Lion of the Blogosphere

“Natural born citizen” in 2013 and 2016

In 2013 there was a news story about how Arnold Schwarzenegger wanted to have the Constitution amended so that he could run for president. As Fox News reported:

Arnie was born in Austria, and the US Constitution prevents foreign-born citizens from holding the nation’s top job.

Somehow the Constitution changed during the last three years, because Cruz was foreign-born in Canada but no one seems to think it’s a problem. Maybe Arnold could have run after all.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

January 17, 2016 at 12:01 am

Posted in Politics

95 Responses

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  1. One of the dumbest posts you have ever had. Trump with his 10 year old c level of speaking has bad influence on you.


    January 17, 2016 at 12:53 am

  2. Where either of Arnold’s parents American citizens?


    January 17, 2016 at 1:33 am

    • No


      January 17, 2016 at 5:40 pm

  3. If my son is born to his American father overseas, he’s still a natural born citizen because he has had US citizenship since birth. Schwarzenegger clearly was not born with US citizenship; he naturalized. I have no idea if Cruz, being born in Canada, is the former or the latter, but if he was born to American parents, and particularly if they registered his birth with the US government when he was born, he’s probably the former.


    January 17, 2016 at 2:00 am

    • Absolutely wrong. In fact, tis was an issue when McCain ran for president since he was born in Panama Canal Zone to a father who was an admiral in the US Navy. The ONLY reason mcCain was “natural born” was because of a 1937 law declaring the children of USmilitary serving overseas to be citizens. Otherwise, McCain wouldn’t have been eligible either.

      If this goes to SCOTUS, I strongly suspect Cruz will be ruled ineligible. Imagine if Cruz wins the nomination with less than the required votes to avoid a brokered convention. Then the establishment forces him to name Rubio or Jeb as his VP and files a lawsuit to have him ruled ineligible.


      January 17, 2016 at 7:35 pm

  4. Oh come on. Both Arnold’s parents were Austrian citizens. His father was a member or the Nazi Party and served in the German Army during WW II. Curz’s mother was supposedly a US citizen when he was born. There is a document that shows Curz’s mother was registered to vote in Canada but this is probably just a misunderstanding.


    January 17, 2016 at 2:05 am

    • We don’t know if this is a “misunderstanding” because Ted Cruz’s records are sealed, just as Obama’s.


      January 17, 2016 at 5:42 pm

  5. Growing up during the 80s, my father would remark that he could never be president because he was born in a foreign country – even though his father was a US soldier. Everyone knew that if you were born on foreign soil, you could not be president. Since Obama, the argument has become that you can be born on foreign soil if you have a parent that is a US citizen. This is a new idea, a new argument made explicitly for the first black president, even though he was born in a US State – but just in case he was born in Kenya.

    It does seem unfair that illegal immigrants can have a child born in the US, and that child is eligible to be president, while servicemen who have children overseas can never see their children become eligible if they were born off base.

    This is more a problem with the SC interpretations of the 14th Amendment. Before the Civil War, there were no American citizens. Citizenship was decided by the States. You were citizens of the State, not the Fedgov. Now, we are residents of the States. Tremendous power blow to the States.

    Ted Cruz is not eligible for the presidency, according to normal and long standing understanding of the Constitution. Only under the perverse arguments made during the 2008 election are we even considering it, all just not to be called racist. Constitution be damned!


    January 17, 2016 at 2:35 am

    • The “perverse arguments made during the 2008 election” were to make sure that “Panama Jack” McCain met the natural born citizen qualification, not Obama, whose American mother gave birth to him in Hawaii.

      The American right seems to have a psychological need to believe absolutely nonsensical things as “facts”.

      Whether “natural born” refers to someone’s parents, or the location of the birth, is a legitimate question that has never been settled. Its really an example of bad drafting.


      January 17, 2016 at 1:35 pm

      • It really is bad drafting. If you were to take “natural born” literally shouldn’t anyone born via caesarean section be ineligible?

        Peter Akuleyev

        January 17, 2016 at 3:47 pm

      • Or maybe everyone knew what “natural born” meant in 1787 and they didn’t think they needed to explain it beyond that. (Which was born in the United States to two married parents who were both U.S. citizens.)

