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This Man Filed a Lawsuit to Determine Ted Cruz's Presidential Eligibility

Image via Flickr/Gage Skidmore (CC BY-SA 2.0)
GOP hopeful Ted Cruz is under fire for the nature of his citizenship.

From Texas Standard:

The national debate over whether Texas Sen. Ted Cruz is eligible to be President continues. The fact that Cruz was born on Canadian soil to an American mother has constitutional legal scholars at odds over whether he meets the criteria for the nation's top office.

Now a Houston attorney has filed a suit further questioning Cruz’s eligibility and asking the Supreme Court to define the term, "natural-born citizen."


Attorney Newton Schwartz says he felt compelled to file the suit because nobody else did. He’s now the lead plaintiff in Schwartz v. Cruz. Was he surprised no one else had filed yet?

“Surprised is an understatement,” he says. “I’m shocked."

Time is running out on getting to the bottom of the matter, Schwartz says. He points to the Iowa caucuses that start February 1, then the New Hampshire primaries after that. There’s also the March 1 Texas and southern state ballots.

“There's not gonna be time to determine [Cruz’s eligibility],” Schwartz says. “This is the only method that could determine it by then and it's going to be very difficult to get it all through the courts without the cooperation of Sen. Cruz – who could get it done or he could stall it and keep it in a court here for months.”

The Constitution limits the presidency to a "natural-born citizen." Schwartz’s lawsuit isn’t questioning the citizenship of Cruz – he is legally a citizen. Schwartz says there’s a big distinction between the two. His lawsuit is asking the court to come up with a legally agreed upon interpretation of what a “natural-born citizen” is.

As far as this lawsuit’s potential to settle the matter?

"There are people that may not wanna agree with the decision,” Schwartz says. “[But it] would be the law of the land, just like Roe v. Wade is currently the law of the land. Just like same-sex marriage, from this year, is law of the land.... It's not a popularity contest."

Rhonda joined KUT in late 2013 as producer for the station's new daily news program, Texas Standard. Rhonda will forever be known as the answer to the trivia question, “Who was the first full-time hire for The Texas Standard?” She’s an Iowa native who got her start in public radio at WFSU in Tallahassee, while getting her Master's Degree in Library Science at Florida State University. Prior to joining KUT and The Texas Standard, Rhonda was a producer for Wisconsin Public Radio.
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