Donald Trump this week revived questions about the eligibility of rival presidential candidate Ted Cruz, who was born in Canda to an American citizen mother and a Cuban-born father, to serve as the next president, NBC News reported.
John McCain faced the same question, as did Barry Goldwater, George Romney, and Chester A. Arthur. McCain was born in the Panama Canal Zone. When Goldwater was born, Arizona wasn't yet a state. Romney was born in Mexico. Arthur was accused of being born in Canada.
Their political opponents claimed they did not meet the Constitution's provision that "No person except a natural born citizen" can be president. The problem is, the Constitution does not define the term "natural born citizen."
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Even so, nearly every constitutional scholar who has studied the issue comes to the same conclusion: Anyone born to an American parent, no matter where in the world, is eligible to be president.
That conclusion about what the drafters meant is based partly on a law passed in 1790 by the first Congress, providing that the children of U.S. citizens born outside the country "shall be considered as natural born citizens." The law is no longer in effect, but it's considered evidence of the intent of the founders.