February 3, 2016

Searching for news that there's been an official decision that Ted Cruz is a "natural born" citizen...

... my favorite result is: "Kitchen gadgets review: Looseleaf kale stripper – not a natural born kaler/Unless you work in an LA smoothie bar, you probably don’t need this gadget... It’s a great green stripper – but not a natural born kaler."

More on point is: "Ted Cruz Is A 'Natural Born Citizen,' [Illinois] Board Of Election Finds":
Two objectors... had challenged Cruz's presidential bid with the board, contending that his name should not appear on the March 15 ballot because his candidacy did not comply with Article II of the Constitution....

"The Candidate is a natural born citizen by virtue of being born in Canada to his mother who was a U.S. citizen at the time of his birth," the board said, reasoning that Cruz met the criteria because he "did not have to take any steps or go through a naturalization process at some point after birth."...
The Washington Post just put up an article, "What would it take to find out for sure if Ted Cruz (or others like him) is eligible for the presidency?" The main point is that the best way for there to be a case that could be litigated in federal court would be if a state were to exclude Cruz from its ballot, because that would give Cruz the kind of concrete injury needed to satisfy the requirement of standing.

There's also some potential for someone to sue in a state court, where standing requirements can be more lenient  (and then if Cruz were to lose in state court, he'd have the kind of injury from the state court judgment that would give him standing in the U.S. Supreme Court, which could choose to take the case).


Brando said...

Might as well have it out now and get it settled. Maybe some Cruz fans can get him knocked off the ballot in the last state to hold a primary, and get it litigated. Chances are the nomination will be clinched by the time the last state holds its primary (though would that make Cruz's case moot if the court doesn't get to his case by then?).

Anonymous said...

The whole point of "natural born citizen" is the prevention of dual loyalties. Being born with a Canadian Citizenship and not renouncing it until politically expedient is evidence enough of opportunism to me.

His whole act comes across as intelligent, snake-like opportunism to me. It's easy to be tough on immigration after Trump took all the heat initially.

We know who the tough guy is, and it sure isn't Jeb, either.

Quinn Satterwaite said...

Isn't this already decided? Our already ruled that no one had the standing to sue Obama so how to they have standing to sue Cruz?

What is it where was trying to prevent here? Obama was a secretive as possible and it didn't tie him up in court like Trump warned. Cruz already made his paperwork public.

clint said...

TCorn: "It's easy to be tough on immigration after Trump took all the heat initially."



Ted Cruz was leading the fight against "comprehensive immigration reform" in the Senate long before Donald Trump entered the race.

traditionalguy said...

They cite a Statute passed by Congress to treat foreign born children of Americans as if they are natural born citizens. That just proved that the Cruznadian was not Constitutionally " Natural Born."

MacMacConnell said...

Sure, everyone knows Congress has no powers derived from the Constitution or that the founders completely ignored English law.

mikeyes said...

Since the Constitution has a method of choosing the President and Vice President, the Electoral College, it seems we to me that the attempt to disqualify a candidate via the courts is moot. There are two points in the process in which the candidate can be challenged: at the time of the election when the electors are able to make a decision that does not have to comply with their choice in November and then when Congress ratifies the College election. As far as I can see at the Constitutional level there is no other provision for the determination of eligibility. In fact there is no reason to make a legal decision concerning "natural born citizen" except for those offices and the Constitution has already provided times to determine such eligibility.

Ann Althouse said...

"The whole point of "natural born citizen" is the prevention of dual loyalties. Being born with a Canadian Citizenship and not renouncing it until politically expedient is evidence enough of opportunism to me."

Which is a perfectly good reason to vote against him and to try to get other people to vote against him.

If you think a baby coming out of the womb of an American woman who happens to be on foreign territory at the time counts against the grown man later then give it whatever meaning it has for you as you vote and as you discuss candidates.

The specific disqualification in the Constitution shouldn't be understood to cover that triviality.

The serious matter of loyalty should be assessed for all the candidates, regardless of the location of their emergence into the outside-of-the-mother's-body world.

Thorley Winston said...


Ted Cruz was leading the fight against "comprehensive immigration reform" in the Senate when Donald Trump thought that self-deportation was “maniacal” and “mean-spirited.”


John Henry said...

14th Amendment, Section 1:

Section 1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

Note that it says "All persons born or naturalized in the United States".

Seems pretty clear. There are 2 ways to get citizenship and only 2 ways. One is to be born in the US. Cruz was not.

There is no dispute that Cruz is a citizen so he must have been "naturalized". Naturalized at birth by Congressional statute but still naturalized.

