Houston attorney Newton Boris Schwartz filed a lawsuit in federal court Thursday which alleges that GOP candidate Ted Cruz, “is not constitutionally eligible to be elected President and/or Vice President of the United States.”
“Just real simple”, Schwartz explained later. “A judge’s one sentence ruling: He is eligible, he is a natural born citizen or he is not a natural born citizen.”
Article II of the Constitution requires the president to be a “natural born Citizen”, but does not define what the term specifically means.
The issue of Cruz’s ancestry was brought up at Thursday night’s Republican debate by moderator Neil Cavuto, after fellow-candidate Donald Trump had raised the question of Cruz’s constitutional eligibility earlier in the week.
Cruz was born in Alberta, Canada, to an American mother and a Cuban father.
Although most legal scholars agree the issue isn’t settled law, KHOU Legal Analyst Gerald Treece pointed out that Mr. Schwartz’s case has no standing because, “You have to have a real case or controversy and he has to have a stake in it. He doesn’t.”
Election lawyer Vincent DeVito, who represented George W. Bush in 2000, commented, “On its merits, the claim is legitimate, but the Schwartz pleading itself is poorly written and does not have a sophisticated legal nexus.”
Laurence Tribe, the Harvard law professor who Trump cited as a source for his argument that Cruz may be challenged by the Democratic National Committee should he be the nominee, agrees that the Texas senator is at risk of being disqualified.
“The kind of judge Cruz says he admires and would appoint to the Supreme Court – an ‘originalist’ who claims to be bound by the historical meaning of the constitution’s terms at the time of their adoption – Cruz wouldn’t be eligible because the legal principles that prevailed in the 1780s and 90s required that someone be born on U.S. soil to be a ‘natural born’ citizen.”
Tribe added, “On the other hand, to the kind of judge that I admire and Cruz abhors . . . (he) would ironically be eligible because it no longer makes sense to be bound by so narrow and strict a definition.”
A Reuters poll of registered Republican voters found that 25 percent believe Cruz is not eligible to be President of the United States.
[KHOU 11 News] [Reuters] [The Guardian] [Fox Business Network] [Photo courtesy canonclast.com]