Publius Huldah: WHO DECIDES whether Someone is qualified for the Office of President of the United States?

According to the original intent of our Constitution, Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio are not eligible to be President because their fathers weren’t US citizens at the times they were born. So they are not “natural born citizens”.

So! How is this handled? Who decides? Do we “file a lawsuit” and let federal judges decide? “Slap your hands!”, our Framers would say. They would say, “READ THE CONSTITUTION AND SEE WHAT IS SUPPOSED TO HAPPEN!”

[Our lives would be so much simpler – and our Country so much better off – if we read & supported our Constitution.]

Read the 12th Amendment. That sets forth the procedures for election of President and VP. Note that ELECTORS are supposed to be the ones making the selection – not The People. [There is a reason for that.]  For an illustration of how this works, go HERE and read the subheadings,  “Electors” Appointed by States Were To Choose The President!  and The 12thAmendment Establishes Procedures For Voting By Electors.

So! Assume we followed the Constitution on this issue and we get to the part where Congress is counting the votes as provided by 12th Amendment. And Lo! Congress discovers that the person who got the most votes for President is NOT QUALIFIED by reason of age, or not being a natural born citizen, or not having been for at least 14 years a Resident within the United States.

Obviously, it’s Congress’ job to determine whether the President and VP – selected by the ELECTORS – are qualified.


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Archbishop Gregori
5 years ago

And what if Congress decides to go against the Constitution Article II: Sec.1; Clause 5 and claim that a non-natural born citizen is eligible, even if no Constitutional Amendment was NEVER made to Amend Article II?

Tom Angle
5 years ago

So the premise on the article is, if Congress illegally chooses, shame on us? That would be a criminal act and an illegal president.So We should just take it? Not sure that is how the founder would have handled it or would wanted it to be handled.

5 years ago

Cruz, Rubio & McCain were all U.S. citizens at birth, by virtue of the circumstances of their respective births, which means they are natural born U.S. citizens, constitutionally eligible to run for President.

Rubio was born in the USA, so there’s certainly nothing doubtful about his citizenship.

Sen. Ted Cruz is not my first choice, but there’s nothing doubtful about his citizenship, either. Under U.S. law when he was born, he was a U.S. citizen from birth, because of his mother’s citizenship. That mans he is a natural born citizen of the United States, eligible to run for President or Vice President.

There are only two kinds of United States citizens: People who are born U.S. citizens, a/k/a “natural born citizens,” and people who become citizens later, a/k/a “naturalized citizens.”

The question at issue is what the Framers intended by the words “natural born.” But that question has been settled for 225 years.

In 1790 the first Congress enacted a law defining “natural born” citizenship to include children born abroad of U.S. citizen parents. President George Washington signed it. That was just three years after the adoption of the Constitution. It’s not plausible to suppose that the phrase “natural born” was intended to mean something different in the Constitution than it meant in the law passed just three years later.

If the First Congress had meant to define some other sort of citizen, they certainly would not have used the exact term used in the Constitution: natural born. They would not have said, “shall be considered as natural born citizens” if what they’d really meant was “shall be considered as citizens, but not natural born.”

To the best of my knowledge there is no suggestion in any known historical or legal document that any of the Framers thought there could be a third sort of citizen, who was neither a natural born citizen nor a naturalized citizen.

That means there really is no doubt that the originally intended meaning of the term “natural born citizen” was simply “citizen from birth, by virtue of the circumstances of his birth.”

Cruz & McCain, who were born outside the United States, were both citizens from birth, so they both qualify as natural born citizens of the United States.

The people who dispute that make much of the fact that the Supreme Court has never ruled on the issue of what, exactly, the term “natural born” means. That’s a symptom of their ignorance of history. These days, people seem to think that the SCOTUS is the only body which can “fill in the gaps” to resolve ambiguities in the interpretation of the Constitution. But that is NOT what was intended by the Framers.

The First Congress resolved the ambiguity of what was meant by the term “natural born.” It meant then what the vast majority of legal scholars agree that it means now: someone who is born a U.S. citizen, by virtue of the circumstances of his birth.

The key thing to realize is that there’s no evidence at all that any of the Framers (or early Congressmen) intended for there to be a 3rd class of citizens, other than natural-born and naturalized.

If you’re a U.S. citizen, you’re either natural born or naturalized. There’s no other class of citizens. Cruz is a natural born U.S. citizen, and if the SCOTUS were to rule on the issue there’s no doubt that that’s what they would say, probably unanimously.


Tom Angle
5 years ago

Did you not read the 1790 act that is posted above? It clearly state both parents need to be citizens.