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Francis Wilkinson

Ted Cruz Has a Real Birther Problem

An interview with the general counsel of John McCain's presidential campaign doesn't inspire confidence.
Constitutional question.

Constitutional question.

Photographer: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg

When Senator John McCain was running for president in 2008, his campaign experienced turbulence over an issue currently vexing the campaign of Senator Ted Cruz: the phrase in the Constitution stipulating that the president must be a "natural born citizen."

There are conflicting legal views (naturally) about what that means. Law professor Gabriel Chin of the University of California at Davis wrote a paper arguing that McCain's birth outside U.S. borders, in the Canal Zone, made him ineligible for the presidency. Donald Trump, a birther's birther, is now making a similar claim about Senator Ted Cruz. As my Bloomberg View colleague, Harvard law professor Cass Sunstein, wrote this week: