Avatar of admin

by

Yes, Ted Cruz Can be President

August 26, 2013 in Economics

By Ilya Shapiro

Ilya Shapiro

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: I’m 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 Cruz’s 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 it’s 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 didn’t want their newly independent nation to be taken over by foreigners on the sly.)

What’s a “natural born citizen”? The Constitution doesn’t 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 nation’s territory regardless of parental citizenship. The Supreme Court has confirmed that definition on multiple occasions in various contexts.

There’s 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 McCain’s eligibility. Recall that McCain — lately one of Cruz’s 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 isn’t a citizen at all — can be president.

So the one remaining question is whether Ted Cruz was a citizen at birth. That’s an easy one. The Nationality Act of 1940 outlines which children become “nationals and citizens of the United States …read more

Source: OP-EDS

Leave a reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.