Ted Cruz releases birth certificate

August 19, 2013

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) released his birth certificate Sunday amid questions about whether he is eligible to run for president.

Cruz was born in Canada in 1970, to an American mother and Cuban father. By virtue of his mother's status, Cruz instantly became a U.S. citizen. He released his birth certificate to the Dallas Morning News, verifying what he has previously asserted.

Since Cruz has stoked presidential speculation by traveling to early nominating states, questions about whether he would be eligible for a White House bid have received widespread attention. The question is whether he’s a “natural-born citizen," as the14th Amendment Constitution requires presidents to be. Legal scholars and Cruz's office say he meets the requirement, but it has remained somewhat untested, legally.

As the Dallas Morning News points out, some legal experts say that Cruz also became a Canadian citizen by virtue of being born there, and must renounce his citizenship there, lest he remain a citizen of both countries.

But Cruz's office says that so far as it knows, the senator has no Canadian citizenship.

“Senator Cruz became a U.S. citizen at birth, and he never had to go through a naturalization process after birth to become a U.S. citizen," Cruz spokeswoman Catherine Frazier told the Dallas Morning News. "To our knowledge, he never had Canadian citizenship, so there is nothing to renounce."

In 2011, President Obama released his birth certificate following questions from so-called birthers about his eligibility to be president.

In a recent interview with ABC News, Donald Trump raised questions about Cruz's eligibility to be president. He also raised questions about Obama, even as the conspiracy theory that Obama is not a natural-born citizen has been proven completely false.

Sean Sullivan has covered national politics for The Washington Post since 2012.
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Sean Sullivan · August 19, 2013