Patterico's Pontifications

1/7/2016

World Claims Cruz Not Natural Born Citizen on Same Day

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:45 am



It’s because the Giant Blowhard did another flip-flop, but now Rand Paul and John McCain are taking up the phony argument, each for their petty, personal, unprincipled reasons. (Too busy to give you the links, but they’re everywhere.)

These people disgust me utterly.

97 Responses to “World Claims Cruz Not Natural Born Citizen on Same Day”

  1. ted’s mama told him

    when he was young

    we are all born superstars!

    happyfeet (a037ad)

  2. I have decided to just on into the cone of silence on politics for at least six months. These guys are unbearable.

    Patricia (5fc097)

  3. Greetings:

    But, but, but, Senator McCain is one of the Heros of the Maidan who did so much to help the people of Ukraine into ObamaWorld.

    11B40 (6abb5c)

  4. These people disgust me utterly.
    Indeed.

    mg (31009b)

  5. Doesn’t McCain remember how the issue was raised about his birthplace?

    Can we get rid of him this year or will he con the people of Arizona again?

    slp (3cff6b)

  6. McCain’s “Sell By” date was 2000, but the Shrub edged him out. He had already gone stale in 2008, and now there’s only sour milk and sour grapes.

    nk (dbc370)

  7. McCain implied that there is some doubt about Ted Cruz unlike his own case (it’s true, his case is more clearcut) and Rand Paul came out saying that Ted Cruz is eligible to be…Prime Minister of Canada.

    Sammy Finkelman (dbec95)

  8. Keep in mind what these bumper stickers are intended to do.

    HRC.

    Simon Jester (a37ddc)

  9. Look at the interview.

    All Trump said, after being asked by Blitzer, was that the Ozark Mafia had already made noises about this and Cruz was vulnerable until he puts an end to it.

    Hate to tell you, but that’s the truth.

    formwiz (6b3a5a)

  10. I’ve started seeing claims that his mother became a Canadian citizen, but what is the source for that claim? Nowhere, as far as I can tell. Someone seems to have just made it up. The only actual citation I’ve seen is a false one, to an interview his father gave NPR, in which he didn’t say any such thing.

    Milhouse (8489b1)

  11. Hate to tell you, but that’s the truth.

    No, it isn’t. There’s no reason Cruz has to address it at all. The Dems have just got through establishing that it’s not justiciable, so there can’t be any legal challenge. And not enough voters care about it to make any difference.

    Milhouse (8489b1)

  12. And while the GOP fiddles and America burns, the demography is beating all of them.

    http://tinyurl.com/gqxfhut

    Patricia (5fc097)

  13. The Democrats could object when the electoral vote is counted in Congress, but they are not going to do that. One reason is that they wouldn’t want the precedent – who knows if their best candidate one day might be someone in Ted Cruz’s situation. But even more fundamentally..

    They probably wouldn’t have a majority in Congress, although a Senate majority is more likely – and in any case, so they couldn’t diqualify Cruz. And disqualifying Cruz wouldn’t make the Democrat president. Section 3 of the 20th amendment would kick in, and the Republican vice presidential nominee would be acting president.

    If Democrats held a majority of the state delegations in the House of Represenatives (which is effectively approximately a 57% majority) they could maybe try to select a president in an election by the House with only one choice – all the votes for Ted Cruz being disqualified but still needed to make an Electoral college a majority – but even in that case, the Supreme Court is likely to decide that and the people of the United States would not look kindly on such a coup, so they might not be able to have the House select the Democratic nominee.

    This is not a legal issue. Trump’s just hoping this will scare some Republican primary voters away from Cruz.

    Sammy Finkelman (dbec95)

  14. Wasn’t McCain born in Panama?

    Davod (f3a711)

  15. I do worry about Trump’s proclivity for Russian women. Maybe that’s why he says reasonable things about Putin. Putin knows where Trump’s secrets are buried.

    Davod (f3a711)

  16. #10… I’ll take the long view on this… once Milhouse realizes that an alternate explanation – a model that fits all the given data – exists, his confidence in his own sanctimonious opinion will be shattered, and his inner turmoil will destroy him from within.

    Colonel Haiku (467f23)

  17. Once upon a time (a few weeks ago) I would have accepted and voted Rick Santorum, Rand Paul,and Marco Rubio. Now with all three of them proving they are willing to lie to the public to gain higher office (or at least attack one of the front runners) I don’t know if I could support either of them anymore, even if they are the nominee.

    Anthony (2a2a16)

  18. Trump wants to be another Putin.

    nk (dbc370)

  19. Public Service Announcement: Saying you think x may be a problem for someone does not mean you yourself believe x is true.

    Another Public Service Announcement: Saying you think x may be a problem for someone despite the fact that you previously went on record as stating you don’t believe x is true, does not mean one has flip-flopped.

    School Marm (f96753)

  20. In other words, Trump, McCain, and Paul are really worried that those Iowa polls are on the money.

    Trump is worried about the embarrassment of being crushed in Iowa after months of “I’m inevitable” hectoring. History indicates that get be disastrous for a campaign, as Trump’s good buddy Hillary knows. (Perhaps she confided in him her anguish over getting walloped by a one-term minority Senator.)

