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Yes, Ted Cruz Is A ‘Natural Born Citizen’

Macbeth and Macduff

If you oppose Ted Cruz for President because you like the policies and record of another candidate, or you don’t like Cruz’s brash style, or any of the dozens of  reasons voters like one candidate better than another, welcome to the 2016 presidential campaign.

But if you are a Ted Cruz “birther” who claims Cruz is not eligible to run for President because he does not meet the eligibility test set forth in Article II Section 1 Clause 5 of the Constitution we think you are barking up the wrong tree.

And so do the constitutional lawyers and scholars we’ve solicited for an opinion on the subject.

The best examination of the question of Cruz’s eligibility we’ve found comes from Neal Katyal and Paul Clement, who both served as Solicitor General of the United States, and wrote in the Harvard Law Review recently, “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.’”

And, said Katyal and Clement, “natural born” means “a U.S. citizen at birth with no need to go through a naturalization proceeding at some later time. And Congress has made equally clear from the time of the framing of the Constitution to the current day that, subject to certain residency requirements on the parents, someone born to a U.S. citizen parent generally becomes a U.S. citizen without regard to whether the birth takes place in Canada, the Canal Zone, or the continental United States.”

Clement and Katyal later note that “The Naturalization Act of 1790 expanded the class of citizens at birth to include children born abroad of citizen mothers as long as the father had at least been resident in the United States at some point.”

And here’s the point that some Cruz “birthers” seem to miss, “But Congress eliminated that differential treatment of citizen mothers and fathers before any of the potential candidates in the current presidential election were born.

Thus, in the relevant time period, conclude Katyal and Clement, “and subject to certain residency requirements, children born abroad of a citizen parent were citizens from the moment of birth, and thus are ‘natural born Citizens’.”

Katyal and Clement closed their article for The Harvard Law Review by stating, “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,” concluded Katyal and Clement.

To those who believe the opinions of Katyal and Clement are somehow tainted by an affinity for Cruz we offer a paper by the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service, writing in November 2011 (long before Cruz was touted as a candidate for President) a CRS attorney concluded that people born to U.S. citizens in foreign countries “most likely” qualify as natural-born citizens.

“The weight of more recent federal cases, as well as the majority of scholarship on the subject, also indicates that the term ‘natural born citizen’ would most likely include, as well as native born citizens, those born abroad to U.S. citizen-parents, at least one of whom had previously resided in the United States, or those born abroad to one U.S. citizen parent who, prior to the birth, had met the requirements of federal law for physical presence in the country,” wrote CRS’s Jack Maskell.

In William Shakespeare’s Macbeth, the evil usurper Macbeth is protected by a spell and says “I bear a charmèd life, which must not yield to one of woman born.” But Macduff, who brings the tyrant down, tells him at the end of Act 5, Scene 8, “Despair thy charm, And let the angel whom thou still hast served Tell thee, Macduff was from his mother’s womb Untimely ripped,” meaning that, because he entered the world by Caesarian section, not by natural childbirth, Macbeth’s spell of protection was of no use against him.

Had Ted Cruz been born by Caesarian section would we accept Shakespeare’s definition of “natural born” and say he was ineligible to run for President? Clearly not.

“Natural born Citizen” is a legal term of art that Congress has defined in a way that rendered Cruz eligible to be President long before the present controversy over his birthplace erupted. Where Ted Cruz was born, or like MacDuff, how he was born, is of little legal consequence to the question of whether or not he is a “natural born Citizen.”

We urge conservatives to support or oppose Ted Cruz for his policies and record, or for any of the dozens of other reasons voters like or dislike a candidate, and not to be distracted by the spurious argument over whether or not the geographical location of his birth renders him ineligible to run for President.

Have a contrary view? Please post it in the comments section and we will highlight the pros and cons in a future CHQ article, and please be sure to vote in our Daily Debate poll.

