“I HAVE STANDING”
by Sharon Rondeau
(Feb. 12, 2016) — On Friday afternoon, presidential candidate Donald J. Trump tweeted that he has “standing to sue” fellow candidate Ted Cruz “for not being a natural born citizen.”
Trump was the first potential presidential candidate to raise the question of Cruz’s birth in Canada as disqualifying him from seeking the Oval Office in November.
In an interview with ABC News’s Jonathan Karl published on August 11, 2013, Trump said that Cruz’s Canadian birthplace cast doubt upon his eligibility given the Constitution’s requirement in Article II, Section 1, clause 5 that the president and commander-in-chief be a “natural born Citizen.”
During the previous decade, it was generally understood that foreign-born persons were ineligible to seek the presidency.
Trump’s interview preceded by a week a report by The Dallas Morning News which said that Cruz was born a dual U.S.-Canadian citizen on December 22, 1970 in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. The Canadian Citizenship Act of 1947 at the time did not contemplate dual citizenship, although there could have been exceptions.
After the Morning News’s article was published, Cruz claimed not to have known that he possessed Canadian citizenship but renounced it in May 2014.
Many in the mainstream media have attempted to demonstrate that Cruz’s claim to eligibility through his U.S.-citizen mother is sufficient to render him eligible without delving into the historical backdrop against which the “natural born Citizen” term was placed in Article II during the 1787 Constitutional Convention.
Following the February 1 Iowa caucuses, Trump claimed that Cruz’s reported victory was achieved through “cheating,” repeating the claim during the debate on the Thursday preceding the February 9 New Hampshire primary.
Trump had been projected to win the Republican Iowa caucuses by five points in a number of polls, but Cruz was declared the winner by approximately the same margin.
Trump was declared the winner of the New Hampshire primary by a sizable margin, with Cruz reported as coming in third with 12% of the vote.
Just before voting began in Iowa, the Cruz campaign circulated an email and voice message stating that Dr. Benjamin Carson was suspending his campaign. The information was sourced to CNN, but CNN had not reported it. During the last debate, Cruz apologized to Carson publicly for the second time, stating that he “wished” his staff had issued a follow-up email correcting the error.
Cruz supporters claim that CNN owes Cruz an apology.
Democrat Rep. Alan Grayson has also threatened a “beautiful lawsuit” against Cruz should win the Republican nomination. “…the Constitution says natural born Americans, so now we’re counting Canadians as natural born Americans? How does that work?” he said on Alan Colmes’s radio show in November.
Trump has continued to raise Cruz’s birth in Canada during his campaign appearances, warning that Democrats will sue over the eligibility issue.
In a significant number of challenges to Barack Hussein Obama’s constitutional eligibility beginning in 2008, the courts had often cited a lack of “standing” on the part of the plaintiffs. In December 2011, a three-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that a presidential candidate would have standing to sue another on eligibility questions if the action was lodged prior to the election.
Despite multiple letters from concerned citizens, neither the Republican Party nor Democrat Party has made an effort to publicly declare who is and is not a “natural born Citizen.” The eligibility of Republican candidates Marco Rubio and Bobby Jindal, the latter of whom suspended his campaign in November, has also been questioned as a result of their respective births in the U.S. to non-citizen parents.
Thus far, Trump has not raised the matter of Cruz’s father’s citizenship, which was Cuban, then Canadian, then American as of 2005.
As this article was going to press, Trump tweeted: