Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) has hardly had time to learn his way around the serpentine halls of the Dirksen Senate Office building where his office is located, but his name is already being bandied about as a possible presidential contender.
The freshman senator’s possible run for the White House was featured in a story published Monday, January 7, by Politico. This is the first time such “buzz” has been heard about Cruz. Before Cruz even won the Republican Senate nomination, several stories considered the “Cruz for President” question.
While Cruz’s conservative bona fides are impressive (Senator Rand Paul considers him an ally in the fight to restore constitutional fidelity to Congress), the Politico article (and hundreds of derivative pieces) are now questioning Cruz’s eligibility to occupy the Oval Office.
Politico’s David Catanese writes:
Ted Cruz may have the aura of a future presidential contender, but is he even eligible to run?
The newly sworn-in Texas senator and rising Republican star was born in Canada, to a mother who was born in Delaware and a Cuban father. That’s triggered a debate about whether he’s eligible for the nation’s highest office — nevermind that he’s been in Congress less than a week.
There’s the rub, constitutionally speaking. Cruz’s north-of-the-border nativity added to his father’s Cuban nationality might add up to his being disqualified before he even steps up to the blocks to run for the White House.
The bundle begins to unravel, however, when one begins to wade into the historical origins of the “natural born citizen” phrase used in Article II of the Constitution. The Constitution does not define natural born citizenship, neither have Supreme Court and Congress. The term "natural born citizen" comes from the English concept of "natural born subject," which came from Calvin's Case, a 1608 decision.
Natural born subjects were those who owed allegiance to the king at birth under the "law of nature." The court concluded that under natural law, certain people owed duties to the king, and were entitled to his protection, even in the absence of a law passed by Parliament.
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Photo of Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas): AP Images