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Just Don't Do It

If you people manage to get Cruz (or Jindal or Rubio) nominated, a very real possibility, those of us who believe that Obama is a usurper will stay home or vote third party and margins in general elections are generally too narrow to survive that. We will NOT support what we perceive to be yet another usurper. PLEASE find a candidate we can unite behind to defeat the Democrats. PLEASE!!

Congressional Research Service: Ted Cruz NOT qualified

 Congressional Research Service: Ted Cruz Not QualifiedThe question was answered by the CRS in 2004... How can a child born abroad of one U.S. citizen parent qualify when two citizen parents are required?In 2004 the Congressional Research Service (CRS) published a document titled “The Constitution of the United States of America – Analysis and Interpretation”, and subtitled “Analysis of Cases Decided by the Supreme Court of the United States to June 28, 2002”.The entire portion of the document dealing with Article II, Section 1, Clause 5 of the Constitution (Presidential Qualifications) is available on page 453 at, there is no mention of several important cases decided by the Supreme Court in which the meaning of “natural born Citizen” was addressed or discussed by the court in its rulings, including the well-known Minor v Happersett case and the Venus case, in which Justice Livingston quotes directly from Vattel on the definition of “natural born Citizen”. The analysis offered deals entirely with the issue of “whether a child born abroad of American parents is a ‘natural born citizen’ in the sense of the clause” in the Constitution.  However, there is still some value to be derived from this CRS analysis.The article begins by noting that all presidents since Martin Van Buren were born in the United States subsequent to the Declaration of Independence (not having been aware in 2004 of the true status of Chester Arthur as probably born in Canada of a non-U.S. citizen father, as a result of which Arthur burned all of his personal papers prior to his death in an apparent effort to conceal the truth of his lack of presidential eligibility).This brief article goes on to make reference to the Naturalization Act of 1790 in which the following language appears:“the children of citizens of the United States, that may be born beyond the sea…shall be considered as natural born citizens”(emphasis added).Drawing a connection with British statues governing “natural born subjects”, the writer comments:“There is reason to believe therefore, that the phrase includes persons who become citizens at birth by statute because of their status in being born abroad of American citizens.” (emphasis added)The clear implications of this sentence are that, as of the year 2004, the CRS had concluded not that persons born abroad of U.S. citizen parents are definitively include in the class of “natural born citizens, but only that “there is reason to believe” that such is the case, and then only if the parents (two parents) are U.S. citizens.Nothing in this analysis even suggests that a child born abroad of one U.S. citizen parent and one non-U.S. citizen parent could be included in the class of “natural born citizens” for whom eligibility for service in the office of president of the United States would be satisfied.For those who would argue that somehow the Fourteenth Amendment (which does not even contain the words “natural born citizen” and was adopted to address the problem of the citizenship of the former slaves) altered the intent and requirements of the presidential qualification clause of Article II of the original Constitution, a footnote is offered which discourages this line of thinking.The problem of resolving an issue arising from a provision of the original Constitution by reference to an amendment of that same document is articulated in the following sentence :“Reliance on the provision of an amendment adopted subsequent to the constitutional provision being interpreted is not precluded by, but is strongly militated against by, the language in Freytag v. Commissioner…in which the Court declined to be bound by the language of the 25th Amendment in determining the meaning of ‘Heads of Departments’ in the appointments clause.”So now we know that the Congressional Research Service concluded in 2004 that a child born abroad of parents (two parents) who are themselves U.S. citizens may be a considered a “natural born citizen” and thus eligible for the presidency.  We also know that any presidential eligibility argument based on the language of the Fourteenth Amendment (in which the citizenship status of the former slaves was resolved) is quite unlikely to be able to demonstrate any logical connection of that Amendment to, or bearing on, Article II presidential qualifications; nor is it likely that the Supreme Court would even consider the Fourteenth Amendment to be relevant in a presidential eligibility case.That leaves us with a puzzling question.Just how is it that one can argue that Senator Ted Cruz, born in a foreign country (Canada) of a non-U.S. citizen father, can qualify as a candidate for the presidency under the requirements of Article II that he be a “natural born citizen”?It seems quite clear that Ted Cruz cannot qualify as a candidate for the presidency.   

