By Thomas Madison
Donald Trump has brought up the issue of Ted Cruz’s eligibility to serve as President of the United States, due to his Canadian birth.
Trump is right in that Cruz getting the nomination could very well hurt the GOP. If Cruz receives the nomination and the Democrats challenge Cruz’s eligibility, and is ruled ineligible, most certainly whoever the eventual Democrat candidate is will hold a significant advantage.
Cruz should have dealt with this years ago. Now is not the best time, but if Cruz takes this case before the Supreme Court quickly enough, and is ruled eligible, the issue is resolved and put to rest.
Now, a Houston attorney has filed a lawsuit requesting a court hearing on that very matter, Ted Cruz’s eligibility, doing what Cruz, himself, should have done years ago. He only recently renounced his Canadian citizenship. He should have prepared well and taken this case before the Supreme Court a long time ago for a definitive ruling.
Here is where it gets tricky for Cruz. He was born in Canada, thus he is a natural Canadian citizen. No questions asked. He is also a “naturalized” US citizen, not a “natural born” US citizen, as the Constitution clearly states.
Cruz has attempted to use the case of John McCain, who was born in Panama, to convince critics that he is eligible. The difference is that McCain’s father was in the military, on official US government business. The US has long granted “natural born” citizenship to the children of US servicemembers born in foreign countries. That’s the difference. Neither of Cruz’s parents were in the military, thus he is a “naturalized” US citizen.
My oldest daughter was born in Pisa, Italy when I was stationed there as a US Army officer. She was born “on the economy” as we called it, in an Italian civilian hospital, not a US military hospital. Yet, she was an immediate US “natural born” citizen, due to my service.
What I don’t understand is how Cruz even became a naturalized US citizen. The US wasn’t tracking his parents’ family status. They didn’t know Cruz’s mother was giving birth. Canadian hospitals don’t report to the US government. Therefor, naturalized US citizenship almost certainly had to be applied for. When?
In The Washington Post article, below, beneath the Bloomberg article, constitutional law professor Mary Brigid McManamon mirrors my position on the matter.
Cruz has also gotten himself into a bit of hot water for insulting all New Yorkers, claiming New York values are all wrapped around money and the media, a position Trump was quick to challenge.
Trump and Cruz Lock Horns Over Birth Issue and NY Values
Excerpted from an article by Laurel Brubaker Calkins and Kevin Cirilli, Bloomberg
Republican presidential contender Ted Cruz should be disqualified from the race because he isn’t a “natural-born citizen,” a fellow Texan claims in a “birther” challenge filed against the senator in a U.S. court.
The suit seeks a court definition of the term to clarify whether Cruz — who was born in Canada to an American mother — can or can’t serve if elected.
“This 229-year question has never been pled, presented to or finally decided by or resolved by the U.S. Supreme Court,” Houston attorney Newton B. Schwartz Sr. said in his 28-page complaint.
“Only the U.S. Supreme Court can finally decide, determine judicially and settle this issue now.”
Claiming that “time is of the essence” because of the rapidly approaching Iowa caucuses and March 1 Super Tuesday primaries, Schwartz asked that the case be expedited for resolution by the nation’s highest court as soon as possible.
Republican front-runner Donald Trump pressed the issue during a televised candidate debate Thursday evening in South Carolina, saying he’s bringing up Cruz’s Canadian birthplace “because now he’s doing a little bit better” in the polls. Trump insisted that Cruz receive a judgment from the courts because it would be bad for Republicans to have the issue hanging over their presidential or vice-presidential nominee.
Schwartz said he filed the paperwork himself with no one else advising him and he said he does not have an opinion for which way the court should rule.
“The country will be in chaos if he’s elected president or vice president and this goes to trial then,” Schwartz said. “I can see both sides of this argument.”
The attorney added that he’s got “nothing against” Cruz.
“If he gets cleared, he gets cleared,” Schwartz said. “Let’s just get this thing settled before the primaries and the convention and the election.”
The case is Schwartz v. Cruz, 4:16-cv-00106, U.S. District Court, Southern District of Texas (Houston).
Mary Brigid McManamon is a constitutional law professor at Widener University’s Delaware Law School.
Donald Trump is actually right about something: Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) is not a natural-born citizen and therefore is not eligible to be president or vice president of the United States.
The Constitution provides that “No person except a natural born Citizen . . . shall be eligible to the Office of President.” The concept of “natural born” comes from common law, and it is that law the Supreme Court has said we must turn to for the concept’s definition. On this subject, common law is clear and unambiguous. The 18th-century English jurist William Blackstone, the preeminent authority on it, declared natural-born citizens are “such as are born within the dominions of the crown of England,” while aliens are “such as are born out of it.” The key to this division is the assumption of allegiance to one’s country of birth. The Americans who drafted the Constitution adopted this principle for the United States. James Madison, known as the “father of the Constitution,” stated, “It is an established maxim that birth is a criterion of allegiance. . . . [And] place is the most certain criterion; it is what applies in the United States.”
Cruz is, of course, a U.S. citizen. As he was born in Canada, he is not natural-born. His mother, however, is an American, and Congress has provided by statute for the naturalization of children born abroad to citizens. Because of the senator’s parentage, he did not have to follow the lengthy naturalization process that aliens without American parents must undergo. Instead, Cruz was naturalized at birth. This provision has not always been available. For example, there were several decades in the 19th century when children of Americans born abroad were not given automatic naturalization.