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Constitutional lawyer says Ted Cruz is not a natural born citizen and thus can’t be president

A constitutional law professor wrote an op-ed in the Washington Post Tuesday, claiming that Republican Senator Ted Cruz is ineligible to become president under the articles of the constitution due to his Canadian birth status

A constitutional law professor wrote an op-ed in the Washington Post Tuesday, claiming that Republican Senator Ted Cruz is ineligible to become president under the articles of the constitution due to his Canadian birth status.

“Let me be clear: I am not a so-called ‘birther.’ I am a legal historian,” Mary Brigid McManamon, professor at Widener University’s Delaware Law School, wrote.

Cruz was born in Alberta, Canada to an American mother and Cuban father in 1970. The young Cruz moved to the United States following high school and graduated from Princeton University in 1992.

McManamon joins Harvard Law Professor Laurence Tribe in raising concerns that Cruz might not meet the “natural born citizen” requirement for presidency according to the nation’s highest document.

According to the Post, McManamon argues that if one uses the “common law” definition of “natural born citizen,” he will find that 18th century English jurist William Blackstone defined the term as a “born within the dominions of the crown of England” and that U.S. founding father James Madison called birth place “the most certain criterion” of allegiance.

Former solicitors general Neal Katyal and Paul Clement interpreted “natural born citizen” to mean anyone who was a U.S. citizen at birth. However, McManamon criticized their interpretation due to its dependency on “radical 18th-century British statutes.”

Of course, infamous “Obama birther” and GOP presidential front-runner Donald Trump was first to make the senator’s birth status an issue on the campaign trail.

Featured image via The National Memo

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33 Comments

33 Comments

  1. Michael Vinson

    January 13, 2016 at 12:58 am

    On one hand that’s great, because I despise Cruz right down to my DNA, but where does that leave President Obama, since he was born in Hawaii before it became a state?

  2. Sue

    January 13, 2016 at 7:50 am

    Hawaii statehood: 1959
    Obama birth: 1961

  3. mijnbesteblogs

    January 13, 2016 at 7:52 am

    Obama was born in 1961, Hawaii became a state in 1959

  4. highwatermark2012

    January 13, 2016 at 7:54 am

    Hawaii became a US territory in 1900, and at that time it’s people became US citizens. Being born in US territory to a US citizen makes him a natural born citizen.

  5. David Swaldo

    January 13, 2016 at 7:56 am

    Hawaii became a state in 1959; Obama was born in 1961.

  6. Tim

    January 13, 2016 at 7:57 am

    Obama was born in 61 Hawaii became a state in 59.

  7. liveoakblues

    January 13, 2016 at 7:57 am

    Hawaii became a state in 1959 and Obama was born in 1961. Nice try, though.

  8. Tommy Warden

    January 13, 2016 at 7:59 am

    Hawaii became a state in 1959. Obama was born in 1961.

  9. tallulah58

    January 13, 2016 at 8:03 am

    Hawaii became a state in 1959. President Obama was born in 1961.

  10. Arnold Cohen

    January 13, 2016 at 8:03 am

    In 1964 there was a challenge to Barry Goldwater on the basis that Arizona was still a territory when he was born there. It went nowhere.

  11. Jim

    January 13, 2016 at 8:19 am

    Obama: born 4 August 1961. Hawaii statehood:21 August 1959.

  12. jimdog1954

    January 13, 2016 at 8:43 am

    The key question here is – when did Cruz become a citizen? Did his mother declare him to be a US citizen at his birth, wherein he would not have been a Canadian citizen at all? Or, did be sneak into citizenship after high school, when he wanted to attend college in the US? Perhaps there is a legal difference, perhaps not.

  13. itsjim

    January 13, 2016 at 8:56 am

    Sooo Michael, did you get your dates right yet? btw I HATE to hear Cruz do his Baptist Preaching DRONE, every time he opens his pie hole it drags out of his mouth, can’t seem to speak without it. Its that drone our forefathers determined we require seperation of church and state, they couldnt stand him either, honestly, I know this to be true. They could not stand Cruz.

  14. Jeffrey Alan Nolan

    January 13, 2016 at 8:58 am

    Obama was born well after Hawaii became a state.

  15. Susan Greene

    January 13, 2016 at 10:11 am

    The only problem I have with this reasoning is that it would preclude all children born overseas to US citizens (including government employees) from becoming president, which seems totally unfair.

  16. DrPhrogg

    January 13, 2016 at 10:24 am

    The issue is not settled. His birth to an American citizen overseas would settle the matter in his favor, but his mother lived in Canada for 10 years before he was born. The question unresolved is over her citizenship at the time of his birth. Since she was listed on the Canadian voter registration, she apparently became a Canadian citizen. What this before or after his birth? If it was before, Ted Cruz is not a natural born American citizen, since neither of his parents would have been American citizens. If it was after, the question is moot.
    A second question involves why he retained his Canadian citizenship until last year?
    Under several rulings by the SCOTUS, the burden of proof is on the person seeking office.

