TIME Burundi

Burundians Vote In Parliamentary Elections Marred By Unrest

Burundi Political Tensions
Berthier Mugiraneza—AP Burundian police take positions as they chase opposition demonstrators on the main road in the capital Bujumbura, Burundi on June 4, 2015

There is heavy security across the city

(BUJUMBURA, Burundi) — Voting is underway in Burundi’s parliamentary elections despite an opposition boycott and the threat of violence as police battle anti-government protesters in the capital.

Gunfire could be heard in some parts of Bujumbura as voting started at 6 a.m., and there is heavy security across the city.

In the Musaga neighborhood, which has seen violent protests against President Pierre Nkurunziza’s bid for a third term, there were few civilians in sight Monday as mostly police and soldiers lined up to vote.

The voting is taking place despite calls by the international community for a postponement until there is a peaceful environment for credible elections.

Bujumbura has suffered unrest since the ruling party announced on April 26 that Nkurunziza would be its candidate in presidential elections scheduled for July 15.

TIME 2016 Election

How Donald Trump Stole Jeb Bush’s Moment

Tis the season. Donald Trump just announced his candidacy for president. Despite America’s pleas, Trump insists on being Trump. I suppose we should not be surprised by this.

Of course, the Donald’s announcement is a sideshow, especially when compared to Jeb Bush’s announcement yesterday. Bush’s speech was years in the making, and for the most part he delivered. He talked about passing both immigration and education reform, and even went so far to label himself a “reforming governor.” He spoke about his economic goals with unusual specificity—for those curious, he’s aiming for 4 percent economic growth per year. But it was hard not to notice that Bush went light on foreign policy specifics. He briefly mentioned Israel and Cuba, but did not make a single other reference to the Middle East. He lamented the “swift, mindless drawdown of the military” without explaining how he would use it after restoring it to full strength.

I had high hopes that we’d get a bit more foreign policy detail from Bush, especially since his announcement came on the heels of his 5-day trip to Europe. The trip was hailed a success since Jeb managed to avoid saying anything particularly dumb or cringe-inducing, which is what passes for success if you’re a presidential hopeful these days (read this Atlantic piece for a brief yet entertaining history of GOP travels to Europe). Truth be told, it is worrying that we’ve needed to set the bar of expectations so low in the first place—Trump notwithstanding. But as the 2016 primary season rolls on, the American people need to start demanding more from their candidates, especially on the foreign policy front.

The sad reality is that the only politicians who have so far presented coherent foreign policy visions are all considered long shots (ex: Bernie Sanders, Rand Paul, Lindsey Graham). They have nothing to lose by telling people directly what they think about America’s role in the world. On the flip side we have perceived front-runners like Jeb and Hillary, who have so much to lose that they don’t say much of anything. Left to their own devices, they will continue not saying anything till Election Day. Primaries are an important part of the democratic process, and nominees should be held to a higher standard—which in 2016 means having some semblance of a foreign policy vision.

TIME politics

Hillary Clinton’s Campaign Launch Site Once Held the Worst Prison in the World

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Keith Sherwood—Getty Images/Flickr RF Aerial view of Roosevelt Island and Four Freedoms Park

Roosevelt Island has a long and complicated history

On Saturday, Hillary Clinton will celebrate the official launch of her presidential campaign in a part of New York City that may be unfamiliar to many non-residents: Roosevelt Island. The narrow stretch of land in the East River between Manhattan and Queens is named after President Franklin D. Roosevelt, and Clinton’s staff has noted that the candidate has long been inspired by FDR and his wife Eleanor.

But the island wasn’t always a political homage. Early names included Minnahanonck, Hog Island, Blackwell’s Island and, as of 1921, Welfare Island. And Welfare Island was, as TIME noted in 1934, “not a nice place to visit and nobody would want to live there.” It was home to the New York County Penitentiary, which the state’s Commissioner of Correction had just proclaimed the worst prison in the world, and a “vicious circle of depravity that is almost beyond the ability of the imagination to grasp.”

By the 1960s, the island was seen as a waste of valuable land. In 1961, as TIME reported, real-estate developers came up with a plan to cover the two-mile-long strip of “nurses’ homes, hospitals for the aged and poor, and homes for wayward girls” with a concrete platform that could hold enough housing for 70,000 New Yorkers. It was envisioned as a residential paradise, with postcard views and no cars allowed. And a new name, of course.

