Ted Cruz on birthright citizenship

I believe Ted Cruz to be the most Reaganesque candidate. .By that I mean the most articulate on conservative principles, and the one most likely to rebuild the Reagan voting coalition that won two landslide presidential victories.

But his position on birthright citizenship and the 14th Amendment is troubling.  Briefly, the 14th Amendment was ratified to ensure that newly freed slaves were granted U.S. citizenship.  It applies to “[a]ll persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof[.]”

It was understood at the time of amendment ratification that someone born to a non-citizen in America was not a citizen by birth.  Non-citizens included Native Americans who owed allegiance to their tribes and foreigners in America who gave birth while in the country (foreign diplomats, for example).

This view has been forcefully expressed by constitutional scholars Mark Levin (here) and Daniel Horowitz (here).

When running for the Senate, Cruz disagreed with the above analysis, stating, "I've looked at the legal arguments against [birthright citizenship], and I will tell you as a Supreme Court litigator, those arguments are not very good. As much as someone may dislike the policy of birthright citizenship, it's in the U.S. Constitution.”

It is entirely possible to learn more about an issue and change one's views, but Cruz is claiming to be an expert on the issue.  It is also possible that Cruz was expressing his opinion on how courts would rule on the issue were a case to be brought before them.  Such a case would be a crap shoot, as there are only three to four solid constitutionalist justices on the Supreme Court right now.

Cruz is evolving on the issue.  He stated recently: "Well, as a policy matter, Megyn, it doesn’t make any sense anymore, that people who are here illegally, that their children would have automatic citizenship. That what that does is it serves as an incentive encouraging people to break the law and come here illegally. And we ought to change that policy. Now, as you noted there is a legal dispute about the best means to do it. And there are serious scholars who argue that Congress could do it through statute defining what it means to be subject to the jurisdiction, the language of the 14th Amendment. There are other serious constitutional scholars who argue the only way to change it is through a constitutional amendment."

The nation needs a president who will fully follow and implement the entire Constitution as written – especially when the Supreme Court may not do so.  Let's hope Senator Cruz continues to evolve on birthright citizenship to the point where he realizes and publicly states that there is no constitutional support, nor Congressional action, to make anchor babies U.S. citizens.

Scot Wolf is the author of The Bible and Constitution Made America Great By Providing Freedom and Liberty to Citizens, available at Amazon.com or as a Nook or Kindle eBook. www.restorethefoundation.com