McCain knifes Cruz: Um, I don’t know if he’s a natural-born citizen of the U.S.

posted at 11:21 am on January 7, 2016 by Allahpundit

Via BuzzFeed, this makes three big names from three very different sectors of the party suddenly questioning Cruz’s eligibility. McCain represents the establishmentarians; Rand Paul represents libertarians; and Donald Trump represents … whatever the hell Trumpism is. It seems we’ve reached the “any weapon to hand” stage among Cruz’s political enemies. Which is interesting in ol’ Mav’s case, since his 2008 campaign against Obama will forever be remembered by grassroots righties for his refusal to go kitchen-sink on O. In the end, I guess the “wacko birds” were the real threat all along. May the McCain/Paul/Trump alliance last a thousand years.

The defense here, I assume, will be that the Supreme Court has never ruled on the “natural-born” clause in the Fourteenth Amendment, therefore McCain’s answer is correct. No one knows what the Court would do! But that’s too cute by half: There are statutes and scholarly opinions he could have cited if he wanted to downplay this line of attack against Cruz. Congress’s own statutory definition of citizenship by birth is expansive, extending it to children (like Cruz) of a single citizen-parent born abroad so long as the parent resided in the U.S. for some period of time. The idea that there are five votes on the Court to read a narrower definition into the Constitution when the text itself does nothing to define “natural-born” seems dubious to me, but that doesn’t mean Cruz-haters aren’t going to try. Why, here’s one well-known left-wing troll now promising to do just what Donald Trump wants and sue Cruz over his eligibility:

In addition to the question of whether Cruz’s birth in Canada disqualifies him from being considered a natural-born citizen, for which there are clashing historical claims, Grayson notes there’s disagreement about whether both parents of U.S. citizens born overseas must be citizens.

And then there’s Cruz’s mother, Eleanor Darragh Wilson.

Grayson says Wilson may have forfeited her U.S. citizenship by taking a Canadian oath of citizenship, and that he’s seen no evidence she actually was born in the U.S.

Cruz’s mother “may have elected to give up her U.S. citizenship — she wasn’t there on a visitor’s visa for five years, that’s for sure,” he says.

Grayson says “if his mother, who clearly worked in Canada for years and years, did so while becoming a Canadian citizen and taking an oath, which is how you do it in Canada, she lost her citizenship by U.S. law, specifically Section 349 of the Immigration and Nationality Act.”

Grayson says he’ll sue if Cruz wins the nomination, which makes it even more unlikely that a court would rule against Cruz. Imagine the public outcry if a major-party nominee was suddenly booted from the ballot months before the general election on a highly questionable, crabbed reading of a vague constitutional term. Who would replace Cruz as nominee? How many Cruz supporters would stay home in utter disgust at having the prize ripped out of their guy’s hands by judges, egged on by Cruz-haters from the left and right? No court wants to insert itself into a national election that way. But then, I doubt Grayson really believes he’d win. The point of the lawsuit is the same as Trump’s goal in nudging Cruz to go get a declaratory judgment about his eligibility: Both of them want to create enough of a cloud over Cruz’s status to discourage some voters and tilt a close election against Cruz. That makes sense for a hyper-partisan Democrat like Grayson who wants his party to hold the White House. What’s Trump’s — and Paul’s, and McCain’s — excuse?

Update: Fair point from some Cruz fans on Twitter: The best way for a conservative to endear himself to the base is to be shivved by John McCain. If anything, this will steer some righties into circling the wagons around Cruz. How does that play for Trump?

Update: Lotta Cruz-hating Democrats joining in on the fun today…

…oh, and of course, Donald Trump too:


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Comments

You guys could all have saved your selves a lot of grief and just waited for my decision of Cruz being eligible for the Presidency:

Cruz is ELIGIBLE.

I’ll take questions now.

libfreesMom on January 7, 2016 at 3:53 PM

Mac the Knife.

Must be a penknife.

HumpBot Salvation on January 7, 2016 at 4:00 PM

Why aren’t the LIBERALS and RINOS talking about those women who were raped by Muslims in Germany on NEW YEARS EVE?????

Realdemocrat1 on January 7, 2016 at 4:01 PM

>why is ted cruz not trotting out his mother and father to verify this stuff.

Would you “trot out your mother?” of advanced years to sit and be grilled by an adverse media? Your a POS if you would.

>her birth certificate,

You realize it may take a bit of doing to recover one that old right? This whole problem is what? 2 days old?

>when they became canadian citizens.

There has been no evidence presented that his mother ever was a Canadian Citizen.

mikethemoose on January 7, 2016 at 4:02 PM

Vattel explained “natural born citizens”, as defined by the law of nature,in the very book George Washington checked out:

THE LAW OF NATIONS
OR PRINCIPLES OF THE LAW OF NATURE APPLIED TO THE CONDUCT AND AFFAIRS OF NATIONS AND SOVEREIGNS

§ 212. Citizens and natives.

