Officer had an AR in a fixed position with a scope (and probably a red dot) at 30 feet. Assuming he knew the sights were dialed in and he had plenty of practice with the weapon, I have no problem with him taking that shot. I would be concerned with what was “beyond” the target, but I’m hoping he was set up so that if he did miss, the bullet was going over traffic (sure, it has to land somewhere, but I’m sure he took ALL of that into consideration). Great job.
 January 15, 2016 at 2:10pm
Firey – I have not heard a single person claim that Ted Cruz is not a US Citizen. The question being raised is: “What does it mean to be a ‘natural born Citizen” as required by the Founders in Art. 2, Section 1, Clause 5 of the US Constitution to qualify as eligible to run for the office of President?” There is not a single federal or Supreme Court case that has addressed this question or defined this term specifically for the purpose of determining qualification as a US President – and the term was not defined by the Founders. So, while Mr. Cruz is certainly a US Citizen, it is entirely possible that, if someone can qualify for standing to bring a suit, a Federal court could rule that he is NOT a “natural born Citizen” if one of the conditions is being born on US soil and/or requiring birth by parents that are both US Citizens.
It is also entirely possible that the Federal courts say “We are not touching this issue with a 10 foot poll. You voting citizens can read the Constitution just as well as we can. If you don’t think Mr. Cruz qualifies, don’t nominate him or vote for him, but we aren’t going to get caught in this political debate, especially if our ruling would also conclude that the CURRENT President doesn’t meet our interpretation of what it means to be a “natural born Citizen.”
January 15, 2016 at 10:54am
This is where we have a complete disconnect. We are not talking about what it takes to be US Citizen here (no matter how you describe it – native citizen, natural born citizen, statutory citizen, naturalized citizen, etc.). The ONLY thing we are trying to identify is “what did the Founders mean when they said that one of the conditions to hold the office of the President of the United State is that the person has to be a “natural born Citizen?” That phrase was undefined by the Founders, so it is certainly a possibility that, if the candidate achieved citizenship by any means other than being born on US soil to parents that were both US citizens at the time of the birth, then it is subject to a potential challenge and law suit before a federal court. If that happens, then the question is: “What definition will the Federal Courts use to determine who qualifies as a ‘natural born Citizen’ for the limited purpose of Art II, Section 1, Clause 5 of the US Constitution?” Perhaps they use the 18th Century common law definition. Perhaps they only require being born on US soil (14th Amendment). Perhaps they say being born to just one US parent anywhere in the world is fine. Perhaps it has to be at least 1 US parent on US soil. Perhaps they just defer to what qualifies as a US citizen per INS guidelines. Who knows – but it would be nice to find out sooner rather than later since SCOTUS has never ruled on this issue before.
 January 14, 2016 at 10:40pm
Cruz may very well be right – if the Democrats challenge Mr. Cruz’s eligibility, they would also have to live with the eligibility fallout if the Court determined that being a “natural born Citizen” also disqualified President Obama – and they would have to ask the court to, just this one time, pretty please just follow the original intent of the Founders and apply a strict Constitutionalist view of the language in this limited case (but feel free to ignore it any apply the “Living Constitution” concept on all other issues brought before the court by liberals). However, it doesn’t change the fact that the question itself would be a case of first impression for the US Supreme Court as they have never been asked to define what it means to be a “natural born citizen” for purposes of Presidential eligibility. Cruz may be right on the outcome, but he is not being completely honest with his answer that the “law on this matter is settled” – just because nobody has ever challenged these peoples’ eligibility before (or the challenged was denied because the person bring suit didn’t have standing because they could no prove that they were harmed), doesn’t mean that a challenge by someone WITH standing this time around (such as Mr. Trump, or Mr. Sanders, or Mrs. Clinton, or Mr. Biden, or the DNC) would also be ignored by the Supreme Court this time around. In fact, I do recall Justice Thomas joking that he and the group were still waiting for someone with standing to bring a suit.
I like how Ted Cruz thinks that just because the examples that he cited 'ran for president'....That it somehow means that it is now precident....
Uh, anybody can run for president - nobody from the government is going to jump out and demand a 'natural-born citizen' test be administered.
