back to top

Yes, Ted Cruz Can Run For President Even Though He Was Born In Canada

Shut your poutine-hole and read some constitutional law, hosers!

Posted on

"No Person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President," reads section 1 of article II of the constitution.

Yukiseaside / Via

Not ones for excessive detail, the Founding Fathers didn't actually clarify what they meant by "natural born citizen."

A 2011 Congressional Research Service report rather helpfully analyzed all the relevant legal decisions and opinions on the term, and made this conclusion:

"The weight of legal and historical authority indicates that the term "natural born" citizen would mean a person who is entitled to U.S. citizenship "by birth" or "at birth," either by being born "in" the United States and under its jurisdiction, even those born to alien parents; by being born abroad to U.S. citizen-parents; or by being born in other situations meeting legal requirements for U.S. citizenship "at birth." Such term, however, would not include a person who was not a U.S. citizen by birth or at birth, and who was thus born an "alien" required to go through the legal process of "naturalization" to become a U.S. citizen."

The emphasis on "by being born abroad to U.S. citizen-parents" is ours, because it applies to the ostensible Canuck-cum-candidate.


Cruz is a citizen. He didn't need to become naturalized in order to become a citizen, instead becoming one "by birth." His birth mother was American, therefore he is American.


Read the 2011 Congressional Research Service report for yourself here:

David Mack is a reporter and weekend editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.

Contact David Mack at

Got a confidential tip? Submit it here.