Attacks on Ted Cruz’s eligibility for the presidency have seriously undermined his campaign in the crucial days before the Feb. 1 caucuses in Iowa.
Today, we describe that eligibility as an open question that cannot be resolved easily, in part because the Cruz campaign is withholding the facts about his birth in Canada that are necessary for clear-cut resolution.
We explore also recent revelations that the first term Texas senator won his upset victory in his 2012 campaign with the help of $1.2 million in Goldman Sachs and Citigroup loans that he failed to report as required by federal election law.
April 5 Update: Trump and Cruz went on to win nearly all state contests as of early April in an increasingly nasty rivalry that has included repeated sex scandal allegations against Cruz (which he denied) front-paged by the National Enquirer. Also, Cruz won a Pennsylvania Supreme Court decision stating that he was eligible for the presidency despite his Canadian birth. But that Pennsylvania decision is vulnerable to attack, as described in an appendix to this column. For one thing, the suit did not address issues related to the citizenship of Cruz's mother.
Both the eligibility and Goldman Sachs loan issues are important because they coincided — and probably helped cause — Cruz’s decline in the Iowa polls over the past month. Donald Trump now leads in the most recent Iowa poll, as of Jan. 30, by a 5 point margin, according to the prestigious Des Moines Register poll conducted with Bloomberg News.
Trump held a 6.3 margin over Cruz in a RealClear Politics average of six recent polls, as of Jan. 30. Cruz had led or tied in four straight Iowa polls between Dec. 17 and Jan. 7, according to the RealClearPolitics summary.
But on Jan. 5, GOP rival Donald Trump used a New York Times interview to question Cruz’s eligibility for office under the U.S. Constitution’s requirement that a president must be a “natural born” citizen. The Founders did not define the term in the Constitution. But it was widely understood at the time of the Revolution to require birth on a nation’s own territory for the most part.
In crafty fashion, Trump (shown in a file photo by Gage Skidmore) did not raise the question as an outright attack on Cruz, but floated it in response to a reporter's question more as a concern that Democrats would litigate the issue for years, thereby damaging the Republican Party and the nation.
Whatever Trump’s intention, he has since moved more into outright attack mode on the question and prompted a massive pro-and-con constitutional debate among legal scholars and pundits. The leading arguments are excerpted below in an appendix, enabling anyone to form at least a preliminary judgment.
Shortly afterward came the revelation of Cruz's unreported campaign loans from two top Wall Street investment banks. Most came from Goldman Sachs, which employs Cruz’s wife Heidi Cruz as a managing director in its Houston office.
Cruz dismisses both matters as non-issues, as described more fully below.
But each accusation put his campaign on the defensive, particularly they both undercut his campaign image. For one thing, he opposes leniency in immigration law and favors “strict construction” of the Founders’ language in the constitution. Additionally, Cruz memorably opposed “New York values” supposedly embodied by Trump – but surely also by the top financial institutions that control so many leaders in Congress and the Executive Branch via lavish donations and other payments to officeholders.
The Goldman Sachs taint became especially newsworthy this month because federal authorities imposed $5.1 billion in fines and other penalties on Goldman Sachs for its actions helping cause the 2008 financial crisis that so deeply hurt so many Americans.
The senator, a star student at Harvard Law School and former Texas solicitor general, has dismissed the loans as a bureaucratic oversight of scant importance. He thereby suggests what his fans regard as commendable anti-regulatory focus – and what opponents regard as additional reason for deep suspicion and scrutiny.
Constitutional Requirement For Presidents
Section 1 of Article 2, clause 5 of the U.S. Constitution requires “natural born” citizenship for election to the presidency. The constitution does not define the term. But the Founders knew the meaning under common law, a term for widely accepted and largely judge-made law not necessarily defined by statute. The history indicates that the Founders regarded a candidate's birthplace and parental citizenship as strong predictors for loyalty to the new nation and thus eligibility for its most important office.
Rafael Edward "Ted" Cruz was born in 1970 in Canada. His father, Rafael Cruz, was a native of Cuba mistreated by that nation's pre-Castro dictator. The elder Cruz did not become a U.S. citizen until recently.
The senator's mother, Eleanor Darragh Wilson Cruz, apparently was born as a U.S. citizen in Delaware in 1934.
But questions have arisen whether she relinquished her citizenship when she moved to Canada.
Some sleuths have even claimed irregularities in the Delaware birth certificate that Cruz supporters posted recently electronically on the Breitbart website (shown at right) to quell questions about her.
As one example, a retired Arizona policeman James D. Benish, now a book publisher with Codefore, alleges serious irregularities in the purported Cruz birth certificate posted on the web. Details: Cruz’s Mother Eleanor Darragh Birth Certificate in Question.
Alleging irregularities also is former Navy intelligence officer Wayne Madsen, who published Cruz eligibility for president highly suspect, (Subscription required) citing differences between Cruz’s mother’s birth certificate and others issued by Delaware during the same period.
Regardless of those allegations of irregularities, experts are split on whether "natural born" requires birth on U.S. territory. Scholars remain divided also whether the requirement is met under special circumstances that are not fully known in Cruz’s case. These involve procedures undertaken by a parent who is a U.S. citizen on foreign soil to register a child as a U.S. citizen.
Two former Justice Department solicitor generals from different parties, Neal Katyal and Paul Clement, argued in favor of presidential eligibility for someone like Cruz in their Harvard Law Review Forum last March. Their column was On the Meaning of “Natural Born Citizen. The Washington Post editorial board, in It’s time to remove the ‘natural born citizen’ requirement from the Constitution, and Harvard Law-trained columnist Ruth Marcus are among those who have endorsed Cruz eligibility with little legal analysis or fact-reporting aside from citing the Harvard Law blog.
But the essence of a constitution, particularly under the “strict construction” that “originalists” like Cruz advocate, is that certain language is timeless in meaning unless revised by an amendment process that has not occurred.
Compelling scholarship in that vein suggests that Cruz fails to meet the definition of a “natural born” citizen. Thus, Mary Brigid McManamon, a constitutional law professor at Widener University’s Delaware Law School, argued in a Washington Post oped, Ted Cruz is not eligible to be president, “Cruz is, of course, a U.S. citizen,” she wrote. “As he was born in Canada, he is not natural-born.”
Sometimes, pundits argue as if the “natural born” language is superfluous. For example, the Los Angeles Times editorial board argued superficially in Hold the 'birther' controversy: Ted Cruz is a natural born American. The newspaper seemed to conflate "citizen" and “natural born citizen” as meaning exactly the same thing.
Several things are wrong with that analysis.
Most important, common sense tells us the Founders were not inclined to make up words and just stick them in the constitution with no meaning, particularly in a section so obviously important as defining presidential eligibility. They had clear-cut concerns that foreign birth might create undue foreign influence in a president's use of power.
Additionally, a U.S. citizen parent of a child born on foreign soil must take steps to ensure citizenship for the child. No proof has emerged publicly so far that Cruz’s mother initiated that procedure. More generally, the public has little understanding on precisely how Cruz and his now-divorced parents navigated other documents and citizenship procedures, except that Cruz renounced Canadian citizenship as superfluous only after election to the U.S. senate.
Cruz, a former clerk for U.S. Chief Justice William Rehnquist, has not yet released to the public some of the most relevant facts. The raises a question about why he would not take such a basic step as to qualify for the presidency.
