Ted Cruz is / is not eligible to be president - legal scholars duke it out

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I’m sure it’s just fine, but it’s still sweet to get some revenge for the whole “birther” thing.

I think Trump should troll him by demanding a 100-foot wall across our northern border. What’s that, Senator Maple Syrup? You disagree?


I’m not sure if he’s eligible to be president, but he definitely isn’t fit to be.


Well, either way, we need to move away from Jus Soli and adopt Jus Sanguinis. It made some sense 200 years ago, not as much now. Especially if we want to become more socialist like Europe.


Indeed. This is more or less the same conundrum Obama would have been in if he was born in Kenya, yes?


We need a beaker of poison, a radioactive source, and a sealed box.

I get it. If the poison doesn’t kill him, the radiation or suffocation will. You are very thorough, Mr. Frauenfelder.


Why even that? Why shouldn’t naturalized citizens be eligible to run for President? There’s no restrictions on any other positions, are there? (I assume VP). “The Constitution!”, I guess, although didn’t they have to put a special clause in for the first few Presidents, since none of them were born American?

I find it funny that this is even an issue. Did anyone really care when McCain ran? How about George Romney? Hah, Barry Goldwater, too.


Well, whether or not he is actually eligible, I sincerely hope that we never have to collapse that particular wave.


The congressional research service is supposed to be unbiased on things like this, here is what they have to say on eligibility to be President:

The weight of legal and historical authority indicates that the term “natural born” citizen would mean a person who is entitled to U.S. citizenship “by birth” or “at birth,” either by being born “in” the United States and under its jurisdiction, even those born to alien parents; by being born abroad to U.S. citizen-parents; or by being born in other situations meeting legal requirements for U.S. citizenship “at birth.” Such term, however, would not include a person who was not a U.S. citizen by birth or at birth, and who was thus born an “alien” required to go through the legal process of “naturalization” to become a U.S. citizen.



Because it opens up a bigger can of worms.

One of the two common definitions for “Natural Born Citizen” is “born on American soil.” That definition isn’t some birther-style rationalization with no legal backing: Black’s Law Dictionary - the most widely used law dictionary in the United States - defines “Natural Born Citizen” as “A person born within the jurisdiction of a national government”. Cruz was born outside of US jurisdiction, so he does not meet that definition.

And that’s how the law is currently applied. Anyone born in Puerto Rico is a U.S. citizen at the moment of birth. But since Puerto Rico is not U.S. soil, those US citizens are not “natural born” US citizens and are not eligible to vote for or serve as U.S. president.

The status of Puerto Ricans has evolved over the years to the point where they really should be considered natural born citizens. They really should be allowed to vote and run for President. A Congressional Research Service report from 2000 states that they should.

But Congress doesn’t want to touch the issue. If Puerto Ricans are likely to vote for one party, the other will block it. (Especially with recent Presidential elections being decided by VERY small percentages.)

This is why Panamanian-born McCain got an exemption rather than Congress clarifying the issue. No, neither the Canal Zone nor the military base was considered American soil. He also didn’t meet the other definition, “An American citizen at the moment of birth.” Under the rules at the time he was born a US national (that is, subject to US law and control) but not a US citizen (no right to vote, etc.) Congress changed the rules 11 months after he was born, giving him citizenship.

The correct answer to Cruz’s eligibility: The issue is unresolved, and will remain so until the Supreme Court rules on it. But Cruz would probably get an exemption from Congress like McCain did (rather than tackle the Puerto Rico issue), and the Democrats would probably be overjoyed to go along with it.


What about Al Gore, born in DC?


DC isn’t a state, but it’s still US territory. Panama and Canada are not. (The Canal Zone including the Coco Solo military base was US-administered, but still Panamanian territory.)


Why don’t Cruz supporters invade Calgary then claim they did it the day before he was born? They don’t have any respect for facts or other nations so problem solved…


Had Alexander Hamilton not been shot by Burr - we may have have a foreign born President.

"Article II, Section 1:

No Person except a natural born Citizen, **or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution,** shall be eligible to the Office of President;"
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[quote=“LordInsidious, post:14, topic:72011”]
Why don’t Cruz supporters invade Calgary then claim they did it the day before he was born?[/quote]
Not worth it, with oil having just gone below $30/barrel.


Well, congress did pass a non-binding resolution declaring McCain to be a natural born citizen in April 2008 - cosponsored by Obama and Clinton (since that particular primary race hadn’t resolved by that point)


I was talking about getting citizenship, period, moving away from Jus Soli. As for allowing anyone who has become a citizen to run for president, eh, I might be ok with it. But two words for you:

President Schwarzenegger


I’d take him in a heartbeat over anyone currently running for the Rep nomination.

I was thinking President @Beschizza, though.


Just so. And regardless of whether Cruz is eligible, Congress would pass a similar non-binding resolution for him too. Also likely cosponsored by Obama and Clinton.

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Who’s going to sponsor such a resolution and what kind of favors would Cruz owe at that point? No one in the Senate likes Cruz and he’s broken ranks with his play in obnoxious enough fashion that I’d say he’s got a tough row to hoe getting that kind of resolution to fly without having to give in to some pretty obscene demands.