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Run Cruz, run!

imageWhile I personally think foreign-born Ted Cruz is eligible because he was a US citizen at birth, there is certainly an argument to be made the other way. It will be interesting to see how strong the oppo­sition to Cruz is compared with the parentage-based oppo­sition to Obama.

If Cruz is a serious candidate, it would certainly be possible for a legitimate challenger for the Republican presidential nomination to bring a lawsuit (even if it were a friendly suit) claiming that Cruz was ineligible, resulting in the adjudication of the definition of “natural born citizen” by the Supreme Court. I think that would be a good thing.

The birthers have so polluted the discussion, and popular opinion is so terribly confused, something, I think, is needed to clear the air.

14 Responses to Run Cruz, run!

  1. avatar
    Andrew Vrba, PmG January 20, 2015 at 6:49 pm #

    Can you imagine if he won? The brain of your average birther would completely cease functioning, due to a complete short out.

  2. avatar
    Gerry January 20, 2015 at 7:49 pm #

    A short circuit would require something to short against. True birthers are monopole and as such shorts are impossible. Cessation of neurological function is likely if there is any to begin with.

  3. avatar
    Jim January 20, 2015 at 8:00 pm #

    BWAHAHAHAHA!!! The Senate will pass a resolution, like they did with McCain, and the courts will consider it a political question that the Senate answered.

    Of course, if he keeps pissing off his colleagues, they might pass one claiming he isn’t. Then it could go to court! 😀

  4. avatar
    Pete January 20, 2015 at 9:10 pm #

    Gerry: Cessation of neurological function is likely if there is any to begin with.

    There is none. Nor is there any logic. So with no short circuit, and no impact on neurological function or cognitive dissonance, a Ted Cruz Presidency would affect birthers not at all.

  5. avatar
    Dave B. January 20, 2015 at 10:51 pm #

    Sort of like “Where there’s no sense, there’s no feeling.”

    Pete: There is none. Nor is there any logic. So with no short circuit, and no impact on neurological function or cognitive dissonance, a Ted Cruz Presidency would affect birthers not at all.

  6. avatar
    RanTalbott January 21, 2015 at 3:25 am #

    resulting in the adjudication of the definition of “natural born citizen” by the Supreme Court

    Although birfers are simply dead wrong, and the majority of the public are both ignorant and indifferent about the issue, the judges in the lower courts are not. Maybe there’s one out there somewhere who’d buy the Vattelist argument, but he/she would be instantly slapped down by the appeals court, and the plaintiff would be denied cert.

    I just don’t see the SCOTUS revisiting over a century of settled law because they don’t like being called “part of the cover-up” by some conspiracy nuts. Especially since their inevitable ruling would do nothing to quell the accusations.

    Opposition to Cruz will be somewhat narrower that to Obama, but will still be very strong. Partly because a lot of the racists are also prejudiced against Hispanics, but also because there are a lot of non-racists who sincerely believe that the Vattelist definition is, or at least ought to be, the law. So the debate will continue, but will be more amusing because it’ll mostly be internecine warfare. 😉

  7. avatar
    Lupin January 21, 2015 at 5:34 am #

    In many ways, the report from your Congressional Research service already did the research and came to the same conclusions we all know. Doubt exists only in the birthers’ “mind”.

  8. avatar
    RanTalbott January 21, 2015 at 5:50 am #

    Lupin: the report from your Congressional Research service

    Ah, but you’re forgetting that Congress is part of The Conspiracy™, so that report is just another example, and proof, of the cover-up. 😉

    It’d be great if someone asked the CRS to come up with another report covering the foreign-born, because that would be seen as evidence that Cruz has been hand-picked to carry on Obama’s scheme to impose Marxism (especially with him being “Cuban”). The resulting flame wars would be hilarious.

  9. avatar
    The Magic M January 21, 2015 at 5:51 am #

    resulting in the adjudication of the definition of “natural born citizen” by the Supreme Court

    With courts, you never know what you get. Even if a Cruz eligibility case were taken up by them, they might come up with a rationale that only applies to foreign-born candidates and still wouldn’t address the Vattelist Obama crowd.
    If SCOTUS reasoned a foreign-born candidate needs two citizen parents, it still wouldn’t say a thing about native-born candidates.
    (Maybe SCOTUS would say such a thing in dicta, but then birthers would again claim it’s only dicta and not a ruling on the Obama issue.)