Nailed it bobert. I said as much above, but its impossible to as eloquent on a three inch screen
January 14, 2016 at 8:53pm
Waiting – I know that you are just trolling on this issue. All that Art. 2, Section 1, Clause 5 requires that to be President of the United States on must be at least 15 years of age, have lived in the US for a minimum of 14 years, and be a “natural born Citizen”. The United States is also an “undefined term” – which the Courts have ruled to include US foreign bases and protectorates – so I guess you could go to the US Supreme Court and try to argue that any law past after the ratification of the Constitution that expands beyond the 13 original states doesn’t apply to any other state. You give that a whirl and let me know how that argument works out for you!
January 14, 2016 at 8:47pm
Waiting – It may very well be totally, completely 100% ludicrous to think that Mr. Ted Cruz is somehow “less” loyal because he was born in Canada – but I’m not sure the Courts would look at this on a case-by-case basis. What if he had spent the first 10 years in Canada. What if he spent his first 20 years in Canada? What if we are talking about a different candidate and the country that we are talking about is Indonesia or Russia – does WHERE he grew up make a difference – is that person’s “loyalty” more questionable at that point? In theory, the status of “natural born Citizen” should be established immediately at birth if we go with the term as the Framers understood it in late 18th Century – but that is not to say that today’s Supreme Court may give no weight to such historic terminology and just say – “Hey – if you were born to at least one US citizen, are at least 35 years of age and have lived in the US for 14 years, that’s good enough for us.”
January 14, 2016 at 5:29pm
Yep – Cruz is clearly a US Citizen. The question being asked is “Is Mr. Cruz a ‘natural born Citizen’ as that term is used and intended by the drafters of the US Constitution to confer eligibility to hold the office of President of the United States?” That is a very different question – and one not addressed or resolved by the 14th Amendment.
[-1] January 14, 2016 at 5:21pm
No entirely correct. Ted became a US Citizen by way of a Statute stating that birth by a US citizen on foreign soil conveys US citizenship to the born child. Statutes that grant citizenship – at birth or later in life via naturalization – provide rescue to those people whose citizenship is not self evident at birth. If you’re born in the US to parents who are citizens then you are a natural born citizen and you do not need a statute to create your citizenship which is natural and self evident.
Statutory citizenship does not give rise to natural born citizen status – which is not a right but a requirement to be President. All citizens have the same rights, but not all “citizens” can be President. Not even all “natural born citizens” can be President as there are also age and residency requirements. The Constitution put the requirements for President in the Document to exclude persons from eligibility, not include them
Yes. And the purpose was to exclude foreigners who are not firstly loyal to the USA from becoming president.
To think a child of a US citizen born abroad is DISLOYAL more than a child of a US citizen born within the borders, is LUDICROUS.
And you say it has to be "natural" not "statutory"... does this mean we can only accept people born withing the borders as they were when the Constitution was ratified? (June 21, 1788) Because every border expansion after that was STATUTORY.
Very simply and well stated. I am sure the Founders would agree with you especially George Washington and John Jay our first Chief Justice. I don't know how the Court would rule today since the original intent has been violated 5 times in our history. That means 5 out of 44 or more than 10% of our Presidents did not meet the original intent of Jay and Washington. All five were less than spectacular performers.
James Buchanan is considered by many scholars as the worst President due to his handling of events leading up to the Civil War.
Chester Author (?) Ever hear of anything he achieved?
Woodrow Wilson the original Progressive President saw the establishment of The Fed, IRS, Prohibition, The 17th Amendment, US entry into WWI and resegregation of the Federal Government and Military. At least women got the right to vote in Federal Elections under his administration.
Herbert Hoover considered by some to be the first Progressive Republican led us into the Great Depression with his fiscal policy.
Barack Obama 'Nuf said.
I will point out that all of these past non Natural Born Presidents were all born in the US and some of them may have questionably qualified having citizen fathers through whom citizenship was principally passed in the day.
Corman, I will say that in my life's experience "Don’t over think it, it’s too simple" usually results in rationalization based on unsubstantiated assertion more than an analysis of the facts.
