One implication of Ted Cruz’s presidential eligibility

Ted Cruz is eligible to run for president. Unless you are the strictest of strict originalists, you don’t have to have been physically born on US soil to be a “natural born citizen.” If that were the case, then George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, James Monroe, William Henry Harrison and Andrew Jackson would all have been disqualified from seeking our nation’s highest office. In the modern era, Barry Goldwater (born in Arizona before it became a state) would have been unable to assume office had he won the presidency in 1964, and George Romney (born in Mexico) would have been barred from seeking the Republican nomination in 1968.

As we know, none of these events actually transpired. No one seriously questioned the idea of someone who received their citizenship through having an American parent, as opposed to an American birthplace, becoming president until Donald Trump raised the issue last week. The only reason it’s an issue in the Republican primary is because a non-negligible chunk of primary voters don’t care about legal technicalities, and instead have a gut feeling that electing someone who can in any way be construed as a foreigner to our country’s highest office is a bad idea.

In last night’s debate, Ted Cruz tackled this issue head-on. As he explained:

Under longstanding U.S. law, the child of a U.S. citizen born abroad is a natural-born citizen. If a soldier has a child abroad, that child is a natural-born citizen. That’s why John McCain, even though he was born in Panama, was eligible to run for president. If an American missionary has a child abroad, that child is a natural-born citizen. That’s why George Romney, Mitt’s dad, was eligible to run for president, even though he was born in Mexico.

At the end of the day, the legal issue is quite straightforward, but I would note that the birther theories that Donald has been relying on — some of the more extreme ones insist that you must not only be born on U.S. soil, but have two parents born on U.S. soil. Under that theory, not only would I be disqualified, Marco Rubio would be disqualified, Bobby Jindal would be disqualified and, interestingly enough, Donald J. Trump would be disqualified. Because — because Donald’s mother was born in Scotland. She was naturalized.

This is all fine and good, although it does gloss over the fact that strict birthers would have a slightly different bone to pick with Jindal, Rubio and Trump than they do with Cruz (all three were born on American soil to non-citizen parents; Cruz was born on foreign soil to an American parent). However, Cruz’s eligibility forces him to concede one point that he may be loathe to admit in a Republican primary.

If Ted Cruz is eligible to be president, which he is, then Barack Obama is eligible to be president even if he was born in Kenya, which he wasn’t.

This may stick in the craw of the 53 percent of Republicans who, over four years after President Obama released his long-form birth certificate proving he was born in Hawai’i, still aren’t sure if he is a “natural born citizen.” (The same poll found that 70 percent of Republicans are confident that Cruz is eligible despite his Canadian birth). The reasons for this uncertainty, for them, are based in the suspicion that Obama was actually born in Kenya, and that his Hawai’ian “birth” is part of a larger coverup. The particular details of the conspiracy theory vary, but most of them allow for Obama’s mother to have been an American citizen. The core dispute — as in, the one that Donald Trump sent a team of investigators to Hawai’i in order to resolve — was always over the physical location of his birth.

By insisting that he is eligible to be president, Cruz is also insisting (correctly) that President Obama’s birthplace doesn’t matter because being born in one of the fifty states isn’t the only way to be a “natural born citizen.” As long as his mother held US citizenship, he could have been born on the International Space Station and still been eligible to be president.

Just don’t expect him to say so on the campaign trail.


Jon Green graduated from Kenyon College with a B.A. in Political Science and high honors in Political Cognition. He worked as a field organizer for Congressman Tom Perriello in 2010 and a Regional Field Director for President Obama's re-election campaign in 2012. Jon writes on a number of topics, but pays especially close attention to elections, religion and political cognition. Follow him on Twitter at @_Jon_Green, and on Google+. .

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  • melchior42

    How can he look like he does and not be White??? His predominantly European ancestry is blaring obvious.

  • benb

    Ted Cruz doesn’t get it. He’s not White and John McCain is.

  • Akbar O’Flaherty

    There is a statute that assures that Ted Cruz is an American citizen simply because his mother was an American citizen.

