Thursday on MSNBC following FBN’s broadcast of the Republican presidential debate, Harvard constitutional law professor Laurence Tribe attacked Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), one of the participants in last night debate, for his stated on reasoning for his eligibility to run for president of the United States.
According to Tribe, Cruz applies a double standard to his interpretation of the Constitution, to which he deemed Cruz to be a “constitutional opportunist” and a “hypocrite.”
“I’ve done a lot of historical research on it, and so have a lot of other people, and the best evidence seems to be that what they meant in 1788 was something more than just citizen from birth,” he said. “They actually meant a citizen whose birth was sort of natural, not in a biological sense but in the sense of connection to the land. The idea was, that it was something that Congress couldn’t change, unlike the naturalization process, which Congress has monkeyed around with all the time. I mean, for example, in 1934, the first time it said, you can be a citizen who doesn’t need to get naturalized as long as your mom was an American citizen. And that’s ultimately the basis on which Cruz has to rely. The funny thing is, that the kind of guy Cruz is, he’s always been this way. When he was my student he was this way. He’s always said the Constitution always means the same thing that it meant when it was adopted. That’s why he made this funny joke to Trump, you know, saying, the Constitution didn’t change since last September. Well, he thinks it didn’t change since 1788 when it comes to gays and, you know, women and other things. But when it comes to his own ambition, he’s suddenly becomes what he accuses me of being, and it’s a pretty true accusation, a judicial activist. That’s not the guy he is normally.”
“He’s being a constitutional opportunist, a hypocrite,” Tribe continued. “It’s sad, because he makes light of it, but it is a genuine open question, and there’s no way of getting around it. Like if he’s the nominee, it won the be hard to imagine some secretary of state somewhere simply refusing to put him on the ballot on the ground that that secretary of state is also an originalist and thinks, if you weren’t born on the land of the United States, then you just can’t run. At that point, somebody would have to sue them, whether it’s Ted Cruz himself as the nominee, if that’s what we’ve got, or the Republican National Committee. There’s no way to avoid an issue like that going to the Supreme Court. And the irony is, the liberals on the court, assuming they all voted according to principle, as opposed to politics. It isn’t always that way, the liberals on the court, the activists would go with Cruz, and the originalists if they were true to their position like Scalia, would vote against him.”
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