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Ted Cruz can remain on Illinois ballot, judge rules

A petition questioned presidential candidate Sen. Ted Cruz’s citizenship status.

A petition questioned presidential candidate Sen. Ted Cruz’s citizenship status.

CHICAGO — A Cook County judge on Tuesday threw out a petition seeking to knock Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz off the Illinois ballot because the Texas senator wasn't born in the United States.

Lawrence J. Joyce, of Poplar Grove, petitioned the Illinois State Board of Elections in January to have Cruz's name removed from the March 15 primary ballot, arguing Cruz is not eligible to run for president because he is not a "natural-born citizen," as required by the U.S. Constitution. Cruz was born in Canada to an American mother and a Cuban father.

Cruz's lawyer, Sharee Langenstein, countered that the senator indeed is a "natural-born citizen" because American citizenship was conferred upon him at birth by his mother. Langenstein said it is customary for children born to Americans outside the country to receive American citizenship, citing the examples of Arizona Sen. John McCain and late Michigan Gov. George Romney. McCain was born to American parents in Panama and Romney was born to American parents in Mexico.

"Ted Cruz became a natural-born citizen at the moment of his birth because it was not necessary to become a citizen through the naturalization process at some point after birth," hearing officer James Tenuto wrote in his analysis. The election board endorsed Tenuto's ruling in early February and overruled Joyce's objection.

Joyce appealed the election board's decision to the Cook County Circuit Court.

But a Tuesday afternoon hearing before Circuit Court Judge Maureen Ward Kirby never addressed those issues because lawyers for Cruz and the election board successfully argued that Joyce did not fulfill the requirements of election law in filing his request for judicial review.

Ted Cruz can remain on Illinois ballot, judge rules 03/01/16 [Last modified: Tuesday, March 1, 2016 10:14pm]
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