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Donald Trump and the “perfect storm”

Hardly had the words left the mouth of Ted Cruz that he was a candidate for president, than Donald Trump expressed doubts about his eligibility. Trump said:

It’s a hurdle and somebody could certainly look at it very seriously. He was born in Canada … if you know … and when we all studied our history lessons … you’re supposed to be born in this country. So I just don’t know how the courts would rule on it. But it’s an additional hurdle that he has that no one else seems to have.

Well, Mr. Trump, perhaps you are the one to settle the issue. Trump famously suggested that he could take credit for Obama’s release of his long-form birth certificate in April of 2011. Can Trump also settle the question of what “natural born citizen means” in 2016?

The questions raised about the American-born Obama represented legal issues that were long settled, said several court decisions. One court said that it was not necessary to re-invent the wheel. I believe that is why none of the birther appeals to the Supreme Court were heard—there was no controversy. That cannot be said for the foreign-born Ted Cruz. I know of no clear legal precedent that the courts could apply.

Several birthers suggest that the Cruz candidacy is nothing more than attempt to settle Obama’s eligibility (not that birthers are interested in settling anything except that they are right). From Birther Report:

As I said before, I think Ted Cruz is a good guy. I keep hoping that this is his way of exposing Obama by making the question national debate.

— WingCommander

Early in the Obama controversy, I found a 1968 law review article by professor Charles Gordon that led me to expect a judicial solution to shutting up the birthers. What I did not take into account was the fact that Obama’s candidacy raised no legitimate legal questions. Gordon wrote:

Under the presidential qualification clause of the Constitution, only “natural-born” citizens are qualified for this highest office. It is clear enough that native-born citizens are eligible and that naturalized citizens are not.

“Clear enough,” he says. Gordon’s paper was written in the context of a possible run for president by George Romney, born in Mexico. The Gordon article applies to Cruz, not Obama. Gordon raises several scenarios where the definition of “natural born citizen” might be adjudicated. One is the case of a rival candidate suing in state court to keep a foreign-born opponent off the ballot. This was, of course, tried by birthers, but sloppily, and not with a plaintiff who was a viable candidate as plaintiff. The vast majority of birther eligibility lawsuits were dismissed for lack of standing.

Donald Trump, should he formally announce, for President would be considered a (struggling for a word here) “legitimate” challenger to Cruz. Trump could certainly hire a competent lawyer and the case would get national attention. Especially if Trump could get a favorable ruling in a state court, this would be a situation ripe for a federal declarative judgment.

So, Mr. Trump, will Trump v Cruz go down in the history books as the case that defined “natural born citizen”?

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54 Responses to Donald Trump and the “perfect storm”

  1. avatar
    y_p_w March 25, 2015 at 2:35 am #

    I believe John McCain was the first major candidate in a general election for President (born after the Constitution) who wasn’t born in the United States. Of course there was that grandfather clause for those who were citizens at the time of the Constitution’s passing.

    Of course that didn’t stop the mental gymnastics of his supporters. There were incorrect claims based on the myth that a US military base is considered “American soil”. The Panama Canal Zone was considered unincorporated US territory, but the only birthright from being born there would have been noncitizen US nationality, which clearly doesn’t make for a “natural born citizen”. Congress passed laws to specifically address birth in the Panama Canal Zone to US citizens as well as in Panama itself to US government employees or workers of the Panama Railroad Company that operated the canal. However, those went into effect after McCain’s birth.

    I think the real deal is that he was born to two US citizens and that provided they had lived in the US at one time that they qualified to pass on US citizenship to John.

  2. avatar
    Lupin March 25, 2015 at 2:56 am #

    Let’s agree to ignore the imbecile, shall we?

  3. avatar
    bookfiend75 March 25, 2015 at 4:10 am #

    I think most people here are of the opinion that there are only two ways to become a U.S. Citizen: you are either born a citizen or you naturalize at some point in your life. Since Sen. Cruz became a U.S. Citizen at birth through his mother’s citizenship, then he is an NBC. It is interesting to look at and debate the other facets of his birth (citizenship of his father, location of his birth) but they seem to be of a more academic nature than a true crisis in our qualifications for candidates for POTUS. Having some type of “fully defined” version of the NBC clause from the SCOTUS would probably be beneficial, but even then you wouldn’t be able to please everyone.

  4. avatar
    Slartibartfast March 25, 2015 at 4:42 am #

    Sure, Trump is an ass, but, should he get on a primary ballot, he is perfectly within his rights to bring litigation against Rafael claiming that he is ineligible. I think it is unlikely, but it is certainly within the realm of possibility that he could actually win such a case. While I doubt many of the Cruz birthers understand the nuances, the position that he is not natural born is a reasonable one unless and until it is contradicted by the courts.

  5. avatar
    The Magic M (not logged in) March 25, 2015 at 6:04 am #

    Donald Trump, should he formally announce, for President would be considered a (struggling for a word here) “legitimate” challenger to Cruz.

