I can’t stand this and now my friends in Zanzibar are going to be treated to a rant !!!
It’s that blasted Ted Cruz. He’s certainly my pick of the availables at this point. I was even willing to forgive his not understanding the “natural born citizen” Constitutional requirement for the privilege of serving as President of the U.S., since apparently most of the elite libertarian legal eagles don’t either, and I am bitterly, bitterly sorry to say that that includes Randy Barnett, who gave a sobworthy (in parts) presentation on the issue to the Washington Journal. You can see for yourselves — link’s below. (C-Span, not embeddable.) –(You probably won’t see why I’m so disgusted by his performance unless I tell you, though.)
However, I’m just now getting around to watching Debate #6, and Ted is in the hot seat. He’s just been asked if he’s a “natural born citizen.” Butter wouldn’t melt as he snidely skewers (as he thinks) those who would dare to raise — quote — “the Birther issue.” In a voice dripping with disdain.
Now, given the authoritative Constitutional weight of people like Barnett and others at The Volokh Conspiracy*, I can understand and forgive the average layman and even the average lawyer and maybe even the average Constitutional lawyer for going along with the idea that birthplace is immaterial– though Shrill, or her staff, thought it important enough to bring up the birthplace issue vis-á-vis the Gentleman from Wherever-the-hell-he’s-from, when they were running against each other back in 2008. However, Ted DOES stick on side about being a Constitutional attorney, or at least his fans and promoters do. (I’m trying to be fair, even though I am royally p.o.’ed.)
So now, back to his answer in the debate. First, and the least of the issues, he says it’s only the “extreme” fringe who think eligibility requires not just one but TWO citizen parents.
Not so. There is a valid argument for that understanding, which is that at the time of the Founding the wife’s citizenship automatically followed that of the husband. Therefore if the wife was not a citizen, it would mean the husband wasn’t either. Mind you, that’s the argument. I don’t say it’s correct; in fact it overlooks uncommon cases that were in fact discussed by the Founders, such as Pop as already passed on or the child is illegitimate. But it’s not “extreme.” And it’s what most non-Proggies who have an opinion seem to believe.
But here is the real problem. He says that the courts have said time after time that people having a parent who is a citizen are natural born citizens (regardless of birthplace).
This is flatly untrue. Yes, such people have been found to be American citizens, but not natural born citizens. In fact they aren’t even native citizens, which specifically means citizens born on American turf: natives-by-birth, so to speak. This is an obvious difference** and so fundamental that only an ignoramus or a liar could say such a thing. So Ted, which is it? Are you openly showing your flat ignorance or are you lying — you know this distinction perfectly well — and hoping nobody will notice?
He has the nerve to back this remarkable position up by saying that “after all, if it were true then Marco Rubio and Bobby Jindal wouldn’t be eligible either” — and so they aren’t, but not because of extra-American birth: Rubio born in Miami, Jindal in Baton Rouge. Birthplace not an issue with them. Their problem is parentage. But worse yet, he goes on to add that even THE DONALD wouldn’t be eligible, because although he was born here his mother wasn’t. (She’s from Ireland.)
You fool! As long as she (or she and her husband, or only her husband, depending on your theory about whether it takes one or two citizen parents) was a citizen — naturalized or statutory, makes no difference, which is why the “anchor baby” 14th Amendment comes into the controversy — as long as some non-zero number of parents were ALREADY citizens when the babe was born, the parent(s) citizenship is automatically inherited by the baby**. If Ma Trump was already naturalized when she popped Bonnie Donnie, he IS natural born. (Leaving aside the issue of one parent or two, of course.)
This really is baby stuff. And even Randy Barnett, If I Remember Correctly, does not make such an uninformed claim.
The reason I was going to vote for Ted was that he’s obviously the least worst of the bunch having any chance of the nomination. But if this is not flat-out lying, then he’s not only completely ignorant (or confused, as in deer-in-the-headlights confused, or having what we Computer Types call a Kernel Panic), he’s also unaware of how ignorant (or confused) he is — or else he’s perfectly aware and lying about THAT, claiming that his opinion is the one the courts have gone by all these years.
So now what. I have to vote against whatever fool and/or criminal the Dims put up, which means I have to vote for the Heffalump candidate.
At this point, those are the only grounds on which I can urge people to vote for Ted in the general election — if he’s the candidate.
Ted Cruz in Debate #6, 1/14/16, Fox, Bartiromo and Cavuto, around 22 minutes in, maybe a bit more:
Randy Barnett’s discussion is actually pretty good in the first half. He presents the opposition’s (that would be me) argument honestly and reasonably thoroughly. It’s in the second half of his remarks that he comes up with an ingenious but, to me, not entirely convincing argument, and then ends on a most undignified note (and remember, I’m a longstanding fan of Prof. Barnett; much more than any of the other Volokhites, except in some respects David Bernstein). Now I feel jilted by both of my Libertarian Legal Loves. It’s not FAIR !!! :>((
*Not Prof. Laurence Tribe, interestingly enough — per Barnett, Prof. Tribe’s understanding of “natural born” IN THE CONTEXT OF THE CONSTITUTIONAL REQUIREMENT OF ELIGIBILTY is the same as mine: A citizen parent at the time of the candidate’s birth, AND must be born on American soil. But, says Randy, this poses no problem for Tribe because Tribe is not an Originalist of any stripe but rather a Living Constitutionalist, so is not hampered by this little departure from the Rules.
**Not true that there are only two classes of American citizens: For purposes of Constitutional eligibility at least, there are three: Naturalized, statutory (for children born abroad of citizen parents), and natural born. Only those in the last category are eligible.
–No, that does not make anyone a “second-class citizen.” There is theoretically no such thing in the U.S. To serve as President is a privilege, not a right. There is no other post in the entire Federal government that is restricted to natural born citizens.