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Cruz's law professor on birther issue: His own legal philosophy disqualifies him

Cruz: Citizenship questions are a 'non-issue'
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Cruz: Citizenship questions are a 'non-issue' 01:36

(CNN)Calling him a "fair weather originalist" and accusing him of "constitutional hypocrisy," Ted Cruz's former law school professor is arguing that the Texas senator's own legal philosophy disqualifies him from serving as president.

Laurence Tribe, a constitutional law professor at Harvard whose students include President Barack Obama and Supreme Court justices John Roberts and Elena Kagan, hammered Cruz over questions about his presidential eligibility because of his birth in Canada, which have been raised by Donald Trump and caused headaches for the Calgary-born Texas senator in the Republican primary.
Appearing on "Anderson Cooper 360" Monday night, Tribe slammed Cruz for his "constitutional hypocrisy."
    He argued that the strict, originalist legal philosophy that Cruz advocates on issues like the 2nd Amendment and gay marriage, and which his potential Supreme Court nominees would likely espouse, should disqualify him from being president.
    "Ironically, the kind of justices he says he wants are the ones that say he's not eligible to run for president," Tribe argued. "This is important because the way this guy plays fast and loose with the Constitution, he's a fair weather originalist."
    Cruz's campaign did not respond to CNN request for comment.
    "The issue is -- do the kinds of judges that he says he would insist on, the kind who would overrule Roe v. Wade, who don't believe in gay rights or women's rights, but who think the Constitution is frozen, if he really believes in their philosophy," Tribe said. "It's an antiquated philosophy, but it turns out Ted Cruz drops that when it doesn't serve his purpose."
    Tribe talked about his experience teaching Cruz at Harvard, and how the two clashed over their conflicting constitutional philosophies. "When Ted Cruz was my student, he was at least consistent," Tribe explained. "He and I argued back and forth -- he ended up acing the class, even though we had different views."
    Tribe continued his criticism in an op-ed in the Boston Globe on Tuesday, similarly slamming Cruz's constitutional philosophy.
    "To his kind of judge, Cruz ironically wouldn't be eligible, because the legal principles that prevailed in the 1780s and 90s required that someone actually be born on U.S. soil to be a 'natural born' citizen," Tribe wrote.