Skip to comments.CATO Institute: Yes, Ted Cruz Can be President
Posted on 08/30/2013 12:02:15 PM PDT by Jim Robinson
By Ilya Shapiro, Senior Fellow In Constitutional Sudies and Editor-In-Chief, Cato Supreme Court Review
As we head into a potential government shutdown over the funding of Obamacare, the iconoclastic junior senator from Texas love him or hate him continues to stride across the national stage. With his presidential aspirations as big as everything in his home state, by now many know what has never been a secret: Ted Cruz was born in Canada.
(Full disclosure: Im Canadian myself, with a green card. Also, Cruz has been a friend since his days representing Texas before the Supreme Court.)
But does that mean that Cruzs presidential ambitions are gummed up with maple syrup or stuck in snowdrifts altogether different from those plaguing the Iowa caucuses? Are the birthers now hoist on their own petards, having been unable to find any proof that President Obama was born outside the United States but forcing their comrade-in-boots to disqualify himself by releasing his Alberta birth certificate?
No, actually, and its not even that complicated; you just have to look up the right law. It boils down to whether Cruz is a natural born citizen of the United States, the only class of people constitutionally eligible for the presidency. (The Founding Fathers didnt want their newly independent nation to be taken over by foreigners on the sly.)
Whats a natural born citizen? The Constitution doesnt say, but the Framers understanding, combined with statutes enacted by the First Congress, indicate that the phrase means both birth abroad to American parents in a manner regulated by federal law and birth within the nations territory regardless of parental citizenship. The Supreme Court has confirmed that definition on multiple occasions in various contexts.
Theres no ideological debate here: Harvard law professor Laurence Tribe and former solicitor general Ted Olson who were on opposite sides in Bush v. Gore among other cases co-authored a memorandum in March 2008 detailing the above legal explanation in the context of John McCains eligibility. Recall that McCain lately one of Cruzs chief antagonists was born to U.S. citizen parents serving on a military base in the Panama Canal Zone.
In other words, anyone who is a citizen at birth as opposed to someone who becomes a citizen later (naturalizes) or who isnt a citizen at all can be president.
So the one remaining question is whether Ted Cruz was a citizen at birth. Thats an easy one. The Nationality Act of 1940 outlines which children become nationals and citizens of the United States at birth. In addition to those who are born in the United States or born outside the country to parents who were both citizens or, interestingly, found in the United States without parents and no proof of birth elsewhere citizenship goes to babies born to one American parent who has spent a certain number of years here.
That single-parent requirement has been amended several times, but under the law in effect between 1952 and 1986 Cruz was born in 1970 someone must have a citizen parent who resided in the United States for at least 10 years, including five after the age of 14, in order to be considered a natural-born citizen. Cruzs mother, Eleanor Darragh, was born in Delaware, lived most of her life in the United States, and gave birth to little Rafael Edward Cruz in her 30s. Q.E.D.
So why all the brouhaha about where Obama was born, given that theres no dispute that his mother, Ann Dunham, was a citizen? Because his mother was 18 when she gave birth to the future president in 1961 and so couldnt have met the 5-year-post-age-14 residency requirement. Had Obama been born a year later, it wouldnt have mattered whether that birth took place in Hawaii, Kenya, Indonesia, or anywhere else. (For those born since 1986, by the way, the single citizen parent must have only resided here for five years, at least two of which must be after the age of 14.)
In short, it may be politically advantageous for Ted Cruz to renounce his Canadian citizenship before making a run at the White House, but his eligibility for that office shouldnt be in doubt. As Tribe and Olson said about McCain and couldve said about Obama, or the Mexico-born George Romney, or the Arizona-territory-born Barry Goldwater Cruz is certainly not the hypothetical foreigner who John Jay and George Washington were concerned might usurp the role of Commander in Chief.
If Ted Cruz decides to run for the Presidency and he appears to be the strongest conservative running, I will support him to the hilt. He's one of the few conservatives in the Senate who actually has the balls to stand up for conservatism and against Obama and the GOP-e RINOs. This is a battle for the survival of America as a free nation. If we allow the democrats and the GOP-e statists to select our next opposition candidate for us, ie, Chris Christie or Jeb Bush, this nation is kaput.
We stand united or we fall. We cannot afford to destroy our best candidates or to split our conservative vote to the point that the likes of Christy or Bush gets the nod and someone like Hillary waltzes into the White House.
Supporting the "electable" Dole, McCain and Romney gave us Clinton and Obama. Supporting the crazy conservative gave us President Reagan.
I will no longer follow the argument that if I don’t vote for whatever R is on the ballot I am insuring a dim. I will no longer vote for nor send any money to any candidate that is not a true conservative. I will stay home. Revelations say that if you are not hot or cold you will be spit out. I am no longer tepid.
And Bumped again.
Reagan was an effective speaker who attracted both conservatives and Republicans. I hope Cruz is an effective speaker and if he’s not he gets started learning how to be.
Just pinged you and the Mod to a begging ZOT-ee...
Ted Cruz Ping!
That is one of Ted’s shining quality’s.
Cruz is an AWEsome speaker.
Sorry you’ve missed it.
There’s still plenty of time, Lord willing, for you to confirm it.
Cruz doesn’t have that story telling gift that the Gipper had, yet, he might be just the man to attract the same Republican and blue dog votes to get him into the White House.
Pragmatism does not make good politics.
Why dont you try listening to him now?
While I believe a person is either naturalized or natural with no other definition possible, I see it that Cruz represents my interests in America and is not phony about it, so if the liberals can have a questionable candidate in Zero we can have a known US citizen in Cruz! All this attempt at hair splitting be damned!
You have freepmail.
Well, CATO believes he’s a natural born citizen and so does Mark Levin. And so do I.