Waiting - It may very well be totally, completely 100% ludicrous to think that Mr. Ted Cruz is somehow "less" loyal because he was born in Canada - but I'm not sure the Courts would look at this on a case-by-case basis. What if he had spent the first 10 years in Canada. What if he spent his first 20 years in Canada? What if we are talking about a different candidate and the country that we are talking about is Indonesia or Russia - does WHERE he grew up make a difference - is that person's "loyalty" more questionable at that point? In theory, the status of "natural born Citizen" should be established immediately at birth if we go with the term as the Framers understood it in late 18th Century - but that is not to say that today's Supreme Court may give no weight to such historic terminology and just say - "Hey - if you were born to at least one US citizen, are at least 35 years of age and have lived in the US for 14 years, that's good enough for us."
[-2] January 14, 2016 at 5:05pm
RobertFl – and you interpretation may be 10000% correct. The concern that I have is that there are certainly good attorneys out there that could make a very compelling argument using language from previous Supreme Court cases that “natural born Citizen” for purposes of Presidential eligibility, requires being born on US soil to two US citizen parents. It may be a losing argument – but it might be good enough to get the US Supreme Court to take it up for consideration . . . which could be a very big problem if the ruling comes out against Mr. Cruz just weeks before the general election and there is no time to change the ballots.
January 14, 2016 at 4:27pm
I only provided examples of Supreme Court cases that have attempted to resolve US Citizenship issues (again – NONE of them involve determining what is meant by the term “natural born Citizen” as used to determine Presidential eligibility) – I make NO CLAIM that any of them make or deny Ted the ability to qualify and run for President. But many of these cases do at least touch on what they believe is a “natural born” citizen – in that they start with a base line – which is: All children born in the US to US citizen parents are clearly “natural born” citizen . . . and then they go on to determine US citizenship when the person is not a “natural born citizen”. Feel free to look up the cases and read the ENTIRE opinion of each – not just my half-hearted summary and highlights. Someone here said that they heard someone talk about a list of Supreme Court cases that attempt to address the issue – and so I provided some examples. That is all. Nothing more. Nothing less.
 January 14, 2016 at 4:07pm
Point taken – and this is the whole point of the debate/problem/issue. When the plain meaning of the Constitution is ambiguous, the Courts must then look to the meaning and intent of the drafters. To you, the language may be completely and wholly unambiguous, but I’m pretty sure there is some attorney in the Trump camp or at the DNC that can make an argument that the language is vague enough that it will require a review and opinion from the US Supreme Court. How will the Court rule if they take the case? That is the question that has many concerned.
January 14, 2016 at 4:00pm
Incorrect. There is a VERY specific reason why the Founders insisted on the President being a “natural born Citizen” – and why it was used only as a condition to holding the office of the Presidency. It was the fear of foreign influence invading the Office of Commander in Chief of the military that prompted John Jay, our first U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice, to write to George Washington the following letter dated July 25, 1787: “Permit me to hint, whether it would be wise and seasonable to provide ‘a strong check’ to the admission of Foreigners into the administration of our national Government; and to declare expressly that the Commander in Chief of the American army shall not be given to nor devolve on, any but a natural born Citizen (underlying “born” in the original). Jay’s recommendation did make it into the Constitution. Article II, Section 1, Clause 5 of the Constitution provides in pertinent part: “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. . .” In this clause and in Articles I, III, and IV, the Founding Fathers distinguished between “Citizen of the United States” and “natural born Citizen.” Per the Founders, while Senators and Representatives can be just “Citizens of the United States,” the President must be a “natural born Citizen.”
Thank you! It looks like a couple of us have actually done some due diligence research on the subject!
Since we have violated the parental aspect of the original intent of Article II so many times in the past I am not sure how a president oriented Court would rule. Thanks Progressives! In all past instances at least the individual was born on US soil. Once they scrap the parentage requirement do they also scrap the domestic birth (born in country) aspect also? Don't know. They would have to for Cruz to qualify. He practiced before the Court a number of years and by all accounts is well respected by the Court. He obviously is counting on ant suit going his way.
