Top lawyers: 'No question' Canada-born Cruz eligible for presidency
Two former top Justice Department lawyers say there is “no question” Ted Cruz is eligible for the presidency, in a new Harvard Law Review article that seeks to put to rest any doubt about the Texas Republican.
“Despite the happenstance of a birth across the border, there is no question that Senator Cruz has been a citizen from birth and is thus a ‘natural born Citizen’ within the meaning of the Constitution,” write Neal Katyal and Paul Clement in an article published March 11. “There are plenty of serious issues to debate in the upcoming presidential election cycle. The less time spent dealing with specious objections to candidate eligibility, the better.”
Cruz was born in 1970 in Canada, where his parents were working in Calgary’s oil industry. His mother was born in the United States (Delaware, to be exact) and his father was born in Cuba. Cruz has said he didn’t realize until the Dallas Morning News pointed out that he was automatically a citizen of the United States and Canada when he was born, so he officially renounced his Canadian citizenship last year.
He is considering a 2016 presidential bid and told a New Hampshire audience this weekend to “stay tuned.”
The Harvard Law Review article is notable because it is a bipartisan assessment that Cruz meets the Constitution’s requirement that the president be a “natural born citizen.” Katyal was an acting solicitor general in the Obama administration from May 2010 to June 2011. Clement was solicitor general from 2004 to 2008 in the Bush administration and is, perhaps, best known nationally among conservatives for arguing the case against President Obama’s health care law before the Supreme Court in 2012.
Katyal and Clement review the intent and meaning behind “natural born citizen,” going back to the Founding Fathers. The question about citizenship and presidential eligibility has also affected Barry Goldwater, George Romney and John McCain over the years — and all met the Constitutional test.
Katyal and Clement conclude in their article:
As Congress has recognized since the Founding, a person born abroad to a U.S. citizen parent is generally a U.S. citizen from birth with no need for naturalization. And the phrase “natural born Citizen” in the Constitution encompasses all such citizens from birth. Thus, an individual born to a U.S. citizen parent — whether in California or Canada or the Canal Zone — is a U.S. citizen from birth and is fully eligible to serve as President if the people so choose.