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August 13, 2013
Ann Coulter: It's Not "Open and Shut" That Ted Cruz Is a Natural-Born Citizen and Might Not be Eligible for the Presidency
Now when I saw this headline, I had two thoughts: My first thought was "My God, now Ann Coulter's gone batty too."
My second thought was: "Ann Coulter may be a firebrand but she usually has her facts right, particularly when a legal question is involved. So I'd better listen."
Now, I didn't know the circumstances of Ted Cruz's birth, and they're a bit more complicated than I realized. His father was a stateless Cuban refugee, and his mom was an American citizen. That last part would seem to suggest he's automatically an American citizen... except that he was born in Canada.
So she is right, it's not quite "open and shut" and I suppose we will need a "report" to decide this. I think that he's a natural born citizen -- I do not think that an American citizen strips her child of his American citizenship by who she marries or where she happens to be when she gives birth.
Imagine the contrary rule: Imagine all the US soldiers who have married foreign women, let's say German women, and whose wives then gave birth in Germany.
When the soldier leaves his German base to return with his family to America, do you think he'd be expecting to have to go through the naturalization process for his son? Do you think he needs to file paperwork to make his son legal?
And if he doesn't, if he doesn't even think to file naturalization paperwork, does that mean his son is actually an illegal alien when living in America?
Or do you think he'd imagine that of course his son was a natural-born citizen, because he is, and so, therefore, is his child.
I think that's the common-sense rule. I don't like all this nonsense that the natural-born citizenship clause is being read as some very technical, vindictive "gotcha" clause of the Constitution to visit unexpected outcomes on US citizens. It's being read this way in an effort to Get Obama (and even that way, it's a stretch and a half), but now we see the problems with such strained readings of the clause when applied to people not named Barack Hussein Obama.
I don't think a child who would otherwise be counted as a natural-born US citizen should be stripped of US citizenship just because his mom had the birth in Canada.
Nevertheless, I was wrong to doubt Ann Coulter and right to subsequently think "She's probably more informed than I am" because this is a bit trickier than I imagined. But still not, I think, all that tricky.
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