Election 2016

Worst Argument Ever Against Ted Cruz Is Donald Trump's Birther Claim

The latest burst of birtherism is a reminder of how sad the whole meme always was.

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Donald Trump, who once (well, constantly) challenged Barack Obama's eligibility to be president based on his birthplace, is now doing the same thing to Ted Cruz, his rival for the Republican nomination.

"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."

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."

Via Wonkette.

From a libertarian perspective, there are many reasons to object to Ted Cruz becoming president, or even the Republican nominee in the 2016 election. I make a number of them here.

Cruz's eligibility under the law is not one of them. In 2013 at The Daily Caller, Cato Institute legal analyst Ilya Shapiro noted that any person who is a citizen at birth is eligibile regardless of his own birthplace. So the only question is whether Cruz, who was born in Canada and whose father was a Cuban refugee and whose mother was an American citizen, was a U.S. citizen or national at birth.

The Nationality Act of 1940 outlines which children become "nationals and citizens of the United States at birth." In addition to those who are born in the United States or born outside the country to parents who were both citizens — or, interestingly, found in the United States without parents and no proof of birth elsewhere — citizenship goes to babies born to one American parent who has spent a certain number of years here.

That single-parent requirement has been amended several times, but under the law in effect between 1952 and 1986 — Cruz was born in 1970 — someone must have a citizen parent who resided in the United States for at least 10 years, including five after the age of 14, in order to be considered a natural-born citizen. Cruz's mother, Eleanor Darragh, was born in Delaware, lived most of her life in the United States, and gave birth to little Rafael Edward Cruz in her 30s. Q.E.D.

I think that pretty much settles this, though I think Shapiro should have used S.T.F.U. rather than Q.E.D. at the end of his article.

The entire birther meme (thanks, Hillary!) has been an embarrassment of epic proportions, one of those rare-but-telling episodes where the collective unconscious becomes not only visible but unavoidable. The idea of trying to delegitimate the first viable black candidate for president by effectively claiming he is a not a real American is just too Freudian for words. Especially given the fact that regardless of where he was born, his mother was a U.S. citizen.

Let's go even further: The whole notion that only somebody who was an American citizen or national at birth can be president is stupid. Might have made sense in the first couple of years of the Republic, but even then, really?

I would prefer to live in a world without government, or at least the sort of government we have now, but who has the excess psychic bandwidth to give a shit about whether somebody was born here or somewhere else when it comes to presidential elections?

Isn't the whole mythic point of America is that you can come here and become whatever you want and wherever your talents lead you? Why not president then?

And need I point out, even low-skilled immigrants commit fewer crimes and use less welfare than comparable Americans. That's positively aspirational in a president, isn't it?

NEXT: Miami Cops Kept Businessman's Cash Long After They Knew It Was Legitimate

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  1. [U]nder the law in effect between 1952 and 1986 . . . someone must have a citizen parent who resided in the United States for at least 10 years, including five after the age of 14, in order to be considered a natural-born citizen.

    Interesting. This means that it doesn’t matter that Cruz was born in Canada, but that if Obama actually had been born in Kenya, he wouldn’t be a citizen at birth, as his citizen mother was only 18 at the time of his birth, and therefore hadn’t lived in the country for five years since age 14.

    1. Yeah, I wonder how that rule has been applied to teen mothers. Read literally, nobody born overseas of a citizen parent under the age of 19 is natural born.

      1. I think that’s the point of the restriction. They don’t want a kid born to a parent who can’t even remember the states considered a US citizen by default.

        1. Hey, don’t mock Sasha and Malia!

      2. Read literally, nobody born overseas of a citizen parent under the age of 19 is natural born.

        Only if the US citizen teenage parent is married to a non-US citizen. If an unmarried US citizen teenage parent gave birth overseas then the child would be a US citizen at birth. Similarly, a US citizen teenage parent married to another US citizen would pass US citizenship even if their child is born overseas.

        In other words, if Obama had been born outside of the US, his best defense would have been to claim that the marriage of his parents was null and void since his father was a bigamist.

