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“Maybe Ted Cruz Isn’t Eligible To Be President”: Cheney Posing As A Wyoming Citizen Was A Fraud

I’m not qualified to second guess the considered judgment of constitutional scholars about the original meaning of the term “natural born citizen.” I think it may well be the case that anyone who was not born in the United States of America cannot be considered eligible to serve as president of the United States. I also think it’s possible that they can be.

Either way, there’s a distinction to be made between people like John McCain and my brother, Phil, who were born abroad in military installations while their fathers were serving in the military, and Ted Cruz, who was born in Calgary, Canada because that’s where his parents were voluntarily living at the time.

It’s my strong suspicion that the Founding Fathers would not have wanted to punish the children of citizens who they had sent to serve abroad. But they would not have been willing to make an exception for citizens who were living in another country for their own reasons.

I can imagine some tricky cases, like a mother who was spending a summer in Europe rather than actually relocating there. But the basic intent of the constitutional provision seems clear to me. If you are born a Canadian, you can’t become president.

A separate question is whether anyone is really interested in enforcing this provision in a case like Ted Cruz’s.

For me, I have no such interest. His mother was a citizen. As far as I am concerned, that’s good enough. I don’t like Ted Cruz but I don’t think he’ll sell us out to Ottawa.

If some people want to be sticklers, I think they have that right. I don’t feel like being a stickler.

You know, there’s another provision of the Constitution that (sort of) says that the president and vice-president cannot come from the same state. I think it’s an outdated provision and we shouldn’t care about it. But it should have been discussed more when George W. Bush selected Dick Cheney as his running mate. They were both residents of Texas at the time, and I don’t think Dick Cheney maintaining a second residence in Wyoming should have allowed him to pretend that he didn’t live in Texas. As it turned out, Cheney registered to vote at his second residence which was actually critical because the Electors from Texas were prohibited from casting their votes for more than one Texan. Because the Electoral College vote was so close (271-266), if Cheney hadn’t been considered a citizen of Wyoming, Bush could been elected but Cheney could not have been.

I thought Cheney posing as a Wyoming citizen was a fraud. But, I actually didn’t care too much about it. I didn’t see any real reason why we should still care if the president and vice-president come from the same state.

Likewise, I don’t care that Cruz was born in Calgary. But some people will care. And I will laugh my ass off if the Republicans discover that after falsely accusing the current president of being born in another country they wind up having a problem electing a president because he actually was born in another country.


By: Martin Longman, Political Animal Blog, The Washington Monthly, January 12,2016

January 13, 2016 Posted by | Birthright Citizenship, Dick Cheney, Ted Cruz | , , , , , | 2 Comments

“Why McCain’s Shot Across Cruz’s Bow Matters”: In The Senate, ‘Assisting Mr. Cruz Would Amount To A Foreign Concept’

There was a fleeting moment around this point eight years ago in which some questioned John McCain’s eligibility for the presidency. The Republican senator, well on his way to becoming his party’s nominee, was born in the Panama Canal Zone in 1936, prompting some pointless questions about whether he was literally a “natural-born citizen.”

Few took those questions seriously; even McCain’s harshest critics dismissed the concerns out of hand; and the Senate quickly approved a resolution – written and sponsored by Democrat Claire McCaskill – declaring, “John Sidney McCain, III, is a ‘natural born citizen’ under Article II, Section 1 of the Constitution of the United States.” It passed without opposition.

The recent history adds a degree of irony to McCain’s comments about Ted Cruz yesterday.

Arizona Sen. John McCain said he doesn’t know if the Canadian-born Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas is eligible to be president, saying the Supreme Court might have to decide if Cruz is eligible to be president.

“I don’t know the answer to that,” said McCain on the Chris Merrill Show on KFYI550 on Wednesday of Cruz’s eligibility.

As the BuzzFeed report added, McCain went on to say, in reference to Cruz, “I think it’s worth looking into.” McCain added he thinks Cruz should try to get ahead of these eligibility issues, though without access to a time machine, how he’d go about doing this is a bit of a mystery.

It’s a genuine shame that Donald Trump has pushed this issue into the spotlight, because as best as I can tell, this entire line of attack is misguided. For all intents and purposes, natural-born citizens are those who were citizens at the time of their birth. This applies to Cruz. End of story.

I can think of about a thousand reasons to be concerned about a Cruz presidency, but his eligibility isn’t one of them.

What I find more interesting, however, is Cruz’s sudden need for friends in high places.

With the developments surrounding McCain in 2008 still in mind, the New York Times asked this morning, “Now the question is, will the Senate again weigh in to clarify the constitutional status of another one of its members and declare Mr. Cruz eligible to be president?”

The answer is, almost certainly not. Among senators from both parties, Ted Cruz is extremely unpopular. He’s gone out of his way to alienate his colleagues, pick fights with his own party leadership, and generally make as few friends in the chamber as possible during his tenure.

On the campaign trail, this serves as a point of pride. Cruz can, in complete honesty, boast to the Republican base that the GOP establishment inside the Beltway has nothing but disdain for him – and the feeling is mutual. John McCain himself once referred to Cruz as a “wacko bird,” which is why it’s not too surprising that the Arizona Republican was needlessly adding fuel to a foolish fire yesterday. He just doesn’t seem to like his colleague very much.

Right about now, Cruz would probably love to see the same level of Senate support McCain received eight years ago, but he shouldn’t hold his breath. As the Times added, for most senators in both parties, “assisting Mr. Cruz would amount to a foreign concept.”


By: Steve Benen, The Maddow Blog, January 7, 2016

January 11, 2016 Posted by | Birthright Citizenship, John McCain, Senate, Ted Cruz | , , , , , | Leave a comment

“Where Does Scalia Think Cruz Was Born?”: Hey Supreme Court, Please Settle This Ted Cruz Birther Thing

Here are four words I never thought I would write: Donald Trump is right. As Trump said this week, it would be “very precarious” if Ted Cruz were the GOP nominee given that Cruz was undisputedly born in Canada.

Where Trump was wrong was when he made his focus on how precarious that would be “for Republicans.” Trump, possibly for the first time ever, was being too restrained. It would be precarious for our entire nation if Cruz were elected and then the U.S. Supreme Court deemed him ineligible to serve as president.

Think about the impact it would have to our nation as we collectively waited for the Court’s decision. It would be a national crisis. Our allies would not know who is actually our president, and our enemies might use the crisis to their advantage.  Plus it would cause a dramatic drop in the stock market (investors hate uncertainty.)

Now, just so it’s crystal clear, I’m neither a Cruz birther nor am I advocating that Cruz may be ineligible to be president.  What I’m saying is that the Supreme Court has not addressed the specific of issue whether a person in Cruz’s position is eligible to be president in accordance with the requirements of the U.S. Constitution.

Specifically, Article II, Section 1 of the Constitution provides that a person cannot be president unless he or she is “a natural born Citizen.” Cruz was born in Calgary, Canada in 1970 and first moved to the United States when he was four years old. At the time of Cruz’s birth, his mother was a United States citizen but his Cuban-born father was not.

So is Cruz a “natural born citizen”?  There are countless articles debating this issue. While some legal scholars support Cruz’s eligibility, others like Fordham Law School constitutional law professor Thomas Lee informed me that the question of whether Cruz is a “natural born citizen” can be answered with two words: “It depends.”

Lee, who was an editor of the Harvard Law Review and clerked for Supreme Court Justice David Souter, explained that the issue could go either way.  Lee noted there are two views of constitutional interpretations that he believes would support Cruz—the textualist and evolutionist views.

But under the “originalist” view, Cruz could be deemed ineligible.  Constitutional orginalists interpret the Constitution by looking at the meaning of the document when it was originally written. Ironically, Cruz is a constitutional orginalist and that is part of his appeal to conservatives. As Lee noted, Cruz should actually disqualify himself from the presidency if he remained true to being an originalist.

Once again, however, while learned people have offered well-reasoned opinions, we still don’t have the definitive guidance of the Supreme Court on this issue.  But this is no academic exercise. There were already objections filed in New Hampshire to knock Cruz off the ballot for being ineligible.

