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Will courts be willing to “settle” Ted Cruz’s eligibility?

Will courts be willing to “settle” Ted Cruz’s eligibility?

Maybe not, even if Donald Trump sues.

Professor Jacobson has opined on the question of whether Ted Cruz qualifies to be president as a “natural born citizen.” The short answer is: he definitely does. However, as Professor Jacobson also indicated, that hasn’t stopped Trump from attempting to foster doubts in voters’ minds about it.

You can see the results in the increased amount of chatter about the issue—which is likely to have been exactly what Trump wanted when he put forward his oh-so-helpful suggestion that Ted Cruz could and should settle the “natural born citizen” question by going to federal court and seeking a declaratory judgment on the matter.

So, why doesn’t Cruz do what Trump has suggested, and put it to rest? The reason is that it is almost certain that Cruz couldn’t get a court to rule on the issue. J. Christian Adams, who was in the Justice Department under George W. Bush, explains why:

First, court cases require a real case or controversy. Without it, courts do not have jurisdiction to hear a case. The term “case or controversy” mean more than “Donald Trump thinks there is a case or controversy.” It means a genuine clash of interests is occurring…

Second, who would have standing to bring the Cruz declaratory judgment case?

…If a plaintiff in a federal court case has not suffered an injury of some sort, the court has no authority to hear the matter and meddle in the affairs of American citizens…Cruz has suffered no injury. He is on the ballot, not off…

Standing cannot be had because there might be a speculative injury in the future. Speculative injuries are not yet “ripe.”…

Finally, who would be the defendant…Trump himself? The news media? Fox Business Network?…The bottom line is that there is no defendant injuring Ted Cruz over Trump’s legally flawed birther attack.

But, as Jonah Goldberg has pointed out in National Review, it is very possible that Trump himself doesn’t really care about the legal constitutional issue itself. However, insinuating that Cruz could and should seek a declaratory judgment may cause listeners to question Cruz’s eligibility and to ask why he doesn’t just seek such a judgment to settle the issue.

Sure enough, a suit has already been filed, right on schedule—although not by Cruz. Here’s more about that suit:

Peter Spiro, a law professor at Temple University who reviewed the filing, noted that…the probability [is] that [the plaintiff] Mr. Schwartz does not have legal standing to bring such a case against Mr. Cruz.

The issue [of “natural born citizen”] has not been decided by the courts because most lawyers think it would require a presidential candidate, or an opponent of one who can claim “injury,” for courts to consider the merits of the case…

According to Mr. Spiro…the most realistic situation that would bring legal clarity would be for Mr. Cruz to file a lawsuit in the event that a state elections commissioner decided to take him off the ballot because of his Canadian roots. The suggestion that Mr. Trump has made, urging Mr. Cruz to seek a “declaratory judgment,” is also unrealistic, Mr. Spiro said, because courts do not offer such guidance unless there is an active case.

“There’s zero chance of a court getting to the merits on this claim,” Mr. Spiro said. “If Trump wants to put his money where his mouth is, he should be the one filing for a declaratory judgment against state election commissioners who put Cruz’s name on the ballot.”

So it’s Trump (and/or the other Republican candidates running against Cruz) who might have standing at this point, not Cruz or anyone else. George Stephanopoulos seems to have done his homework on this, because he brought it up yesterday during his interview with Trump on ABC:

Stephanopoulos then said, “But you know, the person who sued [Cruz] probably doesn’t have standing, a lot of legal scholars–.” Trump interrupted, saying, “That’s all right. There will be a lot of people who sue him who do have standing.”

“Say you have standing, why don’t you file the case,” Stephanopoulos asked. Trump responded, “Oh that’s an interesting case. Wow that sounds like a very good case. I’d do the public a big favor.”

Note that Trump doesn’t say who this “lot” of people who will sue Cruz “who do have standing” might be.

Show of hands—does anyone think Trump will actually file for a declaratory judgment? It’s possible, I suppose. But in terms of tactics, it would probably be much better for Trump to keep the issue unsettled than to discover that Cruz is a natural born citizen after all.

If Trump were to try to actually sue, however, he might discover that, even if Trump is found to have standing (which is by no means certain), the courts might be very reluctant to get into the issue at all, and that they would rather leave the question to the electoral process or to Congress.

This article by election law expert Derek Muller analyzes the legal and policy considerations behind judicial reluctance to rule on such issues. Muller also indicates that the possibility that a state election official might take Cruz off the ballot and thus give Cruz a cause of action to file a suit is highly unlikely because states tend to be hesitant to take such steps.

Muller writes that both the states and the courts have tended to defer to three other bodies to decide on whether a candidate is eligible to be president—voters, electors, and Congress:

This more deferential approach from election administrators or adjudicative bodies is sensible. After all, if voters, electors, and Congress each have the opportunity to scrutinize qualifications, why exert another layer of scrutiny, particularly in close questions? And, would we really prefer election officials, or courts, to strip ballot access from candidates? And, technically, [in a presidential election] voters are electing slates of presidential electors, anyway, not a candidate.

And in fact, that sort of reasoning seems to have been more or less what happened in the case of Keyes v. Bowen, a lawsuit filed by Alan Keyes in the Superior Court of California after the 2008 election in order to challenge the citizenship qualifications of Barack Obama (Keyes was the presidential candidate of the American Independent Party in 2008). On appeal to the Court of Appeal, Third District, California, the court concluded that eligibility should be up to the political parties doing the nominating, with Congress as the final authority:

Plaintiffs’ contentions lack merit. Among other things, we conclude that the Secretary of State does not have a duty to investigate and determine whether a presidential candidate meets eligibility requirements of the United State Constitution. As we will explain, the presidential nominating process is not subject to each of the 50 states’ election officials independently deciding whether a presidential nominee is qualified, as this could lead to chaotic results…Any investigation of eligibility is best left to each party, which presumably will conduct the appropriate background check or risk that its nominee’s election will be derailed by an objection in Congress, which is authorized to entertain and resolve the validity of objections following the submission of the electoral votes.

The Supreme Court refused to hear the case.