    McCain is worried because the idea of Cruz being president drives him to yell at a cloud.

    Paul’s worried because… well, actually, I’m not sure why. He can’t really be stupid enough to believe that he stands a chance in this contest anymore, right? C’mon, even Jeb has a better chance than Paul does at this point.

    top116 (d094f8)

  21. @#8 — Precisely.

    School Marm (f96753)

  22. Query: at one point will Ted Cruz thank McCain and McConnell’s buddy Ryan for effectively ginning up his supporters? Will it be at the same time Trump calls McCain’s office and shouts, “STOP AGREEING WITH ME DAMMIT!”?

    top116 (d094f8)

  23. Ugh.

    I’m not a fan of Sen. Cruz, but this particular attack is both spurious *and* mendacious – there’s *absolutely no* justification for the claim that Sen. Cruz isn’t a natural born citizen.

    It’s particularly galling coming from Sen. McCain, who might very well *not* have been a natural born citizen (due to a weird, and retroactively “fixed”, lacuna in the law at the time he was born).

    aphrael (d56d15)

  24. Anthony at #15. Boy you said a mouth full. Wasn’t long ago a few people on this blog would have gladly accepted and voted for Rick Santorum, Rand Paul, and Marco Rubio. Now we find what their true character is. Plus the fact they’re so shaken up by Trump being Trump: a loud mouthed a-hole. Now I’m gonna pull a Patterico/John Hitchcock: Since Santorum, Paul and Rubio who stand no chance would rather undermine fellow republicans instead of pointing out the poverty rate, unemployment and black on black inner city murders under Obama I won’t vote for any of them. (and I was originally for Santorum and still like Rubio, a little. Paul’s just a tad too crazy for me.)

    Rev. Barack Hussein Hoagie™ (f4eb27)

  25. Staggering numbers, Patricia.

    mg (31009b)

  26. John McCain’s parents were both American citizens who happened to be stationed on an American military base (American soil) in the Panama Canal Zone (at the time which was administered by the USA) when JSM III was born in 1936.
    I’m not quite sure I see how there could have been any legal ambiguity about his citizenship.

    Cruz Supporter (102c9a)

  27. @Patterico:each for their petty, personal, unprincipled reasons…These people disgust me utterly.

    It comes from a very ancient democracy, you see…”
    “You mean, it comes from a world of lizards?”
    “No,” said Ford, who by this time was a little more rational and coherent than he had been, having finally had the coffee forced down him, “nothing so simple. Nothing anything like so straightforward. On its world, the people are people. The leaders are lizards. The people hate the lizards and the lizards rule the people.
    “Odd,” said Arthur, “I thought you said it was a democracy.”
    “I did,” said Ford. “It is.”
    “So,” said Arthur, hoping he wasn’t sounding ridiculously obtuse, “why don’t people get rid of the lizards?”
    “It honestly doesn’t occur to them,” said Ford. “They’ve all got the vote, so they all pretty much assume that the government they’ve voted in more or less approximates to the government they want.”
    You mean they actually vote for the lizards?
    “Oh yes,” said Ford with a shrug, “of course.”
    “But,” said Arthur, going for the big one again, “why?”
    Because if they didn’t vote for a lizard,” said Ford, “the wrong lizard might get in. Got any gin?”

    Gabriel Hanna (64d4e1)

  28. McCain, born wherever, natural-born citizen due to both parents
    Obama, born wherever, natural-born citizen due to mother
    Cruz, born wherever, natural-born citizen due to mother

    Spot the rule!

    Kevin M (25bbee)

  29. The real test of this is whether the candidate needed to be naturalized or not. Senators need to be US citizens, and was not naturalized so he is either eligible to be president, or he is ineligible to be a senator.

    Kevin M (25bbee)

  30. Me. Senator Cruz is just using this Canadian kerfuffle to distract the voters from his kim davis butt snuffling proclivities i think

    don’t fall for it

    happyfeet (a037ad)

  31. *…Cruz was not naturalized…

    Kevin M (25bbee)

  32. Cruz is vulernable to political and personal attacks until The Supreme Court definitively establishes the criteria for “natural born”. This is a recurring issue only because it has not yet been settled with an unambiguous ruling by the court.

    Ideally, legal title to “natural born” citizenship will follow with attribution to a mother and father who are both citizens at the time of the child’s conception.

    n.n (deb0c8)

  33. With the alarming number of illegals in this country and the numbers expanding, soon natural born will be out numbered…
    thank boosh, obama and the new feckless speaker.

    mg (31009b)

  34. congress passed a law alowing non american soil born to run for president but that law expired and would have to be renewed.

    nate (4c2e9f)

  35. this is song about gooey mr. nate

    happyfeet (a037ad)

  36. Good thing your mama died giving birth to you nate, she’d have died of shame if she saw you now.

    Colonel Haiku (467f23)

  37. Did somebody say Detroit?

    Leviticus Channeling Mark (efada1)

  38. And while the GOP fiddles and America burns, the demography is beating all of them.
    http://tinyurl.com/gqxfhut
    Patricia (5fc097) — 1/7/2016 @ 9:11 am

    Since I often don’t click on links, but did click on yours because of my awareness of the concept behind “demographics is destiny,” and in case others who’d find the issue of citizenship, immigration and the US Constitution to to be compelling — and who might not click on that link — I’m copying/pasting what it’s all about:

    California issued some 605,000 new driver’s licenses last year to immigrants residing in the country illegally, surpassing expectations for the program’s first year and granting more freedom for those who obtained the permit.