On Sept. 24, 1973, New York City’s mayor, John Lindsay, proclaimed Franklin D. Roosevelt Island Day in the city and officially re-dedicated the island in his honor. “This act signifies recognition for a man whose capacity for moral leadership gave much to our City, our State and our Nation,” Lindsay said in his proclamation. “It also heralds the transformation of an island that has too long been forsaken. It is altogether appropriate that Franklin D. Roosevelt, whose vision and vivacity re-invigorates and inspires this nation, should have named for him an island which is at last being reclaimed by and for the people of the City of New York.”

Clinton surely hopes to find that her “vision and vivacity” inspire the nation too—and launching her campaign on the island that bears FDR’s name is one way to start.

Read about the 1976 opening of the Roosevelt Island tram, here in the TIME Vault: The Little Apple

TIME Lindsey Graham

How Lindsey Graham First Earned a Reputation for Bucking the GOP

Lindsey Graham
Mandel Ngan—AFP/Getty Images Lindsey Graham, R-SC, looks on before the start of a hearing on body cameras in the Dirksen Senate Office Building on May 19, 2015, in Washington, DC.

He's known for reaching across the aisle

With his decision to announce his candidacy for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination, South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham has drawn the eyes of politics-watchers to his record of bucking his party on select issues.

In recent years, that has meant speaking out about the risks of climate change, backing President Obama’s Supreme Court nominations and supporting immigration reform. But that contrarianism dates back to one of his early defining moments in politics: the Monica Lewinsky scandal and the subsequent impeachment trial of President Clinton.

A former military lawyer, Graham was elected to the House of Representatives amid the 1990s tide of Newt Gingrich-led, small-government fervor. Though he often focused on issues like tax cuts in his early years in the House, he soon found himself drawing national attention for his attitude toward getting rid of Gingrich. When several GOP Congressmen attempted in mid-1997 to get themselves a new Speaker, Graham was identified by TIME as “a rebel leader”—but taking sides against Gingrich didn’t mean defying the party. Rather, he told the magazine he wanted to get across that “being conservative and mean are not synonymous.”

That tension between Graham and Gingrich continued into 1998, as the impeachment trial neared.

Graham, along with Mary Bono of California, was cited as one of two Republicans who might vote with Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee in order to prevent the vote from moving to the full House. He famously asked the rhetorical question “Is this Watergate or Peyton Place?” while dissecting the charges. Graham ended up voting for three of the four articles of impeachment, but even so he was the only Republican on the committee not to vote “aye” on all four. (The one he voted against was Article II, one of the perjury charges.)

In the end, TIME’s Margaret Carlson posited that his indecision about the vote came, perhaps, with ulterior motives. “Representative Lindsey Graham‘s early turn as Hamlet turned out to be a search for an unoccupied spot on the opinion spectrum that might land him on Meet the Press,” she wrote. “He found a ‘legal technicality’ that allowed him to vote against one article, earning him the valuable CONSERVATIVE BUCKS HIS PARTY headline in the New York Times.”

Whatever the motive, the reputation stuck.

TIME politics

Rick Santorum’s Role in the Republican Renewal

rick santorum pennsylvania iowa republican
Charlie Neibergall—AP Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum speaks during the Iowa Republican Party's Lincoln Dinner, on May 16, 2015, in Des Moines.

The 2016 contender came into the public eye during one of his party's most pivotal moments

Rick Santorum, in announcing on Wednesday that he would try for the Republican nomination for the 2016 presidential race, joins a crowded field of political contenders.

But it won’t be the first time that the former Pennsylvania Senator and 2012 also-ran has made a splash as part of a large group.

When Santorum first made national news, it was in 1994, as an upstart Congressman going to bat for Senator Harris Wofford’s seat. In covering the race, TIME cast Santorum as a barometer of the nation’s stance toward issues that stretched far beyond the state’s borders:

A party that opposes the President unyieldingly, he reasons, gets a nice, sharp profile. It could work, for instance, on health-care reform, one battle most Americans tell pollsters they are are no longer sure they want the President to win. That the issue, once a sure plus for Democrats, is now a more complicated blessing is evident in Pennsylania, where Democratic Senator Harris Wofford is in a tricky race against Rick Santorum, a Republican Congressman who promises to protect voters from government interference in their health-care decisions. It was Wofford’s surprise victory three years ago over Dick Thornburgh, after a campaign that made health-care reform an issue, that first alerted politicians to its potential. But while Wofford is far ahead of Santorum in fund raising this year, their contest is a toss-up. ”Health care is a significant factor that has energized a lot of people who are nonpolitical,” says Santorum, with the clear implication that this time the newcomers are his.