    I doubt the Donald will run, not even for the publicity stunt of doubling down on the birther crazy. The only thing he’s gonna run is his mouth. I’ve already asked him on Twitter if he will offer millions to charity if Cruz shows him his original BC.

    Trump could certainly hire a competent lawyer

    You mean like his “crack” investigators who “can’t believe what they’re finding” (and then never were heard of again, IOW they never existed)?
    I’d rather bet money he’d hire KKKlayman.

    and the case would get national attention

    But only in the “train wreck” sense. The birther issue is tainted enough, given that it’s only a small step away from habitually questioning the “Americanness” of every candidate who isn’t a lily-white WASP in the future. So I don’t think the media would want to go there. (Fox would, but not here since it’s two of their heroes going against one another.)

  6. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy March 25, 2015 at 8:28 am #

    The closest before was Barry Goldwater, born in the Arizona Territory. It was an incorporated territory in contrast to the Canal Zone, and of course it became a state.

    y_p_w: I believe John McCain was the first major candidate in a general election for President (born after the Constitution) who wasn’t born in the United States.

  7. avatar
    Greenfinches March 25, 2015 at 8:59 am #

    I may be in a minority, but I am not so sure that The Donald is the worst possible candidate bere. Cruz for Prez,or Donald????

  8. avatar
    bob March 25, 2015 at 11:09 am #

    Trump is a perennial almost candidate; doubtful that he’ll actually run.

    Doc’s points are valid: 1. Cruz’s candidacy presents an excellent opportunity for the legal issues to be explored; 2. birthers are so incompetent that they’ll mess this up as well, notwithstanding having years to learn from their past mistakes.

  9. avatar
    y_p_w March 25, 2015 at 11:53 am #

    Dr. Conspiracy:
    The closest before was Barry Goldwater, born in the Arizona Territory. It was an incorporated territory in contrast to the Canal Zone, and of course it became a state.

    Yeah. I was however thinking of being born in a place where one wouldn’t acquire jus soli US citizenship. I thought that most of the legal opinion on an incorporated territory is that birth in one does grant natural born citizen status.

    The Panama Canal Zone was an interesting case. They did have the automatic US national status. I thought by treaty all noncitizen US nationals born in the Canal Zone were granted Panamanian citizenship by treaty and their US national status revoked – unless they were US citizens by birth or naturalization.

  10. avatar
    Dave B. March 25, 2015 at 2:07 pm #

    That one’s a bit complicated. As I understand it, all inhabitants at the time the 1903 treaty went into effect (on February 26, 1904) became non-citizen US nationals unless they opted to retain their former nationality. Children of those non-citizen US nationals also became non-citizen US nationals at their birth, as did their children in turn. That was under general principles of international law; the treaty didn’t address the issue. Those persons lost that status when the Panama Canal Treaty went into effect on October 1, 1979.
    According to the Foreign Affairs Manual,
    “Persons born in the Canal Zone of alien parents did not acquire U.S. nationality at birth.

    http://www.state.gov/documents/organization/86756.pdf

    (bottom of page 33).

    I’ll include the caveat that the Foreign Affairs Manual could sometimes stand a little more editing for clarity and consistency, and does include the occasional outright error.
    Under the Constitution of Panama, all persons born in Panama– and for most purposes, the government of Panama claimed to retain territorial sovereignty over the Canal Zone– were Panamanians. Panama, like Mexico, distinguishes between citizenship and nationality differently than the United States does– under the 1904 Constitution, Panamanians who had reached the age of twenty-one years were citizens. In 1928, Panama imposed some nasty little racial restrictions on jus soli:

    https://books.google.com/books?id=4Ffnng4mzeAC&printsec=frontcover#v=snippet&q=1928%20panamanian&f=false

    https://books.google.com/books?id=oPOKzH36UdEC&pg=PA143&lpg=PA143&dq=constitution+of+panama+1941&source=bl&ots=DnxUjF8tiH&sig=8OgHcU0op-hhkE8SIUrqXUC-q5M&hl=en&sa=X&ei=1fESVc6tComdNtTPgvgO&ved=0CEsQ6AEwCQ#v=snippet&q=1941%20denationalize&f=false

    So except for those inhabitants of the Zone on February 26, 1904, the United States only recognized citizenship or nationality by jus sanguinis; Panama extended nationality by jus soli (except for the racial exclusions of 1928-1946).

    As I understand it. This 1937 Congressional Report is also informative:

    http://prawfsblawg.blogs.com/prawfsblawg/files/hr_751303.pdf

    y_p_w: The Panama Canal Zone was an interesting case. They did have the automatic US national status. I thought by treaty all noncitizen US nationals born in the Canal Zone were granted Panamanian citizenship by treaty and their US national status revoked – unless they were US citizens by birth or naturalization.