    There are no statutes regarding natural born American citizens. If you are a natural born American citizen, you don’t need any statute. Your parents are American, you were born in America.

    As far as the numerous presidents who were born before there was an America, Article Two deals with that, no matter how much you might want to misinterpret it.

  • SkippyFlipjack

    I guess I’m reacting more to Ted Cruz’s arrogant posture than to the specifics of the argument. I think it makes sense that Cruz is eligible (assuming his mom’s a citizen blah blah), but the idea that it’s settled and obvious, like Cruz is saying, is untrue, as evidenced by the volumes written on the subject recently (and for, like, the entire Obama candidacy and presidency.)

    I think this is the best summary I’ve read of the questions to be answered, and this article in the Atlantic the most thorough discussion of the issue. The Atlantic article digs up the statutes that the much-quoted Blackstone summarized in the 1760s.

  • “Because the historical precedents are not helpful (on this particular issue), ties go to the runner, i.e., the candidate & voter. It is a well settled canon of construction—the democracy canon—that statutory and constitutional language limiting eligibility to office is interpreted narrowly.” http://originalismblog.typepad.com/the-originalism-blog/2016/01/a-different-take-on-natural-bornseth-barrett-tillman.html

  • Charles Carey

    Thank you for the info.

  • Mike_in_the_Tundra

    From the “Urban Dictionary”: snark. noun. Combination of “snide” and “remark”. Sarcastic comment(s). Also snarky (adj.) and snarkily (adv.) His commentary was rife with snark.

  • Charles Carey

    I’m don’t know what “snarky” is and I’m more than half way to 140. It was a lame attempt at a bit humor. I think that richo has an excellent point–something that I should investigate. Mea culpa.

  • Mike_in_the_Tundra

    Perhaps I don’t understand, or you’re being snarky. Perhaps you are over 140 years old. What is it?

  • Charles Carey

    Excellent point–never thought of that.

  • Charles Carey

    His mother was a US citizen when he was born. I know because I was there. What you say , BTW, makes sense. Thanks.

  • These motherfuckers went to war. They were extremely serious. Not one would even consider having a child born in France. Believe it.

  • SkippyFlipjack

    Yes, that makes sense. “Honey take a two-week boat trip home so when you have the kid in the next month or two they’ll still be able to be President. I’ll be thinking of you every day.”

  • Actually, every single one of the founding fathers was a traitor to their homeland of England and understood this very well. They must have thought “when you get far away, allegiance falters” and insisted any C-I-C be born in America.

  • Really? It’s far more likely they would keep or send home their wife to have their kid be a natural born citizen.

  • SkippyFlipjack

    The founding fathers were worldly men. It’s easier to believe that they understood that they could be traveling to Paris with a pregnant wife and have a kid overseas, and that of COURSE that kid could be president.

  • SkippyFlipjack

    Under longstanding U.S. law, the child of a U.S. citizen born abroad is a natural-born citizen.

    This is a self-serving lie. Law scholars disagree about whether this is true. The idea that it’s a settled question is false.

  • dieter heymann

    My phrasing was unfortunately poor. I never meant to refer to the constitutional amendment of bearing arms although I suspect that the original meaning of “people” in that context was “male only”. Of course women, especially in the countryside did learn to shoot if only to defend the family against attacking criminals. In her book “Confederate Reckoning” Stephanie McCurry presents a fine analysis of the status of women in the CSA at the beginning of the civil war. Yes, they were considered to be US citizens but beyond that not able to participate in governance. Women were then allowed to vote in some states but that was about the limit of their participation. Ms. McCurry points out that the view of women was largely based, as I have argued, on the assumption that they were useless in armed combat.

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  • Yes, women were second class citizens with rather limited rights. But you were the one who was so intellectually lazy as to broadly state that women ‘could not bear arms’ — which is bullshit.

    Women were excluded from a great many jobs for no reason other than gender. But that did not mean women could not own firearms, which is the traditional definition of ‘bearing’ them.