It’s true also that courts will probably avoid deciding the issues. One way is for judges to deny “legal standing” for ordinary citizens who who might want to litigate Cruz's eligibility for the White House. Courts have used that previously as a basis to duck the issue, as explained in a University of Michigan law review article last year by Daniel P. Tokaji, The Justiciability of Eligibility: May Courts Decide Who Can Be President?
Another way for courts to duck such issues is to rule out litigation because the matter is a “political question” for voters, not judges. Courts often cite such principles to avoid deciding sensitive matters, as exemplified by court denial of jurisdiction on “birther” suits brought years ago by conservative activists challenging Barack Obama’s eligibility for the presidency.
Nonetheless, these questions are clearly hurting Cruz. The impact, combined with other factors we address in our next column about the bankers' loans, is so bad that he is going to be damaged goods even if no court ever addresses the issue during this campaign. Indeed, the eligibility issue is likely to become moot unless Cruz wins the Iowa caucuses Feb. 1. If he loses it is highly unlikely he would win another contest until a window opens for him in March with a series of primaries in Southern states, including Texas.
Right now, any discussion whatsoever puts him on the defensive, especially given his anti-immigrant and "strict constructionalist" stances.
Goldman Sachs and Citibank Loans
A similar problem for Cruz arises from this month's revelation of his $1.2 million campaign loans in 2012 from Wall Street giants Goldman Sachs and Citigroup. As background, Cruz's wife Heidi works at Goldman Sachs, which operates at the heart of anyone's definition of the Wall Street's power center. Just this month, the company created headline new as reported by Dan Wright in ShadowProof: Goldman Sachs to pay $5.1 billion for causing 2008 financial crisis.
Yes, that's billion, not million. So, a million dollar loan to a U.S. senator is chickenfeed. Think of the stakes: Influence over one more lawmaker among the many other Republican and Democrats who kowtow to Goldman Sachs and Citigroup, both in Congress and throughout Executive Branch departments.
These kinds of shenanigans directly undercut the Cruz attack on "New York values." Cruz thus rests on shaky ground to attack Wall Street regardless of Trump's strong rebuttal in the most recent GOP debate.
More generally, Clinton Cash, a book by conservative Peter Schweizer secretly funded by Judicial Watch in order to attain more news coverage, similarly reveals “the untold story of how and why foreign governments and businesses helped make Bill and Hillary rich.”
The Goldman Sachs loan is thus part of a larger context of the government's revolving door whereby Wall Street financiers, like other titans, subsidize their favorite regulators and then hire them or their spouses back in pattern far more extensive than campaign contributions.
For example, Antonio Weiss, an Obama nominee for a Treasury Department post, was slated to receive $21 million from his employer Lazard Freres, according to a New Republic report last year. The column Wall Street Pays Bankers to Work in Government and It Doesn't Want Anyone to Know by David Dayen described Goldman Sachs, Citibank, and Morgan Stanley as frequent payers of such huge sums to control public officials. Such programs are usually described as merely suitable recognition for those individuals undertaking "public service."
But the electorate this year is especially angry and suspicious of those kinds of deals.
In sum: Cruz, despite his remarkable political skills, faces a tough fight politically, including the caricature at right circulated by critics.We provide below major reference sources on these issues, beginning with an overview of the Constitutional provision, its purpose and other context. An extensive appendix excerpts commentary by others, arranged with the latest materials first.
Next we provide the Cruz family history as far as it is known. This enables casual readers and experts alike to see basic legal and factual information.
One thing is clear. For Cruz and his supporters to trivialize constitutional concerns about presidential eligibility will undercut his larger message, at least among those not firmly in his camp already.
A recent poll indicated that few of his supporters look on the eligibility issue as a decisive factor by itself. But the combination of the constitutional language, the Goldman Sachs loan and the availability of other candidates likely means big trouble for Cruz just as the caucuses loom Feb. 1.
Appendix: Related News and Commentary (Reverse Chronological Order)
Section 1 of Article 2, clause 5 of the Constitution is what is known as the eligibility clause and it 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."
State Court Update Applicable To Pennsylvania
Associated Press via ABC News, Ted Cruz Wins Citizenship Case in Pennsylvania Supreme Court, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz has won a case in Pennsylvania's highest court that had challenged his eligibility to appear on the state's GOP primary ballot and serve as president. The state Supreme Court order Thursday upheld a lower-court judge's decision to dismiss the case. A Pittsburgh resident and registered Republican voter, Carmon Elliott, had argued that Cruz isn't eligible to run for president or to appear on Pennsylvania's April 26 primary ballot because he was born in Canada.
Commonwealth Court Judge Dan Pellegrini ruled March 11 that common law precedent and statutory history maintain that an eligible candidate includes any person born to an American citizen, regardless of where. Elliott had acknowledged that Cruz's mother was born in the United States and has been a U.S. citizen her whole life.
Morning Call (Allentown, PA), Ted Cruz's citizenship case may go to Pennsylvania Supreme Court, Scott Kraus, March 25, 2016. The Pittsburgh man who lost a legal challenge to Texas Sen. Ted Cruz's eligibility to serve as President has appealed his defeat to the state Supreme Court. Carmon Elliott, a retiree and registered Republican, argued at a March 10 hearing before Commonwealth Court Judge Dan Pellegrini that Cruz's Canadian birth, albeit to a mother who was a U.S. citizen at the time, disqualifies him from appearing on the April 26 primary ballot.
Pellegrini ruled that as a U.S. citizen from birth, Cruz is eligible to appear on the ballot. Elliott filed the appeal Monday. While the Supreme Court has discretion to decide whether or not to accept appeals of cases that originate at the county court level, it is required to accept election case appeals such as Elliot's. Republican primary opponent Donald Trump has repeatedly criticized Cruz, who was born in Calgary to his mother, a U.S. citizen and his father who at the time was a Cuban citizen, over the issue on the campaign trail. With an April 26 primary looming, Pennsylvania's Secretary of State Pedro A. Cortés certified the ballot on Wednesday, including Cruz among the candidates for the Republican presidential nomination, said Wanda Murren, spokeswoman for the Pennsylvania Department of State.
NBC, Law Professor Challenges Cruz on Citizenship, Candidacy, Pete Williams, April 11, 2016. A Washington, D.C. law professor has come up with a new way to challenge the eligibility of Ted Cruz, who was born in Canada, to run for president. Victor Williams is running for president himself.
He says that should help him get over the first hurdle that has so far caused other challengers to stumble -- a lack of legal standing to sue. Williams, who teaches at the Catholic University law school, has registered to run as a write-in candidate for the Republican nomination in nine states for the sole purpose of challenging the credentials of the man he calls "Canadian Cruz."
Williams attempted, but failed, to intervene in a Pennsylvania lawsuit on the citizenship issue. It was dismissed last week because the courts said the challenger in that case did not have standing to sue. Federal courts require that those going to court must show that they would suffer an injury that's concrete and particular to them. Suing simply on the basis of being a citizen and a taxpayer isn't enough. For the same reason, lower courts have rejected a lawsuit filed by a retired Utah lawyer, Walter Wagner, who says he has "a vested interest in insuring that all candidates for the position of president are legally qualified."
But because Williams is a candidate himself, he argues that he can succeed where others have failed by showing that he would suffer a direct and concrete injury if an unqualified candidate were to be allowed. In addition to New Jersey, Williams has also filed to run in California, Montana, Nebraska, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Washington, and Wisconsin.