“natural-born citizens, are those born in the country, of parents who are citizens”

That is the same terminology echoed by the Supreme Court in Minor v. Happersett.

Others can be born citizens while not being “natural-born citizens… born in the country, of parents who are citizens”.

Your sister is entitled to all the benefits of U.S. citizenship, but she is not eligible to be Commander in Chief of the U.S. armed forces.

ITguy on January 7, 2016 at 2:58 PM

Yes, that is correct. However, in the strictest lawyer-speak (God I hate that), Washington himself wasn’t eligible, since he was not born in a country that didn’t exist yet.

I know the Cruz eligibility debate isn’t going to die down soon, but I am certain Cruz is eligible. I quote Heritage:

Under the longstanding English common-law principle of jus soli, persons born within the territory of the sovereign (other than children of enemy aliens or foreign diplomats) are citizens from birth. Thus, those persons born within the United States are “natural born citizens” and eligible to be President. Much less certain, however, is whether children born abroad of United States citizens are “natural born citizens” eligible to serve as President. As early as 1350, the British Parliament approved statutes recognizing the rule of jus sanguinis, under which citizens may pass their citizenship by descent to their children at birth, regardless of place. Similarly, in its first naturalization statute, Congress declared that “the children of citizens of the United States, that may be born beyond the sea, or out of the limits of the United States, shall be considered as natural born citizens.”

Ergo, Cruz is eligible.

Turtle317 on January 7, 2016 at 4:05 PM

Again, the whole requirement of NBC is now mute thanks to the avoidance of the Supreme Court to touch the issue with Obama. Now just being a US Citizen at the time of birth because of just one parent being a citizen at birth is all that is required anymore. (The distinction between being a NBC versus a born citizen versus is mute anymore; the distinction between both parents having to be US citizens at the time of birth is mute so long as one parent was a US citizen at birth; the distinction of dual citizenship versus one-country only citizenship at birth is mute). It would be the height of stupidity for there to be one requirement for Republicans to be President and a lesser requirement for Democrats to be President. Thanks to Obama the requirement that the Constitution counts or matters has been largely thrown out (such as Obamacare now allows the government to tax us for something we do not buy from the private market! or that Obamacare now allows a Federal Exchange to be considered a State Exchange–that the words State and Federal are now interchangeable in law!).

The idea that the GOP should be held to a different interpreted Constitution is only an idea that suicide-prone GOP politicians could hold to.

marti124 on January 7, 2016 at 4:05 PM

>I don’t allow barristers

Ha. No.

>I don’t allow barristers to vex me with nonsense. One cannot inherit citizenship simply because of parents.

Ha. No.

Inherited Citizenship dates back to ancient times in the West. In fact the idea of Jus soli is much much younger than Jus sanguinis.

mikethemoose on January 7, 2016 at 4:15 PM

Cruz was not born in America….He does not qualify.

weedisgood on January 7, 2016 at 1:32 PM

I urge you to keep smoking dope.

It’s a good excuse for your stupidity.

Keep it up, sloth works for you.

itsspideyman on January 7, 2016 at 4:17 PM

https://www.law.cornell.edu/supremecourt/text/88/162

Axe on January 7, 2016 at 3:48 PM

Will you please quit stopping up the douche pipes of nonsense with logical and fact based arguments?

Sheesh, what will happen to the precious clicks?

Power resides where the people believe it resides. And Obama has exploited this notion for 7+ years. And the Constitution and any legal arguments based thereupon become more irrelevant every day as a result.

Difficultas_Est_Imperium on January 7, 2016 at 4:25 PM

For Meredith

http://polling.reuters.com/#poll/TR130/filters/PARTY_ID_:2/dates/20160101-20160105/type/day

Schadenfreude on January 7, 2016 at 3:05 PM

LMFAO at the Republican numbers for Not Voting outscoring those for Rubio.

Difficultas_Est_Imperium on January 7, 2016 at 4:27 PM

Let’s just say you can inherit citizenship. Where is the CRBA that his mom filed in Canada after his birth? I don’t even think Cruz is eligible to be a Senator!

OliverB on January 7, 2016 at 4:28 PM

Let’s just say you can inherit citizenship. Where is the CRBA that his mom filed in Canada after his birth? I don’t even think Cruz is eligible to be a Senator!

OliverB on January 7, 2016 at 4:28 PM

Don’t be silly.

Congress declared that “the children of citizens of the United States, that may be born beyond the sea, or out of the limits of the United States, shall be considered as natural born citizens.”

Read it. Know it. There will be a pop quiz tomorrow.