Cruz is NOT eligible to be POTUS

De Vattel's THE LAW OF NATIONS, a compilation of natural law, was the standard used by the constitutional authors and it defines 'natural born citizen' as a person born on the soil (jus soli) AND born of citizen parents (jus sanguinis). Chester A. Arthur's father was not a US citizen when he was born and he resorted to burning his personal records to prevent being discovered as the usurper he was.

Minor v. Happersett says Cruz is not eligible, here is an excellent article on the subject:

Natural Born Citizen

Please show us all where an amendment to the U.S. Constitution was ratified by the required number states to change the Exact worded portion of the Article II that states must be born to "two" legal U.S. Citizens whom where legal citizens of the U.S. at the time of child's birth. There is no court ruling or worded deviation with out a specific referencing of an approved U.S. Constitutional Amendment that can change that. For further clarification the parents must be "One" real live female and "One" real live male.

Wording of Article II Section 1 Clause 5 of the Constitution

With regard to the comment above "Please show us all where an amendment to the U.S. Constitution was ratified by the required number states to change the Exact worded portion of the Article II that states must be born to "two" legal U.S. Citizens whom where legal citizens of the U.S. at the time of child's birth."

The exact wording of Article II Section 1 Clause 5 of the Constitution is below. Please note that the word "two" or any definition of what "natural born Citizen" is is not included, hence the problem we face today.

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; neither shall any person be eligible to that Office who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty five Years, and been fourteen Years a Resident within the United States.


I Quote: "And here’s the point that some Cruz “birthers” seem to miss, “But Congress eliminated that differential treatment of citizen mothers and fathers before any of the potential candidates in the current presidential election were born.”

The Natural Born Citizens requires, by the Laws Of Nations (Vattell) as understood and used by the Writers of the Constitution to mean.

A child born of "TWO Citizen Parents", and this was written into the Constitution Exactly as it was intended.

The 'quote' above assumes that Congress has the power and authority to alter the terms and redefine the words to fit the political agenda and has the ability to alter the Constitution without going through the Amendment Process.

IF that power is awarded to the legislature, then it is also awarded to the other two branches of government.

The father of Mr. Cruz did not become a naturalized Citized of the United States until 2005, many years after the birth of the Honorable Senator.

While I do not doubt the fervor and intensity of Mr. Cruz, noe his Patriotism, to set aside the clear language of the Constitution based on a whim of congress for political expediency is unconscionable and cannot be allowed.

Nope, Congress does NOT have that power. . .

The Constitution provides two and only two methods to amend the Constitution and passing a law or a resolution or another other missive from them is of no consequence (including their flatulence re. McCain's eligibility). If they want to define 'natural born citizen' (which they certainly should) they'll have to propose an amendment to Article II. Until that happens, we will maintain our position that anyone born on foreign soil or born of other than citizen parents (plural) is ineligible.

Nominate Rubio, Cruz or Jindal and we will lose the election and live under socialist rule for another 4 to 8 years. Please find somebody we can all vote for.

Ted Cruz is NOT a Natural Born Citizen

TED CRUZ IS NOT ELIGIBLE - HE IS NOT A NATURAL BORN CITIZEN Mario Apuzzo is an attorney and a constitutional scholar - he has done a massive amount of research on the eligibility clause in the U.S. Constitution, all documented on his web site - he took a major Obama eligibility case to the U.S. Supreme Court but was denied certiorari."A Response to Neil Katyal and Paul Clement on the Meaning of a Natural Born Citizen"By Mario Apuzzo, Esq. March 13, 2015 I read the March 11, 2015 article entitled, “On the Meaning of a ‘Natural Born Citizen,” written by Neal Katyal and Paul Clement, found at 128 Harv.L.Rev.F 161, and accessed at . The article repeats the existing talking points offered in support of the constitutional eligibility of Senator Ted Cruz (all born citizens are natural born citizens) and offers nothing new. Mr. Cruz was born in Canada to a U.S. citizen mother, and a non-U.S. citizen (Cuban) father. I have written a recent article in which I conclude that Mr. Cruz is not a natural born citizen, and therefore not eligible to be President because he does not satisfy the one and only common law definition of a natural born citizen confirmed by the unanimous U.S. Supreme Court in Minor v. Happersett, 88 U.S. 162 (1875), which is: "a child born in a country to parents who were its citizens at the time of the child’s birth". The article is entitled, “What Do President Obama and Senator Cruz Have In Common? They Are Both Not Natural Born Citizens," accessed at:

