IVN News

Is Ted Cruz Eligible to Run for President? Illinois Judge to Weigh In

Paid Advertisement

In Illinois, a judge is expected to rule whether one of the top Republican challengers to Donald Trump is eligible to run for president.

Born in Canada to an American mother and a Cuban father, the matter of Ted Cruz‘s eligibility to run for president has long been an issue. Throughout his political career, Cruz has consistently maintained that he is eligible to run for president by being born to an American abroad.

In January, Poplar Grove lawyer Lawrence J. Joyce filed a complaint with the Illinois Board of Elections about Cruz’s eligibility. Supporting Ben Carson for the GOP nomination, Joyce says he has numerous reasons he is protesting Cruz’s presence on the Illinois ballot. If Cruz wins the nomination, he argues, Democrats would object to his eligibility. Joyce told USA Today recently that successful challenges to Cruz’s eligibility in lower courts would be detrimental to the party’s ability to raise money for its nominee.

As a result, the GOP might nominate a new, more moderate candidate such as Marco Rubio or John Kasich, making Cruz’s act of running for president irresponsible:

“What I fear is that Ted Cruz becomes the nominee, come September, Congressman Alan Grayson of Florida will go forward with his threats and probably several other Democrats will file suit to prevent Ted Cruz from being on the ballot.”

Joyce’s initial effort was dismissed by the Board of Elections because he missed the deadline to file as well as failing to serve Cruz and the state with the appropriate paperwork. However, Cook County judge Maureen Ward Kirby heard Joyce’s case on Friday and a decision could be forthcoming.

Cruz’s lawyer, Sharee Langenstein, said the case has no merit since Joyce did not properly notify Cruz about the intention to take him to court or meet the deadline to file such a complaint. Richard Means, an Illinois election law expert who has said there could be merit to Joyce’s case, has also said this negligence could doom the lawyer’s efforts.

“He’s deader than a doornail if he didn’t jump through that one hoop [of meeting the deadline to file an appeal],” Means remarked.

If Cruz’s eligibility in Illinois is officially rejected, it also creates an issue of what to do with the ballots already printed. Three weeks after the judge hears the case, Illinois will hold its primary elections and Cruz’s name is already on ballots that have been printed.

So far, Cruz has won eligibility battles when his ballot qualifications were challenged in New Hampshire and Indiana. Front-runner Donald Trump has also publicly questioned the Texas senator’s eligibility for president. A challenge has also been issued in New York over whether Cruz meets the definition of a “natural born citizen.”

You Might Also Be Interested In...

Defining Natural-Born Citizen: The Debate Over Who Qualifies To Run For President

Learn More

Photo Credit: Rich Koele / Shutterstock.com

Join the discussion Please be relevant and respectful.

The Independent Voter Network is dedicated to providing political analysis, unfiltered news, and rational commentary in an effort to elevate the level of our public discourse.


Learn More About IVN

613 comments
AudreyDeJesus
AudreyDeJesus

If you are born in Canada , How can you be a U.S. citizen ?????

Christopher Hahin
Christopher Hahin

Thanks to Mario Luciano for stating the correct circumstances regarding Sen. Cruz.  If Cruz is permitted to be President, then all number of persons born abroad where one parent is a former American citizen can be President.  Not exactly what the founders wanted.  They wanted some who was born on American soil, raised in this country, and was picked by his peers for office.  Of course that is changed because the population of the United States has markedly increased since 1789 and the President is indirectly elected through electors.  Theoretically one could consider electors as the "political peers of today".  The most telling reason why Cruz should not be present is that he converted his Canadian citizenship to American status just two years ago just so he could run.  This Texan has been a Canadian virtually all of his life, but doesn't want facts to get in the way of his ambition. 

RussellFowler
RussellFowler

@Christopher Hahin

A vote for Ted Cruz is a vote for anyone with a American woman mother no matter where you were born.
A vote for Marco Rubio is a vote for anyone born in America no matter what the citizenship of the Parents.
With all that, then Obama is a legal President.
The Founder of the USA was afraid that this would happen.
So here we are, The Constitution is being destroyed.

RussellFowler
RussellFowler

@David in MA @RussellFowler @Christopher Hahin Just what I been saying. There is a long list of people that wanted to be President. The founders did not want any ties of any kind to the President that had any ties to another country.

John McCain  born in Colon not the Canal zone.

Mitt Romney Father was a Mexican

Obama Father was a British subject born in Africa

Bobby Jindal Parents were not USA citizens at birth.

Ted Cruz Almost the same as Obamaio

Marco Rubio Parents were not USA citizens at the time he was born

The Founder knew what they were talking about but so many voters don't know anything about the Fathers of America.

If both parents were citizens at birth and the child was born on America soil or control by America, I have no problem any of them to be President.

So none of them qualify to be President.

If we keep changing the meaning of words, then we are doom and one day anybody can be President.

People vote for smooth talker's Don't know the rules. This NBC should have been settle with one simple clause, Both Parents are USA citizens. (s).. and born on America soil or control of.


SallyBroadhurst
SallyBroadhurst

The definition of a natural born citizen as the constitution states and we were also taught in civics is someone born in the United States period. Otherwise the have to be naturalized by INS. Ted Cruz was born in Canada, therefore he is not a natural born citizen.

Chris Warner
Chris Warner

David Enix more than that, Cruz's mother worked in Canada long enough to automatically become a citizen. If she had lived in Canada longer than 5 years as an immigrant, then she received Canadian citizenship (see canadian citizenship act of 1946)

David Enix
David Enix

Toni Stephen your 100% correct his father was a immigrant from Cuba. The mother was a citizen. Google the birth certificate. The mother must have known that, why she put her ex husband down as the father. Alleged.

