Right Hooks

Is Cruz Even Constitutionally Eligible?

Mar. 24, 2015

In short, probably. The Constitution’s Natural Born Citizenship Clause states that “no person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President.” Why is this an issue? Because Cruz was born in Canada to an American mother and Cuban father. Does that qualify him as “natural born”? Legal authorities Neal Katyal and Paul Clement wrote in a Harvard Law Review article earlier this month, “[T]here is no question that Senator Cruz has been a citizen from birth and is thus a ‘natural born Citizen’ within the meaning of the Constitution. … As Congress has recognized since the Founding, a person born abroad to a U.S. citizen parent is generally a U.S. citizen from birth with no need for naturalization. And the phrase ‘natural born Citizen’ in the Constitution encompasses all such citizens from birth. Thus, an individual born to a U.S. citizen parent – whether in California or Canada or the Canal Zone – is a U.S. citizen from birth and is fully eligible to serve as President if the people so choose.”

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