81-year-old Houston-based attorney Newton Boris Schwartz Sr. filed a federal class action lawsuit on Thursday challenging the presidential eligibility of U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas).
Sen. Cruz was born in Calgary, Canada in 1970 to an American mother and a Cuban father, who became a naturalized U.S. citizen in 2005.
The lawsuit claims that Cruz is “ineligible to be elected, or serve as president or vice president of the U.S.” due to the fact that he was born in Canada.
Schwartz’s complaint claims that the Constitution’s natural born citizen clause lacks a definition because the U.S. Supreme Court has yet to weigh in on the issue. He argues that he has standing to bring the lawsuit against Cruz because he is an eligible voter in the upcoming presidential election.
Schwartz told Courthouse News Service, “This is a serious and substantial question. I’m trying to get it heard as quickly as we can to avoid a futile election. If Trump puts Cruz as his vice president even and he’s later found disqualified, what do you do? You have to go back and have a new election for president or vice president.”
According to Bloomberg Business, Sen. Cruz said at last Thursday’s Republican presidential debate on Fox Business Network, “There’s nothing to this birther issue… But the facts and the law are really clear. Under longstanding U.S. law, the child of a U.S. citizen abroad is a natural born citizen.”
Explaining how he came to the idea of filing the suit, Schwartz said, “Honestly, I was watching C-SPAN one night when Donald Trump was talking about it and I couldn’t believe no one had thought to just file something with the court… It’s such a simple procedure— I’m amazed no one did it.”
Admitting that he can “see both sides of this argument,” Schwartz said, “If he gets cleared, he gets cleared. Let’s just get this thing settled before the primaries and the convention and the election.”
Schwartz claims that he is leaning towards Sen. Bernie Sanders’ candidacy in the 2016 election and that he has voted mainly for Democrats in most presidential elections except for two in which he pulled the lever for former Republican President Richard Nixon and independent candidate Ross Perot.
Schwartz says he expects to lose his case before the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans and believes that it will then be taken up by the U.S. Supreme Court.
The complaint reads, “This 229-year question has never been pled, presented to or finally decided by or resolved by the U.S. Supreme Court. Only the U.S. Supreme Court can finally decide, determine judicially and settle this issue now.”
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