I suppose one could also say that he was not naturalized in the US, either, that he was naturalized in Canada. Does the constitution permit this? Seems like kind of a picky reading of the text but that is how lawyers make their money, with picky readings of laws and arguing over which picky reading is most correct.

Not natural born.

Note also that it does not say "born or naturalized in one of the United States". More on this anon.

John Henry

traditionalguy said...
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traditionalguy said...

I like the Professor's logic. The voters can also elect any age of President at all. That Constitution just wrote down a trivial suggestion from the mind of a White Patriarch when he was not seriously busy working to repress women and get rich off the fruits of Chattel slavery.

Maybe the voters should also rename Capital of Wisconsin that was named in honor of that white Patriarch.

The Godfather said...

I may be wrong about this, but my impression is that those who insist that Cruz is not "natural born" are all people who oppose his candidacy for other reasons. This seems to be particularly true of those who are passionate about this issue. Flogging the birther issue hasn't done Trump much good so far, and it's not likely to dissuade many voters who are considering supporting Cruz. Cruz is not my first choice for the GOP nomination, and it's my hope that others who feel the same way will advance more persuasive arguments than calling Cruz an anchor baby.

Birkel said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Birkel said...

A baby born overseas to a woman serving in the U.S. military might not be a Natural Born Citizen according to the sophomoric arguments above.

Stop the stupid.

eric said...

Mick and Trad guy hardest hit.

effinayright said...

Seems to me obvious that the Constitutional power delegated to Congress to establish "an (sic) Uniform rule of Naturalization" encompasses the power to decide who does NOT need to be naturalized.

Seems further obvious to me that whatever English common law, or Vattell, said about deciding issues of citizenship based solely on the father's nationality would fail today, under the 14th's "Equal Protection" clause, as applied to the federal government.

Statutes describing people born abroad like Cruz--one parent an American citizen---as "citizens-at-birth" is strong evidence that he's "natural born".

Note further that the children born to Americans born abroad, either to one citizen parent or two, need only to apply to a US Consulate to record that birth in order to complete the requirements of current statutes to be considered citizens-at-birth. None of those children are ever required to go through the "naturalization" process.

Further, American law does not prohibit dual citizenship, EXCEPT to those who seek to be formally naturalized. So Cruz's Canadian citizen-at-birth status has no bearing on the NBC issue.

So: the old rationale for the original NBC clause in the Constitution, plus Congress acting on its power to declare rules of Naturalization---including passage of statutes that define citizens-at-birth---plus the complete absence of any requirement that citizens so-defined undergo any further process to perfect their citizenship, make the NBC clause a dead letter.

If ever there were a case of desuetude, this is it!

clint said...

@John Henry...

I'm confused.

Are you arguing that Ted Cruz is not a citizen at all in the 14th amendment usage? (Because he was physically in Canada when he was naturalized at birth...) That's a new one to me.

But more important -- "There are 2 ways to get citizenship and only 2 ways..."

Where did it say there are *ONLY* two ways?

A: born in the U.S.
B: naturalized
C: citizen

The 14th amendment tells us A --> C and B --> C. It doesn't tell us that there is no other option. And it doesn't define "natural born citizen". Frankly, it doesn't seem relevant here.

If you want to conclude that Ted Cruz is not eligible to be President you need to argue that being the natural born child of a U.S. citizen does not make you a natural born citizen.

So make *that* argument. If you can.

@Thorley Winston-

Thanks. That's much better than the characterizations I was able to come up with for Trump's position.

Darrell said...

The Constitution doesn't define "is" either. NBC is a established term of legal art in English common law.

PuertoRicoSpaceport.com said...

Blogger The Godfather said...

I may be wrong about this, but my impression is that those who insist that Cruz is not "natural born" are all people who oppose his candidacy for other reasons.

Some may be but not me, and I am fairly passionate about opposing his qualification.

I am a liberal and there were two pretty good liberals in the race. One was Paul who was my real favorite. My second is Cruz for a variety of reasons, including his liberalism. Unfortunately, I do not think he is qualified because of his Canadian birth.

Trump is not a liberal and I disagree with many of his political views. (I support him on illegal immigration) I support him mainly for his "burn the Republican Party down" approach.

I would not give the time of day to any other candidates, including Rubio.

John Henry

Mike Sylwester said...

Because the US Constitution continues to require that any US President be a natural-born citizen, our election procedures should enable the electorate to become optimally informed about any Presidential candidate's birth circumstances.

When the issue arose about Barack Obama, however, Scientific Progressives strove zealously to prevent the release of the best document -- a state government's one-age civil-registry record from the year 1961 -- the best evidence. Scientific Progressives argued that an anonymous clerk's summary of the original document was adequate evidence. Furthermore, Scientific Progressives denounced mere discussion of the issue as racist. They insisted that the discussion was happening only because Obama's father was Black.

