Ted Cruz is a U.S. citizen, a New Jersey judge has ruled on Tuesday, settling — for the time being — the issue of his citizenship and, by extension, whether or not he is eligible to hold the office of President, MSN is reporting.
New Jersey Judge Jeff Masin issued his ruling Tuesday in response to a lawsuit brought by South Jersey Concerned Citizens Committee and law professor Victor Williams, a presidential write-in candidate. They argued that Cruz does not meet one of the requirements to be president, per the Constitution.
Specifically, Article II, Section 1, Clause 5 of the Constitution states: “No Person except a natural born Citizen… shall be eligible to the Office of President.”
Ted Cruz was born in Canada, to an American mother and a Cuban father.
Specifically, he was born Rafael Edward Cruz in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, where his family had lived for at least 3 years while his father worked in the oil industry. Cruz didn’t live in the U.S. until he was 3-years-old, when his family moved to Texas.
According to some observers, that means Cruz is not a “natural born citizen,” as per the Constitution, and thus is not eligible to hold the office of President.
Cruz’ main rival for the Republican nomination, Donald Trump, has specifically said that Cruz should drop out of the race because of his Canadian birth, and the resulting questions about his eligibility for president.
“There’s a big question mark on your head. You can’t do that to the party.”
Trump is not alone in suggesting that Cruz is not eligible to be President. Writing in U.S. News and World Report, Constitutional law professor Robert Clinton argues that, even though Cruz is a citizen of the U.S. by law (due to his mother being an American), the Constitution deems him ineligible to be President because he was born outside the U.S., and thus is not a “natural born” citizen.
“The more natural reading of the language and original understanding of the ‘natural born’ citizenship requirement therefore would seem to be that one needed to be born, as the 14th Amendment put it, ‘in the United States,’ rather than that one had an American parent. The Constitution, as opposed to any statute, prescribes birthright citizenship, not lineage, as the constitutional definition of acquiring citizenship at birth.”
Judege Masin, in his ruling, rejected that line of thinking, according to BBC News.
“The more persuasive legal analysis is that such a child, born of a citizen-father, citizen-mother, or both, is indeed a ‘natural born citizen’ within the contemplation of the constitution.”
As Masin points out, however, short of going back in time and entering the minds of the framers of the Constitution, there is no clear definition of what they meant by “natural born citizen.”
“Absolute certainty as to this issue is only available to those who actually sat in Philadelphia and themselves thought on the issue.”
Masin’s ruling is far from the final word on Ted Cruz’ citizenship, even in New Jersey, where he made the ruling. New Jersey’s Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno has the authority to modify or even reject the ruling.
— POLITICO New Jersey (@politiconj) April 13, 2016
She will have the final word on which names appear on the New Jersey primary ballot, and she has until Thursday to submit those names to county clerks across the state.
In March, a Pennsylvania judge ruled in favor of Ted Cruz’ citizenship in a similar case, according to ABC News.
Do you believe questions about Ted Cruz’ citizenship disqualify him from being President?
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