  10. avatar
    bob January 21, 2015 at 11:38 am #

    RanTalbott: Although birfers are simply dead wrong, and the majority of the public are both ignorant and indifferent about the issue, the judges in the lower courts are not. Maybe there’s one out there somewhere who’d buy the Vattelist argument, but he/she would be instantly slapped down by the appeals court, and the plaintiff would be denied cert.

    Exactly. SCOTUS will step in only if an appellate court rules Cruz to be ineligible. And that’s never going to happen.

  11. avatar
    Voice of Reason January 21, 2015 at 5:11 pm #

    Actually, in my mind there is no legitimate argument against Cruz’s eligibility either.

    Natural born citizen means citizen at birth. It means everyone but naturalized citizens. It’s really very simple. It includes Obama, Jindal, McCain and Cruz equally.

    As someone who does constitutional law for a living, I can’t see any reasonable possibility that the Supreme Court would rule any other way, and no chance that the Supreme Court would even bother to grant cert just to say so.

  12. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy January 21, 2015 at 9:21 pm #

    That seems to be the majority opinion, shared by Jack Maskill of the Congressional Research Service, and by me.

    The argument in opposition goes something like:

    “Natural born citizen” is a term of art derived from the English Common Law term “natural born subject.” The English Common Law held that those born in the kings’ dominion were natural born subjects. The children of English natural born subjects born overseas were also natural born subjects, but by statute, not by the Common Law and the US Constitution intends “natural born citizen” to mirror the Common Law definition, and not the statutes. There are also several important early sources that talk about the Constitutional eligibility requirement as “native born.”

    The full argument is long and is made quite forcefully by blogger NBC, who has commented extensively on the issue.

    Some would argue against that view, saying that the English statutes making “natural born subjects” were merely declaratory of the Common Law. That is what Judge Sandford said in Lynch v. Clarke (NY 1844).

    My personal view is that “natural born citizen” is not a term of art at all, but a term of common usage. “Natural born” as defined by the Oxford English Dictionary has but a single definition: “Having a specified position or character by birth; used esp. with subject.” What is less known is that “native” in early usage need not refer to a place of birth, and indeed the Oxford definition for “native” is identical to “natural born” except for the reference to “subject.”

    Voice of Reason: Natural born citizen means citizen at birth. It means everyone but naturalized citizens. It’s really very simple. It includes Obama, Jindal, McCain and Cruz equally.

  13. avatar
    Lupin January 22, 2015 at 4:00 am #

    One of the reasons why I think birthers are wrong to equate Vattel’s “naturels” by “natural-born citizen” is that Vattel was influenced by Jean-Jacques Rousseau in that respect, and his use of “naturel” references a condition that would automatically predate the notion of “citizenship”:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/State_of_nature

    The French entry is (not surprisingly) better when it comes to Rousseau:

    http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/%C3%89tat_de_nature

  14. avatar
    brygenon January 23, 2015 at 7:17 am #

    Dr. Conspiracy: That seems to be the majority opinion, shared by Jack Maskill of the Congressional Research Service, and by me.

    The argument in opposition goes something like:

    “Natural born citizen” is a term of art derived from the English Common Law term “natural born subject.” The English Common Law held that those born in the kings’ dominion were natural born subjects. The children of English natural born subjects born overseas were also natural born subjects, but by statute, not by the Common Law and the US Constitution intends “natural born citizen” to mirror the Common Law definition, and not the statutes. There are also several important early sources that talk about the Constitutional eligibility requirement as “native born.”

    The full argument is long and is made quite forcefully by blogger NBC, who has commented extensively on the issue.

    Back in the day you argued it yourself, Dr. C:

    “brygenon, that is certainly a viewpoint with merit; however, one cannot make as strong case for this view as one can make for a requirement to be a citizen by virtue of being born in the territory. That is, most of the citations one can find containing the clause ‘natural born citizen’ attach it to place of birth (Lynch v Clarke, Wong, etc.). The 1732 Georgia Charter is about the only exception I know of.”
    http://www.obamaconspiracy.org/2009/06/response-to-eligibility-primer-part-2/

    You are a fair man. Whichever side you take, you look for the best in the other.

    I debated NBC on the point here. As I recall — and of course my take is bias — the thing he lambasted me for most was my reliance on argument from authority. Well, yeah. I’m still on that. Constitutional scholars are either saying Cruz is eligible or declining to opine. The loudest voices shouting that Cruz cannot be President are twofer-birthers who also scream that two actual U.S. presidents could not really be president. Odds are still against Cruz, but to the extent that his eligibility is at issue, argument from authority will be decisive.