Last Tuesday, Texas Senator Ted Cruz showed what an elected official should be…a champion of ‘We the People.’ In a 21-hour ‘non-filibuster’ filibuster, Cruz let it be known about the danger facing us all…the danger that is ObamaCare. By standing strong, Ted Cruz got thrust into the limelight as the frontrunner for the Republican Presidential or Vice-Presidential nomination in 2016…and rightly so.
One of those standing united with Ted Cruz, and speaking when he needed a break, was Florida Senator Marco Rubio, who in 2012 was on Mitt Romney’s Vice-Presidential ‘short list’ and whose name is also be spoken of for the Presidential or Vice-Presidential nomination in 2016.
However, with both Cruz and Rubio’s names comes the issue raised by some that neither meets the requirement of being a ‘natural born citizen.’ But what most do NOT realize is that in the case of both men this concern can be resolved by just reading the words…or lack of words…in the Constitution itself…just reading the words as written…NOT trying to change or reinterpret words that our Founders made clear and simple in their meaning.
Let me explain…let’s start with the critical issue that is at the crux of the issues raised…what exactly is a ‘natural born citizen’? Simply, the Constitution does NOT define those words, but the Framers’ understanding…combined with statutes enacted by the First Congress…indicate that the phrase meant both birth abroad to American parents (in a manner regulated by federal law…more on that later), and birth within the nation’s territory regardless of parental citizenship.
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In fact, the Supreme Court has upheld that meaning many times in various contexts even with being a ‘natural-born citizen’ a requirement to be President or Vice-President of this country. But again, NOWHERE in the Constitution does it define ‘natural born citizen ‘ while ‘native born’ citizen is clearly defined.
And while Article 2 of the Constitution does state, “no person except a natural born citizen … shall be eligible to the Office of President,” the actual term ‘natural born citizen’ was ambiguous at best. Some contend that anyone born inside the U.S. should be considered a natural born citizen, and the Congressional Research Service (CRS)* seems to back that view.
They have stated that, “The weight of scholarly legal and historical opinion indicates that the term means one who is entitled under the Constitution or laws of the United States to U.S. citizenship “at birth” or “by birth,” including any child born “in” the United States, even to alien parents (other than to foreign diplomats serving their country), the children of United States citizens born abroad, and those born abroad of one citizen parent who has met U.S. residency requirements.”
And herein lies the key, and read these words very carefully, “one who is entitled under the Constitution or laws of the United States to U.S. citizenship “at birth” or “by birth,” including any child born “in” the United States, even to alien parents…” Even to “alien parents,” as long as the child is born “in” the United States…that is the key phrase in Marco Rubio’s particular case.
In the case of Canadian born Ted Cruz the words “at birth” are key as Cruz’s mother, a U.S. born American citizen, conferred citizenship to Ted under ‘The Nationality Act of 1940’ which states which children become “nationals and citizens of the United States at birth.” Stating those born in the United States or born outside the United States to at least one parent who was a citizen at the time of the child’s birth allows citizenship to go to that child if that citizen parent spent a certain number of years in the U.S.
And this is where Ted Cruz’s American citizenship is garnered from as Cruz being born to a born in America citizen mother, was able to assume her citizenship ‘at birth’ because under the law in effect between 1952 and 1986…Cruz was born in 1970…someone must have a citizen parent who resided in the United States for at least 10 years, including five years after the age of 14, in order to have citizenship conferred to them.
The indisputable fact is that Ted Cruz’s mother, Eleanor Darragh, was born and raised in the U.S…in Delaware…did NOT go to Canada until her mid-to late 20s. and did NOT have Ted until into her 30’s…way beyond the mandatory 5-year-post-age-14 residency requirement.
And herein lies Barack HUSSEIN Obama’s problems for whether he was born in Kenya as some claim or whether he was born in Hawaii as others claim…his American citizen mother did NOT reside in the U.S. for 5 years after age 14 as she was 18 years of age when Obama was born…only 4 years after reaching the mandatory 14 years of age…and Obama was born in 1961 so he comes under the same rules of law as Ted Cruz does.