        Lion of the Blogosphere

        January 17, 2016 at 4:04 pm

      • Not really. McCain (who I abhor), was not born in Panama, but in American territory at the time (the Canal Zone).


        January 17, 2016 at 5:46 pm

      • Right, McCain was never a citizen of another country. Ted Cruz was a citizen of Canada his entire life until two years ago, and it’s not even clear that he still isn’t. Does he have a document from Canada certifying that he’s no longer a Canadian citizen?

        Lion of the Blogosphere

        January 17, 2016 at 5:48 pm

      • I thought everyone interested in this topic would have read the following article from a few days ago that appeared in the Washington Post. A constitutional law professor from Widener University argued forcefully that Ted Cruz is NOT a natural born citizen according to the common law meaning of that phrase that was operative at the time the Constitution was ratified. Harvard constitutional law professor Laurence Tribe agrees. He joked that Cruz, a self-described “originalist” where it comes to interpreting the Constitution, is a “hypocrite” and a “constitutional opportunist” for taking, on this singular occasion, a judicially activist interpretation of “natural born citizen.”

        Mark Caplan

        January 17, 2016 at 8:20 pm

  6. Il your parents are both american diplomats serving their country and you’re born in a Berlin hospital, you re not be able to be a presidential candidate ????
    And as the same time anchor baby are ipso facto American ?

    Bruno from Paris

    January 17, 2016 at 3:46 am

  7. Your jus soli is a principle like that :
    A cow born in a stable is a horse .
    No animal shall be called a natural horse unless it Is born in stable.

    Bruno from Paris

    January 17, 2016 at 3:55 am

  8. Sorry, but Cruz is a natural born American citizen and eligible to run for the Presidency.

    bob sykes

    January 17, 2016 at 7:47 am

  9. Arnold was at least a legitimate foreigner. The real question I have, is that if a child born of an American mother in a foreign country is a natural born citizen, than what was all the fuss from the birthers over Obama? Even if the birther story was true, he would be just as much a natural born American as Cruz.

    All my life (or at least until the last month) I thought a natural born citizen was one actually born in the US or it’s territories. Now the story has totally changed, but it makes me suspicious that Cruz is actually eligible to be President.

    Mike Street Station

    January 17, 2016 at 8:53 am

  10. Cruz’s mother was a citizen at the time of his birth; that’s the difference between Cruz and S-egger.

    I like the precedent and the push back: denying a benefit to an immigrant, in this case Cruz’s father. Imagine that! You can’t be a foreigner and have your kid grow up and make policy that damages the country. What a thought.


    January 17, 2016 at 9:04 am

    • We don’t know that because Cruz’s records, just as Obama’s, are sealed.


      January 17, 2016 at 5:49 pm

  11. Arnold’s parents were also foreigners. Cruz’s mother was American.


    January 17, 2016 at 9:04 am

    • We don’t know that. See my reply above.


      January 17, 2016 at 5:49 pm

  12. Cruz was eligible for US citizenship since birth, due to his American mother. Arnold was a naturalized citizen. That is the difference.

    Jose Habib

    January 17, 2016 at 9:53 am

    • Cruz was automatically naturalized a birth, but not natural-born according to the traditional definition.

      Lion of the Blogosphere

      January 17, 2016 at 10:15 am

      • Traditional? Let’s not pretend anyone cared about this before Cruz came along.


        January 17, 2016 at 10:44 am

      • Of course people cared before Cruz. You’ve heard of Obama, right?

        If it had been proven that he was born in Kenya, you don’t think that would be a huge scandal and debate, with legitimate lawsuits up to the Supreme Court and possible removal from office? I had birther arguments about Obama, nobody, not one person, ever said “his mother was a citizen so it doesn’t matter where he was born”. Not once. People were desperate to prove he was born in Hawaii. We had a different understanding of “natural born” just a few years ago.


        January 17, 2016 at 1:45 pm

      • “People were desperate to prove he was born in Hawaii.”

        I don’t think the matter was overly desperate, the evidence of his birth in Hawaii was overwhelming both from an evidence and motive standpoint.