  11. avatar
    y_p_w March 25, 2015 at 2:44 pm #

    Dave B.:
    That one’s a bit complicated.As I understand it, all inhabitants at the time the 1903 treaty went into effect (on February 26, 1904) became non-citizen US nationals unless they opted to retain their former nationality.Children of those non-citizen US nationals also became non-citizen US nationals at their birth, as did their children in turn.That was under general principles of international law; the treaty didn’t address the issue.Those persons lost that status when the Panama Canal Treaty went into effect on October 1, 1979.
    According to the Foreign Affairs Manual,
    “Persons born in the Canal Zone of alien parents did not acquire U.S. nationality at birth.

    http://www.state.gov/documents/organization/86756.pdf

    (bottom of page 33).

    I’ll include the caveat that the Foreign Affairs Manual could sometimes stand a little more editing for clarity and consistency, and does include the occasional outright error.
    Under the Constitution of Panama, all persons born in Panama– and for most purposes, the government of Panama claimed to retain territorial sovereignty over the Canal Zone– were Panamanians.Panama, like Mexico, distinguishes between citizenship and nationality differently than the United States does– under the 1904 Constitution, Panamanians who had reached the age of twenty-one years were citizens.In 1928, Panama imposed some nasty little racial restrictions on jus soli:

    https://books.google.com/books?id=4Ffnng4mzeAC&printsec=frontcover#v=snippet&q=1928%20panamanian&f=false

    https://books.google.com/books?id=oPOKzH36UdEC&pg=PA143&lpg=PA143&dq=constitution+of+panama+1941&source=bl&ots=DnxUjF8tiH&sig=8OgHcU0op-hhkE8SIUrqXUC-q5M&hl=en&sa=X&ei=1fESVc6tComdNtTPgvgO&ved=0CEsQ6AEwCQ#v=snippet&q=1941%20denationalize&f=false

    So except for those inhabitants of the Zone on February 26, 1904, the United States only recognized citizenship or nationality by jus sanguinis; Panama extended nationality by jus soli (except for the racial exclusions of 1928-1946).

    As I understand it.This 1937 Congressional Report is also informative:

    http://prawfsblawg.blogs.com/prawfsblawg/files/hr_751303.pdf

    I’ve had a hard time sorting through all this. Granted, it was just snippets that I read somewhere along with things that I carefully researched. The Panama Canal Zone is something that I’ve generally read about and heard something about the revocation of US national status.

    I’m an Oakland A’s fan. One of the radio broadcasters has a saying when they have a big lead and later look like they’re close to giving it up.

    You didn’t think it would be easy did you?

  12. avatar
    faceman March 25, 2015 at 2:55 pm #

    Greenfinches:
    I may be in a minority, but I am not so sure that The Donald is the worst possible candidate bere.Cruz for Prez,or Donald????

    Look at it this way – if The Donald screws up he’ll just have the US declare bankruptcy and start over again. He does it all the time. Cruz, on the other hand, will just piss everyone off with his unwillingness to compromise.

  13. avatar
    ArthurWankspittle March 25, 2015 at 4:03 pm #

    Dr. Kenneth Noisewater: I suggest See Spot Run as a first book for him

    If Spot does run, do you think he will bring a case against Cruz?

  14. avatar
    Joey March 25, 2015 at 4:27 pm #

    Dr. Conspiracy:
    The closest before was Barry Goldwater, born in the Arizona Territory. It was an incorporated territory in contrast to the Canal Zone, and of course it became a state.

    Charles Curtis before Barry Goldwater was not only part American Indian (dual allegiance) but was born in Kansas Territory a year before statehood. Curtis was Vice President of the United States with Herbert Hoover.

  15. avatar
    y_p_w March 25, 2015 at 4:42 pm #

    Dave B.:
    I think it’s helpful if you don’t expect it all to make sense.

    I made an assumption that they treated noncitizen US nationality like they currently do in American Samoa.

  16. avatar
    faceman March 25, 2015 at 9:10 pm #

    Once upon a time, I suggested that the difference between Sven and Nancy was that Sven at least tried to debate the issue, however incompetently. I fear that I must withdraw that statement. Sven/Phil/Thrill/whatever (and Adrien, Obliged and their ilk (another word for ‘kind’)) no longer debate anything. All they do is what Mario calls the fallacy of bald assertion.

  17. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy March 25, 2015 at 9:21 pm #

    OK, I have tediously moved all of the off-topic comments to the Open Thread.

    This article is about the Trump Candidacy, the Cruz candidacy and the whether “natural born citizen” can be adjudicated.

    It is not about what “natural born citizen means.”

    I’m putting OblidgedFriend in moderation so that he can’t post off topic comments on this article and elsewhere the don’t belong. Nancy and Adrien are already in moderation.

  18. avatar
    gorefan March 25, 2015 at 9:39 pm #

    Dr. Conspiracy: the Cruz candidacy

    Sorry Doc, when I posted this link I thought it was about the Cruz candidacy, not a response to OF.

    Cyril C. Means, Jr, Is Presidency Barred to Americans Born Abroad?

    http://natural-borncitizens.com/nbcfiles/Is_Presidency_Barred_Americans_Born_Abroad.pdf

    Means explains why he believes a candidate like Cruz is eligible. Because he is both natural born and naturalized.