    Next time, instead of trying — and failing badly — to scold me, see if you can be at least a little more precise and accurate in your assertions.

    p.s. ‘What have you been smoking?’ is a common exclamation — an idiomatic expostulation — one might make when faced with a factually erroneous remark from someone else.

  • You spelled it out quite clearly. I’d add John McCain to that list. Born on territory leased — not owned — by the U.S. Yet nobody seriously questioned his eligibility to be President, nobody sane anyway.

    Why? White AND Republican.

  • Ah, but arguing over birthplaces dovetails perfectly with the GOP’s current xenophobic mania. The direction they’re going now is they don’t want anybody whose family hasn’t already been in the U.S. for generations — and of course, simply must be European caucasian.

    One of the very first things the wingnuts tried to throw at Governor Haley after she was less than 100% against immigration was to accuse her of being one herself. In fact, right now, everyone’s focusing on Cruz’s Canada problem, while the racists in the GOP are bringing up Rubio, too, and how he’s a child of naturalized immigrants himself.

    The truly stupid part is some folks on the left are participating in these debates as if they have any relevance.

  • UncleBucky

    Cruz: Anchor baby…. charming! Kinda interesting route to explore!

  • UncleBucky

    Nicho is right, due to the lack of dual citizenship at that time.

    But, had Churchill lived now, and even been Prime Minister, I guess he might have as much of a chance to be Prez as Cruz? Eh? :)

  • nicho

    No, his mother lost her citizenship when she married Winston’s father and became a British citizen. Dual citizenship did not exist at that time. However, he was made an honorary US citizen later.

  • Charles Carey

    Lee, Jackson, Davis, etc. Traitors all.

  • Charles Carey

    So Sir Winston Churchill was a natural born citizen and was eligible to run for president. That would have surprised Churchill, many Americans and a whole bunch of Brits. We should honor that great American for the service he rendered to —Britain?

  • goulo

    What do you mean by “Natural Law”, and what in the world does Nature care about artificial concepts like citizenship in countries? Nature does not know or care about countries and citizenship.

  • goulo

    Are you equating the right to serve as a soldier in battle with the right to bear arms?

  • goulo

    If the question is about whether someone’s loyalty can be “guaranteed”, why would being born in a country guarantee loyalty to that country? There are plenty of counterexamples of people not being loyal to the country they were born in.

  • Don Chandler

    No matter how the supreme court rules on ted’s eligibility to be president, he is still a Canadian Anchor baby that benefited from the socialist state. I have no doubt that Ted will be loyal to goldman sachs and the f’ing natural gas barons of Texas along with the Texas state religion.

  • Does anyone really think the founding fathers wanted the Commander in
    Chief to be someone born in another country, whose loyalty to his
    adopted country can never really be guaranteed?

  • Grant Saw

    Shadenfreude will eat out the black little hearts of gop bigots. It’s a great sight to witness.

  • therling

    If it’s so vital that a presidential candidate be a “natural born citizen,” then should that not be extended to include anyone running for national office; senators, congressmen, etc.? Sad to say, I’m sure with our level of xenophobia, an amendment requiring such would readily find support.

  • 2karmanot

    ‘ Natural Law is immutable’ ROTFL

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    That point on your head is really smoking dude.

  • Silver_Witch

    Beyond

  • 2karmanot

    She’s amazing nes pas?

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    Wrong! NEXT! step aside Sir..NEXT!

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  • Silver_Witch

    Ohhh Becca you go. Speaking truth to ignorance. Thank you. When I grow up I want to be a Becca!

  • nicho

    This is silly. People can argue this for months and not come to a conclusion. The overriding issue is not whether Cruz is eligible, but rather whether he is suitable to be president. And the answer is that he is not. He gives a whole new definition to sleazy. But, of course, that could apply to every one of the GOP candidates. Arguing over birthplaces distracts from that.