As we now know, of course, Santorum was right.

That was the year of Newt Gingrich’s ascension, and when election time rolled around, the Republican Party’s midterm gains were immense. As TIME put it, “voters angrily revoked the Democrats’ 40-year lease on the Congress,” as the G.O.P. picked up seats in both houses of Congress and in gubernatorial seats across the country. Representative Toby Roth of Wisconsin put it even more strongly: “[This] was more than an election. It was a revolution.”

Santorum’s conservative appeal to voters carried the day in Pennsylvania, just as his colleagues found success in other states. The political sea change of 1994 continues to reverberate throughout the political world—and Santorum’s latest try for the presidency is only one way of many.

Read the full cover story, here in the TIME Vault: G.O.P. Stampede

TIME politics

How a Hug Jump-Started Marco Rubio’s Career

Marco Rubio
Joe Raedle—Getty Images Marco Rubio speaks about Cuba during a Cuban Independence Day Celebration at the InterContinental Hotel May 23, 2008, in Miami

The Florida Senator was helped along by a politically perilous PDA

Monday promises to be a big day for Marco Rubio: the Florida Senator has said that he’ll announce whether he plans to run in the next election, and for what.

It was only a little more than five years ago that Rubio took the big risk that brought him to the precipice of a potential presidential candidacy. He had spent nearly a decade in the Florida state legislature but, in mid-2009, was not in office. In mid 2009, Florida’s governor Charlie Crist seemed to have the race locked up to become Florida’s next Senator. Then, after Barack Obama won the White House, Crist appeared at an event with the new President and exchanged a hug.

Rubio, as TIME’s David von Drehle recounted in a 2010 cover story about the changing Republican party, saw his chance:

Another Florida Republican had a different idea. His name was Marco Rubio. He was the baby-faced former speaker of the Florida legislature. Well-wired Floridians knew that Rubio was thinking about challenging Crist for a seat in the U.S. Senate, and they also knew that this was quixotic because Crist had at least a 30-point lead in the polls, plus friends and money and endorsements from powerful Republicans around the country.

But Rubio saw an opportunity in that hug. If one possible Republican strategy was to embrace the Democratic spending agenda, surely there was a case to be made for opposing it. Rubio decided to “stand up to this Big Government agenda, not be co-opted by it,” and three months after The Hug, tossed his hat into the ring. The date was May 5, 2009.

Looking back, that was the day the 2010 election truly began–not just the campaign for a Senate seat from Florida but the broad national campaign for control of Congress and the direction of the country. Rubio’s decision to wage a philosophical battle for the soul of the Florida GOP was a catalyst for the surprising and outrageous events that followed. He became a darling of the nascent Tea Party movement and a point man in the movement’s purge of the GOP establishment. Rubio led the way for a dust-kicking herd of dark-horse candidates–some thoroughbreds, some nags. And most of all, Rubio symbolized the fact that this year’s midterms have become a referendum on such fundamental issues as the role of government and the size of the public debt.

Crist eventually dropped out of the Republican field to run as an Independent, but it was too late. Rubio won the Senate seat and was catapulted to the top rung of the Republican Party.

Read the 2010 cover story, here in the TIME archives: Party Crashers

Read next: Republican Candidates Didn’t Just Talk Guns at NRA Event

Listen to the most important stories of the day.

TIME Hillary Clinton

5 Other Women Who Ran For President

Hillary Clinton Receives Emily's List Award
Win McNamee—Getty Images Hillary Clinton addresses the 30th Anniversary National Conference of Emily's List on March 3, 2015 in Washington, DC.

Hillary Clinton is not the first

With the expected announcement Sunday that Hillary Rodham Clinton will run for president in 2016, the Democratic Party has a female front-runner for the highest office in the land. But Clinton isn’t the first woman to run for president.

Here are five others who sought the White House:

Name: Victoria Woodhull

Year Ran: 1872

Party: Equal Rights Party

Votes: No official votes recorded

Platform: Universal suffrage, political reform, civil rights and social welfare

Victoria Woodhull ran for president nearly 50 years before the Nineteenth Amendment allowed women to vote in presidential elections. Though historians can’t agree on whether her name actually appeared on nationwide ballots (or whether she received any votes), they concur that her run was historic—not only was she the first woman to seek the office, but her running-mate, Frederick Douglass, was the first African-American ever nominated for Vice President.

