Green Room

Is Ted Cruz eligible to be president?

posted at 12:20 pm on January 8, 2013 by

Alternate headline: “Liberals to discover strange new respect for ‘Natural Born’ Clause circa 2016/2020.”

The newly sworn-in Texas senator and rising Republican star was born in Canada, to a mother who was born in Delaware and Cuban father. That’s triggered a debate about whether he’s eligible for the nation’s highest office — nevermind that he’s been in Congress less than a week.

While there’s no legal precedent for Cruz’s situation, most constitutional scholars surveyed by POLITICO believe the 42-year-old tea party sensation would be OK. But there’s just enough gray area to stoke controversy, as Cruz learned during his campaign for Senate last year…

“Ted is a U.S. citizen by birth, having been born in Calgary to an American-born mother,” said Cruz spokesman Sean Rushton, who declined to elaborate on the matter, saying his boss is focused on his work ahead in the Senate…

“He’s a birthright citizen but his birthright citizenship derives from his parents, and the question is, does that fit with the definition of natural born citizen?” added University of Pennsylvania law professor Kermit Roosevelt. “I think it does.”

Why should the presidency uniquely be limited to natural-born citizens when other important government positions aren’t? Give me an argument on the merits, not just “because the Constitution says so.” As a measure of loyalty, the Natural Born Clause is weak; there are plenty of naturalized citizens whom I’d trust to act in America’s interest before I’d trust certain natural-borns. And as far as I know, virtually every other sensitive federal job — Congress, military, intelligence — is open to U.S. citizens who were born elsewhere. Why would you be willing to promote a guy to, say, four-star general or director of national intelligence irrespective of birthplace but not to C-in-C?

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Comment pages: 1 2

Possum Holler has a new President…….Ted Cruz.

And I dunno who this Obama feller is.

PappyD61 on January 8, 2013 at 6:17 PM

Wow! A wee bit far out for speculation on him for 2016 isn’t it. Remind me, what merits considering him in the first instance?

Bmore on January 8, 2013 at 6:39 PM

I was taught that the clause was necessary to get people who didn’t want Alexander Hamilton to be eligible, to vote to enact the constitution.

burt on January 8, 2013 at 6:57 PM

Bmore on January 8, 2013 at 6:39 PM

The leftards brought it up. He gives them the willys. Like Rushbo says; They always let you know whom they fear.

Red Creek on January 8, 2013 at 7:24 PM

Let me guess. The correct answer is supposed to be “No, because he’s not a Democrat.”

SagebrushPuppet on January 8, 2013 at 8:21 PM

We’re not allowed to ask scotus? If Cruz thinks he’s eligible, then he’s a fraud. Anyone who thinks Cruz is eligible also thinks Grace Kelly’s kids are eligible.

Buddahpundit on January 8, 2013 at 8:22 PM

Give me an argument on the merits, not just “because the Constitution says so.”

Because the Constitution says so.

Arguments on the merits are for a discussion on whether the Constitution should be amended, not for whether an individual is qualified to be President under current law.

malclave on January 8, 2013 at 10:30 PM

A Kenyan got elected!

Drill and Fill on January 8, 2013 at 11:10 PM

Yeah, but the natural-born clause wasn’t enacted in the nuclear era.

Allahpundit on January 8, 2013 at 12:32 PM

And neither was the Bill of Rights. If there is a worse way to start off a rebuttal than “Yeah, but the natural-born clause wasn’t enacted in the nuclear era”, I don’t know what it would be.

RasThavas on January 8, 2013 at 11:38 PM

Oh dear. Here we go again.

Abby Adams on January 8, 2013 at 12:25 PM

yup .. gotta feed the 24 hour news cycle ….

conservative tarheel on January 9, 2013 at 9:21 AM

Ted Cruz is eligible to be president. Marco Rubio is eligible to be president. Bobby Jindal is eligible to be president. And, yes, even Barack Obama is eligible to be president. Give it up already.

Shump on January 8, 2013 at 3:55 PM

According to SCOTUS in Minor, none of those people are natural born Citizens. None of them can qualify for POTUS by the precedent given in the case.

And, no, I’m not ready to give up on the Constitution. Why are you ready, Shump?

1andyman on January 9, 2013 at 4:57 PM


Why should the presidency uniquely be limited to natural-born citizens when other important government positions aren’t?

A few observations. The president is many times the one selecting other people. The presidency is orders of magnitude more “important” than other positions. The presidency is the office that can best subvert the system (or be subverted).

Hence the natural born Citizen requirement, meaning two citizen parents and U.S. birth. We can easily see in the current de facto president that foreign influence is unwise. If you think his actions would be the same with a citizen father, I don’t know what to tell you.

1andyman on January 9, 2013 at 6:32 PM

The Precedent has been set with Obooboo. his mother was a natural born citizen. Cruz’z mother is a natural born citizen. Let the leftards choke on their precedent.

44Magnum on January 10, 2013 at 12:47 PM

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