        1. The summary of the law by Ilya Shapiro, which Gillespie’s article (and my comment) quoted, doesn’t say that the marital status of the mother has anything to do with the citizenship of her foreign-born offspring.

      3. They are if the other parent is a citizen who is old enough to have lived in the US for five years past age 14 (and has actually done so).

    2. The error in the article (and Shapiro’s analysis) is conflating “naturalized at birth” with “natural born”. They’re two different things. Cruz was naturalized at birth, under the law cited, but not naturally born under the jurisdiction of the U.S. government.

      Not that it matters, because the Supreme Court has never ruled on the issue (only on whether naturalized citizens have the same claims under the Bill of Rights) AND there is no venue for instigating a legal challenge anywhere in the presidential election process.

      1. Cruz wasn’t naturalized. He’s a natural born citizen.

        “The proviso in the Naturalization Act of 1790 underscores that while the concept of “natural born Citizen” has remained constant and plainly includes someone who is a citizen from birth by descent without the need to undergo naturalization proceedings.”
        http://harvardlawreview.org/20…..n-citizen/

  2. I say do away with birthright citizenship. People should not be automatically granted citizen status but instead have to fight for it in a blood ritual performed at midnight on the person’s 13th birthday. Losers get deported.

    1. I say to the death. Immigrants that come to America to work should be required to do something more than be employed in jobs that other Americans don’t want to do.

      1. Re: American Stultified,

        Immigrants that come to America to work should be required to do something more than be employed in jobs that other Americans don’t want to do.

        Immigrants are not afforded the same legal protections that citizens enjoy already (for instance, they’re legally barred from purchasing firearms to protect themselves) and you want to burden them with even more impositions?

        Spoken like a true Marxian.

        1. It’s sarcasm, but so was what he responded to. Honestly, it’s a like a train of idiots here.

    2. I say we declare everyone everywhere a US citizen and start imposing US law on them immediately.

      1. We need to close this tax loophole immediately. We never budgeted for that sort of revenue cut!

        1. Actually, it’s not much of a stretch to interpret the language of the IRC as applying to all income everywhere, but enforcing it against foreigners on foreign-sourced income is, er…jurisdictionally problematic.

          1. That’s why God gave us nukes.

            1. A lot of income for little effort would be finding high income urban areas, add a small tax and use part of that to pay the duke to keep his serfs in line with usa assistance of course.

  3. “The entire birther meme (thanks, Hillary!)…”

    Psst, nick, your link rebuts the notion that the Clinton campaign used “Birther” allegations. See, it’s this kind of duplicity by people who can’t use honest arguments about Clinton (and there are plenty) that drives people to her. It’s not that I’m a Clinton supporter, but I’d definitely plant myself in the anti- anti-Clinton camp, who pretty much have gone out of their mind over her and Benghazi-dome

    1. Re: American Stultified,

      Psst, nick, your link rebuts the notion that the Clinton campaign used “Birther” allegations.

      Tongue-in-cheek, Stultified. Tongue-in-cheek.

      The allegations might have come from Clinton supporters as the fact checker admits.

      it’s this kind of duplicity by people who can’t use honest arguments about Clinton (and there are plenty) that drives people to her.

      What you are saying is that her supporters are swayed by facile emotional arguments rather than rationality. Does that mean you believe she’s the Demo-rat’s Donald Trump?

      1. I would say that an anonymous email that first was circulated by “passionate Clinton supporters” can fairly be assumed to originate with her campaign. Not proven, but also not disproven, and I think its not entirely nuts to conclude that the email originated with her campaign via “plausible deniability”.

        1. Oh please. This is totally specious reasoning.

          Now, if the email could be traced back to the Koch brothers, that would be irrefutable proof of their involvement.

          1. Maybe it will turn out that it was the point of al-Qaeda’s sword.

      2. I’m not a supporter so you’ll have to ask them. Her detractors, on the other hand, seem to be motivated by an inchoate rage that clinton’s timid and carefully calibrated politics don’t seem to warrant.

        1. clinton’s timid and carefully calibrated politics

          In poker, this is what we call a “tell”.

