…”When Cruz was my constitutional law student at Harvard, he aced the course after making a big point of opposing my views in class — arguing stridently for sticking with the “original meaning” against the idea of a more elastic “living Constitution” whenever such ideas came up. I enjoyed jousting with him, but Ted never convinced me — nor did I convince him.
At least he was consistent in those days. Now, he seems to be a fair weather originalist, abandoning that method’s narrow constraints when it suits his ambition”… ~ Laurence H Tribe (Harvard)
Ted Cruz is a Naturalized Citizen, not “Natural Born”
(Via Free Republic) The question of who qualifies as a “natural born citizen” may be close in some cases, but the case of Ted Cruz is easy. Constitutionally speaking, Cruz is a naturalized citizen, not “natural born.”
Regarding citizenship, the Constitution grants Congress power over a uniform rule of naturalization, not over citizenship generally. Any citizen whose citizenship is derived from an act of Congress is thus a naturalized citizen, constitutionally speaking, and thus not “natural born.”
The basic principle is stated in United States v. Wong Kim Ark, 169 U.S. 649, 702-3 (1898):
The Fourteenth Amendment of the Constitution . . . contemplates two sources of citizenship, and two only: birth and naturalization. . . . Every person born in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, becomes at once a citizen of the United States, and needs no naturalization.
A person born out of the jurisdiction of the United States can only become a citizen by being naturalized, either by treaty, as in the case of the annexation of foreign territory, or by authority of Congress, exercised either by declaring certain classes of persons to be citizens, as in the enactments conferring citizenship upon foreign-born children of citizens, or by enabling foreigners individually to become citizens by proceedings in the judicial tribunals, as in the ordinary provisions of the naturalization acts.
(Emphasis added.) That this principle still holds was recognized in Rogers v. Bellei, 401 U.S. 815 (1971)— implicitly in the majority opinion of Blackmun, in which Chief Justice Burger, and Justices Harlan, Stewart, and White joined:
[O]ur law in this area follows English concepts with an acceptance of the jus soli, that is, that the place of birth governs citizenship status except as modified by statute [and] the [Supreme] Court has specifically recognized the power of Congress not to grant a United States citizen the right to transmit citizenship by descent.
(pp. 828-30) and explicitly in the dissent of Brennan, joined by Douglas:
Concededly, petitioner [Bellei] was a citizen at birth, not by constitutional right, but only through operation of a federal statute. In the light of the complete lack of rational basis for distinguishing among citizens whose naturalization was carried out within the physical bounds of the United States, and those, like Bellei, who may be naturalized overseas . . . .
(p. 845, emphasis added) as well as in the dissent of Black, with Douglass and Marshall joining:
Congress is empowered by the Constitution to “establish an uniform Rule of Naturalization,” Art. I, Â§ 8. Anyone acquiring citizenship solely under the exercise of this power is, constitutionally speaking, a naturalized citizen.
(p. 840, Emphasis added).
The argument that Cruz is “natural born” because he was never naturalized is based on the false premise that Cruz was never naturalized.
Cruz was naturalized (presumably at birth) by statute under Congress’ power to make a uniform rule of naturalization. And since he (apparently) has no other claim to U.S. citizenship, he cannot be considered a “natural born” citizen. (link)