        January 17, 2016 at 3:21 pm

      • Naturalized at birth would seem to equal natural born. Naturalization is a process where you apply for citizenship you didn’t have before, not where you are born with that status. Arnold had to be naturalized, Ted and Barry did not, so they are eligible to be president, while Arnold is not. Why this differentiation continues to exist in a “nation of immigrants” is another story. And as we have seen with Obama, being naturally born doesn’t ensure you won’t work to destroy all the principles the founders sought to protect.


        January 17, 2016 at 5:18 pm

      • Naturalization means a legal act which gives citizenship. It doesn’t mean you had to “apply” for it.

        Lion of the Blogosphere

        January 17, 2016 at 5:44 pm

      • We don’t know that either. There is no American Consulate record of birth. Ted’s records are sealed, just like Obama’s, please!


        January 17, 2016 at 5:54 pm

  13. Barry Goldwater was not born in the United States and nobody thought that was a problem. He was born in the Arizona territory before it was a state.


    January 17, 2016 at 10:39 am

    • He wasn’t born in a foreign country.

      Lion of the Blogosphere

      January 17, 2016 at 11:20 am

      • and the difference is what exactly? There is none.

        Is there a McCalls magazine that reported on it then which provides and important legal prescient?

        Lion of the Turambar

        January 17, 2016 at 2:25 pm

      • “He was born in the Arizona territory before it was a state.”

        “and the difference is what exactly?”

        The difference is that Cruz’s claim is weaker even than Goldwater’s given that Cruz was born in territory that has never been subject to American jurisdiction. That doesn’t make Goldwater natural born however.


        January 17, 2016 at 3:26 pm

    • By that logic Al Gore doesn’t qualify either. He was born in the District of Columbia, not a state.

      I think it was always assumed that territories, commonwealths, and districts subject to federal U.S. law are parts of the United States. There are still some iffy cases, such as embassies, overseas military bases, and places like the Panama Canal Zone and Okinawa which were temporarily leased and eventually returned.


      January 17, 2016 at 10:03 pm

      • Embassies aren’t iffy. They’re US territory.

        So was Arizona.


        January 18, 2016 at 5:56 am

      • Cite the wording that describes “natural born” as having anything to do with the jurisdiction of the land you were born on.

        Lion of the Turambar

        January 18, 2016 at 8:11 am

      • “Cite the wording that describes “natural born” as having anything to do with the jurisdiction of the land you were born on.”

        The argument is that in some British common law contexts the term natural born Subject had a jurisdictional context. Though I disagree with this professor’s conclusion (I believe you can create both a scope analysis and a give priority to some British precedents over others) nevertheless it provides a good explanation of a common legal analysis used to determine the meaning of natural born.

        From Professor Jacobson’s blog Legal Insurrection:

        “… the words are important, because what’s not in the Constitution is a term which has been frequently used historically of ‘native born’ citizen…. The fact that the term ‘native born’ is not a requirement I think is extremely significant because it signals that had the Framers wanted to require that only somebody born within the territory of the United States could be president, they could have very easily the term ‘native born’ citizens.”

        “… when it’s unclear what a phrase [in the Constitution] means, you do look to whether there was a common understanding based on British common law of a particular term because it’s presumed that the Framers were familiar with British common law at the time they framed the Constitution. The problem is, British law was not clear on the subject…. Britain didn’t have the term ‘natural born Citizen,’ it had the term ‘natural born Subject. And if we’re going to say that words matter, then you can’t simply say that ‘natural born Subject’ is synonymous with ‘natural born Citizen.” But even if you did, Britain had, depending on which colony they were in, depending what point in history, they used many different definitions of who would become a ‘natural born Subject’ of the King. And that included both territorial; but it also included parental lineage… So in looking at British law, both common law and statutes, it doesn’t give us a clear answer as to what this term means.”


        January 18, 2016 at 8:52 pm

  14. Everyone growing up in America intuitively thought that natural born citizen has always meant to be born in America to two US citizen parents. And indeed, that is what the law says when you look into it as Ann Coulter and others have done. Sure, we looked the other way in a few instances in the past: George Romney, Goldwater, McCain, Obama. But that doesn’t mean the Constitution doesn’t say what it says. And in Goldwater’s and McCain’s cases, there’s a strong argument that they would still qualify, being born to two US citizen parents on territory subject to the jurisdiction of the US government.

