« Peter Shane: The Originalist Myth of the Unitary Executive
Michael Ramsey
| Main | Ilya Somin on Originalism after Scalia
Michael Ramsey »

02/24/2016

Is Marco Rubio a Natural Born Citizen? (Again)
Michael Ramsey

News reports indicate that Donald Trump has at least indirectly raised the question.  So here is my answer (yes, more clearly than Ted Cruz).  The short version: longstanding English common law recognized all people born in England as natural born subjects (with a couple of exceptions not relevant to Rubio), regardless of whether their parents were aliens.  Blackstone is extremely clear on the point.  U.S. practice and commentary after ratification show that this rule was carried over into U.S. law, perhaps with some debate at the margins but not with respect to people in Rubio's situation.  (More at the link).

My longer draft article on the meaning of natural born gives further support for the argument in the linked post.