Ted Cruz, a Senator from Texas, is running for President of the United States. However, he was born in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. His father was from Cuba but his mother was born in Delaware. Cruz’s real name is Rafael Edward Cruz. Ted is his nickname. His parents worked in the oil industry in Canada when he was born in 1970.
The question has been brought up lately about whether or not Cruz is a natural born citizen by virtue of his mother being a natural born United States citizen. Only a natural born citizen can be President of the United States.
Remember this came up in 2009 when Barack Hussein Obama became President. Some said he was born in Kenya, he said he was born in Hawaii and then there was the question of whether or not he gave up his citizenship while living in Indonesia because only those with citizenship in Indonesia could attend school. Those questioning the birthplace of Obama were called “birthers”. Donald Trump was the leading voice on this and it was finally settled when Obama finally released the full version of his birth certificate a few years later.
The best way to discover answers regarding this nation is to turn to the Constitution. The Constitution spells out eligibility for President.
In Article 2 section 1 it tells the requirements for being President:
Just about every place you look up this topic you’ll see a little sentence that says “The Constitution does not define the phrase “Natural born citizen.” The definition is in the wording. Let’s break it down.
“No person except a natural born Citizen…” That, in and of itself does not define what a natural born citizen is So we’ll continue. “…or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President…” Now we have something to go on.
The Constitution was adopted on September 13, 1788. George Washington was elected President and his term began in 1789.
There is another requirement which is that the President must have reached the age of 35 and been a resident for fourteen years of the United States to have been elected.
The Constitution does define what a natural born citizen is by virtue of the fact that it states the difference between natural born citizen and a citizen. This is backed up by saying “been fourteen years a resident within the United States.
By this strict reading, Cruz would not be eligible to be President. If we separate it by the semi colon in the printing, it says, “No person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United State, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President; “ Stop; there. Cruz is not a natural born citizen, but he is a citizen of the United States having renounced his Canadian citizenship in 2014 making him only a citizen of the U.S. Since we’re nowhere near the adoption of the Constitution, he couldn’t be eligible as a natural born citizen at the time of the adoption. This disclaimer comes up in the second half.
The Second half then says “…neither shall any person be eligible to that Office who shall not have attained to the age of 35 Years (Which Cruz does), and been fourteen years a resident of the United States”. Obviously, he’s been a resident for fourteen years but that’s negated by the “adoption of this Constitution”.
It doesn't say "in addition" it says "neither". The fourteen years is thought here to be because at the time of the adoption, many citizens were not born in America and the United States didn't exist until 12 years earlier. The oddity is that the first three Presidents were all born in the U.S. Washington in Virginia, Adams in Massachusetts and Jefferson in Virginia. That uses up the fourteen years.
Under this reading, George Romney should not have been eligible and Ted Cruz would not be eligible to hold the office of President of the United States. In addition, John McCain technically wouldn’t be eligible except that the only reason he was born out of the country was because they were with his father who was out of the country at the time in service of this nation. But if we follow the Constitution, there is no exception granted to that.
Please note, I’m not a lawyer nor a Constitutional Scholar. I’m just interested.
You’re welcome to comment.