Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Is Cruz eligible to be president?

Ted Cruz is not eligible to be president, and I will tell you why. In the Constitution it says that the president must be "natural born." Like a few other parts of the document (like amendment 2), it is unclear, which leads to many arguments about what it means. To figure it out, we need to think like it is 1787 again.

When they wrote the clause, the intent was to be sure that the president would be free of being influenced or having loyalty to a foreign power. A lawyer, St. George Tucker, wrote about the reasoning, saying that the clause was "a happy means of security against foreign influence" and that the "admission of foreigners into our councils, consequently, cannot be too much guarded against."

In the late 18th century there was no such thing as dual-citizenship. It did not exist until a century later, in the late 19th century. So the founding fathers did not think about it when writing the Constitution. Going by the spirit of the founders, I think that anyone who is a citizen of another country, even while retaining US citizenship, is not eligible. How does letting a person be president be a citizen of another country in this case guard against a loyalty to another country?

I know that Representative Alan Grayson (R-Florida) has a lawsuit ready to file the day Cruz wins the nomination (if he does) and it will go to the courts. I would be interesting, especially hearing Republicans defend Cruz after years of saying Obama was not a citizen.

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