    In any case, the hypothetical about a US family that goes on vacation to a foreign land and has the baby there. What a stupid argument. If you want to ensure your child will be natural born, then don’t go on vacation in the third trimester. Geez.

    Andrew E.

    January 17, 2016 at 10:39 am

    • Exactly.


      January 17, 2016 at 5:56 pm

  15. That would have been exciting. An ex nazi with a taste for unattractive mestizos running the show. Wait a minute.

    K.l. Asher

    January 17, 2016 at 11:04 am

    • What about this: an Iranian rapes an American woman in Iran, raises the son to be a Muslim in Iran, then the son can run as a Natural Born Citizen for U.S. president!


      January 17, 2016 at 5:59 pm

  16. I think Cruz has the better of the argument. Assuming that under American law a child born abroad to an American mother is considered an American from birth.

    But I do see a few issues here: First, the issue is not crystal clear and you can bet that if he were nominated, the Dems would try to make an issue out of it. I doubt they would do it directly, but it would be easy enough to find a state Secretary of State who insisted he was acting independently.

    Second, was he deemed to be a citizen at birth or did he merely have the option to claim citizenship? Presumably if you are deemed to be a citizen at birth, you are on the hook for taxes and draft registration. It’s a crime for you to support foreign terrorist organizations. There are probably other obligations as well. If he was not automatically subject to these obligations, then arguably he’s not quite the same as a natural born citizen.

    Last, is he deemed to be a citizen of any other country? That’s a potential problem too since the whole point of the constitutional provision is to make completely sure that the president will not be a stooge for some foreign government. Obviously it’s not a big deal if he’s also a citizen of Canada, but suppose he had been born in Israel to an American mother and an Israeli father. You can bet it would be a much bigger problem.


    January 17, 2016 at 11:18 am

    • Israel is our ally just as much as Canada is.

      Lion of the Blogosphere

      January 17, 2016 at 11:22 am

      • No, Canada is practically an American dependency. Israel is an independent nation with its own foreign policy that reliably pursues its own interests even if they are not identical with America’s.

        Peter Akuleyev

        January 17, 2016 at 3:45 pm

      • Canada is just as independent as Israel, but Canada has the good fortune of not being surrounded by Muslims who hate Canadians.

        Lion of the Blogosphere

        January 17, 2016 at 4:03 pm

      • Canada has the good fortune of not being surrounded by Muslims who hate Canadians.

        But don’t worry, they’re bringing in Muslims who hate Canadians just as fast as they can!


        January 17, 2016 at 5:29 pm

      • Canada has had muslim attackers (well, one) in parliament already.


        January 17, 2016 at 6:37 pm

      • “Israel is our ally just as much as Canada is.”

        The US government does not agree, properly so in my opinion. When was the last time someone was caught spying on the US on behalf of Canada?

        James B. Shearer

        January 17, 2016 at 11:24 pm

      • I don’t know. When was the last time?

        Lion of the Blogosphere

        January 17, 2016 at 11:58 pm

      • Technically Canada, Israel, Mexico and North Korea are equally independent. But let’s get real — they’re not all the same.


        January 18, 2016 at 2:11 am

      • Not really – we share almost all information with Canada, the UK, Australia, and NZ, we don’t spy on them, and they don’t spy on us. That’s certainly NOT the case with Israel.

        Jose Habib

        January 18, 2016 at 7:55 pm

  17. Obvious first question: Is there a difference between running for office in a state and running in the entire nation?


    January 17, 2016 at 11:53 am

    • Didn’t the Arizona legislature pass some birther law of its own a while back? That candidates had to prove their eligibility in order to get on the ballot? That always seemed strange to me, the idea that states can set their own eligibility requirements for candidates running for federal office. Though I guess TECHNICALLY we are just electing members of the electoral college, who are state officials. I think??


      January 17, 2016 at 12:08 pm

    • Yes. State offices are defined by state constitutions.

