Ted Cruz’s Presidential Eligibility Already an Issue
Just days after he was sworn in as a new U.S. senator, Texas Republican Ted Cruz already is making waves in Washington — and creating another “birther” controversy.
The mainstream media initially gave little or no coverage to presidential candidate Barack Obama’s failure to produce a birth certificate, then lambasted those who questioned his eligibility for the White House.
But the press is already bringing up the question of Cruz’s eligibility for president — which suggests that Democratic sympathizers are worried about his possible run for the White House in 2016.
Obama was born in Hawaii to an American mother and a Kenyan father, although some questioned his Hawaiian birth. Cruz was born in Canada to an American mother and a Cuban father who were working in the petroleum industry, and he lived in Canada for four years before his family moved to Texas.
The Constitution’s Article II states: “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.”
The 14th Amendment granted citizenship to anyone born in the United States, but a 1937 law passed by Congress also granted citizenship to children born to American citizens outside the country.
That would seem to clearly qualify Cruz for the presidency, but it hasn’t quieted the controversy. Politico on Monday ran a story headlined “Ted Cruz draws presidential buzz, but is he eligible?” adding that he has “the aura” of a future contender.
“The problem is, no one knows what a natural born citizen is,” said University of California, Davis law professor Gabriel Chin, who argued in 2008 that John McCain was not eligible to be president because he was born in the Panama Canal Zone.
“There’s nothing definitive legally.”
Harvard Law School law professor Laurence Tribe, an adviser to Obama, said Cruz should prepare a thorough explanation of his eligibility to put the issue at rest: “I’d need to know more, but it certainly doesn’t sound like a sufficient explanation.”
And University of Pennsylvania law professor Kermit Roosevelt told Politico that Cruz’s “birthright citizenship derives from his parents, and the question is, does that fit with the definition of natural born citizen?”
Cruz’s primary opponent in the Senate race last year, Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, brought up Cruz’s Canadian birthplace in a campaign ad, and his Democratic opponent Paul Sadler said in an interview: “Rafael Cruz — ‘Ted,’ that’s what he goes by, his real name is Rafael — was born in Canada.”
Cruz spokesman Sean Rushton stated that Cruz is “a U.S. citizen by birth,” but declined to elaborate on the issue, saying the new senator is concentrating on his work ahead in Congress.
And Cruz has already made a splash as senator, trumpeting his opposition to gun control and Obama’s choice of Chuck Hagel as Defense secretary, charging that Obama is “high on re-election.”
Sure, they question his eligibility
Published: January 16, 2013, 7:18 pm
Last Edited: January 16, 2013, 7:19 pm