Turtle317 on January 7, 2016 at 4:32 PM

Quick… Cruz needs to pull and obama and spend a truck load of money hiding his past and then calling those who question it wackos…

Voodoo Chile on January 7, 2016 at 4:40 PM

Quick… Cruz needs to pull and obama and spend a truck load of money hiding his past and then calling those who question it wackos…

Voodoo Chile on January 7, 2016 at 4:40 PM

Better yet, why not let the libs spend all their hard-earned money trying to prove he isn’t eligible?

Harvard and Heritage agree that he is. That’s a rarity right there.

Turtle317 on January 7, 2016 at 4:42 PM

As to McCain knifing Cruz, Cruz was heard to say. “Is it in yet?”

Sheerq on January 7, 2016 at 4:49 PM

Just Say ‘No!” To Birtherism Of The Left Variety As Espoused By HAL

Axe on January 7, 2016 at 4:43 PM

*applauds HAL* That dude puts my posts to shame.

Turtle317 on January 7, 2016 at 4:52 PM

Power resides where the people believe it resides. And Obama has exploited this notion for 7+ years. And the Constitution and any legal arguments based thereupon become more irrelevant every day as a result.

Difficultas_Est_Imperium on January 7, 2016 at 4:25 PM

True.

I noticed once that kids caught praying at school were being sent home because of nonexistent laws that, somehow, “everyone knows” prohibit it on the grounds of separation of church and state.

Much power in “everyone knows.”

Axe on January 7, 2016 at 4:52 PM

Better yet, why not let the libs spend all their hard-earned money trying to prove he isn’t eligible?

Turtle317 on January 7, 2016 at 4:42 PM

Definitely valid. :)
However, hiding it first gives them the motivation, otherwise they will simply use the media to corrupt what is available.
Hide it all now just like obama did and when they do spend their money, call them Birthers and down play it… even joke about it to goad them further.

Voodoo Chile on January 7, 2016 at 5:01 PM

Just Say ‘No!” To Birtherism Of The Left Variety As Espoused By HAL

Axe on January 7, 2016 at 4:43 PM

Nothing like reading a legal brief in white-on-black to make your eyes go cross-eyed.

Better yet, why not let the libs spend all their hard-earned money trying to prove he isn’t eligible?

Harvard and Heritage agree that he is. That’s a rarity right there.

Turtle317 on January 7, 2016 at 4:42 PM

Indeed.
And wouldn’t discovery be fun if the Cruz team called on Obama to prove his citizenship beyond ANY doubt (passport / Indonesia issues) with some of those hidden records.
Pass the Popcorn.

Personally, I would support a Constitutional requirement that the Congress have a committee tasked with receiving evidence of citizenship from ALL candidates prior to being able to file with the FEC or whatever they do now to be “contenders” — none of that, nor party membership, is in the Constitution, BTW — it’s all tradition and state statutes and party rules.

AesopFan on January 7, 2016 at 5:04 PM

Vattel explained “natural born citizens”, as defined by the law of nature,in the very book George Washington checked out:

THE LAW OF NATIONS
OR PRINCIPLES OF THE LAW OF NATURE APPLIED TO THE CONDUCT AND AFFAIRS OF NATIONS AND SOVEREIGNS

§ 212. Citizens and natives.

“natural-born citizens, are those born in the country, of parents who are citizens”

That is the same terminology echoed by the Supreme Court in Minor v. Happersett.

Was the Supreme Court “echoing” Vattel in this part of the Minor v. Happersett opinion, too? Or did you just hope no one would actually read it?

Under the power to adopt a uniform system of naturalization Congress, as early as 1790, provided ‘that any alien, being a free white person,’ might be admitted as a citizen of the United States, and that the children of such persons so naturalized, dwelling within the United States, being under twenty-one years of age at the time of such naturalization, should also be considered citizens of the United States, and that the children of citizens of the United States that might be born beyond the sea, or out of the limits of the United States, should be considered as natural-born citizens. These provisions thus enacted have, in substance, been retained in all the naturalization laws adopted since. In 1855, however, the last provision was somewhat extended, and all persons theretofore born or thereafter to be born out of the limits of the jurisdiction of the United States, whose fathers were, or should be at the time of their birth, citizens of the United States, were declared to be citizens also.

YourNameHere on January 7, 2016 at 5:05 PM

And wouldn’t discovery be fun if the Cruz team called on Obama to prove his citizenship beyond ANY doubt (passport / Indonesia issues) with some of those hidden records.

AesopFan on January 7, 2016 at 5:04 PM

Wishful thinking indeed. The only way discovery of any type would happen is if it were Cruz. ANYTHING involving obama would not be touched, but rather mocked. The only time any of this could actually become serious is if the target were other than Democrat.