There is a reason why these issues of eligibility are “unsettled,” and it is because settling them through the court system would require a highly unusual set of circumstances: (1) a presidential contest in which there is an actual dispute and a plaintiff with standing to sue, and (2) a court (and ultimately, a Supreme Court) willing to rule on the issue of citizenship eligibility for a presidential candidate.

So far, Trump himself is the person closest to being able to overcome the first hurdle, although it’s anyone’s guess whether he’ll even attempt to do so. But if he did, it appears highly unlikely that a court would oblige him by agreeing to hear the case and to rule directly on the issue of Cruz’s natural born citizenship.

[Neo-neocon is a writer with degrees in law and family therapy, who blogs at neo-neocon.]


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How does “he definitely does” explain this:

I think “he definitely does” reflects your willingness to attempt to control thought, you aught to be ashamed of yourself.

    Ragspierre in reply to betty. | January 19, 2016 at 9:34 am

    Here’s a pro-tip, Betty…

    When you see “[Blank] for Dummies, AND it refutes these guys…

    Jonathan H. Adler, Case Western University School of Law
    Neal Katyal and Paul Clement, Harvard Law Review
    Randy Barnett, Georgetown University School of Law
    Congressional Research Service: “Natural born” citizenship means citizenship held “at birth” (PDF)
    Laurence Tribe, Harvard Law School (who argued in 2008 for John McCain that “children born abroad to U.S. citizens are themselves U.S. citizens”,” and that this is sufficient to establish that an individual is a “natural born” citizen eligible to be president); the Washington Post observes that Tribe’s confusion about Cruz’s eligilibity is “inconsistent.”
    Michael Ramsey, Center for the Study of Constitutional Originalism at the University of San Diego School of Law
    Andrew C. McCarthy, former assistant U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York
    Alan Dershowitz, Harvard Law School
    Eugene Volokh, UCLA School of Law
    Mark R. Levin, President of Landmark Legal Foundation
    William A. Jacobson, Cornell University Law School
    Ilya Shapiro, Editor-in-chief of the Cato Supreme Court Revieew
    David A. Graham, The Atlantic
    Akhil Reed Amar, CNN

    YOU’RE the dummy they were aiming for.

    impeach obama in reply to betty. | January 19, 2016 at 10:39 am

    While I Believe that Cruz qualifies as a ‘natural born citizen’,
    the issue brought up by Trump
    (trumped up charges ;>), bring to the fore the importance of addressing who we, the citizens, are willing to permit to run for president.

    I am becoming more impressed by the devious and clever use of language employed by Trump.
    Is Trump just bored and running to bring meaning to his life ?
    That Trump is not conservative is obvious, but he is a pragmatic person who seems to recognize that we cannot continue in the free for all behavior of the Donkey party.

    Perhaps we need a pragmatist who thinks 3 steps ahead, to lead this country.


      Ragspierre in reply to impeach obama. | January 19, 2016 at 10:49 am

      If you want a Progressive deal-maker, and fan of BIG GOVERNMENT, he’s your guy.

      OTOH, if you want a man who in office will be bound by the Constitution, Cruz is your candidate.

      The contrasts are glaring and significant.

        Cruz is not the man when it comes to being bound by constitution for qualifications for president. Then Cruz is a solid progressive who advocates for the living breathing activist judge changing constitution because if original intent and conservative principles were applied then CRUZ IS NOT NATURAL BORN CITIZEN AND NOT QUALIFIED TO BE POTUS.

        Can you say Cruz Is A Hypocrite !! Laurence Tribe can and does.

          Ragspierre in reply to Gary Britt. | January 19, 2016 at 2:38 pm

          Like your man-crush, you attack Cruz from the LEFT, showing where both your center and his sits.

          Tribe’s the hypocrite, liar. He’s reversed himself just to attack Cruz.

          Just like the lying T-rump.

          Laurence Tribe has not changed his position. He believes in the progressive liberal living and breathing method of constitutional interpretation. Tribe points out that Cruz is hypocrite because he espouses original intent conservative interpretation kf Constitution which if applied to natural born citizen test means Cruz not qualified to be Potus. So Cruz flip flops and is hypocrite on that issue by adopting the Tribe liberal progressive interpretation.

          Ragspierre in reply to Gary Britt. | January 19, 2016 at 5:41 pm

          According to Gaghdad Bob Britt, the lying T-rump sucking cult acolyte.

          Who gives T-rump himself a pass on HIS reversal, hypocrisy, and attacks on Cruz from the LEFT.

          AND insists that history starts in June, 2015. Ever hear of “starting from zero”, Gaghdad Bob? BIG Collectivist notion. You’d love it!


    inspectorudy in reply to betty. | January 19, 2016 at 11:33 am

    It is funny that Trumpets will go to any length or any method to defend their wild child but when looked into, Trump’s past is so anti conservative/Christian that it makes one’s head swim. Yet these same people want a person who by all past accounts is a “Native born” American to now prove that he is. When did the position of innocent until proven guilty disappear? Oh, I remember now, it’s when Trump decided that he was a conservative and his poll numbers started to fall!

Trump has not threatened to sue. He has correctly stated that “natural born Citizen” is ambiguously defined, and that this state has, in addition to failing to secure the legal and cultural allegiance of our president, created a progressive problem of mothers or fathers with an alien allegiance who have aided and abetted the corruption of our government and society.

Well isn’t the alternative to “natural born citizen” a “naturalized citizen”? So we know Cruz is not a naturalized citizen he must be a natural born citizen. Pretty simple – case closed.

    userpen in reply to Gandalf. | January 19, 2016 at 9:34 am

    The case is not closed, settled or going away anytime soon.

    Not quite. You either get your citizenship because of where you wdre born or you get your citizenship because of an Act of Congress. Where you are born citizens are natural born citizens. That is not in question. The question is whether a because of an Act of Congress (statute) citizen can be a natural born citizen and if so under what circumstances.

    In Cruz’s case he is for sure a natural born citizen of Canada. There is however open question whether a naturalized at birth citizen is a natural born citizen or not.

    To me congress answered t g ese questions in 1790 and 1795. Law professors like to ignore these Acts and focus on reading the tea leaves of 200 years of common law from Brittain regarding the term natural born subject. This to me makes no sense given the founders spoke on this issue in 1790 and 1795.