These zealous opinions of the Scientific Progressives prevailed from 2008 to 2011.

In 2011, however, thanks to Donald Trump, Obama was compelled to facilitate the Hawaii state government's ultra-super-top-secret one-page civil-registry record from the year 1961. Trump established a new precedent, that all future Presidential candidates should cooperate in providing to the public the best possible information about their birth circumstances when the issue arose again.

Now the issue has arisen again, and so our political process should compel Ted Cruz to provide to the electorate the best possible information about his birth circumstances. This is similar to the situation when Trump compelled Obama to ask the Hawaii state government to provide, belatedly, the best possible information.

The best possible information about Cruz's birth circumstances is possessed by the Canadian government -- in particular, its records about his parents' citizenship.

Other important information is possessed by the US Government -- in particular its records about the development of his US citizenship. For example, the US Government must have evaluated and produced various documents when passports were issued.

Since Ted's father became a Canadian citizen, it's plausible that his mother too might have applied to Canadian citizenship. Even if she applied after Ted was born, any documents about such an application should be released to the US electorate.

The enforcement mechanisms for the US Constitution's natural-born requirement are the electorate and the Electoral College.

Birkel said...

Put John Henry down in the "an American woman serving in the U.S. military overseas, who delivers a baby overseas, has a non-American child" camp.

Bastards are not natural born citizens.

Stop the stupid.

Birkel said...

Mike wishes to prove a negative. And failing that, neener!!


Mike Sylwester said...

The Godfather
... my impression is that those who insist that Cruz is not "natural born" are all people who oppose his candidacy for other reasons.

Cruz is my enthusiastic first choice in the Republican race.

cubanbob said...

TCom said...
The whole point of "natural born citizen" is the prevention of dual loyalties. Being born with a Canadian Citizenship and not renouncing it until politically expedient is evidence enough of opportunism to me.

His whole act comes across as intelligent, snake-like opportunism to me. It's easy to be tough on immigration after Trump took all the heat initially.

We know who the tough guy is, and it sure isn't Jeb, either.

2/3/16, 7:25 AM"

I gather you didn't vote for Obama either since as far as it is known he has never renounced his dual citizenships and unlike Cruz who is running for president but isn't the president.

PuertoRicoSpaceport.com said...


I am not arguing that Cruz is not a citizen. I am not even arguing that he has been a citizen from birth. It simply occurs to me that some lawyer might make that argument since 14A could, possibly, be read as requiring naturalization for someone born outside of the US to a US citizen mother.

It would certainly be in the powers of congress to rewrite the statute to provide for that. Probably not retroactively. At one point in the not too distant past, that was the case.

What I was pointing out was that the Constitution provides only two ways to become a citizen:

1) Be born in the US
2) Be naturalized. ("in" the US?)

Since Cruz is a citizen and does not meet #1, he must meet #2. Unless you can point to a 3rd way to gain citizenship in the Constitution?

My father-in-law was born in Puerto Rico in 1913. Puerto Ricans were not US citizens at the time. In 1917, Congress passed a law making all persons born in PR US citizens, unless they opted out. He did not go through any naturalization ceremony or get any papers, he was simply made a citizen by statute of Congress. That made him a "naturalized" citizen.

Later, before my wife was born, Congress enacted a statute that PR is part of "The United States" for citizenship purposes. My wife is a natural born citizen, 14A, citizen by virtue of being born in the US. (She was born in PR)She can run for president if she wishes.

Persons born after 1917 but before the later clarifications are definitely US citizens from birth but, because PR was not specifically part of "The United States" it is not clear whether they were citizens by virtue of being born in the US or by virtue of Congressional statute.

Unless they ran for president, this had no practical effect but it is an interesting and unclear point of trivia.

Birkel said...

Stop lying, Mike. You do not support Cruz. You have never written a single supportive thing about Cruz.

Get better at lying.

PuertoRicoSpaceport.com said...

So Ann,

Would you be OK with Arnold Schwarzenhegger running for prez as some wished a few years back when he was still looking good?

He is clearly a naturalized citizen but if the people voted for him and the electors did their duty and elected him, should that allow him to take office?

I suspect that you will answer "no" because he is clearly not natural born.

In that case, why would Cruz be any different simply because he might be natural born? Or might not be.

John Henry

PuertoRicoSpaceport.com said...

Blogger Birkel said...
Put John Henry down in the "an American woman serving in the U.S. military overseas, who delivers a baby overseas, has a non-American child" camp.