Voodoo Chile on January 7, 2016 at 5:19 PM

Grayson notes there’s disagreement about whether both parents of U.S. citizens born overseas must be citizens.

well, well, well. So the Democrats themselves are doubting Mr. Obama’s citizenship. Amusing.

unclesmrgol on January 7, 2016 at 5:49 PM

Grayson says Wilson may have forfeited her U.S. citizenship by taking a Canadian oath of citizenship, and that he’s seen no evidence she actually was born in the U.S.

Hmm.

http://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/legal-considerations/us-citizenship-laws-policies/citizenship-and-dual-nationality/dual-nationality.html

A U.S. national may acquire foreign nationality by marriage, or a person naturalized as a U.S. national may not lose the nationality of the country of birth. U.S. law does not mention dual nationality or require a person to choose one nationality or another. Also, a person who is automatically granted another nationality does not risk losing U.S. nationality. However, a person who acquires a foreign nationality by applying for it may lose U.S. nationality. In order to lose U.S. nationality, the law requires that the person must apply for the foreign nationality voluntarily, by free choice, and with the intention to give up U.S. nationality.

Intent can be shown by the person’s statements or conduct. The U.S. Government recognizes that dual nationality exists but does not encourage it as a matter of policy because of the problems it may cause. Claims of other countries on dual national U.S. nationals may conflict with U.S. law, and dual nationality may limit U.S. Government efforts to assist nationals abroad. The country where a dual national is located generally has a stronger claim to that person’s allegiance.

Possibilities, but not strong ones.

unclesmrgol on January 7, 2016 at 5:54 PM

McCain’s right once a decade. This is one of those rare times.

Aslans Girl on January 7, 2016 at 5:58 PM

PS: McCain knows this issue since he had his own NBC challenged, so… yeah, sorry, but Cruz is not NBC.

Aslans Girl on January 7, 2016 at 5:58 PM

Just Say ‘No!” To Birtherism Of The Left Variety As Espoused By HAL

Axe on January 7, 2016 at 4:43 PM

I miss having her here!

Nothing like reading a legal brief in white-on-black to make your eyes go cross-eyed…

AesopFan on January 7, 2016 at 5:04 PM

It’s much easier for me to read on my phone, and almost impossible on the computer.

INC on January 7, 2016 at 5:59 PM

From RWM at the above link:

…On my team, I have James Madison, Sir William Blackstone, the author of the 14th Amendment, Senator Jacob Howard, (R-MI), his second, Senator Edward Cowan, (R-PA), the Congressional Research Service, Citizenship of the United States, written by Frederick van Dyne, the Assistant Solicitor of the US Department of State in 1904, Harvard Law Professor Allan Dershowitz, Eugene Volokh, the Gary T Schwartz Professor of Law at the UCLA School of Law, Lawrence Tribe, a Professor of Constitutional Law at Harvard, and more…

INC on January 7, 2016 at 6:06 PM

Who decides if Cruz is eligible? It seems like some nebulous black cloud always floating out there, that never gets decided.

cimbri on January 7, 2016 at 6:15 PM

Born on foreign soil to foreign father & ex-pat mother. Is that what Founding Fathers meant by “natural born”? Hardly think so…

Aslans Girl on January 7, 2016 at 6:20 PM

McCain’s right once a decade. This is one of those rare times.

Aslans Girl on January 7, 2016 at 5:58 PM

PS: McCain knows this issue since he had his own NBC challenged, so… yeah, sorry, but Cruz is not NBC.

Aslans Girl on January 7, 2016 at 5:58 PM

Again, McCain is wrong and probably knows he’s wrong, and Cruz is a natural born citizen.

Cross-posting from the headlines:

Well, yeah, that and the little fact that Cruz is not natural born… born on US soil to TWO US cit parents. Simple. That’s what the phrase meant in 1790s when it was written.

Aslans Girl on January 7, 2016 at 5:50 PM

It’s never meant that.

There are two ways to become a citizen; a person can be born that way, or they can become that way through process. The first attempt to clean it all up and make it uniform, 1790:

The Naturalization Act of 1790.

“§ 3. And be it further enacted, that the children of persons duly naturalized, dwelling within the United States, and being under the age of twenty-one years, at the time of such naturalization, and the children of citizens of the United States, born out of the limits and jurisdiction of the United States, shall be considered as citizens of the United States: Provided, That the right of citizenship shall not descend to persons, whose fathers have never been resident of the United States: Provided also, That no person heretofore proscribed by any state, or who has been legally convicted of having joined the army of Great Britain during the late war, [etc. etc.].”

From the preamble:

“Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America, in Congress assembled, that any Alien being a free white person, who shall have resided within the limits and under the jurisdiction of the United States for the term of two years, may be admitted to become a citizen thereof on application to any common law court . . . and the children of citizens of the United States that may be born beyond Sea, or out of the limits of the United States, shall be considered as natural born citizens: provided, that the right of citizenship shall not descend to persons whose fathers have never been resident in the United States: provided also, that no person heretofore proscribed by any States [etc. etc.]”