    In 1790 the founders passed a law saying foreign born child to citizen “shall be considered as” a natural born citizen. Th I s clearly says a couple of things. 1. A foreign born cild to citizen is NOT a natural born cit I zen but Congress by this statute wants them to be treated as though they were a natural born citizen. However that isn’t end of story because in 1795 congress changed tge 1790 statute and deleted the part that says foreign born child to citizen shall be considered as a natural born citizen. As of 1795 and thereafter the statute just says the foreign born child of a citizen shall be “considered as a citizen at birth”.

    Unless one assumes that Congress deleted reference to natural born citizen for no reason and changed the language without intending a different result from the prior language then clearly Congress was taking away the grant of natural born citizen status that was expressly provided from 1790 to 1795.

      Ragspierre in reply to Gary Britt. | January 19, 2016 at 10:11 am

      The Snidely Whiplash of dead horse beaters makes his trite, stupid argument.

      Again. Gotta suck that T-rump…!!!

      inspectorudy in reply to Gary Britt. | January 19, 2016 at 11:37 am

      So the law making body of our country and Constitution cannot decide who is or who is not a natural born citizen? Wow! Great piece of legal work there son! I guess all of the laws they passed now have to be reviewed by the SCOTUS to be sure they pass Trumps inspection?

        Inspectorudy before you start up the snark you should make sure you have your reading comprehension engaged. You have got what I wrote backwards. I am absolutely saying that Congress not only can determine who is a natural born citizen, but that congress DID determine who is a natural born citizen, once in 1790 and then again in 1795.

        In 1790 the first congress composed of quite a few of the original authors/founders of the constitution passed the first Naturalization Act. That act of Congress states that a foreign born child of a citizen shall “be considered as” a “natural born citizen”. Again that says two things. 1. a foreign born child of a citizen is NOT (absent an act of congress) a natural born citizen and 2. that congress wants a foreign born child of citizen to be treated as though they were in fact a natural born citizen.

        I’m saying that after 1790 Act of congress foreign born child of citizen was, in effect, a natural born citizen. The problem for Cruz is that Congress did NOT keep the provisions of the 1790 Act in place. The problem for Cruz is that in 1795 the Congress CHANGED THEIR MINDS AND CHANGED THE STATUTE. In 1795 Congress DELETED the language from the 1790 Act that says a foreign born child to citizen shall be “considred as” a “natural born citizen”. That was DELETED. Congress instead rewrote the statute to say a foreign born child of citizen shall be considered “as a citizen”. Congress in 1795 NO LONGER says foreign born child of citizen is to be treated as a natural born citizen.

        So from 1790 to 1795 Congress said that foreign born child of citizen shall be treated as natural born citizen. BUT in 1795 and AFTER Congress TAKES AWAY the grant of “natural born citizen” status that was provided in the 1790 Act and for 1795 and after merely grants “citizen” status to foreign born child of citizen.

        It is not me that wants to ignore the acts of Congress. It is the pro Cruz analysis that wants to ignore the Acts of Congress. Particularly they want to ignore the 1795 Act changes to the 1790 Act.

          inspectorudy in reply to Gary Britt. | January 19, 2016 at 3:36 pm

          So you are trying to say that Congress created three separate categories of citizens? Show me the place where they mention that there three separate citizen categories, Naturalized, birth on US soil and Congressional citizen.

          O I am not saying there are 3 kinds of citizens. Go back to my first post. There I clearly state there are two kinds of citizens. The two kinds are those who get their citizenship based on where they were born. And those who get their citizenship from the naturalization act passed by congress. Where you are born citizens are natural born citizens and naturalization act citizens are naturalized citizens. Except for the period of time from 1790 to 1795 foreign born child to citizen is a naturalized citizen. They get their citizenship from the naturalization act. For 1790 to 1795 only these naturalized citizens are considered as natural born citizens.

        Ragspierre in reply to inspectorudy. | January 19, 2016 at 1:11 pm

        “Yet it sickens me the way Donald Trump and Ann Coulter have demagogued the issue. They may be successful in creating doubts in voters’ minds; that’s the nature of propaganda, it sometimes works.”

        And here’s a demonstrated T-rump sucker, telling you you’re the dummy.

        Just exactly like Prof. Jacobson predicted.

        Hawk_TX in reply to inspectorudy. | January 19, 2016 at 1:50 pm

        Of course the law making body cannot decide who is a natural born citizen.

        First Congress is only empowered by the Constitution “To establish a uniform rule of naturalization” (article 1, section 8). Meaning any law passed by congress involving citizenship is a naturalization law and cannot affect a person’s natural born status.

        And second the concept that Congress can amend parts of the Constitution by simply changing the meaning of the words used in it is absurd. This idea would make the Constitution a truly “living document” that at any time could be reinterpreted to mean what ever those in power wanted it to mean. In reality it would require an amendment to the Constitution to change what makes someone a natural born citizen.

        And finally with the exception of the naturalization act of 1790 (which was written by many of the founders) Congress has never addressed Natural born citizenship. Meaning that Congress hasn’t even attempted to decide who is or isn’t a natural born citizen.

          Hawk you are partially correct. The 1790 Act establishes a couple of things about natural born citizen definition. 1. It establishes that the founders who wrote the constitution and populated the first congress believed they could constitutionally provide by statute to have a foreign born child of citizen “considered as” a “natural born citizen”. In other words that such a child would be deemed to be a natural born citizen.

          This 1790 Act tells us a couple of other things. The founders in the first congress obviously understood “natural born citizen” in the constitution did NOT include foreign born children of a citizen. If the definition of natural born citizen in constitution already included the foreign born child of a citizen there would be no purpose to providing that a foreign born child to citizen was to be deemed to be natural born citizen in 1790 Act.

          The 1795 Act tells us that congress decided to no longer provide that a foreign born child of citizen would be deemed to be a natural born citizen.

          Now if you want argue the founders in the first congress had no constitutional authority to make a foreign born child of citizen deemed a natural born citizen. That doesn’t help Cruz at all because the founders in the 1790 Act clearly expressed their understanding of the constitution they wrote and that understanding was that a foreign born child of a citizen WAS NOT A NATURAL BORN CITIZEN. Had the founders had a different understanding of the meaning and original intent of “natural born citizen” in the constitution what they tried to do in 1790 Act would have been unnecessary.

