Yes, Ted Cruz Is Eligible To Be President

Now that Ted Cruz has announced his run for the Republican presidential nomination, some are raising eligibility questions similar to the issues raised by the birthers about President Obama. Now if you are doing this to make fun of the birthers or point out their hypocrisy, fine. But I’ve seen a lot of people actually claiming that Cruz is not eligible because he was born in Canada and that’s just nonsense.

Some of the birthers, like Joseph Farah and Donald Trump, are being consistent and claiming that Cruz is not eligible. But that’s just false. If you are born to an American citizen, you are a natural-born citizen no matter where you’re actually born. It would be quite absurd to say that if an American citizen goes on vacation in another country and goes into early labor and gives birth, that child would not be an American citizen. Ted Cruz’ mother is an American, so the fact that he was born in Canada is totally irrelevant.

Even though Cruz was born in Canada, he was American from the moment of his birth.

Cruz’s mother, Eleanor Darragh, was a US citizen from Delaware. His father, Rafael Cruz, was a Cuban national who had received a green card while living in the US (he eventually became a US citizen in 2005). Under American law, Cruz would be born an American despite having only one US citizen parent as long as that parent — his mother — had physically lived in the United States for at least 10 years and five of those years had been after her 14th birthday. Cruz’s mother easily cleared that bar, so Cruz’s citizenship is not debatable…

Most lawyers agree that this would be pretty thin case against Cruz. On March 11, former Solicitors General Neal Katyal and Paul Clement published an article in the Harvard Law Review that argued that Cruz’s eligibility was an open-and-shut case. “While some constitutional issues are truly difficult,” they wrote, this one isn’t; “the relevant materials clearly indicate” that Cruz counts as natural-born.

So please don’t seriously try to argue that Cruz isn’t eligible to be president.

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • matty1

    Eligible sure, but qualified?

  • gshelley

    I don’t think that people are arguing that he isn’t a citizen, or even that he wasn’t one at birth, but that “Natural born” has some obscure meaning other than “Citizen at birth)

  • http://www.thelosersleague.com theschwa

    I am all for trolling the hell out of the GOP on this issue.

  • http://healthvsmedicine.blogspot.com cervantes

    Cruz is ineligible to be president, as far as I’m concerned, because he firmly believes many things that are not true.

  • sirhc58

    Thanks for that explanation, Ed. I wondered how “natural born” was defined. It makes the continuing foo-fraw over Obama’s birth even more puzzling to an outsider (aside from the obvious racist undertones). This “natural born” nonsense seems quite absurd. Has this been a feature of your election laws since the beginning? Or was it inserted for some political reason later?

  • matty1

    I read somewhere that it was original, it seems the writers of the constitution took seriously the idea that a British agent would move to the US, stay long enough to naturalise as a citizen and then run for president thus cancelling out independence.

  • sugarfrosted

    @5 It was put in at the beginning with a restriction about when it started to take effect. The reasoning being they didn’t want the British taking control again. The exact meaning changed a bit over time though some later laws. (Prior to 197X McCain wouldn’t have been eligible for example.)

  • ianken

    A better scenario to illustrate this that might resonate with the crazies (because they don’t care about people after they’re born): so all those born to American servicemen and women while stationed overseas are not real Americans? Because that’s what the birther claim implies.

  • MikeMa

    Cruz is ineligible due to his being a lying weasel. His birth is irrelevant. That lying weasel part applies to enough candidates that it might disqualify many more lying weasels. A bad thing? I think not.

  • Chiroptera

    If you are born to an American citizen, you are a natural-born citizen no matter where you’re actually born.

    Actually, if one of the parents is not a US citizen, then it gets a little more complicated, as the passage that you quote points out. The important point is that his mother was a citizen when he was born, and that she had met certain residency requirements at the time of her son’s birth.