She announced her run in a letter to the New York Herald in 1870: “I…claim the right to speak for the unenfranchised women of the country, and believing as I do that the prejudices which still exist in the popular mind against women in public life will soon disappear, I now announce myself as candidate for the Presidency.” But Woodhull was controversial and polarizing. A fierce believer in free love, she hated how society condemned liberated women, yet turned a blind eye to men’s dalliances. Her presidential run suffered a fatal blow when she was arrested on obscenity charges for writing an article about an adulterous love affair between Henry Ward Beecher, a powerful minister, and a parishioner just days before the election. Woodhull’s campaign was met with widespread derision, but it’s unclear if she could have taken office even if she had won—she was only 34 at the time of the election.

Name: Gracie Allen

Year Ran: 1940

Party: Surprise Party

Votes: Unknown

Platform: “Redwood, trimmed with nutty pine.”

Gracie Allen’s presidential run started as a stunt to generate publicity for her faltering radio show, the The Hinds Honey & Almond Cream Program Starring George Burns & Gracie Allen. During her satirical campaign, Allen used her ditzy persona to poke fun at the political system. The campaign included a mock party convention, a national whistle stop tour, an endorsement from Harvard University and an invitation from Eleanor Roosevelt to speak to the National Women’s Press Club.

“My opponents say they’re going to fight me ’til the cows come home,” she said in a campaign speech. “So, they admit the cows aren’t home. Why aren’t the cows home? Because they don’t like the conditions on the farm. The cows are smart. They’re not coming home ’til there’s a woman in the White House.” Though Allen did receive write-in votes, historians can’t agree on the number.

Name: Shirley Chisholm

Year Ran: 1972

Party: Democrat

Votes: 152 delegate votes in the Democratic primary

Platform: Equal rights and economic justice

Shirley Chisholm had already made history as the first African-American woman elected to Congress in 1968, though she admitted that “sometimes I have trouble, myself, believing that I made it this far against the odds.” In 1972 she decided to defy the odds again when she made a serious bid for the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination.

Chisholm called herself “the candidate of the people,” but struggled for acceptance as a viable candidate. Her disorganized and underfunded campaign didn’t help—though she was fourth place for the nomination at the Democratic National Convention, she lost to Governor George McGovern (who in turn lost to Richard Nixon). Though Chisholm was not the first woman to vie for the Democratic nomination, she was the most viable up until that time—but though Chisholm is respected for her political role today (she even appeared on a stamp in 2014), she was never taken as seriously as during her lifetime as Clinton is today.

Name: Linda Jenness

Year Ran: 1972

Party: Socialist Workers Party

Votes: 83,380

Platform: Women’s liberation, no more war in Vietnam

1972 was a very good year for women presidential hopefuls, and Linda Jenness, a secretary from Atlanta, joined their ranks as the Socialist Workers Party’s candidate. Jenness actually shared the nomination with another female candidate, Evelyn Reed, who ran in her place in states where Jenness did not qualify for the ballot due to her age.

Though Jenness repeatedly challenged Democratic nominee George McGovern to a debate, he refused. Jenness predicted her own defeat, declaring that “the Socialists do not fool themselves that they have a chance of winning any major victories this year.” She was right—but she still managed to garner over 83,000 votes despite tepid press and struggles to finance her campaign.

Name: Jill Stein

Year Ran: 2012

Party: Green Party

Votes: 469,015

Platform: Green jobs and environmental protections

As a third-party candidate in a raucous election year, Jill Stein’s 2012 presidential run felt more like an afterthought than a milestone. But in fact, Stein’s presidential candidacy was the most successful ever conducted by a woman.

A physician who specializes in environmental health, Stein ran for president after two unsuccessful bids for the office of governor of Massachusetts. “People ask me why I keep fighting political battles in a rigged system,” she said in a 2012 speech. “The answer is simple. I keep fighting because when it comes to our children, mothers don’t give up.” Though Stein only managed to grab 0.36 percent of the popular vote, she still hasn’t given up—she has already announced the formation of an exploratory committee for a 2016 run.

TIME Hillary Clinton

These People Have Been ‘Ready for Hillary’ Since 1992

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Cynthia Johnson—The LIFE Images Collection/Getty Images Hillary Rodham Clinton during her husband's 1992 campaign

The idea that she should run is more than two decades old

With Hillary Clinton’s expected announcement Sunday that she will run for the Democratic nomination for president in 2016, her supporters who have declared themselves “Ready for Hillary” will finally have the chance to see whether the rest of the country is ready and willing too.

