Monday, March 02, 2015

Would The Republicans Really Run Presidential Candidates Who Aren't Natural Born Citizens?


The right-wing activists who vote in the CPAC saw poll-- there were around 3,000 of them this year-- included enough libertarian and Paul family fan boys to give Rand Paul the win (again). He came away with 25.7%. No one is especially impressed-- and no one thinks it means much of anything in terms of the 2016 Republican presidential nomination. Second place was more interesting-- Koch puppet and Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker came in with 21.4%. Third place went to Ted Cruz-- CPAC is his kind of crowd and he should have done a lot better than the 11.5% he took. But, then again, some Republicans don't consider Cruz constitutionally eligible to be president. Not Cruz, not Marco Rubio (who took a sad 3.7%) and not Bobby Jindal, who couldn't even manage to round up 1% of the vote.

About a month ago one of the crazy birthers, Tracy A. Fair, seems to have ended her endless whining about Obama being a foreigner and ineligible to be president and turned it into a new crusade against Cruz, Jindal and Rubio. She sent petition to the Supreme Court February 4 conceding that Obama's eligibility is now moot and instead wants to litigate whether or not probably Republican Party contenders Cruz, Jindal and Rubio are "natural born citizens."

Fair: "Rubio and Jindal were born in the United States to parents who were not United States citizens at the time of their respective births. Ted Cruz was born in Canada to parents only one of whom (his mother) was a United States citizen. Under the law existing at the time of their birth, each became a 'citizen' of the United States at birth. Marco Rubio and Bobby Jindal by the 14th Amendment, Ted Cruz by statute."

Birthers base their claims on Article II, Section 1, clause 5 of the Constitution which reads "No person except a natural born Citizen . . ., shall be eligible to the Office of President" and Fair insists: "That phrase 'natural born Citizen' has yet to be defined by the Supreme Court. So are they "natural born Citizens" eligible to be President? I think the People deserve to know the answer to that question before the next Presidential Campaign starts in earnest... My efforts were never about Mr. Obama as a person or a politician. Instead, my efforts were about insuring that the Constitution was respected and enforced by those charged with those duties. Where a phrase in the Constitution-- such as 'natural born Citizen'-- is undefined, it is the duty of the Supreme Court to interpret such a phrase. As the Supreme Court itself said in the 1922 case of Fairchild v. Hughes, I have: 'the right, possessed by every citizen, to require that the Government be administered according to law.' By repeatedly refusing to 'say what the law is' regarding 'natural born Citizen', the Supreme Court would abolish the rule of law and replace it with the rule of their whim and caprice to whatever political ends that super-legislature may possess."

By any reasonable and widely accepted definition Jindal and Rubio are certainly natural born citizens-- even if some fringe teabaggers would describe them as "anchor babies." Ted Cruz is another case and, of course, he takes this very seriously. In 2013 he finally-- at 43-- renounced his Canadian citizenship. Remember when Arnold Schwarzenegger fanboys wanted to change the law to allow Schwarzenegger-- who, after all did kill The Predator-- to run for president. A movie industry p.r. firm got this placed in the New York Post at the same time Ted Cruz was renouncing his Canadian citizenship:
Action star and former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has been lobbying for support to change the law to allow him to run for president in 2016, Page Six has exclusively learned.

We’re told Ahnold has been openly talking about his political ambitions while in New York to promote his new movie with Sylvester Stallone, Escape Plan.

One source said: “Schwarzenegger has been talking openly about working on getting the constitutional rules changed so he can run for president in 2016. He is ready to file legal paperwork to challenge the rules.”

Arnie was born in Austria, and the US Constitution prevents foreign-born citizens from holding the nation’s top job. Any amendment to the Constitution must be approved by two-thirds majority in the House and the Senate.

But Arnold, who became a US citizen in 1983, still could mount a legal challenge. In 2010, he appeared on the Tonight Show, and was asked by Jay Leno if he would make a White House run if the law were changed.

Schwarzenegger replied, “Without any doubt.” With America becoming more diverse, it is not clear what would happen if Arnie or any other foreign-born naturalized citizen decided to run.

Columbia University Law School professor Michael Dorf, an expert in constitutional law, said about the Governator’s case in 2007, “The law is very clear, but it’s not 100 percent clear that the courts would enforce that law rather than leave it to the political process.”

While Arnold’s rep didn’t respond to us, even Mayor Mike Bloomberg has spoken playfully about forming a presidential ticket with Schwarzenegger.

“There would be a fight to see who would be the presidential candidate and who would be the vice presidential candidate,” Bloomberg quipped a few years back. “He would want to arm-wrestle for the top spot; I would want to check the Constitution.”

If it does happen, an arm wrestle between Arnold and fellow 2016 contender Hillary Clinton would be a spectacle, although our bets are on Hillary.
Cruz, who was born and raised in Canada to a virulently anti-American Cuban fascist dad and an American mother, seems to have snowed U.S. conventional wisdom into thinking the Constitution doesn't apply to him. At least those 11.5% of CPAC straw vote participants don't mind all that constitutional stuff.

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