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View Diary: Birther finally reaches the right conclusion about Calgary Cruz, but for the wrong reasons (90 comments)

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  •  The traditional meaning of "natural born citizen" (0+ / 0-)

    "A person born within the jurisdiction of a national government" (Black's Law Dictionary).

    That would rule out Canada.

    In fact, Chester A. Arthur's political opponants argued he was ineligible to be president because he was born in  .  .  .  Canada (even though everybody accepted he had an American mother).

    There is an argument that "natural born citizen" means any person  who was a citizen at birth (for example born to Amercan parents in a foreign country).  But this definition of citizen is based on the citizenship statute as adopted by Congress, and we don't allow Congress to change the meaning of the Constitution simply by enacting statutes.    

    •  Born to citizens since about 1350 (0+ / 0-)

      Note that Chester Alan Arthur became president, which is a clue that your understanding of "Natural Born Citizen" is off.

      Birthright English citizenship for children born overseas to Englishmen was first established in the 1300s, and reiterated several times later. By the time of the Constitution, there would be no doubt that Arthur and Cruz Jr are natural born Americans (for better or worse).

      What Parliament (and later Congress) changed from time to time was whether, for example, the next generation, children born to overseas citizens who had not resided in the country, also became birthright citizens. The Naturalization Act of 1790, i.e., pretty much the same people who wrote the Constitution in the first place, held that first-generation children born abroad were natural born citizens.

      One reason is that such a child was held to owe allegiance to the English crown (later, the USA), even being born overseas.

      Every court to examine the question has reached this conclusion.

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