But, though that Super PAC is only about two years old, some people were ready for her to run since more than two decades ago.

When her husband Bill Clinton ran for President in 1992, Hillary’s smarts—and her divisive comments about how she didn’t want her political-wife role to mean just sitting at home—drew frequent questions about whether she had the aspiration to run for office herself, perhaps as her husband’s Vice President. As the election approached, the idea of her political prospects didn’t go away. In fact, TIME’s September 1992 cover story about “The Hillary Factor” began thusly: “You might think Hillary Clinton was running for President.”

And some readers, it appeared, would not have minded if that had been the case, as this October 1992 letter to TIME, from Linda M. Mason of Mount Laurel, N.J., shows: “History will vindicate Hillary, for she is guilty only of being capable of serving as President herself.”

Even the experts agreed. In a story shortly after Clinton won the election, John Robert Starr, a conservative newspaper columnist from Arkansas, told TIME that “the best thing that could happen would be to let Hillary run the country. I know that sounds ridiculous, but she has just never failed.”

By 1993, TIME was reporting that “one poll had found that 40% of Americans believe Hillary is ‘smarter’ than her Rhodes scholar husband, and 47% think she is qualified to be President.”

And even Hillary Clinton herself hinted in the ’90s that voters should keep an eye on female candidates, if not on herself. Asked about the role of the First Lady in 1996, she conceded that the position was complicated one. “I think the answer is to just be who you are,” she said, “and do what you can do and get through it–and wait for a First Man to hold the position.”

Read the 1992 ‘Hillary Factor’ cover story, here in the TIME Vault: All Eyes on Hillary

TIME politics

This Is the Surprising MLK Speech That Rand Paul Likes to Quote

The quote comes from a 1967 speech MLK made at Stanford University

Kentucky Senator Rand Paul made use of one of his favorite quotations Tuesday, in the speech that launched his candidacy for President: “Martin Luther King spoke of two Americas,” he said. “He described them as ‘two starkly different American experiences that exist side by side.'”

It’s a quote that Paul has come back to time and again. In an op-ed he wrote for TIME in January, he wrote that the problems with the criminal-justice system brought that MLK remark to mind. At the Conservative Political Action Conference in February, he broadened the use of the quote, in the same way he did Tuesday, to incorporate a wider opportunity gap he attributes to the effects of liberal policies.

And, though a politician quoting Martin Luther King Jr. is hardly controversial, it’s in some ways surprising that this particular speech is the one to which Paul is drawn.

The quotation comes from an April 14, 1967 speech delivered by the civil-rights leader at Stanford University. The speech, dubbed “The Other America,” addressed the emerging, new phase of the civil-rights movement, when great legislative gains had been made toward equality on paper, but the much more difficult goal of true equality was still to be achieved. It would be even harder to eliminate economic and educational injustice through governmental channels than it was to overcome segregation, he said, but just as important.

The solution, King declared, was twofold. On one hand, Americans would have to recognize the cause of justice on a personal level. On the other hand, they would have to recognize that although “morality cannot be legislated, behavior can be regulated.” Requiring Americans to practice equality would instill habits that would eventually combat racism on a deeper level, he believed. Fair housing laws, for example, would be a start.

One of his other ideas for a legislative solution to poverty, however, was a little more extreme:

Now one of the answers it seems to me, is a guaranteed annual income, a guaranteed minimum income for all people, and for our families of our country. It seems to me that the Civil Rights movement must now begin to organize for the guaranteed annual income. Begin to organize people all over our country, and mobilize forces so that we can bring to the attention of our nation this need, and this is something which I believe will go a long long way toward dealing with the Negro’s economic problem and the economic problem which many other poor people confront in our nation. Now I said I wasn’t going to talk about Vietnam, but I can’t make a speech without mentioning some of the problems that we face there because I think this war has diverted attention from civil rights. It has strengthened the forces of reaction in our country and has brought to the forefront the military-industrial complex that even President Eisenhower warned us against at one time. And above all, it is destroying human lives. It’s destroying the lives of thousands of the young promising men of our nation. It’s destroying the lives of little boys and little girls In Vietnam.