Axe on January 7, 2016 at 6:21 PM

Donald Trump is doing Ted Cruz a favor by bringing this up now, because he has to have a good answer for the general election. The birther rumors about Obama generated from the 2008 Hillary Clinton campaign, so she would definitely muse about it with Cruz. No? Furthermore, before releasing his birth certificate (allegedly) as much as 45% of the American people told pollsters they weren’t sure if he was born in this country. We’re not Democrats! We don’t shield our candidates from their weaknesses, we challenge them. It’s good for the candidates, good for the party, and good for the country.

Sarah-Cuda on January 7, 2016 at 11:34 AM

Absolutely right. Cruz and his supporters were going to let this simmer, and then it was going to blow up in our face later. Granted, I think Trump will get the nomination, but just in case he does not get it, Cruz has to clear this up – now. The United States has never elected a non-native to the highest office, so Cruz needs an official stamp of approval that he is eligible. Even so, some people will not vote for him because he was not born in the States.

cimbri on January 7, 2016 at 6:28 PM

Cross posting again. Sorry; I accidentally forked the conversation.

http://hotair.com/headlines/archives/2016/01/07/cruz-mccain-questions-my-citizenship-because-he-secretly-backs-rubio/comment-page-1/#comment-3810199

My research into this goes back seven-eight years. I did a lot of study. The phrase “natural born” is an odd one and must be looked at in context to 1790. It was based on British Common Law and it meant soil + cit parents. That’s why Obama is not NBC — his father was not a US cit at time of his birth. Also why Jindal is not NBC. You could be born in the Oval Office itself, but must have TWO US cit parents to be NBC.

Aslans Girl on January 7, 2016 at 6:30 PM

Those arguments are about whether someone was or wasn’t born a citizen; not about creating a third, privileged class of citizen. There have been and probably will continue to be arguments about who is and who isn’t born a citizen, but Cruz would be considered a natural born citizen under American law for the entire history of the country, even under the original act.

Axe on January 7, 2016 at 6:38 PM

Despite the happenstance of a birth across the border, there is no question that Senator Cruz has been a citizen from birth and is thus a “natural born Citizen” within the meaning of the Constitution. Indeed, because his father had also been resident in the United States, Senator Cruz would have been a “natural born Citizen” even under the Naturalization Act of 1790.

Harvard Law Review, On the Meaning of “Natural Born Citizen”

Axe on January 7, 2016 at 6:43 PM

I would suggest reading what RWM wrote in June 2013, over two years ago. Axe linked to it, and here it is again. It discusses Cruz and natural born citizenship with a formidable array of research of law and history.

Just Say ‘No!” To Birtherism Of The Left Variety As Espoused By HAL

Look at the date again. 20 June 2013. This has not been simmering. It was discussed over two years ago.

INC on January 7, 2016 at 6:48 PM

Axe,

I linked to that Harvard Law Review article several days ago, and it was dismissed.

INC on January 7, 2016 at 6:50 PM

Indeed, because his father had also been resident in the United States, Senator Cruz would have been a “natural born Citizen” even under the Naturalization Act of 1790.

Harvard Law Review, On the Meaning of “Natural Born Citizen”

Axe on January 7, 2016 at 6:43 PM

The 1795 Naturalization Act, replacing the 1790 Act, specifically changed “natural born American citizen” to just “American citizen”, as the result of an American having a baby abroad, and kept the provision that the other parent needed to have prior residency in the States.

cimbri on January 7, 2016 at 6:56 PM

The law paper referenced above arguing that McCain is a NBC references the 1790 law. Quote: ” The 1790 naturalization statute followed this practice, declaring overseasborn children “natural born citizens”, but since 1795, Congress declared them mere “citizens.” Compare Act of Mar. 26, 1790, 1 Stat. 103 (1790) with Act of Jan. 29, 1795, 1 Stat. 414 (1795). ”

http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1157621
(download full pdf or open pdf in browser–as I did)
(in footnotes on numbered page 21 not pdf page 21)

marti124 on January 7, 2016 at 7:15 PM

Oops, meant to write “arguing that McCain is NOT a NBC…”

marti124 on January 7, 2016 at 7:16 PM

Note to everyone claiming that Cruz definitely is Natural-Born: It doesn’t matter how many people on your side that you quote, and it doesn’t matter how much certainty you shout it with. It all hinges on whether Cruz’s mother was actually an American citizen at the time of his birth. And we have no proof that she was.

ceruleanblue on January 7, 2016 at 7:46 PM

Ted Cruz’s mother was born in Delaware. She’s as American as anyone else from that state.

http://www.npr.org/sections/itsallpolitics/2015/03/23/394713013/is-ted-cruz-allowed-to-run-since-he-was-born-in-canada

BlameAmericaLast on January 7, 2016 at 8:18 PM

To those claiming that the well understood definition of natural born citizen was born in country to two citizen parents…….