    2. I NO AMSOC ITS TOATS STUPID THAT GILLAPSY IS CLAIMING HIILLARY WUZ TEH BIRTHER MEEM SINCE WE ALL KNOW THAT BARAACK OBAMA MADE THE CLAIM BEFORE SHE DID SO HE CUD SELL HIZ BUKS!!!! DUUUUUH!!!!

      1. Also… People who hate Clinton because of their own pathology seem to lose the ability to spell or not use caps

        1. Or they are mocking you for being a dumbfuck, dumbfuck.

  4. The natural born citizenship requirement is to make it less likely the president has loyalties to a foreign government. This is totally justified given his/her responsibilities in foreign policy and warfare.

    Second, Barack Obama is not a real American, regardless of where he was born. He cares more about getting the approval of the international left than the good of the USA.

    1. “He cares more about getting the approval of the international left than the good of the USA.”

      True, although in fairness that was also true of the racist Woodrow Wilson.

    2. So what requirements can they put in place to make it less likely that the president has loyalties to the American government?

      1. None that a libertarian would approve of, I can tell you that. It would require some sort of Orwellian mind reading technology. I would oppose such a think and I think almost all of the regular posters here would as well.

        1. Treat all federal employees as residents of DC for voting purposes. We know exactly how many of them reside in each state, so eliminate them entirely from the electoral math. No votes in federal elections. Don’t count them for apportionment of the house of representatives, etc.

          This serves the purpose of avoiding a self-serving government.

        2. The fact is we’ll be doing good to get a mediocre President. We should be able to find one out of a population of 300 million. Barring non-natural-born citizens is not going to reduce that pool by much. Even from a hard-core libertarian perspective, I don’t see it’s important enough to care much about.

      2. Ban voting by federal employees.

        1. I like the idea, but if you enacted it, what you’d see is that a lot of work now done by federal employees would be done by contractors instead. So you’d have to craft a rule that no employee whose salary was funded by a federal grant or contract could vote. But what if the grant only funded part of his salary? Or if the federal money wasn’t particularly earmarked to fund any positions? (In the latter case, the rule might have to disenfranchise everyone working for an employer that got more than X% of its revenue from the feds. But how would you define the employer? Should you count each business unit as a separate employer?) However you craft the rule, clever accounting tricks can probably be used to mask the fact that substantial portions of the workforce continue to live by sucking off the federal teat, so as to permit those parasites to continue to vote for legislators who will keep the gravy train rolling. And at the end of it all, we’ll be no better off than we are now, but the law will be a lot more complicated (creating lots of work for accountants and lawyers but costing a deadweight loss to the economy).

    3. I would suggest that the natural-born citizenship requirement is to make it less likely that the president was programmed to believe certain un-American principles such as the divine right of kings and the natural principles that flow from that – that you are a subject and government is that benevolent master that grants you the privileges of free speech, freedom of religion, the privilege to keep and bear arms, etc.

      Real Americans hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, that to secure these rights governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, and that whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it.

      Any fucker that starts talking about the BoR as rights given to you by the Constitution or as rights only Americans possess or rights the government can infringe to a “reasonable” extent needs to have their ass shipped back to Commieland where they belong.

      1. So my rights come from my mom? Who knew.

        1. It was printed on the EULA your head busted through on the way out of her vagina. Along with the rest of the social contract.

          1. Ha ha! C-Section loophole!

        2. The Flying Spaghetti Monster.

        3. And your mom’s rights came from her mom, and her mom from her mom, and so on right back to the first monkey that figured out he could use that termite-fishing stick to poke his neighbor in the eye and steal his termites and that that was a much more efficient way of getting termites. (Not the monkey that did the poking, of course, the monkey that got his eye poked and said “OMG! WTF, bro! You can’t just go around poking people in the eye and stealing their shit! That’s fucked-up, man!”)

        4. Do you know what else came out of Hugh’s mom?

    4. There’s also an old argument that it was written into the constitution to prevent Alexander Hamilton running for the presidency. Have never seen anyone offer definitive proof of that.

      1. Isn’t there an exception for those born before the Constitution was enacted? So Hamilton would have been exempt.

        1. The exception was that you didn’t have to be born in the US, since it didn’t exist, but you did have to be born in one of the colonies that went on to join. Hamilton was ineligible.

