The Constitution’s Week in Review – 13 Feb 16

The Constitution’s Week in Review – 13 Feb 16

Article 2. Natural Born Citizen Clause.

The critics pile on. Now we have the claim that Senator Ted Cruz may have entered the country illegally in 1974 as a Canadian citizen. Retired Army Reserve Colonel Lawrence Sellin, Ph.D. makes the argument that, according to Public Law 414 (effective June 27, 1952) Cruz’s mother’s citizenship was sufficient to grant him U.S. citizenship (ignoring the natural born citizen criteria for the moment), but only if the proper paperwork had been filed to report the birth to the U.S. officials in Canada. The Cruz campaign insists that a Consular Report of Birth Abroad of a Citizen of the United States of America (CRBA) was indeed filed, but has not produced evidence of such (shades of Barack Obama’s long form birth certificate, a blatantly fraudulent copy of which was eventually posted to the White House website). Cruz obtained a U.S. passport in 1986, but he had been brought to the U.S. from Canada in 1974 by his mother. Did the four-year-old Cruz enter the U.S. or, more importantly, remain here legally since it doesn’t look like there was any attempt to establish or validate U.S. citizenship for twelve more years?

Col. Sellin concludes by stating that Cruz appears to be a naturalized U.S. citizen and is thus “not eligible for the Presidency.”

The mainstream media appear to have moved on to other stories. But as long as Cruz remains in the 1-2 spot in the primaries, this story is not going away; and if he somehow wins the Republican nomination, expect a legal challenge from the other side, one that could possibly postpone the November election.

Article 3.

In yet another slap in the face for the Obama Administration (I’ve lost count) the Supreme Court has ordered the EPA to cease and desist from its “Clean Power Plan” until a challenge by the states is adjudicated in a lower court. You may recall that the President was unable to get Congressional Republicans to sign on to his sweeping changes, changes that would have forced many existing power plants to close due to their inability to meet the proposed new emissions standards. Continued resistance from Capitol Hill was met with the President pulling out his “pen and phone.”

I seem to recall an early Stuart King (Charles I) who lost his head when he tried to rule without Parliament. The Founders had a good plan for making government work: each branch “stays in its own lane” and does its job. But that can sometimes get in the way of “progress” and a true Progressive just can’t have that.

2nd Amendment.

Good news for gun rights supporters: the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, VA, ordered a District Court that had upheld Maryland’s ban on assault-type weapons and high-capacity magazines to re-consider the case while applying “strict-scrutiny,” the most stringent standard of judicial review. Strict-scrutiny requires that a law be narrowly tailored and the least restrictive means to further a compelling government interest — something the lower court didn’t do in upholding Maryland’s law. It is less likely the law will survive strict scrutiny; is the ban really the “least restrictive means” to achieve the government’s ends? But when Maryland loses the review of the case, they will no doubt appeal, so the case could end up in the Courts for some time.

4th Amendment.

The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals also made the news this week by ruling that police who don’t want to setup a booorrrriiing stakeout of a suspect’s house can setup surveillance cameras instead – without a warrant! The court ruled that the use of cameras “did not violate Houston’s reasonable expectations of privacy.” Cometh the surveillance state.

Upcoming Events.

Lessons in Liberty – 15 February. For those both local and not, on Monday, 15 February you will have a wonderful opportunity to hear Pastor David Whitney, Senior Instructor at the Institute on the Constitution, speak on the subject: “The Most Powerful Vote You Will Ever Cast – Your Vote As A Juror.” The presentation will be held at the Foundation for American Christian Education classroom but will also be Livestreamed to anywhere you happen to be. Cost to attend, either locally or via Livestream, is a whopping $10. Most Americans know little to nothing of the real power of a jury, and judges have a vested interest in seeing it stay that way. You should become informed in case you are ever called to serve. Go to to register.

Constitution Seminar – 5 March. Youngsters in the Tidewater, Virginia, area are encouraged to attend a seminar on the U.S. Constitution from 9am to 5pm on Saturday, 5 March at the Foundation for American Christian Education on Portsmouth Blvd. Held in partnership with Constituting America, the seminar focuses on the book by Juliette Turner: “Our Constitution Rocks.” Juliette will address the class live via Google Hangouts. There is a nominal charge or $5 per student ages 10-14 and a box lunch will be served. Every student will receive a copy of “Our Constitution Rocks,” a pocket Constitution, and other informational materials. Email to register.

Constitution Seminar – 26 March. Mark your calendars; I’ll be holding a Constitution Seminar on Saturday, 26 March from 9am to 6pm here in York County, VA. Space will be limited. Cost is $30 per adult, which gets you a 150-page student workbook, pocket Constitution, 150-page workbook and a whole lot of Constitutional knowledge. Email to register.

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