Minor v. Happersett,

All Minor v. Happersett said was that Minor was a citizen because her father and mother were citizens. It did not say that the Constitution requires both parents to be natural citizens in order for an offsprlng to be a citizen.

Chief Justice, Morrison Waite, stated the following in the case: "The Constitution does not, in words, say who shall be natural-born citizens. Resort must be had elsewhere to ascertain that." He went on to cite common law as his authority only to declare Minor to be a citizen. He did not go further and say difinitively what a "natural born citizen" is to be or not to be.

In fact, the Supreme Court has never ruled on the definition of "natural born citizen." So it is left up to the various lower courts and legal minds of the country to offer opinion on its exact meaning. We have no certainty in other words.

Moreover, did the Founders ever explicitly state in wide agreement that the Vattel definition from The Law of Nations (requiring TWO natural parents) was what they intended a "natural born citizen" to be? No they did not, probably because there wasn't wide agreement on the question in their day. Thus the question must be left up to the courts in our day to determine.

But there is an answer to this dilemma that has worked as a solution during the past 60 years, and I believe it will be the basic reasoning of any court offering any determination in the future.

Article I, section 8, clause 4 of the United States Constitution gives the United States Congress the power to establish a uniform rule of citizenship. The "Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952" sets forth in one of its passages the legal requirements for the acquisition of such citizenship:

"For persons born between December 24, 1952 and November 14, 1986, a person is a U.S. citizen if: 1) the person's parents were married at the time of birth, 2) one of the person's parents was a U.S. citizen when the person was born, 3) the citizen parent lived at least ten years in the United States before the child's birth, and 4) a minimum of 5 of these 10 years in the United States were after the citizen parent's 14th birthday."

Thus according to the law since 1952, all that is necessary for someone to be a citizen is for ONE parent to be a citizen, which Cruz's mother is. Can it be said with absolute certainty that this opinion will prevail if the issue ever gets to court? No, it can't. But all prominent legal authorities today believe there is no court in the land that will deny Cruz eligibility for the Presidency because only his mother was a citizen at the time of his birth.

Chester A. Arthur met opposition on this very issue (U.S. mother and an Irish father), and he was not denied the Presidency because of it. That sets a mighty strong precedent.

But is Cruz perhaps ineligible to be President because he was born in Canada? On this question, the answer again is "No." The Naturalization Act of 1790 (passed three years after the Constitution was adopted) is the source for this. It states: “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.”

In today's global economy, many parents work outside of the U.S. temporarily, yet they don't stop having babies. The courts have very rightly determined (in accord with the Naturalization Act of 1790) that it is unfair to deny citizenship to a child of a natural born citizen just because the citizen was outside the country when the child was born. Cruz's mother is a natural born citizen. No court in the land will deny Cruz eligibility for the Presidency because he was born across the border in Vancouver.

I realize that there are many lawyers skilled in parsing definitions, codes, and opinions from the past to promote their particular agendas today. But when all is said and done, because the Framers were not explicit on this issue, we have only two sources to rely on to determine it -- the U.S. courts and Congress. They have spoken on this in Chester A. Arthur's day, and they have spoken in 1952. These two precedents, I believe, will prevail.