  • FLL

    The Republican White Supremacy Movement, Part II

    Nikki Haley and Bobby Jindal, both governors of states in the Deep South, are very interesting cases. The parents of both these governors are from Punjab Province in northwest India. This is the only region of India whose population still retains a fair amount of genetic inheritance from the Indo-Aryan invasions of India beginning around 2000 BCE. Concerning the population in most of India, the Indo-Aryan tribes account for a mere drop in the bucket compared with the indigenous dark-skinned Dravidian population, which founded the much earlier Indus Valley civilization. That’s why you will occasionally see Punjabis (but not folks from other Indian regions) with light-colored eyes.

    Now what can the white supremacists in the modern American South make of this information? Hmmm. It’s a tricky question, isn’t it? You’ll forgive me if I’m l-a-u-g-h-i-n-g__o-u-t__l-o-u-d.

  • FLL

    You have pointed out, Jon, the hypocrisy inherent in the Republican complaint concerning the conspiracy theories about Obama, who was born in Hawaii. Republicans say this out of one side of their mouth while out of the other side of their mouth, they claim that it’s OK for Cruz and Rubio to be running. The hypocrisy can be explained quite simply. Cruz and Rubio are white (on both sides of their respective families), and Obama is not. The current enemies list in the 2016 Republican primary are seen as enemies because they are non-white.

    (1) The vast majority of Mexican-Americans, whether native-born citizens, naturalized citizens, legal immigrants or illegal immigrants, are mixed-race rather than white. Cruz and Rubio are not mixed race; they are white.

    (2) Trump is continually naming China as an enemy nation who is threatening the U.S. economically. On the other hand, he has formed a mutual admiration society with Vladimir Putin. Russians are white; the Chinese are not.

    (3) Most Republican candidates have made not-so-subtle remarks criticizing the “Black Lives Matter” protests while completely ignoring the more violent protests of armed groups like the Bundy group in Oregon. This is because one group is non-white and the other group is white.

    The current 2016 Republican primary is simply a modern version of the Ku Klux Klan and other white supremacy movements. Can I possibly spell this out any more clearly?

  • Jimmy

    This whole debate needs to go way, it’s just a silly distraction being used by Trump to keep the attention away from his utter lack of credibility as a candidate. Quite honestly, it shouldn’t matter where you were born. Of course, someone should be a US citizen in order to be eligible for president even if they’re a naturalized citizen. The truth of the matter is, it will happen someday no matter how much the freaks hold on to their desire to be white US only.

  • I can’t believe George Romney ran for president and this never came up. Or maybe he just wasn’t enough of a contender for anyone to bother? Did anyone ask for Lindsey Graham’s birth certificate? No, and why would they?

  • dieter heymann

    I have never smoked anything and that includes tobacco. Women at that time were not considered able to fight in battles which was indeed the reason why they were considered second grade citizens. Every historian but you knows that.

  • kl

    Actually, I’m a progressive, and I do care.

    I think that all persons holding high office in this country should be Americans. Only. For at least 10 years. No dual citizenships. No divided allegiances. High office to include all members of Congress, members of the Cabinet, Justices of the Supreme Court, President, and Vice-President.

    If someone is Canadian-American or Israeli-American or Indian-American, where do their true loyalties lie? Citizenship is more than a matter of convenience, to be gained or shed at will.

    As for Cruz, there has been a lot of commentary about his parents voting in Canadian elections. Determining when (1974 or earlier?) his mother swore allegiance to Canada and registered to vote will determine whether her son is even part American.

    Their government holds the records. Their laws, their rules, their records.

    Since Cruz dropped his Canadian citizenship like a used Kleenex when it was politically advantageous (and given his career occupation of shutting down the government), Canada probably doesn’t want him back. We don’t want him, either.

    [hauksdottir]

  • kl

    Becca,

    What is scarier… a militia like the Bundy hangers’on up in Oregon, poaching illegally and shopping at Safeway, or the same sort of group wandering around with blunderbusses and dribbling black powder from their horns?

    I think if we held these 2nd Amendment idiots to their stated ideals (and the weaponry of the time), they might kill off even more of their own. A drunkard waving a powder horn and a bottle of beer will find his accuracy somewhat, ahem, impaired, but good enough for the fools next to him.

