Saturday, December 16, 2017
Politics

Lawsuit questions Cruz's eligibility to be president (w/video)

Donald Trump predicted that the lawsuits against Sen. Ted Cruz, doubting his constitutional eligibility to be president, would start trickling in as questions continued to percolate about the fact that he was born in Canada to an American mother and a Cuban father. As the Republican candidates gathered to debate in South Carolina on Thursday, one had already been filed.

An 85-year-old trial lawyer, Newton Schwartz Sr., filed the complaint in U.S. District Court in the Southern District of Texas, in Houston, arguing that the definition of a "natural born citizen" has never been sufficiently settled by the U.S. Supreme Court. The matter, he said, must be urgently addressed.

"The entire nation cannot afford such constitutional confusion and uncertainties overhanging the electorate process," Schwartz, who lives and practices law in Cruz's home state of Texas, wrote in the 73-page lawsuit.

Trump has brought up the issue of Cruz's eligibility as the Texas senator's poll numbers have climbed, arguing that the Republican Party cannot risk the possibility that a Cruz nomination would be tied up in court. Cruz and many legal experts contend that there is no constitutional basis for such questions. While Trump has promised not to sue, he has warned on several occasions that Democrats will look to disqualify Cruz.

Schwartz appears to be the first to have done so.

"The country would be in chaos," Schwartz said Friday in an interview in which he discussed the prospect of someone who was not eligible to run being elected president.

Schwartz said that he has no ties to Trump and that he is not a fan of the billionaire developer. He is, however, a Democrat who voted for President Barack Obama and said he plans to support Sen. Bernie Sanders.

Peter Spiro, a law professor at Temple University who reviewed the filing, noted that the arguments were meandering and the language was full of typographical errors. But of greater concern, he said, is the probability that Schwartz does not have legal standing to bring such a case against Cruz.

Many agree that the definition of a "natural born citizen" — a constitutional requirement for seeking the presidency — remains muddled. Schwartz argues in his complaint that because he is a voter, he has standing to bring the lawsuit.

According to Spiro, being a voter is too broad a classification to have standing and that the most realistic situation that would bring legal clarity would be for 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.

Loan issues: Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz, already facing scrutiny for not disclosing a Goldman Sachs loan he used for his 2012 Senate campaign, also failed to disclose a second loan, from Citibank, for the same race, according to a letter he sent Thursday to federal election officials.

The one-page letter said that the "underlying source" of money for a series of personal loans Cruz made to his Senate campaign in Texas included both bank loans, which totaled as much as $1 million. Both loans were "inadvertently omitted" from the required filings, the letter said. Previously, Cruz has only acknowledged using the loan from Goldman for his campaign.

Comments
CDC gets list of forbidden words: ‘fetus,’ ‘transgender,’ ‘evidence-based’

CDC gets list of forbidden words: ‘fetus,’ ‘transgender,’ ‘evidence-based’

Trump administration officials are forbidding officials at the nation’s top public health agency from using a list of seven words or phrases - including "fetus" and "transgender" - in any official documents being prepared for next year’s budget.Polic...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Female congressional candidate leaves race after sexual harassment allegations resurface

Female congressional candidate leaves race after sexual harassment allegations resurface

A Democratic candidate hoping to flip a hotly contested congressional seat in Kansas has dropped out of the race after allegations that she sexually harassed a male subordinate resurfaced amid her campaign.Andrea Ramsey, 57, who was running to unseat...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Romano: Some bullies survive beyond the schoolyard

Romano: Some bullies survive beyond the schoolyard

Sometime soon, members of the Florida House will be asked to consider a potential solution for bullying in public schools. It’s a dubious idea based on the premise that students should flee their tormenter, and use voucher funds to attend a private s...
Published: 12/16/17
Highlights of GOP compromise bill to overhaul tax code

Highlights of GOP compromise bill to overhaul tax code

WASHINGTON — Republicans in Congress have blended separate tax bills passed by the House and Senate into compromise legislation that seeks to achieve a sweeping overhaul of the nation’s tax code. GOP leaders are looking toward passage of the final pa...
Updated: 2 hours ago
With Rubio, Corker back on board, GOP speeds ahead with tax plan

With Rubio, Corker back on board, GOP speeds ahead with tax plan

WASHINGTON — Republican lawmakers on Friday secured enough votes to pass the most sweeping tax overhaul in decades, putting them on the cusp of their first significant legislative victory this year as party leaders geared up to pass a $1.5 trillion t...
Published: 12/15/17
Experts chart path for Hillsborough to grow smarter before sprawl takes over

Experts chart path for Hillsborough to grow smarter before sprawl takes over

TAMPA — Nearly 600,000 more people will live in Hillsborough County by 2040, and if elected officials and county planners don’t take bold steps now, the population boom will turn the county into the soulless sprawl of Anywhere, U.S.A.That’s the messa...
Published: 12/15/17
Tillerson retreats on offer of unconditional N. Korea talks

Tillerson retreats on offer of unconditional N. Korea talks

WASHINGTON — America’s top diplomat stepped back Friday from his offer of unconditional talks with North Korea, telling world powers that the nuclear-armed nation must earn the right to negotiate with the United States. Secretary of State Rex Tillers...
Published: 12/15/17
Judge signals release of ex-Trump chair Paul Manafort to Florida home under curfew and GPS monitoring

Judge signals release of ex-Trump chair Paul Manafort to Florida home under curfew and GPS monitoring

A federal judge Friday said a bail package has been put together that would release former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort from home confinement in his condominium in Virginia and allow him to reside at his house in Palm Beach Gardens, but unde...
Published: 12/15/17
The meta-soap opera of Omarosa Manigault’s White House exit

The meta-soap opera of Omarosa Manigault’s White House exit

WASHINGTON — As the spooling drama of Omarosa Manigault Newman’s White House departure spun into its 36th hour, Washington began asking itself: "Does it actually matter whether Omarosa quit or was fired?"Dumbest story ever," tweeted John Harwood, the...
Published: 12/15/17
Know your candidates: Florida State House | District 58

Know your candidates: Florida State House | District 58

A hard-fought Republican primary ended with the nomination of Lawrence McClure in October during a whirlwind special election cycle to replace state Rep. Dan Raulerson, who is stepping down for health reasons. The GOP winner faces face three less wel...
Published: 12/14/17
Updated: 12/15/17