Justice Integrity Project Reader Reactions to Pennsylvania Supreme Court Decision
Our project received reader reactions to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court decision and our coverage excerpted below. The reactions came from two experienced attorneys and a retired homicide detective Jim Bemish, each challenging Cruz eligibility on various grounds. The attorneys, neither involved in partisan politics, requested anonymity.
All litigators of any worth know that one of the best "tricks" in the litigator's bag is to arrange for a friendly suit between parties to be filed in a friendly forum so the ultimate winner can then take the victory and try to foreclose or defeat any similar cases filed thereafter.
In Pennsylvania, if the plaintiff didn't pursue any of the important fact-issues then that's a telltale sign of a friendly suit. Friendly suits are a form of fraud on a court. But they are near impossible to uncover. The best way to raise the question of whether a particular suit is a "friendly suit" is to hammer on the failures of the plaintiff to pursue those core issues that almost any genuine plaintiff-litigant would have pursued if the suit was actually an adversarial contest, as opposed to a rigged, friendly contest. The bottom line: In a friendly suit, the plaintiff is a friend of the defendant and files a suit against the defendant to raise the issue at stake and then the plaintiff-friend "lays down" and fails to vigorously pursue the plaintiff's claim in good faith in order to allow the defendant-friend to win the lawsuit and then use the decision's precedent to foreclose or defeat subsequent similar or parallel suits in other jurisdictions.
I am thinking that Cruz is not even a U.S. Citizen. He was born in Canada. His mother was eligible to vote in Canada. Did she give up her U.S. citizenship? And any child born in a foreign country has to go through a process in the USCIS -- formerly Immigration and Naturalization Service, now U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, a component of the United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS)) -- that allows that U.S. citizen to log in their kid in the United States via the immigration system. If his mother did not do that, I don't think Cruz's paperwork is correct. Thus, I am not even sure he is a U.S. citizen. This really is not addressed in this article. Also, Cruz only renounced his Canadian citizenship in 2014. If his mother did not do the proper paperwork on him with INS I don't think he is even a citizen of the US! Of course, Cruz is not releasing family paperwork.
Cruz's situation is totally different than Obama's situation. Obama was born in Hawaii. Cruz was definitely born in Canada. His mother -- if she renounced her U.S. citizenship to have access to the medical care in Canada and to vote -- would not have been a U.S. citizen any more. Voila....Cruz is not even a U.S. citizen. If she retained her U.S. citizenship, then she had paperwork to do with INS (now USCIS) to qualify her baby as a U.S. citizen born abroad. There is a process wherein the mother is the sponsor of the child.
The relevant section of USCIS currently online does not answer the question because it does not show children born in 1970 (Cruz birth date), so some digging into the archives would have had to be done.
Big question: Did Cruz's mother give up her U.S. citizenship at his birth because by that time she was approved for Canadian health care and voted!! [Editor's note: Cruz campaign has said she did not vote, but does not address if she was eligible to vote as a Canadian citizen.] If she did, since U.S. citizens cannot take an oath to another country and maintain their citizenship (and you have to take an oath in Canada to vote and/or get health care), then how the heck is Ted Cruz a citizen of the United States he was born to both parents who are Canadian?
James Benish, Editor of "Codefor" Blog On Legal Affairs:
I am not an attorney. I am a retired homicide detective. I was familiar with the existence of the [Pennsylvania] court decision on the Cruz matter. But, without reading the plaintiffs presentation, I doubt that there was any challenge to the validity of Cruz's mothers birth place or certificate. Everyone except me has assumed that this certificate is accurate and real.
As I understand it, the challenge was that since Cruz's mother was born in the United States, he is granted the status of citizenship and therefore is a "natural born" citizen. But even if that is not the challenge, the point I'm trying to make is that there is only one piece of evidence that his mother was born in the United States at all. And in the absence of other birth certificates, there is reason to doubt that this Eleanor Darragh is identically the same person as Eleanor E. Darragh, whom Cruz claims is his mother. And that is a birth certificate that appears to have been altered.
Why is only speculation. If they are in fact the same person then there must be a name-change document somewhere, no? Eleanor Darragh does show up in a 1940 Census. And her father and mother claim to be citizens. But I have no proof of that either.
More investigation is needed on the Cruz side. But that information is within Canada. I personally suspect that Cruz is not a U.S. citizen and never has been.
I did receive an copy of Cruz's mothers birth certificate -- and a poor one indeed. It was the same as the one that Brietbart published but was a poor copy. So I used the Brietbart copy for analysis. Someone should request a grand jury investigation as to how and when the Darragh birth certificate was altered. Then maybe the reason will become apparent. I think it would be a grand jury who would have the power to access the original for testing. We as citizens would be hard-pressed to get the original. I have had recent success in getting a federal judge to activate a grand jury on another case and if you decide to do this, I can be of assistance.
Another interesting thing is this. When I received the copy of the birth certificate there was a handwritten document from the Delaware Public Archives that identified the document as the birth certificate of "Eleanor E. Darragh." The name Eleanor E. Darragh appears nowhere on the birth certificate. I believe Cruz himself says that the name Eleanor Darragh is a mistake. In addition, do we factually know that Eleanor Darragh is Eleanor E. Darragh? Since when do archive clerks make this type of distinction on their own? I have attached the documents for your review.
State Department Foreign Affairs Manual
U.S. Department of State Foreign Affairs Manual (FAM) section on citizenship: Ref is 7 FAM 1133.2-2. Essentially for some of the years in question, a mother married to an alien had to reside in the U.S. for 10 years prior to the birth of the child, five years of which had to be after the age of 14. State defines residence as physical presence.
7 FAM 1133.6 covers Evidence of Claim to US citizenship:
• birth certificate or other proof that child born to US citizen mother
• parents' marriage certificate
• evidence that at least one parent was a US citizen at time of birth
• evidence that citizen parent had been physically present in US for requisite period
There are forms to adjudicate questions of citizenship: DS 11 & DS 4079 Form FS 240, Consular Report of Birth Abroad is prima facie evidence of U.S. citizenship: 7 FAM 1441.1
Parents of a child born abroad to a U.S. citizen or citizens should apply for a CRBA and/or a U.S. passport for the child as soon as possible. Failure to promptly document a child who meets the statutory requirements for acquiring U.S. citizenship at birth may cause problems for the parents and the child when attempting to establish the child’s U.S. citizenship and eligibility for the rights and benefits of U.S. citizenship, including entry into the United States.
By law, U.S. citizens, including dual nationals, must use a U.S. passport to enter and leave the United States.
Ted Cruz Family Timeline
The following Cruz family history has been posted on Scribd and Facebook by citizen researchers who claim it has been drawn from Cruz statements: "Everything presented in this timeline is a matter of public record. All of it is based upon publicly reported events, public statements made by Rafael Cruz, Ted Cruz, officials with the "Elect Ted movement" or U.S. and Canadian officials." As such, it has not been independently verified but must serve until or unless details are disputed.
1957 -- After working as a teen to help Fidel Castro gain power in Cuba, and being imprisoned for his actions by the Batista regime, Cuban Rafael Cruz applies for admittance to the University of Texas as a foreign student and enters the United States on a four-year student visa to attend four years of college. He is a Cuban citizen attending a U.S. college on a foreign student visa obtained through the US Consulate in Havana.