Why, Birkel?

When have I ever denied Cruz' citizenship? When have I ever denied the citizenship of any child born to a US Citizen mother regardless of where the birth occurs? Subject to the laws regarding age, residency and so on.

My question is not about Cruz' citizenship. As far as I can tell he is a statutory US citizen from birth.

My only question about Cruz is whether he was "natural born" in the meaning of the Constitution.

John Henry

PuertoRicoSpaceport.com said...

Unless Cruz mother formally renounced her US citizenship at a US Embassy, I do not see that her possibly being a Canadian citizen would change Ted Cruz citizenship.

Mom would have still been an American citizen as well as a Canadian one. I think the same laws would apply to Cruz' citizenship.

John Henry

eric said...

Why, Birkel?

Because of what you wrote earlier.

Note that it says "All persons born or naturalized in the United States".

Seems pretty clear. There are 2 ways to get citizenship and only 2 ways. One is to be born in the US. Cruz was not.

It seems clear Cruz wasn't born in the USA nor was he naturalized in the USA. He was born a citizen before ever arriving.

So, it seems like you're saying he isn't even a citizen.

eric said...

Since Cruz is a citizen and does not meet #1, he must meet #2. Unless you can point to a 3rd way to gain citizenship in the Constitution?

The constitution gives the authority to Congress. Congress has stated that being born to parents abroad makes one a US Citizen. This appears to be a third way, based off of your definitions.

Birkel said...

I assume the next line of "I'm only asking…" will be whether he was unnaturally born, somehow.

The questions you and others pose are actively stupid. I appreciate a good clown show as the much as the next guy. But you have to wear the over-large shoes when you are "only asking questions". Without the clown shoes and the red nose, I won't properly be able to tell if you are as big a fool as you are leading me to believe.

"Does a C-Section count? Is that an "unnatural" birth under the Constitution? For realz!?!

mikee said...

Hillary was born in the US of US citizens. But she is as natural as a bag of styrofoam peanuts coated with cyanide salts.

Talk about Cruz all you want. Hillary is preparing to steal herself an election, and nobody supporting her seems to care that she should be in jail instead of in a presidential race. That she is not disqualified from running by her own supporters is an indictment on the US political scene that this country may not survive.

Mike Sylwester said...

Stop lying, Mike. You do not support Cruz. You have never written a single supportive thing about Cruz. Get better at lying.

Read what I wrote on January 15.


Birkel said...

So, your link proves me correct.

Now what?

Todd said...

As a famous politician once said, "At this point, what difference does it make?"

According to our betters, this "living, breathing" constitution we have no longer seems to care about what a bunch of old, slave owning, capitalistic, white men thought. With our phones & pens, taxes versus penalties, eminent domain for economic advantage, etc. pretty much anything and everything is not only OK but very likely a right. So just sit back, pop a brew, heat some popcorn, and enjoy the show. Hell what are the Vegas odds that the next President of the U.S. of A. will be a dyed in the wool socialist?!?

mccullough said...

Cruz is an originalist. The question for an originalist is whether the following person is a natural born citizen within the meaning of Article II:

A male child born in a foreign country to parents who were subject to the jurisdiction of that foreign country at the time he was born and whose mother was a US citizen at the time he was born and whose father had been a legal immigrant to the US but not a citizen and who was a foreign national of a different country than the country in which the child was born.

Churchill's mom was an American as well.

Birkel said...

So another idiot enters the fray. Wonderful.

If a female American armed services personnel has a bastard child overseas, it is not a Natural Born Citizen.

That is the position you must defend or stop the stupidity.

gadfly said...

I am in Ted Cruz's corner on this but if the courts say no, then Trump's Scotland-born mother should take him out as well.

For those who have forgotten, the Obama birther controversy was twisted to portray the issue as other than the fact that Barry has successfully hidden his early life and college year's from view - and he has never produced a valid birth certificate from the State of Hawaii. All investigations by Trump, Sheriff Joe and others have proven his that his many attempts to produce a birth certificates are all fraudulent.

Etienne said...

It's an abortion of the language to suggest "naturalized at birth" is the same as "naturally born".

But, who cares, I think the Queen should have a President in our Country. It couldn't get any worse...

Etienne said...

The Dallas Morning News: "Alberta-born Sen. Ted Cruz has given up his Canadian dual citizenship. The renunciation became official on May 14, 2014...".

If you're confused, that's the way the game is played. Grab some chips, and go watch the Family Guy...

mikeyes said...

