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“Is He Is, Or Is He Ain’t”: Will A Birther Lawsuit Derail Ted Cruz?

The “birther” claims against Sen. Ted Cruz are heading to court.

Houston attorney Newton Boris Schwartz, Sr. filed a suit in federal court Thursday seeking a judgement about whether Cruz is eligible to become president. Although Cruz’s mother is an American citizen by birth, Cruz was born in Canada.

In an interview with the Daily Beast, Schwartz said he believes he has legal standing to bring the suit as a registered voter in Texas and hopes to [ADD- see] the matter settled before voting begins.

“Why have the uncertainty? Why go through an election or even a primary or a convention if someone’s not eligible?” Schwartz said. “I used to tutor football athletes when they had to forfeit the entire season if they weren’t eligible. The American presidency is a hell of a lot more important than some football team and you want to make sure your players are eligible. All I’m asking the court to do is decide either he is or he is not eligible. That’s the end of it. It’s very simple.”

Specifically, Schwartz has requested a declaratory judgement about Cruz’s eligibility under Article II, Section I, Clause 5 of the U.S. Constitution, specifically the language that requires that the president be a “natural born citizen of the United States.”

Several legal scholars have argued recently that Cruz’s birth in Canada, rather than on American soil, could make him a naturalized citizen, rather than a natural born citizen, as the constitution requires. For example, Mary Brigid McManamon, a constitutional law professor at Widener University Delaware Law School, recently published an op-ed in the Washington Post arguing that Cruz is not eligible to be president or vice president of the United States. Laurence Tribe, a constitutional law professor at Harvard Law, who is a former professor of Cruz’s, made a similar argument in the Boston Globe.

Schwartz himself graduated from the University of Texas Law School in 1954 and has since been a trial lawyer in Houston. He currently heads a three-lawyer law firm. He said that he has voted for both Democrats and Republicans, but voted against Cruz for Senate in 2012, and voted for President Obama in 2008 and again in 2012. He said he had never met Cruz and never faced off against him in court.

Cruz himself has dismissed questions about his eligibility for the presidency, including Trump’s questions, as sour grapes as Cruz closed in on Trump in national polls and took the lead in Iowa. “The law is clear and straight forward,” Cruz has said.

A suit similar to Schwartz’s suit was recently filed against Marco Rubio in Florida, which Rubio’s lawyers responded to in detail this week, pointing out that Rubio was born in the United States and therefore is a natural-born U.S. citizen even though his parents were not citizens at the time. Rep. Alan Grayson (D-Fla.) has said he would file his own suit against Cruz if he were to become the Republican nominee.

The Texas case has been assigned to Judge Gray H. Miller in the U.S. District Court in the Southern District of Texas, but Schwartz said he expects it to eventually reach the U.S. Supreme Court, an outcome he thinks would help Cruz, no matter how it is decided.

“Cruz should welcome this suit,” Schwartz said. “He should have filed it himself.”

 

By: Patricia Murphy, The Daily Beast, January 15, 2016

January 16, 2016 - Posted by | Birthers, Natural Born Citizens, Ted Cruz | , , , , , , , ,

12 Comments »

  1. I understand that natural born citizen means ” born in US soil. ” A person born out of US, but on US territory , like US embassies, and military bases and installations ( which has the same status as embassies ) ae also natural born. Otherwise, they are merely US citizens, but not natural born.

    Like

    Comment by renxkyoko | January 16, 2016 | Reply

    • You are correct and I agree with your assessment. The question being raised now is the distinction between “natural born citizen” vs “naturalized citizenship”. I don’t think this argument is going to pass muster. In order to become a “naturalized citizen”, one has to go through a specified process and that doesn’t appear to be the case with either Cruz or Rubio. Rubio was born on American soil even though neither of his parents were U. S. Citizens so he should never use the term “anchor baby” again. Cruz on the other hand was born in Canada. He also did not have to go through a process of naturalization. The question in his case is which origin of citizenship did his mother use at the time of his birth as she held dual citizenship and voted as a Canadian. His father at the time, born in Cuba, was not an American citizen. It would appear, unless shown otherwise, Cruz’s mother must have used documentation to verify her American citizenship. If so, as the dependent of an American with American citizenship, he is an American citizen and not a naturalized citizen. Cruz only recently renounced his Canadian citizenship. These distinctions are not covered in the Constitution and therein lies the problem. John McCain, although born in Panama, is a natural born citizen as both of his parents were U. S. citizens deployed in service as members of the U. S. Military. That should never have been a question. Even though President Obama was born on American soil, in Hawaii, and whose mother was an American born citizen, the birthers ran wild and continue to do so today. So I’m just waiting for the next chapter to be written in this continuous saga.

      Like

      Comment by raemd95 | January 16, 2016 | Reply

    • My assessment is that Cruz isn’t a natural born citizen because he was born in another country. One has to be born on US soil, US embassies ( considered US soil ) and US military bases and installations ( also considered US soil or territory ) I know that because where I came from, the Philippines, everyone there knows that Clark Air Force Base and Subic naval are considered US territories, and treated by the Philippines as such. Cruz can be president of Canada though. lol.

      I think the the people who wrote this law thought ” natural born ” is very simple and clear cut and therefore doesn’t need to be explained.

      Like

      Comment by renxkyoko | January 16, 2016 | Reply

      • Under Article II, Section I, Clause 5 of the U.S. Constitution, specifically the language requires that the president be a “natural born citizen of the United States.” There are no other stipulations in the Constitution as to the exact location of the birth. This is where the long held belief that the President has to be born on American soil comes into play. This is not specified in the Constitution but has been the traditional belief. A lawsuit has been in Federal Court in Florida regarding Marco Robio’s status and Rep Alan Grayson has indicated that he will file a suit should Cruz become the GOP nominee. Should that happen, the issue will certainly go to the Supreme Court, the same Court that declared corporations are people!

        Like

        Comment by raemd95 | January 16, 2016

      • maybe there are other laws that specifically interpret this part of the Constitution ? After all, the Constitution itself is how many pages long ? 5 pages ?

        Like

        Comment by renxkyoko | January 16, 2016

      • Unfortunately not. There are no other area’s that address this particular issue.

        Like

        Comment by raemd95 | January 16, 2016

      • O_O
        That’s unfortunate. How about the ” intent ” of the writers of the Constitution ? I assume they have these in the archives.

        Like

        Comment by renxkyoko | January 16, 2016

      • That is the question that needs to be settled once and for all. The interpretation of “intent” according to an originalist like Justice Scalia will probably be far different than that of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. That is exactly why this issue is unsettled law.

        Like

        Comment by raemd95 | January 16, 2016

      • Reminds me of Pres. Clinton’s ” meaning of the word ” is” is.. What’s that again ? lol

        Like

        Comment by renxkyoko | January 16, 2016

      • Perfect example. He interpreted (used) it in the way that would be in HIS best interests.

        Like

        Comment by raemd95 | January 16, 2016

  2. I do not hold Cruz in high regard, but how much time was wasted on this issue in the last debate? The problem he faces is Trump did his Trump-thing with his non-accusation accusation approach and now it is in ill-informed voters’ minds. The other problem is having alienated his colleagues in Congress with his grandstanding and criticism, he should not expect a life line.

    Like

    Comment by Keith | January 16, 2016 | Reply

    • Cruz has put himself in a position where he is in the middle of a lake and can’t swim. His GOP colleagues are on the shore. They discuss whether or not to help him. They take a vote and it’s unanimous. They through him both ends of a very short rope.

      Like

      Comment by raemd95 | January 16, 2016 | Reply


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