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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Birther certificate

President Obama has released his birth certificate, showing that he was, in fact, born in Hawaii and is thus constitutionally eligible to be President.

One would think this would put the birther theories to rest, but already it appears that they are unfalsifiable, that no evidence will satisfy the true believers that President Obama is not an American.

See this for a closeup of the certificate: Will Release Of Obama’s Purported Birth Certificate Give Rise To New “Certer” Movement? | The Smoking Gun.

Those of you who had your doubts, does this satisfy you?  If not, what would?


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