Sen. Ted Cruz has found himself an unlikely ally in the ongoing birther debate in Cass Sunstein, a former White House official, who wrote in a Bloomberg View op-ed Tuesday, “On the merits, I agree with Cruz.”
His op-ed comes as Donald Trump and other Republicans — and even some legal experts — have raised concerns that because Cruz was born in Canada, he does not meet the “natural born citizen” requirement to run for president under the Constitution.
Sunstein — a legal scholar who was the administrator of the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs in the Obama administration — laid out the basic gist of the debate: whether “natural born citizens” means Americans who were citizens at birth (and thus did not have to go through a naturalization process) or means only Americans who were born in the United States.
Cruz was born to an American mother in Canada in 1970, which made him automatically a U.S. citizen at his birth.
Sunstein also was skeptical of Trump’s suggestion that Cruz seek legal clarification in court.
“For technical reasons, no federal court is likely to rule against Cruz,” Sunstein wrote, pointing to issues in standing and that courts will likely see the issue as a “political question” that should be resolved in the political process.
Though he sided with Cruz, Sunstein suggested that it was still an issue worth examining, quoting former Justice Scalia law clerk Michael Ramsey, who said, “It’s a mystery to me why anyone thinks it’s an easy question.”