  19. avatar
    RanTalbott March 25, 2015 at 10:58 pm #

    Hardly had the words left the mouth of Ted Cruz that he was a candidate for president, than Donald Trump expressed doubts about his eligibility.

    Actually, he didn’t even wait that long: he expressed the same “doubts”, almost word-for-word, a month or two ago.

    Gerbil Report got very excited about it, and put a clip of it on Youtube. Iirc (and I may not), it was at that “Let’s make Iowa even more obscenely early in the presidential race” event (in case anyone cares enough to search for it).

  20. avatar
    ASK Esq. March 26, 2015 at 8:43 am #

    I’m not 100% sure that another Republican candidate would have standing to bring a case on whether or not Cruz is eligible. After all, the Constitution only lists the qualifications to serve as President, not to run for the office. You may say that, if you can’t serve if elected, you shouldn’t be allowed to run. That may be, but barring any state election law say that only those qualified to serve may be on the ballot, I don’t see that another primary contender could sue to get him off the ballot.

    Now, if he wins the election, the Democratic nominee may have standing.

  21. avatar
    john March 26, 2015 at 9:14 am #

    The question on who is an NBC OUTSIDE the country has yet to be adjudicated. I do believe Ted Cruz is eligible and I would vote for him. Many on both the right and left have been questioning Cruz’s eligibility lately but most believe he is eligible except for Birthers of course. Cruz’s eligibility hasn’t brought into question Obama’s eligibility at all. Obama was born apparently born in Hawaii and that makes him an NBC. While I’d like to believe NBC means born in the US to 2 citizens parents, that notion has been shot down repeatedly in court. The birthers do have Herb Titus who is a constitutional scholar and attorney to support their definition but he just one legal scholar among thousands and thousands who don’t believe the the birther NBC. Apuzzo and Donofiro are just not constitutional scholars and attorney.

  22. avatar
    bovril March 26, 2015 at 9:22 am #

    John,

    Just to remember Titus was VERY specific when he stated that whilst he had his PERSONAL VIEW on the issue, he acknowledged that the 14th Amendment and the SC’s rulings on it basically locked him and his views out.

  23. avatar
    y_p_w March 26, 2015 at 9:22 am #

    In this whole deal now with Ted Cruz, I’ve noticed from those of good will (I exclude anyone who brings up Vattel or misunderstands Minor v Happersett) the following:

    1) There’s still a huge misbelief that being born on a US military base (or diplomatic facility) is equivalent to being born on US soil for citizenship purposes. That seems to come up a lot.
    2) Some who cite the residency requirements for a married US citizen to pass on US citizenship to a child cite the current law and not the one relevant to the time of birth for Obama or Cruz. Others assume that one US citizen parent is sufficient in all cases.
    3) Many Obama supporters don’t seem to understand that the law placed residency requirements to pass on citizenship to a child born outside of the US.

    Here’s a commentary by someone from the Heritage Foundation. While I may not care for their political viewpoints, often they get things for the facts. She gets the relevant current law correct, but misses that the law was a different one at the time of Ted Cruz’s birth. I also give her credit because she barely brings up Obama (but the comments section does) and puts his name on equal footing with George Romney and Chester Arthur in terms of questions of eligibility.

    http://dailysignal.com/2015/03/24/is-ted-cruz-eligible-for-the-presidency/

  24. avatar
    Sam the Centipede March 26, 2015 at 11:21 am #

    No John, many on the left have NOT been questioning Cruz’s eligibility for the presidency. They have been questioning his suitability for the presidency.

    Cruz has brains but behaves like an idiot. He is only interested in wrecking the government and empowering the rich. He detests people like you, those who can’t afford to join country clubs, sail big yachts, etc. He lies too; his story about not knowing that he had dual citizenship (a guy with a law degree?!) is wholly implausible.

    The birther movement is essentially a racist movement of right-wing nutjobs; your own motives are racist. People on the left are more comfortable with a president from the black, hispanic or asian communities. What they do not want is a complete maniac like Cruz, who would cause chaos politically, socially and economically.

  25. avatar
    Rickey March 26, 2015 at 11:28 am #

    john:
    Cruz’s eligibility hasn’t brought into question Obama’s eligibility at all.Obama was born apparently born in Hawaii and that makes him an NBC.While I’d like to believe NBC means born in the US to 2 citizens parents, that notion has been shot down repeatedly in court.The birthers do have Herb Titus who is a constitutional scholar and attorney to support their definition but he just one legal scholar among thousands and thousands who don’t believe the the birther NBC.Apuzzo and Donofiro are just not constitutional scholars and attorney.

    That’s one of your more sensible posts, I must say.

    To put your mind at rest, note that in his majority opinion in the Wong Kim Ark case Justice Gray has this to say:

    The Constitution nowhere defines the meaning of these words, either by way of inclusion or of exclusion…In this as in other respects, it must be interpreted in the light of the common law, the principles and history of which were familiarly known to the framers of the Constitution. Minor v. Happersett, 21 Wall. 162; Ex parte Wilson, 114 U.S. 417, 422; Boyd v. United States, 116 U.S. 616, 624, 625; Smith v. Alabama, 124 U.S. 465. The language of the Constitution, as has been well said, could not be understood without reference to the common law. Kent Com. 336; Bradley, J., in Moore v. United States, 91 U.S. 270, 274. [p655]</i.