          Ragspierre in reply to Hawk_TX. | January 19, 2016 at 5:56 pm

          Still flagellating that poor expired equine.

          The offal doesn’t stink less for all your beating.


Trump responded, “Oh that’s an interesting case. Wow that sounds like a very good case. I’d do the public a big favor.”

OK, step up, big mouth. Or is your nasty, vacant attack too valuable?

DINORightMarie | January 19, 2016 at 9:34 am

Well-written analysis.

Two things: First: I agree, Trump wants the seeds of doubt to be planted in the minds of voters, so he won’t go to court, IMHO. Also, this would put Cruz in the “victim seat” with the “Evil Rich Crony” Trump as the villain. Not good optics.

Second: will this stop the screeching lawyer and self-proclaimed expert on the subject of “natural born citizen” Ann Coulter, and those Trump-sters who seem to blindly favor him? Nope. Not at all.

Ted Cruz KNOWS all this. He is BRILLIANT. And, as he’s said, it is all settled law. There are several SCOTUS cases that do touch on the subject – all of which indicate that there are only two types of citizens: natural-born (receiving their citizenship at birth) and naturalized (receiving their citizenship through the legal naturalization process). Period.

This is such a testament of where our nation is that we are spending hours and days and weeks on this nonsense while Iran grows in its boldness, growing closer to becoming a nuclear Iran; while our borders are being crossed by thousands without any idea who is coming, where they’re going, or what their motives are for crossing illegally into this country; where our economy and the US dollar are tanking, with little or no care by this regime; where our federal government has used – and is using – the powerful bureaucracies to ATTACK and CONTROL Americans (e.g. IRS and the EPA); where the Democrat presumed nominee is clearly in violation of MANY federal laws and statutes, has been caught LYING OPENLY and BLATANTLY about Benghazi (“blame the video”), and to this point has been both protected and given a pass by the so-called “fourth pillar” of the media.

There’s more, of course – but you get the gist.

Can we just STOP this spinning on the birther BS?! We have SERIOUS matters, serious issues to address!

    Ragspierre in reply to DINORightMarie. | January 19, 2016 at 9:37 am

    Levin reminded listener to not forget who the real enemy is: The Democratic Party represented by Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. Sen. Ted Cruz was once unanimously considered a hero of conservatism, a fighter against the Establishment, only now to have his words twisted and to be cast as a foe.

    Levin believes the American people don’t have to be dragged into such stupidity.
    – See more at:

    Exactly Levin’s point, which was echoed by Limbaugh yesterday.

    Listen to the whole thing.

    Cruz was naturalized at birth pursuant to a statute titled the Naturalization Act. But for that statute Cruz would not be citizen at all. Naturalization occ7rs because this stute provides for it. Aliens are naturalized by going through a paper work process but foreign born child to citizen are naturalized into cituzens automatically and paperwork process is waived. They are still naturalized not natural born citizens pursuant to the provisions of the Naturalization Act.

      Ragspierre in reply to Gary Britt. | January 19, 2016 at 10:19 am

      Bierhall Britt INSISTS the Framers were…

      1. superstitious (believing that “geography” at birth determined a child’s destiny)

      2. paranoid (a child born on foreign soil, a foreign flagged vessel at sea, etc., would be “tainted” and unfit for POTUS because their loyalty was suspect)

      3. irrational (while providing for the succession to the office of POTUS, they imposed no such “test” on the offices immediately involved)

      4. hateful

      Britt is insane. The Founders never were those kinds of people.

        impeach obama in reply to Ragspierre. | January 19, 2016 at 10:51 am

        While the founders fears were accurate or not should not be the issue now.

        The Issue That needs to be addressed is ‘birthright chieftainship’.
        I can imagine a foreign foe, who has long-term goals to destabilize or create a caliphate, have a child born us the USA while visiting, thus being a ‘natural born citizen’ due to birthright…….

        Rags posts speak for themselves. He is an imbecilic child incapable of engaging in rational adult discourse or analysis. His posts are usually nothing more than name calling, irrational, and homophobic rants. These types of posts increase in frquency when confronted with adult thoughts and analysis with which he does not have the intellectual capacity to adequately engage.

        In short Rags is a rude homophobic nobody lying sack of shit (to steal one of his most often used phrases) who pretends to be a lawyer when his writing clearly indicates nothing could be farther from the truth. He tries to bully anyone who dares to disagree with him. He is a person of no character with no friends in real life. In that sense a kindred spirit with Cruz I suppose.

          Ragspierre in reply to Gary Britt. | January 19, 2016 at 11:19 am

          And this is the typical lying ad hominem attack by Bierhall Britt, who doesn’t even understand what ad hominem is.

          “The other type of ad hominem argument is a form of genetic fallacy. Arguments of this kind focus not on the evidence for a view but on the character of the person advancing it; they seek to discredit positions by discrediting those who hold them. It is always important to attack arguments, rather than arguers, and this is where arguments that commit the ad hominem fallacy fall down.”

          I make clear arguments.

          Britt makes personal attacks that make no argument or even a defense of his insane positions vis NBC.

      Which Naturalization Act? There have been several over the years so you’ll need to be more specific.

      I’d argue that because “natural born Citizen” is not defined in the Constitution (or in any known writings of the Founders), that they wisely left it to be defined legislatively so that (as mentioned in another comment above) the People would have a say in what kind of person should be allowed to lead them.

      And so whatever is the current “birthright citizenship” rule is a decent-enough working definition. Someone born a citizen (such as a child born abroad to American parents or an American mother, as Ted Cruz was) qualifies as a “natural born Citizen”.

        Read my post above to inspectorudy. That wasn’t up when you posted your reply. Your question is good. In a nutshell there has only been ONE natualization act that uses the phrase “natural born citizen”. That was the very first act passed in 1790. Again see discussion I posted above. In 1795 and in every Act since 1795, the Congress never uses the term natural born citizen. Instead Congress has chosen to only award “citizen” status to the foreign born child of citizen. From 1790 to 1795 Congress chose to award “natural born citizen” status but in 1795 and every act since 1795 Congress only awards “citizen” status NOT “natural born citizen” status.