I really respect Ted and will wind up voting for him if he emerges as the nominee. My concern is playing loose with the rues in the past has already resulted in electing one president with little respect or appreciation for our culture and way of life. Opening the door wider allowing unimpeded acceptance of Article I Citizens by Birth ascendancy to the Presidency is troubling. Not a concern in Ted's case (for me) but what about that future anchor baby born in Detroit to ISIS parents and raised in Baghdad returning to the US for 14 years becoming President? Scary!
Per the Founders, while Senators and Representatives can be just “Citizens of the United States,” the President must be a “natural born Citizen.” --- Then being born a U.S. Citizen puts you ahead of "becoming" a Citizen of the U.S.and running for office doesn't it?
[-1] January 14, 2016 at 3:49pm
Statutes that grant citizenship – at birth or later in life via naturalization – provide rescue to those people whose citizenship is not self evident at birth. If you’re born in the US to parents who are citizens then you are a natural born citizen and you do not need a statute to create your citizenship which is natural and self evident.
Statutory citizenship does not give rise to natural born citizen status – which is not a right but a requirement to be President. All citizens have the same rights, but not all “citizens” can be President. Not even all “natural born citizens” can be President as there are also age and residency requirements. The Constitution put the requirements for President in the Document to exclude persons from eligibility, not include them.
More importantly the term "Natural Born" was well understood both here and abroad based on the, at that time, widely accepted legal reference "Law of Nations". Composed in French the recognized diplomatic and official language of the day it was Published in several languages. Errors crept in during translation including the English edition. To avoid this Franklin ordered 3 copies of the original French version for use by the Constitutional Convention. In Franklin's words the volumes were well used during the endeavor.
January 14, 2016 at 3:17pm
We all need to remember – we are ONLY taking about what the US Constitution requires to be eligible to be the President of the United States. I don’t think anyone is arguing that Mr. Cruz is not a US Citizen. There are also plenty of people that will argue that is is a “natural born citizen” because one of his parents was a US citizen when Ted was born – that is all well and good. The question is “What did the Framers of the US Constitution mean when they said that any President of the United States must be a “natural born Citizen” and how will that be interpreted by a court of law. The term itself is undefined in the Constitution, so the USSC could look to the intent of the Framers to determine what it means, or they could look to the 14th Amendment and say that, as a result of that amendment, any child born on US or to a US Citizen makes that person a “natural born Citizen” – or they could simply look at how the State Department or some other agency defines it for purposes of US Citizenship and use that same definition here. The point is, we don’t know how the USSC would rule – so it is certainly ripe for a court challenge.
January 14, 2016 at 3:02pm
Incorrect. That “law on the books” was only designed to determine who qualifies as a US Citizen. If you can prove to me that this law was enacted to specifically address eligibility to hold the office of President of the United State, then you at least have a good start – although you don’t get to simply “pass a law” to amend and usurp the meaning of “natural born Citizen” in the Constitution as it relates to Presidential eligibility. That requires an amendment to the Constitution.
 January 14, 2016 at 2:56pm
Just to be clear – I actually believe that Mr. Rand Paul is correct. The majority of today’s USSC justices would likely reject the “strict constitutionalist” approach to determining the meaning of “natural born Citizen” as it relates to Presidential eligibility and ignore the intent of the Founders and find the Mr. Cruz DOES meet the requirement just by be born to one US Citizen (irregardless of where that birth took place). But what I’m pointing out is that this is not a clear, slam dunk case that Mr. Cruz meets the eligibility requirements. Anything less than being born on US soil to two parents that were US citizens at the time of the birth is open to a potential law suit with it being a case of first impression for the US Supreme Court to consider.
 January 14, 2016 at 2:48pm
CanadianMan – Based on the way the US Constitution is supposed to work, you can’t just “pass a law” or invoke a change in some regulatory agency that trumps/supersedes the terms and meaning found in the US Constitution (although almost 50,000 gun laws on the books within the US would clearly contradict this statement). If you do not like the Founders’ meaning of “natural born Citizen” you either take it before the Supreme Court to verify/confirm the meaning (the Court is free to interpret what it means), or pass an amendment to the Constitution to change the meaning if you do not like the Supreme Court’s interpretation. Citing a law passed in 1940 that in no way, shape or form addressed the Citizenship requirement in Art. II, Section 1, Clause 5 of the Constitution for eligibility to hold the office of President of the US is not a winning argument. It might be a great law to cite if you are just trying to prove that you qualify as a US Citizen, but it holds no water in attempting to “amend” a meaning within the US Constitution.