    Justice Gray then goes on to cite England's Lord Chief Justice Cockburn about the common law definition of natural-born subject:

    By the common law of England, every person born within the dominions of the Crown, no matter whether of English or of foreign parents, and, in the latter case, whether the parents were settled or merely temporarily sojourning, in the country, was an English subject, save only the children of foreign ambassadors (who were excepted because their fathers carried their own nationality with them), or a child born to a foreigner during the hostile occupation of any part of the territories of England. No effect appears to have been given to descent as a source of nationality.

    So you see, for someone born in the United States it doesn’t matter who the parents are, unless the parents are foreign diplomats or part of an occupying force.

    You are, of course, free to support Ted Cruz. However, I hope that you are going to be consistent and demand that Cruz produce proof that his mother was a U.S. citizen and proof that she satisfied the residency requirements which were then in effect for an American citizen giving birth abroad. And surely you are going to demand that he produce his Consular Report of Birth Abroad. If Cruz fails to produce those documents, I hope that you are going to ask “What is he hiding?”

    Anything less on your part might cause us to suspect that you had ulterior motives for questioning Obama’s eligibility over the past six years.

  26. avatar
    Rickey March 26, 2015 at 11:46 am #

    Sam the Centipede:
    No John, many on the left have NOT been questioning Cruz’s eligibility for the presidency. They have been questioning his suitability for the presidency.

    Correct. John either misreads or he is hearing misinformation from others.

    The left has simply been mocking the right for its hypocrisy on the subject. Like Cruz, Obama was born to a U.S. citizen mother and a foreign national father. The only difference is that Obama was born in the United States and Cruz was born in Canada.

    http://www.salon.com/2015/03/26/gops_birther_hypocrisy_exposed_why_conservatives_are_conveniently_mum_on_ted_cruz_partner/

  27. avatar
    john March 26, 2015 at 11:46 am #

    Rickey: That’s one of your more sensible posts, I must say.

    To put your mind at rest, note that in his majority opinion in the Wong Kim Ark case Justice Gray has this to say:

    The Constitution nowhere defines the meaning of these words, either by way of inclusion or of exclusion…In this as in other respects, it must be interpreted in the light of the common law, the principles and history of which were familiarly known to the framers of the Constitution. Minor v. Happersett, 21 Wall. 162; Ex parte Wilson, 114 U.S. 417, 422; Boyd v. United States, 116 U.S. 616, 624, 625; Smith v. Alabama, 124 U.S. 465. The language of the Constitution, as has been well said, could not be understood without reference to the common law. Kent Com. 336; Bradley, J., in Moore v. United States, 91 U.S. 270, 274. [p655]</i.


    Justice Gray then goes on to cite England’s Lord Chief Justice Cockburn about the common law definition of natural-born subject:

    By the common law of England, every person born within the dominions of the Crown, no matter whether of English or of foreign parents, and, in the latter case, whether the parents were settled or merely temporarily sojourning, in the country, was an English subject, save only the children of foreign ambassadors (who were excepted because their fathers carried their own nationality with them), or a child born to a foreigner during the hostile occupation of any part of the territories of England. No effect appears to have been given to descent as a source of nationality.

    So you see, for someone born in the United States it doesn’t matter who the parents are, unless the parents are foreign diplomats or part of an occupying force.

    You are, of course, free to support Ted Cruz. However, I hope that you are going to be consistent and demand that Cruz produce proof that his mother was a U.S. citizen and proof that she satisfied the residency requirements which were then in effect for an American citizen giving birth abroad. And surely you are going to demand that he produce his Consular Report of Birth Abroad. If Cruz fails to produce those documents, I hope that you are going to ask “What is he hiding?”

    Anything less on your part might cause us to suspect that you had ulterior motives for questioning Obama’s eligibility over the past six years.

    I do believe in the birther definition of NBC but it has not been upheld in court. I believe this to be because of flawed SCOTUS decisions mainly of Wong Kim Ark and until SCOTUS changes that we are stuck. Yes, your post does mention Common Law but it was cited in Minor as well as the definition of NBC which one born in the US to 2 citizen parents. Justice Gray does cite Lord Cockburn’s definition of NBC as an authoratative source but that can essentially be rejected by Minor in which the court explained there are many authoratative sources that suggested the NBC definition to be what Lord Cockburn said it was. Minor said they were going not going to resolve that problem but emphasized the there was no doubt an NBC was person born is the US to 2 citizen parents. In Wong, the court used to 14th Amendment to derive a “Citizen at birth” which they said was functionally equivalent (But not the same) as that of an NBC.

