Illinois Board of Elections declares Cruz a natural-born citizen

I know, I know … what does Illinois know, anyway? As the Washington Examiner points out, the Board of Elections decision isn’t the first ruling on this matter, but it may be the strongest yet in debunking claims that Ted Cruz is ineligible for the presidency. The board rejected a challenge to Cruz’ inclusion in the March 15th primary in no uncertain terms (via Instapundit):

“The Candidate is a natural born citizen by virtue of being born in Canada to his mother who was a U.S. citizen at the time of his birth,” the board said, explaining Cruz met the criteria because he “did not have to take any steps or go through a naturalization process at some point after birth.”

That explanation has formed the basis of a broad consensus ever since Cruz’ status was first challenged. He was born a US citizen by virtue of his mother regardless of where the birth took place. (The same would have been true of Barack Obama, too, although the state of Hawaii has made it clear on multiple occasions that he was born there.) While the phrase “natural born citizen” did not get a clear definition by the framers of the Constitution, that has been the accepted definition in legal circles for more than a century.

The board emphasized that it’s not interested in entertaining any further challenges, either:

A ballot commission in New Hampshire also ruled in favor of Cruz in January, but the language in Monday’s decision by the Illinois board took a stronger tone than the previous ruling, warning other skeptics, “Further discussion on this issue is unnecessary.”

That’s what they think. Never underestimate the power of conspiratorial thinking, nor the impulse to go to court over it. And don’t expect Donald Trump to stop harping on this, although it hardly did him any good in Iowa, and probably won’t do much better in New Hampshire either. It’s a low-cost zinger that guarantees a cheer line at rallies among the faithful, and right now Trump needs to rally them more than ever.

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