Have you seen the new attack on Ted Cruz? His opponents are claiming that he’s ineligible to serve as president because he’s not a “natural born” citizen. The reason is because he was born in Canada, which he was.
The problem is that the rest of the “birther” theory is nonsense once you start looking at it. Ted Cruz’s mom is a U.S. citizen who has never been stripped of her citizenship. The U.S. laws prohibiting dual citizenship were struck down by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1967. Canada allows dual citizenship as well. Even if Cruz’s mom was a Canadian citizen, it’s irrelevant in this case.
Most Cruz birthers are getting hung up on the definition of “natural born.” All “natural born” means is that someone has gained citizenship at birth. Cruz did not have to be naturalized because he was an American citizen at birth. Cruz is an American citizen through his mother.
Here’s how a Harvard Law Review article describes how the Founding Fathers likely saw the definition of “natural born.”:
As to the British practice, laws in force in the 1700s recognized that children born outside of the British Empire to subjects of the Crown were subjects themselves and explicitly used “natural born” to encompass such children.5×5. See United States v. Wong Kim Ark, 169 U.S. 649, 655–72 (1898). These statutes provided that children born abroad to subjects of the British Empire were “natural-born Subjects . . . to all Intents, Constructions, and Purposeswhatsoever.”6×6. 7 Ann., c. 5, § 3 (1708); see also British Nationality Act, 1730, 4 Geo. 2, c. 21. The Framers, of course, would have been intimately familiar with these statutes and the way they used terms like “natural born,” since the statutes were binding law in the colonies before the Revolutionary War. They were also well documented in Blackstone’sCommentaries,7×7. See 1 William Blackstone,Commentaries *354–63. a text widely circulated and read by the Framers and routinely invoked in interpreting the Constitution.
No doubt informed by this longstanding tradition, just three years after the drafting of the Constitution, the First Congress established that children born abroad to U.S. citizens were U.S. citizens at birth, and explicitly recognized that such children were “natural born Citizens.” The Naturalization Act of 17908×8. Ch. 3, 1 Stat. 103 (repealed 1795). provided that “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 . . . .”9×9. Id. at 104 (emphasis omitted). The actions and understandings of the First Congress are particularly persuasive because so many of the Framers of the Constitution were also members of the First Congress. That is particularly true in this instance, as eight of the eleven members of the committee that proposed the natural born eligibility requirement to the Convention served in the First Congress and none objected to a definition of “natural born Citizen” that included persons born abroad to citizen parents.10×
Guys like Donald Trump, Carly Fiorina, Rand Paul, and RNC Chairman Reince Priebus who are peddling this stupidity to revive their campaigns or beat Cruz need to stop. The left-wing press and Democrat kook Alan Grayson are pushing it because they hate Ted Cruz. But these arguments against Cruz’s eligibility have no basis in reality both historically and legally.