as a constitutional scholar/lawyer?
is WAS rather specific, not elastic.
Dozens of lower courts have ruled on this NBC issue. The SCOTUS has confimred their rulings by not hearing any appeals.
A NBC = Naturalized Citizen and vice versa.
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