Today is one year from Inauguration Day.
On Jan. 20, 2017, the U.S. will swear in our 45th president.
That is, unless the inauguration is delayed by a court case, which begins to look inevitable if U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas receives a majority of the electoral vote.
Cruz’s leap into a frontrunner role for the Republican nomination has rekindled a 150-year-old debate over whether a child born abroad to a U.S. citizen (one not stationed overseas in U.S. service) is “natural born” and eligible to be president.
There is little question Cruz is a citizen, unless his mother, Delaware-born Eleanor Darragh, somehow lost her citizenship. For generations, Americans have routinely accepted any citizen as eligible regardless where he or she was born.
But the Constitution sets specific, stricter requirements for the president and vice president. The U.S. Supreme Court has never settled whether a foreign-born citizen is “natural” by birth, or born a citizen only by law under an act of Congress.
The sooner this can be adjudicated, the better. Conservative voters seek a president who promotes a conservative interpretation of the Founders’ original intent, and they might like to know whether that allows a President Cruz.