Ted Cruz PA eligibility challenge appeal fast tracked in Pennsylvania Supreme Court, Elliott v. Cruz, Elliott represented by attorney David J. Farrell, Cruz a natural born citizen?, PA primary scheduled for April 26
“And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free.”…Jesus, John 8:32
“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
“We are being lied to on a scale unimaginable by George Orwell.”…Citizen Wells
From The Legal Intelligencer March 21, 2016.
“The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has set a quick timetable in the appeal of a ruling allowing Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, to remain on the state’s presidential primary ballot.
The court said Monday that challenger Carmon Elliott had until 4 p.m. Tuesday to submit his brief in Elliott v. Cruz. Presidential hopeful Cruz then has until 4 p.m. Wednesday to file his response. There was no indication of whether or when oral arguments would be scheduled in the case. Pennsylvania’s primary is scheduled for April 26. The court did say in its order that the parties could submit the same briefs they submitted to the Commonwealth Court.
Elliott, who represented himself before the lower court, is now being represented by Norristown attorney David J. Farrell, who had initially submitted his own challenge to Cruz’s ballott eligibility but withdrew it in advance of the Commonwealth Court hearing.
Commonwealth Court Senior Judge Dan Pellegrini rejected earlier this month Elliott’s claim that Cruz was not a “natural-born citizen” as defined by the U.S. Constitution because he was born in Canada to a mother who was a citizen of the United States.
Pellegrini spent half of his decision determining whether the judiciary had jurisdiction over questions of eligibility to run for president. Cruz argued it was a question only for the Electoral College or Congress to determine, and that the court should be barred from hearing it under the political-question doctrine. But Pellegrini rejected that contention, finding there was no support for it under various sections of the U.S. Constitution, nor under the 12th Amendment. In doing so, he became what appears to be the first judge in the country hearing Cruz ballot challenges to address the merits of the issue.
The dispute as to whether Cruz was a citizen eligible for the presidency came down to the interpretation of Article II, Section 1, Clause 4 of the U.S. Constitution, which states that “‘no person except a natural born citizen, or a citizen of the United States … shall be eligible to the office of president.'”
Pellegrini said the term “natural-born citizen” was not defined and the U.S. Supreme Court has never addressed its meaning within the context of the eligibility of a candidate.
Elliott is a registered Republican voter in Pennsylvania. He argued “natural-born citizen” required a candidate to be born within the geographical boundaries of the United States to be eligible. Cruz, on the other hand, argued he was a natural-born citizen regardless of where he was born because his mother was a U.S. citizen when he was born and Cruz was therefore a U.S. citizen from the time of his birth, Pellegrini said.”
From the Indiana Law Review:
“D. Whether a State May Refuse To Put a Presidential Candidate on the Ballot Because It Concludes the Candidate Is Not Qualified ”
” If a state chooses to evaluate the qualifications of presidential candidates, there is no inherent power of Congress standing in its way,”
“Just as there was historical precedent for states including unqualified candidates on the presidential ballot, so, too, is there precedent for states excluding unqualified candidates from the ballot. In fact, there has been a trend of state regulation increasingly scrutinizing the qualifications of presidential candidates, even apart from pending legislation in the “birther” context.”
“They arguably have the power to add qualifications to candidates seeking the office of President.359 The less intrusive step of examining existing constitutional qualifications is likely within the purview of state control.”
“The 20th Amendment does not prevent a state from excluding a presidential or a vice presidential candidate who is not qualified to hold the office.”
“A state inquiry into qualifications could take one of several forms.377 It might be simply ministerial, requiring candidates to verify that they are qualified. It could include a certification, such as a signature under penalty of perjury affirming that one meets the qualifications. It may require a low level of verification, such as an attachment of copies of documentary support for proof of residence and citizenship. Or it may require a high level of verification, such as original source documents (like a “long-form birth certificate”). The inquiry might be required as a disclosure when a candidate seeks to file for office, or as one that an election official is authorized to make under certain circumstances. Such state regulations would be permissible as long as they simultaneously existed within other constitutional boundaries.”
Hat tip to CDR Charles Kerchner.