Hillary Clinton’s legal jeopardy

The Inspector General for intelligence has released a finding that Hillary Clinton’s unsecured e-mails included dozens of classified messages, including some that were rated higher than top secret.  Mishandling information at that level was what former CIA director David Petraeus was prosecuted for, including violating a non-disclosure agreement that Mrs. Clinton also signed. [Read more...]

Is there an epidemic of gun violence?

Columnist Mona Charen gives some useful perspective on the question of whether we are really in the middle of an “epidemic of gun violence.”  She also gives a multitude of facts on the gun controversy, and she critiques the way journalists are covering the issue. [Read more...]

So is Marco Rubio eligible or not?

Now a lawsuit is claiming that Marco Rubio is not eligible to be president, under Article 2 of the Constitution, since neither of his parents were citizens at his birth.  I would say that he is, since he was born in this country.  Under the common-law meaning being cited for “natural born citizenship,” a child born to illegal immigrants in the United States would qualify, while a child born to two American citizens in Canada would not.

If “natural born” requires that both parents be citizens, that would rule out George Washington and other early presidents who were born before the United States existed.

At any rate, we need a clear definition of citizenship in its various permutations. This is true especially since we are in the midst of a controversy over immigration.  A lawsuit has been filed in Texas to get a ruling in the case of Ted Cruz.

But read the discussion on our Ted Cruz post, especially the remarks of Joe Olsen and DonS.  Joe quotes this statute from 1790 (though Don says that the “natural-born” language was dropped in the 1795 version):

“Children of citizens of the United States, that may be born beyond the sea, or out of the limits of the United States, shall be considered as natural-born citizens.” 1 Stat. 103 (1790).

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So is Ted Cruz eligible or not?

Donald Trump is a “birther,” casting doubt on Barack Obama’s eligibility to be president, since the Constitution requires that the holders of that office be “natural-born citizens.”  Recently he has raised the issue about Ted Cruz, who was born in Canada of a Cuban father and an American mother.  Most observers have said that since both babies had an American parent, they have been citizens from birth and thus eligible under the Constitution.

But now an expert in Constitutional law is saying that at the time the Constitution was written, “natural-born citizen” had the specific common-law meaning of  being born on a nation’s soil.  Cruz has always been a citizen, since Congress passed a statute granting citizenship to children of a citizen, but he is not a “natural-born” citizen.  Obama was born in Hawaii, so he is natural-born.  But Cruz is not.

Cruz’s old law professor at Harvard, the prominent liberal Laurence Tribe, tweaks his former A-student for his originalist interpretation of the Constitution, saying that if he holds to his view that the document means what its authors originally meant, then he would not be eligible.

What do you think?  Isn’t Trump right that Cruz needs to get a court opinion on this before he goes much further?

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How Clemson’s coach defied the anti-religion forces

What a game, the national college football championship!  In an exciting back-and-forth game, Alabama beat Clemson to take the national title.  I was rooting for Clemson, even though–or perhaps because–they beat my alma mater, Oklahoma, in the playoffs.

In honor of the game, I would like to post an account by David French of how Dabo Swinney, the Clemson coach, stood up to the Freedom from Religion Foundation, when that group threatened legal action to stop the team’s custom of providing rides to church services if players wanted one.  And, unlike the usual practice in higher education, Clemson University supported him!

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Justice Scalia says government can favor religion

Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia told a Catholic high school that the Constitution allows for favoring religion over “nonreligion” and that the government need not be completely secular. [Read more...]