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FORT LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami) — A Broward judge has tossed out a case claiming that presidential candidates Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz were not natural-born U.S. citizens and therefore, not eligible to run.
Republican voter Michael Voeltz of Broward County challenged the candidates’ eligibility in court Friday, arguing that they did not meet the definition of natural-born citizens which is constitutionally required to be president.
Judge John Bowman ruled Voeltz had no standing.
Rubio was born in Miami in 1971 to Cuban immigrants who became citizens a few years later. Cruz was born in Canada to a Cuban-born father and American mother, who moved to Texas when Cruz was four.
“These two candidates are naturalized U.S. citizens, or at the very least, simply fail to comply with the common law Supreme Court established definition of natural born citizen,” wrote Voeltz in his court complaint.
Voeltz, an inventory manager at a car dealership who was representing himself, wanted the candidates’ names withdrawn from the Florida March 15 primary ballot.
The U.S. Constitution states that a presidential candidate must be a “natural-born citizen.” Voeltz argues that the definition of “natural-born citizens” refers to those born in the U.S. whose parents are also U.S. citizens.
But most legal experts say that the phrase means someone who is a citizen at birth. Also, the Naturalization Act of 1790, passed by Congress three years after the Constitution was written, stated that children born abroad to U.S. citizens were considered natural-born citizens.
“It is undisputed that Senator Rubio was born in the United States to immigrant parents,” states Rubio’s motion to dismiss the complaint, written by lawyer Gabriela Prado of Virginia. “Under the United States Constitution, Senator Rubio is a natural-born citizen who is eligible to serve as president of the United States.”
Cruz was represented by David Di Pietro, a well-known Republican lawyer in Broward.
“With respect to the phrase ‘natural-born citizen,’ the first Congress and British law at the time of the founding are in agreement — a person who is a citizen at birth due to the citizenship of the parent is a natural-born citizen,” Di Pietro wrote in his motion to dismiss.
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