With his surprising victory in the Iowa caucuses last Sunday, Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz solidified his status near the top of the GOP field. But in the background, the controversy over his birthplace and his eligibility for the nation’s highest office simmered on.At the forum “Is Ted Cruz Eligible to Be President?” held Friday at Wasserstein Hall in Harvard Law School (HLS), two constitutional scholars debated whether Cruz’s birth in Calgary, Alberta, to a Cuban father and an American mother disqualifies him to serve as president.Laurence Tribe, the Carl M. Loeb University Professor and Professor of Constitutional Law, who teaches at HLS, argued that Cruz is ineligible to hold the presidency, using what he called Cruz’s own strict interpretation of the Constitution.“Cruz claims that the narrow, historical meaning of the Constitution is literal, except when it comes to the ‘natural born citizen’ clause,” said Tribe, who taught Cruz when he was a student at HLS in 1994.The crux of the matter is that the Constitution, in Article II, Section 1, Clause 5, states that “no person except a natural born citizen” can be president.Under English common law, upon which U.S. law was based, a “natural born citizen” would be someone born on American soil. For Tribe, according to this definition, Cruz does not qualify. He compared Cruz to Alexander Hamilton, a founding father who was born in Nevis, but qualified as a U.S. citizen at the time of the adoption of the Constitution, and former presidential candidate John McCain, who was born in the Panama Canal Zone when it was under U.S. control.“Unlike Cruz, McCain was born in U.S. territory,” said Tribe. “And unlike Cruz, McCain was born to two U.S. citizens, parents who had been deployed to the Panama Canal Zone by the military to serve the country.”But for Jack Balkin, a constitutional law professor at Yale University, Cruz is a “natural born citizen” because under U.S. immigration law in 1970, he automatically became an American because his mother was one. The law grants birthright citizenship to a child born overseas if one parent is a U.S. citizen.“The question is: What was the law in 1970 when Cruz was born?” said Balkin. “The law in 1970 was that if one of your parents was a U.S. citizen and has established residency before your birth, you become automatically a U.S. citizen by birth.”Tribe and Balkin did agree that cogent arguments could be made both in favor of and against Cruz’s eligibility by using different interpretations of the Constitution and existing laws.Countering Tribe was Jack Balkin, a constitutional law professor from Yale, who said Cruz is a “natural born citizen” because under U.S. immigration law in 1970, he automatically became an American because his mother was one. Kris Snibbe/Harvard Staff PhotographerTribe said he’d be open to interpretations allowing a flexible reading of the “natural born citizen” clause. A self-described liberal, Tribe represented Democratic candidate Al Gore in Bush v. Gore during the dispute over the 2000 presidential election.“As an unapologetic living constitutionalist,” said Tribe, “I’m someone who believes that constitutional terms of art, like ‘natural born citizen,’ can be flexible enough to accommodate changing national values, experiences, and practices. So I’m at least open to the view that Cruz should be deemed eligible under an expanded understanding of the ‘natural born citizen’ clause.”For Cruz, a U.S. senator from Texas who was campaigning in nearby New Hampshire Friday in advance of Tuesday’s primary election there, his citizenship is settled law. But after Cruz’s surging victory in Iowa, his Republican rival Donald Trump, who came in second, renewed his attacks over the issue. Trump has joked that Cruz should run for office in Canada. Cruz renounced his latent Canadian citizenship when he ran for office in the United States.Tribe and Balkin did agree that the matter is not settled.“The question is anything but open-and-shut,” said Tribe. “In no possible sense has this issue been settled, either by the Supreme Court or political process or by popular consensus.”Sponsored by the Harvard Federalist Society, the debate drew an audience that filled the room despite the snowstorm. Among those on hand was law student Chris Danello, who summed up the issue afterward.“It exposed the divide not just on the right and the left,” he said, “but also among the many ways to interpret the Constitution.”Is Ted Cruz Eligible to Be President? <a href=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=irAj-ajgJL8″ rel=”nofollow” target=”_blank”> <img src=”https://img.youtube.com/vi/irAj-ajgJL8/0.jpg” alt=”0″ title=”How To Choose The Correct Channel Type For Your Video Content ” /> </a> In a debate hosted by the Harvard Federalist Society on Feb. 5, Professor Laurence Tribe argued that, under Sen. Ted Cruz’s own view of the Constitution, he is not eligible to serve as president. Professor Jack Balkin of Yale Law School responded.
In an effort to close the cultural gap between international and domestic students and to introduce the student body to cultural diversity on campus, the International Student Assembly is hosting USC’s first Multicultural Carnival Saturday in McCarthy Quad.With the largest number of international students of any university in the United States, USC has 41 countries represented in its student body.Members of the International Student Assembly post flyers for their Multicultural Carnival, to be held on Saturday. – Mike Lee|Daily TrojanBut, many of those students struggle with adapting to the social and cultural gaps between international and domestic students, according to Eshan Saluja, director of programming and development for ISA.“I think there is a huge gap between international students and domestic students,” said Saluja, a junior majoring in business administration. “Even though USC has the largest international population, the problem is that there is not that much interaction apart from class or group work. Americans hang out with Americans, Chinese with Chinese and Indian with Indian.”ISA is hoping the carnival, slated to run from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., will serve as a jumping-off point for students from different cultures to interact with one another. The carnival will include booths from different international student organizations on campus, featuring culture-specific activities such as a chopstick game with the Chinese Students Association, as well as samples of the country’s cuisine.“We are trying to encourage the connection between different nationality groups … including domestic students,” said Matthew Leung, executive director of the ISA and a sophomore majoring in business finance.The Carnival will feature international activities, and also some traditionally American pastimes.Leung said the ISA is hoping to attract even more visitors to the carnival by broadcasting the USC-Notre Dame game on a high-definition TV.“We are trying to see if we can incorporate American culture with the different international games so we don’t involve only international students and so we can attract domestic students,” he said. “Also, international students can learn about football, which is an American experience as well as a Trojan experience.”A number of students planning to participate in the event said they are looking forward to a chance to promote their own culture.“Apart from wanting to get to know other cultures, we want to tell other people about our culture,” said Silviana Hurniawan, a junior majoring in communication and the public relations officer for the Association of Indonesian Students. “Apart from the disaster, I don’t think anybody has any idea of what Indonesian culture is like.”Others are hoping the carnival will help integrate international and domestic students on campus.“There is a disconnect. Even though I feel like people are trying to push us together, there is a still a gap,” said Siyucu Fan, a junior from China who is majoring in design. “[But] I think the carnival will be good. It’s a good way to introduce cultures.”The turnout and success of the carnival — ISA is hoping to get around 1,000 attendees — will determine whether it will become a tradition, Leung said.“It’s amazing the opportunity our domestic students have to get to know and experience so many countries represented here at USC,” Becky Peterson, an international student advisor at the Office of International Services, wrote in an email.