David Enix
David Enix

She was but his dad wasn't, that's the key. His dad was a Cuban immigrant. But his mom was alleged to have put her ex husband on the birth certificate, he lived in Texas. The law is not foggy. They were not on vacation, they were not on a military base, she worked there. He is a natural born citizen of Canada.

Vicki B. Rowan
Vicki B. Rowan

As an attorney I started out thinking he is, but the scholars have convinced me that babies born abroad (except to servicemembers and diplomats) are not "natural born." McCain yes, Cruz no.

Mark N Mason
Mark N Mason

Of course he's eligible. This nonsense is a creation of Donald Trump's imagination. It's just a crooning political tactic to mire Cruz's feet in the mud during his run for office.

Tom Francis Appel
Tom Francis Appel

Not unless they had an American citizen parent who filed for the baby's American citizenship right after birth. So, your answer is obviously no.

April Anderson
April Anderson

U must not follow politics.Donald Trump proved it yrs ago and when him and Michele went to Kenya they were waiting for him with banesters saying welcome home and his wife admitted on live tv that he was born in Kenya.Plus his father was born into a Muslim family.u need to read up on politics and the worthless president we have.

W Mike Perry
W Mike Perry

There is a difference in the language of the Constitution. In laying out who is eligible "a natural born citizen, OR a US citizen at the time..." of the ratification of the Constitution. That indicates that a natural born citizen is not the same as a naturalized U.S. Citizen. McCain was born on a U.S. Facility, so considered US soil. Obama was born in Hawaii (yes, he was). Cruz was born in Canada.

Christopher Hahin
Christopher Hahin

The phrase "a citizen at the time of the ratification of the Constitution" doesn't really apply to current candidates.  The Constitution was referring to citizens who were foreign born but were granted citizenship 14 years prior to 1789.

Quark Hadren
Quark Hadren

Jo Etta Hill Blah, blah, blah. You've already made your mind up, so why bother reading anything? Okay, we'll go with your pretend world: Obama did NOT add to the problem by refusing to release his birth certificate. Happy?

Lisa Houk
Lisa Houk

Whether he's legal or not,he's showing his true side and why would you want him as president?

Lisa Houk
Lisa Houk

According to Canada's laws,no,he's not!!

SallyBroadhurst
SallyBroadhurst

We have to abide by our constitution not Canada's laws!

Cecil Norton
Cecil Norton

No he is not ... Period! Rubio is not either. That's why the constitution was written and that's why the term natural born was put in it. The writers of the constitution did not want one with ties to another country to hold the office of president or Vice President.

Mario Luciano
Mario Luciano

NO! He is a liar and a crook !!! His mother RENOUNCED HER US CITIZENSHIP AND TOOK CANADIAN CITIZENSHIP BEFORE HE WAS BORN!!! The fact is his mother WAS a natural born citizen is true. The fact is that at the time of his birth in Canada, BOTH PARENTS WERE CANADIAN CITIZENS!!! CRUZ IS NOT A NATURAL BORN US CITIZEN!!! In fact he may be an illegal alien if his mother did not re-acquire US citizenship or if his father did not acquire US citizenship before Ted Cruz's 16th birthday. AT BEST CRUZ IS A NATURALIZED US CITIZEN. AT WORSE HE IS GUILTY OF IMMIGRATION FRAUD !!!!!!!!!

Paul Whittington
Paul Whittington

No he was not eligible to be a senator - he did not live in Texas enough years to run for the Senate... Check it out!

Helen Logan
Helen Logan

Tom Francis Appel so a Muslim could come over, become a citizen, then run for president?

SallyBroadhurst
SallyBroadhurst

What difference is religion in this argument? We are talking about naturalized and natural born citizens! Obama is natural born in Hawaii and Cruz is Canadian and should go home.

Helen Logan
Helen Logan

Michelle Eichorn But Rubio is just anchor baby...a Cuban that was born here......

Richard Fowler
Richard Fowler

Hell no you need to go back home hey we got enough for liars over here. Donald Trump 2016

Denzel Anderson
Denzel Anderson

If obama is eligible, anyone can be. What a fing joke .

SallyBroadhurst
SallyBroadhurst

Obama was eligible having been born in Hawaii which was a state before he was born!

Jo Etta Hill
Jo Etta Hill

Quark Hadren I heard that he delayed because it was a stupid allegation to begin with and not worth responding to. Which it was, but producing the thing still didn't shut them up.

Lori Morgan
Lori Morgan

That is probably true but there is a small chance.

Lynn Reed
Lynn Reed

Um...I know someone born in Germany on a US military installation. They were told even so, they were not eligible to be President, so, I say "no".

Duane Warehime
Duane Warehime

He won't win the nomination. The establishment hates him worse than Trump. He would be beat by landslide margins.

Lori Morgan
Lori Morgan

I tend to agree he isn't a natural born citizen. It certainly should be challenged and determined prior to November.

Duane Warehime
Duane Warehime

To be eligible, he must be natural born. Like Trump, I think there is a legal challenge there. Such a question has never been answered by the court.

Joey Cassell
Joey Cassell

no he shouldn't be able to run, and that goes for rubio as well

Jerry Fralick
Jerry Fralick

That is like a person born in Iran to an American mother and living most of his life there wanting to be president of the United States. Would anyone trust him to do what's best for America?