1961-1962 -- After graduating college at the University of Texas, and upon the expiration of his foreign student visa, Cruz Sr. applied for and received "political asylum" and was issued a "green card." A green card is a permit to reside and work in the United States, without becoming a "citizen" of the United States, in this case, under political asylum from Castro's Cuba. His citizenship status was that of a Cuban national living and working in the United States, under a green card work permit. According to U.S. laws, the "green card" holder must maintain permanent resident status, and can be removed from the United States if certain conditions of this status are not met.
1964-1966 -- Cruz Sr. takes a few odd jobs, marries and moves to Canada to work in the oil fields. The Cruz family resides in Canada for the next eight years. “I worked in Canada for eight years,” Rafael Cruz says. “And while I was in Canada, I became a Canadian citizen” (from an interview with NPR).
1970 -- Ted Cruz is born in Canada to two parents who had lived in Canada for at least four years at that time, and had applied for and received Canadian citizenship under Canadian Immigration and Naturalization Laws, as stated by Rafael Cruz. As a result, U.S.statutes would have voided the prior "green card" status which requires among other things, permanent residency within the United States and obviously, not becoming a citizen of another country during the time frame of the U.S.green card.
1974 -- The Cruz family moves to the United States when Ted is approximately four years old. Rafael Cruz has publicly stated that he remained a citizen of Canada until he renounced his Canadian citizenship when he applied for and became a U.S. naturalized citizen in 2005. As a result, his wife and son were also Canadian citizens.
2005 -- Rafael Cruz applies for legal U.S. citizenship and renounces his Canadian citizenship. The is no record of Ted renouncing his Canadian citizenship or applying for U.S. citizenship as of 2005.
2013 -- Freshman Senator Ted Cruz is a rising star in the Tea Party movement. Calls for him to run for the White House begin. In July, Ted Cruz is questioned by the press about his interest in running for president. The issue of his Canadian citizenship is brought up. Sen. Cruz rejected questions over his eligibility to be president, saying that although he was born in Canada “the facts are clear” that he is a U.S. citizen.
“My mother was born in Wilmington, Delaware. She is a U.S. citizen. So, I'm a U.S. citizen by birth,” Cruz told A&C. “I'm not going to engage in a legal debate.” Note: Senator Cruz omits the part of his father's story, in particular, the part about his parents applying for and receiving Canadian citizenship prior to Ted's birth in Calgary. He also attempts to gloss past the actual definition of natural-born Citizen by implying it is a mere legal debate for others to figure out.
August 2013 -- As Ted's political stock rises in the Tea Party, so do press questions about his eligibility for office. Ted decides to quiet the questions by releasing his birth certificate, which now becomes absolute proof of Ted's Canadian citizenship at birth in 1970, Calgary, Canada. The release of the Canadian birth records serve to further fuel the controversy. Ted seeks legal counsel, as the media is now pressing members of Canadian Immigration and Naturalization to clear the matter up. Instead, Canadian officials confirm the Ted Cruz was born as a legal citizen of Canada, the son of two parents who had also applied for and received Canadian citizenship prior to Ted's birth.
“He's a Canadian,” said Toronto lawyer Stephen Green, past chairman of the Canadian Bar Association's Citizenship and Immigration Section. “Generally speaking, under the Citizenship Act of 1947, those born in Canada were automatically citizens at birth unless their parent was a foreign diplomat, ”said ministry spokeswoman Julie Lafortune. Legal counsel advises Ted to "renounce his Canadian citizenship" in order to make himself eligible to run for the presidency. Of course, renouncing one's original citizenship only further proves one's original citizenship.
May 2014 -- Ted Cruz legal counsel files to renounce Ted's Canadian citizenship in an effort to make him eligible to run for high office under the natural born Citizen clause Article II in the U.S.Constitution.
AUSTIN, Texas -- Canada-born U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz has given up his citizenship from his birth country, making good on a promise from last summer. Spokeswoman Catherine Frazier said, “The Tea Party favorite formally gave up his citizenship May 14th. He received official confirmation of the action at his Houston home Tuesday.”
News that he had renounced his citizenship was first reported by the Dallas Morning News. The newspaper also broke that Cruz had dual Canadian-U.S.citizenship when he released his birth certificate in August. Frazier said Cruz “he is pleased to have the process finalized” and that it “makes sense he should be only an American citizen.”
Update: An additional version of a family timeline was posted on Facebook as follows:
Facebook, Rafael Edward “Ted” Cruz Family Timeline, Anna Tomerlin, April 17, 2016. Constitutional Eligibility for POTUS is a matter of National Security. Ted Cruz's Natural Born Citizen status is in question. Ted Cruz Family Timeline.
Legal and Political Commentaries On Applicable Constitutional Law, Common Law and Statutory Law
(Most recent first)
CNN, Trump threatens to sue Cruz for 'not being a natural born citizen,' Eugene Scott, Feb. 12, 2016. Donald Trump on Friday threatened to sue Ted Cruz for "not being a natural born citizen" if the Texas senator "doesn't clean up his act" and stop running negative ads against him. "If @TedCruz doesn't clean up his act, stop cheating, & doing negative ads, I have standing to sue him for not being a natural born citizen," he tweeted.
Trump has previously argued that if Cruz won the Republican nomination, Democrats would argue that the Canada-born Texas senator was ineligible for the presidency. Last month, Trump asked a rally if he should sue Cruz "just for fun" over the issue. Earlier Friday, Trump questioned the sincerity of Cruz's faith, accusing his opponent of being "so dishonest." "How can Ted Cruz be an Evangelical Christian when he lies so much and is so dishonest?" the Republican front-runner tweeted.
Trump also had called Cruz's honesty into question in a tweet Thursday night. "Lying Cruz put out a statement, 'Trump & Rubio are w/Obama on gay marriage.' Cruz is the worst liar, crazy or very dishonest. Perhaps all 3?" Trump said.Thursday night. "Lying Cruz put out a statement, 'Trump & Rubio are w/Obama on gay marriage.' Cruz is the worst liar, crazy or very dishonest. Perhaps all 3?" Trump said.
"There is more than a little irony in Donald accusing anyone of being nasty given the amazing torrent of insults and obscenities and vulgarities that come out of his mouth," Cruz told reporters in Greenville, South Carolina. "Being attacked by Donald, it is always colorful. I will give him this: he's not boring." Cruz communication director Rick Tyler said Trump was having a "Trumpertantrum," a line the Texas senator has used in recent weeks.
Huffington Post, Ted Cruz Is A 'Natural Born Citizen,' Board Of Election Finds, Cristian Farias, Feb. 2, 2016. "Further discussion on this issue is unnecessary."
Philly.com, Cruz not eligible to serve as president, Therese A. Cingranelli, Jan. 22, 2016. Therese A. Cingranelli teaches political science at Binghamton University in Binghamton, N.Y. There is renewed debate regarding the eligibility of U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz — born in Canada to an American mother and a Cuban father — to serve as president of the United States. Cruz has cited the U.S. Naturalization Law of March 26, 1790, and the Naturalization Act of 1795 as the basis of his claim that he is eligible to run for and serve as president.
However, his case is weak. Perhaps he may someday be eligible to serve as president, but under current U.S. laws and the Constitution, he is not eligible to do so.
At present, only natural-born citizens of the United States can serve as president. The early leaders of the U.S. government who wrote these laws did not intend to provide citizenship to children through the bloodline of their mothers. Cruz’s claim to citizenship through his mother is further weakened by the more recently adopted language of the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which emphasizes place of birth, abandoning the idea of citizenship through bloodline. All this spells deep trouble for Cruz.
