PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The citizenship status Texas Senator and presidential candidate Ted Cruz continues to linger in the background of the race for the Republican nomination. Cruz claims the issue is settled and his status as an eligible candidate is secure. However, his opponents continue to raise doubts or call for greater clarification.

On Talk Radio 1210 WPHT, Rich Zeoli asked two legal experts if they could clear up the matter, but received two contradictory answers.

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Jonathan H. Adler, a law professor at Case Western Reserve University, says Cruz is eligible to run for the White House.

“If you look at evidence of what was understood by the phrase ‘natural born citizen,’ how it was understood both by British Parliament in the century before the US founding, as well as what was done by the early Congress, there’s strong evidence that ‘natural born citizen’ includes someone like Ted Cruz who was a citizen at birth and as a consequence of his birth. On top of that, if then one looks at how have we understood this language, how have constitutional actors understood this language in our nation’s history, we see that other individuals that have had similar sorts of questions raised about their eligibility have run for President.”


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On the contrary, Mary Brigid McManamon, a constitutional law professor at Widener’s Delaware Law School, states that the law is clear and that Cruz is ineligible to be President.

“I would say yes, it’s settled but no, unfortunately, it goes against him…The Supreme Court has said there’s two kinds of citizenship. One is natural born and that means you have to be born within the territory of the United States and the other naturalized citizens and that includes both those who are naturalized at birth overseas or those who have immigrated to the United States and go through the lengthy naturalization process…The Constitution requires for you to be President to be a natural born citizen. That phrase, ‘natural born citizen,’ comes from the Common Law and the Supreme Court has, on numerous occasions, said in order to understand the Common Law term in the Constitution, you look to what the Common Law says. The Common Law is quite clear on this issue. If you’re born within the territory of the sovereign, you’re a natural born citizen, otherwise you’re not.”


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