    Approximately 830,000 undocumented applicants have sought the licenses since Jan. 2, 2015, the first day they were available following passage of a law, Assembly Bill 60, that was supported by immigrants and their advocates and some traffic safety experts, and reviled by those opposed to illegal immigration.

    In California, home to an estimated 2.4 million undocumented immigrants, the nation’s largest such group, the Department of Motor Vehicles prepped for the onslaught. Among other things, the agency hired about 1,000 temporary employees, extended office hours and opened four Driver License Processing Centers, including one in Stanton.

    In America of the 21st century, a candidate (certainly one from the Democrat Party/left) could be a lying, schizophrenic hermaphrodite from Mars (or not too much of a stretch from that of a Hillary) and would be considered perfectly qualified to run.

    Mark (8fe6db)

  39. Perry is a drooling imbecile.

    JD (34f761)

  40. Did somebody say Detroit?

    Leviticus, the city of Chicago is just a bit less monolithically leftwing and dyed-in-the-wool Democrat than the city of Detroit, but by not too much. However, both cities — now more than ever before — do reflect the wonderful, honest, kind-hearted, generous, prosperous, civilized nature of communities/societies dominated by liberals and liberalism.

    Mark (8fe6db)

  41. Cruz Supporter, at 24:

    That’s because the law is more complicated than any sane person would think it should be.

    [a] The constitution says anyone born in the US, and subject to its jurisdiction, is a citizen.

    [b] ANY other citizenship is a result of an act of Congress, *including* citizenship by virtue of having citizen parents. That is to say, the only reason children of citizens are automatically citizens is because Congress has said so, and the specific text of the rules they set up is relevant.

    [c] under a series of court precedents from the early 20th century, unincorporated territories are not part of the United States for constitutional purposes. Federal courts have also held that the canal zone was an unincorporated territory.

    So Sen. McCain is *not* a citizen by virtue of having been born in the US; he wasn’t born in the US, legally speaking.

    [d] In 1936, when Sen. McCain was born, the law failed to take into account unincorporated territories AT ALL (of which the Canal Zone and the Philippines were the primary examples). It provided automatic citizenship to “any child hereafter born out of the limits and jurisdiction of the United States, whose father or mother or both at the time of the birth of such child is a citizen of the United States”.

    The Canal Zone was out of the limits of the United States, but it was *not* out of the jurisdiction of the United States.

    [e] In 1937, Congress passedd a law which specifically said:

    “Any person born in the Canal Zone on or after February 26, 1904, and whether before or after the effective date of this chapter, whose father or mother or both at the time of the birth of such person was or is a citizen of the United States, is declared to be a citizen of the United States.”

    The House Report on the bill specifically observed that “the citizenship of persons born in the Canal Zone of American parents,hasnever been defined either by the Constitution, treaty, or congressional enactment.”

    It was an oversight. Congress fixed it.

    ————

    [f] But here’s the problem: *at the moment Sen. McCain was born*, he was not automatically a citizen. The law was changed *later* in a way which made him automatically a citizen.

    Does that constitute natural-born citizenship?

    I don’t think the answer is clear.

    The Senate thinks it is, and passed a resolution saying so in 2008. But it’s resolution isn’t binding law, and no court has been calledd upon to decide this.

    aphrael (d56d15)

  42. Now, this argument would be undermined if a court were to establish that there is an inherent jus sanguinis birthright citizenship as well as the constitutional jus soli birthright citizenship, which would make the Congressional enactment irrelevant. But not only have courts not done so, the Supreme Court has heavily implied that there is no such right (when addressing the case of a man born in Vietnam to an American father and a Vietnamese mother who was not eligible for citizenship because US citizenship law does not automatically attach citizenship to foreign-born children of male citizens).

    aphrael (d56d15)

  43. Ideally, legal title to “natural born” citizenship will follow with attribution to a mother and father who are both citizens at the time of the child’s conception.

    Why? For what reason isn’t “Citizen by reason of birth” insufficient? I have a lot more issue with phony drive-by birthings to gain citizenship than with the idea someone who is legally a citizen by law at birth being elected President.

    Kevin M (25bbee)

  44. But here’s the problem: *at the moment Sen. McCain was born*, he was not automatically a citizen. The law was changed *later* in a way which made him automatically a citizen.

    Does that constitute natural-born citizenship?

    I don’t think the answer is clear.

    Oh, I think it’s clear. If that was the way the LAW read when he was born, then he isn’t a natural-born citizen.