How is it possible that almost 100 years after our founding it took a SCOTUS ruling to determine that women were in fact citizens?

Hard to have two citizen parents if women were not understood to be citizens. No?

Anyone got a good answer for this????

Mordaukar on January 7, 2016 at 8:20 PM

The 1795 Naturalization Act, replacing the 1790 Act, specifically changed “natural born American citizen” to just “American citizen”, as the result of an American having a baby abroad, and kept the provision that the other parent needed to have prior residency in the States.

cimbri on January 7, 2016 at 6:56 PM

1. It could be interpreted to mean that the legislature meant for the American President and first lady, touring France, to risk making their child ineligible for high political office, should the first lady go into labor early;

2. It could mean a redundancy was removed by people who didn’t know other people were going to be debating it a couple hundred years later on Hot Air.

But the term “natural born” isn’t distinguished from “born a citizen” in the subsequent legislation as something distinct. The term doesn’t appear at all. Not in 1795, 1798, or 1880.

Axe on January 7, 2016 at 8:31 PM

*Meaning, section 3 of the 1795 act —

§ 3. And be it further enacted, that the children of persons duly naturalized, dwelling within the United States, and being under the age of twenty-one years at the time of such naturalization, and the children of citizens of the United States born out of the limits and jurisdiction of the United States, shall be considered as citizens of the United States. Provided, that the right of citizenship shall not descend on persons whose fathers have never been resident of the United States. No person heretofore proscribed by any state, or who has been legally convicted of having joined the army of Great Britain during the late war, shall be admitted as foresaid, without the consent of the legislature of the state in which such person was proscribed.

— specifies who is considered born a citizen, as distinct from someone requiring naturalization.

Axe on January 7, 2016 at 8:36 PM

Harvard Law Review: Sorry, Birthers, Ted Cruz IS A Natural-Born Citizen! On the Meaning of “Natural Born Citizen”

The Harvard Law Review – written by Neal Katyal (a Clintonian Progressive) & Paul Clement (a Conservative, who has argued many times before the Supreme Court) – has confirmed what I wrote on Ted Cruz’s status more than two years ago:

Just Say ‘No!’ To Birtherism Of The Left Variety As Espoused By HAL

And,what I wrote about Obama long before that:

Just Say ‘No!’ To Birtherism

To HotAirians, make sure to relay this to the so-called ‘HLS grad’, nonpartisan!

PS: If you believe that Ted Cruz isn’t a natural born citizen, then put your money where your mouth is and file a lawsuit pronto! If you don’t, then we will all know you are nothing but Hot Air and no legal scholar.

Lime in the Coconut on January 7, 2016 at 9:00 PM

But the term “natural born” isn’t distinguished from “born a citizen” in the subsequent legislation as something distinct. The term doesn’t appear at all. Not in 1795, 1798, or 1880.

Axe on January 7, 2016 at 8:31 PM

I guess it’s subject to interpretation. Like a few others have said here, the whole point of a naturalization law, is to cover people whose citizenship is in doubt. That’s why I think they removed “natural born” after the first iteration. Cruz is covered by these naturalization laws. A natural born citizen isn’t covered by these laws, he’s a citizen automatically. (of course, blacks were added on after the 14th amendment).

cimbri on January 7, 2016 at 9:02 PM

I hope the Cruz birthers on here realize that even if Cruz’s mother was granted Canadian citizenship, it doesn’t mean she isn’t an American citizen. If she didn’t renounce her citizenship or have it stripped by a court, then she’s was still a U.S. citizen. Renouncing your American citizenship is a pretty involved and official affair; it’s not something that’s taken lightly. Moreover, the United States of America permits its citizens to hold dual citizenship. Citizenship is not a zero sum game.

Cruz is a natural born citizen. I suppose its a matter that only folks who can comprehend complex ideas can understand.

Speakeasy on January 7, 2016 at 9:03 PM

I guess it’s subject to interpretation. Like a few others have said here, the whole point of a naturalization law, is to cover people whose citizenship is in doubt. That’s why I think they removed “natural born” after the first iteration. Cruz is covered by these naturalization laws. A natural born citizen isn’t covered by these laws, he’s a citizen automatically. (of course, blacks were added on after the 14th amendment).

cimbri on January 7, 2016 at 9:02 PM

I agree there’s room to interpret.

I want to point out that those acts aren’t only naturalization laws, since they are also used to specify who is born a natural citizen, and that Cruz was never naturalized, being born naturalized.

