Illinois and New Hampshire Agree Cruz is a Natural Born Citizen

Donald Trump, his aura of invincibility shattered by Iowa caucus voters he once called “stupid,” is throwing a tantrum these days, convinced that Ted Cruz “cheated” and continues to maintain the untenable proposition that in any event he is a not eligible to be President of the United States.

Cruz did not cheat in Iowa. Cruz supporters may have indeed cited to supporters of Dr. Ben Carson CNN news reports and tweets that Carson was skipping New Hampshire and South Carolina, so draw your own conclusions, but where were the Carson president captains to shepherd their flock? If you’re a serious presidential candidate, you don’t leave Iowa to head to Florida to “change clothes”?

Ironically, the Carson Trump cites as a victim of Cruz dirty tricks, was once the main target of Trump’s slash-and-burn rhetoric. Back when Carson was threatening Trump in the Iowa polls, Trump brutally attacked Carson. As the Boston Globe reported:

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, brushing aside any recent claims of civility, has equated Ben Carson’s childhood ‘‘pathological temper’’ to the illness of a child molester, questioned his religious awakening and berated voters who support him.

‘‘How stupid are the people of Iowa?’’ declared Trump during a rally at Iowa Central Community College. ‘‘How stupid are the people of the country to believe this crap?’’ For more than an hour and a half Thursday night, the billionaire real estate mogul harshly criticized not only Carson, but many of his other competitors in the race for the GOP presidential nomination….

Trump previewed his attack line in an interview with CNN Thursday in which the businessman pointed to Carson’s own descriptions of his ‘‘pathological temper’’ as a young man.

‘‘That’s a big problem because you don’t cure that,’’ Trump said. ‘‘That’s like, you know, I could say, they say you don’t cure -- as an example, child molester. You don’t cure these people. You don’t cure the child molester.’’ Trump also said that ‘‘pathological is a very serious disease.’’

Physician Trump, heal thyself. Trump needs to be the center of attention all the time. He is offended that the media is actually covering other candidates now. His ego, bruised by his Iowa loss and the rise of Sen. Marco Rubio, forces him to seek scapegoats and excuses and grasp at straws such as the roundly debunked Cruz citizenship issue.

Trump persists that Cruz’s citizenship is still an open question. It is not, and the election boards of two states, New Hampshire and Illinois, have now ruled, in response to complaints, that Sen. Ted Cruz is indeed, under the laws and Constitution of the United States, a “natural born citizen” fully eligible to be President of the United States. As the Washington Examiner reported:

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz secured two major victories Monday, winning the Republican Iowa caucuses and also receiving a favorable decision from the Illinois Board of Elections, which confirmed his U.S. citizenship met the state's primary ballot requirements….

"The Candidate is a natural born citizen by virtue of being born in Canada to his mother who was a U.S. citizen at the time of his birth," the board said, explaining Cruz met the criteria because he "did not have to take any steps or go through a naturalization process at some point after birth."

During the case, Cruz's lawyers argued that he was no different than previous Republican candidates, including Sen. John McCain of Arizona and former Michigan Gov. George Romney, who were also born outside of the U.S. to an American citizen.

A ballot commission in New Hampshire also ruled in favor of Cruz in January, but the language in Monday's decision by the Illinois board took a stronger tone than the previous ruling, warning other skeptics, "Further discussion on this issue is unnecessary."

Indeed, it is unnecessary. The question of Cruz’s citizenship has been asked and answered. Is Trump saying that a baby born in Paris to a vacationing American family is not eligible to run for president and must be “naturalized” like some illegal alien from Guadalajara?

Some noted legal scholars would beg to differ from Trump’s concern that Cruz is not in fact a “natural born” citizen.

Jonathan Adler, who teaches courses in constitutional, administrative, and environmental law at Case Western University School of Law, writes in the Washington Post:

Ted Cruz was born in Canada. His mother was a U.S. citizen. His father, a Cuban, was not. Under U.S. law, the fact that Cruz was born to a U.S. citizen mother makes him a citizen from birth. In other words, he is a “natural born citizen” (as opposed to a naturalized citizen) and is constitutionally eligible.

Also agreeing with Cruz’s eligibility are two constitutional scholars who have argued cases before the U.S. Supreme Court. As the Washington Post reported:

Writing in the Harvard Law Review, two former top Supreme Court litigators, Neal Katyal and Paul Clement, said: “All the sources routinely used to interpret the Constitution confirm that the phrase ‘natural born Citizen’ has a specific meaning: namely, someone who was a U.S. citizen at birth with no need to go through a naturalization proceeding at some later time. And Congress has made equally clear from the time of the framing of the Constitution to the current day that, subject to certain residency requirements on the parents, someone born to a U.S. citizen parent generally becomes a U.S. citizen without regard to whether the birth takes place in Canada, the Canal Zone, or the continental United States.” The fact that Ted Cruz’s mother was a citizen, by this standard, means that despite his birth in Canada, he is eligible.

Now two state boards of election have certified Cruz’s eligibility, which is beyond dispute, no matter how much Trump whines, pouts, and throws out groundless accusations.

Daniel John Sobieski is a freelance writer whose pieces have appeared in Investor’s Business Daily, Human Events, Reason Magazine and the Chicago Sun-Times among other publications.