Another Birther Case?

Ted Cruz’s candidacy raises an old contentious issue, the question of who is a ‘naturally born citizen’, as is required for any Presidential aspirant. It arose for Panamanian-born John McCain and Mexican-born George Romney, and maybe even for Barry Goldwater, who was born in the Arizona Territory. Cruz was born in Calgary, Canada to an American mother and a Cuban father.

Interestingly for those right-wing birther nuts, Cruz acquires legal U.S. citizenship simply from his mother’s natural-born citizenship irrespective of where he was born. Similarly so does Obama, so that all that fuss about where exactly he was born is equally irrelevant.

But whether Cruz’s citizenship also qualifies as being natural-born is murky and has never been tested in court. There is a 1790 law that states specifically that it does qualify, but perhaps that law is unconstitutional. There is a technical reason why this probably will never be clarified. No one would have standing to challenge it in court.

Cruz recently renounced his Canadian citizenship, claiming that he was unaware that it even existed. That’s too bad. In the unlikely case he becomes our next President, it would be neat to have one who was also a Canadian citizen. Perhaps he could even run there too and conceivably unite our two great nations in the same way that Scotland was united with England.