 January 14, 2016 at 2:28pm
U.S. v. Wong Kim Ark, 169 U.S. 649, 708 (1898): Another USSC decision written by Justice Gray which held that a child born in the United States to alien parents who were domiciled and residing in the United States and not employed in any foreign diplomatic service was born “subject to the jurisdiction” of the United States and therefore a Fourteenth Amendment “citizen of the US.” Here, he distinguished between a “natural born Citizen” and a “citizen of the United States.” On “natural born Citizen,” he cited and quoted from Minor v. Happersett which as we have seen relied upon Vattel and quoted his definition of “natural born Citizen.” But in defining the new born “citizen of the United States” under the 14th Amendment, he relied on the English common law to define such a citizen. In giving the nation a new type of born “citizen of the United States,” one born in the United States with allegiance to not only to the United States but also to a foreign power, the Court per Justice Gray abandoned the position that it had taken in Elk that birthright citizenship under the 14th Amendment meant being born with complete and absolute jurisdiction to the United States which also meant being born with sole allegiance to the US. In rendering his decision, Gray disregarded the intended rule under the 14th Amendment that “natural born citizens” and naturalized citizens are equal in every respect except that only the former are eligible to be President.
The 14th amendment never mentions the term Natural Born Citizen. It only speaks of citizens. And in U.S. v. Wong Kim Ark, 169 U.S. 649, 708 (1898) that also deals only with citizens and makes the difference between citizens and Natural born citizens. I dont where you get your information but may want to consider a new source.
January 14, 2016 at 2:25pm
Elk v. Wilkins, 112 U.S. 94 (1884): This was a decision of the U.S. Supreme Court written by Justice Gray. Justice Gray stated: “Indians born within the territorial limits of the United States, members of, and owing immediate allegiance to, one of the Indian tribes, (an alien though dependent power,) although in a geographical sense born in the United States, are no more ‘born in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof,’ within the meaning of the first section of the fourteenth amendment, than the children of subjects of any foreign government born within the domain of that government, or the children born within the United States, of ambassadors or other public ministers of foreign nations.” Hence, the Court rejected mere territorial jurisdiction (e.g., a child born on U.S. soil to alien parents) and rather required complete, political jurisdiction (e.g., a child born on U.S. soil to U.S. citizen parents) in order for a child to be entitled to birthright citizenship. This meant being born with full and complete jurisdiction in the United States and not being born with a qualified or partial jurisdiction such as arises when a person is born with an allegiance to a nation other than the United States which occurs by being born in the United States to one or two alien parents.
 January 14, 2016 at 2:24pm
Minor v. Happersett, 88 U.S. 162, 167-68 (1875): Providing the same Vattelian definition without citing Vattel, and not in any way referring to the English common law as a source for the definition of a “natural born Citizen,” stated: “The Constitution does not in words say who shall be natural-born citizens. Resort must be had elsewhere to ascertain that. At common law, with the nomenclature of which the framers of the Constitution were familiar, it was never doubted that all children born in a country of parents who were its citizens became themselves, upon their birth, citizens also. These were natives or natural-born citizens, as distinguished from aliens or foreigners. Some authorities go further and include as citizens children born within the jurisdiction without reference to the citizenship of their parents. As to this class there have been doubts, but never as to the first. For the purposes of this case, it is not necessary to solve these doubts. It is sufficient, for everything we have now to consider, that all children, born of citizen parents within the jurisdiction, are themselves citizens.” Id., 169 U.S. at 679-80 (emphasis supplied). Minor did not cite Vattel but as can be seen the Court’s definition of a “citizen” and a “natural-born citizen” are taken directly out of Vattel’s The Law of Nations, Section 212.
Hmmm..I wonder if the Court when considering this case was tip-toeing a bit to avoid admitting that the Natural Born requirement had already been breached by the election of James Buchanan whose mother was foreign born.
Meah Probably not.