This is a non-issue, although Mr. Trump is using it as a lever per his usual tactics.
State election boards will take the candidate's word as to his or her eligibility - it is a sworn statement, after all - and no individual has standing as shown by the birther attempts in the last cycle. There is no law that forbids a naturalized citizen from running for the office and there is no clear indication that the term "natural born" has a legal meaning other than in the Constitution as a factor of eligibility. A naturalized citizen may have trouble convincing the Electors that he or she is natural born, whatever that means, however, due to custom and due to the obvious fact that they were not a citizen of the US for a long time it is unlikely that one would even try.
The courts are not going to interpret the term in the middle of an election (they will rely on the standing issue) and you can't disenfranchise the Electors because they have an obligation to vote their conscience (even if state laws forbid it) under the Constitution (you would be violating their Constitutional rights) thus they are arbitrators of the process along with Congress. In the event that Senator Cruz's Electors are selected, then the College and the Congress will make the decision about eligibility, not the courts. Remember, you don't vote for the person in our system.
There are no legal rulings on this subject, I don't think that other than the Constitution there are no laws pertaining to it either. Naturalization is a totally different thing that the term used in the Constitution and is in a separate section of the Constitution.

Birkel said...


What would naturalized at birth mean? You are free to pretend that is a thing. The rest of us are free to acknowledge that you made that shit up.

Etienne said...

mikeyes said...This is a non-issue...

Sort of like fresh water is so over-rated in city plumbing.

Etienne said...

Birkel said......you made that shit up...

Yep. I invented Latin.

So you are saying that jus sanguinis and jus soli are synonymous?

OK, thanks for the education.

P.S. do a google search on "naturalized at birth" and if you don't get 50,000 links let me know...

PuertoRicoSpaceport.com said...

Here in Puerto Rico the subject of citizenship is something is frequently discussed. Back in 1988 I had a conversation with my wife's cousin about it. He was a state representative and a lawyer of considerable experience. Always seemed like a pretty knowledgeable guy. He said that a person born in PR would not be able to run for Prez because they did not meet the natural born clause. We agreed that the person would be a US citizen at birth but he held that they were born outside of the US and thus not "natural born". I disagreed, pointing out that US Statute says that, for citizenship, "The United States" includes PR, the USVI, Guam and DC. The Marianas were added in the 90s.

So I decided to see if I could get a ruling out of the Federal Election Commission (FEC) I figured my request would get more attention if it were coming from a Presidential candidate so I registered for the 1988 election as an independent. Then I asked if a person born in PR (not mentioning that I was born in NY) would be eligible under the natural born clause.

I got the following letter back.


Dear Mr Henry,

I apologize for taking so long to answer your enquiry of March 19 regarding the definitions of "natural born citizen". Since this is outside the domain of the Federal Election Commission I was obliged to contact the Immigration and Naturalization Service whose General Counsel defines "natural born citizen" as being anyone born in the continental United States, Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, Guam or the Virgin Islands.

Presumably then, a Puerto Rican would qualify for the presidency provided all other Constitutional conditions have been met.

I hope this is helpful to you and again apologize for the delay.


William Kimberling
Deputy Director
National Clearinghouse on Election Administration

You can see a copy of the letter at http://www.packmachbook.com/fec-citizen.jpg

I would not bet the rent on this meaning a whole lot though it did shut my wife's cousin up.

Running for president was also interesting. I got about a dozen invitations to speak or participate at 3rd party events and debates. Since none would pay for my time or even expenses, I declined. I may also be unique in that I did not receive even one popular vote. Living in PR I could not vote for myself and my mother told me "Don't be silly" when I asked her to.

My daughter was in the 5th grade and got very upset for a few days. She was convinced I was going to win and she would have to move to DC away from her school and friends. It is nice when kids are that age and have such faith in their parents!

John Henry

mccullough said...


Babies born on US military bases overseas aren't subject to the jurisdiction of other countries. Neither are children of diplomats.

Cruz is an originalist. Under an originalist approach, he might not be a natural born citizen as that term was understood in 1787. Cruz knows this.

PuertoRicoSpaceport.com said...


I suspect that you are one of the few blogs that has a former presidential candidate commenting regularly.

I hope you recognize that and treat me with the respect that my status merits. Somewhere between none and a little bit.

John Henry

mccullough said...

Ted Cruz was a Canadian citizen at birth and a U.S. citizen at birth, by statute. None of the other candidates needed a statute to confer citizenship on them. They were citizens because they were born here, which means they are natural born citizens since no act of congress was required to naturalize them.

Maybe Cruz should give up originalism as he gave up his Canadian citizenship.

PuertoRicoSpaceport.com said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
PuertoRicoSpaceport.com said...

eric said...