    Kevin M (25bbee)

  45. aphrael,

    John McCain wasn’t just born in the Panama Canal Zone—he was born at a United States military institution at the Panama Canal Zone. That’s de facto American soil. And his father was ordered to be there.
    As kooky as laws may be in many instances, nobody would interpret the spirit of any American citizenship application to exclude the newborn of a Naval Officer, who, under potential penalty of a court martial, had been ordered to take up temporary residence away from the continental United States at the time of childbirth.
    And Roberta McCain was already an American citizen. She still is, as she approaches her 104th birthday next month.

    In other words, John Sydney McCain III was born to two American citizens on de facto American soil.

    Cruz Supporter (102c9a)

  46. Was Trump’s mother a citizen when he was born? There is some evidence she was, but, like Obama’s birth record, it’s not proof positive. Doubters gotta doubt.

    Kevin M (25bbee)

  47. I wonder if this all might end up being a benefit to Cruz, in the end.
    See, the media’s narrative is that the GOP is the party of rich white people who can trace their roots to the upper echelon of Colonial America.
    But if the GOP has a (potential) nominee with a hispanic surname who’s citizenship is called into question, does that not help to neutralize the stereotype that every GOP nominee is a priviliged WASP who attended prep schools and whose father was a member of the yacht club?
    Does Hillary think it would be a good strategy to make a big deal out of citizenship?
    This is the woman who wants Mexican citizens who just spent a nice Saturday in San Diego visiting relatives to be afforded the right to vote in American elections.
    It would be pretzel logic to assert that you don’t have to provide ID in order to vote in an American election, but the guy whose name is on the ballot has to provide 16 forms of ID and a note from God.

    Of course, if Ted Cruz were a DEMOCRAT, the only people having this “birther” conversation would be racist sexist homophobic Islamophobic hateful jerkity jerks.

    Cruz Supporter (102c9a)

  48. Regarding McCain, IMHO there’s a sound case to be made that, due to both his parents being deployed US military rather than residents of the unincorporated territory, he meets the criteria of natural born.

    I’ve long been a Cruz fan, and thus long had concerns regarding his place of birth. Essentially, IMHO, what the Obama-birthers claimed about Obama is a glaring fact in the case of Cruz (That he was born outside the US, to a foreign father and citizen mother).

    I’m in the “Trump is, regardless of intent, doing Cruz a favor” camp, because this is clearly an issue the Dems will raise in the general (They tried it on McCain, with far less cause). Best, IMHO, to get it hashed out now in the public mind (which, sadly, matters more than the actual law).

    My take on the law (I’m not a lawyer, so take this with a huge grain of salt) is that if one has citizenship at birth, one is natural born (born a citizen). If naturalized, that’s not natural born. So, *If* Cruz was a US citizen at birth, he should be okay, legally, but it’s IMHO best to have this hashed out now rather than later.

    I’m not concerned over the dual citizenship issue; that’s based on foreign law (Canadian) which is legally irrelevant so long as he’s formally renounced it.

    CJ (da673d)

  49. Those with long memories might recall that in 2000, among the lawsuits filed by (or on behalf) of Al Gore in an attempt to litigate his way to the White House was Jones v. Bush, 122 F. Supp. 2d 713 (N.D. Tex), aff’d mem., 244 F.3d 134 (5th Cir. 2000), cert. denied, 531 U.S. 1062 (2001). In it, Gore supporters urged that the election of the Bush-Cheney ticket would violate the Twelfth Amendment.

    Yes, the Twelfth Amendment to the United States Constitution. You remember that one? It provides, in pertinent part (emphasis mine): “The Electors shall meet in their respective states and vote by ballot for President and Vice-President, one of whom, at least, shall not be an inhabitant of the same state with themselves ….” The lawsuit alleged that both George W. Bush and Dick Cheney (who’d been CEO of Dallas-based Halliburton after serving as a Congressman from Wyoming and executive-branch official) were inhabitants of Texas. After thorough but expedited briefing from both sides, Team Gore’s lawsuit was dismissed, and its request for an injunction was refused, by federal district court on December 1, 2000:

    The court holds that plaintiffs have failed to show a substantial likelihood of success on their contention that Secretary Cheney has been at some point since July 21, 2000, or will be on December 18, 2000, an inhabitant of the state of Texas, within the meaning of the Twelfth Amendment.

    This was because even assuming arguendo that Team Gore had standing to bring this claim, one’s state of being an inhabitant of a particular state was a question of subjective intention:

    The court therefore holds that a person is an “inhabitant” of a state, within the meaning of the Twelfth Amendment, if he (1) has a physical presence within that state and (2) intends that it be his place of habitation. The test for ascertaining inhabitance is thus a dual inquiry concerning physical presence in fact and intent to remain in or to return to the state after an absence.

    Cheney insisted, and the district court accepted as a factual matter, that he was an inhabitant of Wyoming, not Texas, under this test.

    The Fifth Circuit affirmed on the basis of the district court’s opinion later that month, and the SCOTUS refused to either stay that ruling pending appeal or, ultimately, to hear Team Gore’s petition for certiorari (leaving intact the Fifth Circuit’s affirmance of the district court).

    Team Gore was represented by Sandy Levinson, an extremely well-respected constitutional law professor then at Texas Law School; I had worked with him on work he was publishing in the Texas Law Review in 1978-1980, and also had him for an ethics course, so I can vouch that he did the best he could with a completely unprecedented constitutional argument — this was essentially the only substantive test and application of the Twelfth Amendment ever — but at least he was writing on a blank slate: There was neither legislation nor prior judicial precedent available for direct guidance.

