Ted Cruz Cleared to|Appear on N.J. Ballot

     MERCERVILLE, N.J. (CN) – Ted Cruz is eligible to run for president, a New Jersey administrative law judge ruled.
     The April 12 decision ends one of several legal challenges claiming Cruz is ineligible to run for the country’s highest office under Article II of the U.S. Constitution.
     In this case, a university professor and a group of New Jersey conservatives argued that because Cruz was born in Canada he is not a naturally born citizen.
     Their arguments failed to sway Administrative Law Judge Jeff Masin, who ruled that the issue was a legitimate but difficult one.
     Cruz’s father, Rafael, was born in Cuba, emigrated and married an American from Delaware the future senator’s mother Eleanor.
     At the time, Rafael Cruz was a successful oilman, and the couple was in Canada on oil business when Rafael Edward “Ted” Cruz was born.
     Cruz renounced his dual Canadian citizenship in 2014 after complaints about his eligibility for U.S. presidency cropped up. He formally announced his candidacy for U.S. president in March 2015.
     Because Cruz was born to an American mother – even though it was on Canadian soil – he is a naturally born citizen, Masin wrote.
     “The Constitution neither defines nor elaborates upon the phrase, ‘natural born citizen,'” Masin wrote in the 26-page opinion, noting that the term was never discussed at the 1787 Constitutional Convention nor was it part of the original qualifications for president.
     Masin, instead, relied on British common law, which found that the “law of the blood” would make Cruz eligible, since his mother was an American citizen.
     He also referenced a 1787 letter from John Jay to George Washington, which first referenced the term as a check against “foreigners” seeking the highest office.
     “Some commentors have noted that Jay certainly would not have wanted to bar his own children board abroad from an opportunity to serve as “command in chief,” and thus he must have not included children of American citizens board abroad within the category of ‘foreigners’ whom he sought to ban from that office,” Masin wrote.
     The judge heard argument on April 11 from Catholic University professor (and write-in presidential candidate) Victor Williams, who filed the opposition to Cruz in New Jersey and half a dozen other states. Williams had been joined by the Concerned Citizens of South Jersey, a conservative group.
     During the hearing, Masin had reportedly disputed Williams’ assertion that because Cruz was born in Alberta, Canada, he wasn’t a natural born citizen. “It doesn’t say, you must be born in the United States. It would be nice if they did, because then we wouldn’t be here,” Masin reportedly said during the hearing.
     The opinion, like all administrative law opinions, now goes before the New Jersey Secretary of State for approval.
     Similar legal challenges asserting Cruz’s ineligibility were tossed in Pennsylvania and New York. Pennsylvania ruled in favor of Cruz’s eligibility last month, and New York refused to hear a legal challenge to Cruz on that state’s primary ballot.
     Masin concluded that only a decision by the U.S. Supreme Court would definitively answer the question. “[T]he issue can never be entirely free of doubt, at least barring a definitive ruling of the United States Supreme Court,” he wrote.
     In a statement, Williams said he was confident that N.J. Secretary of State Kim Guadagno would not allow “ineligible Ted Cruz on the New Jersey ballot.”
     Williams, who in late 2016 became a formal candidate for U.S. president, has stated he will support Donald Trump in states where his own name is not on the ballot. Trump has also questioned Cruz’s eligibility for the U.S. presidency.
     This isn’t the first time that Masin has been in the news regarding questions over a presidential candidate’s eligibility.
     In 2012 Masin drew the ire of some conservatives when he issued a similar ruling declaring President Barack Obama eligible for the presidency, despite legal challenges asserting he was not a U.S. citizen but rather a citizen of Kenya.
     In that case, two New Jersey residents – Nick Purpura and Ted Moran – filed objection with the state’s Board of Elections disputing Obama’s birth certificate. Masin ruled against the two, finding that Obama had been born in Hawaii. The New Jersey primary is June 7.