The constitution gives the authority to Congress. Congress has stated that being born to parents abroad makes one a US Citizen. This appears to be a third way, based off of your definitions.

No, not a third way. Congress passing a law making the a child born to a mother abroad a citizen is naturalization. The second of the two ways I mentioned.

Same way my father in law was naturalized back in 1917. Congress made a law and Voila! He and every other PR who did not opt out was a US citizen. A naturalized US citizen.

John Henry

mikeyes said...

The term "natural born" has not been defined legally or by statute and is not the same as the naturalization clause in section one of the Contstitution. It is part of the eligibility standard set down by the Constituion for the office of Presicent but does not define itself. Naturalized citizens are such by law and they have to fulfill the requirements of the law as set by Congress. This has varied over the years as mentioned above but it doesn't necessarily mean that you are not a natural born citizen since there is no definition set by congress or an examination of the Constitution by SCOTUS.
Under the Constitution the Electors vote for President and Vice President, no one else does, you vote for the Electors who are free to do what they please, state laws notwithstanding . The Congress then ratifies the count. Period. The President can be removed by impeachment and trial or by a signed declaration of the Vice President and a majority of the exeutive officers (or "whoever shal be appointed by Congress") but then there is a battle between the president and Congress/Vice President. Only at these points, the Election by Electors or by petition from the Vice President can that eligibility requirement be litigated.
States can have qualification requirements as to who is on the ballot, but they cannot deny write-ins, at least not without a lot of problems. I doubt that any state wants to be the one that defines "natural born" (age 35 is pretty universally accepted) as another state might have different ideas. Hence in the two attempts to disqualify Senator Cruz, the election boards of NH and IL have demurred.

Birkel said...


When did I write "on a U.S. military base" for that to enter thee discussion.

Try again.

Birkel said...

I suppose all those babies born in U.S. territories before statehood was conferred were not Natural Born Citizens even though both parents were American.

You lot are daft.

Birkel said...

Native Americans are not Natural Born Citizens if born on a reservation, right?

mikeyes said...

In 1924 the Snyder Act made Native Americans citizens and the Nationlity Act of 1940 made sure that every Native American born in the US was a citizen. There are still persons born in American Somoa who are American nationals but not citizens unless one parent was a citizen. In order to become a citizen they have to live in the States for three months and then apply for naturalization. American Samoa has the highest rate of recruitment for the US Armed Forces in the US and territories. It is the only territory which does not confer automatic Us citizenship at birth. The primary reason this is occurring seems to be opposition from AS political leaders who don't want the laws allowing only Samoans to own certain land in the islands.
No one seemed to have a problem with Barry Goldwater who was born in the AZ territory.

Birkel said...

Thank you, mikeyes, for mentioning the Goldwater example. I knew there was a good example out there and could not remember precisely what it was.

These true-unbelievers think all those acts of Congress you mention are inconsequential. They believe so damned hard.

Hammond X. Gritzkofe said...

Somebody on one of these threads was all exercised about Ted Cruz "dirty tricks."

Seems he sent out "VOTER VIOLATION" notices instructing folks to clear the violation by voting for him.

Here in South Texas the candidates pay Politiqueros to round up low information voters at the Adult Day Care places and haul them to the polls by the van-load.

Ted figured how to get low information voters to drive themselves to the polls. Nice move. Bunch of other, more savvy citizens, probably converted to Cruz out of admiration for a guy who can think outside the box.

Seems there was a rumor spread about Dr. Carson withdrawing.

Those low information voters - the ones who make decisions based on rumor - are out there to be harvested, one way or another.

Looks like a two-fer: 1) harvest those low information voters; 2) draw attention to the problem of over enfranchisement.

John henry said...

Goldwater was born in "the United States" under the 14th A.

Not in a state but in the United States.

Try another example.

McCain was not born in the US and is a statutory citizen like Cruz.

The Panama Canal zone, unlike pr,guam, arizona and other places has never been recognized as theUS for citizenship.

John Henry

The Godfather said...

I'm backing Rubio, but -- after reading all the comments on this thread -- I think the claim that Cruz is disqualified is silly. What "naturally born" means is not a clear bright-line issue (like, for example, the age requirement). You can easily read the "naturally born" requirement so that Cruz meets it. Yes, it's possible to read the requirement differently, but no serious court is going to intefere with a presidential election on such flimsy grounds.

The Godfather said...

This discussion reminds me of Shakespeare. In "the Scottish play" (it's a theater superstition not to call it "M*cB*th"), the witches (the "weird sisters") told MacBeth (it's OK to use the character's name, just not the name of the play) that he could not be killed by "one of woman born". But in the climactic battle scene, his enemy MacDuff tells him he "was from his mother’s womb untimely ripped" (a primative caesarian delivery I assume). MacDuff then goes on to kill MacBeth.