  17. VonMarko

    January 13, 2016 at 11:36 am

    The problem is not that Ted was born in Canada, but that his mother was still on Canadian voter rolls well after his birth. You can only be on Canadian voter rolls if your a Canadian citizen which means she would have had to denounce her US citizenship thus making Teddy the son of a Canadian mother, not an American mother, making him ineligible to be president. Now if we could only prove that Trumps father was an orangutan…

  18. Bill Sullivan

    January 13, 2016 at 12:31 pm

    QUESTIONS: What Could Satan try to do to stop Ted Cruz, a Godly Revival and Constitutional order from being promoted in the political world? LIES!
    ======================
    TRUMP SAYS:
    1.First that
    (a) all the lawyers and experts have check out Cruz and he is ok as far as eligibility.
    (b) That he believe Cruz, BUT, intimates that he might not be eligible to run for president. This is obviously because he fears Cruz might win.
    ——————-
    THE FOUNDERS SAID:
    “[T]he children of citizens of the United States, that may be born beyond the sea, or out of the limits of the United States, shall be considered as natural born citizens: Provided, That the right of citizenship shall not descend to persons whose fathers have never been resident in the United States.”…
    ——————
    Watch for more LIES like the below:
    **FIRST LIE:..The founders used the plural CITIZENS showing that both parents had to be a citizen… WRONG.. the plural is used when talking about more than one person, yes, but in this case of ALL the citizenry. Plus it SPECIFICALLY shows that any woman of all american women “citizens” Could have a baby out of country and the Father do not have to be a citizen at all, but would have had to be a RESIDENT at some point.
    —————–
    ***SECOND LIE:….That they changed the law and that Changed what the Founders showed the Constitution meant in 1790. THAT IS IMPOSSIBLE… You cannot change the Constitution by an act, statue or law. Once the Founders showed that “Natural Born” which they put in the Constitution was consistent with a SINGLE PARENT (mother) being a citizen, without the father being one, the CASE IS CLOSED… you may disagree but you will be wrong. The Constitution is not wrong; nor were the founders.
    —————–
    LAST LIE:… The fact that they began to use the words “Citizen at Birth” instead of “Natural born”.. That supposedly Changes the original meaning in the Constitution… That is totally IGNORANT and IMPOSSIBLE..since it takes a Constitutional amendment to change what the FOUNDERS showed they meant in the Constitution. Only the details can be changed in new laws and not the basic concept laid down by the founders. And you will find that they have always kept the same concept in all Citizenship and naturalization statues. YOU CANNOT GET AROUND clear truth.
    —————-
    The LIES are very Tricky, Just like Satan, but totally illogical. But then people often Just believe without logic, so he could Deceive and get a man chosen for President that has told people to their faces, “I BUY POLITICIANS” and “I have never done anything that I thought I needed to ask God forgiveness for.” … His own words.
    —————-
    SO WHO DO YOU BELIEVE, Trump and the LIES; or the Founders? And will we elect a man obviously prepared all his life for a time such as this or choose the one that confesses to be a buyer of corruption and have never repented? Like God allowed with ancient Israel, he does not change; the Choice is yours!

  19. marecek

    January 13, 2016 at 1:35 pm

    I’m not entirely certain on this, but I do believe that the terms of the 14th Amendment apply to US territories as well. Sec. 1 of the Amendment begins, “All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof”. I believe that, even if a place is not a state, but a territory, it is still part of the United States in this sense. My grandfather, father and older brother were all born in Hawaii before it became a state (my brother a mere month before), but I’m certain they never had to be naturalized.

  20. Michael Vinson

    January 13, 2016 at 2:21 pm

    Ok, my apologies. For reasons unknown, I was thinking Obama was born before ’59. No idea why.

  21. Michael Vinson

    January 13, 2016 at 2:24 pm

    liveoakblues – You make assumptions. I wasn’t ‘trying’ to do anything, thank you very much, other than clarify something.

  22. Matt

    January 13, 2016 at 6:15 pm

    I dislike trump as much as any other person but seriously, have you ever seen a mental health worker. I think you need to tone down the crazy Christian speak and go seek some help. They have wonderful medications that may help your insane religious anger. Oh, besides, it’s never too late to take a grammar course either :->

  23. Michael Vinson

    January 13, 2016 at 6:35 pm

    You had my interest until the last bit about satan and god. Then I was done.

  24. Cori BG

    January 13, 2016 at 7:28 pm

    Hawaii became a state in August of 1959. Obama was born in August 1961.

