An Illinois judge set a March 1 court date to hear arguments on the Ted Cruz eligibility lawsuit.
An attorney for the Ted Cruz campaign asked a Cook County judge Friday to dismiss an Illinois man’s lawsuit challenging the Texas senator’s eligibility to run for president, citing that the Republican hopeful wasn’t properly served with the complaint.
Lawrence Joyce, an Illinois voter and Ben Carson supporter, brought his complaint earlier this month to the Illinois State Board of Elections, which dismissed it.
Now, he is appealing the case with the Cook County Circuit Court in Chicago, asking it to rule Cruz ineligible to run in next month’s GOP primary in Illinois. Joyce challenges whether the senator from Texas meets the criteria to serve as president because he was born in Canada.
Sharee Langenstein, an attorney for Cruz, said in court Friday it is “very, very clear” the Cook County court doesn’t have jurisdiction to hear the case because state law stipulates the candidate be served with the complaint. Joyce, a pharmacist and attorney from Poplar Grove, Ill., failed to serve Cruz, whose home address is listed in his petition to be placed on the state’s ballot, Langenstein said.
Judge Maureen Ward Kirby set a March 1 court date to hear arguments on the motion to dismiss. Joyce, who works the midnight shift at a hospital pharmacy, told the judge he wasn’t available for arguments before then because of work commitments. The Illinois primary is March 15 and early voting has already begun.
Despite the close timing, Joyce said it is worth letting his complaint play out.
“The nomination doesn’t take place until July,” Joyce said. “So if a determination is made after the primary that Ted Cruz is not eligible to be president then certainly it would be incumbent upon the Republican National Committee not allow the name of Ted Cruz to be entered at the convention in July.”
Voters in Texas and New York also have filed legal challenges on whether Cruz meets the citizenship qualifications. The Indiana Board of Election is scheduled to hear a complaint Friday from a Republican voter challenging whether Cruz and fellow GOP presidential hopeful Marco Rubio meet the “natural-born” requirement. Rubio, whose parents immigrated from Cuba, was born in Florida.
Two New York voters sued to boot Ted Cruz from the state ballots over questions about his citizenship.