Attacking Cruz’s Eligibility Is a Blunder Ann Coulter Can’t Afford to Make Right Now (UPDATED)

Ann Coulter’s latest column finally put her argument against Ted Cruz’s eligibility to be President into an extended form we can intelligently judge.

First, it turns out she actually isn’t pulling this entirely from thin air. There are Supreme Court precedents and some basis in the English common law suggesting that “natural born” does not apply to those born abroad to citizen parents, as Cruz was to an American mother in Canada.

But it all amounts to less than what Ann’s made of it. For one thing, “the Supreme Court says so” has never been conservatives’ standard for settling legal questions. Yes, SCOTUS can be useful for articulating the relevant concepts, but they’re certainly capable of being wrong. And there’s ample reason to think they’re wrong here.

For instance, Blackstone — who Ann weirdly suggests Cruz’s defenders haven’t cited — explicitly recognizes such children as natural-born citizens:

To encourage also foreign commerce, it was enacted by statute 25 Edw. III. st. 2. that all children born abroad, provided both their parents were at the time of the birth in allegiance to the king, and the mother had passed the seas by her husband’s consent, might inherit as if born in England: and accordingly it hath been so adjudged in behalf of merchants. But by several more modern statutes these restrictions are still farther taken off: so that all children, born out of the king’s ligeance, whose fathers were natural-born subjects, are now natural-born subjects themselves, to all intents and purposes, without any exception; unless their said fathers were attainted, or banished beyond sea, for high treason; or were then in the service of a prince at enmity with Great Britain.

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When Will We Get Serious about Judicial Tyranny?

A Republican presidential field with over a dozen candidates splitting conservative voters may be a recipe for political disaster, but one of the silver linings is that with so many dueling personalities, some are bound to voice overlooked ideas to a wider audience than they’re used to.

So far, that’s been one of the only good things to come out of Mike Huckabee joining the fray. He’s made directly attacking the judiciary’s assumed constitutional monopoly a recurring theme over the past several months, from his January suggestion that we defy the Supreme Court if they impose same-sex marriage nationwide to his May campaign announcement blasting politicians for “surrender[ing] to the false god of judicial supremacy.”

His comments got a little debate among the commentariat and more than a little hysteria from the press, but nowhere near the conversation they should have sparked. Maybe it was the messenger—while Huck’s nanny-state, pro-amnesty, soft-on-crime, snake-oil record should absolutely keep him far, far away from the White House, conservatives can’t afford to let our rightful distaste for the Huckster distract us when he stumbles upon something important. Continue reading