    TX-rifraph in reply to DINORightMarie. | January 19, 2016 at 10:21 am

    Yes. If we are chasing squirrels we do not see what the wolves are attacking.

    Trump is employing a liberal tactic (did he learn this in NY?) by getting people to focus on the substance of some minor issue rather than the bigger picture. Cruz should be judged on relative standards — compared to the alternative candidates. If he is up for canonization as a saint, then role out the absolute standards of perfection. Trump’s tactics are driving me away.

      inspectorudy in reply to TX-rifraph. | January 19, 2016 at 11:43 am

      This isn’t just a Trump tactic it is the main tactic of the msm. They do this constantly and we also know it as the “Friday document dump” because they know it will not make any headlines. Trump is so NY values it is dangerous. He knows how to lie and deceive without thinking. Does that sound like someone else we know? I truly do not know what Trump thinks and feels inside. In some ways he is like the soulless obama. I feel like there is no there there with Trump.

    Here’s what you overlook,

    If Trump doesn’t get the courts involved with the issue, but Hillary does, then Cruz will be jerked around with litigation and lose critical media oxygen when he needs it the most. The Democrat base thinks the courts already stole and election from Gore, so they will applaud Hillary in this action.

    By not going ahead and getting the decoratory judgment, Cruz is potentially walking into a political ambush that will badly wound his presidential chances.

    This is true regardless of whether Cruz prevail in the merits.

      Milhouse in reply to rotten. | January 20, 2016 at 6:36 pm

      1. Neither Hillary nor any Democrat will be able to bring this to court, just as nobody was able to bring a case against 0bama.

      2. Courts are not allowed to give advisory opinions.

No. And the likelihood is that any party and that party’s attorney will be sanctioned for bringing a suit is without merit (by attorney’s fees, costs and possible disbarment). Let us count the ways:
– no standing
– political question
– no case or controversy
– no particularized injury
– ripeness
– mootness (by the time it’s heard)
– soverign immunity (state ballot)
– stare decisis without good cause to overturn.

    Ragspierre in reply to Chuck Skinner. | January 19, 2016 at 9:46 am

    We can tell them ’til the cows come home, Chuck, and the non-lawyers and the “lawyers” like Bierhall Britt will just ignore the facts.

    The hate is strong when you don’t have your lips firmly attached to T-rump’s butt. It overcomes all rational thought.

Hey we all know who’s fault this is!

MaggotAtBroadAndWall | January 19, 2016 at 9:59 am

When left wing lawyers and scholars like Akhil Amar, Jack Balkin, and Cass Sunstein all say Cruz is a “natural born citizen”, you know it is a dead end.

Trump is a very successful reality TV star. He knows how to get TV ratings. Controversy creates ratings. And if he gets higher ratings for the media, then the media will focus on him and the phony controversy he creates.

This is just Trump manipulating the media, his supporters, and he is trying to create doubt in the minds of some Cruz supporters who don’t have the time or the ability to research the issue to see that it is a non-issue and they are being manipulated by a reality TV star.

The controversy itself.
I think that on the question of eligibility viz-a-viz citizenship, Cruz is more eligible then Obama.

What bothers me more are the things I am starting to hear about Cruz’s wife’s ties to the CFR.

    Milhouse in reply to HandyGandy. | January 20, 2016 at 6:39 pm

    What of it? What’s your objection to the CFR? Last I heard, the idea that that group is some sort of evil conspiracy was confined to the Birch society and similar looney tunes.

Now Thrump, the Sound and Fury ‘fighter’, has placed himself into a moronic squeeze headlock.

The towering NY values appear to be litigious and labeled “TRUMP”.

(Hillary’s NY values: “la di dah.”)

The question in general.
There are a lot of things about the issue itself that bother me.
First standing, it would seem to me that any citizen about to be ruled by someone who does not meet the legal requirements would have standing. Hell that’ the kind of thing that the country was founded over.

I’m also troubled by this soverign immunity argument. If Adolf Hilter received all of Colifornia’s electoral votes, would the restg of the country be bound to observe that?

Finally, the legal arguments I’m hearing here are disturbing. Take and apply them to three different cases, and you should see someof the problems.

1. Ahhnnold the exgovinator. Could he actually be prevented from being put on the ballot at this same period in an election cycle?

2. Let us assume that after he left the Senate Trent Lott was appointed ambassador to the UK. While in London his wife gives birth to a child. Two years later they all move back to the US. Should the child be eligible to become president.

3. Kim Jung Il kidnaps an american women and keeps her as a sex slave. She gives birth to a son raised by Il. The son thinks that Il is the greatest thing since sliced bread. He decides to run for president. Should he get this far in the cycle without being stopped?

    Milhouse in reply to HandyGandy. | January 20, 2016 at 6:48 pm

    There is no standing because whomever the electoral council elects is president, regardless of eligibility. If the majority of electors vote for a 34-year-old, and the House counts their votes, then that person is president. End of story.

    1. No state’s SecState would put him on the ballot. They certainly can’t be made to. But if the electors voted for him and the House counted their votes, he’d be president.

    2. This isn’t even a question. Even by Blackstone’s definition an ambassador’s children are natural born, just as a foreign ambassador’s children born in the USA are not.

    3. If the public wants to vote for him they will. How’s he really different from a child born and raised here by communist parents, and indoctrinated to love Fidel Castro? Such as our current president, or the mayor of NYC.

It appears that Sarah Palin will appear at Iowa rally today with Trump and endorse Trump for president.

Cruz spox are already doing media trying to do character assassination on Palin. Cruz and his people are class acts.

Cruz’s father gave sermon at mega church indicating he believes god has personally annointed Cruz to CONTROL SOCIETY.

