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Okay, People, Enough

AP Photo / J. Scott Applewhite

Yes, it's nice to see Tea Partiers discomfited that their guy really was born outside the United States (he was born in Calgary). But that schadenfreude doesn't change the fact that he's natural born and thus eligible. As he told ABC News a month ago, "My mother was born in Wilmington, Delaware. She's a U.S. citizen, so I'm a U.S. citizen ... "I can tell you where I was born and who my parents were." And he's right. That settles it.

By every historical and legal standard, "natural born" in the Constitution simply means that you were born an American citizen. The fact of your birth made you an American citizen.

It is well-established that being born on American soil makes you an American citizen. And being born to an American citizen, no matter where you were born, makes you an American citizen. At the time of his birth, Cruz was born to a mother who was an American citizen. That clinches it. The fact that his father was then not yet an American citizen is not relevant. Just as the location of Cruz's own birth is not relevant. The Congressional Research Service actually did a study of this a couple years ago and after lengthy research and documentation, they basically came up with what I said above.

Over the last half dozen years, in addition to coming up with numerous conspiracy theories that allege specific factual inaccuracies about President Obama's birth, the 'birther' community has developed all sorts of harebrained interpretations of what 'natural born' mean. They're all wrong. It simply means, did you become an American citizen by the fact of your birth - whether that mean your parentage or geography?

Still thinking of pressing this point? Nope. Zip it. It's done.

About The Author


Josh Marshall is editor and publisher of TalkingPointsMemo.com.