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CLAIMS CASE AGAINST CRUZ’S ELIGIBILITY “NOT MOOTED”
by Sharon Rondeau
(May 5, 2016) — On Wednesday night, write-in Republican candidate Victor Williams advised The Post & Email that he was not conceding the 2016 election despite Donald Trump’s decisive primary win in Indiana and the suspension of the campaigns of Ted Cruz and John Kasich.
Williams declared his candidacy in March, having registered in nine states which had not yet held primary contests as a write-in candidate. He then filed a ballot challenge in New Jersey to Cruz’s constitutional eligibility to serve as president given that he was born in Canada.
Article II, Section 1, clause 5 of the U.S. Constitution requires that the president and commander-in-chief be a “natural born Citizen,” a specification reserved only for the nation’s chief executive. In contrast, U.S. Senators and Representatives are constitutionally required to be a resident of the state they wish to represent and “a Citizen” for nine and seven years, respectively.
The Framers did not provide a definition within the founding documents of “natural born Citizen,” but several U.S. Supreme Court cases reveal that a distinction between “citizen” and “natural born Citizen” was recognized.
It is understood by virtually all Americans that a naturalized U.S. citizen, who by definition was born in another country to foreign-citizen parents, cannot serve as president. Since 1975, a number of attempts have been made by members of Congress to remove the “natural born” requirement.
“In faithfulness of the tens of thousands of supporters of this campaign, I can not in good faith so concede,” Williams told The Post & Email on Wednesday evening, referring to Cruz’s and Kasich’s decisions to suspend their campaigns. Williams indicated that he issued a statement on his website to that effect.
Williams is concerned that although Cruz is no longer actively campaigning, Trump, as the presumptive Republican nominee, might select as his running mate an individual whose “natural born” status could be in question.
Williams previously stated that he is a Trump supporter and voted for him in his home state of Maryland on that state’s primary on April 26.
On May 2, the day before Indiana’s primary, Williams wrote on his website, “All across America, Ted Cruz is losing and he is losing badly. Cruz’s presidential campaign is in crisis. Even pledged delegates are now renouncing him. Once Americans learn that Ted Cruz is not constitutionally eligible for the presidency, they quickly reject him.”
On April 29, Williams called Cruz’s chosen vice-presidential candidate, Carly Fiorina, a “fake running-mate” as a result of what he believes is Cruz’s ineligibility.
Williams, a law professor at Catholic University of America, initially represented himself in the New Jersey ballot challenge but is now represented by Atty. Mario Apuzzo, who practices law in Jamesburg.
A hearing with Administrative Law Judge Jeff Masin was held on April 11, when Apuzzo represented three registered voters and Williams argued his own case. The following day, Masin’s 26-page opinion indicated that he found “the more persuasive argument” made by Cruz’s attorney, Shalom Stone, to be that a person born anywhere in the world to one citizen-parent overrides the traditional interpretation that a “natural born Citizen” is born in the United States.
On Thursday morning, Williams further advised The Post & Email, “Mario and I have decided to continue the appeal of Williams v. Cruz. The case is not ‘mooted’ (it is not ‘moot’ or over) by Cruz’s suspension.”
In an update on his website, Williams wrote:
Williams v. Cruz is now before the Appellate Division of the New Jersey Superior Court and should be decided soon. Even if Professor Williams suspends his campaign prior to the New Jersey June 7 primary, the litigation will continue. Williams’ legal “standing” was perfected at the time he filed written objections to Mr. Cruz’s signature petitions.
In a “personal memo,” Williams added:
Unlike Mr. Kasich and Mr. Cruz, I have not yet conceded or suspended this campaign. I await assurance that the Vice-President running mate selection will be a”natural born Citizen” as required by Article II, Section 1 of the U.S. Constitution.