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BrianB 20 August 2013 01:01 AM

Dual citizenship may pose problem if Ted Cruz seeks presidency
 
http://www.dallasnews.com/news/polit...presidency.ece
Quote:

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.
For the record, I'm no fan of his but I don't question his eligibility to run for president.

Brian

A Turtle Named Mack 20 August 2013 02:45 AM

Breaking: Ted Cruz Birth Certificate a Forgery!
 
Texas Senator Ted Cruz, mentioned as a possible candidate for the Republican nomination for president in 2016, released his birth certificate on Monday, ostensibly to prove that he is eligible to run for the office. Sen. Ted Cruz, a Texas Republican whose recent travel has fueled speculation he may run for president in 2016, has released his birth certificate, showing that he was born in Canada to an American mother, the Dallas Morning News said on Monday.
...
But a spokesman for the Orly Taitz Center for Ludicrous Investigations has challenged the provenance of the birth certificate, claiming “there are too many irregularities to list.” “It’s a forgery,” said Joel Smokehouse, OTCLI’s director of public affairs. “We examined the document using our scanning electron microscope and found all sorts of weird things — you know, like scientific stuff. It was real pretty — but bad, very bad.”
http://pjmedia.com/tatler/2013/08/19...ate-a-forgery/

diddy 20 August 2013 03:07 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BrianB (Post 1761493)
For the record, I'm no fan of his but I don't question his eligibility to run for president.

Wait a second. Now I don't like the birther challenges (from both sides and candidates - it really shouldn't be part of the discussion) but have the courts explicitly detailed what is meant by "natural born" means as far as presidential courts and for situations where you are not born on US soil?

Its been established that McCain was eligible despite the fact that he was born in the Canal zone in Panama which was US soil at the time via law as I understand it) and that both his parents were Americans. Cruz was born in a totally separate country and the only citizen at the Time was his mother. I have no doubt that he is an American citizen, but pedantry being what it is, Natural Born isn't just a citizen.

Now I am looking at this from a strictly legal viewpoint here, but is there a definitive ruling that says what "natural born" means from a legal standpoint. I am not making a political statement on one candidate or anything, but outside of "born in US soil", is there actual legal decisions that we can say with 100% certainty, what "naturally born" means on a legal basis.

A Turtle Named Mack 20 August 2013 03:14 AM

To the best of my knowledge, there are no court decisions on the 'natural born' language, which is really only used in the Constitution regarding presidential qualification. The general, though not universal, consensus is that a person is a 'natural-born citizen' if s/he does not need naturalization to be a citizen - that is, s/he would be a citizen from birth.

snopes 20 August 2013 03:21 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by diddy (Post 1761528)
Its been established that McCain was eligible despite the fact that he was born in the Canal zone in Panama (which was US soil at the time via law as I understand it)

Not so. At the time of McCain's birth, the Panama Canal Zone was an unincorporated U.S. territory, and the Supreme Court had ruled that unincorporated territories were not part of the United States in regard to application of the Constitution. So McCain was born a U.S. national but not a full U.S. citizen; he was made a U.S. citizen retroactively as a result of legislation passed the year after he was born.

diddy 20 August 2013 03:27 AM

True, but general consensus isn't the same legal ruling. Unlike with, say, Obama who had no doubt qualifying because he was born in the US (which had , and McCain, who's eligibility was backed in US legal rulings. That can't be said for Cruz though since by one (IMO valid) interpretation, he was born on Canadian soil to one parent who wasn't American. This is a rather unique scenario and this is something the courts might have to come up with a consensus since it's not going away.

This may be a case where the language of the constitution needs interpretation - something that I imagine has happened before.

ETA: Snopes,
Can it be said though, that McCain's eligibility was established by law? It may have been retroactively done, but that's fair game (and would be the case for Cruz). My statement about his eligibility wasn't dependent upon it being law at the time of his birth. As I am aware, the only restriction on retroactive laws is criminal matters.

I should clarify. When I said "established" I meant, settled in law by the time he wanted to run for office.

Ramblin' Dave 20 August 2013 03:59 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by diddy (Post 1761533)

Can it be said though, that McCain's eligibility was established by law?


Apparently not. But since at least 1967 (when it was an issue for George Romney, born in Mexico), the consensus among legal experts is that at least one American parent = "natural born".

(And yes, this is a rather sore point for me, being another American born overseas to two American parents. Some people just love to show off their memories of eighth grade civics...)

snopes 20 August 2013 04:28 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by diddy (Post 1761533)
I should clarify. When I said "established" I meant, settled in law by the time he wanted to run for office.

And that is incorrect. No legal ruling established that John McCain had natural-born citizen status. He was "eligible" for the presidency in the sense that no one was able to pursue a legal challenge to his eligibility.

Quote:

Unlike with, say, Obama who had no doubt qualifying because he was born in the US (which had, and McCain, who's eligibility was backed in US legal rulings.
There were no "legal rulings" establishing that John McCain met the presidential eligibility requirements. Congress passed a resolution "recognizing that John Sidney McCain, III, is a natural born citizen," but that resolution has no legal standing.

Quote:

Can it be said though, that McCain's eligibility was established by law? It may have been retroactively done, but that's fair game
Maybe, maybe not. One could validly argue that McCain was not a full U.S. citizen at birth and was later "naturalized" by retroactive application of a law, and therefore he isn't a natural-born citizen. There is no definitive answer, as the concept of "natural-born citizen" is not precisely defined by U.S. law.