  28. avatar
    Rickey March 26, 2015 at 12:04 pm #

    john:.In Wong, the court used to 14th Amendment to derive a “Citizen at birth” which they said was functionally equivalent (But not the same) as that of an NBC.

    You’re wrong about that and you’re wrong about Minor v. Happersett.

    You seem to forget that the District Court ruled that Wong Kim Ark was a natural born citizen. The government challenged that ruling, in fact vehemently arguing that Wong Kim Ark should not be eligible to be president, but the Supreme Court, affirmed the District Court ruling without exception.

    As many, many courts have noted, Minor v. Happersett did not define the term “natural born citizen.” In fact, in that case the Supreme Court specifically noted that it was deferring ruling on the question about children of non-citizens because it was not germane to the case. That question was eventually resolved by the Wong Kim Ark decision.

    So are you going to demand that Cruz produce documentation that his mother was a U.S. citizen?

  29. avatar
    Punchmaster via Mobile March 26, 2015 at 1:00 pm #

    Rickey: You’re wrong

    He usually is. john is wrong so often, that he could probably find that fabled wrong was of eating a Reese’s!

  30. avatar
    Slartibartfast March 26, 2015 at 1:02 pm #

    This is the same fallacious, misleading and dishonest reasoning used by Mario Apuzzo. The holding in Minor v. Happersett emphasized that there was no doubt that a person born in the US to citizen parents was a natural born citizen, not the other way around. To call that a “definition” is the height of either intellectual dishonesty, ignorance or both.

    john: Minor said they were going not going to resolve that problem but emphasized the there was no doubt an NBC was person born is the US to 2 citizen parents.

  31. avatar
    Dave B. March 26, 2015 at 1:32 pm #

    Those rare moments of clarity just heighten the tragedy of a deranged mind.

    Rickey: That’s one of your more sensible posts, I must say.

  32. avatar
    Arthur B. March 26, 2015 at 2:29 pm #

    john: Minor… emphasized the there was no doubt an NBC was person born is the US to 2 citizen parents.

    Seriously, john — insults aside — do you understand why this is wrong? Do you know the difference between a necessary condition and a sufficient one?

    Saying that a person born in the US to 2 citizen parents is necessarily an NBC is true. Saying that an NBC is necessarily a person born in the US to 2 citizen parents is not.

    Think about it. Honestly, this is not a political matter but a logical one.

  33. avatar
    Rickey March 26, 2015 at 2:45 pm #

    Somewhere in his brain John knows that he was never taught in school that a natural born citizen had to have citizen parents. He knows that he never heard of such a requirement until he heard it from birthers.

    Since “natural born citizen” is not defined in the Constitution, the Supreme Court has ruled that we have to look to the English common law for its meaning.The English common law, as set forth by Lord Chief Justice Cockburn, clearly states that the nationality of the parents is irrelevant unless the parents are foreign diplomats or part of an occupying military force.

    Justice Cockburn also destroys ObligedKlansman’s arguments about domicile by saying that it doesn’t matter “whether of English or of foreign parents, and, in the latter case, whether the parents were settled or merely temporarily sojourning, in the country.”

    As I said to Adrien Nash, it’s so simple a five-year-old child can understand it.

  34. avatar
    Jim March 27, 2015 at 11:47 am #

    john:but it was cited in Minor as well as the definition of NBC which one born in the US to 2 citizen parents.

    Minor says this about Presidential eligibility john…
    “Additions might always be made to the citizenship of the United States in two ways: first, by birth, and second, by naturalization. This is apparent from the Constitution itself, for it provides6 that ‘no person except a natural-born citizen, or a citizen of the United States at the time of the adoption of the Constitution, shall be eligible to the office of President,’7 and that Congress shall have power ‘to establish a uniform rule of naturalization.’ Thus new citizens may be born or they may be created by naturalization.”
    No 2 parents required and never has been.

  35. avatar
    Rickey March 27, 2015 at 12:14 pm #

    Dave B.:
    Those rare moments of clarity just heighten the tragedy of a deranged mind.

    John doesn’t even recognize his own contradictory statements.

    On the one hand he says ” I do believe Ted Cruz is eligible and I would vote for him.”

    On the other hand he says “I’d like to believe NBC means born in the US to 2 citizens parents…I do believe in the birther definition of NBC but it has not been upheld in court.”

    So John believes that a natural born citizen must be born in the U.S to two citizen parents, yet he is ready to vote for Ted Cruz, who was born in Canada to one citizen parent.

    John should change his online handle to “Cognitive Dissonance.”

  36. avatar
    donna March 27, 2015 at 12:47 pm #

    POLITIFACT: Is Ted Cruz, born in Canada, eligible to run for president?

    But courts may be forced to weigh in if one of two things occur: A state, citing Cruz’s Canadian birthplace, tries to exclude him from the ballot; or another presidential candidate challenges Cruz’s eligibility.

    Neither scenario is likely, though there may be a potential wild card this go around: Donald Trump.

    […..]

    Trump is also exploring a presidential bid. If he did enter the race, it could give him standing to launch a lawsuit against Cruz.