WND, Eligibility challenges heat up for Cruz, Rubio, Jerome R. Corsi, Jan. 17, 2016. Definition of 'natural born citizen' at center of lawsuits. During the South Carolina Republican presidential debate, Donald Trump correctly predicted Democrats would challenge in court Sen. Ted. Cruz’s constitutional eligibility to be president. Largely because the U.S. Supreme Court has yet to rule specifically on the meaning of “natural born Citizen” in Article 2, Section 1 of the Constitution, the issue will likely continue to play a role in the 2016 presidential campaign – as evidenced by the fact that Democrats have just filed federal lawsuits challenging the presidential eligibility of both Cruz, R-Texas, and Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla.
The strictest definition of “natural born citizen” derives from the writings of Swiss political theorist Emmerich de Vattel in his 1758 treatise The Law of Nations. In it, Vattel defined “natural born citizen” as a person born in a country to two parents who are citizens of that country at the time of the person’s birth. Under Vattel’s definition, Trump, for example, is a natural born citizen because he was born in the United States to two parents who were U.S. citizens at the time of his birth.
Whether Cruz is a “natural born citizen” is somewhat more complicated. Just hours before Thursday’s GOP debate, Houston attorney Newton Boris Schwartz Sr. filed a 28-page complaint with the U.S. District Court, Southern District of Texas in Houston, Schwarz v. Cruz (Case 4:2016 cv-00106), asking the court to resolve the ongoing controversy over the definition of “natural born citizen.” Schwartz, pointing out there is no U.S. Supreme Court decision or precedent, said that time is of the essence, with the Iowa caucus scheduled for Feb. 1.
Washington Post, It’s time to remove the ‘natural born citizen’ requirement from the Constitution, Editorial board, Jan. 16, 2016. The rule shuts qualified people out of the presidency for no reason.
Codefore Zap, Cruz’s Mother Eleanor Darragh Birth Certificate in Question, Administrator, Jan. 16, 2016. We at Codefore were amused with the birth certificate posted by the Breitbart Blog. Breitbart claims that the mother of Ted Cruz, Eleanor Darragh, was born in Wilmington Delaware and therefore Ted Cruz is a U.S. citizen. Breibart says, (Darragh Ted Cruz’s mother) “was born in Delaware on Nov. 23, 1934, establishing her citizenship by birth – and, according to U.S. law, that of her son, even though he was born in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, on Dec. 22, 1970.”
Not so fast Breitbart. The national news media is assuming that since his mother was born in Delaware and that makes her a U.S. citizen therefore Ted Cruz is a U.S. citizen. But is the Darragh birth certificate credible?
There are several items on this document that indicate that the document has been created after the advent of photograph editing capabilities. There are also items on this document that indicate that one of the date stamps has been altered, and that both date stamps existed on the document before the document form was created and the hand-written information was added.
In the opinion of Codefore, this copy of a birth certificate is not a copy of an original unchanged 1934 document. It is a copy of a document that has been changed using modern photograph editing software. Additionally, it appears that the changes were not made by a professional photograph software editor.
There is more. When it became probable that the document was fraudulent, we made further inquiries into the information contained in the document.
With all of this information taken into consideration, the question of birth certificates should be expanded to include Ted Cruz's mother. If his mother’s birth certificate is fraudulent then she may not have been a U.S. citizen. If that is the case Ted Cruz himself is not a U.S. citizen naturalized or not and cannot possess a passport nor can he hold a seat in Congress.
We at Codefore are concerned that if Ted Cruz used the above Certificate of Birth to prove citizenship and/or obtain a passport, who performed his background investigation? We are waiting for a copy of the official Eleanor Darragh birth certificate from the State of Delaware. If it turns out to be the same one that is posted by Breitbart there may certainly be more questions to be answered.
Trump Campaign Analysis, Mark Levin's Tortured Defense of Cruz Eligibility, Gregory Buls, Jan. 16, 2016. Mark Levin has spent years defending the Constitution, his radio show bumpers refer to him as "Mr. Constitution." In his view, the constitutional debates and the views of the founding fathers should determine its meaning. Levin has abandoned this standard in his defense of Ted Cruz's eligibility to run for president. This is evident in at least two ways -- ignoring the founders' intentions and arguments, and suggesting that there are only two types of citizenship: naturalized and natural born. Levin revisits this issue with exasperation every day. Let's examine it.
There were four basic checks available to the founders to help insure that divided loyalties would not be a concern:
1. American mother
2. American father
3. Birth inside of the U.S. and its territories / outposts
4. Citizenship / allegiance exclusively to America.
These four standards are revisited time and again throughout the history of U.S. nationalization laws. Their specific application in the case of NBC [natural-born citizenship] status is unclear. But the founders' intention was clearly to protect Americans. So one or more would apply to NBC status.
Trump Campaign Analysis, Debate: Cruz's Indignation Won't Save Him, Gregory Buls, Jan. 15, 2016. Cruz played his best hand in the Thursday Fox debate. The champion debater had two weeks to prepare, after years of knowing some kind of challenge would be forthcoming. He dismissed the eligibility issue derisively, while defending the idea that a person born of an American mother and alien father in a foreign country shares the highest level of citizenship with those born on U.S.soil to two citizen parents.
The entire purpose of the natural-born citizen (NBC) clause is not lost on Cruz. He simply pretends that the purpose doesn't exist. As detailed in my post listing Cruz's unanswered eligibility concerns, the clause exists to preclude divided loyalties. There are close to 300 million NBCs in America. We don't need to abandon the founders intentions so that Ted can rule We can find another leader without the baggage. No one seriously suspects Mr. Cruz of being an agent of another power. But the law applies nonetheless.
Mr. Cruz has just one of the four bulwarks against divided loyalties: His mother was (apparently, even this is unclear) an American citizen at the time of his birth. The other three bulwarks are an American citizen father, birth in America, and allegiance to only America (dual citizenship was never discussed in the the context of the Presidency at the constitutional convention, likely because no one was foolish enough to raise the issue, had they even been inclined).
The only way his case could be flimsier would be to remove his one bulwark, making him a foreigner. The idea that one out of four of the possible protections would have been considered by the founders as being equal to all four is nonsense, and Cruz knows it.
The Atlantic, Memorandum: Is Ted Cruz Eligible for the Presidency? Bryan A. Garner, Jan. 14, 2016. A legal scholar offers a thorough look at a complicated question. All in all, it seems highly likely that the Supreme Court would today hold that the foreign-born child of a mother-citizen is eligible for the Presidency under Article II of the Constitution.
This is a legal memorandum about a subject in the headlines—whether Senator Ted Cruz is eligible to be president. My wife Karolyne goaded me for the opinion last Sunday, and I wrote it over the course of the day. It’s exactly what I would have written if I’d been retained by a client to research the matter. I’m a law professor, but I’ve also been editor in chief of Black’s Law Dictionary since 1994, roles that have left me with an unusual collection of books. Some are exceedingly difficult to track down—which is probably why nobody else writing about the issue seems to have cited them.
Talking Points Memo (TPM) DC, Centuries-Old English Law May Hold The Answer To Ted Cruz's Birth Issue, Tierney Sneed, Jan. 14, 2016. The answer to the question of whether Ted Cruz is eligible to be president of the United States lies deep in the recesses of English political history, according to a constitutional law expert who has researched the issue. Mary Brigid McManamon, a law professor at Widener University’s Delaware Law School, makes the case that Ted Cruz is not eligible to be president because “natural born citizen” applies only to those born within U.S. territories. She wrote a Washington Post op-ed this week arguing as such, and previously wrote a 2014 legal paper on the topic.
