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  • “Is Senator Ted Cruz a ‘Natural Born Citizen’? Yes”

    Posted by Jonathan on January 18th, 2016 (All posts by )

    Seth Barrett Tillman’s take on a popular controversy.


    5 Responses to ““Is Senator Ted Cruz a ‘Natural Born Citizen’? Yes””

    1. Assistant Village Idiot Says:

      I haven’t followed this controversy, though some people seem deeply worried about it. Does anyone know what the writers over at Volokh think about it? I have a strong tendency to accept whatever their reading is.

      If they are in disagreement, of course, then it becomes more difficult.

    2. dearieme Says:

      Suppose the original intention was in line with Blackstone’s discussion of “natural born subject”. Then if Cruz’s father were a US citizen, Cruz would be an NBC. But it was Cruz’s mother who was the Yank, so Hellary and company can argue that he’s not an NBC, which is necessarily an argument against equality for women. What fun.

    3. Will Says:

      Odd this controversy. By all accounts, Ted’s a clever guy. Between his time at Princeton, the tennis with Rehnquist, and his admission to the rather exclusive U.S. Senate, one would think he’d be well aware of the liability his Calgary birth would pose. What gives? Why would his campaign backers spend money on a guy who was ineligible?

    4. Michael Hiteshew Says:

      Yes, next question.

    5. Anonymous Says:

      I don’t know how much weight this has, but I sure liked it (quoted on Instapundit). RANDY BARNETT: Why Ted Cruz is a “natural born citizen.” “Just as the offspring of the sovereign monarch are ‘natural born subjects’ of the realm regardless of where they are born, so too are offspring of the sovereign individual citizen ‘natural born citizens’ of the United States, though they may be born outside its borders. Who is the sovereign, not territory, is what matters. In the United States, it is We the People, each and every one.”

      Given that we have traditionally given citizenship in terms of birth in country, I’m not sure this has the depth I’d like, but it echoes those old thinkers about the roles of kings and nobles and the people, the fictions of how each is represented and represents. Edmund Morgan’s Inventing the American People (which I’m struggling with and only through the first chapters) describes the “fictions” about representation and representatives we willingly accept. But those definitions of representative, king, rights – the ones he analyzes – are echoed in Barnett. Cruz’s mother is one of “the people” – as are those freed from Iranian captivity. Some were “dual citizens” but America’s arm encircled them as well – and they clearly saw themselves as Americans (and the Iranian guards, apparently, were surprised that so many cared, that Americans thought in terms of leaving none behind.) Part of our belief system is, indeed, that every citizen is, in important ways, sovereign.

      Trying to find that snippet on Instapundit, this popped: Elizabeth Price Foley’s post about Widener School’s Mary MacManamon’s analysis.