Cruz and Natural Born Citizen

No. He’s a *US citizen *due to his mother being a US citizen. The courts etc have never defined what “natural born citizen” means.

Moderator Note

The Second Stone, knock off the political pot shots. No warning issued, but don’t do this again.

General Questions Moderator

I’m sorry, I didn’t realize we were in General Questions.

That is true. But the current operating paradigm seems to be that if you never went through a naturalization process then you are a natural born citizen. If the SCOTUS or Congress makes a run at re-interpreting that phrase then there would an issue for Cruz and several others with thoughts of running for the presidency.

But it seems to me that the interpretation listed above is the current standard until successfully challenged.

Did you actually read that article? It is far from convincing.

I like the idea of a zombie King-President! Darn those Founding Fathers for spoiling a perfect B-movie set-up!

BTW, I never understood why John McCain’s status as a natural born citizen was ever put into question. Both of his parents were US citizens, so it really didn’t matter whether his birth occurred in the Panama Canal Zone or in Panama proper. It could have been in Mongolia, in Antarctica or on board an Italian cruise ship. It’s unclear to me why this was even a matter of discussion. :confused:

Still substantial in the 1700s, I mean. :smack:

But they still would have been voting for a zombie even then…

I’m so old that I remember pundits lamenting the fact that Kissinger couldn’t be prez. So maybe we should leave well enough alone :wink:

III, even. Double smack.

Actually, the First Congress came pretty close to it, in the first Naturalization Act:

(my underlining).

Considering that the courts have held that the actions of the First Congress are of particular weight in interpreting the Constitution, since many of the drafters sat in the the First Congress, that provision should carry considerable weight as a Congressional interpretation of what “natural born citizen” means.

The canal zone, and in particular the US laws at the time of McCain’s birth, make things trickier.

It was brought up. As was Romney’s father’s birth in Mexico to American parents.

First pf all, let’s clear up some misconceptions.

The Constitution (14 Amendment) guarantees the right of persons born in the United States to be citizens. It does not guarantee the right of persons born anywhere else to be citizens. There is no natural law or legal principle that guarantees the right of persons born to US citizens (outside the US) to be US citizens. Congress, through legislation, can create, change, or take away that right.

Being the child of a US citizen does not, by itself, make you a US citizen. Certain other conditions have to also be met. Otherwise, anyone who ever had a US citizen ancestor, no matter how far in the past, but whose family hadn’t set foot on US soil for two centuries, would be a US citizen.

The citizenship law in 1936 was different than the citizenship law today.

The Panama Canal Zone had a unique legal status in 1936. When Congress wrote the citizenship law that was in effect in 1936, they had not anticipated the formation of the Canal Zone. Hence, they inadvertently wrote the law so that it appeared that children born in the Canal Zone were not US citizens, regardless of the citizenship of their parents. Congress realized their mistake and amended the citizenship law the year AFTER McCain was born. The amended law also granted citizenship to the children of US citizens born in the Canal Zone since 1928.

The question at issue: were people (like Senator McCain) who were granted retroactive citizenship by Congress natural born citizens?

The discussion about the “natural born citizen” clause is very nice, but my interpretation of the OP’s original question is: Assuming that Cruz has Canadian and/or Cuban citizenship in addition to U.S. citizenship, is he required to renounce these before he can run for President? The answer to this question is no. There is no provision in U.S. law which excludes multiple citizen from the Presidency, provided that they are “natural born citizens”, which most scholars agree is the case for the child of U.S. citizens born abroad. The fact that somebody holds other citizenships in addition to the American one does not impinge upon their natural-bornness.

But of course, for appearance sake and politics, people running for president will most likely renounce their other citizenship - it just doesn’t help the campaign for the opponent to say “But he has ties just as strong to [insert country] and could even hold a passport.”

IIRC Kerry had French citizenship and renounced it.

Not sure if renouncing Canadian citizenship has any effect. Conrad Black renounced his citizenship in order to bypass the prime minster’s objection to him buying a British lordship. (Funny, pull a FoxNews on the PM and wonder why he disallows your peerage). Despite being a foreigner now with a conviction and time spent in a US jail, he is still allowed to come back to Canada and live here.

There was questions about Goldwater’s citizenship too. He was born in the Arizona territory before it was a state and apparently some people suggested that, like McClain, that meant Goldwater was born “outside” the United States.

And I believe there was some southern politician (I can’t recall his name) who attempted a Presidential run in the early 20th century. There was questions about his citizenship status because he had been born in the Confederacy during the Civil War.

Many things have been 'brought up" but they never really got any real media attention until the Birthers.