What is certain is that the Constitution's definition of “natural born citizen” has not been tested and remains open to interpretation. As Michael Ramsey, a former clerk of Justice Antonin Scalia, put it in a 2013 essay otherwise defending Cruz’s eligibility: “[I]t's a mystery to me why any one thinks it's an easy question.” TPM talked with McManamon by phone Wednesday to ask her a few more questions about her theory, which she said rested on English common law stretching all the way back to 1350.
Trump Campaign Analysis, 17 Unanswered Questions About Ted's Citizenship, Gregory Buls, Jan. 13, 2016. This argument isn't going away for one reason: Mr. Cruz refuses to open his citizenship files. I spoke with an immigration lawyer today and confirmed that everyone born outside of the U.S.who has petitioned for, or secured citizenship, has a file.
1. Why doesn't Ted share his records and put this issue to rest? They've been requested through the Freedom of Information Act, but are classified for privacy reasons. Ted will have to approve their release.
2. How is Cruz's situation different from Obama's? The big challenge for Obama was proving he was born in the U.S. It was generally assumed that if he was born here he was a NBC. If he was born in Kenya, he would have been disqualified. That was the question eight years ago. Why is it different now? And will that question affect the likelihood of litigation from the democrats?
3. Will Ted Cruz publicly say that had Obama been born in Kenya, he would nonetheless have been a natural-born citizen of the United States?
Washington Post, Ted Cruz is not eligible to be president, Mary Brigid McManamon, Jan. 12, 2015. Mary Brigid McManamon is a constitutional law professor at Widener University’s Delaware Law School. Donald Trump is actually right about something: Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) is not a natural-born citizen and therefore is not eligible to be president or vice president of the United States.Cruz is, of course, a U.S. citizen. As he was born in Canada, he is not natural-born.
The Constitution provides that “No person except a natural born Citizen . . . shall be eligible to the Office of President.” The concept of “natural born” comes from common law, and it is that law the Supreme Court has said we must turn to for the concept’s definition. On this subject, common law is clear and unambiguous. The 18th-century English jurist William Blackstone, the preeminent authority on it, declared natural-born citizens are “such as are born within the dominions of the crown of England,” while aliens are “such as are born out of it.” The key to this division is the assumption of allegiance to one’s country of birth. The Americans who drafted the Constitution adopted this principle for the United States. James Madison, known as the “father of the Constitution,” stated, “It is an established maxim that birth is a criterion of allegiance. . . . [And] place is the most certain criterion; it is what applies in the United States.”
Huffington Post, Republicans Still Don't Think Obama Is American, But Don't Care Ted Cruz Was Born In Canada, Janie Velencia, Jan. 12, 2016. Donald Trump famously questioned President Barack Obama's citizenship in 2011 and demanded he publicly release his birth certificate. Now, Trump's at it again, this time questioning the citizenship of Canadian-born Republican presidential rival Ted Cruz. A new HuffPost/YouGov poll finds that 53 percent of Republicans still doubt Obama's citizenship. At the same time, an overwhelming 70 percent don't have any doubt Cruz is American and eligible to be president.
More interestingly, most of the Republicans who don't think Obama was born in America aren't concerned about Cruz's citizenship. Sixty-four percent think Cruz is eligible to become president, while just 18 percent think he's not. Another 18 percent are not sure. Experts believe Cruz wouldn't face any legal challenges to becoming president. Cruz was born in Calgary to an American mother and Cuban father, which most say makes him a "natural born citizen," a status that meets the requirements of the Constitution. Other findings from the poll reveal that, overall, Republicans overwhelmingly side with Cruz over Trump on the issue and believe the senator could be president, despite being born in Canada. Just 21 percent of Republicans side with Trump and agree that Cruz's birth could cause a problem if he were the Republican nominee. Another 21 percent are not sure about the situation.
Boston Globe, Under Ted Cruz’s own logic, he’s ineligible for the White House, Laurence H. Tribe, Jan. 11, 2016. Lawrence Tribe is a professor at Harvard Law School. There’s more than meets the eye in the ongoing dustup over whether Ted Cruz is eligible to serve as president, which under the Constitution comes down to whether he’s a “natural born citizen” despite his 1970 Canadian birth. Senator Cruz contends his eligibility is “settled” by naturalization laws Congress enacted long ago. But those laws didn’t address, much less resolve, the matter of presidential eligibility, and no Supreme Court decision in the past two centuries has ever done so.
People are entitled to their own opinions about what the definition ought to be. But the kind of judge Cruz says he admires and would appoint to the Supreme Court is an “originalist,” one who claims to be bound by the narrowly historical meaning of the Constitution’s terms at the time of their adoption. To his kind of judge, Cruz ironically wouldn’t be eligible, because the legal principles that prevailed in the 1780s and ’90s required that someone actually be born on US soil to be a “natural born” citizen. Even having two US parents wouldn’t suffice. And having just an American mother, as Cruz did, would have been insufficient at a time that made patrilineal descent decisive.
Breitbart, Fordham Law Prof: Ted Cruz Not ‘Natural Born’ Under ‘Originalist’ View of Constitution, Staff report, Jan. 11, 2016. Thomas Lee, a professor of constitutional law and international law at Fordham Law School, writes in the Los Angeles Times that Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) would not be considered a “natural born citizen” under an originalist view of the Constitution.
The Washington Post / Volokh Conspiracy, Professor Laurence Tribe questions whether Ted Cruz is a ‘natural born citizen,’ Jonathan H. Adler, Jan. 11, 2016. Jonathan H. Adler teaches courses in constitutional, administrative, and environmental law at the Case Western University School of Law. Harvard law professor Laurence Tribe believes there is doubt whether Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) is constitutionally eligible to be elected president. As the Guardian reports, Professor Tribe believes it is unclear whether Cruz qualifies as a “natural born citizen,” particularly if one focuses on the original public meaning of the relevant constitutional provisions.
Huffington Post, Birthers at WorldNetDaily Won't Hold Cruz to Same Standard as Obama, Terry Krepel, Jan. 11, 2016. WorldNetDaily telegraphed more than a year ago that it would not use the same presidential "eligibility" standards on Ted Cruz that it spent years hammering Barack Obama on. WND editor Joseph Farah threw a fit over applying WND's birther standards to Cruz in a January 2014 column, insisting that any eligibility concerns about Cruz to be a manifestation of the fact that the "elite media" is afraid of him because "he is a bold, eloquent, charismatic, principled, committed defender of American liberty." Farah then huffed that he doesn't care whether Cruz is eligible because "no one cared about Obama's questionable eligibility."
In the midst of that hand washing, of course, Farah is tacitly admitting that his "eligibility" crusade against Obama was never about constitutional fealty and all about partisan political attack -- part of WND's years-long effort to personally destroy Obama. Now that Cruz has announced his candidacy for the presidency in 2016, WND absolutely doesn't want to talk about his eligibility. That's not to say WND isn't excited by his candidacy. In fact, it promoted the heck out of Cruz's announcement: It touted the announcement by "the fiery tea party Texan" at a mandatory convocation at right-wing Liberty University, dutifully transcribed Rush Limbaugh's reaction to Cruz's announcement, and gushed over how Cruz "will follow the playbook of the right's greatest hero, Ronald Reagan."
