Green Room

Birthers’ next target: Ted Cruz

posted at 2:04 pm on March 26, 2013 by

The man hasn’t even hinted that he’s planning to run for president, but by all means, let’s have a stupid, pointless fight over whether he’s a “natural born citizen” anyway:

Legal scholars are firm about Cruz’s eligibility. “Of course he’s eligible,” Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz tells National Review Online. “He’s a natural-born, not a naturalized, citizen.” Eugene Volokh, a professor at the UCLA School of Law and longtime friend of Cruz, agrees, saying the senator was “a citizen at birth, and thus a natural-born citizen — as opposed to a naturalized citizen, which I understand to mean someone who becomes a citizen after birth.” Federal law extends citizenship beyond those granted it by the 14th Amendment: It confers the privilege on all those born outside of the United States whose parents are both citizens, provided one of them has been “physically present” in the United States for any period of time, as well as all those born outside of the United States to at least one citizen parent who, after the age of 14, has resided in the United States for at least five years. Cruz’s mother, who was born and raised in Delaware, meets the latter requirement, so Cruz himself is undoubtedly an American citizen.

No court has ruled what makes a “natural-born citizen,” but there appears to be a consensus that the term refers to those who gain American citizenship by birth rather than by naturalization — again, including Texas’s junior senator. Cruz, a constitutional lawyer, is unequivocal on the question. His press secretary, Catherine Frazier, tells National Review Online that, while a 2016 run is far from his mind right now — he’s “fully focused on his role representing Texans in the U.S. Senate” — there should be no confusion about his presidential eligibility. “He is a U.S. citizen by birth, having been born in Calgary to an American-born mother,” Frazier says.

In case you’re keeping score (and I am, over at Townhall), various birther sects have now scrutinized President Obama, Sen. Marco Rubio, Sen. Ted Cruz, Gov. Bobby Jindal, and…Mitt Romney.  HuffPo nails it by labeling this movement “equal opportunity annoyers.”  Can we finally stop associating birtherism with conservatism?  Please?

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