    Ragspierre in reply to Gary Britt. | January 19, 2016 at 11:26 am

    If you consider Ted Cruz the conservative ideal or near-ideal in terms of philosophical grounding, legal perspective, and ideological rigor – and the case for that seems pretty self-evident – then watching Tea Party leaders flock to Trump over him is pretty damn disappointing. April 15, 2009 is largely seen as the birth date of the Tea Party movement. Here’s what Trump was saying that day about President Obama: TRUMP: Well, I think he’s sort of a guy that just has a wonderful personality, a good speaker, somebody that people trust. And I also think that the comparison with his predecessor is so different — it’s so huge that it really has made a great impact on people. I think that he’s really doing a nice job in terms of representation of this country. And he represents such a large part of the country. I mean, to think that a black man was going to be elected president — I watched television for years where the great political analysts were saying maybe in 50, maybe in 100 years. Here’s a man that not only got elected, I think he’s doing a really good job. Now, the sad part is that he can’t just do a good job. He’s got to do a great job. Because if he does a good job, that’s not good enough for this country. That’s how bad the country has become. KING: Do you assess him as a champion? TRUMP: Oh, yes, he’s a champion. I mean, he won against all odds. If you would have looked — when he first announced, people were giving him virtually no chance. And he’s just done something that’s amazing. KING: More on Donald Trump… TRUMP: He’s totally a champion. Later in that interview: KING: You’re not going to march with the tea party? TRUMP: I don’t march with the tea party. But I’ll tell you what, they have a good point, because when you see the kind of money that this country is — to use a horrible expression, Larry, I know you’ve never heard this — but that this country is pissing away, I can understand where they’re coming from. Trump went on to defend the TARP bailouts: “If they didn’t stuff the banks with money, we’d be in depression number two right now, Larry. I mean, we would be strongly in depression number two. So they did the right thing in putting money into the banks.” Trump, the guy who hosted two fundraisers for Charlie Crist in 2009. He donated to Harry Reid over Sharron Angle in 2010. Trump, the guy who donated $50,000 to make Rahm Emanuel the mayor of Chicago. In the founding days of the Tea Party, Donald Trump was exactly what they were fighting against… and now some of those adherents have embraced him fully.

    Read more at:

    Gaghdad Bob Britt INSISTS that history only starts in June, 2015, because he knows that T-rump’s record is a killer, and proves he’s a fraud. He’s a NYC Progressive crony deal-maker. Always was. And is today.

    Ragspierre in reply to Gary Britt. | January 19, 2016 at 12:38 pm

    The nutters at the Conservative Tree-sloughs start from this false premise…

    “Most of Ted Cruz supporters are severely religious, and/or they are part of the financial enterprises surrounding religion. As a direct consequence both elements are intensely committed to avoid vetting him. This head-in-sand approach presents a serious issue – when they don’t confront the problems they’re set up for catastrophic failure.”

    They offer nothing by way of support that “Most of Ted Cruz supporters are severly religious…”.

    The truth is, in fact, the opposite.

    They go on to slime Ted via guilt by association with his dad.

    But they ARE known for being nutters and bigots.

      inspectorudy in reply to Ragspierre. | January 19, 2016 at 3:44 pm

      I got to hear all of the candidates except Trump and Carson in person here in Atlanta and the two best speakers there were Ted Cruz and Gregg Abbott the Governor of Texas, who was a guest speaker. Ted did not mention God or religion one time during his speech. It was full of facts and plans for our country with no slams against anyone else. We can only imagine a Trump in the WH with his thin skin! My God, didn’t obama teach us anything?

        Ragspierre in reply to inspectorudy. | January 19, 2016 at 5:19 pm

        He makes Nixon look like a well-adjusted, self-assured fella.

        We’re just about to get rid of a lying, narcissistic asshole.

        We don’t need another.

Cruz is going to slowly and professionally make Trump’s past views and positions very clear and painful for all to see. In the process Trump will use every NY trick he can dig up to smear Cruz PERSONALLY. The birhter is just the beginning. Next it will be the man’s wife and her job. If Cruz’s kids were just a little older they would be fair game too for Trump and the msm. It is obvious to anyone who thinks for themselves that the msm has now joined Trump in the attack on Cruz. Can you just imagine what the clinton machine already has on Trump? Think of the photos and recordings of what he has said to the clinton’s alone! Throw in the other political dealings with almost 100% Demorats and you will get the picture. This exposure by the clinton’s will completely turn off the Republican voters.

Notwithstanding that I actually agree Cruz is a natural born citizen because however byzantine the rules, Congress has the authority to make them as befits a free and sovereign country, the article keeps asking who would have standing to sue.

Well, wouldn’t that be the campaign of the eventual Democratic nominee, who we assume will be Hillary Clinton? Wouldn’t her lawyers be able to run a state by state effort to have a Ted Cruz knocked off the ballot? Even if it only succeeded in half the states, you’d have an election in 2016 with only one candidate from a major party eligible. It would be quite a spectacle.

Why would mere candidates for the nomination have standing and the presidential nominee of the opposite party not? It’s an odd thing to skip mentioning.

RE: who has standing to sue.

Let Trump lose the nomination to Cruz. THEN he’ll be an “injured party” and have standing.

Or let Hillary! or Bernie lose a general election to Cruz. Then THEY’LL have standing. AND you can bet your bottom dollar they’ll sue.

    Ragspierre in reply to Archer. | January 19, 2016 at 12:30 pm

    That is NOT based on any legal analysis.

    But, as Andy McCarthy has noted, “So what”? People have been suing Obama for years to no effect.

    Milhouse in reply to Archer. | January 20, 2016 at 7:01 pm

    No Democrat would have standing in such a scenario, because there is no way that the electors would vote for them. If your theory were correct, the only person it would endow with standing would be the Republican VP nominee!

It’s interesting that you should bring up the Keyes case.

A lot of Trump’s minions are waving around a blog post by someone named Andy Prior as “Definitive ABSOLUTE Irrefutable PROOF that Ted Cruz is NOT a natural born citizen…”

Who is this Andy Prior? Only the Texas chairman for birther and perennial candidate for public office Alan Keyes’ 2008-formed “America’s Party” (formerly “America’s Independent Party”) .

So: the same folks the Trumpians are depending on to provide “Definitive ABSOLUTE Irrefutable PROOF that Ted Cruz is NOT a natural born citizen…” doesn’t exactly have much in the way of a track record for successfully challenging candidates’ eligibility.

Birthers gonna birther though, I guess. It’s just a shame that this time they’re trying to take down an actual constitutional conservative.

