Q: Is Ted Cruz eligible to be president?

A: No.

Q: Why Not?

A: The Constitution requires one to be a natural born citizen to serve as president. Sen Cruz is a citizen, but is not a "natural born citizen".

Q: What is required for one to be a "natural born citizen"?

A: One must have been born on U.S. soil. Cruz was born in Canada, on Canadian soil. The two countries don't share any soil.

Q: Cruz argues that the law makes him a citizen at birth, and that is a "natural born"  citizen.

A: There is a law that makes one born on foreign soil to a U.S. citizen a U.S. citizen, but that is a naturalization statute.

Q: Doesn't naturalization require an application and approval process?

A: No. An entire group of individuals may be made statutory citizens at birth, without having to apply for it.

Q: Isn't a statutory citizen at birth the same as a "natural born citizen"?

A: No. There are only two kinds of citizen: natural born and naturalized. One can't be both. Anyone who is not natural born is naturalized.

Q: What are are come examples of large groups of people naturalized at birth by a statute?

A: Citizens of  the territories of Puerto Rico, the Marianas (Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands) and the U.S. Virgin Islands. These are not U.S. soil. They are protectorates. We administer them but don't own them. No one born on them is a natural born citizen. There are naturalization statutes that makes persons born there citizens at birth. See Insular Cases.

Q: What about the Panama Canal Zone?

A: It was a leasehold. We leased it from Panama, on a 99-year lease. When we could not negotiate an extension, we had to give it back, and did.

Q: What about the grounds of our embassies in foreign countries, or our military bases?

A: All leased. The land is not "incorporated" U.S. soil.

Q: So Sen. John McCain is not eligible?

A: Correct. He is not.

Q: Where does the term "Natural born citizen" come from? What did it originally mean?

A: It is taken from the 1608 Calvin's Case, authored by Edward Coke.

Q: Why do we have to go all the way back to 1608 to get the definition?

A: Because there haven't been any later cases, such as U.S. Supreme Court cases, that did. On this point one is going to have to trust legal historians to have done their jobs. Legal terms of art, once established generally do not change, even if they are not used for centuries. "Natural born" is a term from English common law. It actually goes back even further than 1608, which was about the time that court proceedings, which had been done in Latin, began to the be done in English. The term goes back to ancient Roman law, usually as natus naturalis, or some variant thereof. "Natural born" was just a translation from the Latin.

Q: Aren't there some definitions that require both born on the soil and also having at least one citizen parent?

A: That is a combination of the rules of jus soli and jus sanguinis. There is actually a long legal tradition for this. But it was not the meaning taken from Calvin's Case by the Framers.

Q: What about the 14th Amendment?

A: The 14th Amendment follows closely the definition from Calvin's Case., except that it made an exception of unassimilated indigenes (Indians). Later a statute would naturalize them all as U.S. citizens, and make their lands U.S. soil.

Q: What about registration of him having been born abroad?

A: Rafael Edward “Ted” Cruz was born in Calgary, Alberta, Canada on December 22, 1970 and remained a Canadian citizen until he officially renounced it on May 14, 2014, eighteen months after taking the oath of office as a U.S. Senator. At the time of his birth, Cruz’s father was a citizen of Canada and his mother was a U.S. citizen.

Legally, Cruz could have obtained US citizenship through his mother consistent with Public Law 414, June 27, 1952, An Act: To revise the laws relating to immigration, naturalization, and nationality and for other purposes [H.R. 5678], Title III Nationality and Naturalization, Chapter 1 – Nationality at Birth and by Collective naturalization; Nationals and citizens of the United States at birth; the relevant section being 301 (a) (7):

“a person born outside the geographical limits of the United States and its outlying possessions of parents one of whom is an alien, and the other a citizen of the United States who, prior to the birth of such person, was physically present in the United States or its outlying possessions for a period or periods totaling not less than ten years, at least five of which were after attaining the age of fourteen years: Provided That any periods of honorable service in the Armed Forces of the United States by such citizen parent may be included in computing the physical presence requirements of this paragraph.”

In that case, Cruz’s mother should have filed a Consular Report of Birth Abroad of a Citizen of the United States of America (CRBA) with the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate after the birth to document that the child was a U.S. citizen.

According to Cruz spokeswoman Catherine Frazier, Cruz’s mother did register his birth with the U.S. consulate and Cruz received a U.S. passport in 1986 ahead of a high school trip to England.

There are two apparent contradictions regarding how and when Ted Cruz obtained US citizenship.

First, according to the Canadian Citizenship Act of 1946, also referred to as the “Act of 1947,” Canada did not allow dual citizenship in 1970. The parents would have had to choose at that time between U.S. and Canadian citizenship. Ted Cruz did not renounce his Canadian citizenship until 2014. Was that the choice originally made?

Second, no CRBA has been released that would verify that Ted Cruz was registered as a U.S. citizen at birth.

It has been reported that the then nearly four-year-old Ted Cruz flew to the U.S. from Calgary, Alberta, Canada in 1974.

Ted Cruz could not have entered the U.S. legally without a CRBA or a U.S. passport, the latter of which was not obtained until 1986.

If Ted Cruz was registered as a U.S. citizen at birth, as his spokeswoman claims, then the CRBA must be released. Otherwise, one could conclude that Cruz came to the U.S. as a Canadian citizen, perhaps on a tourist visa or, possibly, remained in the U.S. as an illegal immigrant.

It is the responsibility of the candidate for the Presidency, not ordinary citizens, to prove that he or she is eligible for the highest office in the land. Voters deserve clarification.

Even assuming a CRBA was filed, the weight of the legal evidence indicates that Ted Cruz is a naturalized U.S. citizen because he was born outside of the jurisdiction of the U.S. and obtained U.S. citizenship by an Act of Congress (Article 1 Section 8 of the Constitution). As a naturalized citizen, he is not eligible for the Presidency (Article 2 Section 1 Clause 5 of the Constitution).

From Lawrence Sellin, http://www.dcclothesline.com/2016/02/14/did-ted-cruz-enter-the-u-s-illegally-in-1974/

Q: Is there a comprehensive analysis of all this?

A: Yes. An article entitled "Presidential Eligibility".

  1. Ted Cruz Isn't  a 'Natural Born' Citizen, Robert N. Clinton, foundation professor of law at the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at Arizona State University. U.S. News, Jan. 27, 2016.
  2. Ted Cruz is Not Eligible to be President, Mary Brigid McManamon, constitutional law professor at Widener University’s Delaware Law School. Washington Post, Jan. 12, 2016
  3. Ted Cruz is not eligible to run for president: A Harvard Law professor close-reads the Constitution, Einer Elhauge, Petrie Professor of Law at Harvard Law School, Salon, Jan. 20, 2016.
  4. More Scholars Say Ted Cruz Can't Be President, Taylor Wofford, Newsweek, Jan. 13, 2016.
  5. Memorandum: Is Ted Cruz Eligible for the Presidency? , Bryan A. Garner, The Atlantic, Jan. 14, 2016. Concludes that under an originalist interpretation of the Constitution, Cruz is not eligible, but under current doctrine, the Supreme Court would probably hold that he is.
  6. Is Ted Cruz a 'natural born Citizen'? Not if you're a constitutional originalist.  Thomas Lee, professor of constitutional law and international law at Fordham Law School, Los Angeles Times op-ed, Jan. 10, 2016.