“No person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President; neither shall any Person be eligible to that Office who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty-five Years, and been fourteen Years a Resident within the United States.” — Constitution, Article 2, Section 1, clause 5
Ted Cruz is ineligible to run for President of the United States. He was born in Canada, of parents who were Canadian citizens at the time of his birth. Cruz’s mother claims to have been born in Delaware. The State of Delaware claims not to have any records of her. (The authenticity of the Birth Certificate provided by the Cruz campaign is now in dispute.) But even if genuine, it makes Cruz a US citizen, but not “Natural Born.”
Ted Cruz’s supporters try to get around “Natural Born” by claiming it simply means any US citizen, an opinion even echoed at Wikipedia!
But if any US citizen could be President, then the qualifier “Natural Born” would not be needed (and is not present in the Constitutional citizenship requirements for Representatives and Senators). Clearly, to the Founding Fathers, “Natural Born” had a specific and obvious meaning, applied exclusively to the Presidency!
The Founding Fathers did not need to define what “Natural Born” meant inside the Constitution as it had been defined in existing legal theory in works such as “The Law of Nations” by Emerich de Vattel, published in 1758 and relied on heavily by the framers of the Constitution. “Natural Born” was already legally defined when the Constitution was written as “born inside the nation.”
The inclusion of the “Natural Born” requirement for the Presidency was proposed at the Constitutional Convention by Chief Justice John Kay, who wrote, “Permit me to hint, whether it would not be wise and seasonable to provide a strong check to the admission of Foreigners into the administration of our national Government and to declare expressly that the Command in Chief of the American army shall not be given to, nor devolve on, any but a natural born Citizen…”