    (Interesting historical footnote: Although John Cornyn’s team from the Texas Attorney General’s office represented the State of Texas in the litigation, then-Gov. Bush, in his private capacity, was represented — successfully — by Harriet Miers, whom Bush would later nominate for the SCOTUS before withdrawing that nomination under pressure from conservative critics.)

    Gore preferred his “Bush Stole Florida” meme to his Twelfth Amendment gripe, though, so not many people ever heard of this lawsuit, much less remember it.

    Some Democrat proxy for Hillary! would end up suing Cruz if he became the nominee. It would get the same short-but-entirely-correct shrift that this Gore lawsuit received. Recall that Ted Cruz is among the most successful SCOTUS advocates of modern history. This is a fight he will positively relish: Unlike the Obama Birther controversy — which arose from the bizarre circumstances of Obama’s parents’ relationship before and after his birth, and secondarily (but still very largely) from the unsavory associations of Obama’s radically Marxist father — the Cruz Family history is easily understandable, wholly embraceable, and entirely un-weird. And Calgary ain’t Kenya.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  50. It’s a short but good opinion from the district clerk, and I’m not surprised that the Fifth Circuit affirmed without writing anything further. My favorite line, a bit of dry understatement, is in footnote 2: “It is undisputed that Governor Bush is an inhabitant of Texas.” Heh.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  51. Bah, “district court,” not “district clerk” (who merely published it).

    Beldar (fa637a)

  52. Be it enacted this 7th day of January 2015 that the sun rises in the East.
    By: The House of Representatives
    By: The Senate
    By: The President

    Just because Congress passed a law in 1937 saying children of U.S. citizen parents born in the Canal Zone were U.S. citizens does not mean that they were not U.S. citizens before the law was passed.

    nk (dbc370)

  53. The IRS has a broad definition of natural-born citizen:

    http://money.cnn.com/2015/03/10/pf/taxes/us-expat-kids-citizenship-tax/

    Kevin M (25bbee)

  54. Someone upthread worried about Trumps “proclivity” for Russian women. He married a Czech, an American and a Slovenian.

    Gazzer (3b0a0a)

  55. I’m not concerned over the dual citizenship issue; that’s based on foreign law (Canadian) which is legally irrelevant so long as he’s formally renounced it.

    There is no dual citizenship issue. There was no legal reason why he had to renounce it; he did so purely for political and sentimental reasons. He says he somehow never realized he had it, and didn’t want it, so when he found out about it he immediately set about giving it up.

    Milhouse (8489b1)

  56. The IRS has a broad definition of natural-born citizen:

    The IRS has no definition of NBC, because it doesn’t need one.

    Milhouse (8489b1)

  57. Just because Congress passed a law in 1937 saying children of U.S. citizen parents born in the Canal Zone were U.S. citizens does not mean that they were not U.S. citizens before the law was passed.

    What law made him a citizen? There wasn’t one at the time.

    Milhouse (8489b1)

  58. I guess this is one of those things where Milhouse crams the Milhouse dictionary down everyone’s throat.

    Kevin M (25bbee)

  59. Trying again.
    Formwiz:

    Hate to tell you, but that’s the truth.

    Me:

    No, it isn’t. There’s no reason Cruz has to address it at all. The Dems have just got through establishing that it’s not justiciable, so there can’t be any legal challenge. And not enough voters care about it to make any difference.

    Col Haiku:

    #10… I’ll take the long view on this… once Milhouse realizes that an alternate explanation – a model that fits all the given data – exists, his confidence in his own sanctimonious opinion will be shattered, and his inner turmoil will destroy him from within.

    What are you on about now? Do you seriously dispute anything I wrote? Are you claiming the issue is justiciable, that any court will entertain such a suit?

    Beldar agrees with me:

    Some Democrat proxy for Hillary! would end up suing Cruz if he became the nominee. It would get the same short-but-entirely-correct shrift that this Gore lawsuit received.

    Milhouse (8489b1)

  60. I guess this is one of those things where Milhouse crams the Milhouse dictionary down everyone’s throat.

    What are you talking about? What Milhouse dictionary? What word have I defined in a non-standard way? You’re the one who insists that your definition of NBC is the only possible one. Which is odd, since I’d bet a small amount that until 2008 you had the same definition for it as I do, the same definition I was taught at school, and I think you were too.

    Milhouse (8489b1)

  61. The common law? The law is full of lost opportunities. In the case of Canal Zone babies, the opportunity to litigate (Blackstone’s) birthright versus territorial citizenship. Preempted by Congress.

    nk (dbc370)

  62. Milhouse, John McCain’s parents were American citizens living on American soil in the Panama Canal Zone in 1936. That makes John Sydney McCain III an American citizen by birth.

    Cruz Supporter (102c9a)

  63. I’m not a fan of Sen. Cruz, but this particular attack is both spurious *and* mendacious – there’s *absolutely no* justification for the claim that Sen. Cruz isn’t a natural born citizen.