Although I think many commenters on this thread would assert that MacDuff was indeed "of woman born", notwithstanding the unusual circumstances of his birth, MacBeth nevertheless was killed.

And if Cruz wins the election, he will be "naturally born".

Birkel said...

John Henry:

If it was not a state, then it could not have been united, as a state, into the United States.

NOTE: I am mocking you and all the other truthers. Pedantry in the service of presidential elections is fun for everybody.

mccullough said...


Sounds like you are not an originalist like Ted Cruz. You keep giving hypotheticals that are supposed to make us think "that would be unfair." Originalism doesn't give a shit about fair. Originalism doesn't give a shit if Congress passes a statute that naturalized certain people as US citizens at birth. Originalism doesn't give a shit about what people think the purpose of the natural born citizen clause is.

Originalism asks, at the time a provision of a Constituion was adopted, what did it mean? In 1787, a natural born citizen was someone born in the United States or someone born in another country who was subject to the jurisdiction of the US and not another country (if the ambassador to France's son is born in Paris he is a natural born citizen).

Cruz isn't a natural born citizen. He was born in Canada and subject to the jurisdiction of Canada.

Your argument would persuade Justice Ginsburg and Justice Brennan, but they aren't originalists. Ted Cruz is a hypocrite. He is for originalism until it goes against him.

mikeyes said...

The Fourteenth Amendment has nothing to do with the eligibility question, it is derived from a different part of the Constitution that does not address this issue. Conflating naturalization and "natural born" is acyrologic as they are very different.

mccullough said...

McCain was not subject to the jurisdiction of Panama at birth. His father was in the military so he was not immune from the laws of Panama.

So under originalism, McCain was a natural born citizen. McCain was never a citizen of Panama, unlike Cruz who was a citizen of Canada because he was born there and his parents were subject to Canadaian law since they weren't diplomats or other US government officials.

Birkel said...

The Indian Nations are not part of the United States, as of 1787.
Therefore, mccullough would argue Native s born on reservations are not Natural Born Citizens.

Make the argument, mccullough. Quit dodging this important issue. Be the originalist -- in all its fanciful glory -- that you claim to be.

mccullough said...


I never claimed to adhere to originalism like Ted Cruz. Your reading comprehension is weak and you keep displaying your ignorance as to originalism. You can ask as many petulant questions as you want but it doesn't change the fact that Ted Cruz was not a natural born citizen, as that term was understood at the time the Constitution was adopted.

He was not born in the United States. Neither of his parents were diplomats when he was born so they and Ted were subject to the laws of Canada not the US. And, to round it out, to the extent an originalist would look to British statutes in effect at the time the Constitution was adopted (as opposed to only the British common law which natural born meant born on British soil or born to a British ambassador of foreign soil) British citizenship based on blood was only patrilineal at the time. Since Cruz' father was not a US citizen, Ted can change ould not have been a natural born citizen as defined by British statute at the time the Constitution was adopted.

Glad to be of help in eradicating your ignorance on the original understanding of the natural born citizen clause in Article II. Now you can answer all your own questions on who would and who would not be a natural born citizen under originalism, the interpretive approach Ted Cruz says he believes is the only way to interpret the Constitution.

Etienne said...

Birkel said...[petulance deleted]

I think you should thank mccullough for suffering through your childish antics, and not only answering your questions, but expanding on the concepts that you appear to be ignorant of.

There is positively no way to read the Constitution, or the Amendments, and conclude that a man born on Mars is an Earthling, nor a man born in Canada is an American.

The question then becomes, should we care?

That answer is no. America should be full-speed in ending rights of citizenship by soil. We no longer have vast open spaces to populate, and fresh water to sustain any real growth, like in the 19th Century.

This means, that while Cruz is not natural born, there is no one in government willing to make this an issue, and the people are powerless to convince a majority of their representatives to object.

I believe Ireland was the last European nation to get rid of rights of soil citizenship, and the USA, Canada, and South America should follow Europe on this basic citizenship grant.

Else, we will have an anchor baby invasion that will end this country in a way we could have never expected.

Cuba, Mexico, and Honduras will take over this country by coitus.

Etienne said...

The United States has four ways you can become a citizen.

1) You are born under the flag, OR to parents who have allegiance to the country (you are NOT naturalized, you are natural).
This includes diplomats, and soldiers, and their families in foreign lands. A soldier sent to Germany with his wife, and producing a child, has a natural born child, regardless of whether the child was born in the street, on a street car, in a German hospital, or in an American hospital. This also includes a woman who walks across the Mexican or Canadian border and drops a baby on American soil.(jus soli).

