Is Ted Cruz a natural born citizen within the meaning of the Constitution?

ted-cruz-350.gifTed Cruz – real name, Rafael Edward Cruz – isn’t very happy with people doubting that he’s even eligible to be President of the United States, since he was born in Canada and his father was a Cuban citizen at the time of his birth.[1] Cruz’ mother, is from Wilmington, Delaware, and is a natural born citizen.

Donald Trump is the guy raising the issue, just as it was Donald Trump who was one of the leading forces behind the alleged Obama birther “controversy.[2]

Cruz is not the first Presidential candidate to face the question of whether he qualifies as a “natural born citizen,” as is required by the Constitution. The same question was also asked of George Romney, John McCain and Chester Arthur before him.

  • George Romney (father of Mitt) was born to U.S. Citizens in Mexico.
  • John McCain was born to U.S. Citizens in the Panama Canal Zone.
  • Chester Arthur, the 21st President of the United States, was born in Vermont, but some claimed that he was actually born in Canada.

Now, most legal scholars agree that the likelihood is good that Cruz would be qualified to run for President. The U.S. Constitution states that “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.” The question is, what is a “natural born citizen?” The nonpartisan Congressional Research Service weighed in on the issue, writing back in November of 2011 that people born to U.S. citizens in foreign countries “most likely” qualify as natural-born citizens.

Enter into the fray the eminent Harvard University legal scholar and constitutional expert Laurence Tribe, the man who happened to have taught Ted Cruz while he was at Harvard. Tribe – who found Cruz to be an argumentative student – has suggested

  1. That the debate over Cruz’ eligibility is far from settled,
  2. More importantly, that Cruz is a hypocrite in making the argument.

The problem for Cruz is that he is a constitutional “strict constructionist” – as opposed to a living constitutionalist,” which is the kind of scholar Tribe himself is – and a strict constructionist looks primarily at what the Constitution said at the time it was written. At the time it was written, it is completely unclear that someone in Cruz’ position would be eligible for the Presidency.

Ted Cruz a hypocrite?

That’s shocking news. Really, really shocking!


[1] Rafael Bienvenido Cruz did become an American citizen in 2005, but many years after Cruz’ 1970 birth.

[2] The difference is, of course, that there is no actual controversy over whether Obama was eligible to be President. He was born in the United State of Hawaii to an American mother. People who claimed that Obama wasn’t eligible had to make the argument that his birth certificate was forged, of which there is no evidence at all.

About a1skeptic

A disturbed citizen and skeptic. I should stop reading the newspaper. Or watching TV. I should turn off NPR and disconnect from the Internet. We’d all be better off.
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One Response to Is Ted Cruz a natural born citizen within the meaning of the Constitution?

  1. jakester48 says:

    Even if the answer to the question is “no”, it seems to me that there will be no definitive answer before the election. After the election, in the unlikely event that Cruz is President, does anyone believe that the Supreme Court would declare his election invalid?

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