I am a fan of Ted Cruz and I am glad this issue has been raised now so that it will be “old news” after the primaries. But, now that it is out there, Trump should move on to other issues.

    amwick in reply to jwoodatty. | January 19, 2016 at 4:36 pm

    I am not a Cruz fan, but I do not think the eligibility issue should impact him. The people that invented this country did not want any old citizen to run for president. That is hard to accept now. They were restrictive and they were unfair, on purpose. But these definitions have been muddied for a long time. Figure it out, but Cruz and Rubio get a pass.

      Milhouse in reply to amwick. | January 20, 2016 at 7:08 pm

      The people who invented this country couldn’t imagine anyone being so crass as to run for president at all. At least not officially. They expected people to run from the presidency, to be surprised when the electors chose them, and to reluctantly answer that call because it was their duty. Or at least to feign such surprise and reluctance. They had no concept of a ballot, let alone rules for who should be on it, or lawsuits about such rules.

If Cruz wins the nomination the eligibility question will be used by the Democrats in the short time between the conventions and the general election. I don’t know how effective that will be politically but the possibility exists that they will find a sympathetic judge at either the state or federal level and create a legal problem for Cruz. Trump is not the danger here, the Democrats are.

Why not at least make an attempt to settle the question at the federal judicial level now instead of waiting until the fall? Is it simply because the idea came from Trump and the Trump hatred from some conservatives blinds them to the future risk? If that attempt fails, so be it. If it succeeds then we’ve taken it away from the Democrats.

    Ragspierre in reply to Rabel. | January 19, 2016 at 1:03 pm

    Write to Duh Donald and encourage him to bring a law suit.

    OR you could read the MANY things that attorneys have written that shows you are pissing your pants over a non-issue.

    BOTH procedurally and substantively.

      My question is not so much the issue of eligibility which will in all likelihood ultimately be ruled in Cruz’s favor. My question is why not attempt to away the Democrat’s ability to use that issue to their benefit in the general election.

      That will be clear to you from my comment if you take off the TDS blinders for a moment.

      Ragspierre in reply to Ragspierre. | January 19, 2016 at 1:31 pm

      There’s no TDS is sound legal analysis.

      You’re arguing about a non-issue that you DON’T understand.

    Milhouse in reply to Rabel. | January 20, 2016 at 7:11 pm

    The Dems can try to make political hay out of it, but they can’t create a legal problem before the election.

    And Cruz can’t get a court to settle it because courts have no authority to give advisory opinions.

buckeyeminuteman | January 19, 2016 at 1:14 pm

Do us patriots feel its right for two border-jumpers to pop out a baby here and it gets to be American? Absolutely not! It should be wherever the parents are from. While Ted’s parents were not “border-jumpers” in Canada, they were there legally working when he was born. Should he be forced to be Canadian while his mom is American and his dad is Cuban? Absolutely not! To all you natural born confounders out there, be careful what you wish for…

The only Trump positions that counts are the ones he has clearly pronounced since the day he announced his candidacy.

He will build the wall !!

He will enforce our laws and deport illegals

He will protect our country from Al Qaeda and ISIS terrorists and he will do it even if that means being politically incorrect

He will bring jobs back to USA and will get rid of all our stupid trade deals.

These things especially those with regard to immigration are ALL THAT COUNT in this election at this time in our history. NOTHING ELSE MATTERS.

Cruz on the other hand already says he won’t deport illegals. Cruz has flip flopped on amnesty and he supports the job killing USA sovereignty give away known as Obamatrade.

Cruz believes in the the original intent strict construction of the constitution (or so he claims) EXCEPT when that strict construction original intent would mean he is NOT a natural born citizen and is ineligible to run for President. Then Cruz believes in a living breathing, liberal, law professor, interpretation of the constitution. This is why Laurence Tribe says Cruz is a hypocrite.

Cruz is a slick willy lawyer who can’t be trusted to fill out his financial disclosure forms honestly or build a wall or not provide amnesty for millions of illegals.

Absolutely NOBODY doubts that Trump will build that wall, deport illegals and protect this country PC culture be damned. That is why they don’t attack him on these positions but try to reach back 20 years in the past.

You know how you can tell a principled conservative like Cruz?

He’s the guy willing to ship other people’s jobs overseas because free trade is more important than fair trade.

It is a matter of conservative principle. And honoring his principles is only a problem if Cruz is the one hurt thereby (see his use of LIBERAL NON CONSERVATIVE interpretation of “natural born citizen”).

Trump 2016 – Endorsed in Iowa and nationally by Sarah Palin.

    Ragspierre in reply to Gary Britt. | January 19, 2016 at 1:29 pm

    Free trade is about YOU having choices about how you spend YOUR money.

    Progressive deal-maker T-rump…like Bernie Sanders…think you proles need BIG GOVERNMENT making your decisions for you.

    Conservatives consider that anathema.

    That simple.

      Free trade without fair trade is about sacrificing the wealth and jobs of the middle class to line the pockets of the corporate globalist mega donors that in turn line the pockets of Cruz and all other candidates EXCEPT Trump.

        Ragspierre in reply to Gary Britt. | January 19, 2016 at 6:46 pm

        You are a liar and an economics moron.

        Tariffs and trade wars ONLY hurt middle and lower income Americans. They cost jobs, and not the opposite.

        They were one of the prime reasons the Great Depression was so “great”.

          No you are a moron when it comes to negotiating deals. China can’t afford to lose access to our markets. With a 500 billion trade surplus selling into our markets China would tank its economy if they lost that. You don’t unilaterally take your biggest most dangerous weapon off the table when negotiating terms. Only morons and government bureaucrats would do that. Cruz and McConnell would do it. Trump no fricking way.

          Milhouse in reply to Ragspierre. | January 20, 2016 at 7:47 pm

          Weapon for what purpose? The US president has a duty to represent the interest of the US people, i.e. its consumers. The Chinese government, on the other hand, represents the interest of Chinese producers. When President Trump says “unless you allow your subject people (slaves) to buy whatever goods and services American producers can provide more cheaply than your constituents can, I will forcibly prevent American people from buying those goods and services that your constituents can provide more cheaply”, he’s holding the American people — his constituents to whom he owes a fiduciary duty — hostage for the sake of American producers.

