Victor Williams et al v Ted Cruz, New Jersey eligibility challenge, Judge Jeff S. Masin ruling, Cruz can stay on ballot, Meaning of Constitutional term “natural born” is a very legitimate subject of legal and historical debate and by no means a frivolous matter
“To his kind of judge, Cruz ironically wouldn’t be eligible, because the legal principles that prevailed in the 1780s and ’90s required that someone actually be born on US soil to be a “natural born” citizen. Even having two US parents wouldn’t suffice. And having just an American mother, as Cruz did, would have been insufficient at a time that made patrilineal descent decisive.”…Laurence H. Tribe, Harvard Law Professor
“Ted Cruz wrote the forward for U.S. Constitution for Dummies which clearly reveals that he is not a natural born citizen.”…IL ballot challenger Bill Graham
“We the people are the rightful masters of both Congress and the courts, not to overthrow the Constitution but to overthrow the men who pervert the Constitution.”…Abraham Lincoln
Judge Jeff S. Masin ruled today that Ted Cruz can stay on the New Jersey primary ballot.
However, in today’s ruling he left open the door for a definitive ruling by the US Supreme Court and stated that the meaning of Constitutional term “natural born” is a very legitimate subject of legal and historical debate and by no means a frivolous matter.
From the ruling:
“Before discussing this challenge in detail, it is perhaps appropriate to note that
the issue of the meaning of the Constitutional term “natural born” is a very legitimate subject of legal and historical debate, and whatever the outcome of the issue and its impact on the current Presidential campaign, it is by no means a frivolous matter. And, as has been noted by several scholars and commentators on the issue, it involves a difficult examination of historical and legal materials which can be seen, to quote one writer, as “mysterious and ambiguous.” “Nelson, The Original Meaning of “Natural Born,” (Revised, The Originalism Blog, Center for the Study of Constitutional Originalism 2016).
As of the time of this writing, as far as I have been able to determine, only one
court has decided this issue on its merits.3
While challenges to Senator Cruz’s eligibility based on the “natural born” issue have been filed in a number of states, only the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania has decided the question on its merits, in a
decision authored by Senior Judge Pellegrini, filed on March 10, 2016. Elliot v. Cruz, No. 77 M.D. 2016 (Commonwealth Court, March 10, 2016). Judge Pellegrini determined that Senator Cruz was eligible to appear on Pennsylvania’s Republican primary ballot, finding that he met the criteria of “natural born Citizen.” On March 31, 2016, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court affirmed the Commonwealth Court’s decision, without discussing the merits of the issue. Elliot v. Cruz, J-56-2016. Thus, Judge Pellegrini’s ruling appears to be the sole judicial analysis of the question in the context of the current election cycle and the debate over Senator Cruz’s status. The United States Supreme Court has never addressed the “natural born Citizen” question in the context of eligibility for the Presidency. However, at least recently, several law professors and commentators have considered the question and written, in some cases
extensively, on the meaning of the phrase. Judge Pellegrini discussed some of these writings in his opinion, while alluding to others.4 Of course, the Pennsylvania decision is not in any manner binding on the New Jersey Secretary of State or the New Jersey Judiciary. As such, this decision will consider both that ruling and the positions expressed by legal analysts, who in some cases would entirely disagree with the Pennsylvania outcome.”
As demonstrated above and in the thoughtful examinations of the scholars whose materials are mentioned herein, it must be acknowledged that the arguments against finding a child born outside the United States to a non-diplomat or non-military citizen of the United States are not facetious and the issue can never be entirely free of doubt, at least barring a definitive ruling of the United States Supreme Court. While absolute certainty as to this issue is only available to those who actually sat in Philadelphia and themselves thought on the issue, having weighed the arguments as they are presented by those trying to understand the Framers’ intent, I CONCLUDE that the more persuasive legal analysis is that such a child, born of a citizen-father, citizenmother, or both, is indeed a “natural born Citizen” within the contemplation of the Constitution. As such I CONCLUDE that Senator Cruz meets the Article II, Section I qualifications and is eligible to be nominated for President. His name may therefore appear on the New Jersey Republican primary ballot.”