      Lion is correct in that Cruz’s situation is distinguishable from all the others mentioned. If natural born means born on territory under the sovereign control of the US then only George Romney’s example is comparable and I don’t recall how far he got through the process. The term natural born had a meaning at the time of the founding and, if as Lion describes, it meant subject to the territorial sovereignty of the US then Cruz should have a problem. Congress cannot amend the constitution by statute. Who gets to decide the matter, Congress or the judiciary is an interesting question. But, should Congress choose to decide the issue exercising their power under the twelfth amendment they have just as great an obligation to be faithful to the constitution as do the courts. Further, if the purpose of the language was to protect against European agents seeking to gain control of the country, such a purpose is logically advanced by allowing only those with an elevated connection to the country, by reason of longevity of physical association, to be president.


      January 17, 2016 at 12:17 pm

      • Congress can and should pass a joint resolution settling the matter.

        One interesting twist to this is that Cruz is apparently unpopular with his colleagues in the Senate, due to his personality.


        January 17, 2016 at 1:42 pm

  18. I thought that Ann Coulter’s piece on the Cruz controversy was quite good, and quite lawyerly. She is a strong defender of the common law, which is very forgotten these days.

    The important thing she notes is that Cruz is a citizen based on the fact that the constitution grants Congress the power to create laws of naturalization. Congress could theoretically pass a law granting birthright citizenship to every baby born in Russia, and Cruz’ argument would be that every citizen of Russia would be eligible to be president. The “original intent” of the founders was no foreigner should be president.

    Coulter says, “Unless we’re all Ruth Bader Ginsburg now, and interpret the Constitution to mean whatever we want it to mean, Cruz is not a ‘natural born citizen.'”


    January 17, 2016 at 12:05 pm

    • I am not persuaded by Coulter’s argument. She says quite correctly that a person who becomes a citizen at birth only by virtue of a law passed by Congress is not a natural born citizen. Because Congress passed a law that made Cruz at citizen at the time of his birth, she further — and incorrectly — concludes that he must not be a natural born citizen.

      The Constitution demands that Congress pass no law inconsistent with the Constitution itself. Congress is free to pass laws that are consistent with the Constitution. There is nothing inconsistent with Congress passing citizenship laws that confer citizenship on people who, by virtue of the Constitution, are already citizens. It may be redundant, but that does not make it unlawful.

      Coulter’s argument also relies on the claim that Congress, when it passed the law to which she refers, knew to whom the term natural born citizen referred and was acting to grant citizenship on others who were not natural born citizens. A Congress’s beliefs about the Constitution are not particularly good evidence of what the Constitution means. Were it otherwise, we would not need judicial review of acts of Congress.


      January 17, 2016 at 5:15 pm

      • Another weird case is that Native Americans are citizens due to federal law, not the Constitution. The 14th Amendment specifically excludes them. So maybe all Native Americans are ineligible to run for President. People in the 19th century would agree with this position, but I don’t think anyone in the 21st century would buy this.


        January 17, 2016 at 10:07 pm

      • President Hoover’s vice president was a native American.


        January 18, 2016 at 10:54 am

      • I don’t quite follow your argument.

        The 14th amendment gives citizenship to anyone born inside the United States. That’s all the constitution has to say about citizenship and birth. Everything else comes through statute, so I don’t see how the law through which Cruz got his citizenship is a constitutionally redundant one.


        January 18, 2016 at 6:02 pm

      • It wasn’t the intent of the 14th Amendment to grant citizenship to children of illegal aliens.

        Lion of the Blogosphere

        January 18, 2016 at 7:27 pm

  19. ice hole

    January 17, 2016 at 12:11 pm

    • Too much to quote, but you can only wonder how the educational system can fail such diligent students.

      “There was one white kid in the whole school.”

      “Two weeks in and [Ed] Boland was crying in the bathroom.” (Um, wat? A bit further down it turns out he’s a homo, as his students point out on the blackboard. Which perhaps also explains this ambivalent quote: And there, Boland writes, “stood one Kameron Shields in pure renegade glory, a one-man violation of every possible rule.”)

      “Boland ends his book with familiar suggestions for ­reform: Invest more money, recruit better teachers, retool the unions, end poverty.” (He apparently remains a fool to the bitter end, but the book might be worth reading just because of the volume of pull quotes.)