  • dingojack

    But has anyone seen Cruz’s ‘Long Form’ or ‘Vault’ Birth certificate? And can one trust a person who grew up in a foreign country* and therefore can’t unconditionally love Mommy the US of A?? Are we sure his mother wasn’t really Malcolm X or Osama Bin Laden (or, if you prefer, insert the name your own favourite ‘scary brown person’ here)? Or even if she wasn’t really a Lizerdman from the planet’s core? Has anyone seen Cruz’s mother and a scary brown Lizerdman, Illuminati, masonic, Jewish Commo-Fascist in he same room together??? I’m just asking questionzzz …….[Fortunately here the Largactil kicks in].

    Dingo

    ———

    * For all of four years, but those freaks the Jesuits needed only seven, and the Canadians are more than twice as dangerously efficient as them…

  • cptdoom

    The restriction on Presidents only was definitely there from the beginning – and makes sense, given that the Founders were rebelling against a Hanoverian king, and there are still Brits ticked off that a German was imported to be king in the 18th century. Ironically, George III is really the first British Hanoverian, having been born and raised in England.

    As far as Rafael Cruz, Jr. is concerned, I think it’s just fun to throw the birther crap back in the faces of the right wing – both about Cruz and Jindal, who also fails their test. I think, at least, we should demand his mother’s birth certificate be released, to prove she was really an American.

  • dingojack

    [Wakes from deep slumber]

    (Mr) BEN GARZI!!

    [crashes back into the oblivion of unconsciousness]

    Dingo

  • cry4turtles

    He’s also eligible for Obamacare, which this morning’s news reported he’s signing up for. Isn’t it ironic?

  • Pierce R. Butler

    I betcha Cruz’s long-form birth certificate says “Canada” on it!

    Checkmate, Cruzists!

  • sirhc58

    @6, @7, @12

    Thanks for explaining. I won’t say it makes sense, but I understand it now.

    … the Canadians are more than twice as dangerously efficient as them

    We are? Guess Cruz didn’t stick around quite long enough.

  • colnago80

    Under American law, Cruz would be born an American despite having only one US citizen parent as long as that parent — his mother — had physically lived in the United States for at least 10 years and five of those years had been after her 14th birthday.

    This is not entirely accurate. The requirement is that the parent who is a US citizen has to have lived in the United States for at least 5 consecutive years after attaining his/her 14th birthday. I would note that the law was subsequently changed to reduce the 5 year requirement to 2 years.

    If, in fact, Obama had been born in Kenya (for which the birthers have failed to show a jot or a tittle of evidence), he would not qualify under that law because Ann Dunham was not yet 19 at the time of his birth. This is the opinion of Eugene Volokh, a constitutional law professor at UCLA. However, his lawyers could have argued that the later law should be invoked despite it being ex post facto based on the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment. .

  • http://www.pandasthumb.org Area Man

    The natural born citizen requirement is an anachronism. No one today is seriously concerned that European aristocrats are going to take over the US. (Well, some people seem convinced that we’re constantly on the cusp of a coup by Muslim communist atheist queers, but that’s its own pathology.) It would be better for us to do away with the requirement altogether, but that would take a Constitutional amendment. In the meantime, the proper thing to do is to interpret it as loosely as possible.

  • hoku

    I think it’s mostly the enjoyment of tweeking his fans, almost all of whom still think Obama isn’t eligible.

  • Chiroptera

    Wait a minute. I thought Cruz wasn’t a natural born citizen because his father isn’t white?

  • http://drx.typepad.com Dr X

    Rafael Eduardo Cruz is a Muslim Red Diaper Baby sent to the US via Canada by his real father, Raoul Castro. Once he reaches the White House, he’ll institute his communo-muslo-Hispanic agenda, forcing Christians into gay barrios controlled by the Texas branch of Hamas.

  • Doc Bill

    Please bask in this refreshing editorial published this week in the Houston Chronicle: Open Secret.

    What has Cruz done as a Senator from Texas? Sod all.

    http://www.chron.com/opinion/editorials/article/Open-secret-6153711.php

    The best summary is this: “His absence will hardly be noticed … it’s hard to point to much of anything Cruz has done.”

