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Cass R. Sunstein

Is Cruz 'Natural Born'? Well ... Maybe

The Constitution could have been a little clearer on this.
Canada? Never heard of it.

Canada? Never heard of it.

Photographer: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg

As just about everyone knows by now, Senator Ted Cruz was born in Canada, to a Cuban-born father and a mother who was a U.S. citizen. Cruz held Canadian citizenship for nearly all of his life, relinquishing it only in 2014, when he was planning to run for the presidency. Is he eligible to hold the office he seeks?

This is a question of constitutional law, not of politics; it should be approached as such. Respected analysts have shown that the question is not simple to answer.  The Constitution states that the president must be “natural born,” but doesn’t define that term. The Supreme Court has never ruled on the issue; if it did, it would find a murky history.