Axe on January 7, 2016 at 9:19 PM

I hope the Cruz birthers on here realize that even if Cruz’s mother was granted Canadian citizenship, it doesn’t mean she isn’t an American citizen. If she didn’t renounce her citizenship or have it stripped by a court, then she’s was still a U.S. citizen.

Speakeasy on January 7, 2016 at 9:03 PM

Part of Canada’s oath spoken by all who applied for naturalization as Canadian citizens before 1973:

“I hereby renounce all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign sovereign or state of whom or which I may at this time be a subject or citizen.”
If she became a citizen, she renounced her US citizenship. Which is probably why Cruz is denying access to his records and hers.

NWConservative on January 7, 2016 at 9:32 PM

Yes, that is correct. However, in the strictest lawyer-speak (God I hate that), Washington himself wasn’t eligible, since he was not born in a country that didn’t exist yet.

Turtle317 on January 7, 2016 at 4:05 PM

Washington was not a natural born citizen of the United States, but he was absolutely eligible to hold the office of President of the United States.

The Founders understood that they became citizens of the United States upon the signing of the Declaration of Independence.

The Founders understood that the very first natural born citizens of the United States would not turn 35 years old until 1811, so there had to be a “grandfather clause” built into the Constitution to allow themselves to be eligible, but eventually effectively expire when there would be natural born citizens over the age of 35.

I’ll put the grandfather clause in bold…

From Article II Section 1:

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.

George Washington was a Citizen of the United States at the time of the Adoption of the Constitution, and was absolutely eligible to hold the office of President and Commander in Chief.

Since no one alive today was a Citizen of the United States at the time of the Adoption of the Constitution, they must be a natural born citizen in order to be eligible to hold the office of President and Commander in Chief.

ITguy on January 7, 2016 at 9:37 PM

I looked up your bullshït, NW, and that’s just what it is, BS.

Here’s the old Oath of Allegiance, the version used from January 1, 1947 to February 14, 1977.

“I swear that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Second, Her Heirs and Successors, according to law, and that I will faithfully observe the laws of Canada and fulfill my duties as a Canadian citizen.”

BlameAmericaLast on January 7, 2016 at 11:21 PM

Just Say ‘No!” To Birtherism Of The Left Variety As Espoused By HAL
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Axe on January 7, 2016 at 4:43 PM

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I miss having her here!
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INC on January 7, 2016 at 5:59 PM

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We all (sans trolls) do … : (

listens2glenn on January 7, 2016 at 11:30 PM

McCain’s right once a decade. This is one of those rare times.
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Aslans Girl on January 7, 2016 at 5:58 PM

PS: McCain knows this issue since he had his own NBC challenged, so… yeah, sorry, but Cruz is not NBC.
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Aslans Girl on January 7, 2016 at 5:58 PM

Fascinating and illuminating timeline:
https://m.facebook.com/notes/anna-tomerlin/ted-cruz-citizenship-timeline/815852778451290/
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Aslans Girl on January 7, 2016 at 6:18 PM

Born on foreign soil to foreign father & ex-pat mother. Is that what Founding Fathers meant by “natural born”? Hardly think so…
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Aslans Girl on January 7, 2016 at 6:20 PM

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Palin Cruz derangement syndrome”

listens2glenn on January 7, 2016 at 11:48 PM

From the “Headlines” section of Hotair:
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Andrew C. McCarthy @nationalreview.com on January 6, 2016 at 11:40 PM

listens2glenn on January 8, 2016 at 12:42 AM

I looked up your bullshït, NW, and that’s just what it is, BS.

Here’s the old Oath of Allegiance, the version used from January 1, 1947 to February 14, 1977.

“I swear that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Second, Her Heirs and Successors, according to law, and that I will faithfully observe the laws of Canada and fulfill my duties as a Canadian citizen.”

BlameAmericaLast on January 7, 2016 at 11:21 PM

If I may interject; the Canadian high court in 1973, specifically changed the provision that a person becoming a naturalized citizen had to renounce the previous citizenship. They did have to do it, although I don’t know the exact language without further research.

cimbri on January 8, 2016 at 12:51 AM

That’s not the Oath of Allegiance. I just quoted what that is.

BlameAmericaLast on January 8, 2016 at 2:38 AM

McCain sucks…but that’s beside the issue as far as I’m concerned- unless Canada is (or was at the time) a territory of the United States when he was born (which of course it never was) he was definitely born outside of the United States…and only one parent at the time was a U.S. citizen. I don’t view Cruz as a “natural born” citizen.

I like Cruz, and in no way doubt his loyalty to the United States, but the above is just my take on the matter.

Obama on the other hand…well, that’s a different subject I suppose. LOL

Since Trump’s parents were U.S. citizens when he was born, and since he was born in the U.S. he is “natural born”.

McCain is “natural born”, too, BTW. Now, if McCain had been born in say, Madrid, Spain, I would not consider him to be a “natural born” citizen-merely a plain old U.S. citizen.