    The courts could still punt on the question, Duggin said. They could consider this a political question, in which case it would be out of bounds for the courts to interject.

    But until it happens, or until a constitutional amendment clarifies matters, we won’t know for sure.

    “No matter how many people opine,” Duggin said, “There’s always going to be that issue.”

    http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/article/2015/mar/26/ted-cruz-born-canada-eligible-run-president-update/

  37. avatar
    James M March 27, 2015 at 3:52 pm #

    donna:
    POLITIFACT: Is Ted Cruz, born in Canada, eligible to run for president?

    Trump is also exploring a presidential bid. If he did enter the race, it could give him standing to launch a lawsuit against Cruz.

    I always wonder about “exploring a Presidential bid” or hesitating to run for office.

    The only impediment to filing an FEC Form 2 is that the candidate has received over $5000 in contributions. When a potential candidate makes a gesture that suggests candidacy, but has not joined the 204 candidates who have already done so (55 of them Republicans), I assume that the reason for the hesitation is nothing but the inability to raise the necessary five grand.

    As for the people screaming about “vetting candidates”, there are 204 candidates who need “vetting”.

  38. avatar
    RanTalbott March 27, 2015 at 5:16 pm #

    James M: I always wonder about “exploring a Presidential bid”

    Just saw a news story about this: the “exploratory committee” thing allows you to raise some money (tax-free, I assume) to hire pollsters, consultants, etc. to figure out whether your candidacy is viable. That money is classified differently from “campaign” funds you raise to buy commercials, styrofoam boater hats for the convention, and hookers for the super delegates.

  39. avatar
    donna March 27, 2015 at 5:25 pm #

    RanTalbott:

    Huckabee’s PAC Paid His Family Almost $400,000

    The would-be candidate’s organization hasn’t given much to fellow Republicans—but it has spent a ton on family and fundraising.

    http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2015/01/mike-huckabee-pac-paid-his-family-almost-400000

  40. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy March 27, 2015 at 5:44 pm #

    The day after my article, Politifact also discussed the Trump scenario:

    http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/article/2015/mar/26/ted-cruz-born-canada-eligible-run-president-update/

  41. avatar
    Dave B. March 28, 2015 at 2:53 pm #

    “Early in the Obama controversy, I found a 1968 law review article by professor Charles Gordon that led me to expect a judicial solution to shutting up the birthers.”
    I don’t think Gordon ever was a law professor, but it bears notice that he was general counsel for the INS when he wrote that article, and as the original author of “Immigration Law and Procedure” is considered THE authority on the subject as far as his work remains current.
    His obituary is informative:
    http://www.nytimes.com/1999/05/02/us/charles-gordon-93-ins-counsel.html
    I think it also bears notice that in the cases he argued before the Supreme Court on behalf of the government, he “sometimes he had to argue positions with which he disagreed.”

    OOPS! Oh for crying out loud– why do I EVER question what Doc says? It’s right there in the Law Review article– Gordon was an adjunct professor at Georgetown. I shall now retire to the yard, to pull weeds and mutter to myself about what an idiot I am.

  42. avatar
    Reality Check March 28, 2015 at 3:07 pm #

    Factcheck also ran an article. Someone may have already posted the link. I think it is better than the Politifact article. It is well sourced.

    http://www.factcheck.org/2015/03/ted-cruzs-presidential-eligibility/

    Dr. Conspiracy: The day after my article, Politifact also discussed the Trump scenario:

  43. avatar
    Delonglegged Mack Daddy March 28, 2015 at 4:52 pm #

    Is there anyone who can explain how having 2 citizen parents would prevent a child from having allegiance to a foreign country?

    Seems to me that there are a lot of Birther Defined NBCs who are joining Isis.

    Hence, I see very little utility in the Birther argument that having two US Citizen parents insures a child’s allegiance to the US.

    If there is a Birther out there that reads this post, kindly explain the Birther big insistence on two citizen parents.

  44. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy March 29, 2015 at 7:48 am #

    I think the difference here is the difference between allegiance and loyalty. Allegiance is something one owes, and allegiance to the United States is owed by all of its citizens, however they become citizens. Citizen parents make someone a citizen at birth, and therefore under the allegiance of the country.

    Loyalty is something one feels. It is often influenced by parents, but not necessarily so.

    These Americans that fight for Isis still owe allegiance to the United States, but lack loyalty.

    The natural born citizenship requirement was intended to insure that a US president had distinctly American view, and lacked foreign attachments that a naturalized citizen might have. One might argue that foreign parents might instill non-American values in a child, but the Constitution doesn’t impose this restriction.

    As has been said many times, being a natural born citizen alone does not make someone suitable to be president, even if they are eligible.

    Delonglegged Mack Daddy: Is there anyone who can explain how having 2 citizen parents would prevent a child from having allegiance to a foreign country?