          1. “No person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President; neither shall any person be eligible to that Office who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty five Years, and been fourteen Years a Resident within the United States.”

            Wasn’t Hamilton a citizen at the time the Constitution was adopted?

            1. Wasn’t Hamilton a citizen at the time the Constitution was adopted?

              I tried to get a cursory answer, but couldn’t find one. He seems to have been a resident of New York for a long time, although he was born outside the original states. Just like the US Constitution, neither the Constitution of New York in effect at the time, nor the Articles of Confederation, define who is a citizen.

              1. He was a citizen by virtue of adhering to the Revolution.

              2. Of course he was a citizen. Unless they were letting non-citizens be members of the Constitutional Convention.

  5. Obama’s father abandoned him and his mother dumped in off to live in Malaysia with family ‘friends’. While campaigning for president he did not go back to Hawaii to be with dying mother. I don’t like Obama’s politics, but good for him. To be treated like that and come out some sense of grace is extraordinary.

    1. ” I don’t like Obama’s politics, but good for him. To be treated like that and come out some sense of grace is extraordinary.”

      I understand where you are going with that. But ideas are chosen. One chooses one’s political philosophy – at least as an adult in what used to be a free country. If he had remained a college professor with the same philosophy I could shake his hand and live in neighborly peace. But once he picked up the sword of President and began to impose his will on others he lost any chance of that with me. I don’t care about side issues such as whether or not he was born in Kenya or whether or not he is Muslim (he is not, or at least he is a very bad one – he eats pork and drinks wine.) What I do care about is the fact that he imposes his beliefs upon others using the sword of government.

      1. No Muslim would sit through a Jeremiah Wright sermon without stabbing him in the eye.

    2. Somehow, letting your mother die alone doesn’t strike me as showing any sense of “grace”, regardless of how she treated you.

      1. I have to disagree with you on that. If the mother was abusive or abandoned him at the time she deserved to die alone. I detest Obama but I have to defend him on that one.

        1. In agreement. Looking forward to my father dying, alone and bitter in a government-paid nursing home, is all the therapy I need.

          Kids don’t owe their parents anything. If parents want attention and respect, they earn it like everyone else.

          1. “Kids don’t owe their parents anything.”

            Certainly not if the parents abandoned them or abused them. I will say, that good – or at least decent – parents who do the best job they can do deserve respect and even adoration – not those who are mere sperm or egg donors.

          2. Government paid nursing home. There’s that famous libertarian fiscal conservatism convenience I’ve heard so much about. I would prefer my dad die alone with no government assistance.

            1. Yeah. Because he won’t sign up for Medicaid as he ages as required by law, unless I make it happen for him. I made the law too, for that matter. Wrote it myself. I wasn’t stating facts as they are likely to occur, I was stating my enthusiastic endorsement for government funding.

              You fools have no idea the power I wield in secret. Bwaaahahaha – can I stop now, or does everyone realize you just said a stupid thing?

            2. There’s that famous libertarian fiscal conservatism convenience I’ve heard so much about.

              Yes, her father going into state-mandated care because of his own fiscal irresponsibility is her fault. Brilliant analysis, Skippy.

        2. she deserved to die alone

          Grace is about treating people better than they deserve.

          1. Perhaps. If that is your belief I respect that. In the case of a parent who abandons a child I respectfully disagree.

            1. That would be “revenge” or “vengeance” or “payback”, not grace.

              1. To ignore someone without comment = revenge, vengeance, payback.

                No, I don’t think that’s how it works.

            2. No, I think that is the definition of “grace.”

              Perhaps another term applies.

          2. Only God has grace to spare.

  6. The whole notion that only somebody who was an American citizen or national at birth can be president is stupid.

    Putin for President! Let’s Make America Awesome Again!

    1. I’d vote for him. Seriously. Finally we could annex the Great White North as well as Mexico. Heck, the American Empire might take over the entire western hemisphere.

