Ilya Shapiro of The Cato Institute, a libertarian think tank, busted the chops of the two citizen parents with a recent post on Ted Cruz’s eligibility. Here are a few excerpts:
What’s a “natural born citizen”? The Constitution doesn’t say, but the Framers’ understanding, combined with statutes enacted by the First Congress, indicate that the phrase means both birth abroad to American parents — in a manner regulated by federal law — and birth within the nation’s territory regardless of parental citizenship. The Supreme Court has confirmed that definition on multiple occasions in various contexts.
There’s no ideological debate here: Harvard law professor Laurence Tribe and former solicitor general Ted Olson — who were on opposite sides in Bush v. Gore among other cases — co-authored a memorandum in March 2008 detailing the above legal explanation in the context of John McCain’s eligibility. Recall that McCain — lately one of Cruz’s chief antagonists — was born to U.S. citizen parents serving on a military base in the Panama Canal Zone.
In other words, anyone who is a citizen at birth — as opposed to someone who becomes a citizen later (“naturalizes”) or who isn’t a citizen at all — can be president.
So the one remaining question is whether Ted Cruz was a citizen at birth. That’s an easy one. The Nationality Act of 1940 outlines which children become “nationals and citizens of the United States at birth.” In addition to those who are born in the United States or born outside the country to parents who were both citizens — or, interestingly, found in the United States without parents and no proof of birth elsewhere — citizenship goes to babies born to one American parent who has spent a certain number of years here.
Of course, Ted Cruz meets those qualifications! Sooo, my hat is off to a fellow Think Tanker for getting it right!
Note 1. The Image. This is Bruce Lee playing the role of Kato in The Green Hornet TV series. I am not sure who the guy in the mask is. Just for what it is worth trivia-wise, the Green Hornet was a relative of The Lone Ranger!
Note 2. Busting Chops. For ESLs, the Free Dictionary defines chops, and busting someone’s chops as:
chops (chps) pl.n.
1. The jaws.
2.a. The mouth.
b. The lower cheeks or jowls.
3. Slang The technical skill with which a jazz or rock musician performs.
Idiom: bust (someone’s) chops
1. To scold or insult someone.
2. To disappoint or defeat someone.
3. To hold a building contractor to the letter of an agreement.
The Image Easter Egg is a word play on the “Oh Hai” Internet meme, and the word “Hai” which is loudly expressed during Karate and Kung Fu strikes. “Hai” means “yes” in Japanese.