Ted Cruz Is Not a Natural Born Citizen?
The Republican Party now has the first opportunity it has had since Ronald Reagan of nominating a true conservative as its Presidential candidate. Should Senator Ted Cruz win the Republican nomination, Americans, in the general election, will have an actual choice between a limited government, constitutional conservative in Ted Cruz and a pro-big government liberal in Hillary Clinton, the presumptive Democratic party nominee. Those under the age of 40 have never even had the choice to vote for an actual conservative as President of the United States. Not since 1984 has such a choice existed. The reason being is that, since the Reagan years, the Republican Party has typically chosen democrat-lite candidates as its nominee. Should this present opportunity pass, one wonders if the opportunity to nominate an actual conservative for President will ever present itself again.1
Yet, despite this unprecedented opportunity before them, the Republican Party is on the precipice of throwing it all away by instead opting to embrace the vision of Donald Trump, a former Democrat and Reform Party loyalist and someone who only began speaking the conservative lingo around 2011, coincidentally when he began to become public about his presidential aspirations.2 Should Cruz become the nominee, some of the recent polling data from earlier in the year indicates that Cruz will trounce Hillary in the general election.3 Both establishment Republicans and Democrats well understand this. That is why the name of their game now is to preempt a Cruz Presidency by denying Cruz the Republican nomination at any cost.
This is sad enough. However, what is even sadder to observe is how some “conservatives” have become “useful idiots” for the left by disseminating on the internet and social media bizarre theories about Cruz in an attempt to dissuade their fellow conservatives from voting for him. The term “useful idiots” was originally used by Marxists in reference to those who could be used to propagate the ideology of Marxism and yet would be dispensed with at a later, opportune time after they had served their purpose in helping begin the Marxist revolution. When I first began to be exposed to some of these strange notions, I initially thought that they were so far afield that it would be inappropriate to even dignify them by commenting upon them. However, recently I have received several inquiries asking me if these theories are accurate. Obviously then, they are gaining traction in the minds of many. Four such theories come to mind. What I hope to briefly demonstrate is that these theories are built on the flimsiest of evidence and thus constitute insufficient grounds in the minds of any rational thinker for rejecting the Presidential candidacy of Ted Cruz. If people end up not voting for Cruz, then it should be on the basis of substance rather than based upon these silly theories.
In our first post, we noted that a Cruz Presidency should not be rejected merely on the grounds that Cruz has been endorsed by unorthodox Christian teachers like Kenneth Copeland and that Cruz’ father, Rafael Cruz, is a Dominionist. Interestingly, Christianity Today has also recently looked into the issue of the alleged impact that Dominionism has on Ted Cruz and similarly concluded that Cruz is not a Dominionist.4 In our second post, we examined the alleged connection between Ted Cruz’ wife Heidi to Goldman Sachs, the Council on Foreign Relations, and the North American Union. In this installment, we will examine a final theory that is being used to bring down Ted Cruz’ presidential candidacy: namely, that Ted Cruz is ineligible to run for Presidency since he was born in Canada.
Ted Cruz was Born in Canada
The fourth theory used by some to undermine Cruz is that a Cruz Presidency should be rejected on the grounds that Cruz is ineligible to become the President of the United States since article 2, section 1, and clause 5 of the United States’ Constitution limits the Presidency to that of “a natural born Citizen.” Here, it has been argued by some that since Cruz was born to a U.S. citizen mother in a Canadian hospital he is constitutionally ineligible to serve as President of the United States.5 Fortunately, rejection of this argument seems to be gaining greater traction lately as more and more courts seem to be formally turning against it.6
Moreover, a recent Harvard Law Review article well puts to rest the notion that Cruz’ birth circumstances would constitutionally bar him from pursuing the Presidency:
The Constitution directly addresses the minimum qualifications necessary to serve as President. In addition to requiring thirty-five years of age and fourteen years of residency, the Constitution limits the presidency to “a natural born Citizen.”…The Supreme Court has long recognized that two particularly useful sources in understanding constitutional terms are British common law and enactments of the first congress. Both confirm that the original meaning of the phrase “natural born Citizen” includes persons born abroad who are citizens from birth based on the citizenship of a parent.
As to the British practice, laws in force in the 1700s recognized that children born outside of the British Empire to subjects of the Crown were subjects themselves and explicitly used “natural born” to encompass such children. These statutes provided that children born abroad to subjects of the British Empire were “natural-born Subjects . . . to all Intents, Constructions, and Purposes whatsoever.” The Framers, of course, would have been intimately familiar with these statutes and the way they used terms like “natural born,” since the statutes were binding law in the colonies before the Revolutionary War. They were also well documented in Blackstone’s Commentaries, a text widely circulated and read by the Framers and routinely invoked in interpreting the Constitution.
No doubt informed by this longstanding tradition, just three years after the drafting of the Constitution, the First Congress established that children born abroad to U.S. citizens were U.S. citizens at birth, and explicitly recognized that such children were “natural born Citizens.” The Naturalization Act of 1790 provided that “the children of citizens of the United States, that may be born beyond sea, or out of the limits of the United States, shall be considered as natural born citizens: Provided, That the right of citizenship shall not descend to persons whose fathers have never been resident in the United States . . . .” The actions and understandings of the First Congress are particularly persuasive because so many of the Framers of the Constitution were also members of the First Congress. That is particularly true in this instance, as eight of the eleven members of the committee that proposed the natural born eligibility requirement to the Convention served in the First Congress and none objected to a definition of “natural born Citizen” that included persons born abroad to citizen parents….
The original meaning of “natural born Citizen” also comports with what we know of the Framers’ purpose in including this language in the Constitution. The phrase first appeared in the draft Constitution shortly after George Washington received a letter from John Jay, the future first Chief Justice of the United States, suggesting: “[W]hether it would not be wise & seasonable to provide a . . . strong check to the admission of Foreigners into the administration of our national Government; and to declare expressly that the Command in chief of the american [sic] army shall not be given to, nor devolve on, any but a natural born Citizen.”…The Framers did not fear such machinations from those who were U.S. citizens from birth just because of the happenstance of a foreign birthplace. Indeed, John Jay’s own children were born abroad while he served on diplomatic assignments, and it would be absurd to conclude that Jay proposed to exclude his own children, as foreigners of dubious loyalty, from presidential eligibility.
While the field of candidates for the next presidential election is still taking shape, at least one potential candidate, Senator Ted Cruz, was born in a Canadian hospital to a U.S. citizen mother. Despite the happenstance of a birth across the border, there is no question that Senator Cruz has been a citizen from birth and is thus a “natural born Citizen” within the meaning of the Constitution. Indeed, because his father had also been resident in the United States, Senator Cruz would have been a “natural born Citizen” even under the Naturalization Act of 1790…
There are plenty of serious issues to debate in the upcoming presidential election cycle. The less time spent dealing with specious objections to candidate eligibility, the better. Fortunately, the Constitution is refreshingly clear on these eligibility issues. To serve, an individual must be at least thirty-five years old and a “natural born Citizen.” Thirty-four and a half is not enough and, for better or worse, a naturalized citizen cannot serve. But as Congress has recognized since the Founding, a person born abroad to a U.S. citizen parent is generally a U.S. citizen from birth with no need for naturalization. And the phrase “natural born Citizen” in the Constitution encompasses all such citizens from birth. Thus, an individual born to a U.S. citizen parent — whether in California or Canada or the Canal Zone — is a U.S. citizen from birth and is fully eligible to serve as President if the people so choose.7
In sum, we are not free to pour whatever meaning we desire into the expression “natural born citizen” found in article 2, section 1, and clause 5 of the United States’ Constitution based merely upon the shifting whims of our preconceived political predilections. Words mean things based upon the principles of deriving original authorial intent. Based upon what the founding fathers originally intended by the expression “natural born citizen” as revealed through an analysis of British common law, the legislative enactments of the first congress, which was comprised of many of the very founding fathers that debated and adopted our constitution, and the important correspondence between John Jay (America’s first Chief Justice to the United States Supreme Court) and George Washington, Ted Cruz is eligible to become President of the United States in spite of his Canadian place of birth. Such a conclusion stands despite the fact that it concurs with or runs counter to one’s personal political beliefs. The personal political ideology of the interpreter remains irrelevant to the discussion of original meaning. Authorial intent is the whole issue here. Those that dislike this conclusion remain free to propose a Constitutional amendment to change the meaning of article 2, section 1, and clause 5. What they are not free to do is to re-write it through historical revisionism based upon personal political expediency.
The above quoted article goes on to cite numerous examples of famous American Presidential candidates that would have been barred from pursuing the Presidency had the principle that many seek to apply unilaterally to Cruz also been consistently applied across the board. Examples include Senator John McCain, Mitt Romney’s father Governor George Romney, and Senator Barry Goldwater.
Similarly, in 2008, one of the two major party candidates for President, Senator John McCain, was born outside the United States on a U.S. military base in the Panama Canal Zone to a U.S. citizen parent. Despite a few spurious suggestions to the contrary, there is no serious question that Senator McCain was fully eligible to serve as President, wholly apart from any murky debate about the precise sovereign status of the Panama Canal Zone at the time of Senator McCain’s birth. Indeed, this aspect of Senator McCain’s candidacy was a source of bipartisan accord. The U.S. Senate unanimously agreed that Senator McCain was eligible for the presidency, resolving that any interpretation of the natural born citizenship clause as limited to those born within the United States was “inconsistent with the purpose and intent of the ‘natural born Citizen’ clause of the Constitution of the United States, as evidenced by the First Congress’s own statute defining the term ‘natural born Citizen.’” And for the same reasons, both Senator Barry Goldwater and Governor George Romney were eligible to serve as President although neither was born within a state. Senator Goldwater was born in Arizona before its statehood and was the Republican Party’s presidential nominee in 1964, and Governor Romney was born in Mexico to U.S. citizen parents and unsuccessfully pursued the Republican nomination for President in 1968.8
All of this to say, that if the voters want to reject Cruz, and also perhaps our last chance of ever electing a constitutional conservative to the Presidency, then let it be for substantive reasons. Please do not reject him based upon specious theories ultimately emanating from the left and mindlessly regurgitated by some “useful idiots” on the right. Senator Ted Cruz deserves careful consideration by all American voters in this important Presidential election cycle since the man is not unorthodox despite Kenneth Copeland’s personal endorsement of his candidacy, is not a Dominionist or a globalist, and does not lack eligibility for the Presidency.
(End of Series…)
- http://beforeitsnews.com/politics/2016/03/watch-agenda-producer-curtis-bowers-makes-the-case-for-ted-cruz-video-2784601.html [↩]
- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rcUCLwWCihE [↩]
- http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/2016/president/us/general_election_cruz_vs_clinton-4034.html [↩]
- http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2016/april-web-only/stop-calling-ted-cruz-dominionist.html?start=1 [↩]
- http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/ann-coulter-ted-cruz-birtherism [↩]
- http://www.wnd.com/2016/04/n-j-court-declares-cruz-eligible-for-white-house/ [↩]
- http://harvardlawreview.org/2015/03/on-the-meaning-of-natural-born-citizen/ [↩]
- Ibid. [↩]