2) You are born from at least one person who has 100% American blood, anywhere in the world. In this case, you are a blood American, and you are "naturalized at birth". (jus sanguinis).

3) You are born anywhere in the world, and you emigrate to America. After a certain amount of time, you can be naturalized.

4) Congress grants you citizenship [for example, non-citizen soldiers who serve honorably in one of our military or intelligence (CIA, NSA, etc) branches].

PuertoRicoSpaceport.com said...

No Birkel, "the Unitied States", as an entity does not consist solely of the states. If it did, those born in DC would be out in the cold.

"The United States", for citizenship purposes, is clearly defined in the Code of Federal Regulations. Don't have time to look up the exact wording but you could if you wanted to.

"The United States" is the 50 states, DC, Puerto Rico, Guam, USVI and Marianas Islands. In 1909, it would have included the territory of Arizona.

John Henry

PuertoRicoSpaceport.com said...


Except for being born in the United States, as defined by Congress in the CFR, all of the methods of obtaining citizenship are statutory, not Constitutional.

Congress could, if it wanted to, change the statutes. It could do away with all naturalization, including birth to a US mother outside the US. It could say that a child of a US mother could only become a citizen on application for naturalization at age 18. It could say that the child could never become a citizen. It could say the mother could not have lived outside of the US for more than a year. It could say that the child had to stand on the Capital dome and sing Yankee Doodle Dandy. It could say anything it wanted and there would be nothing anyone could do about it.

There are two classes of citizenship: Constitutional and statutory. I suspect that even you would agree that Cruz gets his citizenship by statute. Authorized, but not required, by the Constitution. This is true whether or not he is natural born for presidential purposes.

If Congress eliminated the statute defining "The United States" would those born in territories still be citizens by, as opposed to at, birth? Maybe, maybe not. The courts would have to decide on the meaning of "The United States" in the 14th Amendment.

Birkel said...


So patrilineal only, despite the 14th Amendment to the Constitution? You are asking an originalist to ignore Constitutional Amendments since passed? Shall Ted Cruz, to your understanding, also be forced to admit the First Amendment is of no force?

What an odd little world you inhabit. And it is exactly this type of idiocy I intended to draw out of you stupid, stupid lot.

Birkel said...


Anchor babies are a completely separate issue. Ask Althouse to start a thread on anchor babies and perhaps we could find some common ground.

This is not that thread.

Birkel said...

I agree, John Henry, children born in D.C., by the rules offered by you and others in this thread, cannot be elected President.

Finally, we have some agreement.

Because that is the only logical outcome for the rule you advocate, stupid that it is.

Birkel said...

John Henry,

Having just read the Constitution of the United States, I fail to see where it addresses citizenship outside the 14th Amendment. Could you please point me to exactly where the constitutional citizenship clause is, within the original document?

Or is only the 14th Amendment on point? If so, you might want to address mccullough, who seems to think an originalist must have a position on a matter that wasn't in the original document.

Thanks in advance for not answering any point I raise, ever.

John Henry said...


Huh? I thought I was pretty explicit that children born in DC are born in the United States and have the same, Constitutional, citizenship as a child born in New York, California, Guam or anywhere else in the United States. Assuming they are not diplomats etc.

Re where does citizenship appear in the Constitution: Why are you asking me about points raised by McCullough. You should ask him/her.

No idea what McCullough thinks on this point. For me an originalist would be someone who sticks to the Constitution which includes the amendments. The only place I know of that it addresses acquisition of citizenship is the 14th Ammendment. Since I don't think there is anyone alive who was born before the 14th was adopted, it would be moot anyway. 14A would supersede anything.

Are you saying that an originalist would have to ignore the Bill of Rights since they are amendments?

Which points of yours do you feel I have failed to answer? Let me know and I'll either point you to my answers or take a shot at answering them.

John Henry

Birkel said...

John Henry,

I am mocking all of you. Sorry that you fail to follow.

The things people would have to believe, if they truly believe what they write about their beliefs (e.g. above), would require they believe ridiculous things. One would have to believe Native Americans born on reservations, babies born in D.C. and former presidential candidate Barry Goldwater are not Natural Born Citizens (a term not defined in the U.S. Constitution) in order to sincerely believe Cruz is not a Natural Born Citizen.

One would also have to believe a term that is not defined in the U.S. Constitution cannot be defined by statute or updated by Amendments.

The effort to discredit Cruz -- like the effort to discredit Obama -- when each had an American citizen mother operate only to discredit those who would argue these absurdities.

Fools, the lot.