BrianB 20 August 2013 04:58 PM

Sen. Ted Cruz: "I will renounce any Canadian citizenship"
 
http://trailblazersblog.dallasnews.c...izenship.html/
Quote:

Sen. Ted Cruz acknowledged late Monday that he probably has been a lifelong Canadian, and vowed to renounce that citizenship now that he realizes he’s had it.
Wow -- that was fast! :D
Quote:

Originally Posted by diddy (Post 1761528)
but have the courts explicitly detailed what is meant by "natural born" means as far as presidential courts and for situations where you are not born on US soil?

Just expressing my personal opinion :) My opinion was based on the fact that George Romney, who was born in Mexico, had run for president. (More on this below.)

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ramblin' Dave (Post 1761615)
But since at least 1967 (when it was an issue for George Romney, born in Mexico), the consensus among legal experts is that at least one American parent = "natural born".

Thanks for sharing that! I vaguely remember him running for president (I was in elementary school) but I didn't remember anything about that.

Brian

Ramblin' Dave 20 August 2013 05:33 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BrianB (Post 1761645)

Thanks for sharing that! I vaguely remember him running for president (I was in elementary school) but I didn't remember anything about that.

My parents told me once that there had actually been a law passed codifying that people like Romney (and me for that matter) were eligible...but on looking for a cite, I couldn't find any such thing. According to Romney's Wikipedia page, the matter was allowed to die along with his presidential aspirations when he said he'd been "brainwashed" on Vietnam.

UrbanLegends101 20 August 2013 06:37 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ramblin' Dave (Post 1761615)
Apparently not. But since at least 1967 (when it was an issue for George Romney, born in Mexico), the consensus among legal experts is that at least one American parent = "natural born".

(And yes, this is a rather sore point for me, being another American born overseas to two American parents. Some people just love to show off their memories of eighth grade civics...)

But it gets even stickier, as having a US citizen parent doesn't always mean the child born outside the US is a US citizen from birth.

In a very unusual and rather uncommon situation, it is actually possible for a married couple where both partners are US citizens and they have a child born outside the child is not born a US citizen.

fitz1980 20 August 2013 09:08 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by UrbanLegends101 (Post 1761693)
In a very unusual and rather uncommon situation, it is actually possible for a married couple where both partners are US citizens and they have a child born outside the child is not born a US citizen.

What type of situation?

GenYus234 20 August 2013 09:12 PM

If neither parent had a residence in the US or a US possession prior to child's birth.

http://travel.state.gov/law/citizens...ship_5199.html

snopes 21 August 2013 05:53 PM

Yes, the law doesn't generally allow for the bestowing of U.S. citizenship on a child born outside the U.S. to U.S. citizen parents who have not resided in the U.S. Otherwise, people who are essentially foreigners could be producing multiple generations of offspring who are considered natural-born U.S. citizens even though neither the children nor their parents had ever set foot in the U.S.

thorny locust 21 August 2013 06:35 PM

Hmm, interesting.

From GenYus's link, bolding mine:

Quote:

Birth Abroad to Two U.S. Citizen Parents in Wedlock

A child born abroad to two U.S. citizen parents acquires U.S. citizenship at birth under section 301(c) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) provided that one of the parents had a residence in the United States or one of its outlying possessions prior to the child’s birth. The child is considered to be born in wedlock if the child is the genetic issue of the married couple.
I think what the bolded section is meant to accomplish is to remove any questions if the child was conceived before the marriage but born after the marriage. However, it also implies the possiblity that a person might fully believe themselves qualified, but not actually be so, because the genetic father was not the marriage partner of the mother; because the mother had had sex with more than one man around the time of conception and either was mistaken about which was the father, or lied about which was the father, or just failed to mention that there was another possibility.

Mad Jay 21 August 2013 07:28 PM

But, then that scenario is covered by this

Quote:

A person born abroad out-of-wedlock to a U.S. citizen mother may acquire U.S. citizenship under Section 309(c) of the INA if the mother was a U.S. citizen at the time of the person’s birth and if the mother was physically present in the United States or one of its outlying possessions for a continuous period of one year prior to the person’s birth. The mother must be genetically related to the person in order to transmit U.S. citizenship.

thorny locust 21 August 2013 07:58 PM

In most cases, Mad Jay, but theoretically not in all of them.

If the mother didn't have a US residence for a year prior to the birth, and the child's eligibility under 301(c) depended on her husband's US residence, it appears to me that the child would still not be eligible; at least, not unless the genetic father was also a US citizen who had enough residency in the US to qualify under 309(a).

I doubt there are a large number of people falling into that particular situation; let alone people who fall into that category otherwise and in addition a) don't know that they aren't their mother's husband's genetic child and b) find out eventually, and have it become publicly known or are in danger of having it become publicly known, that they aren't their mother's husband's genetic child. But you could make an interesting plot point out of it for a political novel.

As far as the overall subject of the thread: it seems to me that, whatever the original writers of the Constitution meant by "natural born citizen", we don't know now exactly what, beyond "no foreign royalty trying to take over", they meant; and it would be a good idea to clarify the matter, or else change the requirement entirely, so that instead of birth citizenship a combination of citizenship, whether or not from birth, with some significant length of time resident in the country would be what's required. However, Congress can't change the requirements, and I'm not sure that Congress can even define the term. Even defining the term, as it applies to the Constitution, might require a constitutional amendment.


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