Los Angeles Times, Hold the 'birther' controversy: Ted Cruz is a natural born American, Editorial board, Jan. 8, 2016. A telltale sign that Sen. Ted Cruz is rising in the GOP presidential polls is that some of his opponents — one billionaire casino mogul in particular — are suggesting that the Canadian-born conservative can't legally hold the office because he was, ahem, born in Canada. This kind of attack has become a rite of passage for presidential aspirants in recent years; witness the “birther” controversy that dogged Barack Obama (born in Hawaii to an American mother and Kenyan father) long into his presidency, as well as the sniping from the fringes about Republican nominees John McCain (born in the Panama Canal zone to American parents) and Mitt Romney (who also encountered “birthers” who doubted that he was born in the U.S. to actual citizens, which he was). Under U.S. law, anyone born to a U.S. citizen is a citizen too, no matter how far outside the borders they draw their first breaths.
Talking Points Memo/Muckraker, Ted Cruz's Mother Was On Official List Of Canadian Citizens Eligible To Vote, Therine Thompson, Jan. 8, 2016. For years, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz (R) has been dogged by a backburner controversy about whether he is eligible to serve as President since he was born in Calgary, Alberta Canada in 1970. But since Cruz's mother was an American citizen, the place of his birth actually is irrelevant to his eligibility.
Yet Cruz's mother's name appears on a Canadian government document, obtained by TPM in 2013, that lists Canadian citizens eligible to vote in 1974. TPM shared an electronic copy of the document with Sen. Cruz's office when it originally obtained the document in 2013. Cruz's then-communications director, Sean Rushton, emphasized that the document is not a record of people who actually voted in any election. He further pointed out that the document itself provides notice that “applications for corrections,” “deletions from,” and “additions to” the list may have been necessary.
"At least one other error is evident on its face: the name of Sen. Cruz’s father is misspelled," Rushton told TPM in his 2013 statement. "Regardless, Mrs. Cruz has never been a Canadian citizen, and she has never voted in any Canadian election."
Huffington Post, Democratic Congressman Vows Legal Challenge On Ted Cruz And The 'Natural Born Citizen' Question, Matt Fuller, Jan. 8, 2016. Wait, does Donald Trump actually have a point? Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) has shrugged off questions about his eligibility for the presidency, contending he is "natural born citizen" because U.S. citizenship was available to him at birth. But Cruz's interpretation isn't the only one. Donald Trump, self-servingly, seems to have stumbled upon a different interpretation, skeptically asking conservative voters in recent weeks whether Cruz is actually eligible. And Trump might have found an unlikely ally: Rep. Alan Grayson (D-Fla.), one of the most liberal members of Congress. Should Cruz become the Republican nominee, Grayson has promised to challenge Cruz's candidacy -- and Grayson believes Cruz hasn't exactly been honest with voters when he tells them the law is "simple and straightforward."
Wayne Madsen Report, (WMR), Cruz eligibility for president highly suspect, Wayne Madsen, Jan. 8, 2016 (Subscription required, excerpted with permission here). One thing that is becoming clearer by the day is that Texas junior senator Ted Cruz is not a "natural born" citizen and, therefore, he cannot become president of the United States.
Stung by questions from Republicans and Democrats about his eligibility to serve as president, Ted Cruz released to the right-wing website Breitbart a copy of his mother's birth certificate from Wilmington, Delaware.
But just as the Cruz campaign thought they extinguished the fire about his mother's U.S. citizenship status, another blaze broke out concerning the presence on Canadian electoral rolls of Cruz's father and mother. Those who question Cruz's eligibility claimed that only Canadian citizens are able to vote in elections in Canada and the presence of Rafael and Eleanor Cruz's names on the list are an indication that they were Canadian citizens and, therefore, Ted Cruz did not automatically acquire U.S. citizenship upon his birth in Calgary in 1970.
Eleanor Cruz lived in Canada for some five years. To become a Canadian citizen and qualify for Canadian national health care, Eleanor Cruz's oath of citizenship in Canada may have caused her to lose her U.S. citizenship under Section 349 of the U.S. Immigration and Nationality Act, which states Americans can lose their citizenship if they take loyalty oaths to foreign governments.
Update: Eleanor Darragh Wilson's birth certificate (shown at right) released by the Cruz campaign.
The magenta rubber stamp reads "Vital Statistics Department" along with the date "Jan. 11, 1935." The state of Delaware's website indicates that the office, created in 1913 to record births, deaths, and marriages was called the "Bureau of Vital Statistics" and was set up within the Board of Health with the board's secretary as the State Registrar. The Bureau of Vital Statistics later became the "Office of Vital Statistics," which holds birth records from 1942 to the present. Records older than 1942 are held at the Delaware Public Archives.
Pre-1934 Delaware birth certificates, called "Certificates of Birth" and a "Certificate of Delayed Birth Registration," but not "Standard Certificate of Birth," including a "Certificate of Birth" from Eleanor Darragh's home county of New Castle, refer to "Bureau of Vital Statistics"
CBS News, Rand Paul: Is Ted Cruz eligible to run for president? Reena Flores, Jan. 7, 2016. Rand Paul doesn't know whether Ted Cruz meets the citizenship requirements for the presidency, but he offered another suggestion for the Texas senator. "I think without question he is qualified and would make the cut to be prime minister of Canada. Absolutely, without question," Paul deadpanned Wednesday about his Canadian-born rival during a Fox News Radio interview. "I'm not an expert on the natural-born clause in the Constitution and people have various opinions," he added. "And we've had some previous cases of it, but I don't think we've ever gone through the court system for the Supreme Court to decide one way or another." Earlier this week, GOP front-runner Donald Trump suggested that questions over Cruz's eligibility for the Oval Office could pose a "big problem" for the Texas Republican. Cruz's mother was born in Delaware and was an American citizen; Cruz's father is Cuban.
Washington Post, Donald Trump’s Bogus Attack on Ted Cruz, Ruth Marcus, Jan. 6, 2016. The issue of whether Ted Cruz is constitutionally eligible to be president could not be more bogus. He is. Case closed. I say this as someone who could scarcely be more concerned about the prospect of President Cruz. So concerned, in fact, that I have concluded, after much “angsting,” that President Trump would be preferable, given that nightmare choice.
The best analysis of this topic comes from two former U.S. solicitors general — Neal Katyal, who served President Obama, and Paul Clement, who worked for President George W. Bush — writing in the Harvard Law Review forum.
While some constitutional issues are truly difficult, with framing-era sources either nonexistent or contradictory, here, the relevant materials clearly indicate that a “natural born Citizen” means a citizen from birth with no need to go through naturalization proceedings.
WND, Republican front-runner Donald Trump has officially gone into birther territory on Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, Staff report, Jan. 5, 2016. “Republicans are going to have to ask themselves the question: ‘Do we want a candidate who could be tied up in court for two years?’ That’d be a big problem,” the billionaire told a Washington Post reporter in New Hampshire on Tuesday. “It’d be a very precarious one for Republicans because he’d be running and the courts may take a long time to make a decision. You don’t want to be running and have that kind of thing over your head.”
Cruz’s mother was a U.S. citizen when he was born in Calgary in 1970, but his father had been born in Cuba. Legal scholars say it is likely Cruz would pass the U.S. Constitution’s “natural-born citizen” litmus test if the issue ever landed him in court. The Texas senator, who was born in Alberta, Canada, also renounced his dual citizenship on May 14, 2014, and released his birth certificate. Trump’s comments on his closest rival for the Republican presidential nomination came shortly before a huge Monday campaign event in Lowell, Massachusetts.
