Saturday night, rumors began to surface that Senator Ted Cruz—the well-known Texas firebrand—would make the announcement Monday that he was running for president. His announcement would skip the usual “exploratory committee” phase and go straight for the gut.
On Monday morning at midnight, Cruz sent out a tweet announcing his candidacy:
Immediately, there was one question pervading the conversation: Is Cruz even eligible? After all, Ted Cruz was born in Canada.
This is not a new question—for Cruz or, of course, our President, Barack Obama.
Obama was famously maligned by so-called “Birthers,” who claimed that he was born in Kenya, which they said would make him ineligible for the presidency. When the President provided his birth certificate, showing he was born in Hawaii, much of the fervor stopped.
However, one prominent figure is raising the specter of citizenship once again, this time about Senator Cruz.
During a segment of Fox News' “The Kelly File,” Donald Trump discussed citizenship with Kelly, telling her that it would be one more hurdle for Cruz to jump in his run for the White House:
Kelly: “...Ted Cruz actually being born outside of the United States—north of the border, up in Canada—”
Trump: “...I hope he knows what he's doing. I always heard you had to be born in the country—”
Kelly: “You have to be a natural born citizen. But the courts have said that if you have a parent that's an American, even if you were born outside of America, that qualifies. So, why are you raising this?”
Trump: “I'm not raising it. People ask me...Ted has just one extra level of complication.”
Megyn Kelly is correct when she says that the majority of legal minds are on Cruz's side.
According to a piece by Ilya Shapiro originally appearing on The Daily Caller and now on The Cato Institute's website:
“...under the law in effect between 1952 and 1986 — Cruz was born in 1970 — someone must have a citizen parent who resided in the United States for at least 10 years, including five after the age of 14, in order to be considered a natural-born citizen. Cruz’s mother, Eleanor Darragh, was born in Delaware, lived most of her life in the United States, and gave birth to little Rafael Edward Cruz in her 30s...”
Town Hall columnist Byron York agrees, adding that although the Supreme Court has never ruled on the issue, there is law that defines the parameters of “natural born citizen.”
In a piece for Town Hall, York writes:
“...8 U.S. Code 1401...spells out in detail who is a citizen.”