And while the New Hampshire Ballot Commission recently ruled in Cruz’s favor, its decision didn’t resolve this issue at all.  In fact, it added to the uncertainty.  The commission’s decision noted that since the question of what constitutes a “natural born citizen” has not been “answered with certainty” by the courts, the commission has “no clear standard to apply.”  It added: “this Commission is not the appropriate forum for the determination of major Constitutional questions.”

Summing up the quandary well, Brad Cook, the Republican chair of the commission, told the media at the time of rendering the decision, “It would be really nice if somebody would get this issue of law decided who has authority to decide constitutional issues, so every four years we don’t have this come up again.”

And that’s where we are now.  Given Cruz’s ascendancy in the polls and the plausible chance he could be the GOP presidential nominee, this issue needs to be decided by the federal courts now. But this is trickier than it would seem. We the people just can’t simply ask the nine Supreme Court Justices to give us a quick answer.

Professor Lee noted that there are likely only a few parties who would have the legal standing to bring a lawsuit in federal court to challenge Cruz’s eligibility. “Individual voters would not have standing,” Lee noted because federal courts require a “concrete injury,” not a more “generalized grievance.”

Bottom line, Lee believes it will take one of Cruz’s fellow presidential candidates to bring a lawsuit. Lee doubted that Super PACs would have standing in federal court unless they could show a concrete injury.

If a GOP presidential candidate were to now file a lawsuit in the federal courts where Cruz is on the ballot, it could go a long way to resolving this issue.  Waiting is precarious for all of us. What if Cruz wins the GOP nomination and the Democratic nominee or a third party presidential candidate then files a lawsuit to deem Cruz ineligible? Imagine if Cruz is deemed ineligible only a few weeks before Election Day?  The Democratic nominee would likely win in a cakewalk.

However, the worst-case scenario for us all would be that such a lawsuit isn’t filed until Cruz won the election and before he was sworn in as president. Talk about a national crisis. Does the Vice President elect get sworn in while we wait for the court?

Lee did caution, however, that the Supreme Court could deem this issue a “political question” and decline to get involved. But President Cruz would still likely be dogged by this issue his entire term, leading to a possible crisis in confidence.

That’s why it’s in the best interest of all Americans – regardless of political party- to resolve this issue sooner rather than later. It will give us all peace of mind. Plus it deprives Trump of another non-policy issue to distract us with, which is truly great for America.


By: Dean Obeidallah, The Daily Beast, January 10, 2016

January 11, 2016 Posted by | Birthright Citizenship, Donald Trump, GOP Presidential Candidates, U. S. Constitution | , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

“Calgary Ted”: What Goes Around Comes Around; Trump Shifts His Birther Gaze To Cruz

Who says Donald Trump lacks subtlety? The way he’s raising “birther” questions about his chief rival for the nomination is worthy of Machiavelli.

“I’d hate to see something like that get in his way,” Trump said of the fact that Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) was born in Canada. Trump referred to the Constitution’s provision that “No Person except a natural born Citizen” — whatever that means — is eligible to be president.

“But a lot of people are talking about it,” Trump continued, in an interview with Post reporters, “and I know that even some states are looking at it very strongly, the fact that he was born in Canada and he has had a double passport.”

Cruz flatly denied ever having a Canadian passport, telling CNN that this was just one of those “silly sideshows” the media love to engage in. But there is no question that he was born in Calgary, Alberta, to an American mother and a Cuban father. And there is no question that he had Canadian citizenship — before renouncing it in preparation for his presidential run.

Ah, what goes around comes around. For years, the Republican Party had nothing but patronizing nods and winks for the unhinged birthers — Trump included — who claimed, despite definitive proof to the contrary, that President Obama was born in some other country. Now, as party leaders desperately look for a way to deny Trump the nomination, the candidate with the best chance of doing so happens to have been born, without any doubt, in some other country.

Trump still leads the national Republican polls by a mile, while Cruz has pulled ahead of the rest of the field and now stands alone in second place. In first-to-vote Iowa, however, Cruz has taken a narrow lead over the bombastic billionaire and is favored to win. Hence Trump’s sudden concern over the birthplace of a man who perhaps should be nicknamed Calgary Ted.