    [hauksdottir]

  • kl

    And the Romneys with the other Mormon families had to give up American citizenship in order to be allowed into Mexico. They became good citizens of Mexico. There is a record of that.

    There is NO RECORD of them becoming United States citizens again. They would have had to apply and swear allegiance to America as naturalized citizens. Instead they just swanked back into the US as if nothing happened.

    If you are white and rich, the laws don’t apply to you.

    [Actually, this is hauksdottir. I’ve had no internet connection for a couple of weeks.]

  • DoverBill

    Or a Koch?

  • read the link I cited for that claim

  • Actually, he is wrong. Vattel’s ‘Law of Nations’ has no bearing, legitimacy, or enforcement within the United States, which is governed by our nation’s Constitution and the resulting body of laws enacted by Congress and signed by our various Presidents.

    Vattel’s is a purely theoretical document written by a French citizen, Emer de Vattel in 1758 — before America was even founded. And no, just because the document was popular among such men as Ben Franklin and George Washington does not mean even a single word of it was enacted as U.S. law.

    Try again. Only see if you can stick to citing actual U.S. laws and jurisprudence, which is the only detail which matters.

  • “Women could not bear arms”? What the fuck are you smoking?

  • You and your ilk ‘raised the issue’ about a presidential candidate and then president who was born in Hawaii to an American citizen mother. Enough with the bullshit birtherism already.

    To be honest, most of us on the progressive/liberal left don’t give a shit about Cruz’s alleged ineligibility, or Rubio’s for that matter, but we’re amused as all hell right now at watching you eat people your own.

  • Panama was not then and never was U.S. territory. It was a temporary land-lease which expired in 1999. McCain’s location of birth has nothing to do with his citizenry — the fact his parents were U.S. citizens was all the qualification he needed for automatic naturalization.

    By the way, there’s no such damned thing as ‘Natural Law’, capitalized or otherwise. There’s the law. Laws which men and women wrote. Laws which humans interpret and enforce.

    National borders are also the opposite of ‘natural’. They are, in fact, entirely arbitrary and artificial, as is any particular definition of who is citizen-y enough to be eligible to be America’s next president.

    ‘Natural’ is when a bear kills and eats you because you couldn’t run fast enough.

  • Panama was not a US soldier at that time. McCain was, however, always a US citizen and never had to be naturalized. That is what I think the clause means. So far as I know, however, it has never been clarified by any court.

  • George Romney’s father was in Mexico so he could practice polygamy. Mission, my ass!

  • At least half of the Republicans I know are birthers. That nonsense never went away. I do, therefore, enjoy rubbing their noses in Cruz’s Canadian birth but that’s very low on the list of reasons why he should not ever be president.

  • dieter heymann

    Luigi is actually close to the reality of those times. Women were US citizens but they were given pitiful few rights that citizenship conferred on males. Women could not bear arms hence were considered to live outside the political realm and had absolutely no place in the governance of our nation. John Adams thought that his wife was silly when she had admonished him not to forget the women.

  • dieter heymann

    I believe that “citizen …..” meant that you were the citizen of a state that became part of the USA?

  • timncguy

    sounds good to me. But, that would require consistency on the part of wingnuts

  • olandp

    “…all other persons born within the Republic…”

    Canada is not “within the Republic”. Hawaii is.

  • xin hua

    Have you even read Article II of the U. S. Constitution? It’s really not very long (or complicated).

    Those early Presidents you listed were all U. S. citizens “at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution,” and therefore specifically eligible. (Do you really think the Founders would have excluded themselves from holding high office in the nation they just created?)

    Barry Goldwater was likely eligible because he was born on U. S. soil (Arizona Territory). George Romney was likely ineligible because he was born in a foreign country (Mexico).

    At issue is the distinction between the terms “natural born” and “naturalized.”

    As for Ted Cruz, he was born in a foreign country (Canada) and is likely ineligible. At minimum, the question is unsettled and needs to be brought before a federal court.