“I’d hate to see something like that get in his way,” Trump said. “But a lot of people are talking about it and I know that even some states are looking at it very strongly, the fact that he was born in Canada and he has had a double passport.”
WND, McCain calls for answer to Cruz' White House eligibility, Bob Unruh, Jan. 5, 2016. 'I think it's worth looking into. I don't think it's illegitimate to look into it.' The latest to join the inquisition of Cruz was Sen. John McCain, an Arizona Republican whose own credentials were questioned during his run against Obama for the White House in 2008. AP reported McCain argued this week that such questions are reasonable. On a talk show in Phoenix on Wednesday, McCain said, “I think there is a question. I am not a constitutional scholar on that. But I think it’s worth looking into. I don’t think it’s illegitimate to look into it.” The facts for Cruz are that he was born in Alberta, Canada, to an American mother and Cuban father, and he gave up any claim to Canadian citizenship in 2014.
Cruz has responded that it is “settled law” that a child born to a U.S. citizen, even if they are abroad at the time, is “natural born citizen,” as required by the U.S. Constitution. McCain himself was born on a U.S. military base, where his father was in service in the Panama Canal zone, which was raised as an issue during 2008. At the time, the U.S. Senate approved a nonbinding resolution stating, “Whereas John Sidney McCain, III, was born to American citizens on an American military base in the Panama Canal Zone in 1936: Now, therefore, be it resolved, that John Sidney McCain, III, is a ‘natural born citizen’ under Article II, Section 1, of the Constitution of the United States.”
The Cruz campaign hit back at McCain Thursday, with communications director Rick Tyler suggesting the senator is just trying to boost Florida Sen. Marco Rubio. “I imagine that the Gang of Eight will stay together and he’ll be for Rubio, so … why not help?” he told Fox News, referencing the 2013 “gang” that worked on an immigration reform bill.
Political Insider, Donald Trump Just Named His Running Mate! Staff report, Jan. 5, 2016. Donald Trump continues to dominate every poll in key primary states for the GOP presidential primary. Trump on Tuesday named Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) when asked about his possible running mate in 2016. “Ted Cruz is now agreeing with me 100 percent,” he said when asked about his vice presidential pick, according to Lifezette.
Irish Central, “Black Irish” Ted Cruz may face birther questions of his own, James O'Shea, Dec. 15, 2015. Texas Senator Ted Cruz was born in Canada to Canadian citizens, which may become a major issue as he runs for president. Senator Ted Cruz, the right-wing Republican from Texas, is the new darling of the GOP, beating Donald Trump handsomely in Iowa polls and closing in quickly in other key states. But Cruz was born in Canada. So he cannot run for president, right? Wrong. It appears his Irish-American mother can make him eligible. But some claim his mother, Eleanor Darragh, a Canadian citizen when Cruz was born, never showed her U.S. birth certificate. While Ted Cruz may be regarded as Hispanic because of his Cuban father, the fact is that he owes his eligibility for a White House run to his mother, Eleanor Darragh.
Harvard Law Review Forum, On the Meaning of “Natural Born Citizen,” Neal Katyal and Paul Clement, March 11, 2015. 128 Harv. L. Rev. F. 161. We have both had the privilege of heading the Office of the Solicitor General during different administrations. We may have different ideas about the ideal candidate in the next presidential election, but we agree on one important principle: voters should be able to choose from all constitutionally eligible candidates, free from spurious arguments that a U.S. citizen at birth is somehow not constitutionally eligible to serve as President simply because he was delivered at a hospital abroad.
Justice Integrity Project, Donald Trump Triumphs At National Press Club, But Gets Shafted In Story, Andrew Kreig, June 2, 2014. Last week, Donald Trump gave a well-received speech to a sellout crowd at the National Press Club but then had to endure a curious variety of coverage, especially from the club's in-house report. The problem? The National Press Club "Wire" account of the speech denounced him as arrogantly persisting in a proven falsehood in raising a question about President Obama's birthplace. The account included in the news account an editorial statement that his allegation was "discredited," and failed to include Trump's explanation, which was not entirely unreasonable on its face. Separately, the Washington Post's initial story simply mocked him by cherry picking comments he had made.
Washington Post, Is Ted Cruz eligible to run for president? Ed O'Keefe and Aaron Blake, May 6, 2013. He’s only been in Washington since January, but Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) is the subject of rampant speculation that he will be a presidential candidate in 2016, particularly after his recent visit to the early-primary state of South Carolina.
Cruz Camp Responses
RealClear Politics, Judge Napolitano: Law "Solidly" On Cruz's Side On Citizenship, Trump "Doing A Service" By Getting This Out Of The Way, Staff report, Jan. 11, 2016. Legal commentator Andrew Napolitano says the law is 'solidly' on Sen. Ted Cruz's side on the "natural-born" citizenship issue: "It is well-settled, established by the Congress for a hundred years. A human being born in another country, with one parent who is a U.S. citizen, who lived in this country for at least one year during the parent's life. That is exactly Ted Cruz's situation. His mother was born here, she is an American citizen, she lived here for more than a year. She and her husband were in Canada at the time of Ted's birth. It is well-settled, he is a natural-born American citizen..."
Trump may actually be doing Cruz a service by raising this now, and getting it out of the way. Ted Cruz spent the weekend talking about this, and I can't imagine it was his favorite thing to do, but the law is solidly on his side.
Politico, Cruz, trolled by Trump, releases his mother's birth certificate, Nick Gass, Jan. 8, 2016. In another attempt to quash Trump-fueled speculation that he is not eligible for the presidency based on his Canadian birth, Ted Cruz's campaign released his mother's birth certificate to Breitbart News on Friday, showing that Eleanor Darragh was born Nov. 23, 1934, in Wilmington, Delaware. In separate statements to Breitbart, a Cruz strategist said that the candidate's mother had never been a citizen of Canada. The fact is a point of contention because while most legal scholars agree that Cruz is eligible for the presidency because his mother was born in the United States, thus making him a "natural born citizen," the question of whether his mother had ever been a Canadian citizen lingered.
Breitbart, Exclusive: Birth Certificate for Ted Cruz’s Mother, Joel B. Pollak, Jan. 8, 2016. The Cruz for President campaign provided Breitbart News exclusively with the birth certificate. Later, Ted Cruz’s own birth certificate listed his mother as “Eleanor Elizabeth Wilson.” “Elizabeth” was her mother’s first name, and “Wilson” is a surname from a previous marriage.
The Cruz campaign was responding to inquiries from Breitbart News about a document showing that both of Cruz’s parents had been named on a list of voters in Calgary for the 1974 Canadian federal election. Only Canadian citizens were (and are) able to vote in federal elections. The lists were compiled through a door-to-door process of “enumeration” by registrars, and were publicized partly so that mistakes could be corrected. According to Elections Canada – the independent, non-partisan agency that runs Canadian elections – “voters were sent a copy of the list showing the name, address and occupation of all voters in the relevant poll.” Mistakes were frequent (i.e. “Raphael” instead of “Rafael”), and voters were given the opportunity to fix errors.
Mark Levin Show, Mark Levin Explains Why Ted Cruz Is A Natural Born Citizen, Mark Levin, Sept. 17, 2013 (7:29 min.).