        Milhouse in reply to Gary Britt. | January 20, 2016 at 7:36 pm

        There is nothing fair about compelling a consumer of goods or services to buy them from a preferred provider, when there is someone else willing to provide them cheaper. The preferred provider’s need to make a living is simply not the consumer’s concern. Nobody owes anyone else a living. If you can’t provide what I want at a better price than the other fellow, then starve. You have no right to get the government to force me to buy your overpriced goods or services just because you’re American and the other fellow is not, any more than you do because you’re a unionist and he’s not, or because you’re white and he’s not.

        That is what free trade is about. The general interest is always that of the consumer, not the producer. Producers are special interests in opposition to the general interest, and the core principle of the political right is that they should not be listened to. This follows from the fact that production only exists for the sake of consumption, not the other way around. Production is a means; consumption is the end. The moment you reverse those you have confusion and slavery.

    Milhouse in reply to Gary Britt. | January 20, 2016 at 7:20 pm

    Free trade is fair. If it’s not free then by definition it’s not fair. The concept of “fair trade” that is not free is a leftist invention, and should be anæthema to anyone on the right.

Like the changing of the tides, it was inevitable that Donald Trump would brazenly misrepresent himself in last night’s Republican presidential debate.

Asked if about his plan to raise a tariff on imported Chinese goods to 45%, reported by the New York Times, Trump said, “That’s wrong. They were wrong. It’s the New York Times, they are always wrong.”

The New York Times, always wrong or not, is equipped with audio recorders, and the paper quickly produced this transcript of Trump’s meeting with the newspaper’s editorial board:

I would tax China coming in—products coming in. I would do a tariff. And they do it to us. We have to be smart. I’m a free trader. I’m a free trader. And some of the people would say, ‘Oh, it’s terrible.’ I’m a free trader. I love free trade. But it’s got to be reasonably fair. I would do a tax, and the tax—let me tell you what the tax should be. The tax should be 45 percent.

Trump concluded that if China continued what he sees as unfair trade practices, “I would certainly start taxing goods that come in from China.”

Tariffs ALWAYS hurt the American people, and the middle-class and low-income people worst.

And T-rump lies all the time. Often for no apparent reason. Sound familiar?

    inspectorudy in reply to Ragspierre. | January 19, 2016 at 3:53 pm

    I believe you are wasting your time with the truth to the Trumpets. If they were interested in the truth all they have to do is Google Donald Trump and they will have a smorgasbord of delights that have a rainbow shape. They go from extremely liberal, bordering on Communism, to conservative, bordering on dictatorship. The man is a study in the meaning of “Change”. In fact Wikipedia now uses the word Trump when you look up the meaning of “Change”.

      Ragspierre in reply to inspectorudy. | January 19, 2016 at 4:20 pm

      Oh, I agree. I just won’t allow Gaghdad Bob Britt to come here and lie unopposed.

      Some of these Trump suckers are beyond redemption, but there are others here who are not cult followers, just supporters at some level of firmness.

Do the Federal Courts even have jurisdiction of such a matter? The counting of the votes of the electors is a plenary power of Congress. It seems that is the time to raise an objection on eligibility. 3 U.S. Code § 15 reads “Upon such reading of any such certificate or paper, the President of the Senate shall call for objections”

Iowa eGOP Establishmentarian governor Branstad calls for the defeat of Cruz.

Why? Ethanol subsidies. Federal mandates for adulterated gas. BIG GOVERNMENT.

Mr. Establishment (T-rump), deal-making Progressive, already sold out to BIG CORN.

That really says it all.

I think Cruz is probably not eligible, but that no court will ever hear a challenge. Especially after just having got through refusing to hear any challenge against 0bama, the courts will not be able to turn around and say that this time they’ll hear it. No, even if the matter was justiciable before (which I doubt) it isn’t any more.

So I don’t care about it. I’d rather have an ineligible president who cares about the constitution than an eligible one who doesn’t, and that means Cruz is currently at the top of my list, and Trump is at the bottom.

And Trump’s demand that Cruz get a court to clear it up is silly. Courts can’t give advisory opinions.

Well, no, of course not.

You cannot tell people the truth!

That’ll get in the way of future deal-making!

T-rump tongues McConnell.



REPUBLICAN Governor of Iowa comes out AGAINST Cruz.

Bristol Palin unloads on mean spiteful Cruz and his Staff. Cruz rushes to do damage control.

After hearing what Cruz is now saying about my mom, in a negative knee-jerk reaction, makes me hope my mom does endorse Trump. Cruz’s flip-flop, turning against my mom who’s done nothing but support and help him when others sure didn’t, shows he’s a typical politician. How rude to that he’s setting up a false narrative about her!

America doesn’t need that. We need someone who has a vision for economic prosperity, who won’t let us get kicked around in the world, and who will fight for our future.

I didn’t go to Harvard Law School, but I know this: You can like two people in a race, but there will only one president.

The audacity to suggest that because she chooses one over the other will somehow “damage” her just shows arrogance.

You’ve also said, “She can pick winners!” I hope you’re right, and that she endorses Donald Trump today for President.

    Ragspierre in reply to Gary Britt. | January 19, 2016 at 6:35 pm

    Jim Geraghty wrote this morning that the tea-party era began on Tax Day 2009, the day conservatives protested in cities across the country, but plenty of Palin fans will tell you that it actually began eight months earlier, when Palin flew into Dayton to accept John McCain’s offer to be his VP. That wasn’t a tea-party campaign by any stretch — it was pro-TARP, pro-amnesty, pro-cap-and-trade, and all McCain — but it made Palin a national figure. And she was, unquestionably, the biggest Republican name associated with the tea party for years afterward.

    If the Dayton speech was the beginning of the tea party, today’s speech in Ames is the end. Drop the curtain.

    “REPUBLICAN Governor of Iowa comes out AGAINST Cruz.”

    Yes. The eGOP and T-rump are already wheeling and dealing on BIG and even BIGGER GOVERNMENT.

    T-rump lied again, saying the the ethanol subsidies and mandates are “about making America great again”.

    While oil is too cheap to produce in some fields.

    If you believe that T-rump lie, you were also a big fan of Solyndra.

Do you know what the problem is with SCOTUS? It full of lawyers.