Skip to comments.Would the Founders Have Cared Where Ted Cruz Was Born?
Posted on 08/28/2013 8:45:24 AM PDT by Nero Germanicus
From beginning to end, the debate over Senator Ted Cruz and his birth certificate has been silly. Like the "birtherism" debate surrounding Barack Obama, it shows that many Americans think our Constitution is a Harry Potter book of spells ("Mandamus! Habeas Corpus! Nullus indviduus mandatus!"). The "natural born" citizen clause in particular appeals to the mythological imagination.
The clause is found in Article II § 1 cl. 5, which contains three and only three requirements for a potential president: He or she must be 35 years old, must have lived in the U.S. for 14 years, and must be "a natural born citizen, or a citizen of the United States, at the time of the adoption of this Constitution."
What was the reason behind this third requirement? Many people are convinced that the "purpose" of the Clause was to bar Alexander Hamilton (born in Nevis in the Caribbean) from the presidency. But the provision above says in so many words that anyone who is a citizen "at the time of the adoption of this Constitution" can be president. Hamilton had become a citizen of New York by act of the legislature in 1782. He didn't become president largely on account of the whole being-shot-to-death-by-Burr thing.
In fact, in 1787, no one over 11 -- not George Washington, not John Adams, not Thomas Jefferson -- was a "natural born citizen" of something called "the United States of America." The first "natural born citizen" to enter the White House, by my count, was Martin Van Buren in 1836 -- who was born in 1782, five years before Philadelphia.
I don't think that the Framers were even thinking about potential presidents born to American parents abroad. Their concern was naturalized citizens, and it was a lot more immediate and urgent.
(Excerpt) Read more at theatlantic.com ...
For the record, I approve of politicians doing this to each other.
Sure . . . Article II, section 1, clause 4 doesn’t exist in the Constitution.
Or is that Clause 5? Funny how some versions group words differently . . .
I'm pretty sure that if Ted Cruz were ever elected President then he would not become a puppet of the Canadian government.
This whole debate is stupid, because the original intent was to ensure loyalty to America and not a foreign sovereign.
Is this author serious? He sounds like an idiot. The “citizen...at the time of the adoption” clause was because it was impossible to find natural-born citizens of a country which didn’t yet exist.
yes, they did care
“I don’t think that the Framers were even thinking about potential presidents born to American parents abroad Their concern was naturalized citizens, and it was a lot more immediate and urgent.”
STOP RIGHT HERE! This idiot “THINKS” he knows what the framers intended, and then goes on to prove that he doesn’t.
No need to read further.
Except Hamilton was an honorable man, as were most of the Founders.
Burr was no such thing. He was an opportunist interested only in his own advancement. The other Founders greatly distrusted him, as they should have.
IOW, Burr was a politician of the type we’ve become so used to.
The "natural born" citizen clause in particular appeals to the mythological imagination.
Ahhh! Another freshing dose of distilled stupidity from the Atlantic!
I have a hunch that site and Salon are where people go after they can't even make it on television.
Ah yes, the "many people" opening often used by liberals to introduce their personal cockeyed opinions.
Yes, the founders were concerned with DUAL and DIVIDED loyalties.
They want the President to be DEVOTED to the United States and NOT to any other country.
I think that was the SPIRIT of their concern.
Having said that, let’s get real...
Being born a natural-born citizen does not guarantee that you will love America when you grow up ( See for instance, The American Taliban, John Walker Lindh ).
Being born a foreigner on the other hand does tell us where a person’s heart will lie when he becomes a naturalized American. I know of several foreign born soldiers who have fought bravely for this country.
These people are flat out nuts. I think they should form a chapter of "Conservatives to take out Ted Cruz" and get a grant from Soros......
“I’m pretty sure that if Ted Cruz were ever elected President then he would not become a puppet of the Canadian government.”
I’m pretty sure that if Barack Obama were ever elected President then he would not become a puppet of the Kenyan government or the socialists, or the Muslim nations, or the Muslim Brotherhood, or want to arm Al Qaeda-linked groups, or treat our best allies (Great Britain) with contempt, or ignore any other part of the Constitution that he feels like ignoring, etc. etc.
AND it doesn’t matter if you are pretty sure about something we have laws and the Constitution is the SUPREME law of the land, you can’t just dismiss it.
The same people say that Bam might not be so anxious to blow up the Syrians if he weren’t in the pocket of the Sunni Wahhabis.
So yeah, if they hadn’t meant it, it wouldn’t be in there.
Ted Cruz seems to be a good guy, but he has zero qualifications to be President.
And as for “natural born,” it’s hardly surprising that the Communist Atlantic wants to twist things.
Cruz is doing a good job right where he is, so far. Let’s encourage him to keep on doing it. We don’t gain anything by bending the Constitution just because the Democrats do it. First you bend it a little, then a little more, then you throw it in the garbage. That’s what the Atlantic wants us to do, for obvious reasons.
“I know of several foreign born soldiers who have fought bravely for this country.”
Please point me to which clause in article II says that “foreign born soldiers who have fought bravely for this country” are eligible to be president.