  25. Julian

    January 13, 2016 at 8:09 pm

    @Michael Vinson it’s understandable, 8 years in office will make anyone look decades older than they actually are.

  26. David Laskaris

    January 13, 2016 at 9:54 pm

    Please, don’t vote.

  27. Chip

    January 14, 2016 at 8:48 am

    Famed Harvard (Liberal) Law School professor Alan Dershowitz: Ted Cruz One Of Harvard’s Smartest Students
    Dershowitz says he and Cruz would often debate issues presented in his criminal law class. “Cruz’s views were always thoughtful and his responses were interesting,” the law professor explained. “I obviously disagreed with them and we had good arguments in class. I would challenge him and he would come up with very good responses.” ; “Dershowitz said. “Without a doubt he is among the smartest students I’ve ever had… I’ve had great students but he has to be at the top of anyone’s short list, in terms of raw brain power.” ; “His movement toward social conservatism has surprised me a little bit,” Dershowitz added, but “people will change and perhaps when you are at Harvard Law School you are less likely to espouse a socially conservative point of view.” ; “…adding that the Canada-born Texan can run for president in 2016.” ; “The question is whether he can,” Dershowitz said. “I think he can. I think he’s a natural-born citizen and therefore he’s eligible to run…”
    (Daily Caller)

  28. Chip

    January 14, 2016 at 8:59 am

    “…(Benjamin) Franklin warned the irreligious Thomas Paine, “If men are so wicked with religion, what would they be if without it?”…”

    Careful what you wish for, Comrade.

  29. Michael Vinson

    January 14, 2016 at 3:11 pm

    “…(Benjamin) Franklin warned the irreligious Thomas Paine, “If men are so wicked with religion, what would they be if without it?”…”
    Careful what you wish for, Comrade.

    To that, and all the devout believers, if the threat of divine punishment is the only thing keeping you moral, then you’re nothing but a psychopath on a leash.

  30. sample

    January 18, 2016 at 2:30 pm

    If Alan Dershowitz says so it must be false.

  31. iampatrickhenry

    February 2, 2016 at 7:59 pm

    I keep seeing these articles… do these guy not read? they sit around talking about this law definition and that… but the dounders used VETTALS “Laws of the Nation” for their definitions… they even back it up on 4 different supreme court cases.

    Vattel’s “Law of the Nations”.
    “The citizens are the members of the civil society; bound to this society by certain duties, and subject to its authority, they equally participate in its advantages. The natives or indigenes are those born in the country of parents who are citizens. Society not being able to subsist and to perpetuate itself but by the children of the citizens, those children naturally follow the condition of their fathers, and succeed to all their rights.

    “The inhabitants, as distinguished from citizens, are strangers who are permitted to settle and stay in the country. Bound by their residence to the society, they are subject to the laws of the state while they reside there, and they are obliged to defend it…

    SUPREME COURT RULING DEFINING NATURAL BORN CITIZEN

    The Venus, 12 U.S. 8 Cranch 253 253 (1814)
    “The citizens are the members of the civil society; bound to this society by certain duties, and subject to its authority, they equally participate in its advantages. The natives or indigenes are those born in the country of parents who are citizens. Society not being able to subsist and to perpetuate itself but by the children of the citizens, those children naturally follow the condition of their fathers, and succeed to all their rights.

    The inhabitants, as distinguished from citizens, are strangers who are permitted to settle and stay in the country. Bound by their residence to the society, they are subject to the laws of the state while they reside there, and they are obliged to defend it…”

    Shanks v. Dupont, 28 U.S. 3 Pet. 242 242 (1830)
    “…for children born in a country, continuing while under age in the family of the father, partake of his national character as a citizen of that country.”

    Minor v. Happersett , 88 U.S. 162 (1875)
    “The Constitution does not in words say who shall be natural-born citizens. Resort must be had elsewhere to ascertain that. At common law, with the nomenclature of which the framers of the Constitution were familiar, it was never doubted that all children born in a country of parents who were its citizens became themselves, upon their birth, citizens also. These were natives or natural-born citizens, as distinguished from aliens or foreigners.”

    United States v. Wong Kim Ark, 169 U.S. 649 (1898)
    “At common law, with the nomenclature of which the framers of the Constitution were familiar, it was never doubted that all children, born in a country of parents who were its citizens, became themselves, upon their birth, citizens also. These were natives, or natural-born citizens, as distinguished from aliens or foreigners.”

  32. iampatrickhenry

    February 2, 2016 at 8:01 pm

    no, but obama is still ineligible because of his dads foreign birth and citizenship.

  33. Anita Heath

    February 3, 2016 at 3:30 am

    He has showed his Canadian birth certificate and his mothers US citizenship. Everything else is sealed. My question is why would a person seal records if they don’t have anything to hide.

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