    Whether it’s right or wrong, there certainly is justification for it. Until 2008, the definition almost everyone knew was “born in the USA”. “Citizen at birth” is a new one to most of us, and it’s not at all obvious why it’s correct.

    The framers who wrote the Presidential Eligibility clause in the first place clearly had in mind the then-existing term “natural born subject”, and patterned NBC after it. So it’s at least reasonable to suppose that it mirrors Blackstone’s definition of NBS, with “subject” changed to “citizen”, because that’s a more republican term. And Blackstone says the key issue is whose laws protected the person at birth. That, supposedly, imposes a natural sense of loyalty on a person, that is not easily discarded. That’s not a concept that makes sense to me, but evidently it did to 18th-century people.

    And it’s a conception of “natural” citizenship that was evidently still around nearly 100 years later when the 14th amendment was drafted, because the criterion for automatic citizenship that the amendment grants mirrors this one fairly closely. That’s at least circumstantial evidence that it’s what the framers of the Presidential Eligibility clause had in mind.

    That needn’t definitively rule out your definition, but it should at least cast some doubt on it.

    Milhouse (8489b1)

  64. Milhouse, John McCain’s parents were American citizens living on American soil in the Panama Canal Zone in 1936. That makes John Sydney McCain III an American citizen by birth.

    The Canal Zone was not American soil. US law at the time did not provide him with citizenship. Nor did the 14th amendment. Blackstone’s definition of NBC did cover him, though, because he was born under the protection of US law.

    Milhouse (8489b1)

  65. What law made him a citizen? There wasn’t one at the time.

    The common law? The law is full of lost opportunities. In the case of Canal Zone babies, the opportunity to litigate (Blackstone’s) birthright versus territorial citizenship. Preempted by Congress.

    The common law of citizenship was overridden by the statute of 1790. Since then there has been no common-law US citizenship. There’s only 14th-amendment citizenship (as of right) and statutary citizenship (by grant of Congress). At the time of his birth, McCain had neither one.

    Milhouse (8489b1)

  66. McCain, born wherever, natural-born citizen due to both parents
    Obama, born wherever, natural-born citizen due to mother
    Cruz, born wherever, natural-born citizen due to mother

    Spot the rule!

    It’s easy to spot the rule you think applies. It’s not so easy to determine why you think that’s the rule, when there’s an alternative that’s at least as reasonable, and that (as I understand it) was commonly understood and accepted until 2008.

    Milhouse (8489b1)

  67. Don’t know if this has already been posted, but this is as succinct a determination as I’ve found…

    RANDY BARNETT: Why Ted Cruz is a “natural born citizen.” “Just as the offspring of the sovereign monarch are ‘natural born subjects’ of the realm regardless of where they are born, so too are offspring of the sovereign individual citizen ‘natural born citizens’ of the United States, though they may be born outside its borders. Who is the sovereign, not territory, is what matters. In the United States, it is We the People, each and every one.”

    http://pjmedia.com/instapundit/223373/

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  68. I was just going to write the same thing, Haiku. GMTA. It would be an absurd situation if McCain’s parents, both U.S. citizens, came back from McCain Senior’s military posting, with their son a stateless person.

    nk (dbc370)

  69. Milhouse, the Panama Canal Zone was a United States Territory from 1903-1979. And John Sydney McCain III was born to two American citizens on a United States military installation in the United States Territory known as the Panama Canal Zone.

    In your view, why would anyone actually volunteer to serve the United States outside the continent IF while stationed at a United States military installation outside the continent, they knew that their newborn would not be afforded American citizenship?

    Do you even think these questions through?

    Cruz Supporter (102c9a)

  70. Gore preferred his “Bush Stole Florida” meme to his Twelfth Amendment gripe, though, so not many people ever heard of this lawsuit, much less remember it.

    I think I remember something about this, not necessarily that it was a lawsuit, but I thought the Supreme Court had ruled, in 1972, that a person could change his state of residence, and this had to be accepted after no more tahn 30 days. If Cheney was registered to vote in Wyoming, he was a residnet of wyoming. And besides he had a more permanent residence there, albeit he had used it as a vacation home.

    Sammy Finkelman (dbec95)

  71. @Milhouse:US law at the time did not provide him with citizenship. Nor did the 14th amendment. Blackstone’s definition of NBC did cover him, though, because he was born under the protection of US law.

    “Natural born citizen” must be able to work retroactively, otherwise every President born before 1789 (or should it be 1776?) held office illegally.

    Gabriel Hanna (3d8e32)

  72. @Cruz Supporter:if…they knew that their newborn would not be afforded American citizenship?

    The law is an ass. Could you expect a court to convict a man of accepting a bribe that the other party was acquitted of offering him? People go about their daily lives not knowing how most laws work, or the absurd consequences resulting from obscure combinations of them.

    Gabriel Hanna (3d8e32)

  73. You know I’ve wondered about Tea Pot Dome great ‘scandal’ because of details, like that, much like the wave of special prosecutors, Reagan was subject to,

    narciso (732bc0)

  74. Article II, Section 1. 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;

    I think Bernie Sanders might qualify under that second clause.

    nk (dbc370)

  75. Hamilton was born in the virgin islands, that’s why in part he wasn’t eligible,

    narciso (732bc0)

  76. Gabriel Hanna brings up a good challenge to this Mr. Milhouse scholar.
    George Washington wasn’t born in the United States. Neither was Thomas Jefferson.