But one of the greatest things that this war is doing to us in Civil Rights is that it is allowing the Great Society to be shot down on the battlefields of Vietnam every day. And I submit this afternoon that we can end poverty in the United States. Our nation has the resources to do it. The National Gross Product of America will rise to the astounding figure of some $780 billion this year. We have the resources: The question is, whether our nation has the will, and I submit that if we can spend $35 billion a year to fight an ill-considered war in Vietnam, and $20 billion to put a man on the moon, our nation can spend billions of dollars to put God’s children on their own two feet right here on earth.

A guaranteed annual income would seem extremely unlikely to appeal to Paul, who launched his presidential campaign with a promise of a smaller, less intrusive government. But it’s not impossible that he might consider such a radical move. Just last year, when Switzerland introduced the idea of a similar program, some U.S. conservatives said they saw it as one way to streamline otherwise-bulky programs to combat poverty. Who’s to say whether “the most interesting man in American politics” might agree?

TIME politics

What the Supreme Court Could Say About Ted Cruz’s Canadian Past

US-VOTE-REPUBLICANS
Paul J. Richards—AFP/Getty Images US Senator Ted Cruz( R-TX) smiles at the crowd while delivering remarks announcing his candidacy for the Republican nomination to run for US president March 23, 2015, inside the full Vine Center at Liberty University, in Lynchburg, Va.

The 'natural born citizen' clause has never really been tested

When Sen. Ted Cruz launched his presidential campaign Monday at Liberty University, he began by telling his parents’ stories of immigration from Cuba, on his father’s part, and overcoming the odds at home, on his mother’s part. One much-discussed element of Cruz’s personal story, however, got only a brief nod: “When I was three, my father decided to leave my mother and me,” Cruz told the audience. “We were living in Calgary at the time.”

Calgary, though part of Cruz’s American story, is not in the United States; it’s in Alberta, Canada. Though Cruz was born in Alberta, he only learned as an adult that his birthplace gave him Canadian citizenship, which he officially renounced last summer.

Though it’s a common misconception, being born in Canada does not necessarily exclude Cruz, the child of an American citizen, from the White House. In fact, he’s one of many potential presidents over the years who have been born abroad.

The confusing constitutional clause behind that misconception — “No Person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President,” per Article II — most recently made news with the campaigns of John McCain, who was born in the Panama Canal Zone. As the New York Times laid out during his 2008 campaign, being born to a military officer in a military zone, as McCain was, was seen as largely uncontroversial, even though legal experts still debate whether “natural born” means “born in the U.S.” or merely “not naturalized later in life.” The real issue is that the Supreme Court has never really had to say either way. The natural-born citizen qualification is untested in practice, and it’s not even clear who would have legal standing to challenge a president like McCain or Cruz on that matter.

Further, as TIME explained in a 1962 article about the candidacy of George Romney (Mitt Romney’s father, who was born in Mexico because his grandfather had fled there to avoid U.S. antipolygamy laws), that hypothetical legal challenger would have a tough case:

His Mexican birth has raised some questions about Romney’s constitutional qualifications for the presidency. Article Two of the Constitution specifies that only a “natural-born citizen” is eligible. Some legal authorities say that this means only those born on U.S. soil. But a law enacted by the first Congress in 1790 stipulated that children born of U.S. citizens beyond the boundaries of the country “shall be considered as natural-born citizens of the U.S.”

In theory, that 1790 law could be unconstitutional too, were the natural-born citizen issue to make it to the Supreme Court — but, on this count, Cruz has an even harsher challenger to overcome. Nobody who would have provided the opportunity to put the law to the test has ever actually won the election. Other born-abroad politicians in the Times round-up include a Connecticut Senator born in Paris and FDR’s son Franklin Jr., who was born in Canada.

The closest the country has ever come to having a President not born on its soil (or, alternatively, living there at the time of the founding) was in the late 1800s, with Chester A. Arthur — maybe.

Arthur ended up in the White House in 1881, having served as the Vice-President for James Garfield, who died of complications from wounds sustained during an attempted (and ultimately successful) assassination. Though Arthur’s official biography at the White House lists his birthdate as 1829 and the place as Fairfield, Vt., both the year and the place have been challenged over the years. As the Associated Press explained in a 2009 story about the Chester A. Arthur Historic Site — his purported birthplace — rivals claimed that Arthur was actually born in Canada, where his mother’s family lived.

Records from the 1820s were predictably shoddy, and there has never been any way to prove 100% where Arthur was born. Should Cruz win the race in 2016, he’ll be the first President definitely born in Canada — and the first definite chance, unlikely though it may be, for the Supreme Court to test and define the clause in question.

Read next: How Ted Cruz is Using Spanish in His Presidential Campaign

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