- Category: Volume 87 (Fall 2015 - Spring 2016)
- Published: 24 February 2016
- Written by PRACHI PATEL | STAFF WRITER
With the 2016 election just around the corner, candidates from the Republican Party are suspending their campaigns and with only five candidates left, Trump has on numerous occasions gone after Ted Cruz for being born outside the United States. Trump has threatened to sue Cruz for running for President due to the issue of citizenship and eligibility. According to Trump, Cruz is automatically not a “natural born citizen”.
Considering Trumps definition of natural born citizen, Cruz would not be able to run for office due to Article two Section two of the United States Constitution. It states “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.” The reason this requirement was put into the Constitution was to ensure that foreign influence would never impact or harm the American people. The debate and controversy with that part is with the term “Natural Born”. Nowhere in the constitution does it define the exact terminology.
Professor Cathy Bartch of the Political Science Department shared some insight about the issue. She said, “As someone who has taught American Constitutional Development, I prefer to view the Constitution as a ‘living document’, one that can be interpreted according to the changing times. This does not mean the ‘original intent’ of the framers of the Constitution should be ignored, but I think their intent can be considered in the context of societal transformations and progress.”
She added, “Some Constitutional scholars argue it was the original intent of the Framers to consider ‘natural born citizen’ as someone born to U.S. with parents abroad. Others disagree. The question I pose to students and others is do you think that it should still be required in the 21st century for a Presidential Candidate to be a natural born citizen, or should we think about the possibility of an amendment to allow naturalized citizens also the opportunity to run for the highest office?”
She asked, “That may seem radical, but I wonder if some founding fathers, like Thomas Jefferson, would welcome such a change?”
Dr. Joseph Patten, Chair of the Political Science Department, talked about his thoughts on the controversy. “The Constitution requires three presidential qualifications, that a person be 35 years old, fourteen years a resident, and a natural born citizen. The natural born term dates back to Roman times “natus naturalis” and the Supreme Court has never directly weighed in as to its meaning as it relates to presidential qualifications.”
He added “Natural born citizenship can be conferred upon either by being born on American soil (jus soli) or by blood through parentage (jus sanguinis).”
How this applies to the Ted Cruz controversy he explained, “The controversy with Ted Cruz derives from the fact that he was not born on U.S. soil and only his mother was an American citizen at the time of his birth, his father is from Cuba. This has caused a bit of a controversy because in English Common Law rights of citizenship passed through the father and because some American statutes suggest that both parents need to be American citizens in order for citizenship to pass on to those born abroad.”
It has become evident that perhaps Trump could be looking for a way to eliminate his closest competitorfor the Republican nomination. It is clear that though he may not be successful he perhaps will continue to bring it to the nation’s attention in hopes that Cruz’s polling numbers will decrease. Trump has always been a wild card so no one can really say if he will in actuality take action against Cruz.
Kelsey Alpaugh, a sophomore social work major has said “I think this election is very interesting and I cannot wait to see if Trump will continue to pursue this attack on Ted Cruz!”
PHOTO TAKEN from BBC