This simple fact makes Barack HUSSEIN Obama ineligible to be President NO matter which side of the ‘birther’ vs ‘non-birther’ battle one is on.
As for Rubio, while we all know his parents were NOT citizens at the time of his birth there is NO doubt whatsoever that Marco Rubio was indeed born “in” the United States, in Miami in fact, as he has an indisputable birth certificate that proves just that. His parents received their final naturalization papers in 1975, four years after Marco’ birth but there is NO denying that his “alien parents” were here LEGALLY, they came here through the LEGAL process, they lived here LEGALLY, and they became citizens LEGALLY as per the requirements of that day. So, yes they were “alien parents” at the time of Marco’s birth but the Congressional Research Service clearly states that ‘under the Constitution’ as long as the person in question was born here, having “alien parents” means nothing.
There is even more credence in both Cruz and Rubio’s eligibility to become either President or Vice-President. Article Two: Section One, Clause 5 of the Constitution states the eligibility requirements for serving as either President or Vice President of the United 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; 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.”
Now reread these words very carefully again, “No person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution…” “At the time of the Adoption of this Constitution…” This again is a key phrase that allows both Cruz and Rubio to be the Republican nominee for either position.
Let me again explain…the requirement to be ‘natural born’ was an attempt to alleviate the fears that foreign aristocrats might immigrate to the new nation…the United States of America…and use their wealth and influence, and power to impose a monarchy upon the people, a monarchy, the very rule of government that the Founders were opposed to.
So to make sure this did not happen, as they were laying the foundations of the laws of our land that would became our Constitution, the Founders made it clear that at the time of the “Adoption of this Constitution” that no one NOT born on United States soil would be eligible to become President, because they feared that England might still try to destroy the emerging nation from within by ‘planting’ a person of their choosing within the emerging ranks of leaders.
Breaking it down even further, this phrase uses the term ‘natural born’ in context only to the time in which the Constitution was being adopted and makes NO reference to ‘natural born’ in context to later years.
Now also take into account the words, “…have attained to the Age of thirty-five Years, and been fourteen Years a Resident within the United States.” (Marco Rubio was born here, has lived here his entire life, and is over 35 years of age…Ted Cruz, while born in Canada, had citizenship conferred to him “at birth” through his mother, has lived here most of his life, and is over 35 years of age) “…and been fourteen Years a Resident within the United States.” “been fourteen Years a resident…” the word ‘resident’ contradicts the CRS’s interpretive ruling of having to “be born in” or did they take into account in their ruling that the Founders, at the time of the adoption of the Constitution, realized that since the nation was new that maybe some who aspired to the presidency might have been born in England or elsewhere but came here as a child…hmmm, we will never know for sure.
But critical in today’s questioning is the memorandum to Congress dated April 3, 2009, written by the Congressional Research Service (CRS), stating:
“Considering the history of the constitutional qualifications provision, the common use and meaning of the phrase “natural-born subject” in England and in the Colonies in the 1700s, the clause’s apparent intent, the subsequent action of the first Congress in enacting the Naturalization Act of 1790 (expressly defining the term “natural born citizen” to include a person born abroad to parents who are United States citizens), as well as subsequent Supreme Court dicta, it appears that the most logical inferences would indicate that the phrase “natural born citizen” would mean a person who is entitled to U.S. citizenship “at birth” or “by birth.”
And the words, “natural born citizen” would mean a person who is entitled to U.S. citizenship “at birth” or “by birth” are the most important of all.
So with all the information I have presented, it should be clear to all that both Texas Senator Ted Cruz and Florida Senator Marco Rubio are indeed eligible to be either President or Vice-President of these United States.
And by the way….Cruz/Rubio 2016 or Rubio/Cruz 2016…either way works for me.
*The Congressional Research Service (CRS) works exclusively for the United States Congress, providing policy and legal analysis to committees and Members of both the House and Senate, regardless of party affiliation. As a legislative branch agency within the Library of Congress, the CRS has been a valued and respected resource on Capitol Hill for nearly a century.