    Cruz Supporter (102c9a)

  77. 67… Yep nk, that explanation sure helps to clear things up and McCain, Trump and whoever else is jumping on this are shown for the disingenuous fools they are.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  78. or a citizen of the United States, at the time of the adoption of this Constitution,

    You’re not listening, Cruz Supporter

    Rev. Barack Hussein Hoagie™ (f4eb27)

  79. happy birthday, hoagie,

    narciso (732bc0)

  80. not knowing how most laws work, or the absurd consequences resulting from obscure combinations of them.

    Personally Gabriel Hannah, I think not knowing how most laws work is because they’re made up by lawyers specifically so we don’t know.

    Rev. Barack Hussein Hoagie™ (f4eb27)

  81. Happy nameday to all the Johns and Joans, too. And Merry Christmas to all the Julian calendar Christians.

    nk (dbc370)

  82. Thank you, narciso.

    Rev. Barack Hussein Hoagie™ (f4eb27)

  83. Reverend Hoagie

    Didja ever hear of that Barry Goldwater guy? He was born in Arizona Territory in 1909.
    Foreigner!
    (LOL)

    (Oh wait…you mean he was born in an American territory to American citizens?!)

    Cruz Supporter (102c9a)

  84. I thought the point of only allowing a natural-born citizen to be President was to minimize the possibility of the President having divided loyalties. However we do not apply this stringently, nor should we: someone born within the United States to immigrant parents might have a loyalty to their parents’ homeland, but surely we don’t want to exclude such a person from the presidency. Someone born overseas to American parents might have a loyalty to their country of birth, but for the same reason, I would be wary of excluding them from the presidency because of this. The only way to prevent any divided loyalty would be for someone to be born within the US to American parents — and presumably American grandparents, great-grandparents, and however far back you want to go. This is obviously an absurd requirement, and at any rate would only guarantee no naturally motivated divided loyalty. Someone born here to American parents, descended in a straight line from those who came over on the Mayflower could still develop such a deep affection for another country so as to have divided loyalties.

    However, if someone had dual citizenship, that makes me nervous. This is not addressed in the requirements for the presidency, but it seems to me to be relevant to it: such a person would have divided loyalties, which I think is the whole point of the natural-born citizen requirement. What I’ve read is that Cruz, in addition to being a natural-born citizen by virtue of his mother’s American citizenship, had Canadian citizenship by virtue of being born in Canada, but that he wasn’t aware of it, and renounced it as soon as he found out.

    Another thing that would make me nervous is someone born overseas to one American and one non-American parent. Such a person could also have divided loyalties, not only to their country of birth, but to the country of their non-American parent. Again, this is not addressed in the presidency requirements, but it also seems relevant to the spirit of it. And Cruz was born overseas to one American parent and one non-American parent.

    Having given my two points of anxiety, since they are not specifically addressed in the Constitution nor elsewhere as requirements of natural-born citizenship, they can’t and shouldn’t be used to exclude Cruz from the presidency.

    Incidentally, my kids were both born in Belgium, but received no citizenship or even residency benefits from it: we had to get them passports within six or eight weeks or they would have been deported to the US — back to the US I should say, even though they’d never been there at the time. They did have the cutest passport photos on record though.

    Jim S. (d465f1)

  85. It would be an absurd situation if McCain’s parents, both U.S. citizens, came back from McCain Senior’s military posting, with their son a stateless person.

    Nevertheless, that was the law at the time. It was indeed absurd, which is why Congress changed it.

    Milhouse, the Panama Canal Zone was a United States Territory from 1903-1979. And John Sydney McCain III was born to two American citizens on a United States military installation in the United States Territory known as the Panama Canal Zone.

    The Canal Zone was an unincorporated territory, and children born in such territories are not citizens by virtue of the 14th amendment. They are only citizens if Congress makes a law saying so, and at the time Congress hadn’t done that.

    In your view, why would anyone actually volunteer to serve the United States outside the continent IF while stationed at a United States military installation outside the continent, they knew that their newborn would not be afforded American citizenship?

    Because the decision to join up is not based on such considerations. Look, there is no dispute that the law at the time did not give citizenship to children born in the Canal Zone. You are arguing a position that has no basis at all, simply because you feel offended that it could have been otherwise. You would not have left the law in that situation for so long. Neither would most people. But the Congress at the time did, until someone pointed out the absurdity of the situation, and then they fixed it. You can’t change history.

    “Natural born citizen” must be able to work retroactively, otherwise every President born before 1789 (or should it be 1776?) held office illegally.

    Nope. A president must be a NBC or have been a citizen in 1788. The first NBC to become president was Martin van Buren.

    The law is an ass. Could you expect a court to convict a man of accepting a bribe that the other party was acquitted of offering him?

    Actually yes. That is the law of the Bible, and I believe it is a wise law, and should be enacted in all countries. Accepting bribes is always a choice; paying them is usually not. But unfortunately that isn’t the law now, and it wasn’t in the 1920s.

