Donald Trump and U.S. Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) debate his citizenship status.
Donald Trump and U.S. Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) debate his citizenship status.

U.S. Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) has had his natural born citizenship status questioned by Donald Trump and others. Now that Cruz is a frontrunner in Iowa it has come to a head, and was brought up in the Fox Business Network Republican Presidential Debate Thursday evening by Neil Cavuto.

I thought the reaction of the audience was telling – there were boos when Cavuto brought the question up. Frankly, I’d rather see it dealt with since it is an issue that isn’t going away. Cruz handled this masterfully and had Trump back on his heels. Trump admitted the only reason he was raising this issue is because of Cruz’s rise in the polls.

Watch the exchange below:

The facts have been established.  Cruz was born to an American mother and therefore is a natural born citizen and eligible to be president.  As Cruz said last night he’s not going to hold it against Donald Trump the fact that his mother was born in Scotland (therefore according to some birthers would be ineligible himself).

Look Cruz’s mother was born in Delaware and was  a U.S. citizen at the time of his birth.  This makes Cruz a U.S. Citizen with all the rights and privileges of every American.

  • No serious constitutional scholar believes he is ineligible.  Even Laurence Tribe and Thomas Lee, who are often cited as critics, believe he is eligible.
  • The threat of a lawsuit is not serious. Even if someone were to gain standing, a difficult first step, no one believes any court in the land would rule against Cruz.
  • Donald Trump has based his candidacy on winning – winning in the polls, winning in an early state.  A loss in Iowa is an existential threat to his campaign which is why he Is so agitated an has decided to attack Cruz.

Tomorrow on Caffeinated Thoughts Radio we discuss this issue with William Jacobsen, a clinical law professor at Cornell Law School and founder of LegalInsurrection.com. Be sure to tune in to listen to that discussion. (You can listen on air at 8:00a and 6:00p on Saturdays on The Truth Network 99.3 FM if you live in the Des Moines Metro area.  You can also listen online live here.  Also our podcast of the radio show can be found on iTunes and Stitcher. You can also subscribe to the podcast on your Android-based phone.)

I’m not the only one who believes that Cruz got the better of Trump during that exchange. In the opinion of Frank Luntz’s focus group of South Carolinians they thought Cruz won that exchange hands down.

Disclosure: This writer has endorsed Ted Cruz for President of the United States.

1 comment
  1. What about Canadian Values?
    Technically Ted Cruz was legally born a Cuban because of his father. Mothers are not considered when determining “Natural-Born” Citizenship.

    Extending citizenship to non-citizens through birth based solely upon locality is nothing more than mere municipal law that has no extra-territorial effect as proven from the English practice of it. On the other hand, citizenship by descent through the FATHER is natural law and is recognized by all nations (what nation doesn’t recognize citizenship of children born wherever to their own citizens?). Thus, a natural-born citizen is one whose citizenship is recognized by law of nations rather than mere local recognition.

    Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, James F. Wilson of Iowa, confirmed this in 1866: “We must depend on the general law relating to subjects and citizens recognized by all nations for a definition, and that must lead us to the conclusion that every person born in the United States is a natural-born citizen of such States, except that of children born on our soil to temporary sojourners or representatives of foreign Governments.”*

    When a child inherits the citizenship of their FATHER, they become a natural-born citizen of the nation their FATHER belongs regardless of where they might be born. It should be pointed out that citizenship through descent of the FATHER was recognized by U.S. Naturalization law whereby children became citizens themselves as soon as their FATHER had become a naturalized citizen, or were born in another country to a citizen FATHER.

    Yes, birth is prima facie evidence of citizenship, but only the citizenship of the nation the father is a member.

    * Temporary sojourners like transient aliens were a description applied to aliens other than resident aliens. The difference being temporary aliens were here for temporary purposes, such as work, travel, visitation or school, who had no desire to become citizens or was prevented from becoming citizens by law. Resident aliens were those who desired to become citizens and had renounced their prior allegiances and had taken the legal steps to become citizens or reside within some state per state law.

    UPDATE: In regards to questions about the citizenship of the mother: Mothers citizenship rarely ever influenced the citizenship of their children except in certain situations such as the father dying before the child was born or when the identity of the father was unknown.

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