An 85-year-old attorney in Texas has filed a lawsuit asking for a ruling on whether Republican presidential candidate [crscore]Ted Cruz[/crscore] is eligible to serve as president of the United States.
The attorney, Newton B. Schwartz Sr., filed the 28-page document this week in federal court in Houston, Texas, pointing out that the Constitution says “no person except a natural-born citizen…shall be eligible to the office of president.” Schwartz is believed to be the first person to file such a suit about Cruz.
Cruz, who was born in Canada, argues he is a natural-born citizen because his mother was American and therefore he was, too, at birth. Schwartz, saying there has never been a court case on the issue, wants the Supreme Court to rule on Cruz’s eligibility.
“‘Natural born citizen’ has never been defined.”
“Only the U.S. Supreme Court can finally decide, determine judicially and settle this issue now,” Schwartz writes in the filing.
Cruz’s rival, Donald Trump, has spoken about the issue in recent days, including in Thursday’s debate in Charleston. The New York businessman, competing with Cruz in the polls for first in Iowa, argued the Texan needs a court ruling on the issue.
“I already know the Democrats are going to be bringing a suit,” Trump said during the debate. “You have a big lawsuit over your head while you’re running. And if you become the nominee, who the hell knows if you can even serve in office? So you should go out, get a declaratory judgment, let the courts decide.”
An annoyed Cruz said at one point during the debate: “I’ve spent my entire life defending the Constitution before the U.S. Supreme Court. And I’ll tell you, I’m not going to be taking legal advice from Donald Trump.”
“I recognize that Donald is dismayed that his poll numbers are falling in Iowa,” Cruz said. “But the facts and the law here are really quite clear. Under longstanding U.S. law, the child of a U.S. citizen born abroad is a natural-born citizen.”