      January 17, 2016 at 2:22 pm

    • Good grief. I wouldn’t blame the guy for joining the Klan. Or something.

      “How can we have students like this in our society and expect to live normal lives?”


      January 17, 2016 at 3:32 pm

    • As noted, there is too much to quote, but this one stands out:

      A lifelong liberal, Boland began to feel uncomfortable with his thinking.

      His liberal beliefs could not withstand an exposure to reality. Priceless.


      January 17, 2016 at 4:59 pm

  20. Trump is right. The Democrats will launch lawsuits. They’ve embraced the criminalization of politics.


    January 17, 2016 at 1:40 pm

  21. Somebody get on the horn with Havana. Cruz may be a natural-born Cuban!

    January 17, 2016 at 1:47 pm

    • According to Section 29 of the Cuban constitution, he would certainly be eligible for Cuban citizenship.

      “Cuban citizens by birth are… those born abroad of a Cuban father or mother, with prior compliance with the formalities that the law specifies.”


      January 17, 2016 at 3:59 pm

    • “get on the horn with”

      love this expression.


      January 17, 2016 at 4:51 pm

      • I like blower better.

        It seems like Cruz can claim three countries.


        January 17, 2016 at 6:44 pm

  22. My impression was this:

    1) If you are born in the United States, you’re naturally born, even if your parents are illegals.
    2) If you are born abroad, and one of your parents is an American over 19 years old, you are naturally born, if that parent has lived in the United States for 10 years, of which five must have been after 14 (so that’s the 19 minimum).

    Obama, if he had been born in Kenya (or anywhere else outside the USA) could not have been an American citizen because his mom couldn’t convey citizenship because she was under 19 years of age (she was only 18, and had lived all of them in the USA).

    Ted Cruz’s mother was born on November 23, 1934. Ted Cruz was born on December 22, 1970. Thus, his mom was 36 years old when he was born. That’s pretty old, actually, for 1970. His father has two other kids from an earlier marriage; he’s the only child of his mother.


    January 17, 2016 at 2:33 pm

    • Um, no.

      The US code is pretty clear that children of American citizens born abroad are US citizens. There is nothing in the US code about these complicated age or residency requirements.

      The dispute is entirely regarding what it means to be a “natural born” citizen, a phrase which is not in the US code and only appears once in the constitution, in the narrow context of presidential qualifications.


      January 17, 2016 at 3:55 pm

      • “The US code is pretty clear that children of American citizens born abroad are US citizens.”

        This means they are automatically naturalized at birth by statute, not that they are natural-born.

        Lion of the Blogosphere

        January 17, 2016 at 4:05 pm

      • The likely purpose of the natural born citizen requirement for presidents is to prevent someone from strategically adopting US citizenship to become president in the service of another sovereign. While it may be the case that “natural born citizen” means something other than “citizen at birth,” it does not seem overly obvious to me that this is the case. The purposes of the clause are met regardless of whether a person is a citizen at birth by virtue of the Constitution or laws passed by Congress. In either case, there is no opportunity for him to strategically adopt citizenship so as to allow him to become president.


        January 17, 2016 at 5:27 pm

      • I think LotB’s crush on Ann Coulter is messing with his mind.


        January 17, 2016 at 6:48 pm

      • This means they are automatically naturalized at birth by statute, not that they are natural-born

        What is it that you think it means? Someone who would have been a citizen at birth based on the standards at the time of the constitutional convention?

        Lloyd Llewellyn

        January 17, 2016 at 7:38 pm

      • “What is it that you think it means? Someone who would have been a citizen at birth based on the standards at the time of the constitutional convention?”

        At the time it was assumed to mean born in the United States to two married parents who were both American citizens.

        However, Chester Arthur’s father was an Irish citizen but they let him be president anyway.

        Lion of the Blogosphere

        January 17, 2016 at 8:04 pm

  23. Cruz is a natural-born greaseball, not a citizen.


    January 17, 2016 at 4:32 pm

    • As JS is sure to point out very soon, Cruz is 1/8th guido. Presumably he’ll carry (if nominated that is) certain districts in Staten Island. Would Scalia and Alito rule against American’s first Italian-American president? Do IA’s consider being 1/8th “good enough” to qualify for status as an IA? From personal experience I believe that most do and that no way a SCOTUS vote goes against Cruz’s eligibility to be president.


