I have been busy, so I lost track of the “birther” lawsuits brought by opponents of Senator Ted “Calgary” Cruz (R-TX). Luckily, the Wall Street Journal reported last week, Pennsylvania Judge Rules That Ted Cruz is Eligible to Run for President:
A Pennsylvania judge has rejected (opinion) an effort to kick Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz off the state primary ballot, ruling that the Texas senator’s birth outside of the United States doesn’t disqualify him from the ballot under the U.S. Constitution.
The ruling is the latest legal victory for Mr. Cruz on the eligibility question. So-called “birther” suits have been filed in other states, including New York and Illinois. The cases in those two states were dismissed on technical grounds.
Article II, Section 1 of the Constitution says a president must be a “natural born Citizen.” Mr. Cruz has been a citizen from birth because his mother was one. The question is whether his birthplace, a hospital in Calgary, makes him a “natural born citizen,” a term undefined in the Constitution and by the Supreme Court.
Unlike the suits filed against Mr. Cruz in other states, the case in Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court resulted in a ruling on the underlying constitutional question. The judge, citing various legal scholars, agreed with Mr. Cruz that he’s eligible to run.
“Having extensively reviewed all articles cited in this opinion, as well as many others, this Court holds, consistent with the common law precedent and statutory history, that a ‘natural born citizen’ includes any person who is a United States citizen from birth,” wrote Judge Dan Pellegrini in a written opinion issued after denied the petition at a hearing Thursday.
The challenge was brought by Carmon Elliott, a retired mental health counselor and registered Republican voter who represented himself. Eight years ago, he tried to boot Sen. John McCain from the Pennsylvania presidential primary ballot on similar grounds. Then, he argued that Mr. McCain’s birthplace in the Panama Canal Zone made the Republican candidate ineligible. The state’s highest court ultimately rejected the case because it was filed too late.
The ruling can be appealed to the state’s highest court. “I feel like I have ample grounds to appeal,” Mr. Elliott told Law Blog.
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You might be wondering why a state court — and not a federal court — is tackling the constitutional question about presidential eligibility.
There’s no consensus in the legal community on the meaning of “natural born citizen.” But some scholars, most notably Ohio State University law professor Daniel Tokaji, have observed that state court could be where a court action opposing Mr. Cruz’s place on the ballot has the best shot of going somewhere.
The reason is that state courts have less stringent standing requirements for bringing a lawsuit than federal courts. Mr. Elliott could object to the nomination petition of Mr. Cruz in state court just by being a registered Republican voter.
“Fortunately for skeptics of Senator Cruz’s eligibility, there’s at least one state where a challenge could still be brought,” wrote Mr. Tokaji in a February essay posted on Election Law Blog. “Pennsylvania will hold its primary on April 26. The last day for candidates to file nominating petitions was yesterday, February 16.”
It’s true that “only a Supreme Court ruling could dispel the uncertainty surrounding” the meaning of the “natural born Citizen,” clause, the professor wrote. But state court, in theory, could be the avenue to get to a high court ruling.
The Birthers are not giving up so easily. Here is an interesting take based upon Canadian citizenship law that at least has the appearance of some merit. Disclaimer: I have not researched the Canadian law at issue, and no one has seen the requisite documents. I do not vouch for this analysis. I think it does raise interesting questions that the media, and eventually the courts, should examine.
CrooksandLiars reports, Ted Cruz Is 100% Ineligible To Run For The U.S. Presidency:
Ted Cruz has never been (thoroughly) vetted when it comes to his own citizenship claims. He must produce all relevant documents, at least a few of the official papers our own President Obama was erroneously accused of lacking. We know for a fact that he was born in Calgary, so there’s one minor anomaly worth investigating. Legal Scholars like Lawrence Tribe at Harvard Law School & Mary B. McManamon of the University of Delaware’s Widener School of Law agree that Senator Ted Cruz is ineligible to run for the U.S. Presidency. Remember though, voters in the GOP will ignore certain shortcomings that could never be overlooked in a ‘Blah’ President.
They have been basing those opinions mostly on their interpretations in the U.S. Constitution’s Article Two clause of “natural-born” citizen.
Given that Ted Cruz was born in Canada and similar to the US Constitution, any child born in Canada after 1947 was granted full citizenship. We must look to Canadian Law first.
I have been researching Canadian Immigration Law between 1947-1977 and agree with (experts) them based on the following:
- 1. Raphael & Eleanor Cruz emigrated to Canada sometime in the 1960s and in 1968 Mr. Cruz became a naturalized Canadian Citizen. It appears that Eleanor by virtue of her marriage also attained Citizenship one year later and Raphael Eduardo (Ted) Cruz was born December 22, 1970. We have never seen their Marriage License so I am unsure of their actual date of marriage as both were in process of getting divorced.
- 2. Until the 1977 changes to Canadian Immigration Law, NO dual citizenship was permitted which means Mrs. Cruz relinquished her US Citizenship and Ted was born to 2 Canadian parents.
- 3. If she wanted to be sure Ted was American she needed to file a Consular Record of Birth Abroad (CRBA). We have never seen such a document.
- 4. Upon their return to the U.S. around 1974-1975 I assume Eleanor renounced her Canadian citizenship, reclaimed her U.S. and had Ted naturalized. Again, no documents have ever been released.
It would be great if the media would cover this story, I’d even settle for half as much coverage that they gave to the absurd Obama’s Birth Certificate nonsense’ 24 hour coverage? I suppose this preeminent possible bombshell won’t be big news until Donald Trump sinks his teeth into the controversy and reveals these inexplicable truths that Cruz seems too happy to ignore and deny.
This will likely only become an issue if Ted Cruz emerges as the likely GOP nominee. It is a question that ought to be answered definitively.