  • TheSmokinGun

    Excuse me? It is fact that McCain was born to citizen parents on US territory, that is how Natural Law defines a natural born Citizen.

  • TheSmokinGun

    Actually, Natural Law is immutable, so it cannot be changed.

  • TheSmokinGun

    No, the birth certificates should say whether or not the father was a US citizen or not.

  • TheSmokinGun

    If its the truth, it’s not spam and it is the truth!

  • TheSmokinGun

    Actually, he is correct.

    Vattel’s Law of Nations §212. Citizens and natives:
    “The citizens are the members of the civil society; bound to this society by certain duties, and subject to its authority, they equally participate in its advantages. The natives, or natural-born citizens, are those born in the country, of parents who are citizens. As the society cannot exist and perpetuate itself otherwise than by the children of the citizens, those children naturally follow the condition of their fathers, and succeed to all their rights. The society is supposed to desire this, in consequence of what it owes to its own preservation; and it is presumed, as matter of course, that each citizen, on entering into society, reserves to his children the right of becoming members of it. The country of the fathers is therefore that of the children; and these become true citizens merely by their tacit consent. We shall soon see whether, on their coming to the years of discretion, they may renounce their right, and what they owe to the society in which they were born. I say, that, in order to be of the country, it is necessary that a person be born of a father who is a citizen; for, if he is born there of a foreigner, it will be only the place of his birth, and not his country.”

  • TheSmokinGun

    These people are extremely uneducated, yet they TRY to debate the issue. I don’t know how many people have told me that the early Presidents were not eligible and I was wrong. It’s the GRANDFATHER CLAUSE, STUPID!

  • TheSmokinGun

    We raised the issue YEARS AGO and everyone ignored us until it comes after an (R) then everyone listens. I still happy though because the evidence that proves Cruz ineligible will also prove Obama ineligible! CAN’T WAIT!

  • Yeah right. I can’t tell if you’re trying to be snarky or trollish or both.

  • TheSmokinGun

    No because McCain did not have a divided allegiance, so he is natural born!

  • TheSmokinGun

    Nope, Ted is not eligible. He’s not a natural born Citizen.

    “All from other lands, who by the terms of [congressional] laws and a compliance with their provisions become naturalized, are adopted citizens of the United States; all other persons born within the Republic, of parents owing allegiance to no other sovereignty, are natural born citizens. Gentleman can find no exception to this statement touching natural-born citizens except what is said in the Constitution relating to Indians.” (Congressional Globe, House of Representatives 37th Congress, 2nd Session, pg 1639)

  • Thus the 2nd Amendment refers to flintlocks, muskets and blunderbusses and nothing else. ;-)

  • Luigi, that is both incredibly misogynistic — and factually and legally erroneous, completely. I for one am very glad our moderator gave you the boot.

  • Under the ‘strict’ interpretation, John McCain also would have been ineligible, having been born in Panama during the time when the U.S. controlled the canal under treaty. While some might argue it was ‘U.S. soil’ by virtue of being under United States control, the treaty terms itself were temporary and the territory handed back to Panama in ’99.

    Thus it could reasonably be argued it was never really U.S. ‘soil’. Same thing with any U.S. citizen born outside the states and permanent territories (such as Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands, American Samoa, etc.), including on military bases, ships in international waters, and embassies.

    Let’s take this a step deeper though and ask why this is happening at all. I’m sure many of us simply presumed the whole birther thing was asterisked with the usual IOKYAR exceptions. As in, McCain = no problem, Obama = “Foreigner! Outcast! Unclean!” That the Republicans are now applying it to their own says this has far more to do with a general xenophobic nativist movement–similar to what was portrayed in the “Gangs of New York”–and less to do with partisan politics.

