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VARIETY OF CHALLENGERS RAISE CONSTITUTIONAL, POLITICAL QUESTIONS

by Sharon Rondeau

The New Hampshire Ballot Law Commission is a division of the Secretary of State’s office

(Nov. 24, 2015) — A number of challenges filed with the New Hampshire Ballot Law Commission to the candidacy of six declared presidential candidates from both major parties were adjudicated on Tuesday morning, with all of them decided in favor of maintaining the candidates’ names on the state’s primary ballot.

On November 13, a challenge to the constitutional eligibility of Sen. Ted Cruz, Sen. Marco Rubio, Gov. Bobby Jindal and former Sen. Rick Santorum for president was filed by Robert Laity of New York on the basis that they are not “natural born Citizens” as required by Article II, Section 1, clause 5 of the U.S. Constitution.

It is The Post & Email’s understanding that Laity’s complaint regarding Santorum’s eligibility was to be withdrawn following Laity’s receipt of new information last week on Santorum’s citizenship status.

Jindal has since withdrawn from the race.

Bernie Sanders, who is seeking the Democrat nomination, was challenged by presidential candidate Andy Martin.  Martin has run for president and other public offices previously and claimed that Sanders was elected to the U.S. Senate as an Independent and therefore cannot run as a Democrat in the 2016 primary.

One of Cruz’s challengers, Christopher Booth, lives in New Hampshire, which holds the first official primary of the presidential election cycle.  Booth argued that having been born in Canada, Cruz does not meet the definition of “natural born Citizen.”

The complaint against Trump was also filed by a New Hampshire resident based upon his claim that Trump had been affiliated more closely with the Democrat Party than the Republican Party in the past and that Trump “has not presented any evidence to the Secretary of State or this Commission that he is a registered member of the Republican Party.”

Attorneys for Trump, Rubio and Cruz refuted the challenges in writing.  Trump’s attorneys claimed that Trump is a registered voter with the Republican Party in New York, while attorneys for Rubio filed a Motion of Appearance and wrote that “The Commission lacks authority to hear this dispute.”

In all cases, the Ballot Law Commission reported following the hearing that “Ballot Law Commission upheld Secretary of State’s Decision to place the above candidates on the ballot.

CNN and ABC News reported that Sanders’ name will remain on the state ballot, while the New Hampshire Union Leader reported that the challenge to Trump’s candidacy was unsuccessful.

In 2012, a challenge to the candidacy of Barack Hussein Obama filed by Dr. Orly Taitz were also dismissed.