Jonathan H. Adler reports that law professor Victor Williams is running for president for the sole purpose of bringing yet another birther law suit challenging whether Sen. Ted Cruz is a “natural born citizen” eligible to be elected president. Birther Williams filed as a candidate in the Republican presidential primary in nine states, California, Montana, Nebraska, New Jersey, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Washington and Wisconsin. Williams then filed his birther eligibility challenges against Cruz in each one.
New Jersey’s Secretary of State, Kim Guadagno is taking Williams’ birther charges seriously, or at least she has scheduled a hearing on Cruz’s presidential eligibility for Monday morning. Guadango is also New Jersey’s Lieutenant Governor having won the 2009 and 2013 elections as the running mate of Gov. Chris Christie, who just happens to an endorser of Donald Trump.
Since the all talk and no action Trump first raised the birther issue, at least nine courts have dismissed or rejected lawsuits challenging Cruz’ eligibility to be president:
- The United States District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas
- A Broward County Court in Florida
- A Cook County Court in Illinois
- A State Court in New York in Albany County
- A New York State Appeals Court
- The New York Court of Appeals
- A Pennsylvania State Court
- The Pennsylvania Supreme Court
- The United States District Court, District of Utah
This case is a little different than those and the one currently on the U.S. Supreme Court docket. In this case Williams may have been able to show that he has standing — that he was harmed. As Adler put it:
I believe that Cruz does qualify as a “natural born citizen” for purposes of Article II of the Constitution. I discussed this matter (and related academic research) here, here and here. Thus I believe Williams should lose on the merits. As for standing, however, he may have a claim.
As Adler also points out Williams will still have to prove he is a genuine competing candidate. Running just to manufacture standing should not be enough. Will it be enough for New Jersey’s Lieutenant Governor/Secretary of State?