    Sure, ‘birtherism’ started out as political, but just look at who has already been attacked or at least not received support simply because of their ethnicity and origins. In the last week, Governor Nikki Haley’s been attacked and referred to as an immigrant (she’s not) and for not being a 100% hard-liner against immigration. Both Cruz and Rubio have been accused of not being ‘natural born’ citizens. I do believe Jindal would’ve had similar problems, if his campaign had ever stopped being invisible. And of course the radical right is openly pushing for the GOP candidates to vow to close America’s borders to all immigration (except, maybe, white Europeans…but only maybe).

    Whatever the hell is going on, it’s ugly. And in some locales, the xenophobic movement has been turning violent.

  • MoonDragon

    Ahhh . . . governance by Ouija board and/or seance.

  • This is correct.

  • Good.

  • Moderator3

    If you must know, he has been banned.

  • timncguy

    Oh, sorry, I just expected you were planning to remove it, otherwise what does it mean to “treat it as spam”?

  • Mike_in_the_Tundra

    I don’t believe misogyny was discussed in the constitution.

  • Moderator3

    I didn’t remove the comment, so what is your problem?

  • timncguy

    you mean, I’m expected to travel all over the blogosphere in order to read comments? What if this is the only blog I frequent? Then, I don’t get to see this comment? It seems rather harsh as long as Luigi hasn’t posted the same comment multiple times on this blog.

  • timncguy

    Not if you’re a strict constructionist. Then, the original meaning NEVER changes

  • Mike_in_the_Tundra

    Probably, but more than 200 years have passed. There should have been some forward movement in thinking.

  • Moderator3

    You have posted this comment all over the blogoshpere. I stopped counting at 22 comments that were exactly the same. This is a perfect example of spam and will be treated as such.

  • timncguy

    Trump didn’t raise the issue last week, a reporter with the Wash Post raised the issue by asking Trump to comment on it.

  • timncguy

    well, the “founding fathers” were misogynists, right?

  • Mike_in_the_Tundra

    Then it will be necessary to have a DNA test done on every baby and the alleged father. That is a terrible misogynistic comment.

  • “George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, James Monroe, William Henry Harrison and Andrew Jackson would all have been disqualified”

    Not true. The Constitution specifially included those who were a “citizen at the time of the adoption of this Constitution”

    You could say the Founding Fathers were ‘grandfathered’ as citizens.

  • Luigi Valentino

    Ted, save all that money you borrowed.
    Ted Cruz was legally born a Cuban because of his father. Mothers are not considered when determining “Natural-Born” Citizenship.

    Extending citizenship to non-citizens through birth based solely upon locality is nothing more than mere municipal law that has no extra-territorial effect as proven from the English practice of it. On the other hand, citizenship by descent through the FATHER is natural law and is recognized by all nations (what nation doesn’t recognize citizenship of children born wherever to their own citizens?). Thus, a natural-born citizen is one whose citizenship is recognized by law of nations rather than mere local recognition.

    Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, James F. Wilson of Iowa, confirmed this in 1866: “We must depend on the general law relating to subjects and citizens recognized by all nations for a definition, and that must lead us to the conclusion that every person born in the United States is a natural-born citizen of such States, except that of children born on our soil to temporary sojourners or representatives of foreign Governments.”*

    When a child inherits the citizenship of their FATHER, they become a natural-born citizen of the nation their FATHER belongs regardless of where they might be born. It should be pointed out that citizenship through descent of the FATHER was recognized by U.S. Naturalization law whereby children became citizens themselves as soon as their FATHER had become a naturalized citizen, or were born in another country to a citizen FATHER.

    Yes, birth is prima facie evidence of citizenship, but only the citizenship of the nation the father is a member.

    * Temporary sojourners like transient aliens were a description applied to aliens other than resident aliens. The difference being temporary aliens were here for temporary purposes, such as work, travel, visitation or school, who had no desire to become citizens or was prevented from becoming citizens by law. Resident aliens were those who desired to become citizens and had renounced their prior allegiances and had taken the legal steps to become citizens or reside within some state per state law.

    UPDATE: In regards to questions about the citizenship of the mother: Mothers citizenship rarely ever influenced the citizenship of their children except in certain situations such as the father dying before the child was born or when the identity of the father was unknown.

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