A Citizen does not a Natural Born Citizen make

Do you understand that there is a legal difference between 'citizen', 'native born citizen', 'naturalized citizen' and 'natural born citizen'? Even the INS agree:

Minor v Happersett

How could the Supreme Court have been any clearer? "The Constitution does not, in words, say who shall be natural-born citizens. Resort must be had elsewhere to ascertain that. At common-law, with the nomenclature of which the framers of the Constitution were familiar, it was never doubted that all children born in a country of parents who were its citizens became themselves, upon their birth, citizens also. These were natives, or natural-born citizens, as distinguished from aliens or foreigners."MINOR v. HAPPERSETT, 88 U.S. 162 (1874) is also the Venus case, decided by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1914: The Venus, 12 U.S. 8 Cranch 253 253 (1814)The first was decided in A.D. 1814, at the beginning of the republic, by men who were intimately associated with the American Revolution. In that year the following men sat on the Supreme Court:Bushrod Washington, (b. June 5, 1762 — d. Nov. 26, 1829), served Feb. 4, 1799 til Nov. 26, 1829.John Marshall (b. Sept. 24, 1755 — d. July 6, 1835), served Feb. 4, 1891 til July 6, 1835.William Johnson (b. Dec. 27, 1771 — d. Aug. 4, 1834), served May 7, 1804, til Aug. 4, 1834.Henry Brockholst Livingston (b. Nov. 25, 1757 — d. Mar. 18, 1823), served Jan. 20, 1807 til March 18, 1823Thomas Todd (b. Jan. 23, 1765 — d. Feb. 7, 1826), served May  4, 1807 til Feb. 7, 1826.Gabriel Duvall (b. Dec. 6, 1752 — d. Mar. 6, 1844), served Nov. 23, 1811 til Jany 14, 1835.Joseph Story (b. Sept. 18, 1779 — d. Sept. 10, 1845), served Feb. 3, 1812 til Sept. 10, 1845Nearly all these men either participated in the American Revolution, or their fathers did.  Joseph Story’s father took part in the original Boston Tea Party.  Thomas Todd served 6 months in the army against the British; and participated in 5 Constitutional Conventions from 1784-1792.  During the Revolutionary War, Henry Brockholst Livingston was a Lieutenant Colonel in the New York Line and an aide-de-camp to General Benedict Arnold, before the latter’s defection to the British. William Johnson’sfather, mother, and elder brother were revolutionaries, who served as statesman, rebel, or nurse/assistant to the line troops, respectively. John Marshall was First Lieutenant of the Culpeper Minutement of Virginia, and then Lieutenant in the Eleventh Virginian Continental Regiment, and a personal friend of General George Washington; and debated for ratification of the U.S. Constitution by the Virginian General Assembly. Bushrod Washington was George Washington’s nephew and heir.Being witnesses and heirs of the Revolution, they understood what the Framers of the Constitution had intended.The Venus case regarded the question whether the cargo of a merchantman, named the Venus, belonging to an American citizen, and being shipped from British territory to America during the War of 1812, could be seized and taken as a prize by an American privateer.  But what the case said about citizenship, is what matters here.WHAT THE VENUS CASE SAYS ON CITIZENSHIPIn the Venus Case, Justice Livingston, who wrote the unanimous decision, quoted the entire §212nd paragraph from the French edition, using his own English, on p. 12 of the ruling:Vattel, who, though not very full to this point, is more explicit and more satisfactory on it than any other whose work has fallen into my hands, says:“The citizens are the members of the civil society; bound to this society by certain duties, and subject to its authority, they equally participate in its advantages. The natives or indigenes are those born in the country of parents who are citizens. Society not being able to subsist and to perpetuate itself but by the children of the citizens, those children naturally follow the condition of their fathers, and succeed to all their rights.“The inhabitants, as distinguished from citizens, are strangers who are permitted to settle and stay in the country. Bound by their residence to the society, they are subject to the laws of the state while they reside there, and they are obliged to defend it… 

natural born

An objective view of the Constitution shows, unequivocally, that "natural born" means the progeny of TWO United States citizens born on U.S. territory. It does NOT mean naturalized or by a single parent. It means by TWO U.S. Citizens with birth on U.S. territory.


I misread your comment, my bad.


And on what, specifically, do you base that assertion? Please be specific, no 'opinions' of 'experts'.