Aaaaand, here we go! Ted Cruz has been weaving and bobbing all over the place with regard to the accusations that he isn't a natural-born citizen, and now he's going to defend it in court.
Lawrence Joyce, an Illinois voter who has objected to Cruz's placement on the Illinois primary ballot next month, will have his case heard in the Circuit Court of Cook County in Chicago. Joyce's previous objection, made to the state's Board of Elections, was dismissed on February 1. He appealed the decision and was granted a hearing for Friday before Judge Maureen Ward Kirby.
Joyce challenges Cruz's right to be president in the wake of questions put forth by GOP rival Donald Trump about being born in Canada. Cruz maintains he is a natural-born citizen since his mother is American-born.
The thing is, it will all come down to the definition of a natural-born citizen. Is it someone who was born in a foreign country to an American citizen, or someone born on American soil? Even with regard to John McCain, the argument could be made that he was on American soil because his parents were in an American territory.
Joyce explained his reasons here:
"What Democrats will do at that point is cherry pick which county courthouse they are going to show up in order to file these petitions," Joyce said. "And at that point, I fear they'll get a string of victories in the lower courts and the funding for Ted Cruz would dry up, his numbers would plummet in the polls, he may be forced to give up the nomination."
Joyce, who said he is backing Republican contender Ben Carson, said he has not spoken to the Trump campaign. But Joyce did say he raised the issue with the Carson campaign, which he said was uninterested in pursuing the matter.
The Illinois man said he was hesitant to file the lawsuit out of concern that getting involved in such a high profile case could be detrimental to his own law practice.
"I tried to talk myself out of it and was unable to do so," Joyce said. "It's plain as day that Ted Cruz is not a natural born citizen of the United States."
I go back and forth on it. But my gut tells me that even Ted Cruz knows there's a question.
“I never breathed a breath of air on this planet when I was not a U.S. citizen,” he said. “It was the act of being born that made me a U.S. citizen.”
No one doubts that he's a United States citizen. The question here is whether he's a "natural-born" United States citizen. The USCIS manual is unclear in this regard:
In general, a person born outside of the United States may acquire citizenship at birth if:
•The person has at least one parent who is a U.S. citizen; and
•The U.S. citizen parent meets certain residence or physical presence requirements in the United States or an outlying possession prior to the person’s birth in accordance with the pertinent provision.