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Cruz citizenship lawsuit heads to court

By Ann Marie Awad   |   Feb. 19, 2016 at 12:26 PM
| License Photo

CHICAGO, Feb. 19 (UPI) -- Lawsuits have been filed in at least four states so far challenging Canadian-born Sen. Ted Cruz's eligibility to be president, but one is now going before a judge.

Illinois lawyer Lawrence Joyce filed a complaint with the Illinois State Board of Elections to remove Cruz's name from the state's primary ballot, arguing that Cruz is not a "natural-born citizen" as the Constitution requires. After the complaint was dismissed, Joyce filed an appeal.

The Chicago Tribune reported the appeal was expected to be heard by an Illinois judge on Friday.

Joyce told WBBM he does not have the money for a court battle, so he hopes Cruz's rival, Donald Trump, follows up on his promise to pursue a citizenship suit against Cruz.

"My case presents the perfect opportunity for Donald Trump himself to step forward and bring the matter to court personally," Joyce said. "It would no doubt be impossible for me to absorb all the legal expenses by myself and it would foolish to try to do so when Mr. Trump has so much personal stock invested in this issue."

Joyce said he has not spoken with anyone from the Trump campaign, and supports Dr. Ben Carson's presidential campaign.

The case is the fourth challenge to Cruz's citizenship so far this election. Lawsuits in Texas and New York have not gone before a judge.

The grey area occurs because Cruz was born in Canada to a Cuban father and an American mother. The Constitution mandates that a president must be a "natural-born citizen," but does little to define the term explicitly. Cruz has gone to great lengths to remove any doubt, renouncing his Canadian citizenship and releasing not only his own birth certificate, but his mother's as well. His Canadian birth certificate shows his mother's birthplace as Wilmington, Del., giving him U.S. citizenship.

The issue has been dredged up in earnest by Trump, who has increasingly threatened legal action against Cruz as the two candidates have waged all-out war against one another. The furor over Cruz's citizenship has overshadowed a similar suit filed against Cruz and Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., earlier this year, which contended that Rubio was not a "natural-born citizen" because his parents were not citizens when he was born. A hearing is scheduled for next month in that case.

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