      1. I suppose we couldn’t run it into the ground much more than it already is. But then, I’m probably an optimist.

    2. BORSCHT FOR THE BORSCHT GOD!

      1. VODKA FOR THE VODKA THRONE!

    3. That guy in Tienanmen Square was born and raised and lived his whole life in China, but that heroic bastard was more American than many of us will ever be.

    4. I will say that Putin is doing more to Protect American liberties than Obama. He is giving sanctuary to American Hero Edward Snowden and fighting the terrorists in Syria that the CIA is funding.

  7. Recall that McCain had a similar issue being born in the Panama Canal Zone. He arranged a sense of the Senate resolution stating that the Senate held he was eligible to be president.

    I guess he’s just another silly birther Trumpite thinking that the citizenship requirements for the presidency are a real issue.

    1. At the time he was born, the Canal Zone was U.S. territory. It no longer is but it was at the time. Someone born in Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, CNMI, or Guam could be President as well.

      1. The PCZ was never US territory. We just leased it.

        1. On May 4, 1904 the United States “took possession of” what became the Canal Zone.

          http://dloc.com/UF00083277/00001/7

          1. That doesn’t mean we owned it.

            1. People think embassies. consulates and military bases are US territory too but they aren’t.

        2. It was under the jurisdiction of the United States.

      2. His parents were working for the US government. I don’t think it’s plausible to think the Constitution was meant to deny citizenship to the offspring of US employees working abroad. Or to think such a kid would be “disloyal.”

  8. All these guys should just whip out their “long forms” and be done with it.

    1. Just be sure to scrub all the odd layering off of your .pdf. And clean up those artifacts around the dates and signatures, too.

      1. And don’t sign it “Ukelele” neither.

  9. BTW, I still suspect that the reason Obama’s college records have been so thoroughly disappeared is that he claimed Kenyan birth on them to game the admissions. While the .pdf of his long form was quite hinky, I think he was born in Hawaii, but I also would bet that he claimed otherwise to get into college and law school.

    1. You mean “Redacted” isn’t a district of Honolulu?

    2. THIS ….. I thought the same thing. I have to admit though, this is the first time I’ve seen the yearbook picture proclaiming a foreign birthright.

    3. And his grades were probably mediocre at best, given that he is a lazy shit and intellectually incurious.

    4. Either the admissions or subsequent grant/funding opportunities.

    5. If he even went to Columbia. None of his classmates remember ever seeing him. Even those in his major.

  10. OT: A former U.S. attorney thinks Hillary Clinton could face a criminal indictment from the FBI within the next 60 days.

    “I believe that the evidence that the FBI is compiling will be so compelling that, unless [Lynch] agrees to the charges, there will be a massive revolt inside the FBI, which she will not be able to survive as an attorney general. It will be like Watergate. It will be unbelievable,” DiGenova said.

    And since Obama said yesterday that everyone should follow the same rules, Hillary’s conviction will be a slam-dunk.

    1. “And since Obama said yesterday that everyone should follow the same rules, Hillary’s conviction will be a slam-dunk.”

      True – because Obama has never lied or claimed to believe something he does not actually believe.

      That said, I do hope that she winds up in prison, which is where over 90% of all politicians belong.

      1. But … he *cried*!

        1. His programing has a cry function option. After the teleprompter script is fed into him certain words are highlighted so that the machine knows when to eject small amounts of saline solution from the around the camera lenses.

      2. Jumpsuit is the new pantsuit.

    2. Nope, never happen. The Democrats want to keep the White House more than anything, and Obama will never allow an indictment. And they know the media will run cover for them so they think it will blow over by election time.

      1. I dunno. I still am holding out hope that this will be Barry and Jarrett’s revenge move against the Clintons. Barry hates Republicans and wants a Dem successor, but let’s not forget that he is a small, petty man.

        1. He is also very self-serving, and he knows that torpedoing Hillary will cost the Dems the Presidency and alienate him from the Democratic party, costing him big bucks and adoration after he is out of office.

          1. But once the country accepts his gun control wishes, all will be forgiven by the party and he will be rehabilitated.

    3. But it is time we have a woman president, like it was time to have a black president. Well he is half black. Jim Goad muses that Hillary keeps company with the smart and very attractive Huma Abadin as a sex toy.

