The natural born citizenship eligibility requirement for presidents was essentially read out of the U.S. Constitution during the 2008 presidential election when election authority after election authority and court after court across the land refused to consider what it means to be a natural born citizen in order to determine whether either of the candidates that year, Barack Obama or John McCain, were constitutionally eligible to serve as president. McCain produced his birth certificate at the outset of his campaign showing his birth in Panama to his two American citizen parents, as well as obtaining passage of a bipartisan, nonbinding Senate resolution declaring him eligible to serve. Obama, who claims an American citizen mother and a Kenyan father, never produced a genuine birth certificate during his campaign, and when he finally "found it" (i.e., the words of Obama's BFF Reggie Love) in April, 2011, most document experts who studied it concluded that it was a bad photo-shopped forgery.
Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, who has been mentioned as a possible Republican presidential candidate in 2016, has faced a lot of scrutiny across the media spectrum over whether he's a natural born citizen. Cruz has produced his birth certificate, which definitively proves that he is not a natural born citizen because he was born in Calgary, Canada to a U.S. citizen mother and a Cuban father. Cruz was a natural born Canadian citizen at birth; however, he was only a U.S. citizen by virtue of a federal law that makes children born to U.S. citizen mothers living abroad a citizen at birth. A statutory citizen at birth is not the same as a natural born citizen--a term that I believe is limited to children born of U.S. citizens within the United States. The U.S. Supreme Court has never definitively decided the question of what constitutes a natural born citizen for purposes of presidential eligibility so nobody can say with certain how the high court would
Born in Canada to an American mother, Ted Cruz became an instant U.S. citizen. But under Canadian law, he also became a citizen of that country the moment he was born.
Unless the Texas Republican senator formally renounces that citizenship, he will remain a citizen of both countries, legal experts say.
That means he could assert the right to vote in Canada or even run for Parliament. On a lunch break from the U.S. Senate, he could head to the nearby embassy — the one flying a bright red maple leaf flag — pull out his Calgary, Alberta, birth certificate and obtain a passport.
“He’s a Canadian,” said Toronto lawyer Stephen Green, past chairman of the Canadian Bar Association’s Citizenship and Immigration Section.
The circumstances of Cruz’s birth have fueled a simmering debate over his eligibility to run for president. Knowingly or not, dual citizenship is an apparent if inconvenient truth for the tea party firebrand, who shows every sign he’s angling for the White House.
“Senator Cruz became a U.S. citizen at birth, and he never had to go through a naturalization process after birth to become a U.S. citizen,” said spokeswoman Catherine Frazier. “To our knowledge, he never had Canadian citizenship, so there is nothing to renounce.”
The U.S. Constitution allows only a “natural born” American citizen to serve as president. Most legal scholars who have studied the question agree that includes an American born overseas to an American parent, such as Cruz.
The Constitution says nothing about would-be presidents born with dual citizenship.
Detractors have derided Cruz as “Canadian Ted,” saying he can’t run for president because he wasn’t born on U.S. soil.
Cruz, a Harvard-trained lawyer and former clerk for the U.S. chief justice, disagrees. He reasserted last week that being an American by birth makes him eligible.Obama, like Cruz, was also a dual citizen at birth. His father's Kenyan citizenship, which at the time of his birth was a British commonwealth, made Obama a British citizen as well as a U.S. citizen. If he didn't claim British citizenship by the time he turned 18, he lost his citizenship in that country by operation of law. Obama also became a citizen of Indonesia after he was adopted by his step-father, Lolo Soetoro, and renamed Barry Soetoro. Some legal scholars argue that Obama's parents were required to renounce his U.S. citizenship at the time in order for him to acquire his Indonesian citizenship. Internet rumors have persisted that Obama attended high school, college and law school in the United States as a foreign student using a foreign passport. The U.S. government, other governments and the schools he attended have never released any records that would disprove that claim. School records uncovered in Indonesia showed that Obama's name and citizenship had been changed.
UPDATE: Ted Cruz has decided he will renounce his Canadian citizenship as if that will fix his constitutional ineligibility problem. Get a clue, Ted. You're not Barack Obama. The U.S. Constitution will apply to your candidacy. You can bet that Democrats will find a friendly federal judge or state election authority who will deem him ineligible, and the media will give that ruling their full blessing. My biggest problem with Cruz is that he's a graduate of Harvard Law School. The last thing this country needs is another Yale or Harvard graduate like our last four presidents, none of whom had any respect for protecting our constitutional rights, and all of whom are controlled by powerful and evil forces intent on destroying the country.