Chicago court to hear 'natural-born' case to knock Ted Cruz off ballot


*A judge will hear arguments on Friday from an Illinois voter alleging that Republican presidential hopeful Ted Cruz is not a “natural-born citizen” and should be disqualified for the party’s nomination.

Lawrence Joyce, an Illinois voter who has objected to Cruz’s placement on the Illinois primary ballot next month, will have his case heard in the Circuit Court of Cook County in Chicago. Joyce’s previous objection, made to the state’s Board of Elections, was dismissed on February 1. He appealed the decision and was granted a hearing for Friday before Judge Maureen Ward Kirby.

Joyce challenges Cruz’s right to be president in the wake of questions put forth by GOP rival Donald Trump about being born in Canada. Cruz maintains he is a natural-born citizen since his mother is American-born.

“What I fear is that Ted Cruz becomes the nominee, come September, Congressman Alan Grayson of Florida will go forward with his threats and probably several other Democrats will file suit to prevent Ted Cruz from being on the ballot,” Joyce, a pharmacist and attorney from Poplar Grove, Ill, told USA TODAY.

Grayson, a Democrat, has told reporters that he will file a lawsuit contesting Cruz’s citizenship if the senator from Texas wins the GOP nomination.

“What Democrats will do at that point is cherry pick which county courthouse they are going to show up in order to file these petitions,” Joyce said. “And at that point, I fear they’ll get a string of victories in the lower courts and the funding for Ted Cruz would dry up, his numbers would plummet in the polls, he may be forced to give up the nomination.”*


I thought only the SCOTUS could make a definitive ruling on something like this. :shrug:


Ultimately it would end up in the SCOTUS, but could not start there. The challenge is being made in a state court presumably on the basis that the State Board of Elections determined that Cruz could appear on the ballot. That decision is being contested. The decision could potentially go right through the state court system, then to the SCOTUS. If Cruz won and his citizenship was then challenged, it would be a federal case, but at the moment it is simply a challenge to an administrative decision made by a state official.




This should be interesting.


My thoughts exactly. :smiley: I’m keeping an eye on it.


If every there was a :popcorn: -worthy thread, this is it.




An article useful to the conversation:

Ted Cruz is not eligible to be president

Donald Trump is actually right about something: Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) is not a natural-born citizen and therefore is not eligible to be president or vice president of the United States.


Well, I’ve been reading up a bit on the issue ever since it showed up here, and the problem is that “in February 2016 the Illinois Board of Elections ruled in Cruz’s favor, stating, “The candidate is a natural born citizen by virtue of being born in Canada to his mother who was a U.S. citizen at the time of his birth.”[154]”

So the crux of the matter is what exactly “natural born citizen” means; it seems the Illinois Board of Elections disagree with what Trump (and many others) consider to be a “natural born citizen”.

This is why I think that ultimately it’s the SCOTUS that can only rule one way or the other, since they’re the ones that can interpret the Constitution. :shrug:


I think that’s a good argument but not necessarily conclusive which is why the issue needs to be tried.
Really, Cruz should have arranged for someone to sue well in advance ofthe NH primary.


Laurence Tribe, from Harvard Law, among other Constitutional scholars, disagree.:shrug:

Just as an aside, it’s kind of strange that a person born to parents who are US citizens isn’t automatically a “natural born citizen”, but a person born to non-US citizens can be. Geography trumps actual citizenship.


The Naturalization Act of 1790 provided that the children of US Citizens were automatically citizens, even if born of foreign soil.

It specifically defined such children “shall be considered as natural born citizens”

And that law has formed the basis of every legal definition since. The article references the Naturalization Act of 1790, and correctly states that they are to “be considered’ as natural born citizens”. So the question is ‘considered to be natural born citizens’ by whom?
Clearly it would be the entire United States, courts, electoral boards, and yes, even voters.

So the article is not as clear cut as you present it as


I wasn’t aware of that Act. I was always under the impression that such things only applied to the offspring of American diplomats/ambassadors residing abroad, or children born to military personnel serving outside of the USA.


There is a question as to whether or not his mother gave up her citizenship. She was listed on the voter rolls in Canada and one has to be a citizen to make the list. I’ll try to find the info.


If I recall correctly, back when Cruz was born, the U.S. would not allow dual citizenship. One had to renounce all others in order to be a citizen and, I believe, doing certain things abroad (like joining a foreign army, and probably registering to vote) invalidated one’s U.S. citizenship.

But I’m admittedly no expert on it. If there’s any question at all, it should be litigated, and Cruz should have initiated it himself long ago.


Does this mean that Cruz was an American citizen at the time of his birth because his mother was a citizen at the time of his birth? And then is the implication that he lost his citizenship because she may have renounced hers? I’m not a Cruz supporter but, somehow, that doesn’t seem fair.


That law was ruled unconstitutional in 1967, he was born in 1970

If one is an American citizen due to the status of their parents if the parent later renounces American citizenship that would not affect the citizenship of the child.


I saw an article in which it was alleged that Cruz’s mother was on a Canadian voter list in 1974, which, even if true, would have no bearing on the situation because Cruz was born 1970. Hence, my post.

An aside. There was a time in American history, where it did happen that American citizens, through no fault of their own, did lose their citizenship. It happened to my grandmother.

When saying ‘I do’ meant giving up your US citizenship.


Illinois judge dismisses suit to take Cruz off ballot

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