Update – 3:21 p.m. EST: Time published an article Saturday citing two constitutional law professors who claim that Mr. Trump could have legal standing by claiming Cruz’s illegitimate run for president has encumbered his chances at securing the Republican nomination.
“His injury would be that he could quite possible lose votes that would go to Cruz that might’ve gone to him,” said Mary Brigid McManamon, of Delaware Law School.
In an email, Harvard’s Laurence Tribe said, “(The lawsuits’) plausibility gets greater the closer we get to the point where it’s clear that Cruz himself is the real obstacle to Trump’s nomination and thus a clear source of concrete injury to Trump’s prospects for the Republican presidential nomination.”
Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump began revving up the “birther” rhetoric against Ted Cruz again Friday on Twitter.
If @TedCruz doesn’t clean up his act, stop cheating, & doing negative ads, I have standing to sue him for not being a natural born citizen.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 12, 2016
The tweet was the last in a series of three that Trump fired off starting Thursday, which called Sen. Cruz out for being dishonest, a cheater, and running negative political ads.
While the threat to challenge Cruz’s presidential eligibility may seem far-fetched, Article II, Section I of the Constitution states, “no person except a natural born citizen of the United States . . . shall be eligible to the office of president.”
Rafael Edward Cruz was born to an American mother and a Cuban father in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.
While the meaning of “natural born citizen” was not defined by the authors of the Constitution, Harvard legal scholar Laurence Tribe has famously argued that if one is to apply an “originalist” interpretation of America’s founding document, Cruz would be disqualified from assuming the White House.
Two separate lawsuits have already been brought to courts in Texas and Alabama, respectively, which challenge Cruz’s presidential status.
Up until May 2014, Cruz held dual U.S.-Canadian citizenship.
The Texas senator responded to media questions about Trump’s latest tweets by saying, “There is more than a little irony in Donald accusing anyone of being nasty given the amazing torrent of insults and obscenities and vulgarities that come out of his mouth.”
However, the negative ads Trump is referring to are the following:
The angle here from both top GOP contenders may be the evangelical vote, which both candidates are vying for in South Carolina. Such a demographic should be a shoe-in for Cruz, given his Southern Baptist background.
According to the latest polls, Donald Trump is leading Cruz in the Palmetto State by 17 points, followed by Marco Rubio and Jeb Bush.
[CNN] [The Hill] [Dallas Morning News] [RealClearPolitics]