      January 17, 2016 at 8:54 pm

      • In order to carry the guido vote, you need an Italian last name. Cruz doesn’t have that.

        Lion of the Blogosphere

        January 17, 2016 at 10:47 pm

      • Not always, Lion. Congressman Grimm of S.I was half-IA and he got elected. But he liked to let voters know of his heritage. He actually had a piece of campaign literature that was a letter from his mother addressed to voters. This allowed her maiden name to be seen so that she wouldn’t have to say bluntly “Vote for my son, he’s a nice half-Italian boy” As soon as I got this campaign “flyer” I knew what was going on. I found it hilarious. I guess I’ve just got a “grimm” sense of humor!


        January 17, 2016 at 11:15 pm

  24. arnold’s alphaness alone should override any citizenship issues.


    January 17, 2016 at 6:33 pm

  25. Enough with this pointless wanking. The Constitution is riddled with stupid ideas, mostly borne out of compromise over slavery and state size. If voters want to elect someone who is under the age of 35 or born in a foreign country, who cares? Now, you might say someone under 35 is not “mature” enough. Well, let voters decide. It’s highly unlikely they’ll choose anyone under 40 any time soon. Same deal for someone born abroad.

    Nowadays we have supersonic jet travel. Does it matter if someone spent the first 10 days of their life in England or Brazil or China? These paternalistic qualifications are not even anachronistic; they never made any sense. Also, you can bet that if Cruz gets the nomination the Supreme Court will allow him to run.


    January 17, 2016 at 6:53 pm

    • Hell, so far the lower limit has been 43.


      January 17, 2016 at 9:38 pm

    • Gee, if only there was a way to change the Constitution.

      Oh, wait, there is. It’s called Article V.


      January 17, 2016 at 10:54 pm

    • Some people charge and other people pay $500 per hour or more for this useless wanking.


      January 18, 2016 at 12:19 am

  26. Natural born citizenship is such a straightforward intuitive concept — born on US soil to two US citizen parents — that only a highly trained lawyer could screw it up.

    Andrew E.

    January 17, 2016 at 6:59 pm

  27. Who cares about Cruz, anyway. He’s toast.


    January 17, 2016 at 8:01 pm

  28. Everybody knows that Canada is the 51st state anyway.

    Gilbert Ratchet

    January 17, 2016 at 8:02 pm

  29. the supreme court case of minor v happersett 1875 already defined the term ‘natural born citizen’–this case has never been overruled…here is the SCOTUS definition: a child born in the USA of parents who are BOTH citizens…under this definition cruz, rubio AND Obama are ineligible.


    January 17, 2016 at 9:26 pm

    • The court in Minor determined that a child born in the US of parents both of whom were citizens was indeed natural born, but the decision was not intended to be exhaustive to the question of the scope of the natural born definition, but instead simply noted that in the presence of those facts, which were the facts of the case, the individual in question was unquestionably a natural born citizen. The court left open whether a narrower set of conditions might also make one a natural born citizens (say being born to only one citizen parent for example).


      January 18, 2016 at 12:17 am

      • what language did the court use to leave ” open whether a narrower set of conditions might also make one a natural born citizens”?


        January 18, 2016 at 1:13 pm

      • “Some authorities go further and include as citizens children born within the jurisdiction without reference to the citizenship of their [p168] parents. As to this class there have been doubts, but never as to the first. For the purposes of this case it is not necessary to solve these doubts. It is sufficient for everything we have now to consider that all children born of citizen parents within the jurisdiction are themselves citizens.”

        The typical goal of opinion writers is to address the narrowest set of questions required to resolve a controversy. Here, the court does that by only addressing whether children born of citizen parents within the jurisdiction are themselves citizens. They leave all other unknown questions related to the definition of ‘natural born citizen’ to future courts. By way of telegraphing the limited scope of the opinion they note other disputes they are not addressing including whether children born of non-citizen parents within the US are natural born. Another would be the question Lion raises, whether foreign born of citizen parents are natural born.


        January 18, 2016 at 2:37 pm

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