  • Michael Heath

    Re Ed linking to Ezra Klein’s Vox:

    I was a daily reader of Andrew Sullivan’s blog, which Mr. Sullivan recently shut down. While I still miss aspects of Andrew’s blogging, Vox and Nate Silver’s FiveThirtyEight do very insightful analyses far better than Sullivan’s Daily Dish. I still miss Andrew’s live blogging and aggregating a wide swath of chatter regarding big events and policy debates.

  • illdoittomorrow

    Ted Cruz’ mother is an American, so the fact that he was born in Canada is totally irrelevant.

    Nuh-uh! Vajajay doesn’t count! </MRA-birfer nexus

  • cptdoom

    Rafael Eduardo Cruz is a Muslim Red Diaper Baby sent to the US via Canada by his real father, Raoul Castro. Once he reaches the White House, he’ll institute his communo-muslo-Hispanic agenda, forcing Christians into gay barrios controlled by the Texas branch of Hamas.

    Yes, but not before Mrs. Iselin tells him to play a game of solitaire.

  • Childermass

    The Constitution does not define a natural born citizen and the courts have never really had a serious case concerning that concept in relation to presidential qualification, so it is not an absolute lock.

    But if I had to bet, if it goes to court, Cruz would win if his constitutional qualifications are challenged in court.

    Of course it will be interesting to see what birthers actually do end up endorsing Cruz since his history is pretty much identical to what they claim Obama’s is: American mother, foreign father, had a baby in a foreign country and quickly moved to the U.S. Of course we all know that Obama is a “D” and Cruz is an “R” and more importantly one is black.

  • marcus

    Ed:“Now if you are doing this to make fun of the birthers or point out their hypocrisy, fine.”

    I’m in!

  • http://www.gregory-gadow.net Gregory in Seattle

    “If you are born to an American citizen, you are a natural-born citizen no matter where you’re actually born.”

    Judicial citation, please. Until and unless a federal court — preferably the Supreme Court — issues a ruling, this is nothing more than supposition.

  • http://www.gregory-gadow.net Gregory in Seattle

    @Childermass #26 – Unlike Cruz, though, Obama was born in the United States: Obama was born on August 4, 1961 in Honolulu, almost exactly two years after Hawaii became a state.

  • llewelly

    Gregory in Seattle:

    Until and unless a federal court — preferably the Supreme Court — issues a ruling, this is nothing more than supposition.

    Well then what are you waiting for? Start up an online fund raiser and start looking for a lawyer who will take the case. I hear Orly Taitz is looking for work, and maybe Donald Trump will kick in a few bucks.

  • Reginald Selkirk

    a natural-born citizen

    But was he born via Caesarean section? This figured strongly in the outcome of a play I once watched.

    Also: It may be false that Cruz is ineligible, but it is true that he was born in Canada, so that means the Obama-birthers have an extra layer of stupid built in already.

  • felidae

    Aw, come on, Ed–can’t we have a little fun with Teddy? If nothing else, just to show how ridiculous the attacks on Obama were

  • busterggi

    If Cruz was born in Canada why are there still Canadians?

  • oldskoolnyc

    @ #33. Classick!

  • Nick Gotts

    No one today is seriously concerned that European aristocrats are going to take over the US. – AreaMan@18

    Mwah-ha-ha-ha-hah! So it only took 240 years to lull you poor fools into a false sense of security! I say again: Mwah-ha-ha-ha-hah!

  • sugarfrosted

    @35 I knew King Ludwig II’s family was up to no good. I mean look at the Disney castle and neuschwanstein. Coincidence? I think not.

  • david

    Not only was he not born in America (note: Canada doesn’t count), he has anti-colonial values and sympathizes with the Mau-Mau.

  • lorn

    “Cruz’s mother, Eleanor Darragh, was a US citizen from Delaware. His father, Rafael Cruz, was a Cuban national who had received a green card while living in the US (he eventually became a US citizen in 2005). ”

    That is Cruz’s version of the story. But how can we be sure?

  • Georgia Sam

    I’m with theschwa (3). Enjoy the show while they slug it out over this non-issue, & stir the pot a little if the debate apears to be fading.