      1. Who wouldn’t want to vote for the first lesbian President!?

      2. Huma Abidin is only attractive if you’re really into horses.

        1. I would totally be into her if I were a 70 year old lesbian. She is a major upgrade over what Bill usually bangs.

  11. Damn, is that your big brother’s jacket, Cruz? Get to a tailor and have those sleeves taken care of.

  12. “Two Republican presidential candidates claim the so-called “birther” movement originated with the Hillary Clinton campaign in 2008. While it’s true that some of her ardent supporters pushed the theory, there is no evidence that Clinton or her campaign had anything to do with it.”

    From your link.

    There is only one candidate that pushed birtherism, and that is Trump. The GOP gave him a voice back then and they deserve him now. As do libertarians, because it’s the party you decided to hang your hat on.

    Enjoy!

    1. there is no evidence that Clinton or her campaign had anything to do with it.

      “What, with a cloth or something?”

      1. Tell it to Nick…it’s the link he cited that supposedly says it comes from Clinton. He might want to read his sources first.

        1. I NO JACKASS ACE!!11!!!! ITS TOATS STUPID THAT GILLAPSY IS CLAIMING HIILLARY WUZ TEH BIRTHER MEEM SINCE WE ALL KNOW THAT BARAACK OBAMA MADE THE CLAIM BEFORE SHE DID SO HE CUD SELL HIZ BUKS!!!! DUUUUUH!!!!

      2. there is no evidence that Clinton or her campaign had anything to do with it.

        Yeah, it just spontaneously started with her supporters. Total coincidence.

    2. So how’s life treating you, Joe? Are you still a substitute teacher? Still short?

      1. Your joe from Lowell radar keeps from changing my screen handle, even after regrettable posts.

    3. Oh god no! If only we had sided the Democratic party! Then we’d be cool and smart and reasonable.

      1. …because it’s the party you decided to hang your hat on.

        This after Nick continues progsplaining why Ted Cruz is totes uncoolies because he’s not down with the ass sex OR the baby killin’, which everybody knows are the dearest issues to libertarians across America.

        Methinks Jackand Ace has brain damage.

    4. While it’s true that some of her ardent supporters pushed the theory, there is no evidence that Clinton or her campaign had anything to do with it.

      Well, no evidence other than that her ardent supporters were the ones pushing it. But I’m sure Hillary and her campaign had nothing to do with it, because they are so upstanding and trustworthy.

      Your intellect is more diminutive that your stature, Joe.

  13. “The idea of trying to delegitimate the first viable black candidate for president by effectively claiming he is a not a real American is just too Freudian for words.”

    Obama seems to hate the American people to the extent that we are capitalist, and he seems to despise Americans for being devoutly Christian, as well. He uses his hatred of the American people to justify violating their rights–he thinks that he is justified in imposing his will on the American people because he hates us to the extent that we are capitalist, devoutly Christian, etc.

    People notice. And they try to make sense of why they’re hated by their own President.

    1. No, it’s because he’s black. Because racism! His actions have nothing to do with it.

  14. What makes Shapiro think that citizen at birth equals natural born Citizen? That’s nothing but his opinion. There is no law or federal court case that specifically deals with the definition of nbC. The phrase literally, yes literally, has no legally relevant definition. No living person knows what it means. That being said the SC has weighed in with dicta concerning situations just like Cruz’s and it’s not good for him. It even comes from the seminal case concerning birthright citizenship.

    US v Wong Kim Ark

    “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,…” (emphasis mine)

    Nick you might find the requirement useless but it is still a requirement.

    1. “by authority of Congress, exercised either by declaring certain classes of persons to be citizens” etc.

      That would seem to cover Cruz.

      1. It does. It naturalizes him at birth. It makes him a naturalized citizen not a natural born one. Did you read the first sentence?

        1. Well, no one is a citizen before they are born.

          So, children born in the US are naturalized at birth, hence, natural-born citizens. Certain children born outside the US are also naturalized at birth, hence, wait for it, natural-born citizens.

