Right Hooks

How About Not Amending the Natural Born Citizen Clause?

We need the Supreme Court to clarify this issue.

Dan Gilmore · Jan. 11, 2016

After presidential hopeful Ted Cruz found himself defending his eligibility to hold the nation’s highest office, he found support from an unusual source: liberals. Other candidates stoked the idea that Cruz is ineligible to become president because he was born in Canada to an American mother. And those liberals who think nothing of changing the Constitution are supporting the idea of taking a can of whiteout to the nation’s founding document to make it so naturalized citizens could also serve in the high office. Vox, which literally called the Constitution “a decrepit 229-year-old political compromise,” argued that the second of the two requirements to serve as president be struck from the modern political process. That assessment was seconded by Washington Post columnist Ruth Marcus when she wrote: “In an increasingly globalized age of international adoptions, the restriction sends an ugly, discouraging message to these children, and other naturalized citizens, that they are less than fully American. It is the kind of discriminatory treatment that would be deemed unconstitutional were the rule not embedded in the Constitution itself.”

But there are two concerns here. First, it’s not too much to ask that the leader of this nation grow up in its education system, to live in this country’s neighborhoods, and to work an American job before taking up the mantle of leadership. Second — as the Founders worried — we don’t want a high-rolling oligarch from overseas to come to power and lead this country in a way that benefits his or her homeland. It’s a national security issue, to ensure the commander in chief is loyal to our own nation. As Hot Air’s Jazz Shaw opines, we don’t need a constitutional rewrite; we need the Supreme Court to clarify this issue.

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