Category Archives: Politics

Ted Cruz’s Eligibility to Seek the U.S. Presidency

Research assistance by Patrick Schattilly. He is on Facebook and Twitter


In a speech at Liberty University, on March 23, 2015, Senator Ted Cruz (R, Texas) became the first official candidate to announce his intentions to seek the 2016 Republican Presidential nomination.

There has certainly been an abundance of excitement surrounding Ted Cruz’s announcement among those identified as conservatives. On the other side, suspicion concerning his eligibility has arisen and maintained a presence for some time. There are people contending that Cruz is not eligible since he is not a “natural born citizen.” Those making this argument are citing his birth certificate as evidence of affirmation of him being born in Calgary, Alberta, on December 22, 1970.

Those that have challenged his eligibility have made the assertion that Cruz does not qualify due to his Canadian birth. They contend that his birthplace disqualifies him since the U.S. Constitution requires the nation’s president to be ‘a natural born Citizen or a Citizen.’

So, is it settled that Ted Cruz is not eligible?

Ted Cruz himself believes the legal case is closed concerning his eligibility. During an exclusive television interview, Cruz stated that

The facts are clear. I was born in Calgary. My parents — as a legal matter, my mother is an American citizen by birth. And it’s been federal law for over two centuries that the child of an American citizen born abroad is a citizen by birth, a natural born citizen.

But is that really the case according to the law?

Legislative Clarification

There is certainly plenty of speculation concerning the meaning of “natural born citizen” in the legislative hemisphere. In an effort to provide clarity, there have been individuals who have addressed the matter of Cruz’s citizenship concerning his presidential eligibility. In the Harvard Law Review, Neal Katyal and Paul Clement, who both served as the U.S. solicitor general, stated that Cruz qualifies as a ‘natural born citizen.’

The arguments linchpin is in Cruz being considered a citizen by birth. His natural born citizenship is granted to him under section 301(c) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). He received his citizenship through his mother, who was a U.S. citizen since his parents were legally married to each other at the time and place of his birth under the Canadian law.

U.S. Constitution Correlation

The Fourteenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution implies the definition of a “natural born citizen” according to Senator Jacob Howard (D), who sponsored the citizenship clause, by meaning that

Every person born within the limits of the United States, and subject to their jurisdiction, is by virtue of natural law and national law a citizen of the United States. This will not of course, include persons born in the U.S. who are foreigners, aliens, who belong to the families of ambassadors or foreign ministers accredited to the [U.S.] Government… but will include every other class of persons. It settles the great question of citizenship and removes all doubt as to what persons are or are not citizens of the United States. This has long been a great desideratum in the jurisprudence and legislation of this country.

Even Duggin asserts in an article concerning Cruz’s eligibility that there is a developing scholarly consensus affirming that anyone who inherits U.S. citizenship at birth qualifies as “a natural born citizen.” Thus, it is safe to assert that Ted Cruz is considered eligible to hold the office of the presidency in accordance with the U.S. Constitution in consideration of this line of thinking. Those that desire to retort this logic need to remember that our current is considered eligible through this same line of thinking.

Let Your Thoughts be Heard

Does this information resolve skepticism of Cruz’s eligibility? Is the skepticism surrounding his eligibility an issue? Will concerns surrounding his eligibility affect him in the Republican nomination or presidential race? What do you think?

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