Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Tex., who just began his freshman term, already is a subject of speculation for the 2016 presidential race. But it’s not clear he would be eligible to run.
Cruz was born in Canada to a mother born in Delaware and a Cuban father. The Constitution says: “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.”
A survey of constitutional scholars by Politico
found that most think Cruz indeed qualifies, but it’s not a slam dunk. “The question ultimately is what do we mean by a natural born citizen?” said Yale law school professor Bruce Ackerman.
Cruz advisers say that his mother’s U.S. citizenship at the time of his birth made him a citizen at that point too. “Ted is a U.S. citizen by birth, having been born in Calgary to an American-born mother,” Cruz spokesman Sean Rushton told Politico.
As a Harvard-trained lawyer who has pleaded dozens of cases at the Supreme Court, Cruz probably has a pretty deep understanding of the issue himself.
He already has made a splash as senator, trumpeting his opposition to gun control and President Obama’s choice of Chuck Hagel as Defense secretary.
Cruz laid out his philosophy on Fox News Sunday. “The reason why I'm a conservative is because conservative policies work, and they improve opportunities,” he said. “They are the avenue for climbing the economic dream.”
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