  45. avatar
    Notorial Dissent March 30, 2015 at 5:40 am #

    Doc, I think you have hit the nail squarely on the head. One can ostensibly have an allegiance to a country, but it is the country to which one feels loyal that matters in the final analysis. While the two should be, they aren’t mutually inclusive. My feeling, based solely on my sense of the logic of it, was that the founders based the NBC requirement on the premise that they wanted someone born here, and presumably raised here in the ideals of what this country was, as a chief executive, not someone from outside the society, who would have an understanding of what the society here was all about, rather than a foreigner who had no understanding or stake in what they had started here. Someone born and raised here would have a different sense and outlook than someone born and raised in Europe(which was largely what they were thinking I feel).

  46. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy March 30, 2015 at 9:50 am #

    I think you express the founder’s sentiment well. However, I don’t think that such sentiment necessarily excludes the foreign born. The 14-year residency requirement allows a potential president to spend the majority of their life overseas.

    Notorial Dissent: My feeling, based solely on my sense of the logic of it, was that the founders based the NBC requirement on the premise that they wanted someone born here, and presumably raised here in the ideals of what this country was, as a chief executive, not someone from outside the society, who would have an understanding of what the society here was all about, rather than a foreigner who had no understanding or stake in what they had started here. Someone born and raised here would have a different sense and outlook than someone born and raised in Europe(which was largely what they were thinking I feel).

  47. avatar
    Notorial Dissent March 30, 2015 at 12:30 pm #

    I agree whole heartedly. A lot of our most fervent patriots were foreign born, as were many of the leaders in the revolution. In fact, many of our staunchest citizens were and are foreign born. Loyalty, I think/feel, is not a thing of genetics, but of intellect and heart.

  48. avatar
    y_p_w March 30, 2015 at 12:38 pm #

    Dr. Conspiracy:
    I think you express the founder’s sentiment well. However, I don’t think that such sentiment necessarily excludes the foreign born. The 14-year residency requirement allows a potential president to spend the majority of their life overseas.

    I doubt the Founders anticipated the ease of travel across the seas. Of course at first it was steam ships, then sea planes, and now jet travel. These days even a modest family can have enough money to travel to Europe, Africa, or Asia with a couple of days travel time at most. Travel to/from Europe was a major undertaking and not without risks including sinking and piracy.

  49. avatar
    Notorial Dissent March 30, 2015 at 3:20 pm #

    There’s no reason they would have. They wrote and thought in terms of their here and now. I don’t think they were blind to the continual advance of science and humanity, but they weren’t trying to predict it either, but they did recognize that things change, as they changed from dependent colonies and coloniss to independent states and then an independent nation, they realized that there would be further change down the road for the country, and so they left the constitution as open and broad and flexible as they could with the expectation that the minds of the time would take up the slack, which is what has largely happened. They didn’t build many constraints or straightjackets into the document, but rather a lot of possibilities. When they wanted to limit something though they were generally very clear and specific about it, so it was obvious they could do so, they just didn’t very often.

  50. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy March 30, 2015 at 4:43 pm #

    I don’t know about easy, but several of the Framers (e.g. Mr. Rutledge of South Carolina, John Blair, Jr. and Daniel Carroll) were educated abroad. Mr. Smith of the first Congress spent considerable time in Europe as a youth. John Jay had children born overseas.

    y_p_w: I doubt the Founders anticipated the ease of travel across the seas. Of course at first it was steam ships, then sea planes, and now jet travel.

  51. avatar
    gorefan March 30, 2015 at 11:02 pm #

    Dr. Conspiracy:
    I don’t know about easy, but several of the Framers (e.g. Mr. Rutledge of South Carolina, John Blair, Jr. and Daniel Carroll) were educated abroad. Mr. Smith of the first Congress spent considerable time in Europe as a youth. John Jay had children born overseas.

    ” The trip from London to Boston sometimes lasted only twenty-six days, and five weeks to the Capes was considered a fine passage. Chalkley, the Quaker, was eight weeks sailing from Land’s End to Virginia, and Peckover nine weeks and five days from London to New York. An Irish traveler was forty-two days from Limerick to the same city. Sailing by the southerly route and into the Trades made a longer voyage but a pleasanter one, and those who were able to pay well for their cabins and to take extra provisions were in comfort compared with the servants and other emigrants, whose experiences below decks aft in the steerage during stormy and protracted voyages must have been harrowing in the extreme.”

    http://www.chroniclesofamerica.com/colonial_folkways/colonial_travel.htm

    IIRC, Mr. Smith had some difficulties return to the U.S. Something about storms.

  52. avatar
    Notorial Dissent March 31, 2015 at 1:26 am #

    It certainly wasn’t easy, but if you had the money you could make the trip, and many people of the time did, but it wasn’t a common thing.

  53. avatar
    Whatever4 April 1, 2015 at 11:02 pm #

    From New England, it was often easier to go back and forth to England than to go to the Southern colonies.

  54. avatar
    Notorial Dissent April 2, 2015 at 12:16 pm #

    If you think going north-south was bad, you should have tried going west. You’re quite right, it was was easier to go to England than it was to get anywhere continentally. The only option you had was by ship, and it wouldn’t have been fun even so.