Nowadays, few people give a crap where they were born. But 200 years ago, that had far more meaning. Loyalties often relied heavily on one’s place of birth. Col. Robert E. Lee, for instance, turned down command of the Union armies simply because he was born in Virginia and that state seceded. Had Virginia not seceded, he almost certainly would have taken the War Department up on their offer.

Dr. ZhivBlago on January 8, 2016 at 3:27 AM

This was always going to be a problem for Cruz. Birthers were never disproven with Obama, they were just dismissed. Such paperwork as was presented was late in appearing and problematic, like much of his documentation.

Cruz conservative credentials are stronger than most, but this part of his record is not clean. It doesn’t matter whether Democrat or Republican brings it up, its about whether election law matters.

We know that democrats believe “by any means necessary” but reluctantly we can’t support skirting the law in this matter.

Could it be that since Obama got away with it, a similar pass would be provided to Republicans? Delusional. Schwarzenegger was tempted, but realized it was not to be.

Here’s why mainstream politicians won’t go there: too many other electoral frauds holding office already… Where would it stop? That’s the reason they won’t go after Cruz full-bore.

But he has a problem.

virgo on January 8, 2016 at 3:49 AM

you are saying someone born on a ship in the mid-atlantic is not a natural born citizen…that a natural born citizen is a geographically determined. And that is ridiculous.

right2bright on January 7, 2016 at 12:47 PM

That’s not what I said.

A natural born citizen is naturally a citizen of 1 and only 1 country. No other country can claim authority or influence over that child based on either birth location or citizenship/subjecthood of the father or mother.

In your ship in international waters example, if both the mother and father are U.S. citizens, the child would be a natural born citizen. If, however, either the mother or father were not a U.S. citizen, the child would not be a natural born citizen. If the other parent were a U.S. citizen, the child would be a U.S. citizen at birth, but not a natural born citizen.

Each word has meaning, and of the following 3 groups:
A) citizen
B) born citizen
C) natural born citizen

B is a subset of A, and C is a subset of B.

ITguy on January 7, 2016 at 2:18 PM

The problem with this analysis is the complete lack of evidence or support for category B. There are two categories: Naturalized, and Natural Born.

Can you find a law or court decision that distinguishes between born citizen and natural born citizen? Anything that establishes three categories of citizenship?

There Goes the Neighborhood on January 8, 2016 at 10:22 AM

Again, the whole requirement of NBC is now mute thanks to the avoidance of the Supreme Court to touch the issue with Obama. Now just being a US Citizen at the time of birth because of just one parent being a citizen at birth is all that is required anymore. (The distinction between being a NBC versus a born citizen versus is mute anymore; the distinction between both parents having to be US citizens at the time of birth is mute so long as one parent was a US citizen at birth; the distinction of dual citizenship versus one-country only citizenship at birth is mute). ….

marti124 on January 7, 2016 at 4:05 PM

(Emphasis added, SIC)

You will forgive me if I question legal commentary that does not know the difference between “Moot” and “Mute”. Although, I think the argument above may still work if you use the “mute” with its actual meaning.

Did Cruz have the quality of U.S. Citizenship since birth? If yes, then he is a natural born Citizen. The court’s have recognized only two possibilities: a)citizen from birth (natural born Citizen), or b) naturalized Citizen.

To recycle an example I’ve used previously for birther arguments: If you describe someone as being a “natural born ball-player” or a “natural born… lollipop… sucker”, are you: a) indicating that that person has had that quality since birth; or b) indicating that both of the subject’s parents had that quality? I’ve heard many people say that Pete Rose was a natural born baseball player, but not once has someone backed that statement up by indicating his Mom and Dad were great ballplayers.

New_Jersey_Buckeye on January 8, 2016 at 10:34 AM

New_Jersey_Buckeye, thanks for the grammar fix. I see that it can be read either way, but the right way is moot. The funny way is mute. Other words that people misuse is jest vs gist or mustard versus muster.

marti124 on January 8, 2016 at 11:19 AM

A flashing siren at Drudge. Haven’t seen that in a long time.

Galtian on January 8, 2016 at 4:18 PM

I don’t know if it’s been brought up…

But wasn’t McCain born in a foreign nation? Panama to be exact.

Johnny 100 Pesos on January 8, 2016 at 6:05 PM

Question to all the Birthers:

If an American woman delivers her baby in international waters, what is the baby’s citizenship?

Megyn Kellys Lipstick on January 7, 2016 at 11:34 AM

Atlantic or Pacific?

right2bright on January 7, 2016 at 11:35 AM

Equatorial?

Carnival or Celebrity?

Atlantic or Pacific?

Ship’s flag of registry?

CelebrateHomogeneity on January 9, 2016 at 12:47 AM