“Republicans are going to have to ask themselves the question: ‘Do we want a candidate who could be tied up in court for two years?’ That’d be a big problem,” Trump told The Post. “It’d be a very precarious one for Republicans because he’d be running and the courts may take a long time to make a decision.”

Most legal experts agree that Cruz is eligible to run; the fact that his mother was a U.S. citizen means he had citizenship from birth, which would appear to satisfy the “natural born” requirement. But the question of precisely what the Constitution means has never been fully explored by the courts.

The issue came up in 2008 because Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) the GOP nominee, was born in the Panama Canal Zone to parents who were U.S. citizens. The Senate went so far as to pass a nonbinding resolution “recognizing that John Sidney McCain, III, is a natural born citizen.”

You’d think McCain might be sympathetic to Cruz’s situation, but did I mention that what goes around comes around? Cruz has gone out of his way to alienate many of his Senate colleagues, and McCain has called him and his allies “wacko birds.” Perhaps that’s why McCain, when asked by a Phoenix television station to comment on Cruz’s eligibility, responded: “I think there is a question. I’m not a constitutional scholar on that, but I think it’s worth looking into.”

McCain noted that the Canal Zone was “a territory of the United States of America” when he was born. And there was a precedent, he argued, since 1964 Republican candidate Barry Goldwater was born in Arizona when it, too, was a U.S. territory.

Whereas Canada is a whole different country.

I confess that I find the whole flap absurd. Cruz should be deemed unsuitable for the presidency because of his wrongheaded ultra-right-wing views and his dangerous political ruthlessness, not because his American mother happened to be living in Canada when he was born.

But maybe Cruz will have to squirm a bit. A lawsuit has been filed in Vermont to keep him off the ballot there, and I wouldn’t be surprised if suits were filed in other states as well. Somehow I doubt he’ll get the same moral support from his fellow senators that McCain was given.

Has the party of Lincoln really come to this, Donald Trump or Ted Cruz? The two men still insist that they like each other, their campaign-long bromance not extinguished. I’m reminded of something Machiavelli didn’t say but should have: Keep your friends close and your enemies closer.


By: Eugene Robinson, Opinion Writer, The Washington Post, January 7, 2016

January 10, 2016 Posted by | Birthers, Birthright Citizenship, Donald Trump, Ted Cruz | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

“His Hated Foe Might Not Be A U.S. Citizen”: Donald Trump Goes Birther Again — This Time On Ted Cruz

Well, well, Donald Trump is now having some fun with his new main rival, Ted Cruz. And this new line of attack against Cruz is actually an old line of attack for Trump, one he used to great effect against a certain somebody else. Trump is once again alleging that his hated foe might not really be an eligible U.S. citizen.

Remember that Trump practically built his political following back in 2010 and 2011 by promulgating all manner of conspiracy theories about President Obama’s birthplace. So it only makes sense that he could really have a ball against a candidate who was actually born in another country.

Cruz was born in the Canadian province of Alberta. In 2014, he legally renounced his dual citizenship in Canada — after the very fact of his having it had taken him somewhat by surprise.

The Washington Post reports:

“Republicans are going to have to ask themselves the question: ‘Do we want a candidate who could be tied up in court for two years?’ That’d be a big problem,” Trump said when asked about the topic. “It’d be a very precarious one for Republicans because he’d be running and the courts may take a long time to make a decision. You don’t want to be running and have that kind of thing over your head.”

And just to up the ante here, Trump seemingly invoked the language of protection rackets:

Trump added, “I’d hate to see something like that get in his way. But a lot of people are talking about it and I know that even some states are looking at it very strongly, the fact that he was born in Canada and he has had a double passport.”

Shorter message from Trump to Cruz: That’s a nice American identity you’ve got there — would sure be a shame if something happened to it.

For his part, Cruz has responded via Twitter — by invoking the classic “Jump the Shark” scene from Happy Days.

My response to @realDonaldTrump calling into question my natural-born citizenship?

— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) January 5, 2016


By: Eric Kleefeld, The National Memo, January 5, 2015

January 6, 2016 Posted by | Birthers, Birthright Citizenship, Donald Trump, Ted Cruz | , , , , | Leave a comment

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