          1. Uh, no. Naturalized means “to be made AS IF natural”. Naturalized requires a law, natural born is inherent.

          2. So they aren’t a citizen at conception?

            1. Nope. Gotta be a (legal) person to be a citizen.

              Ice, my man, you are still missing the point. Natural-born citizen means citizen at birth. You don’t have to be born in the territory of the US to be a citizen at birth. Some are “naturalized” at birth by virtue of being born here or having citizen parents. Others are naturalized later, by virtue of meeting other legal requirements.

              And, “natural born” isn’t “inherent”, because being a citizen of anything isn’t an inherent property of a person. It is a legal status.

              1. Of course being natural born is inherent. If nbC means born in a country to citizen parents you can’t be anything other than a citizen of that country. You’re saying that a child born in a country to citizen parents can NOT be a citizen of that country which is absurd. The child would literally have no country.

                Please cite the law or federal court case that specifically defines nbC as citizen at birth or defines it at all. Caveat, it must actually contain the words “natural born”.

                1. There are people with no country.

                  1. From birth? Who were born in a country to citizen parents?

        2. Maybe I’m wrong, but if so I’m in good company, as you can see by the Naturalization Act passed by the First Congress in 1790 (with many constitutional Framers as members):

          “And the children of citizens of the United States that may be born beyond 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: Provided also, that no person heretofore proscribed by any States, shall be admitted a citizen as aforesaid, except by an Act of the Legislature of the State in which such person was proscribed.”

          1. (Congress tweaked the eligibility rules many times afterward, but the key point is that they recognized that citizens born abroad were natural-born citizens)

            1. If they recognized citizens born abroad are natural born there would not have been any reason for them to write it into law.

              1. Was the 1790 statute constitutional or not?

                1. That would depend on the definition of nbC. If it is citizen at birth it was but it was also redundant. If it is born in the country or born in the country to citizen parents it’s “maybe”. It’s actually a pretty complicated question. It is telling that they removed that wording in 1795 and it hasn’t existed since.

                  1. It was not redundant because the definition is not self-evident now and it was not then. Because the Constitution is not a perfect document and some verbiage is ambiguous, the three branches of government in practice play a role in determining what those ambiguous terms and phrases mean. For the courts, it’s Judicial Review. Under the Chevron Doctrine, the courts will defer to an executive branch agency’s understanding of a statute provided that it is reasonable. As a practical matter, the executive branch also has an obligation to consider the Constitutional implications of its actions, and so must by necessity interpret the Constitution for the same reason it must interpret statutory law.

                    So, when Congress necessarily has to interpret the phrase “natural born citizen,” and tries to spell it out clearly so that everybody knows what it means and the definition won’t be left up to judicial guesswork, that is what we should defer to. That people might be consider NBCs by both jus sanguinis and jus solis is eminently reasonable. There is really no question that Congress considers jus sanguinis citizens to be natural born, given that they explicitly distinguish between naturalized citizens and citizens born abroad in statutory law, and documents issued by the executive branch reinforce this understanding.

                    1. So you’re saying the same people who put nbC into the Constitution didn’t know the meaning of the phrase then or three years later when they wrote the Act of 1790? That’s pure bullshit.

                    2. I’m saying it’s ambiguous. Maybe they had a shared definition in mind, but it wasn’t self evident. Perhaps they disagreed, and the inclusion of the phrase is an example of incompletely theorized agreement. Whatever the case, in 1790, they statutorily defined what it meant.

                    3. I agree it’s ambiguous, NOW. We have no idea if it was THEN. The Act of 1790 however in no way defines it. It merely says those born abroad are “considered as” natural born. That is not a definition. It actually supports the argument that you at least have to be born in the country to be natural born.

  15. Right now, to be Pres (or VP), you need to be a natural-born citizen, be at least 35 years old, and have lived in the U.S. for 14 years.

    Why not just tweak that, require that you have been a U.S. citizen for 35 years and a U.S. resident for 14 years since becoming a citizen.

    So if you were a citizen of some other country at birth, but became a naturalized American at, say, 20, you could be Pres once you reach 55, if you’ve been in the U.S. for 14 years since then.