    Hamilton was born in the virgin islands, that’s why in part he wasn’t eligible,

    Hamilton was certainly eligible, because he was a citizen in 1788. I don’t know where you got the idea that he wasn’t.

    George Washington wasn’t born in the United States. Neither was Thomas Jefferson.

    That’s right. Nor was any president until van Buren. They were all eligible by having been citizens in 1788.

    Didja ever hear of that Barry Goldwater guy? He was born in Arizona Territory in 1909. Foreigner!

    Arizona was an incorporated territory. The Canal Zone wasn’t.

    I thought the point of only allowing a natural-born citizen to be President was to minimize the possibility of the President having divided loyalties.

    That was probably, more or less, the purpose, but laws aren’t interpreted according to their purpose, they’re interpreted according to what they actually say. The purpose of a law isn’t public. In this case we only know why it was inserted into the draft because we have the letter in which it was suggested; otherwise we would be left guessing. But even in this case, we don’t know why each delegate in the ratifying conventions voted for it, and they, not the drafters, are the ones who made it law. They had not read John Jay’s letter, and would have had to guess why it was in the draft, and vote for or against it based on their own ideas.

    Milhouse (8489b1)

  86. The Canal Zone was not American soil.
    Irrelevant

    Blackstone’s definition of NBC did cover him, though, because he was born under the protection of US law.
    Also irrelevant

    US law at the time did not provide him with citizenship. Nor did the 14th amendment.

    Possibly relevant, unless the law when changed applied retroactively. In which case also irrelevant. If not, then he is not qualified to be a US senator since he is not a citizen.

    Kevin M (25bbee)

  87. Lincoln was born in Kentucky, which voted to secede in 1861. Was he suddenly NOT a citizen?

    Kevin M (25bbee)

  88. This is all so tiresome. The constitutional rule suggests that a natural born citizen might live abroad for a period, but had to be [the last] fourteen Years a Resident within the United States. Since travel at the time was tedious at best, this would suggest that it was possible to be born a citizen of the US while the parents were abroad. Certainly no important person (the only type that traveled internationally) would tolerate some geographic accident making their offspring a non-citizen.

    Earlier I showed that the Internal Revenue Service considers ALL persons born of American parents taxable US citizens even if they have never entered the United States. This makes them “subject to the jurisdiction of the United States” and therefore citizens at time of birth.

    In the end, though, in all cases where this is not plain (e.g. Schwarzenegger), the voters decide who is or is not qualified.

    Kevin M (25bbee)

  89. CJ, at 47: the argument is that McCain was not, under the law, a citizen when he was born. The law was subsequently changed in a way which made him a citizen without requiring him to be naturalized, but because he wasn’t a citizen when he was born, he’s not natural born.

    I understand the point that *as a policy matter* and, honestly, *as a moral matter*, a child born to deployed US military should automatically be a citizen. But the fact that I think it’s good policy, and the fact that I think it’s morally required, does NOT mean that it’s the policy Congress adopted.

    aphrael (d56d15)

  90. NK, at 60: there’s an argument that the natural born citizen clause incorporated the British common law of citizenship (which would grant citizenship automatically to any child of a citizen). However, the Supreme Court has not adopted that view, and the way they handled the “child born to a citizen father abroad” case implies a rejection of it.

    aphrael (d56d15)

  91. Cruz Supporter, at 61: it’s fairly clear from the Insular Cases that the Canal Zone was not, *legally speaking*, “American soil”. Nor are American military bases abroad considered “American soil” for legal purposes.

    You can argue that they *should be*, and I might agree with you, but that’s not what the law *is*.

    aphrael (d56d15)

  92. NK, at 67: OF COURSE it would be absurd. But Congress has done other absurd things; the fact that some law would produce an absurd result is not a good reason to assume that the law doesn’t exist. :)

    aphrael (d56d15)

  93. Kevin M, at 84: the law was retroactively changed to grant him citizenship. He is eligible to be a Senator. BUT it’s unclear that the retroactive grant of citizenship makes him a natural-born citizen.

    Note that i’m not saying it’s certain he isn’t eligible for the Presidency; i’m saying there’s a huge legal ambiguity.

    Kevin M, at 85: certainly not! the argument applies to the status *at the time of birth*. There’s an interesting question about whether someone born in Alabama in 1862 was a natural born citizen, though.

    aphrael (d56d15)

  94. Lincoln was born in Kentucky, which voted to secede in 1861. Was he suddenly NOT a citizen?

    Of course not, just as the US annexing Alberta would not instantly and automatically make those born there citizens, let alone naturally born ones.

    Milhouse (8489b1)

  95. Nguyen v. INS, aphrael? I think the reason, if not the explicit reasoning, there was more like “mama’s baby, daddy’s maybe”.

    nk (dbc370)

  96. took my first look at electionbettingodds for this election.
    i was shocked.
    Jeb Bush at 11.2% ? people still think the GOP establishment hierarchy are going to be able to game the system his way?

    Trump not being the favorite did not surprise me , but Rubio 4% ahead of Trump??

    seeRpea (25385e)


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