Is Ted Cruz a natural born citizen?

The United States Constitution enumerates naturalization powers to the Congress:

"To establish an uniform Rule of Naturalization, and uniform Laws on the subject of Bankruptcies throughout the United States." Article I, Section 8, Clause 4.

The Constitutional Convention never explained what they determined to mean as "natural born citizen," which is one of the requirements to become President:

"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; neither shall any Person be eligible to that Office who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty five Years, and been fourteen Years a Resident within the United States." Article II, Section 1, Clause 5.

English common law was very influential with the founding of our nation, since the Founding Fathers were Englishmen prior to declaring Independence. A person born in allegiance to and protection from the king was a natural born citizen. Considering this, Supreme Court Justice Noah Haynes Swayne wrote, "All persons born in the allegiance of the king are natural-born subjects, and all persons born in the allegiance of the United States are natural-born citizens. Birth and allegiance go together. Such is the rule of the common law, and it is the common law of this country as well as of England...since as before the Revolution." United States v. Rhodes, 27 Fed. Cas. 785 (1866).

Congress has passed several immigration and naturalization laws. One of particular interest to our topic was the 1952 Immigration and Naturalization Act, which became US Code, Title 8. In Chapter 12, Subchapter III, Part 1, Section 1401 states "The following shall be nationals and citizens of the United States at birth:"

"(d) a person born outside of the United States and its outlying possessions of parents one of whom is a citizen of the United States who has been physically present in the United States or one of its outlying possessions for a continuous period of one year prior to the birth of such person, and the other of whom is a national, but not a citizen of the United States." (Source: Cornell University Law School)

It has been said in court cases questioning Barack Obama's citizenship status that both parents had to be born on US soil. If this were true then "both parents of President Andrew Jackson (b. 1767) were born in what is now Northern Ireland; President James Buchanan's (b. 1791) father was born in County Donegal, Ireland; President Chester A. Arthur's (b. 1829) father was born in what is now Northern Ireland; President Woodrow Wilson's mother was born in Carlisle, England; and, President Herbert Hoover's mother was born in Norwich, Ontario, Canada" (dates added; Source: Justia US Law).

In the particular case of Ted Cruz, much has been written about his citizenship status. In a Harvard Law Review article titled "On the Meaning of 'Natural Born Citizen,'" Neal Katyal and Paul Clement concluded:

...an individual born to a U.S. citizen parent — whether in California or Canada or the Canal Zone — is a U.S. citizen from birth and is fully eligible to serve as President if the people so choose.

It is important to note that Mr. Katyal served from May 2010 until June 2011 as Acting Solicitor General to the Obama Administration. Mr Clement served in the same office from June 2005 until June 2008 in the George W. Bush Administration.

Articles found at the libertarian-leaning Cato Institute, the Christian-based American Family Association, and USA Today all address and conclude that Ted Cruz is a natural born citizen.

As for the rumor that Ted Cruz naturalized as a citizen in 2005, that was squashed yesterday at the NFRA National Prayer Breakfast (of which I attended) by none other than his father, Pastor Rafael Cruz. Pastor Cruz made the point that his son is hated by Democrats and the GOP Establishment and if Ted's birthright citizenship was truly in question his enemies would go after Ted:

“There is no one the establishment is more afraid of than Ted Cruz. If there was any validity to this issue, you’d see 20 or 30 articles written in the newspapers trying to tear him down. … They know they can’t go there.”

If you do not want to vote for Ted Cruz because you do not believe he is a natural born citizen, that is your right. 

I believe he meets the constitutional requirement of natural born citizenship and that is why I endorsed him.

 

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One Response to Natural Born Citizen

  1. David Krebs says:

    Thanks Dave, I have been wondering about that issue and this clears it up for me greatly. I was afraid that he (Ted) would get the nomination and then the dems would start bringing up the issue.


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