    That should be enough to satisfy the concerns of the supporters of natural-born citizenship.

    1. Gosh, if you’ve lived in the U.S. *before* becoming a citizen, count that toward the 14 years.

      I’m feeling generous.

    2. Because the requirement is so that the CIC of the armed forces will not have any allegiance to a country other than the US.

  16. OT: USDA announces RESULTS of a “year-long storytelling effort of the Obama administrations work” Blatant campaigning masquerading as a legitimate government research study.

    http://blogs.usda.gov/2016/01/…..l-america/

    1. Not surprised. The Obama admin has basically used all of the government agencies as blatant campaigning masquerading as government work and/or research.

  17. The whole notion that only somebody who was an American citizen or national at birth can be president is stupid.

    [. . . ]

    Isn’t the whole mythic point of America is that you can come here and become whatever you want and wherever your talents lead you? Why not president then?

    Article 2, Section 1, Clause 5 of the U.S. Constitution, for starters…

    1. Pfft, that was written like a hundred years ago and is hard to understand.

  18. ‘Do we want a candidate who could be tied up in court for two years?’

    As a practical matter, I believe that once Congress certifies someone as the winner of a Presidential election, the courts will defer to Congress.

    I know, you can argue until you’re blue in the face that Congress is only authorized to *count* the votes, blah blah, but let’s face it, the courts will find a way to defer to Congress rather than subject the Presidency to the vagaries of litigation.

    1. Well no federal court has taken a challenge to Obama’s eligibility because apparently no one has standing to question it. Maybe a congressperson who files a Quo Warranto with the D.C. district court could get a hearing but no one else.

      1. I’m saying they’re not going to touch it – they’ll probably declare it a political question. They’ll defer to whatever finding Congress makes when it counts the votes right after the election.

        1. But a lower court would HAVE to take the case if a person with standing can be found. If the SC then let the lower court ruling stand then we’d know.

          1. Denying standing is their way of avoiding it.

  19. “: The whole notion that only somebody who was an American citizen or national at birth can be president is stupid. Might have made sense in the first couple of years of the Republic, but even then, really?”

    The is stunning use of logic and rhetoric, Gillespie, almost as good as similar arguments I have seen put forth against the 2nd and 1st Amendments.

    The founders had noticed some bad results in other countries with elected executives who were not born citizens of the countries they ran and whose loyalties proved dubious. The Polish monarchy comes to mind.

    “The idea of trying to delegitimate the first viable black candidate for president by effectively claiming he is a not a real American is just too Freudian for words.”

    Odd that the first viable black candidate had such an atypical personal background from most American blacks that this an attempt was even possible. How many candidates for president in recent memory were children of foreign nationals who rose to high office in their home countries?

    1. Chester A. Arthur is the only other President who had a foreign father a fact he hid.

      1. If you don’t count all of those early presidents as having British parents, of course.

        And truth be told, I’ve got my suspicions about Herbert Hoover…

        1. Right. I should have said “non grandfathered President”. The first few were actually born foreigners. Lol.

  20. How many candidates for president in recent memory were children of foreign nationals and spent a good chunk of their childhood in foreign countries who rose to high office in their home countries?

  21. Man, you guys have some weird ideas about Obama. I think he’s just an effete boob.

    1. I think he’s more of a stooge.

  22. Trump actually has a point.

    No, there’s not much of a legal argument, but that’s never stopped Democrats from tying their respective enemies up with courts before.

    1. There’s a lot of legal argument. The SC in Wong says a foreign born citizen at birth has to be naturalized.

      1. Sure, that there is more than enough for Cruz to be ham-stringed with.

        Not the worst argument ever against Cruz.

  23. That Canuck is going to be our master, that’s for sure.

    Oh, the shame, the horror.

  24. This is silly. Just as with Obama, if the people elect Cruz, no one is going to have standing to challenge it.

    A SCOTUS that wouldn’t undo Obamacare is not going to undo a presidential election.

    I seriously doubt that even Hillary would sue. It’s a great social media effort to siphon votes, but it’s not a realistic legal challenge.

    1. Congress might have standing to challenge it, but as a whole; not individual Congressmen or Senators.

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